Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

From Our House to Yours

Wishing all my favorite "invisible" people a very
Merry Christmas
and all the best in the 
New Year!

Knowing y'all is a present itself.  
And no...there is no Egg Nog at our house, 
no matter what Bou looks like.

And yes Sav, that is his favorite toy: the Christmas Possum.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

If you're looking for something philosophical or deep...not today.  No, today I bring you our family's silliest tradition.

The Egg.

Mom was a kindergarten teacher and she use to get some um....unusual gifts.  Every year we would single out the most "special" of the bunch, to see if we agreed.  That worked for years, until a new neighbor, not familiar with the southern tradition of Welcome-To-The-Neighborhood Basket.  This tradition probably isn't as common now, what with people so leery of those they don't know.  I do remember when I was a kid Mom taking a plate of cookies to a new neighbor from "up north".  The woman answered the door, said she didn't want to buy anything and shut the door.  Undeterred, Mom rang the bell again and began welcoming the woman to the neighborhood.  Amazingly they became best friends.

Okay, I digress.  Again.

So the newest neighbor obviously felt the need to hand over something in return since it was Christmas.  Her gift choice was voted unanimously the weirdest thing ever....a ceramic, fried egg spoon rest.

I must've laughed longest because I received it for my birthday the next month, with the note it was a "egg-specially" for me.

And so the silliness began, the egg circulated randomly, usually when least expected.  Over the years the box has been changed because before the recipient can open it up, everyone else is laughing and yelling, "The Egg!"  I typed up all the old answers, as a word is not suppose to be used twice, and put it in a book.  With extra blank pages to fill in, the book now circulates with the egg. 

No one is immune.  Mom even shipped it out of state one year to one of my siblings, thinking that was the end of it.  It came back to her...on Mother's Day.

I gave it to my nephew when he was a month old, noting, "You may be new around here, but you are not Egg-empt from receiving this gift." 

I ended up with it last, so it's my turn to share.  Who?  I'm not telling.  But I was shocked to realize we've been doing this for 20 years!

Guess there are worse traditions.  




Thursday, December 11, 2014

What? You Don't Want More Videos?

Wondering why I've posted videos instead of my own words lately?  (Although the Home Free video is worth the viewing!)

Well my "dumb" move recently turned into something not so fun.  The pot I thought I turned down, I turned up.  (Old stove at work with hard to read knobs from the 1970s).  I pushed the pot off the burner.  Right thing to do.  Then, without thinking, I reached across the pot to turn off the burner with my LEFT arm.  For someone who is right handed, I do a lot of stuff with my left hand.

Later on my arm stung.  It was irritated.  And it probably didn't help that an hour after the burn one of my seniors tripped and fell outside.  After ascertaining she was okay, a couple of us helped her up.  Unfortunately for me, I grabbed her stronger side and she used all 5'1" of me like a bar to pull up her big boned 5'9" frame.  The next day my arm hurt like every muscle had been ripped out of the socket but I figured time heals all wounds, right?

Until later in the week, when my "burn" began to turn into a rash which was quickly skipping down my left arm, leaving a trail as it went.  Yep, the price of stupid?

Shingles!

Fortunately it's only my left arm/hand but the blisters on my hand are the WORST in the pain department, making it difficult to type.  This took me about four times longer than usual to put on the screen.

So I'm taking it easy...if you can do that while trying not to nag one's Hubby into not overdoing it on the 2nd new knee.  So how do we stay "normal" and not blue?

The dog has no problems reminding us who feeds him. That would be me.  And His Grace is giving me that look again.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Confused Cactus

My Mom-in-law had a Christmas Cactus that had grown too large for her to handle so it came to live in my office last year.  It bloomed while I was on Christmas vacation but I got an idea of what it would look like when a couple of flowers opened before I left.

I have to keep telling the seniors, "No, I'm sorry you can't have a piece of this.  If I did, I'd have nothing left but the pot!"  They aren't happy but they are impressed with the plant.

So was I until this weekend....
when the danged thing decided it wanted to be a Thanksgiving cactus!

I told my Mom-in-law and she said not to worry, it will bloom again.
On Mother's Day.

