Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ginger Wants To Play

My mom's blogger friend Diane let her dog Scout do an entry to her blog after Scout got tagged! That means that Scout posted 8 random facts/habits about herself. Scout didn't know very many doggies to tag so she said any doggie that wanted to play could consider themselves tagged. So, when I found out about it, I asked my mom if I could do it. She said sure... so here are 8 facts/habits about me:

1. I am also a girl dog. I got my name, Ginger, because of my coloring. My mom thinks I am beautiful!

2. I am part Border Collie and part Australian Shepherd. That means I am a working class dog and that I love to herd. I lead my mom to bed every night but she doesn't always appreciate me doing that. She says she knows the way and that she got there for years without me leading the way! HAH! I'm pretty sure she slept on MY sofa most of the time before I got there to show her how to get to the bedroom.

3. My best friend is Mr. Woody K. Nibs. My mom brought Woody home with her last year. I like Woody and chase him around the house. He belonged to my mom's dad, Paps, who died last year. That was sad.

4. I love to travel (see 5,6 and 7). Actually, I just love to go anywhere and my mom takes me lots of places with her. We go to the dump and to the store. If I am really good, mom takes me to the recreation center and I get to run all over the fields there, until I get so tired that I go home and sleep for hours. Sometimes, she even takes me to get ice cream. I looooooove ice cream.

5. I've been to Indiana with my mom and visited with our family there. When I was a puppy, Paps let me sit in his lap. That was when he felt better. Paps liked to watch me do tricks and told everybody that I was the smartest dog he ever knew.

6. I've been to Bossier City with my mom. That is where our granddaughters, Erin, Emily and Sarah Grace, live with their mommy Dee. They used to have a doggie named Hailey. She is a pretty yellow lab and bigger than me but she doesn't live with them anymore. That's okay because she has a good home now somewhere else. I miss her.

7. I have been to Florida, where our other granddaughters, Anna and Kayla live with their mommy Jamie. One time when I was there, they had a new puppy named Winston and a foster doggie named Zolton but we called him Zoloft, because he just laid around and hardly ever moved. He was a rescue greyhound that Jamie only kept for a few weeks. We found out later that he had heartworms and he had to get treatment. Me and Winston had lots of fun though, running inside and out and even swimming in the pool, which I liked to do, but Winston got scared in the pool.

8. I love John. My mom calls John her baby boy but he looks big to me. John gave me to my mom for Christmas when I was a puppy the year she retired. He lives close to us and sometimes he takes me to his house to play in his backyard. He keeps me when my mom goes places that I can't go. Like now. She is in Indiana with Granny and I couldn't go so me and Mr. Nibs are staying at my house and John comes every day to take care of us. I miss my mom but it's okay because I love John... ooooops, I already said that didn't I?

9. (this is an extra cause I am a diva, a real prima dona and can't stop where I am supposed to but I wanted to mention this one for Scout) Scout said she is going to help her mom plan a service for Blessing of Animals this fall. I was blessed at my mom's church by Weldon and Betty. That was really special. Scout, all your animal friends will like that service. You are a good doggie and a good friend.

I don't know any doggies with blogs so I am not going to tag anybody. I will just do what Scout did and tell anybody who wants to play that they can consider themselves tagged.

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posted by Marsha at 1 Comments

Monday, June 25, 2007

Quiet Times In Middle America

Just a few more photos I've taken while out and about the area.

I drove out to the resevoir one day to get pictures of the sailboats and found a serious little fisherman on the bank.

I didn't manage to catch any of the sailboats out on the lake but settled instead for a 'group' picture of the docked boats.

These next pictures are of the covered bridge at Mathews, Indiana. We stopped here on our way to Upland to get ice cream at Ivanhoe's.

Mathews has a covered bridge festival every year in September. My sister and I went last year as we were both still at home with mom after dad died. Indiana has quite a number of covered bridges and the area we live in used to have more than can be found today. Unfortunately, some of them were destroyed by vandalism.

Looking at the inside structure of this bridge out to the road as it continues. I started to walk across the bridge, but found that I couldn't. I have a bridge phobia and while I didn't have a problem riding across this one in my brother's van, I just couldn't make myself walk the 'planks'.

On our way home, we passed by the little airfield near my mom's home where there were about 20 hot air balloons either going up, landing or in the process of breaking down for the night.

I took several pictures of those also but I'll save them for another entry... because dial-up sucks!

