Thursday, September 18, 2014

Lost and Found.

First let me preface this with a bit of information here.

A friend of mine from way back -like first grade, ya know -has a granddaughter who is now already in her late 20s and the granddaughter lives in a suburb of Chicago. She also just happens to be a lot like me in that she is interested in the history behind this little village where I live and where she grew up. And as such, several years ago now, she started a page on Facebook about the town and its history as much as anyone who is interested in this topic would be willing to share pictures -old, old, old pictures - of the way the place looked back in the early days of the 1900s and also, even older photos that were of various places that used to exist in the ghost town about 2 miles down the road from my house.

I loved the way this young lady was thinking and the pictures she had taken while home for a brief visit of how some buildings around here look today and so, we started to communicate and little by little, tried to spread the word on Facebook as to what was going on here with this site.

However, because Chicago area is a fairly good distance from here, she doesn't get back home very often and since I live here, she asked if I would consider handling the webpage she had set up as she felt I would have more access to various items of interest to those who still reside here and also, to people who had long ago moved away too.

And so, that's how I came to be the so-called "Administrator"of this little page on Facebook called Grassflat Grown!

Over the years -probably almost 8 years now -I've tried to get folks to come forward with old pictures they might have laying around and scan them in and then post them to this page. I've also tried from time to time to locate articles about people who lived here, or events from the past to share with those who are interested in this page.

In the beginning, we had several areas set up on the site where folks could log in and post things they remembered about living here, growing up here, teachers many of us had back in the good old days and well, just sharing memories is what it was really all about.

And that's how things went for about the first two years we had this site going and then, out of the blue, with no notification at all from Facebook, they changed our format and actually wiped out all the memory pages we had set up. The only thing they didn't disturb, thankfully, were the photos people had come forward and shared on the page!

Since then, much of the stuff that has been being put on this page has been a long litany of obituaries as people from here passed away and people who used to live here and still have friends in this area have also passed on and if word reaches back here to me and if I can locate an obituary for those who used to reside here, I transcribe it or scan it in and post that information here. Sharing obituaries in that way is also a little bit of an assist for those who may be doing family tree research and are looking for data about a member of their family and this way, we make it available as we can. 

Today though, while up at the grocery store, one of the young girls who works as a cashier there and I were talking and I was telling her that I had just seen a posting on the above mentioned page of a confirmation class photo that just so happened to have been the class this girl's grandfather had been part of and so, I told her to check out the photo on this page of him with his confirmation class.

I knew this picture would be of particular interest to this young lady because her grandfather -who was only about two years older than me - had been killed in an accident in a deep mine located about 15 miles from here. He was just a young man then, probably in his late twenties, married and the father of three small children. One of those children -the oldest-being this girl's father. And as I told her about the picture, I could see, and tell, by her eyes and her overall reaction that she was definitely interested in looking on this site and viewing this photo of a man her Dad had barely known and who of course,she never knew at all.

She pulled out her cellphone -with internet access -and logged into our little page and tried to click through the photos there but couldn't locate the photo I had told her about.So she thought perhaps this evening after she got home from work, she could check this out further on her home computer..

Well, tonight I got to thinking about this and realized I could go into the site, locate the photo and tag her in the photo so she would get a notification on facebook and then, just be able to click the link the tag would provide and then, be able to view the photo and also, able then to share the picture with her Dad as well as his little sister and brother then too.

It sounded to me like a darned good plan until that is I went to the webpage and began hunting for that particular photo and was unable to locate it! I knew it had actually been posted there about 2 years ago and I also knew who had posted it too but be darned if I could locate it. So I contacted another friend of mine who is also very interested in local history and old photos and told her my dilemma. She, it turned out, had just come a cross an old photo of the interior of a church that used to exist here and was going to post it tonight to the site,so as soon as she posted it, she notified me and I clicked in to view that picture.

It was after viewing that picture that I decided to click on other photos in the same album area and after going through a large number of photos that had NOT come up when I had been searching earlier the confirmation photo popped up! WOW! Talk about a lucky break!I tagged it to the young lady I had told about this photo and within a matter of minutes, she responded to tell me she had viewed the picture and how much she appreciated my telling her about this.

Now I still have yet to figure out exactly where this picture is currently located -in which album -but at least I know it's still there -along with several other old photos of the same type.

