Saying Goodbye To July With A Hodgepodge…

1.  I recently read here about four secrets to happiness from around the world. They were-

Overcome your fears by facing them head on, allow yourself to relax and reset, work to live versus living to work, and find the good in life. Not sure if these are the actual secret to happiness, but which of the four do you struggle with most? Which one comes most easily to you?

I probably struggle most with overcoming my fears and facing them head on.  I’m somewhat of an introvert, and am not adventurous at all.  I also tend to be anxious.  In the end, I usually overcome my fears, but sometimes it’s not an easy journey. Remember, I’m the one who didn’t get her driver’s license until she was 26.

As far as what comes easiest to me, it’s allowing myself to relax and reset.  I was forced to learn how to do this twenty years ago, when I came down with RA.  Since then, I’ve had to learn how to enjoy the good days, but relax and reset on the bad ones–sometimes hard to do when you have things planned for those days.

2. How would you spend a found $20 bill today?

I think I’d save it for gas money…so I could go back to the beach again! (see #3)

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3. Ego trip, power trip, guilt trip, round trip, trip the light fantastic, or trip over your own two feet…which ‘trip’ have you experienced or dealt with most recently? Explain.

My answer would have to be “round trip”, as in we made a round trip to St. Simon’s Island, this past Sunday.

4. If you could master any physical skill in the world what would it be, and how would you use that skill?

If I could master any physical skill, I’d learn how to do construction work.  Then I’d put my new skills to work by building a shed to keep Ed’s lawn mower in.  We desperately need one, and Ed keeps procrastinating on this project.

5. As July draws to a close, let’s take inventory of our summer fun. Since the official first day of (North American) summer (June 20th) have you…been swimming? enjoyed an ice cream cone? seen a summer blockbuster? camped? eaten corn on the cob? gardened? deliberately unplugged? watched a ballgame? picked fruit off the vine? taken a road trip? read a book?  Are any of these activities on your must-do-before-summer-ends list?

These are the summer activities I’ve participated in, so far:  Enjoyed an ice cream cone, eaten corn on the cob, deliberately unplugged, picked fruit off the vine, and taken a [short] road trip.  I need to get busy and read a book, soon.

6. The Republican Presidential candidates will debate on August 6th. What’s your question?

Can you ‘undo’ the damage the present administration has done to our country?

7. What’s your most listened to song so far this summer?

I’m not sure I have a “most listened to” song, but I always enjoy playing my collection of “summer tunes” on my MP3 player.  There’s some Jimmy Buffet (It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere, Margaritaville) on there, some Zac Brown Band (Toes, Knee Deep), and Kenny Chesney (Key Lime Pie, When the Sun Goes Down, Flip Flop Summer), among others.  Here’s one of my favorites, Key’s In the Conch Shell ( by Kenney Chesney)  from YouTube: (some of the pictures are blurry, but the video is still pretty)

Random:

Today, I thought I’d share a photo of the signs I bought to decorate our chickens’ coop.

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I like for ‘my girls’ to have nice living quarters.  They have their own wind chimes, too 🙂  You know what they say, “Happy chickens lay better eggs.”  Our egg count since January?  1106 and counting–and they’re delicious.

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Published in: on July 29, 2015 at 8:46 am  Comments (8)  
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Miscellaneous Monday…

Lately, it seems to take me more time to do less things, so there’s been less time for blogging.  Dear Blog, I’m so sorry for neglecting you.  If it makes you feel any better, Facebook is feeling neglected, too…

After I visited the neurologist, on last Tuesday, I began my ‘home physical therapy program’, on Friday.  My friend, Diane, [who also suffers with back problems] loaned me this fantastic book entitled Treat Your Own Back.  Diane had been given this book by her physical therapist.  I’m currently doing the exercises in that book, and following the other advice given throughout the book, as well, such as correcting bad posture and using a lumbar support pillow when sitting.  It’s a little too early to tell if the program is working, yet, but I’m hoping and praying it will.  The book says it will take about two weeks to feel results.  It takes that long to add all of the exercises to the sessions.

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(Google image)

In other news, we finally discovered that the meter that’s been measuring the humidity underneath our house is wrong!  We suspected this, after continued high readings, but actually confirmed it by testing with another meter.  Our meter is ‘off’ by over 20%!  Apparently our meter has a faulty sensor, but that’s actually good news for us.  When we thought the humidity levels were at 97%, they were actually 75%, or so.

