Thursday, December 29, 2022

warmer weather, at least for now.

What a spell of blowing winds and below zero temperatures we've had!  Apparently a lot of folks had the same problem.  We were blessed in that our electricity didn't give out, although the lights blinked off and on a few times.  We both stayed in the house unless there was a need for something to be done outside, and those times were few.  It was just us, Christmas day, but we enjoyed ourselves.  For the last month I've been making sure I got a good taste of my favorite Christmas foods.  I made a fruitcake, my mom's recipe, directly after Thanksgiving; almost every  day Cliff and I would have a tiny piece of it, and I personally ate the last of it this morning for breakfast.  I made brown sugar fudge, a childhood favorite, that very few people like:  Cliff says it's just too sweet.  I made cranberry bread, apple pie, and sweet potato pie over the period of a month.  I even made some gingerbread, and made real whipped cream to top it off; Cliff doesn't care for gingerbread much, either... something about the spices in it.  That's OK, because I made him his favorite chocolate cake at some point in the last thirty days.  The only thing I didn't manage to make was my mother's cranberry salad, and that's because I didn't have any crushed pineapple.  I plan to remedy that this weekend, and then we'll get back to normal. 

We were out and about yesterday, so I bought some black-eyed peas for luck; I don't believe it works, but it's fun, and last year I finally found a way to fix them that even my husband enjoyed.  You'll  find the recipe HERE.  It isn't healthy, but we found it to be delicious.  I halved the recipe, since the amount it makes would feed a crowd.  Even then, as I remember, I put some in the freezer to eat later.  Along with the black-eyed peas we'll have cabbage and creamed carrots; cabbage for the green that represents cash, and carrots to represent coins.  Again, I am not superstitious.  It's all in fun, and the two of us will probably be the only ones participating and continue to be the poorest people on our little dead-end road; but nobody is any happier than we are together, and that's where the real wealth is.

Good news!  Next Tuesday my husband will get the cochlear implant activated and the journey to hearing really starts.  He has his doubts about the whole thing, worrying whether it will really work for him.  He is by nature a worrier, more so as he grows older.  We'll both be glad when it's all over.  It isn't like he'll suddenly hear again as soon as they enable it.  It takes time and effort, and it's so hard to be patient.

This morning I read Psalm 148, part of my daily Bible reading, and it reminded me of a song we sang in the Church of Christ when I was a youngster.  Churches of Christ only sing acapella, and they learn to sing their parts (soprano, alto, tenor, and base) at a young age.  Their songbooks have shaped notes and they even used to have week-long "singing schools" to learn how to sing to the shaped notes.  I loved the parts in the song, and sang my alto at the top of my lungs, I'm sure!  I looked it up on Youtube and there it was, acapello!  Just listen to this harmony.  I think this morning was my first time to hear it in over sixty years.

By the way, I'm adding my sister's recipe for meatballs here.  The way I keep losing the recipes in my recipe box, I need them here where I can do a search and find them.  A friend asked for this recipe after I'd posted this entry and since I had to type it out for her, I decided to copy it and add it here; two birds with one stone.

Barbecued Meatballs

My sister’s recipe

3 lbs. hamburger

2 cups quick oats

1 large can of evaporated milk

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. salt

2 eggs, beaten

2 tsp. chili powder

Mix ingredients and shape into balls.  Brown in oil,  Mix sauce ingredients (below), pour over meatballs, and bake 1 hour at 350°.


4 cups ketchup, 2 cups brown sugar, 1 tsp. garlic powder, three tablespoons liquid smoke, and 1 cup chopped onion.

Friday, December 23, 2022

It's in the oven

 I copied and pasted this from a post I did around Christmas, 2010, and thought I'd share it again.  First I'll tell you where the recipe came from.  

I used to read the Kansas City Star the way I read the Internet now.  I'd get down on the kitchen floor, open up the paper, and read everything of interest from front to back.  On one day of the week, I think Thursdays, there was a recipe column; anyone could contribute, and I've found a couple favorite recipes I still use, all these years later.  Whoever provided this recipe said they'd gotten it out of a Kansas City Chiefs recipe book bought in 1970, after winning the super bowl in 1969.  This pie was supposedly Buck Buchanan's favorite.  And now I'll paste what I wrote 12 years ago.  I imagine I've blogged about it more that once; sometimes if I mention a recipe, people will ask for it; so I'll compose an entry with the recipe for them.  That's a good thing, as it turns out, because the recipe card I glued the newspaper cutting onto has disappeared.  

I clipped this recipe from the Kansas City Star back around 1980; I didn't use it for several years, but oh my goodness, when I did, I thought I had discovered a taste of heaven.  
Buck Buchanan was one of the early Kansas City Chiefs, back before my husband even started watching football on TV.  He died a week before he was to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.    
This was, if I remember correctly, his mom's recipe.

1 1/2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup butter,melted
1 1/3 cup sugar
3 T. Flour
2 large eggs
2/3 cup egg nog
1 Tablespoon whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tsp. lemon extract (optional)
preheat oven to 375. Peel, cook and mash sweet potatoes, measure out 1 1/2 cups. Mix with remaining ingredients and
pour into pie shell, bake 45 minutes till knife inserted midway between the center and rim comes out clean.
for additional flavor interest, experiment with other extracts, coconut, orange or pineapple extract for lemon extract.

