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men on motorcycles...

Thursday, July 31, 2014
I know of two men who have had really  bad wrecks on great big honking Harley bikes recently. You would think that guys who are old enough to be able to afford the payments for motorcycles that expensive would have a little sense about them. But they got in situations where the Harleys were completely wrecked, and fortunate to have survived the accidents.

One was a guy who went with the group that makes the annual tour of 48 states as a fun trip, fund raiser for the Medical Center's Pediatric unit, supporting the Miracle Network. These guys, in various configurations and numbers, have been making the ride for several years. They agree to find sponsors to pledge money towards the purchase of equipment to provide care for children - all the funds they raise stays here in town. And they pay all their travel expenses... which can  really add up, when you are living in motels across the US for several weeks, eating out three meals a day. One of the guys on the trip last spring had a wreck (possibly going to sleep on the road, at a considerable speed, with nothing but a helmet between him and impact) and broke a leg, and arm, and probably totaled his bike. I understand he is back at work, so apparently mostly recovered from the accident that I think happened up in the Dakotas - a long way from family, and comforts of home.

Another guy, someone I know casually, was traveling recently, alone, on his big honking Harley and got tossed. I saw him, with his family, shopping yesterday. He broke both arms, a wrist and possibly a shoulder. And totaled  his Harley - as there is nothing there to lessen the impact before you hit pavement.  Honestly - lucky guy. Wife said the story would have had a different ending if he had not been wearing a full face helmet.

I driven scooters, ridden on the back of motorcycles a lot in my crazy youth. And would probably get on one again if someone stopped on corner and said: 'hop on'. But, Oh-my-goodness they are risky. So if I do hop on, and you happen to see me wave as we go screaming down the street, please do not tell the man who sits at home and looks for more things to worry about.

a desirable weed...



...it's called 'milk weed', but it is really something everyone should want to have growing in their yard, or if no yard, in a little pot by the door. It is the 'host plant' for monarch butterflies, the only place they lay eggs for the next gen. of butterflies. If there is no milk weed, there will be no monarchs.

There are a lot of things that have diminished the population: pesticides, agricultural chemicals that kill everything when sprayed on the right-of-way and edges of farm land. Farmers turning more land into hay fields. Subdivisions being clear-cut and developed killing off wild flowers that include the host plant the monarchs need, both for food and for leaving a deposit that will mature into caterpillars and become more butterflies.

I bought some plants at the Botanical Gardens sale, but they did not survive the winter. I did harvest quite a few seeds, so will try to grow some in pots. I have an 'eagle eye' for wild milk weed, uncultivated, growing where it is likely to get mowed down before the cycle can complete. So I notice it in lots of places where I would like to stop and dig. But rarely do.



There is a place down the street  along the edge of city property I have recently seen some of the bright orange blooms. I am going with my blue surveyor's tape to mark the plants, tie on a bit down low, to dig and relocate when it goes dormant in the fall. My understanding is that it is hard to transplant: but it will likely get mowed down by the tractors otherwise. So I don't feel badly about taking the chance, if I can rescue even half the ones I've seen in glorious bloom, awaiting the migration. They will be on their way to Mexico soon, to spend the winter, and I want to be a good 'stop over' as they are traveling south. Sort of like stopping at'Stuckey'' for a pecan log  motoring along on old Highway 41. Remember those hideous yellow billboards advertising along the road?

currently reading...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
... a book I requested from the library. I can't recall the last time I actually purchased a book, but I do read a lot. Either things I pick up at random from off the shelf in the library or something I have heard about from listening to Public Radio and think I should look into.  I have a couple right now, that are requested items. One is a compilation of columns by a sports writer, Rick Riley, I heard interviewed while I was driving, that I thought would be entertaining. "Tiger, Meet My Sister (and other things I should not have said)".  So far, pretty amusing.

The other is something I recommend to all my female readers. Men would likely not be able to appreciate for any number of reasons. But every woman I know really needs to read "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg.  I'd read stuff about it, probably in Time magazine when it was first published, and didn't think much about it. But as I keep hearing comments and people talking about it, I decided I must be missing something. You've probably heard something about her or the book. She is the COO of Facebook, and has a remarkable history of success in the business world, including a Harvard MBA and working for the Treasury Department.

It is so thoughtful and thought-provoking. I am in such total agreement, though well past the age of trying to make my way in the world, and carving out a career. Some of the things she shares from her experience in the work place are true for all women, who struggle with trying to be everything to everybody. It's well written, with lots of research, annotated with background info., and honestly: spot on. I have recommended it to daughters, and suggested they get from the library on e-book, but think it is so important to have the knowledge this book imparts, I offered to buy it for both of them.

volunteering...

I am going today, with some fellow Publix employees to do some yard work. I assume it is a United Way project, as there is much emphasis on a corporate level on giving back to the community. A big supporter of the annual UW fund-raising campaign, all the store managers are expected to talk to their associates, and thereby gain 100% participation of all employees in supporting the fund. Sometimes I will pledge a dollar a week from my paycheck, sometimes I make a one time donation, but I know the easiest way out, to avoid being nibbled to death by ducks, is to fork it over the first time I am approached by the store manager.

We are going to a community center down on the south side of town. The sign up sheet I put my name on indicated we would need to bring tools like rakes, hedge trimmers and gloves. I am loaded up (all the time) with gloves, clippers, and bug stuff. So I am planning to be down there on time, to do a bit of trimming and cleaning.  Nothing heavy like chainsaw-ing or serious trimming,(although I certainly could if someone else would pull the rope to get it started) but some of the lighter stuff I can do without risk. As I would like to retain all these body parts to which I am so attached.

I will go on and get there on time, and do some work, with the intention of leaving early. I suspect that a couple of hours will likely be all the fun I can stand. If I were in charge, I would have planned this project to start about 7:00 in the morning, and be done before it gets so blasted hot no one can function out there.

and another thing...

Monday, July 28, 2014
... that I am thankful for is. Freedom. A definite benefit of being a law-abiding citizen. Where did that come from, you may ask? Let me tell you about what was going in when I went from church to work.

I got out of my car in the parking lot at about 10:40, was walking towards the front of the store, when I encountered my friend P. She was waiting to give me one of her post-it notes from church, that had: "I'm grateful for you"  which was a great way to start my work day. We talked a few minutes, walking towards the door, and she said she had noticed several black-and-white cars parked near the entrance. I told her you can often see a big red ladder truck parked there, right by the signs that say: No Parking, Fire Zone. When it is close to lunch time, and the fire guys all come in looking for something to eat. So other emergency vehicles were really not unusual, as it was getting on towards the 'lunch-ing hour'.

But when I walked into the lobby of the store, I asked a worker who was sitting there about all the cop cars. He said: "What do you think?"  I replied they were either looking for lunch or there had been a shop lifting incident. He said:  "They caught someone". And went on to tell me that it was a young woman, who was boosting cosmetics, and strangely enough, her second trip into the store that day. The worst part: She had a baby, that she had left in the car.

I have pondered on this situation a lot, wondering what in the world she was thinking, and conclude she probably was not. Possibly due to being in a fog. As I cannot imagine the possibility of putting a child a risk. I have to believe she was simply not thinking. She was not even stealing anything essential, or something for the baby - no formula, or diapers, but frivilous, superfluous stuff.

I asked one of the managers, when she walked by later on in the afternoon if she  would mind tell me the woman's name. She is Alyshia. When she told me that, she asked if I knew her. I said I did not, but knew I needed to be praying for her. I continue to wonder about how that scenario played out. I am pretty sure Publix is very strict about enforcing their policy in regard to Five Finger Discounts. So unless she could call someone to come and pick up her baby, in a carrier, the child would have ended up in protective services. What a mess...

lots of wurkin'...

I will be going to work pretty steadily over the next week. My cohort, M., who is the specialist in the floral dept. is taking some of his multiplicity of vacation days, which means I will be on the schedule. Working enough days that the managers will probably tell me to go home at some point on Friday. Due to having gotten too close to the forty hour limit they enforce.

I've toldM. several times I think he should consider working a four day week. I don't think he could do that year-round, but certainly during the summer. He gets several weeks of paid vaca. time, and adding that onto the holidays we get paid for working, he could certainly enjoy some nice long weekends over the summer.  With ample time to travel to FL, or north GA to visit family members. But honestly, he probably enjoys working so much,and so accustomed to the routine of being there, interacting with customers, doing his job from day to day, he will likely never retire to stay at home and prop his feet up. Even though they surely hurt like mine do at the end of eight hours.

Now that I am 'cross-trained', and getting more so each week, I spend more of my working days doing stuff in the prep. area of the produce department that working with plants and cut flowers. You should know I am the person most likely to be making your pretty, custom salads in the cooler. And those tasty, attractive fresh-fruit and yogurt parfaits that lure you like a 'siren calling from across the waters'.

It seems like I always run out of time, never actually get it all done, and the thing that goes lacking (along with personal housework, which I deliberately avoid!) is tending to plants, watering, grooming, fluffing in floral area. So today when I go in, I hope to get started on that part earlier in the day. Instead of leaving it until last, and neglecting the fluffing part when time gets short. I often think when I am feeling the 'weight of responsibility' when M. is away: it is supposed to look as tidy and immaculate as it does when he is on duty.  Pretty weighty, to be sure. But I will do my best, think: 'WWMD' while he is away, and hope my efforts meet his standards.

thankfulness....

Sunday, July 27, 2014
...is another word for the sermon I heard this morning, that was actually titled: "Gratitude". I came away with a sense of thankfulness for so many  blessings, things we all take for granted, mundane-ness of our lives. Knowing how we seldom stop and say: "Yay for potable water!" Or consider how much we actually 'enjoy' the convenience of washers and dryers. Or deliberately think before we get out the keys to say: "Yay for reliable vehicles, and another big Yay for funds to buy gas or make repairs when needed for that vehicle that gets us where we want to be." Or that amazing box that sits in our kitchens, keeping a big pile of food cool and ready to eat.

The bulletin, passed out as we entered, included a couple of  yellow post-it notes. We were instructed to write something down that we are thankful for and bring the sticky notes when we walked to the front of the sanctuary to take communion. I needed a lot more paper than that. But I made a couple of notes, thinking about the people on the church staff who do so much, and seldom get noticed. The receptionist J., who is probably the glue that holds the whole thing together. And the minister of music, J., who creates the environment that invites the presence of the Holy Spirit into the place.  Plus about a thousand other people who show up on Sunday mornings to benefit from all the effort these two and others put into making it such an amazing experience.

There is so much stuff in our lives, a constant accumulation of 'too numerous to mention', that we use or not, things that make our lives easier, days go smoothly. We don't think about these things, or take the time to realize how our lives would be without the benefit of electricity, light bulbs, heating and cooling that make our houses comfortable. But they make a huge difference for all of us, in this Living in the Land of Plenty lifestyle. So in addition to all these things that we benefit from, I am thankful for the US Constitution. The document that provides us with the assurance we can go to church, without doubt or fear. So: Thanks Founding Fathers!



little yapper....

Saturday, July 26, 2014
The fuzzball is gone. She was in residence for a week, but her owner, E. returned from a week in FL, and came to retrieved her to this morning. I'd left a note on the crate for her to let me know when she stopped by. I was worried that the tiny little bladder would create problems if she was left in the house too long - like all day. So I was expecting to come home for lunch to let her out, and save myself the aggravation of having to clean up a mess.

I am glad it will be getting back to normal here, and peaceful at night. It will be nice to be able to sleep without the whining of a dog that thinks she is being mistreated because she is alone. But she was a good walk taker. That little pink tongue would be hanging out, and feets stepping as fast as they could go when we were headed back toward the house.

I won't say I will miss having her to go with me when I get out and do my two miles in the late afternoon. But I can say it did not take me long to get into the habit of having company to go along. I am pretty sure I have all the 'high maintenance' individuals living here I can manage at the time. If Lucy the cat were patient enough, and willing to sit still, I think she would enjoy a wagon ride. Though it is not at all likely she would tolerate it long enough to admire the scenery. And would, I am sure, be very vocal about her preferences. If you can picture it in your head, it is certainly an amusing sight. Sitting there in the wagon, black as night, like the Queen of Sheba, enjoying the passing sights.

short road trip...

I got myself up unusually early on Friday. To drive to Decatur for the day. No particular reason, just hanging out. We walked the dogs, did some errands, went by to visit friend R. who has two fat babies. One who is a toddler, goes every where at max. speed, leaning into full tilt, looking like he is always headed uphill, into a stiff wind. The other is a baby, but like his brothers: very dense. Picking him up is like trying to get a handle on a sumo wrestler.

