Sunday, May 30, 2010

Upon Which a Young Woman Teaches An Old Woman

As a teen woman of today, she's a wise young woman. And she had asked me to be her mentor. I felt a bit inadequate about that but I knew she was asking of me something important...and perhaps I would figure out what exactly I could offer her...the things of which inhabit the mind and heart of a woman at least 40 years older than she. I felt inadequate. And I felt honored. I assented to her request.

It seemed she had no more than asked me when a huge hurdle came between us. Her request came only a short time before I was diagnosed with cancer. What followed was surgery, more surgery, emergency room, and then, to add insult to my already insulted body, six months of chemo.

Eventually we were able to meet on a regular basis. We review a chapter in the Bible together. Then we chat about a number of things. She asks me questions. I think sometimes, maybe sometimes, I give her adequate answers. About Scripture. About life. About being a teenager. About being wise. About loving God.

I've gained from this mentoring thing. She's been studying the Heidelberg Catechism in Sunday School. Hey! I've never even read it! I've been a Christian nearly all my life and have done some reading of Christian history. I've never read the Heidelberg Catechism but her study piqued my interest.

And so when Hubby brought home Kevin DeYoung's "The Good News We Almost Forgot" in which DeYoung lays out the Heidelberg Catechism I was tickled pink. What was extra special about this was that he bought TWO copies! One for himself and one for me. He knows I like to underline and circle and make notes in the columns. And he doesn't like it when I do that in HIS books! His solution was to buy two copies, one for him,one for me. Wise man, that Hubby!

Now my teen friend has gone off to work at Camp for the summer. I will miss seeing her but I know this summer will be a great adventure for things to learn. She's going to be blessed by all of it. And while she's gone, I'll be reading the Heidelberg.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

As a Last Resort Plant Zucchini garden looks pretty crummy this year. Even though we began brightly we're not making a whole lot of progress.

I think it's due to the long series of cool nights early this spring. None of the early plantings look splendiferous. Those things that usually come easy, such as onions and radishes and greens, all look a mite feeble. As if they're anemic. And Ms. Rabbit doesn't help at all! Ms. Rabbit, who lives in the neighbor's yard and who totally neglects the neighbor's gorgeous crop of lettuce, feasts on my beets.

I've spent most of my 'garden time' cleaning the flower beds. Now it's time to look again at the two small raised beds of veggies. And do something about them! Maybe I'll plant some more beet seed. Or more radishes. Or maybe just give in and plant zucchini.

Zucchini grows anywhere, anytime, all the time! Right!!!?


From a Different Perspective

Awww, please ignore yesterday's rant.

That's one of the things about the toss something out there and there it is for the entire world to read. The poison pen is just as bad as the unbridled tongue for they both emanate from the same place...the heart!

And now I'm eating my words.

I got to thinking...that young woman at the checkout stand at the store? The very fact that she called me "Sweetie" tells me that at least she looked at me. At least she "saw" me...saw me standing there with a scarf covering my bald head, looking a bit puffy in the face...looking exactly like what I am at the moment, a female of grandmotherly age, obviously going through chemo. And she responded by calling me "Sweetie", with sympathy.

My friend Debby sees it from the other side of the checkout counter. Debby has been through the chemo routine herself and she would have spotted me a mile away. And she probably would have looked at me in sympathy and called me Sweetie, too. (Hi, Debby!)

With all the things in the world to be worried about, being called "Sweetie" probably figures pretty minor in the grand scheme of things, wouldn't you think?

If I see that young woman at the store again...I need to "see" her for who she is. A young woman working a job and trying to be kind to her customers.

I think I'll go mumble to myself for awhile. And say my prayers. And try to get the log out of my own eye.

*walks away mumbling, embarrassed, and contrite*


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Upon Which I Protest What You Call Me!!!

You know, you get called a lotta names as you progress through life. I can't say as I've been called too many "bad" least not to my face. But lately, I've been called....of all things..."Sweetie"....and it makes me cringe!

Let me back up a bit in time.

Over a year ago, while in the hospital recovering from surgery, I had the nicest young student nurse. Nursing was to be her second career...she had been in accounting prior to this time and after losing two jobs due to downsizing, decided to take her life in a new direction. As a student it was her "assignment" to be my "nurse" for the day on two separate days. I was her only patient. And so she carefully took my blood pressure at the appropriate times, helped me into the shower, brought me fresh water and ice.

