The “It’s All About Forty” Hodgepodge…

Today’s Hodgepodge is about all things forty!  If you’d like to join in the “forty fun” click on Joyce’s button at the top of this post and jump right in…

1. In a single sentence tell us something about your 40’s. If you haven’t reached that milestone yet tell us (in a single sentence) something about whatever decade you’re in now.

Life, as I’d previously known it, changed forever, when rheumatoid arthritis began attacking my body.

2. Life begins at forty. Agree or disagree? Tell us why. And if not at forty, when?

I disagree! (see my answer to #1)  My forties were filled with working a full-time job, raising three children through their middle school/high school years, all while dealing with a multitude of health issues.  Give me the twenties or thirties any day!

3. Share a favorite book, song, or quote with a number featured in it somewhere.

How about the oldie, but goodie, One (is the Loneliest Number)?  It kind of sums of the season of “social distancing” don’t you think?

4. A picture’s worth a thousand words, a stitch in time saves nine, back to square one, catch-22, on cloud nine, my two cents…pick a number phrase and tell us how it applies to your life currently.

“A picture’s worth a thousand words.”  I’ve seen so many crazy things on television during this season of quarantine.  For instance, the picture of those large white circles painted on the grass of a NY park, last weekend, will be forever etched in my brain…  The circles were for sitting in–to remind people to keep distance between them while relaxing in the park…  Really?

5. Last time you drove more than 40 miles from home?  It’s been quite some time since I “drove” more than 40 miles. (I rarely drive since Ed retired.)  However, Ed and I went to the dermatologist’s office together in February.

More than 400 miles from home?  At the end of February.

Where were you going? Ed and I went to Florida to visit family.

Was it before or after this current season of social distancing? It was just before covid 19 burst onto the scene with a vengeance.

6. It’s harvest time here in our neck of the woods!  If you look closely at the picture, you will see us picking our green beans.  (Our daughter snapped the picture without our knowledge)  We’ve canned 35 quarts of green beans in two days and we are tired!  It’s raining today, so we’re resting.

inthegarden

Published in: on May 20, 2020 at 9:24 am  Comments (3)  
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A Cinco de Mayo Kind of Hodgepodge…

 

I wasn’t feeling well, so I missed last week’s Hodgepodge.  Fortunately, I’m feeling better and am able to participate in the fun today!  If you need a fun little distraction from the gloom and doom of the news, feel free to click Joyce’s button at the top of this post, and jump right in!

1. Question day this week lands on Cinco de Mayo. Are/were tacos on your Tuesday night menu? Hard shell, soft shell or just gimme all the tacos? Are you even a fan of Mexican food? Do you like your salsa mild, spicy, or somewhere in between? Margaritas-Frozen, on the rocks, or no thank you? Have you ever been to Mexico?

Tacos were not on my menu, last night, but left-over bar-b-que was.  We’ve learned to embrace left-overs in this house, and it’s a good thing with things headed in the direction they’re going.  A dollar won’t buy much food, these days, but $1.67 will buy a gallon of gas!

Whenever I do eat tacos, I prefer a hard shell, and I like my salsa on the mild side.  I’m not really a fan of Mexican food, but occasionally I’ll make tacos for something different.

You know, I’ve actually never tried a Margarita, or been to Mexico, and I don’t have any plans to do either.

2. What’s something you may do this month?

I “may” cook lunch for my family on Mother’s Day.  We’ve been “social distancing” for well over nine weeks, and only visiting with family while sitting outside spaced  several feet apart.  The last time our family shared a meal together was the first weekend of March.  So, if the weather permits, we’ll be eating a home-cooked meal [outside] on Sunday. (still trying to social distance, but to a lesser degree)  Sunday is also our oldest son’s 38th birthday. (He was my “Mother’s Day baby)

3. Tell us what’s happening in your state or town as far as restaurants/salons/parks/beaches/businesses opening up. How do you feel about it? Are you out and about or hunkered down? Do you wear a mask?

As most of you know, the state of Georgia led the way in opening back up.  Restaurants, salons, gyms, tattoo parlors, etc. have been open for over a week–with many restrictions.  Many restaurants and other businesses are open [with restrictions] as well.  Personally, I think our state opened too early, but only time will tell.  Our local number of cases haven’t changed, yet.  Our county stands at nine.

I’m still hunkered down! I’ve only been out three times, in over nine weeks, and two of those was for “Walmart Pickup”.  I broke the ‘hunkered down’ tradition for the third time, and went to get my hair cut, yesterday!  My stylist wore a mask, and so did I.  I had my temperature taken upon entering the door, answered a questionnaire, she sanitized before I was allowed to enter…  If I happen to catch the corona virus after all of that, I’ll look better and die a happy woman with a new hair cut!

