O, FOR HISTORY: Nixon resigns

We were vacation in Myrtle Beach, staying in a motel where our second floor room faced the swimming pool.

I was in the pool when Mother ran to the balcony and said I needed to come upstairs and to hurry.

She wrapped me in several towels so I could immediately watch the historic event unfold.

President Nixon resigns: video

At eight years of age I’d been following the Watergate scandal and now, at almost ten, I was preparing to watch President Nixon resign.

The next morning, my parents postponed going to the beach so we could watch Nixon’s farewell to his staff in the East Room of The White House. I can still remember the tears in Mrs. Nixon’s eyes as she strained to maintain composure. The agony in the eyes of his daughters and sons-in-law was painful to watch, as well.

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MY DAY: The camera lens

I’ve enjoyed a day entirely free of any business, emails, purging items for Goodwill, and other household needs.

Mama Kay delivered my China Cottage order and the Cottage vegetables and hot and sour soup hit the spot.

I made a vegetable stew from a zucchini, cucumber, pepper, chicken broth from my friend, Nicole, and added in rice, diced tomatoes, onion, celery and spices. Yes!

I almost grabbed my camera and took the bus to downtown. I’ve sorely missed taking photos and visiting my favorite haunts. I miss Carillon Park, too.

But, I need to exercise strict caution.

I can do it.

Thankfully, friends’ photos keep me photographically abreast of RiverScape, Dayton buildings and events, and the eagles at Carillon Park. I really appreciate seeing these places through their lenses.

I am attaching several favorite photos of places where I enjoy spending time.

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MY DAY: Sound energy

It’s been a terribly busy day around the neighborhood with all sorts of sounds and activity.

The parking lot construction at the high school auditorium, the cutting and mulching of the tree across Shroyer, kids playing across Rockhill, birds, a heavy breeze nudging leaves and wind chimes, and just recently, some trucks seem to be loading or transferring lumber next to the house in the high school’s north parking lot.

People have asked, “doesn’t all the noise of living here disturb you?”

Never. I love the sound energy.

When I hear these sounds I hear “progress.” It’s never just noise.

I hope everyone else is having a noisy day filled with energy.

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THE FAMILY ALBUM: Gatlinburg Wax Museum

As a young kid, my parents went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee every October to enjoy the Autumn foliage and to visit the attractions.

For any of our trips, Mother made a pallet for me in the long back seat of our steel blue Bonneville, complete with my favorite pillow, coloring books and crayons (which always ended up in the back window and melted), and a large white square Tupperware container filled with orange cookie-cutter pumpkin-shapes sugar cookies.

A styrofoam cooler was always behind the driver’s seat and I can still hear the squeaking styrofoam against the leather seats.

We always stayed at one of the few motels in Pigeon Forge which was the very last motel before entering Smokey Mountains National Park. It backed right up to the mountain where a large picture window opened right up to rock and trees.

While we were in The Smokies, we always visited:

  • The American History Wax Museum
  • Christus Gardens Wax Museum
  • Cade’s Cove
  • Clingman’s Dome
  • Cherokee Indian Village in Cherokee, North Carolina
  • Ghost Town in Maggie Valley
  • and all the various stores and attractions in Gatlinburg

My favorite was the American History Wax Museum. I was in heaven.

Below are several of my favorite exhibits. One photo I could not locate was of the Kennedy section which included President Kennedy, the widowed Mrs. Kennedy with Caroline and a saluting John, and Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald.

I have such fantastic memories of those annual trips to The Great Smokey Mountains.

John Brown execution.

The Alamo.

Lincoln assassination.

Lincoln assassination; 1970s

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MIAGD: Returning to the old… or new

MIAGD: Make it a great day

This 68-degree and just-enough-breeze morning is rather jolly and the crew trimming trees on the east side of Shroyer Road adds a new layer of color to the typical score of birds, rustling leaves, traffic, and the occasional barking when anyone walks too near the house, even if unseen.

No plans.

Last summer was preoccupation with Mother and I accomplished only the bare necessities. This past year has barely altered the minimal requirements.

Before the newly adopted life of depressive-driven withdrawal, I attended to house chores daily, keeping up with everything so my days off were entirely free for me and the sons.

I’m slowly easing back into the preferred life management. It feels good.

The pandemic has incorporated a new focus and some applicable measures that I’ve truly come to value. I feel more energized with this new way of thinking and the new lease on life and career.

I’ve always been a self evaluator. I love finding new things to learn, different ways of doing things with the same or better results, various ways of making life simpler or more exciting.

