Another Year Older, Another Trip Around The Sun…

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Yesterday was my birthday, and as a result, I’m now another year older.  It’s a funny thing, though, while my body may be feeling every one of its sixty-one years, my mind is not!  In my mind, I’m still middle-aged. Gee, wasn’t it just yesterday when our parents were the ones who were turning sixty?

It was a good birthday.  At least it was a good birthday considering [at the moment] I’m not very mobile or able to find much comfort while sitting, and considering I’m facing back surgery in just two short weeks.  However, I know that things could always be worse!

Usually Ed takes me to St. Simon’s Island to celebrate my birthday, a tradition we began several years ago.  This year we were not able to do that, mainly because of the weather.  It was cloudy and over-cast the entire weekend, with rain showers scattered throughout.

Ed was worried about how to celebrate my birthday, since I’m not really able to get up and around much. Thanks to our daughter, on the day before my birthday, I had a lovely birthday supper at her house.  She cooked, cleaned, and decorated in spite of the fact that she’d been sick most of the week, herself.  Once again, she gave of herself, unselfishly to make sure I had a memorable birthday, and I’m grateful.  The evening was very memorable.

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As I sat in our daughter’s dining room, eating the delicious supper prepared by many, I couldn’t help but marvel at all of the past birthday celebrations that have taken place in that dining room.  You see, Ed and I lived in that same house for thirty years.  We’ve celebrated our parents’ birthdays, our children’s birthdays, and our own birthdays, in that dining room!  It felt really special celebrating there again, and, besides, I wasn’t celebrating alone, this year.  Our daughter-in-law, Jennifer, was celebrating, too, since her birthday was two days before mine.  Two more birthdays were added to the long list of ones celebrated in that dining room!

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I only had one request, the entire evening–that someone take a picture of me, along with my children, who are all now grown, with families of their own.  I wasn’t prepared for how old this picture would make me feel when I saw it, but old I am!

I’ll treasure this picture always.  A lot of blood, sweat, tears, and prayers went into raising these three, but they all make me proud when I stand next to them today!

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In honor of my sixty-first birthday, I received many cards, gifts, and even a bouquet of flowers. Some of the cards made me laugh, while others made my eyes fill with tears.  I loved everything I received, but the thing I loved most of all was that everybody took the time to celebrate another “trip around the sun” with me.

Bring on trip # 62!!!

 

 

 

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Published in: on August 31, 2015 at 3:43 pm  Comments (4)  
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Ending August With The Hodgepodge…

It’s almost the end of August, and what a spring and summer it’s been for us!  I’m hoping fall will bring some much-needed changes around here.  We shall see. (A hurricane is headed for Florida, as I write)  For now, let’s indulge in a little mid-week distraction known as The Wednesday Hodgepodge.

1. It’s hard to believe, but next week’s Hodgepodge will find us in the month of September. What’s one thing you want, need, or hope to do still before summer officially ends?

I was hoping to spend one more day on St. Simon’s Island before summer officially ends.  No big surprise there, huh?  My back and the weather will be the deciding factor on whether this trip happens or not.

2. When were you last at ‘your wit’s end’?

I am currently at my wit’s end!  After a very brief hiatus, last Friday, my old ‘friend’ sciatica came back with a vengeance.  It’s been almost 5 months (and counting) of living with this miserable thing.

3. Describe a time you were figuratively thrown into ‘the deep end’?

Sometimes, the entire year of 2015 feels that way, to me.  First Ed lost his job, then we discovered we had mold and termites under our house, and, last but not least, I discovered I have two messed up discs in my lumbar spine.  This has been a year of “just trying to stay afloat”.

4. Does the end always, ever, or never justify the means? Explain.

Sometimes it does, but not always, depending on the particular situation and circumstances.  I’d elaborate more, but my brain is tired and I am just not feeling it today.

5. What makes your hair stand on end?

My hair stands on end whenever our grandchildren run in the house or play on the furniture.  I love them dearly, but don’t want anything to get broken or anyone to get hurt.  When he was small, our oldest son once broke his hand… You guessed it, by running in the house.

6. I read an article on the website Eat This! Health, that listed 11 foods we can eat to help end bad moods. Basically it’s a feed your brain so you’re less anxious, grouchy and lethargic. The foods are-mussels, swiss chard, blue potatoes, grass-fed beef, dark chocolate, greek yogurt, asparagus, honey, cherry tomatoes, eggs, and coconut. Which of those do you think would most help end your own bad mood? Which do you fear, if forced to eat, would put you into a bad mood?

