Monday, January 30, 2006

I have often told the story of George Rodney's definition of "knowing" something. Once I went by his office and asked him if he knew what the integral of something was. He said, yes. Then he reached around, got a book off the shelf, opened it, and turned a couple of pages and told me the answer. He made no distinction between having something in his head and knowing exactly where to find it.

Unfortunately, I no longer know where to find anything. As the years have gone by I have gotten more and more books and lost more and more of my memory. I can no longer go to the exact shelf for a certain book.

So a couple of days ago I started rearranging my books. I determined I would group them by subjects.

My first group is travel books. They go in the first bookcase, all five shelves are filled with travel books.

The next bookcase has three shelves of books on hiking and backpacking (and I don't move unless I have to) and mountain climbing (and I have a little bit of fear of heights) and polar regions (and I hate to get cold.) In all these subjects, I am an expert with no experience.

At first I had Civil War books on the middle shelf but they got pushed out and are now in the bookcase acrooss the room.

Sharing that bookcase are two shelves of quilting books. Now that is something I actually do. I thought I had written about the quilt I am working on now, but I can't find it. I guess I had just thought about it.

I am quilting on a Hawaiian quilt. I've been working on it for more than 10 years. But don't feel sorry for the quilt, it has had a good life. It has BEEN to Hawaii twice. The first time was in 1994. I was appliqueing the top then. Last year I went with Beth and me and I quilted on it.

The next bookcase has three shelves of science and mathematics books. The science books have titles like Warped Passages, Hyperspace, and Black Holes and Time Warps. I have read all those books and what I know and understand would not make a chapter. I am interested and enjoy the subject but I just need a few more IQ points.

The mathematics books I once understood.

Other subjects with their own areas are house and decorating, gardening, religion, baseball, and biographies. The rest are just all thrown together.

I am having to buy new bookcases. I am going to put them in Anne's room and keep the biographies and autobiographies there.

I have read most of my books and dabbled in them all. However I don't remember as much of them as I used to so that rereading one is a great pleasure.

I am so grateful for my library. Growing up I never dreamed I would have so many books.

Monday, January 23, 2006

I checked the car this morning for deer damage. I still can't see anything major, something that will have to be fixed. Just scratchs. I was very lucky.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Automobile-deer collisions are so common that even the New York Time did an article on it a couple of years ago. It must be common for them to write about something not pertaining to Manhattan.

Of course, people run into deer in Chester County all the time. Once the staff at the Independent had a contest to see who in the office had hit the most deer. My brother James won.

My brother-in-law Keith hit one of Garland Bottom Road last month.

I had never run into a deer. In my heart I attributed that to some virute on my part.

Today I ran out of luck or virtue, one or the other.

It was a bad day, all rainy, dark, and sad.

I went to the funeral of Randy Stewart, the brother of my sister June's first husband, Rayborn Stewart. Randy was only 49.

It rained hard all afternoon. It was so cold and rainy at the Friendship cemetery.

Afterwards we decided that we (June's family, Julia, and I) would eat supper at Ole Country Store, next to I-40 in Jackson. First I stopped by my house and changed out of my wet dress clothes.

Then I started to Jackson. As I do at night, and at that time it was dusk, I went by White Avenue, the old bypass that goes by the roadside park, gets to 45 where Arnold's Restaurant is on the left and The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses is on the right. Just before I got there, I was going along just fine and then a split second later a deer was right in front of me. There were no decisions to be made because I hit it just as I saw it. I was so astounded. I went to Dwain's Ford place and stopped at the driveway and looked at my car. I could see no damage.

I turned around and went back. The deer was on the center yellow line. I didn 't know what to do. I wanted to move it to the side but I was afraid I was not strong enough and it was getting dark and I was afraid I would get hit by a car myself.

So I drove on to Jackson where Harry called Frankie. He and Randall drove over there to find a man stopped there who wanted the meat. They helped him load the deer into his pickup.

