Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas traditions

Christmas traditions at our house mean a lot to us. There has only been two years since I was 23 that I have had to decorate the tree alone. My children use to partake in this activity until they grew up, moved out and had their own tree to decorate and their own traditions to establish.

This year I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of Amber's company here to help decorate the tree. Here is a photo of her hanging up an ornament on a partially decorated tree. The next photo is one of "Bumpa", Amber and Drew warming their feet by the fireplace. This isn't a tradition, but Bumpa thinks we should make it one! Bumpa thinks any time he is laying down in front of the fireplace should be turned into a family tradition! In all fairness to Bumpa, he has been working 6 and 7 days a week lately, so I'm sure laying down anywhere, anytime feels good to him!
We also make several different kinds of cookies for the holidays. This year we baked peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate chip, snickerdoodles and sugar cookies. We even decorated the sugar cookies, but with little ones helping with the frosting, I think more cookies and frosting were eaten than decorated.

Something new that Amber and I did this year was to make a Gingerbread house and decorate it. It came as a kit, but let me tell you they are not as easy as they sound. We both got a little frustrated but she did most of it with minimal supervision and this is the finished product......... I don't think it turned out too badly, do you?

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Opening Day of Gun Season in Michigan!

Deer hunting fast approaches...............
........and we are right back to being so busy at work and hubby volunteering for overtime (read working 10 hour days, 6 days a week) that we have no time for each other. And this is the part I hate about him going deer hunting to the U.P. for just over 2 weeks. I can deal with the 2 weeks he is gone. In fact it's kind of a vacation for me....less laundry, no cooking if I don't want too, etc. But it's the preparation before he goes and the many hours he feels he must work that take time away from 'us', that really pisses me off. I have told him angrily, and told him pleadingly, and told him nicely. And HE. JUST. DOESN'T. GET. IT! Is it possible for a man to be so dense in the head? I guess the answer is a resounding YES.......makes no sense to me!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I'm going to try!

I mean really hard, to post more frequently. I miss it and the camaraderie that I get from blogging. But there just honestly hasn't been time. I'm working more hours than I had ever planned on when I went back; 25.5 hours per week actually. Yes, it's still part-time and I have a long 4-day weekend every week with Monday and Friday's off, but it still is hard to meet all the obligations I want too.

So on the first day of this month, I am going to try and post at least once a week. But don't hold your breath just in case!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I'm back but only briefly, I...............

don't want to let my good friend Winter down. She tagged me to list 5 random things about me. So here goes:

1.) Both of my parents died before I was 21 years old. My dad was killed by a drunk driver when I was 17, and my mom died 3 years later.........both were 49 years old. I was in college then and was going to go into elementary education, but I had to quit to take care of a younger sister who was still in high school and make money to support her so she could continue her education just to graduate from high school. It was a tough time for both of us........we grew up quick and made it in this big old world!

2.) My first husband passed away from malignant melanoma when I was 29 and my children were 7, almost 4 and 2 1/2. I remained single until I was over 40 and was lucky enough to find a good man to take on a ready made family with the same beliefs I had. We blended his two children and my three and it WORKED! He is very similar to my first husband, and he is my HERO!

3.) I have just been blessed with my 20th grandchild, a boy. Only 19 are living as we lost one in a premature delivery to stillbirth. The more the merrier I always say!

4.) I have had 3 heart attacks, one angioplasty, a quadruple bypass surgery and one stent placed in my heart..........and I feel fine!

5.) I love it when I can gather as many children and grandchildren together for a special occasion, such as Christmas, or the 4th of July or Thanksgiving or some other fun holiday!

Now, I am supposed to tag 5 others, so I tag Janeywan, Yvonne, Lori, MaryAnne and Clew!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I'm fine...........

but I think I need a break from the world of blogging. Thought I had better leave a message for anyone who is a regular reader so as not to worry anyone. I will be taking a break..........I don't know for how long. Knowing me, it could be a long time or a short time such as a few days to a week. But please don't worry...........I think I will be back eventually!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The past week hasn't been much different than the last few weeks. Some of the family obligations have been reduced a tad, but not eliminated! As a matter of fact, one of Grandma's daughters and the sister of the uncle who was in the Veterans Facility in Ann Arbor was in an awful accident a couple days ago and rolled her vehicle. She has several upper body injuries, including both arms and has already had surgery to try and repair the damage. Both arms are broken, the left is much worse than the right and is broken in several different places. The uncle has been release from the Veteran's Facility and is now home and learning to cope with his disabilities on his own. Grandma has been released from the hospital, after fooling the doctors, and making a good recovery for someone who will be 91 on October 13th. She is in a lovely nursing facility doing physical rehabilitation to gain strength so she can return home. They are talking about letting her go home this coming Tuesday. She has already asked me if I can be there. I can't. Tuesday is my normal day to work, and I would rather be at work. I know that sounds terrible of me, but I can't help it. I have done so much already, that I just want to return to my normal life. And Uncle Jim has asked me to take him to the Doctors Monday morning and I have already told him 'no'. I do have to work Monday afternoon and am not sure I would be back in time anyway.........so that was a break for me.

Now here's a coincidence for you. I have a dear friend who I have talked with about learning to say 'no' to people. She volunteered to e-mail me daily with the word "NO". Anyway, I just received an e-mail from her with exactly that message in it. Thank you, my dear friend! I guess I need her to look out for me and perhaps she was thinking about me and sent me the message to assure me I was doing the right thing. So that about sums it all up for now. I want you all to leave a thank you for my guardian angel, Shawny!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

This week has been busy for me with working and running around for grand children and babysitting. I wouldn't change any of it though.

Only had to work one day this week plus go in early one morning for a staff meeting, but the fun part has been keeping busy with two of the grand children.

First, I got to pick Amber up at 9:30 AM Thursday in Muskegon to take her to her orthodontist appointment. We had a lovely day together in spite of her mouth being a little sore from having work done on her braces! I hadn't seen her in several weeks and I had been missing her. Her mother okayed for her to miss school on Friday and spend two nights here before returning her to Pentwater Saturday around 1 PM in order for her to cheer in the football game. She only ended spending Thursday night and all day Friday with me before she asked if she could go spend the night with her daddy. What am I going to do .........tell her 'no'! Not! So I took her 15 miles south to her dad's house tonight and she had supper with him and he will bring her back in the morning in time for me to take her back to Pentwater......a 101.2 mile trip......one way!

Plus we had Drew today. He is such a funny little boy! He just cracks me up. He went home around 5 PM, but they called and were in a bind and asked if he could come back around 6:45 for about an hour. I told them yes, of course! So when they dropped him off, I was in the process of making supper. Once that was out of the way with, Bumpa proceeded to fall asleep in his recliner which was the perfect opportunity for Drew to find some stickers and 'decorate' Bumpa with them! This photo shows what a good time Drew was having!

This next photo shows Bumpa waking up after he had taken a look at what Drew had done. As you can see, Drew was pretty proud of his art endeavor! Gotta love the work of an almost 4 year old!!!!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Not enough hours in a day.........

to get everything done! I've been working extra hours at work, filling in for the gal that got married and thinks she needed a honeymoon. Imagine that!!! Trying to keep up with all the normal housework and meeting extended family obligations has not afforded me much time to do anything else or anything for myself. I was barely able to fit in a haircut a week or so ago!

Hub's 90 year old grandma has been in the hospital since sometime last month and was not expected to make it. She has since been moved to a nursing home temporarily so she can get some physical rehab to regain some strength before she returns to her home to live out what ever time she has left. Of course, the entire family is being asked to make adjustments in their daily life's in order to accommodate and have a family member with her at all times. This will prove to be a difficult feat to manage. Those of us who have always been there to help, will continue to do so, but those who haven't taken the time to even stop in for a short visit the last few years will be absent as usual, putting the responsibilities on the rest of us!

