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Tuesday, July 28, 2009


As I write at 8:00 AM it is dark with rain coming soon. The rest of the week is to be the same. It’s OK……it's been the best July weather I can remember. Gardens and pastures have flourished so the cattle and I are happy. A couple of my friends have ample produce right out of the patch and brought to me, cleaned and ready for cooking. I won’t send the names or address because I’m selfish. She, on the other hand, is very generous. I have gardened in my life and it is hot, hard work. To say nothing of getting dirty. That happens because gardens are planted in dirt.

I have another half bushel of peaches to fix for freezing. I can begin to slow down as yesterday was a real marathon to get everything ready for company dinner last night and today George comes in for a couple of days. Naturally, Mom’s home cooking will be the entertainment……

As promised here are another two pictures from the Butterfly Palace trip. The camera doesn’t do them justice but in some way I hope you find them interesting. Meanwhile I’m going to work at making a cherry pie for son, George. His favorite.

Tomorrow will be a peach cobbler. I’ve never had such beautiful peaches to prepare for the freezer. They are large, juicy, good color, easy to peel, and best of all…..the taste is excellent. The local fruit producer picks them right off the trees for you so how fresh and good do you think they are? There used to be large peach orchards all over the area but now you have to find them through friends and word of mouth. The provider of peaches looks to be in good health so I should have years of peaches to enjoy down the road. I consider that a blessing.

Many years ago I had a wonderful older friend who always said, “peachy keeny”……I’ve never heard anyone else say that but whenever I look at a peach in the face, she is the one I think of.

Have a happy Tuesday wherever you are……and whoever you are……

Essentially Esther

Monday, July 27, 2009


July and August are the months for local peaches and my butterfly friend has had a source for years. She and I have split a bushel over the week-end and will get another at the next picking. How long has it been since you’ve had peaches picked off the tree to process? I prefer peeling, slicing, sugaring and into freezer bags for cobblers later on. They go great on cereal or ice-cream (or both) for a delicious breakfast. Locally grown, they are wonderful.

I’m also having friends in for supper so after the peaches I’ll scrub the floors and start cooking. It isn’t often I cook a full meal anymore but I still enjoy it when I have a reason.

I promised more pictures which are of the butterflies themselves, rather than the building etc; However, the building was the first thing one sees when arriving so you had to see that before going in. Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Essentially Esther

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I’ve been on the run lately but I’m finally getting to the Butterfly Palace pictures I promised. I left my purse in the car with the camera in it (which I realized after I got inside) so I didn’t take the pictures, personally, the photo’s you will see over the next couple of days will be the ones my “butterfly friend” took.

I told you I had to be talked into going. I finally gave in since it meant so much to her. We weren’t inside 2-minutes until I was glad I changed my mind about the day’s adventure. She darted about snapping pictures, always seeing more to capture on film. She was transformed into the little girl, aged about three, she used to be.

It’s only been 9-months since her husband died and seeing life emerge from a worm to a butterfly is one of the things she draws pleasure from. We are the same age and have come through much of life’s travels the same, though from different roads. We all handle grief differently but I’m not a couch potato (nor is she) and I’m happiest when I’m working on my many interests so at the close of day I have something to feel good about.

Three of her friends were in the group, all very pleasant and good natured. The plan is to go back to Branson later on to see the Titanic which is reported to be an excellent choice. It is replicated so well I am told you feel like you are on the ship.

My choice is to see the Ozark Fall Festival at Silver Dollar City in October. Rocky and I always intended going but his early death prevented it. There are so many local venues of craftsmen who do their work while you watch or stroll by. Many have come from other States to see it every year and I just live an hour and a half away so Lord willing we will go this year.

The night picture is a post card, and maybe the day picture….the rest are the work of my friend. I will be posting some now and then for you to see.

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


It finally quit raining and the clouds rolled away about mid-afternoon. The sun looks good after rainy days even if we did need the rain. Can’t please everyone I guess. Tomorrow I am going to Branson with my butterfly friend. She hasn’t seen the new building for the butterflies and couldn’t ever get anyone enthused enough to go….. but the plan is coming together tomorrow.

Two friends of hers, she and I will go over to take in the town. I’m just a passenger so it will be nice to let the day happen without driving through the maze of streets and traffic. I have tired of lane to lane traffic, finding a place to park or standing in line for anything. In the span of my lifetime it has become unreal. Anywhere.

