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Friday, September 28, 2012

High Anxiety

The movie, High Anxiety, from Mel Brooks is not one I have ever seen.  As much of a fan as I am of Brooks' sense of humor you would think I would have watched this bit of silliness.  A tongue in cheek salute to Alfred Hitchcock, another of my favorites.

Maybe that is what I need to do is have a silly movie marathon.  Something to get me into a positive frame of mind for the upcoming season of holidays and celebrations.  There has been enough of the negative energy with all the political ads.  I had avoided most of the ads by not watching news stations of national media like the alphabet networks.

But as the presidential election approaches even the "cablenets" like USA have become infected.  I even had to endure a sort of political ad on youtube.  To quote Charlie Brown, "aaaarrrrrggggghhhhh!".  So now it is time to watch Netflix, Redbox, anything that the politicians and PACs cannot get their greedy hands on to ruin my escapism.

So do not be asking me about:  current events; the status of the role of women in anything;  the state of the economy;  whether it is ok with me if you buy a gun, suv or oil futures;  or how much I weigh.  You may ask after my husband's health, my lovely son or grandsons, even my sisters' kids and grandkids.  Cause I prefer my "I got nothing" attitude to an incident of high anxiety!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Beautiful Rain

It was quite another stormy night last night!  The lightning was so close there was not distinguishable time between the light display and the clap of thunder.  It was more like a loud crack from the atmosphere being split by the power discharge.  I was calm.

When we lived at 102 in Aurora our home was hit by lightning about 7 times.  Mostly we lost doorbells, light bulbs, and minor stuff.  Once it came through the power and phone lines taking out the phone in the kitchen.  It also melted the "mend" in a lamp cord that fell onto a pillow and caused a small fire.  I can show you the damage on one of my living room tables.  A trip to the neighbors and a call to the fire department made for excitement that long ago afternoon.

Of course the time it hit Gene's amateur radio antenna, instantly vaporizing it, was the most damaging of all the hits.  One end of the antenna was tied to a huge blue spruce next to our home.  The lightning did as God designed it to do and sought ground.

The path of choice for the discharge was from the tree to a thermometer probe hanging out a window.  The window had a metal strap that pleased the electrical charge.  So then the charge found the metal air conditioning vent system for the house.  The way it found the venting system was by crashing through the pine paneling.  This left about a 2 ft. hole in the wall along with missing siding on the outside of the house. source of lightning image
Do you know that the charge of lighting can go through an entire house really fast?  Split second comes to mind.  Besides the hole in the wall, 2 TVs, a couple of pieces of ham gear, more light bulbs, miscellaneous small appliances, another doorbell chime and some carpeting was damaged.  One place next to a vent outlet in the kitchen blasted part of the sub floor apart as the charge found a metal pipe.  Next to the front door a scorch line from the vent to the metal frame led back outside to a downspout and more ground.

The TVs were unplugged but the charge in the house took out the electronics in the sets.  And Gene was just a half step from being in the room with the charge when the wall blew apart.  It was the middle of the night.  We lost all power in the house and the house smelled of smoke.  So a call to the fire department but only after Gene got dressed as he had to awake the neighbors to use their phone.  Another exciting time.

There was no fire found anywhere.  Firemen crawled through the attic and house crawlspace.  They got the power on so I cooked breakfast for the firemen.  There was a strange smell in the house for a while.  Gene said it was the smell of ozone caused by the lightning.

One of the best things about living here at 3871 is that the power lines are underground.  And Gene's amateur radio antenna is not strung in the open for 150 feet, like a lightning rod.  So after years of no longer living at 102, I have adjusted to lightning storms.  I do not need a tranquilizer after looking at the radar.  I can just enjoy the beautiful rain. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Shredding the Years

At this point in my life with a husband, adult man-child, grandsons, nonagenarian mom and mom in law I have a lot of junk.  Today in searching for an account password I managed to de-junk another drawer and box.  And at the same time relive some good memories.

The result of the de-junking was a couple of 30 gallon bags of shredded documents.  It really does not take a terribly long time to shred 5 or 6 years worth of my life as contained in documents.  Why did we have 3 and four copies of the same property assessment?  But I still could not bring myself to shred the mortgage on the first house we built in Texas.

