Monday, April 23, 2018

Chapter 2 and still no Title

A Short Story Chapter II

Here is chapter 2. I sat and re-read it before posting. I still like it, and think for a very first effort, not bad not bad at all. I have found my way out of the corner I boxed myself into, and I have my ending, but not the road that gets me from the corner to the end, so I am going to keep reading along with you and hopefully I will find my way.

The next morning bright and early Lily Mea was out scouring the town for what she would be needing. ” Lets see I will need a wagon and horses to pull them and I suppose I will need pots pans and a plate to eat off. What else will I need on a wagon train?” Lily Mea asked herself.  By the end of the day she had gotten a wagon, horses to pull it, feed to feed the horses, hard tact, flour and other ingredients to feed herself, bedding, and all the fixings for cooking as well as bathing. What Lily Mea didn’t do was get a different style of clothing. ” I spent almost a months earnings on this dress and petticoats, I will be danged if I am going to let a complete stranger a man at that tell me how to dress, wagon master or not.” Satisfied with her days accomplishments Lily Mea slept soundly smiling ever so slightly as she dreamed of the fancy life she was going to live, no more maiding for me she dreamt from now on someone will be emptying my chamber pot.
Lily Mea did just as Joe suggested and asked around about him his wagon train and where exactly could she find him.  Everyone in town did indeed know Joe and thought he was an okay guy. He had been taking folks west for more than 10 years and never had he had a problem. The towns people said he was smart in ways that others weren’t when it came to riding the trail. He knew when to leave early to beat the snow and other weather disasters, he had a way of avoiding the indians and he always knew where water was. Reassured and ready to go Lily Mea headed to the east end of town towards what she was sure was going to be a bright new future.
With a hand blocking the sun Joe watched Lily Mea come riding in on her new wagon, not just a wagon Lily Mea had splurged and got the covered one so she wouldn’t have to sleep on the ground or out in the open. Lily felt that if your aiming to live a life of grandeur then you need to start out right. ” Now what on earth is he scowling about I wonder.? Lily Mea asked herself as she got nearer to Joe. ” Damn fool woman is still wearing that dress. Don’t she got any better sense?” And that is exactly what Joe asked Lily Mea as he helped her  off the wagon. Indigent that once again this total stranger felt compelled to comment on her wardrobe Lily Mea replied in a huffy voice ” I spent a whole months wages for this dress and I am going to wear it until I can get myself something even finer. Besides I spent all most all my money paying my passage and  on my supplies and if I spend any more I won’t have anything to get started with when we get to Montana. So don’t you be worrying about my cloths, I can take care of myself just fine.” ” Suit yourself it aint no worry to me how you dress, your going to get mighty uncomfortable in that thing you just wait and see.” Joe turned around and began to walk away over his shoulder he hollered back ” Park your wagon at the end of the line and care for your horses. Since your almost broke I guess you’ll be wanting to eat here, might as well save some more money and check out of that hotel your staying in and sleep in your wagon. You won’t be alone out here the Walker family and Mr And Mrs Levinson are saving money the same way.”  Lily Mea replied back her thanks but Joe didn’t hear her, he was already busy planning the trip that would begin in three days time. He had a real bad feeling about this trip and he wanted to leave nothing to chance. Normally he like the other wagon masters would’t take a single woman on the trail, this time however Joe felt it didn’t matter any way, he had a newborn and a 6 month pregnant women on this trip all ready. He was hoping that an extra pair of female hands might be helpful along the way. Now he wondered just how much help those fancy hands of hers could possibly be.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

A short story, turned long and title less

I have found my ending, at least I hope so anyway. So while I work on the ending, I will post what I  have already written and some of you have already read. I hope you enjoy it again. 

The trail was dry and dusty and the day was hot, she sat up on the seat of the wagon in the long cumbersome dress of English style with corset and too many petticoats under it, wishing for some shade. Wishing she had listened to the wagon master before they set out on this dirty old trail.
Lily Mea came to this new land in hopes of securing a better life than she had been living in England. Her long full hair was the prettiest yellow you had ever seen, so bright it glittered in the sun light.  Her blue eyes were light and intelligent , and she is as tall as the day is long maybe a little thin, but still she is a pretty thing. Heads turn as she walks by.That beautiful yellow hair is Lily Mea’s pride, she just loves to swish it from side to side as she walks. She is a sight to see for sure walking along the walkway with those light eyes, that happy smile and all that hair playing in the sun.
The first thing Lily Mea did when getting off the boat in the new land was find a wagon master and reserve space on the next wagon train going west. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds Lily Mea found more resistance than acceptance. Most of the wagon masters took one look at her and flat out said no and wouldn’t say no more. The wagon masters that did answer Lily Mea’s pleas as to why they wouldn’t let  her join their train, simply said No single women on the trail and that is all they would say. After a long exhausting day of searching Lily Mea was about to give up and find a meal and a room, when a tall dark man stepped in Lily Mea’s path. As light in hair and eye color as Lily Mea is this man is the exact opposite. He’s  tall,  much taller than Lily Mea, his hair so black it almost looked blue, his eyes are jet black , there was no smile on that strong and rigid face. His face wasn’t all that friendly but it wasn’t threatening either and after the initial shock of having a stranger step in her path Lily relaxed and let the fear slip away. She still kept up her guard and watched wearily as the stranger continued to approach. ” Excuse me mam, I understand your looking to join a wagon train west.” “Yes sir I am, only so far all the wagon masters have  turned me down. So I guess tomorrow I will go in to the next town and see what I can get.” ” Well Mam my name is Joe, Joe Johnson and I got a small wagon train gathering together and we are fixing to pull out of here in a weeks time. Do you have a wagon?” ” Well not yet, I was planning on buying my supplies after I secured My passage.” Joe grunted and then in his deep baritone voice he  told Lily Mea ” Well once you have your supplies you come talk to me, oh and Mam get a different dress one not so frilly without all the under garments.” Lily Mea blushed  to have a man talk about her under garments so freely. ” This man is so very forward Lily thought. Before she could answer Joe tipped his hat and said ” Mam I will be on my way, you will find me and my wagon train on the east end of town. You can ask around everyone knows me and will point you in the right direction.” It was to his retreating back that Lily yelled out ” Thanks Mister I will see you tomorrow, oh and my name is Lily Mea.”

Friday, April 20, 2018

Flowers, Trees, Bugs, and Food.

 Winter and the cold weather just doesn't want to let go. In my area of the world we have it much easier then many other areas for sure, but it is still cold here. Spring has to be my least favorite season. I have said this many times that Spring she is just a tease. You look out the window and the skies are blue, the sun is shinning, flowers bowing gently in the wind. It looks so warm and welcoming out that window, but it is a balled face lie, because the minute you step out the door, you freeze. That gentle breeze isn't gentle at all, it is actually a full blown noreaster wind just waiting to smack you in the face, making you run back in the house to put on your winter woolies. Then there are the days you look out the window and it is cloudy, wet, and the wind is blowing harder then on a winter day, so you bundle up to go out, and before you get to the end of your drive your sweating under you winter wear in the warm summer like temperatures.  As I said Spring she is just one big tease. We are almost through the worst of the weather now and I am getting antsy for the warm weather to come and to stay.   While finding my subject for today I was scanning through my pictures and thought I would just bring the warm days to me, if only on paper, or in type as it is. 
  All the photos you are about see are from last year, some from Spring, Summer, and Autumn, and absolutely nothing from winter.
    I love it when nature poses for me, and these insects were all willing models. The Dragon flies wings were just to interesting for me to ignore and he was happy to hang out long enough for me to take dozen of shots. Don't worry I only picked two to share. Praying Mantis abound everywhere, and the stick bug likes hanging out in my yard.

  The butterflies just loved the Cosmos out by the mail box and last summer we had them each day by the dozen.

  Tulips, yellow buttercups, and red hot sally's just to name a few are so pretty to look at, to smell, and of course to photograph.

  Every year since I have lived here I admire this tree. When it is so full of deep blood red leaves, it is just breath taking.

  These  are just a few random photographs that I like and thought I would share.

  And this is Getty before his Summer hair cut. He's just cute and wanted you to see for yourself.

  Believe it or not this lovely dish is actually on my diet, cheese and all. This is what I call an Eggplant stack. It consists of sliced eggplant that now I roast plain without breading. As the photo shows before this diet started I breaded the eggplant. I slice the egg plant thin with the skin on. On top of the roasted egg plant I layer either pesto or fresh basil chopped up, depending on what I have on hand. Next comes the tomato sliced round in a medium thickness. On top of all of that I sprinkle heavily with shredded mozzarella cheese. Back in the oven it all goes until the cheese is bubbly and melted. Remove from the oven and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve hot. 

