Six Word Saturday

My six words for this Saturday are:  I’m so old, I can remember…

When automobiles actually had metal bumpers

When a loaf of bread only cost a quarter

When Wednesday night at the movies cost a dime

When a piece of candy cost a penny

When  little girls only wore dresses to school

When all little girls wanted a Tiny Tears doll because she cried real tears

When there were record stores and they sold singles and albums

 How about you–what can you remember?

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Published in: on January 30, 2010 at 12:42 pm  Comments (9)  

Let’s Talk Toilet Paper…

I’ve been thinking about toilet paper a lot lately!  I’m a person with some health issues that make the softness of my toilet paper a big deal to me!  Unlike a man, a woman has to worry about the toilet paper being soft on two different parts of her body–so it’s doubly important to us!!!   Enough said about all of that!

Do you remember when toilet paper was actually soft?   I do, and I never thought much about it.   I used the brand Angel Soft for years and loved it.  Recently, I think they must’ve changed the formula of it because I don’t find it as soft anymore…At first it was only the double rolls that weren’t as soft, then the problem spread to the single roll packages as well.  This little problem has sent me on the search for a soft toilet paper!

First I tried Charmin Ultra Soft.  The first package I bought was wonderful!  I thought I’d found my new brand of  toilet paper.  Then I bought a second package and found was rougher than the first pack that I tried.  That first package must’ve been from an old recipe!  I tried two more packages, then decided to move on with my search.

Next I decided to try Cottonelle.  I hesitated because it’s a little expensive.  No problem because I didn’t like it either.  It’s softer than some, but is the consistency of a paper towel–a little too thick for my taste.  I could see that stuff making a major clog in the drain pipe–especially after a visit from my oldest son, who uses a “mega wad” of toilet paper!

I tried Dollar General’s brand of cheap stuff–just because I had some left over from making mummies at Halloween–and actually it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  It’s just a little bit thin, but the softness was so-s0.  I decided to keep searching…

I guess I’ll try Scott or Northern brands next.  Years ago I tried Scott and it was like sandpaper! Ugh!  I saw on the new package that it said ultra soft–I‘ll soon see how soft it is!  One thing that I do remember about Scott toilet paper is that a roll lasts forever–or seems to, especially when it was rough!

I see on the packages that toilet paper is now made from recycled products.  That is probably why it’s not as soft anymore.  What are they recycling?  Sandpaper, cardboard?  Please, can’t you just cut down a tree and bring back soft toilet paper–for those of us who really need softness!

One last thing before I go.  The latest craze is polling which way we roll our toilet paper.  The question is being asked “do you prefer that your paper rolls over the roll or under the roll?”  I am an over the roll person–one hundred percent!  I’ll change it if it’s hanging the other way.  I never realized, until lately, that my husband is an under the roll person.  I didn’t really think he cared.  Since I constantly change the roll, I guess he just surrendered and became an over the roll person by default. 

Which brings me to the burning questionWhich way do you roll?  If you will take the time to answer the burning question,  or suggest a soft brand of toilet paper…you will automatically be entered in the drawing for the Valentine’s Day Giveaway pictured below.  There is a pair of socks, a magnetic memo pad, and a manicure set–plus I am  also including a mystery gift!  Don’t you love surprises?  I’m dying to read your comments!  Let’s have some fun with this one!  Good luck!!!   Kathy

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Published in: on January 28, 2010 at 11:05 pm  Comments (10)  
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Going To The Movies…

 

I enjoy going to the movies.  However, the closest theater is about twenty-eight miles away from here. I’m at a place in my life where it has to be a really special movie to get me to make the effort  to see it.  Most of the movies that are being made these days are a far cry from being special, but that’s just my humble opinion.  However, there was a time when some great movies were being made, and I became a “regular” at the movies.

In 1989 both of my parents became very ill, and were in a hospital in the city for over four months.  I’d get up every weekday morning, get two of my children ready and off to school, send the youngest child to stay with Ed’s daddy, then make the drive to the city to the hospital.  I’d visit my parents in the hospital until shortly after lunch, then turn around and make the trip back home.  It was a three hour, one-hundred and ten mile trip–every day.   That was my way of life for over four months.   It’s no wonder that after a while,  I became stressed out.

