Friday, July 03, 2015

What Happened to the Space?

I suppose I am like just about every other home owner or tenant when it comes to looking at my residence and wondering why I just don't seem to have near enough room to store things!

My biggest issue -as with probably 95% of society -stems with my kitchen and the cupboards there. I think even if I had the funds now to redo my kitchen all over again, I would still find that my cupboard space is severely lacking!

I know this because back in 1989 I had my kitchen redone and I do have several more cabinets than I had previously and yet, when I go to my cupboards and start attempting to locate and pull out bowls and pots and pans and utensils I need to cook a meal or bake something, I frequently feel like I am living my life a bit like "Fibber McGee and Molly" and opening a cupboard door can at times be a bit of a crap shoot as to whether I can get something I need out of there without a bunch of other items falling out on my head in the process!

Now, I know there is no way I can make any major changes to my kitchen unless I would happen to win a Super Lottery of many millions of bucks but I keep telling myself that there has to be something that can be done to provide for a little better organization in those danged cupboards!

Organization skills are not exactly my finer points in my life, that I know for sure by now. But still, I'm always looking at things that might just be relatively inexpensive to put into play in my kitchen. Or, at least I hope there is a potential for help there!

I did however come across something that could possibly be helpful and that is getting cabinetry add-ons using slides in my cupboards and drawers. The only drawback, really, would be finding things in the proper drawer slide size so that some of these contraptions would then fit in my cupboards.

Of course, due to my puny retirement budget, it would still require saving a bit of money to get the items I think might help resolve my issues, but it sure wouldn't call for my winning a big lottery prize!

Who knows but maybe one of these days I can do something there and be able to work in my kitchen without fear of a frying pan or big glass baking dish coming down and clunking my head, leaving me without those few brain cells I still have that still work now and then!

A Big Day!

So, unless you're totally living under a rock now, we are all aware (I hope) of what tomorrow is, aren't we?

A day for people coming together for picnics and/or barbeques, parades, carnivals and all sorts of entertaining events as we celebrate a huge birthday party for all of us in the form of the biggest event of the year's celebrations for our country.

Of course, it's the Fourth of July or Independence Day and on this day we commemorate the events of 1776 in Philadelphia when the original colonies started things off with our Declaration of Independence.

It's a holiday from our history and the beginnings of what would become one of the greatest -if not THE greatest nation in the world!

Sometimes though, as with many other holidays we celebrate every year, how much we take into consideration just how fortunate we are to have had those men who signed the Declaration of Independence and how much this ultimately means to all of  us who reside in this awesome land.

We are truly blessed that they composed that document which in turn led to the Constitution of our country and the Bill of Rights as well too.

Back in 1776, we were just a small area on this continent but the inhabitants then were strong in their beliefs that unity of the various areas populated then would be best served if they joined together -unity, as well as more safety in numbers too, in could be said and their ideas which, in my opinion in the simple phrase "With liberty and justice for all" should mean enough to all of us today that we remember that is what this holiday is all about.

Today, we have so many issues still affecting all of us - some much more so than others -and we do need to remember those who joined their faith and hearts to put into words the meaning they felt were necessary for us to move forward together.

And, yes indeed, we have moved forward over those 249 years, haven't we? We have amendments to our constitution that those early colonists perhaps never even imagined would or could take place -Women's right to vote and an end to slavery are just two that are extremely meaningful.

But sadly, putting an end to slavery didn't put an end to the issue of racism. Granted, I do think we've come a long way towards resolving that problem but we still have a long, long way to go there until we all truly love our fellowman and citizens here to enable everyone to be treated the same and respected as individuals -not hating others simply because they are from another country or their skin is a different color.

We all have the same thing under our skin -blood flows freely there -and we are identical in that respect. And, I believe we should feel that all who live here do have the right to live freely without being hated and mistreated simply because of those differences in our ethnicity or skin tones!

Today, we also have the issues regarding Gay Rights now too -something that was kept hidden away or "closeted" as long as our society has existed. I find it ridiculous that people who have different sexual preferences should be look upon as being second-class citizens. We have so much scientific knowledge now and it is a known factor that homosexuality is not a matter of individual choice but rather is something that 10% of the people who live in this land with all these freedoms we have, are born this way.

