Tuesday, March 2, 2021

LOOKING UP!...

 








I saw this cheeky little robin 
sitting on the edge of the fountain this morning. 

 He was looking up 
and singing a little song
 just for me.




As I looked around
 there was a perky little bouquet
 sitting on the table
 looking up at...






...the sun 
reflecting off of
something bright and beautiful...




...and 
making a 
commonplace sight
 seem new and promising.




I took a deep breath 
and as I looked around
 I could see that spring 
might be happening 
any time now...




...and even though 
I have been feeling
 a little beaten down by winter,
 and a little bit house bound,
 I am starting to breathe again 
and home
 has never looked 
so good...




...and whether it is said
 in bird song or
 in the language of flowers,
 it sounds and feels 
the same......




Even though it might be 
beginning to feel like
 we are getting closer to "normal",
 we are not there yet so:

Stay Smart
Stay Well
Get Your Vaccines
Wear Your Masks
and
Breathe! 

Home is a good place to be! 


...Judy...





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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

GREEN ACRES...

 






I was never what you could call
 a Farmer's Daughter. 
 Back in the day 
my dad owned and ran a saw mill.
  My grandfather was closer to a farmer
 than anyone else in the family
 but still the property that
 my sister, brother and I
 spent time on as kids
 was always called "The Ranch".  
There never were large gardens or crops that needed to be tended, 
just an old barn where the
 milk cow and barn cats shared space,
 a chicken coop, a few rabbit hutches, some old knarly fruit trees
 that gave us sweet plums, cherries, apricots and loquats, 
Bachlor Buttons, Sweet Williams and Pinks
 planted by the kitchen door 
for endless bouquets for the tables,
 and a small garden
 that produced everything 
we could ever want 
on our plates.




Although my immediate family 
didn't actually live on the Ranch, 
when we were younger
 our dad built us a house 
about two miles down the way,
 we were always within walking distance.
 As we grew older,
 on any given summer's day,
 we could ride our bikes
 down the country road, 
 through the neighbor's cherry orchard, 
over the bridge, up the hill, past the barn,
 and invariably end up 
with a bowl of strawberries
 and fresh cream 
served by my grandmother 
under the shade of 
the old chestnut tree.




My dad's saw mill 
was on the Ranch property 
and he and my mom planted corn
 in a lower field beside the creek. 
 We had fresh
 corn on the cob, in season,
 for most of our dinners
 and I remember it always being
 very sweet and my folks discussing 
how much water was used 
or how much less would be used
 for next year's crop. 
 Between the rows of corn
 there grew some green plants. 
 My mom would harvest them
 at just the right time and 
they tasted wonderful piled high with 
butter, salt and pepper! 
 She called them Pigweed 
and, in fact, 
they really were just weeds,
 but I have never tasted anything
 so good.




As I started a family of my own,
 I was always interested in decorating. 
 When we first had a home,
 Danish Modern furniture was all the rage.
  A lot of orange, turquoise
 and bright blues and greens were used.
  We had it all. 
 Later on, I started using 
whatever was considered "country".  
We went through two homes 
using that decorating theme 
and started incorporating
 American antiques into the mix.




When we moved to the Cottage,
 I wanted to fulfill her roots 
and brought the Victorian influence
 into my realm, 
selling most of the country items
 that I had left over. 
 Although I had been surrounded by
 the farming community 
while I was growing up, 
I didn't see the potential 
that it could hold for me 
in the aspect of decorating.
  What I saw were 
always clean and neat rooms 
with pretty colorful pieces 
and an abundance of store-bought items
 usually ordered through catalogs such as
 Sears & Roebuck and Montgomery Wards,
 or "monkey wards",
 as grandma called them.

 No on-line shopping then,
 just perusing the catalog,
 phoning in (or sending
 in an order form with a check).
 As neither my mom or grandma drove 
and the menfolk were always working, 
they were at the mercy of 
someone with a car
 who could drive them into town 
to pick up their orders,
and they weren't even living through 
a pandemic at the time!






Truthfully,
 I didn't pay much attention 
to what is now called
 "Farmhouse" decorating
 until we moved to an area
 that featured HGTV
 and I started blogging. 
 Looking back, 
when we were first renovating the Cottage,
 I wish I would have covered her 
in shiplap and white paint
 with natural and painted wood pieces
 but with very colorful accessories.
  It is too late now
 as that time has come and gone 
and without a "willing" partner
 that will never happen...




...and so,
 I have turned to living
 the farmhouse lifestyle
 in my imagination 
and in my kitchen. 
 Last autumn,
 I read a post
 put out by (Sarah)
 where she decorated
 a beautiful table with 
black and white placemats. 
I apologize,
 but I don't remember 
the name of the company. 
 I just knew that 
they would be perfect 
for my 
kitchen Christmas table. 
 Last month, (Kim)
showed just a sliver of 
the sweetest plates 
on her pretty kitchen table
 and I fell in love. 
 She gladly shared with me
 where she got them 
and I was off 
on-line
 to Target.




  Thank you, ladies,
 for your kindness 
and your wonderful taste.
  Had it not been 
for the two of you, 
I probably 
wouldn't have realized
 that these separate objects
 would be a match 
made in heaven...




...these dessert plates
 are just a small portion 
of what this line offers...



...there is service 
for eight available...



...along with 
the teapot, cups 
and other matching pieces.
  I wish I could 
have them all 
and maybe someday I will,
 just not
 all at once.




Now, with these pieces
 in my collection,
 I can imagine all I want to...



As an afterthought: I covered up the red Cardinal and holly center of this Christmas plate from Tuesday Morning with the dessert plate. How cute that edge looks alongside the black and white cow.

  ...and
 outside my windows,
 I may not see 
endless Green Acres
 but when we 
sit down at the kitchen table 
the memories are
 all right there.





Have a wonderful week...

Stay Smart
Stay Well
Get Your Vaccines
and
Wear Your Masks.

...Judy...




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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

THE SHOTS...

 







Just one week ago,
 we thought this never would happen. 
 We kept hearing that shots of the vaccine 
were being given around the country 
but our little corner of the world 
didn't seem to have gotten the message.
  I called the doctor's office,
 the health department, drug stores
 and everything else I could think of
but couldn't find a thing available, 
except on waiting lists. 
 Then last Tuesday, 
our son-in-law said he heard that
 CVS was opening up time slots, and making appointments for Thursday. 
 I went to bed with the computer on 
and kept getting up every three hours 
to see if I could find something but nothing,
 until around 8:00 AM 
and there it was.





Just to let you know 
this is not a photo of the Captain 
trying to steal a shot from a baby, 
although at that point in time,
we were ready to try anything! 

 I have just thrown in a few photos 
of a cruise to Alaska 
that we took a few years ago 
for lack of anything else to show.


I quickly put in the Captain's name and info 
and found that the
 closest CVS Pharmacy to us
 that was giving the vaccine 
was in Auburn,
 about a 45 mile jaunt, round trip,
 from us.  
I put in his name 
and got an appointment for 11:45, Monday morning, February 15. 
 By the time I filled out what was required 
and then entered my name,
 the only time slot I could get was 4:45, that same afternoon, so I took it.
  Everything was set and we knew
 we would have to make two trips on the same day,
 but that was OK as we could stop for dinner at In-N-Out Burger 
after my time slot. 
 We signed up for our
 second dose at the same time
 and it is scheduled for March 15, 
exactly one month from now.



One year ago, 
we were not really aware 
of what was to befall us
 in such a short time,
 and I wrote a post then
 that turns out was more truthful than I could ever have known. 
 It was almost as if I had a crystal ball
 and could look into the future. 
 It was called Kaleidoscope
 and you can read it again here
 One part that stands out to me was: 

 "A kaleidoscope of views 
that could be, 
and probably will be in another time,
 so much worse than
 they are right at this minute. 
 It is a phase and event 
that holds so much gratitude
 for the here and now..". 
 





 And the gratitude is very present
 after only one short year has gone by. 
 Who would have imagined that a vaccine 
would be researched, tested and made available to combat this virus 
in such a short amount of time? 
 After the initial signing up,
 it seemed that everything had finally fallen into place 
and we were set.  

Fast forward to the day of our shots:
  
We arrived at CVS in Auburn at about 10:30.
  We had received a call 
that the Captain needed 
to check in at the pharmacy
 before getting the shot 
to correct something on his record. 
 When we stepped into the store
 we were met with some confusion and people lining up in different directions.  
An employee was telling us
 that they were backing up and we would have a little bit of a wait.  
She suggested that we go
 back outside the store 
and check in about every fifteen minutes.  
We wanted to make sure our name and time
 was on her list so she checked 
and, no, we weren't there.
 At this time, however, she said they were letting husbands and wives go together
 so I didn't have to come back at 4:45. 
 She then told us to 
go to the back of the store
 and check at a window there. 
 As it happened, 
when I was putting the Captain's info 
into the computer,
 I misread the first number 
on his Medicare card, 
saying it was an S instead of a 5.  
After that was cleared up, 
that lady sent us to wait on aisle 16.  
We did and there were not
 too many in front of us 
so we got our shots 
within about 15 minutes.
  We might still be waiting in line now 
if it wasn't for my little mistake. 
 We waited for 15 minutes after 
to make sure there were no complications 
so, all in all, after the initial start, 
it was pretty smooth sailing. 
 The only down side was
that it was too early for dinner 
so we didn't stop at In-N-Out.





They have opened up vaccination spots 
in town now 
and as we just walked in the door
 from getting ours 
we got a call from a pharmacy in town.
  Oh, well.
  Now, someone else will get an easy one.
  Isn't that almost always the way things go?

 In real time,
 the outcomes are not too bad. 
My arm was sore last night and this morning
 but the Captain reports he feels fine.


Stay Smart

Stay Well

Stay Home

And

Wear Your Mask.


...Judy...





I could tell you 
this is what we look like today,
BUT, 
the time stamp on the photo said 2007. 
Time does have a way of flying by
 and, believe me, 
it is not that kind!


Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

MAYBE, NEXT YEAR...

 







With our world's narrowed down greatly,
 I am not finding much to write about these days. 
 I tend to look back at better times 
starting with the Year BC 
- Year Before Covid -
  As time progresses we are running out of the Year BC.
  This will be the last month 
that we can really say that. 
 So, I turned back the pages 
and here are the results.





This was a photo
 I showed to celebrate Valentine's Day in 2020. 
 Unfortunately,
 fresh tulips are not offered 
when you shop groceries on line...






...so here I have done
 my up-to-date version
 with some faux tulips 
I have on hand.


HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY.  I wish you all a heartfelt and lovely day.




The upside of all this is 
that we have been having some nice, sunny days. 
 It is still a bit chilly 
but having the effect of sunshine
 is a healing point for me.




One year ago, 
we had just painted the sitting room
 with Skinny Jeans by Behr.  
It was quite a change from
 the very dull gold that it was. 
 I went looking for art to display
 and came up lucky at a local thrift shop.
(the last time I have done that)
  Above, 
you see how the new pictures looked 
after being hung over the sofa...




...today you see
 that we added the black shelf back into the mix.
  After taking Christmas down,
 I decided to hang the same pictures back up,
 not even remembering
 that they had first hung there
 one year ago.





It was almost exactly one year ago
 that I bought the new rug
 to be used in the sitting room 
and then discovered that 
my plan was not a good one
 so the parlor inherited it...





I still really like it in the parlor,
 and you might catch a glimpse of the
 burgundy carpet that is still beneath it.
  I did say that I couldn't wait to remove that old carpeting, 
and the Captain said that when we finish
 two small projects that we are working on now,
 he will start that process.  
Can you imagine,
 that one whole year has passed 
since those words were first spoken?






One year ago
 the drawers on 
the chest were gray...






...this year the drawers are white,
 and that reloved bunch of flowers 
on the game table 
just keeps showing up
 no matter what the year 
or the occasion.






Like I said,
 it will soon be feeling like
 we have always lived during a pandemic. 
 We won't be able, for awhile,
 to look back to the year before 
and find that things were quite different.  
The big thing to look forward to now
 is the vaccine.  
There have been big numbers 
of shots given,
 but in comparison to the whole population,
 it seems a very small number.




 
 Last week, here in our county,
 ages 75+ were listed 
as receiving the vaccine,
 but due to the shortage
 that the county was receiving,
  there was nary a place that had them when we wanted to sign up. 
 This week, the age group has gone back down to 65 and over 
with no consideration given 
to the 75+ age group. 
 So that means there will be 
more competition 
for the small amounts of doses 
that the state receives.  
My fear is that
 the ones that are being given the vaccine 
will get lax and not continue
 to take the precautions
 that are necessary
 to keep everyone safe. 
 I have our names on every list available
 so we just go one week at a time.






Have heart everyone, 
this too shall pass.
  Hopefully, sooner than later. 
 Maybe, next year?



Stay Smart

Stay Well

Stay Home

And

Wear Your Masks



...Judy...





Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda