Friday, January 30, 2009
Hi! This is Theresa, Jo's daughter. She asked me to update her blog a few days ago when the ice storm hit. She lost her electricity. She had already been trying to get her internet straightened out the day earlier, but the snow was interfering with the signals. I guess if there's a snow storm on her "mountain" as well as in some town in New England at the same time, the internet guys in India can't do a thing to help her. At least, that's the way I understood it when she explained it to me a couple of days ago.
The snow fell here Monday night. A lot of snow fell. Tuesday afternoon we had a lull in the winter weather, while she tried to straighten out her internet (to no avail ... see the paragraph above for further details).
Then Tuesday night the bad stuff hit. Lots of rain, freezing rain, sleet. It was a mess. Trees still have ice on them today. So many trees went down, taking down power lines with them. And that is what happened up on Jo's "mountain."
I just got a phone call from her saying that the electricity is back! She said tomorrow she will work on the internet. I hope the internet question center in Zimbabwe is open on Saturdays!
Meanwhile, I've littered her blog with a few of my photos from the snow. While it was debilitating (and one of the worst storms we've had a in a few years), I have to admit that it was awfully beautiful. Every muscle in my body aches from shoveling ice off of my driveway. I have to thank mommy for her know-how and great ideas in how to make easier work of the mountain of frozen sludge deposited at the end of my driveway by the friendly neighborhood snow plows.
I think I've filled up enough of Jo's blog with my words. I thought I should get over here and let everyone know how and where she is, as she asked me to do, before she gets back!
Monday, January 26, 2009
One of these days is yesterday with its mistakes and cares, Its faults and blunders, Its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed. We cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone.
The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow. With its possible adversities, Its burdens, Its large promise and poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow's Sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.
This just leaves only one day . . . Today. Any person can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities -yesterday and tomorrow that we break down. It is not the experience of today that drives people mad. It is the remorse or bitterness for something which happened yesterday and the dread of what tomorrow may bring.
Let us therefore live but one day at a time.
Let us, therefore, "live one day at a time."
"You can plan for tomorrow and hope for the future, but don't live in it. Live this day well and tomorrow's strength will come tomorrow."
So, today, try to do any of the following:
Handle the hardest job. Easy ones are pleasures. Do not be afraid of criticism. Be glad and rejoice in the other fellow's success. Be enthusiastic -- it is contagious. Be fair and do no at least one decent act. Have confidence in yourself; believe you can do it. Harmonize your work. Let sunshine radiate and penetrate your relationships.
Mend a quarrel. Search out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a love letter. Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in a word or deed.
Keep a promise. Find the time. Fore go a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize if you were wrong. Try to understand. Flout envy. Examine your demands on others. Speak love.
Think first of someone else. Appreciate, be kind, and be gentle. Laugh a little more. Take up arms against malice. Decry complacency. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth.
Welcome change as a friend; try to visualize new possibilities and the blessings it is bound to bring you. Never stop learning and never stop growing. Cheer someone.
Fight temptation. Pray for yourself and for someone. Go to church. Plant a tree. Don't ride, walk. Run for your own sake. Jog to shed extra weight. Sing to your heart's content.
Clean your drawer or table. Quit smoking. Wear a new shoes or shirt. Have fun. Compliment your teacher or professor. Listen.
Each day is filled with so many opportunities to experience the richness of life.
~Charles W. Shedd
Ohhh Wow!! What a wonderful, meaningful Monday this is turning out to be. I just happened to notice that my daughter's blog had moved to the top of my list this morning. Tersie has been on vacation from her blog for quite a while and it thrills me that she is posting again. Please stop by "The Road To Total Growth-Body Mind And Spirit" and welcome Tersie back.
Wishing you a blessed week
"One Day At A Time"
Saturday, January 24, 2009
We left Louisiana early on the morning of Friday, January 9th and headed west for Texas. The drive there was really pretty uneventful. The only trouble we had was finding someplace to eat breakfast so I could take my insulin shot. We left before the crack of dawn, which tends to cut down on our dining choices because there just aren't that many restaurants open that early. We did find a little donut shop eventually...... Yeah, I know! Not a very good choice for a diabetic, but like I said we had very slim pickings on the back roads of Texas (The route that Maggie chose for us). As we started getting into the more populated areas of Texas I noticed what looked like the cameras that Ohio uses to deter speeding and running red lights. There were quite a lot of them, so J.D. and I started waving to the cameras as we went under them and then I started taking pictures of the cameras taking pictures of us. We had a lot of fun with that, only to find out later that they weren't cameras. Instead they were some sort of traffic monitoring devices. They can call it what they want, we still hold to the opinion that they were cameras. Lesson Number one Grasshopper, never ever underestimate Big Brother.
