Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Momentous Occasion!

Yes, indeed, this is a momentous occasion today. A darned good reason to celebrate, for sure.

What's to celebrate, you ask?

Well, at 6:30 a.m., 17 years ago today, my oldest grandchild was born!

For many years, I always referred to him as my "little prince" and yes, he was then and still is, Grammy J's "prince"!

I remember the evening before he was born quite well too as his parents were here at my house, along with daughter, Mandy and her then current boyfriend, a guy named Spencer. Bill, aka "Big Daddy", Carrie, Mandy and Spence were all working in the yard, mowing the lawn, raking and Spence was using a weed eater that everyone was joking about how it seemed with almost every stroke he took with that thing, he was clunking it against a rock or brick or stone of some kind!

It was a very fun-filled evening and unbeknownst to Mandy and me, shortly after Carrie and Big Daddy got back home, around midnight, she went into labor. The last thing we had said to her was to be sure to call us immediately as soon as she knew they were heading to the hospital, but that night, no phone call came. We tried to call her early in the morning and got no answer so Mandy and I immediately thought then that something was in the wind and she called the hospital to see if Carrie had been admitted and that's how we learned that the grandson was definitely on his way into the world.

Actually, shortly after learning that, we did get a call saying he'd arrived right around 6:30 a,.m. and that mother and son were both doing fine. So was Big Daddy but he's generally a pretty calm, laid back kind of guy, so we figured he'd be the epitome of a proud new father but also, a very unflappable new dad too.

Although I was supposed to be at work early that morning at the University, I called my supervisor and told her I'd be in sometime that morning but not until after I stopped by the hospital to see my first grandchild. My supervisor, whose name is also "Carrie" knew that my daughter was due any day and she knew then my grandson had been born and told me to take as long as I wanted to visit with my daughter, son-in-law and little Alex!

Even then, he was far from being little as he weighed in at well over 8 pounds! I don't recall today the exact weight, but I think it was 8 lb 11 oz and he was also 23 inches long!

From the time I got to the hospital until I finally left there several hours later, I spent the bulk of that time mainly just staring, in awe, at this little guy! He was beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Even in those first hours spent with him and his parents (as well as his paternal grandparents and his paternal great-grandfather and more relatives than you could shake a stick at from Big Daddy's kin who had to stop by and view him), it was evident from the start that he looked very much like his mother! Well, I could see that since I knew and remembered quite well what she looked like at that same age too, ya know!

I did get a chance to hold him as they had him in a bassinet in Carrie's room, right by her bed. but I also had to share that holding privilege with Pappy John (Bill's stepdad) and Grammy Marge, Bill's Mom, and Bill and Mandy too, who ventured in to meet her first nephew.

I finally left around noon-1 p.m. to go to work, feeling I was calm enough to be able to do some work and also, because I gave up on getting to see him open his eyes because the entire time I was there, he kept those eyelids clamped tightly shut!

Actually, he was three weeks old before I finally saw him open his eyes in my presence! Guess I was way to scary sounding perhaps for him to dare to take a look at who this crazy old lady was who would come back their home and try to coax him into opening his eyes!

Today, Alex stands a little over 6'4" tall and is a big built young man. Still just as handsome as he was on that first morning 17 years ago too!

But tonight, he's darned lucky he's still able to breathe!

I had been expecting him and his mother to come to the house this evening after his Mom got off work tonight around 7 p.m. And, as often happens to me when I sit down in my recliner with a plan to work on my current embroidery project and listen/watch whatever might interest me on the tv simultaneously, I forgot that doing that often does something else to me too!

It frequently puts me to sleep.

And that's exactly what happened as I fell asleep in the recliner and didn't know that they had arrived at my house. The dog, good old Sammy, didn't even know they were here either as he didn't let out a single bark!

When they pulled the car in the parking spot (Alex was driving as he just got his license about 2 months ago now) and they both had figured I would probably be in the middle of a little cat nap, so he had turned the lights off on the car and even sort of glided it into the parking area with the engine cut off.

A sneaky attack approach ya know!

