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Thursday, January 31, 2008


It began snowing at 8:45 this morning. In an hour we had a white world. The kitties sat at the window watching the snow float down with obvious interest. When we had the 45-mile-an-hour winds on Tuesday they watched the leaves twirl and whirl past their vantage point. When blowing straight into the window where they sat they did a lot of head bobbing. Actually, it made them a little too excitable. I wonder if they make tranquillizers for kitties?

The snow stopped for the most part and the world is clean and beautiful to the eye. I haven’t seen Napoleon at all today and I’m sure he has holed up in some of his safety places to protect himself. He will be around for a good supper tonight because I know he can’t forage as usual. Yesterday I tried him on Pecan Sandies I brought home from the store…..he loves them. If I break up any thing sweet he will eat it. I’ve often wondered if peacocks have a taste ability because he definitely has a flare for sugar.

I’m counting the days to the Super-Bowl. With all the hoopla from the media I’m getting my post-game jitters. You see, I am in every play, pushing, tackling, throwing those passes….catching passes…….WOW!! I don’t just sit there like a bump on a log……I’m “into” it from announcing to the last play.

Who do I pick? I like Brady but I always go with the underdog…..in this case my heart picks Eli. I would love to see Eli win because he’s such a likeable kid. I’m sure (in the past) he has been playing with a lot of scrutiny, being compared to big brother, Peyton. Eli has a calm and polite manner uncommon in most athletes. He is confident without being obnoxious or thumping his chest when someone catches his pass.

I’ve often wondered at the silliness some of the players expose after a good play. Pardon me, but isn’t that why they get the big bucks? They are doing what they are paid to do and therefore it’s irritating to me when they prance around showing their biceps and attempting to steal the glory. I’ve watched enough football to know one defender does NOT make the play himself. Those other guys on the field sacrifice themselves for yardage by tackling, protecting the quarterback etc; No one should assume he did anything without help.

So guys, get the job done. Don’t be a hot-dog or act UNproffesional. If the Patriots win it will be a very historical moment in the sport called football. But Brady has already been there and cashed in…..time to let another deserving guy have the same pleasure.

OK, Eli……this is your moment!! I’ll be front and center and making my plays. You take care of business and I’ll do my part. You look like a winner to me!!!

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Good morning from the Ozarks…..luckily we are still here although I had my doubts for awhile yesterday. I woke to the most beautiful sunrise……the whole Eastern sky was aflame which transferred to the light cloud cover and made the world look beautiful. If that’s what they mean by “rose colored glasses” count me in. Nature outdoes anything man can come up with.

If my mother or grandmother were alive they would make the proclamation “Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning” or change sailors to shepherds and it’s the same. How many of you grew up with a “weather profit” and a “saying” for anything that happened. Some day I think I will make a list of them all and leave the end open so I can add more as the memory recalls them.

Getting back to the wind yesterday poor Napoleon had a hard time staying on the ground. His tail has grown long again and if he doesn’t face the wind he is almost airborne. He stayed in the leeward side of the house and burrowed into the soft dirt and leaves. He’s no dummy. I have to give him credit….he has managed almost 3-years without any company of his kind, food of his kind or anything of his kind. Our three outside cats are his constant companions, and of course, me.

I had the bird feeders full before the winds came and the cardinals were having the same problem as Napoleon. The little feathers on top of their head were blowing in all directions. I can always tell when a weather change is coming because the birds flock in to fill-up before the weather goes bad. In the empty house next door the wind drove the leaves to the corner where our fences meet and with 45-mile an hour winds, the excesses found their way over the fence and now I am the recipient. After paying $180 to have my leaves disposed of in November that doesn’t make me too happy. I guess I’ll take Rocky’s attitude about it. He always jokingly said, “God put them there and God will take them away.” I’m going to see how that works.

I have errands to run today and since Becky is with the crew where I am going I will join them for lunch. In the 11-years I’ve been retired I haven’t done that much but today it’s a plan. Time for me to leave so I’d better make tracks. Here’s hoping you have a really nice day……

Essentially Esther

Monday, January 28, 2008


This has been the most curious election year for me. I’ve listened to the candidates tear each other down, argue over qualifications for the office of President and do silly things. In this day and age why do they still reach for a child and want to kiss it? I would think that should have been laid to rest long ago. Still, while talking change, change, change they keep doing the same silly things.