The Supreme Court finally passed judgement now that will allow those from what is commonly referred to now as being the "Gay Community" to marry and thus be afforded equal rights to the heterosexual community and that is a big step in the forward direction now. Many of those against this ruling preach about the sanctity of marriage and yet, have no qualms about marrying and divorcing and often repeating that act then too.

Those are to my mind, the biggest issues we still need to put a lot more work into resolution of them and thus, providing the original intent of those who began this march two and a half centuries ago. They aren't the only problems our country still faces but I do believe if we are willing to meet those with opposing views halfway, we can begin to heal these wounds to so many of our society.

So tomorrow, as you do your celebrating of this wonderful birthday, think about all the good things that come to all of us today just through the Declaration of Independence. Do it with reverence and a few prayers too that we can continue to live in this country as freely as our laws intend us to enjoy.

And do it with love and respect for those who came before us, even those currently serving us in our Congress, Senate and as President too -regardless of whether you believe totally in their efforts in their posts.

Wave that flag! Let "Old Glory" shine unfurled for all to see and show respect for our flag then by not burning or stomping on it as it is a symbol to all of us of what we all stand for as residents of this beautiful nation.

And then, do have a Happy 4th of July with family and friends in the knowledge that our system is still the best there is to date. This doesn't mean we are always 100% correct in some of our ways, but we have the freedoms here to take steps to correct those areas that need reformation.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

To Hear - or Not!

My kids and I have a bit of a feud that is ongoing here whenever we get together. Actually, it is more between my daughters and me as my son doesn't usually get involved in this or any discussions about the subject, my hearing.

The fact of the matter is that I do hear but I don't hear clearly, and this happens frequently. I may hear people talking and pick up every so many words, sometimes enough to figure out what is being said but often, I only get bits and pieces and as such, am often asking my daughters to repeat what has been said.

Because they know I do hear people talking, at least most of the time, they like to say I have "selective hearing" and perhaps that may be at least partially true at times. They also like to tell me to "Turn up those belltones" of which I DON'T have -at least not yet. And, I really hope no one ever tells me I absolutely have to have hearing aids because I know how much it has cost a cousin of mine to purchase his hearing aids and if I had that amount of money available to me, I'd spend it on getting the main roof of my house replaced!

I'd rather have a solid roof over my head, with no leaks and deal with my "selective hearing" issues. Just my priority there, ya know.

But something that does annoy me with the hearing issues involves my television set and the fact that the volume on the TV varies from channel to channel. I get it set to a level I can hear but without it blasting anyone else out of their seats while watching something with me and then, if I switch to another channel, the volume will be so low there that I have to jack it clear up as high as it will go in order to hear anything on the set!

Because this issue only happens all the time on two particular channels, The Hallmark Channel and the Chicago station, WGN and every now and again on the PBS channel here I am thinking perhaps this is an issue within the cable company's equipment. Frankly, I think they -or someone in charge of audio stuff - needs to invest or at least look into getting sonar 6 to see if that might correct the problem!

As it stands now, in order for me to follow what's happening on any programs I watch on the set in the living room, I also have the application for captioning turned on which enables me to comprehend the programs I like to watch.

However, the little TV set in my bedroom doesn't have this function available for me to use so I have to have the volume on that generally turned up quite high to make out what is happening.

Because I sleep with the TV turned on all night, I often wonder when the weather is nice and warm in the summer and I have my bedroom windows open, how well the volume of the programs I like to watch as I fall asleep are being heard around the neighborhood.

So far, no one has complained about the sounds coming from my house in the middle of the night though, so I guess they are all either very sound sleepers or maybe a few of them also have to contend with "selective hearing" of their own then!

Monday, June 01, 2015


About a month ago, the oncologist at the Cancer Clinic decided to have me schedule an appointment with a specialist in Dubois to have something that's been showing up for almost two years now on every PET scan I've had.

And so, I made the appointment. Keep in mind here that an appointment with a specialist runs me $45 per appointment compared to $5 for my primary care physician, so for openers, for economic reasons, I try to stay clear if at all possible, of specialists, with the exception of the oncologist at the Cancer Clinic and a rare circumstance that might call for a trip to Pittsburgh to check in with the surgeon I see there every once in a blue moon.

