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Monday, November 30, 2009

Under the Weather.

You know you've been sick when the grandchildren come for the holiday and you don't take one photo.
Not one.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fun Monday Thanks

Wendishness has asked us to share our thanks for this week's Fun Monday fare.   My contribution is a copy of my daily note of thankfulness to which I committed on Facebook.   

11-23-09   So thankful for infrastructure! Every Monday morning our garbage and recyclables are removed from the street by some sanitation workers. And I'm thankful that my recycle grew this year while the garbage decreased.
11-22-09     found it easy to be thankful this morning. ----Yesterday we stood in line at the theater to attend "The Blind Side." I also just read the book "The Glass Castle." Both true stories of children surviving adversity. I'm thankful that I had a childhood. Mine wasn't perfect, but it was blessed.
11-21-09   needs to be thankful for more things. Julie  had a "favorite quote" contest on her blog and one of the winners was: What if God decided to take away the things you forgot to thank him for? I sit here and gaze a 360 around this room and see so many blessings. Television, radio, internet, telephone. I'm thankful for her reminder.
11-20-09  Having a tough time being thankful this morning. But I am. I am thankful for places that are available for those who need extra help. I'm thankful for the people who work there. I'm thankful for their grace and mercy. Their willingness to be servants.
11-19-09   I'm thankful that I had (for the most part) teachers who were dedicated to teaching ME! ... and didn't accept less from my learning. Thank you Mrs. Syphers, Miss Goodman, Mr. Weir, Mr. Miller, Mr. Libby, Mr. McCorkle. Oh yeah, there are a few more out there. But these were the ones that came to mind today when I did some substitute tutoring.
11-18-09   is thankful today for fireplaces, gas furnaces, snuggly blankets, and hot oatmeal.
11-16-09  I'm thankful for old friends. It's as though time and space have no power when you talk to one. Our lives have moved on and our paths cross rarely. But we begin our conversation as if it was only yesterday we last spoke.
11-15-09  I'm thankful for grandchildren. Last night six-year old Buttercup called to inform us that she lost both front teeth in less than 24 hours. (She didn't mention that one of the lose teeth was encouraged by her almost 18 mo old baby brother. He bonked her with a flashlight)
11-14-09  Thankful for medicine. I'd be more thankful if I didn't need to take them. But praise God that there scientists who search creation for cures, the pharmaceuticals who fund the production, and for every one in between who makes it possible for them to sit in my medicine cabinet.
11-13-09  thankful for farmers, and truckers, and grocery stores, oh my! (and.. coffee. Today I'm sampling my first cup of Dunkin Donuts Coffee.)
11-12-09  Today I am thankful for (some semblance of) sound mind and body.
11-11-09  Today I am thankful for veterans, and for those currently 'serving.' A big T H A N K Y O U to all of you who have and are. Is it too late for some of us other "mature" folks to serve? Just a thought this morning as my "veteran" husband has the day off in his honor.
11-10-09  Thankful for Autumn. Tho, sad to feel the sharp and serrated wind slam summer's door, slash my blooming friends and rip naked the tall Maple. It, and the retreating sun , sent the feathers migrating for longer days. 'For everything there is a season.' Quiet. Rest. Cold fingers wrap my favorite coffee cup and I'm at peace. (#2 on my Thankfuls until Nov 25)
11-09-09  Taking up the Thankful Challenge from my friend Sayre Smiles, who says: 
"Every day this month until Thanksgiving,think of one thing that you are thankful for and post it as your status. "Today I am thankful for..." I challenge all my friends to post what they are thankful for today."
Today I am thankful for my husband - and every day for thirty-three years~
(I promise you WILL be thankful for reading all the entries this week.  What a great choice for todays subject!  So link over for thankfulness at Wendishness!)

Friday, November 20, 2009


My fingers are freezing as I type this. I just ran outside and removed as many leaves as I could from the tiny man-made creek that runs into the pond.

A few days ago WR stated that he hoped the wind would blow all the leaves off the neighbor’s maple trees - and he got his wish. He even got a better gift with it. Many of those leaves blew over our fence and beyond. However, we still get to keep the ones that hit the water.

Every autumn we are surprised. I remember several years ago having our grandkids help us rake leaves when they visited over the Thanksgiving holiday. I remember having a few brave roses thumbing their petals even into December. We always know that eventually winter will arrive, but never how or when we expect it.

So is it we are surprised with the insidious creeping of Alzheimer’s in my sister-in-law’s life.
This morning I need to wolf down my coffee and cereal and rush out the door. I am supervising the movers who come to haul her furniture and belongings to assisted living.

It was only this past January that I helped her pack and move into the apartment where we hoped she would be safe and secure for a few years.

In the past few months there has been blatant deterioration. Mostly in short term memory and cognitive thinking. Tasks that require more than one step frustrate her. Just this week I realized she was unable to use her stove, to listen to her voice mail messages, or even turn on the heat for the cold days.

Where does it go from here? When?

Monday, November 16, 2009


Ari, from Beyond My Slab, is the hostess of this week's Fun Monday, and has chosen a topic that gives me immense pleasure:  Old Things.