I think dark chocolate and coconut would most help end a bad mood…as in a Mounds candy bar!

As far as something putting me in a bad mood, if forced to eat it–that would be mussels or Greek yogurt.  I just can’t make myself like either one of those foods.

7. What project around your home, office, or life in general feels like there is ‘no end in sight’?

This job doesn’t really involve me, but I’m going to say ‘yard work’.  Ed’s forever needing to mow grass, trim weeds, or do something with the garden.  It never seems to end–just like housework and grocery shopping!

Random:

Okay, so I called my neurologist’s office, on Monday, to tell them my sciatica had suddenly gotten worse, after three weeks of doing home physical therapy.  (I was then told it would be a month before I could get an appointment.)  After our initial conversation, the office lady pulled my records, and told me there was really no need to wait for an office appointment because [the doctor had written] his next recommendation, if the physical therapy failed, was surgery.  She said they could just go ahead and get me on the surgery schedule, to save time and suffering (and I’m so tired of suffering). Sigh. So, now I’m waiting for a call back. Today is day three…

As if we haven’t been through enough, this year, imagine my surprise, last week, when I went on line and discovered I’d been a victim of fraud.  There was a $1753.50 charge on my Discover Card account that I didn’t make!  I immediately called the company and was reassured that I have ‘fraud protection’, and wouldn’t be held responsible. It turned out someone had tried to make two other transactions, as well, but those didn’t go through.  Discover took care of everything, but the whole incident has left me feeling a bit shaken and vulnerable.

Also, I apologize to my blog friends for my lack of presence on the computer–on their blogs, as well as my own.  It’s hard to concentrate on much of anything, right now, but, hopefully, it won’t always be this way!

As always, many thanks to Joyce, for continuing to host The Hodgepodge 🙂  Even with everything that’s going on in my life, I still look forward to The Hodgepodge each week.

Published in: on August 26, 2015 at 7:16 am  Comments (9)  
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A Mid-August Hodgepodge…

It’s hard to believe that August is already half over, and in only twelve more days we’ll be welcoming September!  Time’s flying, and it’s time for another edition of The Wednesday Hodgepodge, brought to us by our hostess, Joyce.  Thanks, Joyce, for all you do!

1. Way back when (the Hodgepodge bicentennial to be precise) several of you submitted questions as part of a giveaway I was hosting. I went back to that list for inspiration today and found a question submitted by Marla, who blogs over at Marla’s Musings. Thanks Marla!

She asks-At what age did you feel like a ‘grown-up’? What keeps you young now?

Believe it or not, I felt like a ‘grown-up’, at the ripe old age of 17, when Ed and I got married and moved away to the big city.  Looking back, I realize how young and naive I really was!

As for what keeps me young?  Nothing.  I’ve always felt much older than I really am.  It’s why I ended up marrying someone who is 5 years older than me.  I’ll never be 20 again, so I choose to embrace being 60. Ha!  Senior citizen’s discount, anyone?

2. When did you last buy a vehicle? Was this by design or because you had no other option? Was the car/truck purchased for your own personal use or was it bought for someone else to drive? On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being delightful and 1 being ‘pass the Excedrin’) how would you rate the experience?

Trading vehicles…Sigh. It’s a subject that enters my mind from time to time.  We could buy a new vehicle any time, but we are somewhat attached to each of our “nearly antique” vehicles.

Our oldest vehicle is a 1991 Ford pick up truck that belonged to Ed’s dad.  Next in line is the  1997 “Lincoln Town Car”, which belonged to Ed’s mom.  We purchased both of these vehicles from Ed’s mom’s estate, back in 2013/2014 because both were very good vehicles, with low mileage–and we weren’t ready to let them go, just yet.  We still aren’t.

Last, but not least, we have my 2001 PT Cruiser, lovingly referred to as “Classy”.  We purchased her in March of 2001.  Old “Classy” has some age on her, but not a lot of miles, for her age.  I loved this car from the moment I saw it, and still do. “Classy” is small, but due to the way she’s built, we can (and frequently do) haul a lot of cargo in her. If I could, I’d keep her forever. We’ll need to give up at least one of our “antique cars” when purchasing a new car, and neither of us is ready to do that, yet.

It’s been our experience, that vehicle purchasing gives both of us a headache!  I’d rate our purchasing experience, of “Classy”, at about a 7.  That’s because PT Cruisers were in short supply, at the time, so we probably paid a little too much for her.

