One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure…

Ed and I are continuing to sort through the items left behind at his parents’ house.  It’s been a slow and painful process.  We sort in small amounts because it tends to make both of us a bit sad and depressed.  The thought of disposing of the things in the house makes everything seem so final.  At times, we just have to step back and take a break from it all.  It’s been 8 1/2 months since Ed’s mom passed away, and our feelings are still raw.

We’ve cleaned out and sorted all of the closets, cabinets, drawers, and other storage places.  Most things we placed on counter tops and tables so his brothers could see what all was there as they made their journey through the house to choose what they wanted to keep.  The past two weekends, the brothers went through the house to take what they wanted.

As I mentioned, yesterday, Ed and I were surprised at some of the things his brothers didn’t choose to keep–the flags from both of their parents funerals, and the aerial photograph of the family farm.  I’d asked Ed, early on, if he’d like to have his daddy’s flag, and he replied that he felt sure his brother would want it.  I guess Ed was wrong.

Most of what we’ve taken from the house were items of sentimental value.  I wanted Ed’s mom’s jello molds and Buster the cookie jar, while Ed claimed  the cedar chest that he made in high school, as well as his old bedroom suit.  I took back the set of china that we gave Ed’s mama for Christmas, one year, and I chose some stainless flatware to go with it.  I chose a few random dishes from her kitchen that meant something to me, too.

Ed’s brothers claimed many items, much of what I considered to be ‘trash’.  I guess you just never know what will mean something to someone else!  Of course, many things of monetary value were chosen, as well.

Many, many items remain to be disposed of.  I suppose at some point, we’ll begin to sell some stuff off, but the thought of doing this is still pretty painful.  Once something’s gone, it’s gone.  We both know how hard Ed’s parents worked to acquire the things they had.  Their home and the things in it meant a lot to them, and while those things may not be worth much to anybody else, they still mean a lot to us!


Ed’s daddy’s flag, along with one of his old caps

The over-looked flags have found a place of honor in our home.  I’m proud of the fact that both of Ed’s parents were veterans.  Those flags mean something to me!  Ed’s mom had her husband’s flag framed, after he passed away.  It sat in a place of honor, in her den, for twelve years.  Today, the framed flag sits in our home, along with her flag, as well.

I claimed the aerial photograph of the family home and farm, too.  It, too, will have a place of honor on the wall.  I still remember the tale of how the entire 30 acre family farm and house was purchased for $3000, back in the 1940’s!  The house wasn’t finished on the inside, so Ed’s daddy did the work himself.  We have old family photos of the family home, during different stages of renovation, throughout the years.  Ed has good memories of helping his daddy work the fields of the family farm, while he was growing up, too.


The family home and part of the farm (taken in the mid 80’s)

I don’t know what will eventually end up happening with the family home and the plot of land it sits on.  For now, only God knows how that scenario will play out.  The rest of the farm was divided between the brothers, before Ed’s mom passed away.  For now, the old family home sits empty and forlorn, with only ‘Trouble’, the old cat, to keep it company. She still considers it home.  We do, too.

Published in: on May 29, 2014 at 11:05 am  Comments (4)  
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It Seemed So Good The Way We Had It…

Every now and then a song will catch my attention, and express exactly how I feel.  The other day, I was watching GAC, when the music video of the song Automatic by Miranda Lambert began playing.  I hadn’t heard the song or seen the video before, and it stopped me dead in my tracks!

There was Miranda, in the attic of an old house, digging through an old trunk.  As she pulled out various things, she sang about things of the past.

Since I’ve recently been sorting through closets, chests, cabinets, and drawers at my late mother-in-law’s house, the song was especially poignant to me.  I’ve definitely been taking more than a few strolls down ‘memory lane’ lately!


Quarter in a pay phone; Drying laundry on the line

Watching sun tea in the window; Pocket watch, tellin’ time

Seems like only yesterday, I’d get a blank cassette

Record the country countdown, cause I couldn’t buy it yet


If we drove all the way to Dallas, just to buy an Easter dress

We’d take along a Rand McNally, stand in line to pay for gas

God knows that shifting gears, ain’t what it used to be

I learned to drive that ’55  just like a queen, three on a tree


Hey what ever happened to waiting your turn?

