February Photos

Monday, January 30, 2017

Journal: Goodbye to a Dear Stepfather

We have had some sad days this last week, as we have lost one dear to us – Larry’s stepfather.  He passed away Wednesday, January 25th.  He was 89, and had had cancer for about a year and a half.
Lawrence and Norma were married on Valentine’s Day in 1991, a few years after they each lost their mates to cancer.  My father married them; it was the third-to-the-last marriage he performed before he passed away.  They were married almost 26 years.
Because Daddy was unwell, I sometimes wound up as a go-between and messenger boy between him and various parishioners. 
It was around the last day of January, 1991, when, during a visit with my father, we talked about this budding romance between my mother-in-law and Lawrence, one of my father’s oldest friends.  I told him they wanted to get married. 
Daddy, never one to dawdle when something obviously needed to be done, asked, “When would be a good time for them?”
I looked at the calendar, and allowed as how Valentine’s Day was always a good wedding day.  
He laughed.  “Sounds good to me!”
So off I went to call Norma back.
“I talked to Daddy,” I told her.  “Can you be ready by Valentine’s Day?”
Me oh my, just like in Shushan the Palace, after that ‘there was no small stir!’
She said, all in a panic, “What do I need to do?”
“First,” I told her, “you’ll want to put your shoes on.”
“No, I mean, what will I SAY???!!!!” she exclaimed. 
(Her daughter-in-law could be soooo exasperating.)
She meant, of course, how would she present this news to Lawrence.  He’d asked her to marry him, and she’d agreed, but he probably hadn’t expected the preacher to set the date, and certainly not so fast.
“What you say,” I told her helpfully, “is either ‘I do’ or ‘I will’, depending on the version of wedding vows Daddy reads from his Little Black Book.”
“But... !!!”  ((pause))  Then... “I don’t have anything to wear!!!!!!”
I responded, all cheery, “So you get to go shopping!”
((another pause))  Then, in a rush, she said, “I need to get busy!!!”
And that was the beginning of that.
Daddy died in September of 1992.  I was making myself a silver/burgundy satin jacquard suit for Christmas when Larry called to tell me that my father had passed away from a heart attack as they were returning from a nearby city with a vehicle my father had purchased.  Thankfully, he had asked Larry to drive home.  That was unusual; he generally preferred to do his own driving.
I finished the suit, but every time I wore it, I’d look at the pleats in the lower section of the skirt and know exactly which one I’d been on when the phone had rung.
I still have that suit.  It still looks nice — and I could wear it again, if I’d lose ten pounds.
The day after Christmas, we had a severe wind storm that took down my brother Loren’s Internet dish.  Monday, Larry put up a new dish, but he couldn’t get the computer to connect.  Last night after church we stopped by, and I tried to get it working, but something in either the router or the cable between router and dish wasn’t working.  This evening after work, Larry attached a new cable, and managed to connect to the Internet, but only sporadically.  I wrote and asked for help from the local Internet Service Provider – and received a message with DNS and IP and Gateway and Subnet numbers, along with a short message that was entirely over my head, with word combinations I’d never heard of before.  And I remembered how, when I worked there a few years ago, it was just that sort of thing that often made customers spittin’ mad.  It was as if some of the people working there tried hard to be totally incomprehensible.
I’ve sent another message requesting more information, and adding, “Step-by-step instructions in layman’s terms would help immensely.”  We shall see what happens.
I’ve worked with computers for quite a few years now.  I’ve read tech support forums and webpages, and can usually find solutions to computer problems.  I like researching things; I like to read.  But it’s always pleasant when the instructions and advice are in nice, plain English.
When I was in elementary school, I systematically made my way around the children’s section in our public library, with a goal of reading each and every book.  One day, there I was then, DONE.  Really, truly, ALL DONE.  There were no more books to read that I hadn’t already read!  Granted, it was not a huge library; our town’s population was only about 15,000 back then.  Still, there were a lot of books.
I wandered my way into the Young Adults section... started poking around... and found some things that made the hair on my innocent, naïve little head stand straight up.  (My mother’s hair would’ve turned into a wig and flown clean off her head, had she known what my eyes fell upon.) 
I fled for the card catalogue, read descriptions with great care, wrote down book numbers on a little scrap of paper, then went and hunted down those books very cautiously.  Whew.
Tuesday, I started going through things in the upstairs bedrooms.  Good thing I looked in a bag of ‘trash’; it contained one of my leather braided belts, and several nice hats and scarves.  I think garbage and good stuff were inadvertently mixed together.  I washed the bedding, and gave sheets, pillowcases, and comforter to Joanna, since Victoria didn’t want them.
I filled a box with Caleb’s things:  little gold miniature clocks – a train and a backhoe; a wooden airplane Loren and Janice made for him; a big red Hummer and a Model A, both of them collectors’ items from my sister and brother-in-law, Lura Kay and John.  Caleb will want these things.  But he was in such a froth before he got married, trying to finish his house, I really don’t think he hit anything but the top step, middle step, and bottom step as he went upstairs and down, the last two months before his wedding.  So I guess it’s no small wonder if he left a wooden airplane behind, eh?
In the bottom of the box, I tucked one of his monkeys – this one, pure white, and swinging on a rope and wooden bar.  Caleb had a collection of monkeys, because any time we went somewhere and left him home, he’d say, “Bring me home a monkey!”  Sooo... we’d swing into some Goodwill here or there, head for the stuffed-animal bin, and rummage up a monkey.  They had to be cute, smell good, and look like new. 
