Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Proper Etiquette and More

A question from Conflicted in the "Ask Amy" section of the newspaper this morning gave me the idea of my topic today. Her main question was whether her friends bad actions in public could influence her children.  That aside I was more intrigued by the action itself.  When they go out to dinner with said friends, the friend orders water then proceeds to serve themselves from the "self-serve" soda fountain.  She called it a theft.  I totally agree and would never, ever do that but I do know some people that would.  I think that is just plain WRONG.  It's the same when I go to multiple movies.  I will watch the first movie, then walk totally out of the theater and buy a ticket for the next movie.  I know that people do not do that most of the time, they will just walk into the next movie like they have a ticket.  Again, I think that is WRONG.  Am I an oddity, no, I follow rules, I am law-abiding, I am fair, I am trustworthy.  How can you take advantage.  To me it goes back to the small stuff you are taught as a child, or that I was taught as a child.  You never butt in line, you say "thank you, please, and excuse me."  Manners and rules!  Sunday while I was pushing furniture around the living room I had the television on to TruTV called The Principal's Office, honestly I could not stop watching it and it was on a marathon run.  It was different high schools around the country and the crap they have to deal with in these kids of today.  Let me tell you the attitudes of most of these kids were appalling and I don't think I could have put up with the crap they were doing.  Really parents is this our future or, "hopefully", it is just a few out of millions that happen to make good TV.  I so hope that is it because if not, we, as a culture are in very, very big trouble.  Really, you should watch some of the episodes and see.  For those parents who think their precious little Tommy or Sarah could do no wrong, WATCH!  

Monday, July 30, 2012

Putting Life Back Together

Construction Update:  Concrete pour is NOT finished.  Apparently The Hubby has plans for more of the stuff on the side of the house.  I admit that he is right as it is a mess of excess dump concrete, rock, construction stuff but I just thought it would be cleaned up and "sod" put down.  The Hubby has other plans. He wants to have access to the back yard for hauling firewood, wheelbarrow's of "stuff", new trash carts, etc.  I can understand that he is tired of the muddy mess the area can be but really, more concrete.  The yard is a huge slab of concrete now.  He made me come out there last night to "get my opinion" on what I thought but the first time I bucked his idea I was shut down so I turned and walked inside.  Whatever!  

WAIT.....it is 6:09 AM...I hear....digging...Wow, our neighbors on the north side of us are really happy about this!  Good grief, but I understand getting a head start on the heat of the day, especially right now it is 90 degrees outside.  At least the main part of the concrete pour is done and we can step out into our back yard without it being a mine field of construction debris.  I also spent the day yesterday getting our living room back to normal.  Everything for weeks now has been crammed into the front room and the layer of dust was giving me a headache, but yesterday my world got put back into place, a bit.  Since we covered up what once was a door and added doors where windows were we had the opportunity to utilize a different space yet losing another space, sort of.  
This is the before picture.  I know it doesn't look much different but it is.  Notice the window on the right...gone!  

Now it is window/french doors.  Also the chair is pushed back into the corner and the ottoman that has been hidden for 6 years is utilized.  I have a small table behind the chair with pictures but have to figure out how to make the pictures higher.  Actually, now that the chair is pushed back there is a walkway in front of the chairs to the doors.  It is more open. I spent all day pushing and shoving and trying NOT to scrape the wood floors to get everything put in place and was delighted with what I did...The Hubby not so much.  He walked in and hit the roof.  He wanted the chairs pulled in even further, more that in the first picture so the walkway would be behind.  It was already kind of cramped.  I like it spread out more, the room looks bigger.

Now here is a really before picture, before we did anything to the house and moved in.  The door is gone, the window is a door and the ceiling is vaulted. 
Now the after again.  
I love it.  We still have to hang the picture or maybe two.  

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Concrete Jungle

I guess we are now living in a concrete jungle, in our very own backyard.  Friday the big ole' truck was parked out front and these motorized things called "rolly's" were filled with concrete and trucked up the driveway and into the backyard.  That's it in the upper right hand corner of the first picture.  There were two of them making several trips back and forth.
Then by hand there were probably 6 guys shoveling and smoothing the concrete out.  See all the plastic wrap!  That was around every piece of brick work and window area that could have been splashed with concrete.  It was plastic world out there. 
Finally, at the end of the day they started cutting the diagonal cuts to go along with the other patio that was poured last fall.  Pretty huh! 
Little Clayton finally got to walk around and check out the new "yard".  I promise there is actual grass on the other side.  He delights in walking the wall all the way around.  
Awwwww, time to relax and enjoy this 100+ degree temperatures...okay, that's enough, back inside to the A/C. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Watching Concrete Dry

Good morning one and all!  It's a very early Saturday morning at home and I am awake.  It's actually about 6:45 but I've been up since 5, yet again.  Dang it, I hate that I can hardly sleep in anymore.  Construction is STILL going on but we are seeing an end to it all.  Yesterday the concrete guys were at our house at 5:30 am.  I guess they were going to get a very early start.  In fact, The Hubby said they were in the backyard with flashlights.  Wow, now that is dedicated to the job I guess.  The crew was pouring concrete by 7 and were still at the house at 6 pm.  They will be back this morning sometime to wash it off from cutting the diagonal cuts and the salt that was put on top to make it have some texture.  Tomorrow I should have some more pictures of the progress.  The Hubby is so excited now that the concrete is down.  They still have a section to do so that Clayton's little doggy door is not just a muddy mess when he jumps out.  They will put a sort of ring around an existing small tree and the doggy door and a concrete pad for the wood rack.  Next will come the concrete stain, the counter tops, which I think will be either concrete or granite.  Then the painter will stain the beams and pickle the ceiling of the porch part.  I've been given the go ahead to start shopping for outdoor furniture!  Yeah, something I can do.  The inside is complete and even has handles to open.  Poor Clayton stood at the plastic covered door and cried to go out last night but with the salt and tender concrete it wasn't a good place for him.  The Hubby went ahead and let him take a quick look but what he was after was the place where the workers took lunch break and he found some leftover nibbles.  Good Grief!  Back inside The Hubby washed his little paws in the faucet and he was good to go to bed, his job done. 

Today we will start reassembling the living room.  I am not going to put as much crap around on the shelves and we will have to rearrange it a bit differently I think.  Lots of furniture moving today.  

Have a great Saturday and keep cool.  The expected high today 109, tomorrow and Monday, 111.  It is definitely July in Oklahoma!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Dear Momma,

Yesterday I posted about not really having anything to say but it was a lie.  I was just trying to forget that yesterday was a day I did not want to remember.  Yesterday was the anniversary of the day my mother took her last breath.  2006 was the hardest year I have ever gone through as I chronicled here:

SEPTEMBER '05: Bought new house
DECEMBER 06: Start packing
Pack #2 kiddo to move to Phoenix
Start remodel of new house
Ready our house to sell
JANUARY: 3 Move #2 to Phoenix
16 Meet with funeral home to pre-plan for Momma
27 Our house for sale (lot of open houses)
23 Our 30th Anniversary
FEBRUARY: 6 Mom bad spell
12 Sold House (2 ½ weeks)
MARCH: 4 - 8 #1 kiddo and I to Phoenix to see #2 kiddo
4 GAIL passed at Barry’s 50th B’day party
8 Gail’s funeral
10 Moving Day
11 Another 50th B’day party to attend
13 Close on house
21 Mom another bad spell
APRIL: Mom- couple of bad spells, called in Hospice
MAY: 6 Momma and Daddy’s 51st Wedding Anniversary
#2 home for a weekend visit
Mom - lots of bad spells, falling down 3 times

JUNE: 1 Moved Mom into nursing home
2 Leave for St. Louis to celebrate my 50th Birthday
Numerous phone calls from nursing home and hospice
12 Momma fell in the nursing home and broke her hip - up all night on phone
14 Mom’s hip replacement surgery
17 Over Beloved puppy dog of 12 years passed away
18 Father’s Day for my sad Daddy
22 Mom moved to LTAC (Long Term Acute Care facility
29 Officially checked Momma out of 1st nursing home ....for now
JULY: 6 Hospital called about putting in a feeding tube
7 Wait for call from Bro that he and Daddy went to hospital and had meeting with Mr. Xing to see why Mom did not want feeding tube. Tried eating stimulant and she ate just fine Doc was confused by our not wanting to do it but Mom didn’t want it.
11 (Tuesday 4:30 pm) Hospital called me to say they wanted Momma moved to Skilled Care nursing home possibly by Thursday (July 13)?????!!!
12 Started the phone calls to put in motion the move.
13 Started doing the paperwork to put in motion the move to Nursing Home and had it ready for the move on Friday...the hospital decided to wait till Monday???
WORK - Insurance auditor "dropped" in unannounced.
15 Would have been Gail’s 50th Birthday - Had her hubby for dinner 
17 Moved Momma to Nursing Home - Skilled Care
18 Daddy had a screaming fit at a poor pregnant rehab nurse

