Friday, April 29, 2011

Cheerio, Pip Pip, And All That

I had to watch the Royal Wedding this morning. Thankfully the time difference made it easy to watch while getting ready for work. I thought the Bride looked gorgeous and the Groom very handsome indeed. A fairy tale come true. Atleast we hope so. However, us commoners had no choice but to go to work, but once I was there we had a little celebration of our own. Everyone brought in something English to eat..we had scones and many other delights. And whenever we could sneek into the break room we took a peek at the telly...
You cannot attend a Royal wedding without a we had the required head gear on display. The break room was filled with all kinds of English goodies to feast on while watching the ceremony.
Here's Lisa sitting around the breakfast Royal Celebration banquet..Samaritan Hospital style.
It wouldn't be British without "Fish and Chips" now would it?
I had to show my contribution to the royal feast...Texas sheet cake made with, what else, English walnuts of course.
We had to have some "bubbly"...
Ok, so I am a bit embarrassed by posting this. There are many things that just aren't right about it. !) I can't believe I took a pic of it 2)Seriously, the name is so wrong..I mean "Heinz"..does that sound British to you? 3)I actually tried some and I just have to say...Mmmmm...Jolly Good!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dr. Love

That's what I want to call the computer man/hero/wizard who spent hours at my house fixing my sick computer...It had a virus and even though I'm a medical kind of gal, I couldn't help it. It needed a specialist. Jarrod has always been there for me and he didn't let me down today. Jack thinks I'm addicted to my computer. Silly man...those sweats, hives, nervous ticks, pacing and stopping at the computer room only to turn and walk away with tears in my eyes is just me worrying that all my documents were deleted. But thankfully, it will live to let me blog, pay bills, sometimes read my e-mail, blog, hey did I mention blog? So here's my little entry for this Wednesday. I just wanted to show you the traffic jam I encounter on my road home from work..sorta like Chicago only the smell behind this vehicle is not exactly diesel fuel.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Fungus Among Us

Today at work one of the girls was talking about mushroom hunting. It's a big thing around these parts! If a good spot is found, it's guarded with a I said she and anyone else who wanted too, could come and hunt in our Creepy Woods..With that in mind, I thought I would take a quick hike up between raindrops tonight to see how much vegetation had sprung up. I was curious to see if we did indeed have any mushrooms. With all the rain and mild temps these past few days, it should be a good shroom season. As you can see, the may apples and other greenery have really started to pop up. It won't be long until it will be a true forest again. I don't venture much up here in the Summer. It's too buggy and unless I'm willing to weed wack every week, too overgrown! Pretty much it's a 3 season hike. I may have to snap a pic later on to show how lush it gets.
Our creek that runs from the Creepy Woods on down to our side yard is usually a trickle or very see it flowing like this is a testament to how much rain we've been getting. It looks pretty, sounds lovely, but frankly, I'm ready for some sun or I'll be turning into a shroom myself!
This was the closest thing to a fungus I found..don't worry, I know this isn't the eating kind..besides I never would eat a mushroom that is picked from the woods. If I want one, I'll go where God intended me to go get one..the grocery store.
I may not have found any edible shrooms...but we have a wonderful crop of golf balls!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter.. YaYa and PawPaw style

