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 Kappapuzzles.com; 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.