This is an old, old, old photo shopped picture.  But, I like it and I don't think I've posted it for awhile. 

Makes me think of you all, out there. 

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Comment by Phyllis on July 31, 2017 at 4:29pm

Dad was complaining about my niece tonight, about how she didn't even go see her mother in the hospital when she had broken her knee. I pointed out to him that my sister can't be bothered to do anything when he's in the hospital, she saw him for a 30 minute visit during the three days he was in this weekend. He was making noises like that was okay until I pointed out that I fucking missed work today to be there for him. Then I said, with an example like that to follow why should he expect my niece to be any different?

Comment by Julie Johnson on August 1, 2017 at 5:17am

Phyllis, I really liked the way you expressed yourself and told the story on your Living the Dream, with updates.  I read the last comment, then went back and re read the whole thing.  So ...oh...what's the word?  Symbolic?  I see you, as the butterfly flying free after so many constraints. Yet, the 'you' is in there too, with the need to control.  Such a great story.  Looking forward to next year's installment.  
My favorite part of visiting the zoo or the aquariums are the butterfly rooms.  Although, in real life I'm more of a dragon fly person.  

Mamaw does that same thing, comparing people and bitching.  Especially the brothers, she loves to throw some drama in there, between our families. I could tell some stories about that.  But, I won't. Not yet, anyway.  

This past week, with GB having some 'help', I've had a chance to do more out by the fish pond and laundry area.  We set up a smaller pool at the beginning of the summer for Anna and I to dip in, but it got too hot too fast and the misquitos got too bad.  We covered it up, and it just sits there, attracting more misquitos, but what if my big pond springs a leak?  I've got to have back up.  I know I should just drain it, but I hate to waste the water also.  It is soooo full this year! We still have the 6 big catfish, 3 or 4 bass, and a few brim.  Frogs and turtles!  Who would have thought that pool would last 5 summers now?  I really am a 'water protector'

Seriously though, I like to see how it looks around here, from the sky.  Love the google maps.  Oak Ridge is going to be half in the eclipse.  We have a Guard Base up the road, so I'm always watching for helicopters.  The cemetery won't be in the shadow.  Now, that would have been some eerie pictures, wouldn't it have been?  Oh man, I just thought of this.  We better put the orange ropes up so people don't think to park up in there when the traffic jam hits.  Driving yesterday, just to go to the store, it was backed up in both directions.  This used to be a little country road!  Get off my lawn, dammit!  *deep sighs* You know how I'm always talking about being so glad to be in the county, because we're never bothered.  We got a letter in the mail, last week.  Somebody called the codes on us, because of not mowing the yards at our places.  I bitch about GB's friend being here, but he brought a friend that has been amazing to get things at all 3 places cleared out and piled up in organized piles.  All the yard people we've had in the past 20 years?  None of them, has done as good a job as this guy has in just a week.  I might even take some pictures.... 

Comment by greenheron on August 1, 2017 at 5:55am

I hope people wouldn't decide to park in your yard! Here during the Halloween season, multiple times, I've come home to find people strolling around my yard and taking pictures of my house. It's a cute historic house but they are trespassing. The only way into the yard means going to the trouble to open the front gate.

I gots nothing good to write about, been busy the past few days and will be this week getting ready for an exhibit. Just wanted to say hi to the laundry denizens–stay cool and un-bit. 

Comment by Anna Herrington on August 1, 2017 at 7:58am

People walking in your yard? Parking at your place? Agghh, that would drive me nuts.

(I really can see how I could turn into one of those shaking-their-cane type old women....which I first typed as shaking-their-can type women...ha! I could see myself turning into that kinda' woman, too!!)

Sorry to sound bitchy about people in previous comment. I'm too sensitive with people's vibes too often.

I mentioned 'Brazil' in previous comment also. I have to share the story somewhere!  ; )  Here seems like a good spot, and Julie you've heard some of this already....

