Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Patriotic witch and spook and bulbs

Witch and spook at front
Besides the approach of Halloween, trick or treat, and decorating outside for the goblin greetings,  this is the time of year when I think about planting bulbs.  We are ready for the parade of kids tomorrow evening as are Witch and Spook who have been languishing in the closet for a few years while we traveled.  Jerry has so securely attached the patriotic stars to the front railing that he opted not to remove them but secure Witch and Spook alongside giving a patriotic theme to Halloween here.    If you look closely at that photo you can see a reflection in the front door of a pine tree from across the street.  I have my witch hat ready for tomorrow when I answer the door.

When we lived in CA, I started a tradition of planting bulbs daffodils, Dutch  iris, narcissus, muscari, anemones, hyacinths and more every year for my birthday.  Some years I might  plant 100 bulbs some years  less, but always enough so that I spent four  hours or more digging and burying.  I gave up planting  tulips because I  never  got the joy of tulips flowering in the spring, they provided excellent meals for the voles, moles and gophers rampant over our acreage in Newcastle.  They even chewed through  wire mesh which I had  planted in the ground to protect the  tulip bulbs.  Helen Kiker, our elderly friend from whom we bought the homestead warned me to not  plant tulips, that I would be feeding gophers, but I did try, without success. 

Whenever the bulb catalogues arrived, I would carefully browse and select the additions for the coming  fall;  I'd send off the order,  forget about it  and  always be surprised when it arrived in the fall for planting at just the right time.

Bulbs from Sam's
After we moved to MN I learned that I could not wait until November to plant bulbs on my birthday, the ground would either be too frozen, too wet or the weather just too darn wintry to be out digging around.  Some years we were traveling so planting bulbs did not work.  One year, I did bury a stash of daffodils, a fail safe bulb which has always rewarded me the following spring, except these did not.  Of the 30 or so that I buried there was not so much of a floral flicker that following spring, not even from those I'd  carefully laid into a dish, they  rotted over winter.  It must have been one very lousy bag of bulbs to not produce anything.    So over the last  few years, I had given up my tradition, but each  year I think about it.  Here we have landscaping set and I really don't have barren  areas to dig up, besides, the other half of this household protests and forbids my disturbing his master lawn sweep.  So each spring I merely enjoy what is already here and each spring I think, "ahhh wish I could have planted some bulbs last fall."   I could not resist picking up a sack of 50 mixed bulbs in Sam's Club Sunday, Princess Irene tulips, Professor Einstein daffodils and Jetfire narcissus, splashes of brilliant orange will be welcome in spring.  .  Then the challenge was, where to put them, hmm I pondered.   I could creep down the back hillside, but then I would not be able to enjoy their show from inside if the weather is snarly when they are blooming.  Aha,  there is room around the smaller Alberta Spruce in the front yard. That will be lovely from the street as well as our big front window.
So, yesterday, I planted the bulbs not as easy as it used to be,  taking me several hours to dig all out the grass and then dig down, scatter bone meal and lay the bulbs, recover with  dirt and then top off with fresh topsoil all around the dwarf Alberta Spruce, a circumference of only 8 feet or so.  This is when I realize things are not as easy as they used to be and although I am still mobile and agile, it is a sign of aging.  My arthritic knuckles protested on my right hand too.  But now we can wait and anticipate spring and the glorious glow of new  bulbs.  Mission accomplished a little ahead of schedule but as the weather permitted.

And another thing, remember those tight budded mums from earlier this month?  Well they have finally popped into a brilliant yellow display, just what I wanted.  Must have been the frosty nights that prompted the showy bloom.  Or maybe they just like the rest of things follow a natural course, all in good time.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Sepia Saturday 149: Sisters at the waters

Back after a long absence, yet this week's prompt perplexed me.  I could not locate the photo I intended to post of an unidentified  ancestress walking near the water gazing with great trepidation.  I like to share photos from our massive collections, which are still under organization and scanning for genealogy. Instead of the unknown ancestress,  I offer these of sisters at the river. 

Aunt Jinx  
The first one is my aunt Virginia (aka Jinx) and the second is my Mom, Helen.  I believe these were taken the same day in  about 1940 and somewhere near where the family lived on 2nd Avenue in New Kensington, PA along the Allegheny river.  This  might have been near to a boat dock or perhaps that thing out there,  is a dry wharf where swimmers congregated in better weather.  You will notice that it is nearly submerged in the photo of Mom following which could mean these were not taken on  the same day.  Maybe it was a time when they were watching the river rise and wondering what next?  The contour of the hill across the river is the same as is their "perch."  I wish I could ask them all sorts of questions about this now, but it is left to my imagination. 

