Thursday, December 30, 2021


 I have to take some time away from blogging. I had a stroke some time before Christmas. I feel good and extremely fortunate. I have a lot of therapy ahead of me but I think I will be better than ever when I'm done. I will still be reading your blogs. Forgive me if I don't leave comments.

Friday, December 3, 2021

A Bigfoot Mystery

I told you about seeing bigfoot. I was on my way into Sioux City. There he was by a couple of evergreen trees and a very old rusty truck.

I also told you he was rusty looking. I believe he was made of metal.

A couple of weeks ago Bigfoot was gone! The trees were there and the old rusty truck was there. But no Bigfoot.

I double checked on my way home... still not there. 

Was it too cold? Does Bigfoot hibernate? I missed him.

Yesterday I was on my way into town. Out of habit I looked for Bigfoot. There he was!

He was in his customary spot with the trees and rusty old truck. I was glad to see him.

I guess I caught him on his lunch break before.  

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Got It Today

 Today I got my Covid booster. 

I told them I wanted the Moderna vaccine because that is what I had before. I know they say you can mix and match. I just figured that I would be more confident with the same.

My son went with me and got his too. The only thing is that they did not give him a booster. They gave him another dose (the full amount) because he is diabetic.

So once again I am feeling no ill effects. I have had no side effects from any of the three shots. I feel fortunate.

My son's arm is quite sore. He has had minor soreness with each one. I'm sure he will feel better in a couple of days.

I am glad I now have stronger immunity and so does my son.  I hope all of you do as well.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

I Am Thankful...

 I am thankful for my children. I always wanted to be a mother and they have brought me such joy.

My children gave me grandchildren. They have made my life so much brighter.

My grandchildren gave me great-grandchildren. They are a special gift.

I am thankful I had the parents I had. They loved me no matter what. I knew I was loved. They gave me brothers and sisters who gave me nieces and nephews and so on. 

I am thankful for the family I married into. My second parents welcomed me and made me a part of a big wonderful family.

I am thankful and proud I live in my country. I am especially thankful for the little part of my country that is my space. I am so content here. 

I am thankful for my health. I am 74 years old and still hobbling along. Neither of my parents lived as long as I have so I feel fortunate.

I am thankful for my internet friends. There are so many wonderful people in the world. I am thankful to know a few of you.

Please have a Happy Thanksgiving.

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Know What To Do

 My daughter was in her weekly chemotherapy session. Suddenly there was a big commotion. She could see very little because she was hooked up to her IV.

Apparently the other patient there had a seizure. My daughter recognized the noises she was making from having seen me having seizures. None of the nurses or technicians knew what to do for her. My daughter could have told them.

Do you know what to do if someone has a seizure? Read further and you will.

When I was 16 I took a summer job babysitting. It was a family of 5 children. They lived in a trailer park on a lake. Their trailer was a very large nice home.

They had four boys and one daughter. I would sleep in the same room as the daughter because I would stay there all week. On weekends I would go home.

Both parents worked so they needed someone who could take care of the children, do light housework, and cook at least two meals each day. No problem. Remember I have six younger brothers and sisters.

The children also had an aunt and uncle only a few trailers away. The aunt was only a few years older than I. I was asked to never leave the children alone with her because she had epilepsy. She had been in a car accident and there was a bruise on her brain that caused seizures.

She was a very nice person and we got along very well. She would come down a couple of times a week just to visit while her husband was at work.

One day she had a seizure. She was just sitting and quietly watching television when she began to act strangely. She yelped a couple of times and slapped her leg repeatedly. It took me a few beats to realize what was happening but I had no idea what to do for her.

I had promised the children I would make Johnny cake for breakfast one day. What I call Johnny cake is just hot cornbread with sugar and milk poured over it. It is delicious if you want to try it. So one Monday morning I got up early to start baking.

I did not know that the parents had broiled steaks the evening before. They decided to leave the oily aluminum foil on the broiler and clean it after work Monday.

I lit the oven and started making cornbread batter. The oldest son of the family came in rubbing his eyes and trying to wake up. As we were talking we saw the flames flare up from the broiler.

I am good in a crisis so I was going to go out and turn off the fuel tank. When I got to the door I suddenly felt myself turning to the left and spinning uncontrollably. ( I was not. It only felt that way.)

Then I was waking up on the couch with the mother of the family hovering over me and the children looking so frightened. She wanted to know if I was okay. I felt fine. Maybe just a little sleepy.

The oldest son had the good sense to run outside and turn off the fuel. Then he ran down and had his aunt come up. She called the mother who came right home. It was about a 45 minute drive.

The mother decided to take some time off work so I could go home. My parents had me rest and stay calm even though I felt fine. After one week I went back to take care of the children again.

I was there for about a week and a half. I was up before the children once again. As I moved through the living room toward their rooms to wake them up I turned and saw myself walking slightly behind and to the left of myself!

Once more I woke up to see the mother there as I was lying on the couch. This time my mother was with her. I was still so scared from what I had seen. The mother of the children of course needed someone who was not passing out all the time. She had made arrangements for a friend of mine to finish out the summer. That was fine with me. I wanted my mommy.

Mom took me home and we were relaxing again. That same day I passed the television as I was walking to a chair. Mom was in her bedroom folding clothes.

There was some sort of art program on television. The program was flashing from one painting to another and the lights changed with each painting.

I felt dizzy and was able to sit down. Then I felt myself reach up and tear the whole left side of my face, jawbone, teeth, and all, completely off. Then I felt that same hand reach down and tear the muscle from the top of my left leg. Of course that did not happen. I passed out.

Mom said she heard a funny noise and came into the living room to see me sitting in a chair with everything on my body trying to fold into itself. I am not a limber person. She said my hands were sort of palm up with my fingers almost touching my wrists.

I went immediately to the doctor. I do not remember much about the doctor visit. He admitted me to the hospital.

I had never been in the hospital before. I thought it was kind of cool to be served my food in bed. I did not like the testing they did as most of it involved drawing blood.

The second or third day I was there (I do not remember how long my stay was) I was lying there and I began to think about epilepsy. I remembered hearing my grandmother talk about two sisters in town who had "fits". That and the aunt of the children I had taken care of was the limit of what I knew on the subject.

My parents came in that morning and stood at the foot of my bed. They told me that the doctor thought I might have epilepsy. I said, "I thought that might be what it was."

When I got the chance I asked the doctor what this would mean for me having children. He said not to worry about it. But I did worry about it. So he assured me that the chances of my children having seizures was not even 1 in a million.

I was put on the medications that they used to treat seizures at that time. Now I am not a medicine taker. Two aspirin will knock me out. The medicine that I was taking made me so sleepy all the time. I do not know how I got through my senior year of high school that year. And with my A average to boot.

