Sunday, November 30, 2014

Another Year Passes

Can it really be time to deck the halls already.  It seems like I just did that!  But, alas, the time is here again.  So, I began by decking my blog out for the Christmas season.
I haven't purchased one gift, nor do I even know where to start.  My daughter sent a list, so that's a beginning, but money is tight, as always, so I will again restrict my buying to things they want the most.  Or need the most.
As for me, other than some new tee shirts, socks and underwear, my needs are few and my want list is short.  As for decorating, I got a start, but have a long way to go.  My card making is done though, and ready for a trip to the post office.  (Did you know you can print stamps off on your printer via the USPS?)  But, I like to go in and say "Merry Christmas" to the postal employees, stand in line at the window and visit with friends and strangers that I haven't seen since last Christmas.
The town is bedecked, and the Nativity once again graces the court house lawn.  I am so proud of our community for being just a bit politically incorrect with this one.  After all, it is the reason for the season!


Monday, November 03, 2014

Halloween Scrooge

The wind blew and the snow flew, along with sleet and some hail thrown in.  This was last Friday evening, Halloween night to be specific.  Thus I had no little gremlins or Elsas knocking on my door.
But if they had, they would have been sorely disappointed, for I do not treat them anymore.
Trick or treating has become a racket in my city.  People in outlying areas load their precious ghosts and goblins into vans and transport them into town and dump them out to go door to door for the goodies.  I used to treat everyone who came to my door.  Usually it was just kids from the neighborhood, but then I began getting them in droves, and they were not kids I had ever seen before.  Once I ran out of candy, I shut off my light, which is the signal in our city to not knock anymore, but they persisted, and even "soaped" my front door windows.  That was it.  So now, on Halloween, I either go away, or just turn off all inside and outside lights, and watch TV in my bedroom until the cut off time.
Another reason is that candy and treats, at least what is acceptable by parents has gotten very spendy.  No more can we issue popcorn balls, and homemade candy.  It has to be individually wrapped and must pass an xray at our local emergency room.  This aspect is not the kid's fault, and I honor the parents who watch out for their kids, but it has certainly gotten out of hand.
So, no treating.  I fixed treats up for my grandkids, but the weather was so bad that they didn't go out.  So I will deliver them to their house one day this week.


Monday, October 20, 2014

"Grammarly" Speaking!

As a former English teacher, nothing rubs me the wrong way as much as bad grammar.  I notice it most on Facebook.  Okay, I know that Facebook is not  necessarily the place to be grammatically correct, but I do believe people look rather ignorant sometimes by the words they choose to post.

As an example, this summer a young lady on Facebook got married.  She continuously referred to the wedding as "Matt and I's wedding."*  I was appalled.  I know this young lady, knew her English teachers in middle and high school, and also know that if she took the time to reread what she had written time after time, she would know she was looking pretty uneducated.  (She has now graduated from college!)  I so wanted to send her a message and correct her grammar, but being the kind, retired English teacher that I am, I just seethed quietly and didn't do it.  Grrrr!

Another grammar misuse that really grinds my coffee is the old, "they're, there, their" mistake.  I recently saw a poster that could be used in the classroom that described what each of these meant and how to use them.  I wish I would have had that poster in my classroom years ago.

I know this is just a minor blip in the EKG of life, but it just bugs me.  Rant over!  I need to get a life!


*Note:  Correct usage:  "Matt's and my wedding."

Sunday, October 19, 2014

What's Happening Out There in Blog Land?

I was sitting here, dressed for church waiting on time to leave, and I was perusing my blog list.  Except for a couple, there's nothing new.  I  wonder what is going on.  Are all these people on extended vacations?  Have they all been abducted by aliens form the world wide web?  Are their lives so busy they don't have time to write?  Or, like me, are their lives so boring they have nothing to write about?
I know Mellodee over at Mellodee's Musings is in the throes of moving from one state to the other.  Okay, I will forgive her for not writing, although, Mel, you could let us know what is new in your new state!  The rest of you...get busy and write.  It's good for the fingers, and good for the mind.  We readers really don't care what you write about, even the everyday mundane things at least let us know you are still alive and kicking. 
Keep on keepin' on!


Friday, October 03, 2014

Squirrels Are Gone!!!

I wrote last week about the squirrels in my eaves area.  Well, like I said, Todd, the pest guru caught one in a live trap.  We just couldn't entice the other adult into a trap for some reason. I was standing in my kitchen window the other day, and lo and behold, the other adult came out and was sitting on the downspout elbow in the corner right under the hole where the pesty things were getting in and out.  I must admit, I own a BB pistol that runs on CO2 cartridges.  I acquired this gun from my son many years ago.  I have never used it.  I knew it had BBs in it and I had a package of CO2 cartridges, but I wasn't too sure how to load them into the gun, but I went on line and learned.  (I found printed instructions for this weapon online:amazing!)  Well, I grabbed the gun and headed out the back door.  Of course, when I got around to where the squirrel was sitting it was gone.  I waited patiently around the corner of my outbuilding and watched the hole.  In a while, the squirrel came slowly out and sat on the elbow again.  I took off the safety, aimed and fired.  Be damned!  I hit the bugger on the first shot.  It fell to the ground, and as I stood stupidly in awe, it crawled under the outbuilding right in front of me.    I stepped out into the yard and could see it under the corner of the shed, so I laid down on the grass, too aim and thought I finished it off. Not wanting it to lay there and smell, I donned heavy leather gloves and reached under to pull it out only to have it crawl away from me farther under the shed.  I hope the cats in the neighborhood dispose of it before it begins to smell. 
Now, a week + later, the young have left the nest, disappeared and the eave is once more mine. The hole is covered, the traps are gone and the pest control bill is paid in full.  I didn't owe him bounty on the one I "plugged." (To quote Todd, the pest guy!)
I am not promoting cruelty to animals, but I had to get rid of these pests before they chewed their way into my house or caused extensive damage to the roof and eaves.  Do I feel guilty about shooting this animal?  Maybe a little, but not enough to loose sleep over it. Our town is overrun with the things.  They are a common nuisance around here like prairie dogs in the west.  We just don't have a season for them.
That very evening, our local paper had an article reminding town citizens that discharge of any firearm in town is against the law!  OMG!  Did they see me!  I think not!