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sometimes shopping can be helpful

When you do your Holiday shopping at AmazonSmile
Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price 
to Crossroads Wounded Warrior Archery Foundation
and support us every time you shop.

Thank you and have a great Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 17, 2014

How Do You Spell Stubborn?

H-U-B-B-Y

On Aug. 28th, he had his right knee replaced.  Physical therapy was quite the eye opener.  And I had to remember to quit referring to it as "Rehab".  Hubby said people were looking at him funny, as if he had a drug or alcohol problem.  Weird how definitions change over the years. 

On Nov. 10th, he had the left knee replaced.   Hubby decided I only needed to take off the first week, not 12 days like previously.  As a joke I got him a Superman shirt to wear at the hospital.  Seems he took it to heart.  He was doing so well with therapy all the nursing staff were impressed and very nice this time...which wasn't the case last time.  He put on the Superman shirt to sleep in that last night in the hospital and everyone thought it was funny...

....except the night nurse.  Nurse Ratchet told him to prove it.  He did, finally silencing the one bad experience this trip.  

The last morning his nurse, who loved food and pointed out food commercials on t.v. to ask if I'd tried the restaurants being advertised, had his discharge papers in hand.  One last round with PT that morning and he was ready to go.  Naturally, for the first time all week, PT was late because one of his two therapists was in training and her Supervisor was coming that day for their rounds.  In fact the PT pair had walked past the room right after I got there.  I overheard the older one telling the rookie, "Nothing to worry about.  We've got a couple of star patients to make us look good," and nodded at Hubby's room.

An hour later, Hubby was literally pacing the halls with a walker, ready to go.  As he made a circuit around the hall, I talked with the PT he'd had the first day, who wanted to know why he was pacing.  I explained to her what the hold up was as he approached again.  

"Go that way and yell at me when you come back," she said, pointing at a hall which would allow her to see his gait. As he passed the Nurses Station for the 3rd time I heard a giggling chorus of, "Go home!  You don't need to be here," as he approached.  The PT was startled when he returned so quickly.  Shaking her head and smiling, she told me to go get the car and told the nurse to grab a wheelchair to get him downstairs as she was signing off on him.

When I got to the front door of the hospital, Hubby was standing at the front door with the walker and a nurse who seemed to be in shock.  She told us he'd made history: he was the only knee surgery patient who had ever WALKED out of the hospital.

I got him home Thursday: 4 days post-op.  I had to all but tie him to the chair, even with the pain and swelling.  He hobbled out to his shop on Friday and Saturday for an hour or two, even though his buddy was handling things for him.  On Sunday, he advised he had cabin fever and was going hunting with that same buddy, but promised he'd stay in the truck and just wait.  Just being outside was good enough, he said.

Hubby was a man of his word and stayed in the truck....where he shot an 8 point buck while his "hunting partner" didn't even see a deer.  I tried not to lecture and swallowed "I told you so" when his leg swelled that afternoon.  And what was the only thing Superman had to say about all this?

"I would like to have been a fly on the wall when my two PTs came to my room...and found it empty.  Wonder how they explained that to the Supervisor?"

My guess is they took the credit.  The truth is, stubborn can be applied for good...Hubby has worked hard to get those knees working.  I went back to work today and I just hope that Superman didn't fly around too much in my absence.  Wonder if they sell kryptonite at the pharmacy?

It's true: you can't keep a good man down.  :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

Smokey may be dearly departed, 
but this shot on the Shop's calendar 
has always been a customer favorite....
which is why it keeps cropping up 
even though ol' Smoke's been gone a couple of years.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

There's Retired....and then there's...

...retired with too much time on your hands.  Which is what I learned yesterday.

The senior citizens at my Center love jigsaw puzzles.  In fact, we keep one going on a special table year round.  Those puzzles can get expensive, so we've developed a system with a couple of our folks where puzzles are shared.  This allows one puzzle to be used multiple times, until we can all afford to buy a new one.

The latest is a true challenge: a collage of the American Flag made up of individual photos.  

Years ago I discovered you can't just put a puzzle on the table.  The box goes ignored.  Even putting the pieces out...nothing.  The only way to grab their interest, is to build the "frame" of the puzzle.  For some reason this lures folks over to start putting in pieces.  So yesterday I put the new puzzle on the table, flipping pieces over and sorting the frame edges.  Then something odd caught my eye.


