July 24, 2017

Heroes, Sleepovers & Books

Mornin'.  The view out my window this morning is pretty gray and still damp from all of last night's rain, but I don't mind. Nope, not at all, because for the first time in a week it is blessedly cool out there.  No horrible heat.  No brain-melting humidity.

We had a pretty quiet weekend around here.  It started off with my husband staying up until after 10:00 on Friday.  He NEVER stays up that late these days.  Partly because of his work schedule. Partly because of the way he usually feels.  So it was nice to have his company for a while.  We got even more company when our daughter called around 9:30 asking if she and the baby could spend the night.  Her fiancee worked an extra shift and she didn't want to be alone (the depression and all).  So the day ended with a sleepover in Nanny and Pappy's living room.

My hubby worked Saturday and our daughter and the baby packed up and went home by 7:30 so the house cleared out and I had the day to take care of some chores...laundry, vacuuming, dusting, dishes...the glamorous stuff.

I finally went through all the books on my bookshelves and (inspite of the emotional pain it caused) I created a big pile of books to part with.  My son is going to take a lot of them.  I'm going to show the rest to my mom.  What's left after that will go to St. Vincent de Paul or the Salvation Army.

Around 3:00 my daughter and the baby were back to pick me up and go look at the hall where the wedding shower will be next month.  We hadn't seen it before and the bridesmaid who is putting the shower together wanted to know what she'd have to work with. (She's in Alabama and driving up just for the shower!)

It turned out that the woman who showed us the hall was the grandmother of the state trooper who was killed in a traffic accident last week.  He was only 26 and it was such a sad thing.  Our whole town was shut down for his funeral and people lined the streets holding up signs and waving flags during the procession to the cemetery.  There were so many police officers from all across the state and from all over the country that it took over half an hour for the procession to go by (I was stopped at a traffic light just as it got started).

Saturday would have been the young man's 27th birthday, so Grandma was having a hard time.  It was an honor to offer our condolences and hear some of her memories.

My husband got hooked on a marathon of the Showtime series Ray Donovan and stayed up late watching that.  It really wasn't my cup of tea....too dark, violent, crude, and well....just no redeeming qualities.  I really thought it was horrible.  If it's one you like.....sorry.

Sunday found us sleeping in, doing a little grocery shopping, and not a whole lot of anything else.  I did however start the newest Janet Evanovich book, Dangerous Minds, which is the second book in the Knight & Moon series.  As usual, Evanovich is wickedly funny.

And the weekend closed with another sleepover.  This time because our grandson wasn't feeling well and Mom was worried he'd need to go to the ER in the night because of his fever (Dad was working so Mom had no car).  Happy to report that the fever seems to have come down a little and while he has a lot of congestion, he seems to be in a good mood and feeling...okay.  Daddy picked them up when he got off work so it's just me and the dogs for the day.

Our daughter sees her doctor this afternoon.  She is hoping her fiancee goes with her.  She wants the doctor to talk with him about depression.  It seems he might be less than understanding or supportive about it....listening to his mom, who thinks it's not real.  Keep them in prayer, if you would, please?  She confided they've been fighting a lot recently and the wedding is less than 2 months away.  Baby or not, I'd rather see her call it off than go through with it if there's any doubt.

Happy Monday, friends!  May your week be blessed.

July 23, 2017

Sunday Stealing: Around the House

This is from Around the House, which hasn't posted since 2014, so it's obviously pretty old.  It asks us to look around the house and then answer a few questions.
Bedroom: what’s your sleep schedule?
It varies.  During the school year I am working so I get up at 3:45 in the morning and I try to be in bed by 9:30-10:00.  During the summer I tend to stay up until 12:00-1:00 and sleep until 6:00-7:00.  Tired or not, I rarely sleep more than six hours at a stretch.

Kitchen: favorite comfort food?
It used to be the seafood pasta bake at Eat 'n' Park, but they don't have it on the menu any more. (Darn them!) So, I guess it's just anything with gravy. Gravy is a good thing to drown your troubles in.

Washroom: showers or baths? bubbles? bath bombs?
Showers.  I will, once in a great while, soak in a tub, but for general cleansing purposes I'd rather not wash my face in the same water my butt's been soaking in.

Closet: sum up your style in a few words.
Relaxed, casual, classic-ish, autumn colors.

Parlor: favorite party or board game?
Quelf. It's not for the shy, but if you get a good crowd willing to play along the way they're supposed to it is the most hilarious game you'll ever play.  The last time a group of us played we laughed, we cried, one of us laughed till we blew snot bubbles! (It wasn't me.)

Living room: what do you like to do with your family?
In the living room?  Watch movies, I guess.  All though, back when the kids were small I used to have camp out nights with them on the living room floor.

Dining room: favorite special occasion food?
Manicotti. I have an awesome recipe that has meat and spinach filling rather than ricotta cheese.  I only make it once in a while for maybe Easter dinner or something.

Garden: favorite tree? flower?
In general I love the graceful look of weeping willows, but they are terribly messy trees. The tree in my yard that is my favorite is the Catalpa growing beside the deck.  It has large leaves that provide solid shade over the deck and even protection from rain unless it's raining cats and dogs.  My favorite flowers are zinnias.

Attic: what’s one thing you have a sentimental attachment to and you will never throw away?
I don't know where to start.  My house is full of stuff that I'm sentimentally attached to.  Pictures, books from when I was a kid, my kids books, movies we watched with the kids, my journals, things made by family members, etc.

Library: favorite book genre?
It's a tie between mysteries and chick lit. I'm happiest when I can find books that combine the two like all of Janet Evanovich's series.

Office: if you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
Either a book seller or an antiques dealer.

Guest room: have you been to a sleepover? if so, when was your first? do you like them?
I think I had my first one about the time I started school and yes, I loved them. I had friends stay over or stayed at friends' homes regularly right up through college.  I still enjoy a sleepover once in a while when a group of friends or my sisters-in-law go on a weekend trip and stay at a hotel...good times!

Foyer: do you like small gatherings, large parties, or one-on-one meetings?
Mostly one on one.  Small gatherings are okay, but I don't care for large parties unless I already know a good number of people.  

Pantry: favorite meal to make?
Probably soup.  I make very good vegetable-beef soup, ham and bean soup, and chicken noodle soup.  I find cutting and chopping all the ingredients soothing and is there anything better on a cold day than the smell of a simmering pot of soup?

Laundry: favorite and least favorite chore?
My favorite is probably washing dishes...good thinking time.  My least favorite is folding laundry.

Garage: favorite mode of transportation? favorite car?
I like to drive myself in a car.  I don't have one, but my favorite car is a Mustang.

Panic room: what was the most nerve-wracking experience you’ve had?
Either being in a basement when I was 12 while a tornado went overhead or when a state trooper called us one night about our daughter.  My husband went to get her and wouldn't let me go with him.  Waiting for him to get home with her and tell me what was going on was pretty nerve-wracking.

Powder room: do you wear makeup? if so, what one item can’t you live without? what’s your favorite look? 
I don't wear makeup very often at all.  For the most part I wear it only when I am dressing up a bit and going out.  Even then I prefer a very natural look.  The one thing I can't live without is primer.  I love how it evens up your skin and hides minor flaws.  I use it under foundation and when it's hot I often use only it with a bit of powder and blush over it.

If you enjoyed this week's questions, please be sure to stop by the Sunday Stealing home page and tell our hostess, Bev, that you did.  You can find the rules to play along and links to other blogs playing along, too.

July 21, 2017

Don't Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)

It's time to link up with Sam and the Saturday 9 crowd for a little musical fun. This week's song wasn't my idea, but it was one of my favorites back in the day. If you enjoy the meme, please be sure to visit the Saturday 9 site and check out the links to the other players or join in yourself!

(The picture of the center of a Warner Bros. Records 45 is sure bringing back the memories.  I think the majority of my 45s carried the Warner Bros. label.)

Saturday 9: Don't Stop (1977)... because Country Dew recommended Fleetwood Mac 

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Since we're not supposed to stop thinking about tomorrow, let's talk about it: What are your plans for Sunday?  Sigh....as usual nothing much.  Sunday is my husband's only day off and with his health all messed up he never wants to do anything but sleep on Sundays. Oh well, I just bought a new stack of books at Barnes & Noble.

2) Fleetwood Mac was formed 50 years ago in London. Fifty years is considered a "golden anniversary." Do you wear more silver or gold?  I really don't care for yellow gold. I own some, but I much prefer white gold or silver...or even rose gold.

3) This song is from Rumours, which has sold 40 million copies. Is it in your collection?  It was...until vinyl went the way of the dinosaurs.  Thinking they were done forever I sold my entire collection (which I would really like to have back now).

4) It was written by keyboardist and vocalist Christine McVie. She was born Christine Perfect, a name that earned her a fair share of teasing when she was a school girl. Do you recall being teased in school? What about?  No, I don't remember being teased in school.  At home, my dad was merciless about everything.

5) Before Fleetwood Mac, she was in a band called Chicken Shack. If you were to order out for a chicken dinner, which restaurant would you turn to?  I have no idea because plain old roasted, baked, or fried chicken is one of those things I NEVER order when I go out to eat.

6) Before she could pay all her bills with her music, she supported herself as a window dresser for a London department store. Do you enjoy walking along, just window shopping? Or do you consider "looking with no intention to buy" a waste of time?  I enjoy window shopping if I'm in the city, but I don't want to go to the mall or Wally World just to window shop.  Booooring!

7) When she found herself making big money, one of the first things Christine bought was a pair of matching Mercedes for herself and then-husband, John McVie. If you were handed a check for $1 million, what's the first thing you would do with the money?  Pay off all our debt.

8) The other girl in Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks, founded the Soldier's Angel Foundation. She believes in the healing power of music, and so she's proud to provide wounded soldiers with iPods already loaded with music. When you listen to music from your phone, MP3 player or iPod, do you use ear buds or headphones?  Neither, since I don't listen to music on a phone, MP3, or iPod.
9) Random question: Let's pretend your high school reunion is coming up. Which classmate are you more curious about: the one who was your first date, or the one who was too cool to give you the time of day? Actually, this year should be my 35-year reunion, but nobody wants to take on the task of organizing one because it's a thankless job.  After the 15 year reunion the class officers quit and there wasn't another one until someone took it upon themselves to organize our 30 year get-together.  Out of a class of 365 only about 25 classmates and spouses showed up.  

According to the one who did the organizing and inviting, most of the people she called told her to take their names off the list....they weren't interested and never wanted to hear from anyone again. I get that. The 30 year reunion was my first and had I not been nagged to death by people on Facebook I wouldn't have gone...and I don't have any desire to go to another.

All that said, if I had any curiosity it would be about the first date, not the stuck up snob that thought they were better than me. 

Thanks for stopping by, now go and enjoy your Saturday.  It's supposed to be a rainy one here....good day for watching movies or reading a good book.

The Simple Woman's Daybook: July 2017

July is already near its end and here I am just getting around to linking up with The Simple Woman's Daybook.  I've missed the last couple of months, but want to get back into the swing of things.

For today...July 21

Looking out my window...The sun is barely breaking the darkness (insomnia strikes!) but the humidity is already oppressive.  The temperature should top out at about 90 degrees today with the humidity only getting worse as the day goes on.

I am thinking...about how to fill the time while the Poodle is being groomed later this morning.  Normally, I sit in my car and read since it takes only about an hour.  Today is too hot for that and the appointment is at 9:00...before most stores are open.  (I ended up going to Barnes & Noble.  I bought 4 books!)

I am thankful...for air conditioning.  In the house, in the car, in most every public space.

One of my favorite things...settling in on the swing with the dogs at my feet, a cold drink at my side, and a good book in hand.

I am creating...nothing yet.  We are still in the planning stage of decorations for our daughter's September wedding.  Parts and pieces are being collected...log slices, mason jars, tea lights, burlap, lace, sunflowers and more.

I am wearing...my pajamas, still.  If I am going to get the Poodle to the groomers on time I will have to shower and dress soon.

I am reading...Driven by Eternity by John Bevere with my Bible study group. It looks at heaven and hell and just who will end up where...the answer may surprise you.  This book is changing the way I think about and live out my faith.

I'm also reading The Love Dare...only about 10 years after the rest of the world. I watched the movie Fireproof for the first time this summer and was convicted to buy the book.  Not that my marriage is on its last legs, but any marriage can probably benefit from doing the exercises in The Love Dare.

I am watching...my favorite summer show, America's Got Talent.  I just love that it has become such a positive showcase for those who are truly talented and inspiring.  I'm also watching Alaskan Bush People on Discovery and a lot of movies On Demand.

I am hoping...that I have stumbled on the cause of all my husband's vague and various health issues.  Over the last few years he has been tested for so many, many things and all we've found out is what he doesn't have.  He feels so awful that he rarely feels up to doing anything, though he pushes himself to not only work, but work long hours.  He has many aches and pains that never let up and sometimes get worse.  It has made him rather grumpy and miserable.  Our lives have been in a holding pattern.

To make a long story short, I found some information online about hyperparathyroid.  The parathyroid is behind the thyroid and most doctors don't even know much about it.  When I compared the long list of possible symptoms to those my husband has...he has nearly all of them!

We see his doctor this coming Tuesday and we will be armed with printouts of all the information I found.

I am learning...to be patient with people (even in thought), to be intentionally kind, and to think less of myself and more of others.

In my kitchen...you won't find junk food or very much that is processed.  My doctor prescribed a diet pill to try and help me jump start my metabolism.  It has two components, a stimulant to speed things up and an appetite suppressant.  It is working like a charm.  I lost 12 pounds last month.  I have a check-in with the doctor next week to see how I did this month.  Most days I only feel the need to eat two meals and I eat a lot less before feeling full.  I rarely, if ever, snack.  To go along with this I've been changing the way I eat as well.  Meals are heavy on vegetables and proteins.

In my garden...things are going very well!  My husband built two raised beds for me this year and the plants certainly like their home.  Everything is flourishing and my hubby plans to add two more beds next year!  So far we have picked zucchini, squash, cucumbers, green beans and onions.  The peppers, tomatoes, watermelons and cantaloupe will be coming in soon.

Postscript...Here is the link to the best source of information I've found about the parathyroid in case anyone wants more information.  If you have a wide range of vague symptoms that doctors are struggling to identify the cause of it's worth checking it out.

Shared Quote...

A moment from my day...I'm cheating and adding this after the fact.  The Poodle is groomed.  These are her before and after shots...she does not like to pose so they aren't the best.

Closing Notes...My gut reaction to O.J. Simpson's parole yesterday was, if not outrage, then disappointment.  This morning as I watch the news and it is talked about over and over, I find that I've changed my mind.  I do, without a doubt, believe he killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, but he was tried and found not guilty of that crime.  That's how our system works.  As for the armed robbery he is currently in jail for...he has served the time and is eligible for parole just like anyone else.  As much as we may wish it were different, we can't deny his parole based on feelings about the murder trial. That said, I wouldn't want him to move in next door to me.  What are your feelings on the whole mess?

July 20, 2017

Blessed in Abundance, Thankful Thursday

It's Thursday and that means it's time to link up with Rebecca Jo @ Knit By God's Hand to show our Creator a little gratitude for the blessings He pours out, both great and small.

This week I am thankful....

* that my husband did not have a heart attack and an overnight hospital stay and many tests showed his heart is just fine and very strong.

* that my daughter is at home and handling things fairly well.

* that a comment by hubby's sister to check on his thyroid (problems run in his family) stirred my memory that while he's been checked for that and no problem was found, our doctor did mention his parathyroid a couple of years ago.  I did some digging online and found a lot of information and a list of the symptoms for hyperparathyroid and it's like they know my hubby.  He has all but a couple of the symptoms.  It's often missed or diagnosed as something else because the symptoms are so vague and could be caused by a lot of things, but since he has so many I am feeling very hopeful that this might be our answer and from the sound of things it's easily fixed with an outpatient procedure that takes about 20 minutes! Please pray this is it!

* that we are beginning to enjoy the "fruits" of the garden.  So far just cucumbers, onions, zucchini and squash, but the beans are just about ready, I saw a few baby peppers yesterday, the watermelon vine is full of ping pong ball sized melons, and the tomatoes are loaded with greenies.

* the poodle is getting her hair done tomorrow.  Long overdue.  The poor thing looks like a black dust mop and I cringe to think what may be hiding out in all that wool since she is not a girly-girl and loves to snoop and get into things.

* my step-dad continues to heal from his week in the hospital.  He is walking and gaining strength daily.

* for my first-ever real hug from our youngest grandson.  It may have been his first real hug to give.  Nothing better in the world!

* I finally got a full unemployment check.  It's been so messed up since they made all the staff cuts.  I am not the only one in this boat and you can't get a live person to talk to.  I'm about ready to concede that I'm just going to be out 2 of the weeks I am due.  Such a rip-off!  Happy, though, to have that check this week to pay a few bills and order our daughter's wedding invitations. (It's getting so close!!!)

* our 23 year old central air conditioner keeps chugging away.  One of these years (probably much sooner than later) we are going to have to replace it.  The last time we had it fixed they told us it would need replaced the next time.  That was probably close to 10 years ago so we are living on borrowed time here. The dogs and I sure appreciate it now that the temperatures are hitting the 90s in the afternoons.

* for my God who blesses me abundantly over and over even when I don't deserve it....especially when I don't deserve it.

* for all of you.  Have a blessed day friends!

July 19, 2017

A Mid-Year's (and Mid-Summer) Hodgepodge

Good morning and welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge!  It's hard to believe we are more than halfway through July.  This summer is going much too fast!

1. Growing up, were you close to your grandparents? Tell us one or two specific things you remember about them. I wasn't close to my paternal grandmother. We didn't live near her, so I only saw her when we would visit. My paternal grandfather died the year before I was born. I was very close to my maternal grandparents, my Pappy and Nana. They raised me for the first 3 years of my life so I guess that's to be expected. Because of that I was closer to my grandmother than I was my mom.  I wrote about them several years go on another blog. You can read it here.

2. What's an item you were attached to as a child? What happened to it? 
I can't remember anything except my security blanket (think Linus of Peanuts). I drug that thing everywhere and it was patched many times over. My parents finally got it away from me before I began school. Mom saved a small piece of it (that may have been all that was left) and used it to make a "blanky" for my kids.

3. When you look out your window, do you see the forest or the trees (literally and figuratively)? Explain. 
Literally, I see the trees. We live in the suburbs so we have to drive a couple of miles to see forest.  Figuratively, I see the forest. So much has been going on in our lives that is stressful right now that I've had a bit of trouble believing we will ever find our way out of the forest.

4. Do you like sour candies? I used to love Sweet Tarts and I've eaten a Warhead or two, but I don't like sour candies as much as I used to. Which of the 'sour' foods listed below would you say is your favorite?

grapefruit, Greek yogurt, tart cherries, lemons, limes, sauerkraut, buttermilk, or kumquats 

Um....of those choices I guess I'd have to say I like sauerkraut best, though I like it made with brown sugar, so not really so sour.

Have you ever eaten a kumquat? Not that I remember. What's your favorite dish containing one of the sour foods on the list? I like a good pork roast with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut.

5. July 1st marked the mid point of 2017. In fifteen words or less, tell us how it's going so far.  It's been rough, but our youngest grandson keeps us smiling.

6. Insert your own random thought here.  I am feeling hopeful that I may have found the reason for all of my husband's health problems these last few years. After a health incident on Sunday, his sisters told me to get his thyroid checked because three of them and their mother all had problems.  He's had his thyroid checked, but they stirred my memory.  

Two years ago when some blood work showed my husband to be deficient in a lot of vitamins (D, B-12, iron, magnesium), it was also mentioned that his parathyroid was a little off.  It wasn't a main concern but it was mentioned that maybe down the road he should see an endocrinologist.  

Long story short, I went digging online and I found a lot of information, including a long list of symptoms...that my husband has all but 2 or 3 of.  He has scheduled an appointment with our doctor for next Tuesday and I will print out the information I found to take with us. We're both feeling very excited that maybe this is the source of all his problems and that if it is taken care of he'll get his life back.

Thanks for visiting today! If you enjoyed the
questions please be sure to pop over to
to find links to the other players or
to join in the fun yourself!

July 17, 2017

It's Always Something (Updated)

Good morning! I'm up bright and early this morning and ready to go.  Where? To the hospital.  After all of last week's "fun and excitement" with our daughter and my stepdad being in the hospital, I had hoped not to see the place for a good while.  Life had other ideas.

Tim wasn't feeling well when he got home Saturday.  I guess he really didn't feel well through the night into Sunday and was up quite a bit.  I slept through it. He still wasn't feeling well yesterday morning and I wanted him to go to MedExpress.  He put it off until afternoon.

At MedExpress he described what he was feeling, a burning pain from his groin to his chest.  The doctor there ordered an EKG.  She said it was abnormal, not bad, but not the way it should be, either.  She sent us to the ER.  The EKG and all the other tests run there came back normal.  They really don't know what's causing the pain so the doctor wants him to have a stress test and gave him two options.

Option one, spend the night at the hospital and get the test done today.

Option two, come home and call our family doctor and have him schedule it...which could take a few weeks.

My dear husband, of course, chose option two.  He couldn't possibly miss work today.  There's too much going on that's important.  The problem with that is that he's a workaholic.  There is NEVER a good time to do anything if it means missing work.  The company he works for has actually FORCED him to take vacation at times.

The doctor and I ganged up on him to make him "choose" option one. As the doctor said, there may be nothing wrong, but we just don't know and his symptoms are kind of vague and strange.  If nothing's wrong it'll be done and he can go on his merry way.  If there is something they can take care of it now. If he chose to do it later and then went off to work...something could happen. He still didn't want to stay.

Long story short, I got right up in his face and set him straight.  He spent the night and will be getting the test today.  Still, he was like a junkie going into withdrawal.  I thought I was going to have to tie him down to keep him there.

So that's my exciting weekend and why I'm up early.

Oh, and our daughter is home.  She signed herself out of the hospital.  I don't think the place was equipped to deal with someone like her.  It seemed to be more for criminals, addicts, abused women, the homeless.  The social worker actually told her during her exit interview that "You're not in trouble with the law, not on drugs, not being abused, not homeless.  You're an upstanding, law-abiding citizen....I don't know how I'm supposed to help you."  She said the place was awful, filled with uncaring staff that pumped everyone full of drugs and either blew off the classes and group sessions or did them half-heartedly. They did set her up with a therapist for August, but I'm hoping she will talk to her doctor this week and see if he can't get her in with someone a little sooner.

It's always something, isn't it?  I don't know how those who don't believe in God can handle life.  It's hard enough when you do.


The stress test went fine and he was discharged.  He's on his way to work.  So, whatever is/was wrong it's not his heart.

July 16, 2017

Sunday Stealing: Firsts!

From Bev:

Gleep.  Bud has been very nice to me, but now it's my first week!  While I'm getting my feet wet, I'm posting a meme I found a long time ago at http://smoi.simplyshannon.com/, a site that is no longer valid, apparently, but as this is my first Sunday Stealing, it seems appropriate to do a list of firsts.  I'm hoping I get Mr. Linky to work...still trying....

Sunday Stealing:  Firsts 
First Job: Babysitting for my dad's boss when I was in high school. It was not a good job. I talked about it here.

First Real Job: Working in a foam rubber plant.

First Favorite Politician: Ronald Reagan.

First Car: The 1980 Grand Prix my husband and I bought together right before we got married. My grandfather called it "The Pimp-mobile."

Not our actual car, but same model and color.

First Record/CD: K-TEL's Hit Machine. Do you remember those?  Every year they'd have a collection of the year's biggest hits and it would go on sale a couple of months before Christmas.  I think I had about 5 of them, but Hit Machine was the first.

First Sport Played: I'm not sure which season came first. It was either field hockey or softball.

First Concert: Pure Prairie League

First Foreign Country Visited: Canada, which is also the ONLY foreign country I've visited.

First Favorite TV Show: Probably Bonanza.  I had a major crush on Little Joe.

First Favorite Actor: That honor might go to Roy Rogers.  I loved watching his reruns when I was little.

First Favorite Actress: Loretta Swit (Hot Lips) from M*A*S*H.

First Girlfriend/Boyfriend: A boy named Tony in 9th grade.

First Encounter with a Famous Person: My mom and I walked past Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward on the street in Johnstown, PA when he was there filming Slap Shot.

First Brush With Death: The first death I remember was that of one of my great-grandmothers when I was five.  If you mean my own close calls....I don't know that I've ever been close enough to be "brushed."

First House/Condo Owned: The one we live in now is the only one we've owned.

First Film Seen: I believe it was Disney's Jungle Book.

First Favorite Recording Artist: Donny Osmond

First Favorite Radio Station: 96KISS in Pittsburgh.

First Book I Remember Reading: Wow.  I read so much as a kid.  I sort of remember the Dick and Jane readers in school, which I suppose were first. On my own I have no idea...I liked the Black Stallion books, all of Marguerite Henry's horse books, Julie of the Wolves.... I'm sure there were easier ones before those, but I don't remember what they were.

First Meme You Answered on Your Blog: My blog has had many incarnations. I don't know what the very first meme I ever did was.  On this particular blog it was Thankful Thursday followed by Sunday Stealing.

Thanks for playing along!  Do visit Bev over at the Sunday Stealing site to join in or find links to the other players.  I hope you all have a wonderfully relaxing Sunday....after a particularly stressful week, that's what I'm hoping for myself!

July 15, 2017

What's Your Name?

Saturday 9: I Will Never Let You Down (2017)

... because Smellyann recommended Fastball

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Fastball is a trio from Austin, Texas. Austin is the capital of Texas. When you were in school, did you have to memorize the state capitals?

I'm sure I did. I'm of an age when education was still pretty traditional.

2) Have you ever visited your state's capital?

I've been there once or twice, but it was years ago.  I want to go back one day soon, though.  I have a pamphlet hanging on the refrigerator about a ginormous book store that is there.

3) Fastball played dates throughout Canada this past spring. When did you last leave the US of A?

The only time I've left has been to go to Canada and the last time was...*cue Jeopardy theme song while I think*...5 or 6 years ago.  We went with a large portion of my husband's family.  It was a fiasco from the word go.

4) Tony Scalzo is a founding member of Fastball. He's the singer in the video for this song, and that's his wife, Jennifer, playing the organizer of the speed-dating event. Have you ever gotten a job because you knew somebody?

I got a job babysitting my dad's boss's kids back in high school.  It was horrible. They were brats and he was cheap...$5 to watch three kids for 6 hours!  I was afraid to say anything because of him being my dad's boss.  I should have said something because just a couple of years later when I got engaged to my husband (who worked at the same plant as my dad), the icky, gross slimeball actually asked my husband if we'd like to "swing" with him and his wife.  My reaction...

5) In this pitch to a perspective lover, he admits he doesn't have much money. Last time you went to the ATM, how much did you withdraw?

$20 to have cash for turnpike tolls.

6) He sings that at times, his mind is hazy. Do you have a good memory for names?

No and it's getting worse as I get older.  One of these days I expect to feel lucky to remember my own.

7) Fastball guitarist Miles Zuniga admits that he once had a crush on Carrie Fisher (aka Princess Leia). Tell us about one of your one-sided love affairs, either with a celebrity or someone you knew in real life.

I've known for years I was meant to be with this man, but he hasn't seemed to figure it out yet. Sigh. He gives off this whole Cary Grant vibe I find irresistible.

Mr. Kyle Chandler

8) Fastball's drummer Joey Shuffield is partial to drums from Pork Pie Percussion. This company was started by Bill Detamore, who began making drums as a hobby. Do you have any hobbies that, under the right circumstances, could make you money?

I guess in theory and under the right conditions money could be made by my writing or my cooking/baking.

9) The fast ball is the most common pitch in major league baseball. Now that the MLB season is past the halfway mark, how is your baseball team doing?

I have no idea.  I just can't get into baseball.

Join in the fun with Sam
and the gang over @
the Saturday 9 site.

July 13, 2017

Thankful Thursday: Even In This

My joining in with Rebecca Jo and the others for Thankful Thursday is going to be a bit different today.  Rather than a list of all that I am thankful for....I need to share something that is going on and ask for prayer as well as share the blessings that can be found in the difficult times.

This week I am thankful..... that I still have my precious daughter. That I have another day to spend with her and love her.  That she will see her 25th birthday, get married in September, and be an awesome momma to her baby boy.

My girl, you see, has struggled with attention-deficit disorder all through school and in her later teens depression and anxiety joined the club.  Everything she has ever done has been a struggle, but she has mostly kept it under control. Lately, however, it has been harder.  The thinking has been that postpartum depression is compounding her "normal" depression.  Her doctor increased her meds over a month ago.  She really didn't say anything more than usual so I guess we all assumed she was doing okay.

Yesterday she asked me to go with her to her appointment with her PCP.  She wanted to talk to him about her constant urinary tract infections and wanted me to help her remember to tell him everything and be a second set of ears for what he recommended.  We never really got to that....because right off the bat she stunned the doctor and I by saying she was frequently thinking about suicide as a way to stop feeling so bad all the time.  He was quick to question and she assured him that no, she didn't have thoughts of hurting anyone else, and no, she hadn't actually formulated a plan.

The doctor then asked her if she would be willing to be hospitalized for a 72-hour period at mental health.  She answered that she would.  That made her decision voluntary.  Had she declined, the doctor later told us, he would have had her committed involuntarily.  He called the ER and told them we were on our way and we left his office and went straight there.

So, my baby is locked in a mental health facility for the next 3-5 days.  She is able to use the phone there to call out if she wants to and she can have visitors for an hour in the evening so she will be able to see her baby and fiancee.  I am so proud of her for being brave enough to tell us about her struggles and for agreeing to be committed.  It's my hope and prayer that during this intensive time with mental health professionals that they will be able to work out her meds and give her some tools to cope...and maybe walk out with a counselor or therapist to talk to.

Even in this stressfulness there are beautiful blessings to be found...seeing my daughter's deep love of her son, seeing her fiancee step up and do what he needs to do for her and for their son when he could just walk away as so many do, extra time with my sweet little man...cuddling him as he falls asleep and holding him in the morning when he's still sleepy and drinking his bottle, seeing how my whole family steps up to the plate and pitches in to do whatever we need to do....something made especially dear because my mom is still dealing with my stepfather being in the hospital with heart issues.

These days are rough, but my God is bigger and tougher than anything this world can throw my way and He is my hope for better days.  I know that one day there will be no more sorrow, no more pain and what a glorious day that will be!

July 12, 2017

Chatting Up the Hodgepodge

Good morning and a wonderful Wednesday to you!  Thanks for stopping by to play the Wednesday Hodgepodge.  Thank you to Joyce @ From This Side of the Pond for hosting and coming up with the questions week after week.

1. When was the last time you chatted with a neighbor? We live next to my mom, so I talk with her almost daily.  As for non-related neighbors beyond saying "hello," it's probably been a week or so since I've had a real conversation.  About what? (sharing that last bit is optional)  With Mom it was about my stepdad's condition.  He's in the hospital, having had a heart cath on Monday.  With another neighbor...I think it was about her vacation.

2. River, lake, ocean, or waterfall...which one are you most like and why? Somewhere between a lake and an ocean, I think.  I'm deeper than you might first think and you will never know everything about me but I'm maybe not as tempestuous as the ocean. Like a lake I can be still on the surface and churning underneath.

3. July 13 is National Delaware Day. Ever been to Delaware?  Yes. My husband's youngest sister used to live there and the whole family went there for the Fourth of July once. Delaware is called 'the first state' because it was the first to declare independence from the British. What's your state's nickname and does that moniker make sense to you?  Pennsylvania is the Keystone State because it sat in the middle of the 13 original colonies. It joined the north and south so yes, it makes sense. It held the young republic together. If you were in charge, what nickname would you give your home state? These days?  The Land of Taxes would fit.

4. What dish did you contribute to the last pot luck meal you attended? 
 I don't remember, but there's a good chance it was Hobo Beans. Do you have a go-to recipe for pot luck suppers?  The Hobo Beans are one of my go-tos.  It's basically 1 can each of butter beans (drained), chili beans (hot, medium or mild depending on taste), kidney beans (drained), pinto beans (drained), green beans (drained), yellow wax beans (drained), and baked beans. 1/2 lb. of sweet sausage, 1/4 lb. hot sausage, and one chopped onion ...cooked until meat is done.  Then stirred in to the meat mix is a can of tomato paste, a cup of brown sugar, a couple Tbsp of spicy brown mustard....I feel like I'm forgetting something but I think my mom borrowed the recipe so I can't check.   You put all the beans in a crock pot, pour the meat mixture over all and stir. Cook on low until heated through. YUM!

5. What is your number one tip for a brand new parent?  Relax.  Parents have been messing up since the beginning of time and kids survive and even thrive. Don't let the critics and "perfect" moms get to you.  You know yourself and your child.  Do what's right for you.

6. Insert your own random thought here.  I saw this the other day and thought it was excellent advice.