December 1, 2021 Most people who have been visiting my blog(s) over the years know that I’m not around much during November and December. When January rolls around, I suddenly return to blogging. It’s basically because this time of year is hard. The season hasn’t been the same for our family since my oldest son died in November 2013. Anyway, I am alive, just maybe not online a lot. I still read your blogs and comment. My hyperosmia (hyper-sensitivity to odors/fragrances) keeps me from going much anywhere, putting a damper on everything. I haven’t gone to Amanda’s for months because she and the girls burn highly scented candles all. the. time. No, just blowing them out doesn’t take care of it… because the particles are imbedded into every inch of their home after so many years. Their clothing, furniture, walls, everything in the home has permanent smell. As of several months ago, my hyperosmia is now a coded disability in my medical records (among all the other issues I deal with on a daily basis). There is no treatment that would reduce the symptoms, so the doctor has told me I must avoid situations (which I’ve already been doing for years) that make it hard for me to breathe as it could put me in the emergency room. If one of the smokers on our floor walks by going to their apartment, it sets me off to coughing (yes, I have the bottom of the door blocked by a thick, rolled-up blanket, but it still seeps in). I have to avoid certain departments in stores because of what they sell or I will gag and choke and cough (think Hobby Lobby’s Christmas section with those overpowering scented pinecones – ugh!). Church is now at home for us again because… women
November 16, 2021 Thank you all for your lovely comments on my previous post! I’ve not been good to answer each of your comments individually lately with other things keeping my attention. But I want you to know I read every word and hold them in my heart. ❤️ We had a couple very brrrrr! days last week with lots of wind – gusts were in the 50s, which is nothing unusual for Kansas. And just like that, the leaves were gone from the trees. I saw the jet and wondered, “Where are you going?” This past Monday it was 81° during the afternoon, so Jerry and I did our “walk and wheel” at the fairgrounds as usual, then I took him one last time that day to fish. Today the high was 77° and again we walked at the fairgrounds… but tomorrow the cold front comes in and it will be 25-30 degrees colder pretty much from now to the end of November. Just around the curve of the pond where we were is this dead pine. The water was absolutely still and looked like glass, so the pine, the cattail grasses and all the other trees were reflected so perfectly it was truly gorgeous. Son John’s divorce is still not final. *sigh* The whole thing is so stressful. He has full custody of Aero (for many reasons). Lots of things going on that need prayed about. John found a house to rent for himself and Aero right before October began. Absolutely had to get them out of the one he and Elissa had shared because he needed to cut ties from everything associated with it. His dad (my ex), his half-brother, and I got John and Aero moved in a record three days just using all our vehicles.
November 11, 2021 • Veteran’s Day I would like to tell you about my personal hero – my daddy… yes, I called him daddy all my life, and he truly was the very definition of what that word means. He grew up in the poorest of poor families in the 1920s/1930s. In one of the stories I’d typed for our family history he’d said, “We were so poor. Probably about as poor as you can get without being on the street.” He was a veteran of WWII. A couple years after he returned home from the war, he met and married my mama… then when she died of metastatic breast cancer in October 1971, he finished raising me and my brother (I was 14 years old, my brother was 12 years old). In 1985, he met and married my beautiful step-mom… in February 2012, she also died of metastatic breast cancer. Six months later in August that same year, dad died of a massive stroke. Everyone who ever knew my dad personally always told me he was such a good man. He worked for the same company for 35 years, was a BSA Scout Leader and Trainer, active in our church, and had an amazing talent for woodworking. However, Dad was a very quiet, private man and never really talked about his time in the war until the last few years of his life. When my oldest son, Jeff, was in high school (mid-1990s), he had an assignment to interview a war veteran by asking 20 questions… I suggested he write to his grandad (we lived in a different city at the time). My dad answered each and every one of those questions and even sent a few photos so Jeff could show them to the class. One of the
October 22, 2021 Seems my mind is in disconnect mode lately, that survival mechanism it uses to get me through to the second week of November and past the death date of my oldest son (November 5). This is that second hard time of the year for our family (the first being his birthday was July 4th and a really big family get-together day). Some years since the day he died in 2013 are harder than others. Why one year is more difficult for some of us and then not the next just doesn’t make sense. It belies explanation… but there it is. This year seems to be the harder one for me, and not just because we’re coming up on Jeff’s death date. This Saturday, October 23, is 50 years since my mama died of metastatic breast cancer. She died in the early morning on a Saturday. I was 14 years old. I hadn’t even seen her since the day in late September when she was readmitted to the hospital – because back then they didn’t let kids under a certain age in to visit patients. I hadn’t even had time to get to know my mama before her life ended. Why her death should bother me this much all of a sudden… is just strange. Maybe it’s all the heartbreaking stressful things plaguing our family this past year. I’m considered the “strong one” in the family and here I am having a very hard time while still being the biggest support for Jerry, my kids, and grandkids. *sigh* This next week will be very mind-straining (how about that for a new phrase?) as we head into Friday (the 29th). I’m focused on typing all of the final documentation for a legal proceeding. Suffice it to say our family
October 20, 2021 I’m much later doing this post of the last bit of state fair photos than planned. I’d begun way back in mid-September, working on it once in a while… but with a lot of stressful things going on that I’ve had to handle, my time has been limited. Prayers would be greatly appreciated. Anyway, to finish out my state fair photo-taking, here are the entries in the Domestic Arts building exhibits… tatting, crochet, counted cross-stitch, beading, and many quilts, including wallhangings. This first photo is the second place tatting entry. I liked it so much more than the first place entry that I didn’t even bother with taking a photo of that one. I was very impressed with these next two crocheted entries. Jerry was partial to this counted cross-stitch entry, of course. I know the gal who did this beadwork… so beautiful and intricate! I’m partial to all the different interpretations of the “Sunbonnet Sue” quilts… this one is “Sunbonnet SueBear.” Another “Sunbonnet Sue.” Every year, quilt blocks are accepted for that year’s state fair quilt that is auctioned on the second Saturday of the fair. In past years, I’ve seen enough to where the quilt was huuuuge (big enough for a king size bed and then some), but this year being what it is, there were only enough for this 73″ x 73″. I’ve always wanted to contribute, but lack of time and other obligations always kept me from it. Close-up of the quilt information… We haven’t had a quilt shop in town for several years. The “Sew In 2 Quilts” shop opened in 2019. Below are three quilts done by the owner. (I can’t afford anything in her store as quilt shops are always too pricey. I go to Walmart for 99¢ fat quarters,