Welcome to Pat's Place

Thanks for stopping by Pat's Place. I hope you enjoy my blog.

As a writer, I will be blogging about many things that interest me. My posts will be about what I am writing and other things I'm doing. Enjoy!

Web site: http://rthrbrtn.synthasite.com

Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day - Bitter Sweet

I saw a clump of daisies along the roadside today. They reminded me of home, my childhood home.
I'm sure my mother breathed an exasperated sigh when she saw me or my brother bringing her yet another armload of daisies, but she always found a clean jar, put them in water and placed them in a prominent place to be enjoyed. No doubt, Germtrol was used frequently after a foray into the daisy field. Germtrol eased the itch accompanying chigger bites.
Daisies bring a memory of another kind also. May 30 was a holiday not overlooked in our family. As long as I can remember, Decoration Day was family day. It was a time when families gathered at the gravesites of loved ones long gone to pay tribute by laying flowers on the graves. Originally designated as Memorial Day for fallen soldiers, we called it Decoration Day.
In Dad’s family, the accepted mode of decoration was to place seasonal garden flowers or wild flowers on the graves. Sometimes the bouquets would be placed in jars or cans. Peonies and roses gathered from the yard were popular. Many times huge peony plants or climbing rose bushes were planted at the gravesite to provide a natural decoration.
I remember gathering huge armloads of daisies. These were put in water to await the next day when they would be placed on graves. I liked the huge peony blossoms, but I hated the ants. Anywhere there is a peony depend on it being full of ants.
Mom's family followed another custom, that of making flowers for decoration. Mom was known in the community for her crepe paper flowers. She began early in the spring buying colorful red, pink, green and white crepe paper so she would have enough time to make the many sprays needed for family graves. She made her own patterns, carefully cutting each petal just right. The shape of the petal depended on the type of flower she intended to make. A gladiolus petal had a sharp point at the end. A rose was rounded with small petals close to the stamen and larger petals outside. Each petal was pulled or crimped into place around a crepe paper bound wire which formed the center or stamen of the flower. Dad salvaged the fine copper wire from discarded car battery cables.
Mom held the petals with her left hand using the right hand to add more petals, holding them in place as she turned the flower. When the shape suited her, she anchored the petals with fine wire. The wire was then disguised with a strip of green crepe paper wound around and around until it finally ended at the end of the flower stem. The leaves were fashioned from green crepe paper and attached in the same manner.
Mom made gladiolus, roses, sweet peas and larkspur. Most often several flowers would be bound together in a spray and placed on the grave. No matter that the first rain would wash them away; they were a labor of love which she never failed to perform. It was not unusual for people to make a special note of the type of flower Mom made and the next year someone would copy the design and use it themselves.
This year I will follow tradition and lay flowers at the gravesite of my loved ones. It will be a bittersweet day. Memories are sweet and remembering the loss is sad. I will lay flowers to show respect and honor their memory and to show my love that never dies.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I'm Out of the Technology Loop

Last Saturday’s ORA program, featuring Diana Botsford, was very interesting. I found out just how far out of the technology loop I really am. Hey, I just mastered Facebook and Twitter is presenting a challenge. Now I find out there are Vooks, Kindles, IPhones, IPads, and watching movies on your computer.

I have one excuse. I still have dial up internet. Can you believe it? ATT has forgotten my section of town and they keep trying to sell me a bundle with DSL, Telephone and Television included. Really! Here’s a message to AT&T: Get DSL out here and I’ll consider the rest.

I don’t live in the boonies. I live within the city limits of Springfield and there is no reason not to have DSL out here.

That is my rant for today. Excuse me as I blindly, slowly grope my way into the future world of technology.

Monday, May 3, 2010

There is Life After Migraines - I think!

Hello. Must I introduce myself? It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Been having some health problems and feeling rotten doesn’t lend itself to bright, creative blogging.

I have fought migraine headaches all my life. School, marriage, children, work all while dealing with migraines.

Years ago, Doctors didn’t consider migraine a disease. “Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.” In my case, “You have three children, I’ll prescribe Valium.” Just what I need with three little ones running around my feet! Later, I got, “You’re depressed? I’ll give you something for depression.” Heck yes, I’m depressed. I have migraine so bad I can’t function. That is why I’m depressed.

Finally, found a doctor willing to deal with the problem and spent time at the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago. That is another story. It was an interesting experience. Every patient on the floor had migraine or cluster headaches. The nurses had also experienced migraine. At last, someone understood what you meant when you said “I have a headache.” When a migraine sufferer has a headache, it isn’t just a headache, it’s a HEADACHE.

I received the correct medication and got relief. I learned to watch my diet, learned not take on too much, learned to relax when a migraine is threatening.

So now, I’m having migraine again. Make that severe migraine. My doctor informed me, I’m too old to be having migraines. Well, Doctor, I’m old and I’m having migraines. He refused to prescribe the preventative medicine needed and referred me to other doctors.

This blog finds me in the process of going from doctor to doctor to find one who understands and treats migraine. Antibiotics for severe sinusitis has helped the worst migraines, but I’m still having headaches. Still taking too many pain pills. So if you see me staggering around and not making sense, you know I’ve got a migraine and am high on pain pills.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Blurb for Murder On Tour

Murder wasn’t on the itinerary when Maxie Black and her friend Stella traveled to Ireland to help a friend. Expecting the sights and sounds of Ireland to soothe her spirit and provide background for her next mystery, Maxie did not expect to become the prime suspect in an extremist plot.

From the Book of Kells to St. Kevin’s Monastery, Maxie is hounded by a person demanding something that Maxie does not have. Among ancient castles and legends in the Emerald Isle, Maxie is kidnapped and nearly killed. Homeland security agent, Mitch Logan shadows her every move. He knows too much about her. Can she trust him? And who is Irene Bouchard, the redheaded bombshell that turns up every time Maxie is in trouble?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Super Bowl Celebration

My Super Bowl Celebration

I am not a sports fan but on Super Bowl Sunday, I decided to celebrate. Idea! Soup for Super Bowl. So I made a large pot of vegetable soup. Then me, myself and I sat down to eat lunch with a cup of tea.

Me suggested the soup needed salt. I told her to count her blessings that she had soup to eat. Myself said the tea was too strong. That didn’t bother me. Me made the tea.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Do You Remember When Snow was Fun?

The snow is leaving. Sunshine. Yea!

Do you remember when snow was fun? When you were a child, you couldn’t wait to play in the snow. To throw snow balls, to build a snow fort, to slide down the steep hill.

My first memory of snow, I was two or three years old. Mom made snow ice cream by taking clean snow, adding vanilla, sugar and little cream. That made a slushy ice cream and we thought it was delicious. We didn’t have an ice cream freezer. Sometimes, Mom put cream, sugar and vanilla in a syrup bucket and put it out in the snow. If she went out and turned the bucket every so often, we had ice cream for supper.

When I was child, my brother and I didn’t have a sled. Dad made us a couple of small sleds out of wood. The runners were wooden also and didn’t do well on snow. But they slid fine on ice. It didn’t take Brother Jerry and me long to figure out how to make ice out of the snow.

It was fun to slog the mile to school in the snow. We knew only a few students would show up to our one room school. It would be a fun day. There was a long hill to travel down to the schoolhouse. Again, my brother co-conspirator and I decided we could sit on our lunch buckets and slide down the hill. Mom was not too proud of us as our lunch buckets were new and fancy. They were just like Dad’s that had a raised top with a thermos in it.

As a teen, my neighbor was with the highway department. He and his wife owned a grocery store as well. She did not like to stay alone when he had to work nights on the snowy or icy roads. He would pick up his niece (my best friend,) then bring the highway snow truck to my house, blade off our drive and pick me up. The two of us were to stay at the store with his wife. Fine guards we were. We spent a good part of the night, slipping and sliding in the snow, drinking hot chocolate and generally enjoying ourselves.

Then there is the down side of snow. We heated with wood at our house in the Ozarks. Dad’s rule was, “You can’t listen to the radio until you do your chores.” Chores like bring in enough wood for the night and the next day, gather the eggs, feed and water the animals. It was not fun to do chores in the snow when it was cold. That long road to school got cold too, however much fun we had, we arrived at school with cold noses, wet gloves and frosty toes.