I have grand mal seizures (now called something else). Those are convulsive seizures. They are extremely painful. Each one a person has is a bit worse than the one before until they can be so bad that a person can die from a seizure. In fact I have almost died three times. I feel very fortunate to be here.

I am also very fortunate that I am very well controlled with medication. It has been so many years since I had a seizure that I cannot remember when the last one was.

I am still taking the original medications that the original doctor prescribed. One of them is a controlled substance. After fifty years I am physically addicted to it. That means without it I will go into withdrawal and the classic symptoms that accompany withdrawal. It does not mean I am constantly craving more. I just need it to live.

A dear friend of mine was on the city council of the big city we lived in. She was on President Carter's epilepsy commission. She asked me to go through the information she had and give her a synopsis. No problem. Until I saw the research. It was five books. Each one was about four inches thick except the last one. It was about three inches.

What I read was a real eye-opener for me. While epilepsy, like many other maladies, is not inherited the predisposition is inherited. That means that my children might have a weakness that they inherited from me that would make them more disposed to having seizures.

Also they used an example of a parent with four children (I have four children). If one child has seizures the likelihood of another having seizures multiplies (not adds up, multiplies). If three children have seizures the fourth will have seizures.

I learned that an uncle of mine had epilepsy. He died before my father was born. He was in a home for juvenile delinquents. My father always thought his brother was "bad" because that was better than being "defective".

My mother suffered terribly from migraine headaches. They are a first cousin to epilepsy. Many of the workings of the brain are the same in both.

Two of my sons had migraines when they were about 8 years old. Testing showed some brain activity but I would not allow them to be put on medication until there could be a definite diagnosis. Neither has had any further problems. My daughter is fine. I recently discovered that my other son has been having petit mal seizures for about three years. He did not want to worry me so he kept it to himself.

Two of my grandchildren have migraine headaches. So does their mother, my daughter-in-law. Two of my grandchildren have had seizures. One was placed on medication for a year. The seizures stopped and the medication was also stopped. He has been fine for several years now.

If any one needs to know anything about seizures feel free to ask. I am almost an expert. And if I am not certain I have the right answer I can probably guide you to the place to find it. In the meantime I am going to tell you what steps to take if you are with someone having a seizure.

1. If they are upright, lower them safely to a prone position. That will help keep them from injuring themselves in a fall.

2. NEVER, EVER, EVER, try to force anything into their mouth. Fingers have been bitten off. Tableware and wooden sticks are either broken or cause damage to teeth.

3. The human tongue is a muscle. It sits in a particular spot in the body. It is physically impossible to swallow your tongue. However the tongue like any muscle can fall to the back of the mouth and block the air passages. Gently position the person on their side. That way the tongue falls to the side instead of the back of the mouth.

4. If the seizure lasts for more than three minutes or if there are repeat seizures call for medical help immediately.

5. When the seizure is over often the person will lose consciousness or maybe just be confused. When they awaken the body and brain are busy trying to re-establish connections. They have no time to answer questions like "Do you know me?" Leave that for professionals. Simply say, "hi, (insert name, it is important). I am (insert name, it is important). You just had a seizure. You are safe and I am right here. Everyone is taken care of. You need to rest so go to sleep. I will be here when you wake up." If an ambulance is on the way or the doctor is on the way let them know that too. That way they can let their body heal itself without wondering what is going on.

In the beginning  I was up and full of energy after a seizure within a couple of hours. As time went on it took me at least two full days to be able to even get out of bed and stand on firm feet. Each person is different.

Epilepsy is nothing to be ashamed of. No more than diabetes, heart disease, or asthma. If you were ever to see the list of famous people and world leaders throughout history who had seizures you would be amazed.

But it must be treated. By a doctor who knows what he is doing. Not many do. Most of the "maladies" are only mentioned in medical school in passing. I hope I have enlightened you a bit. I hope you never need the information. But if you are confronted with a situation you now know what you can do.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Postal Service

 When my children were small there was not often any mail for them. I remembered wishing for mail when I was a child.

As a teenager I wrote letters. I sent them to family members and I had pen pals. Remember pen pals?

Pen pals were people you did not know but had regular correspondence with. Some might be from another country or a different part of your own country.

Letters were regularly sent and received. I loved getting mail from the box and seeing my name on it. I liked feeling important enough to receive mail.

When I had small children of my own I wanted them to feel that way too. By that time junk mail was an everyday thing. I discovered a way for the children to get mail too.

Junk mail was given to whichever child was nearest. If there were enough of the mails each child would have some. They felt special even if they were only being asked to purchase a cemetery plot.

These days most of my correspondence is on the computer. Email is faster than mailing a letter to a loved one. Most of my 'pen pals' are bloggers.

Of course I still receive some bills and notifications in the mail. Most of those are handled online too. 

My son and I share a mail box at the post office. Here in our small town there is no postal delivery. We have to pick it up at the post office.

My son gets most of the mail now. And he gleefully chuckles as he hands me the junk mail from the day.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Kitty Litter Cake

 Halloween is coming soon. It is a favorite time for me.

One year at work we decided to have a special lunch. each person signed to bring a specific dish. I decided to do desert that time.

I had a new recipe I wanted to try. I was for a kitty litter cake. It took a bit of time to prepare but it was so worth it.

Unfortunately it looked so real that no one, not one person, tried it. I took it home and my grandchildren loved it.

Try it.  It is fun. ( The recipe comes from


Here’s a list of what you need:

  • German chocolate cake mix plus ingredients listed on the package
  • White cake mix plus ingredients listed on the package
  • White Sandwich Cookies
  • Instant vanilla pudding mix
  • Green food coloring
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • New kitty litter box
  • New kitty litter liner
  • New litter scoop
Ingredients for the Kitty Litter Cake.

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

How to Make Kitty Litter Cake

  1. Prepare and bake cake mixes according to package directions.
  2. Cool cakes to room temperature.
  3. Prepare pudding mix and refrigerate until ready to assemble.
  4. Crumble white sandwich cookies in a blender or food processor.
  5. Place ¼ cup of the crumbled cookies in a bowl, add a few drops of green food coloring, and mix using a fork.
  6. Crumble cakes into a large bowl.
  7. Add half of the remaining white cookie crumbs to the cake crumbs.
  8. Add some of the pudding and gently toss to combine. Add more if needed for the mixture to be moist but not soggy.
  9. Line a new, clean kitty litter box.
  10. Put the cake mixture into the litter box.
  11. Decorate the cake with the green cookie crumbles and Tootsie rolls.

