Category Archives: Odds and ends

Keeping family close

These days it isn’t easy to keep family close as we are all living at a virus-induced distance.

My family and I keep in touch by phone, instant message, and video conferences. The kids check-in to make sure I’m well and safe, sheltering at home–I am. I haven’t been away from the farm for weeks. Rebecca brought essential groceries to my back door, only to visit from a distance on our last nice day.

Even when not connecting with family members, I connect with them every time I go to the refrigerator. That’s where I have a photo gallery.

There are other odds and ends attached to the front of the refrigerator: pressed flower art from Carol, an unfinished family tree, a printout of Bob and my name that will end up with thousands of others on Mars, and a Pickles cartoon. Mostly, I look at the photos.

I’m connected to my family when I get breakfast, lunch, and dinner…and a snack. They are there smiling back, even if the photos are a little old and they are much more grown-up now.

They are there for me to see and admire, even when we are living at a distance.

Yep, I’m proud of my whole family. It would be better if we could get together and hug and laugh, but that day will come. Right now I’ll just admire all the Manzke offspring as I head for milk for my coffee.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Happy Easter!

It wasn’t that long ago that women wore hats. Easter was the time to get a new hat and show it off at church.

When my mom put on a hat, I knew she was going somewhere. Even if she went to the store Mom put on lipstick and a hat.

Times have changed. But I happen to have a hat collection. In the past, I’ve presented hat programs for Mother’s Day gatherings and for club meetings. Today, in honor of Easter I’m going to show off a few–some have a netting so may look a little blurry.

Often my head is too big for a hat, but I show off the hat anyway.

Happy Easter!

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

What is it?

When I took my walk the other day, I noticed something strange in the sky.

There were hundreds of Canada Geese flying, but it wasn’t them, though I did appreciate their springtime honking.

And it wasn’t the birds at our feeder, though I continue to appreciate their beauty.

What caught my eye was an X in the sky.

There aren’t so many planes flying lately. I actually didn’t see the planes, only their contrails, but they did catch my attention.

I guess that’s saying something of our times.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

The highlight of the day

Today rain showers could pop up, but the temperature is going to near 60, so that’s nice.

I will take the dog for a walk, but that’s not the highlight of my day. Getting mail is.

First, I have to bring in my garbage container. Doing that isn’t even close to being a highlight, but it is great that the garbage was picked up again. These days I’m never sure what is considered essential.

As I said, the highlight is getting the mail. First, there’s the anticipation and then the discovery.

This reminds me of life when I was a child. I’d always keep an eye out for mail delivery. Maybe there would be a card from grandma or a letter from my Australian penpal, Pauline. A blue airmail envelope from the other side of the world was always very special. Now I can chat with Pauline online which is very good. But somehow those letters were extra special.

There wasn’t much in my mailbox today. But I sent out cards to grandchildren so they can find something in their own mailboxes later this week.

The excitement is now shared.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

A toilet paper surprise

Who would have thought I’d be writing about toilet paper? Not I.

I did not hoard any of those white rolls. Our cabinets usually have an ample supply both upstairs and downstairs. It amazed me that people were actually emptying the stores of toilet paper.

Yesterday, I got a phone call from my sister-in-law. Ginny asked if I needed any canned cat food. She was heading into Dollar General in Black Creek, where I usually bought the cheapest canned cat food I found–it’s for the outside cats. They don’t get prime rib but with this added to dry food, they fill up and become fat and sassy.

I’ve been limiting their added canned food lately and they were not happy with the change in their diet. Now, I expect they will be happy with a little more of the canned food–not a lot, but a little. I mean they shouldn’t be so picky when begging at my door.

One can will cover a few meals

Ginny also wanted to know if I wanted anything else. “Do they have toilet paper?” I asked. “I can get along with what I have, but if they have any, get me a package.”

This was the surprise she brought me.

So the cats and I will continue on, thanks to my sister-in-law.

I hope everyone who can is staying safe at home. It’s the best place to be.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved