Monday, December 21, 2009

...and the angels were singing...

Olde St. Charles...what a wonderful day!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

"Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand." ~ Mark Twain

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Grandpa Story

It's funny how time passes and things change. Some feelings I have had towards people have changed. Some have not. After my dad's death in 2006, I kinda pushed his family a way. Especially thoughts of my grandparents. Lately, maybe because of Veteran's Day, maybe the holidays are making me sentimental or maybe because I just plain miss my famiy, but I think of happy times over and over. Am I beginning to do that old people thing where they only remember the good things in life? I hope so, but I highly doubt it. It's just not my nature. Heeheehee. Just making that statement alone reminds me of my Grandpa and his sister.

Grandpa and I, 1969

After meeting my Grandpa for the first time in February, 1969, we both eventually learned our lives would never be the same. The picture above is old enough it wouldn't scan without too much light. Thankfully you can see Grandpa, the subject of my post.

I have several photos of Grandpa or Papall as I preferred to call him when I was a bit younger. Unfortunately the ones I wanted to use are at my mom's house across town. Never being one to be organized, I tend to fly by the seat of my pants. Love it or leave it. That's one reason why I loved my Grandpa so much. He let me be me. He taught me things and I learned. He didn't preach. He wasn't mean. He did ignore me at times I bored him to death, which I understand completely. All of these things formed a bond. As an adult looking back at my life, it's all of those things plus more that made him one of my favorite people ever. (Ironically he has a sister, my Aunt Sadie, who I love for the exact same things. She's also shares this status with my Grandpa.)
From a very young age we became buddies. Grandpa preferred to be outside tinkering, planting, fixing, rigging, fishing or who knows what exactly. I was probably not too far behind. (This was also a way to keep us out of my grandma's red hair too!) He entertained me. As an only child I craved entertainment!
After he had moved into the nursing home we were driving around town one day when he shared one of his stories with me. Apparently it had been on his mind. Sometime months or weeks earlier he had gone to a funeral in our hometown. Grandpa went to some one's home for the wake following the funeral and told me he sat on a step outside eating some good cake. He described seeing an old woman approach him out of the corner of his eye. (I had to laugh, my grandpa only had one good eye. And, I have a feeling, he saw her with his bad eye. I could just tell.) This woman I will call Vera, to protect her from any recollection she may have of this event.
Grandpa said Vera kept calling him by name as she walked up to him. He told me he kept eating that good cake. She repeated his name and told him who she was even stating, "Junior, don't you remember me?" Grandpa kept eating cake. He said she stood there talking and looking at him for what seemed like several minutes. Grandpa ignored Vera while she did all of this. He said he didn't look at her once. Vera finally gave up and even stated out loud, "Junior, you have REALLY gone downhill!" Grandpa stated he didn't even acknowledge Vera PERIOD!!
Entertaining the thought of him dating was a terrific idea so I asked him, "Grandpa, why didn't you say anything? You may have gotten lucky out of this deal!" "NO!" he said. And quite adamantly I might add. Keep in mind he didn't skip a beat telling me this tale, nor did he crack a smile.
Grandpa finally finished his story. He had been dating Vera when he was sent to WWII back in the 1940s. As soon as he got to his assigned post she sent him a Dear John letter telling him it was over. He had been quite smitten with this woman. He was not about to give her the satisfaction of talking to her when he saw her some measly 60 years later. I couldn't help but laugh, and he finally cracked that brilliant smile of his. I asked him surely he had seen Vera in 60 years since. He had. He just made it a point not to go near her.
Maybe telling me that story released his guilt. I don't think so. Grandpa felt like he got his due by pretending she wasn't there when Vera tried to converse with him that day. Maybe that little devil sitting on my left shoulder was inherited from the ole guy.
As I'm driving down the road some days I think of stories that warm my heart. They make me smile. Some might think this one is mean. I don't. I think it's human. Some act, some don't. Some just pretend they never do anything wrong. I know, sometimes we all do things wrong....
At my father's funeral a few months after my Grandpa shared this story with me, Vera came to the visitation. I made it a point to watch her. She ran straight to Grandpa. My heart twinkled. He acknowledged her, shook her hand and dropped his head. Not for her, but for my dad and himself no doubt. The funny part is, after that greeting, she ran straight to my Grandpa's brother to chat. My twinkling heart knew she was looking for a date that day.
A treat after my high school graduation in May, 1987. He's telling a story. I'm sure it's the one about how I caught him getting a "special drink" one day when I came over. I had never known him to drink and thought it was funny. So he tried to give me a taste. To make the story more interesting, I told everyone Grandpa tried to get me drunk. Which was totally not true. But he loved it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Day After...

The day after Thanksgiving many refer to it as Black Friday. Never really understanding that name I prefer to call it the day after Thanksgiving. In our community we celebrate the start of the holidays on Thanksgiving. Our Christmas parade was late this afternoon and the weather was beautiful. Hardly Christmas weather, but no one was complaining. I thought I would share with you some scenes from today.There were puppies...


an awaiting crowd standing in front of the best place to get Candles...JP's

Santa's house where they were serving hot chocolate. Santa was to be seen in the parade later...

my friend Jennifer putting on a show...

my friend Vanessa and her family and friends...

ice cream eaters...

the Grand Marshall...not sure which of the three, but he's in there somewhere...

