Monday, July 31, 2006

Why do we blog?

This question was posed on a blog that I recently visited and it really intrigued me. Why? Because a year ago I would have said it was a crazy idea to have a blog and I would NEVER reveal myself to a bunch of strangers. I would NEVER correspond with anyone I didn't already know. What would I have to say to anyone? And, more importantly, why would anyone be interested in anything I had to say?

I just checked and my one-year blogging anniversary is approaching in September. I have been on this computer for a year!!! My day is concentrated on this computer. I wake up early in the morning and head for the computer. I wake up in the middle of the night and head for the computer. I get on the computer before I go to sleep. I get on the computer in the middle of the day when I should be doing something else. I can't wait to see who's commented on my blog or others' blogs. I can't wait to see who's posted something new and different. What a thrill to see that someone left a comment.

The funny thing is, from reading others' blogs, I find that WE ARE ALL DOING THE SAME THINGS. It's a compulsion -- but, isn't it fun? I love it.

Where could I possibly have met such a lovely, interesting, intelligent, funny, kind, beautiful group of friends in my entire life? And, from all over the world. Just think. We don't have to spend a bundle of money traveling around meeting interesting people. We can do it for free (practically free if you don't count the cost of getting online) and can travel anywhere around the world we want. (Just this morning I visited someone from Viet Nam.)

We may find that, just like in real life, there are some that we really, really like and there are some that we can't stand (for one reason or another). There are some out there that we don't agree with on any number of areas (political, religious, language, topics, styles) and there are a great many that we instantly find common ground with (humor, sharing family stories, gardening, tragedies, medical problems). There are some out there who have tragic, poignant stories to tell that we instantly have feelings for. There are some out there whom we miss because they suddenly, and without explanation, stop blogging. And, we all cry out, don't leave us, we need you.

I don't know about you, but I love hearing from favorites who share stories and pictures of their families, their talents, their thoughts, and their beliefs. I love making new friends. The funny thing is, in real life I'm very reticent about making new friends. I tend to be closed off and closed mouth. I guard my thoughts and feelings even with people I know. But with blogging, I'm free. I can say anything (within reason and hope I don't offend anyone). I find I love to share my thoughts with you, my blog friends, and love it when you share yours with me. (Thanks for the recipes.)

So, why do we blog? Maybe it's because blogging gives us a voice that otherwise would be silent except to a few. Maybe it's because our nuclear families have made us lonely. Maybe it's because as human beings we need each other because that's all there is in life -- each other.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunny Sunday Humor

For all my blog friends who may need a little pick-me-up today, I wish to offer the following to brighten your day.

First, I heard about this bit recently in our neck of the woods. Makes you wonder about some folks who call themselves preachers.


As a young minister, I was asked by a funeral director to hold a graveside service for a derelict man with no family or friends who had died while traveling through the area. The funeral was to be held way back in the country. This man would be the first to be laid to rest at this cemetery. As I was not familiar with the backwoods area, I became lost. Being the typical man, I didn't stop for directions. But, I finally arrived an hour late. I saw the crew and backhoe, but the hearse was nowhere in sight. The workmen were eating lunch. I apologized to the workers for my tardiness (who looked puzzled). I stepped to the side of the open grave to find the vault lid already in place. I assured the workers I would not hold them long, but this was the proper thing to do. As the workers gathered around, still eating their lunch, I poured out my heart and soul. As I preached the workers began to say "Amen, Praise the Lord, and Glory (they must have been Baptist). I preached and I preached like I'd never preached before. I began from Genesis all the way through to Revelation. I preached for two hours and 45 minutes. It was a long and lengthy service. I closed in prayer and it was finished. As I was walking to my car, I felt that I had done my duty and would leave with a renewed sense of purpose and dedication, in spite of tardiness. As I was opening the door and taking off my coat, I overheard one of the workers saying to another. "I've been putting in septic tanks for 20 years and I ain't never seen anything like this before."

Finally, our friend Maxine has some words of wisdom for all you bloggers out there who may be suffering from writer's block.

Don't you just love Maxine? She's such a crotchetly old sourpuss. But, never let it be said that getting old doesn't let you keep your sarcasm intact.

Hope you all have a wonderful, sunny Sunday. Blessings to you all. Don't forget. If your man gets lost while driving, you are allowed to give him some direction. Otherwise, he will end up talking to some septic tank out in the backwoods somewhere.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Getting some R&R

Last Thursday husband and I spent the day running errands and then visiting the daughter and grandkids. Before enjoying a nice lunch at Cracker Barrel, the girls played on their new swing set. This was a joint gift from the grandparents and parents for Dancer Girl's upcoming fifth birthday. As you can see, both girls are having a very good time swinging in the summertime.
I think they really liked the present and it will give them plenty of opportunities to get rid of some of that excess energy they seem to have (and will help mom quite a bit).

Before we left to go eat, the girls took some time to smell the flowers.

Some of my blogging friends just participated in a Bloggy Tour of Homes. It was so interesting to see how some others live and blog. I was telling one of these friends about my blogging space and even though I didn't participate, I wanted to show everyone what I saw while I was sitting at my computer blogging last night. I don't have the nerve to show the rest of the mess I see when I'm blogging.

(I have been trying to download my final picture but I swear Blogger is getting more retarded [that's southern speak for ignert] every day. Oh, well, I'm going to try one more time. Maybe Blogger will be kinder to me now.)

This being a Saturday, husband and I are going to take some much-needed R&R today. It has rained the past several days, so the grass is wet and can't be mowed. It's too cool to swim, so I guess we will have to find something else to do. We spent all our money until the beginning of next month when we went to visit daughter and grandkids last Thursday, so I guess we will just have to hang around around the house reading, watching TV, or getting on each other's nerves.

I'm think I'm going to blog.

Addendum: I had to add the following joke just sent to me by a friend. I apologize in advance to all my blond friends.

Two blond girls were working for the city public works department. One would dig a hole and the other would follow behind her and fill the hole in. They worked up one side of the street, then down the other, then moved on to the next street, working furiously all day without rest, one girl digging a hole, the other girl filling it in again.

An onlooker was amazed at their hard work, but couldn't understand what they were doing. So he asked the hole digger, "I'm impressed by the effort you two are putting into your work, but I don't get it. Why do you dig a hole, only to have your partner follow behind and fill it up again?"

The hole digger wiped her brow and sighed. "Well, I suppose it probably looks odd because we're normally a three-person team. But today the girl who plants the trees called in sick."

Friday, July 28, 2006

Southern Speak

The Southern States of America

Husband and I have lived in Kentucky since 1969 (it's the red state just below Indiana and Ohio). He came from California and I came from Chicago. Before we moved here to the south, we only spoke northern Yankee and Hispanic Californian. Now we speak Y'allbonics with the best of 'em. Some examples from the Y'allbonics/English dictionary are:

HEIDI - (noun) -Greeting.

HIRE YEW - Complete sentence. Remainder of greeting. Usage "Heidi, Hire yew?"

BARD - (verb) - Past tense of the infinitive "to borrow. "Usage "My brother bard my pickup truck."

JAWJUH - (noun) - The State north of Florida. Capitol is Lanner. Usage "My brother from Jawjuh bard my pickup truck."

BAMMER - (noun) - The State west of Jawjuh. Capitol is Berminhayum. Usage "A tornader jes went through Bammer an' left $20,000,000 in improvements."

MUNTS - (noun) - A calendar division. Usage "My brother from Jawjuh bard my pickup truck, and I ain't herd from him in munts."

THANK - (verb) - Cognitive process. Usage "Ah thank ah'll have a bare."

BARE - (noun) - An alcoholic beverage made of barley, hops, and yeast. Usage "Ah thank ah'll have a bare."

IGNERT - (adjective) - Not smart. See "Arkansas native." Usage "Them bammer boys sure are ignert!"

RANCH - (noun) - A tool used for tight'nin' bolts. Usage "I thank I left my ranch in the back of that pickup truck my brother from Jawjuh bard a few munts ago."

