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Friday, May 30, 2008


For all of you readers, family, friends and long-time visitors to this site I need to ask a favor of you. Becky’s son, Jonathan, is still in the hospital in Springfield where he underwent vertebra surgery. He has had continued neck pain, back pain and weakness in one of his shoulders and arms. He works for the Arkansas Electric Company in which they trim trees from under power lines. They have helped in quite a few tornado disasters, ice-storm outages and worked with other agencies when it involves other neighboring States. In other words his job is very physical and he has been bothered with these symptomatic issues for over two years.

He decided he couldn’t stand the pain any longer and Wednesday he underwent surgery to hopefully take care of it. But………ever since the surgery he has been in worse pain and unable to rest or sleep. This is the third day since surgery and the pain has been somewhat subsided once the medications got ahead of the pain.

Becky went up Tuesday after work to be with his wife, Aimee, for company while Jonathan was in surgery. Aimee is 7-months pregnant with a little girl to be born sometime in July. Becky came home Tuesday evening but went back the next morning to give Aimee a chance to rest……Becky is still there. I called his room just now and he finally sounds better….able to come home today when his doctor sees him. Becky will bring him home and all will need rest from the ordeal.

She had been to St. Louis a week (prior) attending classes to teach the next week in Jefferson City at the Academy. She came home Friday evening and we spent Saturday morning marking and wrapping things to transport to Harrison. George surprised me later that afternoon by a visit until Monday morning (which was planned by him and Becky.) We enjoyed you, George.

After he left Monday Becky and I finished filling the tubs except for the last minute things which we’ll take down tomorrow. Becky went to work on Tuesday, then drove to Springfield for Jon’s surgery. I have been monitoring messages back and forth from here. Last evening, Steve, Troy and Tommy came after they closed the Barn and began loading the tubs and furniture in their large truck.

Providing Jonathan is OK to come home today, Becky and I will leave in the morning and come home Sunday evening. The booth should be full and pretty and hopefully sell, sell, sell.

To conclude, I ask for prayer for Jonathan, his wife and Becky who have really come through some tough times. Should anything change, I will be online to report.

Thanks to all,

Essentially Esther

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Becky and I have been buying for the past 3-months to stock a double sized booth at Harrison, AR. We’ve lugged it all home, cleaned, priced and wrapped , then repacked for the “move-in.” This afternoon the family who owns that Barn as well as the one here in our town is coming with a large trailer to load and take it to Harrison.

My little home has been looking like a clearing house for junk and treasures. It will be good to be able to get it all out, run the sweeper, do a little dusting and then pack to leave for Arkansas Saturday morning. This eventually happens to people who love Flea Markets or Antiques. We have to have a way to sell all of the things we bought and have grown tired of so we can justify buying more of something else.

I don’t know what hit me this year but I have made several changes that have even surprised me. Getting rid of furniture and every kind of collection I had and leaving open space felt really good. Naturally I kept the things I couldn’t let go of but I nipped it down pretty close. It’s like a load going off my back and mind.

Yesterday was very nice. I received several phone calls, cards, a couple of drop-ins and emails…..all wishing me a happy birthday. It was a beautiful sunny but pleasant day…..not too hot and not too chilly. One of the most unusual were the Vietnamese couple who do our nails and pedicures. They drove from two towns up the highway to come with their gift….an automatic rice cooker. They brought rice with them so they could show me how to operate it. It is a most helpful addition to my kitchen……I like rice just about any way you can fix it.

Of course there were other gifts from Rocky’s family and from mine….I feel very blessed for the various ways people chose to make my day very special. Thanks to all of you and you know who you are.

I’d better get busy here and get things ready to load when they come with the trailer. I’ll close with a little verse that is a favorite of mine……..


Because I have been given much,
I, too, shall give;
Because of Thy great bounty, Lord,
Each day I live
I shall divide my gifts from Thee
With every brother that I see
Who has the need of help from me.

Because I have been sheltered, fed,
By Thy good care,
I cannot see another’s lack
And I not share
My glowing fire, my loaf of bread,
My roof’s shelter overhead,
That he, too may be comforted.