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Bit Of Nature On Picadilly Road

Here's some of the pictures I've captured while I've been here at mom's. Dad used to love sitting on the swing on the front porch and listening to and watching the birds and squirrels at play. Mom and I have enjoyed relaxing out on the porch and some bird-watching during this visit. Due to her health she has really cut back on what she has to maintain now. I am really hoping that the physical therapy she will start this week will help her build her strength up enough to stay here as long as she wants.

One of mom's double petunias in one of the hanging baskets on her front porch. I was trying out settings on my camera and liked the way this one turned out.

I caught this cardinal through mom's kitchen window as he was feasting on the corn we put out for the squirrels.

I caught him again perched on the neighbor's fence. I was zoomed in as far as I could get and managed to get a reasonably decent shot of him.

I love how the birds eat from the squirrel feeder and the squirrels empty this front yard bird feeder almost daily. There's always plenty spilled out onto the ground below the feeder so the birds still get lots of seed from it one way or the other. They frequent it often when the squirrels run away

This little fellow took off the day I shot these pictures and scampered to his haven in one of the neighbor's trees. I got a trail of pictures of him as he left.

I wasn't happy with the quality of this photo but I it was as good as I could get trying to zoom in to get this small nuthatch as he was working on the corn. I'm still learning this camera and all the settings.

This finch feeder hangs from the other large tree mom has in her front yard.

There are finches here almost continuously throughout the day. There is a dove who often hangs out below this feeder and the one the squirrels rob from to pick up what's dropped on the ground. Mom seems to think he must have lost his mate as he is always alone.

A couple of robins, just bob-bob-bobbin' along.

Mom has several 'windmill' birds in her front flower bed. We both picked up one of these larger bluebird 'windmills' from a craftsman sitting on the side of the road on one of our trips to Tennessee. I still have mine as well.

These are only a few of the birds that visit her feeders. There are bluejays, blackbirds, barn swallows, the single dove we see daily and one small bird that neither of us recognizes, among others. I'm not really good at recognizing any except the more common birds. I haven't been able to get pictures of the rabbits that hang around the area, but I do have more photos that I've taken since I've been here that I will post later. Be on the lookout for hot air balloons, a little fisherman and a covered bridge.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Friday Feast #149 (my first)

This is the first time I've participated in a Friday Feast.
Appetizer -Name a funny habit you have.

It has to be talking to myself. I do it all the time. I'm not sure if that is funny or if it is a sign of my craziness.

Soup -If you could instantly know how to play a musical instrument, which one would you pick?

Either the piano or guitar. I've tried both at different times and can pick out melodies, chords on each but can't really play either well enough to do so in front of people. On a side note, my middle child, daughter Dee, plays the bagpipes and I am in awe of her taking on that challenge. She is quite good at it too!

Salad -How long is your hair?

It's all one length(except for the bangs), about an inch or two below the bottom of my ears.

Main Course -When was the last time you forgave someone, and who was it?

Generally, I practice forgiveness continually and find that I sometimes need to forgive an incident or acknowledge the forgiveness of an incident over and over as forgiving seems to come easy but forgetting does not, at least for me. As a result, when I find myself thinking of a past wrong that I know I have forgiven, I mentally re-forgive (or remind myself that I've forgiven that incident) in order to let the reminder go. It seems to be working for me as I find myself thinking of old hurts less often since I've started the practice. Specifically, the last person I forgave was myself last weekend for simply being human and not being able to attend the funeral of my best friend. I was out of town where I was needed and where I needed to be but I will always feel some regret that I was not there for her funeral.

Dessert -What is your favorite kitchen appliance?

I've always loved the built in grill / gridle combination on my stovetop and used it extensively over the years. I need to replace the entire unit and hope to find another one with that feature.


posted by Marsha at 5 Comments

I Don't Have a Clever Title For This Entry

I have another strange week under my belt. This one was filled with more family and friend concerns and finally completely dropping the plans to go to Tennessee with mom, at least for now.

I was still dealing with Margaret's death and missing her funeral when I found out about the imminent death of another long time friend and neighbor (which hasn't happened yet, despite doctors having the family call everyone in almost a week ago) and having mom take three falls in three days - the last one serious enough to go to the emergency room, getting CT scans and MRIs, and now waiting over this weekend to get the MRI results and it all just starts to take a toll on you.

