We have had lots of struggles and challenges in our lives, but we've had even more blessings!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Banners -

   Here in Michigan, schools don't currently start their classes till the day after Labor Day. And due to budget situations, there has even been some talk of returning to the old way of doing it - not starting till the day after Labor Day, and getting out right before Memorial Day weekend.
   But while I was reading 'Lipstick Jen's blog', I was reminded that schools in California start the first of August.
   And nation wide, colleges start between when Calif. and MI school systems do.
   Which also means that social clubs and organizations, and church groups, and all kinds of other places will soon be starting up the programs they run from fall till spring.
        Therefore, I wanted to remind all of you about the business our friends have. They make banners. You know, the kind that can hang on walls. And they can make them to help you promote an upcoming event or soon to start organization. Or to promote this year's theme for the club. Or even one to hang in your own home, should you so desire.

  The name of their business is:  'Threads of Crimson Fabric Art Studio'
   their web blog is located at: http://threadsofcrimson.wordpress.com/
   you can contact them via: threads.of.crimson@gmail.com

     We're really sure you will be wowed with the work Steve and Elizabeth do for you!

Friday, July 30, 2010

update on me -

   Heads Up - this particular posting is going to contain an update on my medical condition(s). So, any of you whom are not interested in that info., will probably want to skip reading this particular posting. Just thought I'd let you know up front.  ;-)

     Elizabeth B. drove me to and from my 'yearly' Dr.'s appointment yesterday (THANKS Elizabeth!!).  When I left there, I felt better about everything. After being home thinking about it, while laying in front of my open window enjoying the wonderful breezes God was blessing me with, I even began to have hope again! :-)
     The Dr. had asked me why I had stopped going to the physical therapy for my Vertigo. I told him it was due to having registered at an 'acceptable level' on their testing machine. That while I still definitely have symptoms, I just had to keep working at the therapy procedures on my own, and hopefully over time everything would heal up. He did NOT like that answer!! "That is just wrong! We should not send a patient off to deal with something like Vertigo on their own!!! Especially somebody who's had it for h-o-w long now?!!" "I woke up with it on Jan. 12th."  "Yea. That's wrong!"  "The therapy did help reduce the severeness of most of my symptoms, at least most of the time."  He shot me this look.
     When he had asked me to lay back down on the bed for the exam part, he had also asked if I needed help "seeings it's such a narrow bed". I told him, "No, I'm not doing too bad." The nurse and him had exchanged a look. 
      When it was time for me to sit back up, he had offered me his hand. I warned him that this part can be tricky and that I need to go slow. He had replied that he wasn't in any rush and to take as much time as I needed. I had taken his hand with one hand, but also taken a hold of his arm with the other hand. I felt him brace himself. Slowly I began to sit up. Suddenly his eyes kind of popped and the nurse made this audible noise. I'm guessing I had done what Brent refers to as my "ghost imitation" - where I suddenly go completely white. Hadn't meant to!
      Once I was sitting all of the way up, my mouth was completely dry, so I asked if I could have a drink of water. The Dr. started to speak as the nurse was saying, "I'll get you one" and headed out the door. I had just meant the little cups that they often have in Dr. examining rooms. She came back with a ten ounce styrofoam cup, with a lid and straw, full of both ice and water. I smiled!
       That whole time the Dr. had not yet let go of my hand, even though I had eventually loosened my grip. And once he did let go, he still stood there for quite awhile, talking, yet watching my face. Not sure what it was telling him, but it took him awhile to sit down, and then he seemed to be stalling while going over things. When he did leave the room, he left stating that they had plenty of other rooms available for patients to be examined in, and that I was to take all the time I needed.
      One of the things we had talked about, was of course my Vertigo.  He had inquired how my family was handling it. I had said, "you know my husband Brian". Before I could continue, he had inserted a "Yea" while giving me a look of 'of course I remember him' ;-p. I told him about the technician showing Brian on the computer where the readings of my testing were, and how  "the box right here is 'normal', and as you can see, your wife is just south of normal". The nurse and the doctor had both started laughing and the Dr. has said, "And your husband told him, "yea I already knew that" " chuckle, chuckle. [I tell ya, I get no respect o;-p]
       I told them about how this situation had provided ever so many 'lines' - "I've got loose rocks in my head", "I'm a bit off", etc.. They both seemed to enjoy them a bit much. ;-p!!
      He had told me that he's referring me to a neurologist. That vertigo and things of that area of the body are not in his areas of expertise, so he wanted to send me to somebody that they were. "Maybe they'll know or come up with something that will be able to clear all of this up for you!"  Hope!!!
      He had also asked how often I was taking the vertigo medication. I told him that I tried really hard not to take it unless I was super bad, or traveling someplace, because they had told me that it contained narcotics and thus could become habit forming. He'd shot me this really puzzled look and while he was looking up something in my charts, asked me whom had told me that. I answered "the  guys at the balance clinic" while his expression went to one of assured relief and smilingly he had said that the medication he had me on did not contain narcotics and thus was in no way addictive - well, you could become addicted to taking pills at certain times, but your not the type to do that!
     I had commented on how I had been told that the medication didn't actually heal vertigo, it just camouflaged the symptoms and 'most people' were over their case of it by the time they ran out of the medication anyways. He had replied for me to "camouflage away!!" And that if I run out of pills before the neurologist got me healed, to call in and he'd order more for me. "Let's make this whole thing as tolerable as possible for you". Relief and Hope!!!
       He had questioned why I had not gotten some of the testing done I was suppose to have a while back.  I explained that part of it had to do with the mixture of the huge cut in pay Brian had been hit with last year, combined with the horrible insurance we had been put on. He had nodded understandingly. I went on to say, that I knew due to my age I was past due for another colonosopy, and especially when you add in the fact that my mom had died from colon cancer. But first there was the cost element. And then there was the whole thing of how I have the highly irritable bowl disorder (which of course is intensified by my high level of acid reflex), and that every time I have had the test, the medication they make you take before hand sets me off for a good three weeks, or longer. And right now, with having vertigo too, that combination just seems un-do-able!
      He suggested that I talk to the Dr. before hand and see if there was a different medication I could take, or a reduced amount or something. I said that I would try, but that usually you don't even see the actual doctor till your about ready to leave recovery. He had looked through my charts and said that this time he wanted me to go to Dr. Figg for the colonospy. He was the Dr. that had done a different procedure for me. I had liked, trusted, and felt comfortable with Dr. Figg, so I was in favor of the idea!  He then went on to say that I was to also discuss my bowl disorder with him (I had seen different specialist for that ailment before) and maybe he'd have different ideas about it and be able to help me get control over it. More Hope!!!  Both for handling the colonospy, and for reduced bowl challenges.  :-D
        For my over due mammogram and some blood testing, he was sending me to a clinic that could do both back to back, "That should make it easier on you all the way around."  :->!!
       I had brought up the subject that I knew I had gained even more weight and he had brushed me off saying that considering how much I hadn't been doing and for how long, I hadn't really gained that much. I persisted saying that I had tried cutting w-a-y back on eating, but that had made the nausa part of my vertigo worse. He said that we weren't even going to think about my weight for now.
      Last night I told Brian that I wanted to loose __ pounds by my birthday next year. He had given me this look and asked if I planned on cutting off one whole leg, or what?!?  "But Brian, I'm up to __ pounds now!"  "S-o, and your not even burning off most peoples normal daily calorie burn, cuz you simply can not handle moving around much. Once your moving again, you'll loose some, muscles will tighten up, and you'll be fine!!!!!"  He loves me ;-)
      When asking how my family was handling my condition, the doctor had also asked just how old my sons were now. I had told him and added that I had a daughter-in-love and a one year old grand daughter! :-) !  I had told them that our 'line' about our adorable grand daughter was that she was our reward for not having killed her daddy. Both the nurse and the doctor had thourally enjoyed that and stated that it was probably the truth - they knew it was for their kids. ;-p  The doctor has also said, "four sons, only one grand child so far ... just like the boys kept coming, so will your grand children!"  More Hope!!!!!  :-}

      So that's an update on where I am currently with my variyng 'conditions'. I am thanking God for giving me such a caring, warm hearted doctor (and nurse). I have restored Hope that this vertigo might actually go away some day, that it might even not be that far away in happening, and that I CAN take medication in the mean time to make it more handle-able.  I am no longer dreading a colonospy quite as badly, and have hope that there also might be help for my bowl problems. I know that seeings how 95% of my yearly co-pay for our insurance has already been met this year, these further visits / tests won't take a big chunck of our income. Thank-you, Thank-you, Thank-you Lord!!! For all of it!!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

a toddler now

    Byron (our son) called yesterday to let me know about something that had happened the day before. He and Analyse (our adorable grand daughter) had been in the living room when Cyndi (our daughter-in-love) got home and came through the kitchen door. When Analyse heard her "mum!"'s voice, she had quickly crawled over to the base of 'her throne', used it to pull herself up, turned around and half ran/ half walked across the living room, through the dining room and down the hall way past the bathroom, to where the carpeting ends and the kitchen flooring starts!
     She is definitely no longer a 'baby', but instead has grown into an adorable impy toddler :-D Oh is she keeping them on their toes .... (insert innocent grandmotherly chuckle here o;-p)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

and the 'Red Green Award' goes to ...

       The 'Red Green Show' is a show that is carried on most PBS (Public Broadcasting Stations) stations. It is definitely a 'guys show'. But over time lots of us women have learned to enjoy it too. The show is about a bunch of the members of a 'guys lodge'. The main character is a middle aged fellow whom believes anything can be either fixed or rigged by using duct tape. His name is 'Red Green'.
       Brian came out of work last evening to see that one tire on the van was exceptionally low. He was very thankful to find that "the boys" had left Brandon's portable air compress-er in the back of the van, after having used it on their tubes before going down a river the other day. He filled the tire. But then he could audibly hear the air leaking back out of it. Not good. He figured he must have run over something, so he started checking the tire. When he couldn't find anything, he got in and backed the van up just a bit so that he could better see the rest of the tire. Still nothing. Hummmm.
        He started filling the tire again. Why? Just because .... turned out that it was God's prompting. The leak was in the tire's valve stem. When the hose was tight, it took air in, but when it relaxed, air came shooting straight back out. Not good! What to do ...
        He found a little round piece of plastic on the floor of the van (it must of been a cap off of 'something') and after filling the tire again, was able to shove it down in the valve stem. He then sealed it in there good with duct tape. He was hoping it would hold long enough to get to one of the tire places on 28th street.
      It did. But they were all closed. It held while he drove the whole way home. He then tried calling the tire places on this end of town. It seems they all close before 6 p.m.. Bother.
     Thankfully, he had already gotten permission to go in late and stay late today, so that he could go get his new glasses fixed (had them two weeks and they already popped a lens ...). So he headed out this morning to get both a tire and his glasses fixed.