Peace, (once again)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Doin' What I Do!

   It's been a while again.  Lots going on around this place.  I have been working diligently on my redo in my kitchen and dining area.  Still working on the kitchen part, but the dining area is done.  I have packed box after box of cook books, and other tomes and carted them to the loft in my storage building.  I am down-sizing my cookware and dish stuff.  I got rid of a china cupboard by giving it to my son for their large dining room.  One stipulation of giving it to him was that he had to take all or most of what was in it at the time.  So, we toted a complete set of good china service for 12, with all serving pieces too, plus half of my Christmas dishes which they will use, and the grands will enjoy.  I decided I didn't need 4- 13x9 casserole dishes, and other stuff, so I am donating it all to Goodwill.
   I have discovered that grey squirrels are nesting in my overhang and trying to get into the space between the flat roof and the ceiling over part of my house.  I have a pest control expert in charge of that with live traps and bait.  He caught one yesterday, and hopefully more today.  I counted 3 or 4 sitting outside on my downspouts and gutters on Sunday morning.  Two looked like they were pretty young.  They might be a little harder to catch live, the pest control guy, Todd, said.
   It's also been a time for a bit of sorrow and prayer for my family.  My oldest grandson is having some trouble staying away from drugs.  He has been thru a rehab situation, was clean for several months, then back on again.  Now, he's clean again, and going to meetings for addicts, and is working hard at staying away from temptations and the friends who he "partied" with.  We almost lost him a few weeks ago, and I think it not only scared his mom and me, it finally scared him enough that I hope it has wised him up!!  Lots of stress on my daughter as he lives with her in the capital city.
   I have been well, and had good numbers in my semi-annual checkup.  That is a good thing for someone 69 and counting.  I certainly mean to stay as well and active as possible.  Trying to eat right is my biggest flaw.  I like to cook, but cooking for one is the pits.  So, I eat a lot of cereal, and sandwiches.  Once a week I try to cook a full meal, then dine on left overs for a few days. I am considering using the 7 ways to cut out or reduce sugar in your diet that I saw on the internet.  That should be interesting.
   Having my three small grands close by is "grand."  The oldest started Kindergarten in August, and the middle one is in Pre-K already.  This education system starts so early.  Gee, when I was in school, we didn't have kindergarten, so first grade was a new experience for me.  My mom was a teacher, but was not teaching then.  She went back to it when I was in second grade.  I think she was crafty in her thinking that she wouldn't have either me or my older brother in class!  My youngest grandson is now 19 months old and is a real charmer.  He's the shyest of the three, and is all smiles, especially when I offer him a cookie!
   I continue to read and have red 53 books so far this year, which is behind schedule for me.  Maybe my other hobbies of cardmaking and crocheting are holding me back.  But that's what occupies my idle time.
So I just keep on doing what I do.  Fall is here, color is changing daily, and the "brrrrr" of winter is just around the corner.  Maybe, when I am shut in with snow up to my "hoo-ha" I will think of better stuff to write about.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Untitled...Just Because I Can't Think Of A Good One

Yes, I am still among the living.  I have been diligently working on my kitchen redo, but a pinched sciatic nerve to my right leg, a twisted knee and arthritis are all working against me.  I work when I feel like it, and am getting it done in baby steps.  I finally have almost of the painting done, thanks to my son.  He came and did the finish up on the ladder for me.  I just didn't trust myself on a ladder right now.  Yesterday, I installed the chair rail,.It's not really chair rail. it's too high for that, but I got all that molding installed and painted.  Today, I did a sponge paint effect on one wall trying to match some pieces of red granite dinnerware that I have collected.  Next, there will be wallpaper and border to hang.  Then curtains to make and hang.  So, hopefully I can have it done in time for Christmas Dinner!  LOL!  Maybe by this time next month.  I am tired of the mess, of the disarray of stuff piled all over my house, my studio is upstairs, so I haven't been inclined to climb steps in the evening to do much design work, so have spent much time in the evenings reading and listening to Pandora Radio.  TV right now is such rubbish, so it stays off most of the time, save watching Jeopardy!, but even that is in reruns.  Surely it's getting time for the new season premiere soon.  
Some days getting around is rather painful, so I have been staying home, but do try to limp out to the coffee shop a few times a week and meet up with the caffeine crowd.
Things are starting to heal, warm, ice,warm, ice.  Arthritis strength Tylenol!  Better living through chemistry!
It's been hot the last few days, and very humid, here in mid Indiana, but we have gotten some much needed rain. I was out after a major downpour yesterday and marveled at how green everything had gotten overnight.  Those brown spots in my yard are greening back up already.
So, that's an update on the missing JE lately.  I will try to be more efficient in writing.  Try being the operative word.  My life is rather boring, so I really don't have much to say right now.  Maybe I will win the lotto and go on fabulous trips so I can blog about them.  Yeah, right!  Got to buy chances first!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Work In Progress

Work is progressing on my kitchen.  Tonight the drywall went up.  Grant Drywall guys ROCK!  Grant is a young father who works in a nasty factory job and is trying to get his own business started.  He and his 16 yr. old foster son are doing the work after Grant gets off in the evenings.  Last night they took down the old lights, too off all the scaling crap and prepped the ceiling with shims, etc.  Tonight the heavy, dirty stuff began.

