Monday, March 31, 2008

Another Day in Paradise - And Update

Our Sunday gathering was pretty quiet. Sarah and Buddy were resting after all the activity associated with the shower. Everyone else was here. I didn't cook a lot - we just had burgers with the trimmings. You'll be glad to know that the green salad was back in fine form. I also made a fresh strawberry pie. It wasn't fancy but no one went away hungry.

I've actually accomplished a lot today - for me, that is. I ran three errands, did four loads of laundry, made asparagus cheese soup for dinner, went by and checked on a friend who's under the weather, and crocheted three squares of an afghan I'm slowly working. I haven't crocheted for years and it's slow getting started again.

Harry and his golfing buddy are playing 36 holes today. They went to a rather difficult course so I bet they both come home with their tail feathers draggin' their tracks out. They take their games so seriously that you'd think every game is a tournament. I bet it will be quiet at our house tonight.

Nothing new to report from this front. I'm just being the old fart that I am - as a matter of fact I think a nap would be in order. Hope all of you are having a good Monday.


The guys just came home from the golf course. I was right. They are the two most pitiful guys in the county. Walking slooow, hair looks like a weed eater went through it, clothes obviously exposed to mud, and grins from ear to ear. It's definitely been a good day on the green.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Saturday Fun

Lots has happened since my last post.

Yesterday was Sarah's baby shower. One of her friends who is also a next door neighbor hosted the shower at their home. Their home is lovely and they really spent time and effort in decorating - it was beautiful. And the food - a wide variety each more delicious than the last. I'm sure there were no calories involved. Sarah's mother made a wonderful punch. I need to talk to her about that mix.
I don't think I've ever before seen so many nice gifts at one shower. Mav is going to be one well dressed baby with every luxury available for one so young. Where were all these things when I was raising babies? I know, I know - don't tell me. I raised my babies a loooonnnngggg time ago.

I ask Sarah if I could post a couple of pictures of her here. She selected the pics below. It's important that you understand just how pregnant this girl is. We're not having a five pound dainty little girl. We're having a hefty he-man boy. If you don't believe it just ask Harry Junior (aka Buddy). Sarah's due date is in early May so she still has about 6 weeks to go. It'll be a long six weeks for her.
One of the games was for each person to cut off a piece of yarn that she thought would be a measure of Sarah's present waistline. Then see who was closest by putting each piece of yarn around her. In the picture below Sarah's mom is checking the piece of yarn she cut. The hostess' mother is looking on. Sarah's mom won easily!
After all the measuring and giggling was over Sarah claimed her comfortable seat in prep for opening a mountain of gifts. Our little mother-to-be was absolutely worn out after the shower. This day will be one of her "forever memories".

While all the women were enjoying our gathering the men folk were next door grilling, watching a truck race, and whooping it up. The more things change the more they stay the same.

NASCAR just said "gentlemen start your engines" - I'm outta here.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Must Haves

While I'm waiting for the boys to come for our playdate I’m following a fellow blogger's lead in thinking about and listing things I must have. Here are a few of my “must haves”

Hard back books. (Yes, Jamie, we share this one.) I do have a few paperbacks but only a few. I buy new books and pass a few of them on.

Jeans that fit but still let me breathe.

Coffee in the morning and big glasses of ice water the rest of the day.

My computer.

Better Homes and Garden’s Home Designer software. It’s saved me from many mistakes.

Aveda. I love Aveda.

A period of absolute quiet everyday. Fifteen minutes will do on a busy day.

My collection of cookbooks that keeps growing.

Music. From light classical to honky tonk country. Not rap or heavy metal.

My old baking pans that I’m ashamed to let people see. We have history together.

My collection of art. Most was done by friends who are artists or by family.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Harry played golf today at a really challenging course. He was really beat so he went to bed early. I gathered my yogurt, water, and remote control around me in front of the television to watch Lost. HA! Did my bubble ever burst when tonight was a re-run. I decided to watch anyway. At the end of the episode the big announcement was that Lost would return with a new episode on April 24 and 10/9 Central. Rats and double rats!!!

Like Lucy, I'm going to my beanbag to pout. Not really. Gonna read for awhile.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wednesday is "Shoe Day"- Updated

“Shoe Day” is a big adventure in our corner of the world. It’s the day that the boys shop for shoes. We have Mommy along to give final approval. Before either of the boys could walk I suggested making a Shoe Day two or three times a year with the grandsons a tradition. (Sarah and Buddy hope you’re reading this. When the time comes, will it be alright for Mav to have Shoe Day with Nana, too?)

We go to our favorite shoe store where we can get properly fitted shoes. The boys select their own shoes for play, hiking, and casual wear. They have to agree to a bit of direction when it comes to their dress-up shoes. We usually get ice cream afterwards. I absolutely love Shoe Day. It’s so much fun to watch them look at all the shoes displayed, have their feet measured, try on all the potential new shoes, and discuss their decisions among themselves. My blessings abound!



I love watching Mary with the boys. The love and pride is really obvious.

The boys will be fast as lightening now. Their new shoes have an N on the side. (New Balance) Everyone knows shoes with an N are f-a-s-t. The transformer sandals are way cool. All their straps are adjustable with Velcro and they look like fighters. Dress shoes feel good and are OK but they aren't exciting. We stopped for ice cream at our local ice cream shop. The boys ate their dinosaur sundaes outside so we could enjoy the warm sunshine. After snack time at the ice cream shop both boys had heavy eyes so they went home for rest time. Everyone knows that "older boys" don't take naps. As for Mommy and Nana - well we take whatever rest we can get. We don't care what you call it.

Yes, Brad, I'll adopt you. When should I send you your task list? Even the grandsons have one.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Food and Egg Hunts

WOW, what a weekend! I have to begin by admitting that I was a total senile old gal. In all the excitement, I forgot to take pictures. Bad, bad me.

Saturday was filled with shopping, planning, and coloring eggs. Sunday cooking was easy. Everything was easily prepared – no fuss or muss. I baked and glazed a spiral cut ham, made baked asparagus, boiled corn and a few “pick-ups”. Mary (DIL) made deviled eggs and a key lime pie. Sarah (DIL) brought a carrot cake. We skipped the green leaf salad – what’s this world coming to? So much for the food. As you may notice I always write about the food first. We have to keep our strength up, you know.

All the local kids were here and we were lucky enough to have Sarah’s parents with us, too. Mike and Terri are really nice folks by anyone’s standards. It was a pleasure to have them with us. Harry hid 64 plastic eggs around the front and back yards. He hid plastic and we kept the colored eggs inside for safe keeping. Last year the guys hid the colored eggs and when they cracked the boys were disappointed.

After everyone was through eating, it was time to hunt eggs. Those two boys went wild. I’ve never seen them run the way they did. They were laughing and yelling – having a really fun time. All the adults just followed them from front to back yard enjoying their antics.

The day began and ended with many hugs, good wishes, and “I love you’s” as all southern gatherings do. At least the gatherings in our family end that way.

Bottom line: I did not clean and polish the house in prep for Easter Sunday. No one seemed to notice and everyone enjoyed the day anyway.

We missed having Judy (daughter) and her family with us. She did send pictures of Maddie’s Easter. She is soooo cute and growing up fast – already over a year old. We wish we could see them every weekend but understand that Mommy and Daddy are building careers in Phoenix. It’s good to know that Daddy’s family is there so they aren’t alone on holidays.

This is a long post. Hope I haven’t bored you. I’m off to read about your weekend.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Hello to all my friends and readers in the Kingdom of Blog.

The next couple of days promise to be super busy. I’ll catch up
with you early next week.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Gigging Explained

Have any of you ever seen frog legs on a restaurant menu. I know "Blackie's Steak House" in DC served them at one time. Often they are on Chinese Buffets. Well, that's what gigging is all about. Spearing the big bull frog and taking him to the poor sucker that has to make those legs pan ready. A gig can best be described as a spear with a long handle.

I hasten to say I have never eaten one and never will! It's disgusting to me now and was disgusting to me then, too. But I wanted to be as "in-the-know" as the adult siblings. One of those girls was the sister who is now 91 years old and lives in Palm Springs, CA. Another lived in LA's Hills, and the eldest lived in Atlanta. The incident that I wrote about last evening happened during a family gathering.

Now how one goes about gigging: You need at least three people. One to paddle the canoe and to hold the sack that the frogs are put into, one to hold a flashlight (you do this just after twilight), and one to gig (spear the frog). The flashlight person shines the light along the banks of a creek or waterway where you can hear the bullfrogs calling. The light catches their eyes and the person with the gig has to spear the thing really fast. When the frog is on the spear it is put into the sack and the process begins all over again. (You never have to touch the frog.) The problem was that I didn't know bullfrogs had really tough skin - you have to hit hard. I was gentle and the big boy jumped, peeing into the boat. The rest is in yesterday's blog. I was in disgrace the rest of the evening. A few tears in the morning made me everyone's pet again.

Now you know the rest of the story. I wish I could say this is the only such mess I got myself into, but it was just one of many.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Golf and Gigging

Harry and I went to Stony Mountain Golf Club this morning. He played an 18-hole round. I rode along - I'm too out of shape to twist my old body into a half-way golf swing. I almost froze my .... well, let's just say I was cold. I did enjoy being with Harry and listening to the birds chirp. Spring is about to burst out all over.

In a comment to last evening's post, Soul asked me if perhaps I might be gigging today. Nope - Golf it was. I was allowed to go gigging with the three much older sisters when I was around 12 or 13 years old. It wasn't enough for me to sit quietly in the big, long canoe. No, not me!! I begged and begged to be allowed to gig a frog. Finally the oldest broke down and handed me a gig. Everyone searched to make sure I had a LARGE frog so I could take the largest back to the cabin. Well, I didn't gig that frog; I only tickled his butt with the gig. He jumped into the canoe. I stood up, screamed so loud that the people at the cabin heard me, jumped around, and turned the canoe over. Everyone was in the water and mad. When folks heard me scream, Brother jumped in the ski boat and came up the creek to see what was wrong. Oh, it was a circus. Brother laughing, three furious sisters, and me wanting to go home - not that dumpy cabin - I wanted to go HOME. Everyone survived and went on to live happy lives.

My life is full of mishaps much like this. Guess I'm just not very good at new challenges.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Rain, It Was - Sun, It Will Be

Well here we sits like birds in the wilderness watching the rain move on to Atlanta. We need every last drop that fell and are thankful for it. Even the wind was not bad. If we are to believe the weather guru, there will be sunshine and a high of 64 tomorrow. Perfect for golf. The course will be wet but it shouldn't be a bog. We can do this. Maybe - we'll see.

I did a bit of Easter Bunny shopping today. One year we bought tin buckets decorated as Easter baskets. The boys broke every egg they found by chunking them in the bucket. This year they will have soft baskets that they can use to carry their Hot Wheels cars after Easter. I know the eggs will still break but this seemed like a good idea. Each boy is getting a stuffed animal from a safari series (rather than a bunny) with a Timex for Kids watch for a collar. Of course there will be a choc bunny. No Peeps this year - at least not on my watch. Those things are pure dyed sugar and spell trouble in the form of a sticky, hyper mess.

I have to tell you about an absolutely horrible thing I did. During the sleep-over Jesse, the oldest, ask me if the Easter Bunny was real and I said that I really didn't know. He looked straight at me and said that he knew I did know because Nana's know lots of things. He followed that bit of information with, "Nana, whatever you say I'll believe because I know you won't tell me a story. I can always trust you." Well, I guess you know the rest of the story. I told him that the Easter Bunny wasn't a real, live rabbit. But it was a really fun game for for children at Easter, and in that sense the Easter Bunny is real. I hope I haven't ruined Easter for the boys. I really feel bad but I just couldn't look Jesse in the eye and tell him that there is a giant bunny who lays colored eggs on Easter. The boy's parents aren't at all upset at the way I handled the situation. For that I'm thankful. And I thought parenting was hard!

I think I'll go watch TV with my bestest buddy (Harry) and relax. I'm really good at relaxing - I have lots of practice.

I hope each and everyone of you enjoy your evening as much as I intend to enjoy mine.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Vacation Through Others Eyes

Not much happening at our house today. We're just two old farts with little ambition today. Nothing watch-worthy on TV; projects are all at a stage requiring more stuff; I slept late so the day was shot by the time I had coffee.