Buck Buchanan died some time ago.  When he was playing for the Chiefs, Cliff didn't care about football and never watched it, so he knew nothing about him.  I figured if I have been using his recipe freely all this time, I'd give him a little credit for his mama's cooking.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Not everybody will have a merry Christmas

I'm not big on Christmas any more; it's a great time to be a child, but I just try not to be a grinch while waiting for it to be over.  I count my blessings daily, and my needs are met, but honestly, I could do without Christmas these days.  I know how lucky I am to have my husband with me at Christmas.  

Cliff has a cousin, Edna, that I've grown close to over the years.  She had to be put in a nursing home in the Ozarks due to covid, and came close to dying.  Her son Mike, who lives in Indiana, went to see her and wasn't happy with her level of care or her condition, so he loaded her up in his car and put her in a nice rest home near his home, visiting her every single day.  He got her a device that let her call me on Facebook Messenger, and for a while she'd call me every day.  She told me the same things each day, because she had some dementia, but I just let her talk.  I'm sure we talked half an hour or more, some days.

Meanwhile, Mike's oldest sister got Covid for the second time and was almost at death's door.  A relative in the Ozarks died (from covid), so he drove to the funeral to take his mother, who was doing much better at this point at the new facility.  While there, he visited his sister in the hospital, saw she wasn't doing well at all, and put her in the car and took her back home with him, to stay with him and his wife, Janice.

For the last month or so, Edna hadn't called me on Messenger.  I just assumed she had forgotten about me, and I hated to call her for fear the timing would be wrong.  It's a different time zone and I didn't want to call around meal time, bath time, and so forth.

I never knew Mike.  I met him as a child a some fifty years ago, and then once at an anniversary party for his parents; but I certainly didn't know him at all.  Now I've seen how he loves and helps his family, so I have a great respect for him.  I told him once on Messenger what a wonderful son and brother he is, and he replied, "Family is what it's all about." 

So imagine my sadness at his message to me this morning.  

Hi Donna. Hope Cliff is doing good with his hearing. Haven't given you an update lately. Mom's dementia has taken a nose dive. She was in the hospital for a couple weeks. She's back in the nursing home in physical, speech and occupational therapy. She is being very combative with the nurses. Janice and I were with her a couple days before she went to the hospital. I'll just say it was bad. If she doesn't do well by Wednesday they are going to get Hospice to come in and help to try to give her a little quality of life.  Same time Mom was in the hospital I tested positive. My wife had a heart attack and covid. She went in on the 22nd of Nov. She passed away this morning.  It's been a hard year.

I'm sure any prayers for this man would be appreciated.  He has been through so much pain and sorrow.

Count your blessings!

Monday, December 19, 2022

Facebook played tricks on me

When covid first came on the scene in 2020, Facebook became a pit of vipers for me.  Suddenly people were arguing about what was true and what wasn't, the right wing folks being especially pushy.  Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but they wouldn't let the other side have a different opinion... at ALL.  I never tried to argue with any of them myself, but I let it bother me, and I went a little crazy.  I went to my nurse-practitioner at the clinic and told her I thought I was getting dementia; she questioned me for quite a while and said, "Most people get a little forgetful as they age, but I don't think you have dementia.  I think you  have depression."

Of course all this took place in winter, and I have always had some winter depression; I guess all the fuss on Facebook made it worse.  I ended up getting a prescription for depression which has helped me every since:  if you don't believe me, ask my husband!  It isn't a "happy pill" that would work as a street drug, at least I wouldn't think so; it just keeps me on an even keel, and my winter depression has faded into the background.

I didn't want to leave Facebook back then, but I made some changes.  I stopped following all the people who constantly posted their opinions (some even sent me private messages, but I found you can shut them out of Messenger).  They were still Facebook friends, but I wouldn't be seeing them unless I actually went to their pages.  That also helped immensely.  Of course, Facebook got pretty boring, with so many friends unfollowed, but it helped.

For the last six months or so, I haven't been seeing many of my friends; I'd just see a few of them, the same posts over and over.  I first noticed my friend Jessica wasn't showing up on my feed and hadn't for awhile.  She was one of my favorite people when I worked at Kohls and I want to keep in touch with her.  I knew very well that I hadn't unfollowed her, because she's too smart to be spreading hate and discord on Facebook.  I checked:  Lo and behold, she was somehow unfollowed, and I know I didn't do it.

Finally, being so tired of seeing the same posts day after day from a very small group of my friends, I decided I'd better see just who I was following and who I wasn't.

Good grief, most of them were unfollowed, and they were not among the trouble-makers at all!  I spent about thirty minutes going down the list of my friends and "following" them again.  Apparently Facebook messed with something and decided to make me unfollow most everybody there.  I need to go back and fix some more, because I got weary of fixing the list and stopped for awhile yesterday.

So I have most of my people showing up now.  Whew!

On another note:  I have a blogger friend, Margaret, who is also on Facebook.  She ordered herself some socks for Christmas.  Bomba socks, to be exact.  I had never heard of such a brand, but some of her friends commented about the glorious comfort of Bomba socks.  I googled Bomba; because it's the gifting season, they had 40% off.  That didn't make them cheap.  Still, I wanted to try them.  I argued with myself, reminding myself that I only wear socks for 5 or 6 months of the year.  I looked over the website and found that for every pair of socks they sell, they donate a pair of the same socks to charity.  If for any reason you don't like them, you can return them and get your money back.

