Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Son Shine

We spent the day with our son in Winston-Salem.  Sweetz had to make a stop in that town this morning so I went with him.  We used to live in this city many moons ago, but alot has changed.  Lots of new roads and stores have sprung up everywhere.  We could have gotten to our destination just fine, but we let Tom direct us the "fastest" way. One thing we decided, it would be easy to go through all our ca$h in this town where there's a shopping center, mall, or strip mall at almost every corner.

We met our son at Carrabas but there was a sign on the door stating  they are only open for lunch on the weekends.  WOW! Is that because of the economy?  Soooo, we decided to head down the road to Red Lobster where we enjoyed some good eating and quality chat time. 

They are getting a dog that they will pick up tomorrow.  Since we aren't dog people, we can't say that we're excited, but it's their decision.  Although I'm sure the two KiddieLoos will adore the little guy that they have named Charlie.  

We drove around our old neighborhood, which looks about the same even after all these years.  Found a starter home and an ender home with some living in between.  Also did a bit of shopping at Target and Home Depot. 

Also saw Mr. and Mrs. Geez R. Sweetz who were having a race down the sidewalk. Yep, this will be us in just a few years.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Talks

I talked a couple times with my SIL today - seems she is doing ok following my brother's death.  She lives near the earthquake epicenter so was telling me about her experience at the house when it occurred.  She had no structural damage, but felt the house shaking and thought it was something at her house until she went to the front door and saw some neighbors motioning that their house was shaking.  Some pictures were knocked down, a jar of loose popcorn kernels fell from a wall shelf and broke.  She said she'd probably be finding popcorn on the floor or hiding under appliances for weeks. Several items had dropped off tables, but no serious damage.  Someone is coming tomorrow to check on her sump pump since she's concerned about it over the winter since she's there by herself.   

Her church has a memorial fund in my brother's honor and they have already collected $1500.  Linda was asking my opinion as what to use the money for and we agreed that because of his love of music that it would be used in the music ministry. We also agreed to something tangible, like hymnals, choir robes, choir music, keyboard, etc.  She's working with the Minister of Music to determine something appropriate and will let us know.  I'm thinking she's swinging toward a couple of keyboards.

My nephew wanted me to email him all the pictures I had taken during the funeral week, so sent them yesterday and he emailed that he received them and thanked me.  I had copied all those pictures to a CD which I mailed to my SIL last week and she received them Wednesday.  She used a friend's laptop to view them - said they were all good. 

Our son called today and wanted to get together with us tomorrow while the boys were in school and he has a few days off between jobs. Since Sweetz has a repair that direction, we'll meet them for an early lunch at Carrabas and then hang out together for a few hours.  They will need to be back home by 3pm to meet the school bus but we'll have plenty of time to have some fun together.  After they head home, we might stay awhile longer - we were thinking there might be a movie we could both enjoy while we have the opportunity.  That will definitely exclude the sci-fi ones that seem to be in all the theatres.  Gracious, where are the DECENT movies these days?  And the month is nearly over...where did August go?  Of course, I'm anxious for some cooler weather but that always includes lots of oak leaves to move.  Oh well, we'll enjoy that job this year knowing there are no time constraints.  And hopefully we geezers are still able to jump in a big pile of leaves without hurting ourselves!  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Another Monday

It's another Monday -  and definitely a beautiful one.  A near perfect 76* with a warm sun and gentle breeze.  Perhaps I can ignore the fact that we're dry to parched around here.  Our weekend was a calm one which included church and time with friends.  My friend celebrating her birthday seemed to like the painted purse.  Sweetz picked the one to give her - which was black and white with the bright red strawberries on the front. It was great to spend time with special friends.  One couple joined the church Sunday - the other couple and ourselves...well, we haven't reached that decision yet.

Sweetz and I are deep in the process of planning a fall getaway.  We've perused tour company catalogs, studied maps, and contemplated places of interest. We have fluctuated between trading our $$$ for days of pampering versus traveling on our own.  Seems the "on our own" is bubbling to the top at this point.  What to do, where to go?  Those are the questions which will find answers - soon.  Soon, right???   

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Paint Brushes

I handpainted on the front of two purses. They look me at least.  One is for a friend and I'll give it to her tomorrow for her birthday. 

They are fabric and totally lined with contrasting fabric and sport a nice pocket inside.  Nope, didn't make these.  I bought the purses at a gift shop and decided I'd paint something on them.  The paint had to dry for a few days so tonight I pressed them to set the paint. Now, which one should I give to my friend for her birthday?  I'm hoping she doesn't see this blog until tomorrow...but if she sees it first,
maybe she'll choose the one she prefers.  

Now that I'm in a painting mode, Sweetz better keep an eye on all his jeans and tees because I could paint something on most anything that doesn't move. 

Big Irene is moving through but for some reason God has decreed that this will uniquely have a dry underbelly.  Absolutely not one drop of rain has fallen in our yard.  I do believe this is the first time for a dry hurricane.  The temps cooled today and the slight breeze was nice, but again, it was dry so we will continue to work our way to being a desert.  Might as well start thinking of appropriate names.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Mile Above Sea Level

Yesterday Sweetz and I drove to the mountains for the day - up and down winding country roads and through small towns all in the quest to view breathtaking vistas.  Ahhh, a road trip at its finest. 
We had beautiful weather, barely reaching 80* all day. 
One thing I need to work on is remembering to ask Sweetz to stop every now and then for me to whip out my camera and get pictures.  Little compares to the high I get with a camera to my eye.  But there's time in this retirement phase for lots and lots more pictures.  

We met a couple yesterday who had retired to FL for 13 years, who used to live in NJ not far from where I lived for seven years.  Small world. They have traveled far and wide and seen so much of our country as well as several other countries. They were interesting to talk to - waaaay up on the top of Grandfather Mountain where it looked like we could see forever.  Not really - since there were low clouds part of that time but it was beautiful nevertheless.  During the admission process, we were given some literature to read and a CD so we could listen to a guide speak of the interesting points as we drove to each of the sites along the tour.  And up on the swinging bridge, there's a point that really is one mile above sea level.
There's even a few animals like Mildred the Bear who was offered her freedom years ago but she didn't want to leave, so they built a larger natural environment for her and her cubs.  There were some animals which included otters, deer, cougars, etc.  All are animals which are found naturally in this area of the mountains of NC.  Not that I'd ever want to get too close to a cougar or a bear...

We stopped for some good food along the way.

  And I did get a few decent pictures.  Even bought a tee shirt! 

And we stopped to admire this view as we drove down the mountain.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Heavenly Earthly Wings

Today has been one of those nondescript moments in someone's life.  We are here, we breathe, we talk. Of course, we are all important in our own unique way with responsibilities that no one else in the world can accomplish.  I'm just not sure what my chosen responsibilities were today.  With a bit of cooler air, I indulged in a few pieces of cinnamon toast hot from the oven.  Talk about scrumptious!  Brought back some memories of my childhood and they are usually good ones.  After a shower and shampoo, I finished getting ready and took some fresh yellow squash over to mom's.  She's just gets practically giddy over that stuff and I'm so glad we have enough to share.  We sat on her screened porch and chatted and attempted to solve all the nation's ills. Now, don't blame me for anything that goes wrong in this old world - because I tried. 

I guess we accomplished alot, because mom and I decided it was time to get something to eat.  We drove through the country to a really neat broasted chicken diner - best stuff ever.  Had our fill of the delicious wing plate and then drove back through the country checking out the cows and the horses and the tobacco fields ready for harvest. 

The season is beginning to wind down and after the hot dry summer, it will be nice to experience some relatively cooler weather.  With Irene stirring in the Atlantic, I'm optimistic our area just might get a tad of rain.  Depends, of course, on her course, of course.  But I'm going to maintain my optimism.  Rain barrel is hooked up and ready. Check.  In the meantime, I'll keep a sharp eye for rain clouds... 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

All Shook Up

Yep, all shook up!  The floor of the shopping center where we were started shaking, looked outside the windows and tree limbs were waving around, and the signs hanging around the store were jiggling.  Yep, it was more than something minor.  We stood still though, didn't even think to head outside, we just stood there with our eyes wide open in mild shock.  Thankfully, it ended without any damage in the area that I could tell.  When we got home, no damage was noticed at our house, so we got off easy this time.  Heard our area hasn't experienced an earthquake in 100 years.  Let's schedule the next one in 100 years! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Just a Hint

There's a hint of fall in the plants and flowers around here although the dry weather we've experienced isn't helping to stretch out the summer.  Dry, crackly, brittle, buggy - definitely not my favorite time of the year.  The weatherman says it is more seasonable with temps in the normal range.  Sure, sure.  Well, let me stress once again, it is too hot for me! Maybe we should move to a more northern location. 

I have been hinting to go camping.  My Sweetz can't be jumped started - he's a slow simmer type of guy. He gave me a look of agreement today, so I'm thinking he's warming up to heading out.  Let's hope so.  He mentioned he'd like to own a few acres of property that could be used for free camping.  I commented it would be a good idea to have electricity, water, and septic system too...with a lake or stream and a great view of the mountains... Ahhh, we can dream!

Today was another runaround day.  Since the gas tank was nearly empty, it was filled; got the car inspected and renewed the registration for another year; bought a birthday gift in a local gift shop for a friend; updated our multiple vehicle insurance and even got the rate reduced $100 for the year (yippeee) and got that paid; mailed a picture CD to my sister-in-law in one of those darling colored mailers sold at the PO; and finished my errands with a stop for a few groceries. 

While I was out in the bright sunshine and heat today, I developed a migraine so I hurried along home. The aura was gone by then but the pounding was in full force. Main Guy put everything away for me while I hit the bed with a cold cloth and eye wrap.

On a stroll out and about in the yard late this afternoon, I shot a few pictures of our dry yard.  Pitiful.  Sure need rain.  

Two small pumpkins
The hydrangea blooms are drying on the bush 

Orange zinnia brightens the flowerbed
And this guy was watching me a long time before I noticed him.  After I got a fairly decent picture, I walked away to take these other pictures and when I came back to where he was, he had quickly crossed the sidewalk to the flowerbed and was bedding down under a bush in some leaves.  Sleep well my little friend, tomorrow is another day.

male turtle: has red eyes and is more colorful than female

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wyndham Golf Day

Sweetz & Son attended the Wyndham Championship Golf Tournament today.  Must have been quite a day, because the Mr. was full of chatter and details when he arrived home. 

I enjoyed my day, went to lunch with mom today where they advertise the "food is made from scratch".  Ever so good.  Didn't eat it all so brought the rest home. It's beginning to be normal to see at least one of those white take-out containers in our fridge.  Better to see the food there than in the trash.  But this container won't be in there for long - because...I have plans for it tomorrow!

Quite a bit of time was spent today organizing my digital pictures.  I have 8 memory cards and some were brimming with pictures.  Yeah, yeah, yeah...sometimes it's just easier to put a fresh card in the camera than to burn them to a CD.  Well, today was the day they got burned.  The computer was just sizzling with activity and all the pictures are now named and grouped in folders, burned to CDs with appropriate month/year and folder/contents. And now 7 of the cards have been swiped clean with the format button and anxious for more pictures. Whew, glad that job's done. I also made a couple of CDs for my sister-in-law that she requested which holds pictures of my brother. Then another one for some friends that has pictures of them that I've taken over the years. That one is a surprise for her birthday! I'm promising myself to keep us with this job more often.  Usually do, but it got away from me - plus about half of the memory cards were old ones that I found in a camera case in the closet. Time to get organized.  

But the question remains, who will EVER look at these pictures? Well, occasionally I need some info or a certain picture, and yes, it's usually a piece of cake to find it.  Our son will probably dump all these CDs in the trash when we die and it won't matter to me then.  It was just worth it to enjoy being bitten by the photography bug during my lifetime.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Leave The White Gloves Home

I finally decided today was the day I would clean my house.  Been putting that off longer than I want to admit so it was waaaaaaay past time to grab the mop and cleaners.  I woke this morning knowing that TODAY was the day I'd do it.  And I had a smile in my heart.  So, after a bit of this and that, I grabbed the supplies and began the  cleaning job.  Well, that was short lived as mom came by to visit after she had been gone for a week to the lake with her lady friends.  And we needed to discuss this and that. 

