Sunday, April 10, 2016

My sister is coming!! WOO HOO!

I just got word this morning, that my baby sister (Leslie) who lives in Anacortes Washington, is on her way to visit me... and I'm over the moon about it!  She messaged me from Oregon a short while ago, and told me to get her bed fixed... so it shouldn't be long now!

I'm so excited, that I can't even think straight!  
Do we take her out for meals?  Do we cook at home... do we  barbecue?  
Oh my goodness gracious...what do we do?  
I don't think she's ever actually been to Murphy's before, even though she's been to where I lived in Altaville many times over the years... so I'm thinking that maybe we'll have breakfast at the Murphys Hotel or Hillbillies restaurant?  A picnic in the park, if the weather is nice?  Or maybe some of each?

And a bed!  That's important!   I hope she doesn't mind sleeping on the couch, because with all this packing to get ready to move, that's about all I have to offer.   Even though I'm sure that she won't mind a bit, I want everything to be nice for her - perfect for her!  
You know what I mean?

It's been just about 21 years since I've seen my little sister, so this week is going to be a blast!

 This is a picture of the 3 of us girls, so, so many years ago.  My oldest sister Susan is in the back,  I'm the blond in blue, and my little sister Leslie, is the little "cute as a button" one on the right!

 Now to get that darn "bed" cleared off! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Saving Memories

I was standing out on the porch with my coffee this morning, and thinking about how much I'm going to miss my yard when we're moved.  I've spent virtually every morning of the last 3 and a half years out here  - in rain or shine -  and the memories are bittersweet.

Black Calla Lillie's

The growing season is so very short for these treasures, but they're breathtaking, all the same. Hopefully, I can dig them up, and take them with us.


My Crepe Myrtle is just starting to leaf out... Sadly, we will miss out on the flowers this year


My beautiful Hollyhocks... these ones, as well as another cluster close to the kitchen window, shoot up 12 feet or more every year and as sturdy as the stalks are, they're always weighed down with flowers.


My sweet little guard cat with marble eyes... when the passing vehicle lights hit him, it causes his eyes to glow and  hopefully encourages the drivers to slow down a bit.  Well... actually it doesn't slow one particular 'neighbor' down, which is a one of the reasons we'll be glad to leave here.

The view from my porch. So many dead pines, due to the drought and the bark beetles, and although I've hated watching them die, it will eventually open up the view.

My young apple tree... this will be it's 2nd year for fruit.  Last year, we had close to 30 apples on this skinny little tree, so I expect far more this year.

Chives and Lavender
 Even most of my potted plants will be left behind, or given away.

My young Apricot tree.. she was completely covered in fruit last year, and this year looks to be the same!!

Old cut metal bear that we found buried in the garden.  So many treasures, and probably many many more left for the new owners to discover.


I don't know what this Rose is, but it's simply stunning when it's blooming, and it makes for a lovely frame at my kitchen window! In the foreground is the stalk from the other Hollyhock - well above the roof line.

It's going to be hard to leave here, and we'll miss so many of the neighbors, but we're both looking forward to the new adventure in Georgia

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Chickens are good for what ails ya...

I've been stressing for the last several days, (ever since Wally's passing)  because earlier in the day on Wednesday,  I had promised my workmate Shirley, that I would try and find a couple of small hens for her.  Then with the stress of Wally collapsing, and then later, with us all dealing with the heartbreaking outcome.... the whole "I'll try and get you some chickens, Miz Shirley" idea was kind of forgotten.

But no sooner had Shirley left,and gotten home, then she called us at work to tell us that when she had gotten home, she found that her house had been broken into, while she was at work!

We kept her on the line until the sheriff and her daughter arrived to deal with it all, but I kept agonizing over the complete awfulness of the entire day for her, and  I seriously worried about it's impact on this sweet older lady.  Shirley is no spring chicken herself,  (for goodness sake, don't ever tell her I said that!) and  I knew that although the whole day had been rough on all of us,  it had been completely overwhelming for her.

 So now I was on the look-out for chickens.  I called here.... I called there... I sent emails... and I sent messages,  but I was having no luck finding a few small hens.  Until yesterday - when I hit the jackpot!
The woman I worked with yesterday, said that she had heard that her neighbor was getting rid of their chickens, in preparation for a bunch of new chicks - and that they didn't want their slightly older "girls" hen-pecking the young ones.  She would check into it for me... and then this morning, she called me back and said, "come and get them"!

We gathered up a box to put the ladies in, then called Shirley, to tell her that we would be bringing her some babies soon... and the excitement and joy in her voice, had me almost in tears!

Well... when we got to the place where we were picking up the hens, they had decided to hide under some snarly old bushes, and they were kind of hard to coax out... one hen took off, screeching her head off, but Dan saved the day (and muddied his clothes) by crawling right on in there, and catching the first one.

And what a beauty she was!
A gorgeous, gorgeous Golden Laced Wyandotte... and not the plain white Leghorn I had been expecting!  (why was I expecting a Leghorn?  Who knows?)

   Photo borrowed from

The one that had taken off when we first got there, had gone straight back to her chicken yard, so once we got inside the yard and got the door closed tight, it was no trouble at all to catch her .

And we had another beauty!
This time a gorgeous wheaten and white Ameraucana - with her sweet little earmuffs and beard... looking so much like my Esther (we gave my small flock away a week or so back, because we're moving) that I almost cried!   I  just adore their funny little faces,  and the bonus is,  that they lay the prettiest blue eggs you ever did see!

 Photo courtesy of

We drove straight to Shirley's house just down the road from us, and when we got there, she was out preparing the coop, and getting the feed and water dishes cleaned,. for the new arrivals...  and she was almost dancing, as she was doing it!

The look of absolute joy on Shirley's face when we opened the box and she saw those hens
- her NEW hens - still has me grinning from ear to ear! 

The chickens now have a happy  new home, and my dear friend now has herself some sweet babies to dote on, and to help keep her mind occupied.

Lands sakes...   but that fragile looking little old lady, sure has a powerful and heartfelt squeeze!

All in all.... it was a great day for of us, and the chickie babes!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Thrift Store Wins & Thrift Store Losses

I've been working /volunteering at our little local thrift store since the beginning of the year, and I absolutely love it!  Not only the work itself (which involves just about everything imaginable) but I've been blessed to be able to work with, and spend time with, some amazing people.  I usually work on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and the Wednesday crew  are really some great folks to work with.  Well the folks are great on both days, and I love them all... but on Wednesdays, there are two special gals who come in at the same time as I do, and we just "clicked" right from the beginning,  if you know what I mean. 

All of the ladies I'm blessed to work with, are fun to be around, but there has always just been something special about Wally and Shirley... and maybe their "advanced" (at least to me, anyway) age has something to do with it.  They tend to treat me as the spry "young 'un" of the 3 of us, and it's somehow comforting to kind of feel "coddled by Mama figures" at my age.  These ladies both love to share their life experiences and stories, recipes and opinions, and it just makes the hours we spend together, whizz by.  It's been fascinating to listen to talk of their careers (Wally was a Botanist before retirement, and Shirley was/is still a Nutritionist - both back in the day when ordinary women didn't have "careers", so to speak) and I love to hear them talk about the dreams they've fulfilled, as well as their dreams for the future.

So yesterday was a wonderful day...

It started out with an amazing thrift store find of an old antique cheese box / pantry box, and I was thrilled when I found out that it was within my price range!

 I'm thinking that it's pre turn-of-the-century - and it's as heavy and solid as they come!

 1890's or maybe even slightly older, judging by the fasteners used to hold it together.

 It's in pretty good shape, although it's definitely showing the dings and dents of a life well lived.

And  yesterday was a bad day.

 Anyway...the gals and I worked like clockwork together yesterday, seemingly anticipating each others next move, and getting a whole lot accomplished before lunch time - with lots of laughter and talking and teasing  thrown in... which is the way it usually it is, on our day together.   Wally only works a short day, from 10am until lunch time, while Shirley is there until 3, while I and the lead person ( the "lead person" can vary week by week), continue to work until closing time.

Well, at about noon, Wally left to go next door to the Senior Center for lunch, and shortly thereafter, someone came in, and said that Wally had passed out right after eating her lunch.  911 was called, but in spite of half a dozen emergency vehicles, and at least a dozen medical personnel and sheriffs officers running in and out of the senior center, all putting in their best efforts, our Wally didn't make it.

It hit us all pretty hard.
I'm still having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that one minute we were laughing and sharing stories and recipes, and then the next minute... that those sharing and caring moments with Wally, would never happen again.

I was restless and stressed for most of the evening last night, and I kept wandering by that beautiful old cheese box, stroking it, and trying to find joy in it again, but it didn't work.
Maybe it's just too early.

Thank you for your friendship, Wally, and thank you for sharing so many of your life experiences, recipes and opinions on life in general with me.  It meant more than you know.


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