In other house news, the exterminator came back to do the 90 day check (it’s hard to believe 90 days has already passed!) on the termite traps he’d set around the perimeter of our house.  Two of the twelve traps had signs of termite activity.  He baited them with poison, which the termites will carry back to their colonies.  I’m so glad we had this baiting system installed, in addition to having our house treated underneath. It would be great to cut the little buggers off before they actually reach our house, since we apparently are living in termite territory.

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termite bait system 

Ed and I took our weekly shopping trip, on Thursday, and ended up bringing home more than groceries.  We ended up purchasing a new chair for me.  Every since I developed sciatica, I have trouble finding a comfortable place to sit.  I avoid our reclining sofas like the plague!  I borrowed a chair from Ed’s mom’s house, which worked for a while, but soon became uncomfortable, as well.  I needed something firm!  I found a small glider rocker/recliner at Big Lots that seems to meet my needs.  The chair is small, about the size of a computer chair, and has memory foam in the seat.  So far, so good.  The chair doesn’t match a thing in the living room, but who cares?  I have a chair I can sit in (for short periods of time) without so much discomfort!   We had a time fitting that chair and the ottoman in the PT Cruiser, but we did it.  I [still] love that car, and I love my new chair, too!

Ed boiled some of his ‘home grown’ peanuts and grilled hamburgers and hot dogs on Friday night.  All of our grown off spring and their families gathered with us to ‘kick start’ the weekend.  I served hot fudge cake for dessert which everyone seemed to enjoy.  It’s so nice to finally be able to get the entire family together again, without waiting for a holiday or special occasion.  At times like these, I wish we’d built our house just a little larger though.  Twelve of us pretty much fill up the kitchen space, and mine is a lot larger than most.

Ed and I ran away to St. Simon’s Island, again, on Sunday.  The trip wasn’t planned, but the weather finally gave us a break from the oppressive heat and humidity, so we took advantage of it!  This time, we packed a picnic lunch, so we didn’t have to buy a thing except enough gas to get us back home.  We discovered it doesn’t matter what you’re eating, it tastes better beside the ocean, and, best of all, we only spent about twenty dollars!  It felt so good to get away–and the view wasn’t half bad either…

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The two ‘oldest girls’, aka known as my little red hens, have forgotten where they are supposed to lay their eggs, again. Their latest nesting spot has been under our car port (in addition to underneath Ed’s lawnmower).  As a result of this, ‘the girls’ are spending mornings in their coop, which they are not too happy about!  One of them fusses and makes a noise similar to a child crying.  I refer to this noise as “chicken crying”.  Every now and then they just need a reminder of where “home” is… The other day, I found an egg beside a tree in our yard!

My back is telling me it’s time to get up and stretch, and the breakfast dishes aren’t washing themselves either,  so I should end this blog post.  Have a great Monday, everyone!

Published in: on July 27, 2015 at 10:05 am  Comments (6)  
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Chillin’ With The Wednesday Hodgepodge…

Summer is still raging here, and I’m spending most of my time in the air conditioned comfort of my home.  Days like these are good for reading, watching a movie, or taking a nap!  They are also good for participating in The Hodgepodge, which you can do by clicking on the button at the top of this post, and answering the questions.  As always, thanks to our hostess, Joyce, for keeping this fun meme alive!

1. Is your home air conditioned? If it’s not air conditioned, is that by choice? Did you grow up with air conditioning? If not how did you cope with the heat? Share about a time or place you remember as being too hot-the temperature kind of hot, lest anyone be confused.

Yes, our home is air conditioned, by choice.  These days, I’m not sure we could survive the heat and humidity, here in the south, without air conditioning.  It was 99 degrees, yesterday, and the humidity levels have been in the 90’s, as well.  Miserable!

While I was growing up, folks didn’t always have air conditioning in their homes.  In fact, for the first few weeks of marriage, Ed and I didn’t have air conditioning in our first home, either.  Praise the Lord, his parents had a spare window [air conditioning] unit that they gave us!

My most vivid memories, of being too hot, is trying to sleep at night without any air conditioning!  We always kept box fans in the bedroom windows, but those usually blew warm air until the wee hours of the morning. By the time it finally got cool enough to actually sleep, it was time to get up!  I won’t even talk about how hot it was in the kitchen…

 2. What’s something in your life right now that falls under the heading ‘up in the air’?
My health. (See Random)

3. Your favorite light and airy dessert?

I don’t know if it qualifies as “light and airy”, but I’m going to say Strawberry Shortcake because we use angel food cake to make ours.

