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Plants in bloom

Sent from Kathleen’s Blackberry

This picture was taken just a few minutes ago to show how fast the blooms are taking off.  The previous one was taken earlier in the week. Pretty fast, ha?

Those little ducks came from Rachel, Ma-maw, in TN.  Every time my grandson comes to visit he wants to play with them. They are so cute they’re hard to resist. Since they were outside in snow the enamel on them has spider web cracks in it and if handled too much, it flakes off 😦

Everything is growing so well that I’m beginning to feel that soil and pots are going to be on the “need” list soon 😛

I have a couple more pics to post of the apartment and the plants.  I really love this place. It matches exactly what I was looking for, for myself.  I think the only way it could be better would be if it were a house, but then I’d have to mow the grass, lol. Even the Electric bill is civilized, but then the complex is only about three years old.

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Sent from Kathleen’s Blackberry

The plant just to the right is variegated and looks like a miniature of a variety here in Florida that I like very much. Of course I’m going to blank the name of it so when I remember I’ll post it.

Chevalier!! And now after looking it up, I think that the name I was told for the original is incorrect 😦

Anyway, that one was quite larger until my grand son and his cohort in crime, the grand puppy, got together and chewed and plucked the top of that right hand stalk off.

As you may be able to see it has begun to recover very nicely.

In the center on the second shelf you can see an Aloe plant that Bente, my friend of many years, gave to me before I left Florida back in 09.  That plant has also traveled and been kept alive all over the place and through the winter in TN also.

More to come…

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Back Home in Florida!

Long time between posts, sorry about that.  Traveling and then getting situated, then looking for a place to live and getting work.

I took the computer out of the box already, but there’s not a connection to the outside world yet 😛

I’ve been approved for an apartment and now I’m waiting for May so I can accumulate the deposits and then MOVE! Then, iA, maybe I’ll be able to afford an ISP, that would be nice.  Nothing against the Library, but I’d much rather surf and blog from the comfort of my own home 🙂

I was blessed with a job just recently, working for two weeks, Yes! Hamdulilla!!

Staying with my daughter until I get to move to my place, this way I get to be near her and be of service to her while I’m there taking up space and electricity, lol.  She says no need, but I like to be useful, so I do dishes and cleaning and baby sitting, as needed.

Don’t give up on my postings, I’ll be back to it as soon as I can get back up and running, iA.

Love to all and have a great Spring.

Kathleen/ Shafiah

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A New Year 2011

Well, life is moving right along and getting, miraculously enough, much better.  After losing Rody, I didn’t feel like it would. You know how it is, you can’t see the light because you are still trying to get to the surface for that first breath.

The packing has begun for the move back home to Florida. More labor, this is good for me, I’m out of shape! Winter here keeps you in more than not and with my Rody gone, I don’t go to the park as much.  I tried to go and walk on the path, but without him it just made me walk fast to avoid anyone seeing the tears.  I haven’t been back.

On the brighter side, I have made a “re-connection” with a gentleman I once lived with MANY years ago.  We are talking….we’ll see if anything comes of it.  We were very happy then, but life happens and people change. As of now, one of his most redeeming features is that he has nothing against Islam.

I am soooo looking forward to being back in a large Islamic community with classes I can attend weekly, and several per week! There is SO much I still have to learn and am anxious to do so.

I am also very excited about seeing my daughter and her son.  It has been more than a year since we have actually seen each other. It’s so strange, for her to be where I can’t just go see her. It was my son that was so far away for so long. He has another child on the way.  I now know that I’ll be able to travel there when it’s time and stay for a little while to be of some help. I can’t wait to see this next addition to his family.  Those two make some really beautiful children, of course my daughter does too, but this is new for him. He became a parent later than my daughter.  I was privileged to be present during her first son’s birth, what a wonderful life affirming experience it was.

Alrighty then, back to the packing and organizing.

I should be checking in until I have to pack the computer, usually one of the last things to be packed and definitely one of the first things to be unpacked   😀

Blessings to all,


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A New View

It has been more than a year since I left Florida, my birth place and where I have always gone back to.

I don’t think I would have kept going back except that my Mother was there and later it was that my children were growing up there.

My Son has since left to go to college and then to start a family.  My Daughter has done the same things, but she did them in Florida.  I thought that by living between them I would be able to go and visit them and still be here to help Rachel (Mom2) when she needed me, but that just hasn’t happened. You know what they say about the best laid plans of Mice and Men?

