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.

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Another cool day

 It's another perfect September day, one more harbinger of Autumn, a repeat of yesterday.  It will warm up again for a week or so, then cool off again; we are only ten days away from the first day of fall.

When I stepped out on the back porch to feed the cats, this lovely sunrise greeted me.  

Yesterday the chill in the air made me think about steel-cut oats, so I made enough for yesterday and today.  I had forgotten how much I liked them, not having had them since early last spring.  I like to add chopped apple, cinnamon, and raisins or sweetened, dried cranberries.  When I buy the five-minute kind I cook them in a pan on the stove, but I cook the traditional ones in the Instapot.  They are so much better than oatmeal.  I've been thinking about chili too, but I'll wait until the next cool spell.

We haven't been doing many things with the tractor club this year, but we are planning to participate in the Higginsville parade Saturday with some of our group.  

Today I'm making chicken jambalaya; don't get excited, it's the easy low-fat, lower-fat version that any true Cajun would likely throw in the garbage disposal, but we happen to like it.  We'll have a bowl of ice cream for dessert to make up for the lacking calories and fat.  We'd hate to lose any weight.  Ha!  Oh yeah, I'll fry some okra too.  I bring in an ice-cream bucket out of the garden every other day, so I throw a lot of okra out after I pick it; I've thought about putting something on the Facebook community board offering okra free to anyone who is hankering for it.

Another song from my past came to mind as I was walking this morning:  Around 1960 we lived in Kansas City, North, in a subdivision named Crestview.  Both my parents worked, so I had the place to myself on those long, leisurely summer days.  There was a boy next door, probably three years younger than I was (I was16), who practiced piano every day, working on one song over and over.  Because we didn't have A/C, and neither did that boy and his mom, I could clearly hear him playing that song.  It fascinated me; I couldn't get enough of it!  

So of course I looked it up on Youtube just to hear it again.

Enjoy the song, and enjoy your day.

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Hot Dog!

I was reading something on the CNN website this morning that confused me.  Did you know that eating one hot dog can take 36 minutes away from your life?  Now I am a believer in science.  I trust most doctors.  However, I can't help but wonder how they came up with that figure:  Are there a lot of people who have kept track of how many hot dogs they've eaten throughout their entire lives so science can use those numbers, put them together, and after the subjects die, figure out how many hours each hot dog took away from them?  I do know hot dogs, ham, bacon and too much meat of any kind are not good for us.  But to say how many minutes each bite will cost us seems ridiculous, not to mention impractical and impossible.  

Obviously I don't have enough to do, or I wouldn't spend time thinking about something like this.

We are having a perfect day weatherwise.  It was 54˚ when I got up this morning, and has only gotten up to 81, which is probably the high.  Gabe and I didn't walk until after 10 A.M. and were pretty comfortable until we got out of the woods and walked toward home in full sunlight.  

My garden still produces, surprising me sometimes.  I brought in several peppers today, and a couple of tomatoes.  There are good-sized eggplants coming on; I really don't know why I bother with them, since I don't know many people who like them; I like watching the purple fruits grow, though.  I had two sickly strawberry plants I thought were dying, but today I discovered new growth on both of them.  

I really don't have much to share today, so I leave you with a video of my pets.  The cat, Blue, is very affectionate with Gabe, who has never appreciated the attention.

And below is a picture I took a few minutes ago of Grandson's dog, our dog, and Cliff, getting ready to ride to the pasture.  They are enjoying this wonderful day thoroughly.

Life is good at Woodhaven Acres.

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

A restful Labor Day

I got that chicken-and-broth out of the freezer that had been there since July and made noodles.  Our daughter and son-in-law had wanted to visit but had been in contact with a relative who was exposed to Covid two weeks ago; they didn't want to take any chances with exposing us, but I told them we could hang out around the shop with windows and doors open and fans running, and that should be fine.  I don't think there was a huge chance of them carrying the virus anyway, under the circumstances.  All of us like our noodles on mashed potatoes, and that's what we had.  Don't tell me about the carbs, I'm very aware of that.  Just to make SURE we were over-carbed, I made some chocolate chip pan cookies.  The next-door grandson and Alex, his girlfriend, joined us; after all, it's his shop now that he owns this property.  It was a nice, relaxing day with wonderful weather.

After we all ate in the shop, we dispersed and continued with our own plans.  Since that three inches of rain the other day, the grass and weeds in the pasture had grown pretty tall; I asked Cliff to mow the path I take on my walks when he felt like it, when the dew was off the grass.  When he got done with that, he also mowed part of our yard.  The little John Deere is only 35 horsepower; even though it isn't an antique tractor, I think it's his favorite one.  It doesn't take a lot of fuel like the big, classic beasts do, and he uses it for everything.  

An old picture of the 35-horsepower workhorse.

When Cliff mows my path, he follows the same route Gabe and I walk.  I sure enjoyed not getting my ankles wet in the tall grass this morning.  My feet, of course, are always wet because I'm barefoot. 

He goes down every "finger" of the path, then turns around where I do and comes back.  The picture below shows the path splitting to go down the last two fingers, one downhill to the left and the other to the right.  When I've walked those two places, I am out of the woods and going back to the house.

For many years I walked along 224 highway, three miles altogether, many times before daylight.  One day I thought how much more interesting it would be to walk in our pasture; of course the back of the place was out of the picture because of the almost straight-up-and-down inclines. 