Because love has been lavished so
Upon me, Lord,
A wealth I know that was not meant
For me to hoard,
I shall give love to those in need,
The cold and hungry clothe and feed,
Thus shall I show my thanks indeed. (Grace Noll Crowell)

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, May 28, 2008



Today is my 76th birthday. I can’t believe I’ve lived all those years and yet….it seems I’ve been here forever. I have learned a lot about life but it is like childhood. From birth to school age, children are in and out of stages that are sometimes angelic and sometimes drive you up the wall.

Age is a lot like that. You reach the next year and since you’ve never been that age before….it’s a brand new slate. You can do anything you want because you don’t have a history of knowing what works and what doesn’t. I can tell though I’m doing more of what has worked in the past and avoiding what didn’t.

My values have done a 360* and I don’t waste time on things I am not interested in. I also have a house full of stuff and why I’ve hung onto it is a mystery. I decided I needed to make a full “make-over” of the drawers and closets. It takes a lifetime to collect a closet like “Fibber McGee” which seemed very funny each time he opened the door and it all fell out on him. Television was generic in those days but now we are eons away from those innocent days of viewing.

Everything in our country is based on speed. How quick can you get back to me? Mail this out for tomorrow’s delivery! Let’s take a plane, it’s too time-consuming to drive. I need an appointment NOW! Fast food, fast living and we end up “old” and that seems fast also. However, we all have 24-hours a day and we have wasted a lot of them if the process is to cheat the clock.

I prefer the back roads to the Interstates and prefer to eat slow and enjoy my food, I like to watch birds, cats, pull weeds and look for four-leafed clovers. I am a football nut, a news hound, love crochet, knitting and solving puzzles.

I’m a pretty good detective which is good because I’ve had to work on cold cases a lot to find things I’ve put away so I wouldn’t lose them. I do too good at hiding because then, of course, I never remember where they are. I’m very good at “poop scooping” with three cats who stay in the garage at nights and my two house kitties. I swear, I don’t know where all that (poop) is coming from. There are a few strays who come after hours (when the garage cats are shut in for the night….otherwise they’d chase the strays off) I can’t stand to see a little critter hungry and no where to go.

I have a couple of afghans promised so I will be busy making those….I bought a new Singer sewing machine to do some sewing….I want to get my cross-word puzzles out and a really interesting jig-saw puzzle. They say to keep your mind occupied…….well, mine is. I never sit down without immediately planning what I’m going to do when I get out of Rocky’s chair. When I need to take a break I sit in his glider and rock and rock……it’s very therapeutic for a 76 year old body. The minute my critters hear or see me sit down they vie for my lap and if failing that, Mandy, lays behind the rocker and the other odd one sits on the footstool to the glider.

I can imagine how terribly deprived this might sound but please don’t waste sympathy on me. I love being alone with my favorite things and I have treasure boxes full of happy memories. I am not on serious medication, have all my teeth, had successful cataract surgery recently and can eat anything I like.

I realize each one who reads this would have a different list of enjoyments and I’m old enough to know we can be different from one another and that’s OK. I’m absolutely one who doesn’t want to be like the Joneses. I like “difference” and enjoy living in a home that declares who I am. Each thing in it is a story.

I am thankful to my dad and mom who took the responsibility of giving me life and raising me. My life has been colorful, rewarding and a learning experience. I have challenged myself to learn something different each day, to keep on laughing and to keep on telling those I love that I really do….and I will keep on writing in some form or other because it is the heart and soul of who I am.

To my family, my friends and readers……a hearty thank you for being out there!

Essentially Esther

Thursday, May 22, 2008



I have an inquiring mind. I would never make it in a factory working “piece-work”…….as so many do or have done in this area. Small companies making everything from ball-caps to small engine parts. We have had Lee’s jeans, shirt factories, shoe factory and Rawlings where they made all of the balls and gear for major leaguers. Those were the good old days. They went out of business long ago as they were eventually moved on to Haiti, Mexico and so on.

Most of the folks who worked those jobs had to take an Aptitude Test. It didn’t matter if they finished high school or not….they wanted people to step up and be able to cut, sew or glue shoes, basket balls or head gear. It’s amazing how many people can be without intelligence but score high on “aptitude.” In a few days they’re cutting leather, sewing dozens of bills onto caps…..well, you get the idea.

