Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Snuggies strike again!

My favorite comic strip, "Pickles" has done it again. They say what millions of us are thinking...but, with a sense of humor.

It seems as if Snuggies have now become a part of our culture!


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Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday, Monday....

What is going on with the weather? I actually had the air-conditioning on Friday night because the house was so warm....torrential rain on Saturday....and, then freezing temps Sunday morning. So, the heat went back on last night...and, those ridiculous "Snuggies" commercials are back on. Crazy...


Thanks to Owen's rendition of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame", I now have that song playing over and over again in my head. Adam told me that the daycare ladies even sent a note home with Owen the other day telling them that he was singing it all day in daycare and that they couldn't get it out of their heads!!

Note to Adam and Jenny: teach him another song real soon! : )


The countdown begins for when my whole 'crew' will be heading to Grammie's house! SIXTEEN more days....but, who's counting?!!!! I will have all three grandkids here all at one time....oh, yeah, and, their parent's too. : )

I am busily borrowing some baby items from other grandma's and getting ready for my four days of heaven. Can't wait to get them all in my arms!!!!!!!


The pollen is out in full force right now! Looking out my window this morning, I see a sea of yellow all over my pool cover. That can only mean one thing....allergy season is upon us...Ah choo!


My wonderful birds are eating me out of house and home! There are so many of them dining out at "Grammie's Cafe and Spa" lately that they go through my bird food ridiculously quickly. This is starting to really cost me a lot of money. Anyone know where I can get large amounts of wild bird food for "cheep, cheep"?

Sorry, I couldn't resist...


Well, the basketball final four has finally been determined. Now, I don't want to brag, but in the family pool, I am actually in first place!

Of course, the fact that I entered 7 different choices to everyone else's one or two wouldn't have anything to do with that, would it?

Hey, a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do, right?


As I down my 10 morning vitamins each day, I can't help but wonder if these supplements really work? Every day there is a new study out there in the medical field about whether these products are really doing any good...or, if we are just wasting our money. It seems that one day they are telling us that product 'A' is really helpful....only to find out months later that it maybe isn't so good after all.

They have even confused me on the wine/no wine issue. I was joyful when we were told to drink red wine and it will do wonders for your cardiovascular system. So, I did...strictly for medical reasons, of course. : )

Now, the red wine story is starting to sound very different with links to other diseases, etc. Aaagh.

It's enough to drive a person to drink...


And, then there is chocolate...Why does bitter dark chocolate have to be the one that is good for us???? Why couldn't they do a study on smooth, creamy milk chocolate. Take M & M's for example. How about testing them for good health....I bet that they are good for something!

I'd even volunteer for that study... : )


Have a nice Monday! xoxo

Friday, March 27, 2009


"The days come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant friendly party, but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away..."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

After a long night of heavy rain, the sun just came out... My azaleas are blooming... The birds are happily eating at my outdoor "restaurant"... I am getting ready to head downstairs to my basement studio to get my hands in the clay and create...My plumbing problems of the past seem to be fixed and running smoothly..... My pantry is filled from yesterday's grocery stop....

The weekend is here and all seems well in my little world.

Don't let today get by you........enjoy every minute of it if you can.

Have a good one!


: )

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

bits and pieces

Thunderstorms rumbled into my area around 5 a.m. this morning, waking me up. I quickly turned on the tv to make sure we weren't under any kind of watch/warning. We weren't....tried to go back to sleep...but, instead, I just laid there wide awake listening to the noisy weather and watching the lightning "light show" outside my window. Yawn.


I just sent in my votes for my weekly American Idol contest. We had to, again, put in who we thought the bottom three would be and who would be going home. It isn't always who I personally think might be going...but who I think America will be sending home. After much deliberation (I have to get a life), I chose Megan, Scott, and Michael....with Michael going home.

I actually like Megan, but her sultry monotone voice just sounds the same when she is having to sing songs out of her comfort zone. I loved Adam Lambert's singing last night...he cleaned up some of his 'goth' act, took off the black nail polish, slicked back his hair.... and really sang beautifully. I believe that he is in a whole different league than the others. (!)

Matt Giraurd still continues to be soulful and smooth...Chris Allen is a cutie with a good voice...Anoop is really showing that he has a great set of pipes....still liking Danny Gokey, Lil Rounds, and Allyson Iruheta.

