Monday, June 29, 2015

Twins for a Day...

Today is Mom's 91st birthday! I was up a little before her and made us some French toast. It's my birthday, as well... I was her 30th birthday gift... Do math! Having a little party tonight for just the family and a friend.

 

We are having fried chicken, green beans, salad, watermelon, cake and ice cream. It was a spectacular day. Even had a lovely surprise visit with gifts from my Sister Cousin! I'll share those tomorrow...

 

 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Just saying hello...

And that includes my beautiful blog sisters! I hope you all have a lovely weekend and week. I'll pop back by a little, but my mind is sorting out the many thoughts stomping through at random times. I'd say I'm overwhelmed, but that might be an understatement. No need to worry about me, of course.

Mom and I are doing well, and we hope that's true for you, as well...

Sunday, June 21, 2015

This and That...

Summery vegetables are my main idea of the joys found in this green, growing season. These came from Amish country on Saturday, my first trip of Summer 2015. Happy Summer solstice, by the way! I'm sure I saw the midnight faeries last night flying frantically back and forth on the lightning bolts that pummeled our farm. The Fire faeries like to be called ellylldan, or will 'o the wisp. I like to call them what they choose!

I bought this garden wire angel sculpture as a gift... Love the starry wand she is holding. I know she will be happy in the pretty garden where she's going to live.

Quiet Father's Day here since we are not fathers, and my son is not a dad either. It's always a pleasure to think on my daddy and his calm, steady joy apparent in the way he lived his days on earth. I think my son is a lot like my dad. They both find extra joy in their careers, but their hearts belong to their family and friends. Sometimes I imagine myself bout ten years ago sitting in a little porch chair and watching neighbors and farm renters put up daddy's hay. He sat there with me smiling, thoughts lost in the joy of recalling his haying days. July was Daddy's month. His birthday fell July 11th, and he always took as many vacation weeks as he could to put up the Timothy hay in small bales. I often drove the tractor pulling a heavy wooden sled or the old '47 Chevy pickup in "granny low." Daddy slipped on his gloves, grabbed his hay hooks and threw the bales up, up, up to the skies it seemed. There is something magical about a dad who seems to be able to do anything there was on earth. Electronics, plumbing. Woodworking, farming, making the candy-dark green 21-day sweet pickles... Mostly smiling, ever seeking to be of help, coming to my rescue too many times to count. Standing out bare-headed with his face to the sky, watching the tumult of approaching storms. I do indeed, Sweet Daddy, love you to the moon and back.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Using the Good...

Star date 2015. My mission: to seek out the little things in life that make my soul sing! I have shared before the anxiety I've felt about all our "stuff" that fills both mine and mom's houses. I've decided to just "Stow it, Edith!" Ha ha. No, really. It's time I just enjoyed, pitched, and most definitely USED the things around me. I am a user. I come from a long line of hoarders savers.

 

When my gramma passed away, I opened her chest of drawers to find boxes of little nightgowns and sweaters, aprons with embroidery, powders, scarves... All tucked away in the gift boxes I'd carefully wrapped for her. She continued to wear old, old dresses as nightgowns, safety pin aprons to the front of medium old dresses for every day, wear old dresses that looked fairly like new for good times, and leave new things with the tags still on! It broke my heart then. Now I'm thinking that little golden stash made her happy right as she kept it. She loved to have it because that's how she rolled, a little woman who saved a thousand dollars in one year... In 1920 ... from a meager little paycheck so she could go back home from Missouri, which she didn't like...with my grandfather and live in Indiana... In 1941 she reversed that, saving money in buried fruit jars to buy a farm and move back to Missouri. That money was so damp and mildewed from the ground that she had to iron each bill...

 

Mom is a saver, too... She saves her best, including the best bites of food to the very last. I'm a rebel. Pure and simple. I want to be sure to use things... Except for my stash of pretty glitter and art supplies, which I admittedly hoard. I may have to wear those old dresses as nightgowns as an old lady, and I may have to drink out of ugly cups then, too. But I believe in using and enjoying my things, and as a matter of fact, my grandmother's things and some of Mom's ...NOW!

 

This morning I again began a campaign to live a beautiful life... Little by little. It made me calmly happy eight years ago when I lived at home. Oh, sure I don't really do it perfectly. I just can't do much about some of the worn, shabby things or the uglies that invade some areas... But I can plan to lenjoy a lovely little breakfast of Ritz, peanut butter, and Sarabeth's peach and apricot preserves... I grabbed my lovely glass from my grandmother's china cabinet for my ice water. I lit a Woodwick candle and spread out a quilted runner I made for my Mama years ago when I actually turned out some handwork. The rains beat down again today.

An idea from Pinterest to try...

 

My little mini-assignment for each of you is to find something in your stash of treasures and enjoy it...carefully! I'd hate to be the impetus for you to break a goodie. Let me know if you decide to enjoy a teacup or plate, a necklace... Whatever. I have gone on a one woman campaign to use dishware instead of paper plates. So far, I'm winning that battle... I've moved the good stainless flatware to the kitchen for daily use, and the super nice is next! No daughters or granddaughters await my things. I'm just going to explore some possibilities. I'm hoping you do the same.

Have a beautiful week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Honk! Honk!



Have a spectacular Sunday. 



Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

I Tried

Note.... This post is more oatmeal than whimsy.


I have tried to remain silent and think my own thoughts. ..or preferably not. ...about the Jenner issue, which I wish had remained more private. But finally. .allow me one explosion of exasperation. 

Go to Wikipedia. Key in Bruce Jenner.. he never existed if you read the accomplishments of this person. . >1976 SHE won the Men's Gold ... She married. ..She  appeared as a guest star. .. ???

I am much more merciful and tolerant and kind hearted than I sound here, but for Heaven's sake. .. whoever won the silver medals should demand the gold. .. men and women can't switch and compete. .surgery hasn't even happened yet for the last, I'd say crucial, step.  Jenner was a man then or Jenner needs to give medals back.

I have other opinions and you do, too.. but come on, Wiki ....  This world is totally upside down and nobody will say anything  ...

Perhaps it's time to grab onto the things we believe and get as pushy as the next person.  In my opinion the earth that's left for the meek to inherit will be so confused they won't  even want it. I sure don't.

Rant over.  No pics on this.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Strawberry Moon

Wasn't she a beauty last night? I tried to capture the soft pink glow even though I knew it was impossible. In case you wondered, here are some wonderful facts about moons upcoming...

 

Copied from

http://in5d.com/8-strawberry-moon-facts/

Everyone’s buzzing about the "Strawberry Moon"! Here’s what makes it so special:

• It’s a full moon, meaning the earth lies between the sun and the moon so the complete surface of the moon is visible.

• Each month’s full moon has a name and a meaning, dating back to Native Americans. June’s full moon is called the Strawberry Moon because the short season during which strawberries can be harvested happens in June.

• However, strawberries aren’t native in Europe. There, June’s full moon is called the "Rose Moon."

• June’s full moon is also called a "Honey Moon" or a "Mead Moon" because its position is low in the sky (in our hemisphere at least) and the earth’s atmosphere can give it a warm tint.

• The word "honeymoon" refers to marriage’s sweetness, in addition to the European custom of giving newlyweds enough mead to last them a month. But it’s also interesting that June is the most popular month to get married and, as a result, many couples take their honeymoons during the month of the "Honey Moon."

• And as if this month’s full moon didn’t have enough nicknames already, some cultures also call it a "Hot Moon" because it’s the start of the summer season.

• The Strawberry Moon for June 2014 was extremely rare because it happened on Friday the 13th. It hasn’t happened on this superstitious day since 1919 and won’t happen on another Friday the 13th in June until 2098!

• In fact, full moons that happen on Friday the 13th are pretty rare in general. The last one was in October 2000 (that would have been a "Full Harvest Moon" or "Full Hunter’s Moon" by the way!). The next one is expected in August 2049.

I ended up dropping Mom's Meds, then dropping her ice water, then dropping her Meds AGAIN! As I attempted to grab these pictures on my way to helping her to bed! Lots of cleanup and regrouping later, and she has no affinity to the moon, so it was actually kind of funny to hear her say for the one hundredth time, "A moon is a moon is a moon."

Oh, Mama... I beg to differ. Has it been cold where you live? We are just plain chilly here with rain and dark days. In the sixties today. Perfect, I'd say... Sweater weather.

My son is flying to a business meeting in Georgia Friday. The computer company he works for has a company plane. I loved flying myself, but I have to admit I'm a land lubber when it comes to my family. My cousin/ niece is in Stockholm on an Ag trip for her school. Another friend is headed to Italy tomorrow. A girl from our reunion bunch is in Paris. Think I might garner up enough spirit to go into town to my favorite store, Randolph Mercantile.

Here is my pinkest, mostest strawberriest Moon... Isn't she lovely?

 

 

 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

He Wanted a Home


This photo is of last summer's views. Before we built the ramp this spring.

From time to time, I speak of my wonderful mother and daddy, and some of you do know them in person. But perhaps the tale I'm about to relate will explain to you the essence of my dad. In my opinion, he is the ultimate optimist, the eternal saver, and the original fix-it fox. My dad truly believed he could fix anything and everything, never throw it away. Fix it. When he married my mother, they lived in an apartment for a little under three years, but he wanted a home of his own in the worst possible way. One night, the story goes, he cast his eyes across a field owned by my mother's father, spied a shell of an old house that was being used to store bales of hay and straw. "There. For a little bit of nothing, I could fix that up for a house to live in."


The wintry view through blowing snow a couple of years ago when I was stuck coming down the drive. This old house looked so cozy and warm...

And so he did. Well, actually it was just a little bit more than a little bit of nothing. It was a whole lot of something, and that something, I believe, was pure determination blended with love. How could I not love this house, I wonder, when I feel stuck, homeless, lost in time. My dad pulled of a rehabilitation akin or better than those done by Rehab Addict, one of my favorite HGTV shows. He had to pull out all the hay and drive out the raccoon and skunks that had nested right here in this very house. He had to determine what was salvageable and what was truly not. By the looks of these photos, I can't imagine how he decided that. My mother says he brought home one or two boards each paycheck, and he determinedly proceeded to make this house his home. She said that it took about one year to finish the house to a live able state with no rest rooms or finished floors, but they moved in. If people came to visit, they had to watch my dad work! She said his brother in law, my Uncle Paul, (the daddy of my sister cousin), helped a lot, and sometimes my dad's father went into town to get the other brother in law when the situation called for a lot of hands.


For a little bit of nothing, he said...  What a vision!

These summer rains make me think of the story he liked to tell, my grandmother loved to tell, and now I'll share it with you. During one especially torrential downpour, my dad didn't come home from working on the house. Mom, Dad, and Baby Me were staying about a mile away across the field in my grandparents' home. He usually ate a bite of supper and came here to work, slipping in to sleep a few hours and then going to work an 8-hour shift as a lineman for the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. On this monsoon-like evening, he just didn't show. My grandmother finally got into their car and drove over here to check on him at five a.m. in the morning. It's legend by now. My father was down in the hand dug basement he had made after raising the home on stilts and cutting off the bottom few feet that had rotted away. The water was pouring into the basement, eroding the mud sides. The whole house was on the verge of slipping into that crater of a basement and simply giving up the ghost. But daddy was scooping water and bailing mud out of his basement with a ten or twenty gallon bucket. My grandmother said She didn't even go up to the edge of the basement to look. He just sat there and watched the mud and water slosh up and over the rim of the earth. I guess he came home and told my grandfather, "That man wants a house in the worst way." <3

My grandfather, Paw-Paw, peering into the hand dug basement. No doubt my father was deep in the recesses of his dream!

Fast forward to a year later. Daddy, Mom, and I moved into this wonderful house, minus its wood floors saved from an old schoolhouse that was being razed. The fireplace was moved, the linoleum laid in the kitchen, which is still in fairly good shape after 65 years, coats of Panama Green coated living room walls... much like it is today. Daddy decided to add on a garage and a dining room and extra bedroom or pantry lovingly called the knotty pine room due to its tongue and groove pine boarding. That sufficed from about 1959 to the year after my dad had quadruple bi-pass heart surgery. Around 1990,  he and his Amish friends proceeded to build a bedroom from the garage and a barn from the materials gleaned from my grandmother's home. We had been forced to tear that dear, old, two-story girl to the ground due to the Right of Way of Highway... Another tale, of course.




I come from that kind of person. At heart I am that kind of person, except I don't have the skills or strength or knowledge to do what my mother and dad did and could do all their lives. I ran a different direction with my life, teaching school and flitting about. But it's no wonder that I'm about as stubborn as you can find. Determination and stubbornness...  almost the same coin, but they do spend a little differently. These old photos had been misplaced, and my mother, understandably, was forlorn about it. She thought I had done it, but I finally found them in a drawer where I know she tucked them right before she fell last Thanksgiving. Hallelujah! We are happy to see them once again and marvel at the gaping holes, the terrible condition, the pond in the front yard, and the little baby on my grandmother's shoulder, which is, of course, me.

Yes, that is a sixty year ago, little me. And yes... That is my dear five foot nothin' gramma with white high heels on...  it was summer, obviously. She worked so hard every day in those heels until her little feets were unable to wear almost ANY shoe at all! She didn't take her apron off to drive over. I wonder what on earth she was thinking about her crazy son-in-law! What I sure don't have is a photo of my dad standing beside this house. No sir. He was too busy deep below, on top, or somewhere else earning the money to pay for it.

At times I have pondered moving away to a brand new home with no crumbing linoleum, no creosote peeping through the walls from the old telephone poles he used for joists, from the square peg nails you can still see, from the little sections of termite-eaten shelving in a storage closet...  but nah... Not yet. As with most things, houses, cars, passions, this house needs a bit of time, effort, and money thrown at it to resource some new surfaces, paint over a bit of fading, revisit the re-birthing of a new vision for an old space. That kind of remodeling is fine with me here because, after all, I now sleep in a room located just a little to the left of the house you see in the old pictures, just a bit outside of the space that looks remarkable like an old fireplace had been jerked from the side of the house (because it had, its bricks carefully saved to use on the new fireplace built in a crooked little fashion by an old Swedish stonemason for my mother. I sleep right there in that window overlooking Mom's new ramp.


In honor of June and the month of Father's Day, this post says officially that I adored my Daddy, love to pieces my mother, and delight in every way to see their amazing attributes demonstrated in my wonderful son. My dad wanted a home, and he built one. I want a home, and I have one readily available for my attention and love. It may be time to "scoop some mud."

Have a wonderful June. Whimsy and Hugs!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Happy Memorial Day!

Have a fun weekend with those you love.  We plan to see family and friends, make some visits to our family cemeteries, and put away some frozen berries to cheer our winter menus. 


Six quarts in today! Here they are in my car. Now they are shivering in the freezer!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Of Smoothies and Mischief. . .

Hello there, World! It's just me. Yes, I am certain that I'm going to regret getting up this early...  I actually realized the house was hot, I was thirsty, and I just wasn't as sleepy as I thought about 3:30 this morning. So a few videos on YouTube later, I'm here to report a few major stepping stones of progress in my ever-advancing war on clutter. I know most of you have never seen as much sheer volume of stuff, ah treasures, as my mother, father, and I have collected. I have struggled for years with the aching desire to have order vs. the hoarding love of all that was ever "oooh shiny" to any one of the three of us.


This house is a split level only in the sense that the room I used to sleep in was down four steps. I loved the idea of a little flat of my own down there, but with my joints and creaks I was not loving all the trips up and down the four steps to EVERYTHING else.  The restroom was even upstairs. So after Christmas when my mother seemed to need me more than before I bought myself a little daybed and fixed it up in the western window up here in the dining room. Yeah, the window to the world where I take ALL those pictures. I love the starlight and moonlight streaming in the window, and I have spent literally hours just gazing out at the natural world through the nights when there was lightning, snow, full moons, wind, squirrels, ... you get the picture.



Well, the inspiration hit me to move my clothes up to a JUNK closet in the laundry room/pantry which is a great little catch-all room adjacent to the dining room and my bed. I thought it would be perfect since I do a great deal of my work from a rolling chair due to bad knees, back spasms, and all the joys rheumatoid arthritis has brought to my life. I could do my laundry, fold and put away all on one level! No more toting big laundry baskets up to the washer and drier, down to the closet, up to the bathroom to take showers... down---  you got it.


In a home full of clutter, there is NEVER an easy solution. It's kind of like buying and selling property. Something has to be cleaned out. That stuff has to go somewhere. The place it's going has to be cleaned out. That stuff has to go somewhere. It's a maddening, crazy-making game of shuffling and just frustration beyond all hopes.



It takes a plan. Yes, something I used to have plenty of but had forgotten how to do! I bought the best little book, downloaded it on my Kindle, and read far into the nights about the life-changing magic of tidying up. I've read tons of organizing books. It's what I do: read, not actually accomplish...  This book is worth the money. It's radical. It's a little off the comfort level. I cannot in all honesty do exactly as she suggests with the limits of my abilities and ummm "Not even being in my own home." But I definitely gleaned some beyond awesome nuggets. She cleans for a living. Organizes as a passion and career. And, joy of joys, she recommends doing it the way I always have had good luck--- basically dumping your whole house and starting over. Many times my dear mother would send me as a child to my room to clean, and later she would tiptoe in to check my progress. The screams and moans would then explode from her mouth...  I'd taken the liberty of dumping everything from every drawer, every shelf, every hanger of clothing from my closet. Then I was cleaning, reorganizing, shuffling, grouping...  basically taking four days to do what to her was a thirty minute job.


So, rambling aside, I've been digging my way through a panty, a deep hole of a pantry on the back porch. In it I'm going to store all kinds of magical kitchen tools--- whirring blenders, deep fryers, panini maker, Bread machine.  Ugh...  Too many. So some will bite the dust and be donated or trashed, depending on their condition. If I normally cook a different way, I will not be latching onto something sinister and space consuming. However, that being said, I know the fun of having the right tools. Now they will be in the right place, a cabinet just off the kitchen. Side note: I'm in love with the trash man. I don't know his name, but if he takes this pile of garbage bags today, I'm officially smitten.



So... I will put my clothes in the closet the files and gadgets came from. Mom and I did a marathon cleaning/tossing of four huge, packed beyond belief file cabinet drawers. I kept all kinds of marvelous things, which I'll be sharing in a few future posts. I tossed SEVEN kitchen trash bags of old insurance policies, Medicare updates, manuals to repair long departed toasters, Income Tax files back to Ben Franklin (or whoever created that crazy practice.) Voila!  I now have four drawers of a very old file cabinet in my new clothes closet. I decided to commandeer said cabinet for my t-shirts and sweaters. Marie Kondo, the author of that amazing book, advised to fold clothing as each piece asked to be folded????... in neat little packages.  I have done so. Then she suggested storing them on end front to back in a drawer. And I did. Wow. I had to line the bottom of the cabinet with something, so I chose lovely shiny gift bags so the sweaters would slide and still be protected. I'm loving it. I resisted the urge to color code, etc. I'm kind of obsessive about things, and there's a limit to the amount of time one project can take! Here the drawers are...  Yes, that's a wool dryer ball on the floor. The room's a wreck!



Next on my list will be to clean that closet downstairs and stash candles, decorator items and seasonal things that don't really belong in Rubbermaid totes. Mom is an ordered person, and she has no idea the extent of the balancing/cramming act I've been doing to keep the ships afloat. Here is a shameful picture of a little spot of "heaven" I'm cleaning out and taking downstairs/ to the pantry in back porch/ to the dump... whatever it calls me to do.


Eventually, I hope to chat Mom up into a total redo of this end of the house with the dining room becoming my total bedroom and the living room becoming a Great Room with dining in one end. However, Baby Steps are required on that sort of thing. I'm all about rearranging and changing it up. She's a dyed in the wool "Keep Everything as it Always Has Been" person. How and why is that funny?


I've also embarked on a health journey to lose some of this weight. I hesitate to reveal that because I've failed before. But it's something that needs to be done. I've started a protein enhancement, vitamin addition to my daily round. I can truly tell the difference already in the amount of pain and inflammation reduction I feel from no sugar and no Diet Coke, weep and wail. It's a long journey, but the Xyngular vanilla protein smoothies and delicious antioxidant juices I'm drinking are liquid Tylenol and Advil to my spirit and body. It's been YEARS since I gave a damn about myself and my health, to be honest. This is a big wonderful step.

I hear the birds chirping outside my window, and I realize it is four minutes until I give my son a little wake-up call. Soon Mama will be up for a little breakfast, a little laundry, and the day will begin. If you popped in here, you'd see quite a huge mess, but one happy little messy camper. But I'd offer you a lovely cup of tea... and a vanilla protein smoothie?

Have a lovely week.

Whimsy and Hugs!