Monday, January 31, 2011

Getting Ahead!


It's Monday morning -11:22 a.m. to be precise according to my computer's clock (although I don't rely heavily on it cause it tends to run a bit slow much of the time) and I am actually ahead of the game for a change!

Yeah, it's me -the one who usually starts out griping on her posts about how far behind she's been in posting, in reading blogs, in clearing out my e-mail -and various and sundry other areas of life too.

My reader now show zero posts to be read. My e-mail was, when I started this post, empty of new stuff. And now, here I am, writing a post and it's no where near to being midnight!

Incredible, huh?

I'm still working on the tulip motif tablecloth -52x70 inches worth of it -but am nearing the end there too. Thankfully! I only have two more areas to do with the green floss and I will then have all the leaves and stems and such completed. After that, just have to use the light blue colored floss to put the accent colors in on the "ribbon" I embroidered last week around the whole darned piece and then, will have to put the finishing touches on by outlining each and every tulip with a color slightly darker but brighter than the flowers themselves are. So, it is now a possibility that I may finish this puppy Wednesday of this week -sometime -or Thursday at the latest making this project a three-week number! Yay, yay, hip, hip, hooray!

Yesterday, since Mandy was out with her friend Ken and it was just my son and I here at the house since the kids were on their normal Sunday visitation with their Dad, I declared I was not going to cook a big dinner since I'm terrible at cooking in smallish quantities. Generally tend to prepare enough to feed small armies ya know.

But cooking or not, one still does get hungry and I got a bit of a yen for some egg salad. Since I had five hard-boiled eggs in the fridge, I got them out and chopped them up. To that, I added a little bit of very thinly sliced and chopped green onions and some celery -also fine chopped too. Then I decided to spice (and color) this up a bit by adding some (thinly sliced and chopped) black olives and about a tablespoonful too of sweet pickle relish before tossing in a little seasoning of Italian seasoning, celery seed and a touch of thyme (all lightly sprinkled, ya know). Then I added in the mayo -lovely Hellman's -and stirred the concoction up and spread it on a steak-um roll.

One bite into this mixture and I declared to my son that he might want to fix himself a sandwich of this stuff because I thought my combination was really "kick ass." He went out and did just that and told me he agreed too with my thoughts that the egg salad was, indeed, kick ass. He said it was the little bit of black olives and relish that really made it just right.

That took place oh, about 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon and kept me quite satisfied until after 8 p.m. when my stomach said it wanted me to give it a tad more food. So, I went to the kitchen expecting to make myself another egg salad sub type sandwich but when I went to get the container out of the fridge, it was no where to be found! Completely disappeared!

Hmmmm. How did THAT happen anyway?

Well, apparently my son liked the egg salad so much that when he left yesterday with his two sandwiches he had made up earlier for his lunch today, he was so impressed that he also took the whole darned container of egg salad with him too -along with what macaroni salad was leftover from our supper Saturday night!

Boy, the nerve of some people's children, huh?

This morning I had to be up, showered and dressed to go out in the public early. Early for me being up by 9:30 a.m. and ready to roll by 10:15 a.m. I had a doctor's appointment scheduled for 11:15 a.m. at the cancer clinic where I was supposed to have the port on my left shoulder (there for administering the chemo, ya know) flushed out. This is now the monthly thing I have to do since the chemo ended in December.

Mandy came out about 9:20 to my room to wake me up and prod me into hurrying a bit so we could get over to Clearfield in time for her to run some errands too.

As I walked into the living room though, Kurtis -who was laying on the couch watching his lovely cartoons, looked up at me, pointing and said "I'm busy watching my cartoons, Gram!" And he said it in a very loud, quite bossy tone in his voice too! Mandy cracked up saying that was his way of warning me that I best not have any ideas about changing the channel on the tv.

Alrighty there Son! You win. Today!

After my shower and getting all dressed, I came out to hunt down my snowboots and Mandy informed me the doctor's office had called to cancel my appointment for today and that they had rescheduled it for this coming Friday morning -at 9:30 a.m.! Sheesh! Those people over there are hell bent on trying to kill me with these early morning appointments!

So, with my appointment cancelled, but Mandy still had some errands to run, she took off to leave me and Kurtis here -alone and to our own devices. And, I see now -20 minutes after I started writing this post, that the cartoons must have been a bit overpowering for Kurtis cause he is now sound asleep on the sofa!

And I have my post done -nothing spectacular in it, just some ramblings.

Oops -one more thing to put in here. Blogger Friend, Sandee at Comedy Plus has a cute little thing on her posting today. Want to find out what your Ya-Ya name would be? Go to her blog and follow the instructions and you will find out.

I did that and the name it assigned me is one that my former school teachers (elementary and high school) and my life-long friends for the past 50-55 years or more as well as my kids will all be in accordance with the Ya-Ya name assigned to me.

Countess Babbles On.

I can think of several blogger friends who have been the victim of long comments I've made and lots and lots of rambling postings too, who would certainly agree with this name as well.

So, for now though, I'm going to turn the babbling machine off and head to my chair, gather up the remote and change the channels and work some more on my almost finished, but not quite there, tablecloth.

You all have a great day now!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Special Gift and Things Handmade

You all know by now that I am addicted to doing hand embroidery work, don't you?

So far, in the month of January I have completed embroidering two sets of pillow cases, have a third set almost half-way completed and am well on my way to getting a tablecloth -size 52 inches by 70 inches -completed pretty soon too.

I love doing items like this, really I do. I often do hand embroidered items and give them to my girls for their birthday or for Christmas as something that years from now, they can use them and remember that it was old Mom's eyes and fingers that worked and worked to get this item done, just for them. Sort of my own particular kind of legacy I guess.

I even have two pillow cases done -so far -that I did for the two youngest grandkids too -each being a Disney character. I'm holding them back for a little Easter present for them.

I also have a set of pillow cases that were given to me too that I treasure.

Not that they are of the finest linen or the same type of quality and/or style one would get if you purchased bedding by Matouk but rather because of how they came to me and something that was done to them by the person who sent them to me.

These pillow cases are made from a blue print percale fabric -which is pretty enough by itself, rather quaint type print -but a distant cousin of mine made these and then, hand-knitted a lacy type edging around them. The edging is at least 3 inches in length and she told me that the knitting was done with the bone knitting needles of the smallest size you can possible acquire. The needles she used she said had belonged to my great-stepgrandmother, who brought them with her on the boat when she immigrated from Scotland to the United States back around 1881 or 1882!

She also told me that to complete a set of pillow cases like these generally takes her a minimum of 30 hours of work!

Knowing how much time I put into the items I embroider, that is really a heck of a lot of work and the labor alone, as intense as it is, makes these things, to me, just as valuable then as any of the finest linens available in any store!

Take the Country Out....

There's an old adage about how you can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl. Anyone remember that one?

Anyway, it means simply (for those who are unfamiliar with it and don't understand the meaning) that you can take a girl or young woman (or old lady too, for that matter I suppose) who has grown up in the country -sort of a farm girl, or like I was way back when, from a small town and a bit naive in the ways of the world -out of that environment but you can never take those roots -those country kind of ways -out of the girl.

I don't know if that is the truth or not, really I don't. Even though I have lived and worked in Washington, D.C. for a number of years as well as spending a year living and working in Baltimore too and should be a little bit "civilized" by those standards I suppose, I'm also pretty sure though that a lot of the things I learned growing up in this little village -kind of countrified by most standards -are still with me even after having lived and worked a good while in the big city.

But how come you never hear expression like that one about girls being applied to me?

Are they ever criticized for not dropping any of their country-type beginnings?

If my son is any example, I'd say that he definitely qualifies as a country lad, especially if the men's clothing he chooses were to be used as an example.

And, the job he has now -driving what is labeled as a "coal bucket" (an 18-wheeler hauling loads of coal mainly) and as dirty as he gets doing that job, he looks more like a chimney sweep than anything!

Sorry son, but you and I know it's the truth!

And even when he does get cleaned up (and he does clean up quite nicely, really he does), he then tends to opt for clothes that could be I guess called "Retro" in style! But then too, some of his shirt selections (that he likes to pick up at the Goodwill stores) I also know he gets some of them to wear when his older sister is around because she is one who definitely likes the yuppie or ivy league type of apparel for me. He wears the most Retro of his shirts just to watch her blood pressure rise as she lectures him then with words like "You've got to be kidding. You surely are NOT wearing something like THAT out in public, are you?"

And about that time, once he gets a rise out of her, out the door and away he goes, oblivious to fashion and style 99 percent of the time.

Definitely marches to his own drum roll, that boy does!

Green, Green!

A long time ago -I think way back when I was a kid, maybe -there was this song I remember a little of that went "It's green, green, green they say, on the far side of the hill" and well, that's about all of the lines I recall but the melody is now still rolling around in my head. Probably gonna turn into a damned earworm and will keep me from falling asleep in a little while, I suppose.

Don't you just hate when that happens though?

But I was thinking earlier this evening -saw something on the news that I was only half paying attention to (a bad habit I have there) where President Obama wants us all to pay a whole lot more attention to the green. He's referring though to sustainable energy sources, things like that.

I'm wondering here if green cleaning products fall into that category. Anyone have an answer to that?

Personally, right about now the only thing that is green that I tend to worry or think about is that paper stuff the U.S. Treasury department prints out and I keep wishing somewhere, somehow, someone would dump a bag or two, heck why not three for good measure, on my deck here or somewhere else within range of my opening the front or back door, reaching out and just dragging it in!

Actually, in all seriousness, I do see where trying to do things, use products that are better for the environment, however, thus far, it has been my experience that those items generally tend to cost a whole lot more than the regular stuff does.

So, based on my own renewable resources (a check once a month ya know) and the sustainable energy that provides, it may be a while yet before I can actually afford to go green, green, much as I might like to try to do that.

Gotta keep my head above water too ya know!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

An Invitation

I received this sweet little invitation on Monday from Miss Maya as she asked me early-on that evening if I would like to come upstairs and sleep with her, in her bed, in her room. She also wanted to know too what time, exactly, I was going to be going to bed that night. Why that was important to her, I'm still not sure, but I told her the truth, that I really didn't know what time I'd probably be going to bed except that it most likely would be late.

But, she's fairly used to my comings and goings here and I think, I'm pretty sure, she was already aware of the fact that Gram is a major night owl and rarely do I fall into bed until at least 2 a.m. and often it is more like 4 a.m, sometimes even later than that too. It varies, for sure.

On Monday, when she invited me to come sleep with her though, she also asked me if I knew where her bedroom is and then, proceeded to give me instructions as to how to find it and identify it so I didn't make a mistake and end up in Kurt's room instead of hers.

What? Do I know where her room is?

I told her I was pretty sure I knew which room was hers and that I could find it with no problem.

I definitely should know which room in this old house is hers considering the fact that it is the very room where I was born, a little over 66 years ago now! And, it is also the room where I slept -with my Mom -for most of the first 13-14 years of my life too!

About the only big change there from then to now is a little bit of remodeling -new windows and a larger closet, moved from one side of the room to the other, over the years. That and the things that Maya also called my attention to - her room is the one with half a door to it!

Yes, the door into her room was cut in half a few years back -under instructions by her Mom and her Dad did the work. It also has a latch on the outside of the door too to keep small children from leaving the room at times -a few years back -and prevent them from falling down the stairs should they get up and wander about in the middle of the night.

Well, unfortunately, Monday night came and went and I fell asleep in the chair and eventually moved from the chair to the sofa to finish sleeping there. The reason I didn't venture up the stairs to her room that night was when I awoke from sleeping in the chair, both my knees were kind of in a locked-up phase -which happens to me from time to time -and cramping badly (don't you just love some of the attributes of arthritis) so the furthest I could hobble was from the chair to the sofa. The thought of bending those knee joints enough to crawl up the stairs and then, down the hall to her room was out of the question for me at that point in time.

Not one to be denied what she wants though, on Tuesday evening, Maya came and handed me a piece of paper with some important printing on it -done in red marker too -so I would be sure to see it and read it.

I was going to scan this paper, this invitation as it turned out to be, into the computer but alas, something is haywire right now with my printer/scanner, in that it won't even turn on and I can't figure out what apparently is not connected to the power supply there, so I couldn't do that and then post the picture of this paper here for all to see.

However, I can tell you what it said.

"Will you sleep with me in my bed, tonight? Maybe?"

I have no idea what possessed her to revert back to sleeping upstairs on Monday in her bed, again -since she had been back to being my bed buddy in my bed, in my tiny, cold room on the first floor now for at least the past 3-4 weeks. And why she felt the need to invite me to sleep with her -in her room too -was a mystery as well.

But anyway, Tuesday night, I did manage to get myself up the steps and to her room around 2 a.m.

And what happened when I got there?

She was over on what was supposed to be my side of the bed so I figured, no problem there, I'll just tell her to scoot over a bit -like I would do to her when I would go to bed with her in my single bed -and she would slide over like she has always done when sleeping with me in my room.

Boy, did I get a surprise there!

She wouldn't move!!!

I could not get that child to roll over, to slide over, to scoot over -none of those things!

So, in order to get into bed with her -and I wasn't about to try to crawl over her - I had to sit on this tiny bit of room she left me on the edge of the bed and then try to pick up and lift her -all 65 pounds of this kid -over to the other side of the bed!

And let me tell you this, that's sure as hell something I don't want to do again -or at least not very damned often anyway!

But apparently, my going upstairs and sleeping with her was a really good move on my part as yesterday morning, when she got up and was getting ready for school, it was about all she wanted to talk about to her mother.

And Mandy said she told her that Gram had slept with her too in a very hushed and quite reverent tone too!

I'm quite impressed by that.

I had no idea that a simple act like that could produce such a response from a 7-year-old!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Today, January 26th, is a date that holds several memories for me.

It was on today, back in 1971, that I had surgery for the removal of my appendix and gall bladder. I recall too that evening, after the surgery, when my best friend and her cousin (who was also her roommate) came to the hospital to see me and she told me that another very good mutual friend of ours (part of a group of six of us at work who were best of friends) had her baby -a little girl, she named Susan. The mother, Esther, had a nickname in our group. One that today I'm sure would be frowned upon as being very politically incorrect but Esther herself gave herself that nickname because she was the only one of our little group who was Jewish and she referred to herself as "The Jew Girl" and well, it was one of those things that just stuck.

I remember when my older daughter was born, and the gang -all of 'em -came to the hospital to see me but mainly to see the new baby of course.They all referred to themselves as my daughter's aunts and I can still see Esther, doing a little dance, outside the nursery area and gloating that she is, after all, the only Jewish Aunt my daughter had! Still holds that honor to this day, come to think of it.

But, I'm digressing a bit with that little story -a move I do frequently when I write things -as most of you are well aware of by now I would guess.

The most important thing about this date though -and one that I rather doubt my cousins (on my Mom's side of my family) would remember but really, they should, is that January 26th was the birthdate of our oldest aunt.

Aunt Ethel!

She was the first child of our grandparents -born January 26, 1903 -and her full name was Ethel Elvira Eld! She was born the beginning of the year in which this house, where I live today, was built but most likely, she was actually born in the house two doors over from this one -because it's my understanding from family information passed down over the years, that my grandparents as well as my Grandpa's older brother, his wife and at least two of their children lived in that house too. As small as that place was/is, it was at one time, considered a "double house." Maybe by the time Aunt Ethel came along though, Uncle Erik and Aunt Beatrice may have already had their own home built and perhaps they were living in it by then.

I looked in the picture files I have on my computer for an early photo of Aunt Ethel and I thought there was a baby picture of her that I had scanned in but apparently not. This though is the earliest picture I could find of her.

This was her standing beside the second of my grandparents' children, my Uncle Bertram Carl Eld, who was born April 7, 1904, here in Grassflat. I would assume by the time he was born my grandparents were then probably residing in this house so that would make him the first baby born here. (I was the second to be born in this house then apparently! Although I had been told I was the ONLY one in the family born in this house, so who knows who was first and who was second? No one around today to verify that fact, ya know!)

Weren't they just the cutest two little children though?

I was really disappointed that I have been so lax in my scanning of old photographs of my family because I could only find two photos in my files -this one and a picture taken in the 50s of Aunt Ethel, my Mom, my Grandpa and me. This one!

That's Aunt Ethel in the middle, standing between my Grandpa and my Mom -and of course, the lovely "bathing" beauty in front of Grandpa -me. Not necessarily the very best picture ever taken of me, for sure. But it is a nice picture of my Mom and her older sister as well as my Grandpa too. Brings back lots and lots of memories of them, for sure.

Aunt Ethel got married on June 28, 1928 in Bellefonte, PA to a local fellow -Lars Albin Gustafson. Although his first name was Lars, he never used that name as he said he disliked it very much so he went by Albin but most everyone called him "Butch" - nickname he got because his father had a butcher shop here in the village from the turn of the century until possibly as late as 1930.

Aunt Ethel and Uncle Butch always lived in Jamestown, New York -a place I visited frequently as a young child. And, from October of 1951 until November of 1953, I lived with them in Jamestown too.

They never had children of their own but doted on all their nieces and nephews. Because my Mom and I lived with my grandparents here in the family homestead, I suppose that was part of how I came to grow up a bit closer to Aunt Ethel and Uncle Butch than some of my cousins were and probably because of those circumstances, plus my being an only child too, they did shower me with a lot of things throughout my childhood. That I ended up living with them in Jametown too I'm sure had a lot to do with that as well.

In the summer of 1951, my Mom decided she needed to go out and get a place of her own and in doing that, she ended up in Niagara Falls, NY, living with my younger aunt and her husband -Aunt Marian and Uncle Ed.

I recall that summer when we lived with Aunt Mamie and she and Uncle Ed had this large apartment in what had apparently been a big old farmhouse -located across the road from the Niagara River, just outside of Fort Niagara where the Niagara River empties into Lake Ontario. It was almost as great living there, as far as I was concerned, as it was to be living back home in Grassflat because there was a huge yard all around this farmhouse and Aunt Mamie and Uncle Ed had this beautiful dog, too -a collie, named Coral -who was smart as a whip! Uncle Ed had trained Coral to do several neat tricks -among them being how she would sit up on the kitchen chair, with her front paws draped over the top of the chair to beg for her food. Once given permission to get down, when she would start to eat, if she began eating too fast, Uncle Ed would give her a command to "Slow down" and she would then start eating very daintily. It was a neat trick in my book to see, for sure.

But the thing I loved the most was when Uncle Ed would come home and grab me and begin to tickle me and as soon as I started to giggle, Coral would immediately think I was in some kind of danger and would come after Uncle Ed, pulling at him until he finally would let me go. Yes, she was a darned good watch dog in that respect -very protective of me as her charge, I guess.

But anyway -again, a little digression there. That fall (1951) Aunt Mamie and Uncle Ed had bought a little bungalow house on Chapin Avenue in the Falls and Mom and I moved into it with them. Therefore, I started second grade at a neighborhood school in Niagara Falls.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, so-to-speak, my grandparents were upset by all of this. They wanted me, at least, to be brought back to Grassflat to live with them. Yeah, my Grandpa missed me! So, three weeks into the school year, my Mom gave into their wishes and brought me back to Grassflat to live while she returned to Niagara Falls to work.

Now, this move didn't exactly sit too well though with my Mom's siblings as they thought that it was too much of a strain on my Grandparents to be responsible for me living here with them. At that time, my Grandpa was then 76 and Grandma was 70 and although they obviously getting up in years, they felt their health was fine to watch over me.

However, my aunts and uncle debated this issue and it was then decided that we -my Grandparents and I -would go to Jamestown where we would then live with Aunt Ethel and Uncle Butch, at least over the winter months.

And so, that's how I came to leave Grassflat that fall -three weeks in school in Niagara Falls, about another three weeks in second grade here and then, in mid-October, I began attending second grade in Jamestown at the school located I think, if memory serves me correctly, on East Second Street. We were living at that time in an apartment, second floor, at 348 East Falconer Street. An apartment with large enough rooms but not too great considering in our move, we also HAD to bring our dog, Lady, with us too!

Lady was part collie, part shepherd and a fairly large, very wooly dog. She was also considered to be an "outside" dog as she really didn't like being cooped up inside the house whether it was here in Grassflat, or in an apartment in Jamestown. And Uncle Butch wasn't quite the animal lover either that my Grandpa and I were and he disliked having the dog inside the apartment too so she slept out on the landing, just outside the kitchen entry to the apartment.

By February of 1952 though, Aunt Ethel and Uncle Butch decided the time had come where they really needed to purchase a house and so, they found this old house up on 18th Street -in need of a lot of repair and remodeling -and we moved up there. This meant another change of schools then for me and I wound up my second grade year in the fourth school, this one on Euclid Avenue.

By April of 1952, my Grandpa was chomping at the bit to be brought back home, to his house and to his land so he could begin getting the ground ready for the big vegetable garden he planted every year. And finally, by May, Aunt Ethel and Uncle Butch brought them back here -figuring at least they wouldn't have to worry about them having to deal with firing a coal furnace and removal of ashes, work like that in maintaining this old house.

But I remained behind to finish out the school year then in Jamestown. Much as I loved living with Aunt Ethel and Uncle Butch, I was getting pretty anxious too though by June to return here to my home, my friends, my life as I knew it, here in Grassflat and so, they brought me back here then for the summer months.

When fall rolled around again, I returned to Jamestown to school but my grandparents were adamant about not leaving their home again so they stayed here. Again, the problems of their being here alone were discussed by their children and this time, my Mom, I gather, was put under some family pressure to return to this area then too so that she could oversee my grandparents lives here then and keep them as content -and healthy -as possible for the rest of their lives.

One little side note though about my residing in Jamestown with my aunt and uncle, was that they were not permitted to sign my school report cards, initially. To take care of that situation, my Mom had to engage an attorney and have my aunt and uncle named then as my legal guardians -a move that I knew about and thought that all my aunts and uncles were also aware of that but didn't find out until many, many years later -after Aunt Ethel and Uncle Butch had both died -that my younger uncle (Cookie) and his wife, my Aunt Mary, never knew about that legal stuff until they, having been named administrators for Aunt Ethel and Uncle Butch, were going through their papers and things and came across those guardianship papers there for me.

Aunt Ethel was a person who was basically very easy-going -not just in disposition, but in movement too. And yet, as she would slowly move about, she had every movement organized in her mind so that she could accomplish more, moving at what seemed a very slow pace, than my Mom or others in the family could do as they rushed around, sometimes a bit willy-nilly, if you know what I mean.

Aunt Ethel and Uncle Butch were generous to a fault -not just to me directly, but to everyone within the family.

It was through them and my uncles that we came to have a bathroom built on to this house in the fall of 1962. That summer, when they were all here -probably for the Eld Family Reunion -my uncles and Aunt Ethel sat out in the backyard and planned how they would go about getting this addition built on to the house. It was decided that Aunt Ethel and Uncle Butch would pay for most of the materials to build this addition -the cement blocks for the foundation and the lumber. Uncle Bert and Uncle Cookie would provide the labor to build this room and Uncle Ralph, because of his business, couldn't be here every weekend to help with the building part, was responsible then for providing the bathroom fixtures -tub, vanity, commode -and those essentials. By that time, Aunt Mamie and Uncle Ed were then living in California, rarely came back east to visit and so, were not in on this family discussion and decision.

So that fall, from Labor Day weekend when the ground was broken in back of the house where the addition was to be built and every weekend from then on till Thanksgiving of that year, Uncle Bert and Uncle Cookie and their sons -my cousins Ray, Dave, Ken and Tom -came here to work on building this bathroom extension to the house. Most weekends, Aunt Ethel and Uncle Butch were also here too but not always as Uncle Butch wasn't as skilled in the carpentry area as were Uncle Bert and Uncle Cookie (Clarence was his given name but acquired the nickname of "Cookie" early on in his life and it, as often happens with nicknames, was one that stuck firmly!

Over Thanksgiving weekend that year, my uncles were ready to get the plumbing all hooked up -water to the fixtures, to the radiator, heat from the old coal furnace -and then, the bathroom would finally be usable. Not totally completed, as the finishing touches -woodwork and such -still needed to be completed, but the necessities would be done. With the help of a cousin's husband, who was a plumber by trade (Steve Sabolsice), they got all of this stuff hooked up and working.

Then, on Monday evening, when it was time for my Uncle Cookie and his boys, Ken and Tom to return to their home in Corry, PA, Uncle Cookie announced to my Mom that he was done with what he had to do with building this room and that he WOULD NOT be back to do anymore work on it, that my Mom was now on her own with finishing it all up!

Needless to say, she wasn't overly pleased by these words as she said later, it was just as she had figured all along that would happen. The "boys" (meaning her brothers) would come here and start this project and then, not finish it!

But I knew the real reason why Uncle Cookie said and did that!

He was highly ticked off with my Mom, who from the get-go, would go messing around during the week, moving equipment, supplies, stuff like that, around to where she believed was a better place to have those things so then, when my uncles would arrive each Friday night that fall to begin working on the bathroom early Saturday a.m., they would first have to spend half of the day, looking for all the equipment and stuff they needed to begin the work! That, plus my Mom did know a good bit about carpentry and plumbing too -learned it from her brothers, she did -and she didn't hesitate to put her two cents in to tell the "boys" what she THOUGHT they should be doing and how to do it too!

Yeah, she did have a very irksome trait like that! Now, Aunt Ethel, on the other hand, would never have tried to boss her brothers, and certainly not her husband, Uncle Butch, around. Not. At. All! If she thought they maybe were making a little mistake here and there, she might have mentioned it at times to my Mom but she never would have ever thought to correct, much less boss those men around, for certain. Just wasn't part of her disposition in the first place to do things like that!

Lest you think that the reason this bathroom was built was because we didn't have indoor plumbing, that was not the case. Although some -okay, several -other homes along this street still had the old outhouse outback, we did already have a bathroom -of sorts -in this house, but it was located in to different parts of the basement! The tub was in the "laundry room" which was under the kitchen and where there was a bucket-a-day stove and the hot water tank and which made for a really, really cozy warm area in which to bathe in the winter time what with that bucket-a-day putting out all kinds of heat, ya know.

The commode was located at the foot of the cellar steps in what was referred to as the furnace room because, of course, that's where the old coal furnace was and where the oil furnace we have today is located now too. There was a partition around the commode for privacy purposes and with the furnace located there, it wasn't icy cold to use it but it was far from being a nice, pretty and warm set-up too.

That was though life as I knew it until November of 1962 when the new bathroom was ready for use! A move that was instigated mainly because Aunt Ethel -and her brothers -thought going up and down those cellar steps all the time was entirely too risky for my Grandma and that this was a way to provide her for some extra comforts in her last days on earth. She died the following May, a little less than six months after her new bathroom had been built for her -and anyone else in the house too, of course.

But back a bit now too about Aunt Ethel and by extension, of course, my Uncle Butch too.

From the time in November of 1953 when I returned to live in Grassflat with Mom and my Grandparents, there wasn't a summer that went by that I didn't go to Jamestown to spend several weeks there with Aunt Ethel and Uncle Butch. And as happy as I had been initially to return home -to this old house, this neighborhood -each summer I couldn't wait for the weekend to arrive when I would be returning to Jamestown with them then too!

I was one lucky kid there in that I then kind of had two families, two homes, two sets of great friends to play with as well! Aunt Ethel and Uncle Butch and their next-door neighbor's son, Jimmy Johnson, who was three years younger than me but who became a bit of a fixture too at Aunt Ethel and Uncle Butch's home, and I would go fishing, have picnics down at a state park fairly near to Jamestown but which has now escaped my memory as to the name of the place. There was a big dam and swimming area there -that I remember quite well -and the drive into the park area was very wooded and filled with lots of wildlife -bears, deer, rabbits, raccoons -animals that often would wait by the roadside and tourists just as often would stop and give these animals food too! A practice not really highly recommended by the Forestry Department for sure, even back then, but it never stopped folks from doing that anyway!

And just as I went to Jamestown every summer where I would spend much of my school vacation with Aunt Ethel and Uncle Butch, always at some juncture along those weeks, I would also get to go to Corry, PA for at least a week, sometimes two, to stay with Uncle Cookie and his wife, Aunt Mary and their four children -Ken, Sue, Tom and Becky.

I've told my kids over the years that had it not been for those weeks in Corry, spent playing out in the big backyard of their home, I never would have had a single clue as to what life is like for kids to grow up with siblings! I have Uncle Cookie and Aunt Mary and their children to thank for that experience and I'm so glad I had those few weeks every summer to learn a bit more about the family socialization process!

When my daughter, Carrie, came along, she became the "fair-haired"child for Aunt Ethel and Uncle Butch to love, cater to and spoil. They absolutely adored her!

Unfortunately, by the late seventies, Aunt Ethel had begun to show signs of senility. Call it what you want -"hardening of the arteries" is what it was called when it struck my Grandpa and what it was still called when it began to affect Aunt Ethel. Today it would most likely be called Alzheimer's or perhaps simply Dementia. But her mind began to falter more and more and it was heartbreaking to watch the decline in her and also, the toll it took on Uncle Butch too.

He was as devoted to Aunt Ethel as she was to him and one of the ways in which it affected her, was that she would often spend days searching their house, looking for my daughter, Carrie! Try as he would do to explain to her that Carrie wasn't there; that she was also no longer a little toddler either, of course, those explanations fell on deaf ears. Sometimes, he would phone me, sobbing, and beg me to talk to her and tell her that Carrie was here, in Grassflat, with me and that she was fine. And also to tell her, over and over again and again, how old Carrie was by then too. As much as it hurt me to deal with this part of her illness, long-distance, it hurt more I think to listen to him crying as he tried to reason with her then too.

Finally, the time came when it was no longer feasible for them to live by themselves in the big old house they had worked so long on to fix it up, making it a beautiful home, inside and out and they moved into the Lutheran Home in Jamestown as Uncle Cookie and Aunt Mary took over the work of clearing out the house and seeing it all sold. That was something I was eternally grateful that I was living here -130 miles away -and thus, not close enough to be there for the clearing out, the auction, the sale of the property as I don't think I would have handled that very well at all as it would have been horribly depressing for me to see so much of my childhood gone forever except in my memories.

It will be 29 years this coming March since my dear Aunt Ethel and her husband, Uncle Albin or Uncle Butch (pick a name) both passed away within a week of each other. That year, our family actually had three funerals -each within nine days of the other -beginning with the untimely death of my cousin, David, my Uncle Bert's youngest son, then Aunt Ethel and ending with Uncle Butch's passing. A whole lot of of heartache and heartbreak that year and the month of March since then has always been a very depressing month for me due to losing three very important members of my family, of my life.

But today, I just wanted to write a little bit about the sweetest lady -Aunt Ethel -on the occasion of what would have been her 108th birthday!

And if any of my family -my cousins especially -would happen to read this piece today or in the future sometime, to ask them to take a bit of time and remember what a wonderful aunt we were all so blessed to have had in our lives. As much as she loved each of us, to remember her too -as well as Uncle Butch and the rest of our ancestry -with the love and respect she so well deserved from all of us.

And also, to say, how much I still miss her, the comfort of being held close to her when I needed a hug, just to let me know that she cared, to comfort me if I was hurting in any way. I will always remember that and to send a prayer to her, wherever she is, to say I loved you so much then and always will.

For you, Aunt Ethel, on this day that led to so many things -wonderful, happy things -and for being such a huge part of my life! How I wish my children had all had the opportunity to know you better and that my Grandchildren will, if I have anything to do about it, know who you were and what a beautiful, loving person you were.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Heat Wave!!!

Heat wave. We're having a heat wave, that's for sure.

Well, at least compared to yesterday, it is a bonafide heat wave in my book. I saw on this morning's news (Today show weather) that the temperature in Clearfield this morning was 35 degrees higher than it was yesterday. Well, considering I don't know what the temps were yesterday in Clearfield, but I do know my cousin said it was -8 at her house in Morrisdale -which is 8 miles from my place and a young fellow here in town said yesterday that at 10 a.m., it was still -5 at his house up on the hill from my place, I know it was down in the sub-zero marks all over the place yesterday. I did hear yesterday of some places recording lows too of -20 in and around this region, so even if it may have been as low a -20 say, yesterday, in Clearfield, then today would have been a nice 15 degrees above zero. So no matter how low it was yesterday wherever anyone is here in central Pennsylvania, today's temps are warm -darned near balmy all things considered!

Yay, yay, yay on the warmth! Wish it would stay this way from now until spring arrives in March but I know, we've still got to get through the rest of this month and February with its sometimes brutal cold, snowy weather too.

This morning, my son called and asked if someone could meet him at the Truckstop in Kylertown to pick him up and bring him down here to the house so he could get himself a nice hot shower! So Mandy's friend Ken ventured up to pick up Sonny Boy and brought him down and yes, he got a nice hot shower and smelled oh so much better then. At least this way too, if he's out on the road another two days, he won't be quite as black as a chimney sweep when he does get home again -like he was last week! So, before he left he had a bit of left-over pizza -should have made himself some sandwiches too before he left but since I didn't remind him of doing that, odds are he forgot completely about tomorrow and that he might be hungry then!

After he left, I got the dishes washed and the kitchen floor mopped too. Been a good little while since the floor got a mopping so it definitely needed that treatment, for sure!

Then, I had decided too -with a suggestion (rather pointed too I might add) from Mandy that since it is warmer out today that I take "Sir Muttley" -aka Sammy the dog -out for a walk. I timed it so that as soon as I had the floor mopped up, I got my walking shoes and coat on and hooked Sammy up to the leash and away we went!

Keep in mind that I have been very, very lax in my walking routine since last August when I was recuperating from the surgery. I'm thinking I have probably only walked Sammy oh, maybe 5, possibly 10 times since the end of July. Ten is really a stretch and I doubt I was really near that mark, but well, anything is possible since I can't keep track of what I've done and when I've done this, that and some other things in the past week much less what all I've managed to do over the past almost six months now. Lucky for Sam that Ken really likes him and also, that he seems to enjoy taking Sam for walks almost daily too!

I have a few other things I'm mulling over in my mind today that I'm planning -or hoping anyway -to write about but haven't gotten the gist of what I want to say worked out in my mind as yet. One of those things pertains to Oprah and her big announcement yesterday about meeting her half-sister who she knew absolutely nothing about until this past fall. Just wondering if anyone else watched her show yesterday and what your reactions may have been to that broadcast.

There are things about that story that really hit home with me and I suppose only those folks who know me really, really well -family, a few friends -might have an idea as to what that might be. I'm not adverse to talking about that stuff but just not right now as there are things about my life that I do have to take care how much I say and how I say it lest I upset some applecarts along the way that I really don't want to get a lot of stuff riled up there.

But somewhere, in the future, I'll have to write about this because of the impact Oprah's show did have on me. Just have to think it through thoroughly, ya know!

And now -time for me to return to my recliner and embroidery.

That fresh air, the walk with the dog (we strolled down to the little bridge -the first one as you enter Peale, the ghost town down the road) really refreshed me, inside and out, I do believe!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Things Desired

I've been a bit of a busy little beaver here of late -writing and posting stuff here -and in the process, doing a whole lot of thinking too.

Thinking about all kinds of things -like things I should be doing around the house. What to cook for supper tonight? How much longer will it take for me to finish the tablecloth I am currently embroidering? All kinds of topics flooding my pea brain of late and unfortunately, most of those things don't come with any answers for me either.

Take this for example: Instead of just losing some more weight, which I really do need to do, I'd love to have a way to slim down my lower abdomen but I'd much prefer to find a way to do that without having to do lots and lots of exercise such as incorporating a lower ab workout into my daily routines!

I'm not a very big fan of true physical exercise. Anyone who knows me even halfway will tell you that! I hate the very thought of doing exercises, even "baby" ones, that get you started on this road to physical fitness, simply because my back and legs already ache more than enough with the regular visits I get from good old arthritic attacks much less deliberately using muscles that haven't seen anything close to a workout in eons and making myself so stiff and sore that I wouldn't be able to move in at least a week.

Another thing that worries me too, in a way, especially with the lower ab stuff, is the fact that one can easily get a hernia -and not even realize it at the time -by doing very easy, simple things and I really don't want to encourage the possibility of revisiting that problem in my life again, ya know. I had a hernia for over 2 years and with the surgery last summer, did have it at least partially corrected but I don't want to risk exacerbating that problem all over again.

What the heck is an old lady like me supposed to do then anyway?

Just something else for me to ponder I guess.

Making the Best of Things!

Winter has definitely struck here in central Pennsylvania and with the temperatures being what they were today -very much sub-zero stuff -Mother Nature is here with revenge apparently on her mind!

We've been relatively lucky this winter so far with respect to the snowfall. We've had several inches deposited here but thus far, no really, really back-breaking accumulations to clear out. Better knock on wood there, huh, since we still have a good two months left for that possibility to occur -or worse yet, get hit with a full-fledged blizzard!

One nice thing this winter though is that Mandy's good friend, Ken, has an ATV that he can bring here and at least, plow our parking area out for us. I just hope that it holds up okay for him -no breakdowns, ya know -or he'll then maybe be needing to shop around for some ATV Parts or a mechanic to make the repairs!

Sure do hope nothing like that ever happens cause I know for sure my back wouldn't hold up very long if I had to go out and start shoveling us out!

Right now, I'm trying to coax Mandy into taking the two containers of garbage I have sitting on the counter down to the back yard, to the bank behind our old burn pile and dump this stuff (coffee grounds, leftover food scraps and such) into the compost pile I had Clate start building over a week ago there.

Ken had suggested that we take our food scraps and such and dump them on my gardening area to enrich the soil there. I decided it would be better to build our own compost pile and then, shovel that stuff, come spring, onto the garden to help fertilize the ground. My logic there was that then we would also have stuff we could spread around a bit on the so-called flower beds in front and along the side of the house too.

Which is the better way to deal with these substances anyway? Build your own compost pile or just dump the stuff directly onto the garden area anyway? Obviously, if you've read my blog for any length of time, you know gardening and horticulture and that stuff is way out of my league but I know several of you -my blogger friends -are good, really, really good, at making things grow like crazy and I just thought maybe you had some input for me on this topic today!

Let me know, will ya please? Inquiring minds want to know and this time, it's not Maya asking the questions!

Oh, The Questions!

Actually, I probably should have titled this post "ARRGH, The Questions!"

I know I've made mention -a lot -lately about Maya and her incessant questions but let me tell you this, when she gets on a roll with them, it is really difficult to cope with at times and also, sometimes really hard to come up with some reasonable answers for her too.

I will be the first to admit that at times, I kind of relish giving her answers that are more along the smart alec quips I'm often inclined to give to my kids or other adults around me. I probably shouldn't do that to Maya or Kurt but sometimes, the temptation is just too great.

The thing is that sometimes with Maya she will shift gears on you in mid-stream with her questions and that tends to throw me for a bit of a loop.

Last night, she was on a question-asking roll -big time! Thanks to that bottle of Dr. Pepper she had last night, I was blessed with an addition 2-3 hours of her interrogations.

I don't recall now what all she was asking about -way too many things to keep track of each and every inquiry -but I do recall that at one point, she asked me "What do you do with your camera, Gram?"

Now this one came totally out of the blue -no connection to any thing else she had earlier been asking about -and it kind of shocked me because she KNOWS what I do with my camera. Or so I thought, anyway.

Her mother and I both have digital cameras and we both use them -a lot too! And Maya especially is often the focal point for our cameras, so it's not some new object she's never been exposed to before.

So why this question then?

I did give her an answer and one I felt was accurate and honest and not a put on answer to hush her up -which is what I probably most wanted to do at that point in time.

I told her I use my camera to take pictures of her and her brother, as well as other things that interest me, catch my eye at times, and events I want to be able to remember in years to come and then, with those photos, I can do that. Same thing too with the videos Mandy and I sometimes remember to grab the cameras and shoot too of the kids doing things you think at the time you will never forget but yet, after years of experience now in trying to recall what happened with my own kids, their reactions to things, even -or especially -how their voices sounded too at this or that age or stage of their lives - are lost forever unless one has the foresight to grab the camera, hit the video button, point and shoot.

And as Maya and Kurt grow up, I'm quite sure that sometime down the line, years from now, they'll appreciate having all these pictures as well as the videos that Mandy and I have taken of them along their way in life.

Culprit Revealed!!!

Boy, was I ever glad that our school district had a two-hour delay today -due to the sub-zero temperatures, ya know. And baby, it really was cold here last night and this morning too. I don't know what the official temps were for this area but I saw on Facebook a cousin of mine who lives about 8 miles from me said her thermometer was registering a -13 and a young man who lives here in town was grumbling about it being -5 here in the village this a.m. BRRRRR! For sure!

But aside from that, I mentioned to Mandy about how late Maya was awake last night and how she about drove Uncle Clate and Gram half-nuts with her incessant questions too. She didn't get to sleep till at least midnight so that 2-hour delay then at least assured her of getting a good night's sleep after all.

When I mentioned to Mandy though about her energy levels and such, she said she knew the reason behind that too.

Seems yesterday -when the kids had their normal Sunday visitation with their Dad -that he had given Miss Maya a full bottle of Dr. Pepper soda which apparently is as laced with caffeine as is the good old Mountain Dew my son loves to suck down on a constant basis.

Well, I'm glad that question is now resolved as I was beginning to think that perhaps at some point in time -a few years back -that Mandy had maybe overdosed on those prenatal vitamins or some such thing like that!

Always a good thing though to learn how this or that food substance may react in her or in her brother too, ya see.

And you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll sure as heck not be giving that child any Dr. Pepper any time in the future.

She asks more than enough questions when she's ingested stuff from her regular diet and I definitely don't need anything to give her more need to interrogate me -or anyone else here, for that matter!

Energy Unlimited!

In my previous post, I mentioned about the guy I was engaged to a long, long time ago and how he went about losing weight by eating chicken breasts for virtually every meal -cooked in the microwave -because he said that chicken cooked that way was among certain foods that burn fat.

Considering the fact that he did lose weight -and a whole lot of it too -when he would go on this diet, I guess he had a good point there. Maybe it really is true but don't look to me to try that to see how well it would or could work with me.

However, here's something else I've been wondering here tonight.

I've been trying to figure out what Maya must have had to eat during her visit with her Dad today because whatever it was that he fed her sure must have given her oodles and oodles of energy!

She was up early Sunday morning -about 8:30 a.m. -and tonight, she was wired for sound about watching the football game between the Jets and the Steelers. Yes, my seven-year-old granddaughter is a big, big Steelers fan, you see! And she absolutely had to stay up to see -to make sure -that the Steelers won that game. They did but it wasn't without some rather scary moments in the second half when it looked like the least little mistake or misstep or break and the Jets were ready to snatch that victory away from the Steelers.

Thankfully, that Steel Curtain held up though and they won it 24 to 19!

So after the game ended she was supposed to go to bed but at 11:30, she was still wide awake, wandering around the downstairs of the house and annoying the living daylights too out of me and her Uncle Clayton with her questions. Questions about virtually anything and everything!

I wish I knew what she'd had to eat because baby, now that is the kind of food I really need!

Stuff that would give me unbounded energy would be a wonderful thing, don't you agree?

Maybe it has something to do with just being a kid though because she and I both dearly love macaroni and cheese but if I eat that, same quantity as she might have, she'll have energy galore and I'll end up sound asleep after dinner in my lovely recliner.

Sometimes, ya know, life just ain't fair to us older folks, is it?

Jealousy Factor?

On Sunday, I didn't make it to the church service itself because, although I woke up -and got up -in time, my body decided to be very uncooperative with me.

What happened was I got what I can best term as "sneezing fits" and when they began to somewhat subside, my sinus decided now was the time to let loose on me too. Suffice it to say that my nose was running faster, I think, that our old leaky faucet in the kitchen sink was doing up until the new faucet was installed right after Christmas. And trust me folks, that was a whole lot of leaking going on then.

I did however, have my chicken almost completely cooked and ready to take out to the pot luck dinner that took place directly after our congregation's annual meeting finished up. Thankfully, Mandy (the kids too) and I did make it there in time for the meeting. Really, it should be thankfully, my nose finally dried up after about two hours of time spent wiping it, blowing it and going through about a half a box of kleenex in the process. Initially, I feared I might be coming down with a cold -like the one Maya has right now -but after things began to clear up a bit, I'm now convinced I must have had some sort of allergy type attack.

So, anyway, I took my chicken out to the dinner and I have to say that I got a lot of compliments on it as well as several requests for the recipe too. It's one of the easiest dishes I've ever prepared and is very, very tasty. It's called Glazed Apricot Chicken and here's the recipe for it, just in case the name sounds enticing (and my bragging about how good and how easy it is to fix too) gives you the notion to fix it.


Boneless chicken breasts -I used 6 today. Sliced them down in the fattest parts and then, cut these pieces into smaller servings so I had roughly 18 smallish servings.

I used a 9x13 inch baking pan -lined with foil and then, sprayed with a baking spray.

Make a rub using 1 tablespoon each of rosemary, oregano and basil. I put the seasonings all in a small ziplock bag and used the rolling pin then to crush them as much as possible. Rub the blended seasonings across the chicken. Place the chicken in the baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, mix together 1 tablespoon each of honey and mustard to 1/4 cup of chicken broth (used the instant crystals to make the broth) and blend that into a cup of apricot preserves. Brush the chicken then generously with this sauce and bake for another 20 minutes. Apply more of the glaze and bake yet another 20 minutes or until juices run clear.

Serve! See? Can't be any easier than that to have a really yummy chicken to feed family or friends!

Mandy had a dinner invitation of her own today too so she and the kids didn't go to the pot luck dinner. The kids Dad picked them up at the church just before the dinner began to take them to spend the day with him and Mandy went off to her dinner invite too. When she came home though, she brought with her baked chicken breasts, homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and even dumplings! Wow! Chicken all over the place -or so it seemed to my stomach today!

As I sat this evening eating a nice portion of the chicken dinner leftovers Mandy had brought home, we got to talking about various things and for some reason, chicken seemed to be the predominate subject tonight.

Actually, we got talking first about people losing weight and I mentioned that the guy I went with oh, about 28 years or so ago (was even engaged to him, as a matter of fact) had a bit of an issue with some excess weight and I had commented that he sure must have loved chicken because that was all he ate when he went on a diet! He fixed it with a little bit of pepper and even less salt and then cooked a boneless chicken breast in the microwave for virtually every meal.

And boy, did he drop the pounds too! He also drank water -lots and lots of water.

I have no idea where he got this diet from but he claimed that. for openers, men's metabolism burns off pounds faster than does a woman's (I do believe this is true, cause I saw it with my own eyes) but he also said that fixing -and eating -just chicken cooked this was was one of the best mens fat burners you could ever find!

Now this kind of diet may have worked well for him, but although I never tried it, I don't think I could handle eating nothing but cooked chicken breast and drinking gallons and gallons of water! I would be really tired of the chicken after, I'm sure, the first day, maybe I could last two days on just that for sustenance but I'm quite sure my system would rapidly become bored, even develop a downright hate in the long run for chicken!