She was a sweet young woman, raised in the south. During the two days she took care of me she very kindly and respectfully called me, "Miss Judy". I've never been called "Miss Judy" before. (I haven't been a "Miss" for well over 40 years!) But I realized this was her southern upbringing and it was a term of sincere respect, so I submitted and enjoyed being called "Miss Judy".

Several times the past few years, in grocery stores, and undoubtedly due to my white hair (when I still had hair) I heard myself being called "Ma'am". It was a bit startling. You see, to my way of thinking, "Ma'am" had a rather matronly connotation. And even in my matronly years, I did not consider myself matronly. I still felt young(er). But I submitted, realizing that since I am well past my "Miss" days, I am probably well within someone else's idea of "matron" and therefore "Ma'am" was a sign of respect .

Within the past week, however, I've twice been called "Sweetie!" the store. By young female clerks.

It is not that I am ignorant of how I look. I stand in front of the bathroom mirror every day. In addition to hair loss, chemo causes your facial hair to disappear. Very few brow hairs remain. Only a few last stubborn eyelashes. I'm drawing brow lines and I'm using eyeliner to give some faint illusion of lashes. I know what I look like. I look like a bald cancer patient with a face puffed into roundness. I look like I have cancer. Which I do.

I notice that they look at me and with an aura of sympathy deal with me kindly, taking extra care to make certain I have what I came for, offering to carry my bags out, etc. It's not that I mind their noticing, but I surely do mind being called "Sweetie". It reminds me of how you might address a poor little old lady on her last two legs. (I've been on my last two legs since childhood...never had more than two...just the two!) It's just that when a teenage clerk calls me "Sweetie" it makes me feel as if I am some frail death-bed person for whom pity is the only thing left available. As in "Oh, you poor thing!"

Dear Young Women! Please Do Not Call Me Sweetie! Just call me "Ma'am". That'll do just fine.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We're Still Tending - And Sweating

I find it interesting that we still have within us the urge to "tend the garden". For anyone with perennial flower beds, spring brings its annual ritual...that of working through the beds, one at a time, tidying, pulling unwanted plants, replacing mulch.

And each spring I learn once again that God meant it when He said, "by the sweat of your brow"! (Even though this was in reference to food rather than flowers, I think it applies to veggies, flowers and life in general! Genesis 3:19)

I'm also learning this year that the "perfect plant" is non-existent. That tidy little sage plant that I purchased two years ago in a 4-inch pot? It has branched out to a 3-foot spread. Mr. Sage thought he owned the place. And I showed him...he no longer lives in my flower bed. Or at least, he won't, once I've killed the roots. (Sure did smell good, though, while I was cutting and crushing and tossing.)

The oregano? It's not quite so aggressive, and so I merely trimmed it around the edges where it was running rampant over the stepping stones.

The thyme? A quiet little plant that spreads just enough to provide sprigs for the kitchen as often as I want them. Whenever I'm in the garden I like to crush a few leaves between my fingers and enjoy their herbal aroma! Lovely!

And remember when I mentioned my grandmother's tiger lilies! Well! They may have been well-behaved at Grandmother's house but here the soil and the moisture and the sun are just too much to their liking. Instead of being a controlled substance, so to speak, they've become prowling tigers, roaring in the dark, sneaking into new areas, expanding their home territory, overtaking smaller plants who are content to be tidy. Some of those tigers have to go and I've been pulling them up, cutting them into short lengths, and and tossing them on the compost pile. Grrrrrrr!

There are a couple dry areas...beds that due to their location seldom get water other than what comes by rain. I've previously planted sedums in these areas to provide good ground cover. Today I added two more varieties. My daughter helped me pick out some tiny-leaved beauties while I was visiting her last month. They'll need very little care. My kind of plant.

One more flower bed to go...the main one by the deck.

Today's verses:
Genesis 2:15
Genesis 3:19

Thursday, May 20, 2010

That Lucile! A Funny Little Girl She Was!

These past two weeks we've been controlled by the "Big C". And, no, I'm not speaking of cancer. I'm talking about the "C"alendar. It seems our calendar has been full of various appointments taking up mornings and afternoons. We've seen doctors. We've had blood tests. We've had shots in the eye (not I, thank Goodness!). We've put several future appointments on our calendar. Aaaargh! Surely it will slow down! It will, right?!

Thank Goodness, we've had evenings free. And thank Goodness, we're both feeling well, as are two other family members whom I've accompanied to their appointments.

Finally, yesterday and today have been quiet days. And so, today, I took the time to do some tidying in my office and in the kitchen.

And I've taken the time to fill a request from a "relative of a relative", so to speak.

You see, the past several years, we've played a little bit with our genealogies, both Hubby's and mine. Hubby inherited some family photo albums and numerous other family photos. Some date back to the late 1800s. Some come from Germany. Some are taken here in the United States. Some have names penciled on the back. Some faces we recognize. Others are nameless to date. Some we've been able to "guess" due to the photographer's location printed on the edge or back of the photo.

Today I copied a number of photos onto a disc and will mail them to this "relative of a relative" in the State of Washington. In return, I hope she will be mailing us a disc with photos that her family has kept through the years. Perhaps we will each be able to add one or two names to our collection of "faces".

And, so, I leave you with this series of photos. We believe this is Lucille M Schultz of Wakefield, Nebraska. Isn't she a cutie! (The 1900 census shows the spelling as "Lucile" with one "L". Oops, that's two "L's", one in front, one in the middle.)

We estimate these photos were taken about 1905. Wouldn't that photographer have loved today's digital cameras? On the other hand, there is a quality about these vintage photos that I'm not certain a digital can match. The original to these was a series of six on a card the size of a postcard. The scanner has enlarged them to a remarkable degree. Be sure to click on the photos to see the detail.

Lucile looks as if she was a spunky and fun-loving little girl. Sadly, her mother died giving birth to her sister when Lucille was about 8 years old.

Monday, May 17, 2010

This is a Purr-fect Solution

My mind looks for solutions. Not always with success, and certainly not always with brilliance.

But once in awhile a bright idea pops into my head.

For instance...many of my friends have kitties living in residence. Wonderful, warm, loving kitty friends. Special felines. Happy additions to the household.

But kitties shed.

And so, my suggestion? (My invention!!) An electric brush with a very slight vacuum effect that could be used to groom said Kitty. You may ask, What's new about that? Aha! What's new is that MY brush would have a soothing purring sound. Kitty would think he/she was being groomed by his/her Mama of days of old.

If someone has already invented this wonderful little grooming device, please let me know. And if they have not, you have my permission to put one together and put it on the market. I'll take a paltry 2 percent.

You can read about my previous inventive ideas here! I especially like the self-cleaning deck that removes winter snow all by itself with no help from me or you.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Problem Is That I Don't Know "The Song"!

I've finally figured out that my problem is that "I don't know the song".

Let me go back in time a bit. I and my siblings attended a school with an excellent music program. And we participated in everything. Between us we had a small band ourselves...we played trombone, tuba, clarinet, saxophone and trumpet. And we were good, thanks to Mom, who made us practice EVERY day. One of us would be practicing our lesson in the bathroom while another played in the bedroom. I don't know how she put up with all the racket because even with doors shut it must have been a time of confusing noise. In high school I even played the guitar a bit. (Click on the photo for a larger view.)

Mrs. Matthews, our band leader, also taught ALL vocal music in our small western Iowa school. And under her tutelage we had vocal music from first grade upward. In high school nearly everyone participated in at least chorus, a glee club, or Madrigal.

And there were contests. We memorized instrumental solos and played in duets and quartets and sextets. We did the same in vocal. We brought home honors in marching and concert band. We marched and played at College homecomings. We had an excellent instructor and we worked and we loved music. We were proud to put on our band uniform or our choral robe and perform.

Music continued in church. We sang in the children's choir and as teens, in the adult choir. We knew how to read music and between us we sang baritone, tenor, alto, soprano.

We were musical.

But today I don't know "the song".

Which song, you ask? I'm talking about today's emphasis in worship service on choral songs vs. hymns.

You see, I still know the hymns. I love the hymns. I can use the hymnal and read the music and sing soprano or alto. And if I listen to the song leader, sometimes I can carry the tenor.

