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

Friday, August 27, 2010

Regan quote -

I received a list of Regan quotes from my friend Amie M. . This one has sure proved itself true lately, huh?!!

"'Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:
If it moves, tax it.
If it keeps moving, regulate it.
And if it stops moving, subsidize it'
Ronald Reagan"

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Different times spent with friends -

      The other day I shared with you about the WONDERFUL time Brian and I spent with our friends John and Julie. :-)  Today's posting is about some times I've had recently with other friends. :-]

      A couple of weeks ago Joanna T. came and visited with me for a bit. It was definitely a l-o-n-g overdue 'time together'!!  I got to hear about the McDonald's she is working in now. About some of her co-workers. About her position as a trainer. Her thoughts and feelings about again trying her hearts desire of working in Day Care, or some such. About the cousin she is a house mate to. About the dog Joanna had adopted (her mom had at first accompanied Joanna here so I could meet said dog :->). About... all kinds of things!!! :-D  We talked, we laughed, we made and ate Tuna Fish sandwiches ...nice!!!
      I ended up excusing myself to go lay down for awhile. The vertigo was winning over my desire to ignore it. Drats!  I ended up falling sound asleep and sleeping for several hours. Joanna knew beforehand that that was a possibility. She had stayed and visited with Benson for quite awhile and wasn't upset with me in the least for any of it. :-)
     It was so good to re-connect with her!!!  Joanna, please make time with me a regular habit!! o;-p

     My friend "Maggie" came by. Her house had sold, and she has to be totally out of it by this coming weekend. She is pursuing her dream of moving up north to the cabin, on the acreage in the woods. While it does currently have electricity, it does not yet have running water, or indoor plumbing. The inside of the cabin is also quite small - total, about the size of my living and dining rooms put together. I wish her well in her pursuit!  She will be coming back to town occasionally to see some of her grandchildren. Hopefully she will also have time to spend with me!  I can leave messages for her on her cell phone - every couple of days she will head a mile down the road to where she does get reception. Sounds extremely rustic for living in America in the year 2010, doesn't it? ;-p

     I attended a bridal shower last Saturday afternoon. The bride to be was Reva, and it was being hosted by her best friend / my niece, Breanna. It was good to see both of them again!  I have been so thrilled to see Reva blossom as a direct result of Michael's acceptance and love! Thank-you Lord!!!  Looking forward to attending the wedding in about three weeks now ... don't worry Reva, it'll go off just fine!  Or... we'll just pretend it does!!!!!!!!!

    Yesterday "my" Kate took me out and treated me to lunch at Russ's, before I treated her to dessert at Dairy Queen. Aren't we wonderful to each other? o;-p We think so!!!! We talked about my medial situation - after all,  she is in the process of applying to medical schools in hopes of becoming a doctor!  Turned out that the 'Jr. Doctor' I saw at the neurologist office, was the same one she had seen and loved when being treated for her back. :-)!  She told me that her boyfriends sister had just had a son. They already have two year old twin daughters. We caught each other up on this, and that, and that other stuff, and ... . Aww the bliss of friendship with a kindred spirit!!

     Lord, Thank-you ever so much for choosing to bless me with such wonderful friends!!!!!!!

     To the above mentioned friends - when can we get together again? ;-)

     To my friends whom aren't mentioned above - interested in getting together? I am!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Our new 'carts' are here :-)

    Early this summer, the city we live in sent letters out to all of it's residents explaining that some changes were coming to it's curb side recycling program. They would be collecting every bodies plastic recycling totes and replacing them with lidded rolling carts. You can now just dump all of your recycling products in the new carts, with out sorting like products together. And instead of having to heave-ho the totes to the curb, you can roll the carts there. An added benefit, is that with the carts being lidded, the rain and flaky white stuff won't affect the paper recycling products.
    They had included a postcard in their notification letter, on which you were suppose to choose which of the three sizes of carts you wanted and mail it in by a certain date. Otherwise they would automatically be giving you one particular size.
    That cart arrived a couple of weeks ago. In the picture, it is the one with the yellow lid.

    I had often thought over the idea of getting a city trash cart as well. I was tired of keeping bags of trash in the house till trash day and working around them. If we put them in the garage, animals saw them as an invitation to romp. And we had learned years ago, that you do not put them out on the curb till the morning of trash collection day. Others in the neighborhood do with very little problems. But it never seemed to fail that if we attempted such, the end result was a huge mess.
    Needing to work around trash bags till trash collection day, became not only annoying, but also a good reason not to clean certain areas when they were in dire need of it. Or so the excuses were given.
     So, seeings how we were getting a rolling recycling cart, I decided that it was the perfect time to also get one for our trash. I looked into what sizes were available and their various costs.
     While we normally only have two kitchen size bags of trash a week, due in great part to how I believe in breaking things down, instead of paying for more bags, and more trash tags, etc., I ended up deciding to go with the largest sized rolling / lidded trash bin. And I prepaid for it for a year.
     Why? For one, I didn't want them jacking the price of it up after the first of the year, or something. And secondly, the large sized one better fit my goal - of sorting / cleaning /  emptying this house!!!
     I had ordered the trash bin, but it didn't arrive, and didn't arrive ... turned out the lady I had had contact with, via both phone and emails, had changed departments... and the person whom was head of the 'streets and sanitation dept.' was on vacation, a-n-d ... .  I will give the head of the dept. big credit - the very day she was due to report back from her vacation, a bin showed up out front!!! I was going to give her a couple days back before contacting her with yet another problem ...
     It has been made very clear to the inhabitants of this house, that I want the trash cart FULL each and every week!!!! There are also box's for "to donate" things to be put in. And each and every week they shall either be dropped off somewhere, or given to Kayla's mom to take to work with her, seeings how she works at a Goodwill store.
     The carts/bins are here, the donation box's are out - let the reclaiming of the house proceed!!!

p.s. - ALL of you, are both welcome and encouraged to get carts and donation box's (not literal ones, just empty box's from the store or work ...) for yourselves and join us in our goal. We can even form our own 'encouragement' club ;-p


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Time spent with friends :-)

      Way back when, we had promised to take our friends John and Julie out after their sons wedding. The wedding was a few weeks ago. Schedules finally worked out for us to go out this past Sat. evening. Time spent with good friends is such a blessing, ever so therapeutical, relaxing and yet reinvigorating at the same time!!!!  :-) !!!
      We talked about our 'kids', talked about our kids weddings, talked about relatives, talked about our jobs, talked about our church, talked about the wondrous ways God intercedes in life for us ...
      All the talking, all of the resulting laughter, all of the understanding of what the others have gone through, all of it bonding us even closer together....

       We went to the Beltline Bar. Brian loves their beef & onion enchilada. Julie and I are fans of their wet burritos (although we of course each prefer them a different way). Due to the special diet John has been on, he tried their vegetable filled something or other (I don't remember if it was an enchilada, a burrito, or what it was). He declared it really good, and I must admit it did look like it would be. We ate, we talked, we laughed, our waitress was excellent(!), wonderful time with friends!
      Then we went back and with sighs, the three of them sank into their hot tub. Due to the high humidity's we've been experiencing, they had lowered the "hot" part of the tub considerably. It did feel good! I just didn't sink very far in. The water moving around my body was not a pleasant mixture with my vertigo. So I sat up near the top and joined in the good conversation / time spent with friends! 
      Their daughter and her fiance were at the house, so when we went inside, we got to hear their take on a few of the details for their upcoming Dec. wedding. :-)  Their daughter has a special place in my heart!

      Sunday afternoon I told Brian how much fun I thought it had been, hanging with just our own friends for a change. He smiled and said that we really should make a habit of it!!  :-D

for the record - it is NOT that we do not usually enjoy spending time with our kids! ... I'll leave it at that.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

THIS month -

Were you aware of this interesting fact about THIS month (AUGUST 2010)?

This August has 5 Sundays, 5 Mondays, 5 Tuesdays, all in the same month.
It happens once in 823 years.

Most likely none of us will ever experience it again in our life time ;-p

thanks for this info. Dad.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

awkward ....

     Yesterday afternoon I walked up to the registration desk in the doctors office and said, "Hi. I'm Cheryl B___ and I have an appointment with Dr. Figg."
The lady at the desk said, "We have two Dr. Figg's in today, which one are you seeing?"
"Well, I use to see the dad, but now I'm seeing his son"
she gives me this quick awkward glance ...
"Umm ... that doesn't sound very good does it?"
She gives me this almost disgusted look, but my neighbor/friend Amy, whom was my chauffeur and standing at my elbow, started chuckling quite a bit, as did the other lady in the office and a couple whom were sitting in the waiting area ....

yup, still 'wondering about myself'  o;-p

Sunday, August 15, 2010

a different take on a 'Garbage Free Day' :-)

   This was the contents of an email Cheryl's dad forwarded to us. Great perspective!

Law of the Garbage Truck
One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport.

We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.

My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches!

The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us.

My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.

So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!'

This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment.  As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.
Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets,

so ... Love the people who treat you right.
Pray for the ones who don't.

Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!

Have a blessed, garbage-free day!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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, August 13, 2010

MRI report -

   [Heads Up - as with the postings from July 30th, 2010 and August 8th, 2010,  this particular posting is going to contain an update on my medical condition(s). So-o, 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.  ;-) ]

    The neurologist office called yesterday afternoon. I answered the phone,
"this is Cheryl"
"Hi Cheryl, this is _____ from Dr.____'s office, calling to let you know your MRI test report is back and you are normal :-)."
"you mean that I both have a brain AND it is normal?" chuckle
Chuckle, chuckle, "Yes! :-)"
snicker, "Can I get a copy of that in writing?"
Full laughter. "Yes, it is in writing that your brain is completely normal. In-fact we are even sending a written copy of the report stating just that to Dr. Wittigen. snicker, snicker."
"Thank-you so-o much for calling! :-D"

     For the record - I heard some of your muttered comments about doubting the test results .... gee-sh! ;-p

    In the early morning of one day this coming week, I first report into the lab to get blood work drawn, then report over to have my mammogram done (:- [ Necessary evil of women hood! 8-[ )
    Later that same day, I am scheduled for my pre-colonoscopy(?sp) appointment with that specialist.
    I am definetly going to deserve chocolate by that evening!!!!

    During the night last night, I got so extremely dizzy that I couldn't hardly believe it. This morning I arose with a "8" migraine, which quickly rose to a "9". :-/ .  I took a couple of Tylenol (can't take most aspirin products due to my stomach) and went back to bed. By around noon it was down to about a "5". It is now down to about a "3 1/2".  This is the second time I've experienced this with the migraines since going on those night time med's, and the first time of the extreme dizziness. While I am very tempted to go back off of them, I'm not going to. They must be doing something. And I actually think it might be something good, because it is rare indeed for my migraines to drop that far that quickly!!!!

    Just keeping you up-dated like you asked me to ;-)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

out my windows -

      As most of you know, I love how God sends me smiles via his creations passing out my windows.
      I've spotted lots of different types of birds this year while looking out my bedroom window. When the vertigo gets going, sometimes laying down helps. God has not only blessed me with lots of wonderful breezes up there, but also lots of beautiful birds to watch.
      I'm wondering if I'd never noticed all of them before, because they use to hide their beauty in our overgrown back yard bushes, and now that the bushes are gone, they must find other places to rest. That's possible. All I know for sure, is that I have totally enjoyed spotting and watching the pairs of Cardinals, Blue Jays, Yellow Finch's, Oreo's (the birds, not the cookies ;-p), gray things with the feathered peak on their head (a type of dove?), as well as the wood pecker.
      I got a wonderful chuckle and great parental reassurance a couple of weeks ago, over the interaction of a young sparrow and it's mother. I could tell it was a young sparrow by the fluff still on it's wings, mixed with it's small size. It had just started sprinkling, when the young bird zoomed onto a branch of the young tree out my window. It was okay for a minute, but then I could tell by the way it shook itself, that it had started getting hit with the increasing rain. It shook itself again and then started making such a racket!! How that much noise could emit from that small of a sized bird, was amazing!!! It didn't just put out a plea for help and then sit quietly. Oh my no! It kept chirping louder and louder, with such frequency that I was tempted to see if I could scare it away. Noisy thing. When the rain slackened a bit, a larger bird whom was obviously it's mother flew in and landed next to it. The mother bird started saying things to the young one while caressing it with her neck. So sweet. The mother bird then flew off while calling back over her shoulder for the young one to follow her. But the young one didn't. It just re-started it's loud pleading. Then while I couldn't see where the mother bird had landed, I could hear her speaking to her youngster. And on it went. Until there really was a lull in the rain and the young one stopped complaining and shaking the rain off of itself long enough to fly away.
     I got such a chuckle out of that! But also reassurance that I wasn't a horribly horrible mother. Even birds have challenges in getting their kids to do what they are told to do!!! ;-p
    Late at night I have watched the bats flying and rooted them on, to stay outside and eat ALL of the mosquitoes, not find a way to get inside my house. Outside, I have no problem with them. Inside - well, yeah.
    One night I had spotted a possum traveling down our alley. I hoped that it wasn't headed to nest in our garage like one had. That had been an extremely scary discovery for Brandon and Brian when they had been cleaning the garage!!
     I thank the Lord for the smiles he has granted me, while enjoying the breezes coming in through my bedroom window!! But he has also given me many a smile through the window next to the computer here in the den. Not as many breezes, due to how close this side of the house is to the next house, but many smiles!
     There is a chipmunk that lives in the cement of the neighbor's basement. He can be such an animated funny thing to watch! Jumping from step to step, to the potted plants sitting next to the steps, and spinning ... very amusing! Sometimes he has appeared with swollen cheeks, and after checking to make sure that I remain sitting still, he'll empty his cheeks and start eating the contents. If I happen to move in what he deems as a 'wrong' way, he'll sit straight up and give me quite the scolding!!! Chuckle, chuckle...
     There is also a rabbit that likes to take it's lunch from the weeds growing out of their back steps. If I were to gather all of the huge leafs he scarfs down and layer them on a plate, it would make one good sized salad!!!
      I know that just like it is with mice, with chipmunks and rabbits, if you see one, you can rest assured that there are more. The morning of my birthday, God gave me a bonus smile by allowing me to spot two bunnies coming out from under my neighbors car. :-) That was the very first time I spotted two of them!
     Right before I started typing this, I had a different first time viewing out my den window. There had just been a low rumble of thunder and then a mother raccoon, followed by three young raccoons, waddled up the neighbors driveway, through their open back yard gate, and around and then under their back deck. Quite the swaggering parade! ;->
     Hum mmm, I wonder if they were what prompted the extra low growl and then charge from Boo, as I was letting him out the back door at ten to four this morning? (I had been on the couch due to humidity + menopausal sweating equaling, well, I'm not sure how to describe it! :-[ ) I had better start turning the light on and checking before I let him out. A protective mother raccoon can cause a lot of injuries to a dog!
     Lord, I am still enjoying the smiles of nature that you bless me with, via the views out my windows! Thank-You!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

we ate at a new place ...

   (For those of you whom are reading this and live out of state, I do apologize. All I can say is that I had to share the information with those whom might be able to dine here. It would be a shame for this place to go under due to lack of exposure!)

    After leaving the neurologist office last week, we went over to GR Optical. We had recently gotten new glasses for Brian from there and were hoping to get them adjusted even more.
    As we left there, Brian asked what I wanted to eat. When he asks me that, he's actually asking a multilayer question. First layer being, am I hungry? Second layer is, do I have a hanker-in for anything in particular? Third layer has to do with the fact that I oversee the bills and checkbook and thus know if we need to only stick to choosing from a couple of very low cost places. And the fourth layer has to do with my medical situation at the time. He is asking what type of place I think I can handle at that point in time with my vertigo, as well as asking what condition my stoanmach /bowels are in and what type of food I think they might find acceptable today. A seemingly innocent question, yet contains so much concern for me. Nice!
    I suggested that we, "just head towards home down the Beltline. There are so many resteraunts now along this stretch, let's see what catches our fancy."
    We ended up spotting and consequently trying a brand new one. It's only been open since late July. Along the Beltline, it's on the other side of the street from Meijer's, next to AppleBee's. It's in the building that O'Charlies use to be in.
     The name of it? 'Twisted Rooster'. Yes, you read that right. Quite a name, huh? ;-p We just had to see. We could always walk back out. 'Twisted Rooster' - "Simply Impeccable Food and Drinks".
    The 'Twisted' part? They add their own twist to somewhat normal menu selections.
     Brian ordered their Mac + Cheese. It came as a large bowl full! They used spirl noodles and a hard white cheese, then added chuncks of chicken, peas, tomato chuncks, and bits of aspergas. A very pretty appetizing bowl full!  And it was really good! We both thought so!
     I ordered a pulled pork BBQ sandwich. I had read that it came with crunchy cole slaw, cheese and french fries. I re-read it several times (my brain was quite foggy after concentrating so hard at the Dr.'s office) and figured that it must mean the french fries had cheese on them. Fine, I like them that way. I was wrong. The LARGE sized bun came with a thick layer of the BBQ pulled pork on it, then a layer of melted cheddar cheese, topped with the crunchy cole slaw. (Putting the cole slaw on the BBQ is common in some areas). It was so-o-o good! Kind of messy, but GOOD! And the french fries were too.(Yes, I shared my meal too;-p)
      The total for our bill, including my coke and Brian's ice tea, came to $23.00.  Not bad for two good sized meals!!!
     We definelty plan on going back there! There were several other dishes on their menu that we want to try for ourselves. And at those totals - well, it might actually happen :-)

     Let us know if you go there, and what you think of it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Warm Weather Dessert # 6

     As I had mentioned in the other warm weather dessert postings, in warm weather we start wanting different kinds of desserts. Today, I am posting recipe # 6 in that series. This series features a few desserts that we are not limited to making only in warm weather months, but that is when we usually enjoy them much more.

     Today's feature: warm weather dessert # 6:
       Strawberry Shortcake 
       (yes Michelle (from Big Black Dog), I took a piece out of the middle - I did it thinking of you ;-)
     As you can see by the picture, this recipe comes from the back of a box of Jiffy mix. Years ago I had changed from a well known baking mix to Jiffy, due to Jiffy costing a bit less. Later I learned that not only is Jiffy a Michigan made product, but my brother-in-law's mom worked there as well (she has since retired from there).  What do I use Jiffy mix for?  Believe it or not, chocolate chip cookies, home made chocolate pudding,  strawberry shortcake and 'muffins' (the plain 'ole type, that are ever so good served warm with goulash, or stews, or ...) .
    For the record, the box instructs you to knead the dough, roll and cut it out, and make individual shortcakes. As you can see by the picture, I tweaked it to a much simplier method. Also for the record - that 'jelly roll pan' takes a double recipe of dough. 

  For the Shortcake:    
2 cups JIFFY Baking Mix
     2 Tablespoons Sugar
     3 Tablespoons Shortening, melted (I use Butter)
     1/2 cup Milk
     Preheat oven to 450 degrees

     Combine the baking mix and sugar in a sprayed bowl, mix well. Add the melted Butter. Mix. Then add the Milk. Mix together thoroughly. Use a sprayed fork to pat the dough out onto a sprayed Jelly Roll pan (aka: cookie sheet with sides ;-) ).  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until just slightly golden around the edges. Cool completely.

    For the Strawberries:
    Rinse fresh strawberries. Cut off/out the stems. Slice strawberries in half lengthwise. If it is a good sized strawberry, slice it half width wise too. Then start slicing your sections into about 1/8th inch thick pieces. Do all of your strawberries using this method, slicing the strawberries into a good sized bowl.
     Top the strawberries with about 1/4 inch thick layer of shaken on white sugar. With out mixing things together, cover the bowl and refrigerate.
    [by slicing your strawberries up this 'small', you get a lot more servings out of your strawberries!]

     For the whip cream:
      You can make your own, or cheat like I did and just buy some :-)

     To serve:
      Cut the shortcake into serving size pieces. Take one piece and cut it in half. Put the bottom half in the bottom of the bowl. Stir the strawberries up real good. Put one or more scoops of them on top of the piece of shortcake in the bowl. Top with the top half of the piece of shortcake. Ladle on another scoop of the strawberries. Top with some whip cream - making sure everybody get's equal amounts, or Brent might whine about it ;-p!!!

     Seeings how I am including this recipe in warm weather desserts, and yet it does require baking, I would like to include THIS TIP --> In hot summer months, it is best to do any baking right before you go to bed at night. That way the kitchen cools off with the cooler night air. Bake, pull product from oven, set it on wire racks, place a large piece of parchment paper arched loosely on top, and go to bed. . . . The only challenge with this methodology, is that your attempting to fall asleep with the wonderful aromas filling your house .....
     You can do the strawberries up at the same time and then have strawberry shortcake for breakfast (we do at least once every spring!). Or, the strawberries will still be good at dinner time, sitting un-mixed together till then.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
You might also enjoy these postings:

~ warm weather dessert # 1: NO BAKE CHEESECAKE

~ warm weather dessert # 2: (No Bake) Banana Split Dessert

~ warm weather dessert # 3: Rice Krispie Treats / "The Thick Soft Type"

~ warm weather dessert # 4:
Graham Crackers With Icing

~ warm weather dessert # 5: Ice Cream Pie

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
You also might be interested in checking out our series on 'Party Foods'

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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/).
~ "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/)
~ "Topsy Turvy Tuesday's", are hosted by Ashlee, at 'I'm Topsy Turvy' (http://imtopsyturvy.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/)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

More HOPE!

Heads Up - as with the posting from July 30th, 2010,  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.  ;-)

    Last Tuesday I received a phone call from the neurologist office. They had received the referral from my doctor and were calling to schedule an appointment. The thing was, their first available appointment wasn't till September 28th. :-(  Ever so disappointing! But I was nice to the lady. It wasn't her fault they didn't have any sooner! I just explained the reason I was so disappointed was due to having had the vertigo so long and all. She offered to put me on the cancellation list. I chuckled and said, "fine, but it will depend on if I can get a ride on short notice, seeings how due to the vertigo I haven't been driving."  She thought that was wise.
    That call had come in early morning. In mid-afternoon she called back. While they didn't yet have an appointment available with the Dr. himself, there had been a cancellation for the (forgetting the technical name for the position .... it's sort of like they are a Jr. doctor or something ...) __. The now open appointment was for the next afternoon. She reassured me that this person would thourally discuss my situation with me, do all kinds of physical tests, etc. AND that afterwords the person would meet with the Dr. and go over everything. Also in the mean time, this person could order any further testing I might need, and get me started on any prescriptions they thought might help. That way, by the time of my appointment with the Dr. himself, I'd have all of the preliminary stuff taken care of. :-) I took the appointment.
     I called Brian and left him a message about it. He decided to take the day off and take me himself. :-D !! I was so relieved! He was there for all of my testing at the Balance Clinic, so he can fully discuss all of it. He's seen me during my various symptoms and stages of dealing with this Vertigo. And best of all, when my brain gets 'fuzzy' trying to do recall, he can help! :-)
     The person we saw was a lady. A VERY nice, thoural, knowledgeable, friendly lady. She put me so much at ease. While going over the papers that we had had to fill out she had questioned something. When Brian said that he had written that because... she questioned why he had filled it out instead of me. I explained that I can only do so much of that type of reading before the letters start dancing on me, but that Brian had asked me all of the things off of the paper. She jotted down a note.
      She questioned about where I had written I get migraines. Then later I had mentioned how I seem to be 'fuzzy brained' a lot with this vertigo. She had smiled big and said that it's because I have ____ . The base of which, is that I have interlaced vertigo and migraines. Which is most likely the reason I haven't been able to shake off the vertigo. AW-WW! That sure makes sense!  She went on to say that she gets migraines herself, and asked about different symptoms of mine. How often? Do hormones or weather affect or trigger them? Does light, sound, movement seem to worsen them? Etc. She then said that sometimes the day after having had a migraine, she feels like she has a 'migraine hang over'. The pain is gone, but her brain is just in this fog ... . What relief! She totally 'gets' what I'm both talking about and dealing with. Thank-you Lord!!!
     She had me cover one eye and read a chart. Walk a line in the flooring. Hop on one foot, then the other. Crouch low and then spring up. Stand with my arms straight out and close my eyes. Etc. Then she tested my eyes with the bright light, and tested my knee reflexes, and the bottom of my feet, and my arms, and asked me lots of questions, and felt my lympnods, and felt the length of my spine. She went over and checked every-thing! The whole time asking us questions intertwined with fun conversation.
    She decided that my current symptoms did warrant a newer MRI, and that insurance probably wouldn't buck it seeings how it was a Neurologist office that was ordering it.
    She wanted me to start on a new prescription. One that should help both the migraine symptoms as well as the vertigo ones. :-)   At least three different times she warned that this medication would take at least three weeks to really start taking affect, and then apologized. I told her that after seven months of being this way, three weeks seemed like a short do-able span of time! I am to take that medication before going to bed at night so hopefully it takes affect quicker, and doesn't make me even more off balance during the day. And I am to stay on the "camouflage the symptoms" medication too. :->
   She reassured me that she would be going over everything with the Dr. himself (poor guy - she took TONS of notes!! ;-p). "In-fact, I'm having dinner with him tonight so we'll probably be discussing your case then". I said that that wasn't necessary and she laughed and said, "Oh we're nerds like that".
    I walked out of there feeling ever so much more HOPE!!! They hadn't belittled anything we had mentioned. She seemed to catch on to and ask about things we hadn't even mentioned. There was great Hope that they would not only get to the bottom of all of this, but also be able to help me with all of it. ALL of it. Even my migraines!!!!! I truly have hope that I might really be able to go back to being a 'real person'. A-n-d, that it might not be that far in the future when it happens!!!! Woo-Hoo!!!!! :-}  Thank-You Lord!!!!!!!
   Due to some diagnostic something or other she had written on my MRI request, I got moved to the front of the line. My MRI was done at 7 a.m. Wed. morning. Holding still inside that machine, was nothing compared to the pain the radiation vibes make inside your head. Still dealing with traces of that.
   But the testing is already done and I've already started on the new medication. Side note here ;-p  She had inquired about my high level bowl disorder. She knew Dr. Figg whom I will again be seeing in two weeks. One side affect of my new medication, can be constipation. With me, that might actually work out to the point of removing a lot of my diarrhea issues. Bonus! We had both laughed. She also knows my lung specialist. With everybody knowing each other and working together - what Hope!!!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

from Brian -

copied and pasted here from Brian's Facebook page -

"thank goodness for grand children or you would be forced to look at pictures of me"  this quote was accompanied by his changing his profile picture to this: 
 (for the record, no, the headphones were not plugged into anything ;-p  she's such a silly girl :-D )

