Saturday, December 11, 2010

A New View

It has been more than a year since I left Florida, my birth place and where I have always gone back to.

I don't think I would have kept going back except that my Mother was there and later it was that my children were growing up there.

My Son has since left to go to college and then to start a family.  My Daughter has done the same things, but she did them in Florida.  I thought that by living between them I would be able to go and visit them and still be here to help Rachel (Mom2) when she needed me, but that just hasn't happened. You know what they say about the best laid plans of Mice and Men?

Well it happens that the help she needed she wont take or follow the Dr.'s orders either and I AM NOT  a maid. I will not wait on a person that is able to do for themselves, but doesn't want to. Nor am I willing to watch her waist away because she refuses to get any dang blasted exercise! Can you tell how frustrated I am? No matter how much you love a person, there comes a time when you aren't helping, you are enabling.

Well, I think it's time for me to go home.  I hate the heat, mostly because my Tank, I mean truck, has no air conditioning and secondly, there are no real seasons.  Every year I miss the changing of the leaves. Spring is really green there and the winters, in recent years, have been pretty cold too, 17 degrees once, but there is virtually no fall foliage to speak of. Having lived in so many places in my life, the one thing that always pulled me away was the seasons and I really love snow. Some times I think that's because I've never had to get to work in it, but that's not true either.  I believe in keeping a pantry, and rotating it too. So if you do get snowed in with heat, you can still have food and be happy. It gives you time to read, or knit or even clean.  Twenty five years ago I got snowed in, while living in this very neighborhood.  Funny, it was January, I'm sure because I watched the Super Bowl. Yes, I am one of those few females that actually loves football, I've even been known to use bad language and yell when the Bucs where making a mess of things, lol.  That year I was only one of two that made it to work anyway, so then I stayed home for probably the rest of the week. I got cabin fever so I walked to the corner mart, it's still here, and bought beer, I drank it back then, for watching the game with.  My now 28 yr old son was 3.  We had fun in that stuff and then a couple years later, literally, we where in Germany where he and his Dad, the one I'm widowed from, made a snowman. Lord it was magical! My daughter was born there too, and I lost their father there too.

I think what I really love the most is to travel. I've said many times that I love to "go", but need to have a good home base. I am also a good daughter, weather I want to be or not.  When I'm needed and I can get there, I'll go, but this is wearing me down and it's time again.

Another part of it is also that I can't seem to get a decent paying job. I know for a fact that I am able and skilled, my tests prove it every time.  I think the real problem is the recession and even though the law says that we can't discriminate it happens, daily. One of the services I was asked to come in and meet the agent at said that, that was true. I told her that since it was a distance to drive, that if my wearing a scarf was going to make a difference, I'd just as well save the gas if it was all the same to her.  Lol, she was very friendly even in person and she agreed that it does happen, but not in her office. I got the feeling, you'd be out of a job if you had a problem.

Of course, then I got a terrible head cold that wouldn't have mattered except that I had pretty much lost my voice by that Monday and we'd met on a Friday just before I went to the Mosque. That ment that the job she wanted me for was out, because one must have a voice to be a switchboard operator :p  Back to square one.

My pick up needs seals and it's $300, which isn't bad, but you have to have the extra $300 above and beyond your bills, which a job would give me in a week or even two.

Anyway, ramble, once I can earn some extra money, I'll give it to the mechanic, one I actually trust, and then I have a place to go when I get home.  Then it'll be a matter of getting a job there, even part time so I can qualify for a place of my own again.  At least now I know I can do it on my own.

In Tampa the Islamic community is much bigger and friendlier too. I have friends there that would help me by giving me work or telling others that I need it.  That has been one of the hardest things here and even in North Carolina too.  The Islamic communities were so small that they were disconnected from each other.  Here there are so few females that cover, we don't know each other on sight so we don't know if there are Muslims in the neighborhood or not.

Wow, I guess I needed to get it out, ha?  Well time to pray and get some stuff done.


An Update On My Life

Sweet Rody-10 yrs.
Brewer Man-12 yrs.

Dino-6 yrs. and Miss Sheila-14 yrs.

Hello dear friends and family,     

I have been purposely avoiding updating this page because I avoid painful things when reasonably possible.

In my last post, I thought that I was going to have family coming, but it turned out that my daughter got a position she had been wanting for a while so they stayed.  That was actually kind of funny, in retrospect, because I was already planning where to put things and had reserved a storage unit for their possessions, when I read on Facebook about her new job! Of course I was happy for her, but I was also hurt that she didn't tell me first.

I'm blessed that I don't hold grudges, except one instance in my whole life, so things like that fade pretty fast and I get on with the business of living.

I have actually been hired three times and I moved from one job to the next with the happy consent of the last to get higher pay. The final move was from a $7.5 and hr. (can you believe that!?) to a $10.28 hr. job.  Well I had to get OSHA qualified, which I did at $135! and then I got my VA badge so I could work on the VA Hospital campus.  The site Foreman was very pleasant and showed me around the job and then we got the badge. There has been one delay after another since then and I still haven't actually worked a day, three weeks now. I was to get the money back for the OSHA test as soon as I got to work.

As you may have guessed, I've been looking for more work, but making my bills due to my widow's pension, just. There are some promising propositions in progress, so we'll see, again.

The reason I mentioned trying to avoid pain when at all possible is because I have to actually "say" one of the more painful things I've had to say in recent years and that is that my Rody passed away on October 29th. It was the seizures. That last one got him and wouldn't release him, so in desperation I took him to a local emergency Vet that operated nights and weekends only.

Even now, two months later, I am crying trying to write this, so suffice it to say that that damn seizure stole him away and I had to let the Dr. put him to sleep.  Three different Vets said that he was quite healthy and the last one really believed that there was probably a tumor in his skull pressing against the spinal cord causing the seizures. I am still so lost without him. A lot of the color has faded from my life.  Intellectually knowing, and having it gouge your heart out are two very separate things.

One of my neighbors, the one that I painted all the rooms in his apartment, as a way to earn money, and his daughter insisted on giving me their cat.  While I painting in their apartment, Rody and the cat got along so well that when they got a dog that was a puppy and chasing and terrorizing the cat I actually thought about offering to take her.  After Rody passed away I didn't think about much of anything for about a week.  Then one day I was talking with the man and gave him "what for" about letting that dang dog harass the cat. He just sat there and let it chase her around so I got mad at him and told him that doing nothing was the same as condoning it's behavior. Dogs are like kids in that, if you don't say anything, they figure its ok, if they think about it at all.  It was actually funny because then he did do something about it, it just hadn't occurred to him to. He said he'd been a little worried about her and that she wouldn't leave the dinning room table. Duhhh!

Anyway, after Rody had been gone about a week and a half, maybe two, I don't remember a lot about that time because I slept and cried A LOT. The man and his daughter pretty much accosted me saying I had to take the cat because I shouldn't be alone and she really needed to get away from that darn dog.

So they cave me a beautiful back cat, with shots, litter pan, food and even toys. She's six months old, probably seven now.  A really great companion and Islamicly acceptable to boot. I got a lot of silent flack from some of my friends and new ones, when I warned them that I had Rody living with me, they didn't speak to me again. Oh well, their loss, he was a really wonderful guy, the best one to date. I won't be a dog owner again because of that. He was the last of my pack of four. They have all passed away now of old age.

The cat really is great, but she just isn't a dog and I've always been a dog person.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm being LAME

To my dear friends that actually follow my some what uneventful exploits, I have been really busy.

Drove Ma-maw to Corinth, Ms. over the last three days and was blessed with a "text book" surgery to remove the catarac on her right eye.

We're back home now and I must say how envious I am of her not even needing glasses any longer.  How cool is that!

The truth is I shouldn't look a blessing in the mouth, since I only need them to read, so "Thank You" :)

My puppy dog, Rody, is doing really well. No Seizures of late, Thank You, again!  He seems to be quite happy with life being just we two.  He sure is going to be surprised when more people are in the apartment.  Guess he'll go back to hiding out in my room again :P  That's ok, it means I get to snuggle him up a little more often.

Well, gotta go for now.  I was blessed with a call from a Temp Service, so I have an interview on Monday, iA, it will go well.  It's perfect for me, only two days a week to supplement my VA widow's benefits and leaves time for blogging, knitting, walking in the park with The Rody and setting up the "computer room" into "my room" so there will be room for my "soon to arrive" family. It'll be cramped for a little while, but I am very much looking forward to it.

I'm going to have to print out some forms and fax them then I pray I get to the part where I need to go do a drug screening, that would be supper! I miss the corporate world, but only want to visit not move back in, lol.

Ok, gotta get on with it, Love to all that are applicable, ya know who you's guys are, xoxoxo

The Mommy/Noni

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Little Busy

I just wanted to post a little note to say, Hamdulilla, I've been a little busy. 

Working for "my" property manager who has a company called McRae Enterprises.  So far, so good.  He has me doing "get ready" 's so new tenants can move in and "clean up" after construction for flood damage.

Then there is the end of Ramadan, and the Eid Celebration tomorrow.  I've never been here in Tennessee for it so we'll see how it goes.  They're having the Eid Prayer on the State University Campus.  There was no mention of festivities as there would have been at home in Tampa, Fl.