I teared up a little when I found vet visit paperwork for Cinders and Samantha.  Cinders being our last cat and Sam was our beloved golden retriever "forced" on us by my son when he left home.  Sam was his dog.  Sam and I spent many a day in the back yard here at 3871.  Gene worked weekends and nights so Sam and Charlie, our 15 year old cat before Cinders, were my companions.  Charlie slept on me at night and any time I was sitting.  He would awake me preening my hair and sometimes my eyebrows.  Yep, I miss my animals.

Of course, all the paperwork traced hospital stays for Gene, counseling sessions and pain therapy for me.  I am pretty sure that none of our insurance companies have ever made a single penny off of us.  Well, at least that would be my impression looking at all those bills from St. John's and Cox.  Remind me to never complain about insurance in the future.

On this cloudy, raining on and off fall day, it was time to clear out unnecessary documents.  Though the documents are now cross shredded and in the compost pile, the memories are freshened in my mind.  Memories of furry companions, memories of healers and healing services also known as doctors, hospitals and clinics.

There in the 2002 tax folder were the last 2 pay stubs from Advanced Circuitry, aka Litton, aka Northrop Grumman.  One for me and one for Gene.  It has been 10 years.  It seems like forever and yet just yesterday at the same time.  Tonight it feels our lives passed so quickly.  As if we were not living them but shredding the years.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Greasers and Crust

As some who visit my blog know it's pie season at Wesley UMC.  Tonight saw a change in the apple quality resulting in better yields.  Hoping to make up the short falls of the last few sessions!  I actually was able to bring home my order tonight the yields were so good.

Tonight the challenge of pies was the crust.  On Friday mornings 7 to 10 people, mostly women, gather to assemble the dry ingredients for pie crust dough.  I failed to notice the flour cup was being evened off with a hand instead of just being shaken level.  So the crusts were being thin at times causing us to have to "borrow" from a second dough ball when rolling crust.  Lesson learned!

Usually on Friday dough day I choose to be a greaser.  That is the person that scoops a rounded cup of Crisco into the one cup measure.  My preferred method is to wear gloves and just scoop the grease out of the 3 lb. can into my personal Tupperware one cup measure.  Then I round off the top of the cup for the extra 2 TBS to make the perfect dough for crust.

The number of pies we will be making determines how many sacks of dry ingredients are mixed together.  Last Friday we made about 92 sacks of crust.  That is enough crust for about 184 double crust pies.  So I scooped, filled and removed from the measure 92 cups of Crisco.  At 65, I am a Crusty old Greaser!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Birthdays and Buds

Today I joined two friends for a lunch to celebrate a birthday.  The Aviary Cafe and Creperie had the privilege of hosting us gals as we pleasured our pallets.  Paninis with different fillings were chosen by us three.  Soup for one and salads for the other two completed the first course.  The thin two some at the next table split their lunch.  Not us!  I licked the crumbs from my plate and drank the salad dressing in the bottom of the bowl.  My friends did not completely clean their plates as they have more class than I.
View of unique atmosphere of Aviary Cafe.

And of course there must be sweet goodies to polish off the meal.  Mickey chose a salted caramel crepe.  I had the peaches and cream crepe.  Yum!  Bernie, the birthday celebrant sampled each.  Then we walked up the street to a cup cake shop for her choice of chocolate.

The next natural thing for three amigos to do is work off the calories shopping!  It was disappointing to find the shops in the area of the cafe closed on Mondays.  So window shopping saved a few coins.

A few years ago Gene & I briefly considered selling our house and moving into a loft in downtown Springfield.  I could see it still being fun but the clock is ticking on our time of independent living...  So for now I will continue to enjoy birthdays and buds.

Entrance off Jefferson to the Marquette Hotel turned cafe, retail and loft apartments.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Am I Hacked?

Not sure if my blog has been hacked but think it has as I keep getting a "You have logged out from another location.  Do you want to log in again?  I keep just closing the pop up window.  Deep long breath.  I do not get the whole mean thing of hacking.  I dislike the evil in people.  There is so much that can come from good, why be evil?  Just saying I am hacked at hackers.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


So target date has arrived!  My church women's circle met at my home today.  So all the focus of cleaning has been getting the house clean for me and visitor ready.  Mission accomplished before the guests were ringing the doorbell for a change.  Even took time to drag out some of the fall decorations for the house and yard.

