Friday, November 29, 2013

A Time to be Grateful.

My blogging friend and "Sister-in-Spirit" posted this really neat list of things she was grateful for on her blog, Mellodee musings" yesterday.  Well, I can't let her "out do" me, so I put in some time coming up with some of the things I am grateful for, not only this time of Thanksgiving, but every day.

Here's my list:

Art:  Whether it is painting, sculpture, handwork, writing, or any other          form, there for us to enjoy.
Bandanas:  Those colorful pieces of material that keep the sweat out of   my eyes, and the dust from my throat.
Children:  Mine, others, all shapes and sizes, and different personalities.  They all add so much to my life.
Dramas:  And comedies both on the stage and screen.
Envelopes:  They hold so many secrets, and also are handy for storing those pesky craft things.
Friends:  I would hate to imagine my life without my friends.
Grandkids:  I have 4.  They each, in their own way, have brought so much joy into my life.
Handles:  Handles make life so much easier.
Ice cream:  My favorite food group. 
James:  You have probably figured out that Jimmieearl is a pseudonym.  But my real name is James, so is my son, as was my grandfather, and great grandfather.
Kaleidoscopes: Those beautiful colors and shapes that are one-of-a-kind and ever changing.
Letters:  From friends and relatives.  Sadly, the writing of letters is becoming a lost art.
Money: Yes, I am thankful for money.  Come on, give me a break!  It’s our exchange currency and where would we be without it?  I don’t happen to agree that it is “the root of all evil.”
Napkins:  Whoever invented these little “mop-ups” had a great idea.  They keep the dregs of my meals from my shirt front, and they come in handy for mopping up those table top spills.
Outdoors:  I love the wide open spaces and being outdoors in all kinds of weather (except, maybe a tornado or something.)  I try to get “out” every day.
Paper:  I’m a paper crafter; need I say more?
Q-Tips: Those short sticks with a tuft of cotton on each end are marvelous for cleaning out tiny little crevices between the keyboard keys, as well as the many craft uses.  Keep them from your ears, though!
Reminders:  At my age, I need the “string-around-the –finger” reminder more and more.  So post-it notes and calendars are good things to have around.
Students:  I knew many, some I cherish a little more than others, but they all added something special to my career and life.
Tissues:  In my world of allergies, they come in handy.  They are also good for wiping away the tears of life, and spit-cleaning little faces.
Up:  It’s a direction.  It’s the only way to go when I am down either emotionally or physically.  Besides, it’s a good “U” word.
Voice:  I love to sing; therefore I am thankful for my voice and the ability to use it for the pleasure of singing.
Walks:  Walking is healthy and lets me get out of the house and into nature and/or around people.
Xylophones: What beautiful music these instruments make!
Yarn:  As a crocheter, yarn is a beautiful thing, that takes a little imagining. 
Zippers:  Another miraculous invention that makes life so much easier.

Happy Thanksgiving and Peace,

Monday, November 25, 2013

Just Something I noticed This Morning!

I go to our local YMCA to exercise every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning.  I was a little behind schedule this morning. On purpose, I might add.  I decided to wait until a little later, go exercise, then run my errands after the bank, grocery and library were open.
I noticed several cars pulling into the Y parking lot as I was leaving.  These were people who were coming to exercise, work out or play basketball or tennis.  And they were actually parking as close to the building as they could get.  Now, I don't part waaaaaay out in the accross-the-street parking lot, but I do park quite a way from the front door.  To me it seems a little redundant to park right by the doors when you are going to exercise.  I don't know, maybe it's just me, but if I am well enough to exercise, lift weights, and walk a mile or two on the track, I should be able to park out away from the building. 
You know, I knew some of these people, and they are like my kid's ages.  Hello!  Where is there sense of adventure?  Or was it just to cold for them today?  Enough ranting!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Just a Memory

Fifty years ago today, JFK was assassinated.  He was my hero.  I remember being a freshman in High School and we had a mock election in 1960, and I voted for him.  I was young but so was he.  He represented hope for our generation.  His "Ask Not" speech made such a lasting impression on me.