Heck, after having chicken fixed -with seasonings -and with other foods too not once, but twice today, and both types of chicken were very, very tasty, to be honest, I really don't think I'll be wanting to eat chicken breast now again for at least 2, maybe 3 weeks!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Heck of a Performance!

Yesterday (and by yesterday, I mean Friday -cause to me, it's still Saturday even though technically, by the time on the clock, it is now Sunday but it doesn't become a new day to me until after I have gone to bed and get up and it is the next day, ya know) Maya was all excited because she was going to go to her new friend's house about 4 doors down the street from our place.

And not only was she going there Friday afternoon but she was going to spend the night there too!

Yes, she was really excited over this deal, that was for sure.

But, when she came home today, I watched her coming down the sidewalk, toting her pillow pet and her backpack with her jammies in there, and I could see the expression on her face changing from a sweet little smile to a frown and I knew we were in for a meltdown when she got into the house.

And boy, was I ever right!

Such a performance she gave with the weepies and tears and wailing and moaning.

Too bad we couldn't have sold tickets and had theater seats available for folks to see this action!

I know she's having a rough time right now, trying to make friends -which is something that is difficult for her to do because she doesn't yet have the social skills necessary that would put her on that level just yet. She's trying, but it's something that is difficult for her at this time.

We're glad that she does have the friendship with the little girl down the street but, at the same time, everytime she has been there, when she comes home, she goes into a weepy scene here about wanting to be able to do all the same things that little girl does and is involved in but which Maya couldn't do this year due initially to the work hours Mandy had until her job ended last month.

I told Mandy tonight that we're going to have to talk to Maya and tell her perhaps she won't be able to keep going to this little friend's house if everytime she does go there, she comes home crying and then, arguing with Mandy about why she isn't in the baton twirling class or dance class and Lord knows, every other type organization she can think of too!

I have no idea if a threat like that would work with her, but sheesh, we're gonna have to come up with something to stop all these tears and meltdowns!

Any suggestions? Feel free to pass them on here!

Late Night Shopping

Okay -I've mentioned this a few times in my last posts that my son's pickup truck is broke down, sitting in his yard, waiting (patiently) for him to get a pay check or two (or ten) so he can have it towed to a garage somewhere around here and hopefully, get the poor little thing fixed and running again.

And in conjunction with that, I've mentioned that in the interim, my son is using my Jeep to get back and forth to work too, haven't I?

This isn't the worst possible arrangement for his transportation and for the most part, isn't all that much of a hardship on me since I pretty much stay home, stay put in my recliner, embroidering and taking a break to fix supper for the family or get our current "meals on wheels" program in gear to get lunches to my son as he passes by the area some days.

Well this week, I sure didn't want to go out due to the cold and the snow and the ice and all that happy malarky we had going on in this area but by today, I knew I was going to have to bite the bullet and go out as my nicotine supply was about to dry up on me and heaven knows, we can't allow that to happen now, can we?

So I called my son this a.m. and told him I needed him to come to the house sometime today because I had some errands I had to run -also needed to get a few grocery items too.

Well, I expected he'd show up in the late afternoon -at the absolute latest -but I sure didn't figure it would be almost 9 p.m. before he got here with my buggy! So, by the time I was ready to leave for groceries, it was almost 10 p.m. and at that hour, only one store -besides the Sheetz where I could get my smokes -that would be open to get any groceries would be Walmart so, with not much choice in the matter, that's where I headed - over to Clearfield.

I had a little list with me and figured I didn't need all that much in the way of staples and stuff like that, so this was a chance for me to pick up a few other things that I really didn't have to get right now but that I wanted or that we would need over the next month or so.

Now, when I do my grocery shopping I generally try to keep a little running tally going in my head so I don't get too carried away with my spending but, unfortunately, tonight I didn't do that -mainly because I didn't think I was putting all that much in the cart.

However, when it came time to check out, the old POS systems there at Walmart must have been working overtime because my total bill was a bit over $50 more than I had anticipated spending!

Holy Rip! What the heck all did I buy that ran it up so darned high! For openers, I couldn't believe how much some items had gone up in price since the last time I went shopping over there! Eggs especially -man, they were outrageous! And butter/margarine had gone up a lot too. (Well, I managed to get a pound of the Walmart brand butter for a "mere" $2.48 a pound which was about .48 cents more per pound than I usually pay for real butter. But then, I usually don't buy it unless it is on sale at that price however, I needed a pound of it since you really have to have "Real Butter" to spread on warm, fresh from the oven, homemade bread and I'm kind of back on a bit of a bread-baking kick ya know.)

And I sprang for a couple tops for myself too -but they were on sale at really good prices so that wasn't that big of a deal.

But you can bet your bottom dollar that next time I go for groceries, I'll be tallying things up in my head as I put them in my cart so I don't get all shell-shocked ya know, when I go to check out!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Blame it on the New Glasses, Maybe?

Okay folks, I'm back in the embroidery groove once again!

So far this year -this month - I have completed two pair of pillow cases and have a third set almost completed too. I had to stop work on the 3rd set though until an order I placed last week to my favorite online shop (Herrschners) arrives with the floss colors I need to finish this project. I also ordered colors needed for several other projects sitting in my "Stash" pile now too -larger items, like tablecloths that are mainly 52x68 inches in size.

So, while waiting for my order to arrive, I started working on a large tablecloth -52x68 inches -that is a floral piece -featuring tulips! Very pretty, I think.

This cloth has a bunch of three tulips in each corner, with a bunch of three tulips in the center part along the side, plus it has two bunches of three tulips in the middle of the cloth too -and also, four single tulips too along each side of the cloth.

This piece is done in cross stitching which I'm okay with most of the time. (It's that bloody counted cross stitch stuff that I like but it absolutely give me -mainly my eyes -fits!

So anyway, I started working on this piece a week ago today using what floss I already had on hand in the colors required for it.

These tulips -in the corners, middle, center of the edge -in the bunches -are done with one being a light yellow with a darker yellow, the middle tulip is to be a light coral and dark coral and the third tulip, in two shades of purple/lavender.

I was moving right along, getting a lot done on these tulips and I got all the floral display I could do with the colors I had in the middle portion completed. Just need to finish two tulips there in the lavender as I only had one of the purple/lavender colors needed.

So, I started on the flowers then in the corners and along the sides of the cloth -working first with the lavender/purple shade I had. I got I think two bunches of those flowers finished when I realized I had "misplaced" a color! Meaning I had embroidered the wrong tulip on one of the corner bunches! I debated about ripping those stitches out and then decided to heck with that. I would just change the arrangement of the colors in the other two corners!

From there, I decided to work on the tulips in the coral shades. Each tulip is supposed to be done with the petals towards the outside done in one color of coral and the center portion of the flower is then done in another shade of coral. (Same with the other tulips -outer petals in one shade of purple with the inner portion in another shade and likewise with the third flower with is in two shades of yellow.)

So tonight, I finished up all the outer petals of the tulips that are in coral and as I reached for the other color -a darker shade of coral -I realized that I had done all those outer coral leaves in the light shade of coral and they should have all been done in the darker color with the center portion being the lighter color!

Boy, was I ticked off at myself for making a stupid, stupid mistake like that!

Here I thought getting these new glasses last month would alleviate my making a mistake of that type but I forgot, although I can now see much better, one still has to read the directions correctly first, don't 'cha?

Well, I will tell you this much for sure -with as many tulips as are involved in this whole cloth -there is now way in you know where that I am going to rip ALL that much work out and redo them!

I think they will look fine and dandy when it's all finished with the lighter color on the outer petals and the darker color in the middle of the flowers!

I was really disappointed today though that the stuff I ordered last week didn't arrive today. I was thinking, originally, that the stuff would have arrived yesterday until Mandy reminded me that it was a Federal Holiday and the post office was closed. So I thought well, for sure, the package would come today but no luck! So, it better be here tomorrow!

I also got on a bit of a knitting kick too the first week of the new year and made a sweater. Well, I almost made a sweater, I should say, because it isn't finished yet either!

I have the front and back and both sleeves done so I still need to sew it together and then, I will have to knit the neckline after that. And it was because of the neckline that it isn't finished yet because I need to use a large sized circular needle to do the neckline and the needles I have on hand are not large enough for the yarn and stitches, etc. So, I ordered a needles in the size needed too last week and was hoping for that to arrive now so I could finish that sweater!

I had thought the sweater would probably fit me but in holding the pieces up to myself, I don't think it is going to be quite long enough to fit me properly so maybe it will fit one of my girls when it is done -provided they like the style and the yarn -and provided I don't screw up the neckline then too, ya know!

Ah, the trials and tribulations of various types of crafting activities!

But, on the good side of other things I have written about lately, Mandy's friend Ken went out and got me one of those florescent lights I said I wanted in my kitchen and installed it for me too -underneath my corner cupboard! Now I have a very nice amount of light that falls on my countertop, making it much, much easier for me to see to read recipes -hopefully correctly!

And speaking of recipes, today I made Stuffed Pepper Soup from a recipe a friend from church sent me yesterday. (Thanks a bundle Brenda for e-mailing that recipe to me!) The soup turned out great -well, at least Mandy and I liked it. Neither Maya nor Kurtis would even try it! Little fools they both are sometimes where food is concerned! Maya has decided now that she doesn't like rice so therefore, she ruled out this soup because it has rice in it! And as for Kurt, who knows why he wouldn't eat it! Only Kurtis knows that and he's keeping his reasons a secret!

So, if you like stuffed peppers for openers and think this soup would be a good item to try, let me know and I'll be happy to share the recipe with anyone who asks! (Really easy to fix too, I might add -therefore, it qualifies as my type of recipe!)