4. When did you last feel like you were ‘floating on air’?

I’m going to say it was when our last grandchild, Evan, was born.  He was the grandchild we thought we’d never have (because his mom is a cancer survivor with no cervix and only one ovary), then we feared he was going to be born with Cystic Fibrosis when prenatal testing showed both parents to be carriers of the disease.  Today, Evan is a happy, healthy little boy who will be two in October, and doesn’t even carry the gene for Cystic Fibrosis!

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Evan shows off his new haircut

5. Airport, airmail, airtight, airhead…which have you most recently encountered? Explain.

Airtight, when I opened a jar of green beans that I canned.

6.  Have you ever been to the Alps? If so where did you go? If not, is this a destination on your must-see list? If you were headed that direction this summer, which of the following would be your preferred activity…a gentle walk, a serious walk, a bike ride, a boat ride around one of the lakes, or summer snow skiing?

I’ve never been to the Alps, nor do I have any plans to go.  If I happened to go there, a boat ride around one of the lakes sounds most appealing to me.

7. What is one saying or phrase that was considered ‘cool’ when you were growing up?

I grew up in the late 60’s and early 70’s, so there were many.  “Peace” was used a lot, back then, as was “Can you dig it?”, and “Groovy”.  My personal favorites were “Bad scene” and “Cool your jets”.  Ha!  Just typing those phrases takes me back to my teen years.

Random:

So, yesterday was the day of my long-awaited doctor’s appointment with the neurologist.  The wait to see him was 2 1/2 hours long, while sitting on the most uncomfortable furniture in the world. If a person didn’t have back issues before they arrived, they would after they left!

He told me this:  Your MRI shows two troubled areas, the L 2-3 and the L 4-5.  This presents a problem.  Your symptoms suggest your problem is coming from L 4-5, but L 2-3 is the disc that’s actually herniated.  I can do microscopic surgery, but I need to be sure which disc to target because there’s no room to “look around” in this kind of surgery, which is basically done through a tube.  He told me if I was in a lot of pain and really wanted the surgery done, he would do it, but if he was me, he wouldn’t have surgery, at this point.

We decided I’d try some physical therapy and give the sciatic nerve a little more time to heal on its own. Yesterday, my leg strength and reflexes were good, and the painful spasms have subsided, for now.(Because I just finished a second round of Prednisone two days ago.) Some numbness in the lower leg still persists, but, at least it’s not the entire leg, like before.

If the pain/numbness gets worse, or the spasms start again, I’m supposed to call his office and schedule another appointment to discuss my next option, which would be steroid injections in the spine or microscopic surgery.  (I may have to learn to live with a certain amount of back pain.)  Your prayers for continued healing would be most appreciated.

One thing I’ve learned though this ordeal is that back surgery isn’t a ‘cure all’.  Some patients get better, while others don’t.  I met one lady, yesterday, who’d had 13 back surgeries and a hip replacement! She was younger than me, and walked with a cane, but she was smiling.  She’d recently had a permanent pain pump implanted, to help deal with her pain, and was there for a checkup.  I felt extremely blessed after meeting this lady.  She was a great reminder [to me] that things could always be worse.

 

Published in: on July 22, 2015 at 9:59 am  Comments (13)  
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A Little Of This-N-That On Monday…

Life goes on, as usual, here in our ‘neck of the woods’.  Life, last week, was relatively uneventful, except for that out-of-control truck taking out all of our mailboxes, on Monday.

On Tuesday, Ed, our daughter, and our granddaughter went to a local farm and picked some peaches, while  I stayed home.  (I love putting peaches in the freezer, then making peach cobbler with them during the winter.)  It had been several years since we’ve picked any peaches, and the price has gone up.  This little basket of peaches cost $22.00, so those peach cobblers better be delicious!

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After the mailbox incident, on Monday, Ed made a couple more calls about getting our boxes moved.  The post master continues to give us “the run around”, but hasn’t told us “No”, yet.  We’ll see if anything else comes of  it before we give up.  There have been two wrecks within two years, near where our mailboxes are.

You know, a funny thing happened when some of us went to replace our mailboxes.  Our son and his wife were ‘on the ball’, and replaced their mailbox the day after the accident. The rest of us drug our feet a bit.

Ed and I went to Lowe’s to buy ours, on Wednesday, without saying anything to anyone.  When we got to Lowe’s, we discovered they no longer sell the kind of mailbox we previously had.  This made the simple chore of choosing a new box just a bit more difficult.

