Friday, December 31, 2010

Planting Rose Bushes

Joe planted 8 rose bushes today. One rose bush is in the middle and that will give me room to plant other little plants in and around the roses. It should be colorful this spring.
The local stores still haven't received their Jackson and Perkins rose order yet, Lowe's said they are expecting the next shipment of bare root roses on January 10th.
I won't have room for more than four more bushes. Three roses are new to me: Cherry Parfait, Rainbow Sorbet and Pink Promise. The pictures on the packages of course are beautiful.
I'll probably plant annuals in around the roses.
Can't wait for spring to arrive!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Roses and Things

Little by little changes are taking place in my yard. All the rose bushes were so old that I had Joe dig them out, all except the two tree roses. The picture shows two rose bushes that were later dug out today. I purchased 10 new bare root roses so far, but the stores have not received their orders from Jackson & Perkins yet. Those are usually the best ones with a good selection of the newer varieties. I hope there will be enough room for the others on my list.
Joe weeded the yard today. That was a job that I thought I would do myself, but that won't happen for quite a while. I'm still taking pain pills for my knee.
It won't be long before the special order fruit trees will arrive at The Greenery.
I'm anxious to have them planted, but also nervous that I may have hard-pan and then what? Will Joe be able to break through that hard dirt? I sure hope the trees do well.
Here's a picture of Joe; he just finished weeding the Iris garden and is now pulling weeds from the narrow flower bed in back of my mobile. The flower bed will be made wider this spring and I will plant tomatoes here. The Irises planted here will probably be given away because they are duplicates.
I still haven't found a place for everything I wanted to keep and I am sure the papers in boxes on the porch are deteriorating. What to do - what to do.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Two significant things happened today and I didn't expect either one.
When the physical therapist was here today for the last time, I mentioned that I haven't walked up or down my steps yet, but only used the ramp a few times. He said he would help me, with me using the cane instead of the walker.
It was a piece of cake! I could've done it before, but I was afraid of falling.
The therapist even walked me down the street a ways, using my cane.
I am right-handed, so I always used the cane with my right hand.
That is wrong. The cane is used on the side of the normal,strong leg.
The therapist also said he thought I would be driving before long. So, later this afternoon, I tried it; drove around the MH park. No problem.
So, now I can drive myself to Anberry for physical therapy and to the grocery store.
Not bad. The total knee replacement surgery was only 3 weeks and 2 days ago.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Doin' O.K.

Today my sister picked me up and we went to the Winton Historical Society's meeting. We sat there for about 2 hours and that was long enough for now. That machine that slowly moves my leg was supposed to be here for 3 weeks, which would be this coming Saturday. Someone is coming to pick it up tomorrow morning.
The physical therapist who has been coming here 3 times a week will be here for the last time this Friday. Next week I will start with physical therapy at Anberry.
SO, I must be doing good!!!
Progress is always good. I'm looking forward to using the equipment at Anberry. I can't drive yet, so I'm sure they will pick me up. I know of one other resident here in the MH park that they pick up for physical therapy.
Sandy and Dol left last Saturday(December 4), so now it's just Maggie and me again.
John and Mandy came down Friday night, we all went out to dinner at Nagame's. We always enjoy that.
The next morning, Dol checked online and saw that their 3 p.m. flight back to Amsterdam was cancelled. There was a storm going over Holland and the airport was closed. So, John and Mandy took them to San Francisco on Saturday morning so they could check in and get vouchers for a hotel room for Saturday night and fly home one day late. I hated to see them go, but that's the way it is.
Now to get my knee back to normal. I'll sure be glad when I can drive again.
Carolyn and I have appointments with Miguel Thursday. I hope it won't hurt too much, but I have this pinched nerve in my hip. Not comfortable.
Sorry I don't have a picture. I wish I had taken one of the four of them when they were here.
Maggie misses them too, she looked in every room and finally gave up and took a nap in her cat tree.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Knee Replacement Part 2

Here is the machine they put your leg in right after surgery. It very slowly moves your leg back and forth and up and down. It was on a 45 degree angle from the very beginning. Every day the degree of the angle is raised until you reach 90. I am on 87 degrees now. The machine came home with me and someone will pick it up when my 3 weeks is up. I'm supposed to be on it for 6 hours a day, 2 hours at a time. I'm always glad to get on the machine because it loosens the muscles somewhat. Usually I'm ready to get off before the two hours are up. After getting off, you ice the knee to keep the swelling down, 20 minutes on top of the knee and 20 minutes under.
I learned the weakest muscles in the body are behind the knee. Those have been the most sore and most painful. Part of the time anyway. Other muscles, tendons, around the knee are painful and sore when moving the knee. I never once though said I wish I hadn't done this.
Two weeks and I have made such good progress! Being able to walk around the MH park one day still seems like a dream come true. I hope it happens sooner, rather than later.
Oh, I had the staples removed this morning. My doctor is very happy about how my knee is coming along. It probably won't be long until the physical therapist will stop coming to my house and I will start going to Anberry in Atwater for therapy. I think it will be a while before I can drive though.
Here is Sandy's blog and what she wrote about my knee surgery.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Knee Replacement Part 1

