Friday, December 28, 2012

Snug as a Bug in a Rug!

Today it's gray and gloomy, looking even more like snow.  What am I doing??  Absolutely nothing.  I got up earlier than usual this AM, made coffee and sat, and sat, and sat.  This afternoon, I decided to change positions and laid on the sofa, and read.  I fell asleep, and about 3:45 PM woke up and decided to shower and get dressed.  Then I stripped my bed, straightened up my room and did a load of laundry.  I'm "exhausted" so I think it's time for more sitting.
I decided the worse thing about living alone (more or less) is cooking.  I have to cook it, eat it alone, then do the dishes.(When my late wife was here, were shared these and most household chores.)  I see why so many single people opt to eat out.  Tonight, since all meat in the house is in the freezer and not thawed, I will have a delicious bowl of Raisin Bran.  I will lay out some pork chops for tomorrow. 
Baby, it's cold outside, but in here it's warm as toast and cozy!

Peace,

JE

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Let It Snow!

The weather outside yesterday was frightful.  Here in the Midwest, we got barraged with snow. My area of the world only got 4-5 inches, further south it was worse.  Oh well, if we're going to live here, we have to abide with the winters.
Isn't it funny that when we in the Midwest get a "bunch" of snow, we hardly get a mention on the Weather Channel.  However, the New England states, and along the East coast gets storms named for them and plenty of hype.  Do they not know how to handle snow, or what?  I would think that as much as they get in the winter, and that it usually comes to us before them, they would have plenty of warning and be prepared.  What a bunch of wimps!!  I guess it goes to show who are the heartier people.  We are the pioneers, after all.
Today is beautiful.  Not too cold, and the sun is out on this snow covering up all the ugliness. I decided to go out and get out the snowblower and get it going.  NOT!  It will not start.  I only used it once last year as we had minimal snow, and it worked fine.  I cleaned the sparkplug, put in new gas/oil mix, choked and primed and about pulled my arm off trying to get it going.  Nothing would work.  So, I resorted to the shovel.  But since I am in therapy for my left shoulder and rotator cuff and etc, I more or less shoved instead of scooped.  I got things cleared enough to get the car out of the garage, and the sidewalks cleared to the garage, and the front so the poor mailman could get to my porch.  Now I feel like I need a nap.  So I will.
We are expecting more of the white stuff later in the week, but if my snow blower won't start, I have a number to call for a guy who has a blade on his truck and charges a reasonable fee for snow removal.  I will give him a call and save my back and shoulders from more harm. 
Again I must say that this growing old is NOT for sissies.

Peace,
JE 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

On Christmas Day

Oh My Golly!  What a wonderful day.  The kids were all here.  My brother called me from Texas, I received awesome gifts, and saw a great movie.  If you have a chance to see "Guilt Trip," go go go!  It's hysterically funny.  Barbra Streisand (Joyce) accompanies her son (Andy) played by  (I can't remember his name) on a car trip across the US from NYC to San Francisco.  What happens along the way is just too funny to tell.
We even got free popcorn at the theater.  (That's to make up for the "highway robbery" of $9.00 a ticket that it cost us to get in.)  But it was worth it to spend quality time with Prof and Kiddo and Kiddo's buddy/roommate.
So, after all the excitement of the day, this ol' guy is tired.  So, merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Peace,
JE

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tis The Season

Tis the season to be jolly!  Right!  I am beginning to get excited about the upcoming festivities for Christmas.  Finally!  It's been a rough few weeks for me.  Seems like I am missing Tilly more than ever.  After all, Christmas was her favorite holiday and it seemed she was the driving force that got the house ready, the cooking done, and the gifts purchased and wrapped.  (Okay, I did help with the decorating, and the wrapping.)
I went shopping yesterday for the first time.  I had picked up a few things here and there, but the major shopping was done yesterday.  I still have some to do.  Oh, I haven't bought the two little grands a thing yet.  I am at a loss there.  Their house looks like Toys R Us now, so I am not buying toys.  Mom says they don't need clothes, so what does that leave.  BOOKS!  I am looking for the classic children's books like Curious George,  Goodnight Moon, etc.I haven't found them yet.  Maybe B and N will have them if I can arrange a 45 minute drive to the nearest one. 
Gift cards seem to be high on everyone's list this year.  That is so easy, but so not-like-me.  But, if ya can't beat 'em, join 'em.  So I got a bunch of gift cards to everyone's fav stores.  Then I picked up some smaller things for each adult.  
My list for myself was rather simple.  Tighty whities, Tee shirts, and socks were top of the list followed by a new set of portable phones,  (mine bit the dust last weekend after 15 years of good service), a Kerig coffee maker, and a Chromebook!  I believe in giving a list with a wide price span, just in case some one is feeling flush this Christmas.  LOL!
My Christmas is made more wonderful each year when our church choir and orchestra present our annual cantata.  That happened last Sunday evening to a packed sanctuary.  It was a joyful celebration of the Birth.  It is our choir's gift to the community and the community surely responded.  There were people of different denominations and faiths present.  It was glorious!
My travel plans to Texas had to be put on hold for a few weeks due to the expensive repairs on my car last weekend, but it is fixed and safe to drive once more, so maybe next month I will head to my bro's in the Lone Star State.  I miss him and his family, especially at this time of year.  But I will get there soon.

Peace,
JE 

Friday, December 14, 2012

With a Heavy Heart

I, along with the rest of our nation, am with a heavy heart tonight.  The senseless killings of 20 children and 6 adults today in Newtown, Conn. has brought the nation to it's knees in prayer.  My heart goes out to all those who suffered loss today, and too, to those parents who suffered through the minutes until they found their children safe.  Unless we experience something like this, we cannot even imagine the hurt and the tragedy. 
I remember the fear that surged through me when I came upon a car accident on a nearby highway, noticed that the mashed up vehicle on its top out in a field looked a lot like my son's car.  It was!  But he was unhurt, thanks to seat belts and a roll bar.  So, I can relate to some level of fear that those parents of surviving children must have felt.  I cannot, in any way, imagine the loss that the parents of the murdered children are feeling.  I only know that it must be devastating.
My big question is what was the young man's mom doing with automatic firearms.  For cripe's sake, she was a teacher of young people.  What did she need with an assault rifle? 
There is no excuse for what this young man did.  I really don't give a damn what his problems were, or what his motivation was.  Who cares?  He had to be sick, but who cares?  I don't!  I only care about those poor people in Newtown.  How can they possibly overcome this tragedy.
I admire the law enforcement personnel who responded. What a job!  And they did it so well.
What else is there left to say except please remember these folks in our thoughts and prayers as they mourn.  May God be with them all.

Peace,
JE 

Cars! I Hate it When They Need Repaired!

I am not a mechanic of any sort.  I know where to put the gas in my car, and that's about it.  I used to be able to change the oil, and even install new brakes, but with today's new "car tech." even that isn't possible anymore.
My beautiful red '06 Chrysler Sebring was making a "clunking" sound when I turned the steering wheel.  It's been doing it for about a week, but was getting worse.  So, yesterday I called the local garage and made an appointment to have it looked at.  The "gal" I talked to was rather rude and abrupt, made no overture of being the least bit helpful.  I explained that it was my only "ride" so  I would at least need to be taken home, or else I guess I could sit there all day while they fix the car.  A few other questions were met with either snide or rude remarks.  They are the only Chrysler dealership around this area.  The one where I bought the car is about 25miles away and I didn't want to risk going there with the noise it was making.  So, I made the arrangements to go at 8:00 AM this morning.
In the meantime, I related my phone call to Prof.  Sooooo, on her way home yesterday after school, she dropped in at the garage.  She talked to the Service Manager, who she said looked to be about 12 years old (LOL) and she told him that his people were not very "people friendly" and told him how I was treated by whom ever answered the phone that morning.  She said that I had been a Chrysler fan for a long time, and might just want to buy a car there sometime, and that if that was the kind of service...and so on and so on.
This morning when I got there, they were ready and waiting on me.  With a free loaner car for the day.  They called when they had an estimate of time and final cost.  They called me again to tell me that I will be needing new brakes soon, or did I want them to do that today, and also called when the car was done.  They were polite, and very accommodating.
Now, why and what made the change?? Was it because the service manager is just that much better at his people skills, or did the fact that Prof stopped in and was polite, but firm with him that made the difference.  Do they treat all Senior Citizens like second class citizens unless they are stood up for by someone else, or what?  Made me questions their ethics, though.
I bought my last car somewhere I had a friend working.  He no longer works at that establishment, so I have no ties at that garage.  So I might buy here locally the next time, or I might go 40 miles away where my friend is working now. 
Customer service is so important, and whether or not I am wealthy or just middle class, old or young, should not make any difference.
But, now it's fixed,(broken tie rod) and paid for and I am satisfied with the job they did, even if I am not too impressed with their people skills.

Peace,
JE

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My "grown up " Christmas List



 Okay Mel, here is mine.  (Note that you and I have a couple of the same ones.LOL!)


1. Last Christmas  play you saw in a theater?  Scrooge

2. What is your favorite Christmas movie?   The Preacher’s Wife
3. Who is your favorite fictional Christmas Character?    The Little Drummer Boy

4. Favorite magazine for Christmas ideas?   Taste of Home
5. Favorite smells of the Season?    Pine and Spices
6. Favorite sounds of the Season?   Love the sound of jingling bells!

7. The saddest part of Christmas?    Missing those who have gone on before us.

8. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up on Christmas morning?   Is everything ready?

9. Favorite Christmas treat?    Chocolate fudge
10. Where is your best hiding place for gifts before Christmas?   Car trunk, only I have the keys
11. Finish this statement. “If I had lot of money I’d.give more to charities and good causes..

12. What is the best present you remember ever getting for Christmas?   There have been scores of "BEST" presents over the years.  I loved them all!

13. What kind of weather do you like to have on Christmas?  It’s Indiana, so snow and cold is a must!
14. Favorite holiday drink?   Spiced Cider
15. Something I used to do at Christmas that I don't do anymore.....Buy lots of gifts and send lots of cards
16. Do you wear anything special for Christmas?   Nope

17. Favorite Christmas memory?   Seeing Prof and Kiddo hauling all their stuff off the train from Montana.  Maybe not a “favorite, but was a hoot.”
18. What is your favorite Christmas activity?   Singing in our Christmas cantata.

19. What activity is traditional in your family on Christmas Day?   After unwrapping, we go to a new movie.  We all have to agree on the same one.

20.  What is your favorite Christmas Carol?  There’s so many, but I love “In the Bleak Midwinter” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

21.  What is your least favorite part of Christmas?   Taking down all the decorations and packing it all away again!


So, what is on your Grown-Up Christmas List??

Saturday, December 01, 2012

On Getting On...

The older I get:....

The more I enjoy sleeping in.

The more I like just staying around the house.

The more I enjoy the giggles and laughter of my family.

The more I like the smiles of my friends and acquaintances.

The more I enjoy a good book and a cuppa coffee.

The more I appreciate a hug.

The more my faith means to me.

The more I admire the "heroes" of my community. ( Medical personnel, Fire and rescue, and police.)

The more I enjoy the beautiful lights and sounds of Christmas.

The more time I want to spend just being me.

The more I love being alive and being free to do all things.

Senior citizens and those of you who aren't there yet, but might be close, enjoy life today.  Tomorrow isn't here yet, and yesterday is gone and done with.  As someone wiser than me once said, "Today is a gift...that's why it's call the "present."

Peace,
JE

Friday, November 30, 2012

Getting ready for Christmas

Christmas is coming.  (Yes, at my house we still call it CHRISTmas.  Not "the holidays" or "winter break.")  Anyhow, last week I dragged out the BIG Christmas tree from it's storage area in the garage, and put it together.  Last year I put up the little tree, and it just wasn't the same.
the BIG tree is 7 1/2 feet tall and is one of those "pre-lit" jobbies.  I got it all together and found that half of one row of lights didn't work.  Too many years have passed to return the tree to Hobby Lobby where I purchased it.  So, I spent two hours tracking down the problem, only to find that one of the sockets, way in the back near the "trunk" of the tree has a weird connector and the wire splits and goes two different directions after making a 180 degree turn in the connector, and that's where the current ends. (I had a special tool that detects the current in the wire, I am not an electrician).  Obviously the wire is broken, thus the outage.  I simply turned that portion of the tree to the back.  Yesterday I carried in the ornaments and after putting on about 2/3 of them decided that "less is more."  No one else really cares what my tree looks like anyhow, and I have to take it all down and put it away after Christmas, so I stopped decorating.  I think it looks beautiful.  Usually, the tree is so full of ornaments that one cannot enjoy each and every one, so this year I spaced them out and by doing that, I remember them one by one and the "story" that goes with each one.
I put up a few of my collection of Nativities.  One is a small Victorian-era set and another is a hand carved set from Haiti.  I always put out the one we got Kiddo when he was little.  It's soft pliable plastic and the figurines are "kids."  Those, along with a music box is the extent of my decorating so far.  I keep thinking of other things I want to get out, so probably today I will rummage around in the garage and find the rest of the cherished, memory-holding things that seem to make the Christmas season a little brighter!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday Shopping

Yesterday I spent the day window shopping.  I laid on my couch, with a good book, and had QVC and HSN on the TV while I window shopped, read, and napped.  And you know what?  I didn't get dressed until 4:00 PM and there was absolutely no traffic to fight!

Peace,
JE

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Wishes

No fancy words or pictures, just a heartfelt "Happy Thanksgiving" to all my blogger friends.  Hope today was filled with good friends, good fellowship and good food!

Peace,
JE

Monday, November 12, 2012

Could this work?

I had this idea today while sitting here crafting.  I like to craft, and I run out of people to give the stuff to, and I am sure that some people just take the stuff I make to be kind and then foist if off on someone else, or make a little profit off it at their next garage sale.
I think it would be a good idea to organize an "artisan cooperative."  A place where artists and craftspeople could come together and sell their wares.  Finding a place to do this could be a problem, though.  I thought about having it once a month on a Saturday (the same Saturday each month) at our local Senior Center.  We could price our own things, man our own booths, and donate 10% of our total sales to the Center.  It would be win-win  for both.  It would probably start out small with only a few booths, but as word got around to both craftspeople, and the general public, I think it would work.
I have no idea how to organize or start something like this, but I would be willing to learn, and help. 
Another possibility would be setting up booths at my church on the first Saturday of each month in conjunction with our Community Outreach Breakfasts that we hold there.  Craftspeople and artists (aren't they the same) would not have to be members of our church.  I think the cooperative could donate the 10% of the sales to local charities, or local food banks, or our new free clinic, or our local mission store. 
I have made numerous hats, scarves, shawls, and etc and given them away.  I could use a little profit to keep my yarn supply active, as well as the incentive to make more for the public's consumption, and also help out the community as a whole. 
It's just another idea milling around in there in my mind.  What do you all think?

Peace,
JE

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Traffic Jam!

A railroad (freight only) goes east and west thru our town.  There are 12 different crossings within the city to get across.  There is only 1 underpass.  Today, I left the house to go downtown at 12:05.  I finally arrived downtown at 12:20.  A train was stopped across 10 of the 12 crossings.  Traffic was either at a standstill, or people were driving like they were nuts diverting down side streets trying to find a crossing that was open.  I, knowing my way around town, went thru the city park, where the only underpass is, and slowly made it to my destination, which at any other time would have taken me about 3 minutes tops.  When I left downtown, a friend told me that the 2 West most crossings were open, so I circled back, went west on the south side of the tracks, crossed, and then slowly made my way home.  What would have taken me about 5 minutes, took 45.  In a small town like this, we need better passage when a train derails or hits something or has to be stopped.  The town was more or less at a standstill until after 2:00 PM.  It's a good thing we have fire stations on both sides of the city, and a police substation, too.  People were frustrated, and rightly so, and were driving crazy, even going the wrong way on a one way.  Semis were trying to make their way down our narrow city residential streets.  It was ugly.  We have two major state arteries running north and south thru town as well as one US highway running east and west.  What a mess! But I made it home safely!

