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Thursday, October 29, 2009


This is……guess what? Yup ! It’s another rainy day. I wonder if Seattle is having sunshine and we got their rain. Something is definitely not “up to snuff” as the family elders used to say. Well……..ya’ think?

Normally I have ample time to take pictures of fall leaves but many have just dropped off. One particular day I watched as they fell like snow flakes. I have been planted on this acre of ground since 1971 and it constantly does something it’s never done before.

I finally got my camera problem fixed. After procrastinating for weeks I headed for the Radio Shack and the poor man explained what was wrong, etc, etc, etc, etc. I tried to look as if I understood for this was not the first sojourn I’ve made to his store. In retrospect, I recall the other customers in the store were also…..senior citizens.

While I described the problem, the seniors were nodding their heads and rolling their eyes. (I think we are the largest on-going customers he has.) I couldn’t let it go at that, oh no !! I embarrassed myself further by picking up a cute little Halloween thing and mentioned what a cute cat it was. All black with two white fangs. The owner laughed and picked it up, telling me it was a “bat.” When the button is pressed it’s wings spread out, the face goes backwards and it becomes a flashlight. He was engaging all of the seniors with his knowledge and we were most impressed.

Well, I digress. The point is this……I can now take pictures and transfer them to the PC. I enjoy doing that so much. However, today I am putting another picture of son George’s back yard. His maple trees are beautiful and I wanted to share them with you. If the rain and strong wind doesn’t deplete the leaves from my pin-oak I will send a picture of it. It is truly my favorite and it’s rusty beauty feeds my soul.

Oh !……..and the bat flashlight? I bought one and a pumpkin one as well. Did I mention they made sounds? I thought not…..the bat made little bat sounds and the pumpkin kept laughing the whole time.

Now you gotta love something like that !

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Eighteen years ago today my mother died. She had been in the Nursing Home five years and five months. She was ready to go. Oddly enough, when she was sent there she wasn’t expected to live very long. The first night I came home and spent a troubled time of it. Even though she needed more care than I could give her I felt a terrible sense of guilt. I was going to sleep in my own bed while Mom was spending her first night in a Nursing Home.

My bedroom window faces Mom’s home and without lights it was a sad view. Mom loved her little home and graced it with her simple treasures. I was working full time and went to see her each evening and week-ends. She had life threatening spells over her entire stay there….yet she always bounced back right from the brink of death and would rally for months.

That was the way it went until the last year when her strength was ebbing and she found it too hard to hang on. I was called out of bed several times with intense fear that it would be my last.

Finally, when the time came, it was on a Sunday. The nurse who took care of Mom realized she wouldn’t rally this time and called for oxygen. She put it to Mom’s nose because she said it would keep her from struggling to breathe. We stood at the foot of the bed and watched……….Mom took a couple of short little breaths and was gone.

Her body settled back in the bed and a peace covered her face. Before death came she would feebly call for “mama” or “papa” and hold her arm out as if to stop them from leaving her. I know they were very near to take her “home” the last time.

I still miss my mother and I know I always will. She was one of the people who loved me without abandon and trusted me beyond all other. She was the person who gave me life and lived the example I have tried to follow.

I am blessed to have had such a wonderful mother.

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


After a weekend of football and a trip to the dentist on Monday I have been slowly trying to get the clutter out. When the housewife gets sick there is no one to take over the mundane. Thanks to Becky I didn’t have to worry about food. I think I’ve put on a few pounds sitting in a wheelchair and eating like a king….(or queen).

I was able to pull my trash cart to the curb for the first time since this all began. A small feat but a victory for me. I’ve been letting the cats out of the garage in the mornings which frees Becky up. I’ve taken up most of the chores anyone has had to do for me. Never one to be pent up for a time I now know what a blessing it is to be able to get out of bed and have a normal day. It’s stuff we know but from the outside. From the inside looking out my compassion for family and friends who have health issues……has grown even more.

I have always been the care-giver and know the position well. Being a care-receiver is new ground. All the time I was helping family or friends, it was a blessing to me. To receive help is a different thing altogether. I doubt my experience is unlike anyone else’s who has found themselves unable to function. It’s amazing how grateful you can be for the smallest gesture.

With my personality and experience of doing for others I was always thinking……“they don’t have time for this, maybe I could do “this” by myself.” I felt guilt over all and that is not a good recovery mechanism. I still have much to learn about being a patient but I will put that off as long as I can.