So, my nephew shows up for a visit a couple weeks ago. One of my favorite humans, he's a roadie, has worked for all kinds of excellent musicians/bands all over the globe. he brings, this time, with him his buddy and the buddy's girlfriend, 'Brazil.' They're in an RV. They park in our drive and we have one great day of all hanging out - then the next day, fighting erupts in the RV between the buddy and the girlfriend. He's American, 'enthusiastic' shall I say, not someone I'd ever date, by the way, and rather manipulative-seeming, personally. Brazil is from Brazil, speaks English pretty well, is friendly-seeming, a little over her head, maybe.

Short version, after much more fighting in the RV, Brazil moves into our house, refuses to go any further with the buddy/boyfriend, we all agree that's best. Our neighbors, long settled, married professors couple, later come over and admit they'd moved a little closer to their kitchen window with their morning coffee so they could hear the fighting better... HA!

Our nephew is in the middle, wanting to visit us, stop the buddy from crapping, basically, all over nephew's visit with his family, and also feeling obliged to keep the buddy calm and away. So, they leave and go camping overnight, Brazil stays. She's lovely! we discover, alone in the U.S. besides the now-former boyfriend, no resources, no cash, not so good with anything complicated in English.

Couple days later, after visiting and many roundtable discussions, Brazil stays with us while the nephew has to get back to work, there's a musician calling, excellent roadie (actually chief keyboard tech or title something like that) needed. Nephew and buddy leave, the 'buddy' being recalcitrant and insufferable jerk, frankly. He has issues, apologizes nephew. We decide to stick with:  So good to see you, Nephew!! Hope you make it back here soon! We love you! Safe journeys! (and maybe skip bringing the buddy next time!)

Brazil stays a full week, during which we find we have similar career paths in fashion, she'd worked for one of the Vogue magazines as stylist, she's seeing the same greed and waste and frivolousness I eventually got so tired of in my fashion world of visual merchandising and corporate retail....

we chat. a lot. about everything.

I find out she has a cousin down in California, if she can get to him, he can hire her, she can make money to buy plane ticket home to Brazil. So, early one morning last week, we go. I'm taking her to California, down to where I used to live (I realize on the trip it's been 17 years since I've lived there!) to meet her cousin. I know this road trip like the back of my hand.

Short version, she gets there, I drop her off, and drive back home. 12 hours total plus the times I/we stopped at the river, the old growth redwoods, and the freezing foggy ocean on the way down - and the way back.

I write all this now because I got the sweetest text from her this morning.

"Anna, I have my tent and a big bed just for me. Reading your books early in the morning with a cup of your chai. I'm doing good, proud of me, learning a lot here.  I'm thinking of you always and how everything was perfect with you. I have so much good memories and sometimes I'm thinking about this: somehow you change me - in a good way. I miss you so much and all the dogs too and the garden and your plum jelly.... the grandgirls... Thank you so much. Brazil

I'm verklempt!

...and somehow not minding so much anymore it's going to be 107 degrees today....

I miss her, too  : )

(Maybe she and my middle son would like each other....  ; ))

Mornin' ~  

(as all you east coast-ers all head toward lunch!)

Comment by Anna Herrington on August 1, 2017 at 8:05am

She changed me a bit, too. She was great company, and grateful. and funny!

I've also taken on her favorite phrase she used a lot:  

"It's too much - I don't like! (or, "I don't want!")

Saves me multiple paragraphs of my own typical convoluted, meandering explanations - and saves others from having to listen to my multiple paragraphs!!!

Comment by Julie Johnson on August 2, 2017 at 5:05am

This was funny ...'having to listen to my multiple paragraphs'...You speak in writing too?  Seriously though, that was a great story. I'm so glad she let you know how she was doing.  You didn't sound bitchy in that last one either, just life.  Ups and downs. Hills and valleys and all that.  107 degrees? oh my...

Not much time myself, this morning.  I've got a few stories in mind for later, but...

ta da ta da!  Today is the driver's test!  Soon, very soon we will have another independent person in the house.  (Speaking that, she shouldn't have any problems) I had to sort of push the issue of driving.  Young people today, are not the same as they were in our day.  She could care less about driving, as long as mom could get her to where she was going.  My Anna just turned 18, and is starting college (Culinary Arts) at the end of this month.  It's not that far away, same part of town as the High School, and I didn't mind a bit to be her driver there, for the last year, but I just couldn't see myself driving her to college.  It was time, and now it is time.  Hope to have good news when I get back :)

Comment by koshersalaami on August 2, 2017 at 6:21am

Young people and driving. Tell me about it. My seventeen year old daughter is not interested in getting her license. We even have an extra vehicle here. We're pushing the issue. Though, truth be told, when I was younger I noticed gender differences about that: I knew a lot of young women without licenses - all because they were uninterested - but hardly any guys. I was driving the instant I was legal. 