Of course, you remember getting your child bundled up for snow. They would stay five minutes and want to go inside. There they stayed five minutes, then demanded to be bundled up again.

My husband and I had a wreck in snow one time. We slipped off the road and landed upside down. The snow cushioned our fall, but it took us a few minutes to get out of the car and a long time (it seemed) for someone to come along and give us ride back to Mountain Grove.

We owned a heating oil – wholesale gasoline business in Mountain Grove. Many of the older homes heated with heating oil. There are two kinds of heating oil. One kind will freeze up in very cold weather if it isn’t mixed with the lighter oil. Many times, we got a call in the middle of a cold, snowy night that their furnace wasn’t working. The oil had congealed in the line. Clif would bundle up, take a flashlight and go to the home to thaw the oil line. When the kids were old enough to stay alone, I would go with him to hold the light. Cold! Oh my. Clif had on enough clothes to keep him warm. Not me. I didn’t own coverall and a flop eared cap. So mainly, I shivered and my teeth chattered until we had the client’s fire going and they were toasty warm.

Oh, those were the days.

Do You Remember When Snow was Fun

Do You Remember?

The snow is leaving. Sunshine. Yea!

Do you remember when snow was fun? When you were a child, you couldn’t wait to play in the snow. To throw snow balls, to build a snow fort, to slide down the steep hill.

My first memory of snow, I was two or three years old. Mom made snow ice cream by taking clean snow, adding vanilla, sugar and little cream. That made a slushy ice cream and we thought it was delicious. We didn’t have an ice cream freezer. Sometimes, Mom put cream, sugar and vanilla in a syrup bucket and put it out in the snow. If she went out and turned the bucket every so often, we had ice cream for supper.

When I was child, my brother and I didn’t have a sled. Dad made us a couple of small sleds out of wood. The runners were wooden also and didn’t do well on snow. But they slid fine on ice. It didn’t take Brother Jerry and me long to figure out how to make ice out of the snow.

It was fun to slog the mile to school in the snow. We knew only a few students would show up to our one room school. It would be a fun day. There was a long hill to travel down to the schoolhouse. Again, my brother co-conspirator and I decided we could sit on our lunch buckets and slide down the hill. Mom was not too proud of us as our lunch buckets were new and fancy. They were just like Dad’s that had a raised top with a thermos in it.

As a teen, my neighbor was with the highway department. He and his wife owned a grocery store as well. She did not like to stay alone when he had to work nights on the snowy or icy roads. He would pick up his niece (my best friend,) then bring the highway snow truck to my house, blade off our drive and pick me up. The two of us were to stay at the store with his wife. Fine guards we were. We spent a good part of the night, slipping and sliding in the snow, drinking hot chocolate and generally enjoying ourselves.

Then there is the down side of snow. We heated with wood at our house in the Ozarks. Dad’s rule was, “You can’t listen to the radio until you do your chores.” Chores like bring in enough wood for the night and the next day, gather the eggs, feed and water the animals. It was not fun to do chores in the snow when it was cold. That long road to school got cold too, however much fun we had, we arrived at school with cold noses, wet gloves and frosty toes.

Of course, you remember getting your child bundled up for snow. They would stay five minutes and want to go inside. There they stayed five minutes, then demanded to be bundled up again.

My husband and I had a wreck in snow one time. We slipped off the road and landed upside down. The snow cushioned our fall, but it took us a few minutes to get out of the car and a long time (it seemed) for someone to come along and give us ride back to Mountain Grove.

We owned a heating oil – wholesale gasoline business in Mountain Grove. Many of the older homes heated with heating oil. There are two kinds of heating oil. One kind will freeze up in very cold weather if it isn’t mixed with the lighter oil. Many times, we got a call in the middle of a cold, snowy night that their furnace wasn’t working. The oil had congealed in the line. Clif would bundle up, take a flashlight and go to the home to thaw the oil line. When the kids were old enough to stay alone, I would go with him to hold the light. Cold! Oh my. Clif had on enough clothes to keep him warm. Not me. I didn’t own coverall and a flop eared cap. So mainly, I shivered and my teeth chattered until we had the client’s fire going and they were toasty warm.

Oh, those were the days.