Well it happens that the help she needed she wont take or follow the Dr.’s orders either and I AM NOT  a maid. I will not wait on a person that is able to do for themselves, but doesn’t want to. Nor am I willing to watch her waist away because she refuses to get any dang blasted exercise! Can you tell how frustrated I am? No matter how much you love a person, there comes a time when you aren’t helping, you are enabling.

Well, I think it’s time for me to go home.  I hate the heat, mostly because my Tank, I mean truck, has no air conditioning and secondly, there are no real seasons.  Every year I miss the changing of the leaves. Spring is really green there and the winters, in recent years, have been pretty cold too, 17 degrees once, but there is virtually no fall foliage to speak of. Having lived in so many places in my life, the one thing that always pulled me away was the seasons and I really love snow. Some times I think that’s because I’ve never had to get to work in it, but that’s not true either.  I believe in keeping a pantry, and rotating it too. So if you do get snowed in with heat, you can still have food and be happy. It gives you time to read, or knit or even clean.  Twenty five years ago I got snowed in, while living in this very neighborhood.  Funny, it was January, I’m sure because I watched the Super Bowl. Yes, I am one of those few females that actually loves football, I’ve even been known to use bad language and yell when the Bucs where making a mess of things, lol.  That year I was only one of two that made it to work anyway, so then I stayed home for probably the rest of the week. I got cabin fever so I walked to the corner mart, it’s still here, and bought beer, I drank it back then, for watching the game with.  My now 28 yr old son was 3.  We had fun in that stuff and then a couple years later, literally, we where in Germany where he and his Dad, the one I’m widowed from, made a snowman. Lord it was magical! My daughter was born there too, and I lost their father there too.

I think what I really love the most is to travel. I’ve said many times that I love to “go”, but need to have a good home base. I am also a good daughter, weather I want to be or not.  When I’m needed and I can get there, I’ll go, but this is wearing me down and it’s time again.

Another part of it is also that I can’t seem to get a decent paying job. I know for a fact that I am able and skilled, my tests prove it every time.  I think the real problem is the recession and even though the law says that we can’t discriminate it happens, daily. One of the services I was asked to come in and meet the agent at said that, that was true. I told her that since it was a distance to drive, that if my wearing a scarf was going to make a difference, I’d just as well save the gas if it was all the same to her.  Lol, she was very friendly even in person and she agreed that it does happen, but not in her office. I got the feeling, you’d be out of a job if you had a problem.

Of course, then I got a terrible head cold that wouldn’t have mattered except that I had pretty much lost my voice by that Monday and we’d met on a Friday just before I went to the Mosque. That ment that the job she wanted me for was out, because one must have a voice to be a switchboard operator :p  Back to square one.

My pick up needs seals and it’s $300, which isn’t bad, but you have to have the extra $300 above and beyond your bills, which a job would give me in a week or even two.

Anyway, ramble, ramble….so once I can earn some extra money, I’ll give it to the mechanic, one I actually trust, and then I have a place to go when I get home.  Then it’ll be a matter of getting a job there, even part time so I can qualify for a place of my own again.  At least now I know I can do it on my own.

In Tampa the Islamic community is much bigger and friendlier too. I have friends there that would help me by giving me work or telling others that I need it.  That has been one of the hardest things here and even in North Carolina too.  The Islamic communities were so small that they were disconnected from each other.  Here there are so few females that cover, we don’t know each other on sight so we don’t know if there are Muslims in the neighborhood or not.

Wow, I guess I needed to get it out, ha?  Well time to pray and get some stuff done.


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An Update On My Life

Sweet Rody-10 yrs.
Brewer Man-12 yrs.

Dino-6 yrs. and Miss Sheila-14 yrs.

Hello dear friends and family,     

I have been purposely avoiding updating this page because I avoid painful things when reasonably possible.

In my last post, I thought that I was going to have family coming, but it turned out that my daughter got a position she had been wanting for a while so they stayed.  That was actually kind of funny, in retrospect, because I was already planning where to put things and had reserved a storage unit for their possessions, when I read on Facebook about her new job! Of course I was happy for her, but I was also hurt that she didn’t tell me first.

I’m blessed that I don’t hold grudges, except one instance in my whole life, so things like that fade pretty fast and I get on with the business of living.

