Monday, June 29, 2009


Another wonderful day in paradise Minneapolis with the grandbabies! Luckily, Judy (the other grandma)and I have a great relationship that is mostly filled with laughter! And, I'm talking the kind of laughter where you are "drinking-soda-and-it-comes-out-of-your-nose" laughter (that actually happened tonight!). We are a great team... and work so well together that we feel like we must have been sisters in another life! We decided a while back that we just "get each other"...and that is what is so magical about our relationship. And, of course, we share the unbelievable love for our children (who were smart enough to marry each other!) and our beautiful Owen and Audrey.


Things are running very smoothly except for one little detail...and, that is the "house showings"! You see, Adam and Jenny are trying very hard to sell the home that they are in right now so that they can move into something a bit larger....Sooooo, when the realtor calls....we listen.

Now that the kids are away and Judy and I are babysitting, it is pretty challenging to have to leave the house at different times so that the realtor can bring prospective buyers over.

That not only entails packing up things for the grandkids...but, we also have to leave the house spotless.

Tonight there was a showing at 6:30 p.m. We normally would have the kids almost ready to go to be by, that put a crimp in our plans.

Well, we bathed the kids early...and then took them out to Wendy's to eat in their pajamas!! It sounded like a good idea at the time....

But, at the end of the meal, we offered them soft serve ice cream. Yum. Sounds pretty good, eh?

Well, to say that they were "sugared up" would be an understatement. As I rocked Audrey in my arms and tried to get her sleepy after her bottle....she was so hyper and excited that she had me hysterically laughing.

She has this thing about making different a clicking sound ....or putting her tongue in and out---blah blah blah.... or inhaling while making another type of sound....or "ma ma ma"....or "ba ba ba" get the point, right?

She was giggling and making her sounds...and I couldn't help but laugh at her....she is so cute!

Thirty minutes later...I finally got her to sleep...and, I left her room with a smile on my face. : )


The kids told us that they thought that Owen would enjoy a day at the Mall of the Americas in that they have this special thing for kids. They have these wonderfully fun rides in this carnival-like atmosphere. So, the plan is for us to take Audrey to daycare and spend some alone time with Owen at the mall riding the rides, etc.

I must say that Judy and I have some reservations about all of this...not because we are concerned about going on the rides with Owen...but, at a shopping center today we passed several of those "rides" that you put a quarter in and it slowly moves up and down or back and forth. At first Owen was all excited saying: "Can I go on the (horse, car, bus etc.)?" "Sure" we said...getting our change out for the little rides.However, once we got close to actually doing it...he changed his tune and said, "Maybe another day...!" He couldn't get away fast enough at that point....

Tomorrows "adventure" may be short lived...


The weather turned on us here in MN. While it was quite hot when I arrived last Thursday...a front came through and now the temps are very cool. I'm trying to enjoy it while I can before heading home to the heat and humidity in Alabama!


Adam and Jenny will be heading home tomorrow afternoon. I hope that they have had fun on their 11th Anniversary getaway.

I know that Judy and I are honored that they leave their precious children in our care.

I can never get enough of is so joyous and memorable.

Who knew that being a grandmother could be so much fun?!?!

Grammie Heaven

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Friday, June 26, 2009


As a brilliant (non-prejudiced Grammie viewpoint!) almost three year old, Owen has begun to question everything.

After every statement that is made, he comes back with a "Why?". You then answer his "why" and he follows it with another "Why?"...and so forth and so on.

I love his inquisitive nature and try to keep answering his "whys" (is that even a word??)...but, it is not always an easy situation in that some things just don't have an explanation that a three year old can grasp.

But, we keep trying.... : )


Tomorrow is one year old Audrey's birthday party! The cake has been baked, the "birthday crown" has been made, the salads have been put together,the friends have RSVP'd...and, we are (almost) ready for it to begin!

Audrey probably won't have any idea what we are celebrating...but, the adults will certainly have a great time!


Tomorrow is also the 11th Anniversary for Adam and Jenny! They will be leaving first thing in the morning on Sunday for a little getaway while the grandma's stay here and babysit until Wednesday. We can hardly wait...The "Screaming Greemies" (Grammie + Mimi) are ready to spoil them!


Watching Audrey walk in her own little wobbly way has been great! She is a real pistol and gets into everything! We don't dare take our eyes off of her for a second...because one never knows what she might be getting into.

She has learned several of the baby sign language motions....especially "more". She uses that one quite often. Today she did it every time that we finished a round of "Ring Around the Rosie". Mimi and I could hardly get up each time after "we all fall down!"...but, Audrey did the "more" sign over and over again...and, we just couldn't resist.

A couple of Advil tonight and I should be able to move my legs again by the morning!


Good night all!


A tired, but delighted, Grammie


I'm here in Minneapolis...and, I'm smiling!

My son picked me up at the airport...we had lunch together...he went back to work....and then I went to the daycare to pick up Owen and Audrey!!