      But a 'Red Green Award' goes to my Brian for having rigged the tire with duct tape good enough to not only drive the whole way home, but also have it last overnight and then drive it to the tire store. 'Red Green' would be so proud of you dear!!!!!  :-D

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

We're being featured :-)

      Back on Monday, May 3rd, I did a posting about organizing my earrings. I had found the idea I used in the January 2009 issue of Family Circle Magazine, which Kayla had (then) recently given to me. Starting on page 23, they had a feature article titled "55 Ways To Clear The Clutter". The idea I used was number forty one (41), an idea that 'Alicia Rockmore, founder of Buttoned Up, Inc.' had submitted.
      VERY SHORTLY after I posted that posting, I had a response - from Alicia Rockmore!!! Was I ever surprised!!! Found out that she uses some type of Google alert system that notifies her anytime her name or blog is mentioned by anybody. She approved of what I had written and said that she loved our blog. :-).  Later I had received an email from her, she wanted to feature that posting on their blog under their "guest guru" entries. I was truly honored!
      Well, today is the day that we are the 'featured guest guru' on their blog. :-> Go HERE to see it.
      The name of their blog is 'Buttoned Up' (http://getbuttonedup.com/). Their blogs theme is 'Help (in) Getting Organized'. Across their top tool bar are links to, "Organize Life Essentials", "Organize Everyday Life", "Organize Life Events", "Find Your Guru", and "Explore Our Products".
      The header at the top of the page today reads, "Tips And Tools For Getting Imperfectly Organized".  Now doesn't that sound like what most of us need? Or should that read, doesn't that sound like the way most of us are organized?  o;-p

     I keep using the word "their". Yes, Alicia is the founder of the blog and organization, but she has helpers. Alicia had turned me over to Anne Marie Furie, whoms job title is "Chief Juggler". ;-p  I like that!!! ;-p  Anne Marie is the one responsible for getting all of our info., scheduling and posting postings, etc.. Thanks for your work Ann Marie!

      Go visit their blog and then come tell us what tidbit you found that will help you :-)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Our newly improved back screen door :-)

      Our front storm door has 'glass' on the bottom and in the winter it has 'glass' on the top. In warm weather we take that out and put in the screen for on top. The back storm door use to be set up the same way. But then the window on the bottom had gotten broke. And then the screen on the top got ripped. It was in sad shape. But the saddest part was that due to it's condition, we couldn't leave the inner door standing open. That meant that a whole lot of wonderful breezes were no longer entering the back entry and sweeping into the kitchen. A sad state of affairs indeed!
      We debated, while we really liked the idea of screens for both the top and the bottom window parts of the door, would a screen on the bottom really work? How long before Boo's inquisitive nose pushed through the screen? So we should probably stick to 'glass' on the bottom and new screening for the top. But wouldn't it be nice if .....
      Brent brought home some chicken wire that perhaps we could attach over the regular screening ... They tried to come up with an idea for a way to make that actually work...

     When Brian went to Menard's to buy the materials, he came across the PERFECT solution! It's a metal frame with the equivalent of 3-D/sculptured metal screening, that you attach to a door over the regular window screen. It came in both white and dark bronze colored frames, so he called me. Which did I prefer?  The white. I thought that with the dark screen in the window and the dark screening that is in the middle of the 3-D screening, more darkness would just be too much. Brian bought the white one along with screen framing for the lower window and a roll of screen material.
      Brent first assembled and then attached everything for us :-). New screening in the old frame on top. Assembled the new framing for the lower window and put screen in it, then put it in the door. Then he found screws and attached the metal screen over the lower screen (the frame didn't come with screws).
     Brian and Brent had both asked me if I thought the metal sculptured screen framing, should be put on the inside, or the outside of the door. I thought the inside. Boo is already use to scratching on the bottom of the outside of the door when he wants in. But most likely, with the inside door now being able to be left open, he would go peer out and thus the extra protection should be on the inside. (does that make sense?)
    So it was installed on the inside and has already proven itself worth it's purchase!
    We would recommend the screen guard for anybody that has dogs, or young kids, or both!!! I had saved the receipt so I could tell you how much it was, but Sat. when I was again attacking piles I must have shredded it with other receipts. Sorry. Brian 'thinks' it was around thirty dollars. More than 'a couple of bucks', but far less than frequently making new screen panels! As well as less frustrating!! A-n-d, this way we are getting breezes through both windows!!! :-D
     Brian, thank-you for such a wise purchase!! Brent, thank-you for doing the manual labor part!!
     Seeings how some of you are 'visual learners', I did take a couple of pictures to help you see what I'm talking about ;-)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/). 

