Friday, December 31, 2021

When It Rains It's Pours!

                                                     Today is the last day of 2020! 

This past year has certainly brought it's challenges. But, we survived yet another year of Covid and the trials that it brings. I was feeling pretty well about the new year coming along. Things had to get better but they certainly aren't starting out that way. 

                                                  As the saying goes, "When it rains it pours."

A week before Christmas my grandson (Susan's son) came down with Covid and was sick over Christmas. 

The day after, my Susan came down with it. Her situation is so difficult already having Owen with her for nearly two years. He was living in a residential home until Covid and once he got back home he begin to experience  more severe psychosis along with the autism he has dealt with all his life. It has been a nightmare for the entire household dealing with that 24/7. 

I have just been blown away (and so has Susan) with an Instagram post that she did on her struggles. She seldom is open about the worst part of things and even though she just scratched the surface of how hard it is, hundreds of people commented on how happy they were that she put a face on how extremely difficult dealing with a child with severe autism is and that now they did not feel alone. Autism Speaks asked permission to share it and you can see it Here. If you know someone with autism I suggest that you take a look at it. 

Those of us here in Virginia (along with son, Michael, who came up from Alabama) went to my granddaughter's for Christmas Day. We missed seeing her mother-in-law, Emma. Yes, she has Covid. As of now, she is in ICU, stable and we are hoping for the best. 

And, yesterday I got a call that my 96 year old sister had fallen, broke her pelvis, her spine and has respiratory failure and is in ICU. She is over 700 miles away! 

So, if you are so inclined, please say a prayer for my family! I'd appreciate it. 
God Bless,

Saturday, December 18, 2021


                                                   Christmas is just a week away. 

                                                            Can You Believe it?

                           I've tried to get in the Holiday spirit, really I have but it's tough. 

                                                                    What is it?


                                                  Not believing in Santa anymore?

Oh, I get it... it's too warm. Temps in the 70s. That's not Christmas time. But, I do have hopes. We are supposed to get a cold front ... snow, maybe. Probably not.

It has helped that my one and only son is here now. Drove up from Alabama, he and his sweet little dog, Sadie. So, there's some life now in this apartment. Counting down the days til Santa gets here, how about you? 

Saturday, December 11, 2021

A Wedding like No Other!

 Yesterday would have been my and my sweet husband's 71st wedding anniversary. 

I lay in bed night before last, couldn't sleep, just thinking about that night 71 years ago. You see, we were supposed to be married on Dec. 9th at my house but both Elbert and I were underage and needed parent signatures to be married. Mom signed for me.... his dad refused to sign for Elbert. Well, I kind of can see why.

Elbert had already been in the Navy almost 3 years and was fighting in Korea when his Mom died. They were very close and one uncle set about pulling some strings to get Elbert home for the funeral. The funeral had taken place just a week earlier so sure they were all upset and not wanting to think of a wedding. But, we were young and headstrong so we took off for Columbus, Mississippi where we were told you could get married anytime of the day or night. No questions asked.

Elbert's cousin was driving us over. His wife's parents (the Harris's) lived near the state line so we would stop there to say hi to the old folks and then proceed to Columbus and get hitched. But, once we got to town we discovered that NO, you can not get married anytime. The courthouse, where we would get our license, was closed. But, come back tomorrow, even though it was Sunday. They'd be open then.
So, we headed back to spend the night with the Harris's.

The Harris' lived in this old unpainted clapboard house, heated only by fireplaces in each room and they had a roaring fire going in the living room. We all sat around chatting for awhile. Finally Mrs. Harris told us that she'd made a nice fire in the fireplace in the back bedroom for us. Elbert looked at me... I looked at him... long pause. What do we do? Finally Elbert said, 'We didn't get married.'
Elbert and I had never (well, you know) and we sure weren't going to now. It was an awkward situation so I was glad that he spoke up. She shooed Elbert and his cousin off to that nice bedroom while the cousin's wife and I slept on a pull out couch in the living room. We girls whispered for a few minutes and then the logs burned out in that fireplace and let me tell you, it was cold! I couldn't pull enough covers over me to keep from shivering. So, I curled up in a ball and went to sleep.

