Thursday, January 29, 2015

Throwback Thursday ~ Mema & Papa


My Mema and Papa, back in the day.

I lost my Mema this past Sunday, Jan. 25th.

RIP Mema
June 3rd, 1928 - Jan. 25th, 2015

(I'll get a better picture and stories later for a proper "memorial".)

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Reason for Winter

Sorry for my dark and dreary post yesterday, but I'm feeling much better today. ☺

Yesterday evening, it started snowing and that brightened up my mood a bit. It snowed all day but the ground was just too warm and it melted as soon as it hit BUT it stayed on the tree branches and leaves.

This morning, when I woke up, there was still a dusting of snow left on the trees and leaves and that made me happier.

Today the sun is shining, birds are singing and it's warming up a tad. That's helping too. :-)

It made me think of a short-story I recently read on Aarene's blog: Haiku Farm and I thought I'd share with you.

There was great grief in the house of Odin, for Baldur was dead.

Baldur, the white, the pure, the good, the fairest son of Odin, had been treacherously slain, and all the world was in mourning. Who now would bring good gifts to men? Who would bless them with smiles and sunlight, as Baldur had done?

Out by the shore of the sea the people gathered to perform the rites of the dead hero. Baldur's own ship, had been drawn up on the beach, and in it were placed all the most precious things that had been his. The deck was piled with cedar-wood, and between the layers of sticks were placed gums and rich spices and fragrant leaves, and the whole pile was covered with fine robes, and a couch was made whereon to lay the body. The great ship was pushed into the sea and set on fire. Wrapped in flames and hidden by dense clouds of smoke, it drifted far away from the shore.


"Alas! alas!" cried the people, "what will become of us, now that Baldur is dead --- now that the sunlight is gone out of the world? And they went to their homes weeping, and sat down in the darkness and cold, and could not believe the aught of joy would ever come to them again.

Other things sorrowed, too. The trees bent their heads, and the leaves upon them feel withered to the ground. The meadows doffed their green summer coats and dressed themselves in sober suits of russet. The birds forgot to sing. The small creatures of the woods hid themselves in the ground or in the hollow trunks of trees. The cicadas no longer made merry in the groves. The music of the busy world was hushed. Nowhere could be heard the sound of the spindle or the loom, of ax or flail, of the harvesters' song, of the huntsmen's horn, of the warriors' battle-cry; but only the dull thud of the waves beating against the shore, or the wild whistling of the winds among the dead branches of the trees.

Odin, with his blue hood pulled down over his face, sat silent in the twilight and listened to the moaning of the sea. He was not only troubled because of the death of his son. What if the universal grief should continue and joy never return? Frost and ice and darkness would at length overwhelm the earth, and the race of mankind would perish.

"We must bring lost Baldur back to us!" he cried. "He must not stay in the gloomy halls of the under-world. And yet how can we persuade Hela, the pale-faced Queen of that region, to give him up? Who among his brothers will dare undertake so fearful a journey?"

"I will dare! cried Hermod, Baldur's youngest brother. He was only a little fellow, but he was famous all over the world for the quickness of his movements and for his horsemanship. "I will go down to Hela's house with your prayers, if only I may ride Sleipnir, who is both fleet and sure-footed."

Gray Sleipnir was at once led out and saddled with the greatest care; and food and drink were given them, enough for eighteen days.

Nine days through mists and fogs, nine nights amid darkness and unseen perils, did the good steed gallop steadily onward; and his eight iron hoofs, clattering upon the rocky roadway, roused strange echoes among the barren hills and frowning mountain passes.

Nine days and nine nights did bold Hermod sit in the saddle with his face bared to the chilling winds and his heart firm upon his errand. Many were the sad-eyed travelers whom they overtook, all journeying towards the same goal, but not one did they meet returning.

At length, they came out upon a broad plain which is the beginning of the great silent land. A dim yellow light illumined the sky, and the air seemed soft and mild, and a restful peace abode there.

On the farther side of the plain they came to a broad river that flowed silently toward the sea. It was the river Gjol, and across it was the long Gjallar Bridge, a narrow roadway roofed with shining gold.

Hermod gave the word to Sleipnir, and the horse galloped swiftly onward. In a little while they came to the walls of a huge castle that stood gloomy and dark among the hills. On the outside was a deep moat filled with water. The drawbridge was up and the gate was shut.

"Good Sleipnir," said Hermod, "you have borne me thus far, and have not failed me. Stand me in stead now, I bid you. Let those eight long limbs of yours be wings as well as legs!"

Then, at a touch of the spur, Sleipnir sped with lightening swiftness down the narrow roadway toward the edge of the moat, and in another moment was flying through the air right over the gate and into the courtyard beyond. It was a wonderful leap; but then it was a wonderful horse that made it.

Safe within the courtyard, Hermod alighted and tied the horse to an iron post that stood by the side of a fountain. Then, seeing that all the doors were open, he walked boldly in without asking leave of anyone, and made his way to the long banquet-hall where Hela and her guests were feasting. Whom should he see, sitting at the foremost seat at the Queen's right hand, but his brother Baldur! The light which shone in Baldur's countenance and glittered in his eyes shed a soft radiance over the entire hall, such as its gloomy walls had never seen before; and the faces of the guests were wreathed in smiles, and the Queen herself seemed to have forgotten all her sternness. Hermod, unbidden though he was, was welcomed kindly, and a seat was given him at the table. All that evening he mingled with the guests in the hall. He talked with his brother, or told wondrous stories in the hearing of the Queen, but not once did he speak of the business upon which he had come.

The next morning Hermod asked whether Baldur might not ride home with him to his sorrowing mother, whose heart would be broken if he did not return.

"All mankind weeps for Baldur."

"All mankind? Well, that is some reason to request, but not enough."

"All living creatures mourn for him," added Hermod.

"Indeed! But I should weep if you were to take him away from me. Do things that are lifeless also grieve for him?"

"Truly they do. The very rocks shed tears, as do also the mountains and the clouds. There is nothing that does not weep."

"I will tell you what I will do," said Hela. "Do you return to your home, and let Odin send into all the earth and find out for a truth whether everything really weeps for Baldur. If he shall find that this is the case, then come to me again, and I will give your brother up. But if a single thing shall refuse to shed tears, then Baldur shall stay with me."

Hermod was not altogether pleased with this answer, but he knew that it was useless to plead any further with the Queen, and so he took leave of her, and made ready to return. Baldur took from his finger a precious golden ring, and give it to him to carry to Odin as a keepsake.

Then Hermod mounted good Sleipnir again and rode back, along the fearful way, out of the land of Hela, and came at last to Odin's palace.

 Messengers were sent into all the world, praying that everything should weep for white Baldur.

And everything did weep --- men and bests and birds, trees and plants, rivers and mountains, sticks and stones, and all metals. At the end of a year the messengers returned, very glad to report the results. But just before reaching Odin's halls they passed the mouth of a cavern wherein sat a blind and toothless old hag named Thok. They asked her kindly to weep for Baldur.

This, she would not do.

"Bah! Why should such as I weep? Little good did he ever do me; little good will I do him. Go and tell him to stay where he is."

When Hela heard that everything save Thok wept for Baldur, she consented that Baldur, for six months in every twelve, might gladden the earth with his presence.

But during the other six she would keep him in her own halls. And this is why the sun shines, and the trees are green, and the birds sing, and all rejoice from April to October, for that is the season of Baldur's stay with them; but during the other months the sun is darkened, and all things are silent and sad, because Baldur has gone back to the under-world.

But do not forget the good steed Sleipnir. Although he never made another journey to the under-world, there was scarcely any part of earth to which his long legs did not sometimes carry him; and especially in the far North he was a familiar figure long after Odin had gone from the earth.

In some parts of Sweden the old horse had, until quite recently, a troublesome habit of running through the harvest fields and making sad tangles of the standing grain. And so it was that, as soon as the oats or barely was tall enough, the farmers would cut and tie up a fair sheaf of it, and lay it high up on a fence where the frolicsome old fellow would be sure to see it before getting into the field.

"Ah! How kind the dear farmer is to provide this sheaf of sweet barley for me," Sleipnir would say to himself. "I really cannot have the heart to tangle his grain."



And there's an explanation for wintertime blues. And on days like this, maybe Baldur is reminding us of what is to come in just a few short months. ☺

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wintertime Blues

Ugh.

That one word describes my mood for the last several days or week. They've all kinda blended together.

Just bleh.

The sun hasn't shown it's glorious face in awhile and it's been cold. Colder than I like. Of course, I think it's cold when it drops below 70° LOL and we've had days/nights in the 30°'s and even teen digits. With no snow!!! I could handle the cold if we had snow but no, we just get cold, and rain and did I mention cold?

I know. I know. We've got it made down here in the South compared to the Northern states. Y'all are getting pummeled with snow. But y'all ALWAYS do. You're used to it. We don't get it often. It's enjoyable for us......well, me anyway. I don't have to drive in it. Haha.

So I'm cooped up in the house. Staring at the same walls. Doing the same mundane tasks of cleaning, washing dishes, laundry and all the other tasks that need to be done. (The weather doesn't have anything to do with whether or not I do household chores but they just seem even more mundane when I have to do them in the winter. Don't ask. I'm just weird I guess.)

And I'm NOT one who complains when it's 100° out and that I wish it was winter. Nope. Not me. Not in a million years. I don't like winter. Never have. It's dreary and dank and sad looking. The ONLY good things about winter are Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

So, with nowhere to go and no one to hang out with, my wintertime blues have really hit. I spend my days, after taking McKayla to school, lazing on the couch watching TV....in between those mundane tasks I mentioned above, of course.