We arrived at Greg and Tammi's about 2 in the afternoon. There was an SUV in the garage with Oklahoma tags, which puzzled me. J.D. rang the doorbell and a strange woman that we didn't know answered the door. I would have given anything to see the look on J.D.'s face when this strange woman opened Greg and Tammi's door, but I was standing behind him. It must have been priceless, because this woman played it out for a few minutes before telling us that she and her sister were there to clean the house.
It wasn't long before the family started arriving. Greg was the first one home and had told us how Miss Audrey had started showing signs of jealousy from time to time with Caden. Before she arrived we decided to make a conscience effort to show her a lot of attention instead of going straight for Caden when they arrived and she just ate it up. She and I connected instantly and she was my constant companion all weekend. She is a very smart little gal. Within an hour she decided that she had too many grandmas and what she really wanted was a sister and asked if I would be her sister. I told her she would have to ask her Mama about that. Mama told us that it was fine with her, because if she wants a sister that is the only way she will probably get one. So from that moment on I became Miss Audrey's Grandsister Jo..... Now how cute is that!
The collage above is just a few of my favorite pictures that we took while we were there. Caden is so much like Miss Audrey when she was his age..... smiles all of the time. To look at him now you would never guess that he had gone through that surgery on his stomach when he was just a few weeks old. It seems like yesterday that Alaina and Becky were still teenagers living at home. Alaina is the mother of two beautiful children and going back to college so she can be a teacher. She has quite a full plate being wife, mother and student. I have complete confidence that she will accomplish what she has set out to do though. Becky is going to school to be a nurse and has her own apartment.
Greg and Tammi came into possession of this antique phonograph quite some time ago. I was amazed that all the speaker amounts to is what appears to be a waxy looking cone of paper. J.D. had a good time looking at the labels on some of the old records in Greg and Tammi's collection.
This is a 100 year old clock that Sandra ~aka~ Nana (Tammi's mother) had. It is a beautiful piece of workmanship. As we oohed and aaaahed over it Sandra said that we should put it in the car, because she was giving it to us. We were dumb founded over her generosity. That is Sandra though..... not a selfish bone in her body. Thank you again Sandra. We will give your clock a loving home and a place of honor where it will shine.
In the wee hours of Monday morning we tiptoed to the car and started our trip homeward. We arrived back at the Home place about 9 PM the same day. Remember when I was telling you about Maggie's attitude when we first started the trip and we ignored her directions to take us through Cincinnati during rush hour? We decided to give Maggie a shot at it on this trip and followed her directions to the letter going home. Would you believe that as we started around Cincinnati, she instructed us to make a turn and we ended up lost and she took us on a turn here and a turn there and a make a legal u-turn at the first opportunity ride, to get us back where we should have been. I am thankful that we didn't follow her direction on the trip south and was equally as glad that on the trip home it wasn't rush hour when she chose to get us turned around in Cincinnati. All in all it was a very good trip, but it so good to be home.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend filled with the blessings of good health and much happiness.
Friday, January 23, 2009
What a treat it was this morning to find an invitation to come receive an award for not only being a Wonderful Mom to my children, but to all people, as well as animals.
This beautiful award came from Connie @ 'My Thoughts and Creations' . Thank you so much Connie for this beautiful award. I just can't bring myself to list names for passing this award on, for fear that I will accidentally miss someone. Not only that, but I feel the need to expand this award to include Dads and Grandparents. There are a lot of single Dads out there lovingly caring for their children, grandchildren and pets as well as Grandparents that have taken in their grandchildren to raise. With that said, if you are visiting Moodscapes and fit into one of those categories, please accept this award for your blog. I have a lot of respect for you for working so hard to make this world a better place, by being the wonderfully loving and caring people that you are.