Dubois just happens to be about 44 miles due west of where I live, so that means and extra 88 miles of travel just to see this doctor. That means almost an hour each way for the trip, so right off the top, I'm loosing two hours of potential time to work my lovely Avon sales route. Add to that, since it was my first visit to this specialist, I was to arrive a half-hour before my scheduled appointment to fill out several items of paperwork for myself for the doctor's files and after that, a wait of almost an hour before actually getting called into the examining room and seen by the doctor and now I've lost three hours of my time.

The initial result of that visit was that this doctor wanted me to have more tests by way of blood work. The only hitch to that was that I had to get a prescription filled for one pill -don't ask me the name of this medication because I don't know the name of it but that meant a wait at Walmart to get the prescription filled and $4.00 for the one pill that was to be taken at 11 p.m. that night and then, the next morning, I was to report to the lab at Clearfield Hospital to have the blood work done.

Add on here another hour of my time lost the next morning to get the lab work done. (Surprisingly enough, my time at the hospital that day was very fast and I was in and out in about 20 minutes, as opposed to the "normal" wait time at that place which could be a half-hour to an hour spent waiting to have the blood work drawn.)

For me, as those of you who know me will note, was the fact I had to be at the hospital by 8 a.m. to have the test done. I am NOT a morning person! Not by any wild stretch of the imagination as I tend to regard any hour of awakening prior to 10 a.m. as being cruel and unusual punishment. That, plus the fact I have no alarm clock to use to try to wake me up for early appointments such as this one so it was on a wing and a prayer that I went to bed the night before that test before 2 a.m.(which is considered an early bedtime in my book) and hoping that I would wake up in time to make it to the hospital by 8 a.m.

Lucky for me, apparently my inner system was in sync with my need to awaken at this horrendously early hour and to get out the door and over to Clearfield in semi-timely fashion. (I confess -I was about 10 minutes late arriving but I consider that as being close enough, there fore, on time!)

The doctor requesting this blood test had asked me to schedule another appointment for a follow-up, which I did and that appointment was for last Thursday, May 28th. He had also told me he would contact me if he detected anything not quite kosher with the blood test prior to the appointment but since I didn't hear anything from him, I assumed then this was just a follow up.

However, about a week before the scheduled appointment, I had to get one of my regular prescriptions refilled and when I went to the counter at Walmart, I was informed they had two prescriptions there for me. One was the one I had requested and the other one, I didn't recognize or know anything about at all until the customer service rep there told me it was a script that had been faxed in from the specialist in Dubois. I was a bit confused by this "new" script but then with the instructions the Walmart rep told me that accompanied this prescription I then recognized it as being the prescription I had picked up about two weeks earlier -for the one pill -except this script was for 9 capsules and specific number of days it was to be taken, etc. Since I knew nothing about this script, I assumed this was a duplication of some sort and told her that prescription was now null and void and cancelled acceptance of it.

When I got home that afternoon, I saw I'd had a couple of phone calls -showing on my caller id -but two of them showed no identification of the caller nor any phone number so I assumed they were spam or scam calls. I didn't check my voice mail for any messages at that time as that type of caller never leaves a voice mail but a couple hours later, when I did check my voice mail, there was a call there from the nurse at the specialist's office telling me they had faxed this prescription in for me and that I was to follow the instructions on the prescription order, take the pills as specified and after taking the 9th pill -to be taken at 6 a.m. -I was to report to Clearfield Hospital once again for more blood work.

Wonderful! Had I known about this transaction earlier, I could have picked up the pills when I was over at Walmart. Now -I'd cancelled that prescription plus, to contact the doctor's office and reschedule the script to be faxed and take the pills in the manner prescribed in order to have this new test done, which was to be done prior to my appointment on the 28th of May, created a lot of time issues which I couldn't observe so when the office called me to confirm my appointment or to cancel it, I cancelled it!

