Monday, June 30, 2014

86 bags of mulch

Really?  What does one do with 86 bags of mulch.  First you pull existing weeds, shovel off the existing weed infused mulch.  Put down wet newspaper where necessary.  Cover with landscape fabric.  Spread mulch.  Sweat.  Swear.  Sweat.  Swear some more!  Ache!  But I'll let you decide...

After clearing and before mulch
That would be tomorrow's project to finish!

What it looks like when finished!
Okay, half finished!

Is the pain worth the gain?  You decide...and know you are loved!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

I've figured it out...

I'm as subtle as nature!

Love the season!
Love the flowers!
Love you!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Broken promises

Rain.  They threatened rain.  Yesterday.  Today.  Tomorrow.  Rain.  So what did little Billy do?  He fertilized the yard.  Exceptional planning.  No rain.  What did little Billy do today?  He watered the yard.  All the yard.  In fact, the last patch is under the swish swish swish of the sprinkler as I write!  I am completely convinced when I turn the faucet off, it will pour!
Understand, I realize the irony of this post.  It was just last week that I complained about too much rain. Never satisfied!  But I could have used the day to allow the muscles to relax from the 56.  Oh, did I mention it's now 86.  Because it didn't freakin' rain!  Ah, the hardships we endure!  Off I go to turn off the water.  Know that you are loved!

Friday, June 27, 2014


Fifty-six bags of brown mulch, lifted from the palette unto two moving carts.  Fifty-six bags of brown mulch lifted from two moving carts and thrown into the pickup bed.  Fifty-six bags of brown mulch lifted from the pickup bed into a wheelbarrow.  Fifty-six freaking bags of brown mulch lifted from the wheelbarrow onto the storage area.  Fifty-six!  But who's counting.  I'm guessing it will take fifty-six people to get me out of bed in the morning!  And here's the good news.  To get the mulch to the desired location requires two more lifts!  Trust me (or would that be truss me?), there will be pictures!  Show me the Advil and know you are loved!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I expected

Fanfare.  A brass band.  Ticker tape.  A proclamation from the president.  After all, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  What I got is an ordinary day.  A little thunderstorm, a bike ride, breakfast with our aunt, and the dog getting clipped.  The mundane.  And perhaps it is the most appropriate, for that is what this has been for a full year...a normal day in the life.  Precipitated by an AARP adventure.  Entered into as an experiment.  Continued as a outlet.  It has been demanding, frustrating, thought provoking, and one of the most therapeutic events in my lifetime.  Those of you who have followed it have kept me going.  Realizing that a post has been opened in almost every continent (save the one we haven't yet visited) is both exhilarating and humbling.  It's been an experience I have never regretted!
Now what?  Well, with your permission, I may take a day off every now and then.  We'll see.  But I'll be here.  After all, someone has to inform you as to the extent you are loved!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Love and pride

To be able to love someone completely is the greatest gift anyone can receive.  For over 40 years, every day of that 40 years, I have had that gift.  To be really proud of that person?  Well, that is, as they say, the icing on the cake.  This week we have been involved with a couple types of training for AARP.  We had to learn and do on Monday and Tuesday.  As I watched Cath, I was overwhelmed with her ability and sincerity.  She knocked her "do" right out of the park.  Today, at the fraud training, she was amazing at presenting information to a diverse group.  She kept it real.  She kept it personal, and she showed them a compassionate, enthusiastic champion for good!  Miss Loosewheel would have said, "You done good!"  She done!  I continue to marvel at how lucky one man can be.  And I continue to assure you that you are loved!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The eyes have it

My pupils are the size of saucers.  I've been measured, poked, prodded and measured again.  Yup.  I do have a cataract.  Yup, it has to come out.  Yup, he can't fit me in until September 2.  Ah well.  I need not worry about any reading material being too far away!  Oh well.  Good things come to he who waits.  This should be REAL good!  The kind of problem I like...fixable!  If I squint when I see you, you'll know why!  At least I'll see you and can tell you you are loved!

