And It’s Getting Even Colder


But before we get to that, the good news.  Next week I start therapy on my shoulder!  I’m doing a happy dance in my brain, since my legs still don’t work all that well, and yes, I know it will hurt, but that will be a good kind of hurt.  I’ll be back in the kitchen, cooking again in two months.  My personal resolution.  Maybe a bit premature, but I’ll do it!!!!

family-268 These are my two great grandsons, Eli and Camden.  And they are standing out in the snow, the only photo I have in my library that has snow in it.  We have some snow in the forecast, but I received an email from my Citizens Emergency Relief Team (CERT) trainer today that we are going to have a horrible, humongous cold wave starting next week, with the temps dipping below zero.  So if you are in the Owensboro, KY area, be prepared.  Dress in layers, have emergency equipment on hand, both at home and in your car if you have to get out.  If you don’t have to get out, Please STAY AT HOME, and bundle up.  Have an ample supply of finger foods on hand in case of power outage, don’t turn your heat up too high so you can conserve electricity, dress in layers, and please take care of your pets.  They get cold too.  There is no word about ice or snow, just the extreme cold, and I know a lot of you live in colder areas, but darn it, this is supposed to be the South.  Upper south, but still….

Now for the personal train wrecks.  Believe me, as long as I’m breathing, there will be train wrecks.  I got this really nice cushion for my power chair, since my bum is getting a bit sore from sitting all the time, and today managed to spill my Dr. Pepper on it.  And on my phone, which was on the cushion next to the Dr. Pepper.  A new twist on sticky keys I think.  So, to keep from getting the seat of my jeans wet (I hope) I have a thick towel covering the cushion.  Also, a large wet spot on the leg of my jeans.  If there’s a way to destroy it, I’ll find it.

I’ve managed to drag a second quilt off my bed by getting it caught in my chair.  This takes a special talent.  And yesterday I pulled a panel off the door of the elevator.  Well, I never claimed to be a good driver.  And besides, the door shouldn’t have tried to close on me so fast.  It got me to my floor though, and for the first time in months it didn’t make that horrible sound when the door opened.  Guess I showed it who’s boss, huh?

family-521 Astroid kissing Noah Amy Just decided to show a few of my favorite photos before I sign off.  On the left are Laurie, Anika, Andrew and Ethan, In the middle is Noah with his Grand Champion steer Asteroid, and on the right is my beautiful niece Amy, wearing a necklace I made for her.  We raise beautiful kids in my family.

A.

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Baby, It’s Cold Out There


According to the weather bug on my computer, the temp is 25 degrees.  The sound of the wind whistling around the building makes it feel more like 25 below.  And the place is covered with ice — both the white kind, and the other, black ice that you don’t really see until you slip and fall on it.  This gal is staying inside and taking no chances, even if I could actually walk.  As for trying to drive my power chair, I have a feeling I would be skidding all over town in it without even trying.

Old wagon on country road, 2000 I took this photo several years ago, just because it caught my fancy.  I love things like this, old wagons, old houses, old barns.  I had been at a patient’s house when I worked for Hospice, and this old wagon had caught my eye the first time I drove out there, but I didn’t have my camera with me at the time.  That was before I started carrying the camera with me all the time, just for moments like this.  It was a winding country road, and with my sense of direction, I managed to get lost every time I went out there.  Of course, I can get lost in a closet with the door open, so that came as no surprise to me.  Fortunately, Hospice gave us directions and phone numbers, so I could check the directions, turn around and back track each day when I over shot the driveway, and eventually find the right house.  But this old wagon was on that road, so one day when I remembered to take the camera with me, I snapped the photo on the way back.  That was before I took the wrong turn and ended up on the wrong road, but at least I knew where I was then and finally made it to the next patient.

100_2569 My poor sweet potato leaves passed away a few days ago.  One day they were half way to the ceiling, looking healthy and robust, and the next day they were drooping over the jar and turning brown.  The mint is still thriving and the aloe, but both desperately need re-potting in ginormous buckets.   I guess I’ll have to do more online shopping for the pots and potting soil, which hopefully can be found in January.  I have some plastic buckets if they should become necessary, but don’t think I want to take a pick axe out to try to obtain some dirt anytime soon.

