Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A normal kind of week.

Polaris Optics PrecisionView 10X42 HD Professional Bird Watching Binoculars. Phase Correcting Laser 10X Focus Closes in to the Sharpest, Brightest, Clearest Detail. Waterproof. FogproofI got a new pair of binoculars.  Polaris 10 x 42. HD  I tried them in the back yard, a huge improvement to my oldies.  Sharp and easy to use.  I dropped my old ones on concrete and they have not worked smoothly since.

 Friday: Mom's bathroom faucets had to be changed due to leaks, so I did that for her.
Saturday & Sunday
We framed the "mower storage side of the shed", and have the roof almost finished.  We started putting up some trim and it is a big improvement to the over all look of the building.  Now it sort of looks like a shanty that needs to be torn down. LoL....but its very strong, in fact it's probably the strongest shed in SC, no in the USA, no make that the World, it's like very, very, very strong, it's the strongest, and we are the very best shed builders, the very best!!

Just a little fun with some words...there it is cuter than it looks in photos...lol 

Monday the Carolina Chickadee started sitting on 5 eggs, she used the same gourd she had her last yrs nest in, she added some more dog hair to the lining..we know that because she has some fresh Jimmy hair in there too. 

And 4 deer were wandering around in Sundance's  old pasture...can you pick them all out? 2 does' with 2 yearlings. You have look hard for that last one. 

In the Afternoon:
I put up this new very spacey looking antenna. It rotates with a remote control.  It was a blast to assemble. Actually I enjoy a challenge. It's fun, tinkering, is my favorite thing to do when I'm hanging around home.

This Friday:
Jimmy has to have a fat tumor removed! I was playing with him a couple weeks back and felt this large lump...its irregular in shape, and about the size of a small summer squash. It's located just between his front legs at the base of his chest.  The vet suggested it be removed, he said  normally it just pops out pretty easy. Hope it's that simple...keep Jimmy in your good wishes. 


Story Time:  Was that a plane or superman?

I love to go birding, or just birding in my yard or along whatever path I am traveling.  But before I got seriously interested in birding I didn't know jack about birds.  I knew a few of the birds that hung around in my yard, like Cardinals, Blue Jays, and the Northern Mockingbirds.  But that was about it.  I was more into horses most of my life and I knew about horses more than I did birds.   Sundance, was the last horse I had (1975-1996)  and we enjoyed our rides, he would nearly run over me to get his bridle on, he loved going on trail rides as much I did.

Sometimes we met up with other riders,  a couple neighbors who also rode,  we would arrange to meet on the trail and ride together.  Sunny liked hanging out with another horse for a couple hours and getting out of his pasture.  I enjoyed being on the trail and enjoying being in nature it's from a very different perspective up about 5 ft from the ground on the back of a horse.  

We went out a couple or three times a week.  He was a good natured and happy go lucky horse. He was also a spooky horse.  I don't mean he had a "dark side", I mean he spooked easy! When you talk about a horse spooking it means he will quickly jump to the side, because something surprised him.  He would normally spook and jump sideways then stop, raise his head and have a good look at whatever scared him before loudly swishing his tail.  Once he was satisfied nothing was wrong he would move on like it never happened!

Horses are born with this instinct to run as fast as possible if some prey gets after them...so some horses will spook, whirl, and run.  Sunny didn't go that. When he spooked he would literally jump out from under you to one side or the other, away from whatever spooked him. I had to always be ready for anything to happen! He could jump 6 ft to the left in a blink of an eye...and if he caught me off guard, I could end up on the ground! I rode him for 20 yrs and he never threw me! He was not trying to throw me, if he really wanted me to fall off he could have easily made that happen.

One day we headed down the dirt road on the way to our favorite woods trail.  Sunny was  taking long relaxed sure footed strides, swishing his tail happily as we made our way down the lane.  He knew where we were headed and he was excited to be on the way.  THEN IT HAPPENED! Some huge gray "thing" that looked like a flying dinosaur suddenly burst out of the trees and flew right in front of us.  Sunny spooked so hard I had one foot out of the stirrup and was way off center, one more centimeter  and I'd be on the ground.  He swooped left and stopped dead, lifted his head up and starred at the monster flying away from us.  I was in shock, I'd never seen anything like this huge grey winged thing, and it squawked loudly as it took flight clumsily. 

