Monday, October 25, 2010

On the Uptake

Ever since my sister became ill, I've been lax about both writing here and reading all my favorite blogs. I don't know why; I sort of feel like an inflated bag thats been popped. I seem to want to only wrap myself in the basic, little mundane things in life, working, cleaning, sleeping, reading etc. But it's time to come out of it. Jeanne's doing fine and should even be dismissed from rehab within the next week or two. The only things we can see that have been affected is her ability to walk (she needs a walker because her physical strength has been zapped, but she is improving every day.) And her memory is somewhat slow. Outside of that, she is doing remarkably well and I thank God each and every morning.

And with that having been said, I will again be a regular at your blogs. You can count on that.


Phone conversation with my son tonight. Please note..HE PHONED ME!

Me: "Hello?"
Son: "Hi, mom. Whatcha doing.I mean, are you cooking dinner tonight?"
Me: "No, honey. We had sandwiches about an hour ago."
Son: "Oh. Okay. well I can't talk right now. I'm driving."
Love you. Bye."
Me: "love you too."


Sunday, October 24, 2010

WORRY, worryworryworryworry

You just gotta love this commercial:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Florida Caverns State Park

John and I both took this week off, originally to go to Melbourne, Florida on a house hunting venture. That venture has been put on hold until we can get the house here in Alabama spruced up adequately enough to put on the market, but we decided to still take the week's vacation and just do, well, whatever we want to do.

Today we went down across the border to Florida and on to Florida Caverns State Park, a two time National gold medal winner.

This is a 1300 acre state park whose main attraction is the caverns, but there is such an abundance of wildflowers and greenery that visitors come for a myriad of reasons, including the Blue Hole Natural Spring, where folks are also permitted to swim.

The cave's geological history began over 38 million years ago when the U.S southeast coastal plain was covered with water. Coral, shells and the like fell to the ocean's floor and as the water receded, this material was left behind and became limestone. Over the last million years, acidic water dissolved the limestone and create crevices large enough to walk through. And the caverns were slowly..very very slowly..born.

Over time, both pioneers and Native Americans..though during different periods..have lived around these caves. Lots of pottery shards dating back centuries and centuries have been unearthed, telling archaeologists the history of the local Chert tribe that lived there, letting us know their diet and their main occupation as farmers.

During the 1800's, the caves were used by the Confederate soldiers as a refuge from the Union soldiers. The Seminole Indians hid in these caverns as well, during the Seminole Wars, led by Andrew Jackson.

In the mid 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) labored to clear the caverns of tons of rock and debris to open the caves' interior and to install lighting.

Here is a monument erected to honor the men of the CCC and what they did for the state parks:

Now, on to the caverns, themselves.

The scenic walk leading to the cavern entrance:

stalactites and art:

It looks like this lady is touching the formation but she is not. To do so is highly forbidden because the oil on fingerprints left behind prevents limestone from adhering to it and causes it to 'die.'

This is our guard, Paul. He's holding a lantern that was used by the CCC workers while clearing out the rocks and debris:

See that very handsome devil in the light blue shirt who has his arms crossed, the one in the left hand background? That is John:

The CCC workers realized that a reflector held behind the kerosene lamps increased the amount of light. They realized that their dinner bowls were of the right material to work as reflectors and so they permanently adhered these bowls to the ceiling of the caverns behind where they hung these lanterns. That circular object is one of those bowls:

See that big vertical formation on the right? Notice how it looks different? The path leads right by it and at that point, the walk becomes wet and slick. So many folks had lost their footing and instinctively reached out to grab it rather than fall, that it did indeed 'die.' This was the only formation we were permitted to touch:

This round ball is a natural formation that the CCC workers used as a directional tool when they lost their way. They knew that this ball sat just outside of the turn that led them to the exit:

These formations hanging from the ceiling are called 'sipping straws.' They are hollow and the water drips down from the inside, increasing their length over time:

After we were done with the tour, we headed down to our favorite eatery in that part of Florida, a scenic diner set on a big river. Here is the view from our seats, to show you the beautiful hanging Spanish moss which decorates a good many of the trees around here:

Tomorrow we plan on heading back down just across the state line to Florida, to attend a community days celebration and local art show in Graceville Florida.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Sisters

I have been gone for a little while, mostly because I just haven't been 'moved' to write anything due in large part to my desire to get my emotional feet on a strong foothold after going through the trauma of almost losing my sister. But I am feeling better now and so is she.

I talked to her about an hour ago. she sounded wonderful. I talk to her daily and today there seemed to be a marked improvement. I think I know why.

You would need to know Jeanne. Of the three of us girls, she was always the most rebellious. She still has that rebellious streak, much to my delight. She had heard someone she knows is also in the rehab so she, who now has trouble staying steady on her feet, sneaked down to her acquaintance's room to visit. Jeanne was happy to still have spunk . I asked her if she told anyone she was going there. She played dumb.

"I think i told someone. But maybe I forgot."

Yuh, right. You forgot. Sorta like when you were 14 and you 'forgot' mom didn't know you smoked, Jeanne. I still have a vivid memory of you sauntering into the backyard where mom and I were busy doing stuff.

"Hi momma." you said as you leaned against the clothes line pole and took a long drag off a cigarette. It took mom a few seconds to believe her eyes, less time for you to fling that cigarette and run like a bat out of hell around the side of the house, mom in hot pursuit. Whatever were you thinking, Jeanne? Did you think she was going to go inside to get you an ashtray?

You, the forever rebel, even in rehab.

Today Jeanne had therapy for her memory and her now limited small motor abilities. She played solitaire, not on the computer but with an honest to pete deck of cards. She's proud of herself, tho she said it was difficult to shuffle the cards. But she did it. I'm proud of her, too.

I like to call Jeanne the 'Oomph' sister. everything she does, everything she did as a kid, was done with a superb amount of 'Oomph.' A good example was the time as a kid she kicked her clogs off her feet. We've all done this with our footwear. However, with the additional Oomph, Jeanne's shoe went flying high into the air, hit the light fixture and broke it. No surprise. We all could have counted on that happening.

I've noticed another little thing about Jeanne since all this happened; She, who would complain whenever I or our other sister would let loose with a swear word, has developed a 'potty mouth.' Today, she dropped the phone while we were talking.

"Oh shit."

Wow, That took me a little aback. A few minutes later..
"Oh shit, I did it again."


"Jeanne, why are you swearing?"

"I keep dropping the fucking phone."

"Jean! You are swearing! I don't think I've ever heard you say the F word before!"

"Well, guess what? I've been a closet curser for years!" She said.

"Well, back atcha." I said, " Fucking A!!!!!"

We both laughed.

"I love you, Beej."

"I love you, too, Jean-A-Bean."

It was a good conversation.


I've been writing about my one sister but there are actually three of us and we are all equally as close to one another. I'll write about my other sister eventually. She's had the most interesting life of all of us.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy Birthday John Lennon

You would have been 70 years old today. That makes 30 years of music that the world lost with a single shot fired from the gun of a lunatic.

There is nothing we can do about that..nothing except to celebrate your birth because we may have lost years of music but for 40 years we had you among us, making a difference, teaching us that all we really need, is love.

Happy birthday John.

eXTReMe Tracker