Saturday, February 28, 2009

All Quiet on the New Market Front

Hey, Y'all,
It is a very quiet day here in New Market, TN. I actually slept in until 8:45 this morning (if you can call getting up about 3 times during the night sleeping in, ha.) This day is supposed to be rather rainy and grey outside. According to the weather man (who doesn't always know what he is talking about - he needs one of Granny Clampett's weather beetles -"Beverly Hillbillys") in order to predict the weather, I am thinking.

Actually, the last few days have been kind of quiet and peaceful. I did get out yesterday for a while to make my weekly trip to get groceries and stuff at Walmart. Whilst I was there, I saw a friend of mine for the first time in years. Of course, you know that Walmart is where you always are seeing friends that are long-lost. Ruth Ann was tellling me that she keeps in touch with several people on Facebook that we both worked with. It was really great to see her again and hope she will keep in touch.

So far this morning, I have folded and put away 3 loads of laundry (washed and dried yesterday and the day before), had breakfast, read some from my present murder mystery, and that is about it, but not too bad for a morning's labors. I still have my kitchen to clean up, but that can wait. ha ha.

I still have intentions to balance my check book today, along with some more working on Will's quilt. I spent several hours last evening working on additional flowers for his quilt. I decided I needed six more flowers to balance out the design for his quilt.

I am hoping to chat online with my daughter, Teresa, some time today, and if not today, then tomorrow. Well, that is about it for now. I think we are supposed to have some snow showers this evening into the morning hours. My pansies in the flower bed out front are standing a little taller since it has warmed a little during the days past. Unfortunately, they are going to be hunkering down again in a little while, trying to avoid the wind and cold.

This is Blabbn' Grammy signing off for now. More tomorrow, maybe, and if not, then soon. Are you keeping up with American Idol contestants? It is fun to see who will be in the final twelve and who will be knocked off each week. That is about it for today. Love to you all. I hope each of you have an opportunity to worship at your church tomorrow, and if you can't, I trust you will keep the Sabbath in your hearts. Bye for now.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Just Hangin' Out

Hey, Y'all,
Yep, we got up this morning and headed out to Knoxville at about 9:15 a.m. In the meantime, I contracted with a paver yesterday to pave our driveway with asphalt, to be done today while we were in Knoxville. I asked him to pave the driveway down to where our driveway joined with our neighbor's. When we got back today, I decided I wanted him to pave the driveway all the way down to the road. He just laughed and said of course he would do it. One of the workers said he knew we would want it finished all the way down when we saw it. (pictures forthcoming when the job is finished completely).

We proceeded on to Knoxville this morning and decided to have a Hardee's breakfast consisting of biscuits/gravy and coffee. (yes, I know, it is bad for us, especially me, but we don't do Hardee's very much any more. It has been months since we have done so).

After breakfast, we went on and picked up Mae and then went on to Imazo's. We left Gramps at Imazo's and then Imazo, Mae, and I went to the Mall and did some shopping. By that time, my back and Mae's shoulder and back were all in the "killing me" mode. I don't know about Imazo's, she never complains. We went on then to Wal marts (a super walmart), and depended on the buggies to help us contend with aching joints and muscles. (Thank goodness for those buggies)!

Upon arriving back at Imazo's, we switched cars and gathered Dub into the car, and headed for Litton's Restaurant. Dub and I shared a chicken salad sandwich, and Mae and Imazo each got one and took leftover halves home. Mae ordered a piece of coconut pie for dessert, but couldn't eat all of it, so she took the remainer home to eat later. Imazo and I shared a piece of Italian Creme Cake, and Gramps (Dub) had a huge lemon cookie. Yum, full tummies all around (and we were rounder when we left there than we were when we arrived. ha ha.). While we were there, I suggested that the next time we go shopping, we take a wheelchair, and then we can take turns riding and pushing. We had a good laugh over that one.

We got back to Imazo's and just kind of lounged around and patted our full tummies and yearned for a nap, but resisted (at least for the time being). We were just hanging out (literally, we were so full) and sat around talking about all kinds of stuff. After a while, I took Mae home and came back and got Gramps and we headed home.

It looks like we are going to have some rain tomorrow, and maybe snow showers on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Another lost weekend, maybe. ha. Tomorrow, I will be going in to Jeff City to pick up some groceries I need and Gramps will probably sleep in while I do so. We are going out on Monday evening to celebrate Allie's 50th birthday anniversary. We plan to be eating at Puleo's at Strawberry Plains.

Well, it is time for me to end this Epistle for the night. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Bye for now. Love to you all.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Just Hangin' In There

Hey, Y'all,
A very quiet morning is here, and Gramps is still in bed. He was up early yesterday morning, saying he was getting ready to go to school to teach. I told him that it was a school holiday, and he said, "what holiday?", so I tried to distract him by telling him it could be President's Day. So he went back to bed, and a couple of hours later, he got up and started putting on his outer wear clothing and I asked him why he was getting dressed that early. He said he was getting ready to go to work. I told him, "Honey, we are retired. We don't have to go to work any more. Isn't that great?" He agreed that it was great. but he did stay up and we had breakfast together.

It seems that lately he has been focusing more and more on "going to work" in the mornings. He has been making the beds over the past week or so, and that is good. He also has been doing more in the kitchen, (putting trash in the trash can, heating a cup of coffee in the microwave) and also grazing when he feels hungry, and has gone back to daily reading of the Bible. To me that indicates a growing awareness of daily routine.

The weather was pretty enough yesterday that we were able to get out and go to Morristown and have lunch at Captain D's. We both really love the fish dinners there, and yes, I know it is greasy, but every once in a while a person needs some good greasy southern-fried fish. We don't eat there very often, so it is always a treat when we do.

Last evening, I worked on Will's quilt, still piecing together the flowers for the squares, and it is progressing very nicely. While I was working on the quilt, Gramps was watching the President speak and going through his closet looking for his black suit. After the speech was over, I watched the Republican rebuttal to the speech, and was quite impressed by the Governor of Louisiana's rebuttal.

Gramps went to bed after the speech, and I switched channels to watch Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry in "Magnum Force". That wasn't over until 1 a.m., so consequently, I was in bed this morning until 8 a.m.

Ooops, it is 11 a.m. and I hear Gramps up moving around, so I must close for now. We have plans to go into Knoxville tomorrow to spend some time with Mae and Imazo. Will report on that later tomorrow evening. I know how very lonesome they both are. I need to get Gramps breakfast and get him settled for the day. We probably will be in all day today.

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Love to you all. Bye for today.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Catchin' Up

Hey, Y'all,

Well, yesterday was a very quiet day. We woke up to snow on the ground, and didn't know what the roads were like, so we just didn't go anywhere. Gramps was happy to sleep until noon, and I was happy to kind of snuggle in as well. I looked out about 1 p.m. and a lot of the snow was melting. There was still some in the shade this morning, but it was mostly all gone by five p.m. yesterday.

I did get to chat with Teresa for a while, poor little gal, she has a stomach virus, but today I got an e-mail from her that she is feeling a little better. Thank the Lord!

This morning, I got up and cleaned the kitchen, and vacuumed the house, so it wouldn't look like it had never been cleaned. I prepared the apple dumplings to cook for tonight's supper, by peeling, and coring 7 Granny Smith apples, placing each one on a half circle of pastry, then I put some sugar, cinnamon, and butter in the center of the apple. I then folded the pastry up over the apple and baked the apples for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

I prepared chicken also for tonight's supper, according to a recipe sent to me as a comment on my blog the other day. It was rubbed with miracle whip (mayo), then dipped into a mixture of grated parmesan, some ground rosemary, some dry mustard, some garlic powder and cornflake crumbs, and placed in pans and baked at 350 for 45 minutes. It was wonderful tonight.

Also, I baked some sweet potatoes for our supper, and opened some cans of green beans. Our neighbors, Scott, Laurie, and their children came for supper. Needless to say, we had a really good supper and after supper we cleared off the table and played Chicken foot with dominoes.

Oh, yes, this morning, while I was busy on the computer, Gramps came out of the bedroom wearing one of his Sunday suits. I asked him why was he wearing his suit. He told me he thought it was Sunday, so when I told him it was Monday, he said, "Oh, I guess I don't need my suit on then," and I said, 'Nope, not today."

A realization came to me recently....many of the memories that I have of growing up and in later years that I shared with my siblings and parents, are now only my memories, and there is no one left who has those same memories. I alone have those certain images and words. It is a lonely feeling. I will continue to try to convey those thoughts and images to you, my readers.

Well, it is about 11:30 and I need to get to bed. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Bye for now. (picture above is of the apple dumplings after they were baked).

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Hen Party

Hey, Y'all,

This morning about 6 a.m. I heard Gramps get up and head for the bathroom. Then just as I looked up, down he went into the floor. He was not hurt, and I helped him get up by moving a chair where he could pull himself up (with a little assistance from me - with what he would let me help). He then proceeded on to finish what he intended when he got out of bed.
A few hours later (after he and I had had a couple of more hours sleep) we had breakfast, and got ready to head into Knoxville to visit with Imazo, and her sisters, and niece. We got there about 11 a.m. or so, and found that Dorothy, Barbara, and Joann (Barbara's daughter) were already there. Then we had us a regular Hen Party. (With one old harmless rooster)

After the hugging took place, we all sat down in the living room and talked for awhile. It was really great to be able to visit with them again. After an hour or so, we decided it was time to have something to eat (of course), so Joann and I took ourselves on down to Burger King and ordered from the drive-thru. I ordered Six Chicken sandwiches, and proceeded on to the first window.

The girl at the window asked, "Did you have six chickens?" I replied, "No, I didn't have six chickens, but I did order six chicken sandwiches" (ha ha). She looked at me kind of funny, (wonder why?) and said, "that will be $24.25". (Here, my two sons-in-law are groaning over my pun, and my two girls are saying 'what a smart alec remark'. ha ha)

I paid her and we proceeded on to the next window to pick up the sandwiches. We took them back to the house and we sat down around the table, while Imazo got our drink orders and Barbara helped her fix the drinks (no, no alcohol), just tea and soft drinks, thank you very much.

Barbara had baked two cakes and brought them with her; they were yellow layer cakes, and one was frosted with a white frosting and coconut, the other was frosted with chocolate frosting. Of course, we all had to have a bit of each.

We were all feeling like ticks on a puppy (full of food) and went into the living room. Imazo brought out a bunch of shirts that had belonged to Hugh so that we could choose from them some that could be worn by our menfolks (and us, too).

Then she called us ladies into her bedroom and showed us some clothes that she was getting rid of, and so we began to try them on, and each of us chose some that we could wear. Of course, we had left Gramps sitting in the living room, and reading a National Geographic. He was perfectly happy

It was soon time for us to leave, and after some more hugging, and picking up our bags of clothing, Gramps and I left and headed down to Mae's house to visit with her for a while, and Imazo's relatives left for Monroe county.

We visited with Mae for awhile, and then left, after promising to be back down there tomorrow after church if weather permitted to take her and Imazo out to lunch. (You know, that eating rates right up there with sleeping, ha).

Gramps and I were heading home and I asked him how he felt among so many women, and he said, "Cautious". Ha. he is so funny, isn't he? He has a wonderfully dry wit.
Pictures above are: Barbara, and Gramps, (2) Joannn and Dorothy, (3) Dorothy, Imazo and Barbara and the edge of Gramps face. (I was behind the camera in each of the pictures, of course)
Well, this is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for tonight. More tomorrow, I hope. Love to all of you. Bye for now.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Coconut PIe Recipe

Hey, Y'all,
It has been requested that I print the recipe for the coconut pie that I made the other here it is.

One note before I begin the recipe: I like to use a double boiler when I make cream pies, but if you don't have one, you can just use a regular pot, just monitor carefully so that the mixture doesn't burn.

Pastry for a single crust 9" pie

1 cup sweetened flaked dried coconut

1 and 1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup plus 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 and 1/4 cups whole milk

3 large eggs, separated

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1. With a fork, prick bottom and sides of unbaked pastry in pan of about 1" intervals. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a rack.

2. In a 2 or 3 quart pan, mix 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cornstarch, milk, and egg yolks until well mixed. Stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils and thickens, 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and coconut.

3. In a small bowl mix 1/3 cup sugar and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch.

4. In a deep bowl, with a mixer on high speed, whip egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until egg whites are very foamy. Add sugar-starch mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, every 30 seconds, and continue to beat until meringue holds stiff glossy peaks.

5. Spoon meringue onto hot pie filling. With a spatula, spread meringue evenly to rim of pie shell.

6. Bake in a regular or convection oven at 325 degrees until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

7. Let pie cool on a rack about 3 hours. Cut into wedges and serve or invert a large bowl over pie (dont' let sides touch pie) and chill for up to one day.


Oh, one more thing.. Don't wait until you have poured the pie into the shell to start looking for your mixer and egg beaters. I had to search all over my kitchen for the beaters before I remembered where I had put them. You should have seen me flipping through drawers and in the pantry trying to find them. Or maybe it is a good thing that you didn't;;;you would probably be still laughing.

Tomorrow we will be going in to Knoxville to visit with Imazo and her sisters who are coming in from Monroe county. I look forward to seeing them all again. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for tonight. Love to you all. bye for now.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This and That, I Reckon

Hey, Y'all,
Today is one of those days that I just couldn't decide what I wanted to write about and decided to just do a smattering of different subjects.

Lately, Gramps has been talking a lot about his school days of teaching. I think he has been reliving them in his dreams. Yesterday morning, about ten a.m., Gramps got up and (picture this), kind of staggered out of bed, with his hair all tousled up, and his baggy-seated sweats, and said, "I'm going to be late for school this morning, I guess." I thought, "oops, what can I say now?" So I said, "Today is a holiday, and school is out". He said, "Okay." Thus, he was kind of detoured and then, I guess, forgot about school for the time being.

We had a very quiet day yesterday and I got a lot of laundry done and put away, I also got my bed linen changed and washed. Last night about 11 p.m. I was putting the fresh linens on my bed. His gets laundered today. It is difficult to find a good time to do his bed, because he spends so much time in it. ha.

This morning, I was up about 7:30 and came into my multipurpose room, and looked at the top of my computer desk, (the table part of it) and decided it was time to clean out my filing cabinet and begin my new year of files. I spent about two hours on that, and finally got finished with it. It is wonderful to have that done and not be concerned with it anymore.

While cleaning up my files, and the top of the computer desk, I ran across the poems that my sister had written, and thought I would put one of them on today's blog. It is called, "Winter Woes? And Wonders!". Here it is:

I woke up this morning and what do you know?
I saw a big frost that resembled a snow.
I put on my robe and turned up the heat,
And then I put wool socks on my feet.

The need to go out, I really did dread-
Such thoughts made me want to jump back in bed.
But down by the river was a beautiful sight -
A fog had frozen on the trees in the night.

And now as the sun was beginning to gleam,
A more beautiful picture you never have seen!
We often dread the cold and the ice,
But listen to me and take my advice...

God made each season for man to enjoy,
Some like the heat and some the cold,
And each has a beauty that all can behold,
So Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall-

Remember that God made them all.

Margaret Elizabeth Campbell. 12-8-2004

I hope you enjoy reading and thinking about her poetry. She had an eighth grade education until her later years in life when she achieved a high school diploma through a GED. I have always been proud to have had her as a sister.

Well, that is my posting for today. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to each of you. Bye for now.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Family Time

Hey, Y'all,

Gramps and I headed into Knoxville this afternoon and promptly forgot that we had trash in the back of the car to take to the dump. I happened to remember before we got too far and promptly turned around to carry the bags of trash to the local dumpsters.

After we dropped off the trash we headed back out to the highway and proceeded on to Knoxville. Also in the car, we had the pie carrier holding the coconut pie. (picture above).

We got into Knoxville and were almost at Imazo's when I had to brake all of a sudden, and I heard the pie carrier slide off the back seat and hit the floor behind me. I just knew it would be all squished up when I got to Imazo's. Miraculously, it was just fine.

Imazo needed to go to the bank and the post office, so we left Gramps watching television and went to run the errands and to pick up Mae and bring her back to the house. I had thought we would be going to pick up some sandwiches for lunch, but Imazo had bought some lunch meat, tomatoes and lettuce for sandwiches, so that made it much better than going out.

She laid out a really nice spread for our lunch, made some iced tea and coffee, and we had pie for dessert. (see pictures). Yum, it was all really good!

We sat and talked for a long time, and watched some television. We just generally had a great time visiting. I know it would have made Hugh happy to see us having a good time together.

Gramps and I left about 5:30 and headed back home. We had left over pizza for supper at about 7 p.m. and retired each to our own devices; Gramps watching television in the living room, and I put some clothes in the washing machine to run, and then came in here to the multipurpose room. I know I will be watching American Idol in a few minutes after Jeopardy is over. I may even go to bed around 9 or 9:30 tonight.

Well, that is about it for tonight. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. More tomorrow. Love to all of you. Bye for now.

Problems with Publishing

Hey, Y'all,
Yes, I admit it! I am having problems accessing my own blog! I can't get anything but the brown background when I do the "" and hit search. It takes me to "Blabbin' Grammy", but all I get is the background. It is about to drive me nuts (nuttier than usual). I have gone to the "help" section, and got no help there. Does anyone out there have any answers for me?

I can get to the individual posts, from the dashboard, and I can do this (create new posts, I can view them when I go to edit, but when I click on publish, it will say, "You have successfully published" but I cannot get to the blog when I click on "view Blog".

Does anyone else have this problem? How did you deal with it? Is it simply one of those glitches that come up occasionally? I can get to the individual posting from the "edit" listing, but when I get to the post, and click on "home" at the bottom of the posting, it takes me to the blank background. HELP, Please, anyone.

Thanks ever so much, if you can?

This is a frustrated, hair-pulling out, disgruntled Grammy. Bye for now. I will keep posting. Hope you all can access my blog better than I can. Love to you all. We will be headed into Knoxville for the afternoon, with the aforementioned coconut cream pie. Bye for now.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Fun

Hey, Y'all,

Mondays have become real fun for Gramps and I, what with having supper with our neighbors and then playing games. I am a real game player, and love to cook. Since coming back to Tennessee a couple of years ago, I have rediscovered my interest in preparing meals, and having people in to eat with us. It is also wonderful for Gramps to interact with other people in our home.

Today our meal was chicken pot pie, and I had a lot of fun preparing it for us. This morning, early, I was up putting six chicken breasts on to cook in readiness for the pot pie which I would finish later. I took them from the broth and cooled them in the fridge, and then headed out to Walmart to do a little shopping and was back within an hour or so.

Upon my return home, I took some carrots out to cook, and put them on, and forgot about them while I had lunch and read some from a book I am reading. Then I began sniffing something that smelled suspiciously burned. Yep, it was the carrots. Fortunately, I had not put all of my carrots in that one pot, and I put the rest of the carrots from the fridge into another pot, and cooked them without burning them. Unfortunately, this was not the first time I had ever burned something while reading, and probably won't be the last time. Ha.

After lunch, I began working on making a coconut meringue cream pie to take to Knoxville tomorrow so that my sister-in-law, Mae, can have some. She has been hungering for a coconut pie, so we will have a sandwich of some kind and then have the pie for dessert. I will leave the balance of it with her and Imazo.

I had to look for the recipe for the white sauce for the pot pie, and also the recipe for the coconut cream pie online last night, so I could make them today. There is nothing like the resources that the internet provides, is there?

This afternoon, Gramps helped me get the table ready for our friends and the pot pie was bubbling in the oven, ready to serve. Yum! I made it in a large serving bowl (which you can see on the table in the pictures). We had pretty much cleaned it out by the time I took the pictures. I almost forgot again to take the pictures, but I remembered in time, before Laurie left for her Monday evening Bible study.

After the supper, we played several games: Uno, Aggravation, and Dominoes. We had great fun and I look forward next Monday evening when we will dine together again and play some more games, and just generally have a great time. I am planning on making apple dumplings for dessert next Monday. I haven't decided yet on the main course, but I know I will enjoy making it.

Pictures: Top picture is of Scott, Laurie and Olivia, second picture is of Olivia, Mitchell, and Gabriel. Scott is a construction worker and a wonderful father to their three children. Laurie home schools the children and is a very charming lady. They are a loving, Christian family and I feel blessed to know them. We are having great times with them and the children. It is really great to have young people in our home.

Well, it is nearly eleven o'clock and time to get to bed. The dish washer is cleaning my dishes, and tomorrow is another day. I need to take my pills and go to bed. Love to all of you, my readers. Thanks for visiting my blog. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. More tomorrow. Bye for now.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day '09

Hey, Y'all,
We had a really great time yesterday evening at Imazo's and Mae's church in Knoxville. We drove in yesterday around 4 p.m. and switched cars with Imazo's, and then drove down and picked up Mae and proceeded up the hill to City View Baptist. When we lived in Knoxville more than 60 years ago, that was our home church. It was there that,as a girl of 13 years, I met and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.

Jeff and his wife, Peggy, had been working along with others to prepare a meal for seniors. The youth of the church were servers. Of course, everyone was wearing red to celebrate Valentine's Day, and even the men looked dashing.

The meal started off with delicious potato soup, and cornbread mini-muffins. The entree was tender pork loin, white rice, and Spinach Maria, followed by choice of dessert: New York Cheesecake, Butterfinger Cake, or Mixed Berry Cobbler. Favors were little boxes with Hershey Kisses inside.

We had a program of music and stories of how couples met. It was so very enjoyable! We look forward to going again next year. I was so full that, on the way home, I loosened the waist of my slacks, so I could drive comfortably. Whew!

Pictures above: Gramps and me, Mae and Imazo

Today, at our church here in New Market, our spring revival began, and it was wonderful to be once again joining with our fellow Christians in worship. Gramps and I headed into Knoxville after church and once again, switching cars (we do this because our car is a two door and Imazo's is a four door and more comfortable for little old ladies to get into) we took Imazo and picked up Mae.

They wanted to know where we were going to eat, so to avoid another (where do you want to eat, etc.) conversation, I said, "We'll let it be a surprise". Then I took us to O'charley's for lunch. Gramps had his cane, and of course, was having trouble maneuvering, with my helping him walk. Even though there were many waiting to be seated, we were seated immediately in a little corner, but very nice table and roomy.

After we dropped them off, and switched cars again, Gramps and I headed home and upon reaching home, immediately we changed into our night clothes and took a nap. Tomorrow, we will be having our neighbors in to supper and playing games afterwards. I am planning on making a large chicken pot pie for our supper.

Well, it is time to end this posting. It has been a lovely weekend, and I look forward to the week to come. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for this evening. Love to all of you, my readers. Bye for now.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pizza Night followed by Dominoes

Hey, Y'all,

We have been having a marvelous time this evening at our home. So much fun, it should be against the law. Ha ha. If laughter is the best medicine, we have been doctored up really good this evening.

Our friends, Judy and Gene, her mother, Marion, and Judy's sister, Marjorie, came and our Allie and Mark came also. Gene is a wonderful story teller. He had us literally rolling with laughter.

I had made the pizza for our supper, and Judy brought a layered green salad, and also some chocolate chips to melt to dip fruit into, and she brought the fruit as well.

After we had pizza, we cleared the table and stacked the dishwasher with the dishes, and got out the box of double twelve dominoes. Somehow, the idea has gotten around that I cheat at dominoes. I think it began when I helped Gramps with his game because he had trouble deciding what tile to play. The first thing I knew, my family and friends were accusing me of cheating, so I played it up and joked about it.

Tonight when we started playing, Marjorie was sitting beside me, and Judy said, "Be careful, Ruby cheats." Marjorie immediately placed her tea glass between the two of us, and put her table napkin over the glass to place a shield between us. I had to laugh , along with everyone else, it was so funny. (see glass and napkin in picture).

Gene started telling funny stories and had us just rolling with laughter. We could hardly catch our breath. It was 11:00 before we finished up for the night, and to tell the truth (which I always try to do), I could have gone on for another hour.

In fact, right now, it is a little past midnight, and I am sitting here blogging and watching Monk on television. I am not really sleepy right now, and I can sleep late in the morning. We have been invited to go to Knoxville tomorrow evening (actually this evening if you consider we are already into Saturday) and go to the Valentine Banquet at Imazo's and Mae's church. Jeff, Hugh's and Imazo's son, is one of those who is preparing the meal. We look forward to going and spending some time with them.

The first picture is of Judy, Gene, Mark and Allie. The second one is of Marjorie, Marion, and Judy. Notice the glass covered with the blue napkin to the right of Marjorie. Ha. Just too funny! I would never really dream of looking at anyone's tiles to see what they had, just act like I am. It has gotten to really be quite a joke.
Well, it is really time to get to bed, and I think I can sleep now that I have had time to unwind a little. Have to take my nighttime pills and crawl into bed.
This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for tonight. More tomorrow. Hope all of you are getting a good night's sleep. Bye for now.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Latest on Gramps

Hey, Y'all,
It is very late on Wednesday evening. I have been sewing on Will's quilt, continuing the piecing of the flowers that will go on each block.

I returned home yesterday from looking at Mark and Allie's new house, to find that Gramps had taken a shower while I was away. I think he just wanted to see if he could do that without me here to help him. That is good progress on his part, but a little scary on my part, because he is not really steady on his feet. I am glad he is feeling more confident to do some things on his own. I asked him to please not do that any more, but to wait for me to be here so that if he fell, he wouldn't have to lie waiting for me to return home. I also told him I was very proud of him for his accomplishment.

He is also under the impression that a teacher he formerly taught with had called him to ask him to be principal at the school that Gramps retired from twenty years ago. The fact is, he dreamed the phone call and it was so real to him that he believes it really happened. Bless his heart. I told him that he wouldn't want to be back in all of that with all the responsibilities it would bring.

We had a really nice time in Knoxville today. We went to Imazo's and switched cars so that everyone could ride comfortably in Hugh's and hers Toyota Camry. Then we picked up Mae and we went to the Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Then we stopped at the drug store for some tylenol for Mae, and went to the bank so that Imazo could conduct some business there. I took Mae home and then we went back to Imazo's.

By the time we got back to Imazo's, Gramps was ready to find a nice soft seat on Imazo's couch. So we sat and talked for a while, then our neice, Donna and her husband, L.D., stopped by for awhile and we visited with them. By that time the wind was picking up and we knew that bad weather was on the way.

Gramps and I left and came home, barely getting home before the windstorm got here. We had some leftover veggie beef soup, and then he went to bed, and I came in here to my multipurpose room and started sewing. Carol called and we talked for awhile. Now it is after 11 p.m. and I am very close to going to bed. Got a lot to do tomorrow. I am planning on making the sauce for pizza I'm serving on Friday evening, and also have to go to the Walmart store tomorrow.

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. God bless each of you and I hope you wake up tomorrow ready for a brand new day and new opportunities to serve Him.
Love to all of you, my friends. Bye for now.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The New House

Hey, Y'all,
Today I took a trip to Sevierville with Mark and Allie to see the new house they are purchasing, which is to be their new home. Allie drove over with me sitting in the front seat of her car, and Mark drove over later. She wanted me to see how simple it is to drive to the house, and how easy it is to find. They also wanted me to see the house before they do any renovations to it.

It is a beautiful house, with four bedrooms and three baths. All the bathrooms are really nice and they all work, too! (I tried them all out, ha ha.)

There is a front deck and side deck, along with a back screened-in porch which runs the width of the house. The back of the house backs up to a wooded area. I wonder if they have thought about creatures that crawl in the summer time? I am sure they may see woodland creatures like 'possums, skunks, racconns and the like, aren't you?

The living room is sunken (not too far, just a couple of steps down into it), and is furnished right now in Asian collectibles, since the owner is Korean.

I met the realtors who are representing Mark and Allie, and really enjoyed talking with them. They are a lovely couple who really seem to know the real estate business. They were there when we arrived, and also the inspector was there conducting a thorough examination of the house and property. He pronounced it a sound building on a good foundation. Of course, we were all pleased to hear that pronouncement.

Allie had to go to work around 11 a.m., so Mark and I stayed on while the inspection was completed, then Mark treated me to a lovely lunch at the Olive Garden. I had something that was really tasty, but too salty to eat more than once a year. It was their Shrimp Caprese. Unfortunately, the shrimp had been marinated in a salt mixture, and the pasta tasted like it had been cooked in sea water. I am going to try to find a recipe for the Caprese that I can cut the salt from.

After lunch we came on back to home, and Gramps had just gotten up and got dressed just before I came in. So, tomorrow, we both will be going into Knoxville to spend some time with the sisters-in-law. Actually they have been in our family so long, they are more sisters than sisters-in-law, and I love them like sisters.

The plumber is coming in the morning to move the water heater in the basement from one part of it to another, so that eventually a bathroom can be put into the basement, along with a guest bedroom and a den. That way, when we have family come in from out of town, there will be a place for them to sleep and relax. This is a part of the ongoing renovations to our house.

We had a really great time last evening with our neighbors, Mark and Laurie, and their children. We are planning to have Gene and Judy, and Mark and Allie, and Marion and her daughter, Marjorie, who is visiting from Germany to supper on this Friday, the 13th. We look forward to that evening as well.

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for tonight. More tomorrow evening. Love to all of you. Bye for now.

Monday, February 9, 2009

An Act of Kindness

Hey, Y'all,
I just happened to think of something the other day that happened about 55 years ago. I had been married about a year and a half to my first husband, Charles. We had a child, Carol, who was just about 6 months old, and were visiting his sister and her husband, Ocie and Orville Blankenship, who lived in Cumberland, Kentucky.

It was my first time to meet Ocie and her family. It was a very important time to me, because Ocie was the oldest girl in Charlie's family and much loved and respected by all of them. Ocie was the peacemaker in the family. There were two sets of children in Charlie's family. The older set, of whom Ocie was one, and the younger set, of whom Charlie was one. There were misunderstandings between the older and younger ones, and Ocie was the major peacemaker.

I can't remember ever seeing Ocie more than just that one time, but we had a lovely time the week that we visited her and Orville. They were wonderful people, and I think they are both passed on for some time now. We picnicked and went swimming, and all the fun things that one does in the summertime in the mountains of Kentucky.

Now, the act of kindness...since I was a very young bride, it was important to me to make a good impression on my husband's family, so I tried very hard to be helpful. The first morning we were there, I offered to help make breakfast, and Ocie had mixed up the biscuits, and showed me how to pinch off a piece of dough, roll it out in my hands and pat it, shaping a biscuit. So I did the biscuits as she showed me.

Then, when everyone came in to eat breakfast, she told them how I had made the biscuits and what a wonderful job I had done. Now, that was a little thing she did, but it made a lot of difference to me. I knew that I had not really made the biscuits, but her praise was an act of kindness, and I have always remembered how much it meant to have that word of priase from her.

It was a wonderful thing that she did and I hope that through the years I have passed on little acts of kindness to others, giving praise when and where it was needed. Ocie was a dear lady. Everyone loved her. Above, see picture of me with Ocie. I wanted to put it on the blog last night when I posted, but couldn't find it. I did find it this morning.

Well, that is it for today, and this is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Much love to each of you, and I know you won't forget to be kind to someone tomorrow. Bye for now.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Today - A Reinforced Realization

Hey, Y'all,
This morning we actually got up in time again to go to church, and it was easier emotionally for me today. Always the first time back to church when one has been out due to illness, is very emotional. (At least it has always been so for me.) I only choked up a couple of times this morning.

After church, we saw Jessie's baby, Kyah, and she is adorably beautiful with little rosebud lips and soft pink skin. Kyah was sleeping, so I didn't get to pick her up, but eventually, I am sure I will get to hold her.

Gramps and I left church and proceeded on to The Captain's Galley restaurant for lunch. I had been craving fried oysters so that is what I ordered, and Gramps had the catfish filets. We really enjoyed our lunch and then we slowly proceeded out of the restaurant. As I was walking slowly with Gramps, holding onto his hand to help give him balance, I was struck anew at how feeble he has become over the past year. If he had looked at my face, he would have seen the tears streaming down my face.

You see, I was remembering how strong he used to be, and how he walked all over Jefferson City in his younger days. I remembered how very vital he was when we met, and could only compare the difference to how he is now. He will never know if I can help it, how sorry I feel for his disability now. He is my sweet darling, and I love him so dearly.

When we left the restaurant, he said, "Just take me home, and don't go anywhere else before we do. I am hurting in my legs, and my seat is tired." So I did.

After we returned home, we changed into sweats, and he is in bed resting right now. I am in my multipurpose room, blogging, and listening to the Game Show Network. One of my favorite channels on tv. I will be working later on the quilt piecing. I moved my worktable around so I could watch tv while I sew. I still have the kitchen to clean (not a lot, but some).

Yesterday, I went to carry off the trash, and then spent a couple of hours doing shopping at the Walmart. Then the rest of the afternoon at home, and Teresa and I spent a couple of hours chatting online. She and I do that quite often, and Carol calls me usually once or twice a week on her way home from work. They keep me going by keeping in touch. Occasionally, I get to chat with Allie for awhile, and Mark comes over once or twice a week.

Friends and family are so very important and help to keep me grounded and not so very lonesome, because I spend a lot of my time at home, and I still need those contacts. Fellow bloggers help me to maintain my sanity as well. I appreciate all so very much. Gramps spends so much time in bed, it is almost like he is not here.

Well, I think I will close off for now. I look forward to having our neighbors in to have supper with us tomorrow evening. I will be preparing vegetable beef soup for supper along with cornbread muffins. I may even get the kitchen floor mopped in the morning, if I get up feeling industrious. ha.

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Love to each of you, my friends. Hope each of you has a good night's rest and wake up ready for a brand new day. Bye for now. More tomorrow sometime.

Friday, February 6, 2009

An Afternoon Out

Hey, Y'all,
Yeah, we had an afternoon out after being indoors for five days. It was a beautiful day, and after I had returned from having my auto serviced, Gramps and I left for Knoxville.

We arrived at Imazo's and switched cars so all could ride comfortably (my car being a little constricting for two little old ladies to climb into the back) and then went to pick up Mae at her house.

A discussion over where to eat (always there is a discussion which goes something like this:)
Me: "where shall we eat?"
Imazo: "it really doesn't matter to me. Where do you want to eat, Dub?"
Gramps: "I don't know, but what are the choices?"
Imazo: "Cracker Barrel, or Applebee's, I guess."
Gramps: "Cracker Barrel, then"
Mae: "Cracker Barrel is good. It has been a while since I've been there".

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

So, we went to Cracker Barrel, and Gramps had his usual: The Old Timer's Breakfast.
After we ate, we took Mae back home and we went on to Imazo's home and sat and chatted for awhile. We reflected on remembrances of Hugh and she was telling us about having a lot of decisions that have to be made. Jeff was coming by at five today to take her to the bank to take care of some things financial. After giving her a hug and a kiss, we left for Mae's house to visit with her for a while.

We talked with Mae for a while, and I munched on some chocolates from one of the dishes of them she keeps on the coffee table. We sat in her living room and talked about all kinds of things. We left after about an hour and headed home.

Even though we enjoyed our time out of the house, we were glad to be back home. I made some raisin bread toast, and coffee as an evening snack.

When Gramps was getting ready for bed this evening, he mentioned that our house is the exact duplicate of a house we were in this morning. I asked him where we went this morning. He didn't know, but he thought we slept there at that house that was the same as this one. He said it even had all his clothes there. I asked him wonder how that was. He said, "Maybe it was magic." I said, "yes, maybe it was."

Just an example of his growing dementia, but it is a very gentle thing. He is quite humorous sometimes, and says some really funny things. Unfortunately, right now, I can't think of any of them. He has such a dry wit, and I love him dearly.

Tomorrow morning, I have trash to carry off to the local dumpsters, and groceries to purchase. I guess I'll have to visit the J.City Walmart, and get some things I need there. I am feeling withdrawal symptoms from not being at the Walmart for a whole week. Ha ha.

Well, not much going on here this evening. Monk is on television, and then Psych follows it, then bedtime for me. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for tonight. I hope each of you has a good night's rest and wake up ready for a brand new day. Love to all of you. Bye for now.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cabin Fever

Hey, Y'all,
Cabin Fever has hit this household (at least one person in the house), and tomorrow, we escape!

Yesterday morning began at 5 a.m. with Gramps getting up and eating breakfast, then coming back to bed until afternoon. I worked most of the day yesterday on the quilt that I am piecing for grandson, Will, who is stationed in Minot, North Dakota at the U.S. Air Force base. Hopefully, I will get it finished before summertime gets there. ha.

I took the leftover pizza sauce and baked a pizza for our lunch and supper yesterday. It was really good! I will be making pizza one of these weekends and having friends, Mark and Allie, Judy and Gene, and Judy's mother, Marion, over for food and games.
I am a real game lover, and they are too, as well. Gramps is not much for games any more, but that is okay.

The need to clean out the files in my filing cabinet kind of weighs on my mind, but not too heavily. I must purchase some manila folders to store the files before I begin purging the files. That requires a trip to the getting place "Walmart". We still have a large amount of snow on the ground, and the back roads still have some ice on them. That is why I am reeling from Cabin Fever...haven't been out since Sunday, and not dressed in anything but nightgown and housecoat since we had our neighbors in for supper on Monday evening.

Not many comments either on my blog, so I am there anyone out there reading? I certainly hope so.

Tomorrow, I have scheduled a trip to the auto service dept. of the Morristown Toyota to have my car serviced. If I can get up the energy, I intend to vacuum out the car before I take it in. They always wash the outside of the car as part of the service contract I have with them, and I hate to take it in dirty on the inside. It kind of looks like someone is living in the car...magazines, dirt in the floorboard, paper towels unrolled on the back seat...oops, you really don't want to envision that mess, I'm sure. ha.

Also, Gramps and I are planning on going into Knoxville tomorrow to spend some time with Imazo and Mae. We will go to eat somewhere and then maybe take them shopping or something. I know Imazo and Mae both have Cabin Fever as well as I.

Mark and Allie are in the process of purchasing a home in Sevierville, and will no doubt rent out the home they are living in after they close the deal, and move. They assure me that they will continue to be in close touch after they move. We shall see.
I joked with them saying "yeah, we move back up here and have someone to help us, and then they move away.".

Well, time to sign off for the day. Love to all of you. This is Blabbin' Grammy closing out for the time being. Bye for now.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Silence All Around

Hey, Y'all,
Today has been very quiet...A good time for reflection, which I seem to be doing a lot of these days. I was up early this morning, after a night of strange dreams. Too much pizza last evening? I don't know. It was good, though.

We had a delightful time last evening with our neighbors, who came to eat with us. Their children are delightful and so full of enthusiasm. After supper, we cleared off the table and played a couple of fun games: Aggravation, and Dominoes.

The pizza that I made was almost demolished. I had just enough left for my lunch today. (Gramps slept through lunch).

Gramps got up this morning around 9 a.m. and had breakfast. He decided that he was still tired and needed to go back to bed. So he did. I then decided that I would work on Will's quilt today.

It was very quiet in our home today. I had a lot of time to reflect on the past few weeks. I know my husband is worried about my health, because of the way my siblings' health problems brought about their deaths. I keep trying to reassure him that I am much healthier than they were. He keeps asking, "Don't you have the same things they did?". I attempt to make him understand that my condition is much better than theirs and that he should not worry about me.

The wind has been blowing outside our home today, and if I listen carefully, I can hear the wind chimes blowing and tinkling loudly. The snow has begun to fall again, and they promise some more accumulation. By the weekend, however, the sun is supposed to melt what is out there, and bring warm temperatures to us.

I called Imazo today and she told me she had just finished folding and boxing up twenty shirts that had belonged to Hugh. What a chore she has ahead of her, and I feel for her. If I could get to Knoxville right now, I would be there helping her.

Friday, I have plans to take my car in to Morristown to be serviced. I really need to clean it out, but I don't do that kind of thing when the weather is cold.

Around 5 O'clock this afternoon, I prepared a couple of scrambled eggs and some toast, made some green tea, and +sat down to have my supper. I had gone in to wake up Gramps to see if he wanted to get up and have something to eat. About the time that I was halfway through eating, he came in, looking for food. (The offer of food almost always has a positive result.) I prepared the same for him, and heated a cup of coffee for him.

So now, the night is drawing nigh, the wind blows, the snow falls quietly, and my reflections draw near to an end for today. I will be back at my sewing machine in a few minutes, and the sound of the television broadcasting "American Idol" will be filling my multipurpose room as I work on Will's quilt. This has been a productive day, and I look forward to a night's rest.

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. May each of you feel God's love and peace within your hearts. Bye for now.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Snow A'Plenty

Yes, here it is a beautiful snowy day. The weather people had told us it was coming, but it was supposed to begin as rain and change to snow. Ooops! Fooled them, didn't it? When I discovered it was snowing, I pulled back the curtain that I usually keep closed in my work/craft/computer/sewing room. (I could just call it my multi-purpose room, couldn't I?)

The house is filled with the aroma of pizza sauce cooking on my stovetop. Hmmmmmmmmmmm, it does smell great. Chopped onion, olive oil, garlic, oregano, tomatoes, a dash of sugar, to sweeten the tomatoes, all of the above simmering in a kettle. I am making pizza tonight to serve to my guests, Scott, Laurie, Mitchell, Olivia, and Gabriel. It is my first attempt at making pizza, so we will see how it turns out.

Gramps is sleeping still, and the house is quiet, except for the tapping of my computer keys, and the clothes dryer in the kitchen. Well, there is the tinnitis that constantly hums in my ears, but I hardly notice it most of the time. For that I am most grateful.

We went over to Mark and Allie's last evening and had a really fun time. Our friends, Judy, Gene, Mark and Karen, and Mark and karen's daughter, Lauren, were there also. Allie served up some delicious snacks, along with some thatwere brought by Judy. I tried not to eat too many because of the salt content. The cameraderie was wonderful! We were sure the Steelers were going to lose, but as you may know, they won it in the last two minutes. Allie, being from Pennsylvania, is a dyed-in-the-wool Steelers fan. We whooped and hollered like crazy people. Ha.

I talked a few minutes to Imazo this morning and she was talking about how beautiful the snow is. Mae called while I was talking to Imazo, so I talked to her for a while as well. She said the snow has stopped falling there in Knoxville, but it is still going pretty strong here in New Market.

My pizza sauce is getting close to being ready to cool, and it is not long until lunch time. I think I may make me a cup of hot tea to go with my sandwich. I had never had hot tea until I was married for the first time, and we went to Indiana. While I was there, I was introduced to hot tea. It took a while for me to grow accustomed to drinking the stuff. I had grown up drinking coffee, and now the two are kind of on equal drinking levels, so to speak. I like them both. It depends on what I am going to be having with them. Sweet foods call for coffee, sandwiches and toast and other kinds of things call for hot tea.

Imazo seems to be doing okay, but I know it will definitely take some adjustments before she can completely deal with Hugh's passing.

Well, that is about all for now. Lots of things to get done today. More later. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Love to all of you. Bye for now.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday Morning

Hey, Y'all,

What a beautiful morning it was! In more ways than one, it was wonderful. Gramps had finally decided he was ready to return to church on Sunday mornings. We had breakfast and readied for church.

It is difficult to describe how I felt upon entering the church. There was an inner feeling of joy in my heart, but also a great sadness, thinking of my two brothers, who had passed on during the last 30 days. I was so close to tears, that it was difficult to speak without showing my sadness. It was a momentous occasion, coming with Gramps hand in mine as we slowly made our way from the car into the church.

People were greeting us, and asking how we were, and just generally pleased to see us there, and I was feeling all these inner emotions, and it was all I could do to keep the tears from running down my cheeks. We had not been back to church as a couple since we were in Illinois with our grandson back in August. Of course, people were also speaking of how sorry they were about John's and Hugh's passing. It was wonderful, but difficult at the same time.

I thought of Imazo, and her children and grandchildren, and prayed that she was being comforted by those around her. I thought of Darlene and her children and grandchildren, and prayed also that they were being comforted by those people around her.

We went in and found a place to sit, then the music started. All three of my siblings who passed away during the past thirteen months loved music, as I do as well. I could not sing, but could only bow my head and pray as I listened to the music all around me, and think about how they must be singing praises to our Heavenly Father and His Son right now.

By the time they got to the hymn to take up the offering, I had myself composed, and was able to join in softly with the music.

Our family was a singing family. Back in the late 1930's, when we lived in Possum Valley, we would gather around on Sunday afternoons with one of the Stamps-Baxter paperback songbooks and sing the hymns that were in it. Of course, we didn't always have the tune exactly right, but that didn't stop us from singing anyway. All of us, from my Mom and Dad, to my brothers, Bill, Ralph, Hugh, John, and my sister, Margaret, and I - we all joined in and sang joyously.

In later years, my sister and I would sing while we did the dishes, she washing, and I rinsing and drying them. I hated doing the dishes, but singing seemed to make it go faster and better. She sang the alto part and I sang the melody.

It was a wonderful morning this morning, with my husband beside me, sitting and standing at the appropriate times. When the service was over, we put on our coats, and headed out the door, glad that we had once again been in the house of the Lord.

Thank you, Lord, for your comfort and love to each of us.

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for the day. Love to each of you who read this. More tomorrow. Bye for now.