I have actually been hired three times and I moved from one job to the next with the happy consent of the last to get higher pay. The final move was from a $7.5 and hr. (can you believe that!?) to a $10.28 hr. job.  Well I had to get OSHA qualified, which I did at $135! and then I got my VA badge so I could work on the VA Hospital campus.  The site Foreman was very pleasant and showed me around the job and then we got the badge. There has been one delay after another since then and I still haven’t actually worked a day, three weeks now. I was to get the money back for the OSHA test as soon as I got to work.

As you may have guessed, I’ve been looking for more work, but making my bills due to my widow’s pension, just. There are some promising propositions in progress, so we’ll see, again.

The reason I mentioned trying to avoid pain when at all possible is because I have to actually “say” one of the more painful things I’ve had to say in recent years and that is that my Rody passed away on October 29th. It was the seizures. That last one got him and wouldn’t release him, so in desperation I took him to a local emergency Vet that operated nights and weekends only.

Even now, two months later, I am crying trying to write this, so suffice it to say that that damn seizure stole him away and I had to let the Dr. put him to sleep.  Three different Vets said that he was quite healthy and the last one really believed that there was probably a tumor in his skull pressing against the spinal cord causing the seizures. I am still so lost without him. A lot of the color has faded from my life.  Intellectually knowing, and having it gouge your heart out are two very separate things.

One of my neighbors, the one that I painted all the rooms in his apartment, as a way to earn money, and his daughter insisted on giving me their cat.  While I painting in their apartment, Rody and the cat got along so well that when they got a dog that was a puppy and chasing and terrorizing the cat I actually thought about offering to take her.  After Rody passed away I didn’t think about much of anything for about a week.  Then one day I was talking with the man and gave him “what for” about letting that dang dog harass the cat. He just sat there and let it chase her around so I got mad at him and told him that doing nothing was the same as condoning it’s behavior. Dogs are like kids in that, if you don’t say anything, they figure its ok, if they think about it at all.  It was actually funny because then he did do something about it, it just hadn’t occurred to him to. He said he’d been a little worried about her and that she wouldn’t leave the dinning room table. Duhhh!

Anyway, after Rody had been gone about a week and a half, maybe two, I don’t remember a lot about that time because I slept and cried A LOT. The man and his daughter pretty much accosted me saying I had to take the cat because I shouldn’t be alone and she really needed to get away from that darn dog.

So they cave me a beautiful back cat, with shots, litter pan, food and even toys. She’s six months old, probably seven now.  A really great companion and Islamicly acceptable to boot. I got a lot of silent flack from some of my friends and new ones, when I warned them that I had Rody living with me, they didn’t speak to me again. Oh well, their loss, he was a really wonderful guy, the best one to date. I won’t be a dog owner again because of that. He was the last of my pack of four. They have all passed away now of old age.

The cat really is great, but she just isn’t a dog and I’ve always been a dog person.

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I’m being LAME

To my dear friends that actually follow my some what uneventful exploits, I have been really busy.

Drove Ma-maw to Corinth, Ms. over the last three days and was blessed with a “text book” surgery to remove the catarac on her right eye.

We’re back home now and I must say how envious I am of her not even needing glasses any longer.  How cool is that!

The truth is I shouldn’t look a blessing in the mouth, since I only need them to read, so “Thank You” 🙂

My puppy dog, Rody, is doing really well. No Seizures of late, Thank You, again!  He seems to be quite happy with life being just we two.  He sure is going to be surprised when more people are in the apartment.  Guess he’ll go back to hiding out in my room again 😛  That’s ok, it means I get to snuggle him up a little more often.

Well, gotta go for now.  I was blessed with a call from a Temp Service, so I have an interview on Monday, iA, it will go well.  It’s perfect for me, only two days a week to supplement my VA widow’s benefits and leaves time for blogging, knitting, walking in the park with The Rody and setting up the “computer room” into “my room” so there will be room for my “soon to arrive” family. It’ll be cramped for a little while, but I am very much looking forward to it.

I’m going to have to print out some forms and fax them then I pray I get to the part where I need to go do a drug screening, that would be supper! I miss the corporate world, but only want to visit not move back in, lol.

Ok, gotta get on with it, Love to all that are applicable, ya know who you’s guys are, xoxoxo

The Mommy/Noni

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A Little Busy

I just wanted to post a little note to say, Hamdulilla, I’ve been a little busy. 

Working for “my” property manager who has a company called McRae Enterprises.  So far, so good.  He has me doing “get ready” ‘s so new tenants can move in and “clean up” after construction for flood damage.

Then there is the end of Ramadan, and the Eid Celebration tomorrow.  I’ve never been here in Tennessee for it so we’ll see how it goes.  They’re having the Eid Prayer on the State University Campus.  There was no mention of festivities as there would have been at home in Tampa, Fl.

This has been a painful Ramadan not being around other Muslims to break the fast in the evenings with or to be able to volunteer at a local Mosque. To my knowledge and by the internet, there are only two mosques around and they are too far to go to each night.  iA, maybe next year.

I have an interview at UPS tomorrow, I don’t hold out much hope for that one, but you never know. It’s at 06:30 in the morning so I’ll be able to do that before the Eid prayer and then I hope to get my drivers license later, iA.

Well, I’m sharing my pasta with the “Rody” and then we’re crashing so I can function tomorrow.  G’night all.

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What I’ve Been Doing – Part III

Can you see those tall candle holders on the wooden cabinet? Those were Mom’s and so was the ceramic jar. The ones on top of Daddy’s hutch were from my Daughter.

I really like the ceilings in this apartment.  We were very blessed to come across this place, Mom2 and I.  The owner and new property manager are in the process of improving the quality of their tenants and they said we were a very good addition.  They have been very good to us since we arrived. 

When ever there are any little problems they usually come by and fix them right away.  I often just text a list of any little things needing done to the property manager so I don’t bother him and he has a list to refer to.  They replaced my fan over the bed because it was crazy wobbly, Man! lol.

Mom2 didn’t want her table any more because it was way too big for our apartments so she gave it to her daughter and she game me the one she had.  That round one in the kitchen.  I had to drill some pilot holes and use special wood screws to screw the table to the slides that the expansion piece would have fit into and then the slides to the base. DUDE, what a mess. Rough handling in it’s previous life, before my sister. 
Those shelves above are a God send.  There were a few things I refused to give up when I left the S.O. and my kitchen supplies were one of them.  Now that I can taste I enjoy cooking even more, so “I need all that stuff”, as my Mom use to say. She was referring to a large purse and it was a joke, but it applies.  That clock in the center came from Mrs. Diane Bearman, she use to live next door in Florida, we all really liked her and her husband, Richard.  We lost touch after they moved.  😦

That’s were the only bookshelf I have left ended up.  If you know me you know that I had six bookshelves full and was always absorbing more.  Putting a 16 year life into a 5′ x 8′ U-haul trailer and stuffing the bed of my full size Scottsdale 1982 pick-up isn’t much space so you MUST prioritize!  It was very hard donating all of those books, but knowing that I WILL  be getting a Nook or Kindle and re-stocking my electronic shelves over time and at a much lower price per book is a small, but good consolation.  My desire for one of those became a “need” after this move.

Miss Diane also game me that sliver plater on top of said bookshelf.  It’s sterling silver plated. I don’t mind polishing so I think that’s how I inherited it, lol. There is a cross stitch lily over it that I made for my Mom once, back when I could see Aida 24 without a well lit magnifying glass.

Aren’t those cabinets great? I love how many there are and I have six drawers!!! In the last two places I’ve lived, mobile homes, I had only TWO, can you believe that! *&%^$  If I have anything to say about it, I will never live in another mobile home again!!   

Tah – Dahhh! The toilette, lol.  Tiny, but it’s only myself, so no foul.
Those shelves will be going in the relatively near future!! They are functional, but Yuuckkk, like gag me with a spoon, lol.  

There were sliding glass doors in those tracks and the maintenance guys and I discussed my removing them since there were no handles and the frames came away from the glass when you pulled on it because there were no handles!  Soooo, we discovered that we couldn’t remove the frame without serious damage to the tub.  We came to a compromise and got rid of the dangerous and seriously out of date glass doors for the dang frame with a curtain and rod.  It ain’t perfect, but it’s a LOT better than the original and I’m much less likely to end up with glass all over the place.

Well now it appears I haven’t taken a decent picture of the computer/sewing/crafting room since I finally got it all together.  I’ll be doing that in the near future. 