This has been a painful Ramadan not being around other Muslims to break the fast in the evenings with or to be able to volunteer at a local Mosque. To my knowledge and by the internet, there are only two mosques around and they are too far to go to each night.  iA, maybe next year.

I have an interview at UPS tomorrow, I don't hold out much hope for that one, but you never know. It's at 06:30 in the morning so I'll be able to do that before the Eid prayer and then I hope to get my drivers license later, iA.

Well, I'm sharing my pasta with the "Rody" and then we're crashing so I can function tomorrow.  G'night all.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What I've Been Doing - Part III

Can you see those tall candle holders on the wooden cabinet? Those were Mom's and so was the ceramic jar. The ones on top of Daddy's hutch were from my Daughter.

I really like the ceilings in this apartment.  We were very blessed to come across this place, Mom2 and I.  The owner and new property manager are in the process of improving the quality of their tenants and they said we were a very good addition.  They have been very good to us since we arrived. 

When ever there are any little problems they usually come by and fix them right away.  I often just text a list of any little things needing done to the property manager so I don't bother him and he has a list to refer to.  They replaced my fan over the bed because it was crazy wobbly, Man! lol.

Mom2 didn't want her table any more because it was way too big for our apartments so she gave it to her daughter and she game me the one she had.  That round one in the kitchen.  I had to drill some pilot holes and use special wood screws to screw the table to the slides that the expansion piece would have fit into and then the slides to the base. DUDE, what a mess. Rough handling in it's previous life, before my sister. 
Those shelves above are a God send.  There were a few things I refused to give up when I left the S.O. and my kitchen supplies were one of them.  Now that I can taste I enjoy cooking even more, so "I need all that stuff", as my Mom use to say. She was referring to a large purse and it was a joke, but it applies.  That clock in the center came from Mrs. Diane Bearman, she use to live next door in Florida, we all really liked her and her husband, Richard.  We lost touch after they moved.  :(

That's were the only bookshelf I have left ended up.  If you know me you know that I had six bookshelves full and was always absorbing more.  Putting a 16 year life into a 5' x 8' U-haul trailer and stuffing the bed of my full size Scottsdale 1982 pick-up isn't much space so you MUST prioritize!  It was very hard donating all of those books, but knowing that I WILL  be getting a Nook or Kindle and re-stocking my electronic shelves over time and at a much lower price per book is a small, but good consolation.  My desire for one of those became a "need" after this move.

Miss Diane also game me that sliver plater on top of said bookshelf.  It's sterling silver plated. I don't mind polishing so I think that's how I inherited it, lol. There is a cross stitch lily over it that I made for my Mom once, back when I could see Aida 24 without a well lit magnifying glass.

Aren't those cabinets great? I love how many there are and I have six drawers!!! In the last two places I've lived, mobile homes, I had only TWO, can you believe that! *&%^$  If I have anything to say about it, I will never live in another mobile home again!!   

Tah - Dahhh! The toilette, lol.  Tiny, but it's only myself, so no foul.
Those shelves will be going in the relatively near future!! They are functional, but Yuuckkk, like gag me with a spoon, lol.  

There were sliding glass doors in those tracks and the maintenance guys and I discussed my removing them since there were no handles and the frames came away from the glass when you pulled on it because there were no handles!  Soooo, we discovered that we couldn't remove the frame without serious damage to the tub.  We came to a compromise and got rid of the dangerous and seriously out of date glass doors for the dang frame with a curtain and rod.  It ain't perfect, but it's a LOT better than the original and I'm much less likely to end up with glass all over the place.

Well now it appears I haven't taken a decent picture of the computer/sewing/crafting room since I finally got it all together.  I'll be doing that in the near future. 

I have the feeling I'm about to run out of time.  I picked up Mom2 from the airport this evening so I'll be running around for and with her and I have a "second" job interview tomorrow, so there's a good chance I'll be working part-time, for now.  She'll be needing my driving services in the immediate future for the cataract removal also.  I love going with her, we always have fun together, but it is time consuming.  I know that at some time in the relatively near future I will no longer be blessed with her precents, so I'm taking advantage of every minute.  This time when I lose a parent I will be as prepared as humanly possible.

If you know my family, you know that both of my biological parents were lost to us with no warning, in my Mom's case and VERY little in Daddy's.  So I make a point of saying things that need to be said and spending as much quality time with the people I love.  I post "I loves yous" and "I'm proud of yous" on the Facebook pages of my children all the time too. Ya never know, ya know?  :-P

What I've Been Doing - Part II

Alrighty then, when you come in the front door this is the view. I finally got it all in there and organized.

The spotted pillows were my daughter's when she had a comforter to match.  I confiscated them a few years ago after she moved, lol.  I really need them because I'm short and it seems that everyone's furniture lately is made for people much taller than I am.

In the immediate foreground of the second picture, the
coffee table is actually Ma-maw's cedar chest.  I'm tasked to, in the near future, strip and polyurethane it so it doesn't look so mistreated.  It's really beautiful inside and since it's cedar, it's full of all of my blankets.

That table with the lamp has been in the room I've used every time I've been to Tennessee to take care of Ma-maw over the last three years.  The shade looked pretty yukky so I replaced it with the one I've toted all over the place this year(slightly dinged).

That basket in the foreground is full of the crocheting of my Mother and Grandmother's that I mentioned in the last post.  Behind that is my usual collection of what "I'm working on at the moment" knitting/crochet wise. when I started knitting, I read  that any more than three projects at the same time is too many, so I keep it at or below that, lol.

The furniture is from my step-sister, Belinda's, ex-husband.  He got a new sectional and decided to sell the old stuff.  We've planned for me to pay $50 or more when I have it or less, depending on whether I get a job sooner than later and what my other bills will look like, lol.  I didn't think it would fit at first, but surprisingly enough it did.

Can you tell I was an active part of the Obama Election? I stood outside of poling places and handed out pamphlets and answered question.  It was a lot of fun.  I was so happy when we actually won. I really didn't think America had actually gotten there.  I was so pleased to be wrong about that.

To the right is my corner curio cabinet that I was putting together when Robert fell from the pole barn, out back, in Florida.  I will probably never forget how scared to death I was.  God Bless our friends/neighbors for getting there SO fast. The man has amazing recovery abilities!

I hadn't seen some of that stuff, most of it actually, since 2006.  After my Father passed away in March of 06, we came home and put our FL home on the market.  The Realtor told us to pack most of the "personal" things like pictures and these things.

It was a very pleasant journey through the memories while unpacking them.

This is a close up of the top shelfs content.

That Lladro was Poppie's and Erica broke the flower off of it when she was about 3 yrs. old.  The flower is on the shelf just in front of the clown and behind the camels.

He got those on one of his many TDY's to Turkey.  I added the Arab coffee cups just last year.
The Blue Jay was my Mother's and the "Hat" ashtrays were gifts from my daughter while she was still on "Walk About" you know the wonder lust that many of us go through when we're young and want to conquer the world?

The kitty in the bright pink ceramic basket to the left of the door was a thank you gift from one of my friends, a Mark Roberts,  that lived in the same barracks that I did. The whole unit went TDY to Denmark and I hadn't been there long enough to go so I took care of everyone's pets, birds, snakes, and a turtle too, I think. There was even a Tarantula, but I didn't have to care for it.  Very cool though.   

There are five more clowns on the shelf just below, that were Poppie's also.

The little bed topper is one made by me.  A giant granny square without the "wholes" that little fingers and toes get caught in.

Well, actually, the stereo on that table is on top of the fridge now so I can hear it all over the house. That came from Ma-maw too, it was in the top of a closet.

I'm going to have to go to a pawn shop and find myself one of those stereos that have the turntable, CD, tape deck and receiver so I can continue to listen to all of my music.  I have cassettes from before my daughter was born, 22 yrs ago, and vinyl albums from before my son was born, 28 yrs ago.  So many wonderful recordings from when I got married to their father and tapes he made while he was in Germany before we got there and tapes my Mother made and some she bought,  too significant to just "let them go".  I'll have to get one before they stop making them, lol

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What I've Been Doing - Part I

That framed picture above the bed on the left is a Surname research paper for the last name Elder(s), my maiden name. Erica and I got it at Busch Gardens - Virginia in 2002.

I'd almost forgotten that I had this set.  The kind of "forgotten" that comes rushing back as soon as you lay eyes on the box and then can't wait to open it, ya know?

The reason I'd almost forgotten was because they are only Double bed sized and they were my Mother's.  Some things are hard to look at sometimes.  She spent a small fortune, for good reason, on this set as you will be able to see.

It's all crocheted and it's so pretty.  I really love it.  I just bleached the sheets and the second set of pillow cases.  I'll get around to the bed skirt and spread.  They've been in a box since she was killed by a drunk driver in 2001 at Christmas time.

They obviously didn't have matching curtains because she would have gotten them to go with the set.  These are the ones she did get to go with it and they match really well.

The obsessive compulsiveness runs true in our family and in mine and my daughter's case, it's very appreciated because we recognize it as from my Mother. It also came from her Mother, so that's another good thing.  We're blessed to only have it to the degree that we want straight lines, as in pictures, and we generally have neat clean homes.  One of us will catch the other straightening something laying around on a counter in public, and tease the other, but that's just a nervous habit, lol.
So this is where it ended up and you know that I am constantly straightening it because of the OCD, but I don't mind, it means I touch it more often   :-D

I have a lot of her work and one table cloth/twin bed spread that was made by my Grandmother.  My Lord!  That one was A LOT OF WORK!  The cotton thread is so thin, it's just amazing.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Daddy's Hutch

 Living here means I am able to inherit Daddy's Hutch. I could have before, driving up here and then back to Florida would have been a TASK, to say the least.

I also received the Harley in the bottom.  It was a gift to Daddy from Rachel (Ma-maw) and Roy, Christmas of the year of Katrina.  They moved back to Nashville, Tn after they made it through that life changing event.
 The crystal bowl in the back left of this one is another of Daddy's things. That wolf was a gift from Ma-maw cuz I'm a wolf nut. You burn incense in it and the smoke rises through the open mouth. Cool ha?

Most of this stuff is just stuck in here until I get the corner curio cabinet together again and in the place it will reside in the living room.

The pitcher in the background with New York on it was Val's, or Poppy's, as my kids refer to him. His real name was Anibal Enrique Valentin and I was privileged to be married to him for a year and a day. My eldest child, Jacques, who is now 28, was born into his hands as was my daughter, Erica, 22 now. So much life without him, it's staggering in retrospect, so I won't.

The "Painted Pony" , sea shells, and state memorabilia were brought home to me by my daughter while she was in her "Wonder Lust" period. We all seem to go through it. My Grandmother did it, my Mother stayed in Florida and never left, and I rode all over the country with Daddy in an 18 wheeler then went Air Force, my son went out of state for college and then settled in another state after that.

These were purchased while we were married and stationed in Germany. I was very much into Asian art and Lladro Figurines at the time.

There is a table that sits in front of the girl holding the flower. It's a tea ceremony, very beautiful ceremony in life, very moving.  It's in another box I'm praying.
 There are a couple of antique books that Miss Wanda, Ma-maw's friend gave me and the Tonka Truck was for my grandson, Marcus, who wanted to see the kind of equipment I use to work with.

The box in the background was Daddy's and so was the three sided knife sharpening stone.  I got my habit of collecting cigar boxes from him and my love of old maps from both of my parents. Ma-maw said that he knew I would be the one to ask for it, He taught me how to use stones when I was a kid and again after I got out of the Air Force. God!, I was SUCH a Tomboy, lol.  Still am to a degree. Remember, I said I'd repaired the bed Ma-maw gave me. It required pilot drilling and special screws, etc....

So many little trinkets of a life....

I sat on the floor in my new living room and cleaned this for the better part of two hours.  It was pretty dusty and to complicate matters it had lived in a house with quite a few smokers, so I had to break out the Q-tips to get into all of the little nooks and crannies. It * "shines like a new diamond" now.

The last few months have been such a journey. No that was not a play on words. If you know me, you know that I have also actually been traveling quite a bit. I have always loved to "go", but I needed a good "home base".

I knew my nearly 16 year relationship was nearing an end. My children had grown up and were self sufficient with children of their own. So I let my heart go back to where it had wanted to go for so long.  I had to re-learn the religion that had called to me so many years ago. As the eldest of my parent's children I was very good at compromise, not any longer, at least in this.

That was the turning point.

That is a story for another post.   That was not a tease, just too in depth to navigate for now.

Blessings and Love to all,

Shafiah (wonderfully enough means, intercede or one who intercedes - compromise, get it? It was chosen for me.)

(* Rod Stewart)

Friday, August 6, 2010

The New Place

Ok, this was in Mom's old house.

THIS is the new place.
 Well, as you may have noticed, I hope, I've lost the "I quit smoking" last year extra weight!  Thank You God!! lol

Rody has too, mostly.  Poor guy, I was eating and OF COURSE he got a bit of everything I ate sooooo, you guessed it he added a couple of lbs too.  The Vet we saw in NC said it wasn't bad so I made a point of getting him to the park and going on walks quite a bit.

It helped me too, but it was really aimed at getting him healthy and getting him out of that cubicle we were living in.  It was really nice, but REALLY small.

As you can see, my computer is up and running, gotta have my Steve Perry music and be able to communicate with my kids! Unpacking and doing all that labor requires a lot of dancing around music, lol.

Sorry, if that is a bad mental image. Those of you who actually knew me before I gave up drinking, smoking anything , know I MUST  dance.  I love music, it has been the marker for so many events in my life, it's just one of those things that are an integral part of me.

