Tuesday, December 29, 2020

MY Year in Review

First and most important for me was the loss of my Daddy.
Yes, there is much bigger news in the world but in my tiny world the year of Covid, the year 2020 brought about the loss of Daddy.
The loss of a parent and the loss of our old homestead and all the memories that have rushed through our conscientiousness.  It has been an unnerving year to say the least with Covid, mask wearing, virus warnings, death...EGAD...

but first and foremost for me was the last time I told Daddy, "I love you!"  

We said goodbye to Daddy and to the house that we grew up in but we are stronger as siblings than ever before.  We are still family!

It has all been a whirlwind and I can't wait for the year to finally end and hopefully we have brighter days with a vaccine in play. 

It's not been all bad because sadly for our youngest and her family, living in LA was just too scary and money wise too difficult during pandemic (HATE THAT WORD!)  So they packed it up and headed our direction.
So we get to hold this darling anytime we want now.  Get all the kisses and hugs, anytime, as long as one of of is not in quarantine.  I get to watch another granddbaby grow up.  

I will reflect back to my first post of the year, 2020 and not even realizing what was in store for us this past year.  I again was prattling on and on about losing weight, dieting, the story that never ends, me losing weight.  Of course, the dreaded pandemic set in and shut down all my ideas of working out and left us basically stranded at home, close to a kitchen and no desire to get out and about for fear of the virus.  Fear of illness, fear of spreading the contagion, fear of DEATH!  Everyone in the world has had these fears, except for the doubters who don't believe it.  I do because I have friends who have lost family members, I have family members who have caught the virus and survived.  It is real and frankly I DO NO WANT TO DIE!  So the new accessory to our daily attire is a mask, which I wear proudly.  We've learned how to shop for delivery or pick-up, take-out food on a daily basis.  Yes the world, our world has changed, probably forever.  Weight loss, dieting, frankly that is not high on my list of worries right now.  Staying healthy and alive is.  I think I'm eating better and my one foray back to the workout world led me to be possibly exposed and having things poked up my nose, Covid test.  So, I'm just staying put until more people are vaccinated at this point.  

Here's to 2021, may we start getting the world, our world back to spinning like it's supposed to be.  

Happy New Year

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Greatgranny and Greatgrandaddy

Greatgranny and Greatgrandaddy...
Two of my most favorite people in my life.  Greatgranny was such an influence on me.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas 
Clayton is dreaming away this early Christmas morning.  He tried to wake me up this morning at 3:30 because yesterday I was up at 3:30 and he got to eat early.  This morning I just put him down on the floor and he slept on his new pallet in the living room until about 5:30.  That's more like it.  Update on our little guy is he is much better.  He still has some episodes of spasms but they are not often now.  It was so hard to watch his body spasm and he just cried.  The vet had us increase one of his meds and it seems to have helped.  He's finally wanting to sit and sleep by me on the couch again.  When he first started this the best place for him was on the floor on a thick soft blanket.  He laid so funny on it in such twisted ways but it was what was comfortable for him.  I just knew at the beginning of this that we were going to lose him but again he has rallied.  Poor guy.  He even goes out his doggie door and back in again like a champ.  

This week was another sad time but a must to move on to the future.  Daddy's house, our home at one time is now gone and all that's left is dirt.  I got all kinds of texts and Facebook messages that "the old homestead" was gone, did I know...well, yes I did know it was going to go.  We knew and we are okay with it.  The land will have a new grand home built on it and a new family and new memories will be made in that spot.  I hope all the good memories surround their family and home.  I was also able to disburse nearly all of Daddy's estate to my siblings and myself this week too, Merry Christmas!  If Daddy only knew what he left us.  He thought he just had a little money in the bank but he forgot to take into account the life insurance and the house.  I hope to be able to give some to my girls and the grandbabies for their college funds.  Thank you Daddy.



Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Remembering Christmas Past Looking to Christmas Future

This year, the year of Covid, our Covid Days that are never ending there are some bright spots of the present and
and Future.
Seeing that Daddy got to hold and play with little Min brings a smile to my face and makes my heart swell.
Remembering the times before the family had expanded and the fun times had in preparation of the holidays.
When our family were all still here...

Cousins grown and
cousins just beginning...


So many gone now...

Yes it does snow on Christmas sometimes...

Family time, we were always a musical family...

Remembering when we were all together...

Now we look to the future, to the days without the damned virus ruining everyone's life.  We want to have these kinds of gatherings again and maybe, just maybe next year we will gather again.  Time is so short that we must, MUST mask up, vaccinate, wash our hands, take all the precautions to be able to gather with our loved ones once again.  

Merry Christmas to each and everyone, stay safe and healthy.


Saturday, December 19, 2020

Nightmares and Job History

No sleep, nightmares...yes, that was my night last night.  The Hubby went to the cabin and I decided to stay in town.  I watched TV in the living room till about 9 last night, then Clayton and I headed for bed.  (By the way he is so much better!)  The alarm was set, all the doors locked and I was nestled in bed watching TV when I think I drifted off to sleep about 10.  The television was set to shut off about 11.  Because Clayton is better but not all the way, every time he shifted in bed I woke up, worried he would walk off the bed yet again.  Finally he settled down to a deep sleep around midnight and I could finally get into a rim sleep too.  All of a sudden I could hear what I thought was a leaf blower, then knocking on the window and I realized the leaf blower was someone trying to mechanically break into the sliding glass door!!!   Then I was screaming because of a black shadow over me...

Don't get scared...it was a NIGHTMARE!!!  I was having a nightmare but having awakened from this nightmare I still wasn't sure if it was real or not.  I sat up in bed, looked at the clock, 1:54 a.m., and listened.  Nothing, absolutely nothing.  I got up and looked down the hallway and it was all dark and quiet.  I hit the button (we have automated lighting) and turned on the whole house lights in the front of the house then went back to bed to try and calm down.  I turned the television on for an hour and tried to doze off again.  When my mind starts up there is no telling which way it will go and I found myself remembering my first grown up job as an adult.  Then I thought that maybe I had not told my girls about that job in a long time.  I don't want them to ask themselves when I'm gone, "I didn't know anything about where Momma worked before," much like I questioned my mother's life before children.  I wanted to know more and never really asked her.
This is me, age 19, the summer before I married The Hubby.  We were dating and I was working at the Credit Bureau of Tulsa.  I got the job through an employment agency and that job started me on how to handle an actual grown up job.  (1975-1978)

The business was located in downtown Tulsa, one place I NEVER drove to, EVER, but I had to find my way there.  With the help of my mother and grandmother we found it and I knew exactly how to get there and no where else.  I was TERRIFIED of downtown Tulsa up until about 15 years ago.  I am not an adventurer by any stretch of the imagination so exploring downtown was definitely out of my realm but I needed that job.  I was still living at home, paying for my own telephone (not cell phone, one that plugged into a wall), car insurance and gas.  

The Credit Bureau was in business to do just that, check your credit and report it to the various businesses.  We also had a "mortgage" department that would check your credit for that ever important home loan.  It was owned by the family Rayson (think that is how it was spelled).  (Names of most of the people are slipping from me now.)  Mr. Rayson was the president but all he did was sit in his office up front and sometimes walk through the building.  I thought he might have a drinking issue but that was just my observation.  He was a quiet and nice man.  The front office had a secretary, a few ladies who talked to the public about their credit (more on that later) and a couple of other ladies that managed the whole place, employees and day to day operations.  FYI, there were only two men employed at the Credit Bureau, Mr. Rayson and the computer guy, Russell, in the back.  It's funny that I had the feeling that the women as a whole never crossed them because THEY WERE MEN!  The men had superiority.

My first job there was in the phone department.  I was in a room with about 10 ladies on phones.  We called various businesses, credit card companies, department stores, anywhere payments were made and a record of how the payments were made.  We were responsible on checking peoples credit and putting it down on slips of paper.  The paperwork was filled out and put in a basket and someone from the computer room would come and pick up the piles of paperwork and take it to the CRT's.  I my room there were two ladies (Sue and ?) who were in their 60's or mid 70's that had been working there all their adult life, never ever moving up.  Oh and I forgot there was a little office room off of that room that was the office of Mrs. Rayson, his mother.  She was probably in her late 70's or 80's. She was sweet sometimes but WEIRD!  This was where I learned about OCD.  OMG that woman, you never, ever, EVER touched her.  She would walk through the room with her hands up like a doctor going in for surgery.  If it looked like when you were going to pass her and maybe clip her she would shift her body into the wall so as not to touch you.  She had it bad and I won't tell you about her bathroom time!  Sheesh!  She would bring groceries every morning to cook her dinner there and take it home.  I saw her once take a whole chicken, put it in the sink and totally soap the thing down and wash it before she cooked it.  That was not healthy!  Our little room of ladies was a little boring but I learned a lot.  We had to learn about some of the laws regarding credit too all through the building.   There were WATTS lines to call long distance for credit ratings, that was a step-up job in that room.  I was in that room about a year then one day I heard my name on the intercom.

