Sunday, October 17, 2021

Sunday Stealing

1.  What's something you've recently accomplished solo?

I sang a solo at Church this morning.  

2.  What's one product you use that never ever fails?

Cast iron skillet

3. Have you found your place in the world? Where is it?

You bet I have, right here

4.  Worst movie you ever saw?

I don't know, because if I hate a movie I stop watching it.

5. What's the last fun thing you did?

Finding wonderful veggies in my garden in mid-October

6. What's your favorite Italian dish?


7. Have you ever been to France? Any desire to visit there, and if so what would site or city would you most want to see?

Haven't been and don't want to go.  England would be nice, but truly, I'd just like to see all of the United States.

8. Have you ever been to Disney, any of the parks at all? Are you a Disney superfan or something less than that? They're open right now so tell us, would you go if you had the time/money/a free trip?

I watched the original Mickey Mouse club in the 50's.  I remember when Walt Disney was on Micky Mouse Club telling about his new venture that had just opened: Disneyland.  At that time I would have given anything to go, but I never wanted to go as an adult.

9. Your favorite place to go when you want to be quiet as a church mouse? Would those who know you well describe you as more church mouse or perhaps more like mighty mouse?

I can be quiet as a church mouse here at home, or I can walk out to the woods at the back of my place.  I have no idea how others describe me. 

10. Do you bake your own bread? Last time you had hot out-of-the-oven homemade bread? What's your favorite kind of bread?

I have a bread machine, but I don't use it often because we can't stop eating it until it's gone; I probably used it 3 months ago.  I make corn bread often to go with soup or beans, and I make banana bread occasionally.

11. What's something you might say is 'the greatest thing since sliced bread'?  

The Internet

12.  Share with us five little things you're grateful for today. Small blessings. One catch-they all must start with the letter T.

Tea... Earl Grey, especially.  Tractors, because that's what keeps my husband happy.  Tomatoes, garden fresh.  The temperature today (72).  Time, because I've had 77 years of it already and I intend to live to be at least 80 .  

13. Tell us where you were and something about what life was like when you were 20- 21.

When I was 20, I was acting like an idiot.  I married Cliff when I was 21 and straightened out quite a bit.

14. What's on the menu at your house this week?

Anything that sounds good on a particular day.  With the cooler weather, I'm making lots of soups.

15.Something you recently purchased where a coupon was involved? Do you regularly shop with coupons? 

I like the concept of coupons, but I always forget I have them.

You'll find this little challenge every Sunday at the Sunday Stealing blog.  Join in!

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Thursday Thirteen on a Saturday

I forgot on Thursday.  Better late than never. 

Vegetables I use

1.  Potatoes.  I've seen some articles that say good old spuds shouldn't be counted as a vegetable because they're unhealthy.  Well, they grow in the ground: that makes it a vegetable, I don't care what you put on them.  I come from a generation whose parents served potatoes almost every day.  I don't cook them as much as I used to when I had children at home, but Cliff and I love us some taters, be it mashed, scalloped, baked, or fried.

2.  Onions.  I seldom go a day without using onions.  I put them in casseroles, soups, potato salad, meat loaf, and so many other dishes.  I made a four-serving ham casserole yesterday that calls for two teaspoons of minced onion.  Really? why bother with so little?  I put half a cup of onions in it every time I make it, and it's delicious!

3.  Cabbage.  Boiled, made into slaw, or stir-fried... with or without kielbasa; a little bacon grease doesn't hurt it.   It's also an ingredient in my hamburger stew. 

4.  Carrots.  I'm hardly ever without them, and they keep well.  They're good in soups, or cooked with pot roast.  If I'm low on vegetables for a meal, I'll make creamed carrots or glazed carrots.

5.  Celery.  I'm not a big fan of celery by itself, although I will occasionally put some peanut butter on a rib of it for a snack.  But so many of my recipes call for it that when I buy a bunch, it seldom goes bad. 

6.  Sweet peppers.  Cliff and I are crazy about stuffed peppers, and they are also a frequent ingredient in main-course recipes.  They go bad really fast, so I dice a lot of them from the garden and freeze them in a freezer bag.  That way they are available when I'm making spaghetti sauce and chili in winter.  

7.  Broccoli and cauliflower.  I like broccoli with butter or cheese sauce.  Cauliflower is good with cheese sauce too, and it's nice to munch on raw or use in salads.

8.  Lima beans.  I forget about them sometimes, but we both like them.

9.  Green beans.  Ah yes, the old staple almost everybody likes.  My sister, the best cook in the world, once told me green beans are better if you just put a teaspoon of sugar in it per can (or for two cups of fresh ones), so I add that, along with a little bacon grease.  They are also good cooked with kielbasa.

10.  Corn.  I like frozen corn from our own garden, but I don't buy much canned corn at the store.  I do have a meat-and-corn bread recipe that calls for a can of creamed corn, so I usually have a couple cans of that around.

11.  Sweet potatoes, any way you make them.  Mashed, baked, candied or just buttered a little.

12.  Tomatoes:  Home-grown for eating fresh, and canned, chopped ones for chili and spaghetti sauce.  I like to make my own sauce.  I also use canned tomatoes for my smothered okra, speaking of which...

13.  Okra when it's in season.  Fried is our favorite, but we like smothered okra too.  Sometimes I slice some and freeze it; I'll throw it in most any vegetable soup or hamburger stew, but not too much, or it will make the soup taste kind of slick-ish.


Thursday, October 14, 2021

Things are working out

Yesterday I got my memory foam mattress topper; I get them for all our mattresses.  This twin bed I got was a pretty cheap one.  With the topper on it, I am sleeping like a queen, it's so comfy.  

When I went to crawl into bed with Cliff yesterday morning, my side of the bed was still made!  Obviously he didn't do any tossing and turning.  When he woke up beside me, he said, "I don't think I got up even one time last night."

Bingo!  I figured I might have been the cause of our meetings in the night at the bathroom door, and apparently I was.  This morning I peeked in "his" bedroom after I got up and again, the bed was still made on my side, not a wrinkle in it.  That isn't why I peeked in, though; I was checking to make sure he was still alive.  You might think I'm joking, but when you get to a certain age and still have your spouse with you, it's something you just do; Cliff sometimes checks on me, too.

In my last entry I mentioned worrying a bit about Cliff not being able to rouse me if he woke up needing any kind of help in the night, since he's at one end of the trailer house (deaf as a post) and I'm at the other; he has a few health issues.  A long-time Internet friend from the old AOL Journal days, Carlene, suggested I get a baby monitor.  I haven't gotten one yet, but that will solve the problem perfectly, and I'll bet I could get a used one for very little money on Facebook Marketplace. 

As for Gabe, I decided I can't sleep well with him in bed with me.  Cliff reminded me that we had an old pet taxi out in the garage that's the perfect size for my dog, so he sleeps in that now, although if I wake up at 3:30 and go back to bed, I let him out to join me for the last hour or so of my time in bed.  His big kennel is still in Cliff's room; that's where I put him if we are going someplace for a few hours, and it's still the one he takes refuge in if it thunders, or if he hears something that sounds like a gun.

Here's another thing:  I moved the Bose into my room.  It seldom got any use in the living room, but now I listen to three or four CDs as I go to sleep.  I already had a TV there, but I don't like going to sleep to the sound of a television.  I mentioned to my husband that I needed a clock and another Alexa; he told me to just take the Echo Show from the kitchen in there and I'd have both in one package; he gets good ideas sometimes.  I still need a bedside table with a couple of drawers, but I found a cheap used one on Marketplace that's exactly what I need if the lady ever answers my message, and she lives within 15 miles of us.  So I'm pretty well set up.  Cliff's bedroom gets neater all the time because I keep moving my "stuff" out.

I got my hair cut yesterday and picked up the few groceries we needed.  I was excited to actually buy some chuck roast, which is something I had given up on ever buying again!  Price Chopper had it on sale for $3.99 a pound.  Still ridiculous, but I took the plunge and spent $19.00.  There are two small roasts in the package; they will be a real treat, one at a time.  When Cliff and I first got married, you could get chuck roast for 39 cents a pound.  

  Autumn seems to have arrived for good, and I'm fine with that; this is the time of year I used to be depressed, but thanks to a tiny pill I was prescribed this summer, I am NOT depressed.  Just think, I could have had much nicer winters in the past, had I known there was something to help me.  

But now... 

Life is good.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Cliff and I are separating

Now that I have your attention... 

My husband and I both get up several times a night, me more so than him.  I noticed recently that we were often awake at the same times, and wondered if maybe when one of us got out of the bed, it woke the other; I asked him whether he thought we'd sleep better in separate bedrooms.  He said, "Try it and see."  

There was a time my snoring bothered Cliff, but he's too deaf to hear it now.

I should mention that because of my trouble sleeping (and maybe my snoring, too), he once wanted to go sleep in the guest room himself;  I just didn't feel like that was right.  A married couple should sleep together!  Besides, I told him, I'd be washing twice as much bedding.  And that was that.

Well, this time it was my idea, and I do believe it's going to work.  The guest bedroom, now MY bedroom, is tiny, though.  We've always had a queen-sized bed in there because that's what we had when we first moved over here.  Yesterday I looked on Craigslist for a twin bed and found one twenty-five miles away: a brand new, never-used mattress, box springs (or whatever they call them now, with no springs in them), and a bed frame for a very reasonable price.  We bought them.  

I made do with the twin bed last night by using big sheets folded in half, but I ordered twin-bed flannel sheets from Amazon yesterday evening and they have already arrived.  Tomorrow the mattress pad will be here.

I had slept in the queen bed in that room for two nights and slept pretty well.  Gabe has always slept in a big-dog kennel near my side of the bed before, but that kennel would take up too much room in my new quarters.  I let him sleep on top of the covers with me; part of the time, though, he got down and went under the bed to sleep, then he'd get back on the bed.  Now that I have the twin bed, there really isn't room for him, so I got the small pet taxi out of the garage today.  He can sleep in that beside my bed.  It's not so big, and I can put it in the closet during the day.  He thinks he's walking in tall cotton, sleeping with me.

I told Cliff not to be surprised if he wakes up one cold winter night and finds me beside him, though.  I may need the benefits of his body heat.  And I still crawl in beside him when I'm waking him up every morning, screaming in his good ear to make conversation... because, you know, he can't wear hearing aids in bed.