The following day, our daughter went to Lowe’s to buy their mailbox, without knowing that Ed and I had already bought ours.  When she arrived home, she discovered she’d bought the exact same mailbox and post that we’d bought the day before!  Even the little sign to hold the address numbers was the same!  What were the chances of that, considering the mailboxes we both chose were “Venetian Bronze” in color?!

As of Saturday, all three of us have our new mailboxes back in place.  Now, if we can just get the mailman to deliver our missing mail.  After three days of no mail, all we got was two envelopes, on Friday–and no weekly newspaper!

Ed and I decided to mix a little pleasure with business on the day we bought our new mailbox.  We drove to the Lowe’s in Brunswick, then made a side trip to St. Simon’s Island for lunch and a couple of hours of relaxation.

While Ed and I ate our lunch, on St. Simon’s Island, we watched a young lad climb one of the massive oak trees we were dining under.  He carried a couple of backpacks and some rope with him as he climbed higher and higher.  We watched, with interest, as he unpacked a hammock, tied it up in the branches of the tree, then hopped into the hammock and began relaxing!  Ed took a picture.

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I couldn’t even relax and enjoy my lunch because I was afraid the boy was going to fall the entire time!  He didn’t. After an hour or so, the boy climbed out, took the hammock down, packed everything back up and rode away on his bicycle!

The rest of our week wasn’t nearly as exciting as watching the boy in the tree, but I’m sort of glad.  We shopped a bit, canned peaches, mowed our grass, and got caught up with our family.  Normal and unexciting is good.

This week won’t be ‘normal’, at least not for me.  Tomorrow is my ‘long awaited’ appointment with the neurologist.  My stomach is in knots today.  I’m both relieved and terrified that the day is finally about to arrive.  I have no idea what to expect, other than opening up our checkbook…  That much I know for sure!  I’d sure appreciate any and all prayers concerning that doctor visit and the healing of my back.

My back is aching, my hair needs washing, and the floor needs vacuuming.  I guess that means it’s time to get out of this chair and get busy.  Let the day begin…

Happy Monday!

 

 

 

Published in: on July 20, 2015 at 9:30 am  Comments (5)  
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Another Hot Hot Hodgepodge…

We’re still dealing with  some hot July temperatures,  a few afternoon thunder storms, some back aches, and having our mailbox obliterated by an out-of -control truck, on Monday.  So what’s new at your house?

Thankfully, it’s Wednesday and this means it’s time for my favorite form of ‘escape’, aka “The Wednesday Hodgepodge”.  Thanks so much to our hostess, Joyce, for continuing this fun mid-week tradition!  Let’s get started, shall we?

1.July 15th is National Give Something Away Day.  What can you give away? Will you?

We could stand to give away a few dozen eggs, at the moment.  We currently have about ten dozen in our refrigerator.  I just gave away two dozen, and would give away even more if I knew someone else who needed them.

2. Do you have a mantra? Please share with the class if you feel comfortable doing so.

We have a saying in our family.  Whenever things don’t go according to plan we say, “It’s that Bacon luck, again.”  Often, it seems like whatever can go wrong for us does go wrong for us.

3. Who does the grocery shopping in your house? How many times a week do you shop? Do you make a list or pray for inspiration in the produce aisle?

I’ve always been the one who does the grocery shopping for our household, but, now that Ed’s retired, we shop together.  Once a week we’ll go shopping for whatever we need.  I’ve always been a list maker, so I usually have some kind of a list with me whenever I shop.

4. Is there a TV show you’re embarrassed to say you watch? You’re going to tell us what it is, right?

Probably so. The latest is “Orange Is The New Black” (on Netflix)  The show is set in a woman’s prison, and some of the content has been a little on the embarrassing side, but it’s an interesting and entertaining show.

5. A recent article listed fifteen words we should eliminate from our (written) vocabulary in order to sound smarter-

that, went, honestly, absolutely, very, really, amazing, always, never, literally, just, maybe, stuff, things, and irregardless

Of the fifteen, which word is your most overused?

Of those fifteen words, I’d say “that” is my most overused word.

6. So apparently dying your hair gray (in your youth!) is a thing right now. It’s called ‘The Granny Hair’ trend. Your thoughts?

I haven’t heard of this new trend, but I say, enjoy your own youthful hair color while you still can.  There will be plenty of time for “Granny Hair” later in your future!

7. A while back Buzz Feed asked members to share the most beautiful sentence they’ve read in a piece of literature. A hard thing to narrow down, at least for me, but let’s try. What’s one of the most beautiful sentences you’ve ever read in a piece of literature?

