Living In A ‘Special Needs’ Household…

If you’ve read my blog within the past three weeks, then you know I’ve been somewhat ‘out of commission’ with a back ailment.  During this time, my husband, Ed, has taken on the majority of the household chores.

As if this isn’t enough, he’s been shouldering all of the animal-related duties, as well.  Yes, poor Ed has been dealing with the feeding and care of  every single member of our ‘special needs’ household–including me.  Caring for an ailing wife and her pets is one thing, but, in our case, it borders on being downright ridiculous, as you will soon see.

For instance, our dog, Morris, is an outside dog, and he’s old.  He’s pretty much blind and deaf, and, therefore, marches to the beat of his own drum.  He doesn’t come when called, because he can’t hear, and it’s not always easy to find him at mealtime because he lays low, these days.  Making sure Morris gets fed can be quite a task.

Next come the cats–all fourteen of them.  Two of our cats are pretty old.  Trouble, the oldest cat of the bunch doesn’t even live at our house, but lives at Ed’s parents’ vacant house.  (You could say we inherited her, along with the house.)  Ed has to drive about a quarter of a mile, each day, just to feed her.

100_3920Trouble

Charlie, our next oldest cat, is about 12. Both Charlie and Trouble now require some canned food at both meals, in addition to a little dry food.  Their teeth aren’t as good as they used to be.  Cans are just more aggravation and expense to deal with, but we do what we can to keep our oldest felines satisfied.

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Charlie

Drake, our male tabby, is the next oldest of our clan.  I’m not exactly sure how old Drake is, because I adopted him from the animal shelter, as an adult.  My guess is he’s not far behind Charlie in age, but Drake is senile.  He gets agitated and confused easily, and his equilibrium is off, as well.  Bless him.

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Drake

Smut, Kyle, Big Red, and Fat Susan are more of our shelter rescue cats, and all are close in age.  They’ve  just celebrated their 11th birthdays.  All are still in relatively good health, with the exception of Fat Susan, who’s overweight, and Big Red who has a bad limp from an old leg injury.  The problem with this bunch is we have to watch Fat Susan, carefully, because she’s a bully and a food hog!

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Fat Susan, who lives up to her name

Next we have Kitty Bee and Sarah Callie Girl, two calico cats, who were also rescued from the shelter.  They’re around age 11, as well.  The problem with these cats is they didn’t bond with the others, for some reason, and have to be fed separately–far away from the rest of the bunch.  More special needs kitties.  Both stay in the woods most of the time–in two different places!

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Kitty Bee (left) and Sarah Callie Girl 

Smut, Suzy, Bobs, Jo Jo, and Baby–who comprise the rest of our feline family–usually get along pretty well, and don’t seem to mind sharing a meal together, but then there’s MAC (acronym for Mean Ass Cat).  When MAC chooses to come and dine with the others, he always comes hissing and growling.  We have to keep a close eye on MAC to make sure he doesn’t attack anyone–including us!  He’s very temperamental, and a bit paranoid.

100_0220aMAC- before he grew up and became mean

Last, but not least, we have our nine hens, ‘the girls’.  (Sadly, we lost one of our ‘older girls’, to a health issue, yesterday.)   I love ‘my girls’, but let me tell you, it’s a lot of work taking care of them properly.  The coops have to be cleaned, the sand in the runs has to be scooped twice daily (think humongous litter box), and the chickens have to be fed and watered twice daily.  Oh, and eggs have to be gathered and washed each day, too!  Then, of course, there’s the occasional ‘booty washing’ that must be done… and let’s not forget the chore of trying to keep our two free-ranging girls in their proper place!

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One of those pesky red hens, sneaking up on the front porch…again!

Yes, poor Ed has his hands full, at the moment.  The good news is things are slowly beginning to get better with my back.  As my back improves, I’m trying to help Ed out in any way I can.  The bad news is, progress is coming slowly.  I’m thankful Ed is a patient man.  He’s outside feeding animals and cleaning coops, in the rain, as I am writing this…Bless him.

 

 

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Published in: on April 29, 2015 at 7:55 am  Comments (2)  
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Since I Last Wrote…

Since I last wrote, a few things have happened around here.  Unfortunately, a complete healing of my aching back/leg hasn’t been one of them.  I’ve yet to give in and seek medical advice, but am seriously beginning to think about it.

Since I last wrote, a man came and sprayed open cell insulation on the under side of our home.  This should help seal up the floor from moisture and help prevent mold, as well as help keep the floor warmer in winter.  The guy who sprayed the insulation said he only saw signs of termites in one spot, and they were no longer there now.  Go figure.

Since I last wrote, the pest control company came and installed a termite baiting system all around the perimeter of our home.  Termites are supposed to come and take the poison bait out of these little canisters, which are buried in the ground.  The termites then take the poison back to their colony and the poison kills it.  This method is supposed to cut off termites before they get to your home.  The pest control company will be back on May 4 to actually treat our home for termites, too.  They’ll also be installing a plastic moisture barrier on the ground underneath our house, to help with our mold issue.  The idea is to cut off moisture, prevent mold growth, and kill any termites we may have.

Since I last wrote, our money has been flying out of our bank account.  I ordered new checks, this week.  I had the following saying printed on them, “Money talks…mine says good-bye.”  Truer words have never been spoken, lately.

Since I last wrote, we received four and one-half inches of rain–in one day!  Our garden was partially submerged in water, on Sunday morning!  We needed rain, but not quite that much.  We picked our first two squash, last week.  They need picking again, but we can’t get to them, at the moment.  I think more rain is in our forecast.  The good news is, we haven’t seen any deer tracks! Ha!

Since I last wrote,  one of my free ranging hens has acquired a strong desire to sit in the chairs on our front porch!  This is not acceptable, and I’ve drawn the line at having chickens roosting on the front porch.  The ‘girls’ and I are currently in the process of battling it out.  Let’s just say, the free ranging hens have been spending less time being free, lately.

Since I last wrote, we’ve had lots of family time with our grown off spring and their families.  On Friday, we had company from 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.  We weren’t able to get everyone together at the same time, but we were able to visit with every one of them, at some point, during the day/night.  I’m so grateful our grown children still like  spending time with us and each other.  I hope they always will, even as we all grow older.

Since I last wrote, our youngest son, Brad, and his wife, have put their home up for sale.  (They want to move back ‘home’.  Yay!)  They had their first showing yesterday.  Unfortunately, on Sunday morning, the couple woke up to find water leaking from the bedroom ceiling!  It turns out the air conditioner drain pipe [in the attic] had stopped up and caused an over-flow. Talk about poor timing!  The realtor showed their home anyway.  No word on how things went.  Actually, their home doesn’t ‘officially’ go on the market until Tuesday.  Sunday was just a ‘sneak peek’ of things to come.

Speaking of leaks, since I last wrote, Ed discovered a new one in our own attic.  You may recall we’ve been battling leaks, off and on, for a while.  We get one fixed and another pops up.  I tell you, when it rains, it pours, doesn’t it?  Our problem is the front half of our tin roof was put on with nails instead of screws.  After ten years, the nails have begun working their way out of their holes, , thus letting water come in.  I guess Ed will be back on top of our house, before long, if this trend continues.

By the way, Ed just stepped into the room to tell me that ‘typhoon-like’ weather has been predicted for our area, on Wednesday.  Oh, joy! Of course, things could always be worse, so I’ll give thanks, in all things, and press on.

Have a great Monday!

Published in: on April 27, 2015 at 8:37 am  Comments (3)  
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Another Wednesday Hodgepodge…

 It’s time for a little mid-week distraction, otherwise known as The Wednesday Hodgepodge.  These days, I can use all the distraction I can get!  Thanks so much to our hostess, Joyce, for hosting this fun meme 🙂

1. Have you ever had to wear a uniform? If yes, tell us more. Did you love it or hate it?

I once worked in the office of a radiology department, many moons ago. I didn’t have to wear a uniform, but I had the option of wearing one, and sometimes I did.  At times, I enjoyed wearing the white uniforms, but I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much if a uniform had been required.

2. April 22nd is Earth Day. What is one thing you do personally to be a good steward of planet Earth?

I don’t ever leave litter strewn all about.  It makes me sad to see how some people toss litter out of their cars, or leave it in picnic areas and on the beach.  I hate finding dirty diapers in store parking lots most of all!

3. Brown rice, quinoa, or couscous…your healthy grain of choice? How often are one of the three on your menu at home?  Given a choice between white rice, brown rice, wild rice, and fried rice which would you go for?
 I’m going to have to answer ‘brown rice’ because I’ve never tried quinoa or couscous. (Man, I’ve lead a sheltered life!)  Lately, you won’t find brown rice on my menu at all.  We like brown rice, but it just takes too long to cook!  White rice is our rice of choice, even though brown rice is healthier.

4. In your opinion, who has the best job ever?

In my opinion, any person who truly loves their job, and doesn’t mind going to work has the best job ever, no matter what they do.  I was that person, once.  I didn’t make a lot of money, but I truly loved my job.  The salary was just a fringe benefit.

5. What’s a situation in your life currently requiring patience?
At the moment, my entire life is requiring lots of patience–waiting on government agencies, waiting on exterminators, waiting to see if my back is going to completely heal…
6.  Do you live your life around days of the week? Explain.
No, I do not live my life around the days of the week.  Ed and I are a retired couple, and, as such,  we are not tied to a clock or a calendar!  The only time we have to worry about time is if we have an appointment.  How sweet that is!
7. In a nod to the A to Z challenge happening around town this month, what ‘R word’ best describes your April?
The word rough describes the month of April for us!  There have been too many unexpected problems to deal with, this month.  I’m hoping and praying May will be kinder.
Random:  
Here’s the first glimpse of our 2015 spring garden.  Ed spent all day, yesterday, hoeing, tilling, and plowing–then he took some pictures.  It won’t look like this for long.  Unfortunately, the weeds will be back.

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lt to rt:  peanuts, potatoes, onions, garden peas, squash/cabbage/lettuce, peppers/tomatoes, green beans, butter beans, peas, corn, watermelon

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a view from the other end of the garden

(hopefully, the doll and scarecrow will discourage deer)

Published in: on April 22, 2015 at 7:32 am  Comments (5)  
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Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I Love Ya’ Tomorrow…

For the past week or so, the theme song from ‘Annie’ has been running through my head.  While the weather has been cloudy and gray here, I’ve been ‘laid up’ with back/leg pain.  We’ve also been dealing with house issues of mold, termites, as well as dealing with the unemployment office and the Social Security Administration!  Talk about having a lot on one’s plate!

I’ve been trying to hold it together, hoping “the sun would come out tomorrow”, and things would eventually start to get better.  Finally, it looks as though we may be beginning to catch a tiny glimpse of the sun, both literally and figuratively, although our ‘clouds’ are still hanging about.

We had two more people inspect our home, last week, and both agreed our mold problem isn’t nearly as dire as it was presented by the first man we called to inspect for termites.  The humidity, under our house,  tested at 16% after three days of rainy weather, which is not as bad as we thought.  We’ll have the moldy spots treated, have the floor sealed with foam insulation, install a moisture barrier on the ground, and treat for termites, even though no termites have been seen under our house–only in the planters beside the house, and in one piece of lattice surrounding the house.  The cost for all of this will still be a substantial unexpected expense, but should run less than the original quote given to us by our first “inspector”.  I’m thankful for even small glimpses of “sunshine”, these days.

After weeks of dealing with the Social Security Administration, I think Ed finally got all of his “ducks in a row”, so to speak.  We were under the impression that this was already the case, but, alas, somebody had dropped the ball on our case…  Apparently all SS representatives are not created equal.  Praise the Lord, Ed finally got a capable one, who followed through and finally took care of everything.  His new Medicare part A/B card should be on the way, but in the meantime, they’re sending some ‘verification papers’ for him to use in case he needs medical attention.  We also found out that Ed’s first Social Security check won’t be arriving until mid-June, instead of mid-May like we thought, which brings us to our saga of dealing with The Department of Labor…

Oh, my!  I think the folks running our Department of Labor office must have been grown on the same bush as the folks who run our Social Security Administration office!  It took Ed two weeks, and three trips (60 miles each, round trip) to finally get the ball rolling with them!  Finally, we’ll have some funds to help sustain us until Ed’s retirement checks start coming in June.

As for my back/leg problems, they’re improving–at about the speed at which the Social Security Administration and the Department of Labor have been moving, but, at least, they are improving.  It looks like I’m going to be humming Annie’s theme song for a little while longer, yet.  The good news is, I’m getting caught up with all of the tv shows I’ve recorded.  The bad news is, I’d rather be up doing something!

I’ll leave you with a recent scenario that made me laugh…  I’ve pretty much been ‘laid up’ with my bad back for ten days.  On Thursday, when Ed made his third trip to the Department of Labor office, I decided to go along for the ride.  I’d developed a bad case of ‘cabin fever’, by then.  For comfort’s sake,  I chose to ride in the back seat of Ed’s mom’s old Lincoln Town Car, so I could stretch out.  We must have looked just like a scene out of ‘Driving Miss Daisy’…  (think Hoke driving Miss Daisy around) with Ed driving me all around town.  All Ed needed was the little chauffeur’s cap!  Gotta’ love days like that one 🙂

Have a great Monday, y’all!

Published in: on April 20, 2015 at 8:02 am  Comments (7)  
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A ‘Taxing’ Wednesday Hodgepodge…

Happy Tax Day!  Ha!  Gotta’ love it–not!  What I do love, though, is participating in The Wednesday Hodgepodge, so let’s jump right in, shall we?  As always, thanks to our gracious hostess, Joyce, for the, sometimes ‘taxing’ questions. Ha!

1. Speaking of April 15th…what’s the most ‘taxing’ thing you’ve done recently?

You could say, just getting through the last seven days of life has been ‘taxing’.  Dealing with government agencies, termites, mold under the house, and a pinched nerve in my back tends to create stressful living conditions.

2. When did you last take a taxi somewhere and where was that somewhere?

Believe it or not, I’ve never ridden in a taxi!

3. What’s something you can do today that you couldn’t do a year ago?

I can now spend 24 hours a day/7 days a week with my husband, Ed.  I couldn’t do this a year ago, when he was working.  Retirement has been an adjustment, but we’re glad to have the extra time together.

