Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday and Not Much Else

This week has two projects that will take a little time in my unbusy life.  One is a commitment to the folks from our church who can no longer be "regulars".  These folks are either too infirm, too ill or too disabled to participate in worship, study or service.  It is sad for these folks as many were "mainstays" in the congregation.


While a card seems like so little we do get feedback how much the folks appreciate the cards.  What makes the cards even more meaningful is the designs are either pictures of groups at church or landscapes of our surrounding area.  The favorite designs, judging by the comments received by the church, are the cards made by our children.


Different Sunday School classes will make artwork or maybe the nursery will have an artwork project for the little ones.  If things get a little crazy, there are a couple of young artists that can be called for a special piece of work.  I like to think of this as cross generational pollination.  That is just one of the many things in life that make it worth the living.

The second project is being green and remaking use of a discarded or unused item.  So three of us Beta Sigma Phi sorority sisters are making pilgrim girls, native American girls and tiny fall bouquets on spoons.  Blue enamel spoons left over from a failed venture a few years ago.  Old construction paper, doilies, raffia, beads, tiny flowers and pumpkins have transformed the spoons.  One energetic lady did 40 of the fall bouquet spoons.  I am doing skirts and hats for the pilgrim girls.  The hat is a challenge.
Have not started the native American girls yet.  Need some braid for the hair.

It is amazing how calm it can be here when the folks in the northeast and Atlantic coast are in such misery.  May all the folks be held in the Creator's protection.  Oh, well, that is about it here at 3871 today.  It is Tuesday and not much else. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Spook Light!

The Spin Cycle is Halloween Show and Tell.  I am struggling with this as I do not film what we do but I may this week.  Until then we always have our very own Ozarks Spook Light.  It can be sighted near Seneca, MO.  One of our ministers at the Aurora church had grown up in Seneca and had seen the spook light several times.

Here is a little film telling some of the story.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tempus Fugit

Yesterday, today and tomorrow.  In an adult's life three days are not a lot of time.  Time is a matter of perspective according to our wise son, John Roger.  The feeling as a child that Christmas  "is so long away" is influenced by their age.  He points out that when a person has lived only 5 or 6 years one year is a fifth or sixth of their life.  For me it is an eleventh of my life.  No wonder it feels like I just put the Christmas decorations away!

Our son who managed to "turn out pretty darn good" in spite of my deranged mind.  The turning out good sounds like something that a person should say about a recipe, a project or anything other than the life of a human.  But I am always amazed when he shares with us his perspective of a situation.  Upon realizing I had failed to reserve the proper number of days at a resort this past summer, I began profusely apologizing for the error.  "Such a first world problem, Mom.  We have to settle for only 4 days & 3 nights at a resort overlooking a lake.  Think of the rest of the world." 

John Roger is our only child.  He is the namesake for our grandfathers and my maiden name.  We had planned to just call him Roger but he just never looked like just a "Roger".  And being in Texas half the population goes by both names.  As an adult man child we still call him John Roger.  We are not allowed to call him just John as his adult friends do.  "You are supposed to call me what you always have.  Its family and that is what we do."  Some things never get changed by time.

In 1968 we had been told we would probably never conceive a child.  What a joy to receive a call one December 23 that I was in fact "expecting". That phone call feels like it came just a few months ago.  That December was 39 years ago.  Almost 60 % of my life has passed since the wall phone rang in my black and white kitchen.  

Gene and I had been "expecting" for about two years by that time.  We had applied for an adoption through one of the unwed mothers institutions.  I had to quit work as part of our meeting the qualifications for adoption.  It was 1970 - 72 that we were in the process and time has changed the non working mom part of adoption.  All sorts of papers and references had to be provided and still do.  There were interviews both in San Antonio and in our home in Fairview, TX.  Once I had John Roger we were no longer eligible for a baby to be placed with us.  The babies were saved for childless couples.  A change of jobs left insufficient funding for adoption.