I have the feeling I’m about to run out of time.  I picked up Mom2 from the airport this evening so I’ll be running around for and with her and I have a “second” job interview tomorrow, so there’s a good chance I’ll be working part-time, for now.  She’ll be needing my driving services in the immediate future for the cataract removal also.  I love going with her, we always have fun together, but it is time consuming.  I know that at some time in the relatively near future I will no longer be blessed with her precents, so I’m taking advantage of every minute.  This time when I lose a parent I will be as prepared as humanly possible.

If you know my family, you know that both of my biological parents were lost to us with no warning, in my Mom’s case and VERY little in Daddy’s.  So I make a point of saying things that need to be said and spending as much quality time with the people I love.  I post “I loves yous” and “I’m proud of yous” on the Facebook pages of my children all the time too. Ya never know, ya know?  😛

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What I’ve Been Doing – Part II

Alrighty then, when you come in the front door this is the view. I finally got it all in there and organized.

The spotted pillows were my daughter’s when she had a comforter to match.  I confiscated them a few years ago after she moved, lol.  I really need them because I’m short and it seems that everyone’s furniture lately is made for people much taller than I am.
In the immediate foreground of the second picture, the
coffee table is actually Ma-maw’s cedar chest.  I’m tasked to, in the near future, strip and polyurethane it so it doesn’t look so mistreated.  It’s really beautiful inside and since it’s cedar, it’s full of all of my blankets.
That table with the lamp has been in the room I’ve used every time I’ve been to Tennessee to take care of Ma-maw over the last three years.  The shade looked pretty yukky so I replaced it with the one I’ve toted all over the place this year(slightly dinged).

That basket in the foreground is full of the crocheting of my Mother and Grandmother’s that I mentioned in the last post.  Behind that is my usual collection of what “I’m working on at the moment” knitting/crochet wise. when I started knitting, I read  that any more than three projects at the same time is too many, so I keep it at or below that, lol.

The furniture is from my step-sister, Belinda’s, ex-husband.  He got a new sectional and decided to sell the old stuff.  We’ve planned for me to pay $50 or more when I have it or less, depending on whether I get a job sooner than later and what my other bills will look like, lol.  I didn’t think it would fit at first, but surprisingly enough it did.

Can you tell I was an active part of the Obama Election? I stood outside of poling places and handed out pamphlets and answered question.  It was a lot of fun.  I was so happy when we actually won. I really didn’t think America had actually gotten there.  I was so pleased to be wrong about that.

To the right is my corner curio cabinet that I was putting together when Robert fell from the pole barn, out back, in Florida.  I will probably never forget how scared to death I was.  God Bless our friends/neighbors for getting there SO fast. The man has amazing recovery abilities!
I hadn’t seen some of that stuff, most of it actually, since 2006.  After my Father passed away in March of 06, we came home and put our FL home on the market.  The Realtor told us to pack most of the “personal” things like pictures and these things.
It was a very pleasant journey through the memories while unpacking them.

This is a close up of the top shelfs content.

That Lladro was Poppie’s and Erica broke the flower off of it when she was about 3 yrs. old.  The flower is on the shelf just in front of the clown and behind the camels.

He got those on one of his many TDY’s to Turkey.  I added the Arab coffee cups just last year.

The Blue Jay was my Mother’s and the “Hat” ashtrays were gifts from my daughter while she was still on “Walk About” you know the wonder lust that many of us go through when we’re young and want to conquer the world?
The kitty in the bright pink ceramic basket to the left of the door was a thank you gift from one of my friends, a Mark Roberts,  that lived in the same barracks that I did. The whole unit went TDY to Denmark and I hadn’t been there long enough to go so I took care of everyone’s pets, birds, snakes, and a turtle too, I think. There was even a Tarantula, but I didn’t have to care for it.  Very cool though.   
There are five more clowns on the shelf just below, that were Poppie’s also.

The little bed topper is one made by me.  A giant granny square without the “wholes” that little fingers and toes get caught in.
Well, actually, the stereo on that table is on top of the fridge now so I can hear it all over the house. That came from Ma-maw too, it was in the top of a closet.
I’m going to have to go to a pawn shop and find myself one of those stereos that have the turntable, CD, tape deck and receiver so I can continue to listen to all of my music.  I have cassettes from before my daughter was born, 22 yrs ago, and vinyl albums from before my son was born, 28 yrs ago.  So many wonderful recordings from when I got married to their father and tapes he made while he was in Germany before we got there and tapes my Mother made and some she bought,  too significant to just “let them go”.  I’ll have to get one before they stop making them, lol

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