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Friday, January 30, 2009

Grandma Will Believe What She Wants

I finally reviewed some of my New Years day photos and found a forgotten video. When I saw this little bit of me and the Caboose, I had to clip it out and share it. He was 7 months old.

I call it, "Don't tell me he didn't say I love you Grandma!"

I love You Grandma from pamela on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


My neighbor Bill once told me that there weren't any houses or streets when he moved here in 1962.

The old pasture, where my house now sits, was where his daughter learned to ride a horse. He'd climb the hill behind us to search for the old square wooden nails in the ruins of the old boys ranch.

In the winter, his kids raced down the hill with their wooden sleds, along with many who ventured out from town .

"Awww!" I thought this afternoon when I looked across the street and saw the old sled propped up by his porch.

"So, that's where it came from."

Last Sunday, I stopped shoveling snow to watch the boy from down the street pull the sled and his little sister Sadie past our house.

"May I have a ride?" I'd laughed, waved them on, and returned to my task.

He certainly looked relieved as they continued on to the house next door where their playmates, Katarina and Keanu live. It was cold and I was glad to see them go inside.

I've chosen the sled as my entry into this weeks Thematic Photographic Challenge.
Carmi at Written Inc, says: This week's Thematic Photographic theme, simple, can take on many forms.

I thought of several ways that simple reflects in my photo and story.

Life around here was definitely more simple when this sled was varnished and shiny with a bright red stripe on each side. Simple for the kids, anyway. Bill and his late wife, both teachers, raised two sons and four daughters in that little house. I'm sure he would say that "simple" is relative.

Today I thought fondly of his simple, but kind, gesture. He shared something of himself that these kids will certainly recall in years to come.

And for me, there was nothing more simple and sweet than watching a big brother pull his younger sibling through the snow.

I felt the simple yearning in my heart for the days when I was the little sister. I felt loved and special - sitting on a little wooden sled, making tracks in the snow and my memories.

(Join in this week at Written Inc.)

Cozy by My Fireplace

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
By pamelathedust

Fire up and jet on over to Wordless Wednesday headquarters.

Thanks to ImageShack for Free Image Hosting. I couldn't get my GIF to load on blogger.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday on Toothsday

Wordless Wednesdays, which aren't confined to Wednesdays, can be found everyday right HERE!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mid Night Musings

Sleep eluded me last night, so I puttered around the house for a spell.

First, I leaned onto the bedroom window sill and looked out. For a brief moment, I imagined “is that the northern lights?” Just as quickly I laughed at the absurdity of it. I knew I was gazing south.

Once again there is snow on the ground that causes the lights to reflect off the clouds. A soft pinkish glow in the heavens usually indicates snow clouds. It’s the bright echo from the huge security lights at the penitentiary; a place that doesn’t let you forget its existence there on the hill.

Even if you can’t sleep, the mind is still sleepy. Or, it just plays those little tricks on you, like when you wake up in the morning and think those sagging jowls and eye wrinkles will be gone. Age doesn’t let you forget its face, either.

We buried another relative this month. The event prompted my youngest daughter Amanda to say that our world was a “lifetime of funerals.” The much too recent memory of weary parents burying a daughter chilled me, and the accompanying sigh painted a foggy breath mark on the window.

I found my robe and wandered into the family room where I noticed that the aquarium needs water. The return flow splashing from the filter was what drew my attention.

We recently purchased some Thai Glass Cats in hopes that the two remaining African Glass Cats would come out of hiding. They have. But, they don’t seem to mingle. We’ll have to keep checking at the pet shop to see when more of their subspecies arrive. The owner informed us that “cold weather” is a deterrent to shipping tropical fish.

Our foster cat (elGee) has taken to sitting on the edge of my recliner to stalk and swat fruitlessly at the more colorful mollies and tetras in the fish tank. She also stretches into my lap and exposes her belly so that I can stroke her and tell her she is a nuisance and darn expensive.

Two weeks ago the veterinarian told us that elGee would most likely die.

I arrived home from the sad weekend trip to the news that elGee was terribly ill. She wasn’t eating, drinking, walking around, or responding much to WR’s attempts to comfort her.

I had her in the cat carrier at their door when the veterinarian clinic opened the next morning. By the end of the day the young woman vet ruled out leukemia and aids. She then talked frankly with me about the likelihood of elGee having bone cancer. There is no cure. Panleukopenia (aka cat distemper) was the other possibility – although she was previously immunized at that very clinic.

They pumped her full of antibiotics and subcutaneous fluids and sent her home with me the following day. The instructions were “All you can do is watch her now.”