Next morning we took off again. First stop was the courthouse and getting that license. No problem. We were given the home address of a justice of the peace. It was in his living room where we said our vows, Elbert in his Navy uniform, me in a blue suit. Then we crawled into the cousin's old flivver and headed back to Alabama. It was a cold Sunday morning so naturally we snuggled together in the back seat. Least that's the excuse we gave!

It was an interesting start to our marriage but you know what... I never regretted it and doggone... we did what a lot of people didn't think we would and that is be happily married for over 60 years.

Last night I was lying there thinking.... about a lot.
First, I bet there isn't one in a million that hasn't had sex before marriage in this day and time. Back then, it was done but it sure was on the sly. Elbert and I thought we'd save that for our wedding night.
Second, why did Mrs. Harris give that nice, warm bed to the guys? Looks like it should have gone to us girls!
My, My, how times have changed.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

The Pilgrims Have Been Captured

 When I arrived home after my New York trip, Shirley helped get my luggage back up to my apartment. She couldn't wait for me to discover something funny that she had done in my absence. And, guess what.... I walked right by it and never noticed. So, she had to give me a hint.

I had a couple of Pilgrims setting on my dining table when I left. Poor things. They had been captured by Elf on the Shelf, wrapped in paper and taped up. Time for them to go back in their storage space and for Christmas to begin. It was so much fun... when I finally did see them!! 

I took the hint..
Spent the next two days clearing out the pumpkins, and pilgrims and the filled horn of plenty.

My house is now decorated for Christmas, thanks to Elf on the Shelf and his helper (Shirley)


Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Dreams of Christmas

 Just one last post about my trip to New York and then I promise I will move on to something more current! 

There is a wonderful flower shop, turned Christmas shop, in Bedford, New York and my daughter and I took off for the fairly short drive to investigate. She had Christmas music playing on her Sirius and it began to spit snow and we were singing along to all the carols and just having a grand ole time.

The shop (and I swear, I can not remember the name... that goes with not paying attention/ getting old... something) but you could barely walk through the aisles there was so much Christmasy stuff displayed. I SO could have bought something to bring home... maybe a bunch of stuff... but I was traveling by air and had my suitcases full. 

Susan and I were snapping pictures here and there and even taking video. I just want to share some of the holiday beauty with you. 

and then we walked outside to the 'tree lot' and discovered a wreath she wanted.

It was such a fun day! 

Miss my baby girl! 

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Thanksgiving in New York

 I am a Southern gal. When I was growing up during the Great Depression (I wonder why they called it great?) we didn't celebrate Thanksgiving. After I married and had kids, we started our own traditions of turkey and cornbread dressing and sweet potatoes covered in toasted mini marshmallows. 

Every part of the country has it's own feast traditions, I guess. And, my Long Island raised son-in-law, who does the Thanksgiving dinner at their house, fixes the Thanksgiving meal like he grew up with. 

We had turkey all right... but I never in my life 'stuffed' a bird to cook it. Back home our cornbread dressing was made in a casserole dish or baking pan. 

                      Kevin got busy with his prep work early on Thanksgiving day. 

He never uses a recipe and often ends up making way too much food because he loves creating dishes he dreams up in this head or tries to replicate from food he's eaten other places. 

I missed my cornbread dressing. His was chopped fruits, chestnuts and a small amount of bread cubes.

    We also had a ham and that was my choice of meat! 

Owen, their middle son, loved the 'southern' sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows. And, we had green beans but they don't cook them long enough to suit me. I love good ole southern-style green beans that's cooked well-done with chunks of bacon and maybe a tad of onion in the pot. 

I requested a dish from several Thanksgivings ago, parsnips and carrots cooked together. I like that combination but parsnips were not something I had eaten until Kevin introduced them to me. 

Do you know we never got a picture of the food on the table or of us all gathered around it! But I guarantee it was yummy and we all were as stuffed, when we finished, as that turkey had been before it was cooked. 

There's something about family and gathering together to celebrate the harvesting of good food and the great ways we have to prepare and cook it these days. 
And, being thankful for all the blessings that we have, individually and collectively.

It was another memorable holiday for us all.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Fall In New York.

 I could not believe my eyes when I arrived in Rye, N.Y. on the 19th.  I was so happy to see my family and an added plus was this... It being farther north from where I live, I figured Fall would be gone but it was still there to greet me. Even though it is now two weeks since then, I want to share the beauty that Fall is in the Northeast. 

Everything was golden! This is one of the first sights I had of New York Fall. 

A tree at the corner of their house! 

A touch of red at the Westchester Country Club. 

                                       An array of colors behind someone's pretty white fence. 

                                                A splash of orange amid the greens and yellows. 

This beautiful home had an equally beautiful yard ... all decorated with red trees. 

A golden leaf floats through the air! 

Too soon all of the Fall colors will be gone but they were still there when I got on a plane to head home on the 2nd of December. 

I hope you enjoyed the Fall colors as much as I did. 
Being with my family in New York after a two years absence was extra special but it was good to get back home. 

Monday, November 15, 2021

"Leaving On A Jet Plane"

 I'm going to do it...

                 And, I feel a bit apprehensive about it....

I haven't traveled by public transportation since before Covid started but I am going to do it. "I'm leaving on a jet plane" Friday, 

headed to New York to spend Thanksgiving with my youngest daughter and her family.

It's been just over two years since I was there which means that I have not seen my grandson, Griffin, (Susan's oldest) nor his brother, Owen. Susan and the youngest son, 13 year old Tighe, did come down to see us once. 

   Susan asked me what I wanted to do while there. 

Well, it's like this.... I am so 'INTO' good food right now. Just savoring each and every bite when I find something that is outstandingly delicious. And, believe you, me, New York has some great food!

So, I want to go to a restaurant in Greenwich, Ct. that I haven't been to yet. 
And, of course, I have to go to La Pain, a French place there in Rye. They have the most yummy breakfasts!!

Grandson Griffin and his sweet Kelsey live in the City and I haven't seen their apartment so I want to do that. And, probably try out an eating place near where they live. That will be soooooo fun. Maybe there will be some Christmas decorations up already in the City. 

We will be dragging out the Christmas decorations after Thanksgiving is over and maybe we will make some crafty something. I will be sure to make lots of pictures. 

I have been so limited with the picture taking because I have 'shot' everything within my sight range more than once and I just need something new to get in my viewfinder! 

I won't have my laptop with me. So, it will probably be when I get back home (and I don't know yet when that will be). Susan bought a one-way ticket. hehe. But, I promise you plenty of pictures when and how I can use them. 

And, keep your fingers crossed that there are no disgruntled passengers that are mad about wearing masks on that plane! Maybe if they don't want to wear a mask, they should take the train or rent a car. But, my flight is only 1 hour and 20 minutes so here's hoping it's an easy one. 


Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Fall In the Countryside.

 I woke up to 39 degrees this morning but the sun rose and before long it was warming up. Got into the mid 70s. 

                                      What a day to get out for a drive in the country!!

First, Shirley and I had lunch. Q Daddy's Barbeque just opened in her home town so I drove up and we totally stuffed ourselves. It's just the best! So, if you are driving through Wakefield, Va. you just gotta stop and get some barbeque! 

A brisket sandwich (only half here), two huge hushpuppies that were perfect. Broccoli salad, potato salad and picked onions and cucumbers. No, I did not eat it all. I brought home enough to eat on for awhile. Yummy

                                       Then we girls headed out into the countryside. 

                                         I'll take you with us so come along and enjoy.

Anytime of the year, I love to find old buildings in unexpected places. 

All we needed was a picnic basket filled with yummy food. But, we had already eaten.

What a peaceful place

Color here and there. A sign of Fall. 

I love reflections in the water. 

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Time is achanging!

      I wish some lawmaker would be brave enough to abolish this stupid time changing thing!! 

                                                           What are your thoughts?

Thursday, November 4, 2021

I Love Watermelon and Thoughtful Sons-in-law

 I love watermelon, have loved it all my life. I remember us getting watermelon on the 4th of July, the sound of it as it split open when the knife entered it's skin. Now, that's a juicy , ripe melon. My kind. 

There is no way I can lift a watermelon now, at this age, and put it into my shopping cart, haul it up to my apartment and then slice into it. Besides that... I can't eat all of that before it will go bad. 