AND I'm having to watch Katie age before my eyes. She's stumbling and falling more. She's sleeping more. She seems to be losing her bearings and body awareness.....knocking up against walls and furniture. She gets on pacing kicks were she'll just circle the couch or bar over and over. She's pretty much not housebroken anymore, not letting me know she has to go and just squatting wherever and then she's walked in it during her paces and tracked it everywhere (thank goodness for hardwood flooring). She's still eating good (although she's losing weight) and drinking good and has rare bouts of puppy energy but I'm still losing her. Nothing we can really do either, unfortunately it's just life.

So I'm just in a horrible funk. I have no energy. I don't WANT to go anywhere, even if I could. The weather has been dreary and I'm watching my girl die.

Rio knows. They used to rarely lay together, now
they do all the time.

Bleh.

(Sorry for the doom and gloom post. I generally try to avoid sharing these kind of posts but if I'm blogging about my life, it isn't always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes it's storm clouds and rain.)

Monday, January 12, 2015

"Best Mom in the World"

Those words in the title don't mean much when said apart but when said together, they have the power to turn a Mom to mush. Add flowers to the mixture, and that Mom is now a puddle. <3






McKayla went to the store with Daddy on Saturday, while I stayed home in bed, being lazy. I heard them come in the door and McKayla giggling, so I knew she was up to something but I wasn't prepared for a bouqet of flowers and the words "I had to get you flowers Mommy, because you're the best Mom in the world".

Friday, January 9, 2015

Furry Friday ~ Snuggling



Sometimes you wanna snuggle with a buddy, maybe for warmth or companionship or maybe you just happen to fall asleep on the same couch.


But sometimes you wanna snuggle with your stuffed animal.


Either way, snuggling is always an important thing to do on any given day. ☺

Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekend Wrap-up ~ Dec. 13 & 14


This weekend was a busy one for McKayla. Her Children's choir had a weekend long Christmas performance titled A Night of Hope at church. They had a show Friday night, 2 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday. McKayla wanted (and did) all 5 shows. 

Friday, the first show, Grandpa, Chris, me and John all went to see the performance. Partially to see how long the performance was to see if McKayla could physically do it but also b/c we wanted to see her sing.

It was TWO hours long! Yikes! It was great but too long. Luckily, the Children's Choir part was only on stage for about 30 minutes. There's no way McKayla or any of the other kids could've stayed still the entire 2 hours.



We didn't watch any of the other performances the rest of the week but dutifully took McKayla so she could perform. Both Saturday and Sunday's performances were at 4 and then 7, so we'd drop her off about 3:30 and then pick her up at 8. They fed them, played games and watched movies in between the performances and had the option to leave if they wanted, but McKayla wanted to stay. ☺

Sunday afternoon, before the final shows and Chris going to his Dad's, I had the kids pose for pictures to send out to family.


And that was the extent of our weekend. It was kinda busy but it wasn't. A lot of driving back and forth but McKayla enjoyed singing, so it was worth it to see her smile. ☺

How was YOUR weekend? Anything exciting or did you just have a relaxing weekend at home?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Furry Friday ~ Zoo Trip Part IIII


My fourth and final Furry Friday ~ Zoo Trip post. Hope it was fun seeing our trip through the Zoo and it gave me something to have for several Furry Friday's :-D (Part I, Part II and Part III)

Not much of anything to say as a workup towards this weeks pictures, so I'll just quit jabbering and get to sharing. 

Enjoy! :-D



Sleepy kitties. ☺

Whatcha doin? I'm just hanging around. Hardy har har
It was pretty cool how close this Tiger was to the viewing area but it took FOREVER to get to see him clearly b/c they were so many people crowded around. He just lay there the whole time, looking around.




The Gorilla enclosure was a pretty popular area too. So much to the point that they had a few employees milling around and reminding the crowd that once they had taken their pictures, to move along so the next mass of people could see.


This guy/gal was just down right heartbreaking to see. He/she just sat there, like that and ever so often would look our way and then turn his/her head back. :-(


These guys cracked me up. They reminded me of a bunch of teenagers just hanging around after a night of partying. Just lazing around. LOL


McKayla lounging in a Chimp nest. 



And finally, more heffalump pictures. 


This old gal has caps on her tusks b/c she's apparently very destructive and kept breaking the tips, which could then cause an infection, so they had to cap them.


There was a keeper just on the other side of the grassy area, tossing apples. So I was lucky to get these shots of her trying to get to them. ☺




That's all folks! 4 weeks of random animal pictures. We had a great time, even with all the crowds of people. We missed out on quite a few of the critters b/c it was just too cold for them. I'd like to go again when the weather is nicer/warm so we could see ALL of them. And I'll make sure my camera battery is fully charged too. :-D
Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read about my adventures! Hope to see you next time. :-)

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