Remembering A Sister-in-Law

Cemeteries were visited and flowers were placed on head stones this weekend. 

One of the ones visited is very tiny and sits on a small rise surrounded by miles of agricultural land with fields of wheat, canola, and alfalfa. That is where my husband's late sister rests. The scent of alfalfa blooms waft in the breeze over the dusty markers inside a chain-link fence.  It isn't your normal manicured grave site.  It's just dirt.

She began showing signs of something being not right soon after she turned 50.  We noticed that she couldn't remember the rules of our Saturday night card games.  Her symptoms progressed causing her to loose her job working for an accountant.  She tried working at lesser jobs, but she couldn't keep up with any of them.   She would ride her bike to the store and forget why she was there.  She might wake up in the morning and find all of her kitchen towels and oven mitts on her patio.  A difficult thing for us to  handle was how she became suspic…

Remembering Auntie Fern

Great Auntie Fern would have been 110 today.

There were times that I thought Auntie Fern might outlive all of us, and then halfway into her 108th year she was gone.  I miss her.  We all do.

Fern on her 107th Birthday in 2016 enjoying a brief walk

I got involved with all of her medical care, sort of by accident or maybe by providence,  when she was 99.  (My husband is related by way of his late "Gram", who was Fern's older sister.)   We would stop at the retirement home to visit, and sometimes have dinner with her.  She loved company.  That's how the home happened to call us one day to say that Fern had been ill.   This presented a problem for the staff because after a certain number of days a resident would have to move to a higher care facility.   I offered to take her to the  clinic and get some help for her.

When the doctor walked into the examination room he took one look at me and asked, "Are you just here today, or are you committed to the long haul?"

Kickin' Dirt

I took two spills in the snow which was deep and long lasting. Over a month!.  The first tumble was when I fell in the deep snow wearing my husband boots. I was out there before dawn to scatter shredded apple in the back yard for the over one hundred hungry robins that were showing up with the sun.  Plus quite a few other birds as well.    The 2nd time was a foot slipping out from beneath me while making a short trip across the asphalt.  That one hurt .. and twisted my ankle.  The x-rays at the walk in clinic (joke, as I didn't really walk in) showed that all the hardware from a previous break was intact and no broken bones.  Just a sprain which kept me off my feet for a week.

But now I'm kickin' dirt.

The snow is gone everywhere except in shady areas behind fences and houses and where the trees cover the walking path.

This is Chance, one of my grand dogs on our walk today.  He was a rescue while yet quite young.  He has never quite gotten over whatever happened to him bec…

Snow, Feezing Rain, More Snow, More Ice....


The sound of our patio collapsing under the ice at 2:30 in the morning was enough to age me five years.  I won't prove it by posting a photo of me.

And, DARN.  That Insurance deductible already had a home somewhere else.

I'm ready for winter to end.

Robins of Winter

I've learned much about the robins and winter residents this month.  The first thing is that if you give robins blueberries you might as well go buy a bunch more of frozen ones.  Once they've had frozen blueberries they give you the bird eye until you give them more.  I do provide many choices:  chopped apple, oatmeal, sunflower chips, raisins, grapes, mealy worms.  They eat them all.  But don't ever start with blueberries.

Robins also get very domineering and territorial.  One will decide that the feeding area is his or hers alone.  It becomes a chase and fight zone.  So be prepared to shovel snow and create various spots in the yard so that more robins can become land owners.

Two days ago I went out early and the robins were waiting.  The frenzy started so I stepped back thinking I would get a nice photo (which I did.)  The surprise came when one of the fleeing robins decided to land on my head.  I was startled but stayed composed in spite of the worry that it would poo…

Cold February

I should never gloat.  Not that I was gloating.  But I did say that our moderate weather had been a blessing.  Then we got blasted, of course. The weatherman said today we were on our way to the third coldest February on record. 

It isn't all bad, though.  Did you read that the cold weather will most likely kill off lots of the invasive stink bugs.  The ones hiding in the garage and storage addition will most likely survive.  We certainly hope to see less of them this summer.

The birds have been very hungry which gives me an opportunity to invite them into our yard with fruit, nuts, seeds, mealy worms, and water.  There is heater in the water feature so it supports a lot of winter drinks. Some even bathe in the freezing weather.

One of the birds that I only see during periods of snow and low temperatures is the lovely Varied Thrush.  We have been listening to their mournful sounding call every day with appreciation.  They must be singing their thank you for the hospitality.

I took…

Tapioca pudding

We've been on a kick lately.  Tapioca Pudding. 

I made it twice in the microwave, but couldn't get it to turn out the same each time.
So then I switched to the old bring to a rolling boil method. Which has worked.  However, my recipe seems not quite as sweet as what you buy in the dairy section at the grocery store.  Not to mention that  I have twice forgotten to add vanilla.  I made pudding today with added sugar and REMEMBERED the vanilla.  Real vanilla. 

During my childhood it was such a treat to have tapioca pudding.  We had a small farm so the major ingredients were there at hand.  Mom ALWAYS used the method where she beat the egg whites separately and then added it before serving  to make a fluffy dessert.   There were so many of us that she probably made a triple batch.  I don't remember ever getting my fill.   Always left wanting more.

"More" is a silly family joke from my aunt Myrtle.  (Everybody should have the opportunity to have one like her.)   If so…