26 Momma took her last breath

It is now 2012, six years later and with a lot of tears, journaling here and in my hand written journal, a bit of therapy and I have come out on the other side of the depression that 2006 left for me.  Turning 50 didn't help at all with the sadness but the loss of so many in my life was almost more than I could bear.  Today, six years later I can still cry at the mention of her, Gail, and our sweet puppy, but now I know that the tears are temporary and life goes on.  You can't stop it, you just have to get through the sadness and move on.  I can see that so much good has happened, and some bad.  Daddy's horrible experience with the hip replacement wasn't very much fun but the good outweighs.  Our wonderful journey in fixing up our house; reconnecting with my bestie from high school; B's wedding and now awaiting B&B's new arrival of our first grandchild, a little girl; my journey to find who I want to be, an artist...see life barrels forward whether you want it to or not.  You can't stop it and you have to let the wounds heal so you can continue the good life.  Remember but don't forget.  I miss them all.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ramble Day

Today is just going to have to be a ramble of what falls out of this thing that is called my brain.  I have been looking at the stupid blinking cursor for over a half hour now with nothing coming up to write about.  I would love to blah, blah, blah about things that have got me kind of ticked off but that will only make people mad that read this and won't go there.

Construction is still ongoing and in fact the painter just knocked on my open door and said, "Hi", as he walked in to hopefully finish the inside painting of the living room.  There have been four of them in attendance for the past week for half a wall and a window/door.  It should be completed, inside today, I think, but I could be wrong.  Tomorrow they will pour the concrete patio!  I'm so excited about that and The Hubby even told me I need to go look for some outdoor furniture!  YEE HAW!  That I can do.  I thought about going today but have to sit and wait for various workers to come and out of the house and not let the dog out.

I guess today I will do a bit of drawing as I am just about out of projects for class and there are only two classes left from this session.  I've sold the dog paintings and the family/zinnia one is to be picked up and paid for this next week, and the commission work is complete.

Well, I guess that is all for today.  Stay tuned and hopefully I will have more to chat about later!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One Day...

One day you were born and you didn't have a care in the world except for food, play and that tasty finger to suck on to make the world safe.  
Life was a box of Frosted Flakes and sending off for the Tony the Tiger spoon with box tops, and your tricycle. 
Then life got a bit more complicated as you listened in on grown-up conversations, wondering what the heck they were talking about.  
The next thing you know you've been rushed through 12 years of school and the social gauntlet that is being a child trying to make it in your tiny world. 
Your world becomes a bit broader when you meet someone to share it with. 
Then you suddenly discover gray hair and wrinkles.  Where does the time go. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

I Know What I Want To Be When I Grow Up

Through all the chaos that is my life right now I have been able to finish several paintings.  These are a couple of them.  

I call this "Love You To Death".  I'm not sure why I had to paint the skull but I did and I like it.  

This one is "Study in Red".  I just love this one too, especially the glass.

What I love about both of them are that I set up the still life's, took the photos and painted them without really drawing them first.  I just started painting on the prepped canvas and created these all by myself, without the help at all from my instructor.  I've done a few like that but these for some reason give me a bit of pride in my developing talent.  I really want to keep learning so in September I have also signed up for a portrait drawing class with the continuing art class with Ross.  

What is so cool is that at the age of 56 and a lifetime of searching for what I want to be when I grow up, I think I have FINALLY found it.  I want, I am an artist.  It is exhilarating and makes me so happy inside that this is pouring out of me that I can hardly stand it.  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Stinging Sensation

