Wednesday, April 30, 2008

City Living

The cost of living in the city is unreal. This week has had a few little extra things thrown in for flavor. There was a little thunderstorm that blew through with some wind and broke a limb off a cedar tree in front of the garage. The Tree Surgeon had to be called to remove the limb before we could get the car out of the garage. $300.00. It took 10-15 minutes. I know the equipment was very expensive but that is $1200.00 per hour.

After the storm blew through it brought cooler temperatures in. The furnace, which is brand new, failed to light .....a service call to the Heat &Air company to lite a new furnace that is still under warranty...$69.00. There is no warranty on the cost of fuel for a service call.

The leaves from the trees filled the gutters and allowed the water to back up on the roof causing a leak in the library. Gutter cleaning and repair. Three people, three hours. Cost $541.00. That is about $49.00 per hour, per person. No equipment. They used our water hose and water.

A critter moved into the attic and decided to make enough noise that no one could sleep. Called Pest Control. They came out, brought a live trap put a few pecans and a can of cat food in for bait and said to call them when we catch something. Cost. $189.00. About 30 minutes. It actually took longer to write the invoice than it did to set the trap. They used our ladder. Trap cost $39.95. It is still thiers. Labor to set trap $150.00. That is about $300.00 per hour.

That is a total of $1099.00. We still have not caught the critter. Still don't know where the roof leak is and still have 4 days of this week left.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Spring time is the time for color. Early blooms often get bit back by late frost in the south eastern corner of Oklahoma. Some years are better than others for different flowers. Some flowers make it no matter how the weather goes. We had a late frost the middle of april and a light frost last night. No wisteria this year and the red and yellow (quince and forsythia) blooms turned brown after the frost got them. Here are a few things that survived.

Jonquils bloom @ the first sign of spring

Tulips (Hardy) the original bulbs were planted about 15 years ago. They have never been taken up or divided.

White Violets....given to me by a friend.
Purple violets grow native in SE Oklahoma but not white.

Sweet William..native to the south eastern corner of Oklahoma. Grows along the roadway in poor soil.

Shasta Daisies re seed themselves and come back next year.

Spiderwort grows native to my area and comes in purple, blue and white. Will grow in woodland but makes a nice round mound in full sun. Blooms open in cloudy or overcast and close in full sunlight. Best bloom time early morning and late afternoon.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday In Oklahoma

Sunday...... It is the last day of the week or is it the first day of the week? Which ever it is supposed to be the day of rest. It is raining here again. I took this picture out the window of the dining room. Cool too! I set the thermostat on 65 degrees and the heat came on early this morning and again around noon.

Sundays just happens to be the Breakfast Day @ Grammye's house. My 11 year old grandson lives across the pasture. First thing when he gets up, is to come to my house for breakfast. Bacon and eggs (over easy) are his favorite. When he gets to standing over my shoulder, looking like this, I know it's time to stop what I am doing and cook.

While I am at it, I may as well have breakfast too, even if it is 2 p.m., and the second time I have had bacon and eggs today.

While I clean the kitchen and continue to pack for next week, I can hear the microwave popping corn. The T.V. channel switches from the weather channel and I haven't even looked to see what the weather forecast is projecting. On his way to the bedroom, to turn the T.V. on in there, he tells me " Thanks, That is the best meal I have ever had." I yell back with "I've heard that before." I turned the T.V. in the living room back to the weather channel, walk to the bedroom and this is what I see.

Is it a good day at Grammye's? It was today.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday @ Home


The best of today..........Home. Twelve hours without looking at another person. Twelve hours to concentrate on my life. Twelve hours to look around me and be thankful. A few e-mails and a couple of phone calls are all that kept me from complete solitude today. Except for the dog.

The week end for me has become a time of transition. My work week runs from Monday to Monday. I am always spending Sunday getting ready to go in one direction or the other. Usually I have something to do with someone else on Saturday but not today. I used the time to do things of pleasure. I layed in the sun a while. No more sun on my face but I need a little bit of a tan on my legs before the wedding.

I'm in my own santuary surrounded by the beauty of Mother Nature. A place where I have spent many hours planting, trimming,cleaning and literally looking the daylights out of it more than one time. Look just as long as I could see. Until it gets dark. I am also fortunate enough to have a great view of the sky and the beauty abounds there also. I am aware that many people never get the chance to ' just drop out ' for a day. I am thankful for that and the great deck I have to "drop" on. Built by the hands of this family. A place of many gatherings. Many fun times. Today it was empty except for me. I put new cushions on the chairs and I'm ready for the next gathering of the minds. Come on a little place in Oklahoma.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday for Butterflies

Today was a free day. Nothing urgent to get done and most all the upkeep of the place done for this week. It looks so pretty.
These butterflies were very nice and stayed in place until I could get the camera and get close enough to capture the image.

The butterflies are beautiful. The picture just don't show the texture and the color. Love is like a butterfly....Dolly Pardon said that! Yeah! I finally got the picture. enjoy.........