So I got a package of four, and they didn't arrive in a timely manner.  I emailed Bomba to see what happened; the next day I received their response:  They were sending me another package of four, and if the first ones arrived, I could keep both orders;  I did receive both, making my eight pairs of socks quite a bargain after all.  If any  of my big-footed relatives would like a pair, I'd gladly give them one.  I don't want to take these off, they're so warm and comfy!  Margaret, I know you'll be reading this.  I love these socks, and I'm glad you and your friends introduced me to them.  Until now, I wondered what the big deal was about a pair of socks.


Saturday, December 17, 2022

Sunday Stealing

Stolen from the League of Extraordinary Penpals

1. My plans for December 

I make very few plans at this point in my life.

2. How energized I feel at this point in the year

I haven't felt energized since I was 70.


3. The best things about the holiday season

The food


4. Something that changed my perspective on life

Some 35 years ago my husband was out of a job for quite a long time.  I had always written my monthly bills on the calendar for every week, with the amount due.  When he lost his job it didn't work out any more because the bills amounted to more than he made.  But somehow, with one thing and another coming along, we got by.  A local dairy farmer gave him occasional work and paid him with calves, which I raised to six or eight months old and then sold.  Our then daughter-in-law and two babies came to stay with us for several months and contributed a little money to the pot.  We finally went to our favorite banker and borrowed money to pay off all our bills so we'd just have one payment.  

I did my best to keep calm and positive because a man out of a job doesn't need any negativity, but as I told him, "Both our kids are on their own now, it's just you and me.  The worst thing that could happen is we lose our home, and as long as we have each other, we can handle that." 

That period of our lives brought us closer than we had ever been, and it's a time that I can look back on and realize it was good for us both..


 5. What I seem to get the most comments about

If this means blog comments, I seem to get the most comments on entries talking about our injuries or sickness... major sicknesses, that is.  I used to ride my horse around the countryside, and Cliff and I went for motorcycle rides; I had something to write about then, and got quite a few comments.  I like comments, but it doesn't bother me that I don't get a lot of them.  I don't comment on blogs a lot myself, although I love to read them.

6. The changes I’ve made to my style

What style??  I've never had much style.


7. What gets in the way of my success

Since I don't try anything difficult or outstanding, nothing gets in my way.  I consider it a success when I make a pie or cookies and they turn out well.  If I find an interesting book, I'm a success at choosing books.  My goals are simple and basic.


8. News sources I trust the most.

None of them since Walter Cronkite retired.


9. Fictional characters that would easily fit into my life

Andy Griffith and Barney Fife.  The family in Laura Ingalls Wilders books (not the tv show).  You know... country folks.


10. My relationship with spirituality

I've been up and down, wandered off and then back on the path.  But I have finally developed an abiding faith in God through Jesus.  My husband says it's just because I was raised that way.  All I know is that I am very much at peace these days, and I truly believe in God.


11. How I feel when I’m being retrospective

I love thinking about my childhood and remembering aunts, uncles, cousins, my grandmother... It was all so wonderful, and I didn't have a care.  It's calming to recall my childhood.


12. My thoughts on AI technology 

Ha.  I saw this and thought, "Why would anyone ask a question about artificial insemination."  I had Jersey cows around for over half of my married life, and we didn't keep a bull for them, we just called a man to come and inseminate them.  I don't know anything about AI technology, even though I looked it up on Google.

13. The odd/weird things I do when nobody else is around

Why wait till nobody's around?  I'm weird all the time.


14. What I do when I can’t sleep

I sleep pretty well these days, but if I wake up and can't go back to sleep I pray, simply by saying the names of those who come to mind.  I also like to go over Bible verses  I've learned, many of them words I learned as a child:  The Lord is my Shepherd, the beatitudes, verses from the Old and New Testament.


15. The winter/holiday season tasks I enjoy 

Cooking the things my mother used to make for the holidays, because it takes me back again to my childhood; every day my husband and I have been having a little piece of the fruitcake like my mother used to make...We don't do much about Christmas around here any more.

Thanks to Bev Sykes, who steals fun things on the Internet to keep us on our toes.  You'll find Sunday Stealing HERE.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Ho hum

First of all, let me tell you that Cliff seems to be doing great.  After the day of his surgery, he hasn't been dizzy.  He's probably happy that he has a good excuse to take naps without me teasing him about it, since there's not really anything he can do right now.  He has some new parts for the big old White tractor, but I don't think he'll be able to do that for at least ten more days.  If fact, I've taken a few extra naps too!  The days are cloudy and cold, not very inspiring for much of anything.

It is hard waiting so long to find out how much good all this will do.  In most cases it does work; Cliff still has tinnitus, some days louder than others.  Of course it isn't a real sound; it's a fake sound caused by nerve damage, and nothing can be done about it.  Now that Cliff's "good ear" isn't hearing anything, he's found that when the tinnitus isn't too bad, he can hear a little out of the left ear if the hearing aid is in it.  Yesterday the tinnitus was terrible, today not so bad, so I can talk to him some, as long as he can see my face to read lips along with what he's hearing.  We're still watching TV together in the evenings; he's been using closed captions for at least 20 years, and that's how he keeps up with whatever's going on.

