Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Anonymous said... Hello to all of Curtis' blogging friends. This message is from his friends Heather,Ross and Marina. We have been worrying about Curtis and have been unable to reach him. We went to his house earlier today and hate to inform you that Curtis has passed away. We do not know any details. We trust that Curtis is with Ellen now.Rest In Peace Our Dear Friend.
July 27, 2010 2:04 PM (manitoba time)
I cannot stop crying. Curtis and I had both said over 2 yrs ago that we were like a brother and sister to each other. We used to say the same thing at the same time and he'd say, "Omg, get out of my head". I can't imagine not talking to him anymore.
He was SO loved by all of us. I'm sorry, I have to post this and sign off. I can't even see for crying.
I am adding to this post the email I just sent to Heather and Ross:
I just saw your post on Curtis's blog. I am devastated and can't stop crying. I knew something was so wrong and couldn't shake the feeling. Couldn't sleep tonight and got back up and went back to his blog and there was your note.
Heather and Ross, thank you so much for letting everyone know. I posted on my own blog so that others will see it, too. You know that once someone posts and then comments are left, usually the ppl that make the comments don't go back over there until they see a brand new post has been done. It was only by providence that I went back there tonight. Of course, I'd called him twice this evening, too, and got no answer, just the answering machine. By now I guess you've heard my disjointed messages to him.
I am sitting here and sobbing so hard that it's hard to see to type. I just can't believe this has happened and keep hoping that in the morning it will be a bad dream. Curtis told me over a year ago that he had put plans into place for the care of his 3 cats, etc., and that he had his finances and will made out so that family would be helped. I hope by now his beloved pets have had their meals and are curled up sleeping. They missed Ellen and now they have lost Curtis. Animals grieve, too, and this will be hard on them. If I was up there, I'd take care of everything for him myself, but I"m not. God, it really feels like I lost my brother. I can't imagine for a second not talking to him on the phone or writing back and forth. He was the best brother I could have ever hoped for in my life, and he was the best man I've ever known. The world was a better place because of him.
Let me know that his cats are ok because I know that's what he loved most in the world. And about the two of you? He's told me a million times how you are the best of the best and that he didn't know what he'd ever do without you. He's right, you really are.
I need to sign off. This is just so shocking and it's awful when there's nothing you can do to change anything or to fix anything. I loved him. I loved him as so many others did, but a little more because we were like twins. My brother.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
…and you know how that goes since I’m a woman of few words. Uh huh, are you grimacing yet?
Honestly, I don’t have a lot to say because it’s just tooooooo hot to think or type. Well, actually I used up all my typing in comments to you guys, just as Carole of Ramblingon can attest. But Carole, if you’re reading this, even though alllllll those posts were retro and I just didn’t have the sense to know that, I still had a great time reading all of them. But now I have nubs for fingers after commenting on all of them and then my regular blog walk. I’ve learned my lesson. From now on I’m going to post much, much shorter comments. I get so carried away with whatever blog I’m reading that I start writing a whole letter to you. That’s going to stop because I know it has become a pain in the butt. Ok, end of this train of thought and on to the next.
See? Maxine knows what I’m talking about.
It was 105 yesterday with an index of 115 where I am. I seriously thought I was having a stroke or something when I was filling up the bowls of water for all the wildlife. It was very hard to breathe and when I looked back at the porch, it seemed miles away when in fact it was only about 40 feet. But the water MUST be attended to and it’s so appreciated by every critter that has now made a permanent home in my yard. I could forego the sweat in the eyes, though. Stuff makes you blind and it’s PAINFUL.
My monks still show up for meals. Actually they never leave and the families have gotten huge. I think they’ve invited all their friends, too. It’s amazing how territorial they are, and one seems to recognize another from another “tribe” although I don’t know how. Those little critters are brave, brave, brave. They’ll stand up to anything and run off anything. Why just yesterday I had a huge flock of grackles taking over the ground and the feeders when up pops a monk. My monk didn’t like the turn of events at all and took off running like lightening across the yard and literally JUMPED at them and then ran at all of them until he’d railroaded them out of the yard (for all of 5 minutes anyway). Little warriors they are.
In the early morning hours (still yesterday), it was so darn hot. My favorite and most social monk was trying to cool off in some tall weedy grasses. He heard me opening the back door and making my little clicking sound to him and broke out into a dead run to get to The Food Wagon. All of a sudden he stops dead in his tracks and I saw him shaking his head like crazy. He climbed up on his stump just as I had the camera and then I knew what he was shaking about:
HUH? WHAT THE HECK IS ON MY NOSE?
