Archive for November, 2012

It’s been a few days since I even switched the computer on–it’s been a few days since my knee has “let me be”.  I don’t know if the weather has anything to do with it.  Sitting still is comfortable, but getting up and moving around is not, and I know that we folks who suffer from these things–things like arthritis–are supposed to keep moving regardless of the pain.  So I take The Husband’s advice and “grit my teeth.”

We didn’t have the usual family dinner on Thanksgiving Day–me and The Husband had a small pre-cooked ham, and other pre-cooked dishes all heated in the microwave–just enough to say we had a meal that was at least different from every-day food.  I found a  good imported (from the UK) cheese and I treated myself to a glass of wine.  I had strawberries for desert, The Husband had pecan pie.  All very good (well, as good as can be expected from pre-cooked stuff!)

Of course, we thought of all the things we are thankful for, not the least of which is the fact that my one-and-only first cousin (living in Weymouth, England) “found” me in 2010, and as a result of his passion for researching our ancestors has re-united several second-cousins, scattered all over the world. A long-ish story, but briefly:

In September of 2010 I received a phone call–it showed on the caller ID as “unknown caller”, and usually I let the machine pick up, but this time, for some strange reason, I answered it.  A very English masculine voice asked “Is this Vivra?”–with a frown on my face I answered “Ye-es?”   The voice continued, “My name is Tony Marshall…” my mouth dropped open, my eyes widened, and I screamed “My cousin Tony!!!”  (yes, ETWA members, I have used three exclamation marks.)

Tony explained he had been trying to trace me since 1980.  The last time I had any contact with him was in 1968, right before I left England for California.  However, the last time I had actually seen him was in 1959–he was 14 years old and a rather obnoxious teenager (just joking, Tony.)  I had tried unsuccessfully to find him–by writing to the newspaper in the town where I last knew him and on a couple of internet search-for-friends sites.  At the same time, Tony was trying to trace me–also unsuccessfully.  Then when he developed his interest in genealogy, his (new) wife encouraged him to look for me again, and this time he had become “computerized” and was able to find my last-known address, and from there he  got my current phone number–and called me–and the rest is, well, you know what the rest is.

The outcome was that he and his wife came to Texas for a visit–a week with us, three weeks touring the state, and the last few days with us again.  He is a photographer, and took over 3,000 photographs while here.  After listening to me and Tony reminiscing, his wife, Janet, remarked “Well, you can sure tell you share the same DNA–you both have the same mannerisms and expressions.)

The wonderful thing, (among lots of wonderful things) is that I now know of several second cousins I didn’t know before, though I remember their parents from my childhood in Nelson, Lancashire (England).  These cousins are scattered–Australia, America (Massachusetts) Wales, and Scotland (a small town called Dallas, of all things)–and I now feel, for the first time in my life, that I have family and roots.  And–we are all in contact now, via email, and sharing photographs and family stories.

Of course, I am thankful for so many other things in life–another special thing–my eyesight!  in the past year both me and The Husband had surgery to remove cataracts and implant lenses–so successful, it is miraculous.  I can do what I’m doing now (keyboarding) without the help of glasses!  I can read all but very tiny print, without glasses–wonderful, thanks to the Eye Care Clinic and a Dr. Pennell, in Tyler, Texas.

Now–Pet Peeves.  This is a very strong peeve–of mine, but obviously not of anybody else–calling children “kids”.  Listen  people–a kid is a baby goat, your child is your child, your children are your children, not baby goats!  I know I can’t change that–kids is acceptable to everybody else, so I have to accept it, too–though I myself try not to use the word in place of child. 🙂

Seriously, most of my pet peeves are regarding words, and grammar–as in the use of  “you and you’re”, “to and too” and “there and their”–I’m sure you get the picture.  And a lot of peeves have to do with phrases that are apparently now in general and accepted use:  the use of “bring” instead of “take”  and the one that particularly irritates me– “looking to”  (“I’m looking to find a house” or “I’m looking to go to England next year.”)  I mean, why not “I’m searching for a house,” or “I’m hoping to go to England next year.”  Oh, and describing something as “so fun”, I mean, something can be “so funny”, but usually things are “such fun” –am I right?  Or something can be “so much fun”, but not “so fun”.