4. Mother nature, everybody and their mother, mom jeans, like mother like daughter, soccer mom, mother hen, mother lode, necessity is the mother of invention, stay-at-home mom…pick one and tell us how it fits into your life right now.

“Like mother, like daughter” fits my life quite well, and has for a long time.  My daughter and I look alike, think alike, and often act alike.  We both have autoimmune diseases and are frequently suffer with the same symptoms, but usually at different times, thank goodness.  We jokingly say when one of us is “up” the other is often “down”.  Because we share the same kinds of symptoms, we understand just how crappy autoimmune disease can make you feel, and we try to help each other out when we can.

5. April showers bring May flowers…what’s blooming in your yard or garden today?

In the yard – the gardenia bush is blooming in all its glory, as well as our huge magnolia tree.  Such sweet smells! Then we have a few hibiscus bushes beginning to bloom (the yellow is my favorite), as well as some assorted pots and hanging baskets filled with petunias, gerbera daisies, lantana, begonias, geraniums  and impatience.

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2020 garden (after ten inches of rain within a week)

In the garden – our squash bushes are blooming, as well as our garden peas and green beans.  So far, it’s been a tough gardening year, between the cooler than normal nights and the over-abundance of rain, but I think it’ll be okay.  If all goes well, we should be eating fresh squash in just a few more days!

Random:  Today is our oldest son’s wedding anniversary.

Bretts fam strawberry patch

(picture taken at our neighbor’s strawberry farm)

He and his wife have been married for fourteen years, and have two boys, ages eleven and eight.  Happy anniversary you two.  May you have many more happy anniversaries!

 

Published in: on May 6, 2020 at 7:15 am  Comments (9)  
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Another Wednesday Hodgepodge…

From this Side of the Pond

It’s Wednesday, and, for now, that means joining Joyce for another edition of The Wednesday Hodgepodge.  If you’d like to join, too, simply click on Joyce’s button at the top of this post, copy, paste, answer the questions, and link up!

1. What’s something you resolved to do this year? Have you done it?

2019 was a horrible year for me.  I was plagued by various health issues the entire year.  Dental woes (including two surgical extractions and dry socket, twice),  a thyroid imbalance issue, TMJ (caused by those dental procedures) another nasal skin cancer & plastic surgery, and more neck/ back issues occurred consecutively, and sometimes simultaneously!  I literally spent the majority of the year sprawled out in a zero gravity chair in the middle of our living room floor!  I often felt as if life was passing me by, and it was.  Finally, toward the end of 2019, my health began to slowly improve.

I was resolved to have a better year in 2020, and so far, I have been able to do that, praise the Lord!  My back still causes pain, at times, but nothing I can’t handle, so far.  There’s another back surgery looming somewhere in my future, but other than that, the other health issues have been resolved.

2. Where do you go to find quietude?

The best place for me to find “quietude” is in the bathroom, soaking in a bathtub full of hot water.  It’s my favorite time of the day.

3. A friend asked this question on her Facebook page and said I could borrow it for the Hodgepodge…you’re only allowed to buy 5 things at the grocery store, and all must start with the first letter of your first name. Whatcha’ buying?

Since my first name begins with a “K”, I wouldn’t be buying much!  Perhaps I could buy some “ketchup”, or some “Kellogg’s” cereal.  Oh, and maybe some kettle corn!

4. The television show Survivor, the Gloria Gaynor song ‘I Will Survive’, survival mode, survival of the fittest…pick one and discuss.

Ed and I have been fans of the show “Survivor” since its beginning.  We don’t enjoy the show as much as we used to, but still feel compelled to watch.  The earlier shows were much more interesting, and so were the competitors.  I guess we’re not alone in this opinion, since this season’s show has brought back some of the best competitors, from past seasons, to compete against each other.

5. Share a favorite quote or saying about strength.

Here’s one of my favorites:  “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”  Phillipians 4:13 KJV     I’ve relied heavily on this bible verse to help me when I was forced to do things out of my comfort zone.

6. Random:

Our governor has decided to allow our salons, nail parlors, tattoo parlors, gyms, and bowling alleys to reopen this Friday, followed by movies, restaurants, churches, etc., on Monday.  Really?  Our cases of covid 19 are still on the rise, so it will be interesting to see how this decision works out.  As of last night, Georgia has 20,166 cases, with 818 deaths–and rising.