Mom

Maybe their brother, Carl,  who loved taking photos had a new camera to test.  I found these photos separately, one at my aunt's home and one at Mom's after they passed.  I thought it curious when I was assembling some photos that  they would each have the same shot.  Neither sister ever learned to swim and they shared a fear of water all their lives.  Actually the entire family always had a healthy respect for the rivers and was happy to move farther uphill away from the threat of the river running over it's banks and washing devastation over all in its path.  Any risk of flooding was dreaded.  It was lower cost housing there along 2nd avenue back in the  late 1930's and early 40's and where many of the miners and factory workers like my ancestors lived. 

Mom 1940
I found this one of Mom, marked "1940, high school days" also near that river, windy.  I like the pose, very pre Bus Stop ala Marilyn Monroe, Check out her saddle oxford shoes.  This was obviously back in the day when they wore dresses with shoes and socks, come to think of it we did too as girls in school.

We have a funeral tomorrow and so it may take me a few days to get to see all the posts.  Meantime, if you want to see how others are taking the prompt to the waters, or men looking on, or?, click this link to the Sepia Host site http://sepiasaturday.blogspot.com/2012/10/sepia-saturday-149-27-october-2012.html

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Witch in a broom factory

Pumpkins on our front porch step
Have you seen the GEICO commercial with the giggling witch flying laps around the broom factory? To me,  GEICO has the coolest commercials on TV, the Gecko and Max, the pig, now the witch, proof  that creativity still thrives.  Today, direction dominates many people, adults who cannot grow up, adults who merely repeat what they have heard or read without any personal anylsis.  Facebook is prolific with those who merely copy and display something as theirs.  The Internet facilitates this merely download a photo or saying and share it,with a few finger clicks.  How creative is that?  How much or little thinking is involved?  It is different from noticing something, enjoying, and  sharing occasionally.   I enjoy my time at Facebook,  as a way to communicate with  friends and family all over the country and world.  While there I notice this odd behavioral display which proliferates the spread of the ever increasing and, to me, annoying Facebook applications.  Does any one think about what they are doing there?   Is thinking ability suspended or erased by the time in front of the computer screen?   

I know dependent  adults  who require excessive direction, prompting, coaching even codgering. It is one thing when they are elderly such as my MIL, but it is another for clingy adults who cannot function alone.   I wonder where they have set their brains amidst the straw in their minds, or did they ever have much to begin with?  I  know parents who cripple their children with dependency, I see it in our family.  Mature young adults who remain attached to mommy and daddy's shoe laces and do not or cannot  form their own friendships outside the home.  

It is said use it or lose it and that applies to thinking and reasoning ability.   Sometimes the control is by another in their household or sometimes it is by religions.   I know people who might as well have feathers and wings and be colorful parrots for their lack of ability to reason or think, all they do is mimic.  Perhaps the political season exaggerates this or perhaps that is the nature of Facebook junkies.  Whatever is happening it nourishes plenty of opportunity for those who would control others to gain an edge; sometimes I worry that we have become lemming people.  To me the witch giggling on her laps shows individuality, no one has to ride along with her.  She is enjoying herself absolutely and that is an ability everyone needs. What a blessing, to be comfortable in your own skin, to enjoy your own company such that you are not desperate for constant companionship.   I am not talking about becoming a hermit, or a recluse, a socially with drawn misfit, but about having inner esteem and balance.  What a gift, to be as happy as a witch in a broom factory!  Enjoy the flight, there is no other seat on the broom.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Red reverie and jelly filled donuts in history

I don't know the name of this cultivar shrub, it was here when we bought this place, but I love its red, brilliance that we have not seen in such abundance for several years.  Actually it has been about six years since it displayed such glorious color.  All over town these bushes are showing bright red providing refuge for cardinals.  We think it must have liked the hot summer which we did not or perhaps the dryness, also not so good, as we are below normal rainfall.  Not knowing what it  likes and doesn't like makes it an easy keeper, it gets only a delicate pruning which I do to keep it from overgrowing its space and towering above the back deck rail and hiding our view of bird feeders from our kitchen windows.  Several years ago Jerry pruned it too heavily I thought and it pouted that year with barren limbs and then cherishing its leaves through autumn with not a flicker of  red and then barren for winter.  I have made it my bottle bush for a few years and you can see some still reside there, awaiting removal for the winter. 

Some sunny mornings and especially  later afternoons, the glow from the shrub combines with the reflection from the sun light on the red deck red and the result is pure radiation of a warming scarlet glow that makes me smile from the window and feel that all is right with the world.  I have one photo here to show that red deck although I could not capture the glow, the warm fuzzy feeling it gives.  This deck was once a  dark stately brown, but when Jerry was repainting  he asked, "what color?" and I chose red, to go with the new back door.  I love a splash of red here and there, outside is not immune to my favorite accent color that I do not relegate to only Valentines or Christmas.  I don't know when my red choice started but as far as I can remember I have always liked a flash of red, a vibrant alive color, stimulating and tantalizing and busy maybe.   

This morning after church, on my way home, I stopped to pick up some bananas and there nearby were the Sunday morning donuts.  Well this was our anniversary weekend, 45 years yesterday, and Jerry likes donuts now and then, so I thought I should pick up some for him.  I am not  a donut person, preferring pastries or cinnamon rolls (no icing please) for my infrequent indulgence in too many calorie land.   But there  adjacent to the donuts this morning were one of what I consider life's little pleasures, that which must be denied lest no clothes fit, the smell of freshly baked and generously  iced red jelly filled donuts.  I could not resist.  while Jerry enjoys the old fashioned style donut, I can avoid those easily.  But how long has it been since I have  enjoyed a real jelly donut, at least a year, maybe two?  Not today, this would mark a celebration weekend,  and so these fresh, still warm creatures went home with me along with his donuts and oh yes, those bananas for my yogurt. 

This scrumptious ooey gooey treat which dripped jam down my hand would be my lunch along with a good cup of coffee; vowing to work off the calories outside, I savored each bite. Jerry does not like jelly donuts and thinks it is gross to have jam on hands, but he was not me as a kid and he did not have my polish grandmother.  It took me back to childhood, and my grandma, Rose,  who loved her pastries and who made those wonderful polish jelly filled donuts, paczki only on special holidays, Easter and  very special celebrations. I thought back to how happy I was when she was baking and would let me taste first, while teasing my granpap that I got the first bite.I thrived from such loving grandparents, doting really, but none the less adding to my security that life was good and the world was mine however I chose to meet it.  I felt that way today eating that jelly donut or at least that life is often how we meet whatever ringers come our way. 

I was curious about jelly filled donuts because I know several eastern Europeans claim them, so when I googled before staring this piece I was not surprised to see that indeed there is a rich history to this delicacy.   Although Germany is given credit for  their invention, we know that Germany encompassed many lands through history so it is understandable that poles, russias and others would have their versions.  In 1485, the cookbook Kuchenmeisterei (Mastery of the Kitchen) was published in Nuremberg, Germany. In 1532, it was translated into Polish as Kuchmistrzostwo. Besides serving as a resource for post medieval central European cooking and being one of the first cookbooks to be run off Johannes Gutenberg‘s revolutionary printing press, this tome contained what was then a revolutionary recipe: the first record of a jelly doughnut, “Gef├╝llte Krapfen.” This early version consisted of a bit of jam sandwiched between two rounds of yeast bread dough and deep-fried in lard. (My grandma friend hers in ht lard too!) Whether the anonymous author actually invented the idea or recounted a new practice, the concept of filling a doughnut with jam spread across the globe.  How about that, the jelly filled donut is ancient.  Something that has endured this long cannot be that bad regardless of a calorie count ranging  from 260 to 320!  That's a lot of steam to work off, but I did so today.

More  information about my treat led me to President John F Kennedy.  Even today's newspaper had a front page article about the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy's challenge and our brink of nuclear war with Russia.   I have just finished reading O'Reilly's "Killing Kennedy" which I will review in my other blog. (Loved that book by the way, loved that president too who was my first political hero.)   But read on to what else I learned today about jelly filled donuts and see if you remember JFK calling himself one.  

Today most versions of  jelly doughnuts have a sweet interior, but  the original filled doughnuts were  packed with meat, fish, mushrooms, cheese, or other mixtures. At that time, sugar was still very expensive and rare in Germany, so savory dishes were much more practical. In the sixteenth century, the price of sugar fell with the introduction of Caribbean sugar plantations. Soon sugar and, in turn, fruit preserves proliferated in Europe. Within a century of the jelly doughnut’s initial appearance in Germany, every northern European country from Denmark to Russia adopted the pastry, although it was still a rare treat generally associated with specific holidays. In my Polish family paczki were made for  Easter and  holidays, special times only...Much later, someone in Germany invented a metal pastry syringe with which to inject jelly into already fried doughnuts, making the treat much easier and neater, and in the twentieth century, machines were developed to inject doughnuts in mass production.


Since at least the early 1800s, Germans had called jelly doughnuts "Berliners". According to a German anecdote, in 1756 a patriotic baker from Berlin was turned down as unfit for Prussian military service, but allowed to remain as a field baker for the regiment. Because armies in the field had no access to ovens, he began frying doughnuts over an open fire, which the soldiers began calling after the baker’s home, Berliners. The term soon became narrowed to denote only filled krapfen. Thus technically John F. Kennedy’s famous declaration at the Berlin Wall, “Ich bin ein Berliner,” means “I am a jelly doughnut.”

By the end of the century, jelly doughnuts were also called Bismarcken, after Chancellor Otto von Bismarck Due to the large number of central European immigrants, jelly doughnuts are known as bismarcks in parts of the American Upper Midwest, in Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada, and even in Boston, Massachusetts. In Manitoba, they are called jam busters. In Britain, they became jam doughnuts. And in general American parlance, they are jelly doughnuts. Poles named jelly doughnuts paczki (flower buds). Polish Jews fried these doughnuts in schmaltz or oil instead of lard and called them ponchiks. In certain areas of Poland, they became the favorite Hanukkah dessert. A doughnut without a filling in Yiddish is a donat. Some Australian Jews, many of whom emigrated from Poland, still refer to jelly doughnuts as ponchiks. Polish immigrants brought ponchiks to Israel, along with the custom of eating them on Hanukkah.

    So this very special treat today took me back to childhood  and then back through medieval times; now that is a scrumptious bit with a history as rich as its calorie count.   I wish you a special treat that brings as much pleasure as today's jelly filled gave me.   A special thanks to the website which provided The History of the Jelly Doughnut, Sufganiyah, Leite's Culinaria  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Unblooming mums

We are at home this fall, the first time in several years, so I wanted some of those gorgeous huge over the top mums for the front entry.  You know the kind, the gorgeous blooms that set alongside the pumpkins...So a week or so ago amidst my hacking I went to Bauer's, our local nursery and purchased  a magnificent specimen.  It was still balmy and the instructions were to water it daily.  I chose the right  tightest buds I could find so that the blooms would last longer once open.  And that seems to be where my planning went askew. 

I do not mess with potted plants generally, if it doesn't go into the ground I don"t want it.  That's a hangover from my CA days and belief that potted plants are for city dwellers and or old folks who can do no better.  Anyway, $20 for this dandy pot of multiple yellow mums.  Yes they would be cheaper at Home Depot or the like but that is across the river and I like to support the locals.  I envisioned this in full bloom alongside the electric pumpkins that I dug out of the closet for the front entry.  These mums would be golden in the glow.  And I am not putting them into ground anywhere, when they are done they will hit the debris pile., a disposable potted plant.

Well it is now over a week later, our weather turned to downright frosty some overnights, a cold nip in windy air, some badly needed rain and almost daily sunshine.  But my potted mum is either saving itself up for my birthday or is a stubborn pouty specimen.  Yesterday I thought maybe the back deck would be preferable for more sunshine through the day and to gain warmth being closer to the house.  I have not only watered when it does not rain, I have fed it with Miracle Grow each time to encourage the blooms. But as of this morning, here she sits, not much opened, the buds remain tight....Did I get a dud?  How can I get this potted mum to open into bloom, or is she holding off for a birthday surprise?

She likely senses my aversion to potted things, but I did make an allowance for her.  Now?  Wait, something else to wait for, like the closing date on the sale of the PA house.  Yesterday was an exercise in activity and phone calls.  There will be more as we move along.  Oh, for the final papers when we no longer have the responsibility of the house...maybe the mum will bloom at the same time?  A golden  celebration?   

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Windy fall days and Brandy apple pie

Back toward bird feeders

Windy autumn days mean almost daily leaf patrol  activity here .  Jerry wishes he had a cord to pull to release at once all the leaves that will fall from all our trees so leaf patrol would be a one time thing.   Several of the ash trees have shed nearly all their leaves from  the gusty  winds we've had the  last few days.  That's the blanket of gold you see covering the lawn.  He was out there soon after I took this photo with the gas leaf blower  and then  riding mower mulcher, chopping these up so that they go back into the soil.  And then within a few more hours there will be more, by the next day it will look as though nothing was done and the task will be repeated.  Repetition a frequent activity at this time of year.   Our balmy autumn has been replaced with a nip in the air and the winds of fall. 

