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Thursday, June 25, 2009


After so much rain you would think the ground would still give moisture to the flowers but not so. Each day makes them suffer terrible heat so I water early morning or in the evening. I swear they drink up the moisture and thank me.

The television is full of warnings about “the elderly” who may be in homes without AC. Those that do don’t use it because of high electric bills. Since it feels strange to be thought of as “elderly” I get a wake-up call with heat related warnings. I’ve had severe problems with the heat so I stay in through the major part of the day. Good thinking to remind us because I throw caution to the wind and suffer the consequences at times.

When I think I used to pick, prepare and can green beans in July in a small kitchen it leaves me shaking my head. No AC at all and most of the time with no fan. We didn’t think anything of it. The end result was the focus. Can up all you could for a long hard winter. The old pressure cooker spewed hot steam and the pressure release would jingle a little tune.

It was still better than the way my mother and grandmother’s canning went. Same heat, different place……a big kettle full of boiling water with jars rattling around in it to make the contents safe to eat. Later on Mom had a pressure cooker which made her life easier but she was ever fearful it would blow up. She walked around it with the same respect given dynamite or an atom bomb.

Well, the old memories seem just like yesterday. Time is an elusive thing. I’m thankful for the experience of growing food and canning it but now that I’m a household of one I find memories are as satisfying.

Today is a good day to make memories so you will be enriched down the line. Make each day count to the fullest…….it is, after all, a gift.

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


This is the cupboard that Rocky made. Since the space was limited it wouldn’t be possible to find a cupboard to fit. Rocky asked if I would like him to make one……..does a bear live in the woods? Though married three times I never had a husband who could do carpentry, electrical, plumbing….the works. Rocky amazed me with his “can do” attitude. This doesn’t take anything away from my other two husbands. They had talents that Rocky didn’t and at the time were needed.

He made a trip to the lumber yard and began his project in the garage. The next few days he was busy as a bee…….occasionally having me look to determine how far apart the shelves should be and such. When he brought it into the house, it fit the space perfectly. To the half-inch it fit into the space with no problem.

It is one of my prized possessions because he made it. I am one who is appreciative of handwork and “home made” because love is always tucked into the project. It is a valued gift of time and effort.

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


At last my kitchen project is over. Painting the cupboard red was a challenge but I stuck with it and am proud of the outcome. That’s why we do such things, to improve our nests. After days of dishes being piled on the table with a sheet over them to keep dust and the cats off them I am glad to have things back to my normal. Normal can mean all kinds of things but we each have our comfort level and being piled up isn’t one of mine.

The rain finally quit with a bang. Our last wind and rain storm came in about 4:00 AM some time last week and made a lot of racket. It’s been days now since rain so I had to water my pot flowers, the berm and the Japanese ferns planted around the big oak. After the rains we are boxed in with some of the hottest weather at this time of year. It has been in the low to mid 90’s for days and not expected to change anytime soon. Summer in the Ozarks. Who can figure.

I’ve had visiting friends recently. My card and butterfly lady last week and this week a girl I used to work with before I retired. She is a top-notch stitcher and brought a variety of things to show me that she’d been making on her sewing machine. Life is never dull around here. There are always hobbies to trade with one another and I love making the cards.

I stained the top of a cupboard in the computer room and am pleased with the outcome. I’ll take a picture of that once I get another coat of stain and the polyurethane put on. It’s hard to open windows in 94* weather and it’s terribly smelly without ventilation. It took the red paint 4-days to dry good enough to put my dishes back in. One baby step at a time.

Essentially Esther

Monday, June 15, 2009


I’ve felt like a cat on a hot tin roof today. Didn’t know whether to jump or run. On Mondays I am half trying to catch up what didn’t get done last week and trying to get a quick start for this week. If I’m not careful I end up running in circles. My brain is like four BB’s in a box car……

Here is how today went. I took Mandy out and it was kind of rainy. But on our little walk I thought I’d better pick some wild flowers for the cards my friend and I make together. I came back, ate breakfast and went up the road with scissors and picked some beauties I noticed earlier. I put them in a book to press, put my sheets in to wash and stared at the cupboard in the kitchen I’m painting.

A giant problem emerged when I put the first coat on. I hadn’t noticed but the thick shelves were painted on the ends which shows through the glass sides. I wasn’t initially alarmed as I was more into slapping on red paint. I kept the windows open as I was using outdoor paint and it said not to use it inside due to noxious fumes. I’m from “old school” which means I don’t pay any attention to directions when I’m steamed up to get a project off the ground.

I knew ultimately I would have to do something about “the problem” of the shelves and suddenly it came to me. Of course!!!! It was such an easy solution I was surprised I didn’t think of it sooner. All I had to do was measure the size of the shelves, buy some thin wood cut to size, paint them and stick them on with liquid nails outside of the glass. It would match the rest of the cupboard and look like it was made that way.

For the first time in my life I left the house with no make-up (my Rocky would never believe it) and headed for the local True Value Store. I had a broken yard stick in my hand with ink lines where the measurements were and any smart clerk will hide when he sees something like that heading his way. I finally trapped a guy……got the cuts I needed, a paint scrapper/with a box of blades and the liquid nails. I thought all that for less than $10 dollars was pretty good. Problem solved.