I just can't seem to find the time or the will to come up with a creative blog entry. Heck, who am I kidding, I couldn't even title this entry!

ps... have I whined mentioned lately how awful dial-up is?

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Monday, June 18, 2007

That's Enough Of That

Yesterday was a strange day for me. It was our first father's day without Dad and the day of Margaret's funeral. Mom and I discussed a few sweet memories of Dad and I came to terms with being about 750 miles from my friend and the service that would lay her body to it's final resting place on this earth. After agonizing over whether to cut short my trip home to Indiana, which had already been delayed due to Margaret's condition, I decided to remain here with mom. I had much encouragement to do so from people I love and respect, including family, friends and my pastor and assistant pastor, both of whom I count as friends as well as spiritual mentors. I know that Margaret herself would have told me to stay here with mom. Her family had encouraged me to continue my plans before I left. I knew the risk when I left and thought I was prepared to deal with it if it happened but it was much harder than I thought. But that's enough of that.

Mom and I still plan to go to Tennessee as we would normally have done over Memorial Day weekend, but even that may be out of the picture now as well. Mom is struggling a bit with her health too. She is not at immediate risk, but has heart trouble and is becoming more unsteady on her feet. We're thinking she may have had a mini stroke at some point although nothing has been done to confirm that. She's as vital and active as she can be under those conditions but she is much weaker than the woman I've known my whole life. It's difficult to become the care giver to someone who took care of your every need for years and was your rock throughout your whole life yet at the same time it is a privilege to do so for someone you love so much. But that's enough of that.

It is peaceful here with mom, even though the garden and flower beds have been pared down to just a few easily maintained plants and some potted plants on the front porch. She still has the bird feeders and enjoys them and the squirrels that frolic in her yard. There are a few rabbits from time to time as well. The squirrels and rabbits are fat, obviously well fed from the feed put out for them and from the neighborhood gardens they raid on those occasions when nobody is there to run them off. Butterflies flitter by often and the hum of bees can be heard as they pull the nectar from those few remaining plants. Her neighbors love her and look out for her and it is comforting to know that she lives somewhere that people still notice each other and would know if something was wrong. One of my brothers lives about 15 minutes away and he keeps a regular check on her as well. I hope and pray that she can stay here until the end of her life but even with caring neighbors and a loving son close by that may not be possible. But that's enough of that.

This strange mood leads me to thinking, to pondering life and it's meaning and I always find that understanding this life is impossible and beyond me. The circle of life will complete itself with or without my ability to grasp it's purpose. The world goes on in spite of everything that I question or feel uncertain about and that always leads me back to feeling that it isn't me, or us, that is in control. My belief and my trust in God is always reinforced as much by what I don't understand as what I have been taught about God. Somehow, I think if He were to call out to me in a booming voice, he would say... 'that's enough of that...'

I think I'll go out and enjoy this day!

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Struggle Is Over

Earlier this evening, my friend and touchstone, Margaret, passed away. I am thankful that her earthly struggles are over and that she is at peace. I pray mightily for her family, that they may have peace and comfort over these next difficult days and strength to endure the rest of their lives without her presence.

I ask God for peace and strength for me as the pain of losing my friend is just finding a starting place.

I am heartbroken.

You will find all of my posts about Margaret here: Margaret

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posted by Marsha at 1 Comments

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I have been tagged by Diane. To play, I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.

1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. (I won’t be doing this as the only bloggers I know well enough to tag have already done this meme but will leave a general tag instead).

4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog. (See #3 above.)

So here goes:

1. I met the Lone Ranger (Clayton Moore) when I was a child.

2. I wrote a poem that was read on the Ruth Lyons Show out of Cincinnati, Ohio when I was 10 years old.

3. I love New York City and would like to own an apartment there (if I ever won the lottery).

4. I smoked for thirty years before I finally quit over 11 years ago.

5. I cannot ever remember believing in Santa Claus as a child (extending back to as young as four years old).

6. I fell asleep while on a date at a drive-in theater as a teenager. (Give me a break, I worked all day… besides, maybe that says more about my date than about me! lol!)

7. I put in four ceiling fans in my home by myself.

8. I have 5 computers in my home, including an old Apple IIC that had no hard drive but required (still does as it still runs) you to swap out floppies (the big 5 1/4" flexible black style) to run programs and store files.

I am not going to try to tag anyone as most of the bloggers I know have already played this meme and besides, I am out of town (at my mothers) on dial-up and it is a pain to do anything from here. So any one who reads this and wants to play, consider yourself tagged and blog away.

I will try to update again before my mom and I leave for Tennessee where I probably won’t have any access at all. :::sigh::: it's hard for a technophile to be out of touch.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Mr. Woody K. Nibs

(now playing: Lord Of The Pounce) which can be found here Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers

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posted by Marsha at 4 Comments

Friday, June 08, 2007

God's Sense of Humor

About two months ago, I had to have the old clay pipe sewer line at my house replaced, which meant my yard was turned into a complete mess. During the past two months, I've worked my big butt off (well not off, but at least it hasn't gotten bigger during this time) trying to re-establish the lawn. Today, I wanted to over-seed and re-fertilize at least the side portion. It was very hot here so I waited until evening to start. I had some low spots that I wanted to fill in and a big bare spot to repair so I was really busting my rear to get it all done. As I finished spreading dirt and trying to make sure I was leveling the soil out so that it will drain properly, I realized that it wasn't just on the verge of getting dark, there were clouds forming.

Now understand that I didn't start this work without checking the forecast. No rain predicted until at least Sunday. Woo-hoo! I could get this done and make sure the new dirt and seed and fertilizer would stay in place before one of our gully washers came rolling in! I wasn't really concerned as it clouds up a lot here without anything happening so I finished up, started a very gentle watering cycle and proceeded to clean up and put away the tools I had used and looked forward to a leisurely and very hot shower.

Ooops... that's lightning... not just heat lightning but the real deal... and big thunder... real big thunder, booming and rumbling and obviously not too far away. I could hear Ginger in the house whining as she has started doing recently during thunderstorms. I just prayed a little prayer that it wouldn't be too bad. Please God, just a nice gentle rain that will finish watering my yard and save me a buck or two on the water bill. I went inside, turned off the computer and the television and hit the shower.

I came out in my jammies and took a look outside. I realized that God had displayed His enormous sense of humor and apparently at my expense. All I could see in the darkness was water standing where I had just Guess my neighbor to the right of me is going to have the greenest, lushest grassy ditch in the neighborhood (he just sprayed it last weekend to kill the grass in his ditch so he wouldn't have to mow it; which, tells me that anybody even remotely close to me is subject to God's humor too!)

When the storm subsided enough that I was able to get back online, the first email I opened was from the NWS. Where were they before I worked my butt off?

I live in Swartz!

Told ya God has a sense of humor!

(now playing Wilson Pickett: Knock On Wood's like thunder and lightning...)


posted by Marsha at 2 Comments

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Sit Pretty!

Taking pictures of one of my favorite subjects is not easy. In fact, Ginger is a reluctant model. Yesterday was another example of why Ginger will never be a supermodel and why I will never be a world famous photographer. Here's what happened as she saw the camera pointed in her direction (the ones in the strip were only as good as they were because I either used my hand or my knees and legs to try to control her position):

1) She turns her head to the left and sticks out her tongue.
2) To the left again making sure this time she moves fast enough to blur the picture.
3) To the right, this time managing to look like a mugshot profile.
4) She gave me a full face on, could have been a beautiful head shot BUT not with her tongue stuck out AGAIN, not to mention my big fat knees AGAIN and more of them this time!
5) Ginger says, "You might make me look at you but you ain't gonna like it when I do (besides, this time you've got your arm and hand in the picture)."

6) One way to get a good shot of Ginger - catch her sleeping!

7) and finally success. I won't mention how many shots it took to get this picture.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Big Screen

Last Friday, my son asked me if I wanted to go to the theater with him to see Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. I jumped all over the offer. We had a quick lunch near the mall before seeing the movie, which I enjoyed, then went our separate ways. I was struck by a few thoughts on the way home.

When I was a child, we had three movie houses in the town where I lived. All three played different movies and every Saturday afternoon you could count on each one having a double feature plus a feature cartoon and newsreel, insuring real bang for your buck. (That buck not only got me in the theater, but also paid for my refreshments with change leftover that I could use at the candy store next door to the Rivoli where we killed time waiting for our parents to pick us up after the movie!)

Those were the days before multiple screens but still, I had an option of up to six movies to choose from on Saturday afternoons. Last Friday, I had immediate access to three theaters with a total of 31 screens, yet on that day, I could only choose between 8 movies on those 31 screens. AND NO CARTOON AT ANY OF THEM!!! HUH?