And if that isn't enough, hub's uncle who has been in the Veterans Hospital in Ann Arbor is coming home today. He's been there since May 12Th. I went to his apartment last night and cleaned it once again, so he would have a clean environment to come home too. They actually wanted me to go to Battle Creek and pick him up today at 3 PM, but I told a little white lie and said I wouldn't be out of work in time to get him. Truth be told, I didn't have to work today, but didn't feel I could go and help him into my car, fold up his wheelchair and walker and put them in my car without hurting my own back. But I think I've really done enough!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sweet Lady!

This is a photo of my hubby and his Grandmother at her 90th Birthday Party, October 2007.

My hubby's grandmother is in the hospital.........intensive care heart unit. She is almost 91 years old and is so ready to go. She is losing her sight due to Macular Degeneration in both eyes and can no longer drive her car, which she did up until a few months ago. She has had to become dependent on others and that has grated on her ever since, in her words, 'she's been grounded'! She has been in the hospital for a few days now and they have unhooked all IV's and monitors except for oxygen and pain meds to keep her comfortable. She tried ripping all the IV's out Sunday night and telling them that it was just taking way too long. Instead of trying to sustain her life they are just going to let nature take it's course. I totally agree with them. As long as she has all her mental capabilities about her and has plainly told them her directives about life support, they should just let her go. We will miss this dear, sweet lady, but it is time for her to go 'home' to her maker and her loved ones who have passed before her. Rest peacefully, Grandma, until the time comes! I love you!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

August 6th

I notice that none of the usual bloggers have been blogging as much as in the past. I think we have all gotten busy with 'real life'.

Things have been in an uproar for us. I was expecting Ame and her girls to come for a visit this summer, but unfortunately it didn't work as we had planned. I miss them, but perhaps there will be a better time for them to visit. My door is always open....!

Sunday hubby was in the local ER and was admitted to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. He hadn't felt well all day and by the time he told me, even I could tell by looking at him that something was wrong and he needed some immediate medical care.

He did not have a heart attack according to the heart enzyme blood work, but his EKG was showing some significant changes from his last EKG in Jan. after his stress test. They did a heart cath procedure the next day and found nothing unusual. So after resting and recovering for about 3 hours, he was released and I was allowed to bring him home. I have made follow up appointments with his PCP and the Heart doctor so we can get to the bottom of all of this. This is what I mean about 'real life' getting in the way!

Hope things are good for everyone else out there!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Happy Birthday!


Here it is, the first of August once again. And my late, first husband's birthday. Today he would be 67 years old. I can't even imagine what he might look like. The picture I have of him in my mind is that of a healthy 34 year old man who was strong physically and had a gentle heart. He has spent more birthdays in heaven than he spent on this earth and I know he is happier there than he ever could be here!

And I received a present today! It was a call from my present hub, telling me that after one week on second shift, they are putting him back on first. They have created a new position and he was offered it first. It is a labor grade 10 and he was a labor grade 9 before, so it will mean more money for him. He will have to be trained and qualified for this position and that will take 90 days. So we are at least guaranteed at least three months on first shift this time. They told him that it will only be a first shift position, but we know they have lied to him before so we know that the possibility of having to return to second shift will always remain in his future. But we will take the 90 days of first shift and enjoy it while we can.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What is Normal?


Well, that didn't last long. Hub got to spend three weeks on first shift and they are telling him that as of Monday he must return to second shift once again. Seems the job he signed for was only temporary as the gal who had it was off on disability. Would have been nice if they had been up-front about it and told him at the get go. He never would have signed for it and accepted it knowing it would only be a short time and he would be required to return to second shift. That stuff is hard on a body always adjusting sleep habits, timing of medications that he needs, etc.

It's hard on all of us. I must once again adjust to being a married woman who attends every single family function that is held in the evenings (except on Sunday) as a single woman. Always the fifth wheel and driving by myself. It also limits the timing for having the grandkids spend the night and or a few days with me. It's not so bad for the older ones, they are fairly quiet and can still do it. But the younger ones who tend to be loud and cry much more frequently when they don't get their own way, it becomes next to impossible because their noise in the morning has a way of disturbing hubs' sleep and wakes him up before he has had enough sleep to go to work on again for that night.

We are both unhappy about this, but we must accept it. Besides, he still has a job! Not like a lot of people in this state who are laid off, or the companies they worked for have moved to another state or just closed their doors. So I guess, even though I'm complaining about it, and I'm still not happy, I will try to make the best of it and thank the good Lord that he is still gainfully employed and bringing home a paycheck every week.

BTW, the above photo is part of the process of manufacturing office furniture which is what hubby does for a living.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A normal life...........

I think we have returned there. Hubby is now back on first shift. I am going to be going back to my normal working hours of just Tuesday instead of Monday and Fridays also beginning next week. I have been filling in while they hired and trained a new gal since one of the job sharers quit without any notice. It's been a little rough, but we made it through. Hub began first shift this Monday. It's been several years since he was able to work this shift due to cut backs and layoffs.

The weather here today is wonderful. Highs in the mid 70's with a nice breeze and lots of sunshine. A perfect summer day. Not to hot and humid and it's nice to be able to open the windows and doors and smell the lovely smells of summer flowers floating in through the open windows instead of running the air conditioning constantly. I guess I had forgotten how wonderful the smells of summer could be. The bushes right outside my kitchen window have bloomed with some small white lovely little flowers and they have a wonderful fragrance to them. My hollyhocks have bloomed for the first time in three years and I can't smell them from here, but they are beautiful to gaze at.
They bring back memories of when I was a little girl and my sisters and I used to pick them in different stages of their blooming and budding out and stick toothpicks in them to make them look like people and we would float them in a large cake pan and pretend the were a wedding party. See what memories certain sights and smells can trigger. I have been transported to another time......but I linger there too long and must return to the task at hand of preparing our dinner.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Catching up.........finally!

At last a little time to catch up on things. I have been working more hours than I was originally hired for. That's because one of the gals that I job share with decided to quit without giving any notice! So I have been working my hours plus all of her hours for the last three weeks too. But they did hire another gal for the position and she started her training at the Jenison office on Monday June 23rd and will be training there for two weeks. I am glad she felt comfortable enough to begin working this week with me at our office. Trying to cover extra hours and keep my housework up to where I'm comfortable with it has been difficult for me. Once again, let me say, I don't know how you work-outside-the-home moms do it! You all have my admiration and a new found respect for all you do!!!! KUDOS TO ALL OF YOU!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Not much happening!

Still working extra hours to fill in for the gal that quit without giving any notice. This is the second week of the extra hours and I have one more week to go next week. The gal they hired is finishing up her training at corporate headquarters this week and will complete her training next week at our office. Monday and Tuesday all day she will be working with me and Wednesday and Thursday she will be working with Katie and the 3 hour shift on Friday will be with me again. The following week, I will be able to return to my one full day (Tuesday) a week. But in August, I will have to do two weeks of all day Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to cover for Katie while she gets married and goes on her honeymoon cruise.

This weekend is the 4Th of July and our kids and grand kids.......well, most of them, will be coming here for the parade and a cookout. We have already got the pool set up and hope the water will be warm enough for them to get wet to cool off it gets that hot! Three of the kids and their families won't be attending. Oldest son has camping reservations with his family, youngest daughter and her family were up here for the long Memorial Day weekend and can't afford another trip from Kentucky and our daughter in Texas is coming up later this month with our two grand daughters and will stay for two weeks. We are all getting excited about that. I haven't seen them since last October and the rest of the family has never met them. We adopted her after she was full grown with two girls of her own. But everyone is anxious to meet them. I'm sure we will have a great time and find plenty to keep us busy. The girls are at fun ages and we can't wait until they arrive! I'm hoping that with all the covering for the other gals at work, I am able to find someone to cover for me when they are here. I know it would only be for two Tuesday's, but I don't want to miss any time with them if I can help it, 'cause I'm not sure when I will see them again!

Harley, aka, Boo, had her surgery on her lip from a face first fall into the coffee table in her home a few months ago. They put tubes in both her ears at the same time. She was totally deaf in her right ear due to fluid buildup that had to be removed before the tubes were placed and a partial fluid buildup in her left ear. She seems to have come through it quite well and her lip really looks good and she can actually already hear out of her right ear. They found an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor that could take care of her ears and fix her lip at a much more reasonable price than the plastic surgeon they told us we would have to get to do the job. And the bonus was they could fix everything at the same time. Good thing.......she isn't very pleasant when coming out of the anesthesia. Just like her Daddy.........that apple didn't fall far from the tree! Sorry son, but I tell it as I see it! Thanks to all who kept her in their thoughts and prayers. God is awesome!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A good omen!

This is a partial rainbow that I was able to capture after the rains Friday evening, June 13, 2008! I know it's not the greatest picture of a rainbow or even the greatest rainbow I have ever seen, but it's the first rainbow that I have seen this season and it was just in front of my house. I am hoping that this is a good omen and means that the flooding rains and terribly severe weather is mostly behind us. Well, I can always hope, right? It seems as if we have been hammered by every severe storm that they have predicted so far this spring. I know the rain is good and we need it as bad as the farmers do, but sometimes you can get too much and the fields are under water too long and that damages the crops as much as a drought does. So I am praying that the severe weather is over and we will just get the normal amount of rain needed to keep everything growing fine for the farmers and us to help ensure that the price of food doesn't go up much higher than it already is!

On a much brighter note, I am the proud owner of a new(to me anyway) 2005 black Chevy Cobalt. And guess what? It has air conditioning! I haven't had A/C in over three years, so I am extremely happy about it! It is a basic car, no bells and whistles.....meaning no power windows, seats or door locks. But crank windows are fine with me and the car is small enough that if I stretch I can lock all the doors without having to walk around the car, open the doors, push the lock button down and close the door. The following is a photo of it:

Kind of a sporty looking car for someone who just turned 62. But, I think I may be entering into my second childhood.............albeit there are those I'm sure, who will tell you that I never outgrew the first one! Ha ha!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Long Weekend


Well, it's Wednesday, the long weekend is behind us and this week is half over. I have so much housework to catch up on.

We had our daughter and her family up from Kentucky for the Memorial Day weekend. It is always nice to see family.......and it is always so exhausting! I think it must be the change in the routine and visiting and being busy most of the time when they are here.

We had three different get togethers with Rachel and family and some of her siblings and their families. We always try to gather as many as we can together for at least one group meal. The last one was a bonfire, marshmallow roast, s'more making time. We started this early in the evening before it was even dark. Some of the little ones would never have made it otherwise.........they were already tired by the time we began. I'm going to post some pictures of the visit. Most of them are of the kids enjoying themselves and playing. We did have a joint birthday party for two of the Kentucky kids and they received their first 'Webkinz' and were thrilled.
This is a pic of Ty taking a marshmallow out of his daddy's mouth! And the next two are of the double birthday cake, candle blowing out. And the final one is the three Kentucky grandkids, the two biggest posing with their new Webkinz!


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Did you ever have to fill out a form where they ask for your occupation? I have on several different occasions. And all the years of being a stay at home mom only seemed to leave me the option of checking the multiple choice answer of 'housewife'. Yet that is not correct either. I wasn't married to my house! Then I remembered the story I once heard of a woman who claimed she was a 'Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations.'

Now, you might ask. just exactly what this field of employment is. Let me enlighten you.

It would consist of a continuing program of research (what mom doesn't)in the laboratory and in the field (normally I would say indoors and out). Where one is working for their Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family). In my case, I already have five credits (three sons and two daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money.'

Motherhood!

What a glorious career! Especially when there's a title on the door. Does this make grandmothers 'Senior Research Associates in the field of Child Development and Human
Relations', and great grandmothers 'Executive Senior Research Associates?'

I think so!!! I also think it makes Aunts 'Associate Research Assistants.'

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day...........

.....and it has me thinking of my mother who passed away 42 years ago this coming June. Yes, I miss her still. But what she taught me in the first 20 years of my life has made me into the person I am today. It has influenced all of my decisions one way or another and affected the outcome of my life to this point and will forever.

And it made me stop to realize how lucky I am! My mother's death taught me how precious life is and how soon it can be snuffed out. Because of this, I have learned to accept people for who they are and love them in spite of any faults they may have. Of course this is made easier for me by my offspring picking people to share their life with who have great qualities and are decent and easy to love.

I want to pay tribute to them. First, my daughter Naive-no-more. My first born child, whom I fell immediately in love with and thought that I would never let go. Little did I realize at that time, that the teachings of my mother would affect the way I loved her and raised her to be a totally independent and wonderful person. I learned that although the time comes when you must cut the apron strings and let them go, albeit with bittersweet memories, it is much easier to do so when you love them and want to watch them to continue to grow in a more mature way than they ever could if you didn't 'cut them loose'! And I've found that they never leave you really. At least not in mind and spirit. You will always be connected to each other in a way that you could never imagine! So, Naive-no-more, this is a small token of how much you mean to me and how proud I am of you and how much I love you. And being a mother, I know you can now understand so many things you didn't before you were a 'mom'. You still have the power to make me smile whenever I think of you and you bring me so much joy while allowing me to be a part of your life. I love you! Happy Mother's Day!

And I have another daughter that was acquired through a marriage fourteen years after the death of Naive and her brothers' dad. Although I wasn't there from the start with this little girl, I love her as if I had been. She is grown and a mother of three of her own now. And we also have a special bond. She was not even in kindergarten when she came into my life and captured my heart with her comical ways and delightful smiles. Even though she didn't live in our home with us for more than a year full-time, the week-end visits when she and her brother were small earned them both a special place in my heart. I think my mom's love of all children taught me the concept of allowing me to love a child that didn't grow inside me! I love you, Rachel Happy Mother's Day!

That brings us to Heidi, my son Jeremy's wife. But just to keep the record straight, she was my friend before she ever knew Jeremy! I love you Heidi. You have given me two beautiful and wonderful grand sons. And you have been an added plus to our family these past years. Your kindness to me is so appreciated. You have a piece of my heart forever too. Thank you for joining our corner of the world! Happy Mother's Day to you!

And dear Ame, whom I met on line blogging over a year ago, probably closer to two years ago, has become another daughter through 'hearts' if not by birth! She is a 'single mom' to two beautiful and enchanting little girls, one of which is a special needs kid. Watching Ame deal with this on a daily basis is truly amazing and she makes it look less difficult than it really is. I know, I spent two weeks in her home last fall and I had a wonderful time. Ame has a great laugh, and is a lot of fun. This is one daughter I had absolutely no work while she was growing up and I am reaping the benefits from knowing her. I love you, Ame. Happy Mother's Day!

And there is our son Brian's wife, Vanessa. She brings a different culture to our family and keeps things interesting. She has been a great mother to their three children. She takes such good care of them all, including Brian. I'm glad you joined our family those thirteen years ago this coming June! Happy Mother's Day!

And I can't forget Virginia. She has not officially joined our family yet, but is engaged to our son Doug. They will have a blended family as she has two children and Doug has three and and they are expecting their first baby together in October. She has been so good for Doug. She has stepped up to the plate and taken on the responsibility of helping him raise two of his children. She is a better 'mom' to them than the one they were born too. I will always love her for that. Happy Mother's Day to you, Virginia!

But wait, there there is one more. There is Clew, whom I met through Naive-no-more, and have unofficially adopted her also! She is the mother of one adorable little boy after suffering many 'baby losses' to get to this point! You should see her in action. A very bright and beautiful woman with lots of talent. I love you, too! Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Janeywan at Life in Westcliffe had a meme on her blog recently and she tagged all who left a comment on her blog. The following is what it is about and my answers:

The Rules:

1. Pick up the book nearest you.
2. Turn to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Type and post the next three sentences after the fifth one.
5. Tag five people.

My book in hand is: The Saddlemaker's Wife by Earlene Fowler

"So, what now?" she asked. "I need to tell my mom and brother. That's a whole other problem, my mother June..........." his voice faltered a moment.

I tag Rebecca, Ame, Naive, Curly-Q, and Clew!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy Birthday to my MOM!


Today is my mom's birthday. Had she lived past 49 years of age, she would be 91 today. She passed away when I was just 20 and in college. My older sister had just given birth to her first baby, my mom's first grand child, a beautiful little girl. She never lived to see her as she had been hospitalized the last 6 months of her life. My younger sister was still in high school. I quit college in order to get a job and take care of my younger sister and get her the rest of the way through to graduation. She was a junior at that time. Even though it was so many years ago now, I still miss my mom and probably always will.

The above photo is one of my mom and dad standing near their first car shortly after my dad was released from the Army during WWII. My mom is pregnant with my oldest sister in this photo.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

313


I just discovered that this is my 313TH post here. I guess I let the 300TH post roll right past with out giving it any notice at all. Oh well, on with the current one.

These are my daffodils that bloomed the other day. I love these flowers. They are so bright and cheerful they make me smile just to see them. I wonder if that's what they mean by "Flower Power"! LOL Most all of the flowers have begun to grow. My lilacs have little tiny flower buds and I can't wait for them to open and to smell the lovely fragrance they send out. I wish I could be sure the frosts are all done so I could purchase some flowers and plant them, but I better wait until the end of May as usual. It is a very pleasant day here today, with a high of 77º outside, partly sunny at the present time, but I can see what looks like an overcast sky moving in. Probably bringing rain ;( , but without April showers, we won't have any May flowers so I guess it's a good thing.

Things have been very busy around here lately. My job sometimes feels more like full time than part time as I am covering for the gals I job share with when they can't be there. Yesterday on of sister-in-laws had surgery and wouldn't be home in time to get her kids off the bus, so I drove 60 miles one way in order for someone to be there when they got out of school. It's a good thing too. She never got home until between 5:30 and 6:00 PM. Another sister-in-law had a stent placed in her heart on Thursday and came home from the hospital yesterday. And a brother-in-law was in the hospital for almost a week while they tried to discover what was wrong with him. They did CT scans, MRI's and even a spinal tap. They never did figure it out and sent him home once he was fever free and the pain had lessened.

Today two of the grand children, David and Amber, both had a sporting event they wanted me to attend. I made neither of them. I did receive a phone call from Amber's mom about 1/2 hour after her soccer game had begun to tell me Amber had been injured and was on the way to an ER. She got hit in the face with the ball and the coach seemed to think that her nose was broken, but they couldn't be sure with all the swelling and the bleeding wouldn't stop. I have since received a call that at least it isn't broken, but she is continuing to bleed somewhat. I'm sure she will be fine and they will call if anything happens and she has to return to the hospital.

Well, today is much too nice to be sitting inside on the computer and I have a lot of housework to finish and grocery shopping to do. So, I am off to get things done!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Eighteen Years!


This coming Monday, hubby and I will have been married 18 years. This picture shows what those 18 years has brought us! We are missing two members of our family, but this is the closest we have ever gotten enabling us to gather everyone together in one place for a family picture. Although it isn't formal photography, it is a natural look at us as a group.

This past eighteen years has brought us many other things as well. Many more happy times and memories, some sadness in losing a grandchild to stillbirth, serious illnesses and, thankfully, recovery from all of them. Some financial difficulties for some, engagements, weddings, many birthdays to celebrate and more good times than bad. We are quite a group......I am glad that we met, fell in love, and blended our families to form the unit we have become! I pray that we have many more years together and that we always cherish each other and what we have.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stress test passed!


Okay, just a short post as I am trying to catch up on some housework and also washing and drying laundry for son and his fiancee and family.........their washer quit and with 6 people in their home, laundry can pile up rather quickly. I'm not folding it though.........too much of it, and folding clothes triggers back spasms!

I had my annual stress test yesterday and it seemed easier than years past. Maybe because I have been more active on my treadmill lately. I passed and the word from the doctor is that I don't have to even see him again, unless something goes wrong of course, until next year this time and I can go back for further torturing!

I am so thankful. I dread this thing every year and since it was easier this year, maybe I won't stress about it so much next year! I'm not saying that it will ever be something I look forward to. The above photo is similar to the machine that they put me into, twice, for scanning my chest area. The table isn't very wide and not very comfortable since the strap your left hand and arm above your head and your right arm is strapped tightly to your right side to help avoid any movements. You must just breathe normally and not move at all. And heaven help you if your nose should begin to itch. Fortunately the scan only takes about 15-20 minutes. The longest part of the entire procedure is waiting 45 min. after the nuclear medicine injection into the IV in order to go through the scanner. And there are two different nuclear injections. One before the treadmill stress test, and one after. So you are actually going through this machine twice. But it is over and done with for this year. Woo-Hoo!!!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Push Me-Pull You


Anyone remember that fictitious animal from the original Dr. Doolittle movie?

That's how I've been feeling lately. Maybe I am too old to even work part-time! It seems there just aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish what needs to get done. My daughter in Kentucky has been having some bouts of something. She went to the hospital with heart attack symptoms and they told her it wasn't her heart, which is good. And she kept her doctor appointment last Friday and spoke with him about these episodes, for lack of a better word to call them. He put her on an anti-anxiety drug called Paxil. He thinks she is having panic attacks. She thinks otherwise, but since he's the one that went to medical school and has the degree, she is trying it, if for no other reason than to rule it out. She isn't happy with the side effects either. She says that she went to the doctor so he could make her feel better, not worse! But, she is willing to wait it out and see where it goes from here.

My future daughter-in-law has a follow up appointment the end of the week to find out the results of her thyroid test and what the course of action will be for her while she is in her first tri-mester of pregnancy. We are all praying for the baby to be safe and healthy.

I have a brother-in-law in the hospital right now and they don't know what is wrong with him. High fever, constant tremor in his right arm and hand, severe headache and pain in his lower right back. They know he has a bladder infection and that there is an infection in his blood as well. He was born with only one kidney, so they have called in a specialist and they have done a CT scan, and MRI and xrays. He will have a spinal tap done first thing tomorrow morning. He is married and the father of two teenage girls. His wife would like for people to come visit him, but we are all leery of going there in case he has something contagious and no one wants to catch it or take any other germs in to him.

First thing tomorrow morning, I am going to the hospital for my annual nuclear stress test. I can't say that I'm looking forward to it. It is a rather long drawn out process and usually takes 4 hours to complete. I have a doctor appointment with my heart doctor immediately following this test. And tomorrow is also my second born grand child's (first girl) birthday. However, we won't be celebrating her birthday as she is in Washington DC or New York, I can't remember which it is now on a mission trip for her spring break from high school. She will turn 16. It doesn't seem possible that she should be that old already. It doesn't seem that long ago that my daughter, her mother, was that age!

Another daughter-in-law wants me to watch her boys one afternoon this week. I'm not sure I feel up to it, but hate to say 'no' to any of them. I'm the one who is supposed to be the glue that holds us all together and lead them all in times of stress and uncertainty. I think it is all just too much at once. I am having trouble sleeping again and I was doing so well there for a while. I'm only averaging about 3-4 hours a night and that is interrupted sleep.

On a high note, if you didn't notice the new award on my side bar, please check it out. It was bestowed upon me by one of my dearest blogging friends, Smalltown RN aka Mary Anne. She is one of the sweetest and nicest gals I know. I hope to meet her in person one day and enjoy a cup of coffee with her! I have a couple worthy people in mind to also bestow this upon.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

YES!!!! Spring is here........finally!

This is a picture of what they commonly call a 'pussy willow' bush here in Michigan. I don't know what name they go by anywhere else or even if they grow in other states....but I'm sure they must. The pussy willow is one of the first trees/bushes to bud out in the spring. As you can see, this one has a good start already. The little gray buds are very soft to the touch........like a little gray kitten. Probably why someone named it the pussy willow.

And this is one of the maple trees in our yard. It is usually the first one to bud. I don't know if you can see in the photo, but the buds are actually a red color and they look so velvety and soft. I don't know how they feel. The tree limbs are much too high for me to be able to touch them and this old lady is NOT getting on a ladder just to feel some buds, no matter how soft they look!

So you see, all we had to do is be a little patient and wait for the warmer weather to arrive. Now by the standards of those of you who live in the southern United Sates, I'm sure our temps of 56º for today don't seem warm to you. But for us, they are a welcome relief to the 20's and 30's that we have been experiencing!

I told you all it would arrive soon! So get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. I did a little outside work today and it felt so good to feel the sunshine beating on my back.

Friday, March 28, 2008

SPRING........maybe NOT?

This is what I woke up to this morning! And in my last post I said it was spring. This view is outside my back door looking southeast. It is very beautiful, although it isn't very welcomed by me. I would much rather see my flowers than more snow. The bush just off to the left of center is my lilac bush with my new buds buried under that snow. But I guess, if we're going to break the old record for snowfall amount and we've come this far, we may as well go for it!
And this picture is looking southwest out the same back door. I do think the snow on the tree with the sun beginning to shine is beautiful. But then I have always been fascinated by trees anyway. This is the maple tree that I spoke of that had buds and they were beginning to open. I certainly hope this wet heavy snow doesn't damage them. You can't see through the snow, but those buds were a very pretty red with the look of velvet to them. I think the sun will melt the snow up quickly...........at least I hope so!

This coming week is spring break for the kids around here and I am hoping for much warmer temperatures than the 26º we have out there now!

Happy Spring to you.........whenever it decides to show up!!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring..........maybe?



Most of the snow from the previous post has melted and upon examining the ground around the house, I have found, much to my delight, the new shoots of my day lilies poking through the dirt as if lifting their heads to see if it is really spring and to test the air and see just how warm that sunshine is. These pictures are from last year and I am anxious for color and that is why I am posting them. It is so hard to wait!

I can't wait to be able to get outside and plant my morning glory seeds and start working those flower beds to get them ready for planting. I love flowers growing in my yard. I hate having to pull the weeds, but seeing all the pretty colors is worth the weed pulling. I'm hoping I don't have such a problem with the rabbits eating my flower petals this year. I'm going to try the cayenne pepper sprinkled about in the hopes of keeping them away. Some one told us last year to lay our garden hose around the area and the rabbits wouldn't cross it, thinking it was a snake. Well, it may have worked for them but it sure didn't fool or scare the bunnies away from my flowers! At one point they had stripped every petal off the petunias.

Now that the snow is almost gone, I can also see where those pesky moles have been pushing the dirt up. I didn't know they remained active under all that snow! We have gotten a recipe containing hot sauce to mix up and that is supposed to drive them out. I'm hoping it does. I know they are here because they like to eat the grubs underground and we could use a chemical of some sort to kill the grubs and deplete the moles favorite dinner, but I would rather not have to resort to chemicals. There are enough environmental issues and contamination already and I really don't want to be a contributor of any more.

So I am hoping we have had our last significant snowfall and spring has really sprung!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter weekend

Although the buds can be seen on my maple tree, forsythia bushes and lilac bush, it didn't stop Mother Nature from playing a trick on us. The calendar may say spring, but the landscape says otherwise. These pictures are the result of a storm that hit us hard on Good Friday, dumping about 9 inches of snow in the area I live in. They have had to re-schedule the annual kiddie Easter Egg Hunt at the local park until the following weekend. Some disappointed children, I'm sure, but they can have fun next weekend this way, too!

It was very windy and before the snow accumulated on the swings, they were blowing as if invisible children were playing there. Once the heavy wet snow built up, the wind had trouble moving them. In spite of the fact that we have this new, perhaps unwelcome snowfall, we still have a lot to celebrate this weekend.

The greatest gift God has given us. His only Son to die on the cross and be buried and rise from the dead to give those who believe eternal life. How much He must love us! It is truly hard for me to comprehend that......as a parent. I know how much I love my children and how difficult it would be to watch one of them crucified. That is why it is so very hard to understand. He let His Son pay the price for us. He bought us with His blood. How lucky we are to have a God who loves us so much.

Happy Easter to all of you!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Since I am anxious for spring, I am showing some flowers from last spring!

A lot has been going on since I've even had a chance to write here.

I found out that we are expecting a new grandchild in the fall (that will make 19....total), I started a part time job but the training was full time. With that said, I want to praise all of you who work full time outside the home and are raising children at the same time. I don't know how you manage to accomplish both. Just working full time for one week about did me in and I had no little ones to deal with. Yes, I know I am older, but still it is very taxing to be working and still have to keep up your home and then throw in the multitude of tasks of dealing with the demands of small children and, in my opinion, it becomes almost impossible. So, hats off to you who can pull it off! I know I worked when my kids were teenagers and that was difficult at times too, and I WAS younger then. Maybe that's the key........younger means more energy. Getting old certainly isn't for sissy's! But I could do an entire post on growing older, so I'll save that for another time.

One of our grand daughters turned 13........that makes 3 teen-age grand children now. Her birthday was St. Patrick's day, but we celebrated it on Saturday late afternoon and evening with a birthday dinner and cake and ice cream...........all with a St. Patrick's Day theme, of course. That's what she chooses every year. The girl loves green, one of her favorite colors!

We just found out yesterday that our daughter, who lives in Kentucky, will be coming up for a visit in May over Memorial Day weekend. That will be nice.............I haven't seen them since last April when my sis-in-law and I took her two and one of my grand daughters, Amber, down for a few days visit. Hubby hasn't seen them for about a year and a half now with all the overtime he has been working. Hopefully he will be able to have some time off when they are here and really get to fit a nice visit in.

I think it is almost spring here. Most of the snow in our yard has melted but there is still a lot on the ground at my neighbors to the west of me. Maybe he has more shade in his yard! The buds on the maple trees, lilac bushes and forsythia are peeking there heads out and the pussy willow bush is starting to get those soft little thingies (I don't know what you call them, nor do I know the proper name of the pussy willow bush). I haven't seen any signs of my lilies popping up or the tulips or daffodils, but I'm sure there still there awaiting the right time to show themselves. After all, the official first day of spring is only two days away now. Hooray for March 20TH!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Working for Harley!

I have spent the last two afternoons making phone calls and searching the Internet to see if I can find help for this little girl.

I think I have at least one answer so far. If the original treating hospital will release the information, in a timely manner, from the date we took her into the ER for treatment until the date they removed the sutures and the Doctor's recommendation on seeing a Plastic Surgeon and fax them to a Plastic Surgery Clinic I was able to locate at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids and we get an appointment, they can most likely help. And there is a financial aid number, in fact two of them, that we can contact if they will take the case.

I will keep searching until I know for sure that someone, somewhere, somehow will help this family and restore this little girls lip to its' normal state!

I did take a few hours off this afternoon to keep my eye exam appointment. I found out that my eyes are worse of course (they are getting older, I am NOT) and I have just the very beginning of a cataract in my right eye. Nothing need be done at the present time; just keep an eye (ha ha) on it and keep re-checking it. Besides, cataract surgery is no longer a long difficult thing and the results now days are fantastic afterwards!

Thank all of you for your prayers and concern and kind words you left in my comments!

Oh, I almost forgot. I am starting a job on Monday. I will be training on Monday and Tuesday from 8:30AM-5:00PM at the main facility and then I will be working part-time on Monday and Tuesday's from 12:30PM-5:00PM. And the bonus........it's only 6 miles from my house! I applied for this postion last fall and they hired a younger gal and she isn't working out very well. It seems she doesn't want to work, just play games on the computer! There is something to be said about older workers, don't ya think?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

We just found out yesterday that our poor little Boo, aka Harley, will now need Plastic Surgery to repair her upper lip that she damaged in a face first fall into the coffee table last Thursday. She is on a state assisted program for insurance called Medicaid and they DO NOT cover plastic surgery as it is considered cosmetic.

I haven't seen her since they removed the stitches yesterday, but my son Doug (her daddy) tells me it looks very deformed. I guess the doctor at the ER we took her to just wasn't equipped to handle that kind of a cut or he thought it would heal and be fine. What ever the case, it didn't. The doctor has given them a name of a Plastic Surgeon in Portage, MI. I would like her to be seen by a Pediatric Plastic Surgeon at DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI. I think that will be her best chance for a good repair. I talked to Doug about it and he said to go ahead and make some phone calls and see what I can find out.

I hear on the news about some of the doctors in Grand Rapids go to foreign countries and repair cleft palates and other cranial facial problems for free. I need to find one who will do it for free or on a sliding scale and take small payments monthly so they can afford to get her the surgery she needs. She is 4 years old, and the way it looks probably doesn't bother her now, but as she grows, I'm sure it will make her very self-conscious.

If any of you believe in prayer, please pray that we can find the help we need for this little girl. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Birthdays, Birthdays and Wedding Anniversary!


Don't these cakes look good? I didn't make them. I copied the pictures from flickr and posted it here. How I wish Rachel and her hubby, and my friend r j, and Bumpa, could all gather this evening for a celebration and enjoy some of that delicious looking cake. I know rj is especially fond of cake! We would eat the cake and some ice cream, and then sit around the fireplace visiting drinking coffee, tea, or what ever is their drink of choice. Maybe a better time to celebrate would be the weekend when no one had to get up for work the next morning and we could talk and talk until the wee hours of the night. The men would probably get bored, but we girls wouldn't run out of things to talk about, I'm sure!

It's nice to have dreams of how I would like things to be, but reality calls me back to the real world. So let me wish Bumpa and rj a Happy Birthday, and Rachel and Trenton a Happy Anniversary and call it a night!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

SPRING IS COMING !

Do you wonder how I know? Today while driving I saw a Robin red-breast fly in front of my car. This picture below is not one I took myself. It was taken by a friend of mine who was kind enough to e-mail it to me and did not want her name published so I can't properly give her credit, but please accept my thanks. She knew I needed a sign besides the one I saw flying.

I think it is very exciting to finally see a sign of spring.........it assures me that it will arrive eventually.
Even if they did just put us under another "Weather Alerts
SNOW ADVISORY in effect for :
Allegan, MI Barry, MI Calhoun, MI Clinton, MI Eaton, MI Gratiot, MI Ionia, MI Kalamazoo, MI Kent, MI Mecosta, MI Montcalm, MI Muskegon, MI Newaygo, MI Oceana, MI Ottawa, MI Van Buren, MI" beginning at 4 AM on Fri. and lasting through 4 PM Friday. And beginning tomorrow there are only 21 days left until the official start of Spring. Spring begins 3 days after our Amber turns 13. I can't believe she will be a teen-ager this year. I was at the hospital, in the room, when she was born and it doesn't seem like that many years have elapsed since that day when I first held her in my arms and counted all her fingers and toes! She was our third grand child back then...........now we are expecting number 19. I think I might be getting to old for this baby stuff!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Happenings and inconveniences!

Second youngest son's(the one who is engaged)fiancee is sick with pneumonia. She's had it since Jan. but just got into see the doctor. She also just found out that she is pregnant so that limits what medications she can take. He gave her an antibiotic shot in the butt and told her to take Tylenol for fever, aches and pains and that was all. I think she is starting to feel better, but is way behind on laundry she says. Doug helps when he can, but working full time and coming home to take care of her and 4 kids makes it a little difficult. To top that off, something happened to the pipes in the apartment complex they live in and they've had no water for the last 3 days. We have taken them drinking water and they got 35 gallon buckets of water from where she works part-time to flush the toilets with and heat for washing up. But the laundry was just piling up. I told them to bring some here and I would do it. I washed 3 big loads for them. So at least the have clean underwear, socks, pj's and a couple outfits each now. Hopefully the water will be repaired soon. While they were dropping off the laundry they took the time to shower too...........that's pretty important for anyone they have to be around!

I talked Hubby into staying home yesterday and going to the doctor. He hasn't been feeling well and I was sure he had the flu in spite of having had his flu shot last fall. I was wrong. It is an upper respiratory infection and he is on a course of antibiotics to make him well. I have been making sure he is getting plenty of rest and sleep and lots of liquids to drink.......and not beer either. Mostly water, orange juice and and occasional soda. I'm hoping he starts to feel better by tomorrow. He will have to return to work on Monday, even if he isn't 100% yet. Poor man. I hope I don't catch it either.

I was supposed to keep Drew today while Naive and Mr. Naive went to watch E. in her competitive cheer leading, but because of illness in the household, they chose to find someone else to watch him. I don't blame them. I wouldn't want the little guy to get sick either. But I do miss him coming here. I miss Amber too. We haven't seen her since sometime in Jan. And the last time she was down this way was the week before Christmas and New Years, and part of that time she spent at her dad's of course. I spoke with her last night and wished her well on the all day basketball tournament she played in today, and told her to let me know how it went, but I haven't heard anything from her yet.

I'm hoping that the weather breaks soon and the distance to pick her up and bring her here won't matter so much if the roads are clear. I'm eagerly awaiting springs arrival!

Friday, February 15, 2008

What about the groundhog?

(ozoni11's photos)

Here it is, the 15th of February, 2008. I live in southwest Michigan and we are in the throes of winter. As a child, I loved the winter time. The sledding, building snowmen and snow forts, snowball fights, making angels in the snow and ice skating. That was then………..now back to real life at the age of almost 62 (unless you’re dyslexic, then I’m only almost 26)!

It’s cold out there. It’s 8:30 PM and the temp is 14º. There is no wind tonight (yet anyway) so there is no windchill to report. Last weekend our temperatures were in the single digits with wind gusts between 40-50 mph, making the windchill at times -23º……..now that’s cold!

On February 2nd, someone a long time ago decided that if the little groundhog saw his shadow on that day, we would have 6 more weeks of winter. Where in the world they (whom ever ‘they’ are) came up with this theory is beyond my comprehension. If groundhogs can predict the weather, why do we need meteorologist? And I was taught in school that groundhogs were some of those animals that hibernate for the winter. That being the case, how could he see his shadow if he’s asleep? I’ll tell you how. Those same ‘they’s’ decided they should wake him up instead of letting him sleep!

I think we should just leave the poor little guy alone and let him sleep. At least he won’t see his shadow and maybe, just maybe, we won’t have six more weeks of winter. Maybe spring would come early, although I don’t put much trust in the whole theory anyway, but we could give it a try……………at least once!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It's Fixed!



The garage door is now working. It seems to be considerably noisier than it has ever been before, but it is working. And do you know what it was? A $9.00 capacitor..........a cheap fix for us this time. Especially since we were looking at purchasing a whole new one to the tune of $184. big ones.

Saturday, our oldest son, Brian, came over to visit with his three kids. David, 11, Elijah 4 and Rebecca (aka Baby Becca) just 2. They decided they wanted to try doing some puzzles. David wanted to try a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle and Elijah wanted to help. David didn't want him to. We found a 34 piece puzzle for Elijah to do. Made them both happy. What surprised me is that Elijah was actuall able to put it together all my himself, and insisted I take a picture of it........that's what the above pic is for...........to make Elijah happy.
This photo is baby Becca...........just because she's cute!



And this one is of David trying to put the 500 piece jigsaw puzzle together while Elijah watches because he finished his!

I love having them come and spend a day or evening with me. It gives me a chance to play with them and enjoy them. Maybe even more than I could their Daddy when he was their age because I don't have all the responsiblities that go along with raising them! It's so much fun! What a blessing all my grand children are to me!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Garage door openers..............

are great when they work right! Lately, we've been having some problems with ours. When we wake up in the morning, the garage door has been opened even though we know we closed it before retiring. Bumpa always checks it before he goes to bed at 3 AM. He works second shift so he makes sure it is closed after he gets his last beer for the night out of the refrigerator in the garage. I get up usually by no later than 8:30, sometimes 9 AM. The rest of the doors going to the garage are locked so no one could get in anyway. Besides, we have the 4-legged variety of ADT. Anyone trying to gain entry to our home would be severly startled by a vicious looking and sounding critter!

A few nights ago, the door kept opening all by itself sending my ADT monitor into a steady stream of barking and snarling. I would go up and push the button and watch the door close and go about my business. And within about 40 minutes the same thing would happen. This went on for a while, until the last time I went to close the door and the button on the wall would not work. So I went to my car and took the remote out and pushed it and that didn't work either. Thinking that the battery was probably dead, I replaced it and re-pushed the button without any luck. Of course this was a night when Bumpa was working overtime and would not return until 1:30 and that was only an estimate because the roads were rather nasty. It was the night of the big snow and high winds with blowing and drifting and many interstates closed for accident clean ups. Needless to say, my garage was also filling with drifting snow! I pulled on my boots and ventured out in my fleece jammies. I opened the rear driver's side door and climbed inside to stand on the floorboard in order to reach the rope that is the manual release for the door. AND.PROMPTLY.FELL.OUT.ON.MY.BEHIND! Those things happen when you are vertically challenged!

This required me to pick myself up and use a naughty word because my behind hurt and I was now wet and muddy and snowy and cold! I had to come into the house to get my step stool since the ladders in the garage are all hanging up and too heavy for me to lift and get down. I set up my stool and pulled on the release cord. I climbed down and went to the door and tugged on it. NOTHING! I literally hung on and wiggled my body (good thing it was dark) and the door still would not budge. After several attempts at looking silly and pulling on the door, it finally shut, but not before I had to shovel the snow out of the garage.

Why do these kinds of things happen when the men are not home? Anyway, he thought he had it fixed. We now think the motor is shot and it is just as expensive to fix it as to purchase a new one. So, we will be shopping for a new door opener soon. I'm getting tired of having to open and close it by hand, but I shouldn't complain. Before we moved here we didn't even have a garage.

And I want to close with this statement. I apologize for any mispellings.......the spell check on this hasn't worked the last few time I've tried to use it. Anyone else having this problem or does blogger just hate me?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Stopping to count my blessings

You know, for as much complaining as I have been doing on here lately regarding the winter weather we've been having, it just hit me tonight as I sat down with a French Vanilla Coffee, in front of the fireplace in my warm fleece jammies, that I don't have much to complain about really. Okay, I don't like the winter weather the way I liked it when I was a kid, but still, it is pretty to look at all the snow out there sparkling like a million diamonds in the night with the moonlight shining on it.

And why am I warm and toasty in my cozy home? Because I have a hubby who works very hard to provide a nice place for me to live in and have enough money to pay the bills to keep us warm, and the electricity on so I can use my computer and watch television or listen to the radio or a CD player, enough food to eat that we really never go hungry. We may not have a certain snack that I'm craving, but that's not really going hungry! Enough money to buy the medications we need to take on a daily basis after we both had heart attacks, and a trusty, loyal companion to live with us that we can also afford to feed and pay vet bills for to keep her healthy.

We have enough money to do some of the things we enjoy doing.........hub hunting and fishing, me scrap booking and visiting with my family and friends. Being able to pull together an unplanned meal and turn it into something special when the kids and grand kids stop over and being healthy enough to enjoy spending time with them....all 18 of the living ones from 18 months old to 19 years. I'm lucky to be able to say that I have held every grand child at least once......even our dear Owen who was stillborn a few years back. And how lucky we are in knowing that he is buried by his birth grandpa and is in heaven with God and his grandpa and great grandparents. How lucky that at least we got to hold him if not given the chance to get to know him. The love for him is still there too.

Having enough love to go around and having the grand children feel comfortable enough to call and ask me to tie a tie for one to go on an interview 'cause he never learned how to do it. Having them know that they can call us for anything.........even when they were very young and called to 'tattle' on their mom or dad for not letting them do what they wanted, thinking I, as their dad or mom's MOM had the authority to still make them mind and do what I said. Very humorous! Knowing that they can come for a visit and spend as many nights here as their parents will allow when ever they want. Our theory has always been that if they want to come, they can. And if we have something to do they are welcome to come along with us or they can choose to stay home with their parents without hurting our feelings.

And we are lucky enough to live in a country where young men and women go to war and sacrifice their comfort to fight for our freedom so we can have these things and enjoy all these luxuries that they are going without.

I think sometimes I just forget to count all the blessings the good Lord has bestowed upon me in this lifetime. Dear God, please place reminders in front of me so I never take all this for granted.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Winter or something like it, has a hold on Michigan!




I know it is only January and living in Michigan means winter and snowy months from November through February and sometimes into March. We've actually had snow well into April before too, but I have had enough snow this year. It really hasn't been a bad winter.........REALLY! It's just that when it decided to hit, it hit with a vengeance and hasn't let up. The streets are very slick and slippery and I won't venture out on them. Not since I rolled a new 4-wheel drive Jeep over back in Jan. of 1990 and was stuck hanging upside down inside the vehicle with about 12 people staring in at me all talking and trying to figure out what the best way to get me out was. The roads were glare ice that day and I was on my way to work. I worked at a bank in the mortgage loan department. All the roads in the area were icy that day. In fact a county snowplow had rolled over getting off the exit ramp to the same street that I rolled over on. The snowplow driver was not ticketed. I was. The police officer wrote me a ticket for driving too fast for conditions. I was going 20 mph in a 45 mph zone. It was a very windy day and a gust blew me across the road into the oncoming traffic lane and when I tried to recover it straightened out and came back into my lane only to slide of the road into a deep ditch and roll. I knew it was going to roll.........I could tell by the way it moved. I was very calm about it at the time. I didn't remain calm when they couldn't figure out how to get me out! Nor was I calm when the State Trooper ticketed me. I told him I was only going 20 in a 45, and he responded with anyone out driving today is driving too fast for conditions. My answer was 'you are out driving today.' He told me he was working. I sarcastically told him that I too was on my way to work and not to a matinee. He did give me a ride home though since I refused to get inside the ambulance once they freed me.

Once home, I called my soon to be hub at his work and told him what happened. He came home immediately and wanted to take me to the hospital or at least the doctor. My sons were in high school at the time and I worked with one of their friends mom. Their friend called his mom to see if she made it okay to work and told him that she did, but that I didn't and had been involved in a roll over accident. Both of my sons called the police and got a ride home to be with me and make sure I was alright. They never checked out of school or told anyone they were leaving. It turned out okay for them, as the police chief knew us and explained the boys behavior the next day to the school office.

That ticket I received was the very first ticket I had ever had. I had been driving since I was 16 years old and I was 44 years old at the time and was pretty upset to have been given a ticket when the county snowplow driver didn't get one. I wrote a letter to the judge explaining why I felt this ticket was unfair and not at all necessary.

A few days later in the mail, I received a letter from the judge and the road commission asking me to attend one of their luncheon meetings in the city of Allegan to speak about my situation. I accepted and attended the meeting within a couple of weeks. The road commission presented me with a license plate that said "Saved by the belt", a coffee mug with a picture of a seat belt in use painted on it, a bumper sticker and a certificate that commended me for wearing my seat belt. But the best part was when the judge got up and said that the ticket would be rescinded and no fines or points would appear on my drivers license! I guess you can fight City Hall on some occasions and actually win.

But to shorten this and get back to the point...........that is why I refuse to drive when we get a lot of snow that becomes slippery or icy on top from the cars traveling on it.

The photos above are from Sunday when hub was plowing and hauling firewood in. We received about 6 more inches of new snow last night and he had to plow again. Tonight we are under a Lake Effect Snow Warning......which means we could end up with another 5 - 10 inches of new snow by noon tomorrow. Now, not all counties are under this warning. It is mostly the counties near the coast of Lake Michigan. The county I live in is on the coast of Lake Michigan, but only the west part of the county. I live closer to the east part of this county but we happen to live in what they call the local snow band so these Lake effect warnings always involve us too. If only I had a full time chauffer I probably wouldn't get cabin fever quite as bad!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Re-organization!

I am in the process of reorganizing my computer/craft room. I began this project shortly after hub left for work today which was about 2:00 that he left and 2:30 by the time I began. It is still a mess. Of course, my theory is that if you are going to reorganize, you may as well clean from top to bottom at the same time! The following picture shows why I need to reorganize.



If you look closely at the bottom two shelves of the green unit, you can see that it has also become a collect all for some of the grand kids favorite toys. I will leave them there as it gives them something to do where I can still see them, if I want or need to be on the computer when they are here.

My problem is I have too many items for this room or this room is too small for the many items I have! I think I still need to give it some more thought. So, I'll take a break and ponder it some more! Guess I'll take a photo when I'm happy with it and post that!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Another experience

Yesterday while at the local drug store retrieving my many prescriptions I had another experience. This time with a mentally challenged individual. She was about 5'2" tall and of slight build. She was with her mother who happened to be at the counter ahead of me discussing some of the meds she was there picking up. There were several people in line behind me. This gal turned around and smiled at me and I, of course, smiled back. She gave me a robust 'hello' and I answered in return and asked how she was. She then said 'Ho ho ho', which made me chuckle and I asked her if she was practicing being Santa since her coat was a bright, fuzzy red one and resembled Santa's suit. She flashed me another huge smile and said yes and the smile was immediately followed by an enormous belch! She covered her mouth and looked very surprised and said 'scuse me'! I chuckled again.............I couldn't help it. She just seemed so surprised that such a huge belch had come out of her mouth.

I continued to wait in line while her mother spoke with the pharmacist and others behind me were getting impatient. This young woman proceeded to speak with me more. What she said didn't always follow any kind of pattern or thought process, but she kept smiling anyway and I kept up a simple yet pleasant conversation with her. I heard some one a few people back make a comment that her mother should teach her not to speak to strangers. I found this offensive. We were in a small local business and most people at least recognize others by sight if not by name. I turned around and watched the gal who made the comment turn a little pinkish in the face, and I thought GOOD! This young gal who began the conversation with me was probably no more than 5 or 6 mentally and I can't count the number of times I have spoken with children of this age while waiting in line at grocery stores, drug stores, hardware stores and the like. No one has ever mentioned in those circumstances that the child's' mother should teach them not to speak with strangers. I feel the comment was made because the people behind me in line were in a hurry and most likely didn't want to listen to what they perceived to be a handicapped person conversing with anyone else.

When her mother turned after finishing her business with the pharmacist, she smiled at me and said thank you for entertaining her. I said no thanks were needed and the gal told me I was a 'good girl' and gave me a big hug as she turned to leave with her mom. How little effort it took on my part to make this gal feel comfortable and like she belonged. I just wish more people would take the time to do this. And this made me think of the veteran from the day before and I wondered once again what is wrong with today's society that we can't all take the time to make a stranger feel good about themselves. Seems the longer I live, the more I see that needs to be fixed.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

American Veterans

Today, I took my husband's uncle to the Veteran's Facility in Grand Rapids for his eye doctor appointment. I left the house at 12:10 PM and returned home at 5:20 PM. That's how long it took. Yes, he had an appointment for 1:45, and never got in to see them until just after 2:30. Then they needed to put drops in his eyes and sent him back out into the waiting area until the drops took effect. Which consisted of at the least another 30 minutes.

While sitting there, I had a lot of time to do some people watching. And I am appalled at the way some of our veterans are treated. Oh, I don't mean by the medical staff there or any of the other staff working at this facility, but by others waiting to be seen by which ever department they were there for. Or maybe it was the people waiting with the other vets........their drivers or care givers perhaps.

I actually witnessed one couple chuckling and making rude comments about the apparel of one of the veterans walking by. Okay, maybe his pants were a little short, maybe he was in need of haircut, maybe his shoes and coat were way out of date, but those making the comments have no idea what this veterans background or living conditions might be. And I believe the man waiting with the woman was a veteran himself. And from the looks of him from better circumstances than the man they were making fun of. It really upset me. I mean, these veterans have made sacrifices for our country to make sure we have the opportunity to remain living in a free society and this is the way they get treated. Shame on those people for not giving the proper respect to this old veteran that he deserved in spite of his appearance and/or living arrangements at the present time.

We would all do well to remember 'but by the grace of God, there go I'!

Let me thank every single veteran who has fought or served in what ever manner to protect my rights and freedom and apologize for those with little sense to be able to offer recognition when it is deserved. And to those of you who passed by me without a smile, I hope the smile I gave you lifted your spirits just a little.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

VISITORS

Today has been a busy day. Well, all week has but I suspect that with school starting and people being back to work it will begin to calm down more. Of course, the week is virtually over anyway being that it is Saturday at 9:50 PM!

New Years Day my grandson, Steve, stopped by for a visit with his girlfriend, Lindsay. Lindsay lives in New Hampshire and flew in the day after Christmas to spend the week with Steve and his family. She is a very sweet gal and Steve's mom and step-dad and sister and little Drew think the world of her too! She was also here at Thanksgiving for a visit. Pretty nice of her parents to let her come for two holidays; well, three if you count the day after Christmas. She did stay home and celebrate Christmas with her parents and brother. This is a photo of them sitting on my love seat.........


Today, Drew got here a little after 1 PM. Emily had a competitive cheer leading thing going on at a local high school and we all knew that there's no way Drew would be able to sit that long and watch. So the only option was for him to come and spend some time with the "Mema"! He left about 5:30 PM............



and I prepared for the next round of the sandbox set to arrive. Harley and Hunter got here about 6:30 PM, done with supper, baths and the donning of pajamas to spend the night. Easy stuff when they are all ready for bed and they are only going to be up for a couple hours and then go to bed and have Dad and Virginia coming back in the morning as soon as I call them.




The photo of Drew is last years and the photo of Harley is from Christmas Day. The one of Hunter was from last March when he was here for an over night visit.

I'm thinking of installing one of those revolving doors they have in some of the stores...........what do ya think?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

It hasn't stopped snowing for 3 days now. Not constantly, but off and on. Enough on to accumulate enough snow to cancel school for today. It would have been the first day back after Christmas break. I have talked to a few moms who are not at all happy with the snow day. Obviously a different breed of women than me. I used to love Christmas break. Actually, I loved every break when the kids were home and we had a more relaxed schedule. I loved having the kids around all the time. So much in fact, that during school breaks and summer vacations, we always had extra kids hanging around and in our home. Makes me wonder if kids are much more misbehaved than they were when mine were young. Or could it be that woman have changed and most no longer wish to be bothered with having to be responsible for children all day long.

I hear many of them talk about how the house is always a mess and the kids fight and just don't listen to what they tell them and they are tired of being ignored and being made to feel like slaves picking up after the kids constantly. I say.....WHAT? I never felt like that. My kids were taught respect........respect for me and respect for their belongings. Leave them lying around and you would lose them and have to 'buy' them back from me after I gathered them up and stored them in my closet. Which, btw, was "MY" closet and not a public place for children to go snooping. And they respected that too! Maybe the problem lies with the parenting skills and forgetting to teach them respect. I see so many parents being what I refer to as 'armchair' parents. Meaning they sit where they are comfortable and tell the kids what to do......repeatedly. But do not make any effort to actually get up and make sure what they have said is being followed through on.

I'm not advocating constant yelling at them or by no means beating on them! But maybe you need to show them that you mean what you say and there are or will be consequences for not listening and doing as you are told. Or is it just easier for them to let things pass than to deal with them. But what do they think these kids will be like when they are 15 and 16 years old and older? Do they think at that age there is some magical pill to give them that will make them responsible and respectful? Not going to happen people! Maybe I'm just getting too old and can't accept the change in parenting ways......but I don't see it for the better!