SOMEBODY GET THAT BUG OFF OF MY NOSE!
By the time he made it to the porch, the bug was gone and he happily munched his breakfast and then started with the stuffing of the cheeks to take the rest back to the burrow. I’ve now gotten to where I can sit within 2 feet of him and even talk to him and not have to be completely still. He knows where his meal ticket is coming from and isn’t going to rock the boat. I’m hoping that by the end of summer I might be able to get a photo of him on my foot. He’s still afraid of the camera and runs from that, but patience might win out.
OHHHHH, the BIG news is: I finished the paperwork! Well, at least the paperwork for the closing taxes, hoorayyyyy! My appointment with the tax accountant is tomorrow and if everything goes well in the next few days, I can start on the next steps, but those aren’t nearly as hard, just time consuming – like making a will, changing the deed to read correctly, and finally starting on repairs on the house. So Toodie and Curtis were right. I did it and I made the deadline. Never thought I could. Thanks you two for the faith . I’d say it’s just about time for a celebratory . That’s right, a Lemondrop Martini!
Ok, now you all can rest easy. I’m done. When I get a creative urge again, I’ll pop back and post. Until then, I’ll visit YOU, but I’ll tiptoe in and tiptoe out with only a sentence or two to let you know I was there and loved what you wrote .
Until next time, XOXOXO
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I know. You think you’re going to get a lesson in plastering, don’t you. HA, fooled ya. This is the time honored story of plaster, telephones, blueprints, business meetings, and………well, let me start from the beginning. Now this is embarrassing to me, but it’s a “when I was younger” tale, so I can live through it once again. Lessons taught and lessons learned~~
Many years ago, I was working for our Power Co., and in fact worked for them for 25 years. This particular year, I was in the engineering dept. and a new, huge, state of the art hospital was being built in my area. I was named as the liaison for the company and was scheduled to attend a meeting at one of our hotels. The architect, the builders, and myself were to come together as a meeting of the minds to make sure everything was in order and ready to go.
Enter the architect: GQ suit, impeccable in every way, and the perfect manners. He orders a Scotch.
Enter the builders: Khaki pants, polo shirts, tasseled loafers, and perfect tans. They ordered beer or bourbon.
Enter JennyD: Perfect suit and shoes, makeup fresh, hand stretched out for a handshake and smiling: Orders water.
A huge table was brought in and the blueprints were laid out. Each of us strolled from one end to the other, making notes, noting questions, and concentrating hard for about 20 minutes. As we were ready to discuss our thoughts, the waiter came back in and asked if we’d like anything else. The architect asks for another Scotch, the builders asked for another beer or whiskey, and I asked for another water. They all paused and the the architect says, “Jenny, why don’t you try their Brandy Alexander. They are known for them. Please, try it; I’m sure you’ll love it; it’s on me.” Well, what could I say? I said thank you and ordered one. The drinks arrive and I take a sip ------Ohhhh, heaven! I said, “This is like nothing I’ve ever tasted before; why it’s like ice cream and you can’t even taste any liquor! Mistake #1.
Twenty minutes later, the waiter is back and yes, all those guys ordered again. The waiter gets to me and I didn’t even hesitate. I said, “Oh, I’d love one of those Brandy Alexanders again”. Mistake #2.
Five minutes go by and I noticed that I was no longer sipping, I was gulping, and boy, was that thing ever GOOD! I stepped out into the hall, flagged down the waiter, and ordered another. Mistake #3.
I might pause here to mention I hadn’t eaten all day. Ugh. Major mistake, but who knew?
Back to the room I weave and all of a sudden had to pee. I got the guys’ attention and said I’d be right back. I wonder to this day if the sentence came out like that because all they did was stare.
I started down the hall, passed the desk clerk, and realized I had no idea where the restroom was. Opps, had to back up to ask. The bad thing was, I didn’t turn around to ask, I literally just backed up – walked backwards for about 20 steps.