4. How often is chicken (in some form or fashion) on your menu at home? Which of the following would you most like to see on your table tonight…a chicken salad sandwich, your mom’s fried chicken, a Chick-fil-A meal, Cracker Barrel’s chicken n’ dumplings, a roast chicken dinner with all the trimmings, or ‘hold the chicken, I’m a vegetarian‘…?

Chicken is on the menu about once or twice a week, at our house.  Eggs are on the menu pretty much daily since they’re so plentiful here.

This isn’t one of the choices listed, but I’d most like to see a plate of my late father-in-law’s fried chicken on my table.  He made the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten, and oh, how I do miss it!

5. What was your favorite television program when you were a kid? What characters do you remember the most?

My [earliest] favorite show, as a child, was Captain Kangaroo.  I used to watch it every morning.  I most remember the Captain, Mr. Green Jeans, and Bunny Rabbit.  Bunny Rabbit was a rabbit puppet, who wore glasses, and was always grabbing carrots with his ‘paws’.  I remember Grandfather Clock, too, but he looked a little bit creepy when his eyes moved back and forth!

Captain_Kangaroo_promotional_postcard_1961

The cast of characters from Captain Kangaroo, lt. to rt. : Dancing Bear, Bunny Rabbit, The Captain, Grandfather Clock, Mr. Moose, and Mr. Green Jeans.

6. What was the last piece of ‘art’ you made?

I made some ornaments for Valentine’s Day and Easter, to hang on my ‘year round’ tree.

7. What frustrates you most about the Internet?

I used to get really frustrated when we had ‘Wild Blue’ satellite internet.  Every time it rained, we’d lose our internet service, which was pretty often.  A few years back, we finally got DSL in our neck of the woods!  Yay!  Not much frustrates me about the Internet, these days, unless it’s those folks who post every little thing they do on Facebook, or those who leave really nasty comments about someone.

Random:

If you read Monday’s post, then you  know Ed and I are dealing with several issues, at this time.  Nothing has been resolved, concerning our house issues, and my back and leg are continuing to give me trouble.  I’m pretty much stuck in a chair or on the couch all day.  Yes, you could say we’re experiencing some very ‘taxing days’… In addition to trying to take care of business matters (regarding Medicare, health insurance, termites, and mold), poor Ed is pulling ‘double duty’ now that I’m out of commission. He’s seeing about the house, the chickens, the garden, and anything else that arises. Taxing days, indeed.

Published in: on April 15, 2015 at 8:27 am  Comments (12)  
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What A Week That Turned Out To Be!

I’m sorry I’ve been MIA from the blogging world, again, but after I finish explaining the week we’ve just experienced, I’m sure you’ll understand.  Blogging has been about the last thing on my mind, lately.

Last week began with a doctor’s appointment for me, and one for Ed, as well–together.  As in, we shared an exam room together.  This was our second experience of sharing an exam room and the doctor at the same time.  I’m not really sure I like it, but I went along with it since it was Ed’s idea.  Whenever we share the doctor and exam room, it seems like we should get a discount or something, don’t you think?

Anyway, Ed and I both had fairly good checkups, but when we went to pay our bills, we discovered Medicare had neglected to send Ed a new card showing that he has part A and B on it.  Oops!  Ed wasn’t able to use the card he had.  Next, when Ed decided to try getting his prescriptions filled through mail order, there was a glitch with that, too.

Tuesday, after making several phone calls trying to get Ed’s Medicare and mail order pharmacy business in order, we decided to plant the rest of our garden.  It took us most of the day, but we got everything planted–by hand, with the exception of Ed’s row of peanuts.  And we said we were going to plant less this year…but that didn’t happen, of course.

Let me stop here and mention the fact that I’ve been experiencing some back stiffness, off and on, for several weeks, especially after sitting for a while.  Stooping over to plant all those garden seeds hasn’t helped the stiffness any. Then, I stepped into a shallow hole in the yard, on Tuesday afternoon, which jarred me just a bit, but I didn’t think much about it at the time.  Perhaps I should have.

On Wednesday, I woke up to a weird sensation in my left leg.  My leg felt tingly, like it was asleep, and it continued feeling that way the entire day.  Ed and I needed to do some work in the flowerbed, next to the house, so I ignored the feeling and went about my business.  A girl’s gotta’ do what she’s gotta’ do–or so  I thought.

Do you know how one job sometimes leads to another job?  Well, that’s what happened to us, on Wednesday?  When we started getting ready to plant some new plants, we decided we needed to put a  new coat of paint on the lattice underpinning surrounding the bottom of our house.  We spent most of Wednesday and Thursday painting and repairing that lattice!