I was moving up to the data entry room, the CRT's!  That was my first introduction to computers.  CRT's, cathode ray tube.  Thank goodness I could type. In this room we would sit at a CRT and yet again had our headset that plugged in to the desk.  We would take phone calls to report credit when the various entities would call to get a credit history.  The front room sat our room manager, Lorraine.  All she really did was sit at her desk and the paperwork from the call room was brought to her desk and put in a basket.  She would disperse the paperwork throughout the CRT's to input the data into the computer system.  Yes, I entered your credit history into the system.  In that room was a section that only did the mortgage/loan gathering and reporting and there was another section of two women that checked what the CRT girls were imputing and a go-between the front office, mortgage department and the front office.  At the back of the room was Russell, our head computer guy and a dot matrix CRT that did deaths, bankruptcies, and bad credit imputing and marriages.  At the front was a lady that all she did was clip out of the newspaper, Guffey's Business Journal the deaths, marriages, divorces and bankruptcies and give them to the girl at the back CRT.  Russell sat in the very back with our main frame computers that were directly tied to Dallas.  If they went down that was his job to maintain that and connect with Dallas.  

I did every single job in that building, including taking care of the main frame when Russell was on vacation, having to call Dallas one time (SCARY!)  I moved up each and every time in the three years I was employed there.  I even had my turn in the front office and that one didn't last.  It scared this scaredy-cat girl like you would not believe.  That front office job meant I had to dress up in dresses or very nice pant suits.  It meant I had to verify credit reports of people who came in to discuss their credit because they may have been turned down.  They had one free right to review their credit and dispute the reporting, that was our job.  I was working with a lady, Linda, that had been their for years and she was a master of the craft.  I was terrified to deal with the people because usually they came in very mad and yelling and cursing.  The story goes that one time Linda was dealing with one irate man and he lunged across the desk and started choking her.  I remember her wearing a neck brace for awhile after that, yet, she went back to the job.  I had panic attacks, meltdowns...I requested to go back to the back where I was better and comfortable with not dealing with cursing, yelling and possibly chocking PEOPLE!!!  I wasn't good with that kind of atmosphere, now I can handle.

I finally ended up at the most wanted job, one that the other employees looked up to, the death, bankruptcy, marriage CRT!  I loved it!  Back then, before there was a law, separation of your credit history, you, as a woman, had your credit history lumped into the husbands credit history.  When there were marriages I had to combine the credit, separate if you divorced.  If you filed for bankruptcy or had a bad debt, that is the only computer in the building that had the authorization to do that.  It was a very important job and affected a lot of people if you didn't do it right, and I was very good at what I did.  I did love that job but I could see that there would be an end to how that was all being done there.  Not long after I left the business I think it got absorbed into a national group.  Mrs. Rayson passed away as did her son.  

It was a job that taught me so much about life, working with other people, working with other women...not doing that again...and computer skills that help me today.  It was a great job to give me confidence in my life. 


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Snow, Snicklefritz and Crocheting

This past weekend we jetted away to the cabin, The Hubby, me and Snicklefritz.  She had been out of in-person school 10 days so safe to be around again.  They've yet again gone back to virtual school and I think I heard this morning that will be until the first of  February, so MORE GRANDDAUGHTER TIME!!!  The Hubby was spending the last part of Friday and most of the day Saturday doing a landscape lighting job for one of the cabinites so it was just me and Snicklefritz.  We played Go Fish, Uno and she brushed and styled my hair a multitude of times (I love it.)  Then I told her I wanted to teach her how to crochet.  She's 8 years old and has great dexterity and a great mind so I knew she could get it.  First up was how to tie a slip-knot which she got really quick.  Then it was to a chain.  She chained and chained and chained until it was about 3 feet long...LOL.  I had her pull it out several times to get better and better, practice makes perfect.  Then when I felt she could move on we tackled the single crochet.  Oh it was messy and a bit lopsided but she was getting it for sure.  I was so proud of her and praised her many times.  Her momma said that once home she got frustrated and ripped it all out.  I hope she continues to work on it more.  It just takes practice to really get a feel to how the stitches are supposed to work.  Will have her over again soon and we will take it on again.  I suggested to her Momma that YouTube would have some videos for beginning crochet for children, I was sure.  