Now this doesn’t sound too bad until you get into the mechanics of “working on the line.” Where people score very high in aptitude most will fall down with attitude. By that I mean, a good attitude. After a person begins to feel like they know what they’re doing they become aware of a few flaws in their production possibilities.

It is apparent there is a cast system and one has to pay his dues, so to speak. The supervisor has “pets” and they don’t like new people. The supervisor makes sure their pals get the breaks and the “newbies” get the shaft. In the winter the large building is cold and in the summers, it’s hot. Comfort isn’t built into factory work.

Well, I said I had an inquiring mind and though I’ve never worked in a factory, I’ve sure talked to a lot of folks that have. Around here the men who can’t find work elsewhere end up working in the local walnut factory. At times I go by the buildings and the guys will be eating lunch outside under an awning. I don’t know what keeps them coming back because their work is dangerous and miserable and they don’t make that much money to offset it.

When I think of what they put up with for the little they get, I wonder what a Paris Hilton would do if desensitized in a poverty area like ours. Would she work in a factory to make things better for her children, at those wages and conditions? OK, now we’re on the home stretch…..the attitude part of this. I’ve known poor people with good and bad attitudes and I’ve known wealthy people with good and bad attitudes…….in short, anyone can have an attitude…..and most of us have more than we need.

Where the rubber meets the road is…..what about a person’s aptitudes? My dictionary says the meaning of aptitude is: A natural or acquired talent or ability; inclination. Quickness in learning and understanding; intelligence. The state or quality of being fitting; appropriateness. I’m no psychologist or brain surgeon but I think I would rather have a big dose of aptitude and have the brains and good manners to have a decent attitude to go with it. Being poor or wealthy doesn’t divide the two……it’s a matter of who we were, who we are and what we hope to become. “Pay forward” as they say and always give a helping hand.

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I have been saddened since learning my sister-in-law has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, actually her diagnosis was about a year ago. Her husband, my brother, died in 1989 of lung cancer and she stayed for a while in the home on Lake Washington where they had lived and enjoyed the lifestyle of the area. She was working at the time and continued doing so until she was able to retire sometime later.

She busied herself with the things women like to do and spent a lot of time going through family things. Like most of us there were boxes of mementoes from several families and she systematically went through them all and divided it up into boxes to send to the appropriate ones. She sent a large box of my brother’s things to me because they never had children and our parents are dead.

It took some time to go through after it came and there are a few things I couldn’t deal with until sometime later. Pictures, mementoes from his Military Service in Italy and sentimental things made for mom and dad when he was just a kid. He literally kept everything…….he was not one to get rid of things.

My sister-in-law sold their home a few years later and moved into a beautiful home with a manicured yard away from the lake. She was never happy there. She said she never unpacked most of the boxes because she didn’t feel “at home” there. She traveled a lot and went on several cruises with family but she was like a wandering star. She never felt like she belonged anywhere.

The progression of her illness was undetected at first from her letters and phone visits. Little by little I began to see changes in her ability to absorb conversation or to connect her speech in what she was trying to say. As the months went by her handwriting and sentence structure, spelling etc; were changing each time we talked or in the letters she wrote.

Some of her family helped her sell her home in Seattle and move into a duplex for a while and later to a retirement community back in her home State. When I called the number given me I was told she may not be able to talk to me but I could try……there were two women talking back and forth trying to decide how to handle my call. Finally, I did talk with Gail and had no problem but it was like talking to a little child.

In years past we shared a lot of good times together for she was broad minded and fun. Her premier job in life was to laugh at all the silly antics of my brother. They were bonkers over each other and had 25-years together before my brother died. I am sad because my contacts with her are slipping away and I know sooner or later will end.

If I had my way I would never lose any one I have loved but that isn’t the way God planned things. I can only believe that He is taking us to something beyond the confines we know in this life. That is why we should never waste a day that we are given. It is my hope, what ever my ultimate demise, that I can leave a lot of love and good memories behind.

