Jo Mayne Casey

Archive for the ‘updates’ Category

Cool and Calm…

In 2017, Autumn at Sonnystone Acres, updates on November 16, 2017 at 5:33 pm

I’ve been enjoying this down-time before the holidaze, just piddling around the house, cooking up some soups and casseroles.

I’m reading “Norse Mythology” by Neil Gaiman.  I love it!  I’ve been reading several chapters a night, like bedtime stories, and Love Odin, Thor, and especially Loki.  Though they are Not lovable, really.  Great Stories!

I’m listening to 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde  a live album by folk, country, and old-time music band, Old Crow Medicine Show. The album is a track-for-track tribute to Bob Dylan’s landmark 1966 double album Blonde on Blonde.  Old Crow re-imagined the arrangements of the individual tracks with manic fiddles and banjos, and it’s all good.

I’m practicing on the piano “Bridge Over Troubled Water”.   Seems like everybody in high school who could play piano could play this one, but I just found the music in a used book from a rummage sale.   It’s more difficult than I thought it would be, so I am challenged…practicing a lot…

My piano sounds better than that…

One more week until Thanksgiving, so I’d better pick up the pace and get ready for

Turkey and Tradition, the Opening Race of the Holiday Triple Crown.

I am so thankful for thankfulness, it just makes me feel so grateful for gratitude… I’m bound to win…


Yikes! The Trees!

In 2017, Summer at Sonnystone, updates on August 11, 2017 at 9:42 am

Helllp!  I meant to get out of here and run chores all day while the tree-guys did their thing.  Up early, I got lazy…

They showed up in a gaggle and are out there putting all kinds of raucous motors to work.  I hate this.  But I’m awfully glad to get the dang thing down.  It has fallen a few feet every day, accompanied by the sinister snap, crack, and popp…  We were relaxed as cats out in the pool yesterday, when the swoosh and thwack of another fall sent us scurrying inside.  A bit of the branches are already on the wires, and we could just imagine ourselves fried to obliteration on our rafts and Michael would finally find us in a few days and be traumatized for life…or at least that’s what I imagined.

Now I’m hemmed in by various large trailers and forced to endure the sensory overstimulation that triggers my anxiety…

Deep Breaths…Centered..Om

Soon, though, just before the storms hit this evening, I’ll have one less worry and a lot less cash.

I hope this puts us back to “normal”, but I have to confess that I started re-arranging and cleaning as soon as I got home from NYC, so the house is in temporary disarray.   Yes, it’s another mental illness of mine…  This time, I’m really going to go through and throw things out.  Seriously.  All of the glassware!  Really, am I going to have a cocktail party for 40 and serve brandy in those snifters?  Am I seriously afraid that if my mother returns she’s going to want her stuff back?  Will Grandmother Mayne be checking to see if I still have her lamps?  It takes a lot of gumption for me to part with so-called heirlooms, as I consider myself a “Keeper of the Archives”.  Still, I have way too many broken-down chairs and chipped nick-nacks and I am determined to toss the excess junk.

Dreading it, but eventually this will culminate in a rummage sale.  I’ll let you in for a presale when we’re ready, probably a couple of weeks.  You need some new chairs…  and brandy is hip…



Weekly Wrap…

In 2017, Spring at Sonnystone, Uncategorized, updates, week-end wrap-up on June 19, 2017 at 11:59 am

Last week was catch-up time here at Sonnystone.  The garden was showing signs of powdery mildew, so we neemed and trimmed.  We officially moved to the downstairs bedroom, and turned on the a/c.  We put up the new pool, a 14×36 cheapo from Big Lots, and put in a trellis around its west perimeter.   The hot, muggy weather made it the perfect coolant after doing our chores.


