Friday, December 21, 2012

My latest misadventure .....Dec. 19, 2012
I went to town to work a few hours at the
museum ... ran errands, paid bills,
arranged a Christmas surprise for family members,
lunch with a friend, and Safeway to fill the
empty spaces in my pantry and frig. Considered
getting a small tree .. but decided I had time to do that later.
"Let it snow..let it snow... let it snow!" the song
played on the car radio.
Easy for them to say! I have to drive home in this mess!
 What a hair raising story of perserverence, determination, and
superior driving ability loomed before me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The drive from town to home wasn't too bad ..
a light snow falling, dry roadway with a little ice,
no problem.
Stop at the bottom of my hill,
follow the snow-packed tracks back up the driveway.
Put car in gear and started up the hill.
About 3/4 the way to the top, the driveway veers to the left
and is noticably steeper.
It didn't take long for me to realize I was stopped in my tracks!
Snow piled up in front of the tires, and ice beneath caused me to
spin tires and dig furrows in the snow and ice.
Backed down the driveway to level ground to get a bit more
momentum to speed past the small but seemingly impenetrable blocks of ice and snow.
Second attempt ....... repeat of the first!
Except this time the furrows became deeper ruts, piled
askew in all directions as I tried to maneuver up the driveway.
Backed down driveway again.
Eldon used to show me how to do this ....
take a flying run and don't stop until you're past it!
Easy for HIM  .. he was a trucker!
And the thought running through my mind was,
all I want for Christmas is to get up this driveway and
HOME in one piece - me and the Subaru
 (studded tires and all wheel drive should have made it easy!)
Uh oh ....Slowing down a little ...
stick your foot in the gas ..
slooowwwwllly ..
hoop - de -dooded to the left,
fishtailed ....
turn into it ... turn into it!
Keep forward motion!
Hoop -de-dooded to the right,
steer into it .. steer into it!
I think I can
I think I can!
I think I AM .... I know I Am .... I'm not going backwards ..
I'm going forwards!!!
I'm OUT of it!! But don't stop now,
speed toward the
And what before my wondrous eyes does appear
but a white tailed bunny rabbit
sitting in my parking space!!!
Out of the way .. I'm not stopping until this
car is parked in the carport! He hopped away.
Weather forecast ..... more snow clear up to Christmas.
Groceries stored in frig, opened Christmas cards,
then surveyed the lack of Christmas decorations displayed in the living room.
No tree ... and probably won't be able to go to town because of the rutted driveway ... and I'd have to drive in those ruts to get back up the driveway all over again!
That means ... no Sunday potluck and Christmas program afterwards.
Kind of sad. I was going to be alone for Christmas.
I got a box of Christmas decorations down from the closet ...
the tall, clear-plastic box.
With Christmas caroles playing and hot cocoa in hand
I rummaged through the box ....
angels, Nativity figures, tiny wooden trees flocked with snow,
card Vicki sent one year ... "Mary's Song", green garlands of holly, bows and bells
wooden snowmen ....
this will do!
And I set out to decorate .... minus a tree.
Nativity scene ... tiny as it is
(tiny because it sailed with us on our boat for many a Christmas journey)
Garlands of holly (fake, but who will notice?)
Draped over the hat tree ...
mine and his hats
like giant decorations on a skinny little "tree".
The pointsettia gracing the globe
... a Christmas present to Eldon one year..
he joked that we could try to navigate using it.
Oh my ... the anchorages we celebrated Christmas
aboard our boats!
The fountain ... though no longer flows and bubbles
over the seashells and baubles found on beaches,
but looks beautiful bedecked in a red ribbon around the
Captain's lantern
that filled many a dark night
with it's warm glow while at anchor!
Monica and Desi Angels ...
he's the one with the eye patch.
"Arrrrr ... " he used to say in his most gravely pirate voice!
I had given them to my mother many years ago ...
and rescued them out of a box of stuff that was to be disposed of
after she died.
"Elizabeth K.  1918    2005"
my mom's angel.
"Mary's Song"
I can hear the sweet angels
and you singing, Vicki, and am blessed.
The youngest "Angels" in my family and two of the
Angel Guardians
(Karissa and Neil)
Great Grandchildren in picture ...
Ryan and Aiden, Will and Drew and David and Damion,
and Maya  (first Great Grandbaby girl). 
Conner and Hunter, Tyler and Trenton
are out and about and not in the picture.
And a new great -grandbaby girl, Amelia Rose, on the way!
And they all call me
Christmas memories .....
family memories 
celebration of the Christ Child's birth.
The collection of memories.......
some long forgotten .....
until a box of ornaments is brought down from the closet,
dusted off and placed under the tree ...
tree optional.
What's that I hear?
Not the prancing of reindeer feet on my roof ...
it's coming up the driveway.
Perro and I go out to investigate ....
It's my neighbor, Betsy, and she's plowing my driveway!
I just might make it to Christmas potluck and service after all!
Sierra and Willow came to help.
"Let's play ball!" Perro says!
"No ball playing," Sierra says, the bossy golden lab, to
Willow and Perro. "There's work to do!"
"Willow ... you follow Betsy
and me and Perro will run in front to guide the way," Sierra
said .... always in charge.
"Okay ... but I'm bringing my ball!" said Perro.
 And all I had to do was watch ....
Thanks, Betsy, you and Julie are the best neighbors
a Little Old Widder Woman could ask for!
If you're thinking you need tinsel, and silver bells, tree lights
and candy canes strung on a tree ....
just look into your "box of memories"
and decorate them onto your heart.
Toys will be forgotten or broken shortly after Christmas morn,
colorful paper and ribbons and bows will be discarded,
those you forgot to send a Christmas card to will still call you friend.
And all that remains of great worth
are your memories ...
and the greatest
 memory of all  
  of the first Christmas long long ago
of a babe in a manger of straw ....
"Unto us a child is born,
a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders
and he shall be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.
And may the peace and joy of this Christmas season
rest upon and in your heart .....
and not be put into a box lifted up into your closet for another year,
but be ready at hand
to rejoice and be glad
in the blessings we have throughout the year.
In the spirit of the season
I wish you a
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Thank you for letting me share my life and memories with so many of you all over the world!
Love and blessings,
The Little Old Widder Woman, Monica

