Wednesday, July 30, 2014

It Happened at McDonald's

Judy and Ed, July 29, 2014
Jerry's cousin Ed and his wife Judy passed through town yesterday on their way to Glacier National Park. They had a long drive scheduled for the day, but took time out to meet us at McDonald's for a quick visit. It had been 19 years since I last met Ed and Judy, and I think the last time Anne Marie had seen Ed was in 1985 (he wasn't married yet then).

It was a very short visit, but so enjoyable! Ed works for the Salvation Army in Kansas and their two sons are now grown and pursuing education in the fields of their interest. Ed and Judy are such a fine couple that I wish we lived closer and could share our lives more often!

Ed brought with him a flash drive loaded with photos covering his family's history from his parents' marriage to almost current times. I enjoyed watching the progress of the family! And Jerry's family (Jerry's mom Emma and Ed's mom Marian are sisters) appears in some of the photos. It is always fun to see Jerry in his growing up years. There were also photos from Emma's funeral last month. In those photos we were able to "see" family members that we haven't been with in a long time.
August 1995: Ed, Judy, and their sons Nathan, and Jeremy
 at a family gathering picnic in Salida, Colorado

While we were sitting in McD's visiting, someone came up beside me and said hello--it was another friend I had not seen in a long time. She was back in town spending time with a friend, so we spent a few minutes catching up. I found out she is on Facebook also, so I sent a friend request when I got home so we can keep up that way.

It had been a long time since I had been inside McDonald's. Maybe I should go more often!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mouthbreathing, Buttermilk Skies, Tomatoes, and Other Odd Bits

When someone is described as a "mouthbreather," it is not a compliment. It implies that the person is dull-witted in the extreme. In the last week I have become a mouthbreather. I hope that does not mean my IQ has taken a precipitous drop.

My daughter and granddaughter tell me that when I was slow to wake from the anesthesia after my little nose surgery, the nurses kept telling me I needed to breathe. I apparently told them I couldn't breathe through my nose. They told me to breathe through my mouth and I told them, "I'm not a good mouth breather." I'd take a breath or two and then they'd have to start telling me again to breathe. Apparently, this went on for some time. Of course, I remember none of that!

Less than two days after the procedure I came down with a cold. Then there's the ever-present summer allergies and the smoke from distant forest fires. The result of all these insults to my poor abused nose is that a good deal of the time it has been swollen shut and, like it or not, I've had to become a mouthbreather. Necessity rules. It should be much better soon, but in the meantime I must have oxygen!

Last evening was so beautiful here--the air was calm, the temperature pleasant, the skies lovely, the flowers gorgeous, and the green treetops I feel surrounded by on the deck soothing to my eyes. Why, then, did I water my flowers and scurry back indoors? Smoke. Even though I could not see the smoke, even my nose could smell it and my lungs felt it. So disappointing. I feel pouty to complain--think what the folks who live close to the areas that are burning must endure.

Last night we had a nice little rain shower. The air felt clean and lovely early in the morning, so I relaxed on the deck for a while and cloud-watched. There is an old song about Buttermilk Skies--I do not remember what the lyrics to the song are, but I wonder if this is what a buttermilk sky is.

This year I decided to put tomatoes in some of my deck pots. I bought two different varieties. One was already quite large and I thought it would fruit first. The second was much smaller, so should provide fresh tomatoes a little later. Then I planted a third tomato from some old seed that Grace found in a kitchen drawer at our mother's house. It is seed from the old Victor strain. My sister Terry has grown them, and saved seed, for years. I planted two seeds, wondering if they were too old to germinate. Both sprouted, but one got wind blasted and died. The other was in a slightly more protected spot, survived, and thrived. Tomatoes love heat. June's cool temperatures did not harm the plants, but they just sat there. Since we've had some hot days the plants have really taken off.

Tomato plant # 1--the large plant at time of purchase. It was slow to begin putting on fruit, but once it got hot it quickly put on many.
Tomato # 2. It was quite small when I got it, but put on a tomato long before the big one did. With heat the plant has quickly grown. It must put all its energy to building the plant, because I haven't seen anymore tomatoes. Lots of blooms now, though.
This is the old fashioned Victor tomato. Although I didn't even plant the seed until a few days after I transplanted the purchased tomato plants, it has proven to grow enthusiastically. It has lots of blooms and I saw one little tomato this morning.
While being housebound by the smoke, I've been reading and listening to books. I even--finally--finished Irish History for Dummies. Now, in my continuing education project, I will start on European History for Dummies. Just a glutton for punishment, I guess!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Happy Birthday, Grace!

Today is my sister Grace's birthday. As she turns 76 the thing that makes this birthday special is that she is now cancer free. We are so very thankful for that.

Here are some photos from the impromptu birthday celebration yesterday.

Looking good three days after major surgery!

Grace's "kids"--Sue, Mike, and Tina. In the background, Megan and Steven.

Three lovely ladies: Averi, Rachel, Vaida
Grandpa Mike and the girls

Sue crocheting a soft blanket for her mother.


Mike and Vaida
After yesterday's gathering, I hope Grace gets some rest today!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


My husband Jerry was a critter person. He always had pets. He was the kind of little boy who came home with a snake or a lizard in his pocket. I remember thinking about this before we had children. I had a deep foreboding (if you have read the Amelia Peabody Emerson books you'll get that reference!) that our children would be critter kids too.

I was right.

I don't think there is a critter alive they wouldn't like to make a pet of. And my grandchild is most definitely the same.

Don't get me wrong--I like animals. I just don't feel the need to live with them. Which is a good thing since I am allergic in some degree to pretty much all animals. I like short visits with my daughter's family's many pets. I get a kick out of watching animal antics. I recognize their varying personalities. I like to watch nature programs on TV and find the animals fascinating.

Sometimes I even think I'd like to have a nice cat or a smallish dog for a companion. Because of my critter-oriented family, we always had pets in the house.

Here are the pets best suited to me!
However. . .I remember all the vet visits, the daily doctoring of multiple animals for their allergies and other ailments, the cleaning up of the inevitable "accidents" that sick pets, like sick kids, have. I think about how I hate living with a cat box and how I really have no place in my house to keep one. I gag at the thought of cleaning up the daily dog poo donations to the yard or wherever a dog is walked. And then there is the expense of vets, grooming, medicine, and food for the pets.

And I decide that I am happy to visit and enjoy other people's critters, but I am better off without my own!

Please, all my critter-loving family, friends, and relatives, don't scorn me for this!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

It Was a Good Day

Yesterday the USA and I both celebrated birthdays. It was number 73 for me. The USA is a bit older--238!

I am at a stage of life where I am very into keeping it simple. I don't want to spend the day in the kitchen and I don't want Anne Marie to either. (She did have to do a little cooking,) So our plan was to have a simple picnic-style lunch with a few friends. Life being, as it is, what happens while you are making other plans, it was just too hot to eat on the deck. Which was too bad, because all my flowers are at the peak of perfection and beauty. Then two people had to cancel--one for health reasons and the other for her dog's serious health problems.
Blowing out the candles. Fortunately, there weren't 73 separate ones!
This is me at 73. (I know that is not grammatically correct, but it rhymes!)
Our friend Gwen, whose primary job is as a surgical nurse, was spending the day as paramedic for EMS. She and her shift partner, Jeff, came by for lunch. It can be iffy on whether such personnel will be able to finish a meal before the next call comes in. It turned out to be a quiet day as far as medical emergencies were concerned. They had time to eat and we all sat around and visited for a few hours before they got a call and hustled off.

So, there was an ambulance parked in front of our house for several hours. I wonder what the neighbors thought!
And, just for fun, this is Megan. Yes, she is facing forward. She flipped her hair over her face and donned her sunglasses!

The Birdies went to the big fireworks show, but I was ready to stay home and go to bed. I did hear the big booms and explosions going on for quite awhile after I was comfortably abed.

It was a good day.