Today is exactly 2 weeks since I had total knee replacement on my right knee. I was fortunate to get a very good doctor. He was recommended to me by a couple of ladies from Winton who had their knees replaced. I decided to trust their judgement and made an appointment with Dr. Temnyk in Turlock. Since then, I learned that everyone has high praise for this doctor. Everyone from the hospital staff in Admittance to nurses, physical therapists and everyone else. One person said that after you are in the operating room, the doctor has all the windows and doors sealed so no germs can get in. A nurse said she has known the doctor for 20+ years and has never know a patient to get an infection.
My operation was at 7:30, Wednesday, the 17th of November. I woke up as they were wheeling me to my room in the surgery section. I saw my sisters peeking around the corner, all with smiles on their faces. Everything went well.
Later that evening, I was surprised to see Sandy and Dol stopped in to see me on the way to Merced. They had just flown in to San Francisco; an 11 hour plane ride from Amsterdam. They rented a car for the drive from SF. My sister Carolyn then picked them up at the car rental place in Merced.
The next day, the physical therapists get you out of bed and help you stand up. The scary part was when they helped to lower my right leg to the floor. The muscles are unbelievably tight and sore. And painful. I was hoping for a catheter, knowing that I can't seem to be able to use bed pans. But a catheter would be risky for an infection, so a couple of nurses helped me on the porta-potty next to my bed.
I wanted to sleep on my side, but that is not allowed. It sounded like it would feel better, but in the long run, it would not be in my best interests. They did roll up a pillow and placed it between the bed rail and my back. That helped a lot.
Saturday I was allowed to go home, after walking 100 feet with a walker and someone beside me. I was very happy to get home, but the pain doesn't stop when you leave the hospital. I was allowed 1-2 pain pills every 4 hours. Later they wanted me to stretch it out to 6 hours. I usually only took one pain pill, so if I didn't make the full time, I thought I was still doing O.K.
At home, I couldn't get out of bed by myself for the first couple of days. Sandy took care of me around the clock. The first night I hollered for her 3 times. It was either for a pain pill or to go to the bathroom.
I'm sure we were both glad when I could get out of the bed by myself.
Tomorrow I have my first post-op appointment with the doctor. The plan is to have these staples removed.
More details to be posted tomorrow.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Big Day

My Big Day is Wednesday, the 17th. I am scheduled to have a complete knee replacement surgery on my right knee. The date sure came up fast. Am I ready for it? Not really, but I have been putting it off long enough.
Sandy and DB will be here the same day, flying in from Amsterdam. I'm fortunate to have someone to wait on me for a couple of weeks. Mandy and John will be coming here for the Thanksgiving weekend. Can't wait to see them all.
I'm looking forward to a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. John will cook the turkey and Sandy and Mandy will do the side dishes. Sounds great to me. I just hope I will be able to get around o.k. Of course I have to walk 100 feet in the hospital before they will let me come home. Otherwise I will have to go to a rehab. You know I will try very hard to be able to come home.
Mandy came down this past weekend and helped me get the spare bedroom a little more organized. She's good at that. I'm not. It was great seeing her. On Saturday we went to the Jantz Cafe for lunch and Nagame's for dinner. It was a very nice visit and I really appreciate her help.
What I am really looking forward to after the surgery, is being able to walk around the MH park like so many others do. That would be just wonderful.

The above picture shows my silhouettes that my niece hung up for me above my desk. My favorite is the colorful orange one, although I really like the ones with the dried California flowers in them. On the back of the orange one is written, "She can have it when I'm gone." Evidently someone else treasured it before me. I was lucky enough to find it at the Modesto Mall years ago when they had antique dealers there on special occasions.
The silhouettes are from the 1920s and 1930s. They were sold in the dime store. Now you find them in the antique shops, like so many other cheap things you remember from the past, but are no longer cheap.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My Maggie

Last Monday I finally took Maggie to the vet to get up-to-date with her shots. I got her 3 years ago from the Animal Shelter and she hasn't had any shots since.
I put the cat carrier on the floor and since she had never been in it, she was curious and crawled right in. But when I wanted to zip it back up, she got out. I had to push her head down with one hand and zip it up with the other.
Poor Maggie she was scared in the car and meowed all the way to the vet. They gave her 3 shots and poked her all over. I put the cat carrier on the steel table and Maggie crawled right in and laid down. She wanted to go home!!
Maggie has been doing a lot of visiting around the neighborhood. She likes to go to my sister's house about a block away. She goes to the back door where the bird feeder is hanging. Maggie likes to be invited inside. The first time she was inside she inspected every room and didn't want to leave. One day I asked Carolyn to keep her in because I wanted to come pick her up. She knows the sound of my car and when I drove up, Maggie went and hid in the closet.
All the animals like Ruth, my neighbor across the street. One day when Ruth was sitting on her porch, her phone rang, when she went in to answer it, Maggie squeezed in the door and went from room to room. She went in the closet and wouldn't let Ruth catch her. The next day, Maggie was there at the door with her nose pressed to the screen. She wanted in.
I sure hope all my neighbors like cats.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Before & After