And this thought then came to my mind through all of this that this page and the photos on it, the comments and various other things we've managed to acquire for it, all of that comes together then kind of likea special type of musical group that,without a way to keep time properly, the potential for good and interesting music evaporates.

It has to all come together with each element doing it's own part in order to keep the beat going strong, you see.

And keeping track of these precious old photos,the stories we get from time to time -all of this has to be able to function like its own metronome then, you see!

Perhaps a bit of an off-beat way to explain the importance I view in keeping this page alive and well for a long time to come!

Kitten's Play!

I really do wish I had my photo files available right now so I could dig through some recent pictures I have there of the little kitten that now resides with us.Unfortunately, the guy who is taking all the stuff I had on my old computer hasn't finished removing files and all my photos -about 11,000 of 'em according to him -are still in the process of getting saved to a cd or dvd for me to then have access to them again.

Earlier today though -oh,about 5 p.m. - I don't think I'd have been all to willing to even write about this kitten, much less post a picture of her on here!

She had just made it onto my S*** list and I wasn't really happy with her and definitely not thinking about writing anything the least bit warm and friendly here about her!

She is -or she sure can be -one little hellion of a kitten!I would have said that about her then and I'd still say that about her now. Devilish, she is -for sure!

She's solid black and about 10-12 weeks old now and she's not going to grow to be a large cat, judging by her size and build at this stage and age.The fact she is a short haired cat too makes her look even smaller.

But don't be fooled by her size as she can turn in two shakes of a lamb's tail into a ferocious little scamp, for sure.

If you don't think that's possible, I wish you could have seen the bloody mess I had to clean up this evening after she decided to attack my ankle!

Those little claws of hers are mighty darned sharp and when she wraps her front paws around my ankle and then sinks those claws in, let me just say this,it really is pretty darned painful!

When she did that to me today, I just so happened to be talking on the phone to my neighbor and best friend so, without looking down at the kitten, I just reached down to get hold of her and off my ankle and leg!

It wasn't until I hung up the phone that I glanced down and realized how deeply she had apparently put her claws into my leg because there was blood running down my leg, across my foot and several blobs of blood in various spots on the floor from her shenanigans!

I ended up having to scrub up all the "Spilled blood" on the floor, washing down my leg and foot and even scrubbing out the inside of the flipflop I had on that foot where a whole lot of blood had dribbled down and into!

Before this happened, I had been about ready to leave the house to drive down to my older daughter's place which is about 45 miles from here. But cleaning all this messy stuff up, put a major dent into my timetable and I sent daughter a note that I was going to be later than I had anticipated due to a cat attack from the black flash!

That message caused my daughter to the phone me and ask what happened and after I told her, she got very worried, giving me orders to make sure to clean the areas where Fica (the kitten's name) had scratched me up and put some disinfectant on the marks, etc. "Be very cautious with this Mom, because you can easily get an infection from wounds like that!"

Yes, Carrie, I already knew that and told her I planned to wash it all thoroughly and then pour some alcohol and hydrogen peroxide on the areas and then, apply some anti-bacterial ointment I have as well as a couple bandaids too, just to keep it clean that way.

The amount of blood she drew from me though really surprised me until I realized, as I was cleaning up my leg, that she had managed to hit one of the varicose veins in my lower leg -right square in the middle and that explained to me then why I had been bleeding almost like a stuck pig!

She's a lucky little kitten though that I do love the little monkey! She's cute and yes, very playful much of the time and who can really get totally angry and upset with a cute little kitten just being what she is -a kitten!

But I think perhaps I will start wearing slacks and jeans more frequently now and it won't be just because the temps are dropping more and more with each passing day now but also,so she won't have quite as much of a chance of turning my feet and legs into mincemeat!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Keeping Things Safe!

On this past Labor Day this area saw a local individual severely injured in a crash on his motorcycle and two days later, he died of the injuries. Sadly, he wasn't wearing a helmet and his main injuries were massive head injuries.

While I can understand -sort of -the thoughts of many who don't use helmets while riding a bike because they like the feeling it gives them to ride free of any contraptions that they feel hinder their enjoyment, I still don't understand that particular choice just for being able to feel the wind rushing about them or whatever else it is that they like. I know a helmet is not a guarantee of no injuries if you crash on a motorcycle, but it does lesson the probability of sustaining the severe injuries this ma had when he crashed his bike.

In my mind, a little safety precaution goes a long way and why take a risk like that just in exchange for a wee bit of personal pleasure!

