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Tuesday, March 31, 2009


We are finally home after six days with family. Becky and I drove up to George’s on Wednesday last week and John/Barbara flew in on Friday. It isn’t often we have the opportunity to be together and this was one time we would not have asked for.

The memorial service and burial was on Saturday. The mortuary and cemetery was a long way from Shawnee and the predicted winter storm began early in the day. Strong wind, sleet, snow and ice made traffic hazardous for the afternoon service. George Sr.’s widow had been ill and though difficult she was able to attend.

John was asked to do the eulogy and gave a heartfelt tribute of the years growing up along with memories of his dad. He kept it short due to the worsening of the weather and the Military Honor Guard waiting at the cemetery.

Big flakes of snow were falling and the ground was white when we drove into the cemetery. The dress blues worn by the Honor Guard stood out against the white world around them. After the prayer, taps, the rifle fire and the presentation of the flag to George’s widow there was no other sound except the tent flapping in the wind.

Continued tomorrow. (This picture was taken 2-days later. Snow almost gone.)

Essentially Esther

Monday, March 23, 2009


This past Thursday was pretty much normal. There were things to do, the TV was on and I was fixing supper when Becky came in. One look at her face and I knew something terrible had happened. She blurted out, “Dad died this morning.” Her brother, George, had just called to tell her.

For a month she had been trying to see her dad again since he had lost so much weight and was more frail. Each weekend something would prevent her going. Now it was, of course, too late.

Death has no friends. It comes suddenly or slowly…. each with it’s own sorrow. No matter how much warning one has it is always a shock. Crazy thoughts rush through the mind and a feeling of disconnect and loss digs deep.

George’s three children loved him. He had been a good father and had been involved with them in every way. He left a lot of happy memories for them. Having been married to him for 20-years I have good memories to recall as well. Though divorced we were bound by our three children and mutual respect for one another.

John placed a heart-felt blog about his father on his site. I encourage you to read it.

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


OK…..this is the last of the pictures. These two are taken from the upstairs booth. Believe me, the older I get the higher those stairs get.

I’ve been messing around with the computer and now it’s time to get to some of the KP duties. Even retired folks can’t play all the time. I worked in the garage yesterday cleaning out the boxes and paper wrappings we use to transport our things to the Barn. All I’m keeping are the plastic totes and our bubble-wrap.

Today is house cleaning…..and maybe some cooking. You can only survive on ice-cream so long……time for some veggies and fruit…..

Hope you are all on top of your game today…..I’m going to tie my hand to the vacuum sweeper for now.

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


It is beautiful here in the Ozarks! We have 73* today with a slight breeze. The windows are open and I’m loving that fresh air. I am happy to say that finally I have sound with my PC again. In desperation I pulled the monitor out, looked to see where the speaker wires were……put the yellow hook-up in a place marked with yellow….and presto-chango…..it’s talking to me again.

Several people have been checking it out and evidently it was too simple for great minds to prevail. Sometimes I think I am that way with God. I try to make things too difficult when He makes it so simple. When I am at the end of Esther then He goes to work. The credit goes to Him who helps me every day. He certainly does take care of widows and orphans……and I am both.

Here are another couple of pictures from the Barn. The first is a single showcase, the second a double. I am responsible for the showcases and Becky and I work the booths together. I do the light stuff and she does the ladder and heavy stuff. It's fun and there are a lot of tourists through the area on their way to Branson. More to come.......

Essentially Esther

Monday, March 16, 2009


Many of you have wanted so see the booths Becky and I have at the Flea Market. These are a few of the pictures today………I will have to work on Links a little longer before I can crack the code. The top picture is a little of everything..the lower is the Retro Booth. More to come.

Essentially Esther

Saturday, March 14, 2009





I hadn’t forgotten my intention of putting the “after” pictures of the computer room up for viewing…… I just don’t have all four walls ready. I am waiting on some items being made so I’ll send the wall that is ready and the others when they are at last finished.

At least you can view the old desk site and then take a look at the new one. It may not look that great to you but it is much more organized and some of my favorite things had to stay.

I’m very sentimental so I can’t make a clean sweep. The things I keep are the story of my life and each one is a separate journey. Hopefully I will be able to finish the rest of the room soon. Perfection takes time. (Perfection according to me…..Ha!)

For my kids who have been wondering what I do with my time…..this may help explain that……

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


March is certainly no slouch when it comes to nasty weather. We had two balmy days of Spring and overnight buds are feeling pretty chilly today. I am going to be mad if our cold snap kills all of my blooms……..the bushes are loaded with all colors. March in Missouri is kind of “iffy.” One never knows what each day will bring.

I spent the day yesterday washing all the windows, curtains and blinds. Today I am resting my body but using my brain. A friend who is more computer savvy than me came to give me some lessons. I am going to embark on getting a lot of stuff out of the computer because it is stuffed with information that can be put on CD’s.

My goal is to get all of the addresses and folders out of Incredi-Mail and then get it out of the computer. I am convinced that it is slowing my computer down and every one who knows anything about computers says they do not use it for a lot of reasons. I am finally convinced. At first it was so much fun with all the “cutesy” stuff but I’m so over that.

The way I look at it, I have weeks of work ahead to fill up the 30 CD’s I bought. My brain is either going to grow or it will fall down in a heap. I’ve had quite a bit to take in today. My friend, Dode, is a very patient lady and I have a lot of homework to do. I love a challenge and this is a big one for me.

Obviously there is no news to report. Becky and I are fine……I work and play while she’s at work and she’s been painting her living room. It was a bummer. She had to take all the wallpaper off down to the paneling. Then plaster and paint. Several colors later she found the perfect one.

I am past all the painting and plastering (because I hired mine done.) Every room except the bathroom has been given a new look. I am not quite finished with the last details but close. This has been a long and arduous project.

Time to close up shop here. It’s almost “quittin’ time” and I don’t get paid for overtime. Being retired is hard work. Happy Wednesday everyone!

Essentially Esther

Sunday, March 08, 2009


Mid morning with skies blue and sunny we received a report for severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes. I dismissed it until I heard a loud thunder-clap and went to the door to check it out. Was this a sonic boom or thunder? I doubted myself since the sky was clear and forgot about it.

A little later I was outside and by then the sky was black to the northwest of us. Against the blue sky the advancing storm looked ominous. I decided to bring some things in from the garage before it began raining. That’s where I was when Becky came running and said there was a tornado spotted 7-miles west of Cabool. That meant we were in the direct path of it.

I dropped what I was doing and ran to the house to get Mandy….Becky grabbed Sassy and I came back for Punkin. The outside cats took notice of the high wind and dark sky and came running to the garage.

The chilling sound of the tornado siren went off and kept sounding throughout the high wind and rain. The fury lasted about 15-minutes and almost as fast as it came up it blew over. We were spared any damage and are most grateful. The tornado season is in full swing so this is just the first of many such events until the seasons settle down.

In the mid-west when the warm gulf air meets the Canadian jet stream over us we are more or less “sitting ducks.” As temperatures become more stationary the threat is not as great. This is a “file” picture and not taken from our morning storm however our sky definitely was as dark. Thankfully the tornado was aloft when it went over here.

Not my idea of a nice Sunday morning.

Essentially Esther

Friday, March 06, 2009


F stands for family/friendship. (Time to catch up with those you love.)

R stands for rest. (After the work-week is over get some rest.)

I stands for interest. (Creativity is a way of keeping your interest level up.)

D stands for doing. (Those things you’ve put off? Do them.)

A stands for availability. (Someone needs a little of your time. Give it.)

Y stands for you. (Give yourself a break. Key in on something you love to do.)

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


I took this picture on Sunday after it snowed all day on Saturday. I had hoped to post a picture of the red-birds who came to the feeders but they didn’t come out good. I had to take the pictures from the window as my appearance would have scared them away. Unfortunately the window screen covered their beauty so they were hardly distinguishable.

You will have to take my word for their beauty and number. I had at least 50 Cardinals. The trees and bushes around the feeders were full and there was a constant flow of birds taking turns at the feeders.

One of our favorite things was to care for and watch the birds. Rocky and I would sit at our table by the window to see the diversity and funny antics. We often laughed at a squirrel who tried and tried to get the sunflower seeds….Rocky had a good defense for the little guys but actually we enjoyed feeding them along with the birds. Squirrels can be quite entertaining.

It’s also important to keep water for the birds in winter. The Birds and Blooms magazine had an article about this. If water is not available and they have to fly a long way to find it their energy is depleted for keeping warm. I have found the feed stores carry small warmers that can be put in the bird-baths to keep water above freezing. Napoleon and the cats also go there for water when there is a snow cover.

I mention these basic things for those who may be interested in birds but unaware of their needs. Keeping flowering bushes, trees and “cover” in your yard is great for birds, butterflies and hummingbirds will never leave a yard full of bloom. It is better for them to have the natural benefits of the flowers and saves having to fill sugar water in the feeders.

I read a cute line this morning……Do you know why bees hum? Because they don’t remember the words. Here’s hoping your day is a hummer!!

Essentially Esther

Monday, March 02, 2009


Fifty-Two years ago John made his big debut…..born on this day about 9:15 pm. I had a hard time trying to photograph his one-year picture. I covered the other two children as I will show their baby pictures when their birthdays come around. (That explains another picture laying over part of the frame.) I had no luck with the light in the house so resorted to the deck and a chair. I am so happy I have a way of using pictures now that I never did before. Thank you Roger and Deanna!! John’s picture is a little wrinkled……I wonder who could have done that? Hummmmmmm……….

A few weeks after John was born his brother and sister came down with chicken-pox…..both at the same time. Two weeks later John showed up with a few little bumps mostly on the chest and diaper area. I’ve always heard babies are naturally immune to any disease for several months after birth. Why should I be surprised? John was always anxious to get on with the next thing in life.

His first year was spent in and out of doctor’s offices with a club foot and congenital cataracts. He grew and developed normal skills like any normal kid. It is well documented at his blog site and in my archives.

John, you taught me a lot. You also gave me a lot of gray hair….like with bicycles and motorcycles. You had a sense of adventure that took my wits to the limit, like at Mesa Verde. However I was determined not to fence you in and make your life less than it could be. You have made us all laugh…and laugh…and laugh.

You probably owe a debt to your brother, George, for getting into his “stuff” while he was at school and for having to room with his “kid” brother. But then he owes you for getting a spanking one time when it was his fault.

…….and maybe to your sister for calling her ‘jelly-belly’ and your belching at her so many times because it grossed her out. But don’t worry, when it’s their birthdays, I will be talking about things they need to apologize to you for.

You were the finishing touch to our family. George was special because he was the first child…….Becky was special because she was a girl….and you were special because you were the baby.

I’m a pretty lucky mother to have had the three kids that I did.

Happy birthday John.

Your Mom
Essentially Esther