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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

FAREWELL 2008.... 

Reflecting on the year as it comes to a close is a habit with me. Where did the months go….the weeks…the days? How did I use the time….the things I said I would do?

Once I heard a comment on eternity (probably from John) and it goes like this. Imagine an ant crawling to the moon and back taking a piece of our planet with him and then returning to do it all over until the earth is all on the moon. Then eternity is just beginning.

If we think we’re short on time here……we are. Considering most live to the ripe old age of three score and ten…….it isn’t very long in the scheme of things. This usually affects us one of two ways……we either work ourselves to death or give up and do nothing. The smart thing to do is finding balance.

Yesterday on a routine trip to the Post Office I was waited on by a lady I hadn’t seen for a while. I asked how she had been and she said, (“doing OK….how about you?”) I said I was doing well and complimented her on her new haircut. She laughed and said, (“ It’s a wig….I lost all my hair. I’m taking chemo.”) She went on to say she is flown to Chicago for her chemo from the famous Cancer Clinic. She has had two months and has two more months to go and then will have radiation. I gave her all the encouragement I could…..breast cancer is an ugly foe.

I walked out into the lobby and saw a woman I haven’t seen since her husband died quite a while back. They owned the funeral home in town and conducted the funeral for Warren……Sherman and Warren had been pals. We spoke of the things we do the way our life is now and wished one another a happy new year.

My next stop was the grocery store where I saw a woman at the dairy section and we greeted one another…….hadn’t seen one another for several years. The man she intended to marry turned out bad and they never made it to the alter. She lives alone and has given up on love. I left feeling guilty because my life has been full of love……but it isn’t that way for everyone.

I left the store and decided to drive across the street to see if the garage could do an oil and lube for me……the lady who works there went to school for a time with Rocky’s children. She asked about them and was glad to see me. Vicki has recovered from breast cancer after a long fight with it.

I called a friend who lost her husband before Thanksgiving. I invited her to go with me Monday when I go to Springfield for my permanent crown, following the root canal. She had fallen on the ice recently and hurt her back. She is going for X-rays today. If she feels better she will go with me for a little shopping and lunch. She will get back to me when she knows what’s going on.

This is usually the way my days go. Small town living is perfect for me now. Once upon a time I loved the city but it doesn’t compare with my little acre in the Ozarks. I could never walk to a trash burner in a city yard with three kitties and Napoleon filing along behind me. I have a deck chair back there where I sit and watch the fire until it is nothing but embers. With all the leaves on the ground it would be too dangerous to leave it. The kitties curl up by my feet or my lap and watch the fire with me. I’m sure they don’t know why we’re there but it’s a good chance to be close to me and enjoy the time.

So as the trash burner serves to get rid of things no longer needed, we bid 2008 farewell. Hopefully the things that were of no importance will burn away and we will have a new year tomorrow to start fresh.

Starting over with knowledge gained from “what was“……is a good marker for a new beginning.

Essentially Esther

Monday, December 29, 2008


This picture is the last Christmas Rocky was able to decorate. He died the next April. No matter how bad the weather was he always decorated the front of the house as he knew how much it meant to me. Now the pictures still bring joy because they remind me how much he loved making me happy.

Where to begin. I see my last post was December 18th. Somewhere I got off the freeway and took a wrong turn. Where that time has gone I do not know. The molar I mentioned was “fixed” on the following Monday and it was an unforgettable experience. No, it didn’t hurt and was probably done in around 45-minutes. However…..a problem I hadn’t considered…..was holding my mouth open for that long.

The deadening was perfect….didn’t feel a thing. Dr. Raphael had trouble with my mouth being small and my teeth being long rooted. An amazing discovery. He kindly kept asking me to “open” and I swear, I would have had to unhinge my jaw to help him any. I did the best I could and what seemed a simple request turned into a marathon. I will never hold my mouth open again.

We were blessed with phone calls and visits from a large part of the Rocky/Esther families and we had lots of time to visit and eat. It was good to see and hear from everyone and the weather behaved (well, sort of) so our families could come and go on good roads.

Since the last guest left I have been attending to things that had to wait over the Christmas holiday. It doesn’t take long for things to get ahead of me. Today is one of those “things” I let go…..posting a blog. So I’m back to my regular routine, and hopefully can post a picture or two, soon.

To all of you who read Essentially Esther, my hope is that you had a wonderful gathering of your own and time to reflect on the wonderful gift handed down to all of us. The gift the birth of Christ made possible…….eternal life.

Essentially Esther

Thursday, December 18, 2008


…….is my abscessed molar to quit hurting. After several months of a nagging soreness in my lower left gum/jaw I knew it wasn’t going away without drastic measures. Upon waking up two nights in a row with the whole left side of my face, and especially my jaw, sending messages to me I got the message. I am one who has had very little dental problems, mostly just cleaning or an occasional crown. Not bad for the years my teeth have served.

Why do things like this always happen when the roads are icy with a windy chill and ice on the windshield? After a call to the dentist who has his practice in Springfield I left on the promise they would work me in.

The highway wasn’t too bad and by the time I got to the office there was an opening and I was treated with an X-ray which showed the problem. I had a classic abscessed tooth. My thoughts turned immediately to Becky who has the family’s worst teeth. My brain was tabulating her many abscesses and it wasn’t a pretty picture. She has suffered greatly with dental problems.

So come Monday morning I will be making the same drive back to Springfield to have the root canal and crown. I am in uncharted waters so therefore I have no fear. My dentist says it is just a boring experience, the worst of which you have your mouth open for an hour. I do have some question about the “boring” part since they will be going down in the roots of the tooth……but hey! How bad can that be? (weak laugh here)

Whoever thought up pain medicine is to be commended!

Essentially Esther

Monday, December 15, 2008

OH MANDY..... 

Mandy is having surgery today. She began squinting with her right eye and it watered a lot so off to the Vet we went. It’s a common thing with dogs I guess for an eyelid to turn under and thereby the lashes keep brushing against the eye. She has not been her usual bouncy self so I was happy the Vet found a reason for it.

Mandy has been a good little dog especially since she figured out the run of things around here. She takes turns eating with the cats and has learned not to run them off from their bowls. Once the kitty leaves her place then Mandy is allowed to finish what they left. My observation is that cats are not as gluttonous as dogs.

We had our blast of weather after two days of wind and dark skies. It was misty all afternoon yesterday and began raining and turning to ice after bedtime. It is very slick so when I go out for any reason I give the ice the respect it requires. The week ahead looks pretty much the same.

Tomorrow I plan to make my Christmas Nut Cakes to give to friends and family. I only make them this time of year so it’s a long time to wait for the next one. The recipe comes from Barbara’s mother and is a great Southern tradition. I always think of her while I mix, stir and bake. Sadly, Barbara’s mother died the same year my mother did.

We had to postpone our Christmas dinner with Holly and family because of the weather. We will try again next Sunday and hope we are able to come together. It is a 3-hour drive from here so it is too risky when freezing rain and ice are predicted.

Hopefully all of your plans are coming together and the weather behaves where you are. Next week will be the observance of Christmas and a time to take notice of who Christmas is really for. Christ came to a world that was corrupt and evil and for those who longed for peace.

The message has been the same over centuries………..

Essentially Esther

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Here are a couple of pictures from our Thanksgiving before it’s time for Christmas pictures. It seems funny as I post these that New Orleans actually had snow today and not just a flake or two but a good covering. Well, you just never know about the weather any where or any time.

I hope your Christmas plans are going smoothly and a good weekend is coming up. Take care and remember to pray for our troops. We owe them a debt of gratitude for keeping us free and safe. It won’t hurt to pray for the families that await their return as I’m sure life gets pretty hard for them.

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


As they say in this area……. “we got a skiff of snow last night.” Not enough to cause any problems but enough to track a rabbit. I just came from the garage where I was cleaning out some empty boxes and other “stuff” when I came upon a little critter that I call a chipmunk. I’ve saved many from the jaws of my cats but this one wasn’t that fortunate. It was half-eaten and very dead. I’ll always hate a cat’s killing instinct but that’s the way they are so I just have to deal with it.

I’ve been working in my bedroom clearing out what I can for the next floor conversion. I thought going through the closet and the drawers would help when the time comes. In a mobile home it is always difficult to find room for as much as I’d like but I have ended my bad habit of putting the table leafs under the bed. It always meant when we had company they had to be retrieved and dusted before they were needed. I’m trying to cut down on having so many things to do when I’m expecting company so now the table and all the chairs are in the kitchen. One little victory about that.

I went for my usual lab work this morning at our local Medical Clinic. Tomorrow I go for a chat with my nurse practitioner. It’s always a time to exchange family news and hear how well your tests are doing. It’s small town courtesy to do so. By the time I see the NC I’ve had eye contact and a pleasant exchange with everyone in the waiting room. Of course you have plenty of time to do that because the NC and other doctors are visiting with their patients. Time runs excruciatingly slow in a waiting room.

The picture I’ve selected for today is one taken from my window in the car. One last look before we began the long drive to the North. We ran out of rain around Jackson and later the sun came out. However, it was very dark when we arrived home. It was great to go as I hadn’t been there since Katrina and that’s too long to stay away from family. One thing for sure, my kitty cats were sure glad to see me come home. It’s always nice to have a welcome when you come through the door.

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

YUP! I'M BACK..... 

I’m finally back from a long vacation. Meaning from the Essentially Esther desk. However long it’s been, believe me, I haven’t been idle……no….not at all.

Our Thanksgiving trip to John, Barb, LJ’s and Bear’s house was great. We arrived safely to join them and later that evening Jennifer and Marc made it in. That put us all together except for Becky’s Jonathan and family. It is rare for that many of us to make it at the same time and we planned to make it a royal occasion.

John put the “table picture” with the guests eating so I decided to show you how pretty it was before we overpowered it. John and Barb had worked hard to make their home festive and comfortable for all of us and we had a wonderful time.

Jennifer flew home to CT from New Orleans and Marc drove with us back to Missouri. Marc is a good “fix-it” guy and offered to lay a laminate floor for me in the living room. We procured the necessities on Monday after arriving home Sunday night and on Tuesday, George and Marc began the task. George had to leave Wednesday morning so I took over George’s job and that afternoon Becky took off work to help finish up.

I defy anyone who says……. “it’s easy installation.” It does not live up to the directions on the box because obviously they are talking about an empty room, not a small sized furniture store like I live in. However tiring and difficult it turned out beautiful and I’m grateful for a few suggestions Marc pointed out. He was oh so right. I’m very satisfied.

I’ve been playing “catch up” since coming home. Now I’m cleaning up the dust and trying to get things back to order. I have several pictures of the trip and renovation that I will be putting on as the days go by.

I’ve missed all of you and hope you’ve missed me too. This is all for today…….I’m off on a project.

Essentially Esther