Monday, May 21, 2018

My Week

This past week I went to visit my sister, Kathy, in Palm Springs.  It was her wish to see her sisters but I didn't want to go by myself.  Fortunately, Patty came up with a reasonable plan to fly out of Minneapolis.  I drove up to see her on Sunday after our Catholic War Veterans Memorial Mass and then the following morning we caught a plane out of Minneapolis.  I want to give Patty this big public thank you for finding the way.  I want to thank Norm for taking care of my sister.

It was nice to see Kathy and Norm meet us at the Palm Springs airport.  Kathy likes giraffes and her friend Peg in NY sent her this meaningful trinket of a giraffe with a message to "stand tall". It gave me a lump in my throat.

She doesn't drive while on palliative care.  Patty drove her car as Kathy pointed out interesting sites.  There's like 38 miles of road in their gated community.

She showed us the recreation buildings and this is one of them.
Here we are at the putting green where we later played around trying to make some holes with Norm's expertise.  I must admit I was afraid of loosing Norm's ball in that pond.  I felt nervous but experienced some beginner's luck too.

I saw the Shields Date Farm.  Notice the clouds...none.  But we had a wind.

Here's the overview video that showed in the theater. 
I picked up some pitted dates, and date sugar.  It will be interesting to see if date sugar will dissolve like other sugar.  Either way, it will be sweet.

Afterward, the 3 sisters went for a pedicure ~ another first for me.  I never done that before.  I usually don't color my toe nails.   I wasn't into red toes so I choose this semi clear silver.  Yes, I'd probably do it again but I'd always remember my first with my sisters.

In the evening we met Kathy's closest friends here, Rick and Judy.  My sister Gloria came also.  So here's a picture of 4 out of 5 sisters in my family along with Kathy's husband, Norm.

I learned that Kathy has type 0+, Patty is 0- and I'm B+.  I thought we'd be more the same since my children had  the B from me and the negative from their dad.  I also learned that I'm the only sister without a thyroid problem.

Thursday morning we went to water aerobics.  I'd never done that before.  After lunch we went putting, another thing I didn't do before.  I was afraid of loosing Norm's $6 ball in the pond.  Generally I didn't do too bad for a beginner.  Does that mean I'll take up golfing?  Probably not.

We had dinner at the Manhattan in the Desert.  I tried something I hadn't had in years....beef tong.  Norm wouldn't let us pay for it.
We played dominoes and had a photo by their back yard Jacuzzi.

Wind got my hair in my face on the photo that came from her camera.

Norm is very proud of his art.  This Pascal is one of the many favorites at the front door.

As we left early that Friday morning, I sat on Kathy's bed since Norm was up talking with Patty in the living room. Eventually Kathy woke up.  I gave her my blessing with the belief I may never see her again.  You never know.  Things can change fast too.

We got up early to make an 8am flight from Palm Springs to San Francisco but there was a fog delay in SF.

On the way home I saw an Apple Maps van with all those cameras as I entered Boscobel.  It got off at the park by the river. 

I got back at 8PM Saturday and brought Sophie home.  Who can beat a reunion? That was $105 and she had lots of playmates.
Sunday I wore red to Mass for Pentecost Sunday.  The church had a beautiful mobile that replicated the tongs of fire.
My next door neighbors have their house for sale and had an afternoon showing so their dog was dropped off at my house.  I went to a 50th anniversary party for Ron and Katja from our American Legion.  It was supposed to be a surprise party for Ron but Katja told him last week when they learned his time would be cut short with Leukemia and has about 4 months to live.  The 50th anniversary party was bitter sweet.

I leave you with this song: 

Doris Day - Que Sera Sera

Monday, May 14, 2018

My Week

This week there's not too much to say because I cleared my calendar for jury duty.  I was not needed.  I would get a text message and an email rather than calling in the evening before. 

Last month I got a new next door neighbor on the corner. Before Christmas I got new neighbors directly across the street.  Now I see a for sale sign on my other side.

Thursday I went to the funeral of a National Guardsman to Camp Butler.  He died in a Kayaking accident in the Sangamon River and was the subject of a 10 day search.  Big turnout for Shane's funeral. We were encouraged to leave promptly for the next funeral that follows. (I'm at 0:47 on the timer of the video)

Friday I was part of the Chatham American Legion color guard for the re-dedication of the memorial for

Here is Polly at the DAR meeting. She's been helping me with my DAR application.

