Thursday, July 29, 2010

" On Being Tested "

It has been one of those weeks that I feel as though I am being tested.
My patience has been tested.
My spontaneity has been tested.
My body has been tested.

My darling teenage daughter came home from North Carolina in such a foul mood. Oh she had a wonderful time while there with her big sister, but it just gave her a taste of what her life can be one day.

This is such a trying time for her or any teen for that matter. She doesn't have a job or her drivers license yet and while that time is less than a year away, I am sure it seems much longer to her. It's hard to see the big picture when you are fifteen.

It is especially hard on the parent that must take the brunt of the frustration. Holding my tongue and having my patience tested to it's fullest this week has been quite a challenge. Truthfully it's been downright hard.

She will be going to camp this Sunday for another week and then school starts on the 13th. I think that this will help. I pray that this will help. I feel for her. I remember what it was like for my oldest son and daughter when they too wanted to break away.

I am grateful that I have more patience now than I did back then.

My week was also turned a bit upside down as I had certain things that I wanted to accomplish but other things came up that were unavoidable. However, even if they were avoidable I would have done them anyway as it involved more bonding time with my grandson Jack.

First I have to say that my arthritis has been the worst that it has ever been this week and I don't know why. We have had a lot of heat and humidity along with several fronts. So I am guessing that is why. The pain has been horrible all week. It is very hard to stay positive when every step I take hurts so badly. 

Spending time with my grandchildren was worth all of the pain. I babysat on Tuesday for Jack, Sarah and her friend. I tried to take them outside but Jack was all over the place along with Sarah and her friend. I couldn't keep up. So I just moved them all inside. This was much easier for me and we actually did some constructive playing!

Today I went to clean a house that I do once a week. I knew that it was going to hurt so I took a pain pill before I went. I usually come home after cleaning exhausted and sore. I eat lunch take a power nap and then shower. 

As I was home eating my lunch today my Daughter-In-Law called in a bind. She was also cleaning a house and had Jack with her. Honestly I don't know how she does it. But than she is twenty years younger than I am! 

Jack was throwing a fit and she couldn't find anyone to watch him. Now you have probably figured out by now that the reason I don't babysit for him much is because of my physical limitations and his endless amounts of energy. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

I am so glad that I kept Katie's old dollhouse. Sarah played with it and now Jack. He isn't quite as meticulous as his big sister was!

I tried to sit as much as possible but with a two year old, that is next to impossible!

I watched over my beautiful grandson for three and a half hours after cleaning for three hours. Every joint in my body is aching. At one point this afternoon I was almost in tears, almost. 

This has been my week to be tested. And as I sit here typing this, well it hurts. A lot. But I can't help but feel that it is so worth it. Today was also the very first time that Jack fell asleep in my arms.

Spontaneous nap.......


This is so special to me. When Sarah was born, my arthritis was just beginning. I was able to do so much more with her. We bonded early.
So for this spontaneity, I am grateful.

Katie has spent the last two nights at her best friends house. I have talked to her on the phone and she told me that she loved me.

For this I am grateful.

My husband, Jake, will be home tomorrow for a whole week. A week alone together. A week alone together that we haven't had in thirteen years. 

For this I am grateful.

Life will test our patience, spontaneity, and our bodies.

For all of this, I am grateful.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Now That I've Been Exposed....."

Well now that you've all seen me naked, I thought, 
what have I got to lose?
So I went ahead and figured out how to do my own background!
Thanks Linda, you gave me the courage to give it a go!
However I am still not happy with my page color. I tried to change it,  and clicked "Apply",
For some reason, Blogger won't let me change the page color. You know, the part where the post shows on. I went to the right spot and chose the color but it won't let me apply it.

I remember Ginny having to do some mysterious clicks to which I have no idea what on Earth she was doing, to get the color to change.

So I will just try to be a little more patient and wait for her help. Her and Katie were up at the break of dawn, actually it was still dark out, in order to get to the airport on time.

I myself woke at 3:45a.m. unable to fall back to sleep so I just took my time getting ready to head out to my son's house as his wife Amy was going to pick Katie up from the airport at 8:15 a.m.

I stayed with the grandkids while she went. I had a great time with Jack, Jack, as we call him now. It is no longer Baby Jack! He calls me 

Sarah still calls me Gamma.

Either way this Gammy, Gamma had a great time with them today.
So much better for me as I hate driving through St. Louis and Amy and Kate stopped to have brunch on me. It was well worth it!
I was so happy to see Kate and she was so NOT happy to be back here!
She's just at that point in her teenage life. You remember. She so wants to break away and cut the apron strings. Yet she knows that it just isn't time yet. I remember. 
I have pictures of everyone but I am just feeling to lazy to post them.
Time just seems to be flying by lately. Well except for the week that Kate was gone, that was lonely. But my husband will be home all of next week and I am sure there will be no time for loneliness! 
I am still trying to catch up with everyone's post's. Hopefully I will be able to get that done by tomorrow.
Thanks for stopping by. I will try not to be so lazy next time and actually GET UP to get my camera!
Have a wonderful evening and sleep well, I know I will!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

" Don't Look, I'm Naked !"

Well as you can see here I am a bit NAKED!!!
My background has disappeared!

I am feeling a bit vulnerable people so please don't take advantage of me!
The truth of the matter is that I can manage some things on the computer but I have never done my own blog background.

It intimidates me. Yes it does. I remember a time in my life when I wasn't afraid to, whoa wait a minute! Now that I think about it I have never been one of those "I am not afraid to try anything" people.

Fortunately for me I have my very own personal web designer. She can work miracles I tell ya and, now get this, 
she understands HTML!!!!!!!!

She is really good at it and the best part is that she does it all for free!
No charge, just for me!
Because I am so special.

Well, I am also her mother.

The problem is that my very own personal web designer is on vacation. 
She is on vacation with her little sister.

Her sister who just so happens to be my very own teenage daughter. You remember, the one that only thinks of me as her "You are just a thorn in my side mother!"?

So you see for now I am helpless. Oh sure I could play around with Blogger and their backgrounds. But if I mess up, well lets just say that I am perfectly willing to wait for my very own personal web designer to help me out free of charge.

I can wait if you can wait.

But in the meantime, would you mind covering your eyes please!
Thank you!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

" Yard Work. It Does Pay Off !! "

This past Saturday, as hot as it was, my husband and I did quite a bit of yard work. Most of the time we spend doing our yard work, it is focused on the backyard as we've really gotten it looking good now and enjoy sitting together back there.

We have been gradually adding plants and bushes to the side of the house where the driveway is. It is amazing what a few plants can do for a new look!

We have not totally neglected the front yard by any means. When we bought our home there were four huge bushes in front of the porch. Jake would have to trim them a couple of times a year. I hated them. When I wanted to sit on the stairs, my view of the street was completely blocked. So my husband, being head over heals in love with me, agreed to rip them out!

It was a lot of work. And I did fall more in love with him after that chore!
Last summer I painted the porch, to match the shutters, that my head over heals in love with me husband put on the house at my insistence!
Half of our front yard is shaded. So little by little we have been adding Hostas. We both love them and have a few different types planted but we intend on planting many more.

We have added a Willow bush and a forsythia bush. I have two beautiful large Mexican clay pots filled with lush plants and flowers on either side of the porch.

There are also four mobiles and two hanging planters filled with purple and white petunias. I put a statue of an angel that belonged to my mother, on the porch and also a metal trellis that reads "Welcome" that also belonged to my mom, as a backdrop to the Hosta's.

So this past Saturday, my husband mowed and trimmed while I meticulously weeded all around the Hosta's and bushes. After which, that evening, my husband who is head over heals in love with me, drug  the industrial strength hose out to the front yard and watered all of my plants for me.

It was hot, so we watered each other as well, all the while singing "Give Peace a Chance" ! It was fun!

As it turned out, I am so glad that we did all of that work in the front yard. You see it really paid off. 

Vehicles have been slowing down all day to look at my house. 
Or maybe it is because of whats in front of my house?

