Prayers for…

…RESEARCH & A Visit

 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of bibliography, I will fear no journal, for thou art learning, thy laptop and thy highlighter they comfort me.

Although I take comfort that I can still try to laugh at what I am going through right now…truly I am not laughing. I know many have struggled through working full-time and managing other aspects of life. This is not fun. The grad school reading and writing is overwhelming my limited free-time…I am forcing myself to step away for a few minutes to write this post… if only I could finish the book I started at the end of August…it’s wonderful.

Hubster is picking up the slack in the cleaning and cooking category which is usual for him during the school year… but trust me, he’s a regular Cinderfella right now.

We did spend last weekend in Maine (a trip we planned last June) with his sister’s family and had dinner with his brother. It was a lovely visit where we ate, “touristed”, and just spent time with family. If you don’t follow me on Instagram, here are a few of the highlights (minus the 9-hour delay in arrival in Maine due to storms and an empty lot where our Hertz rental car was supposed to be parked).

Hubster’s sister lives in Kittery, Maine which is just a stone’s throw and across a river away from Portsmouth, NH…lovely town…hadn’t been there in years.

Getting ready to sail out in the Portsmouth Harbor…we were exhausted from only 3 hours sleep.

Hubster with his sister, brother-in-law, and niece. The ship behind them was unloading mountains of road salt…we could be in for a snowy winter.

Out on the water…was it cold, you ask?

This is the old US Navy prison, known as “The Castle”, legend has it Humphrey Bogart’s lisp was caused when got into a scuffle with a prisoner who was attempting to escape. The fight left HB with a busted lip which never healed properly. Also, not so famous, Hubster’s grandfather was a guard at this prison, he was so well-liked by the prisoners, he was recognized by the high in command and later went on to become Chief of Police in Dover, NH.

The three siblings…in age order youngest to oldest (L-R). Hubster has been trying to convince his niece for years that he is the youngest of these three.

 

Hubster, after a fried seafood meal with his nephew and niece.

Yes, Hubster is smiling after eating mounds of fried seafood…I ate it too…trust me, later we decided fried seafood is no longer our friend.

 

On Sunday morning we went to brunch at the lovely Wentworth by the Sea. Gastronomically speaking, Hubster and I were still recovering from FSO (fried seafood overload), but the grounds, hotel, and view were spectacular. Next time I take in this brunch I will fast for three days prior because the food selections were amazing: seafood (not fried), meats, omelets, pastries, charcuterie, and so on.

Since I titled this post: Prayers… please extend a few for Hubster’s family…the details are not mine to share, but they could use some good vibes from upon high.

 

Have a great week and if you’re looking for me after school hours, try checking the library,

This week…

…in my life.

This is not my school, but trust me the sign could have been posted at my school. If you don’t know Fortnite, you don’t know anyone under the age of 30. I will not bore you with the details. The first time I heard about this video game was when a group of my students in my science class last year were required to come up with a group name for the task they were to complete. When I asked the group of 3 young men the name of their group they stated…“Fortnight.”

“Fortnight,” I inquired…“do you know what a fortnight is?” I was ready to be impressed with their response.

“Yes we know,” they responded in unison. “A video game, Fortnite.”

From that moment on, every side conversation, I overheard in school was Fortnite.

I am happy to report school is back in session and so far everyone seems to be okay…I’ll be sure to report back in a fortnight.

 

This is how I have felt since August 23 when I sat in an orientation session for my certification course in grad school. I finished grad school 10 years ago…doing this again has me wondering if I have lost my mind. At the very least, I have temporarily lost a chunk of change from my checking account. My mind cannot stray too far because i really need it to complete this work.

My class is online. I am not a fan, although sitting in my pajamas late at night listening to the professor is much easier than going to the university and parking my car. I have already completed two writing assignments, a video presentation, and multiple chapters of reading all while teaching. The circles under my eyes have circles.

My new affirmation: I handle everything with ease, grace, and a pound of concealer.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

 

Faith,…

…it helps to have it.

This past week and a half have been packed full of back to school teacher activities, including classroom set-up, professional development, safety training (one involving an active shooter), and orientation for graduate coursework in order to add an endorsement to my teacher certification. I am exhausted.

Yes, that about sums up the whole back to school scenario.

I had hoped to be proactive before all of this work began. I thought I had a secret weapon.

The little bracelet below was purchased by my mother for me when I was 8 years old. We were visiting Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré in Quebec, Canada, along the Saint Lawrence River, 35 kilometers north-east of Quebec City. Several years ago during school testing season, the bracelet reappeared in my life. I wore it every day during testing season. You will note the blue on the medallion has been worn slightly as I gave it a little rub when I was saying prayers for my students.

If you would like to know more about the shrine you can read about it here.

Since I felt like I needed a little strength for me this time, I wore it to school every day beginning Wednesday, August 24. This past Tuesday when I came home from school I couldn’t locate the bracelet. I emptied my school bag & purse and searched my car. The next day I searched my classroom. I could not locate Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré so I called in Saint Anthony. My version of the prayer goes something like this:

Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony

Something is lost and can’t be found.

Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony

Please look around.

I know those of you who know the actual prayer, recognize I have veered from the script. Needless to say, Saint Anthony and Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré decided I was going to have to get through the active shooter scenario training and whatever else was thrown at me on my own. As of yesterday morning, I had determined the bracelet was a lost cause.

Last evening was Back-to-School night. It is a time for families to come to school to see the classroom and meet the teacher to begin to understand the expectations for the school year. As I was beginning the second session of meetings, a young lady came over to the laptop where I was setting up the presentation. In her hand was my bracelet.

“Mrs. Beemie, I just found this on the sofa, should I bring it to lost and found?”

Not sure how I didn’t see the bracelet among the mix of texture and patterns.

I recognized her from last school year in our intermediate hall. I nearly hugged her but managed to contain the emotion.

I told her how I had looked high and low for the bracelet and even mentioned I prayed to Saint Anthony over the last two days. I asked her name….she said, “Faith.”

Sometimes Faith is all you need,

 

 

 

Thoughts on 10…

…digits, a list, quotes.

(Quest to write posts with numbers to ten in the title…complete)

DIGITS

If you’re a parent then you may remember with the arrival of each child to your family, you stopped to count 10 fingers and 10 toes. Perfect, you thought if all digits were present. Life would proceed without another care.

As I write this post, I recall 30 years ago I was pregnant with my first child, we were about to move into our first purchased home, and all the stars were aligned. While we shot for the stars, our rocket took a few turns…now that Hubster and I are back here on Earth those sweet fingers and toes are grown and flying their own vessels for the stars. For parents who may be experiencing their first empty nest…

 

A LIST

I am trying to save money for a large ticket item. For now, the item is a secret, but it is my goal not to touch my savings account in order to make this purchase. I consider myself somewhat frugal as my Depression Era parents instilled this in me. The most difficult part of saving is not spending, especially when driving by Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, or Home Goods. I hear them calling my name from the side of the road.

See what I mean…

At my age, I should know how to save, but when considering the type of money I am working towards…I sought expert advice…no, not my financial advisor (that would cost money)…the internet. I Googled saving money and the blogs that popped up were plenty…some “scammish” with loads of affiliate ads to click or “slide-show” through or some wanted me to buy their book. Although I haven’t bought into any books or clicked on any ads, I did join a 5 day “no spend challenge” through this blog And then we saved. (I am not affiliated with this blog and haven’t officially read through all the content, but I think it is more about getting out of debt and then saving money. Update: I just received an email from this blog to buy a course…not my thing, just trying to spend less and save, so I apologize if you go and get an email.)

I am day two into the “no spend challenge” and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t spent any money in the last two days because I had to go to the grocery store and I used my Nordstrom gift cards from my birthday and Christmas (technically not my money). Day two of the challenge asked me to write a list of 10 things for which I am grateful. Here is my list:

The most interesting thing about the list is when I consider only two of the things of the ten listed involve spending money (home ownership and some life experiences)…I think the message of this challenge was to note money is not your happiness.

QUOTES

Today, I head back to school for teacher preparation. It is the tenth year of my second career. My first-day jitters are not what they were 10 years ago. Experience is a wonderful thing, but no child is the same so while expectations remain high I know I have to be ready for the unexpected. It is the unforeseen which sets the anxiety in motion. The interesting thing about noting my fear of the unknown is I constantly tell my students with great conviction, “We are not going to worry about the what-ifs in life.”  (Hmm…teacher, heal thyself!)

While preparing my school bag to go back today, I found a gift given to me by an exceptional student on the last day of school in June. She is a lovely young lady who will go far in life. This gift required no money (see above), but a bit of her time and energy.  I share this gift of encouragement with all of you because while I promise myself my blog is a means of respite from teaching it is hard to keep the two worlds separate all the time.

Having this little outlet to write and especially you taking the time to read brings me great joy. This summer I promised myself I would write more and it seems I have accomplished my goal. I hope to write one post per week for the school year, but I don’t know what’s in store. Fingers crossed you’ll hear from me next week…

until then,

Nine worth…

…watching.

(Quest to write posts with numbers in the title to ten.)

I sat, I watched, I conquered…after reading that quote I’m sure you’re probably sitting at the edge of your laptop, iPad, or phone just chomping at the bit for information about my stimulating watch list.

This group puts on a pretty good poker face, but I can tell they are just playing it cool before continuing to read. (Pinterest)

 

THE MOVIES

Hubster and I spent our dating years and the first few years of our marriage at the movies at least once every two weeks. We went to so many movies and rented many from Erol’s Video stores. I’m certain Stephen Spielberg, Robert De Niro, and the entire Brat Pack earned enough from us to pay for one year of private school for each of their children. I don’t give credit for their entire schooling because I know those schools were quite expensive even back in the day.

Anyway, Hubster and I frequent the theater much less now. We went exactly once this summer. It is hard for us to justify the cost of going to a mediocre movie; therefore we wait for the movie to appear on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, or one of the other streaming services.

Our one movie in the theatre date was just this past Saturday. I received a gift card for two free movie tickets in June. At the time there was not one movie I deemed “gift card worthy”. Last week while watching a morning news program the cast of Crazy Rich Asians was featured. I enjoyed their interview so much, I announced to Hubster we would go to the movies.

I had hoped my free outing would have found me a few more laughs based on their Today Show interview. The story was a bit predictable, but I did appreciate the comedic aspect, as well as some familiar faces who did not disappoint. I would recommend it worth watching once it hits one of your streaming services.

The remaining eight of my nine worth watching come straight from my sunroom chair via the world wide web.

Amazon Prime

I absolutely adored Lady Byrd. The acting was magnificent as evidenced by its Golden Globe Awards and Academy Awards nominations. The story of a young lady attending a Catholic high school on the verge of adulthood and independence navigates her relationship with her mother and her world. If you are a regular reader of my blog, the above summary could have been a memoir written by me.

The Big Sick is a romantic comedy of a couple from different ethnic backgrounds. He must deal with his parents’ frequent attempts at an arranged marriage while he strives to salvage his relationship with his girlfriend who becomes gravely ill and lands in the hospital.

 

 I found The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society while waiting for my dental hygienist appointment this summer. The magazine selection at my dentist’s office is often how I keep up with the hottest entertainment topics sometimes three months late. Thank goodness for their People magazine subscription. The title of the movie is not the longest on record, but it doesn’t exactly flow off the tongue either. The story is set during and after World War II. The eclectic group of characters is brought together as dinner guests turned accidental book club during extraordinary circumstances.  It is a sweet historical piece with hints of comedy, tragedy, and drama. You will probably not find yourself asking for the potato peel pie recipe.

THE SERIES/DOCU-SERIES

 

It may be the teacher in me, but I found this docu-series absolutely glorious. The boys who attend this school walk past the names of famous alumnae every day…one name you may have heard, Winston Churchill. (My take on Winston Churchill here.) The school campus oozes of wealth and privilege, yet I did not find one young man who did not understand the reason their parents forked over 150,000.00 pounds (Hubster and I did the math $190,000.00 US) in order for them to attend such a school. The young men are ready to learn, accept responsibility for their actions, and have very little free time to get into any kind of serious trouble (at least none featured in the series). The housemaster, Mr. Smith was quirky in his ability to speak and laugh while simultaneously gritting his teeth. Although I sense there is an amount of arrogance or “Harrowgance” as they call it among the students, I honestly didn’t see the trait during the series. There are only ten episodes and it is done. I’d love to see a follow-up to know where the boys are today…it was filmed in 2013.

 

World War I does not meet MASH in this six-episode series, however, doctors, nurses, volunteers, and soldiers at a field hospital in France make an interesting blend in this drama. Unfortunately, the series was canceled, but I was not deterred from watching for fear of unanswered endings.

Hubster and I found A Place to Call Home several years ago. (I wrote about it here.) We only watched the first two seasons back then, we are now caught up through season 4 (there are 5) and while not another Downton, we have loved and hated the characters many times over.

Speaking of Downton…

In the days leading up to my beach vacation with the Hubster and my college roommate, Peggy Anne’s family, she sent me a text about an unfortunate weather forecast…

This is a forecast for Seattle about a week ago, but also a similar one to the 14 days of our vacation.

My response to her text was …who is this and why are you trying to ruin my life? 

Knowing Peggy Anne does not enjoy reading novels, I envisioned Hubster and I sitting inside reading our books while Peggy Anne stared at us or some all-day news station. Instead, I remembered purchasing the DVD of Season 1 of Downton Abbey at a yard sale. I packed it for the beach vacation because we have been trying to convince Peggy Anne to watch Downton Abbey, but she doesn’t like long-term commitments so she was hesitant to start another series.

It did not rain for 14 days straight…thank you God and Mother Nature, but on the three days that we did get rain, we watched Season 1.

Hubster and I were pleasantly surprised for we thoroughly enjoyed it a second time around. As for Peggy Anne, the fear of long-term commitment seemed to melt away on a rainy day. She was hooked and we were concerned because she started talking about having to take a leave of absence from her job after the vacation so she could binge watch the rest of the series once she returned home. Luckily, we were able to persuade her… the job she has held for 32 years should not be cast aside for Masterpiece Theater. Instead, Peggy Anne vowed to stay awake past 9 pm to finish watching the series. We warned her some unfortunate circumstances came to Downton…here are her texts to Hubster and me just after watching a crucial turn of events. (Spoiler Alert…in case you have been living under a rock and have never seen Downton Abbey also forgive the mild foul language.)

 

This text caught me off guard because I didn’t have my glasses on when it came through while I was visiting my brother in New Hampshire. I thought someone I knew died.

Finally, with this text is Peggy Anne’s overall critique of the series.

Thanks to the Instagram editing tool for giving me the opportunity to change the names.

Up next for Peggy Anne and hopefully for you…

I can’t wait for the second season of this comedy where the title word Marvelous is the truth. I may need to re-watch the first season again …if you haven’t seen it yet…Get on it…you will not regret it.

Well, that’s a wrap on nine.

Ten is waiting in the wings.

8 weeks….

…did I blink?

(Quest to write posts with numbers in the title to ten.)

Exactly eight weeks ago was the last day of the 2017-2018 school year. The key to my classroom came off its ring, faster than my bra when I arrive home on a weeknight. I handed the keys over to the administrative assistant, gave everyone a group hug, and quickly rolled off to commence my summer freedom.

See what I mean!!!

When you take the digit eight and turn it on its side it represents the infinity symbol. My eight weeks didn’t feel infinite, in fact, eight weeks may only seem infinite in dog years. I am not complaining, perhaps a bit whining for the quickness of the summer weeks.

I was able to do one important thing this summer and it involved some therapeutic self-diagnosis. Admitting that I am and always have been grateful for who I am, my family, my friends, my job, and the ability to laugh at myself. I have self-prescribed the following to continue my good mood toward my final days before I head back to school.

I think this may be the magic pill, but don’t talk to the Hubster, he’s my therapist…he still thinks I have a long way to go in the worry, fear, and anxiety department, however, Hubster is behind me all the way!

Nine is up next,

until then,

 

Seven Wonders…

…from today’s point of view

(Quest to write posts with numbers in the title to ten.)

Wonder-full World

I often talk think to myself, what a wonderful world. Honestly, I do. I saw an actual rainbow on the drive home from my beach vacation. A rain shower had begun as I drove around a bend; suddenly, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, & purple.

Although at this late stage of the game in life I do know how a rainbow occurs, it is still a magnificent wonder. I almost felt it had been placed there in front of me for a reason unknown. As I continued to drive, I said a little prayer which found me thanking not only God but both of my parents and sister ( I assume all are in Heaven together) for having just experienced a fabulous full vacation with my husband and “framily”.

Reading Wonder

More a book intended for ‘tweens, I highly recommend.

My first experiences with reading as a child were much like having a tooth drilled without a painkiller. I wrote a whole post on becoming a reader several years ago, but I won’t bore you with the details. ( if curious Summer, 1977) The above book is required reading for my 4th/5th-grade students. Its message and theme could easily be stated as “Choose Kindness”.

Today, I ponder the many who read the written headline, article, op-ed, news story, Facebook post, email chains, & so on that proclaim some sort of negativity toward others or the reader deems offensive to self. Once read or in many cases sometimes half read; the reader becomes enraged. So much so, he/she then writes, finds or creates a meme to post, or tweets to the world another bitter feeling. I do not discount another person’s feelings for I walk only in my shoes, but I’m frequently in awe…

Not quite how I looked on my recent beach trip, but the expression on her face speaks volumes to my mood under my beach umbrella.

 

Wonder vs. Worry

Although my Son-sters are well into their twenties (one will be 30 this year) and living on their own, I do still wonder about their well-being. The truth is I should replace the word wonder with worry. I do my best to hide the worry (if they are reading this, cue the rolling their eyes and mumbling “baloney sandwiches” under their breath because they know I would tell them to watch their language). More than anything, it is my hope Hubster and I have prepared them to be men who care for others, are kind, respectful, responsible, and of course, watch their credit scores & mind their health care benefits.

Sometimes I still wish, this was us.

 

They are in the stage of their life where friends often take precedence over family. They don’t need me as much I need to still hear about their lives. They try to ease my worry and I try to believe…

 

Wonder Bread

I was a thin child and up until about 10 years ago never thought very much about my weight as my clothing size only changed during pregnancy and bounced right back afterward.

Proof of thinness:

Thanks for indulging my proof.

Today, when my yearly doctor’s appointment rolls around, I find myself trying not to eat too much in the days leading up and indulging in plenty of fiber to remove all the extra food living in my body. I don’t like it when my doctor, in her subtle tone of condemnation, states, “You really want to be about 15 to 20 pounds lighter.”

Wonder Bread was a staple of childhood. It was inexpensive to eat toast for breakfast or to enjoy as the base for a sandwich. Fortunately, as evidenced by my very younger self in photos, it didn’t stick to my bones. In addition, by the time I was about 11 or 12, my mother had switched to a healthier version of wheat or rye loaves of bread as there weren’t as many mouths to feed, although it probably cost more. My metabolism was keeping me thin, while my Milkman father’s conversion of food intake was expanding his waistline and my mother recognized his growth spurt. He came home every day at about 2- 3 pm, after delivering milk beginning in the pre-dawn hours. Supper was a few hours away so he made himself a peanut butter and banana (PB&B) sandwich. I can still smell the combination and feel the warmth of the sunlight as it shone through the kitchen window when he offered to make one for me.

I am the newborn. Exhaustion was the current trend in family photography. My father in his trim state.

 

The early 1980s, a wider version of the Milkman, although a healthier glow & disposition.

He lived to be 84 years old, with challenging health difficulties beginning at age 59. I’m sure the PB&B was not the sole fault in the health of his heart, but as I approach (many years from now) his age, I wonder will I inherit the same fate. He was not a smoker, only a social drinker (while many men in the neighborhood went to the local stag bar, my father was at home helping us with homework), and very faithful toward Catholicism. He arrived at marriage and family life having lived a childhood with Dickensian undertones, so I am certain stress contributed to the recipe in PB&B’s. I am hopeful that the happy life provided to me by my parents and the one I have been afforded since marriage to Mr. Wonderful (aka Hubster) has kept some of the heartaches away from the four chambers that make-up the beats that keep me dancing.

Stevie Wonder

Although I know many of my tens of readers know my real name, I still enjoy the slight anonymity this blog brings to my ability to write as freely as legally possible. I know the First Amendment states I have certain rights to speech, but I still need to maintain employment, keep confidential those who may not wish to have their lives all of the pages of A  Milkman’s Daughter (AMD), and honestly, I find great joy in creating the persona of others through the names I employ to protect those innocents mentioned here at AMD. As a matter of fact, frequent readers and those who become content, often want their own naming rights. (My blog, I choose your name.)

My first real job out of college was in human resources. I was newly married. There were no cell phones or email to distract me from my job. On the rare occasions when Hubster tried to reach me at work, he had to call through a switchboard. My company of about 100 full-time employees and thousands of temporary employees had to call through this switchboard if they were out of the building. Joy (her real name because it is so fitting) was our switchboard operator. She was on-time every day, friendly & professional on the phone and exact at messaging, especially from clients. If I happened to be away from my desk when Hubster would call, Joy wrote a message from him on her pink message pad and left it on my desk. Joy always thought it sweet when Hubster called, probably because he authored a book on cordial, kind, & flirtatious phone etiquette (unless you’re a telemarketer, then the book starts and finishes much differently). Although Hubster, was all those things on the phone, I know it was Joy who translated his message of just touching base with me to a sweeter version of…

A play on his “real” name. She thought him wonderful and I still do.

One Pit Wonders

The avocado, peach, and plum …three of my favorite one pit wonders. I will let these photos from Pinterest speak for themselves.

 

 

Wonder Years

The truth is…

  • I know where my car is parked because I write it in the notes of my phone, just in case.

  • I do my best to never silence my phone so it can be called if I misplace (usually under a pile of graded papers).

  • My glasses are typically worn as a hair accessory if not on my face.

  • I only wonder what day it is in the summer because during the school year I always know exactly how many days until the next weekend.

Wonder no more, this post is finally done.

8, 9, & 10 still to come,

 

 

Six word…

…Stories.

(Quest to write posts with numbers in the title to ten.)

This post was supposed to be titled Six Pack Abs Flabs but given no one is much interested in my body mass index or the jelly-like substance surrounding the core of my body, I have passed on the subject matter. Instead, I searched for other intriguing ideas with the number six. All topics left me indifferent or in the spirit of the numbered posts, six of one, half a dozen of the other.

I happened upon the title of my post on Pinterest. It seems there are many authors who have indeed written stories with just six words. I regard myself as a story-teller so I thought how could it be possible to write an entire story with just six words. By the time I start a story, sixty words have already been wasted put to type. In addition, if I am telling the story aloud (for the 6th time) Hubster sometimes falls asleep.

The six-word stories I found have an abundance of themes including heartbreak, grief, love, inspiration, self-worth, and so much more. Six Six Word Stories I enjoyed the most:

Six-Word Memoir: dear older me: don't look back

When I assume, I'm usually right.

Backbone. Wishbone. Funny bone

six word memoirs. … More

I too have written a six-word story although someone else may claim I have plagiarized my text. Indeed, you have heard it before and you may believe it is your own story so I am happy to share it with you.

OMG! My mother was right about everything!

The OMG! takes it over the six-word maximum, but once in a while colorful interjection makes a story much more interesting. Son-sters, take note!

Until we meet again at seven,

High Five for…

…Summer

I hope everyone is making the most of summer. When you consider the reality of summer counting for 91.25 days of our year we have to pack in as much as possible. I don’t want to count the number of my days off as a teacher because I know it is less than the 90+ mentioned.

The method I employ to avoid facing reality.

It is difficult to breathe when your head is in the sand so every once in a while I pop out and try something new or something I haven’t done in a while.

Here are my high five for summer, so far…

#5

Technically, this show ends up being a low for me. After the first season, which was very binge-worthy, I had high expectations for the next season. The second season left me feeling stumped (you’ll get the bad taste in the word choice if you watch it). Hubster and I watched the entire second season hoping to find redemption. The last scenes of the second season actually haunted my sleep for several nights.

#4

Prize Winning Blueberry Coffee Cake

Several years ago I misplaced the paper copy of this recipe. I had lost touch with the friend from college who shared it with me. Truly the best coffee cake on the planet. I searched all the usual internet places…Google, Food Network, etc. I tried a few of the recipes that seemed similar, but it was not the same.

