The Sun Was Bright On My Old Kentucky Home

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But I didn’t take any photos today.  Instead I went shopping for some groceries.  It was a balmy 22 F outside and as long as there was no wind it felt good.  Of course there was no way to stay out of the wind and go shopping at the same time, soooo, we eventually braved the element and made a quick trek to the car.  Most of the ice had melted on the sidewalk, but there was one really hinky spot where we had to negotiate the ice, both the seen and the unseen black form.  M. was using a walker while I was forging ahead on foot and praying very hard that these boots really WERE made for walking, to coin a phrase from an old Nancy Sinatra song.  Nothing beats Mukluks for keeping feet warm while hanging on to the sidewalk in weather like this.  So, just to thank them properly, last night I dropped a cup of barbecue sauce on them.  (They also make good house slippers when it’s just too exhausting to pull them off.)  They are now adorning my shower curtain rod doing a rhythmic drip, drip, drip, drop drop drop drop.  I have a feeling they will continue the dripping for several more days therefore dripping several more days too.  My curtain rod just isn’t big enough for this!

It is even warmer today — 35 F. when I checked a couple of hours ago, with the sun even shinier than yesterday.  I am considering just going out for a drive today.  Ya just don’t miss out on a day like this in winter time.  The only thing that would improve the day would be finding a tree filled with black olives, a hammock under a perfect tree and the ability to wiggle my nose and make it all happen.  A clone of Mel Gibson and George Clooney put together would make it perfect!  Oh well, it just isn’t happening and wiggling my nose just makes me sneeze so back to reality, well, soon!

Had visitors last night — Jerry, my neighbor brought over some of the stuff he picked up for me at the store, bringing Angel with him.  Some day I hope to get a photo of Angel but she is a little bit shy right now.  It’s not taking her as long to get over it now but I’m not going to push or shovel her into a corner.  She eventually comes over and lets me know in her own doggie way that she is ready to be picked up for a brief moment and I can respect that.  Of course it probably helps that I keep bribes, um, snacks available for all of my furry visitors.  

Okay, I’m outta here.  Might be back inside in seconds, but it just looks too nice out there to stay cooped up inside,  Gave a good rest of the weekend!  A

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Pretty Boxes And Other Nonsense

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One fine day as I was tiptoeing my way around Pinterest I stumbled upon some templates for boxes. Since I didn’t have enough stuck in every bare spot of the apartment already I started printing some of them out.  All Christmas related at first, as soon as Christmas was over it only seemed right to print out some for all other seasons.  After blundering my way through the first thousand or them I have finally figured out how they are supposed to look.  So, maybe some day in the future I’ll figure out a good way to make them actually look that way, but for now I’m using a bucket of school glue and a crate of shipping tape to sturdy them after they are finished.

101_5579101_5578These are my personal favorites, but for each one of these there are two more that will be foisted onto a friend on each visit.  For me the boxes are just right to hold the materials needed for one project at a time.  The fact that they hold large amounts of beads, screws,, and other small items until they are used in some project or another. 

Somehow I got back into jewelry stuff.  Just pulled my pliers and a few other things out to repair a necklace and the next thing I knew I was working with the whole shooting match again.   One thing of beads, two things of beads, some chains and findings, another necklace that had a couple of things I likes and more that I didn’t like and felt the need to revamp them just led to something else.  The following photos present some glare because of the backdrop — a large box they will live in when not being worn, more necklaces I found for $1 in different stores and now all I need are some new hands. I’ll accept almost any offer, right hand would be most appreciated, aw come on now, surely someone out there has an extra hand they want to trade, lol.  (Just had an awful thought here.  Don’t take that seriously please.  I really DO NOT need packages filled with hands arriving at my door.)  Just that this cold weather makes already stiff joints turn to cement, provided you can find cement that has joints that let their presence be known each time you flex the fingers.  Haven’t found any gold in these golden years but there are so many rusty hinges it loses its appeal.

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Some of the necklaces I revamped by taking some components from several old pieces and combining them into one.  Or three.

I also got my crochet hooks and knitting needles out again.  Both of these are made from the same ball of yarn, a self striping one from Bernat called “Pop”.  My son and daughter-in-love gave me a neck warmer for Christmas and I fell in love with it.  The only problem I have with the concept is that one just isn’t enough!  They fit just right around the neck which makes them perfect for sleeping in a drafty room.  It only takes a few hours to make one, so I’m back hooking again.  Except for the hat — a first effort with 5 double point needles, and this one looks great from a distance.  A closeup makes every dropped stitch that i picked up in the wrong place glare at everyonel

I guess this weather we are having is a good thing for me, now that I think about it.  At least by starting up with some of my old hobbies I’m staying busy while remaining inside where it is warmer, and it also keeps me off the street corners at night.

A Near Miss So Far

Big This was the way it looked Sunday, but even though I haven’t been back down to take photos since then a glance out my window tells me it is somewhat improved outside.  The predicted storm with the additional inches of the stuff seems to have missed us, even though it is bitterly cold out there.  I made it to the funeral home on Monday morning but reality set in very fast. It’s one thing to take a photo from up here, or even from the entrance while still in the warmer area around the door, quite another to actually get out in the wind and frigid air!

I had to be downstairs by 7:30 am to wait for the bus to take me, hoping they would wait until close to the correct time of arrival — 8:30.  No such luck on the later time though, he was waiting when I got to the window to watch for him.  Probably a good thing though, because when I went out I saw more ice on the entry than I wanted to drive over.  My drier moved the bus closer but there were several spots I still had to go across, toes crossed along with fingers, legs, arms and eyes — not sure, but I think even my hair roots were crossed for that couple of feet of ice.  My cell rang while I was getting on the bus but I ignored it until safely inside.  The number wasn’t familiar but i called it back as a precaution against missing some important message from family.  It was another bus driver, asking if I was still going. Okay!  One trip but two drivers? I told him I was already on the bus and we were leaving, and he said I was on his schedule.  I don;t think I ever felt so wanted, even when two people were asking me to dance at the same time.  A few minutes later the driver who picked me up got a call from dispatch informing him the manifest he was using was wrong, and he had picked up the old one,  Okay, so I had two drivers due to a mistake, better than sitting at the window for an hour and getting there five minutes after it was over.  Of course, arriving before the door was unlocked at the funeral home wasn’t the greatest thing, but they let me in, even moving the hearse so I didn’t have to sit behind it until it was at the church.   Not a bad way to start considering the fact that just going out the door gave me some sinus problems!  Nothing like a drippy nose in -5 temps.

So, I sat there with Uncle Sam for about 40 minutes, wondering who would finally show up, then looked up when I heard voices to see my brother come in with one of my cousins.  Big Bro drove in from Lexington that morning, despite the forecast of more and worse on the way.  I thought maybe he had more sense than that, but I was wrong once before in my lifetime.  Mama Ree got there next, fussed at him for me, then hugged him while looking around his tall (6’8″) frame for me.  BTW, she is 5’2″ tall, so she had quite a job seeing around him.  Once in my lifetime I was almost the same height he was, but that was a day or two ago.  I’m getting shorter, 5’6″ last time I checked, about an inch shorter than I used to be.

As people arrived I could tell it would not be a good idea for me to go on to the church. I knew the trip out last week had not done me any real harm, just a lot of discomfort in the sit-down and my stamina — to say the least, I was already tired even though I hadn’t done anything but get dressed.  Several years ago I made a cross stitch picture for my Mom on her birthday that had an old gray haired woman in a red jogging suit. The caption was:  “Growing old ain’t for sissies”.  Well, growing old with MS is sometimes even worse.  Okay, so anyway I decided that for safety sake I really should get home asap!  I wanted to tell Mama Ree goodbye, but just when I thought it wouldn’t happen without mowing down a roomful of people Diane came out of the crowd with her.  I have the best cousins in the world!  The bus arrived within minutes, this time with the right driver, and he had me home before the starch was completely out of my system.

Can’t Think Of A Snappy Title

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Sunshine on snow — at least briefly, from my window yesterday, 1-13-18.  Usually when the weather people predict this stuff it never happens around here.  It hits every other place around us, but the river usually protects us and diverts the white stuff to the Indiana side.  I have wondered why we are getting it this year and might have come up with the answer.  At least it’s an answer I like, so I’m going with it.  Mama Ree loves snow and we just never get enough for her, so this year, with Sam now in heaven (and I truly believe he is there),  he is making sure she gets enough to keep her happy for a while.  And with that sense of humor of his, I don’t dare go outside for a while because he would probably slap me in the face with a snowball!  I’m not too crazy about the stuff and yes, I know what we got is nothing compared to other parts of the country we have to contend with the fact that it is out there lying on the ice that came first.  So far the temps have been well below freezing so it isn’t leaving the parking lot here and the less traveled streets.  The building management has a firm policy against cleaning it off the sidewalks and parking area here, at one time stating that if they leave it and we are stupid enough to go out on it anyway we deserve whatever happens. (Paraphrased comment)  As is usual in this town someone will have to be seriously maimed or killed before the policy is changed.  I love this place in spite of the less than ideal management and the downright stupid rules they seem to think we accept without question as the truth.

I shouldn’t say the above out loud but it becomes an exercise in silly at times and it all has to come out.  All in all however, it is the first place I’ve felt at home since leaving the farm and I have yet to figure out why!

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I’ve been updating my kitchen for a while now, one item at a time, and this dishwasher magnet is one of the latest finds.  It sure goes with the overall rooster theme that began in the kitchen and has now spread all over the apartment.  So, while I’m trying to get myself together enough to prepare for the funeral in the morning, I’m gonna stick a few of the latest photos here.  You might get one of the scene outside our freight door also if I remember to add it.  Part of the entrance is clear (went down to get the photos this morning, opened the door and didn’t freeze!)  Enjoy the photos while I’m working on getting my clothes together for morning.  Then I’ll have to take the laundry off the shower chair and the shower rod tonight so I won’t have to do that in the morning while I’m still walking around in my sleep.  And praying the snow that is supposed to begin at nine a.m. doesn’t happen.  My chariot won[t get far in that mess.

101_5552 101_5551 New rugs in kitchen, nicely padded to help reduce fatigue.