I thought I would show you their work in progress. Note:  All those decorator "tins" are in garbage bags in my garage for anyone who wants them.  I saved the granite tea kettle for myself, sorry!

  1.  This is the major hole left by the storm which tore loose upper level siding, which in turn let water leak into my kitchen ceiling.
 Here's tonight's work.  No taping started yet, but progress is being made.

 Here's another view of the ravaged ceiling. 
Here's the progress they made in one evening.

I will continue to update as the work goes along.  I have new lighting going in.  There will be a white ceiling fan in the kitchen with lights.  The dining area, which I will show you later is getting a new ceiling too since it's part of this one, but sustained no damage.  But a new light is going in there, too.  I am so excited.  Wowza!!


Monday, July 28, 2014


Our music teacher has this as a border all the way around her classroom beginning on the left as you walk in the door.  I copied it down one day when I was subbing in her room.  Then I made it into a poster.  This is a smaller version of the poster.  It is probably my favorite "saying" about music ever!


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Getting my work done, finally!

Fellow blog readers, I have been remiss in posting lately, I know, but I am getting the kitchen ready for the new ceilings which I have waited on since April of 2013.  After 3 contractors who never showed up, two who gave me promise dates and good quotes, I have found a guy eager to do my work.  He came highly recommended by a couple who just had him remodel a house top to bottom, inside and out.  They weren't living there, so it didn't matter to them that he worked only on evenings and weekends.  He also works in a metals processing factory during the day. He is hoping to get his contracting business off the ground so he can give up that job, but it's slow going getting a small business built up.
Anyway, he's doing my outdoor work, some new gutters and soffits which came down in the same storm that did the leak damage to my kitchen ceiling, beginning tomorrow evening, then he will do the kitchen dry wall ceiling.  Then new lighting in there.  Then comes the fun part for me.  I will be doing some redecorating; wall paper (yes, I am one of the few who still likes wallpaper) which my late wife picked out long ago and has been on a closet shelf, some decorative mouldings,  new curtains, and lastly, if money holds out, new floor covering.  The area I am doing the redo in is my dining area, which is at the end of the kitchen.  All the kitchen needs is paint on the walls and ceiling and new lighting.  I will take some before, in progress, and after shots so you can see what I have done.  I have the walls denuded, all the "decorator stuff" down, and counters cleared, except for my toaster and coffee pot.  I will move them to the screened porch tomorrow where I can get to them easily.  This will be a work in progress when I take over the redo, but the contractor work should be completed in a week.  Yay!


Friday, June 27, 2014

Rocks, Plants and My Gazing Ball

This is the prettiest this corner has ever looked.  My hostas are bigger this year, which makes the perfect setting for my bright red gazing ball and the addition of my attempt at rock stacking.  The Inukshuk is in honor of my blogging friend AC and his lovely wife Cuppa.  They are from Canada, and AC recently posted pictures of different inukshuks, so I decided to stack one in their honor.  Sorry, AC, but no Canadian flag!

When I say this is the prettiest corner, I am not kidding.  I have not planted flower number 1 this year.  I was gone to TX during the best planting season, and to plant now would be fighting the hot summer sun, which I have found, cooks some plants.  I do want to get something white to put in a bright red pot I found at Big Lots and have sitting right outside my entry door, full of dirt, just waiting.  Otherwise, no more plants.  The perennials that my late wife planted years ago are blooming out front.  I have Russian sage, and something that is yellow, a moonbeam something, and red rosebushes, so I have the primary colors out there, plus some green ground cover and of course some weeds for good measure.

That's it for the garden this year.


Monday, June 23, 2014

I'm Not Complaining, But It's Hot!

After the winter we had, I swore I would not complain about the heat of summer.  So, I am not complaining, but it is hot out there.  I usually use 80-84 degrees F as my guide to turning on the air conditioning.  I don't particularly like A C (not my blogging pal, he's a good guy!) but it seems to be a necessary thing this time of year.  Especially as one ages.  I don't do the heat too well any more.  Especially if it is humid, too.  Anyone who has ever been in Indiana in the summer knows that until the heat of August arrives, we usually have high humidity.  That takes a toll on my breathing when outside. 
Today, it's 88 degrees here with high humidity.  The wind in blowing, but that doesn't seem to be helping.  I went out to do some errands earlier and was riding with my windows down and could feel the "wet" inside my car as I rode along.  I wasn't going far, so I just put up with it.  By the time I got home, I not only felt like I was breathing wet air, I needed a shower...again!
But weighing the summer against the "being cooped up in the house all winter because of several feet of snow feeling," I will still take the summer.  At least, I can get out of my garage, I don't have to wear a coat, I can go in as few clothes as decency allows, and wear my flip flops.  I can stay in when it's the hottest part of the day, and still enjoy my screened porch in the mornings and evenings. 
Yes, I will take summer.  And speaking of summer, I think a few hours at a nearby beach might be in order one day this week.  When I get too warm, a quick dip will cool me off.  Hmmmm, sounds like a wonderful idea!


