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Thursday, January 31, 2013

OB - Gyn Waiting Room

OB - Gyn

A place 
of sisters
Only girls
Ladies only
Except for
expectant partner
or glowing new dad 
or the babe swaddled in blue.
The sisters sit in silence
Magazines lay unread
except for 
Digital readers
Smart phone aglow
in the hands of youth.
The matrons
smile as
a sister round
with child
struggles from 
the chair.
We sit in
we sisters 
link hands
from the pink
swaddled babe
to the eldest
and silent
of the 

Stuff that rolled 
around in my head
while sitting
in the OB-Gyn
Waiting Room.

Janice Adcock

Monday, January 28, 2013


Second Blooming

Gretchen over at Second Blooming has challenged us with a single word this week.  Pop over to her site to see the other folks spin on this word.  
Drive to live.
Drive to win.
Drive to be the best within.
Drive a route,
Drive a friend,
We all wind up being driven
like Miss Daisy in the end.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Homemade Banana Ice Cream

Just watched an hour of test kitchen chefs making ice cream.  While I am certain that the ice cream was good it in no way would compare to my mom's home made banana ice cream.  Every other Sunday my two older sisters, their families, Aunt Opal and family and Grandma Chandler were at our house for the day.  I first remember the tradition of Mom whipping up some ice cream after Sunday dinner at the Farnsworth house.  It seemed so effortless for her which we sisters all know now was an illusion.  

Momma making something in the ice cream mixing bowl
Mom never cooked her ice cream.  She would beat with an electric mixer 8 eggs until they were thick and the color of butter.  She may have put sugar in the the eggs while beating.  Best I can remember she would then add two cans of Eagle Brand Milk, 6-8 mashed, ripe bananas, some vanilla flavoring and enough whole milk to fill the ice cream bucket.  The dasher was placed in the bucket, lid placed on it and handed off to Daddy.

Crazy strong and just crazy Daddy wearing my sister's fall.
The freezer was one of the old hand cranked jobbers set in a galvanized tub.  Grand kids took turns sitting on the unit while Daddy would crank.  Someone would chop the ice off the block that had almost magically appeared.  Salt had to be added to help reduce the temperature of the brine.  The cranking job would be attempted by each grandson, a SIN (snicker, son in law is sin) might help for a while.  Daddy would be the last to crank the mixture as he was crazy strong.

Have I ever mentioned Daddy lifted weights to increase his strength?  Oh, the "weights" were actually his dad's model T bumper still attached to the model T.  He worked up to lifting one side of the vehicle enough for a tire to be removed.  Crazy strong.

My son feeding my dad store bought ice cream.
Eventually the gallon bucket hand crank unit was replaced with a gallon and a half electric unit.  We lived "in town" by this time with "indoor plumbing".  That unit would sit in the kitchen sink while running.  Still someone was adding ice, salt, tamping down with a wooden spoon handle and checking the overfill hole to make sure the brine was pouring out and not seeping under the lid of the ice cream bucket.  Once the electric motor would almost stall, everyone knew it was almost time for the treat of the day.

After a little firming time, the bucket would be pulled partially out of the brine.  Had to get it far enough out to keep the salt away from the ice cream!  Without question, Daddy always got the dasher.  The the ice cream was served to all present.  Some folks thought they could tell the difference in taste and texture between the hand cranked and electric varieties.  Those folks needed to just let the kids have their portion cause we Loved it all.

As we four sisters families moved away from the area where the folks lived the tradition faded.  The folks did have a small refrigerator version for freezing ice cream.  It has been many years since Momma has been able to make that glorious ice cream.  If you want to see a room full of old people roll their eyes and swoon, just mention Granny Mary's homemade banana ice cream.

Family including two SINs gathered around Momma's table in December cause there are decorations in Mom's hutch.  That would be iced tea in most glasses in December.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Just finished another Netflix interlude with Morgan Freeman.  Do not tell Gene, but I think I have a crush on Mr. Freeman.  And his rendition of the leading man in the movie was wonderful.  Freckles and all.  Of course the real Mr. Freeman might not be quite the same as the character but that is okay.  For 109 minutes I was able to drift along in a fantasy.

The Magic of Belle Isle was funny, tender and uplifting in an old person finding new life kind of way.   I am not a movie critic by any means nor do I even want to be.  For tonight, this quite little movie touched something in me.  It rustled the leaves of my soul where I long ago buried my hopes.  It reminded me there was a time when I thought I had something to offer in this world.  Then as soon as the final credits run I realize how foolish I am to think I have much of anything the world even needs.

As I prepare to shut down the computer for the night and head to bed the reality of my world surrounds me.  The reality of the wonderful man waiting for me to join him in our bed.  To simply touch fingertips across the stupid hump in the mattress we each are too fat to climb.  To snuggle my cold feet to his warm calf.  To drift quietly together into sleepy magic.

Friday, January 25, 2013


The eyes of youth see things
in the light of dreams.
The eyes of age see things
in the light of memories.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Clean Up This Mess!

Second Blooming

Gretchen over at Second Blooming has given the subject of clean in any of its variations as this weeks Spin assignment.  For those who know me personally, many would think this would be an easy assignment.  My mother laughs frequently about how she watched as I used a toothpick to clean around the edges of my sink and counter top range.  My youngest sister dropped by one day in my early, wifely days to find me dusting.  She gave me a blank stare and asked what was I dusting as she could see not any dust!

Yes, there was a time in my life when I could be absolutely obsessive about cleaning.  Or not.  I would have "stash areas"  where clutter could be placed till I felt like dealing with it.  Through the years I have noticed about folks' perception of clean has more to do with clutter than clean.  I like to keep my home "picked up".  Magazines are read then disposed of by donation or recycling.  Mail is read and filed or shredded as needed.  I no longer use toothpicks to clean around the edges of sinks and cooktops.  I use an ice pick that can be placed in the dishwasher to be sanitized.  Figure I have saved a small tree over the years.

When our son was small, I pushed for all toys to be "put in place" each night.  This caused lots of issues as he was not nearly so concerned about the "proper place" as my obsessive, compulsive self.  One day during this ritual of my picking up with him and pushing him to do more, I asked him a question.  "When you think of your daddy, what do you think of?"  John Roger then listed things like playing catch, going for walks, reading and bike rides.  I asked him the same question of me and his instant response was "clean up this mess."

And as quickly as he had answered, we stopped picking up his room.  I do not remember what we did, but it was not cleaning.  And his room could hardly be walked through till he left home.  Surely in order to keep the place habitable there had to be the "pick it up and vacuum days".  But the obsession was toned down somewhat.  And the clutter could not move into the other areas of the house permanently. Dust truly became a country accent during those years.