James the emcee...who did a mighty fine job I might add...

Since that crazy elf was driving Santa a little too fast in that hot sports car, I literally got the tail end of them. This has to be one of the best pictures I've ever taken. I absolutely love it and will be doing much with this shot later.

a nutcracker...

another crazy elf at the wheel of a John Deere...never mind the kid he's run over...


kids...and finally...

the mistletoe masterers...

We didn't address the Day After Thanksgiving head on today. We waited before we forced our way onto the highways of 36&63. That in itself is worth a gold medal nowadays. I was able to get the hubby's gifts, a niece's and a bit for our grandson. Hubby got several gifts for himself. He's so thoughtful that way. Oh, I bought shampoo. I would love to keep my niece Emilee's gift. I begged my hubby to choose it, he has his eye on something else. If she doesn't love it, I'm gonna snatch it from her and call it my own. Emilee's name was written all over this gift. If I'm lucky someone else bought her one too so I can take this one back!! It's a monkey that ooo ooo ooo's and hugs. She did that same oooo oooo oooo thing this time last year and it was just too cute.
Tomorrow is another day. Hopefully there's not too many $$$ signs in tomorrow...Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends. I miss you today. Callee is demonstrating what we will most likely be doing today. God bless you all!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

He Snapped I Tell Ya

Hubby snapped in Wal-Mart a couple of weeks ago. He couldn't resist. He HAD to go there. There he did it. Hubby made the decision to buy himself a white tree with white lights, perfect for his Cardinal goodies. Hubby was so proud he wanted to put it in the dining room. I coaxed him into the bedroom exclaiming how the lighted tree would make the ambiance...well you know. We have yet to dig out any other ornaments, but we should find some more Cardinal stuff soon. I have this funny feeling the tree will be up for years to come. Die hard I tell ya, Die hard...gotta love the loyalty!!
More pics to come whenever I finally remember to buy batteries for my camera!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon~I Would Have Never Guessed

One year ago my friend Toni and I went to see the movie Twilight. She convinced me to read the Twilight series. I loved the books. I hated Twilight the movie. Flash forward one year later, we go see New Moon. It was awesome. Far better than Twilight. The werewolves were something we couldn't take our eyes off of...Now I cannot wait until June, 2010 when the third movie is due.

On the agenda for the rest of the weekend: The Blind Side and/or 2012!

Friday, November 13, 2009

For My Favorite Marine!

My favorite Marine, JJ. Unfortunately I don't get to see JJ as much as I used to. He retired as Major last February and I miss him terribly. On Veteran's Day I remembered to send him a Happy Veteran's Day email just to let him know I was thinking of him on one of his favorite holidays. He is very, very proud to share his experiences as a Marine. He loves God, his country and his family. JJ sent me a reply telling me he missed the cake I would make for him in honor of Veteran's Day. I had forgotten all about that so here you go JJ. It's carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. I'm sure you would embrace the pan and carry it carefully to your office so no one else could share until you know you've had your fill. I sure wish I could give you this in person and say "Thank you for being my favorite Marine!!" (Only I'd make apple cake instead of carrot, just so you know!)

For several years I took JJ cake, but I can't remember when it started. If I recall correctly I'm sure it started as a total fluke. JJ can do that to people. Cause flukes I mean. The first time he called me on the phone to remind me it was going to be Veteran's Day and just wanted me to know he wasn't going to be at work the day after (we get this holiday off) Veteran's Day. He didn't want me to feel bad when I brought cake in and he wasn't there. My mind was whirling. I couldn't remember bringing him in a piece of cake on his special day. However, in case I had forgotten, or in case JJ couldn't SUCKER any other lady to bring in cake for Veteran's Day, I decided to make this my personal tradition with him. In my mind I could picture JJ sitting in his office calling his favorite girls first trying to figure out which one he could entice to bring him cake. (There was probably a small audience egging him on.) Unknown to me which number I hailed, I baked cake for JJ. So the tradition began.
JJ, you will always be my favorite Marine. In my heart I hold you forever eating cake!! Happy Veteran's Day JJ!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Have You Had Yours Yet?

Yes girls, you know the question. Hopefully you have the right answers. The year is winding down and the question is: Have YOU had your mammogram yet?

As much as I hated to, I had mine. November will be MY month to get MY mammogram. I've had four of them since last November. And I happily exclaim as of yesterday, I do not go back until next November. The beginning of my mammogram history. Next November was music to my ears. Even though I felt pretty sure the test would be good, I just had that feeling, you know the one. "Why didn't I bring someone with me?" The few people I shared this info with all had to work. And I thought "no big deal". You know, NO BIG DEAL, until they tell you "do not remove your robe". Then they herd you down the hallway to another special examination room.

