So How Was Your Weekend?

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  Our weekend here began with a light shower of rain on Friday evening.  Saturday began as an overcast day, but by lunch the sun had come out, and the rest of the weekend was perfect!

I don’t know when we’ve had a more relaxing weekend.  We didn’t go anywhere, unless you count a quick trip to Wal-mart on Saturday.  We bought lots of good food, then spent the rest of the weekend eating and relaxing!

we spent time cooking...

I boiled the first pot of peanuts of the season, and Brandy bought a watermelon.  We had barbecued ribs, grilled chicken, pork chops, baked beans, potato salad, hamburgers, hotdogs….strawberry shortcake, brownie pie, smores….just to name a few things.

My son-in-law and my husband had their grills going on both Saturday and Monday evenings.  The weather cooperated with us by providing enough breeze to keep the south Georgia gnats at bay most of the time.  We also had a couple of fans blowing under Brandy’s car port.  We were able to eat both meals outside, and actually enjoy it!

we spent time eating...

We took the time to build a fire in the fire pit three nights in a row–and sit around it!  Is there anything more relaxing than sitting around an evening fire?  Fortunately, there wasn’t a mosquito in sight!  All three nights were perfect for being outside, but by Monday evening, I was exhausted and came in a little early.  I missed the making of the smores…Sometimes, relaxing and having fun can be exhausting!

Here I sit today, still tired.  Not so much from the weekend, but from a lack of  anti-inflamatory (arthritis) medication.  I’ve had to temporarily stop taking my Nsaids due to the issue of stomach irritation.  (Nsaids work wonderfully for arthritis, but the are rough on the stomach.)  As a result of being without Nsaids, I’m beginning to feel tired, stiff, and I move a lot like a ninety year old woman!  Last night I resorted to rubbing my feet down in “Bio Freeze”!  This is not a good way to begin the summer!

I managed to rally enough this morning to keep the grandkids for a couple of hours this morning so their moms could help Jennifer make some favors for the wedding.  The girls made birdseed bags while the kids and I played with trains, dolls, tractors, and tools.  The grandkids didn’t seem to mind that MiMi moved a little slow…and life goes on.

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Published in: on May 31, 2011 at 1:36 pm  Comments (4)  
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Happy Memorial Day Everyone!

The above photo was taken last year on Memorial Day weekend while we were having a family picnic at the beach.  That is our grandson, Caden, holding the flag.  Can you look at him and tell it was hot?

This year we decided to enjoy the weekend in the best kind of way–staying home, relaxing with the family in the backyard, grilling and eating outside, sitting around the fire pit at night just talking.  I’ll be back tomorrow.  There’s still some more grilling and relaxing to do!

 

Published in: on May 30, 2011 at 11:29 am  Comments (4)  

The Mystery of MeMa’s Teeth…

My mother-in-law has worn a “partial plate”  set of dentures for as long as I’ve known her.  Then one day, “MeMa”‘s teeth disappeared, and their whereabouts would remain a family mystery for nearly ten years!

The saga began way back in the early months of 2002.  My father-in-law was still living at the time, but his mental health had been on the decline for a while.  We’d been watching him gradually slipping away from us.  He pretty much depended on his wife for almost everything, just like a small child.  He could still talk a little, but he could no longer carry on a conversation.

Then one morning, my MIL woke up to discover that her dentures, which were supposed to be soaking in a cup on the back of the toilet, were missing!  After looking all around the house, she decided that her husband must have gotten up during the night to use the bathroom, and accidentally dumped her teeth in the toilet!

She immediately called my husband’s brother, who happened to be at home at the time.  Her son came to the rescue, and began to dig up the sewage line running out of the house, in an effort to find the missing teeth.  I can’t remember if he found part of the teeth or not, strangely enough, but I do remember that he didn’t find all of them.

In the meantime, my father-in-law suffered a massive stroke, just days after the teeth went missing.  Life went a little crazy after that.  He became paralyzed on one side, as a result of the stroke.  His quality of life quickly went downhill, and he died within two months of having the stroke.  My MIL’s missing teeth didn’t seem to matter quite as much anymore, and took a backseat to everything else.

After the funeral was over, and my MIL had recovered from the shock a bit, she had a new partial plate of teeth made, and the mystery of the missing teeth was all but forgotten for nearly ten years.  She never liked her new teeth though, and constantly complained that they didn’t fit right (she still does).