Went into midtown to pick up a birthday cake/cookie and found a neat little place to have lunch on the patio. Remarkabley out of the busy traffic in the area, it was most un-city like. You could possibly imagine that you were not in the middle of the metro/five million people. Contemplating the expensive landscaping, with cypress trees and lots of blooming annuals, it was possible to almost believe you were some place relaxing and calm, as peaceful as a restful flower garden... not within rock-throwing distance of a twelve land interstate highway.

I had suggested that we might want to consider going to the public pool for a bit of swimming. Not thinking of how much it has recently rained, or of how unpleasantly cold the pool water would be. But we were really brave and waited it out, hopping up and down long enough to get past the icy part, and enjoyed a dip, surrounded by dozens of splashy, noisy kids. I

I wanted to get out of town before traffic got awful, but missed the mark. Though I did not encounter any problems, I noticed at one point on the northbound lane, a SUV charred, surrounded by emergency vehicles, and traffic backed up for several miles. Thankfully on the other side of the interstate, and not problematic for southbound drivers. I got home about 5:30.

they are soooo....

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
nasty. I have been chasing and stomping those gigantic black grasshoppers. When they hop, I do too, to try to get a shoe down on them before they jump again.   These are not the multicolored ones people call Georgia Thumpers, but a greatly enlarged version the ones that are completely black, except for a yellow line down the back. I was busily stomping on the little version back in the spring, when they were half an inch long, newly hatched.  But obviously did not even begin to get them all, as they have matured into something that is gruesome, especially when I do get a good stomp going and that stuff oozes out.   
I know I have smushed at least a dozen today, and expect there are that many more leisurely chomping away on my landscaping, if I would stay out there waiting for them to surface. There are corpses all over the yard.  So icky nothing, birds, what-have-you, is interested in eating the remains.
And several from a week ago right by the boxwood planted near the driveway: it looks like they just dessicate and pretty much remain intact. Some were even in the act of reproducing, so I am really glad I got those two lovebirds, to keep them from making more for next summer's stomp fest.


there is nothing...

...beneficial about insufficient sleep. Especially the part where one is cranky for the next eighteen hours until getting caught up - if 'caught up' is even possible. I know when experiencing the jet-lag phenomena, you don't ever feel like you have found or replaced those hours of sleep you did not benefit from. Even when you go in the opposite direction and think you have regained those missing hours.

So I spent the entire day yesterday being po'ed about not getting to work on time. In addition to being considerably irritated from having been awakened numerous times by the whining, desperately begging animal. Resulting in my getting up numerous times to go threaten the little pooch with bodily harm. All of which combined to produce a state of unnecessary crankiness, and mild resentment about my agreement to 'dog sit' for a week.

In the process of trying to figure out how to avoid such a problematic situation every night until the week-long 'sentence' is up, I thought: 'what to do'? A suggestion to not crate the fuzzball overnight was  not acceptable. The crate, though at the other end of our small house, is simply not far enough away. Or maybe just not separated by enough doors? Making me regret taking down the door to the laundry room.

But if more doors be the solution: that is easily solvable. I put her crate out in the carport. I suspect there was no difference in her behavior overnight. But - did I ever sleep good! When the alarm went off at 5:00 a.m., I turned it off and went back to sleep. Thankyouverymuch. There is  no doubt in my mind that there was considerable pitifulness emitting from the crate overnight, but I only heard a couple of 'yips' early this morning.

And she was so happy to see me, or more likely, just happy to be released from overnight bondage, she went air-borne when I opened the door to the crate this morning about 7:00. It's a wonder that little fluffy tail did not wag completely off. I will admit to feeling badly about putting her out overnight, but I know she was saef, thre in the carport, in an enclosed crate that takes opposable thumbs to open. I did get a good night's sleep.

I worry about the underweight cat when she is out overnight, as I often hear owls calling close by. And know there are coyotes in the area, as well as other large hunting birds. I've seen a hawk the past two afternoons when I am headed home.  And the cat is definitely small enough for an owl to grab and take off with. I am just a tad guilty due to being convinced she was mistreated before finding a happy home with E., who will be a good dog owner and caretaker. I think I will be able to the over the guilt of putting her out at night, surely by bedtime

had there been enough time...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
...it's likely I would have strangled that little dog this  morning before I dashed out the door. I generally get up at 5:00, to leave the house by 5:30 and get to the store by 5:45. For whatever reason, (likely my failure to compute/ignorance with tech. stuff) my alarm did  not go off, and I was about 6:20 leaving. I have decided to blame it on the dog. As  in 'the dog ate my homework'. My version is that dang dog stayed up all night whining about being confined. I know it needs to sleep in the crate, and not roam the house. But it's not working here.

I understand the owner puts her in a crate to sleep at night, so can't guess why she is prone to bark and be chatty in an incessant manner. I'm told you just go tell her to hush, and emphatically say 'No'. Which I think happened about six times throughout the night. I'm blaming that fact on my getting up off and on for hours when I would hear that pest at the other end of the house, desperately begging for attention. Which she got... in the same way that bad behavior is often rewarded in classrooms, I guess.

I was so #$%*ed off at her all day for my getting to work thirty minutes late, I was still steaming when I got home this afternoon. And can't decide whether to put her on a string and take her for a walk, or kick her in the butt. This would, I know, be pointless, as she would have no idea what the booting was about, and I am pretty sure she has had feet hurt her in the past.  I also am contemplating putting the crate out in the carport so I cannot hear her when she tunes up after I tell her it is time to go to bed. Any suggestions?

if you like cold grits...

Monday, July 21, 2014
... you might find that you can enjoy cold oatmeal. No guarantee, of course, because first you have to get past the idea of eating something straight from the fridge. A breakfast food that your mom always served in hot off the stove in warm bowls with brown sugar and possibly raisins stirred in. This is certainly 'not your mama's' version.

I've had it a couple of times in Decatur and decided I like it well enough to stir up some at my house. So I requested the recipe to get the basic ingredients and measurements right. Then, as you might suspect, the first thing I did was to start tinkering with the recipe. Never one to leave well enough alone, or walk by stinky things on the beach without inspecting, wishing for a stick to give it a poke.

The recipe forwarded to me from a blog, calls for Greek yogurt, which I cannot make myself like. I knew I didn't when I first tried it, under duress, from the person who said: you're gonna love this. Wrong. Texture? Flavor? Whatever. I couldn't like it. But tried again when I read it has so much more protein and calcium than what I have been buying and eating all these years. Still not liking it. So at least I know not to buy something I will have to force myself to consume. Regular yogurt works just as well, along with using the Almond milk, unflavored version, that has more calcium than what a cow can produce.