I've had a lot of changes made here since moving to the MH park. One of the last things on the list was the drapes that were hanging in the living room. The old owners were supposed to leave the window coverings when they moved. They definitely took the sheers and I guess that made the big difference in how it looked. I still think they changed the drapes as well because after they moved they somehow got really ugly. Some of the drapery rods were hung crooked. Didn't I notice anything when we came to look at this place?
Today, my niece, Roxanne was here and took down the old drapes and hung up the new blinds and the sheers. It made a world of difference! Roxanne has done a wonderful job. She will be back tomorrow to finish hanging the sheers and maybe some pictures.
I wanted this place to look nice before my daughter comes to visit for Thanksgiving. That was her original idea for coming and then she insisted she wanted me to have knee replacement surgery so she can look after me for a couple of weeks. I know I have been putting it off for too long. I have the sugery scheduled for November 17 and she will be here that day. So, more big events coming up.
I need to clear my mind and decide on what to do with all the stuff that I have yet to find a place for. Guess I just have to turn loose of things. I think I'm afraid if I give up the things that trigger memories, I will no longer remember the events surrounding them. I do a lot of looking back. (That goes with old age.)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Merced County Genealogical Society

Merced County Genealogical Society Program for October 16, 2010

One-Step Webpages:

A Potpourri of Genealogical Search Tools

Stephen Morse

Stephen Morse – of One-Step Webpages – is known nationwide for his internet toolbox. He has given his program to groups all across the country. This program is designed to give us an overview of the most popular tools on his website, tools to save you time searching the internet.

The One-Step website started out as an aid for finding passengers in the Ellis Island database. Shortly afterwards it was expanded to help with searching in the 1930 census. Over the years it has continued to evolve and today includes about 200 web-based tools divided into 16 separate categories ranging from genealogical searches to astronomical calculations to last-minute bidding on e-bay. This presentation will describe the range of tools available and give the highlights of each one.

Come and hear this well-known speaker and learn how to simplify your internet searching.

Saturday ~ October 16 ~ 1:00 p.m.

Merced County Library, Gracey Room

2100 O Street, Merced, CA

Friday, September 17, 2010

Shed Renovation

Marty and crew were here this morning. They completely revamped the inside of my shed. I should have taken a 'before' picture, but it was such a mess.
They pulled everything out, made shelves in the back and one side. The opposite side has an old work bench.
Now there is room to put everything back with space for more!!
I really like it. They made a special area for all the garden tools. I'll have to get the hoe out right away as you can see in the next picture.
The Irises are doing good. I did give them a little liquid Miracle Grow the other day. Gotta remember I now have the Atwater sand to grow plants in. Sure is different than what I've been used to.
It's easier to work in, but have to remember to feed the plants and water more often.
The sidewalk that leads up to the door belongs to my neighbors. They sure have a cute place. The door goes to their utility room. (aka shed?) Like I said their place is really cute and she is lucky her husband is such a handyman!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Carol's Birthday

Carol's birthday was September 12. Her daughter and son-in-law had family over for a birthday dinner, complete with a delicious carrot cake. Mr. Opportunity from Honda was there and I took a picture of him and Carol. They look pretty chummy.
Carol's great-grandkids were so cute, playing together.
I've been looking for my favorite Butterfly bushes, but was surprised I couldn't find them, not even in Turlock. They won't be getting any more in until late spring. Now I wish I had taken cuttings from them before I moved. I thought it would be no problem to find Blue Chip and Adonis Blue or even Black Knight. They seemed so easy to find the first time around. Oh well. Maybe later.
I did get the fruit trees ordered. They won't be here until late January.
The Winton Old Timers reunion will be here before you know it. I have pictures I want to scan so I can return them before then. Then, there are more recipes to type for the Winton Centennial Cook Book. Sometimes when there is so much to do, I don't know what to do first.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Where were you on 9/11?
I was still in bed. My husband was up. The phone rang. It was our daughter in Switzerland, asking if we were watching TV. She said the U.S. was being attacked.
John turned the TV on and came in to tell me. I was confused about the news. What did he say? What did he mean?
Watching it on TV was so unreal. When it finally sunk in that this was really happening, I called my sister-in-law who was just as shocked as we were.
Watching the planes fly into the tall towers gave me a sick feeling. I'm sure it was the same feeling that a lot of people had.
My husband and I had just flown to Switzerland that spring to visit our daughter. It was my first ride in a large airplane. I would never have gone on that plane if the attack had happened before then.

