16 November 2012

Frosty November morning

This is our first frosty morning. I took a little walk,
and I know it's jiggly, but so am I.


11 October 2012

Chickadees at teh guys' feeder

Visited our sons for a few days, who live a little over 200 miles from us.

I had a really wonderful time. I love my kids so much.

Chickadees at their bird feeder.


27 September 2012


It's hard to type through tears.

I didn't know you very long, Richard,
but I'm glad I got to meet you here in blogland.
I'm honored that you let me live amongst your other friends
in the box under the table.

You inspired me, you made me laugh, you made me think.
You taught me some important things about living.

I know that SWMBO is devastated.
I am bawling like a baby at your passing.

You left too soon, Oldfool. Too soon.

You will be missed, so very much.


12 September 2012

If wishing could make it so

I don't suppose there's much chance that
one of my biggest wishes
will come to pass any time soon.

That wish is that all organised religion
--- whether it is organised for 2 people or 2 billion people ---
yes, ALL organised religion should be banned from the planet.
This planet.
This amazing planet that is Home.
This amazing planet that could be so much more peaceful without organised religion.

Believe what you want.
Keep it to yourself, in your own head.

I guess that won't be happening in my lifetime, eh?



07 September 2012

No-velle Cuisine

When I was shopping online for spices today
at 'The Spice House' website,
I saw this wonderful quote from Julia Child
on the bottom of one of the pages.
She's obviously commenting on 'nouvelle cuisine'.

"So beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it."


I made this hash and soft eggs breakfast for Wes and I this morning.

I guarantee nobody's fingers were all over that!

For 36 years, 'nouvelle cuisine' has gotten nowhere near any of our kitchens!


26 August 2012

Atom and Evil

This song has been around since right after World War 2,
but I heard it for the first time today.

'Atom and Evil'
by Golden Gate Quartet, 1946.

The song is very singable, and the message...?
The message is still a warning to humans everywhere.

Boom - ba-ba - boom!



17 August 2012

A beginning

This was September 1975.
Newlyweds Wes and Eileen.
Wes and I were both 22.
Wes is the talk drink of water with red hair on the left.
Behind him is my older brother George.
Then me.
Then my Dad, Burton and my Mom, Eunice.

The picture was taken at my Grandma Otillie's house
in Clintonville, WI.

Seems like a long time ago, but you all know how fast life goes by.

My family are all gone now.
But we gained Oli and Dave,
and that's a very good thing. :)

Life, eh?


:: me ::

16 August 2012

A very pretty morning

I opened the window blinds, saw the clouds reflecting in the water
and knew I had to take a picture.
And a video.
So pretty.
A bluejay was scolding.
There was a chipmunk chipping somewhere to my right.


Cheers :)

Eek. This is the first video I've uploaded to my YouTube.

13 August 2012

Fall fashion

I know it isn't nice to laugh at other people's misfortunes,
but I'm not always nice,
and this one makes me laugh out loud every time I see it.

Cheers :)

28 July 2012

Running hot and cold

Been debating with myself whether to keep going here.
I don't have too much of a life these days, so I don't have much to say.
I've been feeling kind of down. Can you tell? I can. Sorry.

Any road, as they say.

These two photos were taken by my Wes today, out in 105 degrees.
They show the little man-made lake, the lower of two, at
the apartment complex where we live.
By the way, it got up to 108 today, breaking a Little Rock record.
Ho hum. It has been so hot so much this year,
that even something as unnatural as that doesn't seem to faze anymore.

I wanted to have a few pictures to send to the kids to let them see
how the 2012 drought is affecting our neck of the woods.
This little lake is not big or deep, but it is host to some
local turtles and a few small fish and frogs,
and some 'decorative' ducks
which apartment complexes in this state seem to love to stock.

The pictures show where the shoreline should be at normal times,
and just how much the drought has affected this small eco-system.
The water level is down well over 3 feet, and
I wonder about how concentrated and mucky the lake must be
and how that is affecting all those little creatures who call it home.