The only person who has used the spare bedroom in the last few years is our son when he makes his annual visit, and I'm not sure he will like the twin bed.  However, his son lives next door in the old house and has three bedrooms upstairs, so it isn't like he'll be forced to use my little bed if he doesn't want to.

The grandson doesn't think this experiment will last.  If it doesn't, it's no big deal, but so far, so good.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Sunday Stealing

1. Who is your favorite singer?  What do you like about him or her?

Dolly Parton.  If I could choose anybody's singing voice, I'd choose hers.  To my mind, she has the voice of an angel. 

2. Write about your first memory of going to the doctor.

The time I was seven years old and I got sick, vomiting for no reason.  We went to Dr. Croxdale in Villisca, Iowa and he couldn't figure out what was wrong.  I was put in some little local hospital for several days, being fed through my veins, still vomiting.  Whatever was wrong with me, I got better and went home after a week in the hospital, never knowing what my problem was.  

We did NOT go to a doctor unless there was something terribly wrong, which is probably why I was seven before I had a doctor experience I remember.

3. Write a poem about writing poems.

When it comes to writing poems, I've always thought I could, 

But one thing I'll confess to:  Not all of them are good.

4. Write a poem about vacations.

We don’t have the money to go on vacation.

Besides, it’s quite pleasant at home.

I’ll leave it to others to travel this nation:

The pasture’s as far as we’ll roam.

 5. What is something interesting that no one knows about you?

I've blogged about everything, it seems.  But most people may not know how hard it is for me to just be a decent person and show some grace to every human.

6.Why is it so important to help other people in need?

If I don't, who will?  Honestly, I need to be a lot more helpful to others than I am.  I live so much of the time in my own head, I tend to be pretty self-centered.   

7.Would you rather finish a project early or do it at the last minute?  Why?

I no longer have projects because I never finished them anyhow.    

8. If you had three months left to live, what would you do?

Exactly what I'm already doing every day.  I love my life.     

9. If you could be a flavor of ice cream, what flavor would you be?  Why?

This is too ridiculous to answer.  Next question, please.    

10. What is the hardest thing about being a kid?

Having to behave and be told what to do all the time.  And the fact that people don't always believe a kid who is telling the truth.

11. Would you rather be tall or short?  Why?

I'm rather tall at 5'7".  I like my height.  I feel sorry for short people because they need less calories than tall people, so it's easier for them to put on extra pounds.    

12. What is the greatest challenge facing people in our world today?

Accepting that we all have a right to our own opinions; if we could learn to do that, we'd get along much better.  We need tolerance.      

13.What is the scariest experience you’ve ever had?

We've had some close calls when we had the motorcycle.  A couple of those were pretty scary.      

14. Write a poem about music.

My tastes are somewhat limited in music of all kinds; 

It’s country, blues, and gospel songs that live within my mind, 

And also old-time standards, as sung by Frank and Bing

My rowdy side likes Janis Joplin’s screaming way to sing.

15. Write about a favorite memory of something you did with your best friend.  

I've been married to my best friend for fifty-five years, and made so many memories I wouldn't know where to start.  

If you'd like to participate in the thievery, You'll find the Sunday Stealing blog HERE.


Friday, October 08, 2021

Cooking while blogging

I pulled up a two-pound turnip this morning, which made almost a pan-full of Thanksgiving Day Creamed Turnips which I'll have gone by tomorrow, I'm sure.  Cliff doesn't like turnips.  

Now I have some smothered okra cooking.  When I have tomatoes, I use some from the garden.  Now, though, I just open up a can or two of tomatoes.  Cliff ate the better part of the last double-batch I made, so I'm making more.  It's actually done, I just have to cook it down so it will stay in its place when we put it on our plates, instead of the liquid running all over.   

I will also be making some stir-fried zucchini and onions before we eat at noon (dinner), since my August planting of zucchini is producing like mad.  AND... we have four stuffed peppers left from yesterday.  Yes, it's too many things for one meal; but I don't cook in the evening, and when we're raiding the refrigerator we'll have some things to choose from.   The creamed turnips will be all mine! 

We are hoping to go to Arkansas later this month to see the fall foliage.  I've been plotting and planning where to go and what to do.  We will eat at the home of the Throwed Rolls, Lamberts.  A blogger friend had mentioned a place to eat in Springfield, Missouri that I thought we might try, but when I googled it I saw they are mainly a sandwich and hamburger place, and I'd rather eat burgers and sandwiches at home.  So we'll go to Lamberts.  We'll take Gabe to Bed and Bones; we will probably only be gone for a couple of nights and days.  I always think it would be fun to take the dog, then I think about going in to eat someplace and leaving him in the car.  He's very happy at Bed and Bones, so I don't worry about him there.  The oldest granddaughter used to watch him sometimes, but she has moved farther away now.

OK, I have a second load of clothes to hang on the line, then get to the zucchini.  I hope my readers are having as nice a day as I am. 

Thursday, October 07, 2021

Thursday 13

THURSDAY THIRTEEN: Some of the unforgettable books I've read, in no particular order

1.  The Good Earth, by Pearl Buck

2.  An Hour Before Daylight, by Jimmy Carter

3.  Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand 

4. Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, by James McBride

5.  The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson

6.  Considering the Horse:  Tales of Problems Solved & Lessons         Learned, by Mark Rashid

7.  Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand

8.  Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen

9.  Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger

10.  The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini 

11.  A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini

12.  American Dirt, by Jeanine Cummins

13.  Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls

Choose any topic you want.  If you like, you can share the link to yours at the Thursday Thirteen blog.