I’ve been cuddling under my half finished afghan 100_2571 while working on another one that isn’t so heavy at the time.  It really bugs me that I can only do a few stitches at a time, but then, I’ve lost the crochet hook I was using, so I’ve had to start a third one using a different size hook.  I’m sure my chair ate the other hook, and when I am able to life the chair up and look under it I’ll find the hook and probably a lot of other things that have been lost over the years.  Losing things and getting lost are two of my things.  If I turn one corner I’m completely lost, and if I put something down for a few minutes it disappears.  I have a game I play called “find the remote”.  My TV has been going for several days and nights because I can’t remember where I put the remote, no doubt in a place where I wouldn’t lose it.  That’s a dangerous thing to do here, because as soon as I put it down, it’s gone.  Don’t know why, don’t know how.  I think things grow feet and they run away from home.  They are probably all parading down Frederica street on their short little legs right now.

A.

Happy (?) New Year


Here’s hoping this year will be so much better than last one.  At least the last month of last one.  I really want to get back in my kitchen and cook something.  I know I can’t smell anything, but still I can remember the smells of the things I usually cook, and really miss that pot of beans and the Mexican cornbread that always go with it.  Mmmm, what more can a person ask for than beans and cornbread on a cold, winter day?

I have a new award, sorta.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here it is. doncharisma-org-not-on-freshly-pressed-award-4-300x300 doncharisma-org-not-on-freshly-pressed-award-3-300x300I haven’t decided which one to put in my gallery yet, but I think it will be the one with the picture of the presenter, Don Charisma.  Of course, the other one shows up better, but I’ll decide before my next post.  Don is really a great guy, currently living in Thailand, who is now doing great things with stitching photos together to make up really large, breathtaking scenery.  He’s funny, intelligent, and altogether a great guy who created my angel logo for me.  My knight in mostly shining armor.  You really should check out his blog, http://doncharisma.org.  At least I think that’s it.  If not, so sorry Don.  Sinus headache, remember?

Since I can’t go shopping at this time, I have started online shopping at Amazon.  I think I went a bit overboard on a few things there, but since you don’t actually see the product, just a description, you don’t know until it arrives. 004 Just a few days ago I got a call from the office telling me I had a large package downstairs.  Large?  It was about the size of a coffin.  It is still taking up half my living room.  As you can see, I ordered paper towels, also 007 well, that’s more like a photo of the box with the towels at the top.  So, here’s another one.005 A dozen packages of paper plates, and a huge bag of paper bowls.  Since I can’t wash dishes at the moment, I use a lot of paper products.  And last, 006 a dozen boxes of Kleenex, although I only pulled one out because I only needed one opened at the time.  Fortunately there was no shipping fee, since the order was more than $50.  The trash bags and Windex are still to come, and naturally they are the items I needed the most.  Except for the Kleenex, since I somehow caught a head cold without ever leaving the building.  How?  Your guess is as good as mine.  I think if there is half of an allergen floating around the hemisphere it makes it to my nose and takes up residence there.

I’ve pretty much slept thru the past few days.  It’s just too comfortable under the covers to move lately, and I have a lot of lost sleep to make up.  Throw a couple of pain pills a day into the mix, and I’m snoring like, well, a lumberjack?  Or maybe more like Max did.  For such a tiny dog he could beat my dad when it came to snoring.

Well, back to the sinus meds.  Doctor appointment on Friday for results of CAT scan.  To tell the truth, I’m not sure I really want to know.

A.

I Found It


Scan-4YES!!!!  This is the scanned picture Anika drew of Max!  I’m so excited and so up in the air about this.  Isn’t that girl an undiscovered talented artist?  And gorgeous to boot.family-355 That’s Anika on the left of an Andrew sandwich, with Laurie, Anika’s twin brother, and Ethan in the back.  They are all a couple of years older now, but really a group of good looking kids.  Now I’m wondering which one is going to the UK vs Louisville game with their dad tonight.

Bill HAS to attend the games, because of his job at UK.  Doesn’t that make you want to cry him a river?  My older brother, Tony, used to have to do that job, and after a few years of it I think he got tired of going, but Bill takes one of the kids with him each time he has to go to a game.  We asked him Thursday which one was going with him today and he didn’t really answer.  Just said whoever was the best for the rest of the week.  Don and Mike both started grinning and told him he would have to pretend they were his kids for one of two of the games then, because they were always better than the kids.  I could add a comment or ten on that subject here, but I’ll save that for future blackmail material.  Ummm, I mean for another post.

Bill and Ethan at Final Four, 2012 This is Bill and Ethan last year at the Final Four in New Orleans, where UK won the championship.  I don’t really follow any sport, but I will admit my blood runs UK blue.  I also have several UK shirts.  All for survival of course.  One brother, two kids, a granddaughter, a grandson, all either still in, working for, or in some way screaming GO CATS, so I would be found guilty of high treason if I didn’t at least support the game.  We’re talking basketball here folks, not football.  I don’t think anyone in the extended family would argue that they are not good at football.

I really wish I had remembered to take my camera with me to my party, because Ethan now has a bush growing on his face.  It almost matches his Uncle Mike’s bushy face, except Mike is beginning to (gulp) get a bit gray.  And he’s my baby.  And only 11 1/4 years old, due to his birthday being on Feb. 29.  That wouldn’t be so bad except that he acts like an 11 year old kid.  Janette and I decided on duct tape instead of a plaster cast for him, and we decided to duct tape Noah to him after some of the shenanigans on Thursday.  I think duct tape across Mike’s face would be even better, because when he pulls it off, we might get to see what he looks like for the first time in years.

I’m not sure what this post is supposed to be about tonight.  I was just really so thrilled to find my scanned photos, that now I know where to look for more of them when I scan them in, and WordPress started to crunch the photo but changed it’s mind and let it in.  Must be my lucky day.

I also found someone willing to go to the grocery for me today, so I now have some frozen TV dinners, which are a welcome switch from the soups I’ve been eating.  The first one I ate even had some beautiful, green peas that stayed crunchy when they were warmed up.  What more could I ask for.  The pain level is dropping, so my shoulder is probably healing on it’s own, I ate some crunchy peas, visited with friends downstairs, got a few groceries….I even asked Steve to bring me a couple of the microwavable potatoes so I can have baked potatoes with sour cream and shredded cheese on them.  Didn’t think about getting some broccoli to put on top, but then I don’t think I could hold the knife yet.  But, ya never know.

A.

More Train Wrecks


Or maybe I should say more headaches.  I’ve been trying to add a drawing Anika made for me of Max, my Pekingese dog.  Cowgirl Anika Anika is extremely talented in so many ways, and can draw everything except cats.  She loves cats more than any other animal, but for some reason, can’t seem to draw them yet, so when she was here helping me decorate the pine cones I asked her if she would draw me a picture of Max.  She drew it, sent it to me, and I have been trying to get it on the blog since I received it.

First I scanned it in to my photos, but it didn’t show up when I was downloading some photos to my blog library.  Then I took a photo of the drawing, and have just spent an hour trying to put that in the library, but when it downloads I get a message that says “crunching”, and my only guess is that by crunching it really means munching, because it sure doesn’t show up in the photo library.  So, I’m going to make one more effort here.  Hold on to your hats and garters, because if this doesn’t work out there could be a huge explosion.  BOOOOOOOOMMMMMM.  It still didn’t work.  What does it mean when it crunches your photo?  I’ve downloaded a lot of photos to this site and they have always been okay.  This is the first time they have ever been crunched.  I wonder if they have seen my trash cans and realize how full they are and how much they need to be emptied and the contents crunched?  Yeeks!  I hope not.  That would mean it could also see the items I have dropped and been unable to pick up.

Well, the title warned you this is about more train wrecks.

Like, I’m having to go on scavenger hunts again, since Irene came in last weekend.  All of the things I use were stored within reach on my right side so I could just pick them up easily when needed.  Some of them were moved to the left, meaning heaps of pain if I have to get them.  Some were placed under heavy objects I can’t lift without chance of dropping on my foot.  Just the thought of that makes me wince.  There are a few things I haven’t found yet, but have made it without them so far.  Others are in places I can see but have no way of getting to, because they are just out of reach.

I went online and ordered a lot of stuff I’m running out of, and the deliveries should start on Monday.  And I also signed up for the produce deliveries from Cecil Farms again, starting in May.  This time I signed up for every other week though.  Getting the weekly deliveries last summer was nice, but there was no breathing space in between.  I think this year I’ll need the time to breathe a week between the deliveries.  I also signed up for fresh eggs during the summer, because I’m never sure when the egg lady will show up here, and I sure love those farm fresh eggs.  Plus, I’ll hopefully be getting some fresh pork this year as well.  That will be from a different source, but will be so much better than the pork bought at the grocery.  And at some point before summer I plan on buying a pressure canner, so I can put some of that pork in jars and can it for later.  That was something my mom always did, and it was sooooo good and so tender you just wouldn’t believe it.  I did it on the farm, and it is great to be able to grab a jar of canned pork loin in an emergency situation and just sit back and enjoy it.  Heat if you want, but it really isn’t necessary.  Just open and enjoy.

Now I’m making myself hungry for some fresh collards and bacon or pork loin.  Fresh anything right now would be good.  I wanna get back to the kitchen.  That means I had better get back in there now and heat up a bowl of burgoo.BBQ capitol of the world

A.

A Whole New Night


100_2564 I held my camera today, and took a few pics of my “decorations”.  I don’t remember where I got this little manger scene, but it stays on the entertainment center year round.  I saw a really pretty, larger one in the gift shop at the hospital today when I went for my CAT scan, and came very close to getting it, but in the end my sanity returned, and I remembered my limited storage space.  So this little one will stay put as long as I do.  And it is surrounded by some of the pine cones Anika and I decorated.

100_2563 100_2565 More of my little mini Christmas trees, with photos and other items behind them, because they were supposed to be used to decorate a tree, not an entertainment center.  Therefore, I didn’t remove any of the other things that were on top of the “mantle”.  When Harriet came to do my laundry for me, I let her choose one as a Christmas gift, since it is now plain to me that I won’t be going out, and the things I ordered online were not ordered in time to arrive by Christmas this year.  Next year is taken care of though.  Boy, howdy, how’s that for early shopping?

100_2567 I decided to take a few photos of my crops while I was at it.  This is the mint plant that Laurie pulled up for me and stuck in a pot last September or October.  I moved it over to the stove, under the light, when the chilly winds started blowing last month.  I think it could use a larger pot now, but that can wait another month or so if necessary.

100_2569 The sweet potato I stuck in a jar has started putting out leaves and has what seems like millions of roots down in the jar of water.  I would like to pot that also, but the potato has swollen so much I can’t get it out of the jar, unless, of course, I break the jar.  That won’t happen — I hope, because as usual I’m still barefoot.  Don’t even have a sock on my right foot because of swollen toe.  Don’t know why it’s swollen, but it’s red and it hurts, and my feet are usually dead, so something is going on there that I probably don’t really want to know about.  I just wonder how tall those leaves will grow.  That brown stuff behind there is a loaf of sourdough bread I got out of the freezer to go with my burgoo.  Tastes just as fresh as the day it was baked.

100_2568 Now my aloe plant that definitely needs a larger pot.  It was so tiny when I got it, and most plants commit suicide on the way home when I buy them so they won’t die a slow, painful death at my hands after we get home.  My luck seems to have changed in that area.  I haven’t murdered a single plant all year.  If it holds until summer I’m going to try raising some container tomatoes, peppers and garlic.  Maybe even onions.  And potatoes?  That will require some thought between now and then.  Wonder about a watermelon?  When I got tired of eating them last summer I pureed some and froze them into cubes for flavored water.  That will be a great way to treat my extra cucumbers and other veggies next summer.  Not all of them, of course.  Can’t imagine squash or okra flavored water, but lemon, lime, orange, cuke, the list is endless.

100_2570 100_2571 Took a couple of pics of my afghan in progress while I was at it.  I wish I had decided on the purple as the only contrast color, and left out the sage and blue, but since it is just to keep me warm I can live with it.  And I started this one 100_2572 when the first one became too heavy to work on.  This is called a corner to corner afghan, and will have a peacock solid between the patterned rows.  To make it easier to work with I’m using up one skein of each at a time.  Finished a row of it today, only have about 10,000 rows to go.  Maybe exaggerating a little bit there, but from the tiny baby scarf bit I have finished right now, it sure seems that way.

Starting to get numb now.  No news from the doc, but then, I didn’t realize my phone was unplugged until just about an hour ago, so I guess I’ll find out on Monday.

A.

Personal Train Wrecks


barbeque grill Okay, so this isn’t really a train wreck — it’s an unusual barbecue pit, but this past week, while posting about my family I’ve experienced some train wrecks along the way.  A few spectacular falls, switching from my ATT cell phone to a pay-by-the minute phone that no one seems to know the number, even though I emailed it to the family, my computer refusing to accept WordPress (that will change tomorrow) and assorted other things I will tell you about.

I really don’t know where to start.  I guess first is that I have lived in this building for 11 years now, and have never turned the heat on.  I usually get the heat from all of the people below me who turn their thermostats up to 5000 degrees, and of course, heat rises, so that means I have to turn on my fan, open the windows (which requires liberally spraying them with WD40) and wearing summer clothing all winter.  This year, however, I don’t think anyone has turned their heat on, because I’m freezing.  I may have to break my 11 year tradition by turning the heat on.  You know, that actually hurts my feelings.  How can all those people do that to me?

And of course, the weather doesn’t help a bit.  Cloudy, windy, rainy.  It’s getting in my bones.  I think it’s in bones I didn’t know existed until this year.  And I’m pretty sure I have more joints than ever before too, because they are all achy breaky heart like.

So, one of the ways I’ve tried to combat the weather is by making soup.  Lots of soup.  First was some pumpkin carrot soup.  Gina was supposed to email a recipe for it, but she didn’t send it in time, so I sorta made up my own.  I wish I had remembered to take some photos of my pumpkin cutting routine, but I had pumpkin guts all over myself, and didn’t want to take time out to clean my hands for the camera.  Anyway, I found the pumpkins kinda hard to cut in to.  So, with my knife stuck in the first one, and me unable to pull it out or get it thru, I pulled out my trusty rubber mallet and hammered away at the knife.  Success!  I got the seeds out, then opened the second pumpkin the same way.  Stuck them both on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and roasted them in the oven.  Let ’em cool enough to work with and scooped out the flesh and stuck it in the crock pot with the carrots, some stock, milk, spices, put the top on and let it cook on low all night.  Pulled some out of the pot in the morning, after mashing the carrots up a bit, and it was really delicious.  Had a couple of meals of it, then froze the rest, so I could make more soup.

100_2559 Guess you can figure out my next soup project.  Potato, sausage and kale.  That was probably the biggest spud I’ve ever seen.  The blue thingy is my ceramic chef’s knife stuck in the potato.  I was afraid of trying the mallet on that, because I didn’t want to break it.  So, I just had to see-saw the knife until it went thru the spud.  It only took a couple of these to fill up the crock pot, along with the sausage, onions, stock and whatever else I put in it.  I waited until morning to add the kale, because I just wanted it wilted.  I’m still eating this.  I did freeze some of it, but I have one serving left for tonight.

Of course none of this happened without some wounding along the way. 100_2562 I sorta chopped my finger while I was chopping the onion.  It didn’t start bleeding right away, and I just sat there staring at it for a couple of minutes, just not believing it happened.  So I had to stop and do some first aid halfway thru the soup making process, then put on a rubber glove.  Recovered completely now.  Can’t even remember which finger it was.

A.

Train Wrecked Blandford Memories


Grandmother & Marie Marie Blandford Ward recalls:  When I was about 5 or 6 we kept rabbits outside in a hutch.  I just loved them and thought they were my pers.  One night a big storm came.  The next morning when I went out to check on the rabbits their hutch was overturned and they were gone.  when I went in for breakfast all the boys were teasing me, that the rabbits were gone for good and I’d never see them again.  I was feeling so sad and upset.  Well, George felt sorry for me and motioned me over to him.  When I went over, he said, “Look over there, under the buffet.”  All the rabbits were there.  The boys had brought them in earlier.  George was always very tender-hearted. George and Aleene

Fr. Ray Goetz recalls:  Uncle Damien had a couple of favorite phrases that I remember.  I never heard him curse, but he would use the phrase “dad bum”.  He also taught me to sucker tobacco.  He said that to be able to sucker a plant without using a knife I would have to learn the “fossiarity” of the plant.  I still don’t know how to spell it, but I knew what he was talking about from the first moment.  joehubertdamien Joe, Hubert, Damien.

Patty Barbara Patty and Barbara:  Patty Blandford Liu recalls:  We moved from Rome to Owensboro in the middle of January.  My dad (Hubert) loved ice cream, and I can remember him going to the grocery store late at night in the snow to get ice cream.  He thought it was great to be close to stores where he could buy ice cream anytime he wanted and not have to make it to enjoy it.  We all remember him as a kind, gentle person, never angry, who loved to cook and pull practical jokes on family and friends.  All his siblings tell this story.  Aunt Eleanor Eeanor had a friend home to spend the day after Sunday Mass.  There was fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, etc., and of course home-made ice cream.   Daddy was in charge of dishing the ice cream, and when it came to Aunt Eleanor’s friend, he took a scoop of mashed potatoes and covered it with a layer of ice cream, then stood back to watch her reaction.  Daddy said she took a bite with everyone watching and said, “Mrs. Blandford, this is really good.”  Of course, my Dad was cracking up, and Grandmother knew he had done something, so it all came out.  I don’t remember what Grandmother did to Daddy, but this was typical of my Dad.

Low fat substitutions, submitted by Patty Blandford Liu

Substitute apple juice for oil.  Use twice the amount called for in the recipe (1 cup apple juice for 1/2 cup oil)

Substitute 2 egg whites for 1 whole egg.

Finely grind 1 1/8 cups oats in a blender and substitute for 1 cup white flour.

In cakes, muffins or quick breaks, replace all or part of the butter, margarine or other shortening with half as much applesauce, apple butter, fruit juice or pureed fruit.  If recipe calls for oil, replace all or part of the oil with 3/4 as much fat substitute.  Mix the batter, and if  it seems too dry, add a little more fat substitute.  Some recipes need a one for one substitution.

When eliminating all fat from a recipe, reduce the number of eggs by half, or substitute 1 egg white for each whole egg, or use egg substitute.

Mary Mary Blandford Goetz recalls:  I thought of a funny story I heard about Coleman and Ambrose when they were small boys.  Papa sent them out to plant beans in the cornfield, and when they came in to dinner that day he asked them if they planted all the beans.  They said “yes”.  Papa checked the cornfield periodically to see if the beans were coming up, and after about a month there was still no sign of the bans, but he was walking by an old tree stump that was nearby, and that old stump was covered with bean sprouts!!!  Coleman and Ambrose finally admitted that they had just dumped all the seeds in there, thinking no on would ever know.

That’s it for this edition.  Only one left, unless you want to send me more memories.  I may put in more of my own if I don’t forget to remember them.  And I’ll try a post with as many of the photos as I can find that haven’t been destroyed over the years.  BTW, the low-fat substitutions by Patty were what I was looking for when I started reading the comments in the book.  Thanks Patty.  I want to try out my oven to bake a cake this afternoon.

A.

Memories From Reunion 2000, Part 2


cousins are Tonight will feature Marie, Ray (baby bro) and Carol (my cousin, now deceased and missed by all).

Grandmother & Marie Marie has always been the shortest member of the family, at barely 5’2″, in a family that averages closer to 6 feet and over for the guys, and 5’5″ for the girls, except for Carol, who was also short.

Marie Blandford Ward recalls:  When we were growing up, though much different from kids these days in many ways, we were always “starved” when we came home from school.  Our snacks were usually a concoction of vinegar, sugar and water with Mother’s home-made bread, or left over home-made biscuits, split in half and fried in bacon grease–very good.  But the best aroma and treat  was on Friday when Mother always had two pots of vegetable soup on the stove, one with onion and one without.  She didn’t start putting meat in it until later years when she found that way to use beef steaks.  It may sound strange, but anyone who ate her soup thought it was delicious.

Having had Grandmother’s soup, I can tell you for myself, it was delicious.  I was lucky enough to grow up across the pasture from her house, and would run across and spend afternoons with her during the summer, when my cousins were busy doing other things, and Grandmother and I would have lunch–with Papa of course, then after cleaning up the kitchen, would watch soap operas on her TV.  She may have been the first in the family to have a TV, and it was great living so close to her.

family-224Fr. Ray Goetz recalls:  When Aunt Maude wasn’t looking, Uncle Joe would give us “samples” of ice cream or barbecue.  He would always offer it as if he really needed an opinion, and he would keep giving us more until he was “satisfied” that it was as good as we were saying it was.  He is also the one who told us that if we would look under the bleachers at the race track, we might find some nice surprises.  So Doug and I learned that if we went to the track the day after the races and looked under the stands we would find all the change that fell out of people’s pockets.  I used to get to ride on the tractor with him as he was working in the field.  He was always very kind and friendly, but it was rare to get a conversation out of him.  I suspect that he just didn’t know what to say to kids.  He liked us though.  He and Maude were my godparents.  Shortly before he died we were and Marie and Haymen’s and I asked him if he remembered that they were my godparents.  He not only remembered, but he told me about the baptism (which was pretty typical of all infant baptisms of that day).

graduatesDan, Diane, Carol Blandford, and Angie Goetz (that’s me) at our 8th grade graduation.

