Monday, February 20, 2017

Mommy's lost the dining room... again!


That was the little cry my son at five years old told to my parents after a big change of furniture at my house. I switched functions of rooms, and it totally blew his mind. I didn't do that here, but last Saturday I decided to rearrange the furniture in the living room. I'm loving the space and air it gives to the room. In these pictures, the room looks super long! In real life, it isn't that pronounced.

 




My dear son gave me balloons, a great card, and candy for Valentine's Day. We had rib eyes steaks and enjoyed the evening quite a lot!




Today I have ripped out a few corners full of clutter and am in the process of paring down so very much STUFF....  It feels good to do that about 7 A.M....  Along about now, noon.... I would just love it if I had left well enough alone. But duty calls..  I have to get a ton of stuff off my kitchen floor. No way would it all fit on the countertops again! No way should it!  See you tomorrow.



Whimsy and Hugs!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Snow Moon Tonight


Well, the complete full moon will have to be downright spectacular to dim last night's glorious light on the new-fallen snow (which has melted and blown away)....  Stay alert and you might see the eclipse and a comet!  I will probably just stick with the moon.

I have never been a fan of eclipses...  I feel as if the moon has darkened and won't be back. Yeah...  that must be my Celtic roots showing...  Didn't they go in search of the moon during the dark of the cycle?  

These were snapped this morning through my window.... again...








Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Laundry Spinning.... world keeps turning...

Good morning! I hear the load of towels in my washer as they rotate through another round of cleaning, and I think about what they must be thinking...  Dizzy, drowning...  then warm and cozy and quite happy to be all bundled and folded next to their comrades until...  another cycle of ...  what we call life.



I made a kind of promise to myself not to fill the blog with all kinds of sad things... years ago when nothing was really sad. So, just know your words of kindness and sympathy are all so very appreciated. I had no idea that blogging could bring such wonderful people into my life, but it did. It was such fun to whip up my chair to Mama's bed and run through the list of where people were logging in...  She was always amazed and kind of proud with that little Mama thing that felt like it was something HER DAUGHTER did that made a blog be visible around the world...  I really didn't explain because it made her happy to think that. And in turn, it made me happy, too...  



I am poised on the threshold of many decisions, but one of them has to be rearranging furniture. Those of you who have that "gene" know just what I mean. I always love to rearrange, even if I am just cleaning the house. It makes me so happy to see all the wonderful treasures against a new wall, a new temporary showcase or home. Well, right now I am rearranging for me...  for a little nod to myself that yes, this is my home now. Mama had kept this furniture in the vary same place once she made room for it at varying times of purchase. My son laughed that he had never seen even a figurine in a different spot his entire lifetime of 35 years. I haven't moved anything.... yet, but it has to be soon. I feel too much of a "where is she?" presence, and although that isn't horrid, it's just sadder than sad....  and quieter than quiet...  and ....  it won't get better for me until I do something.  Ah, Gramma...  Her words are so dear to me, "Do something. Even if it's wrong." Those little phrases from my childhood have served me just fine...  and believe me, I have done some things that very definitely WERE wrong!  But we won't dwell on those here today.



We got a skiff of snow..  I just looked up the definition of the word skiff, and per the Oxford Dictionary, it may have come from the colloquial Scottish verb meaning to lightly move across a surface barely touching it... and it is used in the Northern parts of the country to describe a light breeze, light rainfall, or light snowfall.  Skiff can also be a little light boat that scoots across the water, barely touching its glazed surface...  I love words. Of all the gifts given to us, some value music, some art, some food or nature. There is power in all of those, I admit, but to me, perhaps either because of or the reason for my 36 years teaching Language Arts...  words seem the most powerful. It must have meant a lot to God, as well, for he used the term "Word" to describe his son.



Well, I have chosen the menu for Sunday, and gathered most of the ingredients. I have ordered the notes to send to thank our dear friends and family for the lovely tributes and gifts and hours of their lives they so lovingly dedicated to helping Mama, my son, and me. I have done the laundry and planned the details of the big furniture move. I could go for a big pizza right now if I had a car, but it's on loan STILL to my son as his truck finally gets close to being repaired. 



I am thinking that I certainly didn't have all that much to do when I was "faunching at the bit" during my care-giving days...  thinking I could be doing my own life... and all those desperate things a caregiver might often think...  I guess I still have monumental things to do...  and I still don't really do them...  My Gramma...  besides the other statement, she always laughed about piled up chores...  "They'll be there!" she would laugh....  And they are....  My Gramma didn't "sweat the load" much, and that's one gift she gave me that I appreciate when the load looks pretty huge.  



To be further literal this morning, I looked up "Faunch"...  there seems to be a difference in faunching at the bit and "chomping at the bit"...  "chomping or champing" is to say one is pumped and ready,  while "faunching" is from the Southwest and means to have anger and frustration but have to go anyway...  So yeah...   "Faunch" is correct here...  Whooo...  I do need a day job! 



Thanks for listening and for being there through the years. I love you much!





Saturday, February 4, 2017

Saturday again...

Cold and clear, Missouri mornings do not fail to brace us for the weeks we spend in work and flurry and energy. February has arrived in its cheery red and pink brevity. 

I am a planner, a dreamer, and an optimist. All three will serve me well as I navigate the quiet emptiness of my new life.



Do you have plans for the weekend or the big Superbowl? I think nothing sounds better than a big, red, iron dutch oven of chili, Pioneer Woman style. Perhaps some peanut butter and honey sandwiches--- (only if your school always had that combo of chili and peanut butter do you think this menu sounds great!) I foresee a line of son-picked movies for tomorrow and very little work. According to my tally, all this menu is a go if we locate some good old saltine crackers....  


I am grateful for the beauty that surrounds us. 






Saturday, January 28, 2017

Mama

Well, dear friends, this is the post I didn't want to have to write. My dear Mama passed away this morning at the hospital. My son and I are so very sad, lost, and heart broken. He told me tonight that he and I had taken a completely different approach to this past year and two months of gifted, borrowed time with her since her stroke. He said he had told himself she couldn't live, and I had told myself constantly I thought just maybe we might get a miracle. Well, it turns out we both were right, and as he said.... neither way prepared us for the hurt we are feeling in our hearts.

I will be talking to you again soon. Thank you for all your lovely thoughts and prayers through these years. 


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Ice and Moonlight

Good morning! Thought I might pop in today as we may be getting an ice storm beginning any time this weekend through Sunday. The weather has been nearly balmy, and fogs enshroud the old wolf moon's full splendor. You may think I just re-post these moon shots from time to time. but I assure you I sit enthralled each month and capture a new one through the window above my bed! I'm kind of in love with this one!


I have a good start on packing Christmas away. My epiphany goal, unmet yet to be all settled back to pre-holiday glow. This year I bought a delicious buttercream Christmas tree, and she wants to help Mama celebrate some more. I know. It is rather a new low for to blame mom for not wanting to undecorate! I packed away all the baubles but I am allowing a baby pink hearts and birds theme to frost the corner for that February holiday.



I need to get a bit done as a backup to possible loss of power. I hope that doesn't happen but with Missouri weather we just don't know. Enjoy the weekend.



Whimsy and Hugs!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Now I've said my ABC's

I don't usually say this, but this is a long post and you might need a cup of hot tea or cocoa to help you meander through it!


It is almost New Year's Eve, and I am set to offer up the traditional set of goals, resolutions, and word of the year...  I have my cabbage and am on track of a harmless, little can of black-eyed peas for some good luck and prosperity. My son, Mom, and I had a wonderful Christmas. My son surprised me and stayed all night in the recliner here. We watched a ton of movies and generally had a great time!


 All subtitled but very Viking and we liked it...


A classic, but I slept through it after lunch...  Bill Murray was so young!



 Not very appropriate for Sunday Christmas, but...  we laughed anyway...



I loved this one...


I made a version of  Pioneer Woman's Cowboy Chili, which is very thick and has no beans.

2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tbsp chili powder
2 lbs ground beef
One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 tsp salt 
I added: 2 T.  molasses

1. Place the ground beef in a large pot and throw in the garlic.
2. Cook the beef until brown and drain off the excess fat.
3. Pour in the tomato sauce, followed by the spices and salt.
4. Stir together well, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes overly dry, add in 1/2 cup water at a time as needed

A friend came down to spend Christmas Day, and we had several little visits through the weekend from good friends and family.



I fixed a Pioneer Woman Cowboy Quiche for my sister/cousin on Saturday morning... We did our traditional exchange on the Eve of the day... just like always.

My other dear cousins also came by at different times and brought mom some delicious home made treats.

We had a roast and all the trimmings to celebrate our gift exchange with the Thelma, Louise, and Louise gang... (We have run around together so much, but now that I am a stay at home daughter, they come to me!)

Cowboy Quiche

Prep: 30 MinutesLevel: Easy
Cook: 1 HoursServes: 10

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Unbaked Pie Crust (enough For A Deep Dish Pan)
  • 2 whole Yellow Onions, Sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 8 slices Bacon
  • 8 whole Large Eggs
  • 1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream Or Half-and-Half
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Preparation

Fry the onions in the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat for at least 15 to 20 minutes (maybe longer), stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Fry the bacon until chewy. Chop into large bite-sized pieces and set aside to cool. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the pie crust and press it into a large fluted deep tart pan (or a deep dish pie pan). 

Whip the eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a large bowl, then mix in the onions, bacon, and cheese. Pour the mixture into the pie crust.

Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet, cover lightly with aluminum foil, and bake it for about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the quiche is set and the crust is golden brown. (The quiche will still seem slightly loose, but will continue to set once remove from the oven.)

Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. If using a tart pan, remove the quiche from the pan, cut into slices with a sharp serrated knife, and serve!




Two friends came down for supper, and we watched a particular favorite movie, The Christmas Tree, directed by Sally Field and extremely hard to find. It is available right now on YouTube HERE, but it may be pulled at any time. Julie Harris and Andrew McCarthy are wonderful!


Mom was able to stay home and out of the hospital in spite of some setbacks she has experienced. Most recently she has started sleeping a lot more, but she still does a lot of singing. She does the alphabet song to the somewhat tune of Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star...and at the end she really belts out, "Now I've said my ABC's. Tell me what you think of me!"  and then if I don't tell her, I can listen carefully to her telling herself...  It varies, but she has said, "No. Don't tell me. I don't even care what you think."  and my favorite, "I think you are a wonderful woman, Norma, who has been through a very tough time." Talk about affirmations!

December 27th tiptoed right by us. I felt so very sad as I watched the clock that morning, thinking that one year ago... here. here......... here........... no, not ever again... would we have my dear mother as she was. It marked the anniversary of her massive stroke. I will say the later part of the day began to seep victorious through the timbres of our souls at the amount of living we have done in this wing-clipped year. I can see the negative doctor at Boone Hospital who shook his head that I would be able to bring her home... who set us up to wither and die from the get-go. Perhaps he might call what we have experienced a death of sorts, and it is... but there is more of life in our days by far...  even now as things have slowed to a crawl...

Back to the post-Christmas festivities... I put the Fontanini nativity set out on the 26th. It was so late, but at last I felt decorated for Christmas



I got my red sheets on my bed yesterday...  When is it Santa is coming?  I enjoyed the week so much, spending time cleaning out little fox holes of clutter and gunk. You can see in my banner my daddy's red lamp, which was in the downstairs room. It gave me a lot of pleasure to clean that lamp and add its deep, red glow to the corner of the living room.  I remember how excited he and my mother were to buy it at a favorite auction...

Yesterday we received quite an amazing gift! My dear friend and her husband brought us loads of gravel and used their bulldozer to fix our long and cantankerous lane...  !!!!!

It is time to get some sleep, so I will snuggle down in the scarlet softness of Amadora sheets from Amazon. I cannot speak to their longevity as I bought several colors to mark my way through the calendar... but they feel heavenly and wash wonderfully... You can check them out HERE on Amazon

Have yourselves a Happy New Year!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Merry Christmas....

Whimsy and Hugs! Oatmeal and Whimsy and I wish you a very sweet and precious Christmas. I have loved the feeling of being mostly caught up this Christmas. Mom is doing okay, despite a lot of calls and questions to health professionals. She is happy it is Christmas!



With love and kind wishes.....



... the very best of the season's blessings....

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

You'll Have to Sleep with Gramma if She Comes...


Supermoons fuel dreamers and perchance allow the older minds a playground through the night as they dream and awaken with yet more lyrics to the now well-loved tune, "She'll be Comin' 'Round the Mountain." This morning's addition includes, "She'll have to sleep with Gramma... and Gramma's lost her mind, So it won't be very pleasant when she comes." Oh, my. Our day begins with song!


Add caption


Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas on the Porch

Leave it to Facebook or Pinterest to inspire? You betcha. A couple of weeks ago I was scrolling along and eyeing all the Christmas seasonal porches, and I just felt the urge to try just even a little with the front porch here. Of course, I texted my partner in all things festive, my sister/cousin, and she agreed it would be great to decorate on our front porch. I told her there was no hurry, and then went on a mental search of the house for fun things to go outside.



Well, true to her own personal flair, she showed up with reinforcements a few days later. She brought her husband and his leaf blower, and she was ready and able to decorate. I had only MENTALLY prepared, now mind you. So we began to search for little snippets to go outside. I had a tree and a skate... and a few things stored in the barn.



Filter in all this time, my mother was NOT deciding to cooperate and didn't want me out of her sight that day, so she just YELLED at me to get in the house, even though I was technically only about four feet from her bed. It was kind of a zoo, I'll tell you...


However, the results showed a very festive porch, especially after she returned with red ribbon, which I couldn't find in my attempts to delve through my treasures. I will find that holly ribbon right in time though.... FOR Easter!


The day moved on through a full blown argument with Mom and a little scrape with leaf burning and a little more that scared the fairies right out of their hollow (dead) locust tree home... But finally, all was well, and the very next day friends arrived to celebrate a birthday party here, and you should have heard them exclaim about the pretty porch.


I will add one final note. During the holiday decorating I continued into the early late evening...  I met up with a bonafide casualty. I lost my great gandmother's china head doll. As in...  "Call it, Doc. We've lost her." I decided to move my mother's collection of china heads to Daddy's bed for at least Christmas... except for this girl. She was huge. I have a picture of my great grandmother, Amanda Miller, as a very young child holding this china head, which endured a fire and was professionally repaired and refired. She was exquisitely dressed in a replica of my great grandmother's wedding dress, which was black of all things, and had been ceremoniously presented to my dad's dad at one of his last Christmas gatherings...  My dad had selected her as a choice when the family divided up the belongings in his mother's home..  Yep. I cleaned around and under her and went half way across the room when I heard a horrible crash. I turned around, and there she was...  that perfectly refurbished doll... with a scattering of porcelain that used to be that repaired head...


I gathered up shatters, the body (and it felt like I was disposing of a murdered body) and the forlorn little black and white  picture and put them in a double sack in the back of my closet. I worked up the courage to tell my sister/cousin (because it was her great grandmother's, too) and she was very calm and not at all angry...  I have three more cousins with the same relationship to tell, and I am sure they will be kind to me, as well...  I don't think I will tell Mom unless she mentions it because it will just bother here.... which, yeah, bothers me in the rebound... and technically, since I'm being an honest little doggie this morning, Mom just might not be so very kind about it.  haha...  She is what she is.


So...  I'm really okay with it because I have the memory. If I don't have the memory, I'm REALLY okay with it...  ya know? I was trying my best to protect her and it was just not in the cards. I have always tried really hard to save pieces of irony to teach the concept to my students. Now that I'm retired, this is a good example....


Have a super week. Tonight is advent night number three....

P.S. Oh, by the way. This is the inspiration from Pinterest. I know. Isn't it always the way? I wouldn't be able to do this anyway because...  um.... oh, well.... I wouldn't want to clean it all up after Christmas, that's for sure!





Whimsy and Hugs!