I’m a huge fan of The Walton’s. It shows a much simpler time of home, family and faith many humans now days still crave. They talk about the good old days with longing.
There are many things about those times that drove human improvement. People worked hard because there was no government assistance, the women tended the inside house and the children, the men worked outside the home in jobs or farming and kept up the outside house and buildings. Families who were in need, in most cases, were helped by their community. Most homes had cellars/sheds where fruits and vegetables were “put up” for the lean times. Many were like my grandparents who had gardens, raised chickens and lambs, and hunted and fished to help feed their families, and supplemented income by bartering goods and services. Children were taught respect for other people and their property. Social activity in the communities were centered around the churches along with purpose driven gatherings like a quilting bee, sewing circles and barn raisings. Most folks didn’t travel much, and the community was the focus.
However, there were some not so great things. Schools were adequate, but in rural areas not easily accessible so education was for those with means. Education, especially higher education, was for men. Domestic violence and child abuse were common, with no advocates for those victims. The abusers received no penalty since their wives and children were essentially property. Slavery in the form of adoption was also commonplace where a young boy or girl was adopted for the primary purpose of servitude on farms and in households. Sexual abuse was impossible to prosecute except under extreme situations, and rather than dealing with family incest, abuses were suppressed and kept quiet, racial prejudice was rampant as was the oppression of women. A white man would have sex with a black woman but would not ride on a bus with her.
So, there are elements of that time I agree are desirable and I would love to see happening again. However, just as much of it I am grateful that humans are actively fighting to eliminate.
I have been writing and sewing like crazy – and I love it.
With writing one thing I try to do when working on my fiction is to give an authentic perspective to male characters. Not always easy for me, so I discovered if I give my first draft pages to my hubby he brings his Clive Cussler/Tom Clancy/Louie L’Amour reader viewpoint to the action and dialogue I’ve written. This really fleshes out my fictional males, and works wonderfully in bringing depth and realistic dimension to them. He has helped me plot out some actions scenes which is fun, and I will bounce ideas off of him. I occasionally have to remind him not to try to re-write my story. He also shows me where I haven’t completed my thought or dropped into a scene without the needed information or details. I know my story, my locale, my characters voices, so I might start a scene of dialogue with a clear direction in my mind, but for my reader it’s like walking in during the middle of a movie!
I’m really have fun making my own clothes. I love fabric and patterns, the sound of a sewing machine, and the finish of a serger (overlock) so it seems I always have multiple projects. I have designed new face masks for me and hubby, based on what my husband would like to wear. He likes a longer front, so I started with a modified pattern and together designed what he wanted. After working it up I liked it so much I’m making one for myself. We found the fabric in the color we wanted, and got the appropriate notions. Now it’s just cutting out the pieces, and sitting at the machine to put them together. I was one of those folks that made a bunch of face masks at the beginning of the pandemic when the hospitals and first responders ran out. Myself along with dozens of others in Southern Arizona made thousands of masks. I gave me great joy to know I helped protect those important people. I also made masks for several family members.
So as we jump full speed into February I hope and pray for health, happiness, kindness, and hugs for all.
There are some words used to express perplexities that are often beyond the daily walk of our life. Some of these words are fanciful, some are distinct in the way they work our imagination.
What do you picture when you hear vanished, abyss, summit or abandoned? Do you imagine a ghost ship or an explorer? What about paranormal, telekinesis, singularity or heliopause? Aren’t those the coolest words and fun to say out loud?
Bottomless, crevasse, wall cloud, and epicenter: let your mind wander to the place these words will take it. What do you see or feel when discovering the substance of their meaning?
I remember in 8th grade reading a story about the famous ballerina Isadora Duncan. It said that she was riding in a convertible car while wearing a long red scarf. When I read the words “the long scarf wrapped around the wheels of the car, snapping her neck and killing her instantly”, I gasped. As you can see those words have never left me.
Another time the words of a book seized me was while reading “Unbroken” about the life of Louis Zamperini as a Japanese prisoner of war during WWII. I felt those words physically and the relief I felt once I finished it was profound. It is a tremendous book but I can never read it again.
I read the book “The Exorcist” and once I finished it I told my sister I never wanted to see the movie and watch any of it on the screen – and I never have.
Books, magazines, Kindle, Nook, anywhere words exist to convey the thoughts of another human into readable form attracts me.
I’m sitting here, reading a Melissa Foster book, rounding out a day that started yesterday with rain and then snow ❄. Its cold outside, but my glass of cabernet savignon is warming me.
The book is sexy, the temperature is 40°, and I’m looking at my sleeping German Shepherd Millie curled up on the couch. Also watching my polydactyl calico cat Cleo curled up dozing in the rocking chair.
Snow is low on the mountains, and the clouds are low in the sky. There is a hard freeze warning for our area which means I will have to cover the outdoor plants that are vulnerable.
I’m enjoying my solitude. I have times when being alone and quiet gives me comfort. I think with age we find these times exceptionally valuable.
So to all you lovely folks waiting for inspiration – gaze at the stars, listen to the soft breathing of a sleepy puppy, and relish the complexity of a good wine.
I found out I am poisoning my cat. Not on purpose, but from a lack of information. For the last couple of years, ever since I bought Jerry and installed him in my house my cat has been eating pieces of Jerry’s leaves.
Jerry is a big beautiful dracaena or Dragon Tree.
His name is in memory of the amazing musician Jerry Riopelle. What I failed to find out was that dracaena is bad for cats, in fact bad for dogs and cats.
I would hear that cat puking sound, you know that sound – it can wake you from a dead sleep – and she would puke up what looked like grass. Okay this cat doesn’t go outside and we don’t grow indoor grass so this led me to discovering she was munching Jerry!
Two days ago when she once again puked up pieces of Jerry I looked it up, low and behold:
“Dracaena species plants contain saponins which may cause drooling, vomiting, weakness, incoordination and dilated pupils (cats) when ingested.”
Oh man, this was bad! Another site said it can cause seizures! What to do?
I remembered I had this plant pest spray that was not harmful to animals so I pulled it down and checked it out. It is made with Cayenne Pepper and a couple of other non-hazardous things. I thought maybe she would leave it alone just because of the taste and smell.
I sprayed Jerry and waited. I’m happy to report Jerry and Cleo are now safe. She moved on to the Boston Fern and it got sprayed as well.
Guess it’s time to buy some indoor cat grass for my silly cat. Cleo the calico polydactyl weirdo.
Wondering about a bunch of stuff. Car needs an oil change, I’ve got tons of laundry to start, must get ready for a short road trip, have an audio book audition to prepare, a garment alteration job to start, and have to make gingerbread cookies sometime today.
All I want to do is read.
I’m an avid reader. I read electronic media as well as the good old printed and bound pieces. The pleasure of words cannot be adequately expressed. I love the feeling of holding a book, and of immersing in a story.
These shelves of books give me pleasure to look at, to touch, and in the case of my glass book case, filled with nothing newer than a 1950 copyright, the smell of old printed tomes.
I’m proud of my collection. It is special to me, and I enjoy adding new books, as well as classics. I’m a bookstore’s friend. I’ve decided that one day I will have a book sale. None from my glass cabinet or the classics like Louisa May Alcott or F. Scott Fitzgerald, but the Janet Evanovich, Mary Higgins Clark or Tom Clancy will be put out there for another book lover to discover.
After todays projects are completed, and I can feel comfortable relaxing with a glass of wine I will pick up a story. They are waiting for me.
The morning is going easily by, it started with a morning temp of 25° – BRRR.
It’s hubby’s last of four days off before his next four on; his work shift is four 12hour days. Long work days but the four days off is nice. We enjoyed our coffee together, chatting about the day to come. We’ve moseyed through the morning, hubby went to men’s group, and then we had a walk to the mail box (we are rural so it isn’t out front.) Millie came with us which made her excessively happy.
I have a young woman coming at noon to try on a wedding dress I made alterations to, it was her late mother’s dress so I hope she is happy with the way it turned out. I had such a wonderful experience with it and hope I can get the chance to do more things like this. I have two machines: a sewing machine and a serger, and they give me the tools to do most any type of sewing I desire.
One of our Christmas traditions is that hubby is responsible for filling the stockings. He takes this job very seriously and it is always a combination of toys or gadgets with lots of candy. Also there is always a Lifesaver’s book inside. As he starts to add things I hear him chuckle as he is thinking of their reaction to what he has picked for them.
Since we will spend Christmas eve with our daughter, and he is working Christmas day I hosted a get together for my besties and their spouses last weekend. I made shepherd’s pie with ground elk instead of beef, and homemade soda bread. I can’t have beef unless it is very lean like veal. It turned out pretty good according to all who sampled it. We also did an ornament exchange which was so fun with lots of laughs. We each brought a wrapped tree ornament, then drew numbers to pick in order. We only had one trade, and all were happy with their ornament.
Covid-19 struck me in the job hunting department. I sent in a cover letter and resume to Biosphere 2 for a cashier position. However because of the virus the attendance is down so no hiring right now “but they will keep my information.” Dang virus!
I got a good report from my vascular surgeon, and now I only have a few more follow-up visits. My incision looks good and not so noticeable. I was a bit self-conscious.
So all you fine folks are caught up on the Catalina AZ news.
The discovery of the medical condition that led to my right carotid endarterectomy surgery still exists in my body. But I can adapt and adjust, to arrest it’s progress and hopefully change the status going forward. I joyfully say I am at the end of post surgery two weeks of being careful and taking it easy and tomorrow I can get back into life…full speed.
At the bottom of this post are shots of my incision over the course of two weeks.
As a self professed ocean lover 💙 when I saw the Mediterranean Diet it made sense. Since its time to adjust my eating style and exercise efforts, pretending to be living in Greece or Italy while I do it makes perfect sense. 🏃♀️🚶♀️🚴♀️
So here are the diet deets, with the adjustments based on my medical needs.
The foundation of this plan is exercise, daily whether ten minutes or an hour, just move.
The next level is plant based. Fruits and vegetables – lots of them raw or cooked. I have a sweet tooth so snacking on fruit is starting to feed that. I especially love grapes, apples, mango and pineapple. We have a dehydrator, and so have started making our own dried snacks. Another good snacking item are nuts. I especially love almonds. However due to my Carotid Artery Disease (CAD) it is necessary that I avoid salt. Not completely, I can use some in cooking, but reducing it, so no salted nuts. I’m incorporating beans, legumes, couscous, Quinoa, and bran into my cooking. I am changing out butter for extra virgin olive oil and it works quite well.
The next level is where I get my protein – and my focus is fish, chicken, turkey and not much super lean meat. Again the CAD recommends no meat like beef and pork. I also add some dairy like eggs and fat free cottage cheese. I check every thing for cholesterol, fat, and sodium numbers.
The top level is what I call my treats like alcohol, baked goods, etc. Those are extremely limited in consumption for me.
So now I start watching for changes in my systems, and I have already noticed some. I feel different. My scar is healing but has a ways to go, and my energy is improving. As I get familiar with some recipes I will share those with you.
I am following the works of Dr. Kim Foster and Dr. Amy Riolo for guidance and information.
An exciting side note, I am doing a wedding dress alteration! It such a wonderful thing to know I can do something I love like sewing and actually get paid. How cool is that?!?!
O HOLY NIGHT is a Christmas Hymn that isn’t really a favorite for many because its a bit hard to sing, and most people consider it a song for a soloist.
I’ve sung it quite a bit, but this morning I had Christmas music playing and this song came on. In this case the third verse was sung and it blew me away. The words are powerful and profound. Take a look and see. It takes on a new meaning, kind of like the other verses of the National Anthem do.
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is Peace
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name, all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us Praise His Holy name
Christ is the Lord; O praise His name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim
His power and glory evermore proclaim
Hey gang! Here’s the news – Hubby spent the night on the side of the road, dry camping in our wee trailer, Daisy.
Buddy’s wife brought him back home where buddy grabbed a few hours of sleep, then left before dawn for the two hour trip to the Willcox AZ area. The guys met up, went out to the field and got their limit! I’m quite proud. They were set up to meet at NAPA auto in Willcox to get the truck fixed and are heading home. HALLELUJAH!!
I’m feeling pretty well, not getting quite so tired. No sign of the A-Fib so the medication is working. I’m looking forward to getting out of the house – you know being normal – breathing fresh air, hearing the neighbor’s kids and barking dogs.
My neighbors have been so wonderful, checking on me and reassuring me I can call them “anytime” if I need anything. I am blessed.
So that’s the latest for me. I hope and pray that this sparse Thanksgiving season will be the end of a spell of disconnection and separation for us humans.
Here is a gift of love to bless you as we enter this holiday season. I grew up singing the soprano and alto parts of this beautiful acappella version of Number 6:24-26