It took a few minutes for us to regain our composure and shake off the scare.  The rest of our ride went off without a hitch and when  Sunny was back in the barn groomed and relaxing afterwards I told my husband about this huge bird that had spooked Sunny and surprised me.  He seemed to not believe my identification of the monster, so I drew a picture of it!!  He agreed he had never seen anything like it either.

So one day after work I headed to the library to find out what this monster was I had seen...The World of Birds was the title of the heavy reference book I plopped on the table and began my first bird ID search.  I compared my drawing to the amazing birds in full glossy color.   I turned a few pages and was enthralled at just how many kinds of birds there were.  THEN there it was, the huge monster, the gray dinosaur, the bird that put a 900 lb horse and me to quivering...not quite a speeding bullet, but the Great Blue Heron.

That was the first bird I used a book to track down and the interest sparked from that encounter.  My friend Sunny opened up a whole new world for me and I am never disappointed by the world of birds!

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Monday, March 13, 2017

...a little snow must fall

We had snow this past weekend...soggy wet and heavy.  It snowed for about 6 hours, started out as rain then turned to snow about 4 am...then it kept snowing till about 3 pm. 

The big pines kept lots of it from hitting the ground, so the dogs had some areas to go where they didn't have to deal with the snow...Casey balked at the door so I had to put his coat on and go out with him...Brrr it was so cold, nothing colder that a damp wet cold.  It was right at 32 when I went out with him. 

The dogwoods are just emerging soooo hope they don't turn brown, that makes for an ugly spring.

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The DLEX caught in the big chill...it's dying to have some road dust on it! 

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This Camilla has been blooming profusely for about 2 months now, I hope this cold spell doesn't deter it from continuing!

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there is something about seeing flowers in snow it is kinda sad, but they don't seem to mind it too much..

So since I'm stuck indoors in inclimate weather think I'll begin to make my plans...JIC I do get to take my trip...now I'm dealing with some health issues, I had to have a Heart Catherization done last Thursday so no work for a while either...I'm kind of bummed out and a little depressed about it, but what can one do except like I said, catch that cow pie and toss it back, or substitute a snow ball! 

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

A rant about cow pies...and God bless the Animals

I guess it's about time to make a blog although not much blog worthy is going on, the shed work continues...kinda of
Here she is up to now:
You can see I was able to use the siding I cut into 12" pieces on the front and the side, sort of patch work now...a paint job will even that out.


The window is not in the center because I decided to add  a window after the framing was up so its off center, but this is justa shed....

I think it's looks kinda like an old RR depot...If I added some Arts n Crafts roof supports, a couple of old wanted posters, and a water tower, and some track, who knows?... Anyways the hefty overhang will serve me well. Think I have room for a potting table under the front side.

Now the addition is under way that is where the lawn tractor and other yard machines will live. Once that part is framed and roofed, then we can put the wall across the entire back, and the left side, then it will be ready for painting and moving day!  

                                                                                                  My newest daffodils

I am a Libra...balance, and not just balance,  but perfect balance and harmony are the key to my happiness.  Trump, the GOP, and Google (not necessarily in that order) are trying to destroy my everyone's balance.  I finally got Verizon off that list.  

Figured I'd just toss that out and see your reaction...Why you ask?
  • Trump has disrupted my balance by creating all this stress in the world with his constant whining, spending, taking undue credit, nagging and lying, I would send him to solitary with no iPhone for eternity if I could.  
  • The GOP are like Foxes who sneak into the hen house suck the eggs and kill the chickens while you sleep, they must be trapped and dealt with...before they ruin freakin' everything.
  • Google won't update the Win XP that I have nursed and kept alive all these years. It was not on life support but Google put it there.  I have protected it like a fledgling for many years and now Google is trying to make me pull the plug...I refuse.  There is no balance or harmony in that! My computer is purring like a perfectly oiled machine, and when I say that you know it's the truth not like when DJT says that about the Executive Branch.

I can't do online banking without calling my bank, due to Google not updating my system! What harm would it do to allow my machine to update??  I went to their page labeled "How to Update Your Browser" I downloaded Chrome again, but it still will not update....I read all the comments posted by other souls left adrift in the virtual sea, all unhappy to say the least...it was akin to being on the front lines of a protest rally and you're the Trump supporter there in your Make America Great Again hat... I'm comparing Google here...the F word began each comment!  I did not add my thoughts it had something to do with cow pies and all that.