These days I keep a reasonably clean house.  I do scrub the eaves and gutters on the north and east sides of the house once a year.  Otherwise the crud and dirt build up and deface the house's value.  I rarely get on hands and knees to scrub floors as some of my friends do on a regular basis.  Floors are for walking on not eating from.  I do not dust hangers as one of my relatives do.  My Aunt Billie noted she can stare down a vacuum for days before just putting it away.  I have become an expert in this field.

I am not sure if it is just my age has made me not worry so much about cleanliness or just life experience. Travelling is much more fun than cleaning.  But I want clean sheets waiting for me when I return home.  Also, two old people do not create nearly so much dirt and work as little children.  We bring our own kind of mess, walkers, canes, wheelchairs, adult diapers to name a few.  But typically we do not strew stuff from one end of the room to the other.  Well, except when decorating for holidays.  Like I said, our own kind of mess.  

As clean as friends perceived my home to be, they would have a different take on my mind.  Yes, I have a dirty little mind.  The last few years I have noticed that as my desire to keep a clean house has diminished, so has the nastiness of my mind.  However, a statement of any kind about balls still sends my mind to testes not sports.  Guess I'll never be able to completely clean up this mess!

Now, take a minute and click on over to Second Blooming for a fresh look at clean.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Put Away

Christmas came down.  Only a few sprigs of greenery and a couple of wreaths to brighten the bleak days.  Penguins and snowmen will stay until I pull down a few Valentine items.  The tree still has to be put in the box and I am too tired to do it tonight.  I sit down in my recliner to rest for a bit.  That is when I see that thing up in the air hanging from the sconce.  The crystal teardrop with glitter covered  mistletoe.  Nine feet above the floor.  It is heavy and will require moving the sofa.  And bringing in the step ladder.

It just seems like there is always one last thing that missed the put away.  It will stay up for a while longer.  I think I will let the mistletoe work for Valentine kissing.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Fires on Cold Days

Gene has kept the home fires burning this evening.  We had a tree in our back yard cut down in November.  The tree was an Osage orange according to the folks that cut it down.  Even though it was not "cured" Gene has burned up the last pieces of it last night.  Now we are burning the wood delivered last Friday.

It is in the twenties and mid thirties today.  I had a meeting tonight so I was out in the chill.  The aroma of simmering apple butter on the stove and a fire in the fireplace greeted me upon my return home.  Yes, I do enjoy fires on cold days.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Fool's Attitude Is Mine

Gun Appreciation Day.  Wonder if this is to become an annual holiday?  Like President's Day.  Maybe we can look forward to Hallmark ciphering lovely cards.  Obviously the front will be a ducks, deer and possibly clay disks all in lovely country settings.  Woodlands, wetlands and other fabulous vistas.  

Wonder what the greeting will be inside?  Maybe something along the line of, "Wishing you a bang up time."  "Looking forward to shooting more than just the breeze with you."  "May your aim be true and your freezer be full."

My great grandfather Jones' double barrel shotgun has hung in the hallway of every home I have lived in since about 1969.  In a family of daughters for some reason Daddy decided I would receive this family heirloom.  My BIL probably would have been a more logical choice as he is an avid sportsman.  He has kept his family fed by the fruits of this passion.  His three children, middle aged adults, share his passion.  I respect this passion.

I do not personally have the desire to have guns for self protection.  I know my own self well enough to know that hand gun ownership would be neither wise nor safe.  But the main reason I do not need a gun for protection is I have nothing that is worth hurting someone to keep them from taking it.  I do not sit around worrying about who is going to attack me or even my family.  I choose to not live in fear of people, or powers or principalities.  My faith is in God, that is my personal choice.  Thought it would be okay for me to give my statement since everywhere I turn others feel the need to tell me how they feel about their rights.  And that I am ignorant because I do not share their view.  Guess the fool's attitude is mine.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Wintry Mix

Gretchen has challenged us with winter as the subject.  Whatever spin we want to put on the subject.  Having grown up in Texas winter was not much of a change in some ways from summer.  Sure the leaves would fall from most trees.  But I never had to dig up my cannalily or caladium bulbs. the Bermuda grass would turn brown.  As a preteen I spent many a Christmas eve in shorts wrapping gifts.  Snow was a rarity and never "stayed on" for more than a day or so.  And, yes, lots of slipping and sliding if there was ice or snow on the roads.  It is the south.  We can take 110 degree weather.  Just do not ask us to drive on ice.

As a child I lived in a house that was old and drafty.  Walls were "canvassed and wall papered".  This described a method where the wallpaper was hung on cheesecloth/canvas tacked to the wall boards.  Wind would cause the wallpaper to move in the breeze.  The result of this uninsulated and loose house was really cold rooms during cold snaps or blue northers.  Generally there was no heat in the houses of the community other than Dearborn propane/gas stoves.  No need to worry about venting at our house, as noted the house was drafty, very drafty.  So drafty and loose that after one of the rare snows we had a small maybe half inch drift under my bed.

We slept under piles of homemade quilts.  The one feather bed was used by the ones sleeping in the room farthest from the Dearborn heaters.  And we sisters slept two to three to a bed.  After the older sisters left home and Mom went to work for TI, we received electric blankets from Santa one year.  One to a bed is really cold.  Eventually we moved "in town" where we had central heat!  No more snow drifts under the bed.

2011 Mothers Day, Gene and Edna visiting the homeplace.

Gene grew up here in Missouri about 30 miles from where we live.  He knew how to drive on slippery roads and taught me the finer points.  Then after 8 years of marriage, we moved from the Dallas area back to when he lived as a child and teen.  We moved in on Thanksgiving 1975.  He stayed in Texas till January 1, 1976 then joined us in Aurora.  Our kitchen was torn apart being extended and  remodeled.  The two rooms not being remodeled to some degree were our son's bedroom and a room we chose to make a playroom.  The playroom heat was not good.  There was insufficient air flow from the central heat.  I was always cold in that room.

Right after Gene moved to Missouri it turned cold.  I mean really cold.  Like 6 straight weeks where not one day was above freezing.  Portions of Table Rock froze solid enough people were driving cars across the lake.  Not good thinking but done none the less by some.  There was some snow.  Our son was 2 years old and I wanted to give him a sled ride.  We had no sled so I used an aluminum paint tray and a rope.  Gene came home for lunch and saw the contraption I was using.  When he came home that night he had one of the cheap plastic sleds.  Guess his Southern import sort of embarrassed him.

