Friday, November 30, 2007

Rough Sledding Today!

It's been a day that much of it, I wish I could just forget - very tiring, very hard initially to deal with too.

This morning, I went to Clearfield with Mandy to take Kurtis over to the hospital there for an x-ray of his sinus cavity as well as blood work to test for allergies. These were ordered by the Ear/Nose/THroat specialist she had been referred to have Kurtis checked for any possible hearing issues in addition to the developmental delays already diagnosed in him.

Now, anyone who has children will understand how difficult it can be to get tests like these done to a small child - he is 19-months old. Even the sinus x-ray was hard because how do you get a child who is frightened over the strangeness of the atmosphere, for openers, to lie still while the technician tries to take the x-ray. Then, the allergy test - drawing blood out of the arm of a toddler - that's enough to wear anyone out! It took the technician, another technician, Mandy and me - each at a strategic point, to hold him down so she could insert the needle and then be able to withdraw several vials of blood for the tests to be done - all while he is fighting, squirming, kicking - and of course, screaming at the top of his little lungs too in massive protest at the pain and indignity being thrust on him and his little arm! Poor little guy! He already had a massive bruise starting in the crook of his elbow as soon as the technician finished with him.

I wasn't feeling totally up to par today either - just really tired, legs aching more than the usual so I suspect some drastic weather changes must be heading our way in the near future. I came home and slept a good part of the afternoon till Mandy left for work, as it was about the only way I could get warm and relax my back and legs to get the aching to somewhat ease up on me.

Tonight though, because I excel at procrastination - really I do excel at this - I finally decided if I was going to try writing an essay to submit to an anthology project about Autisim, it was going to have to be now or never as the deadline to submit this essay is midnight tonight - in about 45 minutes from now.

I've been putting off trying to write this piece because I couldn't come up with anything that I felt really portrayed my thoughts about my granddaughter - my precious little Miss Maya, who was diagnosed this past spring with Autism - PDD-NOS, high functioning -and her baby brother, Kurtis, who was recently diagnosed with developmental delays which the therapists who tested him strongly suspect will most likely lead to a diagnosis in the future of autism for him too.

I didn't want to write something that was totally all gushy and mushy and stuff like that - but rather hopefully would show that although Autism is not an easy thing to learn to live with - for the family members or for the person with the diagnosis - it is not the absolute pits, not the end of the world for any concerned either - regardless of the diagnosis.

I did pull an essay together - and just finished submitting it for consideration so cross your fingers, toes, legs - whatever - and hope and pray that it is found to be acceptable to the publishers of this anthology. I can not post it here - of course - since it is under consideration for publication and all that. I will only tell you this much that I wrote it as a means of showing a few ways living with my little sweetheart has changed me over the past four years since she entered my life. Mainly, how as my son will tell anyone and everyone who would listen, it has helped me to develop, at least somewhat, a bit of patience from time to time. Actually, he would say compared to how demanding I was when he and his sister were youngsters, I am now virtually a completely different person.

One thing that was difficult for me to deal with in writing this essay tonight was the usual problem - word count! Gee, imagine that, huh? My first draft was 2,468 words and the limit was 2,000 - so I kept the first four paragraphs to that draft -or the bulk of those paragraphs anyway - and trashed the rest -as I re-wrote it then. When I finally finished it, I came in at 1,960 words! Yay, yay - a big doyay there for me in that I did that much anyway!

Other than that being finished and now, leaving me really feeling VERY tired - putting something like that piece together, trying to get as much in it in a manner that made decent sense, is like putting myself, voluntarily, through a wringer on the old washing machine. Just completely drained, ya know!

I haven't finished yet making my full rounds reading blogs that I normally do every day - and I doubt I will be able to stay awake much longer tonight to finish up with that task either. Believe it or not, I may actually go to bed at what many folks think of as being a semi-reasonable hour - well, at least before 1 or 2 a.m. I imagine!

So for tonight - that's about all there is to say!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Guilt Trips

My son loves to tell Kate - the 16-year-old stepgranddaughter here that he frequently does not recognize me these days. He takes much pleasure in telling her that I am not - definitely NOT - the same person who raised him. Usually when he is telling her this line it is because Kate and I have had a bit of a go-round - happens from time-to-time when her ideas and mine collide - and she is in a mood where she thinks I am most definitely the ogre to end all ogres too.

Sometimes she probably is right on that. Because sometimes I am more than a little bit opinionated and my expectations most certainly do NOT match up with hers - primarily in the school work and future plans arenas.

But my son is right too in that if SHE thinks I am rough, miserable, demanding, it really is a good thing she wasn't around me oh, anywhere from 14 to 25 years or so ago. Back then, my kids only had me to deal with because their Dad was out of the picture by then so I had to come down harder on them then than I maybe would have done had our lives been a bit different. Kate has her Dad, my daughter too, who are trying to guide her and by all rights, I probably should stay clear completely but you know, some old habits really do die very hard.

My older daughter has always picked on me, trying to make me feel guilty a lot of the time for things she feels I did differently with her than what I did with her little sister, Mandy. And, she is right there too because there were a lot of things I changed in my mode of operation between the oldest and the youngest of my three kids. But then too, there were some things I learned from the oldest, then from my son too that just didn't work, or didn't work very well so I eliminated them. There were things I learned too that I worried about with the oldest and realized through the next two kids that I was worrying needlessly too so I dropped those ideas too.

And then, there was also the factor that Mandy - the youngest - is much, much more like her dad than the other two kids were and that also called for a change in my method of attack or discipline.

Sometimes, somethings with Mandy, I just had to take a step back and put up with what she did here and there and tell myself that someday I would, hopefully, live long enough to see her struggle with a child so bullheaded that you just wanted to pull your hair out, one strand at a time and then, start on that kid's hair too! And you know what -I take so much pleasure in saying this -even though I am not condoning some of the things Maya does, nor that Kate does either - but it is nice at times to see both those kids doing some things very similar to what Mandy did to me and watch her getting really, really frustrated with them too - just the same way I did back then!

Yep - Revenge is sweet you know!

One thing that was really difficult to deal with when Mandy was younger though was her penchant for making phone calls. Not just any phone calls mind you, but long distance phone calls! Her best friend from kindergarten through today moved away from this area when Mandy was nine. The girl's father was working away from here during the week (about 90 miles from here) and coming home on weekends but one day in July of 1984, their house caught fire and burned completely to the ground so the father decided then to just move the family down to the area where he was working. Mandy did go there every summer and spent a considerable amount of time whenever possible with that family - like a second daughter she was to them - but there were times when she would get the urge that she just had to speak to her friend and so she would call her on the phone with no second thoughts of how much those calls ran my phone bill up each month.

At first, I just lectured her -told her one call a month, or limit the time, etc. But the last straw came when Mandy was about 13-years-old and one month my phone bill included $90 extra charges from long distance calls Mandy had made just to that one friend! I hit the ceiling then. Called the phone company and set up my phone account so that in order to make a long-long distance call, you would have to dial an access number. Because my son was very good about NOT using the phone, understood the billing problems I had there, I trusted him with the access code number to be used in case of dire emergency. I couldn't just flat out cancel my long distance access completely because where I was working at the time was also a long distance call and the kids still needed to have a way to get in touch with ME in case of emergency too. (Those calls though were long distance but considered to be "local long-distance.)

For about 2-3 months, things seemed to be calming down with the phone bill. I wasn't getting hit with major bills run up each month by Mandy anyway. Then after about the 3rd month, suddenly I discovered there were long distance calls on my bill again - to Mandy's friend's number no less. I first cornered my son and asked if he had given Mandy the access number and he said no, he hadn't. So I asked Mandy how she managed to dial those calls and she informed me very calmly she had just dialed them through.

What? How could that be, I asked her. You have to have the access code to do that so where did you get the access code?

"Oh that," she replied, "I called the operator and had her dial it for me!" Needless to say, that ended my ban on the long distance service and the need for an access code. Did no good to have it there anyway when the telephone company would provide it themselves to the kid, ya know!

One other little story I recall too about my kids and the toys they had growing up - Carrie was, like most girls her age, interested early on in Barbie dolls. It was frustrating for her early on when Clate discovered her toys, along with his, because he too liked to play with the Barbie dolls. (My ex just raised his eyebrows over that but didn't have a major hissy fit over it.) But Carrie was really upset initially because Clate's idea of playing with her Barbie dolls meant really that they would all become headless - he just liked to pop the heads off them. Frustrating as that was to deal with at first, once Carrie realized you could just pop the heads back on, she did get over that little trick her brother had there.

But the Christmas of 1978 - when Carrie was 11, one of the gifts she received was a "Farah Faucett Head" - a doll's head of the image of that movie star and different kinds of make-up, etc., that a young girl could apply to the face - a means to help her learn a bit about application of make-up, ways to restyle hair, etc. Carrie loved that doll head - with a passion.

One day, I came home from work and found the house in bedlam. My Mom was babysitting the kids and when I came in, she and the two girls were back in the girls' bedroom, Mandy crying, Carrie screaming and kicking wildly towards Mandy and my Mom in between an 11-year-old and a three-year-old - holding them - or trying to hold them - apart!

What the heck was going on here? What started all this mess anyway I asked?

As it turned out, Mandy had gotten into the makeup that came with that doll head thing and had proceeded to literally paint it on the dolls face - so darkly that the doll looked like she was Indian. And, Carrie was absolutely crushed and very, very angry with her little sister for her having "Deliberately ruined" her doll's head.

Almost thirty years have passed since that happened and Carrie still reminds me - and Mandy - about how she destroyed her most favorite toy of all toys.

I think Carrie is taking so much pleasure in watching how Maya gets into any and all makeup she can -or if none is available, she uses crayons or markers to paint herself - or the walls or the sofa or anything else she comes in contact with too -kind of like her mother did years ago ya know.

Meanwhile - Mandy and I have been thinking lately of trying to see if maybe we can find one of those Farah doll heads on e-bay or some thing like that and if it isn't too outrageously priced, maybe get it and give it to Carrie for Christmas or her birthday some year.

Wonder if that will allow her then to finally forgive her baby sister for what she did back in the spring of 1979?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Flash Alert

This past weekend was one that left me really stiff, sore, aching considerably. Then the change in the weather to cold rain yesterday didn't add anything to my already throbbing muscles and joints.

Why, you ask did all this happen? Let me tell you.

Saturday started peacefully enough -no issues at all -a leisurely day.

But my daughter announced to me that she wanted me to make a trip over to the Lowe's store and pick up several cans of foam insulation spray stuff so Bill could put it under three of the kitchen base cabinets. This was to be an effort to cut down a bit on our heat loss as the three cupboards in particular are over an area that is only crawl space whereas the rest of the kitchen actually has a basement under it. And yes, the draft that emanates from those three cabinets can freeze your toes even if you have thick socks and slippers on if you're out there, in that corner, for a prolonged period of time. Well, it seemed that way to me anyway - colder than a witches you know what is what my ex-husband would say about that corner.

So, I had gone and picked up six cans of this foam stuff for Bill to use and then, I also had the honor of having to unload ALL the contents of these three base cabinets as well. Two of them I use for storing baking products - cake pans, cookie sheets, and the like along with large containers in which I store three types of flour, powdered sugar, brown sugar and lots of other items I use primarily for baking. The corner cabinet I use for storing all kinds of larger storage containers - cake takers, pie carriers, large mixing bowls and such. Removing all these items from these bottom cupboards meant I had to get down on my hands and knees to reach in and drag everything out and then place all the items on the island in the kitchen till Bill could spray this insulation under the base cupboards.

Moving those items from one area to the other like that meant several trips back and forth, from the floor, to using the counter area to pull myself up to a standing position, then back down to the floor again to secure more items to put over on the island. Not an easy process for one who has a lot of arthritis in the ankles and knee areas, trust me when I tell you that. And, once Bill completed the insulation project, I had the dubious honor of placing everything BACK into the cupboards once again too.

But anyway, I got all the stuff moved out and Bill moved in - drill in hand as he had to use that to drill holes in the floor of these cabinets in order to put the spray container there and release its contents to do the insulation job for us.

While he worked, I retired to my most familiar spot - that being in front of the computer, of course. And as I sat here I began to detect a somewhat different odor. I assumed it was the normal smell of this aerosol insulation stuff and that it would dissipate shortly.

After a while of sniffing this stuff, Bill made a mention to me about how strong the odor was and I said that yes, I had to agree with him. Then he told me something that just about scared the living daylights out of me.

My son-in-law is a hard-working young man - no two ways about that. But there are times that he does things that cause me to wonder if he ever uses that gray matter supposedly between his two ears too ya know.

He proceeded to tell me while drilling in the floor of the corner cupboard, because it is, of course, DARK inside there, he decided he needed a bit of light so he could judge where to drill, etc., and to give himself a little bit of light, just what do you think he chose to light his way?

Why of course, a little fragranced candle - what else? Certainly not a flashlight that would shed a light on the subject WITHOUT using a live flame. Oh no, he had a freaking lit candle in there and then was rather astonished when all of a sudden, there was a "POOF" sound as the fumes from the spray-in insulation mixed with the flame from the candle. And, as he is telling me this story, he's laughing about it and how he sure wasn't expecting THAT to happen.

Nor was I ya know! Geez man, you could have incinerated yourself, me, the whole doggone house that way!

I'm of the opinion that Mandy and I should definitely keep Bill away from Clate - who is the one most people would think might be goofy enough to pull a stunt like that. After all, he's the one who actually did catch the upstairs of the house on fire back in the spring of 1991. Yeah, that's a story too for another time though.

After the insulation project was done and I got all the products placed back into the cupboards, since I was on a roll then, moving things, I decided the time had come to do some major moving of items in my tiny bedroom and try to do the impossible - find places to stash things that would eliminate their being tossed all over any available space! Cleaning and organizing my small room is kind of like trying to shove 500 pounds of crapola into a bag meant to hold only 50 pounds at maximum capacity. A task that even when completed still leaves a whole lot to be desired there.

But, it was imperative I try to do something if I wanted to do any type of sewing with my sewing machine in the near future. Mandy had tried a couple months back to move furniture around in my room, re-arrange it to give a little bit better appearance and in doing so, her methods had resulted in the room looking a little more orderly and all but the problem was that where she positioned my sewing machine and the chair that fits nicely under the cabinet, that was all that you could get in there - just the chair! No way could you possibly pull out the chair far enough so that even someone who is a real slim jim person like Mandy is could fit into the chair and then pull it forward to use the sewing machine. Which meant there was no possible way someone with my width, breadth, girth, could even think of seating myself at the sewing machine!

It took a good bit of maneuvering this chest, that dresser, moving all kinds of boxes containing fabrics, patterns, yarns, books -everything basically except the kitchen sink -that was being held captive in my room until such time that I got inspired and decided to use some of the things I have stored there. And moving chests, dressers, boxes and such, let me tell you, is no easy task even for someone much more agile, much more fit, in shape than I am.

And so, the end result - though I did achieve my goal of moving the sewing machine to a place where it is now accessible, can be used again - I paid a hefty price for it all day Sunday and Monday too with every darned joint, muscle and ligament possible from my waist down to my toes was aching!

Guess it's just the price one has to pay for a little bit of progress in the housekeeping department though, isn't it?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Of Boys and Toys

Reading different posts lately, a lot of bloggers have been talking about Christmas, gifts, as well as how things change in kids requests on their gift lists over the years - or maybe, putting that another way, reasons why we may have selected certain items to give to our children over the years.

This reminded me of when my son was small and how his Dad and I often looked at what items to get for him for his birthday or Christmas.

It was probably the Christmas when Clate was two years old that we got him this neat set - the Weebles (remember, "Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down") Barn set. It had the various farm animals plus the little Weeble people too. He played with that item for several years as did Mandy. I don't know if they still make it or not - haven't seen any in the stores here but that doesn't mean it isn't still available I suppose.

It was either the year Clate was three, maybe four, that we had begun to get him the Tonka toys - heavy equipment replicas you know - bulldozer, dump truck, backhoe, etc. Those toys were great and he played with them for several years. Durable toys they were, meant to withstand all the torture little kids can put them through.

One of those years, I don't remember which now, we decided to get him one of the nice, heavy, solidly built Tonka trucks - a tow truck, complete with the wench and hook on the back -as we figured it too would be a good toy for him and one that wouldn't fall apart in short order either.

Imagine our surprise when a short time after Christmas, we noticed the windshield of the tow truck was missing. It had been broken out. We questioned Clate as to what had happened to it and he said he had taken a hammer and pounded it out.

Why on earth would you want to do that was the question we put to him. It seemed to make no sense to knock out a perfectly good windshield in a toy truck after all.

His answer: "Well, I had to do that. I couldn't get my people into the seat otherwise." His "people" being the little Weebles people from the Fisher-Price Barn set, of course.

Now, when you explain it that way, I guess it makes perfectly good sense to knock the windshield out, doesn't it?

When I think back to the Tonka heavy-equipment type toys Clate had, it also reminds me about my cousin, Ken, who I think back in the early 50's had every Tonka toy manufactured then in the "heavy-equipment" line. He had a steam shovel, the big dump trucks, bulldozer, backhoe, a paver too. You name it, Ken had it!

Ken's parents - my Mom's younger brother (Uncle Cookie and his wife, Aunt Mary) -lived up in Corry, PA - on Carter Hill Road. My uncle had bought 50 acres of land there shortly after Ken was born and in 1949 or 1950, he began the long, arduous project of building a home there. It took many years before he and Aunt Mary finally got the home completed but once done, it was a beautiful ranch house -large bedrooms and living room, a lovely dining room too and a nice sized kitchen. (Oh yes, it had a bathroom too -guess I'd best add that item in there lest someone think they forgot that amenity.)

Anyway, the family lived in the basement of the house for several years before my uncle finally got the upstairs completed enough that they could move up there.

Now, when I was a kid, I usually spent a good portion of my summer school vacation either in Jamestown, NY with Mom's older sister and her husband but I always spent a week here or there - sometimes longer - over in Corry with Uncle Cookie and Aunt Mary and their four children - Ken, Sue, Tom and Becky.

I remember in particular one summer when I was doing my regular vacation time in Corry and Ken and I decided to take on a really large project in the backyard there. Using all his Tonka equipment, we built a road - dug it down with the various items Ken had, then graded it, leveled it off and used the paver to roll it down, smooth and nice. It took us the better part of my days there that summer to build our "road" but we did it and it looked mighty fine to us too. My uncle even commended us for having achieved such a marvel in his backyard. (I think, by road standards for toy cars and trucks, it was a four-lane highway.)

Ken and I worked from dawn to dusk, you might say, building that road, crawling around on our hands and knees to get the proper depth and then to scrape it nicely too - all tasks that involved two major things that probably never would have flown had I ever had the impetus to do something like that here in the yard at the home I shared with my Mom and Grandparents.

One - my Mom and Grandmother would have had fits -absolute fits - over how filthy dirty doing something like that would make a little kid -and the clothes being worn to build such a thing - and two - the mere thought of digging up any portion of the yard around the house for anything save a vegetable or flower garden was absolutely out of the question!

Years later - when my son was about eight years old - I remember coming out of the house to leave for work and there was my son, down on his hands and knees in the yard, right in front of the flower bed across the front of the house, digging away at what looked to be a road of sorts too - similar to the one cousin Ken and I had once built 30 years earlier up in Corry. But this one had humps, all strategically placed - you could tell they were intentional humps in the road, not something left behind or accidental things.

I stopped and looked at this and asked him why it wasn't level; why these humps there, boy?

"Mom, those are 'rumble strips.'

Ah yes - spoken by one child who learned early in life what the interstate highway looked like from early spring through fall while under the "normal" annual construction and repair system of PennDot.

The only thing missing? The all too familiar sight of the orange construction barrels that always line Interstate 80 every year as miles and miles of highway are restricted to one-lane travel while PennDot works on maybe a half-mile stretch in the middle of that selected piece of highway.

Ah, the landmarks of Pennsylvania, huh?

Closing In

We're getting closer -and closer -to the end of the year. Here's this week's Bushism's -covering the end of November and beginning of December.

Monday - November 26, 2007
"If it were to rain a lot, there is concern from the Army Corps of Engineers that the levees might break. And so, therefore, we're cautious about encouraging people to return at this moment of history."

--Washington, D.C.; September 19, 2005

Tuesday, - November 27, 2007

"If he's -- the inferences is that somehow he thinks slavery is a -- is a noble institution --I would --I would strongly reject that assumption. That John Ashcroft is an open-minded, inclusive person."

--Interview on NBC Nightly News; January 15, 2001

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

There's only one person who huges the mothers and the widows, the wives and the kids upon the death of their loved one. Others hug but having committed the trooops, I've got an additional responsibility to hug and that's me and I know what it's like.

--Washington, D.C.; December 11, 2002

Thursday, November 29, 2007

"It's important for young men and women who look at the Nebraska champs to understand that quality of life is more than just blocking shots."

--Remarks to the University of Nebraska women's vollyball team, the 2001 national champions; Washington, D.C.; May 31, 2001

Friday, November 30, 2007

"They have miscalculated me as a leader."

--Westminster, California; September 13, 2000

Saturday and Sunday, December 1/2, 2007

"And, Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."

--To FEMA director, Mike Brown, who resigned ten days later amid criticism of his job performance; Mobile, Alabama; September 2, 2005

The last statement there, is probably one that DUBYA will be remembered for as being one of his truly "finer" moments among the many flub-ups he's delivered over the years. Yep, "a heck of a job" isn't/wasn't it?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Little Things

I'm assuming (and yes, I know -all too well- assuming anything is or can be dangerous at times) that most of us know the old adage "Little things mean a lot."

I think it's true too, generally speaking.

All too often it is the little itty bitty annoyances that grate at us, make up really uncomfortable, sometimes, also really angry.

A very good friend of one of my daughters - I love her dearly, really I do - but gosh she has a habit that really drives me bonkers at times. When we are talking, before I manage to express two or three words in a sentence, she is asking me a new question and then another question on top of that and it keeps up throughout the entire conversation too. Usually, it frustrates me so much that I end up forgetting what my original train of thought was and I end up unable to discuss much of anything that way. (And my kids wonder why I can't finish a sentence. )

There are all kinds of little things that annoy and right now, aside from the one example above, I can't think of some of the big offenders except that one and well, one other -which really was the one I was going to write about tonight anyway.

Male readers of my blog may find this issue of mine boring - of little or no interest to them since it is highly doubtful any of them will ever have to worry about this problem. (But then too, one never knows today what things will become an annoyance to others of the opposite sex either so -well, read at your own risk here guys.)

The subject that has me ticked off is bras! Yes, bras, brassieres, boobie holders - whatever term you use -this contraption really ticks me off.

Ok, maybe the reason it ticks me off is something that only annoys me. Maybe my shape is such that it doesn't affect anyone else this way. But I'm just wondering about this and thought I'd like to find out if anyone else has this same problem with these things too.

Either there is a problem in the way all bras are manufactured or else, my left side must be somewhat lopsided because every freaking bra I own, the strap on the left shoulder ALWAYS refuses to stay up, to stay in place. Thus, I find myself constantly reaching up to pull it up, back into place so it isn't falling down half-way along my upper arm.

I don't know if this is true or not -maybe it was made up for the sake of the story -but I seem to recall some book I read a long time ago - I think it may have been Harold Robbins' book "The Carpetbaggers" in which it was stated that Howard Hughes or some other bigwig in Hollywood someplace supposedly had a team of special engineers come in and design a bra especially for some movie star (Maybe it was Rita Hayworth or Ava Gardner -someone of that era anyway) to hold her body parts up properly or something along those lines.

I wish bra manufacturers would come and ask me my opinion, listen to MY problem and then, hire a team of engineers to enable them to make bras that the straps on both sides would stay in place properly!

And also, for the small amount of material used in those things, can't they make them a little more economically then too?

Just wondering.

Your opinions are, as always, quite valued to me so I'll be waiting for any and all responses or suggestions here.

My right arm is getting very tired from having to pull this darn strap up all the time, don't 'cha know!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Than ks, Everyone!

Jay Leno just came on the tv here - yes, it's a re-run but that's ok too. I like his show and often do enjoy the re-runs just as much as seeing it fresh each day.

It's taken me all day today to get through reading my faves on my blog reading circuit. Why so long? Several interruptions to cook this, do that, eat dinner, read a bit to allow the main course to digest somewhat and then enjoy dessert. After that - a long - very long - nap!

I decided earlier this evening though that before the day ended I would do a post - this one - to thank everyone who has been posting throughout the past month on things they are thankful for each day. It's been very much an eye-opening experience for me as I thought about many things - remembered a lot of events in my life as well and even came to what might be considered as "astute" realizations in the process about myself, my kids, my extended family, friends and acquaintances.

One thing is I don't give thanks near enough for the things in my life that really matter.

Although I post frequently about my little Princess Maya and her baby brother, Kurtis -and I'm sure you all know, understand how much I love those two -as well as their older cousin, Alex - my ten-year-old grandson - I've only ever once I think stated out-and-out how thankful I am to have these three children in my life today. I talk often too about both my daughters - especially Mandy, since she and her family and I live together -and of course, my "favorite son" -but do I ever really put it in words, in writing, how thankful I am for having those three hooligans? I suppose in some ways it comes through to at least some extent how much I love my children, my grandchildren -but trying to find the words to adequately express those feelings is something really difficult to do. Not that it is that hard to say it here or even to each of them - but that those words simply do not do justice to the way I feel deep down inside about them. One of my favorite bloggers, Patois, in her post today titled "Grateful" pretty much sums up what happens to me if I try to put my feelings really into words about my children, my grandchildren. Yes, the words escape me - always leaving me searching for a better one to use -to explain the feelings I have for them. So the best I can do then I suppose is to simply say I LOVE EACH OF YOU -so very much, and I am now, have always been, so grateful, so thankful, for each one of you and the day each of you entered into my life. I can not imagine how my life would be if I'd never had any of my three children, if they hadn't given me the three fantastic grandkids I now have, and I can't -nor do I want to - imagine how terrible, how dreary, how bland, how sad - my life would be if ever there were a time when any of these would no longer be with me, to love, cherish, adore, pick on too and harass, day-by-day-by day!

I'm so thankful too for those who were responsible for bringing me into the world -my parents - their parents as well too. I never knew my Dad, nor his father either, and I don't remember my Dad's mother as she died when I was less than three years of age. My Mom and I for many years had such a confrontational relationship much of the time, it has taken me until really the past 5-10 years to grasp how much we both did really care for each other but due to circumstances that then were beyond our control (neither of us would ever admit to what bad things each of us brought to that table, ya know) we never expressed those feelings - the good ones - to each other. So, if you have even the least bit of a not-so-hot relationship now with your parents and if there is any way AT ALL you can find some way, no matter how small it may be or seem to be, to let your parents know you are thankful for ANYTHING they did for you, then find a way to tell them that before it is too late. Even if the saying of it doesn't seem to mend or heal the relationship now, you will have that in your mind later and know at least you took a shot at the expression of thankfulness to the parent. It's a hard job to parent - always flying by the seat of your pants, ya know -Dr. Spock and his guidelines in parenting still only goes so far and much of the territory there is a great unknown.

I'm so thankful too though that growing up, I was so fortunate to live with my Mom's parents -who I loved very much. Not to detract from the love I had for my Grandmother, as she did much for me and frequently too over the years, but my Grandfather - I adored him, absolutely, without a doubt, adored, worshiped him! He was my hero, my idol -even in the last years of his life when his mind often was far off in another land, or space, he was just a fantastic man. Over the last so many years, in talking about our ancestry, I find some of my cousins were in fear of him - felt he was rather standoffish, even maybe mean and hearing them say things like that I was really surprised because I never felt that way about him -not ever! He taught me so many little things - and some big things too -he's the person who taught me to read well before I started school and gave me the love I have for books, for reading, for history as well. Whatever he had in his mind as a tenet, seemed to become mine too. He was a strong man in so many ways - a good man, a very smart man who loved his family but I think often they weren't aware of it because he was also a man of few words unless you wanted to talk coal mines, work, gardening, flowers or perhaps, discuss what his life was like in Sweden before he came to this country. But something about him, the way he reacted and responded to me, I never questioned his love for me - I KNEW it was there!

Growing up, I was fortunate to have aunts, uncles and cousins on both sides of my family but it was my Mom's side that I grew up knowing the best. And they were that for me too - THE BEST! I knew some of my cousins, most of my aunts and uncles on my Dad's side but growing up I didn't know them very well -not like the other side of my family. I do regret that I didn't have the same closeness with all of them as I had with the rest of my extended family. But for what I did have, I am so very thankful. As I've grown older, I have become much closer to some of those cousins on my Dad's side, as have my kids, which is good and positive and for that, I am very thankful.

I think back too though and remember my great-aunts and uncles -on my Mom's side - that I knew growing up and that too really gives me something extra special I had in my life and for which I am and always will be very thankful. The knowledge I received from those people - reinforced all the love of history that my Grandpa had already bestowed on me.

I've always believed I was blessed to have grown up here and to have had the great neighbors I had when I was a kid. There were a good many other kids on this street back then and all the other parents along here treated all the kids like they did their own. Disciplined whoever got out of line along with their own kids, fed us, loved us, protected us too. Therefore, since Hilary wrote her book, "It Takes a Village" I was already long a believer in that theory of life. Today, only one lady who was among those of my "surrogate" parents back then is still living - a spry, feisty little lady now I think 85 -still going very strong although she sold her home here two years ago and now lives in a retirement condo about 20 miles from here. All but her are now gone. My kids had some of those same people as "surrogate" grandparents too when they were growing up as well -two couples - my kids grew up referring to one couple as "Little grandma and little grandpa" and to the other couple, they called them "Grammie" and "Pap." They were very much like grandparents to my kids too as my two youngest were very small when my Mom died and their dad's parents lived in Illinois so they barely even knew them.

I am so very fortunate too in that I have friends here along this street - neighbors - some I've known my entire life, others are relative new comers - only been here 20-30 years now ya know. But I'm very thankful for the most part, my neighbors here are all very nice, good people, good friends, thoughtful, caring, folks. Call it luck maybe but whatever, I'm still really thankful they're here.

Other friends I've made over the years - many from high school days that I am still close to -others I've met through work either years ago in the D.C. area, some are now retired truckers I came to know back when I was a waitress and so on. All of them darned good friends -none that I would trade for all the tea in China and you better believe I'm very thankful I made their acquaintances too!

I'm thankful I have this house - old as it is (My grandparents built it in 1903) -it's had a lot of work done on it, still needs a lot more too -don't all houses come with needs like that though -and for the memories that this house holds it transforms it from just being an old house into a home. I'm not always thankful that we have a mortgage on the place -one that it is highly unlikely I will live long enough to see it paid off - but then again, the benefit there will be to my daughter and she and the son-in-law will then own it free and clear. So the fact there is such a thing as mortgage insurance - gives me cause to be thankful for that item too ya know!

I have a vehicle - not a new one, but it's decent enough, runs well for me anyway and no payment owing on it - yeah, I'm damned thankful for that small favor!

We have a furnace in this old barn of a house that I had put in new two years ago - so far, it runs extremely well and hopefully, it will last a good long time too. Now, as long as we can garner enough cash up to cover the cost of the oil to make it heat the house and our hot water supply, for that, I will be doubly thankful! We have electricity too - and no, although some of my old trucker friends used to say it had to be "piped in here" cause we live so far back in the hills - also have tv cable, internet connectivity - now for that latter one there I am REALLY grateful, thankful even if it is the darned slow dial-up service. One of these days - keep telling myself that ya know.

We're blessed in that we have more than enough food to eat too. I no longer use the line to my grandkids that I heard or that I used with my kids though - "People in China are starving, so eat and be thankful you have what's here to eat today." Although growing up, my Mom, grandparents and I were far from rich, we never did without food nor did my kids and the grandkids aren't going hungry now either. I understood as a kid though the concept my Mom and Grandparents were trying to teach me about food; I think my kids understood it too. And what is sad today is that so many people right here in this great land of plenty of ours many, many people today DON'T have near enough to eat. While I am quite thankful I am not in that group -at least so far - I would love to see things done that would assure people across the country and around the world that they would not have to deal with issues like starvation today or ever. Now that would truly be something for which each of us could and should be thankful, don't 'cha think?

I'm thankful I've achieved what I have in life. I have never come near to doing what I would liked to do - have a nice job, earn a really good living, etc., but I've enjoyed the majority of the ride to the point where I am today. Even for the down sides of life, if you look at them, kind of pull it apart and survey it closely, it can even show things for which we can actually be thankful. Maybe not right at the moment, but later in retrospect -things come through in a clearer light ya know.

I'm thankful most of the time I have a sense of humor. Don't tick me off though! But even then, I try -really I do - to regain a different outlook on whatever is offending me. I try not to hold grudges too. I really am very thankful for the most part I can usually achieve that too.

I'm thankful I can still see, hear, touch, feel, walk too. Some days those things don't operate as well as they once did but so far, they're all still pretty much functioning -yep, for that too I'm thankful.

I've already stated several times in the past couple of weeks some of the things we often take foregranted here - many of the freedoms bestowed on us by those wise men who sat down and wrote our Bill of Rights, our Constitution, laws of the land, so many years ago -I am still, indeed, very thankful all the time for each of those things as laid out in those important papers. I will be even more thankful if we could be assured of having politicians in charge of these things who will oversee to running this country in a wise, diligent manner - uncorrupted by the glory of office or the taint of getting rich and forgetting about the many who labor long and hard now - and over the two plus centuries this country has been operating to see that we continue to be a leader without becoming tyrants to others at the same time. What works for our country, the culture we have developed here, while it may seem to us to be the very best thing since sliced bread, may not be a great fit in another culture, another land and we need to remember not to be quite so pushy about those things as maybe we have been a time or two in the past. Be thankful for the system we have, be thankful we can make changes occur too if need be (your vote, your voice works best for that ya know) but we all do need to show our thankfulness for the bounty we do have here - well, most of the time!

I'm thankful too for the mess and clutter in this old house - toys scattered, clothes strewn about too -not for the appearance but that those things are here and available to the grandkids -and the rest of the family - and yes, even to me!

I'm thankful I can talk, speak, write, voice my feelings, my concerns, openly without fear of retribution. I would be even more thankful too if I can ever master the art of NOT opening mouth and inserting foot much of the time though. Still working on that one, Mom - but at least I am trying ya know!

I'm thankful that I received the education I got in elementary and high school and also, that even though it took me a long time to figure out how to get there, I DID make my way on to college and even achieved something my Mom never figured I would have the fortitude or the follow-through to accomplish when I graduated from college -from the great university over the mountain from me - Penn State! Yep! Better believe I am very grateful, very thankful, for having been able to do that. Education, once received, whether you actually utilize the full extent of it or not is still an entity that no one can steal from you! Time, health and the likes may rob you of the ability to use it ultimately but unless that happens, it is yours to use as you like.

And to all my great friends I have found in this past year through blogging - thanks to each and every one of you, my readers, for coming back, reading more, sometimes some will even comment too. That I'd be thankful if more would stop and say hello but I'm still just thankful you stop and read from time to time what I rattle on about, over and over!

And now, I'm thankful tonight that I think the little boy here is finally about ready to give up the ghost cause I know I sure am and most likely I've put many readers here tonight to sleep already with this post! But hey - thanks for at least coming by today!

Good night, readers one and all, whoever you are, where ever you are! Take care in your lives, live to the fullest without doing harm to others along the way.

Peace. Yeah, that says a whole lot there for me!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Under Attack!

After a day filled with grocery shopping for over two hours early this afternoon, putting a kazillion bags of stuff away in the cupboards, refrigerator, etc., I started in to doing some serious cooking. Well, sort of serious anyway.

Got three pies baked - two pumpkin and a mincemeat, for openers. The mincemeat may end up being mine as I think I may be the only one in the family that likes the stuff but that's fine and dandy with me too. While I was making cranberry-orange-nut relish, I convinced Mandy to help a bit in the kitchen by cleaning the turkey, getting it in the oven when the last of the pies came out and also, to clean out the top shelf of the refrigerator to make room for the pies and other things to come.

Our refrigerator has a drawer -about the size of a crisper drawer - that hangs just below the top shelf of the fridge. It's supposed to be for cold cuts, cheeses and such but the damned thing has been very contrary for us for quite some time now and has a tendency to lock up and be extremely difficult to get it to release and open. Tonight, we gave Bill -the son-in-law - a job any mechanic should be able to handle - fix that drawer so it will open right and easily -or take the darned thing out completely.

He started messing with it but as he got it to come open, something on it broke which then solved our issues with it and opened up a whole bunch of space then for me on the shelf below that drawer. Mandy cleaned it out of the old stuff in there for me so we were all happy - a nice ending, right?

I got the sweet potatoes pared and cut, in a container of cold water in the fridge just waiting to be cooked. Mandy promised to peel the white potatoes too so they'll be ready to go. I still have to mix up the corn pudding and make a batch of coleslaw tonight but neither of those is difficult - no problems foreseen there ya know. So I figured it was time I could sit my tired behind (and aching back/legs) down for a while to read my blog faves that I am way behind on doing today.

I'm sitting here reading, Mandy's on the couch, also reading, Kurtis is in his playpen enjoying his bottle and Bill and Maya had just come upstairs from a delightful evening in the basement where Maya was busy helping her Dad remove posters he had hanging on the wall in his "work area (or the Bill Cave, as we call that space) and re-hanging said posters, etc.

All of a sudden this peaceful scene was disrupted by a noise, coming from the kitchen - sounded like gunfire from a pop gun of some type. The first inclination was to look and see where the heck the darned cats are and what have they been into but both of them were in the living room with us. Then we see white puffs falling from the ceiling in the kitchen and this really has all of us scratching our heads, wondering what gave way and is coming apart from the kitchen ceiling.

Bill went out to see what happened and then called to Mandy and I to look at what he'd found. He's standing in between the refrigerator and the cupboard/island, holding up a can of refrigerated biscuits that had inadvertently not been placed back in the fridge during Mandy's "clean-out" phase and that can had exploded! Yeah and the Pillsbury dough boy was firing little doughy cannon balls apparently at the ceiling where they stuck for a few minutes before raining down like huge old snowballs!

It was, I must say, quite a relief to know the roof of the house wasn't caving in or anything drastic like that! Also woke me up a bit too!

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving now tomorrow - watch the parades, football games, eat loads of turkey, trimmings and pumpkin pie and don't forget to give thanks for all the blessings, gifts each of us has in our lives today - and everyday - in the process!


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Coupon Clippers!

Mandy and I decided last night that today, after the occupational therapist was here for her visit with Kurtis, we would run over to Clearfield and visit the Ollie's store there. I don't know how expansive they are - maybe they are only in Pennsylvania - but it's a discount store, carries a lot of stuff -even name brand things although sometimes they are irregulars but not so irregular that they are junk ya know. They buy overstocks of things and that way can offer them at really good prices too.

We had two coupons here that expired today giving a 15 percent discount on the total of one's purchases so you know, that was a big incentive for both of us. That, plus if I didn't get out today and restock my nicotine supply, I was going to have to either bite the bullet and quit (I didn't really feel in the mood to take that drastic step) or I'd have to run up to the local store near here and pay top dollar for the stupid things then.

Priorities you know. Always things have priorities and those were my priorities for today.

I did get a few things though - an new really nice dark green tablecloth that will work well for the holiday season as well as other occasions that call for using a tablecloth too. Picked up three big rolls of gift wrap paper for Christmas, a new Cookbook for myself (because one can never have too many nice cookbooks ya know), a couple packs of the thick, heavy work socks my son and son-in-law both like to wear under their boots in the winter time and a book -a really sharp book about Small Block Chevy Engines!

Now, who to give that book too? Mandy saw it in my cart and asked if I had someone specific in mind. I told her either Clate (her brother) or Bill (her husband.) Clate is really interested in car, mechanical stuff and Bill is an auto mechanic by trade but I wasn't sure if he would like, would actually READ something like that. Mandy glanced through it and said in her opinion she felt it was worth the shot so Bill is getting this book, whether he likes it or not! LOL

I'm in a little bit better mood tonight about the upcoming holiday - can you tell? I have two turkeys thawing right now. One is an 18 pound bird that the son-in-law's employer gave us and the other is about a 10-12 pounder that was gifted to the family by a social ministry program at our church. So, we will use the smaller bird for Thursday's meal and the big one will go on the table on Sunday for my kids and my celebration of Thanksgiving! Now, to figure out what to bake tomorrow - bread, pies -what else to get set up for Sunday's meal too. I'm going to have to make a quick run tomorrow to the grocery store for last minute supplies for sure!

Mandy had a scare last night coming home from work as she noticed her car was making a bad noise and shaking a lot too. She called home and asked Bill to come and meet her up at the shopping center about four miles from here to check it out and then be there to follow her the rest of the way home. She got home ok but Bill says it is some kind of axle that is bad so tomorrow night he'll be busy getting her car back in running order again. Mandy had to take my car to work tonight then. Just a doggone good thing we are a three-car family after all, isn't it?

Maya fell asleep on the couch late this afternoon - watching one of her favorite videos of the Bratz girls. Slept right through supper and when she woke up, refused to eat anything. I had made sausage gravy to be served over corn meal muffins - a meal both Bill and I love and which Maya generally will eat with no hassles too but tonight, no dice. When Kurtis woke up and it was time for him to eat, since we are trying to give him more and more table food whenever possible, I decided to try this meal on him and not surprisingly, he loved it! Ate a big portion of it all mushed up without any hassles! One thing I have noticed with both him and Maya - they both seem to prefer foods with a little more zing - spicy stuff! Darned good thing too cause Grammy's cooking sometimes leans a little heavy on the spice side of things! (Something the son-in-law isn't always quite so appreciative of those spices though, ya know! And I keep thinking I'll get him broke in to them one of these days!)

Ready, Set - Stay

I'm feeling just a trifle disconcerted -as well as discombobulated- tonight mainly due to the upcoming holiday this week.

I've posted several things over the past week or two or so pertaining to the topic of "thankfulness" and while I truly do believe the words I put into those posts, today I'm looking forward to this Thursday not exactly in the best light. The thing is, I can't really put my finger on why.

Granted, my kids and I will have "our" own Thanksgiving meal - all of us together -probably next Sunday. "Favorite Son" has to leave tonight to go to work so most likely he will be on the road, who knows where, when Thursday rolls around. The older daughter, her fiance and my older grandson won't be able to be here because Carrie has to work -Wednesday and Thursday nights, both -she works midnight shift so it would be really hard for her to get up here for a big meal, get-together and still get some sleep that day too. And, heaven knows, she goes without adequate sleep way too often as it is, so I wouldn't feel right trying to have our big dinner and her not getting some much needed rest.

So, it will be Mandy, her husband, his dad and sister, the two little ones - and me. The 16-year-old is going to be at her mother's I guess for the day. Somehow, the prospects of roasting an 18-pound bird for five adults just doesn't sound enticing to me - especially when most likely, I'll have to do a repeat of the entire meal come Sunday then -but at least that one should include eight adults and two little ones but still - all I can think of is that I am going to be cooked out or "turkied" out. I'm just not sure which right now, ya know.

Add to that, there is the factor of the situation with my aunt and her daughter -and my cousin who has power of attorney there and who also is quite ticked off with me and my daughters. He recently put our aunt's home up for sale - a move I hate to see but I realize the necessity for that happening. I had expressed an interest to him back in May that I would like to have access to all the photos - old, old photos - my aunt has in the house so as to scan them into my computer, save them to a dvd and then be able to share them with other cousins around the country who might also be interested in some of these pictures. I don't want any of my aunt's belongings and I don't want the pictures to keep them - just to scan them and return them to my cousin and he can do with them as he wants after that. In May he seemed agreeable to allowing me that access - today, I rather doubt he would be so kind.

His reasons for being so totally ticked at my girls, at me, center on the fact he feels with the proximity of where we live to the nursing home, we should be able to visit them frequently. Unfortunately, that is not always the case as my girls both work - neither of them work the same hours every week, both have other constraints with their children and I also have constraints to my getting over there due mainly to the fact I watch the two youngest of the grandkids and I am not physically able to manage to take both of them together to the home. I can manage Maya to a certain extent, provided she doesn't get spooked when we get there over some unforeseen thing or event which would send her into meltdown phase. Add to that, this fall was a very difficult time with both kids and for myself as well as we had horrible sinus infection colds, ugly coughs that hung on forever and I sure as heck don't want to take those germs into a nursing home and put people's lives at risk of contracting an infection even slightly as bad as the kids and I had to endure. He is right though when he says we do not visit our aunt enough -I agree with that - but I have no alternative at this time to bring into play to correct the entire situation. He argues the point that HE babysits HIS grandson, who is six months older than my little grandson here - however, what he doesn't put into the equation is the factor that his grandson is considered "normal" for a two-year-old whereas neither Kurtis nor Maya is quite on the same scale. He may not think it makes a difference but if he were to have the same issues to take into consideration, I think his logic might be shown to be a bit askew.

So I suppose because for so many years, our holiday traditions were centered around this aunt, this cousin, and now the situation is totally upended and I feel sorrow at the loss of the "family event" this was for all of us for so many years and guilty too because some of the issues involved are beyond my control - the kids, my own health concerns, the other factors with my kids and such. I feel that right now I am being a "Gloomy Gus" about the entire matter and it's affecting my energy levels, my interest levels too. I haven't given a thought to what I will or should fix for either meal - the one Thursday or the one come Sunday and that is something I usually had some type of system in mind anyway in years past.

I have to confess that the news last Thursday of the death of one of my blogger/e-mail friends really was quite unsettling to me too. I feel like I have lost someone I've known for a long, long time -closely too, like a good friend or neighbor -and yet, I never met this man, never spoke to him on the phone, but there was something about him, about the level of communication I shared with him that made me feel he was one of my best friends. Is it possible that by the simple act of reading someone's thoughts posted in a blog, commenting, then eventually sharing other information via e-mail for roughly a year, that one can feel -for lack of a better term - "raw" inside knowing that person is no longer with us? I don't know, can't explain it, wonder if maybe I'm just over-the-top with sentimentality or something but his passing has left a gap, a hole, for the loss of a very good friendship at any rate. On a side note here too - if anyone reading this was also a reader of Bob's blog and would like a copy of his obituary, I located it yesterday in the Sunday edition of the Calgary Herald. You can access it online or if you wish, e-mail me and I will send you the copy I have in my files here.

Maybe tonight I'm feeling a trifle guilty too over a little issue I had earlier this evening with my little Princess. She was not behaving very well - not in the least - we had words, she refused to listen to my warnings about picking up, cleaning up the mess of toys she had strewn across the living room floor, then she got very angry with me which involved a meltdown and her hitting, slapping, kicking me. Those actions eventually got the better of me and I disciplined her in two ways - neither of which she found pleasant. I took all the Baby Bratz dolls, their paraphenalia and put them into a plastic bag and stashed it in my room and I gave her two little cracks across her behind for the really obnoxious behavior on her part. When I can't get her to settle down enough to listen to anything without resorting to those means, I always feel guilty as hell and like a major hypocrite too because I'm doing what probably appears to her as the same thing I am trying to get to cease and desist in her. How DO you discipline a child that lashes out though? I -or we - can't allow her to continually go on without having boundaries and yet, how do you ascertain when or where she actually is comprehending those boundaries too? It's a situation I rarely encountered when my kids were this age but then, they understood fully warnings, etc., whereas Maya sometimes does, sometimes doesn't and there are times too when you realize - often after the fact - that she knows exactly how to "push buttons" too though. After I did discipline her, she became very docile, very loving and fully capable then of doing what I would term "sucking up" to me. It's a dilemma and I really wish I knew how or a better way to cope and contend with this factor in the household. Any suggestions, anyone?

So that's where my head is tonight and trust me, it's not a really upbeat, pleasant place right now. I know I'll work through this but for the moment, it's dragging on me a good bit. And, for that tone, I do sincerely apologize. Maybe I need to watch a movie that played yesterday on the Turner Movie Channel again - "The Miracle Worker" -perhaps I could learn something from Ms. Annie Sullivan.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

More Words to be Thankful For!

Here's the Bushisms for this -Thanksgiving Week.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"The students at Yale came from all different backgrounds and all parts of the country. Within months, I knew many of them."

--From A Charge to Keep by George W. Bush, published November 1999

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"That's why I went to the Congress last September and proposed fundamental--supplemental funding, which is money for armor and body parts and ammunition and fuel."

--Erie, Pennsylvania; September 4, 2004

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"I'll be glad to talk about ranching, but I haven't seen the movie. I've heard about it. I hope you go--you know--I hope you go back to the ranch and the farm is what I'm about to say."

--Explaining that he hasn't yet seen Brokeback Mountain; Manhattan, Kansas; January 23, 2006

Thursday, November 22, 2007 - Thanksgiving Day

"Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods.

--Austin, Texas; December 20, 2000

Friday, November 23, 2007

"We can come together to heal whatever wounds may exist, whatever residuals there may be."

--Washington, D.C.; December 18, 2000

Saturday and Sunday; November 24/25, 2007

"I'm the master of low expectations."

--Aboard Air Force One; June 4, 2003

Perhaps the final quote for this week really says it all.

Actually, there is something in all of this for which we can all be thankful.

One is that we live in a country in which our freedom to say, to transpose, to re-publish/print quotes from others -yes, even the illustrious leader of the free world who often mispeaks himself - and we can poke fun at these things. We do need to remember not everyone around the world has such freedom. We also need to be very thankful that many of us can be with family--or friends -- on the occasion of Thanksgiving and share much together from the love and compassion of family/friendship to bountiful tables. We need to remember too though that even in this land -often called the "Land of Plenty" there are many, many people who walk in our midst who don't have those things available to them, for whatever reason.

Perhaps on this day we put aside to give thanks for all our blessings, it would do us all well to share of whatever bounty we do have available with those who have much less, are in dire need - right here, in our view, at our fingertips.

Peace, love and Thanksgiving for the many blessings each and everyone of us can number.

When Things Aren't What They Seem

I'm a trifle confused here - problems with my blog, with blogging, etc.

Yesterday, when I was making my "reading rounds" well over half of the blogs I visited, when I would click into the comments, it either wouldn't let me view the comments section properly or it took so long apparently to try to load that my connection timed out on me. And it did that time after time too! So I was wondering today how my "reading" would go but luckily, I think I managed to get all the comments sections to function today. But, on the other hand, there was one blog that refused - flat out refused to open for me. So, if Lifecruiser is wondering why I didn't stop by there today, that's the reason - something - your blog, my blog, my connection, blogger - whatever -would not let me in!

Now problems of another kind with blogger that I noticed today. Some of my posts, where I have inserted "tags"are not functioning properly. I have tried to redo those and before I publish them again, I hit the preview which is supposed to show how it is going to appear once published and on those not showing up properly, when I hit preview, they are showing the way they are supposed to look. But yet, when I publish them, they still show up with the html code partially visible. What the heck is causing that anyway? I have no clue whatsoever! So if anyone else has had a problem of that nature and knows how to get it corrected, please let me know. I really hate being such a dummie about stuff like this!

A few people have asked about my aunt and cousin, both who are now in a nursing home -yes, they were placed in the home together, they share a room. It is what we, the family, had hoped would happen should the time come when my aunt was no longer able to care for her daughter, alone, at home. It's also something that, by all rights, should probably have happened several years ago because it was very strenuous for my aunt to care for her daughter by herself. And yet, on the other hand, since they were admitted to the nursing home, my aunt's mental health has deteriorated drastically. But then too, so has her physical health which at the age of 90 is not something really unusual. The fact that she maintained things at home as long as she did is testimony to her stamina, I do believe! She was a remarkable woman, for sure. Today, much of the time I'm not sure she even realizes that she still is with us -at least in body, if not in mind and spirit.

Today was one of those days that are ultra gray. Woke up this morning to a covering of snow on the ground and skies that looked like they were about to dump lots and lots more snow -maybe even mix some sleet or freezing rain with it -or heck, perhaps just rain too. That kind of gray color if you follow my description there. It wasn't the kind of snowy day that looked inviting at all to venture out into that gray beyond. And, I hadn't planned to have to do that either having requested my son pick up the Sunday paper and drop it off and I would have no reason then I figured to HAVE to go out into a day as ugly looking as this one was.

But long about 2:30 this afternoon, Mandy had decided when SHE ran up to the local store that we would have roast chicken (ala Market Place's deli selections) and she was going to fix some nice parsley-buttered-oven roasted potatoes to go with this only to see that she had used the last of the "real" potatoes last weekend.

She called out to me and asked if I would like to run up to the store and pick up some potatoes. I told her honestly, "NO!" Then I got my shoes and socks on, scarf, coat - all bundled up to venture out into the gray, ugly looking cold. She looked at me somewhat astonished and I reminded her she asked me if I would like to go out, not just simply "would you" - big difference there in my book. Anyway, off I went.

But coming home there was a transformation I thought as I saw all the trees decked out so perfectly with their hats and scarves made of white frozen precipitation. The sight was beautiful and in such stark contrast to the gray skies too. This, our first real snowfall for the winter season was of the kind of heavy, wet variety - not the light, fluffy stuff -and as such, the snow was clinging to the branches and remaining leaves on many trees. What from inside the house looked drab and dull and uninviting to me, once outside and seeing this trim work from Mother Nature, it took on a completely different aura. It was, picture perfect -if I'd had a camera or had any photographic abillity -and it would have made for such a lovely photo to grace any Christmas card too this way.

Funny, isn't it, how all too often things aren't quite what they seem to be.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Plus and Minus

Today - a day with a few good things side-by-side with some not so pleasant. Nothing drastic, just uncomfortable, shall we say.

On the plus side -for me - I got one mitten completed of the type with no thumb - it turned out pretty cute actually. I used the Lion Brand Suede type yarn in the same hot pink shade I used for the thumbed mittens I made but that are about big enough for a child of at least 8 years of age. Can you say "swim" in 'em, with respect to Miss Maya's hand? LOL The thumbless mitt I finished today also has a stripe pattern -two rows of the pink, then two rows of a suede yarn in verigated shades of purple to the hot pink - looks pretty spiffy, actually. The hardest part was taking three strands of yarn and braiding a chain that gets woven into the mitt just above the cuff ribbing. I do much better working with some type of a needle in my hands than I do trying to braid something with just my fingers!

On the minus side today would be for my son. He phoned home this evening to tell me he'd just bee really "lucky" as he entered into Ohio from Indiana and got nailed with a speeding ticket. Seems Ohio's speed limit on the interstate highways is a flat 55 mph -whereas Indiana has a high speed limit and Clate forgot to slow down as he crossed over the state line. He didn't say how much of a fine it will mean to him - just that he was concerned about getting points on his license. However, since it is his first ticket as a "professional driver" and I think his license was clean before that, he should be okay there too. Just feeling a tad deflated tonight though from getting pulled over I guess.

We've been discussing a good bit here lately the upcoming holiday -when, exactly, will we be having our "Thanksgiving dinner" as it were. The idea of having the entire family together next Thursday, by the looks of things, isn't going to happen. My son it appears, will be on the road and the older daughter and her fiance most likely will not be able to come up either because she has to work Wednesday nite and Thursday nite. She works midnight shift at an assisted living/nursing home -frequently gets scheduled for 12 hour shifts too, so she has to find time to sleep some where along during the day. Maybe next Sunday will work that we can all be together. For me, the day itself doesn't really matter, it's the idea of having a big traditional meal with all of us together now.

I think I told everyone last week or so that our "tradition" for Thanksgiving, as well as Christmas, dinner did a big about face last year when my Dad's sole surviving sister and her daughter went into a nursing home. We'd shared those two holiday dinners for the previous 25 years at my aunt's home so last year was the first time my kids and I were "on our own" so to speak. Although preparation-wise, it is easier now in that I cook here, serve the meal here too unlike the last 5 years or more of going to my aunt's home when I cooked the bulk of the meal here and then we transported it all to her house. But ya know, when you are accustomed to doing things a certain way, having the closeness of immediate family as well as extended family to share that occasion with, when it ends, it does take a bit of the energy of the holiday with it.

And tonight, for some reason which I can't figure out at all, I've been having a lot of pain and discomfort in my lower abdomen. Nothing left there supposedly to be giving me fits like this but it is. And, I sure as heck hope whatever it is, that is passes through as quickly as it came on me too!