You tell me.......

Yes it is an honest to goodness Hippie bus! It appears that they have friends and or relatives that live across the street. 
So you see, yard work does pay off.

You should be prepared.

You just never know when an honest to goodness Hippie bus may park in front of your house!

Today's post was my 300th. I shall celebrate, as I am an old Hippie at heart!


Monday, July 19, 2010

" Excuses, Excuses !"

Good Evening Friends!
This is a very quick post this evening, first I want to apologize for my absence in visiting your blog posts. I will be by to visit each and everyone of you between this evening and tomorrow, I promise!!

As a stated last week, my Katie was to leave for Raleigh, North Carolina today. With my husband only being home one day this weekend and trying to get Katie's things together for her trip, well lets just say I'm a bit tired today.

My son Frank and I took Katie to the airport this morning. I went for a hug goodbye and got a pat on the back! I said "I love you, Kate!", and she didn't answer. I said " Don't you love your MaMa?" and she said "Yeah."! 

It was all so emotional I'll tell ya! And I still had to hold back the tears. So off she went and here I sit! I do have many things to do this week including a sleepover with my granddaughter Sarah.

So that's the story folks, I hope you will excuse my absence, I will be around to check up on all of you so Ya better be good!

My oldest daughter Ginny, sent this photo to me just a bit ago.
Lets just call it..............  " Sisters" !


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

" The Project List "

At the start of summer this year , I had a project list of things that I wanted to accomplish around the house.

This list included, rearranging the spare bedroom so that it would look more like a bedroom instead of a "catch all" room. This project took several hours but I was happy, proud and satisfied when I completed it.
One project done!

One of the other projects was to clean my entire basement out. Now this was a huge task. I think that it took me a good eight hours total, if I remember correctly. That is a big if ! In our basement things get brought down there and just placed pretty much in the front at the bottom of the stairs. After several bags of garbage, hours of rearranging and dusting away cobwebs, another project completed!

While going through many of the boxes down there I discovered that my husband has seven boxes of assorted drinking glasses and coffee mugs? " Why are we saving all of these old used glasses?" I asked.
"Just don't throw them out!" was the answer that I received from him.

O.K. I'll give him this one, but SEVEN boxes!!

The third big project that I had on my list was to clean out the garage. Now most women probably consider the garage their husbands turf. Well not mine. The only thing my husband does in there is park the car when he drives it, which is about four times a month.

All of my gardening supplies are stored there and considering the fact that this old, two car garage has no doors, it can get very dirty. It had no doors when we bought the house and it still has no doors. It does make it easier to park the car!

Monday of this week I spent about five hours going through things, throwing things out and rearranging once again. This I do once or twice a year. So the grill is all shiny clean again and my gardening tools and supplies are all neatly organized. Another project completed!

I have also gotten a lot of gardening done lately. I was inspired this week from Anvilclouds blog. I have had my birdbath in the same spot for eleven years. I have always wanted to plant flowers around it but dreaded digging up the grass, or rather, the weeds from around it. So I always just told myself, someday!

When I saw what AC did , I thought "Hey now, there's an idea!". Basically what he did was to put newspapers down on the grass, in my case I had weed fabric left over, and just poured the dirt on top and planted ! Here was my final result, another project that I am quite pleased with!

It's a bit difficult to see the flowers but I got them for a steal! They were on the reduced plant cart at Lowes. One dozen plants for $1.00!

As my friend Lyn would say, " My name is Diana, and I am a plantaholic!". Of coarse she uses her name instead of mine , oh well you know what I mean!!

So many thanks to AC for the inspiration!

Now, do I have to tell you how exhausted I have been since Monday?
I laid in my recliner ALL day yesterday. But now that all of the BIG projects are done, I can concentrate on the fun, little ones. I have reasons to use my new sewing machine. There is another horrible heat wave arriving today, triple digits with the heat indexes, so I think sewing indoors is a great idea!

My Katie leaves in less than a week for N.C. to stay with her big sis for awhile and I will have over a week alone. I will miss her so much. So I need to get busy making plans to keep my mind off of being alone. It never used to bother me this much and I know that it won't be long before she moves out for good. I am thinking of taking some classes then.

If you are wondering how "Mr. Toad" is doing, so far he is still hanging around his little toad  area. I have noticed that about once a day he hops on over to the neighbors yard where I suspect he may have a friend or two!

I have been trying very hard to keep up with everyone's posts. I suspect that I will have plenty of time to visit and blog over the next two weeks!

Oh one more thing, this is exciting for my husband and I. When Katie comes back home she will have about four days before camp starts again. During that week Jake will be on his vacation. It has been 13 years since we have had a week completely alone!
That's a long time. We are looking forward to doing some fun things together. Please, no comments from the peanut gallery!

We are going to try to fit in some swimming, fishing, bike riding and a few projects around the house. I don't know weather we'll be able to fit it all in but I think it will be fun trying!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

" The Big Build Up "

It has been very hot and humid. Not surprising for this time of year! And while it isn't the weather that I prefer, I suppose acceptance is my only alternative at point!

However this is putting a strain on all of my plants, flowers and water bill! I usually water in the evening as lately it seems to take me so long to get moving in the mornings.

But since my new tenant "Mr. Toad" has moved into my yard, I have taken to sprinkling water over his area in the mornings as that is when he seems to like to show himself ! I do believe he likes the water and the company. Although this may just be my over active imagination at work again!

Can you see him blending in with the rocks?
Maybe this will help...

Our ground has been so dry, I've been praying for rain. Not only for the plants and crops but in hopes that the temperatures and humidity might drop a bit as well.


This afternoon I had to go to church to meet with our accountant. I am the church secretary and most of my job consists of data entry. 
The problem lies when I make a mistake, which isn't too often, in the data that I enter! You must know that I despise working with numbers and I also do quite a bit of bookkeeping as well!


Despite this fact I have been the secretary there for nearly seven years now, and I really do love my job. That makes no sense what so ever but truth is stranger than fiction!

While waiting for our accountant to arrive I went outside. That's when I saw it. The huge black cloud just east of where I was standing.

Could it be? Dare I hope? 
I was feeling excited now as I walked back inside of the church.

Our accountant, just as I knew she would, found my mistake fairly quickly. I felt the fool as I thanked her profusely, and we both went on our separate ways. Now if I can only remember everything she told me!

As I was on my way home, the cloud followed me. 
Oh come on! Just rain already!

When I got into the house my one little dog Roxy was shaking and panting. 


And then lightening! And then thunder and lightening!

Oh please let it rain, I was just too tired to wrestle with the giant, super industrial strength hose that my husband picked out so that it would last a lifetime!

Now it's getting very dark. The wind is blowing, the thunder is clapping and the lightening is lighting the darkness of the storm to come, 

 Then I heard it!

Pit, pat!   Pit pat.   Pit pa..



And that was it. I'd say there was a good twenty or so drops.

It's been very hot and humid. Not surprising for this time of year! 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

" Christmases Past "

I started thinking about Christmas a few days before the Fourth of July. It wasn't because of the old phrase " Christmas in July ".

July 5th marked the seventh month anniversary of my mom's passing.
Passing. I still can't bring myself to use the word death. 
I know in my mind that she died. But the word still turns my stomach even as I type this.

Please don't think that I am asking for sympathy. Far from it. I know for a fact that my mom is in a much better place than I. My mom as my grandmom were not afraid to die.

Their faith was overwhelming to me as I do feel afraid to die. They both seemed comfortable with the fact that they would be happy when they were called home. And I did feel as though they knew I would be the one to bear the pain while they went off to a magical, safe, loving home.

I can only hope to gain their strength and faith before I am called to come home.

I came from a very poor family as did my husband. I do believe it is part of the reason that we are such a good team.

We still aren't rich. Which is fine because truthfully, I don't know what we would do if we were to become rich. We all imagine what we would do, where we would go. But in all honesty, I think that for us, it would change things much too drastically.

As a young girl, I like many young girls looked forward to Christmas. But it wasn't because of the gifts that I might receive. It was because of the wonderful stockings that my mom would fill every Christmas eve.

In those days our stockings, being hung with care of coarse, were filled with nuts, fruits and a few very special trinkets. As was our tradition being from a poor family, we were lucky to receive a gift as well.

When I was about nine years old, I remember my father scolding me for something which has been long since forgotten. He warned me that I may only get a chunk of coal in my stocking!

My how that statement turned me around. Whatever I did to deserve this scolding, I must have stopped as I did receive my usual yet excitingly stuffed stocking! If only those few words would work on my fifteen year old today.  

There was one year in particular that I remember. It is burned into my memory. As stated earlier, we were very poor. So poor that many nights the dinner menu consisted of popcorn. Popcorn is good, unless that's your only meal that you are able to serve your child.

Those of you that have been around here awhile may remember that my father was an alcoholic. At that time my mom didn't even have a drivers license. So she was totally dependent upon my father. Who by the way used to also beat her, often.

This particular Christmas is so embedded in my memory. I remember occasionally seeing my mom sewing by hand. I didn't think twice about it. I had a crush on a neighbor boy. It was an escape from the turmoil that was my daily routine.

One evening that Christmas year, mom and I took a walk with our wagon. All I remember about this was turning a corner and seeing a Christmas tree lot. Mom gave the man a five dollar bill. we came home with a three foot Christmas tree.

My gift that year. Well it turns out that mom spent hours and hours hand sewing Barbie clothes for my Barbie doll. She made several outfits and this beautiful woolen coat for my Barbie, all by hand.

A Christmas gift that I will never, ever forget. Mom was always a great gift picker outer! I on the other hand did not get that talent from her. I apologize to my family!

I am going to skip ahead in time. After I married my second, current husband. Remember I said that we both came from poor families. Christmas was always a struggle for us. Oh heck, buying food has always been a struggle for us but we work very well together and manage to do the very best that we can.

I have a wonderful talent of being able to cook something good out of nothing. Quite ironic considering the fact that I despise cooking. And while my wonderful husband took on me ( a challenge ) and two children, he has always managed to keep food on the table. And not just popcorn!

We have had many a poor Christmas. One in particular, still breaks my heart to think of. This particular year, our two teenage children received only a tee-shirt each. And while we saw the disappointment on their faces, they at least acted grateful.
After that there were years when there were no gifts, not by choice mind you. Just the luck of the draw. We drew short.

We had better years. Our two children were growing up and out. They both went on to become very successful. And while we still have a fifteen year old at home, I suspect she'll do alright too.

One of the WORST Christmases we've had involved money. My husband injured himself on a job sight. We received a nice settlement. So we in turn splurged on our family that year.

The lesson we learned from that year was huge. As a matter of fact, to this day my husband and I always agree that it was the most awful Christmas that we had. Big presents were bought. Wrappings were thrown away and the day was forgotten. Nothing special. 

There was no Christmas spirit. That was when we discovered that there really is a Christmas spirit. Oh we both believe and have faith in God and all. We both knew the meaning of Christmas.

But this was the first time we FELT it. 

It is the little things that make us happy. The things that don't cost. You can spend and spend and spend. But there is no guarantee that you will feel good because of it. 
It is the everyday love that you show. The cleaning, the laundry, the hug, the damn cooking, the mending, the stroking, the kind words said over and over, the encouragement, the clean sheets, the band-aides, the kool-aides, the coffees, the kisses, the closeness, the speeches, the lectures, the kindness, the love and the fact that you are there. No matter what. That's the greatest Christmas gift of all.

So Save your money. Use it to take the one you love to the theater. Out to dinner. Go to a second hand shop. Maybe fishing together.

When Christmas rolls around again this year, which it will, if you are lucky enough to still be here.....

Don't worry about the gift, worry about the last impression that you will leave. Will it be a hug and an "I love you" or a new toy?

I love you mom.

Merry Christmas in July. And thank you for the awesome Barbie clothes. ♥ 

Note: This photo was taken of my mom, Anna Mae Evanoff, seven months before her death. The sweater she was wearing is one that I crocheted for one of her birthdays.  

I must apologize. I had thought that was the sweater that I made for my mom as it is the exact same color and the collar is the same.
Upon closer examination, I realized that it wasn't. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

" A Very Quite Fourth of July "

Our family didn't make any plans for this years Fourth of July celebration. You see my husband had to leave for work at 4:00 a.m. Monday morning.
Being the older folks that we are, we opted to go to bed at 8:00 p.m.!

However we did grill out on Friday and Saturday. Lit a few firecrackers and bottle-rockets. Whoo- Hoo!! 

Last year we went to see the fireworks show at the airport but besides having to get up early on Monday, we both weren't in the mood for the crowds and the heat. Katie didn't care either way so it was just a quite evening for us!

I had to get up with him to drive him to his truck so since I was up so EARLY, I went back home had a bit more coffee and as soon as the sun rose I was outside working in my yard.

It was a beautiful morning. Shady, cool and slightly breezy . Perfect conditions for gardening as I knew the temperatures were going to be very hot today. By 10:00 a.m. the sun was already too hot to keep working so I packed all of my tools up for the day and went inside.

But not before catching a bit more video of Mr. Toad. He wasn't out at first but once I started to weed in his area, there he was underneath the little red flower again. I had just previously watered there. I think he likes that.

Now before I post part three of "The Exciting Adventures of Mr. Toad, I must tell you some exciting news. One of my blogger friends, 

Brenda from " Rinkly Rimes " was inspired by Mr. Toad enough to write a little poem about him!
He seems to becoming famous already! It is a very cute poem that I know you will like so please pop on over there to have a read.
Thank You.

And now I give you part three of "The Exciting Adventures of Mr. Toad"!

 I know, I know. This is just more excitement than you can handle in one day!

But wait.....

There's more! And I know that this will just make your day!

It is part two of part three! Confused? It's o.k., so am I !

Don't worry about the poison ivy deal, I get it nearly every year. I tend to go a little crazy ripping weeds out. Yes I wear gloves, no I don't wear long sleeves, it's too hot. Is that stupid? Well of coarse silly!

And I promise not to bore you much more with Mr. Toad! I have been working on other things as well. He's just been a welcome distraction!

Please if you aren't too fed up and bored with this toad adventure please HOP on over to "Rinkly Rimes" to read Brenda's poem about 
"Mr. Toad"! It goes really well with today and yesterday's post.

I hope you all had a very Happy Independence Day!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

" Obsessed ? Or A Bit Crazy ? "

I'll let you be the judge! 
While working in my yard today, the Fourth of July holiday, I was again very happy and surprised to see my friend , Mr. Toad.
I first noticed him underneath the little red flowers. As it was already very warm outside, I got the hose out and gently sprinkled water over the area. I also filled his little dishes with water as I read that toads like to have water around their area.

When the little fellow started to hop around, I got very excited and grabbed my camera. 
Prepare yourself for this action packed video


And there you have it, part one of  "The Exciting Adventures of Mr. Toad "!

My husband, when asked if he thought me crazy, replied " I knew you were always a bit nuts!"

Mmmm. Well perhaps this is true. What I can't quite fathom is why such a little thing like this toad can get me so excited. I mean I understand that as I get older life seems a bit, how shall I put it?
Mundane. I don't surprise easily anymore. This is not to say that I don't enjoy life, it just doesn't seem so exciting as it used to be. And I suppose this is why God gave me grandchildren.

They have a way of bringing fun back into my life. Them and crafting, sewing, crocheting and painting. Which there doesn't seem to be enough time for lately.
So now, back to my latest obsession, Mr. Toad. I had to stop working in the yard just a bit ago after videoing Mr. Toad as it was just getting too hot. We are going to pick up some groceries today and I am going to try and find a little toothpick flag for his digs.

It is Independence Day after all and I am sure that he would also like to honor his American heritage!

I will leave you with part two of  "The Exciting Adventures Of Mr. Toad."

And then I'll let you be the judge. Obsessed, or a bit crazy?!