Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch # 6

1.  When it's time to cut the grass/mow the lawn, who does it?

Kari:  Bobby mows our yard and Mom's yard.  I have cut the grass in years past, but it's not my favorite chore.  Somehow, running between our house and Mom's, I doubt I'd manage the lawns well right now. 

Boo:  Some nice guy did and he popped Kari's dandelions.  I don't think she was happy.  Bobby did pop some of my dandelions.  I really enjoy battering and frying dandelion blooms.  Yummy!  I also add new dandelion leaves to salads in the spring or steep the leaves for a tea rich in minerals.  Please don't pop or poison my dandelions!

2.  If someone gave you $500 and you could not spend it on yourself.  Who would you spend it on?

Kari:  That's tough!  I'd probably split it between several charities...I think.  On the other hand, several friends are having a really rough time financially.  If I could give them the money in such a way that they never knew who'd given it, I might choose that.

Boo:  Food for the hungry.   I think Boo's getting hungry himself.  He refused breakfast earlier.  I guess he's finally thinking about food now.

3.  Have you ever taken a blogging break or considered one?

Kari:  Yes, when life is too hectic, I have taken blogging breaks.  Life trumps blogging. 

Boo:  Only if Kari does.  I don't blog.  She types what I tell her.  We tried Dragon software that would enable him to speak and the computer would type what he said.  Evidently neither he nor the software liked the idea. 

4.  Are you bothered by spring allergies or hay fever?  If not spring, any other time of the year?

Kari:  I'm allergic to the pollen of certain trees.   I haven't been bothered this year.  For me there seems to be a direct correlation between a low immune system and allergies.  At present, my immune system is functioning well.

Boo:  I don't think so.  

5.  What's new with you?

Kari:  New?  Well, I had a fight with our bed last night.  I tried to put a board under my side of the mattress to make it firmer.  Now I waited until 10 pm to start this project and determined that it was a one woman project.  By 12:30 am, I'd begun waving a white flag.  I couldn't get the mattress top in place without moving the board around.  It didn't help that the board is four or five inches too long for the bed.  Guess who's tired this morning?

Boo:  I guess getting my hair cut.  Kari says I have to and we couldn't reach Melinda to come to the house to cut my hair.  So, after lunch, G'ma (Kari's mother), Kari and I are going to get our hair cut and buy oatmeal.  Well, the theory is that Mom will be home from the auction in time to eat lunch and then we'll all go get our hair cut and buy a few groceries.  I guess in Boo's mind groceries equal oatmeal.

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

April Daybook 2013


Outside my window...
it's dark and wet and chilly. We've had a very rainy day today with unseasonably cold weather. Mother noted that it's warmer in Vermont than it is here in North Carolina today. That doesn't happen too often.

I am thinking...
about all the things I need to do before bed. In fact, I've taken ibuprofen to help my aching joints before I begin. I need to straighten the house, about thirty minutes. Then I need to wash dishes, about ten minutes. Vacuuming the house will take another forty or fifty minutes. This carpet shows everything. I'd just like to start the week with a relatively clean house.

I am thankful...
for my family and friends most of all. They are wonderful, supportive and very loving. This week I'm also thankful for my new vacuum cleaner. It has quite a bit of suction and seems to work far better than my old one. It removes dust and dirt that Mom's vacuum (which I'd borrowed) left behind. Who knew I'd ever get excited about a vacuum?

In the kitchen...
are the remains of supper. We had chicken gumbo, hopping john and rice with reduced sugar carrot cake for desert.

This is a photo of part of our kitchen. I've always liked old country homes with bead board walls. This wall in our kitchen houses our dishes, lots of spices, cat food, kitchen and table linens, some packaged foods and food items I'm hiding from Boo (so he won't eat too much of them.)

The bird mugs are very special to me. Over forty years ago, we moved to a small town in the Piedmont area of North Carolina. Granny Galyon, one of the wonderful shut-ins at the church my father pastored, gave us those mugs for Christmas one year. She told Daddy not long after we'd moved that she “prayed him here.” Knowing Granny Galyon, I'm sure she was right. She may not have been able to get out and do things that she had when she was younger, but she certainly was a prayer warrior.

I am wearing...
black capris, a leopard print pullover with three quarter sleeves, a black sweater and black ballet slippers. For once, I'm color coordinated! I'd likely be in knock about clothes right now, but Mother and I took dinner to Mrs. Gloria, a very sweet shut-in. She and Mrs. Gloria used to go out to eat every Sunday. When my father and her husband were alive, they were a foursome.

Boo has on blue sweat pants, a gray sweat shirt and bedroom slippers. He's refused to leave the house today and just wants to be comfortable.

I am creating...
little touches to make our house feel like home. We've been here just over a month and love it. Still, it's the little things that make a house just feel homey.

I wanted to hang paintings and photos that are meaningful to us. The first two paintings are some that Mom painted in the 1980's. They remind me of my parents painting in the evenings and during holidays to relax.

One of Boo's daughter's gave him this Cajun print for Christmas years ago. Many Cajun children went to school as late as the 1940's and 50's speaking Cajun French as their first language. Boo remembers family members speaking French and stumbling over English. One of his cousins had a Cajun French radio show for years.

This ceramic powder dish was made for Mother by her mother, my Granny Hall. Granny Hall set a wonderful example of living a full, productive and creative life while caring for Papa who was an invalid. She took all kinds of craft classes though the agricultural extension department. Every year for Christmas, all her grandchildren were given something she'd made. One year it was afghans made from beautiful hand towels crocheted together. Another, it was crocheted scarves and tams. Mother received this ceramic powder dish for Christmas.

We've framed and hung several lovely drawings by grandchildren. I'm in the process of framing photos of family members. We also set up an altar in the living room as a reminder to pray daily. Boo rearranges it several times daily. Later I'll take and post more photos.

I am going...
to call Mom's primary doctor to find out when her next appointment is, what the results of her tests were and to set an appointment for Boo. Doctor's appointments and recording home medical records seem to be my job.

I am wondering...
just when I'm going to find time to do everything that I need to do. My to do list seems to grow longer daily. Just how did my grandmothers take care of their homes, husbands and other family members?

I am reading...
A Philadelphia Catholic in King James Court.

Boo is listening to an autobiography of Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

I am hoping...
to contact Sr. Sheila at Sacred Heart Catholic Mission or the priest at the sponsoring church about receiving Eucharist at home. Boo is unwilling to leave home often. He becomes confused easily at home and even more easily away from his comfort zone.

I am learning...
to pace myself. I may not accomplish all I want every day. However if I try to fill my day with all the things I think I need to do, I neglect the truly important---actually spending unhurried time with Boo and Mother.

Around the house...
all is currently quiet. That won't last long. As soon as I put on pajamas, Boo and Boudreaux will awaken.

I am pondering...
how to curtail some of my Mother's overly ambitious projects in such a way that she doesn't feel uninvolved or slighted. She doesn't have the stamina she once had...and neither do I. I'm having difficulty keeping up with her projects. They all seem to involve my participation. Maybe we need to concentrate on those that are most important to her or maybe I need to sit down with her and list what needs to be done when (and by whom) for each of her projects. Then perhaps we can delegate some parts to others.

This is what happens when she attempts too much. Mom ends up napping on “Boudreaux's” bed with him. This is actually our “little” bedroom that is set up for Mom should she want to use it. Boudreaux just claims the bed for day time naps.

A favorite quote for today...
My past, O Lord, to your mercy;
my present, to your love;
my future, to your providence.”
St. Padre Pio

One of my favorite things...
recently is to collapse on the loveseat in our den/dining room and enjoy some peach tea---iced if it's hot out and hot if it's cold out.

One of Boo's favorite things recently is to sit on our front porch and wave at people who pass on the street. He hasn't wanted to talk to any of them and tends to respond to them in monosyllables. At least he's willingly doing that. I think he'll become more talkative as he becomes use to the new faces he's seeing.

A peek into my day...

We're linking with A Simple Woman's Daybook.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chats on a Farmhouse Porch #5

1.  Do you prefer to drive or be driven?

Kari:  In our case, that's a moot question.  Boo was rendered legally blind with his first stroke and has been unable to drive since.  I've always had poor eye sight.  As I've grown older, it's become progressively worse.  It's been several years since I could see well enough to drive.  I never liked to drive and only got my license because my father insisted.  I think one reason I never enjoyed driving was my extraordinarily poor sense of direction. 

Boo:  I don't really like to be driven anywhere.  I'd rather stay home with Boudreaux, my tiger cat.  G'ma (Kari's mother) drives me sometimes, but I like it better at home. 

2.  What's your favorite kind of jam, jelly or preserve?

Kari:  Raspberry! 

Boo:   Strawberry!

3.  Do you have any special plans for this spring or summer?

Kari:  We're planning a family reunion for my father's side of the family.  It's been years since I've seen some of my cousins and I'm really looking forward to catching up on all the news.

Boo:  I'm going to watch Kari garden and play with Boudreaux. 

4.  Lots of folks are becoming concerned about issues with food...What concerns you the most?

Kari:  GMO's.  That is absolutely my first concern.  Other concerns are poor labeling and over processed foods.  I firmly believe that the increase in cancer, diabetes and autoimmune diseases are due in large part to our diets.

Boo:  Oatmeal...I don't like instant oatmeal.  If they leave oatmeal alone, I'll be happy.

5.  Do you use nail polish often?  Finger nails, piggies or both?

Kari:  I used to polish my finger and toe nails weekly.  Somehow, I've stopped doing it.  With spring and warmer weather, I'll start again.  Definitely have to polish my piggies before I wear sandals.

Boo:  Never!

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Settling In

We've moved and we're settled.  Boo and Boudreaux are both happy.  My mother's happy and full of project ideas for me.  I've been far busier than I imagined that I'd be.

Boo went through a difficult transition when we moved.  He was content and well oriented in the day time.  Night time was a different matter altogether.  We had several nights when he was confused and awake all night.  Those times seem to be lessening.  Thank goodness!

This afternoon I painted plant shelves and a small table for our front porch and a shelf for baskets.  I also managed to paint a goodly portion of my hair the same semi-gloss white.  Guess this means I won't have to dye my hair any time soon.

The day after we moved, one of Boo's daughters and her two lovely daughters came to visit.  It was wonderful to see them again!  Anticipating their visit really helped Boo make this transition more easily.  Later, I'll post some of the drawings they gave Boo.  Boudreaux decided to have no part of the grandchildren.  And they so wanted to play with him.  Instead, they got to look at him hiding behind the sofa and under a bed.

Last week we began eating breakfast on the front porch.  It's a sneaky way to get Boo out of bed and out of doors.  Boudreaux enjoys playing in the yard and running to the porch to meow at Boo periodically.  Sometimes he'll stay up the rest of the day.  Usually he takes a nap after lunch.  Let me change that...after lunch Boo and Boudreaux take naps.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chats on a Farmhouse Porch # 4

This past week has been a whirlwind of moving, unpacking, settling in and just enjoying being with family.  Yesterday we finally got an internet connection!!!!  I didn't realize how much I'd miss it.  Boo is sleeping right now.  So, I'll participate alone this week.

1.  Are you enjoying spring?

Absolutely!  This is such a beautiful time of year...except for the pollen and allergies that usually follow.  Thus far, neither Boo nor I have been affected.  I've enjoyed waking to the singing of the birds every morning since we've moved.  What a wonderful way to start the day!

2.  Where would you take Patrice for her birthday if you could spend the day together?  Wendell hopes you'd bring her back!

I'd take Patrice to the Bridal Falls in the North Carolina mountains for a picnic.  They're lovely this time of year with the wild flowers just blooming and a slight chill in the air.  Fried chicken, homemade potato salad, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers and warm apple cider would be tucked away in the picnic basket waiting for hunger to strike.  After our picnic, there are some interesting potteries in the area.  If we could find some real folk music and clogging, the day would be complete.  Never fear Wendell, I'd return Patrice.  She'd be lonely without you!

3.  What's your favorite spring flower?

I'm not sure I have a favorite.  Flowers are beautiful anytime.  Having just moved, I don't have many flowers yet.  Later this week, I do plan to plant some Elephant Ears.  I know they're not flowers, but one of my grandmother's had Elephant Ears planted at her back door.  I've always associated them with home.  I remember taking Nancy Drew mysteries outside and hiding under the Elephant Ears and reading when I was younger.

4.  What do you do when you're going through a really stressful time?

I pray.  I try to make time for quiet meditation every day.  During particularly stressful times, I pray short sentence prayers and breathe...a lot.  If Boo is upset, I intentionally lower my voice and speak calmly.  That seems to calm both of us.  Stressful times do pass.  Thank goodness!

5.  What kind of birthday cake would you get for Patrice?  And Wendell?

For Patrice, a Pig Pickin' Cake!  They're supposed to be best if they're refrigerated for three days to "mellow."  I wouldn't know.  They've never lasted that long when I've made one.  Pineapple, orange, coconut and cherries with a rich butter cake and white frosting...yum.  I'm hungry already.  For Wendell, a whole wheat carrot cake with applesauce topping...and a big kiss!

Happy, happy birthday Patrice and Wendell!!!

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