Let me just say it’s good to be able to think about what I can do instead of what I can’t do. And let me say how thankful I am that God can fix His creations. After all, He made the original design so He definitely knows how to fix anything that goes wrong. I know a day will come, though I know not when, He will tenderly draw me to Him and I will be forever healed.

Essentially Esther

Sunday, October 18, 2009


It’s been a quiet weekend at the Rockenbach house. After many days of cloudy weather and rain, along with unseasonably cool weather the sun broke through today and made the world all bright again.

I feasted on football from all the pre-game chatter to college football along with the pro’s. I picked some winner’s…..I would have done great if most of my teams quit after the third quarter. I didn’t find much comfort as they folded in the fourth and left me sadly lacking with winners.

But hey!! Not to be discouraged, my man Favre pulled off a win after they faltered in the fourth. I didn’t begin breathing again for quite a while. Hated to see another favorite, Eli Manning loose big to the Saints……..but again……not all is lost there either. I’m sure my son, John, had a field day with the Saints winning big and the Chiefs hanging in there to win their first game. I think the young coach will be OK and the team gets it all together. How long??? How long?????

Tomorrow Becky and I have dental appointments which necessitates a trip to the big city. We always do as much shopping etc; as we can because we don’t go very often. I think it will be a fairly nice day but then we have rain moving in for Tuesday and Wednesday. Oh well…….

The H1N1 is visiting our little town keeping a growing number of folks checking into the clinic’s and emergency rooms. So far so good for me but being out in crowds tomorrow will raise my chances of getting it. With most reports, the H1N1 shots are available but the regular flu vaccines are not.

Well, I guess I’ll go catch some more football so for now……

Essentially Esther

Friday, October 16, 2009


The picture is one of several a friend sent. She always ferrets out good pictures and shares them with me which I appreciate. In case you haven’t noticed I haven’t been putting my own photo’s on the blog site. Since getting the printer/fax/scanner the Dell won’t transfer from my camera to the PC. I should have seen about it sooner because this has been going on for quite a while.

I would like to update you with new pictures of Napoleon’s daily work of pulling his feathers out. That’s a job that has taken him months to do. I guess after mating season they loose their beauty along with the feathers. By then the little lady is on the nest and doesn’t care how he looks. Once dazzled by his beauty she gets the nesting urge and the male concentrates on his yearly molting.

I am using the walker part-time as prescribed and it’s good to get up and walk across the room. However, I see the wisdom of doing part-time as I do tire easily and the fracture lets me know when it’s time to sit down. I yearn to do housework but that just can’t happen for a while. Between the work in my flower beds and the work I can’t do inside……I work hard on patience. We are told that everything has a season and instead of wailing I keep myself focused on the fact this is temporary.

I watched a movie last night that didn’t rate my time given to such dribble. I guess I just wanted to see how bad it could get before the it ended. I think the name was “Glass Gate” or something like that. I don’t know how old it was but it lacked everything that makes today’s films great. Having a movie on while I knit is good because I don’t have to constantly change channels or watch too closely to get the drift of the story.

Well……I won’t have problems with that all week-end because it’s football time again. That gets my full attention until about the next Wednesday when the armchair guru’s stop talking about every past game and begin talking about the next weekend coming up in great detail. If it happens to be my man, Favre, I enjoy all the praise he receives. So far, so good.

Speaking of Favre…..a kind lady wrote me an email (because she didn’t want to embarrass me by writing in the comment section) that I had been misspelling the name, Favre. You would think as much as I see the name on his back I would know how to spell it. That R and V just don’t look right to me but it is what it is.

I won’t say who you are but I thank you for thinking enough of me to bring it to my attention. I am not embarrassed, just glad for the correction…..and to you for not wanting to embarrass me. In other words I’m more thankful than embarrassed.

I wonder……are you the only one who noticed this? Huummmmm…….

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Today’s picture is of son George’s berm. It has changed amazingly from the early Spring flowers to a Fall landscape of beauty. I thought I’d share it with my blog readers.

It has been a while since I’ve written so I’d better get busy here. Almost noon where I am and that just gives me a half-day to do the things that need attention. Becky was off for a 4-day stretch over Columbus day and we had a lot going. After not being able to make it down to Harrison to re-stock our booths and showcases we finally made the effort.