Kitty Litter Cake Decorations

Now you can be creative to make the accouterments for the cake:

  • You can color some coconut green to make some green crumbs to represent the deodorizing crystals that are in some kitty litters.
  • Use Tootsie rolls to represent what cats often leave behind when they visit the little box.
Kitty litter box cake with plastic scoop

Again, this recipe is in jest and is not for everyone. It’s a fun cake to bring to a party. A great cake for April Fool’s Day, Halloween, or cat birthday parties.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Music Of My Youth

The music of my youth was rock-a-billy, doo wop, early rock and roll, some crossover country, Motown, skiffle, and the British invasion. I love all sorts of music but those are my music.

Now I am not young. I recently celebrated my 74th birthday. Many of the performers of my music were older than me so it is not surprising that some have died. With the death of Don Everly I began to think about that. It is not surprising since people my age are often confronted with our own mortality.

Elvis... gone. He is THE biggest star of that group. On August 16, 1977, the world was shocked to learn of his death.

Bill Haley ... gone. He died in 1981 at the age of 55.

Ricky Nelson... gone. In 1985 the plane he was on crashed as it attempted to make an emergency landing because of a fire caused by a faulty heater.

Pat Boone... still with us. He is 87 years old and living in Florida.

Buddy Holly... gone. Died in a plane crash. Also on that charter plane were The Big Bopper and Richie Valens who also died. It is referred to as the day the music died.

Eddie Cochrane... gone. He was not driving the car that was going too fast when it crashed. He was expelled from the car and subsequently died of the injuries.

Jimi Hendrix... gone. I was not a huge fan but he could play that guitar. In 1970 he died from asphyxia due to an overdose of barbiturates.

Gene Vincent... gone. He died in 1971 of multiple internal causes in 1971.

Bobby Vee... gone. He died in 2016 of complications of Alzheimer's disease. He was both lucky and unlucky to be known as the one who filled in for Buddy Holly after the plane crash.

Billy "Crash" Craddock... still with us. The 82 year old lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Dion DiMucci... still with us. He is 82 and still active in the music business.

Big Mama Thornton... gone. She died in 1984. She was the first to record Hound Dog. She had such a raunchy sexy voice.

Herman's Hermits... all alive except Derek Leckenby who died of mom-Hodgkin lymphoma in 1994. Peter Noone, Keith Hopwood, Barry Whiwam, and Karl Green still perform although not necessarily together.

The Everly Brothers... both gone. The Everlys never made a bad song. Phil died in 2014 and Don died in 2021.

Chuck Willis... gone. He first recorded C.C. Ryder. Died in 1958 of peritonitis during surgery.

Della Reese... gone. She died in 2017. So many have forgotten she began as a singer.

The Beatles... mixed. John Lennon was assassinated in front of the building where he lived in 1980. George Harrison died after a long battle with cancer in 2001. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr both still perform.

Conway Twitty... gone. Yes he began as a rock-a-billy singer. In 1993 he died after collapsing onstage. The cause was an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

LaVerne Baker... gone. The second female inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame died of cardiovascular disease in 1997.

The Rolling Stones... mixed. Charlie Watts died in 2021. No cause of death has been issued but he was known to have problems with his heart. Brian Jones drowned in 1969. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Bill Wyman still perform.

Kenny Rogers... gone. He began by singing any kind of music he could perform. He suffered from bladder cancer and died in 2020.

Bobby Rydell... still with us. And still performing.

Fabian... still with us and still performing.

Frankie Avalon... still with us and still performing.

Janice Joplin... gone. She would belt out a song like few others could. She died in 1970 of a heroin overdose.

Jerry Lee Lewis... still with us. He suffered a stroke in 2019  and is not performing.

Sam Cooke... gone. Was there ever a smoother sexier voice? A disputed version of his death is that he was kidnapped and left with no clothes at a motel by a prostitute. As he angrily asked for assistance from the motel manager she says she shot him to death in self defense. It happened in 1964.

Aretha Franklin... gone. She was the first woman inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. She died of a malignant pancreatic tumor in 2018.

Roy Orbison... gone. He survived many tragedies in his life. He died of a heart attack in 1988.

The Bee Gees... mixed. They are mostly known for their disco music but began in rock and roll. The first to die was not actually a member of the BeeGees. Andy Gibb died of an inflammatory heart virus brought on by drug use in 1988. Maurice Gibb died from complications caused by a twisted intestine in 2003. In 2012 his twin brother Robin died of kidney failure after a lengthy bout with cancer. The oldest of the brothers is Barry. He still performs.

Carl Perkins... gone. After suffering a series of minor strokes he died in 1998 of throat cancer. He wrote and was the first to perform Blue Suede Shoes.

I have not mentioned so many. If you have a favorite to add I will be happy.


Monday, August 23, 2021

Death Of A Rabbit

This is a re-post. I wrote it a few years ago and it is true... every single word. A post from thecompemplativecat reminded me of it. Her story is just as funny so take a look.


My daughter and I took her children for a walk. My grandson was 6 or 7 and my granddaughter was 4 or 5. We walked through their neighborhood looking at flowers and watching for animals and birds.

As we usually did, when we returned to their house we made a tour of the back yard. In the spring we watched as the flowers came up through the soil then grew and bloomed. We smelled all smells and tried to identify where they came from.

On this day it was autumn. The leaves were falling from the trees at a record pace. The flower beds and the grass were covered with fallen leaves. Sometimes we would startle a rabbit back there but we did not see any that day.

Until my grandson went, "Oooooh" in a sympathetic tone. My daughter and I realized at the same time that he was starting to reach for an animal. We both yelled at him to stop. He looked at us, startled.

We quickly went over to him. There lying in a flower bed was a dead rabbit.

We explained to him that whether the animal was sick or dead we did not know what was causing the problem. You cannot just touch any animal you do not know because it could cause injury or illness to you. He seemed to undeerstand.

My daughter did not want to leave it lying there. I told her to go get a shovel and we would dispose of it. She was worried about my grandson being upset. I told her that was why we always held a funeral for animals when she was growing up. It is a way to say goodbye and it showed the finality of the animal being gone.

My grandson loved the idea of a funeral. He went and found an old shoebox. When we asked where we should bury the rabbit he chose a spot under the bushes right in front of the house. He wanted to conduct the ceremony so we let him.

We dug a hole and my grandson placed the box containing the rabbit carefully into the hole. We covered the box with dirt and tamped it gently down. Then my grandson started to speak.

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to say goodbye to our friend, the rabbit." I stood in total shock. He had never been to a funeral so I could not understand where these words were coming from. My daighter and I looked at each other in amazed amusement.

He continued with his little tribute about how we did not know the bunny but we felt bad that he was dead. Then he knelt to say a prayer. I started to choke a bit with laughter. He looked like such a little angel with his hands pressed together looking toward the sky imploring that this little bunny rabbit be taken to a better place. Finally there was an "Amen".

My daughter and I started to go inside. I was actually halfway up the steps. Then my grandson stood at attention and put his hand to his forehead in a salute. His other hand formed into a loose fist and was placed at his mouth. Through that hand we heard, "Phtt, phtt, Phhhhhttt...". He was playing Taps!

I was choking trying to keep from opening my mouth and laughing out loud. Tears were running down my face. I did not dare look at my daughter because I knew I would not be able to contain myself. So I stood there not able to breathe with tears all over my face, turning red.

At the end of Taps, my grandson sweetly said a soft goodbye. "Goodbye, little bunny rabbit." It was over.

I jerked myself into the house so I could breathe and laugh without hurting his feelings. When my daughter came in shortly after she was laughing almost as hard as I was while berating me for leaving her out there all alone.

Bugs Bunny was the culprit. My grandson had seen a Bugs Bunny cartoon in which a funeral was held. He had practically memorized the whole thing. Thanks a lot, Bugs!

Saturday, August 14, 2021


 My daughter called me Monday. She finally decided to tell me she had found a lump in her breast. 

A biopsy was done and she was going to the doctor for the results. It is cancer.

She has been in for tests most of the week. First was an MRI. They found more cancerous tissue. So far it is all in one breast.

Then they did a bone scan to make sure it had not spread to any bones in her chest. There have been other tests but I cannot remember what they are.

The doctors are going to consult and then let her know what they believe to be the best course of treatment. Naturally she is scared.

As soon as something is decided I am going up to the big city. I will not be able to stay forever but I am hoping a couple of weeks will help.

As we are dealing with this my brother-in-law is in the hospital. He is her favorite uncle. So far we have not told her about him because she has enough on her plate. 

He is suffering some sort of dementia episode. They do not know if it is permanent or not. So far they do not know the cause.

My father-in-law (his father ) had Alzheimer's disease. Or there may be another cause.

So I will be renting a car and driving there. I considered other forms of travel and decided this is the safest. The airlines have people on so many flights who cause problems. The nearest train station is about 100 miles from here. Too far. I have traveled this route on the bus before. There is a layover in Chicago and a change of buses. A 2 hour layover is not my idea of fun.

Either way I will be packed in with a bunch of people who may or may not be vaccinated.  I will drive.

I will probably take my laptop with me. It depends. I my write a post or not. It depends.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Better? I Think Not

 I have no problem with anyone who thinks they are better than me. No they are not. They can be as good but they are not better. 

I remember a few. Examples are in order.

One town I lived in was also home to the chiropractor and his wife. They were better of financially than most members of the community. The wife wore expensive clothes and often wore a fur stole just to show off. 

She may have been a nice person. I did not know her. She was a short round woman who wore too much make-up. She had perfectly round very red rouge on her cheeks. Her eyebrows had been shaved or plucked completely off. It looked as if she painted eyebrows in their place.

She bowled in the women's bowling league. I usually was the pinsetter those nights. She would waddle up to the foul line and set her ball down. The slight slope of the lane would allow her ball to roll slowly toward the pins. It seemed like it took forever.

More than once the pins would stop the ball. Then I would have to carefully crawl out of the pits by way of the gutter,retrieve the ball, slide back through the gutter with the ball, and send the ball back to her.

As I said she may have been a nice person. She thought because her money could allow her to have nice things she was better than most folks in town. She was not better.

In another town lived a large woman. By large I mean tall and heavy...not fat just big. She fancied herself to be the social matron of the town. My sweet mother who rarely said an unkind word about anyone called her 'an old battle-ax'.

This woman reminded me of those society matrons in the old Three Stooges movies. She believed she was above everyone else and felt she should be the center of attention at all times.

Once at some social function she sauntered up to the buffet table. Of all the goodies at the table her eyes landed on the pickled crab apples. She picked one up by its stem and held it high in the air loudly (so everyone could hear) "Ah. Pickled crab apples!" 

She threw back her head to receive the delectable treat. The apple fell off the stem into her more than ample cleavage. Everyone noticed.

As you can see she was not better. Perhaps as good. I do not know.

My point is that everyone has good points and bad points. We are human. No better, no worse than the next guy.



Saturday, July 31, 2021

Just Do It. Please

 Recently my youngest sister called me. She had seen on Facebook that a relative had died.

She was very pretty in her pictures. I never met her but she must have been a special person for my cousin to marry her.

I spoke to another cousin (his sister). She was preparing to go to the funeral which is next week. Since she lived in Oregon and the funeral will be in Nebraska she is planning on staying for a week.

My cousin's wife (which makes her my cousin) did not believe in getting the covid vaccine. Sadly she was in the hospital for a month before she died. Covid-19 was the culprit.

I do not argue with the beliefs of anyone who does not want to be vaccinated. You are entitled to your beliefs. At the same time I am entitled to be safe as are my children.

I want everyone safe and healthy. It is only a couple of shots in the arm and a few minutes of your time. 

There are various people who are actively asking you not to protect yourself. Many of them have already received their shots. 

If you are unsure do some research. Not from a religious leader, not from a politician, not from any famous person, not from me, certainly not from Facebook. Your own doctor would be a good person to ask. Then you can make an intelligent decision.

In the end I am going to hope you become vaccinated. Please. I do not want anything bad to happen to you.

Monday, July 26, 2021

What A Find


My sister found this picture online. It is of my great-great-grandfather. He is seated on the left. 

I know the names but I am not sure who the others are. I believe them to be my great-great-great-grandfather who is also seated. The other might be my great-great-uncle. 

So this is the grandfather of my mother's father. The internet is a wonderful place.

Friday, July 16, 2021


 My part of the country seems to be teeming with life. I love seeing it.

I have been taking my son's dog for short walks. She needs the exercise even though she has free reign in the yard. She also needs to learn that she can survive without being at my son's side at all times. The walks have been fun.

On my way into town to pick up prescriptions  mother deer and her fawn ran out in front of me. The fawn was so small. But it was the first one out on the highway.

Of course the turkey vultures were out on a nice day like this. They soar and dive looking for prey. I did not see any turkeys today though.

I spotted a hawk just sitting on the ground by the road at the end of someone's driveway. It did not even flinch as a car came from the other direction on it's side of the road.

At home I saw a black ant. It was carrying another smaller black ant that was dead.

There was some sort of little red bu on the steps. At first I thought it was a box elder bug but it was not.

Now comes the shocker. I SAW BIGFOOT! It was right next to an old pickup in a country yard. What a shock!

Actually the Bigfoot was cut from metal. It was brown and rusted and sort of blended into the scenery. It woke me up let me tell you.

Monday, July 12, 2021

What Day Were You Born?


Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace.
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living.
And the child born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, good and gay.
                                                  Nursery Rhyme; Author Unknown
I was born on a Sunday. I am bonny and blithe, good and gay. I am a member of the Baby Boomer generation. My Chinese zodiac sign is the sign of the Pig. My star sign is Virgo. I was born the same day as actress Anne Archer, author Paulo Coelho, racing cyclist Roger De Vlaeminck, and Admiral Vladimir Masorin.
The father of my children was born on a Saturday. He did indeed work hard for a living. Member of Baby Boomer generation. His Chinese zodiac sign is the sign of the Rat. His star sign is Aries. He was born the same day as actor Edgar Selge, actor Adam Baumann, and member of European Parliament Jens-Peter Bonde.
My oldest son was born on a Monday. He is fair of face. He is a member of Generation X. His Chinese zodiac sign is Goat/Sheep. His star sign is Taurus. He shares his date of birth with chess player Simen Agdestein, rower Veronica Necula, diplomat Ernesto Ara├║jo, politician Paul Low Seng Kuan, actress Madhuri Dixit, balalaika player Alexey Arkhipovsky, and baseball player John Smoltz.
My second son was born on a Friday. He is loving and giving.  He is a member of Generation X. His Chinese zodiac sign is Monkey. His star sign is Capricorn. Also born the same date as him are race-car driver Michael Schumacher, actor Ingo Brosch, actor John Ales, entrepreneur Lorenzo Fertitta, and actor Matheus Nachtergaele.
My third son was also born on a Friday. He is loving and giving. He is a member of Generation X. His Chinese zodiac sign is Rat. His star sign is Virgo. Other birthdays on the same day are boxer Derrick Gainer, Miss Nepal Ruby Rana, and snooker player Marcus Campbell.
My daughter was born on a Wednesday. She is full of woe. She is a member of Generation X. Her Chinese zodiac sign is Ox. Her star sign is Libra. Other birthdays the same as hers are singer Quique Gonzales, actress Deniz Ugur, soccer player Marcus Phillips, comedian Bhagwant Mann, and reality star Carlton Gebbia, 

So... what day were you born>

Saturday, June 19, 2021


 As much as I loved my mother; that is how much I adored my father. 

Daddy was born into a large family. He had one younger brother. The other 9 children were quite a bit older. His father was an alcoholic. His mother was a woman tasked with raising all those children in rough circumstances. Unfortunately she was a selfish woman who could at times be cruel.

When WWII broke out Daddy was still a teenager. Finally cane the day my father came home to find his father drunk once again. They had an argument that ended with my father telling his father that he was done with getting into fights because of him. 

Daddy went and joined the Navy. His ship was under radio silence when his father died. He was not notified until after the funeral.

While Daddy was on shore leave he bought a few souvenirs. Among them were two kimonos. One was for his wife and one for his daughter.

He had not yet met my mother. That happened after he was discharged after the war. His younger brother was dating my mother's younger sister. Those two arranged a blind date between my mother and father. It was a double date.

My parents hit it off. My aunt and uncle eventually broke up and married other people.

After my parent married I was born. I was the little girl Daddy wished for. I have always felt special because of that. I wore that kimono until I could not fit in it. 

I will admit that Daddy spoiled me some. That is not to say that he did not discipline me because he certainly did. But I never felt unloved. 

When I was grown Daddy was so important to my life. There were times when I was tired of being a grown-up. Daddy's emotional lap was always there for me. After being with him for a while I could go back to being an adult.

Daddy could do anything. My family under his direction actually built a house. He laid the foundation, did the plumbing and electrical installations, laid the floors, erected the walls, put on the roof. We helped by pounding in nails, handing tools, installing sheet rock, and painting. Mom wanted hardwood floors so once the wood was installed she did the finishing. The house is still there. I drive by it once in a while and remember the love and labor we put into it.

All of Daddy's grandchildren have wonderful memories of him. They laugh about him throwing his slipper if one of them stood too long between him and the television. They remember him coaching their little league games. They remember the workshop he had on his back porch. He had a section filled with old tools, boards, screws and nails set aside just for them. They remember just spending time with him.

The only time I ever saw Daddy cry was when my brother was killed in Vietnam. He was so hurt and so proud at the same time.

He never quite understood why any of us moved away to have our own families. He was most content to have all of us right there with him. We loved the security we felt knowing he was there for us.

Daddy was not yet 56 years old when he died of a massive heart attack on Good Friday. At the time he was the manager of the plant where he worked. 

In a case when a member of the company died the union would send a delegation of 2 or 3 people to represent the workers. My father was so well thought of that every one of his employees wanted to attend. 

Even though it was unprecedented the plant was closed for the day of his funeral. There had been the holiday of Easter. There was beautiful weather. All those men could have been with their families at a barbecue or out on their boats that day but they all showed up at the funeral home. A lot of them stood outside because there was no more room inside. Daddy would have been so proud.

As you can see my father was a wonderful man. He was loved by his family and friends. He was a community leader. 

Most of all he was my Daddy.

Friday, May 21, 2021

One Less

 I found a text message on my phone this morning. My brother-in-law let me know my nephew died lat night. His 49th birthday was less than a month ago.

He is the son of my sister who is in a nursing home because of a stroke she suffered several years ago. She does not yet know.

My brother-in-law will not be allowed to see her until June 2. That is the earliest appointment they will give him. I asked if they could make an exception for the emergency. He said they would not.

My nephew has been sick for years. There was something wrong with his pancreas. It periodically became inflamed causing him a lot of pain. In and out of the hospital. 

My sister made him promise her that he would not die. He tried so hard to keep that promise.

When I spoke to him a few days ago I could hear the pain in his voice. He sounded terribly weak. I had no idea that he was going to die.

As we got ready to end our call I said, "You know I love you." He said, " I know. I love you too." I am finding some small comfort in that.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Trees Waving In The Summer Breeze

 We have two big trees in front of our house. By big I mean huge. They stand at either end of the house.

The tree closest to the corner of the streets is much larger than the other. It grows out everywhere. A good strong wind drops pieces of the tree in the yard and occasionally onto the roof. It makes a huge noise and I have even been awakened thinking the tree had fallen onto the house.

It had one gigantic branch that grew out over our street. This spring smaller shoots grew from it and hung over the street. They were low enough to brush cars as they drove on the street.

We decided to call a tree trimmer and have both trees trimmed.

The man came out and my son told him what we wanted done. He quoted a price. It was certainly more than we wanted to pay but it was fair. We told him to do his thing.