Published in: on April 22, 2020 at 7:56 am  Comments (3)  
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The Wednesday After Easter Hodgepodge…

 

A very unusual Easter has come and gone, but the corona virus is still in full swing!  A few tornadoes even blew through, on Monday morning!  It’s an unusual time in our lives, but life  goes on, doesn’t it?

One pleasant bit of normalcy that remains is Joyce’s Wednesday Hodgepodge, which she had to post from her phone due to a loss of power.  Those storms I mentioned earlier?  Well, they traveled Joyce’s way, too…

1. In Monday’s post I mentioned I would incorporate the word I was given for letter K into this week’s questions. That word was karaoke. On a scale of 1-10 how excited would you be to find out there was karaoke happening at your next gathering/outing with friends? 10=gimme that microphone!, and 1=I suddenly remembered there’s somewhere else I need to be. Have you ever actually done karaoke? If you had to perform karaoke what would be your ‘go-to’song?

Let me begin by saying, I can not sing!  Therefore, I would quickly find something else I needed to do while any karaoke was happening!  I’ve never performed karaoke or watched anyone else perform, so I have no idea what a good “go-to song” might be.

2. How do you listen to music these days? Favorite app or do you listen the old fashioned way? Do you have music playing often in your home? Is there still a CD player in your car?

Most of the time, I listen to music [in my home] on a Kindle, usually played through the blue tooth speaker Ed gave me for Christmas.  I listen to Pandora, and usually listen to Southern Gospel music.

I also have a subscription to Sirius XM for the van, and we recently started to stream Sirius through the ROKU in our home, too.  I prefer to listen to music of the 60’s and 70’s on Sirius.  We do have a CD player in the van [and in our home], and, occasionally, I’ll play some CD’s, too.

3. The HP lands on US tax day this year. Or what used to be tax day before everything including filing your taxes was cancelled, delayed, postponed or extended. FYI- filing your taxes has not been cancelled, only delayed for a bit.

Besides staying away from anyone and everyone, what have you found taxing lately?

It’s been ‘taxing’, at times, just trying to find some of the items we need!  Fortunately, I had plenty of paper products on hand when the virus and craziness hit, but finding items like eggs, bread, rice krispies, and iceberg lettuce has been challenging, at times!  What’s up with the lettuce shortage?

For five weeks, we’ve stayed home and relied on our son-in-law or Walmart’s grocery pickup service for all of our needs.  However, Ed finally had to don his mask and brave the elements for some gardening supplies, last week.  We desperately needed fertilizer and fire ant killer!

By the way, you know that delay we’ve been given to file our taxes?  Ed and I had just filed [and paid] our taxes before the tax deadline was extended, so we missed out on that!

4. You’re without power so no oven, and you can’t open your frig or freezer in order to keep what’s in there from spoiling. And you don’t have access to take out. What will you make us for dinner?

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are always our ‘go to’ in a situation like this!  They’re pretty good, too!  It’s hard to beat a PB&J sandwich made with homemade blackberry jelly and Skippy peanut butter.

5. I’ve seen this exercise going around Facebook and thought it would be a good one to include in the HP…what are five things everybody seems to love and go crazy for that you personally don’t care for?

(1) memes and games on Facebook  (2) sports  (3)  dining in restaurants  (4) reunions of any kind  (5) bridal/baby showers  Yeah, I sound like a “stick in the mud” don’t I?

Random:  As I stated in the beginning of this post, it was an unusual [but happy] Easter for us.

The day before Easter, I was able to color some eggs with my daughter and granddaughter on the front porch of their house. (We kept a proper distance) At least we were able to carry on that tradition, although we were missing three grandchildren.

On Easter morning, Ed and I were able to our church’s “drive inn” sunrise services, and their eleven o’clock service via Facebook. We’re rarely able to attend both.

My daughter, Brandy, and I shared the Easter cooking chores, then sent 1/2 of our food over to each other’s houses.  Ed and I ate lunch, alone, at a table so quiet we could hear my pet crickets chirping, but we were thankful to have each other.  The food was great!

After lunch, I packed up some food, and Ed took it to our ‘eighty-plus’ friend who’s currently caring for his sixty-plus, disabled son.  It felt good to [hopefully] help someone have a little better day.

The weather grew progressively worse as Easter wore on, and Ed and I went to bed not knowing what kind of storms the early morning hours might bring.  Fortunately, we were spared anything worse than strong winds and lots of rain.  Some of our neighboring counties didn’t fare as well.  When all was said and done, it was a blessed and happy Easter, after all.

