Weekly Wrap-Up

Wow, another quick week… Is time speeding up or is it just me?  Okay, I know Einstein proved that the closer a person comes to the speed of Light, the slower time goes…my lollygagging and sauntering is pretty far from 186,000 miles per second, so maybe I Am speeding up time…  (sorry if I just offended you with some science;  you don’t actually have to believe it to make it so)

Monday I hung out with Samantha while her big sis went to the allergy doctor.  Olivia has a peanut allergy and freaks out every year when she has her blood drawn.  Happily, this year they didn’t test her, so she came over and played with us for a while afterward, too, though I’ve only got the pics of S, dancing…

Tuesday was Dentist Day.  I really love my new dentist, not just because everybody in the office is super, but mostly because they let me pick a prize from a big suitcase every time I visit!  I got a candle this time!

Wednesday was Super Special.  I drove over to Southern Illinois, site of my illustrious beginnings, because my dear friend Kathy was in Carmi, staying at her sisters’. First, however, I stopped off 15 miles up the road in Grayville to visit with Uncle Jr, who is doing great at the Home over there.  Jimmy had finally brought over some pictures and we talked about his Mom and Dad (my grandma and grandpa Eaton) and his brothers and sisters.  I always greet him with “Hi, Uncle Junior!  It’s me, Jo, Ruby’s girl”  So far, he acts like he knows me, but he might think I’m my sister…that’s okay, too…  I’m not sure I have this picture of Grandma and Grandpa, so I took a quick shot through the frame.  When I go back, I’ll take tomatoes and do better…

I met Kathy back in August, 1971, as we moved into the dorms at Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing.  The friendship that started then, deepened into a True Love for each other that has only grown over the years.  Our outsides are not much alike, but if you saw our insides you’d think we were twins!!  We had many adventures before Life moved us apart.  I thank the Internet that I found her again (even her parents had moved) and we have managed to get together every year for, gee, about 10 years now!

Arriving in Carmi, I Finally got to meet Kathy’s oldest daughter, Devon, and her son, Olsen.  I felt such Peace emanating from Devon, and as for Olsen—too, too cute, sweet, and darling.


Her sisters, Judy, Karen, and Denise, were there, too, so it was real Family time.  It was nice to see how Families stick together through thick and thin, supporting and encouraging each other.  I was a little jealous…  These women, far from perfect, have not even considered walking away, severing the relationship, or using a person’s mental status to judge and reject.  Of course, close relationships go through times of strain and tension, but Sibling Bonds were designed to Last Forever.  Yeah, I envy the Love that those Sisters Share, a bond that cannot be broken.  Luckily for me, Kathy and I share that same Sister Bond.

Saturday was my daughter-in-law’s (Jess) birthday!  My heart is full of love and respect for this young lady.  Here’s to many more birthdays and un-birthdays for Jessica!

The main show, however, is the back porch…  While I gallavanted around, speeding up and slowing down time, Casey was keeping a steady pace building my “greenhouse” walkway.


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On August 5 Casey and I marked 40 years since our first date, and this week we’ll celebrate 38 years of wedded (or is it weeded) bliss.    I’ll write something appropriately gooey for that.  Till then…




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…!



Finishing up July…

It’s been just over a week since the house emptied out, though we did have Olivia and Samantha on Thursday.  Mostly we’ve been putting the house back in order and trying to make the best of the garden.  Weather went from hellishly humid to pleasant, but only enough rain to stir the dust up.  You can catch up on the garden at Growing Every Season.

Anyway, I had been hoping to get away to Asheville and meet up with some cousins and see Michael Franti, but babysitting duties called and we were just too tuckered out to load up and travel.  I was there in spirit, though…


I was a little grumpy about it, but Casey started right in with a Major Project, one we’ve been talking about for ages.

You see, you have to step out of our kitchen door and walk about 15 feet to our laundry room.  This can be a real pain in the ass.  We built on a screen porch, then built a kind of walkway between the porch and the door, but over the years, it has proved to be less than adequate.   We’ve stared and figured a dozen different ways to make it work, and recently agreed just how it should be done.