And food for snacks for the 12 or so ladies was important, also.  I had found 2 mixes while shopping in the rain last weekend.  One was a strawberry fluffy dessert dip.  The other was a chicken salad.  Lots of good reviews from the ladies.  I just followed the directions so the credit goes to the manufacturers.

We celebrated one of our members 90th birthday.  This lady is one wonderful person to all of us "girls" as well as anyone she sees in need.  She lives alone and loves to cook.  If you are one of her fortunate neighbors, you get to be her guinea pig for recipes!  Sometimes she tries one out and will call one of us to share!  She still is driving her '94 Lincoln Town Car and does some of her own yard work.  Quite the gal.

But back to the whole getting the house back together for today.  It is my habit to leave the bath counters and stools to the morning of visitors.  That just assures no surprise marks on the seat, what can I say.  Anyway, this morning I was on target for cleaning the baths.  I had it all done and was washing my hands.  Pulled the little thingie to open and close the stopper and the thingie pulled out of the faucet.

After this year of what else is going to happen with the house, I used an expletive and then began just laughing.  Really!  Something else that has broken.  Well, after this summer I can say I am Handywoman and will not be beaten by a simple thingie.  I grabbed my now favorite short shank, big handle, flat head screwdriver and returned to the bathroom.

Gene returned from breakfast with a friend to find nothing except butt and legs hanging out of the bath cabinet.  From beneath the sink I told him what had happened.  He responded with, "really".

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pirate Talk Day

I have almost totally missed this day.  Aaaaaarrrrrrggggg, me hardy.  May the winds fill your sails and your rum last the voyage!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


If you have been following this blog, you will know that I belong to a group of women that focus on mission.  Mission can take the form of helping the next door neighbor or our neighbors across the world.  In order to fund the monetary commitment to missions the group makes and sells apple pies.  This time of year when apples are harvested is when the pies are made.

Tonight as the group of women and men were peeling apples the conversations were enjoyable.  The process of peeling, cleaning bruised areas and slicing apples is not a high thought process.  There is time for talking and visiting with the other workers.  Getting to know folks that I have worked with on other projects is fun.  There is always the "what kind of work a person does or did" conversations.  Do you have a family?  How many kids if any?  Are you native to Springfield or Missouri?

Answers to these queries let me see into the person's life.  Areas where our lives run parallel or areas that were vastly different.  Knowing more about the faces I see in church and around town.  The group is mixed in ages.  Younger folks that are still out there fighting the good fight each day.  Older folks that are fighting the bodies that are not always as cooperative as we might like.

Getting to show an adolescent a trick about rolling pie dough.  Or possibly learning a new trick from that same adolescent is a bonus for this senior citizen.  And possibly at the same apple peeling table may be the person we are showering with birthday cards for her 90th birthday.  I like to call the mixture of generations working together cross-generational pollination.

Pie making and making new acquaintances is what is going on in my life.  So, person visiting my blog, "What'sup?"

Saturday, September 15, 2012


As the craziness of the last few months settled down I came across an old hummingbird feeder.  Gene found the concentrate to fill the bottle.  This first attempt was on older bottle that cracked spilling all the fake nectar on the patio.  After locating the newer feeder, we set up a single feeding center for one of our favorite aviary friends and awaited the hummers.  And they came one and two at a time.

At least one ruby throated hummingbird is a bit of a bully.  There seems to be one in every crowd these days.  These ruby males delight in chasing any and all other hummers away from the nectar prize.  Yesterday two of the rubys were chasing each other.  A smaller hummer, possibly female ruby,  frequents the feeder when the bully is elsewhere.  We have delighted in watching the hummer's little tongues extracting the sweet, red juice from the feeder.  Well, at least we have enjoyed till the male ruby bully returns.

It is craft fair season in the Ozarks.  Along with craft fairs, fall has brought a change in the weather pattern and temperatures.  It has begun to rain every few days.  This was one of the every few days.  Not buckets of rain, just a slow gentle rain that can soak you through to the bone if you are without a coat or umbrella.

Today's excitement was to join two friends for a trek to the crafts fair in Branson.  We planned to meet at 8:30 AM in a parking lot across town.  I was up early eating a bowl of oatie oats, drinking coffee and watching the hummingbird feeder.  To my surprise and pleasure 2 tiny hummers came to rest on the feeder.

