First December Post

Casey had a birthday last Friday, his 64th.  I usually post something mushy about him, so if you are interested in knowing just how much I appreciate him read here and here and here ….just go check all the November archives!!!

This year’s celebration involved the traditional gifts of underwear and socks, but instead of a flannel shirt I found a shirt just like the one I gave him 10 or 15 years ago, the one that is really ragged now, though it pops into his clothing rotation every so once in a while.  I don’t imagine he’ll actually toss the old one, but I can sneak it into the rag bag soon.

After piano lesson on Saturday, Olivia and Samantha came over to put the decorations on the tree for us…

I’ve been shopping and I still need to do more shopping and it’s awfully tiresome.  I do make friends standing in line, and always chat up the cashier, so it has its fun moments.   When I got down my Christmas-y clothes this year, it was sad and pathetic, so I’m on a quest for some Holiday togs.  This week-end is Olivia’s Piano Recital at EMA and in just a week we’ll be flying into NYC for our Christmas celebration with the Jose’ Family, so I must have all my frocks in a row.

I’ve traced my genealogy about as far as I can go using the free library version of MyHeritage, so I decided to sign up for a 2-week free trial.  It’s true that Ancestry has a larger database, but I see many of my family folks are on MyHeritage, so I think that’s the way to go.  Except…I don’t have time for it right now.  I think it’s going to make a great January hobby…

I’m within 1 book of meeting my goodreads challenge for the year, cruising through some old-time mysteries by the likes of Dorothy L. Sayers and Josephine Tey (thanks, Sippora!)

I managed to write for an hour every day in November, but I can’t brag about how much I accomplished.  I’m stuck in the middle of the beginning of the Grandmother story, so I left it and did some editing of some old stories I’d forgotten about.  I found a poem that I wrote on our trip to Brown County and it wasn’t too bad, so I fixed it to  good.  Overall, I think I’ve gotten a habit going…just in time to break it for Christmas..!  I don’t think I’m good for routine much longer than 30 days anyway, so I really don’t mind at all…

Peace

 

The Bi-weekly weekly update…

As we watched Hurricane Michael slam into Port St. Joe, I was haunted by these pictures taken just last  March when we were there, staying at Presnell’s Marina…

 

Cape San Blas is the strip of land catching the setting sun…  I read that Hurricane Michael carved some new islands out there.  The beautiful road that we drove from Port St. Joe to Carrabelle is washed out…

We have reservations for this coming March to stay right up the road from Port St. Joe at Indian Pass, a spot called Water’s Edge, and their last facebook post was “Please pray for us”.  I certainly am…

On a brighter note, here’s some photos from a morning at the mall with Olivia and Samantha…

 

 

Though we’ve only been back home a couple of days, it seems like a season ago that we camped up at Brown County,…temps were 80s and humid and it seemed like a last hurrah to summer, though the calendar says it’s October… I didn’t take many pictures, though…

 

Just a few of Brown County State Park (above) and some neat stuff I saw in some shops in Nashville, IN below…

 

I enjoyed getting away…

and came home rejuvenated, ready for Autumn’s changes…

Peace

So long, September…

We seem to have finally crossed into Autumn around these parts and ’tis the season for pumpkins and mums. with some rudbeckia and scarecrows thrown in for good measure.

We spent Mon-Wed doing some babysitting duties, though Saman-THA is quick to let me know she’s not a baby anymore.  That’s okay, because she cuddles and plays, and fully embraces the fact that she will Always be My baby…

But babies aren’t allowed to play with play-doh, so that proves that she is a Big Girl…

We have finished up taking down the pool.  The peas look like they are struggling some, but the green beans are blooming and we should have a big mess of beans by mid-Oct.

Sevin spray on the cauliflower and broccoli has maybe  held off the worms, but I’m not sure what kind of crop we’ll get.  They still look pretty from a distance, though.

