Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Flash of Pre-Christmas

Never, Reader Dear, have I had a Week-before-Christmas remotely similar to the one that (very nearly*) just transpired!
There were hospital visits to Philadelphia, to the University of PA Hospital  (where Wife of Only Son, aka Only Daughter-in-Law now resides [for what we hope and pray is a successful and shorter-than-average temporary housing stay in ICU]!)

 

Small Actor enjoying his Fruit Robot
(specialty of mine)
The week was stuffed full, with trips to the hospital, as well as good times with the Small Actor (who misses his mom),



plus other events, the  celebratory sort!
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The Yard Man and I had not attended a formal anniversary party together, ever.  During this pre-Christmas week, we were invited to attend not one, but two on the very same day (fortunately, one a luncheon, the other a dinner).  These two celebrations had some things in common, of course.  
CAKE! 
DECORATIVE TABLE SETTINGS!     

GOOD FOOD!
 But, for interest's sake, I'm going to tell you about a unique feature of each party.
The luncheon party was given by a couple celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary.  And who, Reader Dear,  do you suppose was in attendance?  The very same minister who married these two!  (It may not be that unusual; the fact of it, however, both fascinated and pleased me.)
The anniversary dinner, then, was an event planned (by their children) as a surprise for friends who are celebrating their fortieth wedding anniversary.  The guests were huddled in a small cloakroom adjacent to the dining room where the table was set.  When these two came through the door, we popped out to shout "Surprise!" They appeared to be slightly flummoxed, and, yes, surprised!  (This, too,  tickled and pleased me!)

Wishing both sets of long-since bride and long-since-groom many more years of marital bliss (er, well, at least marital contentment with loads of downright happiness!)
.....................................

And one more episode, which didn't quite sneak into the final pre-Christmas week, but was ten days prior, and definitely deserves a mention:  The Yard Man and I took friends and went to a concert in York, PA**
Darlingside! 
 
**About a thirty-five-mile drive and jeopardized by the fact that we got snow, falling so beautifully all day long, but leaving us to ponder the odds of getting to hear
Darlingside!


As you can no doubt determine, we made it to the concert and it was terrific!  It was so difficult to stop recording snippets of the performance.  If you like what you hear, Listener Dear, be sure that you make a point of taking yourself to a concert by


Darlingside!


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Christmas Eve, coming right up!
*A few more hours to go.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Turns out

I fell off the Christmas train.  And then, when I stood up and brushed myself off, it was very nearly Christmas Eve!

I told you, Reader Dear, I hoped to show you the decorated tree when I could manage to get it home and into the tree stand and into its fancy dressed-up state.






A week after choosing the tree, The Yard Man brought it home and into the house.  He secured it in an upright position in the stand.  I untangled the strings of lights and ensured that they all lit up (having learned from experience the importance of taking this step prior to laboriously wrapping the strands of lights around the tree.)

I lugged the boxes of ornaments from the attic.



And then, I happily completed the fun part:
Hanging the ornaments!











The starfish from the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
The cardboard angels which hung on the very first
Christmas tree finagled into a tree stand for me by the Yard Man.




 The angel that has blown his trumpet from the uppermost branch for years and years.




So now, here the tree stands briefly,  and sparkles with Christmas cheer, Viewer Dear!


Monday, December 4, 2017

I've found that time starts

acting like a runaway freight train this time of year.  I make every attempt to prepare for it, but before I know,  Thanksgiving has come and gone, and suddenly the train is careening out of control. I have barely managed to get myself aboard; the Christmas paraphernalia is bumping along behind on the tracks.

Complicating the whole Holidays-are-A'comin' interval is the fact that ordinary maintenance must go on.  Ordinary crises continue.  Ordinary leaves are still falling from the trees, and ordinary pipes go on leaking*.  Tenants keep on stepping into sticky situations.   A plain old cell phone continues its frustrating tendency toward poor reception, and an ordinary car is way past its inspection due date.





*It was an underground pipe, Reader Dear, the one with the leak.  The Water Department at the township office proclaimed that it must have been leaking for months; they'd been looking for it!  Discovery was delayed, but a neighbor who lives nearby finally gave me a call.
"I thought you'd want to know, there's water coming out of the ground at your apartments.  There's practically a  river running down the hill!"