I spent more than two happy hours this morning enjoying Happyone's vacation in Ireland. Here is the link she provided in her blog. If you haven't visited the site, you should. What a trip that must have been - I've never seen a vacation shared so beautifully.

I seem to be without words this evening. I hope everyone is well and making smooth progress towards all your goals. Until later, my friends.

Monday, March 17, 2008

All About Yesterday

Yesterday (Sunday) was order-in Pizza Day - It's tradition to order pizza on NASCAR's race days at Bristol, TN/VA. I remember the track when it was an unknown little track that was settled down among the foothills. One narrow two lane road was the only way in or out. Time does change everything. When I watch the race, I always feel a bit nostalgic.

Buddy, our expectant father, had to work so he was marked absent. Sarah and her parents came and visited for a little while. It was good to see Mike and Terry again. They are a wonderful, loving couple. Because Sarah is pretty uncomfortable these days they didn't stay long but we are so glad that they came. They took the piece of furniture that will be used in the nursery with them - it's a wardrobe that belonged to Harry's great aunt. It dates back to the 1800's.

The rest of the gang was here for the race and pizza. The boys asked when the next sleep over would be. We'll have to think about that later and coordinate with their parents. At least they didn't cry and sob as they left yesterday. They are looking forward to play day on Friday.

How could two old farts be so lucky. The only thing that could improve our gatherings is if Judy and her family could participate. But, alas, the commute from Phoenix is too far.

Monday is happening as I sit here writing about yesterday. Gotta get moving and try to accomplish something.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Sleep-Over Play-by-Play

Sleep-over dinner: Nana Burgers and Raw Veggies (Broccoli, Carrot Twigs, Red Bell Pepper Logs, Little Sweet Onions, and White Dip (Ranch Dressing - not shown) Both boys ate with no questions. Then on to "Cake Making 101"
I admit to using two one-layer cake mixes. One for each boy to mix by himself. Then we poured both mixes into a small sheet pan to bake. When the cake baked, we cut it into two squares so each boy would have a cake to frost. I, also, have to admit to using canned frosting - Chocolate and Strawberry. It wasn't neat but t was fun. Notice that Jesse (oldest) was making flowers using his finger as a tool. James, on the other hand, concentrated on having a really "big" (thick) icing. The cake was a combination of desert and bedtime snack.
After playtime with the bubble swords (outside), the HotWheels Cross Road Crash, Lego's, and Memory we got into new PJ's. We watched "How It's Made" (the boys love this show) and Blato (New DVD about a good wolf). There were some exciting parts.
We opened the air bed and put it on their special rug between the sofa and love seat. New sleeping bags along with their special bedtime buddies went on top of the air bed. I read a new book aloud for a bedtime story. Next we played their "Songs of Worship" CD and all sang along. The boys routinely do this.
James was asleep by 10:30 but Jesse and I talked for a long time. He went to sleep around 1 AM. Remember the rule was that everyone could stay awake as long as they wanted to - no bedtime. Jesse woke up at 5:30 wanting to complete the Lego house we started. James woke up at 7:45. Both boys were bright-eyed and ready for the day. We had Pancakes and choc milk for breakfast.
Jesse got back in their "bed" to watch Noggin until Mommy and Daddy came to pick them up.

Pick up was traumatic. Jesse announced that he wanted to live with Nana and Papa all the time. James sobbed because he wanted to stay for another sleepover. It's wonderful to be loved as much as you love but it really hurts to see them sad. We're lucky that parents understand and aren't jealous.
Parents had a good night alone. They ate at a wonderful restaurant and stayed overnight in a mountain cabin not too far away. It was cool enough for a little fire in the fireplace to enjoy with wine and time together.
Now don't think that I'm a saint or the best grandma ever. We enjoy every minute and wouldn't have it any other way. In a way, we're very selfish. We love all the kids and especially the grandbabies.
I think Nana needs a nap. Later folks.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday Night Fun for Everyone

The "Spring Program" last evening was lots of fun for everyone. Harry and I had just about all the fun we could stand. The children all did a fabulous job. Everyone participated like pros.