My MIL is currently living in a personal care home, but my son, Brad, who lived with her prior to the move, is still residing in her house.  The other afternoon, the son who dug up the sewer line looking for the missing teeth, stopped by to see Brad for a  minute.  The two of them were outside the front of the house, close to the mailbox.  While the two of them were talking, Brad looked down in the dirt, next to the mailbox, and saw something tiny and white.  He bent down for a closer look.  There in the dirt, buried from being run over by the mailman’s car for mulitple years, was MeMa’s missing partial plate–still intact!  Upon the discovery of the missing teeth, the son’s reaction was to say “Shit”, which we found hilarious when Brad told us about it.

So…after nearly ten years, the missing teeth have been found, but the mystery of how they got in the dirt, in front of the mailbox, in front of the house, remains a mystery…and probably always will!
 

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Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 10:42 am  Comments (9)  

Let’s Talk Dresses…

This is just not my style...

You probably already know we are anticipating a family wedding in about another month.  Weddings and dresses go hand-in-hand, right?  This post concerns dresses–for the upcoming wedding.

You may recall my plight of trying to find a “mother of the groom” dress way back in January.  I searched the internet, and I also traveled to the city and searched the area department stores.  I wouldn’t be caught dead in most of the dresses that I found!  Finally, with the help of my daughter, I found a dress that I would could wear and live with.  I didn’t love it, but it would do.  I simply got tired of stressing over a dress, but little did I know that stresses over dresses was only beginning!

Next came the saga of the bridesmaids dresses.  Jennifer, the bride to be, was a bit unsure of what she wanted in the beginning.  She chose one color, then quickly changed her mind.  Then she chose another color, and changed her mind again.  Finally, she chose two different solid colors for the bridesmaids, plus a printed dress fabric for the maid of honor.  Jennifer told her attendants they could pick the style of their choice, within her color choices.  Her attendants are of varying age, shapes and sizes.  While the younger, slimmer young ladies leaned toward the shorter styles, the older or pregnant attendants liked the long dresses.  They split their color choices evenly.  Are you still with me?

At the urging of the saleslady at the bridal shop, my daughter was the first attendant to order her dress.  I went to the bridal shop with her, watched her try on several long dresses, and helped her decide on the style that was most flattering to her figure.  Her dress was ordered, and arrived a few short weeks later.  In the meantime, while Brandy was waiting for her dress to arrive, the other attendants decided among themselves to limit their dress styles to just two–and my daughter’s dress wasn’t in their chosen style (or material).  Understandably, my daughter was a bit upset.  She didn’t want to be “odd man out”. 

Jennifer offered to talk with the bridal shop to see if they would do an exchange on Brandy’s dress.  The shop agreed to exchange the dress, but by then it was too late to order a dress in the style of the other dresses and have it arrive before the wedding.  However, a similar style of dress, in the same material and color, was available, and would arrive on time.  Brandy had no choice but to order the similar dress. 

One by one, the attendants been getting their dresses, but not Brandy.  On Tuesday, Jennifer was at the bridal shop, and she finally asked about Brandy’s dress.  She discovered that apparently there was an error, and the dress never got ordered!  It’s four weeks until the wedding, and my daughter, who ordered her dress first–has no dress, and it’s too late to order anything!  Can you say D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R? I’m feeling so stressed…

There is a dress, in my daughter’s size, in the correct style, but in a different color of blue, at the bridal store.  Jennifer has offered to let Brandy wear that dress in the wedding.  If she wears this dress, Brandy is still back where she started from–being “odd man out”with a different dress, but as of today–she has no dress!  How is that for a circle of bad luck?  My head is aching, just thinking about it all! 

In addition to these other dress sagas, I’ve also had a third dress issue going on concerning this wedding!  I’ve been stressing over finding a dress for my mother-in-law to wear to the wedding!  I thought finding my own dress was tough, but I had no idea of what lay ahead!  I don’t know what eighty-year-old ladies are supposed to do for clothing these days, but there are no appropriate dresses in our department stores!  None!  Nada!  Zilch! 

Out of sheer desperation, I googled “dresses for mature women” and found a site featuring two(and only two) dresses that I thought my mother-in-law would wear.   I showed them to my daughter, and we agreed on one.  I took a chance, guessed at the size (since my MIL has lost weight), placed an order, and then I waited. 

My MIL’s dress arrived on Tuesday.  It looked even better than the picture!  I went to the personal care home on Wednesday, and tried it on my MIL.  Praise the Lord, it fits except for the sleeve length– and she loves it!  My mission will be accomplished as soon as I hem the sleeves of the jacket!  Now! That just leaves the problem of her shoes…I feel my head beginning to ache again.