Monday, October 04, 2021

Nothing to say, but I'm saying it anyway.

Back to autumn weather again,  This morning it was 44° when I got up, and still in the mid-40's when Gabe and I walked.  Did I wear shoes, you ask?  Nope.  I did this video of my feet walking, and I see I was walking faster than normal; cool weather makes me walk faster without even thinking about it, then my knees are sore the next day.  There are always seeds and leaves and such sticking to my feet when we get done, but I just rinse them off at the outside faucet.  

Gabe got off into the stickers again.  When we got back to the house, I slowly pulled each sticker, one by one.  Most of them were the straight kind that don't hang on to dog hair.  I spent quite a while getting them out, and he didn't mind it too much because it didn't hurt him.

I'm sure it will get worse when his hair is all grown out for the Schnauzer cut, but I'll bet he'll be warmer when he goes outside this winter.  Last year I kept thinking I'd get him some doggie pajamas, but I believe his new "do" will keep him warm enough to sleep at 60 degrees, which is where we set the furnace for sleeping.

Cliff and I got our booster shot at CVS in Lexington today.  We were going to get flu shots too, but the lady giving the shots said she thought it would be better if we waited at least a week for that.

I'll shout it to the world!  I'm not afraid shots are going to kill me, abort babies, put chips in my body, or any other kind of nonsense.  Some of the people out there remind me of spoiled five-year-olds folding their arms across their chests and saying, "I don't HAVE to and you can't MAKE me."

I have been feeling pretty feisty with the cooler temperatures we have.  Can you tell?

Hey, the Chiefs won yesterday.  Cliff never liked football until 1974 when we moved to north Missouri for awhile; there were only a couple TV channels, and not much worth watching, so he decided to learn to like football, which didn't take him long.  At that time, I would have never thought a time would come when I'd sit beside him yelling for the Kansas City Chiefs, but I'm a confirmed fan now.  I don't care about any other teams, but I've gotten attached to the individual players; the guys on the team are what keep me watching.  Watching Tyreek running like a whirlwind, or Pat Mahomes throwing a football to Kelce, makes my day.  And who doesn't love Coach "teddy bear" Andy Reid?

Cliff finished his recent book and asked me to find him another one to read on the iPad.  I immediately thought of one I read in the past that he would love; I figured it would be available, since it was published in 2003.  Well, obviously it's still in demand, because there's at least a two-week wait for it, even with many copies in use.  Cliff needs a book the next day after he finishes one because he doesn't like to ride the recumbent bike without something to pass the time.  I put a hold on that book (The Devil in the White City), then found him another for now about the search for Abraham Lincoln's killer.  He likes non-fiction, and I'm getting very good at finding books that appeal to him.  I can't wait until he gets hold of that first book, though.  It's one of the best I've ever read.

Enough of my scattered thoughts!  


Sunday, October 03, 2021

Sunday Stealing


1. Do you like bleu cheese?

It isn't something I would buy, but I could eat it.  But who cares to know that?  Nobody I know.

2. Coke or Pepsi?

I've never been much of a "pop" drinker.  Now the only time I have it is when we eat a Whopper meal at Burger King; I always get a Coke with my meal, because somehow it goes great with burgers and fries.  That would be probably once a month, on average. 

3. Do you own a gun?

Cliff does, and what's his is mine, I suppose.  I'm too clumsy to use a gun; I'd probably end up shooting myself.

4. Hot dogs or cheeseburgers? 

Cheeseburgers that I make myself at home, but I like hot dogs too.

5. Favorite type of food?

Old-fashioned farm-type food like my mother and aunts cooked.  Once in awhile I get a yen for pizza, but that's not often.  Oh, and fruit.  I love fruit.

6. What do you drink in the morning?

Two cups of Earl Grey Twinings.  The rest of the day I settle for Lipton or herb teas of some sort.

 7. Can you do a 100 pushups?

I couldn't even do that in my prime. 

8. Tattoos?

One; I got it nine years ago, I think.  You can read the story of my tattoo HERE, and see a picture of me getting the tattoo.  

9. Do you wear glasses?  


10. Phobia?

Driving.  That's why I've never had a driver's license. 

11. Piercings?

My ears were pierced long ago, but I'm allergic to everything from stainless steel to solid gold, so I could never wear earrings.  My daughter inherited this same allergy. 

12. Can you whistle?

Not at all, and people make fun of the way I look when I try to whistle, so I don't try. 

13. Surgeries?

A tubal ligation after I'd had my two babies and three knee surgeries. 

14. Like gambling?

Only those scratch lottery cards, once in a blue moon (even though I seldom win anything over a dollar).

15. Do you like to dance?

I would have loved to learn to dance as a teenager, but my parents didn't approve of dancing.  It doesn't matter, because I was such a loner as a teenager, I wouldn't have gone anywhere to dance anyhow.

Friday, October 01, 2021

Garden triumphs, garden failures

I can't believe I'm still getting green beans from the garden; not only that, I'm getting enough to share with my friend, Paula, who said the bagful of green beans I gave her this morning was more than her garden gave her all year.  The ones I picked yesterday were better quality than I've had all summer, and we'll be having our share of them for the next couple days.  Green beans have always been one of the easiest thing for me to grow, but we've not had much rain all summer.  That has affected all growing things.  At least the grass and trees stayed green, so it's been a pretty, although very dry, season. 

