Monthly Archives: July 2014

Well, now . . .

She was a cute smart medical assistant, taking my medical history at my latest yearly exam.

“Do you exercise?” She asked brightly.

I HATE that question.  But I’ve learned not to justify.  Too much, anyhow.

“No, I don’t,” I admitted flatly.  “I work hard, but I do not have an exercise routine that I follow.”

And she wrote down that I don’t exercise.

Like I said, I HATE it.  I feel guilty and cross and it makes me want to eat french fries.  I don’t even really LIKE french fries.

This morning at Shady Acres, involved in my Saturday morning routine, I watched out of the window as four young adults headed out for a walk.  All four of them are big into exercise, and they completed a 2+ mile hike before brunch and came back in various states of energy and excitement and flushed accomplishment.  Youngest Son and his father and I were standing in the laundry room afterwards, discussing the state of the world and the need to exercise.

“You guys just walked over two miles,” I said, “but as of now, I’ve stripped three beds, made two of them back up, done two loads of laundry, done the meds, did my ladies morning routines, made sausage gravy and baked oatmeal.  But I haven’t exercised.  I honestly haven’t had time!”

“That’s right.  You haven’t,” said Youngest Son,

“But this week when I was having my check up, they asked if I exercised and I had to say I didn’t.  I tried to say that I worked hard, but it didn’t count.”

“That’s because it doesn’t raise your heart rate,” said Youngest Son agreeably.

“No, it doesn’t,” I said, ruefully.  And that was that.

However, the fact that all my hard work doesn’t count as exercise does raise my dander.  Do you think that might count for something?


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Braiding Onions.

Certain Man has planted two long rows of onions down his garden for the last several years and we have had a difficult time with storage and methodology of such. We had spread them out on a large wooden wagon, let them dry and then used them up straight from the wagon (until the wagon was needed, then we had to put them some place else.)

Certain Man’s favorite method has been to take old nylon stockings and drop an onion into the bottom, tie a knot, drop in another, tie a knot and continue on until everything is safely tied into these long, hideous looking strings — which he then hung from nails in the “dungeon” (our canning cellar that is a small, cramped space that holds an air handler for our air conditioner and our canning shelves). These things would hang there in the very limited space and watch for me to come down the steps and they would wrap themselves around my unsuspecting neck or brush against my cheek, causing me to fling my hands around in great frantic motions to dislodge the tarantula that I was sure had suddenly descended from somewhere upon my personage. It was disconcerting to say the least and it would make me feel rather peevish when I discovered that it was, after all, just those onions in the nylon stockings, dangling from the ceiling.

Last year, we thought we would learn to braid them, and try to store them that way. However, the days went by, the onions got dug late, and we eventually let them dry on the wagon and used what we could salvage. This year, Middle Daughter, our cohort in gardening affairs, decided that we would make it happen. So last week, Sister in law, Lena, dug the onions and spread them out to dry on the same old wagon. Certain Man did some mutterings and grumblings about what we were going to do with them, and Middle Daughter announced with a great deal of firmness that she was going to learn how to braid them. Certain Man said that he thought we should just get some nylon stockings and just do it the way we always have.

Middle Daughter was not deterred. But she didn’t know what she was doing, so she went online and found a visual that would help her and she proceeded to try to learn to braid the monumental pile of onions. It was hard work, and the onions were not at all co-operative. She got about six or eight in a nice rope before she had to stop to go to work. But last night, the four of us, Certain Man, Middle Daughter, CMW and SIL, Lena, all went out to the shed and we persevered and struggled and —

(Drum Roll, here!)


WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!

Some are neater than others, but we have ten or so ropes hanging in the shop, ready for our winter.

I’m so proud of us,  It was hard work, but once we knew what we were doing, it went really quickly.

And that’s the news from Shady Acres, where there is a cookout tonight in honor of Sister in Law Lena, whose visit with us comes to a screeching halt in the morning as she heads out for some more adventures of her own.  It has been such a pleasant time together.  We are going to miss her so much. But My Sweet Mama always said it was important to share, so I guess there are a whole lot more people who want a chance to visit with her, too.

Happy Trails, Lena-girl.  It’s been so good!



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The house is quiet again. I came home from the funeral to find the table down, the house almost orderly again. Sister in law, Lena, had been very busy. People I love (Eldest Son and His Ohio Heart Throb with their three little munchkins) are on the road, heading home. Youngest Son went home to his Girl with a Beautiful Heart in Alexandria, VA and since there are no cousins to pull her in, Love Bug is home with her parents on Bontrager Road. The toys are still strewn in the sun room, and I have some kitchen work to do.

I’m getting old. I’ve realized this more and more over the last few months, but tonight I feel that deep, deep sadness, heart weariness and an “earth doneness” that reminds me that this isn’t all there is, and though this isn’t the back of the book yet, I’m a lot closer to it than I ever was before, and that there is no promise for tomorrow.

Tonight I am thankful for tight hugs and affirming words from sons and nephews and friends. I’m thankful for words that encourage and bless and though I am so aware of my failures and my shortcomings and sin, I am also grateful for grace — extended so freely to this Delaware Grammy who desperately needs it in her humanity tonight.

My heart WILL give grateful praise.

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