Then, the day after my scheduled appointment was to have been, I received a paper with the ordr for the blood work to be performed at Clearfield and on it were listed the times I was to take one of these pills that I had cancelled the prescription for. Seems I was to take these pills over a 2 full day period with the 9th pill to be taken at 6 a.m. and then, I was to show up at the hospital at 8 a.m. for the new blood work. Hmmm. Apparently timing isn't of the essence in that office's sending out that paper I would have needed to get the blood work done, for openers plus the factor that the times I was to take those pills was set up to begin on the first day to take them at 6:00 a.m., noon, 6:00 p.m. and midnight and repeat that the next day ending with the 9th pill to be taken on day 3 at 6 a.m.

Needless to say, I was not the least bit impressed by these directions! Three days in a row they were screwing with my sleep patterns!

Then, the day after I should have gone for that second office visit, I received a call from the nurse or office manager, stating I had missed my appointment and please call to reschedule it and about five minutes later, I got a call from the doctor himself, asking me to contact him about the test results from the initial test I'd had done too. These two calls came into me shortly before noon on Friday and I called the office to reschedule and try to reach the doctor only to get a message that the office was now closed for the day as they had hours only till noon on Fridays.

Another episode of my muttering "Wonnerful, wonnerful!"

So today, Monday, bright and early -for me -about 10:30 a.m., I called the office to reschedule the appointment and see if the doctor would be able to talk to me then about whatever it was he wanted to tell me. The lady in the office said she would tell him to contact me but also stated they were very busy and running at least 90 minutes behind schedule then so for him to return my call, it would be much later in the day.

I explained to her that I have some issues with the telephone though -one being sometimes, the line cracks and appears to be disconnecting but doesn't and other times, it does. That plus I have a lot of difficulty hearing conversations on the telephone and the fact that this doctor is from India and has a relatively thick accent -which I could sort of figure out in person but I worried that on the phone, I wouldn't have clue one as to what he would be telling me. So I asked if it would be at all possible for him to just e-mail me the information he wanted to share with me since I have no problems reading stuff at all but she said, due to privacy concerns, he couldn't do that.

Hmmmm.Meanwhile, I'm thinking the privacy issues they were concerned with would be irrelevant because I wouldn't have a clue as to what he would be saying so most likely a potential phone call would have really great privacy then, wouldn't it?

And so, I waited this afternoon then for the phone to ring and just like the old adage of "A watched pot never boils" came true, I had lost the entire afternoon when I could have delivered at least one Avon order, possibly two, and I could also have walked my poor dog sometime then too -if they had tried to give me a time approximate when he or the nurse would be returning my call that was supposed to be -apparently -an important message he had for me.

But now, since it is almost 8 p.m. and I've yet to hear anything back from them, I guess it is at least safe now for me to leave the house, walk the dog and go check my mail box too then to see if maybe they sent me something that I needed on Friday or today in the mail!

Don't you just love episodes like this?

I'm becoming less and less enthralled with this doctor, his staff and the new medical system in place around several hospitals in about an 80 mile radius of where I live. Very uncoordinated and also, very unprofessional as well!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Where do all my pens go?

Why is it that every time I need a pen, there are none around where I am at that given time?

When my grandchildren were still living here with me, the pens I had would disappear frequently but then, I could usually locate at least one or, maybe even two, under the sofa, a chair and at times, miracle of miracles, hidden behind some papers on my desk.

Now that I am the only one living here, my pens all seem to go into hiding on me, never to return!

I try to collect pens to have them at hand whenever I need one to jot down a note, an order from a customer, to keep with my checkbook and I like to look for extra pens whenever I need to visit a business office and happen to see a couple there, free for the taking.

I love those good ballpoint pens that are made to be refillable too as then, if/when it runs out of ink, I don't need to add to the trash because all I need to do then to make them usable again is to change the nice little refill for them.

I especially like those pens that have a sort of rubber gripper around the end by the point as it seems to make holding them much easier and they allow a much smoother style of writing with them then.

I love the pens that have an advertisement on them -the name of the company that gave them out, along with a phone number too, makes them really great when you happen to need that information and can't find the company listed in the telephone book and need to place a call to that office in a hurry. My insurance man almost always has a supply of these type of ball point pens in a jar in his office along with business cards too.

Business cards are a nice form of advertisement too but they tend to get lost in the shuffle in my purse faster than do the pens!

Unfortunately for me of late, I have had no reason to stop by any of the offices I know that have free pens for the taking so I haven't been able to keep my supply replenished very easily. I really wish a lot of other places took advantage of using pens for advertising their services as they could take advantage of great promotions at

By doing this, they would really -and very easily -put their name, address and phone numbers out to the general public without the advertising costing them a small fortune. And by using this method, it would endear these companies to me for many, many years to come for keeping me in a good supply of these items!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Thinking about my Mom -post-Mother's Day

This probably will be the longest paragraph I have ever written and hopefully, for the sake of anyone reading this, will be the longest one that I will ever write too!

I read an article tonight about registered nurses and the things that they talk about at home, how they deal with their family when one of the members is sick or injured and other traits that are -to people who know nothing about living with an RN probably would ever think happens.

But it brought back memories to me of my Mom, who was a registered nurse -or "RN" as we like to call them. Maybe because Mother's Day was just last week and I'm still on a bit of a high from the cards I got from my kids and grandkids and the flowers my son and his girlfriend brought down to my house today -2 beautiful hanging planters filled with light lavender petunias -plus two other gifts as well -a set of pyrex bakeware (5 pieces, all with LIDS) and a new KitchenAid portable mixer too! I guess this was a hint that I've kind of stopped cooking very much lately and maybe the want me to bake something or at least, cook a full meal now and then.

But anyway, this is a compilation of my thoughts -and the main memories I remember of my Mom, the RN. I apologize for the big, big paragraph but I just couldn't bring myself to break it into smaller segments for fear I would forget something!

So, with that in mind, I now give you my fondest memories of Nurse Hazel, my Mom.

My Mom was an RN but she never talked about things pertaining to her patients -probably because she generally worked private duty, often in the patient's home, usually worked the midnight shift too, and because almost all her patients were elderly and dying, her one brother used to tease her about her nursing skills since it seemed all her patients always died. When I was small, I used to get tonsillitis on a regular basis and my Mom was good friends with the family doctor so when I got hit with another go-round of the throat stuff, she would stop at his office (in his home) and tell him "The kid has another sore throat, can you give me a script for penicillin and I swear that man never heard of meds in pill form. He always gave her a little bottle of the stuff, to be injected in my behind. This to a kid who was terrified of needles and therefore, it would take my Mom and both my grandparents to hold me down on the sofa while she tried to inject this medicine into me -all the while telling me the reason it hurts is because you are tense. Just relax! Relax my foot! I once managed to run a pick into the bottom of my right leg. When I did it, I didn't even realize I had broken the skin but my aunt saw my leg was bleeding and made me go inside to have my Mom check it out. She did that, poured some hydrogen peroxide into the wound -which of course stung like crazy -and then, took some bandaids and tried to pull the wound together as much as possible and slap the bandaids in place. About 3 or 4 days after I did this, she was cleaning it one day and said it seemed to be healing quite nicely but it probably should have had a few stitches in it! When I fell in the back yard the morning of our family reunion, and broke the ulna on my left arm, I swear to this day that had my Mom's siblings and most of my cousins not been there that day, she probably would have tried to set the arm herself and not taken me to the emergency room!  I was about the only kid on our street who owned a pair of rubbers as well as knee-high rubber boots, a heavy, very warm winter coat, scarves up the yazoo, mittens, snowpants from the 30s (I grew up in the 50s so you can imagine the style of those snowpants that had belonged originally to my youngest aunt.) In the winter months, I didn't leave the house unless I had either the rubbers or boots over my shoes on, the heavy jacket, a scarf around my neck, knit hat and mittens to make the walk to our school with my neighbor's daughter and my best friend. My friend had dealt with rheumatic fever the spring of our 5th grade year and hadn't even been allowed to walk for about 3 months while recuperating. When we went back to school that fall, she was supposed to be very cautious about not catching a cold or the flu, or virtually anything. We walked about almost a mile up to our school and she wore a winter coat but it wasn't very heavy, no scarf around her neck, no boots or rubbers, no hat but she did wear mittens. I had my normal heavy-weight protective garb and which one of us do you suppose got sick? It sure wasn't my girlfriend! As my Mom grew older, she refused to go to a doctor for any type of checkups because in her mind, they were all money-grubbers and besides that, she didn't need them. She passed away 35 years ago this coming October of cancer -of the colon, liver and spleen and which we only knew about for a week prior to her death! Because of her stubbornness about doctors and such, had she only gone for a checkup now and then, the possibility the colon cancer could have been detected while still in a curative stage and thus, she could have gone on for perhaps several more years and seen what beautiful children my three were and they all could have had lots of memories of her then instead of only the oldest really knowing her as she was 12. My son at age 6 vaguely remembers her and my youngest who wasn't quite 4, has no memories of her grandmother whatsoever! I see my three grandchildren now and think how lucky I am that I have had the opportunity to know them and they, me and thank them too because I credit having them in my life for pulling me through colon cancer, 4 surgeries in the past 12 years now and two rounds with cancer, chemo and radiation because they gave me the desire then to take the treatments available and fight to recover. Wish my Mom had done that too!

And that's the truth!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Gift of Sunshine!

I don't know why it seems to be so difficult -and apparently very time-consuming to my thought processes -but I am still having lots and lots of difficulty getting enough time as well as topics to write about and keeping my blog at least semi-active. Not really that I haven't had lots of topics run through my mind and thoughts of doing posts about them, but when push came to shove, the posts got knocked out of the way.

However, today -something happened to me that I knew I absolutely had to write about this!

I got an envelope in my mailbox today with my name and address neatly and correctly printed on it and the return address at the left-hand corner told me immediately (or so I thought) that this was either an Easter card from my daughter, Mandy -probably some cute card for Grandma at Easter from Maya and Kurt maybe -but the fact that the addresses were printed and not done in cursive is what gave me that idea.

So I hurried up and opened this and inside was a card -the kind with just a cute picture on the front and inside, it was blank, made for someone to write a quick not, you know.

The picture on the top of the card was of two puppies, with one leaning toward the other one's ear, as if it were whispering some big secret message or something. Cute, very cute, for sure and yes, it appealed to the dog lover in me!

But the surprise came when I opened the card and there, printed very neatly were the following words.

     " Dear Grammy,
       I miss you very much. I can't wait to see you at Easter. I think you will like my Easter dress. we 
       all are doing very well at home and at school. I wonder if Aunt Carrie or Daddy will come 
      Easter Sunday too. On Friday, I can't believe there's a week until I come up. Hope to see you    

Oh and after her name there is a hand-drawn smile and also a heart~

What grandparent (or even a parent or aunt or uncle) wouldn't immediately melt upon reading a little message like that?

Not this one, that's for sure!

This card and the note it held from my 11-year-old granddaughter brought so much sunshine into my heart and gave me cause to smile the rest of today!

I've been looking forward very much for the past month now to Easter because the probability that Mandy, Maya and Kurtis would be coming up that weekend was pretty good. And now, unless the weather decides to get extremely unruly next weekend, they will be coming up!

And so, for the wonderful gift today of lots and lots of love and sunshine in my heart from one little card and a hand-printed note inside it, thank you my sweet little ray of sunshine, Miss Maya!

Grammy loves you to the moon and back! Along with your brother, Kurtis, and your cousin Alex! You three were the best things ever when you came into my life, you still are and always will be!

Love, love, and more love from Grammy to you! Today and always!

Monday, February 09, 2015

Getting Used to Things

Although it's now been over 18 months since Mandy and the two grandkids moved down to Middletown, apparently -judging by my mood tonight, I still haven't fully adjusted to not having them here with me.

Last week was a bit of a zoo here as we were all still adjusting to the shock of my son's house burning a week ago this past Wednesday afternoon. People were bringing boxes and bags and bags of clothes as well as kitchen goods and bedding down to my house (and probably many were taking things to Chantel's parents' home too, to help Clate and Chantel get back on their feet.

Here's a couple pictures of some of the bags and boxes brought down here -with my apologies if any of these pictures require your having to twist and turn a bit to see 'em because I'm still adjusting to my new camera and the upload process and didn't change the angle of some of these pictures in the process.

The red tall laundry basket arrived filled with all kinds of toys -used and new too -for Chantel's little girl along with two big bags of clothes for her as well!

Clate and Chantel also were offered a house near here to rent for the duration of time they may need a place -until they figure out how much insurance money they will get to use to either find another place to purchase or decide if they will have a new place built or a double-wide perhaps put on the land (2 acres) where the old house was. So that will help her little girl adjust better as for them to stay in the motel room for what may end up being a lengthy stay, it was just way too cramped for Chantel and Catrin to be there day in and day out in one small room with no where for a two-year-old to really be able to play.