So this is the basic recipe. I tripled it to make enough to fill three little half-pint canning jars, and put in the fridge. I bought fresh blueberries at work yesterday and put a dozen or so on top before I started spooning it in my mouth. Delicious, and just like your mama claimed - it sticks with you.

Cold Oatmeal (yeah, I know - it sounds gruesome...)
1/4 cup Old Fashioned oatmeal -don't use quick cook
1/4 cup yogurt - recipe calls for greek, but that won't be me: Publix light, fat free vanilla
1/3 cup skim milk - I used Almond milk, unflavored
1 & 1/2 tsp. chia seeds

stir well, put in fridge to thicken, overnight. The blog/website has lots of good recipes for add-ins, fruit and flavorings. I tripled the recipe to make three jars, and have already had to make it aga.in this morning, after consuming two-thirds of my efforts last night and today.

Pleased to evaluate all the ingredients and discover the jar comes to about 3 1/2 points for WW. Happy to know that WW does not make you count fruit and plain veg. so those berries don't add sin to the end product. According to the website, each serving is about 7 points, but that is with all the other goodies that are included, like mango, or bananas, or maple syrup

If you google it up, you might find it called summer porridge, which I assume means the stuff Golidlocks was eating, having gotten too cool in the smallest bowl, was actually Cold Oatmeal, stirred by the devoted loving hands of Mama Bea.

wurkin'...( with photo added)


I was supposed to work today (Sunday) from 11 until 6, but ran out of things to do, so I left early. The schedule was designed for me to be there until six, but I left soon after five, though I did some shopping, so was a bit later starting home. There was a reason for the early leaving, and the lateness of actually getting on the road. I encountered a turtle that, like the 'chicken', was attempting to cross the road...

It would have surely been smooshed if I had not stopped and spirited it away from cars going sixtyplus miles an hour. It was at the busy intersection of Macon Road and where I would turn to go home. I noticed it as soon as I got into the intersection, and wanted to stop to provide assistance. But the light was green, and there were vehicles headed toward me. I pulled over out of traffic, and anxiously waited for the other cars to whiz through, cringing, with the full expectation that the hardback would get crunched. But it didn't and I dashed out to grab it up as soon as the cars passed.

Oddly enough, I had a bucket in my car, left over from the flowers I took down to the Artist's Guild exhibition last night. So I put the turtle in the bucket and drove on home. Put it out on the driveway, and noticed the cat being very suspicions. She got close, the shell started to open up a bit, and she made a hasty retreat. I picked up the turtle and took it into the back yard and left it there, to find it's way in the world.

They are certainly making a comeback in the panhandle. That is the third one I have picked up in the past couple of months, and the fourth I have seen. The others were what I have always called 'box turtles' with a dome shaped shell. This one had a flatter shell, but was about the size in diameter of a salad plate, much bigger than the others I have seen recently. I think it might be some sort of aquatic turtle, as it's shell was very muddy, looking like it had come out of the pond on the property at the corner of the intersection. It had toenails that were about half an inch long, so don't think they are used for digging, or they would have been worn down shorter.

walkin'...

Sunday, July 20, 2014
I have been fairly diligent about walking every afternoon since I started back with watching pounds. Even on the days I am working, on my feets for hours on end, I have been trying to get in a couple of miles late in the afternoon, as the sun is going down.  Just around the neighborhood going on a little route I have mapped out and measured that is right at 2 miles.

I was out there last Thursday, and thought I had the energy to do an extra mile. So instead of my usual route, I made a right turn and started up Jackson. Following a smooth sidewalk, to make it easier. I got started up a small incline, and passed several houses, and saw two young girls walking dogs headed towards me. I passed them. And thought: I cannot turn around now, they will think I am a wuss. I would not quit, and allow them to see me passing them again, so kept on, walking to the end of the street. Where I turned around to head back home.

Meaning that though I did not mean to, I accidently walked four miles that afternoon. Remarkable, I was thinking: as I had also worked all day, and been on my weary feets for eight hours. But after I proved to myself I could do it, I decided I should get up and do it again on Friday morning. And then got on the scales to discover I had lost a great big whopping: two-tenths of a pound. Was it worth it? No. But interesting to realize I had the energy and motivation to walk that distance.

completely trivial...

Saturday, July 19, 2014
I was looking at a desk calendar that has the days numbered through the end of the year. Which is how we get in flowers, sleeved into bunches, packed in boxes from south America, with barcodes, prices and dated from 1 through 364 or 5. Math-impaired, I am constantly referring to the calendar with numbers listed for the entire year, to know how old the bouquets on display are. Though I can usually just look, especially at foliage on stems, and make a judgment call, it's useful to know the actual ship date.

And noticed that July 2 is the Tipping Point. With the same number of days in either direction. If you count towards the end, or head back towards the beginning you find the number of days is the same: 182. Nothing neatly fits in when there is the occasional year where we have to add the 1/4 days accumulated over a number of months, and force an extra day onto Feb. But it is interesting to note that July 2 is the middle. Yeah, me too. I thought it would be June 21, when the summer solstice is printed on the calendar. But the absolute middle is July 2. If you are interested...

feeling like...

... a complete doofus. I do not routinely confess to dumb stuff, and even more rarely am I willing to make public announcements. But I am so pleased to know 'that which was lost has been found', I am ready to admit that I am the culprit. I'd claimed to have looked in all the likely places - more than once, to the point of cleaning out my car several times. With the thought that I had tucked the shoes in one of those recyclable shopping bags residing there, that I never seem to actually use for groceries. I looked and looked and looked.

And was so desperate to figure out where I took them off, I made some calls, asking around with people who might be helpful. Thinking I had left work, wearing those ugly black lace up shoes, and gone straight to visit, accidently leaving my shoes tucked under a bed elsewhere. No one was helpful. No where to be found, though I had searched my car, closet, house, storage space in workshop... Baffled, and nearly to the point of replacing them. Because as you, I, and Murphy know, there is a Law that states as soon as you replace the MIA article, it will mysteriously reappear. In my frustration at not being able to find them, I was ready to buy more - just to make them resurface.