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dec. 17, 2012
(Happy Birthday Dad .... Walter D. Kaemerer 1916 - 1984)
So .... I get to stay indoors, cozy and warm,
wrap myself up in my 2011 Christmas quilt,
made by family and friends from Eldon's work shirts ...... mmmmm, feel him close, feel his love.
WRONG!!!! No snuggling up for this Little Old
Widder Woman .......
There's winter chores  to do!
The snow is snowing... the wind is blowing
but I can weather the stooooorrrrmmmmm ..... but I digress in song.
1) Make sure the water pump under the bridge
keeps the waterfall free-flowing
so the Golden Popsicles - goldfish -
have aeration during the winter.
They're hibernating
and won't poke their little
snouts out until Spring.
Sleep soundly, little buddies.
2)Wheelbarrels and garden tools
stored for the winter.
Oops .... winter is decorating them with a
dusting of snow through the carport lattice! They look like
 strong little soldiers
lined up and ready to roll into action
at my command!
One more winter chore off my list.
3)  Check outdoor thermometer ....
32 degrees
4) Fix door to shed holding regular tires.
I just had the tires swapped at Les Schwab
(thanks you guys .. you're the BEST!)
and will be driving for the winter on studded tires.
I unloaded the 4 regular tires out of the back of my car ...
by myself, thank you!
But couldn't stack them one on top of the other
in the tire shed ..... and the door had nearly broken off by the wind!
So one of my neighbors, Betsy, helped stack the tires.
(Thanks Girls ... you're the BEST!)
However, there's a bit more preparation
to complete this CHORE:
just can't run outdoors in tshirt and jeans and flip flops for this CHORE!

I bundle up ... snuggly, warm hood,
Eldon's snow coat,
gloves, which you can't see 'cause
they're holding the camera for a self portrait.
You gotta be NUTS!
COLD outside!
I argued with myelf about being out in this frigid air
and getting
myself lost in a snowdrift between here and there!
Betwixt here ............................................and
are drifts of snow, up to my knees!
"Come on, Perro! I can't do this without you!"
"Okay ... but I gotta dig my ball .......out of ... this..... snow.
Ahhh, here it it."
If he thinks I'm going to play CATCH out in this weather...
he's NUTS!

With my best pal alongside,
a hammer and nails in one pocket,
my cell phone in the other
I'm ready to tackle the Tire Shed door ....that is,
if I don't get lost in a snow drift betwixt here and
Oh good .......he left his ball. 
Too bad Perro isn't a St. Bernard
instead of a Blue Healer ..... St. B's
carry along a little kegger in
case of frost bite or exhaustion.
Oh come on, Monica, (myself still arguing with me)  you're not climbing
"Easy for YOU to say ... you aren't the REAL Monica!"
I've made it this far .... so far so good!
The tire shed is right behind the pump house.
I have arrived!
"I went back for my ball....", Perro says. "Just in case you
want to play ball with me in the snow ..... after you fix
the Tire Shed door, of course."
"Hmmm ..... maybe playing ball ain't such a good idea after all ...."
Hammer, nails, string, warm gloves and resolve to fix that door!
I am Woman .... see me ROAR!
I can do ANYTHING!
Oh yeah, myself argues with me,
you haven't fixed the Tire Shed door yet or gotten back to the house ..... and it's still
snowing ... bigger snowdrifts to dig out of  and ......
"Oh be quiet!
the door is fixed!
Okay ... so I'm not Ms. Fixit ....
but it's good enough for who it's for ...."
Oh my .... Eldon used to say that ..... well, it fits for the occassion. He also used to say
'Pound it to fit and paint it to match'. But that's a summertime slogan.
So .... what'ja expect? Contractor quality repair?
Now to follow my tracks back to the house .... one foot into each track
and I'm ready for hot chocolate and home made clam chowder.
I'm almost there .......
and Perro got home ahead of me ....
and he didn't leave his ball
in a snow drift.

Let's go in and have lunch .... then I'll think about
coming back outside
to play ball with you .... ok?
My cheeks are rosy,
I worked up an appetite ..... and

"Meowwww ... it's about time you guys got back. I snuck out
when Perro went out the door with you .....
and been stuck in this cold porch wayyyyy too long!"
"Well .... my dear furry friend, Let's go inside and have lunch.
This Little Old Widder Woman has worked up an appetite!"

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 12, 2014
 I have no fruit this year from my 6 trees. Nothing to put into jars for winter eating .... thanks to squirrels, chipmunks, birds and deer!!!! ...I will borrow this little tidbit of info post from a couple of years ago and share how one goes about getting SOME kind of fruit to preserve ... beg, borrow or ... no steal!! Not necessary to steal since friends are more than willing to share their bounty (how they avoid trees bare of fruit from marauding varmints I don't know).
When did the Red Maple take on this vibrancy?
 Falling leaves aren't far behind ... collecting them for my compost ... me and God made DIRT in the compost bin last fall, to winter, to spring, to summer 2012, assisted in the "cooking" process by layers of fallen leaves .... and other biodegradable stuff ....
It's the season of preserving the bountiful produce we grow or
has been given to us by friends.
For me it's pears ...... lots and lots of pears, gifted to me
from my friend Leslie's pear tree ... bartlett, my favorite.
My pear tree tried ... and tried, as did the peach,
but birds, chipmunks and squirrels
got to the fruit before it even ripened.
So today ...
I canned gifted-to-me pears!
 First things first ....
climb ladder to get canning equipment down from top shelf in pantry. 
Spring of 2014 I sold ALL of my canning supplies! The young mother was eager to get started preserving produce for her growing family. And she bought it all at a terrific bargain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now ... I'm not too keen on climbing ladders
but a girl has to do what a girl has to do
to can gifted pears!
I decided against the quart jars ..
and brought down pints ... wide mouth pints
and lids and rims. ....
and grabby things, and twisty things, and funnelly things.
All necessary things to can fruit.
Oh yes .... and a cook book turned to
P  as for pears, canning how to.
I never go by the recipe of how-to-can-fruit....
but the book open on the table is like
having an old friend sitting there
ready to give advice .... if asked.
I noticed blotchy spots and lightly smeared color spotting the page ...
I've turned to this 'old friend' often and left prints to prove it.
Unload pears from box, gently ...two or three at a time
 and spread out on the cabinet next to the sink.
Some are green green .... green yellow .... yellow red....
 yellow yellow. When the box was empty there was four times the number of pears seen here covering the counter in a lovely display of delicious!
Varying shades of ripe, juicy and delicious!
I can't help but pick one up and eat it ... mmm,
pear juiciness escaping past my mouth and blotching my blouse.
Cut and core
peel and pare
and plop into a bowl of cold water and lemon juice,
keeps them from turning dark.
Jars, lids and rims in boiling water.....
bubbling sugar water to cover the pears in the jars ...
and BIG pots to process the pears.
After boiling for 25 minutes the first little jars of pears are lifted
out of the pot and left to cool.
And the process continues
until all that's left of the fresh pears is gooey, slippery, aromatic peels in the sink... soon to be turned into compost for summer 2013.
I brought the peelings out and fed them to my neighbor's horses.
They actually smacked their lips!
Wish I had taken a picture of that!!! Sorry.
And here they are,
14  little beauties!
Free pears
free time
minimum cost for sugar.
I love Fall ....
leaves change color
and fall to the ground,
fruit ripens and is gathered to be preserved for a winter
delicious treat....
The pears may be the only produce I preserve this season ...
but how wonderful it will be ...
on a dark and stormy night ...
a jar of pears and a lovely book, a cup of tea
and memories
will light up my night and
bring comfort,
warmth and contentment.
Yes ... one little jar of canned pears can do that.
Try it. 
Not such a great idea to sell ALL my canning supplies! 2014 I had to buy pint jars and extra lids, a funnel and borrowed a set of canning tongs from Lorrie to make applesauce from her apple trees! Friends are always willing to share their bounty.
Lorrie shares more than apples with me .... she's my Bible study buddy. Every Thursday for the past two years we meet at 9:30  at her house and turn on the laptop. My sister-in-law, Laurel, studies with us from National City by the "magic" of Skype.
God's Word is so full and rich and preserved for our consumption .... and there's nothing I have to do to prepare for this FEAST except open the book and be fed.
Thanks God for preparing a feast for us! And, okay..... thanks for feeding the critters even though my mouth waters and my eyes teary up when I notice a squirrel skittering across the yard with MY pear in it's mouth!!
If you care so much for these little varmints .... how much more do You care and provide for me. Amen!

Friday, August 17, 2012

A HUG ..........


Those we love are sometimes so far away ..
and at special times in the year
you just want to
HUG them!
My family
church family
facebook family.....
here's a BIG HUG from me.

Have you ever noticed that you don't think about
simple things until they're no longer available?

Such as .....
putting your index finger into the circular dial on a phone,
the kind your parents and grandparents used to use,
and actually "dial" someone's phone number.
It made a pleasant little  click, click, clickety, click sound while dialing.

Exercise and working out .... a rather modern term for hard work.
"Couch potatoes" were able to "work out" simply by
getting up off the couch to change channels,
and go to the bathroom, get a beer and raid the
icebox, very quickly, because commercials weren't as
longggggg as they are now.
Step lively, breathe deeply, bend and stretch for that beer in
the frig.

Laundry day ...
taking down a clothesline-dried pillowcase off of the outdoor
clotheslines, tucking the pins into your apron or clip them
back onto the line,
then grasping opposite corners of the pillow case,
you SNAP it
before dropping it into the wicker basket.

...... the ice cream truck,
bakery man,
fresh milk delivered in glass bottles and left on the front porch ....
AVON calling.

But one thing I miss more than anything is a hug.
Oh .... I don't mean the whimpy kind,
the kind that feels like you're being hugged by a post!

I mean ...
a hug pressed close,
arms around the one you love

heads snuggled on each other's shoulder ..... or resting on top of the  loved one's head.

Just standing there feeling the love and warmth, spiritual strength  and restoration in a hug.
(thanks Father Pon)

Men hug .... yeah, they really do! 
But different! It's kind of a
shoulder to shoulder hug
(flowers optional).

Sometimes guys hug with a little space between them....
shoulder to shoulder shares the love.

Mother/daughter hugs ...... when they're no longer available
you just close your eyes and feel the love.

A peck on the cheek during a hug is acceptable and appreciated.
Laughter and joy,
consolation and
the memory of past hugs
the kind of hugs remembered when you thought,
"What will I do without you?"
Kisses are grand!
Holding hands is very nice.
But ....
yep ........ I miss hugs the most.

December 31, 2013
I've shared many memories, photos, tears and laughter
 with all who have read my blog
...... and that so far is over 6,000 old and new "friends"
from all over the world!
The Monica I know is becoming a new person:
...... the body is relaxed, 
 accepting the need to step more carefully,
drive a bit more cautiously,
and eat less carbohydrates! 
............ the soul is revelling in scratching the surface
of creativity ....... art, writing, discoveries,
connecting to God in His creating in me
 new gifts and talents that are to be shared !
.... the spirit is inviting
God's Spirit to breathe into me
new life .....
Isaiah 43: 18, 19
"Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it!
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."
Happy New Year, 2013
Happy New Life, Love and Blessings,
and buh bye 'til next time.....
and if you're reading this at bedtime,
nighty night.