Friday, December 24, 2010

Finally, a Normal Christmas

In 2008, Mom died on December 20th. Last year, I was hobbling around with a walker at Christmas, recovering from a fractured femur. 

Things didn't look too promising for this year's Christmas. After two months of worrisome abdominal pain, our daughter had surgery yesterday at 4:30 PM. It was no emergency, but the doctor wanted to get it over with before Christmas.  She was able to come home last night and says she is "happy as a clam" today. 

Our grandson's two-month-old health problem has also resolved itself. After an ultrasound and a visit to a pediatric urologist, he's been told to drink more water and pee more than twice a day. 

I missed choir practice last night, because we didn't leave the hospital until 7 PM. I'm going to sing at both the early and midnight services anyway. I think I know the music well enough.

Tomorrow everyone's coming to our house for dinner.

"Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

You Better Not Laugh

. . . because Santa Claus has already come to town and left Ramsey this beautiful winter coat. Who says a pit bull can't be a fashionista? 

(I'm sure he'll grow to love it.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

End of the Larry King Era

Mom loved Larry King. Until macular degeneration left her nearly blind at age 97, she watched him faithfully. She loved the way he dressed. One Christmas she asked me to buy a shirt and a tie for her to give to Phil. I didn't buy the tie, because Phil rarely wears them.  I bought him a nice flannel shirt, his winter work uniform.

Mom took one look at the shirt and sighed with disappointment. "I wanted him to start dressing up more for work. He should wear shirts and ties like Larry King." Well, even if I'd understood what she wanted in the first place, it was never gonna happen.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas in Prince George's County

It's not that I have nothing to write about. I have a long list of topics for another day. Another day when I don't feel plowed under by family health problems involving our daughter and grandson. Problems both physical and mental. Our daughter doesn't handle stress well. Neither do I.  I'm frayed at the edges. 

Even so, life has its moments. Mom died two years ago this month, right before Christmas. She was a forlorn and cantankerous old lady, living (she thought) with strangers. At least she had Georgie.  Here she is, napping with the Cat of Cats. We adopted Georgie from a shelter a few months after Sadie died, even though Mom had said, "I don't want another cat." Georgie became her  live-in Teddy bear. 

Georgie was 3 or 4 years old when we got her in early 2007.  No longer a kitten. Sometimes she'd chase a laser light, but mostly it was, "Ho-hum. Why don't you chase it?" Yesterday, out on the screened porch, she suddenly noticed a tiny stuffed mouse she'd ignored for months. She stalked it, pounced on it, tossed it in the air, dashed madly about.  She put on a great show for two minutes. Perhaps it was her way of saying, "'Tis the season to be jolly."

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thanksgiving in Knox County

I haven't blogged recently because of our daughter's and older grandson's health problems that began in mid-October. Nothing life-threatening, but  they require a lot of care and concern all the same.  

On Thanksgiving Day, Phil and I drove (9 hours) to our cabin in Ohio. We celebrated on Friday. When the rain stopped, we raked a ton of oak leaves over the space of a few days.  We visited with neighbors.  Phil's sister and husband came up from Marietta and stayed Saturday night. 

Life is different in Knox County. We encountered an Amish buggy on Route  514. We've  never seen one on that road before. Most of the Amish live in neighboring Holmes County, but  many more Amish are buying farms in Knox Country than they did a decade ago. At Miller's Hardware, I picked up a copy of The Vendor, a biweekly paper serving "plain folk everywhere" and turned immediately to the ads for buggy horses. All the horses were "traffic safe and sound" except for one that was "sound, but not quite traffic safe." An ad for an 8-year-old black Morgan standardbred mare stated that she was an "excellent traveler" that "some women can drive." Asking price, $1200.00. I fondly remember the recent ad that warned, "Not a horse for seniors." 

The sign on the door of  Dale's Cardinal grocery store in Danville said,  "No tobacco or snuff chewing in the store." Who knew that you could chew snuff? A notice on the bulletin board offered "cur" pups for sale. What kind of dog is that?

The week-long gun season for white-tail deer began on Monday, the 29th. While raking leaves, we heard shooting in the distance. Phil allows deer hunting on our property. (His sister doesn't allow it on hers.) Phil likes to plant trees; the deer like to eat them. They also damage mature trees and shrubs with their relentless browsing. Although Phil feels ambivalent about deer hunting, he realizes that, with no natural predators, too many deer are competing with each other for food.  

This year many newcomers asked for hunting permits. One man even researched land records at the court house in Mount Vernon and called us.  He is interested in securing "good hunting land" in the future for himself and his son, who is now just two years old. Phil keeps a calendar showing who is hunting on which parcel on a given day. He certainly doesn't want the hunters shooting one another.

The local fire chief apologized for requesting permission at the last minute. He said he'd been involved in the investigation of the recent murder of two adults and a child near Mount Vernon.