Yesterday I went for a massage at a place in our small town where there is good feed-back. His prices are unreal. I know in a city it would be much more but here it is only $75 for 90-minutes. I took the full time and will go back next week. Definitely does help my situation better than the chiropractor. After a few weeks I will gear down to an hour for $55 or a half-hour for $35. When you feel better it is worth the money. Once this sciatic problem is reconciled I will be a happy woman.

I certainly sympathize with people who can’t walk, or if they do, it’s painful. People who have lost limbs or have a muscular or nerve problem that can’t be fixed have a terrible time just getting through a day. It doesn’t take long to realize how fortunate “normal” is. Perhaps it is good to have a flare-up occasionally to realize just how good we have it. In our senior years it’s a blessing to be able to care for one’s own needs.

Tomorrow I will take pictures to paste in a blog when I have the time to write again. For now I’d better get to some of those daily jobs that are waiting for me.

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Have you ever said, “It’ll be a cold day in July”….well it’s almost cool enough to turn on the heat. Our high today will be near 72-which is about 25-degrees cooler than the average. Many of you all over the country are facing the same weather tantrums. Whatever happened to Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter? We in Missouri are almost a 2-season State now. Cold and hot. I think Nature is trying to tell the wizards who keep saying “global warming” has turned on the AC. Trust me. She is still in control.

In my young life, I never paid any attention to weather news. I thought it was silly to pay so much attention to it. My first mother-in-law used to look out the window and prophecy the weather. “It looks like rain. If it comes from the East we’re in for a good soaker, we get our heaviest rains from the East. The wind always changes at midnight. Gonna be windy today, look at those clouds. Lots of wind in them.” She had many years of looking up to see how she needed to plan her day. Honestly, she was right most of the time. I should have known her many years of experience would back her up. But I was young….what did I know about it? Looking back I should have taken a few lessons. She was gracious with my eye-rolling. (Oh yes!! I did that too. It isn’t a new thing.)

Youth is wasted on the young.

Now I am mostly alone and guess what? You already knew didn’t you? No matter what I’m doing I plan to be in front of the TV at least 6-times a day to see the “latest” weather. It isn’t as goofy as it sounds. Missouri’s natives always say if you don’t like the weather, hang around. It’ll change. I spend time looking up whenever I’m outside. I like the clouds, search the horizons to see if anything is “coming.” Even as dumb as I am I can tell when it’s raining.

Hey, we need the rain. I’m not inside looking out singing, “Rain, Rain, Go Away.” I did enough of that as a kid. Now that I’m the smart person I am about weather I know it doesn’t do any good. I have Josh Groban and Rod Stewart singing and will all day while I work. That’s a good thing to leave the singing to them. You don’t think they go together? Oh but yes! It’s Rod Stewart’s Great American Songbook with his sexy, sultry voice. Never a fan of his former music but now that we’re both older he goes very well.

As for Josh Groban….I never knew he existed until John selected it for background music at Rocky’s memorial service. I will always love Josh’s music for the way it impacted me at the Service. Thanks, John.

Now the music is in my heart with Rocky………………

Essentially Esther

Friday, July 17, 2009


I have a friend who lost her husband about 9-months ago. Over the years we kept in touch here and there but our visits were confined to phone calls due to the illness and later death of our husbands. After Rocky died in April 2007 she came to visit. Her daughter came with her as we used to work together on the same crew of Driver’s Examiners. I kept up with her mother through her, basically.

Soon after that visit her own husband’s health declined and she was busy taking care of him. After a long illness he died, leaving my friend heartbroken. It was then that Becky and I went to see her and her daughter to express our sympathy and support.

She is the same lady who shared her hobby of card making with me recently. My interest in her cards caused me to call one day asking if she would mind showing me her hobby. I was invited to her home and addicted on the spot.

The good company, someone who understood the pain of losing a mate and the fun of making the cards caused us to set a date to meet again the next week. So that was how we began our one-day-a-week visits to make cards.

When you lose a husband you are swamped with family and friends for a short period but eventually they call or come less and less. It is just natural to think the grieving widow is on top of things by then and they taper off, one by one.

The widow is left to consider what her life will be from there on out. Older women like myself and my friend never consider marriage as an option for many reasons. The most important is that we are still in love with our husbands. I would never have remarried when Warren died but four years my high-school sweetheart and I met for the first time at our 50th class reunion. Having a history together and both widowed, the old feelings we had for one another bloomed.

