Thursday, March 28, 2019


Harbingers of Spring are the usual suspects:

Daffodils and forsythia are blooming,

 tender green leaves have appeared on some shrubs, the peony has sent up the preliminary shoots.

Snakes poke their heads out to see if it warm enough to venture out

from the space under porch where they spend the winter…

Bluebirds check out the nestbox…

And yesterday morning when I walked out of the post office, the tornado siren, which is on a nearby telephone pole, fired up and began blaring. It is very loud, as it should be.

Bad storms can happen any time of the year – not long after we moved here there was a tornado in Springfield in December, but we’re heading into prime time for tornadoes. This part of Missouri is not officially in tornado alley, but we are close enough.

We can hear the siren at our house, which is about 1.5 miles away, and it has sent us down to the basement on more than one occasion when it fired off in the midst of a bad storm.

It is not a sound that one particularly wants to hear when the weather is bad, but I am sure glad we have it.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

A Sad Day

It is never easy to make the decision to end an animal’s life. Even when you know the time has come and it is the right thing to do.

The phenobarbital we were giving Squeaker twice a day to control the seizures wasn’t working very well anymore. The seizures would cause her to loose control of her bladder and she would spray urine—usually not very much— so it wasn’t a big deal to get out the Lysol and spray the area and blot it up.

She had three violent seizures yesterday, two of them within about an hour of each other. When she had the third seizure later in the day, we discussed calling the vet to have her euthanized, but then backed down and said, “Well, let’s wait until the end of the week.”

We didn’t get to the end of the week.

This morning she had another violent seizure. This time on the bed. It must have lasted a long time because her bladder was full and she emptied it on the comforter and it soaked through that onto the one underneath. Not the end of the world, both comforters can be washed…

But because the seizures were increasing in frequency and becoming more violent, it was just going to get worse and worse... and harder on her... and so we decided it was enough.

We made the hard decision. We cried. I took her to the vet this afternoon and cried. And came back with an empty cat carrier and cried some more.

We’re going to miss her. A lot.

Farewell little kitty.

Friday, March 22, 2019

A Happy Day

Today is her birthday. 

I was old enough when she was born to remember her from the very beginning of her life. She was such a sweet little girl, sensitive and tenderhearted. The only time I can remember being angry with her was when she got into my “Evening in Paris” cologne when I was a young teenager. 

I especially love this picture of her, which I took in 2012 when I went to to California for her daughter's wedding. 

She took me on an outing to the Bowers Art Museum in Santa Ana (Orange County). We lived in the City of Orange before we moved to Oregon.
There was an orange grove behind our first apartment there, and in the spring smell of the blossoming orange trees was exquisite. The city very wisely planted a specimen orange grove so folk would remember how the town got its name. They were already ripping out the orange groves when we left there in 1980.

It was a wonderful day. The museum was just the right size so we were able to walk through all of the galleries without being exhausted at the end.

She is so pretty, but even if she wasn’t, she would still be beautiful because it comes from within, from the deep, abiding relationship she has with God. “Her children arise and call her blessed; 

her husband also, 

and he praises her.” 

Me too. I am so thankful she is my sister. Happy birthday Sissy!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Taste test

For reasons I don’t fully understand, when someone mentioned last week at church that they would like chili for the light lunch we are having tomorrow after church, I opened my mouth and said I would bring some.

Why? I dunno.

I am very insecure about my ability to fix food that other people will like when they eat it. I fretted about it all week, looked at myriad chili recipes, and finally went back to my old Betty Crocker cookbook.

I made the recipe this morning and put it in the crock pot to simmer so flavors would blend and took a taste.

It was a little flat, so I added some more chili powder. Let it simmer for a while, and then gave Richard a sample. He thought it needed more chili powder. So I added some. Waited an hour or so, took another taste, and added some more chili powder. After another hour I gave Richard another sample, and he thought maybe it needed a little more salt. So I added a teaspoon of salt. We both took a final taste and decided it was good and that I should not mess with it any more.

Then I found onion skin in the last sample I tasted. I thought I had been so careful to remove all of the onion skins.

Richard says, “Don’t worry. If anyone gets an onion skin, they’ll take it out of their mouth and put it on the side of their plate. Not me. If I get one, I’m gonna say really loud “Eeuww. There’s an onion skin in Leilani’s chili.”

God bless him. He always seems to know when humor is helpful.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Doing a Happy Dance and Heaving a Sigh

I am doing the happy dance because one of my favorite blog writers, Ladybird World Mother, has started writing her blog again after going silent after a post in October 2016. And at the bottom of her first offering after all this time she writes “This was written a year ago last October. But I forgot to post it. And so I'm posting it now.”

Well, if she can do it, so can I. I don’t remember when I wrote this–maybe a month ago–but I got distracted before I posted it. Now I feel like I am coming down with another bout of writer’s block, which I am hoping to crash through and thus avoid a widening gap between posts.

The freezing rain started Thursday night, and my car is covered in ice along with everything else. About this time last week (give or take a day), it was raining liquid water. When I got back from town, I had to get something out of the trunk and noticed how easily the dirt came off on my hand.

So I got a pail of hot water with a little ammonia (and I don’t want a lecture about how you are not supposed to use ammonia on a car), grabbed the umbrella, and washed the car in the rain.

It worked out quite well. The dirt came off easily, and I didn’t have to rinse the car when I was done.

My parking spot on the driveway is under a maple tree. On a bright sunshiny morning a few days later, I came out to go to town and discovered my car was covered—and I mean covered—in bird poop with lots of bits and pieces in it. I believe the culprits were a small flock of Cedar Waxwings that has been flitting around eating berries from the cedar trees and buds from the maple tree and whatever else they can find.

I had to wash the windshield right then so I could see out, and I guess I will be washing the car again as soon as the ice melts.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Promises, Promises

"That's a pie crust promise--easily made, easily broken."
           Mary Poppins
It is a rocky road I drive, and he has pointed that I do so too fast. This is not the first time. I wrote about it here in 2010. I promised him then I would slow down when driving on the driveway.

And I expect I did slow down, for a while. But it appears my promise was indeed a “pie crust promise.”

Although I deny driving too fast, the evidence against me is strong. I have had 2 flat tires within the past 2 months from hitting rocks at a certain spot on our driveway that are left exposed from the frequent flooding (as shown on the video on the old post) that washes away the top gravel.  This brings the tally to 3 flat tires (there was one earlier last year). Two of the tires could not be repaired.  

Fortunately, the most recent flat tire could be repaired, so the financial hit was only $12.00 rather than the cost of a new tire.

I have taken to heart the stern lecture by my beloved to keep my foot on the brake as I head down the incline from the house. I have begun creeping along ever so s-l-o-w-l-y.

He has been watching me from the window and is pleased with how well I am doing, and has told me so.

Now I just need to remember not to revert to old habits.

Monday, January 21, 2019

A Warm Moment on a Cold Day

Not too long ago my cousin in Hawaii posted a picture of herself on Facebook bundled up with a warm hat on her head and a scarf around her neck because she was cold. It was 60 degrees in her house. I did not laugh. How we feel cold is somewhat relative – what may be cold to one person is not that cold to another.

So I am not gonna say what the temperature was this morning when I left the aerobics class to go to the store for comestibles or how even colder it felt with the wind.

Bad weather over the weekend and the cold this morning prompted the school to cancel classes. There was a grandfather and two grandsons at the Y exercising, and I was not surprised when I saw another grandfather and his grandson in line behind me at the checkout.

I had 10 pounds of chicken, 5 pounds of vegetables, and some other items. The clerk asked me if I wanted help. I lift weights, so I could have carried the sacks, but I have a metal plate in my arm and it is uncomfortable sometimes.
 At first I said no, and she said are you sure, and I changed my mind and agreed that I needed help.

She called the store manager to help me, but he didn’t come and he didn’t come, and finally, Grandpa, who I expect was tired of waiting, said nodded at the boy and, “He will help you.” He didn’t argue with Grandpa, but smiled at me and picked up the heaviest of the bags and carried them out to the car. He was tall like his Grandpa, but puberty had not hit yet, so he had a soft, sweet “little boy” face, and his voice had not changed. He was sort of uncoordinated and awkward and was sort of galumphing along with my bags, smiling and not grumbling or complaining. He was precious.

It did my heart good to see a boy willing to be kind and helpful with a cheerful attitude. I wanted to go back and ask Grandpa if I could take him home, but I didn't.