Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ironing Then and Now

Hey,  Y'all,
Well, I was pressing cloth for the quilt this morning about 6:30 a.m. and got to thinking about when we moved to the farm in 1947 when I was fourteen years old and my sister was twenty-two. We were the only two girls in the family, and since my mom worked in Knoxville and came out to the farm only on weekends, the ironing and other housework fell to us. 

First, I got to thinking about the ironing board we had. Which led to thinking about the chairs we used. We had cane bottomed chairs, upon which the ironing board had to be placed because it was just a board, period. It was fashioned from some kind of heavy wood by Bernard Bell, the father of some of my cousins, many years earlier. Of course, it was covered by heavy cloth of some kind and padded. 

We  ironed either in the kitchen or in the living room, due to having to heat the irons on the  Kitchen cook stove or the warm morning heater that was in the living room. Right about now, you may be saying "Heat the irons???" Yes, they were the kind that you had to have at least two and usually three of. The handle was detachable and all the flat irons were placed on heat and used till they were no longer hot enough. The handle was used to pick up the iron and use it. 

They were not easy to use, by any means. We had no electricity when we moved to the farm. I studied by lamp light at night. We had no inside water or plumbing. We scrubbed clothes on the washboard, and wrung them out by hand, and hung them on the lines. I thought about all this as I sat at the ironing board, filled the iron with water to make it iron smoothly, and placed the iron on the rest at the right end of my folding ironing board. What a life!

Well, I gotta go fix my breakfast and get ready to do stuff. I did my laundry yesterday in an automatic washer, dried it in an automatic dryer and folded it while I watched television. What a life, indeed!

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to each of you, my friends and family. A belated Happy Birthday to my Taiwanese granddaughter (by choice) Jennifer Chang. Bye for now. More later.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to Grandson, BJ!

Hey, Y'all,
Well, I've been kind of busy the last few days working on Teresa's quilt, and, of course, Sunday was church day. On Sunday afternoon, Carol came over and helped me by drawing around the template on a bunch of the quilt squares. I really appreciated the help and the visit. I now have all the pieces ready to go onto the quilt.

I did want to post today, because today is my grandson, BJ's (Guillermo's) birthday. He is 26 today. BJ is in the U.S. Air Force and stationed up in North Dakota. He is Teresa's son. Both his dad, and his stepdad, Tom, and Teresa were all Air Force members. It is a proud tradition. He is a wonderful young man, and I love him dearly. Happy Birthday to you, my dear BJ. I don't have a good recent picture of him, or I would post it. 

Today, I need to tackle the cutting of the background cloth  of the quilt, so I will do that after I have my breakfast. I cut up half an apple while ago and am going to put that into my pancakes and have...ta-da! Apple pancakes!

I do need to go to Hobby Lobby and buy some cloth for the front of the quilts because I have only enough for the backing. First, however, I am going to cut and wash the cloth I have. It is still on the bolt and I always wash new cloth so it won't shrink after it is a part of the quilt. It is easier to wash and press if it is in one or two yard pieces. 

I had supper last night at Fuddrucker's with some of the seniors, and enjoyed that. I ordered the salmon burger, thinking it would be a salmon patty (you know, mixed with other ingredients) and was surprised to see it was a slab of salmon on a bun. It was okay, but not what I had my mental mouth prepared for. Next time, I'll know not to order that particular item. :)

Only two more episodes of "The Closer" and then that will be all she wrote, so to speak. This is the final season, and like most fans, I want more! Oh, well, that's the way the cookie crumbles, the old ball bounces, etc., etc. It was fun while it lasted. I am sure I must have seen all the reruns at least two or three times. I just went to a website to see what Kyra Sedgwick has in store for later. It seems there are six more episodes which will air next summer to lead into a new show called Major Crimes, which is a spin-off of The Closer. Kyra is planning to do some Broadway acting, and is married to Kevin Bacon for the past 22 years. 

Well, my breakfast is waiting to be made and eaten, and I have laundry to finish sometime today. I may even get dressed and go outside sometime today, although yes, it is going to still be in the hundreds and hooooot! I may just wait till tomorrow or Thursday to go out. 

