Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Books = pleasure

I mentioned some of my choices at the Library last week. "Under the Cajun Moon" by Mindy Starns Clark turned out to be an intriguing story, full of different characters and locales but primarily set in the Cajun country area of Louisiana. Many twists and turns keep the pages turning, and sometimes confuse the reader. But it's a delightful novel by an author who's new to me.

Our Library has several copies of Clark's list of published novels, so I'll be looking in the C section of hard copies as well as paperbacks on my next trip to the Library. Clark has several 'series' books, so I'll be on the lookout for those, as well.

Linda Lael Miller's stories, all set in the West of our young country - late 1800s and early 1900s - are always fun for me. She relates the adventures and misadventures of various members of the same family in the books I brought home from the Book Store. It's interesting to see her character development and follow along as she gets the hero into and out of 'trouble'.

As the saying goes: "So many books, So little time." (So now I'm going back to the current novel to see how Gideon solves his several problems.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

EOM for April - almost

We're winding down fast now, and May will be here before we turn around good. As usual, Rain is predicted for the weekend, and I'm sure the Fair on the Square participants are holding their collective breaths about the event. I'm remembering that the Fair was almost rained out last year, but they struggled through the weekend anyway. It's always a disappointment when the crowds who come to browse and buy can't come because of the bad weather.

Last weekend's weather cancelled our plans to go to Holly Springs for the Genealogical Society meeting. The sky at 8 a.m. was as dark as it had been in the middle of the night...but loaded with rain, hail, thunder and lightning. Not a pleasant Saturday morning for a long drive in the country. Other members were able to get there for the meeting, including the speaker, who said he hated to back out after making a committment. I understand he had a very interesting program, and I'm sorry we missed it.

We didn't do much of anything Saturday but go from one window or door to another to watch the clouds or torrential rain. Our front yard was a literal lake for most of the day. 3 3/4 inches of rain will do that.... flood the area.

Sunday was nice - sunny and windy, and a little cooler. Elizabeth came to spend a couple of hours with us while her parents went to a movie. It had been a long long time since we had that kind of one-on-one visit, and we both enjoyed it a lot. We sat on the front porch for a while, until the rain came back. Our neighbor was out walking his dog, and he came over to visit for a little while. Now that it's getting to be nicer weather, I hope we'll see more of them. Winter keeps people holed up in their own homes much of the time when they're not off at work.

The women's club meeting in Germantown today was nice, and the lunch served by the hostesses was delicious. I drove today - first time to go that far, and I was quite tired when I got back home.

There's nothing else on my calendar for the last week of April, but May picks up with lots of things to do.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I won't be sharing any world-shaking "Thoughts" in this post, but I needed a title for it, and that's what popped into my head.

This is the time of year that goes by entirely too fast, and we wish we could capture the perfect weather somehow to save for later when it's too hot or too cold to suit our fancy. Wasn't it Chaucer who extolled the virtues of April? "Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote the droghte of March hath pierced to the roote." Canterbury Tales, (ca 1387) Old English is not one bit easier to read or understand now than it was when I was in high school. Do high school English students even read Chaucer any more?

A dear friend came over the other day, bringing lemonade and cranberry-orange muffins for us to enjoy as we sat on the front porch. Normally there would have been several trains to watch during the two hour visit... But that particular day the N-S railroad crews were replacing the crossings and train traffic was severely limited. We did not see a single train!

The day before that, with the crews working on the three railroad crossings to the west of us, the vehicular traffic on both sides of our street (North and South) was phenomenal. When you think "bumper to bumper"-- that's exactly the way it was that Thursday... cars and trucks seeking a way to get across the tracks going both ways. Fortunately we did not see or hear any Emergency Vehicles attempting to get to the other side of town during this day-long interruption of service.

My 'free' exercise privileges are almost used up at the local hospital wellness center. I've enjoyed being able to go whenever I could work it in to do some exercising on the arm-cycle and the NuStep machine. The center offers the same privilege for a small monthly fee, but for now I think I'll not sign up for that.

Yesterday I decided it was time to do some errands on my own, so I took off -- making stops at the Dollar Tree, the Library and Subway. I had parcels to bring in from each stop, so Alan helped me get in with my purchases, books and our Foot-Long Subway Sandwich (for lunch).
I never can finish my half of a foot-long, so I saved the rest of it for supper.

I was glad to find four books at the Library (3 from the Book Store, one to check out) that look interesting. It's been a while since I've read any of the Linda Lael Miller novels, so I'll be renewing old friendships, I'm sure. The 14-day Library book is set in New Orleans and Cajun Country so that one caught my eye immediately.

All that driving, starting and stopping, getting out and going in really was tiring, so I was glad to settle down with a good new book after lunch.

The club meets this afternoon. That is always a pleasant couple of hours spent with friends. Tomorrow I have to have my blood checked for the blood-thinner level, and since I'll be at the hospital anyway, I plan to stay and exercise for a while afterwards. Tomorrow afternoon the Board of Directors for the Cemetery will have our Annual Meeting. I hope we'll have a good turnout for that one. It's been a while since we met last time.

Then it's time again on Saturday to go to Holly Springs MS for the Genealogical Society meeting (and lunch at the cafe on the Square). Saturday's weather forecast is not good - thunderstorms and 'slight' chance for severe weather. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Saturday.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


The perfect spring days are passing too quickly now, and soon we will be wishing for these mild temperatures and gentle breezes again. The front porch beckons in the early afternoon, where we can relax and watch the workmen bringing the railroad up to tip-top condition. We're thankful for these dedicated people who maintain the Norfolk-Southern rail line so perfectly. Sometimes we're irritated when crossings are blocked for periods of time while the men and machines repair and replace rails, ties and asphalt. But when it's all done, it was worth the wait.

The Spring book sale was another successful venture for the Friends of the Library. Many sales of paperbacks, hard cover novels, magazines, VCRs and books on tape kept the cashiers busy on Thursday evening for the members pre-sale as well as Friday and Saturday. It was fun to help with the presale. In the cashier position, I was able to see just about everyone who came to the sale that evening. I visited again on Saturday and was amazed at how many empty spaces there were, where books had been stacked on Thursday. I found a couple of books to buy and enjoy. The donations made by community members made a successful sale possible.

We received the sad news on Friday that the husband of one of our Sunday School class members had died suddenly. He had been ill but no doctor was able to determine the cause.
And this morning, on Facebook, I learned of the death of one of our good friends... a member of the "Class of 1948"... I was completely shocked at this news since I did not know Richard had any health problems now. He was at Mayo Clinic, so arrangements are incomplete.

Our Sunday School Class is made up of about 50 friends who have been in this same class for many years. It's sad to look around and see how many have passed on just in the last two or three years. Others of us have had various health issues - surgeries, hip or knee replacements, back surgeries, and so forth. Our average age is probably in the high 70s or low 80s. One member, who still plays golf weekly, is 95 ! He is an exceptional man!

Friday, April 9, 2010

SPRING at last...

Easter was beautiful and wonderful. We attended the early service at church, followed by our Sunday School class where we had coffee and all kinds of goodies - our tradition for the first Sunday of each month.

The evening meal at Paul and Pam's was delicious - the ham was outstanding, and we were pleased to see most of the family there. Those away at college or working didn't make it, but others did and there was lots of love and laughter during the evening.

I actually walked down the hill to my friend's house on Tuesday afternoon and had a nice hour's visit with her. I had called first to be sure she was free, and would be able to drive me back home. I knew I would be too tired to make the return trip, uphill all the way.

The Friends of the Library meeting on Wednesday was brief this time, since so many of the Friends were involved in setting up for the Spring Used Book Sale. We had 27 members present just the same.

Thursday I finally got back to the Wellness Center to do some exercising on the equipment. It felt good to have a morning session. John and Debby came out during the middle of the day, and John cut down some stumps for us... the remains of bushes that Alan had removed with lobbers and bow saw earlier in the week. Those big bushes had been growing in that spot for about 40 years, with no rhyme nor reason. They were just there - more than 8 feet tall now and serving no purpose. John did a good job but it was hot in the middle of the day and he was quickly overheated.

Thursday evening I went to the Library to serve as cashier for the members only pre-sale at the book sale. I enjoyed every minute of the 3 hours I worked, getting to see folks I had not seen since last Fall and meeting new people too. The other cashier and I were busy most of the time with a steady stream of customers.

Paul came by today to finish cutting those stumps in the back yard. He drained the walking mower and dried the gas tank, which had water mixed in the old gas. When he got it all done and filled with new clean gas, he got it started. He proceeded to cut the scraggly part of the front yard that was beginning to look pretty messy. He also reinflated the flat tire on the riding mower, and Alan found that it will start and run after all. So all our moaning and groaning about having two mowers that didn't work was in vain. All it takes in someone who knows how to do what's necessary and just do it.

We are very blessed with children who do so much for us... each one, in his or her own way, is always doing good things for us.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


This has been a beautiful week with glorious weather. The redbuds are showing a lot of pink and the dogwoods are beginning to flower. All the flowering trees and bushes are in top form, and probably will last until the next rain - which is predicted for Saturday. We have had the doors open for several hours each day, and enjoyed sitting on the porch this afternoon. Listening to the birds and the wind chimes makes a pleasant outing.

Exercise this week has been a combination of going to the Wellness Center and doing some walking at home. Both ways are good, but I'm glad I'm able to schedule those 'free' sessions. I went to the center on Monday and again today. Yesterday's attempt was frustrating since the parking lot was completely full of cars. I never saw so many in the early afternoon! I gave up driving around hoping someone would leave, and went to the Library instead. It was a different kind of exercise - primarily walking - but I enjoyed visiting with the friend at the circulation desk as well as the two friends in the Book Store.

Today I went to the Center early ...about 9 a.m., and found a good spot for the car that wasn't too far away. They'll be closed tomorrow for Good Friday.

I guess exercising IS helping, since I have not been as tired this afternoon as I thought I would be. I was awake last night for about an hour and a half in the night, just laying there trying to get back to sleep, but with my head so full of 'things to worry about' that sleep didn't come.... until much later. It's futile to lay awake in the middle of the night worrying about things over which I have no control and can't do a thing about anyway, but I often do just that. There's almost always one more 'problem' to think (worry) about... and often more than one.

I think I have finally figured out the crochet stitch that I want to use on the little blanket project I'm doing. I had worked for several weeks on one piece, but I was not satisfied with the way it was coming together. SO I cut the yarn and started over with this 'new' stitch that I think is going to be what I was looking for in the first place. The other piece has been unravelled and is now ready to use again.

The family gathering for Easter supper will be at Paul and Pam's house, and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone together. They hosted the family's Christmas dinner, since I was just out of the hospital, and volunteered again for Easter. I would love to have everyone come here, but I'm still not quite ready to take on an endeavor of that size.