So much for long ago yesterdays .  This morning and part of the afternoon were spent by my steaming tablecloths for a mission group banquet at church.  Tomorrow will be a busy day running back and forth to three different appointments.  And in a short time it will be Christmas again.  Wonder how much time I will need to get the decorations up this year?  Tempus fugit!



And thanks to Stacy Uncorked's Spooky clock blog for the inspiration of time for today's blog!  See more of her posts on  http://stacysrandomthoughts.com/.

 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WW M

For the few friends I have this is not news, I am a deranged person.  It is, also, I am certain, why the friend list is pretty short.  But if you ever wish to check on this from a professional you can ask my son.  He has a masters degree in industrial psychology.  He had me do the ink blot test and other stuff during his years in grad school.  He had been given reasons repeatedly during his childhood to question my shall we call it sanity.

Our precious son preparing for a fishing adventure with his dad.
When our son was around ten years old he had gone into the bathroom.  I though it would be fun to pull a joke on him when he opened the door.  Being close to Halloween and my face having the profile of a witch, hooked nose and protruding chin, no makeup was needed.  Just a growl and a contorted face should do the trick.  Oh, and run my fingers through my hair.

John Roger opened the door to what he thought would be simply an empty hall.  Instead he was sent into the throes of terror by what greeted him.  He was horrified by my growling scowl with arms raised into the air stance.  My poor baby boy began crying and running for his life.  I did not give chase in character but I did go to console him.

All he could sob was, "Mom, you are supposed to protect me".  I was definitely WW M, world's worst mom.  Only long hugs, kisses and deep apologies finally calmed my sweet and tender little boy.  That incident was 29 years ago and I still have never fully forgiven myself.

Now when I get into the Halloween spirit, I tone down the facial expressions.  Some years, Gene and I will rig up a lighted pumpkin with some strings on our porch.  When we open the door for trick or treaters the pumpkin rises off the chair.  Other years we dress as scare crows and sit in the chair and love seat along with the other decorations.  With a mechanical bat making circles above the walk, the kids do not notice us as they are walking onto the dimly lit porch.  Well, not till we ask them what they are doing on our porch!  But after the experience with my son, I never use a gruff voice or completely surprise the kids.  We do not need any trampled parents suing us.

But let us allow you decide for yourself.  How would you feel if you walked out of the bathroom tonight and this is what greeted you?



Little wonder John Roger became a type of psychologist and checks all treats sent from me to his boys.....

Second Blooming

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Adaptations

There is not a lot to blog about today in my life.  As an aging baby boomer, I am finding life somewhat challenging.  Well, not really life but the living of life.  Specifically the challenge as I adapt to the limitations an aging body gives to its inhabitant.  So it is pretty funny to just sit back and think about the difference in Janice keeping house circa 1993 and now.

1993:
Gene worked 2 twelve hour days on the weekends and 3 eight hour nights during the week.  Crazy schedule that left me alone for 12 hours on my two days at home.  On Saturday I could vacuum, mop, dust, wash laundry and be done by mid day.  Head outside for mowing or other fun stuff I enjoyed like making garden beds.  Not really that hard as the house and yard are small and we are not particularly messy folks.  Besides I want to spend as much time with Gene as I can when he is home and not be cleaning house.

With our only child and all my relatives in another state, there were only Gene's folks to visit.  Oh, yes, there was Sam our golden that required an hour or so of grooming some weeks in the summer.  Windows were washed inside and out about once a month.  I washed the car after work on Fridays some weeks.  We even had Date Nights on Fridays by eating as a favorite place on the mall.  After the meal we checked out shops all over the mall.  Then we made our last stop for a cinnamon pretzel to take with for the ride home.

2012:
Gene does not work outside the home.  I do not work outside the home.  We are together 24 hours a day almost every day of the week.  We encourage each other to go to anything with our friends and even an occasional acquaintance.  We need some space as we have a small house and yard.


The repair job on my knee is just great.  It did not repair all the other parts of my body that I have abused throughout my life.  And even though the knee can almost keep up with the Energizer Bunny, my left foot, my right shoulder, a bunch of sagging internal organs and skeletal mutations leave me  hard pressed to perform simple tasks some days.  A couple of examples of adaptive task performance are pencil holding and vacuuming.

When a high pressure system is looming to the west of Southwest Missouri, picking up and holding a pencil can be an acrobatic act.  The initial pickup of the pencil goes fairly normal, especially if I have a little length on my fingernails.  But moving the pencil to a writing position is more like trying to twirl a baton.  Twirling a baton was another of the Texas 101 for females, so you would think no problem.

Pencils are considerably smaller than a baton.  My thumb joint is not where it was when I learned to twirl.  The thumb joint is sore and slightly swollen due to the High pressure system looming over Colorado.  I miss the critical move from fingertips to the thumb/finger grip.  The pencil flips, I grab and catch just enough to throw the dang thing half way across the room under the table.  Due to skeletal mutations reaching under the table is not a safe option.  Not to mention the sudden jerk to attempt to catch the pencil has set off the shoulder pain.  And Gene does not remember where he left the reacher thingie the last time he used it.

The pencil out of reach under the table brings me to the vacuum.  Since it now takes me at least 3 1/2 days to get the house vacuumed, mopped and dusted, the vacuum is almost always set aside in some room.  The vacuum is a built in system since the stand alone units are too heavy for my shoulder to manage pushing.  I drag the hose of the vacuum to the room where the pencil is glowering at me.  By placing an old knee high stocking over the end of the hose extension, I can now retrieve the pencil.  I go ahead and vacuum the area since the hose is already there.  And then try to remember why I needed the pencil.

As I warned in the beginning of the blog tonight, not much to blog about in my life.  Just a couple of today's adaptations.



 


Monday, October 22, 2012

Channel Flipping

borrowed Image courtesy zimbio.com.
Since my husband is a dyed in the wool St. Louis Cardinals fan, tonight is not the best of times.  Oh, well, it is just a game and there will be another year.  I have really enjoyed watching Yadier Molina this year.  His heart is always in the game!  And who can complain about this year's performance with first time general manager, Mike Matheny leading the team this deep into playoffs.  Yes, it has been a pretty good season, all and all.  Not perfect by any means but still a good run.

Richard Perry/The New York Times
Gene was in control of the remote so until the presidential candidate debate ended we were switching between, in my opinion, the bad and the ugly.  I am not a fan of the debates as by definition they are people arguing.  Limited information to help undecided persons make an informed decision.  Oh, well, obviously most folks just love a fight!  But the Cards do not seem to have any fight left in them tonight.

Gene has relinquished the remote.  Think that instead of flipping channels, I'll select the science channel special series I recorded earlier today.  I will just lose myself in the world of paleontology.  Dinosaurs are just the ticket to help me add some good to the bad and ugly earlier options during all the channel flipping.  

jurassicpark.wikia.com

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Stuff

I have probably written about this subject before but it is on my mind.  My day was occupied by a district meeting today.  At least four or five days over the last couple of weeks had portions devoted to gathering and producing various items for the event.  I was committed to run power point programs on one computer in the main room.  In the gym were two digital gadgets to be monitored.  A computer with a non looping dvd about a water filtration system was on one side of the gym.  Across the gym was another non looping dvd/TV setup.  I ran my 66 year old legs off moving between all this stuff.

The previous day those of us honored to be the local executive committee had spent several hours crisscrossing the gym, various rooms and gathering areas preparing for the event.  We gathered stuff from home, bought stuff, hunted stuff and made stuff.  Then we decided where we wanted to put the stuff for the meeting.  That was more walking with the stuff, arranging the stuff and standing while looking at the stuff.  Occasionally we would trip over some of the stuff on the floor that was still to be placed.

Do not ever forget the important food stuff for any meeting.  There is the prepare ahead stuff and the last minute stuff.  And every person walking in carrying something asks, "Where do you want me to put this stuff?"  Into the late hours of meeting prep it takes a strong person not to suggest where the person can stuff it.  "Oh, just put it over there with the stuff that is just like it" may creep out between clenched teeth surrounded by a fake smile.  By the way this clenched teeth smile is basic Texas 101 for any female worth her stuff.  My brain would probably be sending signals like, "does that person not have anything more than stuffing between their ears? ! ?"

Now understand that having the right stuff is incredibly important in this day and age.  Whether it is being a top gun in flying or the perfect form in diving, baking the perfect Martha stuff or presenting a program, the right stuff is the end all.  In thinking of our human history, we have apparently always liked stuff.  And sometimes we liked other person's stuff so much we went to war to get the stuff.

This human has spent a good portion of my life gathering up some pretty awesome stuff!  And it has been fun!  Not just the gathering of the stuff but the companionship of fellow stuff gatherers.  The new acquaintance, later to become best friend, was looking at some material stuff.  I bent over and split my pants diagonally from the waistband across the right bum to just below the side pocket.  My stuff was exposed to the world!  A plan was hatched!  I sat looking at patterns while she paid for her stuff.  Returning with her sizable bag of stuff, she walked beside me with the bag of stuff across my bum.

Know we were two young mothers with sitters for the day.  We lived about 35 miles away and it was not even lunch.  There was no way we were returning home so I could something I already had.  This was a golden opportunity for new stuff.  So we drove to the nearest clothing store.  Another bag covering bum, two girl shuffle took us into J C Penny where I purchased something to wear.  The clerk after we explained the situation, cut off the tags and I changed in the dressing room.  And leaving an amused sales staff behind we were off to gather more stuff.

I will leave the story of a mannequin, sweater sizes and another BFF looking for some good Christmas stuff for another day.  For tonight I am just glad the meeting was a success.  The folks liked my part of the program stuff.  All the cases, boxes and hangers of stuff are home.  Everything is out of sight.  The doors are locked.  Shades are pulled.  Cannot take a chance that someone sees my stuff.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Beauty in Rocks








For decades I have been fascinated by the beauty of rocks.  Not one to study in a formal way, my pleasure is a simple enjoyment of the shapes, textures and formations of the rock.  I have rocks formed by sand filling up shells that we picked up in Oregon in 1971.  These rocks are glued to a piece of flat driftwood picked up on the same beach.  They told me they needed to stay together.

Since that trip to Oregon rocks have been my souvenir of choice.  I have smooth rocks from the glacial residue of the Dakotas and Great Lakes regions.  Flat pieces of shale, granite chips and simple pebbles fill dishes and shelves inside my home.  There is the beautifully colored turquoise and deep rose rocks from outside Glacier National Park.  A ten inch one is on display on our hearth along with the heart shaped rock from the Grand Teton area.

Early spring, 2008





For 10 or 12 years as we worked on the backyard garden our Jeep trips were spent looking for flat rocks.  In this part of the world the earth grows rocks so most folks are pleased to have some of the "things" carried away. It was on one of these adventures we found the rock that is featured in our pond standing on edge.  It has a hole worn in the middle.  Mr. Hole Rock called my name as we drove down one of the dusty side roads on the way to the Adcock home place outside Miller.

May, 2012 with Mr. Hole Rock in pond.

Other special rocks are from family members who know my appreciation of them.  A large mollusk at the bottom of the sea that once covered Texas is now a rock firmly at home next to my garden pond.  Nearby is the petrified log excavated by Gene's Grandpa Harness somewhere in Kansas almost a century ago.  Gene's family home had several unique rocks that help form the boundary for the pond.  One is the backdrop for the small fountain in a corner of the yard.