Friday, July 23, 2010

things ....

     Yesterday, while wearing one of his full impy smirks, Brent told me that from now on when somebody asks him what's been going on in his life, he is just going to tell them to go read his mom's blog. 
     Later he recommended to his brothers that they do likewise.
     I get no respect.  o;-p

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
      I made a mistake on the posting I did about our backyard.... we had spent Memorial Weekend working on it, not the 4th of July weekend. Sorry!

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
      I had forgotten one incident that happened last Sunday and thus had omitted it from the posting about our weekend.
      Sunday afternoon after everybody had arrived home from church (and some from their stop at Sam's Club) , we were all in the living room when there is this loud noise out front and Boo started doing some serious barking. We thought that it had sounded like there had been a trailer with nothing on it being pulled up the street by some vehicle. You know how they hit any little bump and make such a clatter. So we were telling Boo it was okay, but he would not be convinced. grumble, grumble.  Turned out that we should have payed attention to what Boo was trying to tell us!!! As we went out to load up to head to Brian's folks, it was discovered that somebody had hit the rear view mirror on the drivers door of Brandon's suburban. Much more grumble grumble!!!!!!!!!  The thing was, at the time, there wasn't even anybody else parked straight across the street, so there was way more than ample room to get by!!!
      The police were called, we waited, the officer made an incident report. Yesterday we learned that since the incident was caused by another vehicle, it's considered a collision, and thus not covered by PLPD with comp insurance. The grumbling continued.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
      Yesterday Brent went to the bank. He came back out to find that a good sized hole had broke free in the bottom of his gas tank, thus emptying his half tank of gas all over the parking lot.
      He is less than happy that the song  o/~ "If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all" o/~  seems to have chosen him as it's current poster child!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

our weekend -

        Last week Brent and Kayla had gone to Byron and Cyndi's to help with a particular project. That project ended up not happening due to ... well, anyways .... but they did do a few other things. On Friday they took the Jetta that Byron had been buying from Brent into a place to get the emission testing done. In the state of Ill., your car must pass an emissions test before you can get a legal license for it.  The car did not pass. En-route home, Brent was calculating in his head how much it would cost / what all needed done to get it passable. And then this happened.

       While they were driving down the street, the hood lock broke free and the hood came up and cracked the windshield. (No, the testing place had not opened the hood.) The hood came up far enough to break the windshield! In automatic response, Brent had put his arm up to block his face. His arm got cut bad enough to bleed. Other than that, they were okay. Scared!  Shaken!  'In need of clean pants'. But okay.
       After pulling to the side of the road, Brent was able to get the hood down. The rest of the way home he was trying to see clearly, plus figuring if the car was worth both the cost of a new windshield and fixing the emissions part ... $.  They are still debating all of it.

      Also Friday, Cyndi's car went from occasionally making this weird noise, to seemingly having troubles with one tire. Brent took it for a drive, took the tire off trying to determine if it was a tie-rod going, or just the tire itself, and if so, what about the tire, etc.. It seemed to be the tire itself, and yes, he thought it was safe to drive here.

       Both of those things had happened Friday, and Cyndi had to close at work, and then ....  They ended up not arriving here till about 5 a.m.. After unloading the car, most of us gathered in the living room. Analyse had been visiting with different ones of us. At one point she was with somebody on the brown couch. But she decided that she wanted her daddy whom was sitting on the little couch closest to the front door, so she started walking towards him. She got about three fourths of the way there and realized that her "mum!" was sitting next to him. She decided to change course, and by taking one side step, then headed excitedly towards her mom.
        All of us started laughing!! Byron was wearing a look of combined shock and impreesedness. He could not believe what had just happened. His young daughter, whom is tottering in her walking, had just clearly took a side step and changed her course. Impressive! Amazing!
       Analyse was ever so proud of herself for getting to "mum!!" (her one clear word)

   (this picture is one I hadn't yet posted of her from her B-day party o;-) )

       We only got a few short hours of sleep before it was time to get up and out. Cyndi, Analyse and I were heading to Jeannie's bridal shower. The 'guys' had been going to attend our block party. Now they were trying to figure out whether new tires had to be bought, if a tire could just be put on a different rim, etc..
      Thankfully, between what we already had and the help of Kayla's dad, they were able to get everything switched around for the price of lunch at Wendy's and a pack of cigarettes. :-)

        Sat. afternoon all of the 'kids' hit the pond for awhile before we went out to dinner to sit in some air conditioning.  Sunday everybody but me went to church and did a grand 'show off the baby' time after the service. We then headed down to Brian's folks for the rest of the day.