I know we shall go from life to life and to one we could never imagine. Every time I send a contribution to Alzheimer’s I think of my aunt Sally and Gail and more recently a brother-in-law. It is my way of declaring that they are not forgotten and maybe some day there will be a cure. So many hope for a miracle. In the meantime I communicate with my sister-in-law as best I can and pray she will have some quality time left.

To the families who care for their loved ones with Alzheimer’s I have great respect for you and the fight you are going through. I can only imagine the overwhelming emotional and physical stress you must be feeling. There are many others, like me, who contribute to find a cure. I hope it comes soon enough for you and your loved one.

Essentially Esther

Monday, May 19, 2008


After a very nice weekend I am home today and the weather is wonderful. Becky arrived home by 4:30 pm Friday and we enjoyed our TGIF-night pizza. The next morning we left to attend the graduation of Rocky’s granddaughter, Sara. We all met for dinner at a restaurant and then went on to the high school for the program.

I was amazed at the large graduating class as Rocky and I graduated together in the largest class ever in our little town…..a whopping number of 72. Of course that was many moons ago as they say and next year will be the 60th year since that event. To say the “towns” have changed would be an understatement. Sixty years makes a lot of difference in anything……there were over 200 in this class.

The families and friends filled the bleachers and were very spirited at appropriate times. Thankfully the crowd listened most of the time which made it much more pleasant. They had an excellent speaker system which aided in the ability to hear.

Holly and Eddie dropped us at the motel where we were staying and after sitting on a bleacher seat for 2 ½ hours it felt good to lie down. We left early the next morning as Becky had to come back to leave for Jefferson City this coming week. She will be teaching a class from the “school” she attended last week.

As for myself, I am getting things prepared to take to Harrison where we will open a second booth the first weekend in June. I am trying to get as much priced, marked and packed to go so one large trip will fill it. A friend is going to put what we have on a large truck of his so one trip will do it. Becky will be glad to have completed her training/teaching obligations and it will be nice to have her back.

So another milestone has been made with Sara’s completion of high-school and in the fall she will begin classes at the local college near where she lives. Students throughout the land will have participated in the same ceremonies and will be looking for their summer’s job to take them through until classes begin in the Fall.

Congratulations to all those graduating this month and may every success come your way. Hard work, honesty, a good plan….it will take all the effort you have and turn it upside down but you will find what you’re made of….and it will shape you for the future.

Good luck and God speed to all.

Essentially Esther

Friday, May 16, 2008


Guess what? The sun is SHINING!! I woke this morning with bright sunlight coming in the window…….couldn’t believe it. It was only 6:30, it looked more like 8:30.……OK, so much for the weather talk from the Ozarks. I’m sure you’re tired of that after much of the week.

I visited with John and L J last night before their planned evening of watching the Hornets basketball game. L J had invited friends in for snacks so it was a guys night at the Strain house. Barbara has lived in a male-world ever since she married John, and does it with grace. Always good to hear from my New Orleans family and George,, KC, is ever getting closer to his R-Day. He retires in August and will be glad after working extra hours and getting up @ 4:00 AM for months.

Becky will be coming home this afternoon and I’m sure she will be ready to relax a little. (She just called and said she made 99.6 score for the week.) Very relieved, of course. She is heading home.

My Rockenbach kids are doing well. Rocky’s son lives in north Arkansas and is happy beyond compare with his little two-year old. His wife, Julie, is a good mother and that makes little Quintin a happy boy.

Holly, who lives south of Neosho with her husband and critters narrowly missed the tornado that did so much damage in Neosho and Joplin. She and husband, Eddie, spent their Sunday picking up debris and helping to search for keepsakes at her employers home. Holly, like Rocky, never turns her back on anyone needing help.

Rocky’s youngest daughter and family live in Moreno Valley, CA. and spend much of their time commuting to their jobs. The traffic there is a nightmare if you’re used to a 3-minute drive to the middle of town. I pity their gas bill….it has to be terrible every month.

Here, we are like everyone else. Buy the necessities and skip the frills. It’s just a case of creative bookkeeping as Becky says. It is actually fun to see how it’s possible to do without things. Actually, we have very few “needs” and it doesn’t hurt to cut back on some things we call “staples.” The ones of us who grew up in the 20’s and 30’s recall what Mom and Dad did and believe me, they did a lot of “doing without.”

