Yesterday afternoon we braved the wind and cold to attend the Lawn & Garden show at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds. It’s something we look forward to every February. Lots of farm machinery to drool over as well as gorgeous plant and seed displays. There are also educational and entertaining lectures almost every hour. Most speakers are local, but there is always a special guest speaker. The past 2 years it was P. Allen Smith. I’m a fan of his, but he presented the same lecture and slides both years. That was disappointing. This year Carol Reece is the main attraction. She’s from Mississippi but worked as an Extension Horticulture specialist for Tennessee for 25 years. She’s got wit to go with her knowledge. We attended the lecture on Native perennials. She made the point that all plants originated somewhere else. Animals and people transported them, knowing or unknowingly. The native maize that we consider native to the United States came up from South America. I wish I’d had pen and paper to write down some of her plant suggestions, although that would have detracted from just enjoying presentation.
Dennis was disappointed that there were no hydroponics vendors. He’s wanting to grow lettuce and salad stuff in the basement during the winter. It was still a fun way to spend a cold afternoon.
I just finished _Shutter_ by Ramona Emerson. It’s her first book and I hope she continues to write. It’s about a forensic photographer who also sees ghosts. She hooked me immediately and kept me turning the pages.
Dennis and I went to the matinée show at the historic Gillioz theatre this afternoon. The staff was friendly and the atmosphere upbeat. Assisted living facilities brought in residents, so there several folks using walkers. The theatre suffered from years of neglect but you can see that at one time it was elegant. I’m happy that it is being used and slowly restored.
Before the movie started, we learned some trivia. “The King and I” was released in 1956. The number one hit that year was Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel”. Presley gave a concert in the nearby Shriners auditorium and sneaked off to watch the movie at the Gillioz. He sat in a back seat on the left side and there is a star above the seat memorializing it. This was the first time I’d seen “The King and I” on the big screen.
It rained most of the day, but the sun came out just before sunset. We went to evening Ash Wednesday services. When we got home I heard Peepers! First time this spring. If the weather person is correct, their lips will get frozen shut tomorrow night.
That sounds dramatic, but what our weather person said about our roller coaster temperatures the past week.
I finished reading _John Eyre_ by Mimi Matthews. I read it for the role reversal of the characters. John Eyre hired by Mrs. Rochester to tutor her 2 (male) wards. The writer knew her Charlotte Brontë. She veered away from the original story by adding a vampire to the mix. It was done subtly and was well woven into the story. I enjoyed the book.
Our church has a number of elderly members and we’ve had a lot of deaths the past 6 months. The most recent death was Helen, age 97. She was the head of quilters and was part of the group that played dominoes every Wednesday afternoon. Her grandson who has MS lived with her and they managed to take care of each other. She was a good woman and will be missed.
MODoT switched our supplemental insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield to United Health. The m not big on change, especially changes I have no control over. Thursday we had a visit from a Home Health nurse. It had all been arranged in advance. It seems this insurance company is interested in preventive care. Fortunately Dennis and I are mostly healthy and functional. We were found capable of muddling through our daily routines without outside assistance.
The historic Gillioz theater in Springfield has resumed their every other Wednesday matinees. We plan to go to the first one. It is “the King and I”. Old movies for old folks. 🤪. If you are over 60, it’s free. $5 for the young ‘uns.
Since we don’t get Fox channel with our antenna, we had to stream the Superbowl game on Dennis’ laptop. We just put it on a TV tray and sat close together on the couch. I didn’t do any football food prep. We agreed earlier that I’d just heat up a pizza after the game started. I chose a Freshetta supreme and it was delicious. We also had a couple beers. Nothing I’d consider “over indulging “ but we both had heartburn by the end of the game. Getting old isn’t for wimps.
I’m sure there were lots of Chiefs fans celebrating all last night. It was an exciting games and both teams played honorably. I’m a Chiefs fan and happy they won, but watching the Eagles play, it wouldn’t have been horrible to lose to them.
Today has been a beautiful day. Sunny and warmed up to 60*. Dennis spent the day cleaning out the chicken palace and spreading accumulated chicken poop on top of the leaves on the garden. It’s too wet to till it in. After some discussion, we decided there’s not any danger of it being too “hot” and burning plants when it’s time to plant. Which isn’t any time soon.
Khloe’s regular groomer canceled her appointment last week due to her horse getting injured. She isn’t sure when Khloe can be rescheduled. I’m going to have to take her to PetSmart this week. She is getting too shaggy and stinky to ignore. Hopefully the horse will recover soon and we can get back our regular grooming routine. First world problems are real.
An overnight visit from a friend is always a welcome break from midwinter blah routine. It’s an excuse to do a bit deeper cleaning ( assuming the house is already clean and orderly) or some serious putting away and catching up on the usual cleaning tasks. A bit more thought goes into meal planning and entertainment.
Last night we were a stopover for Sue, on her way from central Illinois to Arizona. We’ve become a routine stop for her trips over the years, so we knew what she wanted/expected. First was an Okratini. It’s a dry gin martini with pickled okra instead of olive. We sat around and caught up a bit before eating supper. I fixed my current favorite go-to meal, roasted chicken with sweet potatoes ( the last from our garden), Yukon gold potatoes, carrots and onions. Afterwards we just chatted until about 11 pm.
It started raining during the night. It was a dreary gray morning, but coffee brightened things up. After a leisurely breakfast, Sue got back on the road. Westward Ho!
The past week was consumed by roofing contractor inspections and bids. We chose our contractor and now on his list to get both our roof and my parents roof new shingles. Fingers crossed that this new roof outlasts us.
After days of gray skies, snow/ice on the ground and temperatures below freezing, the sun is peaking through the clouds and predicted high of 40*.
Our mail did not get delivered Monday or Tuesday. Since I chose not to leave our property due to the icy roads, I can’t complain that postal workers also chose not to attempt to drive on our road. I was happy to see the mail truck yesterday afternoon. Besides the junk mail and a few bills, I had some happy mail. A friend from nursing school days sent me a note and her new address. I was concerned because the Christmas card I sent her was returned. I called her and we chatted almost 2 hours. She and her husband had downsized and moved into an apartment. The event was more traumatic than expected and she didn’t get “we moved” cards sent as planned. I’m just glad she’s seeing positive possibilities from the move and is making plans for more involvement in her new community.
Dennis and Khloe are on a mission to get chicken food and bird seed later this morning. All our feathered friends have been hitting the feeders hard.
Everything is coated in thin layer of ice. Be prepared to fall if you step outside. Only the thinnest branches are bending under the weight. It’s too dark and gray to get the pretty shimmer from the ice. all schools in the area are closed. The chickens didn’t even pretend to be interested when their door was opened this morning. It’s 18*. There’s snow flurries, to add insult to injury.
Last nights football game between the Chiefs and Bengals was stressful. I was relieved when Bengal player received a deserved unnecessary roughness penalty, which made it easier for the Chiefs to make the game winning field goal. Now for the Superbowl! 🏈
Lots of birds at the feeders this morning. A trip to refill them at some point will probably be necessary. I’ll be treading carefully.
The days are getting noticeably longer. It was light out, not quite sunrise, when Khloe and I let the chickens out this morning. That’s the official beginning of the day. During the winter, Jeopardy at 5 pm marks the end of the workday. It’s no longer dark when Jeopardy comes on. We’ve reached a civilized length of daylight.
I finished _The New Rules of Aging Well_. Much of it I am already doing, but I think I need to add rollers and yoga to my routine. I need to work on increasing my flexibility.
This afternoon we played Mexican Train for the first time in close to 5 years. My parents came over and friends Vicki & Howard joined we us. they play dominoes with a group of seniors from our church on Wednesday afternoon. I didn’t realize when they said dominoes, they were talking about Mexican Train. It was fun to find out who was most competitive and who didn’t like to sit next to who. Hopefully the six of us can get together again. I’m not sure I want to join the Wednesday group. Some of them sound cutthroat.
It was just above freezing for the first few hours of snowfall. It was probably 9pm before there was any serious accumulation. This morning I’d guess we have 6”. Khloe and I walked around about 5:30. Peaceful.
By 10 pm everything in the area canceled for today, including my dentist appointment for this morning.
I’m looking forward to a quiet day. Khloe and I will probably go for another short walk but I plan to enjoy most of the snow from inside.
Our week in California went by lightning fast. We we’re definitely having fun.
Thursday we visited the Botanical Gardens in Ft. Bragg. They were impressive even in January. They had hundreds of rhododendrons, just budding out. I’m sure they will be spectacular in February.
This is a heather and heath garden. I finally discovered the difference between heather and heath. Heath has needle like leaves and closed bell like blooms. Heather has scale like leaves and open bell like flowers. Both are beautiful.
After strolling around the gardens, we ate at North Coast Brewery & Restaurant. I had the fish and chips. It was a locally caught rock cod and delicious. I ordered the recommended Pilsner that went quite well with it.
Sunday morning we began our trek home. It started with our first flight being delayed. It was a full flight and to speed up the boarding, they offered to check carry-on luggage to final destination for free. We took them up on it. We had no idea how far apart the gate where we would arrive and the gate we would depart were. If we were speed walking, doing it without our backpacks would be easier. it turned out the distance wasn’t that far and we were able to grab a quick sandwich to eat before boarding our final flight. About 5 minutes before boarding we were told that there were 3 too many passengers. 3 volunteers were needed to fly out the next morning. After the offer was sweetened with $2000 in hotel and food vouchers, they had their 3 volunteers. Once aboard, we were told we’d be taxiing over to be de-iced. It had been snowing/ freezing rain earlier. Add 20 minutes to final arrival time. Then we lost our spot in the take-off queue. Add at least 10 more minutes. So instead of landing at 10, it was after 10:30. Then we had to wait our tun to use the only staffed unloading gate. It was after 11 when we got off the plane. The pilot apologized that we’d spent more time on the 2 runways than we were in the air. Then we had to wait for the earlier flight to get their luggage before ours could be put on the carousel. Finally we got our luggage and could go home. After this trip, I can honestly say I’m not impressed with United airlines. I can’t be too critical because we did arrive in both destinations with our luggage’s. Maybe airplanes being on time is over rated.
Much of this day was spent doing laundry and getting back into the daily routine. We picked up Khloe from her “camp” adventure first thing. She wanted to catch up on the news. Neither of us had watched TV in 8 days, and I should have continued into day 9. So many shootings and violence. Plus we are under a winter storm warning Tuesday night into Wednesday. It started with 3-6” but has increased to possible 12”. I just want to stick my head back in the sand.