By Thursday morning, my leg was feeling worse.  The numbness I’d been feeling had been replaced by what felt like occasional muscle spasms.  By then, I was pretty sure I was experiencing the symptoms of a ‘pinched nerve’, since I’ve had one in my neck before.  Oh, but that wasn’t the worst part of the day!  While removing and painting the lattice underpinning, that day, we discovered evidence of termites!  Not actual termites, just where they’d been dining on some of the lattice.  Then, later,  when Ed removed the dirt from a barrel planter, sitting beside our house, he discovered termites had eaten the bottom completely out of the barrel–and were still dining on the sides of it! There was nothing left to do but call an exterminator!

On Friday, I decided I’d rest my back (and leg) and see if it made any difference.  I spent most of the day on the couch, but I couldn’t tell that it made much difference.  As long as I sat still my leg felt fine, but whenever I walked any distance (like across the room) my leg began to have spasms that hurt like hell.  (Pardon my language.)

While I was resting, Ed called the exterminator, who came to check out our house for termites on Friday afternoon. Upon his initial inspection, the exterminator told us we had an even larger problem than termites! (he didn’t actually see any visible termites under the house)  He informed us we have mold growing under our house, which if left untreated, will soften the wood and eventually cause the floor of our house to go bad!  (Say it ain’t so!  That’s exactly what happened to the floor in our old house!)  Then the exterminator explained to Ed that his company is in the business of treating and preventing mold, in addition to treating for termites.  He explained the three-day process, then gave Ed an estimate for the cost of the services of treating for mold and for termites.  Ouch!  Let’s just say, it’s going to take two full months of Ed’s former pay to fund this project!  Ed told the exterminator we’d take the weekend and decide what we’re going to do, but as we see it, we really don’t have a choice.  We know how the story ends if we do nothing.

For now, I’m still laid up with this ‘pinched nerve’ thing which doesn’t really seem to be getting better.  I’m going to give it a few more days [of rest] before I give in and go to the doctor, because I already know, from experience, what seeing a doctor will entail, and I really don’t want to go there! I’m going to increase my dosage of Nsaids, continue resting for a few more days, and hope and pray for the best.

One funny thing has come out of this ‘pinched nerve’ situation, though.  Ed went to his mom’s house and got her four-legged cane for me.  He said if I’d use the cane whenever I walk, it will take the pressure off of my bad leg, therefore, helping with the pain.  Well, I must be the most uncoordinated person in the world because we’ve gotten more than a few good laughs over me trying to learn to walk with that cane! When I am able to use it correctly, Ed’s right, it helps.  The problem is using it correctly.  For me, it’s like patting my head and rubbing my stomach at the same time 🙂  I just don’t seem to be able to do it! Ha!

Have a great Monday!  As for me, I’ll be resting my back and trying to get the hang of this stupid cane–until Ed returns to his mom’s house and brings back her walker…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on April 13, 2015 at 7:44 am  Comments (6)  
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The Wonderful Wednesday Hodgepodge…

These retirement days just keep on flying by!  In another week, Ed will have been retired for 3 months already!  And I thought time was flying before…

It’s Wednesday in our neck of the woods, so that means it’s time for The Hodgepodge!  As always, (maybe even a little more since her husband’s recent retirement), I thank our gracious hostess, Joyce, for hosting this wonderful meme!  I tell you, folks, it’s tough to fit blogging in with newly retired husbands!  (It’s 10 pm Tuesday night, and I’m still working on this!)

1. Besides left over Easter goodies, what’s something currently kept in a basket at your house?

I’m currently storing magazines in one basket, and Evan’s toys in another. The toys are in a larger rectangular wicker basket with wooden wheels on it, so we can roll it.

2. ‘The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.’ ~Michelangelo Buonarroti

So which one are you…the one who aims too high, or the one who aims too low? Have you ever seen The Sistine Chapel? Did you know Michelangelo’s surname prior to answering this question?

I’m definitely the one who aims too low, out of a fear of not succeeding.  After all, I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 26 because I was afraid to take the test… and I didn’t give college a try until I was almost 50!

No, I haven’t seen the Sistine Chapel, and I didn’t know Michelangelo’s surname prior to reading this question.  Yay, for learning something new, huh?!

3. April 7th is National Beer Day. Hmmm…wonder how that’s celebrated? Do you like beer? Have a favorite? If you’re not a beer drinker do you have any recipes you enjoy cooking that call for beer?

No, I don’t like beer.  It stinks and tastes even worse than it smells.

Years ago, my hubby, Ed, used to enjoy drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.  Do they even make that brand any more?

Since I can’t stand the smell or taste of beer,  I don’t have any recipes that call for it (that I know of).

4. When did you last travel somewhere new? Tell us where? How’d it go?

It’s been several years since we traveled any place new.  These days, we don’t travel much, and, when we do, we usually stick to familiar territory.  I think the last new place we went was Charleston, SC, and I loved it!  We made a return trip a couple of years after our first one.  Here’s one of my favorite pics from our first trip:

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5. The value of ____money____is greatly overrated.  I say this because money sure doesn’t go very far, these days!  A twenty dollar bill doesn’t even come close to buying what it used to.  It now takes a fifty to buy what twenty used to buy.

