Monday, May 31, 2010

"Remembering" is, Of Course, the Word for today, May 31, 2010.


Today is Memorial Day, 2010.  I've been remembering.  I've been away from my blog because one of my cousins passed from this life on the 22nd of this month.  I always called him my favorite cousin.  Don't tell the others.

Actually I have been blessed with many cousins, who lived close enough, and were close enough to my age, for us to have good times at reunions and when our parents decided to visit each other. 

I always loved all my cousins.  After marrying and before we began moving from one side of the country to another and to other countries and back, my husband and I often visited both my family and his.  So, when we heard about this cousin's passing my husband wanted to make the 7 or 8 hour drive to our home state to be there for his family and tell him goodbye.

Last Sunday we loaded up the camper and headed north.  It was a relatively easy drive, although, of course, my husband doesn't believe I can drive his (brand new-to-him and all-tricked-out) truck with the camper, so he did all the driving.  Saturday morning, before we heard about my cousin, my husband slipped on the dewy grass and we now think he cracked a rib.  By the time he got us to his brother's, which would be our "home-base", he was beginning to hurt.  A brief trip to the OR and some pain pills so he could sleep at night and he continued with little complaining.

It turned out the viewing wasn't until Wednesday evening and the Funeral was on Thursday at 11:00 AM.  Time we hadn't anticipated having, this being our home state, and each of us having of many people we would like to see, we choose a few and went visiting. 

Our preacher from back in the 70s is living with his wife in the northern part of the state. We drove up to see them.  It was very nice.  He, however, has dementia.  Still, they both, made us welcome and she fixed us a very tasty lunch, which ended with watermelon!  Their daughter, who was only a teen or pre-teen the last time we'd seen her, was "all grown up" and living next door to them.  She told us she has seven children!  Those are the kinds of things that are hard to get your mind to accept.  It always seems to me I should be older but folks I've not seen for years just oughta stay as they were.

The trip was full of similar re-acquaintances, with family and friends, which involved several hours of driving every day.  It was a bitter-sweet time of remembering and renewing.  Time to remember the cousin just lost, and several others who've passed; all of them too young and too soon. 

This cousin and I had been writing each other regularly for the last several years.  Not long ago I felt compelled to throw out the letters from him I had been answering and just sticking back into the letter file.  But, I didn't simply throw the letters into the trash.  I searched them until I found and saved the letter telling me how, and what, he did to get the ground ready for his garden each year; he loved to garden.  And now, I'm so glad I did that. 

Remembering, hugging, crying, and declaring love for family and friends filled our week. 

We returned home Friday.  Company, some we brought home with us and some arriving shortly after we did, spent time with us, remembering.  My brother brought steaks, for a cook out.  It wasn't just a great meal, it was also a remembrance.  Our parents always had the first cook out of the year on Memorial Day. 

Remembering is an appropriate word for today.  May we all have many happy memories to balance the sad ones, as we remember our loved ones who are gone.  May we also remember our military, police, firemen, border patrol and others who have given or are now risking their lives to maintain a free and safe USA.  God bless the USA.


(All photos by Janet Toney, please request permission before 'borrowing' any photograph.) 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

"Bluegrass" is Today's Word, May 22, 2010


This evening we went down the mountain for a Grand Opening.  They had free hot dogs, chips, homemade cookies and cakes, plus soft drinks.  The hot dogs, were the long ones that cover the entire bun, and were cooked on the grill, not boiled.  These folks had something simple but also nice to introduce themselves to the community.  

The store seems to be a one-stop-shopping business.  Collectables, of all kinds, vintage clothing and more were out for sale.  The building will also have a flea market section with rented spaces.  At the far end of the building will be hardware, building supplies, and assorted rummage. 

In addition to all that, they plan to have live music every other Saturday evening.  This evening they had a group called the 'Green River Boys' playing bluegrass and assorted old country music, which is very much a part of this area's past and present.  It was quite enjoyable.  The 'boys' were from 79 years young and younger.  Their lead singer said he was the only one born after World War II, and my guess would be he was mid forties or early 50s.  They were pretty good, seniors or not.  And all were humble, unassuming and genuine.  

Most of the people attending were extended family.  Many of the area's population have lived here for generations.  We were surprised to find a couple who were newer to the mountain community than we are.  Might have made new friends; we exchanged names and numbers.

It was an evening of 'Bluegrass' music, complimentary food, and great country folks! Hope your evening was pleasant as well.  


Friday, May 21, 2010

"Homemaker" means mainly the cleaner-upper! My word and though for May 21, 2010

"Homemaker" means mainly the cleaner-upper!

Most of us who stay home rather than work outside the home, and even most of the ladies who work jobs outside their homes, are more than "homemakers".  What we are in addition to homemakers, well, we are the ones who clean, Everything!

We clean the house, which includes the fun job of toilets, sinks, tubs, and showers.  We sweep, vacuum, mop, dust, dust mop and wipe off.  There are dirty clothes, dirty kids and dirty porches which need to be cleaned.  We don't just clean off dirt, but dried on food; if we have small children still at home, we may have to also clean off dried blood, or worse. 

There are critters too - spiders, and if you live in a rural setting or are just "lucky", you may have to clean up/out mice or yucky scary snakes or clean up after one of those as a pet of your child.  You might be called upon to clean up after a dog or cat, or a cat with a sensitive tummy, as my poor grand daughter has to do!

So homemakers spend more time than anyone wants to think, cleaning up, EVERYTHING.

That's why odors in the house drive me nuts.  I can understand and can cope with the usual - results of feeding everyone soup beans or adding too much garlic and onion to the spaghetti sauce.  Those don't last and besides we all know the whats and whys or them. 

The ones that get to me are the unusual odors.  At times we have had major "odor hunts".  A couple of these times the offender turned out to be the tennies of one family member or another.  We simply made sure the wearer of those 'odiferous' shoes washed their feet properly and then we set the shoes out on the porch.

Another time the littlest one's bedroom smelled like, you guessed it like that little one had tinkled in there lots of times.  So, the remedy was wash all the bedding, make sure the mattress didn't need replaced and make sure the little one was clean; since we were still helping in the bath, we thought that base was covered. 

All the obvious cleaning was done and still a faint odor lingered.  We burnt candles.  We sprayed spray.  We were stumped, until, one day the older child caught the little one, putting wet under pants back in the drawer!  The why, of course, not wanting to admit wetting the pants!  But if you have children you know when asked, "Why?", the child said, "I dunno".

The walls even need wiped down here and there sometimes, and the refrigerator handle!, the TV screen, things that the children put in their mouths, and lots of things have to be cleaned, regularly.  When my children were at home and little they had lots of plastic toys - dinos, dolls, cars, animals, blocks and etc.  It was a monthly, or more often, ritual to put all these things in a tub of water with a cup or so of bleach and let them sit for five or ten minutes before I rinsed them thoroughly and laid them on clean bath towels to dry.  The other things I'd spray with disinfectant now and then, and some I'd just pitch in the trash.

Regular scrubbing of my kitchen, the bathrooms, their toys and even their furniture keep my children from getting sick so often.  I've noticed children seem to get more colds and sniffles than I remember mine getting and I wonder if the mothers are so busy helping the dads put food on the table that they never even consider washing or disinfecting toys.  Many use the antibacterial on hands and etc. but I haven't heard many discussions about the toys and everyday things children always touch or try to eat, getting any disinfecting. 

(I'll end this soon.)  

This week I did an exceptionally thorough job of cleaning my home.  We have it on the market and I want it to be tidy and clean IF anyone comes to look.  So, the garage, where I have some art and framing equipment, and the extra frig of sodas and etc. was looking pretty bad.  There were spider webs everywhere with spidies' food supplies hanging in the webs!  So, I did some bug collecting, with my vacuum. 

Actually, it was fun, because as I was sucking up a poor little guy who, even with eight legs, couldn't outrun my vacuum, I began to make up a story in my head. 

It's the spider, who having survived the ordeal and crawled out of the dirt when the vacuum's collection cup was emptied in the trash, is telling about the experience to his little spider friends!  Well, you can "write" your own description now that you know the plot.  The way think it would go, the little guys (oh, or gals) who have been thru it, must think about it the way people who have been taken by aliens think of their adventures!  No one believes them and, it's just about that unbelievable to the ones experiencing it.

"I swear Harriet, I'm not making this up.  I was just walking along when I heard this terrible roar, smelled something funny and swoosh, I was taken up and into this long, long tunnel.  I passed out and when I came to, there were dead bodies all around me and these long yellow and white threads (hairs - teehee) and....."

A "Homemaker" is also a bored cleaner who makes up stories as she cleans to keep from going nuts.  Wait, maybe it's already made some of us nuts!  Oh well.

"Homemaker" means mainly the cleaner-upper!

Thursday, May 20, 2010



Today, and I might put it off until tomorrow, but probably I can do it now: today's word is procrastination.

Do you put things off?  I think I might, but, I like to call it rescheduling. 

