Sunday Report

Well, hey there, Sonnystoners!  It’s been a six weeks since I’ve reported the News from here at the Acres.  I hope you’re enjoying reading the Sonnystone Saga as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

Since the last report 42 days ago, my Aunt Shirley died.

Me and Aunt Shirley, February 25, 2020

If you’re a regular reader, you remember that she had her Dyin’ Party  back in June.  There was another fall after she returned to Florida and things went downhill.  She passed on August 13.  I was in close communication with the cousin who was her caregiver and the whole process has had me on the phone more than I have been in Years.  Talking on the phone drains me and I don’t know why I liked it so much in my younger years; maybe back then I had more energy to drain.

Just after Shirley’s death, we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary with a trip in the trailer to Harmonie State Park.  We’ve spent many an anniversary camping there and it’s always relaxing, yet invigorating.  I’ve reflected over the last 40 years and come up with no enduring complaints.  We are very happy together and grateful for each other.

That may have been our last trip in the travel trailer… I’m sad, but our original intent is quite different from the current reality.  We had planned to spend a couple of months each winter down in Melbourne, FL, near Aunt Shirley and my Cousin Kim.  Florida State Parks are so cheap and beautiful, but it was impossible for me to get reservations during the snow-bird months.  There are plenty of other nice campgrounds, if you can get in, but they cost much much mucho more $.  We’ve gone down there for the last three winters trying places out, but nothing pleased us…that we could afford.

Of course, we’d also planned to do the out-West stuff, like the NM trips, but decided last year that we didn’t want to haul the trailer up into the Rockies.  Making it all the way to California would take days and mega gallons of gas (the gas consumption is much higher than we thought).  There, too, it’s not easy to find affordable campgrounds.

So we’re putting everything back into the trailer just the way it was when we bought it,  ugly upholstery and all.  When Casey’s got it shining, we’ll put a for sale sign in the yard and see what happens.  If it doesn’t sell this fall, we’ll cover it up and put it away until next year.   If you know anyone who might be interested in buying a well-kept 2017 Coachmen Catalina Legacy, send me a message.

The Anniversary trip was supposed to be to Disney World, but we opted against masks all day in 100degree, muggy weather.  We did renew our Annual Passes, though, and feel that it’s safe enough to go sometime this fall.  We’ve booked our rooms for 2021 Spring Break with the Jrs., showing our hope for the future.  It’s hard to make plans right now; everything seems uncertain, like standing on shaking ground.

The Bright Spot in my Days lately has been researching and writing The Sonnystone Saga.  I could go on and on, so I have decided I will.  I have another blog, All My Ancestors, where I have written about my greats and Casey’s illustrious kin. There are still several branches of the families to pursue, so after I finish up the Saga, I’ll dig in to those roots. I’m going to post those on Mondays, here on Sonnystone.  I’ll return to sharing the Weekly Report on Sundays and not get so far behind!

Did you know I have a gardening blog, too?  I post a photo/journal entry there every week on Thursdays.  I’m going to “move” those posts over to this blog starting this week.  For now, that will be posts on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays.  I’m excited..!

The Twelfth installment of The Sonnystone Saga will be published tomorrow.  Thanks for Reading!


Not much…

The last two weeks have been filled with six dentist appointments, lots of pain meds, several emotional outbursts, and I’m still not done.  What can I say?

My dentist and his assistants are just the best people, though, and I’m so grateful for their professionalism and kindness.  We have worked as a team to get this all done before my Birthday next Sunday.

This coming week Samantha and I will have Our Brrday party before she has her own kidsfest at GattiTown and I have my own celebration at…who knows where?

I hope you’re having more fun than I am…


Falling for Fall

The weather is chilly with bright sunshine and last night’s Full Moon was spectacular.

Though my foot is still tender (it was a bad sprain) I’m up and at the decorating and gardening.  A lot of Time has been spent Being Here Now — watching the birds, going about my chores, and taking time to prop up my feet.


I haven’t felt like writing and I apologize for my absence.  These last few months have been physically challenging but mentally strengthening. The former is fading as the healing of the tendons and ligaments progresses.    The latter is not easy to discuss…  I just feel Free…

That Freedom is currently manifesting itself by being outside.  Tugged along by the Autumn changes, I’m walking through crunchy leaves, feeling the pull of the season from hot and green to cool and orange, My usual cardinals have now been joined by migrating birds at the feeders and bath.  I’m too busy Watching to take very many pictures, but I’m sure that will pick up since I got out the Nikon.




I had surgery on Monday.  I went in with a small, still draining cyst on my inner right thigh.  I knew the thing had been full of infection last July, but I wasn’t prepared for how extensive the tunneling had been.  I have a 5-inch incision and a lot of bruising now but at least the damn thing is gone.

The first two days were spent in a hydrocodone-haze, feet up and ice bag on hand.  Yesterday, I decided to be well and got up and strode around, using ibuprofen only.  Sitting in my office chair is not necessarily comfortable. Six hours later, I was back on my ass, ice-bag on and whining for a tab.  Today I am pacing myself, 3 hours on, 3 off.  I hate it.  I can’t drive for fear of pulling stitches, so I’m stuck here. I have no interest in watching TV, but I do have my soaps recorded, so there’s that.  It’s a good time to catch up on the movies I haven’t watched and the books I’ve been meaning to read.

What’s keeping me patient is planning the Fall Garden Work that will give us an outline of the Bird Garden.  It’s gone through some changes as I stared out my window, but I believe we have the final layout figured.  Casey is taking care of some other projects (and me) right now, but if weather (and my leg) is co-operative we should be starting in a couple of weeks.

I got some mums before the surgery and brought down our motley assortment of fall decorations.  It doesn’t feel like Autumn yet, that’s for sure, but by the time I’m back on my feet we should feel the changes.

Wink loves Fall



Monday Musings

It is raining again … I’m fighting the gloomies, aware that some summers here in Eville have involved too much rain to suit me or my garden and this could be one of them…

Last week there were a kajillion activities around town…I had planned on getting down to see the Ultimate Air Dogs, my favorite feature of the Shrinefest Air Show, but the planes and dogs were rained out.

In between thunderstorms, we took the kids to the zoo…I adore the new Budgie Walkabout.  There are 350 Parakeets (did you know Parakeets are also called Budgies?  I didn’t) in a rainbow of hues flying in a roomy screen area.  You purchase feeding sticks (hey, it’s for a good cause), put out your hand and oila!

I took in an inside-fest: Midnight Madness at Willard Library.  Each day there was a speaker or two and the librarians were there until late to help with local and regional genealogy from their extensive collections.  I’ve attended before, but not since the Willard addition of The Browning Room.  The new room holds a lot more people comfortably and the  two days of presentations that I attended were excellent.  I immediately started using my new-found tools to run down some details and killed many of the rainy hours living in the Past…

I have always enjoyed planning Trips, so that’s another way I’ve piddled while I wait for the Sun.  I’m working on a foray into New Mexico.  We took a quick visit before Casey retired and Ihad a fall and injured my knee the first day out, to say nothing of the fact that we took the Wrong Road to Taos… We didn’t have enough time, either, so I’m thinking we’ll head back this September and do it right.  I’m also tweaking our March 2020 Getaway –Florida Keys, Naples, Melbourne, and (of course) Disney –Just another way to wait out the rain…living in the Future.

I’m failing to live up to my Motto:  Be Here Now… but Now is wet, dark, dusty, and just plain depressing…   Is the Sun still out there?

It is, it really is…

(Brush up on your Spanish as you sing along with George…and get outside if you can see the Sun)




Lest you think I only show my smart side here on the blog, here’s a saga of stupidity…

I did my usual maintenance down at the Nails place–mani, pedi, chin and lip wax–on Saturday.  I hate having to wax my face, but I could quickly grow a Colonel Sanders beard and a Pat Shoulders mustache if left unattended and shaving just leads to whiskers…  Anyway, I’ve been doing it for years and I bring along my special Clinique redness solutions cream to put over the stripped skin immediately.  Saturday I forgot the cream and let them use their stuff lightly.  It was okay and I went my merry way.

On Sunday it kinda itched and I remembered to use some of my cream, then some cortisone cream for the itch, but it persisted.  Sometime in the ;middle of the night Sunday I got up and pulled some just-bought anti-itch gel from the medicine cabinet and applied it to my face.  I thought I knew what was in the gel, but it was a different brand… It burned a little, but I went back to bed…

When I woke up several hours later, my face and chin were so swollen that I could only see half of my mouth.  I had evidently rubbed some up on my forehead, but luckily none had got in my eyes..  My cheeks were voluminous, My chin was like Dudley Do-Right, and it was burning like crazy.   Shit…the new gel had camphor in it –now I read the label– and I must have reacted to it:  2nd degree burns wherever it had been applied.

I washed my face, started applying ice, which is what I have been doing the last couple of days.  I’ve used a lot of ibuprofen.  I’ve applied mounds of zinc oxide and wear my biggest garden hat.  My eyes feel sticky and I’ve flooded them with various types of eye drops.

The worst part?  Looking at my face in the mirror…I’m way too vain for this kind of malady and feel nothing but embarrassment and self-pity.

I will spare you the selfie…it is scary…

I’ve avoided going out in public (nothing new for me), but I’ve got things to do, places to go, and people to see.  Tomorrow’s my day with Olivia and Samantha and we’re heading over to the Handy Blues Festival in the afternoon, so I should be ready to slather on some make-up, put on some Large sunglasses, and wear my Mona Lisa smile as I mingle with the masses…

There is a Super line-up of Musicians playing the Handy Fest and I’ll be back sans grandies to enjoy the evenings.  It would be great if I run into you while we’re there…

Now you know what happened…Just act like you don’t notice…



Weekly Wrap-up

Monday morning Olivia and Samantha came to stay for three nights!  It was like a mini-Camp Sonnystone:  we painted birdhouses and signs, went to the zoo, played games, swam, and had ice cream every night before bed!

I had the best time with the girls.  I hope they can stay with us every time their mom has to go out of town for work.

The rains have been quite rainy, so we waited until today to head up to New Harmony for their annual antiques fest. A lot of the outside vendors had not even set up due to rain and the usual crowds were non-existent, but we were there.

I’m still getting caught up with the info that my distant Mayne cousin mailed me.  It is intriguing.  My goal is to get some blogging done over at All My Ancestors this week…  But I have some musings to share with my fellow Sonnystoners, too, so expect a tick-up in posts as we creep on toward summer…  Hope you’re having fun!


Weekly Wrap-up

What a full week!  Last Sunday Michael got called out to work from 3pm to 7am clearing the roads during a little snow-spurt we had.  Jessica had left for Wabash, IN where she would be working until Wednesday, so Olivia and Samantha came over for a sleepover.  They were able to sled down the Great Sonnystone Mountain both days.  Little one (with her sock mittens) had to be pulled up the hill and Grandpa was worn out…

We had 2 Birthdays this week!  Eliza is now 8 years old!!  Emma is, gulp, 13!!

I started working on my Ancestry in earnest, starting with a Prologue to my new blog, All My Ancestors… I don’t have a schedule for posting over there, but I will let you know here at The News when I do.

Casey put down new flooring in the bathroom.  I didn’t take a before and after picture — did I hear you say, too quickly, that’s okay?  It looks great and is much warmer.

Then, out of the blue, just a couple of hours ago, I found the draft of Grandmother’s story!!!  I won’t even get into where I found it, but it is there, all 3,242 words of it!  I read it over in disbelief!  However….

As I’ve been poking around the family tree, I found out more about Grandmother Mayne that may or may not disprove my theory of her “lost years”.  No matter…it’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I’ve been pretty faithful to my photo-a-day project over at Photo Synthesis, too.  If you’re sitting around trying to stay warm reading blogs, you should check it out…  I’m just sitting around trying to stay warm writing them..!




Weekly Update

It’s been a busy week here at the Acres.  Casey has taken on a painting project and I’m tripping over him as I meander through the house.  He’s painting all of the trim, the same color but semi-gloss instead of satin, showcasing the filth just before he covers it.

The Camp Sonnystone Height Chart will Never be covered…

As for me, I’m walking on air, so excited about my new winter projects…

I came this close to buying a new Nikon.  Before I hit the checkout button, I got out my old D60 and made sure that it was still working like crap.  It was, but I felt such a nostalgia for the old girl.  We had so many adventures together, and I have neglected her for years? now.  Feeling guilty, I got out the q-tips and cleaned, pulling out veritable furballs.  I reset it, bought it a new battery and lens covers and it’s working like a charm now, though that didn’t add the pixels that make the phone camera pictures look so lush.  What it’s got going for it is its superiority at long shots, especially birds…

So it was, that I took on a Photo Project:  a picture a day using a list of prompts…  I will use whichever camera works best for the subject, just get back into the picture-taking groove…   You can follow me over at Photo Synthesis — clever, eh? — and I may occasionally publicize that blog, as well.

Right after I cleaned up the camera and started the blog, I Finally bought into Ancestry dot com and damn!  I’m glad I waited until I had Time on my hands, because I am now Obsessed with it!  I am so excited to share what I have learned already, but let’s just say that you should probably be calling me Lady Jo…no curtsying, but all men should bow…oh, wait, that’s the way it’s always been.

That project will be yet Another Blog,  All My Grandparents, and I will keep you informed regarding its launch.  Currently I am organizing the individual trees and double-checking the info.  I got too many branches going at one time and it’s become a little confusing.

I love it, though I’m just sitting here growing my ass in front of this computer screen and I need to get up and Move Around…  I really wish Casey hadn’t bought me that bath scale.  If you put it on a certain spot inside my closet it will shave 10 lbs off the number it shows when it’s sitting on the bathroom floor…  Where would you keep it?  I’m thinking he should just hide it from me…




The last 2 weeks…

It seems like forever since I’ve blogged, but with good reason.  I always feel a little guilty when I don’t keep ya’ll up-to-date with the latest coming and goings around the Acres, but sometimes life is just too full of Now to stop and write about it…and that’s all right with me.

Olivia played the piano beautifully at her recital on the 8th.  The grandkids are sure growing up fast… I have a lovely video of her performance of “Belle”, but WP makes it difficult to upload videos, so all you get today is a pic…

We flew to NYC on the 11th…remind me not to take the earliest flight on earth next time.  We arrived early enough to pick up Eliza from school, the first time I’ve visited there.  She took the next two days off to hang around with us…

Early our first morning, we took the subway to Rockefeller Center for the NBC Studio Tour.  It was so incredibly cool.  At the end of the eye-opening tour — who knew the SNL set was so small? — the do a video of a “late night talk show”.  I can’t take the time to upload it to wordpress and you probably wouldn’t watch it anyway, but Eliza was the announcer and I was the guest.  It is hilarious.  So fun.

We spent Thursday hanging out, decorating the tree and playing games.  Emma was there, too, but Emma will be 13 next month…if you know what I mean…

Friday both girls were back in school.  Eric, Melissa, PawPaw, and I spent the day traipsing through the Oculis and over to the Whitney to view the Warhol exhibit.  It was as good as Warhol, but I thought there might be more…  Seems like I had seen many of them already…am I getting jaded?

Or maybe it’s because NYC surrounds a person with art…like here on the High Line…

Saturday morning found us at Radio City Music Hall for the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, our annual tradition.  This was the 14th visit for my daughter and me, and the show has changed for the better.  I told them last year we needed to just concentrate on the dancers and they took my advice.  They added new music, new choreography, more light-show stuff, while keeping the old favorites…though they don’t do the Santas with mirrors anymore.

 I just realized that my obsession with the Spectacular is as strong as my obsession with Disney….okay, not quite, but I do tend to repeat my good experiences again and again.



We flew back home Sunday and spent Monday doing laundry and at the grocery store.  We’ve had Samantha for the last 2 days and that’s as much a workout as walking NYC.  Olivia’s out of school now, so they’ll be here for a sleepover tonight.  I still have to buy gifts…and get these witch nails manicured…and get more food…

Our Christmas with the Jrs. will be this Sunday and by Monday the sound of the silence will be strong…  I’ll have plenty of time to write…

 Jingle All the Way…