Monday, November 26, 2018

Do You Remember...

Family picnics by the lake, complete with potato salad, ham sandwiches and Auntie Emily's famous dill pickles.  And a huge watermelon cooling in the water under a tree on the shore.  And Mother reminding us that if we didn't wait an hour after eating to go swimming, we would surely get cramps.

Or playing Scrabble or Sorry or Yahtzee after the supper dishes were done.  And the Monopoly marathon with a cousin that lasted the whole weekend.  And those of us who had mothers who insisted regular playing cards were of the Devil, played Rook and Authors and Old Maid and Uno instead.

There were lazy summer afternoons spent with actual paper books and we could get lost in them solving mysteries or going on wonderful adventures or, for the girls, sighing over romances or riding the range with Zane Gray, for the boys.  Seems to me we knew the difference between boys and girls back then.

The hot Sunday afternoons spent sitting on the porch with friends or with visiting relatives, trying to catch a bit of a breeze.  There was a pitcher of ice cold lemonade, made from real lemons and a plate piled high with gingersnaps.

There were summer days of riding our bikes as fast as we could go down 'Killer Hill,' trying to stop before hitting the railroad tracks and  getting pitched off into the weeds.  Or in the winter, riding that same hill on Flexible Flyer sleds - the wooden ones with the steel runners - trying to stop at the bottom for the same reason.

For us in the North, there were Saturdays watching our kid brother play hockey on an outdoor rink.  And there were Sunday afternoons at the skating rink, pretending to be a world class skater, even though I never did get the hang of doing jumps or even skating backwards.  But oh, it was fun to glide across the ice, stopping only when noses and toes became numb with the cold.  The little warming house with the attendant keeping a fire going in a small pot bellied stove was welcome.

I realize that we can not live in the past, but sometimes when the headlines tell of riots and political stupidity and just plain meanness in our world, it is nice to revisit those long ago places and remember there was a time when our world was a place of kindness and respect for one another.  Where life was not so hectic.  Where the simple pleasures lived.  I rather like it there.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

I Am Thankful

It is easy to find all sorts of things to complain about.  Our world has become a madhouse of biblical proportions.  But today, on the day we are setting aside to count our blessings, I would like to do just that.

I am thankful for four adult children and six grandchildren along with various and assorted spouses and significant others who are all healthy and happy.  Everyone who needs to be gainfully employed has a job.  They all have roofs over their heads and food on their tables.  God has truly blessed my family.

I am thankful for those adult children, for they are always there for me when I need them to be.  I seem to need their help more now than I did when I was still able to get out and about to do for myself, but they don't ever refuse and they don't ever complain about being inconvenienced. 

I am thankful for the wonderful nurses who come to my home three times a week to change the dressings on my legs and re-wrap the ace bandages for me.  They are a cheerful lot and their expertise keeps me free of infection and out of the hospital.

I don't know if I have ever told you the story behind my use of oxygen, but I think now is the time to tell it.  One of my nurses sat me down and explained that when a person is not getting enough oxygen, the organs in the body begin to deteriorate and shut down.  With tears in her eyes, she told me that she didn't want me to die.  And when my stubbornness got in the way, she went over my head and called one of my kids, explaining the situation to them.  That's when two of them showed up at my door and bundled me off to the doctor's office.  The efforts of that nurse and my kids are the reason I can walk the length of my apartment now without having to stop to catch my breath.  They are the reason my health has improved and I am no longer sick half the time or too tired to do anything.  They are the reason I am enjoying my life much more than before. For them, I thank God every day.

I am thankful for the friends I have made through this silly little blog.  Even though I will never meet you all in person, you have become an important part of my life.  I so enjoy reading and answering your comments and emails.  Sometimes I have lots to say and sometimes, not so much, but you stick with me anyway and that means much to me.

So this is me.....wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.  May God bless each and every one of you.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Right On Schedule

The weather guessers told us the snow would start right about suppertime this evening and sure enough, it did.  There is only an inch or so on the ground now at 9 PM.  We may get another inch or so, but that is the extent of this round.  No complaints here, but I expect the ski crowd and the snowmobile people are hoping for more.

My weekend looks to be a quiet one.  I think I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to finishing Boston's graduation afghan, so I will work on that.  I don't do much canning or dehydrating between Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Everybody has places to be for Thanksgiving this year.  That's the way it goes sometimes when there are families of spouses to share holidays with and that's the way it should be.  Duane will be home, so he will roast a small turkey and make the stuffing.  I am in charge of mashed potatoes and vegetables.  There will be pumpkin pie. 

David called me the other evening.  He had taken Maddie Mae to her gymnastics practice and then delivered Jacob to hockey practice.  He was on his way to pick up Maddie Mae, after which he would collect Jacob and take both of them home.  Then he told me about all the stressful dealings he had with customers.  He is in charge of snow removal crews in the winter and some customers expect them to be at their place of business two minutes after it stops snowing.  Not going to happen. 

He asked what I was doing.  I told him I was spending a quiet evening with a book.  He said, rather wistfully, "Maybe I can do that someday."

There is something to be said about my quiet lifestyle after all.  :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


So last night the outdoor temp was 9 degrees.  And although my little apartment was warm, the idea of curling up in my recliner with my favorite green fuzzy blanket seemed like a good idea.  So I did.  Kindle in hand I began to read and several paragraphs later, fell sound asleep.

Six hours later I opened one eye to discover morning had arrived.  As I levered myself into an upright position, my joints screamed bloody murder from being in one position for so long. 

I stumbled into the kitchen and started water heating for coffee, then proceeded on to the bathroom.  As I passed the bathroom mirror, I glanced at it.  The apparition that stared back at me caused me to back up for another look.

A bleary eyed old woman looked at me, every wrinkle visible in the harsh light.  My hair has grown to be just a couple of inches above where my waist used to be.  I usually just tie it back in a pony tail to keep it out of my food and the dishwater.  It was now all askew with a huge rat's nest lodged in the pony tail over my left shoulder.  My shirt was rumpled like I had slept in my clothes.  Well. duh!

And that's when I started to laugh.  I remembered this meme I had shamelessly stolen from Gorges over at Gorges' Grouse.  He posts some good memes and this one had tickled me.

We live in a world of corrupt, power hungry politicians, and a government hell-bent on invading every aspect of our lives.  Some of our schools are now teaching kids about alternative lifestyles, as if kids aren't confused enough just being kids.  We have mobs of thugs harassing those who do not agree with their politics.  We have laws that apply to the rank and file of us but not to the elite, apparently.  And to top it off, we seem to be confused about which bathroom is appropriate to use.

We need more laughter.  We need it to offset the craziness surrounding us.  We need the silly jokes and comedians who are actually funny and the ability to laugh at the truly ridiculous situations where we find ourselves now and then.

Because when we lose our ability to laugh it quickly becomes just too much to bear.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Winter Wonderland and Vegetable Soup

Well, OK...So it is only maybe an inch of snow on the ground, but still...

The lovely lady who cleans my apartment didn't show up Wednesday as scheduled.  She called to tell me she was a bit under the weather.  So this morning she called again to tell me she was still down with some sort of respiratory problem and we decided she should just skip this week and get back on schedule next week.  The last thing I need is to be exposed to some bug going around.  I'm glad she had the good sense to call me rather than just showing up.  The poor thing sounded just awful on the phone.  I hope she gets to feeling better soon.

So now that my Friday is free, I am soon off to the kitchen to do some serious slicing and dicing.  My grocery order yesterday included the ingredients for a big stockpot full of vegetable soup.  Today I will prep the vegetables and tomorrow, combine them and can the soup.

I don't use a recipe as such, but just toss in what I like.  There are 6 one pound bags of frozen, mixed vegetables, two pounds of carrots, one bunch of celery, one small cabbage, about four pounds of potatoes and two large cans of crushed tomatoes.  These I cover with water and toss in a few beef bouillon cubes along with onion powder, garlic powder, celery seed and dried parsley. 

This makes a good soup base that can be eaten as is or if I want a more hardy soup, I just add some of my home canned beef or pork for a meal.  This is good thickened served over biscuits, too.  It has become a staple in my pantry.

So even though it is cold outside, it is a day of beautiful sunshine.  Even the  city streets are pretty with a new covering of snow.  Enjoy your day as I am enjoying mine.  :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Sigh of Relief

The midterms are over.  The mudslinging ads are done.  Here in Minnesota it was all about health care.  The left told us if we had a pre-existing condition we would die if the right was voted in.  And the right was all about calling the left liars.  The left pretty much won here, which is no great surprise.  And life still goes on and will probably continue regardless.

I had a few days of catching up on chores that had been neglected and a few days of staying in my jammies and reading and napping and crocheting.  So now I am ready to get back into my normal routine. 

I have ordered enough vegetables for huge batch of soup to be canned.  They will arrive Thursday, so I will prep them Thursday afternoon and can the soup either Friday or Saturday.  When I get ready to use it, I just add a jar of canned meat and a bit of seasoning.  It can be eaten as soup or thickened over dumplings or biscuits.

I haven't seen much of my two oldest.  Daughter Jill came down with pneumonia, but is recovering nicely.  Son Duane was feeling under the weather and then broke out in a rash on his forehead.  Turns out he had shingles, which caused him to stay home a week because shingles is contagious.  He stayed away from me, too.  He went back to work today.

Feels like winter is just around the corner with colder temps and just enough snow in the surrounding area to cause a bunch of fender benders this morning.  Happens every year.  We forget over the summer how to drive on icy roads.  But we relearn fast.  :)

So it is off to the kitchen to fix a bit of supper and then settle in for an evening of crocheting and movie watching.  I swear, this afghan I'm working on for Boston is taking forever to finish.  With 144 granny squares in it, I shouldn't be surprised it is taking so long.  I'll show it to you when it is done, but that may be awhile.

It is good to be back.  :)