The outpouring from this community as well as friends and family from afar too has, at times, really been very overwhelming for them to see how generous people really can be! People are still bringing things down to my house too and some of the things brought here really surprised me greatly too. Like today when a friend of the family showed up with a smaller bag of items along with two beautiful handmade quilts that had been done by the Women of the Forest Baptist Church about 6 miles from here. The one quilt is more just a coverlet done in blocks of a very pretty pink shade interspersed with a matching floral print and is for little Catrin's bed and the other, is a very, very heavy comforter with an inner lining that is quite think done in patches of a pale blue print and solid blue squares. One need never worry about being cold with that quilt over them, for sure!  Both quilts though absolutely gorgeous works of art!

On Friday of this past week, I kind of thought there was a possibility that Mandy and the kids might come up this weekend since the weather forecast for Friday and Saturday was relatively decent. Actually, it was almost a heat wave compared to a few days earlier this week with the temps predicted to go up into the 40s and no not-so-nice weather predicted to show up until Sunday evening.

But Friday came and went and no one showed up here. But then, around noon on Saturday I got a phone call from Mandy telling me she and the kids were on their way up then and expected to arrive here around 3 p.m. Saturday.

Since I hadn't seen them since New Year's Day, it was so nice to see all three of them again! Really, REALLY, Nice!!! And to add to that the fact that my older grandson, Alex, also showed up here Saturday afternoon and was here till about 11:30 Saturday night, really made the day complete!

The kids were so well-behaved -no squabbling at all from either of them (with the small exception being that Maya refused to eat any of the homemade beef vegetable and pasta soup I had made that day for our supper.) The reason she wouldn't even taste it was because I had put a little bit of macaroni pasta in the soup to give it a little more fill or body or whatever you care to call it! There's no accounting for her whims at mealtime sometimes!

Then today (Sunday), Mandy and the kids went up to see Uncle Clate's new abode and when they got back to the house, it was time for them to gather up their things and pack them into the car so they could get a fairly early start on their return trip home to avoid any possibility of running into any potentially nasty weather.

We said our goodbyes, hugs and kisses all around. Maya has always been pretty good with that routine but it took Kurtis a longer time to having any real displays of affection. But once he started to give hugs and kisses, it expanded greatly to now, when he comes to offer his parting he does really give great big hugs. And as he was doing that today, I told him "You really give some great hugs now, Kurtis!" His response to that was a rather quiet, subdued "I know." I followed that with my usual comments to him about how he is Gram's little sweetheart along with "I love you, Buddy" and each time he would nod his head and again say "I know!"

Just so sweet to hear him say that and to see the big, big smiles on his face then too.

And then, it was time for them to leave and I stood on the front door step, watching them pull away with both kids waving, blowing kisses and poof, they were gone.

Another visit history, ya know.

I came back inside and got a fresh cup of coffee and looked through the Sunday paper, tried to see how much of any of the three crossword puzzles in there I could fill in -not much -but just enough to make me tired.

And so, off to the computer and playing there a bit on Facebook.

As the evening wore on though, I could feel an all too familiar sense of depression seeping into me and I knew it was because as nice as this quick visit was, as much fun as I had with my daughter and my beautiful grandkids here, the void was back again and brother, I was taking a big hit of missing them then tonight!

I know they'll be up here again in about a month from now -at least that was Mandy's plan but how I wish they lived closer to me.

How I wished they still all lived here with me!

So now, it's back to the old routines I've been trying to plug into my life -doing things I usually enjoy like baking bread and also, off and on, baking a special item for a very good friend of mine who will post pictures of some kind of baked goods on my Facebook with a little subtle hint to the effect of "this sure looks good, don't you think?" which means, any possibility you will fix this and bring it to me? She knows me pretty well now as that's about the only way I do tend to bake cakes or cookies now is if I know someone wants something like that and if I can fix it for them, it makes me feel good to be doing something for someone else!

But now, I think I'll do something just for me -and go to bed!

Maybe a good nite's sleep will erase some of the longing deep inside me for my babies!