Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Finally, after more than a month since the spot was discovered in my lung, surgery is scheduled for tomorrow. These days have been the 'times that try men's souls' and women's too. Waiting is not my favorite pastime, and we've had more than our share of waiting these last six weeks. The old Army adage was 'hurry up and wait', and that certainly has applied here.

I am so glad that my friend June reminded me of the website for family and friends to keep up with the medical progress of the writer. It's astounding how many 'hits' my site has had, and the number of messages is rewarding, humbling and oh so comforting. Hubby will be posting updates on the site while I'm away from my computer.

I'm sure to miss 'my computer', since my morning routine - for years now - has included checking emails, other blogs, Facebook entries, weather and my bank statement status. When I was hospitalized 22 years ago (gall bladder surgery the old-fashioned way) we had just barely begun to learn computering, so I did not feel so lost without the option of logging on several times a day.

So, today hubby will take me to Baptist East to do the pre-op registration paperwork. My doctor's wonderful nurse faxed me the 10-page questionnaire to complete at home, and take with me today. That should save some time! Tomorrow, at the 'decent' hour of 7:30, I'll go back to the hospital for admission.

This adventure into medical science has cost me the privilege of attending several Christmas parties, and I'll miss several more Events while I'm out-of-pocket. I'm sorry that I won't get to participate in these affairs. I will be back ASAP to blog, email and do all the other amazing things that computers offer.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Friends Again Book Store

I can't think of a nicer way to spend some time on a Saturday afternoon than a visit to our Friends Again used book store at our Library. It's such fun to see friendly faces - the volunteers who give their time every day from Tuesday through Saturday. The books are always in such good order, easy to find what you're looking for and up-to-date with the selections.

All of this is a Volunteer project by the Friends of the Collierville Burch Library. All the books, magazines, DVDs and books on tape have been donated by community members. The prices are reasonable.. $2.50 for a gently read hardback book - some of which look like they're brand new!- and 50 cents for a regular paperback book. The childrens' book section is excellent, too. The youngest readers love to come in and choose something special to take home with them.

Seasonal books are displayed on a special rack in the store, and this month there's a huge collection of Christmas books of all genres.

It's fun to go "where everybody knows your name" and our visit yesterday was no exception. Old friends and new gather at the book store - some to browse and buy, some to visit and spend a few minutes chatting.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

After Thanksgiving ---

The days since the big dinner have been different, to say the least. Our Maryland crew was here the rest of the weekend, leaving Monday evening to fly back home. We were able to get a lot of visiting in, and they enjoyed a special visit with her younger brother and his family at their house, too. We were pleased that they went with us to our Sunday School class on Sunday, too.

Since then, we've almost become readjusted to the too-quiet house again.

Several visits with doctors, with waiting times between, have added to the rollercoaster effects of not knowing when my surgery will finally be scheduled. It's been more than awesome to see how many friends and family members have signed the guestbook on the website I set up. That's a very good way to keep people updated on my progress, or lack of it, with my medical situation.

Waiting is very tiring. Not knowing is worse. Each time we go to a doctor, there seems to be 'one more test' that must be run before a date can be set for the actual procedure. The surgeon's promise of "after Thanksgiving but before Christmas" is beginning to seem rather farfetched.

For someone who never needs to go to doctors except to get blood pressure medicine prescriptions renewed quarterly, or for an occasional sinus infection, this steady stream of appointments and tests is quite wearing. Except for a brief stint in February this year, I have not been a hospital patient since 1987. That's a long time!

I'm sure everything will eventually be resolved, and I know that 'doctor time' and 'hospital time' are NOT the same as 'laymen's time'... so I should quit fretting and just let things happen. Maybe I'll figure out how to do that someday.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Day After....

What a wonderful family we have ! I am continually amazed at our large group of children and grandchildren. Each one is SO special in his or her own way. Each one is loving and caring, and goes the extra mile to make our family gatherings a happy time. Sometimes, and yesterday was no exception, some of the grandchildren are unable to be here - but we understand that distances complicate plans. They're all with us in spirit, if not actual presence.

Thanksgiving Dinner was no exception ! Each group brought loads of delicious food to share, and took care of all the logistics of the meal. Lots of conversation, laughter, and sharing of stories during the dinnertime made it even more enjoyable. Then the kitchen was miraculously cleaned, sorted and put away by these same wonderful children. We are SO blessed !

As our clan increased in wisdom and stature, we gave up trying to have a formal seated dinner a long time ago, so we spill over into three or four rooms at our house, with the large dining room table serving as the center. Some of us gather there, while tables are set up in the den and guest room. We all gather for the Blessing of the meal, and then find a spot... whatever works. It's hard to keep up with all the conversations going simultaneously, but it's a JOY to try.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Anniversary # 59

Yep, today - November 21, 2009 - is the 59th anniversary of our wedding, Alan's and mine, at the Collierville Methodist Church... so long ago that it was before the Methodist and United Brethren churches merged. ! Amazing how fast those years have seemed to fly by.

A friend asked for my 'secret'. I have no secret and no easy answer to a question about marriage longevity like that. As Alan said, even though there have been a few bumps in the road, we've had quite a ride !!!

Today was our DAR Chapter meeting, so I took my HODAR Alan along - one way to 'celebrate'...right? (Husband Of a DAR) I think he enjoyed our speaker as much as the ladies did. An active member of the Sons of the American Revolution and practicing attorney who loves history and genealogy, Mr. Morgan was an excellent speaker on 'Our Founding Fathers'. We had a good attendance for the meeting, and were delighted to welcome several visitors as well as the members.

In other news, the appointments I have mentioned in previous posts have resulted in yet another visit this coming Monday with yet another doctor... this time a cardiovascular surgeon, to find out when a lung resection will be scheduled. The kind of spot (yes, it is malignant) revealed by the needle biopsy is one that responds well to surgery, so I am thankful for all the modern technology that is available to determine what is there in my lung, and to do something about it.

That said, I have created a web page on '' that will attempt to keep all our family, extended family and a multitude of friends informed on a fairly regular basis about my progress in healing and bouncing back.

Thanksgiving week is not the optimum time for something as drastic as surgery, but we'll find out on Monday and go from there.

IF everyone comes, we expect all 28 of our family to be at our house for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. Our children bring almost everything for the meal, so I don't have to do ALL the cooking ! What a lovely blessing this is.!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Veterans Day and more

The Veterans Day, November 11 at 11 a.m., ceremony at the Doughboy Statue in Overton Park was very nice. Sponsored by the Memphis-Shelby County Regents Council DAR and the Veterans groups, the pagentry was breathtaking. The weather cooperated perfectly and those who attended were impressed with the whole thing. Just wish more citizens would see fit to honor the thousands who sacrificed so much for our freedoms.

Thursday's appointment with the Ambulatory Surgery Center at Baptist Hospital East, in Memphis, was Early... by the time we left our house and returned that late afternoon - almost 10 hours had elapsed. The Needle Biopsy on my lung was not painful, but exhausting. Having to lay on my stomach for the whole procedure time, arms stretched above my head, inhaling and exhaling on command... oh my. I was stiff and tired when it was completed. Then to have a mandatory bed rest for Four more hours (unexpected) was just about the last straw. Results will not be known until the middle of next week. More waiting. Every person we encountered at the Hospital was more than helpful, friendly and knowledgeable...and greatly appreciated.

These past two days of "take it easy and do not drive" has been a burden, but I found out pretty quickly, after my shower today, why that 'order' was issued. Weakness -- from all the strain, tension and stress -- has been slow to overcome.

This 'procedure' has totally upset my normal Busy routine, too, and I'm not real happy about missing the Book Store shift as well as a lovely luncheon meeting today. I'll just have to deal with it, though, since I couldn't do everything.

Next week will be busy too, and I hope to be able to pace myself accordingly. Sure hate to miss being outdoors during all these gorgeous fall days. So many leaves that could be raked, or blown..and sunshine to enjoy. Maybe next week!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Beautiful week ?

What a totally Strange way to spend the nicest 'weather week' we've had in a long time.!
Last week was busy, as always, with a variety of things to do and to accomplish, so I did not need to get waylaid by a trip to the ER to see why my heart kept pounding so hard on Monday. A crew of excellent nurses and doctor soon resolved the heart part of the problem, but found another one that would require further treatment.

Saw my lung doctor on Tuesday, as a 'work in', which meant I got to see her, but after a long wait. Another appointment this coming week was the determination for that visit.

In the meantime, the Friends meeting was busy and full, with the election of a new slate of officers. We wish them all well, and smoothe sailing during the transition and their two-year term of office. The organization and its big project - Friends Again Book Store - are in Good hands, just like they have been with previous leaders.

A second opinion for my sister's cataracts was much more comforting then the 'first opinion', so no immediate action is required. That's a relief. She and I had a lovely lunch at a local Italian restaurant, and enjoyed the ambiance as well as the delicious soups and salads. Oh my... I read somewhere that if you eat an Italian meal you're not hungry again for four or five days. That's almost Correct!

Starting a little on Thursday evening, after a demanding Alumni meeting, and flowering full on Friday evening, I was in the throes of chills and fever. My doctor called in an antibiotic for me, which was a blessing, and I spent the rest of the weekend feeling perfectly terrible.
Glad to report that 'things' are almost back to normal by Monday morning.

It has been so long since I 've been Sick, that I couldn't remember what kind of antibiotic I respond well to, with the doctor asked ! Amazing !

I need to keep on improving - fast - since this is going to be another 'busy' week. Are there any other kinds?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunny Sunday

The newspaper today has a long article about the month of October - the Wettest on record with more than 10 inches of rainfall. The writer expounded on the loss of soybean crops, which molded in the fields, and the overall effects of the rainfall in September AND October.

Frankly I am Tired of talking about (and experiencing) the weather, except to say that it is a joy and a relief to read the current forecast: Sunshine for the next several days. ! Imagine that ! I just hope those people have their acts together now, and that they will be accurate in their prognostications.

