Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Perfect Birthday Card

I have a friend that if I call her or she calls me, really doesn't matter, within five minutes of the conversation, we end up talking about her.  She might ask me a question, yet I am never able to give a complete answer to her question as she will jump on my sentence and bring the conversation back to her.  I told my daughter, Jennifer, about this and that sometimes I just wanted to sing Toby Keith's song, you know the one that has words similar to "We always talk about you! you! you!, but sometimes I want to talk about me! me! me!". That one.  I just haven't been brave enough to interrupt her and sing it.

So when my birthday came around Jennifer sent me the most perfect birthday card.  I've posted the picture below:






I have the best daughter ever!

 Have you ever received the perfect card, it doesn't have to be a birthday card, it could be for Mother's day or some other celebration?

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Gardening Was Made To Look Easy OR Daddy Didn't Show Me Everything He Knew

 

     


     Working in the garden growing up wasn't my favorite thing to do, as my brother and I had to help my Dad in the hot sun planting, hoeing and weeding. But once it started producing, it was fun taking a salt shaker out, pulling off a tomato and biting off a warm salty taste. Of course the tomato juice ran down our arms and shirt, but it was worth it. 
     Once I became an adult, I tried to plant a garden, usually only a few plants like tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, cantaloupes and watermelons; just one or two of each. Nothing spectacular, just enough for me and my daughter. Eventually, work and where I lived made it impossible to plant and grow a garden.
     October 2017 I moved from Alabama to Oklahoma, being retired I decided to plant a container garden in 2018. I gathered all the empty containers Jennifer, my daughter, had and proceeded to plan what I wanted to plant. 
     The first hurtle was dirt. In Alabama, rain made the dirt soft and undergrowth rotting made it fertile, but Oklahoma dirt is hard and red; so I had to buy bagged dirt. Being used to Alabama rain I didn't water enough. Needless to say, my first Oklahoma garden was a disaster. That's when I discovered Oklahoma wind and heat. Did you know tomatoes won't produce if it's too hot and dry? 
     I can't remember where I saw that Oklahoma State University (OSU) had an Extension center in Guthrie and that the center was offering a 3 or 4 month course to become a Master Gardener; at a low cost. I signed up for it quickly! It was worth it! It's still trial and error, but I believe I'm making progress.
  
First tomato 2018

     Though I did discover Citrus Lantana grows great in Oklahoma!






  


Friday, October 16, 2020

Are You A People Person?

THIS IS A POSTING FROM SEPTEMBER 2014

Pam
Susan


                                                                        Larry   
               

                                                                     Me


     Are you a people person? What I mean by that is I could stay in my office at work all day doing accounting and never speak to a person and I would be fine. Then you have people who need to be around others. They make good salesmen, lawyers, receptionists, or just fun to be around. My sister Pam, as much as she could with her disabilities, my sister Susan and my brother Larry are like that. People are attracted to them because of their outgoing personalities. They make you feel good and usually bring laughter. 
     I love to watch my cats because they're like people. BayBay is the youngest and bounces when she runs. She will come running just to let you know she's there and that she knows you're there. She constantly wants to play. Her favorite game is to find one of her toys and then pick it up and bring it to you, making this funny meowing noise.  Once she sees me, she expects me to clap my hands and praise her for the wonderful catch! I can put her toys up before I go to bed and then by the next bedtime, she's dragged them out again, letting me know she caught them. 
BayBay
     Then I have Sweetie Pie, who is a multi-colored cat that seems to be always watching, thinking.
Sweetie Pie
But there are times she also needs attention. She tries some of the same antics of BayBay but it's not the same. One reason is because BayBay is consistent, while Sweetie Pie is sometimes, plus she doesn't make that cute meow. I've caught on though and make a point to stop and listen to her and pick her up and make the same praises I would with BayBay.
     People are like the cats. Some are loners who still need attention, a special phone call or card. Just to be checked on and realize someone would miss them. Then you have people who make you feel good, yet they too need praise and special phone calls.
Have you ever seen a cat smile,
They do you know, just ask me,
I've seen them, oh what a lark it is.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

First Turning Sixty As The New Beginning, Now Twelve Years Later


My 7th birthday

In seven days I'll be turning seventy-two.  This has been a monumental year and not all events were positive either, who knew or even imagined how 2020 would play out?  It has been a thinking year, my brain has grown at least two inches.  I say this because someone told me that when my thinking causes a headache it means my brain is growing.