Les Morgan and Graham McCoy were given awards for historic work.

Here's a close up.

I got a cheese dish from Victorian Treasures that was regularly marked $150 and now $30.  It's big too.

I went to Mass Sunday morning with the Catholic War Veterans.  It was mother's Day and after Mass were were invited to the alter for a special blessing.
That statue of Mary was adorned with beautiful flowers.  Then I had a quick breakfast, locked up the house, dropped Sophie off and headed for Wisconsin.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

My Week

This week's rain Wednesday opened up the blossoms on my dogwood tree. We finally see the leaves coming out.  I've seen my first sprout from the summer squash.  I planted some old expired seeds so if they don't come up I may have some replanting going on.  April was our second coldest on record.   State weather experts say Illinois saw its second-coldest April on record this year with temperatures nearly 8 degrees below normal.

I fell in love with an extant dress I saw for sale on Etsy but it was old had holes holes.  This was more for study   I had been drooling over it for awhile too.  (it did eventually sell)

Here's then new recreated dress based on the photos. 
It was sewn by Rachel, (AKA Frozen in Time Clothiers) in Decatur.  I added the collar and sleeves. 
I now need to fix the blue bonnet I have for this ensemble.  I want to change its plain white ties with wider stripe black, green, etc printed ribbon.  I will take a real photo with a nice historic setting rather than my yard later.

It looks like I have a bow under my bin but it's a gap in my collar.  I probably should make a bow with a pin.

Wednesday evening was our regular Legion Riders meeting but it was more like having a special guest speaker ~ Vince Spiranza.  He's such a sweet WW2 Paratrooper with a very interesting story.
You can get an extract of his speach here:

Thursday I did some house cleaning and set off the insect foggers while I took Sophie on a visit.

Friday I gave tours at the Lincoln Tomb.  While there, I got a call  from my brother regarding my sister's cancer. I could only talk briefly but if I had to be interrupted, it happened at a lucky moment between two big bus tour groups.  Later I got a call from my sister also at a lucky moment between tours. She told me she had stage 4 liver cancer.

After I got off, I dropped off some carpets at the cleaners and then to the Howard Johnsons where there was a banquet for the Vietnam memorial. I thought I was there to be with our color guard but we had been invited for a meal.  Since I had been away from home since 10:30AM and bad news looming, I decided to leave at 8:30.   I later learned that the organizers had given an award to our post for our dedication for 23 years as part of the vigil walk team.

Saturday I needed to cut the grass after that rain made it grow.  Still can't start my mower so I had to use the electric corded mower which takes longer because it's narrow and I have that cord to watch out for.  Well apparently I didn't watch it carefully enough because the mower suddenly quit.  I looked around and discovered I cut the cord.  So I went to Walmart for another cord that is lime green instead of grass green that's 100' long.  There was an industrial size in yellow but it was $60 and very heavy.   After the grass was cut, I went to the VFW for a Kentucky Derby party.  I didn't wear the hat contest.
I came home for a quick change and then off to the 24 hour Vietnam Vigil around the Memorial at Oak Ridge Cemetery.

Since my dress was still laid over my bed overnight, I decided to wear it to church.   After church I took a potty break and then took Sophie for her potty break.  The new neighbor flagged me down me down because the back of my dress was up in my undies.  How embarrassing.  At least he could flag me down to correct it.  A passing car early on a Sunday morning would laugh and keep going.

Tom (a PGR friend from Decatur) stopped by to look at my mower.  He insisted that it would be his honor since he knew my struggles starting it on Facebook.  He thinks it's electrical because it starts on a pull. So that could be wiring to the button or the battery. He helped my load it into my car and I'll have the battery people look at it for less before I go to Kunz Mower service.

Well this is the week that I've cleared my schedule for Jury duty but as of this writing I'm not scheduled on Monday or Tuesday so far. 

Monday, April 30, 2018

My Week

I have a membership at Powerworks with the senior exercise group.  They refer to our group as "the Masters".  Our Wednesday exercise group had a group photo. I'm on the ball with weights.
She caught me doing some walking lunges.

Thursday was my "spineaversary" I wore my body grabbing shirt and tiara and ate the chocolate spine I've been saving .  I went to Powerworks like this and had my picture taken with the spine in the next door chiropractor's office.