 

 

 

Published in: on April 15, 2020 at 8:21 am  Comments (6)  

A Faith Filled Hodgepodge…

 

Happy Wednesday, y’all!  It’s week five of staying home, for us, how about you?  Today, I’m joining Joyce for another edition of The Hodgepodge.  If you’d like to join in, too, just click Joyce’s button at the top of this post.

1. How will you celebrate Easter this year?

It will be a different kind of Easter for us.  For the first time, ever, our family will not gather together.  Our state (Georgia) is experiencing a big surge in cases of covid 19, this week!  We’re still under a “shelter in place” order, and still practicing social distancing.  It wouldn’t be wise to put twelve people together to share a meal at this time.  So, Ed and I will watch Easter services on Facebook, then eat our Easter lunch, alone, for the first time in our forty-seven years of marriage.

2. Is it easier for you to receive grace offered or extend grace to another? Explain.

I’m ashamed to admit that it’s easier for me to receive grace offered than it is to extend grace to another, most of the time.  I’ve been working on my sinful nature for the past few years, and, with God’s help, I’m making progress in this area.  In the words of the old song, He’s still working on me, to make me what I ought to be.

3. Do you say grace before meals? If so do you have a standard dinnertime grace or is it more ‘off the cuff’ ? Do you say grace when dining out? Do you have a favorite grace? Any special memory associated with ‘saying grace’?

Yes, we ask a blessing before every meal.  For years, we said the standard “God is Great” blessing, but in the past few years Ed began actually praying before each meal.  Yes, now we pray when dining out, too, but for many years we didn’t.  Praise the Lord for spiritual maturity!

When I was a little girl I learned a sweet blessing that I still remember.  It goes like this:  Please keep us close together/ And help us to be good/ And always love each other/ the way a family should/ And when our life is over/ Please let us meet again/ So we can be a family/ up in heaven, Lord, Amen!  

4. What are some challenges you think the next generation will face? (Generation Alpha-born between 2011 and 2025)

Judging from the direction our country seems to be heading,  they may face the challenge of living under socialism.  I pray not!  It looks like they will also face the challenge of living in a country that’s hopelessly in debt.  The age of social media has made it harder for people to talk face to face, so there’s that challenge.  Then there’s this epidemic of “entitlement” that has permeated society…

5. Share a favorite quote or lyric featuring the word faith.

I love this hymn, which sort of features the word faith, and it’s a good one to remember in times like these:

Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
And all I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness
Lord unto me

Random:

Easter has always been a two-day celebration at our house.  On the day before Easter, the grandchildren and their families would get together, late in the afternoon, to dye eggs.  After the eggs were colored, we’d all share a meal. The next day, after church, we’d meet up at our house, again, for the noon meal.  Then, there would be a huge egg hunt, consisting of over 300 plastic eggs, with slips of paper hidden inside.  The slips of paper would soon be traded for lots of candy and prizes.

As stated earlier, it will be a different kind of Easter, this year, so I’d like to share a few picture memories from the past.  There’s lots of good Easter memories in these pictures, and memories will just have to do, for now.

 

 

Published in: on April 8, 2020 at 9:24 am  Comments (5)  

Sheltering In Place With A Hodgepodge…

 

After well over a month of hearing about covid-19 on the news, and three weeks of sheltering in place, I’m ready for a little distraction known as “The Wednesday Hodgepodge”.  If you’d like to join in the fun,  just click the button at the top of this post, which will take you to our hostess, Joyce’s blog!

1. Has spring sprung in your part of the world?   

Yes, spring has definitely sprung here in Georgia!  How can you tell?  Our temperatures have been in the high 80’s for a while. (However, we’re experiencing a brief cold snap, today, with a low of 49 this morning)  For the first time I can remember, our azaleas actually bloomed in January!  Our winter was unusually mild.  Did March come in like a lion where you live?  Yes, it did!  At times, the wind has been almost unbearable for the entire month. Going out like a lamb or something more ferocious?  Not much relief in sight, yet.  The wind blew fiercely during the night, and we were under a tornado watch yesterday .

2. The last thing that caused you to spring to your feet?

The last significant thing that made me spring to my feet was our daughter running over to our house yelling “Call 911, your shed’s on fire!” It was lunchtime and Ed and I were sitting at our kitchen table, about to have lunch.  I’ll never forget that day!

