Monday, November 30, 2015

Playing Catch-Up!

Today I have tried to catch-up 

On some walking
   (I actually walked around our big pond this morning!)

On some washing
   (I washed and dried our Thanksgiving guests' bed and bath linens.)

On some reading
   (I read all of my maternal grandmother's letters to my mom that were written from 1972 until 1990. My mammaw was still writing letters at the age of 95 or 96 years old!)

On some resting
   (I am trying to recover from a full Thanksgiving week of too much standing in the kitchen!)

We had butter beans and hambone and cornbread/rolls tonight for dinner, but tomorrow we attack the curly kale!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Walking and Apple Blossoms in November

I am determined to get back walking after two months of sitting and then hobbling. 

Today I pulled on the elastic knee hose and walked down to the pond with the pups. There is pain and stiffness, but I had worse with heel spurs back when I was in my 50's. 

I must walk!

And just look what I discovered: 

Apple blossoms!

And pear blossoms!

Lovely curly kale!

As beautiful as a bouquet!

Lettuce (notice that I got into that last night for dinner)!

Encore azaleas!

Pyracantha for the birds!

Ants occupying a wooden stier head!

And geraniums that are ready to bloom again!

All this on the 29th of November in southwest Louisiana!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pre-Thanksgiving Fun Music with Adele, Jimmy, and The Roots

Thankful for my kind of music. Click here/ for Adele and Jimmy Fallon and The Roots with their version of "Hello." Enjoy!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Found Poem (Sharing a Log with a Frog in the Bog)

Between the old family photos and WWII ration coupons, I found this poem in my mother's keepsakes. I have "googled" a few key lines with no results, so this must be Momma's own work. Let me know, if I am mistaken. Now if I can just find an "artsy" niece or nephew to illustrate this poem.

A poem by Virginia Darline Ridge Chapman (1925-2015)

(No Title)

Mama and Papa Turtle were sitting on a log.
They were enjoying the sunshine when up jumped a Frog.

The Frog croaked, "Move over and give me some sun!"
"No," said Papa Turtle, "that wouldn't be much fun."
"We've saved this place for a friend or two-
"We didn't save this place just for you!"

The Frog was unhappy so he took a big leap.
He jumped so high and landed so deep.
He landed upon a big lily pad.
He looked around and was so very sad.

The Turtles looked over and saw him sitting there.
They felt very sorry that they didn't share
Their log with a frog in the bog.

"Come back over," Papa Turtle invited.
"Okay, I will," the Frog said all excited.

They became good friends and enjoyed the sun.
And then it was fun for everyone.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Last Log Cabin Squares

Well, it is finished! 

At least I am finished with sorting through my mom's "things" that she left behind. I still have a few boxes of photos, diaries/journals, and personal odds and ends that I just need to peruse over lots of cups of hot tea, but the sorting has been finished, on my part anyway. 

We didn't all follow the rules for distribution that I as self-proclaimed matriarch had set up, but I think we are okay. I even saw this as an opportunity to return a few items to the collection that my Mom had given me in the last few years . Maybe another family member will appreciate them more than I.

As my hub and I were almost ready to leave Mom's house yesterday, my sweet sister-in-law handed me a bag of "fat quarters" she had given Mom in the last year with the hope that Mom would feel like putting together a quilt top. And look what I found inside:

Not one, but two Log Cabin squares. Completely pieced and sewn by hand! 

Notice that the corners match, and the stitches are divine! 

My sick mom could still piece quilt squares even at 90 years old! And entirely by hand! 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Shopping for Presents Advice

With all of the atrosities happening around the globe, it almost seems irrelevant to write a blogpost about gift giving. But for many parts of that same globe, at this time of year folks are deep into thinking about or purchasing gifts for holidays. 

What do I do concerning gift-giving? Well, to be honest, not much anymore. Maybe I picked that up from my Dutch hub who has never been a gift giver? Or maybe I find the whole concept of trying to find something suitable for giving is a mind-boggling experience? Maybe I am just too thrifty (read cheap!)? Or maybe I have seen and heard how too many gifts have been "regifted," returned to shops, or just stashed in the back of closets and drawers.

This week my two brothers, one sister-in-law, and my hub started sorting out my mom's home. Of course, we found some wonderful old and dear mementos of our youth and some of Momma and Daddy's treasures, but we also ran across quite a few items that were in the original boxes or wrappings and had never been used. Gifts from the three of us or our children to my parents that were completely useless and perhaps not even wanted. 

As I collected some of those (still in the original packing) gifts I had schlepped across the Atlantic Ocean in overfull suitcases, I thought it might be a good time to give my holiday shopping advice.

1.  Know your gift receiver's clothes/shoe size before purchasing any clothing. If it won't fit, it won't ever be worn! Plain and simple.

2.  Know what colors your receiver likes/hates. 

3.  Find out what your receiver has really been needing (according to them, not you!).

4.  Tell your other family members what you are planning to gift to the receiver. If it is an expensive item, they might chip in. If not, at least you can discuss if the item is really something that will be used and not left in the closet for someone to find in the future. (Side note: I once told my dad what I would be gifting everyone in our family, and he duplicated the entire list. I am still trying to figure out that one!!!)

5.  Back to the "know your receiver," if you know they never do something (like serve hot tea), don't give them a gift (like a tea set) that will collect dust. 

6.  And just come right out and ask what gift the receiver would like and really use or enjoy having. Maybe it is time for adults, as well as kiddies, to write letters to Santa (or whatever) with gift requests.

I know some readers are raging at my suggestions, since gifts should be special and a surprise. 

But one of the best gifts my dear mom ever gave me was a warm pair of gloves. They were just my size, just my color, just what I needed, and she decorated the wrapping to give me a hint of what would be inside. And I am sure they didn't stretch her budget. 

They were the perfect gift!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Changing Wheels

Well, they did it again! United Airlines destroyed my second wheelchair in three weeks! But that will be another blogpost after they settle my two claims.

But since my wheelchair is out of commission and my cast is off, I have tried a walking stick, crutches, and now a walker. For five weeks I had inconvenience and no pain, and now I have both.

We are back home in Wetcreek where the sun shines, the grass grows, and  

ten minutes in the "neglected" veggie beds produces salad for tonight and too many mosquito bites!

Monday, November 9, 2015

To Rectum and Back

No, really! We took a road trip last week and somehow ended up in Rectum, The Netherlands.

Just down the road is Enter, The Netherlands.

But I suppose we will have to wait until next Spring to visit de Hulk or even Monster, The Netherlands.

Where do these folks get the names for their villages/cities? 

I guess they are just trying to out-do their own last names, such as the families called Naaktgeboren (Born Naked)! Or Dutch females with the first name Fokje or even Joke?

And I haven't been frequenting any "coffee shops" in Amsterdam! These names are all real Dutch names!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Is Your Home Wheelchair Accessible?

Having spent the last 6 weeks "bound" to a wheelchair ( actually three different ones!), I have a new respect and compassion for wheelchair and rollator users. 

But, then again, we all know that we should have special respect for those who have any disabilities. What I have noticed more than once lately is that most adults have been good learners. Remember when your mother told you it was impolite to stare at folks with disabilities? Well, I have noticed that we wheelchair users are pretty much "invisible" to the average adult. 

Not even a kind "excuse me" when a huge broom hits my broken foot ( resting on the footrest of my wheelchair!) at the local beauty shop. Or a sharp bump on my wheelchair when it is rear-ended by a shopping cart at Lidl grocery store. And even hurtled over by a 6 foot tall airplane passenger who thought he could use my bulkhead leg room to advance his exit of the United flight.

So living the mobile life hasn't been easy out in public, but what about here at home at the Beltway Apartment?

Let's begin at the entrance to the building. Actually, let's begin at the back entrance. Even when I could walk without help, I needed help getting into the front door. The front entrance is several tall steps up with a hand rail that is several more steps next to the front door, so as a wheelchair user I have been delegated to go around back. 

As all entrances are kept locked, a key is always necessary. And even standing to get to the lock may be necessary at the back gate that opens for automobiles. Or I would have to carry around the remote opener ( which I would definitely do!). The other back access next to the sport school is even more difficult. Two heavy gates must be opened with a key and maneuvered open while I roll through. Thus, difficult. But, at least the two rear access points are on ground level.

Then after a steep roll up to the building door, there is the threshold. It is virtually impossible to cross alone without stepping out of the chair, stepping across, and then lifting the wheelchair over the metal bump. Then there is the rubber mat on the inside of the door (which I am still trying to figure out how to keep it from smashing my foot or wheelchair). On the way to the lift (elevator in Am. English), the brick walk makes for a amusement park ride. No giggles here, I am afraid. Then there is the ride up two flights after the lift door smacks against the handles of my wheeled carriage.

Home free, you think. Nay! But the ride from the elevator to the first breezeway door is a piece of cake, since that pathway is made of low carpet tiles. If our neighbor lady has left the breezeway door open ( against the fire marshall's rules!), then I just have to step out of the chair, step over the metal threshold, and lift my wheelchair over. Next, the breezeway with rubber beehive mats leads to the next breezeway door threshold. Step out, step over, lift wheelchair over. Sweat!!!

Almost there! Carpet tiles around the corner and then unlock the door to the Beltway Apartment. One more time, step out, step over the threshold to the apartment, and lift the wheelchair into the foyer.

In the six weeks we have been here, I never left this apartment on my own! I never stepped in and out and over by myself. 

Things were easier inside the spacious apartment, as long as I didn't have to go to use the bathroom or to the pantry/laundry room. 

Each of those WC's (water closets) had thresholds, but fortunately I learned how to manage.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

No Frozen Roads in November?

Time to go soak up the sun. Who would have ever thought to do that on November 3 in The Netherlands? Especially after the pea soup fog yesterday!

My new and improved life motto: Enjoy each moment!

Now off to the grocery store. 
When you can't do much else, that is a real TRIP!