3. Corn bread, corn chips, corn pudding, corn on the cob, cornflakes, corn chowder-your favorite of the corn-y foods listed? What needs to be served alongside your selection?

Corn bread is one of Ed’s favorite foods, so I make it often.  However, I like cornflakes and corn on the cob just as much as corn bread.  I like corn bread best when it’s served with home made vegetable soup or some type of greens. (Yep, I’m a country girl!)

4. What’s something in your life that regularly requires you to ‘put your thinking cap on’?

These days, almost everything requires me to “put my thinking cap on”.  My mind isn’t as sharp as it once was.  Often, I’ll start one thing, then get side tracked and forget what I was doing.  Just the other night, Ed and I discovered we’d both forgotten the combination to our safe!  Fortunately, I got it right on my second guess.  Then there’s that little problem of trying to remember other people’s names…

5. Share a favorite movie set in a school or classroom, or whose theme relates to school days in some way.

I love, love, love the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus!  I’ve seen it several times, but I still tear  up during the part where Mr. Holland’s former music students perform, as a retirement tribute, for him.

6. Reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic’ are commonly referred to as the three R’s. What are the three R’s in your life right now?

Reading, writing, and retirement!

7. What’s something you’ve learned or tried recently you can say was as ‘easy as ABC’?

Recently, I tried making home-made Krystal Burgers for the first time, and it was as easy as ABC!  They were easy, delicious, and tasted just like Krystal Burgers, too!   Here’s the recipe, if anyone is interested:

Famous Krystal Burgers Copycat Recipe

Ingredients:
1 pound ground hamburger meat
1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup cheddar cheese – shredded
yellow mustard
dill pickle chips
dinner rolls

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Into a deep sided pan brown your hamburger meat. Remove from heat. Drain excess fat.

2. To pan add: onion soup mix, mayonnaise and cheese. Mix to combine.

3. Without tearing the dinner rolls apart, CAREFULLY cut them in half. Remove top portion. Place bottom half of buns onto a sheet of aluminum foil {large enough to cover}

4. Spread meat mixture evenly on top of bread bottoms. {OPTIONAL: If you’d like additional cheese top with American cheese slices at this point} Place a dill pickle chip on top of each bun. Top with a squeeze of yellow mustard. Place tops of buns on top of mixture.

5. Wrap aluminum foil around burgers. Place onto a rimmed cookie sheet and into oven for approximately 5-10 minutes until bread is toasted {and cheese is melted if you’ve added it}

Random:

On our last few visits to St. Simon’s Island, Ed and I discovered an interesting fellow–Mr. Pelican!

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Mr. Pelican spends most of his days sitting on the side of the pier that’s located in The Village.

Mr. Pelican sits and watches the folks on the pier while they fish or crab.

Every now and then, someone will throw Mr. Pelican a piece of bait, so I guess that’s why he keeps coming back.  That’s one smart bird!

Ed snapped this picture of Mr. Pelican, on Sunday.  Several other people were taking pictures of him, as well, and he seems to be ‘striking a pose’.  If only he could figure out how to charge for having his picture taken 🙂

 

Published in: on August 19, 2015 at 8:44 am  Comments (11)  
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Since I Last Wrote…

Since I last wrote, another weekend has come and gone. Ed and I kicked off the weekend by boiling the last of Ed’s peanuts, and grilling a few hot dogs. Our daughter’s family, who lives next door, decided to throw a few hot dogs and sausages on the grill, too. Then we all decided to eat them outside, on our daughter’s deck. Just as we were about to eat our meal, Brad and family came driving up (with pizza in hand), and they joined us, too. We had a fun, impromptu cookout.  Our oldest son, and family, joined us a while later, after supper. I need to get better organized and plan more Friday night get-togethers, like we used to do!

I’ve already forgotten what we did on Saturday, so it must not  have been too noteworthy!  Oh, now I remember!  Ed cleaned out our old birdhouses, and put one of them on a new post.  He also added a shelf onto the side of the post (and painted the post and shelf), so I’d have a place to put a little ceramic robin. Last, he placed a hanging bird feeder below the shelf.  We spent part of the afternoon sitting on the back terrace, and admiring his handiwork, too…

On Sunday, Ed and I hit the road, again, for another trip to Brunswick.  We packed a picnic lunch, and headed for St. Simon’s Island (even though we’d just been there, on Wednesday). Unfortunately, the sun played peek-a-boo with us all morning, and by lunchtime sprinkles of rain had begun to trickle out of the sky.  Our favorite tree protected us from the rain, for a while, but we had to eventually give it up, but I can’t complain.  We’ve taken lots of trips to St. Simon’s Island, but this was only the second time we’ve ever gotten rained out. We spent the rest of the day browsing through several stores.

