A Perfect Schedule.

September 1, 2007

This past week has been a little different and has gotten us off our normal routine. Race week was interesting with 160,000 NASCAR fans around, but is now over and our little town is getting back to normal.

Then cousins from Richmond came to town, camping in Aunt Carol’s fifth wheel at the lake.  So we made several trips out there to visit and one day to sightsee with them. This morning we went out to say goodbye and witness the “giving of the quilts”.  My sweet mom and her two equally sweet sisters made these fabric works of art especially for the cousins who were duly surprised and grateful. 

 I am back to working on our project rehab house where the wall paper removal continues to challenge me… but I am winning with only a couple of rooms left to do. 

Yesterday Liza got her new chain saw and Paula Bunyan has been happily felling many small trees that were killed by this Spring’s extreme frost.  There are plenty of trees on this property so the dead ones won’t be missed and will be replaced in the Spring.

Yes, I like having a schedule. Liza’s mom had her own retirement schedule: bathing, coffee, dressing, US TODAY cross word puzzle, breakfast, housework, bill paying or letter writing until it was time for her to prepare the lunch sandwich she would enjoy during “The Young and the Restless”, “As the World Turns” and “The Bold and the Beautiful”, followed by a nap. And so it was, every weekday the same. It seemed to serve her well.

My own mom has a daily routine that I think helps keep her grounded: early rising, grooming, breakfast, projects like quilting, gardening, laundry (she still irons everything) and household chores. Then lunch with her soaps, nap, after which she reads until dinnertime. She reads everything: classics, mystery, romance, historical fiction, you name it. The reading is the reward for her busy and productive mornings. It is her schedule.

What would my perfect schedule be? How could I fit it all in a day? Rehabbing on our project house, reading, writing (which has been reduced to blogging too infrequently), cooking and caring for us, real estate and personal clerical duties, spending time with family and friends, studying and learning, gardening, music, oil painting and other art related activities, traveling…. Trying to find my way and set up a routine that makes me feel happy and productive but not stressed and over-booked. I’m probably not alone in this quest.

But I am grateful for good health and many options. Just sometimes caught myself saying, “I want to do so much but I don’t know what to do next!”

Warm wishes to all.

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Wallpaper Removal Art

August 13, 2007



Here is the result of a day of wallpaper removal. Somehow the heap of removed paper was more interesting in this form than gracing the walls.

I understand that centuries ago wallpaper was used as art and to mimick the look of luxurious fabrics.

Personally, I can’t wait til it is all removed from our rehab house. Let’s see… bedroom #2 and #3 completed. That just leaves bedroom #1, the foyer, a hall, the living room, dining room and one bathroom! YIKES!


Ft. Lauderdale Sunset

July 1, 2007



This late twilight time on Ft. Lauderdale Beach was magical. Liza’s image was one of few that we got during our recent time there. Gardening and small projects around the cottage kept us distracted and happy.

Twi-light, or dusk, is my favorite time of day. The light is soft and shadows become lush. Twilight is the “starting over” of each evening and the natural passing of each day. Lasting for only a few brief minutes and changing with every second, this special time of day is precious and, individually, can never be replaced.

It is a space in our day to de-compress… to review the blessings of the day and reflect on hopeful prospects for the evening.


Back in Florida

June 11, 2007

Just a short post to let family and friends know that we are back in Ft. Lauderdale at our little camp cottage with no cable TV and no high speed access.  A huge stack of books and magazines will take the place of TV for the next few weeks (yea!) And blogging might be slower with dial up and with less photos… But we are here, back in the big city!

Within a mile from us here is some of the best shopping anywhere. Giants versions of big box books sellers complete with fancy coffee shops, a football field sized Target, Pier One and import stores from all over the world, the trendy and upscale Galleria Mall, no less than a dozen warehouse type furniture stores, luxury auto dealers, the BEST whole and health food markets, hundreds of unusual boutiques and MUCH MORE are nearby. 

If we are not in the mood for shopping (or window shopping), the restaurants are amazing and the beach is only two miles away. 

Mostly, I love it here because of the diversity of the people.  An international city really, with folks here from literally every part of the globe.  Yet our city neighborhood of mid-century ranchers and newer city townhomes is friendly and has it’s own small town feel.  Our good friends live across the street, a nice Mexican family has moved in the rental house next door, John (a sweet beer drinkin’ Irishman) lives in the hood as does the electrician native that just put the addition on his home down the street.

Anyway, sorry for shortage of recent posts. Hopefully the creative energy of the big city will inspire us with loads of blogging material. Stay tuned!

Warm wishes. Anita


crash

May 4, 2007



It may not be easy for the owner of this crash to see the beauty in it, but Liza did.

Likewise it is difficult for us humans to understand why bad things happen to good people. Like my (high school senior) nephew’s good bud who landed the double leg fracture in one of the last soccer games of his high school experience. Tough to understand.

Or why babies die.

And old people don’t and sometimes suffer and linger.

And war heros (although I am not pro-war ever… I certainly am pro-hero and don’t understand how they can die with such brave and honorable motives).

How can a pianist loose a finger, or a singer loose her voice. How can an artist loose his sight or surgeon loose his nerve.

It is hard to find gratitude in these things. It makes me feel very human in the not understanding. Very helplessly human.

But Liza gets it. She is not ruling out any possible source for beauty and joy. She knows it is not about asking why, but about just going on anyway. Each time STARTING OVER after the CRASH with greater wisdom in this constant search for joy we call life.


USA Made Jeans???

April 28, 2007





As part of her Starting Over, and to take her mind off the recent family loss, Liza was back on the streets of our small town yesterday and snapped the shot above of this stately old brick building. This building houses the Pointer Brand company and does today what it has done for almost 100 years…. produce good quality, durable jeans. Pointer Brand (see my blogroll) is a family business that has never closed and never laid anyone off. Here is a clip from their website:

“The L. C. King Manufacturing Company

Around the turn of the century, Landon Clayton King was raising championship birddogs. Seeing a need for tough and durable work clothing, in 1913, he founded The L. C. King Manufacturing Company.

L. C. King believed that if he could raise championship birddogs, he could produce overalls and jeans of the same distinction. Carrying on the family tradition four generations later, Pointer Brand is recognized worldwide.

The L. C. King Manufacturing Company is proud to make everything in the U.S.A. Having survived two floods and a fire, it still operates out of the original location in East Tennessee. The employees make bib overalls, coveralls, carpenter jeans, hunting apparel and denim chore coats. Several employees have retired after 50 years of service.

Bill was L.C. King’s favorite birddog. Born June 20, 1922, he soon became part of the Pointer Brand logo. He won most of the local field trials during his reign. His pups sold for $50 in the mid-1920’s. They also were given as prizes at trap shoots in Bristol. On point he was described as very intense and showed excellent style and character.”

This explains their birddog logo… but there is more to the story. The first picture in this post is of my GREAT GRANDPA, Papa Smithson (1879 to 1958), taken somewhere in the 40’s or 50’s, wearing Mr. King’s Pointer Brand jeans!

My own sweet granddaddy (a proud farmer and lumberman) wore Pointer Brand overalls everyday of his life as I recall (except for a few hours on Sunday, or the occasional wedding or funeral). And now Liza has re-discovered this American treasure and will only wear Pointer Brand jeans.

Makes me wonder why anyone would buy off shore produced jeans when we have such important, historic and hard working businesses right here in our own country to support. Since Pointer Brand is very popular in other countries, but not being worn by our own pop culture icons, it makes me think of something my Dad often told me about creativity…. “don’t be discouraged… very often the closest people around you are the least supportive and understanding of your new ideas.”

Thanks Liza for reminding us to look for, and appreciate, the USA-made jeans being produced by hard working Americans right in our own backyard.

Warm wishes. anitamorrell.wordpress.com


E.C. Rest in Peace

April 25, 2007


EC’s family and friends gave her a terrific send-off. Almost 30 strong, this big Irish Catholic family came together to celebrate EC’s life and to mourn her passing.

There are mental impressions that I will take with me always: the old stone St. Anne’s church; the smell of the incense as Father Tim, in his long white flowing robes, rocked the bronze incense holder to and fro above EC’s wooden casket; looking at all the sad faces of the loved ones seated below as I stood behind Father Tim’s podium to deliver the reading; the sound of the church bells ringing as Father Tim sang and the family marched behind the casket; respectful autos stopped and waiting along the roadway to the cemetary; and the helpless pain of seeing her casket lowered into the earth.

EC’s family gathered at our place after the funeral where love food had been delivered by my mom, my aunt and other friends of the family. And just as EC would have wanted, there was music and drinking and story telling. Photos were passed around while hugs were given and received randomly.

After thinking about this process of letting go and starting over yet one more time, I ask for each family member to examine their hearts and give me a few words to describe their feelings about this family time together. With a wide range of ages (11-73) and personalities present, here is their list of words:

bittersweet
reflective
sad
exciting
birthdays
insightful
mourning
celebration
comfort
laughter
a new beginning
strength
tears
joy
affection
emotional
sadness
thankfulness
scrabble
Oz not word
late nights
thank you
Grandma Ziz
Bear
satisfying
peaceful
rememberance
live life daily
appreciation
yesterdays
gift
heart
love
troublesome
happy
depressed
life
family
continuation
regrets
memorable
partly sad
here, there and everywhere
loving
stressful
mom
Johnny Carson
Camels
Elizabeth
food
smile
Neil is cool
overflowing recycleables
hard to leave
not long enough
Schaffer
grateful
togetherness
good-bye

and here are mine:
rest in peace dear EC

The family has asked me to give special thanks to Aunt Helen and girls for making a long trip to be with us, and to middle daughter’s boyfriend, Jerry, for the nerves calming family boat ride and cook-out. Thanks to the love food providers, the flower senders, the phone callers and e-mail senders, the Hospice workers, the family photographers, the airport transportation givers and the clean-up helpers. It is your support that sustains them now.

What I know is that we are all starting over. Starting over again. Starting over without EC.

Warm wishes. anitamorrell.wordpress.com