With directions, I made it down the long corridor, took a right, and made it to the 3rd door. Lord knows it was a true miracle. There was the blessed stall in front of me. I went in, sat down and sighed. All of a sudden the room switched positions; what? I was falling off the john. Then I could have sworn the walls moved. At that moment I knew for certain I was plastered, snookered, polluted to the gills. I stood up and thought, ‘I have GOT to get out of here’. Problem was I couldn’t get out. I couldn’t work that little sliding lock for love nor money. I was stuck in the stall! I tried and tried with no luck and finally thought, ‘Ok, I’ll crawl under and out’. And that’s what I did. As I slithered under that little door and then looked up, I saw a woman standing at the sink looking at me like I was totally crazy! At least I remembered to wash my hands and then mumbled something to her about bad locks and don’t use that stall.
I started out the door and then came to an abrupt halt. Which way was it? Right? Left? Straight and then right? Oh noooo. Ok, I’ll just start walking. Or weaving. It was definitely more of a weave. Alright, I admit, I bumped into the wall a few times, too. I swear I was in a maze. I took more turns than I could count. I knew it didn’t take that many on the way to the john, but I knew eventually I’d have to end up back at the desk, right? Well, sort of.
Time marched on. More twists and turns. Once I even ended up outside in the back of the building. But finally, I thought I saw the desk clerk and I’ve never been so happy to see another human. I knew I was almost back to the meeting. But wait.
It was the desk alright, but the clerk somehow seemed to be gone and I couldn’t remember which room was for the meeting. ‘Ok’, I thought, ‘I’ll sit down and wait. Someone will find me’. Now the problem with that was, I was the only person sitting on a sofa smack dab in the middle of the room and facing the door to the street. This area had a number of, ummm, how can I put this, ladies of the night. The next thing I knew, this gentleman comes in, walks right over to me, leans in and whispers, “How much, you pretty thing?” Huh? ME? Oh good lordddddddd. I told him he had the wrong person and he mercifully left. I realized I needed to look like I was busy rather than just sitting there dangling a leg. I saw in the corner of the room a pay telephone – you know the kind, with the telephone book on the shelf. I thought, ‘This is perfect. I’ll take the phone book over to the sofa and pretend to be looking up something, and THEN someone will find me’. I grabbed hold of the book and turned in one swift motion and RIPPED the entire book out of the wall! Who knew the book was chained??? And worse, there was this tiny sign saying Just Painted, and here I’ve left a hole the size of New York in the wall. I was in a panic. I tore out at least a hundred pages of the phone book and stuffed them into the wall hole and hoped no one would notice. Right. Well, a drunk never thinks.
I sat back down on the sofa and now had the phone book, or what was left of it, with me. I tried to look very studious as I opened it and scanned the pages. It seemed forever. Then a tap on my shoulder. I’m saved! I'm saved! It’s the architect! He looks at me, smiles a poor-pitiful-you smile, leans over, and turns the book right side up. Gawd. “Loved that Brandy Alexander?”, he asks so smoothly. “You were gone for an hour and we thought you went home”. I tried to look so innocent and un-drunk, and I looked up at him and said, “Well, you see, uh, uh, well, I lost my way, see, I have no sense of direction, uh…”, then I stopped because I knew it was only making things worse what with the book being upside down and now the desk clerk was at the phone booth and bellowing, “OMG, WHAT HAPPENED TO THE WALL???”
I never, EVER had another Brandy Alexander again. Truly, lessons taught and lessons learned ~~
Thursday, July 15, 2010
You need to know, if you didn’t follow me on WLS, that this is a repost from there. Sue Lehman’s chicken stories and updates brought this back to mind and I’d told her I was going to repost this. So if you’ve already read this, just bear with me.
How could anyone not love a chicken. Tell me that. If they see YOU when they hatch, then you get to be the mother and they think they ARE you. It’s as simple as that. Some say chickens are not too smart, but even if that’s so, who cares? They are very loving if you just give them the chance. I know, and this is my story:
When I was growing up, the closest neighbor was a mile away and also a farm.......now it's a whole office center and HUGE. But back when the Franklins had their farm, it was wonderful. They raised chickens, pigs, and cows, and of course there was always a bull or 2 around. I remember when we were allowed to use their huge field for flying kites but always with a warning to look for the bull first. Well, one day we were so anxious to fly our kites that we really didn't look hard enough. My kite was sailing higher and higher and just as I was about to be declared the winner of the day, I heard Mr Franklin screaming, "RUN, RUN! The BULL is out!" OMG......do you remember in cartoons how someone's legs looked like wheels spinning so fast when they ran? I couldn't even see my legs they were moving so fast, and so was my heart. I made it to the barbed wire fence just in time and DOVE through it. I still have the barbed scar on my shin to show for it, but at least I still have my heart beating.
The Franklins knew how attached to animals I was and they were the first to lend a hand with any stray "critters" that followed me home, and I say that with tongue in cheek since how many animals actually follow you home without a little bit of prodding? lol.
The year came in school where there was a science project to be done by each student. One of the kids, Dudley, had decided to do the one where you have all the stages of the chicken egg in jars...yuck....but the last day, the last of the "live" eggs were to hatch. Bingo! All the eggs hatched right on time except for one. Dudley was getting ready to throw it out but I said, "Oh, no, no, I'll take it home", and so I did. On the walk home from school that day, I held that little egg in both hands to keep it warm. All of a sudden the egg started to crack open! Within just a short time I had the cutest, messiest little baby chick you ever saw. When I got home I knew I had to find a way to keep it warm, so out comes the incubator box with the light bulb. Ahhh, the little chick was happy as a clam. I rode my bike to the Franklin's farm and told them what happened. Bless their hearts, they gave me feed for new chicks and kept me in chicken feed for the next 3 years.
Now during this time, the chick became a chicken and was BIG. She didn't realize she was a chicken at all since she'd hatched in my hands and was brought up with my other dogs and cats, so some rather spectacular events occurred on a daily basis. First, she decided that it was just fine to run up the steps to the bathroom when she heard the shower turned on......and she thought it was just fine to jump into the shower with my dad. She also took a shine to my cocker spaniel and would take a daily ride on Winnie's (the cocker) back, holding her collar with her feet, and cantering up the street. Boy, I always wished I could find a miniature cowboy hat for that chicken. To top it off, when I’d come home from school, she’d get so excited that she’d run to me, jump into the air and into my arms, flip herself over and wait for her belly to be stroked. She loved that. She was one fine chicken.
Each day, that chicken would take a sunbath in the back yard. She'd flip over on her back, stretch out her neck, and flatten her legs out......looked just like a skinny, bald person lying there. There she'd doze happily for hours. For the longest time she was allowed inside, but as time went on my parents said she'd have to stay outside, so I fashioned a spot for her on the back porch. This architecture was in the form of big cardboard boxes with my sled on the top so she could use it as a perch. The chicken loved it but my parents didn't. Not only was it an eyesore, but the longer my chicken sat on my sled, the more horse flies showed up (you can’t exactly diaper a chicken). This was not a good thing and my parents finally said I'd have to find a home for my chicken. I cried and cried to no avail. I couldn't take the chicken to the Franklins because they ATE the chickens, but I knew another family, the Fleets, that had a farm and loved animals as much as I did.
The Fleets took her in but unfortunately my chicken didn't want to live in the chicken house. I know she was thinking, "What ARE these things??" Instead, she started pecking (knocking) at the Fleet's back door to go inside. The Fleets said oh noooo, no chickens in the house, so she decided to move into the dog house with the dogs. Now the dogs were fit to be tied over this because she also decided to eat THEIR food. The days passed, the chicken wouldn't budge from the dog house, the dogs are getting angry, and still the daily sunbath is taking place. One day while she was sunbathing, the dogs sneaked up on her and, well....... . The Fleets called me and gave me the terrible news and of course I was worse than devastated. Even the Fleets were crying because they'd become very attached to my chicken. I went right over to their house and we made plans for a full-fledged funeral. The next day, every kid in the neighborhood was there, and even a bunch of adult neighbors.....we all loved that chicken......and we formed a circle around the gravesite that was dug by Mr Fleet the night before. We all held hands, said a fitting prayer, and then each of us said what we'd remember about her. Don't laugh, this was a true story...........................and the dogs were NOT invited to the funeral.
XOXOXO from me to you and all chickens that can read
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
And by the way, these photos were taken through the kitchen window so as not to bother them. All taken yesterday morning, 6/30/10.
It's wonderful to click on these pics to enlarge them and then click again for larger still.
While one eats and stuffs his little cheeks to take back to their burrow, the other waits patiently for his/her turn.
What big stuffed cheeks!
Not to be left out, the 2nd Munk comes for a turn.
"Shall I? Oh yes, indeedy."
"Hey, this is good and I can't believe my glutton of a partner left me even one bite. I'd better hurry."
"Just enough time to get the last of the goodies........and then my favorite part of the day :