Doing it all by hand,

cause when everything is handed to you

It’s only worth as much as the time put in

It all just seems so good the way we had it

Back before everything became automatic


If you had something to say, you’d write it on a piece of paper

Then you put a stamp on it, and they’d get it three days later

Boys would call the girls, and girls would turn them down

Staying married was the only way 

to work your problems out


Hey what ever happened to waiting your turn?

Doing it all by hand,

cause when everything is handed to you

It’s only worth as much as the time put in

It all just seems so good the way we had it

Back before everything became automatic


Let’s put the windows down; Windows with the crank

Come on let’s take a picture; The kind you gotta shake


Hey what ever happened to waiting your turn?

Doing it all by hand,

cause when everything is handed to you

It’s only worth as much as the time put in

It all just seems so good the way we had it

Back before everything became automatic

Yep, Miranda and her co-writers have captured exactly what I’ve been feeling lately!  Whatever did happen to waiting your turn?  What ever happened to doing things by hand?  Now a days, we rely on machines to do everything!  Heck, cars will even park themselves now!

These days, things are so easy and freely given, people don’t really appreciate them any more.  People drawing government checks right and left… Children getting new stuff all of the time, instead of just on special occasions, like we did…   Kids with ipods, smart phones, or the latest and greatest new gadgets…  Teenagers all driving cars of their own–sometimes getting the car before they’re even old enough to drive! We’ve become an ‘entitlement society’.  Enough already!

As for the memories Miranda shares in her song, I can definitely relate to those, except I think I can remember when a phone call was only a dime!  Oops, is my age showing again?  My grandchildren will never know what a phone booth was, but they’ll know what a cell phone is!

Among the items I found while sorting through my late mother-in-law’s things:  some very old (78?) records, some cassette tapes, a ragged Rand McNally road atlas, lots of Polaroid pictures, and dozens of cards she’d received in the mail throughout the years!  Oh, and I also found a clothespin bag!  Those were the days, weren’t they?  If only life was still so uncomplicated!

To quote the chorus of the song, “It all just seems so good the way we had it, back before everything became automatic!”




Published in: on April 16, 2014 at 8:01 am  Comments (6)  
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Thursday’s Thoughts ~ The Apple Didn’t Fall Far From The Tree…

I’ve always thought my husband, Ed,  inherited more traits from his dad than from his mom.  Ed’s dad was always happy and calm. Rarely did you see him get excited over anything.  Ed used to be like that, but these days I see more and more of his mom’s traits manifesting in him.

Ed’s mom was what I commonly refered to as a ‘fliterer’.  The definition of flit is to move or fly quickly from one place to another.  For instance, if Ed’s mom lost a personal item, she’d ‘flit’ about like a bee until she wore herself out looking for the lost item!  In the past few years, Ed has officially begun to flit. 

The other day, Ed lost his pocket knife–again!  Ed was all in a tizzy (again) looking for his lost knife.  He even turned over his recliner chair twice before I finally yelled at him to stop! (The recliner is a haven for Ed’s lost items.)  A few days later, our oldest son was outside spending time with grandchildren, Caden and Madison, when guess what they found on the edge of our dirt road?  Ed’s knife!  Thank goodness, another  flit crisis was aborted!

Ed’s mom was never without a roll of paper towels or a box of tissues in her possession, at all times.  She usually carried both in her vehicle, and always kept a box of tissues beside her,  while at home!  (Ed must have purchased hundreds of boxes of tissues for his mom, during the last two years of her life.  He ordered them by the case!)  Guess who [else] always has napkins, tissues, or paper towels in his pocket or beside him, at all times?  Unfortunately, this has become a source of distress for me, on more than one occasion, while doing laundry without checking Ed’s pockets first!

Last weekend, Ed and I were doing some cleaning at his mom’s house.  In the process, I brought home some of my late MIL’s clothing that needed to be washed before we donate it to Goodwill.  I  proceeded to do her laundry–without checking the pockets first.  Guess what was in the pockets of several items?  Tissues and napkins!