When my niece was visiting, Tuesday, she thought it was cool that with one button my entire living room is lit and one wall of lighting is on a timer (not currently in use since there are no visitors). Walking around to turn on all the lights before lessons was a tad busy; so I connected all the lighting fixtures onto a Bluetooth control. For nighttime, I’ve strategically placed motion sensor lights so that as I approach a darkened area my way will be lit. The upside is that I don’t have to remember to go back and turn off lights in rooms I’m not in.

I must always keep active, even if it is dropping into comfortable seating with reading, documentaries, podcasts, or loving on one or all of the pooches.

On to the day!

Make it a great day!

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MY DAY: Wednesday evening

The teaching day is over, except for one lesson that’s always at 10:00 PM and it is on to my three day weekend.

Last night, all four dogs were exhausted from the excitement of having my sister and her children here. This is the first time they’ve been around anyone since March and I’ve not seen them so bushed.

It was a mild day with the temperatures: a very cool morning and up to about 73-degrees during the late afternoon. The deck is a bit cool but very comfortable with a light breeze tugging for attention every now and then.

I’ve no plans for these upcoming three days; the house is fairly clean organized but I still have a great deal of purging to complete. I’m envious of those who aren’t collectors and can live with “less is more.”

Thanks to Nicole Melin, I have some delicious food to kick off the remainder of my evening into the weekend. She’s the best cook!

On to the weekend!

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MIAGD: Some cooler weather

MIAGD: Make it a great day

The morning was too beautiful to not participate in it so I wrapped myself in a blanket against the 73-degrees and continued with breakfast on the deck.

Our educational world feels as though it’s in a whirlpool as it navigates its way through the pandemic.

I am, and will forever be for closing the buildings until the storm is over.

I know my beliefs go against that of several friends, especially since I don’t have children in school, but the alternatives to a more creative, solid approach to learning and honing skills are waiting for to be incorporated and utilized.

Build from within!

The teaching day begins in five minutes and I am eager to spend the day with some terrific young folks!

Make it a great day.

Know you are loved, Mother…

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MY DAY: A heart full of love

This has been a fantastic week of surprises and other wonderful things happening.

A former student returning to college gives me an artistic gift with a witty reminder of my JOSEPH years, a former student’s mom and friend gives me a stein with aviation carvings, and my sister and her family spent a few hours, here in Dayton today, bringing me this beautiful wall hanging to remember our mother who died one year ago tomorrow, August 5, 2019.

My sister, Dena, is 8 1/2 years younger than me. We did not really grow up together because by the time she was at school-age, I was already in junior high and high school. However, it never hampered our closeness and unbounded humor.

Mama Kay came over to visit with us, bringing several plates of treats, and we had the absolute best time laughing. (Imagine that!)

Although we’re coming up on our first anniversary of being without Mother for a year, it certainly was not a sad visit by any means.

Today is also the one year anniversary of the horrendous mass shooting in the Oregon District of downtown Dayton. Despite having a close friend whose son was one of the surviving victims, I still feel quite removed from the event. I was returning to Dayton from Indiana when I learned of the shooting. Still, the haze of my mind at that moment compartmentalized the event and it was pushed aside. 

By late Sunday afternoon, August 4th, I was hurrying back to Indiana to be at Mother’s side, along with my sister, as we waited those next several hours for the final breath. As the Oregon District shootings played out across all the major networks it still seemed far off in the distance, perhaps another country.

The anniversaries of the mass shooting in Dayton and the anniversary of Mother’s passing, only 23 hours apart, appear to have born a rainbow of hope and a page turning from a year long chapter that dragged out with the full range of emotions.

Bad things happen.

Sad things happen.

Great things happen.

Regardless, love is always present as it ebbs and flows, sometimes very strong, sometimes practically invisible.

But, it’s always there.

It’s a blessing to have this heart full of love.



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MY DAY: Monday into Tuesday

I don’t think there’s any other way to describe the day as anything short of spectacular.

It was just that much fun!

Motivational session was great and such a rush.

Then, into the teaching part of the day was outstanding with students grabbing eagerly onto new techniques and progressing beautifully.

A super surprise awaited me on the front porch. What a wonderful, touching surprise.

Amanda Berlon has been a friend since around 2003 when her eldest son, Zach “Ginger,” became a piano and voice student. Zach was in choir and show choir with my son, Matthew, and Amanda and Scott’s you get son, Caleb, was in the same grade as my third son, Jose.

