Saturday, May 31, 2008

My Mom Ruth - June 14, 1936 - May 31, 2004

This one is going to be hard. My mom and I didn't have the relationship that my dad and I had. I think that she may have been jealous of this.

This is a picture of my mom and my brother. This is the first and only house that my mom and dad had. Gosh to look at this same angle now, you wouldn't believe that it is the same place.

She was always barefoot. I get that from her. I don't ever remember her wearing sneakers. When we got snow, she would wear snow boots, but inside she just wore socks in the winter.

Here she is with my Auntie Violet. I think my mom learned how to cook from her. I have to say that my mom was a good cook. Once she cooked something, she would change it around just a little bit. I remember one time I had to make the turkey and stuffing for Thanksgiving. She wasn't feeling well and insisted that we were still going to have Thanksgiving dinner. I asked her were the recipe was? She didn't have one. Wasn't this fun. I had to keep running between the kitchen and her bedroom until it was right. She ended up going to the hospital. She had pneumonia. So here Danny and I were with a 15 pound bird and stuffing. Needless to say, Danny had a lot of turkey sandwiches. After that I told her I wanted recipes. She said she didn't have any. All the recipes were in her head. I didn't care I told her to write down what she used and about how much. She did. As it turns out I cook a lot like her. If I find a recipe that I think I will like, I make according to the recipe. Then I tweak it to my taste. So basically, when someone asks me for one of my recipes, they get mad when I tell them I don't have it, but this is how I make it. One time my dad and her went crabbing in the back bays. My dad set the CB up and my mom told me to put the roast in the oven. I put the roast in the oven at the time she told me. I was in my room and realized that it was pretty late. I came out and asked Danny if he heard anything from them? He said no. They finally got home. She was pissed. Neither one was paying attention to the tide so here they high and dry waiting for the tide to come. Good thing we had gravy with that roast.

In the entry about my dad, I said that he had an Exxon gas station. Sometimes there wasn't enough help and my mom helped out. This picture was taken back in the day when there was leaded gas. Don't we all wish that the price of gas was this low again.

Her favorite things to do were go the the casino, play bingo and watch the news. I would go over after work and she always had the news on. This was to depressing for me. The other thing was reading the newspaper front to back. Oh I have to add another thing to this list. When my dad was still alive they would go for rides. There was never a destination. Where ever they ended up, they ended up.

My brother's health was horrible. After she retired she basically took care of him. Very seldom did she go out. When he died, she basically gave up. She just sat in her chair. We had many a fight about this. My Aunt Mae would asked her all the time if she wanted to go out to dinner, bingo or the casino. The answer was always no. This was starting to wear on me because aside from Aunt Mae, I had no help. She fell one day while I was at work. She had broke her ankle and because of just sitting, she had no muscle tone in her legs. She went to a re-hab center for therapy. She basically did the same thing there that she did at home, sat. She made friends in the center and quite honestly I think she enjoyed being there. There were people there in similar situations as her. When I would go, she would be in the dining area playing cards or some other games with someone. This went on for a good many months. I was tired, angry and depressed. She didn't understand this and still demanded more. I had asked Aunt Mae to go and talk to her. She did, but then went to Maine for vacation. The day after Valentine's Day my mom called me and told me that Mae was hit and killed by a drunk driver last night. I couldn't believe this. I called Aunt Mae's friend to find out if this was true. Yes - it was true. This was another blow for my mom. And a major blow for me. Things got worse after this. She spent more time in the hospital then in the center. One haul was 40 days in ICU, with an additional 20 in a regular ward. She went back to the same facility and after a little while they wanted her to sign a DNH (Do Not Hospitalize) I fought with them about this. How stupid. There are reason's for people to go to the hospital. I ended up having her transferred to a different center. She did have to go back to the hospital, but not for a major reason like the last time. She ended up taking a turn for the worse and her mind started to go. One time she asked me if Danny was home yet and had dinner? I was dumbfounded as he had died several years prior. The facility called me the Friday before Memorial Day to tell me they had sent her to the hospital. She was in isolation. She was talking and laughing the whole time, not to me, but to someone. She would say "Vaughn, go upstairs to mom and dad's room and get that thing." This went on all day Saturday. Sunday was different. Her breathing was labored and she wasn't talking, but mumbling. When the nurse came in I asked if there was a DNR on file. She said that she was going to talk to me about this. She said that she had already checked and there wasn't. She gave me some time and came back in the room and asked what I wanted to do? I told her that she wasn't going to get better this time and I wanting to sign the DNR. Monday there wasn't any mumbling. At one point she opened her eyes when I was standing there and said "Ruthie". I said, "No. Lisa." She had no idea who I was. I knew that I would be getting a phone call that night. It rang about 10:30.

After I was getting all the affairs in order. I went to the Social Security building to inform them of her passing. They informed me that she would not be entitled to the May check. I asked them why not. I figured that it would be rated on the number of days that she was alive. Wrong. A person must be alive for the entire month to be entitled to the check. So because my mom missed the end of the month by an hour and a half, she wasn't entitled to that month. I couldn't believe this.
She used to work for the elementary school district in the administrative office. They planted a memorial tree in her memory.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Leaming's Run

Yesterday I went to Leaming's Run. This is a place that has winding trails, gardens and flower gardens. If you need to be alone and take in the beauty of nature, this is the place to go. This sign was in the beginning of the walk.

You walk along the path and it will open up into a beautiful garden.

The Sweetheart Garden

All along the paths there is this scent. The only way I can described it is heavenly.

Of course they have some animals. There was this big one and two little ones.
They came over to the fence, but the little ones kept their distance.

Cool looking turkey.

The peacock's plumage was beautiful.
These guys were the funniest thing. While walking you could hear their cock-a-doodle-doo's. Sometimes toward the end of their calls, it sounded like their battery was running low. It would sound like cock-a-doodle-errrrr.

There wasn't a sign on this to say what breed it was. I thinks he/she is soft looking.

Golden Campines

Partridge Cochin
He had pretty colored feathers.

Silver Spangled Hamburgs


Toward the end of the walk is the lake and gazebo.
I just thought that this was beautiful.

There is another path that leads back to the parking lot. I'm walking along taking in the sights and something catches my eye. I glance behind me and what's there. A SNAKE. Here I am "OOH, OOH, OOHing, not even able to move for a minute. Then common sense kicked in and I started walking briskly for the parking lot remembering the sign in the beginning, "Why are you hurrying?"

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sky Watch

These pictures were taken on a beautiful day in mid February. I was told about a Bald Eagles nest in this location and went to find it. I never dreamed that the area was this beautiful. And yes. There is an Eagles nest there and I saw Bald Eagles.

There are a lot of people who participate in Sky Watch who have spectacular pictures. To view other's and/or participate, please visit our host, Tom.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Beaver Dam

Well today I was going to Leaming's Run, but again it was cloudy. They were calling for cloudy skies. Not wanting to go to Leaming's Run on a cloudy day, I called Bobbie and asked her if she wanted to go to Beaver Dam. She did. We got the car loaded and off we went. As we were going up Bayshore Road, I glanced over at a park and saw baby geese. We turned around and got a couple of pictures.

There were six babies. Their parents were very protective of them. When I would try for a picture, one the parents would get in front of them. As you can see, I managed anyway.
We were off again. I took Bobbie down High's Point Road, where the beach was blocked off by rope and signs. Bobbie got a couple of pictures of this. There was also someone sitting off the end of the dock. I thought it a woman, Bobbie knew it was a man. She was right. We can only guess that he was there protecting the birds and making sure no one cross the rope.

Off again. I took Bobbie down my favorite road. This is my favorite because the houses are spaced far apart and there are two horse farms.

Beaver Dam Road is paved, but then turns into a dirt road. Going fairly slowly because of pot holes, I stopped the car. Here was this turtle in the road. Bobbie got out and the photo shoot started.

The poor little thing just wanted to be left alone, and here we were taking pictures at every angle. I did pick him/her up and we got a couple more shots. My arm wasn't long enough to get a clear picture.

Here is the pretty yellow underside.

We place the turtle to the side of the road so not to get hit. Onward we went again. I said to Barb that I felt like the Crocodile Hunter. You know, as he is riding down the road, he quick stops to save the animals that have wandered into the road. Good thing it wasn't a snake. I wouldn't have stopped for a snake. Anyway, we went a little further and what do we see? Yes another turtle.
Doesn't she have a cute little tail.

This one wasn't crazy about having her picture taken, but we managed. I didn't realize how quickly turtles could move.
As we parked the car, we saw another turtle hurrying across the path.
Beaver Dam is still a beautiful as I remember. I haven't been for awhile to check on the Eagles because of the weather or migraines.

Today the place was alive with lots of birds. I believe these guys are ibis.
There were other birds flying around that reminded me of Jurassic Park. Bobbie said that they were black ibis. Funky looking birds in flight. There were a lot of red-winged blackbirds, sea gulls and I even saw a hummer. There was a lot of honeysuckle around, so I guess this is what the hummer's were feeding on.

We saw a sundog. Actually there were two. I think Bobbie got a picture of both of them together.

This is a very bad picture, but I think a juvenile eagle is perched on what looks like a sign to the left of the tree.

Another bad picture, but in the distance perched on the dead tree branch is an Eagle.

Time to go and while drive down the road, what did we come upon? Yup, another turtle. I pulled up along side and said it looks like it is digging a nest. I got out and told Bobbie is was the strangest thing, but she is digging a hole and it has water in it. She got out and took some pictures herself.

We both couldn't believe she would build a nest there. If you look to her left, you can see tire marks. Well we knew that we couldn't do anything for this one.
Today was a nice day. It ended up sunny and cool. Hopefully tomorrow will be just a beautiful so I can go to Leaming's Run.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wetlands Institute

AHHHH. I am on vacation this week. When I woke up this morning, it was cloudy. I started to laugh. You see, generally when I go on vacation it rains. While watching the Weather Channel, they were calling for showers and thunder storms. Well I wasn't going to stay in, so I went to the Wetlands Institute. When I pulled into the parking lot, I almost left. There were two school buses. I stayed and figured I would have to deal with it.

Outside on the front grounds, there were beautiful flowers.

I went inside and was greeted by a very friendly lady. We talked for a bit and she asked me if I was staying. I told her yes and paid the fee. She handed me an orange sticker. I asked her what that was for? She said I had to put it on my shirt so that they know I paid. Another lady there said that the sticker police do go around and check to see who has a sticker and who doesn't. I laughed. This lady proceeded to tell me about the institute. She explained that the two display cases were wood carvings. She explained that every year they hold this event. The winner gets $5,000.00 and their carving displayed in the case. She explained that everything on the carving was make of wood. Even the rocks.

She told me to follow the turtle prints and this would lead me to the diamondback terrapin. I asked her what a turtle print looked like? She said it was a round thing. Oh okay.

She told me there was a quarter mile walk I could go on. Okay. No problem.
These birds were along this walk, but I have know idea what they are.

There were a lot of swallows, red-winged blackbirds, egrets, ibis and of course sea gulls. When I got to the end of the walk there was a dock. Here is where all the kids were. They were having the time of their lives. At the waters edge, an employee of the institute had them put on a pair of waders, gave them a net and explained to them what to do. You should have seen their faces when they got out of the water and found out that they got a sea snail or a shrimp. This was fun to see.
They have an osprey cam. There are TV's set out in different locations to view the osprey nest. They say that there are four eggs in the nest.
This isn't a very good picture, the female is on the platform and her mate is standing guard to the lower right of her. He stayed there the entire time I was there.

Here is the proud daddy. I went into the lecture room. They had three scopes set up. One was on this guy. A lady came in and we started talking she said she's been here for three hours and he, the osprey, has not moved. I wonder if this is natural for the male to stand guard over the female and nest.
While we were in the lecture room, these two red-winged blackbirds were flying around and fighting. We couldn't figure out if it was males fighting over territory or a female. Or if it was a male and female. The only thing we knew and saw was the brilliant red on them.

When Bobbie's family was visiting in March, they went to the institute. They were telling me about this octopus and how funny it was. Well this was the highlight for me. She was just hysterical. Her name is Lois.

When I was leaving, I stopped at the front deck and thank the lady for her help and information. She asked if I saw Lois? I said I did. I asked who named an octopus Lois? Out of all the names that one could come up with. Lois? She said that Lois was donated to the institute. The lady that was giving Lois was also donating money. One of the conditions was that the octopus be named after her. I started to laugh. Now this woman had a sense of humor. So, if you should ever have the chance to visit the Wetlands Institute, make sure you visit and say hello to Lois.
P.S. It didn't rain. Got hot as hell, but no rain.