Dry riverbed walkway, 2008 with monster rock near the upside down flower pot.
There are small rock walls holding back the soil from the walkways.  I remember the location where most of the rocks called to me.  One monster rock lives at the corner of a path cause that was as far as I could move it after digging it out of a would be flower bed.  Each rock seems to tell me where it will be happy.   Sometimes they get tired of one view and have to be moved.  I have a pile still deciding were to rest.

Not only do I like the look of rocks, I enjoy the sound of walking on pebbles and rocks.  One edge of the yard along the fence that leads to the front is a dry river bed type walkway.  Stepping stones surrounded by Alabama Starburst grace many of the small walks in the back yard.  Some areas are just the Starburst pebbles.  There is a beauty in the sound of walking on the sturdy little pebbles.

One Sunday a few years ago our minister mentioned that our attention could be caught by a simple thing.  And that thing may be sort of a connection to God.  On the way home my gaze was caught by a familiar rock outcropping.  My mind returned to the experience of visiting the Tetons.  The description of the formation of that area of earth had spoken to me.  The sense of a creation that was still being created, evolving and changing was palpable to me in the Tetons.


View of Snake River Valley from Signal Mt., Grand Tetons, 2008
For the first time I recognized why rocks are so special to me.  Why I was so moved by holding, touching and experiencing this hard substance.  This is the stuff of creation.  This is the stuff that was there in the beginning, at the big bang.  For me in that instance I realized that to touch a rock was to tough the face of The Creator.  To hold a rock was to hold The Creator's hand.  To stand on a rock was to be held in The Creator's embrace.  For me there is eternal beauty in rocks.



Second Blooming

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Not Tonight

After short drives on Thursday to Ash Grove, Friday to Willow Springs and Saturday to Mt. Vernon, you would think I would have a lot to write about tonight.  I covered Thursday and Friday in blogs.  Saturday was more about visiting with two friends than the crafts fair and it was fun to be with my dear friends.

Today was worship, a retirement party and laid back TV watching.  So there is no new insight to share, no new words of wisdom or quirky thing Gene or I have done.  If you came here looking for enlightenment, encouragement or laughter, well, all I can say is it is not here tonight.

I found this blog inspiring this evening:  http://suzicate.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/when-the-cairn-almost-topples/

Friday, October 12, 2012

Aux Arcs


The deep sound of thunder awoke us in the early hours of the morning.  But we just rolled over and returned to our old age sleep.  Eventually we did arise and prepare for a Jeep trip into the Ozark hills.  A Living Social deal or two were needing to be used.  Actually only one was on the verge of expiring and it was for three bottles of wine and a wine tasting.

A check into the website of the winery had shown it did not open until noon therefore our easy start to the morning.  We load ourselves along with a few pistachios nuts for munching into the Jeep for the 90 mile trip.  A Starbucks stop for a caffeine fix & scones for our tanks, a Murphy's gas stop for the Jeep tank and we were off on our little day trip.

Other than the overcast skies, the weather was delightful for a fall ride.  The leaves while not at peak certainly were eye candy for us after months of surgeries and recuperation.  Never mind that there may be more surgery in the near future, today was to be our day to enjoy fall.  We were not disappointed.

The drive to the winery was only a short distance off pavement.  A right turn onto a slightly winding gravel drive ended at Travers Home Winery.  We rang the doorbell and walked in as instructed on the sign.  A single room filled with wine making paraphernalia had the stage set for our tasting.  Mr. Jim Travers, who had just returned from a trip to Korea with his daughter, shared his wine and some of his life story.



We enjoyed the fruits of his family's labors sampling about 10 or 12 different wines.  All wines were grown in Missouri.  Two of the wines are made from just his grapes.  I am certain our wine connoisseur son could give all sorts of reviews.  Next time he is home you can call and talk to him for the connoisseur version.  Otherwise here is our assessment.  We came home with 6 different bottles, some sweet, some semi sweet and one that is "almost a port".  












