"These happy golden years are passing by, these happy golden years." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Here's The Scoop

It's late ... (Friday evening) and shame on me for having coffee this afternoon that has me still wired. We had our neighborhood garage sale today. The predicted showers held off until about 5 PM which was a blessing. Our "unloading of the goods" was rather puny ... and only netted us about $25. I don't think I'll reopen tomorrow as I'd actually rather spend the day cleaning ... or boxing up the leftover STUFF to give to charity. It was a nice opportunity to get out and meet a few neighbors.

Now to the "lost" dog story. As you may recall, dh was here for two weeks (having left just this past Thursday) ... anyway, I let him drive his new truck home after picking him and his mom up at the airport. Little did I imagine that once he pulled up in the driveway he'd hit the garage opener. The kids and I keep the "dawg" loose in there when we are away ... and since dh is still just in the "visiting" his own home mode for a few more months until retirement, he doesn't know our routine. Besides ... it just happened so fast I couldn't have stopped him. We didn't even see the dawg dash off for the green woods that encompass our area. Gone ... with the wind. I (being level headed about things ;) gave the Mr. a few dog treats, the leash and he and Nathan tromped off in search of the pet. I park dear mil inside our new house without as much as a "your bedroom is upstairs" and take off in the truck; being secretly delighted and sad all at the same time of the missing pooch. She's neurotic and needs medication for the tiniest thunder boom or 20 mile away strike of lightening, and barks and pants and acts stupid until I must rescue her from herself and put her away in the bowels of the basement without na're a window or door. Then out comes the muzzle if she won't be quiet ... she has managed to bark even with the muzzle ... sometimes I turn on a movie for her or the laundry room fan for a bit of white sound. In other words ... she's a real pain in the neck ... so the secret delight of her "gone missing" ... but, alas, she was not as stupid as presumed and dear mil spotted her in the backyard area to save the day.

My grandson is now three months old and just this week went to a salon and had his first little boy haircut. He had almost grown a mullet of soft fine baby hair ... the stylist nearly refused to cut the baby's hair ... something about company police and having to be at least a year old ... but, the kid really needed his ears lowered a bit.

Today is a beautiful blue sky, fluffy white cloud type of day in north Idaho ... I'm off to enjoy the great outdoors ... hope you have a blessed weekend.

Photo: Master Jake with his new "doo"

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Potpourri (This and That)

With summer in full swing and DH returning to his day job tomorrow, the days hold work to be done while the little gift (Nathan) is away at day camp. I've got to organize a garage sale for this Friday and Saturday to help get rid of some not needed items. If I can make a small dent in our "collection" ... it will be worth the effort. Carpet was ordered yesterday for the basement (that's another long story posted on my This-New House site. A few days ago I picked up my junk store chair finds after having them reupholstered. The armchair was in such a bad way that I nearly fell through the seat after a few uses ... a definite homemade upholstery job when I bought it. The dining room chair is one of a pair that were also in need of some TLC. I had the fabrics coordinate ... both are much more comfy now. Our kitchen's curio cabinet is finally filled with "treasures" in pretty hues to complement the room. I hope to catch up on everyone's blogs in the next few days but have missed you all.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


This past week my mother-in-law has been staying with us. Dh lives with her when he's working his day job ... the one he is retiring from in 10 more months ... so she flew in with him this trip. Yesterday we went out on the lake for a boat tour ... next time out I'd like to try one of the float planes. Tonight we met up with her brother and sister-in-law in Spokane for a nice dinner at Anthony's on the river. I think she has enjoyed her trip ... tomorrow she returns back home. Dh has another week here. My time has been well spent taking advantage of the mr.'s brute strength to move things I could only dream of moving.

Photos: Daddy with Nathan, Float Plane on Lake Coeur d'Alene, Me and the Mr., Dh and his mom, irresistible Jacob

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My Earthly Father

My dad is my hero. When I was eleven years old, he married my mother taking on the responsibility of raising my brothers and me ... a guy that never before had children ... instantly becomes the father of three half grown children. No longer is the word "step" included in his title. Just dad, pop or papa will do. Thanks Dad for stepping up to the plate and making us your own. People often wonder where I get my "handyman" skills ... I always watched you tinker in the garage taking things apart, making something old run like new again. You were a good teacher and didn't even know it. I hope you have a great Father's Day today. Missing you much in Idaho. Love, your little daughter. Hugs & Kisses

Photo: Mom, Dad, yours truly

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Reminder Note For Gramma_s

My dear friend, Gramma_s is in need of some gentle reminders to speak louder according to her speech therapist. Here's just another reminder to her when she comes for a visit. Keep up the practice Gramma_s! Hugs

Friday, June 15, 2007

Grandpa Meets Jacob

Could there be more excitement than Mr. Mac meeting his first grand baby today??? Check out their matching Cardinal's jerseys ... caps ... and team Build-A-Bear!

Photos: Grandpa and Jacob;
Jacob with his mom and dad

Thanks cousin Mike for the bear ... and to grandpa for buying little Jake his first baseball jersey.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

More This & That & Prayer

Tuesday This and That consisted of planting bushes, shrubs, perennials, and an ornamental maple tree. Having a lovely lunch with my sweethearts (Nathan, Elizabeth, Ann ... and precious grandson, Jacob). A trip to the library, the bank, and to the upholstery shop to pick up my vintage chairs that I had redone. Mowing the wild grass. Son-in-law, Ryan, washed my truck ... I rocked in my new rocker on the front porch while sipping fresh brewed coffee and gazing at Jacob.

My blog friend, Arlene, is having another round of chemo today ... please march on up to the thrown room of heaven in prayer on her behalf.

Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Summer Vacation & School Awards

Summer vacation begins today ... this morning ... I actually got to sleep in until 7:45. Dh arrives next week with his mom ... and later this month Nathan begins a life skills day camp four days a week. My little fellow was given the following awards at school yesterday ;)

  1. ATTENDANCE COLLECTOR (for picking up the daily attendance ... at each classroom)
  2. ICEPACK AWARD (for making ice packs for the office :)
  3. LUNCH COUNT COLLECTOR (for picking up lunch cards ... at each classroom)
  4. DELIVERY AWARD (for deliveries made to the classrooms)
  5. POPCORN AWARD (for helping with ... not eating ... the school's popcorn bags)
  6. FLUORIDE AWARD (for counting fluoride on a weekly basis ... to be distributed to the classrooms)
His job possibilities are ever expanding!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

City Mouse Visits Country House (conclusion)

Being city suburbanites you may wonder what would occupy us other than sittin' 'round watching the grass grow during a trip to Grandma's house out in small town USA. Oh, there were many new adventures in our summer path ... most of which were purely invented with a good 'ole imagination! Squirrel! Did someone mention squirrel? Oh, I do recall on my first trip to grandma's that she went about fix'in us a squirrel dinner the first night we arrived. Being that she wasn't too sure how we'd take to that idea, and also being that she wanted to fix a tasty meal to please her son (my pop), she prepared an alternate meat entree of country style sausage patties too. I quickly informed my dad that I was opposed to eating anything in the rodent family and promptly opted for the sausage (I have a feeling she may have used the same black iron skillet for both meats now that I think longer).

My grandparent's home was a very modest three bedroom one bath place probably built around 1900. Now being that Mom and Dad got one bedroom, Grandma and Grandpa had one, my brothers once again got to share a double bed in the third room ...that left me (pouting with my lip out) to sleep in a single bed out on the back porch (it was enclosed with windows and screens). Directly next to my bed was the cellar door in the floor... and directly behind the head of my bed was a window to my brothers room ... not one curtain was hung on said porch... To my dismay, there would be an occasional thunder and lightning storm roll through at night. The visions in my head of that cellar door creaking open, my brothers' hands often popping through the window to scare me, and the flashes of lightning were enough to give a gal a heart attack! I also afforded every mosquito a free meal at night on any uncovered body parts and would frequently awake with my eyelids swollen shut or my bottom lip out about three times it normal size from bites.

Come Sunday morning we headed to church. Now in a town of 800 everybody knows everybody and their business. So as would be the NORM, the minister would announce that we were visiting and make us stand up before the congregation. There would even be a blurb in the local paper about our arrival.

For a leisurely Sunday after dinner stroll, it just wouldn't be complete without a trip to the local graveyard to checkout the headstones and imagine what the occupant's lives were like. Many were from the 1800's and there were rows and rows of baby graves ... and off in one corner we found a huge monument size marker for the burial of a horse. These haunted walks would be fodder for my brothers' imaginations to spook the life out of me at night as I slept near their bedroom window out on the porch.

Now since Grandma was a lady from a different era, and being that her laundry facilities which consisted of an electric wringer type washer (down in the creepy earthen cellar) ... and a clothes line outside, we opted to use the laundromat. It was another excursion to pass the time, so come evening, we would load up our car with dirty laundry and head two blocks to town. For fun, we would walk through the thousands of crickets hanging around the entrance, watch the dryers spin, grab a Dr. Pepper float at the DQ, and pitch pennies all in the same evening.

One summer the town opened a public swimming pool; heaven to me! This would be the only way to cool off during our hot sticky stay. Off to the pool my brother's and I would walk. Swim to our heart's content ... and trek back home. As a young girl, my mother always taught me to put TP down on the seat in a public restroom. This is a fine idea unless your legs are still wet from swimming. Down I sit ... and out I go ... yes, walking home through town with toilet paper stuck to my backside. To make matters worse, my brothers were walking behind me and never once mentioned that I had ten yards of paper trailing behind my behind!

Oh, the fun of it all ... my children have gone on many nice vacations, but I bet they never had to use their imaginations as much as we did on a trip to Grandma's house.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

"Take Me Home, Country Roads" (part 3)

No, not quite yet ... those lyrics by John Denver (1971) were played over and over competing for the likes of "Good Morning Starshine"and "Jean", by the singer Oliver ... let's not forget Jim Neighbors, Percy Faith ... and Glen Campbell too! Imagine the chorus of five out-of-tuners singing as we rolled along open highways. STOP RIGHT THERE ... now back to the story ... Once we were past the city of no return, Albuquerque, Dad lightened up a bit on his lead foot. There were sights to see, wide open spaces, new freeways to navigate, and a few side trips to places such as Four Corners, Dog Patch USA, Nashville and even some caves. To wile away the hours, we kids would play Auto Bingo, read comic books, doodle on our magic erase pad, count mile markers, be assigned a certain color of car to spot, and saw some zzzzzz's. Mom would be the navigator and for the most part kept Dad on the right path. But sometimes he thought she was wrong and would chart a new course taking us out of the way, driving on fumes, while we were all a pray'in that we wouldn't run out of gas in the middle of nowhere. The baby of our family, my brother Kevin, would have his own way of amusing himself and annoying the heck out of the rest of us. His self assigned job was to inspect each public restroom for cleanliness giving it a grade. My older brother, Chris, didn't escape oddities; his job was to keep track of how much food everyone ate.

By the time we finally reached Grandma's we had to peel ourselves out of the car and stand upright for hours. Shake if off, Shake if off!

Pop, Please, Oh Please, Get a Hotel With A Pool

.... and so went the first day of our yearly trek on one of numerous family vacations (continued from yesterday) ... Now being cramped in the backseat of Dad's Delta Jetstar automobile, sandwiched intermittently between my brothers without my own window, is it no wonder that I begged Dad to PLEASE, PLEASE GET A HOTEL WITH A POOL and a slide if possible? (Bare legs against the vinyl seats for 15 hours required something refreshing to cool a girl off.) You can bet that I had my swimsuit packed in my purse so I didn't have to wait to get first dibs on the bathroom to change. My parents made this allowance and would let us get a good hour of swimming in before we went to dinner, after which we'd do a little trinket shopping before bed. Now here's where I always felt cheated. Dad would get a room with two double beds. He and Mom got one, and my brothers got the other ... that left me to sleep on an uncomfortable roll-away or in a sleeping bag (pouting with my bottom lip out)! The following morning would find us up and out the door early after a quick bite ... heading further east to spend the night with family in Oklahoma ... then off through the Ozarks and by the third day we were at Grandma and Grandpa's in the quaint little town of Pleasant Hill, Illinois, population 800. (A city mouse visits a country house ... whatever shall she find to do?) ... to be continued.

Photo: Yours truly & my dad about 1969

Monday, June 04, 2007

Vacations of Summer Past

During the late 60's and early 70's our family summer vacations included trips east to visit my dad's parents and extended family in Illinois. I don't recall whether or not we had air conditioning in the car, but I do remember leaving in the wee hours of the morning after only a few hours sleep. Albuquerque by dinner time was the first leg of the trip (along historic Route 66) approximately 900 miles from home ... quite a stretch of road to travel ... and the early departure meant we would cross the desert in the cool of the night. Some summers the back seat contained three youngin's ... my two brothers and myself. Of course there were the usual squabbles about the window seats, and "he's touching me", "I've gotta go potty", and oh, "I'm so thirsty." Dad would often find us (including Mom) fast asleep before we even got out of town. This was a sore subject with him. He thought we should stay awake and enjoy the stars. On would come his 8-track tape player and between that softly humming and the rushing air alongside the car, one would find it nearly impossible to stay awake. By morning we were hungry and in need of a potty stop. By afternoon, we were thirsty again ... and soon in need of another rest stop. Only in my dreams though, for more often than not, the only stop we'd make would be for ethyl (gas for you youngsters). Once in a while we'd stop at a "Stuckey's" and get a cold cola ... and oh, sure, we'd pass all sorts of signs claiming the best lemonade was just ahead at Aunt Fanny's Orchard ... or some mystery cave that sounded intriguing. Thirst or no thirst we had miles to put behind us. Albuquerque by dinner was our mantra. ...to be continued

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sunshine Smile & Good Kisses

edit: true "conversation" with Nathan this morning. Mom: "Nathan, you need to turn your bedroom light OFF during the day, it costs money to use electricity." Nathan: A man of few words points to the top of his dresser to his piggy bank and tells me where I can get some money ... he's gonna keep his light ON. Mom: "I'm gonna unscrew your light bulbs mister!"

Cognitive Impairment! Phooey! I hate labels ... whether they be on the back of my neckline scratching my skin ... or put next to my child's name in his school file. Labels do not always convey specific details ... For example: the label in my shirt doesn't say, "wear at risk of being annoyed" ... and the label Cognitive Impairment leaves little to the imagination that my child has a heart as big as the state of Texas and a smile that goes from ear to ear. It also doesn't mention the fact that each morning when I wake up my little mister will smother me with pats on the back and hugs around my neck, nor the numerous times a day he reaches up to give me a kiss. I think I'll change his "label" to read, Mr. Sunshine! That is a more exact description.

Photos: Nathan spreading some "sunshine"

Saturday, June 02, 2007

What If?

I ask myself that question (what if?) every so often. Friday was Nathan's IEP meeting at school (individual education plan). I had it written down on my calendar ... and yet I failed to look at said calendar and missed the first part of the meeting. His functioning abilities are rather low in most areas (speech, cognitive, small motor). He does excel in gross motor skills ... sports. I try not to get too down when I see the results of his testing ... he's rather hard to test ... but I "know he's home" ... just on a different floor ;) My question (what if?) surfaces every once in a while and has to do with me having had an pelvic x-ray before I even knew I was pregnant with him. For the entire nine months, I worried ... and rightly so. What if I hadn't had that x-ray? Could that have destined him to having Down syndrome? I did read shortly after his birth that there was a chance of such a thing happening. (Of course it could also have been my age 37). So today was a downer for me ... guilt, guilt, guilt and more guilt surfaced as I looked into his beautiful blue eyes. What if kept my eyes teary most of the day. His struggle began shortly after birth ... he was given a 2% chance to survive ... but survive he did ... and that after numerous surgeries ... a struggle indeed. What if. Tomorrow my eyes shall be dry and I will write about my joys with Nathan.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Sunday Afternoon @ Granny Mac's ...It's Tradition

As is tradition, Sunday afternoon is a day to gather as a family and share a home cooked meal. My oldest daughter was taking a cat-nap and didn't make it for the photo. Nathan is being camera shy, and Ann so enjoys Mom's cooking. Ryan and Jacob head for the couch and take a soporific rest after the meal.

Miss Terry, aka Canadian Blogger requested some time ago for me to post pictures of one of our Sunday gatherings.