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Monday, December 25, 2006




Friday, December 22, 2006


Today is George’s 56th birthday. He was born December 22nd 1950 @ 6:15 pm. It’s funny but it doesn’t seem that long ago….my, how fast time goes by. Being the first child and born so close to Christmas Day certainly was an impact on his father and me.

Well, the years rolled by and George was the learning curve to raise Becky and then John. I must say we were harder on him and expected more than we ever did out of the other two. For some reason, we thought he should be the prime example for his little sister and brother……but George was still a kid himself. That fact brought me to apologize to George several times in later years……his dad and I were learning how to be parents while he was learning how to grow up under our misconceptions.

Well, I guess something worked because he is a first class person, very compact and organized, very accomplished in what he does for a living and extremely loyal. I am proud of him as I should be…..he has earned that and my respect.

George served four years in the Navy during the Viet Nam years and has worked in the same job ever since getting out. In his particular field he has worked with many young Marine’s and once he was a peer……..but now he is “the old man” of the office. He is beginning to look forward to retirement after marking 35 years in his employment this past year.

So Happy Birthday George and may you have many more healthy and happy years to come. Tomorrow evening we’ll celebrate your birthday dinner together.

Safe travel tomorrow as you drive down……….

Until next time,
Essentially Esther

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Shopping is done!! Wrapping will be a snap!! Baking is done!! Clean house? NO!! It’s time to think about that. George Jr. will arrive sometime on Saturday and I have a special supper planned for him. The boys don’t get home very often and when they do, I like to fix all their favorites. Hopefully John, Barb and LJ will be able to come when the weather is more predictable.

It was fun picking up stocking stuffers in WalMart today. For fun, George and Becky bring their stockings each year and we fill them……of course, Rocky and I hang ours up too, second childhood you know.

When I was a kid I could never figure how it was more fun to give than receive. I liked getting things and Christmas and Birthdays were about all we could look forward to. I couldn’t see how it would ever be more fun to give but as the years clicked by I began to understand it. I am always eager for people to see what their gift is and their reaction…….I love buying gifts or making them.

Most of us in our golden years like to receive simple gifts. We’ve pretty well had it all by now and we also know the drain it is on our younger family members to try and buy for everyone. There are so many practical things that don’t cost a lot and provide just as much pleasure.

For us, it’s the thought that counts. The thing that matters when you’re sitting on the sidelines is to be remembered. Smiles, hugs, letters, emails, someone who listens like they are really interested, a phone call…….old people can live a week on any of those. The stories that you’ve heard a hundred times……believe me, when you don’t hear them anymore you’d give anything to hear them just one more time.

There is a plaque in our kitchen that says, Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much. That pretty well says it all. Give from the abundance of your soul and just watch how it takes hold and grows…….so fast you have to work real hard to give it all away………

Until tomorrow,
Essentially Esther

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


While Rocky is delivering baked goods to a few stops today I’m going to get busy and chat with you blog readers for a moment. This time of year it’s hard to squeeze in a blog but I’m trying.

I have most of the shopping finished and the second onslaught of baking. Now I will make candy for Christmas weekend……Rocky can dive into a batch of fudge and chew his way through in a couple of days. Even though we don’t like to have a lot of sweets because of the effect it may have on the cancer……we’re throwing caution to the wind and eating what we want for a couple of weeks.

My dad always said, “If I can’t eat anything but hay and straw, who wants to live? Maybe give you another couple of months! Well, I’d rather enjoy food I like and take my chances……eating IS living when you get to my age.”

We have been bombarded with so many food cures it gets tiresome after almost a year. We know people who have eaten as sparse as monks and people who have eaten like gluttons……some have died with strict diets and some have died eating “it all.” Some live to tell about their “secret” formula to whip cancer and others live and say nothing.

I’ve about decided there is a time with a plan in place for all of us to “go” and when that times comes……we’d better have our suitcases packed. THAT will be the time, regardless of what was or was not eaten. OK……just running my thoughts by you as we visit. Comments?

Speaking of eating (and who isn’t, this time of year?) I saw a cute thing this morning. I was in the garage feeding Callie, Lovey and Chevy when I turned around to see Napoleon very close to the tuna the kitties were eating. I fed him canned cat food last winter, thinking it would give him more body heat to ward off the cold. I reached for another clean dish and gave him half a can of kitty food…..and he immediately walked over and began eating.

There they were! My little bunch of critters……the three kitties and Napoleon eating side by side……oh how I wish I had taken the camera to the garage. It was one of those Kodak moments you know you’ll remember for years to come. I am so fortunate to be surrounded with all these critters……Love Unlimited!!

Next, I’m going to the kitchen and make a pot of homemade vegetable beef soup for us to enjoy for supper tonight. It’s gray, dark, and damp with a sharp breeze today……good soup weather!! Miss Becky will be coming for another knitting lesson so we’ll all have a bowl together.

I hope your Christmas plans are pleasant and fun……time to make those memories you’ll enjoy forever after. So from Esther’s kitchen…….have a great day!!

Until the next time,
Essentially Esther

Monday, December 18, 2006


Today is a day of changes. We have had shirt sleeve weather most of last week with record breaking highs. Today began very cloudy and gray……the air felt wet on your face when going outside.

Rocky nor I slept well last night. When it was kitty feeding time the girls….Callie and Lovey showed up and promptly began licking up the food. I wondered about Chevy because he was no where in sight. The last couple of days he wanted to stay out longer and played hide and seek with me when I tried to lure him in. I usually end up carrying him to the garage and he likes a lot of ear rubbing and talking about what a good boy he is….how cute….and so on.

The more I thought about it I hadn’t seen him all afternoon when I took Mandy out for her walks. It was getting dark and I was becoming more worried by the minute. We have coyotes down beyond our back woods along with all sorts of critters that would like to eat a nice young cat.

This went on all evening….Becky, Rocky and I calling and putting our best theories together for the reason he wasn’t home. I went back to the garage twice to look for him, thinking he might have come in while I was talking with the “girls” and didn’t see him. I looked in the cars where he sometimes likes to get in……no Chevy anywhere. Bedtime came and I put both windows up enough to hear a little “meow” if he came home and wanted in the garage. (I shut the door at night to keep skunks, possums and raccoons from going in.)

Rocky was sympathetic because he knows how much the cats mean to me……he is fond of them and was worried too. We both tossed and turned all night, looking out windows for our lost boy.

This morning I got up quickly, thinking he would surely be on the deck asleep in a padded swing we have. But no. I went to the garage to feed the girls and let them out…….and coming through the door……what should appear to my wandering eyes? There sat Chevy on the padded shelf Rocky fixed for them to look out the window. I was speechless!! Why the little rat didn’t let me know he was there when I was yelling all over the yard, and even went in where he was, twice…….aarrrggggghhhhh!!!!

I could have jerked him up and spanked him but you know I didn’t. I picked him up and petted and hugged him real good and told him not to do that again. Rocky and Becky were greatly relieved….two reasons. They like Chevy and they didn’t want to watch me stew and fret another day. When I’m cranked up about my kitties they usually give me a wide berth. I can’t be happy until I know they are home and safe.

OK……change gears.

So today we went for Rocky’s chemo and to our surprise, Dr. Morgan is giving Rocky a rest from the chemo to let his body relax from so many side effects. They did the lab work, checked it over good and told us to come back December 26th, which we will do. I’m hoping he can enjoy Christmas without any hindrances from his treatments. That’s going to be great.

We encountered a cold rain on the way home and this evening is very chilly, raw, wet and dreary outside. We’re thankful it isn’t snowing or icing but I know it will be a bad night for animals outside…..which by the way, I’d better close and go feed Napoleon his last bread before flying up to roost in our big oak. In case you're wondering......Chevy is in for the night........

Until tomorrow,
Essentially Esther

Friday, December 15, 2006


“It’s a beautiful day in the Ozarks.” These were the opening words of May Kennedy McCord that I’ve quoted several times before. Back in the important communications of radio she came on every week-day morning and greeted us with her classic remark. She was listened to all over the Ozarks as she told her “old time” stories about events such as making molasses, picking blackberries etc; She held us for the 15 minutes or so with her soothing tone and interesting subjects. Her “sign off” was always the same as well…… “I’ll be back tomorrow if the Lord’s willin’ and the creeks don’t rise.”

As a person born and living in Nebraska the first 13 years of my life, the ways of the native Ozarks folks amazed me. We lived in a backwoods area with no electricity or any of the minimal comforts we left in Nebraska. My mom and dad loved it and “took” to the neighbors who came to call.

In those days it was extremely primitive but gloriously beautiful and unspoiled. I remember the winding roads, tree-lined with wooden or stone fences. The people were poor as “church mice” as mama used to say…..but they had a freedom and pride of the wealthy. It was a good lesson to me, that wealth is not what’s in your pocket…….it’s what is in your heart.

May Kennedy McCord was loved because she talked of the beauty and simple life in the Ozarks. I came to love and respect it and at times when something comes out of my mouth as a “native” I realize just how much I have become “them.” My brother-in-law, Richard, was “taken back” when in a phone conversation recently I told him I was about ready to “take supper up.” He repeated what I just said with a question mark…….and then I said…….”to serve”… We had a good laugh! Illinois is a far cry from the Ozarks.

In high school I stayed overnight with a girl friend occasionally and one evening her mother asked me to go to the cave and get some potatoes for her. My friend’s father went along and I began picking up the worst ones……..her dad said……. “Don’t get those, Esther, get the best ones.” I told him at home we always ate the ones that were going to spoil, first. I then got a lesson in life I’ve never forgotten…… He said, “but if you always eat the worst first, you always have the worst….if you always eat the BEST you always have the best.”

On the surface it sounds backwards to the way I was taught but in reality it’s a great way to look at Life. Mom always quoted a poem at home that qualified what Mr. Meade was saying. “Life is a mirror for king or peasant, It shows all we are and do, So give to life the best that you have, And the best will come back to you.”

I have had many mentors in my life for which I am very grateful. People who took time to give me their best………I thank you all.

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


There is an old saying, “If you don’t believe in miracles, you will never receive one.” Let me just say, “I believe!!” I have dispelled all doubt over the years because God has shown me at different times that He is in control and well able to provide what we need……if asking for basic needs and believing…..by faith.

Today in the midst of Christmas preparations we received our miracle. As the ones of you know, who follow our journey with cancer, the news hasn’t been good as of late. After hitting a wonderful low of 6.6 in the initial stages of chemo, we were very concerned and perplexed as to why it began going up. It went to 12, then 24, then 44 and hit 66.…..last time the CEA was taken we were informed it had gone to 84.

Today Rocky went to his primary doctor here in our town and received some very good news. The lab work a week ago came out with flying colors. He had been in conference with Dr. Morgan who is overseeing the chemotherapy and was told Rocky’s CEA was 8.6.…….as you can quickly tell, that is a major turn-a-round. Dr. Lewandowski was also extremely happy about Rocky’s participation in the Powerllifting Meet in Nashville and was amazed at his strength, given his age and knowing the fight he’s had with cancer since February.

Rocky is a constant inspiration to his doctors and medical staff. They know the rigors of chemo and the medications he’s had to undergo for many months. Out of so many who can’t fight, are just too fragile or don’t care anymore, the doctors are encouraged to see someone like Rocky stand up and give cancer a bad time. We know eventually it will take him but it won’t be without a horrific battle.

Rocky asked Dr. Lewandowski about the shakiness in his left arm and leg. Dr. Lewandowski said, “With as much chemo as you’ve taken and all the medication, I’m amazed anything is working……you should be dead.”

There have been times I’ve been very concerned. I’d be lying if I denied it. But when I’m at the lowest point, there is a little voice in my head that keeps saying, “God is alive and still in the miracle business. It’s going to be alright.” I believe that little voice and I’m not going to suppose “who” the voice is coming from…..I just believe it. Period.

Don’t ever give up! Don’t ever quit! Amazing things happen one inch from the goal line………….

Until tomorrow,
Essentially Esther

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


At our house, it begins with the cards. Cards, stamps, address labels. Snapshots are nice (from the past year) or you can send e-cards if you prefer….or both, which “I” prefer. There are some very pretty ones either on Hallmark or American Greetings….both on line. I am loving many of the e-mails now being sent with nice stationery and music……very pleasant listening.

It is a labor of love to put a personal note in the cards and addressing the envelopes. In the age-old tradition I have sent and written for a lot of years…….now I am bothered with osteoporosis in my right hand and anything I do for any length of time becomes painful. Just like old people, though, I find when I’m knitting, crocheting or eating……my hand never hurts. Old age makes pain very selective.

Wrapping. Assuming the shopping is done…..even if sent by internet shopping there is always local things to wrap. Friends, neighbors and close-to-home relatives. OK, wrapping paper, bags, tissue, gift tags, Scotch tape, pen……I think will do it. I’m a pro at my age. I don’t need someone’s finger on the knot while I tie a bow.

Now I have mentioned before that I come from a long line of “gift wrap savers”….unless you are under 2 years of age, you must take the paper off carefully so as not to wrinkle it or tear ugly places where the tape has been. Tissue is a plus. Save that……and bows? Of course!! I have bags full. The saved paper and bags are used first……when they are gone, we start with the new. A little “tie-on” is nice if you have them……I like to use up old decorations on the gift for a little interest. OK………that’s done.

I’m betting the house has already been decorated inside and out……if not…..get busy. Time is flying. Be creative……you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Run out in the yard and pick up a few pine cones…..toss them in a crystal bowl and throw a silk poinsettia on top with a bow. I find the simple things are best…..a touch here and there…….presto! Done!!

Early baking was done but now it is time to make ALL the candy, cookies and yummies that have been proven over the years. Unfortunately, everyone I know or am related to is calorie counting….not eating sugar, fat, or other lists according to their ailments or newly acquired preferences. I don’t care. I will eat anything with a fat or sugar calorie so I stir and mix and bake until the day arrives.

Now wasn’t that easy? I’ve always heard any job is a piece of cake IF you have the right tools. I’ve given you a few personal insights to my tool-box and hope it was helpful….if not….turn on Martha Stewart for Pete’s sake………….

Laugh a little…it‘s better than medicine,
Essentially Esther

Monday, December 11, 2006


The Spirit of Christmas is alive and well. Every so often, someone does something out of the ordinary that unties the strings of your heart and the sun shines in. It can be in June or December, but it is best known as the true Spirit of Christmas.

Yesterday Becky and I went out to the Antique Barn to take several boxes of Christmas things to put in our booths and showcase. After we finished we ambled along the isles looking at things and bought a few items. At one of the booths there was a nice selection of night lights that took my eye. To get my attention, just put cat or angel things into view and I’m there.

I had a couple of cute angels in my hand and a wooden cat with a bird house on his tail and a bird on top of his head. They were adorable. Then I spied this night light with a very fancy cat as the cover. She was white with roses painted on her and gold accents on the face. The price was $15.50 and I thought about it for a minute…..after all it is Christmas and I should be buying gifts….not things for myself. However, another look at the kitty and I had to have her.

Juggling my other items with one arm/hand I moved to unplug the kitty. The whole display shifted and I knocked the light under my kitty to the floor…..of course it shattered the moment of contact. My heart sank lower than the floor. Becky and I have had booths there since 1998 and we have both worked part-time there. We both knew at once I would have to pay for the broken light.

The owner’s son came around the corner to see what happened and there I stood…guilty as sin. He picked up the pieces and showed me where there were more night lights in boxes……I hadn’t seen them. Instead I had tried to take the one on the display…….wrong thing to do. Troy immediately felt bad for me…..he knew I would pay for it but now I knew I couldn’t have the one I wanted. I put it back and went to the register to pay for my two angels and my wooden kitty.

His father asked what happened and we told him…..they both felt terrible for me but none of us had a choice about the outcome. The broken light must be paid for. I’ll admit, I had a lump in my throat and the joy I’d felt earlier fled down through my feet…..I was pretty “down” when I left the store. All afternoon I relived the incident, scolding myself each time. I was lower than a snake. I busied myself the rest of the day and tried to forget the whole affair.

Becky came down later in the afternoon and we visited a little……when she left for home I walked into the room I had wanted to put the night light in. I had things on my mind and didn’t see at first but eventually my eyes wandered to something laying on a table…….my old night light. I instinctively looked where it should have been and there in the plug-in was the kitty I wanted. In an instant I knew what happened. Becky went back to the store after we came home and bought the little kitty. She worked the switch-and-change when I was in the other room.

I didn’t feel such joy because I “got what I wanted” but I did feel immeasurable gratitude for Becky’s kindness. When anyone goes out of their way to try and take away a bad situation for me, I call it noble.

I’m sure she had fun wondering what my reaction would be when I saw it…..but she didn’t have that pleasure. When her phone rang I couldn’t see the smile on her face when I thanked her……but somewhere in between both moments…..the miracle of true gift-giving took place.

My heart, like the Grinch’s, just grew and grew with gratitude. Thanks Becky for being such a good kid………….

Until tomorrow,
Essentially Esther

Friday, December 08, 2006


It is time for the traditional Christmas card season. I grew up in a family where cards were very important. When I was a little girl I remember the long lists of family and friends and it was an exciting time. It was still in the days when each one had a personal, handwritten note telling of the recent news around the family. No matter what else was on the calendar, Christmas cards were selected with great care and time was made to send each loved one good wishes for a Merry Christmas.

In those days women washed with Maytag wringer washers, the laundry was hung on clotheslines and almost everything that was worn had to be ironed, including most of the linens. Dishes were washed and dried by hand, food had to be cooked each meal (no microwaves or instant foods) and women sewed most of the clothing for the family. Housecleaning was much more difficult without all the modern conveniences.

How did they manage to write in all those cards? Today we have every modern convenience imaginable…..all guaranteed to give us more time. Yet it seems we have less time than those good old days when life seemed a lot slower and more peaceful.

Every year my grandmother made flannel pajamas for all the grandchildren and great grandchildren. My three always knew what to expect from grandma. She made their first kimono’s when she found out another baby was on the way. The care she took sewing bias tape on the edges turned out a flawless piece each time. I could never sew bias tape on anything with the ease and accuracy grandma did.

Most other gifts were handmade as well. Aprons, hot pads, place mats, tea towels and such were prized by the family. I can still hear that old treadle machine of grandma’s busily humming along as she sewed. I liked to sit at the dining room table as she laid patterns out and cut, notched and marked for sewing. She was always careful how she put the patterns on the cloth so as to save all of the material she could. Grandma wasn’t one to be wasteful.

Grandmothers of today have been freed from the household chores and are more apt to be found at “Red Hat” meetings, volunteering at local hospitals, taking yoga classes, following their careers in the business world, getting their hair and nails done or heading for a cruise liner.

The living is faster, the cards hold a universal printed page of the year in review, the holiday fare is picked up at the local deli and gifts are ordered and sent on line to the family……who, of course, lives half-way across the country now. I guess the modern lifestyle is alright for most and I take advantage of some of it myself. Still, at this time of year, my heart goes soaring backwards to the days when we had so much less but had a lot more time to enjoy the season.

The best Christmas is not one where we “get” the most but one where we partake of the richness of it all. When the star over the stable seems to shine overhead and when we stop to listen….the angels sing. The best Christmas is friendship, family and faith…….and the best gift is being able to keep it in our hearts all year long.

As I write my cards this year a prayer goes along with each……that peace and love and health prevail…..and all will touch beyond my reach………

Until next time,
Essentially Esther

Thursday, December 07, 2006


It is very frosty and cold here this morning. There is a sharp wind and it stings your face the minute you step outside. Winter is so nice to look at from inside but I no longer care to rush out to be in it. I remember the days when it seemed all I got done was put snowsuits on, overshoes, mittens scarves and earmuffs so the children could go out to play. When their dad came home from delivering mail (on foot in those days) if he complained about the cold, they couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t want to go out and play in it.

Some days before lunch, we had three or four changes with all three of them, drying the snow off in-between playtimes. They were filled with hot chocolate and cookies while they warmed up and their wraps dried out. It’s been a long time ago now and I would imagine none of them like cold weather as they used to. When I was much younger and the children were very small, I would go out with them to pull sleds up the hill or show them how to make a snowman. As they grew older, snow forts and snowball fights took the place of those.

The holidays were filled with wild anticipation. When they were little, they didn’t get gifts much through the year as children do now. Birthday time and Christmas were giants to look forward to…..it was certain to bring at least one thing they dreamed of owning. However simple, back then, it was still hard to get everything done because so much of the decorating or gift giving was made.

I’m sure the three of them remember the year we had the paint set and made a mountain of placemats and decorations with the embroidery pens. I found those things tucked away after mom died…….she saved them all those years. It was always fun for me when baking day came and they rolled out sugar cookies, cut out and frosted them. They each had their own plate and were very proud of their accomplishment. Sometimes you had to imagine the original shape the cookie was supposed to be but they were enjoyed, none the less.

Christmastime with children is not meant to be perfect. Cookies were odd shaped, the drawing on their placemats was very crooked, their paper rings were pasted and lopsided, and their tree decorating lacked quite a bit but Christmas happened at our house and they were allowed to be part of it. When the curiosity of their gifts couldn’t be contained any longer, I let them open one gift each day the last few days before Christmas.

Unlike Scooge, I don’t have to have a bad dream to enjoy Christmas. It is a wonderful time to make memories no matter the size of your purse strings. Bad times come for everyone but Christmas brought a gift of life to the world and made it possible for all of us to have hope, charity and eternity. I hope you have memories that bring pleasure at this time of year……..

Until tomorrow,
Essentially Esther

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


A man who has the will, the dream, the determination….can lick any obstacle that would keep him from attaining his goal. Athletes come in different sizes, colors and backgrounds but the ones who win are the ones who think they can. Someone in the sports world said, “Show me someone who doesn’t mind losing, and I’ll show you a loser.” Attitude overcomes what training and body alone cannot.

I’d like to share an email Coach Rodney sent last night.

Hello Esther,

Rocky set State, World and American Records this last weekend. I am also getting ready to write up Rocky’s story and submit it to Powerlifting USA…..his story and courage need to be told. He is an inspiration to me and my entire training group, he is family. I will do anything I can to help him achieve his goals and dreams in the twilight of his life. I want him to have a reason to keep fighting and many times that is the secret for those in Rocky’s situation. My wife has a grandmother in the same situation and she has out lived everyone’s expectations.

Also once everyone in Nashville found out he was there competing and fighting cancer they went out of their way to treat him like the star lifter of the entire meet, they made me proud.

God Bless you all.

Winning is never winning until you are in command of your own fears, weakness, adversity and destiny. The greatest battle is that and quieting the crowd of disbelievers…..when you have achieved that, you are a winner…….

Until the next time,
Essentially Esther

Monday, December 04, 2006


There really isn’t anything to write about Rocky’s titles yet. Coach is a busy man and he’ll get to it in a few days. He works hard for the Missouri APA, has an administrative job over a school or two, a wife and two little boys. I have emailed him for information as to all that so when I hear something I’ll get on the site and let you know.

We’ve been at the Oncology Clinic all day and we’re both beat. Nothing new there to report…..everything seems pretty stable so far and he’s getting the same treatment as before with a couple of “add-ons” as per nausea etc; It’s a never ending battle…..but Rocky looks good and feels pretty decent…..that’s always a plus. Unlike poor Ellen who has vomited most of her food up for months on end, he is blessed with just an “icky” feeling as he calls it.

We ran into the lady again I knew from one of the Courthouses where our crew gave Driver’s Tests……..her son is looking very bad….he is in his late 40’s, an engineer by trade, unmarried and came home to his mother when they lost his dad three weeks before he found he, himself, had cancer. It started in his colon, went to the liver and is in the hip joint. I feel very sorry for the two of them and if you have extra prayers sometime, his name is Rick…..that will be enough for God to know who you are praying for.

Thank you for the prayers, the congratulations for Rocky’s Powerlifting Meet and the love and concern you always send our way. You are the best!!

I’ll be back tomorrow with more time to put some words on paper. And so with that, I say good night and God bless!!

Essentially Esther

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Just had a call from Rocky. He did a 170 lb lift on his bench press. The coach didn’t want him to compete in the dead-lift because he was concerned about the stress on the cancerous liver.

Rocky said he received a large eagle trophy for being the oldest participant and a man who had lifted over 700 lbs at one of the Power Meets came up to him and shook his hand…..said he was a real inspiration to all the men younger than him. The closest age to Rocky was 46.…..so he was quite an oddity. The coach and guys from the gym are very supportive of Rocky and “took care” of him the whole time. They have always said they hope they can do what Rocky does when they’re his age. For most of them it will be a while….they’re all a lot younger. (I realize I’m bragging here…..can’t help it….I’m very proud of Rocky.)

We don’t know about records yet. The coach will do some checking and I’ll have to let you know later. The big news is he’s on his way home and I can’t wait for him to walk through the door. I’m watching the Nebraska/Oklahoma game…..Rocky thinks they should be home by 1:00 in the morning. I’m going to sit up until he gets here.

John did well on his marathon today so I guess the men in the family are stepping up to be counted. That’s two marathon’s for John in a week’s time. Great going, John. That’s it for now…….I’ll fill you in more when I have a chance to get the “rest of the story” as Paul Harvey says.

Goodnight from,
Essentially Esther

Friday, December 01, 2006


I’m happy to report that the worst of the storm passed us by. We had heavy rain, sleet and freezing rain all of Wednesday night, Thursday and Thursday night. The power went off sometime after we went to bed….I woke around 2:00 in the morning and realized the house was dark, quiet and cold. No matter, our flannel sheets and home made quilt kept us nice and warm until the power came on again around 5:00. It was naturally a big relief to hear the furnace kick in and begin heating our little home.

We woke to snow in the daylight but just enough to cover the ground good. We missed the wind they predicted…..up to 30 mph which would have destroyed our pines. Becky’s took a big hit as hers were taller than ours and the weight of the ice broke them down around her yard. A couple of large birch branches were also on the ground. We’ll be able to haul them over to George’s lot between us and have a big bond-fire one of these days when it’s safe to burn. Most will survive.

Rocky left on schedule for the Powerlifting Meet in Nashville. He was riding with the coach and a couple of other guys……several carloads were following along and all will stay near the gym where the Meet will be. Rocky was feeling pretty good physically so I’m hoping he can do the lifts with full strength. This time he will be in a different weight and age category because he just had a birthday in November and he has lost some weight since he’s been taking chemo.

He has been looking forward to this and working-out in spite of feeling tired and sick at times……I think he should be rewarded with good “lifts” tomorrow. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

No sign of Napoleon all day. I’ve roamed our three yards looking for him but no sign. I’m concerned but I’m betting his natural instincts will direct him to the right shelter. I’ll let you know when he returns. Becky is concerned over her little Chucky also……haven’t seen him for a couple of days. We’re always on critter alert when one is missing.

I hope all your critters are in and safe. As cold and troublesome as bad weather is, it sure makes a beautiful landscape. The ice on the trees shown in rainbow colors and flashed like diamonds today…….I thought about taking some pictures and decided it would never be as beautiful as the real thing. The sun going down as I write is a rosy orange and the last rays are dancing off the ice……how I wish I could keep the scene but nature is constantly changing.

I made Christmas Fruit Cakes today for the holidays. It is a wonderful recipe that Barbara’s mother gave me after I tasted hers in their home one time. I always thought I didn’t like Fruit Cake but I found what I didn’t like was the citrine in so many bakery cakes. Mary only used candied cherries, candied pineapple, 2 quarts of pecans, and white raisins, basically…….mighty fine eating.

Once they are baked and ready they are carefully wrapped and stored in the refrigerator, then brushed with melted current jelly before serving on the cake plate. It is delectable. I make it in memory of Mary who died far too early in life of lung cancer. She was a lovely Southern lady.

Well what to my wondering eyes should appear…..but Napoleon!! He walked past the window where I am writing and went to the front door…….I hurried to get him some home-made bread and I threw in a chocolate chip cookie for good measure. He loved the cookie but it was the last one so he’ll have to wait for more of those. Every crumb was eaten with great relish. He likes to have me talk to him while he eats, then he goes to the bird bath for water, comes back to polish off the bread and will fly up in our oak tree very soon as the sun has dropped over the western sky now. I can rest easy tonight…my boy is home. Napoleon is worthy of any effort we make to care for him…..he is really special.

He just flew up…….. so night falls gently on us here.

I’ll post Rocky’s results as I get them tomorrow.

Until then,
Essentially Esther