My Week In 500 Words…

Once again, I hesitate to write a post, since life is slow and normal, at the moment.  However, these are the kinds of days that keep me sane, even if they don’t yield much blogging material.

I’m up early, this morning, in fact, I beat Ed out of bed.  That rarely happens!  He’s been battling a cold for almost two weeks, so he needs the rest.  I finally ‘suggested’ he go to the doctor, yesterday.  He reluctantly complied, and came home with some antibiotics and some “nasty cough medicine” (his words, not mine).  I do hope the medication helps him get well.  Two weeks is a l-o-n-g time to put up with a nasty cold.

The weather was really nice for two days, this week.  Our temperatures reached near 70 degrees. Even though he was sick, Ed took full advantage of those days by doing some outside chores, like pruning the grapevines, fruit trees, and pecan trees.  He also began preparing the ground in our garden for spring planting.  No, it’s not time to plant, but we still had “greens” growing from the fall, and they needed to be ‘turned under’  (mowing down what’s growing and ‘harrowing’ it under the ground).

Seeing the ground freshly tilled gave me a bit of ‘spring fever’!  Ed and I will make our garden smaller, this year, because of our health issues, but we both still enjoy growing our own food, and want to have a garden.  We may find we enjoy it even more if we don’t have to work ourselves to death while doing it!

Once again, Ed and I had to wash the butts of our two oldest red hens, this week.  For reasons unknown to us, those two tend to accumulate fecal matter under their tail feathers.  After about two months, it gets rather disgusting.  I’ll  hold one of the hens in my lap, while Ed uses the water hose to slowly get her bottom clean.  The ‘girls’ are used to it, by now, and really don’t put up much of a fuss.  Of course, we always wait until the temperatures are on the warm side before we do this!

Speaking of ‘the girls’, egg production is picking up, with an increase in daylight hours.  Did you realize the amount of light in a day affects how many eggs hens lay?  I didn’t until we got chickens!  The hens laid a total of three eggs, yesterday, but only one of them made it to my kitchen.  One got eaten, another lay broken in the nest.  Did you know some hens will eat their eggs after laying them?  I didn’t, until we got chickens.  In fact, I didn’t know a lot of things, concerning chickens, but I’ve learned!

We’ve been going through the process of having our mailing address changed over, for the past two weeks.  What a headache it’s been!  Some places we’ve called, still haven’t changed the address, while others changed it immediately.  I had to re-order checks, with our new address on them, even though I’d just bought 8 new boxes, last year.  What a headache!  In the end, it’s all worth it, though, not to have to go 1/4 mile down the road, to check our mail, while four lanes of traffic whiz by!

I’ve exceeded 500 words, so I guess that means it’s time to stop writing. Until the next time…

 

 

 

 

 

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Published in: on January 29, 2016 at 8:54 am  Comments (4)  
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Saying Goodbye To January With A Hodgepodge…

 Is it just me, or has the month of January flown by in a blur?  Our January days have been relatively uneventful, but the time has still flown by.
As always, I’m thankful to our hostess, Joyce, for always making the time to host The Hodgepodge. If you’ve never joined us, and would like to, please click on Joyce’s button.  Here are this week’s questions:
1. Share a winter memory from your childhood.
The #1 thing I remember most, from the winters of my childhood, is being cold!  The houses we lived in, while I was growing up, were older houses, and they were not insulated at all.  Our homes were heated with fireplaces or gas ‘space heaters’, so parts of the house were always unheated.  There usually wasn’t any heat left on during the night, so I always woke up to a cold house!  I always got dressed for school standing in front of a small heater.  There wasn’t any heat at all in the bathroom!  We heated the bathroom with the steam from our very hot bath water.  Oh, and we had so many covers on the beds, you could hardly turn over during the night!  (I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I married Ed because our first home had central heating.)

2. What was on your blog this time last year? (Besides the Hodgepodge of course!) If you weren’t blogging, what in the world were you doing with all that free time?

I don’t even have to go back and look because I already know the answer to this question!  I was blogging about the early adventures of Ed’s “mandatory retirement”!  Believe me, there were more than a few twists and turns in those adventures, and I was never without blogging material!

3. Ellen Goodman is quoted as saying, ‘We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential.’

Do you see more flaws or more potential in your life at the start of a new year? Have you done anything specific this month to address either one? Does the new year truly begin for you on January 1, or is there some other month of the year that feels like a fresh start and new beginning?

At this point, I can see plenty of flaws in my life, but there’s still some potential here, as well. I’m trying to work on some of my flaws, but I haven’t tapped much of my left-over potential, so far.  The words of an old song come to mind… “He’s still working on me.  To make me what I ought to be.”

January is just another month, to me, although it’s a rather depressing month after all of the excitement of Christmas.  I’ve never been one to make or get caught up in New Year’s resolutions.

To me, spring feels more like the time for a new beginning, than January.  I feel “refreshed” with the arrival of warmer weather, some buds on the trees, and the arrival of early spring flowers in the yard.  Come on spring!!!

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4. Who’s an athlete you admire or respect and why?

I admire and respect Tim Tebow, formerly of the Florida Gators football team.  I think he’s a very talented, upstanding athlete who hasn’t been able to get a fair shake [in the NFL], in my opinion, basically because he’s an outspoken Christian, both on and off the field.  Singer, Blake Shelton, apparently agrees with me.

5. Do you like cream in your coffee? Whipped cream on your pumpkin pie? Cream cheese on a bagel? Sour cream on a baked potato? Cream of wheat for breakfast? Have you ever had a scone with clotted cream? Of all the creamy foods mentioned, which one sounds most appealing to you right this very minute?

My answer is “no” to all of the questions above.  The most appealing choice, to me, would be whipped cream on pumpkin pie.

6. Where were you last kept waiting for ‘hours on end’? Or for what felt like hours on end? How well did you cope?

I was last kept “waiting for hours on end” at the dermatologist’s office when I had Moh’s surgery done on my face, in December. (This surgery is time-consuming, and I was told to come prepared to spend the day.) We were only there about three hours, but it felt more like six! Of course, I was fortunate, because the doctor got all of the cancer on the first try.  I think I coped quite well, considering I had to have multiple shots [in the face], as well as a hole [the size of an M&M] scooped out of my face!

7. Believe it or not, when next week’s Hodgepodge rolls around it will be February.Huh?!? Bid adieu here to January in seven words or less.

So thankful January’s been an uneventful month!

Random:

I haven’t had much newsworthy to blog about lately, and I’m glad.  No news is good news, as far as I’m concerned.  I needed the break.

I suppose the most interesting thing that’s happened around here, lately, was Brad and Jennifer accompanying Jennifer’s “doctor boss” and his wife, on an ‘all expenses paid’, weekend trip to Orlando, Florida, to watch the “Royal Rumble” wrestling event. The trip was Jennifer’s Christmas gift from her boss, and it was a generous one!

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happy wrestling fans at the “Royal Rumble”

In other news, today is my sister-in-law’s birthday.  She’s been my SIL since 1963, but she was my baby sitter prior to that!  In fact, that’s how she and my brother met.  Kay’s the closest thing to a sister I’ll ever have, and I love her dearly.  She also reads my blog.  Happy Birthday, Kay!  I hope you enjoy your special day, and I am really looking forward to our visit, next week!

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Kay, celebrating her last b’day

Published in: on January 27, 2016 at 8:49 am  Comments (12)  
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Another Edition Of “The Man With The Can”…

When I first posted “The Man With The Can” I had no idea my story would continue for so long, or take the twists and turns it has taken.  It just goes to show, you never know.  Here’s some brief background.

Fifteen years or sixteen years ago, I adopted a gray kitten from Ed’s parents’.  I thought the kitten was a male, but it turned out to be a female.  I named her “Trouble”, and she’s lived up to her name.   Flash forward a few years…”Trouble” is a ‘loner’, couldn’t stand the other[shelter] cats I adopted, and eventually left home, ending up back at Ed’s parents’ house. By then, our youngest son, Brad, was living with Ed’s elderly, widowed, mom, so he took care of “Trouble”.  Flash forward a few more years…Ed’s mom entered an assisted living facility, subsequently passed away, Brad got married and moved away.  “Trouble” stayed behind, living at Ed’s parents’ house, where she’s been living alone (or should I say without humans?) for the past three years or so.  My husband, Ed, goes to the house and feeds her every afternoon.  He’s “the man with the can.”

Now, even though “Trouble” is a ‘loner’, somehow, stray cats manage to keep making themselves at home around her–at least for a little while.  The latest newcomer is a large, young black male cat.  He showed up, starving, so, of course, Ed fed him.  He’s been hanging around for the past 3 or 4 months, even though our oldest son has tried to entice him to stay at his house.

About a month ago, Ed and I saw a black carcass on the side of the busy highway that runs in front of Ed’s parents’ house.  Our hearts sank, since we both just knew the black cat was dead.  Later, that day, Ed took a shovel, intending to remove the cat’s carcass off the highway and bury it.  Imagine his surprise when he discovered the carcass belonged to a skunk! Now here’s where this story takes an interesting turn.

A few days ago, Ed ran into his brother, who’s also our neighbor, and they began talking about this and that.  In the course of the conversation, the subject of the black cat came up.  It turned out that “Black Kitty” belongs to Ed’s brother and his wife!

You see, a couple of years ago, there were five kittens, belonging to a feral cat who’d been living at Ed’s parents’ house, along with “Trouble”.  The feral cat left, and gave birth to her kittens underneath our son’s house, which is located near by.  After about 3 weeks, something happened to the mama cat, leaving behind five very tiny kittens, not quite old enough to fend for themselves.  Ed was doing the best he could, feeding them softened canned cat food, when, one day, an old red tom cat showed up and literally carried all five kittens into a thicket that grows in the middle of the family farm.  We later found one of the kittens at Ed’s parents’ house, and were able to rescue and adopt it.  I named her “Baby”.

It turned out that three of the four other kittens found their way to Ed’s brother’s house (I suspect with the help of that red tom cat), and were adopted by Ed’s brother and his wife.  All three kittens turned out to be males, and, eventually, the strongest and meanest of the three ran the others off, which explains why “Black Kitty” is hanging out at Ed’s parents’ house!

In thinking back, when “Baby” was still a kitten, a black kitten showed up at our house, one weekend.  The kitten and “Baby” spent all weekend playing together, outside, then I saw the strangest thing happen.  I saw that same red tom cat [who’d stolen the kittens before] sneak into our yard, pick the black kitten up, and drag him off, toward my BIL’s house!  I’ll bet that little black kitten was “Black Kitty”, and, apparently, the red tom cat wanted him to go “home”.

Epilogue: It’s been a long, long time since we’ve seen the red tom cat.  He used to come and join “Trouble” for supper, occasionally, but now he doesn’t.  I’ve often wondered where he is, and thought about how he “mothered” all those little abandoned kittens, for a time.  I believe there are angels among us, in all forms.  How about you?

Published in: on January 26, 2016 at 8:50 am  Comments (2)  
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This Week…

Lately, life has been sort of mundane around here, but I’m not complaining!  Give me mundane any day, compared to what we were going through this time, last year!  Last Saturday made one year since Ed got laid off from his job, and the year went downhill from there…

Ed’s been dealing with a cold all week, while I’ve been dealing with stomach issues for the past three weeks.  At first, I thought I’d eaten something that didn’t agree with me, but the problem has been persistent, even though it comes and goes .  When one takes prescription medications, a certain amount of stomach upset is to be expected, but I’m beginning to get a little concerned about this one.

The first part of this week, our weather was brutal.  Brutal for us, here in southeastern GA is 24 degrees!  Since my greenhouse is falling apart, most of my exposed summer plants didn’t survive.  A few tough ones, on the front porch, are still hanging in there, but looking rough.   I have one spider plant[hanging on the west side of our house] that I’ve had for over two years, so I brought it inside during the two coldest days.  Now it looks so bad,  I think it would’ve done just as well outside!  I’m not sure what happened to the poor plant, but we put it back outside as soon as we could.

Now that Christmas is over, and the weather is less than perfect, Ed and I have found a new hobby–jigsaw puzzles!  It’s been years since I’ve attempted a puzzle of more than a few pieces, so the first 300 piece puzzle presented quite a challenge!  Ed, who’s always been the better of the two of us, when it comes to putting puzzles together, even struggled with it.  Finally, after several days, we conquered the beast.

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We’re now on our second puzzle, which is only 250 pieces, but seems even harder than the first one!

I did manage to get in two walks, this week, for a total of about two miles.  I was happy about that!  Ed joined me on both walks, but opted out mid-way through the first one, because he wasn’t feeling good.  Yesterday, he accompanied me for the entire walk, though.

One day, this week, our two oldest grandsons came and stayed with us for a few hours.  They were sad because their cousin, Madison, was sick and couldn’t come over and play, too.  They said they were bored, but, the oldest of the two, Caden, who’s seven, helped us work on our puzzle a bit. (He’s good with puzzles.) They watched some television, I baked some cookies, and they finally played with a few toys before going home.

Our hens are finally beginning to lay eggs again.  We went for several days without getting any eggs at all, then, finally, one hen began to lay an egg, every other day.  Eventually, we began to find an egg every day, and, yesterday, we found two!  I don’t suppose it matters anymore, since Ed and I both eat “egg beaters” for breakfast, now, but I still enjoy finding eggs in the nests.  We will give most of our eggs to family and friends, now that we’re not supposed to eat many of them.

Our best winter layer has turned out to be “Dixie Chick”, our only white hen. You may recall, “Dixie” originally had a sister named “Della”, who was sick as a young chick, and eventually died.  (What an ordeal that was!) “Dixie” has become our flock favorite because she has more personality than the others.  She’ll come up to us for treats, and always wants us to scratch her back!  “Dixie Chick” lives up to her name, too, because she has a beautiful singing voice.  Ha!  She’s the only soprano of the flock, and her voice can always be heard high above the others.

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Dixie Chick, who’s apparently camera-shy

It’s supposed to rain all day, today, so I guess it’ll be another good day to stay inside and try to find something interesting to do.  Who knows, we might even get lucky and finish that second puzzle! It’s almost lunchtime, so I suppose I’d better get myself up out of this chair, and get busy.

Have a great weekend!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on January 22, 2016 at 11:33 am  Comments (5)  
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Chillin’ With The Hodgepodge…

I don’t know about where you live, but it’s finally turned winter in our neck of the woods!  We woke up to a chilly 24 degrees, yesterday.  Today isn’t a whole lot warmer at 26.  Come on, grab a cup of something hot, and let’s indulge in some ‘Hodgepodge’.

1. Speaking of skating…when did you last ‘skate on thin ice’, ‘skate over the details’, ‘encounter a cheapskate’, or just plain skate?

During 2015, I felt as if we were ‘skating on thin ice’  almost every day.  We seemed to go from one crisis right into another.  So far, in 2016, we’re just plain skating.  Things have been much calmer.

2. What would you say is the biggest problem of people your age?

I think one of  the biggest problems of people my age [I’m 61] is staying physically fit.  It’s hard to get motivated to exercise, especially in winter.  Then there’s also the problem of not being able to exercise due to medical issues.

3. What’s your favorite accessory? Is it something you wear every day, often, or only on special occasions?

I’m not a person who wears a lot of accessories, so I’m going to say “my wedding rings”.  Since I no longer work outside the home, I only wear them on special occasions.  I don’t like to wear jewelry while I’m at home.

4. January 20th is National Cheese Lover’s Day. Are you a lover of cheese? What’s your favorite dish made with cheese? Last thing you ate that contained some kind of cheese?

I like cheese, but I don’t love it.  My favorite dish made with cheese is pizza.  The last thing I ate containing cheese was taco soup, on Sunday night.  I sprinkled a little cheddar cheese on top of it.

5. What’s something guaranteed to make you roll your eyes?

Dealing with any kind of government agency is guaranteed to make my hair stand on end, and  my eyes roll.  The USPS immediately comes to mind, in light of the issues with getting our mailbox moved.

6. Your favorite book series?

I don’t have a favorite book series, but I enjoy reading anything written by Nicholas Sparks, and have a collection of his books.  I also like John Grishom novels.

7. Why did you choose your profession?

I’ve spent the majority of my life (30 years) staying home and being a wife and mother because it’s the only thing I ever truly wanted to do.  I have no regrets.

However, there was a time, when I chose to work in our local elementary school, as a paraprofessional, for 14 1/2 years. Originally, I wanted this job in order to be close to our children, who were all in school, by then.  The children and I had the same hours and holidays, and it worked out well.

Later, after all of the children moved on to a private school, I continued working as a paraprofessional simply because I loved working with children and helping them learn. Of course, the extra income came in handy, too.  I paid the children’s private school tuition or my car payment with my meager salary each month.

Random:

I was deeply saddened to learn about the death of Glenn Frey, this week.  I have been a fan of The Eagles since way back in the early 70’s.  Ed and I were still newlyweds when I first heard the song “Take It Easy”, and instantly fell in love with their sound.  I bought every album The Eagles made, through the album Hotel California, and I played them all to death!  I even convinced Ed to take me to see them [in concert] when their tour came to Savannah, where we were living at the time. It was the first rock concert I’d ever attended, and the place where  this naive country girl first smelled “pot”. Ha!  What an experience that night was!

Since I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, too, I’m well aware of many of the conditions Glen Frey must have suffered with during his final time here on earth.  I’m sure his death brought some much-needed relief, but I’m sure going to miss the man and his music.

Published in: on January 20, 2016 at 9:06 am  Comments (14)  
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“In Them Old Cotton Fields Back Home”…

Almost three months ago, I started this blog post.  Then, Ed had his heart attack, the day after, and I never got around to finishing it.  Recently I discovered the post, sitting in my drafts, and recalled that day we trudged through the briers and brambles to take these pictures.  So much has happened since that day, but I digress…  Enjoy the post and the pictures!

I mentioned, earlier in the week, how Ed and I planned to take some pictures in the cotton field across the road from where we live, but discovered the farmer was already harvesting the cotton when we got ready to take our pictures.  Determined, and not to be out done, we discovered another field of cotton about a mile down the highway from us…

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This cotton field is special because it’s on a farm belonging to some of Ed’s cousins.  The farm originally belonged to Ed’s Uncle Paul, who was Ed’s daddy’s only brother. Unfortunately, Uncle Paul was killed about thirty-five years ago in a tragic accident.

Late one night, Uncle Paul’s teenage son, Joey, missed the driveway as he attempted to turn off of the highway in front of their house. Paul got on his tractor and was attempting to get Joey’s vehicle out of the ditch in front of their house, when he was struck (while on the tractor, I think) by a passing motorist.  It was late at night, and the motorist didn’t see Uncle Paul or the tractor until it was too late.  Paul died instantly.

The night of the accident is forever burned in my memory because Ed’s parents were on a camping trip with my family, and us, the night the accident happened.  We were all awakened from our sleep by a Georgia State Patrol, telling Ed’s parents there had been an accident and they needed to go home.  We didn’t know who was in the accident, and were so afraid it was one of Ed’s two brothers.

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Several years after Paul’s death, son, Joey, was killed, too, in a motorcycle accident, not far from the family farm.  A dog ran out in front of him, causing him to lose control of his bike.  He wasn’t wearing a helmet, at the time, and he died instantly.

Uncle Paul’s wife, Betty, continued to live on the family farm, for many years.  Her sister, Lucy, eventually moved here from Florida, and lived in a residence on the family farm, too.  For many years, Betty and Lucy did everything together.  They were inseparable.  Then Aunt Betty came down with Alzheimer’s, and, after a long battle with it, finally passed away a couple of years ago.  Her sister, Lucy, passed away last month.

Paul and Betty also had two daughters, and both of them own and live on the family farm, today. The daughters took turns staying with their mother while she battled Alzheimer’s, and helped see about their Aunt Lucy, as well. One sister lives in the old family home, where she grew up, while the other lives in a residence located on the back of the property.

It’s great to have these pictures of Ed and me in “them old cotton fields back home”, but they’re made even more special by the family history involved.  By the way, this cotton field was harvested, too, not long after these pictures were taken!

 

Published in: on January 15, 2016 at 12:10 pm  Comments (5)  
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A Wintery Wednesday Hodgepodge…

1. Share one thing that really makes your day.

I always look forward to the hug and kiss I receive from my husband, Ed, just before going to bed each night.  It doesn’t matter how rotten the day may have been, during this particular moment, all is well.

2. Lots of these kinds of lists out there, but one found here says the fifteen most colorful places on earth are:

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy~Burano, Italy~Havana, Cuba~Rio de Janiero, Brazil~Chefchaouen, Morocco~Balat, Istanbul, Turkey~Menton, France~Jodhpur, India~La Baca, Buenos Aires, Argentina~Guanajuato, Mexico~Capetown, South Africa~Valparaiso, Chile~Wroclaw, Poland~San Francisco, California~and Pelourhino, Salvador, Brazil.

Of those listed which would you most like to see up close and in person? Of all the places you’ve seen or traveled in your own life, what would you say was one of the most colorful?

Since I’m not a world traveler, I might consider visiting San Francisco, California, but I’m not even sure about that.  The most colorful place I’ve ever visited would be Disneyworld, in Florida.

3.”Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Jack Canfield In general, would you agree or disagree with that statement? Why?

In my case, that statement is probably true.  I’m a very cautious person.

4. Imagine you’re stranded on a desert island and dessert appears…what do you hope it is? Do you ever struggle to remember which spelling is desert and which is dessert?

Some hot fudge cake, accompanied by a bottle of water would be just about perfect 🙂  No, I don’t struggle with the spelling for desert or dessert.  I must have had a good English/Spelling teacher!

5. What song almost always makes you cry?

The song, “When I’m Gone” by the husband/wife country duo, Joey+Rory, makes me cry because it’s so sad!  It’s also very appropriate for their situation.  (40 year old Joey is in her final days of  battling terminal cancer.)  Rory recently posted about the song, “When I’m Gone”, here, on his blog entitled This Life I Live. In addition to being a talented singer/song writer, Rory is also a loving husband, father, and excellent blogger!

6. January is National Soup Month. Everything from soup to nuts, in the soup, thick as pea soup, souped up…which saying most recently applies to your life in some way? Explain.

Well, let me begin by happily saying, none of these phrases applies to my life, at the moment.  However, I was “in the soup” most of last year, due to one bad circumstance or another.

7. Write a two word note to your younger self. What does it say?

“Spend less” or “Save more”.  (the end result will be the same)

Random:

Our mailbox saga continues…

About six or eight months ago, Ed set out on a quest to have our mailbox moved from the busy 4-lane highway, where it’s been located for many years, to the end of a small dirt road that ends beside our garden. (You may recall a truck lost control and destroyed all three of our family’s mailboxes, a while back.)  Over the last few months, we’ve encountered every excuse and circumstance imaginable, and had to jump through numerous hoops, in an effort to get our mailbox moved!

For instance, we had to re-deed the little dirt road to the county. (Ed’s daddy originally deeded the road over, back in the 80’s, but, apparently, nobody could find a record of this.)  Then we had to name the road, and wait for a stop sign/road sign to be installed.  Next, we had to acquire a new 911 address.  Last, but not least, we had to wait for approval from the US Postal Service to move our mailbox.  We finally received permission, last week, so you’d think our saga would end here, but it doesn’t!

Ed left a note in our mailbox, and waited for the mailman to come to our house on three different days, last week, to ask his advice about where to place our mailbox.  The mailman never bothered to show up, [but claims he came and we weren’t home].  Ed went ahead and moved the mailbox, on Saturday.  We filed a “change of address” request, last week.

On Monday, the mailman showed up, telling us we need to move our mailbox because he doesn’t have room to turn around, and he’s “not allowed” to drive in reverse.  Ed moved the mailbox–again.

The real problems began, on Monday, when we began trying to change our address, and kept getting an on-line message, saying our new address is “not a valid address”.  Apparently, the postal service hasn’t registered the new address they required us to have!  Sigh.

The good news is– the mailman is delivering our mail to our mailbox in its new location.  I don’t know how long it’s going to take to get the “address dilemma” resolved, but we’re working on it.

 

Published in: on January 13, 2016 at 8:49 am  Comments (13)  
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Catching Up On Monday…

I’ve just spent the last seven days immersed in Christmas decorations!  It took me exactly one week to put them all up, and exactly one week to pack them away.  What a relief it is to be finished!

Of course, it still looks a bit like Christmas in our house because the ‘year round’ tree is now decorated with snowmen and icicles.  That ‘year round’ tree is about the only thing around here that resembles winter, though!

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the ‘year round’ tree (and some of my snowman collection)

Whenever I look outside, it’s hard to believe it’s actually mid-January.    Our lawn is green, and needs mowing. New leaves are on the Sycamore tree, while one Japanese Magnolia tree is covered in blooms, and two of our Azaleas are covered with blossoms!   What’s up with that?  Our temperatures have been up and down, but not cold enough to kill the grass, yet.

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January blooms

I haven’t mentioned my face in a while, but it’s continuing to heal.  The surgical sites [from skin cancer] don’t look as good as I’d like, but they are getting better, as time passes.  I’m faithfully  applying Mederma twice daily, as directed by the surgeon, in hopes this will help reduce the scaring.  Time will tell.

Ed and I are trying to get back to our low fat, low sugar, low cholesterol diets, now that Christmas is over.  It’s so hard!  I have to confess, we gave in, last night, and finally tried the new pizza place in town (Marcos Pizza), which has already been open for over two months.  I felt a tad guilty for eating the pizza, but it was sinfully delicious.  Today, it’s back to salads and baked chicken!

I’ve been trying to get back into my walking routine, and that’s hard, too.  Ed and I only managed to walk twice last week.  It had been well over a month since we’ve walked for exercise. Since then, Ed’s apparently gotten in better shape, while I’ve gotten worse!  I could hardly keep up with him, yesterday. Only a month ago, it was just the opposite.  Clearly, I have my work cut out for me!

My back has continued to improve since my surgery, in September.  Some days are better than others, but, on really good days, I hardly have any pain at all.  I still can’t sit on our couch (or any couch, for that matter) for very long, without discomfort, and I always use a lumbar support pillow in my favorite chair, but I can live with that.  The best thing of all is being able to walk again, without pain!  The surgery was worth every penny it cost.

Ed and are trying to plan a trip to Florida to visit with my brother and his wife.  We haven’t been to their house in about three years.  In fact, we haven’t been anywhere, overnight, in about three years!  We have so many animals to see about, it’s easier to just stay home.  However, soon, we are planning to leave our animals in the care of our daughter, so we can take an over night road trip. We learned, when Ed had his heart attack, our pets can survive in the care of others.

That’s about all of the news I have today.  So far, 2016 has been delightfully quiet, and uneventful for us.  I hope the trend continues…at least for a while longer.

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frozen blossoms

Update:  I wrote this post last night.  This morning, we woke up to 31 degree temperatures and heavy frost!  Could this be the beginning of winter for us?  My frozen azalea blossoms think it is!

Happy Monday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on January 11, 2016 at 9:42 am  Comments (6)  
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A New Year, And A New Hodgepodge…

I’m in the midst of taking down Christmas decorations, a job I don’t enjoy, so I’m more than happy to take a break and indulge in The Hodgepodge!  Thanks to our hostess, Joyce, for giving me a great excuse to stop :).  Here are today’s questions along with my answers:

1. Are you ready for new? Is 2016 likely to be very different than 2015? Do you want it to be?

Yes!  I am very ready for the new, and I hope it’s going to be very different from 2015!  We’re off to a pretty good start, so far.  I’m trying to remain positive.

2. January 6th is National Technology Day. Currently, what is your single biggest struggle or frustration when it comes to technology?

Everything about technology frustrates me.  It always has, and probably always will. It’s the reason I still haven’t learned everything about Windows 8.1 or all of those gadgets on our new car.

3. It’s that time again…time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they’d like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, and general uselessness) in 2016. You can read more about the decision making process here, but this year’s top vote getters are-

So (at the start of every single sentence), conversation (as in hotly debated topics where we’re invited to ‘join the conversation’), problematic, stakeholder, price point, secret sauce, break the Internet, walk it back, presser, manspreading (common in larger cities where some men take up the entire bus or train seat by sitting wide), vape, giving me life (refers to anything that may excite a person or make them laugh), and physicality

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you’d like to add?

I’ve never heard it used before, but I’d banish “manspreading” because I don’t even like the way that word sounds!  I don’t like the word “vape” either, since I learned it refers to the act of smoking e cigarettes, which is ridiculous, in my humble opinion.

4. Share one of your current health related goals.

I plan to get back on my regular, daily, walking schedule, soon.  I didn’t walk the entire month of December, other than walking to and from the car in the back of the parking lot.

5. Let’s talk fifty shades of gray. As in the color. Gray is currently a popular color in home decor, paint, wardrobes, hair, wedding party attire, and more. Are you a fan? Do you have the color in some variation in your home or wardrobe? Gray hair, the old gray mare, gray matter, gray area…which gray idiom can you most relate to right now?

I’m not really a fan of gray, but I do have some gray in my wardrobe.  I can most relate to “gray hair” since I spent all of 2015 letting my old hair color grow out.  I’m a “salt and pepper” kind of girl, now.

6. Certain foods are considered ‘lucky’ if eaten on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Cooked greens to bring economic fortune, black-eyed peas or lentils also symbolize money, pork which symbolizes progress, fish for good luck, and if you’re in Spain 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. Did you eat any lucky foods on the first day of the year? Is that a tradition in your home? Of the foods listed, which most appeals to you?

We ate some cooked greens and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day, and yes, it is a tradition for us to do so.  However, we had smoked chicken, instead of pork, to go with it.  I don’t know if chicken symbolizes anything, but it sure was delicious.  I like black-eyed peas, and we eat them often.

7. What’s the single biggest time waster in your life and what, if anything, will you do about it this year?

Surfing Facebook is probably my biggest time waster, right now.  My Facebook feed is now filled with all sorts of ads, videos, and crazy stuff I don’t care anything about.  I’ll probably spend a lot less time on Facebook, this year.  Ed, on the other hand, has just gotten his Facebook account, and seems to be enjoying it immensely.

Random:

The anniversary date of Ed’s ‘mandatory’ retirement is rapidly approaching.  On January 16, he will have been retired a full year!  At first, we were devastated at the news he was being ‘laid off’, but, in hindsight, it was such a blessing!

The management company which took over running the hospital where Ed worked [and subsequently laid him and many other employees off] has now been terminated.  The company’s contract was up on January 4, and they were given the boot!

If possible, I think this past year has been even worse for the hospital than the last year Ed worked there.  I feel SO bad for the employees who continue working there! Their jobs have been in peril for many months, and still are. There are no answers, yet, as to the future of the hospital.

Although Ed and I certainly faced more than a few challenges in 2015, but I can only imagine how much more difficult things would have been if he’d still been trying to do his [very stressful] job at the hospital, too.  We were given a blessing, indeed.  Thank you, Lord!

Published in: on January 6, 2016 at 8:54 am  Comments (8)  
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Celebrating The End Of 2015…

I don’t think anybody in the world was more ready to say “farewell” to 2015 than me.  2015 threw more challenges at Ed and me than any other year of our marriage, but, as Ed says, “We lived through it.”  Praise the Lord for that, but I was still ready to bid the year a fond farewell!

Wouldn’t you know, 2015 continued to present challenges for us, right up until the end.  After taking down our outside decorations, on New Year’s Eve, we noticed how “shaggy” our grass had gotten.  Ed decided to mow over the lawn, after I suggested it.  He made exactly three passes around the outside of our house when I heard the unusual noise… and, just like that, a pulley on our fairly new riding lawn mower broke!  Ed says he should’ve known better than to mow on New Year’s Eve!

New Year’s Eve isn’t usually a big deal at our house, but this year our daughter decided to include the entire family in her New Year’s Eve festivities.  Everybody pitched in, and before we knew it, we’d planned a party.  I’m so glad Brandy invited everyone, because I think everybody had a great time!  I know we sure did!

Different games and activities were spaced thirty minutes apart, which kept everybody busy and entertained the entire evening.  Young and old, alike, enjoyed themselves.

Every thirty minutes, one of the grandchildren would open a wrapped box, that would tell us what activity we’d be doing.  Of course, the children loved getting to open those wrapped boxes, in addition to doing the activities.

We did a little of everything from playing a rousing game of “pass the present”, to taking silly New Year’s Eve photos with props. Check out the New Year’s Eve hats Ed made from wrapping paper, below.

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Happy New Year from the oldest “grands”

We played a few games of Bingo, played “candy cane pick up”, dropped a few balloons from the ceiling, and burned some sparklers, too.  The one game that got the best of me was the one where we had to suck up an M&M through a straw, and drop one on each of the twelve numbers on the face of a paper clock!

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I just couldn’t get that M&M to stick to my straw!

Oh, my!  Every time I attempted this, my straw made a “squealing” noise, and I’d get tickled–very tickled.  I’m not saying for sure, but I may have had to go home and change my clothes in the middle of this game 🙂

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soggy sparkler fun

It started to rain about the time the party started, and continued to rain most of the night, but about 10:00, the rain stopped for a few minutes. We let the children go outside and light a few sparklers, then.  It was a challenge to get those sparklers to light in the damp weather, but we were finally successful.  Once they got over their fear of them, the “grands” enjoyed the sparklers.

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 Happy New Year! (a little early)

After the sparklers, we released balloons from a cloth holding them up on the ceiling fan, and declared the party officially over.  By then, some of us were getting ready for bed :), but seeing those balloons gave the children a new bust of energy!  What is it about balloons and children?

As I was crawling into bed, the clock struck midnight.  Hello, 2016!  I thought you’d never get here!

Today is the fourth day of the new year.  So far, so good, other than the couple of days I just spent on the couch, recuperating from the holidays. Now it’s on with the business of taking down inside Christmas decorations, which will take most of the week.

By the way, our family ate lots of black-eyed peas and greens on New Year’s Day!  We figured it couldn’t hurt.  I’m hoping an upward trend continues well into the New Year!

Happy Monday!

Published in: on January 4, 2016 at 8:29 am  Comments (4)