ALL - (noun) - A petroleum-based lubricant. Usage "I sure hope my brother from Jawjuh puts all in my pickup truck."

FAR - (noun) - A conflagration. Usage "If my brother from Jawjuh don't change the all in my pickup truck, that thing's gonna catch far."

TAR - (noun) - A rubber wheel. Usage "Gee, I hope that brother of mine from Jawjuh don't git a flat tar in my pickup truck."

TIRE - (noun) - A tall monument. Usage "Lord willin' and the creek don't rise, I sure do hope to see that Eiffel Tire in Paris sometime."

RETARD - (verb) - To stop working. Usage "My grampaw retard at age 65."

FAT - (noun), (verb) -- a battle or combat; to engage in battle or combat. Usage "You younguns keep fat'n, n' ah'm gonna whup y'uh."

RATS - (noun) - Entitled power or privilege. Usage "We Southerners are willin' to fat for are rats."

CHEER - (adverb) In this place. Usage "Just set that bare rat cheer."

FARN - (adjective) - Not domestic. Usage "I cuddint unnerstand a wurd he sed . . . must be from some farn country."

DID - (adjective) - Not alive. Usage "He's did, Jim."

ARE - (noun) - A colorless, odorless gas Oxygen. Usage "He cain't breathe . . . give 'im some ARE!"

BOB WAR - (noun) - A sharp, twisted cable. Usage "Boy, stay away from that bob war fence."

JEW HERE - (noun) and (verb) contraction. Usage "Jew here that my brother from Jawjuh got a job with that bob war fence cump'ny?"

HAZE - a contraction. Usage "Is Bubba smart?" "Nah...haze ignert. He ain't thanked but a minnit'n 'is laf."

SEED - (verb) -- past tense of "to see".

VIEW - contraction (verb) and pronoun. Usage "I ain't never seed New York City . . . view?"

GUBMINT - (noun) - A bureaucratic institution. Usage "Them gubmint boys shore is ignert."

We moved here to Kentucky so husband could work for the gubmint, but he retard a cuple yars ago. So did I retard, now we jist have fun breathin' in the clean are and havin' fun. How 'bout jew? Are you retard? If so, good fur yew.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Mystery plant

Husband and I are in the process of planting (over a period of time) an area in front of our porch with perennials. It has become a hassle planting annuals every spring and then having to go through the process every year. So, we decided we would only buy perennials from now on. Most of the plants have survived. Some we planted in inappropriate places and will have to either transplant or get new plants -- case in point our Foxgloves which we discovered liked partial shade rather than full sun.

This morning, as I went out to get the mail, I noticed that our "mystery" plant had flowered. I KNOW that husband planted Freesia bulbs which never came up, so we are mystified by what this plant is. So, we are leaving it up to our garden-savvy blogpals to help solve the mystery. I publish for your edification several pictures of this mysterious plant.

The flowers on this plant seem to bloom at night and fold up during the daylight. By the time I looked at the plant around 11 a.m. today, all the blooms were tightly rolled up.

The first one who can correctly identify it will get our unbridled thanks.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Letter to my granddaughters

Dear darling granddaughters:

As we visited you this weekend, I was amazed how big and grown up you were getting to be. Dancer Girl is approaching her fifth birthday on August 4 and Little Sister is two-and-a-half going on 10.

How did the time get away from us so quickly? It seems like only yesterday when your mother was first pregnant with you, Dancer Girl, and now you are going to be five. Little Sister is talking up a storm and she must have learned everything she knows from her loving big sister. We enjoyed seeing the video of your swim lessons. You both looked so cute paddling around the pool. Grandpa and I can't wait for you to come see us really soon and swim in our pool.

We hope you have a lot of fun on your new swing set. There is plenty of room for several of your friends to come play with you.

Your grandfather and I are so proud of you both and love you beyond words. We can hardly wait until your birthday party.

Love, Grandma and Grandpa

P.S. Darling Daughter, you and Long Hair Daddy have done a wonderful job with these lovely young ladies. We are also so proud of you two.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Going potty in public

When you have to visit a public bathroom, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it's your turn, you check for feet under the stall doors. Every stall is occupied. Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall. You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter.