I was a freshman in college when he was killed.  It was finals week.  I was taking an art class, Design I.  We had a take-home final.  I was working on it in our basement family room.  I remember Mom coming down and telling me to turn on the TV, and that President Kennedy had been shot.  It was beyond belief for me.  I was devastated right along with the rest of the nation.  I remember watching every minute of coverage from then on.  My brother and I ate and slept in front of the TV. until after the funeral.  College classes were cancelled, and finals postponed.

Recently, I visited Dallas, walked along the street where it all happened.  Visited the Kennedy memorial, and took the tour of the book depository where Oswald allegedly fired the fatal shot.  It has been made into a museum.  Very interesting.  On the street, there are people who have different theories about what happened, and show you the sewer grate where another gun was found.

There are all kinds of thought about what really happened.  As far as I am concerned, the reality of what happened was that my hero, John F. Kennedy was killed.  Brought down before he had a chance to really make a difference.  I am still sadden by this.  I still wonder what kind of a nation we live in that allows these things to happen .  It is my hope that our nation has become stronger from this tragedy and that JFK did not die in vain.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Off with the old..On with the NEW!

Any of you that follow me on Facebook or have read this blog for a while, know that my house has needed a new roof for quite some time.  Last spring, we had damaging winds, hail and rain that did extensive damage to our area, thus making getting anything done by contractors in a timely fashion, almost impossible.  I contracted with a local roofing firm on May 31st for a new roof.
Last Thursday, November 14th, the roofing firm came to install my new roof.  It is now done, and I am so excited to have a new roof, that I need to share it with the world. (Or my little corner of it, anyway.)

 As you can see here, the old cedar shingles that were under layers of asphalt shingles have been removed.  Levi and Homer are putting up new sheeting over the 100 year old timbers that the old shingles were nailed to.
 Here's the new roof going on.  It goes pretty fast when you have two strong guys and power nail guns doing the job.

And here's the finished product.  Since we don't have a "homeowner association,"  we can do whatever we please with our homes, and since RED is my favorite color, well, need I say more. By the way, the front entrance of my house, behind the lattice, has a bright red front door, too.

This is the first time in 43 years as a home owner that I have had to put on a new roof.  I think it looks great!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Once there was a little boy who was afraid and shy.  He hid when strangers called at his house, and hated to go anywhere without his mom or dad.  When it came time for him to go to school, he balked.  He was enrolled in a preschool two days a week.  He cried almost every day when his mom took him to school,  and some days he made himself so sick before walking into the building, that his mom just took him home.
Public school seemed better.  It was more familiar to him because his big sister went there and he had been there many times.  He did well in Kindergarten, He did well in first and second grades.  By third grade, he was not doing so well, and the teacher was constantly on his back about being more organized.  So much so, that his mom had to go to school and talk to the teacher and the principal.
The years went by quickly, but the boy's love for learning didn't get any better.  Somewhere along the way, one of his teachers had him tested for small motor coordination and found that he had a problem writing, not because of his mental capabilities, but because his small motor muscles and nerves were underdeveloped.  By the time he was in high school, he was already talking about quitting school as soon as he turned 16, (which was still legal then.)  His dad promised (bribed) him a car if he stayed in school and graduated, no matter how badly he wanted to quit.  In grade 11, the boy enrolled in the local vocational school, and also got a job at a local grocery store.  With the help of the store personnel and the faculty at the vocational school, the boy began to blossom.  He became less shy, and began to smile more and greet each new day with a different attitude.  He graduated from high school the next year.
Wondering what he would do with the rest of his life, he tried different jobs.  He tried construction, factory work and retail sales.  He was good at the retail sales and liked it so much that he worked several years at Lowes.
Fast forward ahead several years and now that boy, who has become a handsome young man is married and has a child.  He is working as a prison guard, having given up the retail job to make more money to support his family.  He decides to try college.  He likes it.  He is taking on-line courses one at a time, and doing quite well.  Before long, he has earned an Associates degree.  But did he stop there? No!  He continued with the on-line education and has just completed his Bachelor of Science degree.  Nineteen years after he graduated!
Guess what!  He's even talking about working on towards a Master's degree.
I could not be prouder of this little guy who grew up to be a fine man, husband and father of three wonderful children.  After all, he's my son!!