Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Say it Out Loud

My neighbor was being stressed out with a repetitive dream. It was a nasty one, like some playback from a Law and Order show, about a man abusing children.

She is an older lady and doesn't like to watch a lot of crime shows, not like yours truly who is addicted to crime and mystery. Unfortunately, and maybe because she was having the same dream over and over again, she remembered it in detail.

She told me about these dreams, and I was going to do some dream research, but didn't get to it. Yesterday, she told me she hasn't had the dream since she'd told me about it. Talking about it stopped the cycle. Glad I could help by listening.

I think this is true of so many things. There have been times when I have been overwhelmed, so many worries going around and around in my head, no beginning, no end.

I always found talking about it, some of it, stopped the constant swirl of stress and gave me a chance to look at things, and get some perspective, some control.

The funny thing with dreams, at least for me, is I have a hard time remembering them once I am fully awake. I dreamed about my Mom the other night. Can't remember all the details, but I was there, going up and down in a elevator, carrying or moving something, and she was outside the elevator door with a clipboard. Keeping count? Of what?

The dream has faded and I can't remember the details, except for that look on my mother's face. You know that look, every mother has had it at one time or another. That half grin, half smirk, that tells you that you've been caught, and she, the all powerful Mother, knows it all.

Now I just have to figure out what I was doing wrong, that Mom was trying to tell me to stop. Maybe I need to do that dream research after all. Thanks Mom, I guess.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Well Used Cookbooks

It was too hot to bake, a usual activity I shared with my granddaughter, so we made a stove top no-bake treat instead.

I was surprised when she told me she wanted my old cookbooks when I was gone, quickly assuring me she hoped that wasn't for a long time.

Today I got out one of my old favorites, It's a soft cover, coil cookbook by Red Roses Flour company. the cover is long gone, and I can find no date for when it was published, but it was the 24th Edition.

As I scanned through the pages it is easy to see what recipes were my faves, because the pages were worn and dirty.

I purchased eggs, thinking I only had a couple left, and found it was more like a half dozen. So I pulled out this old book and found the recipe for sponge cake, the one I always make when I have too many eggs and need to use them up.

I still have a number of cookbooks even though I don't cook much anymore, but I still like to scan through, looking at the photos, reading the recipes.

You never know when one will catch your eye and become a 'must try'

Dinger just went, time to take the cake out of the oven. MMMMMMMMmmmmm

Friday, 23 September 2016

Who's Knocking at my Door?

For a short time I lived with my daughter, in a sort of self-contained space in the basement. There was a door at the bottom of the inner stairway, to allow us each our privacy, and I had a beautiful set of garden doors that led to a patio and the yard.

My granddaughter, who turned twelve yesterday, was two years old when I lived with them. If the basement door was closed, the girls were to leave me alone. But that didn't suit this little one. She would leave the house and stand at my garden doors, peering in, knocking, and calling to me.

Now really, who could deny that face?

She spent a lot of time with me then, and later after I moved out. We spent a lot of time baking, so it was not a surprise that for this birthday, she requested I make her a cake. Specifically a chocolate cake with white icing.

It is oh so nice to be wanted.

Happy Birthday Kiddo, love you so much.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Force of Habit

I have a table just inside the door, with a large stone angel statue. There is just enough room at the base for me to place my glasses and my car keys, and keep them handy. It is very rare for me to break from that habit.

My purse goes on the hook on the bi-fold closet door, followed by my jacket in cooler weather, the keys and glasses to the table

Habits. When you change the routine, it changes everything. I must have set the keys down as usual, then hurried to put the groceries away, still wearing the glasses.

I should be wearing the glasses all the time, for distance, like for watching television. But, I never wear them at home. too much bother as I can't wear them for craft work. I have a pair of bifocals, but they stay by the bed.

When I went out today, I grabbed the keys off the table, my purse off the hook, and walked out the door, locking it behind me.

I was half way to the car, thinking how bright the sun was, and realized I wasn't wearing my glasses, with the lens which darken in the sun.

I don't think I've ever done that before, and admit I was shocked. It's such a habit, to grab them as I go out the door.

I'm sure, if the bright sun hadn't alerted me, my fuzzy view of the road would have.

Creatures of habit, aren't we?

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Finding Inspiration

My son and his wife are avid hunters and fishermen. They are all about the outdoors, and love nature.