Old dog...old tricks

Mi esposa and I are ready to start our second day of training on how to facilitate the AARP program called Life Reimagined.  Never mind the fact that at this point in our lives, with the exception of an occasional health hiccup, we have been as fortunate as we have been.  I am convinced part of it is nature, part of it is nurture, and all of it is attitude!  That being said, I have also discovered that I am an exceptional trainer, but a less than average "facilitator"!  I can give the information with the best of them, allowing my audience to accept or reject what I say.  I'm about a D+ at bringing them to finding the point themselves!  It requires far too much psychology.  "And why do you feel that way?"  Ugh!  Oh well.  We have to demonstrate our skills that we have learned by presenting part of the experience to the group.  I believe I will forego the "dazzle them with brilliance" part and go directly to "baffle them with...."  The one thing they will remember is the mathematical equation that I buy into:  Gifts+Passion+Values=Purpose.  May you live a purpose driven life, and know you are loved!

Monday, June 23, 2014

The joy of the interstate

Heading for Sioux Falls to learn how to reimagine lives, I am taken but the sights out my window.  Is there any greener green than corn, already knee high?  There is a variety with which to compare it, and I think the answer is no.  Then, there's the herd of cattle, with all the young calves resting in one part of the field.  Dogie day care?  Now, a bucolic farmstead with a freshly painted red barn.  Who knew the interstate held such wonders?  Perhaps we just have to look to find beauty, wherever we are?  May your life travels allow you to do just that, and remember always you are loved!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Comfort Food

So, a still life photographer I will never be.  The background is too busy.  The focus isn't directed the right way.  The lighting is out of whack.  Tough!  Ignore the composition and focus instead on the two objects.  Find first, the potato.  It is my premise that the potato is the king of all comfort foods!  I don't care if they are chipped, hashed, baked (once or twice), shoestringed, French fried, scalloped, frittataed, boiled, or mashed.  They rule.  When I was but a child, mom always said she was going to but a barrel of potato chips and let me eat my way to the bottom.  I could have.  I sill can!  That may explain why I only eat French fries and potato chips once a year.  Sometimes, however, I need a baked potato, so I indulge.  And on certain occasions, mashed potatoes are not a possibility but and absolute need.  Today was one of those days!  One cannot have dilled creamed chicken (see recent Phriday Phood blog) without said potatoes.  Enter the potato kettle.  It is a Wearever kettle, and it has.  You see, it was a wedding gift to my mom.  To be precise, a first wedding gift to my mom!  That makes it about 80 years old.  While we were growing up, it was used every day for some purpose...usually to boil potatoes...occasionally to make tuna hot dish or popcorn, but that's a different story!  And the neat thing is, every time I use it, mom is there with me!  Part of the comfort of tonight's meal!  Miss Loosewheel would not have approved of not peeling the potatoes, but since her little Billy was doing it, it would have been okay!  I wonder who gets the kettle when I'm gone?  Will they find the same comfort?  If they use it for potatoes, the answer is yes!  After all potatoes rule!  Thanks for letting me miss a great lady, and know you are loved!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A study in aubergine!

There are those who would eschew the common eggplant.  It is, after all, one if those atrocities referred to as vegetable.  And to make matters worse, it is the worst of the unusual vegetable!  That must be why the blossom that turns into this abhorred quantity is so very pretty!  I'm not the world's best photographer.  Okay, I'm not even a real good photographer, but I'm working at it.  I just couldn't resist this up close and personal view.  It seems other-worldly...not in focus, not out of focus!  And truly a reminder that there is beauty in every living thing.  Find it, and know you are loved!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Phriday Phood Phrenzy...Cluck Cluck Cluck

Here are Friday's ponderables. 
When you're the only person in the house to use a particular bathroom and discover the toilet paper roll is empty, how do you blame someone else?
Who is it that decided that it only should take one day to gain two pounds, but two weeks to lose it?
What is there about old people on bikes that makes everyone smile?
How is it that two hours of sunshine can cancel out three days of cloudy weather?
Why is it that 100 invitation envelopes can cost any where between $7.45 and $15.95...for the same size?
How can I possibly fix chicken in such a way that it is both tasty and seasonal?
That's an easy one!  Give the dilled chicken a try and know you are loved!

