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Thursday, January 29, 2009


I’m greatly encouraged today. Late yesterday afternoon I took some of Napoleon’s favorite snacks to him and he ate several pieces. He is able to hop down from the railing to the porch floor and back. After two miserable days of incapacity and covered in ice he is moving around a little better.

I went back this morning and he ate more. Half of the ice was gone from him and it is predicted to reach 33* today with warmer temps tomorrow. Since I began to write the sun has popped out so he will surely lose the rest of the ice today.

He won’t be able to graze much because of the ice pack and snow but he knows he is always good for a handout here. I am the only one who feeds him or talks to him so he understands our relationship perfectly. He will come for food.

The pictures are of my yard. The ice is beautiful and fortunately we didn’t lose our power…..they claim 400,000 folks are without south of us here and into Arkansas. Being an all electric home it is always a concern for me. Hopefully this will be the worst of the season.

Napoleon told me to thank you for the prayers and well-being. He is feeling much better now and anxious to get back to normal.

I thank you too.

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


When I looked for Napoleon at mornings light he was still on the porch rail where I left him last night. I couldn’t tell if he was froze to the rail or not. He was motionless. As soon as I could get enough clothes on to stay warm I took some food and the camera to get an update for the fans he has.

My walk to the vacant house is safe enough, thanks to Becky who bought some kind of rubber and wire things to stretch on to your shoe soles. She knows I will never stay in when the birds, Napoleon or the cats need feed. I can give them an A+ rating as I never fell once of all the times I was outside.

Napoleon was still iced up with snow on top of his back and tail. He clucked when I came onto the porch…..I’m sure after a terrible night he was glad to see me. Again, I left food and talked to him but he didn’t eat from the bowl I held in front of him. I left it on the porch floor and after coming home I noticed birds flying to the porch and eating his food.

He stood up and moved around a little and it scared the birds away….I hope his concern will help him get down to eat. However, I know he has a God-given survival brain and I’m watching how it plays out. My attempts to save him from the weather show me that he’s doing it on his own. So far it’s worked.

Thank you for the prayers….so far they have worked also. I’ll keep you posted on his progress. Thanks for being concerned with me.

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I have tried several times today to help Napoleon. With a winter storm and sleet coming down all night I looked for him this morning when I noticed he was no longer in the tree he normally sleeps in. I finally found him on our deck with ice weighing down his crown so that it flopped against his head……the rest of him had ice cycles hanging from his feathers. I first tried to feed him and he ate a little sunflower seeds but when I tried to get a large piece of ice hanging on his neck he got excited and flew down on the air conditioner.

He allowed me to get close to him because I feed him all the time and he almost eats out of my hand. I then thought about throwing a sheet over him and taking him into the garage where he could thaw out. However, I decided it would probably scare him more than it would help and I didn’t feel confident in being able to get a frantic bird from the yard into the garage. His defensive feet and claws would be hard to manage with me slipping on ice.

He left the back of the house and flew up on the fence between the yards and I hoped he would get on the covered porch of the neighbors home. It has been empty almost two years so he could find comfort there from the ice. However, any further attempts from me seemed to worsen his plight.

It is still sleeting and has been for the past 24 hours. I can only hope and pray he makes it through this storm which has been the worst for him. If you have any spare prayer-time I ask prayers for Napoleon. He has so gallantly lived a solitary life in a strange world……..never being with his own kind. He has adapted to my attempts to care for him and being concerned for his welfare.

I hope tomorrow I can write that all is well.

Essentially Esther

Thursday, January 22, 2009


In reading what I wrote yesterday it might seem that I’m slamming small town living. That would be a NO. There is a huge difference between the two and at this time of my life I prefer “small town”………..I think cities are for the young in heart. People who crave entertainment and excitement. They don’t mind crowds and drive on the main arteries around the city at breakneck speed.

My son, George, did most of the driving and after we weaved in and out of lanes over the posted speed limits and we came near to an accident several times my son had an ongoing conversation about the “other” drivers. I have decided that is the right of the person behind the wheel. It is much the same with me when I’m driving. When I am a passenger I’m content to enjoy the “view” so to speak. Traffic is not my focus unless I am driving.

Going back where I lived for 13 years is bitter-sweet. To see where the city has expanded over the farmlands I once knew, with more people, more buildings and more traffic is sad. Concrete covering prime soil is everywhere…….and the wildlife that roamed free is seeing their habitat shrink each day.

It is fun to go to the city for a visit…..but as they say….I wouldn’t want to live there. The slow pace, being retired and able to spend each day as I like is much better served where I live. It has been my home since 1971 and I have observed seedlings that have grown into mighty oaks, strangers who became friends and lots of kitties who needed a home. The journey has been exceptional and I wouldn’t change a thing.

It is possible to live happily in either place. The difference is choice and opportunity. Sometimes we end up in one place or the other and wonder “why” but in the big picture we can see the reason. Where once we are destined to be on the great world stage it is a relief to get off the fast track and find contentment in the small things of life.

This picture was emailed to me yesterday from George who captured a beautiful sunset from his back yard. Having time to watch the skies on a new canvas every day is a blessing……..and the stars at night with a full moon are awe inspiring. The rainbows, the clouds or the Northern lights are ever changing above us. In every aspect God is showing us his glory and beauty…….his universe open for all.

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Here it is Wednesday morning already……oops….I see it is almost noon. Becky and I had a good trip to visit George. We ate out all the time and enjoyed food we can’t get in Willow Springs. Like most small towns we are lacking in the benefits of the city when it comes to choice food places and entertainment. Even cheeseburgers taste better in the city. A few hardy souls have re-constructed the movie theatre that stood empty for years. Now they have plays by the locals and blue-grass music quite often. The fiddle and guitar are still favorite instruments for our area. That’s the extent of our entertainment and no, I don’t go.

While we were at George’s he took us to a furniture store. Not just any furniture store but one that is 7-football fields large. Owned by Warren Buffet is the Nebraska Furniture store and they aren’t kidding about the size of it. If you couldn’t find what you wanted it wasn’t their fault.

I was interested in seeing it since I was born 25-miles north of Omaha and lived in Omaha until I was 13 when my parents moved the family to Missouri. It is always fun to see someone from the area as Nebraska isn’t mentioned much by the media. I think it’s fine with Nebraskans……..they don’t want the world to know what a good place it is to live and raise families. My formative years were well served there.

Since coming home I have spent hours in front of the TV. I am a news junkie and like history. Yesterday was made for me! I have watched presidents come and go and whether they are my choice or not…..it is a 100% American celebration. They always say the British are the best at pomp and circumstance but our national celebrations of our presidents being inaugurated is good enough for me. Now I just hope the new office holders will live up to their promises and expectations.

I am trying rather unsuccessfully to continue with my re-arranging and remodeling. The first part goes quickly but then when it’s time to put up the last of the nitty-gritty it’s a gut-wrenching deal. What to keep, what to pitch, and in my case, what to sell. The Flea Market booths we have make an excellent way to get rid of things too good to throw away but no longer loved by me.

So today the president begins his work and I must turn the TV off and do my work. The weather is co-operating and all systems are “go.” Have a good day wherever you are.

Essentially Esther

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Our area is more fortunate than most for winter weather but still, last night was the coldest temperature since 2003 so it was a three dog night. In my case, two cats and a dog. I am amazed at the amounts of snow we see on the weather map for states all along the northern part of the country.

It has to take a terrible toll on people who have no where to go or for the ones who must work outside. The pile-ups on the nations major highways is rising and thankfully there haven’t been fatalities in the number one might expect.

Becky and I will be driving to visit George tomorrow, returning on Monday. Becky is always delighted when she can manage a 4-day weekend out of one day’s vacation time. Being retired over 11-years now it is no longer necessary to ration those days out with an eye-dropper anymore. Winter weather like we are experiencing certainly makes one happy to be retired.

Napoleon is nestled down in the leaves outside my window like a hen on a nest. The feet of a peacock are the most vulnerable in winter so he smartly snuggles in and warms them. I worry about him while I am gone but hopefully he will make it. I am the only one who feeds him so he will be on his own. He grazes throughout the day after a hand-out from me and again before he flies up in the big oak for the night. If he thinks it’s time to eat he peers in the window and bobs around until I see him. He has me pretty well trained.

This is a piece I copied from one of Ellen’s blogs because it was so meaningful. I still miss her charm and wit. She was one of a kind.

When you come to the edge of all you know,
You must believe in one of two things:
There will be earth on which to stand,
Or you will be given wings.

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I’m happy to say the flooring is finished. Tom put in a 9-hour day yesterday and did an excellent job. I have decided it ranks right up there with moving. So much has to be moved before, during and after……..I didn’t stop to think that everything on each floor had to come up and out. If you know me very well, you understand what I’m talking about…..I have lots and lots of “stuff.” However, I am taking care of that and most of it will not go back. I am finding housework takes more time and longer when you’re in the golden years.

Though I have been busy remodeling (yet) I have taken breaks to listen to the news. History is being made and believe me, if you’re a news hound (and I am) there is a lot going on that needs our attention. How one man could get away with over 50-billion dollars of his friends money…….and other people who trusted him, can still be allowed to live in his own penthouse. How bad can house arrest be like that? I am saddened at the amount of debauchery and permissiveness in our country. It seems to be open season to grab all you can from the other guy, regardless of the consequences……and many times….there are no consequences.

I recently received a letter from a friend who used to live next door to us. It was long ago but we tried to stay in touch though our lives took us miles apart. When I didn’t get a Christmas card this year I thought maybe they had gone to visit their children over the holidays and would write when they were home again. Sadly, the letter from her husband told me that Beverly died last September….although she had some health issues she died suddenly and un-expectantly. It was, of course, a terrible shock to the family.

As my Christmas card list grows shorter and shorter each year it means the loss of another friend or relative. I’ve read articles about people not being able to remove any names from a list for sentimental reasons……I am the same. I have phone numbers on my cell-phone I do not erase and three address books with old friends and family names long gone. There is the comfort of knowing they were in my life for a while and will never be forgotten. The down side of a long life is that eventually you are the only one left but if you are there is much that can still be done to make you life and other’s worthwhile.

I love the words I read once….“Old age ain’t for sissies”

Back to the floors, I see the downside to them is the prospect of running a Swiffer over them constantly. Yup!! You guessed it!! I have darkish floors but they are beautiful and worth it. I do so love a change. It gives me incentive and that’s a good thing.

Essentially Esther

Monday, January 12, 2009


Today is the final day of re-flooring. The last room is where my best friend, the computer, is so I will be shut off all day. I feel a pang of remorse as it’s the “window” where I join you and you join me. I am still in awe how I can sit in my room and send out messages, letters and blogs all over the world. Something my parents could not imagine in their day. With everything there is good and bad but I see it as a wonderful way to stay in touch with family and friends. (Although some of my friends wouldn’t say I’ve been in contact much lately.)

I always forget how much work goes into a project. When everything on the floor has to be moved at least twice it’s a massive undertaking. I managed to box up all the small stuff and Tom (the one who does the work) will finish taking the plastic tubs when he comes.

I managed to watch the games by working during the commercials and was happy with three of my choices…….however I really wanted Eli Manning to win as he’s such a nice kid. I would say the Chargers couldn’t play their best game in Pittsburgh…..they looked pretty miserable with low temps, blowing wind and snow flurries.

I was happy for the Cardinals as Kurt Warner played for our St. Louis Rams and took them to the Super Bowl with a Cinderella story. Bagboy to fame. He ended up on the bench as second QB for a couple of teams and this is a showcase for the skills he never lost. Good for him.

Now to get back to work………I’ll check in at the end of the day.

Essentially Esther

Friday, January 09, 2009


It has been my plan for some time to rid the house of carpeting and put in laminate floors. Rocky and I had the first of them put down several years ago in our kitchen.
We had new carpeting put in the rest of the house and we were happy as clams. But…..our happiness was short lived. We had two cats at the time and before the flooring crew left our driveway both cats began throwing up.

I was told it was the strong dye odor and they’re so close to the floor it made them sick. Well….let me tell you, they were sick a long time because more times than I care to count I found myself cleaning up their vomit additions to the carpet.

Then Mandy came along. She was 2 years old and supposedly house-broken. She was extremely nervous and it took months and months to finally find a schedule that agreed with her. Doggie pee and poop are not on my fun list.

During these times I was thinking how the carpet was just a “spot” magnet. However, I stayed the course and kept on cleaning until I saw the floor in LJ’s room at Thanksgiving. It was laminate and so clean and neat. It was one of those moments when I knew the time had come. I couldn’t get home soon enough to begin ripping the carpet up. In fact, Marc and George did the ripping. Marc put down the flooring in the living room and hall before he had to leave for home. George helped and at the last, Becky helped. We had over-bought I think because the living-room, hall and one bedroom has been finished and there is enough left for the last room. Not a bad problem as it saved further expense to finish.

Monday will finish the last room and this weekend I will be emptying all the shelves over the desk area and then the file cabinets and desktop Rocky rigged up for me. Then I can finally be rid of the sawdust and retrieve the space the flooring boxes took up. It will be an effort getting everything back to the proper rooms and fine tune everything.

At last the “make-over” will be complete and I can think about something else. I have put my heart and soul into the past months because it is the only way I can get through each day without Rocky. I am a strong woman and I know how to do the grieving steps. My head is the logical part of grieving…..it’s the heart that will not accept the fact he is gone. A certain song, a word, a smile…..revisits me often and a flood of emotion runs amuck.

Imagine your soul-mate gone for a week….a month….a year…..or always. Time doesn’t change anything. To survive I find doing or giving or helping others is the best medicine. It brings enough satisfaction to make my life worthwhile.

In the meantime God hears the prayers I will never speak. He is the still, small voice that soothes and nourishes and equips me enough for one day at a time……….

Essentially Esther

Monday, January 05, 2009


Today is a good day to curl up and be comfortable inside. The sky is gray, and gearing up for rain along with possible snow. We can’t really complain about our weather so far….we’ve had a few misses that caught us on the edge but hardly worth complaining about when a look at the northern part of the country is suffering with snow and then flooding.

It’s a good time of year to stay in and work on my projects. However, today I am driving to Springfield (80-miles away) to have the permanent crown put in and then get myself home before the weather turns bad. It usually hit’s the west of our state before it comes east so it will probably follow me all the way home. I am happy with the whole experience of the root canal except for the pain it caused my piggy bank…..but looking on the bright side, I could have had a lot of pain AND heavy expense. I consider myself fortunate to have something that can be fixed.

The holidays have come and gone. Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of blogging and it’s hard to believe. It seems only yesterday I assumed the commitment to write so my children would have a testament of their great-grandparents on down to where they are. It has been a lot of fun and very educational for me. I used to be so frustrated when I didn’t do the correct things to post……John used to tell me, “it isn’t gone, mom, it’s in there somewhere” and he would straighten me out. I think I was overly committed at first but I’ve sure learned a lot about computers.

After the ancestors were given their personalities in print I then began writing about anything that came to mind. Some of you have been with me from the first. Mary Lou was the prompter who bugged me until I became a blogger. She and sister, Phyllis, have been here since day one. Rocky was great encouragement for me and proof-read each post. He told me once he liked the ones better that had HIM in it. Ha!!

So today I’m off to the dentist and I will hopefully be back tomorrow. I hope the sun in shining wherever you are and if not……spread a little sunshine yourself. These are three little kit-cats that bring sunshine into my life. Lovey, Chevy and Callie.

Essentially Esther

Friday, January 02, 2009


It’s a beautiful day in the Ozarks……sunny and warm. Hope you had a wonderful New Year’s day and a healthy and prosperous year ahead. We are standing on new ground with a whole year of adventure. Let’s get started!!!!

Essentially Esther