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Friday, May 28, 2010


I lost a good friend last Sunday. Death came at 11:55 AM to a woman who had battled many health issues and whose heart just finally quit. Her many surgeries, her cancer along with diabetes and finally congestive heart complications took her life. Her last few years have been spent in an assisted living complex in another town.

For many years she and I would visit once a week which I kept up after she moved. I filled her in on news from our town and we chatted about the normal things friends talk about. Every Friday was the same except for our topics of conversation. I would drive up the highway to the town where she now lived, stop at the Dairy Queen to pick up a chocolate milkshake and then drive a short way to her building.

I always knocked three short knocks to let her know it was me and then opened her door. She would be sitting in her recliner facing the door and her instant smile was my reward. She would enjoy the milkshake while I told her about my week and asked some of the same questions……“have you had the fire alarm yet?" She lived in dread of the fire alarm which was once a month and could be any time of the day or night. It was always a relief to her when it was over for the month. It’s the little things on a daily basis that become stressful. Most of us have had parents in nursing homes or assisted living complexes and we know the change alone is difficult without annoyances being thrown in.

It was my custom to fix a little “goody bag” for her. I knew she hated to see me leave and so I would pick up little things that I thought she would like and bring with me. I kept the bag by my feet until time to leave and then when I was gone she could see what was in it. It was fun for both of us…….she had a surprise and I had fun all week thinking of things that would make her happy. As I bent down to hug and kiss her goodbye I would place the bag in her lap and it was the same ritual……..including when I got to her door, I always turned back, blew her a kiss and said, “I’ll see you next Friday.” She would smile and blow a kiss back to me.

Friday afternoons will never be the same………….

Essentially Esther

Thursday, May 20, 2010


We have had a fantastic week here……and I’ve spent my time in the yard with the exception of “girls day.” Everything is blooming at once and I have been picking flowers to press and put on cards. This is the first year I’ve had pansies and I am amazed how resilient they are. My friend, Dode, gave me two different kinds and I planted them in container pots where they would be free of the cats and Napoleon. Evidently it’s fun to nap in my flowers. Referring back to the pansies its fun to try something different and to enjoy the contribution they make.

Napoleon is doing great. If you discount half of his tail being gone and his poor swollen foot he’s not too bad off for his untimely experience. I’m so thankful he is able to walk again……and amazed he could fly up in the tree every night. It must have been very difficult to do with one foot. He does a push-off the ground to propel the flight up…..he’s got a lot of heart.

There is more to tell but it will have to wait. It’s time to end my day here….in our beautiful Ozarks.

Essentially Esther

Monday, May 10, 2010


Just after a weather-perfect week we woke to rain which has everything soaked up and the forecast is to be rainy all week. I don’t mind because there will be a few times I can get out and finish weeding my flowers. Last year I had to sit and watch the weeds grow because of my fractured pelvis. Like an old horse going by the fire-house I was at the starting line with an arsenal of products to make my flowers a focal point I could be proud of.

I do (sort of) envy (in a good way) my northern friends who send pictures of lush green lawns without a weed in sight. Folks, it takes good dirt to grow good grass and the Ozarks are made up of rocks, rocks and rocks. The acidic red dirt and rocks are the foundation for all the things I enjoy.

Flowers, ornamental trees and bushes are within themselves enough but because of all the shrubbery etc; I have music all day long from every kind of bird imaginable. I am treated to antics by the many squirrels along with the music from the birds……..and then there is Napoleon, all my cats and Mandy. They play around while I work and end up taking naps in the fresh air.

I provide the feed birds like and I keep fresh water in the birdbaths. I watch them mate, start their nests and then bring the babies to the feeders and water. I have generations of birds raised on this little acre. As for the squirrels, I guess they think this is the Squirrel Hilton. They have generated a lot of activity around our yard and are definitely amusing. If they knew the feeders were for the birds I would have a reason to run them off, but my squirrels are illiterate and so I grant them eating rights with the birds. All they know is, food is on the table and come to help themselves. They are not tolerated, they are welcome.

It’s time I must find something to eat as well. The noon hour approaches and I’m always hungry 3-times a day…..I was raised in times when the family ate together around the table, which is a novelty now, but that’s a story for another day.

Essentially Esther

Sunday, May 02, 2010


My friend emailed these pictures to me and I thought you would like to see them. The area shown is a half-mile from us.

The news cast said the tornado was a half-mile wide with winds @ 105mph. That’s a little too close for comfort and we were fortunate to be on the outer edge of it. I have great respect for weather because at any time any one can be involved in a life and death situation.

We are in an area that has a perfect land mass for tornado’s paths. We’ve had more than a few go over and around us. Just one more that missed us and I am extremely grateful no one was hurt or killed in this one.

One never knows what the day will bring………..

Essentially Esther

Saturday, May 01, 2010


Yesterday we had ample warnings of severe weather approaching. Around the dinner hour we had terrible winds, torrents of rain and a tornado in that order. Very little hail.

It struck about a mile from us and in the dark we didn’t know how bad the damage was. Becky drove down later after it was safe and said some buildings at our Junction were damaged leaving a rubble behind. We were glad the Junction Barn wasn’t damaged.

As usual, our power went off and we were literally left in the dark. Becky went home and I went to bed. Not much entertainment in the dark. I’m writing in case some of this is on the National News and are wondering about us. We’re fine and nothing damaged at all. The power came on around 8:00 this morning.

Napoleon was caught in the worst of it before he could get up in his tree but he came through OK. Good news about his leg/foot. He began walking with both feet in a limping fashion with his right foot but is doing very well. This morning he threw his tail up for the first time since he hurt his foot and has been squawking now and then. I would say the old boy has overcome his handicap and going to make it just fine. He constantly amazes me.

It’s a beautiful day here today but more storms are predicted throughout the weekend. Hopefully you won’t encounter any storms where you are. It’s the part of Spring we don’t really care for but we have to have our share.

Regardless of the danger involved, seeing such powerful performances of wind, rain, the rumble of heavy thunder and the quick jabs of lightening command respect.

Essentially Esther