Friday, November 30, 2012

Need Your Prayers

My sweet cousin, Jewell, is very ill.  She left the hospital Thursday and will be in hospice care now.  Please pray for her and please pray for a cure for cancers of all kinds.

Ron and I will leave tomorrow and drive to Kansas so that I can see her while she is still fairly well.  You may remember that Jewell and another sweet cousin, Barbara, came to visit us last year in the spring.  Reece absolutely loved them, and Jewell has sent him a letter and pictures of her calf.

Jewell and her sister Joan and brother Sammie Joe are my double first cousins.  When we were little we always lived close by, and I have many fond memories of times with them.  I remember Joan and Jewell walking me home from kindergarten in Coffeyville, Kansas.  A pack of dogs started chasing us, and each of them grabbed my hands and ran with me to the steps of a church.  They must have been able to run the dogs away, but all I recall is being scared to death and knowing that they were taking care of me.

When I was little I just called both of them JoanJewell.  

I remember them playing their records during their teen years, and I loved to listen to their music.  The record I recall right now is Stagger Lee.  If you remember that one, you're old.  :o)

One cold winter night Jewell made snow ice cream for us while she was babysitting.  I was very young, but that impressed me.  I thought she was wonderful.  I still do.

Please keep us in your prayers for safe travel, but most of all, please pray for Jewell.  Thank you!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Great Gran, Cheddars, Macys, Goodwill

Mom had her endoscopy yesterday morning.  She did great; didn't even realize she had had it when she woke up in recovery.  She thought she just had a little nap and they hadn't done anything yet.  :o)  
They didn't find anything that could be causing her anemia, though.  The doctor said that she had some irritation in her stomach lining that he thinks is probably caused by her medications, or perhaps a little infection in the past.  He prescribed Pepcid for that.  He wants to see her in January for a follow-up, and will talk to her about the colonoscopy then.

She wanted barbecue for lunch, so we stopped and got some and took it back to her place.  She had a chopped brisket sandwich with hash browns, pinto beans and cole slaw.  And peach cobbler.  

Ron went with me today when I went over there.  We took her enough leftovers for a couple of days.  She enjoyed hot wings, fries, whiskey river baked beans and celery and carrot sticks with ranch dressing today.  She polished it all off.  I don't think her stomach bothers her at all!

Ron and I ate lunch at Cheddars before I dropped him off at home.  I needed some cold weather clothes that fit, so I headed to Macys.  I got 3 pairs of pants, all pull on type and cozy, a cute jacket and a couple of tops.  I have a couple of jeans that still fit, but most of my clothes are too big.  :o(  

Then I stopped at Goodwill and found the cutest eiffel tower made of twisted metal wire.  It's about 3 feet tall.  I'm going to put little lights on it for Christmas.  

I found a couple pair of jeans for Reece, one Gap and the other Levis.  And a sweet little pair of Gap overalls embroidered with pink flowers for either Camryn or Gina, whoever they fit.  Still no dishes to match my stoneware.

I think I'll wait and publish this tomorrow so I can get a picture of my eiffel tower.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bugs and Grubs

One day while the kids were here, one of them ran in all excited and wanted me to come see a "leaf bug."  I went out with them, and they showed me this bug on their play set.  It looks kind of like a grasshopper, but its wings and body look exactly like a leaf.  He was good enough to allow me to take his picture.

Then today Josh emailed me this picture of some enormous grubs that were in the backyard under a log.  I wonder if they might be the larvae of that giant moth the kids found awhile back?  Whatever they are, they are nasty.  And pictures like this are the reason I can hardly eat shrimp.  I always think they have the same texture as grub worms. Crawfish, too.  Josh put his keys in the picture to show their size.



My birthday was Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.  I'm very thankful to have another birthday!  Kelly wanted to take me to lunch and shopping, and we were joined by Kismette (Jason's wife) and Ahlyssa (13 year old granddaughter).

I must have had a smudge on my camera lens.  All my pictures from Friday had that blur in the middle.

We went to Gruene and ate lunch at the Rio Cantina.  They have seating out in the yard and patios, as well as inside.  I found a table way at the back of the yard.  Everything was fine until the wasps found us.  We fled to an indoor table.  Then we started recalling all the times anyone in the family was stung.  Now we can laugh.

Lunch was yummy and fun.  Then we went shopping.  Kelly got me a flow blue tea pot in the Blue Willow pattern at the antique store.  It has a ceramic insert to put loose tea in, and has the cutest little round shape.  I love teapots.  She also got me a little nun in amber glass.  It's only about 6" tall, but it's very heavy.  It's unusual, and I love it!

When we got home I had more presents!  Ron gave me a Cuisinart food processor, Jason and family gave me a nice Pampered Chef pepper grinder and a funny, cute salt and pepper set.  Little chickens hold the salt and pepper.  I'll have to take a picture because it's hard to describe it.  It makes me laugh.  They all like to tease me about my taste in salt shakers, teapots, etc.  This little set fits right in with all my other funky stuff.  :o)

Cyrise gave me a new recipe box.  I had been looking through recipe cards one day and mentioned that I needed a new box.  The one I had was an ugly old plastic green thing that I've had forever.  So she and Josh went to Hobby Lobby and found a box and Cyrise decorated it for me with flowers and my name stamped on top.  Very sweet.  I love it.

Lily made me a beautiful card, and I got a pretty one from her family as well.  

We used the sherry nutmeg cake that I made for Thanksgiving as my birthday cake.  We had four pies, and no one ate any cake on Thursday, so that worked out well.

So, I had a lovely birthday and feel very loved.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Big Feast

All of our children and grandchildren were here for Thanksgiving. Great Gran was sick and didn't feel like going out, so we missed her.  But we had 16 for dinner, and it was really nice.  We took Gran a big plate of food later in the day.

Most of the food was still in the kitchen at this point.  We filled our plates in there, and had just a few things on the table.  Everything was delicious.  

See the little paper place card in front of Ron's plate?  Jason made those when he was about 5 years old (he's 41 now).  They're looking a little grubby, but I still love using them.  

I got out my Christmas dishes and plan to use them from now until Valentine's day for special dinners.  

Here is Reece, getting a close up look at Mr. Turkey.

We moved things around and put two extra tables in the living room so that we could all eat together, sort of.  Jason's kids ate at the big round table, and Josh's at the small round table.  The 8 adults ate at the dining room table. 

I love Thanksgiving and having my family home.  It was wonderful.

Thanksgiving Feasts

Aubrey's class had their Thanksgiving feast the Thursday before Thanksgiving.

Here she is with her teacher, making turkey prints with her little hands.  Aubrey does not like to have dirty hands, so I doubt that she enjoyed this activity too much.  The little turkey print is darling, though.

And here she is with her "feast."  She had a great time and was happy that I was there.  I loved watching her at school.  She's much quieter there than she is at home.  :o)

Reece's feast was the next day.  It was a lot rowdier than Aubrey's, but it was lots of fun.  They decorated their little indian vests for their craft.  Reece didn't want to wear his, though.  They also had pilgrim hats.  He hates having things on his head.  But you can see that he is enjoying his feast.  Looks like he only has corn on his plate, but by the time we served them everything, their plates were very full.  Their feast was their lunch that day.  

It's fun doing things like this again.  I was always a "room mother" when my kids were little.  I'm delighted that there are lots of other grandmothers (and grandfathers) who help out at school.

Reece's Field Trip

Reece's class went to see a play the week before Thanksgiving, and I went too.

In the first picture we are sitting in the darkened theater before the play started.

Then there are some pics of Reece and his classmates as they left the theater.

After the play, we went to the park for a picnic and some playground time.

That poor lady must have had an aching back--she lifted each child up to grab that handle, let them slide to the other end and then lifted them off.

Reece had so much fun.  I want to take him back to that park soon.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dying Man Finds Miracle

A beautiful story to give us hope.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ahlyssa's Art

Our thirteen year old granddaughter, Ahlyssa, made these drawings of lilies and a rose. 

The color is not quite true because I enhanced them to make them a little darker and easier to see on the computer. 

They arrived this morning, and she brought a large drawing of a rose in full bloom for me and Papa. We love it! I told her I'm going to have it framed. 

I've made my cornbread, now on to pies and a cake. Hope you're all having a great time getting ready for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Getting Ready

I took Mom to the gastroenterologist yesterday.  Her new primary care physician referred her to this doctor.  He was very nice and like all her other doctors, he thinks she is incredibly healthy for an 86 year old.  Her blood count was 9.9, so low but not dangerously low.  They want to figure out why she is anemic.  She said she didn't want to do a colonoscopy, so he said they will do the endoscopy first, and if they find out something there they won't have to go further.  If they don't find anything, he will "negotiate" with her and try to convince her to have the colonoscopy.  I'm just grateful that they want to do everything they can to help her, despite the fact that she is 86.

Mom had not had anything to eat and was really hungry by the time we finished at the doctors.  I was hungry too, having had only a piece of toast with butter and jam for breakfast.  So we stopped for a late lunch about 3 PM.  I took her home and did what needed to be done there, and it was nearly 5 PM when I got home.

Josh, Cyrise and I wrote up the menu for Thanksgiving and made a grocery list this morning.  Jason and his family will be here tomorrow--hooray!  


The kids went grocery shopping and got a 22 lb. turkey.  It's huge!  It should feed all of us with no problem.  The fridge and pantry are stuffed.

I've been cleaning downstairs today.  Josh and Cyrise worked on the upstairs, where our guests will stay (bedroom and bathroom).  I should have made the cornbread for my stuffing, but I'm too tired tonight.  Will do it first thing in the morning.

The kids are so excited that their cousins are coming.  They are wild about Uncle Jason; the little girls pester him to death, talking, talking, talking and asking him questions.  He's so patient with them.

They wanted to be with me, "helping" while I vacuumed, cleaned with Murphy's Oil Soap, dusted and cleaned some spots on the carpet.  I wish I could be as patient as Jason and their daddy.  I'm constantly saying, "Don't do that!" "Leave that alone!"  "Why don't you go outside and play?"  I just need to chill out.  :o)

If I don't get back here by Thursday, have a Happy Thanksgiving!  I'm very thankful for all of you who visit me here each day.  Thank you!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekend Chatter

Reece's Thanksgiving feast on Friday was very nice.  They had turkey and all the trimmings, and they didn't have to eat cafeteria food.  The moms and grammas helped with crafts before the meal.  That was fun.  The kids wore little "deer skin" vests made of brown grocery bags.  They decorated them first.  And they all had pilgrim hats.  They looked so cute.

I went to Mom's after the feast and took her a big mac, which she hadn't had in ages, if ever.  She really enjoyed it.  Yesterday she had some leftover apricot glazed chicken that Cyrise made, with rice and stir-fried mixed veggies.  Mom really enjoyed it.  She's so little, but can eat a lot!

Today I'll take her some leftover pizza and pasta.

I stopped at the thrift store Friday, looking for additional pieces of my stoneware.  They didn't have any this time, but I found a couple of new looking shirts.  I'm wearing one of them now--a turquoise 3/4 sleeve linen and poly with pleats at the bodice and in the back from Croft and Barrow.  It's loose and tunic like.  I like it.  The other one is a dark red, long sleeved, and has pleated ruffles down the front and on the cuffs.  I've washed them both, but haven't worn the red one yet.  Oh, they were $3.98 each.    

The sunflowers I bought at Trader Joe's last weekend are still gorgeous.  One of them died, but it was because the kids messed with it.  

Josh and Cyrise took the girls to the park this morning, but they are home now, causing chaos.  Reece and I are going to Great Grans.

See you back here soon.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Five

1.  Mom's application for her new apartment was accepted, so she will be moving in December.  It wasn't done without problems with her current apartment complex, and I'm more ready than ever to get her out of there.  I'm excited about her move.  She wants a new couch, and she needs a new telephone, so it will be fun to shop for those with her.  
2.  I've been busy with the kids this week.  Wednesday I went with Reece's class to see a play (Goldilocks and the Three Bears Thanksgiving).  It was kind of silly and unprofessional, but the kids didn't mind.  They had fun.  After the play we went to the park where they all had sack lunches and played on the playground.  I loved watching them all, especially Reece.  I enjoyed the day, but was pretty tired that night.

3.  Then yesterday morning Aubrey came into my room and asked if I would go to her Thanksgiving feast.  I didn't really want to, but I hated to tell her no since I went with Reece's class the day before.  So off I went to the school.  I enjoyed watching Aubrey and the other children during class time, and I liked helping with their feast.  I made fruit salad, and they had a lot of other goodies, too.  I stayed there for her entire class time, so tired again when I got home.

4.  This morning Reece's class has their Thanksgiving Feast, and I'll go to that, too.  If you're looking for me, I'll be at school.  :o)

5.  We had a fire in the fireplace Wednesday night for the first time this year.  Reece asked if we could have hot chocolate and sit by the fire.  That was nice, but now the house smells like wood smoke, even though the flue was open.  I don't mind it too much.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Gina Is Two!

Gina had her second birthday on Thursday, November 8th.  Poor little girl, she wasn't feeling well on her special day.  But she got a couple of toy gifts and a couple of new outfits and one of the little birthday cakes her mommy likes to get for them.

Gina had her birthday cake in front of her, and Cammie said, "Dive in, Gina!" and tried to push her face into the cake.  I told Cyrise that would have been a funny video.  :o)  Gina didn't make too much of a mess with her cake, and we all enjoyed having a little piece.

We turned in Mom's application for the apartment today.  We should hear whether or not she's accepted by sometime tomorrow.  I sure hope she gets it.

It has been cold here.  Our high today was 62, but it was in the 50s most of the day.  Mom and I wore jackets and scarves when we were out.  The low forecast is for 38 degrees for tonight (or early in the morning) and 60 for a high tomorrow.  Reece will definitely need long pants in the morning, and his sweatshirt jacket.

I'm having some hot chocolate with a dollop of sweetened condensed milk in it.  Oh yum.

Ron is having a little vacation.  He took off Friday, was off today for Veterans Day, and will be off Tuesday and Wednesday.  I'm glad he was finally able to get some down time.

Not sure how many we'll have here for Thanksgiving, but I'm hoping for a house full.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Busy Weekend

Ron and I went looking at apartments for Mom Friday morning.  We looked at several complexes close to us, and wound up liking the first one we looked at best.  It's very close to where we live, too.  

We took Mom out to lunch, and then to see the apartment Saturday afternoon.  She liked it, so we are turning in the application tomorrow.  It was also approved by Reece.  :o) 

The apartment won't be available until December 21st, but that shouldn't be a problem.  The manager at the complex where she lives now said that she can stay until she finds a place.

This morning Josh and Cyrise took the three oldest kids to Wurstfest.  Gina stayed with me and Papa because she is sick.  They had a great time riding the rides and eating food on a stick.  :o)

I went to Mom's and took her a huge plate of kalbi and rice.  Made some corn over there.  She loved it, as usual.  Teddy did too.  :o\

I got back, the kids got home and Ron and I left to meet Kelly for lunch and shopping at Trader Joe's.  We had lunch at The Quarry at Canyon Cafe, then Ron went home and Kelly and I went across the street to Trader Joe's.  There was a line to park, and once inside, the line to pay went from one side of the store to the other.  It went pretty quickly, though.  They are very organized, and most people were not buying a lot.  Everyone was just checking it out.

Kelly and I both got flowers, which my friend Linda said were good buys, and boy was she right!  I got some cookie butter, walnuts, tahini, and I can't remember what else.  Kelly got wine, hummus, cheese, tomatoes, cookie butter, and a bunch of other stuff.  She spent twice as much as I did. 

The store was smaller than I expected, but had a lot of good stuff.  I'll go back again.

Kelly brought me home, but first we stopped at the new apartment complex so that Kelly could see where Gran will be moving.  She liked it, too.  

I'm really tired tonight.  Glad tomorrow is a holiday and Reece and Aubrey have no school.

Happy Veterans Day to all the vets out there!  

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I got two pair (or is it two pairs?) of pajamas a couple of weeks ago, and I like them so much that I want to tell everyone about them.  I usually sleep in nightgowns, but after the cancer and chemo and weight loss, I'm cold all the time.  So I wanted long-sleeves and long bottoms.  And I'm particular about how they feel, so they had to be really soft.  I didn't want fleece or flannel, I wanted something soft and comfy and not too heavy.

I found these at Kohl's.  One pair is gray, the other pink.  The pink is my favorite.

So if you need some new PJs, check them out.  They would make great Christmas gifts for any woman in your life, too.

This is not an ad for Kohl's.  :o)  Just sharing my PJ preferences. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Extreme Disappointment

I don't even know what to say.  I can't believe this happened again after what has gone on for the last four years.  It seemed as if so many who voted for Obama in 2008 were not planning to vote for him again.  The ignorance of half the population stuns me.  They must not do any research at all.

His extreme stance on abortion, his support of gay marriage, his failed economy, the bail outs, the way he divides our country along racial, political and economic lines, his policy on immigration, his failure to pay down the debt, instead raising it to over $16 trillion, his treatment of the military, no energy policy, no budget, redistribution, his treatment of the Catholic Church...I could go on and on.  People should learn about these things before voting for someone.  Instead we see videos of people being interviewed about the election, and most of the Obama voters don't even recognize a picture of Joe Biden and think Paul Ryan is black!  They don't even know what they are voting for.

I hate politics and don't say much about it, but I am extremely disappointed.  Half the population are "takers," and I'm sorry, but that is the truth.  The "makers" are expected to pay higher and higher taxes to support the "takers."  And the takers won this election for Obama.  He is taking our country down the path of socialism.

My son says that no matter who is elected, we are still on that path, just at a slower pace.  Maybe so, but my prayer for this election was that we get Obama out of the White House.  

No matter what has happened, or will happen, I know that God is in control.  I just wish I understood His plan.  So, I put my faith in Him, and go on with my life.  I still have the things that are most important to me--Ron, our family, our home, our faith.  I'll focus on all the delightful things in the world rather than the negative, ugly things.  But I'm afraid things are going to get even uglier.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Chatter

How was your day?  Hope you've had a good start to a new week.

The time change always throws everyone for a loop for the first week or so.  The little girls were up at 6 AM today.  They've been going to bed around 7, and yesterday went down at 6.  They didn't know the difference, it felt like bedtime to them.  :o)  But no wonder they woke up so early!

I always get up to spend time with Reece before he goes to school.  Sometimes his daddy makes his breakfast, and sometimes I do.  By the time he eats, gets dressed, brushes his teeth and combs his hair, it is about time to leave for school, which starts at 7:30.  They are supposed to be there at 7:20 or 7:25, though, or they get locked out of the drop off spot and have to go in through the office.

When Josh got back, I went upstairs to take my meds and get online for awhile.  I'm sick of the election stuff and am glad it will soon be over.  Praying like crazy that we have a new president soon!  Reading online made me sleepy, so I went back to sleep (bad habit I have).

I went to Mom's about 1 PM, taking her some of the pork tenderloin and roasted potatoes left over from dinner last night (and a piece of cherry pie).  I heated up some canned green beans to go with it, and you would have thought she was having a feast.  She enjoyed it so much.  She's always impressed that Josh and Cyrise do the cooking, and tells me to tell them how good it was.  :o)

Her next door neighbor was outside when I was on the patio, and stopped to talk.  She had made some jumbo pumpkin nut muffins, and gave us two of them.  I only ate half of mine and left the other half for Mom, so she had all kinds of goodies today.  Those muffins were outstanding!

Mom's neighbor on the other side has moved.  She is such a sweetie.  I hated to see her leave, but she didn't feel safe there, either.

I gave the office notice today that Mom would be moving.  The lady there asked why, and I told her the truth--I don't feel that my mother is safe there, and I worry about her all the time.  She totally understood.  They didn't require that Mom sign her lease, and said that she can just pay the rent each month until she finds a new place.  I'm hoping to find something by the end of the month.

The kids got home from school, and I stayed downstairs with the family until after we had dinner.  Cyrise made Willie Strange's Very Good Soup and rice.  It was very good.  :o)

A young man came by the house and asked if he could mow the yard this afternoon.  He gave me a good price, so I had him go ahead.  I admire young people who hustle and work hard on their own.  He has a business doing lawn care, fencing, irrigation, masonry, pressure washing, tree trimming, landscaping and landscape lighting.  I asked him to give me an estimate to replace the fence along the street side of our house.  We will get another estimate or two, but if his is in the ballpark, I'd like to hire him.  He did a good job on the yard, and I've never seen anyone mow grass so fast!  He also trimmed and blew the clippings away.  The kids were fascinated that a stranger was working in our yard, and wanted to follow him around and talk to him.  Aubrey got their little play lawnmower and was pushing it around.  We had to put them on the patio and tell them to leave him alone.  :o)

Reece has been watching Benji on Hulu again.  He came downstairs after the movie and ate the rest of his dinner and we did homework.  Then he watched a couple of episodes of Pingu and went to bed about 8.  He went to sleep right away; he was tired.

I have to go to the BMT clinic tomorrow for most of the day.  :o(  Dr. O wants to give me the IVIG again.  It's to fight bacteria, so I guess I should have it.

Well, if you read through all that brain dump, I'm surprised.  But thanks for visiting.      

Saturday, November 3, 2012

UT Ninja Frogs

Reece and Aubrey went with me to Great Gran's yesterday.  Here they are in front of her patio.  Reece was pretending to be a Ninja Frog, from a game he plays.

And then little sis wanted us to laugh at her, too, so she pretended to be Ninja Frog.  I love the way he is looking at her and smiling.  He thinks she is so cute, and if any of us punish her for something, he gets angry.  We are to leave Aubrey alone.  I love the way they love each other.

You can see the apartments across the way reflected in Mom's window.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Five

1.  Johnnie emailed me yesterday to ask about my PET scan results.  That reminded me that I hadn't posted about it here, either.  No sign of any lymphoma.  :o)  Happy news!

2.  Dr. O said it did show some "fuzziness" in my lower right lung, and he thinks I had pneumonia.  We thought it was allergies because all of my chest x-rays were clear (the scan shows a lot more) and I had no fever.  He put me on antibiotics a couple of weeks ago when I told him I thought the sinus congestion had morphed into an infection.  I'm much much better now.  If it was pneumonia, it must have been a fairly mild case of it.  In any case, he put me back on Bactrim and Noxafil and wants to give me another infusion of IVIG next Tuesday, all of which will help my immune system fight bacteria and viruses.  He said that I have come too far and done too well to get sick now.

3.  I got the IV iron Tuesday, and I feel more energetic.  My HGB and red blood counts were up to normal levels anyway, though.  So the combo of the iron and higher counts have made me feel better.  Dr. O always said that the red cells come back last, and now Johnnie's cells are beginning to make them
for me.  :o)

4.  In other news, Mom's lease is up this month and I'm seriously looking into moving her.  There have been several shootings in her neighborhood, and since they opened up a percentage of the apartments to Section 8 housing there have been some scary looking people walking around her complex.  I don't think they can limit the age of residents if they have Section 8.  There are a lot more younger people there now.  They also raised her rent $60.  Higher rent when the complex is going downhill?

5.  And in a lighter vein, a brand new Trader Joe's is opening in San Antonio tomorrow.  I've heard so much about them, and I'm excited to check them out.  What should I look for there?  I know about the $2 wine (which will be $2.99 here).  What else?

That's all.  Have a great weekend.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween WiggleWorms

They were so wiggly and excited, it was hard to get pictures. Reece is the Angry Ice Bird, Aubrey is the candy corn witch, Camryn is a little bee, and Gina is a cute little zebra. All of the girls have worn the zebra costume now.