For you folks here in the Springfield, MO, area the winery has tastings every other Friday at the new super market at Kansas and Battlefield.  Oh, you know the one!  If you wish to make the short trip to Willow Springs to the Travers Home Winery prepare to do the Aux Arcs Wine Road tour.  There are three wineries with in a 5 mile radius.  We already are thinking about who we will take with the next time we go down to Willow Springs.

So hope you have enjoyed our fall wine tasting tour here in the Ozarks.  Or as the French name for the region north of the northern most bend in the Arkansas River, Aux Arcs.


And just click this link for other bloggers Spin on Fall!

Second Blooming

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cool Autumn Days

Today was a busy day for me mainly because I have over committed myself for about the next 3 weeks.  Then I look at the calendar and realize this is probably not going to slow down until the first good snowfall causes meeting cancellations.  That will not happen for a while.

We replaced just about the last piece of the damage caused by the leaking fireplace.  The old fireplace screen had rusted beyond repair.  I mean literally the bottom edge was crumbling.  After several hours of surfing the net and visiting local fireplace supply companies I had found a unit to meet our needs and budget.  This screen was one of the search results on Amazon.com listed as "others from .."

We were really pleased to find the style and size the fits nicely with the design of the tile.  And what made it even better was we could buy it through a store in Ash Grove.  Yes, a store in Ash Grove is selling items on Amazon.  How cool is that!?!  Ordered late on Monday, received in Wednesday's shipment and confirmed as ready for pickup this morning!

Ash Grove tribute to the city's railroad heritage.



Now all we needed was a drive to Ash Grove to pick up the screen.  Gene was like a kid on Christmas morning knowing we were planning a Jeep trip.  So even though it was cloudy with a chance of rain and 50 something, who cares?  The doors and windows are back on the Jeep and we are good to go!!!  A couple of more trips are on the horizon.  Now all I have to do is figure out how to get all the have to's done so I can fully enjoy these trips.

There was a special, nostalgic feeling on this cool autumn day walking into the store in Ash Grove.   There were several customers in the modestly sized hardware store.  Most of the customers were laughing and visiting with each other.  The owners were greeting customers by their names.  As the sales were rang up by the owners they were asking about projects of the customers.  I felt as if I had just walked into Bailey Dickerson's general store in Weston, circa 1955.

What made it even more special was as we were checking we asked about the online sales.  Well, it appears the parents work the main room with the assistance of a couple of folks.  These helpers float back and forth to the stock rooms and lumber area as needed.  A son is working the stock and lumber part of the operation.  Online sales are done by a granddaughter from her home.

It was good to see this reaffirmation that the American dream is alive.  Family businesses adapting to the needs of a computer savvy generation.  A picture on facebook from my great nephew's football game with both teams on their knees praying for an injured player.  Hopes, dreams, futures, caring and sharing.  I am still a believer in this world that God has given us.  And the things I experienced today helped me know I will meet the challenges of the next few weeks.  All and all it has been one of the coolest autumn days ever.




Ash Grove mural picture from 

http://www.teamangell.com/photo_gallery_Pittsburg_Ellington.htm


Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall In Our Backyard

Sometimes the leaves in the Ozarks will just about knock your socks off they are so vibrant in color.  Not sure how it will be this year, though we are seeing some color here and there.  Not a lot in our yard at this time.

Poor little squash put the squeeze on itself.
Sunday morning was predicted to be a hard freeze.  So I brought into the garage all the delicate plants and harvested the only crops we have, 4 butternut squash.  I picked the best of the roses and rosebuds and placed in a vase.



Knockout roses in knot garden.