In the foreground you can see turnips growing, but the next row are the old, tired green bean plants.  We got about 3/10 an inch of rain last night, so maybe we'll get still more green beans.

I threw caution to the winds several weeks ago and planted a new row of green beans.  At least half the plants didn't do well, but the ones that remain are now flowering!  If it doesn't freeze for a couple weeks, I could very easily have beans from those plants.  It's amazing, really.  That's zucchini, on the left.  I think there are only about eight green bean plants, so even if it doesn't frost, I probably won't get enough to use.

That tiny zucchini is around five inches long.  You don't often see zucchini growing in the autumn, but I believe I'll be eating some zucchini before long!  When I plant it in spring and summer, squash bugs kill the plants after I've had one or two.  And people who offer to give me some always let them get huge.  I like them no bigger than eight inches long.  You can buy them at the store, of course, but they've been around so long they aren't even shiny any more.  I hope squash bugs aren't around in autumn.

See how tall my okra is?  I have to lift about my head to pick some of them.  Yes, I have some cabbages too, but unfortunately the cabbage worms outlasted my Sevin dust and there's none in the stores now.  I did bring one huge head of cabbage in and, I think, got all the worms off it, leaving plenty of cabbage to use. 

There are my strawberry plants, still sending out runners... except for three or four slackers that tried to die; they are healthy plants now, but I doubt if they'll put any runners out.  I had to pull the soaker hose away from them to let the runners spread out.  The tiller is back there, covered from the rain, but I'm done with it.  I told Cliff he may as well put it away for winter.

I love that big, six-inches-across Hibiscus blooming near my clothesline pole.

My cousin, Betty, gave me the seed that grew into my favorite flower of all time.

And there are more flowers coming!

Look very closely at the photo below.  It isn't just another picture of my dog; he has little straight sticker things sticking out of his beard everywhere!  They are easy to remove; unfortunately, the sticktights in other places are not.  This is what happens when he gets off the mowed path on which we go for our walk.  He looks like a porcupine infected him.   You may not be able to see them; if not, then it's just another picture of my dog.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Thursday Thirteen


My morning routine:

1.  Get out of bed 

2.  Put on my housecoat, turn on the kitchen light, and take my morning pill (for my stomach).  This was when I made my coffee, back when I still drank it. 

3.  Take the dog out.  If it's 4:30 or after, I give him his breakfast.  Otherwise, he waits.

4.  After he eats, he's ready to do more that just pee, so he sits at the door until I take him out again.

5.  I read my daily portion in my one-year Bible.  There are good things in there, and I also feel it honors my ancestors who lived by it.  If I don't do it first thing, I get behind.  This year, because it's the first thing I do, I will have read the entire Bible by December 31 except for the "begats".  Yes, some parts are boring and some parts are brutal; I know my favorite stories almost by heart, but those are the ones I enjoy the most.

6.  I check email, Facebook, weather and some of the news, all on the computer.  If I have enough time and have some idea for a blog entry, I'll start that.

7.  When it's daylight, I feed the cats on the back deck.  The raccoons and possums don't usually visit in daylight.  

8.  Shortly before 7, I make Cliff's coffee.  He likes me to wake him up at seven because if he stays in bed too long, it makes him even more achy than usual; it hurts when he lies on his right shoulder, and when he lies on his left hip... not to mention if his asthma is extra bad, he may have trouble breathing.  Sometimes I get under the covers with him, but we really can't talk, because he's so deaf without his hearing aids. 

9.  I fix Cliff's breakfast.  Sometimes he has an agg or two with toast, sometimes he has Cream of Wheat; this morning he had grits.  But often he just eats cereal, and yes, I deliver it to him.

10.  Gabe and I go for our walk in the pasture and woods.

11.  I get back to the house and take a break to rest; of course the computer is at my side, so I see what's happening online again.

12.  On or before ten o'clock, I start getting dinner ready.  Of course, lots of times we have leftovers from the previous day, so on those days I can read, garden, give the dog a bath... anything I can think of that is more fun than housework!

13.  Usually at straight-up noon we eat dinner, and then often take a nap on the couch afterward.

          WHAT A LIFE!

This is the first time I've participated in Thursday Thirteen, in which you make a list of thirteen about anything you want.  If you'd like to take part, you can share your entry on the Thursday Thirteen blog so other players can read it. 

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Sunday Stealing

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?

I think it's about time for a haircut.

2. What shirt are you wearing?

One of four tractor club T-shirts we own.  Cliff  never wears them, so I wear them around home to get some use out of them; neighbors probably think I'm wearing the same shirt every day.

3. Do you label yourself?

All the time, depending on what I'm doing and the mood I'm in  .  The word "unique" seems to cover all the labels, though, whether good or bad.

4. What does your watch look like?

I don't have one.

5. What were you doing at midnight last night?


6. Last furry thing you touched?

My dog, Gabe.

7. Favorite age you have been so far?

My whole decade from age 40 to 50.  I could dive deeper and come up drier.  I had lots of energy, I was writing songs and poems, and I gained my first grandchildren during that time.

8. What is your current desktop picture?

A picture I took during my morning walk of the sun shining through trees on our property.