But I don't know the song. The Christian radio song. The "new" chorus songs of which we sing three every Sunday morning.


I was thinking of this in the wee hour of the is 4:00 am and I cannot sleep. And I'm lying there remembering a remark my brother made last week. He was visiting and we were watching a movie on television. He, being of my vintage, in his sixties, asked, "Do you find it hard to hear the words above the background noise?"

Oh, yah, I do. There are some movies I may as well watch close-captioned. It's been that way for years. The background noise sounds loud and strident while the spoken words are low and jumbled and undecipherable. I cannot make them out, however much I turn my head to hear them.

When I was diagnosed with cancer a year ago and was participating in a clinical trial, one of the things they asked was that I have my hearing tested so they could verify whether or not the chemo drugs would eventually affect my hearing. That test showed my hearing to be within the "normal" range. My "normal" hearing is A-okay. I can still carry on conversations without asking "What did you say?" (Unless Hubby and I try to talk to each other three rooms away from each other or when there is excessive background noise...well, in that case...we're both hard of hearing.)

But when there is background noise such as on the radio or TV, the words disappear from my hearing range. It's been at least ten years since I've listened to Christian music stations. It's pointless. I cannot understand the words they are singing. I don't know the song.

I do like Christian radio stations that focus on teachers. Voices are easily audible to my ear. But when background instrumental is added? All I hear is a jumble, an excessive volume on the instrumental, and a relentless (and may I add, monotonous) heavy drum beat...all of which drowns out the words before they reach my ears.

I'm not saying the worship leaders at our church sound that way. They don't. The instrumental is excellent and (for my ears at least) at an appropriate volume level. And their words come across just right for my ears. But I find it exceedingly difficult to follow the song because I don't know the song! Because I do not listen to Christian music stations I simply am not familiar with the words. And worse, I am not familiar with the way the music moves. How the music moves is extremely important in being able to "sing" the song. There seems to be very little rhyme or reason as to the direction the notes take, nor how long they are held, nor when they move up or down. It's often incomprehensible to my "traditional musical sensibilities". And try as I might, even when I have become somewhat familiar with a particular song, there is a certain level of difficulty that remains.

Hymns, you know, are written with chords. Strong four-part chords. They are predictable. And even if we sing a hymn I have never before heard, I can read the musical notes and "know" where the song is going. There is a tradition or rule to it. And even though I may not be able to "name the rule" I am completely familiar with the sensibility of it. (You probably think my reasoning is very strange! lol) And I love to listen to the "golden oldies" of my youth! Why? Because I "know" the song...their words AND melody.

But the choruses? The notes are seldom played with a strong four-part harmony nor with a predictable format. The notes seem to wander all over the place. One word may go like this --- ah-ahhh-ah-ahhhh-ahhhhhhhhhhhhh-ah. One syllable of one word! And where it goes from there, who knows? I don't! I'm supposed to sing that syllable up and down and up and down and hold and finally let go and move onward (up or down?) to the next syllable. The entire phrase may move in areas that are totally unexpected to my musical upbringing. It's incomprehensible to my musical background. I want to zig when they want to zag. I want to release a word and move to the next and they want to sing an aria with a single syllable! I am constantly lost as to where I need to go with the next word/note.

I don't know the song.

I do try. There are some that I can sing. If I focus my ear on the voice of one of the worship leaders I can follow along. But other songs? Naw. I just can't sing them. I don't know them. I can't learn them.

I am extremely grateful that our church includes a couple good hymns each Sunday. But the choruses? I wouldn't mind a bit if we cut back from three to two.

I wouldn't even mind if one of those three songs was a special solo, duet, or quartet presentation. I wouldn't mind that at all because we have a lot of musical talent in our church, both instrumental and vocal, both young and old.

And besides, my hips hurt and I find myself "pacing" side to side, in an unconscious effort to avoid discomfort. I can stand for two songs easier than I can stand for three.

And that's my explanation for why I don't know the song.



Friday, May 14, 2010

A Whole Lot of Shaking Goin' On!