The little 'x' is where our little upper floor apartment is.
Yes, compared to a lot of people, I guess we live like kings.
But it isn't posh.
The lake just makes it look that way. :/
You can see that it has been dry for so long that plants
have been able to grow where the water is no more.

Here's the other photo, showing more of the same.

The green line I added to the bottom right shows
where the normal shoreline is. It drops down a foot at that point,
and then you can see how far the lake has dropped.
That is the lowest we have seen in the seven years we have lived here.

So, thanks to Wes for this bit of photo documentation.

I hope things are doing well in your neck of the woods,
wherever that may be.

Cyber waves to a wise blogland friend, Oldfool, should he see this.
He was born and bred in Little Rock, and
I should imagine he can cope with this beastly heat
a mite better than this old girl from Milwaukee.


18 June 2012

Gravity works

I dropped something heavy
on my left thumb
on the big and second toes of my right foot.

No pictures, because my digits
are not photogenic.

Ouch, ouch and ouch.

16 June 2012

A new creed

I gave up religion a few years ago.
Long, long story.

Also, I like American Chinese food.
And I like our little neighborhood take away,
and the people who own it.

The fortune cookies that they randomly
throw in with your order
aren't usually fortunes. They're more like
good thoughts. And some of them
might even improve your mind
and your life, if you let them.

This one, which I got the other day,
I give 20 stars out of 10.
It's that good.

So good in fact, that I'd like to
adopt it as a creed.
Something to try to live by.

It aligns with my liberal sense that
my time here is not just about me.
For me, it's about 'us'.

A lot of people don't see it that way.

I tried to take an artsy kind of photo
of this fortune cookie.

Sounds like a good creed to me.

23 May 2012

Morning ain't broken

Just some pictures of our pretty morning here,
the small man-made lake,
taken from the little balcony of our apartment.


13 May 2012

It's a wonder

I love this photo. Yes, even as blurry as it is.

Taken with a phone camera, not that it matters, as it would have
come out blurry no matter which camera I was using.
I cannot hold still.

Anyway, we were trying out a pizza place during a short vacation
spent in Hot Springs with the guys, back in May 2009.
Rod's Pizza Cellar, if it matters.
They make awesome meatballs.

Blurry and all, this photo tickles me pink.
It makes me feel extremely and unashamedly proud.

Those two guys are the best things I've done in my life.
I have learned so much from them, far more than they have learned from me.
When they were little, I learned that being a parent
doesn't guarantee you will always treat another human being
with the dignity they deserve.

I have learned what many of my own personal flaws are.
Perhaps those were the most poignant and painful
things to learn.

But look at those faces!
I know you won't see them as I do, which is okay,
since it's just a photo of a couple of guys in a pizza parlor.

It all happened so slowly, them growing into men.
I've lost a lot of the memories that were supposedly
stored in my brain over the last thirty-four years.
Damn biology.

But I retain the gist of their lives, if not all the details.

Frankly, it's a wonder that they turned out so well.
Which is mostly down to them.
Of that I'm very sure.
Well done, men.
It is my privilege to know them.
Being their mother is an added bonus.

So on this Mother's Day, 2012,
"Happy Mother's Day to all mothers and their kids."

Happy Mother's Day.. to me.

11 May 2012

Frustrations of a computer 'user'

I don't know. Maybe its just me and my computer.
I use Internet Explorer.
I'm not a computer techy kind of person.

Oliver tried to teach me how to do HTML a few years ago.
I mostly failed.

Why is it that when I try to close some webpages
*before* they have loaded completely..

that webpage starts reopening itself up in multiple tabs!?
Loading.. loading.. loading.. loading!

I had one open up about ten tabs one day!

I couldn't Ctrl-Alt-Del fast enough!

I know, you can click that red X to stop a page.
But.. that doesn't always work!
So what is up with *that*?!?

I'm not a stalker! I don't open up multiple pages on purpose!
Grrrr. Poo.


05 May 2012

(Not yet the) End of the Line

I've come sort of late to a lot of good music.

I found out about the Wilburys just last year.
This song and their video put my head in a good place.
Glad these dudes came together.



03 May 2012

Never a dull moment


Wes took me to the doctor's office as soon as we
got back to Little Rock.