Friday I helped out at the Lincoln Tomb. We had a big crowd.  It's also Scout Jamboree weekend. Most of the time I was there with "Lefty" another volunteer but he left at 3:30 and I was sole interpreter on the site for awhile. In the burial chamber, a young boy asked, as he looked at Lincoln’s tomb, “Was he Christian?” I said yes.  The young boy  made a sign of the cross.  I guess I'm a good interpreter when I hit the heart.

In the evening I helped with the Edwards Place grand opening special event for the remodeling of the upper floor bedrooms.  It was called the Bedroom Bash.  I played Alice Edwards Ferguson. It was a great success considering the short planning.  I was   more exhausted from the tomb than the Bedroom Bash.  I wore my wrapper but felt more relaxed with the steady flow of visitors than the constant and overlapping tour buses.

I called my older sister and she tells she is in a lot of pain.  She is receiving palliative care.   I can only compare my feelings to a year ago when I  had spondy pain.  Although mine was agony, spondy is not as life threatening as she is going through.  She may have gal bladder cancer but we are still awaiting a verdict from the CT and blood test.  Continued prayers.

My next door neighbor is moving. Jessica had a for sale by owner sign on her lawn about a month ago and it was only up for a day.  I think she had someone look at it and then the sign was down.  I thought something was odd.  So I asked where she was moving and she said Hunting Meadows near the marina and that she signed something she shouldn't have.  Oh Oh!  The following day I met my new neighbors that are moving in, Zack, Regan, and about to give birth to Emily Rose.  They had a whole caravan of family and friends helping get the house ready in time for the little one to arrive.

I noticed a baptism in our parish bulletin and the fact that Barnabas was mentioned in the first reading and started to wonder about modern names.  Why no one ever names a child after my father, Barnaby, anymore.

Sunday was the feast of St Joseph, namesake or our parish.

I asked my son if he could start my Toro.  He couldn't.  We dumped the old gas out and I picked up some fresh gas.  Still nothing.  So I used my corded electric mower to do the back yard because it grows faster than the front which is shadier.  I used my grabber to throw the cord out of the way.  You'll recall from my previous week that I had it started for a little while just to do the side of the driveway.  Before that I took it to Kunz Mower service in the fall leaf period when it wouldn't start.  I needed to get the leaves up by a certain time so the village will pick up the bags so I bought an electric.  Haven't used the Toro since servicing and now this.   I'm ready to leave that thing with the trash on Friday.

I got my tomato plants in and planted some seeds that were old in the hopes they will still germinated.  I also planted cantaloupe.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

My week

That's me on the cover of the Springfield Visitor's Guide.  Well it was taken years ago and if you look close you'll see it was altered because of the rain.

My summer swim bag was on the shelf in the sun room had a nest in it.

I know that the weather has been improving and up till now, I've had to pick up branches.  I'm still picking up twigs from the lawn despite recent policing of the yard and little wind.  I suspected that the squirrel nest that fell with a thud last month may be under reconstruction.  I looked up and it wasn't the squirrel but there was my neighbor's hawk just breaking off a twig and flying to its nest.  I'm pretty sure they are cooper's hawks.

While giving tours on Friday, I met Jean whom I know from state AMVETS conventions, came from Rockford with a school group. She was chaperone on a bus trip to the tomb today. Then their bus broke down and they stalled to get a new bus. 

Saturday I went to a volunteer workshop at Lincoln's New Salem and then I went to a meeting for our Soldiers Aid Society.   We are planning a parade like the Wide Awakes in Lincoln's days for the Illinois Humanities youth to recreate.

Sean came early on Sunday so he could go to a music practice.  That was fine with me because I went to an afternoon "celebration of life" for a VFW member.   I do like the time we watch TV while his laundry is running.

I've been modifying an outfit that will give me a 1910 look.  Much history can be learned from this era including WW1 which will the the centennial of our VFW namesake ~ Lafore Lock ~ who was KIA from Springfield.  Either I'll wear this or a WW1 nurse.
I found a good sum of money in a purse I haven't used in a long time because its closure isn't good.  Now I better put that purse back where I found it.

I made a welfare visit to one of our members of Silver Sneakers who we haven't seen in awhile because he had a stroke.  The group was asking about him.  His wife came to exercise occasionally too.   He belongs to a ROMEO club  "retired old men eating out".   