And, Alex very quietly made his way into the house while his mother stood outside at the bow window, watching as he came up behind my chair, grabbed the back of the chair, shook it and yelled at me!

Both of them then just howled laughing as they witnessed me actually almost leaping out of that chair -at least a foot or two in what seemed like I was airborne!

I told him then, "Boy, you are so lucky that I love you as much as I do because otherwise, I'd probably be trying to strangle you for playing a trick like that on me!"

And that then set the tone for the three of us for the next couple of hours as we sat and talked, told stories about the morning Alex was born, joked about the line we used on Big Daddy for many years too about his "having priorities" because as Alex was being born, Bill felt he had to call his boss and tell him he wouldn't be there to open up the shop that morning as his wife was having their son right then and there!

Alex had Carrie and I laughing over and over again tonight too as he regaled us with things he has done and said to his Dad on numerous occasions that pretty much tended to leave his Dad at a loss for words or just sputtering, trying to find a retort to some of Alex's comments to him. All good-natured teasings really but funny as all get out to listen to Alex tell these stories about his Dad!

Carrie finally went up to bed about 11 p.m. as she was exhausted, having worked a 12 hour shift at the hospital on her regular job along with pulling an 8 hour shift last night, on the graveyard detail, at the nursing home where she used to work. The girl is either a workaholic or more than a touch insane I think to have scheduled herself to work 20 hours straight.
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Alex and I each then had a big bowl of ice cream and decided we would save the Boston Cream Cake I got for a birthday cake for him and the pies I baked this weekend for today -for his actual birthday celebration!

And I am ever so grateful, so happy, so proud too, that this handsome, polite, very funny too, young man is my grandson!

Wouldn't trade him for the world or all the tea in China or coffee from Brazil or any gems either because he is simply the gem that lights up my life more and more the older he gets!

Hope I get to spend many more birthdays with this now "Big Prince" in my life!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Please Return My Memory!!!

The events in my life as of yesterday are pretty much confirming my suspicions that I am either losing my memory or, possibly my mind!

Here's the timeline that led up to this discovery of my missing mind and memory capacity.

First off, there is the commode in the bathroom and it is one of those that is supposed to be a "water saver." That is a farce! Trust me when I tell you that.

It is almost inevitable that when you flush the commode here, it takes at least one more flush, and often 3 or 4, for it to work properly and send everything down the tubes to the sewage line.

Now tell me this -how does this then qualify as something that "saves water" usage?

Sometimes, you even have to get the old plunger out in order to get it to work properly. And the plunger is actually what this post is about now.

Sunday evening, I was having issues with the commode -getting it to flush everything down -so I got the plunger out to use it and lo and behold, the darned thing was no longer usable as it had come apart right in the middle!

So, I put this on my list of things I needed to purchase -in my mind, ya know -so I would remember to purchase a new plunger then when Maya and I had to run to Clearfield to the Walmart yesterday to pick up two of my prescriptions there.

Well, luckily the memory bank was working okay and yesterday, while at Walmart, I actually remembered to put a new plunger in my cart.

Got to the checkout and run through the checker, paid and got my bags into the cart and loaded the stuff into the trunk of my car.

And here is apparently where my memory decided to malfunction.

Maya and I got home and I brought the bags into the house. I stopped momentarily outside to pick up yesterday's newspaper laying on the parking area and put it into the bag holding the plunger.

And that was the last time I saw the darned thing -the plunger, that is!

I then spent the bulk of the evening searching the downstairs of this old house -looking in any kind of place that would be big enough a hiding place for a plunger to take refuge from being moved into the bathroom but all to no avail!

That damned plunger had decided to hide from me and considering the fact that as of noon today now, it's still in hiding and I have run out of places to look for it now too!

Where on earth could that item have gone to anyway?

That, my friends, is the $64,000 question that remains unanswered in this house!

Now, it looks like I'm going to have to include another stop at Walmart to get another plunger and hope to the high heavens that a new one doesn't grow legs and move out on me before I have a chance to put it in its designated container in the bathroom.

Darned good thing the commode isn't all plugged up though is one aspect for which I am right now, thanking my lucky stars!

Good thing it wasn't an expensive purchase too or I'd really be sunk, wouldn't I?

Monday, August 11, 2014

An Apple a Day?

For the past four years, since I started walking my dog, Sammy, usually twice a day, I discovered something along the route we usually take. Nothing really unusual in this discovery, just something nice I found along the road.

A little ways down the road from my house, where the paved road ends and the dirt road that will take you on down to the ghost town of Peale, I found there are two big old apple trees along the left side of the road, and another good-sized apple tree on the right side, along the driveway to the trailer where a father and son live.

Three summers ago, Mandy and I started bringing apples home from these trees and I started cooking them down to make applesauce and then, bagging the results in ziplock baggies and then, freezing it. The grandkids loved the homemade applesauce as these apples, it turns out, are really good cooking apples. And, by bagging it up like that and freezing it, we often had homemade applesauce throughout the winter then whenever we wanted it!

Two years ago though, we had an early spring that was then followed by a really big, bad, very cold snap and because of the early spring, the apple trees were beginning to bloom but all of the blossoms on, not just these trees I had been raiding, but throughout the entire area, froze and that summer, there were no apples free for the picking anywhere around here!

Now, that was a really revolting development.

Last year, the trees blossomed again and there were apples once more but not nearly as plentiful as they had been two years before that.

This spring, I worried about if the trees would produce or not because we had a very cold spring - lots of cold rains, interspersed even with some snow too at times.

But the blossoms apparently were unharmed because now that the apples are growing on the trees, it is apparent to me that this is going to be a good year to make applesauce and freeze it.

Once I see there are apples forming on these trees, I begin to try to count the apples present then when Sam and I walk down there. The tree furthest down the road doesn't have an over abundance of apples on it but the fruit on it appears to be of a larger sized apples than the apples on the tree just a little before that one. The first tree seems to have gone into over production this year!

Today, I counted about 100 apples on the one tree and on the other tree, with the smaller apples, I counted at least 850 apples! More than enough that if I had a cool place and lots of bushel baskets, I could hoard more than enough apples to have one a day plus, enough to cook applesauce to freeze and fill my freezer to the brim with homemade applesauce!!!

To prove that yes, these trees are going to supply me with a lot of apples to cook things -pies, crisps and of course, applesauce too, I took some pictures of these trees and their yield this year!


This is the tree with apples a bit larger but not as plentiful in the production line!
The tree with over 800 apples on it! Notice you can see there are several groups hanging here with 5-6 apples all clustered together! 
The bottom pictures are of the tree with the smaller apples but really plentiful! This particular apple does not produce fruit that is solid red but rather, looks kind of stripes of red against the green. I have no clue whatsoever as to what kind -name -of apples these are, just know that they are darned good and also, that they are there, free for the taking!

I already warned my son to be prepared to bring his truck down and we will go down and knock apples off (because they are too high up to reach to pick) and let them fall into the bed of his truck or on the ground and we can run around trying to pick up as many as we can then and bring them home to my applesauce factory that my kitchen will soon likely become!

Wish I knew how to can this stuff (and had the equipment too) but the canner that used to be here in this house has somehow managed to disappear. Plus, I like freezing the applesauce better because the ziplock bags hold just enough to serve along with a meal.

Looking forward to smelling the apples cooking down already now!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Just Good People!

The past eleven days of my life have been very sad, very upsetting and thus, to whatever entity is in charge of handling my day-to-day experiences, please do not deliver any reruns of this time in my life. You see, I've been to three funerals in the last eleven days. Two were expected but that still doesn't lessen the loss factor any, does it? First, there was a cousin of mine who had dealt with COPD (or maybe it was emphysema, I'm not sure which exactly, just know it was a very bad lung issue)for the past fifteen years with the last 18 months of having hospice care present. The third was for a lady who, along with her husband and family, had been good friends for well over thirty years. She had just this past spring been diagnosed with cancer that I was told began in her lungs but unfortunately, rapidly moved to other organs in her body. She and her husband had both been the kind of people who saw all things in the most positive manner possible and with as much humor as could be mustered up too. Their children -all five -grew up to be outstanding individuals and well, "just plain great kids." Their oldest son has a place of honor in my older daughter's mind though as she has said for many years now that he was the very best babysitter ever to stay with her and her brother when they were younguns! And, yes I think I'd have to agree with her description of him in that manner because he was a very good sitter, great at entertaining both my daughter and my son back then. My memory is a bit faulty right now as I can't remember exactly how many of those kids babysat for me -I know the oldest boy did, as well as the oldest girl but not sure if either of the two younger girls ever babysat for me. I know the youngest of the family -a son -didn't because he wasn't all that much older than my son was back then. And the other funeral -which actually was the second one in this line -was one for the oldest son of one of my neighbors here in town and his passing was a total shock to everyone! Only 48-years-old and his mother found him in his house, in bed and dead of a heart attack. Totally shocked the entire community and I find myself still in a bit of a state of shock over his passing. He was a year older than my older daughter -the eldest of five siblings. A very hard worker he was too having started early in life -probably by the beginning of his teens, maybe a little before that even, as the local paperboy, delivering the local daily newspaper as well as weekly copies of the GRIT. During his high school years, he started spending much of his free time during the warmer months mowing lawns for various people around here. After graduation, he got a job working at a local service station just off Interstate 80 here and worked there until not too many years ago -less than 10 years though I think since he left that job and got hired on the Janitorial staff at our local school system. All the while he worked full time he also built up his network of people whose lawns were mowed by him as well as maintaining the grass at the local Catholic Cemetery (which is fairly large) and also, a cemetery by a church about 5-6 miles from here that was a little bit, but not that much, smaller. If you were to talk to anyone who belongs to either of those churches though, you'd hear nothing but compliments on the work he performed in both places. Some other things you'd most likely hear about any of these three individuals would be that each of them would be considered to have been "just good people!" Most certainly that I agree with wholeheartedly. My cousin, the lady friend and the younger man -all three of them were alike too in that whenever you saw any of them, they always had a smile for you and good words to share. All three of them would do anything they could for you if they knew you had a need for help of some kind. Generous, giving people they were. The younger fellow had been a member of our volunteer Fire Company since he was old enough to join so over 30 years of service and commitment he gave to the Fire Company and the community. He also had a very strong sense of humor much of the time too and that was totally evident the Sunday back in May of 1994 when my daughters and their boyfriends had the great idea to tear down the old garage in the backyard here. Their game plan was to tear it apart and then, using the wheel barrow they wheeled the wood across the backyard to the back lot adjacent to this one and then, they were burning the old wood, bit by bit. Sounded like a decent enough plan to them and to me. But a little backstory is needed here now as I have to explain that 3 years earlier my son had managed to catch our house on fire and as a result, the second story interior was very damaged but thankfully, it didn't reach into the attic nor was the roof damaged at all either. But on the day of the demolishing of the garage, there came a point in which the only part of the garage still standing was a section that was completely locked together, creating a block of timber that would have taken another full day to rip apart so I told the kids to just pull that down into the lower part of our back yard, which was at that time a virtual swampland, and burn it there. That then is what they did and it seemed to be going okay until the wind picked up a bit of speed, sending sparks flying into the air like crazy and it looked like they were all heading for the branches of some very large oak trees down there. Enough so that it scared my daughter and she came running up to the house yelling for me to call the fire company. Okay -I called the fire company and we were standing in the backyard when the guys came trouping down to greet us with this young man leading the pack. As he came up to me he came out with this comment to me, "So, Mrs. Ertmer, you are now a frequent flyer with the Grassflat Fire Company!" And he frequently would tease me too about that fire at my place. Considering that and how he did love to tease and joke with people whenever possible, you can now also understand why, when my little old jeep caught fire while I was driving it about 28 months ago and the fire company had to be called out for that too. My biggest worry while waiting for them to arrive on the scene was that he not be responding to the call because I knew, if he was on the truck, I would never live down the harassment he would dole out to me! Thankfully, he wasn't on the truck though and I said to one of the firemen present I was so glad to see he wasn't there. That guy asked me why I didn't want him to be on the call and if I didn't like the guy and I replied that it wasn't that at all but just that he would have had a field day poking fun at me over the whole scene. All in good humor I know it would have been but in a small town like this, well, you can understand I really didn't need any fodder to give him for sure! But my kids and I as well as this young man and his youngest brother, who is one of my son's closest friends, still have had a lot of laughs shared over both of those fires! And as a tribute to each of these three individuals, the churches from which each funeral was held were each packed for the respective funeral service. To me, seeing that many people show up to pay their respects for the deceased and to the family members speaks legions of what type of person each one was! "Just Good People!" Yes, indeed, that is exactly what each one was and they will most certainly be missed not just by their families but by the entire area here. Rest in peace, Jackie, Ricky and Donna! You will not be forgotten for your works over the years you shared yourself and your talents within this community.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Push Is On!