We pulled up the travel trailer from its dock in the back to our side yard and plan to keep it there through October.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to find a window of weather to trip in it, but there’s no definitive plan now.

I did my usual shuffling, pulled out the banquette table,  dragged out a round table I bought 30 years ago and it fits perfectly!  Now I’m going to hit up Joanne’s for fabric and re-do in Blue.  I’m super-excited to have a new sewing project..!

I’m going out to enjoy this beautiful day…walk in the woods, smile a lot, and fix up a super beet salad that I’ve had a hankering for…

I roasted beets and they are in the fridge, ready to be cut.  I’ll add some goat cheese and pecans, perhaps a little spinach, then drizzle it with a vinaigrette of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, and whatever other magic I come up with.  I’m not real good at recipes, always changing them up to suit myself, so you can bet it will get rave reviews when it’s served—from me, anyway!

Please take some time to send out thoughts of Love and Peace to the World today –and Every Day.  It really needs it.  #MeToo…

 

Peace

 

Follow the worm down the ear…

I love to take my morning coffee out on the front porch swing to Just Be in the present moment.  I brewed some french vanilla the other morning, settled into my attitude of gratitude, but had a song stuck in my head.

90% of people experience such earworms, also know as Involuntary Musical Imagery.  It bothers some people, but I usually just go with it…listening to my memory play like a stereo.

The song in question that day was Eli’s Comin’ by 3 Dog Night…girl, Eli’s comin’ you better hide, girl, Eli’s comin’ you better hide…hide your heart now…  As the jukebox in my head played, I thought…that Laura Nyro was such a great songwriter… what all did she write? …

the music switched to “and when I die…and when I’m dead, dead and gone” …what was the name of that group?  oh, yeah, Blood, Sweat, and Tears.  While the tinny piano and cowbell from that version played in the background, I began to sort through Nyro’s discography…soon the music became a medley of Fifth Dimension songs…come on down to the stone soul picnic… i got the wedding bell blues..ain’t that sweet-eyed blindness good to me… 

I stayed there for a while, letting those songs play in the background while I looked around at the patch of blue sky I could see through the trees, noticed the birds and squirrels were going about their morning rituals.

Suddenly, the songs were back with a nagging question…what’s that one that goes come on people… I brought full focus back to Laura Nyro’s discography… didn’t Barbra Streisand do one of her songs? Yes..going down to stoney end, I never wanted to go…cradle me, mama, cradle me again..  not the song I was looking for, but still worth remembering…  I expanded to come on people, come on children, let’s go down to the ?jordan? river… I could hear the piano…but could get no farther..The not-remembering finally got to me and I came in to the computer and looked it up.

It was covered by the Fifth Dimension and that youtube video is a wonder of 60’s bright bell-bottoms, platform shoes, and awkward dance moves.  But it was the artist herself, Laura Nyro, sitting at the piano and exuding the feeling of this powerful song that most moved me.

Step into the Wayback machine of black-and-white TV, watch this Vietnam war protest song that offers great wisdom…maybe get it stuck in your head.

It’s called Save the Country

Laura Nyro was 49 when she died in 1997.  She was so brilliant and if you don’t know her work, you’ll do yourself some good to listen to her albums.

May all of your earworms be inspiring…

Peace

 

The latest News …

My boy-child had a birthday on Monday, so he had to endure the perfunctory re-telling of his Birth from the point of view of the loins from which he sprung…  He loves it.  We met up for breakfast, then we took the girls with us to plan and execute a !Surprise! party for their Daddy.

With little effort, the days have calmed into peace. My restlessness has been replaced by restfulness. There is no list, but plenty of work gets done..  The songbirds are begging to be watched and that burly squirrel that’s been stealing my tomatoes stares me down as he walks the fence like a tightrope.  The double shepherd’s hook carries matching red feeders that have  attracted hordes of whirring hummingbirds that kamikaze in and out of the nearby magnolia.  We floated around the pool on a couple of the hottest days, snoozing in the sweltering humidity.

Then the rains came!  This was our first opportunity to sit out on the new porch and watch a storm.  From the center, you can see the tree limbs, heavy with rain, swirling and bending to the will of the winds within the wind…  The steady rains that followed the storm have made lakes in the yard and driven the deer to the higher ground…

 

Today the temperatures have plummeted to upper 60’s!!. It’s so chilly that I feel like making chili..! and it’s Perfect weather for curling up in a comfy chair and diving into a book.  Recently I picked up a couple of books that I’ve been “reading” for the last couple of months and finished them.  Now I’m going through my to-be-read list and getting back into the groove, escaping this world with characters created by the likes of Neil Gaiman and Alexander McCall Smith.

And that’s the news around here, folks, that Peace has invaded the Acres like kudzu and I’m just holding still, breathing it all in and breathing out a fog of gratitude.

Peace

 

What’s Happening…

Lots of changes here at the Acres last week…

Remember last year when I moved my “office” upstairs and was so happy to have a room of my own?  Remember how just as I finished dragging all my books and such up there, I re-injured my piriformis and went through weeks of incapacitating pain, necessitating no stairs?  Then Winter came and we hunkered down in front of the fireplace so we moved the “office” stuff back downstairs?  So I tired of that and moved everything around again and didn’t like it?  Well, I fixed the whole problem with a sweet little desk from the consignment shop.  When I first looked at it, I thought it seemed shabby, then realized it would match my decor completely.

In the meantime, I was still struggling with the computer connection.

I bought (and returned) 2 modems before I picked up one from WOW so that if it went wrong they couldn’t blame that for the problem, which I was now convinced was outside on the line.  Sure enough, their modem was in and out, also, so within a week, a service dude came out.  He replaced an old piece of equipment on the line that they no longer used, fixed something that was cracked, put in a new splitter, and arranged for another guy to come out Tuesday just to check the tippy-top of the poles so make sure no squirrels have been chewing on them.   After months -months!- of frustration, thinking it was something I did, I’m so relieved to have the problem diagnosed as not-me, and especially that it is fixed..!

Did you watch the funerals of Aretha and John McCain?

Both were such Great Church…wonderful sermons and liturgies, Fantastic music.  I hope that the message underlying the ceremonies, especially of Senator McCain’s, is resonating in the hearts of All.  It was such a contrast to the Circus that came to town with the person who was absent from the funerals…

Seriously, thousands of people follow these rallies,  setting up their wares out front like the fall festival.  Only the lovers are allowed near, and carrying a sign or wearing a tee shirt or hat with a message that disagrees with him or his policies is all it takes for you to be denied access and relegated to a spot a couple of blocks away. If you were carrying my sign, “We are All One” you would have to go to the protester section, even though the message is not Anti- and you Definitely weren’t allowed inside…  So the advance people (like the one that did not allow a reporter to take pictures of the police dragging away a peaceful protester), the groupies, and the local (and state) pols are the only ones allowed up close.  This is despite the fact that when he visited before as a candidate, there was only one arrest…after this lady was asked to go the protester section and she mooned the cops as she left…

picture from 2016

While she doesn’t express my exact sentiments either, I was appalled to see that people right here in my hometown chanted “lock her up” — geez, did you get the memo that she lost?   Even worse, national news outlets asked many of the people who were allowed to be around the venue about John McCain and many of them responded that he was no hero !!   This is why I am a recluse…

Recently we had a lady from our homeowners insurance come out and do some sort of inspection of our property.  On Friday a letter arrived informing us that we have to 1) get a locking ladder for our un-fenced pool; 2) have our fireplace insert inspected.