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OH, NO!

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But oh, yes.  Snow on top of ice that started during the night.  I woke during the night and heard the ice hitting my window and the chill started with the sound! Purely psychosomatic, but I’m still shivering more than twelve hours later.  The wind is picking up again and my internal temperature is dropping rapidly.  It’s not a good night to wander out of the apartment, and I might end up breaking my own rule and turning the heat up before much longer.  Chee!  the more I think about it all the colder I’m getting.  Funny how the brain works — and I only have half of one cell left!  More than that and I might wake up frozen solid in the morning!

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My photos were taken from the floor to ceiling window at my end of the common hall while my neighbor and I were joking about the dirty windows.  I had to scrunch down and aim from the lower part to find an almost unobstructed area, and within a few minutes he was doing the same thing.  It just occurred to me that I could have taken a few other photos while we were there, but after we started talking and watching his little puppy, Angel trying to get down for an elevator ride I just forgot about the other photos.  And now I really do have to add more layers or a thick blanket because it is getting cold in here for real.  Take care, and stay warm.  As for me, I’m praying for a better view on Monday so I can get to the funeral.  Missing you, Sam.  I hope Mama Ree is finding some pleasure from the snow.  She loves it!

Another Love Story

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Tonight I’m having problems finding the photo I really want so this is a poor substitute.

His first words to us when my Aunt brought him to meet the family were “Hi, I’m Sam”.  I don’t know about the rest of the cousins, but I thought that was his real name, probably they thought so also, because until his passing a few hours ago, he was our Uncle Sam.  A sweet, mischievous and fun loving man, he put my aunt on a pedestal and she remained there all these years.  I’ve been trying to remember the year they married but it’s kinda hard to remember the year I married, and mine was several years later.  I do remember the dresses his sister and I wore in their wedding, blue chiffon with  handkerchief skirts.  My mom made our dresses and she swore never again!  Having done some stitch-work in my own right I know where she was coming from.  A gorgeous fabric that creeps and stretches while being stitched but that looks so wonderful when finished.  A challenge at any time but with her vintage Singer it was beyond challenging.  But Mom could make anything on that old Singer, the very one I later learned to sew on.

I know it was 50+ years ago, in the early 1960’s, because I already knew how to wobble along in high heels but then it could have been in the late 1950’s.  I remember what a perfect couple they made — he cleaned up really well.  Mama Ree, as I now call my aunt, wore a long white satin gown, probably made by mom’s other sister, Eleanor, also a gifted and talented seamstress/tailor.  I’m not sure about this, but it would be my guess at this point.  Somewhere I have the photo of the happy couple.  Naturally, since I wanted to add it tonight it is put away “in a safe place” where all of my stuff winds up, never to be seen again until a few days after when I’m asking myself “I wonder why this was so important at the time?”

My Uncle called her his “Little Flower” for reasons I won’t go into here.  He fit right in with this family, jokers all, each with his or her own special “talent” when it came to practical jokes.  For a few moments, while we were with our aunt today — or yesterday as of now, Diane, Doris and I were remembering some of the old days, one especially bad one when Diane and I were on the school bus on our way home.  That will be a story for another day though.  The discussion was mostly about the ice and snow in our forecast for tonight and tomorrow.  We didn’t have ice storms back then.  Just the real snow, suitable for snow ice cream, snow angels, snowmen, snowballs, snow forts…you think of it and there was an uncle or cousin who did it!

I once read a book written by Sam’s older brother about their upbringing in the Ozark mountain area of Arkansas or Missouri — not very sure at this point where exactly, but the book described Sam’s early years with his family.  His brothers would hunt for the critters they then put in cages for Sam to watch over until they were needed for Sunday dinner.  I remember how Sam and I laughed and teased about this book — before my mom read a few pages and shredded it.  Since she had also shredded “Hawaii” by James Michenor in the very early ’60’s, before I ever had a chance to read it, the latter shredding didn’t surprise me at all.  Just another minor irritation combined with the feeling of “why?”  She never explained it and after a while I stopped asking.  But Sam told me stories about growing up that had me rolling with laughter one minute while crying at the poverty he endured the next.  And he came out of it with that marvelous sense of humor intact and undamaged.

His final illness was short, on Sunday he ate a good meal, assisted by my cousin, Diane.  On Monday we thought he had up to six months left with us, on Tuesday Diane and Greg, another cousin, were informing the family that it was less than a week, and on Wednesday, thankfully after my daughter arrived to visit him with me as her passenger, we got the message that Uncle Sam is now flying with the angels.  He suffered from Alzheimer’s the last couple of years, but he always seemed to remember Gina.  I am forever grateful to Greg for telling her to get here immediately.  And he always, without fail in the beginning at least, knew she was “my woman” as he put it to me during the past summer.  It didn’t matter so much that he couldn’t always say her name.  He just never forgot that she was his woman, his love, his life.  She has been with him around the clock for all this time, waking to see if he needed something each time he turned over in bed, each time he was restless, each time his breathing was different in the last few days.  What a love story they shared, and what a wonderful life together all these years.  Rest in Peace, Uncle Sam.