Time’s a-flyin’…

Having Casey home in winter has made it much less onerous, maybe even tolerable.  Before his retirement he worked long hours clearing the highways during snow and ice season.  We got bigger paychecks for it, so I didn’t complain, but got accustomed to spending winter days holed up in the house alone. Now he’s holed up here with me and I don’t have to talk to myself…of course, I still do..

He’s been working like a fiend upstairs, putting up beadboard, painting walls, and the cleaning that goes along with it all.  I thought it would take him longer, but he finished up yesterday.   It looks immensely better and tremendously brighter and cleaner…

These days we really don’t use the upper rooms except for guests and storage, so it will be a while before I actually pull this room back together. I think I might be selling some more furniture….  As long as it’s all habitable for Camp Sonnystone, it will be fine.

One rainy day last week, I was staring morosely outside and this caught my eye…

It’s a bad picture because I took it from my front door through the glass and then through the screen on the front porch, and it was pouring rain outside.  I believe it’s a young Cooper Hawk.  He looked dazed and was just standing there looking around.  Then he tried to spread his left wing and pulled it back in very quickly.  He walked around with a limp and pecked around.  I figured he was hurt, but would be able to fix himself, but I kept an eye on him.  It took him about 30 minutes before he finally flew to a low branch on a tree nearby, but he didn’t stay up there long and was back down on the ground about 15 minutes later.  Finally  a couple of hours after I first spotted him,  he was gone…  You never know what a storm will blow in…

The lack of sunshine around the Acres is killing me.  This year’s been particularly gloomy and I’d normally be whining to get on the road, but the genealogy obsession is making time fly…

I’m researching and compiling and writing so much that my carpal tunnel is flaring up.  (anybody use an ergonomic mouse they can recommend?)

Becoming reacquainted with American history from the vantage point of my age has been eye-opening.  High school Textbooks covered decades with a couple of paragraphs, it seems to me.  I don’t remember being all that excited about George Washington or the Revolutionary War.  It seemed very remote and not at all glamorous, and the whole wooden teeth thing turned me off of George.

Now I’m researching ancestors that lived in that time and as I read the names of Revolutionary War muster rolls it’s not so far away.  My fam is from Maryland, so I’ve learned all about the Maryland 400, who Gen. Washington praised for saving his a** at the Battle of Long Island.  My ancestor was not in that battle, but he was most likely in another Maryland regiment.

See?  I’m all about the ancestry thing right now… I have made some new blogger friends that share my genealogy fetish, but I don’t mean to leave all you Sonnystoners out of the fun.  Drop on by!

All My Ancestors

Peace

Weekly Wrap-up

Here’s a quick wrap-up of the Porch Project that morphed into the Porch-and-Patio-and-Gate Project.  I think it’s pretty impressive, even though the 6 weeks it took was 2 longer than the 4 I had allotted.

I learned peaceful patience, but that’s a project that never ends…

The garden is transforming from summer to fall.  I brought in the last of the tomatoes and made a big greek salad.  Today I’ll bring in the last of the bell peppers and chop them for freezing.  Meanwhile, the broccoli is burley and the cauliflower is,um, climbing? calling? where’s my alliterative skill?  It’s all growing…

Watching the hurricane slowly wreak havoc on the east coast, I feel very grateful to have a beautiful week ahead to finish up summer.

Peace

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…

Peace

 

 

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…

 

Peace

 

Weekly Report

I was going to post this on Thursday, but the tragic murders of students and teachers in Broward County, Florida left me speechless and grieving.  Oh, yeah, I joined in a few “debates” about what we should do about these recurring murders, but the grief I feel for these families who have lost their loved ones so senselessly is beyond words.  Hearing so many of the adults in the room defend the gun is mind-boggling, but the voices of the kids who are crying out for us to do something is clear.  We need to do something to keep our schools safe.  I just don’t know what, though.