As it becomes more presentable, I'll show more pics.  I REALLY need to do some planting out front so those will be a while still. The property manager will be having a front porch slab laid in the near future. He also  took me to pick out the carpet at Home Depot just before I moved in.  I picked a Burber because I liked the colors and it's easy to maintain Annnnd it hides flaws well  ;)  LOL, I keep forgetting I don't have kids or puppies running around making messes.  The next "four legged" kid will be a kitten.  I'm going over to the "feline side" as per Bukhari, lol. 

Well, it's getting late and I have to be up to pray in a timely fashion, so farewell for now.

As a funny foot note, after leaving my bed on the floor so Rody could get up into it just after I bought it, I finally fixed the frame by replacing a piece of wood that had broken under my step Mom's son's weight (300lbs!) it is now up and guess who has decided he'll get up there now. I suppose he has lost enough weight that it's easier to jump up there, Yayyyy!  No snuggling from me though, that would be smothering. Hey at least he's not on the hard floor with those not so young bones any more.  Ok, enough rambling, night.
Noticing the common denominator? lol.                                                        

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Life Deeply Appreciated

  My Rody
This is my ever faithful friend and companion of nearly 10 years.  He was born on October 26, 2000. 

The young lady who came by with the Christmas puppy for my daughter was a true salesman. She would have only one more puppy left and we were new to the area and from the "city" and felt like an acer was a BIG piece of land, lol. I took one look at that fur ball and fell head over heels in love! Dang girl, lol.

My daughter was anxiously waiting for her puppy to get old enough to come live with us. When the day finally arrived I have to admit to being a little excited too.  I'm a true sucker for a sweet furry face (on four feet).

In present times, if there is a new litter of kittens or puppies I make sure I stay far away from them! LOL, I can't afford any more children at this point in my financial life. I really love them ALL!

At any rate the reason for this Blog Entry in particular is that my Sweet Boy, as I call him, and the dear boy answers to it.  You know, he must think I'm gettin old too since I  don't call him Rody as much as I use to.

I guess that I just wanted to get it out in the world how wonderful a companion he has been all these years. I am feeling a little melancholy and I tear up every time I think of my life without him. I couldn't be expected to speak coherently on some occasions lately.

You see, he started having seizures in April of this year and he'd never had one before, that I was aware of. They got to be pretty often and then slacked off again.  I took him to the Vet while we were living in Asheville, NC and the Vet couldn't find anything wrong, but I couldn't afford the battery of lab tests.

I was afraid that the moving about the country could be a factor, but he's traveled with me a few times and had no ill effects. He's in the middle of a good spell right now, only one since we've been here, since the 19th, and none for two weeks before that.  He's begun to cough lately. Just little ones every once in a while, but dogs don't cough, not unless there's something wrong. He's been a pretty pampered dog as far as being exposed to the elements and diseases and he's gotten his shots every now and again, but not very timely due to the cost of just walking into a vets office, not to mention shots too!

When I hear him cough sometimes, I cry and I try not to let him see me because he knows I'm upset and that it's because of something to do with him. No matter what anyone says, these animals ARE NOT STUPID, they may not be able to add 2 +2, but God gave them that extra "something" to protect them from things they can't understand.  Truly, if your dog or cat doesn't like someone for no apparent reason, PAY attention.  There is something you don't know, but they feel it.  I can't tell you how many times one of the many dogs and cats in my life have proven to be right.

I know I am about to be in serious financial straights, but it's only money and I love him too much to let it hurt him, whatever it turns out to be. Gotta pay for the new place this month and then I'll be able to do a little work to supplement the Military Widow's Pension so I can get a full battery of tests to see where we are. I would be beside myself with joy to discover that I'm being silly, but there have been dogs in my family's homes longer than I've been in one of our family homes. I'd be willing to "bet" there have been dogs in my family as far back as the early days in Scotland. My father's people come from there and my Mother's are Native Americans with a little French and Irish thrown in just to be sure we get fired up instantaneously, lol. The point is that they have a long history in my family and I trust my instincts.

Since I'm writing from my step-Mom's computer I don't have a lot of good pictures of my Rody, but I always set up the computer as one of the first things when moving. You know, the bed, kitchen, and the computer, oh yeh and the bathroom  ;)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Reunion and Lasting Impressions

As I have mentioned in previous posts, this trip turned into a Journey. Mom was the one to say that and it is so true, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

I met Rachel when I was 16 yrs old. My Father was a truck driver for most of my life. On one of his trips through he called ahead, as I later learned, that's how truckers do things so you get to visit with them while they are there :)  Anyway, he had Rachel with him.  He'd mentioned a woman that he was head over heels about and that he wanted me to meet her. Well I did, and that was that, as they say.

I fell in love with her too and during this reunion of her children's, fathers side, I learned that there were a LOT of others that had known her since childhood and they loved her too.