My garage is showing more space as I’ve been going through many of the totes and getting rid of some things. I’ve hung on to many of my mother’s things because I couldn’t emotionally part with them. Knowing how much she loved them all it seems hard-hearted to either burn, toss in the dumpster, sell or give away. I know my love for her and her love for me does not encompass the contents of those totes but I find it hard to part with them.

She had a little brown folding file of recipes. For years she clipped them out of the newspaper, magazines, wrote them down on anything handy and is a testimony of what my mother was about. That file holds much of mom’s time over the years. Cooking and baking for the family, visitors, neighbors or someone across town who was sick was a big part of her life.

No matter the “cleaning out” attempts over the years I can’t bring myself to get rid of those special things. The recipes have changed over time and the manner of preparation. The paper has yellowed but still offers up evidence of being used. Who combines shortening and sugar until well blended by hand? Who uses the old-time egg beater which was turned by hand until a frosting was thickened or eggs were whipped until they stood in peaks and put onto a cream pie? Boiled icings were lovingly done by hand from beginning to end. Directions for recipes now are a far cry from the days my mother cooked.

On a different note, I heard from my PA and the X-ray shows the fracture isn’t entirely healed yet. She called yesterday and said I no longer needed the wheel-chair but to divide my time between the walker and walking without it. I guess it’s a “good news, bad news” kind of thing. However, I have no problem using the walker as I tire after so long…… and the assumption is I will be able to go longer periods without it. There isn’t anything else to be done ……and those who have gone through this tell me by being careful it is not a problem. Okey Dokey! No worry, no problem………

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

YES HE CAN..... 

Whoever thought up the Global Warming problem didn’t live in the Ozarks. We have had the coolest Spring and Summer I can remember. With cool weather and abundance of rain local foliage enjoyed a growth rate denied by former dry spells. The density of leaves on the trees was amazing. Here it is October and last night the temperature slipped to a 34* and that’s too close for comfort. It’s almost time to say goodbye to the last blooms of the season.

Now for the main event. Did any of you happen to watch Monday Night Football? I watched in fine style. Rocky’s brother and wife sent a #4 Minnesota T-shirt and before the game I put it on and settled down in my front-row seat. The hype all week for one of the biggest games of the season had me on edge. Farve admitted being more nervous than he could remember. Let me tell you…….he wasn’t as nervous as I was.

Monday I listened to the re-cap and incites of the Sports aficionados most of the day. How I love my NFL channel. For those who love Brett Farve it was kismet……for those not so inclined I’m sure they made excuses for the Packer’s.

The records Farve has broken and is on the brink of making has put him above a franchise who decided he was no longer worthwhile. Youth and brawn could not curtail experience and love of the game. What “is” against what “what might be” prevailed. Farve is deserving of the accolades and respect he has earned……and in the years before giant salaries and giant ego’s.

Hey, I would like him just from the commercials he makes poking fun at himself. It just shows he’s bigger than his critics………

Essentially Esther

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Today we begin the last quarter of 2009. I distinctly remember when I was a little girl of figuring out how old I would be at the turn of the century. It came out as 68. I couldn’t imagine being that old and thought it would take forever to get there if I did. Well, in May I will be an even 10-years past that and I’m wondering how far the years will go beyond that….if at all.

I know I talk a lot about time. It’s because I can’t imagine how fast it is going. How could it take so long to get from the first of school to Halloween and from there to Thanksgiving and on to Christmas. It took forever! Now it seems to speed by like a locomotive on a fast-track.

Retirement? More time? Ha !!! Not on your life! It goes as fast. Sitting it out in a wheelchair for almost 5-weeks now? I can’t believe it’s been 5-weeks. As I knit I watch TV and have been watching the Nostradamus Effect on the History Channel. The events as he saw them were calamities and great destruction coming to a world being torn apart by natural disasters. His predictions along with several others, including some lost civilizations charted time up to 2012. After that, it is now in question, if time is spiraling ever closer to the end.

The Bible foretelling the end of the age does not give a time for this to happen and we are advised not to waste our thoughts on things of God we can’t know. I was not aware of Nostradamus or the calendars stopping at 2012 by several lost civilizations. However, the full accuracy remains to be seen of the people who predicted these events.

My next breath is not promised which is the necessity for me to survive. Therefore I take no concern for tomorrow because it is dependant on factors I am not privy to know nor can I change the course of them. If I breathe in faith, that faith will sustain me for whatever time I am given.

Essentially Esther