Sunday, June 28, 2009

We Feed The Birds...

And they feed our souls.

I've posted pictures of the birds before but today I wanted to share some of what the birds gave us back on this post today.

Lots of sunflowers.

I love watching them grow. Sunflowers are beautiful to watch grow no matter whether I plant them or the birds gift them back to me.

Each little step that these wonderful flowers go through to show off their glory is so artistic to my eye.

I don't know if I ever told you all that the reason I take photos is that I wanted to have my own pictures to work from when I paint.

I want to be able to see it through my eyes and try to create a picture that shows what I see and take it a step further...

To what I think it could be and perhaps even more.

And, it seems the underline poltergeist jumped into this computer, too...maybe to keep me humble? God does have a sense of humor He shares with me when I seem to be getting too full of myself.

One of these days I'll learn how to do the underline on purpose. Or how to turn it off. Oh well...
Back to the drawing board.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Look What Landed At My Home...

I had laid down for a bit of a nap and when I got up this box was in my chair.

Instead of the Christmas/birthday rip it open quick, I forced myself to open the box carefully so I wouldn't do damage anything inside.


My brand spanking new laptop.

Ain't she purdy?!! I love purple.


This is a Dell Studio 17.

A seventeen inch screen for this old blind woman.

It has all it's keys, too.

There is a place on the side where I can put in my camera card and it reads my pictures. I don't have to hook up any camera docking cords.

Guess what else it has.... A built in WEB CAM!


Good Morning! Aren't you glad you don't have to wake up to this site every morning.

If I learn about using it maybe I can do a better photo for you and erase the image of the 'woman in the mirror' that I get to see every day.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's Hotter Than H.E. Double Hockey Sticks...

It seems like only yesterday we, as in me, myself and I, were fretting because we had another wet, cool spring that stayed that way longer than usual. This week the predictions are for 100 degree + weather all week long. I have said many times that I am not an early riser. I don't enjoy getting up at God-thirty in the morning and sipping my Diet Pepsi in quiet solitude and watching the sun rise. The only times that I have willingly watched the sun rise was back in the olden days when I stayed up all night. Doing whatever I did all night... The good thing about losing your memory is X-ing out the wild child days.

As I told you in my post on Father's Day the two times I heard my father swear was at me and because of me and those incidents were both related to not getting up and being ready to go to school. My sweet little mom would ask me if she needed to get the washcloth when she would wake me for the second, third or umpteenth time. She was a very smart woman. She wouldn't pour a glass of water on me but she would, and did, wet down a washcloth, pull back the covers and slap that puppy on my tummy... once. That was all it took. After the first time she would ask me if she needed to get it and I would be on my feet... "No, ma'am! I'm up."

The first semester that I went away to college I was assigned a roommate. I didn't think anything about it because I can get along pretty well with most anybody. That changed the first time she woke me up at 6 freakin' 30 in the morning to ask me if I wanted to pray with her. Bless her Southern Baptist heart... I kind of... sort of maybe implied if she woke me up again at that time in the morning she just might be looking at talking to Jesus in person. Don't get me wrong I don't have anything against prayer, in fact I pray often. Just not at 6:30 in the morning except maybe to ask the good Lord to help me, to keep me from killing somebody.

But I digress... what I wanted to tell you was that it has been so hot that when either my bladder, thank you menopause, or the dogs wake me up to go out I just pull on my shorts and go out to work in the garden or the flower beds. Yep... even if it's 6 freakin'30. I work for an hour or two or until my eyelids start to sweat. After that first burst I'll go out for 20 or 30 minutes at a time, doing a little bit of planting or weeding or moving sprinklers and/or soaker hoses around. After 3 weeks of rain every day I'm now having to water pretty much every day in some portion of the flower beds or the veggie garden.

Because is it hotter than h-e-double hockey sticks. Just thought I'd pass that little tidbit on to all of you that are having 90 degree and under weather. You lucky stiffs...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Six And Six...

, over at RamblingsAboutWhy, tagged me a while back and I'm just now getting to it. The instructions are to pick the sixth folder in my pictures and pick and post the sixth picture. So here it is:

This was taken when we lived in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, in our front. flower bed. That bee was very busy this particular day. I watched him working away until he got closer to the front of the flower bed so I could get this photo.

Not bad for a rank amateur with a point and shoot camera and no idea about editing. This was straight out of the camera.

