Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday lunch and a storm

Instead of my usual Friday housecleaning, I got out of the house and went to lunch with my aunt and a cousin.  My aunt is a wonderful lady 84 years young  who is and has been a special person in my life.  She was my mother's only sibling.  Aunt B is that kind of person who has never met a stranger in her life!  She has a wonderful personality and in spite of many health issues in recent years, she keeps on going and going.  She was going to work at the library after we had lunch today.  She helps others with genealogy.  Aunt B has been very interested in our family history for several years now and I think you could say that is her main passion...genealogy...besides her family, of course.

That is my aunt B on the right and cousin on the left and they gave me permission to post their picture.  

We had the delicious lunch special which was a grilled chicken salad...can't think of the name...good conversation with Aunt B talking about family history and she gave Cousin and I some pictures she had copied.  Aunt B works very hard gathering and sharing information but she has a ball doing it!  

The rest of the evening plans were canceled due to the storm that blew through here.  Hubby is still out working, some rural electric lines were down.  And that gives me time to get a post up and visit blogs.  

This is the storm cloud that formed near Columbia, part of the storm we experienced.  This was sent to my daughter by a friend of hers.  I'm not sure who took it so I can't give credit.  Fantastic shot, isn't it?  I think this is called a shelf cloud.  Here's hoping the storms end soon here in Mid-Mo and don't create too much havoc.  

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A man's best friend

I mentioned in a previous post about a story I ran across while looking at old photos.  This story was written by my aunt about her grandfather, my great-grandfather, and his dog.  I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

James E. was born Feb. 11, 1850 in KY.  Little is known about his parents and nothing about his grandparents, although a story often was told about James' paternal grandfather who "came from Ireland and lived to be 112 years of age".  

When James was 2 years old, his parents moved from KY to MO.  His father was in an accident involving a runaway team of horses and died of his injuries.  James was the eldest of six children and was 12 yrs old at the time of his father's death.  James split rails to help make money for the family and no doubt did most of the hunting of game to bring meat to the family table.  This was a very difficult time for the family and during the Civil War the dreaded Carpetbaggers came to the family farm.  James and the other children were given pieces of cornbread and potatoes to eat and told to go hide in brush piles so as not to be found.  Any farm animals were usually taken by the Carpetbaggers or bushwhackers.

James' mother never remarried, saying that she didn't have time because she had so many children to raise.  

James married at age 25 and had seven children.  He was a farmer by trade and became a trader of farms and this was a profession he loved.  He bought a farm and made some improvements and usually sold it by the following March.  It was a family joke that the E. children were never able to complete a grade in one school because they moved before the end of the school year.  The family didn't have a lot of money, but didn't live in poverty either.  They were a well liked and respected family in the community.

The E. men were well known for their walking abilities.  The story is told of a neighbor driving his team and wagon to the local town one hot summer day and meeting James walking along the road toward the same destination.  The neighbor stopped and said, "Mr. E., can I give you a ride?"  To which James is supposed to have answered, "No, thank you, I am in a hurry."   

James lost his eyesight in later years probably due to what we call now macular degeneration.  He must have been able to see a little bit, at least enough to get around.  He had a faithful friend who was the equivalent of a "seeing eye dog" long before anyone ever heard of the term in that part of the country.  His dog was called "Old Jim" and went with his master on every walk, staying close by his side to keep James from wandering off the road with a gentle nudge along his legs.  

James often walked to a park where he believed the waters in a spring there might be of benefit to his advancing years and health.  So he and his companion, "Old Jim", would go to the salt spring often during the summers to drink these waters.  "Old Jim" was able to help him along the twisting and hilly roads and even walk across a bridge.

James E. died at the home of his eldest daughter and son-in-law at 84 years of age.  All the family were with him during his last days and the body "laid in state" at the home until time for the burial.  The family followed the hearse on a rainy day over mud covered roads to the church where the funeral would be.  It was roughly 10-11 miles to the church.  James' family home was 3 miles from the church in the other direction. 

The country church has 2 aisles leading from the door to the altar.  During the funeral service for James E., "Old Jim" quietly entered the open doors and walked up one of the aisles to the casket and raised his head to check on his master one last time.  He then departed the church by the other aisle and went back to the family home about 3 miles away.  No one in the family had been in that home for a day or two, so it remains a mystery as to how "Old Jim" knew where to go to find his master. 

The photo above is a picture of a dog believed to be "Old Jim".  I am told that he was a black dog with a bit of white on his chest and was probably a shepherd mix.  I am left to wander what happened to this faithful dog.  I'm sure he was well taken care of by someone in the family.  I'm just as sure that he was never quite the same without his master to tend to.  "Old Jim"...truly a man's best friend.