 I figured if I can't get my Senator to change his mind on a Bill that threatens our environment, then how the hell can I get Google to do diddly squat for me?? This is what I hate about corporate control...and the GOP controlled gov't keeps handing out favors to Corporate's whist the population sift through looking for crumbs.  Fascism as I have reported here before is nasty business and it affects us all. When Senator Chaffetz, (the one I desdain more than most) of Utah said, "people will have to decide if they want the new iPhone or healthcare," he was so out of line with reality I wanted to give him a cow pie...instead I left him with a comment containing the words scumbag. Cow Pies were not mentioned.  I can not afford a smart phone, or a new computer, or additional health care expense, because I have to help pay for his heath care, and pay for MY OWN too...and it still does not cover all my medical bills!!  So I may have to go back to writing checks and mailing my bills out, and probably get a part time job!  Does this seem like an angry post to you? It is not, it is a dust dance.  

I will not dwell on all that as soon as the shed is done and I'm cleared for take off I hope to do some travel it will not be my original version of this years adventure but it will be a bright spot on my horizon...while sis is here to watch the dogs and care for Mom....then I will have to buckle down and pay off these mechanical  & medical bills! Life sometimes tosses you cow pies, and you have no choice but to accept  pick them up and toss em' right back...and go on as best you can, patch up what you have and live with it, although the good news is you can rant about it all day long if it helps you restore balance! :o)

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Story Time:

The Blessing of the Animals.

A little background for this story, some info  you may or may not be aware of.  In the Catholic Religion the St Francis of Assisi is know as the Saint who spoke to the animals, he was the first recorded white environmentalist!  In early October the Catholics hold a Feast Day of St Francis, and they bless the animals such as St Francis did back when he called all animals his brothers and sisters in the 13th century.  

NYC has more Cathedrals than you can imagine.  I actually attended mass there many Saturday afternoons, because it was a beautiful experience. ( I am not baptized into any religion) My Saturday in the city would normally start with a subway ride downtown to 4th st and 7th Ave a mostly gay community! I always felt safe in those areas.  I moved to NYC for many reasons one was to embrace the differences of humanity.  

As I've mentioned before I worked in the EMS system in NYC May of 2001-Oct of 2006.  I have mannnny stories of that time. In that profession we would spend our entire work day out and about in the city, mixing with the multitudes in the communities of immigrants. The city is also deeply entrenched in traditions of all kinds, even the ones where animals are sold for sacrifice.  

On this particular day I was partnered up with Mark, an immigrant from Guiana. We spent many hours in the ambulance just watching the city alive around us.  We parked on street corners of all five boroughs waiting on our next call.  Our conversations didn't always revolve around what we observed, mostly he related life back in his village, while I relayed stories of the Southern US.  I kept telling him we had to find a way to get out of NYC, the farther away we got the better life was.  By this time I had seen all I wanted of the city and was ready to get out of the rat race.  On those rare occasions we were sent out of the city it was like going to another world.  He had been to Pennsylvania once, and other than that he had never been outside of NY state after moving to the USA when he was a teen with his mother.  

We worked a transport unit on this day...hopping from one facility to another. Dispatch sent us to a hospital to pick up a discharge to nursing home patient.  We rode up and down elevators on these calls as each hospital is many stories tall and the nursing homes are the same.  We always walked with me in the front and him pushing the stretcher from behind...as we waited for the elevator I had this weird feeling overcome me.  When the doors opened and we waited for passengers to exit then inside was just us two, the doors shut I suddenly had this vivid impression of rabbits! It was like this overwhelming mental rush. RABBITS!!!!

Mark asked, "what about rabbits?"
I replied, "what did you say?"
He said, "you just said RABBITS, so I'm asking what about rabbits?"
"Are you saying that I said the word rabbits?"
"Yeah, you just shouted rabbits, so what about it?"
I was shocked...
"I didn't know I had said anything out loud, but I just had the most vivid mental image of rabbits!  SO weird, I can't really explain it, like a flash that zapped into my mind."
His lips flatlined,
"You're getting weird," he replied.
"No this city is making me weird. Come on let's get this guy and get outta here," I said.

So I rolled my eyes and frowned, and we went for the patient.  Got him on the stretcher and loaded him into the "bus" as it is called in the city.  We were taking this man to a nursing home in Queens for an admission.  So off we went, me in back with the patient, and Mark driving.

He pulled the ambulance into the unloading area and we got out, unloaded the patient and headed for the entrance.  Then we noticed the cages, lots of cages....of birds and rabbits...we both stopped and stared at each other my mouth fell open, he said his skin crawled, and we were in shock.  We rolled the stretcher up to the cages and right off noticed the rabbits were panting and in great distress.  They were sitting in the blazing hot sun! Poor things!! I went back to the ambulance and got some sheets and spread over the tops of the cages to provide shade, once we got inside I told the woman at the front desk she must get  those animals some water and move them to the shade!! 

She immediately took care of the cages, and then on the way out we found out they were doing a blessing of the animals that day for the patrons at the home. She said, "thank you so much, imagine if we came out here with our patrons and a priest, to find these animals dead  of heat stroke?"

I don't profess to know what my impression was about all I can say is those animals reached out to me, in some way it was like the animals were talking to me.  Mark said his hair stood on end when he saw those rabbits...all the rest of that day we tired to figure out exactly what happened. 

Who knows, but I do believe we are part of this environment if we chose to be, and I always trust my own judgement.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Justa Bird Day

Well it's a full week since the Friday 13th that wasn't the 13th.  Anyways..we have been like everyone else just letting it be Spring already and WHAM! Frost/Freeze Gotcha Peas!  Nay I didn't plant my peas yet, hope my winter Garden makes it tho...


So I made the trip back to Bear Island just to get over the wasted trip of before.  None of the rare birds were there as I figured they would not be but wth one has to try right?
A wind chill was in play today and it got strong at times, so most of the waterfowl were sitting in the far away side of the ponds.  Photos were a challenge, but I gave it a shot anyways.  

Large flocks of Northern shovelers were in the pond across from the Entrance.  A few of the Males are in breeding plumage...

Like I said pretty far away, this was my best zoom effort on this shoveler.  Across the road in Mary's Pond lots of American Avocets, a few days ago a Black Necked Stilt was here...not seen today.  Out of the wind there was a reflection.

This Killdeer was such a good bird he waited patiently for me to snap his photo.

On the tour drive there was blue winged and green winged teals...

Saw a lot of Tri Colored Herons, 

Fun to watch them fish, And also fun to watch and listen to the Boat tailed Grackles fly in and out of the trees, they make some remarkable sounds! 

In the trees the most numerous was the yellow-rumped warblers, they follow every single step you take, chipping at you all along the way! 

Look who's hiding in the grass...

This is a big one! I'd say he is 7 ft long? 

At reed level I saw a few of these little Savannah Sparrows, this one sat for a while.

My complete list is here

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Good News Bad News

Shed is coming along pretty good! The main section is roofed, and some of the walls are up too!! 

                                                                       Not perfect but it's getting done!

My budget is the hold up and we keep finding other ways to spend our time...it's hard to finally be retired and yet working every day...
We even have a skylight! Those old panels were left over from when I tore down the old greenhouse attachment about 3 yrs ago, for long time readers. 

 We have started putting up some siding, but I didn't get any shots of that yet.

Today we tried to go down to Bear Island to see 2 reported rare birds! The Eurasian Wigeon and the Great Kiskadee! I was so glad that Mom and Sis (and Jim) agreed to go with me...sunny, no wind,  high of 80, perfect spring day! We packed up a picnic lunch and planned to spend the day there it's about a 2 1/2 hr drive south of us. Perfect day trip. 

...the van has been making a squeak for a couple weeks, I ignored it... and Bam, today it decided to force me to pay attention....
So we had been speeding down the interstate and 20 miles north of Bear Island I hear a funny sound, then lost the ability to steer without great effort, so I pulled over and right there was a Ford dealership! Limped in and the shop foreman came out took a look and told me my water pump had seized up, the bearing in it was shot! So that's what was squeaking...and when the pump seized the drive belt came off all the various spools and that is why the steering got hard to do.