He came with two trucks. One had a 'bucket' on a hydraulic lift arm. The other had a big hydraulic claw the laid in the bed. He parked them on the street and left!

When he finally returned he went to work. He trimmed pieces first. He had to be careful because that big branch could possibly fall onto the propane tank of the woman across the street. 

Then he began cutting larger pieces. They gave big thumps when they fell to the ground. He was here and busy all day. Toward the end of the day he used the claw to pick up everything he had cut from the tree. Boy was there a lot.

But he was not finished. When he returned he had an assistant. He climbed back into the bucket and up he went. He cut and cut and cut. His wife/assistant stayed on the ground and cut the branches into smaller parts. 

They worked steadily all day. Again at the end of the day the claw came out. The truck with the claw was so full of branches.

The tree man and his assistant returned the next day. He still had to trim the back side of the tree and trim the second tree.

Back into the bucket he went with his wife doing her job on the ground. All morning long we heard the saw and then the thump of a branch falling to the ground.

At lunch they left and took the truck full of tree pieces with them. When they returned it was back to work.

They finally finished with the big tree. Now it was time to trim the smaller one.

The smaller branches dropped more quickly. I was surprised at how many there were.

Out came the claw again. And once again the truck was full. 

They cleaned up all the fallen pieces. It is really amazing how even the smallest pieces were managed by the claw.

Then they cleaned up the rest with a rake and leaf blower. 

I must say they did a fine job. I had no idea it would take three days. I also had no idea what a big job it actually was.

So I have two nicely groomed trees. It feels right.

Saturday, May 8, 2021


 I miss my mother.

When I was a child Mom was the person I looked to for almost everything. She fed me. She kept me as clean as she could. ( I was always playing in the dirt.) Most of all she loved me.

My hair grows fast. Mom used to braid my hair each day. That was the style for little girls. When teenagers began to wear pony tails she realized they were easier and faster. I was the first little girl in town to wear a pony tail.

When I was about 8 years old I started to beg for shorter hair. By that time I had to take care of it and it was not easy. Finally Mom gave in and cut my hair and gave me a permanent. Anybody remember Tonette perms for little girls? And they came with a paper doll to keep me busy while all the processing happened.

I was happy with the results. Mom  was pleased. Daddy was furious. 

I am the oldest of 7 children. That meant I was Mom's main assistant. I did not mind. It was that way for most families at that time.

She taught me to cook and do other household chores. I liked cooking. The rest of it not so much.

Mom was a calm person who took everything in stride. On a driving trip we took together we stopped in Salem, Massachusetts, to get a reading from a witch. Salem is full of them. The young man commented that Mom was like a calm, smooth-flowing stream while I had sparks shooting everywhere. It was so true.

Mom loved to write. When I was in early grammar school she had articles published in some of the popular women's magazines of the time. 

My mother was the most intelligent person I ever knew. (My mother-in-law was the wisest by the way.) It seemed as if Mom knew the answer to any question we might have. But she also taught us to find the answers for ourselves.

We actually went to college together. If either one of us was writing a paper and searching for that perfect word we would grab the phone. We would bounce words off each other until that word came to us.

As I matured my mother became one of my best friends. We both loved baseball. Her grandchildren would sit in the backyard in the summer so they could hear us yelling at the TV during a game. They did not know we also heard them laughing at us.

There were so many things we did together. One of the best was the driving trip we took through New England. We took turns driving. We stopped to see whatever one or both of us wanted to see. We bought souvenirs for everybody. It took us a week before we ended the trip in Kentucky at my sister's house.

I miss Mom. Since it is Mothers Day I miss her a bit more.

Happy Mothers Day to all mothers.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

I Have Been Replaced

 My sons were talking on the phone today.  I was not paying attention. Really I was not.

Then my ears picked up the word eggs.

They were discussing recipes. 

Both households have hot air ovens. We use ours often. As it turns out so does my other son.

Someone gave my son some eggs. He had heard us talking about hard boiled eggs and he wanted to learn how to make them. He called his brother instead of his mother!

Soon the talk turned to the best way to make vegetables. At first I found it amusing. Can you image two men discussing recipes in the 50's? Both would have been sent for conversion therapy.

Then I realized I have been replaced. No calls to see how long to leave a roast in the oven. No more calls to see how to make refried bean and chili. No more asking me about which spices to use. 

I must point out that when they were young I taught my boys to cook. Similarly I taught my daughter  to change oil in the car and change tire. I wanted Them to marry companions not mommies or daddies. I guess I did too good a job.

By the way for any one wondering how to make hard boiled eggs in the hot air cooker here goes:

Place 6 eggs on the tray and place it in the oven. Set the oven at 250 degrees and cook for about 23 minutes. Then place the eggs in a bowl of cold water. When the eggs are cool keep them in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

What Season Is It Anyway?

 We had some snow overnight a few days ago. Not a lot but enough to cover things. It is supposed to be spring.

I see a few encouraging signs. The trees are putting forth leaves. High winds have even blown a few baby seeds from the maple trees.

Lawns are being mowed early Sunday. I wonder why that is the day so many people choose to mow the lawn.

As I drive by farms with cattle I see so many tiny calves. So far I have not seem any lambs or kids. Maybe their mothers are keeping them more out of sight. 

I have seen a few young deer. I think for the most part the really young ones are kept secluded. I have however seen a couple with their spots still in place.

Our town used to be a haven for feral cats. There are still a few but not as many. I have not seen any kittens this year.

A lot of families have a dog or two. It is seldom that any have babies. This state requires that all rescue dogs be fixed soon after adoption. It is a good idea.

A sure sign of spring is the turkey vultures. They have returned. I see them soaring in the sky scouting for tasty morsels.

The weather is having a hard time making up its mind. It will be extremely warm for a couple of days then temperatures will drop. Nighttime temperatures are often at or below freezing.

So I ask you is it spring yet?

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Great And Grand

 In the beginning there was a pretty little girl. She had dark hair and bright blue eyes. It was me. It may sound egotistic but I was a pretty little girl.

The little girl had a loud boisterous family. She loved her parents and they loved her back. She had a good life. It was perhaps a better life than most.

She grew up and married. She and her husband had 4 wonderful children. They were healthy and loved. It goes without saying they are also pretty.

The children grew up. As is the way of things each child moved on.

The oldest son decided early that he did not want a wife and children. It was too much work.

The second child was busy with his own life. He eventually became the father of two biological children and 4 step-children. The step-children are all grown and most have families of their own. The biological children are nearing the time they will be ready to strike out on their own.

I will skip to the youngest of the four. The only girl of the four also declared she wanted no children. She is the proud mother of 2. They are both in college.

The youngest son was in a huge hurry to be an adult. He married young and had two children right away. Both are now grown and married.