Joyce, you have stumped me. I honestly have no idea, and nothing is coming to mind at the moment.

Random:

Feathered Friends

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I just love watching how our two free ranging red hens seem to enjoy spending some time with their younger ‘sisters’, who still spend most of their days in the pen.  Late every afternoon, all of them get to free range together for a couple of hours, but the older and younger hens continue to sleep in two different chicken houses at night.  These nine hens have laid over 1000 eggs since the beginning of January!

Published in: on July 15, 2015 at 7:18 am  Comments (13)  
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The Mailbox Controversy…

I guess  you could say that our mailbox has been embroiled in controversy for the past 38 years or so.  The trouble began when Ed and I moved back home to his family’s farm, and had to put up a mailbox.  Because the place we chose to live was located on the back side of the farm, we had no choice except to put our mailbox on the front of the property, next to a busy highway.

Ed’s daddy insisted that we should put our mailbox at his house, next to his, so we wouldn’t have to “worry about anyone bothering our mail.”  Ha!  That turned out to be such a funny statement.  In the end, having our mailbox at his house turned out to be a problem [for me, anyway] because Ed’s daddy seemed to take great pleasure in snooping through our mailbox each day.  He wasn’t shy about doing it either.  Every day, he’d tell Ed what we had gotten in the mail before Ed ever looked in the box!  We didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, so we endured this lack of privacy for many years, much to my dismay.

In the meantime, while our children were growing up, Ed’s dad gave the county piece of land (a “right of way” through his property) so we could have a “county maintained” road leading to our residence, at the back of the farm.  This ensured that the school bus would pick our children up at our door, and it was supposed to ensure that we’d always have a maintained road to travel on.  As they say, “One out of two ain’t bad.”  Every few years, our road would slip into a state of disrepair.  We’d call our county commissioners’ office and complain, to which they’d claim they had no record of the road having been “deeded over.”  Eventually, they’d find the deed and come plow our road…for a while.  Then the same process would start over again.  This process has been going on since the late 80’s!

Eventually, our daughter grew up and moved to her own place on the family farm.  She had to put up her own mailbox next to her residence, and I saw this as a great opportunity to move our mailbox!  I figured we could move our mailbox next to hers, and it would be closer to our house, plus it would be safe from “prying eyes”, so that’s what we did in 1998.  Several years later, in 2008, our oldest son added his own mailbox to our two, and there stood three mailboxes, together, beside what had become a very busy highway.

When we first moved to the farm, the main highway at the front of the property was only a two lane road, with one passing lane.  Then, in the 90’s, the state came in and “four laned” the highway.  The state purchased the front edge of Ed’s parents’ farm, and incorporated it into the highway expansion project.  This project took up most of Ed’s parents’ front yard, and put all of our mailboxes dangerously close to a busy highway, as well.  Over the years, the amount of traffic has continued to increase, and the speeds of those traveling vehicles has increased, as well!

A couple of months ago, I brought up [to Ed] the subject of trying to get our mailboxes moved off of the main highway.  Now that he’s retired, it’s become an inconvenience to have to drive a quarter of a mile to get the mail, each day, plus there’s the safety factor of those speeding cars!  Besides, with the county now owning the road leading to our property, there shouldn’t be any problem with getting the mailman to come to our house.  Right?  Ha!

For the past two months, Ed has been dealing with both the county office and the postal service in trying to get our mailbox moved, and he’s been getting the “proverbial runaround.”  We’re no closer today than we were two months ago, but then, yesterday, something happened…

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It’s hard to tell from the picture, but those scattered remnants are what’s left of our three mailboxes and their posts.  At the top left of the picture, you’ll notice a small black pickup truck on its roof.  The driver of that pickup swerved to miss a deer who was in the middle of the highway, and, in the process, took out all three of our mailboxes!  Imagine what would’ve happened if some of us had been checking our mail when this happened?  As a matter of fact, it hadn’t even been an hour since we’d done just that!

I’m hoping this incident will be just what we need to help us in our quest to get our mailboxes moved off of the busy highway.  In the meantime, I’m wondering where the mailman is going to deliver our mail?

Stay tuned…

By the way, thankfully, the man who was driving the truck wasn’t injured, but, unfortunately, his truck didn’t fair as well.