The other "minus" today was problems I was having as I was making my visits to my favorite sites. I didn't have any problem reading others blogs but on at least, if not more than, half of those blogs, I couldn't get the comments section to load. So, if you see that I made a comment to your blog today, then consider yourself to be among the lucky ones whose comments opened up to me! Hopefully, tomorrow things will be back to normal there too! (What is really funny about this with the comments is that the blogs that I have frequently had issues making comments to - those were the ones that generally opened ok today. Go figure, huh?

And, leading into the upcoming holiday and things I'm thankful for today -my son may not see this as something for which he'd want to give thanks, but you know, I'm thankful all that happened to him was that he got a ticket for speeding! I try not to worry about him driving all over the country, ten hours on, eight hours off to sleep in the truck as it is moving with his co-driver at the wheel, but I do worry about him. Now, with the winter weather ahead and the multitude of driving concerns that can bring - well, I'm just very thankful all has gone this well for him in his first year as a truck driver and hope that it continues on in that same vein too!

He is, after all, my "favorite son" ya know!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ringmaster or Zookeeper?

What I'd really like to be here is the Ringmaster - directing things to run without a flaw, ya know.

In reality, what I tend to be is the zookeeper - just trying desperately to keep the animals all fed, cleaned and behaving at least semi-decently.

Today -as days go -wasn't really ALL that bad for me -although some of the animals here didn't fare too good at times.

The battle wages on here trying to get the Princess to use the commode for BOTH functions. From Monday night until last evening, we totally enforced the "no pullups" routine but to no avail. She would still use the potty to "put water in there" or "make water" -as she refers to that action but beyond that -the only good thing was there were no accidents. But that wasn't really a good thing either because somehow she was evidently withholding that substance and that action can lead to some not nice at all consequences for little kids. So, yesterday, when she came home from school and there were still no messages of her having done anything at school along those lines, when she asked for a pullup last night, in order to try to avoid her "withholding" any more, a pullup she got. And within about ten minutes time -the apparent laxative effect they must have on her worked. Thankfully. So tonight, we went with that routine again. We tried to talk her into using the potty first but that looked to be heading into the meltdown direction so we averted two problems then - the withholding issue and the meltdown -by giving in and letting her have the pullup again. Guess we will just have to buy stock in Pampers Pullups is all there is to it there.

To avoid the potential for a massive meltdown which often occurs when Mandy has to leave for work, Bill had today promised Maya she could come down in the basement and help him work down there. He's trying to straighten out all the areas there, get the walls all seamed up nicely, smoothed out, painted and such so that sometime this winter when his ex-mother-in-law moves south and bestows on us her living room furniture, the sofa and loveseat we now have -which are both getting a tad on the threadbare side - will be moved down to the basement to the "sitting room" he's fixing up down there. He did put in a nice little electric wall heater in the middle area of the basement about three years ago and it does work nicely to warm the cellar. A couple weeks ago, through some of his scrounging activities and wheeling-dealings, he acquired a small woodburner that he hooked up down there too. The woodburner really warms that particular room and also takes a little chill off the floor in the dining room too- which is directly above that part of the cellar. So right now, the mid-section of the cellar really is starting to look very civilized.

For supper tonight, since it was just the son-in-law, Princess Maya and me here, I fried up a pound of bacon and then, mixed up a big batch of pancakes. Pancakes in Maya's book generally ranks right up there alongside Mac'n'che, Sketty and Noodles so I wasn't concerned about whether she would eat or not. Bacon also happens to be a meat substance she will also actually eat and does so with great relish too. Maya had one nice big piece of bacon, I managed to snag 4 slices and the rest - well the all landed on Bill's plate but when he was "finished" I couldn't believe my eyes. There on the plate was this pile of bits and shreds and pieces of bacon that he had pulled apart and wouldn't eat. Why? Because he regarded that as fat and well, fat is something I think he would rather die than ever touch! And all I could think was man, if I'd know you were going to rip that bacon up like that and discard THAT much of it, I'd have cut the tiny meat particles of the bacon off and put them on a plate just for you and then I would have had me a feast - a veritable FEAST I tell you - eating the rest of the bacon slices -the good flavorful fat parts ya know -rather than throw all that good stuff in the trash. Is my Scottish ancestry showing again, folks? Considering how my Mom and her parents were about wasting food, I 'm more inclined to think it is my Swedish side coming through there!!!

After supper, Bill decided since Maya had put her hand, full palm of each hand, directly onto a wall that was freshly painted, he would bath both the kids and get them each dressed and ready for bed. That works well for me because I can't get down on the floor and bend over the tub to bathe them because my back would be in an uproar for the next several days plus, there is nothing there I can get a good grip on to pull myself back upright after getting down on the floor as I would have to do to bathe these two.

He got them all cleaned up -looking really spiffy too they both were -noses all shiny and cheeks so rosy red you know and he got Kurtis a bottle then too. For a while things were fairly peaceful but then Kurtis started whimpering, then really whining and finally, dancing around his playpen and howling so I figured he must be in need of maybe some dry or clean pants and took him back to change him. As I started to undress him, I detected a strange odor - partially familiar to what I had kind of suspected upon picking him up but also a faint tinge of the mentholatum scent of Vick's vapor rub. WTF - why do I smell that I was wondering. Took the little guys diaper off and wow, the odor really hit me then - strong smell of the vapor rub stuff plus his little butt, right down the entire crack area was just beet red. I reached up for the tub of cream and as I glanced at it, I saw it was a new type stuff but then my eyes lit on the wording above the name of the product - something about "creamy vapor rub." I opened it and took a whiff and yep, my nose had not deceived me earlier - it was indeed a creamy baby type form of the Vick's baby rub but not something that would be recommended to use on anyone's behind, much less the poor little guy! No doggone wonder he'd been jumping around and whining the way he was earlier! Finally found some of the good stuff -specifically for his area -got him all greased up with that, clean drawers on and presto-magic, he was one happy little camper, good to go again!

See what I mean -if I were actually the ringmaster, not the zookeeper, little things like that wouldn't happen and we'd all live happily ever after in some cabin in the woods or some such thing.

I have to thank all of you too who responded to my "health hazards" post of Wednesday night. Many of you saw the wisdom in my words of warning there - don't bother bending or stooping to pick up unimportant things and risk injury to yourself. Leave it lay there till you can rope someone else much younger, much more agile to do that dirty work for you!

I finished up a pair of mittens that I knitted with the express intent they would be for Miss Maya. They turned out very nicely too - I was quite pleased with my efforts until I decided to try them on her to see how well they fit. Maybe in 3 or 4 years they will fit her fine but right now, her little hands just swim in them. So I'm in the process of making another pair - using a pattern I found in one of the baby knit/crochet books I was able to find but these are the kind of mittens that have no thumb hole however, they're gonna have to do for this winter. She'll be happy cause I'm using the hot pink/fucshia colored yarn which will go very nicely with either her hot pink jacket or her blue heavier winter coat! These mitts will also have a nifty purple verigated stripe pattern - two rows of the pink, two rows of the purple verigate yarn - looking pretty sharp they are thus far anyway.

And finally, I have a question for any of you reading this who write the nice little posts for pay - do any of you ever have problems with the submission of your post for approval and payment? I had an issue this week which is still not resolved and I have written several inquiries about not being able to get it to submit, as I keep getting an error saying the text and the link must match the required information on the instruction page. Well, I have checked and rechecked and checked several more times again and submitted, resubmitted I have no idea how many times and still that same error would keep coming up.

The first piece of information I received back from the company was that something was being transposed by my blog and causing a problem due to an issue in their code but I could go in an edit the symbol myself in the html. Say WHAT? Me, edit html? Are you totally, freaking nuts here people? I haven't the foggiest clue in the world how to go about doing that. SO I wrote back and in essence, told them that too.

Next they told me the problem was being caused by the need for use of a trademark symbol and that apparently my text editor when I copied my text over to my blog was screwing things up there or my blog was converting it to this illegal or incorrect symbol when I would try to submit my piece for approval and payment. Ok, this time at least they told me it was the "trademark" that is the culprit, but they still didn't bother to tell me what to use in place of that to get it to transpose across to make the trademark and still be accepted by the code on their end. Still comes under the heading of html editing doesn't it that they expected me to do too?

As of 5 p.m. today, I hadn't heard any more from the company on my questions and now, I see the offer is no longer available either so that means I did that post, spent beaucoup hours on it too researching, writing the text, working and reworking the links, etc., so that blogger would accept it in the first place for me to simply publish it and now, I haven't as much of a prayer as would a snowball in hell of getting it submitted and getting paid for it. Therefore roughly 15 hours of work -for what - for nothing!

Now I don't know if I want to take a chance on writing another freebie in the off chance the whole thing backfires on me yet again. Anyone doing these posts have any suggestions how to deal with a situation like this? If so, please let me know!

Now, I'm gonna go put some of that creamy vapor rub on my right arm though -where I banged it in my fall the other night and I now have a huge purple bruise there. Mentholatum type cream stuff is good for taking the soreness out of bruises -did you know that? Just make sure the bruise is no where near your super-sensitive areas like your behind!

Back now to your regularly scheduled programming.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thanks, Bob

Last night, one of my favorite bloggers had a little link with his post that took me to a game site - for Addictive Games and the game in particular was one with DUBYA falling and bouncing against all kinds of balloons and/or bubbles. As he landed you could let the figure go on in free fall or if he was wedged between some of these balloon/boulders, you could tug at the figure and help him squeeze through. A cute little toy, to be sure, for one with the sentiments I have pertaining to our fearless leader.

I immediately sent the link to several friends and acquaintances. Share and share alike being my motto, you know.

Today, I received an e-mail and the return address on it was from one of my favorite bloggers who I had shared that game with last night so naturally, I figured he was writing to tell me either he'd seen this before or that hey, it was a cool and cute little gimmick and thank me for sending it to him.

