Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Those who know me well know that I love the moon. Waxing, full, waning - in all of her guises, I love the moon.

Years ago my friend, Ray, belonged to the South Shore Yacht Club in Milwaukee. It was August and my birthday. Ray took me down to the club and walked me out to the the very last dock and sat me down. With our legs swinging over Lake Michigan I asked him what we were doing out there. He said he was going to give me my birthday present, but I had to wait. And, wait we did. It got darker and darker and I was really wondering what was going on. All at once, there she was. A huge, huge moon began to rise over the lake. She took over the whole sky. I had never seen anything like it before. Slowly she rose, her beams shimmering on the water. I was in complete awe. It was a moment of grace. It was the best birthday present I had ever received. Later Ray gave me a moon and star charm on a gold chain. I bet I have worn that necklace more than any other piece of jewelry. I still wear it for months on end. However, it was the gift of watching that golden yellow moon rise over the lake that I treasure the most.

Last week was the harvest moon. Every evening I was out there watching it rise. One morning, up early, I watched her as she started to set. The moon was so beautiful.
During this full moon time I got up to use the bathroom on night around 2am. Sam got up, too, which is rare. So, out the door we both went. And, again, the moon had me in awe.  It was so high up. The light of the moon lit up my yard. I could see very blade of grass. And, the beams seemed to be touching that grass, right in my back yard. I couldn't believe it! I walked out on that dewy grass and stood under a beam. Wow! I was standing in a moon beam. I was mesmerized. I even looked around, thinking there might be fairies dancing! I was once again in a "moon" state of grace.
I believe in signs. I believe in omens. I believe they are all around us if we just are open to them. What did this experience mean? Hmm - I think it meant, to me, that all would be well. I am sheltered in the light. Light of the moon? Light of angels? Light of heaven? I don't know. I do know that I was held, kissed, blessed and loved by that light.

And, for that I am forever grateful.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rainy Day Plus Thoughts on This & That

Finally, we had a wonderful day of a gentle rain here in northern Georgia yesterday. It had been close to three weeks since our last rain. Temperatures have been in the low 90s and sometimes very humid, especially in the late afternoon. Looks like it will rain most of today, too. I have about a dozen plants to put into the ground. Tomorrow will be planting day.

I have been walking Sam first thing in the morning, before the sun got too high in the sky. We have increased our walks - one end of the subdivision in the morning (very hilly) and the other end in the early afternoon. I'm still out of breath going up that first hill each day, but it is slowly getting easier to climb. Since our morning walks are in more populated area, I have been meeting more people and their dogs. I think most homes here have at least one dog! It is nice to walk and wave and say, "Good Morning!" to my neighbors. This rarely, if ever, happened in Milwaukee. People driving by always wave, too. Ha! Seems the only waves I got from drivers in Milwaukee were the one finger kind!

I have been doing more and more quilting. I finished the Underground Railroad quilt and am plugging away at Jeannie's quilt - only 6 more blocks to go! I started hand sewing binding on quilts evenings, too. But - only small wall hangings as it is just to hot to sit and hand sew anything bigger. The cord that runs from my camera to my computer so I can download pictures was accidentally slammed in the drawer and sliced, so no pictures to post for now. Tomorrow I will go get a replacement.

Electrical work was completed in my new house. Beautiful detailing in my home, but the lighting was awful. Recessed lights are now in my kitchen and hallway along with one over the bath tub in the guest bathroom. The pantry now has a light fixture in it - no more groping in the dark for a can of beans. I need to purchase a fixture for over the kitchen table, but I can save up for it. After years of sitting in my basement in Milwaukee, the antique chandelier is hung in the dining room now, giving me much joy every evening when I turn it on and dim it. The prisms reflect off the ceiling and it is so pretty. I will post a blog entryabout the chandelier as soon as I can post pictures. Once some drywall patch work is completed in the kitchen, it will be painted a cheery yellow and my roman blinds will be hung. I am looking for a new shower curtain for the guest bathroom and then that room will painted. I'm so tired of the "builder's beige" on all my walls! Things are coming together. I love my house.

Next month I will actively start looking for a part-time job. Mainly to help with finances, but also to give me some structure. I am a people person and am finding a need to be around people more than I am now.

Overall, I am doing OK. I am so very thankful for my dog, Sam - he really keeps me going! I miss Phil. I miss my dog, Lucy Lou. I miss my dog - sweet, little Gracie (still cry over her once a day or so). I am not sleeping well at all, but I function. I get up, walk, shower, eat, work on projects, am meeting friends - I think I look and act pretty normal. But, I know I am very depressed. I've had too many losses in a short time. Too many adjustments - selling my house in Milwaukee, purchasing this house, moving, living in a temporary apartment while I still worked full time, driving back forth 5 times (871 miles each way), retirement and saying good bye to friends and a place I have lived all my life - whoosh! It's a lot!

But, there is so much joy in life too. I love watching the birds at my three feeding stations. The humming birds are getting scarce - living for warmer climates, but other birds are arriving. The plants I have managed to plant are thriving. I am making friends and becoming more active in my area. I am in a book discussion group. I am helping to plan a Halloween party for both the kids and adults on my street. I will start hiking now that the weather is cooling down. Sam - silly, goofy, Sam has me laughing all of the time. He is such a good dog.

Life moves on and I plan to move on with it. It all takes time and I realize that. Time. Things are good and will get better. This, too, shall pass.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Southern Living 101

I've been living in Canton, GA now for six weeks. Interesting six weeks and it hasn't all been great (see previous posts). But, overall I am loving my location and the people and I know I made the right decision. However, things really are different here than in Milwaukee.

I purchased a cute little white iron bench for my back yard. It is perfect for sitting on when I throw the ball 5 millions times for Sam. It needed a little touch up, so I was in the garage with a can of spray paint when I noticed a large, black spider on the wall of the garage. It was black. With an orange dot on its back. It was protecting a large white sack (egg sack). I ran in the house and googled Black Widow Spider. Yup. That is what I had in the garage. Armed with my can of cream colored spray paint I killed the spider by permanently painting it and its sack to the wall of my garage! What's a girl to do? The next day I did go out and poked open the sack. I also gave it another dose of paint. Black Widow spiders do not exist in Wisconsin. At least not the type with eight legs.

Black Widow spider (picture taken from the web)

After taking a little break to calm my nerves I let Sam out in the back yard. Going to let him in, I noticed he was playing with what looked like a large piece of cellophane. Taking another look, I saw that he was eating it! I ran outside and did another "girly" scream. There was a HUGE EMPTY SNAKE SKIN on the grass. I got Sam inside - minus the piece in his mouth, grabbed a shovel and threw the skin over the fence. Thankfully, it was a recently shed skin and not the snake itself. Seeing a 4-5 foot snake, skin and all, slithering over my grass right after the adventure with the spider might, just might have sent me back to Wisconsin.

Shed snake skin (picture taken from the web)

I am still amazed at the politeness of the people in Georgia. So far, everyone has been exceptionally friendly and helpful. "Yes, ma'am" and "God bless you" seem to be mantras - and I mean that nicely. Although when talking to one gentleman about adopting shelter dogs he "God blessed me" at least 15 times! That did seem like over kill to me. On the other hand, I could use all of the blessings I can get! Seriously, I have not had one experience of rudeness and people seem happy to take that extra moment to give directions, smile, wish me a good day, direct me to the right area and so forth. People seem nicer down here, although I think this may be my own take on things are there are nice people every where.

Meet Uga, the Georgia State football "dawg"

Football season is in full swing. While I am not a football person, the "dawgs" are popular to the point of mania. Really! They are CRAZY about football - high school, college and professional, although high school and college levels seems to have the edge. It is goofy! I have asked a Wisconsin friend to find both Wisconsin State and Green Bay Packer bandanna's for Sam to wear on our walks on Saturday and Sundays. No offense to my fellow Georgians, but you can take a girl out of Wisconsin, but you can't take Wisconsin out of the girl!

And yes - I am a Georgian. I have my new driver's license to prove it. Next pay check will add my license plates! However, I promise not to turn into one of those drivers on 85 who are using their cell phone and lap top while driving 90 mph!

I am now learning about planting flowers and shrubs. Sue gave me the BEST gardening book for this region, "Easy Gardens for the South" by Harvey Cotten, Pamela Crawford and Barbara Pleasant. Since fall seems to be the time to plant most perennial flowers and shrubs, I am constantly pouring through this wonderful book. I can't wait to plant my pansies in October and my bulbs in November and December! So, very different from what I am use to!
So, to sum it up - so far, so good. I'll keep you updated of my adventures in retirement and southern living - both the good and the bad. I'm hoping the bad it over and only good will happen for a long time!