I asked my co-worker on Thursday when I left if there was any chance he had seen the tricky shoes. When I went in the store this morning to buy nearly forty dollars worth of fresh flowers for this Art Guild floral arrangement donation, he said tried to tell me they were right there all along. In the storage closet where I had left them. I said: "No, not that pair, another that my feet like much more." He said, "Two pairs are in the closet." In my doubt, I had to go look. Lo and behold: my missing shoes, right where I left them. Making me so pleased with the find, I am willing to fess up to being the one who obviously put them there, and forgot where.  I feel like such a doofus.

But am so glad to think that I do not have to buy more, just to get the management people off my back. One of those guys has been harping at every opportunity (meaning every day I have worked in recent weeks) about 'unauthorized foot wear'. They are supposed to be 'non-slip soles', either solid black or solid white. I have been wearing my everyday walking shoes that are none of the above, though they are much kinder to my feets.

 So now I can wear the shoes the store demands for people who work on wet floors. Or places where the watermelon and pineapple juice make the tile floor so sticky, you feel like your soles have been glued down. Reminding me of kitchen floor with little people constantly spilling apple juice and tea, leaving invisible sticky spots that would pull your socks off if you walked through without shoes.

Hope you enjoyed a good laugh at my expense... and I would like to believe if that is the worst thing I do, forgetful-wise, I am in good shape. But I know the slope is both long and slippery, so not overly optimistic on that point. 

art show today...

I may have outsmarted myself with my project for today. When the local artists' Guild had their annual show last summer, I offered to make a big fresh flower arrangement for the opening reception. It was placed in the center of a long table with lots of good things to eat, finger foods people could graze on. Catered by the people who do food service for the college, so it is probably all pre-packaged, ready made from their vendor, heat and serve. But a big hit when people think:' free food.'

My friend, A., who was the organizer for this event last year, kept meticulous records. So the people who are putting it together, found my name in her list of supporters, and asked if I would donate again this go-round. Which I agreed to do. And will take all the 'ingredients' down to the CSU Art building this afternoon for assembly. A. and I delivered the huge arrangement last year in the back of her vehicle, a large SUV, with me sitting on the floor in the back holding for the drive from the east end of the county to downtown. It certainly would not fit in my little fast moving Toyo. I thought to ask my contact person if she could find someone who could pick it up at my house and deliver for me downtown. Then decided to just make it on-site.

I got the info. for the building manager and talked to him the first of the week, asking if I could get in the building when the Aramark people come to set up the buffet table. So I will gather up silver urn, flowers, greenery, clippers and go down at four o'clock to assemble my project to be ready for the 6:00 p.m. opening of the show. I figure if I get down there at 4:00, it should only take about thirty minutes to put together, get someone to lift it up on the table, then clean up the mess on the floor, to leave the area looking like I was never there. I have not shopped for flowers yet, so that is my project for this morning.

Hope I remember to take a photo. I'm still annoyed that I failed to take pix. of the wedding flowers from June. I was really pleased with the way all those roses turned out, and think the bride was happy. Still wishing I had taken a photo of the big arrangement in the silver champagne cooler to have for show and tell.  I've thought to ask the bride, now that the dust has settled, if she would send me a photo of the reception table, with the centerpiece, just to show you how nice it looked.

I did tell that person who contacted me about providing flowers, that I would like to be noted in the program, or somehow recognized for my contribution. And since it is a contribution, and the Art Guild is a non-profit, would like to get a letter I could use for tax purposes. I don't mnid doing it or donating, but certainly would like to think there will be some benefit to me. I think they assumed the flowers were donated by my employer, who can easily afford to do that - but not the case here. So I am hoping to get 'credit' for my work.

got to hold the baby....

Friday, July 18, 2014
... when the new mom came for lunch. I had invited my friend M, who lives in Naples, to come for lunch. She is here visiting her son, his wife and the new (three weeks old) baby girl named Ocean. I told her to bring anyone she wanted, that she would like to see/visit with but had not enough time, due to wanting to be with family. So M. brought a friend, and asked her daughter in law if she would want to come, just to get out of the house a bit.

We were probably all surprised when she did show up, here with everyone else being of AARP age... but I think she enjoyed herself. And  we all enjoyed seeing her and that new person.  I am sure that she was a bit uneasy about us holding that tiny person but she was willing to share at bit. Wow. You forget how tiny they are when they are freshly hatched.... this one weighed just over six pounds at birth. Hard to imagine.

We had good lunch: I made chicken salad, broccoli slaw. A friend brought some crackers and hummus, another a green salad. We ate and visited. Nice company, pleasant day. It's been so long since anyone not related came to see me! I even opened the FRONT door - and had to send them all back out through the carport, saying they were not allowed to come in through the laundry room.

good news/bad news...

I told my friend E.,  "I have good news and bad news, which do you want first?"

She said, "I will take the bad news, and get it out of the way". I said, "I am sorry, but I cannot go with you when you go to Florida to the beach next week: I have to work". She said, "That's terrible, we were going to have fun". I said, "Do you want the good news?" She said, "OK.".

I said, "I have to work next week, to replace my coworker who is going to be on vacation, so I cannot go to the beach with you when you go to Florida". She said, "yeah - I know, you already told me that". I said: "That's the good news too - since I have to work and can't go, I can be your dog sitter".

This is the same little dog that came for a visit several weeks ago. I'd told her the little fuzz ball was not any trouble, and I would be glad to keep her again when she went back south. Even though I'd been invited to go along on the trip, and had marked it on my calendar, I was disinclined to make the drive.  I could not really figure out any way going that distance to the coast would be worth the little bit of time I would be able to spend in the sand... so was sort of declining the invitation even before I found I would be working.

The dog is coming on Saturday, to stay for a week. I am pretty sure Lucy, the elderly cat, will be as unimpressed as she was the last time this happened, but the Good News for Lucy is there will only be one, instead of two.

when I hear...

...people telling stories of family members who have children, either small or adults who are disabled in some way, I think of what a heartache that must be for the mom. To have a pregnancy that is a time for so much optimism and reason to believe the new person coming into the world will bring such joy. Only to find that surviving the pain of childbirth is only the beginning of trails and travails.
Discovering she has birthed a child who will be in constant need of care throughout her life, and likely to live even longer than she, still needing assistance. Never able to be fully independent, with no hope for living a life of being an independent adult, filled with educational opportunities, work, weddings, families, holiday gatherings, many daily mundane events.