       Well, that's what's been happening here .... what's been going on in your life?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

the back yard project -

       When Brent had told us that he was enlisting in the Navy*, Brian told him that yes, we would keep Boo while he was away, but that Brent was going to have to enclose the backyard for us. Boo is a very active, very strong dog. Keeping him on a relatively short leash in the backyard (so that he can't quite reach the alley or the neighbors driveway) was not really being fair to Boo. Also, we had had to replace said leash on different occasions due to his having broken it. Brent totally agreed with the whole idea and set his tax refund check aside for that plan.
     ( * it now looks as though Brent will not be able to join the Navy due to his medical condition. As some of you know, back in the 4th grade he got hit by a car. Due to the hole in his lungs and rip in his spleen, they were not able to tape up his ribs. Consequently, his ribs did not heal quite right. Most of the time they don't really bother him. But in high school wrestling, they affected him to the point that both his Dr. and the coach removed him from the team. The Navy thinks they would probably end up giving him a medical discharge ...).
     The weekend of the fourth of July, we had dubbed 'do the backyard' weekend. After much discussion, and figuring, and scouting out pricing, etc., it had been decided to put in a tall wooden fence most of the way around the yard. The only area not to have said fencing, would be along the neighbors yard where there was already chain link fencing in place (behind the overgrown trees, flowers, etc.).
     While all of that might sound easy enough, there were of course a few projects that had to be done first. Things such as removing most all of the extremely overgrown bushes and 'trees' that were along part of the alley side of the yard. And digging the holes for the fence posts in ground that is overflowing with rocks, large stones and boulders, besides root systems from years ago.
     The 'plan' was to take out all of the bushes, etc. Friday night, put the fence in on Sat., attack the rest of the overgrowth on Sunday, and lallygag on Monday. R-i-g-h-t ... .
      I forgot to take a picture of everything before Brent got started, but this picture shows about 1/3rd of the bushes removed.

             First they attached the brush with chain saws.

               And sword.

Which is better, the sword or the chain saw? Dueling brothers ... (nobody got hurt :-) )

      Next came using shovels and axes to loosen the dirt around the roots.

      Then they tied a chain around the roots and pulled them out with a truck. Easy, right? Another 'yeah, right!'! One root system was so far in there, that it actually pulled the truck sideways! Eek!

     All of the brush was then stacked in the borrowed trailer to be hauled away. 'The boys' then stomped it down so more could be added. And then stomped again. We took full advantage of the fact that it was a dump trailer, thus meaning we wouldn't have to pull all of it back out of there ourselves!  ;-)  (Thanks for the loan of your trailer Don R.!!!)

     It had also been decided that spending money to rent an auger to dig the post holes, would be worth it considering the elements/makeup of our yard. That became known as an understatement!!!  That was money more than well spent, and were we ever glad we went with the two person type!!!  The guys muscles were still tested mightily!

       Finally the holes were dug, and one by one, a post was inserted, dry cement poured in and the water was added. Whew, part two was now completed.

    [our neighbor Jim couldn't stay away ;-p]
         The suggestion was made to start on the trimming of the other side of the yard while waiting for the posts to set, but by then the guys were so-o-o tired, and I was weaving (vertigo), and it was late...getting this far had taken till about 8:00 Sat. evening! And then that night it rained ... so they took a break, after all, things did need to dry a bit first.
    Sunday afternoon they were back at it. And bit by bit the fencing went up. See, the alley runs along a hill, making leveling everything more than a bit challenging. 

         By Monday night, 90% of the fencing was in place. It took another week and a half for the rest of it and the two gates to go up, because of course Brian started working ten hour days and manditory Sat.'s (which the checks from have been ever so helpful, but there went the list of projects we were tackling ...), and Brent was having vehical issues, and Brandon was helping the catereer... and while Benson was good at helping dig, or hold up fence sections, etc., this type of work is not his strong suit. So yeah, life.
     So all of the fencing and the gates are in place,

          and it's so nice to be able to open the door and just let Boo (who of course was grand overseer of the whole project ;-p) out.

 We still hope to do more of the work out there ... I'll post about it if we do ;-)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

on the sink ...

   As I entered the bathroom Saturday morning, this is what immediately caught my eye ...                              

            {Cyndi and Analyse's hair brushes}
         The 'out of state kids' were here for a short visit
    They have returned home. But oh the smiles, and love, and laughter, and hugs, and kisses .... Thank-you Lord!!!!! Thanks for coming Byron, Cyndi and Analyse!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

"only a mom ..." o;-p

      During dinner last night, Brandon started talking about something he is hoping to buy. I interrupted him to say, "Just inserting a reminder here, that you've mentioned needing ___, ___, and ___ for your truck, and those are all things that you really should take care of before the bitter cold months get here again. Believe it or not, they aren't that far away, especially when your talking money wise."
      While Brandon was giving me this 'I'm long enduring mom' look, Benson chuckled in with, "A mom is the only one who would bother to remind you what you need to do before the next snow storm - on - a - 100 - degrees - day! chuckle, chuckle."
      Brian piped up with, "Careful....."

