Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Springing Forward With A Road Trip

On Friday of last week,  Jack and I took off for Chicago to visit my Mom and sister.  I just felt like I needed to go and I'm always thankful Jack is willing be go with me.  It's a long and boring ride.  I started out driving but when we stopped for a bathroom break Jack took over.  He said I was a better passenger and he was a better driver.  Wait a minute....that didn't sound right.  Anyway I think he meant that I was "chatty" and could keep him awake! (That's how I'm taking it!)  It's really only 5-1/2  hours but there's not much interesting to look at in Indiana!  We started out with snow here but Midge assured me that their weather was going to be good and she didn't lie.  We had sunshine and although it was chilly, I'll take a blue sky anytime! 
Mom was doing great, looking lovely as always. I think for 91 she looks marvelous!  When we visited in December everyone was sick and we cut our visit short.  So this was kind of a "redemption" visit I guess.   Mom,  my sis and I went early Saturday morning to a nearby mall and got some walking exercise in when all the stores were closed.  Mom did really good and I was so happy to see her enjoying the time.   Then we hit the Dunkin Donut place afterwards...oops, I guess that took away all the walking benefit! Ha!  Our next adventure had all four of us hitting a nearby resale shop.   It was so fun!  We found a few treasures.  Here's some of my sister's haul.
A cute bistro set, Easter bunnies, and the one thing she really loves are those pencils! They are super cool and she loves colored pencils.  She has a bit of artist in her!  I scored a cute bunny too and a vintage tablecloth along with a really sweet cart that I can put flowers in.  I'll blog about that one after I do some work on it.  Along with seeing Mom and Midge, Jack always pays special attention to my sister's dog, Sophie.
He takes her on walks and spends time with her and she loves him!  She wasn't feeling too great and we were a bit worried but I guess by Monday she perked up.  She was probably super tired from all the walking!  It was a nice visit and I'm so glad we went even though it was the time change weekend.  I don't mind this one as much as the Fall one. I like that it's lighter later but I can't really do much until the snow melts!  I went out this evening though and did some Robin stalking.
He found some green grass among the snow today.
Something yummy in there I'm sure!
Goodnight Mr. Robin...I do hope you are a sure sign that Spring is truly on it's way!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


This is an unusual post for me...no pics.  That just fits the theme...not normal.  Maybe not really paranormal but this week at work has been very strange.   And it's only Wednesday!  Monday was a crazy,  wild, weird day.  That's not exactly how you want a surgical department to be.   Now, don't get me wrong, every one's surgery went fine and there are no bodies buried in the walls or anything.   But it started out with cases being canceled.  Sometimes that happens when patients get sick or their lab work is wonky.   But we had to cancel one poor guy because he was too large to fit our tables.  He wasn't too happy about that.   But the drama and confusion before hand had our heads spinning..not unlike the exorcist.  We had to close one of the OR's because the lights wouldn't work.  These are brand new, top of the line lights!  They are so bright they will burn out your retinas!  But for some reason they aren't working right.  In my room the clocks weren't working right, and when I gave a drill to the Doc during a wrist fracture it's battery was dead...after I had just checked it.  Every one who knows anything about ghosts knows they drain batteries.   Then one of the toilets in the nurses lounge over flowed...OK, that's not really paranormal but it is scary! (especially if you're in the other stall...just sayin)   Then there's the Doctors.  Holy cow, are they cranky.  We decided that they are either on a man period, or going through manapause....or if you want my opinion, they are possessed!   Then there's the missing medium size scrub pants.  Gone...almost every day! And we even installed locks on the cupboard to keep out the other departments that we thought were stealing our scrub clothes. (Of course why would a ghost need scrubs?)  Then there's the ice machine that keeps breaking.  The little lever that you push to get the ice to flow falls off.  It's been replaced, fixed, and rigged a thousand times...it still breaks.  Speaking of breaking, on Monday when I went to the archery range my bow broke!   See what I mean... paranormal! Did I bring some bad mojo home with me?   Many hospitals will claim to be haunted. Let's face it, lots of living and dying goes on in them.  One of the buildings that our hospital owns and uses for office space has a rep for being haunted by the previous owner.  There are many weird stories from folks who have worked there.   Maybe it's just been one of those weeks where things go wrong and folks are not in good moods.  Who knows, but isn't it more fun to think it's supernatural and not because we're just off our game?  If Jack reads this I know he's shaking his head and saying what he always says when I think something is paranormal..."Yep, that would be my first guess"...Hope the rest of this week goes better and I hope where ever you are it's a very normal day!  Booooo......