Just my own opinion , of course. And I admit, I could be wrong…

All for now,















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Tuesday’s Thoughts

My mother had cancer surgery (breast cancer) twenty years before she died.  All that time she was in considerable pain.  I was very young and didn’t understand just how debilitating pain can be.  I am beginning to understand now.

My right knee is arthritic;  cartilage is gone–it’s bone on bone, and I’m considering total knee replacement.  Two months ago, when The Husband tried to get me to go to the doctor with it, I refused, “It will get better in time,” I said.  It hasn’t, it has become worse, the cortisone shot I received during my first visit to the Orthopedic Clinic wore of after three days.

I would not have believed just how pain can stop a person from doing, or even thinking about doing, normal every-day tasks.  I am reasonably comfortable if I don’t move my knee (to bend, or to straighten) or put pressure on the leg–and my crafting necessitates me getting up and down–to grab various tools, paints, cardstock, for instance.  Consequently I find myself not wanting to do, well, anything.

Enough about my pain.  Mum (says I, eyes raised Heavenward)–now I understand, and I’m so sorry I didn’t back then.

I need to get some energy back, both mental and physical.  I have to craft Christmas cards, write the annual Family Christmas Newsletter, and just plain write (work on my WIP); there are a couple of short story contests I want to enter–they have deadlines, which always helps me–I need that incentive.

Thanksgiving is coming up–my daughter says “don’t worry about it this year”–but while sitting here with my knee comfortable, I think about cooking turkey and ham and what side dishes I can make–then I get up to  get my cook book and–oh dear…

I’ve even discussed, with The Husband, the idea of getting “the works” from a local restaurant, but the closest place I would consider is 35 miles distant–and I don’t think The Husband and son-in-law would like the idea of driving over there on Thanksgiving morning to pick up the food.  Our daughter claims she doesn’t cook (and probably doesn’t–to  my standard!)  The Husband certainly doesn’t cook–though he used to long ago, when we were young!

Whatever happens, though, we, as a family (and as individuals) have so much to be thankful for–but more about that when The Day gets here.

All for today…Keep Calm and Carry On.

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Just Another Sunday

I hope everyone had a fun and spooky Halloween.  After the trick-or-treaters finished, I went ghost hunting with my daughter, granddaughter and two of her friends.  There is a graveyard close by that is reputed to be haunted; we got permission to wander around taking photographs.  Unfortunately, there are new security lights set up–but they did cast a very spooky glow and shadows over the gravestones!

I have a very painful knee, so I didn’t walk around with the others, but stayed in a dark corner listening and watching.  I did hear a quiet “tap-tap-tap”–just three taps.  I walked toward the place it sounded to be coming from, and heard it again–three taps.  No movement, and no other sounds.  I didn’t think much about it–could have been anything, and probably was.

In the car going home, the girls in the back seat were excitedly discussing what they saw (nothing!), and one girl said “Well I heard somebody knocking.”  I tapped on the dash, three times, like the sound I heard–“That’s it, that’s what I heard!”  the girl in the back yelled.  Nobody else heard it…

Regarding my very painful knee–it seems my knee is wearing out–has worn out, I should say.  Appears I will have to undergo surgery of some sort–partial replacement or total knee joint replacement.  I know which I will choose, and I’m not looking forward to it.  Reading about the recovery–at least six weeks of therapy, being careful not to fall, being careful not to pivot the knee–just being so careful–it’s all making me nervous.  But it will have to be done, if not now, sometime in the future.

I just hate the idea of all the poking, prodding, tests, paperwork, hospital stay, I want to get it over with as quickly as possible. Then, of course, there will be the fear that I will have to have the other knee done!  I tell you young people–those who might be reading this, and I mean those young enough to think nothing of running, jumping, running up steps two at a time–it ain’t no fun getting old!

And the next person who dares to tell me “age is just a number”, well I will not be responsible for my actions–slow though they may be!

That’s it for today–as my late mother-in-law would say “Y’all come back now, ya hear?”

Keep Calm and Carry On.

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