Tuesday was "Pig in a Blanket" day at the nursing home.  Wasn't sure what that meant but then I heard the pig squeal.  It was a 6 month old female pig named Charlie. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

My Week

I'll be portraying Alice (Edwards) Ferguson at the remodeled Edwards Place upper floors on April 27. I got my cliff notes.

Applied for upcoming Medicare.  After messing up online I had a real person call me. 

I missed an appreciation dinner at church last Sunday because I had Alan and Sean over after my little trip.  Alan brought my dog back.  However, I got a little thank you gift the following Saturday at our Starry Night banquet that the youth held for the seniors.  I got a book and a parish name tag.  There was a slight misspelling with an e that I changed to o.

Tuesday I had a try on of a custom dress that I wanted copied from and extant dress.
It took forever to find the right fabric.  I really preferred silk but thanks to Janet, she had this light wool with green in it.  I'll be doing the collar and undersleeves but Rachel is doing the sewing.

Wednesday I had a very special "visit" with Sophie at St John's Hospital.

Saturday I went to volunteer orientation at Lincoln's New Salem Historic Site.

 I like how this stump semi-hiding the water spout

Sunday I went to the Lincoln Tomb for the Death Day Wreath laying ceremony.  I brought our AMVETS wreath.

Last fall was dry. I didn't have to cut my grass Aug-Oct. Then Fall came and I wanted to mulch leaves and the electric start Gas Toro wouldn't start. I took it to Kunz for maintenance. They said it would take 10 days. Meanwhile, I'm approaching leaf pick up deadline. I found a corded electric with a bagger for $50 and did the immediate job. Well now it's spring and the Toro that I had maintenance on in the fall will not start ~ again. So I did the back yard with the corded electric constantly tossing the cord back and forth. At least it starts when I want. Problem is that it's so narrow. I've tried a battery powered mower from Sears in the past and it had the same problem. When that one went for maintenance and they gave me a quote, I abandoned that sucker. The irony is that I love mowing my yard.  Thanks to Facebook, I was advised to see if there was a chock on the left side by a friend owning the same Toro.  I wasn't sure how to work that lever but after a few moments, it started.  Glad I got the thick grass cut on the one fair day because the cold has returned.

I went to the Sangamon County Historical Society meeting at the library.  I got to hear a nice presentation by Guy Fraker on the the Lincoln Circuit.

RIP Barbra Bush.
Prayers for my sister Kathy who is in pain and my sister Patty with a Squamous cell carcinom. ~ ~

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Feudin’and Fightin’ in the Ozarks

“Feudin’and Fightin’
in the Ozarks
A Civil War Tour to Southern Missouri and NW Arkansas
Thursday, April 5 – Saturday, April 7, 2018
Started off the night before turning my dog over to my son in Lincoln, IL (a halfway point).  Well it wasn't supposed to be this cold this time of year.  I was issued this name tag.

On the bus, Jeannie gave us the following quiz to loosen us up:
1.  The Lake of the Ozarks was created by damming what river
 2.  What city is the Missouri state capitol?
3. What would you call a person from Missouri?
4. In what Missouri museum would you find the world's larges pair of underwear?
5.  Mark Twain's boyhood hom is in what city?
6. What is the nickname for the state of Missouri?
7. Name tow food and or drink items invented at the 1904St Louis World's Fair?
8. Stubborn as a Missouri_______
9.  Invented in 1899 at St Joseph, Missouri...this food product makes it easy for people everywhere to have flapjacks and syrup for breakfast?
10. Missouri experienced a series of powerful earthquakes in late 1811 and early 1812.  What is the name of the fault along which these earthquakes occurred?
11.  How many states border Missouri?
12. Name them.
13. What are the large rivers flowing through Missouri?
14.  What Missouri city was the starting point for the Lewis and Clark Expedition? (actually IL)
15.  What types of attractions can be found in and around Hermann, MO?
I won't go on to the extra credit since this was only fun.

Our first stop was to pick up our local expert guide, Bill.
He also gave us an evening lecture in the hotel's conference room.  He would not take a stipend but rather asked for a donation to the park's restoration.