She brought some peaches that she bought from a roadside produce stand and I quickly
stashed them on a fridge shelf to keep them chilled.

Then hours later, I remembered them and ate one as a treat!  YUM, delicious.

Our son called this morning so we exchanged our news. About 3 weeks ago, he was approached about an accounting job at another location and he decided to pursue this opportunity. After a couple of interviews, a background check, and a pee in the cup session...he was hired. Since I knew he was to turn in his resignation last Tuesday, I was interested to know how things went.  The office is a few miles closer to his home and comes with a salary increase, so he's smiling too.  And of course, as his mom I'm definitely proud and smiling. 

After my mom left, I got back to the Swiffer and rags and bottles to continue my cleaning session.  It wasn't such a bad project and was even quite rewarding at times - as I tackled one task at a time.  Now, I'm not ready for the white glove test, but I'm smiling, and that's really all that matters. The feel of clean wood floors and the shine of wood furniture will be enough reward for a job well done.  Now, if I can keep Sweetz from walking in with garden soil on his feet!!  We'd do better living on a farm - but that isn't in the cards right now, so I try to wait until after he leaves the room before I grab the Swiffer and swipe the floor where he's stepped. It's just better to keep the smile on my face rather than a frown or make some snippy remark.

Sweetz and son are going to attend a golf tournament tomorrow.  I'm not really interested so I'll go to church and eat lunch with mom somewhere.  At least that's the plan.

 After all that...ahem...hard work, I rewarded myself by starting another book - a western with a light romance intertwined in the daily activities of several families. This one will be a fairly quick read and then I have several other books in the basket which will be deeper and will require an inquiring mind and great memory. Both types have their importance to allow the brain to slide and also to provide mental strain. And then to round things out, I work on the Sudoku or crossword puzzles, which has moments of sliding and straining too.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

I Really Should Be Cleaning

Yep, the operative word is "should".  Not that I "wanna", just that I should.  Oh well, who would care?  Probably not as much as it would have bothered me in my former life.  Seems to me that some dust on the furniture and miniblinds could be a good thing.  For one thing, Sweetz and I could write dust messages to each other, almost better than a chalk board.  Talk about going "green". 

He picked a few veggies this morning - things are definitely winding down. But he did plant some new seeds three days ago and proudly told me this morning that the beets have already sprouted!  Wow, three days - now that's nearly instant gratification. 

Yesterday, we spent the afternoon and evening with some good friends.  First was some visiting and chatting, then off for a nice meal at a country restaurant.  We could have ordered from the menu, but decided we'd save some time and choose the buffet since we had to wait longer than usual for our table.  They were holding an entire section of the restaurant for a party of 35...which never arrived.  Gracious.  But we were eventually seated and enjoyed our meal.  Then off down the road to Snow Camp to see an outdoor drama.  We saw the musical, "Singing In The Rain", which was quite good with local talent.  I knew or had heard some of the songs, but not all.  Plus, I didn't know the story of the play.  I meant to do a bit of research before we left so I'd have the gist of the story...but that didn't happen.  Oh well, so much for following through on great ideas. 

There are some old buildings scattered about to walk through: barns, one-room school house, meeting house, merchantile, spring house, cabins, etc. scattered around which are interesting to see.  I took some pictures with my little point and shoot camera which were a disappointment. 

Note to self:  study up on how to take better pictures with this thing before it is thrown into the trash!

We stopped at Charles/Mary's house to get our car and for a bit more chat and share time then headed home through the country trying our best to avoid deer hanging out on the side of the road.  It didn't take us long to brush our teeth and land in the bed - midnight is not our usual gettin' ta bed time.  But what we won't do to have a great time with friends!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Road Trip to Asheboro

The NC Zoo is located in Asheboro as well as some very nice people.  We drove to their fair town today for a bit of adventure and to see some old friends.  We visited with them for a couple of hours and then headed around some country roads to find one of our favorite eateries - mostly because the food is good and the wait staff is even better.  It's the Dixie III, so I'm figuring there is a I and II somewhere.  Sweetz got the spaghetti special while I chose chicken and two veggies.  Must have been excellent, because both of us ate nearly every morsel, and that's highly unusual - at least for me.  We were debating about ordering one of their scrumptious desserts, but decided it was best to stop with our tummies full instead of overfilling just to get a sweet taste. 

Our nice waitress directed us to a local nursery when we asked for directions.  She explained where it was located to the out-of-towners that we were, then came back with detailed directions, down to what was at each corner where we turn and the names of all the roads, all written nicely on the back of one of the order sheets.  Yep, she got a nice tip.

Sweetz wanted some fall veggie plants so we found Weston's to be just what we wanted.  We left with a variety of cabbage plants.  They will provide some good eating this fall. 

The drive was nice and I didn't even open the book I brought for entertainment in case things got boring.  We noticed there are a few trees (mostly poplar) which are beginning to show some yellow leaves.  The poplars aren't pretty in this area, but the leaves turn a pretty yellow but with splotchy brown areas and then fall to the ground.  But from a distance they give an early hint to the end of summer. 

We drove around in the downtown historic area of Asheboro and saw their Confederate Park.  There was a beautiful building with great architecture seldom seen in a town this size. 

Our GPS had a raspy female voice that was accidentally changed in a haste makes waste moment.  Today was the day chosen to return 
to Rhoda, our Queen Voice of the Roads. much more pleasant to hear her familiar and understandable voice.   

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Out And About

Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful day.  I drove to Martinsville to see a friend and while there I drove through the town's hospital campus for a look-see. 

I picked my friend up at her office door and we drove down the road to an area restaurant for lunch where we sat and enjoyed the food and the catch-up chat.  After I dropped her back off at her office, I indulged in some rare entertainment - shopping.  Most of that was window shopping and browsing but I had a list and did pretty well getting some items we can't get in our little town.  I know for sure that I don't like the current fashions.  Guess I will be wearing lots of tee shirts and jeans until something decent returns to the racks.    

I saw A LOT of these on the drive.  Seems I spent A LOT of time staring at them.  And most of them were RED!! Bummer, wasn't my day for seeing green. 

There was a Carter Bank on one corner with an unusual wild creature guarding the cash.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Big Yellow Buses

We actually got some much-needed rain today!!! WoooHooo was I excited.  There are towns a few miles away which didn't get any rain at all.  Wish I could have shared with them.  We got over an inch and I'm thankful.  It did come with dark skies, wind, and noisy thunder and lightning though.  But, you don't hear me complaining.  Bring it on. At this point, I'll endure most anything for an inch of rain. 

School starts tomorrow for some of the area systems.  Brings back memories of having new pencils and notebook paper plus a few new clothes.  While at Wal-Mart on Saturday I was fascinated with parents pushing buggies heaped with expensive fancy matching items while seemingly in a trance at all the things listed on their kid's school list.  One man grumbled in my direction as he followed his excited kids, "My kids actually think money grows on trees!"   Maybe a "No" would be a good reply. Just saying... 

But I'm out of that game now and I had to smile at the bedlam around me.  Didn't take me long to scoot to the opposite end of the store where peace prevailed. WM would have been smarter to have put the school supplies in the back of the store so that the customers and their excited kiddies would have to pass by the other departments where little hands could be reaching out for new shoes, the latest fashions, and roomy backpacks.  I bought a Coke and sat at a booth and watched as exhausted parents traded their money to the cashiers for a few bags of perky school supplies.  Tomorrow morning the big yellow buses will roll down the roads.  Ahhhh, the memories...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Wet Stuff

11am:  It's RAINING.  Yes, the wet stuff is falling.  Last evening we got over 1.5 inches in the rain gauge!! And the rain barrel filled up quickly which I think holds 50 gallons.  The overflow tube rushed  freely into the yard making it obvious we could easily use several barrels just at this one downspout.  I must admit I never knew that much rain hit one section of the roof!!  So, where could we get another 50 gallon barrel?  Never have noticed them for sale anywhere, or even free for the taking either for that matter.  NOOO, we won't be paying those big buck$ for another rain barrel from a lawn and garden  business.  One is enough to use as a guide to make more.  It's simple when you see how it works. 

It's raining lightly again now.  But the rain barrel is already full.  Our plants have perked up beautifully and already look like they will all survive.  I'm thankful for every drop.  It makes outdoor activities more difficult but I'll vote for the rain this time.

The market was volatile this week - it zoomed up and down so fast it made my brain dizzy.  The market reflects the unease with our own country's economy but also is innately related to the global economy.  Sure wish I knew more about how to inve$t in the stock market to capture money in those stocks which are gaining in value. Sure isn't fun watching the value of our meager funds spiral downward. 

Our garden is also in it's downward spiral in the production cycle.  We have a few tomatoes so this might be the day to stay dry inside and munch on a tomato sandwich for lunch.  A pickle and a few chips on the side - what could be tastier?  Well, a bite of cantaloupe might be worth the challenge!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Family and Friends

Due to some conflicts, my friend and I had to reschedule today's lunch date for Monday.  She still works so I want to be adaptable and work around her schedule. 

I talked to mom this morning and we decided to head in another direction to visit with a cousin and her husband.  What a delight they are!  Lillian worked on the staff of several churches and her husband worked at Burlington Industries.  We've visited with them many times but today must rank right up there with the sweetest.  They told me how they met and other interesting tidbits of their lives which I had never heard before. They are a delightful  and hospitable couple who I'm proud to call family. Mom (on the left) and I had a memorable visit and I can't wait to visit them again. (And YES, Walt smiles like this all the time!)

Tomorrow, another friend and I will attend the viewing of our mutual friend, Linda, who lost her battle with cancer yesterday afternoon. 

I repaired a pair of pink capris that had several loose buttons.  I might wear them tomorrow!!!  This pair probably will make crossing my legs uncomfortable, but at least I can look fashionable.  Speaking of fashion, I went to TJMaxx today and was floored with some of the ladies' clothes on the racks!  Good gracious, so many were pieces of junk made of flimsy fabrics that looked like a couple of kindergarten kids were let loose with a piece of fabric and a pair of scissors and told to create something ugly.  Nope, didn't buy any of them but will keep what I have.  I'll wear my old clothes proudly until they either fall apart or the fashion designers come up with something decent for me to have a reason to part with my money. 


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Loss of Another Friend

Another death swoops down to swallow us again.  This time a former co-worker, a sweet woman who was always willing to help.  She was a friend who would listen when you needed to vent.  She was a nurse who kept everything running smoothly even in trying moments, one who could handle all types of people, knew nursing from inside out and back.  We've lost another friend to cancer.  Our thoughts and prayers go to the family left who grieve her passing.  But we're joyous at the same time that she is in Heaven with her Savior and those who've gone before must have joyously greeted her at the gate upon her arrival this afternoon.  We must all face death.  It's the friends and family left who mourn their loss.  But death will come to each of us and we must be ready.  

It's terribly dry here, things are looking like a drought has arrived.  The grass is drying up which cracks under your feet as you walk, the flowers are having a hard time, and the garden is suffering from lack of rainfall.  Sweetz waters some, but it's not enough. Our rain barrel remains vigilant for the next rain.  The sky clouded over for a few minutes this afternoon, and as I was outside, I actually felt 3.75279 drops of rain on my arms.  But the clouds blew away.  Hopefully, some other location received some rain and our turn will come later.  Sooner rather than later would be nice.  I will try to be patient.  But in the meantime, it was a fabulous day to make a pitcher of sun tea. Now, I might want to figure out how to cook outdoors in a solar oven - you know, harness the power of the sun for a good purpose.  And eating is always a good reason.  

I'm trying to limit my intake of caffeine.  Oh dear, is it ever difficult. The Coke bottles and cans scream my name tempting me with their cool refreshing taste.  And the headaches have already hit hard. But I will drink my delicious sun tea or water until I conquer the temptation of the unhealthy beverages. 

Tomorrow I am to meet a friend for lunch in another city.  I need to enter the address of her workplace into my GPS before I leave so I can sit back and enjoy the view while not worrying about the turns- while Rhoda, our Road Queen, navigates me flawlessly to her facility.  I'm charging my phone, and I will take my camera.  Who knows what lovelies I will see along the way. 

The stock market fell again today.  It was reported that trillions of dollars of people's fortune has been lost in just a few weeks.  We can only hope and pray that things settle down our prez takes a much-needed vacation to Martha's Vineyard. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Ok, ok, I vented yesterday about the stock market and my worry about my country.  Today, the situation is really no better but still is a cause for concern. I read a bunch of blogs last night, and not one mentioned the situation. Not one single one.  I promise to give that topic a rest - at least in this post. But in my heart I still will ponder our country's future.  

Today, Sweetz and I headed down the road to run a few errands and pick up a few needed items.  It seems obvious to me that the roads are less traveled and the restaurants aren't as full as they used to be.  While out, we ate at a Japanese restaurant but there were few customers - perhaps a handful.  Sometimes I wonder if I am just imagining the numbers are down.  Something else to add to my  ponder list.

Today was hot but not as hot as in recent days.  Today's high was 95 with 71% humidity.  The humidity is now 35% and is much more comfortable for any outdoor activities.  I would stay outside, but a neighbor is burning something and the wind is bringing the smoke to our yard so I decided coming back inside was the healthiest move, at least until he finishes. Of course, his thin trail of smoke might keep the mosquitoes away.  Hey, that would be a plus! We have a resident bat who must be happy around here while daily eating 70% of her body weight in bugs.  Perhaps our little winged friend spending her days behind a house shutter should be given a proper name. Of course it's a "she" - since there was a baby earlier this year!  A proper name will be something else to ponder.

Yesterday, I stored our pressure canner along with a few jars and supplies since our garden is giving us fair warning that it does not plan to supply us for many more days.  This heat and lack of rainfall has put the skids on any plant's ability to reward us with much more than a handful of veggies at this point.  Well, I'm thinking the demise of the garden might free up the willingness of my MainMan to consider getting out of Dodge for a few days in the camper.  WoooHoooo.  Will he ponder it?

This hot summer has been oppressive and long so the arrival of fall will be cheered.  Our oak trees have few acorns so that's a plus knowing we won't have to be raking those pesky things from the flowerbeds. There will be plenty of leaves to rake though.  Our black walnut trees have few nuts this year also.  A few years ago I used to make woven baskets and I would make my stain from the walnut husks. But no baskets require no stain.  I might ponder the idea of weaving a basket or two while Sweetz ponders the idea of a roadtrip.

This morning, the husband of a friend was scheduled for a cardiac cath with possible stent placement.  I've been praying for a successful surgery and quick recovery.

Monday, August 8, 2011

White Knuckles

Wow, things don't look good. Our debt limit increased, our S&P rating slashed, the stock market plunging. Our prez doesn't look good either.  I'm thinking schemey things are happening behind the scene, wouldn't be surprised.  His speech seems to be an attack on capitalism. Big man is talking about more taxes and more spending.  I'm not happy.  There are so many things we could cut in our budget, plenty of pork that could be slashed. I'd favor those over more tax increases, which I can't see will help us.  Would be easier just to spend less, tighten our belts. Anyway, why did he come to the podium nearly an hour late? And I heard nothing to inspire me.  Can we recover? We need to stop this nonsense.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Visit From The Grands

It's always nice to see the grandsons.  They arrived this afternoon and we had a nice visit.  Since it's my DIL's birthday, we went out to eat at Sagebrush.  Nice food, nice visit, nice waitress.  They left a bit ago and it's been a wonderful day full of wonderful memories.  Didn't even take my camera out.  Bad bad Nana. 

The boys colored and I was given one picture to keep - it's now on my refrigerator. 

