Monday, September 22, 2014

Fall Has Fell

I blinked..I swear I just blinked, and by golly Fall fell right onto the calendar and cancelled Summer out.  Many around these parts are claiming Summer was never here.  It was a bit cool but I'm not complaining.  It had it's fair share of sun and we had our fair share of pool time.  But today is the first day of Fall.  Many, many folks love this time of year.  I know I do.  I love the colors, the cool, crisp days, the pumpkins and campfires.  I enjoy bringing out the fall decorations and soon....next week...I'll be decorating for Halloween.  I won't even go into what I have in store this year! I'll leave that to other blog posts!  I've been gone for a few days visiting my Mom and Sis out in Chicago.  Jack and I headed out on Friday after work.  By the time we were about there the sun was setting in the West.
Pretty sunsets can happen anywhere! I even got a weird pic on the camera.
Aliens perhaps?  More like a bad photographer!  The main reason we went was to check on Mom.  She's been having back pain and hip pain and I felt we just needed to head out and see what we could do to help.  Jack brings some of his therapy stuff from the office and gives Mom treatments and adjustments twice a day.  It always makes her feel better and this time was no different.  It sucks growing older!  Usually when we visit it's for a special occasion, a holiday, or event that's going on.  This time it was just us and Mom and Midge.  We laughed, talked, ate, watched some TV, did some shopping and had a nice quiet visit.  The only other family time was a quick trip to say hello and celebrate my great niece's 3rd birthday.  It was at a place that only kids could really love....lots of jumping, climbing, sliding and yelling!
Blurry shot of my nephew, Bill and his birthday girl Alexa..
This place had rooms of bouncy houses and even a climbing wall:
The kids had to be tuckered out after all this was over!  This morning before we left I took a walk around my childhood home. 
My Dad built this house in 1951....it was redone in 1963 after a fire destroyed the upper level. (a faulty electric wire in the eves was to blame)  I was 10 and home babysitting for just a short time while my parents went for a quick trip to the store....by the time they were back the house was in flames and the fire department was there.  I got my 3 younger siblings out to safety.  I know 10 sounds young to be given that responsibility,  but in a big family you start early helping and taking care of younger kiddos. 
I remember my Dad planting trees like this pine....I used to jump over it when I was little!  Now it's huge...some of the others he planted had to be removed as time went on.
My best friend lived down this road.
The backyard didn't look like this then. It had smaller trees and a swing set and a garden and grape arbor.  Although it's changed over the years, family and friends still gather here for fun and get togethers.  Some things never change!
The sun was rising in the East...Chicago is about 30 miles east of Mom's.  We had to head out and get back home.  The visit went fast, but we enjoyed it.   It's hard to say goodbye to those we love and each visit is treasured.  It was hard to bid Summer a fond farewell too.  Fall surely has fallen here! As my Mother-in-law used to say: "Happy Fall y'all!"

Sunday, September 14, 2014

HO HUM

It's going to be Monday already...where did this weekend go?  Looking back at last week I was trying to think of some things to blog about.  I know I blogged about 9/11 but I did have a few other things going on.  Let's look at last Monday.  We usually have a work inservice on Mondays and we start our surgery schedule at 8:30am instead of 7:30.  Me talking to Jack: "We had an inservice this morning".. Jack: "What was it on?"  Me: "Lint"...Jack: Blink, blink...."Lint?"  Me: "Yep"...Jack: "Who gave the inservice?"  Me: "The Nazi from the Raiders of the Lost Ark"...Jack: Blink, blink.  Remember in the movie where the little Nazi guy gets his had branded? Seriously, the sales rep from Kimberly Clark looks just like him.  He's been coming to give our inservices for a million years and now we all just call him the Nazi from Raiders of the Lost Ark...I think his name is Bill.  (We don't call him that to his face BTW..we're not that mean)  He's very passionate about lint.  You don't want to know what lint can do to the human body if it gets into an open wound.  Just so you know, we do everything in our power to keep our OR lint free.  Learning about lint at 7am is not the most stimulating subject.  I'm not a coffee drinker but I was thinking maybe I should start! Ha! The rest of the week was just sort of regular. Ho Hum I guess.  Not that I want excitement or over the top issues...I'm OK with HO HUM! Yesterday I worked outside doing what I call "Super Weed Wacking"....with a BIG weed wacker!  Jack and I cleared out the Creepy Woods so the paths would be good to start walking on again.  The temps have been pretty cool and it was a beautiful day for outdoor work.  Today I took a walk up and enjoyed the quiet and beauty of this almost Fall day. 
These weeds did not get wacked! They are pretty and are all over the woods.  The other things all over the woods are many downed trees.  Jordan heard a big crash last time he and Eddy were near the woods so we investigated and found these.
This is hanging over one of the paths but it's been there since last year, so that's not what Jord heard....
You can see where it's caught.
This turned out to be the culprit....but it's hard to see how big it is from my shot....trust me, it's a good sized dead fall...
Here's the roots...it  just fell over on it's own.  The good thing about it is 1) Nobody was under it when it fell 2) It's dead, so cutting it up means good firewood for us! 3)
The trunk that is sitting across the path is a good place to stop and rest.
I sat down and enjoyed the quiet and the nice day...but I kept hearing something moving around behind me....I kept turning around thinking I would see deer or some other critters....that's when I decided to head back...we don't call it the "Creepy Woods" for nothing! (No Shady, I didn't see Bigfoot!)  So the weekend ended HO HUM....but the weather was beautiful and this coming week looks busy as I take on some painting projects, work all week, perhaps visit our county fair,  and get ready for a quick trip to Chicago next weekend.  HO HUM indeed!  P.S...Before I forget, my last 2 Grandkiddos for the header are Summer (on the left) and her sister, Driana....they are the sweetest kiddos and both are very talented and hard working.  Summer and Driana both are artistic but Summer is planning on making that a career. She's a junior in high school. Driana is a sophomore in college majoring in psychology....hmmm, I might be her favorite subject!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I Remember