I'm sorry it happened but there was nothing I could do. It is surprising that no damage was done to my car. I am sure than in the morning I will find some damage, at least scratches, but I was very lucky in my first encounter with a deer. I hope it is my only deer collision.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Wednesday was a strange day.

When I woke up, as usual I went immediately to the computer to check on the news.

But I had trouble reading it. My eyes could not focus on the print. I could read but it was uncomfortable. The I tried to play Spider Solataire and had the same problem.

I went into my bedroom and looked at the clock to get the time. I was slightly seeing double. The numbers were displaced vertically about a quarter of an inch. No horizontal displacement.

I told myself that it was just morning fuzziness and would wear away but it was still around by 10.

I talked to Julia who talked to Frankie. Julia said it might be high blood pressure. Randall said he sometime had that problem when his blood sugar was low.

I started sucking on butterscotch hard candies but it did no good. So I made an appointment with Dr. Jennings. Dr. Frix is not in on Wednesday afternoons.

I went to Subway for lunch and had a sandwich and a macadamia nut cookie.

At the doctor's office, my blood pressure was good and my blood sugar was high. Dr. Jennings could find nothing wrong with my eyes and sent me on to the Eye Clinic in Jackson.

Dr. Woods there couldn't find anything wrong with me either. That was good news really but puzzling.

Thursday morning and since then my eyes have been fine.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Wednesday I ran some errands, post office, dry cleaners, bank, and then went to see Mother. I got there about 9:30.

She wasn't, as she usually is, sitting up front near the nurses' desk where she can see everything.

I went back to her room and she was in bed. She has been in bed before when I have gone to visit but she has always been in her daytime clothes. This time she was in her gown; she had not been up that morning.

Her clothes for the day were neatly put out and her breakfast was still there. A good breakfast: biscuit, sausage, oatmeal, coffee, milk, and grape juice. None of it touched.

I woke Mother up. She did not want to get up, did not want to get dressed, and emphatically did not want to eat breakfast.

I did not press her and I left after a short time.

I think she is okay. This laying in bed late has happened before. The nurses say that she sometimes goes up and sits by the nurses' station late at night, around 12.

It got me to thinking how strange this seems to see Mother there in bed so late. She was always such an early riser, up and working.

I remember when Anne was born and she came down to help me for a few days. The Parchmans brought her down. Then Daddy, John, Janice, and James came to pick her up.

When they got there Mother, with the biggest smile on her face as if she had really done something, first thing ran up to Janice and said "Guess what I did!" Janice had no idea so Mother told her. "I stayed in bed until 8 o'clock."

I suppose she had never before in her life done that.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Beth, Steve, and I got on the road by 9 on Christmas morning. Apparently no one else was going anywhere as traffic was extremely light. I think the main difference was the absence of big trucks. Usually there are as many trucks as cars on the highway and Interstate 40 is heavily used.

We got to Nashville by 12 and went to the house of Margie Rucker, Ken's mother. They were still opening presents. We got to see the kids open some of the presents from Margie and Gina, Ken's sister.

Then we got to eat. Margie is a great cook and we had a great meal. Just think, Anne, Ken, George, Adam, and Emma get to eat like that every Sunday.

Afterwards Beth, Steve, and Adam tried to set off the volcano he got from Margie. They had some success.

Then we all drove over to Anne's. We got to see Ken's new TV all set up. They bought a new table for it to replace the old entertainment center. That meant they have to find some place to store all the tapes and DVD's and the kids' games. At that time these things were just sitting around.

They are supposed to now have full cable service with HDTV. That should be nice. And I somehow wound up with a larger TV in my room. I am going up there tomorrow to enjoy that.

Then I left and came back home Sunday night. I was just tired of celebrating and needed some alone time. Steve and Beth flew back to Jacksonville that night.

Ken, Margie, and Gina are now in Hawaii. Aloha to them.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

I just sent this blog to a friend and noticed a mistake. Of course, in the first sentence it should be Beth, Steve, and me. Elementary.

Christmas Eve was a work day for Beth, Steve, and I. I had big things in my garage for years that I wanted carted away and had no way to do it. Christmas Eve was to be the day.