As soon as Owen saw me at the door he came running toward me and gave me the BIGGEST hug ever! *sigh* *sigh* *sigh*

Then on to Audrey's room where she was just waking from her nap. I was a bit apprehensive about whether she would really remember me in that the last time we were together was in April...and she was just a few months old then. BUT, she greeted me with a huge smile...! *sigh* *sigh* *sigh*

Grammie Heaven... : )

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I'll see you all tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7:30 tomorrow morning I will be winging my way up to Minnesota...and, sometime that afternoon I will be giving out Grammie hugs and kisses to my "babies"! Oooooh, I can't wait...

I am "semi"-packed (trying to keep it under the allowed 50 lbs.!), bird feeders are filled, hummingbird nectar refilled, plants heavily watered, sprinkler system set, pool chemicals balanced, newspapers stopped, mail stopped, light timers set, gifts purchased, neighbors notified, bills paid (well...sort of), boarding passes printed out...etc. etc. etc.

Minnesota, here I come! : )

(stay tuned)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hot stuff

Nice title, eh?

The heat here is really becoming oppressive. You know that when it is already 80+ degrees first thing in the's going to be a scorcher of a day!

In the meantime, my air conditioning system is working overtime...but, not in a good way. It is a very old system, but, it still cools the house unbelievably well. In fact, too well. The issue that I have with it is that the thermostat is upstairs (you know "hot air rises" yada yada!) and this keeps it running almost all of the time....making the downstairs too chilly and the basement area (my pottery studio) almost frigid! Thus, I find myself having to set the thermostat to around 84-86 degrees just to get it to shut off. Crazy.

Then, within a little bit of time, the house becomes sweltering hot! So, of course, I set the thermostat back down a degree or two....and so it goes....up and down....on and off.....!

I guess that I shouldn't could be worse...but, I imagine that my power bill this month is going to be a lot higher than these summertime temperatures...!



Well, I was one of the "crazy" people that tuned in to "Jon and Kate Plus 8" last night to hear "the big announcement".

It made me feel like a bit of a voyeur....and, it certainly wasn't was just SAD.

I am mostly sad for the children. Having lived most of their lives in front of cameras....they now will have the world watching them as their parents go through a painful divorce.

Of course it probably makes for "good tv" and, even better ratings...but at what cost to this family?

I say, "Enough"!

Stop the cameras and deal with your family issues privately.

Anyone agree?


So, last night I was searching in my pantry for microwave popcorn and, I promise you, it was nowhere to be found. I began to remove items from the shelves in that I knew that I still had three packs left in the box.

Now, I am getting frustrated as I continue searching around the kitchen.

No popcorn.

I'm embarrassed to say that I did finally find it.... my freezer!

(Yes, it did still just took a tad bit longer.)

I hope that this is just an example of "cluttered mind syndrome"! : O


Two more days until I will be up in Minnesota with some of my family!!!! I guess that I should probably begin the arduous task ahead and begin to gather items to pack. *groan*

As I try and decide what clothing to bring with me, I am thinking that heading up there might give me some relief from the hot temps down here....But, today, I found out that it is equally as warm up there right now as it is here.

Bring it on! I will be with Owen and Audrey and the rest of the clan...and, that's all that really matters to this Grammie!

Enough blogging....I'm off to pack! : )


Monday, June 22, 2009

Subway train crash hits too close to home....

It was one of those surreal moments when my sister called this afternoon asking if I had heard about the horrific train crash in D.C. She had heard that the incident occurred between Takoma Park and the Fort Totten area.

My youngest son, Jeffrey, lives in Takoma Park, and takes this Red Line train back and forth to work every day.

Of course I immediately tried to get in touch with either him or his wife on their cells and at home. No answer on any of the phones.

I tried not to panic, but, as I watched the news on the television I was becoming more and more alarmed and concerned.

It was an agonizing few minutes before I finally heard from him--- Relief spread over me immediately just hearing his voice. It was the train that Jeffrey normally would have taken...but, he had to work a little late tonight so his wife just picked him up from his office when he was done.

To say that I was never happier to hear that he had to work late would be an understatement!

I was grateful and relieved as well as shaking with thoughts of what "might have been".

I then began to turn my thoughts to the less fortunate families of those killed and injured. My prayers go out to them as they try to make sense of this tragedy.

(As a postscript to all of seems that, initially, it was thought that this was the train heading home from downtown and that the crash occurred between the Fort Totten station and the Takoma Park station. That would make it the exact train that Jeffrey takes home every day. However, later reports seemed to indicate that the train was actually heading back downtown at the time of the accident....and that the crash occurred from the Takoma Park station heading toward the Fort Totten station...)

Either was way too close to home for me and my family...


A shaken, but grateful, Mom

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day 2009

Dear Dad,

Well, this is the second Father's Day without you...and, it is still so difficult...

I normally would have been on the telephone giving you the "Happy Father's Day call".......We wouldn't talk long before you would hand the phone over to Mom and say, "Here's your Mother". I didn't take just weren't "chatty" like your four daughters! How could you be? You never got a word in edgewise with all of that estrogen surrounding you!

I found this picture of you with my two boys taken over 32 year's ago. That little baby in your arms being kissed by his toddler brother are now both daddies! How did that time pass so quickly?

I know that you would be so proud of the type of fathers that the two of them have become. They are kind and gentle...and loving....and family is of utmost importance to them both.

I called both of my boys today to wish them a Happy Father's Day...and, they were spending the day with their own families...just as it should be.

Living so far away from them makes me think back to how you and Mom must have felt all of those years while I was living here in Birmingham and you were down in S. Florida...My boys were growing up and only getting to see you all on occasion. But, this was where the jobs were...and this was where we ended up raising our family and making a home....

Looking back on it now I can't help but feel some sadness at the distance that separated us all of those years...but, I knew that you understood.

Father's Day was always so special to me...I just wish that you were still here so that I could tell you how much I miss making that phone call home to you...

Love and hugs, Dad.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


So far this morning I have checked my emails, sent a few out, read through the latest Facebook entries, scoured the AOL news updates, played a quick game of "Bubble Town" (don't ask), checked out my favorite blogs....and looked up the most recent tweets on my Twitter.

I'm trying to remember life B.C. (before computers)! Whatever did we do with all of that time? : O


Well, I am on my fifth, and, hopefully, final cordless phone set! After having issues with my first Panasonic set (phone calls cut out right in the middle of a conversation and I couldn't get very far from the base unit to get good reception)...I returned it and bought the same exact set in case it was just a glitch with the first one. It wasn't...the same issues continued.

Could it be my phone lines? I had the cable people out several times to check my phone wire connections and everything checked out, that meant that it had to be the phones.

I returned the second Panasonic and went shopping for another brand to try out...and, ended up with A T & T.

I loved the first set...the reception was excellent and there weren't any dropped calls.... but found out after purchasing them that they didn't have a headset jack. I like to have the mobility that a headset offers, especially when I am working with my clay downstairs.

So, I returned the set and ordered another A T & T set online. This one had headset jacks...but, many of the features that I liked so much on the first phone weren't there.

Back to the drawing board!

It turns out that the first phone was the newest model and that it was made to be used with a wireless headset...thus the absence of a jack.

So, I went online again and purchased the new set with the wireless headset......replacing A T and T phone number two. It is actually the same phone as the first one that I ordered...but, this one came with the wireless headset (still with me?)

So, the bottom line is that I am now quite happy with this set even though the wireless headset looks like something out of Star Trek.

At this point I am just happy that it works.

And, I thought that I only had issues with toilets.


It's another hot and oppressive day in I will be staying inside as much as possible trying to stay "cool"!

Have a good one wherever you might be...xoxo

Friday, June 19, 2009 - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more post today!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Whenever I just write about "stuff", I am always looking for a new, and more interesting title for my post. So, today, I got out my trusty Thesaurus and under the word "stuff" I found "twaddle". I kind of liked how it sounded...thus, my post title for today.


The day started slowly as I awoke, looked in the mirror, and determined that I looked very much like the "before" picture in a make-over. *groan*

After getting over that shock, I began to use my newest toy: an electric toothbrush! It was recommended by my dentist's hygienist the other day when I went for my routine cleaning. She has been recommending it to all of her, I went and purchased one. It is the Oral B Triumph and I must admit--it is pretty cool. It times the toothbrushing for two minutes....and displays a happy face when the time is done. It also has sensors that let you know if you are brushing too hard which can be bad for your gums. The only problem that I am having with it so far is when the hard plastic part of the brush is vibrating and it touches my teeth before the brush does. I feel like it rattles my entire mouth! I-I-I/ g-g-g-u-e-s-s-s/ t-t-t-h-a-a-t/ I-I-I/ w-w-w-i-l-l-l/g-g-g-e-t-t-t/ u-u-s-e-d/t-t-t-o/ i-t-t!


Heading down to breakfast, I still found myself a bit bleary as I tried to turn on the tv with my telephone handset. (Not the first time that I have attempted that!) And, so my day began.


Temperatures in Birmingham have been in the 90's lately- so my outside walks have been replaced by the treadmill which is located in the air-conditioning house. Ahhh. The heat has really been pretty unbearable...especially since it is only mid June. I can't wait to see what the rest of the summer has in store for us...


I went to get my hair cut and colored in the afternoon...I always have the best time with my hairdresser, Caroline. I moan and groan about the wrinkles on my face and the extra skin on my neck...and, she laughs at me.

There are just too many mirrors in a beauty parlor! And, I think that the lighting should be toned down a bit. : )

I always bring her the same picture of me that was taken after she gave me the very best haircut in the world. When she saw it today she laughingly told me that she wants me to put the picture on a mug for her Christmas gift this year.

Be careful what you wish for, Caroline!

I'm just saying...


I don't know how many of you out there tune in to "So You Think You Can Dance", but, I think that it is hands down one of the best shows out there right now.

These young kids are so incredibly talented as they dance as predetermined couples to all different types of dance styles. It is totally entertaining and, many times I find myself moved to tears with some of the more emotional dances.

I find it pretty amazing to watch..and, I highly recommend it.


Off to make dinner. Dave will be here soon...... : )


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

You can't be one year old already?!?!

My precious granddaughter, Audrey, is one year old today!

Where has the time gone?

This beautiful little sister to "almost-three-year-old" Owen arrived with great fanfare on this day a year ago. While we had/have visions of pink and purple, ribbons and bows...and, other girlie things...Audrey may turn out to be a rough and tumble little tomboy...! This adorable bundle is a force to be reckoned with and will certainly make her mark on the world in her own "Audrey way".

Happy, happy birthday dear Audrey...I will be there to celebrate with you and the family in 8 days!

I can't wait!

XOXO, Grammie

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


"How much of human life is lost in waiting." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Worry is like a rocking chair. It will give you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere." The United Church Observer

No one wants to get a letter in the mail telling them that their recent mammogram is showing a questionable spot that will need further diagnostic testing.

Because of that letter, the last few days of waiting have been very tense for a close friend of mine...

The letter arrived in the middle of the week. The appointment for the tests had to be scheduled for Monday......thus, she had days, and a long weekend of waiting.

The first thing that occurred was that the time allowed her imagination to run wild. Suddenly, everything in her body began to ache. All that she could think about was "Do I have cancer?" and "Will I need more tests, biopsies, etc?" As her close friend, I shared some of her stress and immediately began to peruse the Internet looking for information on "spots on a mammogram". This only served to increase my own anxiety, but, I couldn't seem to pull myself away from the computer as I looked for hope for my friend.

Interestingly, I did find out through my "research" that a high percentage of "false positives" on mammograms turn out to be just that-"false". And, even if a spot is found, many of these are benign and nothing to worry about. They can be cysts, shadows, scar tissue, areas of harmless density, etc. etc.

So, my friend and I kept reassuring ourselves that all would be fine.

Unfortunately, all of the reassurances in the world get lost in the long spaces of waiting...Even though you, the patient, might be ready to keep moving on this...appointments and schedules have to be followed...and your patience (and sanity) are put to the test.

My friend found that she couldn't eat...her stomach was a bit upset and she found that she had no appetite. I, on the other hand, was eating everything in sight. That is how I generally deal with stress. I don't even want to think about the total number of calories consumed during this period of waiting!

The weekend was over, Monday was here, and she went back to the hospital for a compression test as well as an ultra sound. Nothing was said as far as what was seen...and, she was sent home to (yep)...wait some more.

Her doctor had hoped to have some results for her that day...but, by later that night, she exhaustedly fell asleep without any news.

Calling the doctor's office in the morning, she found out that they had faxed the hospital asking them to please send the report in to them asap. So, the waiting continued...until a phone call from the dr.'s office said that the results would not be there until later in the day.

With anxiety and stress growing, my friend tried to deal with doing errands during the day...but her tension was mounting with every minute that went by.

And, me? Well, I was at home eating out my refrigerator and starting on the pantry!

Thankfully, the call that she had been waiting for finally came this afternoon...and all was well! She could breathe again knowing that it had been determined that this spot was not a mass...and that they just wanted her to have another mammogram in 6 months.

Delirious exhilaration followed this news...only to be followed by a total loss of energy. A good night of calm sleep was well earned by my friend...and, as I sit here typing this tonight, I am sure that she is sound asleep at her home...with a relieved smile on her face.

As a post-script to all of this, I question the need to make the patient go through with this period of high anxiety. I know that many hospitals are under-staffed and over-worked...and, I imagine that this same scene as described above goes on every day all to women all over the world who have gotten "the letter" following a mammogram. If you ask, most women will say that the one thing that they fear more than anything (healthwise) is breast cancer.

So, as I sit here tonight, I have to question why something can't be done to make this all a bit less stressful...without having to go through that period of anxious worrying??

Most of us would say that we can handle the news...just not the waiting.

I wish that I had the answer...but, for now, I am just grateful that my friend is going to be okay... : )

(A post-script to my post-script: Please do get your mammograms, ladies....they are still one of the best tools for early detection of breast cancer...and, can be life saving!)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday, Monday

Right now the kiln is filled and running with several pieces of pottery on it's shelves. It always feels so good to get enough done to be able to do a firing. There are some special order pieces in there now that will have to go through one more firing before they are ready to be sent to the clients. This first firing (bisque firing) is always the one that makes me the most nervous in that this is when there is always a slight possibility of the piece blowing up. This can be caused by an air bubble or some moisture that is still in the clay. I won't know if this was an issue until tomorrow afternoon when the kiln has cooled off enough to open it's heavy lid and peek in...


We have had some pretty rough thunderstorms these last few days here in Alabama. Early Saturday and part of the day yesterday brought torrential downpours along with some strong winds.

On Saturday we found that a large tree limb had fallen and draped itself on the power line running into my house. The power stayed on, but there were a few flickers here and there. The power company came out and removed it after warning us not to touch it. I guess that it might have been a bit shocking (sorry, I couldn't resist) if we touched it and it was carrying a pretty good charge...!

Then yesterday's storms caused some more branches to fall on the roof...bowing out the gutter and possibly damaging some of the roof shingles. Since my (very expensive$$) roof is pretty new, I thought that it would be okay to call the people who installed it to check it out.

They did, and after tweaking the gutter a bit, they told me that the shingles were fine. Phew!

I was quite relieved in that my homeowner's insurance deductible is $1000. and that is $1000. more than I want to spend right now!


I told Dave to take everything with him to his house when he left this morning. By everything I mean the ribs, the potato salad, the spinach dip, the beans, the bread, and the pulled pork. I just can't eat anymore of that heavy, rich delicious food. I figured that out of sight meant out of mind.

However, I am kind of craving one of those yummy ribs slathered with bar-b-que sauce right now though.....


Talked with Mom this morning on my walk outside in the oppressive heat and humidity (Summertime in the South--**groan**). She seems to be doing okay, but was disappointed in one of the "special" dinner's on Saturday night. Every once in a while, "The Home" will have a theme night where they "go to" another city or country for the evening meal. For example, once the theme was Mexico and, of course, they served a Mexican meal that night...etc. etc.

Well, the place this time was Venice...and, she was really looking forward to what they would do for that.

It turned out that it was just a regular dinner night...but, they did have a gentleman walking around doing some operatic singing during the evening.

Mom said that it was so loud that no one could hear anyone talk...and, it was actually kind of annoying after a while.

Too bad that they didn't have any gondolas to put him on and let him sail off into the night...


Well, the "Travelin' Grammie" is heading out again a week from this Thursday! I am on the go so much these days that I should probably keep an extra suitcase packed and ready to go at all times.

Little Audrey is going to be turning one this month...and, we are all gathering in Minnesota to celebrate this first birthday with her.

I really can't wait to see her again...and, of course, her brother, Owen!

How blessed I am to be able to celebrate the happy moments with my kids... : )


Sunday, June 14, 2009

The suspense is over...!

All low calorie diets were cast aside last night as the new 2009 "Rib King" was crowned! After all of the guests had sampled the four, delectable, tasty, mouth-watering entries-- a color coded ballot was filled in with each person's vote for the best all around ribs.

The winner's ribs were s-l-o-w-l-y cooked on the grill using indirect heat for 7-8 hours. The winner's name is Al and he is, besides being Dave's friend and golf actuality, a chef by trade (he had worked at Emeril's in New Orleans before heading to New York for more training), he had a bit of an advantage over the rest of us "amateurs".

While three of the entries were baby back ribs, Al cooked regular spare ribs. They were really cooked to perfection with a light coating of his incredible sauce dripping off of the tender and juicy ribs. "So much for my cholesterol readings," I thought to myself as I chowed down on Al's ribs. Mmmm, they were good.

That is not to take away from the rest of the pack...each entry was pretty delicious and unique. Dave's were so tender that the meat just fell off of the bone when he tried to cut them apart. Very tasty, as usual for him. He's still my Rib King! : )

We had an array of sauces to compliment, not only the ribs, but the pork butt that Dave slow- cooked for hours. It was "melt-in-you-mouth".

The other side dishes were broccoli slaw, potato salad, cheese bread and good old baked beans. For dessert I baked some huge chocolate chip cookies and made ice cream sandwiches with them. It was quite a feast...and, a lot of fun!

...back to our normal, healthy diets....... soon as we finish the leftovers!

(tough job, but someone's got to do it!)

The Ribs

Al's winning ribs were platter number 3!

Friday, June 12, 2009

...just another night....

I Skyped with the Minnesota crew tonight....and, Audrey is walking!! I got to see it first hand along with Owen singing several songs (one even with his guitar that I swear is almost as big as he is!). Such fun. I have to admit that this makes me love modern technology...


Dave is nervously watching his Pittsburgh Penguins play hockey in the Stanley Cup finals tonight. The score right now is 1-0 with Pittsburgh, all is well so far. He takes his Pittsburgh teams (where he was born) very seriously. That is why I am up here in my office writing on my blog instead of downstairs watching the game. ****We are having storms in the area right now and the power went off momentarily....when it went back on the score had changed to 2-0 Penguins.

Dave is happy. : )


The rib contest for tomorrow night is on! I decided to join the ranks and bought a slab today. I cooked it very slowly in the oven this afternoon (3 1/2 hours) with my dry rub slathered on. Then I made my own bar-b-que sauce to be put on tomorrow when I put it on the grill for a bit. Tomorrow night is the "big best ribs" contest. Dave made a crown that says "Rib King 2009"....I may have to cross out "king" and put in "queen" when I win the title...stay tuned.


I hate "hate". What is with the 88 year old man firing on people in the Holocaust Museum? He has a long history of anti-Semitism and general "hate". I don't get it. I just don't get it...


Of course there are always stories in the news that make us say, "huh?". The most recent one was about the daughter who threw out her mom's mattress....only to find out that it contained $1 million dollars in savings!

She'll be losing sleep over that...(pun intended) : )


So, Adam Lambert has finally come out of the closet.

Who cares?

His incredibly beautiful voice is what draws me to this fantastic singer. His unbelievable talent is what amazes me....More importantly, I am anxiously awaiting that first CD of his to come out....


Mom has had macular degeneration in one eye for several years. The other eye also has macular degeneration but was considered to be "dry".... meaning that the degeneration had not affected it yet....but, it was very possible. Once that occurs, it is classified as "wet". Unfortunately, the other day, she found out that the "good eye" was not becoming "wet". Not good news...but, we are hopeful that it will be a slow progression...or that some of the newest medical trials may work on her...some that can not cure it...but, can slow it's progression.

I am hopeful that she will be a candidate...


Well, I guess that I will go and join Dave downstairs and watch the hockey game. Go Pittsburgh!

P.S. The Pittsburgh Penguins just won the Stanley Cup! Joy abounds... : )

Thursday, June 11, 2009

...and, now a word from our sponsor...

....OK. It's no secret that both my son and his wife both work at General Mills. My loyal readers also know that both of them are quite exuberant and enthusiastic (understatement) about things that they like and believe in.

So, it was no surprise when I heard from Adam about a brand new (and, delicious!) product that his department at General Mills is introducing this month......Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters!!

He promises me that they are quite tasty...and, I totally believe him (after all, I am his mother).

Well, I looked them up online...and, I have to tell you....they look very yummy!

Look for them on your grocer's shelves soon! (and tell them that Grammie sent you!)

Now, how was that for a "shameless plug"? : )


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Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Is it just me...or has anyone else noticed that packaging is getting smaller and smaller...but, prices are staying the same...or, going up! I started to pay attention to this lately and have been absolutely amazed. They are just little changes...maybe a package will contain 12 oz. now instead of 16. You wouldn't know it unless you checked out the weight at the bottom of the exactly-the- same-looking packages. They are making these changes very quietly...but, as consumers we need to be talking about it quite loudly! (Grammie, the Activist) : )


It is always interesting to me to watch how strangers respond when I smile and express an appropriate greeting (good morning, etc.)their way. Some will light up and smile back with a response...but, many will look away and avoid the contact. Some will actually try and act distracted as they approach me...possibly anticipating my greeting. And, of course, nowadays it isn't unusual to find people preoccupied with their electronic devices...keeping them from having to greet or be greeted. **sigh**(Grammie, the World Greeter)


Dave and I are hosting a "Rib Off" this Saturday night with two of Dave's golfing buddies and another one of his good friends (and wives and girlfriends...). Each guest will prepare a slab of ribs and bring it to my house. Without identifying whose ribs are whose...we will each decide which ones taste the best and crown a King of Ribs! Mmmmmmm. Dave is also going to cook a pork butt and I will make all of the side dishes. I promise pictures and a report on Sunday after the "Big Event". (Grammie, the Hostess)


Well, my airline tickets have been purchased for my next two trips to visit my grandbabies. First, I will be heading to Minneapolis for Audrey's first birthday celebration. I can't believe that she will be one year old already!

Next, I will be heading to Takoma Park to collect some hugs and love from 9 month old Celia! Celia just had her check up at the doctors today...all is well....but, she is a little peanut as she is small for her age. But, her growth is moving in the normal projection...she's just going to be petite like her Mommy!

When they wrote me about the percentages that she is is what I wrote back: 4th percentile for height-------7th percentile for weight------and, 100th percentile for "adorableness"! (Grammie, the Grammie!)


I have been knee deep in my clay for the last few days and it feels good. I am going to attempt to make enough pottery inventory to have an Open House here before the holidays. With all of my upcoming travel expenses...I certainly need the mula!


That being said, I am going to end here and head back down to the dungeon (my basement studio) and get back to work! (Grammie, the potter) : )

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

With age comes wisdom?


Many of us would probably rather trade in that so-called "wisdom" for a chance to be in our 20's again....but, nevertheless, as I get ready to round the bend on my 60th year of life...I do have some thoughts to impart about some things that I have learned.

I still believe that each of us are put on this earth for a reason...even though it is not always clear to us right away exactly what that reason, or purpose, is. This doesn't have to be something lofty or can be something very small but nonetheless equally important.

I also believe that people are put into our lives for a reason...and, that we are put into other's lives for a reason. We can either learn lessons....or, teach lessons....but, I have seen proof of this over and over again.

Then there is my "open arms theory". This is simply the ability to go through life with an openness about you...similar to extending your arms outward to welcome in whatever comes your way. The opposite would be the people who go through life with their arms folded across their chest...closing off people and experiences that may come their way. I feel that people who are closed miss so many spectacular moments.

Listening. That is a big part of my existence here on earth. I feel that everyone wants to be heard...and, it is such an easy thing to do. It can be so validating when someone gives you their full attention and truly hears you. At the very best, it is hearing with your heart and not just your ears. Sometimes we are so intent on telling our own story that we miss out on hearing from someone else. When I stop what I am doing or thinking and really listen to another person, I can see the light in their eyes. It is a joyful moment.

Appreciation. Even the smallest things can (and should) be appreciated. Whenever a salesperson goes out of their way for me I find out who their superior is...and make a call or write a letter and let them know how special this employee is. Think about it...they hear complaints all day nice to hear the good things.

When a friend goes that extra mile....I make sure that I thank them. They deserve it.

Friendship. Wow. To me, that is such a beautiful word. I cherish my friends so very much. They are my family. We can agree to disagree but still feel the love of friendship in our hearts always. Laughing together or crying together....we keep each other grounded and connected. It's a wonderful thing.

Relationships. Whew...that's a tough one. No one said that it would always be easy. But, to me, the main thing is to be kind. Always. Treat the person that you love as good as....if not better....than you would a stranger. It takes the same energy to be kind as it does to be mean-spirited. And, you don't always have to be "right" in a relationship. It's okay to make mistakes and admit them. This isn't a contest with a "winner" at the end. It is a partnership where everyone wins...together.

Family. Just the mere mention of the word makes me feel so good inside. These are the people who you were lucky enough to have as relatives. Cherish them. They may carry a small part of your genetics with them. How incredible... how wonderful.

Well, I am sorry that I got off on this philosophical thinking today...but, these things are with me all of the time and, I felt that my blog was a good place to post them.

There are more...but, I will save them for another time... : )

Monday, June 08, 2009

a very L-O-N-G day

Most of my day today was spent on the phone.

Too much of my day today was spent on the phone.

Suddenly, it was 4 p.m. and I was still on the phone.

Part of it was trying to find an affordable condo to rent for four days down at the beach.

The other part was speaking (and holding) with Charter and Panasonic as the "non-working new telephone saga" continues.

Thus the reason for this very late and very short post today.

Hopefully, there will be more to talk about tomorrow....

(g'nite all....)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Play ball!

As I took my morning walk today, there were some of the telltale signs of summer. I could almost hear the sounds of baseball as I passed these three neighborhood mailboxes. The green and gold star balloons and the one baseball balloon can only signify one thing: it was time for All-Stars! If you had these three balloons hanging from your mailbox, you were one lucky kid.

My many memories of Little League came rushing back to me as I began to remember all of those long summer months when my boys played ball for All-Star teams.

It took a lot of dedication, as these games generally were played in other cities around the state. Sometimes we would drive an hour or so away only to find out that the game was rained out. Generally that would mean that the team would then congregate at the nearest pizza parlor.

Other than pizza, our main source of meals would be at the infamous concession stands! These were the places where you could dine on blow pops (for the uninitiated--these are big, round lollipops with bubble gum in the very middle), popcorn, hotdogs and greasy french fries. I used to wonder if they ever changed out that french fry oil or if they just recycled it season after season! But, when you are out in "nowheresville" and will eat just about anything.

Of course, as a baseball mom I had to learn how to cheer the team on properly by yelling "Hey, batta, batta (batter)!", "Saaaaawwwwinnngggggg (swing) batta!", "Play ball!", "You need glasses Ump!", "Way to keep your eye on that ball!", and "Don't worry, you'll get 'em next time.". We seemed to say that last phrase a lot during those days.

Both of my boys played on All-Star teams at one point of another...and one thing that I will never forget was getting those darn white baseball pants clean! Here in Alabama we have a lot of red, when the boys were through sliding around in the dirt (and the dirtier that you got....the more proud you were!)...good ole Mom got to try and get the red dirt out before the next game. HA! The moms passed around little secrets on how to do this...but, somehow my kid's pants always seemed to have some of that red dirt that just wouldn't wash out. Why in the world did they make those pants white? Black would have been so much more efficient!

Then there was the tension of watching your kid perform. It was quite stressful to watch strike outs, over-throws, and dropped balls.... interspersed with those little rare victorious moments of a really good play. As a mom, you wanted to run out on the field and give your kid a big hug whenever things didn't quite go their way...( which case your son would by horrified, humiliated and totally embarrassed!) But, when it was all over, we always knew that there would be another game, another chance...another day.

Even though I wasn't a big fan of singling out a few kids for the All-Star teams (which meant that they were either very good players...or, that they were going to be around in the summer to play in the games! One could never be too sure of why their child was picked!)...and, many times, the coaches were frustrated ball players themselves, putting a lot of unecessary pressure on these little boys...but, throught it all I have to admit that I really did love to go and watch the games through the years.

Walking past those mailboxes today made me realize how very much I do miss all of that...

I think that I will go and buy myself a blow pop for old times sake...

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Assorted stuff.

Interesting day so far...

While walking with my friend this morning, we came upon a car parked at one of neighbor's homes. I thought that it was an interesting color for a, I took out my new Blackberry (!) and snapped a picture of it. It is actually a Lexus...maybe it was part of a commercial for Pepto Bismol?

One can only hope...

Different, eh? (I bet that when they base their insurance rates on visibility of your car...this one will rank right up there at the top!)


This particular friend that I walked with today was relating what occurred at her home yesterday. She lives in a rather large home where the upstairs bedrooms/baths aren't really used unless her kids come in for a visit. But, she decided to go upstairs and clean up, especially the bathrooms. She put some cleaning solution in one of the tubs and then began to fill it with extremely hot water.

Four hours later...she realized that she had forgotten to turn off the water!

As you can imagine...this was not good. After a momentary panic, she tried to put her hand into the tub to pull the plug...but, the water was scalding hot! So, she wrapped a towel around her hand and got it that way.

Of course, by now, the water had seeped down the tile floor and big water spots were appearing on the ceiling down below in the main living area!

Insurance adjusters were called....a company was sent out....large fans were brought in to try and dry things out....What a mess!

I imagine that she won't forget to turn off the water again...


Talking about insurance, I was quite upset to have received a letter the other day from my "good friends" at Blue Cross/Blue Shield, my health insurer.

It was addressed: "Dear Alfa Health Member"...(so personal) went on to say that "... health care costs and utilization continue to increase...As a result, we find it necessary to increase your rate effective July 1, 2009. The increase will be approximately 8.9%...." It went on to add, "...if the oldest member covered under the policy has moved into another age category due to a recent birthday...there will be an additional increase in premiums."

So, being the oldest, and only, member, in my household...of course turning 60 last year meant that my premiums were going to go up over and beyond the "8.9%"

I braced myself...but, obviously not that my premiums went up a total of over 33%!!!!

Of course, I made a call to question the exorbitant increase...and, was told that it was because of my birthday and that it was an "across the board" increase that could not be changed.

Happy Birthday to me... : O


Talked to Mom the other day and she brought me some sad news from "The Home". It seems that one of the baby swans has passed away...and, everyone is quite upset about it. Now there are only three.

She also told me the story about when she went to the doctor the other day by reserving the Home's driver to take her there and pick her up. After her appointment was up she waited in the office building lobby for her ride.

Realizing that she needed to use the restroom, she asked the lovely woman in the lobby to please look out for her driver while she was gone.

Now, it seems that this restroom was all the way down the hall...away from the main lobby. Once she was done, she attempted to unlock the bathroom door...but, couldn't get it to budge. She tried and tried..but, couldn't get the latch to slide and open the door.

In a slight state of panic, she began to bang on the door yelling, "Help! help! I'm locked in!!" hoping that someone would walk by and hear her calls.

No one did.

And, she continued to bang and yell.

About 15 minutes later (Mom said that it felt like an hour!), the lovely lady came down the hall and checked in on my mom.

"Are you okay in there?" she asked, "Your ride has been waiting for you for quite a while."

Of course Mom yelled out through the locked door that she was stuck there because of the lock.

The woman gave her instructions on how to get the lock to sliding it one way and then the other.

Relieved, but quite shaken, Mom finally got out.

She was so appreciative of the woman's she helped her into the awaiting car.

Frightening situation for her to go through....but, at least Mom had a good story to tell the other ladies at "The Home" when she returned...


Another few calls to the technical people over at Verizon and I am getting a lot better with my new toy. It is pretty addictive, but I am trying not to spend too much time with it.

With all of these new communication gizmos out there, it does make one wonder if we will ever talk to each other again?


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

My Newest "Toy"

I can't believe that I did it.

I am now a crazy proud owner of a Blackberry Curve!

As my Verizon contract became due for an upgrade, I went to the store to see what was new. Looking at this cute, little cell phone, I found it hard to resist. I can browse the web and get my email on it!! I can send emails and check on Facebook, too. I can take excellent pictures and videos! Such a deal. All this....and I can even make a phone call or two!! Ha!

Add to this the fact that they were offering a rebate right now along with a huge discount for signing on the dotted line for two more years....making it all quite irresistible.

(Even though they have a way of convincing you that you absolutely need that cute little pink plastic holder to protect it....and, the memory chip that it comes with it is so inadequate so you need to upgrade that....oh, and what if you want to clip it on to your pants?...well, you must get the little leather holster which also puts it in a sleep mode....and, then there is the insurance in case it gets lost or damaged [this is where they tell you that the phone that you just purchased will cost you the retail price of $500. if any of those things occur and you don't have insurance!]...and, the car charger...we don't want to be out driving and lose our phone charge, do we?! How about the ability to text message? Extra charge. Ringtones? Extra charge.)

It was amazing to see how my adorable little pink "special offer" phone quickly lost it's discounts. Aack.

That actually turned out to be the easy part as I was able to hold off on adding too many other features to my new toy....with the exception of the precious pink plastic protector (try saying that 10 times!) that is clipped on..... : O

The hard part was going to be learning how to use it and all of its features!

Let the games begin..... : )

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

My "Baby Rattle" cupcakes

Remember the video on making baby rattle cupcakes? Well, I made them for the baby shower at my house last Saturday...and, here they are:

Were they easy to make? The "putting them together" part wasn't bad...but, mixing all of the icing colors and then icing them took me quite a while! Of course, not everyone needs to do them in a rainbow of colors like I did. : O

You may not be able to tell in my pictures....but, each cupcake has a lollipop stick (I got these at Michael's) with a gumdrop and gummie lifesaver at one end...and, a ribbon at the top. I made a small slit into each paper cover on the cupcakes and slid the stick right in. They looked cute when they were placed individually on each dessert plate.

The ladies all seemed to enjoy, I think that they were worth the effort! : )

Give it a try! Good luck....

Monday, June 01, 2009

Don't say "cheese"! (please!)

We take a gazillion lot of photos in our family.

Thus, my children have grown up understanding that camera flashes are just a part of life.

Now, that same situation has trickled down to their kids, my grandbabies. In fact, I often say that all of the grandkids at one point or another thought that grandparents were just cameras with flashing lights...because we always had one aimed right at them!

Well, unfortunately Adam and Jenny innocently taught Owen (almost right at birth! ha) to say "cheese" whenever a camera was pointed his way.

So he did.

However, if you say "cheese" with a little extra emphasis, your face gets a bit contorted...the eyes squinch together and all of the teeth (or gums, in some cases!) are exposed. (Try it in front of a mirror if you dare...and, you'll see what I mean.)

Now we can't get Owen to stop doing his, now-to-be-called: "cheese face" and, more importantly, he has gotten his sister, Audrey to do the same.

Here's the proof:

Oh dear. : )