3. Do you have a spring clean to-do list?  Yes, well sort of.  Actually, my list is a “to do” for Ed, who usually washes or paints our porches, cleans the outdoor fountains, weeds the flowerbeds, and takes the plants out of the greenhouse.  I usually supervise because my back won’t allow me to do much else. (Yes, I’m having back issues again.) What’s one chore on the list you’ve already managed to accomplish?  Ed’s finished everything on his list except cleaning the porches.  We don’t call him “Fast Eddie” for nothing. What spring clean chore do you most dread? Painting.  Ed feels the same way.

4. Tell us something you’ve learned about yourself or the wider world as a result of social distancing/the virus crisis.  I’ve learned that I am a rule follower, but, apparently many people are not!  I am appalled by the amount of people who are stubbornly refusing to stay home or social distance!  I’ve never seen such blatant disregard for authority or for other people’s health as I have during this virus crisis!  Stay at home people!

5. Something you love that’s the color pink?  I love the pink azaleas growing in front of our house. Sadly, they’ve already shed their blooms for this year.

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6. Random:  Ed and I are adjusting to our “new normal” since this virus crisis began. Our days haven’t really changed all that much since we’re both retired.  However, we’ve recently learned how to use Walmart’s grocery pickup service instead of doing our own shopping.  We’re now enjoying weekly church services via Facebook instead of in person, too.  All four of our grandchildren are home-schooled, so closing the schools hasn’t affected them, which makes us happy.  The weather here has been wonderful, so, lately, we’ve been spending lots of time outside visiting with family, a few at a time.  Social distancing, while sitting outside in lawn chairs, isn’t so bad!

However, on the flip side, I’m shocked as I watch the numbers of sick and dead continuing to skyrocket, daily!  I tear up as I listen to the pleas of overwhelmed healthcare workers.  I’m horrified when I see people lying on hospital floors and bodies being loaded into eighteen wheelers parked behind hospitals!  It’s all surreal to me.

My prayers are for the sick, the families of the sick, and those who have lost or will lose loved ones.  My prayers are for all healthcare workers, working on the front lines, battling this contagious virus that we know so little about!  My prayers are for those who are suddenly out of work, as well as those who continue to work, but have to put themselves in harms way to do so.  My prayers are for the elderly who are “sitting ducks” of this virus, but can’t physically visit with their family anymore…and for those who have to die alone.  And last, but certainly not least, my prayers are for our men of God, who spend their days comforting and shepherding their flocks during these perilous times. May God be with them as they continue to preach the Word through any means they can, and comfort us, guide us, and remind us Who is in control when the world seems to be falling apart all around us.  Amen!

Published in: on April 1, 2020 at 8:08 am  Comments (9)  
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WELCOME BACK TO THE HODGEPODGE…

 

I’m finally back, y’all!  After nine months of not blogging, it only took Joyce reviving The Wednesday Hodgepodge to bring me out of retirement!  I’m ashamed to say, I’d almost forgotten how to post, but it’s all coming back to me, now.  So, here we go…

1. Howdy Hodgepodgers. It’s kind of fun to be back, isn’t it?  Last time we met was September, 2018. Tell me something big-important-happy-or sad that’s happened in your life since that date. Just one thing. We don’t know how long this current isolation situation is going to last and we might need to dole out our news bit by bit.

We had a serious fire at our house back in June of 2019.  Thankfully, the fire didn’t involve our house, but the fire did consume Ed’s lawnmower, his garden shed, and everything in it!  I wrote about it HERE, and that was the last post I’ve written in nine months.  Shame on me!

2. Might as well get this out of the way early on…COVID-19. On a scale of 1-5 how serious are you about keeping your distance? Explain. fyi-I didn’t create the scale but have seen it several places online. Also fyi-we won’t only have virus related questions each week, but for this first one it feels right.

1-Not at all, living normally
2-Cautious but still going out
3-Going out as needed, mostly home or working from home, still seeing friends/family
4-Extremely limited, only going out when unavoidable, minimal contact with people
5-Full lockdown, no one in or out
I am immune compromised and Ed has heart issues so we’re a strong 4.  I have not left the house in 13 days!  Ed’s only gone out a time or three.  Once for baby aspirin for himself, once to pick up his prescription refills, and once to pick up oil and a filter for his tractor (it’s gardening time, folks!)  Fortunately, we have family who are willing to shop for us when they are shopping for themselves.  We’re blessed!

 

3. Raise your hand if you think you might run out of steam in the cooking department before it’s all said and done? What’s something delcious you’ve cooked or eaten in your own kitchen in the past week?

My hand is raised!  I’m already tired of cooking!  It’s been fifteen days since we’re eaten out!  We’re being extra cautious and not eating any kind of take out.  When this pandemic is over, I’m eating out every day for a week!!!