Earthquakes. Seems to be a lot of 'em lately. Haiti. Chili. Elsewhere. Some folk seem to point to them as "signs of the end times". And, hey, we're getting close to December 2012 so why wouldn't they become concerned. (No, I do NOT believe the world is ending in 2012, contrary to what the History Channel reports. Nor do I study history itself via the History Channel. Somewhat of a misnomer there, in my opinion.)

Back to earthquakes.

Did you know that on the average, the world experiences fifteen earthquakes annually of a magnitude of 7.0 to 7.9?

And another statistic? On the average the earth experiences 13,000 earthquakes annually of 4.0 to 4.9 magnitude.

So for those who are hopping on the bandwagon of "signs", please be advised that recent earthquakes are within the "norm". All this shaken and rollin' is ongoing phenonema. The recent occurances are still within the average in terms of frequency and intensity.

When these earthquakes strike in areas of high populations (Haiti) the news media (and we) sit up and take notice. As well we should! But when they occur in relatively unpopulated areas, we really do not make a bit fuss of it.

It's fascinating. You can read about earthquakes at the USGS website here. And you can do the same here.

I noticed that there was an earthquake yesterday of 1.5 a mere 15 miles from our old residence in California. I'll bet my old neighbors there are totally unaware for who ever feels or worries about a 1.5 on the Richter scale?

Checking the maps at the second website listed above, I found that the area around Oklahoma City experienced two earthquakes just last week. One measured in at 2.0; the other was at 2.5. I don't remember seeing either in the news. Perhaps locals read it in their morning papers.

At the first site listed above, you will see that there are about 1,300,000 earthquakes worldwide every year in the size range of the Oklahoma earthquake. If we average that out to a weekly figure, we see that there are approximately 25,000 earthquakes of this size somewhere in the world every week!

Having said all of the a believer, we are supposed to keep our heads up, our ears open, our thinking clear, in terms of what is happening all around us and in terms of what Jesus spoke to the disciples concerning the end times. However, don't jump to the conclusion that an earthquake such as that which occurred in Haiti, one with such intensity and with such destruction in terms of human life, is a "sign". That earthquake, with its sad attendant loss of lives, is still within the "norm" for Planet Earth.

And in terms of some TV "prophet" telling you that the "end is near", remember that Jesus told His disciples that "only the Father knows".

And in looking at that (that only the Father knows), I believe it is my job as a Christian to go about my business, do the work set before me, take the steps for today, and get on with life. To delve into speculation is to allow myself to get caught up in conjecturing instead of being caught up in what Jesus commanded us to do...which is to love God and to love our fellow man. We do that by going about the business of living, and not by making charts and predictions and worrying ad infinitum.

Hoping you are having an earthquake-free day, both in terms of geology and life events.

Blessings to ya!

P.S. "Ad infinitum" is a Latin phrase meaning "to infinity." In context, it usually means "continue forever, without limit"

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What Do They Do With All Those Hooks, Anyway?

A friend emailed me some time back about her daughter's stay at a New York hotel. She had been surprised that such a high-priced hotel would have such a teensy tiny bathroom. I'm certain the room's teensyness (is that a word?) was due to the price of New York real estate.

However, her comment reminded me of the stalls in women's public restrooms all across America...where when you wish to exit, the door swings inward, barely clearing the front of the toilet seat by a scant three inches.

Nobody has knees that skinny. Nobody, I say! And so, one must stand to one side of the toilet in order to open the door wide enough to safely exit the stall. This makes for an awkward and clumsy exit.

One can avoid those inward swinging doors by using the handicapped stall. But that can be done only when it is obvious that no handicapped person will need the stall. Even if the room is empty of other occupants, totally empty, I feel vaguely guilty, as if I am breaking a rule and need a "handicapped" sticker around my neck in order to participate in the use of the handicapped facilities. I don't have such a sign that I can just hang around my neck. And I don't look handicapped in the least unless you count my chemo baldness and my slightly steroid puffy face. But I don't think they count in this instance.

Men design those rooms. I know they do. Any fool woman would be cognizant of a woman's needs. Imagine wearing a skirt and perhaps a coat, carrying a huge handbag and perhaps a shopping bag or two. Most restrooms have no hooks. They used to have can see the holes where they used to be. But someone, for whatever foolish reason, removed them. In 98 percent of public restrooms across America. It's as if those hooks were needed elsewhere and were salvaged for elsewhere at our expense! What other explanation can there by?