The ice is beautiful but hard on the trees.
Anyway, I do not think I thawed out till almost August that year.  Having never lived in a climate where lakes froze over, I had none of the proper clothing for me or my small child.  But we survived and as noted I eventually thawed out and found warmer clothing for the next year.  Good thing as the next year brought deep snows that lasted for a couple of weeks each snow event.  Okay, all you Northerners and Westerners, I realize that 18" to 21" of snow over night is not big thing for you, but for the ex Tex, it was deep!

Notice the broken trees in the background.
Over the 37+ years I have experienced many of the snow years.  We have lost countless limbs and entire trees in ice storms.  2007 brought a three day rain event with freezing temperatures.  I was what the weather guys and gals call a wintry mix.  That mix resulted in about a quarter of a million people without power for up to a month.

The power was off at our house for only 3 days.  Cousins who lived in the country came to use our gas heated water for bathing.  They had no electricity to run the pump for their well.  Their generator could only power the fridge and freezer.  Gene and I spent evenings sitting in front of a roaring fire taking turns reading to each other from "A Painted House".  We had only one headlamp to be able to see the pages.  But that was only part of the reason for taking turns reading to each other, voices give out quickly in a cool house.

Fast forward to 2013.  We have had some cold weather this winter season.  I am so disappointed at this time as the snow, a real snow has not happened.  Just some overnight stuff that was melted within hours.  There has been more snow in Dallas than we have had here this season.  Gene and I have lived together for over 45 years.  Now I like the Missouri winters, especially getting snowed in during these days of retirement.    Gone are the days where we risk life, limb and our vehicles to drive to work.  And we have yet to figure out any reason to shovel the drive.  Just do no go out side.  Sit by the warm fire, read a book, surf the net or scan some family photos.  Best of all on a cold winter's night with fire roaring and a glass of wine in hand one  leafs through the seed catalog and dream of spring planting.  

Slide on over to Second Blooming and join us in putting our spin on winter.

Second Blooming

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Tribute to Two Women of Strength

This day has brought a pall of sadness to our home.  Two dear women that had been influential to us had passed away overnight.  The younger of the two women was Mason Strong.  The second woman was Milligene Womack.  Both women and their families came into my life through the Allen Methodist Church.

Mason and Dan Strong were sponsors for the MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship) about my senior year in high school.  Dan was a builder and Allen was just beginning to grow. Mason was a beautiful, confident young woman.  A few years later after Gene and I married I went to work part time "tending the store" for Dan and Mason.  The store was a carpet and floor covering store.  Under Mason's management it grew and moved to a larger location in "downtown" Allen.  In the larger store the business expanded to wall covering and window treatments.

Mason taught me about record keeping for the business.  She and Dan allowed me to help decorate his speculation houses.  I even helped a few of the carpet store clients in choosing decor for their homes.  Her two older daughters, Tammy and Sally were still young and Libby was hardly even a toddler.  Gene and I were included in dinners with their circle of friends.  I had to quit working for them when we started the adoption process.  Mason went on to work for the county.  She was a strong and resilient woman of faith.  And she had just enough fire in her to let you know she was definitely a Texas gal.

My relationship with Millie Womack was a result of her husband's career change.  Ramon had felt the call to become a minister.  The Allen Methodist Church was a circuit church with a couple of other small congregations.  Seminary students would be assigned to that circuit during the course of their seminary years.  The church went "full time" while Ramon was there.  Millie was a banking person.  Even in the 1960's and early 1970's this capable woman could only be a teller type employee.  Millie was not the typical "preacher's wife".  She did not feel compelled to be at every function, be the president of UMW nor believe everything Paul taught about women's place in the world.

Millie and my mom, another independent woman, decided to take knitting classes together at the Sears store in Valley View Shopping Center.  Okay, that may not seem very "women's lib" of two women in the early 1970's.  The classes were held in the evenings about 20 miles from Allen.  Two women, one in her mid 50's and the other in her early 40's that had put in full days at work would take off back into Dallas for classes alone in the dark.  And they were determined to learn new skills at that age!

One night during the trip to the classes Millie became somewhat agitated and quite.  She finally fessed up that she and Ramon had "words" that morning.  She had not spoken to him all day or evening.  She just remembered that she had forgotten to unplug the coffee peculator   If she did not call Ramon and tell him to unplug it, the thing would burn up.  Cell phones and texting were not even options in that time frame.  And it was a long distance charge to make the call even more of a pain.  Much to her dismay, Millie found a pay phone, called Ramon.  She still said only what was necessary to keep the house from burning down.

Millie, in profile, & Ramon at Mom's 90th, 2008.  Millie was talking to him by now! 
Gene and I moved to Missouri in the fall of 1975.  Through Mom and more recently Facebook we have kept track of these two wonderful ladies and their families.  The last time we saw Millie was about 4 years ago at my mom's 90th birthday party.  This past fall the "Strong Sisters" gathered their families along with Mason and Dan for a photo shoot.  Tammy posted the pictures for all to enjoy.

Thanks be to God for putting these two women in our life path.  They will continue to be a part of the fabric of our lives.  And may the Spirit surround the families of these two women of faith with comfort and love.  Amen

2012 Strong Sisters plus Mason & Dan photo shoot.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Calmness on Monday

After the excitement of last Monday with the squirrel, this was just a normal, dull morning.  Today I was forced to actually get some commitments checked off the list.  I had signed up to help with bereavement meals.  This morning was making deviled eggs.  Gene was kind enough to get out in the cold to deliver them to the church for an early afternoon meal.  As a juxtaposition to this, tonight I will be helping the MOPs group at church make casseroles for the blessed events (family with new born babes) ministry.  I had promised to do a casserole on my own for this ministry for this month, too.  That casserole is going to be a lasagna.  It is almost ready to assemble.

Took time to sit and catch up on emails, Facebook, etc. to give my feet a little rest.  Noticed a Groupon for an eye exam and decided time for a checkup.  Was able to schedule on line.  Looks like I can do about anything on line.  Anything except "get the squirrel out of the house" can be done on line.  I find that convenient especially on a cold, winter day.  According to a segment on "CBS Sunday Morning" yesterday many jobs are now performed by robots and computers.  The cost savings is significant which is good for the bottom line but bad for people needing employment.  

Just wondering what will be the next project or employment that will require multitudes of human hands.  The Great Wall of China must have been a huge "employer".  I recently overheard a woman stating that wooden ships required maybe 200,000 board feet per ship.  Due to the amount of wood needed per ship, the ship building in Europe was a part of the reason for loss of forests.  It just makes sense to me that wooden ships would require large amounts of labor from harvesting lumber to the launch of the ship.  I have been unable to verify the overheard statement.  But the search has resulted in other fascinating reads.

There is a study published in 2007 that one can buy for $20 at    I did run across another site,, in land locked Nebraska.  This work by Jillian R. Smith was a fascinating read for me.  Niche Construction Theory.  Had never heard of it till I read this paper by this anthropologist.

I followed up on Ms. Smith's paper with her 2010 masters thesis,  It is at this point that I am certain I am a nerd.  But I did enjoy this mind exercise of reading about ship building influences in the 1300 to 1700.  History nerd.

Railroad building at one time employed significant numbers of humans.  Making cloth and clothing was certainly labor intensive even after mechanization began in the early 1900's.  I have no stats to back this supposition but I am thinking agriculture probably was the job requiring the highest amount of manual labor.  Which was one reason families were so big in "days of old."  Hands were needed on the farm and children filled the bill.

One could conjecture that a world economic collapse could cause a stampede back to manual labor.  But history does not show that.  A collapse of the world's power sources could send us all back to manual labor.  No more vacuums would mean beating rugs.  Scrub boards for doing laundry.  How would we heat our homes?  No answers, just questions and thoughts.  No judgments as I do not possess the knowledge base required to properly evaluate the available data.  Wishy-washy nerd.

There is no lesson I gain from this line of thinking.  It is just part of the way a senior citizen's mind works on a Monday with no squirrels to chase about the room.  I have also observed that the rechargeable alkaline batteries do not make the candles burn as brightly as the regular alkaline batteries. Well, I just had a revelation.  My random mind may not need quite so much calmness on Monday.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Random Saturday Night Thoughts

Good grief.  It is Saturday night.  Today we attended a memorial service of a young friend's father.  That father led a life that was amazing in its influence on family and friends.  This young woman is a leader, mother, doctor and just as practical as can be.  The oldest sister told of standing and watching her father perform surgery on animals at his clinic.  Years later she was in medical school he allowed her to close for him on one surgery.  She was struggling and he commented, "Harder than it looks."  "But he knew I needed the practice so he just let me finish the job and learn."  The three daughters are surely a tribute to their father and his teachings.

As I have ventured across the blogs connected to The Spin Cycle this Saturday evening, I was struck by the layouts.  And the buttons and connections.  And all the bells and whistles the more attuned bloggers use.  And again I wonder why am I doing this.  It has been almost a year since I began this way of recording my thoughts and happenings.

Maybe it is sort of like our Christmas lights during the holidays.  We do not put much in the front yard.  Just 3 angels with a spotlight on them, a lighted twig wreath and a couple of small spiral trees, greenery swags on the windows and over the garage lights are sufficient for the world.  And a bunch of crap like snowmen and arrangements on the front porch.  When all the stuff is listed it seems like way too much.  Note to self, cut out stuff on porch next year.

But we/I really go crazy in the backyard outlining features in lights.  The color of the lights are varied:  flower beds in green, the stream and pond in blue, white lighted greens draped on the privacy fence around the perimeter of yard, blinking stars & icicle lights on the storage building, tree trunks wrapped in lights, a lighted Christmas tree on the patio and other lighted balls, etc.  And even bows and wreaths and it only takes about 8 hours and 18 to 20 extension cords to make it all work.  And no one sees all of this unless we let them into our home.

This blog is nothing like the decorations.  Poor analogy.  I guess the blog is an attempt by me to see if there is an audience beyond close friends and family for the thoughts of someone from the older generation.  An older person that wants tea parties to be more about friends or children "playing" together than a political statement.  An older voice that as I noted today at a baby shower, has guns but not sure where we hide the ammunition.  A person that will say a prayer at the sound of a siren cause I know there is a good chance someone is injured, ill or at least in distress.

In a world of extremes, maybe I just needed a place to practice not being so extreme.  To have I place where if I wrote something it would not be a one line lightning rod.  That "soft underbelly" post to Facebook that can bring on a feeding frenzies.  And I have discovered that in connecting to the blogs there are people of all ages seeking to give voice to their inner selves.

Last random thought of the day.  As a person of faith I gain great joy in watching how acts of faith are like building blocks.  About three years ago it was my first year as president of our UMW.  In January 2010 in the middle of the night I awoke.  I felt pulled to the Matthew 17:20 mustard seed and faith quote.  I decided I wanted a magnet with the scripture printed on it.  Using some business card stock we had, glue and mustard seed, each member of our mission group received a magnet, about 148 total.  I asked each woman to pray in faith.  At the spring event we use an idea provided at a district meeting.  Each woman and child had a clear glass pebble at their plate.  They were to take these home to remember to pray specifically for good water.
A year later our conference mission office began a push for Hydraid water filters for use in Haiti.  This was after the earthquake of 2010.  The filters cost $100, last for 10 years and provide 150 gallons of fresh water daily.  This past summer one of the other officers of our group brought the Hydraid filter to our church.  We ordered the video from the conference office and one circle saw the video.  They were so moved that money for 6 filters were donated that day.  A second circle donated 3.  At the mission connect Sunday in October, our group set up the filter with a challenge for a total of 20 filters to be purchased.

The local church mission team and the pastor decided to build on the challenge.  A donation from a deceased member's will brought the number to 100 filters.  The filter project became one of the Season of Giving options during the Christmas Season.  At last count there are now donations for close to 200 filters from just our church.  In late 2010 one young mother mention that her daughter of 4 at the time had insisted they remember to pray for water using the glass bead.   If you have faith as the grain of mustard seed, you can move mountains.  Oh, by the way.  That 4 now going on 7 year old is the granddaughter of the man whose service we attended this morning.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Downton Abbey and Mammograms

Downton Abbey did not make it on my radar till sometime in the second season.  Being able to watch back episodes online through various media I became enthralled.  As have millions of others anglophiles.  The "will they/won't they" of the Anna/Bates love affair as well as Ladies Mary, Sybil and Edith and their loves has kept us all "atwitter".  Well, at least interested enough to tune back in each new episode.  It has been interesting seeing the take on WWI and the changes brought by the war.

Of course the wedding last week with the promise of another this week is pulling me back in as I love wedding gowns.  But the potential of a "fiscal cliff" for Downton Abbey feels a little like Déjà vu.  But time will tell on that as well as another unrelated development.

The possibility of Mrs. Hughes having breast cancer in a time before, well, pretty much before all humane things relating to detection and treatment were in use.  Mrs. Hughes told Mrs. Patmore when the cook encouraged Mrs. Hughes to tell the butler of her sickness, "And what is there to tell? One day I will die. And so will he and you and every one of us under this roof."

A little online research about mammography revealed that as early as 1913 the first x-rays were done by Dr. Albert Salomon.  He would make an x-ray of a breast prior to a mastectomy.  These x-rays were compared to the tissue samples in the removed breast.  Salomon's work describing the different cancers he identified is still used for reference today.  It was in the 1930's before one Dr. Warren began using w-rays for detection. It was in the 1960's that the current dedicated mammography units were developed.

Today I visited the Hulston Cancer Center to have my first mammogram in 10 years.  To my knowledge there has been no breast cancer in my family history.  I just decided it was time cause I was tired of being frowned at by doctors and friends.  So it is over.  And it was less uncomfortable than 10 years ago.  The plate is larger meaning only one shot in each dimension.  Since Cox's history did not have a third view, I did get to have three snapshots per appendage.
It is fortunate to live in a time when early detection can help to save so many lives.  Janer, Dara, and Dona are but three friends that are alive as a result of the ever improving detection capabilities.  For Mrs. Hughes and anyone during the beginning of the twentieth century there was not much available.  A syringe biopsy to see if blood is present is a far cry from the technology of detection used today.  A radical mastectomy was the last step.  This is certainly better than the 1600 BC treatment of cauterization using a "fire drill".

Tonight I am sending out a thank you to all the folks who have walked to raise funds, all the health professionals that have done research, businesses that have invested in drugs and equipment and all the thousand of unsung folks that have moved detection and treatment ahead. Some in Germany, some in France, some in the USA.

And thank you PBS and WBGH for Masterpiece.  I have enjoyed your work since "The Duchess of Duke Street" to the current Downton Abbey.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fun with Penguins

This was an especially fun day at our home.  We have been looking forward to a visit from some fellow penguin lovers.  These two young ladies are the daughters of a wonderful couple from our church.  They joined this congregation the same day we did.  The dad happened to be one of the residents on the team of doctors that saved Gene's life back in 2007.  When I met his beautiful wife and realized who her husband was, I offered to baby sit any time she needed.  After all it was only with the support of her that he could do what he did.

Fenton penguins from my husband
These two little girls, 5 and 7 years old now,  have been a delight to watch over the past few years.  As our grandsons are two states away, we do not get to enjoy children nearly enough.  We look for chances to be with young children.  We both love the honesty and pure joy of children.

My favorite cue ball ;  )
A "for instance" of the honesty of children came from the younger of the two sisters one Sunday morning.  She was probably less than three when she saw Gene.  She leaned over and noted to him, "when you do not have hair on your head you should wear a hat."  The parents were horrified and apologizing.  We were both in hysterics!  Gene, of course, is as bald as a cue ball!  To honor her observation, he placed the church bulletin on his head.

Tiny and fragile penguins
Today in preparation of the afternoon visit, shortbread cookies were made and baked.  Half of the cookies were flavored with orange zest and chopped crasins, the second half with toasted almonds.  In addition, a batch of homemade dough was ready to be punched down and made into some dinner rolls or cinnamon rolls.  Of course, we would need to be properly attired as we did the kitchen work so the penguin aprons hung at the ready!  And Mr. Gene had repaired the penguin that sits on the front porch inviting visitors to come in and chill out.

The girls and their mom arrived just after school.  Dad and the younger brother were off to get haircuts.  The younger sister brought her newly made penguin project.  It was a water bottle filled with cotton balls.  There were black wings and feet she had taped on the bottle.  Of course there was a face with a headband and the cutest little feather.  We let it play with the other penguins on the table while we inspected and touched and squeezed all the other penguins on the floor and in the chair.  There are penguins that shake, walk, sing and wiggle.  A penguin music box and snow globe all provide plenty of hands on fun for the girls.  Both girls' eyes were alight with pleasure as they explored the penguin world before them.
Penguins atop the fridge

In the kitchen we girls shared cookies and milk along with orange and apple slices.  Rolls were "rolled" and piled in a pan.  A cinnamon ring was shaped and placed in a box to rise.  One last portion of the dough was shaped into a cinnamon filled sock by the girls.  They decided to leave it here as a surprise for Mr. Gene.  The girls whispered and giggled preparing the surprise.   I think they enjoyed smearing the butter onto the flattened dough before shaping about as much as anything.  And that is the pure joy we love.

Once the workup of the bread dough was complete it was time to do some exploring.  One two foot tall penguin that was near the Christmas tree needed to be carried around for a while.  After all there were other rooms with snowmen and Charlie Brown stuff to be inspected.  One needed a penguin to accompany the tour.  They found Mr. Gene in his office where it was just fine to not have on a hat on his bald head today.  He was good for helping operate the crank handle powered radio.  The little blonde's smile was ear to ear showing adorable dimples as she played with Mr. Gene.  He had a pretty big smile himself.

The penguin tree
My 56 year old Revlon doll enjoyed being held and inspected by young hands again.  We even pulled out some other clothes for her.  Nothing like a change of cloths to brighten an old girl's spirit.  She now is wearing a coat for the winter months.  The older sister ran to the car and brought in her new twin dolls she had received for Christmas.  We spent some time admiring these two lovely dolls.

Too soon it was time for the visit to end.  The dough items along with cooking instructions were waiting in a covered box with some cookies and chocolate kisses for the guys at home.   Snack dishes were placed in the sink by sweet, little hands.  Coats were found along with shoes that had all been discarded upon arrival.  Aprons for all three children along with one for mom were placed in arms for safe keeping.
Some of the lights in our back yard.

The sun was near setting so one last look at the view into the back yard brought more dimpled wisdom.  "I like your very nice house but I like your back yard best!"

Julie asked early in the visit what was my first penguin.  I narrowed it down to one that looked as if it had slipped on ice and its legs were spread apart.  The second was a tree covered with penguins and finally a penguin in a fishing outfit.  Once the word got out to friends, as the saying goes, the rest is history.  Never did I realize the day I fell in love with that first penguin what joy was ahead.  Old surrogate Grandma, a young mom, two sweet little girls and so much fun with penguins.

A couple of the first in the collection along with walk about penguin.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Birds and the Bees
Gretchen over at Second Blooming shared her trip to the San Diego Zoo with her young son.  They were gathering data for a school project.  She posted wonderful pictures of the young manchild enjoying hippos, pandas and polar bears.  At the polar bear exhibit the group of children began shouting about the polar bears fighting.  Of course there were no fights only the rites of spring in the animal kingdom.

And it was going around.  We had gone to the nursing center to visit Edna, Gene's mom, this afternoon.  We decided to get Edna out of her room as some cleaning was being done and that had her upset.  The center has a small 3' x 6' x 6' aviary just down the hall.  There are nesting materials on the back wall with nests ready for use.  A couple of small limbs give the birds a place to hang out between feeding from the seed covered floor o one of the wall feeders.  When we walked up I had asked Gene if he thought the birds ever had babies.  He noted one of the nests on the back wall had an egg that was being sat on by one of its parents.

After some time of bird watching we moved across the area to a couple of easy chairs.  Gene placed Edna's wheelchair so she could talk to us.  Of course there is not a lot of talk with the Adcock family.  Lots of looking or just sitting and breathing the same air.  At some point we realized Edna needed a tissue so Gene went back to her room.  Making small talk, because all the non-talking can drive me crazy, I asked her how she was feeling.  To which she vehemently replied she wanted out of this place.  I mumbled something about we could not give her the care she is getting here just as Gene returned.   About that time was when we heard the singing.

Most of the birds in the aviary are in pairs.  One pair is possibly the small ground dove variety and the male was dancing and singing and strutting his stuff!  Oh, yeah, he was doing his best singing and swinging.  Tail feathers spread.  Really right here in back of Gene's mom.  Have you no respect?  And it was obvious nothing would stop that frisky little bird.  Eventually the pair flew up to the nearest limb.  Then the pair started necking, yes, necking.  They were picking the feathers off of each others necks.  And that is when it happened.  He began assuring the next generation of birds of the small ground dove variety.

We took a walk after that to check the status of the room cleaning.  It was not complete so up and down the halls to different windows to look outside.  Since the room was not ready, we went back to the aviary.  Things were calmer now with the doves cuddled together asleep on that tiny limb.  They eventually awoke and flew down for more food.  The male tried a little dance and song.  Edna saw it this time and laughed.  Out loud.  She laughed.  Somewhere in the fog of her mind she knew what was going on with the birds.  And she thought it was funny.

Once the room was ready we returned and watched a little TV.  She was not interested in much of anything on TV as Gene surfed channels.  He stopped on Dr. Oz and there were kids eating hot dogs.  Again, she smiled watching the children eat.  A fat guy helping Dr. Oz promote a "cut out the fat" campaign brought about a negative comment about fat people.  A little more channel surfing brought more pictures of children. We both noticed the only time she would be interested and smiling was when she saw a child on the screen.

This face Always makes me smile!
There is something about new life that gives us old folks hope.  Or maybe it brings back memories of our own youth.  The adults surrounding the children fearing the "fighting" polar bears were giggling.  Possibly new life and the acts of creation of life touch something deep within our souls.  Something that is close to our giggle boxes.  All I know is that today Edna smiled at the sight of a child eating and laughed out loud when the male bird strutted his stuff.  Seeing the smile and hearing her laugh was good.  So, thank God for smiles, laughter and the birds and the bees!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Griswold Christmas Squirrel Grey

This week's Spin Cycle assignment is color.  I had no idea what I would do with that assignment.  But as usual the good Lord provided.  Here is my take on color for Gretchen's Spin Cycle.
Second Blooming

Back in '63 a young Barbara Streisand recorded "My Coloring Book".  At church camp that summer our cabin presented that song while they colored me.  Lamo!  Yes, color me lamo!

This morning Gene was up and dressing for a meeting with a hematologist   It was to be a followup on some blood work taken by the vascular surgeon following the clot this past summer.  I was my usual slow rising self.  It was around 9:00 when I got myself up to begin getting dressed to accompany him as old people travel in pairs to doctor's offices.  I heard a terrible noise coming from the other end of our small house and hurried down the short hall to check on the noise.

As I came into the living area it was obvious someone or some thing was breaking into my window.  I thought a person was trying to break the window as I saw a blur of activity in the long, narrow space of light.  A closer look and I realized a squirrel was in our house trapped between the screen and the window glass.  First know that our windows have screens that are on the inside of the house and the window will roll open to the outside of the house.

All I could think of was get that da*&^) rodent out of my house before it does any damage!  I quickly moved to the window placing my hand against the screen as the squirrel was using it as a trampoline.  I had it trapped though still moving wildly.  I was able to unlock the window with my other hand.  The handle for rolling out the window had been knocked loose, probably by the wild movements of the squirrel.  It took what seemed like hours to get the handle back on the turnie thing but eventually I succeeded.  I opened the window as quickly as possible.  The squirrel became a flying squirrel as it vaulted about 12 to 15 feet in the air over the flower bed landing by the arch in my garden.  It flew up a tree and it's tail was sending crazy signals the last I saw of the rodent.
Cleared the flower bed!

Now to figure out how the thing had come to be in the window.  Squirrels will come back if they can!  No loose wood on the outside soffits that I could see from inside.  No holes in the wood of the window frame but there was a hole in the screen.  But that is on the inside.  Then the reality struck me as I noticed just to my right the door of the fireplace standing open.

The squirrel had come down the chimney!  The ashes from last evening's fire were flung all over the inside of the fireplace and onto the hearth.  Our new steel screen was covered in ash, dented, gnawed on and had a couple of small holes.  That rodent was definitely in full panic mode when it apparently hit the door just right to gain entrance to my living room.

Varmint ash tracks!

I could follow squirrel tracks as it obviously had headed for something like the 9' fully decorated Christmas tree.  Luckily for us it saw the light of day or something that sent it scurrying up and across a chair and table.  There was a trail of knocked over angels, clocks and decorations as well as a few faint ash foot tracks.  Even the Holy Mother with Baby Jesus were knocked face down on the carpet.

Gnawing its way to freedom it had chewed through the window screen and climbed toward the light!  Only the light was the window.  Our wall hung TV along with a curtain and the window handle were holding the loosened screen in place as the squirrel jumped wildly.  That was the scene I saw when I came in the room around 9.  The overturned clock had lost it battery and was stopped at 8:47.  So that is how long it took for the squirrel to chew through and become entrapped between the screen and window.

We were very fortunate that nothing else was damaged though I did find a couple of paper garland decorations had fallen down from cabinet tops in the kitchen.  But there is no way the squirrel had done that as nothing else was toppled.  I am thinking our Guardian Angel may have done that just for the fun of it all!

Gene came into the room after all the excitement was over.  He had been in the bathroom showering and getting dressed.  He never heard any of the commotion.  But it was Gene that realized the battery was out of the clock to help know the thing had been in my living room for over 13 minutes!  That made me turn as shade of Griswold Christmas Squirrel Grey.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Christmas Day 2012

Like so many Christmas Eves of years past, the "eve" lasted into the early morning hours of Christmas Day.  We were working on freshly baked goodies for neighbors to be delivered on Christmas morning. As with many parents our late hours on Christmas Eve would be spent "helping" Santa set up all the new goodies for our son.  Some years found us on highway 69 heading for north Texas and my family Christmas Day.  Yes, Christmas Eve salmon soup and gift exchange with Gene's folks then a 400 mile trip to be with my family Christmas Day.  We were young and foolish as well as hard pressed to find open gasoline stations along the way.  But we did it and have the memories to savor.
Christmas Day, full prep mode and a little fuzzy.

