Saturday, May 8, 2021

MOM

 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

Momentous

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

COVID

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

Unity

 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.