Peace,
JE

The Move

About three weeks ago, my grandson, Kiddo, moved into an apartment with a buddy.  The shopped around for one, with Prof's help, and ended up with a nice apartment in an older building , in an older, but reputable part of town.  They signed a year's lease.  Prof warned them that with both their names on the lease, they had to get along, and be civil to each other , sort of like a marriage.We helped them round up used furniture, gave them some sheets, towels, cleaning supplies and etc.  So far so good.
Kiddo stopped by last evening to borrow some clothes for a Halloween costume.(is my wardrobe really that scary?)  I asked him how it was going living in an apartment.  He loves it.  He said I would be proud of them, because they haven't smoked in the apartment once.  They have a balcony and smoke out there.  He said that they were out of groceries.  I mentioned that they might want to pool some cash and go shopping, but he laughed and said that if they had extra money, they would rather party!!!  (His mom and I bought their stash of groceries as a housewarming gift, and they are all gone now.)  Kiddo is learning how to budget his money so he has rent and gas money.  He will soon have to start paying back his school loan, so he is trying to save some, too.
His roommate, Lou, makes more money that Kiddo, but spends a lot more, too.  He has debts also, so they are trying to work out their finances.  I think it funny to hear them talk, but I also think it's a good thing that they made this move.  It is teaching both boys, at age 19, to be more responsible, how to take care of themselves and a home, and, too, how to get along with their fellow man.
Oh, I remember the college days when I had an apartment and a roomie.  We got along well then, and after almost 45 years, we are still best friends.  I hope that Kiddo has as good an experience.
(And I'm loving the P & Q!)

Peace,
JE

Sunday, October 28, 2012

That Just How Friends Are!

Friday, my good friend Curley and I spent the day together.  She came in from the wild country, and we went out for breakfast.  There's this fabulous restaurant in a nearby town that is run by Amish.  They have the most wonderful biscuits and gravy, so we went there.  Then off on a hunting trip to another town looking for a yarn shop that Curley wanted to visit.  We had very general directions, and lo and behold, we never did find it, but we had a great time looking.  (We since have gotten the proper address and can Google a map the next time.)
Anyhow, we arrived back at my house with most of the afternoon available.  I asked Curley if she would help me move my living room furniture around.  I have the "easy gliders" and all that stuff, so it wasn't a taxing job, and I basically wanted her input on arrangements that I had in mind.  Well, all in all it was a success, but Curley switched into her housecleaning mode, and had me scurrying for dust rags, Pledge, the sweeper and broom and dustpan.  I had to get a damp rag and clean the woodwork behind whatever we moved and then again before we moved a piece into its new spot.  Wow!  My living room looks and feels so clean.  I tossed some stuff that had been piling up, gathered stuff that needed to go upstairs and generally got everything put back in place.
I didn't intend for Curley to clean my house, just help me decide where to put stuff.  But she said that when you move furniture there is no sense in putting it in a "dirty" spot, thus the cleaning.  I feel like I owe her "big time," but she just insists that that's just how friends are.  How lucky I am to have a friend like that!  Thank you, Curley!

Peace,
JE

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What I've Been Doing...or Creative Chaos!

I've been busy in the "studio" lately.  As witnessed in the photos (that is if this dumb Blogger interface will let me do what I want with them) I have been making my annual  Christmas cards.
 Here's my work table and all (not even close) my tools of the trade!  See what I mean by "creative chaos?"
 
Here is the fruit of my labors.  I don't know why I think every card has to be different.  This year I vowed to "mass produce" only one card for everyone.  NOT!  It seems that once I get the creative juices flowing, I just keep on going. 



Here's my latest toy.  No it's not a purse, but it does look like one.  It's a Sissix brand embosser. Thanks to Prof and her astute buying skills, we went together and purchased this gem.  Hobby Lobby, with a 40% off coupon.  It's fun to use, and will add another dimension to my cards.




Now, I need to clean up the work table, grab some more coffee and get back to work.  I think I need only about 20 more cards to complete the list.  Then, I have some gifts to make.  When do the leaves get raked and the house swept and dusted.  Maybe next month!  And that's just a "maybe."

Peace,
JE

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Must Read

If you have never read "The Christmas Train" by David Baldacci,  I suggest that you do before the holidays.  If you have read it, I suggest you read it again.
I read it yesterday afternoon and finished it this morning with my coffee and doughnuts.  It is a wonderful tale about people on a train bound for L.A. at Christmas time.
It will talk to you, remind you of your childhood, and make you want to ride a train, maybe before the railroads in America are only history.
Please take the time to read this short novella.  I know it will make you cry, smile and even laugh out loud.  Definitely, it will make you believe in Christmas and the miracles that sometimes happen during the celebration of Jesus' birth.

Peace,
JE

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wednesday Blues!

Have I ever told you all just how much I hate to do laundry???  If I could afford it, the one luxury I would bestow on myself is sending my laundry out. 
Yuk!

Peace (please!)
JE

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Post Photo Shoot Post

Well, all 7 of us showed up, on time, and in coordinating outfits.  The shoot went very well.  I wasn't too sold on the photographer at first, but she did well.  The only one who didn't smile was the littlest one, RJ, but he didn't cry either.  He was just "serious."  Kiddo came along, after taking the rest of the evening.  I have pics of me alone, me with my two adult children, me with the 3 grands, and then all of us together. 
After our shoot was over, my son and his family did their session.  THEN, they said that they had a family shoot already scheduled with their own photog next week, so they were being very generous with their time as well as themselves.  I was able to purchase a few, (very high priced) and will show you the goods when I get them. 
It was for a good cause, though.  In a church with a large (for our community) congregation, it's helpful to have a pictorial directory so I can put a name with a face. We have a lot of new people that have started attending, and it will also help our new pastor to put names and faces together of us older members.
All in all it was fun, a lot of laughing and very few tears.  Like I said, knowing my family the way I do, I knew it would all go well in the end.