While cleaning out some drawers in my mother-in-law’s kitchen, I discovered something else Ed has in common with his mother.  They both liked to peel the labels off of prescription bottles, and save the empty bottles!  How many empty, label-less bottles does a person need?  Apparently, Ed and his mom believe they needed SEVERAL!  The ones pictured below are just a few of  his mom’s former collection.


My mother-in-law had one other idiosyncrasy.  For some reason, she could never remember how to use the remote to the satellite receiver/television.  No matter how many times she was shown, she just couldn’t remember.  We finally bought her one of those really simplified remotes, but she couldn’t use that one either!  After she died, I found this note beside my MIL’s chair:


The other night, I left Ed alone with the satellite remote, while I went to take a bubble bath.  Guess who managed to mess up a recording of one of my shows, while in the process of watching a movie?

Like I said, the apple didn’t fall from the tree, but I sure loved that old tree, and I really love the ‘fruit’ she produced 🙂

Published in: on January 23, 2014 at 6:36 pm  Comments (7)  
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Friday Fragments…

Half-Past Kissin' Time

It’s been a fast-paced, crazy week at our house, and I can’t believe it’s already Friday!  I must admit, sometimes I get a bit over-whelmed by how quickly time is passing.  Every time I turn around, it’s time to refill my weekly medication dispenser!  I sometimes feel like time is running out, and I wonder if anyone else my age feels the same way.  All of this being said, since it’s Friday again, I’m posting a few fragments.


Yesterday was my brother’s birthday.  He’s nine years my senior, and to see us together, you’d think it was the other way around!  I always tell him that he got all of the good genes in the family 🙂  I wish I could have spent the day with him, eating a piece of German Chocolate Cake, which happens to be his favorite, but we live nearly 200 miles apart.  These days, our visits are fewer, but always special.  Sure hope he had a great birthday, and that we’ll get together again soon.


Every day, without fail, my husband, Ed, goes to his mom’s house to feed ‘Trouble’, the cat. (His mom’s deceased, but the cat still chooses to live at the house.)  Ed’s been doing this for over a year, because ‘Trouble’ is too old and ornery to relocate anywhere else. Anyway,  I hadn’t seen ‘Trouble’ in a while, so I decided to ride with him, yesterday, to feed her.  It’s a good thing I did!

Last summer, I ran out of freezer space while canning vegetables from our garden.  I decided to put the remainder of my vegetables in the side-by-side refrigerator, at Ed’s mom’s house.  (His mom was  living in an assisted living home, back then.)  While I was visiting ‘Trouble’, I decided to check on the refrigerators. (Ed’s mom had two of them, because her house has two kitchens.)  Lo and behold, the refrigerator with all of the vegetables in its freezer had stopped working!  The freezer had thawed in the top, but, thank goodness,  the bottom area was still frozen.  I lost all of our corn-on-the-cob, but managed to save everything else.  Praise the Lord!  If I had to give up something, I’m grateful it was only corn-on-the cob, which I don’t cook a lot of.  One more day, and I would’ve lost everything!


Speaking of Ed’s mother, it’s only taken the Veteran’s Administration four months to figure out the lady is deceased!  Ed filed the necessary paperwork, two weeks after she passed away, but for four long months, the VA has continued to direct deposit checks into her bank account anyway!  Finally, after numerous phone calls from Ed, and four months worth of checks, they realized their error, and contacted us to return the money.  That’s our government at work!  Better late than never, I suppose.


On Wednesday, I’d asked for prayers concerning our son-in-law, who has been out of work since just before Christmas.  Several of you told me you were praying.  God is listening, and possibly answering.  We’ll know more in a few days, but something could possibly be ‘in the works’.  I sure hope so!  Please continue to pray.  These are tough economic times we’re living in, and jobs (of any kind) are scarce.


Thursday morning, I had the opportunity to spend some one-on-one  time with our next-to-the-youngest grandson, Chase.  It was just the two of us, all morning, and this doesn’t happen often.  He just turned two, and is quite a character, guaranteed to make you laugh if you spend much time around him.

100_3443 (2)See that green ‘lovey’ in the picture?  It’s a frog blanket, and I’m always aggravating Chase about wanting to keep it for myself, because I like frogs.  On Thursday, Chase hid his ‘lovey’ from me, and had me searching everywhere for it before he finally showed me where he hid it!  Chase does things like that, and just smiles about it.  I believe we might have a ‘practical joker’ in the making!


Is anyone else watching this season of Downton Abbey?  This year, there seems to be a lot more drama in the servant’s quarters than in the main house–or should I say the castle?  Who would’ve thought it?  If you haven’t watched this show, yet, you’re missing out.  The plot is filled with more twists, turns, ups and downs than a roller coaster!


I got a new Kindle for my birthday, back in August.  I haven’t done much with it, because, honestly, it has been a bit overwhelming to me.  Why, oh why don’t Kindles (and computers) come with instruction manuels???  I’ve had a hard time trying to figure things out on my own!  Yesterday, I finally got brave enough to download my first e-book on it.  It’s a strange experience, reading without having to turn pages or hold a book open, but I think I’m going to like it!  The book I’m reading?  Lone Survivor, the book from which the current popular movie, by the same name,  was made.  Can anyone say, intense reading material???


That’s it for my edition of Friday Fragments, which I will be linking over at halfpastkissintime.  Have a great weekend, y’all!

Published in: on January 17, 2014 at 12:32 am  Comments (10)  
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The Jello Molds…

Ed is continuing to slowly work his way through the details of handling his mother’s estate.  Recently, when Ed asked me which things I would like to have, out of his parents’ house, my first answer was, “Buster, the cookie jar.”  My second answer was, “Your mother’s set of jello molds.”

When I first met my husband, Ed, those jello molds were hanging on the wall of his mother’s kitchen.  I was always intrigued by the molds, since only one other person that I knew had any.  (Back then, to me, jello molds were a symbol of prosperity! Ha!)  One day I asked Ed’s mom where she got her jello molds.  My future mother-in-law proceeded to explain where her jello molds came from and how she got them.

Many years ago, one of our town’s more prominent citizens built a home furnishing store in our little town (appropriately named, Dream Home Furnishings).  Charlie was a shrewd business man, which earned him the nickname of “Cheatin’ Charlie”.  Did I mention that Charlie was also our city mayor, one time?  Or that he built the first set of apartments ever located in our little town , known as Dream Home Apartments?

One day, Ed’s parents were in need of a new appliance. ( I believe it was a refrigerator or a washing machine.) While Ed’s parents were at the home furnishing store, haggling with Charlie over the price of the appliance, Charlie offered to throw in a set of jello molds, as a bonus.  Ed’s daddy bought the new appliance, and Ed’s mother became the proud new owner of five shiny jello molds.

Ed’s mother hung her new jello molds over her kitchen sink, and they hung there for many years.  Just like “Buster the Cookie Jar”, the jello molds were present for many great family meals around the kitchen table!  I can still remember admiring those shiny copper molds, as I sat, eating  meals with Ed and his family.

Some years later, Ed’s daddy built a second, new kitchen onto the back of their house, and the molds were then moved to the new kitchen.  They hung in their new place of honor for close to thirty years, and I continued to admire them.  As far as I know, the molds were never used for making jello or jello salad.

A little over a month ago, Ed removed the jello molds from the wall of his parents’ kitchen and brought them home to me.  The old molds were sort of like “Buster”– soiled and a bit fragile.  Ed gently cleaned the molds, then promptly hung them in their new place of honor on my kitchen wall.  They fit perfectly in the space I’d chosen for them!

I think of my dear mother-in-law every time I look at her jello molds, and I remember all the good times we used to have in her kitchen.  Throughout forty-three years, I never once dreamed that, one day, I’d have those jello molds hanging in my kitchen.  I thought they’d hang in Vivian’s kitchen forever, but, alas, time has a way of changing things.

Late Summer, Fall 2013 388

If you look closely at this picture of my daughter (on her birthday), you will notice five jello molds hanging on the wall.  The molds are hanging in their new place of honor– over the ‘picture’ window in my kitchen.  I’ll always treasure them, just like I treasure the fond memories of my mother-in-law.

