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.