That leads me to great-grandchildren. Both of my son's children have children. My grandson has 2. My granddaughter has 4. That is right. I am a great-grandma to 6 pretty children.

The newest addition is a little boy. He is named after his great-grandfather.10 pounds, 6 ounces. Great-grandpa would be so proud.

I love it when the family grows. And it all started with a pretty little girl.

Thursday, March 11, 2021


Today has been a day of moments. Some not so important and others more meaningful.

I received my second COVID vaccination. Again it took me only minutes before I was on my way home. Again I barely knew it was happening. And now I have a nice orange button announcing to the world that "I got my COVID-19 vaccine".  And again I am feeling no (NOT ONE) ill effects.

My sister called this morning. She was all excited because she saw on the news that they might be allowing visitors to nursing homes. I had seen the same news. She has not seen her husband or son in more than a year.

My son discovered that my county is now vaccinating people below the age of 65 who have health issues. He has diabetes. He connected with the web site and set up an appointment. He will receive his first Moderna shot a week from today. He was hoping for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. He will take what is available.

After I was done getting my shot we stopped to get fast food for supper. I do not have to cook.

When I got home I discovered that President Biden has already signed the newest stimulus bill. People who desperately need help will get a bit of a reprieve. It certainly does not solve all the problems but it will help.

My sister called again. As of Tuesday of next week she will be able to have visitors on a limited basis. She is thrilled. All visits will have to be scheduled. There will be a barrier of some sort between her and her visitors. It is not perfect but it is a start. She will be able to see them and feel closeness again.

It was a day of moments. I add them together and I had a really good day!

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Purple Cow?

 I never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one.

                                           Gelett Burgess

That is one of the first poems that was not a nursery rhyme taught to me by my mother. It is cute and easy to learn.

The absurdity of a cow being purple makes the poem memorable.

There have been many parodies of the poem. They all add to the humor of it and some take it to a new level.

In fact Gelett Burgess grew to hate his poem. He even wrote a new one.

Ah, yes, I wrote the "Purple Cow"—
I'm Sorry, now, I wrote it;
But I can tell you Anyhow
I'll Kill you if you Quote it!

I thought of the poem today. I saw a commercial with John Cena and a purple cow. Imagine that. So Of course I had to write a poem.

Today I saw a purple cow.
It was a shock to see one.
Still I can tell you anyhow
I never thought there'd be one.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Oh My Tummy

 I made some spaghetti. I love spaghetti. I cannot have it too often because my son is diabetic and pasta is full of carbs that turn into sugar.

I ate a little too much and felt bloated. My son said it was the best spaghetti I had made in a long time. It did taste good. I think maybe I poisoned us.

In the middle of the night I woke up distressed. After regurgitating the spaghetti I went back to bed.

It was not long before I was up for another round. I decided to sit up for a while because I did not want to have an accident in my bed.

After several hours my son got up. He was sick too.

I could feel that I was dehydrated. I was afraid to even get a drink because I could not face having it come back up.

I finally went to bed to try to sleep it off.

When I awoke the upset had moved south.

I was able to sleep between trips to the bathroom.

The following day I got brave and began sips of water. Things were not pleasant but I began to feel more hydrated.

The next day I tried hot tea. It was so soothing. I had a fudge bar just to put something in my stomach. I was still visiting the bathroom too often.

A couple of days later I thought perhaps a malt would be good. Ice cream has nutrients and malt powder calms an upset stomach. It helped a lot.

Then came the day when I felt a little hungry and I was craving potatoes. I had some canned beef stew in the cupboard. I decided to try it.

The beef stew was just right. I ate more than I thought I could. I felt quite a bit better.

I was also sleeping through the night. What pleasure! I was actually healing.

The next day I wanted to nibble all day. A piece of muffin here, a bit of a sandwich there. I was going to live.

I am happy to report that I am back to normal. So is my poor son.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Doggone It

 I was driving to a doctor appointment today. The appointment was at 2:00 in the afternoon.

As you know I have to drive forever to connect with a grocer, a doctor, or almost anything else. I live in a little bitty town smack in the middle of nowhere. I love it here but it can be inconvenient at times.

Anyway 2:00 is usually a good time to travel here. Not a lot of traffic. 

So I was driving along. I was a little later than I like to be. I like having a few extra minutes because I hate being late.

I had seen some of the children in my town going to their homes after school. They were dismissed early because of the weather. The school bus drops them all off at a central location here and they then walk to their homes.

So I was not surprised to see a couple of school buses letting children off at their homes as I drove to the doctor. 

At a bit of a distance I saw a bus letting children off. It had its safety lights on and I prepared to stop.

First a little boy climbed down. After a bit a little girl came from the bus. Their dog had come running to greet them. 

Then the dog excitedly ran onto the bus.

I was surprised at the driver allowing a dog on the bus. I thought maybe the dog belonged somewhere else along the route. 

Then I noticed the little boy and girl calling the dog. Nothing happened. They kept calling. Still nothing happened.

Finally the little girl got back on the bus. After what seemed an interminable time she finally came off the bus pulling firmly on the dog's collar. She tried to lead it away from the bus and the lines of traffic that had formed.

The bus slowly pulled away. We slowly began to move. The dog broke away from the little girl and ran toward the road.

The story does not have a bad ending. After watching all of us creeping slowly away the dog turned and ran after its children. 

The End

Friday, February 12, 2021

I Have Been Shot!

 I received my first dose of Moderna vaccine yesterday. 

Iowa is a cold state in the winter and colder than normal right now. That means no drive up inoculations.

I arrived a few minutes early for my appointment not knowing what to expect. I walked into a large hospital hallway that was an impromptu waiting area. 

There were signs telling us to sit down and wait until we were called. A nurse with a clipboard was holding a list of appointments. She announced that we should all have our identification and insurance cards ready. 

When it was my turn she pointed me toward the door of another room. I entered. The woman there made copies of my information and handed it back to me. 

I then took a couple of steps to the registration table. The woman handed me a couple of papers and a card. She told me to step into the next room and take a seat.

I sat there for maybe 3 minutes before the nurse called me into a cubicle and administered the shot. I did not feel the needle but I did feel the vaccine entering my arm. It stung for an instant then was over.

I was instructed to go back to the registration room and wait for 15 minutes. As I sat there I read a book that I am enjoying. 

After 15 minutes and seeing that I did not fall out of my chair I was called to another table. I was given an appointment to return in 28 days to receive my second dose. I am to bring back the card given to me at the first table. When it is recorded that I received the second dose the card will be my record of vaccination.

I walked out, got in my car, and drove home. (After a quick stop for fast food.) 

The whole thing took about 20 minutes. 