In 2008 when I turned sixty, the first shock I dealt with was to accept that I don't have as many years ahead that I had in the past. In one day, being 59 and waking up the next day 60, I went from not even thinking about my foreseeable future to maybe fifteen or twenty years left. Retiring hasn't been what I expected. Before making my decision, I talked with retired people, my mom especially, and their suggestion was don't retire.  It gets boring pretty quick.  Yet, one morning in March 2016, I woke up and realized I was tired. I'm still nervous about the money, but God said "do not be anxious for He will take care of us", so I'm claiming that scripture. 

I enjoyed my work, I was the Secretary/Treasurer as well as the Accounting and Office Manager for the company, a plumbing supply house.  Of course, it helped to know my boss's daughter was hired to learn my job.  She expressed to me once that her working at the office during the summers with me is why she went to college and earned an Accounting degree. She will be a good accountant as she likes detail work as much as I do. She'll be good at the job.

Once I retired, my daughter wanted me to sell my house and come live with her. I would have liked that, except she lived in Oklahoma a long way from Alabama. My mother was still alive at the time and I felt that I needed to stay and help my brother take care of her. It was a good thing too as she had a mini stroke in 2016 and needed someone around 24/7. She moved in with me; at the time I didn't understand her delaying giving up her apartment. She died on September 10, 2017, at which point I decided to move to Oklahoma. It was traumatic giving up my home of fifteen years and going through everything I'd accumulated through my adult life, deciding what to sell, give away or just throw away. It was at that point, I understood why Mom delayed doing the same thing when she moved in with me. She married at sixteen and had accumulated sixty eight years of material goods as well as giving up her independence. In hindsight, the passing time seems like the blink of an eye, yet living it seemed like I would live forever.

As I look outside the sun is brightly shining here today, I have Baybay my cat laying on my arm while I type.  I'll be talking with my daughter soon; and I have wonderful memories, so all in all it's a great day. 


Shelby and BayBay

Sweetie Pie and BayBay

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Why Do You Follow A Blog?

 

Bucks Pocket, Alabama


     I follow a blog because I find them full of information or interesting. But a comment caught my eye when they wrote that they appreciate my following and that I actually read and found their article interesting and useful. It never occurred to me there were other reasons for following a blog.
     I had to think hard on reasons for following a blog, so I Googled the question and found some good reasons on the following blog, Paper Fury
            The Design is fabulous 
            Friends with the blogger
            It has incredible photography
            The blog gives me something
            When someone I trust recommends the blog
     I also came up with a few negative possibles:
            Feigned sincere interest (make the blogger think I 
                  found site impressive and interesting (usually
                  someone known and usable)
            More blogs making higher numbers.
     Though the negative reasons seem such a waste of time. 

Desota Falls, DeKalb, Alabama



        


Monday, October 12, 2020

Being A Better Person

    

      Black Possum 

 On one of the blogs I follow, Ramana's Musings, I found this quote posted:

 “One who makes himself a worm cannot complain afterwards if people step on him.”

By Immanuel Kant

       This past Sunday our church worship message was on how to be a better person, not better than anyone else, but how to improve ourselves; not compare ourselves to another but compare ourselves to Jesus to see how to improve who we are. For some reason the above quote fit. In my life I have seen people become arrogant and unlikable to the point that people shun them (become a worm until people avoid or step on them). 

Starlings eat worms
 
                                                                                        

Saturday, October 10, 2020

A "Rut" Feels like a Comfortable Place

Monarch on my Lantana flowers 2019

    Have you ever thought your life is on track when suddenly a light bulb comes on and you realize you're in a comfortable "Rut".       

     I noticed that something is missing in my life, each day is the same, no challenges.  I realize I'm living in a "rut". By not accomplishing anything, I'm restless with an undercurrent of stress. I need to climb out of my rut.

     For years I've written stories and even have drafts for two different books, one draft has 22,000 words and the other has 12,000 words; plus numerous short stores. Yet I've only tried once to publish a short story. I decided the way to climb out of the rut is to try to have something published.

     I have been following a blog by Rachelle Gardner since the first part of the year. She is a literary agent with a very helpful blog Rachelle Gardners well as offering services, particularly an Author's school. At the time, there was a waiting list, so I signed up. At the first part of September I received notice that a space was available. I thought about it and decided that if I didn't publish now, I never would, so I'm now a member of the Author School. And it is so worth it! The main focus in the first two sessions is sitting down and writing. There are links to help us overcome the obstacle of procrastination! Learning our temperament so that we can learn to work around what causes us to put off writing. Such as being a type of person who will do anything for others but not schedule time for myself to write; or if I schedule the time, sit there and organize my desk, my notebooks, anything to not write. Starting on October 1, I decided that I would try to write 500 words four days a week. I haven't been successful every day, but it has encouraged me to start blogging again as a way to write 500 words a day. 


Shelby and BayBay