Sunday, May 31, 2009


I love the anticipation of waiting for flowers to bloom. These zinnias my husband planted from seed. I have them pictured as "babies" in an earlier blog and I thought that he would transplant them but he didn't. I've never seen zinnias "weep" like this, only stand straight up, so we'll see what happens here. This is his project, not mine, so I am just observing and enjoying. I did water them right before I took this photo so they look a little too weepy. The weather is beginning to be a lot hotter so they are going to need more water.

Can't wait to see what colors appear and how big the blossoms will be. I think it's so much fun to see people experiment by doing traditional things in an nontraditional way. It makes life more interesting.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Unique Birthday Gift!

This was a unique 60th birthday gift from my husband. After I spotted the two bluebirds in our backyard a while back, he overheard me talking about a bluebird house I bought at a craft show or somewhere many, many years ago and I thought it was stuck up in our garage attic or in the garage somewhere. On the morning of my birthday, he got up before me and put the house on a post and in the ground as a gift to me. Pretty cool gift, don't you think?

In less than 24 hrs. after he did this, those little birds had a nest inside! We were just amazed! We're trying not to touch or disturb it at all but my husband told me today he found a little blue egg on the ground below the house today:( I hope nothing has happened to all of them but I didn't peep in to see.

I love the way the light was shining on the birdhouse late this afternoon. It accentuates the old worn wood in a beautiful way. We'll be keeping an eye on this for a while. I read that they have two to four broods a year!

Friday, May 29, 2009


Remember my post a few days ago about shopping in Barnes & Noble? Well, this is one of the books I came across for 40% off! I felt pretty lucky with this because I really needed some instruction to use the resistance bands I bought about a year or two ago. They did come with a little pamphlet giving some exercises but they didn't say what part of the body it worked and I just feel like I needed more detail.

So. . . I tried out one of these exercises yesterday and I think it's very do-able for me. There are two types of bands in two different lengths. One is a lighter resistance to start with for beginners which I will definitely use. You must start easy and build up to prevent injury.

I haven't decided when I will start but I have decided I will only do it 3 times a week because the instructions in the book say your muscles need to rest a certain number of hours before working them again.

Another reason I haven't started anything like this is that since Apr. 28 (the day my brother and I took my mother to the ER), my energy level has been so depleted. It's just now starting to build back up. I feel better today than I've felt since Apr. 28 and that's been a whole month. It's amazing what stress can do to your body even if you're sleeping good, eating right, and getting exercise. I think the mental part of it is more difficult to deal with. But I hope I'm on my way to better health - physically, mentally and spiritually.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Just a Swangin'

Guess this photo best depicts the broken or fallen swing:( We've gone through two wicker swings, the first one being an antique, and I guess we're just going to give up on wicker as much as I love it. Everything we have on our back screened-in porch that is wicker is just falling apart. The cats are bad to scratch on all the furniture and the weather has worn it out, too.

This happened yesterday very late in the afternoon. Paige and I went to the back porch and were just a swangin' when all of a sudden, the chain and big screw on one side (the side where I was sitting, thank goodness!) just fell out of the ceiling. I was talking to my mother on the phone when it happened. No one was hurt but Paige just cried and cried and cried. I think it scared her so much. I was laughing and she was crying. Now that I think back, we could have had broken legs, etc. and we are very lucky.

My husband and I had been talking about just replacing that swing with a wooden swing and getting new furniture to replace all the worn out wicker.

Since it happened on MY side, it makes me REALLY want to work harder at losing weight!! Ugh!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Erin!!

Today is my oldest daughter's birthday. I did get to be with her briefly today as they were coming back from the beach to go home to Tennessee. So Happy Birthday, Erin!! I love you, love you, love you and hope you have many, many more!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Shopping Therapy

I did some shopping therapy today. My husband gave me a Barnes & Noble gift card for my birthday. I thought that I remembered either reading or hearing about the store going out of business or closing down so I decided to go ahead and shop there today before I went to visit my mother in the hospital. I was right. This particular store is closing June 3 so I'm glad that I went. At least half the store merchandise was 40% off so I had quite a haul! I probably spent about 3 or 4 hours in there looking around and enjoyed it very much.

My mother did not get to leave the hospital today as we were told yesterday. We really don't know when she'll return to the rehab facility yet. So I went to visit her after my shopping trip, came home, ate, rode my bike and now I'm ready to enjoy my new books - one of my favorite things to do!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Unique Photo!

I have gotten so many comments about this unique photo on Facebook. I have never had a photo turn out like this before but once a few years ago, I remember taking a photography class in which the instructor was showing how you could take a photo with a long exposure time and walk into a photograph and walk out and it looked almost like a ghost.