Friday, August 6, 2010

Party Foods # 3 -

      This posting is the third 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.
    Today's feature: Party Foods # 3:
       Garden Fresh Bruschetta

       In my recipe box, this particular recipe states that it was made up by myself and my friend Amie Moran.
      Over three years ago now, Amie was getting married and Brian and I had offered to do the food for their reception as our gift to them. They bought the ingredients, we cooked and prepped all of it, went to the site and set everything up, Brian and Kate oversaw the buffet (I was suppose to be being a guest), then we broke everything down and left the place cleaner than when we'd gotten there (cuz that's our motto).
      They wanted to do a 'finger food' reception. They didn't want 'fad' type foods, due to most of their guests being down home type of people. But they didn't want it to seem like the food you'd eat at a graduation open house either. So one day Amie and I actually got together (not an easy task to pull off!) and brain stormed.
      At the time, 'Bruschetta' was just making a big come out in the appetizer's and party foods arena. We decided that we wanted to do some! But neither of us had ever made it before. So I pulled out all of the various recipes for it, that I had clipped and stuck into my 'make some day file'. We went over all of them and ended up coming up with our own version. No, we did not try it out ahead of time. We were just going to be brave with our 'winging it'.
     Were we successful? "My" Kate does NOT like tomatoes. Especially fresh ones. But she kept looking at how pretty the mixture was in the bowl and listening to the comments people made when they came back for seconds, and thirds. She finally decided she was going to try one "no thank-you bite". (A "no thank-you bite" means that you willingly try one small bite of something. If it turns out your right and you don't like the product, you then may then say "no thank-you" to ever having to try it again.)  She came over to where I was sitting and whispered in my ear, "Mom, I got brave and tried "one no-thank-you bite" of the bruschetta, and it was like there was a party going off in my mouth!!! :-D"  Yes, our made-up recipe was a success!  :->

     One more note before I give you the recipe. Yes, this recipe makes a very large amount. That's why it's a good "Party Food". Your welcome to tweak it down to family size if you want.

      6 loafs French Bread (from Sam's Club)
      1 cup (2 sticks) Butter
      1/2 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
      1 - 5 lb. package GFS chopped tomatoes
         (or - 5 lbs. fresh Roma Tomatoes, chopped)
          (in the mixture pictured, we had tried using chopped canned tomatoes. The end product wasn't quite as vibrant in color, and missing just a tish of the zestyness, but it was still really good tasting. We also had not pre-treated the bread.)
      3 good sized Red Onions, finely chopped
      3 Tablespoons Thyme leaves (I did not use fresh ones, but you can)
      3 Tablespoons Basil leaves  (ditto)
      1 cup Kraft Greek Vinaigrette dressing
      1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper

      Shredded Romano Cheese

     For the Bread:
     Slice French bread into 3/4 inch thick slices. Put butter into microwavable bowl. Top with garlic powder. Melt butter and mix together with garlic powder. Using a pastry brush, spread garlic butter on one side of each piece of French bread. Place bread on slightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes per side, or until LIGHTLY browned. Cool. (Store in bread bags.)

     For the Topping mixture:
     In extra large mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, onions, basil, thyme, salt, pepper and Greek dressing. Mix well. Refrigerate till serving time.

    To Serve:
     Top pieces of bread with tomato mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Or - put the bread slices in a basket next to the bowl of tomato mixture, with a sprinkle type container of the cheese sitting there as well, and let your guests fix their own pieces.

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

- Party Foods # 2 - 'Polish Roses' and Pickle Wraps

- Deviled Eggs
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You also might be interested in checking out our series on 'Warm Weather Desserts'
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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/)
~ "Topsy Turvy Tuesday's", are hosted by Ashlee, at 'I'm Topsy Turvy' (http://imtopsyturvy.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, August 5, 2010

Benson's hair -

    This picture shows the length of our son Benson's hair in December of  2007
    This picture shows the length of his hair on July 27th, 2010
     This one shows how much the beautician cut off that day
     The length that he is holding in his hand, was donated to 'Lock's Of  Love'.
     For those of you whom aren't familiar with  'Lock's Of  Love', it is an organization which takes people's donated long hair and turns it into wigs for cancer patients.
     Benson is currently 25 years old. This was the third time he has done this!!! :-)
     He has very wiry hair, which seems to have an identity of it's own, so he always laughs and wishes the wig recipients the best of luck with their wigs ;-p
     Seeings how he is donating his hair, his whole hair cut is free. This is what the finished result looks like.
    Is he going to grow it out and donate it again?  He's not sure. Then again, he wasn't the last two times either! chuckle, chuckle.

    Well done Benson!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Brent has returned to work :-)

     As many of you will remember, last year Brian was hit with both big cuts in pay and hours. OUCH!!  Brandon and Brent had been living on their own. Of their own accord, they had moved back home to help us not loose the house. Shortly thereafter, first Brandon and then Brent lost their jobs due to the company cutting back. Benson (whom also still lives to home) had also lost his job.
     A few months later, Brent had begun the process of signing up for the Navy. That dream got denied due to his ribs, etc. - all of which were lasting results from his having gotten hit by that car back in fourth grade.
     Monday he again headed out to apply for jobs. He had a couple of leads about places that were hiring certified welders (which he is).  One place took his app., another told him they weren't even taking app.'s .... he got frustrated.
      Brent got to thinking about his old job. He had sort of stayed in touch with a couple of the guys from there. He knew that company wide they had taken pay cuts - but that they were not extreme cuts. He knew that the manager whom had been such a pain in the side had gotten out and out fired the same day he (Brent) had been let go. And he knew that the boss whom they had gone to with challenges over the now fired boss, was now over the whole shop.
     Brent decided to give him a call. The guy was happy to hear from him and said he would check with the higher up's to see if there was any way he could call Brent back. :-)  Brent was ever so hopeful!
     Around ten Tuesday morning, Brent came bounding in to let me know he was headed-in there for an interview. Seeings how there had been some changes, they wanted to go over everything with him and make sure he still wanted the job. "Duh!" was his not to them response. ;-p
      He arrived back home grinning ear to ear. He started at 7 this morning. A-n-d, even though there was a 5% cut in pay, he most likely gets his vacation time and insurance back, seeings how he'd just been 'layed off'. :->
     THANK-YOU Lord!!!
     We know that Brent is now 22 and an independent spirit, and thus will not live here all that long. And we really are okay with that. That's why we're glad he found a job nearby, as in, IN Michigan, instead of out of state!!!
     Thank-you to so many of you whom were/are praying for our "boys"!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

from Brian, for my B-day :-)

     I was sitting on the kitchen counter when Brian handed me my birthday card. Us and Boo were the only ones around.
     It is an American Greetings card. In the bar across the top it reads, "THE  7 MENOPAUSAL  DWARFS"  Below that are seven dwarf looking women arranged in three rows. Under each one it a title caption. "Itchy" is scratching herself something fierce. "Bitchy" has a totally irritated look on her face and is wagging her finger. "Sweaty" is perspiring from every pour on her body. "Bloaty" is so puffed up that her arms are sticking straight out the sides of her body and you can't see her neck or mouth. "Sleepy" is sitting down, head nodded, and there are a couple of  "Z" 's in the air by her head.  "Forgetful" is standing there looking lost, scratching her head, with a couple of big "?" 's in the air by her. "Phycho" is dressed like a cave women, carrying a hatchet, she is not wearing a cap like all of the others were, but rather her hair is sticking straight out in every direction, she is wild eyed / bugged eye and her teeth are tightly clinched.
      On the inside, the card reads, "Another Birthday?  (next line) Don't Worry. Empty space underneath it, and then "It'll Be Over In A Flash."
      Under that, Brian had written, "I Loved You Then, (next line) I Love You Now, (next line) I'll Love You Tomarrow." Then signed it.
       I looked the front of the card over again and all teary eyed stated, "I'm sorry!"  With tears in his own eyes and a questioning look, he asked, "for what?"  "For at times being all of those things I was never going to be". "I LOVE you, and together we'll get through it just like we have everything else in life." 
      The tears started down my cheeks.
      His hug and kisses were wondrous!

     He took me out for dinner (on a date! ;-} ). At the restaurant he told me what my gift is going to be.
     My sister had recently approached him after they had attended a 'Picnic Pops' concert of our cities Symphony. At the concert, they had announced some upcoming events, one of which is a concert by the Von Trapp Family Singers - aka: the grandchildren of the VonTrapp Family - aka: the family in the movie 'The Sound Of Music'.  :-D .. :->.. :-)
     Brian will be buying the ticket for me to attend the concert with my sister in Nov. (I looked the details for it up on line ;-p). And Brent's gift to me, is that he will pay for my dinner to go out before or after the concert.  :-)

     Sing it with me -  o/~ "The hills are a-live, with the sound of mu-sic, ..... my heart wants to sing, every word!"  o/~

Monday, August 2, 2010

Warm Weather Dessert # 5

   As I had mentioned in the other warm weather dessert postings, in warm weather we start wanting different kinds of desserts. Today, I am posting recipe # 5 in the series I had started. This series features a few desserts that we are not limited to making only in warm weather months, but that is when we usually enjoy them much more.

       Today's feature: warm weather dessert # 5:
       Ice Cream Pie

     (THANKS for taking the picture for me yesterday Erin! :-) )

In my recipe box, this particular recipe states that it came from my my sister - Brenda Carpenter. She let me know that she had gotten it from her mother-in-law, Nyla Blakeman.   It's extremely smooth texture, rich flavored "yummyness", makes it one that's always well received where ever we serve it. When we served it at Josh and Ashley's rehearsal dinner, Ashley's comment of, "If I knew this was going to be this good, I'd just had this as my wedding cake ;-)"  totally made 'the best compliments ever' list!!!

    16 single (8 double) graham crackers
    1 Tablespoon sugar
    1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
    2 cups ice cream
    1 cup milk
    1 large package INSTANT pudding mix

    [*for best flavor, pick similar pudding and ice cream flavors.
     choc. pudding with choc. ice cream
     strawberry ice cream with vanilla pudding (add a few finely chopped fresh strawberries too) ]

    ~ Pull your ice cream out of the freezer and let it sit on the counter while you make your crust(s).

~ Make crust.
    - place graham crackers in a used bread bag, fold the end over a couple of times, and use a rolling pin to crush the graham crackers. Then keep rolling over them until they are finely crushed.
    - dump crushed graham crackers into a bowl, add the 1 Tablespoon of sugar, melt the 1/2 cup of butter and pour it on top. Then use a pastry blender to mix everything together well, with out lumps.
    ~ Spread crust mixture into bottom and up the sides fo a pie plate (often use bent fingers for this process).
    (If your doubling the recipe, it can be made in a 9 x 13 pan)

   ~ Make Filling.
    - Blend milk with ice cream (* any flavor). [If your adding finely chopped strawberries, add them now]. Add pudding and beat slowly with egg beater for about 1 minute, or until mixtures just sort of starts to thicken.
    - Pour into crust and chill (not freeze - the fridge is where you store this ;-) ) for about one (1) hour.

