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Two Days of Spring


Thursday and Friday of last week were lovely, so warm that I got way too excited about clearing out a iris bed that I want to move. By Saturday I was so stiff and sore I could barely walk and felt incredibly bad in any number of ways. Spent two days lying on the couch watching old movies and documentaries about weird religious cults. This morning I did feel somewhat more like myself and so did some housekeeping chores which has turned out to be too much work, and now I'm back to sitting. Time and again I forget that it takes a lot more time to recover than it used to. Old dogs and new tricks, right?

Snowed here again on Sunday though not much. The cold weather has frozen the daffodils and they are all hanging their heads as if in shame. The spinach is holding it's own at least, but the greens have not yet sprouted. I'd go out and check, but even though it's sunny, still cold and very windy. The hyacinths are blooming and I saw some violets on the two days of spring. Grateful that the fruit trees have good sense and are keeping their blossoms tucked under the covers.


I did complete the socks I've been knitting on forever and will give them to number 4 daughter whose birthday is coming up soon. Got out an old project, an afghan of squares made from sock yarn. Hoping my brain will wake up and I can figure out how to get started on it again.

Decided to read "Paris Without End," the true story of Hemingway's first wife along with "The Paris Wife," the fictionalized version of her story. Fun comparing the novel and the "real deal." I have to give Hadley credit for her strength and tenacity in staying married to old Hem, he sure could be a asshole.

Thought I might have more to say, but being ill seems to have robbed me of time and words. I am also singularly lacking in creative ambition which is annoying, but as all things do, this will pass.

The forecast for the week ahead is not a disaster, temps predicted near 60, but lesson learned for the moment and I'll stick to easier tasks than the last I attempted.

And slower, I'll go slower.

Tuesday's Adventure


On Tuesday daughter no. 4 and I attended a seminar produced by the Institute for Brain Potential https://www.ibpceu.comand featuring "The Pharmacy in Your Kitchen," an overview of medical and medicinal foods. The speaker was Angelo Pezzote, interesting, informative, intelligent and funny. I liked his approach.

I was highly entertained, managed to have lunch with daughter's no 4 and 2, learned a number of things which I'm sure I'll remember soon. Oh, I took notes. I came away feeling good, buzzed by the learning experience and especially that Erin and I did it together so we had great conversation on the drive home.

What made me think?

Could I eat a more plant based diet? Sure.

There are more bacteria in our gut than there are stars in the entire Universe.

Will loneliness be what kills me? Maybe? Outside of my family I have very little face to face human contact? By choice. But, do I want to alter that?

I can and will change a couple of supplements I take. Already in the Amazon cart. Been taking a probiotic for a long time so might as well switch to one designed for mood enhancement. I can only eat so much yogurt.

"Walking in Nature lowers your blood sugar." Not an issue for me, but my overweight grandson would benefit from this.

Thought this a good acronym for Standard American Diet: SAD.

Sugar is not good for humans nor is the amount of meat many Americans consume. After all, we only have four canine teeth for ripping and tearing flesh.

I am already conscious that what I eat has a huge impact on how I feel, but it was good to have the reinforcement of scientific data and a good teacher>pupil energy exchange.

Happy and grateful that I had this experience. OMG I left the house. :-)

As they say, "You are what you eat." Today I'm fixing a shrimp thing....thang? yet I don't feel particularly small.

HAPPY Birthday Anah


Today is granddaughter Anah's 15th birthday. She is special among my grandchildren in many ways, but mostly because she and her mom lived with us  till she was 5. We have spent a lot of time together.

Saturday Erin, her mother, hosted a simple get together at her house and the whole family was there. Knowing she had an orthodontist appt. and Trent had to see the orthopaedic doc, I had not expected to see them.

So, I was very touched when they showed up here this afternoon because Anah wanted to look at her baby pictures. She got out the albums, and we enjoyed the memories of her tiny self.

The last year has been an adjustment for me as she started high school and became busy with sports and friends. She's starting to grow up. We don't  get together as much.  Sure, it's  natural and I wouldn't have it another way, but those baby pictures made me nostalgic.

Ancestors and Accidents

Got mired down in family history once I accessed the ancestry site and added some information and pictures to my tree. Took some notes for further biographical posts.

Dug around in the antique trunk and got tangled up in memories and old pictures. Danced with the resulting emotions for a while. Took more notes.

One day turned out to be springlike so now the mustard is planted and many of the acorns are raked from the front yard. This morning I got out there early and loaded the piles I had made into containers for the husband to move later. Temps dropped fast as predicted, now it's back down in the 30's.

Went to the only home track meet last night to watch Anah and Trent. Anah throw shot put and Trent runs hurdles. Anah came in out midway which is usual, not good enough for her, but not much is. We were just in time for the starting gun in Trent's event and he was in 2nd pulling up for first when he stopped short at the last jump and grabbed his hip. He may be out for the season. Erin is taking him to see a doctor today. I await the results. I'm not a fan of high school sports. Coaches, ever eager for a win, push kids way too hard and there are many injuries.

