Monday, August 11, 2014

Week full of shocks.

I have had a week full of shocks.

My first shock came on Monday when I found the doctors did not like the results of an echocardiogram, I had done the week before, and wanted to schedule some more tests.

My second shock came on Friday when I went in for what was to be a routine Cardiac Catheterization. I passed out during the test and woke up to find four large burns on my chest caused by having to be defibrillated--- TWICE.  

Don't be alarmed!  I'm fine and the test showed that I do not have any heart problems.  Doc's claimed I must have been allergic to the dye they used. 

But, the biggest shock of all came on Saturday when I opened my Facebook account to find a photograph of one of my brothers with a daughter he had just met for the first time.  A girlfriend from long ago had become pregnant but he did not marry her and had no contact with her during the next forty-four years.  His daughter decided to track her biological father down after all these years and there they were smiling at the camera.

My brother's wife of more than three decades and their children knew nothing of this love child.  When my younger brother refused to "do-the-right-thing" and marry the girl, my mother decreed (like a scene from the Godfather) that it would not be spoken of ever again within the family, and it wasn't.  Over half of my siblings who were either too young or not yet born grew up knowing nothing about it. Now, as they go to Facebook, they are learning they have a niece who is forty-three and their children have five new cousins. Not only that but one of our "new" sister's four daughters has a child which is the first great-great-grandchild of my mother.    

My mother is eighty-nine.  Would learning of this sudden addition to our family be too much of a shock for her extremely religious mindset?  Will she feel only the shame of illegitimacy and denial, or will she embrace all these new relations?

Boy, what a shocking week and I suspect there will be even more shocks yet to come.     

Thursday, August 7, 2014

She speaks for me

Maxine sure seems to speak for me a lot more often these days.  I have to agree with her on the Keep Calm craze.  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Maxine, You Gotta Love Her

I have gotta say that this sure seems right to me.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wedding Season

Last weekend I attended the wedding of one of my nieces and it got me thinking about all the other weddings I have attended over my sixty odd years. More weddings than I can remember at this point. I have been involved in weddings and attended them from almost every side of the event. 

I have been the bride, the wedding guest, the wedding planner, the photographer, and even the caterer.  But never the bridesmaid.  I have seen and heard all the good, the bad, the ugly and the OMG what were they thinking moments of those weddings. As a result, I formed some strong opinions about how I think both the ceremony and the reception should be carried out.

Here are a few weddings I have attended that failed in my book.

One bride wanted a rustic old west 1880’s wedding. She found a long unused and partly dilapidated wooden chapel hidden in the middle of a thicket of trees some distance from a roadway; cleaned it up best as she could and installed a hitching post and other western accents (that had to be removed later.) Since there was no access road or parking the wedding guests met at the reception hall parking lot and were bussed a mile or so to where they could walk the remaining distance to the chapel. Once there they were kept waiting on a hot summer day (without water or restroom facilities) for the bride (while the groom paced up and down the walking path) who was two hours late arriving by horse and buggy with her bridesmaids.

At another wedding, held at a beautiful location miles from the nearest town, there was to be a three-hour wait between the ceremony and the reception. The guests were given the option of leaving and returning later or waiting in a nicely decorated pavilion where refreshments and games of all types were provided, while the wedding party went off in a limo-bus to have photos taken. The refreshments ran out before everyone could be served. It was a late October afternoon that turned very chilly as the sun set. Eventually, fire bits were lit but did nothing to warm the guests. The caterers came and set up for dinner but still the wedding party had not returned. Frozen guests began to give up and leave and the caterer announced that they would soon not be able to keep the food hot, and still no wedding party. The frantic parents were calling with no response. Unknown to the family and waiting guest the bridal party had decided on going to a local wine festival to meet up with their college friends for a few drinks. Just as my husband and I were leaving to take my elderly hypothermic mother home, the drunken bridal party began to stumble into the pavilion to start the reception. I heard the parents had enough leftovers in their freezer to serve a couple dozen Sunday dinners and the photographer doubled his cost to cover the extra hours he spent trapped with the wedding party.

Then there was the wedding where the bride and her new mother-in-law got into a heated argument with name calling because the bride refused to pose for all the group photos the MIL expected.

Now we come to my niece’s wedding. It was also one for the record books but in a good way. The entire affair ran like a Swiss watch.  The church was packed to standing room only. The weather was wonderful. The reception hall was beautiful and roomy.  The temperature was pleasant and the bridal party arrived at the reception right on time. The dinner and dancing both started at the times stated in the invitation as well.  From what I could see the entire event was all happiness, love, and enjoyment.      

This affair left nothing for me to criticize, I was delighted that I did not see a single tee shirt or baseball cap among the guests and only one pair of jeans and they were worn with a dress shirt, tie and sports coat. Only one young woman wore an outfit I would call inappropriate.  It was a one-piece jumpsuit that had hot pants for the bottom.  Had it been a skirt the whole room would have had a show when she bent over. I normally dislike seeing strapless gowns worn in church because the wearers are so often adjusting their tops, but those worn at this wedding were tastefully fitted and did not give the impression we would be viewing a fashion malfunction.

I must give Kudos to all involved. This was the best wedding I have attended in quite some time.   

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Popeye and Friends.

If you know the name of the person in this photo then you know the name of the restaurant where this picture hangs.  

Founded in 1935, it was the Watermann brothers' answer to their dwindling farm income and the Depression-era need for food made right and sold cheap.  Fast-forward almost 80 years, and Wimpy's remains a shanty-size holdout, a place where regulars gather at a curving counter to banter with servers and chow down on basic fare that seems as right today as it must have when a dime in your pocket really meant something.

 Popeye and all his friends live on at Wimpy's in the old framed cartoons that still cover the walls and Brain sandwiches are still a staple on the menu board.    

Monday, June 30, 2014

Nighttime surprise

I woke up in the middle of the night to find a huge whale hovering over me.  In my sleepy state, it took a few minutes to realize it was a shadow made by the light of the alarm clock and the blades of the ceiling fan.

Given that both the fan and the clock have been in the same spot for the last four years I'm surprised this is the first time I noticed the pattern they make on the ceiling.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Here we go again

In my archives, you will find a post entitled "Decision to have the last Word"  you can read it by clicking on the linked title above.  

One part of that post is copied below:
One day my husband and I were sitting in the exam room of a young Indian pulmonologist waiting for the results of tests done the week before.  Truthfully, we were not prepared for what followed.  This young doctor had certainly not had time to hone his bedside manner because, he stepped inside the room, shut the door and turned to look in my direction and bluntly said the words that will be forever etched in my memory, and I quote verbatim "Your test proved exactly what I expected.  You have Pulmonary Fibrosis.  You will be on oxygen within a year and dead in five."

Well last Friday I was once again in the office of this same doctor.  I had been feeling poorly for several days and then suddenly had problems breathing when I went outdoors in the hot humid weather of central Missouri.  I was sure I once again had pneumonia.  I've had it many times and always in the summer months.  Once the doctor had ordered a chest X-ray and a battery of pulmonary function test plus, referred me to a heart specialist for a stress test and echocardiogram he turned to my husband and me and bluntly said "You know the median life expectancy for your illness is seven and a half years.  I have been seeing you for three. I'm sure this is just the natural progression I expected from the beginning."

So starting tomorrow morning I will begin the weeklong battery of expensive testing: knowing that in the end, the result will be "Oh, you just had a bout of pneumonia."  Why did I even bother to go to the doctor in the first place and why can't I find another one closer to home to switch to.   

But, I could be wrong so wish me luck.  