In this one, I kept trying to get the little ones to sit still so I could get the photo of all of them together but they kept standing up and sitting down, playing a little game. When one would stand, the other would sit and vice versa. So I just said, oh heck, I'll just snap the picture and here's what I got. Interesting, isn't it?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Instant Bluebirds!!

One of the best gifts I received for my birthday from my husband was labor. He's a very hard worker in general and sometimes I think I take for granted how much he does around here. On the morning of my birthday party, he put a bluebird house we've had in our garage for a long, long time on a post in the area where I spotted the two bluebirds and photographed them. That was yesterday about mid-morning. By noon today, he opened the door and a nest had already been built inside the house!!!

I went to church today and then from there to the hospital to visit my mother without coming home. When I got home this afternoon, he showed me the nest. I just couldn't believe it! What fast little workers they are!

This will be so much fun to watch but at the same time, I think we'll both be nervous about the predators. We don't want a cat or sparrow or anything else to get our little bluebirds. I would love to watch little baby birds, especially baby bluebirds, playing around here!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I Just Want to Celebrate . . . Another Day of Living. . .

Today my family gave me a birthday party. My birthday was Thursday, the 21st, so I feel like I've been celebrating for a few days now! It was a wonderful party and I made this photo of everyone who was here for me to keep and remember. (You can click on the photo to get a closer "Mug Shot" of everyone!) I love each and every one in this photo very much and they mean to much to me. There were a few missing that I love and mean so much to me, also, but they were just not able to come. Some were working, some sick, some with just other plans and could not make it or live too far away to travel.

Two very "strange" things happened today. First of all, right as the party was just about over and I could tell people were ready to go home, my brother got a call that my mother was being taken back to the hospital from the nursing facility. So my brother went on to the hospital immediately after his call and I stayed at home to tell everyone bye and thank you and then I went to the hospital. As it turns out, my mother was stabilized very quickly and is ok and in a room. We stayed with her almost until visiting hours were over and will go back tomorrow to hopefully talk to the doctor and see what is going on with her. Secondly, as I was getting out of my car in the garage (my husband leaves a radio on all the time now in the garage), the song that was playing over the radio was "I Just Want to Celebrate. . . Another Day of Living". That's just the way I felt and just what my mother and I had talked about right before I left. I told her that I thought it would be good for her (instead of worrying so much about what is going to happen tomorrow or anytime in the future), to just try to find something in everyday than she can be happy about. My brother told her, "let's just take it one day at a time". That's all we can do.

I had plenty I could celebrate and be happy about today. I had people around me that I love so much and then was thankful my mother was ok when I arrived at the hospital. Tomorow will take care of itself.

Still Celebrating!

No time to post pics yet but still celebrating!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

I do have pics to post of today but it is SO late and it's been a BIG day so I'll do it tomorrow. Good night all you in Blogland:) I am officially sixty years old now!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Much Better!!

Awww, this is so much better. Clothes are sorted through and organized, extra hangers thrown out and there's even room on the top shelf for more "stuff".

There's a little more fine-tuning to do but I have books I love to refer to and art supplies and books in the baskets and extra room on some of these shelves, too.

I took my old shoe rack that's about 30-something yrs. old and gave it a new coat of paint and my shoes are weeded through and organized. Winter shoes are under the bed in a rubbermaid container. I threw out a lot of shoes, purses, and clothing.

You can see Farley's little bed in the right corner and he's got more room now. Plus I washed his little bed, too:) He loves to sleep in there and now it's all clean and neat for him:) Sometimes the kitty will join him!

I folded and stacked my jeans and winter tops and all my jewelry is together. You can see a stack of books with a bag on top. There is some fine-tuning to do there with the art books and supplies, arts and crafts. I want to get projects in bags and ready to grab at a minute's notice with all the varied (too many) interests I have!

So there it is - all finished and organized and so nice to walk into and see and find things easier. I just hope it stays that way. The floor really needs to be shampooed but I cleaned it with spray cleaner for now and after my birthday and a big family reunion held here middle of June, I will tackle that.

Tomorrow is the big day - the Big Six Oh Birthday!! Tonight is the last night I'll be 59 yrs. old. So far, none of the milestones have bothered me but with this one, I think - in ten years, I'll be 70 and then in ten more, I'll be 80, etc. (if I make it that long). But that's life!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Flowers for the Playroom

These are flowers for Miss Priss's playroom that I kind of "recycled". I've had the artificial zinnias for a while and the container was one that my youngest sister's flowers were in that she gave my mother while she was in the hospital. When the flowers died, my mother asked me to just take the container and do whatever I wanted with it so I did this. I think it looks so cute and "girly" in her playroom. It remains to be seen how long the spanish moss stays in place! ha! I may in the near future take the arrangement back to my mother for her room in rehab. I just did this yesterday.