6. What’s a pet peeve of yours when it comes to restaurant dining?

I have two of them.  The first one is loud or annoying children in a restaurant.  The second is loud people who talk on their cell phones during the meal.  Either one of those situations drives me crazy.

7. It’s Poetry Month…share a favorite poem, either the title, a few lines you find meaningful, or the whole kit and caboodle.

A few weeks ago, I discovered a poem in the newspaper that I really liked.  I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to share, and here it is!  The poem is a little long, so I chose only my favorite verses to share:

I Remember (submitted to our paper by Arvid Lawless)

A little house with three bedrooms, one bathroom and one car on the street

A mower that you had to push, to make the grass look neat.

In the kitchen on the wall, we only had one phone

And no need for recording things, someone was always home!

We only had a living room, where we would congregate

Unless it was at mealtime, in the kitchen were we ate.

We only had one TV set, and channels maybe two

But always there was one of them with something worth the view.

For snacks we had potato chips, that tasted like a chip

And it you wanted flavor, there was Lipton’s onion dip!

Remember when the doctor used to be a family friend

And didn’t need insurance, or a lawyer to defend?

The way that he took care of you, or what he had to do

Because he took an oath and strived to do the best for you!

Remember going to the store, and shopping casually

and when you went to pay for it, you used your own money?

Nothing that you had to swipe or punch in some amount

And remember when the cashier person had to really count?

There was a time when just one glance was all it would take

And you would know the kind of car, the model and the make.

They didn’t look like turtles, trying to squeeze out every mile

They were streamlined, white walls, fins–and really had some style!

One time the music that you played whenever you would jive

Was from a vinyl, big-holed record, called a forty-five!

The record player had a post, to keep them all in line

And then the records would drop down, and play one at a time!

This life seemed so much easier, slower in some ways.

I love the new technology, but I sure do miss those days!

So time moves on, and so do we, and nothing stays the same

But I sure love to reminisce and walk down memory lane!

Random:  

You may have seen this commercial on television, but I hadn’t seen it until our daughter sent it to me in an email.

She said it made her think of me.

I laughed when I watched it because it made me think of my three old red hens, aka ‘the girls’.  They are allowed to free-range, these days, and they think they are family members!  It’s not uncommon for one of them to hop up on our laps while we’re relaxing in the yard.  They follow us all around the yard, too. in search of a treat!  One hen has even learned how to slip past the baby gate we use to keep them off of our front porch!  Often, we’ll find her waiting for us on the porch–along with about four of our cats!  I could totally see this hen traveling like the hen in the commercial 🙂

Published in: on April 8, 2015 at 7:40 am  Comments (13)  
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Easter 2015…

The 2015 Easter celebration, for us, began the evening before Easter, when our three oldest grandchildren came late Saturday afternoon, ready to color some eggs!  When all was said and done, they colored almost 3 dozen eggs,then decided they’d rather go play.  Their moms finished coloring the rest of the eggs, and I began pouring out the egg dye.  Only then did we discover another dozen eggs, still sitting in their carton on the counter, waiting to be colored!  We decided to let those wait until after supper.100_4940

Let the fun begin!

While the women and children were coloring eggs, the men threw a few hot dogs on the grill and, in doing so, cooked  supper for everyone.  We opened a bag of chips, and had an instant meal, which everyone seemed to enjoy.  We  dined on Easter cookies, cupcakes, and brownies for dessert.

Easter Day began early– around 5 a.m., at our  house.  While everyone else went to church, I cooked turkey and dressing, while Ed got busy trying to find hiding places for 350 eggs!  Do you have any idea how long it takes one person to hide 350 eggs over 3/4 of an acre?  I finally took a quick break from cooking, and helped Ed hide a few of those eggs, too.  I was just finishing up the noon meal, when everyone began to arrive.

100_4989waiting to be found…

As always, we had a good time around the kitchen table, while everyone ate their lunch. Of course, as soon as the meal was finished, the kids wanted to know when they were going to get to hunt eggs!  Our oldest son, had to leave, right after lunch, to conduct church services at a local assisted living facility, so we tried to hold the egg hunt off until he got back.  I think it was about 3 p.m when the hunt actually began, and Brett arrived soon afterward.

100_4987the search is on

We had five egg hunters, this year, our four ‘grands’, plus a guest hunter. By the end of the two-hour hunt, I think everybody’d had their fill of looking for hidden eggs!  Our oldest grandson, Caden, has blossomed into quite an egg hunter, so he found the most eggs.  He didn’t stop searching until he’d found an even 100!  He managed to find both prize eggs, too!  Granddaughter, Madison, wasn’t far behind Caden, with 81 eggs in her basket.

100_4994the champ

This was youngest grandson, Evan’s first Easter on his feet.  He’s just 17 months old, and was more interested in the fountains, the gold-fish pond, and the rocks, than he was in finding eggs.  Unfortunately, Evan managed to uncover an ant bed we’d missed, in his explorations, so he went home from Mimi’s house with a few ant bites 😦

100_4984Evan and his mom

Toward the end of the day, the children decided to play and ride bikes on the little dirt lane that leads up to our house.  The adults were all gathered under the shade of our old magnolia tree, relaxing.  Suddenly, we heard a child screaming, and looked into the distance. We could see someone flailing about on the road, and about half of the adults took off in a sprint!  It turns out, in an effort to avoid running over grandson, Chase, Madison had somehow fallen off of her bicycle, and injured her right arm.

We applied an ice pack, gave Madison some ibuprofen and her parents decided to take a ‘wait and see’ approach.  The arm wasn’t visibly injured, at first, but later it began to swell some.  A visit to the doctor, on Monday, revealed that Madison had, indeed, broken her forearm in the fall!

100_4997The whole gang

At the end of a very busy, exciting, tiring, and traumatic Easter day, we still managed to gather everybody together for one last photograph.  The azaleas were drooping, and looked about how most of us were feeling, by then, but we took our annual family photo in front of them anyway.

We can now add ‘Madison’s broken arm’ to our growing list of Easter memories, as well as the fact that we didn’t find all of the eggs–again.  Easter 2015 is officially in the history books, frozen in time by one last photograph…in which Madison is holding her arm!

 

 

Published in: on April 7, 2015 at 10:05 am  Comments (7)  
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‘Good Friday’ Fragments…

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Here it is, the Friday before Easter again.  Didn’t we just celebrate Easter?  It certainly seems like it to me.  The days are passing so fast, they practically all run together, these days, but it certainly didn’t seem that way when I was a youngster! Ha!  Now I’m sounding old!

It’s been another busy week around our house.  We’ve done a little of everything–housework, gardening, painting, shopping–and all of this was done during a week when I haven’t even been feeling my best!  Imagine what I could have gotten done during a ‘good’ week!

Ed and I now have seven rows of our 2015  garden planted, but we still have about five more rows to plant.  You may recall that we plant each row by hand.  Ed pokes the holes with an old mop handle, and I go behind him dropping the seeds in the holes.  He then goes behind me and covers up the holes.  It’s quite a process, and each row is about 100 feet long!  I’m getting a ‘farmer’s tan’ 🙂

Our hens have gone crazy laying eggs!  Longer daylight hours, in addition to the warmer weather has ‘the girls’ workin’ overtime!  We’re averaging 7 to 9 eggs per day, out of 10 hens.  Three of those ten hens are over 3 years old, so we thought they’d be retired by now!  Only one of those three has retired.  She’s actually not retired, I think she may be sick with ovarian cancer, but that’s a story for another day.

Some of my readers have asked how long the eggs will keep.  The answer is “several weeks”, in the refrigerator, but if the eggs aren’t washed, and are simply rubbed with a coating of mineral oil, they supposedly will last up to a year, with NO refrigeration!  I’m afraid to try that trick though.

Other readers have asked what we do with all of these eggs. (There are several dozen in the refrigerator, at the moment.)  The answer is “We share some with our family and friends, and we EAT a lot of eggs!”  I’ve also read that you can crack eggs, scramble them up, and pour the raw egg mixture into ice trays to freeze the egg mixture for cooking.  I haven’t tried that trick either.  I’d be more likely to try this than the mineral oil trick though!

Speaking of eggs, are you ready for Easter yet?  I am not!  I usually bake a ham for Easter, but we’re having turkey this year.  Call me crazy!  The turkey is now in the refrigerator thawing.  That’s the extent of my Easter preparations, so far.

Today I’ll spend some time in the kitchen, preparing all of the ingredients for homemade stuffing–or dressing as we like to call it here in the south.  Fortunately, I will have some help with the rest of the meal.  My girls will be making some great desserts and side dishes to go along with the turkey and dressing.

On Saturday afternoon, the grandchildren will gather in my kitchen and color several dozen eggs.  Almost all of them are getting old enough to color eggs by themselves, so it should be exciting for them.  Afterward, we’ll feast on grilled hot dogs and potato chips, plus what ever desserts the girls bring.

Sunday, if the weather permits, while everyone else is gone to church, Ed and I will hide about 300 plastic eggs all over our yard.   After lunch, young and old, alike, can put their egg hunting skills to the test!  FYI: We NEVER find all of the eggs.  In fact, just the other day, I found an egg from last year–a prize egg, no less–buried in the straw of my flower bed.  Ed is one good egg hider!

