Every few years, I take a sabbatical from posting. One is due, shortly. This notification is made so that my blog friends won't besiege Bogie with questions as to my health. Hunky Husband and I are in great health!
Our generation (as all do) dwindles. Today's newspaper carries the obituaries of two more friends - one was a friend from the 1960s and on, the other a co-worker in the 1990s and early 2000s. They join three other friends whose deaths have occurred in the past three weeks.
The person who will be missed the most, whose funeral I attended Tuesday, was my supervisor in 1980 and 1981. Bill Bloedel was supervisor of loads and stress for the Cessna Single-Engine Division, and I was a group engineer whose group was responsible, structurally, for all taildragger, a few of the current-production models, and out-of-production single-engine aircraft.
Bill was a good and decent person who was kind enough to always let me know what he really thought. From the time he took over the loads and stress organization, without flinching, he let me know that he was not comfortable having a woman in a position of responsibility over a fleet of aircraft - and - that he would be watching me. I went a little bit out of my way to keep Bill informed as to what I had been doing, how I had been handling things (for instance, suggesting that he might like to go through the file of customer inquiries that I had handled during the preceding year), and how I was handling things (for instance, inviting him to accompany me once when I had to fly to a production line that was about 50 miles distant from the main production facilities). At the end of his first six months as my supervisor, Bill invited me into his office and announced, "I told you that I would be watching you - and I have been. I think that you do an excellent job."
When I opted to leave the company, Bill asked if he had caused me to choose to leave. Absolutely not! It was strictly a matter of having been sought by another company that wished to give me a lot more money. Then, drawing a raise slip out of his desk drawer, Bill told me (with a twinkle in his eyes), "Aren't you going to feel silly when I give you a $100 per week raise?" It was annual raise time, but the actual raise fell far short of that number, of course. We both laughed.
Bill lived in rural Derby. We frequently heard Bill speak of the work he did on his small farm. When he had triple by-pass surgery, it was a matter of days before he was back to chopping fire wood. Physically small (I'm guessing 5' 6" tall and, not more than 145#), Bill loved physical work and flying, in equal measure.
Bill was huge in heart. Bill and his wife, Sue, raised (in addition to their own three children) three children who had been produced by one of their daughters. The daughter was emotionally unable to raise the children. Oh! How Bill doted on all of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren!
The last time I saw Bill, at a bi-monthly retirees breakfast three weeks before his death, Bill was lamenting that his non-existent white cell count kept him from seeing his great-grandchildren as he would wish to do. As little germ factories, small kids can be deadly to a person who, as Bill was, is dealing with leukemia.
I'll miss that quiet, little-big man with the twinkly blue eyes. Rest in peace, Bill.
When Hunky Husband offered his condolences upon the loss of my friend Bill, I told him, "We've come to an age where it is either our friends who will be dying - or us."
Early Monday (2/10/2014) morning we received an additional four inches of snow - atop the eight-inch snow that had fallen (and not melted due to temperatures that reached highs of under 10 degrees F most days) on the previous Tuesday and Wednesday (2/4/2014-2/5/2014 - Much-needed moisture arrives).
Below is a photo that was snapped early in the daytime. The ghostly images and strange lights do not come from double-exposure; but, from back-lit reflections on the glass door through which the photo was snapped. BTW: The snow on the table is nearly all freshly fallen. I had used the "old" snow in making snow ice cream during the preceeding days.
This morning I was greatly surprised when I went to the breakfast table. Hunky Husband had this display arranged (below).
Perhaps it is just my poor memory; but, I don't recall ever before having been gifted with balloons - and how HH sneaked them into the house and sequestered them from my finding them is beyond me!
Although our family does not celebrate a religious holiday in December (or in any other month!) we do, some years, have occasion to celebrate because out-of-state members of our families are able to take vacation during the Christmas-to-New Year's stretch. This was one of those years; thus, I've been (mostly) away from the keyboard. Here are some photos taken at our house during the past couple of weeks. Regrettably, although person-hours were spent finding the charger for my camera's battery (which is a whole story unto itself), we took nary a photo while everyone was here.
Here are the avian fauna - at the watering hole.
More avian fauna - stuffing their faces.
The one non-avian critter - scavenging under the bird feeders.
And, one human surveying the scene for other fauna.
How things sparkled at our house this morning! Yes, that is a sugar maple in our front yard - backed up by a ginko. They were planted in the fall of 2000. The maple lost its leader to an ice storm in about 2004 (see Fall Colors at Cop Car's for a look at the maple during "recovery"); but, look how beautifully the tree has regained its shape - without our help!
Below is shown a small section of the creeping (Blue Chip) junipers, next to the curbing.
There are a few clumps of (Cooper's and Jewel of the Desert Rosequartz) iceplant that I interspersed among the Blue Chip junipers - planted in 2011 and 2012.
I've split the posting only to decrease initial downloading times.
Posted by samzenpuson Wednesday September 04, 2013 @07:59PM from the fare-thee-well dept.
First time accepted submitter gb7djk writes "Wing Commander Ken Wallis the developer and promoter of small autogyros died peacefully today 4th September, aged 97, at his home in Norfolk. Ken is mainly remembered for 'Little Nellie', the tooled up autogyro that took on some helicopters in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice. He made the breakthrough discovery of the offset rotor head that made autogyros stable as well as many other aviation inventions. More info here and a video of him flying one of his creations (at the age of 95)."
It is raining here in Derby, Kansas, USA. Wonderful! Some of the more-recently planted (within the past nine months) herbs (such as oregano) and flowers (a few of the Shasta daisies) did not survive to drink of this water; but, most things will be OK. So far, we've had more than one inch of rain. I picked two small tomatoes a couple of days ago - before they were fully ripe, to preclude losing them to critters - but one of them is, instead of ripening, producing black spots. The vines have had lots of blooms, but only three tomatoes (the other is still on the vine.) The crepe myrtle bushes are not blooming as profusely as in the past several years; but, they've good excuse: I haven't been watering them. This is a year during which our plants had to have a strong will to live. (The weeds passed the test, unfortunately; so, I've been spending a lot of time pulling them.)
We attended the Music Theatre of Wichita production of The King and I, last evening. It was probably the best, most opulent staging and performance of any that we've seen of that musical. Superb voices on all of the main characters, and apt casting were much appreciated. This was not a production for which tall or heavy people were solicited. Kim Huber (Anna) wore flats Many of the cast appeared to be drawn from within Wichita's thriving (and diverse) Asian population. Of course, the King's youngest child stole the show - as usual! The photos below do not show the whole cast, of course.
I failed to report on the production, two weeks ago, of Les Miserables. To be fair, having just returned from a funeral a few days prior, perhaps my psyche was not ready for such a downer; but, Hunky Husband and I left at intermission. Dudette & WichiDude stayed for the rest of the performance, but I've not asked what they thought of it. They missed last night's performance - feeling puny.
Thanks to all who sent me (and Elder Brother) condolence emails on the death of my sister-in-law, Expert Seamstress. I am keeping in contact with EB via email and phone. Although it is still, understandably, very hard for him, he has not withdrawn into himself and is moving forward. It had just never occurred to EB that this could be the outcome of their lives together, so he was totally unprepared.
Sadly, Expert Seamstress (ES) lasted fewer than 30 days following diagnosis of her pancreatic cancer. I was able to make two trips to ES's and Elder Brother's (EB's) home, spending four days with ES while she was bedfast, but lucid, and seven days with EB following her death. Dudette, Wonderful GrandDaughter, & Raechi were able to make a hurried trip for the funeral as were the two adult children and widow of Younger Brother who had died last August.
One of our 1st cousins had died in May, on the same day that ES realized that she had a health problem - which she, at the time, assumed to be relatively minor. The last surviving member of my mother's siblings had died just several months before Younger Brother's death. Any one of the deaths was stunning enough; but, you can imagine how the whole family feels under these circumstances.