Friday, September 10, 2010

August Wrap-up

It's been a long time since I wrote anything on my blog. What did I do? Let's see if I can remember. lol
Mrs. Dibble invited me to go to Nagame's restaurant for lunch. Pictured is Mary, owner of Nagame's (along with her husband) and Mary's mother, Mrs. Dibble. Mrs. Dibble is amazing, she and her husband live here in the park and every morning she is out there walking. She even picks up my newspaper and puts it by my door. So then I don't even have to get dressed, but just take a couple of steps outside to retrieve my newspaper. Mrs. Dibble is definitely spoiling me.
My husband and I used to go to Nagame's for dinner all the time. Every birthday, anniversary or "just because" would find us there to sip the hot Sake and have a delicious dinner.
The next picture is "our" table on Bingo nights. From the left is Joan, Yvonne, Barbara, Carolyn and Betty. The empty chair is where I sit. I'm the "Johnny-come-lately" but they made room for me at their #1 table. lol It's a good group of friendly women. Behind Barbara is an old upright piano. Too bad it's not a player. I still haven't decided what I will do with my 200+ player piano rolls. Maybe the fact that I am so reluctant to sell them means that someday I will still get another player piano. haha.
Today my sisters and I had a late lunch at Sizzler's. Sunday is Carolyn's birthday, so she had her choice of where to go. We decided we will go to lunch once a month. Guess we'll take turns deciding where to go.
Monday Carolyn and I have appointments with Miguel Gallegos in Turlock. During the time I was moving we missed going one month. I sure didn't like missing my reflexology treatment. I was hurting. My knees, hips, you name it. I'm glad to be back on schedule. After our treatment we usually go to The Greenery on Olive Avenue.
It's a very nice nursery in Turlock and you can find plants there that you never see in Merced. It's a straight shot from Miguel's office on Lander Avenue, just head East on Lander and it turns into Olive. How easy is that?
Anyway, I'm really excited about going there this Monday because I am going to special order some dwarf fruit trees. I can get dwarf Stella, Bing and Rainier cherry trees there. They get their fruit trees from Dave Wilson. The fruit trees we had in Merced also came from the Dave Wilson wholesale nursery. I found the same varieties we had before; Flavorcrest and Suncrest peaches; Fantasia nectarine and the Tilton apricot. Those are available in the semi-dwarf. Their usual size is a little bigger than I want, but I found a wonderful article on pruning fruit trees from UC Davis. I am determined to learn how to prune them myself to keep them within the acceptable size. You have to prune them in the summer as well as the winter. The manager is concerned about how tall the trees will get and I am too. I'd like to be able to pick the fruit without getting on a ladder.
The Dave Wilson website has lots of good information on trees. One is especially interesting to me on homegrown fruit trees.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Winton Old Timers committee

The committee met today at the Winton School District office.
The three people in the back row are: Agnes Luker; Rosalie Heppner and Randy Heller, Superintendent of Winton Schools.
Front row: Cathy Hill; Marilyn Colburn; Hank Dacuyan; Carolyn Wiens; Lorraine Richards; Avanell Nelson and Wilene Nelson.
Rosalie has it well organized. The menu will be the same as last year: chicken breasts from Rizzonellis (Atwater); cole slaw from KFC (Atwater); baked beans, prepared by volunteers; apple pie from Jantz Cafe (Atwater); ice cream cups for pie ala mode - yum! and beverages; iced tea, lemonade and coffee.
The date is September 26, 2010 (last Sunday in September) at the Winton Middle School, on Cypress Avenue, between Almond and Gertrude. Registration starts at 10:00 a.m., lunch is served at 1:00. Come early and visit with old friends. Tickets sold at the door: Adults $8.00; children under 12, $4.00.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Black Oak Trip

Yesterday we went to Black Oak Casino on the bus. A group of the "Relay for Life" from Atwater had a bus trip planned. Part of the money from tickets sold went to charity. Pictured on the bus is my sister Carol and her daughter Roxanne. The bus left Atwater about 4:30 p.m. and we returned around 1:00 a.m.
It was a fun trip. I haven't been to a casino in years and Carol and I had never been to Black Oak. We played the slot machines. I liked the nickel machines the best and I kept playing on them for quite a while with the $15.00 they loaded our cards with. Finally I had to use my own money and it went fast on the quarter machines. I'm not much of a gambler. Lost less than $10.00 when the night was over. One person in our group won $500. on the dollar machine and much more on the nickel machines. Came home with about $1400. I think. Guess it wasn't my turn to win. But it was fun. Better than trying to find something to watch on TV on a Saturday night. lol.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New Kitchen

My kitchen is finally done. There were so many problems that came up with working on an old (1982) mobile home. Everything from changing the locks on the doors to the tile on the wall behind the stove, etc. not being even. Something was uneven, maybe it was the wall. Any way, lots of problems to be resolved.
Marty did a great job of coming up with solutions that not only worked, but looked wonderful.
To cover up the uneven space between the new back splash and the tile on the wall, he deicded to remove all the tiles and have the copper tin squares installed.
I had never heard of the tin walls before, so I thought it came in one big sheet!
I depended on Marty to come up with good ideas and I trusted his expertise to make it look good. He came up with the idea to put wood around the window, covering the white wall with a crack in it.
His worker, Mike did an expert job of fitting the tin squares together. You have to start at one end and make it over-lap. Having an uneven wall to work on was an extra challenge.
I'm impressed on how it all turned out.
So, now I have the normal height counter tops in the kitchen AND the bathroom.
I couldn't get a good picture in the bathroom; I don't have a wide-angle lens on my camera. But you can see the nice cabinets Marty and crew made for the bathroom. A tall cabinet with shelves for towels and 3 drawers below. It's all lined with vinyl so I don't have to line it with anything.
The black marble top on the vanity is very pretty. I love the new look this has made to the master bathroom.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thursday Night Bingo