I have had no side effects. My arm is not sore and I do not have an extra nose. 

When you can get your doses please do it. I want everyone to stay safe and healthy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021


For those who showed concern for my sister I thank you. I have a quick update.

She is now negative and back in her room. I believe the first dose of vaccine made a difference but that is only my opinion. 

My sister has since received her second dose. I hope it protects her. The problem is that so far the experts do not know.

Turning the subject to me I have an appointment to get my first dose tomorrow afternoon. I will be getting the Moderna vaccine. That is what is available. 

I will be given an appointment to return for the second dose in 28 days. 

I am a little nervous. I will let you know how it goes.

Monday, February 1, 2021


 As I mentioned before the United States has a new president. One of his campaign points was uniting the country.

Now some people are saying that we have the same old thing. Division. Unity will never work. Balderdash!

Unity does not necessarily mean everyone thinks as one. If you take any two people and ask their opinions on various subjects you will find that they have different ideas on some if not all. It does not mean that they wish a different outcome to a problem; they only wish to go about solving the problem a different way. Or perhaps they do envision a different outcome. 

In either case if they are unified in wanting the best and fairest solution they will begin a conversation. Each will listen to the other,,, really and earnestly listen. They will find out what and why the other person believes is the best answer.

After they have truly listened and heard what the other thinks they can then decide if either or both of them can give just a bit and still have a good outcome.

When it comes down to it unity simply requires civility. Perhaps a compromise cannot be reached. At least both have been heard. Hopefully that will soften hard feelings and leave the door open for the next difference of opinion to be aired.

I worked with a wonderful woman. She is slightly older than I am. We have differing opinions on many things. Religion and politics are major ones. 

We had some marvelous conversations while we worked. I learned a great deal listening to her. She learned from me. Because we listened. Occasionally one of us would change an opinion too. 

It is amazing what can be accomplished if we operate in unity. We will never completely agree. We can learn to be tolerant and respect the other person when agreement does not happen.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Update On My Sister

 As you know if you have been reading my blog for a while one of my sisters had a stroke several years ago. One side of her body does not function so she is bedridden.

Tuesday of this week she was diagnosed with COVID-19.

So far the only symptoms she feels are incredible sleepiness and thirst. When I first spoke to her she sounded so weak. That was in the afternoon. By evening when I spoke to her again she sounded stronger and said she felt better.

She said she had been moved to a quarantined room. Her roommate also tested positive as did at least two other patients. Her roommate is in the room they share. All the positives are quarantined separate and away from other patients.

My sister had received her first dose of vaccine but not the second. Now she will have to wait and probably start over.

My area will receive 30,000 doses of vaccine in a little over a week. I am in the group eligible to be vaccinated. I am going to attempt to get an appointment. Wish me luck.

Please everyone. Stay safe. Follow the guidelines to minimize the chances you will become infected. I wish you all well.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Starting Over ---Again

 It happened again. Every four years the United States swears in a new president. The president is the leader of the executive branch of our government.

For those who are not familiar with our form of government we have three equal governmental branches. 

The executive branch carries out the laws of the federal government. It is composed of the president, vice-president, and cabinet members. It also serves as the ceremonial portion of the government by meeting with dignitaries of other governments and appointing ambassadors to those other countries. The ambassadors work to keep friendly relationships with the other governments. The president is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Contrary to what some believe the president cannot make laws, decide how federal funds can be spent, or declare war.

The legislative branch consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Together they make up our Congress. Congress makes our laws. They vote upon appointees to other governmental positions such as federal judges and Supreme Court Justices, cabinet members, and heads of federal agencies. Congress is the body who can declare war. They decide what funds are spent and how they are spent.

The judicial branch of the United States interprets the laws as they apply to the Constitution of the United States. It consists of the Supreme Court, appellate courts, and federal judges.  They settle legal disputes, protect individual rights, and punish violators of the law.

Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life and are not elected. Congress members are elected by citizens of the states they represent. The president is elected by citizens of the United States.

All of them work for us and we pay their salaries.

This year the inauguration was different from any I have seen.

Because of COVID-19 the large crowds usually present had to be 'socially distanced'. Much of the pomp and circumstance was not present. Usually there are parades, speeches, balls, and parties. They are not needed but they do add festivity to the ceremony.

Sadly two weeks before the inauguration there was an armed insurrection. For the first time the halls of congress were invaded by people trying to violently take over our government. Five people died. It was surprising there were not more.

More than 100 people have already been arrested and more are being sought. It broke the hearts of Americans to see this happen. It was an embarrassment around the world. And those fools thought they could actually interrupt the peaceful transfer of power.

At noon on January 20, 2021, as mandated by our Constitution our new president took the oath of office. Those who were there in person were spaced at the distances recommended by scientists to try to prevent COVID spread. Washington DC was filled with armed troops to prevent any more violence.

So we have a new president and vice-president. President Biden is the oldest person ever elected to the position. He was a member of congress for many years before being elected to serve as President Obama's vice-president. Vice-president Harris is the first female to hold the office. She is also the first black woman and of Asian heritage to serve in the office.

They will lead the executive branch for four years. Then we will have another election. They may or may not be chosen to serve for another four years. No mater who is chosen maybe we can have the celebrations they should have had.

Then we will start over --- again.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Looks Like We Made It

 2021 is here. 2020 was a hard year. Many were beginning to think it would never end. 

Of course COVID-19 is the big story. So many were so sick. So many died. So many denied that it existed. It is still raging out of control. Now we have vaccines. Hopefully they are as good as promoted and hopefully we will all be immunized sooner rather than later. After all it is a new year.

Because of COVID our lives are at a seeming stand-still. Schools are closed. Businesses are closed or limited. We need to stay away from each other, Because of job loss people do not have enough food. In the United States for goodness sake. Now we are hoping that 2021 will be better and these problems will ease and eventually go away. After all it is a new year.

2020 was an election year. The election seemed to last forever. Is it me or are election seasons longer than they used to be? Anyway the elections are finished. No matter whether or not your candidate won the election is over. Our government needs to get to work again. After all it is a new year.

A lot of us lost people we admired and loved. Some were famous. Some were just folks, like us. They will all be missed. We will keep them alive in our hearts and speak lovingly of them often. Even through the pain of loss we understand that this is part of the life cycle. I wish 2021 will see less loss. After all it is a new year.

For some reason there were fewer mentions of births in 2020. I am certain people did not stop having babies. I did learn in 2020 that I will have a new great-grandson in 2021. He will be named after my husband which is wonderful. After all it is a new year.

So since we made it to 2021 we will now keep slogging through the problems. We will work to get our normal lives back. After all it is a new year.

I wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2021. After all it is a new year.