Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Feed A Cold?

That old adage..."Feed a cold, starve a fever" has been replaying through my mind every day since Mike came down with his cold, and subsequently shared it with me.  I've never quite figured out the meaning of the saying, but it doesn't have much to do with food!

I've had so little appetite through this mess, that I think the scale must be stuck.  It hasn't moved in more than a year, even with the January stomach ailment and this cold, which is now on it's tenth day.  It's not fair!  I've been eating, but not as much as usual, and that's a fact.

Every day we talk about what to have for dinner. Neither of us is excited about anything food related, but we do finally end up choosing something. Most of the time, it's been soup or a sandwich, or some left over something that was frozen and just needs to be heated up.  We've been eating lightly and not well-rounded meals in terms of meat, starch, vegetables. Nothing sounds good....even though once it's in my mouth, it tastes pretty good.  I lost my taste buds the first few days, but after that, I could taste everything quite well.

I'm sure that before long we'll be back to our normal cooking/eating activities, but for now, it's kind of a catch-as-catch-can mode.  I think I'll weigh myself again today, and see if there's any encouragement on that scale. If so, maybe I can keep my appetite at bay, and continue to eat lighter meals, albeit more elaborate ones. We'll see.   Maybe I'll just toss the scale and give it no more thought.

Still...I'm not sure about feeding a cold.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


As I am typing this, I'm listening to a PBS rock and roll and doo-wop show on TV.  Now, I've got to tell you, I am loving hearing all this old music that I grew up with in the 1960's. The Ronettes, Jay and the Americans, the Crystals. I'm singing along with the sounds.  I always have enjoyed hearing this stuff, and today is no different. It takes me back to my teens and all the memories associated with each song.

Back in those days, I saw a good number of these acts on stage at the Brooklyn Fox Theater.  A New York Radio station WINS dj, who called himself  "Murray the K"  brought us the newest groups and singers and put together shows that were affordable for us.  I have in my scrapbook, two sets of notes which I wrote while in the audience at the Fox.  They are notes as to who sang in what order, and what they sang. You know, that's very important stuff to a fifteen year old of the day, and a real chuckle for me now! Somewhere, there's an autograph, too, from Murray....and another from Jay Black of Jay and the Americans. 

While I'll probably love singing and hearing these old songs until I take my last breath, I must admit that I'd prefer the faces to remain in my memory.  Seeing 70 year old women dressed as teenagers and wearing very long brown tresses, barely able to walk in those high heeled boots, let alone do a simple dance step, isn't thrilling to me.  I applaud the breath control of Jay Black in today's show, as he sang an extended note in "Cara Mia", but seeing him with age spots on his bald head, was not welcome in my memory bank while the song was sung.  Some time ago I saw Eric Burton of the Animals....his long gray hair pulled back in a low pony tail, his left ear pierced, and his flabby arms looking white beneath the sleeves of his wild tropical print shirt that barely covered his rotund physique.  This vision didn't match the voice singing "The House of the Rising Sun."

I'm pleased that these entertainers can still sing and maybe even do a show somewhere, but I'd rather hear the music with no view of the singer, unless PBS would play the old tapes of their performances. My husband said I just made complaints about both the one who looks natural and the one who is trying to look young. I didn't realize it, but he's right, I did just that!  Awww heck, go ahead guys....sing to your hearts content, for as long as you can!  I'll just not watch.... but you can bet, I'll be listening!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It Caught Me...

I'll be back soon....keep checking.  I'm too sick to think....


Monday, February 20, 2012


This winter has been plagued with viruses and flu and cold symptoms, seemingly all over the country. I was down for about ten days in January, with some evil stomach virus. My mother had some version of it that lasted only a few days. Now my husband has come down with a wicked cold/flu.

He's drippy and barking like a seal. His head is full and heavy, and he's unable to concentrate or think straight. He drifts in and out of sleep and dozes in his chair during the day, and then sleeps until he's wracked with coughing at night. Poor thing, he's almost never sick, and I hate it when he gets sick.

