It Only Takes One Time…

7-30-2009 4;11;57 PMPregnant with BradEd and I got our home renovations completed and they turned out nice, if I do say so myself.  We moved daughter, Brandy to the new bedroom, and Brett moved into Brandy’s old bedroom.  Once again, the nursery was empty.

We had hit our stride, our happy family of four.  Brett and Brandy got along well and spent a lot of time playing together.  Ed had his boy, I had my girl.  Life couldn’t be any better….we thought!

   Brett turned two the summer that the renovations were completed.  He became potty trained later that same summer.  Dum-de-dum-dum…I was free of diapers…for a while.

Now, I’m going to be candid with you for a moment.  We were using birth control, but it was the kind that you have to use  just ahead of time–the one that spoils the mood for you.  There was a month where nothing in the sex department was happening, there’d been some sickness, etc…you know, everybody has those times in life.  I kid you not, we only got intimate one time the  whole month.  Since it was only one time, we got a little carried away in the moment and therefore a little careless…Well, I am here to tell you that I am living proof that it only takes one time to make a baby! 

I really didn’t think anything about it until my period was late.  At first I wasn’t even concerned because we’d only had sex once…then I took the pregnancy test.  Yep, it only takes one time!  The test was positive.  When I told my husband that I was pregnant, he had a look of disbelief on his face and his exact words were  “but we only did it one time!”  My reply was, “I know, but I’m pregnant.”

Now, I’d always had it in my mind to have one more baby, but I hadn’t planned it for this particular time.  We were in between changing insurance policies and there was a four month wait before I would be eligible for maternity insurance.  This was our main concern–lack of insuranace coverage.  We asked the local doctor that Ed’s mother worked for if he would take me as a patient.  (If you remember, I’d started out using him when I was pregnant with my first baby, but he later referred me to a city doctor.)  Dr. S agreed to take me on as a patient since it was my third pregnancy.  He also agreed to let us make payments.  Ed worked for the hospital where I would have the baby, and they agreed to let us make payments, also.  Problems solved!  With a plan in place, we settled into my third pregnancy and  began fixing up that empty nursery.

My pregnancy was uneventful.  Life goes on as usual when you have other children depending on you.   My due date was June 26, 1985.  Of course, my babies never came on time.  July 1st came and I was still pregnant– the first week of July passed and I was still pregnant, and VERY miserable! …to be continued…

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Published in: on July 31, 2009 at 3:22 am  Leave a Comment  

What Did You Say We Have In Our Walls???

7-27-2009 11;02;47 PMHouse buildingNot too long after our second child, Brett, was born, our house began to feel crowded.  Brett’s nursery was in a tiny room, which would’ve been even tinier if we hadn’t taken the closet out to make more room.  Of course it made a nice nursery, but was too small for a bedroom.  So, we decided to build onto the other side of our mobile home.  In case you’ve forgotten, we’d already built all the way down side one of it.

Before I go any further, let me mention that for a while before we began to build, I had been hearing “crunching” noises from inside of the living room wall.  These noises came from the wall behind where I sat–underneath a set of windows.  I mentioned it to my husband a couple of times, but he didn’t seem interested in  persuing the source of the noise. 

We bought the lumber and began our project of building another bedroom and a carport.  I don’t remember exactly how I got Ed to tear into that wall where the noise was coming from, but he finally did.  He found that we had some type of insects inside of the wall chewing up the wood.  I’d never heard of anything except termites, but these bugs weren’t termites.

We called Orkin and they came and  inspected the house.  Our unwelcome visitors were called wood bores and they were eating our house!  There is no treatment for them except to put a tent over the entire house and spray poisonous gas inside the tent.  The  gas stays inside the tent/house for 24 hours and kills anything that is under the tent.  We’d never heard of such a thing before and  believe me, the cost of the treatment wasn’t cheap!

So…in the middle of our building project we had to stop building, remove all food items from the house, as well as Brett’s baby toys, and move back in with Ed’s parents for 2 days.  We also had to pay a person to stand guard over the house for 24 hours to make sure nobody entered the tent while the house was full of gas.  The Orkin people came and put the tent over the house and filled it with gas that same afternoon.  The  next day they came back, removed the tent and told us we could return.7-27-2009 11;04;37 PMHouse tented 

Now a strange thing occured during all of this activity.  Ed kept a pistol on top of our dresser hutch, in plain sight and for easy access.  We both noticed the pistol was there whenever we left the house, just before the tent went on.  For some reason, Ed immediately noticed the gun was missing whenever we returned home. 

Yes, you guessed it!  We were robbed by one of the Orkin men!  Ed called the company and reported what had happened.  After a long discussion on the phone, with Ed assuring them that we knew the gun was there when we left, but not when we returned– the call ended.  I don’t know what went on at the Orkin place, but the pistol was returned to us in the next day or so!

Ed and I always wondered where in the world did those wood bores come from and how did they get in our house.  We finally solved the problem a few years later.  Ed bought an unfinished gun cabinet to stain and finish.  Apparently, the wood of the cabinet had wood bore larvae in it.  Later the larvae hatched and the bugs moved into our walls.  So, buyer beware of what you bring into your house, you may get more than you bargained for!

On a positive note… the nice thing about getting the house tented was that it killed every pest in, under, and around the house.  It was a very long time before we had any spiders, ants, roaches or other such creatures around our house!

Published in: on July 30, 2009 at 3:32 am  Comments (3)  

Snips, Snails, Puppydog Tails, and Blankets…

Brett sneaks a little snack of bread

Brett sneaks a little snack of bread

Don’t you just love little boys?  They are the ones who keep life interesting and challenging while we are trying to raise them.  If you are blessed enough to have a little boy, then you’ve got  a busy and challenging life!  If you have more than one, Lord, be with you!

When our son, Brett, was born, he joined an older sister who was 3 and a half years old.  Brett was a good baby, no colic and he was pretty much happy anywhere.  His favorite activity was sitting in the “Johnny Jump Up” seat which attached over the door frame.  He would sit in that thing and jump for the longest time.

Brett learned to crawl and get around a little earlier than his sister did.  I suppose he was trying to keep up with her.  The picture of Brett eating bread was made when he was around 11 months old.  I guess he was hungry and when he spotted the loaf of bread,  he helped himself!

Brett grew into a sweet little toddler.  He loved to sing.  I can remember shopping–with him riding in the shopping cart singing “Amazing Grace”.  He would also tell us that he was going to grow up and be a preacher one day.  I guess religion made a strong impression on Brett at an early age.  I’ve never forgotten that. 

One of my funniest memories of Brett is when he was just a toddler and we had gone on a shopping trip.  On the way home, I saw a crippled chicken sitting on the side of the road.  It had fallen off of a chicken truck.  I’m a “tender heart” when it comes to animals,  so I stopped to pick up the chicken.  When I started to put that chicken inside of the car, Brett started looking for a way to GET OUT!  It never occurred to me that he’d  be scared of the chicken, but he was terrified!  I FINALLY convinced Brett to ride in the car with the chicken, but he didn’t like it one bit!  I brought the crippled chicken home, but it only lasted for a few days– as usual– a varmit ate my chicken!

Getting a little soothing while the blanket dries

Getting a little soothing while the blanket dries

My favorite memory about Brett is that  he had a favorite aqua- green blanket that he dearly loved.  He would suck his thumb and sleep with that blanket.  When I saw how attached that he was to that blanket, I actually bought 3 more– but of course the original one was always the best!  He slept with that blanket for several years, and it brought him much comfort, and me much peace and quiet… 

I snapped this picture of Brett one day while we were outside.  I had some clothes drying on the clothesline and Brett’s blanket was among them.  He saw his blanket and of course he wanted it.  Brett worked one corner of it loose and was just standing there sucking  his thumb… it was a true “Kodak Moment”.  Although Brett is now 27 years old, I still have that old worn, raggedy, original aqua-green blanket and all of the warm fuzzy memories that go with it.  Where did the time go???

Published in: on July 29, 2009 at 3:07 am  Comments (1)  

My Favorite Kid’s Photos-Tuesday’s Blog Hop

I love taking pictures!  There is no better subject than my grandaughter, Madison.  She was photographed so much as a baby, she recognized the camera and would start smiling whenever I brought it out…

Go Dawgs!  We're from the south and we like to train our fans early...

Go Dawgs! We're from the south and we like to train our fans early...

Just in case you were wondering, we live in Georgia and several of our family members are avid “Bulldog” fans…”Go DAWGS”!


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Published in: on July 28, 2009 at 4:19 am  Comments (4)  
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Not Me, Monday…

***As you read today’s post, please keep dear baby Stellan, eight month old son of Mckmama, in your prayers.  He is in the hospital and is critically ill.  My heart is very heavy for Stellan and his family as I write this, however, I do believe in miracles and I know Who is in control.   If you would like to know more about Stellan’s story, you can read about him at http://www.mycharmingkids.net.  PLEASE PRAY…NotMeMonday180

Today, I’m blogging about friends and former co-workers of mine because today I know that they are thinking Not me,  Not Monday, please… because they are teachers and paraprofessionals, and today is their first day of pre-planning for the new school year.  Although, I haven’t worked with them in quite a while,  I haven’t forgotten what they are experiencing.  This one’s for our educators…

No, we don’t have to get up early and go back to school already!  Didn’t we just get out for the summer last week?  We could’ve sworn we had another month off…we really need just a few more days…. sure didn’t want to get up when that alarm went off…back_to_school_6

No, we didn’t walk into the school and receive a schedule for the week– covered with meetings, meetings, and more meetings…no time for anything else–how will we get it all done!

No,we didn’t unlock the classroom door only to discover the room in a complete mess from all of the summer cleaning that was done…no, all of the furniture is not still in a pile on one side of the room!

No, that can’t  be a pile of supplies in the corner that need to be distributed and put away, surely not—but then with the budget crisis, we should be grateful if we have any supplies…

No, we won’t use 100 rolls of laminating film–this week alone!  That’s if we can keep our laminator running.  It seems to have a habit of breaking down during pre-planning…

No, there aren’t bulletin boards to be done, name cards to be written, seating charts to be made, grade books to be filled in, among other things…did I mention that I haven’t quite finished painting my classroom?

No, those permanent records are not waiting to be checked, again!  We’ve gotta’ make sure they’re up to date!  Try to get the necessary forms, too.

And last but not least, we won’t come to work early, stay late, and even work for free for 3 days this year due to the budget crisis.. We won’t be teacher, nurse, psychologist, mentor, and part-time parent…all while raising families of our own.  We won’t be waiting at the door with open arms and smiles on our faces meeting and greeting our new students on the first day of school…even though we are absolutely dead on our feet from all of the pre-planning…we won’t do all of these things–after all, we are educators!

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Published in: on July 27, 2009 at 1:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Perpetual Anniversary Gift OR More Work For Ed…

After the poisoning, Ed and I restocked the goldfish pond and never had anymore problems–with the fish.  However, we did have other problems!

 Such as the snake that decided to make himself a home in Ed’s carefully crafted waterfall…or our nephew who decided to take a swim in the pond when nobody was watching, but our biggest problem was leaves. 

We  made the mistake of placing the pond too close to trees.  As a result, each fall the pond had more leaves in it than fish.  After about 5 years, we made the decision to move the pond, yes, I said move the pond!  This is the perpetual gift, remember?

We chose another spot in the yard where there were NO trees and began digging.  This time we dug larger and deeper.  We recruited the help of our then teenaged boys–against their will.  We ALL dug and dug, and the boys complained…They fussed about the digging and the fact that the spot that I’d chosen was in their baseball playing area! 

We finally got the pond dug and shaped.  We added new gravel to the bottom, moved the fish, and added some plants to the pond for shade.  Of course, then we had to add landscape lights and Ed built a little house to cover the electric outlet.  Did I mention that Ed had to run water and electricity to BOTH pondsites?  I’ve often wondered if he’d wished that he’d left that gift in the store…I’ll bet he has!

After we decided to move the pond, we chose to make the old pond site into a rock garden/sitting area…more work for Ed…Ed had to fill in the hole where the old pond was and cover the ground with rocks.  Lots and lots more rocks!    We purchased a large fountain to go where the old pond was, and continued to plant  tropical plants where we had previously.  Of course, then we needed spotlights for the fountain, too…more work for Ed

The rock garden where the fishpond used to be...

The rock garden where the fishpond used to be...

It’s a given— if you have a fishpond, you will have problems.  Problem number one…my dogs found it too tempting in the hot weather.  We had to put up a small electric fence to deter swimming…more work for Ed. 

Next came the problem of the cats fishing there…the fence slowed them down, but didn’t stop them.  The stinging of a “b.b.” in their behinds from Ed’s gun did!   We feed them twice daily, they shouldn’t be hungry… 

Then there is the annual pond bird that decides to drop by and feast on our fish.  We haven’t had one escape Ed and his trusty rifle yet! (more work for Ed)   Ed’s shot several over the years, but not until after they ate some fish!  One bird killed some of my beautiful and very large koi, and I was so upset! 

The last bird visitor was either very brave or just crazy.  He came for several days in a row, despite the dogs barking and chasing him away.  He finally came on a day when Ed was home and Ed shot at him, but didn’t kill him.  That crazy bird came back several days later–with a dangling broken leg–to eat more fish.  Ed got a better shot that time! 

The most amazing thing that I’ve seen happening around the pond happens every spring.  It’s the mating ritual of the frogs.  For a couple of nights each year all of the frogs gather at the pond to mate and lay eggs.  The noise out there is deafening from all of the croaking.  We go out and shine a light on them.  It looks like a giant frog party going on.  There are frogs sitting on top of lily pads, frogs swimming, frogs on the rocks, frogs everywhere!  Shortly after the “frog party” the pond is full of little tadpoles.  They eat all of the algae off the sides of the pond liner.  In a while they turn into frogs and disappear, leaving a cleaner pond behind.  This happens every year.

We  had a turtle come to visit this year, who ate most of the new baby fish.  We had another snake, too.  Ed killed the snake, we don’t know what happened to the turtle–he may be in the pond still eating fish.  I tell you, it’s always something with this pond…just ask Ed!

Published in: on July 24, 2009 at 5:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Perpetual Anniversary Gift

Fish PondEver since Ed and I were married 37 years ago, we have always done something special for our anniversary.  A lot of years we would buy something big for the house that we wanted and we always planned our family vacations around that time, too.  About 15 years ago on our anniversary, Ed sneaked off and bought a goldfish pond kit that I’d been wanting.  If he could’ve for seen the future, he may have re-thought that purchase…

Neither of us knew anything about building a fishpond or maintaining one, but we jumped in with all four of our feet!  Ed spent hours digging and shaping the pond under my careful guidance.  We got the liner put in and filled the hole with water.  The kit had a pretty little fountain that sprayed in the middle of the pond.  We bought bags and bags of river rocks to put around the edges of the pond.  I also bought tropical houseplants and planted around the edges.  I just loved it! 

We needed rocks to edge our pond, so we spent our family vacation to the mountains gathering large rocks from the mountain streams at Helen, Ga.  You aren’t supposed to do that, but we only took a large cooler full… or maybe two…We also gathered a few granite rocks from the campsite at Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta, Ga.  I wanted my rocks to have meaning…We also gathered some very flat rocks to build a waterfall with.

We made it home with the rocks…do you know how much a cooler full of rocks weighs… placed them around the edges of the pond and Ed built a little waterfall.  The waterfall turned out to be the most challenging thing to do.  I lost count of how many times Ed rebuilt it before he got the water to trickle like we wanted it to.

The fish in the pond grew quickly.  I just bought regular and fan-tailed goldfish from Wal-mart.  They seemed to thrive in the little pond.  Of course the water didn’t stay clear very long before it turned green with algae.  That’s just a fact of life in a pond in the summertime.  The fish didn’t seem to mind.  Fall came and all of  the leaves from the trees in our yard all tried to blow in the pond.  We got them out the best that we could.  Winter came that year with a vengeance.  Our little fish pond froze over, but we could see the fish swimming under the ice.  That was a sight for us since we live in the south!  I never would’ve believed it, but the cold didn’t bother the fish at all.  In fact, they like the cold weather better than the hot weather!

Around this time I’d tried to buy life insurance at work and was pro-rated because of a health issue.  I’d paid a deposit and got a refund when I found out how high the premiums would be.  I used the refund to buy myself a concrete bench to sit on and watch the fish.  It was such a relaxing atmosphere with the little waterfall and the fountain in the middle of the pond.  It was at a time in my life when I needed that relaxation.

By spring, some of the fish had grown pretty large.  Comets and fantails don’t grow as quickly as koi, but they grow according to the size of their habitat.  Some of the fish were  easily three fingers wide and just beautiful!

On a Saturday, late in spring,  I went out to the pond one morning and discovered ALL of the fish were sick.  They were trying to swim, but were all going crooked and some were belly up.  I noticed that the water was covered with blossom petals from a nearby plum tree.  I couldn’t imagine that petals would make the fish sick.  We took all of the fish out of the pond and even changed the water in the pond, but all of the fish died.  Later we found out that Ed’s daddy had sprayed that plum tree for insects while we were at work.  He didn’t think about the spray drifting into the water of the pond.  I don’t know how much spray drifted from the sprayer, but the petals were covered with spray and fell into the pond.  Ed’s daddy felt just terrible(and so did I).  That was the last year that the old plum tree or ANY tree in the yard got sprayed.  To be continued….

Published in: on July 23, 2009 at 2:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Unforgettable Overnight Trip

My daddy was a correctional officer at a state prison near where we lived.  He worked there until he retired in the late 1980’s.  The grounds of the state prison were massive and beautiful.  One portion of the grounds had a very large clubhouse which could be used by prison employees.  It had a kitchen, with a very large eating area, as well as bathrooms.  It was located beside a very large pond with very large and beautiful oak trees surrounding the clubhouse.

Several times daddy got permission to use the clubhouse for family gatherings.  One weekend we decided to go and spend the whole weekend.  I believe that my brother and his wife may have joined us for that weekend, but I’m not certain.  Anyway, me, Ed, Brandy, mama, daddy, Ed’s mama and daddy, Ed’s nephew, and I think my brother and his wife all went to spend the weekend at the clubhouse.

It was late on a Saturday night and we were all fast asleep.  Up to that point our biggest concern was the hugh cockroaches that were milling about the clubhouse after dark.  They were the huge flying kind…Suddenly a state patrol car drove up and a couple of patrolmen got out.  They woke us up and asked if Ed’s daddy, W.A., was among us.  Man, talk about waking up fast!  We said yes, and they continued to tell us that he needed to go home because there had been a wreck involving a “Bacon boy”. (Ed has two brothers)  We nearly passed out.  That’s not the kind of news that you ever want to hear, especially after you’ve been asleep.  That’s all that they could tell us.

Ed quickly drove up to the state patrol office, which is located on the prison grounds, where he found out that it was his daddy’s brother, Paul,  who had been involved in the accident and was killed. 

It was one of those freak accidents.  Paul’s teenage son had missed the turn- in to their house, and his vehicle went into the ditch in front of the house.  Paul and his son were outside with the tractor trying to get the vehicle out of the ditch.  Their house is located on a well traveled highway.  While the son was on the tractor and the dad was on the road, a car came by, didn’t see them,  hit the tractor and Paul– killing Paul instantly, and injuring the son.  Such a tragic accident for everyone involved.

That was the last time any of us ever went to the clubhouse.  It reminded us of that awful night when we were awakened with such terrible news, and we just didn’t care to go back.

Published in: on July 22, 2009 at 3:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Recipes For Tuesday’s Blog Hop

My recipe is for Lasagne.  It’s one of my family’s favorites.  I got the recipe from my former pastor’s wife and I always think of her whenever I cook it.

100_0974

 

LASAGNE

You will need 1 (8oz) package of uncooked lasagne noodles–to be cooked while the sauce simmers.

Meatsauce (cook this first)

1 lb. ground beef                                   1- (1 lb) can of tomatoes (I like crushed)

1 tsp. garlic powder                             2 (6 oz) cans tomatoe paste

1Tbsp. basil                                             small can of mushrooms (drain)

1 tsp. salt                                                 

2 tsp. sugar  

Brown meat slowly, drain.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.  If sauce is too thick add small amount of water.

Cheese Filling:

3 cups cottage cheese                     2 beaten eggs

1/2 c. Parmesan cheese                 1 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. parsley flakes                     2 (8oz) pks mozzarell cheese slices

While the meatsauce is simmering, combine all of the above ingredients together except the cheese slices.  Refrigerate the cheese filling for now. 

Boil the lasagne noodles according to package directions, usually takes 12 minutes.  I add a little oil to the water to prevent noodles from sticking together.  When noodles are done, drain and rinse under cold water.

In a 13×9 or larger(mine is a little larger) greased dish, layer 1/2 of the cooked lasagne noodles on the bottom.  Spread 1/2 of the cheese filling on top of the noodles.  I put tiny spoonfuls on.  Cover the cheese filling with 1  package of cheese slices.100_0968

Spoon 1/2 of the meatsauce on top of the cheese slices.  On top of the meatsauce, spread another layer of lasagne noodles.  Repeat a layer of the cheese mixture, then the cheese slices, ending with the remaining meatsauce on top.  Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 30-45 minutes(until bubbly in the middle).  Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

Serve with hot French or Italian bread and a salad for a delicious complete meal.  It’s one of our favorites!  Enjoy!
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Published in: on July 21, 2009 at 11:31 am  Comments (2)  
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Not My Child! Monday

3721389262_1576301154I believe most everybody that has more than one child has one of those…You know, a child that is just a little out of step with the rest, the one that seems to get into just a little bit more trouble, the one that makes the gray hairs come in your head, the one that causes you sleepless nights…on and on and on…I think you catch my drift.I am blessed to be the mother of three.  My middle child is one of those..Gotta’ love him!

My middle child did not cry all night long two nights after we brought his new baby brother home.  He did not cause us to take him to the emergency room because we thought he was seriously ill–only to discover he was suffering from “new sybling syndrome”, not my child!

My middle child did not refuse to sing the song “Itsy Bitsy Fuzzy Wuzzy Worms” in first grade, telling his teacher that the song was gross…Not my child!

My middle child, at the age of 6, did not fall and break his arm from playing on the bed– the day before we were to leave for a camping vacation–in a tent!  He did not lay around miserably in a lawn chair with his arm elavated, moaning miserably,  the entire vacation, not my child!

My middle child, at the age of 11, did not find and steal his cousin’s nude women picture cards and take them to school…a private christian school, no less…and get caught with them!  Not my child!

How dull my life would be, without my beloved middle child!  I love you honey, even though sometimes you drive me crazy!

Mckmama and friends decided to take a little break from Not Me, Monday this week and write about our children instead.  If you have enjoyed hearing my stories, hop on over to Mckmama’s http://www.mycharmingkids.net and check out her blog carnival for some more rip roaring fun.

Published in: on July 20, 2009 at 11:04 am  Comments (2)  
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