Saturday, March 3, 2018


We all know there is opposition in all things....good, bad, light, dark, hot, cold, etc.  This past week was an example of that opposition.   We were very saddened by the loss of our pet but the kind words and thoughts from our friends brought comfort.   I wasn't too thrilled about my birthday this week but again the kindness of family and friends with cards, wishes, surprises and a cake at work brought a smile and a grateful heart.   Mother Nature has been giving opposition too.  We had warmth and sun and then by Friday we had rain that turned to snow and mess.  Out East it's been a nightmare and I hope all my blog buddies in the path of that Winter storm are OK.   But Spring is around the corner and I know there will be the good seasonal stuff soon.   Today my yard is a total Ying and Yang...
Pulling in the driveway will show this green side.
Look to the right and this part of the yard is totally covered in heavy wet snow.
This look from the top of the hill gives a better view. 
The beautiful blue sky and sun we had today has just about melted most of the snow but I had to click this pic of the fluffy white against that crystal blue.  If you use your imagination it could look like blossoms...or not.   Oh well, soon it will be the real thing...Ying/Yang.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

How I Did 65

This week started out so bad with losing our furbaby, Chubbs, but everyone's thoughts and kind words have helped.   Today I turned 65.  I wasn't looking forward to this bday but I sure had tons of reminders for the past year that it was happening.  I'm sure there were more than a few forests that were cleared of trees to make paper for AARP , Social Security, and Medicare flyers, reminders, sign ups and other forms of old folk mail.  I'm still trying to figure out how it happened.  I know how it happened of course...I was born...duh.  But the time flew so fast and many days my body reminds me that although my brain thinks it's only 30, my body will scream "OLD!"  Or maybe that's "STOP!"  Whatever.  Anyway it's here and I'm still here so that's a blessing.  As Jack always says, "Growing old beats the alternative."   And when anyone says it's good to see you Jack also says: "It's better to be seen than viewed."  That's true too.   So I'll "suck it up buttercup" and be glad for my wonderful family and great friends.  I took the day off work since it's also Jack's day off and we drove to Columbus and spent the morning at the Temple.  Ahh...peace, quiet, time to think, pray and realize that I have a good life and not to waste what the Lord gave me.   We then went out for a quick lunch at Sonic where I had a delish bacon burger and a chocolate shake since there are no calories on your birthday.  When we got home Jack told me to change into something comfy and we were going on an adventure.  He took me to a place I didn't even know Ashland had...an indoor archery range.  I broke my bow about 5 years ago and hadn't had it fixed.  I always loved archery.  So he surprised me by getting my bow repaired, new arrows, and range time to use whenever I want.  Love it!  I took the time to test it all out and see if I could still hit the target!
Take aim!
Bam! Bulls eye!  Now that's how you do 65!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Sad Day

I'm finding it hard to write this today.  Our dear little Chubbs passed away this morning.  He got ill yesterday afternoon.   I thought a trip to the Vet this morning would be the ticket but he got really bad through the night and passed around 7am.   He was such a sweet, gentle old soul.  We rescued him from a shelter in November of 2015, right before Thanksgiving.  He had been a stray and they didn't know his name, age, or health history.  But I saw his sweet face and knew he was for us.  I was glad he was older because most folks won't adopt an old dog.  Even though we only had a short time with him we tried to make it the best times ever.  He traveled with us and enjoyed all the family gatherings.  I will truly miss his howl in the morning when I would come downstairs and hearing his snoring at night.  I will miss how happy he always was when we walked in the door and our special walks around town and especially the cemetery where he could just go and explore.  He didn't ask for much except love and we gave him tons of that.   RIP dear Chubbie....we'll never forget you.  Say hi to your old buddy Eddy for us.