For an example, today my plan was to put off until tomorrow cleaning the garage.  Then after lunch I thought I might reschedule it for this afternoon, but so far, I think I might stay on schedule instead!

Being able to reschedule is a luxury I forget my husband and I have since he retired and all the kids grew up. All three of them and their families are hours away.  And in fact, one daughter and her family are hours and hours and hours away! That's why, it's good to remind myself of these blessings, 'cause sometimes, it's lonely without family near. 

Being able to postpone, reschedule or rearrange the times to do things until we want to do them (and thus, not have to admit we are procrastinating) is a very nice thing.  I ought to think about other blessings of being just the two of us again.  Think I'll do that tomorrow.

The word for today is procrastination.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010



Downsizing is a subject on the minds of many folks my age.  Taking care of a large home and yard begin to not only wear us out faster but the time comes when a person wonders why spend so much time cleaning and mowing instead of visiting friends, eating at restaurants and having fun!

Actually my husband and I enjoy taking care of our home.  But we can see the day is coming when we will no longer be able.  So we have our home up for sale.  It's not looking like we will be able to sell it any time soon, but we aren't especially in a hurry; we can wait.

There are a few decisions we have already made.  He has begun to clean out his tools in the garage.  He's sold some and given away some.  We have both begun to clean out our closets and drawers regularly.  We've gone thru some household items and allowed a friend to sell them for us in a flea market.

I am planning to go thru all my photographs.  I'll sort them for my three children.  I'll make each of them a binder full of photos, similar to a scrap book.

Another plan is to set out things I can let go of now so my children can choose what they'd like to have.  When my husband and I do pass on each one of them will already have at least a few things they really want.

Something we hope our children and grand children will be sensitive to is how emotionally charged getting rid of our things may be for us.  It is admitting our mortality, and it's removing the familiar, which is usually very comforting to most people.

Not everyone will have to downsize.  Some will be fortunate enough to remain in the homes where they've lived most of their lives.  They will be able to pay for help or will have someone living with them to share the responsibilities.  These are indeed fortunate folks.  

Many of us will be downsizing and moving into smaller quarters.  It's something we ought to plan out so when the time comes we will be less stressed.

Downsizing is the word for today. 


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Tricked" is today's word. May 18th, 2010


One Wednesday evening in Bible Class, a woman named Savannah was sitting calmly waiting for class to being.  She was thinking about trying to be the best Christian she possibly could be, and she began to feel a bit smug.  She didn't drink.  She had never stolen anything, she'd changed her thinking and her life after being baptised and saved years earlier, before she was married.  She had actually never been tempted other than maybe by desert or a few extras for herself and family from frugal management of the grocery money each week.

Soon Savannah was sure she was a wonderful Christian.  She sat thru the Bible Class, and listened to the evils of sexual promiscuity, thievery, covetousness and other terrible sins.  By the end of the class she was feeling very good about herself and her life.  She spoke to everyone, laughing and smiling, and just enjoying herself.  At home that evening she decided to skip Bible reading, she already knew the basics.

She fell asleep quickly, into an untroubled sleep.  She awoke in the morning feeling absolutely renewed.  At work that day she chatted with everyone, and especially with Joe who worked right next to her.  He was always teasing and flirting with Savannah.  She had always been self conscious about his attentions and kept her distance.  This day however, she thought she had been silly.  He didn't really mean the things he said.  He was happily married and a father of three children.  She was happily married and the mother of four children.  They were intelligent adults who had no reason to worry about some harmless flirtations.

After six months Savannah found herself in a full blown affair with Joe.  They were meeting after work, telling their families lies to get out of their homes and into each other's arms.  Savannah still attended church services with her husband, and occasionally she felt a pang of guilt, but not often.

Another Wednesday night in class seven months after the evening she had decided she was immune to temptation, she actually listened to the Bible Class teacher and to the scriptures he was reading.  Scriptures not about adultery, but she heard scriptures about resiting temptation, being humble.  The teacher read from the Holy Bible, and finally, this time Savannah heard what was being said.

1 Peter 5:5

.... All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

She realized she had allowed the Devil in by being prideful and foolish.  She immediately repented, confessed her sin to herself and began to find her way back to God. 

The devil is a master trickster.


"On Our Planet, The Only Constant Is Change" May 17th, 2010

"On Our Planet, The Only Constant Is Change"

This phrase describes our mountain home. It’s the topic for today.

We have lived in our current mountain home in East Tennessee for six years now. We have discovered things do not stay the same, ever.

Every year is different. Our first year we wondered, ‘can we live here?’, because it seemed to rain ALL the time! Even the puppy, given to us on our second day in the house, was seen lying inside his dog house, looking at the rain, and growling!

We discovered this area is in fact, a rain forest! On our five acres we have plenty of water.  Our property includes a corner of a creek, a twenty-four/seven stream that came out of the mountain next to the house.  My husband dug a pond there and the stream helps keep the water from being stagnant.  At least three or more little streams flow most of the time, even in dry years.

Since moving we’ve experience a drought year, a rainy year and now a year that’s more average. The dry year caused the roots of the trees to be more exposed. The next year rains washed soil away from the tree roots. The first snow in mid December of last year was wet, heavy and deep. It piled up on all the tree branches causing evergreens to split in the middle, and some to break apart. Tree limbs split and fell to the ground. On a hill above our road, a very large oak tree fell, across the road.  It was up rooted.  The root ball is five foot in diameter! The tree trunk was at least two foot in diameter.

Trees all through this area fell this winter. That first storm was only a sign of things to come.  There were many snow storms which caused more tree branches to break, and trees to uproot. It was terrible, and it was quite amazing as well.

As spring came we noticed different plants blooming that we hadn't seen before.  More plants bloomed. There were more blooming dogwoods, and something I’ve just learned is crape myrtle, fuller wisteria vines, beautifully fragrant lilacs, and then the irises, peonies, roses and others.

A new spring is seeping up from the ground making a puddle down by the road. The slope of the hill in the back isn’t as steep, nor is the hill to the northeast of the house as steep as it was. The large rocks my husband placed on the hill in the front of the house, so he wouldn’t have to try to mow such a steep incline, are sunked into the hill on one side.

Some years spring plants begin to peak thru the snow in late February, and in other years they don’t begin to show up until mid March. Two years in a row there was a frost late in the spring, which killed some plants and trees, and kept the pear and apple trees from bearing much fruit.  Year before last the pear tree in our neighbors yard across the road provided enough fruit for four families and some still rotted on the ground.

There seem to be more animals and birds some years and fewer other years, seemingly depending on their food sources.

The land moves. It shrinks and swells with the temperature and water saturation. It slips and slides with seismic activity we cannot feel but is there just the same. Heat causes the surface dirt to dry and blow away, and then the rains wash more soil away. The mountain constantly erodes.

The one constant is change.

It is an awesome world God has given us. It’s more than beautiful it is fascinating, exciting and comforting both at once. We are bountifully blessed.

"On Our Planet, The Only Constant Is Change"

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"Confound" is MY Word for Today, May 16th, 2010


The word for today is confound.  I am going to use in an unusual way.  Today I want to confound my pain!  Because, I am going to leave my pain speechless! 

The weather yesterday and today can be described by one word, humid!  The humidity is making my arthritic joints really scream with pain.  The past few days the pain has been getting worse.  My efforts to rest it away, have failed.  In addition to being bored and restless from trying not move around too much, I now have a messy house and piles of laundry.  So today I am up an at 'em. 

Soon after we got home from church I started pulling sheets off beds and throwing clothes in the washer.  My back and knees still hurt, but my state of mind is much improved!

Now to confound my pain, and leave it speechless = no complaining!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

No Word for Today, May 15th, 2010

This is a no word day.  Too tired.  Too moody.  Too lazy.

It was a pleasant day, and it went pretty quick.  Didn't do much and didn't do anything to brag about. 

The weather was hot and muggy for a couple of minutes and then we had thunder, dark clouds, some winds, and no rain.  But, the temperature dropped several degrees.  So now it's cool and nice.  Tree frogs are singing to us and we can hear the creek, and some birds singing.  Good evening to read the blogs of others while munching the popcorm my hubby made for us.

Revised this post. I was too tired, moody and lazy last evening.

Today is another day.
Not feeling better, but hope I'll be behaving better!

Friday, May 14, 2010

'Patriotic' is the word for May 14, 2010


The word for today is patriotic.

Our son is here visiting because in a few weeks he will be going to Afghanistan.  He is a Marine Lt. Col. select.  At the beginning of the Iraq war he was on the Kuwait and Iraq border.  Then a couple of years ago he went to Iraq.  Now he'll do a few months in Afghanistan.  The two previous times my elevated blood pressure gave away that I was actually stressed, even though I didn't think I was.  He came home and my blood pressure went back to normal. So I'm expecting the same thing to happen this time. 

I am a true patriot.  I fly our flag.  I become upset when people do not respect and fail to appreciate this country.  I once painted an American flag on a wall in my home and inside it I painted the music and words to "America the Beautiful".  You may not like that about me.  I do not apologize; that's who I am and how I feel.  But, and you probably guessed there was a but, seeing my son ready to go into a war zone for the third time is a true test.  I can only imagine how the families who have lost their loved ones might feel and I can understand those who doubt the need for such a horrific sacrifice.  War and soldiering is terrible.  In fact that's not even descriptive enough.  War is evil, devastating; an unimaginable terror.  It is however, still necessary.

If we could convince all the rest of the world to "play nice" we wouldn't have to have a military.  There would be no war.  People would co-exist in harmony.  The fact is this is not realistic and will never be.  For whatever reason, humans are violent.   They are determined to make enemies of other humans who do not share all their beliefs.  It's just a sad fact.

I will continue to be patriotic, and I'll pray my son will once again return from a war zone safe and sound.  I'll pray that we will have a safer world in the future than we have had in the past.  If, God forbid, he doesn't come home or if he's hurt, I'll grieve and I'll be devastated.  I may shut myself off, however in time I'll try to help the rest of our family and in the end, I think I will still be patriotic.

There is no country any better than ours.  And it is ours.  We make it what it is; it's us.  If we disagree with the laws or anything in our government we can say so, and pray to whatever power you believe in that this will always be true for the USA.  We are not always fair and just or right but it's my belief we try to be.  So, how can we turn against ourselves?  That makes no sense. 

Patriotic, is an extremely difficult thing to be, and it's the word for today.



Thursday, May 13, 2010

'Inequitable' is the word for today, May 13th, 2010


Today I thought I knew the meaning of the word chauvinistic, but I did not.  My thesaurus came up with bigoted, prejudiced and opinionated.  Not quite what I was thinking.  But, if you look up prejudiced you come to discriminatory and then to today's word, inequitable, which is the meaning I wanted for today's word. 

My son and his father-in-law are visiting us today.  They arrived last evening.  I had a meal planned but my husband preferred we go to a local ma and pa place, named 'Ma and Pa's'.  So, I put the thawed food back in the frig and went with them, only a little flustered. 

I have to confess here and now, when there was only one seasoned waitress and one newbie, and we had to wait, and wait, and wait, I wasn't as upset as they were.  We could have been eating at home by then.

Today for their noon meal I cooked the thawed meat.  After putting away all the breakfast food, which was all quick foods, cereal, toast, fruit and etc. I began preparing the food for lunch.  And, I put out a spread of food.  I pealed a dozen apples and fried them, had biscuits with butter and honey, corn on the cob (I grew and shucked and froze that corn), green beans, oven fried chicken breasts, iced tea and fresh coffee. 

In the mean time the men spent the morning shooting at targets, driving up to the top of our mountain to look around, playing on their laptop computers and watching old westerns on TV.  And, chatting on the front deck, except if I came outside to join them, then no one spoke unless I thought of something to say. 

They came when I called them and they ate the food.  They smacked, grunted a few times, and sat back satisfied.  The closest thing to a real compliment - 'OH!' when they sat down and 'num, um, um' as they ate.  And that was it.  I cleared off the table while they all found beds for naps.  I waited to put up the food until they got up, so I wouldn't disturb their rest.

See, what's that word again, inequitable, or unbalanced, or unequal!  It was expected that since I'm the female here today, I should cook, clean and be quiet.  Men!

Of course, if I hadn't been in the mood to cook for them, they would have asked me about lunch, waited around a bit and then probably threw a pizza in the oven.  No one would have worried about the meat spoiling or about  cleaning up.  I think my husband only helps me clean up if there's another female present and she doesn't help me.  He will and all the while he'll tell me how the other woman really is lazy.  Inequitable is the word.  And you know what, now they think women ought to do everything else as well, including go to war.  The whole world has gone crazy in my opinion.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

'Patience' is the word for May 12th, 2010


Today I am trying to have patience, with my computer and printer and myself.

Computers and printers are great, when they work!  Today each has had a few hic-ups which have stressed me.  Thankfully the two them have worked well enough so I have finished printing a few blank greeting cards with pictures from my friend's yard.  I wrote about her a few days ago.  The cards are for her, as a thank you.  They (finally) turned out very nicely!  I can give them to her at church on Sunday, or maybe tonight.

The photographs today are the ones I've used for the cards.  I've printed 8 sheets, which make 16 cards.  I hope you enjoy seeing them.  Posting them here was another test of my patience.  Since they are all in place and look pretty good to me, and I didn't break anything or yell at my husband, I think I passed the test .... so far.... today!

Patience is the word for today.

May we all have patience with each other and life.

(All photographs are by Janet Toney,
please aks permission before 'borrowing' an image.)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Looking over my old posts - This one has some good stuff, and some funny - 'Ramblings' is my word for today, May 11, 2010


Today I plan to ramble.  Hopefully not too long or too uninterestingly.

Below is a quote, quoted in my art newsletter.  I thought it quite correct.  It is what I have observed and how I've felt when I found myself bragging.  It's not a fun way to be or feel.  Understanding this ought to make us a bit more compassionate toward the boaster.

Bernard Berenson - From the Hope category:

"Boast is always a cry of despair, except in the young it is a cry of hope." (Bernard Berenson)


If we call someone a simpleton, or we tell them they are being simplistic we intend to be insulting or maybe we are trying to encourage deeper thought. 

However, sometimes simple is simply beautiful.  Life lived simply is better.  And of course, 'life's simple pleasures are best'.  No, I haven't been eating beans.  If you look back at my last couple of posts, I've been taking 'time to smell the roses' and the peonies too.  I've been fortunate enough to stroll along the beach, watch waves kiss the shore, and enjoy a visual feast as the sun set behind the beach houses, sand dunes and those cute little fences along the dunes. 

We need these respites, but might it be even better if we could live more simply all the time.  Why don't we?  Well, if you find the answer, let me know and I'll do the same.  I hear tell a book has written about the subject, at least once. 


What is it?

I think it's like beauty, in the eye of the beholder.  My art newsletter again has caused me to ponder this.  In a recent letter the author described going to an art gallery and hearing the docent give a lengthy and in my opinion, dreamy, description of a painting, which consisted of some broad stripes of solid color.  Well, going back to the above topic of simplicity, it was that, but why was it art?  The docent told what the artist had been thinking and it was deep.  Really, it was, deep stuff.

I once owned a small 'ego gallery'.  That's an art gallery in which the artists pay for space on the walls to hang their work.  We did sell many paintings, some I thought were wonderful, and some with the shadows going in the wrong direction from the light source and objects in front bigger than those in back, I didn't think were too great.  My point you ask.  I used those dreamy, imaginative descriptions of the art and the artists to sell the art, and generally it worked.  Those words didn't make any painting, or sculpture or drawing art. 

I owned that gallery for three and a half years.  I have been paintings and drawings since I can remember, and I haven't any real clue, what's art and what's not.  All I have learned is sometimes people can make beautiful images, and other people will lay down money when they see that beauty.

(In case you think that's all there is to it.  Some also want to buy things they think will become more valuable in time.  And, they could care less if it's beautiful or horrid or down right disgusting!  More difficult than figuring out what is art - what makes humans act the way the do?!)

May your ramblings take you to beautiful places and friendly people.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Yesterday, May 9th, 2010

Yesterday was not only Mother's Day, it was my son's birthday; his 40th birthday to be precise.

My husband and I loaded up our little camper and drove the 7 or so hours down to his house for a surprise birthday party his wife had planned for him.  Quite an affair, beginning with a great meal at a nice steak house. 

His two daughters were there, one with her husband, one with her boyfriend. The guests included my husband and I, our son's father-in-law, his wife's best friend from school days, his best friend from school days, and several friends from church in Virginia, and from there in North Carolina.  We drove in from Tennessee, some flew in from Texas and Arizona.  All enjoyed seeing him totally surprised.

The activities included the dinner on Friday evening. 

Saturday afternoon there was a competition.  Two teams navigated an obstacle course with a tricycle ride, a football toss in the clown's mouth, and a squeeze thru an inflatable door into this inflated thing for a run over the inflated rubber, a climb up the inflatable rubber mountain, and then a slide to the bottom which was the finish! 
My husband guided the tricycle-rs, the father-in-law cheered, daughter-in-law's friend was the organizer of the teams, and I was the photographer.  Everyone else was a competitor! 

Then in the evening we all went to the beach!  It was wonderful because it was much cooler there!  The wind was blowing quite hard but I, for one, didn't care.  It felt absolutely delicious!  It was a bit cool to get wet but it was perfect for strolling along the sand barefoot!  The tide was out and the sand was packed hard, so walking wasn't so difficult, and shells were lying on top of the sand waiting to be picked up.  The other absolute pleasure was the sunset!  

If you've seen any of my blogs you know, photographs are next!

The Sunset

Two of a Kind - Reminiscers of High School Football Days
(My baby boy and his friend.)

Sunset at the Beach

The Sand and Shells
(I found one I think looks like an angel wing! and another one broken into a heart shape.  My grandson-in-law found a perfect letter 'A' in coral!  Silly and simple times are best!)

Perfect Evening at the Beach

(All photos by Janet Toney, please request permission before 'borrowing' any photograph.)

May 10, 2010 The Word for Today is Fragrant


Today we were invited to the farm home of an older lady we know from our church.  She has lived on this farm most of her 80+ years, in the same house.  She and her husband spent all but a few of their over 60 years together, in that house, on that farm, her grandparents' and parents' home.

She invited us many times before but today she gave up on our intending to visit and said, come visit this week, because my roses and peonies are in bloom, right now.  After checking the weather we realized this was probably not only the best day, but maybe the only day we'd get the chance. So we drove over this afternoon.

Her peonies were planted by her grandmother.  The roses, most of them were also planted by her grandmother.  The entire yard smelled soooooo good!  Therefore the only word for this day is Fragrant!

Photos of a few perfect blooms.  If I could include the fragrance for you I certainly would do!

Perfect Pink Rose

Peony Blossom

Peony Bed

Purple Clematis Vine Bloom

White Peony Blossom

Tree Peony Bloosom

Purple Clematis Vine

Red Rose Buds

Pretty in Pink

Today was a beautiful, slightly overcast, cool spring day and the word for it was fragrant.

(All photos by Janet Toney, please request permission before 'borrowing' any photograph.)

Friday, May 7, 2010

May 7th and 8th and 9th, 2010 word is Missing


I'll be missing from my blog.

We are driving several hours south to our son's to celebrate his 40th birthday and Mother's Day on the 9th of May.

Happy Mother's Day mommies!

The word for the next several days will be Missing!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The word for May 6th, 2010 is DIET but Please, don't say DIET!

The word for May 6th, 2010 is "DIET"

Don't Say DIET!

Really, don't say Diet.

As soon as I hear that word I want to run see if there are any cookies left in the jar or ice cream in the freezer!

About Diets
Life Style Changes

Weekly meeting plans worked for me.  Regrettably, for me, the meetings became a bore and a chore.  What I found was the meetings were good IF: when the leader was good, the other attendees were kind, supportive and not too talkative and we could afford the weekly outlay of cash.  There were recipes given out at nearly every meeting.  Weight loss was rewarded with encouragement from the leader and group, and special little gifts given for losing 10% of your body weight, 10, 20, 30 etc. pounds and for continuing to stay with the plan over time.

Pills allowed me to lose a few pounds.  There were side effects.  My first experience was with amphetamines.  When I took them I talked a lot.  I had grand ideas of things I might do, although my ideas were never outlandish.  I didn't believe I could fly, or that i was invincible or etc.  Had my personality been different I wonder if I might have had more worrisome thoughts. 

Diets which drastically restrict foods always worried me.  According to creators of these diets, severely limiting the intake of foods for long periods of time was inadvisable.  Even when supplement pills were a part of the plan, the amount of time recommended these plans was limited to one or two weeks.  Pounds came off, however, returning to a varied and more natural diet caused them to return. 

Increased exercise worked.  I lost pounds and inches when I was a teenager by walking miles to school and to work, roding my bicycle regularly and running just to be running.
Later in life I reversed limiting my steps, as I learned to do when the children were little so I could get everything done.  Instead, I made several trips up and down my basement stairs, or around my house; one trip for each task. I used the steps, rather than the elevator.  I parked farther out from whatever store or office I had to visit. 
Now, I'm older, I have arthritis in my knees which limits my activity.  Calories aren't burnt up as fast as in my youth.  And now, I have to limit my steps.  I cannot climb stairs all day because the next day I will have to spend more time sitting, and negate all that painful exercising. 

My Conclusions

Limit portions of food and especially calorie loaded foods. 

Move as much as is prudent for you.

Stay hydrated - drink more water.

Eat fiber rich foods.

Get enough rest.

Worry more about feeling and being healthy than about the numbers on the scales.

As in most every aspect of life, weight control is a balancing act. 
Eat, drink and enjoy, but not too much, and, please nobody say "DIET!"

 (Painting "Coffee Break" by Janet Toney,
please ask permission before 'borrowing' this image.)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May 5th, 2010 Word for Today: Yin-Yang

"Yin - Yang"

In Chinese culture, Yin and Yang represent the two opposite principles in nature. Yin characterizes the feminine or negative nature of things and yang stands for the masculine or positive side.

The meaning of Yin-Yang ... This Simbol(Yin-Yang) represents the ancient Chinese understanding of how things work. The outer circle represents "everything", while the black and white shapes within the circle represent the interaction of two energies, called "yin" (black) and "yang" (white), which cause everything to happen.

(The above two definitions are from

I thought about my today, the country's today and there were so many opposites.  Since every day actually does contain many opposites, it seemed Yin-Yang had to be the word for today as well as any other day.

What AM I talking about?  The floods around Nashville today and the beautiful, quiet save the birds singing and creek flowing, day it is here in East Tennessee. 

Remember the line and a famous book, "It was the best of times...the worst of times...." ?  Well, I think all time is like that.  Somewhere it's a terrible day or even a tragic day while somewhere it's nothing if not perfect.

Today I am content.  My household chores are caught up and I have time to blog and think.  The sun is shinning, temperatures and humidity couldn't be more perfect, birds are happy, creek's not too high or too low, my family are all OK for now. 

Today some have lost all their worldly posessions in a flood, some have lost friends and family in the flood, rain may return in a few days and the world is somber, cheerless and terrible.

"Yin - Yang" is the word.

(All photos by Janet Toney, please request permission before 'borrowing' any photograph.)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Today's May 3rd, 2010 and the Word for Today is: Somnolent


We dodged the bullet.  The storm passed us by quickly and the rain was gentle.  We are relieved.  However, the day of driving, shopping and visiting on Saturday, plus the stress of Saturday night and all day yesterday, have made me sleepy, or somnolent.

Our temperature yesterday topped out at 90.  And, or course, it was humid.  We decided to open the windows and turn on the fans. Thankfully, it was comfortable by bed time.

The night, with our windows open, so we could hear the rain and the creek, was, strangely relaxing instead of worrisome.  We slept well. 

This morning the air is so fresh.  The creek is up and running faster due to heavier rains in North Carolina where it originates.  This means it's also noisier, which is another soothing sound, which isn't logical, but it is true.   The birds have been singing melodious and sweet since very early.  But, a larger bird, likely a hawk of some kind was "singing" loudly, and noisily.  I think that bird was my husband's alarm clock, since he was up early moving around so that he woke me up, kinda.  Getting myself moving was difficult, but, easier after the aroma of brewing coffee reached me. 

So far I've managed to eat breakfast, take my shower, drink nearly the entire pot of coffee and work on this blog post.  Trouble is, I'm still somnolent.

The word for today is definitely "Somnolent."

Wake up people!

It's a great day,
even if you are somnolent!

(All photos by Janet Toney, please request permission before 'borrowing' any photograph.)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May 2nd, 2010 word for the day - Anxious


God tells us to be anxious in nothing, and we all try, but somethings it's not so easy!

"Red in the morning, sailor's warning"

A terrible storm has caused much flooding, rode damage, a few deaths, and much destruction of homes, cars, crops and more in Arkansas and Western to Central Tennessee and is moving east.  Our home is in East Tennessee.  We are watching the weather channel and waiting to see what is in store for us.

A Facebook friend just reported her Dad called to say his area has had 20" or rain in the last 24 hours!  That's the most we have heard but many places have reported 12 or 13" and up. 

Our skies are slowly becoming cloudy and the winds are picking up.  We live on a mountain, with a creek in front of us, down the hill fortunately.  In back of our house is a natural ridge about 50 feet from my door her in my room, and then up at a fairly steep slope for maybe 200 or more feet.  The property continues over that peak and up another.  My back door is about 1800 feet, as the crow flies, from the Appalachian Trail. 

This is a beautiful spot on the globe.
Scene from "up the road a piece" - photograph taken Friday.
My photo is pretty, but it just can't truly capture the beauty.  Maybe we need some way for you to hear the birds, smell the fresh air, hear the breezes thru the trees and etc.

It is also the watershed and on a recent trip to Dollywood, their guide said this portion of Tennessee is a rain forest. Now that wasn't hard to believe for my husband and I because we spent nearly 30 years in Arizona, where, you undoubtedly know, it's really NOT a rain forest, but a very dry desert. So, we thought we were in a rain forest here, and turns out we actually are!

Several years before we moved to this place on the mountain the area had what they called a hundred year flood.  Well it hasn't been a decade and we may get another similar flood.  The sound of the wind in the tree tops and the darkening skies are making me anxious, even though I'm using this blog to fight that emotional response.

The word for today then is, "Anxious."

Wisteria on the corner of a neighbor's front porch roof,
and a dog wood tree in bloom out front of her home.

Our prayers for all affected by today's storms.
(All photos by Janet Toney, please request permission before 'borrowing' any photograph.)