He's not one of those men who whines and demands and wants me to wait on him when he's not feeling well. He's quieter, but that's about the only change I see. He continues to fuss in the kitchen, though he has no real appetite for food. (This goes to prove my theory that his appetite, in general, is more in his head than it is in his stomach!)  He's not cooking 'real' meals, as he usually does, but he's creating new things of left overs and eating them. As for me, I'm fending for myself with soup or tortillas or some other easy-cook meals. It doesn't matter much to me what I eat, so long as it's real food and the hunger is abated.

I've offered many times to make a big pot of garlic-y chicken soup, which I believe is the best medicine for any cold. So far, he doesn't seem interested in taking me up on it.  I wanted to go to the pharmacy yesterday to replenish our Nyquil products so he'd have something to alleviate some of his symptoms, but he wasn't enthusiastic about that either.

Well, I've decided to do both of those things today. If it's here, maybe he'll just eat the soup and take the medicines.  I think he was just trying to keep me from going out of my way for his sake.  As thoughtful as he is, I am just as stubborn. I will try to take care of him, despite his objections. I'm hoping I won't get this cold, but should symptoms show up, I'll be prepared!

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Follow this link for a chance at a giveaway....(even if you don't want the gift, you'll be blessed by this blogger's words!)


New Friends...

Perhaps you remember a blog I wrote some months back about a new group I'm a part of. It's called a Circle Letter group....a bunch of ladies who are becoming pen pals, with real old-fashioned, hand-written letters. A letter started the circle, was sent to the next lady on the list, and so on, until there are 9 letters making their way, in one envelope, back to the original sender, who then writes letter #2, removing her letter #1, and passing on the whole envelope again to the second on the list. Thus begins the circle again.

Our second round was very slow, and I was so impatient!  I received emails from some in the group asking if I could find out where the letter was at a given point. I did so, and prompted the ladies not to hold up the circle, but to try to get their answer back in the mail within a week of receiving the packet.

Well, finally, I received the second letters just the other day!  What a wonderful gift it was, after such a long wait.  These ladies are all from different walks of life, and yet so much about us is similar.  There are crafters and farmers, bakers, cooks, paper artists, and writers. All of us has a spiritual side which we encourage in similar, yet diverse, ways. 

It is fun to share with these ladies and to get to know them and their families. We are becoming new friends, and I do hope that we will continue for many years, sharing prayers, information, recipes, ideas and all the events that life brings us. There is nothing like a girl friend, whether new or old, to be an encouragement to another woman. For me, it is like a gathering of sisters that I never had.  I happen to love people, but connecting with other women is especially precious, and I look forward to learning from these women whatever lessons the come with. 

May each of you be blessed with relationships that are dear to you!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Love, Love, Love....

We started celebrating Valentine's Day a little bit early this year.   Our pastor had suggested doing a special service on Sunday evening, Feb. 12.... a marriage vow renewal service.  Over the month between the announcement of the service and the actual event, a dozen couples signed up to renew their vows.

I didn't even ask Mike if he'd like to be a part of it, having asked him on our tenth anniversary, and again when our fifteenth was coming up. He squirmed and wiggled and gave a gentle moan of protest.  He isn't one to make a public spectacle of himself, he gets nervous and embarrassed.  So, I didn't ask.  However, when we got home from church on the day of the announcement, Mike asked me if we were going to renew our vows!  I was shocked that he'd even entertain the idea....and I said just that.  He said, "No...let's do it."  I teased him, saying, "I guess you really do want to stay married to me for all eternity!"  And so, I signed us up, fast and furiously, so that he couldn't back out! 

On Saturday evening,  he asked me what I wanted him to wear. (I never have seen any man so concerned with looking 'just right' for anything. Maybe it has something to do with his stint in the US Marines, but whenever he's dressed, he's neat, he's clean, he's put together...without my help.)  He asked me what to wear because there would be pictures taken.  So, I gave him my thoughts, and he chose from the ties and shirts I'd picked out from his assortment. 