I decided to experiment with some F stops and see if I could see any difference in the depth of field. All three photos were taken with ISO 200 speed, 18 mm. lens, and set at daylight white balance because I didn't have any artificial lights on - I just opened all the shutters to let in natural light. I also set the camera to do manual settings.

The top photo was taken at F8 (the WHO CARES F stop) and 1/6 shutter speed.

This second photo was taken at F22 and .75 shutter speed.

This third one was taken at F3.5 and 1/45 second shutter speed. As you can see, I was standing with the camera in the top photo and squatting in the second and third - just a different angle.

I like the bottom photo the best but really can't see any difference in depth of field in any of them like I thought I would. Which one do you like the best?

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Version of The Mad Bluebird!

Today was my lucky day. I rode my bike this morning and when I was putting my bike back in the garage, I noticed a couple of what I thought were bluebirds flying around in our backyard. So I ran inside and got binoculars to check it out. I was fairly sure that's what they were and when I told my husband, he said, yes, he had been seeing them back there, too, lately. So then I ran back in and got my camera, put the telephoto lens on and went outside and just sat and waited on the back of my husband's tractor. I waited and waited and finally here they came just flying around and playing. It was almost as if they were teasing me.

Finally, one of the birds kept landing in different locations and I got 20+ "poses" from him/her. There were two of them and I wonder if they were a couple. I say poses because he/she acted like he/she was posing for me when I got my camera out. It was very comical and delightful! In fact, it was the highlight of my day today (besides getting to see my daughter and granddaughter:)

If you haven't heard of the famous photograph The Mad Bluebird, go here to read all about the story behind it and see the very cute photograph. I think it's my favorite photo of all time and a great story! **Make sure you keep scrolling down on the mad bluebird website to read the story behind the photograph. It's very interesting!**

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Serenity and Relaxation

This is a photo I took a while back of a Canada goose swimming in our lake in our backyard. It's so easy to take this for granted because we have these all over the place here. But this photo of the one lone goose swimming and the colors captured just makes me feel serene and relaxed and blessed.

I am beginning to unwind now and feel more relaxed, less rushed, less stressful, and more blessed. As I was riding over to the rehab facility this morning to watch "church TV" with my mother, I was counting my many blessings. I could list them here but that would make for a long, long post!!

My mother is doing so much better, too. She's doing so good with her therapy and much happier with her new room and new roommate. She's been moved to a quieter end of the hall, too. I love her roommate. She is 92 yrs. old and reminds me of Katherine Hepburn. I'm getting to know a lot of people there and beginning to feel what a blessing it is to do any little "thing" for any of them. They are precious, precious people - the residents and the ones working there, too. It has helped me step into a world that is so different from mine and broadened my horizons.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Plum Good

Here's a photo of the most productive thing I did today - pick plums! I can't explain it but I was completely used up and fried today. Thank goodness, this doesn't happen very often. There was nothing that inspired, motivated or interested me. I had no energy, no yearnings of any kind except to get out of this bad way of feeling. Maybe I just feel guilty if I don't do anything productive. I don't know. I don't know how to explain it. So I walked outside with my dog about the middle of the day and saw these plums on our 15 yr. old wild plum tree. A neighbor dug it up out of the woods somewhere and gave it to us when we first moved here. The rest of the day was only on the computer, lying around listless. The plums did motivate me to snap a photo!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Back to My Closet!

Back to the closet situation. This pictured above doesn't look too bad but just keep scrolling and you'll see what a mess my closet was in. I know, what crazy person would expose her closet like this? But I am just out there right now, heart's on my sleeve, and everything. Here I am, warts and all! Like it or not!

Could you believe a closet could hold all this junk?

Here's where the cat threw up. That's when I said, "enough"!!!!!

I plan to have the finished photo, hopefully tomorrow. I have given away one kitchen trash bag of shoes and one kitchen trash bag of purses to Goodwill plus a few pairs of pants and lots of coat hangers. I spray painted my old shoe rack. I cleaned the carpet really good and got all the cans of paint and supplies, art supplies, TV trays, a heater, bag of fiberfill, camera bags, just all the junk that doesn't belong on the floor outta there! I washed the dog bed and put it back in. That's where he sleeps a lot and sometimes with the cat that threw up on the floor! ha! I really am not a nasty person but was just stepping over this and putting other things first. Then I had enough and got busy. I'm having to accomplish this in baby steps but hope to have you a cute little clean closet to show you in a day or two.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Maybe Tonight

Didn't get to watch Steve Martin last night. Maybe tonight. Last night had to be clean up junk mail night and just straighten things up in the house some.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Today started out good with my bike ride but as the day went on, it became a very stressful day. So I'm hoping Steve Martin can help me and make me laugh with this movie. My sister says I need to watch this and I've never seen it and absolutely love Steve Martin. I'll let you know, Marty! I feel like I need to scream really, really loud!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Bike, My Closet and My Mother!

