Saturday, May 27, 2006


Home is ever lovely when you come back to it – but particularly so in May when you are greeted with lovely weather, peonies and iris in full bloom and a smiling semi-well hubby. Major thanks to DSIL Bill for bringing me here safely, early. Truth be told, I wasn’t so much looking forward to flying home alone.
Getting an easy breath has been a struggle for GF for a while now. He told his brother Tom that he would call the doctor or go to the emergency room Monday morning if it didn’t improve. When Tom tried and got no answer here, he called DS Craig and said I needed to be home. It took us about ten minutes to pack up and be on the road and we fully expected to stop by the hospital first. But you know Nines leaves no stone unturned. After calling the hospital to confirm he wasn’t there, she got the family doctor’s number and tried that. He’d been there and they told her he walked out on his own steam, one less statin R-x (perhaps the Pravachol is causing the chest discomfort) and one extra R-x for ear drops. By then we were more than half-way to Charleston…not that I would have considered going back…talk about major relief!
Imagine GF’s surprise when Nines called and gave him the run down on his morning MD appointment! After an incredulous laugh he says, “You must have spies everywhere!” Craig called later and asked, “Did you beat him up?” to which I replied, “Why no, it wasn’t his fault Uncle Tom got excited.” And, as Bill points out, if it had been more serious, Tom would regret not letting us know. I was sorry to miss the big day at Indiana beach with the Koens, but glad to be home. Hadn’t really been able to put concern for GF out of mind and being here makes that easier – not that my presence changes a little reason for concern.
Despite sad news (two deaths and a divorce among friends), home again settled into normal routines pretty quickly. Yesterday between welcome rain storms, GF pick some poke greens for supper, I heated up the beans and made cornbread. During the storm showers we enjoyed quite companionable silence with our feet up, reading and working sudokus. Perhaps the Lord sends rain to refresh both garden and gardener. Yeah, it's good to be home


This is like being herded in to the family room and compelled to watch slide shows of someone’s vacation. Only you don’t have to read on if you’re not interested.

Our vacations usually involve time with family for a purpose. In this case GF/I drove to North Carolina so that brothers three – Tom, Wayne, Paul – could do some work around Tom’s house. That house project has been going on for some time…Tom’s had some health issues and the brothers want to do all they can to help him. Well, they would help regardless, I’m sure – and it does make a nice excuse for spending time together. This trip was mainly outdoor projects – running water/electric lines outdoors, underpinning, and framing up a sidewalk around the house with a bit of indoor trim work thrown in on rainy days and when the concrete work was delayed. Good men to have around, as you can tell.

The Koens dropped by and picked me up for a little stay in IN – my ‘time out,’ not punishment, but reward! Sunday in IN was Mother’s Day, GF’s birthday and we celebrated in heart the best possible way when DGS Daniel was baptized. Day of all days, none more significant to a grandson, parents and grandparents – praise the Lord.

Other highlights – Nines and I had a good Mother’s Day lunch (Chinese of course) with a short trip to Jo Anne’s Fabric on the side. A little food and fabric mania is never amiss for a special occasion. The first of the week Nines cleaned out the fridge and freezer and did her once-a-month cooking routine. I hung with the grocery shopping, but had to bow out my weary little feet for most of the cooking. Still, two or three of the boys were lending capable hands as she progressed beyond 30-40 pounds of meat divided into 20 or so entrees. Where does that girl find the energy!

Thursday/Friday Nines and I took a road trip to the Toledo area for a long overdue visit with my twin, Patsy and her husband Greg. Nines thought Pat and I didn’t talk much, but we were all having such fun being entertained by Nines – she can tell a story better than anyone I know. Besides, Patsy and I are content just being together, words or no. She’s always been quiet and I’m likely much quieter than I used to be :). We all took a little trip down to The Door Mouse for a good browse and bit of quilting fabric, then came home to a very special lunch – fresh fruit platter, pinto beans and cornbread and brownie sundae dessert, all presented beautifully. Great cook, that twin sister of mine. It was such a special time – being there as well as coming and going with Nina.

My fluid intention was to stay in IN until this weekend, but plans are made to change, as May morning describes. Though I always aim to do something that will LAST when I visit family, that doesn’t always happen either. In this instance, alas alack, the refrigerator will not stay clean and the laundry will not stay done. So maybe Nines will just have to remember I was there one bright Spring day to go yard-saling with her and the girls, to watch Joe carve the spot for the flower fountain and incredibly, there as an honored witness at Daniel’s spiritual birth.

Monday, May 08, 2006


GF went on a country tour with Mr. Virgil last week. They went to Leatherwood and Pen Acre to see the old haunts of Marie and Virgil. The Rosses have been lifelong friends of the Teel clan. They’ve ever been a part of the work of the church in Clendenin, though Miss Marie is now bedfast [and my favorite cookie gal…she’s so sweet]. Mr. Virgil used to go up and transport the Teel family to meeting when GF was a child.

Among the sights GF was interested in were home places for both Virgil and Marie. All those rustic, vacant, even run-down houses and barns you see along the roads have a history. This history was back in the WV ridge tops – even more rugged than GF’s home. Virgil’s brother still lives on the Ross home site; Marie’s is now empty.

I was amazed at the similarity of Marie’s childhood home and the birthplace of Loretta Lynn. Years ago friend Casey brought me a snapshot of the Loretta Lynn coal miner’s cabin and I was wholly taken in - so taken that I painted it for myself. Looking at the snapshot, I felt I could just walk up the stairs and sit on the porch…there was something so familiar about it. The painting doesn’t do it justice, but perhaps you can see the similarity in it and GF’s photo of Marie’s home place. Perhaps that familiar feeling for both is a bit of basic country genetics…I don’t know. So simple – and to a WV mountaineer, simplicity and comfort are synonymous.

It's a Frame-Up

But it could be further framed, to make a queen instead of double sized quilt. Took this top to meeting yesterday to show Aunt Margaret – told her it was what I did last week when I should have been doing housework. Guess that leaves the housework for today and tomorrow. Funny how the cleaning I used to do in three hours now takes three days – at least I got a little start on Saturday. When I think of Aunt Carrie’s neat little house, I’m ashamed of my dust and clutter…time to fix it.

Back to the quilt top. If it’s done, its name is “Forever Melancholy.” I’m pleased with the finished top, though the 60-degree triangle strips were not as easy as Nines said they would be. [One of the several areas my daughters outshine me, no doubt!] It tended to stretch more than anticipated with the bias cuts, or perhaps I didn’t take enough time with it. ALWAYS, slow and easy goes together best; and especially when the fabrics are of varied quality. Now if there is ANY of that melancholy fabric left it’s in the 2-inch strip box, so I can dispense with melancholy titles…at last.

Yesterday afternoon at Teelside featured fresh de-caf and a cookie after meeting, a nice nap; new greens salad for late lunch/early supper, and an evening batch of rye rolls. The rolls were sent to Aunt Margaret this morning – GF is going down to try to fix a mower and tiller and he’s to tell her these are birthday buns. She’ll be 85 on Friday and we won’t be around to send them later in the week.

Looks like we’re off to NC midweek…and I’m hoping Nines will let me tag along home to IN with her by weekend. The three Teel ‘boys,’ Tom, Paul & Wayne, have homework of the construction variety afoot at Tom's house and they won’t need me to supervise, I’m sure. Nines and I are also hoping we can drive up to see Greg/Patsy while I’m there.

Meanwhile, back to my homework.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


We’re home again. It took only and hour to unpack on Saturday, since most of our clothing was slated for the laundry. But it’s taking a bit longer to get back in “normal” mode. Not implying there’s much normalcy around here, you understand. I decided to break in gradually – did only half the laundry yesterday, mowed some grass for exercise and went online to file for SS benefits. How’s that for an odd mix?

Missouri is a little previous on the spring scale, so it’s like stepping back into season a couple of weeks to come home to WV. It was so warm yesterday that GF couldn’t resist putting some seeds in the ground. It’s hard to think of frost when the air and sunshine bring 70’s to the thermometer. So, corn, peas, beans and beets have been added to the garden. We should be thinning greens and having tasty-tender salads by the weekend. I really enjoy the garden, because GF does all the work! (I’ll do a little share at canning time, maybe.) Isobel and Luanne will want to know we’ve snitched a bit of new asparagus already…I’m thinking it’s almost better raw than cooked!

As for vacations, ours was an atypically touristy one – Branson is a little higher on the price scale, too. Between activities, we had good visits with the GF’s siblings and their spouses. The lodge was luxurious, with turned down beds and ginger cookies to wish us “sweet dreams.” The grounds at Cedar Lodge are lovely with spring perennials and new annuals being planted all around. I enjoyed the steamboat – could hardly tell it was moving and the food was terrific. But even better was our meal at Lambert’s in Ozark MO. Lambert’s must be the original tossed roll restaurant – with country fare to the extreme. I had white beans, greens, okra….yum, yum, yum! Better than steak any day.

We came home the long way kind of -- by way of the Koens. All those hugs sure made the overnight, which was too short, worth it. As usual, Nines had a stack of goodies for me which included a good starting stash for DGS Jonathan’s quilt. I also picked up “Midnight on Mars” all quilted and ready for binding. It has been spread on my bed as inspiration for starting that little job. I like it more all the time…but I won’t make you beg, Lisa. So as soon as the Barn is in order and the laundry done, the sewing machine can come out again and I guess I can hem binding instead of doing Sudoku puzzles on the front balcony. I sit out there and keep an eye on GF in the evening as he can’t bring himself indoors before seven or eight.

Can’t think of an ender, so I’ll just quit and go fix myself a nice round cup of Irish breakfast tea while GF sleeps in this cool, cloudy morning.