Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Summer shots...



Today is a busy one. Had some errands that I was fortunate enough to run myself. We have hired a couple of care givers for a precious few hours a week to help with Mama and to work on cleaning that I never seem to get to. I tell you gals, it is a shot of pure crack cocaine to have someone help with the housework. I feel like I could fly...


Enjoy some of the sights of my day as I had a little light Mickey D breakfast at the Lake. What glorious sunshine!


Enjoy!


I am actually blogging while someone dusts in the way other end of the house. Imagine that...  







Have a delicious summer day. Enjoy the warmth and energy given to us in any form you see fit.



Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

In the midst...



Good afternoon! I am back after a week of vacation in sunny Hawaii!  ha ha...  And my verdant cropland in the middle of the Sahara is doing well...  And I...  haven't been away from the place. Shucks, ya caught me.

Sometimes the world just seems in focus. I always blame my eyes since I have the post cataract surgery that makes one eye see distance and one eye see close up. I have the personal belief, totally medically unfounded, that I see perfectly when I'm feeling rested and in tune with the world. I see poorly when I'm crochety, tired, or sad. Well, anyway, it's that mixed bag of blessings we have carried from the marketplace of our birth --- when it's clear, we sure see better.... but the dirt shows up. Same with sunshine, of course, as it streams through the windows alerting me to all kinds of chores, jobs, and projects.


I have been busy, of course, off and on, and totally enjoying any down time with company or with a good book or a nap. I love those kinds of pleasures in busy days. Mom is doing better and stronger although she's rather discouraged by not being out of bed yet. She didn't see how far she has come in four and a half months. It's far, I tell ya!

My dear son gave me a little four-piece set of Pioneer Woman linen china on our perfect Mother's Day. Now, those of you who know me (and he does) know that I really NEED sets of dishes. I do. Something within me craves a little set of china now and then (ahem! now!) to take the edge off life's little downers. Nothing aside from medical and personal miracles makes me happier than setting a pretty little table in the midst of my clutter. I think that might be a favorite Bible verse, too...  "Thou preparest a table for me in the midst of mine enemies." God and I see eye to eye on the value of that action, I think. I don't have enemies that I know of, but I just substitute the words clutter, disharmony, depression, despair, self-pity...  I think those are my personal Armageddon enemies for this season of my life...  And a pretty, prepared table is a total gift by God. (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)



I have several family members and friends who have young people graduating this month. Spring is such a time for joy and new beginnings. Why is it some of us fear joy because we quake in the knowledge that it will not last forever? That crazy, unfounded fear, is something, along with the piles of clutter and the mounds of "treasures," that I'm trying to conquer. This little fairy in the picture above consented to be placed within the "dome of super powers" for a few days. Not too long, she says, but long enough to charge her with extreme capabilities to assist in every domestic ritual and routine I am planning. I bought a super little notebook and dedicated it to projects, dreams, and gratitude...  How fun! Sometimes my son has to remind me, "Mama. You know you are a grown-a@@ woman, don't you?" ....  yeah... I sorta know it, but I don't believe it for a second.


Truly blessed. That's the nature of life. At times we really have to search to find a blessing in the midst of the duties and depressing events. Most of those times I know I will fail. The cruel one often tries to make light of any joy we scrape from an ugly pain. Oh, I have his number, and I know he thinks at times he has mine...  

However, let's hope for the best. My favorite mantra in times of need. I have found indeed this current day was better than the best I was hoping for a few months ago.


Whimsy and Hugs!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Days

Whimsy and Hugs!

We have been celebrating a milestone birthday for a dear friend the past two days... First a mutual dear friend and I created this sign for her since she has kept her childhood farm as a retreat and keepsake. This was entirely the concept and creation of my friend, who caught the inspiration from a sign at a local merchant. The paints and board and prep work are all hers and the lettering is mine. The sign was a complete hit!



Day One 

Had a little soiree for my friend and her sister and two others on the actual birthday. and a little pizza party on the day after so she could take her time opening her gifts... which she did. The first day we gave her the sign, and we ate fruit salad, nibbles, and meat and cheeses from a deli tray...



Day Two

After I blogged in December about my long time love of Johnson Brothers Strawberry Faire vintage china my mother (pre stroke) was obsessed with giving it to me. We found a truly reasonable auction or two on Facebook, and I received  four place settings on Christmas morning. Then... after all the drama of our winter and spring I actually forgot about it. I rediscovered it about two weeks ago in my grandmother's china cabinet where I had stacked it for safe keeping in the hurried aftermath of clearing while Mom recuperated in the hospital and we revamped the house to accept a hospital bed in the living room and my bedroom in the dining room... Wow! How does one forget such a treasure? By almost loosing a greater one I'm thinking. So... today seemed the perfect timing to enjoy new to me china at my friend's party. 



I actually just set the table. My dear friend made a yummy Italian vegetable salad, which we ate served in the teacups. She picked up the Casey's supreme pizza and a Mississippi Mud chocolate cake pre-made. The glassware belonged to my grandmother, and I liberated it from solitary confinement in the china cabinet...



We had a sweet time all day. Mom was able to get in on the party to an extent.



The rest of the week looks a little more quiet I think. However, we do always expect to be surprised by very welcome guests. Have a good week!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Out and About

I hired a friend of my son's to stay with Mama while I took my first two hours out for no reason since February 3rd. Weather was cool and semi-stormy, and I was home before I knew it. Happy meal at the Lake and driving my car...



These tulips sure speak my language!


Lake at noon


A field of dandelions

And although I told her she could just sit and study for her college classes, this sweet girl swept all my floors and steamed the bathroom. Lovely...


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Something New




Well, what I'm talking about is new to my generation, I think. The younger generation, with its link to today's medical technology, is able to predict the gender of a new baby months before it arrives. I know two schools of thought exist on this, and I'm honestly on both sides. Whatever the couple/parent wants is great!



My son is headed to a REVEAL party for a co-worker. Part of the perk of working with a group of nurses on computer support is a friendship with the staff. He is part of a group having a big reveal party in a nearby town, and he even signed himself up for snack detail. I love baking or making goodies, so he knows to always put his name down on that.




Today I surprised him with Reveal Rice Krispies/Marshmallow Treats. I honestly didn't see it on Pinterest, but I'm sure an even grander version exists. It didn't hurt mine to be plopped into a Temptations Violet 9 x 13. Love, love that brand of cookware. He was tickled that I'd gone to "so much trouble." Isn't it cool when people don't know how easy Rice Krispie Treats are?  I forwarned him to eat the pink unless he wants a little bitty blue on his tongue.



Lovely Saturday Sun and Breezes. Mom has her front door open with birds chirping right at her shoulder it seems. Time for contemplating the treat that is tomorrow... Kids coming for lunch and THE GOOD WITCH returns!  YAY!!! And also yay that I have more Rice Krispies, marshmallows, and butter...



P.S. It is a boy~


Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Nights



What is so personal about nights? I just want to know why I am so intensely territorial about my nighttime routine. I rather willingly mold and calibrate my daily round to accommodate all sorts of changes, interruptions, and chores... But set a big toe inside the sacred circle of my precious nights, and you may not come out with all your ears and toes! I am joking, somewhat, but I do notice how cranky I am at nights.


It's not that I want to sleep because I don't always want that. I just want to be ME at that time. Sleep if I want. Eat if I want. Watch TV, fiddle around with a computer, move the entire living room to another location....  Whatever! I am definitely a night creature, and I don't share very well.


At the risk of being overly introspective, I've written in my journal and done a bit of discussing of this personal phenomenon. I guess I just came up with the fact that I'm a people pleaser, an only child, and a night owl. I am severely used to the idea that when I say goodnight, barring some kind of emergency, I'm done with all those issues. I no longer have to please anybody. I do not have to grade papers, wash windows, say yes when I mean no, agree with opposite ideas put forth by the media, a kindred soul, or my mother...  I'm just ME. Totally, happily me sitting around in my comfiest nightgown and slurping icy water from a favorite glass...  Talking on the phone to whomever I want to, and reading parts of books, writing parts of stories, coloring parts of doodles...


In the past, I always enjoyed a little cat on my lap during these personal voyages to the core of my spirit. Unfortunately no cat resides in my domain, and unfortunately my mother has a bit of an issue with nights herself. She often sleeps through the night, but she also often has rather random, totally unnecessary bits of "urgency" she want to discuss, such as next year's Christmas candy for the UPS man, itemized deductions for the IRS, odd recipes and occasional residents of the community who have long since moved or passed away. And I NEVER know how long my self-proclaimed autonomy will last if I start a silly project, close my eyes to sleep, or push play on a movie I've been wanting to see... And it seems absolutely stupid to really care in the great scheme of things. But...  I'm being honest here. And I do care evidently. A bunch!


So I explain to Mama one more morning that I'm not actually angry or snotty with her during the night. It's just my nature to be kind of that X-eyed sleeping monster creature from midnight to seven A.M. She always gets it, but then she is kind of forgetful during the night because she has some kind of a deal with the dark...  We are working it out. I'm getting enough sleep with naps and stuff...  I'm just adapting..  poorly I might say...  But any progress is, after all, PROGRESS. Have a good weekend. Take two Tylenol and call me in the morning. IN THE MORNING, I said..  haha..  



Whimsy and Hugs!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Winds are brewing...

Whimsy and Hugs!

Nothing but wind! Well, let me get a cup of something magical and tell you about the winds in Missouri this spring! They are what you call, FIERCE. I mean, when I put some shoes out on the porch the other day to return, I happened to just think about checking if they "blew away...  haha.." Well, yes, as a matter of fact, they were half way to the road by way of the wild and crazy April Winds.

Above is a masterful blend of my Chai Latte, which I didn't really love, and a few chips of dry ice from an order of  Pizza Pretzels from QVC. I can say I enjoyed the dry ice more than either of those delicacies. But of course, I couldn't drink any more after that...  Such a lovely moiling of bubbles and steam, that sublimation of dry ice and liquid... I'm quite mesmerized. One of my favorite tricks if enough dry ice remains in the carton, is to submerge it in my dishwater...  Children love to play, don't we?

I'm loving the scent of pure vanilla in the oven. Evidently an old Real Estate Sales trick is to pour 2 T. vanilla into an oven safe cup and set in a 200 degree oven for at least 30 minutes to an hour. The house smells as if vanilla sugar cookies were about to appear from the cookie jars of all womankind!

In our little corner of Paradise all is the same, which is the equivalent of "All is Well," I think. Yet, looking outside, it is NOT the same as I see the red bud blooming wildly and the Spring wheat now sprung nearly 15 inches tall in places, flat in silken obedience to the wind in others.

Mom is coming along better than most expected, as the professionals who come to care for her are fond of telling her. It is a quite sad to see her little eyes get wider when well-meaning professionals tell her she wasn't expected to live. I think it scares her. She has begun to want to piece together the fateful days and moments after her stroke, so I always tell her the truth, although I might be giving the PG version at times. What she wants is reassurance that she will someday soon get out of that bed and resume her life, that nothing like this will ever happen to her again, that she won't fall out of bed when she is lying right in the middle of it with her eyes squinted shut. I do that in the lines of hoping for the best. The best is already better than many ever hoped for, so why not shoot for the stars?

She has been telling me marvelous stories about her childhood and about her childhood home in Terre Haute, Indiana. She was wondering what happened to that home, and she, of course, remembered the address. I looked it up on Intellius and White pages and discovered it was sold two years ago in foreclosure. I found a photo of it today, which looked quite like she remembered it. I found the name of the buyer, and I found his photo on Google Images. He's a 34 year old young man who must love sports. Mom enjoyed the Internet sleuthing, and she told my son all about the photos when he came by last night. Since Internet Technology is his life, he wasn't as amazed by Google Armchair PI as Mom. Go figure.

I am still sorting and cleaning and pitching and organizing. I don't see an end in sight on that job. And each box that I happen to fill and send by my son garners the usual queries: "What's in this? You didn't get rid of the ---? Did you?" He is not on board with any clearing of any cluttered memories.

Have a good weekend. If the wind blows you my way, stop in. We will have something better for refreshments than Chai Latte spiked with dry ice. I promise you that.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Spring has sprung!


I would say it is Spring! I can see traces of plans for the upcoming faerie ball! I am pretty sure they live in this tree because otherwise, it would have died before now!


The view from my window reveals leaves the size of a squirrel's ears... Do any of you know what we are supposed to plant at that time? My Gramma always had advice for life and one was to watch for leaves this size in order to do something or another!!!


Mother Earth News says this:

“When apple blossoms start to fall…,”  “When lilacs are in full bloom…,” “When oak leaves are the size of a squirrel's ear…” Our neighbors and The Old Farmer’s Almanac are full of advice about when to plant corn, beans, squash, and other crops. It may seem like old wives tales but there is a growing body of evidence showing that growing degree days and phenology (the study of natural plant cycles) are valuable planning tools for gardeners in these times of climate change and unpredictable weather.

Go Gramma! You rock, Sweetie!











Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Faeries and Spinner

Yes. The sweet faeries have come out to play on our mantel. Here in the sunset they are thinking about the extravagant fairie dance they will give at midnight on the full moon... I hope to be invited because anyone know that faeries know how to throw a great party.
~~~~~~~
I tried a new recipe today for honey-garlic chicken and vegetables. I baked six chicken breasts, carrots, and both sweet and Irish potatoes in a sauce (1 c. Honey, 1/2 c. Soy sauce, 1 1/2 T. Minced garlic, pinch crushed red pepper flakes, and pinch of thyme.) It was a hit.
~~~~~~~
And for the first time in 2016, we played a little Spinner with Mama... I was her co-partner, we played an abbreviated game, and we lost, but it seemed fun.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Kindness

Whimsy and Hugs!

Imagine waking up and going about the morning as usual...  making a few messes and getting things organized for the day. Then imagine looking out the window to see your dear friend, her daughter, and the wee cute little granddaughter with their gardening tools, snipping the hedges, raking the leaves from under them, and painting the furniture outside! Wow! I was so grateful. What kindness does is simply melt the heart. My friend reminded me and my mother that my dad had once loaned her our little patio wrought iron pieces for her wedding and that Daddy had, of course, spiffed and painted them up for that occasion. I had a friend once who claimed rigorously, "It all comes back." Well, I'm here to tell you that any kindness we have given has come back in triplicate!



Just earlier last week my yard was blessed with other cleaning, the limbs and even a tree hauled to the back of the farm. My sister/cousin and her hubby.... We have even had the first yard-mowing, rather early for Missouri, but oh, how pretty it all looks. A little gal who helps me, a friend of my son's, came this week with her daughter, and they went on a hunt for Easter and St. Patrick's Day items in my house. We packed them all away and brought out the faeries! You should see my mantel! I'll take a photo soon, and then you will, I reckon! Her little girl was so sweet, and Mama thinks they are both adorable. She loves the way they are quiet and quick about the house, kind at heart.



Is there anything brighter than a bunch of fruit in water in a crystal clear pitcher? I would love to have that on my table at every meal.



Nope. Those brown things are not weird beer bottles with squirters.  How odd that I would think they look like that since I've never heard of such a thing. Indeed they are METHOD cleaner Wood for Good Almond scent. Deeeliciolus....  I love to share cleaning items with my friends. I hope they think of me as they bless their houses with the product...  and I know I think of all the love and help everyone has given me these past two months. Yes! We are coming up on the two month anniversary of being home from the hospital.


Here is a sneak peek at a new set of dishes. (I know I should join a five step program for dish buyers.) These are called simply "Summer." and I love the little sea shells and water clams scattered on the turquoise/teal china. I guess the main hobby I have is setting my table to entertain or thank the dear friends who enter here and visit, calming me, loving us, and bringing joy and goodness into our lives. I know my mother appreciates it, and I certainly don't know how to express how much it means to get a text that says, "Want company tonight?" or to simply look out my door and find a smiling face on the other side. Angels, they are...  angels watching over me, My Lord...


I have been setting out S'mores fixings with the idea that people will build a little treat as their desert. Well...  So far, I seem to be the only one who has taken myself up on the offer. Don't mind if I do! A few seconds in Mr. Microwave and it's Kumbaya and campfire time for moi!  I think it's such a cute idea, actually...  haha..  

Have a lovely weekend. I'll try to pop in with photos of my faieries and other goodness that is cropping up all around us. Time tomorrow to begin another Traveler's notebook with my new month's goals and ideas. I can't believe how much I've enjoyed that hobby...  Four months are tucked away in a drawer in a ribbon to remind me some future day about 2016,  the year that brought the lessons, the gifts, the changes, and the kindness.