This is my bike and I started riding it again this morning. My plans were to ride my bike early, then eat a sensible, good breakfast and get to work on my closet. It is horrible. I can't even walk in there. I did take pictures and I will post them here when I am through (before and after) but I am still working on it!! I have tried on every pair of pants that were in that closet. After I did, I was glad I started riding my bike! ha!

I've weeded through shoes, bags, pants, shorts, books, and everything that was on the floor. I've vacuumed and cleaned up stains. I've cleaned all shelves except the very top ones. So all I have left are the top shelves, skirt/dresses/jackets and tops but that will take a while. This is some job but I'll be so happy with it when I'm through.

I did not go visit my mother today but just talked to her on the phone. She is finally in a room where she is happy with everything, her position next to the AC, her roommate, closer to the bathroom, windows and she got a shampoo, haircut and blow dry today. I put a TV in there for her until we can get her cable hooked up now that we're pretty sure she's happy and in the room she wants to be in. She will have an evaluation on the 25th that we'll attend to see what kind of status they give us on her. I will take her to the doctor on Friday to have her eyes examined and new glasses so she can see better. It's been years since she's done that.

You know the expression, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"? I think we all got happy today! Hallelujah! ha!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Beginning to Lighten Up and Not Take Things So Seriously

I was feeling like this waterhose - all wound up tight and going round and round in circles!! But now I'm beginning to unwind and loosen up. I'm realizing that everybody's just doing the best they can and there's no need to be so uptight. A lot of it is quite comical. Day by day, one day at a time, that's all any of us can do!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Had a busy but good Mother's Day. Went to visit my 3 yr. old great niece in the hospital this morning in place of church, then on to have lunch with my husband's family, youngest daughter, her husband and my granddaughter, then to rehab to visit my mother. Came home and got a call from my oldest daughter who lives out of town. So it was a busy but pleasant day.

Hope everyone else had a wonderful Mother's Day today.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Before I left home today, this bloom just spoke to me and I grabbed my camera. This is a bloom we have on our peace lily (or at least that's what I've heard this houseplant called around here). That's what I wanted this morning was peace. It's a beautiful bloom and I wanted to post a very close photo of it on here for everyone to enjoy.
My mother was moved this afternoon to a rehab/nursing type facility. It's emotionally a big change in life but I just keep telling myself to take this one day at a time. Thank goodness I have other family to talk to and share this with them. I feel a growing period coming for me:)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Flooding and Crossword Puzzles

We are flooding, flooding, flooding in this area. No photos though. My camera may be getting rusty!

My mother is very much improved and may possibly move from the hospital to rehab tomorrow. If not tomorrow, maybe Monday. They will not move her on a weekend. Tomorrow I will probably help her with crossword puzzles. Some of her medication is making her hands too shaky to write plus she needs to go for an eye exam. My brother suggested that maybe I could just read to her the hints and she can figure out the answers, I'll write them down and we'll just work crossword puzzles together. Good idea. That should be fun. It's one of her favorite things to do.

Stress is slowly melting away. I picked up my camera and couldn't resist to start with photos again so here is just a photo of a crossword puzzle book - sort of an "icon" for the day tomorrow. Nothing exciting but it is a photo!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

More Documentation

Had a setback today, some sort of infection but haven't been told what kind so this will delay her transferring to rehab. Both sisters have gone back home so it's me and my brother. He has a lot of her business to take care of and has a job so I'm going to the hospital and staying with her all day. I did have a break today at lunch to eat with Emily and Paige which was fun. Emily was so sweet and bought my lunch. Thank you, Em:) And thanks for the listening ear. Tomorrow will be the same. She might get to leave by Fri or Monday.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Emotions are really coming into play now. I am very touched by all of your comments here and your true expressions of caring about me and my mother and my family. I'm having a tough time praying so I'm glad you are praying for us. But this is just a stage in life that most people have to go thru and we're all trying to get thru it the best we know how. Still no photos. Just wake up, go to hospital, come home, go to bed, repeat.


No photos. This blog has been interrupted by an emergency. My brother and I took our mother to the ER where she lives on April 28 around 12:30 that night (or really, morning). She stayed in ER for approximately 8 hrs. or so to get her stable enough to go to ICU. She just got out of ICU yesterday, the 5th of May into a regular room.

I hope to come back to this blog with photos and documentation of what happens every day in this year I turn 60 soon.