Well, a year has passed now since Mandy and the kids moved to Middletown and needless to say, it was a year of some very rude adjustments to my life! To say that I missed the kids -a major understatement there, for sure!

 For a while, I really felt totally lost without them being here every day. I didn't miss the daily fights that tended to erupt between the two of them for the most part, but yet -sometimes it was so quiet here, I probably would have welcomed that just for the company it meant was present in the house then.

 But I really was very much looking forward to the summer months and being able to have the kids here -either one at a time or even both of 'em together for a couple of weeks in a row. Things worked out -not quite the way we had initially figured but as best that could be done anyway.

In June, originally the plan was that I was to have both kids here together for two weeks but that got switched to only having them here together for one week and having Kurtis for alone for what was supposed to be the second week for both of them.

That got changed because Maya had to go home to be there over one weekend so she could attend a dance recital for Mandy's boyfriend's daughter, Cassidy. So, my older daughter took her to Middletown and brought her back up here and then, Mandy came up that weekend to take her home as she had to get ready to go to Bible Camp at some camp up in the Poconos some where. She and Cassidy were going to go to that together and would be there a full week!

 So Kurtis then was going to spend yet another week alone here with me but that got scotched when it turned out he to go home earlier than planned because he had to have an evaluation with the BSC in order to have all the paperwork completed so he could attend some special 5-week long program from the end of June through the end of July! I tried to convince Mandy to tell the BSC if he wanted to evaluate Kurt to come up here and do it and look at the big payoff he would get collecting on travel expenses for that but she decided that idea just wouldn't wash so back home Kurt went.

Then, I did get Maya for two weeks -last week and this week and this Sunday when they go home with their Mom, they will be back for one week -the first full week in August -but at least that means they will both be able to go to Bible School at our church here then anyway!

 One thing I don't miss though with the kids is how in school there usually comes a time when the music department does special tests on the kids to ascertain if any of them have any amount of musical talent laying dormant, waiting for the music department to convince the parents to invest in some kind of musical instrument and start the kid on the road to ensuring parents and grandparent do have a very good set of headphone to ward of ear damage from listening to the initial phases of learning to play an instrument. When my kids were in school and those days came along, it seemed every announcement they brought home as to purchasing an instrument of some type or other all came with a banner headline too announcing buy now

Almost as if one didn't purchase then, the instruments would never ever be available to anyone, ever again!

Unfortunately for my three kids, there was no way at all I could squeeze in another payment for anything much less a musical instrument though so I never took advantage of those sales. But it reminded me of when I was a kid and those tests were given then, I was deemed to have some degree of musical ability but fortunately for me, we already had a piano and an uncle of mine had an old violin he loaned me too. When about two years later the music teacher (and band director) insisted I learn how to play a French Horn so I could then qualify to be in the marching band) he, the teacher, found an old used -very used, I might add -French Horn for me to use to learn on! I'll save the story of what a debacle it was when he insisted I was ready to move on to the marching band for another day! LOL 

 So any way, Mandy's been getting some of these banners and bribes and such to purchase musical instruments for one, if not both kids, but she's in the same bind that I was, financially, plus we've already seen that Maya's interests in playing an instrument has taken an extreme backseat to her getting Mandy to allow her to take dance lessons!