My friend and I are the same age so we have many of the life experiences which make sense to us but not always to our kids. I love being with younger people but they just don‘t “get it” about the way a senior parent thinks or acts…….however, one day they will, it’s just down the road a few years.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Rocky. You see he is looking at me taking the picture, not the family in the background or Boston Harbor where the boats are. He is focused on me, relaxed, holding my package. When I look at this now it speaks to me. He is waiting for me, still, to come from behind the camera and join him. Our family will be in the background as they are in the picture but in due time we will all be together again.

What a happy time of reunion that will be.

Essentially Esther

Monday, July 13, 2009


After 10-days of heat and no rain things were pretty sorry looking. Then as summer so often does it whipped up the right recipe to bring us rain. Cool front coming down from the north and juicy hot air coming from the Gulf…..mix well together and pour out for rain. Works every time. The trick is to keep it under control so there are no tornados, high straight winds and no hail. That’s the tricky part. When winds are clocked at 70 mph it’s going to do a lot of damage.

I’ve been pretty much passive about it all as I’ve had to humor the sciatic nerve on my right side. I’ve been to the chiropractor twice, the doctor once and have applied cold packs and an infra-red lamp to the area that keeps belting out a painful punch. Of course none of this is exactly news for those of you who are regular readers.

It is so frustrating to look out instead of being out. As hot and humid as the weather has been it would have been some help to at least pull a few weeds. However, I am one who believes there is a great primeval plan for our days so whatever I’m to learn from all this is: I am definitely not in control. That’s my take on it, at least.

I take full credit for the wonderful rain we’ve had. I drove through the car wash on Friday and even selected the deluxe wash. As much as I love Napoleon, he has several aggravating habits. For one, he insists on getting up on top of the van with his tail hanging over the driver’s window. Does this bring a red light to anyone? In the natural way of things he relieves himself and it runs all the way down my side window and door.

If I’m not careful I leave the window slightly cracked and he manages to let it run down the inside onto my driver’s seat. Needless to say I would put the car in the garage but remember we have about a dozen booths to keep full of stuff? My garage has become the dumping ground for whatever we can’t haul at the time and since cold weather it has become fuller and more out of organization than ever. When I’m up to the humiliation I’ll snap a picture and let you see for yourselves. It is not a pretty sight.

My aim is to get the garage cleaned and organized so I can put the van in out of the weather and away from Napoleon. However, that depends on how soon I can get back to work. Well, I digress. My washing the car, finally, was what tempted the downpours we’ve had the past several days. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard much thunder and seen that much lightening and it was rewarding.

All things considered life is moving right along here on our little acre……and now, it is time for the infra-red lamp again. Cheers.

Essentially Esther

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Some days are better than others. I never know why but it’s true. It’s like you wake up with a happy, expectant feeling that “today” is going to be special. In my case, I think it’s because I’m limited with activities right now and it gives me time to appreciate everything more. I have every reason to be grateful for God has been very good to me. He has seen me through many a trial and error and answers every prayer; sometimes yes and sometimes no. That’s enough to make any day special. We have an advocate who is always watching out for us.

I sense a growing feeling that the citizens of this country are banding together to get back to basics. It really doesn’t take a lot to make most of us happy. When I see the ruins of tornado’s or earthquakes, etc; on TV, most of the people interviewed will say “our family is safe….the things can be replaced.” If your house were burning and you had five minutes to grab something, it more than likely would be a child, or pet. If there is no child or pet, it’s usually photo albums.

Fire, wind or water doesn’t care what we pay for things or what brand we are wearing. It burns the same no matter the price tag. When everything is gone that we spent our lives getting what do we have left? Who and what we are and the integrity we hold dear. Boiled down, sifted and tried we really don’t need much.

I’m happy because there are still flowers blooming along the roads, beautiful sunrises or sunsets, butterflies and birds and all the little critters running around in the acre I call home. My mother was always one who enjoyed looking at the yards and homes of other people. She didn’t have to own it or acquire it…..she simply enjoyed the beauty as she walked by and was satisfied.

Satisfied! What a wonderful gift she gave to me.

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


I’m writing today in a room closed off because I have stained a piece of furniture in here. The smell is not only terrible but I would imagine not too good for my lungs. Just an update on the doctor visit today……she agreed with the chiropractor and the only thing she could do differently was prescribe a pain pill.

I am not better today….it hurts worse but only took the pill an hour ago. I’m like an addict watching the clock until the next pill. I’m hoping it will work since I’m more or less sedentary at this stage.

John sent a book I’m reading so it’s a chance to finish that and maybe do a little work on an afghan I’m making. I can find something to do at any level of activity or no activity. I have a crossword puzzle half finished so that will be first on my list……OK…..I think I’m set.

