Monday, February 26, 2024

For better or worse

Cliff has been having spells of vertigo once every two or three weeks for quite a while.  He was given two prescriptions to use until he goes to his appointment for vestibular therapy this Wednesday, and those have been taking care of his dry-heaves and dizziness... until the last time.  

Thursday evening he was getting ready to go to his tractor club meeting when he got terrible dizzy and sick.  The pills did nothing for him.  He missed the club meeting, but what was worse is that he was still dizzy Friday morning.  And Saturday morning.  And Sunday.  I messaged both my churches to let them know I wouldn't be there.  Both promised to pray for my husband.

So for four days, Cliff couldn't safely get up and do anything without help.  If he wanted to go in another room, I stood up in front of him while he stood up.  Then he'd grab my shoulders, or sometimes just hang onto the back of my shirt with one hand, and away we'd go.  I told him I felt like a pack animal.  He's never had vertigo for this long a time, and he has really been getting depressed about it.  Several times he mentioned that he would hate to be living along under those circumstances, so maybe he will appreciate having me around.  Actually, he always appreciates me; he is a good man.

Yesterday evening he still had a little dizziness, but he could walk around without help for the first time in four days.  We'll see what happens this morning when he gets up.  I am hoping he will be able to drive to his appointment in Independence, because I don't drive.  His sister would gladly come and take him, but she's having health problems of her own.  He will talk to his brother today and see if he would be able to take him; I'm sure he'd be glad to, but he and his wife are older than we are and have lots of doctor appointments, so he may not be free to do it.

So that's the kind of fun we've been having.

I planted more things in the garden yesterday:  Onions, cabbage, beets, and radishes.  When I go outside, I take my phone in case Cliff needs me.

I am trying to keep from worrying over this drought.  I do love the sunny skies and warm temperature, but we need more winter!  It isn't about my garden so much as the fact that farmers need their crops to grow.  I don't have to raise my own food, but if the current forecast is right, orchards aren't going to have any fruit around this area.  Yesterday was in the 70's.  Today will be the same.

As you can see, this Tuesday and Wednesday nights are the only time it gets below freezing for the next two weeks.  Oh, and forget those rain chances.  They never happen.  Never.  We just ignore them and go about our business.  Do I have an attitude today?  Maybe so.  In spite of that, I am going to be thankful for another day on this earth, and for this wonderful life I've been given.  

I'm having a great time with rhymes lately:  I got interested in the Gospel of Mark and have written a poem based on Mark chapter one.  I'm still improving it little by little, and if I can ever get through reading it aloud without messing up a line, I will give it to you that way.  I would hope I get it done before Easter, so I can share it with people at church.

My husband is still dizzy, but he is able to walk around on his own, at least.  And I found someone to take him to therapy:  Granddaughter Monica is not working Wednesday, so she will be his chauffeur.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

my winter garden

Four rows are planted in my garden.  Even though we got a bit of snow Friday, the dirt is dry except for right in the rows that I watered with plastic watering cans.  There are peas, spinach, and parsnips.  Oh, and I found some lettuce seeds (really cheap ones) of various kinds last Saturday and planted those.  Seeing the rows reminds me there's a possibility that it might rain more this year, and if it does, the garden will prosper. 

"If ifs and ands were pots and pans, 
We'd have no work for tinkers' hands."

I've tilled practically the whole garden to get rid of the ground-level weeds.  It makes me feel like it's spring.  Of course the more I till the garden, the dryer it gets.

In case you think spinach can't survive in winter, I have evidence to the contrary.  I planted some spinach last year in September.  As usual, we were in a drought.  And it was too late to expect the spinach to mature anyway.  But the few seeds that managed to survive and grow a bit gave me some plants that continued to grow; even several days of zero temperatures failed to kill it.  Below, this is what my September-planted spinach looked like yesterday.

Every time I go to the garden, I grab a nice healthy leaf and eat it, hoping Gabe, my dog, hasn't peed on it.

This is the one I ate yesterday.

The amazing thing is that the tender leaves are now slightly sweet, and are the best-tasting spinach I've ever tasted.

I have great faith that the lettuce will be fine, as well as the spinach and peas I planted a couple of weeks ago, if I can keep them watered sufficiently.  I've never had success with parsnips, so we shall see what happens there.

Here's what parsnip seeds look like:

I planted the seeds on a very windy day; they are so light, I had a problem with keeping them from blowing away as I planted them.

We'll have mostly 50's, 60's, and 70's for two straight weeks.  That isn't good, because all the fruit trees will think it's time to flower and then we'll be hit by cold weather that will kill the blossoms.  During the last three years, I've become a believer in global warming, although it's nothing I'd argue about, simply because there was crazy weather long before I was born.  But in mid-Missouri?  In February?  Yeah, probably.  

This Missouri river-bluff hill we live on is nothing but wind-blown, very sandy soil, so it doesn't hold water well; it can rain two inches on Tuesday and I'll be using the tiller on it two days later.  On the bright side, we have no rocks in our soil, unless you count the Indian arrows and spearheads.

Here's a little poem from my self-published book:


It's Hope that orders garden seed in winter's snow and rain.
Although the world is frozen, Hope can see it born again!
It's Faith that plants the tiny seeds, when spring has not arrived;
The seeds look dry and dormant, but Faith whispers, "They're alive."
It's Love that tends the growing plants, and prays for rain and sun.  
Love hopes and weeds and labors till the garden season's done.
When I work in the garden I'm reminded, row by row,
That hope and faith and love together make the Christian grow.

Now abide faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.  I Corinthians 13:13

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Sunday Stealing

Typical of me, I had four songs on the wrong links.  I doubt if it mattered, because nobody wants to actually HEAR the songs anyway.  I did correct them... I think.  But if anyone else put links on their songs for this Sunday, I'm going to at least listen to a little bit of the songs if I'm not familiar with them.

Name a song that...

1. You enjoy, in another language.  Miriam Makeba singing Qongqothwane, "The Click Song".  I saw her in person long ago when I went to see Peter, Paul, and Mary.

2. Recently introduced you to a new singer.  My brain has no room for new singers.  I listen to the old ones.

3. You listen to to energize:  Great Day to be Alive 

4. Is your favorite song from a musical.  Some Enchanted Evening

5. Reminds you of an old love:  Some of God's greatest gifts are Unanswered Prayers

6. Make you think of one of your children:  Say You, Say Me makes me think of my teenage daughter.  You Shook Me All Night Long makes me remember my teenage son; he was driving me to the grocery store at age 16, hearing his favorite songs as they came on the radio; when that song came on, he turned it up louder.  I was shocked!!!!

7. Makes you smile when you hear it.  Spanish Pipedream  

8. You love but is quite unknown.  Our Town     

9. That annoys you.  Giddyup Go makes me want to shoot myself.  Don't waste your time listening to it.

10. That your parents used to listen to.  Lay That Pistol Down

11. From your early years of childhood:  Dear Hearts and Gentle People

12. That has a color in the title.  The Green Green Grass of Home

13. That needs to be played loud.  Old-time Rock and Roll

14. That is perfect for a road trip.  Just Bummin' Around

15. That reminds you of yourself.  Out Behind the Barn (Our trailer house is behind the barn).

Saturday, February 17, 2024

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Let's start with the bad, which is also ugly:  The shootings at the Chiefs' celebration parade and party. 

I don't have anything to add to what the news has told you.  This happened forty miles away from my home, so it has definitely been on my mind.  A couple of hours after it happened, I heard the Kansas City police chief say, "This isn't Kansas City."

Really?  2023 was the deadliest year ever for homicides in Kansas City; 285 people were killed in the Kansas City streets and homes last year.  It's no better and no worse than any other big cities in the United States.  

Here's one little plus, as far as I'm concerned, from the Kansas City Star:    "Missouri House Republicans have scrapped two gun-related bills this year following the mass shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl victory rally. House Majority Leader Jonathan Patterson, a Lee’s Summit Republican, told The Star on Friday that House Republicans this year would no longer pursue the two bills. One would allow guns on public transit and inside churches and the other would exempt firearms and ammunition from sales taxes."  

Also:  Taylor Swift donated $100,000 to the family of the woman who was killed.  

That's all I have to say about that, but this year's Valentine's Day will always bring bad memories.

And now, the good.  Something wonderful has happened in my neighborhood that I didn't expect to see in my lifetime:  As of yesterday, we have Spectrum fiber-optic Internet.  That three-minute video I put on Youtube yesterday uploaded in 90 seconds!  The best news is that we'll be saving a nice chunk of money while getting 10 times the speed.  We've had Nexus for a year or two; it comes to us through the air from two miles away and has served our needs very well.  However, we've been paying $80 a month for 30 MBPS, which is the only reason I decided to switch.  We are now getting 300 MBPS for $40 monthly, for two years.  Then it goes up to $70, which is still cheaper.  We'll also be leaving T-Mobile and using Spectrum for our cell phones:  one phone will be free for a year while we'll pay $30 for the other; then we'll pay $60 for the two.  Our phone bills have been almost a hundred bucks a month with T-Mobile, so we'll still be saving money.  For any neighbors in and around my little town, call Spectrum and get a bargain!  

Yesterday it snowed.

We've been having high temperatures in the fifties and sixties, but when I got up this morning, it was 10°.  Wednesday it's headed for 68°.  I am still wishing for rain, or even more snow. to help this thirsty ground in Missouri.

That's it for today.  Peace.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

How about a home-made song from 1979?

 My kids were 13 and 11 when I wrote this.  Most of you women will agree with every word, I imagine.  It's a fun song, and I'm proud I wrote it.  As I always tell you, I am not a musician, I'm a songwriter.  I can hear myself go off-key as well as anybody else can.

Monday, February 12, 2024

A picture of the library table

Sheila told me she wanted to see my mother's Library Table I talked about in the previous entry, so here it is.  I found this picture that I took when we were first moving into the trailer house.  I'm really glad, because right now it's pretty loaded and you couldn't see much of it.

Below is how it looks right now:  Welcome to my bedroom!  Yes, Cliff is still sleeping, at almost 8 o'clock; we had a hard night helping the Chiefs win the Super Bowl.  

My Bose and all our CDs are on it.  The afghan on the foot of the bed was made by my mother's sister, my Aunt Ruby.  It's been warming our feet for many winters, another object I treasure.

When I was small, my mom usually had framed pictures setting on the top, and also on the bottom shelf.  In Junior High, I used it for a desk in my bedroom.  I never knew my grandfather who made the thing.  He died six years before I was born.  I'm pretty sure he made one of those for all five of his children.

It isn't fancy at all, but it has served many purposes in my lifetime.  The drawer doesn't have runners, which makes it clumsy to pull out.  So you have to use both hands to keep it coming sometimes.

For me, it's all about the memories.

No runners.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Sunday Stealing

1. What is a big dream you have for the future?  I no longer have big dreams.  I take life day to day and try to live in the moment.  I will say that I've seen many dreams come true throughout my life.

2. What are your favorite hobbies?  Reading, gardening, blogging

3. If you could change the world, what would you do?  I have changed the world, and so have you.  You change the world by touching people around you.  You cannot live your life without changing the world.  My hope would be that those changes have been positive ones; sometimes even negative changes can turn out for good, if someone gets a lesson out of them.

4. What places have you traveled to?  Colorado, the Grand Canyon, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Virginia, Maryland, Mexico, Texas... who cares?  What was your favorite?  My Grandma Stevens had a cloth thing on the back of the rocking chair she always sat in with these words stitched on it:  "Travel East, Travel West.  After all, Home is Best."  The older I get, the more I realize the truth in that sentiment.

5. What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?  Mountain Oysters

6. What are your favorite places to eat?  The Pizza Hut buffet in Higginsville; and KFC, if I can ever find a location where the floor isn't greasy and the people working there don't look like they're on crack.  

7. What kind of music do you like?  folk and country  Talk about a favorite artist or songs.  John Prine, the most unique songwriter I know of.  He could make up a song out of anything or nothing.  Some make me laugh (Spanish Pipedream), some make me feel like crying (There's a Hole in Daddy's Arm).

8. What was the last book you read?  I'm reading a series of four books by Shane Parkinson.  I'm on the third book right now.

9. If you could meet a character from a book, who would it be?  I can't think of any

10. Do you prefer books or movies?  books  Why?  You can read a book any time, anywhere.  I put a lot of myself in books I read; everybody does.  I might imagine a character to be totally different that another reader does.  A book lets you decide what someone's house looks like, or imagine what they look like.

11. What is something you used to be scared of, but aren’t any more?  When we were having some hard times, I used to worry we'd lose our home... although we never even made a late payment!  I'm sure I've been scared of lots of things in my almost 80 years.  I just don't think about them now.

12. What is something you were never afraid of, but are now?  I seem to be losing a lot of my words, and I worry about getting dementia... I worry more for family members than for myself.

13. What item is your most cherished possession?  a walnut table my grandfather made for my mom when she was a teenager.  Mother called it a library table.  Why?  Because I grew up with it.  I colored in my color-books on the bottom shelf of it with my legs stretched underneath the shelf.  I've often wondered if, when they cremate me, they could burn that piece of furniture with me.  It means nothing to anyone else.  Silly thought, I know.   

14. What awards or contests have you won?  None.

15. Do you like working jigsaw puzzles?  No.  I've never had the patience for them.

Friday, February 09, 2024

What a perfect day I had

I'm not sleeping well at all lately, but yesterday was a good day in spite of that.  I did some reading:  I don't think everybody would like the Shayne Parkinson book series I'm into right now, but I'm going to be very sad when I get to the last book of the series.  I'm on the third book, but there are still more.  It covers members of a farming family in New Zealand for many years, over several generations.  

I carefully got on the recumbent bike and slowly rode for half an hour.  My knees weren't hurting at all when I was done.  The temperatures were warm outside, although there was a really brisk wind.  So Gabe and I out for some sunshine.  My knees still didn't hurt significantly, so instead of just sitting in the sun, I thought I'd try taking a walk.  Gabe has been a naughty boy lately; he's decided he's going to go where he wants to and turn a deaf ear to me calling him back, so I had Cliff put batteries in the shock collar to give him a little reminder of who is the boss.  I only shocked him once, at the first part of our walk.  He started running toward the ditch where he's been finding tasty, rotten things to eat.  That time I just used the buzzer button when he ignored me, but he did come back when he felt it.  Later on he was headed in the direction of the adjoining neighbor's property and ignored me again; that time he got a shock.  I had a decent little walk, except it felt like the wind would blow me away.

After our noon meal, I kept thinking about the garden.  The soil was damp and the day was bright, and I was wishing I could do something in the garden.  I asked Cliff where he put the tiller for the winter and he said, "It's in the garage.  Want me to get it out?"

Of course!

I had three types of the seeds one can safely plant in February in Missouri:  Spinach, peas, and parsnips.  I'm not a big fan of leaf lettuce, but now I'm regretting not buying lettuce seeds, because that would be the first thing that would be ready to eat!  Maybe Walmart will have some.  

I tilled a patch of soil and planted what I had.  The wind would have blown away a lot of the parsnip seeds, because they weigh almost nothing.  However, when I hoed the row for them I put water in the bottom of the row and that sort of made those little seeds stick until I got them covered.

After all of that, my knees still didn't hurt much, and I hadn't taken so much as an aspirin all day.

We had not even started watching any of our evening TV shows when our daughter showed up on her way home from work.  She and her husband only live two miles away, but she works a lot of hours at her job, so when they show up, we are very happy to see them.  Rachel and Kevin are very good to us, bringing us little presents for no reason every now and then.  We had the best visit ever; they left us feeling very blessed.  The grandson came over intending to join us, but he was too late.  They had already left.  But we had another good time visiting with him.  

Days don't get any better than that.

Thursday, February 08, 2024

I didn't know anything about Taylor Swift

At first, I had no opinion about this lady who started coming to the Chiefs' games.  Her music isn't my kind of music, but that doesn't make me dislike her.  For just a little while, when the cameras caught her rooting for the Chiefs up there in the stadium, I was a bit jealous over Travis Kelce.  He was my favorite, and I wondered if he shaved his handsome beard just because of "that woman". By the way, his beard is back now, so I forgave her that.  

Many Chief fans, especially men, didn't like the cameras being focused on Taylor Swift's face all the time ("We're here to watch the Chiefs"), and for a while, for no reason whatever, I went along with that.  Yeah, we're here to watch the Chiefs, buddy, not some singer who isn't even country, for pete's sake.

The first person who helped me realize I might want to pay attention to this singer was a grandmother at the Methodist church I attend who told me about her granddaughters being ardent "swifties"; she considers Taylor Swift to be a very positive role model. 

I began reading about her in the news:  she shares her bounty with everyone she employs.  She helps charities in each city where she performs.  She contributed money after a tornado ravaged Nashville.  It goes on and on.  "That Woman", as I used to refer to her, does some great things with her fortune.

Click HERE if you want to see what a big deal she is for all of Kansas City.

So I have decided to share Travis Kelce with her, since it looks more and more like they may be together for a while.  I think she's a good role model for him, too. 

Maybe she's even a good role model for me.

I want to add this:  I've never listened to an entire song by Taylor Swift.  Two or three times I have asked Alexa to play one, but I don't listen long.  Her music doesn't fit into my life style.  But I will admit her voice quality is great.  I'd bet she's never hit a flat note in her life.

Monday, February 05, 2024

Sunday Stealing

1. What three words best describe you?  lazy, self centered, and too old to change.  Sorry, that's more than three words.  Also, I've never followed directions very well.

2. What makes you unique?  Everything about me

3. Who is someone important in your life?  my husband

4. What is something that always makes you laugh?  my husband, my dog, and the cat

5. Who is someone who can always cheer you up?  My husband, my dog, and my cat

6. When was a time you were really proud of yourself?  Times when I sing a song I've written and see people's faces who are obviously moved by it.

7. What is something that is difficult for you?  Saying the right things to people.

8. What three places would you love to travel to?  I have little desire to travel any more.  I'd like to go to Nashville, but the traffic is so bad there and my husband would do nothing but worry.  A bus that would take us around town might fix that, if there is such a thing.

9. What is a fun memory you have with your best friend?  My husband is my best friend, and I have lots of fun memories of our motorcycle rides.  Those were the most "together" times we ever spent.  Obviously we are together all the time now, but both of us were having fun at the same time then.

10. If you could have dessert for breakfast, what would you eat?  Any sweet at all.  I've often had pie or cookies for breakfast.

11. If you published a book or wrote a movie, what would it be about?  I am incapable of writing a story about people who don't exist, so I guess it would be an autobiography... a very boring one, most likely.  That's what my blog is.

12. Which is easier, math or English?  ENGLISH!!!!!!

13.What three things make you the happiest?  Cooking, gardening, and walks in the woods and too many other things to count.

14. What is an event in your life that has shaped who you are today?  When I was maybe eight years old, my Sunday School teacher invited several of us to her house for Sunday dinner after church.  I rode to their house in their car, and we arrived before anyone else was there.  Before she went to the kitchen, she got a guitar out its case and played one song:  "There was an old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly".  I begged her to sing more, but people were arriving and she had to tend to dinner.  It was the very first time I realized that someone I knew could play a guitar and sing; I never forgot it.  I'm not sure I would ever have wanted a guitar had I not had that experience.  When I was 19 or so trying to make up songs, I realized I needed something to help me figure out new tunes, it seemed like if I strummed chords, it would help me with a tune.  I've never gotten good at it, nor have I tried; I can't play a song on it, I can only chord, and even that isn't done well.  All I wanted was something to help me when I made up a song.  

That lady's name was Lois Percell, and several years ago one of her daughters sent me a video of her singing several folk-type songs.  If you like, you can hear her sing... click HERE.  

15. Which is more important, being kind or being honest?  Usually being kind, I suppose.  But there are certain situations when honesty is needed most.  I am seldom as kind to people as I should be. 

Saturday, February 03, 2024

My Chiefs are NOT part of anyones conspiracy theory.

This is the latest conspiracy theory

During the Chiefs' conference championship game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Mike Crispi, a pro-Trump podcast host on the right-wing Salem Media Group, posted a rant claiming the NFL had "RIGGED" a Chiefs victory.

"All to spread DEMOCRAT PROPAGANDA. Calling it now: KC wins, goes to Super Bowl, Swift comes out at the halftime show and 'endorses' Joe Biden with Kelce at midfield. It's all been an op since day one," Crispi wrote on X. (This will be the Chiefs' fourth Super Bowl appearance in the past five years.)

"I wonder who's going to win the Super Bowl next month. And I wonder if there's a major presidential endorsement coming from an artificially culturally propped-up couple this fall," former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who has pushed debunked conspiracy theories about the Jan. 6th insurrection, the 2020 election, and 9/11, wrote on X, the site formerly known as Twitter, on Monday.

Some people don't have enough to do with their time, if they can worry about stupid things like this.

This is from Minnesota Public Radio.  Good grief.