There was a movie theater on my way in and out of the city.  One day I decided to stop and watch an early movie on my way home.  I enjoyed myself so much, I began to make it a regular habit a day or so a week.  I’d get some popcorn and a coke, watch a movie, and totally forget my worries for about two hours.  Among the movies that I remember seeing were Steel Magnolias, Driving Miss Daisy, Dances With Wolves,  and Rain Man.   Dances Wtih Wolves is the most beautiful movie I’ve ever seen on the big screen, but RainMan is my favorite movie of all times.  I’ve seen it over twenty times!  Sometimes I think those movie days helped me keep my sanity.

When our children were young,  there was a drive-inn movie located about twenty-five miles from our house.  The drive-inn showed two different movies at the same time and it only cost “a dollar a car load” on Wednesday nights.  We had a Suburban back then, so we’d load everybody up  and go to the drive-inn on Wednesday nights.  Usually one of the two movies was something that we all wanted to see.  Occasionally some of us would be watching one movie while the rest watched the other movie.  That was always interesting!  We  picked up the sound of the movie through radios.  I still remember watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at that drive-inn, and laughing until I cried!

After our children grew up, my husband and I would sometimes go to Saturday or Sunday afternoon matinée.  He doesn’t really care much about movies, but always takes me to see one if I ask him to.  One particular day we were at the theater and it was raining hard.  We noticed that there were some leaks in the ceiling of the theater.  About half-way through the movie, a large section of the ceiling fell on some people seated across the aisle from us.  When the ceiling fell in, at least a bucket full of water fell with it!  The poor people got drenched and had to leave.   I was so grateful that we weren’t sitting there.  I can’t remember what movie we were watching, but my husband says it was probably something with Tom Cruise in it! 

Times have changed and I don’t go to the movies much anymore.  In fact the last movie that I went to see was a Veggie Tales movie, and I went to see it with my grandchildren this past summer!  I’m a little old for Veggie Tales, but I watched my grandchildren’s faces more than I watched the movie.  It was their first movie experience!   The popcorn was still just as good as I remembered it was.  You just can’t beat that movie theater popcorn!

Published in: on January 28, 2010 at 10:47 am  Comments (2)  
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A Special Wish For A Special Person…

My sister-in-law...about 35 years ago

I don’t remember the first time that I ever met Kay, but I know that I was a small child when my parents first hired her to babysit me.  She’s the only babysitter that I ever remember having.  I loved her from the first time I met her.  She would always play with me, and I loved her very much. 

I have a brother, David,  who is the same age as Kay– nine years older than me.  It seems he loved  my babysitter as much as I did.   I don’t really know the details, but the two of them met, liked each other and eventually began to date.   Like soon turned to love, and the two of them became married in October of 1963–immediately after high school.  

My parents always loved Kay, too.  She fit into our family like she’d always been there.  In fact, I can’t remember a time when she wasn’t around.  She’s always seemed like a sister to me because she’s always been there.  I can’t imagine my brother without her, because they’ve been together for as long as I can remember.  

I was only nine years old when my brother married Kay.  During my years of growing up, Kay and David would invite me to come and stay with them during the summer.  We lived in Georgia and they lived in Florida.  I always looked forward to those summer visits. 

During those summer visits, Kay would spend a lot of time playing games with me.  I remember that she had a game called “Bump” that I loved to play.  Kay always planned a fun outing for me, too.  She was a good cook, and  I can still remember her chicken and yellow rice.  Money was tight back then, and she cooked a lot of “Clark’s Burgers”.  Kay could think of a dozen different ways to cook those hamburger patties–and they were all good! 

I can’t think of anyone I know who loves children better than Kay does.  It seemed a cruel twist of fate when it turned out that she was never able to carry a pregnancy to term.  I think she endured a total of five miscarriages.  It seemed as if Kay was destined to be childless, when a miracle was sent her way. 

If you follow this blog, you will remember that my husband and I have an aunt and uncle in common.  His aunt married my uncle.  That aunt and uncle learned about a baby available for private adoption, and thought of my brother and Kay.  They called David and Kay,  and asked if they would be interested in becoming parents.  The rest is history.  David and Kay became parents of a precious baby girl in 1977, after thirteen years of marriage.  

More than thirty years have passed since that day,  and Kay’s been blessed to become a grandmother three times–two boys and a girl.  In His time, God blessed Kay with children.  She actually quit her job to be able to stay home and take care of the last two grandchildren while their mother works.  She is one of the most dedicated grandmothers that I know.

Today is Kay’s birthday.  It seems like just yesterday we were young, care-free, and full of fun.  We’ve had a lot of good times over the years.  The picture in this post was taken at Christmas in the early seventies–in the peak of those young, care-free, fun days!  I hope Kay has a great birthday today, and many more happy birthdays in the future.   We may not be able to kick as high as we once could, but at least we’re still kicking!

Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 9:20 am  Comments (1)  

The Dreaded Stomach Virus…

There is nothing in the world that I hate more than the dreaded stomach virus!  Just mentioning those words makes my stomach begin to roll and feel queasy.  It’s a mystery to me how a non-serious illness can make you think that you are dying!  Oh, I know that the complications from having it can become serious, but most of us don’t get to that point–but we feel like we are on our deathbed!

Being the parents of three children, my husband and I saw our fair share of the stomach virus over the years!  Usually if one child got it, the others did, too.  Once when we were the parents of only two small children, both ended up in the hospital overnight due to dehydration.  I was a nervous wreck back then when it came to shots and stuff.  My husband did the duty and stayed with them overnight in the hospital.  He’s one in a million! 

Another time, our youngest got sick with a virus that just hung on.  He couldn’t keep anything down for several days.  The doctor agreed to give him one more day before admitting him for IV fluids…I was in a panic.  I didn’t want another hospital stay.  On that last day, the virus passed and he was finally able to eat and drink something–and keep it down. 

My husband never seems to get the virus.  I don’t think he’s had it more than a half a dozen times in all the years that we’ve been married.  I only remember him having it really bad one time.  I find this interesting since he works in a hospital.  I, however, have had it more than my fair share of times! 

When I went to work at the elementary school, about twenty years ago, I caught everything in sight!  If a child had it–I caught it.  I was sick more days than I was well, during my first year of work.   It got so bad at one point, the doctor made me take some time off from work to help build up my immune system.  After that first year, I didn’t get sick as much.

  I can’t count how many times that I had to deal with vomit at school!  It wasn’t uncommon for a child to eat lunch, then vomit in their plate!  Man, that will ruin your lunch in a hurry!  Just outside of the cafeteria was another popular spot for children to lose their lunch.  

Almost daily, a child threw up somewhere in the school.  Once one of our students threw up on their book bag, but at least it wasn’t in it!  Soiled underwear were quite common, too. The teacher and I actually kept some spare pairs in the classroom!  One day when the teacher and I were both absent, a child threw up on our substitute teacher in the lunchroom!  I’m sure glad we missed that one!

Last year the stomach virus hit my daughter’s house.  Brandy’s house has new carpeting which granddaughter Madison promptly threw up on and left a faint orange stain…Madison was two, and was experiencing her first bout with the stomach virus.

This year the stomach virus has hit my oldest son’s house.  His wife had it earlier last night, then my son got it later during the night…That just leaves baby Cade.  I went to the store and bought them some Poweraid and some Pepto Bismol– my two ” standby remedies”.  In fact while I was there, I bought some for myself–just in case.  Let’s hope I don’t need it!

Published in: on January 26, 2010 at 10:50 am  Comments (1)  

Is That A Rabbit Hutch I See…So Glad That You Asked!

The bunny hutch in our yard...

A dear blog friend of mine, noticed the rabbit hutch in the rain picture on Saturday’s post, and she asked me about it.  Her comment prompted me to tell you a few “rabbit tales”.   Thanks for the idea Country Mom! 

While I was still working, I discovered that the woman working next-door to me loved animals almost as much as I do.  We immediately became friends.  It turned out that she raised Holland Lops for show rabbits.  A Holland Lop is a rabbit that has long floppy ears that hang down over its head instead of standing up like traditional rabbit’s  do.  I eventually asked her if she ever sold any of her rabbits that weren’t suitable for showing. 

She told me that sometimes she did have rabbits that were not suitable for rabbit shows, but that they didn’t sell them.  She said that she would be glad to give me one, however.  She even had her husband build a rabbit cage for me.  One Friday afternoon, she and her husband brought over a bunny–complete with his custom-built home!  

The following morning I woke up and hurriedly went outside to see how the rabbit had done overnight in his new home.  I gasped!  The door to the cage had been torn open and the rabbit was nowhere to be seen!  I was very distraught!  A thought crossed my mind… 

I had several dogs that I had rescued from the shelter–and one of them was a hound–who’d been very interested when we put the rabbit and cage outside.  I had an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach that my dogs may have torn open the door of that cage and gotten the rabbit.  We searched everywhere, but didn’t find any sign of that rabbit.  Many weeks later, I found a piece of rabbit’s fur in our yard.  I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that it may have belonged to the missing rabbit.

When I told my friend–and oh, how I hated to tell her–what had happened concerning the rabbit, she offered to give me a replacement bunny.  My husband built a heavy-duty rabbit hutch, and put three different locks on the doors to insure the rabbit’s safety.  He built the hutch high off the ground, and gave it a wooden floor.  Once the hutch was complete, I got the new bunny.  I named him “Honeybun” because he is the color of a honeybun.  He had a large living space, with plenty of room to move around, but it wasn’t long before he had a new neighbor.  Remember, I was volunteering at the local animal shelter… 

One summer day I arrived at the shelter,  to find a lonely rabbit housed in a kennel among all of those barking dogs!  She was white–with just a touch of gray on her head and ears.  The rabbit was quite tame, and doing remarkably well considering there were about twenty dogs that wanted to eat her for their next meal! 

I couldn’t believe the shelter had a rabbit!  It seemed like each week there was a different kind of animal being dropped off.  I took one look at what I believe was an abandoned Easter bunny, and told the shelter officer that I would adopt the rabbit.  I couldn’t just leave her in the midst of all of those barking dogs! 

We discovered that Honeybun was a boy, and the white rabbit, whom I named Sugar Pie, was a girl.  We didn’t want to raise rabbits, so my hubby put a wire divider in the middle of the rabbit hutch.  The rabbits could be near each other, just not too close!  So near, yet so far away… 

 I gave each rabbit their own litter box and they used them–until one day Honeybun just stopped using his.  Now we just put his litter in a pile in the same spot of the cage every time. He uses the bathroom in  that spot–then scatters the litter everywhere!  He’s a true male!  He also sprays urine toward Sugar Pie now and then.  Disgusting!  

Sugar Pie is “lady-like” and uses her litter box.  Her living area is much cleaner than Honeybun’s is.  She loves to eat, and has a large dewlap to show for it.  That’s the “double chin” area on rabbits–and how you can tell they are overweight!  She’s a true female!  

  Although he originally did it to help me when I was babysitting and got home late, my husband has taken over most of the rabbit care because he enjoys them.  He waters and feeds them, and cleans the cages.  He also,  takes them a piece of apple, cabbage, or carrot every day and rubs their heads.  I think they look forward to his visits.  He also cuts  a limb from the nearby pear tree for them to munch on to keep their teeth filed.   All rabbits should have it so good!

 Friday’s giveaway winner is… Kate@http://www.nocrapdiet.wordpress.com Congratulations to Kate.  Your  prize will soon be on it’s way to you!  The winning number was 74, and she guessed 72.  Thanks to all who participated.  Have a great Monday!

Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 10:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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Six Word Saturday

Welcome to Six Word Saturday..the meme that requires us to describe our life in just six words.  My six words for today are:  I need to buy a boat!

We have had so much rain here in the past couple of months!  The ground is saturated.  There is no where else for the water to go.  When I walk on the ground outside–water squishes under my feet.  Worst of all, the water in our well is getting cloudy from so much fresh rainfall.  There is something unsettling about bathing in cloudy water!  Unfortunately, more rain is supposed to fall on Sunday and Monday.  If it does, I will need to buy a boat! 

This was the view from our back door on Thursday

If you would like to participate in this weekend’s giveaway, just choose up to three numbers between 1 and 100.  Random.org will choose the winning number on Monday.  Person coming closest to the winning number without going over wins the Valentine’s gifts shown on Friday’s post.  Have a great weekend…Kathy

Published in: on January 23, 2010 at 12:35 am  Comments (12)  

A Different Kind of “Drive Thru”…and…Friday’s Giveaway

CHOOSE THE LUCKY NUMBER TO WIN THIS PRIZE

Yesterday’s post was about visits to doctor’s offices.  In keeping with that same train of thought, I’d like to share an interesting and funny story with you.

My husband’s mother was a nurse who worked in doctor’s offices for over thirty years.  She worked for several different doctors, then eventually ended up working for one doctor, we’ll call him Dr. S,  for close to twenty years.

At first Dr. S had an office in the same town where we  live.  After a few years, he decided to close the office in our hometown and move across from our county hospital–about seventeen miles away.  We thought that Ed’s mother might retire, as she was about that age,  but she chose to make the move with Dr. S.

Several more years passed and Ed’s mother made the thirty-four mile trip to work and back every day.  She loved her job, and never missed a day of work for any reason.  Meanwhile, Ed’s daddy was already retired and enjoying the “good life”.

One morning Ed’s mother drove to work and pulled up in front of the doctor’s office just like always.  Something happened and she accidentally put her foot on the gas instead of the brake and plowed right inside of the doctor’s office building!  When she stopped, the entire car was inside of the waiting room!

Fortunately, it was too early to have any  patients  in the doctor’s office, or the ones sitting in the waiting room would’ve gotten an unwelcome surprise.  Ed’s mother was fine, she didn’t get hurt at all.  This was probably due to the fact that she was driving a large car!  Her car was another matter…although it looked pretty good– compared to the doctor’s office–there wasn’t a place on the car that wasn’t scratched or dented.  As a result of this, the poor car was “totaled”.

Ed’s mother got another car, the doctor had his office building repaired and business went on as usual.  Ed’s mother actually continued to work a while longer,  until Dr. S decided to retire–and she was older than he was!

  We don’t think about it very often–how Ed’s mother turned the doctor’s office into a “drive thru”, but when we do, it always makes us laugh!  All’s well, that ends well.

This weekend’s giveaway is a Valentine’s dish towel, Valentine’s cookie cutters, and a magnetic shopping list.  To be entered for a chance to win,  just choose up to three numbers between 1-100.  If two or more people choose the same winning number, the first one choosing it wins.  Whoever comes closest to the number chosen by Random.org–without going over–WINS!  Giveaway ends 1/24/10 at midnight EST.  Winner to be announced on Monday.

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Published in: on January 21, 2010 at 10:26 pm  Comments (9)  
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Love Those Doctor’s Appointments–Not!

Author’s note:  This post was written yesterday.

Is there any worse way to spend a day than in a doctor’s office?  Really!  I just about as soon have my eyeballs plucked out as to do “the doctor visit thing”!  In fact, I am sitting in the doctor’s office as I write this post–the old-fashioned way–with pen and paper!  Everyone is wondering what I am doing…

First of all–you might as well plan to pack a lunch and make a day of it when you go to my doctor!  There is always a minimum of an hour and a half wait, on a good day, and that’s just in the waiting room!  Then you can add-on at least another thirty minutes to an hour in the back exam room.  I’ve never had a visit that lasted less than two hours.  It takes nearly three hours to get to the city and back home, so that pretty much takes care of the better part of a day, with a total of five to six hours.

I get the “pleasure” of repeating this scenario every four to six months–and have done this for the past sixteen years.  Oh, the joys of having a chronic disease!  These visits roll around way too often.  My rheumatologist is also the closest one located in our area–and the only one!

On top of the two or three hours of waiting, my doctor has the most uncomfortable chairs in the world in his waiting room.  He’s a rheumatologist, which means that he treats patients with arthritis related diseases–which means pain!  You’d think he might be sympathetic, and have soft cushy chairs, but no–he has hard, low-backed chairs and metal folding chairs!  If you are having a pain-free day when you go, you won’t be having one after sitting in the waiting room!

After all the squirming around in those chairs, followed by more of the same in the exam room, the doctor finally comes in and looks over your chart, discusses any problems, looks you over a little bit, then writes refills for prescriptions, then he’s out the door!  It sort of reminds me of a wedding–you wait and prepare forever, then… all the sudden it’s over! 

Did I mention that it costs me a fifty dollar co-pay to go, and spend the day at the doctor’s office, plus the money for the gas to get there.  It also takes me a day to rest up from the trip!  Gotta’ love it!

Published in: on January 21, 2010 at 3:34 pm  Comments (2)  

Shelter Tales #3…Peaches and Patches

Peaches(orange kitten) and Patches(curled up in the bowl)

You may remember from my previous tales, one of the animal control officers left the shelter under a cloud of suspicion, which left only one officer to do everything.  I spent a good bit of the summer of 2004 volunteering and helping out.   I quickly went from playing with the animals to learning how to clean out kennels and cages, answering the phone, washing cat/dog bedding, washing cat/dog dishes, feeding and watering cats/dogs, and even cleaning and mopping the floors and bathrooms of the shelter!  It takes a lot of work to run an animal shelter!

I came every Friday without fail, and lots of other days as well.  Once a week I’d take pictures of certain animals that Lo, the animal control officer, recommended as the best candidates for adoption.  I’d run those pictures in our local newspapers as “Pets of the Week”.  Then on Fridays I’d keep the shelter open late so people could come and see the animals that were available for adoption.  We found homes for many animals that way.  It was always a great feeling to see an abandoned animal find a new home. 

I also decided to do a follow-up program with the adoptions.  I bought thank you cards and stamps with my money.  Every week I’d get the names and addresses of people who had adopted pets, then write them a quick thank you note for giving an animal a home.  I also made little gift bags to give to anyone who adopted a pet.  The bag contained little items for the animal–maybe a can of food, box of treats, and a toy.  The shelter’s  number of adoptions slowly began to increase.  Unfortunately, so did the number of animals being abandoned.  It seemed like the kennels and cages were always full.

During the summer of 2004 I decided to adopt two kittens.  I have always been a “cat lover”!  I like dogs, too, but my  heart is with cats.  There was a mother cat named “Calicat” in the shelter when I began to volunteer.  She was pregnant.  A few weeks later, she gave birth to five kittens.  “Calicat” was a beautiful calico cat.  In retrospect, I should’ve adopted her because she later got put to sleep, but I chose to give one of her kittens a home.  I also had my eye on a playful little orange kitten from another litter.  I decided to adopt them as a pair.

By then, the shelter had cats and kittens everywhere!  Cats come in cycles.  Spring is cats natural breeding time, so by the summer the shelter was filled to capacity.  Cats in abundance don’t do very well.  They tend to catch and spread disease rather quickly.  Upper respiratory virus and intestinal parasites  spread like wildfire.  Due to lack of funds to treat sick animals, they were usually put to sleep–a practice I can’t have any part of.  I made it a point to not be there durng those times.

Anyway, I adopted those two adorable kittens that are pictured in this post.  They were the first of many.  Both were adorable and got along very well.  “Peaches” wasn’t afraid of anything, which unfortunately led to his early demise. 

I already had a couple of dogs at home that I’d adopted prior to adopting the kittens.  One of those dogs was a hound puppy named “Ethan”.  “Ethan” was just a big, playful puppy, but he was rough.  One morning I looked outside of my window and saw “Ethan” holding “Peaches” by the neck with his mouth.  I knew it was too late.  “Ethan’s” playfullness had been too rough.  Little “Peaches” was dead, but still warm when I got to him.  He didn’t have a mark on him except he was wet from “Ethan’s” slobbery mouth.  I cried and blamed myself.  “Ethan” didn’t have a clue what he’d done–at least I thought he didn’t.

“Patches” was cautious and wouldn’t have anything to do with “Ethan” or any of the dogs.  Because of this wise decision, she is alive and well today–and so is “Ethan”.

Published in: on January 19, 2010 at 10:52 pm  Comments (2)