Our weather is getting ugly. The next couple of days is mid-90’s and the weekend is to be 100. It will be OK if we keep the little breeze we’ve been having. No matter how hot it is……if there is a breeze and you are in the shade, it’s tolerable. On the other hand if the above isn’t happening……the humidity is in control.

There are so many things to be thankful for I can’t find it in my heart to complain. There are people everywhere who hurt this bad all the time. There is no “pill” to ease their pain and they certainly don’t have AC or clean water. In comparison I don’t stand very tall.

My condition will improve in time and I’ll be normal again. (Well, anyway “my” normal.) The odds of recovery aren’t very good for the people we see on TV that are truly suffering with no chance of getting help or getting better. I don’t know the full extent of needs for these people but it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize we have it pretty good in comparison.

The picture is one taken by George (son #1) of his rock berm. I thought it should have a chance to be enjoyed by those of you who read my blog. I’ve seen it close and personal……it is very pretty.

Essentially Esther

Monday, July 06, 2009


One never knows what the day will bring. I’ve been bothered with a sciatic nerve problem. At first it was like a mild bruise and I ignored it for the most part. For quite a while I could overlook it except when I sat for any length of time or stood for long periods.

Of course I rationalized it wasn’t a serious thing……I got my doctor book out and read about the sciatic nerve and it seemed it would go away in due time. Due time has a puzzling explanation. My doctor book was printed in 1989.…..can you imagine the changes in medicine since 1989? And what is “due time?”

The past two weeks have doled out pain I can’t ignore any longer. I’m tired of giving in to the right lower back and hip because it just plain hurts. Any movement from either leg makes the right one hurt worse. Doing anything makes it hurt worse. Now I’m a very stubborn person and I don’t like to be dictated to by a nerve but I threw the towel in this morning.

After a miserable Sunday, I woke this morning with a mission. I called for an appointment with my doctor and then a friend had a chiropractor she highly recommended. I called him and was in his office @ 10:00 AM. Believe me if you called to tell me a witch doctor would work, I’d be on the phone the minute we hung up. I was making tracks like Jonah after the whale spit him up.

The chiropractor took an X-ray and said I had very little bone loss and everything looked good. He did his snap, crackle and pop and told me to keep ice on the places that hurt. Around 2 ½ hours a day…..in intervals of 20 minutes on ice, 20 minutes off, then 20 minutes of the ice again. Repeat a couple times a day to take the swelling out and help the pain. It works…..not perfect yet but it’s helping.

So I will be doing the ice thing until Friday morning at 9:00 AM when I see the chiropractor again. It’s up all the way from here…..I’ll keep you posted.

Essentially Esther

Thursday, July 02, 2009


Inspiration is funny. Either you’re full of stuff to write about and can’t shut-up or you’re brain dead. Since my last post I’ve pretty much been brain dead. I understand why some blogger’s just quit writing altogether or take leave. This is always sad when it happens to one of my favorite writers.

Most of you remember Ellen Crush. I enjoyed her journey from the time I met her on line until cancer claimed her last ounce of strength. She was a fighter with a gentle heart and good brain. Then from what I gather Critter Chick developed cancer and was so engrossed with treatments she quit writing because she didn’t want to talk about cancer all the time.

I was sorry to see her leave the blog world and finally there were so many comments they had to shut down her site. I am not aware of any updates and so I wonder what ever happened to her. Her site was full of beauty….an avowed animal lover, she had pictures of her pets and others in a fresh way for viewing.

My cousin Dale’s last blog was on May 9, 2007. One month later and on the same day…..he died. I not only miss him but he had a wonderful gift of writing. The Andersen’s were great story tellers and Dale did them proud. I will always hate that he died alone and that he died before we were ready to let him go.

Those were a few of the writers but John and Becky have quit for a while or maybe forever because they are in Administrative jobs. You can only pack so much into 24-hours. I have struggled lately because it seems I write about the same things all the time. Repetition gets old after a while for the reader.

As far as news from Shady Lane……..I’ve had the deck power-washed and wood sealer put on. It looks much better and hopefully will aid in preserving it for more years to come. I water the foliage around the house area and the other things just have to tough it until it rains again. Hopefully that will happen soon.

I enjoy being outside for any reason. I have not been able to do much work in my flowers for the rainy weather from May to half of June. The past three weeks have dried out our reserve……..but every day I can do a little and that keeps me happy. Today I am planting “Hen and Chicks”……they were a favorite of Rocky’s and therefore, a favorite of mine.

Essentially Esther