I have a friend who was talking about her daughter, and the grandson: one of those people who will always be completely dependent on the kindness and  mercy of caregivers. Born with a boatload of health issues, and in need of life-long assistance. The child is now in his early teens, wheelchair bound, and getting meals via a feeding tube. We who can see, motivate ourselves upon the slightest whim or fancy, open the fridge with our opposable thumbs and gaze, then graze are blessed. With so much: the ability to see, walk into the kitchen, open a door that stores food, drinks and ice cream within. Use a fork or spoon and enjoy each bite.

Then, after that heart-pain mentioned in the first paragraph, I begin to think of so many reasons for thankfulness: healthy adult children, who are so blessed and such a blessing. Fully functioning, completely capable, independent people who make their own decisions and live healthy, happy lives.

more thankfulness...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014
This one comes under the heading of what a blessing it is to have good health.  Certainly something we do not think about on a daily basis. When we are doing the routine things in our lives, minute to minute, day to day, we do not consider any of the challenges that can occur when we do not have the ability to fend for our perfectly capable adult selves. To manage independently with little mundane things like brushing teeth or turning on the faucet for a drink of water.

I recently heard about a neighbor who has been riding a big motorcycle for several years. And was taking a road trip to visit up in Illinois. He swerved to miss some sort of debris in the road, and ended up in unstable gravel, which caused him to lay it down. That's what happens when you are on two wheels.

He has two broken arms, a broken wrist and other less significant damage. Family had him air-evac.'ed back home to see orthopedic doctors here. So I am sure he is in good capable hands. But that will likely not make the recovery any easier or diminish the time required for him to become fully functioning again.

Now would be a good time to think about all the things you do with your hands on a daily basis. Assorted tasks you would be reluctant to ask someone to assist you with, as you feel you are completely capable of handling pouring milk, eating a meal, wiping your mouth without anyone else being involved.  But this guy cannot even zip his pants, or unzip when nature calls. So everything he does for in the upcoming weeks will require assistance, and the necessity of having someone there with him, even when he is doing things we like to consider 'private', until he is able to open and close the bathroom door on his own.

While we are all in the mode of being responsible, capable, independent adults, that is certainly something to consider. Plenty of room for Thankfulness there...



335...

Sunday, July 13, 2014
miles on Saturday. I drove up to Decatur on Friday afternoon, with surprisingly little traffic congestion. I can't take any credit: it was early enough that the masses had yet to get on the 12-lane-wide interstate. Plus I was pretty much going in the opposite direction from anyone who would have been leaving work, headed home in the afternoon. A couple of really heavy rain showers - so sudden and drenching, you really could not see to drive. With the wipers on high, and cruise control off, it was pouring one minute, and then two miles down the road: sunshine and bright blue skies...almost like being in Florida!

Got up very early on Sat. and drove to SC to visit my pen pal in Greenville. He's doing well, probably slowing down incrementally, but keeps himself active and interested in what's happening in the world.  A couple of times when I have gone up for the day, I have taken all the ingredients for making blueberry muffins,  including pan. Which I did again yesterday, and we had fresh, hot from the oven muffins for breakfast. Then enjoyed some fresh from the garden tomatoes for lunch.

A nice visit with cuzzin' E. who lives a bit south of Greenville, and a good salad at O'charley's, that turned into two meals. (The second half was my lunch today). A stop for gas ($3.18) at a truck stop right on I-85, and back to Decatur before it got completely dark.  There was no need for anyone to rock me to sleep... I was ready to fall into bed, as I had to get up to drive back to Columbus this morning. Arriving in time to go to 9:00 church service before I had to be at work at 11:00.

a bit of common sense...

Thursday, July 10, 2014
...seems to be a rarity in Washington DC but I do believe some is needed in order to turn things around. I am reading a book by Dr. Ben Carson, loaned from the library. I heard him being interviewed recently on a public radio program, and was interested in knowing more.  I read his first book: "Gifted Hands", a sort of autobiography some years ago, so was aware of his background, but not much about more current activities.

Before I received the one I am reading now, that I requested from the library, they found another one that I read several weeks ago. In the same vein as "One Nation", written with his wife. But with more history, about his work as a surgeon. He is the doctor who first successfully separated twins who were born with skulls together. And has pioneered other remarkable surgeries during his thirty five year career. Retired from the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, now living in FL.

His story is remarkable, having been raised by a single mom who had a third grade education and worked several jobs to provide for her two sons. He and his wife founded Carson Scholars Fund to provides tuition for students who are classroom achievers. He noted that athletics and team sports provide awards, trophies but good grades and diligence in study often goes unrewarded, so he wanted to recognize academic achievement.

I'm thinking I have heard something about the Tea Party wanting to draft him to run for president? I am so impressed with his abundance of common sense, as well as character, and Biblical principles I would definitely vote for him. I'm not all that wild about Tea Partiers but Carson seems to be a man who is believes in the things the founding fathers did, and makes me feel like he is a guy who wants to return America to Greatness, instead of dwelling on political correctness.

it was not wasted...

Monday, July 7, 2014
...as it turned out to be a productive day, just not in the manner I had envisioned while I was still in bed, thinking of what would happen today. Great plans for getting stuff done in the yard: didn't happen.

But I did ask the man who lives here if he was interested in underwriting another crate of fresh corn. So I have been to the store, bought a second case, shucked, cleaned, scraped and have it in a couple of pots barely simmering (to prevent scorching on the bottom due to high sugar content). I will have to wait till Tuesday to put it in the freezer as I do not have any bags, and not willing to make a trip into the store just for zipper bags to package it up.

That's it for my day, other than doing the mindless, endless task of laundry. Hope I can get it all done and squared away before I will have to leave home about 6:30 to go and spend the night at church. It's that time again: God Blesses me when I sleep in church.

There are two families, both I think single moms with several kids who will be housed at CCC this week. I told my Publix boss about my dilemma: not able to get to work at 6:00 am, due to having to be at church until 7:00 when the van comes to pick them up for the day. So he agreed to change my hours so I don't have to be there until 8:00, though I will go as soon as the group has cleared out, just to try to keep the work day from going on forever.

monday morning plans...

I had great intentions for much productiveness today. Starting with sawing up that big limb out in the yard that fell in a recent storm. But on reflection, I see myself calling the guys who mow and blow. To say:' the next time you come around, best bring the chain saw and haul this limb away when you leave'.

The saw would not start. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. In truth, the person I count on to do the rope pulling did not have the strength to get it going. I am not sad. Or disappointed. As I knew it would take multiple trips of pushing the wheelbarrow up that steep driveway to get the pieces delivered street-side for the trash truck to pick up later in the week. And was dreading the lifting, tugging, trundling, repeat more than the actual sawing part. He suggested I could just use the little hand/bow saw I occasionally use. But this limb is probably at the largest, six inches in diameter. Not a 'bow-saw sized' project. So I plan to put in a call the lawn guys to let them resolve this particular dilemma.

As I said: I'm not wasting my time grieving over the' fail'. There is still plenty of tree trash for me to pick up, pile into the wheelbarrow and dump up along the street for pickup. And since I have already put the bug stuff on my legs, I might as well go ahead and get started  - do a couple of loads before it gets too hot to be out there pushing and shoving.

dressed to the nines...(photo added)

I've been in Chattanooga for the weekend. C. had to work on Sat. and Sundays, as he does every other weekend - just what happens with his job. So P. and I went to church together. They have started going to a service up on the top of Lookout Mountain, where the church they have been attending for several years has been given an old building. The congregation that had been meeting there for years, Baptist I think, just gave their facility to the Calvary Chapel community. I guess the membership got so thin they maybe dissolved, and the few hardy souls left transferred their membership to other churches. But Calvary Chapel appears to have attracted quite a good number. There were at least fifty folk there. Some who probably live up on the ridge, in that area, and some, like P and C who chose to drive up the steep, winding, twisting, switchback road to go to that much less crowded service on the mountain top. In that pretty little red brick very traditional style church, with tall windows on each side of the sanctuary, and massive bright white columns across the front of the building below a soaring steeple on top.

Though I think I am pretty reasonable, open-minded, the service might have been a little too casual even for laid-back me. Four musicians on the stage doing worship music, two with shorts on. One of those, a female with short shorts, that was a bit too distracting to fully appreciate her singing ability. It's pretty much 'come as you are when you roll out of bed' at the church I attend on Sunday mornings, but that was something I was not ready for. Even though I see people in T shirts that look slept in, frayed cargo shorts, and holey jeans, looking like they don't own a comb, I'm doubtful the daisy duke shorts up there on the stage were my definition of appropriate.

After church, we needed some lunch, and went to Wendy's. Pretty crowded with families when we got there, but cleared out before we left. To the point that we were the only ones in there. Until an older couple came in the door. Dressed to beat the band. Looking 110% patriotic. I assumed they had been to church, and were stopping by before going home. I could be all wrong, as all they had was one cup of ice cream between the two of them. She was in blue and white stripes, with a red sweater and bright red straw hat with a flourish of a red feather tucked in the side: just like Yankee Doodle Dandy. And her escort, we assumed husband of many, many years, was very conservatively dressed in a neat suit. With a hankie carefully tucked in his breast pocked, with all four points tidily showing, neatly spaced on the left side of his suit coat. Wearing the necktie I am sure she picked out for him, that was striped like the flag on the wide end, with a bright red background and white stars up near the neat, perfectly tied Windsor knot.

We were so taken with their carefully crafted, meticulously planned appearance, P surreptitiously snapped a photo. And could not resist speaking to them as we were leaving, commenting on how nice they looked, and admiring his patriotic tie. We wondered if they had been together for sixty plus years, or were on their second date....

226...

Left Chattanooga at 5:50 yesterday afternoon, and got back home before it got completely dark. Plan B was to try to leave there at 6:00, so I feel like I was doing pretty well. It was record time for me, to do that long tedious drive in less than four hours. I was pulling in at 9:20 and surprised to find that it did not take the usual amount of time. I think making a couple of stops in the past is what has made the difference. Guess I wanted to get home so badly, to be done with driving, I did not dally along the way. There was one pit stop when my bladder reached maximum capacity and I had to pull off and run in Wendy's.

Plan A was to try to leave TN by 4:00, but we were so immersed in a project, I felt I could not walk away and leave a huge half-done mess. So hopefully we got close enough to completion that it will get finished this week. It involved the framing on the door to that 'world's longest DIY' in the bathroom: had to be stripped down to bare wood to be repainted. The people who sold them the house had done a remarkably shoddy job of paining latex over varnish and there was only one way to resolve that disaster: messy, toxic, deadly vaporous, dangerous, cautionary, eat your skin off paint stripper. So we did it. And mostly got down to the raw wood, though there was a dark stain under the varnish that is permanent. As I left they were deciding if they would just seal it and leave natural wood, or paint it as planned, which will involve some sanding before a primer and then the actual paint color, to match the other woodwork in the nearly completed, two year long project.

All this deconstruction and reconstruction has been much more complicated than they ever intended or expected, as most home improvement undertakings become. One thing lead to another, as in busting out walls that revealed plumbing that needed replacing, and pulling out plumbing that revealed wiring that needed replacing. And pulling up flooring that revealed wood that had to be cut away and replaced. But I do believe the end is in sight, and they will soon be enjoying their brand new bathroom in their seventy year old house. And hope it will be a while before they start the next DIY that totally disrupts their lives and homelife.

bloomin' stuff...with photos added...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Lots of neat things blooming at my house: those Easter lilies I have planted over a number of years are all performing magnificently. There must be at least two dozen wide open, plus some other lily plants that dwere probably rescues on the way to the dumpster. Some are a dark red, some are a bright orange, some are a yellow so pale it looks almost white. With the white Easter lilies as backdrop, tall stalks with green foliage and lots of blooms, all politely bowing their heads.


 
 

And agapanathus so prolific, you 'd have to smile when you drive up and see over a dozen blooms, dressed up in a eye-candy shade of light blue. Planted in a big clump in front of the house, right near the front door, tall stalks with big clumps of small blue blooms, opening up more each day. They look very similar to big garlic blooms, so I have to wonder if they are related/in the same family. The agapanthus all came from my dad's flowerbed at 1209, so I will always think of him when I see it bloom each year.

Lots of yellow coreopsis in glorious bloom. It is a rescue of a different sort. I dug it all up last spring when I saw some blooming in the ditch, near the street I can see sitting here at the table, running along side our densely wooded lot. I was out walking, and noticed a bit beginning to bloom - so went to get my shovel. Transplanted and put in good rich (home-made) dirt, fertilized and watered generously, it has multiplied like crazy... probably to the point of possibly becoming a nuisance. I can see how it could be called invasive. And you know the difference between a weed and a wild flower, right? Like the realtor says:  Location, location, location.

scuba-ing in the pool

P. is taking a group of GS to FL to learn to scuba and experience diving in the Gulf.  A big deal for some of the teens who have signed on to go the last week in July. Some have probably never been that far away from home, or swimming in open water. And a big responsibility for the adults/chaperones who will be charged with safely returning them to their families. They will stay at a scout camp near DeFuniak Springs, down in the panhandle and go to Destin for instruction before taking to the warm clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

There was one young girl who has sort of questionable swimming skills, and has some other issues that might be problematic. So P. asked her to meet at a pool for some personalized beginning lessons, just to be sure there would not be any major difficulties after they spend an entire day driving to the Florida coast. P. had asked a well-experienced former diving instructor to meet us at the pool, to bring equipment and walk this fourteen year old through the basics of using the underwater breathing apparatus. Along with all the other accouterments (weight belt, mask, flippers, etc.) she would encounter when they start lessons later this month. I think it was a good experience, and the highly distractible youngster did as well as anyone could expect under the circumstances: kids splashing and yelling, teens horse-playing in the pool, fireworks going off in the neighborhood.

They spent a couple of hours in the water, demonstrating and practicing the basics of Scuba diving, hopefully giving the girl some confidence and skills, as well as assuring P. that she has the desire and ability to follow instructions and safety rules. Then we had pizza. Making me remember how I would take daughters to the pool, and they would work up remarkable appetites swimming for hours. And reminding P. of how good a peanut butter and jelly sandwich can be after all the calorie burning 'work' of splashing about, playing Marco Polo, swimming in the hot summer sun.

kinda corny....

Saturday, July 5, 2014
I decided the corn was about as cheap as it is gonna get. So I bought a case, which I am assuming is close to the equivalent of a bushel. And had the produce guy at Publix load it in the car to drive to TN. It's on sale at ten ears for $3, which if you have any math skills at all, you can see is comes out to thirty cents each. And the produce guys say that a box should have 48 ears, so when you (not me) multiply 48 by 30, I paid $14.40 for the box.

I got up this morning and shucked it, only to find that there were only forty ears. But we've cut kernels off, and made a monumental mess in the kitchen.. Scraping the ears resulted in that sticky, milky stuff that resides in each kernel splattering all over the kitchen counter, walls, sink, floor and me. It's sitting on the stove in two pots on low, to heat up, so we can put in zipper bags and put in the freezer.

It's such a messy proposition, I sort of dreaded the process. But now that it is done, the countertop and floor cleaned again, it is very gratifying to think of how nice it will be to stockpile in the freezer. And even more pleasant to think of what a treat it will be in the long cold months of no fresh vegetables: pulling a bag out to enjoy the taste of summer and sunshine.



As I was sitting on the back steps shucking those forty ears, I was thinking of doing that when I was a kid. Sitting on the back steps of my parents home, pulling the shucks off freshly-picked ears of yellow field corn. I am sure it was probably much cheaper (if not free), but that truism of you get what you pay for still holds: I seem to remember that every ear, as I would pull the shucks off, had a big ugly cornworm hiding in there, merrily chewing away. Getting fatter and nastier by the minute. I guess it was grown back then to feed livestock, so why would a farmer waste money on trying to keep the crop pest free? But I have the clearest memory, picture of those icky green worms, about as big around as your little finger, and nearly as long, happily munching their way down into each ear of corn we were planning to have for lunch.

trash talkin'...

Thursday, July 3, 2014
I spent several hours yesterday, in the hotness of July in GA working in the yard. Picking up trash. Not the sort that blows off the street: from inconsiderate, illmannerd, poorly-raised, ignorant people  who toss burger wrappers and beer bottles out the windows. I realized recently this accumulation of limbs, sticks and vines that  fallen over time, is a hazard of forgetting about the Fact of Gravity. How it is always going to be in effect, and will always exert a certain amount of control in our lives: a good thing or we would float away into space. But a bad thing when I never get all the stuff picked up that continually falls in the yard.

Obviously a result of not considering the laws of physics when we decided on a house that has a big wooded lot. Lots of hardwoods, mixed with a few pines and some softer stuff that sheds year-round like tulip poplar and sweet gum.   I thought I had pretty much gotten all the front yard done, and was thinking: This is the last load to push the wheelbarrow up the driveway. When I looked behind some tall azaleas and found a gigantic limb that had recently fallen off a sweet gum tree. So big it will take the chainsaw to make it manageable. The addition of a man to use the saw would certainly be helpful.

I am once again reminded of the pleasantness that occurs when people live in condos, or apartments or some other form of communal living. Not having to even think about what is going on in the landscaping, no mowing or blowing, limbs falling, or raking in the fall. One of the joys of homeownership sometimes seems to be similar to that song you hear from the backseat that never ends, and gets on your very last shredded nerve.

I do love feeling like I live out in the country, instead of on a city lot. But the way traffic has multiplied out here in the panhandle end of the county leads one to think that sense of space and open-air is swifty coming to an end.  It has becomes so congested with housing and retail development, there is a stretch of about two miles I try to completely avoid traveling on. Going around by my elbow to not even get on that section of highway that is always backed up with traffic due to lights being installed too close together. So much for the bucolic life.....

thankfulness...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014
I have a friend who has an adult daughter who is a bit older than my 'girls', who are amazingly capable, smart, busy, responsible adults. This girl, who we will call 'Z', is really smart, and teaches on the high school level. She is working this summer in a 'camp' type environment for gifted high-schoolers, sort of an immersion experience where they go for several weeks to practice their skills, learn, advance, enjoy meeting other people with whom they have giftedness in common in a number of disciplines. Like art, music, dance, math, science, language arts.'

My friend called her daughter to ask if she could come and spend the afternoon with her at the 'camp', and 'Z' was welcoming, said she would enjoy having her come to visit for a few hours. The thing is: my friend never knows how 'Z' will respond to her - invitations to come to visit here in Columbus, or in the daughter's home some distance away. She could easily be rebuffed,with 'Z' saying she did not want her to come, or she didn't want to see her. Or she could be welcomed with open arms, asked to come and bring her needle and thread to help with a project, or invited to come for lunch, or to spend the night... she just never knows what the response will be.

Which leads me to thankfulness. For believing that I will always be welcome. And the door will always be opened, and they will always want to see me. Even when I 'invite' myself, which I have gotten really good at doing, with remarkable frequency.