“Change” means to me that it is no longer practiced, that you are going in another direction….a better direction, that will benefit “whatever“. As I watch them being introduced they are all smiles, confident and self-assuming. Then they begin raking through the rest of the “field” with cutting remarks and mean spiritedness. I am ashamed “of” them and ashamed “for them” since they aren’t ashamed of themselves.

For me, I’m hard-put to support any of the candidates. Most of the field is “old politics”…….saying the same things in every State with the same stale rhetoric. I am of the generation where most of the stumping was done in small towns, city parks and on the 4th of July. Folks back then even thought that was too much time to have to listen to candidates….how would they like it now? If they are the least bit serious about “for the people and of the people” they would quit running all over the country and use that money to help the folks they keep talking about.

As I look at the runners, they are not poor, never been poor and don’t understand poor folks. How can people with so much power and money of their own justify the travel expenses they rake in from “donors” who incidentally are also wealthy? If anyone really cares about something they aren’t running around trying to get someone else to do it…….they roll their sleeves up and get busy.

It comes down to who loves poor people the most! Yah, right! That gets them elected every year but when those “poor” folks stand at the steps of the White House and say, “Hey, how about me!” they are ignored and shoved off the steps. Once the new electorate body takes office there is a sign in the window……”Business As Usual.”

For those of us who are older and remember the old movie, “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” …….it is the loss of innocence for the ones who want to make change and find they cannot.. The powers-that-be sharpen their claws on all that innocence, gag and blindfold them…..then toss them in a back room until they get the picture.

No, I’m not an angry old woman but I am a realist. It isn’t the political arena that makes the country great….and it isn’t the rich, because they are busy indulging their rich appetites. It is the blue-collar guy, the housewife who makes the money stretch and children who grow up in a family and are taught the values of Freedom. It’s also those kids who grow up and go to war when the politicians decide they must. Thank God for common people. They are the heart of our country and I love the good in them.

Show me a battle, someone who adopts a dog or cat because it’s home has been blown apart, someone who cries over a child killed on the street….someone who is there to give medical help when there is no other and I will show you a United States Service man or woman. These kids give all, have days without sleep, carry heavy loads and die because they want to keep us free. Many come home in a flag-draped casket. The best of our Nation die for us.

I ask you, how can a politician ever….EVER….equal what these young people give for our Freedom? May God welcome each one home who has died for our Freedom……and keep the others safe as they carry on.

Essentially Esther

Saturday, January 26, 2008


I was surprised by a visitor this past week ……and it was a pleasant surprise. Rocky’s grandson, Zach, who is stationed near Little Rock drove up to spend a few days off with me. Now some of you will hear what I’m saying….when I say nothing perks a granny up more than a visit from one of the grandchildren. This was especially nice as Zach and his parents live in Southern California and we don’t see each other often.

Well, we never know what the Air Force or other Services will do but after being in Germany (I believe) around 2 years….then somewhere at a Base near the Persian Gulf, he ended up in Arizona. For some reason he was sent to Little Rock, AR for around 3 months which is only a 4-hour drive from here. He will be there until March, then return to AZ where he will complete his Tour of Duty soon after.

Zach loves pizza so we had pizza almost around the clock. Becky is close behind with her capacity for pizza……so guess what the menu was for the time he was here? If you say anything other than pizza you would be wrong. Just like Rocky, he likes it plain….cheese, meat and crust….and often. Easy to please. In fact, his eating choices were like Rocky every time. It was amazing to see the strong genetic map in Zach that comes from his grampa.

It was my desire to show Zach where the Rockenbach farm is, the school we both attended and where grampa worked, to give him some idea of his roots. Zach took a lot of pictures of each place and will have a visual reminder of all he saw. We went to the gym where Rocky did his weightlifting and Zach took pictures of the Memory Wall where Rocky’s picture and some of his achievements hang. Like Rocky, Zach loved the sport of wrestling and felt at home in the gym atmosphere. I got a picture of Craig (the owner) and Zach in front of the Memory Wall and Zach took some close-ups of the Wall.

It’s sad that Zach wasn’t around Rocky much growing up…..I told him a lot of “grampa stories” to give him an idea of the man grampa was. But Rocky had the pleasure of being in Zach’s life a little after he joined the Air Force and did his training at Fort Leonard Wood which is only an hour and a half away from us. Rocky and I were the only family who could go to see Zach graduate and Rocky was very proud to be the one to “pin” Zach at the end of the ceremony.

Zach pretty much left the US a boy but came home a man. Four years pretty well put the finishing touches on him in the Service which gave him a lot of confidence. Soon he will stand at the crossroads where he will go to college or to whatever opportunities await him. One thing I know, he will make good choices and he will give them his best effort. The world is at your feet, Zach! God speed.

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Well, I’m recovering from the Packers loss on Sunday night. Watching them made me turn the furnace up…..people have to be crazy to be out in weather like that. I felt the game was very fair and that the Giants deserved the win. The Packers didn’t seem to ever get it going. Maybe next year……..meanwhile I’m rooting for Eli to win. He’s a good kid and been up against a lot of adversity.

We are having very cold weather for our area. Compared to the north and east of us we‘re having a heat wave but it‘s in the single digits and I say it‘s cold. During the night a thin covering of ice accumulated and I made it to the garage to feed the kitties but on the way back, I hit the ground before I knew what happened. I fell into the berm which is nice and soft…..so I didn’t hurt anything. I take my Fosamax pill on Tuesday so it must have worked pretty good. Ha!

I’ve had to live a long time to understand the teaching of Christ, that it is more blessed to give than to receive. In my young life I could never believe it….I loved getting gifts. When you’re young it’s all about “me, me, me.” After the children came along I began to see the reasoning. It takes so little to make children happy. I was able to be home while the children were growing up. Not that we had the money to do it but because we both felt they were our priority.

Over the years we made “things” out of paper plates, Styrofoam, drums out of oatmeal boxes, piggy banks out of dish soap containers……made hearts glued to tongue depressors and stuck them in cup cakes…..I could go on all day with the simple things that made us happy but most of all the happiness came from doing things together. The winter nights I read to the family out of wonderful children’s books are among my favorite memories.

It’s funny but when you’re little you think about all the things you “don’t” have but when you grow into maturity and now, for me, old age……I remember the things we “had” more. The priceless thing you can give your children is two parents, make a lot of time for them and to possess good reasoning ability.

Now as my journey has carried me this far I am very happy for the time spent with my children. They have grown into caring and responsible people…..being accountable and likeable. They are rich in the right things and their father and I are very proud of them.

Parenting is pretty much a gamble. Some folks do the right stuff but don’t show their kids a lot of love. Others don’t do anything “right” but love their kids beyond what they lack. Kids are pretty much like a piggy bank. Most of the time you get as much out of it as you put into it….the best thing about parenting to me is to see them make the right choices and I am thankful they love me and make me part of their life.

As I come to my declining years I know they have an understanding of the life changes I face from here on…..and to appreciate the good years we’ve had together. I would not have changed a thing because there has been a lesson in it all.

God is ever gently and faithfully carrying us on to the end of our journey and the fact we are still here is because He still has things for us to do. I want to hear as He speaks and I want to “do” as He gives me understanding. And, as Pat Boone said, “Bloom where I’m planted.”

Stay warm and from the heart of the Ozarks …..have a great day out there!

Essentially Esther

Sunday, January 20, 2008


I am a dedicated football fan in my secular life. Over the years I have watched “kids” from the college level graduate and join the ranks of professional football. Some like college football and some only like the pro games but I’ve learned a lot by watching both. For spirit you can’t beat the college games. Playing for the honor of their school brings out more dedication (it seems to me) than many of the pro games. Also, when the draft picks up the college players you already know them as they integrate into pro ball.

The alumni are in the stands with college days and playing days over. It is a precious few that can earn a living within the community of football.

You know what makes me smile every time? Seeing senior citizens at ANY game, be it football, baseball or all the rest……little old ladies or portly men, chanting, screaming, yelling and all manner of participation for their team. When anyone that age can give so much enthusiasm for their sport, I say, “Good for YOU!”

My favorite way of watching a game is in my living room with the comforts our home provides and kibitzing with another serious fan. Rocky and I were good armchair players and we usually rooted for the same team….if we didn’t care for either team on a given Sunday we supported the underdog.