The dispenser for the modern "seat covers" (invented by someone's Mom, no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your purse on the door hook, if there were one, but there isn't - so you carefully but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mom would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!), yank down your pants, and assume "The Stance."

In this position your aging, toneless thigh muscles begin to shake. You'd love to sit down, but you certainly hadn't taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold "The Stance."

To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser. In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying, "Honey, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!" Your thighs shake more.

You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday -- the one that's still in your purse. That would have to do. You crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It is still smaller than your thumbnail.

Someone pushes open your stall door because the latch doesn't work. The door hits your purse, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest, and you and your purse topples backward against the tank of the toilet. "Occupied!" you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, lose your footing altogether, and slide down directly onto the TOILET SEAT. It is wet of course.

You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper -- not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try.

You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew because, you're certain, her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, "You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could get."

By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose that somehow sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too. At that point, you give up.

You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You're exhausted. You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks. You can't figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women, still waiting. You are no longer able to smile politely to them.

A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it??) You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it to the woman's hand and tell her warmly, "Here, you just might need this."

As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used and left the men's restroom. Annoyed, he asks, "What took you so long, and why is your purse hanging around your neck?"

This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with a public restroom (rest??? you've got to be kidding!!). It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also answers their other commonly asked question about why women go to the restroom in pairs. It's so the other gal can hold the door, hang onto your purse, and hand you Kleenex under the door.

This gem was sent to me by my sister, mrsgreenthumb. Thanks, sis, for giving me a laugh today. Hope you all enjoy this too.

The dog days of Summer

It was so hot at our house the past several days that it felt like you walked into an oven when you went outside or got out of the air conditioning. It is almost the end of July and we have hit the dog days of summer. I noticed yesterday evening that my potted flowers were suffering from the heat and all the plants look a little past their prime. I think we need some rain and some cooler weather.

After I finished with therapy yesterday, we decided to get into the pool to relax and paddle around for a while. When we took off the cover, we discovered that the water temp was 96 degrees! Much too warm (especially when it's 102 outside) to be swimming. We drained some and we added more cold water to the mix. When all was said and done, the water temp had only cooled to 94 degrees. It was still a tad warm to swim in but we love the pool. So, who's complaining?

I'm telling you, husband and I really have a terrible life. Working outside when we want to, swimming when we want to, staying inside when we want to, sleeping when we want to, going out to eat when we want to, being with friends when we want to, or going somewhere when we want to. It's almost too much to bear. We are getting spoiled.

Despite the heat and humidity, we have really enjoyed the warm weather and working out in the yard this year. I can't speak for husband, but I don't look forward to winter. No wonder people either become snow birds, move to warmer climes, or sell their houses, purchase RVs, and travel around following the sun and fun. We have several friends who travel to Texas for the winter, and one friend sold their house, bought a fifth-wheel, and plans to just travel at their whim. Must be nice. I'm too much of a traditionalist. Must have a permanent place to hang my hat. Drives husband crazy, but that's just me. I'm a nester.

Anyway, getting back to the dog days of summer. School starts here in about three weeks. When I was growing up, we didn't go back to school until after Labor Day. I think going back the beginning of August is way too early and much too hot. Kids should be able to be off enjoying themselves while the weather is still good. They start football here while the heat and humidity are way too high and too dangerous for the kids. That's just crazy as far as I'm concerned. Football is a cool-weather sport. I don't look forward to school starting again. We live just down the street from the high school and these kids use our street like they were running on a NASCAR track. My cats know to stay in the house when the kids are running up the street.

I hope you all are staying cool. For those who are going on vacation, coming back from vacation, or planning weekend trips to the lake, river, ocean, pond, or swimming pool, don't forget your sunscreen, hats, coverups, flipflops, beach towels, and pina coladas. Above all, stay cool and have fun. It's no fun suffering with a sunburn. For those who have elderly family, friends, or neighbors, be sure to check up on them to ensure their safety in this heat.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Knee Report Card

Husband and I drove to Nashville today for my three-month checkup at the doctor's. We went with a certain amount of trepidation because we didn't know what would happen based on the progress I have made in rehabilitation since my surgery on April 10.

