Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Hello Again, It's Nearly Fall...

 It's been a long time. I thought I'd check in and see how many people are still blogging from the old days. Blogger has changed so much, I had to work my way through how to post all over again.

I'm still in the midwest, out on the prairie. Youngest Daughter and grandson said they are reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's book, The Long Winter, about her life on the prairie as a child.

Youngest Daughter's last text said the Ingalls family was huddled in the kitchen trying to keep warm. Snow had nearly made movement outside impossible, and the cow stopped giving milk due to lack of nourishment. 

To make matters worse for the Ingalls, snow blocked the train from making deliveries to their small town, so seemingly there was no hope in sight...a hard scrabble life for sure!

Maybe reading The Long Winter will make life look pretty good for all of us right now.

Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, September 6, 2021

Projects, Projects, Projects...


I think I might be filling up my space with projects to keep from feeling the loss of my old life.  Sometimes I don’t feel like a whole. What was WE is now just me. 

I guess that’s where all the projects come in.

This is a cabinet I'm working on for the entry by the garage. It started out as unpainted wood. Kind of blah. 

I used half a jar of expensive chalk paint on it before I realized it was just soaking it up like a sponge. 

I switched to a quart of regular paint from Home Depot in a creamy white, Behr's Swiss Coffee. I added Calcium Carbonate to it, making a cheep version of homemade chalk paint. 

I have an obsession for putting wheels on large pieces of furniture, but this is so heavy I'm going to buy a piece of MDF just a little larger than the base and put wheels on that. I'll paint it same as the cabinet and slide the cabinet onto it.  

Here's my table right in the middle of the chaos.  It's very heavy too because the top is a thick piece of wood. The guys who recently delivered my guest room mattress and box spring turned the table upside down for me. 

I painted the table's trestle legs white and then started adding wheels. I got three of them on with my small battery operated screwdriver, but the going was tough! 

My two middle fingers are still hurting from being fractured during the carpet installation, which made using the screwdriver difficult. 

I gave in and bought a larger, plug-in electrical drill to attach the rest of the wheels as soon as I get back to it.

In the garage is this large green cabinet I bought for the sunroom. I'm seriously putting a ban on buying anymore large items! 

The garage is full of them, and I've even had to develop a system to take them out of my pickup truck myself.

See the bins on rollers the cabinet is laying on? I wheeled them up to the back of the truck and slide the cabinet onto them and wheeled it out of the way.

The garage is also holding a corner cabinet, a vanity that's going to become a potting bench, and this desk with carved drawers...

As you can see, there's plenty to do. Almost too much actually. I've made a list and vow to complete an item before I start the next. And no more new projects until the ones I have are done.

Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, August 14, 2021

How Many Bones Can You Break Getting New Carpet?

Well, if you read my title above, you might know why I haven't posted lately. The answer is 3 or 4 bones in my case!  

Both Middle Fingers Fractured

Right after my last post, the construction guy I've been using to upgrade things in my new house removed and replaced the carpet in my bedroom and closet.

Things went smoothly until Tony asked if I had a second vacuum so he could put both of his 20-something-year-old helpers to work vacuuming for me. 

I think he was a little miffed at them, as he was doing the final threshold alone, and they were just standing around talking and watching him work.

I had been sitting and staying out of trouble in the living room. I tend to be the "hands-on" type, so that's how I was staying out of their way!

As I carefully stepped over the carpet doubled back in the threshold on the way in, I was happy to get my first look at the new carpet.

The problem was on the way back out! I got distracted by a clogged vacuum filter I was carrying and wasn't watching where I was going.

In a hurry, I tripped over the unfinished carpet in the threshold and did a Lucille-Ball-stumble out the doorway and into the opposite wall! 

My hands naturally went up to protect myself during the fall, and I fractured the middle fingers on both hands. 

Later I drove myself down to an Immediate Care facility where they have X-ray machines. Both middle fingers were fractured, the left worse than the right. 

They put splints on both middle fingers, which really improved my ability to flip people off should I choose to do so!

As for my toes, my left foot got tangled up in the piled up carpet in the threshold, which caused me to trip in the first place. Stumbling, I drug my foot over the newly installed tack-board causing some punctures and a toe or two got fractured in the tangle. 

If you've ever broken a toe, you know they don't do much for them. I broke one of my toes the night Wild Bill and I got married, and we went home the next day after the doctor said just stay off it.

I haven’t gotten the room in shape yet, but here’s a picture of the threshold after Tony finished it up. 

Thanks For Dropping By!

Monday, August 2, 2021

Buying A House - Making A Home


At the end of January, I closed on a house in a Del Webb (55-plus) community in Illinois.

