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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Happy Week-end!!

The camper makeover continues, but we’re not ready for The Big Reveal yet…  I would have gotten farther, but we’re taking a short trip to North Carolina to celebrate my Aunt Shirley’s 80th birthday.  All of my favorite cousins will be there, plus a few I haven’t seen in decades…scores, even.  Aunt Shirley is my mom’s youngest sister, the only one still living,  Clarence and Flo Eaton’s baby #9.    She lives in Florida, but she’s driving up to her grand-daughter’s home near Asheville for the soiree’.  The Eatons are seriously funny folks and I’m hoping to laugh until I pee my pants at least once.

In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been up to…

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I’ve been away from the computer a lot for this project, sitting in front of my new sewing maching.  It self-threads, what not to love?   I’ve got 2 of 4 curtain panels finished, a little behind due to last-minute changes in the design.  We’re going to finish up early next week.

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I’m taking along some tomatoes to share with the fam in NC….there’s a glut around here…

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For more pictures of the garden click  here

Hope you have a great week-end, full of laughter (the snort-your-drink-out-your-nose kind) and fresh veggies…