  Finally, today I can be a bit more chatty here.  Yesterday was a whirlwind of stuff.  The very first thing I did when I got up yesterday morning was make coffee and go to the little girls room.  As I leaned over the sink edge to wash my hands I was hit with a stinging feeling right under my belly button area.  I jumped back and looked at the sink, rubbing my tummy.There half squashed was a HUGE red wasp.  He got me right on my belly.  Oh my goodness, I have not had a wasp sting since I was a child, especially a red wasp sting.  I finished the dang wasp off with my shoe and looked at my belly.  There was a small little red spot that hurt like the dickens.  All day long it stung and itched.  Last night as I went to bed the red had expanded and expanded and this morning it is huge and ITCHES.  A RN friend of mine looked at it and told me if it was still red like that by Monday morning to run, not walk to the doctor so you don't get nephro...something like that tissue...basically dead, rotting stuff!!!!! EEK!!!!!  I've had enough of that infection thing.  May have to go to minor emergency this afternoon.  HATE RED WASPS!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I'm Here

I didn't want to miss another day of posting so this will be short and sweet!

Long day today.  Had to drive back to Tulsa for B's first baby shower.  Then back to the cabin for a steak dinner with many of the cabinites.  Now it is to bed to ready for another marathon day.

Good night all...till I post tomorrow!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fortune Cookie Friday :(

Give assistance, not advice, in a crisis.

How true is this, especially at the news I have been listening to today on the television.  My heart is just broken for the families and the people that have been anywhere involved with the shooting in Colorado.  What in heavens name is wrong with people.  

P.S.  On a good note, they have captured the ones responsible for the shooting of B's friends step dad on Saturday.  

Thursday, July 19, 2012


This is a repeat of a story, or memory I've written about before.  I'm feeling a bit nostalgic today and these memories feed my soul.  Enjoy.

The coldness crept under the covers as Greatgranny quietly and deliberately moved to extricate herself from the small featherbed so as not to arouse me.  I lay comfortable and warm under the down blankets looking up at the tiny window close to the ceiling.  A faint hint of dawn daylight was creeping through the plastic that covered the window to keep the cold out.  Gradually I mustered up the courage to climb from the warm cocoon and pull a empty five pound coffee can from under the bed.  This can was what was considered the toilet.  It was definitely a challenge to see if you could perch yourself on the small rimmed coffee can to do your business.  If you wanted to brave the snakes at night you could walk down to the two-seater outhouse with its bright red door.  During the day you would have to contend with the wasps that nested in the small wooden building.

Looking through the curtain that pretended to be the door to the freezer room, I could see Greatgranny sitting at the dining room table sliding her shoes on.  Aunt Marie called Greatgranny's bedroom the freezer room, I guess because along with the featherbed was a long slender freezer that contained a wide array of meats and vegetables.  The vegetables came from Great-grandaddy’s garden and the meats came from Big Dan and his hunting escapades. 
I went into the dining room that overwhelmed the large dining room table with four chairs of which none matched. The table was pushed up against a long wall, which they called the picture‑wall.  The picture wall contained a multitude of pictures, some old and some new.  In the middle of the wall was an old photograph of a man and a woman that as I was told were my great-great grandparents. 

The man in the picture had dark chin-length hair and a clean shaven face, but under his chin was a white curly beard that circled the bottom half of his face.  The woman was gaunt and stern looking or maybe just tired.  Pictures that surrounded the wall were various cousins at any stage of their lives, from infancy to adulthood.  There were some photos that I didn't know and Aunt Marie always explained that they were some kids from a friend that she knew or were friends of a friend of a friend that had come to visit.  On any given day it was not unusual to see a car turn in the gravel driveway to unload carfuls of visitors to Rattlesnake Hollow.  There were never strangers.

The dining room table this early in the morning was covered with a large cotton cloth that protected whatever was left from the night before.  Bread, jelly, sugar, salt and pepper and some things you didn't want to know. 
The dark pitted wood floor was smooth from years of treading feet.  We made our way through the wishbone doorway into the living room.  The wishbone doorway was Greatgranny's collection of every bird she had either cooked, eaten, cleaned or disposed of in some way.  There were wild turkey wishbones to robin wishbones.  She even had people from other parts of the country and world that knew she collected that would send her new specimens for her wishbone collection, We tiptoed through the living room so as not to disturb Big Dan sleeping in his bedroom and walked out onto the front porch into the crisp spring morning air.  Sandy, the Collie was sleeping on the top step and he slowly stretched and arouse to greet us.  Greatgranny patted his head and cooed sweet words to him to make his tail wag. 
We made our way down the three steps to the path to begin our journey to the barn.  I still wore my long flannel gown as we walked through the dew covered grass, my hem becoming damp with the dew.  Walking down the yard towards the gate Fatso, Greatgranny's long-haired white cat greeted us with his tail standing at attention.  The path took us across a sturdy wooden slat bridge which groaned as we trudged our feet along the way.  The bridge covered a small creek that rarely ever had water in it.  As we crossed the dried up creek bed, Sandy pressed against my legs to protect me from the edge, stepping on my toes as we went. 

As we grew closer to the barn we could hear Pet, the Jersey cow mooing from her stall, anxious for our arrival.  Upon entering the double doorway of the ramshackle barn we were overwhelmed by the smells of the sweet hay.  Pet had plenty of fresh hay, but while Greatgranny prepared to milk Pet I was to mix Pet's feed.  The feed smelled of sweet molasses and caused my stomach to grumble and growl.  I measured and poured the brown-colored meal according to Greatgranny's instructions into Pet's trough. 
Greatgranny had a little three-legged stool to sit on while she snuggled her head into Pet's right side, and with each hand firmly grasped around a teat she would begin the steady downward squeezing motion that resulted in the milk flow into the metal bucket below, ringing as the first few squirts hit bottom.  Pet's tail began to swish into Greatgranny's face and the cow shifted on her feet causing Greatgranny to give her a smart swat on her rump with a scolding to be still.  As the bucket continued to fill, Fatso came out of his corner where he sat patiently waiting for the first tinkling sounds of milk in the bucket.  Greatgranny noticed him sitting near, waiting for his daily reward of milk for his mousing quarry.  He reared back on his haunches as she talked sweet talk to him as she aimed a teat in his direction.  The warm milk squirted his fuzzy face as his mouth opened wide. The milk filled his gaping mouth, his pink tongue lapping constantly the warm liquid he loved so much.  When the flow subsided he still sat up licking the milk off of his face, his tongue rounding his mouth to get all that was on his face and whiskers. 
Greatgranny finished her task of milking and now came the walk back to the house with our escorts.  The sun was beginning to break as Greatgranny carried the pail, sloshing the foamy white warm milk over the brim, back to the house to begin separating the milk from the cream. 
When we returned to the dark brown painted house there were sounds of people moving about inside.  Opening the door you could hear Aunt Marie in the kitchen grumbling and talking to herself, not quite awake.  She was making coffee, and the smell of fresh brewing coffee urged my stomach to gurgle with anticipation of breakfast.  Big Dan was still sleeping because he had come in late from fishing so we had to try to be quite although Aunt Marie, his wife, apparently did not agree with this arrangement with all the racket she was making, clanging skillets and silverware around in the kitchen. 
Greatgranny carried the fresh milk into the kitchen and put it on the cabinet.  She had some gallon glass jars already set up on the counter ready to have the milk poured into them.  She placed what looked like white handkerchiefs across the mouths of the jars with rubber bands holding the handkerchiefs in place, with a little well in each of them.  Slowly she poured the milk through the handkerchiefs catching the foam and thick cream.  When through she would twist up the handkerchiefs and squeeze out the excess milk.  Then she would put the milk into the refrigerator to cool.
The refrigerator was sometimes a little scary at Greatgranny's because you never knew what kind of creature would be waiting for cleaning.  Opening the door you could find anything from a stringer of fresh caught crappie or catfish to squirrels, snapping turtles and even live bull frogs that would jump out sometimes if still alive.

...to be continued someday.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hope Springs

I saw the trailer for this movie, Hope Springs, when I took myself to see "Magic Mike" and thought, "I want to see that movie."  First I love Meryl Streep and I LOVE Tommy Lee Jones.  Plus it's about a long marriage and how they work to keep it together.  So cute.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Construction - A Big Day

Remember the sign, the sign from The Hubby's junior high school that has been waiting around for 15 years for a new home...well, it has found a home.
Lots of man power and "yo-o heave ho!" to get it man-handled into place. 

Contemplating how to make this huge granite stone.  They have to make turn around...WHAT! 
It has to stand where that foot is. 

Woo-Hoo, The Hubby!

A quick snapshot of the kitchen area.   
More brawn. 

Look at that, they got it turned.  I was absolutely amazed. 

Center meets center. 

All done.  Now the fire pit will be finished.  One of the brick layers told me this afternoon, "two more days." YEE HAW!  Then the concrete, the painter and we can shop for some furniture.