This extra crisp morning there was no bully in sight, just the two drenched, shivering hummers resting on the feeder.  They appeared to be hunkered down to get warmer.  They sat there through about half of my breakfast.  I rose to retrieved my cell phone to take a picture and one hummer flew away.  I returned from the other end of the house with the camera phone.  That is when the last of the two hummers took flight.

We three ladies made it to Branson.  The ads had said there were over 100 vendors for the craft fair.  Well, that was not the reality.  One large tent was full of vendors, probably 20 vendors.  An additional 10 or so individual tents and about the same number of food vendors were all we found.

I had a rain jacket with a hoodie and an umbrella.  Kathy had a broken umbrella.  Devon had a jacket, no hoodie.  We took ourselves back to the car after a trip around the tents and a couple of shops.  No, thanks, to all offers of food in the rain.  We motored over the Grand Village shops.  It was dry inside the stores but plenty wet between them.  A nice lunch and a couple more shops and it was time to head to the car.

Kathy had given up on the umbrella and was pretty soaked from head to toe.  Devon's jacket was soaked as was mine.  Anything not covered by a jacket was wet.  We were all hunkered down as we made our way to the car.  We got into Devon's red car and took flight just like the little hummingbirds.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Not Much Tonight

Fridays this time of year are for making a dry mixture for pie dough for apple pies.  That lasts for only a couple of hours when there are plenty of workers.  There were plenty of workers this morning but we ran out of Crisco.  Lucky we had some dry mixture left from Tuesday night.

Came home with energy to get more done.  Not not more dough for pies but more cleaning.  So my knee was up for some laundry, washing windows and screens.  Before installing the screens might as well polish the wood trim.  And that one last blind in the guest room could use a washing.  Done and crossed off the list.

Off to the doctor to have Gene's INR checked.  Doc gives a thumbs up and a prescription for knee high compression hose to help the swelling.  Doc seems pretty sure the right ankle is probably where the clot originated.  There is a lot of varicose veins in that area of Gene's leg.  TMI......

Aldi still has those tasty black grapes at a good price.  So we stopped to restock grapes and a few other items.  Grabbed a burger deal at Burger King and headed home.  Now it has been recliner time for me for a couple of hours.

This has to be the most boring blog in the cloud.  Oh, well, I warned you, not much tonight!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Clematis and Faith

Yesterday afternoon I finally hit the wall.  You all know the wall that says, "That's all the energy you have for now".  I had grazed against the wall a couple of times lately but yesterday was "the one".  It was time to stop and rest.  A simple dinner of pizza and salad was followed by recliner time.

In 2006 I purchased a "Nelly Moser" clematis only after asking God to help me with this plant.  I promised God that I would never buy another clematis if this one did not make it.  I had purchased, planted and killed a couple of dozen clematis over the years of gardening.  One Jackmanii has struggled to survive through the years.  It never has flourished like so many I see around town.  So I took Nelly Moser home and planted her next to the arch Gene had given me for our 30 something anniversary a few years earlier.

This has been a good yet challenging year that began with a quick move of Edna into the skilled nursing facility.  Her remaining belongings had to be removed quickly to avoid double costs for housing.  Knee surgery for me, the loss of two aunts while I was in the hospital and recuperation filled the spring months.  Gene had his knee replaced following 2 weeks in Texas helping with the grandsons.  Of course there was the whole fireplace fiasco that started as simply replacing carpet.  Then the cleaning up after the work.  Everything pulled down, washed, polished and returned to a new location.

We had just about started to feel we had turned the corner when Gene started having chest pains.  Gene spent 5 days in the hospital returning home ten days ago.  The last of the polishing in the kitchen cabinet tops was done day before yesterday.  I polished the kitchen area blinds yesterday morning and hit the wall yesterday afternoon.  Curtains, books, blinds, you name it, I have polished it in the last few weeks.  And there is still more that could be done.  And the yard was needing to be mowed.  And there was "the wall".

Last night I fell asleep on the sofa, awoke in the wee hours of the morning, moved to pj's and our bed.  Gene met a friend for breakfast leaving me asleep.  He returned near noon finding me in pretty much the same position as when he left 3 hours earlier.  I sat up to eat some goodies he brought home along with a fresh cup of coffee.  Breakfast in bed.  Gene opened the window blinds and that is when I saw the single clematis bloom.