 Whoever donated this puzzle had WAY too much time on their hands.  
Because after the puzzle was done, 
he/she had flipped it over 
and

 numbered all the pieces!
(I'm hoping none of my puzzle workers figure that out.)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday in the South


A couple of weeks ago I shared photos of the small cotton field 
outside my office window.  
Before you can pick cotton, you have to defoliate.
They did that last week...and for the record, it stinks.
Now it truly looks like a popcorn field.
 I used this photo as an illustration of how the "other farmer" doesn't do his job.
The white strip is cotton, 
the middle is the "other guy's" soy bean field filled with pigweed
which has spread to the cotton field.
The third green field in the background belongs to a third farmer
who yesterday had a crew outside plucking pigweed out of it by hand.

Now it really does look like popcorn.  
That "nut" like object on the left is a cotton bole which hasn't yet opened.  They'll be picking soon.

 The "other farmer's" corn field.  
It grew up so bad in weeds no one could get a combine in to pick it. 
 The deer and birds, however, will benefit.
(Same with the soy bean field, which is an ode to Dog fennel and Ragweed).

Here it is almost the end of October and it's 70 degrees today. (21 C)
No wonder my flowers are confused.  
The Gardenia has started blooming again.


 Begonia and Hibiscus on front porch

 Even that Halloween pumpkin looks out of place next to the Begonia.
Yes, that's an old wood stove as the planter.

The only sign that Fall is really on the way is 
the Old Gal out front has started tossing out pecans.

 Looks like a Pecan Growth chart:
Green hull which hangs from tree (unless wind blows hard like today!)
Dark brown hull, usually hangs from tree and nut drops from it 
but again, wind can change that.
And the lovely final product...
which both our mothers consider a better gift to receive than gold.  
Bringing pecans to them already shelled gets us a gold star.


And Bou says all will be right in the world 
when he goes to the Vet tomorrow to get the bandages off his ear!

Have a good week!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Last crop of summer

Outside my home office window is a small strip of cotton field.  Small, because our young neighbor, who farms for his uncle, wanted to add some crops of his own.  So while 2 acres may seem like nothing to most farmers, he's managing to gather a few extra acres around the neighborhood for some extra cash...because there's a little bundle of baby boy expected in December.  He's a good young farmer and had I included a shot of the rest of the field, that another neighbor "manages" (he plants seeds and thinks God should take care of the rest) you'd see the difference in work ethic.


As a kid, I called them "Popcorn fields" because all that fluffy whiteness looked like popcorn.  That might've not set well with my ancestors, who were farmers, but they'd forgive me because I too enjoy warm earth and planting.   I actually found a newspaper article concerning my 2x Great Grandmother's 81st birthday which included,"She is not only able to do quite a good deal of work around the house, but still enjoys the activity of field work.  Last year she picked cotton with her grandchildren- and rarely ever picked under 100 pounds a day.  This is wonderful considering her advanced age."

Wow!  You go Great Grandma!

 Some weeds, like pig weed, have grown resistant to herbicides and farmers have actually gone back to having workers go into the field and pluck it out by hand.  My young neighbor did so this summer and that 2 acres is the only spot in a 30+ acre field without 5 foot high weeds.  (Take note, older farmer who thinks he's done when the seed goes in the ground).  Which is why I was so surprised to see something else in his field this morning.

Morning Glories.
Not many, just a small patch in purple, pink and a few miniatures in baby blue on the edge of the field.  But instead of weeds, they look like exclamation points on a more well tended field.

Now before someone points out weeds, 
that was grass along the edge of the border dividing field and lawn.  
He's good, not perfect. 

And so with such lovely color available, 
I took advantage of Bou the dog following me and snapped a few shots.
(That's my "crop" of yellow Lantana, planted inside an old tractor tire).

After all, it's almost Christmas calendar season,
and my 4 legged Pin Up only has so much patience with posing.
But after watching me snaps shot of cotton,
he wasn't suspicious when I invited him to sit down.