I know I'm supposed to pick six people to do this little exercise, but I'm just going to say if it looks like something fun to you, go and have fun with the Six And Six.

Have a marvelous Monday.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Father...

I wasn't going to write anything about dad for Father's Day. He died in 1996 at the age of 92. The photo of my dad and his family was taken in the late Twenties. He's the second from the right on the back row. Dad was born in 1903. He had two brothers and five sisters. Mom always said that his mom and sisters spoiled him before she ever got hold of him.

We always told mom that she had a whole bunch of stars in her crown for putting up with him. Dad was ornery as dirt, loved cornball jokes and puns. He was a church-going man and would, upon occasion when we were back in Tennessee for family reunions, give a Sunday sermon at a little old backwoods church. He taught Sunday school for many years and was a member of Methodist Men's Club for longer than I can remember.

Dad and two partners were Phillips 66 jobbers since the mid-Thirties. Dad and mom got married in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1930. He and mom then made their home in Okla. City, Oklahoma,and started their family with the birth of my oldest brother in 1931. He went to college at John Brown College in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and that was where he and mom met. He was four years and a couple of months older than mom and he was so full of mischief, always cutting up and teasing whenever he was out of class. He worked at the dairy at the school to help pay for his education in accounting.

Dad was also a stubborn, quick-tempered butthead. He and I clashed more than once from my teen years on. This man that would read the Sunday funny papers to us kids to try to keep us clean until mom got dressed and we headed for church would tan our heinies if we stepped out of line on one of his bad days. I have the patience of Job compared to my dad. Mom said we locked horns because we were so much alike. Man, I hated that! But I will confess to fighting a hair trigger temper all my life. I don't ever want to hurt somebody with an angry torrent of words.
That hurt more and stayed with me longer than any whipping I ever had, and I had more than one and all were well earned.

My dad loved taking us kids to the wrestlin' matches at the Stockyards Colisuem in south west Okla. City. He enjoyed taking us and grandkids to the Okla. City Zoo. Dad was not athletic, but he and mom both encouraged me and my younger brother in whatever sports we chose to persue. He never griped at us for digging a hole in the yard to make a kicking tee for a football and he would play catch with us some when we were little and it just fascinated us that he could throw right and left handed.

The only two times I ever heard my daddy swear was once at me and the other time was because of me. It was hard for me to go to sleep and consequently it was difficult for me to get up. Both times had to do with me not getting up and ready to go to school on time.

All this has been an exercise for me to try to put down mostly the good things that I remember about my dad instead of goin' on about the things that still make me angry. In a lot of ways he was a good example for us kids and others growing up. He loved my mom and was faithful to her for 62 and a half years before she died. He loved all us kids and very much enjoyed having a large family. He and mom mourned my oldest sister's death for 40+ years after she died when she was 23 years old from a brain hemorrage. He was totally fair with us kids when time came to divide up our inheritance, including an equal portion for my oldest sister's 3 children she and her husband had before she died.

So here's to you, dad. It was the best I could come up with this year. Maybe next year I'll have buried a little more of the anger because I really don't want to carry it around anymore. I'll just leave this with a little poem that daddy taught me when I was small...

Roses on my shoulders,
Slippers on my feet.
I'm my daddy's darlin',
Don't you think I'm sweet.

After which mom noted in my baby book I'd always say, "Uh Huh!"

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thank You Lord...

I have been going through massive withdrawal. I thought my computer had finally died on Thursday. It went into 3D mode and locked up so I had to manually turn it off. When I tried to turn it back on.... nothing. I tried later in the day... nothing. Now I'm starting with the cold sweats. Having had extra medical bills with my stupid rib I didn't have any reserves and was looking at next month before I could get a new computer.

I just wouldn't believe that my connection to the world was gone. I wasn't ready to sink back into the abyss of total anonymity. Yesterday I tried several times to coax the baby back to life. I sweet talked it, I told it how important it was to my life. I finally decided that I would have to start thinking about writing it's obituary. I was in the total pits.

I took off all the clamps and folded it's lid down and wiped it clean... but I couldn't yet bear to put it in the closet or the trash bin just yet. I was in mourning... big time.

I was sitting here watching golf and decided to try to turn my computer on one more time. I raised it's lid and tentatively pushed the on button, and walaaa!!!! Lights started turning on!

I am doing the happy dance as well as I can with broken ribs. And my first thing to do was let you all know that I'm not out of it yet. I've got to start looking for a computer that I can afford. I dang sure didn't like being disconnected from the world.