A few months ago, I ran into my college chum… we didn’t talk about the cake but caught up on other details of life. Fortunately, we exchanged phone numbers again. I did have a few friends over for coffee and backyard deck time last week. I texted her to see if she would share the recipe. It was also my intention that when she returned my text, I would invite her to coffee to enjoy her recipe.

Here was the response to my text:

Instead of the beautiful coffee cake above, I made my Award Winning Banana Bread recipe for the gals who came to coffee…

Award Winning because it is my mother’s recipe and she said so.

Deck time coffee with friends came and went…I had not deleted the text I sent to my chum even though it was over a week old, but I was about to delete when I wondered…

Here is the actual text with a minor edit for my blog name.

Just as I was about to hit delete, something about the name at the top hit me. No…I couldn’t have done that, could I?

Indeed, I did. My sister, Susan has been dead for two years. I texted the wrong SUSAN. It is no wonder the response was dead silence. Needless to say, I have remedied two wrongs. I deleted my sister’s number from my phone ( it was time) and I texted the correct Susan who returned my message instantly. We still haven’t “gotten together”, but I did make the Prize Winning Blueberry Coffee Cake…don’t know who won the prize and still plenty of summer 2018 to make a planned get together.

#3

 

Tim Allen had a show years ago, Home Improvement… I was never a fan. He then went on to make the Santa Claus movies. I attended one with the family, but I believe I fell asleep so don’t much remember. There may have been one or two more Claus movies, but since I could sleep at home for a lot less money, I never returned to the theater for either.

One night, early on in our summer’s eves in our sunroom, Hubster was perusing Netflix or Hulu. He does the browsing, I sit back and critique.

Not my hairy arm on the right, sometimes I pretend to let Hubster have a say in the TV watching.

He happened upon Last Man Standing, my thumb was forcibly in the downward position, but then I remembered one of my colleagues telling me how funny the show was so I turned my thumb half-way in the other direction. The interpretation of the “half-way” move since none of you have been married to me for 32 years means…“We’ll see or I’ll be the judge of its future.”

I have had several belly-laughs through most of the episodes and we have completed the entire series.

#2

Peggy Anne (details about P.A. here) invited me to join her and her son, Jackson to attend the Kenny Chesney concert in Philadelphia back in June. I am not much of a concert goer, but I said yes. (She asked me last October if I wanted to attend…I told her I thought I would be washing my car in the rain that day so I passed. When her Dad passed away in March, in a moment of weakness, I decided the car washing would have to wait.)

This was an all-day extravaganza. Kenny is known for many popular country songs. His most popular No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems is the foundation of his No Shoes Nation following. I will use the title to help you understand the day.

No Shoes: Please wear shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. While most of the young women under 25 were wearing cowboy boots with their cut-off denim shorts, I was certainly glad I had opted for my older Nike tennis shoes. The tailgate in a parking lot outside Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on a hot day in June means the coed port-a-potties will have some unpleasant wetness on the floor. When you eventually make it home from the concert those shoes you didn’t mind getting wet now enter the trashcan at lightning speed, thus the reason for No Shoes.

No Shirt: We are ladies, Peggy Anne and I kept our shirts on at all times…to those who were with us and strangers also attending the concert. You’re welcome.

No Problems: Peggy Anne and  I had No Problems singing along to so many of Kenny’s songs. Don’t be shocked if Kenny scoops us up as backup singers…it’s tough to find two hot gals, especially one who looks amazing in a straw cowboy hat.

#1

Family is #1. My nephew and his wife do not live very far from us. We do not get together as much as we should. This summer I promised myself we would get together. Their kids joined the swim team at their pool this year and last week Hubster and I went to one of their swim meets. Honestly, it was a thrill to cheer them on as their team won the meet.

Go WAVES!!!

Still, plenty of summer 2018 to come,

 

THE RECIPE

Prize Blueberry Coffee Cake

 

Preheat oven to 375°

 

Cake

¾ Cup sugar

¼ Cup margarine

1 egg

½ Cup milk

2 Cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp salt

2 Cups Blueberries

 

Topping

½ Cup sugar

1/3 Cup flour

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ Cup margarine

 

Cake

Mix together ¾ cup sugar, ¼ cup margarine, and egg. Stir in milk, 2 Cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Blend in blueberries. Spread in the greased 8-inch baking dish.

 

Topping

Using a fork, mix together sugar, flour cinnamon and margarine until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle on top of the cake.

Bake at 375° for 45 to 50 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four-Letter…

…words

My last two posts have had the numbers Two and Three, consecutively in the titles, so I wondered if I could write posts with number titles to ten (and not bore every one of my tens of readers to click away from my blog).

Do not fear this post! You will find it has absolutely nothing to do with cursing, swearing, or cussing.

I wrote two posts about those four-letter words several years ago. (If interested here & here.)

I have chosen four, four-letter words:

HOME, HELP, HEAP, HEAL

 

HOME:

This is the empty nest where the Hubster and I reside.

 

We aren’t going anywhere anytime soon and a few things need fixing. We need a new driveway as the roots from an oak tree (not seen to the right and not ours) has really caused it to crack. Each year it gets worse.

We may have some new landscape by next spring because we won a landscape design package at my school auction this year. The designer comes in August to create the plan. We’re hoping our bank accounts approve of what’s in store.

Our kitchens and baths are all functional and clean. Tile and grout are set in the stone age so I find it hard to justify redoing just so we can have the latest design features. (Also, I have my heart set on a beach place so I want to keep my the funds moving in that direction.)

The kitchen floor is another matter…white vinyl. Enough said…My smoke and mirrors method of keeping it looking great is to encourage everyone to look up at the pretty plates on the wall or out the kitchen window to the backyard when they enter the room. Another method of distraction is dimming the lights; it saves money.

While trying to locate a photo of an ugly kitchen floor and because I don’t want to put my floor on the internet, I found this blog. She painted her floor. Hmm, maybe a project!

The Nester

Our backyard and sunroom are wonderful features in the spring, summer, and fall. I have spent most of my summer thus far sitting in the sunroom, no matter the temperature and gazing toward the yard.

I tend to get a bit annoyed when I spot deer grazing while I am gazing. I do my best to scare them away, but they come back while I sleep.

This used to be glorious hosta.

I know I promised no uncouth four-letter words, but I did think it in my head. Time for a reapplication of Liquid Fence.

HELP:

In my last post, I mentioned I met someone who writes a blog. She is Sue Batton Leonard. Her blog is Sow the Heart. She is very sweet and the blog is filled with charming stories. She is a published author. I decided to buy one of her books for my Kindle. It’s a memoir she wrote about her family which included a wonderful woman by the name of Fanny. Although Fanny was hired by the family as help for the author’s mother, she became an endearing and loving part of their lives.

Amazon

I am not affiliated with Sue or her blog, but I just thought it was such a sweet book that I had to let everyone know.

HEAP:

I am happy to report the heap of fabric which resided in my garage closet is gone. It wasn’t actually a heap. All was washed, folded, and color sorted for projects, but the fact is there has been no time for all the ideas in my head or on my Pinterest boards. I donated all of the fabric with the exception of one plastic container.

I am glad to have this heap off my back. Next, I will delete the projects from my Pinterest boards.

Don’t worry dog bandana friends the fabric I kept in the plastic container is for dog bandanas.

A few of my dog bandana friends:

Zoey

 

Todd

Millie

 

Chowdah’ and Chili…Preppy Empty Nester’s two hooligans.

 

Hershel

 

If I left your dog out it’s because I don’t have a recent photo of your dog sporting its stylish bandana or I wasn’t able to swipe it off of an Instagram post.

HEAL:

There are no deep wounds requiring therapy, but finding these long days of summer to feel like I am achieving something for me is invigorating. The teacher in me knows the academic lessons and my patience, tolerance, kindness, and did I mention patience are permitted to enjoy a respite. Please let the summer move slowly from here forward. I need the sunlight on my “sunscreened” shoulders, my toes in the sand (perhaps a cool umbrella beverage in hand), and time to read a book I choose to keep me on an even keel for the 190 days of the year that belong to someone else.

One of the other books I’ve read this summer and highly recommend:

AMAZON

One of my colleagues who follows me on Instagram spotted it in one of my Insta-posts and invited me to their book club dinner to discuss. It was wonderful because the conversation steered clear of school…Keep Calm and Heal.

I read it while I was visiting the Family Matriarch and the Kitchen King….an excellent spot to heal.

Until next time,