Published in: on November 19, 2013 at 9:02 am  Comments (6)  
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Once A Mother, Always A Mother…

I still remember many of the talks I used to have with my mother-in-law.  She’d tell me stories about her children when they were growing up, and she’d tell me how much she still loved each one of them, even though they were all grown up.  She’d tell me how, one day, my children would step on my toes while they were little,  then, later, step on my heart after they were grown.  At the time, I couldn’t fathom what she was talking about, but over the years, I learned exactly what she meant.

When our youngest, a son, decided to move away, last year, I finally understood how mine and Ed’s parents must have felt when we married and moved away.  Ed and I were young and in love, and we quickly left our parents behind in a quest to make a new life for ourselves!  We didn’t have a telephone for many months, so our parents rarely heard from us between our visits home.  Somehow, it never occurred to either of us that our parents were missing us, and would have loved a phone call!  It’s no wonder, that five years later,  Ed’s daddy offered us our choice of land on the family farm, if only we’d move back home, which we did!

Just last month, when Ed came down with the shingles, and had cataract surgery, too, he wasn’t able to see his mom for several days.  I went to see her, and she was so worried about Ed!  There she was, ailing herself, but she was concerned for her son, and wanted to help.  I remember her saying, “If he needs any money or anything, just let me know.”  This warmed my heart, when she said this, knowing that Ed had been taking care of his mother’s financial affairs for the past three years.  Once a mother, always a mother.

Our oldest child, our only daughter, has been a mother for almost seven years.  Our oldest son, has been a father for nearly five.  Neither are the same people they were, prior to becoming parents.  I’ve watched both continue to grow and mature, as they care for and teach their children the things they’ll need to know to make them smart, productive adults.  I watch my children struggle and sacrifice to give their children what they need or want–just like Ed and I did, and our parents before us.  The circle of life continues.

Soon, our youngest, will become a father himself.  He has no idea of the ways his life is about to change, but he’ll learn, and I have no doubts that he’ll be a wonderful father, too.  He has a lot of his father’s ways.

Last night, our phone rang.  It was our youngest, Brad.  He was calling to say that his wife, Jennifer, has been admitted to the hospital, for observation.  She, apparently, is having some pre-term labor.  While she’d been at work, she’d started feeling bad, and ended up going to her doctor’s office.  The mother in me immediately wanted to get in the car and drive to the hospital to be with my children!  Instead, I called back with some unsolicited parental advice for our son–“Stay close to Jennifer tonight, she needs you.”  Giving unsolicited advice is what mothers sometimes do.

Hopefully, baby Evan will stay put a little while longer.  He still has seven more weeks until his due date.  Jennifer is receiving medication to help ease those labor pains, as well as steroid shots to help baby Evan’s lungs develop.  No matter what happens, it won’t be much longer until Brad and Jennifer’s lives take a new turn!  I’m looking forward to witnessing their journey as parents–a journey that will last until they take their last breath, just like Ed’s mom’s did.

Published in: on September 24, 2013 at 7:52 am  Comments (4)  
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Strollin’ Through The Past…

I used the word ‘strollin’ in my title because it was a word that Ed’s mom often used throughout her life.  She’d always refer to a shopping trip as ‘going strolling’.  She’d call me up and ask, “Kathy, would you like to go strollin’ with me?”  For many years, I didn’t know how to drive, and Vivian always took us ‘strollin’.  In later years, after I learned how to drive, I was the one who took us ‘strollin’–but we always had to go in her car.  Vivian loved her car!

It’s been a very long, and emotionally taxing week for me, as I’ve had the task of going through my mother-in-law’s personal things.  After forty-four years of knowing this fine lady, I’ve gained even more insight into her life, this week.

My week began by going to the personal care home on Monday.  I took several plastic tubs with me, and began the arduous task of packing up Vivian’s personal things.  The last three years of her life had been spent in that room.  It was a large room, the largest one in the home, and it was always immaculate, just like Vivian’s house was.  It was also filled with lots of things.

After several tearful visits with both the residents and aides, I was left alone to get on with the business at hand.  I began opening and unpacking drawers.  I’d helped move Vivian’s things into this room, now I was moving them out.  None of the drawers were arranged the way I’d originally done them, except for the bottom drawer of the chest of drawers.  The bottom drawer had been designated as ‘the toy drawer’, and I’d filled it with toys and books for Vivian’s visiting great-grandchildren.  She always told me how much the children enjoyed plundering through ‘the toy drawer’.