I took a watch with me and, at first, walked around the edges of our property, leaving out the back 1/3 or so of it where the canyons are.  That didn't amount to enough time spent.  Then I realized that if I walked on the high ground between the three or four canyons as far as I could get (the fingers), stopping and turning where the brush got too thick or the incline too steep, I could put a lot more time in.  Cliff had always mowed those fingers, even before I began walking there.  

The pathway wasn't very wide then, so spiders were a problem; they'd spin their webs from one side to the other.  I learned to carry a lightweight stick with me and wave it up and down in front of me when I was walking between the walls of trees, because who wants to walk into a cobweb?  However, my husband, who was able to walk with me back then, gradually kept mowing a wider path, and now the path is so wide I hardly ever hit a cobweb.

One morning a few days ago I looked up at the moon and the first thing I thought of was the Cheshire Cat's grin.  So I took a picture of it with my point-and-shoot camera.

Have a wonderful day, my friends.  

Thursday, September 02, 2021

A hint of autumn

We slept with the windows open last night, with a light, refreshing breeze breathing over us.  There is a good chance of rain tomorrow, although I'll believe that when I see it.  I awoke to a temperature of 66 degrees; it felt a little chilly outside when I took the dog out.

Gabe asked to go out again a while ago at 6:15; daylight was approaching, so I went out to watch him.  It turns out all he wanted to do was track something through the dewy grass, probably a rabbit or opossum, so I called him back.  While out, I happened to glance up and see the moon, which looked exactly like the grin of a cheshire cat when he's almost disappeared, so I grinned back.  While looking up, I was proceeding toward the front porch on the sidewalk, glanced downward, and realized I was just about to step on three slugs heading toward their sleeping space under the porch for the day.  I squirmed at the thought of stepping barefoot on three slugs.  I've done it enough times to know how creepy a smashed slug feels.

I have been eating watermelon and cantaloupe almost every day lately, knowing they'll be out of season after this weekend.  Then they'll cost more and be less tasty, and I won't have any more until next summer.  Ah, but apple season approaches, and orchards around here are plentiful.  I used to look forward to oranges and grapefruits in winter, but because they are so acidic, I probably won't be eating them much from now on.  It's the same with tomatoes, although I have cheated somewhat and eaten some without suffering for it, so far.

I have been sleeping a lot better lately, in spite of the fact that my bladder awakens me four or five times nightly.  I've been going right back to sleep each time, and getting up at 4:30 A.M. instead of 3 o'clock in the morning.  I am so thankful for that, and I'm feeling better when I awake.  I had been in the doldrums for months, but now I am myself again... which may not be the best thing to be, but it's all I know.   So I celebrate myself and sing myself, as Walt Whitman wrote.

We have nothing planned for the weekend.  I do know we will have noodles, because I have a huge amount of chicken in its own broth that I intended to use for noodles in July when our son was here, but never got around to it.  I put pan and all, covered, in the deep freeze and I'm tired of it taking up room there.  Besides, we haven't had noodles for a long time.  My oldest granddaughter will gladly take some home with her if she comes out; it's one of her favorite foods. 

Today I plan to make stuffed peppers, since I've brought quite a few in from the garden.

I just heard my washing machine singing its song, so I have clothes to hang out on the line.  That will have to wait until I get my husband up, though, and fortify him with coffee and breakfast.


Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Shopping day

We didn't go as far as Blue Springs today, since Aldi only had one real bargain on hamburger, and it was 73% lean for $1.99 per pound; I don't want anything fattier than 80% lean.  So we went to Price Chopper in Grain Valley and bought 80/20 ground beef for $2.49 a pound, then back to Oak Grove Walmart.  The mangos I bought a week ago are just beginning to ripen, so I put most of them in the refrigerator to slow them down.  I like to eat one every day and savor them.  Speaking of mangos, I just googled to find whether I should be spelling the plural of mango "mangoes".  Turns out either way is right, but the latter doesn't look right to me.

I took my walk before we went shopping, though; temperatures were in the 60's at 8 A.M. because of a front that came through yesterday and gave us about three tenths of an inch of rain; not much, but the garden was happy, and still damp this morning.  

I love the way my mind wanders when I'm on my walk.  For some reason the old Gospel song "I Can't Feel at Home in this World Anymore" came to mind this morning, and I thought to myself, "Boy, that's the truth!"

Since this pandemic came along, I've learned I don't even know people I once thought I once knew fairly well.  People I thought were apparently nice folks making fun of those who protect themselves with masks.  People saying, "You can either trust God, or you can get vaccinated."  

Really?  Why can't you do both?  Somewhere in the Kansas City area, two children under three years old drowned in a swimming pool.  Do you suppose those people decided they didn't need to put a fence around the pool because they trusted God?  Probably not, but that would be the same kind of situation if it were the case.  Anyone can choose to wear a mask or not, but why do people make make fun of those who do?  "Go get in your hidey hole with your mask," they'll say.  "I'm not afraid!"

However, I am not as upset about these things as I used to be.  I will do what I know is best, and I will survive or not survive, but at least I'll know I made some effort to protect myself if I end up on a ventilator for weeks, dying.  Meanwhile, this world only feels like home when I'm out enjoying nature or on our property.  As the Bible says, "We are all strangers and pilgrims on the earth."

And I will distance myself from people as I've always done, pandemic or not.  I know very well how to build walls.

Sometimes I just need to let off a little steam.  Thank you for listening.