Conester berries and marigolds


Instead of spending a bunch of time writing I will just let the pictures of the end of the season in our backyard speak for themselves.
Have twigs and branches for hot dog roast when we put in the Christmas lights in November.
Marigolds self seeded all over the place this spring!
Pond and stream with leaf netting in place.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Weathering This Year

This has for sure been a year of hospitals, rehab and repairs for the residents of 3871.  Last mid-November Edna entered the hospital with pneumonia.  After 10 days, Edna was moved to skilled nursing for pulmonary rehab with a slight chance she could return to assisted living.  But it was not to be so we began the year with Gene's mom moving permanently into skilled nursing.  Then in late February, two days before my knee surgery, Edna was back in the hospital with pneumonia in both lungs, again about a 9 or 10 day stay.

I spent 8 weeks following surgery with in home and out-patient rehab for my knee.  All is going well with my knee now, thank the Lord and blessed health professionals.  The next challenge was Gene's knee and hip problem that began to really act up in late April.  Knee surgery in July followed by in home and out-patient rehab for 6 weeks for him.  He reached flex and extension goals more quickly than I cause he is tough.

In the middle of the mix of all the surgeries and rehab was the fireplace from hell repair.  Of course that started simply as replacing the carpet in a bedroom and living room.  By the last week of August we thought we had hospitals, rehab and the chimney all behind us.  But that was not to be.  Gene spent the last day of August and the next 4 days in the hospital with a clot.  He is doing good enough now that on Wednesday afternoon he mowed the front yard!

Then yesterday morning as we were trying to decide if we would work in the yard or do a project in the house another phone call.  Edna was unresponsive to the staff at the skilled nursing home.  So the decision was made for us.  We would spend the day in the emergency room.  Edna was a cognitive as she can be at this point in her almost 98 year old life.  Her mind could not figure out where she was and why she was there.  We would give her the information only to have her ask the same questions in just a few minutes.  The good news was she was responsive, knew us, our names and where Kenneth lives.  Bad news?  She has pneumonia yet again.

Today the weather was rainy and chilly.  I removed the remaining hose connections, rolled up all hoses and added support to the netting over the pond.  I did it in shorts and a tee shirt just because I was being a stubborn, old fart.  The temperature was in the mid 40's while I was doing the chores in a gentle mist.  I came in, put on a sweatshirt and have stayed in the shorts all day.

Gene changed the filters in the heating system and fired up the furnace.  There was the less than pleasant smell of heated dust in the furnace.  Supper, that is what a person that grew up in Texas on a cotton farm calls an evening meal, was simple, baked potato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches.  So here at 3871 we on the first of many cold days to come made it through the day relatively unscathed.  Pretty good for two senior citizens that have just been weathering this year.




Thursday, October 4, 2012

Crime and Punishment

Second Blooming is a blog I have been enjoying visiting lately.  Gretchen, a fellow Texan, puts out a weekly subject for persons wishing to put their spin on.  http://secondblooming.typepad.com/second-blooming/spin-cycle-goes-hollywood.html will get you to the complete explanation of how it works.
Second Blooming

This weeks subject was prompted by the life events of one of "The Spin Cycle" submitting bloggers.  This poor soul had her domain name and purse stolen in the same week.  What a rip off, right?  Made me realize what an easy week I was having.

But to get to the subject of the week, Crime and Punishment.  The first crime I remember committing was assault and battery.  Well, sort of, anyway.  My bestest friend and third cousin, Reba Jane, and I were playing pickup sticks on her back porch.  I lost the game and jabbed the end of a pointed stick into Reba Jane's head.  Made her bleed and cry and be sad.  She asked me why I did that.  "Cause I am Arleigh Rogers' brat, I guess" was my calloused answer.  She did not "tell on me" so I was relatively unscathed.  Except every time I see Reba Jane the event is recalled.  That was about 62 years ago and I am still guilt ridden at the thought of pick up sticks.

That is how my life of crime began.  Since then I have stolen a "fruit stand" sign and put in the yard of a girl trying to steal my boyfriend.  I was never caught.  Lied repeatedly to my parents about my whereabouts when arriving home late from:  proms, dates, Horizon club dances, football games and drill team practice.  Never caught and never convicted.

I have talked my way out of more than a few speeding tickets.  Pretty sure triple d cup size did not ever hurt that discourse with The Law.  Even though I have the face of the wicked witch of the west or south.  I get those witches confused.

In 1993 we had moved into our new, empty-nest home.  While in Texas for Thanksgiving that year, I found a bentwood rocker for my front porch.  The rocker was the perfect welcoming sight there in the corner near the front door.  Nearer Christmas, we took Gene's aging parents out "looking at Christmas lights".  (Those of us that grew up with minimal electricity are amazed by glowing lights in multiple colors.)  Upon returning home from the light adventure, Gene's mom asked where I had put my chair.  Well, it is right there on the front porch.  What!  NO!  Yep, someone had taken my chair right off my front porch!  No insurance payout.  And by the way, do not inquire with your insurance company.  An inquiry can be counted as a point toward raising your rates.

About three years ago a drunk, unlicensed, uninsured female driving a borrowed also uninsured auto with license plates from a different auto ran a red light and totaled my beloved Lincoln.  Bent my baby's frame.  A few weeks later I was notified she was parolee that should not have have been outside Kansas City, MO.  The accident took place in Springfield, MO.  Needless to say I never saw a dime of the deductible for my vehicle.  Any money I received for damages came from my insurance company.

So this life of crime of mine never led to hard time, incarceration or even fines.  But the universal karma has certainly come to my door.  I lost my rock and roll and for a certified Baby Boomer, that is definitely punishment enough.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cow Pies

Most of my life I have not been a people person.  I am a people person maybe 1% of the time.  The other 99% I am just skating on the edge of offending folks.  I have used all sorts of books, mental health professionals and bent the ears of the few people that are willing to put up with me.  And I still wind up stepping in the middle of the only cow pie in a two square mile area.

No matter how hard I try to avoid offending folks, I seem to accomplished it without even realizing I am heading to that abyss again.  I did notice the problem almost immediately on one occasion.  The second offense was slow in coming.  I am way to opinionated.  Self-centered in how I view circumstances, just from my point of view.

One would think a smart person could learn a lesson.  So I am either not smart or so stubborn and hard headed I just will not learn.  People tell me I am smart and stubborn.  Guess it is time to get over myself and follow the leader, quietly, watching for cow pies.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Trying Something New

At my age, sliding downhill toward 66, trying something new is a bit more of a challenge than 40 years ago. At 26 a new job was little more of a decision than new shoes or a new hair style. At almost 66, just changing the location of the spoons in the spoon slot of the drawer can be mind blowing.

Mind blowing is a term from the hippie movement years. While I had long hair in the late 60's/early 70's that was about as rebellious as this southern girl could be. Gene and I, when many folks our age were dropping acid and doing LSD trips, well, we were leaders for the youth group at our little church. Hippie as a description of me applied to my posterior more than my world view.

Gene and I both were employed by military/industrial companies engaged in supplying armaments and/or equipment to our military during the cold war. And that little conflict over in Southeast Asia called the Vietnam War paid more than a few house payments for the Collinwood Acres house in Texas.

All those memories are now just stuff from a long time ago in a galaxy/state far, far away. Today, 40 years later my attempting to blog and become part of the blogger world is requiring me to use "the little grey cells" to quote Agatha Christie's Poirot. My little grey cells are mostly atrophied. It has been only ten years since I left a computer graphics job. But atrophy happens quickly.

All of this is just to say I am attempting to begin linking with other bloggers. I will get it figured out one way or another. It may be trial and error, frowns and an occasional frustrated long, deep breath.  But I will get it figured out finally. It will be working great and I will be so pleased with my accomplishment of a new task. Then the smart, young 20 something programmer out in Google bloggerland will turn my world upside down by changing some little format. Doing what all 20 somethings do with such ease, just trying something new!