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My Last Few Weeks

My last few weeks have been a whirlwind!  The weekend before May 20th, sorry I have lost track of time, my sister in law called me saying that my brother was having brain surgery for a hematoma on the left side of the brain.  She was concerned, but said that my brother said that he didn't think it was serious enough to warrant me coming to Texas.  The procedure was to be relatively minor, and the neurosurgeon stated that he would be home in 3 to 4 days and could continue to live as usual.
A few days later, she called and things looked pretty grim.  So, I decided to take off for Texas.  I packed quickly, (forgetting some stuff, naturally) and made a mad dash for the Lone Star State.  When I arrived late in the pm of 5/22, I was really "shook" by what I saw.  My usually strong and vibrant bother was on a breathing machine, was semi comatose, medically induced, and was ashen and lying perfectly still.  It seems that before surgery, he was being given plasma to thicken his blood, due to the fact that he takes blood thinner for his artificial heart valve (now 14 years+ old).  The neurosurgeon's people called and said that Bro's surgery could be moved up a couple hours than originally scheduled, so in an attempt to get him ready sooner, the nurse on duty took it upon herself, without any orders from either the surgeon, or Bro's heart doctor, to speed up the plasma IV.  When she did so, Bro had a heart attack!  Sis in law (now on called Sis) said that it happened almost immediately.  Bro's lungs began to fill with fluid and he couldn't breath.  A pulmonologist was called in immediately and gave to order to intubate Bro.
Well, he was on the breathing machine and kept in a semi comatose state for 5 days until the doctor's all agreed that his lungs were clear, and the heart strong enough for surgery on the brain.  That surgery he came thru with flying colors.  The surgeon said that when they drained the fluid away from the brain, the brain went back right where it was supposed to be.
Bro spent another week and a half in the hospital then had to be moved to a rehab facility.  We were assured that none of that would have been necessary if the heart attack hadn't occurred, causing the delay, and the damage to his heart.  He had to have physical therapy because he laid so long.  The occupational therapy he received was to help with he minor results of the pressure on the brain.  Those things, fortunately, are relatively minor.
In addition, because of the heart attack, when he is strong enough, he will have to undergo some tests,and possible corrective procedures depending on the damage to the heart muscle.
So, I was there for basic support, both for him and Sis, and to help out any way I could.  There wasn't anything I could do buy pray and believe me, pray I did.  And it paid off, too.  I can see God's miracles at work in my Bro.  Medical science is God's work, too. There were many friends and relatives from all over the USA praying for Bro's recovery.
I am happy to say that when I left, Bro was home, and walking with a cane, and on his way to a full recovery.  My hope is that the damage to his heart is minimal when they run the tests.  He came a long way in a short amount of time. 
If anything, this has taught me to live each day fully, tell your family and friends how much they mean to you, and when you go to bed at night, kick those slippers under the bed far enough so that when you want them the next morning, you have to go down on your knees to find them, and while you are there, just thank God that you are alive and given another day!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

It wasn't a vacation this time.

Hello fellow bloggers!  I 've been away from the blogger world for the last few weeks.  I made a rush trip, and I mean "rush" driving 85 mph sometimes, to be near my seriously ill brother.  I am glad to say that he is better, is back home after narrowly escaping the "grim reaper."  I just arrived back in Indiana from Texas,  literally "just arrived" this evening.  Lots to do around here to get things back my semblance of normal and order.  I even had poison ivy growing up one of the posts on my front porch!!  But right now, I am tired after the emotional turmoil, and then the trip home which consisted of two days of over 9 hrs each of mostly interstate driving.  So, bear with me, and when I get it all together again, I will fill you all in on what happened.  Maybe I should say y'all after being in Texas for 3 weeks!  G'night all!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Turning the Page

Yesterday I turned another page in the book of life.  I turned a ripe old (grrr) 69.  It was an interesting day, but a good one.  I had a quick visit from my daughter in the morning. She was in town on business and stopped en route.  Then, my quartet sang at a church member's funeral.  It wasn't the most pleasant way to spend time on my birthday, but when the deceased, who was a cancer patient, planned his service, he didn't know it was going to be on my birthday.  Some things just happen that way.(While I was at the church, I stopped in the preschool classroom just to see what was going on, and 20+ smiling 4year olds sang "Happy Birthday" to me.  How grand was that?)
In the afternoon, I went to my craft group at the local senior center.  There, my good friend, Curley, who is in charge of the group, provided home made cupcakes with butter creme frosting, for all of us.  Delicious!  We had a lot of laughs, even if our projects went more or less untouched.  One of the gals in our group brought an electric yarn winder and she and I played with that gadget for about an hour!  Fun! (I want one)
Later, I treated myself to Asian cousine at a local place, with some friends.  I also rec'd many phone calls, a card, and lots of well wishes on my facebook page.  All in all, I decided that turning 69 wasn't so bad after all.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms out there who read this blog.  My mom has been gone for 21 years now.  I have to say that not a day goes by that I don't remember her in some way.  She loved family.  She loved to laugh and have a good time with us.  She loved yellow roses.  She was gentle and kind, honest and honorable.  And she was loved.
This morning in church, our Pastor asked us to think of one thing that if someone asked, we could tell others what was special about our moms.  I remembered when Mom taught me how to drive.  I was 12.  We lived in "b f egypt"  (think way out in the country) on country roads.  She used to take me out in the old Chevy and let me drive.  She would sit right beside me "just in case," but that's how I learned to drive.  Driver's Training in school was just a refresher course, and needed to get my license early and a discount on Dad's car insurance.  By the time I was 16, I was driving up and down the country roads, and Mom had moved over on the other side of the front seat!
Many memories come back on Mother's Day.  You see, I was born on Mother's Day,  so that made the day extra special to both Mom and me.
So, I lift a glass (of Iced Tea) in memory of Mom.  Miss ya, Mom!


A special Mother's Day to my daughter and daughter-in-law, too.  Thank you both for giving me my wonderful grandchildren.  And to another great mom, Curley.  You and your family are very dear to me!  Love you all!