Friday, June 6, 2014

Can't Wait

A few weeks ago hubby and I planted a few tomato plants in pots on our patio.  Today, I found my first green tomato on one of the plants.  I can't wait for summer and all those home grown tomatoes.  Certainly one of my favorite things of summer.  This song is an oldie from my childhood and I agree with every word of it.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Outside my Window

It's two thirty on a Sunday afternoon.  The thermometer on my patio fence reads eleven degrees. The yard is all white and freezing rain has been intermittent for hours.  I have been sitting at my computer since noon and regularly looking out the window beside me at the corner of our yard where two normally busy sheets meet.  I have not seen a single vehicle travel down either street during this time, so folks must be heeding the weather folk's advice to stay home.  

I just went to the kitchen for a drink and luckily my camera was on the counter.   There were three birds fighting over the suet hubby had rigged up in front of our kitchen window.  

They were so busy they failed to notice me when I started clicking away.  I have no idea what kind of birds these are but they were certainly happy to find our feeders.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What do you do when housebound to keep from going bonkers?

Back when Punxsutawney Phil predicted we were in for six more weeks of winter I borrowed the puzzle below from my mother.  It turned out to be a lot of fun and not very hard to put together.   So I  picked up two puzzles the next time I was able to go to the store. 

I started the puzzle below during our last bit of bad weather and just finished it this very morning.  I thought the fall leaves I posted back in January were hard (it took two weeks) but it turned out to be a piece of cake compared to all the birch bark and sky in this one.  This one tied up our dining table for almost three weeks.

I just looked outside and discovered our car has a light dusting of snow covering the windshield.  Haven't heard the latest weather report but it looks like I will have to pack away the birds and get started on the Indian Chief  I purchased.  I guess we really are going to have six more weeks of winter.  What do you do when housebound to keep from going bonkers?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Weekly Kranky List

Here are just a few of the things that made me cranky this week:

 Seems that no matter where I go shopping all I see is pudgy girls in low-rise skinny jeans.  I wish someone would invent a camera that allowed others to see themselves as others see them.
  I got a virus (me not my computer) and spent three days feeling bad and one of the three in bed.  Hubby caught my bug and it became a ten-day nightmare with two trips to the doctor and an endless round of observations about how he took better care of me when I was sick, then I was taking care of him.  Why are men such bad patients?  

I have a seventeen-year-old grandson who is applying to colleges.  I am out to dinner with friends and get a panic call from his parents.  They have been waiting in line for hours at a college open house. When they finally got to the registration table, the first thing asked was their son's Social Security number, which they didn't know.   Whenever anything like this happens they resort to a tried and true solution, call Mom she will fix it. Not only did my daughter expect me to have his SSN she expected me to either have it memorized or stored on my person. When I didn't have the answer my dear daughter didn't see any problem with asking me to leave my friends and drive home to search for the info she wanted.  After all, they had waited "hours" to register their son.  The fact that they had not bothered to find out what they might need up front so they could be prepared had no bearing on the issue.  I was once again the bad guy.

We had a windstorm yesterday evening with 60-mile gusts made worse by the fact that we live on top of a hill.  When it was over, the awning over the patio was in tatters and our yard was littered with the singles that were once protecting our roof.  Plus, a large nail-studded tar soaked sheet of roofing liner landed on the hood of our car.  Needless to say, none of it is pretty and I fear what the repair will cost.  Looks like today will be spent dealing with the cleanup.  Of course, rain is forecast tomorrow.

Monday, February 17, 2014


Growing up as an auctioneer’s daughter who, along with my siblings, were the staff that made sure the proceeds of my parent’s auctions stayed in the family; I got to know many dedicated collectors.

While our family business ran to country farm and estate sales and a twice weekly consignment sale held in old barns and chicken houses; with fast talking, sing-song chanting, joke telling, bib overall wearing auctioneers. We didn’t have any of those couldn’t-chant-if-their-life-depended-on-it, suit and tie guys watching for raised paddles from silent guests sitting on petit-point chairs in a mirrored and crystal room at someplace like Christies’ but the mentality of the collector seems to be the same.

What is it about people and collecting?  Why would someone want to fill their home, with multiples of the same item?  Or a room filled with a particular period’s baubles?  I doubt if I will ever understand collectors and I happen to be one of them. 

In one of my bookcases, there is a large ornate candleholder filled with bookmarks; everything from advertising handouts to poetry to the gift shop souvenir, none of which have ever held a place in a book.  The books lying around my house have store receipts, bobby pins, nail files and who knows what marking my page. 

What was once several hundred figurines of owls has slowly been culled to about fifty that can be found tucked into every nook and cranny from my flowerbeds to my laundry room.  A row of Hull Art vases, all in the same pastel magnolia pattern, sits atop my china hutch.  While a corner of my dining room houses my mini collection of Knight’s and castles.

My dozen or so cedar boxes are each filled with some small collection from cameo pins to nail clippers.  A lifetime of seashells, hauled home a few at a time, have finally been corralled into a wreath that hangs on my bathroom wall beside a shelf of shells to big to be held by a dot of hot glue.

Old-fashioned heavy glass paperweights line up in front of the books in one bookcase while mummified oranges (Florida 1979) occupy another. All around my office are decorative containers, coffee cups or little trays filled with binder clips, pebbles, memory sticks or assorted small items.  Heck, if one is good why not a couple dozen…. right. 

The above are just a few of the items you would find on a tour of my home. I am the rare collector that does not go out seeking rare or unique items to add to my collections, they somehow seem to find me.  I sure wish I could understand what it is about them that attracts me, because perhaps I could start to rid myself of them so my poor family doesn’t have to deal with it all after my passing.  

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I wish

I wish……..

photo courtsey of Flickr
folks would stop thinking that because I live on a corner lot they can use their time at the stop sign to deposit the litter from their car into my yard. 

I could do in real life all the things that I do in my dreams.

I had not canceled my newspaper subscription because today someone called to say a photo of my garden, covered in snow, was published on the front page and I could not find a copy anywhere. 

I had felt loved as a child.  Perhaps now I would not feel the need to run for chili cheese fries when things get  …. Well hurtful.  

internet photo
Car designers would actually design an interior to please a busy woman… And I don’t mean doing the vase of flowers on the dashboard thing.  

My 88 yr. old mother would stop using the phrase “old age is not for sissies” and “life gets tedious” in the same sentence a dozen times a day.  I’m getting old and it is starting to hit too close to home.  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

We are buried in snow ………AGAIN !!!!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Still Shivering

I know everyone is sick of hearing about the weather, but, darn I could sure use some time on a tropical beach about now. Will I ever stop needing to add more layers to stay warm? 

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Image: Melanie_Hughes via Flickr.
Do you have a lucky number?  Is there one certain number that seems to be more prevalent in your life or the history of your family?

There certainly is in mine.  That number is “seven.”  Here is how it plays out:

My material grandfather was the seventh son of a seventh son.  You are probably aware of the once widely held belief that the seventh son of a seventh son was endowed with notable talents and supernatural powers. This belief persisted through the Middle Ages into the late nineteenth century when my grandfather was born.  Well, I’m here to tell you the only special powers my grandfather had, according to the family stories I heard, was that of being a ladies man and mean as a stepped on snake. 

My mother and father were both one of seven children. 

My mother was the baby of her family so she was the seventh child of the seventh son of the seventh son.

My mother and father each had one sibling with seven children.

My mother had six children in seven years, and then five years later the seventh child was born (making him the seventh child of the seventh child of the seventh son of the seventh son).  That brother was the first of the last seven children to be born for a total of thirteen. 

I am the oldest child and my first sister is seven years younger then I am.

I have nine brothers and seven are married so I have seven sisters-in-law.

Oh, and did I mention that I was born on July 7th.  Or seven-seven.

So why isn’t seven my lucky number?