When I was growing up my Mother always made a cake in the shape of a lamb. She had this wonderful cast iron lamb cake mold that she got when she married in the 1940's. My sister and I would argue about who would get the mold when Mom died...sort of morbid, I know. But it was a good laugh..Mom has a good sense of humor...anyway I thought if we divided the mold and each took a half we would then have to spend our Easters together to make the cakes. Well, my brother Phil was at an antique show and saw this mold and bought it for me. I was so touched that he would remember that I always wanted one, and also so thankful for that thoughtful gift. I have made lamb cakes every year and even make them for friends and my own grown kids. It's those little traditions that make holidays special. I am a little bummed that Midge and I won't have to spend each Easter together however. This guy has a special spot on a shelf in my kitchen.
I decorated my lamb and gave him the cake stand of honor. When little Addy saw him she said "Oh look...a puppy!"..We had a good laugh because I remember my own boys saying the same thing when they were little!
Usually we have a big houseful of people for Easter dinner and the traditional egg hunt. This year Craig and his family couldn't come down from Michigan and Jack and his family were going to the in-laws. Jordan had dinner with his girlfriend's family although he did stop by for dessert and the egg hunt. So we had a much quieter dinner with Phil. It was very nice to be able to spend one on one time with them and the girls. Phil, Amanda and the girls arrived for dinner but little Addy was sound asleep. Both girls were so cute in their new dresses, hats, purses, and the white gloves where the crowning touch. So I quickly snapped Alexis while Addy slept. Unfortunately, I didn't get both together in their cute outfits, but I think Alexis looks adorable!
These two characters look a little lonely eating dinner...where did everyone go?
After Addy woke up she took a minute to bond with little Peter Cottontail...last year I think I blogged about this guy. He hops around and sings "Here comes Peter Cottontail"..and she was happy to reconnect..we just found him a bit annoying!
After a delish dinner, if I do say so myself, we had the indoor egg hunt. With baskets in hand they searched the house (since it was pouring rain outside!) and hunted in all the nooks and crannies here...
And here....
Success!....Now here's one happy little girl. She really had fun hunting for eggs!
As a final note, Jack always finds the cutest flower arrangements for me on holidays..and this is no exception...isn't she cute? This has been a quieter Easter than usual. But we had a wonderful afternoon with Phil and Amanda, Alexis, Addy and Jordan. I was pleased when our oldest son Jack and his family sat with us at Church this morning. Family is what makes this crazy life worth it and I'm so blessed with great kids and beautiful Grandkids. We missed having Craig and his family this year, but I talked with him yesterday and they were having fun with Amy's visiting family and enjoying that time together. Her sister won't always be living so close and I'm glad they have this special time together. I hope all of you have had a wonderful holiday this year too. Now hopefully it will stop raining and get warm..I'm ready for Spring!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dr. Part Dieux

Just a quick note about the doctor visit. I did get there a little early..half an hour..and the only paper I had to fill out was my check. I only had to wait about 20min. and then the fun began. She was very nice. She was very thorough. She had a nice BMI chart. Yes, she did mention Weight Watchers. But she did it without actually saying I needed to go. Very good tactic. I have a good heartbeat, foot pulses, she said my tonsils are big for my age. Well, that figures doesn't it? I think I might be big for my age! When she was done she dictates on her little machine and I had to listen along so I could object, change, or sit there like I did not saying a word. It was weird to listen to someone describing you like a science experiment..."A very pleasant, well nourished, Caucasian woman...blah, blah, blah..." I know this sounds like I've never been to a doctor before. I've had 3 different ones in the last 3yrs and each time it's a whole new ball game. Now all I have to do is sit back and wait and see if I make her leave her practice like the others all did...I Think I'm getting a complex!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Calling Dr. Welby

Maxine Pictures, Images and Photos

Thursday I received a call from my doctor's office reminding me I have an appointment on Monday..tomorrow. She also wants me to come in 45min. early to fill out papers. My favorite line just popped out of my mouth..."Are you kidding me?"..of course that got a sigh from the receptionist. Let me back up and explain my attitude. Now, I know I work in the health care field..I know my hubby also works in the health care field. I understand paperwork. But I have reached my limit here. This is a new Doc. My old one jumped ship in December. I then was given a very short list of new ones to try. This is the 3rd Doc I'm now required to see because they just keep quitting. Is it me? Well, anyway. I applied to be a patient. Now this Doc is an employee of the same hospital where I'm also employed. But they still want to make sure two things are in place...ONE: Do you have insurance..TWO: That you aren't really sick and then they don't have to work to hard to take care of you. I guess I must have filled both requirements because I was "accepted"..Now the fun began. I sent in a novel of health questions to be filed. Then I had to go and sign in person papers that I'm not sure what they were saying. Then they lost the novel of questions and I had to refill them out and then they found them and I had to resign the other papers and some new ones too. Confused? Yah, me too. I spent over an hour in the office and then they sent me home with 6 pages of paperwork to fill out before the first appointment. Oh, and I never even saw the new Doc..that fun is coming. Then the call came on Thursday. Then my snotty voice emerged. More papers? More than the 6 pages I took home and already filled out? All I got was another sigh and her telling me that I would make the Doctor late if I didn't come early. So I will come early..leave work...bring my filled out papers...and then probably sit for 2hrs waiting. Then I get to be told that I'm over weight, should join weight watchers because this Doc is a former fatty and she loves this organization. I'm not against losing weight. I think it's great. I hope someday to achieve this goal. It's on my bucket list. For now I'll just go and see her because all I really want is 2 little scripts for the year. Nothing serious..nothing that should require a pardon from the Governor or a note from Mom. Now, I just have to adjust the snotty voice and remember my resolution for this year: "Just because you think it, doesn't mean you have to say it." Wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I was pulling into the driveway yesterday and I came upon 4 deer snacking in the side yard. I quickly came to halt and said: "Oh dear! (deer)" I turned off the car and quietly climbed out of the car with my trusty point and shoot in hand. I tried to click a pic without disturbing them, but as you can see I got the "deer in the headlight" look. They all took off for the creepy woods. I was left with this blurry shot. But I thought I would share anyway!
Spring is finally busting out all over. The temps are up and down, but the flowers can't wait a minute more. The daffodils are bobbing their sweet yellow heads and little surprises abound in the gardens around the Pines. The grass is growing and by Easter it will have to be cut. I've found many of these clumps of daffodils and even the ones I planted last fall have come up. Life is good!
Pretty purple posies.
When you can pick fresh flowers from the yard, then plop them in a vase, it just makes me smile!

Now for something completely different:
At the close of each work day us lovelies stare at our images in the mirror and lament about the sorry state of our hair. Wearing a cap all day does nothing for a hairstyle. It even leaves a nice indentation around the forehead because of the elastic around the throw in an orthopedic day and having to wear a spacesuit (we call it the "bubble") with a helmet. Voila'...helmet head. Donna Starkey is so sweet. She always says to me: "your hair always looks nice." Are you kidding me? Then she says: "It has personality"..yah, like a split personality, or a bipolar personality..really it just looks like this:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Where The Heart Is

The previous post stated we took a road trip this weekend. I hadn't been home since Amy's wedding in October so I was looking forward to seeing family. We had a nice time and of course we laughed and played and ate good food! This house was built by my Dad in 1951. We had a fire when I was 10. Electrical wiring was the culprit..I was home alone with my younger sibs for just a short time while Mom and Dad went to the store. Thankfully I was able to get them all out of the house and no one was hurt. But the house upper floors were rebuilt and an extra bedroom and bathroom were added. Actually it turned out to be a blessing in a scary package! Two bathrooms were heaven sent! My parents raised 6 kids there. It wasn't big at all, but most homes built back then weren't the monuments to themselves that people build today. It's funny how you remember rooms being bigger than they are and I can honestly say I never felt like I was deprived or cramped there. It's amazing how many wonderful memories can be packed into a small space! So it sits and welcomes all who come to visit. No one is ever turned away or leaves hungry in my Mother's home. She is a true hostess with the mostess who believes in the "fishes and loaves" and has proved it many times! I feel very blessed that she's still with us and will celebrate her 85th birthday in May.
After all our junk was unloaded from the car, I took Driana and Summer to the mall for some walking and shopping and people watching. The first thing I had to do was embarrass them with this bear shot. Hey, what good are grandkiddos if you can't bug them a little! They were such good kids. I warned them that it could be dull because I was really there to visit with Mom and I didn't think we'd be going downtown Chicago this trip. They were excited just to take a road trip and they enjoyed the shopping at all the malls and outlets and seeing family. They are great travelers and Mom had fun seeing them and just enjoying their company. The other thing that was funny were all the people who thought they were bugged Dri who is almost 16 because Summie is 12!
Post embarrassing shot.
Taylor's birthday was a couple of weeks ago so he was happy to open his presents from us. I hope he enjoys them! I also gave him back his glasses he left at our house last time they visited..they're not real but for some reason he likes to wear them. Here he is with Amy and Craig..
And Katie and Sophie!
Mom and I took a walk and went by this park. When I was growing up it was all woods. I had many a fine time exploring and playing there. I know the park is now very pretty and has wonderful playground equipment, but somehow I don't think I would trade the adventures I had in what we always called "witches willow" for anything.
It was great to see my brother Greg. He stopped by to get some plants from Mom's yard. She and Midge were thinning out many of the hostas and day lilies that are everywhere...Jack helped him dig and load up the truck and I think he was very glad that he didn't have to help plant all those. Hey, I have a ton of plants that need thinning so come on out and dig away!
When we visit Mommo we always go to church with her and my Sis. I was raised Catholic, but even though I'm not one now, I do enjoy going to the service with them and I know it makes my Mom happy to have us there. Our friend and Mom's former Pastor, Fr. Damien, was doing the service at the church in Westmont. He retired from their church last year and he subs for priests that are on vacation. He is greatly missed by my family. It was fun to see him again. That's my Sis standing next to Mom, we kinda look alike so I thought I'd better clarify!
I may be biased, but my Mom is a babe!
Yep, dead to the world...not only was Summer sleeping with her face buried in a pillow, she had on sunglasses that left a red mark on her forehead...Making fun of Grandkiddos is almost more fun than making fun of your own kiddos!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Road Trip!

I'm taking just a few minutes to blog about a road trip to Chicago to visit my Mom and family. Jack and I grabbed our Grandkiddos Driana and Summer and we headed out this morning. It was raining and foggy most of the trip. I finished a book I was reading while Jack drove. The girls slept the whole way. Having teenagers as passagers is like driving a look in the back and they are dead to the world. When we arrived, Driana woke up, looked around and said: "Gee that was quick". I guess if we had slept the 51/2 hrs it would have gone quicker. I'll have to remember that next time! It's been great to see Mom and my Sis, Midge. I haven't seen them since Thanksgiving. Even though I call Mom almost everyday, it's not the same. We sit and talk and laugh and solve all the family problems. While Jack napped I took the girls over to the huge mall. We don't have anything as nice as this near us. They enjoyed shopping and I enjoyed the mall walk and watching all the strange people! I know we have our oddities too, but really it's an eye opener here in the big city. I grew up here, but I think I've lived in Amish country too long! When we got back to Mom's, our son Craig and his wife Amy and their kiddos were there. They are here visiting Amy's sister and other family. It was so good to see how much the kids have grown since last fall. Because of our bad winter weather we haven't been able to see them since Thanksgiving either. We had to cancel two trips due to snow so I was definetly going to make this trip knowing that they would be here too. We had a nice dinner and Taylor got to open his birthday presents. He turned 6 a few weeks ago. I usually mail them out if we can't be there, but I held off once I knew we would see them now. So I'm taking pics that I will post when I get home. I was able to embarrass the girls at the mall by making them pose in front of a big stuffed bear. I knew they wouldn't say no to YaYa and her always present camera. I ran into a Juggler and a Wizard and if the girls hadn't gone off on their own, I would have made them pose with those guys too! So it's off to bed to rest up for more adventures tomorrow. They always say not to post about being out of town. If any burgulars have ideas to come to my house, I have 3 grown sons there watching the joint. (excellent marksmen).. I also have a crazed killer cat. Just sayin'.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Rainy Days and Mondays

I don't really let rainy days or Mondays get me down. It was an interesting work day that would only bore you. I mean really, how exciting is a bladder blowing up and almost knocking you over? So I'll move on to the weather. Getting out of work the rain was pouring down and as I walked to my car with some fellow coworkers, I thought of a few things that were good about this weather day. 1)It wasn't snow. 2)It wasn't windy. 3)It was in the 60's. 4)Everyone loved my rendition of "Singing in the Rain". Ok, I lied about that one. I was the only one who liked it. So I won't let this day make me sad...even if it's going to snow tonight and tomorrow. I'll deal with that tomorrow. This pic is my crabapple tree. It's the same tree that is pictured in the header...the header pic was taken exactly one year to the day that I took this pic...not kidding. It's been a loooonnnnngggg winter. My tree proves it.
This weekend I took some time to bake a few things that made the house smell good and thankfully they tasted as good as the house smelled. These little lovelies are called "Blinis"..and the recipe is from Donna (Starkey Hollow)..served with sour cream and raspberry jam..Yum! A cinnamon, sugar delight with cream cheese filling.
I also tried my hand at bread making. Bread and pie crusts are not my thing and I decided I just needed more practice. This recipe is from Sue's mom Darlene...thanks and even though it probably isn't as good as yours Darlene, it tastes great and I'll just keep practicing!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Happy 27th Birthday Jordan!

Today is Jordan's birthday...this is him as a wee babe..not that he was really ever "wee". He weighed 10lbs.8oz of pure ornery, funny, and loveable baby! He wanted to be born on April fools day but Hubby said "no way is any kiddo of mine going to be born on April 1" being the agreeable little dude that he was, he waited until the next day when we gave him the OK to come and meet us. And he sure did. Jordan likes to do things the easy way. He had to be a c-section because that was quicker and easier, he had to be bottle fed because that was quicker and easier. He had to be born last because, let's face it, the baby of any family has it easier than all the rest(we were tired by then!). So Happy Birthday Jordan. Thanks for all the gray hair, the sleepless nights, (his teen years), and also the fun and love you've given to us. I'm taking liberties to name a few of the things Jord loves..I'm sure he would agree!

He loves his crazy brothers!
He loves his nieces and nephews...shown here with Sophie...although he says he doesn't want kiddos of his own, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
He loves his cute girlfriend Loni!
He loves his dog do we!
He loves his Dad..shown here with 2 of his bros!
Most of all he loves his...Mom! Happy Birthday Jordan...we all love you too!