As for something delicious I’ve cooked or eaten–EVERYTHING is delicious, these days!  I think it’s because I appreciate the food we’re eating more than I ever have.  (Food is hard to find and we have to depend on others to get it for us)  I’ll have to say, we especially enjoyed the cupcakes I baked on Tuesday, but Saturday night’s “crock pot bar-b-que” was delicious, too!

4. What’s a television show or movie you’ve seen recently (it could be an oldie) that you really liked?

I still enjoy watching “The Rookie”, “Chicago Med”, and “Chicago Fire” each week.

5. Share something funny you’ve seen or heard this week.

Since our assisted living facilities are on “lock down”, the activity directors have been using dry erase boards to write messages from the residents to their loved ones.  They take a picture of each resident holding the board with his/her message written on it, and post it on Facebook so their families can see them.  Some of the messages are hilarious!  Here are some of my favorites, so far:  (1) To my family:  I love and miss you.  Send honey buns!  (2) I love and miss you.  I need you to find me a woman!  (3) I miss you and I miss my hair dresser!  Send Mascot Pecans!  (4)  Dear Family, I love and miss you very much. Get me out of here!  

6. Insert your own random thought here

Especially in times like these, isn’t technology wonderful? Like so many others, during this time of ‘sheltering in place’, our church is now streaming services on Facebook.  We also have Sunday morning Bible Study via Zoom, which I’d never heard of.  Zoom is nice because we can actually see and talk with each other during the lesson.  Isn’t it great that we can hear God’s word preached, and stay connected, even while in isolation!

If you’d like to join in The Hodgepodge fun, just click on Joyce’s button at the top of this post!

Published in: on March 25, 2020 at 11:28 pm  Comments (2)  

Call 911, Your Shed’s On Fire…

I’m beginning this post with a little commercial clip that shows a glimpse of how our day went, about a month ago.  The only difference was our adventure involved a “He Shed” and a lawnmower…

It was Friday, June 21, and I had a nine o’clock appointment for a mammogram.  What a way to start the day, but that mammogram was only the beginning of unpleasant things to come–and that whole mammogram experience is a story for another day!

Ed decided to ride along with me for my appointment, so he was late in starting his chores that day.  Friday is often “grass mowing day”, and once we got home, Ed was anxious to get started.  It was already 11:30 when he started, so I asked him to stop at 12:30 so we could eat lunch.

Ed parked the lawn mower and came inside at 12:30, just like I’d asked.  He quickly changed his clothes and we sat down to make  sandwiches for our lunch.  While making the sandwiches we heard what sounded like a car door slam.  One of us asked, “What was that?”, but kept on making our lunch.  A couple of minutes later, our daughter came running over from next door, yelling “Call 911, your shed’s on fire!”  The look of terror on her face was something I won’t soon forget.  (I later learned that our daughter thought Ed was involved the fire.)

Ed jumped up and ran outside with our daughter, while I quickly dialed 911.  After I gave the information to the 911 dispatcher, I ran outside, too.  I was not prepared for what I saw.  Our tool shed and the adjoining shelter were already engulfed in huge flames!  Flames were climbing two trees next to the shed, as well!  I turned around, came back inside, and called 911 again to tell them the fire had spread to the woods, too.

The dispatcher assured me the trucks were on the way.  By then, Ed had the water hose stretched out and yelled for me to turn the water on, while Brandy rushed to move our car away from the fire.  (Our carport/utility house is located around twelve feet away from the burning shed).  I stood powerless as I watched all of our lawn/garden equipment go up in flames.  That was one HOT fire!  Meanwhile, Ed kept spraying those huge flames with his garden hose. (and yes, he looked somewhat like the man with the pitiful water hose, in the State Farm commercial)

It seemed like forever, but was only ten minutes until the fire department arrived.  I’ve never been so happy to see a fire truck in my whole life!  A couple of fire trucks came, as well as several cars of volunteers.  Friends and neighbors also began arriving to see what was going on.  Within a few minutes, the fire was extinguished, and only a pile of rubble remained.  Anything related to lawn/garden had been burned to a crisp!

Upon inspection, the firemen told us the fire originated with our lawnmower, where the fire had burned the hottest.  It was then we realized what the explosion was that we heard while making our sandwiches!  Within ten minutes after Ed had shut the mower off, it exploded and burst into flames, which leads me to believe it may have been smoldering when he parked it.

At first, we couldn’t believe how quickly this fire burned or how hot it was! When I first saw the shed, the inside of the it looked like an inferno, with flames  shooting up the two massive pine trees on either side of it!  Afterward, we remembered, that Ed had bought extra fuel for his mower, his tractor, and the pressure washer, and all of it was stored inside of the shed!

In retrospect, Ed and I have several things to be thankful for, to God, regarding this fire.  First of all, I’ve never given Ed a time to stop mowing–ever.  He always mows on his own time table.  If I had I not asked him to stop, he’d have finished mowing the grass before he stopped for lunch, therefore, he could have been on the mower when it caught fire and exploded (with a full tank of gas).

Next, we are thankful that our daughter is vigilant, and has a little dog who barks at everything.  It was because of  Jack she went outside to investigate the explosion and subsequent noises that quickly followed, therefore discovering the fire before it had a chance to spread.

Third, we are thankful for our fire department, who was able to respond so quickly and efficiently!  Thanks to them, the fire was contained and extinguished quickly.  From the time Ed shut off the mower until the time the fire department finished their work and drove away, was exactly one hour.

At first, Ed was a bit bummed about losing his “He Shed”.  He lost a very large collection of garden tools (many of them special because his daddy had given them to him).    He lost several grills, a smoker, several ladders, a wheel barrow, a garden wagon, and a lot more. Of course, the most important [and expensive] item he lost was his zero turn lawnmower.

Fortunately, Ed was able to find and purchase a new lawnmower within a week of the fire.  (The frantic search for a new mower would also make another good post!)  So far, he’s mowed the grass two or three times with the new, bigger and better mower, and he really seems to really like it.

Recently, after exploring all options, Ed decided to replace his “He Shed” with a pre-built “Handi House”.  The house was delivered yesterday, and Ed’s already beginning to make it his own.   I guess we’ll call it “Ed’s Handy House”.

They say, “all’s well that ends well.”  Thankfully, nobody was hurt in our fire, it didn’t spread far, and the shed was insured–although filing an insurance claim could cause a person to have a ‘stress induced’ heart attack!   Ed’s still in the process of replacing items and filing, but life is slowly getting back to normal.  Normal is good!

 

Published in: on July 19, 2019 at 12:43 pm  Comments (2)  
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A Root Canal Was Only The Beginning…

It’s been nine months since I’ve been to this blog–and what LONG nine months they have been!  It all started with a root canal that I had in September of 2018…the one that caused me to have to cancel our trip to Key West.

Here’s what happened:

It had been a whole month after the initial root canal, but the tooth still wasn’t feeling  right.  It was time to have a temporary crown put on, but I was still having issues.  I was told by my dentist to call the endodontist’s office for an appointment, which I did.

All of this happened to take place about the time hurricane Michael decided to come roaring through the south!  Of course, I couldn’t get an appointment for several days, and when I did, the endodontist couldn’t see anything wrong.  However, after giving me a round of antibiotics and steroids, to try to make the tooth feel better, the endodontist decided to repeat the root canal procedure a few days later.  There was still no improvement in the way the tooth felt.

Just before Thanksgiving, and after the repeat root canal, I was given one more round round of antibiotics and steroids, but I continued to have tooth pain!  I went back to my dentist for advice.  He wasn’t sure what was going on with the root canal tooth, but seemed to think  the neighboring wisdom tooth might be causing problems. He referred me to an oral surgeon.

Two weeks before Christmas I had the wisdom tooth surgically extracted by the oral surgeon.  I was asleep and didn’t know anything about it, thank goodness.  Everything went great until I contracted “dry socket” about two days later. This happens when a clot doesn’t properly form in the empty socket, and it’s VERY painful!  I’ve never experienced pain like that before, and it lasted for well over two weeks.  I went back and forth to the oral surgeon’s office [to have the socket “packed”] every day or so, in an effort to alleviate the pain.  This is how I spent the two weeks leading up to last Christmas!  I also took A LOT of pain medication.  I lost seven pounds from not being able to eat, and did not enjoy the holidays.

Eventually, the pain of dry socket went away, but the root canal tooth continued to be sore and achy most of the time.  My dentist kept urging me to “give it more time”. February came, then March and April.  In May, when I had my teeth cleaned, the dentist announced he was going to crown the tooth in a month, even though it was still sore.

After I had my teeth cleaned, the root canal tooth began bothering me more than usual.  I prayed and prayed about what to do.  A week before I was due to get the temporary crown, I began to experience even more pain with it.  I finally asked the dentist to just “pull it out”.  He was very hesitant, and told me he “really hated to do this”, but, in the end, he did.