However, when I opened the note, the words there put me into a very shocked frame of mind. It was a note written by the sister of the gentleman to whom I had sent the game. And her message saddened me very, very much.

She wrote to tell me her brother had died suddenly yesterday.

So tonight, for those of you of my fellow bloggers who are familiar with the writings of Bob Johnson, it is with great sadness that I tell you he had a massive heart attack yesterday -November 14, 2007 - and died. I don't know how many of you, my readers had ever read any of Bob's work -other than Debo Blue -possibly some others here also were acquainted with Bob's work, but he was a very, very funny man!

I don't know exactly when I found Bob's initial blog - "Letters I Wish I'd Sent" - which by the way is no longer operational the way it was when I first stumbled on it last year sometime, unfortunately, but he wrote these essays in the form of letters to people he felt were not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed and many of them were downright hysterical.

Since I found Bob's blog way back whenever it was, I became a devoted follower of his writings and frequent commenter as well. He and I communicated back and forth fairly frequently over the months and I really felt like I knew him more like a good friend and neighbor than just a fellow blogger in the cyberspace world. After all, we often wrote back and forth about our families, little things like that, as well as sharing information from time to time, especially about writing.

He was you see, a very talented writer and had been writing for over 30 years. He also often shared information with me about questions I had from time to time about blogging, giving me little tips here and there too.

Not too terribly long ago, Bob had written to tell me he had signed on with Associated Content and was placing many of the pieces he'd published either on his blogs or other pieces he'd written, on their site. So if anyone would like to read any of Bob's articles, go to - you'll have to register in order to sign in - and then, do a search for content producer - Bob Johnson - which will bring up the pages he had submitted with that organization. Check out the site - it's free -and read some -or all - the work he had listed on that site.

He was just a really nice guy, lots of fun to communicate with, had such wit and great logic about so many things and I for one am really going to miss his presence in the blogosphere.

Goodnight, Bob and thanks again for all the good words, and many, many chuckles as well as knee-slappers and belly laughs you gave me over the past year.

Health Hazards

I have decided there are a lot of things possibly more hazardous to my health than the little things I am addicted to that everyone keeps telling are gonna kill me some day. Some of these are much more innocuous too than those cigarettes are. At least with them, I have the surgeon general's warning on each pack that they COULD be hazardous.

But how many things are there in one's one home that you really think of as being a possible hazard? Look around your surroundings and I suppose you can think of some, if used improperly could harm you. Ok, let's face it, in all likelihood, there is probably something lurking in everything around us that, given the right set of circumstances could hurt a person but we really don't give each and every thing we own that much scrutiny most of the time.

I learned tonight that a simple thing -picking up a piece of paper that had fallen onto the floor can end up as a very painful experience.

Here's what happened:

I'd fallen asleep on the couch earlier this evening and woke up around midnight. When I fell asleep, my daughter had just left to run up the road and pick up a copy of tonight's local daily newspaper. I roused slightly when she came home with the paper (meaning just that I had heard her come home but couldn't bring myself to open my eyes at that time - just needed a "couple more winks" ya know. But at midnight, I was awake from having had a nap of a little over two hours. So I got up and saw Mandy had left the paper laying atop my printer -which is, of course, on my desk and adjacent to the monitor.

I sat down on my chair - a now very worn (padding exposed on both corners) "executive-style" computer desk chair (the kind with the arm rests, ya know, and of course, on wheels.) I reached up and picked up the sections of the paper and as I did, the bloody advertisement inserts fell on the floor and I leaned over to pick them up.

In doing that, I totally unbalanced the chair, which then proceeded to upend, tossing my down to the floor. In the process of my downhill slide, my right upper arm managed to bang hard, very hard, against the pull-out where my keyboard rests, and I landed on the floor, right leg bent under my butt -same position as it almost always is in as I sit here and surf or type. My left leg was extended straight out.

This little event must have been hard enough to shake the house because in a matter of about two minutes, I could hear footsteps on the stairs and Mandy and Bill both came rushing into the living room to check on me. There was a bit of noise but that was mostly caused by the wheels on the chair when they hit the waste can by my desk, upsetting it, spilling most of the papers in it on to the dining room floor.

Mandy looks at me with this really frightened look on her face as she says "Are you alright? MOM! Are you ok? Are you hurt?"

Bill is rubbing his eyes and asking "What the Hell happened?"

Mandy squats down on the floor in front of me, giving me orders to show her my leg. I think she thought because it was under my butt I most likely had twisted it and probably had broken it or something. But the leg was fine; actually both of them were ok. My only injury, as mentioned above, was to the upper arm and considering a slight tap will cause a bruise on me, by tomorrow evening, my arm will probably look like someone had beaten me severely.

And, I'm sitting here in this weird position and laughing my ass off at just how stupid -and clumsy - one old broad can be.

What lesson can one learn about these things?

Picking up, cleaning up things that have fallen to the floor can be hazardous to your health. My advice is to leave the lay there and get someone much younger to pick them up later!

Household+hazards" rel="tag">Household hazards
dangerous+furniture" rel="tag">dangerous furniture
Clumsy+old+people" rel="tag">Clumsy old people
Home+accidents" rel="tag">Home accidents

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Moments of Empathy

While reading the posts on my favorite blogs today, I came across some Vic Grace had written that rang a bell in my memory cache. It was actually a "paid post" for razors or razor blades but Vic had written it around how her step-daughter - a teacher -had shaved her head for a fund raiser for cancer victims.

Now, those of you who have been following my blog for a while most likely recall my having mentioned I was diagnosed 4 1/2 years ago this past March with colo-rectal cancer. As a result of that diagnosis, I had chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and then, more chemotherapy.

But what I don't think I ever mentioned in my blog was my son's reaction to the news I had cancer and was about to start receiving chemo.

The day I had the first colonoscopy, after which the surgeon informed me of his findings and laid out his plans for me for the next ten months or more, when my daughter and I got home that afternoon, the first thing she did was to go upstairs -out of earshot from me -and call her brother. He wasn't home when she called -as he was at work -but she had left a brief message on his answering machine with the crux of it being "Mom has cancer."

Now, keep in mind here, my son is a very soft-hearted, sentimental slob and he is also, perhaps to many who know him well, he can at times be what could be construed as still a "Mama's boy." No, he's not a siss or a wuss or whatever along those lines, but he is very close to me and as such, he does worry from time to time about how old Mom is holding up ya know.

Later that afternoon, the phone rang and I answered it. It was my son on the other end and as soon as he realized it was me he was talking to, I could hear his voice cracking and it was obvious he was fighting back tears.

I told him what was going on, that I would be starting chemo in two days and in five days, the radiation treatments would begin. Once those ended, I would get about a month's reprieve and then the surgery. But, I stressed to my son the surgeon felt very confident that we had discovered the tumor early enough - it had not invaded the wall of the colon that he could tell -and that was a positive factor. I kept telling the boy everything was going to be just fine, no problem, it will all be ok.

He told me he was making arrangements that he would come up home that weekend -would be here Friday night probably between 9 and 10 p.m. I told him he didn't have to make the trip but he insisted he wanted to be here, to "hold my hand" ya know, that sort of thing.

Friday night rolled around and he pulled in before 10 p.m. - pretty much right on schedule of what he'd predicted. I was sitting in my "normal" spot - parked in front of the old computer of course and he strolls in wearing this raggy old Army jacket and he had the scruffiest knit cap on I'd seen in ages too. He stood in the doorway between the dining room and living room, talking to me but made no move to take his coat -or hat -off and I chided him that he could take them off because we'd paid the oil bill and we did have heat -plenty of it too -in the house.

Ok, he took the coat off and hung it on the back of a dining room chair and then, finally reached up and took the cap off, revealing a very, very bald, newly shaved head!

I spluttered a bit, finally regained my speech abilities and asked him what in blazes he'd done to his head.

The response was "Don't get mad Mom, cause I did this as a move in empathy for you." Then it dawned on me that he was figuring after I started the chemotherapy, I would be losing my hair. I hadn't even given that any thought, had never even broached that subject with my doctor for that matter. Oh well, I figured if I lose it, I lose it -not much to be done about that ya know.

About a week later, I had another appointment with my doctor - the surgeon - to discuss the chemo, radiation and then the surgery -all that stuff. In the course of that visit, I mentioned to my doctor (good old Dr. Timothy Phillips) what my son had done and why. Dr. Phillips broke up laughing - actually he slapped his knee and howled.

"Well," he told me, "That is a nice gesture for sure on his part. However, he shaved his head for nothing because the chemo you will be getting will not cause you to lose your hair."

My girls and I had a good laugh that night about Clate's kind of jumping the gun to go get his head shaved -in empathy - for me

My son's always been that way - not just doing things like that for me, but he would do that for anyone if he thought it would give them even a little bit of moral support. Just one of the things I love him just a tad more for being that way ya know and it makes me that much more thankful too that I have him -funny, sweet, loveable, quirky lug that he is -in my life.

He is a gem, folks. One of a kind, for sure and for that, on many occasions I have also been really thankful that he is my only son as I'm not sure my sanity would or could have survived had there been another like him!

But all jokes aside, he is definitely, as we always say too, my "favorite son" -but only because he is the only one! I sure wouldn't trade him for all the money in the world, all the tea in China but I'm sure by now, you've already figured that out too.

Colo-rectal+cancer" rel="tag">Colo-rectal cancer
Chemotherapy" rel="tag">Chemotherapy
Dr.+Timothy+Phillips" rel="tag">Dr. Timothy Phillips