Sunday night arrived and we sat with the other couples, some missing due to an attack of colds and flu. We listened as the Pastor read a piece on love....and then he called us all to the front of the church. He told us to hold each others hands and to look deep into each others eyes. Then he had the men repeat their vows after him, followed by the women repeating theirs. At the end he declared, 'by the authority vested in me, I now pronounce your wedding vows are renewed from this day forward."   Tada! 

It was a very meaningful service...bring tears to the eyes of some of us. One 'bride' wept!  I just couldn't stop smiling!  I am so blessed to share my life with this wonderful husband of mine, who holds me when I'm sad, encourages me when I lose sight of my goals, makes me giggle over nothing, points out special things going on in nature, talks to me about his feelings, the tv shows he's watched that I might have snored through, and the books he's read.  He shares my interests, appreciates my efforts and is very complimentary about anything I do.  He thinks it's his job to wait on me, to please me, to keep my happy.  I've been given the gift of this man... and I  love telling you that I appreciate him, enjoy him, and plan on staying with him until the earth crumbles, the seas dry, and the skies other words....for all eternity.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mid-City Waterfall

The other day we went 'exploring' a lovely city, Greenville.  We were delighted to find that smack in the middle of tall office buildings and businesses there was a river that flowed and fell in waterfalls, over huge rocks. 

 The powers that be took advantage of that lovely, natural setting, and decided to surround it with this beautiful park, full of flowering gardens (this photo was taken on February 9), stone walls, and walking paths.
These photos do not do it justice, but it was what I could capture from my stance on the bridge that spans the river.  We can't wait to visit again, in warmer weather, when the gardens will be in bloom with all manner of flora and fauna!  Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Let Your Love Show...

After all these years, I'm still making paper Valentines.  Part of it has to do with the fact that I like to make my own greeting cards, but another reason is, it's sort of traditional.  I think Valentines mean more when they are homemade.  Just my opinion, of course, and if it meant I wouldn't get that expression of caring on the day set aside for 'love', I'd gladly opt for a store bought one over none!

When my kids were still at home, there was always a Valentine on their plate at dinner, sometimes along with a small box of Whitman's chocolates. It was a tradition started by my parents.  It was a hit with the kids (who doesn't like chocolates?!) Sometimes they'd give me Valentines too, which I loved. These days, I get one ...from my beloved....and it's a store bought one. Bring it on!

I make the grandkids Valentines each year. Sometimes they are fancy, sometimes they aren't....but kids love to get mail, and what better message to find in your mailbox than something that says, "Grammie and Papa love you!"  So, I've been busy lately, cutting, pasting and glittering. 

Little mice holding a heart, a dog lying with his paws over a glittery Valentine, a bouquet of hearts on stems, a row of hearts across the card, a kite with a heart on it.  Those aren't for the grandkids...because I don't want to ruin any surprise they will get in their mailbox. Those, and some other designs, are for some children at church.  There are about a dozen little people, still of the age where they would appreciate a special Valentine, so this year I decided I would make each of them one too, with a special message inside..."God loves you....and we do too!" 

I just think...Valentine's Day or otherwise, we ought to let our love show! How nice that we do have a special day to remind us all to do just that. 

Monday, February 6, 2012


The other day I wrote about taking Mom for a hearing test.  Now here's the rest of the story, which came to light as of today.

Before Christmas, Mom asked that I make an appointment for her with Dr. B.  I called, and, having never been to the office, I got directions to the office. We went there as scheduled, and were told that Mom's ears were impacted with wax, and would need to be cleaned before they could do the test, and to call after the cleaning was done. As life goes sometimes, we had delays because of Christmas, guests and sickness. Finally we got the appointment made for cleaning, and then I called for an appointment for the hearing test for as quickly after the cleaning as possible.  I finally found the phone number for Dr. B, and when I reached the doctor's office, she told me to come in right after the cleaning, and if no one filled the open spots that afternoon, we could have the test right then and there.

We went to the hearing test office, and were told that the doctor had gone to a meeting. Hmmm...I wondered why they hadn't called to let us know that in the morning, in order to save us a trip. Mom was annoyed that they hadn't, but we made an appointment for the next morning instead of fretting over the fact that they hadn't called.  When we got home late that afternoon, there was a message on my machine from the doctor's office, and I thought we'd all just misunderstood something along the line.