What Today Was About

Today has been a real joy. It was cloudy this morning but the day ended with cooler temperatures and the sun shinning. I guess you could call it the calm after the storm. The strong storms went to the south of here. We just got the rain. I wish I had already learned how to insert pictures. I took a picture of the rock that has a natural bowl that holds about five gallons of water. It is full of water from the big rains and the reflection is great. I will show it when I figure out how. I also got a picture of some butterflies. Those too will get posted.

My oldest daughter stopped by this afternoon and dropped off a pot of minature red roses. Thanks for helping her plant the retaining wall in her front yard. She planted shock wave petunias. They too will get a picture when they get going good.

My eleven year old grandson can't believe his Grammye is bloging now. He said "You know Grammye, two years ago you didn't even have a computer and now you have friends from England sending you gifts." "How many cyber friends do you have anyway?" I thought about it for awhile. I have had a computer for about a year and a half. I really didn't use it for much...e-mail...journals.

Until I quit smoking. That was July 4th 2007. I started in a group of quitters on the SSC. I began to learn from them how to get around that site. I started learning more about life and my way around the computer. Friends, I have several and am making more all the time. My world has expanded.
I see the picture has loaded now. I will explain how I came about getting a rock which holds 5 gallons of water. My son-in-laws father found the rock in the hills of Oklahoma, just north of where we live. He carried it out in a VW bug. In the late 60's. He later moved to Alabama and took the rock with him. When he moved back to Oklahoma he brought it back. The last time he moved he gave the rock to his son, who in turn brought the rock to me. They placed it in my angel garden by the patio. I have had the rock for about ten years now. I love it.

It is My Choice


Why does it become necessary to learn the same lesson twice? Why do I always remember the good and try to overlook the obvious? Why must I have to stay on guard all the time. I am never able to let down my defenses or become relaxed enough to just be myself and feel that is good enough.

Busily I begin each day with the feeling of ‘something’s just not right’ . The thoughts that dominate my movements are almost paralyzing. I am in a universe alone. I am totally in control of what I do. What is it I need to do to shake this feeling of discontent.

Is it possible that I will learn to live life by my self ? What is so scary about that any way? Is it a feeling of being with someone and being yourself. The simple thought of knowing someone else is in the house in case you want to talk to someone. Someone to share thoughts and dreams with. Someone you trust. Someone you can depend on to be there for you. Someone your not taking care of because they are not capable of caring for themselves. Some one to respect and show love to.

It is comforting to realize that I have all these things, they are just scattered out and under many roofs, just not under one, as it used to be. What are my responsibilities as the Matriarch of my family now. Scattered as they are. A clear view of what I want my life to be has yet to come into focus. I am searching my sole and asking God for guidance. My hope is that I wander alone no more. I am capable of being free. It is my choice. It is my choice.

My First Short Story "Dick Head"

Dick Head
This title may appear a bit odd to begin with but really it is the Name of my first cousin on my Daddy’s side. Daddy had a sister named Lou. She married a man by the name of Frank Head. They had a son and they named him Dick. The first funeral I ever remember going to was for that sister. I don’t know how old she was or how she died but I do know that Daddy was carrying me in his arms as we passed by the casket and he leaned down and kissed her and that was way too close for me. Guess that’s why the memory stuck. I think I was around two years old.
Daddy was from a large family and we traveled around and stayed with them all one time or another. That sister must have been quite a bit older than Daddy because he and Dick were around the same age. When I was four or five we made a trip to California with the Heads. Dick and Opal and their kids. Daddy had a 1940 Chevy pickup and The Heads had an older flat bed truck. Both trucks were black. In fact I think all trucks were black then. We may have been in the migration from Oklahoma to California just a few years later than the dust bowl story. Still we were making the trip out to work in the fields picking strawberries, cherries, green beans and anything else that needed picking.
There were four kids in our family and the Heads had six kids so all together we were traveling in a group of fourteen. Me and my little brother rode in the cab with Mother and Daddy and the two older kids rode in the back. The Heads had a couch and a bed on the back of their flat bed truck. That is where their kids rode. Most of the time we followed them just in case someone fell off. We would stop along side the road before dark. Build a camp fire and Mother and Opal would fry potatoes and onions and make pan cakes and we would all eat and talk about what we were going to do with all the money we would make in California. I believe we took the southern route that trip because we would have frozen had we gone over the Rockies besides that was my first experience with cactus and those stickers that grow in south Texas and Arizona. Goat heads and cactus, natures most painful way of saying don’t go there. Dick Head had six kids and two of those were twin boys. Their names were Ed and Ned. Ed Head and Ned Head. Needless to say the Head family was not the sharpest cheese on the cracker. Opal was hair lipped and hard to understand and done a lot of screaming and crying. She mostly cried as she picked goat heads from the feet of Ed and Ned. ‘Lord let us make enough money to buy these kids shoes before my fingers are completely ruined’ ‘Lord keep the snakes and stinging scorpions off the mattress tonight” ‘Lord let these potatoes last till we make California.’ Now all this was translated to me by Mother as we laid in the back of the pick up truck on our own mattress. We would laugh at the weirdness of that family and thank God we had shoes. I don’t know how long It took to make that trip or exactly what year it was. Somewhere between 1948 and 1950.
Daddy was a carpenter and quite skilled. A trade he learned from one of his older brothers. He often worked just long enough to re supply the box in the back of the truck with potatoes onions and flour and get money for gas and we would move on. Dick Head was his helper. We would have camp set up just off the road outside whatever town they found work in and that is where we stayed until they came back. The women the kids and the flat bed truck that no one knew how to drive. Daddy liked to drink and so did Dick. There were several times that they would celebrate their new found fortune by getting drunk and returning to camp in the middle of the night after payday. It is probably a good thing I couldn’t understand Opal because her voice would carry like the wind across the desert in the middle of the night. By the time we got to California Mother so wanted to never see those people again.
We got to Bakersfield and that is where we had other relatives. There we stayed in a house with electric lights. That in its self was scary. The very first night we were there they had an earth quake. The light bulb was hanging from a cord in the ceiling and it began to swing back and forth. We were scared silly and didn’t know what to do. How do you take cover from an earth quake? Luckily it was minor and only lasted a few seconds but needless to say we didn’t sleep much that night.
Daddy found work for the entire family our first day there. Picking strawberries. We moved to the farm and he quickly built us a shack out of scrap boards and an old tent. We would stay and work on the farm but the Head Family moved on to other relatives in northern California. They were headed to grape country. I don’t recall seeing any of them again until 1991.That year Mike and I went back to Bakersfield on a pipeline job and Ed was in the phone book. He was about ten years older than me and had totally different memories but they too were about poor migrant workers who drank too much and drug their families through hell. Drinking men with good women to cook and care for the kids.

