Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Grammie heads to Minnie tomorrow!

...more memories of September 2006....
"Babies are such a nice way to start people..."
Into the world and loved immediately...New Mommy Jenny and Owen-- day one. : )

Tomorrow can not come soon enough....

Grammie and Owen, September 2, 2006...7 lbs. 13 ounces....

I will be in Minneapolis tomorrow...holding my now 22 pound grandson! He has grown so much from the tiny infant of a year ago...which just means more to hug and love!

More to come from Minnie in the next few days...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

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September 1, 2006

As hours old Owen's tiny hand grasped my son, Adam's finger, the whole meaning of all of this came to light.

This connection is the real meaning of the circle of life.

Even though many births occur every day....when it happens in your family, there aren't words to truly describe the feeling.

Watching my first born son hold his new son brought tears to my eyes. It was a feeling of completion unlike anything that I have ever experienced before.

My mind raced back to a time thirty-three years ago as a very nervous 26 year old headed to the hospital in anticipation of giving birth.

I can still remember so many details of that day...the monitors which allowed us to hear the baby's heartbeat as well as letting me know that contractions were starting. (Like I needed a monitor to tell me that!)

Back then we didn't know in advance what the baby's sex was (we did the nursery in yellow to be safe!) so the announcement that "It's a boy!" was so exciting.

As we counted the fingers and toes, we cried tears of joy as we held our new son, Adam.

What a miraculous moment.

It was just as miraculous watching Adam hold his first child, a son, Owen.

The family tree just grew another branch...

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Looking back...

On September 1, 2006, a little 7 pound, 13 ounce miracle occurred in my family.

My first grandson, Owen, came into the world kicking and screaming much to the whole family's delight.

As I get ready to fly to Minnesota this Thursday (!!!) to be a part of his first birthday celebration, my mind is going back to those moments just a year I reminisce and smile...

For those of you who have taken this journey with me through my blog, I hope that you won't mind looking back with me as I recall the incredibly joyous (and overwhelming) feelings of becoming a first time Grammie!

Owen, on his first day of life....

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Good Grief, Charlie Brown!

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It rained in Birmingham!!!!

What a great rain we had here yesterday afternoon! While it will not end our drought, it was music to my ears to hear it pouring outside!

Even Linus looks stunned... : )

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Gary, Michael, Carole, Dave, Sherri, David, Sharon, Ellen and Jerry

Arthur, Joycie and me

"...friendship multiplies blessings and minimizes misfortunes; it is a unique remedy against adversity, and it soothes the soul." Baltasar Gracian

I love celebrating with my friends.

Last night we toasted my dear friend's 35th wedding Anniversary with fine wines, great food and wonderful friendship and love.

One couple opened their house to the event and the rest of us all helped in making the dinner...and, it was delicious. We started out with thinly sliced cheese and pears, shrimp, onions and peppers, and tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. The main course consisted of grilled tenderloin of beef, glazed salmon, individually stuffed red potatoes, cold broccoli salad, homemade mushroom bread and farm stand tomatoes and Vidalia onion slices sprinkled with fresh basil and olive oil. We sipped on some wonderful Pinot Noir wines to compliment the delicious meal. YUM! It was quite a feast.

As I look over this picture of this group of my friends, the rich history of these relationships stands out in my mind. We have all shared life's joys together: as we started our families over thirty years ago; as we watched our children grow up; as we have celebrated 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th and even a 70th birthday together; we have watched and nourished the relationships as we have become a "family" of sorts.

We have been there for each other through the years even when things got tough: through illness and misfortune; when loved ones have passed on, through divorces and other losses and held each other's hands and hearts in these bad times.

As I look at the beautiful faces from last night, I can't help but smile as I think about how each of us has our own little quirks...and these have not changed through the many years of friendship. The difference now is that we can laugh at ourselves with the inevitable acceptance that comes with growing older. This is who we authentically are and we are loved because/in spite of these individual traits.

Of course, we can continually surprise each other at times when we step out of our comfort zone and do something entirely uncharacteristic. Suddenly, after so many years of not getting back on an airplane, I am now traveling quite frequently and flying all the time. This continues to surprise even me...but, it is something that I needed to do.

