Monday, September 24, 2012

Count Your Blessings

It was volunteer time today at a makeshift food giveaway. More people are showing up and the same or smaller donation is being divided into smaller portions.

On the plus side people are opening up about their needs. Met a man today who moved into a storage shed which he and friends furnished with others cast offs. He works 24 hours a week for about 7.45/hr and has a $40/week child support bill and no vehicle. Fortunately, he can walk to work and the weather here is better than trudging through a snowstorm.

I asked him if there was anything else he needed because we have things in our storage shed destined for a yard sale. He looked at me and said, "A friend or two would be nice."

He wasn't whining about his circumstances and doesn't look like he just came off a month long drunk in the gutter.

Another couple overheard us and they joined the conversation. A few minutes later they were inviting one another to sit by the campfire some night. One plays harmonica and one an old "gee-tar."

George came to the food give away with me just to meet a few people and get out of the house. He was quiet driving home and I asked, "what's on your mind."

He said, "I see now why you volunteer. I also see that we're better off then some and more like others."

When we arrived home he began pulling things out of the shed and said next week we'll just open our trunk and ask if anyone needs any of it.

Imagine, the poor helping the poor.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Making More Connections

The food "pantry" I volunteer at meets in a church parking lot. Over time I've made a few aquaintances and it's beginning to pay off.

Two weeks ago we stood around waiting for the food to arrive & talked of how we're getting by; what we've changed in our life and, if not native to Florida, how we wound up here.

One man is from France and spent his life here as a long haul trucker. Another man worked in the same business after leaving the Air Force. A couple were factory workers until that closed. One was a drug dealer until he got sober and found God.

The thing that struck me was how we all adapted. Everyone downsized and most said they wish they would have done it sooner. Many have created multiple streams of income, however meager they may be. Bartering is big and we're beginning to exchange phone numbers.

Last week I brought a few things from our pantry that we weren't using. This week I spread the word about a loveseat we're giving away. Today a woman's picking it up and hauling it all the way to Tampa for a family who just go into Section 8 housing and have two chairs and a mattress for a family of five! She lives here but travels to Tampa for a weekend job that pays well enough to make the drive worthwhile.

Another couple raises chickens so I'm saving egg cartons for them. Talking to him yesterday I discovered she needs some mending done. I bartered sewing for eggs.

The subject of Christmas came up and I said I don't participate in the traditional "shop 'til you drop" way. Just as the delivery was arriving we'd decided to do something for one another this Christmas. No firm plans yet but it was refreshing to see community building in action once again!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cougar Country

We've had a Florida cougar/puma/mountain lion in our back yard at the fence line, laying in the bushes for two nights now. Neighbors hounds are going crazy when it appears and both nights we've been woke up by a cat screech unlike anything we've ever heard.

As daylight glow first touches the branches, the big cat leaves.

George figures it's taking advantage of the animals that appear at our compost pile: coon, armadillo, skunk, moles, groundhogs, boars, etc.

Wish we owned a game camera because the show would be interesting.

In other news my Dad arrived in Bradenton in one piece but a bit confused as to why he was there. He didn't recognize his youngest nephew who was there to pick him up and, according to his 95-year-old sister, slept for 14 hours after his flight.

He called here the next morning to tell me about everything he's done in the past month that he would now spend 10 blissful days with his sister. I told him to have a great time. His sister got on the phone and asked when he was coming to our house. I said I hadn't been told he was coming to her house, let alone mine so it was up to him.

She turned to him and asked him when he'd be seeing me & he said, "I just talked to her."

Gotta love family.

Have a great weekend all!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Obstinance of the Elderly

I dearly love my 84-year-old father. Make no mistake.

But there are times...

Like now, when he is planning to step board a plane; make two changes and arrive in Bradenton, FL. unannounced at his 95-year-old sister's Sarasota home.

Sometime during the next 10 days he plans to travel 3-1/2 hours north and visit us.

His sister lives with her son, his wife and his 78-year-old mother-in-law - who can't speak English.

This behavior is not unusual for my father. However, he barely walks anymore, is steadily losing weight; is forgetful and getting ornery by the minute. No one in the family has been able to reason with him and he refuses all suggestions like someone driving him or flying with him. To top it off, his flight is full so no one can hop on at the last minute unless th.
ey want to chance standby and hope they continue to catch a standby flight the rest of the way with Dad.

Furthermore, he refuses to call me & say he's coming to Florida! I ask about it and he laughs & changes the subject.

Meanwhile, no one up north seems willing to stop him.

So, if you're the type to pray, please do for his safety and my sanity.

I have snacked all day, paced the floor, wrung my hands and fielded phone calls about this "crazy old man's trip."

Just when I thought I'd write a column about doing laundry in my wringer washer and making laundry soap, I get sidetracked by family drama.

Moving nearly 2,000 miles away didn't keep it from us.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Thoughts While Not Sleeping

I hit the hay each night hoping for sleep and a clear mind when I wake up.

So, is it any wonder, after recent rains have brought my old nemesis Arthur Itis to visit? I hate taking medicine because there's always a side effect, but when the pain gets to the point I'm nearly immobile and crotchety to boot, I curse those pills and down a few.

They haven't done their magic yet but the gray matter is still functioning. I think.

As I type this, random thoughts flutter by and once in awhile I catch the essence of one. For instance: How much of our pain is self inflicted?

In my case, if I were more active, I'd have less pain. The worse thing for Arthritis (and many ailments) is being sedentary. And if one is not constantly medicated (the first option for most people IMHO) then you wind up riding the pain roller coaster. Too tired because you're in pain; too much pain so you sit; move around to remain flexible and you start to feel better and overdo it!

Of course, some people love pain! You know the kind. They whine to friends and family; are forever being doctored for their various ailments and have convinced themselves they need assistance for their plight. And run for cover when their short fuse is lit!

How dare someone suggest they need an attitude adjustment by way of weaning themselves off their drug of choice!

I witnessed this while waiting at the post office, of all places. In shuffles an obese woman whose cane seldom hit the floor - being draped over her wrist like it was.

Five people were in line in an 8'x14' waiting area with a counter in the middle for customer use. First, she announces she can't bear to wait in line. A kind Southern gentleman steps forward (3rd person in line) and says she can take his spot.

He walks to the end of the line while she bumps into everyone and everything to the third spot. And then drops her cane! And whines again. Seems the two people in front of her knew her. Poor souls. Or wise souls as it turned out.

"Well Sissy, I see you're walking around now," says one woman.
"Hmph! Not like I have a choice," Sissy spouts as she begins her litany of grievances with a family member.

While the rest of us glance at one another with knowing eyes, Sissy has the floor and becomes more animated - and flexible - as her plight is explained.

By the time she left the rest of us in line were shaking our heads. A little small talk ensued and wouldn't your know it, we all had ailments and pain. Arthritis, MS, Parkinsons, a prosthetic leg, a steel pin and Shingles!

