Thursday, May 31, 2012

BFF Donna

I've had blogger friends asking about our friend Donna. She's doing good. Her bad weeks are the weeks of chemo..every other Tuesday. The week in between she feels good enough to come to work. Although her strength and stamina are not her usual, she does any assignment she's given, and volunteers to do what she can at work. I asked her today if she would mind if I posted a pic and an update. She's taking a break from blogging for now, but will come back here and there when she feels up to it. Chemo is a life saver, but it's a "butt kicker" also. I'm learning a lot about cancer, cancer treatments and how to go about it with determination and grace. Donna is a sweet person and a great friend and she's going to come through this with help from above and from her friends. She has lost her beautiful hair, but not her beautiful spirit. So keep her in your prayers. We talk about many of you that we both follow and I keep her updated on what's happening here in the blog world! This is a pic I snapped the first week of her wearing her wig (posing with our co-worker Stephanie)..I think she looks great, she hates it...but one day all her own lovely locks will grow back. For now, I applaud her! She's my inspiration!

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Day For Remembering

The day was warm and sticky...a typical Memorial Day forecast for Ohio! I went into town to catch the annual parade. Jack hates the heat so he stayed home. I came around the corner and saw these two monkeys right off the bat! Lexi and Addy were getting into the spirit of the day.
The girls stood on the sidewalk and waved their flags and enjoyed the parade.
Once the parade was over I hiked to the town cemetery for the annual Memorial Day program. I love this memorial that was set up for the soldiers in Ashland who served in all the wars. The temps were really warm but in the shade with the breeze it wasn't bad. I enjoyed the band and the speeches and ceremonial 21 gun salute and taps at the end. It really gives you a great feeling to see the men and women in uniform and it gives us a chance to see the names of those that gave their lives. I'm so grateful to all of them.
The Civil War soldiers even showed up to fire the interesting side note here. The gentleman with the white hair actually collapsed after the canon went off and the squad had to come to take him to the hospital. I hope he's OK. Perhaps it was heat stroke. The temps were in the high 80's and the humidity made it worse. They were standing in the sun with those wool uniforms for a long time.
I clicked this pic because I thought the contrast of the Civil War era clothing next to the modern day woman clothing was an interesting shot! As hot as it was today I think the Civil War Belle would have liked to trade outfits!
Anyone who follows my blog has heard me complain about Mother Nature and her every attempt to sabotage any outdoor event we have here at the Pines. Today was no exception. The kids said they would be over at 5pm for a cookout and by golly the storm blew in right behind them! This is the size hail we had too. It stopped fairly fast and the rain eliminated my need to water plants tonight so I guess I should thank's a love hate relationship! After we ate, the outdoor fun could begin.
Phil and his friend Chase set up a homemade "slip and slide" on the backyard hill. After hosing it down and adding some oil it was ready.
Everyone waiting for their turn...
BFFs Lexi and Makensie..I probably spelled her name wrong..sorry! A great way to end a long but super fun day.
My attempt at creativity! Everyone came in after playing outdoors for some cake and icecream before heading out for home.
A final goodnight and thanks for all our wonderful men and women in the service of our great country.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Who You Calling "Creepy"?

Years ago my Grandkiddo Katie came out of the woods with me and made the comment about coming out of "that creepy woods"..and the name stuck. So what makes it creepy? Well, this time of year, leaves on the trees, foliage and wild blackberries give it a dark, sometimes eerie look. The smell of the wet earth and the sounds of critters you can't see running around you make it feel a bit creepy. But in actuality, it's beautiful. I've run into deer face to face..seen fox and turkey and many rabbits....smelled a few skunks and enjoyed the look of pure happiness on Eddy the boxer's face when he's running up the paths. He loves the water in the creek. It's been a great place to walk, think, ponder and pray. So who you calling "Creepy"? Well, Katie does and I will until we leave someday and give someone else a chance to nickname it. To get to the woods a walk that will surprise you begins at the deck, past the fire ring, around the oak and suddenly you realize it's a bit uphill. You will be winded! But hang in there..the view from the top of the hill is worth the hike!
Now you need to make a choice. Entrance to the Creepy Woods can be either a continued straight hike or a quick turn to the right....can't go wrong either way.
Walking in you come to this's been cleared a bit. I will continue to work on it to keep the growth under control. It makes it easier to navigate in the fall because you never know if a "haunted" trail will be the order of the season!
The paths are there...hidden like a secret garden. It's easy to get turned around a bit when tromping through the heavy brush.
I always marvel when I see the wild phlox growing so easy and free. I spend my hard earned cashola on many flowers from the nursery. I water, pull weeds, fertilize and pray they all survive. The wild things just go their merry way without fuss or muss!
It's hard to be "Creepy" when you find things like this growing like a weed..wait, I think they are weeds!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Final May Birthday

Our little Summer turns 14 tomorrow. However she'll be on the 8th grade Washington DC trip and her parents decided a quick Saturday breakfast birthday party was in order. It was fun to celebrate and also tell her goodbye and have a fun time. Also a good time to give cash as a gift for more fun power! PawPaw was in Columbus for a seminar, so YaYa was the rep from our family. Her other Grandparents were there and her best friend Bailey. The food was really good...I love breakfast food on the weekends because during the week it's always a quick bite at break time. Summer brings up the end of the crazy May birthday celebrations. (She's the 5th one this month!) Here's a pic of Summer on the right, with Bailey her best friend in the middle and her older sis Driana on the left.
My son Jack and his two boys..Cameron and Anthony. Yep, a 14yr. old who's not too cool to invite little brothers to the bash. I know she's having an all girl one next week because she wanted someone to please take the boys for the weekend when all her friends are there..then she'll be too cool for little brother intruders!
How do you fit a cake in the picture when it's a breakfast birthday party? Well, this served nicely as the cake and it tasted good too!
A small example of the other yummies that were served. A breakfast scramble of eggs, cheese and sausage was really good too. ( I was too busy eating it and forgot to snap a pic!)
Time to make a wish and blow out the candles on the breakfast cake.
May all your wishes come true! You are the coolest 14yr old I know!
After the birthday breakfast I headed over to the soccer field to catch the end of Lexi's last soccer game. Good job Lex! You were awesome and you deserve that cool medal! Doesn't her little face look red and hot? It was a beautiful day, just very warm.
Addylicious you are such a hambone!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Age Is Just A Number

Some people just have the right stuff..they are amazing human beings. They can over come obstacles in life. They can make you smile and laugh with them. They can take a licking and keep on ticking. Smart as a whip, brave as a gladiator. An example of a "They" is my own Mom. I have so many pictures in my mind of her doing everyday life with vigor and a never say die attitude. Mom passed down a work ethic to her children. You are not to be idle! If there is something that needs done and you think you can't do it..well, you're wrong. Her motto is "just do it". She has a strong faith that God will always be there to help if you just ask in prayer. I actually think she has the red phone "hot line" directly to Him! Today is her birthday...86yrs. young. I called her from work so we all could sing Happy Birthday to her and I asked if she was outside working in the garden. "No" she said..."I did all the mulching and weeding yesterday". I wish I could be there today to sing in person, to eat cake with her, and to gain more wisdom. Here are just a few peeks into her fun personality. She can look as amazing in fur coats as she does in her gardening clothes. Classy Gal my Mom!
Nothing attracts Mom quicker than a stove..and this one is a yummy one! She could hardly walk away. I had to drag her out kicking and screaming until she realized we could not get it on the plane....
She has a way of saying things just with her eyes..even with sunglasses on..I can tell she's saying..BACK OFF WITH THE CAMERA!!! Only she didn't shout it. She's too much of a lady for that!
Even being eaten alive by a bear in Alaska...Mom's got style and grace...Love you Mommo! Have a very Happy Birthday! Tell us, what's it like to reach mid-life?

Monday, May 14, 2012

3 Days....1 Blog Post

It's been a crazy few weeks. Last week was packed with things to do, things to get done and just plain "things". I didn't have time to blog one day at a time so I decided to group this into a big 3 day blog event. Sorry! I'll start out with some Church news. Our little Branch of the church here in Ashland has always been small...well, sometimes we grew with move ins, but then we'd shrink down. After 35 years (for us anyway) of being a Branch the Church turned us into a Ward. How? They rearranged boundaries from a large Ward in Wadsworth, Ohio. They took the southern most part and put them into our boundaries. They have about a 30min. drive to Church now. Actually, not much different than they had going North to Wadsworth. So our membership here doubled overnight...our Branch President became a Bishop...the Relief Society where I serve as President just doubled..along with my work load! There are many issues to overcome with this change but I think in the long run it will all work out. So, to start out my 3 day blog event, here is the first Relief Society meeting with all the new Sister members.

Blog day #1: Our fearless leader who heads up these meetings...Ginger...took control and made a very successful and fun night. The craft was fun, the "getting to know you" questions were helpful and the food was great..all the makings of a good Relief Society meeting.
Good turnout with all the new Sisters from the Wadsworth Ward that now make up the Ashland Ward. It's going to take some getting used to calling Ashland a "Ward".
They all look like they are in an intense dialog..but do you see the candle in the middle of the table? The mosaic looking one? That's what we made. They really turned out very pretty.
This blog day #1 wouldn't be complete without a snapshot of the food! Relief Society wouldn't dare host an event without refreshments!
Blog day 2: Saturday our hospital...Samaritan Regional Health System...celebrated 100yrs. serving the Ashland community. It's a heritage that was started by one man's vision of the Good Samaritan and his desire to build a hospital to bring good health care to it's residents. It was not only a hospital but also a nursing school that ran for many years and closed in 1974. Most of the nurses that worked here were from that nursing school and a few still my boss! It's changed with the times and grown into an award winning facility. We were just ranked in the top 100 hospitals in the United States. Not bad!
This is a picture of the original hospital. I didn't take a pic of what it looks like today but it's changed dramatically. We have top notch equipment and the latest technology in all departments. We have a new OB dept. that would take your breath away and new operating rooms that rival anything the Cleveland Clinic would have. A hospital to be proud to work at and to go to for care.
The first part of the days events was held in an outdoor tent. The speakers were from the past and the present. As I looked over this crowd I noticed something that probably isn't coming through in the photo. I noticed a ton of white hair! Many former employees had a fun reunion with former co-workers or students from the nursing school that Samaritan had for many years. Some came with walkers, or canes or wheelchairs...but they came with pride and many years of service. They came to remember, cheer on, and support a community hospital that has survived in an age when many small hospitals haven't or they've been bought up by big businesses. We are lucky to have a wonderful hospital in our small town with good Doctors, great nurses and other professionals who serve and give a standard of good health care to the rich and poor alike...Living up to it's namesake...The Good Samaritan.
This display was interesting. The surgical tools here are old but we actually still use a few of them today. The sad part is I remember when most of them were in fashion! Dang I'm old!
Surgical tools? We use much smaller knives today! Lasers, staples, harmonic scapels, are just a few of the new tools of the trade.
All the employees were given these blankets that depicted the old Samaritan hospital and the new updated version. A nice keepsake.
Finally this is how nurses used to look. It was sure easy to tell who was a nurse. Now everyone wears scrubs and if you can read their name tag you might be able to see the RN displayed there. Plus there are many other workers in a hospital dressed the same that it makes it confusing when you're sick or on medication. It isn't easy to work with a cap on or a dress, but they did it with pride back then. The whole event was done very well and it was fun to take a step back 100yrs and feel proud to be a small part of it's history. Actually I've given over 30yrs. to its history so I do feel proud!
Mother's Day was the final day of this 3 day blog event. After Church we were visited by Phil, Amanda and the girls. They brought us the most delish pie..a Buckeye pie (for you non Ohio folk that is a chocolate/peanut butter cream delight!) It was yum...OH! My son Jack was working but that didn't stop a Mother's Day visit from his family. My daughter-in-law Stephanie and their kiddos came over and brought me this beautiful planter and plants to go in it..potting soil too! Here's Steph and our oldest Granddaughter Driana planting it for me. Thank you so much! It looks great on the deck. Jack called later to wish me a happy day and that made it all perfect!
Summer, you look like a Summer day!
Somebody found my camera and decided to take a few pics of each other. Anthony captured Cameron's popsickle face
Now it was Cameron's turn to click a pic...all I can say is, seriously Anthony, this is the best you could do?
Here's what my pics look like when I take them..take a lesson boys! My son Phil and his wife Amanda. I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Who's #3?

The little fidget in the tie dye shin guards and crazy pony tail is our Grandkiddo Lexi. She's #3 on her shirt, but #1 in our eyes on the soccer field. Plus she just celebrated her sixth birthday. I went this past Saturday to see her play and was very impressed by her skills. She's a powerhouse but she's also the littlest on the team.
She never stops moving..always ready to run, fight, score.
This gives a good picture of how little Lexi is compared to the rest of the players. She doesn't let that stop her. She's tough, she's fast, and she's a scoring machine! It's probably in her blood. Her Mom's brother is a super soccer player who actually gets paid to play!
Umm..notice the elbow? That might be a foul..but I'm not going to tell her!
You go girl! Great game!
Now this is the look of diehard fans...look how mad they are...look how mad Addy (Lexi's little sister in the purple coat) looks while still holding some little flowers she picked from the weeds around the field. Palin is her little friend and for some reason the two of them just cracked me up all morning.
Addy came and stayed with us after the game. She was so good all day. She found a few things to play this hula hoop. She did pretty darn good for a little 3yr old!
After an exhausted afternoon of playing I thought a treat was in order after dinner. We made some homemade strawberry icecream. Here's Addy's first taste...Does she like it?
Yep...Addy declares it the best she ever ate! Although she said it tasted like strawberry yogurt. I think that means she liked it? Well, her smile says she liked it!