Other than dust, I have nothing in my house more weathered and aged than Augusta's photo album.  I wrote about my great grandmother  (Augusta, Grace, Evelyn, Me) this summer. She was born in 1855 and died in 1937.    
I can only guess when she acquired it. I like to think that she was a young teen when she chose to include a photo of the late President Lincoln.  Some other printed photos may be of other famous people of that era.

My glasses give you an idea of the album's dimensions.

The leather binding is embossed.  It is in dire need of gentle repair. 

I have no idea how much that will cost.

Note the interesting clasp.  The other one is in worse condition.

Do you want to see the inside?

Below are tin types of Augusta, her first husband Chester, and her father - my great great grandfather Norman, 1821-1903.  Normans photo is terribly scratched and tarnished.
There are tin types of her babies , of her mother,  and of her brother and his wife and child.

I am careful not to allow the tin types much exposure to light.  They really need to be 
professionally restored.  I hope that I find the money and the service before passing them on
to my daughters.

Apparently, Grandmother Grace took possession of it when her mother died.  She kept it in a chest of drawers and would bring it out on occasion to share with relatives.  My eldest brother remembers back in the fifties, sitting next to her while she pointed at and talked about each person.  Grace was 99 years old when she died in 1978.

When Birdie, Grace's eldest daughter, died in 1993, my cousin called and offered the album to me.  I was very thankful for her generosity. What I didn't know at the time is that my cousin was gravely ill and seeking preservation of our family's historical treasure.

A little white envelope containing two more tin types remains folded inside the cover - likely placed there by Grace.  One of the photos is her husbands parents: my great grandfather and grandmother, George and Bernetta.  For sure it was taken before 1863 - the year George died of typhoid fever while a soldier in the Civil War.
* * * * * * * * *

And then there is this --
something that came into our
possession this week:
my husbands Great Grandfather's (Papa George)  "fiddle."

This is a different George then mentioned above. (1873-1966)

He played a lively tune in the early 1900s, and was well known in the thriving community of Touchet, Washington. 
It looks like I'm going to have to do some detective work and find out more about Papa George...AND his violin.  I also must find an honored position on the wall for its display.

Join me and other's linking at Ari's Slab!  Find out what's new in old stuff.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Walking to Music

Today, I walk earlier than usual and experience a slight bit of unease. For the first 30 minutes I see only two other people
There have been rare reports of cougar and bear along the creek – the knowledge of which makes me very aware of my isolation.

When I turn back, I begin to meet more people, the majority of whom are wearing MP3s and IPods.
We smile in greeting and I say “good morning.” Of course they do not hear me. Nor did they hear any of the bears or cougars that snuck up on them from my earlier flight of imagination.

Unaware of the obbligato springing forth from the heavy underbrush, they miss the evasive fluttering of a Bewick's Wren. I watch it pause from its busyness and I sigh as it tilts its head back to sing with enthusiasm. How can such a loud trill emanate from so tiny a creature?

They do not discern the performance of the wind symphony.

Sometimes it plays a legato breeze in the bending trees.
Oher times a gust engages the leaves in a staccato attended tag around my feet.

When the cranky Canadian Goose tunes up his honker, they don’t notice. And they ignore the accompanying drumming of the water that cascades over the berms.

A Kingfisher's frenzied capriccio is most likely drowned out by their nano speakers. His irritated complaint draws my
attention to the object of his rebuke –
the blue heron. (I felt the same when the long-legged thief feasted in our fish pond.)

As my car comes into view, the distinct timbre of raindrops begins a pleasant rhythm that hasten my steps.

When the crescendo suddenly swells, I laugh as a drenching concert falls from the sky.
Those other walkers may have been deaf to the quiet compositions around them … but I suspect they hear Mother Nature now!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Water Ouzel

No...This isn't the nature blog.  However, that being said, the bird watcher in me was so intrigued by my first sighting of an American Dipper, AKA Water Ouzel.

Two days in a row I watched this little bird feed, play, and bathe in the creek that flows along the path that I walk.  With some marked felicity, I noted it in my bird diary.

(My Canon Power Shot has the capacity for short video recording, albeit not the best quality. And my blogging hasn't been the best lately, either.  Quality or quantity.)

Water Ouzel from pamela on Vimeo.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Wooly Wooly Worm

Saturday morning was perfect for a long brisk walk. As we were enjoying the path,  WR pointed out this fuzzy little Wooly Worm toodling across.

You are supposed to be able to forecast the extremes of winter by this little fellows coat.  (Or is she a girl?)

I was pleased to find these instructions at ehow.com
(I'm thinking I may not bother to dig into the storage area for my snow tires.)

  1. Step 1
    Look for wooly worms under rocks and inside hollow logs.

  2. Step 2
    Examine the wooly worm, paying attention to its bands of colors. The wooly worm will curl into a ball when touched or threatened. When they crawl, they can crawl very quickly!

  3. Step 3
    Wooly worm forecasters say that the size of the brown band of color will tell you what kind of winter is coming. Legend says that the thinner the brownish red bands, the harsher the winter will be. If the wooly worm is mostly brownish red in the middle, winter will be mild.

  4. Step 4
    Wooly worm enthusiasts claim an 85 percent success rate over the last few decades. Scientists tend to disagree and say wooly worm weather prediction is as unscientific as using groundhogs to predict winter weather. The groundhogs likely side with the wooly worms.