Thursday, July 30, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

We're home! It was a wonderful trip and Brandon, Dee and Riley are all moved into their apartment in Spokane. My Bob and I loved it there in the Pacific Northwest. I'll fill in the details as soon as I get settled back in. Re-entry into real life is difficult for me. Catching up on work, mail, e-mail, chores, etc. is a job. And I like things to be cleaned and organized before I feel I can get back into my hobbies. But I have pictures of the sites we saw along the way. We concluded that this is a beautiful country, except for Chicago. (No offense to those that live in Chicago). We just didn't care for all the traffic, congestion and people. Too busy for us. Not my kind of place to want to visit or live. The U-Haul ride was noisey and bumpy. It took us four days. Fixed up their apartment and did some sightseeing around Spokane and Couer D'Alene, Idaho. Absolutely beautiful! Brandon kept telling us on the phone that we would want to move there, and he's right. We flew home on Monday, which is a long trip in itself. We lose three hours in time change and then once we get into Pittsburgh we still have a 2-1/2 hour drive home. We're tired.
I hated to leave Spokane and Brandon, Dee and Riley. Of course I cried. The little bit of upside is that the house is totally ours again, which I like. Although, I have to say, having Dee and Riley living with us was a joy. I like having a schedule and a routine, which was almost impossible for several months. That's the upside I'm clinging to and working with because I really miss them and would cry all the time otherwise. I will learn to love my empty nest again eventually.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Five Generations of Girls

We leave with the U-Haul for Spokane in two more days. Then Dee and Riley leave our home for Pittsburgh next Thursday, fly to Spokane next Sunday. This was our last chance to get a five generation picture of the girls. Even if Brandon, Dee and Riley get back home for Christmas, we aren't sure if Grandma will still be around. So this is my Grandma, the great-great-grandmother of Riley, Riley, of course, sitting on her lap. My mother on the left, me, and Diana. We never thought this picture would ever be possible. I have two brothers, two sons, and until May 30, two grandsons. Grandma is not doing well at all, so we were so happy to be able to take Riley to her in the nursing home for her to hold. Grandma doesn't like her picture taken, but she was very willing to cooperate on this one. It was very sweet.

Look at these two beautiful girls, 93 years apart, looking at each other. Such a precious moment.
Great-great Grandpa loves babies, even though we had to remind him that this was his great-great grand-daughter. And he couldn't remember her name. But this didn't stop him from singing every song he knew to her. Very loud I might add. Nobody minded. You can't help but smile with tears in your eyes.

I realize how lucky I am and I'm thankful for such a blessed family.

I am cleaning and packing today. We pick up and load the U-Haul tomorrow. My Bob and I truck it on out of here Sunday morning. I will see my beautiful baby next Sunday in Spokane and then have to leave my son and his family next Monday morning. Too hard to think about.

If I don't get a chance to get on a computer before then, I'll cry on all your shoulders after July 27th.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Spokane or Bust

This is our last week with Dee (DIL) and Baby Riley. Their moving day to Spokane is Sunday, July 26. They are flying to Spokane with Dee's mother. Brandon, my son, is already there. He drove their car along with Layla, their dog, about six weeks ago. You may be wondering, how is their furniture and belongings getting there. That's what parents are for. My Bob and Dee's father are picking up and loading the U-Haul on Saturday and Sunday morning My Bob and I are truckin' it out to Spokane. Keep in mind, we live in Pennsylvania. It's a 36 hour drive, and that's by car. So I have a feeling it will take us a little longer. Bob says we're doing it in three days. I'm looking forward to it really. Now those that know me say they can't believe I would ride in a truck for that long, but I look forward to the adventure. Many of the states we'll be going through I have never seen and my son said it was a very pretty drive. Brandon, the Air Force Survival Trainer, just stopped at night at rest stops and rolled out his sleeping bag in the back of his Jeep, Layla (sharpay, retriever mix) stood guard at the window, and they had no problems. As his mother, I shudder to think of what Brandon and the Jeep smelled like when they arrived in Spokane. I'm not willing to experience the adventure to that degree. We'll be stopping at hotels along the way. Brandon got an apartment the day he arrived. He had researched houses and apartments for rent over the internet and had the appointment to see this particular apartment that looked the nicest on the day he arrived and rented it and moved in that evening. Now again, keep in mind, the only thing he had to move in was Layla, a sleeping bag, a towel, and a toothbrush. Again I shudder the thought. He tells me it's a very nice apartment in a very nice neighborhood and I'm going to love it. Of course, it's really only important that he and Dee love it, but he knows how his mother is. If it's a dump in a bad neighborhood I would never be able to sleep at night. He assures me otherwise. So here's what I'm really looking forward to; seeing Brandon again, I miss him a lot, seeing Spokane for the first time, and setting up the apartment for Dee and Riley to come home to. That includes a good cleaning and vacuuming first, of course. I can only imagine after six weeks! I taught both my boys how to clean, but sometimes I don't think males have the gene that sees dirt and clutter. It amazes me.
Dee, also known as Diana, will be back tomorrow morning from her weekend in Pittsburgh, and we will need to finish packing up their things. We have the U-Haul reserved. Note to self, call U-Haul to make sure it has air conditioning and DVD or CD player. I'm getting some books on tape and a portable CD player, if truck doesn't have one, and I'm going to the yarn store this week to stock up on some yarn so I have a few projects to work on while travelling. Just got off the phone with the doggie sitter making arrangements for Ellie Mae and Fergie. Talked to the neighbor about watering my flowers. Spoke to my mother about coming by to feed Callie the cat. Dee will stay here until next Thursday when she goes back down to her mother's in Pittsburgh, so she'll take care of things until then.
Bob and I will be flying back home on Monday, the 27th. That's going to be a very difficult day for me. I hate saying goodby, especially to my kids and grandkids and especially when they'll be so far away. Bob already told me we could go back to visit for Thanksgiving. I just don't want to talk about that part anymore.
Brandon and Dee are very excited about starting their new life together, in their own place, with his new job, and their new baby. I'm very happy for them, they are both great young adults. And I'll survive just knowing they're happy.
10-4 Good Buddy!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Perfect Day