Last night, Joan was our "money-changer" at Bingo because Lillian wasn't able to be there.
At first I thought my cards were duds, but each time I won, it was better than a straight Bingo, so I came out ahead again.
There are a couple of women who play 15 or 16 cards during Black-out. In the first picture is Jennie, the next one is Robyn.
The pictures were taken during our break; our treat last night was ice cream drumsticks. I haven't had one of those in years. And guess what? The chopped peanuts on top didn't even bother my stomach. Maybe I can tolerate a few peanuts now and then.
This is Jennie with her 16 Bingo cards. She plays 12 cards (I think) during regular games. I can barely keep up with 6 cards. Everyone playing Bingo lives in the mobile home park. Not sure if that's a requirement. It's a good way to get to know the residents. Maybe more will come when summer is over.
Next time I'll take a picture of a table of players.
Everyone seems to enjoy playing Bingo.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Kitchen Stove

Last Friday night I got my kitchen sink reinstalled and my New Stove!! Just in time to make Macaroni salad for the potluck on Saturday. I was so thrilled to have a kitchen sink again, even enjoyed washing dishes. Really good to have a stove again; eating fast foods gets old in a very short time.
The next time I post a picture of the kitchen, it will look very different!! Marty has some cool ideas. Things I would never have thought of.
The kitchen and bathroom should be finished the first part of next week. Yipee!!!

Tomorrow I get to start putting dishes in the cupboards. No more rummaging around in the boxes on the porch to find something to cook in.
I know, I could have been more organized, but I'm not an organized person. Anyway it will be great when it's all done.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Progress is being made in the kitchen. This picture shows they took the cabinets down to the bare bones.
At first I was only going to have the counter tops lowered to the normal height.
Then when I decided I really wanted a new stove, that caused major changes to cabinets.

This next pictures shows a hole cut out for the new set-in stove. To the right is the hole where the double oven used to be. Doors have been made for the cupboards that will fill in that space.
I'm hoping to get the kitchen sink back tomorrow and the new stove installed. I've been "camping out" for quite a long time, but I guess there is an end to it soon.
I took a picture of my little Iris garden today. I haven't seen any new green yet except for a few weeds. I'm sure they will all survive. I've seen worse ones than this that made it. You can see the white name tags I stapled to them. This is the 'before' picture. I'll post another picture next spring when they are looking pretty.
Other changes in the yard to come this winter. Out with the old; in with the new.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kitchen Renovation

The kitchen was tore up today. I really didn't like the high counter tops; they were a good five inches higher than average. So, all that came out today, along with the tall, small island counter. Then I told Marty that I really wanted a new stove. The oven especially looked so old!!! So, I bought a one piece stove at Sears Monday. Marty (my sister's son-in-law) will re-do the cabinets to make it fit; make cabinets to fill the space where the double oven was. He will also build an island type counter for my microwave, etc. I know it will be very nice when it's done.
The vanity in the master bath was removed today also. It was raised to 37 inches; a good 5 inches above normal. Good grief. I will be glad to have average size counters.

A cat door was installed yesterday for Maggie. It didn't take long for her to make use of it. She is settling in now and seems much happier than at first.
I have met several of my neighbors. This was a good move for me.
I do miss picking fresh peaches from the back yard, but I hope to find some fast growing Ultra Dwarf fruit trees this winter.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bingo Nights

Thursday is Bingo night here at Rancho Grande MH Park. I went last night for the first time. There were 17 of us, which is the average number of people who come to play. Pictured is Lillian, who collects the money, checks the Bingo winners and pays out the money. Her friend, Hop is the caller. They both do a good job of running the Bingo games.
I haven't played Bingo for years and years. It looked like everyone played with 6 Bingo cards, so I thought I would too. My problem was if I was trying to listen to the conversations around me, I would forget the number that was called. hmmm, I wonder if I will get used to that and be able to talk and check my cards at the same time. I missed out a couple of times; didn't notice I had all four corners one time and also missed a diagonal win. You have to hollar Bingo before the next number is called. Oh well, nobody gets rich or goes broke there. It's only a quarter a card to play. I won a few times and only lost one quarter when the night was over.
Guess I'll be a regular, same as my sister. At least now I have a DVR from Dish Network, so when Survivor starts up again on Thursday nights, I can record it and watch it later.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Before the Move

A few days before moving day, Joe chopped down the grapefruit tree. It was a huge job, it took 3 pickup loads to haul it all off. Sunday morning I planted some Irises there. They will get all day sun, it should be a good spot for them.
There are some really OLD rose bushes here. I want to replace them, but will wait until December so I can buy bare-root roses. I might have one taken out now if I can find a nice Butterfly bush to take its place.
Also before moving day, I went to Sears and bought a new refrigerator and washer and dryer. Here is a picture of the installers with the fridge. The 33 inch side-by-side just barely fit in that space. My old fridge was too wide by two inches!! My old dryer was gas, so had to buy a new set.
Little by little I'll have some changes made around here. Starting with the kitchen, I hope. The former owners had the kitchen counter rasied up a good 5 inches. I'm shorter than average and it's just too high for me. Same thing in my bathroom. The vanity is 37 inches high, they are usually 31 or 32, something like that. Good grief!!!
I have some big projects in mind.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Moving Day