And now, time for me to go to bed!

See you another time, another day and we can "talk" some more!

Early Employment!

Did I ever give you a run-down of my early employment history?

I got to thinking about this tonight and thought, hey, now there's a topic I don't think I've ever written anything about. Is it?

Anyway, my very first job, after graduating from high school, lasted I think 4 maybe 5 days and that was waitressing at the counter in the drug store in Philipsburg! The old Cowderick's drug store had a little lunch counter as well as some booths and me being untrained for any type of gainful employment, I managed to get hired there.

I liked it well enough -but after my first day on the job, that night when I went to sleep, I had nightmares about people sitting down at the counter and every last one of 'em was ordering a large cherry coke. I don't know why that turned into being a nightmare because it wasn't something intrinsically difficult to serve, but that's what happened anyway.

Now, that nightmare isn't why I gave the job up though. It was because I didn't have my driver's license (because my Mom wouldn't sign for me to get my permit so I had to wait till I was 18 and could get it on my own) so my Mom had to drive me to work and then, come back several hours later and pick me up then too. There was a bus that came through here back then but unfortunately, it only came through early-early in the a.m. to pick up folks who worked in town, at the various factories there, and then, returned about 4 or 4:30 p.m. after their shifts ended. But for a job like the one I had, with shifts scheduled at all different hours, if you didn't have a ride or your own vehicle, you pretty much were sunk.

My second job -also in Philipsburg too -lasted a bit longer but man, I hated it!

It was factory work and I was able to ride with a couple other folks from town who also worked there and they manufactured Cigars! (Robert Burns Cigarillos and Tiparillos, to be precise.)

I was a "packer" and my job was to sort cigars by color on trays and then, pack them into crates which were then taken to the department where they were then fed by machines into the little boxes and thus, ready for sale then.

I'm not color blind but let me tell you, trying to differentiate between what the floor lady claimed to me were purples, greens and yellows on those cigars was beyond my meager visual capabilities, for sure. '

It sure as heck did help me decide though that I needed to find something in the way of some type of schooling so I could get a job that A) didn't require standing for 8 hours a day; B) that didn't make your clothes and your hair stink like cigars; and C) was at least somewhat intellectually stimulating!

I did enroll after 8 months at the cigar factory in a school, located in St. Louis, MO to learn a computer skill -called Tab Wiring -a skill and training which I was never able to find a job in that field I think because by that time, that particular job had already gone by the wayside in the fast changing but still relatively infant time of computers!

Just thought I'd do a bit of a change of pace tonight with this post and who knows, maybe eventually I'll tell you all about all the other really exciting jobs I had over the years!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Long Hard Days!

I had decided last night that for tonight's meal, I was hungry for corned beef and cabbage -with onions and potatoes and carrots -all cooked together in the crockpot. Figured as cold as it's been, it would be a good hot meal that Mandy, her brother Clate and I would all enjoy. (The kids -probably not so much but if they didn't want that, I had leftover homemade Swedish meatballs and some buttered noodles in the fridge, just in case.)

Well, dinner was just cooking away when about 3 p.m., I got a phone call from my son. Make that my "Favorite Son" which is my pet nickname for him -since he is my ONLY son!

Anyway, he was on the road and wanted to know if Mandy or I could meet him up at the truckstop at Kylertown and supply him with two Mountain Dews and a pack of cigarettes as he was almost out of both those things. He said he was on his way to Pittsburgh and didn't know if, once he got there, they would have him return to his home port or if he'd be sleeping in the truck down there overnight.

Well, I told him that I'd have Mandy meet him and luckily for him, the supper was almost done then so I decided to surprise him and pack up a nice little "care" package for him of the corned beef and cabbage mixture and had Mandy take that along to him.

I knew he had no money to stop anyplace and buy any food -as he is dead broke ya know since he hadn't worked since mid-November so knowing that, knowing too that he really likes corned beef and cabbage too, that this would at least give him a hot meal in his belly for the night, at any rate.

I had posted a blurb about sending this care package up for him on my Facebook page and a girl who is a dear friend of his and of Mandy's too replied to my post, saying that she would do the same for Clate anytime he needed help. Then a lady from town, who used to babysit my kids when they were small -and who just so happens to be one of the aides too at the school Kurtis attends -posted that she thought I was being the good Momma that she thinks I am by doing that for him and she'd do the same anytime for him too!

You know, reading those two comments really made me feel darned good -to hear people of two different generations really -talk about my kids and the way they feel about them that they would do whatever they could to help them because A) they're my kids and B) they think they're good kids and that I did a great job raising them alone!

There were many times over the years that because of some of the circumstances that often existed in this household, folks around here might have a totally different attitude about my skills as a parent.

Things weren't exactly what one could call stable here a whole lot of the time, ya know!

For the most part, pertaining mainly to discipline, I tended to be a bit hard-nosed with my kids -mainly because they -my children -and I -were pretty much on our own and alone since their Dad wasn't anywhere near these parts much of the time back then.

But I raised them to believe everyone is equal -regardless of race, sex, intelligence, ability, wealth or sexual orientation. And it makes me feel very good to see that they -all three of them -exhibit those qualities I tried so very much to instill in them when they were growing up!
About 22 years ago, when my older daughter had to have surgery and had to go to Harrisburg to a hospital there for that, I was concerned about the two younger kids as my older girl was my babysitter for her siblings on the days I had work. How was I going to be able to go down to Harrisburg and spend two nights in the hospital with my daughter and still manage to have someone here with the kids.

So I called an aunt who was then living up outside of Erie and asked her if she could come down and stay here with the two younger kids -just see that they had a meal (nothing fancy) and be the adult in charge while I was away. She agreed to do that for me, for her great-niece and nephew and when I came back home, she told me she was totally surprised by something the kids did.

Every time they called the hospital to talk to their older sister, as they hung up the phone from each conversation, my aunt noticed that they always told their sister the same thing -"I love you!" And also, when they went up to bed at night, as they headed up the steps, they also turned to her, their great-aunt, and told her too -"I love you."

My kids and I kind of adopted a bit of a Walton family routine over the years and we still practice this too. When Mandy goes to bed to this day, as she heads to the stairs, she always says good night to me, followed by "Love you, Mom." Any phone calls between the kids or me, as we end the call, we also always -or still -say that very simple phrase. Even if during the phone call there might have been a few angry words back and forth at times, still -when parting -it's a mandatory thing for us to say that.

And just those three little words I do believe are the glue that has held us together through thick and thin, for 30 some years now!

If you and your family aren't accustomed to showing how much you care for each other, to do this might at first seem a bit difficult, downright strange.

But trust me, once you pick it up and make it a habit, it becomes very ingrained and also, leaves each person knowing yes, I am loved, cared about and I feel the same too about whoever I am talking to.

The past few years when my late cousin and I had begun to reach out to each other by making phone calls fairly frequently, I started to do the same thing when we would end our talks by saying simple "Love you" as we hung up. The first time I said that to her, she kind of paused then, caught her breath and said that back to me. Till up until our very last conversation, we ended our calls that way then and it had become with her, as it was with me and my kids, second nature then.

And I am so glad that I made that move because I am at least at peace with myself, knowing that I did tell her I loved her and through that, she knew how very much she meant to me.

Try it, if you don't already do something like this.

I bet you'll like the feeling it gives you deep inside and sure makes those long, hard days seem much easier then to contend with!

And now -I'm going to bed but before I retire for the night, let me say this to all of you, my friends, or family, reading this - "I love you!"

And don't you forget it either!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


A whole lot of things been going on around the old house the past couple of days. But, they are all good things so I'm not here to grump and grumble tonight.

Well, maybe I am but just about one thing.

Mandy decided early this past week that she wanted to make some changes here to the way the house looks -on the inside -but the only thing she could do that she figured would be affordable was to do some painting.

And granted, the downstairs really was in need of a re-do in that respect so she started checking on paint prices and colors and then came and asked me if maybe I might be able to cover the cost of the paint -since she is pretty much broke at the moment, since she recently lost her job.

Well, I got the prices from her and determined then that yes, I could deal with the paint costs so off she and Ken went to get some paint and then, repaint the hallway as well as the living room walls and ceiling, the dining room ceiling and even then, the kitchen ceiling too!

And boy, just the ceilings alone being repainted really spruced the old place up a good bit.

They got the hallway done Thursday. Friday, they worked and got the living room and dining room ceilings done and Saturday morning, they were up and at 'em working on the kitchen ceiling so those areas are completed in that respect now.

They got one coat on the wall behind the computer and my organ and that is still going to need a bit more of a touch-up and then, they will work on doing the other living room walls, probably tomorrow now. (By tomorrow, I really should say "Today" because I mean Sunday but to me, it isn't "today" until after I go to bed and wake up.)

The dining room and kitchen are both white paneling and I do believe I'd just as soon leave that alone cause I like the color white in both those rooms.

So, by now you're probably saying Okay, since all this paint stuff is making you happy, what's the bit you warned about that is a bit of a grump and grumble then anyway?

Well, it's something that I think would be a really simple but very effective addition to my kitchen and it's called more lighting!

We have a ceiling light in the center of the kitchen and also, a light over the sink area and they both are nice -give off a good amount of light. But, for my part, I really would like some additional lighting under the counter to the right of the sink and stove -where I normally work when I am cooking and baking, ya know!

And I know this can be corrected too and quite easily by just getting a florescent light that can easily be placed under the corner cupboard and which would then give just a nice amount of light on that surface area that I use the most.

I used to have a light fixture there like this and now, I don't remember what happened to it, why it was removed. But whatever, I want a light placed there and I want it put in there really soon too!

Maybe I should look around other areas in the house that would be conducive to some easy-to-install changes in lighting that would really help in lots and lots of way!

I'm gonna have to say something about this idea this morning now to Mandy -before they get all wrapped up in painting today and maybe they will take pity of me and my old eyes and run out then and pick up a nice little (or a slightly bigger one would be great) florescent light set up just for me!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Something to Think About

I don't know about any of you who have or have had weight/dieting problems now or in the past, or even just thought you had issues with this stuff but maybe really didn't -just wanted to lose a couple of pounds maybe, but how many of you have ever taken diet pills?

I'll be honest here and confess that way back, in the late 60s, I wanted to lose some of the extra weight I had put on when my older daughter was born and so, I asked my doctor then for a prescription for diet pills, which he gave me. And I lost a lot of weight then -went down to an all-time low for me of 115 pounds.

Considering my normal weight in my 20s hovered usually around the 130-140 pound mark, that was a huge loss for me. Yes, I was slim, really slim! Actually wore a size 7-9 for almost a year before the pounds started to slowly creep back up.

But back then, after my prescription ran out and I couldn't get it refilled, I found a way to keep getting those pills -along with various other pills that were "diet pills" but also fulfilled a whole lot of other, shall we say, "needs" at that time. The need I had was to keep me awake and moving!

I took one pill a day, each day I had to work -and I was working, at that time, a lot of hours -overtime -in order to support my daughter, my Mom and myself! That it kept my weight from really ballooning was then the side benefit as the keeping myself awake was the main thing to me by that time.

I know too that I also, by using those pills like that, ended up getting myself addicted to them too, which is definitely not a good thing, certainly not a healthy thing for sure.

But once I was forced -by an economic issue I won't go into here -to stop using those things, I vowed not to get into that terrible habit again.

However, knowing what I know from my past and from history, etc., that doesn't stop me from reading stuff about the various pills on the market today and all the claims each one has that they are the absolute best thing since sliced bread, ya know.

But what I'd really like for people to be able to have, to read, to see, is honest, down-to-earth information about these substances. Articles that answer that big question - are diet pills safe?

I believe I was very lucky in that when I stopped taking those pills back then, I hadn't been abusing those pills because I was only taking one a day, in the morning, before I went to work and not popping them right and left in order to get high. Not that one of those pills back in those days couldn't give you a definite "lift" because they could and did, but I just mean I wasn't taking them by the handfull.

Even so, coming off using them was not a nice thing but I know now too it still could have been much worse, much harder to give up using them so I was indeed very fortunate in that respect.

I have no desire to lose near as much weight as I did back then. If I were to drop down to a low weight today of 115 pounds, I would certainly look like a saggy walking skeleton!

So, I'm glad I have my own method in play today to try to lose a few more pounds if possible and if I plateau out now or in the near future, I'll be satisfied then to have come this far today.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Going Down!

As you all know, I was on a quest (okay, doctor's orders) since December a year ago, to try to drop a few pounds and to watch my intake of carbs, sugars and such too. My doctor had recommended that I try to do something in the way of exercise to achieve any weight loss goals and back then, I did that simply by walking our dog, Sammy, from December through the end of July.

I didn't really do any dieting per se, other than trying to avoid snack foods and sweets as well as not taking big helpings or second helpings particularly of the pasta stuff I dearly do love.

And, it did help me a bit with the weight loss as before I had the surgery the end of July, I had then lost about 15 pounds. Not near enough to be honest but at least, I had lost a little bit of weight.

After the surgery from which I learned I had cancer again and then had to embark on a chemotherapy treatment program from September through December, I lost some more weight.

Some of this weight loss I assumed came from the inability to eat properly because the chemo had left its imprint on my mouth -my tongue and throat in particular -making eating very difficult and painful! Not the best way to lose weight, I'll give you that, but heck, it was some more ugly pounds gone down the drain at any rate.

Now, my mouth is slowly recuperating and is fairly close to being back to normal but still not quite there. But I find that my appetite isn't quite as big as it used to be!

And, as a result, I have continued to lose weight and as such, have now dropped down a total of 38 pounds in the past year!

What I'd really like to know though is what is it that has now in my diet that is working -apparently - as some kind of fat burners?

Since I haven't resumed my walking with Sammy -only have done that maybe 10 times tops since the surgery -it can't be the exercise program at work. I still cook and eat my beloved pastas too although I have kept the intake there a lot lower than before. And this year, over the holidays, I even baked some cookies and goodies -unlike last year when I made none of those things for the holidays at all! (Heck, I've even cheated and had candies on several occasions during the past couple of weeks too!)

I am checking my blood sugar fairly regularly -meaning mostly when I remember to do that in the morning and then again, around supper time but it definitely isn't being done on a regular schedule type basis. (Which is probably what they would want of me, I suppose.)

But whatever is going on within my system, I'll tell you this much, I'm not opposed to the response my body is giving all this!

Maybe I have found my own magic potion now for weight loss and just can't identify it!

Poor Princess!

I don't know what's wrong with our little princess here but over the past 24 hours, she's definitely had some issues!

Last evening, she ate supper with no problems and afterward, seemed fine and dandy. Full of spunk anyway. But she went to bed with no problems, no arguments, nothing along those lines.

Kate -her half-sister -was here last evening and was going to go up to Maya's room to lie down and upon learning that news, Maya decided she wasn't sleeping with Gram last night but was switching bed partners then to sleep with Katie! Okay, so it looked like I would have my bed to myself for a change and no one around then to have the sheets all nice and cozy warm when I decided to turn in.

After that, I had a couple of surprises though.

Around 1 a.m., the phone rang and it was Katie's boyfriend calling who was also somewhat surprised to learn that Katie was in bed, sleeping. Shortly after his phone call, here comes Katie down stairs and she proceeded to head to the kitchen, fixed herself a little something to eat then, after which she parked on the sofa to watch tv with me.

About 2 a.m., a vehicle pulled up out front and lo and behold, it was Simon, Kate's boyfriend, who had come to take her to where they live over in Clearfield! I was really surprised that he drove over here then because the roads were really atrocious -what with the snowfall we had yesterday and such. But he did and away they went!

Then somewhere between 3 and 4 a.m., I heard someone coming down the stairs and heard the footsteps stop about mid-way down too.

Then I heard an pretty unmistakable sound -that of someone throwing up! Hmmm. Wonder who that might be, ya know. I listened some more, heard the footsteps again and walked over to the stair well to greet the middle-of-the-night-walker only to find Maya standing there and the stairs -well, pretty wet, to say the least.

She headed towards the kitchen saying she just needed to get a drink of cold water and made it as far as the dividing part between the living room and dining room, when she got sick again!

She got herself that drink of water and I put my hand to her forehead -to check if she was maybe running a fever (she wasn't, as her forehead was actually very cold to the touch).

But boy, was she ever pale! Almost the death-white coloring, if you know what I mean! Just no color, no pinkness whatsoever to her face, her cheeks!

So, she settled in on the sofa and I got the scrub bucket out to clean up the mess between the living room and dining room and on the stairs. Apparently my rumbling around, banging the bucket and the mop a bit I guess, was enough to rouse Mandy who then came downstairs too and checked on Maya.

Rather than have her go back upstairs, we told her to just lay down on the sofa in case her stomach started to rebel again as it would be much easier for her then to try to get to the bathroom from the living room instead of having to maneuver back down the stairs from her bedroom. So, she curled up under a couple of fleece blankets then, got comfortable and Mandy went back to bed.

I was going to get up and go to my room to go to bed then too but Maya then started to whimper a bit that if I did that, she would be all alone then in the living room. She didn't want to go out to my room, opting to stay on the sofa, so I had no choice then but to push the recliner back and lay back to sleep in the recliner.

But, before either Maya and I had a chance to get any snooze time in, she decided to go into one of her interrogator routines and began to question me about what had happened to me when I got sick last spring and ended up in the emergency room at our local hospital where it was then decided to ship me out of there, by ambulance, down to the hospital in Pittsburgh because they thought maybe I had an obstruction of some kind in my intestine.

Seems Maya remembered some of the details about that episode but wanted more -and more -and then, some more, information about that whole deal too! I don't know if she was trying to compare her stomach upset last night to what happened to me or if she is using that information to file it away in her mind, should she ever need more comparatives some day in the future, if/when she decides to study medicine! Who knows, with this kid!

School was on a two-hour delay this morning but I had suggested to Maya during her inquisition of me (when I got a break in her questions for a minute or two) that perhaps she shouldn't go to school today just in case she got sick to her tummy yet again and after all, you sure as heck wouldn't want that to happen, to come on so suddenly on you in school, in front of your teacher and classmates and friends, now would you?

She gave me no response to that suggestion but when Mandy got up later this morning and broached that idea to her too, she was adamant about going to school! She HAD to go there and that was all there was to it too!

Apparently all must have gone okay because the school didn't call to tell us to come get her but when she did get home, it was evident she was a bit under the weather but this time, it was because she was very warm to the touch! Mandy checked her temperature and said she did have a fever then and Maya by that time, had disappeared upstairs, to her room.

A few minutes later, Mandy went up to check on her and she was already sound asleep on her bed!

She slept for a little over two hours then, still had a low-grade temp when she woke up so Mandy had to make a run this evening then into town to get some children's meds to bring the fever back down to normal.

So who knows what the heck caused this mystery ailment that came on so suddenly for her, changed courses too throughout the day and now, seems to be on its way out. At least I hope it is anyway.

I hate seeing my little princess feeling so punk, ya know.

And I really don't want to spend another late, late night under her gun of non-stop questions either!