Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Skies Still Dark, Mood Brighter

Today felt much better than yesterday, as I knew it would. My Bob was much calmer and into his work week groove, as I knew he would be. After almost 30 years of marriage you just know the best way to deal with each other and hang onto the saying, "This, too, shall pass". The longer you're married, the better you become at reading and handling the needs and moods of your spouse; or is it, the better you are at reading and handling the needs and moods of your spouse, the longer you stay married? Either way, it has worked well for us.

Today is Tuesday, so half the day was spent working in my "office", as part time office assistant for My Bob. Thought you may want to see my "office". It's a great corner office with a great view, and comes complete with a full kitchen. Ha Ha. I have my little antique desk, file drawer and printer set up in the corner of my breakfast nook. When I'm done working, I close up the desk, file all the papers, and my kitchen's back in order. It's a great set up and I know I'm very fortunate to be able to have it this way.
After lunch, our neighbor asked if we had any use for some left over gravel that he had in his pick up truck. He's had to tear out and now rebuild part of his patio because it sunk about 4 inches after the winter. My Bob appreciated the offer because he needed to fill in some sink holes that develop every year out on our little peninsula in the lake. The muskrats and the water digs away at it from underneath. Here's Bob and Corky, the neighbor, shoveling the gravel into our wheelbarrow. My Bob always feels good after some physical activity, so this was a welcome break. I do mostly all of the yard work, but the heavy lifting stuff I have to leave to Bob.
Thank goodness they got this little project done just in time, because guess what? You got it, as usual, it started to rain. And not just a little bit. It poured, and the wind blew, and so much hail came down my back deck looked like it was covered with ice cubes. That storm didn't last too long, although it has continued to sprinkle the rest of the day. Bob came down stairs from his office, walked into the dining room and yells into the kitchen at me, "What happened in here?" There was water all over the floor in front of the bay window. And it didn't come in through the window. It was dripping from behind the molding on the ceiling. Great! It's always something, isn't it? But you know what, surprisingly neither one of us got too worked up. We remained calm, I cleaned up the mess, and we'll have to get someone to take a look to find the problem. It's not leaking any more, even though it's still raining. The strong wind must have done it. We'll get it fixed. "This, too, shall pass". (My new mantra)

The puddle was on the floor right under the plants. You can see the sudden water stains on the ceiling, but thank goodness it was on hardwood and not carpeting. I guess you need to look at the positive.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays

After the very relaxing and quiet Sunday we had, waking up to Monday was a little hard. My Bob especially gets stressed on Mondays. The start of the work week and the pressures puts him in a foul mood. And his office is in our home, so I hear about it all day. As the week goes on he settles back down. There are a lot of pressures on him and I wish I could make it all calm down for him, but there's not much I can do other than listen to him and understand. He's a Financial Planner and does well, but this has been a very trying year. What used to be a good and fun career is now very difficult with many changes. I don't know how he does it and I'm amazed at how knowledgeable and intelligent he is, but I hope it becomes fun again some day soon. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I work with him doing mailings, paperwork, bookkeeping, etc.

Mondays for me is busy, but I actually enjoy it. I keep a pretty tight schedule for myself during the week days. Mondays I wash the sheets and clean my bedroom and bath. I do the laundry and some ironing, clean the guest bathroom and usually I clean the hard wood floors and vacuum the main floor. Today, though, I knew more rain was coming later this afternoon so I worked outside trimming more of my row of hedges in the front of the house. With all the rain, they are just out of control and the weeds are ridiculous.

With Bob taking on the responsibility of income, I try to take care of everything else and make our home and life as comfortable as I can. We have a large house and a big front and back yard so I need to stay on a schedule or I can't keep up with it all. I am cursed with being a perfectionist which causes me more work than is probably necessary, but I have no control over my neurotic ism.

Austin, my oldest son, came out for lunch. He starts his new job as Air Force Recruiter on Wednesday. So today he was out taking care of some things he needed to do, then wanted to work out so he came to our house. Bob has weight equipment in the back of our garage. People come here all the time to work out. Bob is a part time personal trainer, pro bono. He loves it. I always told him that was his natural calling. He should live in Hollywood and be a trainer to the stars instead of dealing with all this financial mess. Yea right - that's not going to happen!..Or he'd be great as one of the trainers on "The Biggest Loser". That's not happening either, but he really would be good.

I just listened to the weather for the week and it's supposed to rain every day through Friday and temperatures in the upper 60's to 70. Great fall weather, except it's summer. Doesn't really feel like it.
Hopefully tomorrow feels a little more positive, especially for my Bob. When he's down, I'm down. You know you love someone when you wish you could take their pain, or misery on yourself so that they would feel better. Of course, all the rain and clouds don't help.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Just a Few Quickies

I've gotten a little behind in my blog reading and writing. Life gets in the way sometimes. So first of all, I have spent this rainy, gloomy Sunday reading and getting up to date with all my friends out there. I can't possibly take the time to comment on all, but I want all of you to know I've read them all and I'm all caught up.

Second, I feel so bad about all the celebrity deaths this week. I'm sad about Ed McMahon and Farrah Fawcett. They were both ill and it's not that these were so shocking as they were a loss of reminders of my childhood. I watched the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Ed as often as I could and in my opinion, there's been no one yet to replace them successfully. Farrah Fawcett was an idol to this young Nina. I had the Farrah hairdo as a teenager and even did some amateur bathing suit poses trying to look like her. I always thought she was beautiful, until the day she died. Then there's Michael Jackson. That was a shock. He was a little crazy in later years, but I loved watching him perform. No one can deny that he was a musical master. Such a sad life, though. Now today, Billy Mays. I don't know much about him, but it seems everyone knows his name and face. And again, only 50. They say these deaths come in threes, but the list seems to be growing fast beyond that.

Third, this weather around here stinks. We have about one good summer day and then four or five cold and rainy. Summer in Western PA is too short to have this many bad days. My flowers are getting too much water and my brain is not getting enough sunshine. I try to make the best of it and get caught up on inside projects and hobbies.

This has been a relaxing, do what I want, and sit on my butt all day kind of day. And I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I needed it. Nobody is calling, nobody is stopping by, and I may just have cereal for my Bob and me for dinner. Good thing I don't have too many days like this or I could get real lazy and fat.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Attitude Adjustment

When I sat down tonight to read the new posts for the day, I already had in mind what I was going to write in my new post. But I'm happy to say I've changed my mind. I was all set to complain about some things that were bothering me and that I was mad about. Then after reading some very inspirational posts tonight I've changed my attitude. In particular, I'd like to thank Joan at http://50somethingwoman.blogspot.com/ and Stephanie at http://nieniedialogues.blogspot.com/ . And then I actually inspired myself after reading Amber Rose at http://opinionatedarewe.blogspot.com/ I gave her some words of advice in a comment, and I made myself realize that I needed to take my own advice. Sometimes knowing something and actually doing it are two different things. But I'm going to make my actions speak now.

I was very upset after hearing that my DIL's brother, Ronnie, is moving back here upon his release from the hospital tomorrow from his very serious car accident with my son's car. But now I've decided I need to pray for Ronnie's health and recovery and hope that this doesn't affect Austin and Melissa's life, marriage and happiness. There, now I can release it. That's all I can do. It's not my problem.