We will have to wait and see how accurate my predictions are tonight. Wish me luck. : )


Rain, rain, and more rain to come. I am a bit concerned about my replaced header lines that were tied into my existing field lines from my septic tank...because the gentleman told me that he had to put one section of the line above a large root so that he wouldn't kill the tall tree back there. That meant that the line was only about 6 inches from the top of the ground....AND, with all of this rainfall (5 inches predicted!)...it may change the 6 inches into 'not-much-covering-it-at-all'. Now, that would not be good. I made a call into the septic tank people (two days ago) who did the work...still haven't heard back from them. Hmmmm.


In my quiet moments...the 'stuff' going on in the world really gets to me. I try not to feel a sense of panic...but, it seems to be getting more and more difficult to avoid. The world seems so complicated to me right now. People are losing confidence in everything that used to feel so secure and safe...I am trying to find a place of calmness to go to in these times...but, it does seem to get more burdensome every day...

I don't know what the future holds for all of us...but, I am still hopeful...still trying to see through those rose-colored glasses of mine...


Enough of this...the rain has temporarily subsided...and I am going to head out for my morning walk!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


My son, Adam, has loved the band "The Who" forever...and, has apparently passed that passion down to Owen.

The cutest thing about the video of this little rocker grandson of mine is that he is wearing the "Thomas, the Train" backpack that I got him....

....now, that's rock n' roll! : )

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

...and, here's Audrey!

....gotta love the socks!

Word has it that Audrey recently placed first in a baby crawling contest (?!)....

...makes a Grammie proud! : )

(tomorrow, Owen!)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Only a Grammie would watch this over and over again....

I love when the kids send me videos of the grandbabies! It gaps the long distance between us a little bit to be able to share some of these little moments in film.

On this one, Celia is having her first taste of real food--carrots.

From the look on her face, I would say that the verdict is still out on this particular veggie!

Better not put those bottles away quite yet... : )

(tomorrow: Audrey!)

Backyard bird "spa"?

The word has gotten out!

My backyard bird feeder seems to be very popular these days in the local bird community! It is a four-perch feeder and it is constantly surrounded by droves of birds. I have noticed that the cardinals have really come out in large numbers this year. It has been a source of constant delight to me to watch these winged beauties fly around joyfully....occasionally stopping for a meal. Right now, I am looking outside my window and I can already spot about 7-8 of them enjoying themselves back there.

Well, yesterday, Dave brought a new aspect of the bird frenzy to my attention. He spotted a couple of the cardinals flitting around my covered swimming pool. They were having a wonderful time bathing in the little bit of water that shows through the mesh cover. They were splashing about with wild abandon and seemed to be enjoying this new discovery. So, it seems not that I not only run a "restaurant" in my backyard, but, I have the added attraction of a huge bird bath! Kind of like a bird spa, don't you think? : ) I may have to "up" my spring/summer rates...

(I got out my camera and tried to snap them in action...but, only got these two shots before they flew away.)

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Surprise! Surprise!

The oreo cheesecake abomination turned out to be unbelievably delicious!!! ....very rich and probably a minimum of 4,000 fat calories....but absolutely yummy nonetheless.

Birthday boy, Dave, did everything but lick his plate clean...and, that was after a heavy duty birthday meal last night (we celebrated a day early) consisting of petite filet, lobster tail, twice-baked potatoes, and a mushroom, onion and peas combination.

*Mmmmm--- and groan---- all at the same time*

Happy, happy birthday dear Dave...now, let's go and see if we can walk off some of those calories today before you settle in for a full day of basketball playoffs!!!


Saturday, March 21, 2009

I never should have asked....

Tomorrow is Dave's birthday...so, I asked him what kind of cake he would like for his birthday dinner. He asked me what his choices were...and I began to name different kinds of cakes. I then made the mistake of looking through a favorite cookbook of mine and spotting a recipe for an "Oreo Cheesecake". He said, "That sounds good!" so the decision was made....Oreo Cheesecake it would be!

This particular recipe is in four different parts: the crust; the filling; a creamy, baked topping; and, finally, a rich chocolate glaze.Sounds good, eh?

Well, a bag of Oreos, cups of whipping cream, two pounds of cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and chocolate chips, etc. later....here is the pathetic-looking result.

What you see dripping down the sides and onto my countertop is the final part...the chocolate glaze. I followed the directions to a "T"....so, I don't really know what went wrong?

I tried to remedy the flowing chocolate topping with a handfull of crushed Oreo's....so, here is the final product. It kind of looks like a huge toasted (burnt)marshmallow...doesn't it?

I am hopeful that it will taste better than it looks.

Next year, I won't ask...

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Friday, March 20, 2009


I adore hummingbird season.

I have two sugar-filled feeders ready for their arrival....however, last year I had a terrible ant problem.

A multitude of little black ants continued to find their way into the bird feeders...and, it was a mess. I tried everything to fend then off...but, nothing worked.

Well, a bird catalog arrived the other day and there were several hummingbird feeders that were guaranteed to keep the ants away. These were quite costly and really just had a little "ant moat" that would trap the ants before they could get to the real feeder.

Now, my brilliant Dave said, "We could make something like that." He went into the kitchen and took the red plastic cap off of my spray oils, made a small hole, and put the hanging wire through it.

That was the easy part.

He then began to try and come up with some ideas to close the hole up so that the water would not leak out.

Well, several wooden toothpicks and lots of glue later....and, voila! he made a waterproof moat.

I worked on the second feeder, but used a little saran wrap and glue on mine. I then took both of the little moats and painted some yellow flowers on them to try and attract the hummingbirds.

They are hanging outside today, the first official day of spring...and, I am hopeful that they will soon appear...and, that the ant moats will prove to be a success instead of just a "bird"brained idea....

: )

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I tend to overthink things.

I should have gone with my gut.

When I sent in my choices for the American Idol contest today, I originally had Alexis, Kris, and Michael...with Michael going home.

Then I quickly wrote back and asked if I could change Alexis with Megan.

Alexis went home. Megan, Kris, and Michael are in the top ten.

Oh well. There's always next week...

American Idol quandary

Being the consummate "reality show groupie", I am in an American Idol contest this year.

What a surprise, eh?!

Today I had to list who I think the bottom three people will be and who (out of those three) will be going home. A bonus question was to name the three that will make it to the finals. Those of us participating in this contest get points for our right answers each week...right now I am placing around the middle of the pack.

Well, if you watched Idol last night...they all really did well....and, some who hadn't done well the week before really shined! (Like Anoop!) Even though it was "country song night" and many were way out of their comfort zone....they all managed to sing well...and "make it their own"!

What's a girl to do?

After way too much some thought, I finally came up with the following choices:

Bottom three: Kris Allen, Megan Joy, and Michael Sarver going home.

Top three: Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey, and Allison Iraheta.

What do you think?

Wish me luck! xoxo

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Clay boxes, barking dogs, basketball brackets, and a cute, little button

I got my hands back into my clay yesterday and it felt great. My creative side has had to take a back seat to my travels, taxes, and toilets (!!) lately....so, it felt nice to get some slabs rolled out and some boxes slowly assembled...piece by piece. I am in the process of creating a commissioned Tzedakah(charity) box for one customer and making a tooth fairy box for a friend's newest grandchild. I am so fortunate to be able to hand craft gifts for my friends and family. It makes me feel good to present them with something made by my hands...and my heart.


Getting into bed kind of late last night, I was totally exhausted and ready for a good night's sleep.

Unfortunately, my neighbor's dogs had other ideas as they presented me with a nerve-grating chorus of hours of loud barking. I tried to ignore the noise, but, their cage sits in my neighbor's backyard on my bedroom's side of the house.

I "wrapped" the pillow around the back of my head..but, that proved to be quite uncomfortable...I tried to train my mind to go elsewhere instead of concentrating on the incessant barking...all to no avail.

Finally, some time way after midnight (I was too tired to keep checking the clock) they stopped.

Then they started again...

This went on for a while...but, I did eventually fall off to sleep...only to wake up around 5 ish. I usually can get right back to sleep...but, for some reason this morning, my mind began to go in a million directions as I lay there quite awake. ...so, I just decided to get up and get my day started.

I'm sure that my tiredness will hit me some time this afternoon I'll be okay if I can just make it through American Idol tonight....after that, it will be lights out! : )


One of my very good friends is in the process of redoing her (already) beautiful home. The kitchen portion of the redo was finished, so I went over there on Sunday afternoon to go and see it.

It turned out amazing...beautiful new, rich, dark brown cabinetry accented with light colored marble countertops and a new tile floor. Every touch was special from the vent over the stovetop to the new wine cooler built into the cabinets.

What cracked me up though was the little tour that her husband took me on. He walked me through the brand new screened in porch that was really incredible, he showed me the magnificent shelving area in the great room where they would be displaying some of their lovely artsy pieces, the new bar area, the newly stained hardwood floors, the stereo, sound system, etc. etc.

What really cracked me up was, that with all of these beautiful new improvements...the one thing that he loved the most....the one thing that excited him above all else....the one thing that he proudly showed me saying that it was his favorite part of the redo....WAS...

...this cute little button built into the kitchen island countertop right near the sink. He excitedly turned on the water faucet...pushed the button...and voila! the disposal turned on.


Only a man would get that excited over a button...


I decided to form a family group in the ESPN March Madness Basketball Challenge. I just finished haphazardly filling out my brackets. You are allowed to fill out up to 10. I have done 5 so far and it will be a miracle if I picked any of the winning teams.

But, it is fun to do....AND, the grand prize is $10.000!! That might just cover my new septic tank field lines....Aack!


Oh, and HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY everyone! Have a green beer on me!


Monday, March 16, 2009

Garfield says it all...

I'll be back tomorrow!


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Grammie's Happy!!

After sending out an all-points bulletin asking begging my kids for some updated grandbaby pictures...they came through....so, here they are:

...first, Celia...

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...and, then Owen and Audrey! : )
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Friday, March 13, 2009

Holy crap!

Sorry for the title, but I just couldn't resist. You'll understand more as you read on.

The plumbers came and went yesterday leaving me a brand new commode to replace the previously cracked one. (Talking about "cracks" why can't handymen wear longer shirts to cover them when they have to get into plumbing positions??? oh my...)

They left after they were satisfied that all was well and that this time everything was tightly sealed with no "squishing sounds". Once they were gone I sat down upon my newest piece of porcelain and began to laugh out loud. This thing was so high that my feet barely touched the ground. Talk about "thrones"! I'm not sure if this is the new "standard" for toilets these days...or, if he just figured that someone my age might need a higher seat? Interesting, nonetheless.


So, this morning, the septic tank people (or "environmental services" as they are now called) arrived to clean the outside tank.

Are you noticing a recurring theme to my posts lately?!? : O

The men were smiling as they located the septic tank and began to do their job. That is, until they came and knocked on my door with sullen faces.

"We have a problem" they said.

Those are words that one doesn't need or want to hear when having their septic tank cleaned out.

I won't go into detail ...but, suffice it to say, that I now know the reason for my washing machine water coming up through the downstairs toilet!

That being said, they had to call in the "field line" specialists to come out and inspect my system. Oh, the fun is only starting....not to mention the huge costs that all of this will amount to. Aaaack.

I knew that I shouldn't have gotten out of bed this Friday the 13th morning...


So that I do not leave you today with only bad news....I am happy to report that my tax information was hand-delivered to the awaiting arms of my accountant yesterday. Now it is up to him to perform some kind of financial magic to keep me afloat. No pun intended.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Am I being "punked"?

Have you ever been in one of those situations that make you look around to see if you are on Candid Camera or on the show where people are fooled, or "punked"?

That was my experience yesterday as I decided to use part of my spa package... that was an incredibly sweet Valentine's gift from Dave.

I was so thrilled with his thoughtful gift and decided to use part of my "pampering package" yesterday to have a manicure and pedicure. Ahhhhhh.

From the moment that I walked into the place, I knew that this was going to be an "interesting" experience. It looked more like an antique shop than a spa as it was filled with big, heavy furniture and non-professional art work hanging along every available space. Where was the water fountain and the soft, relaxing music? And, what about the cool pitcher of fresh water with sliced lemons floating on top?

The woman at the little desk was nice..... but seemed a little "spaced out" and anxious as she took several minutes to understand why I was there. She kept saying that she hated it when "Jim" (names changed to protect the innocent!) left the shop. Suddenly, she got up and came back with a small paper cup filled with water and said, "Here is the water that you wanted." The strange thing is that I walked in with my own bottled water that I was holding right in front of her...and hadn't asked for any water! I was getting a bit concerned at this point.

Again, she asked my name and what time my appointment was. I said, "Two o'clock appointment for a manicure and pedicure." She began to look on the computer screen and said, "Oh, here you are at 3:30...now what were you here for again?" (By the way, I noticed that none of the many clocks in the place were moved ahead to the new time...but, nevertheless, my appointment was for 2...not three.

Now, I really began to think that this was probably a joke being played on me. I was actually looking for Howie Mandell or Allen Funt's son to come walking out laughing.

But, neither of them were anywhere to be seen.

Then she said that she would need to call Jim and tell him that I was there...but, she couldn't find her cell phone. Actually, she couldn't find her purse...and, the cell phone was in there....so, she wandered around for several minutes looking for the purse.

Giving up on this idea, she said for me to come on into the nail area and she would begin to do my manicure (but, she was the masseuse?!). This room was teeny tiny with two old desks and towels folded on the top. She began to file away at my nails until (luckily!!) Jim arrived. So, now, he took over. He even smiled and asked me if the woman that was at the desk was "all over the place---a little crazy"? I chuckled and said, "Yes, sort of"...."are you related to her? "She's my wife" he said very matter of factly. (oh)

To say that it was a very strange manicure would be an understatement. I don't even know how to describe it to you....there wasn't any nail soaking...very little cuticle work...and then, the polish was put on.

All I could think now was that I couldn't wait to get into a comfy pedicure chair...turn on the vibrator...and relax my feet in a nice warm, sudsy whirlpool.

Wrong again.

Instead, I was walked into another small area with a fish tank sticking into the wall and more art work hanging around. There was a wrought iron chair with a little stool where one of those plastic tubs was sitting. The water in the little tub was quite cool....so, when he asked me if it was warm enough and I responded "no"...he went and got a tea kettle filled with hot water and poured it in over my feet. It was all that I could do to keep myself from bursting into hysterical laughter. I just hope that no one in the shop wanted any tea that day...

Actually, the only people there were Jim, his wife, and me until a young gentleman came in for a treatment. When the wife finished with him and he left, she commented to both of us that the guy was there to get his back waxed...and that he was quite hairy. This was more information than I needed to know and thought how humiliated the guy would feel if he knew that she was talking about him when he was gone.

So, now the three of us are sitting in the "pedicure room" while Jim is doing my toenails. The two of them talked non-stop....and, every time that Jim talked, he stopped working on my feet. (I thought to myself that I was never going to get out of this place!)

It turns out that Jim's wife is the artist who painted the art work that was spread out all over the place. One by one she began to bring her work into the room for me to see. I must say that while it was amateurish, some of it was okay, After the "art showing" she decided to actually read me a little poem that she had written and got quite choked up as she read it. Still working (?!) on my toenails, Jim asked her to get his poem...which she did...and, he stopped my pedicure to read it to me. As he was reading, his eyes filled up with tears and he said, "This always gets to me..." Are you kidding me? Am I going crazy?? Am I at an art and poetry exhibit or a relaxing day at the spa?

Unfortunately, the conversation got into a little political discussion as Jim was not pleased at all that Obama was elected President. In fact, he intensely dislikes the man....and that's not even strong enough to express how this man felt about our new President! Being an Obama supporter, I should have kept my mouth shut at this point, but he got me a bit riled up with some of the things that he was saying. The more he talked, the harder he massaged my feet and legs until it was getting a bit uncomfortable. I finally said, "Ow!' and he took the hint. At that point I thought that I was probably better off discussing his wife's art and poetry... : O

I will say this...the final outcome looks pretty good...and, as I left there looking at my newly polished nails and toes I began to laugh out loud....what an experience....

....and, more importantly it kept me from thinking about my cracked commode back home...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The plumber arrives.....

Here is the toilet, er, commode that has been squishing and leaking. The plumber and his partner returned this morning to replace the wax ring (again!).

Before lifting the commode off of the floor, he decided that the two bolts on either side of it may not have been tightened enough. So, he got hs wrench and began to tighten. (Isn't this riveting??)

"Ah, that should get it..." he said.

We did the "squish test" and checked for leaks...both checks passed the test.

However, he wasn't satisfied to just leave until he flushed it several times...and put some weight on it.

Now, he sensed that a little more water was beginning to creep out from underneath....so, he began to tighten the bolts just a wee bit more...


Suddenly, we heard an ominous "crack" (!)..... and this was the result...


I now need a brand new toilet in that the porcelain has cracked...

Trying to find a match to this elongated commode that I had has not been easy....so, one had to be ordered and it won't be here for a couple of days.


I should have lived with the squishing... : O

Monday, March 09, 2009

The "Squishy" Commode story continues...and other nonsense

I was pleased to sit down on the commode (sounds more dignified than toilet, doesn't it?) last night and all seemed well....no squishy sound and no leakage (see yesterday's post). Knowing that the plumber (that I met in Home Depot) was going to make the very long drive out to my house first thing in the morning, I decided to call him and give him this positive update.

"I'll just keep an eye on it," I told him, "and let you know if it causes any further problems."

An hour later, when Dave went upstairs to test it out, he told me that not only was it still squishing, but it was rocking and leaking as well.

Too late (and, too embarrassing!) to call the plumber back...I made the decision to sit tight for a couple of days and then get back to him.

Oh, the trials and tribulations of being a homeowner.


My friend, Sharon, and her husband, are home from their trip to London and Israel. After a 5 and 1/2 hour trip back to London, a one hour layover there, an almost 10 hour flight from London to Atlanta, a three hour layover there...and then a final 45 minute flight back to Bham....they are finally home....and, trying to get used to the 6 hour time difference between here and there!

All of this fun...and, their luggage got lost enroute...Welcome home guys! : )


My bird feeder is being held together by a wing (no pun intended) and a prayer. The body of it is heavily duct taped...including the bottom which broke off at one point....Now, the original perches have broken off one by one...so, I have slowly replaced them with nails and glue. I just filled it full of seed and put it back outside for my feathered friends and realized that the glue had probably not totally dried where I inserted the nails. Hopefully, I won't find any birds glued to the feeder later on....!


I am 80% finished with my tax stuff. As soon as I finish my post for today, I plan on filling in the "workbook" that the accountant gave me...and sending it on!

I'm so proud of myself. I just hope that Uncle Sam feels the same way and doesn't feel the need to audit me.


I am pretty anal conscientious about paying my bills on time...so, while working on my tax stuff.... I was a little confused when I found two paid bills for my yearly newspaper service. I made a phone call this morning and found out that I had, indeed, paid twice and was now paid up through to December 2011!

I'm nice, but, not that nice. I asked for a refund for one of the years...Ah, newfound money....how nice...even if it is just $174....I'll take what I can.... : )


Unseasonably warm weather is occurring here in Birmingham. I really don't like this time of year when one isn't sure whether to dress for winter or for spring when going out. Today, the high temp is going to be near 80 degrees...but, by Thursday, we are dropping back down into the 50's. What's a girl to do?


I feel guilty every time that I complain about our weather here in that MN is due for a blizzard of sorts later on this week. Sorry, kids....bundle those grandbabies of mine up!


Back downstairs to my taxes...maybe I can find some more overpayments....

Have a nice day! xoxo

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sunday Stuff

My internal clock gets so confused when the time changes in the spring. The older I get, the longer it takes me to get acclimated to losing that hour. I have hardly gotten my day started and it is already noon!

...And, I thought that time was passing way too quickly already...!


As Dave and I were on our way out the other night he received a phone call from his nephew in Delaware telling him that, "his mom was missing!" (!!!!) It seems that her caretaker had to be away for the weekend and another family member had gone over to check on her. When they arrived, she was nowhere to be seen...and, the car was gone. Fearing the worst, the police were called.As you can imagine, Dave was quite concerned as we anxiously awaited news from home.

About a half an hour later he got word that his mom was safe and sound visiting with her granddaughter and her kids. I'm sure that she wondered what all the fuss was about! We are still not sure whether she drove herself over there or not...but, thankfully this story had a good ending.


I keep putting off the inevitable chore of gathering my tax information together. To say that I hate doing this would be quite an understatement.

I have decided that today is the day! Of course, with daylight savings time in effect, I may not have the time...! heh heh : )


Another story from mom at "The Home". This one is actually a bit scary. It seems that a virus (?) with some flu-like symptoms was going around. They said that this particular strain was not responding to the protection of the flu shots that many of us got this year. Nine people were taken to the hospital and the rest of the home was put into total quarantine. The kitchen staff cooked and brought food up to each resident's room at mealtime and people were asked not to leave their apartments.When all was said and done, a total of 22 residents had taken ill...

The quarantine has been lifted and things are back to normal now...and, hopefully, all 22 have recovered.

Thankfully, my mom did not get the virus that was being spread around....

Another interesting week at "The Home". **sigh**


I will be driving into Atlanta this Wednesday to attend a book "launch party" for a dear friend of mine. She has been working on this book for quite a while now and it has finally been published.

The book is a step by step informational guide for businesses and it is called: "Driven to Success". My friend used the automobile as a way to explain her strategies. The party is being held at a Mercedes-Benz dealership in the city....clever, eh??!?! I'm looking forward to it...


My granddaughter, Audrey is crawling now...and her brother, Owen is wearing pull-ups. Celia is sitting up and reaching for things in that position.

These are exciting times in my family. ******************************************************************

More plumbing problems here at home. First, the soapy water from the washing machine was coming up through the downstairs toilet. That has been fixed...(we think). Of course, I am afraid to do any laundry right now...even though it is piling up. Today might have to be the day...

Secondly, the commode in the master bedroom started to make a squishy sound when you would sit down on it. I checked around the bottom of it and saw that there was a little bit of water down there. (This couldn't be a good sign...) I looked online, sent the info to Dave, my private plumber (ha!) and, fools that we are, decided to tackle this project ourselves. So, I went to Home Depot to ask an "expert" there what I needed to purchase. Well, there was a shortage of "experts" that day...so, I began a discussion with two salesmen who had no idea what to do. Luckily, there was a gentleman standing nearby who overheard my plight and offered some suggestions for me.

"Are you a plumber?" I questioned this kind customer.

"Yes," he answered, "I do a little bit of everything."

"How much would you charge to fix my commode" I then asked.

"About $50.00" he said.

"Wow", I thought to myself....knowing that I couldn't get a plumber into my house for under a couple of hundred dollars...."You've got yourself a job!"

To make a long story short....he came out with another man that afternoon, removed the toilet...replaced the wax ring of some sort....put everything back in place...and left me a happy woman.

Unfortunately, the story doesn't end there as I heard that ominous squishy (ewww) sound again yesterday and saw some water around the bottom of the commode again.

He'll be back out here tomorrow morning.



Well, I better go and get started sorting my !!&?!#$%#%!! tax materials before the day is over.....


Friday, March 06, 2009

A time for bringing simplicity back....

"Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough." Charles Warner

"I believe the art of living consists not so much in complicating simple things as in simplifying things that are not." Francois Hertel

"Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity." Thor Heyerdahl

As I observe what is going on in the financial world today, I feel a range of emotions.

Like everyone, I am extremely concerned about my dwindling finances. Being a divorced woman in my 60's, I don't feel as though I have time on my side as far as recouping my losses. I worry about the future and all of the things that getting older bring along with it...I especially don't want to be a burden to my children in my later years...and this haunts me the most.

That all being said, the reality is that we are in a crisis that is not going to be remedied overnight...in fact, it will probably be years before things begin to improve.

It is what it is...and now the bigger question for each of us is how we are going to cope with "it".

If one really looks deeply, there is a positive that may come out of all of this (yes, I have my rose-colored glasses on today). To me, this is a time to go back to simplicity in our lives. A time to get rid of the excess and put emphasis on the things that are really important.

This isn't too big of a stretch for me, in that I believe that I have pretty much always appreciated the simple pleasures around me. I didn't grow up in a family that was financially well off... we always shared bedrooms, hand-me-down clothing, etc. etc. ....and, have spent much of my life living pretty frugally. However, like all of us in my age range (there are some of you out there, right?!) the last ten years or so have been a time of "plenty" for many of us. We took a lot of things for granted....used our charge cards to get things without batting an eye...and didn't worry that much about the future as we had some of our money in the stock market....and, that was safe, right?!?!

Well, things have changed for all of us to one degree or another and now we need to reassess and make those personal changes to move ahead and still enjoy a quality of life. The answer came to me as I viewed one of my pieces of pottery hanging up. It simply says "simplify". That little word may hold the key for our survival in the years ahead...

Instead of going out to dinner, we will be doing more cooking at home...experiencing the pleasures of a home-cooked meal with the people we love. I'm even hosting a "Recession Pot Luck Supper" over here in a few weeks so that we can laugh at our "plight" and just enjoy being together with friends.

We need to once again find pleasures right outside our doors in and in homes....things that money can't buy....birds singing joyfully around our filled bird feeders....the beauty of springtime as the blooms begin to sneak out of their winter homes....finding a comfy place to read a great book with a warm cup of tea...bringing out those old board games again and having fun with a little competitive spirit....planting a herb garden...learning how to repair things in our homes on our own before calling in the expensive "experts"...slowing down our purchasing of more things to fill spaces that are already bursting with enough...finding joy in creating instead of just buying...Doing more breathing....sighing.....laughing....connecting.....experiencing.....living.

If we can all embrace simplicity once more, I think that we can truly find that silver lining.

And, it won't cost a thing...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I can't believe that it's been a year...

I am thinking about my Dad more than usual today as it marks the one year anniversary of his passing.

I miss his presence in my life all of the time...and, it is especially strong when I am with the grandbabies because I know how much he would have enjoyed our growing family....especially his great-grandchildren.

March 4 will forever be etched in my heart...

Love and miss you, Dad. : (

"There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after thay have gone, the light remains."

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

"The Bachelor" aka "What were you thinking, Jason???"