Dilled Creamed Chicken
skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 tsp. olive oil
2 cups sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1 Tbs. dill weed
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. lemon zest
Brown chicken breasts in olive oil approximately 4 minutes on each side.  Set aside.  To the pan, add the sour cream, soups, dill weed, and lemon zest.  Return chicken to pan and be sure it is covered by the sauce.  Reduce heat and cook for 45 minutes to an hour until done!  Serve with rice or mashed potatoes!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Someone forgot

to remind Mother Nature of Emerson's belief in life..."a foolish consistency is the hob-goblin of little minds."  Enough with the humidity.  Enough with the rain.  Enough with the thunder and lightning.  Enough with the wind!  There is such a thing as too much of a good thing!  Not that I would EVER consider complaining about the weather.  EVER!  But the gills I have developed are not an attractive feature on a 64 year old man.  And I truly understand why I was blessed with the feet and walking style I have.  Quack!  The weather has diminished my ability to exercise (okay, let's be truthful, it has diminished my desire to exercise, hence the actual experience) and the calories have no where to go but my stomach!  (Isn't it amazing how I can find a way to blame my increased eating on the weather?)  I'm basically a happy person.  I truthfully am glad that I am here to experience this weather.  I would just rather experience 75, sunny, with no wind!  Is that too much to ask?  Must be!  Well, it's time to jump in the truck and spend some money.  There...I feel better already!  Enjoy how the humidity makes your skin so much healthier, and know you are loved!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pot luck

At the end of yoga today, we had a pot luck dinner.  Carol, the yoga master provided the chicken, and 20 of her students brought the "with-its"!  I am always amazed at when that happens, we don't end up with 18 salads (god forbid) or 18 desserts.  The variety was amazing.  I am also amazed at how some people respond to such a situation.  Ms. Lucy always taught us to take a minimal amount the first time through so that everyone would have a taste of everything.  I often see someone take two or three of something when the supply is limited.  I would never begrudge anyone food, but think that a second time through is a better idea.  Just sayin'!  That being said, I love living in an area where pot luck still reigns supreme!  And living in an area of good cooks!  To heck with the diet.  How about one more piece of fudge?  Take care of you and know you are loved!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


There are very few things in life that quite describe this adage as well as the early iris!  The shade, the beauty, the structure, the vitality...all provide amazing beauty and contrast.  We have one patch that is all the typical early purple iris.  Pretty, but relatively boring.  Then this morning, the strangers appeared, and oh, what a show they put on.  No photo can capture the true essence of any of these amazing showstoppers, but I had to try.  As you wend your way through yet another day of sameness, consider how lucky we are to be able to celebrate our differences...the beauty that is unique to each of us, and know how much you are loved!

Monday, June 16, 2014


It's another Monday morning.  The start of a new week...a new episode in the life of Pollyanna Zubke.  As I revel in the chicken and cole slaw I just had for breakfast, I realize a familiar feeling of anticipation, wondering what this week will bring.  Actually, based on my apparently genetic predisposition toward the positive, I'm pumped!  We have bridge to play, training to take, and biking that MUST be done.  We have friends with whom we will spend time, family with whom we will celebrate the little things that make life great, and experiences that will add to who and what we are.  All in all, a great reason to be alive!  Yup!  And here's the amazing thing!  I get to tell you you are loved!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Two weeks

One should never tempt fate.  Things can change so rapidly and drastically, one plays with fire by looking into the future.  That being established, according to my precise calculations, two weeks from today will be my 365th consecutive post to this forum.  It has been an amazing exercise in self absorption!  Sometime, when there is more time than possible activities, I will go back and marvel at the drivel I may/have written.  This I do's been good for me!  Now, we'll see what happens in the next fortnight!  Know how much you mean to me and that you are loved!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

What's yours?