Next, I began to pack up the clothes hanging in the closet.  All were very familiar to me, since I’d shopped for most of them.  I’d been with Vivian when she purchased some of the clothes, others I’d shopped for, alone.  Vivian always loved pretty clothes.  Vivian had a habit of ‘saving’ a new outfit or two, for ‘special occasions’.  At her old home, it was common to find a new dress, complete with tags, hanging in her closet.  There, in her closet, at the personal care home, hung two new pants outfits, with tags still hanging…

Later in the week, I began the task of scanning Vivian’s old photographs, so the family could divide up the originals.  I wanted everybody to have a digital copy of every photograph.  As I scanned each photograph from over the years, Vivian’s life unfolded before my life.

There she was in her early role as an army/air force recruiter.  Next, as a young wife and mother.  There were a few precious photos of the two sons, who didn’t survive early childhood, due to illness.  There were several pictures of the outside of her house, some with the flowers blooming in springtime, and even a few with the rare, occasional snowfall.  Each picture documented many changes the house had undergone throughout the years.  Of course, there was Ed’s high school graduation,  his army pictures, and then our wedding.  There were several photographs of past holiday get-togethers, including many that included my parents.  Soon, I came to lots of pictures of grandchildren, and even a few great-grands, but then the pictures slowed down, just as Vivian’s life had begun to slow down…

Last night, I finally got around to sorting through Vivian’s greeting cards and clippings.  I never realized it, but she saved everything! There were Christmas cards, birthday cards, Mother’s Day cards, and even sympathy cards from when her husband passed away eleven years ago.  Many of the senders have since passed away themselves.

I even found a few precious birthday cards that her husband had given her, many years ago.  I teared up when I read those cards, because the words were so sweet and familiar.  Words of a husband professing his love for his wife.  The cards were usually signed ‘WAB’, her husband’s initials.  One was lovingly signed, “Old man, Willie Bacon”.  That was so like my father-in-law!

One of these days, someone in my family will be strolling through my past, after I’m gone.  They’ll find toys for ‘the grands’, perhaps a new outfit in my closet, too.  They’ll, also, find many photographs, cards, and clippings, but there will be one difference.  My precious birthday cards will be signed ‘Ed’.  Vivian and I were both blessed.  We both knew a special kind of love from two special men.  One was the father, the other his son.

There’s a song, by Alan Jackson, that reminds me of my dear, sweet, mother-in-law. If I’d remembered it, I would’ve had it played at her funeral. Instead, I’m posting it here, in her honor. The song is entitled, “I Want To Stroll Over Heaven With You”.

This song, “I Want To Stroll Over Heaven” was a favorite of Alan Jackson’s parents. In the video, he’s singing it to his mom, sometime after his dad had passed away. Alan had just recorded a gospel album, “Precious Memories”, for his mother, and this song was the final cut on that album.  Alan’s mom is the lady in the audience, who’s singing along.

Published in: on September 20, 2013 at 8:56 am  Comments (1)  
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A Peaceful Hodgepodge…

1. What’s the best thing about growing older?

Growing wiser, and being able to gain new perspective on things.  I’m definitely not the same person I was twenty years ago.  It’s also nice to be free from child rearing responsibilities, and be able to enjoy our children as adults.  Last but not least, growing older brings grandchildren.  They don’t call them ‘grand’ children for nothing!

2. When did you first feel like a grown up?

The day I married Ed and moved out of my parents house.  We moved sixty miles away, and only knew two people in the entire town.

3. Chocolate cake with white icing or white cake with chocolate icing?

Chocolate cake with white icing.

4. What’s the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for you?

I’m drawing a blank on this question.

5. What’s something you learned from your grandparents?

Unconditional love.  I’d love to elaborate, but don’t have the time or energy to do so today.

6. Wednesday marks a sad day in the history of planet earth-9/11…what’s something you do (or can do) to bring peace to your little corner of the world?


