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Saturday, February 28, 2009


John and Barbara gave me this silver pendant for Christmas and the enclosed card explained it was designed to remember our troops. The words were written by Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, USMC.

It is a favorite of mine because I am very much for the Military. They go where we can never go, they see what we are spared from seeing, and many times without sleep or comfort, they do this so we can be free. Leaving families behind and living in strange places they are faithful to their task. I just hope we are faithful to keep them in our prayers, our thoughts and our gratitude.

This is what is on the folder:

The Soldier

It is the soldier, not the reporter
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet,
who has given us the freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the soldier, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the soldier,
who salutes the flag,
who serves under the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag.

Essentially Esther

Friday, February 27, 2009


You are all wondering if I caught another mouse….right? So far it is “no.” If I don’t catch another one by tomorrow I may put the dishes back and put the kitchen in order. I’ll have to raise my confidence level if I do. I don’t really want to go through all those dishes again. They aren’t as bad as all the measuring cups, the table-ware, measuring spoons and all the items that a baker uses.

Since I have no news about mice I am shifting my thoughts to the rest of the day. Friday always means a visit to see my friend in an assisted living complex in Cabool. I have deep roots in Cabool and it will always be a place where part of me resides. Many good memories there for many reasons.

I began having my friend come one day a week for dinner after both our husbands died. For some time she was able to drive over, then health issues took away her driving privilege. She was devastated but I found a way around it by picking her up and taking her home. Then she had a close call and eventually ended up at the assisted living place in Cabool.

I continue to drive up every Friday to keep the continuity of our friendship alive. Keeping in touch with friends is important. One never knows when it will be the last visit for you or for them. A case in point is a man who we were fond of. Rocky hired him to drive patients to their medical appointments and he was just a top notch guy.

I saw him shortly before Christmas in a store and he came up behind me and asked if I had his Christmas present yet. I knew it was John. I turned around to his laughing eyes and said, “I sure do. I got you a bottle of whiskey!” He didn’t expect an answer like that, it too him off guard. I continued with, “Yah, I knew you’d never drink it so it would be the gift that keeps on giving.” We both had a good laugh, wished each other a Merry Christmas and went our separate ways.

John died suddenly January 24th and was buried before I even knew it. He was a good Christian man and a good friend. Now he and Rocky are both gone and the patients they drove are being transported by someone else.

Life is short whether we live to be 100 or 16. Days fly by and good intentions are often forgotten in the haste of time. If we have friends who are special we need to keep in touch, whether by phone, slow mail or email……it may be the last connection we have with them.

Essentially Esther

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Yes! A mouse. I haven’t had a mouse in years and with two cats you would think one would never venture in. However, that is not the case. In a way I guess I should thank the cats as they were actually trying to tell me. They sat in front of the cupboard doors and stared at them for long periods of time.

Punkin sat on the bathroom rug staring at the place where the tub and floor meet. I didn’t pay much attention but she kept doing it……..we did have mice under the tub years ago so I figured she just smelled where they had been. It’s a closed-in tub with a small door to work on pipes if need be.

And then…….

……then I saw little tell-tales appear in the bottom kitchen cupboards. I freak out when a mouse has been roaming my space. I keep a lot of dishes where the mouse had been so everything was jerked out and I have spent most of this week washing everything. The clean dishes are under the cloth on the table and will have to stay until I’m sure there aren’t any family members.

I’m gun shy about setting traps. They usually go off before I can even set them down. Our good neighbors who used to live next door (moved to Alabama and moved back but not next door) came to my rescue. Dave has always looked out for Becky and me after Warren died and now again with Rocky gone.

Dave came and set the traps and the first night we caught one. I emptied the trap and called Dave to tell him so he came and reset the traps again. I am hoping this is the end of it and the kitchen can return to normal.

That has pretty much been my week up to now. Always something new and different to contend with so life doesn’t get dull. Being retired gives me the option of cleaning up the messes when they appear instead of having to wait until after work to get at it. I have no complaints. Life is good. A mouse or two can’t rob my opportunity to have a good day.

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I have often mentioned my mother loved reading novels. Especially if they were about Indians, pioneer days and stories of the old West. She read so many from the Public Library she had to write down the names of the books to keep from duplicating. I have her old tablet filled with the titles and yellowed with age along with her diaries. My mother was a great observer and wrote her thoughts daily. She was a woman who truly “lived” every day of her life.

She would often tell me of stories she’d read and one in particular had impressed her. She checked out a book which I think was titled “I Heard the Owl Call My Name.” It was a story mainly about the life of a young Indian but woven throughout the book was the belief that when it was time for you to die, you would hear the owl call your name.

Mom had a big owl that stayed in the pines around her property. Anytime she was awake during the night she could hear him calling. Becky who lives in my parents home often tells me about hearing “grandma’s owl.” Some nights I even hear him and I’m doubtful it is the same owl, but for some reason there is always one to call out during the night. Naturally I always feel mom is near when I hear him.

Becky and I were shopping in an Antique and Flea Market at Ozark, MO when we came upon this picture. It is an original oil painting and the tile around the frame certainly demanded attention. It was not only unique but compelling. I had to have the picture and it is one of my most treasured possessions.

What is it that makes you think of your mother? I would like to know because there is usually a standout that brings her immediately to mind. With my daughter-in-law it is pansies. Her mother always had pansies at her door. When I see pansies I immediately think of Barbara and the meaning they have for her. It is something she shared with me one time.

Whatever it may be I hope you have happy memories of your mother whether she is still with you or not. Memories, happy memories are good medicine…..

Essentially Esther

Monday, February 23, 2009


Here is a picture I snapped a little bit ago. He likes to show off when I come out with the camera.

Essentially Esther

AT LAST..... 

Today I was able to get my pictures transferred to the computer. I’m sure you are tired of me complaining about it and I’m tired of messing with it. I went to the Radio Shack this morning and they couldn’t fix me up with the USB that Kodak uses but they had a high speed USB 2.0 data transfer that worked. Of course when I got home with it I had unexpected problems as my Dell still wouldn’t comply. I left the room a few minutes and came back……….on the monitor was a box asking what I wanted Dell to do. One option was transfer pictures to Kodak Easy-Share. With one little click here came my pictures.

They are past being relevant but several of you have asked about Napoleon. This was the first picture I took after the ice melted off him. He’s on my front walk eating cake. Fast forward to today and he is a real beauty….his tail is larger than ever. Herman, you asked how old he is and where he came from……well, he will be five years old this June and he just came walking up from the back woods as a young bird. He is a beauty and spends 95% of his time in my yard…..loves my cats.

I will get a picture of him with his pretty tail as soon as I can. I am happy to be able to add pictures to my blog that are pertinent. So after spending all morning at the computer I’m off to get some work done. May the sun be shining where you are.

We are as young as our faith…
As old as our doubt;
As young as our hope…
As old as our despair……….George Webster Douglas

Essentially Esther

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Never write about something you absolutely know nothing about. Yesterday I wrote about my butterfly friend and although she liked the article I was wrong, wrong, wrong about how she does it. This is my “take” on it….she was very diplomatic.

Raising butterflies goes like this: (In her words) “I bring in the worms after the eggs have turned to a worm (on the flowers). I put them in an aquarium to grow. I feed them Milkweed for about a week and then they turn into a catalyst. They crawl up to the screen cover when they are ready to go into hibernation…it takes 9 to 12 days in that stage, then they hatch and fly around the aquarium until I get them out. The catalyst is light green and has gold around the top and bottom.”

As promised, here is the other picture of one of her many butterflies.

What a nice hobby. Who wouldn’t like a yard of flowers and “flying flowers” to hover over them? One more way to enjoy nature up close and personal.

Essentially Esther

Friday, February 20, 2009


I spent an interesting day yesterday with a friend. She makes beautiful cards out of blooms collected around her yard from weeds to wildflowers. She puts them in old books, phone books etc; to dry and press. Once collected and dried she decorates paper notes and they are beautiful.

She had an area set up for both of us and watching her I followed along and finished two cards. It was fun and something different for me as I enjoy knitting and crocheting in my spare time. Now I will have another hobby and it will be interesting to see what I can collect from my yard. Even weeds have pretty blooms and are normally dainty in size.

She had some butterfly stickers to put on the pressed flowers and was telling me that she raises butterflies. She plants flowers around her yard that butterflies like and lay their eggs on. She brings the flowers in and puts them in a screened container in which the eggs grow into worms and then cocoons. After so long a time they hatch out the butterflies and she can hold them on her hand for up to an hour before she sets them free. She explained after leaving the cocoon it takes them a while to stretch their wings and completely grow strong enough to fly away.

She said when she has some ready to hatch out this year she will call me to come see how they emerge from the cocoon. I think it is a wonderful hobby because I have always loved butterflies with their beauty and grace.

She sent this picture to me and I want to share with all who pass by my site. It is absolutely a wonderful creation of God’s for all of us to enjoy.

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


This picture was taken in Boston when Rocky and I went to see John run the Marathon. The picture was taken across the street from John and Barb’s hotel in a nice little courtyard. Boston was a very interesting town and we hoped to go back some day.

I am having computer trouble. I can’t transfer my pictures and I can’t get my mail or send any out. The sound went off a couple of weeks ago so I’m thinking I may need to have a professional come check it out. To all who might be expecting answers to your emails……it may be a while. I’m calling my DSL to see what’s going on. Once I get this straightened out I’m going to get rid of Incredi-Mail and go with something else. I’m tired of the computer being full of junk.

We have had a dreary day here. A cold mist and sharp wind. Not very nice. Other than that it’s been a usual Tuesday around here. I’m still working in my little nest and looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel.

I read a quote from Abraham Lincoln and thought you might enjoy it as I did. He said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” He was such a wise and good man. I am always interested in what he had to say.

Essentially Esther

Monday, February 16, 2009


My back hurts, my feet hurt and I’m tired!!! It is becoming very clear to me that I just can’t do what I used to. I can try to fool myself for a while but eventually I have to be realistic and back off for a while. I haven’t taken time to blog since I have this big upheaval in the house. For all intents and purposes it looks like I’m moving.

My trouble started when I saw a couch I couldn’t come home without. You know what happened, don’t you. The minute it was in the door nothing else looked good or “went with” it. After thinking it over I knew I couldn’t pull paper off the living room and hallway…..so I thought, one room. I’ll have one room done and then it will work just fine.

I can tell you’re ahead of me on this. Yes! Once the living room was finished, I looked down the hall to the bedroom and it was not a happy picture. The bedroom did not look good looking from the living room. I thought, OK, I’ll have the bedroom done too and the office can wait…..it isn’t too bad.

Then I thought….. “ but if I have the office done everything would be done except the kitchen and bathroom.” The kitchen is OK but the bathroom hasn’t been brought up to speed for too many years. It will be a major over-hall so there is no question about it having to wait.

So now my big ideas are reduced to all the tubs of stuff to go through and decide what to pitch and what to keep. It is like pulling teeth with all the decisions. Each piece has a history and it’s hard to let go…….but I promised myself I would down-size and simplify. Housework has become more of a back breaking routine instead of…….well……..fun!

I know I’m smart enough to do this. Let go, let go, let go.

Ahhhhh! I’m feeling better aleady.

Now that I’m in the proper frame of mind I’m going to get busy. Still don’t have the camera transferring my pictures to the computer so that will have to be the next job. I miss having current pictures to put in the blog. I’ll dig something up from the past entries to put on for today.

Essentially Esther


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


We have had a wild week here. The weather has been up and down the charts and I have had people here painting most of the week. Tomorrow will be the last of it. Then the real work begins when I cull out what I don’t want back in the rooms. I am weighted down with “stuff” I’ve saved hoping to use someday or give to someone who might use it. It’s girl stuff. Guys save old lawnmower parts, nuts, bolts, screws and all the things they can pick up and put in their pocket.

Rocky saved wood scraps and most of what he made for me came from his stash. He made a kitchen dish cupboard, shelves in our office, window seats for the cats and many things that were a help to me. I admired him for tackling anything he thought would make me happy…..and in truth it all made me happy.

I am still unable to transfer my Kodak pictures to the PC so I will try to find a solution at the Kodak section of Wal-Mart. Their clerks are as savvy as any in a specialty shop. Most are young kids and they have me fixed up before I finish telling them my problem. The generation of my grandkids have all the skills needed for any electronic gadget made. Amazing!

Valentine’s Day will soon be here and I remember making red hearts cut out of construction paper at school, then put on a string around the blackboard. The teacher covered a box with pretty paper and we could put Valentines for each other in the slot on top. It was exciting to have them passed out to read at our desks. I think that would be pretty tame stuff for the kids now-a-days but those times are nice to recall for me.

My computer was off for two days while they painted my office and I’ve had a lot of mail to answer. Hopefully I am up and running again and will soon be able to post the pictures I’ve taken to show you. Napoleon had a had night of strong winds, lightening and thunder. We had about 2” of rain. However, he looked OK when I saw him out and about. I guess he’s had to cope with a lot as any critters do that have to live their life outdoors.

I’ll be sleeping on the couch tonight as we piled the bed high with things in the way of painting. I’ll see if it sleeps as good as my bed. (I think it’s doubtful.)

Essentially Esther

Sunday, February 08, 2009


We aren’t born to obey. The sad truth is we are given to rebellion when our mother’s force us from our comfort zone in the womb. We hold on and hang back until mother gives the fateful push and we’re thrust into a foreign world. Just when we’re trying to get used to the glaring lights we’re slapped on the backside till we holler and cry. Welcome to life!!!!

Our early years are full of trial and error and we learn the hollering and crying thing usually gets us what we want. Since it works so well most of us go on into adulthood alternating the proven formulas and garnering the results.

Eventually parenting, mentors, society and yes, our conscience, create a desire for character change. We become aware that having our own way all of the time is not desirable and not healthy. We embrace self discipline as well as rules of our society or culture but this is a long and usually a slow process.

We will never able to achieve the desired result on our own. There has to be something or someone worthy enough to bring us to obedience. Experience has already taught us that every system and every one we have ever known is flawed. The one entity who has never failed us, who is completely trustworthy, is Jesus Christ. It is the higher calling of the Christian life that woos us to our potential of obedience. Surrendering our rebellion is not throwing in the towel or becoming a robot. Submission offers freedom from “self” and a look at a bigger picture.

Obedience is the death knell of rebellion, self-will and stubbornness. We take on the act of loving others as ourselves and even loving those who do us harm. It isn’t a quick-fix but one that continues throughout our earthly journey.

Essentially Esther

Thursday, February 05, 2009


If you missed a picture yesterday it’s because my Dell says it won’t recognize my USB cable and therefore transferring my pictures will not happen. There are always pictures in my file that can be used to bring a little interest to the site. Who knew that computers were so picky? Suddenly it has turned on the cable and slammed the door shut. OK….a trip to WalMart will be the solution. (This picture was taken almost to the day in 2006)

I have been slowly working on a transformation in our house. It really took off when I bought a new couch (divan, sofa….whatever you call them) and I wanted to change the whole look so that was a starter in the living room. I had wallpaper for quite a few years and have decided to go with painted walls. It is much easier to change.

Growing up in the 30’s was actually a blessing. I learned to create with whatever was at hand. I have to laugh when I remember our treasures in a paste-board box that slid under the bed. I had various magazines and catalogs so I played secretary and made orders out to Sears Catalog. I also had Jacks, a jump rope, Pick up Sticks, color books and so on. My brother also had a box of “boy stuff”….model airplanes and modeling clay were his favorites.

They say “necessity is the mother of invention” and I agree. Money is not the benefactor when it comes to learning to work with what you have. Growing up in an era without credit cards was educational. If you didn’t have cash….you did not buy. If you couldn’t buy, you did without. It’s amazing how much you can do without when you put your mind to it.

Looking back at the road traveled I am blessed and grateful to have the health that I do and to be where I am. Contentment is something more or less a choice we make. It isn’t always the case but some wealthy folks aren’t all happy and all welfare folks aren’t always unhappy……..it’s just how we look at life in general and choose to think.

There is something inside all of us that dreams beyond where we are. A quiet little urging to use what we’ve been given and to be content.

Essentially Esther

Monday, February 02, 2009


I’m wondering what makes a woman want fourteen children. Especially in just two pregnancies. Talk about life-altering!! I can’t imagine the diapers everyday or to be able to give them each the love and handling that bonds the baby and mother. I for one would not like finding myself in the media with everyone’s take on my situation. I hope this turns out for the betterment of the children involved.

I am happy to say Napoleon is back and our routine is normal again. He sure went through a miserable three days but doesn’t seem too worse for the wear. Amazing! The cats are tired of sliding around on the ice. Our ice and snow have been melting for about three days but freezes back at night. The ground is still covered and it is perilous to walk without the protective straps on my shoes.

I made my first trip out today after one week at home. I had some errands to run and the roads are fine. It’s just the parking lots etc; that make it difficult. The ground-hog has seen his shadow here so we are in for 6-more weeks of winter.

I have to say I was happy for one magnificent moment in yesterday’s Super Bowl. With one minute to go and the Cardinal’s run for the touchdown I thought for sure we were going to win. The underdogs!! How great is that? However, those of you who watched know it was only for a moment.

Maybe next year……….

Essentially Esther