Saturday, May 03, 2014

The Day After the Night Before

  Because she can't be here for my actual birthday later on in the month, my daughter came into town last evening to treat me to a celebratory dinner and an evening out.  We did our downtown's "First Friday" thing where all the stores and shops stay open later.  It was fun, but chilly walking around and popping in and out of interesting boutiques.  It was also fun seeing many friends on the sidewalks and in the stores, one of the perks of living in the same small town most of our lives.
  Afterwards, we made a quick stop at the local "dollar store" for necessities, then we traveled the 15 miles to another town to my very favorite tavern/restaurant for dinner.  The "Main View" is situated on Main Street in the middle of the downtown area of this quaint, Victorian Era town.  This tavern serves many wonderful dishes, but my favorite is the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich.  Last night I splurged and had their home breaded onion rings with it, and a beer (1).  I followed this meal with a piece of peanut butter silk pie.  When our waiter brought the check, my daughter mentioned that it was my birthday.  The waiter said that it is the custom of the bar to serve a "shot" of anything to the birthday celebrant.  I chose a shot of "Crown Royal" at my daughter's suggestion.  I have never had "Crown" before.  Man is that stuff smooth!  Wow!
  After we got home, (with darling daughter driving, of course) we stayed up until the wee hours visiting.  I rolled into bed about 2:00 AM.  At 4:30 I woke up with a pounding headache, my stomach roiling, and feeling generally like hell.  I tossed and turned, and fought the covers.  Sometime around 6:00AM, (I heard the court house clock chime 6 times) I fell back to sleep, waking at 9:30.  All day I have felt, as my dad used to say, "about a half a bubble off plumb."  I ache, my stomach is still roiling, and I have a head full, enough to make my eyes water and become crusty.  Now, I didn't have that much to drink, and I am wondering if it is a result of too much rich food.  (Could it be the Asian food that I had for lunch yesterday when Curley and I did lunch?)  Anyway, it's a yuk feeling and I don't like it.  Hopefully, I will be feeling more chipper tomorrow.  Meanwhile, I think it calls for a cuppa tea, my favorite "bankie" and my recliner!  (I'm getting too old for this s**t!)


Friday, May 02, 2014

Book Talk

This week I have finished reading two new novels.  The first one is "Missing You" by Harlan Coben.  It's a gripping novel about murder and mayhem, of course.  Interesting take on internet dating sites.  But it was Harlan Coben at his best, and I recommend it to anyone who likes mysteries.  Of course, Coben is on my very special list of mystery writers, and if you haven't read any of his works, please run, don't walk, to your nearest book dealer, whether it be library or book seller, and try some Coben.  You won't be sorry.

The second one is "Power Play" by Danielle Steel.  I haven't read anything by Steel for years.  I used to read all of her novels, but after the death of her son, her novels turned dark and I just didn't want to read them anymore.  On a whim, I picked up this new one at the library.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It is a romance, with a twist.  No murder or mayhem in this one, but lots of twists and turns and surprises.  Steel has style of writing that appeals to me.  It's kinda like "Gone With the Wind" that lead us to the bedroom door, and the reader knew what was going to happen behind the door, but we didn't need all the lusty details.  This book is like that in some ways.  I have read a lot of Steel's novels, and while "Power Play' is good, my favorite by her will always be "Fine Things." 

Read on my friends!


Thursday, May 01, 2014

Trying Something New

Today I actually tried something new.  As most of you know, I love to craft.  I always have.  I have never sold a piece of my work. I usually make things for others or for myself.  But, today that changed.
Our town is the county seat of our county.  They have a visitor's center for people coming into town.  The visitor's center has a gift shop.  Need I say more?  I now have some of my "stuff" for sale on consignment at their gift shop.  I know I will not get "rich" putting things there.  But the main reason for me doing it is self satisfaction and knowing that what I do is being enjoyed by someone.  I am not pricing my things high.  I want them to sell and I want people to enjoy them.  That, to me, is what my artistic ability is all about.  I will still create things to gift to people, for that brings me the greatest joy, and  putting a little of myself out there in the public, might bring joy to someone I don't know.  How wonderful is that???


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

On The (Right) Track

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. It was time to get back on the walking track.  (See entry of March 31!)  I got up early, even if it was 01:25 AM when I went to bed.  I got dressed and went to the "Y" and walked my mile on the track.  I will have to work into the "work out" equipment again, but I did walk.  I think it's the first time since winter set in after the New Year that I have been there.  I am so out of shape, once again (unless "round" is a shape.)
I am tired, and my joints feel the stress, but I have to admit I do feel better.  Maybe it's because I actually accomplished something besides sitting in my chair and drinking coffee!  (I did stop at the local coffee shoppe on my way home...and the library.)


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Birthday Blog

Yesterday, my late wife would have been 66 yrs old.  She would not have handled it well.  She so dreaded growing old. 
I have learned that life goes on .  Oh, I wish that she was still here, yes.  But not in the body she had.  She was not well, not happy, not satisfied with the lot that life had dealt her. 
I woke up yesterday thinking about her as I often do.  I decided to honor her birthday by reading some of her favorite passages in my Bible.  I have to admit that I am no Bible scholar, and don't often open it.  Shame on me.  But I wanted to do something different that visiting her grave and putting more flowers on it.  So, I thought this might be a good thing.  I opened the Bible to the 23rd Psalm and what should be stuck in that same page but the little folder that I got from the funeral home.  I don't remember putting it the, but there it was!  I wonder if she was trying to tell me something from the Great Beyond! 
I had a brief conversation with her, one sided, I might add.  I mentioned to her that if she had taken a bit better care of herself in life, maybe she would be her to celebrate number 66 with me.  Then I felt a little guilty for feeling that way.  But it's true!
So, I went on with my day, pausing once in a while to remember the many good time, and some no so good times that we had.
My daughter called me last night and said that she was missing her mom.  More that she had in the almost 7 years since she passed away.  I didn't know exactly what to say, but I just listened.  I can see that she is still grieving, maybe more that I.  We all grieve in our own way, in our own time. 
The memories do still live on.  Especially the good ones.  Who cares anymore about the bad ones.  They are insignificant.
So, Happy Birthday, once again, Tilly.
We Miss You,

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

More Old Age Maladies

I have oft times said that this growing older is not for sissies.  I firmly believe that our golden years are called that, not because they are so golden and wonderful, but because it costs our weight in gold just to survive!  Last week I visited my family doc because of a problem I was having.  He was unsure about said problem, and said that in all his years of practice he hadn't encountered anything quite like it.  So he sent me to a specialist. That specialist, whom I was lucky enough to catch with a cancellation the very next day, checked me out and deemed that my problem was minor and prescribed a 10-day run of antibiotics.  Problem #1 is much better and healing.  Yesterday morning I woke up with a horrible tooth ache in one of my lower front teeth.  So, I called my dentist, who could see me this morning.  So took ample Tylenol yesterday to get by and this morning bright and early went to the dentist.  I found out that a tooth in front lower was infected down below the tooth into the gum line.  I asked Doc what my options were.  He said that I was out of options on that tooth as most of it was filling and there was nothing to fix, and it needed to come out.  So I had him pull it right then.  I already wear a partial plate on the top, so now without it, I will look like a jack-o-lantern.  I have to decide by next month how or if I want to fill in the gap.  One choice is an implant which is over $3000, and bridge which is slightly under $2000, or another type of bridge which may or may not last several years for just under $500.  Wow!  I certainly need to do something.  I noticed already that I "hiss" when I talk.  So, not only is the body beginning to fall apart, this surviving old aging is getting damn expensive.  (I do have some insurance coverage for the extraction but not to fill in the gap, but it only pays 80% of "reasonable and customary charges, yeah right!)

Peace (and quiet; my mouth is sore),

Friday, April 04, 2014

A Tough Decision

I had a quick doc's appointment this morning.  I started some new meds last month for an internal neuropathic tremor, and Doc M wanted to do a followup today. (Some success, but not there quite yet!)
When I signed in, the receptionist asked me if I was interested in a "living will."  I asked her to explain just what that involved.  It meant "no heroic life saving measures in a terminal situation."  If there is a chance for survival, everything that can be done would be done, but if, say in the case of a car accident, or a massive heart attack, etc, I was not going to make it, then, in other words, "let me go."
Since I had to make that kind of decision for my wife, who had no living will, and for my mom, who had no living will, but had expressed that she didn't want "heroic measures," I signed on the "dotted line" this morning.  This is too hard of a decision for a spouse or children to have to make.  Emotions are scrambled, and it's hard to think straight.  So, now the decision is made.  There will be no guilt or regrets for them to have to deal with. 
Now, I don't intend to use this for many moons, but it is now in place when the time comes!

Peace, (of mind)

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Book

   Last week while Bro and Sis-in-law were visiting, we began talking about family as one is wont to do as we age.  I mean our ancestors.We talked about late grandparents and uncles that we remembered fondly.  I dug out Mom's old record of our ancestors, which we always called "the book."  It is a meticulously kept record of my mother's mother's family, the Dilts clan.  Opening it to the first page, we were confronted with Henry Dilts who married Anna Diels.  There were no dates here, but a list of their 8 children, the youngest being Jacob Dilts.  His name was ** with a note that said, "our line of descent."
Turning the page, I found that Jacob married Sarah Heath in 1782 and they had 9 children.  And thus the story began. (With their son, Asher.)
   We followed the line of descent to our grandmother, Sarah Martha Dilts, who was born in 1880 and died in 1961.  Bro and I remember her well.  A small, quiet lady who tended her kitchen and hens, and never said too much.
   Mom had kept "the book" up to date until her death in 1993.  I had entered my eldest grandson's name in there some time ago, but that was as far as it went.
   So, Bro and I updated it adding pages for my children and his, and listing all of our grandchildren.  There are a lot of updates that need to be made, but I am not sure who to contact anymore about births, deaths, marriages and etc. 
   Little is known about my mom's dad, James Elmer Burdge, but we do know that his parents were William Burdge and Eliza Jane (Ware) Burdge.  Born in 1874, Grandpa grew up in Indiana and  worked on the Dilts farm, near Lafayette, Indiana, as a hired hand, where he met, courted, and married my grandmother in 1902.
   It's fun to look how names were passed down, too.  My grandmother was named Sarah Martha, probably after Jacob's wife, and  Martha Jane was passed on to my mother.My grandfather was James Elmer, his son was Harry James.  Harry had a son named James Ross, and my mother named me James, and I named my own son James.  His son is Riley James, and the "beat" goes on!
   Such an interesting thing this family history, and it's all there thanks to Mom and "the book."
(Oh, I have a complete history of my dad's side of the family, too, but that's blog fodder for another time.)


Monday, March 31, 2014

Back in the Saddle ( or treadmill) Again!

I was doing so well.  I was getting up early, going to the local YMCA, walking on the track, then working out on some of the available equipment that wouldn't kill me.  Then, after Christmas, it was so cold, and I had one ailment after the other, mostly in the form of ear infections, and a cold.  And it was so damn cold outside!  O did I just say that?  Well, it was. I lost all desire to even step outside, except to bring in the mail.
Now, it's getting warmer, we did spring forward to "daylight savings time" a few weeks ago, so now it's light out by the time I arise.  I have gotten in the bad habit of staying up until the wee hours, then sleeping in.  I have to get back in the habit of getting up and getting going.  My ambition is not there like it was.  I would rather stay home, drink a cup of coffee or two or three and read a good book or craft or watch Netflix..That's the habit I have fallen into during this past super cold winter.  And my waistline is showing it.
So, in the near future, I will be forcing myself to rise earlier and go back to the Y.  I know it will be like starting all over again....and I was doing so well.
But not tomorrow.  I have a breakfast date with two good friends, and then we are going to do some retail therapy.  Maybe the day after that or the day after that.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Both Monday and Tuesday I took a cuppa out on my back step and sat in the sunshine and listened to the snow melt.  It was 60F out there.  I put on a hat, but was in my shirt sleeves.  This morning I woke up to about a kazillion inches (6") of new snow and temps hovering around 28 degrees, with promise of it plummeting to single digits tonight!  What is with Mom Nature.  Someone in the Midwest really pissed her off!  The wind is also blowing making travel hazardous and once again schools were canceled.  The snow is so heavy, many homes and businesses are losing power due to snow bringing down the power lines.  It's a good day to stay home and just look out the windows, those that aren't crusted with blowing wet snow.  And to think, there were patches of grass just becoming visible in my yard!  Can't see them now!  Stay warm and safe, everyone!


Monday, March 10, 2014

Spring cleaning has begun!

Several weeks ago, my daughter decided to move* to the state capitol where her BF lives.  I haven't ventured into the "attic" as she called it, since she has been gone.  It's really the upstairs, which is all one big room.  So, with the impending visit from my brother and his wife in the near future, I decided to get the upstairs room in order.  Curley, my wonderful friend, came in and helped me. 
Maggie was neat and clean, but you know how dust collects and windows need washed etc.  Well, Curley and I moved all the furniture, cleaned blinds, swept, rearranged everything, put up new curtains, and generally just made a nice room look even better. 
This room is 15' wide and 34' long.  Much of what Maggie left behind is stacked behind a decorator screen in one end, leaving the rest of the room a nice size.  After doing all of that, when we came downstairs from working, I told Curley that it made the downstairs look sorta like it needed a good scrubbing.  Plenty of time for that, though, but now I really have Spring fever.  It got up to 60 degrees this afternoon, so after Curley left, I made myself a cuppa tea and went out and sat in the sun on my back step.  I think I could actually hear that 3' snow drift melting.  My yard has lots of shade, even when the trees are bare, so the snow is slow leaving.  But, Spring is definitely in the air and I am so ready!


note*  Maggie's move was a success and she is fully employed and happy!

Saturday, March 08, 2014

My Desktop Screen

This is what I see every time I sit down at my computer.  No wonder I spend so much time on here!


Saturday Thought

As I sit here with my Saturday cuppa, I have been thinking about my life, as one who is aging is wont to do sometimes.  I know this is not too profound but here's what I have come up with.

    When I was young, going out into the world, I was a "half" looking for someone special to make a "whole."  I found that someone and had the "whole" life for almost 40 years.  Now I am a "half" again.  I am not especially looking for another special someone to make me a "whole" again.  If I spend the rest of my life as a "half," I'm okay with that.

As I reread this, it makes me think that I might be more profound than I thought.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

All the Insanity

Many states now are going into legislature on gay rights.  Gay marriage is the big topic here in Indiana.  I really don't care what sexual orientation a person is.  Does it really matter?  If people are nice to me, I am nice to them, gay or straight!  I have relatives that are gay.  I have many gay friends.  We all get along.  I think they should have the same rights as straight people do.  Two gay people living in a house together, whether married or not, if they share the mortgage, expenses, and their income, they should have the same tax breaks as straight couples do.  And so on, and so on!
I was watching TV today and there were two gay men talking.  One man was trying out "straight" life, was very unhappy.  His friend finally told him, and the conversation went something like this: (not word for word, my memory isn't that good!)
"You are made in the image of God.  God put you here just as you are.  Just as he did every other person, plant animal, fish and fowl...and gay person.  He loves all of his creation.  God doesn't make mistakes, so you know he loves you, too."
After hearing that, I thought how true this is.  God loves us all, no matter what race, creed or orientation we are. 
Okay, I know this will probably cause an uproar, not everyone will agree with me, and I don't expect them to.  But I have an opinion and I felt, after all the AZ turmoil, that I just wanted to express my opinion.  My blog, my right to speak out.  Fortunately,sanity prevailed, and Arizona's gov. vetoed the bill.  But did she do it because it was the right thing to do morally, or did she veto the bill because it would hurt the state of AZ financially if she didn't.  We won't ever know.  I am just glad that it got vetoed.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I'm Back

After a few frustrating days without blogging, I am back in business.  Every time I tried to log on to blogger dashboard, I was told that I didn't have access to that account.  WHAT? I have been blogging for something like 7 or 8 years now....give me a break.
I fussed and fumed going in and out of every "help" menu I could find.  Finally, I went on to my Firefox browser and chose the "reset, restart" option and here I am.  I don't know if I inadvertently clicked on something trying to do something else, or what, and I am so very inept at this whole cyberspace thing, that I couldn't figure it out.  So, reset I did.  Now, I hope I didn't lose a bunch of stuff, but if I did, I will just have to live with it, or bring in "Tall Guy" my computer guru to untangle my mess.
But for now, Yay! I am back!


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Another "Getting to Know Me" List!

I "stole" this from my friend Mel over at "Mellodee's Musings."

It's ANOTHER one of those lists.  More insight about ME!

It’s all about books:
1: Favorite children's book?   
I received a copy of Peter Pan in grade school.  Loved it.  Also, The Bears of Blue River was a childhood favorite.
2: What is the next book you plan to read?    

I just ordered The Language of Flowers to read for my book club.
3: Books on your "to read" list?  
I generally don't keep a list.  I get notification from my public library of their new fiction and also from Amazon, so I watch for things that interest me.
4: Top 5 authors?   
My current favorites, in no particular order – Paul Doiron, Harlan Coben, James Patterson, Lee Childs, Lisa Scottoline, Earlene Fowler. 
5: Favorite genres?   

Thriller/Suspense, mystery, legal and political, and western. 
6: Do you have multiple books in process or just one at a time?  
One at a time.  Multitasking is something I cannot do with anything.  I’m a one-thing-at-a-time kind of guy.  
7: A book that you've cried over?
Fine Things by Danielle Steele, and The Notebook.  
8:A book that made you laugh out loud?  
I can’t think of  anything that really tickled me so much that I laughed out loud!  Sorry!
9:Fiction or nonfiction?    

I have always said I read enough for knowledge while in college, so its fiction all the way!
10:First book you've read by your favorite author?  
I don't have just one favorite author.  The first book by Louis L’Amour that I ever read, The Last of the Breed, was my favorite by him.  I like and have read just about everything all of my listed authors have written.
11:Best book-to-movie adaptation?  
Probably Gone With The Wind, and I say that one because I don’t usually go see adaptations.
12:Do you read comics/manga?  
13:Hardcovers or Paperbacks?   
I prefer hardcovers, but I do read paperbacks and I own a Kindle, but I don’t use it much.  Too much like a video game!
14:Do you buy books as soon as they come out or wait a while?  
I rarely buy a book.  I have a huge public library practically out my back door, so I use it.  I reserve books as soon as they are released, though.
15:Do you buy books spontaneously without any prior knowledge of what happens in it?  
See # 14.. but I want to know what I’m getting, so I do some prior research, and always read the fly jacket before I either check it out at the library, or make a purchase.
16:Have you ever bought a book based on the cover alone?   
17:Where do you usually buy your books?  
If I buy one, I go to Amazon, Goodwill, Half-Priced Books, Costco, garage sales, Barnes and Noble, flea markets, drug stores......I'm not picky!
18:Book that had a strong impact on you?   
Brave New World, Ben Hur, The Help, The Art of Racing In The Rain.  There are many.
19:Historical or science fiction?   

20:Dystopian or Utopian?  
21:Once you start to read a book, do you feel compelled to finish it?   
Not anymore.  For years I thought if I started a book, I had to finish it.  But a few years ago, I began giving myself permission to close a book if I didn’t enjoy it.  I am selective when I choose a book, so it is rare that I don’t finish one.  But it does happen occasionally. Life’s too short to spend it doing anything one doesn’t have to do.
22: What genres do you refuse to read?   

Horror, porn, historical fiction of the “bodice ripper” genre, fantasy and sc-fi.
23: How many books do you own?   
Many.  But I have purged my shelves of things I have read and won’t reread. But still have LOTS of books! 
24:Do you go the library?  
All the time.  They know me so well I don’t have to show them my card.  They even call me if they get something in that they think I might like.  I can walk there in 5 minutes, why not!!
25:How many books do you read a year?  

Since I retired it has usually been around 80-120 a year. I also like to craft and have a house and yard to keep!
26:Do you enjoy reading the "Classics"?    
27:Do you ever re-read a book?  

I have one that I have read 3 times.   It's like visiting an old friend!

Peace (and quiet...I'm reading),

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Next to Christmas, this is the hardest holiday for me.  It holds so many memories for me.  The grade school Valentine parties, the sweetheart dances in High School.  The many cards and letters I got from my sweety while I was in college, encouraging me to carry on after my dad had passed away.  He knew her, and loved her and thought I had finally found the right one.  He didn't live long enough to see us married, but I knew he was there in spirit.
I remember getting engaged in February of 1969, and married in August.  Then there were the 38 years of celebrating Valentine's Day with my wife.  Some years we went out to celebrate, some years not.  Some times there was candy and flowers and some years not.  But, there was always love.
We never expected it to end.  At least not so soon.  But it did.  But the memories are still there.  I still have some of the cards she sent me or gave me or I found on my pillow at bedtime.  I can no longer remember any specific Valentine's Day except the first one, right after we met.  We met on a blind date, in November of 1967.  That first Valentine"s Day, I had my photo made for her and gave her a heart shaped necklace.  Cheesy, huh!  Well, surprises of surprises, she had had her photo made for me and gave me a sterling silver tie tack.  Our minds even then, seemed to be on the same wave length.  As time went by, we found that often we seemed to be thinking the sames things at the same time.  It was as if we were soul mates from the very beginning. 
Yes, the memories linger on.  All good!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

And the Cold Continues

The cold continues here in the Midwest.  This morning the temps are well below 0, and the icicles are hanging without drips.  My back porch is amass with ice where the ice dams have overcome the gutters and have dripped .  I salt periodically, which helps while the sun is out, but then all that "wet" freezes at night.  I have been using my other door and walking around the house to get into the garage rather than risking falling on the ice.  There are virtual mountains of snow everywhere.  Now the weather prognosticators are saying that a warming trend is headed our way and the temperature may hit above freezing by next midweek! 
I am not really complaining about the cold.  I am just tired of it, and the snow.  Some of you live where this would seem like a party, but those of us in the Midwestern USA just aren't used to this bitter cold and this much snow.  I feel blessed that I have a warm (?) house, and plenty to eat.  My power hasn't wavered once, and the phone, cable and internet service has not been interrupted.  I have an adequate supply of reading and crafting materials.  My neighbor has been more than helpful in removing snow.  My great friend Curley calls me at some point every day to check on me.  So, this being said, I am lucky.  And feel extremely blessed.    Spring will definitely be welcome this year!


Sunday, February 09, 2014

This Is A Test!

Some of you might have already seen this, but a friend of mine sent me a copy of an actual test given to 8th graders as a final exam so they could graduate from 8th 1895! 

Since I am a former educator and English was my specialty, I am only including the "grammar" section of the test.  Holy Cow!  I thought I was doing well to get through college in 1968.  I'm extremely glad I didn't have to pass this exam!

Grammar (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph
4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of 'lie, ''play,' and 'run.'
5. Define case; illustrate each case.
6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar. 

Well, see how well you do.  I had a little problem with #4 and #5.
 I don't have an answer key.  I looked up a few things in my old grammar handbook.

There's more subjects tested.  I skipped the Arithmetic section altogether.  I did well on the US history section, I think!! (I didn't write a composition, either.)