     Slices of the choc. pie can be garnished with a small dollop of whip cream, topped with a choc. chip. Put a slice of strawberry on top of strawberry pieces. Put whatever you like on top of plain vanilla pie.
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You might also enjoy these postings:

~ warm weather dessert # 1: NO BAKE CHEESECAKE

~ warm weather dessert # 2: (No Bake) Banana Split Dessert

~ warm weather dessert # 3: Rice Krispie Treats / "The Thick Soft Type"

~ warm weather dessert # 4:
Graham Crackers With Icing

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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/).
~ "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://beautyandbedlam.com/)
~ "Topsy Turvy Tuesday's", are hosted by Ashlee, at 'I'm Topsy Turvy' (http://imtopsyturvy.com/)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

another 'communicating' tale ;-)

     Yesterday evening, Brian and I were in the living room and I started telling him about something from my Dr.'s appointment. Something VERY personal. He was listening while  looking for something. He hadn't found it, so he wandered out of the room. I stopped talking. A minute later I hear, "I'm still listening". "Yeah, but it's not something I want to shout about."   For one, I wasn't sure where exactly the three "boys" were. For two, the living room windows and front door were open. This wasn't information I wanted to share with anybody else.
    About another minute and a half later, he wanders back into the room. The thing was, Benson was almost directly behind him. He had just come up from the basement because the two of them were going to watch something they had recording together. I asked Benson if he could go back in the kitchen for just a couple of minutes so I could finish telling Brian something. With a sigh and this 'expression' he said "fine".
       I switched gears, figuring I'd finish telling Brian at some other point in time, and asked Benson If I could use his room and TV. I wanted to rent a movie off of U-verse, and his room has a U-Verse box, mine doesn't. Brian said that he'd help me upstairs, and carry my glass of Pepsi for me and I could finish telling him up there. Okay.
      Boo was standing at the front door, wagging his tail with ALL of his might and really wanting let out. I started to open the door to do so, but Brian said not to, because he'd just get in the way of "the boys" (Brandon and Brent) carrying the air conditioner up onto the porch. I had looked out and seen Brent walking towards the front steps carrying something with one hand, so I'd figured it would be fine for me to put Boo out there on his leash. But I didn't argue, just headed on up the stairs.
     Brian also looked out and said it was the front panel off the air conditioner that Brent was carrying.  (Some friends had gifted us with their HUGE air conditioner that they no longer needed, due to having central air. The boys had brought it home in the back of Brandon's suburban.  THANKS friends!!! ;-> )
     But by the time Brian had said that, I had already started to step into Benson's room and made a comment inquiring if it was very cool in there.
     I had then walked over to our room and commented about how there was such a wonderful breeze in there. This whole time Brian's mind is still on the air conditioner, so he thinks that I am making comments in reference to that, and started saying something about how it's a big air conditioner so it will probably help the whole house ...
    I'm still comparing the coolness/breeziness of the different bedrooms upstairs.
     We met back up in Benson's room and I started talking about where to sit the glass of Pepsi Brian was holding. I didn't want Boo tipping it over later.
     (Now) I don't remember what the next thing was that I had started talking about, but it was like I had started up a whole new conversation. When Brian didn't respond, I looked up at him. The poor guy was wearing this lost/bewildered/confused expression. I couldn't help myself, I started laughing. He commented, "I'm lost AND I WAS EVEN LISTENING THIS TIME!" I laughed harder. I knew exactly what he was referring to.
    Years ago now, he had attended a "Dad the Family Shepherd" conference. One of their sessions had dealt with the difference in the ways that men and women think. Men think more like a climbing rope. You climb down it, tie a knot at the end, and that's that! Well, unless something shiny, food, or a pretty female crosses their path during the thought. ;-p
     Women on the other hand, think more along the style of a spider building it's web. First they're over here. But then by some magical, male non-understandable way of how, that thought triggers a thought about something in a different section of the web, so they jump over there. And then it happens again, and again. And yet, by a methodology still completely non-understandable to guys, when women are done, we've created a beautiful spider web where-in everything we talked about IS connected to each other, and we (at least usually) even know what all was discussed or thought about.
    The conference had encouraged the guys to really/actually listen when their wife's were talking. They told them that often you can make some sense out of all of it by paying close attention. And that when you do, it's GINORMOUS brownie points with the wife for having done so!
    Brian HAD been listening! His mind had automatically assumed that I was going back to finish telling him the info. from my doctor's visit, since we were again in a 'private' situation. But instead I had jumped to a completely new section of 'my web'. ;-p!
    The poor guy. While (at the time) I completely knew where I was in all four conversations, I had sent him into a 'no-can-keep-up/comprehend' state of being. And while the look of his face was saying it all, I could not stop laughing at it, even though I did feel ever so sorry for him and kept trying to stop laughing long enough to say so.
    S-l-o-w-e-l-y, one by one, I went back over and even finished each and every subject. He stood there shaking his head while smirking at me. "Sometimes I just don't stand a chance at keeping up with you".  But he smiled. A big very friendly smile. I liked that!
     This has been yet another example of how you can be communicating, and yet not be at the exact same time. We sometimes share these with you folks to encourage you to keep trying in your own relationships! A good laugh goes a long ways towards clearing things up!

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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/).