To see them scoop her up and hug her so long and tight brought tears to my eyes and made my heart feel like it was going to swell right out of my chest. They even treated me like family even though she and my father had parted ways AND I had a scarf on my head, granted an expensive, really pretty one, but still a scarf and they treated me like I was still part of the family and by blood.

There aren't that many seniors alive in my family and it was really wonderful to sit amongst them and be told the old stories. Really, who cares how many times it may have been told! We are blessed to get to hear it again, because they won't be there at the next one, maybe.  I use to sit and listen to my Father tell the same stories about the Army or some event from before my time or during my diaper-hood days and I never felt like I had heard this one too many times.  It was the same with my Mother, I could listen to her tell of her childhood for hours and how my Grandmother would take her downtown "window shopping" and then she'd make those new styles for the new school year. My Mother use to say they didn't realize how lucky they were.

I am blessed to have had the opportunity to meet a really special woman , one Mrs. Emma L. Spence at the young age of 91, soon to be 92! She would say that she didn't remember things as well or joke about being senile, but she is sharp as a tack, let me tell you! I did the driving on the day we went to Camp Shelby, then to the thrift store and to lunch, and she sat right next to me and directed. Very, on top of things and no messing about, either (Insert big grin here.)
The incomparable Grandma Spence and Dixie


Dixie is the name that Mom was known by and apparently is still referred to.  I like it and it's very applicable. These two ladies can really cook, I can't believe I didn't gain a ton while I was chauffeuring her around, lol.

Here are a couple more pictures of the reunion, one of them is where Mom get the crushing hug.

 "The Archer Girls"

Mom asked me to wear that Kamez set. I don't think she'd ever seen me in it other than in pictures, lucky for me I brought it with me just in case I needed something special. It is very special to me because a lady that I use to work for gave it to me as an Eid gift and it is really pretty close up.
I became quite attached to the lady to the left of me and behind Mom. Her name is Lavern and she told me some of the stories I was referring to earlier.

On to Mississippi

My co-pilot, comfortably ensconced
 Rody even has a travel bowl of water and two kinds of treats all on a comfy blanket. Talk about traveling in style! Yep, him is spoilt, but he doesn't know it, he thinks this is the way all dog people live. Shame it isn't.

Mom, Rody and I loaded up our stuff the night before so that we were able to pull out first thing in the morning.  Of course, there were a couple things to do first, stop and see Mom's husband in the nursing home, grab a few supplies and then we were "On the road again" :-D

The little door to the right of the driver's door is the door I opened to get that picture of Rody.  The handle doesn't work and hasn't for some time.  Mom is the one who taught me how to do the trick with the screwdriver and is amazed when it works, lol.

TUPELO, MS!! Birthplace of Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll.

I wanted to stop there soooo bad, but "time waits for no Woman", lol.
You know there are dates that will be stuck in my memory until I die, like the death of President Kennedy, or Elvis' death.  I can tell you were I was and what I was doing during both.

This was a pleasant trip and we got to talk and listen to music. For me, it was very special because I had been in fear of losing her for so long, I would look over and see her reading and munching on her Cheetos and marvel that she was even there in the first place! Allah is truly Great!

Hendersonville, TN in June

One happy camper! Me, that is.
Finally arrived. As you can see I was very happy to be there and even happier to see how good and healthy she, Mom, looked,

After getting settled in the very next day my ever faithful companion, Rody and I went to the local park in Hendersonville, that there would be many more pictures of except my Blackberry's software freaked right in the middle of a really good picture of Rody!
As we were heading back to the truck it began to rain, so I dropped him off at the house and went to Verizon.

Mom in July of 09
(This is Mom in July of 09 in the hospital.  She stayed cold most of the time, so while I was sitting there i knitted the wristers and crocheted and knitted the coverlet)

Bless them, because  I bought my phone on the 2nd and it malfunctioned on the 9th and they replaced it with no questions asked.
So these are the only pictures of that day that got onto my memory card before the phone went kaput  :P

 This is a walkway that is quite long and very nice.  The Drakes Creek Park is so nice I wish I had, had the time to go get more pictures but we were off to Mississippi the very next day :)

This is the link to the Google Map if you will be in that area.  Drakes Creek Park, Hendersonville, TN

When ever I am in town with my Rody, we always make a point of coming here.

This is the creek that we went wadding in. It was fun. I had to push him in, but then he was very happy to be there. It is quite shallow but very refreshing.  The day was very hot and muggy so a dip in a cool creek was just the ticket.

On our way back out, then on to the Verizon store.

All in all, it was a pretty productive and fun day.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Three mountains in one shot!

This is the beginning of what became a  wonderful journey.

In the first picture you see part of The Smokey Mountains.  This section is called The Cherokee National  Forest, very beautiful.
Screened in for protection.