My nephew threw gasoline on a fire he thought was out, thought being the operative word. The plastic gas can he was holding blew up and his arm is burned from wrist to elbow. Burn care center was positive about his recovery and I talked to him today and he says he is doing well.

Starting reading, The Paris Wife and am liking it so far, not far enough to give it a rave review.

Wasn't going to order any paper prints of pictures for 2017, but after watching my girls have a really great time looking at old pictures, I did. Ordered from Amazon this time. Usually use Snapfish. I'm not seeing a huge difference in quality. Neither of them are great prints and both managed to screw up a few pics out of every order. Snapfish often has penny prints which is a cheaper so may go back to them. Prints never seem to be in chronological order so have working to get them that way.

Tomorrow we are celebrating Anah's 15th birthday.

Wow.

From Where I Sit

Because our perspectives are fashioned from  who and what we observe,  and from those perspectives we create the process of living, I begin the telling of what I remember, that which I was told, and a few odd personal observations about the fabric of my life with my great grandmother.

Sarah Butler Essex Daniels was born six years after the end of the American Civil War in a tiny house that clung to the side of a smallish mountain known locally as "The Knob."

On our annual trip to visit my mother's relatives in middle Tennessee we went to her house which was tucked away in what seemed to me to be an eternal forest with a long dark winding lane leading to the shotgun cabin in which she and her husband lived. She seemed as old as the hills that she looked as if she had been carved from. Slight in stature, hair pulled back into a bun, she walked with a cane and used a short stick to dip snuff from a small tin container. She drew her water from a well and it tasted like heaven. I remember interacting with her husband John, perhaps because he had a pet chicken? John sported a huge handlebar mustache, mostly white but stained with tobacco near his lips. I really liked John and the chicken.

No one called my great grandmother Sarah. I didn't even know it was her name until I became interested in genealogy. She was called Butler by one and all including her daughter and granddaughter - my mother. She always wore her hair up. Her dresses were long and homemade, covered by aprons that were pinned at her waist. Her stockings were tan and thick rolled with garters to her knee. She was poor and uneducated, but kind, a genuine Appalachian Hillbilly.

She died when I was 13. I don't think I went to the funeral, but suppose my mother did. Just as I later discovered Butler had another name, I also found out that there was no father listed for my grandmother and no marriage documentation. I've always liked her more for her apparent indiscretion. After seeing my grandmother listed as Pasco Wassom in a census document, I pieced together my own version of what might have occurred. You see, the Wassoms lived right next door and their son, Charles was the same age as Sarah, sounds like opportunity was close at hand at least. And, their lifestyle in the mountains was by it's nature limiting, maybe they just didn't get to the preacher in time.

I cannot imagine how hard her life must have been thinking back on the circumstances I found so charming as a child, but she was tough and not a complainer. I wish I had known her better.

I am grateful to have known her at all.

When, sometime in the 70's, I took my own children there to witness all this awesomeness, there was a four lane highway about 300 yards beyond the cabin. I wept.

There is a Story



Every life is a story.

Yesterday I had a phone conversation with a woman with whom I have been friends for over 40 years. A companion in mind and spirit, she is intelligent, creative, and kooky. We laughed long and hard yesterday. This friend was recently diagnosed with the "beginnings of dementia," no fancy names just dementia. Long before she sought the aid of a physician there had been signs, but we didn't want to pay attention. She still seems mostly her old self, but she is concerned as am I where it's all headed. Vowing not to let it get her down, she's doing all kinds of cognitive work and says some days are good and some not so. I reassure her that is just the human condition.

Parts of our conversation were focused on events long past and at times it took both of us plus the husband to recall what we think might have happened. As I watched how our memories are fading, the situation got me thinking that it really is time to set down my life for whoever comes after that might give a shit. Which may be no one.

I'm not much of a fiction writer or I would write in that way, give myself another name and write someone else's story which would be truly mine. mallorys_camera said that all fiction is actually autobiographical and she's right. But I haven't been able to fictionalize myself so I guess I'll have a go at just telling it as it was.

I will begin with my great-grandmother, Sarah Butler Essex Daniels, about whom I know very little, but at least do remember her. The plan was to start today, but I can't seem to log into my account at ancestry and am too aggravated right now to keep on trying. Much easier to access what's all ready recorded there for a jumpstart.



Besides, I don't have a title.

The Old Gray Mare

As in the old song "she ain't what she used to be." And, neither am I which became evident when I engaged in further yard work today. Whew. I was certainly much more tired than I thought. Yet, got in another hour and finished clearing the saponaria bed of last fall's leaf cover.

Caught a rainbow on the ceiling today.


Daughter no. 4 is bringing over chicken schwarma, tzatziki sauce, and rice plus we've got lamb chops. Good food and good company lie ahead.  Totally grateful for delicious homemade meal delivered to my door.

In lieu of egg dying, we're going to discuss the possibilities of doing some henna painting tomorrow. If that project gets off the ground, there will be pictures.  First I have to remember where I stored the henna.

Off to ponder possible henna hiding places.

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