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Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Medications love me! As I wrote some time ago, I had my left eye laser-treated and a week later had the right eye done. As expected, it only took a few minutes, wasn’t painful and I left, a happy woman.

Fast speed forward a few days when I woke up with terrible sores in my mouth. My tongue was swollen and anytime I moved it to talk, eat, swallow…..or even remotely make it move…..OUCH!!!! OK….I’ve about seen it all between three kids, parents and husbands but this was different. I checked it every few hours as it began making large sores on the right side of my tongue. It was getting worse by the hour.

You know small towns. The Medical Clinic is always overflowing with everything from skin rashes to cancer and I didn’t want to go unless it was entirely necessary. My tongue kept swelling and my right cheek became swollen. And then………it dawned on me that the left side of my tongue was sore when I had the left eye treated with the drops.

At the time I thought I burned my tongue and roof of my mouth on hot soup. But going from A to B my right side was like that only worse by 2 days into my drops. My deduction was that it had to be the drops both times except by the second round I was adding more medication onto an already sore mouth and tongue. The dye was cast, so to speak.

Long story short, I was having an allergic reaction to the eye-drops. Haven’t we talked about this several times already? Different doctors, different medications and for different reasons…..the number keeps rising on meds I can’t handle. I’ve been quiet these past several days because it really hurt when my tongue glided along my back teeth. It was not pleasant.

But…….what a pity. I have had three husbands that would have enjoyed me being unable to talk and here I sit all by my lonesome. I feel like a pinch hitter who has just had his second strike and the pitcher is winding up to deliver the third. You know it’s coming but you can’t do anything except try your best to avoid an ‘out.’

Now…..after reading this I’m sure it has given some satisfaction that “you,” the reader, has escaped such an episode. I’m much better so I’m looking forward to the fundamental things like eating again. So I’m through writing and you’re through reading…….just keep hanging in there.

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Today was one of those perfectly ordinary days where two friends meet and make cards together. It was a day where the windows could be opened and the furnace turned off. We worked and visited until lunch time and then back to our card making. It is a passion to make each one better than the last.

Why card making? It doesn’t seem worthwhile in the present world that has gone mad as far as I’m concerned. And yet there is the solace of doing things with our hands that will go out in the mail, intended to make someone happy.

My friend and I are the same age (almost) and we are not about to wear a housecoat all day, watching television and letting a precious day go by. I am opposed to laziness or lack of direction. The time I’ve spent on this earth found the end of each day with something……..yes, something, accomplished.

My friend has lost her fingernails with a disease I’m not familiar with….but she has several kinds of immune malfunction. Her hands are still gardening, making cards and keeping her active in the things that mean most to her. As we sit to work on our cards I glance over to see that her impairment does not keep her from doing anything. I mean…….anything.

My fingers are getting along in the battle of osteoporosis. They are going in every direction anymore. Once they were pretty as well as useful. Now they look like so many family members whose hands have gone the same way. I am thankful they are still able to satisfy my love of crochet, knitting and quilting. I shall always be happy if they continue to allow doing the things that mean the most to me. And if not……there will be other things to take their place.

Aging is not a time for complaining about mental and physical changes…..it’s a time to use what we have and to be grateful for the years of service they have provided. I vowed to be forever young and being useful is the catalyst that takes me there. Ever learning, being grateful for what has been but looking ahead to what the future holds. We all have a future that will be determined by how we lived…..and how we died. We can be young or old ……it’s our call.

Age is a matter of consent…………

Essentially Esther

Friday, March 19, 2010


It has been near 70* here the past two days. However……it is not the end of the story. The temperatures will fall tomorrow with moisture headed our way and that is the general making of snow. The weatherman doesn’t think there will be any accumulation but I get nervous when they say that. Weather is fickle and March is fickle so I’m from Missouri….you’ve got to show me.

Tuesday I had the laser surgery which was quicker than my eye dilated back to normal. I will have the second eye done next Tuesday. So far it has been quick, successful and no pain. That gets a “10” from me.

Waiting rooms are sure interesting. One by one we were called to the magic door where you pass by other doors and finally are escorted to a chair. At first no one said anything. Almost 20 people sitting across the hall from each other trying not to get caught with eye contact. After a while it gets uncomfortable so I decided to improve the situation with some friendly comments.

