When I’m working, or doing something around the house, I really concentrate on what I’m doing.  I focus.  Today I was mixing dough to make cinnamon rolls, and I was also listening to a program on the radio.  I was focused on program I was listening to, but I was also focused on adding flour to the dough, –counting the number of cups of flour that I was stirring into the dough.  Suddenly John was right beside me, and saying something to me.  I was really startled!  I had not heard him coming.  He thought that surely I had heard him coming into the kitchen, but I was already focusing on two things at once and I didn’t have room in my mind for a third thing.

I think people get upset with me when I startle when they enter a room and are right behind me and suddenly (to me) speak to me.  I’m not sure why they seem to be offended by my startle reaction, but they sometimes seem to feel upset that I have that startle reaction.

John wasn’t upset with me but several weeks ago it happened with the pastor at the end of the church service.  I was standing in the pew, with my back to the aisle, and I didn’t see or hear him approaching.  He came up behind me and boomed out, “How are we doing today?”  I was so startled that I really jumped and felt that my heart had lurched.  Then he said, “Oh, a little jumpy are we this morning.”  Then he didn’t listen to my explanation that I hadn’t heard him at all.  He just walked down the aisle, to the back of the church.  That was a week before Christmas and he hasn’t greeted me from behind me since.  He only greeted me once since then and that was to say, “Merry Christmas, as he walked past me without pausing.  If he wasn’t offended, he seemed to be and I’m sorry that I really jumped.  But I really couldn’t help my startle reflex.  I was completely unaware that he was walking down the aisle behind me.

I’m glad that John understands that I startle easily.  He really thought I had heard him come into the kitchen.

My heartbeat went back to normal and I finished my work with the cinnamon rolls.  They turned out very well.  John really appreciates having the cinnamon rolls.

I don’t like surprises most of the time, but of course, some really nice surprise, like someone bringing me a hot fudge sundae unexpectedly. would be a very welcome surprise.

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In the Mood for Christmas

I keep thinking that I will decorate the house a bit for Christmas this year.  Maybe I won’t get much company, but John and I can enjoy the decorations together, and he’ll help me with some of the decorating.

Today I mailed my first three Christmas cards.  It’s a slow start, but I think it’s a good start.  If I do some Christmas related things each day, by the 25th, I should be able to feel pleased by my efforts.

Our neighborhood is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  I won’t do much outside but I can express joy of Christmas in my home.  “He is born, the divine infant!”

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Grandma Katherine — A Memory

My grandma, Katherine Baker, was a very quiet, timid woman.  My earliest memory of her is of visiting her in the Creighton Hollow home, a row house that no longer exists because it was torn down for the new highway to go through there. I remember going through the living room, at the front of the house, into the kitchen and meeting Grandma there.  In my memory, the first thing she would say was, “Do you want a piece?”   “A piece” was a piece of bread with butter and jelly on it.  My brother, Ed, and I would sit at the kitchen table and eat our jelly bread.  We liked the jelly bread and expected to have it when we visited Grandma.  It was a treat.

Grandma did not show affection in a tangible way.  I don’t remember hugs, or kisses, and she never, in my memory, said, “I love you.”  I remember once when I felt really loving toward her and I said, “I love you,” to her, she did not respond in any way.  I wanted her to say that she loved me, too.  I felt disappointed, kind of let down.  But I think I felt love, even though there were no hugs that I remember, and no expression in words.

I remember sitting on the porch swing with her one day.  It seems like I was visiting her by myself.  I asked her, “Grandma, what is your name?”  She told me, “Katherine.”  I said, “Katherine, can we go for a walk?”  She was indignantly upset.  “Don’t ever call me that,” she told me.  “I am your Grandma!”  I never tried to call her that again.  I think we didn’t go for a walk either.

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John and I have been married about three and a half months now and we are settling into married life happily.  We feel like two “old” married people, old as in “married a long time.”  It feels so good to be together as we are.

John decided to move into my home which was what I wanted also. My home is bigger and it’s set up to be a good place for my dog, Koco, who has become “our” dog.  She really loves John and he loves her, too.

I wanted to make room here for John so that he could have his personal possessions here in our home.  I’ve lived here a long time and I’ve been alone in my home for over 12 years, which means I have lots of stuff all over the house.  I’ve been working to get rid of things I don’t use or won’t ever need, and I’m making progress in freeing up space for John’s interests and hobbies.  Of course this takes time, but we are having a great time putting our mark on the furnishings and making sure it really is “our” home.

One thing I did early on that gives me satisfaction that it was a good thing to do was about the breakfast bowls.  Long ago I bought a blue bowl for me to use for my breakfast cereal, but I didn’t have another special bowl for John to use after our marriage.  I asked him about his favorite color and he said it is green.  I wanted to buy him a special green bowl, as nice as my special blue bowl.  But there were no nice green cereal bowls that I could find.

Later when we went shopping together, I told him what I was trying to do.  At first he said that I didn’t need to do that.  He was okay with the usual everyday bowls that he used.  But I wanted him to have a special bowl, too.  I still couldn’t find a satisfactory green bowl, but then I saw two very nice bowls, white with a blue stripe around the top of the bowl.  John agreed that it would be nice for both of us to have special bowls which are alike, and that’s what we did.  I always feel very good as I set the breakfast table with our matching bowls. They are just a tiny bit bigger than the everyday bowls.  In a way, it’s a silly little thing to do, but it’s the little things that mean something to each of us that keeps on cementing our bonding.

Little things which are invested with our own enjoyment and delight become building blocks of contentment and growing love.  I’m glad that we chose and bought the bowls together.

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Two Months!

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This is my husband, John!  We were at the beach on Presque Isle in Erie.  I was taking pictures, therefore I didn’t get a picture of John and me together.  I like this picture because I love to see John smile. He had been alone for three years before we got to know each other.  He didn’t smile much at first, but that has changed.  We both smile a lot since we started seeing each other.  We shared a lot of happy laughter before we married and now that we married, the joyful laughter continues.

I don’t have as much free time for writing now as I used to have, but I willingly share time with John now and I know that I’ll have more time for writing as I plan for writing time during the times when John is golfing or bowling.

These have been busy, happy days, and I’m thankful the God brought us together and gave us these joyful days.

We are still newlyweds.  Today marks two months that we have been married.

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Busy Time for Me!

It all happened so fast, but it has been God’s joyful surprise for me.

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I’ve known John for a long time.  Our families have known each other for years.

John has been alone now for over three years, and I’ve been alone for 12 1/2 years.  We neither one had any idea that we would some day find a bond deeper than friendship.

We had both been praying about our loneliness.  And suddenly, it happened, at the close of a funeral service, of all places!  He saw me standing there alone as others were going to the social room for the bereavement meal.  I smiled at him and we greeted each other as he walked past me.  I didn’t know that he felt in his heart at that time, “This is the lady I’ve been looking for!”  He called me at the end of that week, –to tell me that the senior group at the church was going on an outing that I may not have heard about.  He called me again the next week.  And then the third week when we talked and I mentioned that I had to do some yard work, he said he would come and help me.  He came to my place to look over the work that I planned to do.  He brought tools and we worked together.  We talked and talked.  We found many areas of common interest.

It was easy to love each other!  And now, we will be married on July 16.

I am busy and serenely happy.  I don’t have as much time to write as I used to have, but that’s okay.  I’ll get back to it as we settle into our lives together.

I thank God for His joyful surprise to us.

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Ukrainian Easter Eggs



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I’m still working on Ukrainian Easter Eggs.  I’m so happy to be able to make them.  I still have difficulty getting a good photo of the eggs, though.  This is one of this year’s eggs, a design of my own.  Sometimes I mean to copy a design I’ve seen and start to do it, but then somewhere along the way, I put my own spin on it.  What would it look like if I make lines here, or use this color combination, I ask myself.  Sometimes it works out beautifully, sometimes, it’s just an interesting egg.  It’s still a happy creation, for me.

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My Mistake!

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I do enjoy a good laugh, especially when it’s laughing at myself. Here is what happened last evening. Now that it’s daylight longer in the evening, I can drive to church for the 6 o’clock service and get home again before dark. I don’t drive after dark.

When I park, if it’s at all possible, I chose a place where I can pull forward when I leave, –no backing up. When I went to my little red car after service, there was another car parked right in front of my car. This puzzled me, because I was sure I had parked so that I could drive forward and there was this car right in front of me. Well, I can back up, but I’d rather not.

I opened the car door and started to put my purse into the car and suddenly realized, “This is not my car!” It was a small car, the same shade of red as mine, but it was not mine! My car was a couple of cars away, and indeed, it was parked so that I could drive forward, just as I had remembered.

I don’t know whose car I had mistaken for mine, but I had a good laugh at myself as I looked carefully at the car I had mistaken for mine. It was very similar to mine, but it was a Chevy, and my car is a Toyota Yaris.

It’s not the first time that I got into another car before I realized it wasn’t my car. Will I ever do it again? Most likely! If the car is small and red, I might think it belongs to me.

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Enigma Makes Herself at Home

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Enigma, so named because she is such a puzzle to me, –where she came from, and why she needed to live on my porch, is really an outdoor cat but I brought her indoors during the weeks when the temperatures were well below freezing.  She really made herself at home here in the house.  She seems to have been trained in good house manners and was well behaved in the house. I’ll probably never know who owned her before she came to me.

When she came indoors, she loved to sit on chair seats under the dining room or kitchen table.  She could sit there quietly for hours.  Sometimes I couldn’t see her on a chair under the table.  I would try to pull a chair from under the table, to take a seat, and the chair was too heavy.  What?  Then I would find Enigma sitting on the chair seat, comfortable and happy.  She has been a real puzzle to me.

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Thinning the herd

I’ve been collecting elephant figurines for a good many years.  I have more elephants than I put on display now.  I know it is time to start downsizing.  I have started giving some of my elephants away.  I think it is better to give one or two elephants away now and then than to attempt to find a home for the bulk of my collection.  I have begun thinning the herd.

A  parade of little elephants.

A parade of little elephants.

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