This is the Holiday House. I have no idea why it sports that name, but what I can tell you is that this house is located in Sulphur, Louisiana. At one time, many years ago, it was a single family home. As it goes for many of these beautiful old homes in today's world the upkeep can become very costly. When I moved to Sulphur in '99 this house had been turned into several apartments, no doubt to help with the cost of it's upkeep. By the time J.D. retired and we moved to Ohio in '03, this beautiful home was standing empty. It truly breaks my heart to see these beautiful old homes deserted and left to deteriorate and fall apart. What an uplifting my heart received to find out that the city had bought the property and returned it to it's original state. J.D.'s trade for most of his adult life was a carpenter. Before he went to work at PPG he had helped build many homes and business buildings in the Sulphur/Lake Charles area. I remember him telling me once that when a home is vacant and left deserted for many years that eventually it starts to die. I had never thought of it in that way before, but it is so very true. I for one, am so glad that this house was saved from ruin.
This house was designed from the 17th century style of New Orleans homes. It was built in the early '70s and is located in Lake Charles, Louisiana looking out over the Prien Lake. The second story porch wraps completely around the house. This is one of the houses that J.D. helped to build. The front of the house is the side that has the two dormer windows and that is the side that faces the lake. The back of the house faces the road. The two dormer windows are the only windows in the entire house. The rest of the house receives it's natural light source from the 26 pairs of interchangeable french doors throughout the house. These french doors are hung with Swiss hinges.
Hanging a door with Swiss hinges is a whole new experience as compared to hanging a door with your run of the mill hinge. The longer bottom hinge goes into the door frame, while the shorter top hinge goes into the door itself. It isn't just a matter of drilling your holes and attaching the door, everything has to be aligned. They had received the doors separate from the hinges because the hinges came from Switzerland. They came complete with a blueprint for making a template for drilling the holes. A machinist in Lake Charles then made the template from the blueprint. J.D. said that the template didn't line up like it should have and they ended up having to discard one of the doors because there were so many holes drilled in it trying to get it to align as it should. J.D. said that he had to make quite a few modifications to the template before things lined up as they should. When it was finished, you can take one door off and interchange it with any other door in the house. J.D. kept the hinge pictured as a souvenir of the job that almost caused him to loose his mind.
When we went by the house J.D. knocked on the door and asked permission to take pictures. He told the lady that lived there his connection to the house and she invited us in to take a tour of the house. Something I would have loved to do, but we were pressed for time that day and had to decline. We do however have a standing invitation, so perhaps we can get some pictures of the inside of the house on our next trip to Louisiana.
The day that we were doing our site seeing was Thursday and we were leaving the next day for Texas. I had wanted some pictures of an old cemetery in Lake Charles, but we were already trying to push a lot of things into just a little bit of time. J.D. had planned to make a union meeting that night, so on his way to the meeting he went by the cemetery and got some pictures for me. Being a Yankee, I find the cemeteries of southern Louisiana fascinating because they are above ground. I thought this might interest some of my readers that had never seen this before. The water table is so high there that if they were able to get a grave dug deep enough to bury someone underground after the first good rain, the airtight coffin would just pop up out of the ground. Gives a whole new meaning to the saying, "You can't keep a good person down". Chances are they wouldn't be able to dig deep enough any way to bury below ground. You will be able to view the pictures in the collage best if you click on the pictures.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
A special prayer request for Kate @ '.... SHAMBLES MANOR' and her younger sister. They just learned the results of medical tests that were done recently and they weren't good. Kate's sister has been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. This is the same type of cancer that my mother battled with 8 years ago. Let's offer as many prayers as possible and send them across that big pond, requesting that the pain and the fears that Kate's sister will be experiencing will be eased. Prayers going up here Kate......
This wood carving was perfect to set in the opening between the kitchen and living room. She holds a wee bird in her hand and her hair is blowing as if there is a breeze, as often there is here on the mountain ridge. F.J. told me that he has had her for quite some time and was surprised that she hadn't gone before now. I told him it was because she was waiting for me.
This nifty straw hat spoke to me as I walked past it and ended up coming home with us to rest on the back of my rocking chair. It is just waiting for a sunny day and warm weather so we can work in the flower beds together.