It’s back-to-school time, and Monday was the first day of home-school for our two oldest grands.

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grandson, Caden (note his missing tooth!)

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granddaughter, Madison (can’t believe she’s in 3rd grade already!)

Ed and I tried to help things get up and running smooth for the home-schooling mama’s.  Chase, the younger brother of Caden, spent the morning at our house, where he played and watched cartoons with Ed. (This freed up his mama to concentrate on over-seeing big brother, Caden’s first day of first grade.)  Madison and her mama entered the scary new world of third grade at their house.  Meanwhile, I took on the roll of the “lunch lady” and cooked lunch for everyone.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the spaghetti, salad, bread, and s’mores cupcakes for lunch.  After everyone went home, Ed and I both enjoyed a long nap!  Assisting with home-school is hard work 🙂

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On a serious note, I’d like to say how proud I am of all of our grandchildren, and, especially, how proud I am of their parents for doing such a great job of raising them! Whether or not they realize it, all of our grandchildren are blessed with some great parents!  It’s not an easy task to raise children properly, especially in this day and time.

Home-schooling requires sacrifice.  First of all, it means giving up the second income, so many people have come to depend upon, these days.   It means being with your children 24/7, and rarely ever getting a break.  It means having to go “the extra mile” to make sure they have a good and pleasurable school year.  In addition to being “mom”, you have to be “teacher”, too.  This means planning each day in advance, giving tests, and grading papers–in addition to your regular mom duties.  Some days can be tiring!

If Ed and I can help make the task a little easier, for our home-schooling mamas, it’s our pleasure to do so!  This “lunch lady” has to go now–it’s time to get cooking 🙂

 

 

 

Published in: on August 18, 2015 at 11:09 am  Comments (5)  
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This-N-That On Friday…

This week has absolutely flown by…but then they all do, these days!  As I mentioned once before, I’m constantly reminded how fast time goes by, when I’m constantly having to refill my weekly “medication minder” (pill box).  It’s scary!

The feeling of fall was in the air, just a little, this morning!  It felt so good to feel a slight coolness in the air, especially after Wednesday’s ridiculous temperatures. (mid 90’s with heat index of 107)  It’s a little breezy outside, which should keep the temperatures down a bit today.

I’m continuing to take walks, twice a day.  Ed always joins me in the mornings, and sometimes in the evenings, as well.  On some days our granddaughter, Madison, joins us, too.  It was sweet, this morning, when I noticed three sets of footprints in the dirt, from our walk, last evening.

Ed and I had a special mid-week treat, this week, when we took our daughter and granddaughter to St. Simon’s Island with us.  Imagine our surprise when my daughter and I realized we had dressed alike, without knowing what the other was wearing!  (sort of like when we picked out the same mailboxes and posts)

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great minds must think alike…

This time, we actually went down to the sand and surf, instead of taking shelter under our favorite tree.  It wasn’t long before we realized we’d made a mistake, but we wanted Madison to have the opportunity to play in the sand and sea.

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Even though we had umbrellas, it was so hot we could only tolerate the heat/sun for an hour and a half! (Granddaughter, Madison, was the first to ask to leave.)  Let me tell you, we were all happy to get to the shade and breeze of those oak trees!  We ate lunch beside the water, (Southern Soul Bar-b-que) and spent the rest of the day in our usual spot, under the oak trees.

I had another special ‘mid-week’ treat of my own, too.  On the day we went to St. Simon’s Island, I experienced a “pain-free” day!  Even with all of the riding and sitting on the beach, I experienced absolutely no back pain!  This gives me some hope that there may be some light at the end of this tunnel I’ve been in for so long…  I hope so.  I’ve had some pain, since Wednesday, but it’s tolerable.

Most of the seeds I planted (for a fall garden) have sprouted.  The lettuce plants seem to be lagging behind, but the cabbage plants are growing by leaps and bounds.  It’s been less than two weeks since they were planted.  I don’t know why, but cabbage plants always start out tall and skinny (and fall over)

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Fall garden 2015

We have no plans for the weekend, but that’s okay.  I know most of our grandchildren have parties to attend, so their parents will be busy with those things. Ed and I may take a day trip, somewhere, just to get out of the house again.