All of these dear friends have grown in their own ways throughout the many years of friendship...and the rest of us are consistently there to cheer one another on... as we take these important, and sometimes difficult, steps in our lives. We always know that we are not alone as we go on our individual journeys...

In this crazy world that we live in, it's comforting to know that we have each other.

And,when you think about it, isn't that what friendships are really all about?

Friday, August 24, 2007

As our worn-out weatherman repeated the toasty (and redundant) forecast again for today, there was a glimmer of hope.

Instead of reaching the 104 degree temperatures of the past few days, we could expect a high of only 99 today! woo hoo

....A "cold" front must be moving in...

Getting up as early as I can to take my morning walk, I pass a few other brave souls out there as we are all thinking the same thing..."Can it get any hotter or more humid out?!?".

The air is so still and oppressive and not much real relief is in sight.

It saddens me to see the parched vegetation all around the area as most plants are shriveling up and dying from the heat and lack of rain.

The lush green of the summer months has been replaced with crispy, brown withering leaves...if there are even any leaves at all.

In the meantime the central part of the country is dealing with horrific flooding and torrential rains.

Oh, if we could only turn the world upside down for a day or two....we could so use their rain and they would certainly benefit from our dry heat....

Addendum to today's post...

It rained! It rained!

This afternoon we got a short, but sweet, downpour as a storm passed through the area!

Of course the cable, computer, and phone went out as did power in some areas....but, who cares?

We got rain!!!!!!


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ya gotta laugh when the rooster crows.....

"Our five senses are incomplete without the sixth - a sense of humor." Anonymous

Sometimes laughter is definitely the best medicine for what ails us.

Such was the case this morning as I talked with my mom on the phone.

As she gets ready to turn 85 this year, she is noticing that her mind is not as sharp as it once was. (To me, she is sharp as a tack, in that she seems to remember things so much better than I do and she still completes a crossword puzzle every day.)

So, while we are talking, I am outside rationing out a dribble of water onto my dying shrubs and plants and I come upon her favorite plant but I can't think of the name of the flower.

Neither can she.

I begin to go through the alphabet saying names of flowers A-Z. We are hysterically laughing.

When I got to "H", I was thinking that it might start with that but all I could think of was Hyacinth and that wasn't it.

While we are talking, she summons my dad to get the other phone and call my Aunt Ruthie in New Jersey in that this particular flower abounds there.

"HYDRANGEA" he exclaims and my aunt concurs.

Problem solved.

Now, suddenly mom starts to laugh and says: "Oh, there goes the rooster again! It must be 11:16."

Before I could get too concerned, she explains.

Because of mom's macular degeneration, my sister's and I purchased her a watch that can say the time out loud for you when you press the button. For some reason, a little rooster alarm is set to go off at 11:16 a.m. every day and she cannot turn that setting off.

Thus, the reason for the rooster crowing this morning.

Again, laughter.

Mom is also feeling like her hearing is going so we both began to chuckle as we tried to find some humor in her plight. Yesterday, she was hearing a musical sound in one ear as well as echos.

"Was it Broadway music at least?" I asked, hoping that it was something enjoyable.

"Oh no," she laughed, "more like just a loud and annoying sound."

She feels that one by one she is losing her senses (pun intended!)

I can't argue with her on that one.


I think that it might be hereditary. : )

Thanks for the laughs, Mom.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My pottery "STRESS" box

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I was just saying to one of my girlfriends yesterday: "Why do we all make life so complicated?".

It's true.

Maybe it is my age, but it seems as if everyone that I know has so much "drama" going on in their lives lately. One thing gets settled and *pop!* another one takes its place. It's a neverending cycle.

And, some friends seem to get more than their share of "issues"-- even though they are totally non-deserving of them. It boggles my mind.

I know the old saying: "God never gives us more than we can handle." but I do wonder sometimes if He gives us more credit than we deserve.

: )

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

simple pleasures...

"There is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness." Han Suyin

Don't tell Dave, but I love these two pictures that I took of him with Owen in New York...

It makes me smile to see this very tender side of him as he bends down to give Owen a chance to touch the flowers in the garden. : )

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Monday, August 20, 2007

The Cherry Tomato Caper

First, I was asked to babysit a bicycle.

Next, Dave asked me to take care of his tomato plants....which I have diligently done.

Even though it has been so dry here, I have managed to keep these three plants watered.

The yield of cherry tomatoes, however, has been slim to none. We have removed and eaten only a paltry handful of tomatoes so far...when instead we should be overflowing with these little red morsels.

So, "Where have all the flowers tomatoes gone?" we asked.

This morning, the answer became very clear.

Camera in hand, I managed to catch the culprit along with the evidence.

For the answer....see below.

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Maybe tomorrow I will put out miniature salt and pepper shakers!?!?!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

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"You watched WHAT?!"

The latest craze among 6 to 14 year olds* is the "High School Musical" series, Part One and, the recently released, Part Two.

The sequel was so widely (and wildly!) popular that it debuted as the "most watched event ever broadcast on basic cable" as 17.2 million people tuned in to view this show Friday night.

....*6 to 14 year olds.... AND one just-about-to-turn-59 year old Grammie! (I can hear my grown kids groaning all the way down here in Alabama) : I

Having heard so much about this, I decided to see what all the excitement was about, and turned on to the Disney channel yesterday to watch a little of High School Musical 1.

Two hours later I was tapping my toes and humming along with the catchy songs as I realized that I had watched the entire show!

The boy and girl leads reminded me so much of a young, and more hip, Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello...(Boy, am I dating myself!) This talented duo (Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens) have become overnight idols among the teeny boppers...and aging Boomers.

What can I say?

I guess that I am just a kid at heart.

: )

Saturday, August 18, 2007

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Dave says that the story gets a bit more dramatic each time I tell it...but, I swear to you this is exactly how it happened.

Yesterday afternoon I was dislodging the dust from the vacuum cleaner filter by going outside and gently tapping banging it against a tree.

Innocent enough, right?

Little did I know that the tree was home to an ornery swarm of yellowjackets who were very protective of their dwelling!!!

Suddenly, I was covered in angry, stinging critters.

They were stinging me through my exercise shorts....on my arms, my neck....


It seemed as if they were all around me relentlessly coming in for the kill! (OK, maybe I am adding a bit of drama here-but you get the picture, right?)

I went screaming into the house....yellowjackets still swarming around me....they were everywhere, including in my hair!

I ripped off my clothing and jumped into the shower in a complete state of panic.

All I could think about was: "Could I go into anaphylactic shock from their venom?" (If you do have an allergy and this occurs it will happen almost immediately)

Fifteen minutes and eight bites later, I realized that I wasn't going to die from this....

...but, it was frightening nonetheless.

I called Dave at worked and frantically asked him to look up "multiple yellowjacket bites" online. (What did we do before computers????!!!)

He began to ask me: "Can you breathe? Are you slurring your words? Are you having trouble swallowing?" "Are you feeling lightheaded?".

I was actually absolutely fine until he began to ask me these things....suddenly my mind began to think that maybe I was having these symptoms. (Funny how that happens!)

It turns out that taking the shower was a good thing....following that I did 10 minute intervals of ice on the bites....put a solution of baking soda and water on....and took two aspirin.

And, here I am, alive and well, to tell my story.

: )

Friday, August 17, 2007


Again, I got up extra early to take my walk outside. And like yesterday, it was already hot and steamy.

I told some fellow walkers that it was like the "world's largest sauna"....they agreed as they "sweatily" (not a word, right?) trudged on.

I know that I could walk on my treadmill in the air conditioned house, but I truly enjoy my outside walks so much more. So, martyr that I am, I will continue to persevere until either rain or autumn arrives...

In the meantime I am looking ahead to August 30 when I will be heading to "Minnie" (what my son and his wife call Minneapolis--either that or "OWENapolis"!) to celebrate Owen's first birthday!!! I can't wait to see that little sweetie again and give him some Grammie love. : )

Just for fun I put our faces on the newest Jib Jab video...if I can get it to work, I will try to download it to my blog today.

It's good for an "end of the week" laugh.

Happy Friday everyone!

Grammie and Owen do the Disco!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

"I'm melting, I'm melting..." (Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz)

"Baby, it's hot outside!"

I attempted to beat the heat today by getting up earlier and taking my morning walk around 6:30. *yawn*

Whoever thought that one would think that temps in the 80's would be "cool"?!?!

This blistering heat continues in the Birmingham area with temperatures today forecast to hit 105. It is a very serious situation here as we have had triple digit temps for nine days in a row now.

One of the things that caused us to buy this house thirty something years ago was the magnificent and varied landscaping. As the days go by and the water restrictions stay in place I am having to sit and watch everything begin to dry up and die. It is very sad.

The bad news is that there is a new Hurricane that has formed that is heading towards the Gulf. They are saying that this could potentially become a strong storm by the time it makes landfall. The only positive thing would be if it could just eventually bring some much-needed rain to our area...

I can't believe that I am actually encouraging a hurricane to come our way.

The heat must be getting to me....


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"Man to Man"

I loved watching Dave with Owen during our trip to New York.

In this picture he looks as if he is saying one of the following:

1.) How about if you and I skip out of this banquet and go to McDonald's?

2.) So you see, there are birds and there are bees and....

3.) Let's sit down and I will tell you some things that I've learned about women....

4.) Who do you think will win the World Series this year?

5.) Now Owen, when you get a girl to your crib here are some moves that you can make....

6.) I bet that you can't wait until you can pick out your own outfits even though the shirt that you are wearing today is pretty cool.

7.) I could sure use a nap, how about you?

8.) If you really want some attention all you have to do curl that upper lip and begin to cry....they women will come running.

9.) Uh oh. Dirty diaper?!?!?!?!?!

I love ya, kid.....but this is where I hand you back to your mommy....

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dearest Owen,

I am still remembering the small delights that you and I discovered together up in Skaneateles.

I watched your fascination with the water when we bathed you in the kitchen sink. Your sense of wonder was so enchanting as you reached out to feel this lovely sensation of streaming water.

Still covered with remnants of your sweet potatoes from dinner, you were oblivious to the washing and hair shampooing that was being done to you as you sat and explored.

With all of the technological stimulation that surrounds us these days, it was so refreshing to stop and see the world through your eyes.

I hope that you don't ever lose that wonderful ability to seek out the simple pleasures in life...

I love you,


"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." ~Confucius
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Monday, August 13, 2007

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The Wonder of "O"

"The essence of living is discovering. Indeed, it is the joy of discovery that makes life worth the effort." -Vijay Krishna
The countdown begins for me as I prepare to head to Minneapolis for Owen's FIRST birthday!

I can't believe that in 17 days I will be watching him celebrate a whole year of life.

Wasn't it just the other day that Jenny and Adam called with the good news that they were expecting???

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Weekend

After checking in to the Stone Mountain Resort, we were told that our room was on the fourth floor. Grabbing our small bags, we headed to the elevator and punched #4.

We waited.

...and waited...

...all to no avail.

So, I hit the #4 again and Dave held down the "close door" arrow button.

Again, we waited.

At this point we were starting to lose patience with this elevator that wouldn't let us get to the fourth floor and our room.

One more try....but, the doors wouldn't close and the elevator refused to go anywhere.

Suddenly, we noticed the sign outside of the elevator stating that we were, indeed, already on the fourth floor.

The lobby and check-in desk were actually on the fourth floor but we entered on the high level area of the resort and were unaware of this.

So, feeling a bit foolish, we made our way right down the hallway to our room.

The wedding was absolutely lovely and the groom couldn't keep his eyes off of his stunning bride as they giggled and kissed. They seemed so young to me...and then I realized that they are young compared to me. (That's always a downer relevation that occurs more and more these days!)

Outside, the temperatures were oppressive...but we were inside (thanks to the last minute decision by the parents of the couple) relaxed and comfortable in the cool air-conditioned ballroom.

The reception was fun as we ate, drank and danced the night away...awakening this morning to a lovely brunch that we helped host along with other friends.

Full of good food...but with sore tootsies from all that dancing in heels (me, not Dave!)...we headed back to Bham.

Coming home with the expectation of seeing Gizmo there to greet us hit me hard. I know that I will get used to it.....

...eventually. : (

Saturday, August 11, 2007


For those of you who read my previous post "One hundred and what??????" (August 9th post) about the outdoor wedding that Dave and I are going to in Atlanta will be happy to know that the ceremony has been moved indoors!