Moving Day finally arrived on July 12. It began early, the big truck arrived before 7:30. Mandy got up extra early and took the electronic things and Maggie in a cat cage over to the new place and was back in Merced just as the movers got there. Mandy packed up the last minute things; she rushed around and kept ahead of the movers. The truck was so big, my furniture and the million boxes only took up about 1/3 of the space. The 3 men were fast workers and we took off for Atwater before noon. (It was about 10:30, if I remember right.)
The truck arrived at Rancho Grande and here it had to be unloaded from the side door. Found out later that the neighbors were all watching from their windows.
I'm sure they wondered how I was going to fit everything inside the mobile home. A couple of days before the truck brought the big stuff, there were carloads going inside and one day it was 2 pickup loads and 3 carloads. Must have looked like a parade.
I laid awake at night, worrying about where all those boxes were going to go, so I told the movers that the boxes with 'Books' written on them, they could put those on the porch. Well, they put ALL the boxes on the porch. You can see how many there were in my "wall of boxes!" And most of them are still there!!
I have 6 large boxes of player piano rolls; about that many boxes with sheet music, not to mention pictures and special newspaper articles, obituaries, etc. etc.
I'll have to do something with it all before Sandy and Dol come for a visit.
Poor Maggie was so upset, she was locked in the bathroom with food and water. She cried and cried, I thought she was going to get hoarse. As soon as the movers left, I let her out. She spent nearly all her time on her cat tree. She looked so sad. I know she missed her old home with the cat doors and the big back yard with trees to climb.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Still More Packing

Mandy and John came down over the long 4th of July weekend. They worked their buns off. It was not a holiday.
They finished packing me up and John even mowed the grass as you can see in the above photo. He even looks like he's enjoying it. Really?
It wears me out.
Here is Mandy, packing up stuff from the shelves in the utility room. John finished packing the kitchen. Mandy cleaned out the hall closet. They both sorted the boxes and stacked them in the garage. They both did a LOT of work. This was Mandy's third weekend down. I don't know what I would have done without them.
My sisters came on two different days to pack my stuff. I'm sure I have too much.
I finally got the key to the mobile. It sure didn't look as nice after they moved out. I had my cleaning lady come out today and she will be there again tomorrow. That sure made a big difference.
My neighbor lady peddles her bike over to the pool every afternoon from one to two. She invited me to join them. I will before too long. I know I will enjoy living there with people around my age. I can't imagine Maggie the cat liking it as well as here, she has so many places to hide in the backyard, but I guess she will get used to it. I hope she'll be able to stay out of the cat traps that people put out on occasion.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I'm Still Here

I haven't moved yet, but things are moving along. I'll be glad to get this all over with. In the meantime, the apricots and early peaches are ripe. A couple of sisters and a niece came over today to pick some. The peaches should have been thinned, but I guess the new owners will do that next year. The apricots didn't have such a big crop this year, but they are bigger and are very nice. The apricots are Tilton and the peaches are FlavorCrest. I sure would like to find the Flavorcrest in an Ultra Dwarf size.
Here is a picture of my back yard at the MH park. I'm going to have that big Grapefruit tree taken out as soon as possible. I hope there will be enough room for the Ultra Dwarf fruit trees that I want to plant and also some Irises. You can't see all of the back yard in the picture. It's a little wider towards the road. It doesn't go beyond the Grapefruit tree though. We're not allowed to have fences, but we can have hedges if we want to. I think a row of fruit trees would be a good way to define my lot.
I just have to convince the manager that what I want to do is a wonderful idea. lol. I already have permission to have that Grapefruit tree taken out because it grew too large for that location.

Here's a picture of part of the front and the side yard. It's on a corner lot, which means lots of lawn, but that's O.K. There are automatic sprinklers and a man mows it for a very cheap price. It's a short distance to my sister's place and not far from the swimming pool. Summertime, and the livin' is easy. ONCE I GET IN.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Waiting Continues

I should've been moved by now. There has been a glitch somewhere. At first I was told the delay is because the selling price of my house had changed. Now I think it's more than that. The not-knowing is driving me crazy. I sure would like to know WHEN escrow will close. I need more than a couple days notice. Now that I've gotten used to the idea of moving, I can't wait to get there. I don't think I'll miss the big back yard after all and after Maggie gets used to the place, I'm sure we'll be fine. I'm thinking of having a cat door put in for her. I know she'll like that.

My granddaughter has 'retired' her blog, "the Dairy Princess Diaries." It was sad to see that but it's understandable. Her life has moved away from the dairy and time to put all that behind her. I'm very proud of Mandy, not only for what she has accomplished but for her personal outlook on life after all the hurt she has been through. Mandy is a smart gal and I know she and her husband will have a wonderful life together.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lackey Memorial Bench

When Ira Lackey died, people donated money to the Winton Historical Society in his memory. The Society wanted to do something special for the man who was loved by the whole community. My sister, Carolyn thought an indestructible bench made by Robert Isaac would be a good choice. A plaque was made with the words, "In Memory of Ira & Maggie Lackey." The dedication of the bench was yesterday. A good crowd of people attended, along with the 3 Lackey brothers and their families. Also nieces of Ira and Maggie. Speakers were Randy Heller, Rosalie Heppner and Judge Brown. Jim Lackey spoke on behalf of the Lackey family.
The bench was installed at the Winfield School on the corner of Walnut and Chestnut.
The Winfield School is built on property that was the homeplace of Ira and Maggie Lackey and where their 3 sons grew up.Pictured by the bench are the 3 sons of Ira and Maggie: Tom, Jim and Charley.
More pictures can be seen at flickr.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Big Changes Coming. . . .