Carol Blandford Medley recalls:  Once I asked Grandmother how in the world she raised all those children when I find three is more than I can handle.  She replied, no problem at all.  They each had a job to do (or a chore).  My Dad’s (George) was cutting everyone’s hair.  She said, “He did a great job too.”  That was told to me when she was 97 years old.  I also remember when we would visit Grandmother and Papa.  Daddy always said “you can’t wear those shorts to Mother’s house”.  He really had a special respect for Grandmother.

Mary in the Window Mary Blandford Goetz (sitting in window) recalls:  On rare occasions Mother would take her egg money and buy a big beef chuck roast.  She would try to have some left over for hash on Monday.  Then there was country ham.  Papa and the boys always killed about a dozen hogs in the late fall, as soon as it got cold enough that the meat wouldn’t spoil before it could be processed.  So we had ham some Sundays.

I’ve always felt so spoiled when I have heard these stories from my mom.  How hard the times were back then, and how easy we have it today.  She is a wonderful woman, still going strong at 93, and healthier than all of her 7 children combined.  And she never takes having food on the table for granted.   We grew up poor, but I never felt that way, because she always made us feel like we had it all.  And from what I remember, the same thing went for all of my cousins.  Most of us grew up within a mile or so of each other, so we definitely were each others first friends.

More to come for many more days.

A.

 

Sunday Night


 

 

Don’t really know why I’ve had the blues lately.  Must be the weather.  Today the tornado sirens started sounding off practically in my ear as I sat here checking my email.  When they finally stopped I noticed something strange thru my curtains, so I opened them a bit and saw some strange yellow stuff outside.  It took me a few minutes to remember what it was.  Sunshine!  Seems like we’ve had clouds and rain for so many days I just didn’t remember what the sun looked like.

 

 

 

family-330 Don and Norita came to visit today.  Since Don has my POA, he comes to pick up the bills that are sent to me instead of going straight to him, mainly the phone bill, so while he is either working on that or just vegging out in a recliner, Norita and I visit.  She has done such wonders for Don since they married, 20 years ago in two weeks.  It’s hard to believe they’ve been married that long, but Norita is the best thing that ever happened to Don.  She’s a great cook, so he no longer cleans out his co-workers refrigerators, or mine either, for that matter.  And he hasn’t had an accident since he settled down.  For that alone I love her more and more every day.  And I loved her for herself even before that.

 

 

 

I had a talk with Santa this afternoon.  I’ll even have some photos of him later next month.  He lives on my floor.  Really.  Would I make that up?  I can’t remember his real name, but when he first moved in here one of the other ladies and I were laughing at how much he resembled Santa Claus, and today I discovered that for the past six years he has been the Santa at the Mall every year.  Funny.  He’s only lived here about four months, and I’ve talked to him maybe four times, but always just considered him to be one of the bikers in the town.  He is one of the bikers, one of the good ones who make the Santa runs every Christmas, and all of the other charity runs every year, but I never dreamed he actually walked the walk at the Mall at Christmas.  Should have guessed, because of his beard and long white hair, which he admitted he has to keep lightening, since his roots are red.

 

 

 

Now what else?  Went down to pick up some Panera bread after Don and Norita left.  Not much of a selection, but at least there were some slices that I can toast for breakfast, or for a grilled cheese sandwich.  Panera brings us their leftover bread every Sunday, and since there are two buildings, we have to share which building gets first pickings.  This week we were second, so there wasn’t much choice left.  But, I do love their bread, and it can be stuck in the microwave and brought back to freshness I can enjoy it for several days, then use any that is left over for my own bread crumbs.  Really?  Why pay a lot of money to the grocery store when it’s so easy to make your own?

Think I’m ready to work on my afghan for a while now, and then get some sleep.  And pray the sun is shining again tomorrow.  And maybe put some pumpkin and other stuff in the crock pot to make soup overnight.  I have several recipes for pumpkin soup, so I can take the things I like from each of them and hopefully make a yummy meal or ten.

A.