The weather forecast called for snow early Sunday morning so we hit the road back to Tulsa a little after 8:30 and it was raining but by the time we were pulling out of the drive the snow was splattering the windshield in huge wet snowflakes.  Before we could get off the back roads it was getting pretty slushy but I knew the highway would be better.  It wasn't much better and we drove slow and careful to get back to town.  OMG, that snow was just stunning to watch.  Of course driving back we were driving right into the blowing stuff.  Looking out at the trees Snicklefritz said, "Granny look how pretty the forest is!"  She was mesmerized.  It was quite beautiful but I want to get home safe and sound.  Normally I would be on pins and needles but you know something I was not scared one tiny bit.  That is really unusual for me.  I seem to have lost a lot of the fear that has always been buried in my gut.  Don't get me wrong, driving on mountainous roads...NO F.....in' way!  Hate those still and they will put me in a panic attack.  I can't even watch videos of driving on them without nearly getting breathless.  YUCK!  But we did get home and it was nice to watch it come down all nice and snug in our warm house. 
Sadly we were without our little Clayton.  When we were loading up the car on Friday afternoon there was something wrong with him.  The Hubby put him in his carrier and as he carried him out to the truck he cried and whined like you wouldn't believe.  We called the vet and they had us bring him in and we left him in their capable hands to see what was going on. 
It was kind of nice not having to constantly have to get up and down to let him in and out all weekend but we sure missed the little guy.  The Hubby picked him up yesterday afternoon.  They wanted to give him a bath first and I suspect it was probably because he fell in his pee or poop.  This tripod leg thing, well, his balance is struggling.  We got him home and he was still crying and now he's all stove-up in his neck.  He keeps having spasms in his neck and back.  I'm sure that one front leg is tired of carrying all the weight and with this cold snap his arthritis is kicking in big time.  I'm not sure they gave him any of his arthritis medicine the whole time he was in there which means we have to let it kick in again.  Last night he whined a bit and couldn't get comfortable in bed, kicking me most of the night.  I got up at 2:30 and took him outside to pee.  I got up at 3:00 and took him outside to pee.  I AM TIRED GUYS!  I'm not meant for an infant anymore.  I dozed back off about 5, just in time for my alarm to go off...  The Hubby put him on our bed again while I was in my chair in the bedroom and when I went to get him off the bed and in the living room (he can't fall off of our very tall bed, it would kill him!) he cried and tried to bite me.  Oh this poor baby is in such pain and he keeps having these spasms that sends him almost standing on his back legs and falling over.  It's hard to watch and I hope by tonight or tomorrow it will be better.  I don't know how much NOT SLEEPING I can take...Today...NAP!  

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Moving On

I am moving on. I won't lie, Monday was tough for me.  Sitting in a room at a huge conference table all alone for about 15 minutes waiting for the closing lady to come in was tough.  Don't get me wrong I was totally on board with our decision, but that doesn't make it any easier.  You see, I am the oldest of we three, and so I am the "SIGNER" of everything.  I signed my mother into a nursing home originally.  I signed for her surgery when Daddy couldn't emotionally, and we know that did not go well.  I signed for her burial, her casket, etc...  I've signed for various medical things for Daddy as has my brother.  I signed for his burial, his casket, etc...  Now I have signed away his home.  It is just part of being a grown-up and taking charge of stuff.  It is a hazard of being the oldest, of being the one in charge.  It is a hazard of just taking care of what must be done.  My brother said he had no regrets and I totally agree, absolutely no regrets.  I do have sadness for the situation but it's not a bad sadness, it is the process.  What was really nice was that the people who bought the house/property is friends with my brother and they sent him a message thanking us for the sale.  They saw on Facebook about our memories, our photos, etcetera  and acknowledge the sadness and wonderful memories we were having.  They sent a photo of the house they plan on building there and have offered to let us come see it when it is done and listen to some of the memories.  I thought that such a wonderful gesture and hope they follow through.  Another family will be making new kinds of memories there and that cannot be bad.  

"Lemons, Onions and Celery - Thanksgiving Day Prep"
9x12 oil on linen

(reference photo)

I've spent a couple of days back in the studio painting finally.  I needed to do a little "art therapy" for my well being.  The reference photo for this painting I took a couple of years ago in preparation for Thanksgiving.  I have always loved it and wanted to paint but just couldn't be inspired nor could I figure out if I could pull it off.  I'm very pleased with it and can't wait to delve into another painting.  I need to get back to my self portraits, but first, I have GOT to reorganize the studio.  I had a light fixture fall in the storage room and there is sheetrock dust everywhere I have to clean up.  I have just walked by and ignored it to the point it is making me a bit crazy.  First up today though is baking day.  I'm doing my fruitcake!  I have to, I just HAVE TO for Christmas memories!  There is so much I really need to do here at home, the office and the studio that I have neglected, and a bit more Daddy financial stuff.  Just a bit overwhelmed with financial/business stuff right now that I DO NOT WANT TO DEAL WITH!  Oh well, one day at a time, one project at a time.  Moving on.

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Our Final Goodbye

Tomorrow I have to do something I am dreading more than you can imagine.  It's also something we all three agree on, we three siblings.  
Tomorrow, since I am executor of Daddy's will, I will put the final signature on the papers to finalize the sale of Daddy's house, our house, our home.  
We've all three stood by each other through thick and thin.  
This doesn't mean that this decision has been easy but it is what had to be done.  Life moves on.  We've shared many memories and our lives in that house, memories to be cherished forever.

Today we met yet again to recreate this photo...
one last time in front of our family home, to say a final goodbye.

This tree that stands out in the front yard, like the house has seen better days.  Bye tree...Bye house...