              1962 Ford Fairlane with 21,619 original miles on display in the lobby of Walterboro Ford

Okay, so they were able to make the repair but not in time for us to go on and look for the birds...so we went back home.  Disappointed, and deeper in debt.  An entire day spent impatiently waiting...
                                                               Jimmy was the most patient of us all.

I guess you thought that was the bad news?

My sister keeps insisting I leave now for my spring trip, she can handle Mom  alone.  We got home late for us, I hate driving at night, it was 9 pm, Sis put Mom to bed about 10 and then she followed.  I got a call at 4:45 am Mom had attempted to get out of bed without help and fell AGAIN! So I ran over and we got her up she has a huge bruise on her broken arm and a bad skin tear about 3 inches long, an egg on head, and we just don't know what the heck we're going to do.  
We put a baby monitor in her room all she has to do is in a normal voice ask for help to get up, and the thing works great...but she still refuses to believe she needs help to stand and walk! 
It's called denial. We all do it to a certain extent right?
My sister is not as strong as I am she is 5 yrs older...she could not get mom up without my help so how can I go away knowing this could and probably will happen again? I may try need to convince her to go stay at our other sister's house with mom while I'm away and shorten my plans. I know she will not like doing that my other sis lives in a highly urban area...and she would have to walk the dogs but she would have help my sis and brother in law.... It takes a Village!

I just don't know what else to do.  We are so determined to not put Mom in a nursing home!! Meanwhile our own clocks are ticking away...she does fine as long as she waits for help. I got a wheel chair (named Garcia) for her because even though she is getting stronger, she is so unbalanced and without the ability to use the left arm yet to hold onto a walker she falls over! I got it at a used store, and on the back is written Garcia 8551 

AND now the good news!

I dumped Verizon! Finally!! Couldn't take it anymore...my data was gone in half a month without me posting one single photo!! How can this be when I used to upload dozens of photos? I called AT&T and they installed Uverse and it  works great, and even though there is a data allowance its one TRIG! My Verizon plan had me at 5G's , 1Trig is 1,024 Gs! Basically that is like unlimited for me. So far I'm happy with it, I do have to pay an early terminate fee...even with that I' m still saving $450 this yr by dumping Verizon. and next yr I'll save almost $600! The speed of the DSL, is faster then the Jetpack was!

a little more bad news....

So that means I'm hit with a big repair bill, and the phone terminations fees all in one month! OUCH!! 
And even though this is a long rambling post I am adding a little story...it's a story within a story, within a story! 


Story Time: The Pear Tree & the Go Go Boots!

Remember when go-go boots were the craze? Unless you are a baby boomer you may not remember.  Back in those day we were all crazy about the Beatles, and each one of us had our favorite Beatle. Mine was George, the quiet mysterious one. So in elementary school I had a small group of friends.  There was Louise, Karen, Ellen and me. Louise was crazy about Paul, Ellen was silly for John, and Karen liked Ringo.  

Being in this tight group was fun when it was time to be on the playground we had each other to hang out with.  We took turns at the swings during our lunch time and recess and discussed the new songs the Beatles had released and articles and photos in Teen Magazine that Louise always seemed to have a copy of.  I was way out classed by these three girls but most of the time that didn't bother me.  

Christmas time came and the idea that we all would ask for a pair of go-go boots. We would show our solidarity by wearing our go-go boots every day to school.  I knew this was going to be a problem for me.  We all agreed, but I knew I would not be getting any.  I wore hand me downs exclusively! No one in my family had a pair of go-go boots to hand down!

SO after the Christmas holiday and the New Year was over we went back to school and my three friends had on their white go-go boots.  They had the nice real leather ones and they looked totally cool.  I lied and said mine were too tight and had to be returned.  Of course I did not get any go-go boots, I can't recall but I doubt I got anything for Christmas, as that was normally the way it was.  But I kept whining about these boots to my Mom and she finally got a pair, but they were not high end like the ones my friends had.  These were made of some sort of inferior pleather.  The sole was so thin my feet hurt when I wore them.  But every day I trudged off to school in my go-go boots.  I hated them...but I was too ashamed to tell Mom she had wasted her hard earned money on the cheap boots.  My friends were happy I had made good on our pact, and even though they didn't look anything like their prime examples, they said nothing hurtful. 