Y'all have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 27, 2014


It's so quiet around here.  
I know tis the season of school, football and,
 if retailers are to be trusted (ha!) 
the holidays...
which aren't yet around the corner but are appearing on shelves anyway.

Just sticking my head in the door to check on y'all.
Hubby's knee is healing nicely and he believes he can convince the
Doctor when we meet on Thursday, 
that the other knee needs to be done soon...
as in before HIS surgeon has his own knee replacement in December.

As you were.
Just know that you're missed.
What?  I am NOT trying to make you feel guilty.
I just miss y'all's presence.
(And Chef, I'm getting hungry!)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

25 Years Ago Today...

...Mother Nature proved that hurricanes DO NOT stick to coastlines.  


25 years ago today, the gentleman in this photo asked if I could come across the street and help answer phones.  I knew him from years before, when I was a Radio Dispatcher for the State Police and he was a Sheriff's Deputy. I remember him saying, "You can handle telephones, the public and work well under pressure.  I could use that right now."    It was the first week after his secretary's husband had been transferred and he was the only one in the department we then called Civil Defense.  I received permission to assist this other county government department and went to help man the phones at 10:00 a.m. that Thursday morning.  There were 3 old fashion phones, one line each, with no hold button.  The head of Maintenance and I answered them for the first couple of hours until he and the Civil Defense head had to leave for a while.  At the height of the storm, you had to put your hand on top of the phone to know which one was ringing.  After a while, they all rang at the same time anyway.  I began answering one, asking the person to hold on, answered the second, then asked both parties if they could hear me.  If they wanted basic info, I told them at the same time.  If one had an emergency, the other caller graciously sat through a one sided conversation until it was his/her turn.  This went on for hours.

The next thing I knew, it was Friday morning and Hurricane Hugo had blown through, turning my hometown into a photo copy of a war zone.

Months later, I witnessed the oddest thing.  People jumped when the wind picked up or turned pale if it howled around a corner prior to a thunderstorm.  It took me a while to put two and two together and understand their reactions were connected to memories of Hugo.  So why didn't it bother me? After all, at one point I was the lone female in that room, surrounded by law enforcement as we all dealt with something none of us had ever experienced.  I was torn because Hubby was at home and had begged me to stay put because I was in probably the safest place in the County. I can still hear Maj. Holloway of the National Guard reporting for duty in a voice so deep it came from the bottom of his boots...and it was oddly comforting.  Why wasn't I as shell shocked as my community?

Civil Defense  was in the basement of the Courthouse.  Until the height of the storm, when wind howled around the building for two minutes, we never heard a sound.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

He Came From Scotland

     I think perhaps it's only human nature to "romanticize" a culture you admire but don't truly know enough about. As a teenager I loved listening to Sean Connery speak, yet found it funny when women swooned over his James Bond's "sexy British accent".  Um, that's not British.  It's Scottish.  I remember thinking, "Why can't they hear the difference?"
     I've always loved accents.  I don't know if it's the part of my brain which is creative and likes to write, or if I was lucky to be born with "a good ear"... hearing what some people miss. And what I hear stays with me.  Hubby says he can always tell when the British Wives' group has been at the Center because I'll use "lovey" or "Brilliant!", phrases foreign in my daily speech. In that group is a lady from Ireland and two from Scotland.  Interacting with the first one has me substituting "wee" for small for the rest of the day.  My Scottish ladies and I have an interesting relationship due to my never ceasing curiosity.  One is 90 years old, with a twinkle in her eye and a quick wit who likes to give hugs while telling me what a joy it is to see me.  No one else greets me like that.  The second, closer to my mother's age, was the one I sought out for a "translation".  I was reading a poem written as the Scottish speak (oh don't even go there about whether that's an actual language, lest you start an argument amongst the locals).  I asked for a definition of a few words I THOUGHT I understood, but wasn't sure.  She began reading the poem aloud, stopping occasionally to offer an explanation she thought was needed.  Yet as soon as she began to read, suddenly the words my eyes weren't sure of, my ears embraced.  Hearing them made the meaning clear.  Thrilled, I jumped in to  offer a definition in mid sentence, making her pause and beam because I'd gotten it right.  Finished, she gazed at me with a perplexed expression and asked,"You understood what I just read?"
     I replied, "I do now.  Because YOU read it.  YOU made it come alive for me." 
   Thinking I was merely being polite, she questioned, "But you understood WHAT I was saying?"  After my enthusiastic "Yes!", she shook her head and added, "I've been married to my husband (an American) for 20 years and his family still can't understand me.  But you do. You actually do.  How?"
     "I listened," was my reply. 
     Yet the truth was deeper.  I didn't tell her why.  Maybe I should have.  But how do you explain your love of her native tongue originated when you were ten and a kind Scotsman named Paul took the time to listen.  To me.
     In the South of my youth, children were raised to be quietly polite: speak when spoken to, otherwise let the adults talk while you listened and learned.  I was a shy child, so only offering, "No Sir" or "Yes Ma'am" wasn't all that difficult.  Shy children, however, learn a lot while listening to everyone else talk.
     Raised a Baptist, the church we attended had an annual "Revival".  For those not familiar, it was a chance for a preacher from another town to come in and, for a week, share with you familiar stories from the Bible.  But since he wasn't the man you listened to every Sunday, often his telling of the tales made more of an impact.  There was one young preacher the youth liked because he didn't talk over our heads to the adults, he spoke in a manner everyone understood.  Plus he didn't yell or thump his Bible which frankly, is rather terrifying to a kid...especially one with a vivid imagination who has created a pretty horrifying mental image of the Devil already without outsider assistance. 
     The year I was ten, this visiting preacher brought a friend named Paul, from Scotland.  For a little southern kid, the accent alone was a treat.  To this day, I can still see him.  Tall and broad shouldered, with hair dark as coal and the bluest eyes.  His smile was genuine and his laugh as deeply joyful as his voice.  He gave a lesson to our group prior to the main service, encouraging all of our questions, most of which had nothing to do with the lesson.  There was something so warm and caring about him.  As the last four of began to leave, he noted that my little wool tartan skirt made him a bit homesick. And that's when  something odd happened to shy little me.
     Amazed that an adult would admit such a thing I blurted out, "We learned to do the Highland Fling at school this year."
     Most adults would've said "That's nice", before hurrying the child along so he wouldn't be late.  Instead, without even looking at his watch, Paul sat back down and asked sincerely, "Would you show me?"
     I should've been embarrassed and refused.  That what shy kids do, after all.  Funny what happens when an adult takes the time to make a request instead of a demand.  As Paul began to whistle the very tune I'd learned to dance to, my feet began to move.  He merrily clapped the beat, cheering me on and applauding when I was done, telling me it was the finest Highland Fling he'd ever seen.  The other kids my age looked stunned.  I should've been.  But all I could hear was his softly uttered, "Thank you".  Never have two words sounded so heartfelt or exotically loving.
      The year was 1969 and things in the South were still racially charged.  At that evening's service, three young military men from the local Base came into the service at the last minute.  All were in uniform and quietly sat on the back row.  The soldier in the middle was black.  The good church people gasped, because churches were not integrated then.  One of the Deacons asked the man to leave while another called the Police.  I will never forget the eerie sight of blue lights flashing through the stained glass windows.  Or the feeling that it was wrong to ask the man to go, which he did respectfully and with no complaint.  His friends followed him out.  It made me feel awful.
     And then Paul spoke from the pulpit.  Many preachers would've pretended that what had just happened hadn't happened.  Paul had given apples to the congregation to share with others, just as, he stated,  God had shared his word with us.  In  a clear voice, he said, "I want you to stand now and leave in silence.  And as you walk out the door in silence, remember that God loves all of his children."  The congregation rose and filed out. No one spoke a word.  On one hand the silence was unsettling, because the adults all had odd looks on their faces.  As an adult, I now know that look was guilt.  It was the first time I understood you could lovingly admire a stranger for doing the right thing, for the right reason.  The greatest sermon I ever heard was Paul's last sentence, spoken softly, without anger, but with evident disappointment.  Yet my brain clung to the sound of a Scotsman saying God loved me, no matter what.
      I never saw Paul again. But he made a lasting impression on what it means to be truly kind and caring and compassionate.  He chose to stop for a few moments and make me feel worthy as a child.  Along the way, a Scottish accent became entwined with loving kindness until they were one and the same.
     I often wondered if Paul was the reason I wanted to find someone Scottish in my family tree.  Was he the reason I was inexplicably drawn to the "Isle of Skye"? Had I lumped little girl memories of an emotional night onto a foreign country and tied them together with a Scottish accent?
     Who knows?  But I have discovered that one of my Irish ancestors originally came to Ireland from Scotland.  Where in Scotland?  
     The Isle of Skye.
    