In bed by 4:30 AM on Christmas day and back up at 8:00 AM had us both a little slow on the up take as we assembled the potatoes au gratin, shaped the hot rolls for our dinner, set the table, assembled veggie trays, dips and crackers. The sewing machine had the last item assembled and sewn about 9:20 AM.  The ham was placed in the oven along with the potatoes.  The new table cloth had to be ironed before it could be used.  All this needed to be ready by 11:00 AM when our dinner guests were scheduled to arrive.  It was now 10:15 and neither of us was showered and dressed!  Oh, yes, the neighbor breakfast rolls for 8 homes were to be delivered with the short visit at each home.  And there was still the beverages and coffee to prep along with last minute details on the table like flatware..

Excuse the expression, but holy crap!!!!  So, I put the breads in a basket that almost held them along with the newly assembled table runner.  Yes, the one I finished about 45 minutes before.  I was in my yesterday grunge clothing with no mammary support.  I threw on a heavy sweater coat preparing to head into the 20 degree weather to deliver Christmas Cheer in the form of a sweet roll.  Just one check with Gene before I left.  Gene, who is THE BEST HUSBAND AND HELPMATE EVER, was busily clearing cabinets, pulling out glasses and making the two kinds of coffee, one regular, one decaf and other last minute details.

In order to appreciate the impact of the following events you may wish to read my blog from July 12, 2012, How to Make a Perfect Cup of Coffee.  Ok, if you have read this now you can understand that when I walked back into the kitchen to let Gene know I was leaving, I saw coffee all over the counter top and almost to the edge.  Gene grabbed one half of a paper towel.  I assured him he need the nearby squeegee that I have had to use in the past in a similar situation.  Now it was 10:20 and I still had 8 houses to visit as neighbors had already told me they look forward to the Christmas cinnamon rolls.

July minor coffee event.
I left Gene in mop up action and I sprinted as much as a 200 lb, 66 year old, 6 days out from a bladder lift surgery can sprint.  It was probably more like a fast shuffle.  I had one slight mishap where a couple of the larger platters fell off the basket but appeared undamaged for the most part.  But never the less I was back in my home by 10:45 with only 2 of the items not delivered.  Those neighbors had already left for their Christmas dinners.

Gene had just finished the coffee tsunami cleanup with a new full pot awaiting our guests.  We thought he had finished until I walked around the breakfast bar.  One of the bar stool's two inch thick cushions had a pool of coffee in it.  There was a large puddle of coffee on the floor.  10:49 and still a shower and makeup to apply and now a coffee soaked chair.  I grabbed the cushion and headed for the sink while Gene headed for paper towels.  Nope, need more than paper towels.  (Please, note, I have experience in the area from previous coffee brewing episodes.)  Tossing the cushion in the sink I headed for the already stained towel stack in the utility room.  Thank God, we have a small, one story home.  Gene mopped up the floor puddle and the drips I made with the cushion.  I ran a little cold water over the outside of the cushion and squeezed out as much liquid as I could.

10:51 AM with coffee soaked towels beneath the coffee soaked cushion I head down the short hall to the utility room.  Washer opened, towels thrown in and cushion wedged on its edge to continue draining.  I strip down to my birthday suit since the clothes hamper is right there and head for the shower. It is in another room, but again a small house.  No hair washing, just clean the essential places, grab a towel and jump out of Gene's way as he heads in for his shower.

Gene was dressed and had managed a roaring fire in the fireplace when the first guest arrived fashionably late at 11:07 AM.  I had thrown on my makeup while combing & spraying my hair.  I was putting in my earrings as the guest was putting our gifts under the tree.  Three relatives arrived around 11:30 and the final guest arrived around noon.  Unlike in years past, guests were asked to help set the table with the flatware and other essentials like plates.  There were other little things that these dear friends and family assisted in finishing up so we could enjoy a Christmas day dinner.  Some where along the way I noticed the water container in the window near the dining table.  The ledge was where I put it when I was ironing the table runner gift and my new table cloth around 10:10.  I wondered to myself when Gene had the presence of mind to take down the iron and ironing board.  He is good.

We did have to wait a little longer to make sure the ham and a casserole were done.  That gave us and our guests time to munch on the spicy crackers, veggies and dips.  But mostly we talked about our families, listened to Uncle Pete's stories and soaked up the pleasure of each other's company.  Dinner was eaten.  Food was covered and refrigerated as needed.  Dessert and dish cleanup would wait till later as we moved the group to enjoy the fire and comfy seating.  Before the visits ended around 7:45 PM there had been gifts exchanged, desserts eaten, "to go" bags of cookies, fudge & crackers filled as well as heartfelt thanks complete with kisses and hugs.  A call from our son rounded out a busy and wonderful day.

The day following Christmas?  It looked a lot like two old people wearing pajamas in recliners acting like babies.  We would wake up long enough to go to the bathroom, eat something and go back to sleep.  That was all we were good for after our crazy but joyful Christmas Day, 2012.

And, yes, it is a penguin manger scene with baby penguin on mama's feet.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas Eve With Mom Adcock

Christmas Eve was extremely busy for us this year.  The last of the gift wrapping, candy making, sweet roll dough making and preparations for guests for Christmas Day dinner.  All that stuff that seems so menial and time consuming.  Scrubbing vegetables, slicing and dicing vegetables, mixing dips, making hot crackers, prepping the ham and potatoes for quick assembly on Christmas Day.  Little things that take so much time it seems.  Selecting the serving dish for each appetiser.  That endless list of things we hosts and hostess insist on having just right for an occasion.

We finally said that we just had to stop and go visit Gene's 98 year old mother for some time.  Edna is in a full care facility about 25 miles from our home.  She lost most of her short term memory last year after several bouts of pneumonia.  In the last few months her long term memory has become increasingly muddled.  She can not longer carry on a conversation of more than a couple of sentences. And these are not necessarily something that she seems to comprehend.  Always a bookkeeper, Edna will ask at some point during a visit about her finances.

This year we delivered a gift of a cookie basket from granddaughter, Kym, and a gift from us.  Nothing big as Edna does not like a lot of attention being given to her.  We had a blouse and body cream.  When we first arrived, Edna was in the bathroom with the door closed.  She did not hear our knock so when she came out of the bathroom she was startled by our presence in the small room.  But she was so happy to see us.  It was as if she had not seen us in years.  It had been a couple of weeks due to my surgery.  She obviously recognized we were hers.  We try to no longer ask her for our names, that frustrates her.  She will look as Gene and identify him as "my baby boy".