Yes, Nelly Moser had a single bloom looking back at me.    She has never bloomed this time of year.  I felt God was saying that all was okay.  That The Creator was watching over Gene and I.  That no matter how hot and dry the weather was, or how hectic and frightening life could be, God's love would surround us and Nelly Moser.  It is just that simple for me, a single bloom of clematis and faith.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What's for Supper

We do not keep very much "fresh" meat at our home.  We do have frozen meats, chicken and fish.  In order to have something at "supper time" I have to ask myself what's for supper early in the day.  Sometimes the question pops in my head even before I have breakfast.  I think that is a bit obsessive, all that thinking about food.  So excuse me a moment while I go get a snack.  I need nourishment to  consider what's for supper that can be cooked from frozen as I waited too long to get something out to thaw.

Monday, September 10, 2012

She Is Up a Ladder

Sunday was the first apple pie day.  And we were still drumming up help and orders.  So arrive at church at 7:45 AM, set up booth, grab coffee and donut hole and visit with folks.  Listen to visiting minister.   Close booth, change shoes and begin helping with pie making.  Finish dish washing at 4:30 PM, grab pie crust trimmings, pick up 3 pies for a friend and head for home.  I am ready to get cooled down and put my feet up for a bit.  

Bless my husband's heart.  He had dinner started and a smile on his face.  That is a good sight, the smile and Gene cooking.  He had even cut up the watermelon I had forgotten was in the refrigerator.  
You might ask how did I forgot the large object on the bottom shelf of the fridge?  I do not know how I missed the melon.  I have been slightly distracted, I guess.  Anyway, chunks of melon did the job of cooling me down several degrees.

So Monday morning arrives and I announce I want to be a bum all day.  Funny thing that getting my right knee fixed.  It helped my left knee but the left foot is still being cranky if I stand or walk for long periods of time.  Oh, well.  I finally did get energetic enough to make more progress on the kitchen cabinet project.  I am almost to the end of cleaning the tops when the silly phone rings ... again.  I do not think I will ever get this done with all the calls so I yell down to Gene to get the phone as I am up a ladder.

We were to go visiting for the church this evening  As soon as I finished the cleaning of the cabinet tops I had to get cleaned up and dressed.  I was just gathering up my purse to leave around 4:25 PM when the phone rang.  Gene tells me it is probably the lady that called earlier.  I say hello and the nice voice on the phone says, "Are you off the ladder?"  

Seems Gene had told this total stranger I could not come to the phone because I was up a ladder which was accurate.  This response was ever so much better than what he usually does.  Friends are told all the gory details of exactly what I am doing.  Or worse, he brings the phone to me while I am in the shower, on the stool or brushing me teeth.  I have mastered the mute button so I can flush .....

This nice lady, who works with corporate sponsors for public television, said it was a first for her.  Never in all her calling had she ever been told someone was up and ladder as a reason to not come to the phone.  "She is up a ladder".  At least he did not attempt a funny by saying Up a Ladder Without a Tree.      

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Crazy Daze

WOW!  What a crazy day after a wild, roller coaster of a week.  I decided to call my mother early this morning so she would not call and awaken Gene.  While he is doing well, his stamina was already not up to par following the knee surgery.  Then the latest round in the hospital has left him with a little less stamina.  So, I called my mom and pulled weeds while visiting with her and letting Gene get some sleep and quite time.

I took time to, also, survey all the toppled stuff in the yard.  A tomato cage with no wires in the ground was all the way across the yard.  My tin frog that guards the pond was toppled along with an armillary globe.  The little hummingbird plants that were climbing the armillary were broken from their roots.  And the top to one of the fake mushrooms was nowhere to be found.  Not even in the neighbors yard but there was the front cover of a thermometer or clock in his back yard.

So today's goal for me was to get the tops of the kitchen cabinet stuff washed, reline the tops of the cabinets with aluminum foil and put everything back in place.  This is usually about a 6 hour job.  Gene was going to copy a DVD and finish modifying Edna's little desk to accommodate my computer, a digital sketch pad and various other digital devices.

It is now 9:30 PM.  I managed to get most the stuff down from the cabinet tops and washed.  The old foil is off and about 2/3 of the cabinets are cleaned on top.  It seemed every time I climbed onto the cabinet tops the phone rang.  And each call required either decisions, actions and/or follow up calls.

Gene made great progress on the desk by relocating the back covers.  There were loose joints and drawer glides he glued and clamped.  He made a perfect slot for wires to feed to the power strip outlet.  The desk is all back together and ready for the next digital project!  Thanks to my wonderful helpmate.

The DVD is an entirely different story.  I had tried in vain earlier this week to copy the DVD for use at church.  Today Gene tried about 4 different configurations of DVD to DVR using  monitors, TVs and a gazillion different wires.  We even attempted to play on my computer and my system was not outputting a video feed or something.  Of course the frustration level was mounting.  During this saga 3 different people rang the doorbell needing help.  And I finally quit counting the phone calls.  At 7 PM we threw in the towel.  No copy of the DVD.

Time to eat the last of the goodies my sorority sisters brought.  The kitchen cabinet and eating bar was covered with all the cleaned stuff from the cabinet tops.  Fine, plate the food out of the bowls, heat in microwave and eat at the recently reassembled dining table.  Flip the light switch and the light burns out.  I was about 2 miles past my wits end by now.  I teared up over the stupid light burning out.

So if things have been so tough, why take time to blog.  Because I stopped long enough tonight to admit how really frightening this last week has been.  And I really will be lost when the time comes that something happens to my husband.  I have been in a daze all week and putting these feelings in writing seem to make them more manageable.  So here is hoping the crazy daze is behind me ... for now. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Windy Friday

Today started with a 10:00 AM visit with the family doctor.  Yes, we had to check on the INR and the prescribed dosage for the anti-coagulation drugs.  There is this thing that happens when one gets sick, seriously ill, one learns more medical terminology than an old mind can handle.  Pulmonary embolism (PE), pleural effusion, low molecular weight heparin (LMWH), reaching therapeutic levels, sonogram, CT scan, VU with a gamma camera.  Then there is subcutaneous administration of the LMWH, thoracotomy with hemothorax, inferior vena cava, Greenfield filter, reversible vena cava filter, ad infinitum.
But,then back on planet reality, there are, also, the more mundane things that must be checked.  Like, "have your bowels moved?"  Most everyone gets that medical term.  And if the bowels have not moved we then have an entirely different level of conversation from the medical terms.  Stuff like stool softeners and homemade concoctions of prune juice, coffee and apple juice.  And there are cheers when the concoctions are "successful".  Not sure why dimensions, color, etc are necessary but they are always provided.  Everybody say eeeewwwwuuuu.

If you have been visiting my blog over the last few months, you might recall my mother in law considered me windy.  Not for the conditions in the last paragraph but because I talked more than her family did.  Guess I write more than her family did, too.

Today a cold front passed across the Midwestern states.  The temperature dropped from 90 degrees to 70 degrees in less than half an hour.  The accompanying winds caused some damage in the surrounding areas.  We were fortunate, no downed limbs, no water in the fireplace, just a late afternoon windy Friday.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Birthdays and Home

September 4, 1940, Miller, MO, was pretty special for our family.  Gene was born to Carl and Edna Adcock.  Actually delivered by Edith Adcock, Carl's mom.  Now let's stop and think about this.  Seventy two years ago my husband was born at home without a doctor attending the event.  Ouch is my first thought.

Another Mantooth relative in early 1950's with no running water and no electric lights.
Both my older sisters were born at home.  Dr. Mantooth, a cousin, delivered Suzie, my sis that was born in 1940, also.  Not sure if Dr. Mantooth was present when Momma delivered Margaret at home in 1936.   No pain killers either.  There are many women now that prefer the natural method.  I am pleased for them to have that option and pleased I took a different approach.

While reading a blog recently it was stated that at the turn of the 20th century, 1800's to 1900's, over 43% of a persons income was spent to purchase food.  The blogger then went on to say that did not leave much money for utilities and gas for the car . . . . .  This statement concerned me as to the lack of historical reality.

Most homes had no utility bills as we know them now.  The nights were lit by kerosene, gas or oils lamps or candles.  Firewood and coal were still the mainstays with some heating oil for cooking and heating homes and businesses.  Yes, these items cost money but unless you lived in a city or town there was not much in the way of a "utility" company.

My family drew water from an underground cistern that held rain water that came off our roof.  The same roof cats sat on and licked themselves.  That birds splattered as they do our freshly washed cars.  In the dry summer months that cistern would be dry till we called the water truck for a fill up.  There was no bottled water to quench our thirst.  It was 1961 before I lived in a house with indoor plumbing.  Wind power was used by some folks to pump water up from underground springs and aquifers.  Or hand pumps were used if there were pipes into the houses.

Waxahachie, TX, gin, with mules outnumbering autos! 
And how had the blogger gotten the idea that every one had a car.... that needed gas.  Mules and horses pulling wagons or buggies were still pretty plentiful into the 1930's.  Distance travel was accomplished by  trains by land and ships for oversea travel well into the mid century.

Alabama cotton gin, 1937.  No autos in sight!

Have we as parents and grandparents failed our children and grandchildren in this matter?  Have we failed by not teaching them how recently our nation had developed little more than a second or third world nation at the end of the 19th century?  That modern conveniences at one time were steam machines, not remote controls?  Do we have "teaching to the test" to thank for this missing history lessons?  I will accept my part in this misconception.

But for today, for this 72 birthday for Gene we will not be having all the neighbors in for the jump house we are not going to rent.  We will not fly all the family to the Bahamas for a few days.  We, just Gene and I, will cherish just having a comfortable home, having another birthday and praising God for all birthdays, home and of course Gene's Jeep.

Monday, September 3, 2012


About the most I ever thought of filters was when I smoked about a gazillion years ago.  Next was looking for the air conditioners filters for the uniquely sized air conditioning unit at 3871.  Well, and there was the brief period of filters on my sink and ice maker.

I have been filtering the news and ads for political stuff.  That has made for less stressful television viewing.  I was filtering outside noises so well at the hospital, I did not hear Gene trying to get my attention.  I do use paper coffee filters inside a metal coffee filter.

Greenfield filter.
Today was a look into Gene's abdomen to check on a Greenfield filter installed in 2007.  After the "event" that year the filter was installed as a precaution to catch clots that might form in his legs and travel to the lungs.  Well, it worked.  There was a clot caught in the filter.  The tiny pieces that made it to Gene's lungs came from that clot.  The tiny pieces were not of a life threatening size in the lungs.

So thanks to all the inventors that thought about filters more than I ever will.  I appreciate the good tasting water, coffee, filtered air and less noisy television.  But tonight I sit here thanking Dr. Lazar J. Greenfield, Mr. Garman Kimmel (an oil industry engineer) and one young motorcyclist.  Because of the death of the young motorcyclist, Dr. Greenfield began working toward a better way to prevent pulmonary embolism.  Working together Dr. Greenfield and Mr. Kimmel developed the Greenfield Filter.  For the entire story, visit

Gene still enjoying life because of Dr. Greenfield, Mr. Kimmel and a departed young man.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


My mom has become opposed to the space program.  "A rich man's toy" is her current assessment.  I do not argue with a brick wall whose name is Mary Helen, Mom.  I believe there are so many advancements in medicine, etc. have been gained through the space program.  You know like technology that has led to CT scans that help doctors know how to treat my husband.

Scans or at least the technology were used in the graphic arts circuit board applications.  That helped make my job easier and building circuit boards more efficient.  And scanned images of many of the old family photos playing on a digital frame has given my skeptic Mom hours of pleasure.

So as you scan this little blog, hope you take a minute to just be thankful for scientific advancements and the impact on your life.  Enjoy the celebration of labor in all its form tomorrow!!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Feeling Grateful and Weary

After several days of working to put our home back together as well as cleaning for spring 2001 (a few years late) our week ended with a bit of a shock.  Gene is once again hospitalized with blood clots.  While this condition has haunted our thoughts since the near fatal clots of 2007, we thought he was past any problems with the recent surgery.  We had been mistaken or overly confident.  At any rate, we are very grateful that God has spared Gene once again.

But after the last 36 hours of a roller coaster ride of whats wrong, how bad and is there extensive damage, I am weary.  I want to close tonight with simply praising God and drifting into a restful night's sleep.