Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Two visits with grandkids and no post?!?!?!

I should be ashamed.

Blame it on sheer exhaustion.

My visit with Celia and Dylan was pure delight!  The other grandma was there with me....and, believe me, it takes two sets of eyes, arms, legs and 60+ year old energy to do the job right!  We went swimming....and exploring and playing with Leggos and playing dress up (of course) and singing and dancing....great fun!

Here are a few of the pictures of the MD cuties!!

From there, I flew back home just in time to watch Dave's niece and nephew who had come down to visit their uncle for a week.  They were terrific and made me realize how grown up 11 and 7 year olds really are!

After that, my Minnesota (now Arkansas) gang came in for a few days.  My son had his 20th high school (Whaaaat???) reunion and Grammie got to babysit Owen and Audrey.

They loved swimming in the pool and we managed to go to a jumping place, a children's museum and, even the library while they were here.  It wouldn't be a trip to visit Grammie without some pottery and painting!

Yes, of course, I have pictures.... : )

Fun times....but, even the pictures make me a little tired. 

Time for a nap, y'all.  : )

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Falling in love with my backyard....again.

My home has been quite overwhelming lately.

Floods, snakes, insurance issues, pool leaks, cupped name just a few.
Through all of this, I have allowed myself to lose sight of what I have always loved about my house.  I was letting the "negative energy" come in, visit, and stay for a while.....and, I didn't like it one bit.

But, today, I decided to attempt to do some yardwork in my backyard.  I planted a few new flowers, freshened up the beds a bit, cut away dead branches, and put down some fresh bark chips. It was exhausting and cathartic all at the same time...

During this process, I began to realize how really beautiful my yard is and how much I have missed appreciating my surroundings.

I love the memories that I have about this lovely outdoor space of mine.  It was really the reason that we originally bought the house.  We loved the backyard:  I remember my kids growing up enjoying the pool, having friends over, the annual Fourth of July get-together held back there, many quiet moments spent sitting outside with a glass of wine, dinners on the patio when the temperatures allowed it, making it a haven for birds and assorted critters that came to visit, sitting among nature and reading, and, so many more incredible moments. I loved seeing the little touches that made the yard uniquely mine.  With camera in hand, I decided to photograph some of my favorites.

So, today I fell in love with my backyard....again. 
And, I am so glad that I did.

: )

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

5 more days!!

...and I will be visiting these two precious faces!!!!

                                                                      Can't wait!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Life is an adventure, isn't it?

I haven't been posting lately...mostly because much of my time has been spent dealing with other "little" things that life has been bringing my way.

"What are these things?" you innocently ask.  : )

After the great "Snake in the Attic Adventure", I had gutter guards installed all around to totally seal off any spaces between the roof shingles and the gutter.  This will supposedly keep the critters from getting into my attic and inviting their friends over for toga parties, etc.!  Time will tell....

Another little non-venomous snake (most likely a friend of the attic snake!) found its way into one of my pool skimmers.  Luckily the pest control guy was here the day that I discovered it....and, it is now up in snake heaven.  So, the next step is to spread these "Snake Away" (clever name, eh?) granules all around the periphery of my yard to deter any other reptiles from entering my yard.  Will it work? Time will tell.....
(cooling off in my pool skimmer...)
(In my "brilliance" the other day, before going to the pool pump out in the back yard, I put on long sweat pants that I tucked in to my old hiking boots and then wrapped tin foil all around the area of my legs between my ankles and my knees. For some crazy reason I thought that the shiny foil might deter any critters from bothering me. [laugh here]  Did I mention that it was over 105 degrees that day? Am I getting overly cautious [nuts]?  Time will tell....)

So, the pool is still leaking.  At one point it was losing about 3 1/2 inches of water a day!  Now  for you lucky  non-pool owners, that is a lot of water. : ) After weeks of marking the walls and doing tests, it has now been decided that the leak is, unfortunately, somewhere under the concrete surrounding the pool.  They are bringing in the 'big guns' to try and find out exactly where this leak is...and, then the fun begins!  Concrete will be chunked up and new pipes will be installed.  It is over 40 years old after all.  I could use some new 'pipes' myself at this point in my life....Will they be able to find this !!%#$%^!! leak?  Time will tell.....

Inside the house, the buckled hardwood floor (residual damage from flood number two last year) had to be re-sanded and stained... so I moved over to Dave's house for a few days........then, my freezer became an "ice garden" the other day as the ice maker jammed and the water just froze all around the spaces below......strange objects that don't belong to me or anyone else who has visited my abode are being found around the house......etc. etc. etc.

In fact, so many things have been going on around my home that I have decided that I either have a ghost or just some negative energy floating around.  I decided that I needed to rid my house of this so I went online and looked for some solutions. From what I gather,  I just need to get a bunch of dried sage, set it on fire, and walk around each room with it chanting as I go.  Hopefully, this will make room for lots of positive energy to enter my home and bring me peace and sanity once again. ha ha?!
Well, time will tell.....

Stay tuned.


Saturday, June 30, 2012

100 and what?!?!

It seems to be everywhere these days....HOT, HOT, Hot temperatures....and, Alabama is no exception. Right now we are at 106.

I walked at 7 a.m. and it was already 85 degrees with lots of humidity.  I think that tomorrow I will stay inside and do the treadmill instead of heading back out into the oven outside.

I hope that you are all keeping your cool wherever you are!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mashed Potato Wars

You would think that Dave and I had something better to do with our time than have a "who makes the best mashed potatoes" contest, right?


He thought that his way of making them was easier and, the challenge was on!

I boiled several cut up potatoes and divided the whole pot in half when they were done.  Dave began to work with his half, and I did the same with mine.

Now, it seems that we have different techniques in making delicious homemade mashed potatoes.  I start the process by putting the cooked potatoes through a ricer.
This aerates the potato making it lighter and fluffier.  I then add some butter to the hot riced potatoes as well as some fat free sour cream.  Next comes a touch of garlic, salt and freshly ground pepper.  The finished product is lump-free and yummy.

Dave, on the other hand, likes to just mash his cooked potatoes with a fork or hand pastry blender as he adds butter and milk.  After whipping this mixture to a frenzy, he seasons it with salt and pepper.  "Simple and good" he says.

So, of course, I did a blind taste test with him.  He tried both samples of potatoes and then gave his opinion on which one was the best.

He picked mine.

Enough said.

:  )

Friday, June 15, 2012


A government report came out saying that a "middle income family with a child born last year will spend about $235,000.00 in child-related expenses from birth through age 17".

I found that interesting in that I think that my grandchildren are already worth a million dollars at least! : )
My floors were sanded, stained, and polyurethaned this week.  I spent the night out at Dave's for a couple of nights to escape the fumes and dust.
Now I have the fun task of cleaning everything up and putting things back where they belong...It is amazing how much dust can accumulate when floors are sanded.  There is sawdust in every nook and cranny.
I am way too old to be dealing with this.... : )
Our local newspaper is going to cut back from 7 days to only three.  The other four days we are encouraged to go to the paper's online site.
There is something so nice about getting my morning paper, sitting at my kitchen counter, having breakfast, and slowly perusing the news.  I will miss that experience.
Reading the paper online just isn't the same....
Modern technology is really affecting our lives, isn't it? I imagine that this is just the tip of the iceberg as we must deal with computers taking over many aspects of our lives.
I remember when I was young and "old people" would talk wistfully about the "good ole days".  I am beginning to understand what they meant now that I have joined the "old person population".
Have a good weekend everyone!

Friday, June 08, 2012


As I headed up to bed Wednesday night, I heard a strange rustling sound overhead.  It was coming from my attic and it was right above my bedroom.

It was unsettling to say the least.

As I began to envision some critter up there either running laps or dancing the night away ( Toga party?!) in my insulation, I began to think about whether or not this "thing" could get to the inside of my house.

Obviously, I wasn't going to be getting to sleep anytime soon.

I called "Critter Control"...but, of course, at 11:30 pm no one was going to be answering the phone.  So, I thought that I'd try the non-emergency number of the local police department. No luck with fact, I am sure that the woman answering the phone is probably still getting a chuckle over my phone call.

Eventually I fell asleep and called the local Critter Control first thing in the morning!  A young (and I mean YOUNG!...I'm not even sure that he shaved yet....he looked to be about 13 years old...) guy came to the door ready to save this damsel in distress.

After thoroughly inspecting the attic area, he saw areas where something had been....but, did not think that the "trails" were that of a squirrel or raccoon.  Then he caught the eye of something in the corner staring right back at him.

It was a chicken snake!!! It was a  L-O-N-G and fat chicken snack. Ewwww.

So, my "Dougie Howser Critter Guy"  :  )  began to explain several things to me as he gently removed this snake from my attic....ewwww, again.

1) The noises that I heard may have been the snake going after something else in the attic. (I didn't want to know what that something else might have been!)
2) Most people don't realize that there is a gap between roof shingles and gutters.  This gap, coupled with all of the trees surrounding my house, can be an opening for critters such as this snake.
3)  The best remedy (and, also the most costly I might add!!!!) is to seal off this area with a special kind of gutter guard that they give you a lifetime guarantee on.  A guarantee that no more critters will be able to get into my house once it is installed and the house is "sealed".

Guarantee?  No more critters?  Lifetime?

Hand over the paperwork so that I can sign on the dotted line?????!?!?!? Done.

The only "critters" that I want to hear and see around my home are those precious ones that I call my grandchildren.


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

"Hot" Grandma?! : )

Today I became a "Grilled Grandma". 

No, I haven't decided to suddenly take up grilling....and, I'm certainly not in the mood to get cooked on this hot day in June here in Alabama...but, I was honored to be asked to be part of a blog in which different Grandmas are "grilled" or questioned about themselves and their role as a grandparent.

So, today is my day and you can see my "grilling" at the following site:

While you are there, you might want to read through some of the archives...very interesting, amusing, heartwarming...and, all of those other things that go into being a grandparent!

: )

Tuesday, June 05, 2012


About a month ago I showed my dermatologist a really small red spot on my cheek. I was actually there for something else, but had noticed this little pimple-like place and thought that I'd ask about it. As soon as she saw it she said that she wanted to biopsy the spot.

I didn't think too much about it until I received "the call" from her office several days later.

"The biopsy showed that you have a squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) and we want to refer you to a surgeon who does the Mohs procedure to take care of it."


Now, let's back up about 56 years.....As a young girl growing up in South Florida, spending time in the sun was just an everyday part of my life.  The weather was always pretty and warm so a good deal of time was spent outdoors in the tropical sunshine. (As a child, I would put some of that gooey Zinc ointment on my nose when it got too red...but, that was about the extent of my sunscreen use!)

Once I hit my teen years, having a tan was one of the most accepted (and encouraged) parts of my existence.

Iodine, baby oil and silver reflector panels all were a part of my sun tanning regimen. We would all get tan....but, for fair-skinned me, it was a process of getting red, sometimes blistering, and eventually getting tan.  I had more painful sunburns than I care to remember.

When you live in S. Florida, going to the beach is just a normal part of life.  It was our hangout from the time that I could drive a car there until I left for college.  And, at college (U. of Florida) we continued our suntanning as looking tan meant looking good, healthy, and radiant...making you more prone to get asked out on weekend dates! : )

Fast forward to today...I had the Mohs treatment done two weeks ago on the small spot on my cheek.  Tomorrow I get to stop doing the "vinegar wash" and the bandaging with Polysporin.

After the nurse numbed my cheek, the rest was a piece of cake.  The surgeon scraped at the area and then removed a sliver of skin to freeze and send to the office lab.  Forty five minutes later the dr. came back in the let me know that they would not need to cut away any more skin in that he had gotten all of the cancer the first time.  If they had found traces of cancer cells, I would have had to have more cutting done until the specimen came out clean.  I was one of the lucky ones....I caught it early....before the cancer had a chance to get deeper into my skin.

So, now I will have a standing appointment with my dermatologist every three to six months.  Once you have a carcinoma, you are more prone to get others. 

Sunscreen is now a part of my daily regimen. Even if I am going to be outside for just a few minutes, I make sure that I am covered in spf 30 or above sunscreen.  While many of my sunspots and dots are from many year's ago, I don't want to add to the past damage from today.  This is something that I can easily do, and I will, religiously.
So, why am I posting all of this??....I am hopeful that I might get someone's attention out there.  Someone who still thinks that it is cool to look tan.

Trust me, it isn't.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Assorted stuff.

I had paper crunkle (word?) up in my printer this morning when I was trying to print an important letter to the water company. The error message kept coming on and the "something is terribly wrong" light started to blink on the base of the printer.  Frustration ensued as I searched all over for the product manual....all to no avail.

I tried to look for answers online and found sources that would actually help me get a product manual...however, this became one of those "going around in circles" kind of things.

So, I called the Canon printer help line.

A very cheery gentleman answered the line after a short wait.  He got the usual information from me and began to find out what my issue was.  "'Crunkled' paper somewhere in my printer", I replied. He laughed...and then began to patiently, and with great kindness, help me get to the paper culprit.

It was such a different experience that I have had in the past with technical help that I immediately sent an email to his "higher up" to sing the praises of this gentleman.

I hope that he gets a raise. : )

Summertime means "opening-up-the-pool-which-is-probably-green-from-being-closed-up-all-winter-time"!
And, true to form, it was.  While I dread doing this chore, it is a necessity if there is going to be any swimming done at all this summer.

Dave says that I should write down the steps that we take from year to year....along with important tips from things that we have learned the hard way in past years of opening up the pool in the summer.

Of course, I never did, once again, we had to struggle through chemicalizing, brushing, backwashing, and vacuuming this money pit....making multiple mistakes as usual!

Since taking off the cover last weekend and pouring lots of $$$$$ in the form of chemicals into the green pond   pool, I can now report that, while it is still a slight shade of green, it is clear enough to see to the bottom.  Believe it or not, that is progress.

Maybe this year, I will write it all down.


Believe it or not, I am still dealing with the flood of 2011, where I arrived back home, after a week away, to find my kitchen, den, and downstairs under water.  The guilty party was the little innocent looking tube that feeds water into the back of the refrigerator for the icemaker.