We were planning on waiting until Spring to put up the rest of the fencing around the pool, but decided to go ahead and finish it now since the locking ladder is dumb and expensive.  We made an appointment for the chimney sweep, but Burt and the boys can’t be here for a couple of weeks…

I’m excited about the gate, of course, but we had planned to run off in the trailer next week and now that’s on hold.  Probably okay, as the hothot days continue to demand constant attention to my plants…

Tomorrow is my son’s 37th birthday and I’m going to bake some cupcakes tonight for frosting tomorrow when his girls spend the day with us.  Shh…it’s a surprise.

Peace

 

 

The Landline

Another week done gone, this one just so-so.  I got my nails and hairs done, thank goodness.  I started to post a daily picture over at instagram, just a little experiment to see if I can start the habit of using that app more.

But if you really want to know, it’s been a tough time mentally.  My sleep is off.  That is the first indicator that I’m going into a spell…  For several days I woke up irritable and all day paced around feeling that vague “something is wrong” feeling.  I have completely torn apart the downstairs, rearranging Everything, then moved upstairs to start there pulling things out.   Casey’s out doing his thing, but he’s used to having to stop and help me move the piano, or a table or two…  Now that everything is moved, I don’t like it and want it back the way it was, but I Know that’s pushing the old man’s limits.   I’ve taken a few meds and have got my sleep back, but the mess I’ve made with all this re-arranging is Real…

It’s time to re-up our cable contract, and we had long ago decided to discontinue our landline.  The only people who call us on that line are trying to sell me something, especially aarp and medicare supplements.  There are just a couple of others who don’t have my cell #, I guess, but we don’t even check who’s calling anymore and there is no answering machine.  Next Wednesday we switch to a much better deal, sans phone.

That may be what triggered this hypomania…  I’ve been having flashbacks of all the years that the phone was my best friend.

As a teen-ager, I was often alone at the dusseldorf prison (home) and spent hours on the phone.  My aunt Joyce, inspired by my addiction,  commented that they should invent a phone that I could just put in my pocket.  Way ahead of her time.

A Quick Call

I was so alone, and nuts, as a single mom:  up all night smoking, pacing, calling up friends who were awake, too.  I worked 3rd shift at the hospital once, talking on the phone to my girlfriend (who was working 3rd shift also) from 1-4am every night to stay awake.

My Mom and sister and I would kill days with our arguing, and hanging up on each other was a regular occurrence.  You just can’t do that with a cell phone…  However violently you hit the little red button, it just doesn’t take the place of a slam that can be heard across the room…

Don’t forget the drunk-dialing years…

Soo many stories… We thought we were the Jetsons when they came out with push-button phones, but I stayed with rotary quite a while, honing my excellent speed-dialing skills.  We added 50ft cords so we didn’t have to stop talking to pee.  No answering machines, so if you missed the call, forget it.  Busy signals were the rudest sounds in the world.  When we first got “cordless” phones, they were giant…

About 15 years ago I learned from another Joyce to “go to the Throne before you go to the phone”  and it changed me.  I stopped telling all my problems, stopped talking about them, and it helped diminish them.  As I cleaned up my thinking, I also quit listening to stories people would tell me about other people–it’s called gossip– and that cost me some friends.  Of course, religion and politics, which I used to discuss quite freely, are taboo — and that cost me some friends, too.  So what’s to talk about on the phone?  What Did we talk about for all those hours???

I have 3 out-of-town friends (including Aunt Shirley) that I call “just to talk”, but that’s it, folks.  Melissa and I try to work in an hour here and there when we can, and Michael gets frequent short calls.   Who knew such an important part of my early adulthood would be so obsolete…  Makes me kinda sad…

Anyway, that’s last week…  Can you believe school starts this week here in Eville?   My friend Kathy and her daughter and grandson are coming to Southern Illinois sometime this week, so I’ll either make a trip to Carmi, or they will visit Sonnystone, or maybe both!  The Bluegrass Festival is going on the 9-10th over in Henderson, and I’d like to bring over a lawnchair and listen to some folk music.  I’ll have my phone with me at all times…!

Peace