Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Never to meet again... But that's okay

Today mom and I took one of our famous drives after her doc appointment... We mosied over west of town to Marceline to eat in the car at..... Sonic. Yep. I know. We had a Sonic about three blocks from the doc, but... The clouds and deep blue sky just called for a drive... The temperature began the dawn at a beautiful 58° in the month of July... Beautiful weather (though we do need rain sooo much!)

I enjoy Sonic most if nobody parks jammed up next to me. But sure enough, in wheeled a maroon van... A pretty one, but still. I waited for the usual usual... Loud music, bickering...smoking threat dangling out their window from a cigarette they don't want to ruin THEIR lunch.... Yep. I was being a bit pessimistic.

Instead, the side door slid back, and right there two feet away... A slender, beautiful young woman held a cute, cute, cute baby smiling boy on her lap. She smiled at us, radiant...but looking road weary. Her longer dark hair was half way down her back, and she wore a dress with smocked tube top.... Longer in back than front, white, fluid... Sweet tan, young, a few tattoos... And such a pleasant mommy... Her husband was driving. As he got out of the van, he took the baby and bagan to direct their three other children toward the restrooms in the back.

One little boy, tousle haired, shouted back, "Bye, Dad! Love you! You're awesome!" The dad smiled.... Then he shouted, "You're awesome, too!" The smiles took minutes to fade from the dad, the mom...and the eavesdropper. (Me.) when the mom walked in front of our car with her daughter, she flashed a kind smile at Mom...and a little wave.

Throughout the fairly long passage of time, the dad patiently went through each little child's dream order, detailing just what kind of nerd slushies...boysenberry... Cotton candy.... .??? And the whole concept of lunch began to take on a festive, exciting, anticipatory event. Meanwhile the mom simply twirled, laughing with the baby very quietly without show or noise playing peekaboo with first one, then another child... Finally, the dad ordered... And you can imagine the confusion over the intercom from a multiple meal- plain burger-only ketchup-no sauce please-menu... The dad's voice on our end was simply pleasant... Zero frustration... Total tolerance...actually beyond tolerant, pure happy.

Of course, they sat on the outside picnic area... When I backed out, Mom and I noticed the license plate from Santa Cruz... Long way from home. I stopped the car for one last look at this family, by now eagerly sorting through bags of burgers and cups of vibrant nerds and slush! I wanted so much to tell them how sweet they were.

But I didn't want to be a creeper... But it's so sadly rare to be around a busy bee little group with 100% Merry hearts! patience.... Appreciation.... No huffing. No "hurry-upping," no smacking. No whining or abject desolation-bawling like I hear from so many babies... No sarcasm or blaming... A dad not frustrated by his kids... No texting... A mom not barking big threats. And "Do you want a spanking?'s" (isn't that the dumbest question ever?) I had such a happy "Daddy loves Mommy- Mommy loves Daddy. -AND WE BOTH LOVE YOU," childhood... I love seeing it in action today.

They will never cross paths with me or know about their impact. I have no idea of their story.. I choose to believe I saw a slice of their normal. I don't remember dealing with life in such kind-spirited contentment... I'm pretty sure I still don't. Well, let me please take a page from their book! I choose to attempt to emulate their simply quiet joy..... Joy in the simple things...  To be together... To choose softly and carefully the happiest of simple pleasures...  to be travelin' through Missouri or any state together this crisp day in July... Whoever they are, wherever they are right now....I wish them Godspeed... Safe journey...

(Don't cotton candy, nerd Smoothies sound weird?)
(Photos saved as favorites posted on Facebook by ad pages)

Monday, July 28, 2014

This and that.......

So, recently my son joined a group of friends for a float trip on the Chariton River. Think they had sooo much fun!

I haven't ever floated like this, but I did one canoe trip on a fairly bubbly, but brushy river, Jack Fork. I always planned to again, prepared with how to pack the supplies, what shoes to take... But now I think that won't be happening...

This looks more relaxed and more conducive to meanderings...  We had to paddle and drag our canoes... Filled with children...

I decided to use some of our Summer's bounty (from my sister/cousin's beautiful garden, our neighbor's bounty, and our Amish trips.  This has been an abundantly fresh and delicious summer. Mom and I appreciate such generosity...

Today I made up an original recipe for Paleo Stuffed Peppers. I may never go back! Instead of rice in the one pound of hamburger I used about a cup and a half of bagged coleslaw mix. And I chopped up a Granny Smith apple in tiny cubes... Sometimes I let the tv show called Chopped go to my head! However, today it worked! I really loved the texture of the stuffing... And no dry rice... I added about a big teaspoon of my new favorite mix of spice called "Soul Food." It's a blend of salt, pepper, paprika, red pepper, garlic and onion powder.... Gotta go easy, but I love it in very small doses... Added about a fourth of a medium large can of tomato sauce to the hamburger mix... And two eggs. I mixed it with my hands, but not over much...

I had par-boiled the pepper halves in lightly salted water for three minutes... Drained... Put the mixture inside the peppers and covered with my remaining sauce (to which I added a scant tablespoon of soul food spice and a big glug of true maple syrup shipped our way from Indiana.

Baked covered one hour at 350° and then uncovered until brown and bubbly.... Oh, my...

Had that, salad, sweet potato baked, crusty cheese bread (for non Paleo... And almond flour flatbread for Paleo).... and green bean bundles... They are easy and pretty, but... I like green bean casserole better. I made eight bundles. Snipped ends off 40 green beans and washed them. Boiled in lightly salted water about four minutes. Drained and added a couple tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper. Tossed. Wrapped in eight partially cooked strips of bacon. Baked on oiled cookie sheet 24 minutes at 350°.

Today... What a gift! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Morning, Summer...

First thing every day... What are the rituals that bring us into full wakeful living? Early up, I usually make sure my son is also awake to get to his job. He's always been a heavy sleeper... And such a night owl. Then I sometimes get a few more winks... I remember visiting a favorite high school history teacher in her assisted living apartment. She was mad as hops that they made her get up before nine! I guess retired teachers like to snooze in.

I usually crawl upstairs and snooze... Mom is the early riser. She gets the worm. Ha ha. But looking around my room in early dawn this morning... The light plays through the curtains... There's something to be said for those bright, new hours of each day.

How long ago did I wear that little ballerina dress? ..... It hangs with my wand and my Tasha Tudor print... A new scarf from Dressing Your slouches over the recliner... Love the muted tones.

Oops. On the mantel! I was cleaning a closet shelf and accidentally left out my snowmen tea set! Temps today near the hundred mark... Thumpedy...thump..thump.... Look at Frosty go! He needs to go back in hibernation a few weeks...

Outside, the sun shoots little rays throughout the field... Soybeans, hayfield, locust trees... Daddy's barn. We don't often think what anchors us to home...but we are, indeed, planted there in heart and memory. I've lived here 28 years... 21 as a child, teen, young adult... Then seven now... My heart beats in synch with these views...

Home Is something not easily established. I can remember my mother's comments that my ex-husband always called our residence "the house." I suppose it was habit. Home to him must have been his childhood domain... But it bothered her... I call a lot of places home. And actually I don't have a home per sè. I focus on the familiar, the beautiful, the then... And the now. On good days. It's relative to me... Here, up on my corner ( my home home), my school room... A motel... I nestle in and claim my homestead fairly fast...

Yes, that windmill is tipped on its side. It is a pain in the batookey. Every little breeze...bam! I don't even try any more... That new aqua star looks pretty smackin' on the barn. It's a gift from my dear friend. Mom had the good idea to hang it there... Perfect.

My words are rambling tonight... Think it's time to call it a day. Hope you liked the little tour... And wherever you be... May you feel at home.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Just something cool!

In our little town of Bevier, the people all know each other so well. I've personally had in class nearly everyone under the age of 54 and over age 14.... Our mayor is named Bill Cosby. Yeah. Really. I've had both him and his sons in class, and he's a pretty nice "kid".... I think of everyone as a kid, of course, because they sure were when I taught them. Well, our Bill has always and forever loved the famous Bill Cosby. He has agreed with so many who say he's one of our funniest comedians. He has wanted to meet face to face, Bill to Bill....for... Forever. He has publicly cried out that meeting Bill Cosby in person was a lifetime goal.


Well, it turns out The famous Bill was going to be having a concert in Iowa this summer. After our Bill bought tickets, he wrote to the star and asked if he could buy or have a back stage pass because his name was... Well, Bill Cosby, too! Yes! Bevier Bill and his wife...(and maybe more friends)..drove to the concert. Not only did my former student get to meet his namesake idol, Mr. Cosby invited our mayor up on stage during the concert... He was gracious and warm-hearted... A true night to remember. Here is the Facebook pic of the two Bills... I just think that was super cool. Something to make ya smile.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Thunder Moon... July's Glory...

The frolic begins... And they dance by the light of the moon, the Supermoon...

"A moon is a moon is a moon... " Says my mother. But oh, she is sooo wrong. Last night's moon was not a moon like any other. I slipped out in the clammy night to a world alight with palpable treasure. The house, with its sole eastern views blocked, slowly yielded my first glimpse of this huge, shimmering friend. Hello, Dear Moon. We hung out a while until it crept toward the west...

I realized this moon gave more than an outside show. Even the inner realm took on the blue-light glow, and I sat there by the window, smiling in the big, blue chair that I'd brought from home.

Candle in the wind... Summer promise.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Rant

Here it comes. . . Self analysis, my specialty. Yesterday my dear friend dug up this picture and posted it onThrow Back Thursday on Facebook. "Isn't she beautiful?" The caption read.

Taken in about 1979 or 80, the picture captured the natural me... No makeup, curly thick hair, bright eyes... My usual... I've never considered myself beautiful... And I still don't... But I did look "pretty good!" And then, while I was mentally mourning my loss of "beauty," I read the several posts and comments. My friends were saying things like beautiful I was/am inside and out... One lady said I looked like an angel. I'm not putting this out here to brag. Far from it. I knew I needed to comment and acknowledge... So I commented, "I am speechless. Lol"

And I was. The shocking truth is that I, of course, lost my youthful loveliness... But evidently they didn't know I lost a great deal, if not all, my inner beauty, too. I was so happy, kind-hearted, innocent, and optimistic. And while I'm being a bit too honest, I'll tell you all something. I miss that pretty girl when I look in the mirror. I have "let myself go" far too much... A quick photo now reveals a tired, fat, dour, rather beat-up woman I don't even know.... And certainly don't like many days.

But that being said, I miss the inside beauty more. I hadn't really realizedthat she'd gone missing, that inner lovely.... But oh, my, yes she did. I have that dramatic, poet soul kind of emotion. I am known for my tender heart. But since I've set out today to expose myself, I will just tell you this. I've worked really hard to quell the love. I don't like to be sad, to cry, to feel devastated. And given my true younger nature, I just did. When sorrows came, they did me in... My heart bled for the people I loved, and I think I loved everybody.

Ten years later.. In 1990, I couldn't see much difference. My mom chose this picture for my birthdat greeting on Facebook. I loved this dress! Enter reality. I went through two divorces. I began a struggle with Lupus and arthritis that currently snarls and snags at my joy. Dear friends died. They lost their parents. Some, their children. Girls betrayed my son, as I see things, and he spiraled in his own bout with living life as a sensitive soul in a harsh world. I intentionally gave up my beloved cocoon of a home to move in with Mom after my dad died. Oh, you bet I gained weight. I chose to pretend to myself I didn't feel so much. I set up some walls. I ostracized all sad movies and most music. I immersed myself in Bible Studies, herbs, positivism... And a bit of denial.

I crossed a few bridges and burned a good many right after. I didn't look back until yesterday... To discover no trail, no crumbs... Like some weird, "Where are They Now?" Episode. To my utter shock and amazement, most all my friends and family still love me. Sometimes Mom tells me I've changed. And she doesn't mean that was a good thing! But ... Pretending to be tough. It's a killer. Taking its toll, my "who cares? whatever. it is what it is. that's the way it goes. we'll live or we won't." Attitude slowly intercepted this girl... Simultaneously taking her beauty, her loveliness... Inside and out. My son and my mother see me at my ever most worst... I love them with all my heart. I think I'm going to have to come clean... "I care. This can't be happening. Maybe something can be done. We have to try."

So here I am... A selfie on my sixtieth! SIXTIETH, birthday last week. Clock, you ticking villain! I'm only comfortable with sharing about half the picture! And even though I've certainly spilled my inner heart out in this blog, I'm only comfortable sharing about a tenth of all my inner angst... Plus, who would need to read all that?

I have questions how to live, function... Put one foot ahead of the other. Soooo much heartache, illness, war, ugliness... Cancer, accidents. Denial got me nowhere. Faith in God? That he is there? yes. That he comforts? Most likely. That he changes circumstances? Well... If he chooses, I suppose.

I will leave this at that. Seeing that long-ago picture and reading those kind words certainly shook me up a little. I am in the process of owning my gentle, Type 2 spirit, accepting my age, and just going about loving honestly and fiercely all the wonderful and scary circumstances of this one, magical life God has given. Silly pretend shields... Worthless. Dumbo's feather? ...

Most of you certainly knew and accepted all this a long time ago. I'm a slow learner, and, oh, Lordy...I think too much. So the years have been both kind and cold... Introspection is a curse... But it's on my mind... Lucky you.


And I thought I'd made it without a Sixtieth Birthday Rant! If you see this woman, she is desperately wanted in at least five states!

Photos in this blog are either mine...or pinched from Facebook... If something is yours, please contact me and I'll remove it or give you credit.








Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Barn Quilt Trail

I think I told my mom that once I retired, I'd go anywhere I was invited. That hasn't always been possible, but today my sister/cousin invited me on an early morning road trip. After all our storms recently, I was wondering what the early hours of Wednesday would look like. No worries. What a beautiful, fun day. Armed with iced vanilla coffees, we set out in search of the farms with quilt blocks painted on the sides of their barns----/  along the Boonville area of Missouri. A website detailed a map, and we set our goal to photograph as many as we could find. We decided to search the areas around Glasgow, Boonville, Fayette, Franklin,  and New Franklin, (?!?!?!?), and Rocheport... beautiful along the Missouri River...

Sometimes we'd speed past them and spy them way back in a there was a good deal of doubling back and laughter.

We had such fun finding them...even got better and better predicting which upcoming barn might have one. Think we found five this morning and decided to leave the rest until another day. Our local town lost its franchise for Dairy Queen a few years back, so spotting the big DQ sign was the signal for a break. Lunch from Dairy Queen taken to the shade of a magnificent maple alongside a side road. It was a lot of fun.  We drove along the back roads toward home right after lunch.

Along the way, so many homes had gorgeous flowers. Evidence of the abundant rains, Missouri's bottom land crops were beautiful. I always try to bring Mama home a little goodie, and we found some fresh tomatoes and a cantaloupe at a roadside stand.

I guess we must have passed Jellystone Park. This guy looked too cute to mess with our picnic.
We also found the ever-happy Yogi Bear, complete with his pickinick basket. No Boo Boo though!
He has a little bird on his hand. Is it real? I thought I saw the bird move its head, but guess not.

How inspiring! One of my good friends has a quilt on her barn, and it is located nearby, and I don't have a picture of it in this post. I'll update soon and show you hers.....  Of course, we both kind of want one...

This shoppe tempted, but we held firm to our vow to just drive and snap photos...

Have a great week.....  After this journey, it's time to work some magic around here...