But aside from that, my ex-son-in-law is now a motorcyclist too! It's not his own bike but a neighbor and friend of his has one that he doesn't ride anymore so he has loaned it now to the son-in-law to use. Which is good on one hand because without this bike, he would have no transportation to take him to and from his work nor could he come visit the kids when they are here for a weekend then either. And also, of course, it's how he comes down to my house to do the yard work and any other little repair jobs that might need done around the house too for me.

So far, this motorcycle -for his needs and purposes -seems to be working out quite well. It's in pretty decent running condition so far but of course, with anything mechanical, one never knows when something might wear out or break down and thanks to that good old gentleman named Murphy and his lovely little law, things never do seem to break down when we are flush with money, do they?

The ex-son-in-law is a mechanic by trade and a fairly decent one at that too. With his knowledge of junk yard in the area, often when a vehicle of ours needed repaired, he could often find replacement parts for it at a considerable cost savings then.

But there comes a time now and again when used parts just either aren't available or won't work well if installed and with him now having this motorcycle, it may not work to look for used parts but perhaps he would fare better to know where he can secure cheap motorcycle parts should that need ever arise!

For his sake, I do hope this bike does well for him and maybe will help him to get back on his feet a bit, financially some time in the near future. But just don't do it at the risk of getting poor replacement parts if the bike ever does need worked on!

Be prepared, ya know!


It just doesn't seem possible, to me, that fall is already upon us and moving in very rapidly too!

Leaves have been falling here now for the past month and still the trees are full of a whole lot more yet to come down and beg to be raked! The grass hasn't stopped growing yet either and right now, is getting to a point of dire need to be mowed! Thought the ex-son-in-law was going to be down this past Sunday to take care of the grass and yard work but he never showed up and I got no answer on his cellphone so he must have been busy doing who knows what!

I did finally finish the tablecloth I had begun embroidering back at the end of April! Thank goodness! It was intended to be a wedding gift and I really miscalculated my stitching speed on this particular project as the wedding was June 21st and it took me till the first of September to complete this item! It's a full tablecloth -52 x 70 inches but not a really difficult pattern to do up  -no really nasty or complicated stitchings, etc. Just very time consuming work is all.

I had planned to do this post and include some photos I took of the cloth but unfortunately, when my other computer fritzed out on me, the pictures were on that computer.I will eventually have the pictures from the old computer available to me on a cd or dvd -just as soon as my friend who does work on computers around here gets finished removing the data from the old computer and putting onto a cd or dvd for me!

When he does get finished with that, it;'s going to be a pretty long and drawn out process then for me to transfer the photos to the new computer though.

And, speaking of the new computer -which I really do like very much -I'm still working on getting my e-mail setup "fine tuned" shall we say, to serve my needs and wants. I have always used Eudora for my e-mail because it was the first e-mail program I learned to use back when I worked at the University about 20 plus years ago and I liked it then and still do. But, I think when I downloaded it on this computer, I initially downloaded a newer model of that program as some of the layout is different from what I was accustomed to and some of the functions are in different places -not shown on the toolbar but rather, under some drop down menus and it took me virtually forever to find where they had hidden the icon to open a new folder! Folders and subfolders and the ease for me of using them is the main thing I always liked about Eudora but now, the Eudora setup I downloaded is giving me hissy fits in that almost as soon as I open it, I get a message that Eudora has crashed and am being referred then to some site with Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird. But after two full days now of submitting crash report after crash report and nothing getting done, I'm now using another version of Eudora -called Eudora OSE -which works okay and allows use of folders but no subfolders available on it! Otherwise, it's pretty decent for my purposes.

The thing I do dislike most about this new computer really though is the keyboard! Often the keys are very stiff apparently and as I depress them -especially the space bar -although I know I have hit the key, it doesn't always register and I often end up with a string of letters and garble-de-gook and have to then go in and make the corrections by putting in the spaces where they should be! Just a minor pain in the behind but still a pain in the butt nevertheless ya know!

The new computer also uses Windows 8.1 so that is an interesting setup for me to learn how to operate many of the new things it has on it. It even has a button for using Amazon and E-bay but I don't think I'll tell Mandy about that when she comes home next time or she'll be on E-bay the whole time she's here then!