a Bit about Me.

My Life
I married Mike in 1963. It was the end of his senior year and the end of my junior year. We were 17 & 18 years old. We both came from dysfunctional families and we were determined to have a family of our dreams. We had two daughters., 5 ½ years apart. Mike started working in Pipeline construction that his family had done a couple of generations before him. He was adopted by this family at the age of 4. I was from a family of 8. My father was an alcoholic and my Mother was a stay at home, could not drive, no income very tolerant woman. I was determined to break the chain of addiction that ran in my family. As it turned out the family I married into was as bad or worse than the one I grew up in.
Mike and I grew up together. He had a lot of the old fashioned ideas of his grandfather. A woman shouldn’t work…ect. Getting married was the only goal I had . Pipeline const is a seasonal job and there was never enough money to get us thru to the next job. It was okay for me to work at something that would supplement us until the next job and then I would quit and be a stay at home mom. I worked as a waitress at the local restaurant many different years. Never had any training and never started a career. Looking back it just seems like life happened. My Mom had a stroke, I moved into the house with Mother and Daddy to take care of her. That was in 1991. I moved her and Daddy into a nursing home two years later. None of the 5 siblings I have were willing to help. Daddy died in 1997 and Mother in 2000. I always stayed at home though the school years. The kids and I traveled to wherever Mike was working in the summers. We have been in every state except Hawaii and to Old Mexico and Canada. There were lots of good times. In many ways I have had a blessed life. We just never seemed to accomplish much. We had a house (built on land left to us by Mikes folks) that had never been finished. We camped a lot. Mike liked to hunt and fish and we lived his life. As time passed , I found myself almost re-living my Mother’s life. I was married to an alcoholic and had no training to be able to support myself. I have two grown daughters who do not want to raise their children in that invirment . I felt a need to set a better example for them to follow.
I was broken hearted to learn that my husband of 40 years would rather move than make any changes about his drinking. Family gatherings had become big drama events because of his drinking. The kids began refusing to gather at our house. In 2003 Mike agreed to move into what we call the camp House. It is just down the road on the other end of our property. We agreed that if either of us felt a divorce was necessary we would do the simple changing of deeds. He went back to work and I also got a job. The same one I have now. I stay with a wealthy Lady in Dallas who is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. I’m going on my third year there and she and I are both better than when I started. I still don’t know how I got to where I am. I just know that it is not all that bad. Mike has been working in Houston now for 2 years. He has continued to pay the regular bills and his union retirement gets deposited into our account. We have managed to stay friends and talk almost daily. He has saved enough money to build himself a cabin across the creek and I have been able to finish the house I live in. That is if you ever really get finished on your home. Seems I keep a project going all the time. I love working in the yard , I think that is a start as to telling you who I am………right now.

The Best of Today......In my World

For some time now I have considered starting a blog. I had in mind a place I could run to for solitude and privacy. Boy, it that ever contradicting? Publish on the web! writing for all to read. Private in the way of only who you tell and whoever happens by will know. Is anyone really going to care about my day? Maybe it is going to be my way of keeping up with my own day! Yes, that is what it is going to be. My way to keep up with my day!

Ohh, I think this is going to bring out the best in me. Make me aware of all the whinning I do that is so unnessary. The sunny is starting to break through the clouds and life seems brighter.~ Pollye