Like I told the postal clerk, Drama must be her middle name and #1 Poor Me Street her address.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Community Building a New Income Stream

Yesterday I joined the local women's club which supports not only the local elementary school, scholarships and the food pantry but maintains the local library as well.

I've spent five months here primarily sitting at home and not getting to know very many people. I knew I needed some type of involvement that would be beneficial both ways. In this group, I've definitely found it.

Our library is the ONLY remaining library in the U.S. owned and operated by a woman's club. We maintain the building, equipment, grounds, and pay salaries, etc. A library board handles management, policies, supervision, material selection and programming. I would have nave known the library was NOT supported by taxes.

One reason I agreed to move to this area is because it offered two of my favorite things, a thrift store and library. Both are owned by the womens' club. Today I did my first four hour shift as a volunteer at the store. I have not spent four hours on my feet working in awhile but it was fun, relaxing, informative and made me feel like part of a great community.

Of course, working there, you get first dibs on donations! I came home with four items. One long prairie skirt was free because a ONE inch piece of the waistband was coming apart!

I said I'd fix that in no time. Next thing I know people were asking if I was a seamstress or did mending. I can't fathom that no one here does such a thing but these women had never heard of anyone so I have a new income stream. The said to make up some business cards & run an ad in the weekly paper. "You'll be swamped!" Not sure I want to be so for now I'll see what develops via word of mouth.

As the club president said, "Now that we know we have another volunteer, you'll be busy."

That has its plus side, like hearing about items for sale before they're advertised or where to buy the best pizza or what repairman to avoid and who raises chickens and sells eggs and what to expect at the next Seafood Fest in November.

It's those community insiders that hold the answers we would otherwise develop on our own via trial and error. Not that this is a bad thing, but having the inside scoop does save time and money.

Friday, August 31, 2012

When It Rains, It Pours

The rain from Isaac has moved out & humidity is high. The highways are heavy with holiday weekend traffic and yard sale signs have cropped up like I've never seen here.

Meanwhile, here it is raining mishaps and mechanical failures.

Laundry didn't get done yesterday because no matter what, the washing machine would not start. It sits outside on patio slabs. It's covered in heavy plastic so the tub doesn't fill with rain water and bugs. It's hooked to a heavy duty extension cord which plugs into a standard exterior plug. The problem appears to be one of those push button start buttons that I loathe.

It's an old washer. Replacing the part costs about as much as buying another used washer.

Last night I went to the store for yeast because after searching for an hour - yest an hour! - I couldn't find my yeast. Driver side front end made a strange thrushing sound when I turned corners or went over a bump. I never drove above 40mph as that is the speed limit from our house to the store.

George crawled beneath the car and looked under the hood and swore a few times. I forget what the thing is but needless to say it means spending money. Money we don't have.

This morning we woke up to no water. We had both been up during the night and flushed the toilet & run water in the sink. I ran more water for coffee and dishes. After some investigation we discovered our pump is crap.

So here we are on a holiday weekend with no water, a car that shouldn't be driven and a washer that doesn't work.

I hauled my old compact wringer washer out of the storage shed and spent the morning doing laundry by using a hose connected to the neighbor's house. They had borrowed our hose awhile back while working on the empty house & it so happened that they are next door today. That was fortunate because I skipped laundry last week!
Filled buckets and dish pans with water too. Thankfully we have gallons of drinking water stored.

Life is full of challenges but we carry on. Thank God for preps and good neighbors.

Keep smiling folks. Life could be worse.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Frank Lloyd Wright, Timberframe Books

Timberframe buildings, Amish craftsmanship and Frank Lloyd Wright are my latest additions to Whimsywind, my Etsy Shop.

And thank you to the sweet woman in Cullman, AL. for your purchase.

A Happy Mower and a Dead Boat Battery!

We moved here April 2nd this year to a yard that looked pretty dead. Since then everything's turned green due to torrential rains and overgrown everything in sight.

We sold our mower in Michigan and let the grass get pretty high before hiring the job done for $30. Thereafter, a neighbor mowed four times for $20.

Eventually, I knew George would buy a used mower despite my desire to get an old fashioned rotary push mower. No gas, no fumes, no moise. But, he's the mechanical type. Gotta have something to fiddle with even though he can barely moves off the porch.

So, low and behold, he's across the street at another neighbor's yesterday, helping him with his brother's mower.

An hour later a Craftsman 42" cut mower is sitting in our yard courtesy of the neighbor and $300.

As usual, whenever you add something to your life, it requires upkeep and storage. It was my job today to make room in the shed for the mower. When George recovers from mowing the grass, it's his job to make a ramp for the shed so we can get the mower inside.

Thus far our expense besides the price tag is a few gallons of gas, a new battery and a new belt. The ramp will be built out of scrap wood.

Then we decide to take the pontoon out. Never left the yard because "somehow" the knob that turns the batter off was turned on and the motor tilt came up - due to a short in the switch - and further drained the battery.

I get a little frustrated with things like this. I'm the "check and double check" person in this household while George has become more carefree - to the point of NOT checking things.

There have been a few instances of this since we arrived here and it always costs money!

The neighbor came over to see how George likes his "new mower" and, when he heard about the boat, said, "George, I thought your sweetheart was the one losing her memory. I don't say this often, but you ought to listen to her more often."

Thank you neighbor!

Friday, August 24, 2012

First Etsy Sale

Monday I ship the Griswold #8 waffle iron to Texas. My first Etsy sale feels great. Here's hoping for many more!

Living in a small town options are few to sell expensive or unique items, especially antiques.

I've had my fill of Ebay and Craigslist is great for everyday items, cars, boats and furniture but antiques have not sold well there, in my experience.

When the snowbirds return, Craigslist may be a better option. Surely it will for a few yard sales.

Meanwhile, I continue to unpack, dust, photograph, price and prepackage some items.

Feels good to be doing something besides watching the rain, reading, cooking and napping. As long as my energy lasts, I'll keep plugging away.

Here's a few of my offerings at Whimsywind:

Flying Geeze twin quilt, hand stitched $125.

Wine Cork 2-shelf caddy: $22.50

Yelloware Water Cooler with spigot: $100.

Birch Bark Stars: 3 for $25.

Well, time for Kitty Kitty and I to porch sit awhile before bed.

You all enjoy your weekend! Treesong

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Whimsywind is Open

Six items have been listed on my Etsy shop, Whimsywind.

If you're in the market for an antique flying geese quilt, a yelloware water cooler, a Griswold #8 waffle iron or a hand crocheted popcorn stitch twin bedspread take a look at Whimsywind.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Setting Up Shop

I never seem to get rid of all the excess stuff around here so once again I'll market it online.

Must be a glutton for punishment as it took me forever to do a few simple steps on Etsy before giving myself a coffee break.

Much of what I have available is antique of good quality. Have no idea if any will sell but it's worth a try.

Besides needing to raise some cash to pay make our balloon payment in three months, I see no point in holding on to things that aren't being used.

Now, if my memory would be razor sharp and my energy like that of a Jack Rabbit, I might actually get the shop open!

It's time to find a new home for the following:

Flying Geese antique twin size quilt, Griswold cast iron waffle maker, yelloware water cooler, crocheted popcorn stitch twin bedspread, 1943 and 1953 National Geographics, crockery bowls, a few paintings, antique dishes, jewelry and a few pieces of slag copper from Lake Superior.

Gosh, I'm tired. Maybe I need a nap!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ah the Joys of Paypal

I don't know where to start except to say I FINALLY got our Paypal account straightened out!

TWO years after the fact!

It had become such a maddening ordeal that many, many times we just gave up.

We no longer sell on Ebay so it didn't seem to be such a bad thing - until someone wanted to send us money.

After gripping the phone until my hand fell asleep, muttering beneath my breath and asking numerous times to be transferred to someone who spoke in an accent I could understand, I got an honest to goodness human being.

Then the real fun began! Every time we tried to change our password, no email arrived from Paypal. Imagine our surprise when we were told Yahoo frequently does NOT recognize emails from Paypal!!

Then, to verify to account, we had to verify that we'd changed our address, bank and telephone three times in four years. It felt like being audited by the IRS.

I appreciate security measures as much as the next person when it comes to online transactions but it sure tests my patience.

After the dust settled we discovered we received a donation two years ago from a Jon in Ann Arbor. Thank you Jon. We appreciate your generosity though the thank you is late in coming!

On that fine note, we're going to sit on the porch awhile. I need a rest from this online stress!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Peeling Back the Layers of Pretense

In my wanderings around the area I've discovered a few things.

Lots of people appear to be doing fine when in fact, they're not.

1.A local man has kept up with the boating crowd by stealing gas for his motor.

2. A family takes in short term boarders for two to five day stays in their home while they camp out in the garage with a makeshift kitchen and porta potti so they can hopefully generate enough money to pay waterfront taxes.

3.Others place a Craigslist ad for "furniture wanted" and your phone will ring non-stop from people who admit to being desperate for cash or those who sing a familiar line: "I never use that anymore." When you arrive to pick up that never used item there are lots of nearly empty rooms.

4. More land line phones are being disconnected to avoid the monthly fees and collection calls. Cell phones numbers are changed because someone got an Obama phone but carries their old phone for looks. I kid you not!

5. Other adjustments are: growing your hair out; taking fewer baths and doing less laundry to save on the water bill; inviting yourself to lunch or dinner at a friends; going to church potlucks for a better meal; advertising your home on For Sale By Owner so a real estate sign doesn't tip the neighbors off and last, but not least, advertising your house sitting, lawn maintenance and painting skills on northern Craigslists for the snowbird owners.

Now, other than stealing gas and inviting myself to dinner, I don't knock these strategies. It's a shame, though, that people are so tied to appearances that they pretend all is well. What does that teach their children?

There is no shame in having a rough time. Being afraid of acknowwledging reality is.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

There is Never Enough Water

Some people learn this the hard way.

We all have private wells here and for some strange reason a few have been on the blink this week. Each well owner was assured it's not a drought due to the immense amount of rainfall we've had. However, the ground is composed of springs and coral, some sand, some clay and a lot of human activity on top of it!

Whatever the well problems were caused by - and I don't have all the info on that - I did hear that EVERY one of these owners had NO WATER stored.

You can't cook noodles in Diet Coke! And after a few thoughtless flushes, your well tank is dry!

The problems started in the middle of the night. ONE gas station is open 24/7 and doesn't stock a lot of water. The grocery store has a water dispenser in front of it but requires you provide the containers. The Dollar General closes at 10 p.m. and again, stocks little water.

Add to that unprepared homeowners who don't have money for a new pump or whatever the problem is.

And finally, it is hot as Hades out here with high humidity that lasts late into the night. Even the birds and squirrels are laying low.

We have water and stocked up on more of it yesterday.

We also have a well we know little about.

Without food and water, you haven't got a chance at survival.

The same people in this neighborhood without preps are the same without generators or hand pumps (some wells here are shallow).

Always good to have a reminder of how important preps are and NOT be the one in need of them.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


After paying OFF a few bills and making our usual monthly utility & mortgage payments, filling the gas tank and buying Kitty Kitty her meals, that's the balance in the check book. Until next month.

Most people would be in a panic, wondering how they'd "make it" another 24-25 days. Not us.

We're well stocked in food, personal hygiene and medical supplies. We're used to living well below the poverty line and most importantly, we're accustomed to staying home.

The price of gas has risen by 58 cents a gallon here in 16 days. It doesn't affect us until we fill up next month because we're not out running around just to be "out and about."

Living on a limited income RESPONSIBLY requires making prudent choices and sticking to them, no matter what shiny bauble tries to seduce you.

Some people never seem to understand that concept and suffer accordingly. Such is the case of an online acquaintance who's mumbling about "not knowing what to do" because two bills are due and she has no money. Being the disgusted, plain speaking woman I can often be, I asked her how much she contributed to the casino this month and was she still having her acrylic nails done.

"Of course I have my nails done!" She yiped. "And my hair cut at a salon. I don't dare hack it off like you do!"

Well, people keep complimenting my "hack" job, so I guess I'm not doing too bad in the hair department!

As for my nails, a reliable pair of clippers and an emery board get regular use.

My point to Ms. Prima Donna is that simple choices make a huge difference in one's quality of life - if financial responsibility and harmony in your home are your goals.

Yep, we love, love, love one another and our $100.12 balance! Heck, last month it was $86.17!

Of course, we have cash stashed here and there but that's like hiding candy away and discovering it years later - well preserved but still useful.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Dependent on the Internet?

We've been without internet or landline phone service since 1 p.m. Thursday. About 51-1/2 hours in all. The experience was an eye opener due more so to the time of month it occurred. Like many retirees, most of our income arrives in the first few days of each month & we promptly pay bills electronically for most of the month.

George had NEVER before put off bill paying on the first of the month when one check is direct deposited. This month he did and we were left in a lurch. Twice yesterday we tried to access computers at the library across the river in Yankeetown to no avail. A cell phone call to ATT&T told us service was out until the evening of August 7th. Yikes!

We don't own a smart phone and all but our auto insurance is paid online to addresses far from here. Fortunately, in double checking things, a credit card bill had been paid July 30th (due on 8/02) and the other bills could be paid as late as seven days with no penalty.

In the meantime, his Social Security check was deposited as well as an IOU from someone. Every little bit helps!

George has advocated "going paperless" for a long time but event changed his mind.

The outage affected an entire neighborhood on the south side of the Withlacoochee and got a few peopled riled up. Another lesson about how dependent and short fused people are when they go without. We remained inside or on our lot and kept to ourselves and noticed a few neighbors did likewise.

Once ATT&T fixed the problem, we logged onto our accounts, took care of business and did a little shopping in Inglis. Used the debit card to get more cash; filled emergency water jugs & bought more gallons of water; filled the gas tank & checked all fluids & tires and stopped at a yard sale where I got a nice wicker chair for $10.

Overall, we're fine but glad to be connected again. As usual, the lesson is, have back ups in place or in this case, a cell phone and bills paid ahead of time!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Celebrating Life

One that ended too soon and a new one due in February.

A childhood friend died of cancer in Michigan and a Celebration of his life was held a week later for a gentle man who was a former hockey semi pro, loving father, brother, son, uncle and all around great friend to many.

My youngest granddaughter, Aurora, is jumping with joy, as are all who know her mom - due to have a boy in February. There will be a 13 year difference in the children's ages but what does that matter when the stars have aligned for all the other details? Her mom has nearly completed schooling, has moved into a three bedroom home after 10 years in low income housing and has built a great relationship with a fine man.

We're all overjoyed because Aurora's mom's family has endured a lot of heartache. Two brother died within four years of Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy, her mom had breast cancer, she had one miscarriage and a few rough patches before she realized it was time to value herself.

With Duchenne's MD some of the women carry the recessive gene and pass it on to 50% of the males. Aurora's aunt was not a carrier but her mom is. Now we wait for a couple weeks for testing to see if this boy will carry the gene. Either way, the new life is loved and couldn't be welcomed by better people, prepared to handle whatever the future holds.

An added blessing is my granddaughter, who's been in the tween angst and rebellious stage, has turned a corner and appears to be maturing into the best young woman we all know she is.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

It's Not a Memorable Day!

Woke up this morning calling for George - by my ex's name but not really uttering any sound. The second part (no sound) has happened before) the first part has not. Guess it didn't matter as he didn't hear me anyway.

Had myself all tangled up in bed and couldn't get out.

Kitty Kitty had me up twice during the night so my sleep was broken up as usual but I have this strange, heavy feeling at the back of my noggin. Nothing new. The feeling and fogginess seem somewhat related. I think. Or maybe it's my imagination.

This dementia stuff is fuzzy. Not the feel good fuzzy like a kitten or baby chick. Just fuzzy. I think I've said something when I haven't. I say things I don't realize I have said. And, mix that with George's lack of hearing and we have real interesting conversations.

Most times, I guess I'm doing pretty well, then "ZAP!" along comes that disconnect.

Frustrates the heck out of me.

Made some peanut butter toast and coffee and couldn't figure out what I did with them. George opened microwave and found plate stacked on my thermos coffee cup. Peanut butter gooed all over the place.

I'm going to rest awhile and hope this passes. Thank God for spell check cause it's been a bitch writing this too.

Let's all hope for better days. Treesong

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Awaiting Cooler Weather - For a Huge Sale

It seems no matter how much we downsize, we've realized we can still do more. In our 652 square feet, plus 6x10 storage shed, I'd say half of what we own we NEVER touch let alone use.

So why have it?

Surely not for its value as most is losing value the longer it sits and is NON essential to our survival.

There are enough yard sales, thrift stores and Craigslist postings here in Florida here to prove that people need money - or other essential goods - more than knick knacks, designer jeans and shoes, golf clubs, exercise machines, George Foreman grills and kids toys.

I wear the same clothes every week and use the same items in my daily life. Drawers and shelves and a wicker chest hold the excess. Even in colder weather I doubt most of it will ever be used. Platters, cookie sheets, fabric, antique flower vases, old photo albums, a satin robe, CD's, 20 pairs of blue jeans and several other items will not keep me warm or fed.

Then we have all the doo dads the previous owner had in this place. All packed in boxes in the storage shed. Her tastes leaned to black metal, votive candles, beaded lighthouse thingys and fake sea shell "art." A couple things I've torn apart and recycled but really, why not make a few bucks and give someone else the joy of ownership?

Serious talk continues here about living aboard a houseboat. Whether or not it will happen is another matter but clearing out junk in preparation for it is a no brainer.

Like I told George, I'm to the point that a small houseboat on the Withlacoochie and a camper van parked somewhere is enough to handle. He really wants the boat; I want the camper van. Something happens to him, I'd prolly retreat to one anyway & be a free - er spirit. Something happens to me, he'd keep the van to store his "junk."

Most anyone's life can be much simpler than it is. Guess that's what we keep realizing: just how much we can keep paring down and still be happy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Moods Are a Passing Breeze - Sometimes

As the world spins out of control I spend more time in solitude and contemplation.

Most of what goes on around me I cannot control, nor would I want to.

There is so much craziness in the world that the goodness is often eclipsed. What we all need is more time with those people and things that bring out the best in us.

Walks in the woods. Camping and canoeing. A nap in the hammock. A quiet spot to read a book or watch wildlife. A family picnic or a long walk along a deserted beach. A child's first steps or an elder's wise counsel.

Very little of these simple things have to cost next months mortgage.

Soothing your soul begins with introspection and time alone. Once you develop that inner awareness away from the everyday drama and distraction you're less affected by every sideshow in town or your own home!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Of Houseboats and Old Friends

We took a ride to Hermando Beach yesterday to look at a few houseboats. Didn't buy any; not ready to anyway. It was worth looking to get a feel for floor plans, heights, beams, etc.

Also stopped at The Upper Deck in Weekie Watchee. The owners are old friends of George, especially dear Darlene. When he was a shrimper he mixed with Darlene's father and others at a couple local watering holes - in his drinking days.

It was great listening to them reminisce about old times and people, each forgetting names and getting events mixed up. Not often that I see my old salty man mix with people so it was a double treat. I highly recommend the place.

Here's a few pictures:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hidden In Plain View

He can't and won't be the only one resorting to this.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Learning to Live With Bugs

Not the kind big government has in place. Those critters that seek food whether human, animal, fabric, wood, sand or whatever.

Even George says he doesn't recall this many bugs when he lived in Florida 12 years ago. Whatever the case, they've about driven us to the edge.

We've mowed our lawn and trimmed bushes; removed all old, wet or rotting wood; spread insecticide throughout our lawn, shed, beneath and inside our home and still, they find us.

The latest victim is Kitty Kitty who had two rounds of fleas. Frontline helped but every surface in the house and outside had to be treated too. We're holding our breath that they are gone for now.

Food is NEVER left on the counters and I've vacuumed every day this week! Mattresses and upholstered furniture have been treated. Walls have been washed; holes and cracks caulked. Insecticide is routinely sprayed or spread and bug bombs were deployed while we took a drive. And still, they crawl or fly among us. Not as much, but by now we thought they'd be gone.

After Kitty Kitty once again had fleas and another Scorpian was found inside, I visited the hardware store for help. The owner informed me this is the worse outbreak of fleas they've had in years. He advised rotating insecticide products each month because, "They seem to build up an immunity."

Immunity? I think they could survive an Atomic blast.

Make no mistake, we like Florida. Sure beats the snow, ice and cold. But we've had our fill of Palmetto bugs (in the porch), flies, mosquitoes, beetles, four types of spiders (including a few Scorpians), four to five types of ants and FLEAS. Add a Bobcat walking across the yard and rattle snakes and, well, I just wanted to hibernate.