Riding the school bus was part of our routine.  Back in those days life was much different.  The high school kids drove the buses, our driver was a teen aged girl about 16 yrs old!  Each and every day we drove by this field and not too far into the field grew a mature old fashioned pear tree.  It was a yearly tradition for bus number 12 to pull over when the pears were ready to pick.  We all got off the bus and took as many as could carry! Back in those day there were no backpacks for school we carried a satchel, hardly any room for a dozen pears...so we would ball them up in our jackets, or our skirt tails.  This tree was not far from where we lived and sometimes we would walk up there and get pears on the weekends when the tree was heavy with fruit.   

So we got off the bus that day and it had rained the previous day.   The field was muddy!  RED clay! So I clomped out there to get pears wearing my white pleather go-go boots! I sunk up to my ankles in the mud. It made that weird sucking sound each time I pulled my foot up to take a step...while red goo squished up the sides and over the instep of my hateful boots. 

Back at the bus the boots were a red icky mess! I dragged my feet on the roadside grass to try and clean the mud off while trying to hold my skirt tail of pears low enough not to show my underwear! (Girls were not allowed to wear pants to our school in those days) 

At home I wiped the boots down with newspaper but the mud had dyed my white boots  a crappy pink color and the newspaper ink bled onto them too!! Ruined! I hid the boots under my bed that night so Mom wouldn't see.  I wore them to school the next day and everyone laughed at my pink mud smeared boots. I endured the teasing all day.  

When I got home  I tossed the boots to the back of our shared closet and there they lay till somewhere along the line someone tossed 'em out.  A lesson in many things was learned by me.   

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Friday, February 10, 2017


I've been building a fire in the fireplace each night since I'm back in my house.  It's nice to sit in the evenings and just watch the fire flicker.  My evening thrill.  My daytime thrill is the nice days with Spring coming on strong...I know you guys want to know how Mom is, and she is doing good! She is getting stronger each day, and we have hopes she will be able to move around much better when her arm can be "weight bearing" and she can manage using her rolling walker again. 

The shed project continues, now the wall framing is done and it's time to raise the rafters! This is where it gets harder having to be up on the ladder to work...keep knocking myself in the head Duh!

              Just 2 more rafters for the main part of the shed and it's time to replace the tin!
                                                 Bought 10) 2 x 4 x 8  $36.00  

And though it will be a while before anything starts to break the ground, we planted a winter garden, couple kinds of lettuce, some kale, Swiss chard,  mustard greens, parsley, and cilantro! And I'll add a bed of potato and onions as well. 

My weekend plans:
It's Friday night and one of my favorite TV shows, Grimm,  comes on and I can get it over my antenna!  And later I hope to see something cosmic happen as I step outside to check the night sky!
Saturday is my son's 36th birthday..and if Rosie is gonna be on SNL I will stay up for that!
Sunday the Walking Dead starts again and I'll be watching that over with mom and sis, as my antenna does not get that!  I'll bring the popcorn.

Not much happening in my small world at this time. I'm keeping my eye on the political arena, and I'm beyond words at how things are going...its such a sad time in the life of a liberal (and most Americans).  I am happy to see more people voicing their opinions, protesting, and calling a lie--> a lie! I've been so shocked by this Jason Chaffetz and his attacks on the environment, and now the EPA, UTAH what the hell are you thinking????  Y'all are lucky you're not on  my Facebook list, that's where my political ranting happens! I have only 32 friends and half of them are suddenly quiet I suppose they voted for him...I had a Twitter account I never used and haven't signed into for a couple years...I decided to check it...OMG I had almost 500 twitter friends??? I did not authorize any of them only a couple folks, like less than 10 were actually my friends! I could not find a way to mass delete those "fake" friends most of who wrote in Japanese, Chinese, or Korean...so I deleted the whole thing! If you have a social account you are not keeping an eye on better go check it out! There was all sorts of porn and other crap on "MY" twitter! Jeez!

It is comforting to have a simple life...small things are the highlight right now...hope you have some small things going on in yours too! 