Now I've got to start catching up with you all... and being very sweet and nice to my computer.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

And Now For The Promised Conversation...

I'm sure that you know, by now, that I have a weird sense of humor. It is important for you to know that, frankly, it runs in the family. Mostly with my three brothers but occasionally my sis comes up to the plate and knocks all us cocky comic-wannabes in the dirt.

But today this is a conversation that went on between Bro and me yesterday. We were driving home from Purcell after doing the WallyWorld thing. We sometimes talk about all sorts of things and sometimes nothing. We are both quite comfortable with quiet. Yesterday was one of the days we would talk a bit and be quiet a bit.

On our route that we drove yesterday took us past an underground home with it's own grass runway and a small plane. After I had noted the two white painted tires hanging on the fence posts to indicate the end of the runway, I turned to Bro and told him that I had dreamed several times that I could fly a plane. The dreams were so real that I would awake and have to talk to myself that it was just a dream. Bro allowed as how he had a recurring dream about flying, but not in plane, flying his body out into the sky, soaring all over... "How cool is that, Bro!" I told him. " yeah," he said " it was a great dream... I haven't had it in a while."

We both fell silent for a minute. I was thinking how neat it would be to fly out into the ozone in my dreams with only my body and was lost in thought when Bro said, "But it was a bitch when I'd fall out of bed. Talk about a rude awakening!"

I cracked up... I had to grab my ribs because I was laughing and it hurt. But, oh, the hurt was worth it.

That the honest to God conversation we had. When we talk about things like this there is generally no need to embellish.

I'm off to bed now. Get me some rest. Hope you enjoyed the story. If you didn't I guess you just would have had to been there...

First, Let Me Say...

thank you. I know that I have just the greatest folks that drop in to visit. I do appreciate all your prayers and well wishes and your insights. Yes, Tatersmama, getting out of bed is awful (I'm menopausal, too), but I'm figuring it out. Laying down is bad, too, but once I get there and be still, the pain eases.

I may have to try Ros's suggestion and sleep in the recliner. Becky, thanks for reminding me about deep breathing every so often. The doc said that's important because I don't want pneumonia. And yes, Robynn, breathing at all is important if I want to be around to enjoy life. JoJo, you are so right about deliberate movements. If I think about moving before I do it there is less pain. If I move quickly, as in trying to grab something that's slipped out of my hand, I pay... big time.

Hallie, I know you don't want me getting bored so you give me a job to do... and I love you for it. Hallie, in case there is anyone on this planet that doesn't know about the weiner woman, is hosting the Take A Chance On Life raffle. If you've been to her blog you know that she,her dad and all the family celebrated the 6th anniversary of his receiving a new heart. Hallie is hosting a raffle to raise money for organ donations and has and still is collecting items for the raffle winners and selling tickets for a chance to win a number of awesome prizes. Please check out her blog for more info or go to: and buy raffle tickets. It's for a wonderful cause and if you go check out Hallie's blog she has some wonderful prizes collected up already. And she will be glad to accept more donations to add to the prize bonanza she already has, so if you have something to donate to sweeten the donation pie, get with her.

Okay... that's it for now. I've a little story to tell about a conversation my Bro and I had yesterday. He made me laugh and that was no fun but the story of our conversation was certainly fun, but I've got to rest a bit from all that linking I did to Hallie. I promise I'll be back with that story for you all.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Don't Make Me Laugh...

please. .. it hurts.

This is gonna be a bad news good news kind of post. The bad news is I have two broken ribs. The good news is I didn't puncture my lung in the fall. The bad news is if I'm not careful I could still end up with a punctured lung because the ribs are really broken. If I move wrong they pop inside me and that hurts... badly. The good news is I'm pretty dang good at sitting very still... as long as I have my computer in my lap or I have something to occupy my hands or my mind. The bad news about that is this time of year is particularly busy in the garden. The good news is I figured out that I can sit on a stool or my butt to weed and plant.

More good news? I can sit on the couch and look at the windows and see beauty like this:

I really like having more good news than bad.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Note To Self...

When you add forty years and forty-+ pounds with muscle memory that has Alzheimers and competitive spirit that should slowed down it adds up to P.A.I.N.

I went to my niece's yesterday afternoon for hamburgers and swimming and visiting. I shoulda just stuck to those things, but they had set up a volleyball court in their back yard so they could play with their friends, their kids and grandkids and even an old aunt who should have just sat and watched.

But, no, I had to decide I couldn't stand to watch. After all, it was one of those sports I was (was being the 'operative' word) good at in school, forty + years ago. Not one minute into my playing time, our side was trying to get the ball over, there was a mis-hit and I went to save it. First upon turning quickly to try get to the ball before it hit the ground I stubbed my toes and lost my balance. Things went south from there.

I fell. I fell all over the place. I did a great landing with my left arm under me. You get the idea that you might have done a super "oh, no" when you actually hear a popping noise at the same exact time that pain rips through your body... I did manage to get up and my niece was like,"Aunt Helen, are you okay???" I told her I was okay but that I needed to sit for a bit and went back to my chair and sat.

I turned to Bro, who was sitting by me watching all the going's on, and told him I either separated a rib or broke a rib. We sat and watched the youngsters and visited for another hour. Bro drove us home and I hit the muscle relaxer and the pain meds. I did get some rest last night, but I'm here to tell you that I won't be going to make the big save any more.

I might have been able to be the she-ro when I was way younger, but I've got to figure out some way to shine that is age compatible now. Because it's not fun to hurt like this. So take heed, my friends, because one of these days there will be a time when you say, "I can do that!" that you really can't, despite what you think.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Uh, Oh...

My world is collapsing around my ears...

I went for a walk yesterday and took photos to show you about stuff coming up, things blooming and show some of the things we've been doing out here on the ponderosa. When I downloaded the pictures I had some weird stuff going on with my camera.

Okay, okay, so I sat on it at my niece's place and knocked my lens out of whack, but I pushed it back straight and most of the time it zooms out and back okay. These photos show something that has not happened before. I thought at first that I had gotten my finger in the way because I have done that before, but then the following showed up time and time again on the photos I took yesterday. I would have one pic that was fine and then two or three with the glitches.

Here's what I'm talking about...

All the following are straight out of the camera shots... no editing yet.

This gorgeous beauty is called an Amazon dianthis. Spell check says I spelled it wrong, but doesn't give me options, so just enjoy the beautiful color.


This is a shot of a multi-holed planter that was starting to look pretty good, so I fired off a shot.
This is what downloaded.

Next up...

This is a high chair that Carol's dearest, oldest as in friend known longest, retired art teacher friend painted and gave to Carol. Carol put a couple of coats of poly-urethane on it so she could sit it outside and put some bright petunias on it to add a bright spot of color.


I took a walk out in the garden so I could show you how things are progressing out there. This is a picture I took to show you the pole green beans and how they are doing. This was just one of the garden photos... I didn't want to bore you or terrify me with more of the same... I'm panicked enough already.

I headed back up towards the house because it was getting kind of warm and I was going to wrap up this stroll with a couple of flower pictures...

These geraniums are in a nook right by the fronts steps. They are planted in an old washtub on a three-legged stand that we brought back from one of our trips to Minnesota when Carol's sister lived up there. We found some really different thing when we would go garage sale-ing in the Minneapolis/St. Pete area.

This photo was fine.

But the fear factor doesn't end with camera problems...

You know about my wonderful link to the world, my computer... You know, the one where I lost my 'a', then I became a bit 'shiftless'...

In Oklahoma, we joke about keeping things going with bubblegum and baling wire. Here is an up-to-date photo of my lap-top.

If you click on the photo you can, as Laura says, embiggen it.
You can see the shift key and the a/A key is gone, so you know it's mine. If you look on the left you can see a half inch of metal with some white showing at the left edge. That is the edge of some velcro that I put on the metal strip I rigged to keep my screen from falling off.

The velcro failed so I got a clamp out of my tool box. I am, if nothing else, resourceful. You may also notice about midway on the left at my screen another clamp. That is to keep the lid/screen from falling on my hands when I fidget, which I do often. The hinge on the right side is trying to fail also. If it goes I'd really be able to say I've flipped my lid. And that's okay because I could plug in an external monitor in.... the problem is my computer has started crashing. And I'm talking looking like a 3-d movie without the glasses... read, blue, looks like your eyes are totally out of focus. It has happened at least a half a dozen times... just today. And if that happens it may be a while before I can get back to you.

I'm not begging for a new computer or a new camera, I'm just putting you all on notice that if you don't see a new post for a while you'll know what happened. And that I'll be scrambling to borrow a computer to post a notice to you.

I hope you all are having a great week... because I'm not.