From the  side back toward the neighbors..golden carpets

These winds complicate our recovery from with these lingering coughs, tickles at the throat as the weeks roll along making nearly  my 3rd week of this PA cold bug.  We  both visited our MD who checked our lungs, and is satisfied this is likely the cold virus that is making its way around the Midwest.  That being said, PA was ahead of it all and viruses can take their  good old time to depart.  Each day I think, "aha, better today"  and that is kind of accurate, but by evening there is a bit of tickly throat and some drainage.  Our MD said antibiotics were not necessary since we were showing no signs of infection nor running fevers.  Just tough it out, take it easy, lots of liquids, etc.  We both got our flu shots too, which surprised me.  I thought we might have to wait, but our MD assured us no fever, no problem.  There is again a nasty flu strain expected and with our resistance down it is best to get the shot sooner than later.  So we muddle and hack along.  The other night I had the best night's  sleep with no coughing and no congestion, but  last  night returned a bit more tickly at night, clearing the throat and disrupting my sleep.   This too shall pass. 

Apple Brandy lattice top pie
I decided the nip in the air made yesterday a good day to bake my favorite apple brandy pie.  Each year I dread my first pies because I almost lose my touch  to crusts when pie baking time returns.  I don't make pie crusts all summer and the right technique doesn't always show up on my first try.  But yesterday after a quick trip to Leidel's for baking apples, Harelson's as recommended by Mitch, I kept busy in my kitchen pie making.  I was proud of the results you see in this photo; victory the first time, While my grandma could whip up a pie crust at the drop of a pencil, I struggle, but yesterday it worked.  I prefer to make my own crusts, I cannot resort to the prepackaged store bought types, which would be easier but not flavorful, not flaky; to me the crust is an important part of the pie, bad crust= bad pie.  For my crusts I use a mixture of flours white and whole wheat along with Crisco (Baba Rose used lard), butter, vinegar, salt, sugar and ice cold water. Mix it up till crumbly and then add ice water drops at a time, roll out and put into pie pan.  I do not chill my crusts before rolling.   This brandy pie is a modification of a Martha Stewart winner and because I never follow a recipe  I share here my general directions of what goes in.  Slice apples and pour lemon juice and some brandy over them while making the crust.  I used 8 big Harelson apples for this pie sliced thin. My aunt believed only Granny Smith Green apples were fitting for an apple pie, but she never had MN Harelsons.   For the filling mix  1/4 cup flour, 3/4cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1-2 Tablespoons of cornstarch, 1 Tablespoon vanilla, , 1/4 cup brandy, 1 Tablespoon each of cinnamon, allspice and honey, 1/4 teaspoon  each of cloves, pumpkin pie spice, and  nutmeg and a dash of mace, 2-3 Tablespoons of butter.  Mix it all together.   Drain the apples.  Sprinkle the bottom of the unbaked pie crust with sugar then begin to fill with apples that have been rolled and coated with the filling.  All the filling should be used with all the apples and  I have found it works best to do this in layers rather than  trying to mix the apples into the filling and pour them into the pie shell.  Put either a top crust or lattice crust over all and dot with slivers of butter.  Place the pie on a cookie sheet because it will boil over (I have never baked this pie when it did not.)  I use a big deep Longaberger pie dish that is almost 11 inches across or sometimes I might use a 12 inch pie pan.  I like to make big pies. Jerry can eat a quarter of a pie at a time, so making a dinky 8 inch pie means it is gone in two days.  He is also known to have a slice of pie midday.  He likes pies.  Bake at 400 degrees for one hour covering the pie very loosely  with parchment paper and foil; decrease the temperature to 375 and bake for another hour.  In the last 10-15 minutes remove the foil and parchment paper and let the top brown.   This is delicious warm or cold but we especially like it warm with a dollop of good vanilla ice cream.  Ummmm, nothing much better than this.  This is a pie for responsible adults, and would not be advisable for those who must not imbibe alcohol, or for children, but having none of those in our home, we are set.   The alcohol bakes out, but those who have issues must resist.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Activity and then some

After our trip to PA for my  class reunion and to Indiana to reunite with CA friends, 1827 total miles, $883 poorer for 218 gallons of diesel for the motor home and a much shorter trip than we  had planned, we came home.  It is not worth being ill  and in my case cranky away from home; I am not a good sick person, in fact I am downright miserable. Halloween approaches, but I could get my witch on early. 

We arrived home  September 25, over a week ago bringing along our remnants of the  crappy "cold bug"  from PA courtesy of the typhoid Mary at the reunion who spread germs amongst all.  Yes the reunion was wonderful and yes it was a superb time.  I loved reuniting with classmates, most of whom I'd not seen in 40 years since the  10th and some 50 years since we graduated.   First Jerry  caught this bug and then a week or so later me, but I amplify everything.  After two weeks now I did check in with my local doc who advised me that my body is doing its job expertly fighting this nasty thing.  Give it a few more days and if it  is not  better, then fill the RX for antibiotics which he wrote.  Jerry went last week and got heavy antibiotics which he is taking. He no longer coughs at night, I still do.  I am fine except for the night time cough that  interrupts sleep and leaves me feeling tired through the day, but neither of us  have  fevers and what I am left with is sinus drainage.  This is one nasty bugger.  Colds are supposed to take a week, well this one did not get the memo.  That said, here  we are enjoying wonderful balmy autumnal weather, the colors are changing all along the river and bluffs, reflecting a golden, orange reddish glow in the sunshine.  And with that I have tried to get in a little bit of outside trimming, weeding, etc as the days go along.  I will be much happier when I get back to my own level of physical activity and  walks and the like.   As it is I savor my strength for spurts of activity and hold those in check.

Here's good news regarding sale of my uncle's home which is  the last part to settle the estate.  And for my Catholic friends, know that St. Joseph is at work.  Nonbelievers will not comprehend this, but Catholics who trust in the power of intercessory prayer of saints will applaud.  I was getting despondent  as the home has been on the market for a year and nary a looker.  Yes it is small but it is a grand old house with a massive lot.  The area  has regressed to what it was when so many of us fled in the sixties, just poor economy and people are not buying homes despite the "buyer's market."  Well people just cannot get the loans and maybe that indicates their lack of credit worthiness and the rightful tightening of financial markets. 

This trip I took a St. Joseph statue along, as urged by several, and placed him on the shelf in the kitchen  with instructions to do the right thing and bring a right buyer and proceeded  with prayers.   After all, my uncle's middle name was Joseph and so what did I have to lose?  Viola on Saturday, September 29 my realtor called with an offer.  Actually the day after I placed St. Joseph in the home in September, a realtor who had shown the home previously called my realtor and asked if it were still listed.  That was a glimmer of hope. Thank you St. Joseph and "my people" the plethora of them who have gone on ahead and whom I  talk to from time to time. My own realtor asked me if I had buried St. Joseph as the legend calls for, face down  away from the front door.  No, I did it my way. 

 Now, it seems we may have a buyer, if all goes well, loan and FHA home inspection.  The price is way lower than originally listed and is a steal for the buyer, but after continuous payment of PA  real estate and school taxes, utilities, lawn maintenance, and the exorbitant insurance for vacant homes, I can accept a  low bid to be done with this  major concern.  Sure I could hold on and wait, but what for?  Someone needs to live there and keep the home going.  Someone with ability to update and tinker.  Someone, well, you get it a good buyer.  This will be such a weight off our shoulders to no longer be absentee owners.  So now we are in the midst of emailing and faxing and signing millions of real estate papers.  This is why I dislike realtors, with them comes  tons of paperwork, tree killing at its finest. I ask again of the realtor, "can't you initial all these documents for me with my permission?"  "oh no, indeed not, I'd go to Realtor Prison."  Well thankfully I have ability to email and print and fax....tomorrow it is faxing  35 pages which I printed from the email, each one initialed by me as executrix and this is only the  beginning.  There will be more, ever more as this buyer is  getting an FHA loan, more and more paper.  

There is more coincidence here, the potential buyer is a niece of a PA friend of mine. My friend was not aware of the circumstance, knew they were looking but did not know it was my house.  It is a small world indeed back there and so we look ahead to moving this last bit of estate work along. 

All things concerned have kept me from blogging.  But I have been on Facebook daily, posting reunion photos and  tracking and talking online.  As I hit time crunch I will likely have to avoid that too.   I am anticipating one less big issue to handle and the carefree ability to plan trips to other areas.  We will still return to PA, I have friends and a cemetery to visit.  But the visits will be leisurely and with out pressure to do anything over at the house.   You can only imagine how I am looking forward to being less concerned.  Whew I might even have time to blog creatively once again.