People are different collectively and individually. The dynamics just change. 

Sorry about the 107. My wife and I drove from New York to North Carolina for the weekend because she's about to have a birthday and wanted to see friends. I think it's a little under 600miles each way. Difference in the weather. Even differences in the light, which I didn't expect - the sunlight down there is brighter and harsher. It's now in the 80's up here at midday but believe it or not that's hot for local. One thing I like about being up here is cooler summers. I could get used to that. 

Comment by Julie Johnson on August 2, 2017 at 3:04pm

She passed with flying colors!   I can't wait to send her on some errands. 

...and, now I have a quandary.  Nothing to do with driving, yet anyway.  

It's about the internet and this way of communicating.  Once again, I was 'this' close to calling and catching up with one of my old girlfriends, from Fargo.  We visit every few years, but it's been awhile.
We have a history of love and friendship, and it was my turn to call but the cell phone number she gave me the last time we talked, wasn't picking up.  My folks see her every now and again at the store and church up at the Lakes, so they pass messages.  Every body is fine, I figure I have time.  

I got her number from my folks when they came thru here late last summer, wrote it down on a piece of paper, stuck it by the back door mirror and about every other day or so, would think...'I should call'... 

Her son just died, day before yesterday.  26 years old. I found out from my folks, they called to let me know it was in the news.  Every thing is online now.  I found the number that I had written on the piece of paper tucked away in a book, called the number and it was her husband's.  I told him who I was and he passed the phone over, and she knew it was me, right away. We talked for a few moments, but what do you say?  Last time we talked, she couldn't really talk.  Same thing as with my son, except I think more so on her part, some stuff you just don't talk about on the phone, especially if you're Norwegians.    

I just watched the video on the remembrance page, and there was her husband who was also my friend, in all the pictures up until that year, he died.  My friend's son was 12 when his dad died.  I had to look, to make sure. I have mentioned him, on here.  The snow days post, after James Emmerling died.  When my friend remarried, is when we sort of lost touch.  I liked her new husband, just fine but..In fact, we both had new husbands the last time we got together in person.  That's been a long time ago...

So, what is the quandary?  There really is none.  I'm sitting here, in my haunted laundry room typing on the computer, thinking my thoughts out loud. You all don't know my friend, and I'm writing to you first. I see my oldest daughter has posted on the memorial.  I guess I should, it's expected now a days, every body will be reading it.  

My Anna is on the phone, I hear her say to her brother after he asks her what everybody is doing.  

''Daddy's working outside, R's talking with his friends and Mom is reading sad stuff on the internet and blogging. '' 

Comment by Julie Johnson on August 5, 2017 at 6:40am

I never listen to myself !!!   And, I give good advice.  Page 10, said I was over the face book, got pulled right back in.  If anybody sees me on your friends you might know, do not friend request me!  The secret world of Julie Johnson was infiltrated by a person we shall not name.
I've still got that account, but got 'real' there, for a minute. I had to put a pretty firm warning up, and am keeping an eye out around the yards.  On the other hand, If you see my family stuff come up, I made a new account and invited every one of my aunts and uncles on both sides, and planning on digging into some history.  For the 'memoirs', you know?  I'm just teasin', you'll know it's me.  If I 'know' you, if you would be comfortable being read in both places, and we have interacted in any way, it's okay.  Go ahead and knock.  I'll let you in.  

Comment by greenheron on August 5, 2017 at 7:22am

Julie, I'd knock, except I'm not on any social media, for lots of reasons. From the beginning, I knew it wasn't for me. I listen to friends who enjoy it, also those who don't, and I'd definitely be among those who don't.

Did you decide to connect with your friend who lost her son?

And congrats on the driving daughter! (maybe) 


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