Thursday, November 23, 2017

THANKS-giving

By now, I suspect most everyone has finished up their Thanksgiving meals. I would hope, and pray, that all have had a safe day, filled with love and gratitude for all they have, whether it be a little, or a lot.  My family has been blessed beyond what I'd have dreamed as a child and a young adult.  I will never forget those very lean years and the struggles they held. For that, I am very thankful. 

Yesterday, I wasn't much feeling that way, and it carried into most of the morning too.  I wasn't feeling thankful, or grateful, or appreciated, and wasn't much in the mood or mindset to prepare a regular meal, let alone a feast for my little family of three.  The holiday blues were upon me big time.  It hits me every year, and it's a struggle to stay cheery and motivated all the way through to the new year.  Earlier in the week, I had gone to the store and purchased a whole turkey, which of course, I cannot cook in my large toaster oven in its whole form (it's now been five years since I've been able to) and so I had planned to cut it into pieces and cook the breast portion, and freeze the rest. 

Last night I made sure my kitchen was cleaned of all dirty dishes, and this morning put them away.  I still wasn't feeling much motivation, but after spending time in God's word this morning, had made a list of foods, and set to it.  First I boiled some eggs for deviled eggs - darn eggs wouldn't peel for anything, but still I managed to make them 'good enough' and Nick watched me as mixed up the yolk ingredients, put it into a small plastic bag, snipped the corner and piped it into the eggs.  He was impressed :) so that helped.  

The turkey had been dissected, parts in the freezer, some bones, wing tips and such in pot of water boiling for soup later - I completely deboned the breast.  I had made stuffing, which I prefer cooked in the bird, but had to find a way to do that without a bird cavity and still have it, and the breast fit into the very small covered roaster that fits in my toaster oven.  I mixed up a whole package of store-bought stuffing (Mrs. Cubbison's I think) with lots of butter, some broth and of course onion and celery, lined the roaster with foil and with cheesecloth, laid down a good layer of the stuffing, and then seasoned the breast and placed it atop the stuffing.  And I didn't take a single picture of this process! before or after!  It ultimately turned out well.  The stuffing was a little more moist than I prefer, but I'd also put some of the stuffing in a separate baking dish and fit it alongside the roaster - amazing they both fit in the oven!  

Other sides were mashed potatoes (butter, cream, cream cheese), gravy, whole green beans with bacon, niblets corn from a can, Cheddar Bay biscuits, cranberries both jellied & whole from a can, the deviled eggs.  I'd spent maybe 4 1/2 - 5 hours in the kitchen on my feet, having sat down only a couple of times for about 5 minutes each, cleared and set the table.  We enjoyed our feast, I filled up my plate, looked at it and said "I don't know why I put so much on my plate, I'm not hungry" and I wasn't, but I ate all that I put on my plate.  Less than 30 minutes later, we were done, I got everything put away and washed up, and then put a Claim Jumper frozen Dutch apple pie in the oven.  By then, I could hardly move.  I took an Aleve-equivalent, and went to my craft room to rest a bit and check social media.  Went back down and put the crumbly stuff on the pie for the last 10 minutes of baking, handed the timer to Nick, and told him to take it out when it went off, and as I'd been so uncomfortable sitting in my chair, went in and laid down for a nap.  Over an hour later I got and felt a whole lot better, but still somewhat tired.  

While eating dinner, somehow we got on the subject of concerts.  Kicking it around, and talking about where to go for concerts - Nick's never been to one - I mentioned Las Vegas, and that way back in time, like in the early 1980s, my first husband and I had gone to LV and I don't even remember who we were seeing, it was a dinner lounge show or something, that required you to buy dinner.  So we had the prime rib.  It was served with the usual including horseradish.  What I DO remember is, the then husband, without testing the horseradish first, put a huge blob on his piece of meat, which went promptly into his mouth, and which he nearly spit out as it was the hottest horseradish one has ever had.  For some reason, today, it just seemed funny as could be...it wasn't at the time! 

I will probably spend the rest of what remains of the evening, watching TV and working on genealogy.  Nick is in his room doing whatever he does there, and Marty's downstairs (I think) watching football or the political talking heads. 




Sunday, October 8, 2017

With the passing of Marty's dad on September 18th, I thought I'd share some information and photos of him and his family.  "Richard" was a very independent man.  His mom passed away when he was about three due to complications from a burst appendix.  Four years later, his father passed away from leukemia.  Upon his mom's death, he and his older brother went to live with his mom's sister and her husband.  In a paper Richard had written, he said that during the time between his parents' respective deaths, he only remembered his dad coming to visit a couple times.  The reasons are not known, but I'm sure the absence of both natural parents had life-long consequences even though his aunt and uncle were good people and cared for him and his brother greatly.

He graduated high school, joined the Navy during WWII serving aboard the USS New Mexico.  The ship was engaged in a battle at Okinawa where it was hit by kamikaze planes.  Over 50 of his crew-mates immediately surrounding him were killed and over 100 wounded, but he survived with only bruises.  Upon returning to civilian life, he went on to college and entered the work force becoming instrumental in developing FAX transmission machines.   He married, had three children and later divorced and never remarried.  
ca. 1926/7

"Fred" & "Richard" ca.1929/30

"Richard" with his aunt & uncle

"Richard" in Navy

USS New Mexico after being hit by kamakazes  (photo taken from USS Wichita) 12 May 1945  Richard said he was between the forward superstructure and the stack, about 40 feet from point of impact.

"Richard" and "Alice" on their wedding day

"Fred" and "Richard" with their mom

"Fred" and "Richard" with their dad
"Richard" with his maternal grandparents. 

Richard's early life was spent in Colorado.  He returned there for a time later on and was there for a family reunion in 2002.  

As his family was in Colorado for a number of years in the early to mid-1900s, along with his wife's family, I researched online for Colorado records.  One source I came upon is the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection.  This site is free and I located a lot of small-town tidbits that gave insights into who the family visited, how they spent their time, what relatives came to visit, hospitalizations, and school activities and events.  I found information on some marriages, some deaths, but surprisingly little on births.  We even discovered that "Fred" had a first wife, which Marty didn't know or remember ever hearing about.  

I hope you enjoyed this very brief journey of a man who, as Frank Sinatra sang, did it (his) way.  He had a good life.  He had a long life.  We will miss him but will remember the times we shared in his life.  Ten years ago we thought he was not going to make it after an illness incident, but after three months of care, he regained his strength, rebounded and went on his way living alone until he was gone.

Today is a day of celebration as Richard's grandson, our very own Nick, turns 19.  Being the birthday-boy, he gets to choose where we eat dinner. 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Oh My...It's Been Awhile

I'd have never guessed it's been so long since I updated.  Not quite as long on Webs of Thread, but still, I've not been a good blogger of late.

Nick's graduation, along with my daughter's and grandchildren's arrival in May/June and their return home, all went well.  

Nick and I went to Oregon for three weeks during August through Labor Day.  We had a perfect viewing location, and clear weather, for viewing the eclipse.  It was a sight to behold, and while I initially wasn't all that gung-ho about seeing it (I went to visit family), I'm glad we were there as it was quite impressive.  Staying at my aunt's, we weren't faced with traffic issues as her home was right at the edge of the totality zone, so pretty much, we had totality.

It's always nice visiting family up north, though for Nick, it was probably it bit more boring.  He had opportunity to take in the state fair with my aunt and others, but opted to stay at the house.  It was a hot day, nearly triple-digits, so I didn't blame him at all.  

While Nick and I went one direction, Marty took a week with a couple of his guy friends and headed toward Wyoming to catch good viewing of the eclipse - they all have a photography hobby.  They had a nice time too, except that Marty caught a bad cold, which is still affecting his bronchial tract.  It happens every time he gets a cold and will be that way for a couple months.

Prior to our respective trips, we heard from the V.A. nurses in Arizona concerning Marty's dad and how they thought that perhaps it was time he transition from independent living to a care facility.  There didn't seem to be an immediate urgency at the time, just that it was time to start looking into it.  Upon our respective returns home, it seemed that maybe it was somewhat more urgent, so as recently as the 16th Marty said that he might have to temporarily move to his dad's apartment and care for him (his dad was fiercely independent and not wanting to be a burden to his kids and did not want to go to a care home).  Marty had spoken with his dad last Saturday.  

Monday morning we get a call and it was not good news.  V.A. hospice nurses had been going to check on & care for Dad several times daily and the first check of the day found him sitting in a chair in front of the TV with his headphones on (he was hard of hearing and had difficulty seeing), where he had expired sometime during the night.  He got "his way" and though he had a long life, 91 years, it's still sad to think that he passed alone.   

As Marty has responsibility for his final affairs, we had to make a long trip to Arizona.  Nearly a 10-hour drive each way, fighting wind, and emotions the whole way, then determining what to keep from among his few belongings, arranging with the apartment manager to clean & remove for use/donation any furniture and other items that remained, dealing with the mortuary, the bank, the utilities, etc. and some issues that are going to take time and possibly another trip there.  He had things set up in a trust, but hadn't updated it in 15 years, so much was no longer valid.  If you have a trust, update it whenever something changes!  

We arrived home late Thursday night, then I went to a quilt show on Friday, with my friend Panda.  More about that over on WOT.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Exciting Times

The end of May is rapidly approaching.  I need to have done more than I have, but it is what it is.

Tomorrow morning, my daughter is leaving from her home in Texas along with my grand-babies (ages 2 and 6) traveling alone to come for a visit and to attend Nick's high school graduation on June 1st.  It will be great to see them, but I'm very concerned about her traveling alone with the youngsters.  Her original plan was to drive straight through...a 16-hour drive under 'normal' conditions...I can't imagine attempting that with kids.  It's tough enough with my 14-hour straight through to Oregon from here, by myself.  

I was able to convince her of the folly in that plan, and they will be spending the first night in Flagstaff, and should get here later in the evening on Wednesday.  This all could be delayed a day, but as of last night, she still plans to leave in the morning.  This will be the first time I've met my grand-daughter (the 2-yr old), so it is especially exciting.  Our house hasn't had little ones in it since Nick was little.  Speaking of Nick, he's encountering his final week of high school.  Have I mentioned that, while he's academically doing well, school is just something required from life.  He's not enthused about anything related to school or his classmates for the most part.  He's had NO interest in doing any of the senior activities - no prom, no senior special events.  He had NO interest in picking out senior pix, or a class ring, or his announcements.  In fact, we just ordered said pix last week after I hounded him to pick a pose.  The photos were taken last July and we had online proofs in August! and announcements have sat on the dining room table for weeks.  I hope he doesn't regret his lack of interest one day, but this seems to be who he is.  School is nothing special to him.  He plans to take a year off before heading to the local 2-year college.  I've opposed that plan, and have lost the fight.  

It's a Costco shopping day; it's getting late and I still need to shower. 

Oh, before I go, if you're wondering why my daughter is traveling alone with the kids, her husband has too many work commitments right now to join her, though there is a slim chance he may be able to fly in and then drive home with them.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Passing Time

And time is surely passing by!  

Having anything worthy of posting about seems to escape me. Or, maybe I'm just not as inclined to post about as much. 

I've not been ill or depressed, nor have there been any problems.  Well, except a bit of a water saturation issue between my "new" (now four-year old) bathrooms, but Marty has fixed that...at least that's the hope, and that only occurred during the last couple weeks, not over the last few months of my absence from blogging.

A little bit of work has been done on genealogy, but nothing on quilting since my last Webs of Thread quilting post.  

My aunt visited in January, but I think I covered that on WOT, maybe.  The visit was short compared to my visits to her home, but we had a nice time all the same and I'm very happy she came.

Spring is here, and our weather is typical for this time of year.  Some days get quite warm into the upper 80s and nights are in the 50s or slightly below.  We still have some cooler days too, and even had some more drizzle/showers this past week.  Spring is my favorite time of year...except for the shedding done by the kitties.

A hummingbird produced two babies in the nest right out my kitchen window and it's already been nearly two weeks since they fledged.  What a joy it was to watch them grow! I miss them, but I saw two flying around together in the back yard earlier today and wondered if they were 'ours'.  The feeders have been up all but a short time during the winter as we have the hummers year round.  I need to get out and clean the outside of the window before one decides to re-use the nest.  They really "hit" the window this time, if you catch my drift.  I'm still awaiting the arrival of the Hooded Orioles.  Soon, I hope.

Yep, that's been about it around here.  Oh, except Nick got his first car.  A bright red sports car about 12 years old.  He owes us!


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