Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I'm positive that this time of year the skies are usually gray and full of moisture..
Take this sky for instance...I took this shot yesterday afternoon but it doesn't matter when or what day it was taken because it positively looks the same every single day.
I'm positive that it's been raining cats and dogs on and off all week. Can you see the drips on this tree?
I'm also positive the driveway is really our creek...and our stones are now washed into the road...can you see this positively muddy mess we have going on here?
I'm positive these swatches of red streaks are not the lovely warning of a "sailor's delight"
So where's the negative in all this?
Well, it's NOT the rain is NOT snow.  It's been in the 50's and 60's this week..NOT bad in my book for January.
It's NOT the beginning of January, it's the end,  so Spring is NOT far off.
This bud is NOT blooming yet..but I'm NOT will NOT disappoint us come March!
Sometimes the positives of life are easily overcome by the negative...Am I NOT right? 
P.S....I'm positive that I'm pulling names tomorrow night for my giveaway to end the Grow Your Blog Party...I know the winners will NOT be disappointed!

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Every year in January our Scout district has it's annual "Klondike Derby".  The troops have sleds and all the kiddos go to different "stations" to do challenges that are made up of the scout skills they, hopefully, remember!  Sometimes the weather is the biggest challenge for them!  When there's no snow, pushing a Klondike sled can be difficult.  This year there is plenty of snow, but also plenty of cold.  With a high of 24de. the boys and leaders had their work cut out for them.
I snapped this pic of Jack early on Saturday morning just before he headed out. He wanted to make sure the camera was working.  We have a bit of a joke about  "his" camera....probably because "his" camera is the small one I always carry in my purse and he only uses it about twice a year.  It is actually his but it never seems to work right when he uses it. But he did pretty good this time!
Here's our troop's sled and supplies.
Being properly dressed like this young man is a BIG frostbite please!
All the troops lined up and ready to MUSH and compete!
Ummm..I'm not sure that's how it's suppose to be done boys! This part of the competition wasn't their strongest showing!
Lunch of Chili and fixins' was welcomed after all the outdoor running, competing and goofing off...This is Kyle, the Scoutmaster on Saturday only to be replaced by someone new today. We'll miss you Kyle!
These are the two 11yr old Scouts that I teach on Wednesday nights.  They are the best kiddos and this was their first Klondike and they did a good job.
This blurry pic shows the plaque they got for coming in third in log sawing.  Good job boys! I bet there was "log sawing" last night after braving the cold temps and all the outdoor activity! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Tidbits seem to be what's on my mind today.  I've been enjoying the "Grow your blog" party and have met new bloggers and have gotten some new followers. Thanks to those new friends and also to my faithful regular followers who have been visiting me here at the Pines for a long while. Your are all  great! I've decided to have more than one giveaway.  I'm going to have one for the newbies here and one for my original friends. You don't have to follow me, I'm picking the names from anyone who has commented.  That's because I think you are all so groovy! I just felt I needed to use the term "groovy" today.  Don't ask why. I'll pick the winners on February 1st.  Just thinking that February will be here in one week is a tidbit that makes me smile. Why? Because March is not far off and Spring is bound to show up too! Plus in March Jack and I are heading to Portland, Oregon to visit Craig and his family.  Taylor, our Grandson is getting baptized and we don't want to miss that big event. I'm even going to get on a plane..that's big for me!  Lots to look forward too. The weather has been a big tidbit around blog land. Here is what my car thermometer said yesterday afternoon:
I never noticed the "ice" word was icey and snowy and cold on the way to work  Also it was 4de. but it warmed up to this high of 10 degrees.  However this morning is was -5! Jack drove me to work so I wouldn't have to walk from the parking lot (which is 1/4 mile from the hospital) in this cold.  I really don't mind the walk but I was super grateful today to skip it!
Here's my little black chair.  My "tidbit" project from last week.  I got my new pillows all in place and I do like the look.  I'm not sure if the pair of chairs will stay in this spot, but I'm giving it some time to feel at home!
Another "tidbit" on my mind has to do with the passing of one of our Doctors.  This week "Doc" Emery passed away. He was 80 and had retired about 15yrs. ago.  I felt the need to mention him because of the impact he had on me when I first started working at Samaritan hospital in 1978.  He and I were not best friends by any means.  He was really difficult to work with and I frankly hated working with him in the OR. He seemed to thrive on intimidation...but I wasn't letting him know how much he irritated me.  I stuck it out, gritted my teeth at his offenses and put on my big girl "Chicago" panties! Besides, I felt maybe I was making his life miserable too! After a couple of years though, a funny thing began to happen.  I had come back from maternity leave and all of a sudden he was decent to me.  He actually called me by my name...something he had never done.  He acted like I had a brain and knew what I was doing.  I found out along the way that I had learned alot from him during those difficult years and would go on to learn much more as time marched along.  He was an excellent surgeon. He was the one everybody in town went to for general surgery. Back then general surgeons did everything from hernias to c-section to hip fractures.  He did it all.  And he did it well. He found out we shared the same, not year! I found out he loved blueberry pie and every year on "our" birthday I would make him a pie.  He enjoyed celebrating with me and eating that pie! I guess the way to anyone's heart is through their stomach! He also loved green onions and we always had those for him too.  I made homemade chocolate covered cherries at Christmas time back in those days...another thing he enjoyed.  He got a box of those each year.  We became what I would call...good working friends.  He worked hard and long in his career.  He struggled with learning the new laproscopic techniques that were taking over the typical "open" way of doing surgery.  But he did it. However, he was getting near to the end of his career by then. When he turned 65, he retired. We had a big surprise party for him and bid him farewell.  I continued to see him through the years here and there at the hospital.  He was the county coroner until just a few years ago. Donna and I saw him last month when he was admitted to ICU.  We had the chance to talk about aging...he said it was hell...he was right!  He was very ill and I knew that would be the last time I would talk to him. He gave us both a hug and we said our goodbyes.  I can't help but think that God puts people in our paths..event the difficult ones, for a reason. I will always be grateful for the lessons he taught me. (Patience and tolerance for sure!) I will never eat a piece of blueberry pie and not think of him! Everyone at work who knew him had stories to tell.  We talked about him and told the stories and laughed, even though we'd told them a million times before.  I'd tell a few here, but they were the "you just had to be there" type of stories.  So this is my final tidbit for today...Bye Doc, and thanks.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Grow Your Blog Party!

Vicki at 2 Bags Full is having a "Grow Your Blog Party".  I'm participating and would like to welcome any new visitors to my blog.  I started blogging in 2008 as a way to keep connected to my grown kiddos and share pictures and events happening at our home. I found out this was a great way to journal after having my blog put into print at the end of each year. The amazing part of blogging I discovered was the connection I've made with many wonderful bloggers all over the globe.  I've learned so much, appreciated the way many share troubles, happiness, family times and also the funny side of their lives.  The talents that are shared are also part of the surprise. I've met knitters, hookers..rug hookers that is!, writers, artists of all mediums, photographers, and wonderful musicians. I will host a "give-a-way"  too. I'm going to pick something fun from a favorite place of mine called "The Parsley Pot"...It's right down my country's a pic of  the inside of this cute barn full of joy!
My name on my blog is YaYa...It's what my Grandkids call me.  I'm half Greek and although that's not how YaYa  is really spelled,  YiaYia is Greek for Grandmother.   Hope you enjoy this party and try to visit all the blogs listed.  Thanks Vicki for this opportunity!  Now for some quick news here at Whispering Pines:
Our property is surrounded by these beautiful pine trees and today the wind was truly making them "whisper" as it blew through them.
I'm standing at the edge our our woods looking down the backyard...Our woods was nicknamed "The Creepy Woods" by my Granddaughter Katie many years ago and we've called it that ever since. But here's the real action happening today in the Creepy Woods:
Jack cutting wood for our furnace that keeps us toasty warm. Today the temps were mild..mid 40's and very sunny but the cold snap is headed our way tomorrow and the wood will be put to great use. So the Creepy Woods isn't just for my hiking pleasure or for fun "haunting" on Halloween!
I noticed a few bird's nests in the bare tree branches today. This nest was found in the fall and as Jack was trimming this dogwood I told him to please leave the nest alone..and he did!  The beautiful blue skies we had today makes a great background.
Self portrait today...I'm not sure why I look so angry..or maybe that's how I always look when I take my own pic! Actually the sun was shining in my eyes!
This was the sunset I spied this week that was a true "Red sky at night" moment.  So goodnight and hopefully tomorrow will be a true "Sailor's Delight" to everyone!  Happy Blog Party!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Help Me, I'm Melting!

Just like the Wicked Witch of the West..or was it the East? I forget...Anyway, this is all that is left of our tons of snow and cold from the last few weeks! It's all melted. This week it slowly started to thaw and today it was in the mid 60's so nothing is left. Only green:

Just to give you a perspective on how little this ice piece is..or I should say, was, here's the way it looked on the deck this morning.  Of course then I could see how dirty the deck is!  Well, when Spring comes and the temps are really in the 60's to stay that will all be fixed. Until then I'll just enjoy this teaser thaw.  On Monday they are calling for cold and snow again. Yep, gotta love it when you get these little gifts of warmth! So I decided to do a small project I've been thinking about for a little while. I took a couple of old chairs that were in the garage and cleaned them up, sanded them and painted them for a place that I'll show you  at a later time.
I took this old chair that used to be in Jack's fact he said it's probably about 50yrs old because it was in his Dad's office and then it was still there when Jack started practice back in the 70's until a few years ago when we updated the office waiting room. Now it looks like this:
I actually did 2 of them and I already bought some pillows on line today that will sit nicely on them. I hope my plans come together as nice as they have in my brain! I'll let you know! Now I must blog about this other fun thing that came this weekend...My blog book for 2012!  I put it all together and Friday it was here all published and waiting:
I now have 4 books. The first year I did this I combined my first 2yrs of blogging into one book.  I now blog too much to combine the years!  This has become a great way to journal my life.
It's fun to look back and see the events and times spent with family, friends and also my time spent at work. When I look it over and thumb through the pages I can't help but think of  the line from one of my favorite movies, "It's a Wonderful Life"...."See George (insert Kathy here!), you really did  have a wonderful life!"

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bears & Moose & Foxes..Oh My!

I would have loved to have said: "Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my", but the Fin, Feather, and Fur Outfitters were all out of lions and tigers. I took my 11yr old Boy Scouts to this fun and amazing store for scouts tonight. (Thanks Jack for the idea and taking me there earlier to "scout" it out!)  They needed to identify 10 animals native to their location. Ok, so I've never seen a bear in the Creepy Woods, but hey, it could happen! Also the book never states that the animals have to actually be alive.  I thought the fact that they looked alive was good!  I will apologize for the blurry shots. I think the lighting had everything to do with it, not the crummy photographer.  There were foxes, turkeys, deer, moose, elk, many different bears, groundhogs, beaver, ducks, and a ton of others that I can't remember! Oh, and a zebra, but I'm really sure they won't see those roaming the streets of Ashland.
Braxton and Daniel hanging over the balcony..can you see the fox with the grouse in it's mouth?  How about the bear trying to grab a hornet's nest? I can't imagine a bear would be that dumb!
Ummm....Elk anyone?
Giving "bunny ears" to the bear is fine....I would bet it's the only time in your life that will happen!
What everyone needs above their fireplace..a Moose
Finally, this scout leader and her helper (Stacy) just couldn't resist the hat section.  I asked the scouts if they wanted to try some hats on...that was a thanks.  After seeing this picture, I understand why. We had a ton of fun and the boys enjoyed the "guy" stuff. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

I'm Behind

Read that title correctly..I'm behind..not "I'm a be-hind"..Get it? Never mind. All I know is I wanted to post about 3 days ago but somehow the weekend slid by.  Doesn't it always?  I remember walking out of work on Friday and looking at my coworker Kim and's the weekend! This is how pathetic I was. On Friday evening I fell asleep on the couch and Jack woke me up at 8:15pm.  I thought it was midnight, but he assures me it was 8:15pm.  I went to bed and woke up at 8:15am on Saturday. I'm so much fun. I did manage to get the Christmas tree down and all the ornaments put away. I cleaned the house, did grocery shopping, and we went to a birthday party for our neighbor who turned....30...I remember when I turned 30...I was a mess. I hated turning 30 because my generation wasn't even suppose to trust anyone over the age of 30.  What a ninny! Now I'm going to be 30X2 in about 8wks. The difference is I'm just glad I'm alive and kickin'! But Rachel looked surprised:
She blew out the candles, and everyone had a fun time!
Sunday Anthony played his first basketball game of the season.
 I'm still trying to figure out why schools have decided to play school sports on Sunday. But he played and most of my pics were blurry. It didn't help that we were in the balcony and behind plexi glass. That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it! So the weekend ended.. I did get to watch the first episode of season 3 of Dowton Abby....Love that show!! Have you seen it? LOVE IT!  But Monday came and work awaited. Donna was back today and we were all happy to see her. I'm sure she was tired.  She said she actually fell asleep waiting for her patient to get to the OR. But I've done that too, so don't worry's hard to get back into the swing of the OR!
I hiked up into the Creepy Woods when I got home and found a few fall leaves just hanging around. The weather is warming up this week. We're suppose to hit the 50's by the weekend. We better enjoy it because next week it's back to bitter cold..or so they say!
I guess all  this snow in the backyard will be gone by Saturday.  It's already melted quite a bit.
On a final note, I took this picture of Dr. Stein a few weeks ago.  He usually works on Tuesdays but he's gone this week. Can you guess where?  Check out his hat...check out his #1 sign...Yep, he's in Florida cheering on Notre Dame.  I'm not much of a football fan, but I hope he has a good time and his team wins!

Oh, on a final, final things to learn about ways of doing things...old hate of new phones..I'm not a tekkie...I really only use my phone to call or receive calls. Just want it to ring, and I'll pick it up...nobody ever really calls me anyway...I did however text my daughter-in-law...that was big.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Seriously, 2013?

I can remember when I was young and thinking about the future. Thinking that when I was older we'd be driving around in super spaceship type cars...flying to the moon for vacations..(but who'd want to vacation there anyway?) The thought of the year 2000 was mind blowing. Wouldn't life be so different from 1960? (when I was just a fetus..OK, so I was 7....)  Just seeing the numbers and realizing what is different from my childhood does make me blink a few times. The TV shows are disgusting and vulgar...(except my favorite Parenthood, HGTV, Food Network, and Hallmark channel). Cars today are OK, but the ones from my childhood were pretty cool. My first car I bought myself was a brand new 1972 Chevy malibu and it was awesome. Gotta love the computer and internet.  I do love cell phones for only one or maybe two reasons. Safety...and when I'm on call.  I remember the days of getting paged and having to find a phone somewhere if I was out and about to call the hospital back.  Running into stores, schools, friends homes...anywhere to borrow a phone. Whew, cells are good for that but I hate listening to others conversations in the check out line or other public places and when people don't turn them off in church, or a movie theater, or other public places. Microwaves, icemakers in the fridge door,  video games, ipods, ipads, tablets that take the place of a book, tennis shoes with wheels on them..wait, we had those only we called them roller skates, coffee that came in only one or with cream and sugar, hamburgers that weren't bigger than your head, french fries in sizes that weren't bigger than your head, pop with sugar, (funny, we were all thinner before sugar free was invented). I'm sure there are many amazing inventions I've forgotten.  I'm grateful for medicine advances but miss the family Doc who actually knew you from the cradle to the grave, looked at you when you were in the office, handed you a sucker if you were good and didn't take a co-pay or a whole week's paycheck when you left.  So what's my point? I guess I'm blown away at how fast time has gone, how the good 'ol days weren't always that good, but the new and improved and faster and shinier days of today aren't always that good either.  Do kids still play "ghosts in the graveyard" or "statue maker", or smear the...well, never mind about that one..or do they all just have the hand held video games that take the place of the outdoors? I hope not.  Today I spent some time away from technology by taking a walk in the Creepy Woods to enjoy the cold, crisp air and the scenery:
I took this guy with me:
He does like to put his nose in the snow!
We cut open the Greek New Years bread...can you see the coin? It was in Jack's slice, but I saw it when I cut my slice so we're sharing the good luck. Isn't that how it should be anyway? Good luck and Happy 2013...Seriously, 2013? Mind blowing!