Sunday, December 1, 2013

Winter Holiday

Without really meaning to be I have been away from my blog for a while so I have decided to turn that into a winter blog holiday, also known as a blog break.

I wish the best of the season to all of my blog friends.
Thank you for all you have shared with me this year and I look forward to a good year to come for us all.

Though I won't be writing I will be reading and I look forward to what everyone will have to say during the holiday season. I will reserve the right to pop back in with a post if I just can't help myself.

(Comments are off for this post)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mission to Mars

No, I haven't had any out of this world experiences lately, but my son and his family came close on Monday when they got be be live and in person at Cape Canaveral for the launch of  MAVEN, a Mission to Mars. This was especially exciting for them because for the last few years my son has been a part of a team of rocket scientists at an astrophysics lab at the University of Colorado that built instruments that went aboard the spacecraft. After years of work and a few pre-launch work trips to Cape Canaveral being there for the launch was as good as it gets for my son and his family.

They got to Florida a few days before the launch to be a part of the pre-launch excitement and to soak up some space lore.

A day spent at the Kennedy Space Center got everyone even more excited for a real live launch.

Anna manning a Space Shuttle.

Anna and Wil soaking up some space culture.

Maven on the launch pad the night before launch day.

Wil got a little "spacey" as they were waiting for the bus to the launch site.

Up, up and away,

or as my son said "and that is how you do that".

Yes, I am a proud mama, but mostly I am glad about this dream-come-true experience for a boy who grew up with his eyes on the skies.
Rob at the Space Center in Houston in 1977.
No, he wasn't always that serious and, no, he doesn't still wear his pants that high.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Older I Get......

The sure fact is that as long as we hang around each of us is getting older every day. I don't recall that I gave a lot of thought to getting older when I was young. Now that I am, well, older, there are a few  things I'm sure my younger self would have never given any thought to but that I find my older self thinking about the older I get.....

Image from Google Images

The older I get.....the less I like to shave my legs.

The older I get.....the more I'm sure there are a lot of things that I'll never be really grown up about.

The older I get.....the more I would like to have and am afraid of having a little "work" done on my face.

The older I get.....the more I wish I had done a better job of keeping up with people I was good friends with in the past.

The older I get.....the more I need to exercise and the less I like to exercise (or I guess these days you have to say work out).

The older I get.....the faster time goes. I know that is a cliche, but it is so, so true.

The older I get.....the less I like the word "retirement". I'm all in favor of not having to go to work anymore, but no so good with calling my self "retired".

The older I get.....the more I wonder what I would look like if I quit coloring my hair...and how I would do that without spending many months looking like a skunk.

The older I get.....the more I realize that being older doesn't necessarily mean being wiser.

The older I get.....the more I wonder how my grandchildren will remember me.

The older I get.....the harder it is to know if certain clothes are "appropriate" for "someone my age" to wear. Okay, I don't worry too much about that, but I do think about it and am pretty much done with sleeveless. (and I can hardly even mention swimsuits)

The older I get.....the older everyone else is getting right along with me and I am grateful for that.

What do you find your older self thinking about that your younger self would never have thought of.?

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Few Catch-up Pictures 'Cause I Don't Have Much Else....

Life has been pretty quiet lately, a good thing to me from most perspectives but not when it comes to blog topics. That leaves me with one of my favorite topics and the main reason for my blog, family activities, and a few catch-up pictures.

Some of my grandkids started out their Halloween night at my house with our traditional Jack-O-Lantern Pizza and some trick-or-treating. The wind was so cold that night that even this motley crew didn't want to stay out for very long.

Of course I had to look back at a Halloween picture from when I first started my blog. The little baby duck in this picture is now in kindergarten (far right above) and the scare crow (in the center above) was a few years from being born. .....and how did cute little Dorothy turn into a pre-teen Vampira so fast?

I went to my other kindergarten-age granddaughter's school party. I didn't get a good picture of Anna, but I did get one of her zombie brother, Wil,

who was a cute little Buzz Lightyear just a short time ago.

At a family get-together this weekend Anna and EJ took turns burying each other in the leaves.

Beck didn't want to get buried.....he just threw the leaves at anyone who tried to take his picture.

     I recently got a sweet surprise in the mail from my blog friend  Granny Annie at Fools Rush In. She has picked several blog friends that she is sending a surprise gift to at some time throughout the year. She lives in Oklahoma which is where I grew up so this little charm was a thoughtful and perfect gift. 

And finally, all of the Halloween candy is gone, thank goodness. It went to a local dentist's office where they contribute so much per pound to local schools and send the candy to the armed forces overseas. 

I'm kind of wishing I had kept a couple of the Snickers bars.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Oops, Maybe I Shouldn't Have Posted That

I have several blog friends who have recently written blog posts that they later decided they shouldn't have posted. They all deleted those posts and let readers know why in an e-mail or in a subsequent post. Their reasons for deleting the posts varied from deciding the subject matter of the post was not appropriate or not understood as written, that the post had too much information about themselves or a family member or reader comments made them decide the post  should be deleted.