For several years, the world's problems have been solved in the hot tub in the back.  You may not have noticed.  But they have.  Last night, the question arose (okay, I brought it up!), "How do you define a good friend?"  We waxed poetic about the fact we were, (and we are!  How else could we have solved so many problems?), that people have opined if you have one true friend, you are blessed, and whether or not the criteria must include something about bailing you out of jail?  Is it wrong to consider your spousal unit your best friend?  (The answer, unanimously, was no!)  Perhaps our "besties" become so close we consider them family?  Hmmmmm.
Over the years, I have been blessed with people who make me laugh (a criterion!), people whom I miss when I don't see them (a criterion!), people who understand and accept my strengths and weaknesses (a big criterion!), people who accept and give love freely (a bigger criterion), and people who allow me to express my thoughts in a vernacular that would be deemed inappropriate in most polite circles.  But perhaps the biggest criterion for that a-one, top-notch, acme position on the friendship totem?  I'm a better person because I know them!  By their behavior, because of their caring, because they have accepted themselves for who and what they are, they make me different, in the most positive of ways.  And I have been even more blessed because those that "fit" this category are a combination of xx and xy units!
Another world class question least for the three of us "pruning" our way to wrinkledom.  But one question remains.  How would YOU define the term?  I'd love to hear your answers!  As you cogitate, rest assured in one criterion from me.  You are loved!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Phriday the 13th phood

Today, we celebrate the natal day of one of our very dear friends.  Since we are close to contemporaries, I won't divulge her age, but unless I miss my guess, this may well be the onset of a new decade.  To be fair, it is a decade in which I am well versed, so for the numbers-impaired friends I have, that means she's least younger than the writer!  (Clever, wasn't it, the way I avoided choosing me or I?). Anyway, her request for her birthday supper was somewhat unique, and is the precipitor of today's recipes!  Celebrate the birth of those you love every day, feed them pie, and know you are loved!

Beer Barbeque Sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 pound butter
2 minced cloves garlic
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 Tbs. celery seed
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 bottle stale beer
1 small bottle catsup
Directions:Combine all ingredients.  Bring to boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat--simmer 5 minutes.  Stir frequently.   Cool, cover, and refrigerate.
Pork Chops--Place 6 thick cut pork chops in deep dish.  Cover with hot beer barbeque sauce and cover with foil.  Let stand 30 minutes.  Place chops on hot grill and turn every 3-5 minutes.  Cook until done, approximately 15-20 minutes.
Chicken--Combine chicken pieces with beer barbeque sauce.  Boil for 20 minutes.  Remove from sauce and place on grill.  Cook until done.  Turn frequently, basting with remaining sauce

Lemon meringue pie

Pie crust
1 1/4 cup flour
1Tbs. Sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
Zest of one lemon
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1/4 cup butter flavored crisco
3 Tbs. Cold vodka

Place  first seven ingredients in a food processor and pulse until fat is dispersed.  Turn into a separate
bowl and add vodka.  Stir until mixture forms a ball.  Remove to a floured surface and roll into  a circle the size of which will cover your pie plate with dough to spare.  Place rolled dough on rolling pin and transfer to pie plate.  Press into place, being sure you don't have any tears in the crust.  Trim so that there is no more than 1/2 inch of dough overlapping.  Fold dough under to make the rim of the crust and scallop the edge.  Using a fork, prick the dough completely (including up the sides) and bake at 430 degrees for 14 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

2 cups sugar
4 Tbs. Flour
4 Tbs. Corn starch
Dash of salt
2 cups water
4 room temperature egg yolks
3 Tbs. Butter
Zest of one lemon
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

In saucepan, combine the 2 cups sugar, the cornstarch, flour, and salt. Gradually stir in the water.  Cook and stir over medium high heat until thickened and bubbly.  Reduce heat, cook and stir two minutes more. Remove from heat. Beat egg yolks slightly. Stir one cup of the hot mixture into the beaten yolks.  Immediately return mixture to saucepan. Cook and stir two minutes more. Remove from the heat. Add butter and lemon zest. Gradually stir in lemon juice, mixing well.  Pour into prepared crust.

4 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form.  Gradually beat in sugar until stiff peaks form.  Immediately spread over hot filling.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Cool and serve.  Refrigerate leftovers, should you have any!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Road trip with coots and cootettes!

It was off to Lake Norden for a tour of the cheese factory and pizza for lunch.  The tourists?  Our retired teachers' group.  The modus transportati?  Car pools!  Of course, this meant getting the car washed and vacuumed, but it was a small price to pay for the company we kept.  First of all, I liked the odds in our vehicle.  If was six amazing women...and I.  Cathryn was behind the wheel, so I felt safe and secure.  In the way back were three ladies with whom I had history.  One, an amazingly strong woman with whom I taught, who has had cancer and is a survivor.  One who could (and did) relay stories from when we both used to smoke!  What a hoot.  And sandwiched between them was the woman with whom I used to sleep.  No, I'm serious!  When I was getting older, her grandparents were our next door neighbors, and when she came to visit grandma, we would take naps together!  Small world, isn't it?  Move forward one row of seats, and you will find a woman with whom I have never had the privilege to teach, but have come to know and love since she moved to Watertown (her home town!) to retire.  I really got to know her because she is related to the sixth woman in the van...a woman who upon our first meeting was unsure of who/what I would be, but in the 40 plus years we have been friends, I have learned so much about the bond that grows between kindred souls.    We laughed.  We learned.  We ate.  We laughed!  An amazing day to be old!  Know you are loved!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

This is a is only a tease.

All day they have promised rain.  And all day, I have waited.  I still wait.  I hate it when they get my hopes up and then...poof...nothing.  I could have spent more time weeding.  I could have spent more time working on the yard.  I could have been running.  But instead, I sit...and wait.  Hmmmm.  Come to think of it, I kind of like it when they say it's going to rain.  It's a great reason to put things off.  And in what can only be considered the true definition of irony, it just started to rain!  Life is amazingly good, and you are loved!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


There are few things that provide as much relief as working in the yard, and today was the perfect day for that purpose.  Now understand, the part of the yard that was watered all night because I forgot to turn the sprinkler off was off limits, so over to the neighbor's yard we go.  Pull weeds and trees, line with newspaper, cover with landscape cloth, and generously sprinkle with mulch.  Looks amazing, and the feeling of accomplishment is gratifying.  Of course, what we did was the tip of the iceberg, but at least it's a tip!  Now for a little lunch and a quick nap to prepare for the next adventure!  Know how much you are loved!

Monday, June 9, 2014

There is no new thing under the heavens

Or so says the book if Ecclesiastes.  Now, if a biblical reference surprises you, allow me to elucidate. When I was studying to become a priest...oh, wait...that never happened.  But I bet I almost made you inhale deeply.  Let's try again.  When I was an English/ speech/theatre major a few years ago at Moorhead State (very similar to the priesthood!) I took a course called "The Bible as Literature."  Instead of the religious interpretation, we viewed the writing as writing, and it was most entertaining. The language was amazing, and the stories riveting.  But it was Ecclesiastes that most resonated with me then...and perhaps to a degree, now. For starters, there's that "time for every purpose under heaven" thing.  One need understand that life isn't always one way or the other.  Everything is neither all good nor all bad.  Sort of the pigeon/ statue thing to which I have referred to in the past.  Life!  Then, the possibility that all things are simply a repetition of a past experience...with an unusual (at least to us) twist.  The been there/done that concept...only not necessarily on a personal level.  I do sort of buy into the "reincarnation" theory.  In a future life, I want to come back as a pet in the home of our friends!'s a possibility.  Now, the question must be addressed, "Why is he rambling on about esoteric philosophy tonight?"  The answer is simple.  There's nothing on tv!  Ponder what you will, but know that you are loved!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Just another extraordinary ordinary day