     I tell ya, I get no respect ... o;-p

Friday, July 16, 2010

beautiful 'quilt' gardens

    A while back, my R.A. (FRIEND!) from college had looked me up. That was such a heart warming fun surprise!! Once in awhile we chat via emails and we of course are friends on Facebook.
   She just posted some beautiful pictures of an outing with a friend. The thing about this outing that really captured my attention, was that they had been visiting / touring 'quilt gardens'. Her pictures were beautiful!!
   She had commented to a different friend that they hadn't yet finished all of the gardens due to there also being so many fun shopping opportunities.
    You guessed it, I was more than intrigued! While Rebekah does live a ways from me, it's a few hours drive trip, not a multiple days type. May-be, just may-be I could go visit with her AND see the gardens. So I asked her where they were. She sent me a link and an invite to come see both them and her. Now all I have to do is get over this vertigo stuff so I can go .... please, please, please!!!

    But I knew that many of you would enjoy learning about and/or seeing the gardens too, so here's the link: http://www.amishcountry.org/quiltgardens/

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

about cooks ;-p

    I'm sure that at least most of you have heard the line, "Never trust a skinny cook". Back in my 'skinny days', I didn't always appreciate that line ... now-a-days ... well, it's a good excuse anyways o;-p
    Also now-a-days, there is one experience in particular that always comes to our minds when we hear or read that line ... "bless her heart" ... ;-p

   I was just trying to catch up on some of my blogging friend Nan's posts, and something she had blogged about brought another line to mind. "A 'clean' cook is more concerned with the condition of her kitchen, than the taste of the food!"

 (oh, and yes, I am sticking to them!!! o;-p your welcome to join me in doing so ;->)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Let's hear it for attics!

      As a friend was giving me a tour of her new home, she stopped before opening one door in her basement. "This room is a jammed full mess" she warned. She then talked about the difference between our basement and theirs. "With yours being an unfinished basement, you can put up shelves to store stuff, or at the least stack stuff out of the way. But ours is a finished basement. That means it's suppose to be livable in."
     She then opened the door to the room. She was right. It was totally full. Thing was, it was only a small sized room to start with, designed to hold the furnace, water heater, etc..
     We then got talking about how so many of the newer built homes have lots of wide open spaces, but most don't really have much storage space. Use to be that if a house had a "finished" basement, it was actually that only half of the basement had been 'finished' off. The other half had the laundry area, and the furnace area, and storage area.
     We then questioned why architects and builders had done away with attics. Was it because many viewed them as 'unlivable space'?  Or was it because 'they just seemed to collect stuff'?
     We both agreed that attics were wonderful, highly useful places!
     If you do away with attics, where are future generations going to unearth wonderful antiques?  Where are little girls going to find trunks full of grandma's clothes to play dress up in? Where else would kids be able to unearth the toys from their parents and grand parents youth? Many an attic was a wonderful place full of intrigue and adventure!
     In the mean time, if you have a finished basement, and you don't have an attic, where are you suppose to store a child's clothing, so it can be handed down to the next child in the family? Or their out grown Tonka trucks and Lego toys, that you know your grandchildren are going to enjoy just as much as your kids did, and your definitely not going to want to pay the higher prices for them down the road!
     And then there's all of the 'seasonal' stuff. You know, the Christmas decorations, and the Halloween paraphernalia, and the Easter baskets, and plastic grass and eggs. And any and all other decorating stuff you like to use. It is totally 'the thing' to decorate for any and every occasion and season, and some people even go so far as to have seasonal dishes for each and every one. But where in their house are they suppose to store it?
    So we talked about starting a campaign to promote the return of attics in each and every house!  If we started a Facebook page for it, would the architects and builders pay any attention to it? Didn't really think so. But then again, m-a-y-b-e.....  We decided that the good 'ole method of word of mouth would probably work best. If people started talking up the benefits of attics ... and people having new homes built wanted them incorporated into their design ... And the people whom have them stopped turning them into things other than attics ....  then maybe, just maybe, attics would make a wonderful revival!!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Metal Trash Can Lids

      One Sat. we had gone down to visit Brian's parents. We usually take the high way to get there, but often take the bi-way back home. Just for clarification purposes, I'm sure all of you know what a highway is. A bi-way is the main route that was used before the highway was built. And taking 'back roads' means you were meandering your way there via non main streets.
     My usual preference is the bi-way or back roads methods of getting someplace. Well, if we have to be at such and such a place by a specific time, then take the straightest and quickest route. But then I pay a whole lot of attention to the scene passing by my window that's beyond the highway! Yes, I am one of those who really does enjoy taking long scenic drives. Well, at least I was back before this vertigo business. Now all of the curves and dips in the roads, etc. are anything but enjoyable ...
     A-n-y-ways, as we were driving along, we passed this guy on a riding lawn mower trying to mow the grass on his property that grew close to the fence, which was about four feet back from the road. The thing was, there were huge bushes growing up close to the other side of the fence. So he was driving along with one arm up in the air trying to protect himself from all of the branches which hung over the fence. The branches were definitely impeding his progress! Yet we were sure his wife wouldn't let him just cut them back due to all of the blooming flowers on them. o;-p
      I told Brian that it was to bad the guy didn't have a metal trash can lid to use as a shield. He could have held it along the side of his head thus protecting both his head and his neck!
      We then got to talking about all of the wonderful ways that those old metal trash can lids had proved themselves useful. ;-p
     They worked great as shields (such as knights use to use) for a variety of purposes!! Examples being: snow ball fights, when being unwillingly sprayed with the hose (helped you approach your attacker!), getting in underneath the overgrown bushes while playing hide and seek,  protecting your eyes from the bright rays of a flash light, as cymbals in a 'street band', etc..
     If there was at least two and a half inches of s_ _ _ (that white flaky precipitation stuff, the name of which my husband declares is a swear word ;-p), then those lids made wonderful impromptu sliding saucers when placed upside down on the s_ _ _ .
     Upside down, they even worked good for giving the dog water in. You know, when you forgot to bring his bowl out with you like you had been told, and you didn't want to face going back in to retrieve it .... or at least I'm sure they would work good in such a situation ... o;-p
     Many of us grew up hearing about how "the lids were suppose to stay ON the trash cans!!!"
     And we knew parents who deprived their children of many adventures, by chaining the lids to their cans!
     It was probably one of those same parents who invented the trash bins with the permanently attached lids which can be flipped on or off, but always stay attached. Yeah, yeah, yeah.... they might be ever so convenient, but where's the adventure in that?!!!

    Recently I spotted three of the old metal style trash cans. They were being used as huge flower pots out in front of a retro style cafe'. I glanced around, but was unable to spot their missing lids.... hey, I was going to take one of them down to that poor guy who had been mowing. Honest!!! o;-p

Friday, July 9, 2010

"Certified" ???

     Do you remember me telling you about sorting through all of the "piles"? Well, in that there process, I found a paper on which I had jotted down some blogging topics. (Come on, you know your looking forward to me writing about them, so that you can read them ... o;-p)
     While Brian and I were doing our 'hurried home trip' from our anniversary get away, we passed a vehicle which had one of those magnetic signs attached. You see lots of them around town. It's a relatively inexpensive way for people to promote their business. So it wasn't the sign itself that kept our attention and piked our curiosity, but rather what the sign said.
     According to their sign, they were a "Certified Home Organizer". 
     I questioned how, or for what, do you get certified (in) to be a "certified home organizer"? I questioned if a mom had to have had a certain number of kids to qualify? Did the health department have to semi condemn your home and then you clean and organize it enough to pass their follow up inspection, in order to qualify as a "certified home organizer"? I mean, you have to pass some sort of a test, know some type of specific/specialized information in order to be "certified", right?
    We got talking about that. Here are some of the areas we covered -
    - a "certified public accountant" has to have been approved by the IRS. In other words, they have to prove they have a good working knowledge of the current tax laws.
    - a "certified welder" (which our Brent is) has to take and pass certain tests, proving they know how to weld certain types of metals, certain ways, so that the weld will hold, etc.
   - a "certified life guard" has to take and pass tests which include things like CPR, being able to rescue a body out of deep water, etc.. I took the course as a teenager, but didn't pass due to lack of body strength. While I was able to pull a full size male body some distance to get it out of the water, I wasn't able to keep their head above water the whole time.
   - a "certified chimney sweep". On one episode of the 'cable' TV show "Dirtiest Jobs", Mike was in attendance at a class which people must attend to become "certified chimney sweeps". They had to pass tests in testing the safety in the chimney's structure; in how to handle it if a fire should start while your working on the chimney; on proper, effective methods of doing the cleaning; of cleaning up after everything, etc..
   - a "certified babysitter". The Day Camp we were a part of at lest use to offer a class in this as one of their 'craft' selections. The test to be a "certified babysitter" included such things as infant CPR, what to do if a child was choking on something, in what type of situations do you call 911 before you call the parents, etc. .
   - a "certified EMS driver/technician". They must pass tests in medical diagnosing, in safety procedures for moving patients with varying types of injuries, in being able to clearly relay information to the technicians at the hospital via radio, and even in driving skills.

    For all of those "certifications", there requirements make absolute sense. But for what, do you get certified (in) to be a "certified home organizer"?!?!
    I just went to the on line dictionary site and looked up the word "certified". Of the six definitions given, I thought the one as a verb -> "used with an object", would be the appropriate application. Here is what it said for that:
1. to attest as certain; give reliable information of; confirm: He certified the truth of his claim.
2. to testify to or vouch for in writing: The Medical examiner will certify his findings to the court.
3. to guarantee; endorse reliably: to certify a document with an official seal. {such as birth or marriage certificates}
4. to guarantee (a check) by writing on its face that the account against which it is drawn has sufficient funds to pay it.
5. to award a certificate to (a person) attesting to the completion of a course of study or the passing of a qualifying examination.
6. to declare legally insane and committable to a mental institution.
7. Archaic . to assure or inform with certainty.

   Numbers two (2) through five (5) seem to aleign with what we had thought.
   Number six (6) is something which I'm often amazed hasn't happened to me. ;-p  Those 'pink bunnies' are again (or is that still ?) attacking ....
   But numbers one (1) and seven (7) seem to imply that somebody could just state that your capable of such a thing.  Humm mmm.... Wouldn't that actually be 'giving references'? In that case, shouldn't the sign on the car have read, "Home Organizer for hire - references available?"

    We're curious -
   a) how do you think somebody would become a "certified home organizer"?
   b) are you "certified" in some area? If so, what?

    and c) .... you do realize don't you, that somebody CAN be a very organized individual, but due to the fact that they are not the only one living in a home, the house might not hold lots of evidence to that fact .....   o;-p

Sunday, July 4, 2010

America -

o/~ God HAS(!) blessed America, land that we love. He's stood beside her, and He's guided her, through the night, with his light, from up above ... o/~

May we turn from our evil ways and follow him!!!

[picture came from: http://s3.amazonaws.com/estock_dev/fspid10/51/84/09/flag-barn-american-518409-l.jpg]

Friday, July 2, 2010

Party Foods # 2

     This posting is the second one in a series. Some of the type of party foods we will feature, are most suitable for deck or Super Bowl parties. Others, when presented right, will even work at 'fancy' parties or wedding receptions.
     Mainly, we will be featuring finger food type of foods.
     Again, for the record, NO, starting this new series does NOT mean that we are done with the entries in the 'Warm Weather Desserts' series!!! In-fact, I am really looking forward to using blogging as an excuse to make some of the yet to come features. o;-p
     I learned this recipe while working for Baker Catering. I really have no idea just how many hundreds of the green onion type I made during my years there. Seriously!

        Today's Feature: Party Foods # 2
        'Polish Roses' and Pickle Wraps

{Yes, Many of you know the green onion wraps by a name other than 'Polish Roses'. It seems that lots of nationalities have their own name for them. And yes, there are also names out there for the pickle wraps... just haven't heard any I'm willing to use o;-p}
     thick sliced sandwich ham
        (or buy a boneless ham on sale and have the store cut it thick sandwich style)
    Cream Cheese - it takes a lot! So buy the huge block of it like at Sam's Club or GFS
    non-wimpy green onions
    and / or
    (Meijer brand) Kosher dill spears - fresh pack (green label, 24 fl. oz. jar)
       (no, you don't have to use that brand, some people had just raved over them last time and wanted to know which brand we had used)

    Kate and I made these via team work for Analyse's B-day party. Found that it went ever so much faster!!! :-) I did the spreading, she did the rolling. But it can be done single person style too.

      - the night before you plan on making these, pull the cream cheese out and leave it sitting on the counter !

    - Using kitchen shears, trim the straggly ends off of the one end of the green onions, and cut the root ends off of their other end. Then rinse the onions and let set for quite awhile in a strainer.
    - If your also doing pickle wraps, dump the pickles into a strainer as well.

    - Once it's time to make them:
    - Using a large solid cutting board as your work surface, lay out a piece of the ham.
Then, using a thick paper towel, pat the excess moisture off of both sides of the piece of ham. (you will not need a new piece of paper toweling for each piece of ham. In-fact, the paper toweling keeps absorbing even once it's considerably soggy).
    - Using a thick bladed knife, (a frosting spreader works great!) spread cream cheese on to the ham, staying about a sixteenth of an inch from the edges. While you don't have to be overly generous with the cream cheese, do  NOT  be  greedy  with  it  either!!!! You should not clearly see the ham through the cream cheese, nor should there be holes in it.
    - If your making the 'polish roses' - lay the green onion so that the trimmed off root end, is about even with the width side of the piece of ham - but laying so that it's at one end of the piece. (Hope that makes sense...). Then GENTLY roll the piece of cream cheese spread ham around the green onion.
    - Repeat, repeat, repeat.
    - If your making the pickle wraps, you do it the same way, including the patting dry part.

    ~ For the record, these not only go over big at parties, but at 'Potlucks" ('Pot-scrappers') as well!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
You might also like:
- Party Foods # 1 - Bean 'Salsa'

- Deviled Eggs
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:
~ "Foodie Friday('s)", are hosted by "Gollum" (aka: Michael), at 'Designs by Gollum' (http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/)
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Market Yourself Monday", are hosted by Sumo, at 'Sumo's Sweet Stuff' (http://sumossweetstuff.blogspot.com/)
~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace' (http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com).
~ "Tuesdays at the Table", are hosted by Cole, at 'All The Small Stuff' (http://allthesmallstuff-cole.blogspot.com/).
~ "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes' (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).
~ "Tasty Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Jennifer, at "Balancing Beauty and Bedlam" (http://www.beautyandbedlam.com/)
~ "Whatever Goes Wednesday('s), hosted by Michelle, at 'Someday Crafts'
~ "Make it from Scratch", are held at 'Make it from Scratch ... Where creativity and frugality intersect'. (http://makeitfromscratch.blogspot.com/)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Whit From Brian -

    Whit from Brian, and this time it's not from his Face-book page ;-)

     Last night Brian headed up for bed stating that he really didn't feel good. I took care of a few details and then headed up myself. When I snuggled in, his arm felt really warm to my hand.
     "Your arm is hot. Are you running a fever?"
     In a very straight lined tone of voice he answered,
     "Cheryl, I am laying down. I'm not running anywhere."
     I laughed. Couldn't help but.
     Not even a whole minute later, he returned to his snoring. ;-)