Until next time...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Flowers and a schoolhouse

On my way to one of my favorite shops in Columbia last week, I drove past the Shelter Insurance Gardens.  After shopping, I drove back by and this time I stopped in to wander around the beautiful grounds and I was glad to have my camera with me.  It was very hot, so I didn't linger long.

Near the middle of the gardens, is an old one room schoolhouse.  I took some pictures of the inside.  I'll show them another time when I tell the story of my own school years spent in a very similar one room school house.

This garden has many varieties of blooming flowers from spring through fall and most are labeled, as well as the trees.  It is open to the public and there are numerous weddings held here.  A very serene and beautiful spot in the midst of a very busy city.

The water was very inviting on that very hot day!  Even the flowers look like they want to jump in.

Only one hollyhock was to be found.  I remember when I was young we had a long row of them against a white painted fence.  Beautiful!  

I will have to get some started here at my house.  I forget how lovely they are until I see them somewhere.

We have had lots of hot weather and rain here in MidMO.  Thankfully, we haven't had the damage that some towns have had.  Our electricity was out from 8 pm until 5 am Wednesday morning.  What happened to the gentle summer rains we used to get?  

Until next time...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

To be or not to be…organized

organized Maxine

Do you consider yourself to be very organized?  I’m not, to be honest.  I wish I were.  LIfe would be so much simpler…I guess.  At least in some areas!

I was looking at some old photos the other night and I ran across an old letter that my aunt wrote to me which included a story about my great great grandfather.  I should have filed this letter away, but didn’t.  It was sandwiched between some old photo packets and I’m surprised it hadn’t disappeared.  That story may have been lost forever! 

So I have resolved to get try to be more organized.  To have everything in it’s place and a place for everything…as they say.  I used to be organized, but the last few years I’ve slacked off.  No more!!  I have a really bad habit of putting things away and thinking I’ll remember where I put it…but I don’t.  This happen to you?  So, I’ll just buy a notebook and make notes.  If only I don’t hide the notebook from myself, I’ll be okay.

Here’s to a more organized life! 

~A note…I haven’t decided on fonts and I have other changes in store for the blog when I find time.  Bear with me, please, as I experiment.  Thank you! 

Until next time….

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summer afternoons

          Summer afternoon—summer afternoon;   to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.
                    ~Henry James     
I think those words are beautiful too, and I’d have to say that two words I really like to hear in summer are….iced tea and ice cream!! :) Love my tall glass filled with ice cubes cooling off my tea.  Unfortunately, my ice maker has decided to be contrary and is no longer doing it’s job of making ice cubes!  Major bummer.  As for ice cream, we had a yummy Dairy Queen ice cream cake during the 4th of July weekend to celebrate my son’s birthday in late June.  That should be enough for a while!  I love homemade ice cream, but haven’t made any yet this year.  

It has certainly been busy at our house so far this summer.  I know that is true for most this time of year.  As they say, there are things to do and people to see.  We had a wonderful holiday weekend and have been busy every day since.  I have a lot of catching up to do in blogland.  Also a lot of catching up to do house-wise.  I have let a few things slide…think I’ll pull a “Scarlett” and think about it tomorrow!
I haven’t forgotten about blogging; in fact, when I’m at work I often think of things I want to blog about and photos of days gone by to share.  I originally thought my blog would be a sort of journal and I’d just jot down memories that my children might enjoy and have when my memories of those times some day fade.  And maybe intersperse those memories with what’s going on in our lives right now.  But, that all takes a lot more time than I have some weeksOh well…I do the best I can!  

I’m not gettin’ any younger, so I probably will be “retiring” again soon.  I say again, because I retired once or twice before and decided to go back to work.  I enjoy getting out and working, I enjoy the extra money it brings in, and there are lots of wonderful people I’ve met that I’d never otherwise known at each job I’ve worked at.  I really am not taking this not gettin’ any younger thing (read…getting OLD) very well!  I’d love to be able to keep working for several years, but the ole body is wearing out and I’m getting tired.  Major bummer!!  So, I’ve been pondering lately just when will I give it up and what will I do then?  Isn’t it a wonderful thing that blogging has come along to keep us older kids busy?  And it is so much fun!!  