People give away lots of cute, good-smelling, like-new, stuffed monkeys, you know that?
By the time I headed for bed, I’d only cleared out about four bags of Stuff and Things.  I’d better pick up some speed, if I want this done before I’m too old to climb the stairs!
My friend Penny suggested that, rather than toting things up and down the steps, I simply sling stuff out the windows.
“Haha!” I wrote back to her, “That’s better advice than you think.  After all, Laurel and Hardy did it!”
Well... sorta.  I guess they didn’t exactly toss that piano out.  They were actually trying to move it out, and it fell, not exactly on purpose.
Wednesday morning, a friend sent a link to some pretty violin music on youtube.  I love violins... violas... cellos... bass violins...
I used to play violin, did I ever tell you that?
I sounded like Jack Benny when he was trying his worst. 
Early that afternoon, Larry helped some people from the local drugstore take out the hospital bed and other items from his mother’s house.
A couple of inches of snow had fallen, and the wind was blowing at about 30 mph, so it was a bit hard to see, though the sun tried valiantly to shine.
Norma and Lawrence’s daughter Barbara went to the funeral home to make arrangements.  Too bad funeral-home personnel couldn’t come to them, in weather like that.
Lawrence knew my family before I was ever born, and now and then he told stories involving them that I hadn’t heard before.  I’d dash for my computer when our visits were over, and type it all up.  We all loved to hear him tell stories!
Speaking of telling stories... I used to know a lady who, if anyone ever launched into any story, never mind the subject matter, she would chime in with her own tale – and no matter what had happened in the first story, this lady’s saga was always badder and worser, and she invariably ended with a melodramatic sigh and the dreary remark (complete with mournful headshake), “It’s always something.”
Another lady just as invariably responded, “Isn’t it, though,” and I’d have to escape before I got all cracked up, seemingly at the poor thing’s misfortunes.  I did often feel sympathetic, but the more eloquent she waxed, the more her believability waned.
I put some bags into the Jeep and headed to town to pick up the grandchildren.  Each day, I’ve been hauling stuff to the Goodwill, and I’ve found things the children can use, too, such as winter hats and gloves and scarves.  I wonder how soon Amy will get tired of the kids coming home laden with all this ‘Good Stuff’?
Emma was pleased to get a couple of Victoria’s nice winter hats – and the matching barrette to one I gave her at Christmas time – a handmade set of silver, tiger’s eye, and mother of pearl we got at Four Corners (where Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico meet).
In one of my fabric bins, I came upon a soft piece of faux fur I found in a clearance bin at a fabric store a few years ago.  If I split it lengthwise and sew the ends together, it will be exactly the right size for a scarf.  The back side is sort of a canvasy-feeling stuff, so it will have to be lined.  I have some doeskin satin that matches.  It wouldn’t be as warm as it would if it were lined with fleece or flannel, but satin is probably the best choice, since the fur is thick, and it wouldn’t drape nicely if the backing was thick, too.
Years ago, I found a beautiful piece of fur at a secondhand store somewhere.  It was sooo soft and nice, I didn’t even look at the coat it made up.  It was only $7.00, so I snatched it up and dashed happily home with it, planning to cut it up and make a cute jointed bear with a pattern I had.  I even had a piece of leather for the foot pads.
I laid the coat on my cutting table, spread it out, picked up my shears -----
And spotted the tag:  ‘Burberry London’.
I put down the shears.  Fast.
I picked that coat up and gave it a good look.
It was gorgeous.  It looked like new.  It had a fitted bodice and a full, flared skirt, a big shawl collar, and it was lined with 100% raw silk.  I looked at the size:  it was my size (peewee, aka ‘runt’, as my brother says).
I put it on... looked in the cheval mirror... and felt ‘utterly too-too’, as Nellie Olson of the Little House on the Prairie fame used to say.
Sooo... I never made a teddy bear, but I wore a Burberry London fur coat for several years! 
I once found a soft wool Rothschild trenchcoat and adorable little hat in a size 2T, when Victoria was almost size 2T, and growing.  The price tag was still attached:  $74.98.
I don’t much like shopping, but I must admit, finds like that made those particular days fun.
I offered Victoria a few of her things, including a nearly-new robe and the aforementioned bedding.
“I got a new robe (newlyweds have no idea they might need duplicates of anything) and our full bed needs queen sheets now,” she replied.  “We need a bigger bed, so I’m not really sure what to do.  Our new mattress was quite expensive.  Maybe you could sell the mattress on Craigslist?”
“An axe murderer would show up!” I exclaimed.  “You could take this one, and glue it to your new one.”
“Haha! No, thanks! 😜” she answered.
And it was such a good idea!  Tsk.
Thursday, Larry got home from work at precisely 2:04 p.m., and headed for the bathtub.  School was getting out at 2:30 p.m., and we were supposed to pick up the grandchildren.  It takes exactly 7 minutes to get to the church or school.  Do you suppose there was any possibility of him being ready to leave and backing out of the driveway in 19 minutes flat??
Answer:  No.
22 minutes, yes.  19 minutes, no.
We were three minutes late, picking up the children.  But they were happy enough to see both Grandpa and Grandma that they didn’t seem to mind the wait.
We went to the post office to mail a package to Dorcas.  When they were visiting last September, she spotted a plaque on my wall that used to be my mother’s, and Dorcas always thought it was funny: 
Although you’ll find our house a mess,
  Come in, sit down, converse;
It doesn’t always look like this;
  Some days it’s even worse!

Since she stayed with my mother the last couple of years before Mama died, helping her clean and cook and suchlike, she’s particularly sentimental about Mama’s things.
We dropped off a bag at the Goodwill and headed back to the church for family visitation, which would start at 3:00 p.m.  Since we finished our new church, we have visitation there instead of at the funeral home, as the funeral home isn’t big enough to accommodate all the visitors.  By the time we got back to the church, Amy had returned from a doctor’s appointment and was waiting in the parking lot, so kiddos jumped out of our vehicle and scampered over to hers, and Larry and I went on inside.
We didn’t get home again until 9:30 that evening.  Loren took us to Subway for supper at about 6:30 p.m.  We went back to the church afterwards, and took Norma home later.
It was a long and emotional day.  Norma has had a difficult time of it, this last year, and especially the last week.  Larry and Kenny helped her, the last few days.  When they sent Lawrence home from the hospital, they gave Norma the phone number of a hospice nurse who would be ‘available 24/7’, so they said. 
Well, last Sunday morning at about 4:00 a.m., Norma called her, as Lawrence had tried getting out of his hospital bed, and he wasn’t strong enough to get back in, and Norma needed help with him.  The phone awoke the nurse from a dead sleep – and she did not want to get up.  “Could one of your sons help you?” asked the nurse.
So Norma called Kenny, and he went to help.
‘24/7 availability’ with that nurse evidently meant, ‘I might answer my phone and suggest somebody else help you.’
Lawrence had 3 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren, 16 step-grandchildren, and 29 step-great-grandchildren.  They are sad to lose their grandpa and great-grandpa.  The little ones loved snuggling up with him in his recliner.  But they understand that he is with Jesus now, and we who love the Lord too will see him again someday.  The Apostle Paul wrote, “We sorrow not as others, who have no hope.”
Life is short – but we have an eternity to look forward to.
Here’s something Larry’s nephew’s wife told me:  When Lawrence and Norma were married almost 26 years ago, he asked her, “Is there anything you need me to buy for you?  Anything you want?”
“No, I don’t need anything,” she told him.  “I only ask that you be a grandfather to my grandchildren and a father to my sons.”
“I can do that,” he told her ----------- and that’s exactly what he’s done.  In fact, I thanked him for that very thing, just last week, and he squeezed my hand and smiled.
He’s been a friend since my earliest memories.  When I was quite young, Lawrence and his wife Phyllis would invite me to dinner on Sunday afternoons, as their little girl Barbara was two years younger than me, and liked me to come play with her.  After dinner, Lawrence would often take us for a ride through the countryside.  Those are happy memories.
He was a gentleman, respectful, kind, and hardworking.  He lived a long and good life, and we’re going to miss him.  But we’re glad he’s no longer suffering.  The last year has been hard.
I found 76 photos of Lawrence, many with grandchildren and great-grandchildren, some with Norma, his daughter, or Larry and his brother.  His granddaughter, using some of those photos and others she had, put together many framed photos, an album, and four large boards covered with pictures to display in the front vestibule of the church.  She had pictures from Lawrence’s childhood up to present, and put them together so nicely.
The funeral was Friday at 2:00 p.m.  As Norma was getting into a vehicle to go to the cemetery, she fell and landed on her knees.  Made us feel so bad...  she was probably weaker than she knew from lack of sleep, and not eating much.  She’s okay, but has a few sore spots.
After returning from the cemetery, we had a luncheon in our Fellowship Hall.
The birds have been busy at the feeders – downy woodpeckers, goldfinches, housefinches, blue jays, cardinals, nuthatches, English sparrows, and dark-eyed juncos.  And lookie, lookie, here’s the rare Western Cowboy junco, all decked out with his little fringy vest on!  Reckon he has on chaps and little cowboy boots with fancy tool work and wee spurs, under that knee-deep snow?  And most likely a little shoulder harness with a 2.7mm Kolibri, too, for good measure!
My sister Lura Kay wrote to say that she’d never heard of, much less seen, such a bird as the Cowboy junco.
“The rare Western Cowboy junco only visits country hicks, so that must be why it never comes to your feeders,” I told her.
“Haha!” she replied.  “You’d think a city hick would at least merit a fly-by!”
This Kalanchoe was given to me by my boss on National Secretaries' Day when I worked at our local Internet Provider Services in 2005.  It was in bloom when she gave it to me, but it didn't bloom again for seven years.  Now it blooms about twice a year.
Kalanchoe is a succulent.  There are about 125 different varieties and species of the plant; they were mostly native to the Old World – only one came from the Americas, and it was in the Deep South.  Some are from southern and eastern Africa; some are from Madagascar.  In warm climates, they are perennial, and in the right habitat, they become shrubs.  Around here, if planted outside, they will only be annuals, maybe biennials a little farther south.  So most people grow them as houseplants.
In South Africa, there is a species of this plant that can cause cardiac arrest to grazing animals in its native range!  But other species of the Kalanchoe have been used to treat infections, inflammation, and even rheumatism and hypertension.  Scientists continue to work with the plant, as they have found some varieties that can be used as a sedative, others that help with cardiac issues, some that show strong anti-tumor promotion, a select group that produces certain types of antibiotics, and one species that even works as an insecticide.
I just pulled a large plastic bin out of the laundry room closet ----- and discovered the Texas Lone Star quilt I made about 20 years ago!  I made it with primary-color calicoes that I found in my mother’s basement when my sister and I were cleaning it.  There were stacks and stacks of pinked-edge squares, and I managed to cut two diamonds from each square.
You know, I could make a new back for that thing, get some more batting, load the works onto my quilting frame, and bring it back to life, couldn’t I?
Saturday, I uploaded photos to my blog; I had a couple months’-worth of pictures to post.
Here are the beautiful flowers we brought home from my stepfather-in-law’s funeral yesterday:  Flowers from the church
More photos of the Kalanchoe:  Kalanchoe
Juncos and finches:  Backyard birds
Sleepy cats, and another sewing project:  Feline siesta and a new project
Storm at Sea table topper finished – and a cat scan:  Storm at Sea quilt
The day after the ice storm:  Icy day
There’s always a cat in the way:  Teensy underfoot
Sometimes they like to use the sewing machine:  Cat sews
Downy woodpecker, nuthatch, squirrel:  Birds at the feeder
Clouds at sunset:  Stratocumulus clouds
If after looking at all those pictures you haven’t gotten your fill of my Snaphappy camera, you have only to look at the right side margin for all the new photo posts back to the middle of November.
My brother stopped by with a late (back-ordered) Christmas gift for us.  It’s a doormat, featuring bronze-colored cats on a black background.  They each have red bows around their necks, are seated with their backs to the viewer, and their curling tails spell out the word ‘Welcome’.  Quite cute.
Loren had no sooner departed than one of the cats threw up on it.  ((rolling eyes))
Larry got his W2 form Friday, so Saturday evening I got busy on our taxes.  “Why do they keep making the print at Turbo Tax smaller??!” I asked my sister.
“The print gets smaller as the hour gets later,” she informed me.  “Didn’t you ever notice?”
I finally finished the taxes at 11:30 p.m.  Now we merely have to sit back and wait for the refunds to come rolling in, and then we can buy... oh, ... maybe...  how ’bout this nice truck?

Or this charming tractor?  

If you get enough snazzy parts and pieces, you might be able to make something like this old cyckle!  (pronounced as speelt)

Once upon a time, many years ago when we lived in town, a neighbor kid was being horrid to a littler one who was only about 2 ½ or so.  The bully kept tipping the little boy over as he tried to ride his tricycle, and the little guy was crying.  I was so afraid the little one was going to hit his head on the concrete!
The little boy’s mother would stay inside her house and lock the doors so he couldn’t get back in, so she could watch her soap opera in ‘peace’ – and her child’s sobbing and wailing didn’t bother her in the slightest, so long as she could still hear her soaps.
Teddy, who was about 13 or so, ran to rescue little Timmy and to order the bigger kid, who was about 9 or 10, to never do such a thing again.  Teddy must’ve looked pretty scary, because the big kid was staring with huge eyes and nodding and trying to be as agreeable as possible, and when Teddy told him to tell Timmy he was sorry, he did so with all haste. 
And Timmy loved him forever.  With one last sniffle as Teddy set him down, he trotted over to his tricycle that one of the other children had righted, patted the seat, and asked Teddy, “Do you wanta ride my sicko?”  (‘tricycle’)
Teddy called his little sisters’ tricycles ‘sickos’ after that, much to their chagrin.
For supper Saturday night, I fixed Black Angus burgers on toasted and buttered Ciabatta rolls.  I put Marble Jack cheese on it, with pickle relish, Sweet Baby Ray’s honey barbecue sauce, onions, lettuce, tomato, and strips of red, orange, yellow, and green sweet bell peppers.
Only one slight problem:  I had to step on it first, before I could get it in my mouth.
The trouble with cooking is that you go to all sorts of time and effort to make something scrumptious... fix the table all pretty and serve the ‘butter in a lordly dish’ (as Jael did Sisera, shortly before she occasioned his demise with a tent nail through the temple)... and then everybody hauls off and scarfs it down ((glom glom glom burp)) — and away they go, leaving the table a mess (unless they’re your own offspring, and you can collar them into clearing the kitchen).
With quilting, on the other hand, you take all sorts of time and effort to make something lovely... present it (whether to yourself or someone else)... and who knows?  150 years from now, it very well might be hanging in a place of reverence in a museum somewhere!  But even lacking that, at least it’ll be around to be enjoyed for a while.
One good thing about these modern days, though:  if you do like to cook, and if you do like to make the table and the dishes all pretty, you can now take lovely pictures of it from all angles, and then post the shots to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapfish, Smilebox, Picasa, Photo-bucket, PhotoSnack, PhotoBox, Blurb, PixMatrix, JuiceBox, Pinterest, BytePhoto, TinyPic, ImageShack, 500px, Photo.net, SmugMug, Slickpic, RitzPix, Dropshots, PixVillage, KoffeePhoto — Now there’s a good’n.  KoffeePhoto.  Every time you post a photo, they send you a piping hot mugga joe, right to your front door via KoffeeDrone.  [Don’t they?]
So, anyway, the pictures will be around for a while, if the food itself isn’t.  One should always look on the bright side.
Speaking of the bright side, there was a beautiful sunrise Sunday morning.  I took half a gazillion pictures.  (Only half, ’cuz I was gettin’ ready for church.)  See more here:  Sunrise
If I ever start exploring maps... looking at Street View... pictures... I get lost, and don’t find my way out of the maze and back again for who-knows-how-long.
My father used to let me be the Major Map Holder when we went on trips, and if he wasn’t in too big of a hurry, he’d let me choose the routes, too.  I always chose the off-the-beaten-track roads – the little wiggly ones – as opposed to the Interstates.  If I didn’t direct him too far out of the way, he’d take the roads I picked.  
The longest trip we ever took was when we went to Newfoundland.  We had driven our big Buick Electra, and we had my dog Sparkle with us.  At North Sydney, Nova Scotia, we took a big ship, the John Hamilton IV, across the St. Lawrence Strait to Channel-Port aux Basques, Newfoundland.  It took 6 ½ hours to cross the Strait.  I’d go down to the level where our car was parked fairly often to care for my dog.
Once while down there, a young ship worker asked me to go visit the boiler/engine room with him.
I was 12.  I looked 18.
I thought, This ain’t right, and ordered Sparkle, a big, pretty German Shepherd/Collie mix, “Sit.”  
She sat.  
Shipworker the Bearded backed up a step.
I smiled, said “No, thank you,” and told my dog (who didn’t really need voice commands, but it was impressive), “Heel.”  And off we went.
Scruffbeard didn’t bother me again.
Here she is, Sparkle, Best Dog in the World.  (She was not attired thusly on the John Hamilton IV.)  I took these pictures when I was about 15, and entitled them ‘Party Dog’ and ‘Party’s Over’.
Flathead Valley in Montana is about to get a foot of snow!  WeatherBug just informed me of this news.
I’ve been through that area three or four times, but only once since we’ve been married.  That was in 1994, when Caleb was a baby, and we traveled through on our way to various Canadian National Parks.  One of these days, I hope we can see it again.
Do you like cell phones?  I hate cell phones.  Cell phones are made for interrupting each other.  And for distorting voices.  I sound even more like a hamster on a cell phone than I do in real life.  It’s impossible not to interrupt, on cell phones, because of that slight time lag.  So, it all comes down to... who can interrupt the loudest!!!   (Yeah, I was just talking on the phone.  Or trying to.)