Why do I watch this reality junk stuff on TV???

I wish that I had an answer to that question...especially as I sat for three ridiculous hours last night watching the finale of "The Bachelor".

For all three of you out there who don't know what occurred last night...here it is in a nutshell: Jason, the seemingly (seemingly being the key word here!) incredible single dad fell in love with two women on the show; Melissa and Molly. After much deliberation, he chose Melissa...asked her to marry him....professed his great love for her.... and sent Molly (the runner-up???) off in the "loser limo" heartbroken and confused.

Move ahead 6 weeks later...Jason now appears on a show that follows the finale last night. (previously recorded). He is obviously troubled in that after he and his now fiance,'Melissa, left the show, he found that the chemistry was lacking and that he was constantly thinking about (yep, you got it) Molly!

So, on prime time TV last night, Jason officially broke up with Melissa!!!!!!!!! The engagement ring was returned and an aggravated Melissa stormed off the stage.

As if that weren't tacky and distasteful enough, the people at ABC then brought Molly to the stage and Jason publicly professed his feelings and asked her if she would consider going out with him again and giving it all another try.

At this point I was almost screaming at the TV for her to look him in the eye, slap him silly....and tell him "no way!".

But, she didn't. Instead, moments later, the two of them were in a giggly lip-lock... and gleefully looking forward to going out again.

I couldn't believe my eyes. Was this a ratings ploy? Did Melissa really know that her relationship with Jason was over before the show began?? Did Jason have a choice as far as whether or not he appeared on this after-show? Will he eventually ask Molly to marry him? (After all, he still has the beautiful diamond ring that Melissa returned to him!) Have Molly and Jason been seeing each other on the sly? How is Jason's adorable son doing through all of this?? Is reality TV just another scripted show or is it real life?

These, and many other questions may be answered as the network is having a second show tonight!

As appalled as I am with all of this.....as angry as I feel for how this spectacle was handled.....as annoyed as I am with myself for getting caught up in all of this....I am trying to decide whether to tune in to tonight's follow-up show or not.... (aaargh!!)

In all honesty, I probably will.....I just found out that it doesn't start until American Idol is over....(my other "reality addiction") What's a girl to do????

: O

More tomorrow...

Your comments and feedback....

To my dear blogging readers,

I wanted to do a little post today on something that is such a special part of my blogging experience: your comments and feedback.

Please know that I am so very appreciative of your taking the time to visit my blog and write to me in my comment section.

Even though I don't respond back on my comment page (mostly because I'm not sure that readers go back and reread this section?), I want you to know that I read each and every one of your thoughts with gratitude and thankfulness.

It's always nice to know that there are people out there reading our "stories"....Your wonderful comments verify that connection for me.....THANKS so much!


Grammie : )

Monday, March 02, 2009

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Snow in the Deep South...Huh?

When you live in Alabama and the weather forecasters predict snow, you do one of two things: 1.) Run to the grocery store and stock up on milk and bread (never did understand that one--my choices to stock up on would be wine and M and M's!) 2.) Ignore their predictions in that they are usually wrong, bringing about great disappointment.

But, somehow, they got it right this time....and, on Sunday morning a quick peek out the window and there was a light dusting of snow on the ground and on rooftops!

Within a couple of hours.... large, white flakes were rapidly coming down and the dusting turned into a few inches of glorious, wondrous snow.

I dragged had Dave get bundled up and join me for a romp in the newly fallen snow.

First we took a walk around the neighborhood as I put my head back, stuck out my tongue, and let the flakes melt in my mouth. Ahhh. (I can already hear those snickers from my Northern readers!)

Along the way, Dave proceeded to make many snowballs and use the local trees for his targets...while I began to collect snow in a ball for a snowman (another one of those male/female differences!). I looked kind of silly carrying this growing ball of snow in my arms as we walked, but, it did serve as the beginning of one of our snowmen (snowpeople? Is that more PC?).

Once back at my house the building began and our "punk rock" snowman was created along with a smaller snow-woman by his side.Such fun acting like a kid again!

With frozen fingers, we headed back into the warm house having had our fill of this unusual event.

By the later afternoon, the snow stopped falling, the sun came out...and every last bit of our "Winter Wonderland" was gone...

Temporary, but magical.... nonetheless. : )

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Jeffrey's Special Day!

It is hard for me to realize that Jeffrey is 32 today.....he may be a husband and a father....but, he will always be my "baby".

Happy, happy Birthday, J....

I love you,


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