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Thursday, December 30, 2021

Grandma's Shaker Set

In the early 2000's, Hubby's dad was advancing into stages of dementia where he would "take a walk" and not always make it back to his home of 50+ years.  One such day he was found by a couple of ladies just sitting on the side of the country lane about a mile from his house.  He was out of breath and confused.  

Another day Hubby's parents were in their home of 5 decades attempting to live as they did in their younger years.  Mom downsized her garden.  She was still attempting to run the tiller each spring and fall.  One day she fell and could not get up.  The tiller was still running.  She yelled to Dad A.  He did not hear her pleas.  Eventually, she worked her way to a fence post and pulled herself up to safety.

Later the folks recounted the day they were trimming the apple trees.  Dad A stood at the top of the ladder.  Mom A. would start the motor of the chainsaw then hand it up the ladder to Dad A.  They told Hubby how safe that was.  It did not seem all that safe for two elderly people in their late 80's.  In addition to this event, Hubby had more than once found the gas burner on with no flame.   

Dad became fixated on chelation as a way to rid his brain and bloodstream of excess chemicals.  Though he never did the therapy, he did do other types of cleansings.  One night after we were already in bed, Mom A called saying, "Dad is passed out in the bathroom.  I need you to come and help get him to the hospital."  Hubby hung up and immediately called 911 to send help to his parents' home.  We lived 35 miles from his parents.  The local hospital EMS was 3 miles from the parents' home.  Mom was against the EMS coming out and causing a commotion on the country lane.   Mom A. was private to the extreme.  

After dressing, we made the 40-minute drive meeting the folks at the hospital.  Tests were already being run.  Dad A. was dangerously low on potassium.  The cleansing he was doing was robbing him of necessary nutrients.  Mom A had been helping him in these efforts.  That instance pretty much sealed the deal for assisted living.  

Hubby with the assistance of Mr. Jim Golding, had been encouraging the folks to move to a nearby aging facility.  The facility offered individual housing, assisted living, and full nursing care.  Mom was 90 and Dad was 88.  Dad A was already legally blind and no longer driving.  Mom A was too nervous to drive the 35 miles to the doctors in Springfield. Hubby had taken early retirement in 2002 just to be able to care for his parents.  They were not living independently.  Finally, in April of 2004, the folks moved into assisted living in the Methodist Manor in Marionville, MO.  

Over the next 15 months, time was spent preparing the home and property for an auction.  One of the many days we were working to sort items for the auction and items to distribute to grandkids, I saw the shaker set.  It was not going in an auction.  With a stop for a time on my stove in Springfield, it eventually made its way to Son's stovetop.  One of the main things he wanted from Grandma A's home.  

He always remembered her using the shakers while cooking.  Salting the popcorn that was always the best.  Most especially he remembered using the salt shaker on corn on the cob.  Grandma always made sure Son had the corn fresh from her garden.  She knew how much he loved it.  Once he left for college, she always froze a few ears just for him.  And she always handed him the shaker of salt for his corn.



Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Daily Writing for Practice

With a life spent mostly in a recliner in an 880 square foot apartment, there seems little to write about.  I can look around and see various objects on display.  Objects that represent so many different phases of my life.  Phases that are even from long before I was born.  A double-barrel shotgun that was my Great Grandpa Jones gun to provide food and protection for his family.  Son noted this is one of about four items he never wants out of his family.

Four items to never leave Son's family.  Grandpa Jones double-barrel shotgun, Granny Mary's iron skillet, Grandma Adcock's salt and pepper shaker set.  There is one other item that escapes my memory.  The iron skillet was about the only item of my parents that survived a house fire.  The fire burned the house to the ground.  The salt and pepper shakers set on Grandma Adcock's cookstove.  They are classic 1940's glassware.   As for the shotgun, it was passed to me by my father before our son was born.  It has hung on the wall of every home Son remembers.  

It is truly interesting the items Son wants to retain.  He ate many a meal cooked in the old skillet.  Since we lived near Hubby's parents for most of Son's growing-up years, the shaker set was seen frequently.  Always in the hands of the grandmother Son called the quiet one in his tribute to her.  He called my mom the outspoken one.  That is pretty much how the two ladies were, too.  Grandma A. was very reserved.  My mom was a spit-fire female before spit-fire was in fashion.  

The three disjointed paragraphs were written on separate days.  I probably need to rework them.  But I am not at this time.  Just publish.


Sunday, December 26, 2021

Ten Minute Free Write

If you had not noticed, yesterday was Christmas.  Does that make today Boxing Day?  Yes, it is Boxing Day, a day when the rich gave servants the day off from chores as well as gifts.  My mind immediately wondered if that is where the origination of re-gifting began.  Just a random thought in my muddled brain.

But I digress.  Our FAB family gift exchange lasted throughout the day.  Hubby and I did our exchange at home while the yeast bread rose and baked.  Once the bread was baked and iced, we headed to the FAB household to join in that gift exchange.  Of course, our favorite puppy, DJ, greeted us with jumps of joy.  Once our packages were brought in, everyone settled back down to the last few gifts they were exchanging.  Our gifts were added to the bunch.  It is always fun to see the excitement as folks open a "just for you" perfect gift.  Giggles from the Beard grandkids as they opened their very own miniature Jeeps.  No more fights over who gets Grandpa's Jeep.  Lolol.  

One of my gifts from Son and DIL was an online writing course.  Son had observed that my blogging had fallen by the wayside.  He felt I needed to get back to this creative outlet.  I am not sure how he became so smart.  Regardless, I started the course this morning.  The first assignment was a ten-minute free write in which I script my dream for tonight.  If I could dream anything I wanted, what would I want?  First and foremost, nothing scary.  I have had too many bad dreams most of my life.

So here we go with a ten-minute free-write.  I close my eyes as if asleep and just begin typing.

Do you feel the wind on my face?  We are in a convertible riding down a beautiful, shady lane in the countryside. Sam, our dog, is laying her nose on my shoulder.  She is in the back seat.  Gene is driving.  I look to see Gene's handsome profile.  Now we are in the Jeep riding on the sandy beach.  The breeze is washing across our faces.  My hair is twisting in circles.  DJ the Granddog is enjoying the breeze.  She has a giant smile on her face.  Out of the Jeep, we are running at the edge of the surf.  Laughter is spilling from my heart.  My sweet Gene holds me tightly as we kiss.  

Sitting on the bow of a longboat we follow the small stream into the Eglish countryside.  I realize I just want to stay in the countryside.  No cities, no honking horns, no impatient people.  Just Gene and I in nature.  In love and forever together.  We are young, in love, and have a future of being together.  Building a life that draws us closer.

I promise I timed myself.  That is not much to write in ten minutes.  It does not matter as it has me writing.  The instructor states that a writer must write every day.  Guess that needs to be my new goal, writing every day. 



Friday, December 24, 2021

What's Been Happening with Janice?

Three months since I wrote a post.  So here is a few highlights over the last 3 months:

A trip to St. Louis to see the Cardinals play two of the last three games.

Flight, first night, and visit to Union Station

Game 2.

Visit to the St. Louis Blues Museum.  Home to jazz and blues.

Cool restaurant in St. Louis.

Within a week of returning home, we both tested positive for Covid.   As well as our youngest grandson.  That pretty much took care of October.  November brought basketball games for the number 3 grandson.   And we attended as many as 5 in three days.   

On November 13w e were invited to attend a fundraising event for a local LGBTIA Out Youth organization.  It was entitled Glitz.  I made my own get-up to wear.  

Then came Thanksgiving week at Sis #4's home near Dallas.

Backyard bonfire at Sister #4's home

Back to Round Rock and time to have another celebration!  I am 75 now!

An emotional trip to Missouri (1200 miles round trip) for a very dear friend's funeral took 5 days following the birthday celebration.  Such a good human and a loss to all who knew him. Eddie our dear friend

We returned, again, to the little home in Round Rock.  Decorating, card completion, mailing, and gifts were now the main focus.  Of course, within 10 days of returning from this second trip in two weeks, it was time for Sister Time/Rogers Christmas gathering.  What a surprise to have a cousin from California arrive on Thursday evening for an overnight visit.  She is the one in the middle in the blue.

Surprises continued when sisters gave me a visit to a concert featuring Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra impersonators.  We all really enjoyed that as there were songs familiar from our days of youth sung.  In addition, Christmas carols.  Another delicious meal followed.  A bit of downtown Grapevine, TX, light viewing proved to be the best ending of a very busy day.

The next day found around 35 - 40 relatives gathered for food, visiting, and fun.

The finale was us 4 sisters in our Christmas jammies for a picture.  There may have been a flatulent.

It is Christmas Eve.  We will shortly head out for another delightful meal with our son, his family, DIL's father and girlfriend.  We will return home in time to put up our stockings and wait for Santa.

Wishing everyone a joyous and blessed Christmas and New Year.


Saturday, September 25, 2021


Working folks in this part of the world look forward to Friday.  I enjoyed Saturdays, especially after I married.  As newlyweds, we often spent Saturday afternoons shopping.   After all, those were our gathering years.  Until we were married a year, we rented furnished apartments.  At the end of the first year, we moved into an unfurnished apartment.  We purchased a sofa, two chairs, and a footstool at Haverty's Furniture in Richardson, Texas.  Around the same time frame, we purchased a mattress and box spring from Johnson Furniture in McKinney, Texas.  That first anniversary weekend we purchased a dining set from Levitz Furniture in Dallas. We picked a bedroom suite from Harrington's in Plano, Texas.  After waiting for 3 months and still, nothing had arrived the order was canceled.  

Grandson #1 on table, 2007

Back in those days, there were newspapers filled with ads on the weekends.  We went to a favorite little store, Weir's, in Highland Park, Texas.  And there was the exact bedroom I wanted.  Hubby liked it, too.  Knowing the Johnson's carried the same brand we returned to that store.  Within a week we had the bedroom suite as well as the coffee and end tables to complete our little apartment home.  Except we still needed the accessories like lamps, pictures, and the bric-a-brac that most hubbies hate.  

The sofa, chairs, many of the original pictures are long since gone.  We do continue to use the coffee and end tables purchased 53 years ago.  Still have one of the original lamps purchased during the gathering years.  The dresser and armoire of the first bedroom suite still hold socks, undies, seasonal wear, and pj's as they have for the past 53 years.  Not the same socks, undies, seasonal wear, or pj's but what fits now.  And every time I dust and polish the pieces I enjoy them as much as the first time I did.   

circa 2006
Eventually, we quit shopping on Saturdays.  Work schedules had us on different shifts, even working on Saturdays.  Then came our son and the activities as he grew into a young college student.  Oh, the days of walking next to the band as it marched in all the local parades in the fall and again at Christmas.  While Hubby worked the weekend shift, I used the time to build our backyard garden.  With retirement came a realization, every day is like a Saturday.  

Wishing you folks a lot of good Saturdays and you live your life!

Peace and Love,


Friday, September 24, 2021

Windows Open

What a glorious couple of days we have had here in Central Texas.  Mild temperatures but more important, low humidity.  Our home is about 138 miles (222 km) from the shore of the Gulf of Mexico.  Surprisingly, that distance is short enough to give our area high humidity, above 70%, most days.  Add in temperatures in the 90 F, 35 C, and it can be pretty miserable outdoors.  Makes for frizzy hair, also.

Hubby and I discussed the temps and humidity and decided we could enjoy the pleasure of fresh air.  We had purchased and roll-down screen for our front door several years ago.  Good thing I purchased the style when I did as I cannot find one like it to post.  I could get off my duff and take a photo except this chair is surely comfortable.  The apartment has stayed cool even while I cooked dinner.

Today was haircut day.  The hairdresser's shop is a one-chair room so it is just the two of us.  Both of us have been vaccinated so we were able to talk without masks.  I still am challenged with my throat or something making it difficult for my voice to have much volume some days.  This was one of the days.  

Misti entertained me with tales of her recent vacation to a small lake in East Texas.  The property covered 580 acres (235 hectares).  The bungalow sat next to the lake and came with a dog.  Well, it was not noted that there would be a dog but it did run around the property.  There was even notice about Blue the dog in the bungalow.  "Blue is friendly, on a diet so, please, do not feed. "  Blue showed up almost immediately.  Misti became his favorite human.  When nighttime arrived, it seemed Blue wanted to come in for the night.  Misti and her hubby decided just to leave Blue outside.

The next morning Misti visited the main office to pick up the dune buggy they had rented she ask about Blue.  Seems as though each time there are folks at the Deer Lake Cabins Ranch, he picks his favorite human.  Misti had won the lottery of Blue for their visit.  Blue spent the remainder of the visit with Misti and her hubby.  Blue even went for a very early morning boat ride with Misti leaving her hubby by himself!  And there was even a very low fog on the lake making it so romantic!  Misti said her husband shook his fist and said, "Damn you, Blue!"  Then laughed loudly.

As nothing more exciting than we opened our windows, hope you enjoyed the tale of Blue and Misti.  It left me with a smile.  The haircut gave me a few ounces less hair to get fuzzy the next time the humidity goes up.

Y'all all stay safe.



Monday, September 20, 2021


At the beginning of spring, I had posted about Sis #1 having to begin chemo.  Later a series of radiation treatments were required to stop bleeding that had developed.  The cancer was working hard to claim her.  There is great news.  Sis #1 has now had three PET scans.  Each scan has shown a reduction in the size of the tumor.  Fewer lymph nodes are showing to be affected.  This is amazing considering she was given just weeks to live without chemotherapy.  Is it the power of medicine or the power of prayer?  I do not feel it has to be either/or.  It is just a miracle for each day we have her.

Sis #1 on her 85th birthday.

In the same post, I mentioned our Adcock grandsons.  Grandson #1 has spent the summer months being a river rafting guide.  He has absolutely loved the job.  He will be moving into being a ski guide during the winter months.  Living on his own in a state two days drive from his parents.  He is a man now.  

Grandson #2 returned home from the 3 months in rehab.  Within just about 3 weeks he needed two different minor surgeries.  One of which was hernia surgery.  He is now in his 11th year in school.  Rather than going back to the same high school, he is now attending a small private school.  He played an American football game last Friday night.  It was homecoming.  And he now has a girlfriend.  He attends AA meetings to keep himself clean.  

#2 will do fine as he makes friends easily.  We are hopeful he has learned all the skills needed to control his impulses.  Impulses to fight, drink or smoke.  He did see a fellow player become aggressive on Friday during the game.  #2 helped to stop that player before things escalleted. 
Grandson #3 may have a touch of Asperger's.  He is really sensitive to touch and has some challenges socially.  He is soooo very funny.  His humor has a funky edge to it.  Last week we had picked him up from school.  I was having some trouble breathing so I was using my rescue inhaler.  It was taking some time for the inhaler to improve my breathing.  I was still coughing.   #3 who seldom gives hugs or much positive feedback just looked at me.  "Grandma, I need you to hang around for a few more years, please."  

#3 is the young man just outside the circle of kids.  He was attempting to engage with this group.  Hoping for the best as he, too, had to change schools.  Not that he needed to,  His mom id not want him attending the school where #2 was introduced to drugs.  

Bonus Granddaughter just had her 21st birthday.  She is carrying a 4.0 average in her 3rd year of college.  Bonus Grandson is in his final year of high school.  He is working during his spare time.  He is applying to different colleges.  Has already been accepted by two of them.  Neither is in Texas.

I do not know of any other subjects that need further updates.  Hubby and I are healthy.  Guess that's about all for now.  Oh, I did bake oatmeal and peanut butter cookies.  Hard to resist!



Thursday, September 16, 2021

Windows and Change

Today as well as the past several days have brought the feeling of fall to our area.  For this part of Texas the change is a drop of maybe 10 degrees F in temperatures.   The bigger change is the angle of the sun.  Our patio is next to an entrance to this building.  Apartments to the south are situated about 30 feet (9 meters) closer to the east.   With the change of the angle of the sun combined with the L shape, our patio is in the shade by around 11 AM.  As the days progress our patio will only have morning sun.

What does the season change have to do with windows?  Nothing, in a word.  It just seems as seasons change it is time for cleaning.  Starting last Friday I decided blinds, bedroom windows, patio doors, and transom windows needed cleaning.  And did they ever!  I ran out of Windex for the windows before the task was completed.  Tuesday the refill came with the grocery order so I was back at it today.

In the area of the transom, there are collections of mundane glassware.  Canning jars used by my MIL.  Bottles of glacier water from the Athabasca Glacier in Canada.  Glass milk jugs.  A couple of glass insulators.  Granny Chandler's glass snuff jar.  Three wind chimes.  Lovebirds were a gift to my parents for their 50th wedding anniversary.  One small cruet from Uncle John Chandler's homeplace.  All those items were covered in dust, too.  

It is evening and I sit looking across the distance.  Sitting in the comfort of a recliner with a glass of iced water.  Enjoying the clean glassware and windows.  Tomorrow I may need to wash the curtains.  Cause it feels as if fall is on the way and a clean house just feels good.

Peace and love,

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Hay Bales and Fall

Daddy told a story about baling hay in Honey Creek bottom fields.  Bottomlands were areas that would frequently flood during the wet parts of the year.  The soil was rich and produced bumper crops of hay for feeding livestock through the winter months.  Hay harvest depends on the type of grass crop as well as weather conditions.

My two older sisters had to work in the fields.  Sis #1 remembers parking the tractor when she was 5.  Sis #2 fell from the tractor and was almost run over by the stalk cutter pulled by the tractor.  A pure miracle she was not horribly injured by the cutting blades.  Both sisters hoed fields, bucked hay, drove tractors, whatever was needed to keep the fields and crops growing.

The year our family went on vacation to Yellowstone National Park my sisters wanted to go to the lake with friends.  Daddy was a hard taskmaster.  He said no to the lake visit.  In fact, Daddy made the girls, 14 and 10 years old, hoe the field by the main road to the lake.  They had to see all the cars go by filled with friends going to the lake.  Daddy hoed, too.  Decades later Sis #1 and Sis #2 gave Daddy a bill with interest added for the July 4th day's labor.  It was a running joke for years.

Back to the hay baling tale from Daddy.  During the late 1940s and 1950s hay bales were rectangular bales. Bales were between 40 and 75 pounds (2.8 - 5.4 stones) in weight.  That is a heavy load to toss to about shoulder height!  The worker would use a hay hook to grab the bale by plunging the point of the hook into the hay bale.  Once Dad missed the hay bale and plunged the hook under his knee cap.  He missed a few days of hauling hay.

Oh, my.  I continue to digress.  Daddy's story was about the farmer who worked the bottomland.  The bottomland grew other things besides the hay.  Snakes.  Not just the good snakes but copperheads and cottonmouth.  Both snakes are poisonous.  Daddy said it was not unusual for copperheads to be hanging out of the bales.  The snakes had been picked with the hay/straw and were embedded in the bale.  The snakes would attempt to strike as the workers came near the bale to buck the hay onto the trailers.   There may have been a gun or two to dispatch the pit vipers.  Daddy never said for sure but it is Texas.  Guns likely involved.

Any of you folks planning on bucking hay, please, watch out for the snakes.