At the same time, they are up on all the modern technology, computers and cell phones and such.

So, it was just over a year ago that they found themselves out in the woods, hunting, talking, and looking at their surroundings...where the forest meets the corn. They laughed and said it sounded like a book title, and immediately sent me a text to share.

Hunters of old would never believe this kind of thing.

Anyway, I liked the title "Where the Forest Meets the Corn" and finally came up with a story idea. The book is finally finished, and is live on Amazon, available for Kindle.

I'm not sure my son expected me to come up with a story about a serial killer, but that's what I did.

I loved the challenge, and thank the two of them for the inspiration. It was fun, writing a book from the title only. Usually I struggle for a title after the book is done.

Now back to the current book in progress, no murder in this one, time for something  a little different.

Here's the link if you're interested.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

To Grandmother's House We Go

What are your earliest memories?

I remember long road trips to visit my grandparents in Ohio. They lived on a high ridge, the Ohio River far below, West Virginia on the other side of the wide waterway.

I remember watching the barges go up the river, often loaded with coal, at least that's what I remember.

The house was huge, in my child's eyes, and was what they called a Tourist House, which meant they rented out rooms on the upper levels.

The front door opened into a dark entryway, dark because it was paneled in dark stained oak wainscotting, but not the usual chair rail height, this almost reached the ceiling.

Funny, but if there was a living room or parlor, I don't remember it. My grandparents' bedroom was on the first floor, maybe where the original parlor had been?

The kitchen was long and narrow, running the full length of one side. The dining room was really big, with a large picture window looking out to the river. The walls were covered in that same dark wood, with a plate rail on the top.

The round table would seat the whole family, and had a lovely stained glass lamp hanging over the center.

Some of my memories of the yard and garden are from photos. There was an English style garden, the grassy area surrounded by a white picket fence, the flower beds along the perimeter.

There were only two houses on the block, each house a large three story, on, aptly named, River Avenue.What seemed strange to me, as a child, was that there was a road separating the house from the garden. It was a small, maybe private road that didn't seem to go far except to separate the house from the yard, and the river beyond.

You could see the river, but it was from a height, and you couldn't make your way to the river's edge, as it was straight downhill and very wooded. Just as well, the water looked brown and dirty, not appealing for swimming.

When we visited, I got my own bedroom, a novelty as I shared one at home with my sister.

I remember they had a canary, and it once got loose in the kitchen. I have memories of sitting in my grandmother's bedroom going through her boxes of jewelry, some of which I still have.

Because of the age I was in the photos, I figure it was here my grandfather had his photography studio, and darkroom. There are so many pictures of us during those years.

Not sure when they moved to the smaller house, my memories are not as strong of that home. I think as we got older, my grandparents came to us, rather than the family making the trip to Ohio.

In 1971, they moved to Florida, and I've never been back to that 'hometown'.

I remember my grandparents to be loving and creative. From my grandmother I got a love of needle crafts, like sewing and crochet. From my grandfather it was the arts, painting and photography.

They were truly remarkable people, and I was very fortunate to have them in my life.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Remembering 9/11

This is the poem I wrote on the first anniversary of the events of 9/11. A day never to be forgotten 

Firefighters of Station 9/11

Amid the rubble and the dust

Men did, as such men must,

Fought back their fears,

Choked back their tears,

And went forth, to who knew what.

And from that day each found their way,

From a man; -into a hero,

And time stood still

As it ever will,

At that place

That is Ground Zero.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Riding Boots

My daughter had a 'horse crazy' phase as many young girls do. She took riding lessons, and had all the required gear, the riding hat, a crop and, of course, the boots.

In spite of all the years, and all the moves, she saved those boots, and now her daughter is wearing them for her own riding lessons.

I never rode, had a fear of big animals, but I supported my daughter's desire to ride.

Thought I'd share some photos of the newest young rider, lesson three.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016


Brothers, in books and movies, are portrayed in different ways, depending on where they come in the birth order and the gender of their siblings.

Like an older brother, with a little sister is seen as protective, where as a younger brother is a pest.

I think my brother has a split personality, as he is some of both. He's like a big brother, and not just because he's more than 6 inches taller than me, but because he's supportive, encouraging and caring.

But, he is my 'little' brother and can be a pest. He's reminded me that I call my blog Midweek Musing, and yet I'm not posting mid week. I seem to post when I have the time, an idea, or some divine inspiration.

Somehow, Wednesday just comes too fast, and I'm often not prepared. I guess I should be post dating my blogs, so they appear as advertised.

It's Friday, September 2, and I have just written this, but to keep my bro happy, I'll post it for Wednesday.

Some people are just too fussy, comes with aging I guess.

Are you happy now, he who shall remain nameless?

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

School Days, School Days

I was lying in bed this morning, thinking about how quiet and peaceful my morning was, and how it was not the same for the parents with kids going back to school today.

Some kids get up, eager to face the day, others have to be called, and called, and nudged along. Clothes need to be selected, back packs filled with pencils and papers, lunches packed with nourishing food to feed these young minds.

I do feel sympathy for that morning chaos, really I do, but also a bit of smugness, after all, been there, done that.

I was looking for a photo of a school bus to add to my blog, found instead some interesting checklists.

Here's another.

Also found too many sites on making breakfast and lunches ahead of time, making life easier.

My Dad always said it took 3 weeks to make any change in routine a habit, or to get familiar with something new, like a new car. I figure by Thanksgiving, the Canadian one, the kids and parents will find their rhythm, and long hot summer days with the late nights, idle days and sleep in mornings will be a distant memory.

Now that I think about it, that's my routine, day in and day out, the bliss of retirement.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Cookie Dough

I remember making chocolate chip cookies with the kids, and how much they liked to eat the dough.

But, it was considered a No-No to eat the dough, because of the raw eggs. That's another of those rules that change over time. My Dad used to make an energy drink of eggs, banana, and milk with a sprinkle of wheat germ, and though he didn't live a long life, it was an active one, and the raw eggs he'd eaten years before had no part in his demise.

I found a recipe for a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Square, and had to try it, for the kids, both of mine now grown, and their offspring. It was quite simple, and tastes just like the dough for my baked cookies.

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini M&M's
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Mix butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla.
Add flour and sweetened condensed milk alternately until combined.
Add the 1 cup of chips and mini M&Ms.
Press into a lined 8x8 pan. Refrigerate for 3 hours.


Combine peanut butter and milk chocolate chips. In microwave, heat for 30 seconds, stir, repeat at 10 second intervals until melted and smooth. Pour over dough and chill.

I changed the recipe a bit, omitted the M&Ms, and used only milk chocolate chips. If I made them again I would use mini chips, whether it was semi sweet, milk chocolate, M&Ms or the Reeses' mini chips, as it would be easier to bit into. 

They were tasty, and a good no bake recipe for hot summer days.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

New Trend in Crochet

I've noticed a new trend in knit and crochet, a change from the usual, old fashioned afghan. Just as the baby blankets changed to being baby cocoons, someone decided an adult might like to be warm and cozy too.

I think the first one I saw was done like a mermaid's tail, but lately there are all sorts of patterns showing up, showing a lot of creativity and a sense of humor.

Here are just a few.

Friday, 2 September 2016

National Hurricane Center

I have the National Hurricane Center on my list of favorites, and check it daily. I find it kind of fascinating, watching the storms start off the coast of Africa and make their way west to the US and Canada.

For most of the week there were two tropical storms, one headed toward the eastern states, the other to the Gulf of Mexico. There was another storm, strong enough to be named...Gaston...when it reached hurricane strength.

The one TS, or tropical storm, that headed to the Gulf, was upgraded to hurricane strength and given a name, Hermine. It hit land on Thursday, and according to the map, is travelling across the land.

I'm watching the Blue Jays, yes, I know, I'm such a fan, and I haven't heard them talk of the weather, and they are playing in Florida. So the storm must have passed to the north.

There's another yellow 'X' on the map, indicating a storm, not with much strength as yet.

The list of names for hurricanes is set, and follows in alphabetical order. If you ever hear the weatherman talk of hurricanes, and a letter seems to be missing, it's because there was a storm, with enough strength to be named, but then it fizzed out to be of no concern.

If a storm is bad enough, the name is retired, as is what happened after Katrina.

Commentators at the ball game just mentioned the storm that blew through yesterday in Tampa, 22 inches of rain in 72 hours.

I've included the link in case you were curious.