At six weeks the doctor threatened to put me back into the hospital, sedate me, and physically manipulate my right knee to break up scar tissue which had formed and was causing tremendous pain during therapy. This scar tissue was also preventing me from flexing my knee as much as the doctor wanted (at least 120 degrees). If this procedure was performed, I would have to start physical therapy all over again. I instead opted to continue physical therapy five times a week and concentrate on exercises to increase flexion. This has been very difficult to say the least. To date I have only been able to flex my knee to 105 degrees and I was very worried that the doctor would insist on performing the manipulation.

We were very surprised, therefore, when we were told that they were extremely satisfied with my progress to date. The nurse practitioner said that at three months past surgery I was exactly where I should be. She ordered therapy to continue three times a week for the next three months and then I would come back for another checkup. She told me that normal recuperation from this type of surgery is typically a year. Here I thought I wasn't doing as well as they wanted and now both husband and I are satisfied that things are going better than we expected.

All of this is good news. I have worked very hard to get over this major surgery. I had my doubts about replacing my knee because this is a permanent deal. For the rest of my life I must take antibiotics prior to any dental procedure and any other medical procedure. For the rest of my life I must visit the doctor once a year to ensure that my body is not rejecting this prosthetic or that I have not acquired an infection that could threaten my knee or that it had not worn out or that it had not loosened because of use or abuse. For the rest of my life I will not be able to jump or do anything that could damage my knee. For the rest of my life I may not be able to kneel, do the twist, or bowl. For the rest of my life I will have to show a little card when I go through airport security to explain why all the buzzers are going off.

I thought I would be able to handle this surgery with no problem because I was a superwoman who had two kids with practically no medication. How bad could this procedure be? I found, much to my astonishment, that I had three months of surprising pain. I couldn't believe that I was such a crybaby dependent upon a lot of pain pills to dull the torture of therapy.

Today I am not in pain like I was before and I'm learning that I can walk again like a normal person. Hopefully one of these days I will forget that I have stainless steel and plastic implanted where real bone and cartilage once resided. Hopefully one of these days I will not think twice about going for an extended walk and worrying whether I will be able to make it back to the house or car without crawling or crying. Hopefully one of these days I won't feel like an old invalid.

Considering all I have been through, was it worth it? I would have to say yes. Would I have my left knee done? I would have to say maybe not. But, I will cross that stream when I come to it. After all, tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Trivial Pursuit, Come Play With Me

Trivial Pursuit

So, are you as bored as I am on this Sunday afternoon? If so, you may enjoy taking the following test. If you can answer these 15 questions, you are as smart as Ken Jennings. If you can't answer all of these, then your mind is probably as numb as mine is.

These are not as easy as you think. Some of these questions may sound racy, but I assure you that this is all good, clean fun. I am posting the answers at the end so no fair peeking, okay?

1. What occurs more often in December than any other month?

2. Only 14% of Americans say they've done this with the opposite sex.
What is it?

3. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?

4. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested?

5. More women do this in the bathroom than men.

6. What do 100% of all lottery winners do?

7. In a recent survey, Americans revealed that this was their favorite smell.

8. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?

9. What do bullet-proof vests, fire escapes, windscreen wipers, and laser printers all have in common?

10. Married men revealed that they do this twice as often as single men.

11. This stimulates 29 muscles and chemicals causing relaxation. Women seem to like it light and frequent, men like it more strenuous.

12. This is the only food that doesn't spoil.

13. 40% of all people who come to a party in your home do this?

14. 3.9% of all women surveyed say they never do this.

15. What common everyday occurrence is composed of 59% nitrogen, 21% hydrogen, and 9% carbon dioxide?

Here are the answers. You didn't peek, did you?

1. Conception

2. Skinny dipping

3. Their birthplace

4. Obsession

5. Wash their hands: women: 80%; men: 55%

6. Gain weight

7. Banana

8. One thousand

9. All invented by women

10. Change their underwear

11. A kiss

12. Honey

13. Have a look in your medicine cabinet

14. Wear underwear

15. A fart

How did you do? Did your brain cells get a workout? Did you have fun, or are you still bored?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I remember mama

I always remember my mama. Had she lived, she would be 96 years old this year. It has been 13 years today, July 13, since she died but to me it seems as if she lives on still, at least in my heart and mind. I always think of my mama every day no matter what I'm doing. I have a lot of her things, and whenever I use them, look at them, or touch them, I think of her. My mother was good, sweet, kind, talented, generous to a fault, a hard worker, and a loving soul. Everyone loved her.

My sister, mrsgreenthumb, wrote her tribute here.

This is my mother in October of 1937. She was 27 years old and had not met my father yet. This picture was taken behind the house she would call home for the rest of her life.

These are my parents in 1939, the year they were married. They were just starting their lives together and they looked so hopeful and happy. My mother was 29 years old. My sister was born the next year.

This picture was taken by my sister (see her shadow in the foreground) at the lagoon at a local park. We used to go there on Sundays for picnics. My sister and I would swim in the lagoon with the rest of the kids, and our family would enjoy fried chicken and potato salad afterwards. My mother always wore dresses until she became wheelchair-bound, then she felt free enough to wear slacks. Throughout her life, she made most of her clothes. When she wasn't working in my parents' grocery store, she was sewing. She made all our clothes and sewed and mended clothes for other people My mother was probably in her early 40s in this picture.

My parents took very few vacations during their married life. I do remember them going to the Wisconsin Dells one year when my sister and I were close to our teens. We stayed with our grandparents who lived upstairs from us while our parents took some time for themselves. Mother looks so relaxed and happy. She was in her early 40s at this time.

My parents, Sara and Jack, at their 50th wedding anniversary celebration in June 1989. They may not have had a lot of material things in their lifetime but they were rich with friends, family, children, and grandchildren. Everyone loved them.

My parents are gone but are not forgotten. Their legacy is their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Their kind and gentle natures are what we remember most of all and what better tribute can we give someone than to say they were a good person.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Are you a boomer, or have you already bombed?

I was reading the other day and they had an article on President Bush turning 60. He and a bunch of other well-known celebrities are now considered baby boomers. For those of us who have already surpassed that infamous mark, I bring you the following to make you feel right at home.

You know you're old when . . .

  • In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.
  • It's harder and harder for sexual harassment charges to stick.
  • Kidnappers are not very interested in you.
  • No one expects you to run into a burning building.
  • People call at 9 p.m. and ask, "Did I wake you?"
  • People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.
  • There's nothing left to learn the hard way.
  • Things you buy now won't wear out.
  • You buy a compass for the dash of your car.
  • You can eat dinner at 4:00
  • You can live without sex but not without glasses.
  • You can't remember the last time you laid on the floor to watch television.
  • You consider coffee one of the most important things in life.
  • You constantly talk about the price of gasoline.
  • You enjoy hearing about other people's operations.
  • You get into a heated argument about pension plans.
  • You got cable (or satellite) for the weather channel.
  • You have a party and the neighbors don't even realize it.
  • You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.
  • You quit trying to hold your stomach in no matter who walks into the room.
  • You send money to PBS.
  • You sing along with the elevator music.
  • You talk about "good grass" and you're referring to someone's lawn.
  • Your arms are almost too short to read the newspaper.
  • Your back goes out more than you do.
  • Your ears are hairier than your head.
  • Your eyes won't get much worse.
  • Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.
  • Your joints are more accurate than the National Weather Service.
  • Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.
  • Your supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size.
Getting older is not fun. In fact, once you quit working at a paying job, getting up in the morning is a job in itself. Do you have a routine for unwinding yourself and getting your bones moving again? Sometimes I feel as if half the morning is spent getting myself in a mood to open my eyes to say "good morning."

For those who are still young enough to call yourselves a baby boomer, enjoy it while you can. Pretty soon you won't be able to ride your mountain bike, get black belts in karate, hike up trails in the mountains, or swim forty laps in an olympic-size swimming pool. You will become like the rest of us old codgers -- being worried about unnatural leaks, going to restaurants, eating half your meal, and taking the rest home for supper, and hoping gravity doesn't make anything else fall on your body. You'll go through your day watching your step because the last thing you want to do is fall and break something.

I say "whoop-de-do" to those now turning 60. We've all returned to the '60s (metaphorically) except that now we can't wear our hair long as a lot of us don't have much hair left. We can't wear body paint anymore because it would just get lost in the wrinkles. If we wear love beads, they would weight us down too much (and those who have osteoporosis wouldn't want to fracture anything). We can still say "cool," but now it means we need a sweater. We can also say "groovy," but it means that we're in a rut and can't get out.

I know I'm getting old. Husband and I were in the pool the other day. We had the radio going out on the deck and the oldies-but-goodies station was playing music we love. All of a sudden we realized that the music they were playing was from the '50s and '60s and it's stuff that's 40-something and 50-something years old. Where did the time go? We were just getting with it and now all the music we like is a half-century old. Aaak.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Weeds in the garden

I have been spending a lot of time lately weeding the garden. One of the things I have been pulling a great deal of is

Crabgrass is so invasive that unless you use chemicals, you can hardly get rid of it. It's awful. We don't use chemicals at all in our garden, therefore, we have a lot of dandelions, crabgrass, and other garden "pests." But, we don't mind. It's nature at its finest and we would rather have the earthworms in our yard to make lots of compost for us.

When we moved to our present house in 1975, the earth was hard-packed clay. There were no earthworms and there was no garden spot. We have spent the last 31 years cultivating our little patch of heaven so we could have earthworms galore and good dirt to grow things in.

We are currently planting a lot of perennials and also a new Cypress tree out back. We pride ourselves on our green thumbs. But, those thumbs don't get green all by themselves. It takes work. Which brings me back to pulling crabgrass.

When we went to the nursery to purchase the Cypress, we also bought a bunch of perennials in pots. We were going to plant them around the new tree, but husband decided to expand our perennial plot instead. So, we spent a good bit of time out there yesterday. Husband rototilled, amended the soil and planted, while I pulled crabgrass from our existing row of perennials. By the time I was finished, I was physically finished. I ended up in the pool to cool off.

I walked around the yard this morning to examine the work that we had done yesterday. I pulled a few more weeds, did some pruning, and noticed that there are so many other areas to be weeded. Will it never end?

I have been thinking also about weeding out the extraneous things in my life. If I died tomorrow, someone would have to deal with my accumulation. I disliked doing this when my mother died, I disliked doing this when my dad died, and I certainly will dislike doing this in the future if I have to. Husband and I have been systematically going through our things for the past several years. We have been eliminating some things, but as I look around the house I am overwhelmed with all the stuff we have. Who on earth would want all this stuff after we're gone? Our kids have their own stuff so I guess someone is going to have to have a giant yard sale or auction to get rid of all this stuff one way or another.

I treasure a lot of the things I have accumulated over the years. I have several bookcases of beautiful hard-bound books and lots of soft-covered books to boot. I have antique glassware and woodenware to display. I have hooked rugs my mother made. I have a cedar chest filled with things from my grandmother. I already gave away my vast stamp collection to my son. I've been trying to organize my pictures (futile attempt). I have catalogued all my DVDs and VHS tapes. I have restored some of my jewelry and will give it away at the proper time. I have lots of framed needlepoint pictures that I made. I could go on and on.

But, there is so much other stuff that we live with daily. Do we really need all these things? I suppose, just like the invasive crabgrass in my yard, my house has been invaded by all the stuff we thought we needed over the years. Some of it we only occasionally use and other things we use all the time. I remember when we first got married, we didn't have a proverbially pot to pee in. We had no furniture, no stove, and no refrigerator. All we had was ourselves, one car, a new job, and a baby on the way.