When doing our budget we included "pest control" - a first for us.

And the weather hasn't helped. Rain gives many ideal breeding conditions. But, we're vigilant about eliminating any water catchment. The mosquito control truck comes by every couple weeks too but the rain is daily.

This whole frustration got me wondering: "What would we do without pesticides?"

Forget about Zombies. The bugs would drive us away.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Porch Sitting

While porch sitting this morning I listened as our little corner of the world came awake.

Six deer emerged from the woods to graze on our overgrown lawn as birds began to be more vocal. Kitty Kitty sat at the screen door watching as I sipped coffee.

Soon neighbors began to stir, a few doors slammed and engines started. On our road we've grown to recognize the unique sound of each truck. Two trucks are white but one is driven faster and can be counted on to squeal its tires at the corner of our lot. Two more trucks belong to the same retired family and must be washed daily as even the mud flaps are clean on our dirt road after it's rained.

An elderly couple live through the woods behind us but we've never seen her. Two Blue Tick hounds emerged from their drive last week and he soon followed on his riding mower. Their toned, sleek bodies moved in unison along the roadside as cars whizzed by. He came up beside them, circled around them and they turned toward home. Never a word was said that we could tell. We hear them in their kennel twice daily as he comes out to feed them. For a couple days they were quiet and we wondered at the change in routine. A neighbor said the owner had probably taken them inside due to the heat.

Whenever the electric grid goes down here, the on-demand generator of a neighbor along the river clicks on. Fortunately for most of us, we haven't lost power in awhile now.

It will likely be another scorcher today and we'll retreat inside when the porch becomes uncomfortable. Our dehumidifier has run on a four-hour cycle the last couple days & given the AC unit some rest until late in the day when Sweetie's breathing demands some relief.

Neither of us expect to see a savings in the electric bill this month!

Well, Sweetie is awake so it's time to make a fresh pot of coffee. Enjoy your day folks.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Freedom Day

July 4th marks this country's independence of foreign rule.
Today, the country is ruled by corporations, politicians, lobbyists, bankers and outside influences much more persuasive than good ol' England.

Enjoy your celebrations.

We're doing our usual low key day: coffee on the porch. Watching the birds & squirrels and talking once in awhile. A little reading and a siesta will come later followed by a drive to the Gulf to watch the sunset.

Our visitor left on a plane yesterday. Peace and harmony reigns in our home.

Three loads of laundry and vacuuming are done. Lentils are cooked. Cabbage is steaming. Huge tomato is sliced. Simple vegetarian meal today. Watermelon to follow.

A day of relaxing and reflecting is in order. The best kind of day in a while.

Doesn't the wicker sofa look welcoming with an old quilt cover and pillow shams holding the back cushions? It's my favorite place to be.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Visitor Leaving & Preps Winding Up

She arrived June 6th & has been in various states of manic/depressive ever since. Not something I'm used to.

I've known her for 14 years but spent 11 years apart. They'd come to visit when we lived in Michigan & there were signs but living 24/7 with her moods, drama, accusations, etc. has worn thin.

Sweetie and I said we'd ride this out because we had a general idea when she'd be leaving. Tuesday's the day. Until then we'll both sleep with one eye open.

We discovered she's been hoarding food in her room. Not anything that needs refrigeration but hoarding none the less. A few minutes later while burning paper garbage, we found a bag of clothing in the bottom. Long story short, she's taking food home & tossing out the clothes.

Okay. Luggage will be heavier.

On another note, we're putting the pontoon up for sale. He insisted on a large boat (it's 26') but now he's realized it's too big to really enjoy all of the river. Lesson learned. The boat is larger than our car and I'd prefer something I can handle myself, if need be. So, here's hoping his wheeling dealing self works his usual magic. When sold, we'll use about $1500 for a smaller boat and put the remainder on our mortgage. Balloon payment is due Dec. 3, 2012.

I inventoried the preps in the pantry & our bedroom and once our visitor leaves I'll inventory that room. Sweetie wondered if she'd discovered the preps but I'd already checked. They ARE NOT beneath the bed. Still have that area to fill.

Also, had a 6-7' rattler on our patio this morning. The neighbor shot one on our road a few days ago as it chased his grandchild. Now we're on rattler patrol.

I woke Sweetie up to tell him about the snake but it disappeared before he got to the porch. Darn things understand English.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Doctor, New Diet, New Attitude

George saw new doc yesterday who prescribed two new meds for short term use and a radical diet.

He was told to "lose the weight; stop eating junk, salt & sugar, drink water only and you'll feel like a new man."

Doc never uttered a word about not smoking.

We were on our way to grocery shop so it was a delight not to buy the usual junk he craves. For supper I fixed his flounder, salad and broccoli/cauliflour/carrots.

This morning we're off to Quest Diagnostics for lab tests.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

It's Called the Unexpected

Three times in six days George has had difficulty breathing & his color has not looked too perky either.

He has a referral to a pulmonologist in Crystal River but we still haven't heard from that office.

Today, he got up from a lawn chair on the screen porch, staggered to the door to cool off in the AC & stumbled head first before regaining his balance. Said he felt light headed. As usual, I insisted he go to the docs or the hospital 5 miles south of here.

Good thing I turned to the right to close the door because he swung for all he was worth.

I WAS NOT hit & he's not a violent man but - when his oxygen is low & he's feeling he's lost control any mention of medical attention usually elicits a growl.

Personally, I believe he's deteriorating more & struggling with that realization. Add 60 years of smoking, male ego, finally living in Florida & not being able to do what you used to and humidity & it's a tough road for a stubborn, independent man.

Last night, we ran the AC all night - not that it ran continuously, mind you, but it's a significant change for this household.

He seldom ever drinks water, preferring coffee or diet coke but in two days he's had three glasses of water. A first for him.

He going to ask his old pulmonologist what med the shot was he received there & ask the local doc to give him the same thing until he sees the new pulmonologist. We suspect his lungs need that antibiotic kick start to supplement the oral antibiotic he takes every other day FULL TIME.

I sympathize with any physician trying to treat him because he's the classic non-compliant patient. But, I love him & want to keep him around a long time.

Please say a prayer that he'll lose some of his stubbornness and get into the doc on Monday.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Future Plans

It's taken some time but Sweetie has finally been convinced that solar is the way to go. We live in Florida, for God's sake. Land of sunshine and frequent power outages.

Funds are tight as always but we'll take it step by step.

And entire system to power our place won't happen overnight but if we can accumulate the basics & run even the well and/or AC off solar, we'll be better off: water available and the ability to keep cook in this climate count for a lot.

Probably won't buy any components until this fall but at least he sees the widsom in it.

Today his heart rate increased despite no activity & the AC was turned on to give him some relief. Heavy rains/winds due here Tuesday & Wednesday & probably a power outage too.