Today, I can get in the theater for a reasonable amount of money, if I go to a matinee, but it will cost an arm and a leg to get a soft drink and a bag of popcorn, which isn't fresh, which doesn't have real butter but some oily glop that is pure fat with no taste at all, that leaves me with nothing but a greasy residue on my fingers that always ends up on my clothes. Of course I could opt for a five dollar candy bar or box of Goobers. (I didn't buy Goobers when they were 25¢ - why would I pay 5 bucks for those suckers now... did someone mention suckers? ahhh, of course... an oversized tootsie roll pop for $2... a real bargain!)

Methinks there is more piracy at theaters today than what plays on the big screen.

(now playing: from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - Hoist The Colours by Hans Zimmer)


posted by Marsha at 3 Comments

Friday, June 01, 2007

Happy Birthday Jamie


As hard as it is for you to say, “I’m 40!”, it is even more difficult to say that about your child. To know that forty years have passed since the day I gave birth to you and found a whole new reason for being astonishes me. How did we get here so quickly?

Forty years ago tonight, your dad drove me to Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana and to this day I remember everything about that trip. I remember distinctly screaming at him, telling him, “Stop!” and like an idiot the loving husband he was, he was actually going to stop the car! “No, don’t stop the car. Stop this from happening! Stop the pain!” He could do neither. We had set the course in motion months before and it wasn’t going to change now. That night I became a mother.

You were 3 pounds and 12 ½ ounces of pure beauty. You were so tiny, yet still perfect in every way. You had all ten toes and ten little fingers and the gorgeous eyes were there from the beginning. Why you were so small I will never know for sure. You were full term and perfectly formed - just small. There were no ultrasounds then, only external measurements which gave us no pause for concern. Your heartbeat was strong throughout the pregnancy and again, nothing in your development gave us an indication that you would not leave the hospital with me the day I went home. My heart broke the day I had to walk away from you and leave you in that place in the care of strangers. I left believing it would be at least a month or two before I would get to hold you in my arms. It took little more than two weeks for you to make the five pound mark required before your dad and I could bring you home.

Watching you grow was one of the greatest delights of my life. Your first tooth, your first steps, your first day of school are etched in my memory forever. Even as a child you had an amazing ability to get along with people. I admired that quality in you even then. You had such a close and loving relationship with Granny, that for the first time in my life, I truly missed not having grandparents that I could be close to. You were so close to Dee and John, even when you were all just being kids and arguing or whatever, you were obviously a big sister that they could depend on and look up to. You were a peacemaker as a child and still carry that trait in you today.

Seeing you as a woman, watching you handle some of the most difficult and heartbreaking circumstances a woman can face, makes me so proud of who you grew up to be. It’s not just the obvious challenges that you’ve faced that make me admire you. It is how you’ve adapted to every change in your life... always with grace, always with humor and with an acceptance of life as it comes. I am so proud of the person you are and I wouldn’t give up the forty years I’ve had as your mother for anything. I wish for you to enjoy every single moment of the rest of your life and to know how much I love you and respect you. I am thankful that Anna and Kayla have such a wonderful model in their lives.

I wish I could be physically present with you tonight but once again I have to be content with leaving you in the care of others. You will always be my baby Jamie.

I love you!

(now playing: In My Daughter's Eyes by Martina McBride)

through the years

there are so many more pictures I could put on here that would define the past 40 years much more completely; pictures from your younger years that remain in the drawer unscanned; pictures in your dance costumes and cheerleader's outfit; pictures with your friends and with your dad; your college graduation pictures; your wedding picture, which I painstakingly scanned in sections and put together and resized and it would just not post for some unknown reason (not to mention that I wasn't sure how you would feel about it being up here under the circumstances, but you were such a beautiful bride I was going to show off the portrait anyway); there are so many more of you and your girls, pictures with your nieces and some with granny and paps (but again, blogger is just being a real pain about the loading pictures today for some reason); anyway, here are a few that will show the world where you started (almost) and where you are today (almost).

Jamie - 3 months
Jamie - 18 months
Jamie - high school senior

Jamie - with Anna a week after her hip surgery

Jamie - with sister Dee at Christmas 2001
Dee made the dress for Kayla

Jamie - with Anna and Kayla
this was taken the day after Kayla's birth

Jamie - with brother John
summer 2006

Jamie - with Dee and Mom (me)
summer 2006

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