James brought his truck over for us and drove my car to his house. Beth, Steve, and I started to work loading things up.

The biggest thing was an old couch of Beth's. It had lots of wood and was very heavy. When I cleaned up some, I had a lot of trouble scooting it across the garage to the garbage corner.

Steve alone picked up one end and put it into the truck; then, he picked the other end up and slid the couch fully into the bed of the truck. Effortlessly done. I cried. I mean, literally, I cried. I had struggled with this problem, knowing I needed help to get this done, but it had not been done for so long because I wanted to do it independently. Now Steve had done it so easily. He tried to help me with my tears. "It is all in the pivoting. You just need to find the pivot point." I knew that he was a very fit male, half my age, but still I wanted that power.

But what is is. I tell myself that often and it applied here, so we worked on. We loaded a mattress, box springs, two doors, and lots of other stuff. Beth and Steve went through practically everything in the garage, consolidated things, pushed it to the back, and swept the floor. A good job.

We drove to the dump. The Chester County dump is not really a dump. It is just the place to take your garbage so they can take it to the regional dump. There are 6 huge metal bins. One for recyclable aluminum, one for cardboard, one for furniture, one for wood, one for metal, and one for household garbage.

Beth and I took some things down to the household bin while Steve started unloading the furniture. The bins are tall, maybe 6 or 7 ft. high. He had gotten one end of the couch in the bin and was trying to tip the other end over the top. I helped him push and it went over. He said "Oh, I wouldn't have been able to do it without you." Maybe he wouldn't, but more likely he was trying to make me feel better.

We cleaned out the truck bed and then picked up Mother's folding table at Janice's and took it to James's where we left his truck and took my car.

Steve had driven over there and we left with me driving my car. Steve is a laid-back surfer dude and he drives rather slowly. I know the back roads so I was driving faster. I heard him in the passenger seat muttering "Mary Andretti."

We went to Goodwill in Jackson to buy some things to complete the doll bed they had been making. Emma wanted a bed for her American Girl doll Josefina. If you know about American Girl dolls you will know that they and their accessories are very expensive. She was already getting some things for Josephina for Christmas so Anne asked Steve and Beth to make her the bed Emma wanted.

They had brought the basic framework in pieces in their luggage from Florida. Both Beth and Steve are old hands at Goodwill so they went to work and it did not take long for them to buy a little shelf unit, a curtain in a Southwest print, and a shearling foot massager. I bought for $4, a boxed set of four Spode Christmas Tree plated. They had a small chip but usually they cost $20 each.

I could not imagine that they were still there on Christmas Eve but Beth said that people shopping at Goodwill do not generally know what Spode is.

Back home Steve took apart the shelf unit and used the back for a decorated head of the bed. They put the bed together and painted it the same color as the American Doll bed in the catalog.

Meanwhile Beth took apart the shearling footwarmer. She used every piece of it except for the motor. The shearling was used to make a sheepskin rug, also like in the American Doll catalog. The scraps were used for the inside of the round bolster pillow. The foam inside the footwarmer was perfect for the mattress. The curtain became the coverlet.

It is a very cute doll bed.

Meanwhile I started cooking. I made the Ballpark Macaroni and Cheese from a Rachael Ray recipe, a Caramel Apple Cheesecake from a Paula Deen recipe, and a green salad to take to James's.

We picked up Mother at the nursing home and got to Montezuma just a little late.

It was a wonderful Christmas Eve. Good food and good fun with good relatives.

Those attending were:


Julia, Frankie, and Jay

Me, Beth, and Steve

June, Harry, Alvin, and Abigail

John, Charlotte, Jennifer, Tony, Billy, Barrett, Cindy, Chelsea Paige

Janice, Keith, Denee

James, Rene, Brittny and her husband

June took Mother back to the nursing home.

June, Harry, Alvin, and Abigail were staying at the Americana Inn. Alvin and Abigail were leaving the next day for a vacation in Gatlinburg and Nashville. Abigail likes country music.

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