Scammers irritate me!  I'm answering Cliff's phone now, as well as my own, and he gets several scam calls every single day.  Most of them are from people with a Mexican accent wanting to know if we've gotten our new Medicare cards.  Surely by now, everybody knows this is a scam, and yet they keep calling again and again.

I just finished what I consider to be a really good book:  The Gods of Green County by Mary Elizabeth Pope.  It's fiction, and takes place in Arkansas back when cotton was still hand-picked.  It's sad, but I could hardly put it down. 

That's all I have today.  Let's all try to keep our spirits up on these gloomy, windy winter days.  


Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Yesterday Cliff took the first step toward hearing again!

Things went without a hitch yesterday with the cochlear implant.  We arrived at the hospital at 7 A.M., an hour early, thanks to Cliff's worrying that we'd get up caught in the morning rush hour.  We had picked up our daughter Rachel, who took off work to be our driver, and she drove both ways, going and coming.  That was great, because Cliff has never liked driving in the city, especially in Kansas, where he isn't familiar with any of the roads.  In spite of our early arrival in Leawood, the nurses took him in quickly and proceeded to get him ready for surgery.

The surgery itself took less than two hours.  Cliff was dizzy and a little bit silly when he got in the car to leave.  We were all hungry, and he "drunkenly" told Rachel to choose someplace for us to eat on the way home, patting her arm as he spoke.  She chose the Hi-Boy Cliff and I used to favor when we first met, just a couple blocks or so from where his family lived at the time.  Then we went to our Oak Grove Walmart to get two prescriptions, one antibiotic and one for pain.  I knew he wouldn't be taking the pain medication, because they knock him out; but I'll use one once in awhile on a bad knee day.  It's always nice to have those, in a pinch.  

Cliff was still pretty dizzy after we got home, so every time he got up, I walked with him wherever he was going.  I also slept with him, in case he had any kind of problem during the night.  Normally the dog and I sleep in my little bedroom; I on my much softer mattress, and the dog in his much-smaller kennel.  

We both got up pretty early this morning; Cliff took a couple Tylenols and is napping on the couch now.  

I took this last night.  That big thing over his right ear didn't manage to stay in place overnight, but he was supposed to take it off this morning anyway.  I told him he didn't have to smile, but he managed a tiny Mona-Lisa smile, anyway.

This behind-the-ear tapes are supposed to stay there for a week.  I hope they make it!  He isn't supposed to stoop over for two weeks, but he said he keeps forgetting and has already bent over twice.  I guess I'd better watch him closer.  He isn't to blow his nose, or sneeze through his nose.  He also isn't to lift anything over 25 pounds.  His dizziness seems to be gone, so he could drive if he needed to.  However, I made sure we had everything we need for this week, so we'll likely not be going anywhere.

So far, so good!


Friday, December 09, 2022

Two meals a day

Cliff and I are now eating two meals daily:  Breakfast  at 5:30 A.M. for me, and 7:30 or so for him.  We have our other meal, which we call dinner, between one and two P.M.  We don't normally snack between meals, either; so if our dinner is over by 2 P.M., that's it until the next day.

If you'd told me I'd ever be eating in this pattern and not snacking in the evening, I'd have said you were lying.  But the thing is, we eat a lot of anything we want, at our meals.  I'm not even that hungry when I wake up the next morning!  However, it does cause a small problem:  if I have some leftovers, it's hard to crowd them in, especially considering some things aren't eaten at breakfast... or at least, they weren't until lately; and I hate to throw away good food.  But lately I have become a human garbage disposal!  This morning I ate the last of the cabbage and noodles (haluski) that I made three days ago; I also ate a small avocado and some gingerbread with whipped cream for my breakfast.  This isn't an every morning thing, it's just what needed to be dealt with today.  Cliff, so far, eats regular breakfast food like eggs and toast, or cereal and a banana.  

I have a terrible appetite for sweets, and sometime I make a complete fool of myself over pies, cakes, cookies, or ice cream.  I'd probably be better off if I had inherited my mother's type 2 diabetes, because then I'd have to cut way back on my sugars and carbs.  But here I am, 78 years old, eating anything and everything.

When Cliff is out running around without me, which doesn't happen much, he's taken up buying me a surprise treat of some sort.  Like this lovely little sack of goodness.

I don't buy candy because I can't keep out of it, so it really is a treat for me.  I had never tasted this particular kind of chocolate, but once I tasted it, Lloyds of London wouldn't have insured that bag of sinful pleasure.  I think I ate all but five of the little chocolate globes, and I saved them for the next day's dessert.  My husband ate one because I wanted him to know how good it was; after that, he refused any more.  

Today  we went to Walmart, and he went in with me.  As we walked down the main aisle, he pointed out the same sort of candy there within reach.  "No," I told him.  "I don't see a thing."  

I averted my eyes and headed toward the checkout.  But once we got there and were checking out, I saw a bag of that candy that had somehow jumped into the cart when I wasn't looking.

I guess I know what I'll be having for dessert.  I just hope I leave more for tomorrow this time.

Now, after reading this little story, you will understand why my husband has lost considerable weight on the two-meal-a-day plan, while I haven't lost so much as an ounce.

Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Something I learned from Mr. Rogers

I never really cared for Mr. Rogers; I was more of a Captain Kangaroo fan.  Mr. Rogers seemed sort of old-fashioned, boring, and preachy.  Of course, I was a bit too old for his program by the time it began anyway.  But one day last fall I was looking at my streaming options and saw that the Mr. Rogers movie, starring Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood} was available to watch.  

The movie, they say, is very loosely based on a journalist who was asked to profile Fred Rogers for Esquire Magazine.  The journalist was baffled, wondering what he could do with that sort of story from such a man; by the end of the movie, he became friends with Mr. Rodgers.  

Toward the end of the movie, I learned something that has changed my life and my thoughts, something I would never have thought about, had I not seen the movie. 

Mr. Rogers was portrayed praying one morning as he swam from one end of his swimming pool to the other.  He simply spoke the first and last names of people, one after another.  After the movie ended, I thought, is that really praying?  But then I thought of ways I have prayed, telling God who I think he should He should change, who to bless, who to strengthen, who to make well; and then I realized that all this time, I've been telling Him what I thought He needed to do.  Since He is all-knowing, maybe I should just try running the names of people past Him.  Of course he knows their names too, but I like the idea of putting the names before him, and picturing the people as I say them.

My bladder wakes me up three or four times every night; I usually have no trouble going right back to sleep until the very early morning hours, and then it takes me longer; if I wake up at three A.M., I used to get up that early.  But I no longer toss and turn, because that's when I start lifting up the names of my people.  I start on the east coast with my longtime friend, Joanna.  She's in her 80's and still works a full-time job.  She's getting over the flu right now, but I just say her name.  God knows she's had the flu.  Then I remember Bill, on the west coast, another fellow I met on the Internet years ago; his sweet wife died not long ago.  He's been paralyzed for many years.  I remember my cousins in Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri, and my sister in Oklahoma.  And of course, my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  There's Keith, across the highway, who has had a stroke; I know he's impatient that he can't get out and garden or go fishing any more.    It is the most calming and peaceful time I've had, and leaves me very much at peace.  Sometimes, my readers, I remember some of you also.  The women who are widows, the ones who are hurting, the folks who are caretakers for a parent with dementia.  Often I'm surprised at some of the names that come to mind.

This morning after I finished giving those people to God's care, I began to see a panorama of my life, just bits and pieces going through my mind as if blown through by a gentle breeze.  I saw my children as babies, and Jersey cows and calves and chickens and goats.  I saw myself picking blackberries in the woods and finding morel mushrooms; I saw horses and good dogs I have loved and lovely vegetable gardens I've had.  I saw our dear Cora as the baby she was nine years ago; how she livened up the lives of two old folks.  I've always had green pastures to walk on, where I sometimes would sit down and lean against a cow lying there, chewing her cud.  I thought of all that and realized that I've had a wonderful life!  And I got up with a smile on my face that must have lasted ten minutes.

And as I've typed all these words, I find myself smiling again, as my husband naps on the other end of the couch.

What a wonderful world!

Sunday, December 04, 2022

Sunday afternoon

So far today I've been to my two churches, came home and made sausage and pancakes for dinner, and read my book while Cliff was watching a couple of football games I didn't care about.  Now the Chiefs are playing the Bengals, and this game is pretty important to us:  Our Chiefs lost twice early this year to the Bengals, and they really need to win this one, if only for their egos.  I'll be blogging during the commercials.  I have to say, it isn't looking good.  Cincinnati opened with a touchdown.

We've had some pretty cold weather.  Until my knees got so achy, I was walking every day in the winter unless it was ridiculously cold, but now I just hate getting out in the frigid air.  This old gray mare ain't what she used to be, I'm ashamed to say.  I don't do a lot lately.  I'm thankful for books I get free from the library, because I read plenty.  I need to ride the recumbent bike today, but I don't know if I'll want to after the game is over; from what's happened so far, I may be in a state of depression by then, and choose to crawl in a hole.  Ha!   

Cliff's cardiologist has him scheduled for some tests Tuesday; he isn't having any problems, but he's gone three or four years without having those procedures, so it's time.  Meanwhile, I'm now taking atorvastatin.  I refused to take it for four years, but decided I'd best stop being so hard-headed.  Cliff has been taking it ever since his open heart surgery in 2006, and he's been problem free all this time.   

Well, this game has gotten better, but it still could go either way.  Meanwhile, I watch and hope with my pack:

These two are buddies to the bitter end.

He just got a haircut last week, and his head was cold. 

I hope we all have a great week ahead of us.


Tuesday, November 29, 2022


I would like to thank "anonymous", whoever she is (I'm assuming it's a woman, because 95% of my readers are).  This particular Anonymous left a comment recommending the puzzles on; thanks to this person, my husband is happy to have his crossword puzzles back, and I'm messing around with the daily crossword a little myself, although I haven't finished one yet.  Why?  Because I enjoy the word search more than the crossword.  It's hard to tell what else I'll find, when there are so many different word games there.  

I wanted to tell my readers about the website:  there are no ads except their own, and they're not bothersome.  If you like word games, this is for you.  I will mention that you should register with your email and a password, so if you leave the site before you've done all the puzzle and come back to finish, what you've done will still be there.  Cliff was rather unhappy yesterday when he'd almost finished the crossword, left it, and then came back to find he'd have to do it all over again (which he didn't do, and I don't blame him).  

It's less that two weeks until Cliff has his cochlear implant put in.  It amazes me how fast time flies, even in the winter season.  I'll be glad when it's over, and I'm praying for good results.  Of course, for a month we won't know how well it works, and he'll be totally deaf; then he'll get the outside thingie that makes the inside thingie work.  That's a real scientific statement right there, isn't it?

I just put in my half-hour on the recumbent bike, and now Cliff is taking his turn.  I had skipped a couple of days, and if I let that happen too much, it's hard to get back to it.  My knees do so much better when I ride the bike daily.  I can't get the friction up too high or it hurts my knees, but I can keep it at an easier setting and go faster.  This is the best exercise bike we've ever had, bought on Amazon in 2016.  It's been used a lot, and still as good as new.  It's a Schwinn, and is worth it's weight in gold to us.  I've had three or four cheaper bikes, and they don't last long if you actually use them, which most people don't.  The Schwinn keeps on going, and even if something goes wrong with it, the parts are replaceable.  We both read as we peddle, and that makes the time fly.  Cliff can't walk for exercise any more, and I can't walk as much as I used to.  Without the bike, we'd just sit around and get weaker, especially in winter. 

Well, when I started this I didn't realize I'd be advertising Schwinn and Kappapuzzles, but that's about all I had for today.  I always appreciate the people who help me out and give me suggestions.  Anonymous, I hope you're reading this, and if you don't mind, you might let us know your name.

Anonymous left a comment on this entry.  Her name is Kaye.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

OK, Thanksgiving is over

Yesterday we got the dishes washed from the Thanksgiving cooking and went to Peters Orchard to buy some apples so I could make more applesauce to put in the freezer.  I got Jonathans this time, but had to select carefully so I wouldn't get bruised and rotten ones.  They have the apples in huge boxes and you just get what you want for 25 cents a pound.  These were starting to get "mushy", but were fine for applesauce.  I got quite a bit of applesauce made yesterday afternoon.  

I just put a new header picture on my blog of our two cats peering across the pasture at the neighbors' runaround German Shepherds on our property.  It's a good thing the grandson doesn't worry about deer-hunting any more, because those dogs keep them totally chased away.  

We really don't do Christmas gifts in our family, but I took advantage of black Friday to buy some new pillows.  Cliff's head sweats year around for some reason, so when Kohls has their cheapest pillows on sale, I buy two or three of them and toss the old sweaty ones out.  I spent $6.49 yesterday for three pillows, and that included tax. 

It's strange, but now that I'm old, I'm glad to have each holiday over and done so I can get back to normal.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Thanksgiving; it just isn't anything like it used to be, when families weren't broken and people seemed steadfast and didn't cut relatives out of their lives.  This world is not my home; I'm a stranger and pilgrim in an unfamiliar land.  

Where are the heroes to step forth and get our country on the right again, by the way?   

Of course I ate too much pie yesterday (and other leftovers), which leaves me feeling stuffed and wanting to get back to our normal meals.  I enjoy the steady pulse of uneventful days.

I know, I sound like an old woman longing for the "good old days".  It's my turn to do that, and I need to vent about what I feel once in awhile.

Even so, I have everything to be thankful for.  Cliff and I agree that we grew up in the best times, but perhaps everybody thinks that way simply because when you're a child, you don't know all the bad things going on in the world.  I suppose for my kids, the 70's and 80's were the best times.

At both my churches, it's common for the pastors to ask if anyone has joys and concerns, and they start with joys.  I seldom know of anything to say, because I'm sitting in a pew thinking, "Where would I start?  I have a home, plenty to eat, the best husband ever... I don't have time to tell about all the things that give me joy.  Would everybody like to know how often my dog and cat make me laugh out loud?  Or the inappropriate conversations Cliff and I have when there's nobody around to correct us?"  

We'd better not go there.    


Saturday, November 19, 2022

Sunday Stealing

Sunday  Stealing 

What’s your favorite childhood memory?  Christmas, back when I believed in Santa Claus, with all the candy  and fruitcake and nuts around the house, and the smell of a real Christmas tree.

-Do you sing in the shower?  no

-What is the best gift you’ve ever received?  The best gifts I've received were from God, both directly and indirectly.

-Do you prefer being indoors or outdoors?  Outdoors

-Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?  My husband; he was in the shop when dinner was done and I called to tell him the salmon patties were done.

-What do you keep in your bag or handbag?  Tissues, billfold, Tums, Tylenol, cell phone, pens, checkbook, Blistex, Ludens Wild Cherry cough drops

-Can you knit?  Nope

-How many hours do you sleep each night?  Usually about six

-Who is your role model?  My sister.  Not that I followed her path, but if I had, I'd be a much better person.

-Who was your first ever pen pal?  I never had a pen pal, but I think my grandma was the first person I wrote letters to.

-What has been your favourite job so far?  I've had several jobs I was content at, but the job I enjoyed best was working with three other ladies cleaning up the apple orchard in early spring.  I was outside all day, so I loved it.

-What is your favorite go-to recipe for mid-week meals?  Most any kind of soup, in the winter.

-How often do you eat in a restaurant?   Probably less that once a month, mainly because it's so expensive.  Especially now, with inflation the way it is.  

-Are you close to your family?  Not as much as I used to be

-Which phone app could you not live without?  I mostly just use my phone to talk, but I suppose Facebook would be it, although I usually use my computer at home for that.

-If you could afford to volunteer full time for a charity, which would it be?  My favorite charity is Kansas City Union Mission, so I guess that would be it.  However, I don't drive, so I couldn't get there to help.

-Do you have any siblings?  When my dad married my mom in 1932 he had two children, a boy and a girl, so they are my siblings.  My brother died quite a while ago, and my sister is in her 90's.

-Who is your favourite YouTuber?  I only watch music videos on Youtube

-Have you ever been a bridesmaid or a groomsman?  No, I hate weddings.  When I was 13 or so I was a candle-lighter at a cousin's wedding, but I had just gotten over the flu and needed to cough all through the wedding so much that my eyes were watering the whole time.  Maybe that's why I hate weddings.

I got this from Bev Sykes' Sunday Stealing blog.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Wordle and puzzles

One thing I do early in the morning is play Wordle, right after I've read my daily portion of the Bible; if I put the Bible-reading off, it often doesn't get done, so that's first on the list... except for feeding the dog and cats.  

I wasn't succeeding very well with Wordle for a long time.  I'd get maybe eight or ten in a row, and then I'd have to start over because I didn't get the right word in my six tries.  I have a Facebook friend who seemed to have great success, and I told her she was doing much better at wordle than I.  She gave me a tip that has kept me winning ever since; my current streak is 38!  She simply told me to put the game on "hard mode".  

I thought, "If I can't get the solution now, how am I going to get it in hard mode?  It took me a bit to figure out how to do it, but I figured I may as well take her advice; she is a smart lady.  I'm glad I did.  Today I had a rough time, but I did get it in five tries.

 Wordle 516 5/6*






I really look forward to this game every morning, and since it's only played once a day. it isn't something I can get hooked on like I have with so many other games online.

I used to do crossword puzzles in the Kansas City Star, and somehow got Cliff interested in them.  He was still doing those puzzles long after I stopped, and even had all his co-workers doing those crosswords before he retired.  I no longer take the Star, haven't for years.  I've wished several time that there was a crossword puzzle online we wouldn't have to pay for; I found one crossword puzzle that comes by email, but it uses several Spanish words, and names of many current entertainers we've never heard of, so the only way we can get them is to use Google; that's no fun, and Cliff is a one-finger typist anyway.  He'd spend half his time googling.  My library card entitles me to check in online to the Kansas City Star, so if we had a printer I could print them off for him.  Unfortunately, I have tossed out one printer after another because something always goes wrong and they won't work.  I know it's my ignorance that's the problem, but I finally just gave up on having one.

Oh well, Cliff never complains about it, so why should I?


Tuesday, November 15, 2022


 So, we received some snow overnight.  It won't last long, since the high is supposed to be 38.  It's actually been melting as it falls.  Meh.

I can't take the cold any more, not the way I used to when I milked cows twice a day.  It seems once cold weather hits, I never get quite warm enough to be comfortable until spring comes.  I understand now why so many senior citizens go south for the winter.  I make myself go outside once a day to go to the mailbox, and that's about it.

I am thankful that I don't have to take up knitting, embroidery, or quilting to pass the time, although I guess I'd at least have something to show for my efforts and time if I did that.  I read, I surf the web.  I cook and then wash the dishes.  I go to bed at night and get out of bed in the morning; that's about the limits for me.  Oh, I've forgotten the laundry:  I haven't checked Cliff's clothes basket lately, so I may be washing a load of garments today.  (I stopped at this point to check his laundry basket; make that two loads, with the first one in the washer now.)

I had thought we might go get a turkey and some other things needed for Thanksgiving today, but after seeing the snow, we might wait until tomorrow.  I'm sure the roads are clear, I just don't like going outside in the snow.

Now, after all that whining, let me tell you I am very grateful to still be alive, with my husband by my side.  I have cousins around my age whose husbands have died, and one cousin whose husband has dementia.  

I know I get on Cliff's nerves at times, but he's still here, and he cares very much about me.

I'm thankful that we have heat in our house, and that we've been able, so far, to pay our bills promptly.  We have a variety of things to eat at any time and have never had to go hungry (obviously).  I'm thankful I can go worship at churches of two different denominations on Sunday for many  reasons, one being that I'd never see anyone except my husband and other close relatives otherwise.   I am thankful for family, even though there is friction among some of them that makes it hard to have a full get-together at Thanksgiving and other holidays, and we miss seeing some of the grandchildren.  I pray one day we will be able to have a happy holiday when everyone will put aside their grievances, but meanwhile, I am thankful for those who come. 

I could go on all day about my blessings, but you get the picture.  When I think about how blessed we are, it makes me ashamed of complaining about anything.  Cliff and I have had a wonderful life, the kind of life we wanted:  Out in the country with tractors and plows for him and gardens, chickens, cows, and horses for me.  We have lived our dreams.

It is well with my soul.

Friday, November 11, 2022

The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat

I've mentioned before how much I hated football until the year before the pandemic started.  Somehow a coach named Andy Reid and a quarterback named Patrick Mahomes turned my life around and made me love the Kansas City Chiefs.  I still don't know much about football, but at least I learned how to tell who is playing offense and who's playing defense... although sometimes it takes me a few seconds to recall which is which..

Last Sunday night Cliff and I were watching the game.  My team scored first, but then the Titans scored, and scored again.  To make it worse, our kicker, Harrison Butker, couldn't do anything right, although he's been one of the top kickers in the NFL for two years.  At halftime the score was Chiefs 3, Titans 17.  

I could feel my heart sinking and I fell into depression; my team was losing, and I couldn't take it, so I told my husband goodnight, and Gabe and I retired to our separate beds. When I woke up around midnight, I asked the Alexa device beside my bed what the Chiefs' score was. Imagine my surprise when I heard they won!

I managed to go back to sleep, but woke up around 3 A.M. wide awake. I had to see what happened in the game, and since I recorded it on Hulu, I got up and watched the second half. Even then it was difficult to watch, with all those 250-pound men piling on Mahomes and nothing good really happening for my team. The game finally went into overtime, but the Chiefs did indeed win by three with only thirteen minutes left in the game, because Butker finally managed to get the football over the goal. Folks, I'm too old to be going through all those emotions.

I say all that to make a point: After watching the Chiefs win, I opened up my laptop and saw one of those wise little memes I'm always posting on Facebook; I'd posted it the day before, but obviously I didn't think about it when I watched our Chiefs struggling. Here it is:


Wednesday, November 09, 2022

November wanderings of the mind

How about that lunar eclipse, the last one we'll see for three years?  I'm always up early, but I did set a reminder on Alexa in the living room telling me to go look at the moon at 4 A.M.  Later, as I went to bed, I realized I usually don't get out of bed quite that early, so I told my bedroom Alexa (actually, I gave that one a man's voice and named him Ziggy) to wake me up at 3:55 A.M. so I could shut off Alexa in the living room when I heard my reminder.  Crazy, I know.  I could have gone to the living room and told her to cancel the reminder. 

 Sometimes I don't think things out.  

Unfortunately, when Ziggy woke me up, I wanted a little more sleep.  After all, the best part of the eclipse was at 5 A.M.  I told him to stop, went to the living room, and canceled the reminder; I did go back to sleep and woke up around 5 with no help from any device, so I saw the eclipse at its best.  I must say, after you've seen an eclipse of the sun, the eclipse of the moon leaves something to be desired.  Just my opinion.

While looking for something of interest in my old "Country Life" blog a while ago, I re-discovered a singer/songwriter I had no recollection of, John Flynn.  These days most songs I put on my blog are pulled off by Youtube, but this guy probably isn't so well-known, and perhaps isn't worried about people sharing his music without paying.  We shall see.  If it does disappear, the link is HERE.   I realize most folks don't click on musical links anyhow, but the guy seems serious about making the world a better place.

We are still in our winter mode, which means plenty of naps and lots of reading.  I'm still reading through the Andy Carpenter series by David Rosenfelt; I'm on the sixth book now, which means I have 19 to go.  I'm sure I'll want to stop for a while, read something entirely different, and then go back to Andy Carpenter.  I like my legal thrillers to have some humor in them.  He also has books besides the Andy Carpenter series.

I did take a break to read Take My Hand; it's a good book, although of the things some of the characters did in it weren't very believable to me.  I'm having trouble finding enough nonfiction for Cliff to read; he's reading the last book I chose for him, but says he's about ready for a Virgil Flowers book, by John Sandford.  That'll be easy for me, although I don't remember which ones he's already read; but he's probably only read three or four of them.  He actually knows how to go to the Libby app, make it to the library, and check out a book; but the only trouble is, he can only choose a book by its title.  I get online and see what the book is about, what kind of ratings it has, and so forth.  It takes time, and if he tried to do it it would be difficult at best. 

Since Veteran's Day is coming up, I'll leave you with a picture of my son from his Army days. 

Friday, November 04, 2022

Autumn: The solemn season

I wouldn't say I'm depressed, but I feel solemn and without humor for the most part; perhaps bemused and preoccupied says it best.  The leaves have been lovely this year, but they are only with us for a short time.  Most of them are on the ground now.  The garden that so delighted me through summer in spite of a drought is brown, wilted and barren.  

I find myself sitting and reading a lot;  I've also been trying to get my left-hand writing more legible using my Apple pencil on the iPad... whew!  Why do it, you say, when I've been writing with my right hand my whole life?  Well, not much challenges me these days.  So that's a challenge I can handle.  I'm trying to get good enough so that when Cliff has that month of no hearing after his surgery, I can write my notes to him on the iPad and delete them when I'm done.  I'll give you a sample of my writing; I'm not proud of it, but I do much better on paper.  Excuses, I know.

It is hard to post Blog entries when nothing much is happening.  I could tell you my dog stinks and needs a bath, but I really don't want to give him one; that didn't take long though.  

I think I'll look at the past instead.  For instance, a photo from 2005, when I watched two granddaughters before and after school each day.  We walked back to the woods one day and took a lot of pictures.  Both these girls are mothers now.

Or this, from 2006.  It's my old friend Blue and my little filly.  This was after a I went for a jaunt, riding Blue and leading the filly (that's called "ponying" the horse). I've always wished I'd kept her, just for a pasture-pet.  She liked people and was so very calm, always content to be petted.

An Arkansas motorcycle ride in 2008:

And a canyon in Arkansas we've visited several times:

Fun on the Gold Wing:

When these pictures were taken, I had stories.  Now, I can only reminisce.