13 years ago in September we moved to Whispering Pines.  We moved on Saturday, September 8th and it was the hottest day of the year.  I foolishly thought it would be cooler since it was September. Wrong! But we got everything in place and I looked forward to my day off that next week. Back then I worked 4 ten hour days and had Tuesdays off.  September 11th was a beautiful day...the sky so brilliant blue! I don't think I've seen one that pretty since.  A good friend from Church had come over early for a meeting about the organization we were working in at that time.  Sometime after 9am I got a phone call from my daughter-in-law telling me to turn on the TV because something horrible had happened in New York.  We didn't have the cable hooked up anywhere except the family room in the basement.  We hurried down, turned it on, and sat there with our mouths open and hearts beating as we watched the destruction happening on live TV.  We looked at each other and the thoughts that came to mind were about all the lives that were lost and how could something like this happen. I thought about the first responders...firemen, police, nurses and doctors and others running in to try and save lives...never thinking that the buildings would collapse.  We also took a  moment to kneel together and say a prayer. Something that I'm sure happened all over this country.  One little scripture also came into my mind..."And Jesus Wept"...I'm sure He did on this day.  Today I happened to have the day off...not a lovely, sunny day.  No brilliant blue skies...chilly and cloudy, looking like rain would fall any minute. This morning I sat and watched TV as that day was played out again.  I felt the same as I did back then.  Only now we know who was responsible.. the complete death numbers...the voices of responders played out during rescue attempts...the reaction of the wives, parents, siblings and friends who lost loved ones that day.  I thought about all the evil in this world that led to this happening and all the evil in the world that led to the many past wars all over the world. The evil that still threatens us today.  But something came into my mind that replaced the thought of that evil.  The thought of all the good that happened that day...all the heroes who gave their lives in different ways.  The evil doers didn't win anything on September 11th.  Kindness, prayers, a return to God,  selfless acts, determination to rebuild and honor those that died certainly out shined them.  I don't know why this year the anniversary of that day seems to be on my mind.  I guess I just wanted to put my thoughts down in print...I didn't have a blog in 2001.  This blog is my journal for my family to have.  I want them to know my feelings and also the fact that I will never forget that beautiful September day....I remember...and I hope they will too.  I hope we always remember all the good in the world...all the wonderful people who give their lives in service for our country...all those who respond to so many tragedies without thought of themselves or the danger.  I'm very grateful for them.  September 11th, 2001....I Remember  

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Times They Are A Changing

I don't know if you noticed, but the times are changing...the days seem to be getting shorter.  Well, the daylight is getting shorter...there's still 24hrs to a day! Last week had to be the hottest week of our summer.  But that's not really unusual.  When we moved into this house, 13yrs ago on Monday, I thought it would be the best time to move.  I figured September would be cooler than moving in July. Ha! It was the hottest day of the year.  Like yesterday was around here.  But that's going to change as tonight it's dropping into the 50's and next week looks very much cooler. The pool time is coming to a close I'm afraid.  Colors are changing too.  I'm noticing trees starting to turn.    Our dogwoods are showing some red:
I found this leaf in the grass:
The flowers out front are looking fabulous but very fallish with orange abounding:
I picked a lovely little bouquet this morning:
Orange again is the theme.  I'm a magazine aholic...truly....ask Jack.  I've noticed all the mags I have are sporting orange too:
Can you see the orange in the Buckeye tree?
Not a great shot..it was raining out this morning!
Squeak was hoping I'd let him in out of the rain...notice the leaf next to him? (I did let him in by the way!)
I found this figurine to add to my Halloween  Lori Mitchell collectables. She may not look super cute in this pic but grouped with the other "trick or treaters" she will fit in perfectly!  So the days are shorter and the nights are cooler and the fall items are in the stores.  I guess it was time to get rid of the swimming theme and I decided the last of my featured Grandkiddos would have to have a school theme.  Last week it was Cameron on the floatie in the pool....today his brother Anthony is on the header with his first day of school pic.  Notice his wrapped hand? He plays football for the junior high and I guess  he sprained it at practice.  Hope it doesn't hurt his game!  So as the times begin to slip into a fall mode, I will be too.  After spending time outside between raindrops today weeding and getting the outside in better shape, I will slowly be taking down signs of summer and slipping on the fall wreaths and decorations.  I love this time of year when color is bursting out all over.  This sunset was no exception.
Good night.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Well, We Did It

What did we do?  We made it to 40yrs of marriage today!  We celebrated with family back in June and I posted about it and shared pics.  My #2 son made a video that compressed those 40yrs into 12 minutes! It's really sweet, cute, funny, and reinforces  how fast time goes.  It brought tears to my eyes.  Made me ask the age old questions...."Where did those crazy kids go?"...."When did we get this age?"  Here's a few steps back in time:
The first date photo taken by my sweet Aunt Gwen...it was a blind date and I knew Jack all of 5 minutes.....aren't we color coordinated nicely?  It was fate I think!
Of course there's the wedding party.....Mom made my dress and all the bridesmaid's dresses...my sister was Maid of Honor and she also helped in the making of the dresses.  Sewing was never a talent I had!
Walking down the isle had me smiling and for some reason Jack looked scared!
My cool Dad sang to Mom and me...so sweet!  I sure wish he could be here today to see that we actually made it! Ha! He kept saying to me all the way down the isle.."You can back out any time. " And he meant it! 
We cut the cake...
And we "Hokey Pokeyied" with the best of them!
We stood on the balcony of our first apartment and waved to the future....
But marriages aren't just the dresses, the ceremony, the party, or the cake...not even the hokey pokey....they are the shared moments of a lifetime...ones steeped in happiness, children, sad times, busy times, career, finances, stress, companionship, good health and bad, gray hair and wrinkles and the tough decisions along with the easy ones.  Put all that in a mixer and it turns into a marriage that has survived these past 40yrs with the thought that I'd do it all over again....Happy Anniversary Jack!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge

Oh yes I did.  I took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and thought I would share with all of you!  If you haven't heard of the ALS ice bucket challenge than I'm assuming you've been a prisoner of war or in a coma.   It's been all over Facebook.  You are challenged to dump a bucket of ice water over your head and then donate $10 to ALS research.  There's no cure for ALS and most die within 3yrs of diagnosis. One of our Doctors Dad passed away a few years ago because of ALS.  The operating room staff decided to get on board and take the "plunge" so to speak!  The money we collect will go to ALS research in honor of Dr. M's Dad.  We challenged 2 other departments in the hospital to do the same.  Here's some pics of the results.  I'm not going to post the video but I'm going to assume it will appear on line shortly.  I'll just say this: IT'S DANG COLD!!!!  I'm second from the right...
On your mark....
Get set....
GO!!!
Holy Smokies...we're nuts.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Birthday Wishes And Other "Things"

The last week of August...can you believe it?  That always brings on the Happy Birthday wish to my sweet hubby Jack....Happy Birthday Babe!  I had a low census day off today to celebrate.  Jack's response to that was: "Hey, it's my birthday and I have to work...what gives!?"  I told him:  "Yep, it's your birthday so don't you think it's great that atleast one of us gets the day off?"  I'm not sure he got my logic on that one. Me either, but I still had the day off! It gave me time to make his fav dishes..Shrimp Creole and for dessert, Texas sheet cake (with double frosting thank you very much!)
Eating, singing, cake cutting were all the fashion at the Pines tonight!
A few banners hung around and some funny cards on the mantle make it festive!  Now for the other "things" from the weekend.  We seem to be having some tree issues.  I know we're not the only ones with trees dying this Summer.  The past Winter was really hard on them.  This weekend the sound of chain saws from the neighbors and the smell of woodsmoke from the burning of branches filled the air.  Looks like we'll be doing the same thing.  A huge branch broke and fell from a tree in the backyard.
Crack! I had just been mowing under that sucker! Well, the day before this happened anyway!
I would have been under this branch if it had fallen while I was mowing! Another little tree also bit the dust.  We're getting a good start on wood for the woodstove this Winter.  Saturday night was a lovely evening to have a campfire so Jack got a fire going in the pit and we sat around and enjoyed a quiet night looking at stars and listening to the hoot owl in the Creepy Woods.  The neighbor kids did break out some firecrackers but they didn't  keep it up very long so no harm done! Another "thing"  I did was take the time to make some silly little cookies that look like hamburgers.
They were cute but too sweet for me...and that's saying a lot because I'm a sweet eater..unfortunately.   One of my other weird things I enjoy are signs...I have a few around the house. I found this one in the hospital gift shop and thought it was appropriate for me...
I do enjoy reading a good book..either with the Kindle or good old fashioned paper one.  I'm sure we'll be doing many more "things" this last week of August.  I'll try to do what Squeak does most days...sit back and enjoy the end of Summer and all the "things" that go with it.

P.S...the kiddo on the blog header this week is Katie....she's the sweetest little 12yr old around! I just love that kid!  She's the older sis to Taylor and Sophie and they are enjoying their Summer doing "things" in Oregon.  Sure miss those cuties! Thanks Katie..(her given name is Kathleen...after me!) for being the kiddo of the week!