Working at the Book Store on Thursday was such fun, with my good friend sitting in with me in Lou's absence. Lou continues to monitor and serve her husband's needs at the hospital, where she keeps a positive attitude that he WILL get better.

My friend, and the others who came and lingered, made the three-hour shift go fast -- much faster than when I am soloing in that position. Thanks, girls! You are the best.

Friday's plans were changed or cancelled right and left as more than two inches of rain kept coming and coming. It was just too miserable to venture outside our warm and cozy home. Much reading substituted for the planned but changed errands. Since Monday will be sunny, those things will be caught up and completed, if nothing else happens, that is.

Reading another Joanna Fluke novel yesterday, I came upon a delicious sounding recipe for Quiche. Think lightbulb over my head (if I were drawing a cartoon). Off to the kitchen I went!
All I needed for a yummy quiche for our supper was in the frig or pantry, so I put it all together and we had a "Tasty" supper! My variation on an idea turned out quite well. When asked for the recipe (online) I had to admit to being 'one of those cooks' who create and invent as I go along. The finished product recipe bore a vague resemblance to the recipe in the novel which gave me the idea in the first place. The leftover portion will be zapped for our lunch (or supper) today.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Catchin' up....

Since I last posted, we've had more rain.... and More Rain. But today was a gloriously brilliant sunny day with crystal skies that reminded me of those vivid blues in Colorado skies ! Really Awesome.

Last week was so full and busy it's hard to even recall everything that was going on. One outstanding program was the club meeting speaker- the head person for Memphis Heritage, a preservation group of citizens who work hard at preserving the history and heritage of the city, it's historic buildings and neighborhoods. They have succeeded many times, but never let down the vigilance against encroaching commercialism. There's always one more 'battle' to mount. Why so many people simply do not realize the importance of history and heritage is a mystery. What's that quotation - those who do not learn from their history are bound to repeat it? Or words to that effect.

That meeting was an exciting one in itself, with two new young members introduced and the detailed plans for the upcoming Christmas Home Tour developed and explained to the membership. Every member will have a part in this venture, whether it's serving as a hostess at one of the four homes in the Historic District of our town, or providing refreshments, and items for the Gift Shoppe. Each member will be selling tickets, and I'm pleased with how fast those tickets are being requested ! I look forward to seeing the publicity that will run in the local newspaper soon.

Word about my college friend and her condition following that stroke has not been good. An update from her sister let me know the current and the prognosis. We can only hope that Lula will soon be able to communicate to some degree, in spite of the paralysis that is evident.

The husband of another friend is hospitalized, in the intensive care unit, with pneumonia. His overall health is not the best to begin with, and this infection hit hard. My friend is getting help from their sons, and excellent medical care.

A pleasant trip to Holly Springs was on the calendar for Saturday last week. That meeting was poorly attended, but we enjoyed seeing the members who were there, followed by lunch at our favorite restaurant on the Square. Holly Springs is planning a Christmas Home Tour too, but theirs is much more elaborate than ours. They include several programs during the two-day event and finish with a Dinner Theater on the last evening. Their group has been doing home tours for many years, so it's not surprising that they are so well organized.

In spite of a steady downpour on Tuesday, my sister and I managed to get to the clubhouse where we were hostesses with another friend for the women's club. The casserole that I made for our luncheon turned out very well, and everyone was complimentary. Along with salad and delicous rolls, plus homemade angel food cake and ice cream for dessert, we had a tasty meal.
We got soaked getting back home again - loading the car with the things I took in addition to the casserole. It was several hours before my raincoat and shoes were dry again.

A friend asked me to help with a computer problem, and I had a very rare free block of time this morning so I went to her house to see what I could do. Between us we managed to solve that particular problem successfully ! It's always gratifying when things work right. I stayed to visit another hour or so, and found that we have so many things in common that we could have talked all day long !

But that was not to be, since my sister's appointment for her eye exam was right after lunch. I took her in to the doctor's office where the examination showed that the cataracts had progressed to the point of needing to be removed. What a blow! She'll have to decide when and if to go ahead with that surgery... coordinating her calendar with mine.... not an easy task.

Now it's Book Store time again, tomorrow, and I look forward to another Rainy Thursday. The weather does not seem to deter patrons from visiting the Library and the Book Store, though, and that's Good ! Maybe a rainy day makes folks want to come get a good book or two, so they can curl up and read while ignoring the downpours!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Problems, Solutions and more....

On a very positive note this morning, the sun came out and was oh so welcome for a couple of days. Amazing what a difference a day makes, huh? "The Fall" on Sunday resulted in an extremely painful twisted right knee - for the rest of the evening. BUT after remembering a prescription on hand for a powerful pain-killer, everything got better. Amazing what a good night's sleep will do for the soul and the body!

So it's back to the treadmill of daily activities, duties and responsibilities. Granted, I'm going a bit slower on said 'treadmill', and being extra cautious about where my feet go, so that the rest of me will stay upright -- but my calendar is still pretty full and I'm checking off my to-d0 list pretty well. (Too bad there are several items missing from that list, like balancing the previously mentioned checkbook, and making some overdue phone calls. But all in good time - she says.)

Word from our mutual friend yesterday that a college friend has suffered a debilitating stroke and is in ICU at a local hospital put a real damper on my spirits. We are the same age, but Lula has had many more health problems than I in the same number of years. I wish there was something someone could do to make it all go away for her. As our mutual friend said, 'there are things much worse than death'... and that kind of stroke is the main one. Lula's doctors give her family very little hope, and that's so hard to accept.

We have attended the visitations for three friends recently, to visit with those family members and express our sorrow in person. It's hard to lost friends, especially when their deaths were largely unexpected.

Yesterday our woman's club had a speaker from the local Heritage Preservation society in the city, and she showed slides of some memory-provoking scenes of that city. Chatting after the meeting, we found so many mutual friends and possible relatives that we vowed to talk more when time allowed.

The meeting was a full and busy one, and lasted half-again longer than our usual monthly session. No problem. With our club's big fund-raiser coming in about 6 weeks, there is So much to do in the preparation, publicity and planning that it almost boggles the mind. Tickets and brochures are ready and available. Just ask any club member, or check with several businesses on the Square. The proceeds from the Christmas Home Tour will help provide our club's funding for donations to several local organizations, all worthy of our support.

I'm taking a rare 'day off' from my favorite responsibility today - the Book Store - in order to go with Hubby to the Chamber of Commerce's Business Expo at the Community Center. We make this an annual event, and enjoy browsing the 150+ booths displaying the local business ventures. We always find lots of folks to chat with, so the 'browsing' takes a full morning. Many thanks to friends for filling in for me at the Book Store. I do plan to stop by and check on things after we leave the Expo. Hubby said he was not surprised at that idea, since "you can't stay away from the Book Store, can you?" Right !

Now that the day is beginning dawn, I must get on with today's 'business'. Why I keep waking up too early is beyond me. I need to sleep longer, but many days it just doesn't happen. Two very good books by favorite authors, Linda Lael Miller and Linda Howard, have claimed my reading/rest time each afternoon. Those can't-put-down novels have been So good that I don't even think about napping, but keep on reading and reading.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Week that WAS

I thought last Monday was enough to last all week, but I was premature in my thinking (hoping).
The rest of the week was fraught with 'problems' including the totally unexpected death of our daughter-in-law's Mother in Iuka MS. This was a shock to all of Louise's family and friends.
We grieve with them.

The water line break created a nightmare from the Billing department in our Town. More than double our normal 'amount due'. I took the required letter and plumber's bill to Town Hall, but got no encouragement about any kind of adjustment.

Computer problems Tuesday-Wednesday and part of Thursday kept hubby in a state of frustration. By this weekend, they seem to be resolved - up to a point.

Charlotte and I went to the visitation at the Funeral Home on Thursday evening for our UMW friend's mother. Another unexpected passing.

Friday, son Paul drove us in our van to the Iuka MS Funeral Home for Louise's visitation. She was a lovely lady and will be sorely missed. We saw some clear skies in Mississippi - amazing! We appreciated the chauffeuring, since that 91-mile-each-way drive would have hard on us.

At last the monsoon season seems to be just about over, and a cold front or two have gone through, dropping the temps and making it seem like Fall was totally overlooked this year.
Crazy weather.

My 79th birthday (Friday) kinda got lost in the shuffle this week, except for Friends at the Book Store Thursday who brightened my day considerably with their pop-in visit, cards and nice gifts! These friends are dear to me, and I was surprised and very pleased.

We were saddened again by the passing of yet another friend from Church. Her visitation will be Monday evening.

We're looking forward to the Metro Choir Festival today at our church, with 8 or 10 visiting choirs performing. The finale, when ALL the choirs sing together, is always outstandingly beautiful.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays

"Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down." I so agree with that old song from the '70s! Not all the time, but when rainy days ARE Mondays, it's a little too much to cope with.

Yesterday I got up early to check emails, blogspots, FaceBook, and read the newspaper -routine morning. Then hubby and I went to the Library to submit a project, which was well-received.

Next, a short visit to Wal-Mart - looking for some items - Then home to walk around the yard and check with the men who are clearing out brush and old privet hedges next door (stump grinder and chain saw have been buzzing for DAYS over there)... showing him where the property lines are and what to cut and what to keep hands off !

A quick phone call added a Cemetery Exec. Board meeting to my Wednesday calendar - my only Free day this week.

My favorite printer came to pick up the Newsletter for printing, and talk about prices for a brochure and tickets.

Soon after our lunch, one of the Public Works people arrived to show us the water line problem, which their equipment had detected. He and his partner started digging in the yard, 2 feet down to find a broken water pipe. Fortunately we were able to get a plumber, who came right on, dug mud and pumped out muddy water, went to McGinnis Hardware for supplies, worked like a Trojan to make the repair...