I have the sweetest son-in-law. When he buys a watermelon he get it a little larger than he normally would. When it's cut into, he takes a slice, cuts it up into chunks, puts it in a ziplock bag and brings it to me. He knows I love the stuff and I suspect that he knows he's racking up a lot of points in his favor, too, when he does things like that. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

The Good Cat Jupie and His Friend Squirrel

 I was a Depression Baby. Guess that tells you how old I am! But, my Daddy had died and Mama had it rough. The first job she had after Daddy was gone paid her $2 a week. 

When Roosevelt took office he promised to help all those struggling people so he started the New Deal. With it came the WPA and the CCC.

The WPA (Works Progress Administration) put nearly 8.5 million men and women to work and my Mama was one of them. She cleaned up books for the county library that were showing wear and tear. If it couldn't be fixed they were discarded. Mama brought several of the discards home to me. One was "The Tale of the Good Cat Jupie" 

I love that book. The main character was Jupie who lived in a little house by the side of the road. One day a sad little girl came by and she had no one so Jupie invited her to live with him. Their best friend was Squirrel who lived in a tree in the nearby woods.

The reason I am telling you all this is....

I walked out on my balcony a couple days ago and saw something on a thin tree branch across the driveway. I couldn't tell what it was... maybe a plastic grocery bag that had blown up there.
I use the zoom on my camera for binoculars and so I took a closer look.

It was Squirrel.

Not Jupie's squirrel but some other squirrel.

I immediately thought of how many times I have read that little book that Mama brought home for me. Over the years I have read it to my children, grandchildren and my great-grands. 

Those three delightful characters have provided me and others with so much enjoyment for over 80 years. It is proudly displayed on a book shelf in my  apartment. 

Sometimes the least little things will trigger precious memories from long, long ago. 

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Guava Jelly

 The other day I had guava jelly on my mind. Could not stop thinking about it! So, I got online and ordered me two small jars. I hadn't tasted any in a hundred years. The package came yesterday. I ripped right into it and brought out two small jars of jewel like jelly. 

I held the open jar up to my nose. Hmmmm. Even though I caught the faint aroma of guava, I was disappointed. It did not come close to the heavenly aroma we used to have as we drove along the roads of Mt. Tantulus on Oahu. Hubby was stationed there and on a Sunday afternoon we'd pile into our car and head out exploring. One of my favorite places was Mt. Tantulus. The narrow road was lined with foliage. Tall guava trees and other ones I don't remember what they were and underneath heavy vegetation of Ginger Lily. It was like being in a perfume factory. 

The guava fruit would fall from the trees, splat on the roadway then were run over by cars. The aroma was unbelievable. 

But, my jelly just didn't have that much of a scent. Could it be that I had not remembered correctly. Nope, that memory is very distinct. 

                                                                   And, then it hit me. 

When you get old, a lot of things go wrong. My smeller seems to have gone on strike. I just don't smell things like I used to. But, oh, I'll eat my jelly on a hot roll dripping with butter and my memory will give me that heavenly aroma I remember from so long ago. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

'Somebody Feed Phil'

 Being older and then getting caught in this horrific pandemic has caused me to stay inside much more than I normally would. There for awhile I was preparing a book for republishing so I was pretty busy but with that finished I find my days get long and boring.

                                       So, I am watching more television and reading more books. 

I just have to tell you about this new show I am watching on Netflix. There have been 4 seasons already and I had no idea it existed but I watched an episode the other day and am just about binge-watching to catch up. 

                                                              It's 'Somebody Feed Phil'. 

Phil Rosenthal was the creator of 'Everybody Loves Raymond'. With it put on the shelf he wanted to do something different. He is not used to being in front of the camera, nor does he cook..... but..... his new show stars Phil traveling around the world eating all these amazing dishes in all these amazing cities. I want to be part of his crew!

He has a child-like wonder as he samples each dish. He's goofy, unpolished, fun and you can just imagine being right there with him. Some people can't stand his goofiness, and there can be some awkward jokes that fall flat but for one, I enjoy someone having fun and loving life. 

So, I gotta run... I'm up to Season Two now and I don't want to miss a thing. You'll find me sitting in front of the screen, ice tea at hand and maybe a sandwich or some other something to nibble on and I am drooling over handmade tacos from Mexico City, learning how to eat crawfish in New Orleans or watching them dress up some hummus that looks so tempting in Tel Aviv. 

                                                  See you later! 

                              P. S. you'll have to let me know if you love Phil or hate him!!