The heat index was just way too high to subject people to be outside in black tie attire for any length of time.

Actually it is too hot to be outside for any length of time in ANY attire!

So, we are off to "Hotlanta" this morning and will be returning right after the brunch Sunday morning.

P.S. All remaining events are indoors. : )

Have a nice weekend everyone...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Giz as a kitten....

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Trying to find some humor through my well as remembering the poignant moments...

"But she was just a pet...." many well-meaning people express to me as I continue to grieve the loss of my cat, Gizmo.

Yes, my cat was my "pet" for 18 years...

But, she was so much more.... as all of you pet owners/lovers can understand.

She was a warm body to come home to.

She was someone I could communicate with when no one else was around. I used to think, "If Gizmo ever figured out how to talk....oh, the stories she could tell!".

She was a part of my family and I will continue to miss her.

I still go downstairs occasionally to check her food and water dishes...and I still look for her to be lying on her favorite purple blanket up in my bedroom....I check out the areas of the house where she would find a little bit of sunshine coming through and nestle down to enjoy it.....and I wait for her to hop up on the bed at night when I go to sleep....momentarily forgetting that she is gone.

With all of this being said, there have been some humorous moments interspersed with the extremely touching moments of the past few days.

When Dave arrived to pick us up before heading to the clinic, he wanted to take Gizmo outside to the backyard one more time. She loved being outside and her romps through the backyard had to be curtailed as she became deaf and ill. So, we took her out there in the 100+ temperatures (!) and let her take one last look. He even pulled out some green grass for her to chew on. It was very touching to us.....but Gizmo probably thought that we were crazy going out in such oppressive heat.

Once we got in his car I held her on the purple blanket. With the air-conditioning blasting, she really perked up as she lifted her head and began breathing in the cool air. Just as we were relishing these last moments with her, we suddenly began to smell something. After the usual, "Was that you?", "No, was that you?'...we realized that one of the last memories that Giz was going to leave us with was for her to pass gas in the car. Through our emotions, we were able to have a laugh as we rolled the windows down to air out the car!

Another poignant moment for me was at the clinic when we laid the purple blanket down for her to be on. Dave grabbed a pair of scissors that were nearby and cut off a section of the blanket for me to have. The humor part came about when the doctor walked in and Dave asked if this large, purple blanket could be "cremated" with her. Probably one of the stranger requests, but sincerely meant, nonetheless.

As we began walking out of the clinic, there were some black and white kittens that were in a large cage waiting to be adopted. We both walked over to see these precious babies. Suddenly, from behind one of the black and white kittens came one that had Gizmo's brown coloring. We gasped as we saw this "minnie me" version of my cat that had just been put to sleep. It actually gave us a comforting feeling and reminded us that "life does go on".

Yesterday I received the phone call that her ashes were ready to be picked up. Earlier, after being shown the urns and wooden boxes that the ashes could come in, I chose not to use any of these...but, instead to make something special out of my clay for this purpose. This was written on the cremation form. So, when I went to pick her ashes up, they were just in a ziplock bag! It felt very strange walking out (and crying) with a little bag of ashes. I realize now why they put the ashes in urns!

A dear friend told me that when she brought her dog's ashes into her house there was an incredibly soothing energy that enveloped the house. As I temporarily placed the bag on a shelf, I awaited that energy to show itself. Twenty-four hours later....still not feeling it. In fact, I get an eery feeling whenever I walk past the ashes.

With this in mind, I discussed an idea that I had with Dave and he readily agreed with me.

Since Giz loved the sunshine and being outside in the backyard so much, we are going to ceremoniously spread her ashes all around the periphery of the yard and then plant some flowers in those areas.

A loving tribute to my dear "just a pet" Gizmo... : )
She loved to relax on top of my flower bed!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

One hundred and what?????????

I am sure that the people in my neighborhood were stunned.

If I had any less clothing on this morning for my walk, I would have been "nekked" (as we say here in the South).

Even though I got up early and walked, it was already in the 80's by 7:30 and is forecast to hit 104 by this afternoon.

Dave and I are invited to a black tie, outdoor wedding this weekend in Atlanta.... I will be sure and pack a portable resuscitator.


I hope that it is a bit cooler where you are... : [

Tuesday, August 07, 2007