Would I recommend this particular computer to someone else though who just needs a nice, inexpensive home computer? Yes, indeed I would because overall thus far, this unit is really nice for a computer user like me!  It didn't come with a monitor but my monitor that I already had was the same brand as this computer (an Acer Aspire) and has never given me any problems whatsoever -good picture quality and a decent enough sized screen for my work area here.

Now if I could just find the program for the card game Solitaire that was on my old computer, I'd really be set!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Week From Hell!

Last week was most certainly one of the worst weeks I have endured in absolutely ages and ages! Trust me when I tell you, I definitely don't want another one like it!

It was, of course, Labor Day weekend and with that came the local traditional Labor Day Picnic that has been observed for over 140 years now. It is sponsored by St. Severin's Catholic Church out in the little village of Drifting and is a great way to spend some time eating burgers or hot dogs, funnel cakes or you can also partake of a great full dinner in the church's dining hall too.

When I was growing up, until I was probably about 18 or 19, I went to this event faithfully with one of my uncles. He had grown up here in Grassflat back in the early 1900s and because he went to work when he was 10-12 years old working for his Dad, who owned the meat market here in this village, he drove the meat wagon around town, peddling the fresh meats daily to the various ethnic groups in Grassflat. That consisted primarily then of dealing with a whole lot of women who spoke either Swedish or Slovak and since his family was Swedish and spoke that language at home, he had to pick up various words or sentences then in Slovak so as to be able to communicate with the part of town that was primarily Slovak.

As a result of that, he got to know just about every family in the village and in his later years, he reveled in going to the Cooper Grove for this picnic because it afforded him a change to reunite with many of the old friends he had made way back when.

For a number of years I sort of drifted away from going to the picnic but over the past 10-15 years -as my own age seemed to increase by leaps and bounds (not just 1 year at a time or so it seemed) I began to attend the picnic again as I could fully understand then why my uncle had enjoyed it so much.

I love having the opportunity to see and visit, if only briefly, to say Hello, to folks back home for the weekend along with people who have stayed in this area most of their lives. Remembering many of the goofy things we had done as children or teens and now, as senior citizens, it really is a fun time to be able to do that!

This year, I did something at the picnic that in all my years, I hsd never done before!

I had dinner at the church hall this year and chose to dine on their barbequed chicken. It was the tastiest bbq chicken dinner I think I've ever had!

What's more, I got to sit and partake of the meal with my former sister-in-law and her current husband as well as one of her younger sisters and her son too! Always enjoyable to see them as the ex-sister-in-law lives about 120 miles away from here and her younger sister was up here from Florida so I rarely get a chance to enjoy a nice visit with them!

Their Mom and her husband had also come up for a week or so from Florida so I got to see her too and she's a friend from my really early years -one I grew up next door to -so something I definitely had looked forward to seeig her again too.

All had seemed to be going quite well until Grammy (as my kids refer to their cousin's grandmother) told us that as she and her husband were driving to the Cooper Grove, they encountered an accident that had happened. A local resident was out riding a motorcycle and had wrecked on one of the back  roads here.

The news of who was involved in the accident -the son-in-law of my neighbors about 4 doors down from my place and the fact that he had been life-flighted over to Altoona Hospital with severe head injuries started what now seems to me to have been the chain of events that made last week so bad!'

Two days later -on Wednesday -sadly he succumbed from his injuries. His wife -now his widow -is one of the best known individuals around this entire area as she is the Manager of the local Moose Club and as such, is known for all her hard work in bringing the Moose here pretty much back to life. That and the fact that she is cute as a button, has a great personality too -very friendly and though her husband was a bit on the quiet, low-keyed side, he too was very well known and liked as well.

The morning of his death, I had issues of my own to contend with though.

I woke up about 6:30 a.m. and had to get up to make a bathroom visit you see, and somehow or other, I still don't know exactly how I managed to do this, but as I went to sit down on the commode, I somehow lost my balance and fell backwards, smacking my back against the tank of the commode.

The commode tank didn't care much for my intrusion there and as a result -to show how upset it was over that, the tank split into several pieces! This in turn caused the water in the tank to flow -all over my bathroom floor!

Initially, I couldn't locate the water shutoff for the commode but when I did find it, it was very upsetting to realize I couldn;t get the valve to turn to shut the water off! So, as I was trying to figure out perhaps some other way to shut the flowing water off, I decided to meddle with the ball and chain contraption that works to make the commode flush and in the process of doing that, I knocked the cap off the thing that holds the chain which in turn then sent more water spewing out like a geyser as it shot out and up, hitting the ceiling!

Eventually, I did get the shutoff valve to work and was able to cut off the water supply and get the floor mopped up! But after that was all said and done, I then had to spend the bulk of the day trying to locate a commode to replace the broke one and get one at an affordable price too!

Lucky for me that my daughter, Mandy, is pretty savvy about places where one can locate all kinds of used items that are in very good condition and she told me to go to Bellefonte to the ReStore Store there and see if I could find something I could afford. Which is what I did and I came home then with a lovely pale shade that looks sort of like a cross between a very light mint green and an even lighter aqua kind of color too! I called my older daughter to let her and her fiance know I had secured a commode and they said they would be up that evening then to get it installed for me!

Although Wednesday didn't exactly begin nice and with the news that the guy who wrecked his motorcycle had passed away on top of my bathroom issues, I think the way things ended with my issues it could then be said "All's well that end's well" because the fact I only had to spend $35 for this beautiful commode and that it was one also made by Koehler products which caused my daughter;s fiance to tell me that I had purchased the "Cadillac of Commodes' by buying this item -well at least things on that level were looking up.

Two days later though, on Friday, things went to pot all over again and my trusty -until then -older computer decided it was not going to cooperate and perform anything whatsoever for me! Yeah, it crashed big time and that, because I absolutely HAVE to have a computer, caused me to make a ru to Walmart then where I purchased this lovely-and smaller in physical size than my previous unit had been but this puppy, it turns out, is bigger in the amount of spaceit has available to work with and also, much, much faster responding that the sick computer had been too!

The computer problems are still plaguing me though as I'm fighting with something or other every day niow it seems to get the new computer completely set up and running exactly the way I want it to operate! Getting my e-mail program to work right is my current  computer related nemesis!

Saturday was the day for the funeral from our church and the women of the church served dinner to family and friends of Tony Moore then. So I had to fix a big  (about 4 or 5 quart-sized container) casserole of mac'n'cheese to take out to church for the dinner and I ended up making most of the preparations for that around 1 to 2 a.m. in order to have it ready to be baked early Saturday morning!

So there now that three things -accident and a funeral, broken toilet and blown computer with something difficult to deal with happening like every other day!'

And wait now -there's a little bit more to the debacle that last week ended up being!

Sunday, I got word that my older daughter,who was out in the woods with her fiance and his brother, had an accident! Seems she lost her footing and fell and broke at least 2 bones then in her ankle!

That accident is going to keep her pretty well incapacitated now through at least, Christmas! She will be having surgery on the ankle to put pins and whatever else to hold the bones together in their proper position to heal and then, it will be at least 10-12 WEEKS of being off work, dealing with crutches and not putting any weight at all on that foot for that length of time, at the very least!

So here I am now, writing about the things that went awry last week and the computer  is still giving me hissy fits -the new one that is -as I am still working on trying to figure out what I'm am doing with a computer with a windows 8.1 operating system on it and trying to figure out how to get my e-mail program then to work the way I want it to do! That may never come about judging by the way that had been progressing but I'm determined I'll get it to behave and do what I want -eventually!

Checkback a few years from now and see if I ever did get that program to work properly!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Late Summer Heat!

Hasn't this been quite the year though with respect to the weather?

Winter showed us brutally low temperatures -actually sub-zero temps of at least -18 below zero and lower than that too some days -for three solid weeks! In my entire life, I have no recollection of ever having endured that much cold weather for that long a period of time! Just incredibly cold and all I could do was pretty much just stay inside as much as possible and watch my fuel gauge on the oil tanks rapidly depleting along with my checkbook balance in that process.

It seemed to take forever for spring to arrive and even longer for summer to get here too then. It's almost like summer arrive and decided to leave as quickly as it got here as all too often there was a big chill to the air.

But now, here it is heading quickly into being autumn and although I think it's too early to refer to the warmth present today -and the last couple of days here too -as being Indian Summer, I could deal nicely with more fall-like temperatures.

Just thinking here -a little off-base I know but sometimes that's how my mind works -if something like this if we can buyheatshrink's label printers then maybe someone, somewhere, can figure out a way to shrink humidity and heat levels to a more comfortable level for us then?

Hey -it's a thought and I already warned you a long time ago that my mind does tend to work in weird ways at times, ya know!

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.
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!