Didn't get to see our regular doctor, but was seen
by one of his associates.

A short exam and he says he thinks my rash and puffy edema
are caused by poison ivy.

Well, that's a mystery in itself, as I have no idea
how I could have come into contact with it.

I was given a corticosteroid injection and a prescription
for a ten day course of prednisone, and was told
that I can take over the counter anti-histamines.

While we were still visiting with Oliver and David,
David had the sweet and brilliant idea to
get me a couple of gel masks that you can cool in the freezer.
It really did help to relieve the burning and itching.
Thank you, David!

He took this picture of me using the mask yesterday morning.

Never a dull moment.

01 May 2012

One day at a time

Sometimes in life, you just kind of figure out
that you gotta go with the flow.
I mean, who knows what tomorrow will bring? Nobody.

Sometimes life is swell. It's a veritable picnic.
Blue skies, sunshine, the scent of honeysuckle on the vine, a nice fruit salad.

Sometimes life isn't swell. Ants carried off the picnic.
Sometimes life sucks.

Sometimes you couldn't make yourself smile
because of how sucky life is at that particular moment.

Sometimes you have to make yourself smile
because you know.. you just KNOW..
that life COULD be worse,
and many times it certainly has been.

Today is one of those days when I am making myself smile.
Because I know it could be worse, and has been.

Today isn't one of those sunshiney picnic days.

Today is kind of sucky.
But still I want to smile, because I need to.

Today I am plagued by one of my Mystery Ailments.
Not the one that came upon me suddenly last December.
That Mystery Ailment is still with me, albeit in
a less sucky way than it was.
I will take my Hip-hoorays wherever I can.

But the last few days, a Mystery Ailment which I have had
about three or four times previously,
has again decided to mess with me, and it has
messed with me while we are visiting with Oliver and David.
And that AIN'T COOL.

I know I don't have to put up the picture which I'm going to put here.
It certainly isn't pretty, not that I ever was pretty,
but even for me.. "Wow!" this is nowhere near pretty.
But, it's me.
At least once every year or so, this Mystery Ailment decides to flare up.
In previous iterations it cleared up after a few days.
Fingers crossed.

I'm going to print out this picture and take it to
our doctor and say,
"What in the hell IS THIS?!?"
There's probably a 50/50 chance that he'll know.

Sometimes you have to make yourself smile.
You just have to.

29 April 2012

A narrow life abroad

Wes and I shared the dream of living in England,
which Wes made come true back in 2000.
He secured a work permit and his first job in London.

We were there for four years, living first in Aylesbury
and then in Bletchley, both in Buckinghamshire.
We came back to the US in 2004.
It was damned hard to leave,
but that's life.
"You can't always get what you want," intones Mick.

Anyway.. a few times whilst we were there,
we watched narrow boats on the canals.
It looked like such a wonderful way to live.
I probably have an overly romantic notion of it,
as I'm sure it is quite a lot of hard work.
But, oh, I think I would enjoy that life if I
were physically fit and able.

There are lots of videos of narrow boating at YouTube.
Here are two that grabbed my attention this morning.

Sounds like Mick has a great life philosophy.
His temperament matches my own.
I hope his health is improving these days.


And this video of a steam powered narrow boater..
well, let's just say, this thrills me.


You can't always get what you want,
but ah, well.. it doesn't hurt to dream.


28 April 2012

I was born at an early age

I guess I shouldn't complain
about turning 59 today.
As they say, the alternative is worse.

Wes and I arrived yesterday afternoon  
at Oliver's rented house
in Bella Vista.
The guys sang Happy Birthday to me
at a few minutes after midnight.

I went outside this morning and snapped this
Happy Birthday Oh What A Beautiful Morning picture.

I've got some aches and pains, but we are
with Oliver and David,
so I can't help but smile.

I also have the promise of going to
Johnny Brusco's for pizza later.

Happy Birthday, old girl.

Edited to add pictures of my birthday dinner
at Johnny Brusco's in Bentonville:

Wes and Oliver,

Oliver and David,

and me.