Now on the the present:

Hamburger fixins' - Check
Broccoli - Check
Red Bell Pepper - Check
Cake makin' stuff - Check
Strawberries - Check
Popcorn - Check
New pajamas - Check
New inflatable mattresses - Check
New sleeping bags - Check
Swords that make bubbles - Check
Lego's at the ready - Check
New DVDs (2) - Check

Everything is ready for the Big Sleepover. The boys will make the cake (mix) and frost it (canned). Desert will be wonderful. Jesse will go to music lesson as usual. The sleep over will officially begin around 5 PM with dinner and whatever they decide to do next.

I do hope the boys have a good time. Mommy and Daddy really need a night out and alone. I'm so glad that we can give them that. Friday night is going to be big for everyone.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Evening Out for the Old Folks

The old folks are having a really early dinner and heading out to a musical program being presented by the oldest grandson's school. A few days ago, he called to give us a "special invitation" He also told me that he will be singing the "Rinky-Dink" song. We just can't wait.

Yesterday I twisted my ankle so I have a hitch in my git-along. It's much better today so I believe I'll live without permanent damage. Of course, I think the pain med made me silly. Who would-da thought?

Hope everyone has a happy day.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Big Plans

I noticed for the first time today that the birds are beginning their yearly migration. The bird feeders are busy with some little jewels just getting fat for a trip further north, and others are arriving hungry. There are just a few now but more will come. Tomorrow morning I have to fill all the feeders that are scattered around the yard. I wish these squirrels would stay on their side of the fence and leave the bird's feeders alone. There's corn and pecans for them across the fence. You may make note that all I can find to gripe about is where the squirrels eat. Wouldn't you say that's a bit petty?

I did a bit of shopping today for the Friday night sleepover. A new sleeping bag for each boy is something I'm going to surprise them with. I also found some swords (they are 'into' pirates right now) that you pour bubble "stuff" in. When you wave the sword bubbles come out. It's an outside toy but they should enjoy waving their swords and challenging the make belief bad guy. I bought some new sidewalk chalk. We'll try our luck at hop-scotch. I have a couple of new DVDs for after dark and new pajamas to wear while we watch them and eat popcorn and chips. Saturday morning we'll all be worn out. The time is fast coming when these 'dates' will no longer be something the boys want to do. I'm making hay while the sun shines, so to speak. I'm no saint - I enjoy this as much as the boys do.

Harry went to bed early. I think I'll head that way now. A wish for your perfect tomorrow and a hasty "Goodnight" takes me outta here.

Couldn't sleep - still awake at midnight. I changed the header picture to one Ricky sent me of the dessert bloom. That's Cucamonga Peak (7,200 ft el.) in San Bernardino County, Ca, in the background. There's been a lot of rain in the dessert that is bringing an impressive dessert bloom this year.

Back to bed. Hope I can sleep now.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Routine Day

Here we are at the end of yet another Monday - and a beautiful Monday it was. Lots of sun, high 60s/low 70'2, and grass beginning to grow. Our little so-called snow is just a dim memory. Our day was rather uneventful.

My dental appointment was cleaning only. No other work required. A quick check by the dentist, a couple of jokes, and I was out of there. I'm saved for another 6 months. Whew!!

Sarah's parents will be in town for a few weeks beginning sometime this week. They are from the frozen north land (Wisconsin) but have been in Florida for most of the winter. I know Sarah and Buddy will be glad to have them close. While they are here everyone will work together to move a heavy piece of furniture from our house to Sarah's. She will use it for storing baby necessities. The piece belonged to Harry's great aunt and will be perfect for the nursery. (Sarah really likes antiques especially if their history is linked with family.)

After the piece moves to its new home, I'll begin re-doing that room. Fabrics are already in-house as is the furniture. Painting and sewing is all that remains to be done. Oh yes, and the floor. I'm going to have the carpet taken out and go back to hardwood floors and a Persian rug. I'll have my time filled with both a day project and an evening one, too. (Remember the afghan - that's really slow-go.)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Smooth Glide

Sunday morning got off to a rough start but ended in a smooth glide. The problem started yesterday afternoon when I just felt out of sorts. It's unusual for me and Harry noticed. His fix was for me to not cook - he'd take me out to dinner - no big plans other than I wouldn't have to cook. It was an early dinner - sort of a come-as-you-are affair. I chose a fairly new semi-upscale hamburger place near home. Food was OK but not yummy. During the night Harry felt ill and so did I in the early morning hours. We didn't get as much sleep as usual. All that added to the time change just blew me out of the water this morning. I neglected to plan and shop on Saturday so had to do that this morning. It wasn't really a challenge. I made chili, strawberry shortcake, and . . you guessed it . . green salad. We had all the usual trimmings for the chili and I made Nana Burgers for the little ones.

All the children were here today. Sarah, our mommy-to-be, is now at 8 months and growing. She has the usual aches and pains from pregnancy but otherwise she is doing really good. She has an upbeat attitude and both she and the youngest son, Buddy, are happy. OB said we can expect a big baby - at least nine pounds. Of course it's too soon to depend on that calculation but we will have a big baby. Little babies don't happen in this family.

Both grandsons are well and in rare form. We not only have a play date set for next Friday but a sleepover as well. Now don't feel sorry for me - it's my suggestion and we'll enjoy it. Also Mary and Keith need some time for themselves. Mary will have the afternoon to make ready for their night out and Saturday morning will be a sleep-in morning.

It's night, night time. Both Harry and I are tired but we can sleep late in the morning if we need to. I have a late morning routine dental appointment but otherwise the day is open. Sending prayers for a safe and happy week to my readers.

I'm Late, I'm Late . . .

Not only did I sleep late but this #%*^ time change has me really off schedule. Why do we do this to ourselves two times every year? Who can we complain to? I feel like a groundhog on Groundhog Day!

The mully-grubs I had last evening are gone this morning. I still haven't decided on a menu for today and I'll probably have to go to grocery. I'm late, I'm late for a very important day.

Will post after the day's activities - Hope everyone has a fun day. Soul, your fun day should include lots of sleep.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Used Up

Oldest grandson cleaning Nana's car. Rocks are left over from previous project and saved for another.

Youngest grandson extending a welcome to the snow and inviting each little snowflake to bring all its friends.

This is a Saturday when I haven't done anything practical. The boys were here for almost 45 minutes early this morning. Just long enough to let me know that there is snow outside and that they love it. The snow looked big to them but it wasn't much snow and it's almost gone now.

I really feel used up this evening. Not sick, no pain, not in a bad mood, not depressed - just tired and used up. Can't think of a thing to say so I'm just going to bed now - before dark. Tomorrow will be better. . . I hope.

Take care and my best to everyone.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday is Finally Here

Wind, rain, and just a yucky day in general describes our day. Rumor has it that snow is on the way. We’ll see, but I’ll believe it after it starts to fall.

Some of my readers commented on how well I remember the details in the Blizzard Blanket story. I don’t remember many things that well. This was the first real blizzard I was ever in, white-outs only happened in the movies (I thought), and civil defense had never declared a total curfew in my world. All these things plus the fact that I was on my own with my two young sons totally depending on me was terrifying. I had seen movies of snow being blown as high at the roofs on houses, but this would never happen in my world. This blizzard began with a violent thunder storm. Snow and lightening together just didn’t compute. Cooking eggs in corning ware bowls over tea candles, and listening to the wind howl for four days only happened in horror movies. As was opening the drapes over the glass doors and realizing snow was piled against the window all the way to the top. I was so afraid my sons would freeze if I went to sleep and didn’t keep constant watch over them. Even though the lady from next door was with us, I felt so alone. This experience was truly a horror story.

Now I must file away those memories and get back to reality. Today is play day - the boys will be here to play with Nana and Papa before long. These are happy times.

I hope each and every one of you is well and happy. Make plans right now to do something fun this weekend – even if it’s only to sleep in.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Story of Our Blizzard Blanket

The Blizzard Blanket is stored in the very top of my linen closet. I need a ladder to get it down. I'll do that one day soon and post a picture of the blanket that's so much a part of the boy's memory and mine.

The Blizzard Blanket became part of this little family’s history in January, 1978. Even though my mother taught me to crochet at an early age I had never, ever made anything larger than a dishcloth with a crochet hook. I had done lots of knitting and was comfortable with all aspects of the craft. I knew it was a lot easier to rescue ones self from a dropped stitch while crocheting than while knitting. With two young sons and a husband living almost 600 miles away I certainly didn't need a dropped stitch to ruin a perfectly good day.

A friend who lived close to me made a small afghan in granny-squares. She used bright colors to compliment a quilt her grandmother gifted to her. The boys liked it and talked about it over the next week or so. Next frame has me buying yarn as the boys selected a variety of colors. The decision was to frame each block in black was mine. My friend gave me a copy of her pattern and helped me get started. I decided to work the pattern using two strands of yarn. (Otherwise I would have had way too much yarn.) The first stitch was made on the Monday following New Year, 1978.

I found that the squares were easy to make and that I could hold a conversation with the boys, take part in some of their games, and watch meals cook while making the squares. When I had as many squares as the pattern called for I looked at the left over yarn and decided to keep making squares until most of the yarn was worked. That decision resulted in an afghan large enough for a king size bed. I started setting the huge, heavy monster together at the end of January and finished it in the early hours of the 5th day of February.

The 5th day of February, 1978, was a lovely day. Temps were in the high 60s to low 70s. The sun was shining. Children were so excited that they could play outside. My two boys were invited to visit with a friend who lived a few miles away. Because it was very close to the grocery store, I decided to do my shopping two days early. I only shopped once a month and our shelves were getting bare. I filled the trunk of the car and part of the front floorboard with groceries and drove by to pick up the boys.

When I stopped at their friend’s house the boys were ready to go. It was 1:15 and a fairly strong wind had begun to blow but the temps were still steady. The mother of the boy’s friend told me that, while the weather reports didn't say so, we were in for a severe blizzard. I didn't really believe her. You know how it is in the mountains – folk tales rule. No way was she correct.

By 3PM it was 35 degrees, wind was blowing, and snow was swirling! By 6PM the weather reports said we were in for “the storm of the century”. Our dog was in the dog run and I went to leash her and bring her inside. While I was outside I was caught in my first whiteout. I couldn't’t tell up from down but the dog pulled me to the door.

Shift workers were kept at jobs, civil defense declared a total curfew, power and phones were out. My next door neighbor and friend made it to my garage door (her husband was trapped at work) and stayed with me and the boys. We had plenty of food but no heat. Temps dropped to waaaay below zero and the wind howled for three days. We huddled under that afghan for hours at a time with the boys between us to keep them as warm as possible. Thus the Blizzard Blanket was born.

Now you know the rest of the story.

This was called “The Storm of the Century” It lasted from February the 5th to the 7th and covered the whole Northeastern United States.

Thursday Morning Rambling

I really don't know what happened last evening but it seemed to me that busy was the word of the evening. I was late preparing dinner (chicken pot pie) - everything seemed to be late the whole day. Could it be because I slept until 9 o'clock? I don't think so because I do that sometimes anyway. Whatever. Today seems more normal.

I've decided that I need to declare a hobby. Harry is busy with his two little companies plus coral sales and I need something to do that keeps me occupied. Don't suggest spring cleaning. I retired from one job and I'm retiring from that one, too. What I really need is something to do for the two or three hours after dinner and before bedtime. The TV is always on but I seem to have lost interest in most programming except for Lost. I know, I'll make an afghan. I've done it before - I can do it again. Which brings to mind "The Blizzard Blanket" That's a story I'll tell you all sometime later. I'd like to take it out of storage and have a picture to go with the story.

This is the day that I need to do some major damage at the grocery store/s. I really don't mind going to grocery shop, going through checkout, and loading the stuff. I hate unloading at home and putting everything away. I'm thankful, though, that we have plenty of stuff to put away. Tomorrow is play-day and I look forward to that. The boys are growing up fast and before long play-days with Nana will be boring. I'm making the most of these days.

I've rambled about nothing. Time to take a deep breath, put on my big girl britches, and get on with this day. Hope all my blog buddies have a good day. Until later.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Spring is Trying to Break Through

Hope springs Eternal.........Miracles do happen every day. These pics were taken in my yard this afternoon. I'm no photographer, but I wanted to share these anyway.
Not a lot to say this evening. I'm tired or lazy, depending on your view. I'll surf later after I prepare dinner. Hope I find everyone well, happy and looking forward to spring.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Weather, Schedules, and Happy Smiles

It's Monday evening and a beautiful Monday it has been! Warm, breeze (not wind), and mostly sunny. The weather fronts are coming in from the west and are predicted to be here around midnight. Temps predicted to be 60 at midnight and near freezing by morning. That spells trouble.

Tonight I'm going to re-prioritize my "list" I lost out before the children were ill and our trip. Now I'm home and things are on even keel again. Time to get some things done. I have a BIG box to put things in for the curb. I also have a box for things to donate. Before I lost out on my routine I was doing a pretty good job. I plan to do even better this time. I absolutely hate the way my house looks - too much stuff. The little ones love it, though.

Last evening, the youngest came running from the sewing room to the kitchen with a beach towel in his hand. His eyes were sparkling and he sounded so excited. "Nana, Nana, wook what I fownd!" He found the beach towels that we brought back from Florida. We planned to give both boys a towel before they leave for the beach in a month or so. (When spring breaks are over.) Needless to say, each boy went home with his beach towel and a happy smile. Those children love the beach! It's OK that the towels were found. Maybe they'll find other treasure, too. Any suggestions?

Hope everyone is safe, sound, and happy this evening.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I Love Our Sunday Routine

Gathering day was a happy normal day. Our expecting DIL and son decided she needed to stay home on her own comfy sofa. The baby is expected to be big and she's already getting pretty uncomfortable. We miss them but understand. Everyone else was here. The oldest grandson is finally fever free. This flu has really taken its toll on him. The youngest grandson was in fine form - smiling, giving hugs, and telling us about his week.

The menu was eye of round roast, garlic potatoes, gravy, cooked carrots, and the ever present green salad. Desert was a strawberry pie (made with fresh strawberries) topped with whipped cream. Harry and I will have the same (left overs) for dinner tomorrow.

It's a long story and I won't tell it tonight but.........After years of thinking my mother's special recipes were lost forever I found at least some of them.

Caroline, they were under a powder puff in a cookie tin. Your encounter with powder puffs made me remember that smelly tin so I opened it, moved the puff, and there they were.

I'm going to make each and every one of these recipes over the next few weeks. I made the meat loaf already and it was exactly as I remembered it. Harry really liked it and told me not to loose the recipe again. I cooked the eye of round according to mother's hand written notes today. I was afraid it would be tough as shoe leather but it wasn't. It was lean, firm, but very tender. The gang all complimented the roast and I know they liked it because of the way they ate it. (No half slices left on plates.) Having everyone here and cooking for them makes me happy.

The guys watched the NASCAR race and I checked on it as often as possible. It was not a clean cut race. Tony Stewart had an accident and was pretty shaken up. He had to be helped from the car. Later he complained about his back. I hope it is not anything serious. Jeff Gordon wrecked at the end of the race. He really took a hard hit into an inside hard wall. Jeff was - of course - shaken but smiling and saying that he just made a wrong move. Edwards won and did his customary back-flip from the car window to the ground.

And so went my day. I hope you also had a pleasant day. Thanks for stopping by. My best to you.

Memories and Thanks

It's a busy morning and my mind is very busy. Many of my blog friends have things going on that bring memories to the surface.

I received my first award since becoming a blogger - it's from Jamie at Grace, too. She has serious health problems and I feel very humble that she would have thought of me for an award. If you have time, please visit her blog and wish her well.

This is the day that I should see all the kids. It's always a happy time for me when they are here. We wish our little family in Phoenix could be here, too. That would make a perfect day even more perfect.

I'll try to post again this evening, but if I don't I will tomorrow and remember - I wish all of you only the best. I'm thankful for all of you.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

At Soul's Request

OK, Soul, you asked for it. I don't have a copy of my yearbook picture but this was made within six months of that Sadie Hawkins Day dance. Somewhere I have a hard copy picture that was taken just before I left for that dance. Incidentally, it was a Rainbow Girls (Shrine) dance not a school dance. My date wasn't from the school I attended. He attended one of the private boy's schools in Chattanooga. (His name escapes me.) I - or rather - Dad provided a driver and car to pick up my date and take us to the dance. It was truly an experience.
The picture was taken with my Dad, who had just come home from the hospital following a heart attack. I was 17 and Dad was 75. Do you think that maybe I was an accident? You bet I was!