I came home and spent the afternoon putting blue tape on all the glass areas and that took a little doing until I got the hang of it…..sorta. The wild flowers I told you about? I took a good picture of them to put on today’s blog……now remember, I told you about my brain mal-function…..when I went to put the picture in the computer and reached for the little gizmo to transfer it ……..the memory chip was still in it. I hadn’t taken it out and didn’t get the picture with an empty camera.

And now, I have to put those clean sheets back on the bed.

Essentially Esther

Thursday, June 11, 2009


More storms and rain came our way late afternoon and into the evening hours yesterday. The same is predicted for today and tonight. It’s the peak of tornado weather so we know the drill. We were in the tornado zone for a brief time.

The rain we’ve had lately makes the ground easier to dig. Yesterday my former neighbor came to put in my new mailbox. The one we had was past due for replacement and I’m happy to have it in and ready for the mail lady.

Today I plan to paint the dish cupboard in the kitchen. I have finally decided upon a color so it is on it’s way to being revamped. Hopefully I can get out in the yard soon to continue my “cleaning out” of unwanted foliage trying to grow into the yard. At any rate, it’s fun to be able to pick and choose my projects.

Time to get busy here. Hope you have blue skies wherever you are.

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Am I the only one that can’t believe it is already June 9th? I had a lot of grand ideas when I retired. I bought up a lot of yarn and cloth so I could have hobbies out the gazoo without spending from a fixed income. That seems to be the cry of retired people.

I promised myself I would never give in to the wimpy phrase of…… “ but I’m on a fixed income.” I know employed people hate to hear that and as a matter of fact I do too. Look….if you can’t afford it……move on. Don’t beg for a dime.

Most retired people have put in the years to have an income after employment. We have paid forward for Social Security and retirement from our place of income. We have not run Social Security short of funds. That fact has to be laid at the feet of congress who keeps digging in for all sorts of causes.

I pay for insurance and some who are not entitled receive “free” medical and disability checks. Free housing, free medical, food handouts……and so much sympathy from Social Workers. I know from which I speak. Sadly, it is uncommon to find gratitude from people who should be the most grateful.

It is true that not all abuse the system. But even some abuse should be denied when we think of our troops who continually put themselves in harms way to give us our freedom. Freedom is not free. Freedom is the sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice, of so many who laid it on the line for the rest of us. If there were no God I would despair for the injustice of life. If there were no God I would have no hope at all.

It seems God’s way is for us to give, in every situation. Give when we have nothing left, give when it’s just an encouraging word….a look, a smile….a hug. Give of our time, our money, our talents. Give the benefit of the doubt. If he knows how many hairs are on my head to the time of my birth and death….it is enough for me to trust him. He removes my resentments and helps me realize the greater good.

He makes me a better person.

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Who would I want to be if I could be somebody else? What would I want to do if I could do anything I wanted? When would I be satisfied if I could change everything in my life? Where would I go if I could go anywhere?

The “Who” would be me. I would rather be me than anyone I know. Not that I’m conceited but because I have a good set of values that are important to me and I live by them. I know we are all flawed and I’ve fought my demons.

The “What” is where I am right now. Being retired gives me opportunity for the hobbies I love, yard work, caring for my pets, visiting family and friends……writing, knitting, reading and doing for others. All of that makes me happy and I wouldn’t want anything different. These “whats” are exactly what I want.

The “When” is satisfaction right here and right now. I have made choices all along the way that have given meaning to my life and have brought peace. I would be satisfied to have my loved ones back but I know it’s impossible….I accept the journey as God sees it and one day I will be with them again. Knowing God is good I rest with His decisions.

The “Where” would be here. We came to this little acre in 1971 and my roots are deep. I have lived with two husbands in this home and cared for each until cancer took them from me. I feel their presence here and I live with many good memories.

I say a person who is happy with themselves, who he is, what he’s given, made the right choices and is happy where he is, knows how to count his blessings.

In thinking it over I would say God has treated me abundantly well and spared me of many trials. The bottom line in God’s book is that he wants us to tell him we are aware of the blessings, the mercy, to give him honor for all he has put in our lives and to return the blessings to others.

I think it is summed up with……acknowledge all we have been given and to pass it on. Be thankful, be good and share the love.

Essentially Esther

Monday, June 01, 2009


I spent most of the weekend working in the yard. To the right of the bottom picture is what I have cut out and as you can tell, there is a lot more to be done. I spent the morning planting my potted plants for the porches and decided it was not a good idea to go down in the “hole” as I call it and cut out more brush.

The top picture gives an overall view of the area I’m working on but the lower picture is the one that shows the corner I’ve finished. Lots more to do. I love working in the yard but it has to be done in small shifts now. Just can’t stay with it like I used to.

Since I’m captive in the house during the heat of the day I’ve been digging out things to keep me interested. I haven’t done decoupage’ in years but I was wandering through the craft isles of WalMart this morning and there was the decoupage’ supplies. I have lots of things to work with so it will be in the works here. As I’ve said before, I do knitting and crochet, crossword puzzles and any thing that takes my eye. I will eventually get back to quilting but later in the summer or early fall.

At present, the dishwasher needs to be unloaded, as does the dryer and I have a load waiting to go into the dryer. Hummmmm……maybe I should do a little of that before I tear into the crafty things.

See you tomorrow, Lord willing.
Essentially Esther