They are so good they have Bill running to the dinner table whenever I serve them. Thank goodness they made the diet cut.

 Have a wonderful Weekend, heres hoping everyone has wonderful warm sunny days all weekend long.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Good News and a Recipe!

 Yesterday afternoon at 5:04 Pm my newest Grandchild was born. Weighing in at 9 LBS even. Alexander James is healthy, happy and handsome. I am just thrilled beyond words about having a new addition to my little family. I was beyond surprised when I was told another child was on the way because I had given up all hope of another baby. Pleased is an understatement, more like overjoyed.
  My post will be short and photo less today, I want to be on my way to the city to meet my Grandson.
   I am trying not to talk about my diet every day, that would be boring even for me. However when I hit a real winner recipe from my Diet Bible I plan on sharing them. So far I have found 3 and have only one photo, that I already shared in a  previous blog. Good thing too be cause I deleted the photo last night. Oops getting a little distracted here. The recipe (Focus Joan) is for Kale, yes I know I turn my nose up to, but I have had a kale smoothie you didn't even know the kale was there, and now this recipe I made for dinner 2 days ago. You can taste the kale but it blends well with the other ingredients and actually works. This is a cheesey easy recipe that only take a little effort and time to make. The effort comes at clean up time just like always. I made 2 changes based on what was in the fridge and pantry. I had regular bacon, and no nuts. Next time and there will be a next time I will be sure to have the nuts.
  Creamed Kale with Bacon and Hazelnuts
 1 tsp evoo
2 slices Canadian bacon uncured, coarsely chopped
2 cps low salt chicken broth
1 bunch Kale 1 lb thick stems removed leaves cut into 1 in wide ribbons
4 wedges 4/4 oz each light spreadable cheese (I used laughing cow low-fat Swiss cheese.
2 TBS skinned toasted and chopped hazelnuts
 1) In large non stick dutch oven heat oil over medium high heat. Add the bacon cook until crisp. Transfer bacon to a plate.
2) Add the broth and kale to the pan Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook 25 to 30 minutes until completely tender. Stir down once in a while.
3) and kale, any cooking liquid, and cheese to food processor and puree until it is as smooth as you can get it.
4) Top with hazelnuts and bacon and serve.

I really enjoyed this dish and I hope you do too. Have a wonderful day!


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Walking with Nature!

 While I have not written or blogged in more then a few years, I never put down my camera. More often then not when I go walking I take my camera with me. Jill and I often plan trips just so we can take our cameras. We don't walk as fast when we do a camera walk but we figure we are still getting our exercise because we walk longer, farther, and we do a lot of bending, squatting, even laying on the ground to get the shots we want. 
This is Jill.

Both Jill and I and a praying mantis.
It is more fun then exercise and the treasures we bring home is the best part of it all. 

   Spring is trying very hard to show her pretty head here, and winter is doing its best to hold on just a little bit longer. Typical for this time of year, but I still wish it would just get warm and stay warm. 
  We had a little warm up this past week and I made sure to get out and enjoy. Jill and I took our cameras and hit the Boy Scout trail in town. The minute you walk onto this particular trail you forget that your in the middle of town. (A small town but a town just the same.) Jill and I never chose the easy path we look for the one that is going to make us climb up and down, we look for hard to handle paths, and it always pays off. We find some of natures prettiest gifts every time. Ducks, geese, even a snow goose or two. 

One of my favorite shots is this white leaf, it held on all winter long, even when the snows came down so heavy this spring that trees everywhere where broken even lifted out of the ground, this leaf held on.

  On the warmest day so far this spring I went with the Garden Club to Longwoods Garden. 
Longwoods garden
We just got lucky with the weather as the trip was planned 2 months in advance. Since spring is just now popping there was not a lot in the gardens, and the fountains weren't turned on yet, but there was still plenty to see.

 I opted to stay outside in the beautiful warm weather and that glorious sunshine, rather then go into the buildings where even more flowers and plants were blooming. It is a big place and you need lots of time to see it all that is for sure. The random stairs to no where caught my attention more then once as well as the stairs that actually took you some where.

 All in all it was a fun day. I walked with a women I know from different clubs, and we got to know one another as we enjoyed the beautiful landscape and some very pretty spring offerings.

  I could go on and on about walking in nature with my camera, and probably will again some other time. I do after all have just shy of 5000 photos on this computer, so I have more walks to share for sure. For now I will just leave you with a pretty picture, a smile and a wish that you have a wonderful day.