That took a while, and I was ready to sit down to rest by that time. BUT I looked out the front door and the ATT Truck in driveway responding to our call from last week - loss of service on my line - two phones. He checked outside wiring - 100% fine. Inside, my favorite phone that announces the incoming call number = shorting out occasionally. Replaced that phone with a cheapy that hubby had on hand.

Answered the phone (back in service, thank goodness), call about the Home Tour brochure and tickets printing details... still no decision about who will do printing.

My printer brought the finished Newsletters and got paid. (I still have to create the mailing labels, buy stamps, affix labels and stamps and Mail the newsletters out)

Answered the phone... President of our state Jamestowne Society calling to confirm details about our Nov. 14th meeting, so I can create, print and mail the meeting invitations to about 50 people before the end of October.

Tried again to sit down to read a few pages - looked at Clock. YIKES it's 5:00 p.m.

It was time to gather refreshments and stuff to take to UMW night circle meeting at 6:30.

Supper Monday tonight had to be fast and I could change my muddy clothes (I got spashed by standing too close to the waterline hole), pick up my sister, drive to the church - unload bags of refreshment stuff and help Ruth get it all set up before members show up at 7:00 or before.

And Monday was to have been my Quiet day this week.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Thinking out loud

Driving east up the street this early morning, I was awed by the sun trying to shine through layers of gray clouds. The scene was beautiful. I don't often get out that early, so it's a 'different world' when I happen to see the sun rising...clouds or not. Maybe those clouds will move on out and give us a relief from the rain that kept Sunday in such a gray gloom. One would think we'd had quite enough precip in this area - thank you very much - but our druthers don't make much impact on Nature....sad to say.

Speaking of Nature.... the current craze to Go Green is affecting just about everyone one way or another. A group of ladies at church have latched on to the idea, and are 'going green' by eliminating the use of paper and plastic for serving refreshments at meetings. Instead, stoneware plates are taking the place of paper. Nice, but heavy to carry around. BUT how do you figure the 'savings' when those plates have to be washed (water, electricity for the dishwasher, labor) and stored for the next usage? Mugs for coffee in lieu of paper cups... same 'argument'. BUT I notice that we still have plastic forks and spoons and paper napkins. Go figure.

Yesterday's meeting speakers brought two potted plants for a drawing, and the recipients both have October birthdays - me and another lady ! What a lovely surprise for an 'early birthday present'. The yellow mums are such a cheerful addition to our dining room table! We'll enjoy them for a long time.

All the Friends of the Library are looking forward to hearing the numbers from the Fall Book Sale at our meeting today. Donations have been down for several weeks, resulting in fewer books to offer at the sale, so it will be interesting to learn how we did on the 'bottom line'. ALL proceeds from the sale benefit the Library in one way or another.

This is Homecoming week at the High School. The Alumni Tent will be set up for Reunion Groups at the football game Friday night. I am keeping my fingers crossed for the weather, but as of now, the forecast is for more rain and possible thunderstorms. Not the best idea for an outdoor gathering of any kind. Homecoming is always fun - no matter how long you've been 'out of school' --would you believe 60+ years ? !!!. It's always fun to see old friends and renew friendships at Homecoming.

Tuesday's National Neighborhood Night Out was cancelled in our town due to the weather -Rain. Same thing happened last year. But the year before, when the NNO was held in August, the designated day for the event turned out to be a scorcher... I don't think I've ever been as hot as when I was helping host the event at my sister's house - on the patio. Even thought we brought out box fans to stir the air, it was still quite uncomfortable. We had a good turnout, though, even so.

Keep smiling! People will wonder what you're up to !

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October 1

Whoa, what happened here? It's the first day of October and the air has a touch of Fall in it ! Where did summer go? Or spring, for that matter. A Facebook friend reminded everyone that "the Holidays are almost here." Oh my goodness, she could have gone a long time without saying that !

You know what they say: Life is like a roll of toilet tissue. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.

September, with the 19 days of rain for the first 24, actually turned off better than expected. The last several days were gorgeous - and everyone breathed sighs of relief to be out from under those gray water-laden clouds. Hubby had his 81st birthday with a nice dinner at O'Charley's with our daughter and my sister.

Now it's my turn. Would you believe it's #79? (I have a hard time with that myself!) In the past, we have combined our parties by having one family gathering sometime between his birthday and mine - which are about 3 weeks apart. It's not gonna happen this year. Everyone is too overbooked and overwhelmed with activities and responsibilities. Maybe we'll just 'recognize' the events when the family DOES gather here for our Traditional Thanksgiving dinner. (That is, assuming everybody can make it.)

When I was growing up, Mother always said that she could have my birthday party outdoors on the 16th of October, but the next day it would rain and turn cold. That theory has held true more years than not. But this year's crazy convoluted weather pattern may make the 'approach of Fall' totally unpredictable. Already the cool nights have spurred the annual hunt for electric blankets and turning on a little heat. That's crazy too, since the days are still almost warm enough to need air conditioning . Son-in-law Bill's birthday comes before mine this month. He's 20 years younger than my hubby, which makes it easy to remember which milestone he's celebrating.

Next up in November is a grandson's 19th, and #2 Son's milestone birthday. That is unreal, since it was just the other day that this son was graduating from High School. Tempus Fugits around here faster than the law allows. November is also our wedding anniversary month!

Back to today, in addition to balancing my checkbook (a duty that I shirk with a vengeance ) today is the Friends members-only PreSale at the Fall Book Sale. I'll be enjoying the position of cashier again this evening. I'm going early to snap some pictures of the Volunteers who give so much of their time and dedication to make our Friends Book Sales succeed every time.

Friday, September 25, 2009


In addition to wondering when the sun will be shining enough to dry out the hayfield that we formerly called our front yard, so that the mower might be engaged to run over and over the 'meadow' out there, I have a few other thoughts batting around in my head today.

Doctors. I appreciate the profession and their PRACTICE of the art of medicine in all forms. BUT, gimme a break, please. I filled out four pages of forms, two fronts and two backs, answering to the best of my ability everything that was asked about me and my family, who I would allow to receive information (drat that new law) and everything else -- except what I ate for breakfast.

So why, when I finally was ushered into the inner sanctum of this 'new-to-me' professional's labyrinth, did he ask me the same basic information and write it on the top page of my "chart".???

Question: Do medical professionals ever read the admission questionaires?

Pharmaceutical Companies: Okay, I survived (endured) the long wait for the office visit, and accepted that he was not going to perform the simple procedure that I'd hoped for...( it would have been much simpler and resolved my problem) ... and accepted the prescription for an ointment.

At the discount pharmacy, I presented the piece of paper, explaining once more that I do not have and never have had any insurance coverage for prescriptions, only to be told that the tiny little bottle of eye drops would cost $76.00. GULP.

Thank you just the same, I think I'll pass.

Checking by phone I learned that other pharmacies in the area would fill that same Rx for $84, $63, or $79. Hysterical laughter, by this time, ended those calls.

Question: WHY do pharmaceutical companies charge such outrageous prices for a simple antibiotic eyedrop? and WHY has the American Public allowed them to get away with such robbery?

Yeah, I know the current administration is going to Fix all that with their new Health Care plan, (yeah, right) but ......big BUT.....until the price-fixing is fixed, it's not gonna work.

Since I can't solve or answer any of these questions, I think I'll leave the computer and read some more of the Sandra Brown that I picked up at the Book Store.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Update - Thursday p.m.

A fair to middlin' day in sales at the book store today was offset by the interesting patrons who came, browsed, and chatted - with or without making a selection.

Yesterday's mail brought a Summons to Federal Jury Duty I have never served on a jury - Federal or otherwise, though I was selected to a pool once when I was 69 1/2 years old. Several days of driving to downtown Memphis, sitting and waiting all day, resulted in being dismissed after the first 12 called were accepted to serve on that particular case.

The Federal Jury form still carried the "over 70" exemption, so I'll follow the instructions and call early next week to learn my status. I can't hold my breath that long, so I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed.

An appointment with a local opthamologist for early Friday morning, will - I hope - give me some relief from the chalazion on my right eyelid. Hot compresses have helped some but the swelling has bothered me for several days while I wait to see the doctor.

The TV weather man showed a September Calendar page this evening, with 19 of these first 24 days marked with a red X. That's for Rain Days ! Yes, 19 of the first 24 ! And over 8 inches of rainfall during that time. Other areas have been much worse off, with extreme flooding, homes and vehicles totally destroyed, and some loss of life. This has been an unusual September, especially compared to the similar period a year ago. That was the Drought time, when we did not cut grass for two months, since it wasn't growing - just barely hanging on without rain. People are joking about building arks, but the farmers are watching to see if the cotton and soybean crops will survive at all. It's already a serious situation for them.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Milestone day

Today is Hubby's 81st birthday. That sounds almost impossible to me. It was 'just the other day' that I met him at college (61 years ago!). Now here it is almost 59 years since we married that November 21st, 1950. We thought we were "So old" ! At 22 and 20... oh my goodness... I guess we knew it all already - or thought we did. It's amazing how much we've learned since then!

We'll be going 'out to dinner' this evening for a quiet celebration this year. Last year's 80th was the Biggie for him. Our children and grandchildren collaborated to make an outstanding Event of that day, with almost all of the whole family present for the birthday supper and birthday cake.

Each one of our children came up with an unusual gift - in multiples of 80 ! THAT was amazing in itself - 80 pieces of his favorite candy, 80 one-dollar bills rolled into a special package to pull out in one long stream, a gift certificate to the Book Store for $80 in books, gift certificate for the local hardware store, and on and on.

Yesterday was unreal in that the SUN actually came out and there was no rain in our immediate vicinity the whole day....contrary to the previous ten days, when anywhere from 1/2 to 3 inches fell during each day or night. Records show that the first three weeks of September 2009 saw over 7 inches of rainfall here. The normal measurement is 2.25 inches for the whole month.

Everyone is Tired of rain. Mushrooms and toadstools are springing up all around yards and flower beds. Grass is growing, but is usually too wet to mow. Rain gear and shoes barely have time to dry before being soaked again in the next outing. And this is directly opposite to last year's August and September - the drought time. We had no rain for almost 2 months in 2008.
Friends and relatives in different parts of the country are reporting similar unusual weather patterns. TV reported SNOW in Denver yesterday ! (I'm glad our rain was not the white stuff, or we'd have had blizzard conditions already.) Today's forecast keeps rain in the picture, but I keep hoping that the members of the women's club will be able to get to the meeting and get home again without getting soaked.

Yesterday's meeting of the Book Store Volunteers was well attended. The manager's two-year term is drawing to a close, and the new team will be taking 'command'. Housekeeping items were discussed, mainly reviewing our standard operating procedures. Transition will be smoothe and seamless, thanks to everyone's cooperation. The big Fall Book Sale is coming up fast now, for the first weekend of October. The sales take a lot of prep work, but the teams have organized their work so everything runs smoothly, and the actual sale days net around $6000.00 - all of which benefits the Library in some form.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Water Water Everywhere....

This week's rain, pouring at times, and gray sky days are wearing on body and spirit. Resisting taking rain gear to meetings was a mistake each time, resulting in three different soakings (wet shirt, shoes and dripping hair) even though the sky was almost clear when those events began.
But not being made of sugar, I didn't melt... just fussed about it.

Thursday I was determined to outfox the weather, and was totally prepared for another deluge --which did NOT happen! Go figure!

Early forecasts were for a rain-free weekend, but -typically- those changed, and now I just hope we can get to the Constitution Day Luncheon without too much trouble. The friend's evening wedding and reception will go on as scheduled, but -again- a sunny day would have been Much preferred.

This has been a good curl-up-with-a-book week, though, and I have enjoyed two more of Linda Lael Miller's novels that I'd missed earlier. Her early western days stories are always good, and I am enjoying rereading the McKettrick's Christmas one. A train, stalled in the middle of nowhere by an avalanche, has passengers of several personalities. Miller does a good job with her tale-telling. Hester Browne's Little Lady Agency series are fun, and quite different from my usual selections.

We wait for more updates on daughter's knee replacement surgery and another friend's surgery that was postponed til today. The knee replacement went according to plan, and as long as the anesthetic was still effective, Ginny was 'feeling fine'. Then the post-op pain hit. Oh dear.
I'm sure Diane must have felt frustration over the delay in getting on with her 'procedure'. All psyched up and then nothing.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Things that bother me---

I notice more and more often that TV people don't use proper words:
Amount and Number are frequently misused and every time I hear a talking head say the wrong word I want to call that station and complain....

Usage note: (The online Dictionary agrees!)
"The traditional distinction between amount and number is that amount is used with mass or uncountable nouns (the amount of paperwork; the amount of energy) and number with countable nouns (a number of songs; a number of days)."

"Although objected to, the use of amount instead of number with countable nouns occurs in both speech and writing, especially when the noun can be considered as a unit or group (the amount of people present; the amount of weapons) or when it refers to money (the amount of dollars paid; the amount of pennies in the till)."

GROW is another current word usage that bugs me: "We need to grow the economy." (How do you plan to do that? By planting more 'economies' in the garden?)
Remember "Mary, Mary quite contrary, How does your garden grow?" Membership may grow (verb) but to 'grow a membership' ... Why not just 'Increase the Number of Members'?

I won't even touch on pronounciation... that's another subject entirely. I almost feel sorry for a new staff member on the evening news who hasn't been clued to how to pronounce a place name correctly.

I guess my education, being of the "old school" (literally) makes me too aware when the current usage is out of sync.

Other thoughts: The 'old style' advertisements were so effective that many of us recall slogans without any trouble at all: "You'll wonder where the yellow went, when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent!", and "Pop, Pop, Fiz, Fiz... oh what a relief it is!" (Alka-Seltzer). I'm sure you can think of dozens more of this type.

So why do companies spend millions of dollars on elaborate productions to sell an item or a product, when one catchy slogan might be even more effective. Can you remember any of the products that filled the half-time at a televised football game? Really remember and quote them? Yes, I'm sure you know that Budweiser had an ad playing, but what was it's 'slogan'?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

BUSY, busy

Winding down August and diving into September in a rush of activities... what a week! It's hard to believe that it is September already.. month 9 out of 12, oh my.
I'm thinking of the song "September"...'the days dwindle down to a precious few, September, November...' Ah yes, how fast they go. Already some leaves are beginning to color and a few are falling from the 'early shedders' (my name for Box Elders and a few others - for lack of a better label). The days are getting shorter. As much as I hate to see the sun set a minute or two earlier every day, it happens.

A really nice meeting of the United Methodist Women on Tuesday introduced a new area of our church's new building addition for many of us who had not been in that part before. A lot of planning and design went into the project, which is phase one of a three-part overall plan expected to span many years of development.

Another meeting on Wednesday, preceeded by the Executive committee's brief meeting to review the agenda for the FRIENDS meeting. The FRIENDS meetings are always well-attended and the membership continues to grow. Our Fall Book Sale is scheduled for the first weekend in October, so it will be here before we know it. The sales are always a lot of work, and a lot of fun. They produce a big part of the money we donate back to the Library to be used for things the Budget won't cover.

Thursday was almost too much. I enjoyed my shift at the book store, followed immediately by the Author Robert Dalby and his review of "A Piggly Wiggly Wedding". This is the third in this series, and promises to be as delightful as its predecessors. An important errand came next, followed by a drive in to the city for a Visitation at the Funeral Home to express our condolences on the death of a friend. We stopped for a sandwich on the way home, so it turned out to be a 10-hour day for me. Too much.

I had to admit relief when a doctor's appointment for my sister was cancelled on Friday. Whew ! Another busy day was not going to be fun for me, but then internimable sitting in the waiting rooms at that doctor's office are never much 'fun'.

I am thankful, actually, to have so many 'things to do' for I fear I would not enjoy 'nothing going on' very long. The calendar looks almost as full for next week.. but it IS September now, and all the clubs and organizations get going again after the summer hiatus.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ups and Downs - all week

More computer problems earlier this week kept us both on edge and totally frustrated. My email service would allow incoming messages, but not allow anything to be sent out. Hubby very graciously shared his computer, which was working well for some strange reason.

After a day and a half of using his computer and email to get to mine, we called for help. The Expert technician came from our local Computer Store to get us both up and running again.

Folling instructions, we had gone to to the Cable service office to swap out our OLD modem, thinking that might have been the cause of all our frequent problems.
The woman behind the counter said, "Take it home, plug it in and you're good to
go." NOT! She was TOTALLY wrong.

Hubby plugged the new modem into the router and then to the CPUs.. his and mine. Neither worked. Another call to the service company got him straightened out, but only if I were disconnected. No combination worked for me.

The technician spent an hour with our machines,and even he said it was not easy or simple.

The rest of this past week was a lot better, with a FUN day for me at the Book Store on Thursday. The whole three-hour shift was busy, with lots of people coming in to browse and buy their 'finds'.

An interesting meeting and luncheon on Saturday with our Colonial Dames of the 17th Century, and then a delightful cocktail buffet supper honoring an engaged couple filled that busy day.

In between all of the week's 'ups and downs', I have been snatching blocks of time whenever possible to follow the action in Heather Graham's "The Island". A book store 'find', this novel is as complicated as I could imagine. It's one that cannot be put down without the characters and their twists and turns staying with you. I want to skip ahead to see how Graham resolves the mysteries (and there are several working at the same time), but -at the same time- don't want this book to end.

Thanks to the wonders of technology, we have enjoyed a multitude of pictures from our granddaughter's wedding and reception. The photographer did a marvelous job of capturing the joy and happiness of the occasions with her excellent 'eye' and equipments!

IF the TV forecasters are right, we can look forward to a touch of Fall in the coming days, with lower humidity and cool temps. September is right around the corner and the cool air is welcome!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

NEW experiences

August in West Tennessee is normally HOT, Humid and Uncomfortable. Residents here have enjoyed a total departure from the norm this weekend, with temps under 85 and Low humidity, with cool Canadian breezes delighting the whole population!

In addition to being able to have our house wide open - doors on three sides - to catch and savor the cool breezes, we were treated to a most unusual experience yesterday.

Our grandson-in-law is fulfilling a long-time dream by enrolling in a new local Culinary School. Working part-time and going to classes four evenings a week is a demanding schedule, but he seems to be revelling in the work and the opportunity.

Yesterday he and two of his fellow classmates brought all the ingredients and equipment to our house, and prepared an excellent 'late lunch' for us: Chicken and vegetable soup with basil, Classic bread pudding and an extra treat - real banana pudding. They had a good time chopping, dicing, slicing and prepping all the fresh veggies to add to the chicken broth and white wine. The bread pudding with croissants and 18 eggs and other ingredients couldn't help but be delicious and it was! Our kitchen was a beehive of activity during this time, with our daughter and granddaughter watching the proceedings along with us.

When the chefs-in-training declared lunch to be ready, seven of us gathered at the table for a mid-afternoon feast. Plain and simple fare with lively conversation the whole time was a complete change from our normally quiet noontime sandwich and iced tea lunch! Thanks guys, if you happen to read this, for a really nice experience!

When suppertime rolled around, No one wanted anything to eat! Lunch, then, was declared scrumptious success.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thought on "Bedlam South"

This new book by Mark Grisham and David Donaldson has overwhelmed me in a way that no other novel has for a long time. 'Willing suspension of disbelief' does not help in this case, since the reader realizes how much of the action is based on what really happened during those war years.

The flyleaf says: "Set in the heart of the Confederacy, Bedlam South is the story of ordinary people who fought and suffered, and loved and lost during the Civil War...." The authors combined Grisham's love for the Civil War and Donaldson's fascination with psychology and mental health to weave a compelling story.

