Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Day 2016

Back yard squirrel pair
Valentines Day is here bringing a warming trend finally from our past couple weeks of arctic polar freezing sub zero temps which  had me lamenting,"remind me why I thought we should stay home this winter?"  Maybe now I have my lasting dose of winter and will be happier in Florida, in the motor home, even if it gets chilly in the south.  Meantime, today felt definitely warmer at 15 degrees when I went to get the Sunday Pioneer Press from Pump 4 Less.  It was already snowing though which is expected on and off all day.

Jerry blew most of the snow out of the driveway with the leaf blower already.  He is recuperating well from the sinus surgery and after this week when he returns to the ENT the last of the packing can be removed from his nose and perhaps he will be able once again to blow it.  Relief is expected from recurrent sinus infections which he endured too much of the last year. That's another thing, we stayed home and hopefully now  will have most of our medical appointments out of the way. As our late neighbor Frank said  years back, "good thing we are retired because we can go to all these doctor's appointments."  Still we are blessed that we have outstanding medical care here from Mayo where we live, many people do not enjoy that luxury. 

Valentine's roses
 .  Jerry took my car to the car wash Friday and returned with his traditional Valentine's dozen red roses.  I am not a chocolate person so he knows not to buy that for me.    They are lovely but opening fast and so will not last long, nevertheless, I love roses.  It took me less than an hour to notice them, he had even trimmed the stems, selected a vase, added the package of bloom stay and set them on the dining room table.  I noticed them after about 20 minutes, how easy it is for me to become oblivious to surroundings.  Paying no attention, otherwise absorbed, who knows why, but once again he sat back and got a chuckle at my expense.  

 I want to share this Valentine's poem that I found in 2011 and have updated to 2016 marking our years together, and our lifestyle.

"Reserved Seating for Valentine's Day"

It's all been said, It's all been done;
Forty eight + years of chocolates, flowers or "I forgots"
Find us seated in comfy recliners, feet up.  
Our eyes scan commercials that portend chocolate diamonds and open heart pendants 
Are the only perfect gifts to portray unending love.
When really it comes down to the comfy recliners
And we who remain happily seated there
Over the years.  

Candid shot of me moving the vase of roses.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Groundhog day and the voices in my head

About 8:35 this morning front drive
The weather warnings have been ominous, snow was on the way, a southern wind would blow it up this way and eastward.  Often the Mississippi River Bluffs here shield us from a lot of bad weather. This winter has been rather mild, in fact, all weekend I was able to get outside where the sun  was shining and  balmy  mid 40 degrees temps were refreshing.  It was nice to get in some walking miles.  So although the sun was not shining this morning it looked like I would be able to get across the rive to the Y for my yoga workout.  Jerry shrugged his shoulders and said, wait and see.  On yoga mornings I do not have to leave until 10 o'clock, so  I waited and did a load of laundry meantime.  Thinking that if the weather services predicted correctly this time and most of our snow was gone, melted the last few days, perhaps I should snap some before pictures.  All the while I was hoping the forecasters would be wrong.
Back deck, 8:30  this morning

Back yard down to shop and motor home house,
the white remnant of snow is slight about 9:00 AM

I had decided to go  to the Y and get my pretzel twisting weekly yoga fix; it's the class I will never fully master, always something of a challenge and yet one that I can gauge has tremendously benefited  my flexibility, strength and balance.  I really dislike missing my routines and after all, living here means winter sometimes.  By no means am I a native Minnesotan, more like a Californian though raised in western Pennsylvania.  And although I really like four seasons, too much winter is not a good thing.  Any weather that restricts my activities is not a good thing to me. So I  proceeded to proceed, got my yoga mat ready to go when the clamor started. I could hear a small voice in my head, you know those naggers, as it got louder, "Patty, you do not have to go looking for trouble, just stay home."  And Patty replied, " oh don't be a scaredy cat, a wimp."  "Don't go looking for trouble, Patty."  The voice became duet as I recalled these words told me often enough by Mom and later in my life by Aunt Jinx Mom's sister who survived her.  There is a Polish saying that if one will just  let trouble alone it will make it's way elsewhere, something like that, so they invoked their Americanized corollary, "don't go looking for trouble."  Today I sometimes say "I don't need to go looking for trouble" when I refuse an invitation to go out at night, I am not fond of driving after dark, especially in winter. It's not that we live in an unsafe area at all, actually here in the Mayberry like setting we are blessed.  I realized that here this morning, I was hearing advice from Mom and Aunt Jinx, was that just a deep phobia or a warning to heed.  While I mused about  this, I went to get my sweat pants. 

And then I looked outside and a few flurries had started.  Better to wait a second or two.  I know now it was a good thing to heed those voices.   Within 20 minutes the snow began in earnest and then picked up a kick.  Jerry said, it was coming from the south.  He pays unusual attention to weather, watches and streams the weather channel, and delights in the computer research and models of what's moving where in the air currents.


I posted these  and more of the rapid increase with this snowstorm onto Facebook earlier. The above photo is about 5 minutes into the start and the whitish stuff is coating our previously pristine front drive and walk and down the street.  Well, I'm thinking it might not be too bad, I can drive in this, and then, the clouds opened up and down came the  snow.  Within  twenty five minutes snow was accumulating, carpeting the grounds and  walks.  The following photo is our previously pristine back deck now getting carpeted. 


It didn't take long before it was a white out all around, making it  appear as though we lived inside one of those snow globes, you  have seen.  One like they make in Bavaria today and sell, I had learned on my Danube Christmas Markets tour in December that they invented the snow globes and the older ones are quite valuable.  Bavaria is a glass making are of renown in Germany/Austria and home of some of my ancestors. 

This next photo is taken from our front picture window out toward the front drive, now invisible, and compared to  90 minutes earlier, things are looking bleary.  I admit it is sometimes a good thing to listen to the voices.  Mom would be happy.

Speaking of Mom, today is/was her birthday, also posted on FB.  She would have been 92, but she left this earth at 80, in 2004, suddenly.  Helen was the baby of her family of siblings and the one who would die the youngest except for the infant brother.  It was a blessing though a shock, she had just been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and the years ahead were not going to be good.  She was spared a debilitating long drawn out eking away of the  body although there was some dementia that was creating a havoc in her behavior.  I shared this photo of her at about 3 years  of age on FB too today, the only photo of her as a child of which I am aware, and retrieved from my late Uncle Carl, her brother. For some reason when I try to put the caption on these photos, Blogger moves them around to where I do not want them.  A pox on Blogger!  

The very last photo is the last time I saw Mom alive in Pennsylvania, taken at her kitchen, she was lecturing me about something, I think she might have been saying, "well, Patty you do not have to go looking for trouble!"
By the way the MN State Patrol has closed Interstate 90 here because of blizzard conditions and Highway 61 has some shut downs too.  Our city has not yet sent the snow plows out, so this really is  a mess and the worst snow storm this winter.  Our roads are normally all kept clear immediately.