The way I look at things, better to spend money on solar components than a generator.

Like always, time will tell how soon all this comes together but we're moving forward.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rawles & Ol Remus Make Sense

Two blogs I highly recommend are Survival Blog by James Wesley Rawles and Ol Remus and the Woodpile Report.

Remus posts once weekly, generally by Tuesday. Today he referenced Rawles post on 20 Reasons ... basically what the immediate effect will be on everyone when a bank holiday occurs.

I learned a few things: those dependent on EBT cards (not us) will be out of luck as they're basically a debit card cleared through the same place as bank business.

I'm a bit foggy today so haven't included a link, etc. but look both blogs up. Worth every word in my opinion.

In other news, the latest shenanigans regarding immigration for 16-30 year old illegals is another nail in the coffin of legal US residents.

I've been away from the "news" for a few days & it's only degraded more in my absence.

And in further news, the doc's office was kind enough to give me samples of Aricept until the drug company decides if I qualify for a free or greatly reduced prescription.

So I'm not a welfare or Medicaid recipient but I'll gladly accept some help from the drug company. They have room in their bonus structure. Again, in my humble opinion.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Gulf Sitting

In our new Florida life we either porch sit or Gulf sit.

Not hard to take when you're watching cardinals tempt Kitty Kitty while we sip coffee and savor the breeze on our screened porch.

Not hard to take when you're lawn chairs overlook the boat ramp and your cooler & thermos are nearby. Watching people fish, talking to strangers, helping someone get their boat & trailer lined up, eating a sandwich & sipping a refreshing drink, watching the stars or once in awhile casting a line are the best entertainment.

Sweetie said today: "When was the last time I watched TV?"

Told him I don't know but it sure is nice not to!

A 26# Drum Fish was one bit of excitement at the dock today. Last night the Coast Guard sped into the ramp, unloaded their boat & took of for parts unknown. We were there five hours & they still had not returned.

Today, two speeding boats capsized another boat containing three fuel barrels they'd off loaded from a shrimp boat gone aground near the channel.

And here's a pic of three men from Ocala with their catch: two Red fish and a sea trout. Always something interesting at the Gulf!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Water Time!

Sweetie was in rare form yesterday.

First we took the pontoon out on the Withlacoochee for nearly five hours, then we had supper, repacked the cooler, picked up bait and drove to the Gulf in time for sunset.

He "fed" live shrimp to a lot of hungry fish & caught one undersized sea bass. It was great to see him out enjoying life instead of sitting & smoking.

We put the boat in at a public ramp in Yankeetown and went up river a mile east of Hwy 19. Here, the river narrowed & the tide was low enough that we were in danger of hitting the prop on dead trees. We turned around & meandered eight miles back to the Gulf where we promptly ran aground!

Sweetie is dyslexic & had read the tide chart wrong & I hadn't bothered to double check his reading. Once on the water we all figured this out but it was a relaxing day with no long term side affects.

There are severak abandoned or sunk boats along the river here which surprises me. In Michigan, at least where I've lived, your behind would be burnt & your wallet empty if you abandoned or sunk a boat.

Enjoy the pics and have a great day. Treesong

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Week of Discovery & Adjustment

Our friend will have been here a week tomorrow.
It's been good sharing time & conversation with her.
She's doing the hard, mental work she needs to do & much reflection about her previous life here in Florida. Guess being here brings up a lot of comparisons to our locations versus her former home; our lives versus theirs, our habits versus theirs.

This led to a discussion about the continuing decline of this country & people having to "double up," as she called it. Letting go of "the American dream," which I said was really "the American nightmare," is never easy but crucial if one is to address their circumstances head on. Too many people want what they want and are stuck in their anger over not having what they expected to have. She lives in Flint and sees more of that attitude whereas here, at least on the surface, people seem to react with more grace, common sense and a determination to help themselves.

By no means is this true everywhere but we've sure encountered a lot of it. Talking/listening to people at the Gulf as they fish or while standing in line at the stores in Inglis, their stories have a familiar line: life ain't what it used to be but we've adjusted. We're making better choices. We're doing more together. We're happier.

Then yesterday, at Dollar General, a version of this conversation occurred and the woman in front of us said, "you'll think that until you run into the worthless druggies."

The woman talking to me said, "Oh? I was a 'worthless druggie' and pulled myself out of the sewer."

To this response the first woman gave a "humph!" and left.

It was my turn at the register and I told the cashier: "You must see much of humanity pass through this aisle every day."

"OH YEAH!" comes a shout from behind me. We all turned to see a disheveled, dirty, blurry eyed guy holding crackers, tuna fish and a bottle of Gatorade.

"That woman needs to walk in any of our shoes," he said. To which we all agreed and the woman behind me said to him, "Good to see you again Mike!" and gave him a hug.

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Refuge in the Storm

We don't have much but we do what we can with what we have. Including offering refuge to a friend and wise counsel for a son and prayers for those we love and care about.

A friend has decided to leave her abusive relationship & will drive here in the next few days - assuming she gets out safely.

A son was beat up by his brother & has severed all ties. We agree completely. Meanwhile, we hope & pray no more damage is done to either son. One does well. The other is so deep into drugs he's dangerous to himself and others. The grandkids saw the beating; the daughter and her boyfriend stood by & didn't intervene until the drug crazed son was choking the life out of his brother.

The situation gets worse from there but we are here and thankful to not be in the midst of the situation. Number one, I probably would have intervened & two or three of us would either be dead or in jail. Number two, it wouldn't have solved a thing.

Insanity is around every corner in this world and for us, the best thing to do is not get near known insanity. If it means being thousands of miles away and cutting ties, so be it.

In the good news department, we took the pontoon out on her maiden voyage today for a 2-1/2 hour cruise on the Withlacoochee River. When we came home we heard the bad news concerning my friend and my sons. Thankful we got to relax before the crap began. The memory of that time kept us level headed later.

I took 24 river photos & Facebook won't load one! Wanted to share with my friends & son & grandkids.

Also, saw another Coachwhip snake crossing the road. Once again, it was longer than half the width of the county road. Camera batteries were dead by then or I'd give you a look.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Western Edge of Beryl

After three days of nearly non stop rain, thunder, lightening and two water spouts we've survived with little damage & an additional load of laundry today.

According to a neighbor's rain gauge, 6.2 inches of rain fell from Sunday evening through this morning. The intersection next to our home, our yard and a portion of our private road flooded.

The onslaught of sideways water and wind may have talked George into installing windows/screens on the porch at some point. The rain never stopped long enough to dry anything out and no matter what was covered & secured, the wind managed to make way for the spray.

We're fortunate to have an indoor drying rack, a rod across the tub enclosure and a 4-foot rod near the bathroom. After each deluge, I toweled water off items, wrung the towels & hung them up. An old shower curtain covers our wicker sofa but one edge repeatedly got wet. Within 2 hours it was dry this afternoon. The carpet on the porch floor was rolled back in places but required laying plastic on the decking in order to keep the area bug free.

If we'd had a straight downpour my work would have been less, but at least we were here to take care of matters.

The only real negative was a small roof leak where the new porch roof joins the mobile home. It dripped at the door frame most of the time & Kitty Kitty decided it was her new water dish - until it slid down the threshold & spilled.

A mysterious wet spot in our bedroom revealed another leak. Here's hoping George either allows me to climb the ladder to the roof with enough roof coat for a temporary fix. If not, we need cool weather & him feeling well enough to coat the entire roof or him willing to hire someone to do it - usually something he refuses.

He goes to his new doctor tomorrow. After insisting the humidity in Florida "never got to him" he's admitted it adversely affects him. I suspect this summer is going to be much more sedate than he anticipated. He's been off oxygen since before moving here which doesn't help but he's too stubborn to pay the $45 copay every month.

Tomorrow's been three weeks since I was prescribed Aricept. I think it's helping at least as far as maintaining my daily activities. I only drive in the Inglis/Yankeetown area when feeling well & take all meds/supplements on schedule. I've changed my diet to more vegetarian, cut out any sodas or junk food and do a few Yoga moves every day.

Life is still wonderful and we're content. That's something to celebrate!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

We'd Heard Commercial Shrimping Was About Done Here

When we arrived here, we immediately heard that commercial shrimping was just about dried up here.
High cost of doing business; shrimp farms in Mexico? and various other reasons were given.

Tonight we went for a drive in search of a guy who used to shrimp on George's boat. Didn't find him the first time out but ran into a 31-year-old man who's shrimped since age 16 and been in this area nearly the entire time. He didn't recognize George until he told him what boats he'd ran, then the real talk began.

Now, having not participated in that endeavor, it does sound at times like a foreign language. But, I did catch the part of why shrimping has nearly died here.

Seems the federal government - in their infinite wisdom - decided foreign shrimp operations needed more access to our market so shrimpers here were basically bought out. According to this man, they waited years for any money from Uncle Sam, but were eventually paid. Meanwhile, shrimp is imported here for much less than our shrimpers were paid. Of course, it's all about the money.

The guy we talked to now works for two Chinese men who bought out a shrimp house but leave 4 of 5 boats tied up. They run a small boat with strict instructions NOT to push any dying shrimp over the side. It all gets shipped overseas where their people will eat anything. I suppose in an over populated country where millions are still very poor, food is food.

Now, I'm sure I don't have all the facts, but as usual, our livelihood has been degraded.

I mentioned that we're anxious to have our boat on the river so we could see ALL the boats up close. He said all of them tied at a former fish house had been there for years unused. In fact, he could count on two hands the number of boats of any kind from his space on the river & west that go out more than twice a week! Tt's another sign of how messed up things are.

Of his former shrimping buddies, three have died, five work in other types of jobs, two retired, two are in prison and the remainder survive on part time work.

I told George it was a good thing he left when he did. His eyes were misty & he said, "It's a damn crime."

Kitchen Cabinets

Before and after photos of our kitchen. Still have some touch up to do but am just too tired and grew tired of having everything stacked all over. Area to right of top cupboard will be painted white. Window valance in blue/yellow/white and assorted things hung on the wall will add more color. Sweetie surprised me yesterday by installing ceiling fan/light in the porch. It was intended for our former home but never installed. It will eventually be removed to install ceiling but for now it's great relief from humidity and extends our porch sitting.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Investigating the Neighborhood

We bought our place sight unseen (except for overhead maps & real estate pics) and knew no one here before arriving. I've said we hadn't expected it to be as nice as it is & the neighbors on our road have been a blessing. However, the place next to us sold about the same time we bought here. The owner lives in Naples & comes up on the weekend. The project has required extensive clean up of yard & a new roof. Now they begin inside. Have not been inside but I hear they have a lot to do. His mother's boyfriend, who must be George's age, befriended us when he came by to mow the lawn and tear off a back shed. He's been a stand up guy & we enjoy him. George decided it was time he introduced himself to the owner. He came home and said: "He's an arrogant ass." Sad to hear but there's one in every crowd. Three places are for sale on our block so we took pics of them for friends out of state. I suggested we ride down all five roads while we were out. What an eye-opener! the further west we went the worse it got. Many homes are abandoned. One had trees growing through it and the roof caved in. A few were inhabited but looked like they had been plucked from a third world country. One place had given up on the mobile home & set up a 5th wheeler. Scrap, garbage, old boats and cars were everywhere. I came home thinking, "God, I thought the whole neighborhood looked like our road." There must not be any zoning against trash or basically dumps. Across the road is the river. Naturally, the places on that side are beautiful, are very large and gated and there is little to see except palm trees because the lots are long and narrow. Thinking about the road out here from the highway, I'd say we live on the last decent road. Once again, I am thankful for how everything turned out for us, but amazed at the difference one road can make.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Living With the Unpredictable

My dementia diagnosis has opened my eyes even wider to something I know inside anyway: life is unpredictable. No matter how rich or prepared or healthy or happy or famous or educated or intelligent or blessed you are by any definition, life still holds disappointment, defeat, surprise, unpredictable events and more. No wonder the saying: The best laid plans of mice and men." This morning was my return doctor appointment: ALL the tests results were in and it still boiled down to what doc suspected and claimed last week and what I've known inside for awhile now. The only real news was I also have high cholesterol. So, off the drug store we went to fill my two scripts: one being Aricept and pick of two refills for George. We made two more stops after that and headed home to relax. Or so we thought. Nearing our house we realized we were behind a neighbor we had not yet met & George wanted to talk to him. We parked by his drive & the guys talked boating,etc. while I stayed in the cool car. George never said another word about him except that he had a motor George might be interested in. After unloading the car, he went to the porch and I laid on the sofa with the blinds closed and AC running. Later he comes inside and asks if I remember what the guy's name is. Me? That is funny. He goes back outside and I hear our boat motor start up. I assume George is tinkering again. Later he comes inside and says he's going for a ride to a boat ramp on Lake Rousseau with Pat. I was in my own orbit and had NO CLUE what he was talking about. I didn't react well either. Long story short, the whole even scared me and I kept asking who and what he was talking about. George grew more impatient each time & finally said, "I'll be home later." He went out the back door and I went out the front door in time to watch him disappear into a strange blue truck I didn't recall. By the time he returned, I was in the fetal position on the sofa holding a wet napkin and hugging a pillow. He realized he had missed the obvious: my brain had slipped a gear earlier. He soothed me, apologized and suggested we go for a ride after picking up a Subway sandwich. He was going to show me the boat ramp the neighbor had showed him. We both had a good laugh when he got lost within three miles of our home & had to backtrack TWICE before finding the ramp. Such is life today. Perhaps after a few weeks of Aricept it will even out a bit.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Porch SittingO