And, "Sorry," said the township Water Department, "but this is your responsibility to repair."
SIGH.
It was a big bloody (er, muddy) mess!




................
But, here's the thing,  Dear Reader:  Once aboard this train that's en route to Christmas, there are jolly times as well.
For instance, there was the search for THE TREE.
Now maybe jolly isn't the right word, but I did have a perfectly pleasant time strolling the sprawling fields of evergreens in search of the one that called my name**.  The weather was glorious last Saturday, and The Yard Man was driving his trotting mares at the tree farm again. 


**Naturally, there were hundreds holding their limbs out to me and calling my name.  I inspected them all, Reader Dear!


It's going to be fun bringing the tree home, too, and decorating.
I'll try to show it to you later through the open train window (as we speed along)
future-Viewer Dear.
................................................................

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Turkey roasting. Check.

Salad prepared. Check.
Pies at the ready.  Check.
Table extended and set. Check.
Family members* en route** toting side dishes. Check.

Hallelujah! 





*All four of my celebrated small actors, with parents accompanying.
**Over the river (some call it that; it's really just a creek) and through the woods (a stand of trees; but close enough) they come.













Happy Thanksgiving Day, Reader Dear!***



***May your heart be filled with gratitude,
no matter your table configuration and
the food atop it!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Autumn Morning Sunshine

is good for the soul, even if it's falling on the dead and dying.

That would be my opinion, Reader Dear.

And I also have this to say: "Aw, nuts!"

Now, you may believe that I'm feeling disappointed  or disgusted about something.  However, obviously you're not hearing the intonation of my voice.











To shed light on the matter, Viewer Dear,take a look at what I harvested a few days ago!


Pecans!*
*In their beautiful, natural packaging!

In full disclosure, Dear Reader, I must tell you these nuts were harvested from a big box that showed up outside my front door.  The postman delivered).  And I've got to tell you, these pecans aren't just any old nuts, which is why I said, "Aw, nuts!" with excitement and eagerness in my voice.  These nuts are especially pleasing to me because we share a common heritage (please, no jokes regarding nuttiness!)  Grown, gathered, and shipped by the wife of a cousin of mine, the pecan trees are direct descendants of certain trees that were planted by one of my great-grandfathers in southern Virginia. 
I chortled as I opened the package of pecans, and immediately cracked one open and tried it!

I've got a hand-made wooden mallet fashioned for me by that twin brother of mine.   It worked well, and when I cracked open a pecan, carefully lifted out the meat, popped it into my mouth and ate it, I thought, "I'll have another."


"One more."

"Okay, just one more."

"Mmmm, these are good!  I'll have just one more." 

"Well, one more." 
"I might as well make it an even dozen."

"Okay, one more!"

Perhaps you will be relieved to know, Dear Reader,  that I eventually decided it would be prudent of me not to eat a whole ten pounds of nuts at one sitting! I exercised some will-power, and  am saving a lot of the nutty southern goodness for other days!
......................

And now, before I end this post, I have one more thing to say with feeling:

"Nuts to you, Reader Dear!!"**

.......................
** Tasty southern pecans, may you be so fortunate!***

***(And, yes, yes, of course...I wish you lots of Autumn sunshine, too!)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Birthday Bonanza!!






My past week was populated with not just one candle-topped birthday cake, but two (or three, if you count the candled pumpkin squash that was a joke).

In the first instance, the adoring crowd around my Itty-bitty Actor sang Happy Birthday to You! and his mama offered him a piece of cake.  But, this being his very first experience with the culinary requirement for parties of this sort, he only fingered it with curiosity. He didn't take a lot of interest, knowing nothing of that thing called Sugar Buzz!  My other three small actors, on the other hand, having learned what to expect out of life (er, well, birthday parties, at any rate) were jumping with excitement!  They gladly and gleefully helped with the unwrapping of presents, and campaigned for all the cake they could get!





.........................................................








Several days later, we celebrated the birthday of my Little Actor (who is getting pretty big, but will continue as my "Little Actor" until such a time as he turns down movie deals with me!)  Now, this young celebrity knew the birthday protocol!  Presents!  Cake!  We moved rapidly through the action, the Little Actor calling the shots!  Of course, he was not expecting  that first presentation of birthday "cake" (A birthday squash?!  What crestfallen faces! All the tiny actors were appalled; was there to be no sugar-laden treat?!)  Reader Dear, it was only a trick, of course!  There were speedy reassurances, and, while the adults were still laughing, the candles in the yummy ice-cream cake were being lit!










 I had many other events  (of the ho-hum sort) this past week, Reader Dear, but you can be sure these birthday celebrations really took the cake!

.....................................





Saturday, November 4, 2017

An extra hour!

Now that we have reached the end of Daylight Savings Time here on the east coast of the USA, we all get to spend that hour we stuck into savings last March!  I was contemplating, Reader Dear, exactly how I'm going to use those sixty extra minutes.

So I asked myself, What activity did I give up during the hour last spring when we were instructed to set our clocks ahead?  With a start, I realized it would have been one of the most wretched hours of my life (that one I jumped over at 2:00 a.m. on March 12, 2017!I gave up an hour of lying miserably on a quasi-air-filled hospital mattress, too weak to move my body into any new position, coughing with a throat housing a too-large tracheostomy tube and already painful and raw from such activity,  unable to speak (to night nurses), unable to get out of bed, unable to entertain or distract myself in any way, and--worst of all--unable to sleep!  That nighttime hour that went into  the vault would have been just one more ghastly, seemingly endless hour! 


But, Hallelujah!  Thank merciful heavens, Reader Dear, that  I don't have to redeem that hour in kind!
When I wake during the night (perhaps to the sound of the Yard Man softly snoring) and sink into my warm and comfortable bed, stretch and roll over,  shift my body into a relaxed and satisfactory sleeping position, listen to the sounds of a gentle rain (or possibly view through the window a majestically full moon in the sky) I'm going to sing the praises* of the fabulously good deal I got on this extra hour!**

*I'm speaking figuratively here,
but only because I don't wish to wake
the Yard Man.
**I'm going to spend it peacefully sleeping! 
...................................................




Thursday, November 2, 2017

Headline of the Day


CELEBRITY REACHES ONE YEAR MILESTONE!
(Reader Dear, this is my very own Itty-bitty Actor generating this eye-popping news du jour!)
I've got a publicity shot to share with you:

Plus a movie or two (or three):







Celebrations will continue into the weekend,
updates following!

Happy Birthday #One, Silvan Lark!
........................................................

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

BOO!

Reader Dear, what I've got is just a little Halloween Hullabaloo*



Walking home from school, my Little Actor, Tiny Actor and me,
oh, the sights we see!


But, wait a minute!  Is that a real pumpkin, that jack o' lantern with its frightful face? 













Ha!  It's a fake!  Not scary!
....................................................................................                                    

As for my Itty-bitty Actor:
It's dress rehearsal time, the little monkey!







...................................................................................

And how about this, Viewer Dear?!  The spirit of Halloween past!
(Itty-bitty Actor's mama, decades ago!)
............................................................................

This morning my tea kettle, which is supposed to dutifully whistle for me, was giving a true Halloween shriek!
Spoooooky!

................................................................................


At the bank, I got to the door and realized, alas,  I would have to take off my mask before entering!










................................................................................

Furthermore, after leaving the bank,  I had to slow down for a hearse pulling onto the roadway ahead.  I followed the funeral procession all the way to a nearby graveyard.  Of course, I told myself,  folks are dying every day of the year! All ghosts and goblins and skeletons aside,  just because it's Halloween doesn't mean that, well, death's going to go on vacation.

..............................................................................
When I drove slowly past this shop (following the hearse and the cars filled with mourners), I could hear these pumpkins hollering out to me.  
























I'm not sure what they were saying.

But, here's what I'm going to say:
HAPPY HALLOWEEN, Dear Reader Dear! Enjoy your sugar buzz!
.........................................






*Not really any hullabaloo whatsoever,
but I love the word,
and perhaps you do, too!
(Plus, it rhymes with boo)