Sunday, July 10, 2016

Like 1968?

My nephew linked this article on Facebook.
"...Why 1968 was so much worse then 2016."

1968. Dad was a news junkie
even way back then.
Being his sidekick
my evenings were spent watching
the war,
riots,
and assassinations.
Funerals of friend's brothers.
Being eleven,
it was burned into my brain.
And the music
lots of "ungodly: music
which we listened to
on the radio
on the way to school.

The young man who wrote the article
is correct
this does not even begin to compare to what it was then.

He is a bit far fetched when comparing "the Donald"
to George Wallace.
The man who stood on the steps and did not permit a child to enter school,
is way different then political roderick.
The hate in his eyes
The dogs he had released.
Obviously, he did not live that era.

Now if he had compared Nixon to a different liar,
maybe,
but this really isn't about that.

The nation has it pretty darn good.
People have gained rights
We are pulsing forward.
One step forward, two back?
I think the opposite is true.

Not even close to 1968.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Fourth of July

We have experienced the 4th in more settings then can be imagined at times.

When I was young we would meet up with my Grandparents
Eat watermelon
and watch the fireworks at "the club".
I can still smell the wet grass
since it was in Phoenix
and one of the only places with expansive lawns
wet down for fireworks
that were so close we could watch them set them off!
Several years were spent at Girl Scout Camp.
Camp Mariposa was in the hills of Prescott AZ.
In the late afternoon we would climb the hills
sip on orange and peppermint
And enjoy the works from the side of the mountain
Going back to camp was always a trick
My first overseas 4th was in Germany. 
Scott and I had just met. 
We lived in a town that had five military bases
and each one put off their own fireworks.
We sat on the Main River and watched them all.
When the children were babies 
we had moved to Washington DC
And braved the million person crowd
Spectacular!
Yes, I am borrowing all of these pictures.

Fireworks over the Flint Hills were next.
We would sit on the parade field and watch them go off overhead.

Monterey Bay was next. 
They would shoot off the fireworks over the bay!
From our house we could sit on the front lawn and watch the entire thing.
Sophie Summer


At the American Club in Hong Kong
was the wildest.
No pictures allowed.
It was SO hot and we took the bus with lots of littles there.
Crazy celebrations.
Embassy people do it right.
Hawaii at the Hale Koa
Disneymike
Our last overseas 4th was in Saudi Arabia.
No pictures again.
Nothing like sitting in the crushing heat
with a black abaya on 
but is was well worth it.

We did seven years in Flagstaff
with hardly ever a firework 
parade, yes, fireworks, no.
It was fireseason and we did not belong to the club.

Back to Kansas

and now on the East coast again.
Today is in downtown Dover.
Parade
hotdogs and 
fireworks at sunset! 
Happy Fourth!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Changing gears

Delaware brings a completely different lifestyle then we have ever lived before.
We have lived in agricultural areas before, but it was not accessible.
Here we have constant access to farm fresh foods.

Haass' Butcher has meat that is locally grown
and processed in the market
behind a windowed, refrigerated room.
The owners are not Amish,
but all of the workers are.
We have enjoyed some of the best meats ever
through their work.
We are finding that a little meat goes a very long way
when it is local and fresh.
There is also an Amish market in town.
They bring most of their things in from Lancaster,
but the baked goods are done on site.
We no longer eat a great deal of bread, but this is the place to go if we wanted some.
We also buy the majority of our plants at the Bazaar outside.

The best find of all is Fifer Farms.
Learning how to can and dehydrate foods has become my hobby.
Something I have always wanted to do.
Fifer Farm makes it easy.
Today I cut up a flat of "old seconds" strawberries.
They are the end of the crop and super cheap. 
Drying half and making jam out of the rest.
I am on the search for the perfect berry jam recipe.

Here is this week's bounty from the Fifer CSA.

Starting my tart cherry pie filling
Right now!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

One thousand posts

It has been a busy day. 
A flat of Strawberries were purchased last Saturday. 
Since then the kitchen has been a buzz of canning, dehydrating, and baking. 
Done.

Seems like "doing" has been happening a great deal lately.
Library and park with the grandsons.
Rocking the baby to sleep.
Face-timing our other grands.

Talking on the phone with best friend, mom and sister.
Evening chats with my husband.
Walks with the dogs.
Watering the garden.

All very normal things for a retired person.

Tonight I looked back at my very first posts.

We were living in Kansas.
Our daughter was just joining the AirForce.
Our son was finishing up at West Point.
We had no daughter or son in laws. 
No grandchildren. I already worried about "being there for them."
My dad was still alive.
Frequent flyer miles were burned on my many trips. 
He was close to the end.
Gosh I miss him.
Classrooms had just re entered my life.
My older sister was my close friend.
I was slowly reconnecting to my husband.

My life has changed.

Most significant change is having grandchildren.
What an amazing experience.

Worry is rarely in my vocabulary anymore.
Somehow I just let it go.
Gosh, worry used to take up so much space.

Happiness is much more my state of mind.
What a relief 
after worrying for years if I would ever be happy.

My daughter and I have moved from a parent/child relationship to a friendship. The same has happened with my own mother. My younger sister & sister in law have become closer to me as of late.
All good things.
There is something important about family ties.
My older sister no longer speaks to me.
Sad, but that is the way it is.
Occasionally lamenting will tip toe in.
Anxiety does appear in new situations.
Learning to just tell people 
helps it just be what it is.
But not worry.

A Thousand Posts.
A journal of my journey.
Thanks for sharing it with me.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Raised garden with protection!

Scott created this 12'x3' raised garden area.
We have many deer who come up from the creek and eat anything tender. 
Caging of the garden was the idea of a gentleman down the street.

Each six foot fence can be removed for gardening.
He chose to gain support against the wind by securing each section together.


What a treat!


Saturday, June 04, 2016

Scary travel part 1

There have been a few times in which scary came too close in my life.
A few almost car crashes are in the pile.

My out of the ordinary scary
are close to my heart.

On my way to Vietnam,
before it was open to US citizens,
a friend and I traveled there on an odd plane.
Wish I had taken a picture.
I was told that it was the Soviet version of a DC-3
The interior was wooden
really,
wooden, with round port holes
like a ship's cabin.
It was a tail dragger.
This was 1991
not 1957.

We got on.
Weird, but looked OK

A man got on right after us.
He had a very large soft pack
which he crammed under his two seats.

My friend, a young mother
and the daughter of someone who served in Vietnam,
asked the young man
what was so important that he had to carry it on.

"Well, mam, It is my
parachute.
These things go down regularly."

Glad the ride was a bit under an hour!


A walk around the gardens

My thumb would be considered mossy.
Not green, not brown
This is the second dampest place we have ever lived.
Hong Kong was much warmer and damper.
What is growing in my yard helps me understand
how all those farms can grow crops
without the use of "brought in" water.

 Blue berries on the rise.
The other bush was not well secured and every blue berry was plucked last night!
 Wild Peppermint
 Year one of raspberries. That little creature? Friend or foe?
 First of the squash
 Chocolate mint! Yes!
 The tomatos are taking over- as they always do.
 My daily breakfast. Five to ten leaves a day keeps the doctor away.


 That downed tree a few months ago.  The jungle has taken over.

 I haven't decided about the vines on this tree.

 We took out half of this bush last week.
 The ants were using it as a ladder.  It seems the bush agreed.
 Volunteers.
Me thinks someone got them as a gift and stuck them in the ground before a frost.

 The roses were cut way back this winter.
Seems they liked it.
 Lavender was also cut way back- from underneath.
This plant was "dead" before the trimming.
New life!
 My tree man keeps the back of the property safe.
Third batch of dehydrating local strawberries. Sweetest bunch yet!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Adjusting to Not Saving

For the last thirty years we have been great savers.
Paid off cars and houses and kid educations
Saved like crazy for retirement.
Invested in the market.
Lived in cash.
Never got a debit card.

At 65 &58 we have to get out of the mode
that every extra penny should be saved
for us.

Neither of us want to travel much
except to see the kids,
and maybe Israel,
and Scotland.
We have the funds to do those,
if we choose.
We saw most of the world that interested us
in our younger years.
Great memories!


We have always used the
"you need about
$250,000 for end of life medical stuff".
We saved that years ago.
That is the base
although both of us agree on DNR
for tough calls.


Both of us want to be cremated.
Something small and peaceful for the family gathering
That eliminates the need for big bucks for funerals.
Whew.
A bit of savings done there.

We don't, really, have a charity that we are wild about
No need to scrimp for them
The salaries are out of control
anyway.

We don't want for much.
Actually, I cannot think of anything we are in need of.
Our pension/ SS stash pays all of our bills.
With some left over.

That leaves grandchildren education
and maybe helping with children's houses.
Hummmmmm

Memorial Day

It is good to put your life into perspective.


Three of our fiends are buried at Arlington.

 This was the father of one of my husband's closest friends.  He was an amazing influence on his entire family---and the men who rescued him and brought him to the US.
 Stephen was just fun. We spent many hours with him at "Advanced Course" with the Army playing RISK until all hours of the morning. The last time I saw him was on a metro platform while taking my class to Washington DC May before Sept 11. He was in the Pentagon when the planes hit.
Aaron was just a kid. He played soldier with my son on the compounds of Saudi Arabia that we lived on. He was attending the Citadel as a reservist when his company was called out.  He had the option to not go- since he was in his senior year- but chose to go anyway.  He was killed in a fire fight.

No  grave marker for my Great Uncle Evans.  His ship was shot out from under him in the Pacific. He had been directing gunfire from the deck and was one of the last to leave even though he was seriously injured in the firefight early on.

My father in law served on the Enola Gay.
Before the bird flew they were taken to meet the troops who
were about to invade Japan.
He said the estimates of casualties were well into the millions.
He never spoke of his service, until he knew it unclassified fifty years after the fact.
We found a few pictures of him.


No picture of my brother  in law's grave. Ron was in Vietnam as a door gunner for a medical helicopter. If you watch the movies, the door gunner had to decide when to leave a hot zone and who to leave behind. He never spoke of his experiences, but lived with them until he died ten years ago. We are pretty sure the weird cancer he passed away from was caused by Agent Orange.

On this Memorial Day we remember those who gave their lives in our service. Most of the men in my life, who were the most important to my shaping, served. One day of remembrance is simply not enough.