Friday, August 21, 2009

Morning Cup

Since my life is about as interesting as a dish cloth, I thought I'd share my morning routine. I have several Mickey/Minnie Mouse coffee mugs that I use each morning for my daily cup 'o java. Then I go online and see how much time I can while away. Between Facebook and blogs, I've found that I can indeed waste quite a bit of time! But on the positive side, my fingers get a good workout, and since they're part of my body I guess that means that I'm working out. Woo hoo!! Not sure just how aerobic that is, but I'm counting it. Didn't realize until just now that I seem to have some kind of "pink" theme here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Got Nothin'

I've been reminded by my bloggy-friends that I've been remiss lately in updating my blog. Why is that??? Hmmm... honestly I don't know. Guess I don't lead a very interesting life.
However in reference to a previous post of mine, I want to let you know that I have acquired a new bird feeder and another hummingbird feeder. Those of you who've read my post on getting old and feeding birds will get a chuckle out of this. Those who haven't should probably read the old post so you can be in on the chuckle.
Had lunch with my friend Denise yesterday, and she mentioned working out. Interesting concept. The term sounded vaguely familiar. Ah yes, that's why I have a Wii, Wii Fit, some interesting equipment that is great to hang clothes on and to stack my boxes of craft materials (that I'll probably get to some day), and about 25 workout and walking DVD's.
I occasionally think it would be a good idea to walk to my egg-lady's house when I buy my eggs from her. It's about a mile & 1/2 away, up and down a couple of steep hills, would be a good workout. And then I move on to other great thoughts and ideas.
Which reminds me... I have some sewing to do - a couple of pillows for Jake and tote bags requested.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Birthday Parties

I finally got the birthday pictures uploaded. We had such a fun week celebrating Jake's first birthday. And Jake really seemed to enjoy it too! He's a very social little fella, so entertaining his friends and family was right up his alley.
It was a celebration for all of us.
And what a beautiful day it was. I'm only in one picture because as usual I was the one taking the pictures. But that's quite all right with me.

Monday, July 27, 2009

One Whole Jake Year

Tomorrow is Jake's first birthday. One year old. Yep, it's been an entire year since he was born. Pretty hard to believe! It has been incredibly wonderful to have been able to participate in his life... and a true lifesaver to have him in mine. Jake has given me more than the past year of medications and therapy provided by the medical professionals in my life. Not that I discount everything my doctors have done for me, quite the contrary. But competing with the miracle known as Jake is a tough job.

I daily give my heartfelt thanks to Steve & Amy, and to God for bringing this miracle into my life.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Jake - Down on the Farm

After Amy's interview, it was such a nice day we decided to take Jake for a ride. I gave Lori a quick call to see if we could stop by for a visit. As you can see, Jake dressed in his bib overalls for the day. Lori gave us a personal tour of her gardens and yard. The highlight for Jake was sitting in the cab of a big John Deere tractor and pretend he was driving it. He wasn't too happy when we left the tractor. But then he perked up when we visited Lori's pumpkin patch. He had a great time... and as you can see, we wore him out!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shoppin' with Jake

Amy and Jake took me along when they went shopping last week. We had a great time. Jake decided he wanted a new hat. Of course he didn't like the way I put it on his head and needed to adjust it for his own 'look'.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A New Addiction... yikes

OK I've succumbed to the lure of Facebook. Holy cow... reconnecting with people is fun, but you can sure lose hours of your life doing so. So in honor of my new addition I thought I'd share a pic of my reaction when I looked at the clock and realized how much time I'd been online... now mind you, I'm in my pj's and NO makeup... so I'm really going out on a limb here....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A New Bloom!

My first hibiscus bloom. I'm pretty excited about it, but then it doesn't take much to entertain me anymore.

Did I mention before that I have one lonely hummingbird feasting at my feeder? Well at least it's one more than I had a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I left the hummingbird chow out in the sun too long and the rest of the gang got a little lupey and are nursing a birdie-hangover!

But then it could also have something to do with Mr. Blink on bird patrol. He's 20 years old, but still enjoys catching and eating birds. You can't fight Mother Nature.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Name That Flower...

My grandmother grew these bushes when they built this house in the 1930's. I've always thought they were hydrangeas, but have also been told they're snowballs. They bushes and the flowers are beautiful, and obviously very hardy having thrived here for about 80 years!

So let me know what you think...



Snowball Hydrangea

Something Else

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I Guess I'm Getting Old!

I've been 'out of pocket' lately and remiss in updating my blog... oopsie.

However, I recently made a personal observation; is it a sign that I'm becoming one of "those" old people when the first item on my shopping list is bird seed??? I've never really been much of a bird-person until recently. Now I find myself with three bird feeders along with a 4th bird feeder just for hummingbirds! Oh, and I have two bird baths and a solar powered fountain.

Where has this sudden interest in wild birds come from? Have I undergone some hormonal metamorphasis that changed my brain patterns? Now mind you I haven't gone so far as feeding squirrels (I still think of them as rodents with fluffy tails), and hope I don't get to the point of naming them (like my much beloved grandmother did)!

I've enjoyed watching hummingbirds in the past, and actually went so far as to plant specific flowers in my garden to attract them. But have never actually installed feeders in my yard for them. And as noted in a previous blog... having much less success with the feeder than with the flowers!

Another concern I have that I'm aging is that I tend to forget things. (big surprise there, right?) I was walking out to get my mail yesterday, and remembered ordering 2 banana trees for my garden, but concluded that I'd never received them. Then during my sleeplessness last night I suddenly remembered that I did receive them, but left them in my handy garden wagon, which I absent-mindedly left parked out in my garden!

Geez... or should I say "geezer"?!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Birdless in the Country?

Where have all of my little feathered friends gone? I had birdies tapping at my windows as recent as 2 weeks ago.
Now my bird feeders are deserted, birdbath/fountain goes unused, and birdie houses have been left for bank repossession.

Oh yeah, that's right... they all flew the coop to head over to the bird party going on in Lori's yard!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


This is our SMNO group. So what is SMNO you ask? We all had kids in the same class in high school, and when the kids were seniors we decided that we'd start having dinner together to stay in touch. Hence Senior Moms Night Out (SMNO).

Here are the girls:

This is Lori (she also blogs at Altered Glass). Her son is Aaron. And, her husband Allen was in my class in high school!

This is Chris, and her son is Shawn. Chris lives just a bit down the road from me. She has to be one of the most organized people I know. She has 4 kids all within just a few years of each other in age, and yet she was always the one to remind me where I needed to be for baseball games!
This is Diane, and her daughter Steph was a gal-pal of our sons in high school. Diane is very creative and a great gardener.

I'm lucky to have this group of friends in my life. All three of these great ladies have wonderful husbands and have been married forever. Of which of course I'm envious. I'm the single mom... relationship-challenged... still (kinda) looking for a Mr. Right.

Friday, June 19, 2009

It Only Happens to Me - Story #2 The Pizza

I find myself tripping, stumbling and shuffling down memory lane when the weather is gloomy like it is today, and I'm tired from a restless night (i.e. last night). So I'll dip into the Way Back Machine for one of my adventures from back in the day.

It must have been the summer of 1973 or 1974 or 1975... can't really remember. My friends were home from college and we were having an impromptu get together. As the day progressed we decided to splurge on a large Harris Pizza. At that time Harris Pizza was the gold standard of pizza in the Quad Cities (and in my opinion it still is.) So we dug deep into the pockets of our frayed, patched and embroidered blue jeans to scrounge up just enough money for the pizza and a case of soda. I was the only one that actually owned a car, and a fine car it was; a shiny blue 1972 Ford Maverick. My friend, Marybeth, called it The Carp since I guess it did look just a little like a fish. So naturally I had to go to make the pizza/soda pickup.

My best friend Nicki, and my dog (a rather large Old English Sheepdog, named Butch) loaded into The Carp and headed off to pick up the pizza. We got to Harris ok; went in to make our pickup (both pizza and soda), and prepared to return to the party. As we loaded back into the car we noticed the young guys at the pizza place were all waving and smiling at us. We giggled coyly and waved back at them... hey, we were pretty cute back then. About a block down the street I asked Nicki where she put the pizza. She said "I got the soda" and I said "I got the dog", and at that moment we both looked at each other, and I noticed something floating off the tail of The Carp, like a slow motion sequence. We had found the pizza, and the reason those cute boys at the pizza place were smiling and waving at us.

The gods were smiling on us though because although the precious pizza landed squarely in the middle of the busy intersection of 30th Street and 14th Avenue in Rock Island, all the cars were being very careful to drive around the pizza. OK... so we decided to make a quick detour down the alley so we could stop back at the intersection and retrieve our prize. As we pulled through the alley we found ourselves in a race with 2 little boys that also spied our treasure. Game on.

We reached the intersection at the same time, only to witness a car drive right through the middle of the pizza... squish... how rude! But hey it was a large, so there was still plenty left to retrieve. I stopped the car, and Nicki prepared to launch after the pizza but the boys were just too fast for us. They took off with our pizza, and us in hot pursuit.

But alas, our pursuit was fruitless and they got away from us. So we had to return to the party pizza-less, but with what we thought was a pretty funny story.

So I guess rather than producing a moral for the story, a question for the ages was raised again... which is more important to college-age boys; cute girls with long hair and short cutoffs, or a large Harris pizza? You decide...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Cookie Nap

My dear little Jake. I picked up some snickerdoodles while shopping at the local farmer's market (along with lots of other goodies.) I stopped over to visit Jake and deliver the cookies, since that's what good grandmas do... and I'll take any little excuse to visit Jake & Steve & Amy.

It was a beautiful afternoon so everyone was outside enjoying the day. And of course I was enjoying my visit.

Of course Jake dug into a snickerdoodle with his usual gusto, and actually dozed off while he was eating it. Gee I wish I could sleep like he does!

Monday, June 15, 2009

It Only Happens to Me - Story #1 - Always Carry A Great Purse

Since I really don't have anything interesting going on today, I'll share something that happened to me just a few short years ago... maybe 4-5 years, can't remember for sure.

I was in New York City for a conference. I noticed an uncomfortable pain in my hip as I was walking but didn't pay much attention to it until it got to the point of almost making me cry to take a step. So I started loading up on the Tylenol, Advil... whatever pain reliever I could get my hands on (legally of course). Nothing worked, and the pain got so bad I literally couldn't walk. The decision was made that I should go to the E.R. So the hotel loaned me a wheelchair, but of course wouldn't push me to the door (apparently there were some 'liability' issues), so one of my friends pushed me to the door and helped me get into a waiting cab.

The cab took me to NYU Medical Center ER, but of course dropped me off at the wrong door. I shuffled myself inside to be told that I was in the wrong place; I was at NYU Medical Center, but not the ER. The ER was down the block further. And naturally they couldn't help me get there (liability issues again apparently). So obviously in a considerable amount of pain, I shuffled myself back outside and headed to the ER. As I made my way along, a young lady came over to me and smiled; I thought "gee there are nice people in NYC, she's going to offer to help me". But she said "that's a great purse, where'd you get it?"

Well I do like a great purse, so I paused in my shuffle and told her that I thought I got it in Chicago but couldn't really remember because I was in so much pain because of my back, and that I was trying to get to the ER. So she said "ok" and walked away.

I finally got to the ER and after the appropriately lengthy wait to see a doctor, he finally appeared to examine me. He asked me some questions, poked around a little, and told me that I'd need an MRI. But since I'd be going home in a day or so, to just wait until I got home and have my regular doctor do it. I guess I was ok with that. But told him I wasn't sure how I'd get home, not being able to walk and all. He generously gave me 2 pain pills to get me home. And a prescription to get filled if I wanted more.

Now mind you, I was a visitor in a very large city, and virtually couldn't walk. I understand (now) that he didn't know me, and could have thought I was a druggie just looking to score some pain meds. And I understand (now) that there are hospital policies and all. But all I could understand at that time was a body full of excrutiating pain, having expanded from my hip down my legs and was out of control. I had no clue where I could get the prescription filled, and had no desire to shuffle my way from the hotel to a pharmacy (no matter how close it may have been to the hotel). So anyway they packed me back into a cab, and sent me back to the hotel.

I shuffled back to my room, and took one of the golden pain pills immediately, saving the 2nd precious pill to hopefully get me through the airports the next day.

A very kind-hearted friend wheeled me through the airports, and another friend met me at the airport to drive me home. Getting home never felt so good!

My doctor and physical therapist took great care of me and got me back on my feet (upright, no shuffling). Diagnosis: cracked vertebrae and exposed nerve, but no surgery (thank goodness).

I know this probably sounds crude, but now I understand why God created drugs! And why they can sometimes be our friends. And of course the importance of always carrying a great purse!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

An Award!

WOWEE! Look what I got... an award! Thanks to my most delightful friend, Lori. Gee, I wish I would have prepared a speech (checking my pockets to see if I might just have one tucked away, but no luck).

I'm honored, and thank my family, friends, pets, plants, trees, along with my director and producer, and my fans... wrong speech? oops.

Thanks, Lori. I hope my future blogs live up to the "fabulosity" expectation.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Art of the Nap

Here is the King of my house, Mr. Blink. He rules my other cat (Baby Grace), me of course, and even my big lumbering chocolate lab, Fannie May.
Mr. Blink is 20 years old, and still goes outside daily to hunt. He's a little slower and a little chubbier than in his prime, and takes more naps now. (Hmmm... sounds pretty familiar!) But he's still going strong.
Funny thing about our relationship; Mr. Blink and I have lived together longer that I've ever lived with anyone! My son even moved out to live on his own when he was in college... well at least as much as college students ever really live on their own, as most of you will understand.
Blink and I understand each other. I make sure he's well fed, plenty of water, and am always available to open the door when he feels he's on the wrong side of it. I welcome him home when he spends an occasional 'night out'... he's always waiting at the door when I let the dog out in the morning. By the way, a scene that is taken directly from the opening of The Flintstones.
And I'm totally envious of his ability to complete relax.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Totebag!

Yippee... Voila... Ta-Da (those are for Keetha)

I finished the tote bag in time to give it to my friend Lori for her birthday. Of course I immediately started noticing all of the flaws that need to be fixed. So I let Lori know that she could trade it in for a new-improved, model at a later date if she wants to.
I was momentarily motivated to get rolling on my other waiting projects. But then I fell asleep on the couch.

I'm having trouble editing my pictures (cropping, etc.) ... keep getting errors when I try to save them. Any tips would be welcome.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Another Project - Canvas Shopping Tote

It's Saturday, kinda gloomy outside, and I'm having a low-energy day.

I started a new project today - I'm making a new canvas shopping tote. Of course when/if I finish I will most certainly post a picture. I wanted some totes that were more sturdy than the 99 cent bags I purchased at the grocery store, so decided to make them myself. I've already bought several pieces of canvas fabric in great prints in anticipation of my successful venture. So if all works out well, it will probably be the gift of choice for my best friends for Christmas or birthdays. (Cover your eyes, Lori.)

Progress so far; I've cut the appropriate fabric pieces and loaded the thread into my sewing machine. And am on a break right now.
One of the results of suffering from chronic insomnia and depression (as I do) has been an 'abbreviated' attention span. But I'm workin' on it!
Well ... back to the sewing machine.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pam's Law #1 - When Will I EVER Learn????

We all know there's a law of the universe that basically says that "when you look your worst, you run into the people you'd really like to look your best for", right? I'm going to officially name it "Pam's Law #1" since I'm probably the #1 offender. And every time it happens I wonder if I'm ever going to learn!

This weekend I received a last minute invitation to a friend's son's college graduation party at a local pub. I was showered, so I was at least clean, but didn't have time to curl my hair, so just pulled it back in a braid/ponytail. Nor did I fuss with my clothes, since this pub is very casual, and I honestly didn't expect to see more than 1 or 2 people that I knew. And of course the worst offense... minimal makeup. But I figured, what the heck, I'll only be there long enough for a brief "congrats" to the grad and family, an ice tea, and then back home.

OK... so now you see where I'm headed with this...

I saw friends there that I hadn't seen in years! The stars were aligned such that one of my best friends from grade/high school was in town from Texas, and my college roommate (who happened to be the grad's aunt - which I had completely forgotten) was in town as well. The three of us were the best of friends in high school and college years.

I also saw a couple of mom's that I hung around with when my son was in school. Along with a bunch of other people.

And I looked like I just came in off the farm... straight from the fields... parked my tractor outside the bar. Well I don't actually have a farm or a tractor...

Well we had a good time and took pictures anyway. So here's to surprise reunions with good friends!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Plant Pink For A Cure

I love pink flowers, but I also purchased and planted these because a portion of the proceeds gets donated to 'Susan G. Komen For The Cure'. The flower on the bottom is the "Allure Light Pink Zonal Geranium" and the flower on the top is the "Dahlietta Louise (Rose & White) Dahlia". Lowe's sells these if you're interested.

My mother is a two-time breast cancer survivor, so I have a personal interest in supporting the cause. She's a petite little woman, but has been tough enough to win this battle and will be 84 years old this August.

We have a pretty typical mother/daughter relationship, i.e. we don't always get along so swell. After Dad died, my son mentioned that maybe Grandma and I should live together like in the Golden Girls (which was one of his favorite shows when he was very little). My first reaction was "you're joking, right?" An arrangement like that would drive both of us completely mad. (crazy-mad not angry-mad) She has a much more active social life than I do, and I enjoy solitude when I get home. I like my steak juicy, and she eats hers crispy. We are almost complete opposites in most aspects. But alike in that we both read a lot, like funny movies and have a love of education and the classroom.

Ah yes... I hope I'm not the only daughter who has a difficult time defining a mother/daughter relationship. It is what it is.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Life is Good!

Jake lives life large and loves it. He's an incredible therapist, without uttering a word (well at least words I can understand.) When I spend time with him I'm immediately grounded and my priorities become properly aligned. It's magic. Jake listens to me without judgment, let's me play with his toys and gives the most wonderful hugs & kisses.

I'd like to be more like Jake. Only already potty-trained. He makes his world into what he wants it to be with a few simple toys, and he has no problem adapting to whatever environment he's in. Jake watches and learns. He learns to do the things he wants and needs to do, and ignores the rest. Very wise.

I have a lot to learn from my grandson.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tool Time

Yummy coffee again this morning.

Been organizing my supplies in preparation to start working on a beveled glass candle holder design I've been thinking about. When/if I finish the project I'll post a picture to share. I'm excited to use my new soldering gun. Love those gadgets and tools. I should eventually build a little workshop somewhere in my house, but for now my dining room table is the hub of the creative action here. My friend Lori has a great workshop in her basement! (My workshop-envy is showing.)

I've also been developing some ideas for jewelry development. (Another outlet I dabble in occasionally.) That's what I do - I dabble. (Fun word - dabble.) And making jewelry gives me more opportunity to play with tools.

I can't believe that it's Memorial Day weekend and I still have planting to do in my garden. Mostly vegetables left to plant. My flowers are looking fantastic so far. And I tried some new plants this year; cranberries, coffee trees, and a daisy tree. I'm giving one last attempt to grow lavender. This is the 4th year for me and lavender, and if it doesn't work out this time it'll be my last year. The garden shop lady told me to mulch the heck out of it this fall, so that's what I'll be doing. Any tips on growing lavender would be welcome.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Reading Addiction

I am addicted to reading. There... I admit it... I've said it out loud.

Here's what I've read recently:
  • Maya Angelou's series of her self-biographies,
  • Alexander McCall Smith's "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" series
  • Jodi Picoult - Several of her books
  • Lisa See's "Red Princess" books
  • Ursula K. LeGuin - "Earthsea" series, as well as several others
  • Sharon Kay Penman's medieval mysteries
  • Sharan Newman's "Catherine LeVendeur Mystery" series
  • The Secret Life of Bees
  • Marley & me
  • many, many historical fictions
  • many historical biographies

Reading focuses my brain, gives me an opportunity to escape the 'real world', as well as an opportunity to learn.

I love to learn and to teach. The classroom environment is the perfect place to discuss and debate, to be open to new ideas and to express your own ideas.

Gee... just listen to me waxing philosophically!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Morning Coffee

Hmmm... what to write today? I'm enjoying some particularly tasty coffee today. I have one of those Keurig K-Cup coffee makers, and bought a box of Heifer Hope Blend coffee. I'm one of those people who try to support good causes and global community & environmental improvement. This coffee is Fair Trade Certified and donates a portion of each purchase to the Heifer International organization. I'm very impressed with this organization and plan to become more involved upon my retirement. Read more about it at

As an Aquarius and child of the 60's I'm still trying to heal the world. I'd really like to take a 'volunteer vacation' but have overwhelmed myself with information (this is SO typical of me),
that it renders me at a point of no decision at all. They all sound so worthy to me, but I have to admit my own limitations (call me a baby if you want to, I prefer to call it "realistic"). I can't see myself living in a tent in the rain forest... not crazy about sharing my sleeping bag with other living creatures. I like to teach, and think I'm pretty good at it, so would lean more toward something to do with teaching. I'd really like to visit and teach in Africa. The children there seem so hungry for education, and it's an area of the world that will really have a global impact in our future.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Spring - The Time for Fresh Starts

My good friend Lori tells me that I need to dedicate a specific time each day to blog. So I'm giving it a try. Don't know how much I have to share that will be as interesting as the other blogs I've read, particularly Lori's. Hers is fantastic.

My interests are eclectic (I like that word, it's a nice one), scattered and unfocused. Please, no psychological interpretation; my son is in that field and has already given me the full analysis. Actually, I've taken credit many times for being the reason he chose to study and practice psychology. And if he ever writes a book or publishes a thesis, I expect to be the case study he references.

At this time my attention is focused on getting my flowers and veggies planted, decluttering my house (which bugs the devil out of a person very special to me), sewing (I'm making a "Bob the Builder" pillow for my precious grandson), preparing my beveled glass pieces so I can start making the candle holders I'm interested in... well, ok see how I mis-use the word "focused"?

And of course I read every night too. Sometimes I have 2-3 books going at one time.

Pictures that I post will be those that represent factors of my life; things that impact my life, my day and my moments.

I hope that I can provide stories about my adventures that will entertain you, thoughts and opinions that interest you, and reflections that touch you.