Amanda was always my go-to mom in the early years; she just always knew what she was doing in the preteen and early teen era. Even if she wasn’t sure about something, I trusted her.

Amanda is also one of those folks that doesn’t back away from tackling any demanding project from redoing their kitchen (my kitchen redo followed shortly after theirs), to various house and yard projects, juggling her position at Miami Valley Hospital, to being the ultimate soccer and choir mom.

My surprise was this beautiful stein featuring aviation through the years. It’s gorgeous and the first stein I’ve ever owned. I love it!!!

Thank you, so much, Amanda!

Tomorrow is another packed day and I’m ready to charge into it but first, I must sleep. I’m still charged from the morning motivational session, teaching, and being so honored with Amanda’s beautiful gift.

What a damn spectacular day!

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MIAGD: Monday morning symphony

MIAGD: Make it a great day

Birds are singing, cool breezes blowing, trucks beeping and moving around the construction site at the high school, an annoying crow cawing every bother three seconds, wind chimes tinkling, silent senior dogs lounging while The Sisters hold court on the deck’s edge, cicadas buzzing near and far, and the muffled sound of passing traffic on Shroyer Road.

That’s my Monday morning symphony while sitting on the deck.

In thirty minutes I’ll be be leading a motivational seminar for two hours, followed by a break before teaching until 10:45 PM.

This is what I already call a great day!

Make it a great day!


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INTERESTING FACTS: Coka Cocaine

Someone posted this meme…

I reposted and one of my former students didn’t realize cocaine was actually used in Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola arrived in 1885, not as a soft drink, but as a medicinal soda. Yes, it contained the coca leaf but most medicines did in that era.

By 1901, there was barely enough coca leaf to even matter. By 1929, it was fully removed from the soft drink.

I first learned about it in high school at the Indiana State Fair.

One of my favorite exhibits was the Hooks Drug Store Museum. It was fascinating.

One of the exhibits of Coca-Cola described the early years. Cocaine.

If you’re ever at The Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis, be sure to check out the Hooks Museum!

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MY DAY: Sunday

There was a bit of rain, early on, much cooler weather, some sunnier skies and some threatening skies, a sudden blast of heat and high humidity which settled into a very comfortable evening.

Instacart was ordered and arrived in under an hour.

Lessons ran smoothly and quickly and all of a sudden it’s 9:00 PM.

The air is still heavy with moisture and the mosquitoes are sniffing heavily without taking any chunks.

Chief and Erma, as always, are lounging near me while the ever animated Bailey and Harrigan are on paw patrol. Chief got fairly high playful and was enjoying an ounce of major energy! I love those moments when he lets loose to enjoy life.

Friday, I got to watch one of my students in Colorado perform in a safely block production of MOANA. This is this companies second production I’ve seen and I applaud them for being so innovative and determined to safely continue theatre.

I’ve some things to attend to inside the house so I’m forced to leave my comfy chair on the deck.

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MY DAY: Rain, Reading & Rest

A shower went through in the early hours this morning and after the sun rose the day was a tug of war between the sun and the grey clouds that eventually spilled over to steady off and on rain the remainder of the day and evening.

The weighted fatigue held on, again today, and I was glued to the guest bed with reading, podcasts, documentaries, and four loving pooches.

Other than that, there’s little to report.

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MY DAY: Lazy, sleepy Friday

Thursday afternoon, after feeding the dogs at 4:00 PM, I laid down on the bed to read and promptly fell asleep, waking at nearly 8:30 PM.

Fortunately, after a dinner of steak and a baked potato, I actually slept quite well through the night.

Friday began with breakfast on the deck with a quite comfortable temperature but immediately returned to bed with a headache and a heavy feeling of brain-fatigue, a fog.

Four hours of uninterrupted sleep still did not ease the weight of leaden eyelids and the foggy brain. I ate the rest of the the previous evening’s steak and a second potato I had baked.

The afternoon was restful and unproductive. Mama Kay delivered my regular Friday order from China Cottage and my friend, Nicole, delivered a bag filled with fresh vegetables from her garden.

This evening has been the ultimate comfort zone on the deck with a consistent cool breeze and the brilliant red cardinal bidding a loud “goodnight.”

Chief and Erma are stretched out near me on the deck while Harrigan and Bailey scour the backyard for whatever grabs their attention.

On to more reading while listening to a a fairly dull YouTube video on Mary Lincoln suggested by a member of the Abraham Lincoln Forum on Facebook.

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MY DAY: Rain-filled Thursday

As I was finishing up breakfast on the deck, the grey hovering clouds began spitting and were kind enough to wait until I had cleared the deck.

The day was wet with intermittent showers, sprinkles, or mist that seemed to flatten the day and evening.

The forecast shows a good deal of rain through Tuesday with much milder temperatures.

Reading.

Presidential podcasts.

Rep. John Lewis’ funeral.

Snuggles with the pooches.

And that is pretty much how my Thursday moved along.

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MY DAY: Wednesday evening

The teaching week is done and I’m relaxing in the chase lounge on the deck with no breeze but a very comfortable night.

This week zoomed by, quickly, with students making remarkable steps in the process. It’s such a damned delight to watch students take the risk of stepping outside their confidence-controlled comfort zones and discovering a touch of freedom and stronger assurance.

No teaching until Sunday afternoon.

I wish I could spend some time at Carillon Park and Woodland Cemetery, but I’m sticking to the doctor’s orders and avoiding the outside world save my walks.

It’s still strange to have such quiet floating throughout the usually very neighborhood.

Shroyer Road is one of the busier roads in Kettering which, within the stretch of my block offers a massive high school campus, a large United Methodist Church with a preschool, an enormous senior living community, the expansive Lincoln Park, the Fraze Pavilion, and Trent Arena.

The Fraze concerts keep the neighborhood energized and full. At least two hours prior to a show/concert and more than an hour after a concert ends, around 11:00 PM, the traffic is thick.

Many neighbors will carry their blankets for the lawn seating and if I’m not in the know as to who is performing, I can usually tell from the concert goers heading home and still singing some of the music.

It’s a delightful, lively place to live.

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THE FAMILY ALBUM: Flyer

Flyer, the best dog in the world.

I love and have loved all my dogs, but Flyer was just something beyond special.

Beginning July 21, 2013, 73 folks came to say “goodbye” to Flyer as her departure time became clearer.

Three former students who had never met one another, drove down from Bowling Green State University to spend a few hours hugging Flyer and crying along with the others.

Mother drove over from Indiana to stay with me for four days. Upon leaving, Mother, who was never much a crier, broke down in sobs, “I’m so sorry you’re going through this.” She kept petting Flyer and giving her kisses, “Grandma loves you, Flyer.”

The morning of July 29th, around 5:00 AM, Chief, who was sleeping with his head on Flyer’s hip, began making noises to wake me. Flyer’s breathing has become labored.

Chief and I laid next to Flyer, holding her and insisting it was okay to let go, we were all going to be fine, and that she’d done a great job.

Flyer had watched over four sons, ten foster sons, and a ton of students and friends of my sons for twelve years. She was a good mama.

Around 5:30 AM, the breaths became less labored and slowed greatly in tempo.

Then, the next breath for which I was waiting… did not come.

Chief began howling.

Navi, who’d been keeping vigil from one of the guest beds, began crying and cowering by the pillows.

I placed Flyer in a packing bin so I could transport her to The Pines for cremation.

I leashed up Chief and Navi and kept our scheduled morning walk. Just the three of us.

It’s been seven years and I still miss my blue-eyed sweetie.

In so many ways she’s still with me… and still so very loved…

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MY DAY: Tuesday on the deck

The deck is fairly quiet except for cicadas sawing away at their one tone trill and the tree tops sway to the northerly breeze that caps an element of perfection.

Teaching a full day of 10:00 AM til 10:15 PM is not as tiresome as it may seem. Today, I had a few on vacation, and marching band camps lightened the evening load a bit.

The dogs have been more entertaining and enjoyable throughout the day.

I’m still warmed by the three standout moments of my day that brought wide, appreciative smiles and a few tears. Very touching moments.

The national and local chaos of opening schools continues with little hope of doing what I believe to be the safer route. I’m nervous for my teaching colleagues and staff more than I am the students.

It will be what it will be.

Now, I shall close and do some writing.

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MIAGD: Things that make your eyes water

MIAGD: Make it a great day

No onions.

No pepper.

No allergies.

Three times this morning, my eyes have watered for some beautiful I looked-for moments that truly filled my heart with joy, peace, and love.

7:00 AM, a text message from someone very dear, just wishing me to have a great day. Thank you for energizing my morning, Mav.

Sniff No. 1.

Between lessons, I checked my texts and there was a message from a studio mom that there was a delivery on my porch.