As I told Amber, a rule of life that I try to follow is to eliminate all that is toxic in my life. Whether it be food, people, thoughts, habits, etc. Doing what you know to be best can be difficult and you need to be reminded once in a while. So my thoughts need to turn to the positive. I can feel the weight lift a little already. I'm still being troubled by these headaches and I think a change in my thinking and attitude may help this. I may even sleep a little better, too. I'll let you know tomorrow how this works out.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there. And I want to acknowledge the Fathers in my life. First there is my Grandfather. He's 94 years old and I wish I had a picture to download for all to see. He's still very handsome, but more importantly, he has been the best Grandfather anyone could ever have. It all started with him being a great father to my father.
My father is the best father a daughter could ask for. If you were able to choose your own father, I would still choose him. He even loves my Ellie Mae (black toy poodle) as his own.
My Bob is such a good father to my two sons. He's also so loving and very close to his grandchildren. (Sorry these pictures are a little blurry. I need to work on my photography skills)

My oldest son, Austin, never planned on being a father at soon as he was, but he certainly learned how to be a good father from the best, his own father. It is the strangest thing to watch your own children become parents.

My youngest son, Brandon, is a brand new father, but I can already tell that he absolutely loves the role of father to his beautiful little girl, Riley.

I believe the best thing we can do for our grandchildren is to be good parents and role models to their parents. It's not always been an easy thing to do, but we always try our best.
And to have Father's Day fall on the First Day of Summer made it a very "feel good" day.
Hope it was the same for you.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Too Much!

My posts seem to get so long winded. I need to shorten them up a little. There just seems to be so much going on in my life right now and I feel this need to go into too much detail, I guess.
Little Fergie boy is doing much better. He's back to his hyper little self. Thank goodness.
Melissa, DIL, went back to New York to visit with her mother and check on her brother, Ronnie. He's still in the hospital and about the same. Austin (my son) stayed home with the boys. Because I'm his mother, I feel bad that now he is without a car due to no fault of his own. The poor guy gets back from San Antonio after 8 weeks away, and was so excited to come home, and has to come home to all this chaos of no car, brother in law in the hospital, and his wife leaves. No matter how old your kids are, as a mother you always want to try to fix all their problems, but you can't!
I visited my grandmother in the nursing home yesterday. We're pretty sure she's had another mini stroke. She has no use of her left side, she weighs 75 pounds, can barely speak and says she has constant pain in her abdomen. It's so sad. She's 93 years olds and tells us she wishes she would die. It's very hard to witness.
I had my monthly hair appointment. I keep my hair very short and usually go for a reddish brown color in fall and winter and then lighten up with blond foils in the summer. Because of my place in life now I'm just tired of messing with the color. I told my hairdresser to let it just go natural and she said she wouldn't let me do that. I guess my real color is a very boring brown with gray. So we compromised and just did about 10 foils in the front only. I like it for now. I'll have to get a picture to see what you think.
Today was spent helping out with the First Annual Modern Day Soap Box Derby race in our small town. My dad started it up again after over 50 years. He raced in the Soap Box Derby in the early 50's. I'll put up pictures and more on this another day.
It's after 9:00 pm and I've been up since 6:00 am. But now we're awaiting some friends that have come into town for the night and have asked if they could spend the night at our house. Of course we said yes, but I don't think we'll be able to stay awake. I feel like Motel 6 and I'll "leave the light on".
Is it considered rude to not answer your phone or your door? I'm tempted!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Part Two - The Bad News

O.K., so the weekend was great, but then along came Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. They say you have to have the bad with the good. You can't appreciate the ups without the downs. For every hill there's a valley. You get my drift.
Just a brief little history: My DIL Melissa's 29 year old brother, Ronnie, from New York, was temporarily staying with Melissa here in town while recovering from a back disability. Last Friday he had to return to NY for a few days for a doctor's appointment and was to return on Monday. He used my son, Austin's, Blazer for the trip since Austin was not returning from San Antonio until last night (Wednesday). Melissa was becoming worried that he hadn't been in touch with her on Monday and finally received a phone call that he had been in a very serious accident and was in intensive care in a hospital outside of Binghampton, NY. The Blazer was totalled and towed to the junk yard. We live four hours from said hospital. Very early Tuesday morning Melissa brought the boys here and left for NY.
Also on Monday evening, my little Fergie boy became very sick with vomiting and diarhea and he only weighs 5 pounds to start with. He probably ate something bad outside ie: dead bird, dead fish, deer or goose poop are some of his favorites. So in addition to the very busy and demanding 3 and 4 year old boys, I was cleaning up Fergie's messes all day. Toward the end of the day he just stayed in his little bed and slept. I called the vet, but by evening the worst seemed to be over. The poor little thing can't weight any more than 4 pounds now.
Now on top of all this, I developed a headache like I had never had before. I don't know if it was from stress, sinus, or a migraine, but it felt like knives stabbing the right side of my head. My Bob is a great grandfather and a big help with the boys. He took them down to the lake and Logan loves to be thrown off the dock and swim his way back. Landen doesn't like the water and just enjoys standing on the dock and watching. But Bob had to go on some appointments in the afternoon and the boys were left with only me. I'm not quite as much fun as "Grandpa Bobby" and it takes me a while to settle them down. So with tears in my eyes I was busy and on my feet all day.
To put into perspective, though, I wasn't laying in intensive care in a hospital in New York.
I feel like I didn't sleep Tuesday night due to the killer headache, and of course the boys were up at about 7:00 am. It rained all day so we had an inside play day, which I had to remind them is a lot quieter and calmer than an outside play day. Fergie seemed much better, though, and I found some sinus pills that helped.
Melissa came back home by about 4:00 in the afternoon on Wednesday, picked up a pizza on her way here to pick up the boys which was a great answer to "what am I going to make for dinner?"
Shortly after she left with the boys to go home, Bob left for Pittsburgh to pick Austin up at the airport. I feel so bad for him in that he was so excited to get back home from San Antonio after 8 weeks of Air Force Recruiter training and he missed his family so much, but he had to come back to this terrible news and uphevel and no car.
Uncle Ronnie is out of intensive care and they say he can go home on Friday. My question that I'm afraid to ask right now is, home to where? He is single, has been living with his father in NY until recently staying at Melissa and Austin's, and is going to now require a lot of care and help. Is he coming back here for Melissa and Austin to take care of or is he going back to his father's? I don't feel like my thoughts and feelings are in the right place about this right now. Regardless, it's not my problem (directly) and it's not my decision and there's nothing I can do about it anyway. I'll just have to work on my thinking and deal. Maybe I need to take something stronger than sinus pills - what do you think?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Part One - The Good News

When I left you last Thursday, I was hoping for a nice weekend and looking forward to some much needed relaxing and alone time. Well, my prayers were answered and I thoroughly enjoyed Saturday and Sunday. Now I realize that today is Wednesday, so just suffice it to say that it's a good thing that I had those two days because Monday afternoon started a two and half day headache, literally and figuratively. But let me start with Part I and the good news first.
Saturday I was able to work outside and in my gardens all day long. Loved it! I have discovered under the weeds and sticks that there are a few perennials that didn't survive the winter, deer, rabbits, and chipmunks. One was a butterfly bush that was huge and beautiful last year. Oh so frustrating.
Then after waking up to an absolutely gorgeous Sunday morning with very sore muscles (my Bob can't understand how gardening can create sore back and legs, but it does), I took my coffee and cinnamon roll, my knitting, and my current issue of "Country Living" magazine and went down to my "sitting room" on the lake.

Here was my view from my lounge chair
This was my entertainment. Daddy duck - don't know where Mama Duck was at the moment.

And their family of 6 babies. There used to be 8 -- I don't want to think about the reason.

Finally, my Bob decided to join me around lunch time and noticed that our weeping willow that we planted last summer was leaning way to the left, so he tied a rope around the trunk and pulled it to the right and tied the rope around the lamp post. Hope that works. We have a family of muskrats that live under our little peninsula and they dig from underneath so each summer we have to fill in with mud, rocks, etc. Nature needs a little re-arranging sometimes.

The day was glorious and then for dinner we had Mom, Dad, DIL Melissa and grandsons over for hot dogs on the deck. That was after Mom, Dad and I took a short boat ride around the lake. My first so far this summer.
That was the end of our quiet, relaxing weekend.
Tune back in for Part II and the bad news from Monday and Tuesday.

Thank You, Judy S.Q.

Thank you Judy the Squirrel Queen. I really appreciate these awards. As we all know, out there in Blogville, it is nice to know that others are reading and looking at what we enjoy putting out there. I am passing this on to all those that find the time to follow me once in a while, but I will mention one by name only because I don't have much time right now. I will single out more when time allows.
Please take the time to check on Grandma J's blog at http://askgrandmaj.blogspot.com/ She is so talented and funny.

The Love My Friends award is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers.

Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Empty Nest Making a Comeback

Things are slowing down around here a little, it seems. This is the first night my Bob and I have been alone in our house in I don't know how long. Now don't get me wrong, I love my DIL, Diana, and our new granddaughter, Riley, but there's something to be said for having your house and life all to yourself. Diana and Riley went to Diana's parents' for the weekend in Pittsburgh. For the next month or so that Dee and Riley are still living here in PA, they will spend half the week here (we are 90 miles north of Pittsburgh) and half the week at her parents'. And since Brandon now has Layla the dog with him in Spokane, things sure are quiet and clean in my house. Anyone that knows me knows that I love peace, quiet, a clean neat house, and my alone time, but you know what? I sure miss them all already.

Before Dee left today, we had a visit from my cousin-in-law, Jane, and her children, Libby age 11 and Grady age 5. They live in Harrisburg and are on their way to Michigan to visit Brad's (my cousin, Jane's husband) maternal family. They are stopping here for the evening in order to meet Riley and to visit my grandparents in their new home at the Nursing Home. Brad is in Arizona hiking down the Grand Canyon and will meet up with his family in Michigan in a couple of days.

We heard from Brandon this afternoon and he made it to Spokane. He did very well and made very good time. I'm always amazed when I see how "adult" my sons have become. He went directly to look at an apartment he had been applying for online. I think he actually rented it today and will be staying there as of tonight. Of course, he won't have any furniture or belongings until Dee moves out there in about five weeks. He says he's fine, he has a blanket and a towel, toothbrush and toothpaste, and Layla. Believe me, he was not raised in this style of living. I don't think I could live like that for even a few days. I don't mean to sound spoiled but I like to be comfortable. Anyway, enough about me. I am so proud of both of my sons. It's so amazing to see what great young men they have become.

Now this weekend would really be ideal in our re-claimed two day empty nest if the weather would warm up and quit raining so I could get out in my yard and garden, sit by the lake, and get out in my kayak. But if that doesn't happen, I'm still OK. I'll enjoy catching up with my knitting and sewing. I also feel the cleaning/organizing/decorating bug coming on. I'm never bored, and I feel sorry for those that are.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Life Goes On

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband, Bob, today. He's 55 years old. I think he looks real good and not his age at all. We've been married almost 30 years and he has never missed a week, in all those years, of working out, lifting weights and exercise. I wish I could stick to it like that, but I find I have too many other things I'd rather do. I guess it should be a priority for me like it is for him. I'm not sure if we are really doing anything special today to celebrate. We had cake on Sunday while our son was still home and we had the grandsons visit. Since some things have quieted down a little, I think we'll just enjoy some peace and quiet time. I think if I just pay some extra attention to him he'll be happy. I've been so pre-occupied lately with children, grandchildren, parents, and grandparents. My Bob has been a little bit ignored. And we all know that men are just big kids and need attention!

To catch up those of you following along, my DIL, Melissa, got home safely from San Antonio. And my son, Brandon, is doing well on his cross country drive to Spokane. Bob spoke to him this morning (thank goodness for cell phones, how did we live without them). He is in South Dakota and has decided to stop to visit Mount Rushmore. Good for him, I wish I was with him.

Life is an adventure, isn't it? Something new every day, and when things look bad or impossible, life just keeps moving on and it seems everything eventually always works out. This realization has become more true after 50+ years of life and 29+ years of marriage.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lots of Comings and Goings

It was another nice and busy weekend. Bob helped my dad with my dad's Soap Box Derby trial runs early Saturday morning. (Check back in for more on the Soap Box Derby on another day) We've had so many visitors stopping by to see Riley, our new baby girl grandie. We also kept the two grandsons Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Melissa, our daughter-in-law is in San Antonio for the weekend to visit Austin (our son, her husband, boys' father). He's there for about 2 more weeks for his Air Force Recruiter Training. Melissa was missing him and decided to fly down for a nice weekend together. Melissa's brother is here from New York and is staying with the boys, but he's not well with back problems, so we picked the boys up and brought them out here for several hours each day. They are fun and funny, but very loud and active little boys. Logan wanted to swim in the lake, but it was just too chilly. I wish summer would show up around here.
Landen was very interested in Riley and wanted to hold her. He was so proud of the fact that she was his little girl cousin. He was very gentle with her. He gave her the sweetest little kiss.

Dee's brother's little girl, Avery, came over to see her new little cousin.
Aren't they cute?

On Sunday, we had a very nice brunch at the Country Club, then several of Brandon and Dee's friends came over to visit to see Riley and to say good-bye to Brandon. We had Dairy Queen ice cream birthday cake for my Bob. (Chocolate Crunch - our favorite) His birthday is Wednesday, but since Sunday was Brandon's last full day home, I had cake on Sunday. (I can't believe I forgot to get a picture of Bob and cake - sorry)
Today was a sad, rough day. Brandon packed up his car and Layla the dog and got ready for his long trip across country. He is supposed to view an apartment in Spokane on Thursday. I'm worried that he won't get enough rest along the way. It's a 35 hour drive from here to there and he's doing it alone. Dee will be here for at least 5 more weeks, then she, Riley and Dee's mother will fly out. Bob will load up the U-haul from this end and drive out with the furniture. I'll go with him if no one else is. We'll figure that out as time gets closer. So I have Dee and Riley with me for about five more weeks, but I had a terrible time saying good-bye to Brandon today. I'm so worried about him driving that far by himself (even though he's a Survival Trainer for the Air Force). He's still my baby boy and I worry. Besides that, I won't see him now for several months. Hopefully Thanksgiving.

Here's Layla saying good-bye to the Lake. This has been her home for about the past four or five months. We'll miss her, but I won't miss her shedding.

Brandon saying good-bye to Dee and his new baby daughter. This scene got my tears started and I haven't quit yet. He left about 5-1/2 hours ago. My eyes are just burning from all the crying. It was a really hard day for Dee. She has a lot of help and support here, but we don't make up for Brandon not being with her. She's been a real trooper, though, going through this big life change with Brandon going into the Air Force and away at basic training in San Antonio and now in Spokane while she is here with her in-laws and pregnant. And now being here alone with her new baby while he gets living arrangements made and she lets Riley get a month or so older.
Melissa, other DIL, gets back home early in the morning, about 2 a.m. I'll be glad when she's home safe. Austin will be back home on June 18.
Life keeps moving fast! I made a vow to myself to stop saying this, but here goes anyway: I'm tired!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It's A Girl!!

Sorry it took me so long to let you know what happened. It's been a little crazy hectic around here lately. Now I have to make this another quick one. It's midnight and I'm tired, but it's the only free time I had.
So we have Riley Loren! She was born Saturday at 3:30 pm, weighing 7 lbs, 15 oz., 21" and just beautiful. We were very surprised it was a girl. I'm so excited now to be able to buy and make pink.
Brandon was the only one in the delivery room with Dee, but there were 12 family and friends in the waiting room. It was such a fun, happy and exciting event. We have known Dee's parents and family for over 25 years, so the whole thing was so amazing that these two kids (Brandon and Dee) that have known each other pretty much their whole lives ended up getting married and now have a baby.

Daddy and his little girl

My new granddaughter all in pink for her first outing to great grandma's house


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