Published in: on July 14, 2015 at 9:33 am  Comments (5)  
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Friday Fragments…

It’s been a fairly uneventful week here in my neck of the woods, but, these days, I consider ‘uneventful’ a good thing!  I’m trying to get back into the habit of blogging more regularly, so here goes…

Ed and I are officially finished with the gardening season of 2015, and it feels SO good!  We canned the last of our tomatoes on Wednesday.  I was bummed when one of our pints of tomatoes didn’t seal, but that happens sometimes.  In all of our canning experiences, that was only our third mishap–and we’ve canned many jars of fruits and vegetables during the past three years.

Ed’s already mowed down almost all of the old garden plants.  Only my zinnias, some old corn stalks, a few peanuts, and some watermelons remain.  We plan to try some of Ed’s ‘home-grown’ boiled peanuts, this weekend!

Ed had a doctor’s appointment, on Tuesday, for his three month’s checkup.  We use the same primary care physician, and while Ed was seeing the doctor, he happened to ask Ed about me and my back problems.  Ed explained that I had been unable to get in to see a specialist, yet.  He went on to explain how the Prednisone I’d been prescribed on my last visit had helped my sciatica, until it eventually wore off.  The doctor then sent me a prescription for another round of Prednisone, to get me through until I can see a neurologist, on July 21.  God bless him!

We’re in the midst of another heat wave.  The rain has left us, and our temperatures are reaching back into the high nineties, again.  Hello, summer!  By 9 o’clock, each day, it’s already hot, but not as hot as it is by 3 o’clock!!!  I’m keeping a high velocity fan blowing in the chickens’ pen, in an effort to keep them as comfortable as possible.  Happy chickens lay more eggs!  Ours must be pretty content because our current egg count, since January, is 988 eggs from nine hens!

Our daughter and her husband FINALLY got their a/c repaired, yesterday.  They’d been relying on a smaller window unit for over a week and a half, since their a/c drain tray  to the central unit had developed a leak and flooded their ceiling.  Did I mention the entire family had been sleeping in the living room for a week and a half, as well?

Last Friday, Ed and I were in a Wal-mart Neighborhood Market when we saw somebody we hadn’t seen in almost two years.  Does anybody remember me blogging about Alex, the little baby boy our daughter used to keep?  Alex who was deaf, but got cochlear implants during the two years our daughter was keeping him?  Alex, whose mother got cancer and died this past March, at the age of 30?  Well, Ed and I saw Alex, who happened to be shopping with his grandparents!  He’s grown taller, but he still looks the same.  Believe it or not, little Alex turned 4 in February. That little fellow sure has been through a lot in just four short years, but, as usual, he was wearing his smile.

There’s a birthday celebration in the family, this weekend.  Our youngest, Brad, will turn 30 tomorrow.  How in the world did that happen?  If all goes well, the family will be gathering this evening to help him celebrate.  Because mamas like to look back and remember ‘the good ole’ days’, I’m re-sharing the birthday video I made for Brad on his 28th birthday.

Happy birthday, son. Just like the words of the song say, “You make your mother proud.”  I love you!

Published in: on July 10, 2015 at 7:29 am  Comments (4)  
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The Wednesday Hodgepodge…

1. When did you last ‘swim against the tide’? Explain.

I’ve felt as if I’ve been swimming against the tide for the past three months.  That’s when this whole issue with my back first started.  One week it seems like I’m making progress[with the sciatica], and may possibly reach the shoreline.  Then another wave comes and pulls me back out to the sea [of pain] again.

2. What’s the last self-help or self-improvement book you read?

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a self-improvement book, but it was something by Dr. Phil McGraw.  I remember this because I remember my oldest son, Brett, telling me that people didn’t need to be reading “Dr. Phil”, for self-help,  they need to be reading the Bible, and you know what?  He was right.

3“Tolerance is a tremendous virtue, but the immediate neighbors of tolerance are apathy and weakness.” (Sir James Goldsmith) 

Agree or disagree? Discuss. With civility please, because I think we have a good thing going in our very diverse (in geography, age, religion, political persuasion, ethnicity, marital status, upbringing, and cooking abilities) neighborhood here on This Side of the Pond.

I don’t agree with the first part of this quote, but I definitely agree with the last part.  As our society [and our country] becomes tolerant of more and more things, it’s also gaining a lot more apathy and weakness in the process.  I’ll keep the rest of my thoughts about tolerance to myself, but I think you have a good idea where I stand.

4. What is one of your most vivid memories of the kitchen from your childhood?

I was just talking about this to my daughter, the other day!  My most vivid kitchen memory is the mess my mother made when she cooked a meal, because she usually left it for me to clean up (during my teen years).  I believe that woman dirtied every dish in the kitchen whenever she cooked!