We haven’t seen our son, Brad, and his family in almost three weeks.  We don’t see them any more, now, than we did before they moved back to town, which is sort of sad.  They haven’t sold their house, so their weekend time has to be divided between two places, for now.  Their new jobs require more of their time, as well.  Perhaps it won’t always be this way.

Ed bought himself a pair of headphones for the television, this week.  That’s the best money he’s spent in quite a while!   Now we can watch television without having to turn the volume up so loud that it rattles the pictures on the walls–and he can actually hear what the people are talking about!  I figure if I can’t convince him to get hearing aids, headphones are the next best thing:)  On that note, I’ll just say–

Have a nice weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on August 14, 2015 at 11:09 am  Comments (4)  
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A Moving Hodgepodge…

After a week’s hiatus, for our hostess, Joyce, to do some traveling and get moved, The Hodgepodge is back.  Today’s theme is all about moving.  As you will soon see, moving is not a subject that is near and dear to my heart!  Without further delay, let’s get right to today’s questions:

1. When was the last time you relocated? Did you move yourself or leave it to the professionals? Are you happy staying put or is there a move in your future? Best thing about moving to a new city or town? Least favorite and/or hardest thing about moving house?

The last time Ed and I moved was in November of 2007, when we moved [next door] into our current house.  You may (or may not) recall that we renovated (and added onto) a game house Ed had previously built, then we moved into it, leaving our old home vacant. We did all of the moving ourselves, along with some help from our family.  Have I mentioned how much I hate moving?

Prior to the move, in 2007, we had lived in the same place [next door] for thirty years! Our old home place needed extensive repairs, so we eventually planned to tear it down sometime after we moved.  Our daughter couldn’t stand the thought of us tearing down the home she grew up in, and asked if she and her husband could move into the house, and renovate it.  We agreed, and she and her husband had all of the needed repairs done, over the course of a couple of years.  It’s been their home since 2008, and I’m so glad we didn’t end up tearing it down.  Sometimes, it’s nice to be able to visit “home” again.

I’d like to say I’ll never move again, but I don’t know what lies in the future.  If I had my wish, I’d live in this house until my death, but we don’t always get our wish, do we?

The best part about moving to a new place (house or town) is the change of scenery, and getting a fresh start.  This is also the worst part, for me, since I don’t especially like change.  Then, of course, there’s the unpacking and figuring out where to put everything…

2. When were you last ‘moved to tears’? Explain.

I finally got around to watching the movie, Dolphin Tale, a few weeks ago.  Any story about a creature in trouble gets to me every time.

3. Do you have rules about eating in the car…any forbidden foods? What’s the last thing you consumed in your car? Your go-to car snack when traveling long distance?

When our children were small, we never ate in our cars.  As they grew older, we occasionally ate in our cars, but the seats were always covered with towels. These days, our kids are grown, and our vehicles are older, so we’re not as strict with the eating rules as we used to be. All of that will probably change when we purchase a new car.

The last thing consumed in my car was probably a Wendy’s frosty.  Our “go-to” snack, when traveling, used to be red hots.  We don’t travel far enough to worry about snacks, these days.

4. Share a favorite song relating to cars and/or driving.

Eddie Rabbit’s “oldie but goodie”, Drivin’ My Life Away, comes to mind, and I’d like to dedicate it to all of the commuters in our family.  Three members of our family actually drive 60-100 miles, round trip, to work, each day, while the fourth member of our family actually drives a truck for a living, and racks up way more miles than I can count.

 

5. What’s your most frequently visited drive-thru…Starbucks? the bank? the pharmacy? some other window?

Our most frequently visited drive-thru is either our bank or Wendy’s (to buy a Frosty).

6. “He who hesitates is lost”…would you agree? When it comes to making decisions do you generally act quickly or do you more often than not fall into the ‘lost’ category?

I don’t agree in all circumstances, but in many circumstances I do.  Ed and I don’t like to “act quickly” concerning things, but prefer to “think things over.”  Many times this works in our favor, but sometimes it doesn’t.

7. When was the last time you got lost? Was it stressful or an unexpected happy adventure?

We sort of got lost in Brunswick, several weeks ago.  Ed’s always taking alternative routes, and looking for short cuts.  We didn’t get too far into our “alternative route” when we realized we’d tried this “short cut” before, and it didn’t work out for us.  We found a place to turn around, and, fortunately, didn’t go too many miles out of the way.

Random:

I have plans for the day, so it will be late when I make my rounds to visit everyone. Thanks for understanding. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with another photo of the view from my favorite spot.