Recommended by a friend, I was fortunate to find a signed copy in our Book Store, and brought it home immediately to start reading. The 324-page novel, fiction based on historical fact, grabbed me from the first and would not let go. In truth, I had to lay it aside from time to time because the intensity was too much. Coming back, I was readily enveloped again in the human struggles and the battle scenes of the worst time in our country's history.

This is not light reading. In fact, I will look for something in the vein of Evanovich for my next adventure in the printed word. But, that said, I am glad that I read "Bedlam South" and will add the volume to my 'keep' bookshelf. I wish the characters had not invaded my dreams last night, however. 'Bedlam South' is that powerful !

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Beginnings

Granddaughter Emily and Scott are now Mr. and Mrs. Scott H. Campbell, with the good wishes and blessings of hundreds of guests at the wedding and reception. A more beautiful wedding would be hard to imagine. Christy's artistry with the flowers in a historically beautiful church and the reception area enhanced the joy and happiness of the beautiful young bride and groom, along with their several attendants.

The rehearsal dinner on Saturday evening was a lot of fun, with a room full of family and friends honoring the bridal couple with toasts and more good wishes. A delicious selection from the restaurant's menu added to the total pleasure of the event.

The whole week was a whirlwind of activity for us, with our daughter and her family here from Maryland for 10 days. We had several meals at area restaurants - sampling the fares of Thai, Chinese, Fried Chicken and a Steakhouse, in addition to a little home-cooking (on the side). Our barbeque supper for the Family August Birthday celebration dinner the previous Sunday was good, and well-received, too.

Now the grandsons are or will be headed off to their respective colleges, to begin those new adventures. One heads west and the other goes east... and we wish them both the very best that life has to offer as they spread their wings.

The Maryland family flew back yesterday, and our house got unreasonably quiet - immediately. Life goes on, though, with appointments and responsibilities on the calendar just like always.

I have truly enjoyed reliving the wedding activities through technology and albums posted by family members and friends on Facebook. Such FUN!

As an aside, both the lawnmowers are repaired now, and are back at home waiting for the next session wish tall grass.

Friday, August 7, 2009

One more day

One more day until The Big day - for Emily and Scott to begin their life together.
This week has been filled with activity, for the bridal pair and for our family here at home. Almost every minute has been full with our Maryland branch's comings and goings, meals at home and out at restaurants with various combinations of family...

Now the count-down until the Rehearsal Dinner tonight and The Wedding and Reception tomorrow. I can't begin to count the hours of preparation that the bride's family and the groom's family have put into these Events! I'm sure all the prep work will result in beautifully executed dinners, ceremonies and celebrations! Just coordinating the many people involved requires great attention to details...and minutiae.

We're looking forward to cooperative, though hot, weather - which is a big help.

On the home front, the down-to-earth mundane: the riding mower repair has been delayed, one day at the time, all week, by the young service man who 'promised' .... and we're still waiting. Son-in-law Bill tackled the whole yard with the small mower the other evening when it was relatively cool - only to have that mower 'die' before he finished the project. So now we wait for the 'promised' repair and return of Both mowers! Aghhhh.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Celebration week

With the arrival of our Maryland family at midnight Saturday, the week-long time of Celebration began. This fun and happy time will culminate with the wedding and reception for our youngest granddaughter and the love-of-her-life. Of our seven granddaughters, she is the fourth to exchange vows with her dream man. Our four grandsons, all in their teen years, have a few more years, I hope, before choosing a life partner.

Sunday dawned bright and clear with a nice breeze, so while our travelers slept in, Charlotte and I went to Sunday school and heard one of the finest lessons yet by our retired-minister classmate. One of the themes - from Moses and the Israelites - was that while you can please some people some of the time, you can't please everybody all the time; sometimes you cannot please anybody - any time. So deal with it.

The Family gathered here Sunday evening for a fun time for celebrating five family members' August birthdays. The total accumulated years add to over 240, so we didn't attempt to put candles on the cake. The barbeque was excellent and the company was unsurpassed. Lots of conversations back and forth with lots of laughter all the time. Such wonderful fun with a wonderful family.

Monday night the girls enjoyed going to a bridal shower honoring Emily, while the guys swam at Paul's pool and then went to the Chinese restaurant for those delecacies - mainly sushi, that they enjoy so much. The shower was fun, and our hostesses were delightful.

There was a lull for me today, while our 'visitors' went to a movie. They enjoyed the film, but coming back out onto the parking lot in the extreme heat, to the closed up van, was a shock to all the senses. Such heat is hard to take after being so nice and cool for the previous several hours.

That storm last Thursday ushered in an entirely different kind of weather for us - Heat. July had been the coolest on record for our area, June was the wettest, and now August is proving to be a 'regular' one with heat and humidity as usual. It would have been much nicer for the 'cool' weather to stay with us a while longer.

The Wedding is coming closer and closer. We're looking forward to the Rehearsal Dinner excitement and fun on Friday evening, and then it will be The Day!

Friday, July 31, 2009

RAIN, Tornados--the works

TGIF, as they say. This week is one that is better left behind. From the beginning until varied can one week be?

The ultimate Experience (note the capital E) came yesterday with myriad warnings from all the TV stations: severe thunderstorms, tornado watches, warnings, and then the local sirens and the town's Emergency Warning announcements on TV... whoa, Enough already.

They counted three tornados touching down in various parts of the county and the adjoining town of Olive Branch. The dire warnings were right on target, with frog-strangling downpours of rain, with water collecting on low-lying streets and yards, bridges and creeks. OUR gauge in the back yard measured almost FIVE inches of rain in about 2 1/2 hours of the Storms. No wind to speak of, thank goodness, in our neighborhood, and the electric power managed to stay on in spite of one hiccup (which was reflected in our having to reset all the electronic gadgets). Cable was out for a couple of hours, but the computers finally came back on, much to our relief.

Pictures in the newspapers and on TV today showed so many houses ripped apart, businesses that lost roofs and facades, cars and 18-wheelers turned over or smashed into each other, trees downed, roads was a Mighty Storm that went through the area.

The occasional clouds this morning soon gave way to brilliant sunshine, which was a more than welcome sight. The temperatures this morning were nice and cool while the humidity is amazingly low, considering all the moisture still lingering in puddles and ditches.

Our Maryland family arrives tomorrow midnight, by plane this time, and thus will begin a week of festivities connected to The Wedding - one week from tomorrow! We'll start with celebrating all our family's August birthdays: Charlotte, Michael, Susan, Scott, John, and Emily (tho hers is really in early September) - which added together total about 236 years... obviously we will not attempt to put that many candles on the cake! And we'll wish Paul and Pam a happy 27th wedding anniversary while we're singing!

Thursday's Book Store volunteer time was busy and productive, and fun - as alwsys. We were able to make our weekly forage to the Farmers Market, too, before they had to close down due to the storm. The frig is full of good things like corn on the cob, peaches, tomatoes, and new potatoes - which will be enjoyed by all! I forgot a couple of items on Wednesday, when I did my long list at the grocery store, so a quick trip in today will solve that problem, I hope !

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rainy Sunday and Dames of Magna Charta

Loud thunder woke me too early this morning, when I should have slept until noon, at least - based on how tired I was from yesterday's activities. But knowing that the electric power was likely to go off with the storm, I got up to get that first cup of coffee while I still could.

Yesterday was a delightful day, all told. I drove, taking my sister, daughter and granddaughter with me, to the country club in Memphis where the West Tennessee Chapter Dames of the Magna Charta and Somerset Barons were meeting for business, program and lunch. This is my second time to serve a 2-year term as Regent of the organization. After letting my passengers out at the door, I went on around to the handicap parking, and bless Katy, found a space!

Membership in this hereditary organization is based on lineal descent of the applicant to one or more of the Barons who, at Runnymede in 1215, forced King John of England to sign that magnificent document, the Magna Charta, upon which our constitutional government is based. Membership is by invitation, and submission of his/her forms showing their descent. Upon approval by the national board, the member is then welcomed to the Society.

We had a large number of members and guests in attendance for the event yesterday, and it appeared that everyone enjoyed the meeting -- with an 8-year-old pianist performing for us, a delicious meal, and a speaker who spoke on "Magna Charta Libertatum". His talk was well-received, timely and informative. Lorelei, the pianist, is the daughter and granddaughter of Chapter members, and has attended meetings with her family for many years. She exhibited great poise and budding ability at the piano. She studies with a teacher at Vanderbilt in Nashville.

The speaker is active in the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), and is a state officer/advisor for the Children of the American Revolution (CAR), in addition to teaching architecture (his field) at college level.

I was tired when we retraced our steps to arrive back home mid-afternoon.

Unfortunately, this meeting prevented me and my sister from attending the funeral services for our friend, Clyde Dixon. It's not possible to be in two places at the same time, and the meeting had been on the calendar for several months. As presiding officer, my choice was limited. Clyde's death was sudden and totally unforeseen. He was a vibrant member of our Sunday school class, church and the community and will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him or knew of him.

The loud and active thunderstorm has moved out of our area now, and the power did NOT go off, for a change!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Frustrations deluxe

Today's grey cloudy day has been one of frustrations... minor, to be sure, but still....
I can't see my 'followers' on my blog list. No icons appear. Everything I tried so far to reinstate the icons has failed. That's 'frustration' number one right now. I don't know why the icons have disappeared, or why the 'help' section doesn't address MY question.

Number two just came by email from the website of the store that my sister and I searched for in vain on Monday.

The company correspondent says she understands my frustration in locating a store...and offers the address of the one we tried to find first. MY fault for not noting the ADDRESS before we started out driving that day.. for the one listed in a specific shopping center in the neighboring town is not - to my way of thinking - IN that shopping center. Nope, it's on a street that vaguely borders the shopping center...about two blocks away.

As stated, the unsuccessful search for that particular store was my fault, but also for the store's website for labeling that store by the name that is actually NOT on the street shown as their physical address. I still maintain that the website is misleading...and told that company so when I used their 'contact us' feature.