Okay, enough of my ramblings, here’s a photo I took one summer afternoon…last week…when I just happened to glance out the window and noticed the sun was shining after a sudden hard rain…then I saw the beautiful rainbow.  I grabbed my camera and hurried out to get a pic.   It was already fading a bit, but I still was able to capture a fairly good bit of it

Rainbow 7.10 002

Until next time…

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

God Bless America
Happy 4th! 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Of shoes, pedicures and stuff

My work week is Monday through Wednesday, but before I left the building Wednesday night at 11:30 p.m.  this is what I looked and felt like:

cartoon by John Wagner (Hallmark)

We are short staffed and had a deadline by midnight on the last day of the month., so we worked our tails off all week...all month, actually.  Then I've had a sore back for a couple of weeks, which made sitting still for 8 hours difficult.  I think I had a rib out of place or maybe it was a pulled muscle.  Anyway, it is feeling better today after I rested a bit yesterday.  Hooray!

I've been thinking about shoes lately.  I need want another pair of summer shoes that are not sandals, but can't find just what I want.  Why don't they make the slip on style (some call them clogs or mules) in summery white...all I find around here are either black or brown.  Similar to this style:

This is a shoe that I bought last summer and really like.  It is a Clark and very comfortable.  I don't wear open toes very often as I can't hate to polish my toes and when said toes don't look too spiffy, it's just easier to slip on something like this, right?  Anyway, speaking of pedicures...(were we?)

I got a pedicure the day before we went to Branson a couple of weeks ago.  It's still looking good on the left foot.  The right foot...not so much.   By the way, when I do wear sandals, these are sooo comfortable!  I found them at Shoe Carnival.

That was a day I'll not forget too soon.  First of all, I had an appointment for a Dexa scan (bone scan) and the appointment for the pedicure was after that.  Well, silly me didn't think and wore the closed toe shoes (since my toes weren't looking spiffy yet) and you know when you get a pedicure that you can't have any thing on your toes for hours.   I had a relaxing and enjoyable time getting the feet taken care of, but when it came time to finish up the girl asked me where my flip flops were.  Uhhh, at home?  So she got out these slippery plastic makeshift flipflops that were slightly heavier than Cling Wrap and put them on my feet and I slip-slid over to the dryer and stood for what seemed to be an hour and by then was getting a little cranky and asked could I please go now?  I needed to do a little bit of shopping before I go home.  Okay, then.  I slip-slid over to the door and decided there was no way those make-shift shoes would hold up or better yet would I be able to stand up until I got to my car and into Old Navy where I would buy some cheap flipflops.  Besides, it was so hot that day that my feet would have burned on the walk to my car were I able to walk at all in the things.  And I certainly didn't want to break an ankle again...see scar in first shoe photo, and there's another scar on other side.

As luck would have it...they had one pair left of sturdy flipflops for sale in my size at the salon.  A nice Hot Pink color that went well with my Red shirt.  Not.  So, off  I went.  I schlepped out to the car with these Hot Pink numbers already hurting my toes, grumbling all the way.  If anyone was watching they probably would have called 911 about the crazy woman talking to herself looking on the verge of hysterics.  But, I didn't see anyone...they were too smart to be out in the heat.  

I got to the car and opened the door and it was sooo hot inside that I wished I had brought a roast along to cook so I would have a head start on supper.  Then the cell phone rang and it was Hubby telling me that the doctor's office (from a previous appt the week before) called and I was to call them back.   Well, that was my second scare...the first being afraid of falling and breaking a bone, since I hadn't heard yet how dense my bones are from the Dexa scan.   Don't you just hate to get those calls?  The doctor's nurse wanted to tell me that the test came back negative. Negative?!   My poor heat-addled brain at first just registered that Negative was not a good word until I realized that in the medical profession it was.  My heart stopped racing and the sweating subsided slightly after that good news. 

Meanwhile, the a/c was doing it's thing and it was beginning to feel slightly less like an oven in the car so I headed over to Old Navy for some neutral colored flipflops at 2.50 a pair.  That was my bargain of the day. The flipflops I really like, and are the most comfortable to me, are the leather ones like those Bass shoes that have been around for many, many years.   What are your favorite shoes for summer?  When we have to wear shoes, that is! 

The weather has cooled off a bit lately and not near the 100 mark as it was that week.  I did get some things accomplished yesterday even tho I still have to clean house and get groceries.  I got several loads of laundry done and went outside and dead-headed all the flowers.  Still need to sweep the patio, but I'll wait until this evening after Hub gets the lawn mowed and trimming done.   I also spent some time looking at recipes trying to decide on menus for the holiday weekend and making out my grocery list.   What about you?  Are you going to have BBQ and fireworks this weekend?  What yummy things will you be making?  
Edited to add:  My wall color in the kitchen is really much like the second pic or the background red I'm using this week...not at all like the orangey red in the first pic! 

Until next time...