Without Wild Bill, it was emotionally much harder than I expected. I cried all the way to the closing. It made his death feel so final. 

Up to that point, everything had been temporary actions!

Buying a house required making a commitment and fully admitting Wild Bill would not be here to help make this house a home.

So, here I am...back again and planning to stay. I hope all of my blogging friends will join me in this new journey.

Please help by giving your advice, or even just an opinion, whenever I'm stuck with indecision -- If you're an old reader, you know that happens quite often!

Thanks For Dropping In!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Another Thanksgiving Passes


After the last two Thanksgivings, a nice quiet one is welcome in our family this year.

The youngest granddaughter and I spent yesterday together baking pies and enjoying a few of her Christmas presents a little early.  Okay, a lot early!

She was always Grampy's Girl after all, now I'm the only one here. We both wish it was different, but that's life. I'm thankful she and the family are close by. 

I hope you are all doing well now too. It's been a long year, that's for sure! I've found that getting back up on my feet has been a struggle, especially as the anniversary of Wild Bill's passing is only a few days away. 

Thanks to those of you who have stuck with me. Thanksgiving was our downfall last year...this year it was my goalpost

Thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Finally Fall And Decorating Dilemmas


The cool weather has finally started showing up for us here in the middle of the country. YAY!

I was looking at old posts on my blog here, trying to figure out what I might have left in my storage bins to decorate with for fall. 

The photos of this pumpkin-scarecrow make me happy. I've loved the scarecrow for many years now, and I believe I kept him. I won't know for sure until I tackle all the bins in the garage.

I have to admit, I made so many bad choices when we sold the house so quickly! The things I loved didn't seem important right then...they were just things after all, right?

Yes that's true, but they were also packed with memories of all our 26 years together. Wild Bill loved to tease me when I started getting out my bins marked FALL. 

He would shake his head and ask (in his best Texan twang) if we were "Ah fixin' to decorate?"  

I was thinking I might skip the fall decorating this year. Maybe I'm a little afraid I got rid of all my fall decor in my haste to get the house cleared out during our move from Texas. 

We sold our house right away. Then the couple buying our house sold their farmhouse in one day after signing our contract. We went from having a month to get things done, to having to get it all done right away as the closing date kept moving sooner and sooner. 

I know for sure I sold and gave away things that I really would've kept if I hadn't been so stressed at the time. Please learn from my mistakes!

I put all the decorations in moving boxes and gave away the old bins marked with the season they held. The boxes were in storage until we bought a house in Mississippi where Wild Bill wanted to continue treatment. 

Oldest Daughter and I moved the storage boxes from Texas to our Mississippi garage right before Wild Bill took a turn for the worst and everything was forgotten for a time. 

When I sold the Mississippi house at the end of Feb, I donated and gave away a lot more than I should have...that's how I ended up here today wondering if any of my favorite fall decorations are in those unmarked bins in the garage? 

I'm going to tackle the bins today, and we'll see in a few days what survived.

Thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Lucky 13

 The number 13 is my lucky number. My father was born on December 13th, my mother was born on May 13th, and they got married on August 13th. Yep...that means today would be their anniversary if they were still married.

My dad died in 1994, but they had been divorced since 1956. Despite that, he loved my mom until the day he died. They married very young during World War II when he was only 19 and she was just 16. He always said they were just way too young when they got married.

My dad was in the Navy and home on leave during the war when he saw my mother headed into the roller skating rink with a group of friends. He was smitten with her and followed them in.

Someone yelled, "Betty, I have first skate with you!" and my dad yelled, "Betty, I have second skate with you!" Then he followed them into the roller rink and put on skates just so he could skate with her and find out who she was.

Dad said it was love at first sight for him. I do believe it was. They dated for the 2 weeks he was home, and he asked her to marry him before the second week. When she said yes, he had a big heart tattoo put on his left arm, above the wrist, with an arrow through the heart and the words Don & Betty boldly filling the center of the heart!

Despite the early divorce, they remained friends all their lives. My two step-mothers both asked repeatedly that dad have his tattoo covered over...he refused. It was still there the day he died.

Thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Home Goods

Finally got to Home Goods recently...

I may have gotten a little carried away!

I think I spent too much time feeling sorry for myself. The BLESSED pillow reminded me of just how lucky I’ve been in my life. I bought it to remind myself daily...I don’t want to ever forget. 

I planned to put the black and white rug in the kitchen in front of the sink, but at the last minute I changed my mind and took it out of the basket.  Drags!!!  I’ve been to several stores trying to find one again, but so far no luck. 

My favorite stores use to be Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware, but both stores have lost there allure for me. Maybe their buyers have changed?  I don’t know what it is, but I don’t find anything I like there anymore. 

So Home Goods has become my number one for now. I’m still on the hunt for that rug so I’m visiting every store in the area until I find one. 

How about you?  What’s your go to store these days?


                                                        Thanks For Dropping By!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

My Garage With Teeny Apartment Attached

A couple of months ago, I moved into a garage with a small apartment attached. read that right!  

I think my garage is bigger than my apartment...

Garage Door To The Left Of Photo

My teeny apartment is just 750 square feet...but I love it. 

I'm the first one to ever live in it, and it's the first time in my life I've ever lived in a place all by myself. 

Family is close by, and I've got some great neighbors. I'm good!

My Teeny Tiny Front Room

It's a bit of a challenge to decorate and furnish a small place and still be comfortable without being overly cluttered. 

For 2 months it's been pretty bare! I think I'm up to decorating now since stores are starting to open up. 

If you remember, I sold most of my furniture in Texas to the people who bought Rivercrest Cottage. What they didn't buy, I gave away. 

Looking back, it wasn't a smart move. LOL!!! We had two storage units filled with "pretties" and no furniture when we got to Mississippi!

When we bought the Mississippi house, I bought new furniture trying to quickly make it a home for Wild Bill. It felt like we were going to have a fresh start! That didn't work out...

With Wild Bill gone so soon, I gave our new furniture to the people who bought the house and went to hide out stay with Middle Daughter and family here in Illinois. If you read that post, you might remember the family lost their house and everything in a storm 2 days before looking at our house (the first time) with my realtor.

Most of my special "decorating stuff" I have left has to go into the oversized garage in bins. It was love at first sight for the garage...

Length of Garage Is One and A Half

There's a small driveway in front of the garage, so I can leave the car outside and use the garage as an entertaining area. There's no room for a table in my apartment, but in a pinch, I could put folding tables and chairs in the garage if I needed to feed people.

Garage On Left Is Mine, My Porch On Right

I want another ping pong table in the garage like we use to have. That is, if social distancing ever ends. 

Right now there's just me...and lots of stuff! This photo was taken before I went back to Mississippi and picked up my storage stuff.

Illinois tends to get cold. The garage has a wall heater to keep it warm in winter. 

Electric Heater at the top of photo

I won't use it unless I need to do some work out there. I don't think I'd want to pay the bill for heating it more than just a little.

Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, June 21, 2020


Hope all is well with you...I've found it's easier to say you're back than to actually be back!

The last 7 months have been a struggle to get back to normal, especially in this world of shutdowns and Covid 19. 

I wanted more than anything to get a haircut, especially when my bangs almost reached my chin! But long hair started to grow on me (no pun intended) and now I'm leaving it that way.

I'm working on downsizing now that I have everything I own in my garage and small apartment. It seems you have to go through your things about a blue million times before you actually get to a point where you have just what you need and no more.

I've found Blogspot changed all their buttons while I was gone. Took me forever to figure out how to even publish a post!

Today is the first day of Summer I think. The 4th of July will be here before we know it, and it seems like it should be fall by now to me. Time drags. 

I've been going out to walk early each morning, trying to get some exercise and using the time to get some deep breaths. Just Breathe...Just Breathe...

How about you? Are you enjoying summer or would you rather it be fall like me? Fall always seems to be a time for renewal... I'm ready for that.

Thanks for dropping by!


Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Life Does Go On...6 Months In

Hey Everyone! I'm trying to come back. 

Finally getting my feet on the ground and starting over instead of hiding out...

It's been 6 months today since Wild Bill passed. Seems like so long ago in a different life.

I rented a very small apartment with a large attached garage. In the Illinois winters that garage will be a godsend.

Mississippi House bought in Aug 2019, sold Feb 2020.

I gave most of our furniture to the people who bought our house in Mississippi so I'm living, for the time being, with a few borrowed pieces of furniture from my daughter who lives nearby.

With all the businesses shut down, it's been hard to buy furniture so I'm taking it slow. I plan to buy a small home next year so will try to keep the furniture minimal.

Last weekend, I drove down to Mississippi with some friends and picked up what belongings I kept in a storage unit there. 

I put everything in my attached garage for the time being while I determine what stays. 

I know this 70 year-old church pew will stay. I love it. I bought it on Facebook Marketplace from a wonderful couple who became my best friends during the 7 months in Mississippi. 

Juan and Floria were truly angels who showed up to help me through the worst part of my life. I will forever be grateful that God sent them to me just when I needed angels the most.