Unfortunately, I was not asleep when the dentist removed that tooth, and the extraction was AWFUL.  Because the tooth had become brittle, it broke in half, and each one of its roots had to be surgically removed.  The procedure was very painful, even though my mouth was numb!  I left the dentist’s office in a lot of pain, that just got worse when I contracted “dry socket” for the second time!

It’s been six weeks since that last extraction and I’m still experiencing mouth pain.  I wonder if there’s any end in sight?  Now I have to wear a mouth guard at night because I’ve started back grinding my teeth.  One tooth or another always seems to hurt, but x-rays don’t show anything wrong.

The extraction sight was big and it’s taking a while for it to heal.  I have the distinction of being the “slowest healer” my dentist has ever seen.  I also have the distinction of falling into the 1% of patients who experience a “failed root canal”.  Lucky me.

 

 

Published in: on June 25, 2019 at 5:52 pm  Comments (4)  
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A Birthday, A Root Canal, And A Cancelled Trip…

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve blogged here.  In fact, it’s been so long, the site actually made me sign in with my username and password!  But here I am, and the title of this post could easily sum up the past three weeks of my life!

Yes, I had another birthday.  My sixty-fourth, to be exact.  Way back in the days when I listened to the old Beatles song, When I’m Sixty-Four, I didn’t think much about ever being sixty-four, but here I am.  How did that happen?!

Although I hadn’t felt well for several days prior to my “sixty-fourth”, I actually felt pretty good on my birthday.  Early that morning, Ed and I threw our lawn chairs in the back of the van and headed for St. Simon’s Island!  All I really wanted was to spend the day lounging in the shade of my favorite oak tree, while enjoying the view.  God blessed me by giving me a “good day” and Ed made sure I got my birthday wish!

my birthday view

The day was as close to perfect as it could be.  A gentle breeze blew, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and there were no annoying people around.  In fact, there were very few people around at all!  When we got home, that evening, I even found a freshly baked pound cake waiting on my kitchen counter–courtesy of my daughter-in-law, Jennifer.  It was the perfect ending to a perfect day!

Two weeks after my birthday, I celebrated again with family.  Yes, I said, two weeks after.  That’s how long it took our family to coordinate schedules to celebrate mine and daughter-in-law, Jennifer’s, birthdays. (Her birthday is two days before mine, so we celebrate together) 

 

We celebrated our birthdays at the new home of our oldest son.  (This was their first ‘official’ get-together since moving in.)  We all celebrated with bar-b-que spare ribs and all the trimmings, plus cake/ice cream, and lots of gifts.  It was a nice evening, and we all had a big laugh when Jennifer opened one of her gifts–a witches broom!  Being the good sport she is, she immediately hopped on it and galloped around the room 🙂  (There’s a story behind this gift, but I won’t take time to explain today.)

Just a week after my official birthday, and a week before the family celebration, I experienced my first root canal.  Happy sixty-fourth to me!

 

I’d been dealing with this ‘bothersome’ tooth, since my last checkup, six months ago.  I’d mentioned this tooth to my dentist during that visit, but he suggested we leave it alone for as long as possible. When I went back for my regular cleaning,  x-rays finally showed trouble was brewing, and the dentist said it was time for a root canal.  Fun times!  The procedure was not fun, but wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d thought it would be.  In fact, the most painful part was paying the bill!!!

You see, way back in June, on a whim, I signed [Ed and me] up to take a bus trip to Key West during the first week of November.  If you’ve read my blog, you’ll know that visiting Key West is on my bucket list.  In fact, it’s the only thing on my bucket list!

 

So, I’ve faithfully saved money for the past three months, in anticipation of our upcoming trip.  Little did I know I was saving up for a root canal, instead!!!  I was actually planning to mail the large final payment for the trip on the day I found out I had to have the root canal and crown.  Cost of the root canal and crown?  The same price as the trip to Key West!  Long story made short, I tearfully cancelled our trip, three days later.

Yes, I could have put the root canal or the trip on our credit card, or even taken the money out of our savings, but I didn’t feel like either of those things was the right thing to do, at this time, because six birthdays are coming, plus Christmas, and yearly taxes will soon be due, as well.  Also, for some unknown reason, I’d already been having second thoughts about this trip, so I took the ‘unplanned expense’ as a ‘sign’ that maybe I should just cancel.

Perhaps there will be another travel opportunity sometime in the future.  Who knows?  In the meantime, I’ll keep dreaming of Key West–while wearing a new crown on a very old tooth!  Year sixty-four has certainly started out with a bang!

 

Published in: on September 19, 2018 at 9:35 am  Comments (6)  
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