Monday, April 16, 2018

It Begins

 I was planning an entirely different post for today, until my husband, and my friend Jill said I had to post more recent photos of myself and explain that the photos I posted yesterday are from 2017, one in May,one in June and one in September. They are, were the most recent photos I had of myself since I am always behind the camera not in front of it. Even this past week I went on a trip with the Garden Club and I am not in the group photo, because I took the group photo. ( Not very well I might add, I needed to take more time and really look at what I was shooting.) So anyway Bill took some pictures of me yesterday, giving me the most recent photos I can get.  This is the same shirt I was wearing in the RR tracks picture.

   The photo on the railroad tracks is from May 2017 on a trip called Spring Fling. Its a foodie thing and a great deal of fun. That picture is how I got to this point in my life, it is why I decided I needed to fix myself. I was 180 lbs in that picture. I didn't realize until I saw myself in this photo just how little I was taking care of myself. I really didn't put any effort into it at that point, I gave up soda for a while and drank home brewed ice tea instead, but I didn't change my eating habits, or exercise. So I still wasn't doing anything to take care of myself and my health.
  The photo of me in a dress standing next to a board of photos is June 2017, at the LeisureTowne's Photography Clubs 1st Photography Exhibit. Giving up the soda made a small difference but not much really. Soon after the show I start walking with my friend Jill and we get real good at it. There is plenty of walking just on the sidewalks here, but Jill and I  have discovered we like to get off the beaten path and find places no one knows about, and in LeisureTowne there are plenty.
 The last photo is from September 2017, The Photo Club took a field trip to Edwin B Forsythe nature refuge. An awesome day. I have fallen off the wagon here and am back to drinking soda, but the walking has been doing some good and I have lost a few pounds, enough for it to show.
   Then winter hits and our walking slows to a halt. Jill and I use the gym here and there but not as much as we should. I switched to diet soda much to everyones disappointment, sodas no good for you really and diet is worse, but at least I wasn't getting so many calories.( at least thats what I was telling myself.) 
  And that brings us to today. This morning I got up and weighed myself, and now I won't get on that scale for 21 days. Already the suspense sounds like torture to me. LOL! As of this AM I weigh 158 LBS. My goal is to be 135 by June, so please by all means Wish Me Luck.

  Last night I used the diet cook book and made a salad from the book, as well as the green beans. Both were excellent. I followed the guide line for filling my plate and it was to much food for me. Your suppose to fill half your plate with your green veggies, 1/4 of the plate is protein , and the last 1/4 is your starchy veggie.  I didn't finish my plate and I wasn't hungry all night. In fact I wasn't even interested in ice cream when I scooped it for Mom.

  I really have no clue what I will do for dinner tonight, it will be chicken, and veggies , but the how hasn't hit me yet. I have plenty of choices and on my menu I have 4 good recipes and ideas I just haven't wrapped my mind around one yet. Not unusual for me, I normally don't know exactly what I am making for dinner until I am cooking it. I made lunch for today last night so I only have to warm it up and serve it, except I still haven't had breakfast and I am not exactly hungry. I think I will only make 1/2 a smoothie today.
  It looks as if the rain has decided to take a break for now, so I am off to take Getty walking, you all have a wonderful day, and thanks for stopping by.