I hope you'll come back and see me. I'm determined to get back to blogging and life and hope you will share it with me.

Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, March 13, 2020

Back From The Abyss

It's been a while...Let's catch up!

I spent December with family in Illinois.  In early January, Oldest Daughter and I went down to Mississippi to get the house Wild Bill and I bought last August ready to sell. 

Our house was located in the town of Southaven (northern Mississippi) just south of Memphis Tennessee.

On the night of January 11, 2020, there was a bad storm in the Memphis area. In Germantown TN (west side of Memphis) 20 to 30 houses were demolished by the storm.

The next day, Sunday the 12th, a couple standing in the middle of the lot that was her home the day before, made a call to a realtor friend. The couple had been planning to marry in the spring, then buy a new house together in the summer...

"We're going to need a house a lot sooner than we thought!" they told their realtor friend as they picked through the rubble of her home.

"I have the perfect house for you."  Realtor Friend replied.

I was packing boxes that Sunday (getting ready to have our realtor put the house on the market) when he called me asking if I would be willing to let a friend of his see the house right away. How could I refuse when I heard their situation? 

The next day, Monday Jan 13th, the couple came to see our house... packing boxes and all! 

All the home-selling advice you will ever get advises you against showing a house before it's cleaned up and ready -- but what the heck -- I had a feeling.

They came, they saw, they liked. But...they wanted to look at the competition, just in case. I knew they were "The One's" and didn't even bother to put the house on the market. 

A few weeks later, the couple returned with her 3 daughters to look one more time. 

On our back patio that day (with an engagement ring in his pocket) he got down on his knee and proposed to her and her girls. 

They got married a few weeks later and, as a brand new family, they moved into the house at the end of February. 

I left them most of the new furniture we had just bought and moved on. The house was never really our home, it's just a place we once lived. 

Wild Bill, 1996, I Would Love To Do It All Over Again

Thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

These Days...

Hello Friends! I miss not being able to check in often, and I want you to know I appreciate those of you who are still dropping by.

I last wrote to you on Christmas Eve. I'm sure you can tell by my post I was so down in the dumps without Wild Bill there with me. 

The next morning I found Bill's jacket, which he'd left hanging on the back of the guest room door the last time we had visited. I put his jacket on, along with the best face I could muster, and tried to be brave while the family opened Christmas presents.

Crafts-type magnifying light

I'm one of those people who doesn't like to receive gifts so usually I just get special ones "made with care" from the little ones who love to give something they've made or picked out. 

Another Crafts-type Magnifying Light

Well, this year that wasn't the case. First thing Christmas morning two of "The Daughters" plopped a big package in my lap and insisted I open it right away! Even before the grandkids got to open theirs...

I tried to put it aside...tried to convince them I just wanted to enjoy the little ones opening their gifts as we do it "one person at a time" and I didn't want to kill their joy...

Surprisingly, my usually understanding Middle Daughter just insisted Grammy needed to open her gift first!

So half-heartedly I opened the darn thing up. And there in my lap was the most inappropriate gift in the world! 

The shock took my breath away. And then...well...tears rolled down my cheeks as I laughed and laughed.

Youngest Daughter laughed with me too -- as she knew exactly how right that totally wrong gift was for me -- while Middle Daughter was unabashedly perplexed!

Middle Daughter had heard me say a while back I wanted to buy a lighted magnifying glass for doing crafts. She's NOT a crafts type person. So she found me what she thought was a perfect pair of magnifying glasses with a light. 

When the two daughters wrapped gifts down in the basement the night before, Middle Daughter showed Youngest Daughter the glasses. Youngest Daughter hinted that the glasses might not be exactly what I was looking for...but Middle Daughter was so sure they were exactly what I wanted and she wrapped them right up!

Friends, they were NOT what I had dreamed of, but they were exactly what I needed! Right then and there it was like Wild Bill was right in the room with us.

You see, they were nothing like what I had in mind, but they were exactly what Wild Bill would've bought for me thinking they were excellent!

Bill had the most awful, futurist wrap-around sunglasses when I first dated him back in 1995. I just could not convince him the 1970's called and wanted their sunglasses back! It took years before he gave them up.

Middle Daughter was so apologetic for getting me what she thought was the wrong gift and wanted to return them right away. I told her not in a million years would I ever give them up! 

And right there on Christmas morning-- a newly-widowed, old grandma sat with her ridiculous magnifying glasses and found the joy of Christmas once again.

Thanks for dropping by!

P.S.  Everyone else wanted to wear them too...even Middle Daughter once she understood I believed it was Grampy (whispering in her ear from the other side) that had led her so far astray.