Saturday, March 28, 2015

Cozying in...

Long weekend already, and it hasn't really started. Mom's "sweet as sugar" hair stylist makes house calls. She came and gave Mama a perm. Her hairdo went from Al Sharpton ... Yikes! to a much cuter, short short curly do. I know that makes her feel better because she was much happier today.

I'm sitting up with the moon right now, the little half moon shining in the purple night haze. Don't know what's up with the weather around here with predictions of both snow and 65 degrees during the weekend. That can't be quite good on the old earth? It sure makes us glad to be inside with the furnace humming and the quilts fluffed up on the bed. I would have to say it is downright cozy in here. My candles are flickering, and I don't even see any cars right now on the highway. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

I just made a nice pot of cheesy potato soup for tomorrow's lunch. Yes, I did. Here after midnight, the onions, potatoes, celery, and stock just bubbling away, cheese melting and ...  I could go for a bowl right now! But I'll wait. Drinking a little Diet Coke instead. I know. Caffeine at one a.m. is not a good idea. Yet, it works for me.

Well, I have a little movie on my iPad that's calling to me...  I just love snuggling down under the covers with the house quiet and watching movies on the iPad. So crystal clear, so in my face I feel as if I'm right there in Middleton...  Yep. I found 'em on iTunes. "Keeping a good thought for ya!" You know who you are.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Popping in...

Hey there.. no news is good news they say.  Laundry, cooking, and regular  things going on. Have a nice Thursday.

P.S. no, That is not Even remotely my Laundry Room. ...isn't it sublime? 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Isn't it funny. ..

Isn't it funny how different people  remember  the same thing exactly opposite?  I recall a house filled with boys playing all the time.  Video game.  Re arranged the whole house so they could have an arcade in the living room den. .. pizzas. Brownies. .. all- nights.... some /several kids even lived with us at times.

My son remembers all that and constantly says he had a great and cool mom. ..but ...... he was talking the other day about how mad I'd get at  him if he ran up to me WITH the kid who wanted to come stay all night..... I had forgotten that entirely.  It was hard to say no with two happy faces expecting the best.

Just sayin'

Blue Hour

I first heard about this blue hour photography from the blog Between Naps on the Porch. Just caught it this morning as I was up doing some other things.  Quite magical.

I hope you had a nice weekend. I actually got out of the house for the first time since Valentine's  Day. It felt very strange and wondrous... kind of like that first drop of caffeine after you try to give it up a few days. ..  And I got to spend time with my son and Mom. ... who could ask for more?

I'm reading a book on Clearing and cleaning and clutter Removal. .. it is mind blowing..I'm not in a position to clear this way but oh,  I want to. .  I'll add a screen shot of it below. 

I also read a new book on aging that really spoke to me. .. . Not that I ever want to stop being me, but being the real me or new me is enchanting. .. Screen shot below. 

I'm posting this with an app on my phone so photo position is cumbersome. Now why I'm doing that instead of using something easier and better?  I'm blaming the blue hour. ..which is gone by now...

Have a wonderful day.

Friday, March 20, 2015

She Called Us Darlin'

I've written posts about many friends, pets, celebrities, and icons when the time comes that they leave this world. I have waited a good many weeks to write this post dedicated to my friend Nellie, who left this earth during the worst of the Thanksgiving ordeal with my mother's fall and hospitalization. Whenever we don't see our loved ones often, don't attend the funeral or visitation, don't mingle with the grieving much after the passing...  our ever-appeasing little minds try to convince our intellect that our loved one is still right here. Since that time, I've often thought of something fun I needed to tell Nellie, thought about calling her on the spot... but realistically known in my heart that wasn't a phone call with connectivity yet developed here on earth.

She's that kind of friend, small in stature, larger than life, whose spirit indeed cannot be quenched. For those of us who have been lucky enough to be friends with Nellie (and who in five connecting counties would that be?) our minds cannot race fast enough to describe this woman, mother, grandmother, great grandmother. Her birthday, coming at the advent of spring, seems a fitting time for me to give it a whirl.

I remember both the first and last times I laid my eyes on Nellie Loreen Skinner. I was a brand new teacher giving a brief introduction to both myself and my philosophy of teaching at the first PTO meeting in 1975. Scared, unsure of myself, I recalled my college speech teacher's advice to find one sympathetic eye and speak to that person. My sympathetic eyes belonged, of course, to Nellie. She nodded and seemed to embrace the words I said with her whole heart.  I would often later learn she actually accepted the whole scope of her world in that same, "eager to know you" style. Nellie was a people person. The last time I saw her she walked by me on her daughter's arm, leaving a party in late October. Her warm smile and unmistakably low voice whispered, "Bye, Lovey," as she patted my shoulder, walked behind me, down the steps, and out of my world forever.

But oh, the time in between 1975 and 2015... those unbelievable forty years full of the giggliest and the teariest of times. That's what Nellie is all about. She had the best laugh, the most excruciatingly funny comments, the stylish-est dance moves, and the biggest smile ever known. I had the utmost honor of teaching her three daughters, and several of her grandchildren. Together, Nellie and I joined our friends to travel the back roads, explore the maybe's of life. She never met a dare she wouldn't take (sometimes that wasn't good, but oh, sometimes it was!) I found myself doing things I wouldn't have done in my normal life... She not only encouraged a bolder way of living, she instigated it instinctively. Nellie was a combination of people, some soft and loving, some nurturing and motherly, some out of this world daring and sexy, and some best described by that connotation coined in Project Runway... "fierce." I loved her father with his unbeatable winsome humor, and Nellie was so much like him. Nellie was a handy-woman, able to fix a furnace, decorate a baby nursery, stir up heavenly baked beans and soft deviled eggs fit for the gods. She could convey that special essence of dance in every movement she made, especially if she did decide to take a turn on the dance floor. From the moment she lifted her hands... before her feet began to move, she danced.

With Nellie, we experienced great, unmistakable tragedy. Her oldest daughter died in a auto accident, leaving four beautiful young children. I'd never experienced that kind of grief  in its raw agony. All of us suspect, and some sadly know for sure, that loss brings the kind of change of soul that has no complete recovery. However, because Nellie loved her remaining daughters and grandchildren so much, she did force herself to heal.  I will ever remember her answer to that recurring question after life's worst events: "How are you doing?" Nellie always responded, "Better." And she was.

Play the piano? Why, yes, she could... any song, any melody... embellished with the grandest of chords and laughter. Brew a cup of tea? Of course, she could... and did. To find someone capable and willing to hear the outpouring of hearts, murmured over a hot cup of sweet tea... priceless above all attributes. Nellie cared. I could tell her the same hurts over and over and not feel silly for not having recovered. She was a "Yes, let's roll!" person instead of a, "Oh.... maybe you'd better not." If you've had one of those in your life, you are lucky. Just as we all were.

Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren called her Ma. My son loved her. My friends loved her. My mother loved her. I love her. Nellie's life, raising three daughters alone, working several jobs, losing a daughter, mothering so many... it is just hard to explain this woman. She invited frivolous frolic, often throwing open her doors to parties, moon-watching, and often attending events and parties in our community. I have watched in nothing short of awe as she challenged/encouraged others to do things never thought possible. As with so many strong people, she had her set of behaviors that often just didn't fit into the average swing of things. Those of us who love her simply shook our heads and said, "That's Nellie." We accepted no flack from anyone about it. Some things we understood. Some things...? we figured we would get the answers some day.

Age and poetry lend themselves to help me as I consider the events, people, actions of my life. Metaphors, symbols, connective visions leap un-beckoned into my heart and memory. The more I have known and loved, the more jumbled run the images all pushing into my heart to be acknowledged in this post. Red kitchen, vintage convertible, risque rhymes, sharp tongue and soft heart, babies rocking, and people charming...  I cannot write them all down today, but I hope I've said enough to honor this beautiful, generous, amazing friend of mine. I love her daughters and family, and I've lost a treasure of my heart. Today, her birthday, the first day of spring, anniversary of a grand kidnapping birthday party I organized for her in what seems like another life, the day of much celebration...  it's a good time to say what my heart is feeling.  Nellie, I love you. I know you knew that...  You called us Darling... and we felt so loved. Enjoy your birthday in Heaven, Dear One.

Photo from Facebook file. October 2013...

Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sick of Winter Vegetable Salad

So, yeah... We've been teased by summer weather, but today is chilly and grey... Typical March fare, but I'm raving mad for summer food... Mainly, big red juicy tomatoes! But other summery treats beckon! I'm starving for this salad. We make it sometimes, but it makes a ton, so it has been a while. I want you to see the original in its full glory! My mother loves recipes with all her heart. She has great collections of beautiful cookbooks and treasured cards in writings of many beloved grammas and aunts. I love the end few pages of Mom's favorite cookbook.... Filled with delicious favorites. This is one, for sure.



Vegetable Salad

20 oz. Bag frozen mixed vegetables

1 c. Chopped celery

1 can red beans, rinsed and drained

Cooked bow tie pasta

Cook vegetables 12 minutes in microwave. Add other ingredients. Cool. Add dressing.

Dressing---- I usually double this for salad because pasta sucks it up. If you don't want pasta, and why wouldn't you? One recipe of dressing might be enough.

1 c. Sugar

2/3 t. Salt

1 c. Vinegar

2 T. Flour

1 t. Yellow mustard

Cook all together in saucepan until thick. Pour over salad. Chill... All these warm ingredients slurp up that yummy dressing.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

May the luck be with ye...

Enjoying a perfectly refreshing Irish St. Patrick's Day. I have been cleaning the kitchen, blonding my hair, washing the laundry.... Mama ordered a pretty coral Irish sweater from QVC this morning, and I scored some delightful Inis hand lotion.


My son will be here for Irish Paleo stew tonight. My sister/cousin is bringing us Reuben Sandwiches for lunch. I always have loved the Irish traditions, countryside, and people I've met. My almost son, who lived on and off with us for many years, is now married to an Irish treasure and living in Dublin.


Have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day!


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Dawn's Early Light

So...  I've noticed some odd things about sleeping in a window and my being mostly handicapped. I take a lot of pictures out windows...  I see my world through the panes, but I do see a lot. In fact, I've noticed some mornings that my shoulders rather hurt from subconscious, pre-awakening muscle strain. I've been sort of hanging mid-air, looking out my window long before I truly decide I'm awake. Suddenly I wonder why I'm staring without seeing out and down my mom's long lane. I laugh at myself and either lie back down or get up for the day... and wonder why I'm up so early with no place to go.

This morning, I decided to grab my new camera and head to the back porch to capture some silhouettes of our bare March trees with their timid new growth, posing pristinely before a pinkly azure sky predawn. All shots are taken through a very old porch window (which could use a little Windex, I think.)

I'd wondered where my 4:30 Moon had gone. Here is the sliver, barely up in the sky at 6 a.m. Experimenting with lense settings, I tried to get it to perch on a tree like a glistening fruit on a branch.

At this point I was just snapping the sunrise. Then I noticed a couple odd lumps in the barren bean field behind our house. Oh, deer! I was amazed to find three deer slipping into focus.

Outside the window you will see an abandoned club house built for my son by my ever-creative father. Now, akimbo, the club house still stands through all these wind, snows, and crumbling times. It needs to be razed, but something about the happy past prohibits my son from destroying this bit of his childhood.  It's his to tumble. I have my own messes to consider.

Then, as either my eyes focus or the light begins to grow, I'm counting more and more. Six. I see six deer grazing for breakfast in my mom's back field. I consider our neighbors and friends who hunt and hope these deer stay safely out of sight when they are stalking through the forest with their bows and arrows. I'm always sad during hunting season. Although I realize how prolific deer can ruin crops, gardens, and flowers, I would still run a game sanctuary if I could.

My mother was, by that time, getting up. Her movements on her walker, however soft, penetrated the house walls. When she flushed the stool, my deer raised their majestic heads to weigh their peril factor. They heard her rolling through the wooden hallway, and they stopped foraging long enough to determine they were still safe.

The temperatures are now 70 degrees by day and 30 degrees by night. Frost on the roofs, fields, and windows. I love the reflections of dawn almost as much as the real thing.

All in all, I finally counted up to eleven in the herd. I'm wondering where they sleep, if they'll be back tomorrow, and if they will survive spring bow season. My dad gave our renter permission to hunt. He actually gave a neighbor permission also, but they didn't seem to get along in the woods after my father's passing, so I had to make the decision to let the renter have control.

Curious to the early home sounds, they began to move even farther into the morning.  Mom did get to see them also.

My son and a friend are coming for lunch. I've been up four hours, and it's only 8:30. I'd say it's just about time for a nap.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Foggy Spring Morning...

It's kind of foggy here in Missouri this late winter, almost spring Friday. I have some custard stirred up for surprise English muffins for Mom. Yesterday was a rough day for her. Seems like her progress is four steps forward, two steps back... However, it hasn't even been three months since she came home from the hospital, so I think things are going okay.

My son teaches computer programming in a local corporation. He calls each session Boot Camp because the training is literally jammed into a short time frame, and it's truly intense. He loves teaching it, and the student target group is toward adults who didn't get a staight shot at success right out of high school and are ready to turn their lives around. How exciting!


I've lit some morning candles, and I'm sipping some hot water and lemon. What miracles that concoction is supposed to work in our lives. We shall see because I have lovely Young Living lemon oil and plenty of hot water. Plus I love, love lemon anything...


Think we are about ready, decorator-wise for the Easter Bunny around here. My room down the four stairs... Not ready for ANYTHING, and I truly need to spend at least a whole day or two down there... Boxes to go through, Halloween, Christmas, old clothes, "treasures"that didn't sell at my shop... Ugh! Someone. I used to hang out with always looked at a room like that and said, "Light a match!" I cannot think who said that!

Well, hope you've enjoyed my early morning peek at my Easter/spring dining room table. I love it at night. My Daybed where I sleep is enchanting in the twinkling lights that end about thirty minutes after I go to bed. All these lovelies are on timers... Magic indeed.

Have a lovely Friday.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Night moves

Trying to situate things for a little tv service provider switch and upgrade can be frustrating and overwhelming. We are switching to a local provider that may get us more to watch, local news, and higher Internet speed. I bought a bit of much needed, improved equipment, as well.. 

Naturally, lots of things to move, ship receivers back, and shove  furniture around. It's fun though to be in the driver's  seat of change... a month ago we were in turmoil because of bathroom drain troubles,  and it was half  the work but seemed worse because we were being dragged through it by uncontrollable circumstances. 

Going through illnesses and change. .. all dragging incidents. .. I believe life to be a constant state of change, and the happy one is the woman who sparks a bit of wonder, mystery,  and change herself. .. and can roll a bit with some of the unforeseen. 

I'm not a fan of change, but I understand it is here to stay..when things are bad, change is excellent.

In taking a small break before heading downstairs. Switching the TV in my room to the west wall and opening up an east window... Hello, Moon ....

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Two weeks

Well, according to the calendar, we have two weeks until almost all the snow disappeared in the beaming sun.

Watching the flower show in Philadelphia on QVC.. Just waiting on seven o'clock and THE GOOD WITCH...

Two weeks.  Anon...anon...

Monday, March 2, 2015


I know. Sure, I do. I know exactly what you are thinking. "Is she really going to post yet another picture of the moon from that window of hers?"

Um... yeah. I am. And I cannot even promise it will be the last one. Oh, the moon... Not full this month yet, but hazy and magical, mystical still on the trees with their light edgings of snowfall. The eaves hand full of icicles, but I imagine they'll be gone by morning. Our metal roof is prone to avalanche, for sure.

It's 3:30 a.m....  Not very sleepy.

I've cleaned out and washed thoroughly the refrigerator. Why? Well, I was trying to watch a French film with subtitles, and the refrigerator in the film in that French home was completely gorgeous... So, of course, it had to happen here.

March was in like a lion in our part of the country with heavy snowfall and pretty decent winds. In fact, it was so snowy it didn't really register to be March..  just another winter night. And another.

Had lunch with my son and a friend, Spinner with all of us, watched television with Mama...  I have heard her up several times tonight.  She gets ready to come out to the table by now, and I've not been to bed. Better catch a snooze before dawn, huh?

Have a good week. Do something fun...  again.

Whimsy and Hugs!