Oh yes...there was a misunderstanding alright.  It was all mine!  The long and short of it is this, which I found out when I got another phone call this morning.  It was Dr. B. She was the one Mom had told me to call originally....and she was the one who'd told me to come in on Thursday afternoon. BUT, she was NOT the one whose office we went any point!  The offices are both on the same street, and I thought I'd gone to the right place.  I should have had a clue when the doctor wasn't a woman, as Mom and I both thought she was to be seen by. The doctor didn't intruduce himself to us and didn't wear a name tag. So...the whole thing was an honest mistake! 

You should have heard the apologies I made to Dr.B this morning. She was wonderful and understanding. I didn't tell her that we have a new hearing aide on order. We'll just wait and see how the new one works out for Mom, and with the 30 day trial period and money back guarantee, if it is a bust, maybe then we'll get to the correct office and see Dr. B. !  I don't know though, I may not be able to see her face to face without wearing a real flush of embarrassment!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Everything Old...

Today I watched a segment of Good Sunday Morning on CBS, where they showed typewriters.  Some kids today probably don't even know what a typewriter is. Well, apparently they may find out. It seems they are making a come-back, with some folks, anyway. If that's true, I'm one step up on them. I haven't gotten rid of my old portable electric, Olivetti-Underwood yet.  Neither has my husband....his is a manual portable, and the only keyboard he'll have any part of.  (For the record, I've also still got my Brother word processor, which I've barely used. I think I'll find that thing, and set it up, just for fun.)

I've spotted a few ancient versions of typing machines while scouring my favorite haunts for good old stuff. No, I don't mean 'ancient' as in the kind I learned on in high school. I mean earlier than that!  I suppose, though, that one might consider those heavy, standard models as ancient, but I'm in denial that I'm that old.  I'd love to find one that is similar to one that was owned by my husband's uncle when he was  a foreign correspondent during WWII.  It was high and rather narrow, black and made of metal which weighed a ton. So far, those have been out of my price range.

I love that people have taken an interest in the things of old. I, myself, have begun to collect photos of things used by my grandparents, so that I can introduce my grandkids to them.  I doubt very much that they've seen a telephone without pushbuttons, let alone one like my grandparents had without a dial!  I'm sure they don't know what a cookstove heated by coal or wood looks like.  They've seen my collection of flat irons and wash boards, but I'll bet they wouldn't know what to do with them!  (for that matter, would they know what an outside clothesline is?

There was once a song called, "Everything Old is New Again."  I doubt that we'll ever return to all the old things for use in every day living. We've come to far for that. We all want time savers and instant gratification. We're too busy, or too lazy, to embark on a 'back to the future' adventure.  Too bad. There were a good many things 'back in the day' that were better for us. Bicycles, treadle machines, wash board scrubbing and bending to pick up wash to be hung on the line, for example. Think of the muscles! Think of the energy used! Who would need a gym if we did those things ourselves instead of relying on machines to do the work?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hear Ye, Hear Ye....

It's been a long time since I had my hearing tested. In fact, I think my last test was when I was in school, when they used to give us physicals there. Back then they took you into a small room in the nurses office, and placed headphones over your ears, and when you heard sounds in the headset, you were supposed to raise your hand.

I took my mother for a hearing test today. Things sure have changed. No longer do the use a headset and place you in a little booth. She sat in a chair beside the doctor. He placed foam things into her ears, similar to those foam ear plugs. Inside were devices through which sounds would come, one ear at a time, from an attached computer panel which the guy was adjusting. He explained each step to Mom and watched for her reactions, and then he placed the facts on a chart he had in front of him
After that, we were moved to another room where he placed a hearing aid in her ear. He spent a good deal of time adjusting volume, clarity, bass decibels, sharpness, pitch, in order to get the proper formula for her hearing.  Following that, she was taken to a third room where the doctor made a mold for a new hearing aid which would be geared to her own particular needs. Since the hearing in her right ear is almost completely gone, and she does have significant hearing loss in the left ear, this could be a tricky undertaking.