Yesterday was a bit different. I really liked the mammographer. She did the last one and was wonderful then too. She told me yesterday she loved her job. I could tell. She was great at putting me at ease. She told me she never heard of an xray tech getting hugs from people. Hugs of relief and I'm so scared kinda hugs. She knows she has a gift and is willing to share what she knows (from experience too I might add). I told her I thought she was awesome! (Especially compared to the girls at the "other" hospital.)

The cons of getting older. So, there goes it, the year is almost up girls, it's time to get your mammogram!!!

PS - interestingly, two men were there getting breast exams too. So fellas, keep that in mind. Men are susceptible also!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Photo Hunt - Veteran

Photot Hunt Saturday is very appropriate for Veteran's Day this Wednesday, November 11th. Here is my grandpa, a WWII Vet. It's one of my favorite pictures ever.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Full Moon Ya Say?

We sure could tell it has been a full moon. Today, the natives were restless. I mean really, really restless. There is definitely something about the pull of the moon. It sucks people in making them a little out of sorts. My mom used to say, "the crazy get crazier". Maybe that's true. I have to wonder, in a facility full of men, if the full moon makes them start a man period or something??? This full moon has hit us hard. My staff are awesome, hardworking, dedicated people. I just hope when this full moon is over they don't return to picking on each other...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sadly Missed

Tonight ReyRey misses his live in girlfriend Callee. Callee's getting her nails done and female parts snipped. He seems a bit out of sorts. He's probably wondering when he's next to be gone. Rey has sat like this for quite a while this evening, not even noticing when my camera made that "ding" sound. Maybe he's a little depressed. Callee will be back tomorrow, our house will be wild again.

Here's ReyRey watching his girlfriend in the window. Intently watching her every move as to avoid any smacks and scratches he finds confusing.

On Halloween night we hung a witch my hubby found in St. Louis a few years ago. The wind was blowing enough we thought she would chuckle that evil chuckle all night. Our treaters apparently weren't close or tall enough to cause her to go off. You can see her piercing blue eyes in the black photo. I missed the chance of the fiber optic hair sparkling in the night.

Because of all the little treaters that come to the door, we had to put Annie and Kia in doggie jail for the evening. Don't they look absolutely pathetic?
We didn't have many treaters at all this year and I miss that. Very few people had lights on in this neighborhood. Last year I told hubby we wouldn't do this next year. We tried it again, out of guilt and tradition. We saw some cute little ones, but not enough to keep the light on next year. The nights of Halloween have been overcome with caution and care, which is a good thing. But oh how I miss the days of silly string, toilet paper and candy!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Timmy and a buddy

Mommy Erica and Timmy

Daddy Jason and Timmy
Thanks Erica for helping me get these straight! It's great to see beautiful children come from beautiful parents!! We love you!!!

Timmy the Tiger

My step-daughter Erica emailed these pictures of our grandson Timmy. She dressed him up like a Tiger for Halloween. Isn't he a cutie? I love the feet. She said he didn't care much for his headpiece he had to wear. I'm sure it was a little heavy and warm for him. But he looks adorable with or without his tiger head.

This is Erica and Timmy. I have two more pictures I want to include. However, I have to figure how to rotate them and keep them rotated too. I want every one to see Timmy's mommy and daddy!

Look at the paws wouldya? Thanks for the pictures Erica! I hope you guys had fun!! I'll include the others when I get that figured out!!
I hope everyone had a fantastic Halloween, oh, and a safe one too!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Home Away From Home

This is my home away from home. I spend 10 hours a day here four days a week. The picture above was taken early on a Thursday morning in February. One of my caseworkers and our Major was retiring. We decided to give them both a digital picture frame complete with photos. This is one of my favorites. You can click on it to make it larger. The staff I work with are incredible. It's truly amazing and a blessing to work with wonderful people.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Room With a View

Yesterday I rearranged my bedroom in order to move the bed away from the big bay window at the front of the room. In the winter time it gets a little bit chilly there. Or at least that's my take on it. Having our bed there gave our room a much larger appearance. But we never enjoyed that big bay window because we kept the curtains pulled since the head of our bed was positioned there. I moved the bed to the west wall and thought Reynaldo would like having the curtains pulled open. He truly enjoys basking in the sunshine. Figuring he could stretch out and have at it, he had other plans. Take a look...

This is what he thought about that...

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Hello!! Remember me? Thought I would actually get off my duff and post something tonight. This afternoon I decided to finally fix some stuffed pasta shells I've been thinking about. Having never done this before left me a little doubtful. But let me tell you what, these shells were sooooo yummmeeeee!! After looking at several recipes over the last few weeks, I decided to concoct my own. One with a little bit of this and a little bit of that and a lot of spinach. Hubby thought it was just okay. I think he'd prefer spaghetti. We had salad, shells and ciabatta garlic bread. I planned to do a chocolate pie too, but after cleaning my bedroom and rearranging it all afternoon, time didn't allow it. Maybe next time.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Photo Hunt - Sports

I'm missing summer already. So when I read the topic for Photo Hunt Saturday, I had to throw in this great one of the two little fellas fishing at Finger Lakes north of Columbia. They were having a great time!