I’ve two voice students from Colorado, a sister and brother, who are returned to Kettering to visit their grandparents and cousins. They delivered this beautiful arrangement of daisies, Black-eyed Susans, and hydrangea, a lovely card, some fresh cucumbers, and doggie treats. Attached to the card’s envelope was an origami flower made from a napkin from Carillon Park. Those little touches… thank you, Schmidt family!

Sniff No. 2.

My 11:30 AM lesson is a ten year old piano student, Zach, and I decided to move this lesson to the deck enjoy the weather and the music. Last week, Zach’s grandma passed away and it was the first time I’d seen him since the funeral.

As Zach was playing through this week’s music, my resident cardinal swooped across the deck and rested on the deck’s rail not more than 8 feet from where I was seated. All four dogs remained in their lounging positions with no attempts to disturb the special visitor.

When Zach had finished, I told him about the cardinal and explained the Native American legend of a cardinal’s visit. Since his grandma had just died, I suggested this cardinal must have been his grandma coming to listen to his music. Thank you, Grandma Stamper!

Sniff No. 3.

I could never ever say I don’t have a great life. There’s sadness, but it’s also weighed with joy, fun, laughter, beauty, excitement, magic, and tremendous love-filled moments.

Make it a great day!

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MIAGD: setting up the week

MIAGD: Make it a great day

I love a good breeze and this morning’s deck time feels wonderful as a cool, quick breeze causes a stir with the wind chimes, rustles the leaves, and keeps me wanting more.

Last night’s humidity kept me rollercoasting through sleep, trying to get comfortable the entire night. This morning, everything has a sticky feel.

Fairmont marching band is holding band camp this week and the campus seems a bit more alive with activity this morning. I love the energy.

It’s the second day of this new week and I’m ready to jump into action.

Make it a great day!

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Dame Olivia de Havilland

The last of the truly great artists from Hollywood’s Golden Era has left the set for her dressing room, the final, “and that’s a wrap” has been called out.

1968, Elwood Theatre on Main Street, Elwood, Indiana.

GONE WITH THE WIND.

Mother and Grandma Donna had planned to see the re-release that began its tour in 1967 and at the last minute had a babysitter cancellation. Mother packed my pillow and a blanket for when I would fall asleep.

Even at age four, I only needed approximately five hours of sleep which Mother did not force, despite the writings of Dr. Spock. I often watched THE TONIGHT SHOW with Johnny Carson; I remember Tiny Tim marrying Miss Vicki.

As the closing credits scrolled down, Mother said I was still sitting up on my knees, long past midnight, conducting Max Steiner’s brilliant score.

When we got home, I went to the piano and played the melodies of two partial motives, “Tara’s Theme” and “Melanie’s Theme.” According to Mother, I referred to it as “that sweet lady’s song.”

In December 1975, I purchased the paperback copy of GWTW that is on the bookshelf next to my bed. I began reading the book on the plane to Florida to visit my Aunt Joyce and cousins, Kim and Debbie.

That following December, I purchased a 1974 LP/album, Charles Gerhardt & The London Symphony Orchestra, GONE WITH THE WIND at Elwood’s T-Way store. I couldn’t stop listening to the music. I taught myself all the character themes beautifully crafted by Austrian born Mr. Steiner, the master composer of many legendary motion pictures.

As the years moved on, only a handful of GWTW’s cast mates were living: Olivia de Havilland (Melanie), Butterfly McQueen (Prissy), Fred Crane (Tarlton twin), Ann Rutherford (Careen O’Hara), Barbara O’Neill (Ellen O’Hara), Evelyn Keyes (Suellen O’Hara), Cammie King (Bonnie Blue Butler), Mickey Kuhn (Beau Wilkes), and a number of extras.

I was overly fascinated with the fact that my directing mentor, Joshua Logan, has been married to Scarlett’s screen mother, actress Barbara O’Neill. I’m Kevin Bacon estimates, I was “that” close.

My love for the book, movie, and movie artifacts continue with me to this day.

As the cast members passed away, I followed Olivia de Havilland, closely, and became more acquainted with her great body of work.

Impressive.

Powerful.

104 years and twenty-two days.

Even more impressive.

Rest in performing peace, Ms. de Havilland.

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MIAGD: Sunday is off and running

MIAGD: Make it a great day

The morning is light, bright, and breezy with a southernly wind waving its hand to create a comforting start to the day as I complete some items before teaching from 2:00 – 9:15 PM.

Last night, I was craving vegetables.

I split two cucumbers into quarters, spooned out the seeds, filled the boats with all sorts of tasty items and spices before placing them in the broiler for 15 minutes.