It was an extensive examination and it took about an hour and a half from start to finish, not counting the discussion of the three types of aid that she had the option of purchasing. Those things aren't cheap, but what is the value of hearing well? I say it's worth every penny spent in order to get the best auditory use possible.

In the end, we came away with the highest and best unit, because it would do her the most good, and has more adjustment opportunity. Since Mom had a barely used aid for her right ear, which has never helped her hearing, she asked if she could donate it, or something. The doctor decided that he would take it as a trade in, giving her a good amount off the cost of the new one. In addition, there is a 30 day trial period. She will use the new device, and return in one week for adjustment, should she feel there is anything not right with the hearing. Then she will use it for yet another week, possibly two, and then return to give her opinions of its efficiency.  At the end of thirty days, she will have the option of keeping it or returning it for a 100% refund. 

How can you beat a deal like that?  It's a win/win situation! Let's hope that the end result allows Mom to hear at the best of her ability. That is the goal...and will be the best prize of all!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Gullible Kid....

Way back, when I was in high school, we had an English teacher who would pin up Norman Rockwell's artwork from the covers of The Saturday Evening Post magazines. At times, she would ask the class to choose one and write a poem, or an essay about what we saw. It was one of my favorite activities in any English class.

Long after I'd moved out of that classroom, one of my younger friends was a student there.  She came to me one day and told me about that assignment. When I told her that I loved doing that sort of thing, she expressed her hatred for it. She told me she couldn't think of a thing to write. She'd described her choice of the Rockwell art to me, and I had to imagine it, while she actually saw it with her eyes. Then, we wrote our own pieces and we each shared what we'd written with each other.  Later on that day, I'd gone home without any thought of the writing.

Little did I know that she'd copied and turned in my writing, with her name on it. She proudly let me know she'd received an A+ on the piece.  I was livid at her deception, and yet I was pleased to think that my words had brought such a great grade. It was my first experience at plagiarism. I learned something that day which has stayed with me all this time. In fact, I learned a few of which was not to trust that friend for she'd proved herself to be untrustworthy. The other thing was not to share any writing that I didn't want to risk losing to theft.

Sometimes we learn lessons the hard way, as gullible kids.  Sometimes, I guess the hard way teaches in the best way.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Wednesday?  Ok...who did what with the early days of this week? Sometimes the days just pass so fast that I can remember what I did yesterday.  In this case, however, I do remember....I went to have the taxes done.  I actually came home in good spirits afterward, as the taxes owed were less than I had envisioned! Yahoo!

I digress.  Not only have the days flown by, but so have the months!  It's already February first!  It seems like it was just like week or two ago that I was expecting pre-Christmas visits!  And it is nearly Springtime, without any real winter. (not that I'm complaining about that!)
On the visit from my eldest daughter, she brought me a stack of old pictures, some of which were copies of some I took myself.  There was my little curly-blonde granddaughter, at the age of about 18 months. I was stabbed with the missing of that baby, and I was also struck with the realization that the seventeen years since then just flew past me with lightening speed. 

Where does the time go?  There is no way to slow it down. Life just keeps moving, and with each year, seems to go more rapidly.  Each year brings its joys, its sorrows, its events, its what-ever-else.  We kind of roll with the punches, and do the best we can with each occurance. The racing of time does make an impact, though.

The other day I realized once more that we are getting older. That isn't real news, but it came home to roost again when one of our neighbors announced that he has been given his 'life's timeline' by his doctor. He has leukemia...and he and his wife have had to abandon one of their dreams, and make an adjustment to some others.  It caused me to immediately think that we should be doing all that we want to do within our financial boundaries, while we are healthy and young enough to do them.  Old age brings its own challenges, and we should live to the utmost before it steals our abilities. 

Time's a-wastin'.  We need live those dreams, exploring the world near and far, seeing all that we can...doing, doing, doing.  Life is too short to be sitting around.