 Today I am putting down my camera and writing about something that I know will have me in tears before I am done.
 It is controversial, maddening, and does not discriminate. You can be young, old, black, yellow, or white, Man or women it doesn't matter. If it wants you it will get you. I am of course talking about CANCER.
  I have two friends at this time each fighting their own brand of cancer. Both had been given clean bills of health not that long ago and both have now been told the cancers are back. Two very different stories but both with the same fear as well as strength.
  First there is Ava. I have never met Ava but I have met her Grandma and there is  Pray for Ava page on face book that I follow so I feel I know Ava too. Ava is 6 years old and just getting ready to start school next year. Almost 2 years ago Ava was diagnosed with a High Grade brain tumor. She was a brave little girl during all the treatments and testing. While she had her moments of fear and upset, for the most part Ava's smile and sweet nature came shinning through in the post pictures and updates her parents posted on Ava's page. When anyone gets cancer it is never them alone that is hurt and suffers or feels fear. Family and friends also feel that sense of dread that " Why me, but it isn't Why me, it is Why her or him ? When it is a child so young and so sweet with so much life yet to live The question why her? Is much bigger and holds so much emotion. You can feel Ava's family being strong and holding themselves together for Ava's sake helping her to be brave. The entire family has an amazing faith and trust in God to be by their side no matter what to help them get through. St. Jude's has been a rock for this family they have done everything and continue to do everything possible to make Ava comfortable and happy while they make her better. So this morning when I read that they had to tell Ava that the tumor is back and I read her reaction " She teared up a little and said does this mean we have to start all over? " I knew it was time for me to write it down and share.  It certainly does look like Ava will have to start all over again. I hope you add your prayers and good thoughts for this sweet little girl and her family to mine. All the family has asked for are prayers, but I am sure if the story of Ava inspires you her family would love it if you donated to St. Jude's in the name of Ava.
  Lori and I have been friends for more years then I have fingers. We met at fest ( folk fest) and became fast friends. She creative, funny, and full of joy. When Lori went through her first round of Chemo she faced like she faces just about any adversity in her life with a joke and a smile. You would hardly know she was sick unless you knew her well enough to see past the smile lines. Then you would see the fear, the pain, and the uncertainty. Like Ava she was given a clean bill of health and was moving forward in what we all hoped would be a cancer free life. This was not to be. Her last check up wasn't clean and she is no longer cancer free. Lori has always worked hard and done the right thing. She has a nice home with lovely gardens she created and now maintains. No landscapers for Lori she likes to feel the soil in her hands. Lori has a part time job and does everything she can to help herself but Lori is single and has all the same bills we all have then on top of that there are the Medical bills. She went through some time without insurance so they are large medical bills I am sure. Lori has made a fun hat skull cap really for chemo patients that she would like to turn that into a business. It is a good idea and the cap is very cool looking. I know I plan on ordering one child size cap to send to Ava. Lori has reached out to friends and family for financial help in this past month fearing she was going to loose her home. She has found away to save her home for now and she now has insurance so that is good. Lori like Ava is starting chemo all over again meaning she will only be able to maintain her part time job and still have to pay bills as well as copay's. Helping Lori now is like helping Lori have a future. Every dime she gets that isn't being used to live daily life and keep the lights on can be used to help Lori start up a little business that she can grow big enough that she won't have to ask for help again. It is ruff enough facing cancer and all the treatment required to beat it without having to worry about paying bills and having a home to live in. Lori is a fighter and strong spirited women. I am betting on her to win. Please add Lori to your prayer list and if you have been looking for a more personal way to donate to cure cancer then donating to cancer research please do consider Lori. Just think when her Chemo Caps become all the rage you can say I helped start that business.
  Paula and I ( Ava's Grandmom ) have a mutual friend that lost her 35 year old niece to cancer. This friend strongly believes that all the processed food, and GMO's in our food is the cause for the rise in cancers and she is not alone in that belief either. Many scientist and DR's agree with her.  There has not been enough research done to help us figure it out and it certainly needs to be done. There are so many organizations out there raising money for cancer research and how to cure it. I think we need a few more organizations dedicated to researching how to prevent cancer in the first place.        
   This was written in April 2014. Please excuse the grammar errors and any misspelling. I have chosen to publish as I wrote it. I was hurting and upset at the thought of losing a friend and that a child so young and so precious could be put through so much fear and pain.
  Today April 16 2018, Ava is growing big and strong, she loves to dance, sing, play, and is just a very happy little girl going on 10 years old. Smiles, tears and happiness are what I feel, prayers for Ava to have the the chance at a long happy, healthy life I still say each and everyday.
  Lori I am sorry to say lost the fight, her business never happened, she just got so sick she couldn't do it. It will be 2 years this summer that Lori has been gone. I miss her more then words can say. 2016 took so many of my friends and even family, Lori had good company on this unknown adventure we call death, but I would rather they all could have stayed right here on earth with me.
  2018 is not much different then 2016 cancer is still a killer that seems to win more then it loses and it still rears it ugly head too close to home for just about everyone I know. This year I have gotten down on my knees and prayed just as hard as I know how to pray as our friend Dave fights the big fight and his wife stands by him trying to be strong, when in truth she is dying inside a little each day as she watches the struggle her husband is being put through. If Dana could take his pain, his fear, and his fight upon herself, you can bet your last dollar she would, and she would do so gladly. I know it is killing her, that she can't do anything but stand beside him. Cancer doesn't just hurt the person it attacks, it takes as many victims as it can reach. If there is one word in the English language that I hate more then any other, it is CANCER.