Friday, February 23, 2018

A New Day

I found this sign today in the hospital gift shop.  I thought it was a good one for the computer room.  It's here I write my little ditties for the blog.  Now I realize that the meaning of this sign is more about having a fresh start in life each day,  but I'm taking it more literally and gearing it to blogging.  As February comes to a close in a few days I looked back at my first attempts at blogging.  It was a leap year in 2008 and that was my first post.   I didn't have followers.  I didn't even know anything about "followers".  I was writing for my family and it seemed like a good way to keep a bit of a journal.  Back then many of my family members were bloggers also and it was a good way to share stories and photos.  Now most have gone to just Facebook or other social media.   I've kept it up for these past 10 years and my family asked me to continue.   It comes in handy when we want to know who was at what function or how something was celebrated or how the weather was during that year.   I like to look back at my old posts to see if the weather patterns were similar.   Pretty much the same!  It's the wet season now with our yard soggy as heck and the temps that rise and fall like a bouncing ball.  It was 71 on Tuesday but by Thursday it was cold and icy and even snow in some areas.  Today was 60! Hard to keep up and know what to wear.  Pretty close to what it was 10 years ago.   Sometimes I'm asked about blogging and most folks say they couldn't do it because they would have nothing to write about.  Facebook is easier because it's just a quick note and photo.  But I tell them that everyone has a story.   I remember a lesson I had on keeping a journal many years ago.  There was a journal that only had 10 entries in it.  But even those few entries gave you an insight into the person that wrote it .  What a shame that it stopped there.  I have letters written by my Dad to my Mom that cover most of WWII.   They give me a look at a young man and woman, not married yet, but so in love who weathered the worst of times.  My Dad was a good writer and I sure wish he had kept a journal.   He died before any of my kids had the chance to know him.  They would have loved him.  His birthday is in February...the 18th...he would have been 98 this year.  I think of him every day.   So I'll continue to write my little stories down even though they seem a bit redundant over the years. It's good to have some things stay the same.  But seeing  how the kids have changed, grown and what new paths they are on does change quickly.  So I'll give tribute to family that has passed and celebrate with those still here and share it through blogging.   Thanks for taking the time to read it!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Being Social

Jack and I are pretty quiet folks.  Well, he's quiet anyway, but we don't have a big posse we hang with every week.  He doesn't have a man cave where his buddies come to watch sports and whatever else goes on in a man cave.  I don't have a she shed.  Wait, I do have the spot where the lawn tractor is stored but it's not too cute for any girl bonding.   However,  we're not hermits either and during the year we have Church socials we attend.  In February it's usually the "Cheap Good Night Out and Chili Cook-Off" social.   It's gone from being a big get-together with chili contests and skits to a more quiet affair.   Yesterday we went and it wasn't as well attended as usual.  I think the younger crowd has better things to do than eat chili!  The food that was there was really good and the chili contest was fun.  But what was better was catching up with a couple that used to live in Ashland but moved to Utah many years ago.   Back here visiting,  they took the time to attend last night and we had a nice time reminiscing about the good old days when we were all young and our kiddos were little.  They had 9 girls! They did finally get a boy after they moved.  (Their son tragically passed away at age 18).  We found out they have 45 Grandkids....yep, they win that contest!  We may not have a packed social schedule but there are people who will always hold a special place in our hearts and memories.  Larry and Sally are one of those couples.   Hopefully they will pass this way again and we can sit and share a meal and some laughs.
Oh the stories we could tell!  Take care you two!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day...Yesterday

I'm a blogging slacker these days.  Just not much happening at the old Pines.  Even Valentine's Day didn't have a whole lot of blog worthiness.  So, did you do a big Valentine dinner?  Flowers? Candy?  Jack got me a lovely gift card to one of my favorite little shops  and I got him some of his favorite snacks.  We then had a romantic run to Home Depot to check on a water softener.  I hope I'm not making anyone jealous here, but it was fun.  Maybe it's the smell of fresh lumber or the orange aprons everyone is wearing..I just like the place.  Afterwards we had to  make a big decision about dinner.  When Jack came home from work on  Tuesday he asked what we were having for dinner.  I said I grilled steaks.  His reply was: "Weren't the steaks for Valentine's Day?"   Every Saturday we make out a menu for the following week and then do the grocery shopping.   It works out great and I usually never have to go to the store during the week and I always know what's for dinner.  My reply:  "Nope, it's on the menu for tonight. "  He was good with that and we did enjoy a tastey dinner on Tuesday.  So Valentine's day ended up being a burger from Burger King!  Fine by me.  I'm a burger kind of gal!  I looked back at my post from last year and guess what we had for a Valentine's day dinner in 2017?   Burgers! Ha! I'm thinking a tradition has been born!   But for today I decided I really needed to do a blog post and I would just go into my camera and put any pics up I had on the memory card.   Here goes:
Chubbs and I were taking a little walk in the Creepy Woods the other day and this deer gave us the stare down.  It started to move toward me and I decided to move out!  Made the Creepy Woods live up to it's name!
This cutie was hanging around the bird feeder.   Do you know what it is?  I don't , so let me know.   My final pics were of some selfies.   I was thinking of changing my profile pic.
All I could think of when this popped up was....this chickie needs some chap stick!  Hope your Valentine's day was full of love and maybe some burgers!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Hello February

I have a rule of thumb that goes like this:  "Shortest line, longest wait".  I'm sure you've experienced it.  You're in a hurry and  so happy to see a line with just one person in it.   You rush up, put your one item on the counter and.....wait, wait, wait.  Yep, they're the one with the "problem".  Coupons that have expired, no price on the item, credit/debit card won't work, gift card is empty, etc.  Well, that's how I feel about February.  Shortest month, longest wait, worst weather, etc, etc, etc.  It's snowing outside as I type this up.  I was surprised to see it coming down so fast and heavy as I let the Chubbs out for his final run.   When you look at the weather reports they tell you zip.  They have no idea what's going to happen.  Since the groundhog/rodent saw his shadow I guess we're gong to have to wait until March for Spring..like that never happened before.  Besides, I know in Pennsylvania it was sunny for old Phil, here in Ohio it was cloudy.  So, I'm ready for this short month. Which brings me to  my next topic about being prepared.   My sister and I were talking about the Zombie Apocalypse.  (No, I don't believe we're going to have one.  Geeze!) Anyway, we were talking about being prepared.   I was excited to send her a pic of some of our food storage:
As long as I have chocolate pudding I'm good.   Then I mentioned I have a coat that Mom gave me when I was pregnant with my last kiddo...33 years ago!  Yes, I kept it because I have fond memories of my Mom wearing that fur coat and snuggling up against it in the car on cold days.  It's super warm and also super heavy.  My sister said I should wear it during these cold months.  My response was: "Are you kidding?  People around here believe in Bigfoot and if I were to wear the coat I could be shot!"  When Mom found out that I still had it she said:  "Why do you still have that thing?"  "Because Mom, you gave it to me!"  MOM:  "Well, I don't want it back! Get rid of it.  Give it to a tall person."   ME:  " What? Why a tall person?"   Anyway, after having a good laugh over the whole Zombie thing and old coat thing I had Jack snap a pic to send to them.   I put on Jack's hat just to complete the look.  So hand over the chocolate pudding and the fur coat...I'm ready for any apocalypse!
Yep, I kind of get why I need to give this to a tall person...thanks Mom.

Monday, January 29, 2018

40 Years Ago...Do You Remember?

Do you remember January 26th, 1978?  That was the question of the day last week.  Why? Because we had a blizzard run through Ohio.
I remember that day quite well.   We lived in the apartment over Jack's office.  We had a 2 year old and a 4 month old. The baby chose that time to get really sick.  The day after the storm the town was still paralyzed.  Our car was buried (no garage) and I couldn't get hold of our Pediatrician.  I managed to find a Doctor and, thankfully, a good friend had a car that wasn't buried in tons of snow and came to our rescue.  All turned out good but I know there were tons of stories of other rescues, women going into labor and not making it to the hospital, the turnpike closed down, snowmobiles making runs to bring supplies into the rural areas around us for folks who were snowed in for weeks.   The hospital had the nursing staff stay at the hospital.  I wasn't working there yet! I started there in the Summer!  We moved to Ashland in January of 1977 and that was a horrible Winter season too.  I wondered if that would be the norm for us and wondered why we chose to live  here and not Hawaii!  I'm sure everyone has a time in their life where they remember a crisis of some sort.   You can picture that time like it was yesterday.  The look, the feel, the excitement, or perhaps the fear.  I find that amazing because I can hardly remember what I did yesterday!  I do know this...I was 24 years old in January of '78 and these 40 years have flown by.  There have been other times of remembrance...good and bad.  I'm grateful for those times because it pushes you to grow, endure, have memories to share around the campfire, and be prepared if they happen again.   January 2018 is coming to a close.  After a warm weekend with lovely sunshine yesterday,  today the temperature fell again and so did the snow.   No blizzard, just lovely, quiet snowflakes that coated the ground.
I doubt this day will be engraved in my memory pool but I'll have this photo of our path into the woods that hopefully will remind me of a quiet walk with my sweet dog,  my camera, and the beauty of a January day.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Year In The Life

My 2017 blog book arrived yesterday.   When I first starting blogging in 2008 I didn't know you could make a book from your blog.  I didn't post as much back then and when I found out you could put your blog in book form I actually put 2008 and 09 together to make my first book.  This year's book is the smallest one I've done since then.  I also forgot to check what kind of cover material I wanted and got a soft copy instead of a hard cover.  Oh well, I'll probably just reorder another one and give this one to Mom.  It's easier for her to read than going on the computer and she enjoys looking at all the photos too.   There are times I've considered quitting, but when the book comes and I see all the events and family gatherings put in print I realize it's a journal of sorts.   I'm no great author but someday I hope a family member will take the time to look at them and remember what we did together or read about what I did with my time in this life.  Mundane? Probably.  Repetitive? Yes, many times I've repeated a tribute to a family member and I always put a post in on the holidays and frankly those don't change much year to year...except we all age a bit!  Important?  It is to me and that's all that matters isn't it?   I use Sharedbook.com to make my book.  It's pretty easy and depending on the number of pages, not too expensive.   Anyway, how can I put a price on a year in  the life of us? 
New book!
One of many books in my fast growing library!  Almost as fast "growing" as the years have been fast "going". 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Sunshine On My Shoulders

The past few days have been fabulous, weather wise.  We've had a slow warm up this week and today it topped out around 40 degrees...flip flop weather up here!  Add sunshine to that and you have many happy faces around these parts.  I took Chubbs for a little walk this afternoon since the Vet said he had gained a couple of pounds.  Jack told him it was because of the holidays!  Good for a chuckle but the fact is we haven't been able to get him out walking too much because of the bitter cold.   So today I put on my slogging around the Pines boots.  (No flip flops for me...I leave those to the Walmart goers!)
The snow is slowly melting as you can see in the next pic:
After a bit our son Phil showed up to pick up some packages he had sent here and he had Addy with him.  Chubbs was ready to go back inside so Addy and I took a little walk into the Creepy Woods....they're not so Creepy with no leaves on the trees.  Addy enjoyed climbing on the logs and letting the sun shine on her shoulders!
She wanted to check out the Alpacas next door so we went over to see if the neighbors would mind letting us take a close up peek.  Kerry (our new neighbor) was super gracious about having us take a tour.
Hi guys!  Well, the blond one is a not a guy but a girl who Kerry thinks is preggo!  I can't wait to see if  they get babies.  I'm betting they are adorable!
She showed Addy how to hold out her hand and give them some feed.
She loved it!  We had a fun time learning about Alpacas and Kerry's girls and Addy hit it off.  Addy made some new friends and learned something new!  The girls had a blast in the barn and when the Alpaca came in the barn they starting rolling all over in the dirt.
I guess that's something they love to do!  Stirred up a bunch of dust!   We had to head back home but with a promise to visit again.  Thanks Kerry and family for letting us have an adventure today!  I  hope the sun shown bright on your shoulders today too!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

In The Thick Of It

My previous post was one of lush green.  The snow had melted and the rains fell in abundance.  The 58de temps were such a gift.  Then Friday arrived.  I got hit by some kind of bug and was sick as a dog!  It was one of those times when at first you thought you were going to die and then you were afraid you wouldn't!  Thankfully it passed as quick as it arrived since this is my call weekend.  It's been quiet so far but it's not over until 6:30 am.  It's the only time I truly look forward to Monday morning when it's over!    So what do you do when you're hanging around the house on a weekend when Mother Nature decides to pull a fast one?  When she reminds you that you are in the thick of Winter?
Enjoy the pretty snow?
Snow blow that pretty snow?
I think Jack looks like Mr. Freeze!   While he was having fun clearing our driveway I did do a small bit of shoveling then headed into the house to do some baking.
Homemade bread made the house smell wonderful.
This cake was interesting....I had wanted to try this recipe but consider this a failure.  It didn't really have a taste that made me want to make it again! 
My slow cooker roast was much better!  So that's how we roll when were in the thick of Winter.  January is half over and I can't say I'm sorry it's going so fast.  Something else I did to past the time was read a book I got for Christmas from Craig and Amy.  It's really a young adult fiction read but it was super good and I would recommend it.
It's about a young girl in England during WWII.   I downloaded the sequel and finished that too!  They were both great!  Check them out if you're in the thick of Winter in your area!  And if you're someplace warm...well, just enjoy that I guess!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

It's In The Air

Just about a week ago we were in a cold snap...a very bitter cold snap and also snow.   Slowly the air started to warm up to a balmy 20 degrees.   Funny how warm that feels after below zero!  Flash forward to today...56 degrees...above zero!  I was expecting to see tulips coming up.  Well, that didn't happen but it felt so nice out, even though it was raining.   The snow has all melted.
Green grass!   Yesterday was nice too and Jack and I got all the outside decorations down and put away for another year.   But there is change in the air along with the rain.
If you click on this pic you can see the big drops coming down!  I left work early today and took time to read a new book and enjoy the rainfall.   I was also able to get out before it really came down hard to clean up the yard.  Having a dog makes that a necessary chore.   I call it picking up the Chubber nuggets..you can call it hauling poo...whatever.   Clean yard, clean deck, no decorations and now it's time for the snow to return.  We're under a Winter weather advisory starting tomorrow.   Much ice is coming this way followed by much snow.   How much snow nobody really knows for sure, but of course I'm on call this weekend and I'll be very happy to not have to haul my keister into the hospital during a blizzard.   Wish me luck.   Speaking of something in the air, some changes are happening at our hospital and it's making for some very unhappy employees.  Welcome corporate medicine.  One of the changes has to do with overtime pay..or lack of.  That's a hot topic I'd rather not get into but the other one is the taking away of the Kuerig coffee machine.  That doesn't bother me since I don't drink the stuff or use that machine but it sure has everyone else in a panic. Plus the cafeteria used to give employees free coffee, tea or hot chocolate.  Not anymore.   So I'll just leave that hanging in the air and show my new work shoes:
Comfy and cute...something to smile about at work at least.  If the air is changing in your neck of the woods I hope it's a good change and everyone stays safe and warm!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Is It Cold Out?

Today the weather was a big part of our conversations at work.   We have a TV in our break room but it's very seldom on because everyone is always looking at their phones.  However,  today the weather station was turned on just to see the temps and the "cyclone bomb" out East.  OK,  I'd be a liar if I said we weren't smirking at the shots from South Carolina's snow and the 44 degree temps in Miami. Us Northerners can be mean!   Still,  the conversations going on were kind of funny.   Here's how one dialog went:  "Hey, I thought it was suppose to be really cold outside today" (This is at 7 AM)   Someone chimed in and said:  "Yeah, I walked outside and thought it was pretty warm!"  I had to put my 2 cents in:  "I know! My car thermometer said it was 18 degrees! I don't know what everyone is complaining about."   We all agreed that it would be really cold by tomorrow so I guess I'll have to wait and see how the talk goes in the morning.  This afternoon one of our co-workers came in from another hospital building down the road all bundled up from head to toe.  I heard at least 3 people ask her if it was cold outside.  Seriously?  She had a few words to say about the cold and I won't print them here because it's a family blog after all.  So, I'll ask the million dollar question:  "Is it cold outside in your neck of the woods?"   Hello January.