I'm thinking I need a special place for it - or else a nice frame so they can see that I treasure their artwork.  Another thing I want to do is some research online to get some ideas on how I can use their artwork for some projects.  Like transferring the artwork to a tee shirt.  I did that once for Sweetz and he still LOVES that tee shirt!!  Maybe we could have matching shirts!  They love to color so was thinking I could find some coloring pages online that I could print out to have ready.  I think I'm down to about my last 4.  Yikes, it's time for my printer to get busy on some new ones! 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sad Days

It's difficult losing a loved one, really really difficult.  Thankfully, I have some methods of relief.  One is prayer, another is a multitude of great memories.  Yesterday was a difficult day - seemed nothing gave me relief from the sadness; I think I cried most of the day.  So, I wallowed in self pity.  But things finally worked out for me to begin breathing again.  And I think I'll be ok for another period of time.  I phrase it that way since I don't know how long the good times will last, nor when one of the sad days will swoop down and encompass me in the big black pit of depression. 

As I got to mom's today, she got up from her chair and fell down - smack onto the floor.  I wanted her to stay on the floor until I knew everything was ok, but she got up anyway.  Her foot swelled a little while I was there and she said it hurt to walk.  Eventually, we found a boot she had previously used, and she said that it helped her foot feel better especially when she needed to walk.  She wanted me to drive her into town for some errands, so after it was determined that she seemed ok, we went.  She waited in the car while I either used the drive-through windows or went inside for her. When I dropped her back off at home, she seemed to be doing ok, but I'll check again in an hour or so just to make sure.  She DID NOT want to go to the Emergency Room but if she isn't feeling better in a couple of days, that's exactly where we will be going. 

Our son had an interview today and he said it went well.  They are to let him know the first of the week if he will be offered the job.  Seems there are two candidates in the running but I plan to remain optimistic that he DEFINITELY is the better choice.  :)

Mom talked to my SIL and nephew today.  They seem to be handling my brother's death as well as can be expected at this stage.  They had several questions about his visit and it seems they are trying to figure out why he died.  Guess they are in the What If stage.  My nephew emailed me a picture of the 65 Mustang that Wayne had restored.  Seems he is enjoying driving it around his mom's hometown.   

Our son and family are planning to visit us tomorrow afternoon/evening and we're to go out for dinner to celebrate my DIL's recent birthday.  My DIL has been out of  town at a conference for several days so I'm thinking she might prefer to stay home so we might reschedule the visit another weekend.   

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Memories of Happy Years

Tomorrow would have been my brother's 67th birthday and I've been trying to come up with a good way to honor him.  So today, FINALLY, I came up with the idea that sounds perfect.  It's a memory box to fill with things that remind me of him.  Some of my ideas to include are items that relate to 65 Mustang, Bible, tool, trumpet, US Navy, M&Ms, Duke, golf, hunting, Virginia, and some pictures.  I feel good about my idea so I'll head out to WallyWorld in the morning to see if I can find a container and I've already begun to gather some things to include.  I plan to bury the box in one of my flowerbeds which he jokingly called "The DMZ".  

Monday, August 1, 2011

Another Scorcher

It was really hot today.  (Guess I could copy and paste that sentence in each daily blog entry to save me time and effort.  Or maybe I could just rephrase it to make it seem different every day.)

Sweetz and I went out to the rain barrel this morning to check to see how many inches we collected.  I grabbed a yard stick on my way out the door so we could measure the level.  Sweetz disconnected the downspout and looked at me with surprise as he said, "You won't BELIEVE this!"  Then he proceeded to say that the water was about 2 inches from the top.  How's that for success saving water!  The 1/3 inch of rain we received yesterday produced that much in the rain barrel!  Unbelievable!  So, now he's thinking of making a second rain barrel using the purchased one as a pattern - howbeit, an expensive pattern. 

With our 1/3 inch rainfall yesterday, we collected a barrelful of rain water - but the garden, yard, and flowerbeds are looking battered with the lack of sufficient rainfall. At least we have not suffered as much as the southwest if that's any consolation.

We had garden veggies again for supper.  Must say, we certainly are enjoying the fresh taste during the summer months.  Hard to get garden flavor in a can.  But we'll be back to the purchased choices before long.  But it's been wonderful while it lasted.  August is our hottest and most stressful month for the garden. The plants also take a hit from the numerous pesky insects in our area.  It seems many creatures of varied leg counts enjoy feasting on the bounty as much as we do.  

And how hot was it?  Well, it was sooooo hot today that we saw the neighbor's cat drinking water out of our bird bath.