Here in the second picture, you can see where there is, literally, a kind of chain-link fence to keep as much as possible of any debris that may fall from landing on or in the lanes of travel below. This is a stretch of  Interstate Highway 40 that runs east and west across our nation.

In the third picture you get to see the actual repair work.  Earlier in the month the interstate was closed here because of fallen debris that landed on the road and caused the Department of Transportation to close it temporarily.

Repairs in progress.
Welcome to Tennessee! Yes!
Entering into Tennessee where My step Mom lives. She is known as Mom or Wife #4 or Mamaw to my kids. This is my first destination on the journey that she initiated.

Being that she was a whopping 89 lbs the last time I saw her and not going on any of her usual jaunts about town to the thrift stores it was an extreme pleasure to be going anywhere with her, much less "traveling".

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Coverlet for a Friend

This is the current project under construction. I have a friend/customer that is so sweet and she is retired due to a back injury which means she doesn't move around a whole lot. She is capable, but it is painful.

I noticed the last time I was in her home that she uses a little lap blanket so I had a brain storm the other day thinking about going home to visit. I intend to visit her and she is so nice to me when I come to clean her house, I thought I might be able to do something for her.

The pattern came from the first Debbie Bliss knitting magazine. That issue was fall/winter 2008. I'm sure you could find it in one of her books for babies. It's called the Contrast Border Blanket and is all moss stitch. The intention by Ms. Bliss is to use her natural fiber products, which I'm sure are wonderful, but alas, again I must rely on what is available to me at my price point.

Thank God for Wal-Mart and Red Heart Yarns. You have to be very selective with Red Heart because if the completed project isn't going to be washed a lot it won't be soft. They also make a "soft" line now, but I am still in the middle of nowhere in AL and I think the closest JoAnns is in Mobile and the closest craft supply is Michael's and that's about 60 miles south.

Sooooo, I used Red Heart supper saver, Aspen Print and the "contrasting" colors from that for borders. It and they were in my stash and when I needed more of the Aspin I found it at Wal-Mart.

This is the close up so you have an idea. I plan to use the dark sage you see, light sage, dark rusty brown and a beige. I really think it will be nice and because of the yarn it'll be washable. If you knit, you know that natural material can be a hassle to clean because you have to have somewhere to lay the item out to air dry. You also must wash it by hand or on Delicates in cold. I wash everything in cold anyway, but that keeps it from felting.

ok, rattled on enough, Fini .

Just a litte Flourish

I did this, this afternoon. I was looking for a button for a little knitted cell phone holder I'd made and the ribbons and trimmings caught my eye.

I wear Hijab everywhere, but in the sunshine my eyeglass shades don't keep the sun from coming in over the top, so I wear hats over my scarf. 28 years after becoming a civilian, NOW I love hats? Go figure!

It's not very bright, but I needed it to be neutral while also being pretty so it wouldn't matter what color my clothes or scarf were. Any decoration I add is always worn in the back of the hat.

This is another one the hats I wear with my scarf. This one is hand made in South America. I got it a few years ago at the Florida State Fair. The back is shallower than the front, which means I can drive with it on. =D

My First Stuffy

Isn't this the most adorable little creature? It's a Kitty cat.

I wasn't so sure that it would be apparent what it was, but my grandson's Mommy said he saw it on line and knew what it was. I was a happy camper.

I got the pattern from Lion Brand. The pattern calls for Wool-Ease, which I have used and really like, but alas, I have no money to run out and purchase some, so I did the next best thing. I rummaged through my synthetic yarns, because they are wash many times-able. Considering the recipient's age, I knew it could get quite dirty, hence the need to wash often. :-D

What you can't actually see is that the strip colors are a dark gray and a baby blue with the white tips. The eyes are french knots because the grand child in question is a one year old and I don't want any eyes or noses coming off and finding their way into his throat. God forbid! The mouth is a mauve. Since the toy is intended for a boy, I wasn't so hip on "pink". I use Cluster Stuff, by Morning Glory. It doesn't get all lumped up and feels soooo good.

Oh, the pill box next to the Kitty, holds all of my vitamins, lol, didn't realize it was there, but it's still the best pic of the Kitty.

This one is for the grand son in Florida and iA, he'll be getting it shortly after I arrive :) The other little angle, pictured in the post just before this one is the child that saw it and knew it was a Kitty. He'll be getting the next one.

The things are so cute and perfect for little hands. Lion brand has puppies and a Bear too.

The Dogs are crochet: Arigurumi Puppy
Crochet Puppy
Arigurumi Wiener

This is the Bear link: Tubby Teddy Sock Creature

I hope you have as much fun making and giving these as I have discovered.