Yes, I am expecting big changes to happen soon. My sister told me of a nice mobile home for sale at Rancho Grande, a 55+ mobile home park in Atwater. So, I decided to see what I could get for my house and consider making the big move.
The real estate lady came up with comps and told me what I could probably get for this place. I thought it was a little low, but knowing that property values are way down, I thought I could accept that.
That same afternoon, my real estate lady came by to put up the for sale sign. Right behind her was a real estate lady from another company with the daughter of a prospective buyer. The daughter was enthused and called the mother right away to drive up from Southern California to see it. Their real estate lady took pictures of the house, yard, everything. Evidently they put in an offer before seeing it in person. Noon the next day, the mother was here and told me she loved the house and hoped I would accept their offer.
It looked like everything was going smoothly. Then the appraisal came in at $4,000. under the agreed upon price. I was shocked. I thought for sure it would be higher than asking price!! We compromised on the price and thought things were back on track. But, oh no, the Underwriters have to start all over again because the price changed and I was told it could take up to 20 additional days. That is absolutely crazy!! What do they do anyway? What could possibly take that long?
The people I feel bad about are the owners of the mobile that I am buying. They found a place they wanted in another town, but now they are concerned about the extra time it will take to close escrow, first on my house and then on their mobile. If they lose out on that place they will have no place to go. This Domino effect is driving us all crazy!!
I really don't understand what could possibly take the Underwriters so long to look everything over.
In the meantime I am enjoying the ripe cherries. My last Hurrah!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Iris Garden

There was a nice article, including a picture in the Merced Sun-Star today about the Headrick's Iris Garden in Merced. His Iris Garden is on 2/3 of an acre just off of Yosemite Avenue and Seal Court in North Merced.
In the picture is "Select Circle" that I bought from him last year. It's very different from the others that I have and it caught my eye right off. For a while I wondered if I liked it or not. But now I've decided that, yes, I do.
I received a free bonus Iris last year, named "Abby Grace." In the article today I learned that is the name of one of their daughters. It does have a very pretty flower. I missed getting a picture of it with all the rain we've had, but I see a new bud is about to open. Mr. Headrick develops one or more new flowers every year through hybridizing. Their website is:
The article is online, so if you don't get the Sun-Star, you can read it here: I don't know how long they keep articles on the Internet.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Distant Cousins

Yesterday, my sister, Carolyn and I met with 3rd cousins, (once removed) at Brooks Ranch in Atwater for lunch. In the picture are Marv and Ruthann Dirks from Kansas. They were in California to visit his brother in the Bay Area and first cousins, (once removed) Mark Dirks and his sister Eloise from Turlock.
The six of us had a very enjoyable 2 hour visit. Ruthann and I have exchanged Dirks information over the years, but this was the first time we met face to face.
Carolyn and I have known Mark for years, but never met his sister before. Years ago, Mark and I exchanged lots of genealogy, not just our own families, but other Mennonite families as well. That was back when I was trying to connect all the Mennonite families who lived in Winton. I think I almost did it. LOL.
I meant to take a picture of Mark and Eloise, but they were not sitting together and so, unfortunately, I forgot.
Thanks for lunch, Marv, it was a very nice afternoon. The two hours passed too quickly.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Plants 'N Things

The six little tomato plants made it through the 2 day storm just fine. We did get a lot of rain, about 1.27 inches. I was concerned about the little plants, but it wasn't a hard rain, just steady.
The snails haven't found them yet, but they are all over the Iris plants.
I got my "joint fluid therapy" type of shot in my knee last Wednesday. I was so eager to get it, I'm really tired of this bum knee. Today, Saturday, I can finally tell it is getting better, but the muscles around the knee are sure sore. The full benefit of the shot can take up to 3 weeks, so I am hoping to be pain free and walk without a cane or limping someday soon. As soon as I got the shot, it was painful to walk, I had my cane with me and I slowly hobbled to the car. I had planned to go to the grocery store afterwards, but no way. I just wanted to go home and get in the recliner. This fluid expands in the knee and is supposed to fill up all the "potholes" in the knee and lubricate the joints. I sure hope it works and I won't have to have a knee replacement.
Here's a picture of "Abbey and Me" a pretty yellow and white Iris. I bought it year before last in Cathey's Valley. It was my most expensive one, $9.00, but I had to have it. I see in this year's catalog that it is down to $6.00. Guess you have to be patient and wait a year or two. We saw a beautiful Iris in the field that year, so different from anything we had seen. I forgot the name of it, but it was $50.00. Last year it was down to $25.00. Wish I could think of the name. It had the truest dark red I've ever seen in an Iris, I think part of it was black. It was very striking. But, I don't have room for any more Irises anyway.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Maggie

My Maggie is on her favorite perch (the 3rd level) of her cat tree. She is guarding her back yard from the safety of her cat tree inside the house. We get quite a few stray cats in the back yard and Maggie doesn't like it. She's not aggressive though; she's too afraid to fight, and I am happy for that. But, she's not afraid to get aggressive with me and I have the scars to prove it.

