Evening Edition

We’ve been out in the Peace/Bird Garden all day, moving around purple coneflower, autumn sedum, bee balm, a few surviving rudbeckia, and discovering forgotten gladiolus bulbs scattered throughout. I had already moved a lot of bricks to make the peace sign a double circle and I’ve been imagining where I wanted to move the echinacea for a while now. The day was perfect and we got a lot done.

Later this week, after a few cold mornings get past us, I’ll add in the perennials that I overwintered: garden phlox, delphinium, and liatris.

I’m feeling the Springtime vibe and lovin’ it, so excited to visit Hillside Gardens for tomatoes and peppers and hit up Rural King for seeds and who-knows-what! Hope you’re feeling Spring-y where you are.


3 Thinks

Think #1:

We celebrated St. Paddy’s Day with corned beef brisket, new potatoes, and cabbage, our usual tribute to Irish traditions. It was a tough choice between Guinness and Kilkenny Red, so we went with the always-popular Jameson and Ginger Ale. My great-great-great-grandparents, Joseph and Margaret Kinkade, were born in County Down; they arrived in the port of Philadelphia in 1832, both of of them 22-years-old. The Maynes have since credited their penchant for drinking to the Irish, which is soo much more glamorous than the majority-German-ancestors; however, European statistics reveal that Germans drink slightly more than Irish. C’mon, Irish! Get out on the gargle, have a hooley and get scuttered! We have a full year to practice…

Think #2: (very thinky)

I watched Deep Space Nine, Season 1, Episode 1, “Emissary” last night. It is a deep one: Commander Sisko meets an entity/life form that is not subject to linear time, believing that “what comes before now is no different than what is now, or what is to come: it is one’s existence.” They read Sisko’s mind and see that the trauma of his wife’s death is a tragedy that his mind replays over and over and over, and though he explains that a human is ultimately the sum of his experiences, they point out to him that he “chooses to exist in that memory”, in fact does still exist in those memories, and that is decidedly Not Linear…

It just so happens that I’m going through old photos, picking some new ones for framing, and that stroll down Memory Lane is decidedly Not Linear. In the moments that I gaze at the youngsters in the pictures, dressed up and having fun, I exist in those memories, along with my now-grown-up babies and long-dead parents. What a blessing and such a curse! Our ability to re-live sometimes overwhelms our brain with raw emotions and though the Passing of Linear Time does soften the edges of our pain or joy over the years, we do Still Exist in those “moments remaining in a burnt-out light” *John Prine.

Counting the Years, as one does when one is celebrating a Jubilee Year, it’s clear that Sisko was right when he explained that a human is ultimately the sum of his experiences: (using baseball as a metaphor)

Sisko: In the end, it comes down to throwing one pitch after another, and seeing what happens. With each new consequence, the game begins to take shape.

Alien Batter: And you have no idea what that shape is until it is completed?

Sisko: That’s right. In fact, the game wouldn’t be worth playing if we knew what was going to happen.

Jake Prophet: You value your ignorance of what is to come?

Sisko: That may be the most important thing to understand about humans. It is the unknown that defines our existence. We are constantly searching, not just for answers to our questions, but for new questions. We are explorers. We explore our lives day by day, and we explore the galaxy, trying to expand the boundaries of our knowledge…

They don’t call it Deep Space for nothin’.

Think #3:

We’ll have a nice quiche to celebrate the Vernal Equinox, the 71st of my existence, tomorrow at 5:24pm. We woke up to a dusting of snow today, and the freeze is not going to let up for a couple more days, but the rest of the week looks good for working on the Peace/Bird Garden perennials. That’s where you’ll find me, though in my mind I’ll be existing among all the gardens of the past, leading up to this Only-Moment-that-Is, Right Now.


Storms and Sunshine

We seem to be alternating between fierce winds and drenching rains to breezes and sunshine as we transition to Spring — nothing new in this neighborhood. Lots of trees are down and small limbs and branches are littering the grounds, so the weather has let up to allow us to clean up before the next wave arrives.