I got it! Finally! My quiet, alone weekend. All the stars aligned and I wasn't about to let anything get in it's way if I could help it. And as an added bonus, the weather was perfect. It rained on Saturday, but that's what was perfect, because I wanted to work on some of my sewing projects and if the sun had been out I am pulled beyond my control to go outside. So it was perfect. It was just My Bob and I at home and he did his thing (working out and computer work) and I did mine (sewing while watching TV) and we hardly crossed paths or spoke. Very unusual. And it was a good, contented feeling, not a "stay away from me" feeling. Then Bob and Austin (oldest son) went to visit a good friend of the family that invited them to his house for a "man's party" as he had ordered the Ultimate Fighting Championship from Pay Per View for the night. I can't stand that stuff. I don't know how anyone can watch it, but obviously a lot of people do. Since the friend lives about two hours away and the fight didn't even start until 10:00 pm, they spent the night. Yipee!! I think only if you've been happily married (and I stress Happily so you don't get the wrong idea) for 30 years (well, mostly happy, that's a long time to be always happy) would you understand my Yipee. I did have to interrupt my quiet evening alone for a few hours since I promised my mother I would go with her to her cousin's 50th wedding anniversary dinner. Dad couldn't go. The dinner was very good, the people - so-so. Even though they're relatives I get the feeling they don't like me too well. Just a feeling. They're not warm and fuzzy at all. Just a woman's intuition kind of feeling I get. So when I got home about 8:00 I sewed my little heart out until 1:00 a.m. with the only interruption being to let the dogs out to "potty".
I had the best night's sleep. No aching back in the morning, no snoring to keep me awake in the middle of the night, no yanking the covers back to my side. Separate bedrooms sounds like a very good idea to me, but My Bob would never go for it. And when I woke up this morning, the sun was shining, the birds were singing and it was warm enough at 8:00 a.m. to sit on my deck and drink my coffee. Heaven on a Sunday morning. This is my morning coffee spot on nice summer mornings.

And this is what I look at. Lots of boats out today.
The rest of my morning routine consists of feeding my birds. I get this little yellow one that comes by quite often and I think it's so cute. I don't know what it is. I need to get a bird book so I can look the birds up by picture and I'll sound a little more intelligent about my birds. I'm that way about flowers, too. I love them and plant them all over the place, but I don't always remember the name of them all. I just know what looks good and if deer will eat them.

Then I feed my cat, Callie. She lives by herself downstairs because she doesn't like the dogs and she really doesn't like people, either. Just the immediate family will she tolerate. She'll try to bite any one else that tries to pet her or pick her up. I put her outside on nice days and she wanders around the yard a little bit then finds a safe place to nap away. Right now it's under the shaded table on the deck. We'd like her to chase away the chipmunks, but she's not interested.

I then water all my deck flowers. I didn't have to do too much of that this morning since it rained yesterday. My final morning chore that is new in the last few weeks is feeding my ducks. We noticed in the spring these eight little newborn ducklings down by our dock. We would watch them every morning come around and shortly there were only six. That was very sad. So we've continued to watch them grow all spring and summer and once in a while we would take bread down to the lake and feed them. I now lovingly call them my M.R. Duck Family. As in M R Ducks, no M not, yes M are, M R Ducks. Get it? Then the grandsons really enjoy feeding them and so they became very used to us. Now each morning when I walk out onto the back deck they are waiting down in the lake for me and as soon as they see me they come running up through the back yard all the way up to the driveway under the deck. So of course I have to feed them. "They" say you shouldn't do that, but I can't resist them. I miss them if they aren't waiting for me in the morning. After I'm done feeding them I tell them "all gone" and they turn around and waddle back to the lake. So Cute!

It's now 3:30 and my glorious, quiet day is almost over. Just the quiet part, hopefully not the glorious part. Bob should be back anytime now. I'm planning on making strawberry shortcake for later. There's something about strawberry shortcake on a sunny summer day that is so comfy. And now I'm renewed and ready for the week ahead. I have a feeling it's going to be a busy one. These little breaks sure do help. Next time I have a complaining day I need to look back on this post on this day and these pictures to remind myself how very lucky I am.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Alone Time is Hard To Find

There are just not enough hours in a day. I don't know exactly what to do about it. I wish I didn't need to sleep. That would give me about seven more hours to myself, which is really what I crave. Dee and Riley left late this afternoon for Pittsburgh for the usual routine of spending the weekend with Dee's parents. Even though I crave alone time, I am going to miss Dee and Riley so much when they move. Dee is very enjoyable to have living with us, and I can't quit holding and staring at Riley. My real little baby doll. I went with them for her 1 month check up today (actually 5 weeks) and she already weighs 10lbs., 13oz., up from her birth weight of 7lbs., 15oz. Chubby little thing, which is exactly how she should be.
I am trying to get more of my sewing and knitting done. I really enjoy these hobbies. I think menopause did something to the creative part of my brain and kicked it up a notch. At least one good thing that came from all these hormonal changes. I sometimes feel like I'm a different person since the onset of "M" and mostly for the better. There are a few things that are not better, but we won't get into that right now. Anyway, I'm currently working on several different projects. See my other site at for a look tomorrow. I'm too tired tonight to post it now. Here's where there is a time crunch. This new creative outlet of blogging is done in the evening and so is my sewing and knitting. I'm staying up until midnight or 1am to get as much done as I can, but it's not enough time. So let me take this time right now to apologize to all of you that may be reading this right now. I read all of your posts every night, but then I just run out of time to comment as I would like and then get my own posts written. In the evenings I've also been doing some research into setting up an Etsy site to sell some of my things. I would really like to do this. I think it could be so much fun and besides that, I have a lot of my "stuff" just laying around and in cupboards. I always thought about having my own little gift shop, and an internet shop would maybe be even better. I'm still debating the issue, though. I need to make sure I will have the time to put into it.
My days are taken up with working in my yard and garden, cleaning and taking care of my house, making lunch and dinner, taking care of the 2 dogs, and working for my husband a couple of days. Then there are the Wednesdays that I get groceries and run errands. A change I would like to make is to take a couple of hours during the day to work on my crafts. Evenings only just isn't enought time.
Then there's My Bob. He says I don't pay enough attention to him. Oh Please! We've been married 30 years and his office is in the house. I love him very much, but I'm very content alone a lot more than he is. Sometimes I just want to say, "Give me a break and leave me alone", or "I want a whole day to myself , I'm not working for you, or ironing your shirts, or fixing any meals" . But I would never do this. It wouldn't go over well. He's a great husband and it wouldn't be worth the bad feelings it would create.
Oh well, I am really not complaining about my life at all and sometimes when I read over what I've written I'm afraid it may come across as such. I don't mean to. In fact, quite the opposite is true. I have a great life and am very fortunate in many ways. I just need more time. I enjoy so many things in life and just can't get them all done. So this is one of my short term goals right now, to manage and re-arrange my time and projects to fit it all in. I'll figure it out and make it all work.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The 4th and Beyond

My precious little firecracker.
The holiday weekend is over and it's back to regular every day life. Our 4th was nice, but I almost hate to say, I'm glad it's over. It just gets to be busy and hectic and loud and I look forward to the calm and quiet. We had rain on Friday, so everything was very wet for Saturday, but there was no more rain. It was just very chilly. The fireworks out over the lake were great, and we sat on our peninsula and on our boat for the perfect view, while we shivered under sweatshirts and blankets. We have the most ideal fireworks viewing spot on the lake and we've had some pretty good 4th of July parties in the past. This year, though, was a little bit low key, which was actually nice. It was just the family, but of course my son Brandon wasn't here as he has already moved to Spokane. Diana, his wife, was only here with Riley for about an hour as her grandfather is very ill and her family spent the day at his home with him. My dad also wanted to bring Grandpa over from the nursing home to enjoy the family for a few hours. Grandpa loves being around the kids and family and eating food other than nursing home food. Grandma wouldn't let him leave her. My dad was so upset with his mother about this. Grandpa is 93 and his mind is failing, but is physically in very good shape. Grandma is the opposite. Also 93, her mind is sharp as a tack, but physically she is very bad. She can't do anything on her own, weighs 75 pounds and is in constant pain which so far the doctors can't find a real reason for. Grandpa is not allowed to help her in or out of bed or to the bathroom because they both have been know to fall down when he does this. But no matter, she doesn't want him out of her sight. It's a very sad situation all the way around for everybody. And then Logan, my 4 year old grandson, ended up with strep throat and so he only came for a short time in the evening to see the fireworks. He loves the water and swimming. I felt so bad for him to miss out on the day. It was not one of our best 4th of July celebrations, but we still enjoyed the family and the day that we had.
I should knock on wood or something when I say this; it hasn't rained since Friday. YEAAA! It's been very nice, although not real warm. About 70 degrees and sunny. Austin, my oldest son the Air Force Recruiter, had Monday off, so he brought Logan out to swim in the lake. Logan is feeling much better and he really wanted to swim. He's only 4, and never goes in the water without his swimmy vest, but I really want to get him into swim lessons at the YMCA.
Last night, my neighbor and her step-daughter had a jewelry party I went to. It was "Stella and Dot" jewelry. I had never heard of it before and it's very nice, I just didn't need any more jewelry. I got a sweet little key hole heart necklace just because I felt obligated to get something. It was very nice to get together with 9 other women and sit on the patio and small talk, so it was worth it.
Today Dee and Riley came back from their last 2-1/2 days in Pittsburgh with her parents. I miss little Riley when I don't see her for a couple of days. The day I leave them in Spokane to finally be in their new home with Daddy, will be a very hard day for me. We won't think about that yet.
I took my little black poodle, Ellie Mae, to the vet first thing this morning for her annual teeth cleaning. She is 10 years old and her teeth are very bad. She loses about 5 teeth every time I get them cleaned. She barely has any teeth left, but her breath smells a lot better. For now.

Friday, July 3, 2009

A true friend is someone who reaches for our hand and touches your heart. I'm passing this along to all my friends:

one) Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

two) Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

three) Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have, or sleep all you want.

four) When you say, "I Love You", mean it.

five) When you say, "I'm sorry", look the person in the eye.

six) Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

seven) Believe in love at first sight.

eight) Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.

nine) Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.

ten) In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling...

eleven) Don't judge people by their relatives.

twelve) Talk slowly but think quickly

thirteen) When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"

fourteen) Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk..

fifteen) Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.

sixteen) When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

seventeen) Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.

eighteen) Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

nineteen) When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

twenty) Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.

twenty-one) Spend some time alone.

I wish all my friends a happy and safe holiday!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My babies - Aren't they cute? Today was their monthly grooming day. They don't like it. They shake and shiver once we get about halfway to the groomers because they know where they're going. How do they know? It's so amazing the sixth sense (dog sense) they have. They can also tell things, like, if we're going to be going out of town. Do they really understand that suitcases coming out of the closet means they go to the doggie sitter? And they know when I'm sick. They'll cuddle up next to me and lick my face in a way that it seems like they're trying to make me better. Anyway, we're trying a new haircut style. They've always had the traditional poodle cut, but I saw a poodle last month that had a version of a Bichon cut. I had a Bichon that I just loved and had to put him down 2 years ago and still miss him. So I want to try this on them. It'll take a few more months to get the face fuller. I think Fergie (my little boy on the right) may look cute with the new cut, but Ellie Mae is 10 years old and her hair is thinning a little and her eyes get realy "ucky" so this longer hair around the face may not work. We'll see what happens. Notice their little 4th of July scarves.
My normal schedule is grocery shopping and errand running on Wednesday and office work on Thursday, but I had to switch it up a little this week. Anyone that knows me knows that I don't like to leave the house if I don't have to. Since the dogs were getting groomed today, I decided to get groceries and run errands in between dropping off the babies and picking them back up. And since 4th of July is Saturday and we have people over to watch fireworks, I needed the extra day to get together my list of things I needed for Saturday. But I've already started a new list of things I forgot or just thought of, so I'll have to go back out tomorrow. I hate when that happens. I'm finding it very difficult, though, to get in the outside party celebration mood because it's still cool and rainy. Everyone's mood is starting to become affected by the gloom. WE NEED SUNSHINE! They are saying Saturday is supposed to be the start of nice weather, but I'm not quite trusting them yet. Everything is so wet. The flowers in pots are getting wayyy too much water and not enough sun. They don't look as good as they should. The perennials look pretty good, but I have to keep spraying my homemade stinky deer away mixture because the rain keeps washing it off. I would normally decorate outside a little more, too, for the holiday, but I can't put too much out there. Oh well. People will still show up to watch the fireworks that are put off over the lake, and we'll have food and drinks, and everyone will still have fun. Just praying for no rain from about 4:00 pm until 10:30 pm. and I'll be happy.


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