Yesterday, I managed to plant 6 tomato plants. Joe, the gardener was here early in the morning and got the ground ready. I'm glad to finally have those in the ground. I planted one Big Beef, two Better Boy and three Celebrity. Earlier I stuck 4 or 5 Early Girl in a very large pot. I plan to only leave one in there. They are so big now, I hope I can still transplant them. I have one Cherry Tomato next to the house. I really bought a lot of tomato plants this year. Guess I am determined to have fresh tomatoes all summer.
I went to my Orthopedic surgeon this week and let him know that the last cortisone shot didn't help my knee this time. He's going to try a different kind of shot. It used to be made out of rooster comb, but now they make it in a synthetic form. They had to order that medicine so it will probably take about 2 weeks to get it. In the meantime, I am trying to get by with my painful knee. I bought a cane today because I don't want the neighbors see me use my walker to walk to the mailbox. Guess I'm not ready to completely wreak my image. Probably in a day or two my knee will feel better and I won't need the cane or walker. Some days are better than others.
If this next shot doesn't help, the next step will be knee replacement surgery. I hear a lot of pros and cons about that.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New Iris Blooms

This is a new one for me, Ozark Rebounder, it looks blacker than it does in the picture. Just beautiful, looked like black velvet yesterday. This one came from Superstition Iris Garden in Cathey's Valley.
Splashacata is another one from Cathey's Valley and is also new to me. I love the speckled coloring. I've had a lot of problems with snails again this year and besides that, it looked like something was turning some of the leaves brown. "Abby and Me" and "Apricot Frosty" have bloomed, but the flowers are a little deformed. So disappointing, I've been waiting to see those. They didn't bloom last year. I hope to eliminate the problem soon so I can see how beautiful they are. So many Irises are beginning to bloom now and that's pretty exciting.
I lost my original "Gypsy Woman" Iris, so I was very happy to find a replacement at His Iris Garden in Merced. It looks so dainty and beautiful with the yellow Standard and the white with pink edge Falls.
I always hate to lose a flower that I really like. It's like losing an old friend.
I've been thinking for some time that I would like to move to Atwater and be closer to my sisters. But. . . it's also hard to leave my home in Merced and my yard that is too big. I still like having the room for fruit trees and plants that strike my fancy. Nothing is ever finished. But that's the way I like it. It doesn't get boring then. There's always a place to dig. Maggie the cat loves it here too. She comes and goes as she pleases through her cat doors. She still loves her cat tree and is on it several times a day to take a nap or to check out the back yard from her high perch.
Yes, Spring is wonderful. Just wish I had a new knee.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Arrives

Yes, spring finally arrived. The fruit trees are blooming, the snails are out and the weeds continue to grow.
I bought quite a few tomato plants, but have only planted the Cherry Tomato so far; not counting the four Early Girl I stuck in a large pot. That was a temporary measure until I could get the ground ready. With my bum knee, I haven't been able to do that yet. There are 6 more to plant besides. Why so many tomato plants? I came home from the grocery store and after seeing the prices on them and knowing they are never as good as home grown, I just went overboard. Didn't buy them all at once, but they kind of added up.
Raspberry Rita is the first to bloom in the weed covered Iris Garden. Many others have buds on them. Something is eating the 3 Iris plants that have been blooming for weeks now. Some of the leaves are brown. These are planted in another area. Also my Fantasia Nectarine tree has Curly Leaf. DARN!!! I thought I was getting by without spraying the fruit trees. So far the two peach trees are o.k.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mennonite History and Genealogy

Yesterday, Kevin from the Hiebert Library at the Fresno Pacific Bible College was the guest speaker at the Merced County Genealogical Society meeting. His informative program was very interesting. He told us about the different groups of Mennonites who left Europe and settled in the U.S. and Canada. The first ones to settle in the U.S. were from Switzerland, they settled in Pennsylvania in the 1600s. They became known as the Pennsylvania Dutch, which was a misnomer.
The groups from Holland and Germany left their homelands for Poland and later Russia before migrating to the U.S. and Canada in the 1870s. About 2/3 of them stayed in Russia, but by 1920 decided to leave, but by then the U.S. and Canada had quotas for immigrants and so some went to South America. I wish I could remember more details of Kevin's talk. I was really impressed with his vast knowledge. There were questions from the audience and he had an answer for each one.
Then he told us about the "Grandma" file and everyone laughed when he said he was related to himself 6 different ways. So, when I came home, I decided to see how many times I am related to myself. Only five ways, so he has me beat.
I'm my own 4th cousin, once removed; 8th cousin 3 times removed; 9th cousin once removed and also 9th cousin twice removed. I'm sure this is all on the Dirks / Unruh lines.
For more information on the "Grandma" file see
To see which books are available at the Hiebert Library go to: