Friday, April 30, 2010

Busy Weeks Go By So Fast!

Have you missed me?  This has been such a week. 
My computer kind of died on Monday.  It just kept shutting down right in the middle of things.

 I couldn't work on it like that.  Got it to the computer fix-it shop and it looks as though the fan and motor just needed some cleaning.  Working good now. 

We also got the grandsons on Wednesday since their mother had another sonogram on Thursday and then left from there to go for her Air Force Reserve weekend in Pittsburgh.  Their dad, (our son, Austin), works long hours as an Air Force Recruiter and does quite a bit of travelling so they just brought the boys to us until Sunday.  They are really good and very sweet, but I get so worn out.  I wouldn't have had time to get on the computer even if I had one this week.

They love getting a "tubby" with bubbles in the jetted tub.

My other DIL, Dee, and my granddaughter, Riley, are in town from Spokane for two weeks.  They split their time between her family in Pittsburgh and the rest of the family here.  We got to see her Wednesday and Thursday.  What a doll baby.  Dee looks real good.  She's also pregnant and due in September.

 They're having a boy this time. We now have a pattern that seems to be evident; the DIL's gain more weight being pregnant with girls versus pregnant with the boys.  Interesting!

I had all three of my grandchildren with me at the same time for one day.  That's only happened twice now.  I'm a lucky grandma.  I can't wait to be able to get pictures after September of me with all five of them.

We had a frost for two nights in a row and it looks as though my yellow dahlias didn't make it.  I covered them each night.  The red daisies did just fine, though.  Now today was a beautiful, sunny and 80 degree day.  I was able to clean off some of the yard furniture while the boys played outside.  Work time is cut in half with them, though, because of the potty runs and food and drink requests.  Then at 2:00 I took Logan into the doctor for his shots needed for kindergarten in the fall.  Oooh! he was real brave until those needles went in, then what a scream.  Then the little sweetie apologized to me for crying! Ahh! So like any good grandma, we went to Wal-Mart for a new Transformer and then an ice cream cone.

 He was as happy as could be instantly.  I just can't believe he'll be in kindergarten!

Austin came up for tonight and tomorrow to be with his boys and then he has to work at a marathon in Pittsburgh on Sunday. 

Oh, almost forgot!  I'm also trying to finish the pink and brown baby quilt for Melissa's baby shower that I'm planning for next Saturday.  I got the newborn hat and booties finished.

 I work on the quilt from about 8pm until 10pm.  I'll make it!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Landscaping, Gardening and Outside Decorating

The weather continues to be beautiful in Western Pennsylvania.  Except for a few pop up snow flurries and very cool at night, the sun has been shining on us much earlier this season than in years past.  I'm taking full advantage of this and working outside as much as I can.  It's not only great exercise but I love the results.  I love to look out the window and see flowers on the deck or drive up to the house and have everything look neat and manicured.  I know, a little OCD, I admit.  But it makes me feel good. 
If you read my post from about a week or so ago, you know that I kind of goofed up on how much mulch to order.  Well, my neighbor offered to take his pick up truck and go to the stone and mulch yard and picked me up another scoop or so of the red mulch.  Free delivery this time.  I have the best neighbors.  Both neighbors on either side of me are retired and they work outside all day long.  The truth is, they are more OCD than me.  So I think they are willing to help me out with things because they don't want  the house next to their perfectly manicured yards to look like crap.  Whatever the reason makes no difference to me.  I appreciate their work and their help.
So here's the finished result of the mulch debacle.
And notice the beautiful rhododendrun in full bloom.

Everything's blooming and the grass is so green.

I shoveled and raked 'til I had blisters, a sore shoulder and my back hurt so bad I could hardly stand up, but it was worth it.

Now that the front of the house is done, I'm working my way down back.  Starting with the back deck.  I started it a few weeks ago with my red grill, cushions and painting the chairs.
(See April 9 post).  Now I've added a red fountain that I saw at K-Mart.
It looks like a cracked Tuscan like barrel.

Added the red geraniums on the wall and above the door. These are fake.  From Jo-Ann's.  Sometimes the fake stuff just works better.  It always looks good and requires no watering and trimming and they don't die.

Got the hummingbird feeder from Wal-Mart.  Planted yellow dalias and red dianthus in the window boxes.  They show up prettier in person and they should fill in.  These are real.  From Lowe's

Filled these porch boxes with yellow dalias and red gerber daisies.  Mom found me this darling rooster pillow at Lowe's.  The perfect colors and maintains my rooster theme.

I had this garden stool and thought it went pretty well with my red, gold and green color scheme.  But if you can notice, the flowers were an orange and not really red.  This bothered me so much, even though everyone told me it was close enough.  I just couldn't get past it.  So I got out my red paint and a little paintbrush and painted each orange flower red.

Isn't that better?  Believe me, in person it's much more noticeable.  Really, it is.  I'm happy with it now.

Then finally, here's the latest addition I just worked on today after a Big Lots trip.  The plaque on the wall, the plant stand and the watering can all from Big Lots.  I had the pots and filled them with red gerber daisies (real) and the rooster had been in my kitchen.

Now I'll be moving on to my sitting area and little garden under the deck and the garden beside the shed.
More to come -----

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spina Bifida - Please Don't Let It Be

My DIL Diana called us the other day from Spokane to give us the exciting news that their baby due in September is going to be a boy.  We couldn't be more thrilled.  My wish has already been granted that I have a granddaughter, two of them no less. I wanted Brandon to have a son.  Their daughter, Riley, will be a year old on May 30 and now he'll have his boy. 

Brandon and Dee with newborn Riley about 10 months ago.
Oh, and their dog, Layla

I'm glad that both my sons will experience the thrill, fun and excitement of boys like Bob and I did with them.  And I also want them to experience the trials and tribulations of teenage sons that we also went through with them.  You know, pay backs.  Just kidding!  Kinda (not really).
When Dee told us the news we didn't want to tell anyone except immediate family at the time because Brandon was out on a Survival Training mission and he wouldn't know he was expecting a son until he got home yesterday.
Last night Brandon called us to share his excitement both about his recent training mission and about his new baby.  Along with his excitement, though, was a piece of worrisome news that they just received from the doctor yesterday.
Dee's blood work just came back and it shows elevated levels of AFP - a protein produced by the fetus. This COULD indicate spina bifida. You can read more about this here:

This is rare and does not mean that the baby definitely has spina bifida, but it's an indication that they like to check on further. They don't have Dee scheduled to see a specialist until May 7. Needless to say they are very worried, as now we all are.

I called a very good girlfriend of mine, Cheryl, right away last night.  Cheryl used to be a nurse and worked with her husband, Michael,  when he had his own private OB/GYN practice. He now works for a large hospital out of town and is now a perinatologist (specialist in problem and high risk pregnancies).  Cheryl said it is probably nothing. They get false positive readings on this type of thing all the time.  Dee and Riley are going to be coming home here on the 22nd for two weeks and Michael will be glad to talk to Dee and look at her sonogram DVD while she's here to see if he can determine anything further from it.  Dee's doctor told her she saw nothing indicating on the sonogram at all. Cheryl said that if they were really concerned they would have had her into the specialist immediately instead of setting it for May 7

Brandon said he wished they hadn't even said anything to them, but as Cheryl explained to me, it is much better to know these things ahead of time for a couple of reasons.  When the baby is born the hospital and doctors are well prepared for any immediate action that needs to be taken.  And secondly, it gives the parents and family 4 or 5 months to physically and mentally prepare themselves. 

I think everything is fine, but we will all be concerned until her May 7 appointment.  Regardless of the outcome, one thing is for sure.  This will be a very lucky little baby boy to have the parents he's going to get.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy Girlfriend/Sister Day

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
So love the people who treat you right.
Love the ones who don't just because you can.
Believe everything happens for a reason.
If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands.
If it changes your life, let it.
Kiss slowly.
Forgive quickly.
God never said life would be easy.
He just promised it would be worth it.

Today is sister's day.  Tell all your sisters,
mothers, daughters, girlfriends, aunts and grandmas 
that you love them. 

Happy Sister's Day!


Girlfriend and Sister's Week
I am only as strong as the chocolate I eat,
the hair spray I use and
the friends I have.
To the cool women that have
touched my life........Here's to you!

National Girlfriends Day
What would most of us do without our sisters and confidants for shopping, lunching, movie-going and traveling girls?
Let's celebrate each other for each other's sake!
I received this in an e-mail today from a cousin
and I thought it was so uplifting and made me
feel good.  I don't have any sisters, but I have sisters-in-law,
daughters-in-law, granddaughter, mother, aunts, cousins and nieces
I also have my girlfriends
 and my very good blogger girlfriends.
This is to all of you!

It's good to be a woman!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Summer Landscaping and Snow

I was making great progress on getting my yard, deck and gardens cleaned up early this year since the weather has been so warm and beautiful.  It was obviously too good to last because today is freezing and I even see a few snow flurries out my window!  My rhododendron bushes in front of the house just started to bloom and now I'm afraid they may freeze.
See the pink buds on there?  Some have even opened up.  Now also notice the start of new red mulch around the bushes.  There's a story about this red mulch that my husband won't shut up about.  I was accomplishing so much outside and I needed red mulch like right now.  This was yesterday.  My Bob was busy working so I thought, well, I'll just call the landscape/stone yard myself and have it delivered.  I consider myself a pretty intelligent person and I also consider myself a little bit of a perfectionist, but two things that I am really poor at is judging distances and measurements.  So when the lady asked me how much I needed I asked her to quote me amounts.   So she said three scoopfuls would cover approximately 130 square feet.  I thought that sounded like a lot.  I said, "good, how much to deliver?"  and she said, "$65.00".  The other place I called quoted me $70.00 so I told her that sounded OK and to please deliver that afternoon.  Well, when the big dump truck pulled up and dumped this little bit of mulch in my designated area I couldn't believe that's all there was.  I was hoping none of the neighbors were watching because it looked so pitiful to see this little bit of mulch plop out of this big dump truck.  Bob was not happy when he saw that was all I got.  I DIDN'T KNOW!!

I'm determined now to make it do as best I can because I don't want to admit that I goofed up on this.  If I can get the mulch just right around the front of all the bushes it will look good.  Then this area here where the mulch is lying I may do someting else.  Rocks or planters maybe.  I'll figure it out.  Live and learn, again!  As soon as I started moving and spreading the mulch yesterday it started to rain.  That's why now the blue tarp. 
I also got my little purple painted bench and watering can and flower box out.

I painted it purple to go with the grape and Tuscan theme of my house.  As you can seen, this area needs mulched. 
Today I got the fake plastic flowers in the window boxes upstairs. 

I don't use real ones because I don't want to have to open the windows and take the screens out every time I need to water them.  Since they're up high you really can't tell the difference.
Last week I worked on the back deck.  I've been wanting to get new red cushions and a red grill.  My mother suggested this because she saw them in K-Mart and she was right.  I finally got it and I love it.

I also spray painted all five of these chairs.  The set is five years old and is very good and sturdy, but it was getting rusty.  I found silver hammered metal spray paint by Rustoleum and it worked great.  They look brand new.  The new color scheme for my deck is this red, with green and some gold. 

I was in JoAnn's and they had these on clearance.

The wallhanger is hanging outside on the wall behind the table.  It was $5.  Then the tray was marked down to $1.50 because there is a little ding in it.  I didn't even notice.  As you can see, they also match the table runner on my inside kitchen table.  I was so excited about these little finds.
That's it so far.  It's obviously too early here for flowers and plants to go out.  I did good for only being the first week of April.  I usually don't get this far until the end of May.  I guess for good reason.  There's even more snow coming down right now.  We went from summer back to winter within 24 hours.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Follow Up on Easter

Wellll, we went to church on Easter Sunday and then Dad and Bob went to pick Grandpa up from "The Manor" (nursing home) to bring him to brunch with us.  Mom had given the nurses instructions the night before that he was to be shaved, put on the suit she had layed out for him, and not to send him to the dining room for lunch.  Dad and Bob showed up to get him and he had not shaved, he had on his jeans and sweatshirt, and had gone to lunch.  The nurses put the blame on Grandpa and said he wouldn't cooperate, which very well could be true.  The guys got him shaved and dressed and after about 45 minutes of Mom and I waiting at the restaurant, the three of them slowly, and I mean very slowly, came walking in.  Grandpa looked good, but you could tell he was slightly confused and not happy about being brought there.
He wouldn't eat anything, said nothing tasted good.  At $16.00 a plate, by the way!  Which was OK, not the point.  I managed to find a few chocolate eggs hidden in the buffet table decoration that he ate.  Later in the afternoon, Mom and Dad took him back to "The Manor" and he was very happy to get back into his comfortable space, with all his familiar stuff around him.  He got back into his comfy clothes and wanted to go down to the dining room for dinner. 
So now we know.  He  likes being where he is, and for that we are all grateful.  We would feel so bad if he didn't want to be there.  He's happy going to Dairy Queen once in a while, but that's about it.  He's happy when we come to visit him and bring him chocolate and marshmallows.  So now we know!
While we were at the restaurant I received a text picture from my DIL, Diana, with a picture of Riley in her Easter outfit.

Isn't she just beautiful, sitting on her daddy's lap?  That's my son, Brandon.  I think he looks pretty cute, too.

I really miss them. They're in Spokane.  Dee and Riley will be home in a couple of weeks for her uncle's wedding.  Then in June Brandon graduates from his Air Force Survival Training School and Bob and I will be going out for that. 

On Monday I received another text picture of Riley wearing the pink hat with the mink flower that I knit for her and had just sent for Easter.

Is she cute or what??  Can you tell I'm really missing her?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Happy Easter, this beautiful sunny day. 
I wish all of you a beautiful Easter Day. 

This is a different Easter than we're used to.  None of the kids are home.  Brandon, Dee and Riley are in Spokane.  Austin, Melissa, Logan and Landen are with her family in New York.  But it's still a beautiful, quiet, Easter Sunday.  We'll be going to church with mom and dad, then going to brunch.  Grandpa will be going to brunch with us for the first time in at least three years.  When grandma was living, he would not leave her side, nor would she let him.  I hope he can enjoy his first Easter without her. 


Family Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory

Stumble Upon