Monthly Archives: February 2013

Change is good

The first change is the location of the blog. I am switching from Blogger to WordPress. The blog itself is now at and I’m still making minor tweaks to the imported posts. Some of the formatting got mangled during the conversion. I am about 40% of the way through the old posts. I like the extra functionality such as email registration and social network integration. Have a look around! Hosting is at First Degree Systems. The website will be down for a couple of hours on Tuesday, February 26th so please be aware of that.

Our weather is in flux now. This February is one of the snowiest on record already. Today’s snowfall didn’t have a lot of moisture in it, but it caused problems on the roads. I hope everyone had safe travels today. I have already used the snow blower more this month that I did all last winter.

The Amaryllis bulbs were a flop. The large one failed set a flower stalk and the small one had signs of wet rot when I bought it. The large one will go dormant in a few weeks and I will try reviving it again. I have a Forsythia cutting in water now. It should bloom within four weeks. A splash of color is always a welcome change even if it takes some time.

The back-and-forth weather shows we are getting close to spring. Change happens and it isn’t always easy or smooth. Our days are getting longer at this latitude. We have gained almost three hours of daylight since December 20th and are picking up nearly three minutes per day of daylight. The cold snaps are shorter, which I welcome. The seasonal tug-of-war is causing some strong winds at times. Solar angle is more favorable as shown by melting snow on an asphalt driveway when the temperature rises above 10°F. Soon the white shroud covering the ground and coating the trees will give way to green and life.

Babies are another change in some people’s lives. My cousin Diane will be a first-time grandmother July 25th. I have mentioned Lucy’s cousin Chris eagerly waiting on her grandson’s impending birth. Those are wonderful changes.

New jobs and new careers are other changes. The economy has caused a number of changes with some people branching in new directions. I applaud your courage and vision, Mary, and I am proud to help any way I can!

My changes have not been as exciting. Enough time has passed to determine the new normal and I’m still making adjustments. Life is a series of changes and adjustments are part of the process. Lucy never quit and she inspires me to keep trudging forward. Joy and happiness are gone, but hope remains.

Mark Twain said, “To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with” and his words are still true over a century later. Dr. Suess said, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”. It is not easy, but both are worth remembering. Hope allows us to smile when surrounded by despair and gives us a reason to keep plugging away.

Spend some time with your special someone and get that full value of joy. One can never have too much joy.

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Filed under friends, philosophy, rebuilding

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine's Day 2013

I bought this Mylar Valentine wreath and wired it to Lucy’s Christmas wreath. It brightens up the area.

Today is difficult for people who have lost a loved one or suffered a divorce. It may seem that Love has fled and will never return. Draw on the love of your family and friends. It helps ease the loneliness and helps fill the emptiness. Lucy passed away ten months ago yesterday, and yes, it seems like ten centuries. I am so thankful for everyone’s love and support!

Others may have a loved one afar because of business or military service. Call them or set up a video chat with them. Technology has done much to bridge distances. Hearing a special voice or seeing a special smile makes a day so much better.

As for the rest of you, spend some time on Valentine’s Day with someone you care for or love. Be thankful you have that person or persons. Take advantage of some of the Buy One Get One free offers. An extra hug or kiss is always a welcomed gift.

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Happy birthday, Lucy!

Lucy would have been 55 years old today. I realize that people consider blabbing a woman’s age uncouth, but Lucy always joked about being eager to turn 55 and take advantage of some senior’s discounts. She loved a bargain and she hardly aged until starting chemotherapy.

Groundhog’s Day was three days ago. In the Northern Hemisphere, Groundhog’s Day is the mid-point of winter and the mid-point of any season can have unpredictable weather. One year we went to Twins Fest for her birthday and we had a flat tire on the way home. It was about -25°F with a wind chill close to -40°F. A few years ago, it was close to 50°F with a light rain in the morning and a sunny afternoon. Lucy’s birthday usually was cold but rarely stormy.

This year started out overcast and blustery with about an inch of new snow on the ground. As today progressed, the wind died down, the sun came out and the temperature is valiantly trying, albeit failing, to reach 30°F. She would have enjoyed the cardinals serenading the surrounding area today. It is surprising at how loudly they can sing for their size and how far the song can carry. The robins that overwintered are out and about as are the goldfinches and black-capped chickadees. Goldfinches molt to a dull tan plumage in late fall but their song and flight pattern doesn’t change.

Birthdays were special to Lucy. She made it a point to acknowledge birthdays of family and friends. She spoiled me through the years (and I spoiled her in return), but my birthday was a Very Big Deal to her. She would go to Dairy Queen or Culver’s and pick up an ice cream cake for me. Believe it or not, we could get one of those to last a week. She knew what Buy One Get One Free offers I had for my birthday, so she would figure out how to optimize them to the fullest. That was a nice win-win: she could spoil me and she didn’t have to cook for about two weeks. The best part of the day was when we were waking up and she would have a huge smile on her face and wish me a happy birthday. I couldn’t ask for a better birthday present, and I treated her the same way on her birthday.

I think the reason birthdays were so special to her was because we shared holidays with our families but our birthdays were for us to celebrate. When she celebrated a birthday with her siblings, I usually was not along. It was her time to celebrate with her family. Perhaps that’s why getting older never bothered me; it meant I would get another birthday celebration with Lucy.

This year was very different. She wasn’t with me for her birthday or for Valentine’s Day. Qdoba Mexican Grill has an offer every year on Valentine’s Day for a buy one get one free burrito. The catch is you have to kiss someone to get the offer. Last year we spent most of the Valentine’s Day at Suburban Imaging waiting on her CT/PET scan. From previous scans, we discovered that Lucy would have mild nausea from drinking the imaging solution and from nerves, so having a burrito afterwards was out of the question. This year is unlikely because (a) it requires having someone to kiss and (b) I don’t want to use a straw to eat a burrito after irritating someone too much.

Please keep Lucy in your thoughts today and help make her day special. Remember the love and joy she brought into your lives. Spread that love and joy to your “someone special” and maybe spoil that person a little today.

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Filed under nature, rebuilding, weather