 


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dear Scotland

Wishing you the best today as you decide on your future.
No matter what you decide, 
you are a strong people 
who will always have my respect.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Ironic

My stat page just showed that I have made 911 posts...
as of 9/11.

Wow.

Leaving you with today's thought.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

In Memory

Of Sept. 11th

Friday, September 5, 2014

First, Do No Harm

While Hubby's surgeon was great at understanding this, I fear the majority of the medical staff we encountered after surgery were not familiar with the concept.  I understand those folks have a difficult job to do, but it's not easy to remember that when they keep telling you to get some rest...then take turns waking you up every 2 hours to "check" something. 

It wasn't the nurses who were the problem, (well, except for the chubby chick we dubbed "Nurse Ratchet" who'd had her personality/ability to care surgically removed).  No, it was all the "Specialists".  The surgeon came by the afternoon and morning after the surgery, then advised with a sigh, that he'd done his job and Hubby would have to deal with, "The others".  Sounded like a bad horror movie title... which wasn't far from the truth.

From taking blood to checking for skin breakdown (a mere 10 hours after surgery) and rotating physical therapists with contradictory advice,  there was the introduction of the newest medical fad: "The Hospitalist".  Interesting concept.  Take a physician who doesn't have a private practice, let them do a history on the patient, then check in from time to time to insure he/she is still breathing. Because even though the Hospitalist is a full fledged physician, another "Doctor" on call decided on the meds. When Hubby mentioned his recent trip to Africa, it's a good thing I was in the room.  I have to wonder about medicine when the spouse has to volunteer the trip's location was nowhere near the Ebola outbreak, because the Hospitalist was more interested in the animals which were seen.  Her reply to my information?  "Oh.  Well, I guess that's good to know."

Hubby's personal physician came by the next  morning and informed him with a grin,"Your chart is an interesting read.  Besides your total knee replacement, they noted you hunt in Africa."

Sigh.

But of all the future billings we will receive, there will be one from a "doctor" whose name I still don't know.  Probably because she never came any closer than one foot inside the door.  She did announce her name and rank among the medical experts, but she never laid a hand on Hubby.  In fact, she didn't even get close to him until the day of his discharge when he challenged her observation that he needed a CAT scan.  He inquired as to why, she stated she didn't like that his oxygen level went down the night before.  I wasn't there, but I can just hear Hubby telling her through gritted teeth that the level barely dropped and it was because he hadn't gotten more than 2 hours sleep there in 4 days!  She said he might have a pulmonary embolism, which is life threatening.  Hubby shot back that he had none of the symptoms and again questioned it. She listened to his chest and when he asked Doctor Who? if there was a problem, she merely walked out.  An hour later the test was canceled.  Two hours later I was taking Hubby home.

He's not exactly comfortable yet, but it's only been a week since surgery and today was Day 3 of outpatient physical therapy, which continues through early October.  His personal physician, who's also an archery customer, called us the first day home to see why the CT scan was canceled...and agreed with Hubby that in this case, it was medical overkill.  If the doctor had truly been concerned, a simple blood test would've made the determination.

So you may not hear much from me, but I'm still reading what you're up to.  It's a long road ahead, but I hear in the long run he'll be glad he did this.  Which is good...since he needs to have the other knee done as well.

Thanks for good thoughts and appeals to whatever you believe in to keep my patience level appropriate.




Wednesday, August 27, 2014

For Our Irish Singer

It's been a weird couple of days.  Hubby and I've been to several doctors' appointments leading up to his knee surgery.  It's one of those moments in life when you know it'll all work out, but you feel bad that your Beloved is going to feel lousy before he feels better.  But he's ready for it, so I have to be too.