At least that, she likes well enough that she practices -day in and day out! So that wasn't a wasted investment then after all, was it?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lost - Cats and Children!

I've thought so many times in the past several weeks now (almost 8 weeks) that I really should put something out here on the olde blog but yet, just never seemed to find the time (or ambition, as it were) to do it.

It's not that I'm busy working and working and more working constantly, although I have been relatively busy trying to keep motivated with the Avon along with working pretty diligently on an embroidery project of great importance too. The Avon fluctuates a good bit -one campaign fairly decent and the next one, really a flop is how it seems to be going. A bit depressing in that respect but then, I really don't have all that many customers who are active buyers -meaning that they order a good-sized order each campaign. And, I can definitely understand that because if I weren't selling the stuff, I am pretty sure I'd be doing a lot more selectivity in my ordering too!

The embroidery project though -well, I didn't get it finished in time to present it to the young lady friend who because a bride this past weekend but I did note in my card to her and her groom that I am hoping to have their gift from me completed in the next two weeks. Very hopeful I am that I will get it done that quickly! It's a full-sized tablecloth -52 inches by 68 inches with a floral design in each corner as well as a floral design along each side too. In my opinion, it is a very pretty floral pattern -not showy, just rather simplistic, with a single rose in each display with three violets along side of the flower.

I've done other tablecloths this size -as well as a few that were even a bit larger than this one but this one -perhaps because I want it to end up as nice as I can possibly do it since it is intended as a wedding gift -it has been a bit slow stitching it. Either that or my eyes and fingers are just not working up to top speed these days!

I had the grandkids here for almost a full week with both of them but the week's visit for Maya got broken up a bit due to a dance recital down in Middletown (where the kids and my daughter now reside) that Maya wanted to attend. So my older daughter came up the day before the recital and took Maya down to her house for the night and then, she and Maya went down to Middletown the next day so they could both attend the recital after which, Carrie brought Maya back up here to spend the last two days here with me.  I was, initially, supposed to have Kurtis here with Maya that week and then, the next two weeks, have Kurtis here by himself with me. But that got screwed up because he had to return home in the middle of that first week of being here alone to have an evaluation with some therapist for a 4-5 week special summer program he is going to attend in July. But, then we got back on track with the visiting as Mandy and Jeff (her boyfirend) had to take Maya and Jeff's daughter, Cassidy, up to a Bible camp in or near the Poconos this past Sunday where the girls will spend this week. So Sunday afternoon, after depositing the girls at their camp site, they came across Interstate 80 and to this area and left Kurtis here now with me this week! Next week, I was supposed to have Maya here, alone, all week, but that ended up getting screwed up too because of a photo session that got rescheduled until next Tuesday and so, Gram's time with the girl got lost in the mix of that then too!

Bummer, ya know!

Today, was quite the day though -full of a few little "thrills" of a sort, I guess you could say.

It all started when I got up this morning and realized my cat -Miss Pearl the Purrball -was missing! Now how the heck did that happen as she is totally an indoor cat, but I soon discovered that she had become very adventurous and had escaped through a window in my bedroom that was open but which I thought had a screen in it and it turned out, the screen was somehow or other missing too! So, I was more than a bit upset over the missing cat.

Then, a little later in the morning, it seems I was also missing my grandson too! Sheesh -all I could think about then was how upset Mandy was going to be to learn not only had I screwed things up and aided and abetted her cat's escape into the wild blue yonder or green grass and woods but I had also somehow managed to lose her son too in the big (very little) burg here where I live!

As it turned out, what happened with Kurtis is as I was checking my facebook and having my wake-up coffee, he had gone outside -which is fairly normal for him to do that -and I just figured he was out in the yard playing, probably digging big holes for Gram to trip in as she mows the grass eventually. 