That’s about it for this edition of ‘Good Friday’ Fragments.  I’ll be linking them up with Mrs. Fours @ Half-Past Kissin’ Time.

Just for fun, I’m re-posting a montage of some of my favorite Easter moments, but I really need to make a new montage, since this one is getting a bit out-dated.  We’ve added another little one to our family, since it was made, plus the baby at the end of this montage is now 3 1/2 years old!  Like I said, time is flying.

I hope everyone has a Happy Easter!

Published in: on April 3, 2015 at 7:57 am  Comments (5)  
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Foolin’ Around With The Hodgepodge…

Can you believe it?!  The month of April is already here!  The flowers are bloomin’, the birds are chirpin’, and the weather has warmed back up into the 80’s again.  Hello spring!  There’s a whole lotta’ stuff going on around here, so I’m going to go ahead and jump right into this week’s Hodgepodge.  Oh, but before I take the leap, I’d like to shout out a great big “THANK YOU” to our hostess, Joyce!  Thanks for all you do.

1. In honor of the date…when were you last sent on a ‘fool’s errand’?

It was probably last week, when I went on a desperate search for Brach’s  chicks and rabbits Easter candy (the ones that are made like those orange circus peanuts).  I went to several stores…and failed to find any.  I came to the conclusion, they must not make them anymore.

2. Peter Rabbit, Bugs Bunny, The Energizer Bunny, The Easter Bunny, Rabbit (Pooh’s friend), White Rabbit (of Wonderland fame), or the Trix Rabbit…which of these ‘famous’ rabbits can you best relate to right now?

Since we’ve been spending lots of time in the vegetable garden, recently, I’ll say Peter Rabbit!  We even have some lettuce and carrots growing, along with some cabbage, peas, onions, squash, tomatoes, and peppers.  The fun has begun!

3. When did you last find yourself scrambling to get something done? Explain.

Because of the chronic health issues I have, there are usually just as many bad days as there are good ones.  I’m always scrambling to get things done on the ‘good days’ because I don’t know how long they will last, or when they’ll come again.  Yesterday was a pretty good day, so I was scrambling to get as many things done as I could.

4. Last time you were up at the literal crack of dawn? Why? Last time you stayed up all night? Why?

I’m often awake at the crack of dawn, but try to make myself go back to sleep until shortly after seven.  Unfortunately, I had to get up at the crack of dawn twice, last week, due to early morning appointments!

I’m going through an ‘I can’t sleep phase’, at the moment, due to the reduction in my HRT.  Many nights you’ll find me watching television at 4 a.m.  The last time I remember staying up for twenty-four hours, on purpose, was with a sick parent, in the hospital, several years ago.

5. Crack a book, crack a bottle, crack a joke, crack an egg…which have you done most recently?

Our hens are laying 7 to 9 eggs daily, so we do a lot of egg cracking around our house–every day!  There are currently eight dozen eggs in our refrigerator, and I recently gave away 3 dozen!

6. What’s your favorite part of a typical weekend? Tell us why that’s so.

My favorite part of a typical weekend is visiting with our family.  Often, on Friday nights, our two grown children and their families, who live nearby, will come and spend time with us, and each other.  Usually, about every other weekend, our youngest son and his family, who live out of town, come to visit on either a Saturday or a Sunday.  When we are able to get all three children, and their families, under our roof, at the same time, it is crazy, crowded, and loud, but it is wonderful!  It just doesn’t get any better than that!

7. What’s something I’d find on a bookshelf in your home? Other than a book I mean!

I’ve dedicated an entire wall of our living room to bookshelves, because I like books–and I like to display things.  In addition to some books, you’ll find lots of framed family photos, a clock, and some curios–because I love my family photos and curios!

Random:

I always enjoyed watching  “Kim of Queens”, a show that used to air on Lifetime before it was canceled after the second season.  The show starred pageant coach (and former Miss Georgia), Kim Gravel, along with several home-grown Georgia beauties who were being coached by Kim, at the time of the show.   Kim’s studio, The Pageant Place, is located near Atlanta, but she coaches girls from all around Georgia. Now, I’m not much into pageants, but, on the show, Kim sure was great at finding diamonds in the rough and making them shine, so to speak–and she was funny!

Imagine my surprise, recently, when I ran into two of the former co-stars of the show, while shopping at Big Lots in nearby Vidalia.  I saw one of the pageant contestants,  named Marah, along with her mom, Angie!  (Angie was especially memorable because of her clashes with Kim during the course of the show.) Of course, I was too shy to approach them and say anything, but was thrilled to have seen a couple of actual [former] television ‘stars’.  What a small world we live in, huh?!

BRAND_LFT_KIMQ_155840_SF_2398_005_20140212_V1_HD_768x432-16x9

Angie (the mom)

Marah

Marah (the daughter)

Published in: on April 1, 2015 at 8:02 am  Comments (7)  
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