Then talk turned yesterday to two of our senior citizens who are in nursing homes and who have, quite frankly, decided enough is enough.  One is 90 and just had a massive stroke, the other is 98 and sliding downhill much too slowly as she sees it.  It's hard to acknowledge that these two people I've known for almost 20 years might shuffle off while I'm gone. Then I remind myself of what they've shared with me...and that's a wonderful gift.

But when I got home, I discovered our much loved Irish Singer has had enough with the Internet highway.  I don't blame him.  When you have days that you begin to yell at the screen,"There can't BE this many stupid people!" it's time to take a break from the invisible people with the loud opinions.  Although it was with a heavy heart that I acknowledged his message with one of understanding, he didn't sever all ties.  He gave us a way to stay in touch.  A lovely, old fashion way which will guarantee that he hasn't heard the last of me.  

Funny how we take things for granted.  This morning I noticed that my work calendar has a motivational saying at the top of each week. Now I've had this thing since July 2013.   I've just ignored the writing on the top thinking it was probably trying to sell me something...or remind me to reorder a refill for the fancy book where it resides.  Today I discovered it had a message for me and me Irish Pal:

"The difficulties you meet will resolve themselves as you advance. 
Proceed, and light will dawn and shine 
with increasing clearness on your path."

Hmmm.  And I've been thinking about my path lately.  I have a direction in mind, but no map.  Which made me grin...cause I have a friend named Map.  And the card I received Monday was the first thing I thought of when he advised he was flying away. 

Just remember Friend, your other wing is in the South...and it's sister is further south...and north towards Canada.  After all, that birds of a feather thing must have some truth to it.  Take care.  We'll still be here.

Monday, August 18, 2014

I was 16, going on 17

I've been busy trying to tie up loose ends before Hubby's knee replacement surgery on Aug. 28th.   Won't have much time for hobbies for a couple of weeks after that...at least.  I was cleaning up some Family Tree info when I found this.

This was my 17th birthday 
and Hubby-to-be-one-day turned 18 the next month.  
Ah, youth.
(Hey Ponita...THERE's where that 23 inch waist was hiding!)

Friday, August 8, 2014

"I Do"....and still counting

Today marks year 34.  
Not sure how we got here that fast, 
but it was the best decision I ever made.

Now if only I knew where to find that 23" waist!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

African Attitude

Not all of Hubby's "trophies" were taken with a weapon.  Many were taken with a camera, allowing me to put together an impressive photo book of his trip.  You really do need to click on each photo to get the full effect. 

Sometimes these animals just didn't look real with their distinctive colors, 
as if they were painstakingly hand painted. 






Then there were the animals which either looked like 
spare parts hastily assembled...
...or proof that God has a sense of humor.


After a while, I found myself drawn in by the amusing,
spur of the moment, 
hey-that's-not-exactly-what-I-was-aiming-for shots.  

 
The face only a Mother could love.



I keep hearing Robert De Niro in my head mumbling, "You talking to me?"
 


African raspberry.



"If I hide behind a tree, no one can see me."
 
 
 
"Hey!  I can see Friday from here."
(followed by De Niro), 
"You looking at ME?!"
 
But my favorite shot by far, 
is one which makes me laugh out loud. 
There's just something about that flip of the head 
that translates into a whole new attitude.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Just Checking In

I'm here.  
I'm hoping you're there.  
Here's wishing all of us a good week.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Let it Pour

Well, we had that first Thunderstorm of Summer that took out a tree and several limbs.  Since then....pretty much nothing.

Not so much a drought, but such minute sprinkles that rain seems to evaporate before it hits the ground.  Our green lawn is now brown and crunchy.

And then Mother Nature threw down.  In buckets.  And I got to ride home through it.  Twice.

The first time hit just as I was leaving work the other day and I could barely see the front of my car.  I thought I'd waited long enough, because that storm had hit before the end of the work day, so I thought it was done.  Not hardly.  There was a 2 mile let up, then I "caught" up to the original storm.  It stopped long enough for me to turn toward the house and see this.


 





At least I got to the front porch before it hit again.

 
                                                                  Heading inside,
                                              I'm pretty sure I heard the grass sighing in joy.