So anyway, because I was to go to lunch today with the girlfriends from my high school class -our monthly lunch outing -and Kurtis was going to be going with me, I wanted to take a quick shower. While he was out in the yard, I decided was a good time to get the shower and hurry up and get dressed then so I would only have to make sure his face and hands (and legs too) were clean along with his clothes and we'd both be ready to go to lunch.

Well, when I went out to call him into the house to get ready, imagine my surprise when I got no response from him! I walked around the house, looking in every possible hiding place known to a small child and no Kurtis!

Now where the heck could he have gone!

Since I also had to walk the dog before leaving, I figured okay, I'd take him for our normal walk down the road and look for Kurtis along that way in the process. As I got the dog and out up on the road in front of the house, I looked up the street and lo and behold, what do I see but Kurtis, up by the curve about 4-5 houses from my place, strolling ever so casually towards my house! When he saw me and Sammy standing out on the road he began to run towards me and then I was worrying as I was thinking to my self -"Please don't trip and fall flat on your face and skin it and your arms and legs all up!" But thankfully, he managed to run fairly gracefully -no tripping,no falling -no injuries and he arrived by my side all happy and excited as he exclaimed to me how he had decided to go on his own version of a search and destroy mission, looking for Pearl, the cat!

Sweet intentions on his part, yes indeed. But just about scared the living daylights out of me that he had decided all on his own, without saying a word ot me about this plan of his, ya know!

Although he had no luck in locating the cat, the fact that he had done this on his own and had safely got himself back home then too was good to see.

So off we went to lunch then with Kate, Rose and Jean -three of my old friends from high school. I did ask Kurtis before we went into the restaurant though if possible, could he please not talk constantly about nuclear accidents and nuclear reactors -which are all a huge part of his mind these days as he has been obsessing about Three Mile Island and any thing else he can find online about nuclear power plants and reactors and such! It's amazing to hear him go on and on about this subject -yes, it is but at the same time, after 2-3 months of this being his constant topic of conversation, it does tend to get a little less exciting to hear about it over and over and OVER AGAIN at times, you see!

He obliged me at lunch and was relatively well-behaved and quite sociable with my girlfriends too. He knows Kate quite well as she just lives two doors down the street from us and he knows Rose and her husband too because the kids have been to their house on several occasions with me. (He loves to go to their house because Rose's husband, Durv, has a room with all kinds of wild animals stuffed and on display on the walls and sitting around his "Den!" Kurtis is almost as fascinated with that room as is my older grandson, Alex -who is totally in awe of the collection Durv has there. But, that's because Alex is very interested in hunting -which obviously, so is Durv!

So we got back home and Kurtis wanted to play on the computer then -searching youtube videos about, you guessed it -nuclear reactors and such! Then, before we knew it the time had come for him to get ready to go up to a local church that is sponsoring evening Bible School all this week for the kids in the area. Maya and Kurtis had attended this Bible school last year and they loved it so Kurt jumped on board when I asked him if he would like to attend it again this year! Made me feel very good that he was so happy and excited about attending this and that he really does enjoy being around so many kid from around the area there and learning Bible verses and new songs too.

After I took him up there and dropped him off, I came back to the house and tried again to look around the front yard and back yard for the cat. No response at that time though. So I came inside and while out in the kitchen, decided to try one more time to call for the cat via the back door.

And much to my happy surprise, I heard a noise on the deck, opened the door and there stood Pearl, a bit wet and slightly bedraggled from having been caught outdoors in one or more of the showers we had off and on this afternoon, but other than that, none the worse for wear!

So, my motto tonight definitely is "All's well that ends well!" as I am quite contented having the cat back where she belongs and not having really "lost" Kurtis today -just that he sort of misplaced himself for a while!

Tomorrow's exciting day though isn't going to probably sit all that well with him as it's going to involved the really exciting chore of delivering Avon orders! And to that I say -into each life a bit of rain must fall!



Saturday, May 03, 2014

Proof Positive!

Because today I am planning on having a very "lazy" day, I decided perhaps it would be a good idea if I took a little time and posted something here on my blog!

And boy, I'm really glad I did that because I got a big surprise when I opened to my blog!