Peace,
JE

The dreaded photoshoot (preamble)

About every 5 years, my church produces a photo album of members.  Tonight is the night I have to have my picture taken.  Since my son and his family attend there and my daughter is attending there too, we decided to have a family portrait taken.  The girls have been bantering back and forth about what we should all wear so we coordinate.  My daughter-in-law is rearranging their eating schedule so the little ones will be more content, since our photo session is at dinner time. (Poor planning on my part since I set up the early time to get this over with.)  My older grandson is trying to get a few minutes off from work and will meet us there, slip into a "non employee" shirt, get snapped, then go back to work.  All in all, this is turning into a bigger deal than I planned, but knowing my family,all will go like clockwork.  A followup blog later in the week will let you all know if we were all able to "say cheese."

Peace,
JE

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Some Sage Advice

A friend sent this to me today.  I thought it was worth passing on, so to all my blogger friends that are aging right along with me:

GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY.  GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. We make a Living by what  we get. We make a Life by what we give.

God promises a safe landing, not a calm  passage. If God brings you to it, He will bring  you through it.

'Good friends are like stars.....  ....You don't always see them, but you know they  are always  there.'

Saturday, October 06, 2012

I Should Have Known Before...

It's getting colder here in the Midwest, and I get cold easier than I used to, (could it be an age thing??).  Someone mentioned that maybe I should get some Under Armor to wear this winter.  So I did part with the mega bucks and bought a shirt by this name.  Why didn't someone mention this to me before??  It's the best thing since sliced bread.  Today, it is colder and I have a fire in the gas grate, and I have on my new shirt under a long sleeved shirt.  I am warm.  I love it and would recommend it to everyone.
Thanks to my son, and Curley for telling me about this stuff.  I plan to get some "long johns" too.

Peace (and warmth),
JE

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Another Month Gone!

Wow!  Another month gone by.  Where did it go?  I was looking at my calendar for September just a while ago and thought, wow, it's October starting tomorrow.  It seems like the older I get, the faster time goes.  I also notice that I had a lot of doctor appointments in September.  And more in October.  That must be a sure sign I'm getting older. 
New glasses, a tooth extraction which called for adding another tooth to my already semi-full partial, and the usual 6-7 month checkup for cholesterol and blood pressure, plus a trip to the ER for a near panic attack brought on by too much stress.  (Really it was strained chest wall muscles, which caused chest pain, which in turn caused the panicky feeling.)
So, I continue to take the meds, exercise, try to eat right, and keep on keeping on.  Fall is in the air so I will be raking leaves and getting the yard ready for winter.  I also keep busy with my hand work and card making.  I am thinking of taking a painting (acrylics) class that is going to be offered at our local Senior Center.  I keep going to my crochet club and singing in the choir.  I still read voraciously.  I enjoy all that I do and wonder sometimes how I managed to work for a living for over 50 years. 
So, as another month passes and another one comes along, I just will keep on keeping on. 

Peace,
JE

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

From Outside my Window

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting in my living room near an open window.  I looked out when I heard talking.  Right outside my front door, not over 12 feet away stood 3 boys and two girls, all who  looked to be about sixth graders (give or take a few months,)  The stood talking, mostly the girls talked, the boys just stood there looking confused, and somewhat awkward (like most pubescent boys do) and the girls were "all up in their faces."  I couldn't hear what they were saying, but suddenly the boys did an about-face and took off walking west.  The girls just stood there, then one of them shouted, "Hey, look at this," as she flew "the bird" at the boys.  Then, both girls did the natural "girly" thing:  they both screamed, and took off running east!  I think the boys were clueless!!!
Ahh!  Youth!  Growing up is hard to do!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Quick Book Review

I don't think I have ever requested that our local library purchase a book.  In fact, I know I haven't because until just a few weeks ago, I didn't know they took patron requests.  Anyhow, I asked them to get "A Killing in the Hills" by Julia Keller.  I had read about it coming out on one of my literary websites and thought it would be something I would like.  It was a pretty good one.  It was the author's first novel.  I was slightly disappointed that it was so wordy.  I think Ms Keller could have told the story in a lot fewer pages. 
The author really hit the poverty in the Appalachian regions on the head.  I have relatives living in that area and have seen it first hand.  Her descriptions of the area were right on, too.  This novel was what I call a "smart book," where the author isn't afraid to use the ten dollar words.  I like books like that.  I just thought there was too much "personal crap" going on behind the scenes with the main character, which didn't really add to the story, and which she left the reader hanging out there wondering what happened with her daughter and her sister.  Makes me think that this will become another series.
All in all, I would give it 3 stars out of 5.

Read on,
JE

Politics! Bah Humbug!

With the elections heating up, I am  already tired of the smear campaigns.  I for the life of me, cannot see the true value of slamming the other candidates.  To me, it only lowers my opinion of the candidates!
This about sums up my feelings of politics:




Maybe when November comes well all get some much wanted peace (and maybe some change, too.)

Peace (maybe)
JE

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Baby Grands!


No, I'm not talking about duel piano concerts.  I am just giving you an update on my two wonderful small grandchildren.  They are so cute and full of vim and vigor.  I get tired just thinking about watching them!!  I love them dearly and I want to share pics of them.  Here they are!  aren't they  the happiest kids ya ever have seen?

They make my day!

Peace,
JE

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Arachnid Followup

Okay, I was amused by the spider and centipede episode, but I checked in on them a day later and GROSS(!): half of the centipede was gone.  So now, the spider and the other half of its prey is gone.  I cleaned up the corners of the room where any other wildlife might be hanging out and scrubbed the floor.  You were right Beatrice P. Bear.  Those creatures need to be elsewhere but in my house.  However, it was a good lesson for "survival of the fittest."  And, obviously, I am the fittest!  Or at least the biggest!

Peace (reigns once again),
JE

Thursday, September 06, 2012

"Come Into My Parlour, said the spider to the fly."

You've heard of the survival of the fittest?  Well, here in the corner of one of my rooms, (yes there's dust bunnies, I know) is this tiny spider who has caught a huge centipede (at least huge to the spider) in his or her web.  The more the centipede struggles to be free, the more web the spider casts.  How long until the spider moves in for the "kill?"  Or will it wait until the centipede wears itself out and finally gives up and dies?  It's interesting how nature works, isn't it.  More updates as they happen!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Silence is Golden

For about 15 months after my wife died, I was alone. Then because of factors beyond her control, my daughter Prof moved home from Montana and into my attic. That was almost 4 years ago. A year and a half after she moved in, her sperm donor, who had been housing my grandson, Kiddo, decided that he didn't want Kiddo anymore. So I took him in also. So I haven't been alone since I retired, or at least, I have had someone in residence all the time since then. Last week, Prof left on Wednesday for the state capital, where her guy lives. She is staying with him for the long holiday weekend. She told Kiddo that in light of his recent behavior, (which is blog fodder for another time,) he was to find another place to crash for the long weekend. He huffed and puffed and blustered about how unfair she and I were being, but he called his dad and asked if he could crash there just for a few days. Dad said yes, believe it or not. But, Dad wouldn't give him a key and expected him to live by the rules of their house. Again a lot of blustering and bitching, and finally he gave in. I haven't seen or heard from him since last Wednesday. He texted his mom and said that Dad was being an ass (as usual) and he was staying with his friend Nick. That's okay with me.
Meanwhile, back at Casa Mine, I have had the whole place to myself. I have played the stereo loudly, have danced in the living room, have sang in the shower at the top of my lungs, and have run around in my underwear. It's quiet, and staying really neat. Any mess made since last Wednesday can only be mine. I have dined sitting on the kitchen counters, and eaten peanut butter with a spoon straight from the jar. I have stayed up as late as I wanted without the lights bothering anybody and I have NOT had the TV on more that 2 hours all the time I have been alone.
If Prof and Kiddo do decide to move on, I will miss them. I will miss Prof's tales about her job, and life. I will miss her cooking and just having her here to rely on for certain household chores. I will miss Kiddo's ramblings and even his blustering. But will I miss the constant noise of just having others in the house? NO! For, you see, silence is golden.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Friendship

Friendship. What is it? It is something that is not easy for me to cultivate, but am so lucky to have. I have a network of friends. There is Steve, Alan, and Tim. They're my singing buddies, and they are the guys that I can turn to when the going gets rough.
There is Susan. She is my accompanist when I sing, and our choir director at church. She is also a friend who just seems to understand things that I share with her.
There is Tom. He's a guy who I met in college, roomed with for two years, and that was 45 years ago. We are still best friends. He and his wife have shared their lives with me and mine for all these years. It's a wonderful thing to have a lifetime friend.
Then there is Curley. You all have heard me talk about her since I began blogging. She is this gal I met at work. She's a wife and a mom. She's a daughter and a sister, too. But to me she's a confidant, a sharer, and most of all, my friend. We worked together for a long time, and this purely platonic friendship just went from there. She has taught me how to crochet, and tried to teach me to knit. She understands loss having lost her dad recently, so I can talk to her about loss. She has children of her own, and she has become sort of a second Mom to my kids. She is a person who my children even though they are adults, will call and talk to if they have a concern. Curley is happily married to Hunter/fisherman, but he hates to shop, and craft. These are the things we do together, and he doesn't care. In fact, I think he's relieved that Curley has someone to shop and craft with so he doesn't feel like he has to. LOL! We have a lot of laughs, and also some tears, but through it all, the friendship we have is special. Curley was a good friend to my late wife, Tilly, and I know that Tilly would like the fact that we still maintain that bond.
So, when I talk friendship, I stop and think, "My how lucky I am." Friends like mine, don't just happen. A Higher Power made these friendships and I am blessed to be the recipient.
How lucky can one guy get?

Peace,
JE

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Can't Make This Stuff Up!

This really happened!

Tonight, Grandson Kiddo called me. He was on his delivery route for Pizza Hut, and the house he was to deliver to was an abandoned one. (Cruel joke???) He wanted me to look up Pizza Hut's number so he could call them for further instructions.

Me "You work for Pizza Hut and you don't know their number?"
Kiddo: " I can't remember it." (He was frustrated...it's his first week of work.)

So I got the phone book and was looking it up when...

Kiddo: "Grandpa, I found the number on the ticket."
Me: "It's probably on the pizza box, too."
Kiddo: "Yes, and on the lighted sign on top of my car...duh". "Thanks, bye."

No crap, people, this was so funny I have been rolling on the floor laughing all evening!!

Peace,
JE

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Could Fall be Coming Soon?

Yesterday was one of those beautiful Indiana days. Temps were in the low 70s and there was a breeze. I played the slug all day. I relaxed on the porch, and moved in the afternoon into the back yard swing. I was reading a "can't put it down" novel, so I had an excuse. As I sat there, I looked around at the trees and sky, breathed in the fresh air, and I swear I could feel Fall in the air. Surely not already! If Fall is coming early to Indiana, then we're in for a doozie of a winter! I am sure that soon the temps will rise, along with the humidity, and summer will once again descend upon us. But for yesterday, and hopefully, today, the cooler temps are sure a harbinger of Fall.

Peace,
JE

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Did you ever wonder...

Why did the right road
Take that wrong turn?
Why did our heart break?
Why'd we get burned?

Just like the seasons
There are reasons
For the path we take
There are no mistakes

Just lessons to be learned.
(Words by B. Streisand)

Peace,

JE




Saturday, August 04, 2012

All the "X's" Should Be In Texas

Or any place else but around here. Both of my kids were married before. Lil Bro even refers to his brief first marriage as his "unfortunate incarceration." Our family is still haunted by this woman, who has been married at least twice since.(Divorce final in 2000) Finance companies call us looking for her every now and then. It seems she used my address and phone number when she got a loan. (She never lived her, no did she ever even stay all night here. Ever!) The last one who called got an ear full. I told them that she was married briefly (5 months total) to our son, never lived here, and that she was married to at least 2 other suckers since. I told them that if they ever found her, to just shoot her and the world would be better off!! Maybe I should have just suggested that they ship her to Iraq!
Then, there's Prof''s X. He was seemingly a nice guy for a while. Especially during the 4 years they dated. But alas, he turned "bummish." He is not parent material, has always tried to ignore his responsibility to his son (my grandson, Kiddo) and has just recently shown his true colors which aren't even on the color spectrum they are so low.
So, why doesn't the country just designate an area in some land way far away for these miscreants so we don't have to deal with them. (Preferably not Texas; I have relatives and friends there). Bums, abusers, and gold diggers, along with other bothersome X's would be sent there for just existing in a world and taking up precious oxygen that the rest of us could be using!!!
This is a needless rant, I realize, but I needed to vent!

Peace,

JE

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Will it ever quit hurting?

Missing Her

Today would have been our 43rd wedding anniversary. It's a bittersweet time, but the feeling of loss is better. I still miss her and wonder if the empty feeling will ever go away. This song really sums up my feelings today and sometime during most days.
(You can find this song on Carole King's "Livingroom Tour" CD. Ya gotta listen to it!) You can find it on YouTube.

Now and Forever
You were a part of me
And the memory cuts like a knife
Didn't we find the ecstasy
Didn't we share the daylight
When you walked into my life
Now and forever
I will remember
All the promises still unbroken
And think about all the words between us
That never needed to be spoken.

We had a moment
Just one moment
That will last beyong a dream, beyond a lifetime
We are the lucky ones
Some people never get to do
All we got to do
Now and forever
I will always think of you

Didn't we come together
Didn't we live together
Didn't we cry together
Didn't we play together
Didn't we love together
And together we lit up the world

I miss the tears
I miss the laughter
I miss the day we met and all that followed after
Sometimes I wish
I could always be with you
The way we used to do
Now and forever
I will always think of you
Now and forever
I will always be with you.
________________

Will this every get any easier?

Peace and Hope

JE

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I sorta stole this from Mellodee over at "Mellodee's Musings". I guess she ganked it from "Sunday Stealing." But it was fun!

1. You have 10 dollars and need to buy snacks at a gas station. What do you get? Either a “Chunky Original” or York Peppermint Patty for sweet, and kettle corn for the sweet/salty taste.

2. If you were reincarnated as a sea creature, what would you want to be? A dolphin; they are so smart!

3. Who’s your favorite redhead? Julia Roberts

4. What do you order when you’re at IHOP? Veggie omelet with egg beaters, dry toast and coffee. I am not an IHOP fan at all.

5. Last book you read? "Chasing Darkness" by Danielle Girard.


6. Describe your mood. Nervous and grumpy, but why?

7. Describe the last time you were injured. I fell off the last step getting off a Greyhound bus. The driver neglected to pull out the “courtesy step” and that last step was a big one. I scraped my left arm, leg and knee, jammed my shoulder and the top three ribs on the left side of my chest were shoved slightly over top of my sternum. I was pissed at the driver, who didn’t even have the courtesy to come over and see if I was okay. If I had known how injured I really was, I would have made sure Greyhound pay for the Dr. bills, most certainly. Of course, those injuries don’t appear for sometimes years. That was 5 years ago, and I am still having problems.

8. Of all your friends, who would you want to be stuck in a well with? Stuck in a well??? If I had to be stuck with anyone in a well, it would be my friend Alan. He is the most ingenious guy I know and could get us out. He’s MacGyver II!

9. Rock concert or symphony? How about a blended concert of both?


10. What is the wallpaper of your cell phone? I don’t have wallpaper. Just white background.

11. Favorite soda? Coke (Caffeine free, diet of course)


12. What type of shirt are you wearing? A blue tee with the logo of our church on it. We sold them as a fund raiser several years ago. I still have this one. Bleach spots and all!

13. If you could only use one form of transportation? Local free transit (for those of us over 60) and for travel, Amtrak (but allow plenty of time...they are NEVER on schedule!)


14. Most recent movie you have watched in theater? “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”

15. Name an actor/actress/singer you have had the hots for. Ahhh! I hate being predictable, but I would give closet space in my room to Meg Ryan any time.


16. What’s your favorite kind of cake? Texas Chocolate Sheet cake.

17. What did you have for lunch yesterday? Meat Loaf with corn and apples at Cracker Barrel.

18. Look to your left, what do you see? Filing cabinet topped with my printer, a trash bin with the shredder on top and a register for the furnace/AC.

19. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? I usually do.

20. Favorite toy as a child? Brown Bear


21. Do you buy your own groceries? Usually, except when I know that Prof has to go, then I foist my list and my debit card on her. I dislike grocery shopping immensely, and it’s sort of like having a root canal, only worse. At least one is numb for a root canal.

22. Do you think people talk about you behind your back? I'm pretty sure some do!


23. When was the last time you had gummy worms? Years, and I wasn’t impressed. Now, gummy bears, yes. But I like the cinnamon flavored ones the best.

24. What’s your favorite fruit? Black grapes or raspberries.


25. Do you have a picture of yourself doing a cartwheel? Are you kidding?? Did they even make cameras back when I turned my last cartwheel?

Rain, finally!

We have been in a drought here in Indiana all summer. Finally it has begun to rain. Not a lot, but some. Last night I was awakened by thunder an lightening. So I got up and went out to my screened veranda and sat and watched it storm. When I thought it was over, I went back to bed. While I was asleep early this morning, we had a terrific storm. High winds, and lots of rain. Lots of lightening and thunder. There was quite extensive damage around town, and in the county. Trees down, roof damage, and a pole barn north of town now has the roof laying off to one side of the building itself. I was lucky to just have a few small limbs down and leaf debris. Some of my neighbors weren't so lucky. We were, however, without electricity for most of the day. With an electric home, we couldn't cook, wash clothes, dishes, or our bodies (unless we wanted a cold shower,) and with the dark clouds, the house was pretty dark most of the morning. I had the coal oil lamps going and Prof said it was reminiscent of "Little House on the Prairie." I didn't mind at all. I was just reminded of my childhood in the country where we lost power all seasons of the year. Especially in the winter when ice storms came and took down lines, and the power company didn't get there for several days, not hours like now. It was just a fact of life for us. We built fires in the fireplaces and kept them going, and burned coal oil lamps (the same ones I had going today) and made do. We melted ice and snow over the fire for water to wash up with and we ate what ever we could cook over the fire, too. I don't think I'm any the worse for wear because of those times. Although, it does make me appreciate all the conveniences that I am blessed to have now. That was a different and more gentle time.
Anyhow, I digress, it did rain .9" today, and added to what little we have gotten the last few days, things are beginning to green up some. I noticed that the shaded areas of my yard will need the help of my mower come Thursday or Friday. And of course, the weeds are leaping out of the ground. LOL!

Peace,
JE

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Gramps again!

News Flash! I found out recently that I am going to be Gramps again early on in '13. My son and his wife are going to bless me with another "baby grand" bringing the "grand" total to 4. We are excited. Prof is excited to be becoming "Auntie Mags" for the third time. Now it's gonna be all about quilt making. (She still has to finish R J's, and he's over 2 years old now.)
The parents claim that they have all the "stuff " for either a boy or a girl, and so they don't want to know the sex this time. All Lil Bro wants to know is that there is only ONE heartbeat. With twins on both sides of the family, and in his generation, he is nervous. I say "bring them on" but of course I am only the spoiler in this whole picture.
Whether a girl or boy, the child will be welcome and loved deeply and completely. There could not be any better or more deserving parents!

Peace,
JE

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Back On the Left!

When Prof moved home from Montana, she came with her Malibu full, plus a U-Haul trailer full. It was winter, slick and icy, and we had to empty the U-haul to get it to the local agency while still under her time limit. So, we unloaded her "stuff" into my garage, on the left side. Since my late wife's car was no longer there, there was plenty of room. In the spring, we also moved two flat bed trailers full, plus my car full and Curley's Suburban full (twice) of Prof's stuff that she had in storage in the City. Rental on her storage unit had doubled in the three years she was gone, so it seemed foolish to keep paying when I still had almost half of a garage with space. After all, the U-Haul load was not all that big. So, for over two years now, I have been able to get my car in the garage on the right side, but not much else.
Today, after coming home from church, Prof and I donned our ugliest and oldest work clothes and went to work in the garage. We had picked up plastic storage bins at Dollar General on the way home, so out we went. We shuffled, condensed, shifted, tossed, and restacked. I managed to move some of my multitude of Christmas decorations, condensed some, shifted some, and even tossed a few old wreaths and strings of unworkable lights. I rehung some stuff, and was able to clear some much needed shelf space for Prof's boxes. After 5 hours and 30 minutes, much sweating, and lots of pulling, tugging and lifting, Prof can now get her car in the garage and so can I. Back on the left side where I used to always park. We took time to sweep it out and even dust off some grunge. It looks so nice and clean. I found some stuff I forgot about, and tossed some that I knew was there but up to now didn't want to deal with. If it wasn't so hot out, I would take a lawn chair out there and just sit and admire our handiwork.
So now I am back to parking on the left side again. It's like old home week in the ol garage!!
My shiny red one on the left. Prof's "Blue Goose" (which pulled the U-Haul from Montana in December, through miles and miles and miles of snow and ice. She never got to drive the speed limit until she was 30 miles from home) in my nice, clean garage.


Peace, (but I am pooped)
JE