I’m washing clothes.  And bedding.  I hauled a bunch of decorator (aka ‘toss’) pillows downstairs, since they go with the quilt that is presently trying its bestest to get dry in the dryer.  I’m exchanging the wool/corduroy/velvet quilt for the flannel Log Cabin quilt.  And I’m cleaning out cupboards, sporadically.  (That’s my NWW – ‘New Word for the Week’.)  What that means is, every now and then as I trot past a cupboard, I yank open the door, scan, and grab stuff I haven’t used recently and don’t plan to use soon, and pitch it into the bag for the Goodwill.
I found some leather cleaner/conditioner in a cupboard in the laundry room, got all enthused, and cleaned both loveseat and recliner.  They’re practically glowing in the dark now. 
Time to reread this letter, and hit the hay.
My boss Lona at Nebraska Public Power District once asked me why I stayed so cheerful, even when she dumped so much editing on me (as opposed to the more prestigious typing of this and that Very Important Document).  I was 17... they hired me (against company policy) when I was 16, thanks to my Business Administrations teacher, Mr. Jackson (no relation, still a good friend – he even came to Victoria’s wedding).
I replied, “Well, ... I guess it’s just because I like to find fault with people!”
She thought that was so funny, she told the Big Guys up on third floor.  The next day, I innocently dashed up the steps (there were elevators; I took the steps) ---- only to find a couple of the Head Honchos, including the manager of the WKC (Whole Kit and Caboodle), waiting for me at the 2nd-floor landing.
“So!” said Whitey in his big booming voice, “I hear you like to find fault with people!”
I thought, That Lona!   So I grinned at him and said, “Only if they need it!”
He and his crony laughed, told me to keep up the good work, and headed to the elevator banks, never dreaming how shy I was, or how sweaty my palms had suddenly become from that short exchange.

Okay, I’m ready to head for the feathers... fresh-fluffed feathers, even!  Clean sheets... the not-quite-so-thick-non-Sherpa-backed fleece blanket... and the Log Cabin quilt.  The last time I washed this flannel quilt, I hung it outside all afternoon, and when it was dry, I folded it up tight, hoping it would still smell like early summer afternoon when I opened it back up again.  Well, it does!  Mmmmmm...  

,,,>^..^<,,,       Sarah Lynn       ,,,>^..^<,,,

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Photos: Sunday Morning Sunrise

Watch a beautiful sunrise as the sky lightens and the sun finally tops the horizon:

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Photo: Cat Mat

My brother just brought me another Christmas gift; it had been back-ordered:

Photos: Kalanchoe in Bloom

This plant was given to me by my boss on National Secretaries' Day when I worked at our local Internet Provider Services in 2005.  It was in bloom when she gave it to me, but it didn't bloom again for 7 years.  Now it blooms about twice a year.