This shortage of hooks means that you are fortunate if your purse will hang on the door hasp. Said hasp is always quite small and so even if you're successful in hanging your purse there, it may fall before you finish your visit. Fortunately my favorite purse has very thin straps and the hasp will do where the hook is non-existent.

On the other hand, where can you hang your coat? This is not a frivolous question! It really, really is a whole lot easier to use the facility if you can take off your coat.

And shopping bags? Where can you put them? The floor? After someone, ahem, er, um, peed on it yesterday and the janitor came in with a dirty cotton mop and sopped it up, not bothering to rinse with soapy water? You know he did. Because the soles of your shoes are sticking to the floor.

When I first noticed the ridiculous design of women's public restrooms we were on vacation in Canada. And I thought that perhaps it was because they were on the metric system and we were not. (To my Canadian readers...I jest!) But when we returned to the states I noticed that we women of America have the same problem that Canadian women have. Men design our bathrooms, too, just as they do in Canada.

The remedy? Institutions of higher learning should provide classes in public restroom design. All instructors should be women. Graduates could be licensed and only licensed architects could design women's bathrooms.

Just sayin'. Nobody else seems to be sayin' it. I'm filling in for all the women of America.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Scandal? Oh, Nightmare!

Some mornings you are just glad to wake up. I'm not talking about health; I'm talking about dreams.

You know the kind of dream I'm talking about...those nightmares, those long, all-night dreams where one catastrophe follows another.

Well, last night I dreamt that I had slandered two close friends on this blog. In the dream I didn't know they even READ my blog. But someone brought it to their attention. In the dream I had written this awful, scandalous thing about my friends.

I have no idea where that dream came from for these friends have never been involved in such a scandal. And in the dream one of the two called me to accountability. The pain was terrible! I can't tell you how awful that made me feel. And I couldn't repair the damage...once the words were out there on the net, they were there, and could not be taken back.

I was very, very glad to wake up this morning and find that it was only a dream.

I can eat my oatmeal and drink my coffee with a great sigh of relief!

And I hope that you, too, have a good beginning to a new day.


Friday, May 7, 2010

A Week In Which I Learn Several Things

Life is full of little moments of learning. Sometimes those learnings are not of great import. But sometimes they are.

I learned this past week that three people can clean a garage in a little over an hour. (This was a one-car garage so perhaps yours may take longer!) We bagged up stuff for the Goodwill. We bagged up stuff for the curb. We hope we bagged up all the spiders. No, not to the Goodwill; to the Curb!!!

I learned that family is family. Even if they've been lost for 25 years. During April and May we had visits from long lost family members. During both visits we shared old family stories, old photos, old places that were important to their father when he was growing up. It was a good time for us and I believe for them as well. What a blessing from God to all of us!

While cleaning out our fridge I found a cellophane bag of lettuce. Very old lettuce. Hidden well behind something else. Hidden for a long time. I learned that bagged lettuce of certain age simply turns to liquid. It was pretty ugly! That bag traveled very speedily from the fridge to the trash. Ughhh!

We learned that some hospitals, even highly rated "teaching" hospitals, can fail to live up to their reputation. Thursday, Hubby went in for two days of testing. The staff flubbed royally and failed to instruct him to fast (and failed to instruct kitchen staff as well) for a biopsy to be taken on the second day. The biopsy had to be postponed until Monday. We'll be making a second trip to the Big City hospital.

This morning I was reminded in another incident that God's providence (provision for us) is good indeed. I met with my oncologist before having chemo. My comment about his tie (a lovely pink and dark navy stripe) led to something else which then led to our talking about our shared faith in God. It is gratifying to know that he understands me when I say, in speaking of my cancer, that I believe God holds all my days in His hands. (Psalm 139:16). And he understands that while I believe this verse, I also believe that we are to seek good medical care and that I want him to do the best job possible for me in dealing with ovarian cancer.

I had told him that when I see shirts and ties I think in terms of "fabric" and have a covetous desire to cut them up for quilts. He grabbed his tie rather protectively. First, he's a good Onc. Secondly, he's a nice man. Third, he did not give me his tie. I guess two out of three isn't bad. Especially in that order.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Of Pizza and Pineapple

Pizza and Pineapple...but not in the same dish. That's the menu this morning for breakfast. And, no, this is not a "recipe" post.

Somehow this past month has been incredibly busy. I think if I could take one thing off my calendar it would be medical appointments. But they are there and they will probably remain there for a long time to come.

Last month one of our "missing" family was able to visit from Ohio. And visit we did. It was a blessed time.

This week we are having another nephew visit from Texas. This is his first visit to the area where his father grew up. And so we have taken another tour of the schoolhouse, the farm, the area in general. (Don't forget you can click on photos for close-ups.)

Yesterday's visit to the farm was great fun because the farmer who tills those fields was there with his machinery. He and his helper were placing nitrogen on the acres that will be planted to corn. Then they planned to disk the ground afterward to prepare it for planting. I'm guessing by the end of the day that field was planted and ready for green plants to begin peeking through the soil. It's time. We've hopefully experienced our last killing frost and farmers are now rushing to get every acre planted within the optimum time frame.

Nephew was fascinated with the machinery and asked the farmer many questions...which was nice, because I learned a lot myself without having to ask my own questions.

Of course, we walked through the old house where my siblings and I grew up. As we left, I looked down at the kitchen floor. I remember when that flooring was laid down some 55 years ago. The fellow who sold it to us extolled the virtues of that flooring and guaranteed that it would never wear out. But there it is...the seams are splitting...and it definitely looks "worn out" to me. Don't you think so? That "guarantee" was just too good to be true.

Last evening one of my brothers arrived from his home 100 miles to the south of us and there was much conversation amongst the men at the dinner table and afterward in the living room.

And now today...there are two medical appointments on the calendar. Blood tests. Nephew may have to eat leftover pizza for breakfast. Followed by leftover pineapple upside-down-cake. Somehow I think he can handle that with no problem. Just as long as there is a fresh pot of coffee to go with it.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Whereupon I Try Something New with Wishful Thinking

When I learn something new I love to share. And today's "Word to the Wise" is aimed at my fellow cancer peeps.

You remember from yesterday's post that I am visiting the Minnesoda daughter and grandson. Near Minneapolis. And you know that we've taken advantage of the great eateries here and have eaten out. And we've completed one home project. And then we ate out again!

It is early morning and I am the first in the household to be up and about. I betcha Hubby is sleeping in at home, too. There and here, I'm the early bird. Aside from the microwave beeping that my oatmeal is done, it's pretty quiet around here.

My Word to the Wise? I'm gettin' there. It has to do with shampoo, not oatmeal.

When I visit Daughter I enjoy checking out the shampoo, the body wash, whatever bottles are in the shower. Standing in someone else's shower is an easy way to try new brands! I like the scented ones. I like the new, unknown to me, brands. At home we have 20 zillion varieties of the old labels but not many "new", or "green", or "pomegranate"...not that this one was pomegranate. I don't really remember that this one had any particular scent or claim to being "green". But it held out promise.

You see, yesterday's shampoo was labeled "Curly Shampoo".

And here's my Word to the Wise with "wise" being my fellow cancer peeps.

Do not use Curly Shampoo. Especially if you are bald from chemo. In spite of any hopeful wishes you might harbor, it doesn't work. I promise you, it Does NOT Work!

However, I'm thinking that the itchy rash on the back of my hands is from the shampoo. I think I'm allergic to it. Me! Bald me! Allergic to Curly Shampoo!

Go figure.

Sign me off as "Still Bald but Not Curly".


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Yah, You Betcha!

Minnesoda is a good place to visit.

There are lots of Scandihoovians in Minnesoda.

The corn crops are already poking up from the ground.

The fishing is good in Minnesoda. Mostly because there are lotsa lakes in this state. Anyone remember the "Land of Sky Blue Waters" of the Pabst Blue Ribbon TV commercials? I betcha they filmed those commercials in Minnesoda.

My daughter and grandson live in Minnesoda. They are the best reason to visit Minnesoda.

Yah, I have a little Scandihoovian blood myself. That's why I know how to spell and pronounce Minnesoda.

Yah! I bet you thought I couldn't spell, didn't you!