So, I sat there in the shadows last night watching her. My insomnia was to her benefit. She moves as if to say, “Just scratch me a little here, and let me rub my nose and ears against your fingers” and acts like her old self. Damn that cat – she makes WR and I laugh.

WR and I have talked in depth …and are starting a small business. I don’t know if I can learn all the things that will be required of me. I find myself looking at the backs of my hands. In the shadows and without my glasses, the age spots aren’t so noticeable. Can the other obvious deficiencies be overcome so easily?

A bit of guilt surfaced as my mother came to mind. I thought her housekeeping skills were getting lax in her later years. Now I know she just couldn’t see the splatters. My glasses open my eyes to all the things I miss when I clean up and the small print on anything else that I mishandled because I couldn’t read the directions.

Maybe I don’t mind wandering around in the dark of night, after all? Daylight and corrective lenses bring their own demons.

Slumber arrived eventually. Although I was roused several times with discomfort or from nightmares. I recall with detail, rolling over and saying to myself, “I’m going to remember that dream in the morning.” I don’t. It’s an enigma: remembering that I made a mental note - losing the note.

Losing notes is a scary thing right now. This fall my husband’s sister was diagnosed with Alzheimers at the age of 59. We expected it as we knew something was amiss for the past six years.

I find myself being her part time caretaker after I resigned my job. These two months have enlightened me to her need for more supervision. We want her to have some level of autonomy – as long as possible. Unfortunately, her independence draws directly from mine and WR’s. Yes – another sack of worries clogging the brain sifter after midnight.

Fortunately, last night was the exception. I’m thankful that some recent nights have unwrapped into some of the best mornings I’ve experienced in months.

One step back, two steps forward. I’m good.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Todays Headlines

Fleeing Suspect Picks The Wrong Place To Hide
AP PHOENIX -A suspect who ran away from a traffic stop on Wednesday chose the wrong place to hide when he slipped under a parked moving truck — and then was run over when the driver pulled away.

Forget about the suspect, I didn't get past the parked moving truck. (Sometimes I enjoy the language so much.)

Former French President hospitalized after Mauling By His Clinically Depressed Poodle

Former French president Jacques Chirac was rushed to hospital after being mauled by his own 'clinically depressed' pet dog. The 76-year-old statesman was savaged by his white Maltese dog - which suffers from frenzied fits and is being treated with anti-depressants.

Pit Poodles and Maultese. You just aren't safe anymore.

Naked Burglar Gets Stuck In Chimney

Fox News - Firefighters discovered Daniel Davies, 20, after a delivery driver heard him yelling “help me” from the chimney stack of a convenience store near Manchester in October. Davies told police that he climbed onto the roof while trying to escape drug dealers he owed money. Prosecutors said Davies said his clothes fell off as he tried to escape the chimney.

The headline should have said, Drug user hides his crack.

Cajun squirrel among crisp flavours tested by Walkers

Crisps that taste of chili and chocolate, onion bhaji and even Cajun squirrel will be unleashed on the public as part of a Walkers competition to find a new flavour. Walkers launched its Do Us A Flavour campaign last July, challenging members of the public to think up a unique flavour of crisp.

Nothing new here. I read about Buffalo chips in the Little House on the Prairie books.

Did you know a Solar Flare Can can make your toilet stop working?

That's the surprising conclusion of a NASA-funded study by the National Academy of Sciences entitled Severe Space Weather Events—Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts. In the 132-page report, experts detailed what might happen to our modern, high-tech society in the event of a "super solar flare" followed by an extreme geomagnetic storm. They found that almost nothing is immune from space weather—not even the water in your bathroom.

Note to self. Keep a shovel handy.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Photo Meme - 6th of 6th of 6th

I've been tagged.

It's been some time since I've responded to one. Reasons I've not played are many, such as: most of them I've already done, and some of them I've done twice, I'm lazy, I'm busy, or I forget. That last one is a problem. I always forget.

This time I've been tagged by my daughter. So I'm just going to "git 'er done."


1.Go to your Picture Folder on your computer or wherever you store your pictures.

2.Go to the 6th Folder, then pick the 6th picture in that folder.

3.Post that picture on your blog and the story that goes along with the picture.

4.Tag 6 other peoples that you know or don’t know to do the same thing and leave a comment on their blog or an e-mail letting them know you chose them.

Karmyn is right about me, in that I have files and files of photos on my computer. In fact, I have files within files.

I needed to click on my personal pictures file, and then click on the sixth file (which is organized by year), and then click on the sixth file (which is organized by date and subject) and FINALLY identify the sixth picture by its IMG number.


The rules took me to a file of backyard photos taken on August 3, 2006. The other photographs in the file are of goldfinch, hummingbird and various flowers taken on that afternoon. In fact, several were used in my post of that day entitled (what a surprise) : Flowerbeds, Finches, and Hummingbirds.

Here is #6. I can see why I didn't upload it the first time around.

"What kind of moth is it?"

Yellow, of course.

Well, "hello" little unidentified moth.

I've drawn a total blank on the name of the plant. It didn't survive the following winter, and that is usually a good sign that we need to find a hardier replacement.

Tagging is the more difficult portion of this meme. I'll make it very easy for me and tag every last one of you.

Hey! Is anybody out there? (cricket chirping)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Litter. Bleep.

This morning on Good Morning America there was a segment featuring children giving advice to the new administration. It made me smile, of course. But I especially liked a little girl who commented on the problems of litter.

That is because I hate litter. It is one of my pet peeves.

I've been known to tap someone on the shoulder and say, "Excuse me, I think you dropped this!"

Just yesterday I took advantage of the Washington State Hotline/Web Site to report an abuser I was following on the highway.

I wanted to find the video to listen again to the children's ideas so I searched the Internet. That is when I happened upon this photograph of the morning after the inauguration.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Fun Monday - Front & Center

Julie, today's F/M host at Another Chance Ranch, invited us to join in the 2nd anniversay of this meme by taking the very first Fun Monday theme and adding a twist. On that initiating Monday, we took a photo facing out our front door. Today we have been asked to take a photo facing in our front door.

I did not get this assignment done - and it was such as easy one.

However, I did find a photograph I took ages ago of the view after you pass through the entry. It really hasn't changed very much since then.

This was taken on a warm autumn day of gathering fall leaves in a basket. They were so beautiful that I set them out for display.

When you walk into my house there is a very small entry way. In it, sits the little antique desk that graces my banner above. If you are wondering -- No, I don't have my name written in the dust at the moment.

Then you step down into the living room.

There is a brick hearth and fireplace just to the right of the rocking chair. We only used the fireplace once in all the years we have lived here because it drew all the heat out of the house and up the chimney. Every year I plan to install a gas insert for comfort and aesthetics, but we always seem to find other ways to spend the money. As a result, we use the fireplace in the family room!

Can you believe that Fun Monday is still rolling along and allowing us into the homes and minds of the participants?

If you want to play, click the link over to Julie's place to sign up on Mister Linky. Show us your front entrance!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ladies of The Club

Octogenarian club, perhaps?

Grand Auntie Fern will be 100 on April 3. I’ve written about her several times.

Sitting to the left is her sister-in law Naomi, who is also our Grand Auntie. That is because Roy, the brother of Gram and Fern, took the beautiful Naomi to be his bride in 1921. At 104 years old she still lives in the house in which she and Roy raised their children. She maintains a certain level of independence with the help of her 86 year old daughter.

The lovely lady in the center is Roberta. She is Naomi’s younger (almost 97 year old) sister. She is also a sister-in law to Auntie Fern because Ferns husband was her husband's brother. I hope you read this home town newspaper article about her published on Tuesday. I guarantee that you will be impressed.

These three ladies preside over the Wednesday lunch gang. I was pleased to join them recently. There are around 12 people who make it part of their weekly routine. You never know for sure what other relative will make an effort to connect with the family on Wednesday lunch with the sisters.

The lunch gang was inaugurated by Auntie Fern and her late sisters: Our gram Jennie, Blanche, Ethel, and Grace. To the best of her recollection, Fern determined that the ritual started before she was married in 1927. Through the years the sisters moved and traveled, but always planned special shopping weekend and lunch rendezvous.

Then, as they all grew older, the lunch dates again became a regular feature. When I met my husband over 33 years ago, Wednesday lunch with the sisters was a scheduled weekly event. We made sure we attended on some special occasions, such as Gram’s birthday.

As is the case in most traditions, this one evolved and grew. Lunch often included husband’s sisters, brother’s wives, and husband’s brother’s wives. Well, you get the picture.

With the passing of time and loved ones, these three matriarchs have formed a new circle of sisters. It encompasses more daughters, and granddaughters, and whoever else wishes to break bread with history. I’m hoping that my three daughters will enjoy a lunch date with the sisters very soon. It is truly an honor to join them.

The five original Sisters on one of their lunch dates on August 6, 1948.

Ethel, Grace, Jennie, Blanche, Fern

Friday, January 09, 2009

Hearing Things

The mouse business began last month when a bad aroma began to annoy me. I nervously checked the compost crock and the garbage can and even peeked in the oven to see if a piece of meat had been left to die there.

My nose finally led me under the sink to a forgotten mouse trap.

Sure enough, there was a little furry creature ripening under the hot water pipe. Gag me.

The snare and its little feast of long dried up peanut butter had been prepared several month previous; set by WR in response to my reminders (nagging) that we needed to be prepared for the winter mouse invasion. I'd left the primed trap alone, acknowledging each time I noticed it with careful avoidance.

After our catch, we were once again aware that the field mice had found shelter under the house. And, that at least one had squeezed through the small opening around the kitchen pipes into the warm cabinet under the sink.

WR set another trap with fresh peanut butter.

Now I am paranoid.

I keep hearing things: Paper rustling? Little claws clicking? Something jumping from the garbage can?

"Did you hear that dear?" I demand his affirmation even though I put a question mark on it here.

"I didn't hear anything," says he and goes on about his business.

(He does have some hearing loss so I give him the benefit of the doubt.)

That dialogue has repeated many times in the evenings over the past few weeks, followed by me running into the kitchen.

Garbage can. Check.
Bottom drawer. Check.
Under stove. Check.

"I know you're there, you little rat!" I yell into the kitchen sink.

Last night was the final straw.

WR hit the hay and I stayed up to finish some computer work. (Shush. Blogging is so my computer work.)

I was just about ready to power down when I heard it.

"Ah Chooo!"


Somewhere near the computer.

I hopped up and checked behind the chair and the couch. I looked under the coffee table. I peered into my empty shoes.

"This is driving me craaaaaaaaaaazy." I screamed, but only in my head. Truth is I was a tad bit freaked!

I couldn't take it anymore and headed down the hallway to the bedroom. In there, I could guarantee myself that I wouldn't be hearing things.

Nope. Can't hear anything over WR's snore.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

2009 -- Off & Running

Find more Wordless Wednesday entries here.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Macro Monday - Freezing Fog

For Christmas, our daughter Amanda gifted us with a wind chime created from spoons. This morning it was festively decorated in natures white wrap as it hung on our patio.

I don't have a macro lens - but my canon rebel did an 'ice job!

Macro Monday is a weekly photographic celebration over at Lisa's Chaos. This is my first flight.

The First Fun Monday of 2009

Summit Musings is hosting today - and inviting one and all to play the New Year Meme. I'm not ready for Fun Monday, and I'm not ready for the New Year. Neither should be here yet... and I should still be 34.

Oh.. heck, I'll play anyway.

So, using her suggestions, here's Whats On My Mind:
* * *

"What's on your mind as we close out 2008 and begin

I can’t believe the year. I mentioned to someone that back in the sixties, 2009 was eight years beyond a space odyssey. Really!

I’m glad I’m not a kid. I don’t know if I could navigate life in today’s environment. Is this the way that my mother felt when she was my age?

Large and small.

Where did I park the car? I set my glasses down here somewhere.

What are often your first thoughts the minute you wake up?

Coffee. That fat free half n half just isn’t cutting it.

When you're alone and unguarded?

Where have I been? Where am I going? It isn’t where I thought I would be.


I’ve spent a lot of years doing that. Do I know how to stay at home and be industrious?

Stuck in traffic?

I get anxiety in traffic. Thank goodness the only time we are exposed to it is when we travel. I can understand why people succumb to road rage. (Hold up that finger one more time buddy and I’m going to cut it off.)

Playing with the children?

The elixir of youth. Oh…the things they say in their innocence. Or, sometimes the things they say when they are learning to cut to the chase. I think I would like to work around kids so that I could siphon their energy.

Walking the dogs?

I miss my dog. Have I mentioned that before?

When you can't sleep?

The furnace is too loud and the walls are creaking.
If I bang two pans together will the neighbor’s dog quit barking?
I hope I didn’t forget my dentist appointment.
I should probably get out of bed and go blog.


Treat yourself to the musings of other revelers by visiting the link at Fay's.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Heron on The Roof

This morning a neighbor called to say that a Great Blue Heron was flying over our house.

"We thought we should warn you!" M told us.

They weren't aware that we have the net covering our pond. There has been so much snow and ice that it hasn't been visible from their upstairs window.

I walked out to the patio and looked around but didn't see anything. It wasn't until I stepped out onto the little bridge and looked up that I saw the large wader posing on our old antenna. (I know, I know...why is that useless thing still on the roof. We've had cable for years!)

It was eying the pond just behind me with a hungry eye.

When I turned to retreat to the warmth of the house, I noticed the heron tracks in the snow beside the water.

I feed the birds that come to my yard -- but not the heron.

I'm feeling a little bit guilty.