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Published in: on August 12, 2015 at 8:04 am  Comments (9)  
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A Simple Woman’s Day Book Post…

Today I’m joining Peggy Hostetler, and friends, for another edition of The Simple Woman’s Daybook.  If you’d like to join in the fun, hop over HERE. to find out how.

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For Today… August 10, 2015

August 10 is mine and Ed’s only nephew’s birthday.  His name is Jeremy, and he turned 41 today.  We rode our motorcycle to the hospital, on the night he was born.  To say a lot of things have changed in the last 41 years would be an understatement!

Outside my window… the sun has played ‘peek-a-boo’ all day.  I see my two red hens walking around the yard, while my seven other hens are wishing they could join them.  I will let them out, too, as soon as they have finished laying eggs for the day.

I am thinking… about the television show,  The Astronauts’ Wives Club (ABC).  I’ve been wondering if this show is based on true facts, and I’ve recently discovered it is.  As a child of the sixties, I’ve been enjoying this weekly trip down memory lane– seeing the furniture, household items, the clothes, cars, etc.   I’m also enjoying learning more about the space program, back then.

I am thankful… for a lot of things, but, most recently, I’m thankful for the ‘Audio Bible’  that our oldest son, Brett, presented [as a gift] to us.  Ed and I listen to several chapters each morning, and are thoroughly enjoying hearing the Bible come to life for us.

I am wearing… a sleeveless [snake print] house dress, as usual.  After three years, I’m still not able to wear shorts, comfortably, during most of the summer months, so I continue to wear house dresses on most days.

I am creating…nothing, at the moment, but I recently hemmed a pair of slacks for Ed.  Does that count?

I am going…to visit St. Simon’s Island, again, sometime in the next few days.  Yay!

I am wondering…about a lot of things– what my back is going to do, the weather, when our son’s house is going to sell.

I am reading… a funny book entitled Old Age Ain’t For Sissies/Retirement Is For the Birds
I read this book, years ago, but I am enjoying reading it for the second time. It makes me smile.

I am hoping… the worst of the hot weather is behind us, but I doubt it is.

I am learning... how to live on a ‘fixed income’ since Ed’s retirement.  It’s been quite a challenge, so far.

In my garden… nothing is growing except a few sweet potato plants and a lot of grass! However, all of that will soon change since we recently planted some cabbage, collards, and lettuce seeds in starter pots.  By the end of September, those plants will have found a new home in the garden.

Most of my hanging baskets are beginning to look bad.  The summer heat has taken quite a toll on some of them.

In my kitchen… I am cooking pinkeye peas, rice & gravy, cabbage, cornbread, and fried pork chops for supper.

In the homeschool room… the grandchildren are getting ready to begin their classes, next week–in their homes, not mine.  I hope both have a successful year, and learn many new things.

A favorite quote for today…“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”  (Mark 10:25)  

A peek into one of my days… My day usually begins with a morning walk, then the feeding/watering of our hens and pets, followed by listening to the Audio Bible for 20 minutes, then eating breakfast.  The rest of the day varies.

One of my favorite things… right now, it’s watching Madmen on Netflix.  (It’s another show, about a group of Madison Avenue advertising executives, and it’s also set back in the sixties.)  Ed seems to have gotten caught up in the show, as well, and we usually watch an episode every day after lunch.

From my photo files… a photo taken on St. Simon’s Island, about 4 weeks ago.  This pelican and seagull sat on these posts the entire time we were there.  A bit of an ‘odd couple’, don’t you think?

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Thanks for hosting, Peggy!

Published in: on August 10, 2015 at 6:52 pm  Comments (2)  

A Few Friday Fragments…

It’s been a while since I wrote a fragmented post.  I’ve been trying to be a little more creative, lately, but it’s the end of the week, and my brain feels dead.  I feel the need to indulge in a few fragments today.

It’s been a week since our daughter-in-law, Jennifer, had to have a kidney stone removed.  Ouch!  As of yet, I haven’t experienced having a kidney stone , but I’m told it’s definitely no picnic.  Many women say that kidney stones are worse than childbirth.  If this is the case, I’d just as soon avoid the kidney stone experience!

I guess you could say that summer is ‘officially over’ here in our neck of the woods.  The students, here and in most surrounding towns, went back to school on Tuesday.  It seems awfully early and too hot to be going back to school.  I especially hate to think of the students sitting inside of those hot buses at 2:30 in the afternoon, but nobody asked my opinion.

Our oldest two grandchildren will be home-schooled, this year.  (It will be the 3rd year for Madison, the 1st year for Caden)  This means they’ll have at least another week, or so, of summer vacation. In fact, they spent the first day of regular school, this week, at a nearby water park!  If you ask me, that beats sitting in a stuffy old class room any day of the week.

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photo borrowed from DIL’s Facebook page

I’m continuing with the home PT exercises for my back.  So far, so good.  Some days are a little better than others, but, so far, my back pain has been fairly minimal, this week.  I hope and pray it stays that way!  Occasionally, my neck tries to flare up, too, and I take things a little easier on those days.  (I have a bulging disc in my neck, as well.)  By the end of August, I should know, for sure, if the exercises are working.

In addition to the exercises, I’m now walking ( about 1/2 mile each time) twice a day. I’ve made a promise to myself (and to God) to get out and walk as long as I am physically able.  I will never take the ability to walk for granted again.

Ed finally mowed down the last of our garden, this week.  This included the last of my zinnias, sunflowers, old corn stalks, and lots of weeds.  We only have sweet potatoes left, and, sadly, they have grown up in grass, so you can’t really see them.  We’ll find out, in a couple of months, if excess grass affects the growth of sweet potatoes. I’ll miss my zinnias and sunflowers…

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The chickens need something ‘green’ in their diets, so I planted some cabbage, collard, and lettuce seeds [in trays], this week.  After they sprout, and the plants are big enough, Ed will transplant them out in the garden for me.  There will be no more  planting for this girl!  My back simply won’t tolerate that much bending over, or even sitting on the Grasshopper gardening stool.

Ed and I spent some time with our three oldest “grands”, this week.  I would say “we babysat”, but there’s not much ‘babysitting’ involved anymore. They’re all getting so big, so fast.  I brought out the old wrestling men and wrestling ring that belonged to our sons, when they were small, and both things were a big hit with the “grands”. Watching the boys (and Madison) play brought back so many memories…  This could have been Brett and Brad twenty-something years ago!

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Well, it’s starting out to be a rainy, gloomy Friday, in our area,  and I have a dentist appointment after lunch.  What a way to kick off the weekend!  Things should only get better after that, right?  I hope so!

Happy Friday!

 

 

Published in: on August 7, 2015 at 9:02 am  Comments (4)  

A Tale Of Four Trees…

Several years ago, I rescued bought a tree that I found for sale in our local grocery store’s parking lot. It was the only tree of its kind, sitting among a few left over spring plants.  It didn’t have a tag, so I didn’t even know what kind of tree it was, but its beautiful heart-shaped leaves caught my eye.  The leaves reminded me of love, and I just had to have the tree.

Once home, I googled trees, and discovered I’d purchased an Eastern Redbud  tree. Imagine my surprise, when I discovered it would also have pretty little purple blooms the following spring!

I decided to plant my little tree on the western side of our house.  There, it received some shade from several pine trees, and I could easily see it from my kitchen window.  My little “love tree” grew quickly and seemed to be happy in the spot I’d chosen. Not too many months later, we built our chickens’ coop close to the little tree, and the tree provided some morning shade for the hens.

Everything went well until a couple of years ago, when we had to cut down most of the pine trees surrounding the little red bud tree.  Soon after, the unthinkable happened. 100_2766

Love tree #1 (now deceased)

Yes, my precious little “love tree” began to quickly shed its leaves, and eventually died.  To say the hens and I were upset would be an understatement.  We both missed our little “love tree”.

The following February, I began to search for another Eastern Redbud tree.  I found one at Home Depot.  The problem was it cost $39.99!  I’d only paid a few dollars for my parking lot rescue.  My sweet husband, Ed, offered to buy the tree for me as an early Valentine’s Day gift.  I thought a “love tree” was an appropriate Valentine’s Day gift, so I graciously accepted his generous gesture.

Unfortunately, my little Valentine’s Day tree failed to thrive. It put on very few leaves, that spring, and most of the leaves  it sprouted soon turned brown.  I basically ended up with a stick in the ground, which I thought was dead by the end of the summer.

Imagine my surprise, the following spring, when we dug up the “stick”, to replace it with a new tree, and discovered the tree was still alive. We hastily replanted the “stick tree” at the very back of our yard, under the shade of some other trees, where it continues living today. P1010268

Love tree #2 (our little “stick tree”)

Later, the same spring Ed bought me the Valentine’s Day tree, I found another Eastern Redbud for sale in the same grocery store parking lot. I paid $10 for the puny little thing, and planted it on the Eastern side of our house.

At the time, I still hadn’t figured out Redbud trees don’t like a lot of sun.  Needless to say, my puny little tree didn’t fare well.

This spring we were forced to move the puny little tree to the other side of our house, under the protection of some larger trees.  It’s doing much better, these days. P1010266

Love tree #3 (notice the bite marks on its leaves)

Which brings me to “love tree” number four.  I found another beautiful, healthy-looking Redbud tree at Lowe’s, this spring, and planted it close to the chickens’ coop (again) in an effort to provide some much-needed shade for them.

This poor tree has been struggling all year.  It looks refreshed each morning, but by the end of our 90 plus degree days, the poor thing just looks beaten down.  The free ranging hens keep the ground around the poor tree well fertilized and cultivated (I think they’re trying to help their tree along), but I’m not sure it’s going to be enough. P1010265

Love tree #4 (really struggling in this heat)

The jury is “still out” on the three “love trees” growing in our back yard.  Only time will tell if they can survive this summer heat and sun.  Two of the three are looking pretty good.  We may end up having to move the tree that’s planted closest to the chicken coop.

In the meantime, something has been spending a lot of time munching on some of the beautiful heart-shaped leaves of our trees!  So far, we’ve been unable to catch the culprits, but we’ll keep dusting those lovely leaves, in hopes that our “love trees” will not only survive, but, eventually, thrive.

Published in: on August 5, 2015 at 8:45 am  Comments (3)  
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One Less Bowl To Fill…

Since I last wrote, my husband, Ed, now has one less bowl to fill with cat food each day.  Now, you may be thinking it’s “Trouble”, the cat, from The Man With The Can stories, but it wasn’t “Trouble” that we lost.  It was one of our original “shelter cats” named “Smut”, who was several years younger than “Trouble”.

“Smut” came to live at our house back in 2004, when I adopted him from our local animal shelter, where I was  volunteering at the time.  He was about 4 months old when I brought him home with me.  “Smut” was just a run of the mill black cat, who stole my heart after his sibling “Ashes” got chosen for adoption and he didn’t.

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2004 – Smut (the larger black kitten) playing with Tabby (the small kitten)

When “Smut” was old enough, I had him neutered, but he still enjoyed rambling and partaking in a few fights, every now and then.  It was almost as if he still had some testosterone in his blood! I just know “Smut” would’ve made one heck of a tom cat, had he not been neutered.

Sometimes, in winter, “Smut” would sleep outside, in a chair, on the tiny terrace right outside of my bedroom.  He had his own cat bed and blanket in the chair, something most of our other cats don’t have.  Yes, “Smut” was special, and he knew it.

The years passed quickly, and “Smut” lived a good life, up until about a month ago, when it became apparent something wasn’t right with him.  Feeding time became an issue with “Smut”.  He’d hiss and growl at the dry food in his bowl, and act like he was afraid of it.  So, we added canned food to “Smut’s” diet, which helped for a short time.  As time went on, eating became difficult for “Smut”, and he began to lose weight, in spite of Ed’s best efforts.

“Smut” always loved to sit in my lap and be rubbed.  This hasn’t been possible, for a while, due to the back problems I’ve been having.  Finally, one day, week before last, I made a point to drag up a chair outside and sit for a few minutes.  “Smut” came over for a visit, and I noticed how thin he’d become.  He hopped onto my lap, and I sat and rubbed him for as long as I could. Little did I know, then, that we were saying our goodbyes to each other.  Within a week, Ed found “Smut” dead.  He buried him at the edge of our field, beside most of our other deceased pets.  Unfortunately, our pet cemetery is growing quite large.

As for old “Trouble”, of The Man With The Can stories, she is still with us, but has moved back to Ed’s parents’  empty house (again).  She stayed at our oldest son’s house for a while, but when they went off for a long weekend, a couple of weeks ago, she left!

So, after a brief hiatus, “the man with the can” is back feeding “Trouble” again.  The saga continues…  It’s a good thing Ed’s a very patient man…

*** I’m not sure how old “Trouble” is, but I’m thinking she’s at least fifteen.  Our youngest son, Brad, was a young teen when I brought “Trouble” home–and he just celebrated his 30th birthday.  “Trouble” has been living at Ed’s parents’ empty home for just shy of three years.

 

 

Published in: on August 2, 2015 at 9:34 pm  Comments (4)  
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