Wilson's Creek visitor's center:
  i  Field hospital "The soldier may forget the horror and blood of the battle but the cheerful happy scenes of the campfire he will never forget" ~ Private Carlton McCarthy, 2d company Northern VA.
 This was unusually embroidered Navy enlisted cap.
Anna Elizabeth Steele, John Ray's step daughter died by typhoid 1862.

I picked up a block of pressed tea brick in the gift shop.  It looks like the one on this site but was $32 instead of $36.

Virtual tour (I wish I viewed this before the trip):

Wilson's Creek in the spring lacked the leaves this time of year so it was much easier to see places that were pointed out to us.  Actually, we were told that many trees were invasive species and there would have been hardly any there having been used as building material and fireplaces.  There would have been cornfields.

Here's a picture of me at Bloody Hill at Wilson's Creek on stop number 6.  As you can see, this is the day that had the best weather.

Friday we headed for Pea Ridge (named after wild peas).  My phone was locked up so I didn't get many photos but wished I had gotten a picture of the reproduction 3/4 scale ambulance wagon in the visitors center like this one.

We were all grateful for Ranger Dave who took us through the park.  His description of what happened was easy to follow. He is a veteran of the Iraq War and still serves in the National Guard as a historian.

Here's a picture of me at stop number 5.
Here we are walking out to the east overlook of the battle field.  My pictures of the overlook seemed dark but you can click HERE to see better photos.

Here we are at the reconstructed Elkhorn Tavern. It was a focal point between roads and a section of the road was part of the Trail of Tears.   I'm next to the lady in pink on the right of this group photo.
This parking lot had only 2 memorials representing the union and confederates.  More pristine than Gettysburg with all the memorials.

Afterward we had lunch saw Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, AR.  It's mostly an art gallery but the guide knew our mission and catered a tour around early American.  Here she explained the hidden and political meanings of portraits.   I thought this was interesting picture of refugees.
 This painting was titled "War News from Texas" (click for background video) 1848 by Richard Caton Woodville.  She explained the hidden meanings.  I had to laugh when Francie thought there was a hidden meaning in the cup was a modern camera.  I didn't let her live it down. It even came up later when our reenactor at Pea Ridge had a cup hanging from his gear.
ceiling art.

 This art was huge and reminded me of the Colossal Colon only this was an alphabet.  It's called Alphabet/Good Humor  made of painted fiberglass and bronze (1975).

We also saw the Bachman-Wilson House there.  It's a Frank Lloyd Wright house much smaller than the one in Springfield.  Bedroom was so compact that it reminded me of a camper.  Our group admission sticker was good for 10% off in the gift shop ~ the most expensive gift shop I ever entered.  There was a fancy women's blazer with a tag of $1525.

Then went to the Cooper Chapel. Approaching the chapel gave me a dejavu moment like I'd seen this before.  Our guide explained there were others so maybe I saw on like it. The architect is Fay Jones and he built others.

 Here is Ann telling us about the history of the chapel.

 We had dinner at Fred's Hickory Inn.

Saturday morning we awoke to some snow on the ground at our hotel in Springfield, MO.  This is the view from the bus.  As we headed North-East on I-44, there was less snow.
 After a stop at Rolla we head for Arcadia, MO for lunch at the Abby Kitchen.  Oh and the smell from the bakery was wonderful.  This is a former Ursuline Academy turned bed and breakfast.  Very nostalgic.
I notice that the stairway resembled a rectangular style known for pulling between the floors of stairs. I found an old function of that design HERE.   See the stairway at 2:42 on this video.
Here's a history of the college.
Afterward we went to Civil War Battlefield in Pilot Knob state park and earth works of Fort Davidson.

 Devil's Icebox is what the rock on the hill is called.  In the center of the fort is the crater made when the union left and blew up the remaining arsenal so that the confederates wouldn't get it.
 Our volunteer tour guide demonstrated his musket.  He explained that his love for this place goes way back to when he was a boy and played in this park. 

Our bus driver, Kevin, was excellent driver.  He was safe, had the latest technology, and made the best turns in places I never thought of.

I missed my little dog, Sophie, so my son sent me this photo.

I think she missed her little dog bed at his house that she usually falls over the edge (on purpose).

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About Me

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Maiden name is Kapp.
I have spent 22 years in the USAF.
I belong to the American Legion, VFW, Womens Overseas Services League, Air Force Sergeants Association, WIMSA, AmVets, Catholic War Veterans.