9. If you had to choose between $1,000,000 or to be able to fly what would it be?

I'd take the money.

10. The last song you listened to?

"I Need Thee Every Hour" with the congregation at the Baptist Church this morning. 

11. What do you do when vending machines steal your money?

I don't use vending machines.  The stuff in them is priced too high, and there's never anything but junk food in them.

12. Would you move for the person you loved?

Oh yes, to the ends of the earth if need be.

13. Name three things that you have on you at all times?

My wedding band and my glasses.  The only other thing I could add is my clothes.  But wait, does "all times" include nighttime when I'm sleeping?  If so, forget the glasses.

14. What’s your favorite town/city?

Favorite town, Wellington, Missouri; I've lived less than two miles from the town since 1975.  Favorite city, Kansas City.

15. Does anything hurt on your body right now?

My knees always hurt if I stop to think about it, but most of the time I don't think about it. 

If you'd like to do these memes, you'll find one every  Sunday at the  Sunday Stealing blog.  Some of their questions are too personal to suit me, so I only do them occasionally when they suit me. 

Friday, September 24, 2021

It's like a miracle

I've been sleeping better lately.  I still wake up four or five times nightly, but I now have no problem going back to sleep.  Instead of feeling lucky if I got six hours of sleep, I am now sleeping almost eight hours every night.  It has to be a side effect of a little pill I began taking perhaps a couple of months ago.

My nurse-practitioner told me last year when I told her I thought I was getting Alzheimer's that she thought my real problem was depression, after she looked at my answers to questions she had given me to fill out.  She said many older people think they have dementia when it's just normal forgetfulness that comes with old age, and she prescribed a tiny dose of a pill that raises serotonin, which helps with depression and anxiety.  After a week or so I stopped taking it because it didn't seem to be doing anything for me and besides, I didn't think I was depressed.

Fast forward a couple of months:  I seemed to be in a funk all the time; Cliff kept wondering what was wrong with me and I told him I felt like I needed a shrink; then I remembered those little pills, wondering whether they'd do something for me if I tried them again.  I called the nurse line at the doctor's office and explained to her my problem.  I told her to check with Samantha, the nurse-practitioner who had prescribed them.  I told her I was crying at nothing and that my husband wanted me to do something about it.  Later I got a call telling me the prescription was ready for me to pick up.  I noticed that the prescription was 10 mg instead of 5.  I began taking it that very night.  After about a week I awoke and realized I had been feeling normal for two or three days; I told Cliff, "You know what?  I feel like myself again!"

I had told him not to tell anyone about it; I was a little ashamed that I couldn't just get over it and go on with my life.  Well, now I'll tell anyone who listens:  Escatalopram, the generic for Lexapro, simply got me back to my old normal self; the fact I'm getting more sleep is a bonus.  A new, improved self would have been nice, but I'm used to my old self.  I am thankful.  

I have had winter depression all my life, and had I known there was something like this that could have helped me through it without any side effects, I would have jumped at the chance.  Oh, and it's much cheaper than a shrink, since my insurance pays for it in full.  

Have a wonderful day, won't you?  I've had a lot of them lately.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Gabe is learning

We took the dog to the groomer at Bed and Bones yesterday; I told them I'd like to go back to the full Schnauzer cut for winter.  Cliff said they probably were glad of that, because now they don't have to do much clipping on his legs and belly.  

Originally, after owning a Schnauzer for awhile and taking him for walks around the place, I realized how much dirt and how many stickers and stick-tights could hide in all that fur and had them shave him all over, leaving only his beard and eyebrows to define him as a Schnauzer.

Here he is this morning, not looking much different that he has for most of his life with me; it's going to take awhile to distinguish his skirt and fill out the hair on his legs. 

Gabe turned four years old in August, and has only in the last two months learned it's fun to go to Bed and Bones.  Before, he enjoyed the ride, and even got sort of excited when we made the last turn onto the road that took us there.  However, once we got there he didn't want to go inside, and when we were inside, he wanted to follow me back out the door, every single time.  Two months ago, he wasn't quite as hesitant about staying, and the proprietor told me Gabe had a lot of fun playing with the other dogs.  You see, they don't put dogs in a cage until they're ready to be groomed; they let the small dogs run together to go outside in a fenced area until they are groomed and bathed, then they are inside together until they are picked up.  Same with the big dogs, but they do keep the big ones separated from the small ones.

Yesterday morning we were getting ready to take him in, so I said, "Gabe, are you ready to go to Bed and Bones?"  He started jumping almost as high as my waist, whining.  Then he started running in circles, still whining.  He was very excited!  When we opened the door to go to the car, Gabe led the way.

Once we arrived at Bed and Bones, I clipped a leash on his collar.  He strode proudly up to a convenient post and left a pee-mail for all who might come later, as though to say, "Look out girls, Elvis is in the building."

I told the folks about the Schnauzer cut; as they opened the gate to the inner sanctum, Gabe didn't even look back at me, and by the time I was back in the car, he was in the outside pen with his friends; he didn't even say goodbye.  It took four years, but I guess he finally realizes he may as well enjoy it, knowing we will return to pick him up.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Thirteen things

Things I love

1. Walking barefoot in the soft, dew-covered grass in the morning.

2. The cool morning breeze in my hair and on my face

3. The whisper of the wind in the trees.

4. Hearing the songbirds in spring and the crows cawing in summer and fall.

5. Every full moon; especially the harvest moon I saw this morning, lighting up the yard perfectly.

6. My dog, whose DNA says he descended from wolves, although any self-respecting wolf would deny having anything to do with a full-grown 18-pound Mini Schnauzer.

7. My cats, who descended from lions and tigers, and believe they are still that big.  Egyptians considered them to be gods, and my cats believe the Egyptians were right.

8. Walking on our property knowing there were Indians roaming in the same place hundreds of years ago, leaving arrowheads and tools behind to prove it.

9. Watching all the miracles that happen in a garden, with my help, on a daily basis.

10. Eating food that tastes like the meals my mother cooked.

11. Jersey cattle and the thick, yellow cream they've given me over the years.

12. Tennessee Walking horses and Missouri Fox-trotters that make riding painless and easy.

13.  Memories of my happy childhood

Saturday, September 18, 2021

There's something about a small town: a short story with pictures

The town of Wellington, Missouri, isn't very large.  I wrote a song about the town years ago with a line that said, "Seven-hundred and eighty people, every one my friend" (the truth is, most of them don't know me).  

I don't think the population has grown much since then.  In that time, we've lost the bank, a small grocery store, a soda fountain, and a mini-mart that also served as a gas station.  

I am not a player in the story I'm going to tell, since I don't live in the city limits.  I do follow the town's Facebook page; usually the posts I see there are about a dog that's lost, a dog running loose, or a package that UPS brought to the wrong house.  I'm not making fun of this, because those posts get dogs and packages to their rightful owners.  The Wellington page also alerts people to local events like our yearly fair.  Anyone who wants to know the score of our football team's last game has only to ask, and someone will answer.      

Wellington sends a billing to the residents each month that covers water, sewers, and trash disposal.  Recently the company that owned the trash removal business sold out to a new owner, and thus begins my story.  

First thing amiss that I noticed was people asking if the new company owners were still picking up the trash on Thursday, because by late Thursday evening, nobody had shown up.  The Wellington Community Page exploded with questions about why their trash wasn't being taken.  The first lady of the town (the mayor's wife) told them she'd see what was going on.  

I believe she gave them the word that the trash folks would be there the next Thursday.  Unfortunately, the truck was in an accident on the way there that morning.  The town was beginning to stink, but they had no choice but to wait another week.  

Many complaints were put on the community board when the new guys still didn't show up that Thursday.  Someone said part of the problem was they couldn't get enough people to work for them.  Of course, one of their helpers was injured in the crash the previous week, so that may have played into it.  The First Lady posted this.

Finally that evening, amid continuing complaints, I saw the following post:

Yes, the mayor and two aldermen were going to pick up trash.  I imagine the First Lady drove the truck.  

And then?


That's how a small town works.  In another line from the song I wrote many years ago, I wrote this:  "We've got all the good and all the bad that any small town ever had..."

I think the good outweighs the bad, don't you?  Don't ask what your town can do for you; ask what you can do for your town!

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Another nice day

I took this picture yesterday morning.  Looking at it here, it isn't much; but the larger I make it, the better it is.  When I loaded it onto the computer, I immediately decided it would be my new desktop picture.  Every time I open my computer, I like it a little more; it feels like I'm right back there in my happy place.

Monday we went to our favorite apple orchard.  I bought a half-bushel bag of #2 Jonathans for five dollars and a ten-pound bag of Galas; there weren't any #2 Galas, so I paid a higher price for those.  I think maybe it was eight dollars and some change.  The lady said they were almost out of Galas.  I got the Jonathans for pies, and bought some ice cream on the way home from the orchard.  Warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream is my favorite dessert.  I had intended to make the pie that same afternoon, but I wore out before I had time to make it, so I put it off until Tuesday afternoon.  By the time the grandson and his girl friend were both home from work, the pie was the perfect temperature for eating, so I called them over to have some with us.  I cut the pie into eight pieces, so we got rid of half the pie.  I told them if they wanted to come over the next evening, I'd let them have some more.  I can't keep it around, because Cliff and I can't leave it alone, and we don't need to be eating a whole pie!  I'm glad to have willing taste-testers close at hand.

I happened to notice there are five Wednesdays in September, which means our monthly Social Security has to stretch further.  I pondered it for awhile and came up with an idea:  We will skip going for groceries this week!  We've been eating quite a bit out of the garden lately:  Stuffed peppers, fried okra, smothered okra, and green beans with kielbasa, and are still getting a few tomatoes.  I have a head of cabbage in the refrigerator and corn, chicken, ground beef, and a ham in the freezer.  Yeah, we'll make it fine for six more days.  

I picked Gabe up during our walk and sat him on a stump for a picture.  I told him to sit/stay, which he did; but I had trouble getting him to pose and look at the camera.  He's always curious as to what's going on in the woods.

He looked to the left and right, and even behind him, but in order to get him to look toward me, I had to walk around the stump until he was forced to look at me.

He feet and beard were wet from the dew, and he was looking pretty trashy, so I gave him a bath when I had some time before dinner (the noon meal).  I'm thinking about asking the groomer to start letting his "skirt" grow out, which would make his belly and legs warmer for winter.  The reason I don't usually do that is that he's outdoors so much, and the longer hair picks up a lot of dirt.  Also, I'd have to do some combing and brushing to keep stickers and tangles out of the long hair.  