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to each of you, my friends and family. Bye for now. More later.

Friday, August 26, 2011

That's My Story

Hey, Y'all,
Well, here it is Friday already, and since I don't really have an update of any kind, I thought I would just tell you a story. A couple of weeks ago, Carol, Daryl, and I went to see Hello, Dolly and something happened while we were there. It COULD have been very exciting, but it didn't even rate a jump. This is what COULD have happened. 

It was kind of dark in the theater and while we were sitting there, I looked down at my pants that I had on, and thought I saw a spider on my lap. I stood up and shrieked "SPIDER! SPIDER!". I had an open bottle of water in my hand and had just taken a sip of it. I threw the open bottle up into the air as I jumped up. The man sitting next to me wound up with water all over his lap. OOPS! The ladies in front of me stood up and started screaming, "Where is it? Where is it?" and feeling all over their bodies, knocking at their clothing, and looking like they were going to faint. Finally, management came over and asked, "Is there a problem?" 

I said, "I believe there was a spider on my lap," and started to point to where I saw it. UH-OH.. It was only one of the stars on my pants that I saw and thought it was a spider there in the dark. I wilted down into my seat and wished I could disappear. Carol and Daryl wished it even more. 

Now then, for what really happened...During the intermission, I looked down and saw one of the dark blue stars on my pants and for a split second thought it could be a spider. Inside, I jumped, and that was it. Period. I just imagined what COULD have happened that would be funny.
my pants with blue (spider) stars

Outside near my garage is a beautiful plant that I call a Trumpet plant because the blossom resembles a trumpet. I don't really know its proper name. The blossom is white and blooms around midnight. It has many blossoms waiting to bloom during the summer, and after blooming out, they wilt shortly after noontime. 

this has many blossoms that are in varying stages of development

I am posting a picture of a couple of the pieces for the quilt I am making for Teresa. I begin the quilt by 2 inch wide strips of cloth and then cutting them into 8 inch lengths. I then stitch five of them together and then using a six-sided template, I draw around the template onto the square. I then cut out the six-sided piece. There will be 120 of these pieces in each quilt. 
Square on left, six-sided piece on right, template in upper right

Well, that is about it for today. I did get my kitchen mopped this morning. I sat in the kitchen and read a book just after breakfast. It is by Lisa Scottoline and is called, "Think Twice". I started it last night and just couldn't put it down this morning, so I finished it. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to each of you, my friends and family. Bye for now. More later. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Recipe for Egg/Sausage Casserole

Hey, Y'all,
Well, I have been up since a little past 5:30 this morning, and have finished pressing all the squares for the quilts I am working on. I've had breakfast, put a Cornish Game Hen in the crockpot for my next couple of lunch/supper meals, and have finished reading a book I began last night, called "Wicked Appetite" by Janet Evanovich. Just couldn't put it down this morning after breakfast. 

Fulfilling a request made in the comments to yesterday's post, here is the recipe for Egg/Sausage Casserole that I use. I got the recipe originally from the internet and adapted it to my own taste. This is my adaptation.

Brown one pound of hot sausage in a skillet, crumbling the sausage as it cooks. When it is done, put sausage into a bowl lined with paper towels. That drains the grease from it. Let it cool. While it is cooling, beat together 6 large eggs, and 3 cups whole (4%) milk. 

Butter a 9x13 glass baking dish, and crumble 10 slices of potato bread into it. Top it with cooled sausage sprinkled over it. On top of that, sprinkle a cup or so of Mexican style shredded cheese, and another cup or so of Habanero cheese. Pour egg and milk mixture over all of the contents of the dish. Cover it with a piece of heavy aluminum foil and place in fridge overnight. 

The next morning place covered dish in cold oven. Turn heat to 350 degrees and bake for approximately one hour, and if you wish, you can remove the foil about 10 or so minutes before the hour is up. After casserole is "set", remove and enjoy. Yum!

It is about two weeks before my eye appointment with the cornea specialist. I am not concerned about it, because I am pretty sure that I will refuse a transplant if that is what his recommendation will be. 

Well, that is about it for today. I may try to clean my floors today, since I am not going out anywhere today. We'll see. I am not on any particular schedule for doing anything. I can smell the aroma from the bird cooking in the kitchen. 

We did have some rain this morning. Not anything to write home about, but a lot of thunderboomers. The sky is blue now. We have been cautioned about overusing electricity and water, because of the intense heat over the past sixty days. They are saying we might drop to 99 as a high when September begins. We shall see. I know the trees could very well be dying because of the heat. They have been talking about that on the news as well. 

Well, that is about it for today. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to each of you, my friends and family. Bye for now. More later. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Visit to the Eye Doctor

Hey, Y'all,
Do you ever stop and talk to people you have never met before when you are in the grocery store? Well, I do (no surprise there, is there?) and yesterday, I stopped beside a lady who had company coming in for the next ten days. She was looking at the canned biscuit section and I said, "Now, we don't need those, do we?" 

She replied that she was thinking about making pigs in a blanket for her incoming company. I replied it would take a lot of the croissant rolls for that and suggested a sausage/egg casserole instead. She said that it sounded interesting but how does one make it. So as we stood there, I gave her (from memory) the recipe for it. She is the same kind of cook that I am (namely, adapting recipes instead of following exactly). I told her I wasn't sure of the exact amount of milk but gave her an approximate amount and she was okay with that. Hope it turns out okay for her. I don't know her name or telephone number, so I am just trusting that it all works out for her. 

This morning I had an appointment with the eye doctor because I have been having some trouble with my vision clarity. I discovered that my cornea in the left eye is cloudy. (Looks like rain????) She is sending me to a cornea specialist in the area on September 8th. I ain't a-fixin' to have a cornea transplant and you can bank on that! 

Tonight is church night (choir practice) and our church suppers begin again tonight, since school is back in session. Hamburgers and fries tonight, along with cake and ice cream for dessert. Sounds good to me. 

I am going to go into the kitchen in a few minutes and heat up some of the chicken livers and gravy I had for supper last night, to have for my lunch. Then it will be some more sewing of quilt pieces. I did go to the library while ago to return my books and check out some new ones. The ones I got today are all new best sellers. Yeah!

On this past Sunday, one of our Sunday school class members returned after visiting family in Oregon and brought each of us a jar of apricot marmalade. YUM! I had some on toast for breakfast yesterday morning. Wasn't that so very thoughtful of her? Thank you, Lois!

Well, lunchtime and I hear my name being called out by the livers and gravy. It is getting louder by the minute. Ha ha. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Much love to each of you, my friends and family. Bye for now. More later.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just an Old Sew and Sew

Hey, Y'all,
Yesterday, I was just an old sew and sew. I stitched together 90 squares for my new quilt. I didn't do a lot of other stuff, though. I decided I would just stay in yesterday and sew. 

This morning, however, I only put together fifteen squares while I was waiting to go out for the morning. I left here this morning about 9 a.m. and headed to Wally World where I had a sausage biscuit and an individual apple pie, and yes, I did give away the extra pie. Goodness knows, I sure didn't need it, and really didn't need the one I ate, but ate it anyway. Ha. 

After I had my breakfast, I headed out into the store to locate a few things I needed and a few I didn't need. You can't get out of Wal-mart for less than fifty dollars, you know. If you can, you are a better man than I am, Gungha Din. 

By the time I left there, it was beginning to really heat up, and I headed on to the Kroger shopping center near my home and got my ears lowered. (For those of you who don't recognize that expression, it means I got a hair cut, revealing more of my ears than usual.) There is a little beauty shop in the shopping center that I go to when I need a hair cut. 

Then I moved my car closer to Kroger's and went in there to spend a few shillings so I could most likely add some pounds. Ha ha ha.

Speaking of pounds, I bought some chicken livers to cook. I have been craving them, and of course, they are not good for me because of the cholesterol they contain, but they are good for supplying the body with iron, which I do need. I guess it all kind of balances out doesn't it? I reckon so. For supper tonight, I cooked the chicken livers, made some country gravy (from a packet mix), cooked the one ear of fresh corn that I purchased, and thoroughly enjoyed it all. Of course, I had a lot of leftovers. I may eat them and I may not. Usually, one feast of livers is enough to satisfy my craving for them. 

Daughter Carol made some business cards for me with my picture and my blog address on them. How cool is that? Now I have them to pass out to people who seem to be interested in reading my random thoughts and ramblings. 

It was a little past one p.m. when I got home from all that stuff, and hot as blue blazes. Ever wonder why people say hot as blue blazes and not red blazes? If you look closely at a hot burning flame, the center of it is blue (especially one of those blow torches). Pretty hot, I would say!

Well, I am going to do some more sewing this evening. Not much on television tonight that I can figure is worth watching. I can put it on something that doesn't require a lot of attention and have noise in the house. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Bye for now. More later.  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Failure to Stand

Hey, Y'all,
Well, I went to hear a "Country Strings Concert" last night at a local church and it was really good. It was mostly Bluegrass and old time gospel music. I went with some of the other seniors from my church. The temperature was still hovering around 107 when we met at our church to drive over. It was probably still around 102 when we left to come back just an hour later. 

When we got there, we saw a huge display of quilts that the ladies of the church had made to sell. They were the kind that are stitched together using threads pulled through and tied every so many inches apart. The quilts were quite beautiful.

At the door to the sanctuary there was a table set up for people to donate money to the cause for which the concert was being held. It was a benefit for the people in Joplin, Missouri following the terrible tornadoes that ripped through their city several months ago, and I think it was for one family in particular. 

We went in and sat down. There were about ten members in the band. The concert began by the playing of our National Anthem. Everyone stood up - that is - everyone but a woman in front of me. I saw her friend motion for her to stand up, but she just crossed her legs and folded her arms in front of her in a position of rebellion, and took another drink of her soft drink in the paper cup she had carried in. I sang as loudly as I could fairly close to her ear. 

Just before we sat down, I asked her if she was a United States citizen. She said yes, she was born and raised in the U.S. Then I said, "Don't you stand when the National Anthem is being played?" Her reply was, "Occasionally, if I feel like it." I know she wasn't ill. I know it is a free country, and we don't HAVE to stand when our country's anthem is being played, but she should try living in another country where they don't have the freedoms we do, and see how she likes that. I'll bet her attitude might change then. They walked out in front of us, and I know she wasn't walking like anything was hurting her. I would like to have kicked her behind for her.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the music...I knew and sang along with every song they played. I even "Yee-Hawed" once in a while after they finished some of the songs. Hope that won't keep my friends from taking me anyplace again. Ha. Of course, other people cheered and whistled as well. 

Last night, just after I went to bed, I started sneezing, and spent the night in that manner. Some time during the night, I had a nosebleed, and it stopped. Then this morning just about getting up time, it started again. Those nasal tissues are very delicate, and the kind of sneezing I do is the WHAT-CHOO kind. I have it stopped for now. It never lasts very long. I am not planning on going out any today. I think two of the grandkids will be over to mow my yard today. They are so good to do that for me! It may be Matt and Amy.

Breakfast in a little while, and then working on Teresa's quilt pieces. I have 3/8's of the squares stitched into individual squares. That means I have 150 left to do, before I do the next step in the quilt. Each square has five strips of cloth stitched together. Then each square has to have the seams pressed flat. Then each square has to be cut into the shape it will take (a six sided shape). That is only in preparation for the quilt to begin taking shape. I am hoping to have the quilts finished by Christmas. 

Well, that is about it for today. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to each of you, my friends and family. Bye for now. More later. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cutting Up Again

Hey, Y'all,
It is a good thing you can't see my looks messier than usual (and that's pretty bad). I have become a regular cut-up over the past week... Yeah, I've been cutting cloth to make a couple of twin-sized quilts for daughter, Teresa, who lives in Alabama and who is a recent cancer survivor. I have been promising the quilt for about two years, since I finished one for her son (my grandson, BJ) a couple of Christmases ago. I finished his when I was recovering from gall bladder surgery gone bad. 

Last night I completed the cutting out of pieces to assemble and this afternoon I began sewing the squares together. The squares are going to be beautiful. (I believe they are, anyway, but then, I could be slightly prejudiced. ha.)

This evening, Carol, Daryl and I are going to see "Hello, Dolly" at the local Artisan Theater. I just had my shower, for which I am sure they will be grateful, and when she calls me to come to supper, I will leave the house and drive over to eat and then go with them. 

What have I been doing over the past few days besides being a messer-upper of my workroom??? Nothing really exciting, just eating, sleeping a little, watching tevee, thinking a lot. I do a lot of thinking all the time, about various things because when you spend a lot of time alone, you kind of live inside your head. One might say that inside my head is a scary place but I don't think so...ha ha (I don't THINK so). 

Tomorrow, I need to go get my car inspected for a Texas state inspection sticker. Never had to do that in Tennessee, but then Texas is a whole new ballgame. Mostly in Tennessee, they don't care what your car's condition is. 

We are back in the triple digits temperatures outside. We did have a little rain over the weekend, but alas, it is dry again. We have begun Choir practice at church again and will be practicing tomorrow evening. 

I knew it was time to post again, because I figured some of you would be saying, "Wonder what (Ruby, Grammy, Grandma, Mom -fill in the blank) is up to today? This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Much love to each of you, my friends and family. Bye for now. More later.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Out and About, Then Back

Hey, Y'all,
This has been a busy morning for me. After my shower, and attiring myself in clothing for the day, I took my blood pressure pills, grabbed my purse and keys, headed out the door and was on my way. 

We had quite a bit of wind last evening, because I noticed a lot of dead leaves on the back deck when I went out to water the flowers. They say the extreme heat has been killing the trees because of the concentration of heat on the roots underneath the ground. I believe it. It is definitely too soon for the leaves to be falling. 

Anyway, I headed for Glade Road, where a lot of the places I love to shop are located. First I went to IHOP and tried some of their biscuits and gravy. Yep, I had to send back the gravy and have it made hot. It was lukewarm when they brought it the first time, and served in a tiny dish. I requested another dish just like it, and it was much hotter than the second time the first dish was brought back to me. They were very nice about it (of course, because I asked very nicely). 

Next I headed for Hobby Lobby and bought some cloth and a couple of other items there, and then was on my way back in the direction of my home. Instead of stopping at my house, I went on to Kroger's because I needed to do some grocery shopping. That didn't take too long, and by eleven thirty a.m. I was back here and ready to rest. Yeah! All that was accomplished in only three hours. I have only been out anywhere this week four times since Sunday. I actually love staying indoors while it is so hot. Our heat wave ended yesterday after 41 days of temps 100 degrees or more. But it is heating up again soon. I think someone said we had six people to die from heat during the last 6 weeks. That is six too many.  

There is one real difference living here and in little old Jefferson County, Tennessee, as far as the traffic is concerned. With all the people living here, traveling the interstates each morning, noon, afternoon, and night, there are always wrecks tying up traffic. Even though they don't always happen during rush hour, they can back up traffic until the interstates become parking lots with no one moving. I see it every morning on the local news, and almost every morning, at least one or two of the wrecks have happened because one of the motorists was going in the wrong direction. That only happens occasionally back in TN. I think a lot of it here is because of the access roads, and a lot of it happens during late night or early morning. 

I thank the Lord that I live in an area where I can get to anything I need to without having to cope with the interstates or freeways. (Here even the state highways are freeways, comparable to our interstate 40 in TN) Thank you, Carol and Daryl for helping me to locate in such a quiet, accessible place!

Well, that is about it for today. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. More later. Much love to each of you, my friends and family. Bye for now.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Any Talent Scouts Out There?

Hey, Y'all,
Last night I saw courage in the forms of several young people who performed in a church talent show. I have seen that kind of courage before, in fact, have done the same thing myself, so I know how it feels.

I had a great time, and I know the other members and children attending did as well. It takes a lot of inner fortitude (otherwise known as guts) to stand in front of people you know (and some you don't know) and sing, or dance or do magic tricks, or play an instrument. You run the risk of being laughed at for a bauble - forgetting words, notes, routine, etc. To keep on with your performance is bravery.

One little girl became embarrassed and stopped, but came up later and did her ballet performance, and was encouraged by our clapping and urging her on, and finished with a flourish. A little boy who was playing a recorder, played a few sour notes, slapped the side of his head, and continued till he was finished. For everyone's performance, we clapped, hollered and whistled encouragement. 

There was piano playing, singing, an accordian duet by a couple of senior ladies, comedy videos by the office staff, three guys wearing funny costumes doing the Macarina (sp?), and of course, a group of senior ladies (myself included) singing a senior version of "Jesus Loves Me". 

All of this entertainment plus homemade ice cream. Yum! All of this fun took place in the fellowship hall of our church. It was kind of a winding up of summer vacations, since school begins in about a week. Fun was had by all. However, I did not spot any talent scouts in the audience... Hmmm. 

It did make me harken back in memory to one time singing in church when I was about thirteen years old. Our church was having a singing time one Sunday evening around November, so I volunteered to sing a song that Mom had taught us kids. It was to the tune of "Yankee Doodle".  I gave this information to the pianist and expected her to know the tune, right off the bat, since after all, she played the piano and to my thinking, she should have the tune in her head, right? So, I got up there and began to sing (very fast, since I was nervous) "Thanksgiving Day has come at last, our hearts are jumpin' thumpin', we're off to Grandma's house to eat the turkey and the pumpkin'.... etc." 

Well, Tiny, the pianist, began playing but couldn't keep up with me and finally she just quit and I finished the song, a capella and sat down again in my pew, embarrassed and promised myself never to do that again. It became a family joke. Now, I am the only one who remembers it (except maybe my sister-in-law, Mae) ha ha. I just love to tell jokes even if they are on me. Still funny!

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to each of you, my friends and family. Bye for now. More later.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Admission - Ten Cents

Hey, Y'all,
The other night I recorded a movie made in 1944, "The Canterville Ghost." It starred Charles Laughton, Robert Young, and Margaret O'Brien. The movie brought back a lot of memories. I remember going to see it with my sister and two of my brothers. We walked from our home on Cecil Street in Knoxville, down to Washington Avenue where the State Theater was located. It was not a long walk, but we left in plenty of time to get there well before the main feature began. 

We stopped in front of the window and asked for two children's price and two adult price tickets. I am sure the half price was ten cents and the full price was a quarter. All four of us were able to see the movie for 70 cents total. Children's price was based on the fact that they were twelve years old or younger. Adult prices began at age thirteen. 

We went on inside and probably bought a couple of boxes of Raisinets to share ( five cents each) and a couple of bags of popcorn (ten cents each) to share. Four kids saw a movie and had refreshments for total of one dollar. I am sure there were times when my niece went with us. Norma was just six years younger than I. I was eleven years old in 1944. 

You sure can't go to the movies these days for that. I will watch the movie I recorded one of these afternoons or evenings when I am in the mood to do so. It is a comedy-drama and I know I will enjoy it. 

All this reminiscing reminds me of rainy days on the farm. I was lying in bed this morning watching the news and weather, which doesn't seem to be changing much these days, thinking about how nice it would be to have some rain. They are predicting possible showers somewhere next week. In the summertime on the farm, I always looked forward to rain for several reasons. One, I welcomed a respite from working out in the cornfield or tobacco patch. A good steady rainy day afforded that break. Our roof was made of tin, and when it rained, it made a pleasant, cozy and comfortable sound. I could lie on the cot in the side room and read to my heart's content. Our house was an old farm house that had been built probably eighty years earlier and looked more like a shack than a house. It had only three and a half rooms and a path. No indoor plumbing...we had to get our water from a cistern on the back porch. Thinking about that rain on the tin roof makes me wish I had a square of tin to nail on my roof so I could hear the rain hitting it (IF we ever get any rain, that is. ha)

Well, that is about it for today. Much love to each of you, my friends and family. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Bye for now. More later.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Happy Birthday, Emily and Ben!

Hey, Y'all,
Well, last evening, we celebrated Ben and Emily's birthdays with hot dogs, with all the trimmings, followed by brownie squares with ice cream. Afterwards we played some chicken foot dominoes. Ben and Emily are husband and wife, Emily being Carol and Daryl's daughter. Ben joined our family last year, a welcome addition. Grandson, Matt and wife Amy were there to help celebrate. (Amy also joined the family last year and we are so glad she is with us, too).
Ben and Carol
Daryl and Amy
Matt said, "Yum!"
Birthday candles on brownies
Make a wish!
Whose turn is it?

We had a good service and Sunday School class today, and I just got back about half an hour ago. I will be going out for some lunch after while, and after lunch a trip to the library is in order, when it opens at 1:00 p.m. I may visit "The Colonel" for lunch today. It has been a while since I've had any of his good fried chicken. I only had cheerios for breakfast this morning about four hours ago, and I'm feeling a need for good food. 

We have another week of over 100 temps scheduled for the coming week. It is supposed to be 109 on Tuesday. I don't go out any more than is necessary. 

That is about it for today. I am planning on going to church this evening and then we will be having choir practice after church. Wednesday evening we are having a churchwide talent show with the young people and followed by home made ice cream. Sounds like we will have some fun, too. 
This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Much love to each of you, my friends and family. Bye for now. More later.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Folded Hands

Hey, Y'all,
Well, I've been thinking about seniors and responsibilities lately. Do you have a senior adult living with you who seemingly has little or nothing to do during the day...or know someone else in that situation? Have you ever thought what it would be like to be a senior with life stretching out in front of them empty and without meaning? Don't get me wrong...that doesn't describe my situation, by any means.

I know, however, that all across our great country, the situation I have just described exists. We often think that people who are retired can just rest and not have any responsibilities any longer. 

"Now, Mom, you just take it easy and don't worry about the dishes...I've already fed little Fido, and walked him....Kitty has been fed and watered...  I've fixed lunch for you and it is in the fridge... You just watch some tevee and relax... I'll be home after work and we'll all have supper. Take a nap this afternoon and rest." 

Does any of this sound familiar to any of you? Seniors don't get too old to have some responsibilities. It keeps us young and keeps us going. Folded hands are no fun.. Television doesn't challenge the brain. The picture on this page could very well be of my husband's hands after he was in the nursing home with a mending broken hip. His eyesight was too poor to read his Bible anymore, and I'm not sure how well he could even see the small tevee in his room. 

His eyesight was bad before he went to the nursing home, but he did help me around the house with gathering the trash and making his bed (and sometimes mine), stacking the dishes in the sink, and even vacuuming sometimes, and sweeping. He was really good at giving me a hug when I needed it, too. If we had had a dog, he would have taken care of it, as well. I hope he always felt like he was needed. It is important to us to be needed. It keeps us going. 

You see, I was on my way out to take a letter to the mailbox and started thinking about if I had to live with one of my children (perish the thought) and what I would do if I were beyond being able to drive, and dependent on others to take me places. I would certainly need to feel know, bring in the mail, load the dishwasher, unload and put away dishes, do a little sweeping, clean the bathrooms, do a little cooking, etc. Everyone needs to feel necessary for the happiness and well-being of someone else. Everyone needs to feel useful. 

Well, that is it from Blabbin' Grammy today. Much love to each of you, my friends and family. Bye for now. More later.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Strength in the Lord

Hey, Y'all,
I wanted to post a couple of pictures today to prove that there is life after chemo. Two wonderful ladies in my life are cancer survivors. My life-long friend daughter, Teresa, and my 22 year friend, Ina Ray. They are both very strong ladies, and true believers in the Lord and His mercies. 
Teresa with sister-in-law, Sharyn, while she and Tom were on vacation last month. Look, Teresa has hair! Two beautiful ladies!

My beautiful friend, Ina Ray  

Ina told me that the chemo she was taking just before this picture was made always made her sleepy, and as soon as they had finished administering the last installment of the chemo, they insisted on celebrating with her and taking her picture. She said that is why she looks so "out of sorts" in it. Ina still has Herceptin to take in her port every three weeks for the next year, but it is not supposed to have any side effects.  Ina has gone back to work every day now. She still has radiation to take for six weeks. I know that both Ina and Teresa covet your prayers. Teresa is dealing with melanomas now on her skin, and continues to have some health issues but her faith is strong. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to each of you, my friends and family. More later. Bye for now.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Memories of Other Hot Days

Hey, Y'all,
Well, it is supposed to hit 110 degrees here today; at 6 a.m. it was 90 and now at 11 a.m. it is up to 99. Hot enough? I reckon so...  I was up for good at 7 a.m., made my bed, and thought about lying in it...ha ha. 

After getting dressed for the day, I sat down and checked my facebook and e-mail, played a round of Gardens of Time and Puzzled Hearts, also Lexalous, which is like Scrabble. Then it was time to go to breakfast at Le Peep for my weekly biscuits and gravy. Gravy was not hot enough, but instead of sending it back, ate it and told the waiter that next time, they need to heat it in the bowl instead of pouring it into the bowl hot. You know that the bowl being cool does not keep the contents hot. 

Anyway, up at the counter where you pay for your meal, I had a card that was full of punches (you get a punch in the card each time your bill is as much as six dollars and on Tuesdays you get two punches in the card). When the card has twelve punches in it, you can turn it in and get six dollars off your bill. So, my bill was 8.70 and when I gave her the 2.70, she said it was 2.71 because of the tax difference. So, I got out a penny and gave it to her. She had only punched the new card with one punch, and I reminded her that Tuesday was double punch day, what means to me is that if it was punched one time, it should be punched again. She said that the amount it was punched for was only 2.71. I said, "Okay, that's fine." Then she took it and did another punch on it. I thanked her and told her that I live on a fixed income. She looked at me like I had two heads. I said, "You don't know what that means, do you?"

She said, "No..." I said, "Well, it means that I live on Social Security Retirement and my income does not increase, and every cent counts." I am not sure she understood, even with that. I smiled and wished her a good day, and forgave her for being so young and uninformed.  (Does that sound supercilious? I hope not.)

I went from there to Kroger's and did a bit of grocery shopping. I have now been out all I intend to be for most of the week (except maybe to go to the Library). I have cut pieces to begin on Teresa's quilts, and plan to begin sewing today. Yesterday afternoon I went out for supper with the seniors from my church and enjoyed it tremendously. I always enjoy those outings. It was only 105 last afternoon. Ha. We are breaking all kinds of temperature records here in Northeast Texas, and people are dying. Literally. I have my thermostat set on 78 degrees and have four ceiling fans to boot. It keeps the house quite comfortable; some people have no air conditioning and are suffering.

Do you remember growing up without air conditioning? I do. I remember lying in bed at night, with the windows open, wishing for more air currents to come into the house. The temperatures in the day time were up in the 90's and did not cool a lot in the evening. That was in Tennessee. My children grew up the same way and could tell you the same thing. The body adjusts if it has to. Do you remember sitting in church (where there was no air conditioning either) and using the funeral home fans (hand powered)? I say funeral home fans because they were made of cardboard with wooden handles and had the advertisement of the local funeral home on the back. 

Left to right, my oldest brother, Bill, my dad, Bill's grandson (Greg), Bill's son ( Fred.) circa 1970s
We had a huge (I mean HUGE) oak tree in the front yard of our house out in the country and it furnished great shade in the summertime. My dad used to say that he bet it had ruined many a corn crop (farmer sitting under it instead of working in the corn field) and he would just laugh. Dad was good at laughing at his own jokes. The oak tree had to be cut down a few years ago, because it was dying inside and lightning had hit it exposing the inside of it. The man who lives in the house now told me that when they cut it down, it had around 260 rings in it, which means it began growing around 1746. There are lots of family stories about that old oak tree. I reckon when I am gone, a lot of those stories are gone as well. 

Well, I have blathered on long enough and one's eyes will probably begin to glaze over with reading it. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Much love to each of you, my friends and family. Keep cool! Bye for now. More later.