Not quite like having my Reader back, but now, Blogger has a running listing of posts to some of my favorite bloggers that I have missed not being able to keep up with since they did away with the Reader. Don't know who or what inspired the powers that be to do this but I was very happy to see I can still reconnect with several of my old favorite bloggers once again!

This is going to be just a little bit of a "catch-up" on what I've been doing here for the past two weeks or so -nothing of drastic importance going on, that's for sure, so it may be more than a tad boring.

Mandy and the grandchildren came up for Easter, which made for a very nice weekend that way! Having her here Sunday morning meant there was someone who would wake my lazy butt up in time to get ready and get out the door in time to go to church and that was very nice. The kids were both very well-behaved during the service with one small exception. Midway in the service, Mandy poked me to direct my attention to Kurtis, who was sitting on her left side. I glanced over and there he was, leaning down and in a very active (abeit a stage whisper type) conversation with our next-door neighbor, Gail, who was sitting to his left. Just watching him converse with her and how animated he was, I knew immediately what he was doing, what he was telling her!

He was giving her his standard run down on all the information he could recall that he has acquired now about either Three Mile Island and Chernobyl and the nuclear disasters that took place at those places! It is really amazing to hear an eight-year-old spout off all kinds of data about those incidents although, at times, Mandy says she almost wishes he would return to obsessing about lego blocks or even the Twin Towers to give her a little break from nuclear reactors and disasters, etc.

But one thing for sure -his interest in this topic and the way he can remember so much of what he has been reading about it sure does show us how well he is learning more and more every day, doesn't it?

To keep myself occupied and steer clear of certain potentials that could cause me to get a bit depressed, I've been trying to get myself in gear and return to doing the embroidery work. As a result of that, I have finished a very pretty set of pillow cases -pansies design on them -and was quite pleased with the way they turned out. Because I have one large storage tote that is completely filled to the brim with embroidery kits of various types waiting for me to decide to work on one of them (plus a box I keep by my recliner with about 8-10 other kits there, that I plan to get done sometime this year), I decided to tackle a kit I have had for probably 4-5 years now. This is for a fullsize tablecloth -52 inches by 70 inches which I think will just fit on my dining room table. The design on it consists of a medium-sized rose in bloom surrounded by a couple little violets in each corner, as well as a repeat of the bouquet in the center of the cloth and along each side too. I had hesitated beginning this kit as for whatever reason I had in my mind, it struck me as being rather complicated to work. However, since I have been working on it now and have one corner bouquet completed, it's actually a relatively simple exercise in bits of satin stitches, french knots and the good old stem stitch with only a few places requiring the lazy daisy stitch. Because of the size though, it is going to be a fairly time-consuming project now but at least I'm enjoying watching the piece come to life as I get more and more of the flowers completed on it.

I've been debating today about perhaps mixing up a batch of the Swedish Rye bread and then, provided it turns out nice enough, taking a loaf or two and delivering it to a couple of my friends and Avon customers too. Before Easter, I made a batch of whole wheat bread along with 4 dozen sweet rolls and then too, a batch of the Swedish Rye so that Mandy had some of each type to take home with her. Two of those loaves -one rye and one whole wheat -were for Kurtis to have to take to school with him after Easter break for his class activity as the kids were learning little things about cultures and ethnicity and Mandy thought it would be neat for him to take the homemade bread to class and tell his classmates that this is something that is a part of my ancestral culture -home-baked bread, and the rye bread being from a recipe that my cousins and I believe probably was passed down through the generations from my great-grandmother! Mandy said the kids enjoyed that in Kurt's class so that was good to hear!

And now, as I decide what I'm going to do here today -other than spending the bulk of it working on this tablecloth, I'll close this now with something I haven't posted here in ages!

A picture of Maya and Kurtis in their "Sunday-Go-Meeting" clothes -a little extra special for Easter Sunday, you know. (Maya is going on eleven now and stands almost up to my chin and Kurtis just turned eight on Palm Sunday. He's growing so tall now too -like the proverbial bad weeds, ya know!)

Happy May and may it bring lots of sunshine, warmth and plenty of flowers!