Life These Days…

Lately, my life feels like a bit of a roller coaster ride.  There have been a few steep climbs, followed by several drops.    The months of May and June have not turned out quite like I’d envisioned.  I’m tired, I’m weary and worn, and it’s not just from working in the garden!  I’m weary and worn just from dealing with life, these days.

Lately, Ed and I seem to be surrounded by stress and strife.  I don’t know if God is testing us or if Satan is tempting us, but, lately, strife has been all around us!  This isn’t the kind of  stress and strife we had last year, when Ed lost his job, or we discovered we had termites and mold in our house.  This is the kind of stress and strife where certain family members are mad with certain other family members.  When things get done and said, and a molehill morphs into a mountain.  My head aches just thinking about it all.  Can’t we all just get along?  Apparently not.

The other day, I read a church sign that said, “Self control begins with tongue control.”  Believe me, truer words have never been spoken!  It’s so easy for the wrong words to flow out of our mouths, sometimes,  but it’s SO hard to put those words behind us once they’ve been spoken.  I almost wish people had safety valves on their minds/mouths, that wouldn’t let them take any action or let any words escape until the level of emotion decreases a notch or two, but, alas, that is not the case.  Sigh.  And so we deal with the aftermath and we give it time.

In spite of the stress and strife surrounding us, at the moment, Ed and I managed to have an enjoyable day on our anniversary.  The weather wasn’t suitable (cloudy/rain) for going to the beach, so we postponed our trip to St. Simon’s Island until another day.  However, we did take our usual anniversary trip to Kentucky Fried Chicken to celebrate our 44th.  It was early evening when we got there, so we actually had the entire restaurant to ourselves!  It was quite nice.

While we ate our anniversary meal, we sat and reminisced about some of our past anniversaries.  We’ve had some good ones, so we have lots of good memories.  Like the time Ed’s parents kept our small children just long enough for us to celebrate our anniversary with a quiet steak dinner at home. (It’s the little things, like silence, that mean the most, sometimes!)  Then there was the time our children were finally old enough to stay home alone, so we left them home for the evening, and spent the night in a nearby motel that had a Jacuzzi in it.  On one anniversary we took our daughter, our daughter-in-law, and our two young grandchildren with us to stay in a beachfront condo. (I guess you could say the honeymoon was definitely over at that point. Ha!)  Last, but not least, there was the time we traveled thirty miles or more, off of Amelia Island, just to find a KFC,  then got back to the beach with our picnic supper, only to discover we didn’t have any eating utensils! You can’t eat mashed potatoes and coleslaw without utensils!  Fun times.

The last time I blogged, there were three men on top of our house, taking off old tin, and replacing it with new tin.  They finished the job in only six hours!  Now we have a noisy roof, since the tin tends to ‘pop’ during the hottest part of the day.  The roofer says, “it’s just the tin settling in.”  All I know is we’ve never had any creaks before, unless Ed was up there walking on the roof!  The roofer came back and added a few more screw to the tin, but we still have creaks during the middle of the day.  I hope the tin “settles in” soon.

Father’s Day, 2016, came and went.  It was extra-special [to me] because Ed was still here for us to celebrate with.  I got up in the wee hours of Sunday morning and put a Boston Butt in the crock pot for lunch.  I baked a cake, and attempted to bake some cookies.  We went to church.  Two of our three children, and families, joined us for lunch, while the third stopped by later in the afternoon.  Ed received several nice gifts, and enjoyed all of the attention.  It was a busy day, shortened by the fact that several of our “grands” had to attend a VBS closing program that evening.  Ed and I went to bed early, bone weary tired.

Now the first week of summer is here, and we’ve been spending a lot of it in our garden.  Most mornings are spent picking/shelling peas, while our afternoons are spent canning tomatoes or corn that we also pick each morning.

I need to go to the beach so bad!  (I really need some time in my chair, enjoying the relaxing view) However, my body just isn’t able to make the trip, even if there was time to go.  Actually, we’d planned to go to St. Simon’s Island, today. However,  I’m practically running on fumes, and just didn’t feel like I could make the trip, then come home and deal with more vegetables tomorrow.  I keep telling myself– the beach will always be there, the garden will not (thank goodness).  For now, I’ll comfort myself with that thought–as I hobble back to the kitchen to ‘can’ a few more tomatoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Published in: on June 21, 2016 at 3:02 pm  Comments (4)  
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The Family Trip To Brad’s…

Our youngest son, Brad, and his family live in the city, about 55 miles away from the rest of us.  Every now and then, Brad and Jennifer invite the whole bunch of us over for a visit.  The Saturday before Father’s Day was such an occasion!  I didn’t get a picture of all of us together, but I did manage to snap a few others, which I will share.

We all drove separately and met up at Brad’s house.  Of course, being the ‘old farts’ we are, Ed and I arrived first.  Once the others got there, we feasted on a delicious lunch of grilled hamburgers and hot dogs.  For dessert we had two delicious ‘Cheese Cake’ choices, both of which were made by Brad.  I’d love to show you ‘the tool’ Brad used to ‘whip up’ his desserts, but I promised I wouldn’t!  I didn’t promise to tell what it was though.   Keep in the back of your mind that Jennifer has a beautiful red Kitchen Aid mixer in her kitchen–but picture in your mind, Brad using a whisking tool attached to the end of his red cordless drill…  Why?  I do not know, but it worked, and that’s what really matters!

After lunch, baby Evan needed a little nap, and, apparently, so did a few of the adults.  You know what they say about reverting back to childhood with age…  These two took their naps on the couch!

100_3945(I’m going to be in so much trouble for sharing this photo.)

While some folks took naps, others blew up floats and got dressed for swimming.  Jennifer checked out what was happening on Facebook.  I sat and watched the flurry of activities, which made me tired, just doing so!

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 I’ve become a big fan of ‘naps’, and probably could have used one myself!  Instead, I stretched out on the floor, behind the love seat (which isn’t pictured).  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to stay stretched out for very long because I was in everyone’s way!

Finally, all of the ‘nappers’ woke up, and it was time to head for the swimming pool.  It’s too far to walk to the pool, so we had to take four different cars to get there.  Again, being the ‘old farts’ that we are, Ed and I left the house first, just to get out of everybody else’s way.  We politely waited at the pool, in the car, until Brad got there with the key to the gate.

While waiting, Ed and I noticed  a couple of very skinny boys sneaking through a hole in the fence, illegally gaining access to the neighborhood pool.  If this wasn’t bad enough, once inside, they unlocked the gate, and let in several more of their buddies, too!  The pool was very crowded that day, which made me wonder just how many ‘buddies’ those skinny boys had!

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some of our family (except the girl with the football), enjoying the pool

Now, Ed and I don’t ‘do’  swimming pools anymore, nor do we care about sitting around in the sun like the young folks do.  I don’t think either of us have worn a swim suit since 2009–and I’m sure the general public thanks us for that!   We managed to find ourselves a couple of chairs under a nearby shelter, and tried to make ourselves comfortable–but it sure was hot.  Now, Ed and I are used to the heat, but there’s a difference in working in the heat and just sitting in the heat!

We watched the grandchildren swim for a bit, then ultimately decided we’d load up and head on back home.  Country life was beckoning us!  It was just as well, because about the time we were getting ready to leave, the sun went under, and an afternoon thunder shower blew up.  It began to sprinkle while we were saying our goodbyes!

The others stayed on a while longer.  Some eventually left to go shopping, while others went out for supper.  As for Ed and me?  We arrived back home in time to get a few things done around the house!  Brad and Jennifer?  They repeated the whole scenario, the following day, when they invited her entire family over for lunch!

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 candid shot of our sons, looking out over the pool area

Everyone enjoyed their visit to Brad and Jennifer’s house, and we appreciated them having our entire crew over for a visit. I know, from experience, how much work this can be!  It was a nice change, not to have to be in charge of anything–including cooking and clean up 🙂   I hope they’ll invite us over again sometime soon!

Published in: on July 8, 2014 at 7:40 am  Comments (5)  
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Kathy And Ed’s Most Excellent Shopping Adventure–Not!

A few days ago I mentioned that Ed and I did some Father’s Day shopping (for Ed).  FINALLY, I have a chance to tell you about our adventure!  I’ll go ahead and give you a fair warning-you will probably laugh!

We were looking for two things in particular for Ed–a weed eater and a garden tiller.  Ed’s had three (yes, three!) new weed eaters over the past year.  After a few months (or even weeks) the stupid things tear up and we always end up returning them to the store!  Thank goodness for extended warranties!  They just don’t make weed eaters like they used to.  Ed returned the third one about three weeks ago, after it stalled while he was trying to cut around some trees.

Anyway, we began our Father’s Day shopping while we were visiting our youngest son, who happens to live in the city now.  We were able to look at and compare some weed eaters, but we failed to find any tillers in the city!  I guess people who live in suburbia have no need for a garden tiller!  We decided to wait and do our shopping a little closer to home.

We actually went shopping on Father’s Day, the second time around.  We found a couple of garden tillers–but only a couple.  Apparently, the stores had put them on clearance because just three weeks before, there had been a big selection to choose from.  Of course, on that particular day, when the selection was so good, Ed was only interested in purchasing a weed eater.  Way to go, Ed!

Ed loves a bargain, and even though the two garden tillers were already on sale, he asked the store manager if she’d give him a discount if he purchased both a weed eater and a tiller at the same time.  She agreed to give him an extra 5% off.  Next came the difficult task of choosing which brand of weed eater to buy.

Ed quickly settled on another weed eater.  He chose one of the brands that he hadn’t already tried!  Choosing the tiller was a bit more complicated.  There were only two tillers to choose from, but one of them had some other attachments with it, while the other did not.  The tiller with attachments cost more than the one without, and while Ed hated to spend the extra money, he liked those attachments.  Finally the tiller with attachments won out.  I left Ed to pay for our purchases while I walked next door to a different store.

Now Ed hates using a credit card, but he carries one in his wallet, in case of an emergency.  He also carries what’s called a “Flex Card”, which is a type of card that we use for medical expenses not covered by insurance.  Before I left the store, I told Ed to put the purchases on the credit card, and I would pay for them at the end of the month.  So Ed’s all excited about spending all this money, and he’s also excited about whether his new tiller is going fit into my PT Cruiser…  In his excitement, he pulls out the “Flex Card” instead of the credit card, and swipes it through the store’s machine!  The machine says, “Insufficient balance”.  Then Ed realizes he’s trying to pay with the Flex Card!  A few minutes later, after Ed finally produces the correct  card, the purchase is completed.

Ed and the sales clerk decide that the easiest way to make the tiller fit into our car is to take the tiller handle off, so the guy goes to get a tool to remove the handle.  It’s during the removal of the handle that Ed discovers he’s just purchased a ‘front tine tiller’, when what he really wanted was a ‘rear tine tiller’! (the tines weren’t on, so it was an easy oversight)  So poor Ed has to go back over to the store manager, return the tiller he’s just bought, and buy the other tiller, which is a ‘rear tine tiller’!  What a confused mess, and you know what?  In all of the confusion of buying, returning, and purchasing the second tiller, the manager neglected to give Ed his 5% discount the second time around!  You can bet Ed wasn’t about to go back into the store and complain!!!

Ed got the tiller loaded in the car.  Meanwhile, I was in the other store looking and wondering what’s taking him so long!!!  Boy did I have some big eyes when he told me all that I’d missed!

So we made it home with the weed eater and the tiller, but was already too late to try out the tiller.  The next day, when Ed decides to give the tiller a try, he discovers that it has a flat tire!  He has a decision to make.  Do we spend twenty dollars in gas to return the tiller to the store where we bought it or do we go and get the flat tire fixed?  We chose to get the tire fixed.  It cost us ten dollars to get it patched, but that was cheaper than a trip back to the store (and a lot less humiliating!)

Now you know the story of Kathy and Ed’s Excellent shopping adventure!  It kind of makes you wonder what we’ll get into next, doesn’t it?  I certainly hope the tiller and the weed eater both stay in good working condition for a long, long time–and I’ll bet Ed does, too!  By the way, he purchased extended warranties again.  I hope we don’t need them!

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Ed with his new ‘man toys’

Published in: on June 27, 2013 at 7:42 am  Comments (5)  
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Monday, Monday…

Acting Balanced

1. June 17th is Eat Your Vegetables Day… do you need a special day to celebrate veggies? Your favorite veg?

No, I certainly don’t need a day to celebrate veggies!  I’m living in ‘veggie paradise’ at the moment (or ‘veggie hell’, depending on how I’m feeling) because, at the moment, we have a huge garden filled with all kinds of fresh veggies.

I like almost any kind of vegetable, but fresh corn on the cob is among my favorites!  In about two more weeks our corn will be ready for eating, and I’m excited!

2. How did you spend your Father’s Day? Or for those who don’t have Father’s Day on June 16th, what did you do this weekend?

On Saturday, those of us who live on the family farm (Ed and me, our oldest son & family, our daughter & family), went to the city to spend the day with our youngest son, Brad and his wife, Jennifer.  Brad grilled hamburgers/hot dogs for us, then we ate lunch and visited for a while.  Eventually, everyone (except for Ed and me) went swimming in the pool where Brad and Jennifer live.  While the others swam, Ed and I went to Lowes and Home Depot looking for Ed a Father’s Day gift (from me).  We were unsuccessful in finding one..

On Father’s Day, we had a little ‘mishap’ concerning one of “the girls” aka, the chickens.  That morning, when I went to the coop to feed them and clean out the bottom of their  chicken house I found an unpleasant surprise.  One of my hens was stretched out in the dirt–dead!  Without warning, she just died.  Poor Ed had to bury one of “our girls” on Father’s Day.  It wasn’t the most pleasant day to begin Father’s Day.

Later, Ed and I went out for a Father’s Day lunch together, then went shopping (again) for his Father’s Day gift (from me).  This shopping trip was such an interesting adventure, it deserves its own post later in the week.  The good news is we were successful in finding what we were looking for!  The interesting part is what happened during the course of the purchase!  More details later.

Ed received several Father’s Day gifts and sweet cards from our children later in the afternoon.  I think he had a nice Father’s Day weekend.

3. June 18th is National Splurge Day… if you were (are) going to participate what would/will you splurge on?

June 18th is our 41st wedding anniversary, so if I was going to participate, I’d take Ed on a romantic, exotic cruise somewhere!  Instead, I’ll probably settle for a day at the beach and be perfectly content.

4. What is the farthest you’ve ever traveled from home?

Memphis, Tennessee to see Elvis’ former home, Graceland.

Weekend Wrap Up:

Before leaving for the trip to visit our son, I blanched and froze several packs of tomatoes, okra and squash early Saturday morning!  While I was canning, Ed visited our neighbor, Farmer Danny, and picked a bucket of tomatoes so we’d have enough ripe ones (at one time) to can in the pressure cooker.  Ed also sprayed the garden and mowed the grass.  Needless to say, we were tired before we ever left home!

Then Ed decided to take an alternate route to our son’s house.  We missed our exit and got a bit lost–not once, but twice!  We finally made it there–about 30 minutes later than planned.  Then, being the ‘old farts’ that we are, we had to leave our son’s house earlier than everyone else, so we could arrive back home before dark, because neither of us can see how to drive at night!  We made it home with almost an hour to spare.

My question for you:

Do you like to drive at night?

Published in: on June 16, 2013 at 10:50 pm  Comments (8)  
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A Dedicated Daddy…

Our children were blessed by having you as their dad

When it came to giving, you gave everything that you had.

You worked two jobs to provide for us all

And who could forget all those years of “taking call”?

You were never too tired or too busy, you always said “Yes”

I guess that’s why our kids always liked you the best!

Our children are grown now, and have gone their own way

But they still visit often, and bring their children to play!

Our grand-kids think you’re pretty awesome, too.

They love jumpin’ on trampolines, and ridin’ tractors and scooters with you !

Yes, dedicated daddies (and granddaddies) are precious and few

I guess that’s why there’s only one you!

Happy 33rd Father’s Day, Ed.

You’re one in a million!

Published in: on June 16, 2012 at 11:11 pm  Comments (3)  
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