OK….so here is the part that makes Becky crazy. Once I hone in on the subject of football the conversation goes straight to Brett Farve. He has been the player I most like to watch. Win, lose or draw, he is Mr. Football for me. No player has ever earned my respect like Number Four!

This is where I drop my secular self and go to my spiritual self. I will be praying for another outstanding game for Brett because of his humility, ability and the joy it is to watch him. A gracious winner, manly in loosing but always a guy who just loves the game.

I’ll always be front and center whenever Brett takes the field…….

Essentially Esther

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Sally and her readers (friends) acknowledged along with me that time is fleeting for all of us. The older we grow the faster it goes. Perhaps because so many puzzles or questions are answered……the trials of life are laid to rest and we have mellowed. Expectations are now realistic and we have the good sense to look around and appreciate the good that God meant for us.

In November 1978 I wrote a poem that attempted to define how I felt at the time. I was never happy with it because I enjoy good poetry and this is far from being good. However, the thought pattern is good, so if you can get the heart of what I’m trying to say…..it will give a second verse to yesterday’s blog.


Each man must give an account of his time
From his first breath to his last.
A life isn’t measured by silver or gold
Of travels, possessions or gain…
Our Master has a far different plan
To gauge the value of man.

Oh how we struggle and spend precious time
To collect, possess and achieve.
Just one more trophy, another new goal
And one more day grows into a week….
The price is too high to consider the cost
It isn’t the money but the years being lost.

How freely we spend it and dip in for more
No thought that it’s soon running out.
The minutes are flowing and carry us on
To some distant, vague, lure of tomorrow…
The fires of sacrifice now lit for today
Leave a charred reminder where dead dreams lay.

And so it goes till the Death Angel comes
And we’re surprised to see Him so soon.
My gold for a day…an hour…one moment
How precious I see was my time…
Oh to say all the words I wish I had said
Oh to live the life that I should have led.

Our gold won’t buy one second more
When the Master sees our sand has run out.
To each was given a measure to use
Whether wisely or foolishly the same…
And only one question will be asked sublime -
“What did you do with your portion of time?”

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


January 16, 2008.……..whoaaa! Am I the only one who recognizes time going by too fast? How did it get to be mid-January 2008? Over the years I’ve tried to do too many things “once a day.” Multi-taskers may be a new buzz-word but ask your mother or grandmother how many things they got around to…..every day. Without modern conveniences they raised large families, took a backseat to the man of the house and kept a clean home. They worked from first light of day into the night. I don’t remember ever seeing them take pain pills or depression medication.

The time we spend is kind of like money. When I was young I thought a dollar here and a dollar there was of no consequence. Oh, but I was wrong. At the end of the month those tiny expenditures netted quite a bit. I can see now how important it is to live within a budget and to use control over finances. Time has taught me to use money well.

To skip to the point…..if it is important to watch our spending habits it is also true of time. I am more aware now than when I was younger because young people think they have all the time in the world. Truth is……we didn’t and we don’t. Time is important. It should never be wasted or boring, counted on or borrowed. Life doesn’t work that way.

The years I spent as a Driver Examiner proved to me that we don’t get the same amount of time. Over the years some of the teen-agers who took their driving test with me in flying colors were in a fatal accident before the next week. Mistakes kill. Speed, cell-phones, buddies, showing off, distractions or over-confidence are just some of the negatives that create the perfect opportunity for fatalities.

Time and money. The two hardest commodities to keep under control. I was reading an article in a newsletter from my bank and found a couple of interesting things. The article asks, “What Are Older People Good For”…..of course it grabbed my attention. The author is a Psychology and Gerontology Prof. At Missouri State University.

He calls us “seasoned” adults. How interesting! I think I like that. He says anyone who has lived past 70 years of age is a survivor. Nothing new here but he goes on to say, “Anyone who has lived past 70 years or more and can still smile and look forward to another day knows something I want to know. We can all benefit from our “seasoned” adults if we are willing to take time to listen. I have found it time well spent.”

Even at my age, I like being in the company of people older than me….I like to glean the wisdom and life experiences they have passed down. I also like to be around young people. They are the energy we once enjoyed and the window of the future. I enjoy being alone where my thoughts can take me as far as I want to go. The brain is a marvelous body-part and can soar as high as we can imagine.

Inspiration comes on gossamer wings to guide our opinions and attitudes to a safe place where the tongue cannot find them. That is the beauty of age…..delicate and often quiet we are half in the “now” world and half in the world to be.

Now is the time for us to spend all the love we have, to be true to ourselves and others……. and to prepare to meet our God face to face. In leaving, we have planted and watered the seed. The growth will continue after we are gone.

Essentially Esther

Monday, January 14, 2008


I fully intended writing today but I was surprised by Becky coming in for coffee and breakfast with me. She didn’t go to work so we declared the day as “girls day.” We put things back in place from our Christmas party yesterday and enjoyed a leisurely day.

We spent Saturday getting ready for our Rockenbach kids to come on Sunday. We celebrated little Quintin’s first birthday, late but still fun. We had our dinner together and then Grandma and aunt Becky gave Quintin his gifts which he seemed to enjoy. He is a little cutie.

We then exchanged our Christmas gifts with each other. When all was said and done Becky and I carried in boxes of white elephants and stacked them in the middle of the room. Each person was given an envelope with a number and then could select a box to open. Well, it was tons of fun…..I got rid of things I had been clearing out since we quit our booth at the Antique Barn along with personal things I thought they could use.

They were allowed to trade, barter…..whatever…and there was lots of teasing and laughter. I think we’ll do it again next year as it was enjoyed by all. At the end of the White Elephant drawing, they were allowed to open their envelopes which had a monetary gift from Santa Clause.

It’s fun to step out of the box ever so often and do something different. By the time three score and fifteen years have gone by it’s just fun to change things up…..I’m a traditionalist when it comes to the Spiritual significance of the season but I do like a change in the rest. I confess the fact that I like to surprise people by going against their expectations.

Rocky was very much in our midst as we remembered him and the love that he constantly bestowed on us all. This first year without his physical presence will soon go by but he will never leave our hearts or the good memories he left us with.

……..always in my mind is the day we will meet once again.

Essentially Esther

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Good morning from the Ozarks. This is going to be a very busy day so I’m going to write early to let family and friends know what’s going on here. After getting back from the trip Becky and I took over the week-end I came home determined to get at some organization and re-arranging. It is actually therapeutic (as Becky says) and I have boxes of things I’m going to wish on the Rockenbach kids when they come Sunday for our late Christmas gathering.

As you know if you’ve read my blog very long I am a dish fanatic. The years I’ve been in the Antique and Flea Market business, I have gathered many different patterns and colors. I have sets for two, three or four, up to a dozen. I am in the business of keeping the ones I really love and passing out the overflow to the family. The more I box up to give away the more stress leaves me. Maybe I’ll just eat on paper plates from now on…….Ha!! Yah, right!! An addict has to take one day at a time and while I’m in the mood I need to finish with that project today.

Tomorrow I go to visit my friend in the assisted living complex and Saturday I will prepare for the Rockenbach kids who will come on Sunday. It will be a lot of fun and I’m eager to see them all.

Each day I am getting more of my energy back. I can’t believe what a difference the medication for thyroid deficiency is making…..you don’t realize the loss until you start feeling better. I’ve been living in the gray area for far too long. Years ago, they sold Geritol (sp?) to lots of little old ladies to pep them up……does anyone of you remember the product? Probably some thyroid medicine would have done them more good.

This week has been windy but warm….I’ve been making a lot of trips to the garage to repack things there and get things more in order. It will take a while but when the weather is nice I like to work there. I know the weather will change rapidly if Curtis (Ellen’s husband) leaves his Winnipeg door open. He’s already sent several blasts from Canada…….I know it’s all your fault, Curtis. Ha!

Well, I’d better get up and get busy here. I have a big day planned while I have the desire to rid things……Janet, your day will come. Wish you were closer so I could pass on to you BUT I am putting things away for you. Do not despair….I have some very special things for you as well.

I am booked for Valentine’s day for a visit to the doctor who will remove my cataracts. They are to the place where I notice the deficiency and am anxious to have them out. I guess he’ll perform one of them on that day unless there are reasons I don’t know of. That’s a ways down the road so it’s on my back-burner.

Have a great day and remember to whistle while you work…..

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


I’m going to write a few lines to let you know we had a wonderful time with John, Barb and their friends, Brian and Faye. Becky drove in a rain all the way and it was pretty stressful at times but she ferried right along and we arrived safe. I drove coming back with dry roads and sunshine most of the way.

Needless to say it was a full day yesterday to unpack and take care of the critters after being gone a couple of days they were very glad to have us back. Now that Sassy has Punkin to keep her company she isn’t as “up tight” by the time we return. I often wonder what they think when we drag out our travel gear and they have no idea when or if we will ever return. It would be fun to know what they’re thinking….but maybe not ALL the time.

We had a tense night of tornado watches and several came down to do damage as it made it‘s way East where we live. Two people killed in separate storms and a lot of property damage for many. Becky sat up most of the night on watch and when the storms were close to us she came on the run to wake me. She knew I would sleep right through the sirens and was anxious to be ready if it touched down here.

Sure enough, I was sound asleep and never heard the 60-80 mile an hour winds, the heavy rain or thunder and lightening. Another storm was coming and I woke when I heard her softly calling my name……It was somewhere around 4:00am and we turned on the Storm Team we listen to when there is serious weather. We were on the weaker side of the storm, don’t know how the folks got along who were right in the path. The following waves of wind, hail, tornados and heavy rain kept coming. Finally, I decided to make some coffee….it was about 6:00am I suppose.

Before going to bed, I watched the LSU game and was thrilled they won the National Championship. I had faith in them…..they looked “all business” and once ahead, they never looked back. Considering the weak teams Ohio has played I felt pretty confident……their actions were more felt than “telt” as they say here. This will be the last year for LJ at LSU and I’m sure he enjoyed seeing the football team win the championship as a student. College kids don’t realize how they will miss the academic community once they graduate. It’s sad because the graduating class will never be together again in the same way.

Time for me to have lunch so I will just say how thankful I am to be out of the storm’s path. I’m thankful only two people were killed……the possibility for serious damage and loss of life was great. I am continually amazed at the fury of a tornado…..picking and choosing where it will come down and destroy everything in it’s path. One home they showed on the weather channel was flattened but a jar of salsa was sitting by itself in the middle of the chaos. The glass jar not broken and the label was still on it. Some times Mother Nature is hard to figure out……

Essentially Esther

Friday, January 04, 2008


I woke up to a new world today. A healthy one, renewed energy and light spirits. For some time I have been dragging along feeling tired and not able to get on top of things. That is not normal for me. Like many women I thought it was old age, depression or laziness. I kept making excuses for why I wasn’t feeling up to par.

In mid-December I had a major health issue……gallbladder or flu. Becky raced home from work after I called to tell her I was about to pass out. Of course, it scared the wits out of her and she came to my rescue. She is a pretty good nurse after dealing with surgeries and illness much of her life.

I was weak as a cat through Christmas and couldn’t prepare as I would have liked but we made do with the way things were. Becky and Barbara took over the kitchen as the food was here and our plans had been made for the menus. George, John, Barbara and LJ arrived late afternoon on the Saturday before Christmas with Murphy and Bear. It was the first time I can remember when I didn’t have a tree up of any kind. Never thought I’d see the day but old age is a hoot sometimes, changing many things we think is absolutely necessary for a celebration.

Have you ever hung up a WalMart plastic bag on the back of a chair for your Christmas stocking? Well, it’s amazingly fun. We had 5 chairs around the table with assigned seats for the whole visit. Becky wrote our names on the bags and we hung them on our chair. One by one we took Santa things to the darkened kitchen and put our gifts in each bag. It was great and we were like kids again wondering what our sacks held.

The UPS truck stopped every day in December with piles of boxes from QVC and other online packages. My small home looked like a clearing house for a packing company. Boxes were stacked around the walls with just enough room to walk through. John and Jennifer had all their gifts sent here for the family. Someone in the crowd suggested we didn’t open and wrap them but open them “as is” and let everyone wonder who it was for or from. Of course we had a shouting match because everyone claimed each and every thing opened.

John was the “box-cop” opening the mailing box and holding up the interior box. The best talker got to open the box with the “goodies” inside …..then claims were made as the contents were displayed. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. We decided we’d do that every year because we are so spread out as a family and it’s much more convenient to order on line……skip the wrapping. It may sound Scrooge-like but gifts, trees, stockings and all the rest are not the reason for Christmas. We still hold that as unchangeable…..Santa is not the Christmas gift at all but we serve the One who is.

