Monday, February 28, 2011

Slosh, Slosh and Celebrate

Yesterday the weather was warming up. The snow was perfect for snowmen to be created. Anthony and his brother Cameron were giving it their best efforts. But the snow would soon give way to something else.

Around 3am I woke up to hear the rain just coming down in buckets..I couldn't help but think of Noah. Did his neighbors wake up to a sound as scary as this? Did they think that maybe he wasn't such a nut case after all? I kept thinking..Am I prepared for a house that could wash away? A basement that could flood? It was very scary to hear the wind and the rain just pelting the house. When I got up later, it had stopped raining, but I went outside to see the damage. All I heard was this roaring sound of rushing water. I realized it was our creek. It doesn't usually have enough umpf to make that noise. I threw on my boots and coat and headed across the yard. This area is a planting area and it does sometimes flood, but this was crazy! I wonder if any plants will survive. There is a spot under a tree in this area that has the grave of our little dog Ferris. Hopefully, that will not wash away!
This gentle, usually just a trickle of a creek was roaring by! This pic doesn't do justice to the height of the water or the speed.
Today is my birthday and Donna (Starkey Hollow) invited me out for a birthday lunch and to get there I had to traverse some crazy water and routes. This road was closed. That is usually a farmer's field and the water is right up against the road. Needless to say, I turned around and headed the other way.
This road was also closed. It took me a bit longer to get to our lunch rendezvous, but I did and we had a really nice lunch and a nice time to just sit and gab about everything from work, to kids, to silly things. Good girlfriend time!
If you know me, you know that my favorite sandwich is a ruben..Yum! So of course I had to order that. And if you really know me you know I always take pics of my food. Hey, I'm a blogger!
Along with my yummy lunch I received this awesome package. Nobody, and I mean nobody can wrap a gift like Donna. I didn't even care if it was an empty box because her bows and wrapping are a gift themselves! However, there was something cool in that box..
Inside that beautifully wrapped package was this...a lovely lunch has compartments inside and a icepack and it's insulated. I always bring my lunch most days and Donna noticed the not-so-cute box I was toting. She's so thoughtful! Thanks so much Donna! BFF! So even though the rain and flooding were a bit worrisome, the day turned out great. I stayed home and did nothing but read, relax and enjoy a quiet birthday.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What We Missed

We made a executive decision on Friday morning not to go to Michigan this weekend. We had planned on heading up to see Craig, Amy and the 3 monkey kiddos. We were going to head up after work, but we had no way of knowing just how bad the roads would be by then, plus, since we'd be driving in the dark by the end of the trip, it seemed the right thing to do. So we missed out on a few fun things we had planned..the following are pics of those fun things...or I should say people that we missed out on. But we will reschedule and hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate.
First and foremost...these are the 3 monkeys we missed...They are a hoot!

These two wild and crazy women on the left were suppose to come up and visit on Saturday. So I missed hanging out and having a good laugh with them. See 'ya in Chicago soon though!
Guess I'll just have to sit and look at this face instead...Help me!

Friday, February 25, 2011


This morning the dawn arrived with cold, grey skies and snow...much snow..and wind...much wind. We were expecting this and I actually was up, dressed and ready to head out for the hospital with my faithful, loving companion and driver with nerves of steel. We do not have 4 wheel drive. I must give credit to my 11yr. old car that has seen me to and from work in the worst of weather not boasting anything spectacular except dependability. And I'll take that. The driveway was not plowed, snowblowed, or shoveled, but we drove through it and up the road, down the winding byway that had zero visibility in some areas. We were careful to go slow. Slow but steady. We arrived in town to roads also not yet touched by a plow and stopped to help a motorist who had slid into a ditch. We had to take a few detours but made it to the hospital in time for my 7am shift. Jack drove on to his office to see if any patients would need an adjustment after shoveling all that mess! I arrived to see how many of my coworkers made the trek. Almost all arrived safe and sound. All had stories like ours, of helping others stuck, or in some way distressed. Some of the girls live 30-40min. away. The roads were bad. Their lives were really in danger. So why do we do it? Why do we feel the need to push ourselves on a morning that keeps school buses off roads so children will not be hurt, schools to close, businesses to shut down? Why do policemen, firemen, city workers who drive those plows, doctors, nurses, feel the need to get to work on time. Money? Prestige? Pats on the back? No. I would say the word of the day could be "responsibility"...or maybe it's hero. I'm certainly not putting myself in that category by all means. But as I watched my coworkers trudge on in, cold, wet from the snow, some limping because they fell on the walk from the employee lot that's 1/4 mile from the hospital, red cheeked, most smiling and grateful they made it because they knew all our patients would make it in, I had to feel respect. We are the same people that wanted to choke each other in the last few weeks because of being overworked, tired, hassled by the expectations and stress that this job offers. But like any dysfunctional family...and that's really what we are..a family, we pull together when the chips are down. Everyone doing what they can to make the day better, to help our patients who are scared, hurting, and looking to us to make it all better. Doing the extra work for those that couldn't make it in, and not complaining, just doing. Doing a job that we love and sometimes hate. But today I was proud of my coworkers. Probably next week we'll be back to wanting to choke each other again, but for today..they were heroes.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Am A Viking

This year is the 175th anniversary of the school district I attended in Chicago. My Sister was looking for class pics and any memorabilia to use in the celebration. I knew I had my 8th grade yearbook from our middle school. When I pulled it out I was reminded of a blog post from last year when I found my old diary. I sat and laughed when I read the diary and felt like I was having a talk with my young self. This was just as much fun, but with pictures. Where is that dorky kid? Oh yeah, she's now a dorky 57yr. old.
Class of 1967...Oh my. When I looked at my lovely, dorky self at 13 all the bad memories of why my hair looked so bad came back. I had long hair most of my young life. Don't ask me why I thought it should be short. On a whim I had it cut. I hated it. Unfortunately it hadn't grown out by the time our class pictures were taken...Fortunately, it doesn't look as bad as the girl next to me... Unfortunately, it looks very similar to my hair today...
Ahhh, the volleyball team! I loved, and still do like, volleyball, and it was fun to be on the team. Besides, my best friend was on the team we are, middle row, me...second from the left...her...first. Fun times...sure wish I could move as quick as I could then!
Did you have a favorite teacher growing up? I was on the newspaper staff. I wrote a column every week. My blogging beginnings! Mr. Reno was my favorite teacher. He was funny and nice, and cute and he believed I could write. My Sister did not like him but she'll have to explain that herself. When I saw his picture I had to look twice...he looks just like Dr. Frazee, an anesthesiologist at our hospital who also is funny,nice and cute and one of my fav Docs! Now that is a twilight zone moment! By the way, it's the dark haired man on the end, not the blond guy at the left of the pic.
Finally, in the middle of the yearbook there was the "class prophecy" page. I don't know who wrote them, but it made me laugh until I spotted the named "Calvin Bunge". I remember Calvin as the kid who was always in trouble, always struggling in school. A teacher's nightmare. I wonder if Calvin had been born in this day and age if medication would have been prescribed to help him focus? Would an IEP be put in place so special programs would be implemented to help him succeed? The word "genius" was placed by his name as a joke I'm sure. All I do know is he lived in my neighborhood, struggled through school and life and after high school he died when his van went over a bridge. Not so funny now. As I continued to read the predictions I'm pretty confident that Danette didn't go to jail, and Ken was not a go-go dancer. However, I actually turned out as expected and predicted. You'll have to guess what that was. I can sit back and be thankful that even at 13 it was my fate.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Those who read my blog noticed that I changed the header used to be similar to this one of our pine trees at the end of the drive...they welcome all who enter with a happy heart. I have photographed them in winter, spring and summer..fall doesn't count because they don't change color! But I think I jinxed us. Did you ever have a flu that hit you hard, unexpected? Really miserable? So sick you were afraid you wouldn't die? That was how I'd describe this snow storm that hit us last night. It had been really pleasant. The temps last week were in the upper 50's..even 60 one day. I could see my bulbs coming up! I was so giddy I put this header pic of our backyard from last July. Then out of nowhere, BAMB!!! We got slammed with 8in. of snow and ice that fell very fast and furious...but then this morning it was calm, quiet, and someone said even the sun shown for a bit. I wouldn't know because I was holed up in the surgery windows..The drive home was much more pleasant this afternoon and all that's left is a snow covered landscape, and memories of shoveling out and making donuts for everyone last night when we came in! Donuts make everything better..but the real dilemma...should I change the pic back to snow covered pines and take this curse away?

My chairs...the ones that I sit on with a book when the sun is shining..even on cold days! Poor babies!
Even though we've had a cold and icy winter, the amount of snow has been manageable, only accumulating 3 or 4in. at a time. But with the amount that hit us last night the new, never used this season snow blower got baptized...It works!
Even with a snow blower, shoveling is necessary.
Please don't hit me with the snow shovel...yes, I'm sick of it too, and yes I will always carry my camera and snap a pic when you least expect it..and remember I'm your Mamma...May this be the last of the snow pics...(can't promise though!)

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Yesterday...The warmer temps from this past week melted all the snow and ice. I even headed up to the creepy woods with a spring in my step and was pleased to find no snow up here either! I'm really glad I enjoyed the day and the trek because Mother Nature had some surprises in store.
Today...Big juicy flakes quickly cover the backyard all the way up to the tree line..which has the creepy woods right behind it!
Yesterday...Sedum covered in snow just a few days earlier is happy to show itself to a warmer, sunny day.
Today...the drive up to the front of the house may need shoveling before nightfall.
Yesterday...Bulbs are bursting green shoots out to greet the sun.
Today...the side yard is quickly becoming a winter wonderland...again.
And finally...Yesterday I made this roast chicken and Jack thought it looked really good and also "blog worthy"...yep it looked great yesterday...But it wasn't eaten until today!

Friday, February 18, 2011

9 to 91

Today we headed over to help celebrate our Grandson Anthony's NINTH birthday!! Happy Birthday Buddy! He had a few friends from school over and we came by and so did his other Grandparents. He wanted pizza and 7 layer salad for his b-day dinner...Steph made his cake and we ate, sang, opened presents, and listened to he and his friends laugh and wrestle around like 9yr old boys do! It was a fun night and I can't believe how time has passed. It sounds like a cliche, but so true.

Let's open some gifts!
The cake was very yummy...make a wish Anthony and hopefully all your wishes will come true!
Anthony says: It's fine turning NINE!!!
Now for the 91...

Today would have been my Dad's 91st birthday. It's hard to even think of him at that age because he died in 1976 at the age of 56. He was a fun guy! In a room of strangers, he'd be everyone's new friend. He loved to tell stories, play his guitar, sing, laugh, write poetry, read and most of all, he loved his family. He was devoted to my Mom and always made us 6 kids feel we were his most prized possessions. He could fix anything. He built his own house in 1951..and Mom lives there still. He served in WWII..he drove a tank, was shot in the leg and came home to start a his life and live in peace. The saddest day was when he had to send my 2 older brothers off to Vietnam..thankfully both returned safely. He wrote a poem about it. It's long so I'm only going to give a few lines. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of him, and always wish he could have met my children and shared in our lives. Here are just a few of his thoughts about going to war and sending his children to fight....
Then once upon a monarch's whim
I walked upon a foreign land.
I never knew just why
The sun upon the earth was darkened
The laughter in me died...
And I was not so young, and I was not so young

I took the path God gave me
I walked it straight and true
The happiness I found was not laughter
But home, and love, and family
That was so young, so very young
Then one day for the very cause I served
The happiness left me
To walk upon a foreign land
I loosed the hands I guided
I watched these men depart

I know from long ago
They are no longer young, no longer young......

That's how time is. One day we're 9 and life is full of promise and fun and endless days...then in a blink...we are no longer young. But what wonderful times and memories are etched in our hearts when we spend it with those we love. And remember those we will always hold in our hearts. Happy Birthday Dad!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Have a Heart

The following pics go together...can you guess why?
These looked so much prettier when I first put them on the tray...looks like they were attacked! I think you can tell what they are!
Hmmmm....good or bad?
Yum...watermelon..a new "super food"
What is this?
Big clue here!
Uh Oh..we're getting more serious...
Did you guess it? It's heart health month and we had a wonderful lesson in our women's meeting (Relief Society) tonight. We talked about getting our hearts healthy and also our spirits..My friend Lisa from work came and gave a lesson on blood pressure and answered many questions the ladies had about heart issues. We learned much, laughed more, and loved every minute of it! After everyone had their blood pressures taken, they received a "red bag of courage" (see pic above) that had heart healthy recipes, many pamphlets on heart health and even a bag of healthy snacks..Cheerios! Hey, they're not just for toddlers! Refreshments were healthy...the chocolate covered strawberries had dark chocolate..the cookies? Ok, maybe not so much! Watermelon? It is the new heart super food people! Everyone left with a better understanding about heart health...hopefully it will save a life. Are you taking care of your heart?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Roses Are Red



Sunday, February 13, 2011

I am not a poet...don't claim that privilege...but this picture of our sky that I took tonight reminded me of this poem I wrote many years fits this time of melting snow and warmer winds that were such a gift today.

Sun, please come up,
Show a pink smile over
A grey freezing city.
A grey halo engulfs us.
Street lights flicker out,
Startle me alert.
Time to face a winter morning

Winter, your time is almost gone.
Make your final peace and leave
Me cold only a few hours more.
Wind-whipped mornings
Chill me on longer.

Sun-warmed days, melting
Snow into memory.
Not quite Spring,
But a close facsimile.
Enough to make me smile,
To feel warmth and hope for
Future days of lazy afternoons
And sweet, watermelon nights.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cheap Fun!

Last night our Church social was the annual "Cheap nite out..Chili cookoff"..Chile experts from our little branch come and enter to see who has the best chili. I didn't enter this year. I just wasn't in the mood I guess! There were many that ranged from the weirdest...mussel and venison chili?...the the tastiest...well, you get the picture. Skits are also part of the night and those ranged from the the funniest..well, it was a night of laughs and food and fellowship. One way to warm up a cold February night! Unfortunately, all of my picss of participants in the skits turned out blurry. I did manage a few that turned out. I had to show what food I brought since I didn't bring chili.

Summer came to enjoy the night...she looks very involved at something.
Ooops! Caught by YaYa...texting away! Atleast you weren't driving while texting..atleast you're still only 12 and I don't have to worry about you texting while driving!
Now this was a mistake...What I mean is, I was going to take a pic of my Greek chicken before this point. But I forgot so I quickly clicked away as it was heading into my mouth! Yummm...chicken, spinach, feta cheese..nectar of the Gods!
For dessert? Fruit pizza was fun to make and even funner to eat!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Grab Your Quarter!

Do you have a favorite store in your neck of the woods? We have a small variety here in our little town..some grocery stores that are pretty decent. But for some reason I just love this one. Do you have Aldi where you live? I don't think you can find it west of the Mississippi and that's so sad. I try and convert all my friends to this place. The prices are reasonable and the items range from the ordinary, to the gourmet, and they even have an isle with merchandise like crock pots, cooking items, toys, and it changes every surprises abound! You have to load your own stuff, and bring your own bags or buy them there, but I like to bring mine so I feel "green"! Sorry, no cute little bagger boys to take them to your car like a couple of the other stores in town. If you have one, go..and then go again..pretty soon you'll be blogging about it and people will feel sorry for you for having such a boring life that you blog about a grocery store...
The isles are nice and wide and the selection is varied and fun and good prices too! It really was busy today, but I found an isle with no people so I clicked away..I didn't want to weird out anyone by taking their pics without permission..I try and keep that for family and friends.
This is the cool thing about bring a quarter..I actually have what I fondly call my "aldi quarter" in my car at all times..and put it into this thinga mabob and it releases the shop and when your done you return said cart and get that quarter back. No carts left in the parking lot..all neat and tidy!
Finally, here I am being amazed at the was 5de. below zero, but I was still amazed at the sun..check out my shadow! Hahaha! I don't know why I think it's funny..probably because it's 5de. below zero and I had brain freeze! Oh, and the sidewalk isn't shoveled for a reason. Underneath all that snow is pure's much safer to tromp through the snow, believe me.