Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Musical Talent?

Since Maya was very small, very young, we have noticed that she has a strong interest in music and also does have a bit of natural talent or ability in that department.

For the past 4 years or so now, she has been participating in the Children's Choir at church. One of the very first songs she learned was a family favorite hymn, "Children of the Heavenly Father" and she learned -memorized, that is -two verses to it including also learning the first verse in Swedish too when she was only about five years old!

Since then, she has continued to be in this choir and this winter now, she has already had two solo parts in which she performed the songs very well. Definitely made us quite proud of her accomplishments, for sure.

This past Christmas though, Mandy debated about one particular present she got for Maya but eventually she broke down and decided buy an electronic keyboard.

Granted, the one she bought Maya is not in the league of those shown on this site but it is enough that it is enabling her to learn the keys, matching them to notes on paper and she is now taking lessons from our organist at church so she will be knowledgeable about this much, in terms of a musical instrument.

She is also learning another instrument at school now too -a Recorder!

Now that one, I am perfectly happy if she maintains her practice session on it while in school! (And don't tell me you wouldn't feel exactly the same way if it were your kid learning to play a recorder! LOL)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Wandering Down Memory Lane

I was just looking for a file in My Documents and in the process, I came across an old, old photo -taken over 60 years ago -of some members of my extended family.

And boy, the memories it brought to my mind!

This great photo was of my Grandfather's older brother -my great-uncle Eric -and his family and was taken out on the front lawn of his home, which is about six houses down the street from my house.

I spent many, many hours of my childhood and teenage years -and up through the 80s for that matter -at his home and with these people in this photo.

My Great-uncle passed away in the spring of 1956 -a year before my beloved Grandpa died. That's Uncle Eric standing in the front row, holding his hat in his hands.

I can identify all on this photo except for two men in the back row that for some reason or other, I can't tell now who they are.

But seeing all these smiling faces once again, and remembering too all the good memories I have of them and that house, it also reminds me that my children were blessed too in that they got to know and love three of Uncle Eric's daughters very, very well, as Edith, Helen and Hedvig resided in that house until the late 1980s at which time, they all three moved into an assisted living place in nearby Philipsburg, as maintaining the house had become too much for them to do.

I know, all too well, how much Uncle Eric's granddaughters hated to go through all the possessions there and either sell or give away many of those treasured items. How they were pained greatly then too when the time came to put the house itself up for sale as well.

But thankfully, they -and I -have these wonderful, beautiful memories of the people who once lived there and treasure deeply just how much each and everyone of them meant to us.

Doesn't keep a person from missing them, for sure -even after six decades have gone by -but it does make one value those we know and love today because someday none of us will be here to remember them.

Advance Savings?

I keep making all these vows to myself that I am going to try to improve on my disorganized life. I tell myself I am going to work on the various crafts I enjoy doing and make some headway then in clearing out some of the clutter in my life, what with the all the many storage totes I happen to have around the house, in my room, the basement, attic, etc., all filled to overflowing with embroidery kit projects, floss, yarns of many varieties for knitting or crochet stuff I want to make and totes with many, many pieces of fabrics too that need to be decided on what to make with them and get them cut out, sewn and done!

In the in-between time, I tell myself that I'm going to work on whittling down the number of books I have here that are thus far, unread! There once was a time when as soon as I got a new book, everything else took a back seat until I had delved into said book(s) and finished reading them.

That game plan hasn't been in existence for several years now, sadly! But I do need to get cracking on a few of the books I have waiting to be read. Really, I do!

One would think, since I am no longer gainfully employed, that with all the time I do have available now to me, I should have no problems whatsoever in getting at least some of these plans accomplished. But life always seems to have a way of interrupting us and those best laid plans tend to go awry, don't they?

For one thing, my memory just ain't what it used to be! I make plans one minute and five minutes later, I've forgotten what plans I made!

The memory thing pops up now and again though but in other ways.

Take for example yesterday -February 22nd. That was the day that my older daughter got married 15 years ago. Once upon a time, it was a very good thing to remember that date for the joy it had held back then. Today, maybe not so much.

Although, the best thing about that event is that my Grandson -my first grandchild -came about as a result of that union.

But those of you who know me fairly well now also know too, I'm thinking, that sometimes, things in my memory pop up and give me pause to think of other things about various events too -things that maybe may not sound that great to observe, but there again, you're dealing with me and my own little strange ways of thinking about things.

In that context, had my daughter and her ex-husband stayed together, yesterday they would have celebrated their 15th anniversary. And thinking about how quickly the years fly by, it dawned on me that 10 years from now, they would be celebrating their Silver Wedding Anniversary.

But since that isn't going to take place, I can now look at their anniversary date with this thought in mine that now, at least, I won't have to worry about a need to buy silver as a major anniversary gift for them, will I?

See, I told you in advance that I tend, much of the time, to take things and think of them in a manner not quite the norm.

You should be used to my doing that by now!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bad, Bad!

Well, I finally managed to get around to my reader and get it completely cleared for a change.

Talk about laziness, or having a severe case of "putting things off" -I don't know which it was that took over on me, but anyway, I'm good to go now and can start all over again being very lackadaisical about my reading I suppose.

Right now though, I'm thinking I'm actually going to have to take some drastic steps here -and do it very soon too! Those steps being a venture outside into the very cold air to take the mutt for what probably is a very needed jaunt. I'm thinking this is something of a necessity even though he is asleep at my feet at the moment, being very good, quiet and calm.

However, I'm also getting wafts of an aroma that is telling me something else. Either he has to really go relieve himself very badly or he has what must be the most severe, foul smelling case of doggie gas the Good Lord ever inflicted on any mutt!

Time to get some really warm clothes on, hat, coat, scarf and the like and if nothing else, clear my nasal passages!

Peace to you and good luck to me that I don't freeze something of tremendous value off today as I take Sam out for his walk!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Signed, Sealed, Delivered!

Ah, what a great weekend it was!

You can see, obviously I hope, that we were barely affected by the NEMO blizzard of 2013 that hit New England and NYC over the weekend since I've stated here it was a great weekend.

In this end of Pennsylvania, it WAS a great weekend!

Saturday morning, Mandy, the kids and I went to see the notary public about getting the papers for the jeep transferred over to the car I was buying and planned to go pick up then as soon as the paperwork was completed. We got that done with a minimum of fuss and muss and were on our way out to the garage to meet with Walt, the guy who was selling this car to me. Got there, tags put on, other paper work completed and I hopped in my new little buggy and headed out!

Driving out the lane from Walt's garage, I glanced at the gas gauge and saw it was registering just under a quarter of a tank so decided it would be best if I went then and there up to the local gas station at Kylertown and told the attendant I wanted to "Fill 'er up." Okay -no problem. He took my card, swiped, gave it back to me and less than five minutes later, came and handed me my receipt too. Imagine my surprise when the receipt recorded only $4.20 to fill the tank!!

What? How could that be? I thought maybe the gauge was like the one on my old jeep -flaky -and sometimes recorded okay -sometimes not. But anyway, I knew I had at least a gallon of gas in there so off Maya and Kurt and I went to Philipsburg to a birthday party for their Aunt's boyfriend's little girl. The party was at the local Pizza Hut and as luck would have it, Maya's TSS (Miss Britt) works there part-time and she was our server. The party was set up so the kids could create their own pizza -which was fun for them -and they each ate all of their individual pizzas!

Here's Maya and Kurt, waiting to get their pizzas they would be creating.

Both kids actually behaved very well at the party, and enjoyed themselves immensely too!

After leaving Pizza Hut, we ventured over to Clearfield where I needed to get some staples for the pantry at home and a few other little things too -like spare printer cartridges for my lovely little printer here that ALWAYS runs out of ink when I have no spare cartridges on hand or am broke and don't have enough money to run out and get a refill -of course, right at that time. Be prepared -my motto for that day!

Yeah right -Be Prepared is a good motto, isn't it? I was wondering about my preparedness though when about a mile down the Interstate after we left Walmart, I see a red light flashing on my dash that says "Check gauges! and I see too the needle on the gas gauge is flipping back and forth from down below Empty and back up to under a quarter of a tank! WTH!

Thankfully, I was able to pull off at the Woodland exit and got to a gas station there at the top of that hill and got a pump turned on to put gas in the tank. Apparently, the tank on this car only holds about 11-12 gallons -although that still doesn't explain why the attendant where I stopped earlier to get gas only put in a little over four dollars worth of gas when I had asked for a fill-up! (I'm thinking maybe he misunderstood me and thought I said I only wanted $4.00 of gas when I had asked it to be filled up.)

Anyway, the tank took a little over 10 gallons and the gauge then registered immediately as being full so off we went to the house then!

Sunday morning, I got the kids and myself up and dressed and went to church. Both kids were relatively well-behaved there too so I felt like this was gonna be a super great weekend then for sure. After church, I stopped at the mailboxes on the way home to check if we had received any mail on Saturday, got that and back in the car and went to close the door only to discover that there was another problem now with the car.

The door wouldn't close!

Well, it would close but it wouldn't catch on the latch! Would just bounce back open when you tried to shut it. I'd had a similar problem like this one time with the jeep but on that occasion, there was a bolt that had apparently been stripped out and it wouldn't stay in place so I had to get my brother-in-law to fix that problem for me. This car had no loose bolts though -just that the latch mechanism on the door wouldn't move and slide over the late part in the car.

So, I walked up to a nearby house -where I know the guy who lives there -got him to come out and monkey with the latch with a pen knife and some WD-40 and in a matter of minutes, he had it working fine and dandy again and the kids and I were on our way home. Finally!

Today, I ran up to check the mail as I was expecting a delivery there of some books I ordered from Barnes and Noble for a special birthday present for my "37-year-old-baby" because today is her birthday, and only one of the books I ordered was there. And of course, wouldn't you know it, it was the one book I had purchased for myself -not any of those I had ordered for Mandy's birthday!

I knew the one book wouldn't arrive in time for her birthday though as it is a copy of Jodi Picoult's newest book "The Storyteller" which won't be released until the latter part of February. But I could order it now and have it sent, pre-paid, when it is released so I figured that would be fine. I thought however, that the other books I ordered for her would be delivered now but apparently not as they are tied up until February 26th now too -the date when the Jodi Picoult book is scheduled to ship to me!

You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men, don't 'cha? Well, that apparently is what happened with my well laid plans to be able to give Mandy her birthday present right on time for at least 2/3 of the present anyway!

Now that I have a bit of funds in my checking account -for an exciting change of pace -I think I may just peruse a bit more on the Barnes/Noble site and make a couple more books part of my library collection here at home. Something to keep me occupied when I tired of embroidery or knitting or crochet!

Today, I took the dog out for a walk and have to say it is a simply beautiful day here today in central Pennsylvania! The sun is shining so bright and the snow is melting away at a nice good pace (of course, we only got about 3 inches of snow on Friday compared to the 2-3 foot of snow that landed up in the New England area) and it is warm today too! So warm in fact that I didn't even need to wear my gloves today when I took Sammy out for his stroll!

So yes, I will still say it is a good day today, weather-wise, as well as celebration wise too since it is my baby's birthday! Hard to believe it was 37 years ago today that she was my special delivery package that day!

But a new-to-me car, kids having pizza at Pizza Hut, church service where they were quiet and good, part of a book order arrived and Mandy picked up her special Chocolate meringue cream pie she wanted for her birthday too -makes for some good things -all signed, sealed and delivered, doesn't it?

Friday, February 08, 2013

Snow Storms and Blizzards and Such

The other day, my good blogger friend, Suldog, did a post the other day in which he was sharing his memories of the "Blizzard of '78" which brought to my mind some of the snowstorms and/or blizzards I have experienced over my years on the planet. Nice to read something that sparks a memory or ten or so for me that could actually lead me to writing a blog post, ya know!

Anyway, I told him I remember that blizzard quite well too but as it turns out, I think I may be wrong -a slight memory lapse there which is to be expected in the old and senile from time to time, isn't it?

The more I thought about it, the more I realized the storm I was thinking about actually was the winter of '77, not '78 for me.

Back in 1977 -a long, long time ago, ya know -I was working at Penn State University then and my ex and I had a dark green Chevy Impala that he had picked up via fleet cars the University had traded off to the dealership where he used to work. A big car, that was, with high mileage when we got it, but it was in excellent condition otherwise.

The storm that hit that year really socked us in -lots and lots of snow plus really low temperatures too -in the below zero column for way longer than anyone should ever have to endure.

At that time, our water supply came from a company in a neighboring village and thanks to the cold temps, not only did our car freeze up but so did the water lines!

I remember that with the car frozen up, it took my ex-husband three days to get it thawed out and able to get it running again. One of the few times in my working days that I ever missed work due to weather conditions!

But the water lines, when they froze, now that was really quite the episode!

The water lines from the neighboring village had to cross over Interstate 80 and to do that, there were pipes that hung just slightly below the two overpass bridges in another neighboring village. On the side of the bridges, closer to my village, there was a place set up with a pumping station of some sort or other and that place was the culprit that caused the water lines to freeze.

When the pump set up froze, that shut off any flow of water to our water company lines and with the water not flowing through, it froze clear back to the pipes that were underneath the interstate bridges. The pipes there then broke and fell down on to the Interstate too!

So there were people throughout the entire village where I live as well as those who lived in the village just on the other side of here who also had no water.

To add insult to injury, the guy who owned the water company that supplied to our village announced that he wasn't going to do anything to get the situation corrected either!

Men from both communities that were affected offered to help to get the situation fixed and their offers of help were even turned down by this old codger who owned the water company as well, which really had both communities in one heck of an uproar then.

After several days of no water and no repairs in sight, the problem even made the news on the local tv station out of Altoona with a little blurb that we were in this predicament -something really hard to believe because rarely does anything in this region EVER make the news, much less on the TV to boot!

But that blurb didn't explain anything about WHY we had no water, what was transpiring here to keep us doing without was not mentioned at all.

I was livid! And when I get to that stage of anger, I will go to whatever lengths I feel are needed to try to get some kind of resolution. To me, that meant I made a call to the TV station and told the person I spoke to that there was a lot more to the story about this little community being without water and went on to explain the situation then.

The upshot of that is that they, in turn, contacted the guy who owned our water company and they sent out a news crew, after making arrangements to have the owner of our company come here to my house and be interviewed.

While here, they also filmed my older daughter out in the yard with the biggest tupperware containers I owned as well as my big pots and pans, gathering and packing snow in those containers so that I could then put the snow into every pot or pan that would hold that much and melt it down then on the stove in order that we had some water to use then for bare necessities of life!

To this day, that daughter still criticizes me for having called the TV station, for having had the news crew at our house and especially for allowing them to take film of her out in our front yard, busily scooping up snow to be melted!

She was 10 years old at that time and apparently was very camera shy -to hear her tell the story today, anyway. Most kids would jump at the chance to show off and be on TV -her big claim to fame ya know!

It's funny but as a kid, we always had lots of big snowstorms but I don't recall ever having any of them classified as being a blizzard until I was an adult with children of my own.

Since the late 70s though, we have had several times where we got "snowed in" here!

I remember distinctly the winter of 1994, when I was in my last semester at Penn State and my younger daughter was a senior in high school. I was doing an internship at a Vo-Tech school in the neighboring county and from the beginning of January that year, until the end of March, every morning my daughter and I would lie in bed watching for school delays or closures due to the snow or ice conditions every morning! Anytime, there was a school closure at the place where I was doing my internship meant, of course, a snow day for me and usually for my daughter too! (Although our district isn't notorious for school closures due to snow but that winter, they sure were!)

I think I missed almost half of the days that I was supposed to be on-the-job with my internship because of snow and ice and schools being closed but because that was the problem and it was caused by Mother Nature, I didn't get docked grade-wise or any other way with my internship and my final grade was an A!

I remember that winter too, as I was working part-time then in State College for a private weather forecasting company, when the big blizzard that year hit in early March, that one of the forecasters put out a forecast to a New Jersey newspaper that began with this sentence -"Do your grocery shopping NOW!" (That may not be an exact quote there, but it was something along those lines anyway and those of us who handled the forecasts to send them to the various companies/newspapers, etc., got a big chuckle over the wording of that one!)

In 1996, this region got hit again with a blizzard -also in early March, around the time of Penn State's spring break and that time, the company instructed all of us who were scheduled to work over the time that storm hit, that we were going to be provided with rooms at a local motel to assure that we would be able to get to work on time!

From what I've read and heard about this impending storm due to hit today and with a particular vengence too up in New England as well as New York and probably New Jersey too, I hope that anyone living in those regions take all precautions they possibly can to be safe and WARM too! Don't venture out unless it is an absolute emergency when a storm of this magnitude is on the way to and through your region!

I'll keep those I know who live there in my thoughts and prayers that you all survive, safe and sound and sustain no damages either to your homes!


Thursday, February 07, 2013

The Waiting Game...

I am, once again, playing a waiting game. Last week -and for roughly 9 months before that -a big waiting game was at work here as we waited, quite patiently for little Miss Lola Rae's arrival. That, I can understand completely, why it took so long for her to get here. And it was very exciting last Friday when we knew she was definitely enroute too. It was very sweet, kind and generous of her to not prolong that wait too as from the time Mandy got Katie to the hospital until she actually arrived on scene was a mere 4 hours. And, anyone who has ever been in a waiting game for a baby to be born -and especially for that first baby -knows a 4 hour time span at the hospital is a good and very fast time! Yep! Kudos to Little Lola Rae for now keeping us in suspense any longer than she did. Today, I am involved in yet another waiting game. No little baby involved in this one though. Rather it is anticipation of being able to -finally -go sign the papers and be able to drive off in a vehicle I can again claim as my OWN! After what has seemed like an eternity but in reality was only (only - Hah) a mere 4 weeks yesterday since my beloved little old jeep caught fire whilst I was driving down the highway no less and the insurance company deemed it totaled, I was expecting the check from the insurance company some time this week, prior to yesterday. The insurance office had told me last Wednesday when I signed the papers over to them for the jeep that I would get the check for the jeep within a week and if I hadn't received it by then, to be sure to call them right away. Well, as antsy as I am about wanting to get another car and as much as I really do need my own vehicle, you can bet your bottom dollar that when the check didn't arrive by yesterday, I was on the horn, calling the insurance people to let them know I'm still here, minus a vehicle and waiting. Patiently. Well, sort of patiently. As much as I am capable of waiting "patiently" which isn't usually part of my vocabulary ya know. So, yesterday when there was no check in my mailbox I called the insurance agent's office and the person who had handled my claim last week said she would check with the claims office to see what was going on and she would call me back. And, yes she called me back and informed me that somehow or other, the claims office had no fax, no record at all of any information having been faxed to them a week ago pertaining to my jeep and my claim! WTF! But she said she had refaxed them the information and that they had told her they would ship the check out by "Overnight FedEx Express" delivery! And so began again this morning, more of the infernal waiting game. So here I sit now, waiting, waiting, waiting for a Fed Ex van to pull up out front and the delivery person to be heralded to me upon arrival by good old Sammy -who generally lies in wait, reposing in the windowsill of the bow window in the living room and who announces the passing of something as small as a leaf flying past the window with a growl and a bark and a vehicle pulling up out front into the parking area then always gives him cause to bark and go generally crazy doing that too, so there's no way I could possibly miss someone coming to my house to deliver said precious package to me! This, after also having called the guy who has a car that he is going to sell me and which I am eagerly anticipating having my own set of wheels again under my fingertips, so I can tool around then to my heart's content. Or, just let it sit out front, waiting patiently on me to have a need to drive someplace too! Convenience! Oh yes, such a nice idea that is to have the convenience afforded by having one's own transportation, for sure! It's not that I go out that often but I do need my own set of wheels so that when I do need to go someplace I don't have to wait till Mandy gets home from work so I can borrow her buggy then! So now, the plans we had for today are down the tubes once again as the wait continues. Wish that FedEx person luck that I don't do something extremely drastic to try to explain the meaning of Express, Overnight Delivery!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Walking -After Midnight

Call me crazy -and yes, I'll probably answer right away.

Call me crazy when I tell you I just got back in the house after taking Sammy out for an after midnight stroll and I'll probably tell you it's a most restful time of the evening to take a walk.

Especially in the wintertime because it really is beautiful quite often at that hour -with the ground covered in snow, sometimes the snow is still falling then too and all around it is very quiet, very peaceful and quite lovely to see with only the light of a little flashlight to guide your way and the skies often lit up with stars shining so pretty then too.

The other night when Sam and I went out for our nighttime stroll -it was a bit earlier in the evening that time, maybe only 9 or 10 p.m., but it was snowing that night -a very soft snowfall and as the light from my flashlight was moving around across the road, the yards, the fields, the snow looked like tiny stars on the ground as it glistened and sparkled.

Only one night this year -so far -was it really bitter cold as the rest of our late-night walks, which by contrast, were actually relatively warmish. I know, discussing cold in the dead of winter and comparing the cold each evening as being bitter cold one night but "warmish" on all the others, makes no sense I suppose to others, but it does to me as I'm the one out there strolling around, all bundled up from long johns on under my jeans to my heavy winter jacket, a warm knitted hat, at least one scarf, sometimes two, and of course, finger gloves topped with my thick handmade mittens over them! So with all those layers of clothing on, for the cold to actually permeate me on one night, then that night was really, really cold! (Probably was sub-zero that night I think.)

Even Sam has gotten accustomed to walking in the snow again -although for quite a while since the snow season began back in December here, he would not go off the road and wade into the snow in people's yards or in the field down the road from here -where he usually likes to go to take care of his "business." But now, he's becoming a bit more adventuresome and does go off the beaten track a bit a lot of the time.

Tonight, down where the wooded area at the edge of town begins, I saw some tracks leading up into the wood that I think probably are deer tracks. Too large for a dog and way too small and of a different pattern too so I know they weren't from a bear wandering around half-asleep from a long winter's nap.

In one particular area by the field, he spied a whole bunch of tracks, all together -almost like something was rolling and running both in that area and I thought he was going to go ballistic trying to sniff each and every single track he came upon there! His nose was burrowing down into the tracks as he was trying -I think -to identify what source had left the pristine snow all messed up in that region!

And, when we got back home and in the house, he stood quietly while I took off my gloves and mittens, my scarves and then, reached down to unfasten the hook of his lead to his collar. But, as soon as I did that, he went tearing out to the kitchen, then to the living room and bounced from the recliner over to the sofa, then the loveseat -bouncing around on each piece of furniture and looking all around the room at the same time.

I know what he was looking for though. His eyes were searching for his buddies -the two indoor cats -Pearl and Tavie -as he loves to come in from a walk, whether it's a daylight walk or a late nite stroll -and romp around the house with the cats. Kind of like he's showing off his acrobatic skills to his feline friends.

And, speaking of one of his feline friends, little Miss Tavie -the baby of the cats who live with us (and who pretty much rule the house too) -is going into heat right now. Not a good thing to have happen when she is scheduled to have some surgery to take away that problem from her forever for next Monday especially when you also happen to have a big old TomCat -FluffNuts -who wanders in and out of the house and suddenly decided Sunday night that he really likes Tavie -especially right now!!!