It was nothing special.  It was amazing.  It's that perspective thing.  Started the day biking to breakfast with two long-time friends.  Their adult son joined us, and we had our usual lively conversation.  Teacher, teacher, teacher, teacher, and...wait for it...teacher!  3.95 retired.  One can see it approaching.  And one still touching the future in stunning ways.  The friendship is long, deep, and rejuvenating.  We leave the restaurant, hugs all around, hop on the bikes, and head south, then east, and end up at the Redlin center.  We wend our way around the walking paths, meeting geese and their goslings, one of whom hissed his/her welcome.  At least, I believe it was welcome.  When she/he started spreading wings and approached, we decided this wasn't the day to make a new friend, so quickly departed that area.  After a 12 mile ride, we came home, got cleaned up, and headed to Clear Lake for a birthday open house for a new (within the last three years) friend.  (Turns out I had her daughter-in-law in class.)  Great lady.  On the way home, Cath mentioned that some people are born to tell stories, and she is blessed with that genetic predisposition!  Once home it was time to water the plants, weed the beets (the most disagreeable garden task of which I can think,) transplant the astilbe, and prepare the bed for our new white rose, quickly named Lamb Chop.  Then it was grilled bratwurst with rhubarb cake for dessert, delivered by another amazing friend with a comment about those of us with the "dog gene".  I thought that was an exceptional way of stating our affinity!  Full and drowsy, it's time for my usual pre-bed vegetative state.  Turn on the tv and fall asleep while scanning the channels.  Wake up to some interesting viewing.  Wake the dog, and head to bed.  As I said, a "normal" day.  Made amazing by the phenomenal friends we have made.  Hopefully, your day was just as special!  Know you are loved!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

I've decided...

...they take the moisture derived from evaporating milk, put it in a carton, and call it skim milk.
...grass green is a great color for a lawn, but not so much for feet.
...printers are designed to run out of ink at the most inappropriate times.
...cream cheese frosting mixed with fresh strawberries is the bomb.
...oyrryubg tiyr fubgers ib tge wribg set if jets us frystratubg,'
...grilled meat always tastes better when someone else grills it.
...long after I'm dead someone will be getting my calls about credit card safety.
...rhubarb cookies are a temptation of the devil.
...our dog has an internal alarm clock that rings through her mouth when it's time to eat.
...abstract random is much more entertaining than anal retentive.
...rhubarb muffins are a temptation of the devil. doesn't matter what, bacon makes it better. are amazingly unique...and loved!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Phriday Phood Philosophy...ode to the perennial vegetable

I adore perennials!  Plant them once and let them go.  I especially enjoy perennial vegetables, since they feed us year after year after year: plants like asparagus, onions, horseradish, and the omnipresent rhubarb.  I truly believe that in some cases, rhubarb has become the new zucchini!  At this time of the year, you want to be sure your car doors are locked or you will find a bunch of rhubarb waiting for you.  If it's a true friend, it will be cleaned and bagged.  If it is a true rhubarb marauder, it will be sitting on your front seat in all its glory, waiting, nay, daring you to do something with it.  Perplexed?  Then I have the answer for you.  Try rhubarb muffins, or rhubarb cookies.  They're a little different than the ordinary pie or crisp, and have amazing flavor.  The recipe links appear below, and as a word of warning...I have rhubarb and can discern where you park!  Have an amazing, bountiful day and know you are loved!

Rhubarb muffins

Rhubarb cookies

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Today, we celebrate with the neighbor next door.  Some time around midnight this morning, 80 years ago, her mother gave birth to an amazing woman.  Okay, that's not quite true.  She gave birth to a bouncing baby girl who has turned into an amazing woman.  For 38 years we have been neighbors, and what a hoot it has been.  To celebrate tonight, we will sneak into the ball game where her grandson is playing baseball and sing to her, toting chocolate chips cookies for those in attendance.  They're fresh out of the oven, and they are good!  I can't wait to see the expression on her face.  It'll be pretty clear, since she will probably kill me!  Ah, well.  At least I will go with memories of a fantastic warm chocolate chip cookie.  Celebrate whenever you can, and know you are loved!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A little bit of fur

That's all she was 16+ years ago when she adopted us from her temporary home at the shelter.  In the next years she was companion, friend, and at times, a singer of duets with her sister...who comcommitently adopted us all those many years ago!  During the last year, she soldiered onward, with a bad wheel, a loss of sight, and a loss of balance.  Today, however, it was clear that she was losing the fight.  In what I truly believe to be the last act of love a human can share with a pet, we made the decision to end her suffering.  While I knew it was coming, I also knew the hole she would leave in our lives.  I was right!  And her duet partner for over sixteen years is looking for her harmony.  We will laugh again.  We will joke about all the fun times with her.  Just not right now!  Now, we miss the fur!  Having friends to help us through is amazing!  Thank you and always remember you are loved!