Our screened porch has become our favorite "room" in our home. Kitty Kitty has a perch for surveying the yard; I have an antique wicker sofa with great PINK flowered cushions (hate pink) that I covered with random pillow shams and a quilt and George has his chair and a table in the opposite corner. I didn't take a picture of that area because it serves as his work bench/smoking station/bug spray "cabinet" in the "short term" he claims. The area rugs were in the house so we're using them until we buy indoor/outdoor carpet. The floor is decking with gaps, not plywood so a carpet will breath but keep bugs at a minimum. The porch is ONE foot longer than the original we replaced due to termite damage. Naturally, we'd like to have extended it another 4-8 feet along the mobile home but it serves it's purpose and didn't require a building permit. Another advantage is, it adds 96 square feet to our 652 square foot home. There are days when I'd gladly swap those dimensions but, it is what it is and we're blessed. Well, time for some more porch sitting. Have a great day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


It's been an interesting week, to say the least but through it all, I've been thankful. My Sweetie, George, has been patient, understanding, helpful and humorous and helped me realize that I won't travel this journey alone. I've read about early onset dementia until my eyes have blurred and learned so much - mainly, it's not a death sentence but a journey down a path I have observed before. Now, it's my turn. I've slid into this place gradually and much of the advice fellow travelers have is what I'm already doing. One is, keep a routine as much as possible. Do - or not do - only one major thing a day. Yesterday is was drive with George to Dunnellon for shopping. Day before it was laundry. I've started a notebook in no particular order: thoughts, what I forgot, silly things I did and reminders or references. I already had sticky notes here and there but now there are more. Some are decorated with stickers, buttons, ribbon to catch my attention. We may have friends coming to stay with us for a few months. They need to save money & we need the companionship and break from one another. We trust them, share the same interests and they've decided to return to Florida. It will give George someone to fish with and me someone to walk with or help around the house. They're leaving everything behind but clothes, computers and box of kitchen stuff so they'll do fine in our spare bedroom. Our Apache neighbor who stopped by so much has fallen off the edge of the earth. Asked a neighbor about him & he said, "He's like that. He'll come around again in a few months. Either he's dragged down by his own illness (transplant patient) or his wife's and he's just chilling. When he stopped visiting, we missed that. Neighbor also said his wife never meets anyone here. Sticks to her family and him & no one has been in their home. Okay. Their life is what it is. Have another doc appointment Thursday. If they want me to have more tests and specialists, I'll have to pass. No insurance and don't qualify anyway. Well, time to rest. Thanks to all of you who've sent messages. I appreciate it - and spellcheck!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

To All The Mothers

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms. You do the best, most important job in the world. Many of you extend your mothering to neighborhood kids, adopt other children and are the only positive role mother countless children have via church, Scouting, 4-H, sports, school groups, as a teacher and in any other capacity in which you connect with the world. My own childhood was not an Ozzie and Harriet scene but I found mothers, none-the-less. My high school English teacher, my grandma, my 4-H leader, my favorite aunt and today my elderly friend back in Michigan. Only the last two are still here and I'm so grateful I've had them in my life because everyone needs their mother - even at age 59.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

If I Lose My Memory

I always used to joke about being forgetful by saying" "Everything will be new again!" NOT TRUE. Some things will be incomprehensible and downright frightening as they have been a few times lately. Further tests will be done this month but there is no cure for any of the various forms of dementia. I knew how to get to the doc's office today but stumbled a few times filling out the forms. I got home without incident but couldn't find the credit card I used to pay the $100 office call. I didn't remember our address but did when I got home. I've been very tired and thought it's the MS or my blood sugar or perhaps leukemia because I have all those symptoms too. Thank God for spell check or this wouldn't make much sense! One never knows what life holds and now I'll really experience that. I am trying to remember what I don't want to forget. I like to read but keep losing track and George wants me to stay away from the stove for awhile. Salad and peanut butter is going to get old - I think. I just wanted to say I will not be here much and I will miss you all.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Birthday in Cedar Key

Three pictures of Cedar Key and one of the Sunflower yellow I'm painting my kitchen cabinets. Loved the 50's diner where we sat on the second floor porch overlooking the Gulf and ate a delicious lunch. We walked a few streets & took lots of pictures before I realized I was using the disposable camera & save for pics I send to my Dad. Once they're developed maybe I'll take a pic of some of those pictures! We had a leisurely drive, lovely lunch, sea breeze and exercise then did some porch sitting. My son and father called to wish me happy birthday, then I painted some of the cabinets before taking a siesta on the sofa. Rain is in the forecast. We need it as always and hope for a brief break in the humidity - until the rain stops! Thought of Sixbears while walking by a restaurant in Cedar Key. In a little clearing well away from the building were three containers for waste veggie oil. No one around to ask for more info about it but someone in the area must be using it. Well, time to answer a few messages and dream a little. Blessing to all of you.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Still Moving

I was going to say "Still Kicking Here" but I've had the Drunken Sailor Syndrome again for a few days. Sidelined me in the midst of priming the kitchen cabinets in prep for a coat of semi glass Sunflower. Add to that humidity of 69% and 90 degree temps with very little sea breeze and we's suffering. Us northerners have a bit more acclimating to do, it seems. In the meantime, I've tried a new recipes of my own creation: curried pork and okra salad as well as okra casserole. My 59th birthday is Sunday and we plan a trip to Cedar Key for lunch and a walk along the Gulf. Hope to have an early start before it gets too miserable outside, then head home for a siesta. If we could only set out internal clocks to get up early while it's cool and take a siesta every day, we'd get more done, but life goes on anyway. So, why get too concerned, right? Checked out a few mysteries from our library & enjoy then - as long as I can stay awake! What a life we lead! Stay safe and sane and enjoy your weekend, Treesong

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Porch Sittin'

Our screened porch has become the place to be in any weather, any time of day or night. Sweetie finished the screening and we moved the furniture around so we both have a great view of the back yard. One day we'll plant flowers, maybe add a birdbath & spiff up the firepit. Meantime, we have lattice to install around the bottom and want to finish the interior. A spare TV will be installed on a corner shelf, up high where rain won't hit it and some of my art will hang on the walls shared with the mobile home. Indoor/outdoor carpet is on the list too; meanwhile we use the area rugs that were inside. We had to buy a new refrigerator Monday & while moving the old fridge out, discovered the screen to the kitchen window behind the fridge. Screens are missing from the two living room windows so those were added to the "list." Stopped at the local hardware for a couple items but forgot the staples. Oh well, we've already added a few things to the "list" and Sweetie needs a haircut so we'll drive two miles tomorrow and "get her done." Reviewing our receipts, we both agree the "picking up a few things" has to cease by end of May. We sold so much in Michigan that could have been used here but, how much were we willing to haul on a 6'x10' open utility trailer? Not one more thing! Every time we think we'll list the trailer on Craigslist, we find another use for it - like saving a $69 delivery fee for the fridge. Still haven't put the pontoon in the water. Maybe in May, depending on how the money flows. Meanwhile, each day seems like we're on an extended vacation eating picnic food. Love it!