The issue that remains is that the new hardwood floor is still very "cupped" (curled up at the edges....most likely from moisture that remained underneath).  The gentleman who did the floor (a year ago) maintains that he will come over and re-sand and re-stain it for me...but, everytime that we speak, he puts me off for "two more months"!

The contractor on my case is MIA.  No one can seem to get in touch with him....and, unfortunately, he has left many unhappy clients in his wake.

So, I am continually trying to get to the right people to have some recourse in all of this.  It is an exhausting search, but I am determined to find fairness in this mess. In my naivete I keep thinking that the people responsible for this will come forward and make things right.

Maybe it is time to take off my rose-colored glasses...?

With all of this, I can't help but smile as I think about the wonderful Cape Cod wedding weekend with my, I will end by posting a few more pictures of that joy.....

:  )

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Joy, and relief, all wrapped up in one!

As I sat in the late afternoon Cape Cod sun, I was filled with anticipation.

Not only was my sister's oldest son about to be married....but, three of my four grandchildren were in the wedding.  Owen, 5, was to be one of two ring bearers and Audrey 3, and Celia 3 were two of the four flower girls.

Owen had some trepidation early on about beaing a ring bearer.  His sister, Audrey, told him not to worry....that he would be fine. (Ah, out of the mouths of babes!)  I even bought him a cute book about a little boy who was to be a ring bearer. The little boy in the story  thought that meant that he had to be a "ring BEAR"! Grrr. I'm not sure whether this story relaxed him or scared him even more....

The Massachusett's weather can be quite chilly and rainy this time of year.  We were all prepared for anything as we carried shawls and pashminas with us to the ceremony.  But, Mother Nature gave us a gift of a weekend filled with lots of sunshine and pleasant temperatures! It was truly lovely.

Sitting in my seat, I heard a small child crying in the distance where the wedding party was organizing.  "Oh, dear, please don't let that be one of my grandkids..." I thought to myself. : )  I tried to see if the cry was recognizable...all to no avail.  I had no recourse but to sit and await the processional and hope for the best.

As I spotted Owen walking down the aisle, I was relieved to see that he had a huge smile on his face and was looking adorable in his minny tuxedo. He helped the younger ring bearer by putting his arm through his. He delivered the ring and took a seat. I began to relax.

Several seconds later came my two precious granddaughters, dressed in their adorable white dresses with an aqua ribbon around their waists, giggling with joy as they began to reach into their baskets and throw the white rose petals on the grass.  Audrey's giggles turned to laughter as she said to her cousin, Celia, "This is so silly!"  Everyone who was within earshot smiled at her comment and then she did the most adorable thing as she reached the end of the grassy aisle....she put her arm around Celia and gave her a hug....totally unsolicited or rehearsed!

Be still my heart.... :  )

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Any day that I can step out of my own little world and do a little something for others is a good day.

Today I joined several hundred (wish that it was several thousand!) people to take part in a walk for Ovarian Cancer awareness and research.

We were the "Rainbow Walkers" and we were honoring my dear friend, and two year ovarian cancer survivor, Sherri.  She is the one smack dab in the middle of the bottom photo....and, second from the left on the top photo.

She is the picture of health and nothing could make me happier!  Others are not as, for them....and my friend, I walked 3 miles today holding a sign for our team and smiling inside and out.

I have to believe that these walks are just stepping stones for more research....and, God willing,  possibly a cure.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thanks, Grannie Annie

I sometimes forget how important the blogging community really is.

I found myself blogging less and less often these past few months as other things began to take precedence in my days. Eventually, my posting became "a thing of the past".

I guess that I really didn't imagine that it would be noticed....that is, until today, when I got a sweet message from one of my favorite bloggers, Grannie Annie. 

She let me know that I was missed.

And, truth be told, I have missed posting on my blog.

I can't promise that I will be back to writing every fact, I know that will be impossible....but, I do want to get back to the feeling of being able to express my feelings on this simple blog as often as I can.

All is well in my world.  I have been doing a lot of traveling....mostly to see family sprinkled with some other fun trips such as my recent time in Kentucky at the Derby with Dave.  I even managed to place a couple of $2 bets on the longshot winner and walked away with $100.  : )

Next up will be my nephew's wedding up in Cape Cod!  I am so looking forward to that trip for so many reasons....seeing family and visiting a new place at the top of the list. Celia, Audrey and Owen will be taking part in the ceremony as flower girls and ring bearer.  You can bet that this Grammie will be smiling from ear to ear!

So, as I sit here typing my first post in two months (!) feels good....kind of like coming home again.

Thank you so much, Annie, for giving me the "kick" that I needed to find my way back.

Friday, March 09, 2012