Frustration #3: One of the riding mower tires that #1 son worked so hard to replace a few weeks ago so the mower would work, had lost air again when we went out to do the mowing last week. (Expletive removed) #1 son has since had Carpal Tunnel surgery and is not able yet to come back and try again. SO we're going to bite the bullet and call a lawn mower repair service - tomorrow.

In the meantime, guess what the almost-3 inches of rain has done to the front yard? Uh huh... the front part looks just as scraggly as it did before we mowed last week! I have to be thankful that we do have a nice Green lawn this summer - as opposed to last year's struggling-to-survive grass everywhere around. The drought last year was not pleasant at all.

I won't even mention that the novel I'm reading has not yet grabbed my whole attention. Usually that author writes one that I simply can't put down. Not this time... I can't really get into it - but I will finish reading just to see how the author uncomplicates the plots and subplots before the last page.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday trivia and other inconsequential stuff

Before I begin my rant today, I hope you will check out Larry's blogspot. He's a new 'follower' on my blogspot, so I clicked on his picture and found his pictures of Collierville. A totally delightful collection of enchanting photographs - scenes in and around our beautiful used-to-be-Small Town. I think you'll enjoy browsing as much as I have. Just be sure to allow enough time to keep scrolling. This Larry has a lot to offer, and I'm glad he signed on as a follower.

Shift gears: How long does it take an ingrained habit to be forcefully re-thought and re-tooled, as it were?? After turning on the kitchen hot and cold faucets a certain way for a little over 40 years, one beneficial visit from a friendly plumber changed my habits completely - upside down, if you will.

The hot water is the same as always, turning on by turning the knob counter-clockwise. BUT the cold water faucet is now opposite to what it was. I think it turns on clockwise, but I have to try it with each cold water need. Ah.. water...I must have turned the knob the new right way. Now to remember to reverse that direction when I want to shut the cold water valve. OOPS... got another gusher. Must have turned it in the old style. Try again. NOW it's off. Whew....
This has been going on for a week already. You'd think I could have learned the difference by now - right? Nope.

In the bathroom that I call 'mine', the faucet handles are unchanged. But now I'm noticing which way is 'on' and how to get them turned 'off' again. Strange.. it was always automatic before. Now I think about it. What a waste of brainpower, when I could be solving the problems of the universe in the same length of time that I spend thinking about turning water on and off again.

Speaking of the bathroom that's designated 'mine'. As old-age creeps in on little cat feet (like that fog of poetry fame), rising from a sitting position is becoming increasingly difficult. No, I don't have a single twinge of hip or knee pain.. it's just harder to get up. So, I browsed the web, and found A solution. Now I have guard- or guide-rails of tubular metal (aluminum or steel? I don't know) installed on the commode in 'my' bathroom. I neglected to write down the name of this contraption when I found it online, and the order-tracking page does not give it a name, either, so I just call it an 'armchair'-like rail. Go figure.

I am so glad that Canada shared some Cold Air with our geographical area just at the right time to create a perfect weekend hereabouts. Thanks to you - Jet Stream, prevailing winds, or whatever - we are basking in the delightful cool and sunny weekend. Pessimistic TV forecasters warn that this won't last - but maybe they're wrong. Sometimes they have been known to err, you know ! But for our granddaughter's return from her year-long stay in France, I was glad that she didn't have to deplane in a typical July Memphis sauna. Give her enough time to get used to the culture shock before hitting her with humidity too ! Welcome home, Dear granddaughter. We loved your Blogs and pictures of your adventures in France, but we are all exceedingly glad that you're back on this side of The Pond.

Now to return to your regular sponsor.. uh, I mean, return to my recliner and my latest Book Store acqusition - another Evanovich paperback - to read and enjoy while elevating my swollen ankles...just another of those 'old age' goodies that - if you're lucky - you'll hang on long enough to enjoy with me.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rainy Thursday

What is it with Thursday that rain comes so frequently on that part of the week? An early storm shook the very rafters with thunder, lightning and a downpour that raised the level in our rain gauge. I think the clouds are moving out now; at least I hope so. I hate to do my volunteer shift at the Book Store with wet shoes. Umbrellas just don't quite cover everything in a downpour.

An interesting public meeting at Town Hall on Tuesday night held our attention for the full hour. Officials with the Metro Planning group showed maps of the Norfolk-Southern railroad 'Poplar Corridor' from East Memphis to Rossville. Discussed were the crossings with the most traffic and therefore the most congestion and accidents.
We were a little disappointed that no real solution or conclusion was offered --in our opinion-- because the bottom line lies with the Railroad, always and forever. What 'they' are willing to do, or not do, seems to depend on the cost to them. This is not 'new' news. The railroads have always been 'in charge' of their lines and the rights-of-way on both sides of the rails. I think hubby and I read into the press releases topics that were not actually there. But at least we were able to express opinions about certain crossings and the problems with one in particular.

Good news came in this morning from the new Farmers Market blogspot. Extended hours will be a boon to shoppers, as well as additional vendors. More fresh veggies are coming in daily - and I'm looking forward to another visit after my volunteer shift, to check out the fresh butterbeans!

Monday, July 13, 2009

BOOKS and more books

Thunder and rain this morning provided a perfect excuse for me to relax and pick up another one of my tall stack of books-to-read.

I had finally finished wading through "A Lie for a Lie" by Emilie Richards. Somehow this one, however clever and entertaining it might be, never quite grabbed my attention like some other authors do. I found myself dozing frequently during the preacher's wife's attempts to prove the innocence of her new 'friend'. Just couldn't maintain interest, or something. Not many stories put me to sleep so regularly ...but maybe I was just tired to begin with.

But on the other end of the attention-grabber list, "Thanksgiving" by Janet Evanovich kept me glued and laughing til tears obstructed my view of the pages. This 1988 pre-Stephanie Plum romance reprint is definitely one to enjoy when you want a fast and hilarious read. Evanovich writes a clever story that's fun to read.

Hubby complained that my laughter was disturbing his own reading, even though the jackhammer work next door didn't seem to bother either of us! Breaking up a concrete slab - which had been the floor of a shed-carport combination - was loud enough to get attention from the whole neighborhood! The men worked on even after the rain started !

Now the rain has ceased, the jackhammer crew did not return after lunch break, and all is too quiet. I 'need' to make a grocery run, but keep putting it off and off...until soon we'll be looking at Old Mother Hubbard's cupboards, for sure !
Somehow grocery shopping and meal planning just doesn't excite me very much, after a lifetime of doing. Outside of 'eating out' all the time, I don't know any way to avoid it, though.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Exciting times

How exciting to read the Collierville Herald online early this morning, and find the engagement announcement for granddaughter Emily and fiance Scott! When the print copy comes later on today, the excitement will escalate, I'm sure.

This momentous occasion will be celebrated with the ceremony in our 109-year-old Methodist Church 'on the Square', where hubby and I exchanged our own vows 58.5 years ago. This is the site, too, of four of our five children's weddings. I keep thinking of one of my favorite tune from "Fiddler on the Roof"... "TRADITION". Another favorite is the poignant "Sunrise, Sunset"...'is this the little girl I carried; is this the little boy at play? I don't remember growing older -- when did they?' This one brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it.

Both of the couple's families attend much larger churches in the metropolitan area, so I was even more pleased and excited when Emily and Scott chose the 'old home church' for their nuptials.

This past week has been full and busy - so what else is new, huh? Finalizing the work on the yearbook for one of the hereditary organizations I belong to, and still working on the quarterly newsletter for the genealogical society of the neighboring county has consumed much of my 'free' time. I managed to read four books, though, in spite of other committments. (Talk about multi-tasking!)

I enjoyed every page of "Return to Sullivan's Island" and will be re-reading "Sullivan's Island" when I find it at the Book Store. Everything Dorothea Benton Frank writes about the low country of South Carolina is a good read, and something I enjoy.

A successful shopping trip with my sister was the icing on the cake the other day. Finding just the right outfit for an upcoming occasion was a feather in both our caps! Fashions these days are not exactly geared to the older women, and if one is not 20-something and pencil slim, the pickin's are usually limited. We ventured in to a 'new-to-us' dress store, and found the styles, ambience and the attractive young clerk all very pleasant.

An interview yesterday with the Town History project coordinator was FUN. My long-time friend and I, who grew up across the street from each other, met with the coordinator, the director who asked the leading questions and the young man from the high school who manned the camera. We are so glad that this project is underway, and that we were included in the list of interviewees chosen to share stories of 'Old Collierville'. The hour went entirely too fast. My friend and I fed off each other as we related stories from our childhood and teen years in the really small town this once was. She would tell about an event which reminded me of another related one of my own. I commented after the interview concluded, that 'we could have talked all day'.

Today will be another fun one, voluntering at the Book Store and then visiting the Farmers Market again for more mouth-watering fresh veggies. I'm looking forward to more of those lucious home-grown tomatoes and sweet corn and whatever else is available.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Books and Veggies

Thursday this week was a busy and productive day all day long ! Lots of interesting visitors to the Book Store and many sales made my 'quota' for the early shift an easy reality. We don't actually have a set quota to accomplish, but it's always rewarding when a large number of sales produce a check-out total that's 'comfortable'.

Donations for the Library and the Book Store continue to come in, and for this we are grateful. Our neighbors and friends bring in books, magazines, tapes and CDs that are no longer wanted, and as is said, 'one man's trash is another man's treasure'. It's always fun to see a patron find a longed-for book on the Book Store shelf.

The youngest patrons who come in after their visit to the programs in the Library are the most fun to watch. They are very serious in choosing their selections of the day, and with parental guidance, usually end up with a hardback or paperback that's just right for them.

The Summer Reading program is an active one, especially for the YA group. When a 'young adult' completes the requirements, they receive a coupon for a Free YA book from the Book Store. Those selections sometimes take a long time...but the smiles on their faces, when they complete the mission, are worth the wait.

When I finished my shift, hubby and I visited the brand-new "Farmers Market" off the Square. Many tables of fresh home-grown vegetables and fruits to choose from made the heat more tolerable. We came home with bags full of sweet corn, tomatoes, new potatoes and yellow squash. We chatted a while with the dedicated gardener who initiated, persevered and succeeded in establishing this new 'Farmers Market'.

The Market will return every Thursday from noon til 6 - or until a vendor sells out and departs. One vendor had already done that by the time we got there mid-afternoon.

Supper last night took some prep effort, but was Oh so Worth the trouble! Those fresh home-grown tomatoes tasted like Real tomatoes, and the sweet corn on the cob was indescribably delicious.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Too early for this:

Remember this one? How do you get down off an elephant?

While you're pondering the answer, consider this:

Two old friends were sitting in rocking chairs on the porch of the retirement home.
First friend says, "You know, we've been friends for a long time, but I cannot remember your name!"
Second friend thinks a long time, and finally responds, "How soon do you need to know?"

Ah yes, the Golden Years are sometimes fraught with glitches...memories abound, and sometimes surface at the most unlikely and inappropriate times. Aches and pains seem to multiply in direct relationship and proportion to the length of waiting time at the doctors' offices.

But on the other hand, think of all those who are denied the privilege of 'getting old'. Sorta brings you up short, doesn't it?

Okay, give up? Elephants don't have down... down comes from geese!

So much for today's philosophical musings....

Have a nice day while the temperature is less than 90+ !

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Adventure in Retail

Oh my what an adventure just buying a new dryer turned out to be ! Our old Name-Brand died(their repairmen are so bored from lack of work they just sleep, they're so Un-busy... you know the brand). That one was Only 9 years old... so it should have lasted a whole lot longer.

SO we ventured out in the heat, to see what the local branch of a Nationally advertized store had to offer. Found a wide variety, several different makes, all geared to serve well and 'do the job'. Chose one, got ready to finish the sale. UH oh... the System is down. THAT info took about 20-25 minutes to learn. The very nice saleslady tried hard to satisfy our request.... Finally we were asked to 'come back when the computer's working', so we came home. Only to get a call within the hour to return.. the System is up now.

Okay, so we go back, select, order, and learn that the particular model is Not in the Warehouse. We'll take the floor model, and it's okay to not be in a box. THEN we find that the Vent material is a separate item.. extra, of course. UGH. Then we go through the credit card process, set up a delivery date and think we're done. NOT.

Next day the call comes, delivery between 12 and 3. Yes, we'll be at home.
At 12:30 two energetic, brawny types arrive to deliver. Uh, Ma'am, we're not allowed to use the existing cord. You'll have to go back to the store and get one. And we're not allowed to wait for you to do that...but YOU can attach the cord, the guy says, it's no big deal. HA !

The brawnies hauled off the old dead dryer, as contracted (for an extra fee, of course). I drive back to the store and get the cord... but didn't take the sales slip with me, so a phone call home finally talked hubby through the listings on the ticket until the right return code was found... so they could credit those 'new' vent pipes - which we didn't need after all. The new cord cost a lot more than we'd been told... but you can't run an electric dryer without electricity... so another purchase process. The Nice young man at the store realized that this old couple would Never be able to figure out the intricacies of attaching the new cord to the back of the machine (which was left in the middle of the floor for that purpose) so he offered to and did come to our house and did the attaching, leveling the unit and shoving the thing into it's rightful position (which this old couple would not have been able to do either).

NOW everything's copasetic (I'll bet you haven't heard That term in a while !) and I've dried one load - twice, to get it completely dry. It'll take some practice to learn the settings that suit my needs, but at least I don't have to hang the laundry out to dry on the fence row now ! WHEW !

Friday, June 19, 2009

Another week....

The aftermath of last week's storms is still being felt in some areas of the City, where folks are suffering in the extreme heat and deprivation. We were fortunate to have no real 'damage' to the property, and were without power for 'only' 14 hours.

The extreme heat is real and dangerous. Even sitting on our normally cool front porch in the afternoon is not much fun in mid-90 temps.

The other shoe finally dropped yesterday for daughter-in-law and many of her co-workers at their company. After 16 years of working there, this job elimination is devastating for her - and for all of us. Referred to in a previous posting, the word had gone out in February that downsizing would be taking place. This has been a long and stressful time for Debby and John, as well as for both of their families - waiting and wondering.

The newspapers report that the unemployment rate for our state has reached 'double digits'..i.e. 10%. Surely some relief will be forthcoming from somewhere - whether it be Washington (unlikely) or the state capital (doubtful) or the private sector. And the talk just goes on and on.... "Full of Sound and Fury signifying nothing..."
What can I say? We hardly know what to hope for any more.

A casual conversation with an 'old' friend at the grocery store yesterday compared the probable cost of what was in our baskets then to what we would have paid even a few years ago. Prices on Everything have escalated rapidly, so a thinking shopper must stay alert and make hard choices on just about every need.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Thunderstorms and things

Thunderstorms and things that lightning and wind damage…..Musings and memories

All these thunderstorms, tornados, straight-line winds and rain that we’ve experienced the last few days have been frightening, to say the very least. While our area was not hit as hard as neighboring communities, we did lose electric power on Friday, June 12, 2009 at about 5 p.m. Repeated calls to the Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division (MLGW) were inadequate in information, being one of those hated ‘menus’ where you keep punching in numbers until you finally get “information”… “A crew has been assigned” and “your area has a circuit failure”. Big help. HA.

Power was restored to our neighborhood by 7 a.m. on Saturday, June 13, but the storms and resulting damages effected the cancellation of a big DAR Flag Day Luncheon since the Colonial Country Club had no power – and no way to prepare the meal for 150 reservation-holders.
Multiple phone calls and emails were made and sent to those members of our DAR Chapter who had power restored and could receive the messages. I hope all the 150 ladies did not go to the country club anyway, thinking the show would go on.

Seeing on TV all the storm damages to mid-town Memphis, Cordova and particularly Olive Branch and Byhalia in Mississippi, made us realize how very fortunate we were to have lost power and nothing else. Updates from MLGW show that there are still almost 70,000 homes without power on Sunday, but of the total 130,000 who lost power, the utility company is working ‘round the clock to get everyone back up and running again. Even so, it’s extremely frustrating to realize how totally dependent we are on electricity. We sat on the front porch – after the rain subsided – and read until it was too dark to see. Then candles and flashlights had to serve their purposes. No TV, computer, microwave – anything electricity-dependent – was not available.

Now on Sunday, June 14th, another storm system is moving through the area with a lot of lightning and thunder and some rain. Thankfully there seems to be no ‘Wind’ connected to this storm front.

All these storms remind me of bygone days and other storms that we experienced since we’ve lived in this house.

One incident in particular stands out: I was in the one bathroom that we had then, and sitting in front of the east window, when a huge bolt of lightning struck the elm tree near the house at that spot. The strength of that bolt literally shook the house. After that storm subsided and the rain ceased, we went out to survey the damage… and found that the elm tree had sustained a killing strike. When the lightning went down the trunk and hit the ground, mud splashed across the yard onto the side of the house! THAT was some kind of big strike, believe me. We all felt very fortunate that the elm tree took the hit instead of the house next to it! The elm had to be taken down, and the stump that was left eventually rotted out – but it took years!

Another storm produced lightning sufficient to strike the ancient pecan tree on the west side of the back yard. A scar was visible from the top of the 100-year-old tree all the way to the ground, and mud was kicked up into a wheelbarrow that rested on the trunk. I made pictures of that scar, since I figured nobody would believe what I was describing. The old tree still lives and produces pecans! I find that to be amazing in itself.

Farther back in time, one April about 1974, a storm blew the massive oak tree down in the middle of the night. I had gone to the kitchen at about 4 a.m. to get a drink of water, when I heard a ‘whoosh’ sound outside. It was too dark to see anything, so I went back to bed. Next morning when we looked out the kitchen window on the north side, all we could see was leaves!
That oak tree was uprooted and lay across our yard from the west property line to the east line…about 100 feet. The root section was at least 9 feet across – maybe even more. Our three sons were delighted to have such a wonderful ‘jungle gym’ to climb and play on, and were disappointed when the crew came to cut up that gigantic old tree and haul away the debris.

The tree had smashed the front end of the shed we used for storage, which had been Grandfather’s garage for his Terraplane automobile. Instead of demolishing the rest of the little building, I suggested that the workmen pull the outside walls together and build a new ‘front’ for what was left. The resulting shed/garage has served us well ever since, storing all kinds of yard tools, lawn mowers, boxes and paint cans.

Another big loss was the old oak tree in our east-side neighbor’s yard at the street. That tree was blown down during another storm and lay down across the street and onto the railroad tracks that parallel the street. The Town crews came quickly to clear the tracks and the street, but the neighbor’s yard was full of debris for a long time after the storm.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Another week has gone, and it's getting to be real summer now, with the typical 'scattered afternoon thundershowers' almost every day and high humidity readings. A clap of thunder and a lightning bolt woke me from a sound sleep in the early morning hour, but paying it no heed, I was able to get another full hour in before rising for the day.

Yard work progresses, with more hedge cutting and hauling the debris to the street. Our town's trash collectors must think Every citizen is out with pruning shears this month, since so many curbs have huge piles set out for pickup...ours included.

The Mayor's Action Center on the Town website is going to be very helpful. My 'complaint' yesterday produced the auto-response as well as emails from the department head to which the complaint was directed. Way to go, guys! Now lets see if you can get the County to spray more often for mosquitoes in our area ! Mosquito control was handled far more efficiently when the Town was in full charge... no more, since the County took over, and has responsibility for the whole of the County. Totally poor planning !

We're waiting, on the edge of our collective seats, to hear whether or not the company that our daughter-in-law works for will recognize the value of her contribution to their overall success and keep her employed as they 'slash and burn' their employee list.

Today is Book Store Day, and I was hoping to get to the Library before the next rain shower started. I hear the raindrops now, hitting on the magnolia tree leaves...oh well. Guess I'll need that third hand for an umbrella, since I'll also be carrying my tote bag full of books to donate and the ubiquitous purse and insulated mug of iced tea.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Son John came yesterday to see if he could do whatever was needed to make our riding mower workable again. In spite of a hot, sunny morning he was able to inflate the three flat tires and start the engine on the first attempt ! That sentence doesn't nearly describe the effort that went in to accomplishing what took about two hours of physical labor! Hubby and I are so pleased to have the mower operable again - having figured that there were be more than tire problems to overcome. Not so. The engine chugged a couple of times and then caught - and away he went...finishing the front yard mowing in a half-hour that would have taken Much much longer with the push-mower!

When Hubby and son went to buy a new blade for the push-mower, Cocker spaniel Lucy and I sat on the front porch enjoying the breezes that kicked up while clouds built and thunder rumbled in the southern sky. Lucy is a daddy's-dog, and anxiously awaited his return, even tho she's a beautifully behaved young lady. She perked up considerably when the 'right car' came into our driveway.

John got that blade changed just as a few drops of rain started falling - and I was afraid he'd be driving back to his home in a storm. Watching the radar on the weatherbug site, I guess he missed a lot of the rain that was traveling the opposite direction. We certainly did not get enough in our neighborhood to do much more than wet the sidewalks.

Thanks to John's efforts and know-how yesterday, we can look forward to 'yardwork' now, instead of dreading it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Whoever wrote the song about the 'lazy, hazy days of summer' must not have had a yard to tend. Summer in our part of the world means Growth, and growth means Mow, clip, trim, prune - the whole schmear. So for the past several days, since the monsoons ceased - that is, hubby and I have spent considerable time in the yard.
Our efforts are almost beginning to show, too, at least in the huge pile of brush that's sitting at the curb awaiting pickup by the Town trucks.

Our half-acre was not nearly so overwhelming when the riding mower was working. But with flat tires, and maybe even more 'trouble', it isn't back to the gas 'push mower' style of lawn care. By the time the farthest back section of the yard has been mowed, the front is ready again... so goes the summer.

While we were taking five yesterday, in the shade of the magnolia tree, I watched a pair of young men on Two riding mowers,and with gas-powered weed-eaters and blowers, completely service the huge yard next door and drive away - in less than an hour's time. Ah Youth... and equipment that works.

But in spite of the 90+ temps we've had these past several days, we have managed to cut hedge, mow grass and weeds, and rid the edges of sections of the front yard of vines - honeysuckle, vinca and ivy. It IS beginning to look better!

The down side to all this physical labor is the short-lived sessions that require the rest of the day in recuperation - rest, naps and reading inside where it's cool. Even the front porch swing is too warm nowadays in the mid-afternoon.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Life does go on, as I suggested in my last post, and for me it's been an adventure in reading, watching rain fall, and attending to routine matters.

Thanks to my friend who found me a collection of Karen Robards paperbacks at the Book Store, I've 'traveled' from London to New Orleans, to Nevada in the 1800s, Middle Tennessee and surrounds and have several more 'journeys' ahead. I am really enjoying these rainy days since they afford a lot of reading time when we can't get out in the yard for long overdue mowing and pruning.

"Summer is acomin' in..." with some hesitation, it seems, this year. The 'scattered afternoon thunderstorms' have kept the temps below 90 most of the time, even though the humidity has exceeded that mark almost daily. We have not yet relented to turn on the air-conditioning, so everything inside and out is pretty soggy. The breezes are much too nice to close off, so our doors stay open until bedtime every day. One nice thing about all this rain is that the dust gets washed off our vehicles almost daily. Yes, we do get an accumulation of dust - in between showers.

Our clubs and organizations are winding down for the season to recess until September when they start up again. Two really nice luncheons have ended the year for two groups - one an elegantly catered affair, the other a potluck where each member tries to out-do the other with a delectable offering. It's a real challenge for me to be interested in fixing a 'nice' supper for hubby, when I've already had a terrific meal at noon.

My calendar looks strangely blank for the rest of May and for June. I'm sure things will come up and keep me busy, but it's rather nice to be under-whelmed with activities.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


In a novel or movie, no matter how complicated the plot becomes, the author or director always manages to untangle the webs and smooth out the bumps and lumps for a reasonably happy ending. LIFE, however, is not always that way.

I have stewed and fretted until I was even dreaming about the dilemma we faced, and nothing helped. No simple solution, no 'happy ending' either.

The long wished-for Clones haven't been devised yet, so when the situation developed requiring our presence in two different places at the same identical time - one close by, the other about a 40-minute drive away - there was no way to choose. Both graduations were equally important to us and to our family groups. Oh Woe.

I have grieved over missing both of the grandsons' graduation ceremonies and maybe someday I'll "get over it". But it's still too raw a hurt now. Missing not only the actual being there for them (and for me), but the related celebrations that followed.

So, as they say, Life goes on.... But I still keep wishing there had been some simple solution to the problem.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Yesterday dawned wet and dreary, but it turned out to be a lovely day after all.

As we approached the parking area of our church yesterday morning, we found congregation members standing outside, milling around looking perplexed. We were directed to 'keep moving' and we did, finding a parking slot out of the way but where we could watch and see what was happening. Seems smoke had been detected in the kitchen, and the fire department was on the way. We are all grateful for our excellent crews on the CFD, who came, saw and conquered whatever the problem was, in short order.

In our Sunday School class, each member stated the name of his or her mother - all deceased now. Our #2 daughter visited the class (so Her mother is still very much alive!) #3 son stopped in to say 'hello' and that his family would be bringing lunch to our house after church. What Fun!

Nine of us enjoyed the 'new' baked KFC and the rest of the goodies that go with the chicken. It was quite good, but not at all like the usual KFC with all the heavy crusts and calories.

Later in the afternoon our #1 son and his wife, and Lucy - their beautiful dog, came bringing goodies and a pretty pot plant.. Goodies included three kinds of cooked sushi, which we had not tried before. We enjoyed the fun and fellowship as well as the 'snacks'.

#1 Daughter called long distance to add her family's good wishes while we were 'snacking'.

Later, our #2 son poppled in for a very brief visit, bringing two 'meals-to-go' for later enjoyment.

Hubby and I were both tired from all the day's excitement, so we had a late light upper and called it a day.

All of these pleasant visits and family time made the rainy cool day a really nice one after all.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Rollercoaster- again

Not only the weather has been Up and Down (aka Wet and Dry), but emotions have run the gamut this past week, with the proposed non-resident library card fee. Discussions and arguments, statistics and traditions have mixed with rational thinking with no real conclusion drawn yet. Hopefully, Reason in the form of Compromise will prevail in the end. We'll see.

I happened upon a book in the Book Store that caught my eye, and captured my imagination for several reading days. Marc Levy, a French author, has a 'first novel' out that became a best-seller in France, with rights sold in twenty-eight countries. "If Only It Were True" is a charming story that begs to be read. The 'hero' Arthur is the only one who can see and hear the 'stranger' who shows up in his apartment. Her body is comatose in the local hospital, but her soul can appear and disappear at will. The dilemma is intriguing and the narrative keeps the pages turning until the last one. Even if one doesn't subscribe to this kind of fiction, it is a truly fascinating story.

Another good 'find' at the Book Store is a paperback by a new-to-me author. I wish I could find more by the same writer - but the Library has none listed in the catalog. I will have to wait and watch for more in the form of donations to the Book Store.

May is a full and busy month for our large family, with three graduations and five birthdays and one wedding anniversary to celebrate. Today (May 8th) is both - a graduation and a birthday. The next two graduations fall on the same day, same time, different schools, different locations for two grandsons. The other birthdays are spread across the calendar. In addition to all this, are the end-of-the-year Club activities, with meetings and luncheons.

And the grass keeps growing, but it's too wet to cut. We'll probably wish for some of this over-abundance of rain later in the summer when we don't get any.

Friday, May 1, 2009

May First

The first weekend of May holds many promises, meanings and opportunities depending on what your schedule allows. So many activities available for participation - the Music Fest on the river, parties and festivals, Fair on the Square... on and on. And always the promise (threat) of rain. It wouldn't be May without a mire of mud for those folks who go to the park along the River.

The rain held off, thank goodness, for the ladies of the club on Tuesday. They were able to come, enjoy and depart without a drop of 'interference' from the sky. I was so relieved! Our special guest speaker was a rep from Memphis in May, who opened a whole new world for us in describing the country and customs of the "honored Country" for this year's festival. Chile (pronounced Chil a) is not a familiar country for most of us, and we all learned a lot from our delightful speaker.

The school year is winding down fast with graduation ceremonies scheduled all over the month of May all over the area. The seniors, high school and college, are counting the days until "it" happens... that magical event that marks the transition from one world into another, be it college or 'the real world'. I remember my own high school graduation with mixed emotions still (and yes, I can remember that far back... !). Sadness over leaving the well-known and very comfortable small-town world where everyone knew everyone else and cared about them, and excitement over going forward into the 'unknown'. I think I was not the only graduate who shed a few tears that week.

Looking back, I wonder if it were to be 'done over' would anything change? Probably not. The fun and excitement of 'being a senior' was enough to carry us all through the month of May that year. The Senior Play, the Senior Prom, graduation parties given by various parents for various groups, and then the actual Baccalaureate Service and the Commencement ceremony. Awards were announced at graduation in those days, and we all held our breath waiting to see who received what honor, scholarship, award or whatever. Then the diploma scrolls were handed out... and the recessional accomplished to the cheers of the seniors and the audience alike.

All five of our children graduated from the same school that I did, and each year the classes got bigger and bigger - growing as the town population expanded. By the time our granddaughter reached that pinnacle, the Commencement Exercises were held at the convention center in Memphis. The classes had outgrown any facility in our town. I think some of our old 'magic' got lost in the shuffle, too.