I said, “Look at all of us sitting here with our papers in hand on a chair. It makes me think of kindergarten.” I followed with a big smile and before I could say anything else everyone started talking. Their obvious relief from whatever their mind was on warmed the whole hall. Through the next five minutes we all discussed why we were there, when our cataracts started……the trouble…amazed at the whole procedure and why we were back for the laser. Going for any reason to see a doctor usually levels the playing field.

I finished the last touches on my kitchen cabinets so now I can put all the paint paraphernalia back where it belongs. It has been an achievement and I proved to myself I can still do what I dream up. (Photo’s by next week.) I have a very qualified person to make some changes in the bathroom and once that’s done I plan to play in my flower gardens.

I haven’t used my leaves up that I picked last fall for cards. I was afraid I’d run out so I filled containers with all kinds of leaves. The same with the flowers. I am to the point of realizing I must start with spring blooms now. My “girls day” friend and I are going to plant lots of good bloomer’s so we will have more of a change in colors.

Well, it’s Friday and almost Pizza time. I think I’ll head to the phone and order one to be ready by the time Miss Becky gets here. I received a very special package from John this week and I will be showing that in form of a photo by the next blog. Have a great weekend and lets all make it special………..

Essentially Esther

Saturday, March 13, 2010


With Spring approaching, all of a sudden there are many things to either do now or forget. We are in the last stages of Winter and everyone around here is anxious for some nice weather. It’s been a tough year all across the country.

We had three wonderfully warm days last week and while I wanted to go out and rake up all the pinecones I was too busy inside. I have intended to upgrade our bathroom for some time but never could get a handle on how to get started. A friend recommended a man who does any kind of construction so I had him fix some of the electric outlets that weren’t working and to get started on the bath-room.

It will be more efficient and less expensive with the plans we worked out. I am very pleased to finally be started on it. In our small-town area of the Ozarks most things connected with carpentry have to be ordered. If we drive up to Springfield they have a larger inventory so we could bring it home that day.

When I have the Shower Surround here, ready to go, then Johnnie will come back to finish that part of the remodeling. He will be working “piece-meal” because I want to pay as I go. One area at a time. He keeps busy since most women up in years are widowed. Fixing things is second nature for Johnnie.

He worked something like 42-years for the Military as a civilian. He went with the troops in Dessert Storm and has lots of interesting stories……he worked on the planes that came back from bombing raids all shot up but the hardest part for him was when some of the boys didn’t make it back.

I still have some trim to paint on the kitchen cupboards that won’t take long to brush on. I finished the afghan I was working on and ready to start another one. Becky and I drove to Harrison, AR last week to take down a carload of things to fill our booths. Business is booming and I’m happy to be rid of a lot of things I’d been hanging on to.

This coming Monday I have an appointment with the Surgeon who removed my two cataracts last year about this time. I’m anxious to go as I know I have lost some of the vision I gained after the surgery. It will be interesting to see if he can fix them again.

The ones of you who used to read John Strain’s Journal has updated his old site and intends writing again. I’m glad because he just has a way of keeping a reader interested. I intend to do better with my own writing. There isn’t any excuse except I let other things dictate my time……between that and getting slower as the years go by some things just don’t get done on time……or done at all.

But that’s OK because I still take time to smell the roses………..

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


At 9:15 pm tonight, John will be 53. As a little guy he not only couldn’t fathom being that old, it just wasn’t in his realm of knowing. John was the final link in our family chain. He was a happy kid with a sense of humor and an “I can do” attitude.

He tried doing everything his big brother, George, did. Unfortunately with brother George’s stuff while he was away at school. The boys were six years apart and had to share the same room. However, John was usually forgiven because the two boys shared the same antagonistic delight in pestering their sister…..yes, Becky. She still blames all of us for making her the “middle child.”

John had a few things to overcome before school age. A club foot at birth, along with congenital cataracts required some special treatment, physically, but we never allowed ourselves to make allowances between him and his brother and sister. Some excellent advice given us by his Ophthalmologist. He grew up as normal as any of the neighborhood kids (though some of his friends would question this) and still enjoys living on the edge.

You cannot escape his humor if you are within earshot and the more you try to ignore him the harder he tries to get the desired laugh. If all else fails, he at least has enjoyed the moment more than anyone else. Humor is his trademark, the nectar that draws him away from the mundane and catapults him into a world of fun. Even when he is serious his eye contact tells you he is having a secret laugh about something.

Our family would not have been complete without John. He makes us all want to abandon our structured lives and travel on wherever he is going. I can guarantee it would be a very happy journey.

I love you John. Happy birthday from your mom.

Essentially Esther