When I was working as a school nurse, I came across some pretty fucked-up kids.  Sometimes I got a little scared that we were going to end up in a shooting situation. Would I have been a hero?  I have no idea.  I’m thankful that it was not required of me, but I had a spot picked out where I would  hide, and would have been safer than the kids in their classrooms.  We need to Do Something.   Listen to the children, hear them.  What can we do to help?  Let’s do it.

So, it seems a little trite, but this is what we did last week…

We finished up the Stairway Remodel…

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Pretty neat, huh?  I’m off to Amazonia this morning to enjoy the warmth and the Orchids.  I’d love to see some of you there!!  Even if I’m not present during your visit, I know the monkeys would be happy to see you!

Peace

Laundry Room Re-do

I’ve been using the New Laundry Room for a week or so now, but just today got the picture of the finished product.  I’m a little embarrassed about how gross it was before we started, but we kept telling ourselves (for 13 years) that we would do fix it soon.   All done now, in 3 weeks of retirement…

Our house is anywhere from 80-150 years old, depending on where you’re standing.  The laundry room is attached to the 1931 building that was apparently built as a garage, but there is no archaeological evidence of a driveway…

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It doesn’t look like there’s been much done between 12/30 and 1/5, but that’s when all the plumbing (there was a pink bathroom in the room we tore down), electrical, and gas hook-ups got done.  You can see we heated the old thing with a cube heater, but now we have fancy-shmancy state of the art gas heat…  I do my laundry more often now.

 

Peace

 

Weekly Wrap-up…on an otherwise Mundane Monday…

I’ve had the song, “We need a little Christmas” buzzing through my head for a week now, so I initially decided to haul out the holly over the week-end and start the festivities.   As I assessed the house, mentally dressing the mantels and moving furniture to make way for trees, I managed to come up with a big-idea for the room I call the kitchen annex:  make new curtains and re-cover the chairs.  So the sewing machine is back out and I’ve cut 12 panels for the curtains.  I need 2 more yards of material for the chairs, I think, and that will be our lovely Thanksgiving celebration.

While out buying fabric, I stopped by a local used book store.  Amongst the books were some “Sheet Music” magazines and as I glanced through them (I subscribed in the 80’s and 90’s and have a boxful up in the attic), I came across one with the lovely air “Danny Boy”—and with Andy Williams’ picture above it, as this is the arrangement he used…allegedly… so I snatched it up for a dollar…

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Since then, I’ve been channeling my inner great-Grandmother Mayne.  Danny Boy was her favorite, one she played often for me.  I can still see her 80-year-old hands moving across the keyboard and remember that she often cried when she played it.   I always think of her when I hear it , and along with the memory is this story:

Grandmother was 96 or 98 when she died, depending on what birth year you believe, and our family had gathered in the tiny little town of Albion, IL for the funeral.  My Great-Aunt Bernie, Grandmother’s older daughter, was sitting with her husband in front of us when the organist began to play, at the family’s request, “Danny Boy”.  Aunt Bernie had a rough, smoker’s voice that carried well across any room, even at a whisper.  But Auntie wasn’t very good at whispering, so when she turned to Uncle Harry and said, “Mother would roll over in her grave if she could hear the way that woman is butchering this song”,  we all heard it (probably not the organist, though).  Being the kind of people that giggle when we’re nervous, my Dad, sister, and I started laughing, uncontrollably.  Stifling our chortling only brought tears to our eyes and shook the folding chairs we were sitting on.  For the rest of the service, all we had to do was look at each other and make banjo-eyes, and the others would crack up again.  Ya gotta love a good funeral.

Still avoiding the news, and thankful that I divided my FB “friends” into categories that allow me to stay away from the haters, I’m going to start the stitching today.  Weirdly, the material I chose is also a Grandmother-throwback:  I remember some dining chairs at her house that were covered with a similar pattern. I’ll get the before and afters and I’m sure you’ll be impressed…which is what I live for, of course.

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