Why we work...

In case you haven't discerned it, I loved my life as a teacher/ coach.  It was hard work, at times both physically and mentally, but I truly believe there is no more rewarding profession.  It allowed me independence to practice my trade.  It introduced me to an amazing group of youngsters and their families.  It cemented in me a phenomenal group of friends/colleagues.  In short, it was amazing.  These would seem to answer the question why I did what I did.  There is, however, a much less esoteric and philosophical reason.  It stems not from the question, "Why did you choose to teach?" To the far more mundane and core question, "why did you choose to work?"  The answer to that lies in the great philosopher and stateswoman, Little Ruth Marie.  She so succinctly verbalized that answer.  "We work to pay people to do the things we can't/don't want to do!"  Right now, someone is on our roof, removing the chimney and patching the hole.  Couldn't do it.  Death does not become me!  There is a gentleman replacing two pieces of "permanent siding" on the south side of the house.  Could, but option would look like sin!  There are two gentlemen "facing" the trim around the front door.  Not a chance!  And then there's the matter of the shed out back...demolish and rebuild at twice the size.  By me?  It ain't gonna happen.  So I worked that they may work!  I think it's a symbiotic relationship!  And the teacher in me continues.  If it makes sense and you can...let someone else do it!  That's what the money's for!  Enjoy the day and know you are loved!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Here's to the ladies that lunch

We took Edith out for lunch today.  Perfect weather for a roll down to Charley's.  While there, Donna drove up in her cherry red convertible and met three of our friends there for lunch.  In walks Jean and her niece, and I am introduced as her naughty friend!  Then it was off to Watertown Confectionary for a bite of chocolate for dessert.  Edith had a peanut cluster.  On our way back to Jenkens, she mentioned that her nuts were dropping because of the bumps I was hitting.  I told her I wasn't having that problem.  We giggled all the way back.  Fourteen-year-old humor aside, the entire episode reminded me of how phenomenally lucky I am to have the XX's I have in my life.  They bring an interesting perspective to the world, and make it a more pleasant place to be.  They are witty, clever, and above all else, compassionate!  Understand, they weren't all lunching today, but they should have been.  It would have made for an amazing experience.  They, like you, are loved!

Monday, June 2, 2014

The sky's the limit

Sometimes in the dead of winter (and there was a lot of dead winter this year!) I question the intelligence of living in South Dakota.  Okay.  Sometimes in the heat and humidity of summer, I question living in South Dakota.  But there are those absolutely perfect times in South Dakota.  They may be fleeting.  They may be few and far between.  But they are there.  Today, enjoying our morning coffee on the deck, we experienced one of those times.  The sky was the most beautiful shade of blue.  The clouds were popcorn floating through.  There was no wind to speak of.  You didn't notice the temperature.  Ideal.  And I realized that indeed, South Dakota was just the place for me.  I can turn around and not run in to someone.  I can sit idly on my deck and watch the world go by.  And I can try anything I want with little fear of long as it is moral and legal.  The sky's the limit, and this morning, it was absolutely perfect!  All it took was a little time to notice! Revel in all that is good in your life, and know you are loved!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Storm reactor

Ever since I was little (and that is eras ago), storms have intrigued me!  Whether it's the uncertainty, the pure power, or the total helplessness we have to control, a thunder storm yanks my chain!  The obvious precipitor of today's post has something to do with the deluge we just incurred!  There was wind.  There was rain.  There was lightning, and there was thunder!  Thankfully, there was no hail and no apparent cyclonic activity.  Ergo, a smile on little Billy's face! And the forecast is for more happiness throughout the day!  (Side note...stormy weather kind of precludes running...another smile inducer!).  Stay safe!  Realize there are things over which you have no control.  And know you are loved!