Have a great weekend,

Essentially Esther

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Guess what? Yup!! More rain. It started out as gentle as a rain forest and then late morning it began raining hard. Everything is saturated and there is a lot of run-off which is really bad for folks in the low areas.

It looks like John and Barb are getting winds and heavy rain just north of New Orleans. I hate to think what it might be doing to new building in the 9th Ward. There are so many people who have poured money in the restoration process and even worse, all the people who are hoping to go back “home.”

Nature isn’t always pretty. It looks like the whole earth has a lot going on internally which radiates to the surface. There is more talk of earthquakes and the recent one in China gets my attention. When I still worked for the HWY Patrol they gave all of us areas that we were to report to in case the Madrid Fault caused a catastrophe earthquake as it did years ago. It’s something at the time I felt was like betting on a horse at the tracks. We don’t expect to win but just the same we’d better make it around the track. Just in case.

It seems in most people’s lives we do a lot of preparation that is never needed. It only takes the Twin Towers to show us anything is possible and getting ready for it after it happens is much worse than being over-prepared. I will always have the utmost respect and gratitude for the men and women who ran into harms way to save people they didn’t even know.

Today is a special day for my brother-in-law and his wife. It is Richard’s birthday and also their wedding anniversary. I wish them the happiest of days as they fly to the east coast to visit their grandchildren and family.

The Queen Mary is a monstrous ship designed to sail any sea or ocean. Still, we would go further in a row-boat if the QM stayed anchored at the docks. I say any of us can do better at “something” rather than think we can’t do “anything.” Just get your paddles out and start rowing…..you’ll be surprised how far you can go.

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


We made it safely through the night. I heard thunder and rain but no sirens……is there ever a worse sound when an approaching storm is coming? The wail of them sends goose-bumps up my spine. Even on days they practice their equipment it’s un-nerving to me. Maybe I’m just a cowardly lion.

Becky called last night after classes and said it’s pretty tough. They slam a lot at you and this afternoon they have a 5-minute shot to stand up and display visual aids prepared for their teaching next week…….along with a recitation. Tomorrow she will have 45-minutes of teaching for a grade and Friday is the final test day. She is naturally up tight but I know she will do fine. She is always one to set her sights on perfection and usually comes out with the stuff to back it up.

She was laughing about being an inexperienced guest at expensive hotels. Upon going to her room and getting settled in she noticed the refrigerator full of different beverages and she thought she would drink water instead…….assuming it was complimentary. Not so. She had a memo under the door that said her “water” was a $5.00 item applied to her bill. She is one block from the Arch.

I’m thinking it might have been the large convention hotel facility where Obama spoke last night in St. Louis. She said she noticed a lot of men in tuxedo’s and women dressed in evening apparel. Who knows? Maybe a large wedding party or a convention other than political. One thing for sure, I know Beck will be glad to get home to her own routine.

Big towns, little towns. They each have their strong points and while many would enjoy living elsewhere, it is usually decided by their occupation. I love the quiet life of a small town. It was a big deal when they built a Sonic on Main Street…….then a chain convenience/gas station went in on the highway just a few blocks from town. The icing on the cake was when a McDonalds was built into the set-up and folks flocked the place for weeks. It was like we were suddenly on the “map.”

With all the good and bad points we each seem to find our niche in life and around here we mostly stay where we are. It is key to be happy and satisfied with less…….our small town offers that and more. Paint me happy for this is where my heart is.

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


We are back in the severe weather mode again. This time of year it’s one big cell after another and we can always expect a twister or two when one goes over. I was able to get out and re-pot a couple of flowers given to Becky and me on Earth Day. They are hibiscus…….one pink and one yellow. It’s the only thing I have for outside…..it’s too big of a fight to keep them watered all summer. We have two months with no rain and I’d rather not have them as to see them die off when I leave for a weekend.

I mentioned “getting out” and by that I meant the inside duties were coming along so I took leave to do something outside. Actually I am feeling better as the season goes on. A lot of things I was concerned about are taken care of so I can give my attention to finishing my decorating and work on the things to go to the Barn.