Gene had placed the two gifts on Edna's bed.  She took the chair beside the bed.  Finally she said she was curious about the packages.  First she started with the cookie basket.  She gingerly pulled the clear wrap off the basket.  She stared at the goodies in the basket.  Gene explained the cookies for her to have and to share.  He asked for a cookie.  She said she was saving them.  Then she said she would save the basket for us to pick up later.

Next she opened the bag we had brought.  She pulled the tissue paper out and looked it over folding in in thirds.  Finally she pulled the blouse and body cream from the bag.  She looked at each then put them on the bed by the bag.  It was time for her to look at the cookies again.  The basket was lined with tissue squares.  We watched as she arranged the cookies on one side of the basket and folded the paper over the cookies.  Gene, again, asked for a cookie.  No, she was saving them was her response. Then the pile of tissue from the gift bag was folded into a two by five inch rectangle, two reds, one green.  The clear plastic bag was folded into the same, small rectangle.  These were placed in the cookie basket on the side previously occupied by 3 or 4 cookies.  Again, Gene asked for a cookie.  No, not right now but save for later.

Now it was time to fold the blouse into the smallest possible rectangle.  Before this was complete Gene said he would hang it up for her.  I asked if I could put the body cream in a drawer where she kept cream and she agreed.  The drawer that had been empty of cream two weeks earlier now had 3 other containers.  Some full, some partially used.

Once she had the gifts and paper "fixed" she began asking questions.  Unlike her straightforward questions of the past, she approached the financial question as if it was not of her business.  Gene was the kindest son any mother could wish to have.  He explained how money was not a problem cause she and his Daddy had been such good money managers.  How they had everything set up and all he has to do is just keep the checkbook balanced.  He was gentle, kind and very affirming of his mother's financial abilities.

This is when she brought up how she wished she could live next door to us.  Or maybe even live with us.  That way she could help us with our work.  She was certain she could wash dishes or something. Dear Edna has always needed to be the giver, never the taker.  She was to be the one nursing the sick, not the sick one.  She was the one to take her mother in law to the doctor once a month or so.  Aunt Lorene still had children at home to care for so it just made sense for Edna to be the one to take Grandma to the doctor.

It just makes sense.  It makes sense for Edna to be in a 24/7 care facility.  She gets better care and more attention than we would be able to give her.  We would not be able to give the breathing treatments or antibiotic shots or any of the other hundreds of other things the RNs can do for her.  It just makes sense because as much as Edna would want to was dishes, we are pretty sure she would not be able to stay on task.  I saw in the infinite folding of the paper the same meticulous commitment that made the monies available for her care.  I saw the core being still in there some where.

Whereas four years ago she would have taken the cookies to the dinner table to share with her table mates, now she cannot even realize it would be good to give her baby boy a cookie for Christmas.  Instead of sitting down with her in our home on Christmas Eve for her traditional salmon soup supper, we sat in a small room.  A small room and world with two straight chairs, a recliner, a twin bed, dressing table, lamp, night stand, TV stand and cookies that have to be saved.  We left that night hungry for the mothers of our youth.

Back home we had to settle not for the salmon soup but a Sonic hamburger and onion rings.  We worked into the wee hours of Christmas morning baking cookies, shaping, baking and wrapping the fresh cinnamon rolls and breads to be delivered in a few hours to neighbors.  Our appreciation for being able to complete these menial tasks as long as our minds and bodies allow was heightened by our Christmas Eve With Mom Adcock.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Why Am I Blogging?

So the more I cruise the blog-o-sphere the more I wonder what ever am I doing.  The blogs I read are so professional and informative.  Others are side splitting funny.  Some are literary achievements.  Just all sorts of talent out there for computer folks to enjoy.

My blog is neither professional, informative and seldom funny.  So why spend time typing in the clouds?  Partly as a way to just feel less isolated.  Partly to give voice to some of my thoughts.  It has proven to be a way to stay in touch with several distant friends and family.  Not that anyone comments on stuff I write but some tell me it is like sitting and visiting for a while.

Today was a time to go for a followup check up on the recent surgery.  All is going as expected by the health professionals.  I would like to have a little more energy but that will eventually come I am assured by the same health professionals.  I do know the purpose of the surgery is surely already accomplished.  So there is the update for friends that are checking up on me.

Gene is probably ready for me to have more energy.  He has been doing the bulk of the laundry, house cleaning and cooking for over 2 weeks now.  In the event I have not mentioned before, I am the luckiest woman to have him for my husband.  He referred to my Christmas wish list and purchased the shoes and orthopedic inserts.  In addition some toys/equipment for my sewing hobby.  Twenty of my favorite kind of hangers.  And some wonderful body butter rounded out the gifts.

Oooo.  I forgot to tell the story of the shoes.  While Phyllis was visiting we went on 3 shopping trips.  Gene is always a good sport to play chauffeur for most of the trips.  I asked if we could stop by Plaza Shoe Store so I could just check out the shoes and/or inserts recommended by the podiatrist.  Gene is a man who never shows emotions.  Never except when it comes to his son and grandsons.  Anyway, we go in the store and the young lady guides me to the shoe and inserts.  She disappears to look for the size of shoe I was looking to try.

There is another thing about Gene.  He likes to flirt with young women.  He teases wait persons.  He winks and cuts up with young women at church.  He has special fist bump women at church.  He is a flirt and I am good with it.  So, back to the young saleslady going to look for shoes in my size.  Gene is following her and distracting her and talking to her.  And I am thinking is that he should not be distracting the lady when she is working ......

Well, she had my shoe size which was enormous now that the health professional of feet declared I was damaging the nerves in my arch.  Whereas I measure 7 1/2 medium I need to wear 8 1/2 wide.  The shoes with the special inserts are on my feet and I am walking around testing the shoe.  That is when Gene noted the only reason she had the shoe size was because he had come in the week before and had them special ordered for my Christmas gift.  I had screwed up my Christmas surprise.  But like any good person, Gene let me wear the new shoes out of the store.  And they do feel good.

To wit, let me just say the new shoes are like wearing clown shoes.  None of my toes touch any part of the shoe.  Even when I spread them out like this.  Well, you get the idea.  I need more room to get in and out of the car with clown shoes.  The next day after the shoe shopping trip, I literally tripped through the front door of a shop during shopping trip 2.  The staff were standing by the door as I cursed the clown shoes and my inability to walk through a door.  It was a wine store and I am pretty sure they did not believe the clown shoe story.

Tomorrow I may tell about more of the holiday fun we had on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I may even share the story of the lost in shipping gift.