 Story Time: The Hand Shake 1973

How many famous people have you met?  I've met a few but one that impressed me happened at Belmont Park! I was working as a groom at the time, and had a filly running in a claiming race, and it was her maiden race.  How that works is this, the horse can be claimed, or purchased during the race for an amount set by the owner of the horse! In the paddock where the jockey gets on the horse is also a bit of  a "hobnob social" for the owners, trainer, and visitors.  My job as a groom was to walk the horse around in the paddock and when the jockey is weighted he brings his saddle over and the trainer normally gets the saddle from the jockey and they put it on the horse, the groom makes sure the horse is held quiet, and does not kick or bite anyone!  Then once the horse is saddled, the groom gives the jockey a leg up and then you walk around a few turns while he tightens up the girth and knots up the reins and takes out any braids you have placed in the mane where he may need to grab! Then you exit the paddock and the jockey is either on his own or if he has a lead pony the lead pony and rider will escort your filly to the track where they warm up by galloping to the starting gate. 

I did not know the owner of this filly, the barn I worked for trained horses owned by various people, rich folks ya know.  In the paddock the owner, who hoped she could get rid of this filly and the money it was costing her, came over to say goodbye to her filly.

So she came up with my boss, the trainer. They didn't acknowledge me, I was just the "help"...but her guest came directly up to speak to me! So I smiled and he extended his hand and greeted me with a big smile, "Hello, Andy Williams," I replied "Hi, I'm Sondra it's nice to meet you." That's when I realized it was the Andy Williams and it struck me how short he was!

After the race I had to go down and get my horse, she ran good but didn't place, I was met by the new owner and his groom had a halter to put on my filly, so the filly got claimed.  I walked back to the barn by myself carrying her bridle, halter, and shank humming Moon River!
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


It is Spring here! Warm days cool nights. some frost is still in our forecast.  Mom is improving  slowly, Doc says she doesn't need the sling now and it's healing well he wants to see her again in a month. She complains mostly of pain and being uncomfortable...I try to help but make little difference.  She is, in one word, Miserable!  I am, in one word, Exhausted.  Mentally, not physically. Her Dementia/Alzheimers seems to have tripled since the incident.  Like today she told me she thought she spent the entire day with her cousins. (they have all passed) She was with me right here all day.  Some very strange things are going on in that mind of hers.   While she napped  

I did some work on my shed project I have placed the blocks in a trench I dug out and made as level and straight as it needs to be.  It took about 36 blocks, I had those and more around here... cost so far $0.  I had all these 2 x 6's (above photo) not all the same size, so puzzled out the foundation using what I had.  And then I put down the plywood floor and the back wall is in place, and one side wall is about ready to raise up and the front wall is partially assembled on the ground it will up after the side wall goes up. 

                                 3 sheets of plywood with my Lowe's discount and tax, $123.00

                                           the front framing

...and the BEST news is my older sister (E) has arrived to help out.  Thank goodness I'm now back at my house after 3 weeks of  nearly 24/7 care.

 I'm pretty shell shocked with the stress of dealing with mom and the executive orders flying out of DC-Comics, it has blind sided my January. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott are my new email buddies, they are both Republican Senators representing SC, and I surely did not nor will I vote for them, but at this point we need them to help us get through this horrible time in the history of our Government. I got some positive feedback some not so positive, but they are at least listening, not like the Whitehouse who has turned off their contact feature, and the phone directs you to the website where the contact feature does not work...so its an alternative universe up there.

Story time - sort of: This time it's a recent event one I hope none of you will have to deal with-

A near miss! My younger sister (M)'s dog Maggie had to be rushed to the emergency vet two weeks ago about 9 pm. Maggie suffers high anxiety when she has to ride in the car...and when she is excited she drinks way too much water...my sister fed her too quickly after  a water drinking episode, and she began to act weird...gagging but no vomit, pacing and restless, in obvious distress...so sis rushed her in and they did emergency surgery within  the hour. She had stomach bloat and a twisted gut!  Her very life was at stake.  She came through very well and is now home recovering...the one clue my sister had was Maggie's belly was bulging to one side.  So I hope this will help someone else save their dog.  It's more common in larger sized dogs, and a good piece of advice for dogs who like to eat too fast is to feed them small amounts say three times a day instead of once or twice, still no guarantee to prevent it.  During the surgery they straightened the stomach then stitched it to the abdominal wall to prevent this happening again.  

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.