Later in the evening, I took a tomato that mysteriously made its way into my Instacart delivery and sliced it into tiny plates, adding spices, bits of ham, and cottage cheese.

I’ve never really been fond of tomatoes, and when you’re born in Elwood, Indiana, once known as the tomato capital of the world, one can be labeled an oddity.

The side meal was quite nice.

This morning’s 7:30 AM Bos-Kett-Lon (we’re still trying to figure out a name for our weekly gathering) Zoom gathering carried on well past its usual 8:15 AM ending time and the dogs finally were fed at 9:00 AM.

The wind chimes are are constantly clanging with cicadas providing a monotone bass line to the loudly belching cardinal and cooing mourning doves. I miss the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra concerts at the Schuster Center, but nature’s symphony is the best.

Make it a great day!

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MY DAY: The cardinals

In July, 2013, I first learned the ancient Native American legend of a cardinal’s visit from a dear friend, Valerie Marsh, following the death of my dog, Flyer.

For the past seven years, cardinals have been a constant addition at The Haasienda.

I grew up with a cardinal in the tree outside my bedroom window. I whistled to him; he whistled right back. He often sat on my window sill but I had to remain still so he wouldn’t startle.

The cardinal was Ball State University’s mascot so my scarlet connection continues.

In 2003, I moved to Shroyer Road in Kettering. For the past seventeen years, cardinals have been consistent residents at The Haasienda.

Since my mother’s passing, August 5, 2019, the cardinals have been even more present. If I’m in the front yard, there’s always one about. On the deck, my red feathered friends are nearby, even on the deck’s rail.

My cardinals usually begin their choruses around 4:00 AM, right outside my guest bedroom window where I’ve taken up camp for the summer nights.

Ironically, Mother was always waking around 4:00 AM, as that was when she would begin reading and commenting on my Facebook posts.

Today, one cardinal has been quite attentive, several times within less than ten feet. His female companion, with the faded, less spectacularly crimson coat, keeps her distance but still not out of my sight.

How I love these visits!

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MIAGD: Friday… let’s get moving!

MIAGD: Make it a great day

I was prepared to sleep by 1:00 AM, but busied myself with more reading and before I knew it, 2:30 AM was upon me; I posted a note for my son, in London, that I was still awake since it was 7:30 AM when he is usually awake.

He was.

We talked until I saw 3:37 AM come up on my phone.

7:30 AM, the dogs were wanting to go out. Once that was completed, I threw myself back onto the guest bedroom’s twin bed for another hour of sleep.

Well, it was a bonus nap! I woke at 9:30 AM! The dogs were patient and I kept to the schedule by preparing my meal, first, and then they got to eat so I could abandon the kitchen.

There had been more rain overnight and the deck was wet; breakfast inside.

Darin & Aunt Joyce

Today, July 24th is a double family birthday celebration: my great-aunt, Joyce Riser, is 86, today, and my great-grandmother, Thelma Daugherty Barmes, is celebrating her 117th birthday in heaven.

My Facebook remembrance post on Grandma Thelma captured the attention of several cousins. Judy Smith Hallett, my mother’s first cousin and one month apart in age, is one of the last to actually remember Grandma Thelma who was killed at age 53 in an automobile/train collision seven years before my birth. It’s been touching to remember her with a cousin-discussion.

Grandma Thelma with her family

My day has plugged away but with little accomplished. However, the discussion on Grandma Thelma has been a wonderful treat; keeping her memory fresh, sixty-three years later is a blessed accomplishment this day.

Now, on to other items that need my attention.

Make it a great day!

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MY DAY: Thursday into Friday

I can definitely say that this has been a productive day despite the morning rain showers and a day that dragged on with high humidity, making everything feel weighted in dampness through this evening.

I got a ton of reading completed on Mary Lincoln, President Truman, Thomas Jefferson’s travels to his other plantation, Poplar Grove, and some Dayton history.

There were also presidential podcasts on Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.

I grabbed a few documentaries on Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, and the making of the movie, IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD.

As evening moved in, I had a dinner of fried chicken, seasoned boiled potatoes, and corn on the cob. It felt so Hoosier!

A strong rain had drenched everything so that I ate in my study enjoying THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW which included several of my favorite episodes.

I made a big dent purging items from the guest bedroom and despite the second twin bed being free of boxes and stacked items for Goodwill, Bailey’s head is on my pillow, snuggled against my chest, and Harrigan is in a ball, shoved against the back of my knees.

I actually had a productive day without struggling against fatigue. It felt so good.

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