After the family left I rested a few days and then made an appointment for my physical. I had to or Becky was going to bind and gag me and haul me off. She was certain my “attack” earlier was gall-bladder. As for myself, I didn’t know, but it felt like the dehydration events I’d had twice before. I went for a lab work-up and then an ultra-sound. Results came back the same day to my surprise but the big surprise was the gallbladder, kidneys and liver were in no way traumatized.

My PA thought I’d had the flu and then dehydrated for not drinking enough liquids. I feel sure she is right, since I’ve had those unhappy results before. I am now hooked up to the faucet where I drink like a drunken sailor. Don’t want to go through that again. Bottom line, everything checked out great except I’m on a stronger thyroid medication…..I was bottom of the barrel on that which explained the tiredness and muscle aches I’d been having. Thank you Becky for making me go for the tests…..it wasn’t gallbladder but because of your insistence, the problem was found. I would have never guessed low-thyroid. I’m stubborn but Becky and Barbara stuck with me…..thanks girls!

Next blessing……Becky and I sold our “Antique and Flea-Market” business the end of December. As we stood looking at the remaining items and planning our packing strategy, another dealer walked by and asked if we were selling out. Affirming we were, she asked if she could give a bid on it, which was very generous and we accepted. Then she bid on our ‘showcase’ items which were the most expensive. Again, she gave us a bid we couldn’t refuse.

I don’t believe in “luck”……but I do believe in miracles and blessings. As is said many times and ways before……“all’s well that ends well.” Becky and I will be meeting John, Barb and friends of theirs in Memphis for this weekend and will be home Sunday evening, good Lord willing. Then we look forward to the Rockenbach kids the following weekend for a belated Christmas and birthday party for Quintin, our new little grandbaby. He is a little cutie and this will be his first birthday. We will all miss Janet and family who live in California. We will call them for a phone visit when we are together.

If plans go right I will see you back here on Monday. I hope all of your news is “good news” and you have a wonderful weekend.

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

WELCOME TO 2008..... 

Yesterday I wrote about things that were life-changing. Today I want to give testament to the fact that what happens to us in a negative way leaves the door wide open to do some positive things. It was that way for me in 2007.

As I said yesterday, Morris died the same day Rocky did. People who have had long years with a pet know the pain of losing one. However, it gave me comfort knowing he and Rocky were together as they came together into my life. Soon another little pitiful lost kitty appeared to eat the scraps Napoleon left. She only came after dark when it was safe because every cat around tried to run her off. She was skinny and hungry and so very lonesome. If I wanted a beautiful cat, it wasn’t Punkin, as I came to call her because of her coloring. But she was so trusting and desperate I couldn’t disappoint her faith. She is a joy to have now that she has joined Sassy and Mandy, inside.

When Rocky died we wanted to do something that he would be proud to endorse as well as make opportunities for young athletes coming on. There are high-school boys that come to the gym and work out with the power-lifting team after school. To insure that would become a reality we took steps to provide a Memorial Fund for Scholarships and a Powerlifting Memorial Fund to continue the sport in Rocky’s name. He had friends in competition all around our State and beyond. He received a lot of respect from the younger guys who marveled at his strength regardless of cancer or age. There is no way to measure my pride in the example he provided for fair play and friendship.

When Dale died suddenly it was a shock. We had no warning, he never gave any indication there was any health issue and perhaps he didn’t know of any. It was sad to realize he was gone. My wacky, very accomplished, young and handsome cousin was gone. In his blogs I noticed he had a favorite cousin on his mother’s side named Deanna. I intended writing her but she read it on my site first. I am sorry she discovered it in an impersonal way but through that, we “found” each other and have been a good source of information for each other. I found a friend in Deanna and that’s a good thing. One day in the Spring we will plan a Memorial for Dale and bury him next to his mother. He would like that.

Along with many others I lost a good friend when Ellen died. Her blogs taught me a lot. I am only a high school graduate so I stay hungry to learn. Ellen never gave up teaching…..and never realized the many snippets I learned from her writing. Witty, wise and a loving person…..I am thankful to have known her. God bless Curtis as he makes the rest of his journey without her.

So these are the pros and cons of 2007. I will not annoy God with complaints. He makes good out of every bad thing and gives us stronger faith and hope for the road ahead. So the New Year begins and we set our sights on the finish line……….

Essentially Esther