This little pheasant planter caught my eye and I could picture either an ivy or African violet plant growing in it and sitting on the dining room window sill. The red, blue and golden lanterns were Christmas gifts from the children. I can hardly wait for warm weather so I can add candlesto them and hang them in the Pergola.
This is a replica of an antique 15th century wooden wheel clock. One of our friends in Louisiana collects clocks and he has quired one very much like this one. The only difference being, that the weights on his clock are two different sized rocks. There is no minute hand on these clocks. I guess the people of the 15th century only concerned themselves with the hours and not the minutes. It was a really fascinating time piece.
As we all know, not all treasures are found at an auction, flea market, thrift shop or in an attic. An important treasure found at our house during the winter months can be found in the freezer and 'Gumbo' marked on the container. I was down to my last jar of roux which is a very important ingredient in gumbo. In fact without the roux, you might as well throw it all out, because it won't be gumbo. I stocked up on few jars at the grocery store while I was in Louisiana...... They don't carry it here on the Yankee side of the Mason Dixon Line.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Before I get back to telling you about our trip to the southland I thought I would share my trip to the doctor with you. My appointment to receive my first Synvisc injection in my knee was Monday. I admit that I was pretty nervous about it. I remembered how the cortisone shot had hurt and I just knew that to shoot gel into my knee would require a much larger needle and would no doubt hurt even worse. That was just an example of how the mind can take unknown facts about something as simple as an injection and blow it way out of proportion. So out of proportion that you can almost imagine that it is going to take four nurses to hold you down long enough for the doctor to give you that inection. I had myself wondering if I would have the courage to go back for the other two injections.
Thankfully it was nothing near as painful as I had imagined. The first thing they did was spray my knee with some sort of cool spray. The next thing they did was feel around until they found where they wanted to put the needle in. The first injection was what I am guessing to be Novocaine or some sort of numbing agent. Instead of pulling that needle out they just unscrewed the plunger and replaced it with the plunger containing the Synvisc gel. The whole experience was for the most part pain free.
I spent the rest of the day onthe couch at home with my leg propped up on pillows and ice on it. As the numbness started to wear off I had some soreness, but nothing like the pain I had been having. Yesterday morning my knee felt good enough that I thought I could try doing some grocery shopping. I promised J.D. that should I start having pain, I would go sit down somewhere and let him take the list and finish the shopping. I honestly didn't have any pain, but as the evening wore on the soreness moved in. Still it isn't pain and I am looking forward to completing the remaining injections.
My research tells me that the Synvisc gel is made from rooster combs and it provides that cushion between the bones that has been worn away and has the ability to take away the pain for up to 6 months. Anything I can do to take away the pain and delay surgery is thumbs up with me.
Taking you back to Louisiana with us brings us to a Monday morning with Darlene not feeling well at all. Toliver had to leave in the wee hours of the morning to catch his ride back to the rig. I don't recall if I mentioned it or not, but he works off shore on an oil rig. Darlene had been up most of the night vomiting and by morning she was also having pain. She told J.D. that there was a little hospital close to her house and she agreed to go to the emergency room since the pain was pretty severe. They kept her there for a few hours, gave her a shot for the pain and sent her home. Tuesday, she was feeling OK so we thought we would take that chance to go visit J.D.'s cousin, Roger since he lives pretty close to Darlene. Roger is diabetic and has had a rough time of it. They recently had to amputate his left leg. The visiting nurse came while we were there to change his dressing on his leg and found a blister on the heel of his right foot. That wasn't good news at all. As we were leaving he took my hand and told me he was going to fight this disease with all he has left in him. Please keep Roger and his wife Marita in your prayers.
Later that evening we met with J.D.'s two brothers and his sister and their spouses for dinner at a Chinese restaurant, except for sister-in-law Jackie. She is taking care of her 96 year old father who is very frail right now and unable to do for himself any more. We went by the family music store to visit with her and her son Stacy before going to eat. While we were there we also got to spend a little time with Stacy and Amy's two beautiful children. It was a wonderful time getting together with everyone. I even added our little server to our photo gallery. He kept the beverages flowing and had such a nice smile and pleasant personality.
We went straight from the cemetery to the hospital after meeting with Angela and Nick. J.D. learned that they had admitted Darlene because she was in pain again and it was coming from a kidney stone. They put in stints in the hopes that she would then be able to pass the stone. As it turned out, some time in the night they moved Darlene to ICU because her blood pressure had dropped dangerously low. They kept her in the hospital again Thursday night for observation and she was released sometime on Friday morning. She she still hadn't passed the stone and had to make an appointment to go back to her doctor after they released her so they could use the laser to break up the stone. I was puzzled by that move, I couldn't understand why they just didn't go ahead and do that while they had her in the hospital. Snce we have come home they successfully got rid of the stone. Get ready for this now...... She has to make another appointment to come back to the hospital to have the stints removed!! Again I have to ask, "Why didn't they do that while they had her in the hospital yet again to do the laser routine?" We didn't get to visit much with Darlene while we were there, but we did enjoy what time we did get to spend with her.
J.D.'s brother-in law has a flea market so while we were there we managed to make time to go by the Country Flea Market and see what sort of treasures F.J. had waiting there that might be calling my name. I will have some pictures to share with you tomorrow of the the treasures I brought home. Until then, Wishing you the blessings of good health and happiness.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Long ago and far away, in a land that time forgot,
Before the days of Dylan, or the dawn of Camelot.
There lived a race of innocents, and they were you and me,
For Ike was in the White House in that land where we were born,
Where navels were for oranges, and Peyton Place was porn.
We learned to gut a muffler, we washed our hair at dawn,
We spread our crinolines to dry in circles on the lawn.
We longed for love and romance, and waited for our Prince,
And Eddie Fisher married Liz, and no one's seen him since.
We danced to 'Little Darlin,' and sang to 'Stagger Lee'
And cried for Buddy Holly in the Land That Made Me, Me.
Only girls wore earrings then, and 3 was one too many,
And only boys wore flat-top cuts, except for Jean McKinney.
And only in our wildest dreams did we expect to see
A boy named George with Lipstick, in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We fell for Frankie Avalon, Annette was oh, so nice,
And when they made a movie, they never made it twice.
We didn't have a Star Trek Five, or Psycho Two and Three,
Or Rocky-Rambo Twenty in the Land That Made Me, Me.
Miss Kitty had a heart of gold, and Chester had a limp,
And Reagan was a Democrat whose co-star was a chimp.
We had a Mr. Wizard, but not a Mr. T,
And Oprah couldn't talk, yet, in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We had our share of heroes, we never thought they'd go,
At least not Bobby Darin or Marilyn Monroe.
For youth was still eternal, and life was yet to be,
And Elvis was forever in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We'd never seen the rock band that was Grateful to be Dead,
And Airplanes weren't named Jefferson, and Zeppelins were not Led.
And Beatles lived in gardens then, and Monkees lived in trees,
Madonna was a virgin in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We'd never heard of microwaves, or telephones in cars,
And babies might be bottle-fed, but they weren't grown in jars.
And pumping iron got wrinkles out, and 'gay' meant fancy-free,
And dorms were never coed in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We hadn't seen enough of jets to talk about the lag,
And microchips were what was left at the bottom of the bag.
And Hardware was a box of nails, and bytes came from a flea,
And rocket ships were fiction in the Land That Made Me, Me.
Buicks came with portholes, and side shows came with freaks,
And bathing suits came big enough to cover both your cheeks.
And Coke came just in bottles, and skirts below the knee,
And Castro came to power near the Land That Made Me, Me.
We had no Crest with Fluoride, we had no Hill Street Blues,
We had no patterned pantyhose or Lipton herbal tea
Or prime-time ads for condoms in the Land That Made Me, Me.
There were no golden arches, no Perrier to chill,
And fish were not called Wanda, and cats were not called Bill.
And middle-aged was 35 and old was forty-three,
And ancient were our parents in the Land That Made Me, Me.
But all things have a season, or so we've heard them say,
And now instead of Maybelline we swear by Retin-A.
They send us invitations to join AARP,
We've come a long way, baby, from the Land That Made Me, Me.
So now we face a brave new world in slightly larger jeans,
And wonder why they're using smaller print in magazines.
And we tell our children's children of the way it used to be,
Long ago and far away in the Land That Made Me, Me.
May the past be remembered fondly and the present be a source of creating new memories that can be looked upon with smiles by the generations to come. Pray that they can say these were the days that created world peace.
Have a blessed week!