I may have mentioned that I am not at all comfortable in water that is over my head, or too close to my nose for that matter.  I had a traumatic near-drowning experience when I was a teenager, swimming up at the stripper pits in Pelzer.   I never swam, or floated, in the pits after that and will have nothing to do with lakes or ponds, either.  When my children outgrew the baby pool, I started sending them off with other adults so that I didn’t have to brave the anxiety of watching their heads bobbing around in a sea of rowdy splashers, or hide my panic as I watched fretfully for them to resurface after diving.   Both of my kids are excellent swimmers and think I’m just being my usual neurotic self, like when I won’t let them near edges…   The grandkids sort of know that if they’re going to a Real Pool, JoJo will not be there, because it makes her nervous…no one likes to make me nervous…

I am, however, a World-Class air-mattress-floater, and have taught the girls how to slither into the pool without getting wet, a skill that will serve them well, long after their desire to do the breaststroke has left.  We bought some new rafts this year and I’m floating high on the water…

I’ve been doing this 15:9 intermittent fasting thing and have taken off a couple of lbs in prep for the bathing suits.  Of course, there’s 15 more to go, but I don’t think that’s going to be happening in the summertime.  I sweat like a…well, there is a small fountain at the top of my head that opens up whenever my body temperature goes above 98, pouring perspiration over my face, into my ears, funneling down the delta of my chest to saturate my clothing.  This sweating thing really is an excellent excuse to not work too hard in mid-day heat, and the chiggers are the excuse to stay on the screened porch at dusk and dawn.  With all that work-avoidance, and the holistic approach of treating sweating with cold beer, I’ll be happy to just maintain….because I’m old and confident…

I spent a welcome rainy Sunday reading for a new Book Challenge.  Willard Library’s Adult Reading Challenge invites you to read 10 books from 10 categories to be entered into a drawing for $250.  I think it’s read 3-4, you’re in for $50, going up with however many you read.  Thus far, I have read “book with a 1-word title” (Commonwealth) and “book with an animal as a character (Travels with Charley).  Currently reading “A Hillbilly Elegy”.

It looks like a lazy week up ahead and we’re going to take full advantage.  Though Casey will always find a project, he’s making good progress in sitting around with me.  Next week we are busybusy, and The Jose’ fam will be here before we know it.

We’re scheduling our Camp Sonnystone activities and trips.  Do you have a suggestion?  Have you been to the elephant ranch?  What did you think?  Emma and Eliza will be attending a week-end Feis in St. Louis at the end of the month and I hope we have time to hit the zoo and the arch, too.  Closer to home, we will visit our zoo and museum,  Ellis Park,  New Harmony and Harmonie State Park.   Am I missing anything?  Riverfronts, both Eville and Newburgh, perhaps?  There will be the usual arts, crafts, and music.  I’m thinking let the kids do some photography, too.  Soo excited.

With the Solstice in 2 days, this may be my last post for Spring at Sonnystone…  It’s a beautiful, 72-degrees and sunny, day and I’m going to get out there and do nothing…and perhaps a little nap afterwards…






4 days in Manhattan…

In 2017, Spring at Sonnystone, updates on June 13, 2017 at 11:41 am

The Kindergarten Graduation

5 years ago Emma graduated Kindergarten…Same hat.  At least my head hasn’t grown…

Party at American Girl

Swinging in Central Park

Roaming the Met

Sadly, I did not take any photos of the Ceili, only videos, and I would Love to share them with you.  Alas, wordpress is not being co-operative.  If I figure out how to upload them, I will post them.  All of the dancers were wonderful, especially Emma and Eliza.  So much excitement!  Word to my daughter, send me some pictures!

We’re back at Sonnystone, catching up with the garden and putting up the pool.  The New York Family is scheduling a July visit—hey, that’s just a couple of weeks!  Plans for Camp Sonnystone are underway.  Being with each family is wonderful, but getting All of Us Together is Superlative..!  See you soon!


Back home again…

In 2017, Spring at Sonnystone, updates on April 24, 2017 at 10:36 am

Had a great trip to visit with the NYC grand-daughters, mostly Eliza, who was on spring break.

Anyway, it was a quick trip…  Eliza and I went down to Rockefeller Center, but I failed to get Studio Tour tickets.  Not to be daunted we went** to the Top of the Rock…

We played games and did some book-reading, attended Emma’s All-School Assembly, and just enjoyed being together!!

I arrived back at Sonnystone on Saturday, and I have to brag that my house was freshly swept and my windows were shiny-clean.  All of the my veggie plants were in great shape.  The seeds that I planted last Sunday are just sort-of starting to pop up.  Sunday we planted 9–count ’em–9 double knockout roses across the front of the house.  We’ll be planting veggies this week-end, if not before..!

I’m babysitting Samantha today and tomorrow…

Hope your week is off to a great start!



** (I accidentally walked by trump tower while there…the whole block has to be cordoned off and there are seriously weaponized men everywhere.  I don’t blame Melania for not wanting to live with her husband, and I understand that Barron has special needs,  but according to the New York City Police Department, it has cost the taxpayers an average of $127,000 to $145,000 per day to keep Melania and Barron Trump in New York. By the time the Trumps vacate Trump Tower in June, (if they do) the tallied amount is projected to hit $8.6 million.  Since he’s so rich, can’t he pay that himself?)

(that wasn’t very peaceful, was it?  sorrrry…)

For Real…

Peace to All of you!


2017 at 5-days-old

In 2017, updates, Winter at Sonnystone on January 5, 2017 at 2:16 pm

You know I’m not perfect, nor do I have one iota of desire to be so, even though my blogs only show my good side.  Why not?  Who wants to read about my New Year’s Eve gallbladder attack (heroically faced down with magic vinegar shots and warm lemon water)?   I don’t want to whine about the $$ not being there when I planned for it, or to complain that I’m spending hours (literally) on the phone with numerous representatives of the insurance company, because ultimately these problems will all pass.  Who cares if I’m re-arranging the furniture (again) in a effort to control what I can, since I’m out of control of everything else?  You might be mildly interested to hear that Casey’s retirement=transition is going well:  he started remodeling the laundry room and is out there All Day…I visit him there and remind him that he’s supposed to be home by 3:30.

Today was our first snow, a kind of wimpy snow, and I love having Casey here with me.  It seriously brightens my whole outlook knowing there’s somebody else here.  The birds, my reliable winter companions, keep me entertained and now there’s 2 of us to watch them flit around, devouring our seed and suet.

I’m busy planning trips, especially the Kick-Off of  the “When I’m 64 Tour” beginning in February.  Looking forward to milder temps, for sure, but for now the snow and cold are feeling warm…


News Round-up

In 2016, Autumn at Sonnystone Acres, updates on September 29, 2016 at 10:13 am

Shew!  Busy times.

Martha, Nancy, and I went over near Robards, KY to a new winery/restaurant, The Farmer and the Frenchman.  It is brand-spankin’ new and very well-done.  It’s a little far out there–and we got lost, thanks to my directions–but the decor and view are terrific.  The menu was interesting, but I stuck with a familiar Greek salad;  not the best I’ve had, but certainly good.  The wine was nice, sweet, but not syrupy.  They were out of their signature “dressed-up cowgirl red”, so I drank a glass of white — good enough to persuade me to buy a bottle.  I plan on dragging Casey down there and I highly recommend it to ya’ll, too…


Last Friday I drove over to my mom’s hometown, Grayville, IL, to visit with Aunt Shirley and my Compton boy-cousins.  Aunt Shirley is visiting from Melbourne, FL and I like to see her whenever she’s nearby.  We went over to Davina’s Country Diner for lunch–catfish fritters, green beans, and cucumber salad-


-and then came back to Jeff’s house to smoke and drink and play cards.  It was a blast.  There is no one else alive who I’d rather drunk with than Any of my Compton cousins, and the guys are real sweethearts.  Those boys roll their own tobacco and it is nasty, she says since she puffed up a pound or two of it.  I napped and waited for cousins Lana and Charley to show up for some cards–chit-chat–and won $4…beginner’s luck.  My clothes were stinking and I don’t want to talk about the hangover the next morning…

I bought a selfie-stick a while back, but can’t get it to connect to bluetooth, so I have to use the timer and somebody else’s arm to snap the pic…not an easy feat when you’ve been dancing with Jim Beam all day…

Girlfriend Luann is in town for her Mom’s 90th birthday party on Saturday, so we’re getting together this afternoon.  I’m going back to Grayville on Friday for a more sober visit and to say hasta la vista to the Auntie.

Saturday is the Birthday Party and I guarantee you the food will be the stuff of childhood memories.  Lu’s clan is full of interesting people to whom I like to pretend I’m related.  Still, there’s no Jeff & Jay in that fam, so they are missing out (but will probably live longer).

The first full week in October is always the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival, which I will avoid like the plague.  Ya’ll go on down there, though, and enjoy yourselves!  Olivia’s dance school is marching in the parade, but the other grandparents are covering it for me.  Lily King is the grand marshal and it will be packed–we are proud of our homegrown Olympic Gold Medalist.

Casey has the week off, so we’re planning some sort of adventure.  I’ll be perfecting my selfie-stick skills and be sure to keep you informed…

Till then…Peace…

Postcard from New York

In 2016, Photos, updates on July 18, 2016 at 9:03 am

Like most postcards I have sent, this one almost beats me back home.  I’ve spent the last week playing Nanny to my grandchildren, traipsing through the heat and humidity to the Met, Radio City Music Hall, NYPL, and some hours just hanging out at the homeplace.  I skipped the Saturday feis, but sweated through yesterday’s in Tappan to watch Emma collect 5 more trophies, and now I’m starting to pack it up for tomorrow’s return trip.

Here’s some highlights….wishing you were here… or had been…

Sisters, Sisters…at the Met,  walking like an Egyptian


It’s all fun and games until the hug turns into a headlock…

We have seen the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular every year since Emma was born, so it was a thrill to be able to add a mid-year visit with last year’s Spring and this year’s Summer Spectacular.  Love those high kicks…


Bill’s Burgers is our regular after-show-stop…


That’s all I’ve got for now, kids, but we’re flying home tomorrow and the grand-daughter count will multiply x2 as we start a month of Sonnystone Camp and Festivities…

Peace and Love…

Eric: The Epilogue

In 2016, Breaking News, updates on July 1, 2016 at 11:00 am

I guess it will always be the Year-that-Eric-got-cancer, and it’s been a long rough-patch.  The days since March, 2015 have been fraught with temptation to fear, piled with prayers for mercy and healing, and full of gratitude as friends have shared our woes and lightened the burden.

Eric is Now (as of 6/23) not Just Cancer-Free, but Officially Finished with All his treatments.  That’s 17 rounds of chemotherapy, a rare adult who made it through All of the prescribed infusions.   That’s one surgery to remove 3 rays of his left foot with associated wound-healing complications.  That’s one bout of Sepsis following the final chemo treatment.  That’s 25 radiation treatments, burning his foot till it resembled Peking Duck and temporarily putting him back on crutches.  That’s about enough, isn’t it?

I want to use all of my eloquence to describe my son-in-law, but superlatives sound so shallow:  fantastic father!  great husband!  caring friend!   He is all of that and always has been, but adding !cancer survivor! misses the truth.  He was determined, often grimly, motivated by his daughters to stand up to whatever the cure required.  It has made him a deeper, stronger soul…

I’m reminded of these verses from the poem, Invictus by William Ernest Henley:

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

I really think a celebration is in order.  Let’s get it started this Independence Day weekend—set off a bottle rocket, or light a sparkler, or maybe even throw one of those cherry bombs in Eric’s Honor.  Toast him with your favorite beverage!

You Really are a Rockstar, Eric! You did it!  It’s Over!  You are so loved and admired!



Introducing The Coach…

In 2016, updates on April 7, 2016 at 2:03 pm

Last week’s circumstances left me somewhat disoriented and a whole lot exhausted.  By the time I had caught my breath, we were doing a walk-around the Coach, writing the check, and pulling it home.  Spontaneous little devils that we are, we loaded up a few things and took it up to Harmonie.  We learned a lot:  how to level it, that the furnace works great, not all Harmonie sites have water hook-ups, they don’t fill your water tanks before you leave the buying-place, and winds that gust to 60mph make you rock even though the Coach doesn’t actually move.  We stayed Friday and Saturday, then brought it home and set it up outside…


The Jrs. came by to inspect…

I’ve seen my doctor and dentist this week, and though they are fine people, that’s enough of them for a while.  Casey has worked overtime and will have tomorrow off, but we need to stay home and mow the dang lawn…and fix the car.  Turns out, it is something Casey can fix–a thermostat–so we’ll be ready to roll about the same time as the weather decides to warm up.  Yay!

I always pick up Olivia from school on Thursdays, take her to her piano lesson and back home (with a little treat, of course).  Generally, we head out to Hacienda to nurse some margaritas and munch, and that’s what’s on the agenda for tonight.

Hang in there, it Really is Spring..!

%d bloggers like this: