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21 August 2019

Car 54, Where Are You?

For the last few months I have been stalked by a number. At first it I thought it was just coincidence. But now it seems like everywhere I look I see the number 54. I see it on the clock all the time. I'll just happen to glance up at the clock and there it is 7:54, 10:54, 2:54... even if I wake up in the middle of the night... it's usually there! I've found it on receipts. For example, the receipt for our stay at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond in July -  what was the total? $254! (I split the costs with a roomie). We stopped at Napa one day. While he went inside I noticed the license plate on a truck across from me -- it ended in 54. It's happened so much now that I'm starting to get a little freaked about it. I pulled out an old fast food receipt that had gotten pushed to the bottom of my purse the other day. Guess how much the change was? Yep,  54¢!

Yesterday I was watching the weather on TV as the storm was approaching. The man said it was cooling down where the storms had already been. You know it's been feeling like 100° lately. Imagine my surprise when a lone 54° showed up front and center on the screen. Later I was going to check a file through my cloud backup. I clicked on Documents and the number of  file folders showed up below the word Documents. Guess how many? 54.... How does that just happen to be the total?

So now I'm trying to figure out what it all might mean. Should I look for something significant from my 54th year? Perhaps two years after I was born, which was 1954? Back in the day my post office box at college had a 54 in it. I've rather thought it was a bit lucky for me. After all, in the days before computers, messengers, and Skype that cubbyhole of a box brought me letters from home which kept this lost little farm girl company on the booming campus of Madison. Getting mail was very lucky indeed and I was lucky to have a mom and grandmother who wrote faithfully every week. Yes, my mailbox number brought me luck and love when I needed it most.

I really doubt I'll get an answer to my question of why I see this number all the time. So I guess I'll just enjoy the mystery that comes with my version of Where's Waldo? while I can.

Oddly enough, I never really watched a lot of Car 54, Where Are You? either.

13 August 2019

They Stoop To Anything to Make a Buck

So imagine my surprise this morning to receive a phone call from my own number! Yep, I looked at the caller ID and apparently it was me calling me! Of course I HAD to answer to see if it sounded like me

Nope, I sounded like a man with a very foreign accent telling me that he was from some kind of tech support. I asked how he was calling me with my own number.  He continued to argue some nonsense with me that it provided the best security. Yeah, right! Imagine a scammer talking about security!! Finally he rudely hung up on me when I suggested he just go ahead and delete my number from all his databases. I mean, obviously he wasn’t ever going to get anywhere with this household so why hold on to the number?

Now do I block him? It was, after all my number! I ended up doing the block, reasoning that we would never call ourselves with our own number. Case closed.

Thought for the moment: Can you imagine how much better the world would be if scammers put their energy and resources into positive endeavors that helped people rather than hurt them?

05 August 2019

From A Stupefied State

Sometimes I think my head will spin! It hasn't helped being on Prednisone recently. That stuff makes you feel like you're in the o-zone, as in out-of-it zone! I would sit around stupefied, not getting much done, even feeling like thinking was too much effort. I' finished it now. They were supposed to help my knee swelling, but I'm not too sure it helped much.

I been working on some genealogy for a neighbor recently during my "rest" time. Now I'm back to working on my SIL's family tree again. Sometimes you can take a short break and come back to things and the roadblocks aren't so big. Things are going nicely now and I think everyone will be happy with the results they get.

Church is getting close to the end of its year. There are meetings and agendas, plans still ongoing to make sure I have all my i's dotted and t's crossed. I have noticed a couple of very small things that slipped past me. I forgot to change Next Sunday to This Sunday for an event that happened yesterday from the previous week's bulletin announcement. NBD... I doubt many even looked at it and I made a verbal correction from the piano stool.

On my bright side the other day I enjoyed the first chocolate shake that I've had in years. OMG! That was sooo good! Obviously I don't do that too often. I tend to think of it as a reward for getting through the week, the month, the year(s).

I'm loving the cooler weather now. I noticed this morning that a young Rose-of-Sharon has bloomed. It's only about 2 feet high but has a lovely white flower with red throat... my favorite colors!

I think we've conquered the tomato horn worms now. Gosh, the tomato plants look terrible, but they are still putting out a few tomatoes so I guess I'll hold off on yanking them up.

On the other hand we've never had better sage than we have now. It was from last year and died down to bare nothing.

I gotta say I just love the coleus most of all. It always puts on a great show. I guess I've found the perfect place for it. The yellow marigolds are finally having a good come out near the front door now. The orange ones not so much. Both are in a rock garden and it just got way too hot for them when the temps reached 100°. A few leftover I'd put in a couple of those long plastic trays were even worse. They dried out too fast and then got too much water when it rained.  I won't make that mistake again! None are photo worthy.

This week I sold a vintage Hawaiian shirt with a rare label for over $100! That was pretty awesome! These days it's hard to find any shirts at all at the thrift stores. Once they became a hot item it was game over. I'm glad we started collecting a couple of years before it became trendy. I'm even more glad now, after this last sale!

Life is too short to bewail the crappy stuff for too long. Just wake up and be glad you can take on the day, whatever it brings! Ask God to point out the special delights He has provided you. Sometimes we can't see if we don't really look.


23 July 2019

In a Whopping Month

A whopping month since my last post? Well, in defense it has been super busy over the last 30 days.

Me, Melissa, Rob, his cousin & my SIL
(Photo courtesy of Donna Henry)
The first weekend in July my sister-in-law and I drove to Richmond for dinner with my daughter, Melissa and her husband and his extended family in celebration of the kids' 10th wedding anniversary. They had chosen to revisit the Jefferson Hotel where they were married. It was so much fun seeing everyone and I must say I have never spent the night at a swankier hotel ever! So elegant!

My delay in posting has mostly been due to church work though and the timing couldn't have been worse. At the end of June I had to finish writing the July quarterly church newsletter and get them out the Sunday before July. I hate getting mail of any kind after events have already passed, don't you? Like "Here's a coupon for something that happened 10 days ago"... no thanks. I try to be pro-active, especially about agenda items.

We also had a June 30 business meeting. As Clerk I had to prepare by coordinating decisions from two council meetings into the business meeting agenda, double-check that all upcoming events were correct on several calendars, and then make copies of new minutes and agenda. Before Sunday music had to be selected, learned and practiced in two groups; bulletins had to be updated, and insert fliers invented before my good friend, Gail could make copies and have them in church for Sunday. It's all just an orchestrated system of events that makes my church world go around each week.  It sounds simple enough, but it all takes time.

After the Church Council was in favor of producing a photo directory ourselves I had been prepping, figuring we'd have 50-75 families involved. As June tuned into July a participant call list was created. Then, for five hours one morning I met with Debbie and Phyllis to call every local family and friend that attends Blackwater Baptist Church on a fairly regular basis. I spent 16 hours over the next two Saturdays with our photographer, Andrea as family after family came in for their portraits. Of course, nothing works perfectly we've also held photo sessions before and after the last two church services and even during the ice cream social. There are still 10-12 families waiting for out-of-town family members to arrive to complete their family picture. Luckily we don't have a deadline. (If anyone was accidentally left out and wants to be included in the directory please let me know asap)!

It's been a true labor of love, and I must say that we have had an absolutely wonderful time meeting with each family. When multiple families came in it was almost a party atmosphere. And now I am finishing reviewing previous directory names, verifying memberships and updating information for the new directory. Did I have bite off more than I can chew? I sometimes worry that I may face problems formatting all these photos into a cohesive order. I'm a bit scared and excited all at the same time, but I know God has my back and everything will work out as it should.

In what's left of my home life I have been crocheting blankets for babies, reading "get away from it all" books, visiting my chiropractor to keep myself upright, and recently checked in with my knee surgeon who says eventually I will have to get a replacement because I'm headed for bone-on-bone. Lucky me.

22 June 2019

Memories of Farm Chores

Each bale of hay is a visual of accomplishment.
Seeing the farmers picking wheat this week brought back childhood memories for me. If you have never been involved in harvesting wheat it has to be one of the hottest jobs ever, right up there with fire-fighters and roofers! It’s hot, sweaty, sticky, itchy, and very dusty! I hated having to do it, but I was fairly lucky because I was usually a driver. That was bad enough, but I pitied the guys who had to walk behind, picking up the heavy hay bales and throwing them on the trailer. Then unload them into the barn loft.

When we were kids my brother and I were often farm hands right along with the rest of the hired help when it came to doing some of the more extreme jobs. These included pulling weeds from long rows of peas (soybeans) for weeks (ugh), picking up roots when we took in more farm land, and gathering watermelon and cantaloupes by the truckloads. We had to work in the garden and no, it wasn't some little garden. Daddy had a penchant for thinking his garden was practically just a mini farm field. Those rows of snaps and butter beans seemed to go on forever! We'd usually get up early in the mornings to start work, but it didn't take long for the sun to get high in the sky and hotter than Hades. There were also hot dusty jobs like sweeping and rearranging the barn or cleaning out the hog pens. Never pleasant but had to be done (luckily, only on occasion).

I think pulling weeds was the worse job because it lasted a couple weeks. It was especially hot because we had to wear long-sleeves to keep us from itching from the scratchy plants and getting sunburned. I remember once when we'd gotten caught in a rain storm on the opposite end of the field from where the trucks were parked. When the lightening started we all had to run back for cover. We piled into the cab of the truck in the downpour, the windows steaming because it was so hot and we were so wet. When it was over we'd head back to the field, but it was worse than ever because of the added humidity. It was like a tropical sauna!

I have to remember the good parts too. Even though the jobs were tough and we kids usually whined because none of our friends had to do what we did, we'd still have a fairly good time. Daddy was always telling stories or making jokes. He'd patiently answer all our questions about how this grew or how to tell if something needed nitrogen or fertilizer. We'd play guessing games or sing songs as we picked butter beans or pluck chickens. The time didn't pass any quicker, but it was nice to think it did. Afterwards we'd get a bath and put our pj's on and feel a cool evening breeze and everything would feel right with the world. We all slept like the tired babies we were.

All in all, those long hours of hot chores gave us tenacious stick-to-it work ethics. You can't buy this stuff. So everything I did back then still continues to affect me to this day and that's a very good thing. I'm so blessed to have been a farmer's kid!!