There hasn’t been much to write about as far as news. Maybe my brain has emptied everything it had to say and now I’m speechless. I have been sorry John and Becky quit writing so I’m going to try and limp ahead……they were my inspiration and now I’m writing solo.

As I sit here, little Punkin is sitting by my chair giving herself a bath. She has been such a blessing with her cute little personality. Each cat is different and I love the difference in all of them. Mandy and Sassy had been with me long enough to know me inside and out but Punkin is still learning how we do things around here. The thing I love most in a pet is when they begin to trust you.

Since all five of ours were strays that came along we had to put food out and leave. After some time studying their options they would creep closer until the smell of the food was enough to bring them in. When we brought Punkin inside she was very young and had been up against it. The bigger cats ran her off and she was just fur on bones.

With bad weather coming on I brought her in and that was so fun to watch. The soft bed, the food that never ran out, the warmth and companionship of Mandy and Sassy, she couldn’t believe her good fortune and turn of events. Then she began to turn her curiosity in my direction. Pets are so loving and smart I don’t know what I would do without their company.

I think it is wonderful that many health care providers allow pets. They bring so much love and joy with their wagging tails and inquisitive natures…….you can almost tell what they’re thinking with those bright eyes. One thing you can count on is they all like to be petted and loved……but then, I guess we humans do too, don’t we? I hear you saying………yes!

Essentially Esther

Monday, May 12, 2008


Monday is fast disappearing. Late afternoon and I’m wondering where the time went. Becky and I had a busy weekend, actually four days as she had Thursday and Friday off. We shopped for our booths and are getting ready for the next one. However that will wait until the next two weeks are over.

Becky will be gone this week and next week. One is for training and the other is for teaching at the MHWYP Academy. That following weekend we will be setting up the double sized booths at Harrison.

I’m sure you heard about the tornados across Missouri from Oklahoma on it’s way to Georgia. The statistics are unbelievable. The loss in property, personal effects and human lives take their toll as families try to dig out and retrieve what they can.

The past year has been full of disasters of all kinds but none as bad as the cyclone in Myanmar or the earthquake in China. It seems to me the earthquakes are more numerous up and down the Mississippi. I don’t know if it’s just faster reporting with all the electronic capability or if we are facing more and more disasters.

When I was a kid, the only way we got to “see” the news was to go to the movies and there we witnessed an eye account of world news. Otherwise it was the radio and newspapers. People were avid readers of the local newspaper where all the latest happenings could be seen. What a deal!! It was very exciting but ancient with today’s news capability.

Back to the tornados……the wind and hail, then rain beat against us for some terrifying minutes. Becky and I go to the garage for safety as the one corner is about 3 feet below ground. I have such a fascination for storms I stay at the windows and watch as long as I dare. The power and rage of winds at 70 miles an hour is awesome. I don’t use that word too often as I think it’s “over-used” but I have to say……it was awesome.

It hit early in the morning and Becky was up and watching the TV warnings of it coming our way…..she came here to warn me just minutes before it hit. We made it to the garage and stayed until it passed over.

I hope all you ladies had a nice Mother’s Day with your children and family members. Becky fixed breakfast for me…….what a breakfast!! I had biscuits and gravy, hash browns, a Jimmie Dean omelet with ham and cheese and some link sausage. It was enough for six people and I managed to get some of all of it down. Yummy!!

They always say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I applaud all the folks out there who are picking up the pieces and starting over. What a job and heartache they have ahead of them! Until tomorrow,

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


The days seem to fly by with increasing speed. I went out early to pull some weeds while it was cloudy and enjoyed seeing the berm transform into a pretty area again. I told you last year that our little Japanese Maple (that died) was putting some shoots up around the trunk so I had to fix it so the cats couldn’t crawl in it like they had before. I don’t understand why Napoleon and the cats want to play in the decorative grasses I have or the JM tree….but while I was weeding Callie jumped on the top branches and began having fun.

That did it! I went to the compost area where I had tossed the bird netting we put on the maple the first year we hat it. I had to pick the leaves out of it and revive it a little but that with 5 of Rocky’s tomato wire protectors did the trick. It was a big undertaking and I wore myself out working with the plastic netting that wanted to catch on everything but where I wanted it. However, I think I have a pretty good system worked out to keep the cats out of the tree now.

While I was working around the tree I got to thinking. Though it was dead to all appearances the skeletal structure was still serving a purpose. It was the foundation for the new growth coming up as the shoots were using the dead branches for support. I thought of my loved ones who have gone before me. Everyone of them continue to serve me, as well. I use the valuable information I gleaned from their life experiences as well as the good examples they were to me. I am somewhere between the dead zone and the new shoots. We all have our time of youth, growth and reclining years……just like the plant world.

Tomorrow Becky and I are going back to Harrison to re-fill our booths and shop for replacements. It’s an ongoing process. On Friday we are having a “girls day” with a good friend of ours. We are taking her for her first ever pedicure and then do lunch and girly things. Which reminds me, we leave early tomorrow so I will leave with a thought……….

There are three kinds of people: Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who say, “What happened?” (Betty Wotsmann)

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Finally I am finding time to get back on the blog trail. I am normally a person who likes a routine more or less. Of course one has to be flexible to a degree but age, fibromyalgia, work (and such) just doesn't wait for anyone’s preference. Some time back I mentioned that Becky and I decided to open one small booth at the “Barn” in order to rid ourselves of “stuff.”

If you know Becky at all, “one” is never enough. When we started in 1997 we had one showcase. The next month Becky thought we should have another one. Then the owners at the time talked her into a large booth and we had to scour the Flea Markets to find enough to put in it… the next month we opened another booth up stairs……and then one more.

As Becky became busier with her “day job” we had to let one of the upstairs booths go and finally the other one. We gave up another showcase and after Rocky died we both sold out as there was no fun in it anymore. He was such a good hunter in the flea markets and afterwards getting the van packed good with the things we bought.

One time we came home with a new dining room set along with a load of sale items. The only way we could make it was to put four of the chairs on top and I have to say, we looked like a bunch of Okie’s from Muskogee going down the road. Rocky just laughed and prided himself on getting it all in one load…….he was always so low key, nothing ever bothered him. Now Becky has had to take that responsibility over and I’m sure he would be proud of her as she learned how to do it by watching him.

Becky was off work last Friday so we drove to Harrison, and opened another booth and stayed over night to finish up. For those of you who aren’t aware of the effort to have success in what we do……there is a lot of work behind getting the items on the shelves. We shop together, analyzing the cost and preparation for sale, then come home with as many plastic tubs we can fill……..and begin cleaning and marking for resale.

I mostly do the unwrapping and cleaning, Becky marks and I wrap for transfer to the booths. Becky loads the van and unloads at the Barn…..again I unwrap and place things on a table for Becky to decorate the booth. As she works on the “eye appeal” I give advice if I think it’s worthy and refold all the wrappings to clear the area.

We heard a joke once about a couple of fellows who bought a truck full of watermelons to take to Iowa and sell. When they got back, they found they didn’t make any money. After a moment of thought, one says to the other…..“we didn’t make any money….we’ll have to buy a bigger truck!!”

Sometimes as a vendor you feel that way at times but it’s fun to buy what we think people will want and go through the process. It’s good exercise, good brain food and yes, even fun. There are so many “finds” out there……it’s fun to go hunting and digging to get those treasures. I guess we’ve lived in the Ozarks long enough to be a couple of good horse traders.

To close with a thought: Money will buy a pretty good dog, but it won’t buy the wag of it’s tail. (Copied.) Be sure and pet your doggie today…..you’ll never find a better friend.

Essentially Esther

Thursday, May 01, 2008

TO ROCKY..... 

To Rocky on our wedding anniversary……April 30th

If only for a moment I could touch your face
And feel your arms around me in a warm embrace
If I could look into those eyes and see
The love I know was meant for me.

This heart of mine can’t stop loving you
No matter how far how long or what I do
I cannot see the world like it used to be for
You were the gift God gave to me.

If only for a moment I could hear you say my name
That only you could do for it will never be the same
You loved me so completely I could never ask for more
You loved me with the young love that we had known before.

If only we could be together for just a little while
There is so much I need….a kiss, a hug, a smile
How I wish I could share with you the things I’d love to say
But for a while we’ll be apart until that glad new day.

Essentially Esther