I have to fight the urge to go out and start planting, or at least start seeds inside, but we could easily have freeze and snow until middle of May… To bide my time, I’m cleaning up the back porch and garden shed, always a treat and much preferable to cleaning the house.

I’m planning a trip over to Southern Illinois tomorrow, predicted to be a beautiful day. My Carmi friends have a new garden plot and I’m excited to see it and dream up a design. I’m sure I’ll be inspired and come home with ideas for my own scheme.

The Orchid Show is still going on over at the Zoo and that’s on my agenda, as well. Have you visited it yet?– it would be a great retreat on a rainy day.

In the meantime, the mundane tasks of reading, writing, and making music are keeping me company, but I’d love to meet up for lunch. Anyone?

Pulling on my boots and headed outside! Hope the sun is shining where you are!


Home again

Thanks, dear friends, for the many happy-birthday-wishes. The Jubilee has just begun! Day 4 of being 70 is showing promise as we unpack and plow through the laundry.

Our trip was Super! We did several things that we’d never done before: watched the sunset from Topolino’s Terrace, ate lunch at La Creperie in France, and rode Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind.

Cosmic Rewind is the BEST RIDE EVER!!! so we rode it twice.

On my Birthday Evening, we were gifted with reservations at Raglan Road, where we met up with one of the Irish Dancers there who made it such a special treat. We watched the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach at Fort Wilderness, visited Port Orleans French Quarter to celebrate Mardi Gras, and basked in some beautiful sunsets.

The picture below kind of sums it up: These two kids are happy…

One of the perks of our traveling is how good it feels to get back home. Breaking up the monotony of winter is especially invigorating, and with only three weeks until the Spring Equinox it feels like the days are considerably longer, if not brighter.

My Jubilee Mission continues: To fill the Year with love, laughter, good health, and good people. So far, so good…


Birthday Day

Disney World is Not just for kids, as I have shown you. In fact, we’ve walked nearly 12 miles since we arrived and I haven’t had anyone carry me, so far, like I see all these little’uns.

Yesterday we broke camp at Fort Wilderness and moved over here to Pop Century — our home-away-from-home. The weather is very hot and humid, so I’m glad we’re not camping the whole trip.

And now the Big Day has dawned and I’ve completed yet another trip around the sun, my 70th. Park Hopping is my cardio and I’m feeling pretty fit. We’re scheduled to ride Guardians of the Galaxy – Cosmic Rewind around 4:30 at Epcot today and have most of the day free to do whatever we feel. Celebrate!

It seems appropriate to quote Walt Disney…

To finish up the Judith Viorst poem, quoted in Sunday’s post, re: turning the big 7-0:

……In the meantime,

Let us consider

Drinking wine,

Making love,

Laughing hard,

Caring hard,

And learning a new trick or two

As part of our job description

At Seventy.

That’s a pretty good job description for any of us, don’t you agree? I’m so grateful for all of you, truly appreciative of all my readers, whatever your age… Join the Jamboree and celebrate with me!

Hope you youngsters are able to keep up with us Class-of-’71-ers…


and the Jubilee Jamboree begins…

After a particularly gray, gloomy week here at the Acres, we’ve escaped, driving south toward sunshine and balmy temperatures. As if that weren’t enough, it’s Birthday Week!

We were off to a great start Friday evening with a Game Night Party to celebrate Samantha’s 8th and my 70th. We played the new Life Goals card game and learned the Clue card game. Both of us Birthday Girls won, and though the Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey game was very competitive, the victory went to me.

If it’s noon, we’re driving through Chattanooga, a highway that makes me nervous. There’s something about runaway truck lanes that puts me on edge. If you’re reading this later in the afternoon, we’ve hopefully made it through Atlanta without too many stops and are cruising down the looong state of Georgia. We’ll stop tonight around sunset and spend the night in a campground. Goldie has been remodeled since our last outing and I believe we’ve got the layout just right for our needs.

I recently discovered an old (2005) book of poems by Judith Viorst, titled “I’m too young to be Seventy And other delusions”. She so perfectly put into words so much of what I’m feeling about this aging thing, and I’ll probably be sharing some of the poems with you this year. The title poem, “At Seventy”, starts like this

Instead of “old”

Let us consider


Or maybe “oldish”

Or something, anything

That isn’t always dressed in sensible shoes

And fading underwear.

Besides which, seventy isn’t old.

Ninety is old.

And though eighty is probably old,

We needn’t decide that

Until we get there.

I’m considering this trip a reset, a re-boot, a rejuvenation, a kick-off celebration of my long-ish life and overflowing blessings. I’ll be in touch, and we’ll see how that poem wraps up.


5 things

I really don’t have 5 things, yet, but those types of headlines usually catch a person’s attention, so I’m told, and I’m here to catch your attention…

  1. Last week’s test results turned out to be not nearly as bad as I feared. Thanks to my friends who reached out to me to share their experiences of physical limitations and how they cope, I feel a bit foolish to think my problems are any more than a little speck on a flower. I’m not foolish enough to ignore the lessons I should learn, though, and feel full commitment to improving my cardio-respiratory status. Thanks to Kristi, who met up with me at the mall for a walk on Tuesday and asked me back on Friday! I don’t know what I’d do without the Carnahan Sisters…
  2. During our October trip to WDW, Goldie (our campervan) bounced and rattled so much that we had a pole to stop the loud squeaking noises that drove Casey crazy. She has always been a bit of a rough ride, but that trip was absolutely over-the-top and I was very vocal with my complaining. Casey found a lump on one of the front tires and we changed it while at the resort, so the ride home was much better. After we got home, we bought four new tires, but still hadn’t had a chance to drive them very far. Friday we drove up to New Harmony and the ride was so smooth I thought we’d driven the wrong car! We will not need the stripper pole anymore and our driving will be sooo much better.
  3. I filed our taxes last week and the IRS set a new record for returns: by Tuesday we had our Federal and on Friday the State return was deposited. Rich people got rich-people-problems, so your experiences with the IRS may vary.
  4. My Dewey Decimal book challenge is moving right along — I’m to the 600s, 700s, and 800s. I’ve decided to read a book from each tenth of the 900s — biographies, world history, etc. since those subjects are some of my favorites. I started a new mystery series and it’s okay. I’m halfway through the first book and no one has been murdered yet, but it’s pretty clear who we’re supposed to want dead. Surely she’ll be offed soon.
  5. This Friday Samantha and I will have “our” birthday party! I’ll be gone for her big 8th birthday on the 22nd and will miss her Fun Zone party on the 25th, so we’ll have a Game Night, exchange presents, and probably eat some cupcakes.

While it’s been a doctor-visit-filled first 6 weeks of Jubilee year, the tide is turning and the Jamboree is about to begin! I’m sooo ready to be on our way to warm weather! We’ll leave next Sunday for WDW, but I’ll get back with you next Saturday. I know we go to WDW a lot, and many people are surprised that we go sans young’uns, but we always have a wonderful stay. This trip I will be riding Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind for the first time. There’s a lot to do outside of the parks, as well, and I’ve got a mind to have some drinks and sing-along at JellyRoll’s dueling piano bar.

Thanks again, dear readers, for your help processing my health challenges. You are All the Best!


A little blather…

I managed to get to the doctor before Sonnystone became an ice rink, but had to wait a few gloomy, gray days to pick up my Rx and get started. My mood has been as dreary as the days, so I’ve Tried to cheer up by planning our upcoming Disney trip. Unfortunately, that approach only moved my despair over to my current girth.

I need to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks — haven’t we all been there? I want to lose weight, but I don’t want to get caught up in one of those “eat right and exercise” scams, ya know? You don’t get a body like mine overnight, folks; it takes years of moderate alcoholism, neglect, and sundry damaging behaviors. I feel like I’ve been driving around with my “check engine” light on for quite a while now, and it’s time to do something about it. Really, though, 5 pounds would be good so I’ll fit into my Vacation clothes a little more comfortably.

Two weeks of counting calories won’t kill me, but I often cockily think I “deserve” to pig out. Recent diagnoses should give me some motivation, and I do love to try some new recipes. I cooked up all the red meat in the house last week, finished up most of the sugary snacks I had laying around, and made up a menu of healthy meals for the week.

I would really like to start walking on a regular basis, something I’ve not done since pre-Covid days. (Covid sure did eff us all up, smh) This time of year walking at the mall is the best place, so I wonder if any of you walk there? or would you like to? It would be fun to meet up and see if I can still walk and talk at the same time.

I’m scheduled for some tests this Monday and there will be more doctor consultations coming up, but I’m sure it’s all going to make me stronger and better, and maybe even a little thinner.

Currently streaming through my brain:

Have a good week!


Catching up with myself

Last week was moving right along, winter-as-usual around here with all its boredom, so I was happy to get out and have a routine x-ray. It’s always a great time to have people tell me how great I’m doing “at your age”. Yes, and aren’t I?

This year, there was a change. No cancer, thank-you-Lord, but a couple of other worrisome findings: bronchiectasis/pneumonitis in my left lower lobe; atherosclerosis of my coronary arteries and thoracic artery. This is new from last year, so maybe I’ve caught things quickly, eh? But I’ve been resisting taking cholesterol-lowering medicine for a couple of years now, so I feel guilty and crazy and kinda freaked-out. I’ll see my NP and get started on those meds, and maybe some steroids for the inflammation?, but I’m considerably humbled as I realize that even I, the healthy one with the good genes, can wear out.

I spent yesterday pouting and moping, having an interior argument with my inner bitch, fighting back all the “you should have” or “you know better” or the worst, “you’re a nurse, for gott’s sake”.

I did my usual praying and the general message from Beyond was: “I know we have talked about this extensively, this inevitable decay of All of creation”. Yes, We have talked about it, A Lot, I countered, but in a general way, not actually Me! I thought I was special! Silence on the other end has led me to believe that perhaps I’ve not been listening as well as I ought…

I had to calm myself as I imagined I’d never be able to “finish” my writing, or that I’d not feel like traveling . I began to see those efforts as meaningless and spent a while like the Teacher in Ecclesiastes:

What do people gain from all their labors
    at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go…

My attitude was like Prince…

…We’re all gonna die
And when we do (When we do)
What’s it all for? (What’s it all for?)
You better live now
‘Fore the grim reaper come knocking on your door

After a dark walk through the past, I came out better…just like Prince, again: Am I going to let de-elevator break me down? Hell, no! Let’s Go!

One of the healthiest habits I’ve learned in my life is to look at reality and accept it. Non-resistance is as important for my heart as it is for my soul, so some meditation has brought ’round my perspective. These sorts of changes generally provide opportunities to Grow in understanding, compassion, and faith, as well as physical health, so it’s kind of exciting, in a nervous kind of way. I’m grateful for the medicines we have today; they may even be able to reverse what the radiologist saw. I’m so thankful no cancer was seen. I’m glad I feel so good.

I’m hard at work on what is now going to be a book, converting my blog posts over to Word and editing like mad. The blog itself (www.allmyancestry.wordpress.com) is still intact, though the book will contain updated material, some of which changes the whole chapter, so it’s more than just checking punctuation; good inside work.

We’ll be leaving for Disney in 3 weeks, planning on 2 nights at the campground, 3 at Pop Century. We’re still working on getting the bedding in Goldie right and I’ve ordered a foam mattress that I hope works.

I hope you don’t take this post as complaining, as I mean it as just an admission that I did a lot of griping and mulling yesterday. I know how good I’ve got it. I know how to make changes in my lifestyle to support the addition of meds. I’m just saying, this is a major change in my Mind and it will have an effect on the rest of my life, however long that may be.