We had a blast, did a little shopping on the way back to the guys place,
and now we are going to play the new Wii Mario Party 9 game.

Smiles all round.

01 April 2012

Lest I grow to old to dream

I posted the following on my page at Facebook today. I post there about as often as I post here! Not a lot.

"Our time on this planet is sooo short. Some people - at least 10 fingers and 10 toes are pointing back at me - spend the greater part of their time here conforming to expectations .. cultural, familial, religious, nationalistic, etc, etc ..... instead of trying out different ways to think and live their life. I have given in to what I believed was expected of me, not knowing I had the right to question everything, not knowing I didn't need anyone's 'permission' to think thoughts outside The Little Box. I'd like to have a streak of fuschia in my hair. I'd like to wear clothes that don't make me look like the fat older woman that I am. I'd like to have the guts to be honest.. with myself.. before it's too late. Life is too damned short."

One of my failed previous blogs was called 'Life is Too Short'.

I also included this photo I took of a bi-lobed iris at Boerner Botanical Garden in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, back in the 1990s when we still lived there.

Iris are my favourite flower.

I lived a life that was expected of me for so long, from childhood on. I lived by the expectations of others - of my parents first, because I didn't think they would lead me into anything that wasn't true and good; then later I lived what was expected of me by the church that my parent chose to believe in. That was such a
As I said in my Facebook paragraph above, I didn't know there were any other choices available to me. For all intents and purposes, there weren't.

It was about fifteen years ago that I finally realised how many boxes I was stuffed into, and oh:so:slowly that I was able to break through them, despite the spirals of deep depression I kept falling into and near suicidal events.

But even fifteen years on, I still feel lost in feelings of nothingness, of being no one. I feel as if I don't know 'how' to be. I certainly don't know 'who' I am, or who I could be.

I never learned how to be any other way than was expected of me. Sigh.

I don't have many friends. I never did, not even in 'that church'. Shyness is so often interpreted as being a snob. My sister-in-law once told me that that is what people thought of me, that I was a snob. Their loss.
The couple of friends I have now are internet friends. I have none in 'real' life. I'm not much of a social being anymore, and I don't seek out groups of people.
Maybe I will, someday.

I've always been empathic, kind, caring, giving. I love to laugh with others.
That's me being honest .. not being conceited.

I know I won't 'find myself' somewhere .. I have to 'be myself'.
Or is it that I have to 'become myself'?
I think that's probably it.

14 March 2012

My sweeties

On Monday, Oli came down and surprised first me, and then Wes when he got home from work. We didn't know that Dave had called his brother and asked him to come down.
The guys went out shopping, and when they came back they surprised me with these lovely flowers.. carnations, statice and iris. I love them.. flowers and sons.

Dave had decided to go back home with his brother. We have noisy neighbours in the
apartment below us. :( So Oli was here for the one night, but we had fun going
out to a Chinese buffet restaurant, and then watching a few 'making of' Harry Potter
programmes. The next morning the guys went out and brought home some
nice fresh donuts. After a little more tv watching and some short
naps, the guys packed up and drove away.

Thank you for my lovely flowers, you guys.


12 March 2012

A lovely day out

A Sunday outing, Wes, Dave and I to Garvan Woodland Gardens near Hot Springs, AR. It's a lovely place to walk in every season. It being early Spring this year, like since January (!), the tulips were in various stages of blooming. Some were already spent, and some were still pre-bloom, but most were standing tall in blankets of colour beneath the trees.

It was sometimes rainy, sometimes misty on the drive there from Little Rock, and low-lying clouds covered the tops of the hills.

We were really lucky that there was a break in the rain when we got to the garden. By the time Dave was finished - he walked farther into the garden than Wes and I did yesterday - the rain was just starting up again. We all enjoyed our time there.

As soon as we stepped out of the Welcome Center, we were greeted by these three residents of the garden, a peahen and her two peacock escorts.

And here are pictures of Wes and then me standing amongst the most glorious blankets of colourful tulips, and naturally, the photos don't do the colours justice.

A lovely day, worth blogging about.

I've been able to crochet a little bit lately, some scarves for charity.
Maybe I'll take a few pictures of them soon.