I'm loving these cool mornings!  It's supposed to get to the upper 80's over the weekend, then the temperature will take a dive, with highs in the 70's; when that cool front comes in, there's a chance of rain.  I sure do hope that happens.

That's all for today.    

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

thoughts and memories during my morning walk

We have been blessed with brisk breezes lately.  When I walk, with the leaves whispering above and around me, it brings me comfort; what a lovely, soft noise it is.   I notice a few leaves already falling, reminding me why we call autumn "fall".  I picked up four of them to share, as a reminder.

 I remembered Iowa autumns back when I attended a one-room country school where grades primary through eighth grade were taught by a single teacher, Mrs. Eighmy.  She was my teacher for three years, and like most young children, I loved my teacher and thought she was the prettiest lady I'd ever seen.  I recalled the time another primary student, a boy, and I were playing at the sandbox up front whispering and Mrs. Eighmy tapped me on the head with her pencil for talking; she might as well have beaten me!  It shamed and embarrassed me, and broke my heart.  I think I got over it by the next day, though.

An Iowa magazine did an article about Skinner School that included one of my most cherished pictures from childhood.  I've shared it on my blog many times, but I have some newer readers these days, so I'll share it again.  I'm at the second-from-the-back desk on the right side, that dull-looking little girl in a green-and-yellow dress made by my mother; she made all my clothes back then, using mostly the same pattern.

Inspired by the whispering breeze in the trees as I walked, I remembered a song we sang at Skinner School.  I looked on YouTube and found other versions and other tunes, but the tune we learned wasn't there, so I guess you'll have to listen to me; never fear, it's a very short song.  Oh, and the only wind you'll hear is the wind blowing around my camera.  I was lying beneath the cottonwood tree, the noisiest whisperer on the place.  I'm sorry you couldn't hear it.

Just to show you how my mind wanders as I walk, I was then reminded of the prophet Elijah, waiting to hear from God.  First there came a huge windstorm, but God wasn't in the windstorm.  Next came an earthquake, but God wasn't in that either.  After the earthquake, a fire, but God wasn't there.  Finally Elijah heard a still, small voice:  That was the voice of God.

I believe He often speaks to us in a still, small voice even now.  

Monday, September 13, 2021

Our first tractor show in two years

I made the mistake of taking an over-the-counter sleeping pill the night before our adventure, thinking a long night's sleep would do me good.  I didn't take ZzzQuil, which really zonks me out; just a Walmart generic tablet that usually works fairly well.  I don't take any sleeping pill over once or twice a month, as long as I'm getting around six hours of sleep a night.  But I had tossed and turned for two nights straight and decided to do something about it.  Unfortunately, I forgot how lazy and tired those pills make me feel the next day.  

Boonville, Missouri is almost halfway to St. Louis, but all the traffic was going 80 miles per hour, so Cliff did likewise, and we arrived in an hour and twenty minutes.  Once we got through the gates, any fears I had of being in a crowd were gone:  The old farmstead owned by the tractor club has about 100 acres, I believe, although the show grounds don't cover it all... yet.  The parking lot is quite a distance from the show grounds, but they have tractors pulling carts with benches on them so nobody has to walk.

  We were outside all the time except when we ate, and even then we were pretty well distanced due to the fact we ate lunch at 11 A.M., before the big crowds flooded in.  

The first thing through the gate, there are vendors selling T-shirts, Trump flags, food, flea-market type junk, and lots of tools, nuts, bolts, old tractor parts, and so forth.  That's where Cliff usually spends quite a bit of time.  We both have our cell phones, so I usually leave him there and look for more interesting things like kettle corn, corn dogs, ice cream, and other such culinary delights.

However, I don't think we'd been there more than half an hour before I realized my knees weren't going to allow me to walk as much as I'd intended.  I can take my daily walk here at home barefoot in the soft grass for 40 minutes without major pain, but that much time spent on hard gravel-and-dirt paths with shoes on is a whole other story.  I had gone ahead to where the tractors were displayed, parked my chair-cane, and sat by some large International tractors that I knew would draw Cliff's eyes; all I had to do was wait patiently and reel him in when he approached.  Below is the bait I used.  Funny thing, I didn't recognize it as our next-door neighbor's prize possession until Cliff arrived and mentioned it.

My ploy worked well, and Cliff was soon at my side admiring Randy's International tractor, even though he's seen it many times.

As many people as there were, they were widely scattered.  Not only was it a lovely day, but a brisk breeze was working hard to blow the cooties away.

There were lots of Mennonites in attendance.

Tractors as far as the eye can see.

A chair made out of tools doesn't look too comfortable, but it's interesting to behold.

While we were waiting to watch the Parade of Power, I enjoyed watching this little boy examining blades of grass.  He sat in that position for the longest time, and I thought, "Oh, to be a child again."

We watched the tractor parade for an hour or so, then went on our way home.  When we got here, I tended to the dog and cats, ate something, and slept in my chair until 7 P.M., then went to bed and slept the longest time I've slept in years, waking up at 5 A.M.  

And wouldn't you know, just this morning when I found the flyer I linked to above, I noticed we could have rented a golf cart and ridden all over the grounds without pain.  Maybe next year.

Live and learn.