Published in: on May 26, 2011 at 9:13 am  Comments (8)  
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Wednesday Hodgepodge…May 25

1. What is something about living in this country that you value?  The many freedoms that we are able to enjoy. 

2. What is a favorite something you own that is red, white, and/or blue?  I no longer own it, because I gave it to my daughter a couple of years ago, but it’s a white Nautica Villager mini van.  It was one of my all-time favorite vehicles.  It had all kinds of “bells and whistles”, including little yellow sailboats embroidered on the backs of the leather seats!  Our family spent many happy hours traveling in that mini van, which they fondly dubbed as “the egg van”.  A favorite vehicle for sure!

3. Do you fly a flag at your house on patriotic holidays?  No, but I decorate the living room in patriotic decor, including a “Patriotic Tree”, and I have a patriotic wreath that I hang on the front door. 

The Patriotic Tree

4. What ingredients do you think should be included in a great picnic basket?  My all-time favorite picnic lunch includes fried chicken, baked beans, and potato salad, but we usually have hamburgers/hot dogs because it’s easier!  My MIL used to pack a fantastic picnic lunch back in the day!

5. What is one interesting piece of trivia you know? Interesting is of course a relative term. The fact that lettuce is actually not good for rabbits.  It tends to give them diarrhea because of its high water content. 

6. Wednesday, May 24th is National Escargot day…have you ever tried them? Eww or ooh? NO WAY! Ewwww!

7. What is one thing you know for sure?  “I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand.”  (a reassuring line from one of my favorite hymns)

Random:  After twenty-five years, today is the day of the final Oprah Show.  I’ve watched Oprah on and off over the past twenty-five years.  I watched her show while I was a stay-at-home mom of three little ones, then years later I watched her in the afternoons after I got home from a busy day of work.  Oprah and I have grown old together.  Today marks the end of an era…it’s like losing an old friend.

Published in: on May 25, 2011 at 8:54 am  Comments (4)  

Random Thoughts For May 24

The Mother's Day Porch

I have no specific train of thought this morning, so I’ll let my mind wander.  I seem to be doing more wandering and less concentrating these days…probably because I’m not feeling my best.

First of all, my heart goes out to those affected by the recent tornadoes.  With so much of the town destroyed, many people’s entire lives have been disrupted.  It’s one thing to lose your house, but it’s another to lose your home, job, and loved ones.  One small place in Kansas lost their entire town–the bank, the school, the post office, the cafe–an entire little town destroyed by one storm!   

The destruction of the hospital in Joplin, Mo. particularly caught my interest, since my husband is employed in the healthcare industry.  I can’t imagine having 184 patients in a hospital, and having a tornado hit the building!  Add to that disaster, 400 more injured people needing treatment, and just imagine what that must have been like for those hospital employees!  I don’t think any amount of “disaster drills” can adequately prepare an employee for that!

 Speaking of weather, we reached a record high of 99 degrees here yesterday.  I’m thankful for a cool, air-conditioned house!  I was outside earlier, watering a few flowers, and it’s already heating up outside this morning.  It’s hot and dry here, but I’d rather deal with heat and drought than a class 4 tornado!

I finally have a family of birds visiting my bird feeder daily.  I don’t know what kind of birds they are, but there are three of them.  (They look like a combination of a woodpecker and a cardinal)  In addition to those three birds, I also have a pair of cardinals, and one blue jay.  I’ve been trying to attract birds in my yard for three years!  It’s been hard, considering I have so many cats roaming the yard.  These days, my cats are old, fat, lazy, and not so much of a threat.  Hmmm…now that I think about it, those cats are a lot like me  🙂

My husband almost finished the new porch this past weekend.  It turned out to be a bit of an ordeal, lasting two weekends, but he did it.  I’m thankful that he’s a patient man.  He started building in the midst of my hormonal imbalance, need I say more?  He only had to make two changes before he got my seal of approval.  I’m so glad he listened and made the changes, because now it’s perfect!  I’m also glad it’s finished–except for adding one final board to close up the top step, and being painted. 

Today is May 24th, which would’ve been my mother’s birthday.  She’s been deceased for nearly fourteen years.  She died at age 70, which seemed pretty old to me at the time.  These days…not so old at all!  I guess age perception depends on which direction you are looking from.  On that thought, I’m signing out for today!

 I’m joining Tuesday Train today.  Click the button to find out how you, too, can hop on board!

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Published in: on May 24, 2011 at 11:01 am  Comments (5)  

Meet Me On Monday…May 23

It’s Monday, and that means it’s time to begin a new week…and join Java for “Meet Me On Monday”! Here are today’s questions:

1. What is your favorite bagel flavor?  Call me boring, but I prefer plain bagels…and call me weird, but I prefer to eat them with butter and jelly on them, like toast.
2. If you had an extra $100 right now, what would you spend it on?   A new point and shoot camera
3. What is the last thing that you felt guilt about doing?  Having to buy a new camera
4. Soft serve ice cream or hand dipped? Hand dipped–chocolate, of course!
5. Are you allergic to anything? I’m allergic to a few medications–Feldene, Tetracycline, and Betadine.

Speaking of medications, I’m making some progress in getting used to the new dosage of Synthroid.  For now, I’m cutting one-fourth of the tablet off, and it has made a noticable difference in the side effects.  Of course, last week, I began experiencing a new problem–stomach issues caused by my arthritis medication.  I seem to be developing an ulcer.  What next?! 

You may recall that I dropped my camera last weekend.  My husband got it working again, but after taking about a half a dozen photos, it stopped working again.  He wasn’t able to get it working again (sniff, sniff).  So…I had to order a replacement camera yesterday.  (I’m glad I got some money for Mother’s Day)  I feel awful that I was clumsy and dropped the other one.  I’d only had it for two or three months.

I just turned on the television and saw my first peak at the damage made by yesterday’s tornadoes in Missouri.  Wow!  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  That’s a lot of devastation!  As for us here in the south, the summer heat has already arrived!  It’s expected to reach 98 degrees today–and it’s still May!  Strange weather…all around the country.

Published in: on May 23, 2011 at 8:27 am  Comments (8)  

Six Word Saturday…May 21

My six words for today are:

More former students graduating this evening.

It’s that time of the year again.  It’s time for high school graduation here.  I always enjoy browsing through the local paper during the week before graduation.  I always look for names and faces of former students.  It’s something that I’ve enjoyed doing for the past ten years or so.  It’s been five years since I worked in education, so I won’t have many more years left to do that!

I was so pleased this year when I saw that one of my former students is the class valedictorian!  That is a first!  I’m so proud of Caroline.  I still remember her as a little girl, yet here she is a young woman!  Her mom is a teacher, and was a fellow co-worker back in the days when I worked as a parapro. 

Several more former students received scholarships, as well as Caroline.  I can’t help but feel proud of all of them!  I knew them all when they were six, and were still learning to read!  Now here they are, young men and women, about to graduate high school, many with honors!  Where does the time go?

Each year, as I’m browsing through the newspaper,  I am also keenly aware of many former students that I don’t see among the faces of the graduates.  I can’t help but wonder what happened to them.  I wonder what they are doing in life. 

No matter where they are, no matter what they are doing, I wish the best for the class of 2011.  May the Lord be with them, and guide their steps, as they begin yet another chapter of their young lives.

Published in: on May 21, 2011 at 11:22 am  Comments (12)  

School’s Out For The Summer?!

Oh, my!  It’s barely past the middle of May, and school is already out for the summer here.  When I went to school, we attended school until after the first of June!  Years later, when I was employed at school, we still went to school until after Memorial Day.  The twist was, we didn’t go back to school until mid to late August.  These days, school is already back in session by the end of July or the first of August!  What ever happened to  the days of summer?

When I was a kid, the fourth of July pretty much signaled that summer was officially in “full swing”.  These days, by the fourth of July, “back to school” sales are already being advertised on television.  Something about this just doesn’t seem right!

When I was a kid, I sort of hated to see the school years end.  I never seemed to get  comfortable with everything until after Christmas.  It took me that long to feel at ease with my teachers and classmates. Then the inevitable always happened–school would end, and I’d have to start all over in the fall!

While I worked as a paraprofessional at school, I felt the same way.  By the latter part of the school year, I knew each student’s strength’s and weaknesses, and we all felt like family.  I knew their behavior patterns, and how to best handle them.  I’d watched them learn and grow.  Of course, by then it was almost time for school to get out for summer–which meant starting all over again!

I always loved “post planning” days at school(the days after the children are finished, but the employees aren’t).  We could wear shorts to work, and we did lots of cleaning out and throwing away in our classrooms!  Who doesn’t love a good “spring cleaning”?  Out with the old, getting ready for the new!  We also had a couple of end-of-the-year staff luncheons, which always meant GOOD FOOD!  What a wonderful treat–no cafeteria food, and longer than twenty minutes to eat!  Pure Heaven!

After three days of post-planning, I was able to go home to be with my children for the summer.  Our family filled our summers with lots of camping trips while our children were growing up.  We had a camper, and we always took two full weeks of vacation each summer.  We would camp for a week in June, then another week in July.  We didn’t usually travel very far, because none of us liked to ride.  Our trips were usually within two or three hours of home, and included state parks, the beach, and a few area tourist attractions.

We spent many happy hours swimming, fishing, riding bicycles, telling ghost stories and roasting marshmallows around campfires, playing on playgrounds, and of course, shopping!  We always did lots of shopping, usually at Wal-mart.  We had to visit every Wal-mart along the route!

I miss those sweet days.  They passed entirely too fast.  These days, those precious children, in the photos above, range in ages from thirty-two to twenty-four!  Two of them now have children of their own.  The youngest, the little one in the little raft, will be getting married in five more weeks.

These days I’m watching my family fill the summer days with activities for their own children.  Madison’s pre-school just ended last week, and she’s already been to a t-ball game, story time at the local library, and had a playdate with some little girls at my daughter-in-law’s house.  It’s already another fun summer–and it’s only mid-May!

I’m joining Java’s Friday Follow Over 40.  If you would like to participate, click her button below.

Published in: on May 20, 2011 at 9:07 am  Comments (6)  
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Wednesday Hodgepodge…May 18

It’s time for my weekly dose of “hodgepodge”.  By now, you probably know the drill.  Just click on Joyce’s cute button above, if you would like to play along, or to see the list of other participants.  Thanks, once again, to Joyce, for providing seven great, thought-provoking questions, and for hosting! 

1. What reveals more about a woman-her refrigerator or her purse?  Neither my refrigerator or my purse is very exciting these days!  If I still worked outside of the home, I’d answer “my purse”, because in those days I always kept a little bit of everything with me!  I had a mini sewing kit, a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, and a cosmetic bag that served as a mini medicine cabinet( filled with band aids, creams, anti-diarreah meds, Tylenol, urinary tract relief, mini pads,– even a spare pair of underwear!)  My motto has always been  ” be prepared”!     

2. When was the last time you went to the zoo? Where? What’s your favorite zoo animal? The last time I went to the zoo was exactly three years ago this month.  My husband and I went to the Jacksonville Zoo (in Florida),  along with  granddaughter, Madison, and her parents.  It was Madison’s first trip to the zoo.  As for a favorite animal,  I’ve always liked giraffes, zebras, and monkeys the best.

3. What social issue fires you up?  Oh my!  “Healthcare Reform” and “Social Security Reform”–for the obvious reasons! Thanks to the government’s meddling, our insurance now costs an arm and a leg, and isn’t worth a plug nickel!  Now, after my husband and I have worked and paid in social security to the government for over forty years, the government is saying there isn’t going to be any money for us!  I’m fired up just writing about it!

4. Are you a coupon clipper? If so, are you extreme?  Yes, I am a coupon clipper, but I’m not extreme.  I use on-line coupons, and in-store coupons if I have them, but I don’t dumpster dive to collect coupons–nor do I buy a shopping cart full of one item! 

5. What is one of your favorite souvenirs brought back from your travels? It’s a wooden paddle that says “The Board of Education”.  I bought it in St. Augustine, Fla. at an old historic schoolhouse.  The souvenier appealed to me because  I’m old-fashioned, and I miss the days when teachers had paddles, and actually used them! 

6. Lemon meringue or key lime?  Lemon meringue.

7. What is the most beautiful word you know in any language?  Love

Random- Lately, I’ve been making photo books at Shutterfly.com.  I use my own photos, then write stories to go along with them.    I’m currently working on a photo book filled with pictures from trips that our granddaughter has been on with her family.  I just happened to have the zoo photos handy, so I’m going to share a few of them.

This photo was taken on the way to the zoo, when we stopped at McDonalds to eat breakfast.  Madison liked this ride– until we put a quarter in it–then she wanted to get off!

This is Madison and her daddy at the zoo.  She is pointing to one of the zoo animals.  She was only about 18 months old at the time, so of course,  she loved all kinds of animals!

This is the giraffe feeding station.  We fed the giraffes leaves…and discovered that they have the longest tongues that we’ve ever seen!  It was almost scary!

We took a quick time out from looking at the animals, for a carousel ride on a zebra!  Madison seemed to like this ride.  That’s my daughter (and Madison’s mom) standing beside the zebra.

Last, but not least, a photo of one of my favorites…the zebra.  I wasn’t able to get a very good photo of the monkeys.  Looking at these photos makes me realize how quickly time is passing.  Madison is a very busy 4 1/2 year old today!  Thanks for sharing my walk down memory lane today!

Published in: on May 18, 2011 at 8:49 am  Comments (11)  
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