17 February 2012

Ins and Outs, Ups and Downs

This being unwell business is getting me down. It is lingering. Far beyond the few days I thought I'd be in for when this started last December 20th. It's nearly two damned months now, and there have been so many new manifestations of this unwellness that have hit me in that time. It as been a long two months of ups and downs. Sometimes I'm in, as in invalid enough to not be able to go out. And then I have a few snatched moments of slightly less broken downness when I've been able to get out of the four walls.

This photo is of the day after Oliver's birthday, when I cajoled the men to go walking the half-mile loop of the flat and easy Kingfisher Trail next to the Maumelle River at Pinnacle Mountain State Park.

That was my last out and about day. Since then I've been in because of another mysterious manifestation of my body's joyride with this mysterious unwellness which the doctors still haven't figured out. Whatever this has been, I am mighty tired of it. "You look depressed," noted a young doctor who saw me for the first time at the after-hours clinic a few days ago. Uh.. ya think, Doc? I use Doc lightly.

I guess I've been living under a delusion for the past two months. The delusion that the doctors would figure this out, and this would pass quickly, and my life would get back to normal. No such luck seems to exist in reality. Maybe that reality got stuck in one of the alternate universes.

Sorry, am I, for a less than cheery blog. Maybe I'm not meant to be in this blog space. Maybe my life isn't going to be one of those lives that people enjoy blogging about. Because up until now, this hasn't been much fun at all. I don't really see me keeping this blog going. Not unless luck, and my delusion, catch up to this universe's reality.

Many thanks to those three men in the picture up there. They are, still, my heroes.

Cheers, old blog.

25 January 2012


I'm not one to make New Year resolutions, because I know they just don't work for me. They're too contrived, abstract, like a superlative-laden, idealistic pep talk to charge up your "Go get 'em!" battery. I guess my internal battery is too small for all that pep, and I poop out sooner rather than later.

I love to crochet! Like many others, it was my mother who taught me to crochet around the age of twelve, and my love of crochet has grown ever since. I love the huge range of creativity that crochet offers, the challenges of trying out a new pattern or design, or making one of my own. I love the way that, even if it takes me a while before I 'get' the concept of something new to me, I know I can rip it out and try again, and all the while I know that I'm learning. And in crochet there are always new things to learn!

When my health took a turn for the worse on Dec 20, one of the effects it left is that my right hand is mostly unusable, and that's my writing and hook-holding hand. I'm typing with the fingers of my left hand, but I don't think I can crochet with just my left hand! I thought this health thing would resolve in a short time, but it hasn't, and now I find that I don't have the wonderful calming comfort of sitting and crocheting to pass some of the time. And I miss it. The yarn and patterns and my unfinished works in progress sit there waiting.

I've been learning a new lesson in this new year - that even something as simple as a hobby I love can be taken for granted, and even as I hope for a resolution to this health problem, I'm making a personal resolution to never again take for granted this wonderful hobby of crochet which has given me so many years of immense pleasure.

18 January 2012

Been there, done that. Repeat.

Ha! So here I am back to typing with only my left hand again. My right hand is totally useless. Begone, damned inflammation and pain! And I slept in my recliner instead of in bed last night.

I was feeling quite a bit better {I thought} on the weekend.
Wes took me to Hobby Lobby where I picked out several yarns in the purple colour family.
I had volunteered to make scarves for a charity, and each scarf has to be predominantly one of the purplish colours. I looked online for several different scarf patterns (to crochet or knit) that I thought were relatively easy for me, and I was really excited to get started.

So on Saturday night and Sunday I crocheted this scarf. It's about 5 by 66 inches.

 The ends still need to be woven in. But on Monday morning my right wrist was again swollen and painful, and by Tuesday it was even worse, so the ends will have to wait weaving in, and I guess all my crochet and knitting plans will have to be postponed.

On Monday night I used the Paint program and my uncoordinated left hand ~~ I am not ambidextrous ~~ to draw my Sad Face, so I could email it to my kids.

Yes, I think that says it all. And it looks just like me! :)

:: :: ::

13 January 2012

A picture without a thousand words

In the absence of a lot of words, I'm dropping this photo of a bright, dry, chilly Friday sunrise here in Little Rock, taken from our apartment bedroom window. As photos go, it isn't even a good one, but it was the best of the few I took. So, there is that.

Much less than living my life in the proverbial Fast Lane, mine isn't really even in the Slow Lane, but more on one of those little well-worn foot paths through a field somewhere. Just thinking about living a fast-paced life like so many do, gives me the jitters. Although I'm definitely going to have to up my game in the walking-for-exercise department this year, and I much prefer a nice paved path for that to a muddy path through a weedy field.

January.. nearly half over already. Zoiks!

11 January 2012

Into a new year

Isn't it amazing how Time just keeps going along at a steady pace, even when you yourself are forced into a slower pace for a while. Which makes no sense, because it's just that the routine of things you do every day changes. It's still the same amount of alloted time.

My routine certainly changed since December 20, 2011, with all this pain business, but things have improved a bit over the last week and some semblance of 'normal' is returning. Here was me thinking I'd breeze through the holidays with my family and whoosh right into 2012 in a flurry of activity. Well that plan didn't happen! Ha ha to me!

I pretty much slept my way through the holidays with my family, though I did wake up to have a sip of bubbly just after oldest son Oliver popped the cork at midnight!

And the guys had made our family's traditional New Year's Eve snack.. Northern Stars! A mixture of mayo, sour cream, Swiss cheese, spices and minced green and red bell pepper spread onto thin slices of baguette bread, then broiled in the oven until the cheese is melted and it's all gooey and warm and yummy! Here's Oli stirring everything together on the night.

On New Year's Day the guys packed our stuff and Wes drove us back to Little Rock. It is always hard to say goodbye to the guys, but this time I particularly felt bad because I'd missed out on participating in so much with them. Ah, well.. more times are coming.

Something else struck me in these last few days of early 2012. I'd kind of been dreading the new year, and I guess I usually do. I'm a worrier by nature, and I always get nervous about what might be coming in the future. I usually expect the worst, and imagine all kinds of unpleasant things. What a way to live, eh? I know there are people out there who are positive thinkers, and I guess they are lucky to have that personality type. Good for you, if that's you. I've always had that Sword of Damocles feeling, which has no place in reality at all, but who said I am a sensible, wise person anyway.

Maybe it was a consequence of participating in life from a very painful and sleepy fringe during the holidays with the guys, and therefore kind of just floating through the days and nights in slow motion, right into 2012 without all that unproductive worrisome thinking I usually engage in, but I must say that I don't feel near the dread about what this year might possibly bring in the way of huge obstacles and detours and all that imaginary stuff that I dream up. I'm feeling kind of calm about things right now. And I have to admit that it isn't an altogether unpleasant experience. Sure, life isn't going to be all peachy on a rose petal strewn path. We all know 'Life happens'. Period. We get this and that, the good, the bad and the downright ugly. There are some definite Challenges coming to me and to our family in this coming year. I have no illusions that things will all just fall into place and all problems will be resolved by the Fairy Godmother. But it seems that I may have finally reached a point in my life where I actually 'get' that. A little late in my game, but there it is. Hey, I'm actually typing this with both hands, and a few weeks ago I was punching keys with the eraser of a pencil with just my left hand. Things are looking up already!

Here's a picture I took yesterday, of a rainy afternoon in Little Rock. This is the tiny man-made lake next to our apartment, taken from our little balcony. My friend, Keith, in England asked me to take a picture of our rainy day for him. I'm glad I have most of the use of my hands and arms back, because I love looking at the world through a camera lens and capturing moments.

Well, that's enough self-centered gab for one post. Which leaves me to say that I'm actually looking forward to the days and months ahead.. whatever they may bring. Not a bad way to start this new year for a change, I guess.

I wish I could wave a Fairy Godmother wand and give the world and all of us who live on it, humans and otherwise, a year filled with nothing but the good and peaceful. But achieving that requires hard work and changes in our own selves every single day. Still, I make the wish.. for a better 2012 for us all.