7. Share a favorite quote, scripture, or song containing the word peace.

Oh well, I’m tired and so weary
But I must go alone
Till the lord comes and calls, calls me away, oh yes
Well the morning’s so bright
And the lamp is alight
And the night, night is as black as the sea, oh yes

There will be peace in the valley for me, some day
There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray
There’ll be no sadness, no sorrow
No trouble, trouble I see
There will be peace in the valley for me, for me

Well the bear will be gentle
And the wolves will be tame
And the lion shall lay down by the lamb, oh yes
And the beasts from the wild
Shall be lit by a child
And I’ll be changed, changed from this creature that I am, oh yes

There will be peace in the valley for me, some day
There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray
There’ll be no sadness, no sorrow
No trouble, trouble I see
There will be peace in the valley for me, for me


I chose the lyrics from “Peace in the Valley” for a reason.  My dear, sweet, mother-in-law found her peace in the valley at 3:00 yesterday morning, when she passed away.  The past few days have been a struggle for her, and it’s a relief to know that she’s finally at rest.  Vivian was more than a mother-in-law to me, she has been like a second mother for the past 44 years, and I will miss her greatly.

Due to the circumstances, I’ll be taking a bit of a blogging break, but will be back in a few days to catch up with everyone.

As always, thanks to Joyce for hosting the Hodgepodge.

Published in: on September 11, 2013 at 7:05 am  Comments (7)  
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Finally Friday!

Half-Past Kissin' Time

It’s definitely been ‘one of those’ weeks here in our neck of the woods!  There’s been just too much going on, and most of it’s been crazy, out-of-the-ordinary kinds of things.  Broken washers, leaky ceilings, sharing cars, family illness, you name it, we’ve had it!  If ever I needed to “keep calm and frag on”, it’s today!

Here’s what I woke up to find, this morning–


That’s supposed to be the new bird bath that Ed bought me for Mother’s Day, but, today, it appears to have fallen victim to something, but I have no idea what!  Hopefully, nothing’s broken.


So, I took a couple of days off from my search for a new washing machine, just to see how my old one would do, after Ed and Brad finished ‘tinkering’ with it.  It worked fine for exactly one day, then started up its usual nonsense, plus a new problem presented itself, too!  Last evening, I settled on a machine to buy on-line, put it in the (virtual)cart at Lowes, went through the checkout process, only to discover the transaction wouldn’t complete!  After 30 minutes of nonsense, I finally gave up!  Today, I shall try again, but I’ll try with Sears on-line.  Can I just take a moment to say how ridiculous I think it is to charge seventy-nine dollars to deliver a washing machine???  It’s a pitfall of living in the country, and not owning a truck!


Ed’s mom has been having health issues for several days.  Ed was at the ER with her, from midnight until two a.m., one night last week.  Early yesterday morning, his mom was back at the ER, and was admitted, this time.  She has several things wrong with her, but most stem from congestive heart failure.  Her ninety-one-year-old heart is simply not able to keep up anymore.  The doctor gives her a diuretic to remove the excess fluid buildup around her heart, she, in turn, becomes dehydrated.  As soon as the diuretic dosage is reduced, the fluid builds up again.  It’s a never-ending cycle.


Recently, our daughter has been experiencing several leaks coming from the ceiling of her house.  Ed crawled up into her attic, last night, and discovered the water is coming from the drain pan of the air conditioning unit.  The drain had become clogged, and the safety switch hadn’t cut the unit off.  In her case, water was pouring, and it wasn’t even raining!  Ed blew out the drain, so we’ll hope that cures her problems.


At 10:00 yesterday morning, our oldest son, Brett, called.  You could definitely say he was having a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day.  To begin with, he and his wife had been without one of their cars for several days because one car was being repaired from an accident.  Someone kept sending the body shop the wrong part, which, in turn, kept holding up the completion of repairs.  Yesterday, Brett borrowed Ed’s mom’s car.

I always tell Brett to beware because Mema’s car is old and is subject to have problems.  (Last time he used it, a knot came up on the  tire.)  Brett was already late for work because he had to stop by and get some blood work done on the way.  When he arrived at work, he rolled the car window down to swipe his ID card, and discovered the car window wouldn’t roll back up!  Panic set in.  Next, Brett couldn’t find a ‘legal’ place to park, so he had to park ‘illegally’, and thought he saw a woman trying to get his tag number.  He went into work, and explained to his boss that he needed to go back home, to return his grandmother’s car, because the window won’t roll up.  His boss wasn’t  overly sympathetic, and couldn’t understand what the big deal was!  So Brett went and bought some Saran Wrap.  He tried to put the plastic over the open window, but thanks to the uncontrollable stickiness of Saran Wrap and intermittent puffs of wind, he wasn’t successful.  He even tried using duct tape, too!  By then, Brett is beyond frustrated, and tells his boss that he’s going home.  Back at the car, Brett sticks his arm through the open window to unlock the car.  This action sets the car alarm off!  Brett doesn’t have the key fob with him, and has no idea how to shut off the alarm without it.  A bystander offers to help.  Finally, after rummaging through the overly crowded glove box, Brett retrieves the car manual, and discovers how to shut off the alarm (use the key).  He calls it a day at work, and heads home…and I thought my day was going bad!  By the way, Brett got their car out of the shop, yesterday, but Mema’s is in the shop now!


I think it’s safe to say, everyone in our neck of the woods is glad it’s Friday!  And to think, it was only a four-day week!

I’m linking up with Friday Fragments over at halfpastkissintime, and I thank Mrs.4444 for hosting 🙂  Have a great weekend!

Published in: on September 6, 2013 at 9:23 am  Comments (8)  
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The 129th Wednesday Hodgepodge…

129 editions of the Wednesday Hodgepodge?  I can’t believe it!  As always, I’ve answered Joyce’s questions below, now I plan to hop on over to her place to see how my neighbors answered, too.  Join me on my journey, won’t you?  Simply click on the button at the top of this post to get there.

1. What do you think makes a good dad?

Someone who is a good provider for his family.  Someone who is loving, patient, kind, and never too busy for his family.  Someone who doesn’t mind taking a turn changing a diaper, feeding a meal, giving a bath, or caring for a sick child.  Someone who disciplines with a firm, but loving hand, and backs up whatever Mom says, (whether he agrees or not).  Someone the children can talk to freely, and seek advice from whenever it’s needed.  Someone the children look up to with respect, while growing up and afterward.

2. What’s something you learned from your own father?

He taught me, without realizing it, how precious life is.  I watched my daddy spend 6 weeks in ICU, on a ventilator, and at the brink of death–two different times.  I also watched him recover from near death twice.  I watched him go through rehab, and slowly regain his life, although his quality of life was quite different from before.  I’m thankful God gave my daddy those three extra years of life, so I could spend quality time with him.  Prior to that time, I thought my dad would always be there.  He died 22 years ago, on May 16, at age 65.

3. It’s your birthday-what kind of cake will we be having?

Usually it’s devil’s food with white whipped frosting, but I love almost any kind of cake (unfortunately)!

4. When you’re faced with a big decision are you more of a go with your gut type of person, or are you someone who reasons it all out, weighing the pros and cons?

More often than not, I’m a ‘go with my gut’ type of person, and this gets me into trouble sometimes.  It’s how I once ended up adopting 22 cats and 5 dogs from the local animal shelter!

5. June is National Dairy Month. What’s your favorite dairy item? Most often purchased dairy item?

Favorite dairy item ice cream, of course!  Most purchased dairy item milk!

6. Explorer Jacques Cousteau was born on June 11, 1910….what’s something you’ve recently discovered or something you’d like to explore?

I’d love to explore more of Florida’s beaches, especially the Florida Keys.

7. Are you typical of your generation?

Yes, I think Ed and I are both pretty much typical ‘baby boomers’.


Ed and I are feeling a bit over-whelmed this week.  The strain of dealing with the garden, plus the stress and added strain of Ed’s mom’s health problems  are taking their toll on us.   My MIL should be going back to the assisted living facility today, but her health is obviously declining. The doctor actually mentioned the dreaded term ‘nursing home’, but the kind folks at the assisted living home have assured us they can still take care of her.  (I pray they’re right)  As if all of this isn’t enough, somehow, one of my MIL’s hearing aids got lost during her hospital stay!  She’s pretty much deaf without them.

Published in: on June 12, 2013 at 10:18 am  Comments (11)  
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