5. How did/do your own children’s summers compare with your summers as a child? If you’re not a parent, answer as it relates to what you’ve observed about the current generation of children vs. your own childhood.

My children’s summers were quite different than my own.  My parents never took vacations in the summer, and we rarely went anywhere on weekends.  During the summer, I stayed at home, from age eleven on,  while my parents worked.  I was given a list of chores to do while they were gone.  I can count, on one hand, the number of fun activities I did during the summer.

I was always home with our children during the summers.  We attended the summer activities at the library, each week.  We always went on two vacations every summer, and often went on weekend camping trips, as well.

As our family grew older, we stopped camping, and put in a swimming pool, plus added satellite television.  We continued to take summer  trips, they just weren’t as long or as often.

6. Tell us what body of water you would most like to be on or near today, and why?

I’ll bet most of you think I’m going to say ” the water surrounding St. Simon’s Island.”  Ha!  You’re right!

7.  Share a favorite song about water, or a favorite song with the word water in it’s title, or a favorite song to listen to as you sit beside the water.

I have an entire folder on my MP3 player that is dedicated to “Summer Tunes”, and I usually listen to those while enjoying the view at SSI.  Among those tunes, my all-time favorite is, “Knee Deep” by Zac Brown Band (featuring Jimmy Buffet)

Random:

A couple of years ago, I decided to set my favorite beach pictures to my favorite beach song.  Here’s the finished product:

As always, thanks to our hostess, Joyce, for continuing to host this fun, mid-week distraction from life 🙂

Published in: on July 8, 2015 at 9:35 am  Comments (11)  
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Ten Things On Tuesday…

(1) No, I haven’t died or dropped off the face of the earth.  I’ve just been trying to get through the days, one at a time.  Some days are better than others, but there haven’t been any good days [with my back] for about a week.  I’m assuming it’s because the Prednisone has completely worn off. Bummer.

(2) After going for weeks without any rain, we’ve been experiencing afternoon thunder showers every day–including on the Fourth of July.  Fortunately, I’d planned to have our family ‘picnic’ indoors.  Eventually, before the end of the day, the kids managed to steal a few minutes to play in the rain, and in the swimming pool, but Ed got sprinkled on while doing the grilling.

(3) Some folks in our area got a lot more than a thunder shower on July 4th.  They lost their electricity, for part of the day, and some of the streets, in nearby Savannah, were flooded.  Facebook’s feed was filled with photos of folks floating down the flooded streets on tubes!  I guess that could be classified as “making the best of a bad situation.”

(4) Ed discovered that our one-and-only convenience store was closed on July 4th, when we needed to buy a bag of ice.  So much for convenience…  He had to drive another six miles  just to buy some ice.  You’d think all convenience stores would be open on July 4th, wouldn’t you?

(5) Our youngest son was baptized on the Friday morning before the Fourth of July.  He didn’t let anybody know he was going to do this, other than his wife, and the pastor, of course.  He chose to be baptized the old-fashioned way, in the river. This mother was a little bit disappointed that she missed this special moment in her youngest son’s life, but is happy for him, none-the-less.

(6) Speaking of special moments in one’s life–that same youngest son will turn “30” on this coming Saturday.  Where has the time gone?  It seems like only yesterday he wasn’t much bigger than his son, Evan, who will soon turn two!

Brad's b'day 1

Last year’s birthday celebration

A lot of things have changed since last year’s birthday celebration.  In addition to everyone being another year older, Ed’s retired, both Brad and Jennifer have new jobs, and Brad and Jennifer have moved out of their home in the city and back to our hometown.  None of these changes were expected, last year, with the exception of everyone growing older.

(7) Speaking of special moments and milestones, today is my daughter and her husband’s wedding anniversary!  They were married on a very hot July evening, fourteen years ago.  All anniversaries are special, but, I think, this one just might have a little more meaning to them than some in the past. I wish the two of them many more happy years ahead!

7-8-2010 9;08;54 AM BandC wedding2

July 7, 2001

(8) I received my packet of ‘new patient forms’ [for my neurologist appointment, in two weeks], yesterday.  They’re a bit overwhelming, and it may take me the next two weeks just to get them filled out.  I’ve never had to ‘bubble in’ ovals (with a #2 pencil, no less) on patient information forms before!  I’m both looking forward to and dreading this appointment, all at the same time.

(9) Lately, we’ve been letting our newer flock of hens out to ‘free range’ late in the afternoons.  We give them about an hour, at the end of  each day, to roam out of their pen.  They seem to enjoy this time, and look forward to it very  much.  The two older red hens [who free range all the time] tried to act like bullies, at first, but things seem to be getting better now that it’s been a few days.

(10) It’s been three days since Ed’s seen “Trouble” the cat.  For three days in a row,  she’s been a ‘no show’ at feeding time.  We were sure something had happened to her because, normally, she’s always at the house, waiting to be fed.  Yesterday, we found out that she’s been visiting with our oldest son and his family, again!  He said that his little boys have been feeding her and trying to get her to stay. I hope she does, but I won’t hold my breath!  “Trouble” has a mind of her own.

Published in: on July 7, 2015 at 8:34 am  Comments (3)  
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A Firecracker Of A Hodgepodge…

Another month has come and gone, and today marks the beginning of a brand new one.  What better way to celebrate than with The Wednesday Hodgepodge?!  Take off your shoes, grab a cold drink, and stay a while, won’t you?

This fun ‘escape from reality’ wouldn’t be possible without our hostess, Joyce, so I’m eternally grateful for her, as well as The Hodgepodge, today.

Here are today’s questions:

1. On Saturday July 4th America celebrates her Independence. (If you’re not American,  feel free to answer in terms of a national holiday in your own country)

I used to look forward to the fireworks displays, the most, but, these days, my favorite thing about the fourth is being with family.  The grilled food is an added bonus.

Your favorite food on the 4th?

My favorite food, on the 4th, is bar-b-q chicken or ribs, with all of the trimmings, of course.

Do you fly a flag at your house? 

We don’t fly an actual flag, at our house, but I have lots of patriotic decorations, including a couple of small flags sticking out of the top of my ‘year round’ tree.

Any special plans this year?

We’re keeping our Fourth of July celebration small, this year, and just planning to grill some burgers/hot dogs, late in the afternoon.

The celebration of Independence Day has lost some of its luster for me, these days.  We’ve lost so many of the freedoms we once enjoyed, I’m just not feeling as ‘free’ as I once did.

Fireworks-yay or nay?

Nay. Ed and I stopped attending fireworks displays, several years ago.  The last fireworks we saw were back in 2010–on St. Simon’s Island. We don’t care much for the traffic or the crowds that go along with the fireworks.

What is your favorite thing about the day?

Food and family, but not necessarily in that order!

2. What’s something you recently got for free?

I received some free gifts from Shutterfly, a while back– a photo magnet, and a couple of 8×10 enlargements.  Of course, I had to pay for shipping, so they weren’t totally free.

3.  The Statue of Liberty, The Liberty Bell, The Washington Monument, or Mount Rushmore…how many on the list have you seen? What is your favorite historical American monument, and why?

I haven’t seen any of these, but I’d like to see them all.  The Statue of Liberty has always fascinated me, so I guess it would be my favorite.

4. When it comes to the news are you more ostrich (stick my head in the sand) or hog (they have room to take a whole lot in)? How much attention have you given the recent news reports regarding ISIS and the acts of terror they’ve perpetrated against those who do not share their beliefs or support their cause?

For a long time, I was ‘a news hog’, but, eventually, things changed.  I found myself growing more and more anxious and a bit depressed about the direction our country is headed.  I could literally feel my body growing tense, and my blood pressure rising every time I watched the evening news.  Eventually, I made the decision to become more like an ostrich!  We still keep up with the news via the internet, but current events no longer dominate our lives like they once did.

5. We’re talking plain ice cream…vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry? Choose one.

Chocolate!

6. Share a song you love containing the word ‘stars’ in the lyrics or title?

Tracy Byrd’s “Keeper of the Stars”.  Our daughter and her husband had someone sing this song at their wedding, almost 14 years ago.

7. Describe and/or say goodbye to June with an acrostic.

J- Just celebrated 43 years of marriage on the 18th

U– Unbearable heat, for days on end

N– New challenges every day

E-Excited to see the month end

Random:

In honor of the upcoming holiday, I thought I’d share some of my favorite patriotic pics of some of the “grands” when they were much smaller.  Oh, the days pass so quickly!  Where have our babies gone?

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granddaughter, Madison (2007)

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grandson, Caden with his mom (2009)

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an older Caden, with his little brother, Chase (2011, I think)

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Have a safe and happy 4th everyone!

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one of the views from my chair on SSI

Published in: on July 1, 2015 at 7:20 am  Comments (12)  
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