I saw him making some moves towards her and quickly jumped up and got him shooed away in time but then about 5 minutes later, I heard some noise and saw there he was, after her again and that time, I almost didn't get there in time. Fortunately, I did though and as I was moving towards him to push him aside, I was yelling at him too, which brought Sam to attention as he came running out to see what was going on and when he realized it was something to do with me trying to chase FluffNuts away from Tavie, Sammy went into action then too. He began barking at FluffNuts and then, took off, chasing the TomCat away too! As if to give FluffNuts a warning that he best stay away from Sam's little friend!

Sometimes, the actions of these two cats and Sam totally amaze as well as amuse me. Sometimes too, I think Sam is of the mistaken thought that he is a cat and not a dog because he does so love to play with both the indoor cats much of the time and he lets them -especially Tavie -torment him too.

So now that Sam is lying here by my feet, sleeping quite peacefully already from his little exercise, and I will need to be up in the morning to see that the kids get dressed and on their respective bus or van and off to school, I think I will concede to going to bed a tad earlier than my normal bedtime hour -or the witching hours some of my friends and neighbors here think I keep!

It's spitting a tiny bit of snow now but doubtful it will be enough to make a hill of beans difference on the roads by morning so probably there will no be any school delays to give me a little extra sleep that way. Not to worry though, I'll probably make up for that with a little nap after the kids leave -which will probably be rudely interrupted by the telephone ringing because it always seems to happen that way!

Damned telephone anyway! Or some people who apparently have esp and know exactly when I have just fallen asleep to decide to call me!!!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Exciting Days Now and Ahead!!!

As usual in this household, there frequently is a lot of turmoil going on here. I guess you can call it that although sometimes -like the past couple of days -it's been exciting turmoil, not bad stuff and that is a bit of a switch though, isn't it?

First off, in my search for a new vehicle -to replace my poor jeep that caught fire on me a month ago (while I was driving it, ya know -now there was some excitement but not exactly the good kind) I have located a car!

Yep! And it's for sale at an extremely reasonable price too. The mechanic who has the garage and tow truck and who towed the jeep away from the scene, acquired this car last week and his wife told me about it. After which Mandy, Clate and I discussed it and decided this would be a good buy for me to get this buggy. It's a 1999 Chevy Cavalier -which is the same thing that Mandy has -and the mechanic told us that is all checks out in very good condition.

And here's a photo of what will soon become my replacement wheels! Just waiting now for the insurance check to arrive so we can transfer it over to me!  Yippy skippy. I will soon be able to come and go here when I want and need to -not have to coordinate everything with Mandy's work schedule!

And the other event that really has turned this place upside down and brought a lot of excitement and happiness is that on Friday, at 4:41 p.m., a new baby entered into our lives!

Katie's baby -named Lola Rae -was born, weighing in at 6 lb 15 oz and 18 1/2 inches long! She came home from the hospital yesterday but I have yet to see her in person. The game plan for today is that we will all be able to go up to Katie's place and visit and cuddle and snuggle little Lola Rae. Maya is extremely excited over this event and can't wait to start really playing the favorite Aunt role to Lola. Kurtis is excited too -or seems to be -but the only thing he keeps asking -and he's asking virtually everyone he sees this too -"How'd the baby get out of there?" Anyone want to try to explain that process to him in a way that he could perhaps understand and not sound too graphic when he spouts out his interpretation later to folks?

And here she is -the little sleeping beauty -Lola Rae! Isn't she just gorgeous though?

Now -just check out all that hair too! Awesome, isn't it?

I guess those two pictures really say it all for me don't they -as to why I'm so happy and excited and so is Mandy! (And, of course, Maya!) Can't wait to see how Maya reacts when she finally get to meet her first niece!

I already informed Katie that she is not to think or worry about spoiling little Miss Lola Rae as Mandy and I have that job all sewn up as being part of our duties!