In the end, it will be like a greenhouse, but right now it looks pretty shabby.  I’m excited to have it done before winter, but it will take at least a month of Casey obsessing…

…which added to my grumpiness, since we’ll have to stay home the whole month.  Not that there isn’t plenty to do just eating tomatoes…and there are no less than a dozen bell peppers that need to be harvested,




So the old wise woke woman sat down and made a list of things to do around Eville, places to visit that I haven’t seen in a while, or upcoming events.  I was rather surprised that there is so much to do!  I also listed the activities I love to pursue in solitude:  playing the piano, practicing yoga, reading, writing, and listening to music and singing along with my favorite songs.   There’s some good cooking and grilling to be done this time of year, as well.

August is going to be a sort of on-the-road-retreat kind of month…  Never a Dull Moment…




Postcard from Camp

Hello, Mudda!  Hello, Fadda!  If you get that, you’re old.  Camp Sonnystone is moving right along!

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Today we’re taking a field trip to Ellis Park to watch the horses run.  Kids are pretty good at picking the winners, actually.  I’m feeling better, but we lost a little rhythm while I was sick.

Still ahead is an Unbirthday Party, Water Balloon Blast, Rocket Launching, and finishing up PawPaw’s Scavenger Hunt.  Next week we’ll visit the zoo and the museum and there are several movies we want to watch.

Hope you’re having as much fun as we are!


My Progeny

Without these two — Michael and Melissa — the grandies would be only a dream.  You already know how much I love and respect them, and it’s nice to see them together.

Camp is going strong, but today I’ve had a sick day.  Not sure what’s going on with me, chills and sweats and sour stomach.

So I’ll get back with you tomorrow and share pics of the activities…


The Casey-Jose’s take Toy Story Land

We met up with the Jose’ family at Disney’s Old Key West, both arriving 11am.  Our room was ready!! We carried up our luggage, jabbered a little, then set out for Magic Kingdom.  We did Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, then It’s a Small World.  We stopped for some food, then went to the Haunted House, then back to Buzz for another spin.  We were set up to watch the castle wrap and fireworks, when I glanced back and saw dark clouds throwing lightning blowing in.  I made the call–we’re getting outta here.  I have sat in the rain for less, but I have learned.  When a storm hits, the place is crazy, but not only were we just there last March, we will be returning next March, so come on…

Charmed, we were getting on the bus when the storm hit.  The fireworks still went off, don’t get me wrong, and we could see part of them from our balcony, but we were dry, cool, and we got to bed to prepare for an early start in the morning.

Friday morning:  We did it, just as planned!!  The park opened at 7am, but we were walking through the turnstiles at 6:30 and went straight on to the Slinky Dog Ride.

From there we went straight over to the Alien Space Saucers,

then into Toy Story Mania…no lines!

By 9am we were enjoying breakfast at Woody’s Lunchbox!  And the humidity was beginning to seep in…

Melissa, Emma, Casey, and I stood in a long line to ride Aerosmith Rock ‘n Roller Coaster.  I hadn’t ridden that one since the grandkids arrived!  It was just as fun as I remembered, though the G-forces involved with going from 0 to 57mph in 2.8 seconds permanently ruined my hair-do… Someday I may show you the picture…but probably not.

We ended up going on Slinky Dog and Toy Story Mania again, then shopped and headed back to the resort.  We swam until they shut the pool down due to an approaching storm.  Then we hopped a bus for Disney Springs, had some supper, and bought our final souvenirs.

We started home on Saturday at 7am or so.  Birmingham is the new Atlanta–we were delayed 30minutes for some unknown reason.  Olivia was delivered to her parents safe and sound (and a little homesick, if the truth be told) by 10:30, and we were fast asleep by midnight.

Camp Sonnystone starts today!  It’s going to be a blast.