Life was simple in those days, unhampered by all the stuff we have today. We used a push mower, rake, and shovel. Now we have two John Deere lawn tractors and a push mower, two weed eaters, rototiller, power washer, air compressor, snow blower, lots of different shovels, rakes, hoes, hammers, power tools, etc., etc., etc. Our next big purchase is going to be a big, fancy outbuilding to get all this stuff out of our one-car garage and store it outside. We haven't been able to park a car in the garage since 1976.

Get the point? We need more stuff just to store our stuff. Life is getting way too complicated. Maybe we should just find a cave someplace and hunker down. But then I would need a shower with hot and cold running water, a dishwasher, refrigerator, stove, queen-size bed . . .. Hmmm, sounds like someone needs to go shopping.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Blogging Milestone

This is a big blogging milestone for me. It's my 112th post. I noticed the other day on a friend's blog that she wrote about the significance of her 100th post and proceeded to list 100 things about herself. The things she listed were very interesting and I learned some new facts about her (including the fact that she always paints her toenails but never her fingernails). I thought about doing the same thing, but are you really interested in learning 112 things about me?

Okay, I'm going to start my list. I hope you don't yawn and fall asleep on me.

1. I'm sitting here at 8:11 on a Monday morning in my underwear blogging about my 112th post.
2. I have nothing better to do at 8:11 on a Monday morning than sit at my computer writing on my blog about blogging.
3. Last night I not only painted my toenails, but I also painted my fingernails. Now I look like a painted lady. Should look cool in the pool today.
4. Okay, I'm finished with my list.

Do you get the message? Do you really want to know that I am of a certain age and certain weight? How about that I have been married for almost 40 years to the same guy and that I have two kids, two grandkids, and six cats? I'm starting to bore myself.

I will leave you with this thought, however. Blogging has been a fun and interesting avocation for me. My husband and daughter urged me to start a blog and I'm glad I did. Just look at the number of our family members who are now blogging. It's an amazing and fun way to get to know each other. It's actually better than writing letters. Blogging is a way where we all get to read the same letter and we can all answer it in our own way if we want. Or, we can be lurkers and read but not comment.

So, thanks blogpals for the many wonderful hours of fun you have provided. It's amazing what funny, intelligent, interesting, and caring people there are out there. My biggest thrill, however, is going to a new blog and seeing comments from someone I recognize (Pea, I see your comments everywhere). I say to myself, I "know" that person. I hope one of these days you may see one of my comments and say, hey, I "recognize" that Motherkitty. She has nothing better to do with her life than sit at the computer at 8:11 on a Monday morning blogging in her underwear.

As for 112 interesting facts about myself, I just don't know. It's a little early on a Monday morning to be thinking about anything that serious. Maybe I'll just go get something to eat. That may jog my memory.

Here's to all you patriots out there

What are your plans for the Fourth of July? We are having some friends over, cooking out, swimming in the pool, and maybe seeing some fireworks down by the river later in the evening. Husband and I have been enjoying an extended holiday weekend so far by swimming every day, watching a few movies, eating good, and just generally hanging out. Anyway, wish you were here.

Hope you all have a WONDERFUL and SAFE Fourth of July. Remember, don't drink and drive, wear your seat belts and helmets (if you are driving a motorcycle), wear your lifejackets if you're in a boat, and don't dive off any high cliffs into the water.

For those of you who have asked if I have stopped blogging, I have not. I have been taking a little break because I have not had anything of interest to say. I didn't want to write about not feeling well. I think I've pretty much used up that category by now. I'm getting better but this recovery is taking longer than I expected (because I've been lazy about my exercises at home). I have continued to read your blogs and sometimes left comments just to let you know that I'm still here. I feel that sometimes it's better just to be quiet rather than bleating like a wounded lamb.

For those family members who will not be here with us (and vice versa) on this holiday, we hope you have a great time no matter where you are, who you are with, or what you are doing. For all our friends, enjoy yourselves.

Most of all, however, is that we remember what this holiday is all about. It's not about eating barbeque (although that's good), it's not about fireworks (although they are fun and pretty to watch), and it's not about swimming with our friends, but rather it's about celebrating our independence from tyranny when this nation was founded. It's also about the continuing struggle today for all peoples of this world to be free. Please remember our armed forces stationed around the world who are defending us.