One of the things I like about blogging is the variety of styles and topics people bring to their blogs. Whether a blogger posts beautiful photos that illustrate activities in their lives, expresses opinions on anything from politics to child rearing, gives us a running commentary on the activities of their day or just shares on a mish mash of topics there is usually, by chance or design, a style and parameter that is characteristic of the writer's posts. I didn't find any of the deleted posts objectionable, but I respect and appreciate the consideration each of these bloggers gave to a post that with some reflection seemed "out of bounds" for them.

My blog is generally fairly innocuous and non-controversial. Even so, a couple of years ago I deleted a post because of a comment that was left. I had told a story, basically a joke, that the commenter felt made fun of a person with dementia. I didn't see it that way but I deleted the post in favor of not offending someone on a sensitive topic.

Have you ever had second thoughts about a post you have written or deleted one due to your own or readers reactions after it was posted?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

It's That Time of Year, Crazy Weather, Candy Corn and a Birthday

Here in Colorado, fall is beautiful and unpredictable. A sunny warm day can turn into overnight snow that stays around just long enough to mess with rush hour traffic in the morning and then melts before noon. I love this picture from a day late last week. Winter will settle in before long, but until then it is fun to experience at least a couple of seasons most days.

Borrowed from a friends FB page


Fall brings with it another important time of year.....Candy Corn Season. 

Yes, I have a weakness for this ubiquitous Halloween treat. I have no trouble resisting the same candy in red and green at Christmas or in pastel colors at Easter, but I have to admit to eating more than my share of the 9 billion pieces made annually in orange, yellow and white for the Halloween season. Candy corn was invented in the late 1880's and was originally called "chicken feed". Maybe if they had stuck with that name I'd be more able to resist the 140 empty calories that come with eating 22 pieces.


My oldest grandchild, Jared, becomes a teenager this week, leaving me asking the age-old question, where did the time go. It truly does seem like only a few years since he was born.


He has told his parents that he wants a goat for his birthday (which he has been told that he will not get). He seems to think because they have a horse that lives in the barn at his other grandparents house that they would not mind having a goat also. I'm pretty sure he knows that this is a pie-in-the-sky wish. I thought I was getting off lucky when he told me he wanted socks. It turns out that the socks he wants are a certain kind of Nike socks that cost about $15 a pair....and of course he wants certain colors. At least he didn't ask me for livestock.

I guess I'd better be off to do a little internet sock shopping, but I may need a little candy corn first to fortify myself.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Bath-In Remembrance of my Friend

I've told this story before and I am telling it again today in remembrance of my best friend who died from breast cancer and to share my regard for everyone who has been touched by this disease. 

My best friend died from breast cancer about 11 years ago. We had been best friends for over 40 years when she died. As always, during her illness we talked a lot and got together from time to time even though we lived about 700 miles apart. There is one conversation I still remember nearly every day....every time I take a bath.

When she was ill, one of the things that helped ease her pain was taking a hot bath. The day of the conversation that I remember had been a rough day for her. While her mom, who was helping to care for her, was gone to run some errands she got into the bathtub hoping to get a little relief from her pain. She called me from the bathtub, saying she was home alone and too weak to get our of the tub on her own and that this was the first time that had happened to her. There was, of course, nothing I could do to help her out of the bath tub from 700 miles away, so we talked. We talked about her illness and her fears, we talked about her kids and mine, we talked about all the things we normally talked about. Even talking for a long period was difficult for her at that stage of her illness, so we also shared moments of silence from 700 miles away.

Even after all the years I still think of our conversation, one of the last I had with her, every time I take a bath. It makes me feel a lot of things, but the greatest thing I feel about it is gratitude. I am grateful that I can still get out of the bathtub with ease, I am grateful for the friendship we had, I am grateful that we got to have one last conversation about all the things we had talked about for years, I am grateful that I am the one she reached out to in what was a frightening first in the course of her illness, and I am grateful for the comfort we both felt with each other in the moments of silence.

Please use the reminders of Breast Cancer Awareness Month 
to do everything possible to assure your own breast health.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

But Things Are Better Now....

In a bit of paraphrase to the old John Denver song, some weeks are diamonds, some weeks are stone. This last week has been a bit of a stone around here, but things are better now.

Last Wednesday Doc was sent from a doctor's appointment home to pack and to go straight to the hospital with some heart issues. He came home late Monday and is doing better with a few, hopefully mostly temporary, adjustments to his lifestyle. We will know more after a follow-up appointment in a couple of days. 

Please forgive the picture above, but if I had tried to take an actual picture of Doc in his hospital bed, well, I'll just say his reaction wouldn't have made for a very pretty picture.

I am not making light of what was a very serious situation, but finding the lighter side of any situation is a good coping tool for me.

When "Mr. Independent" came home to pack for the hospital he fully intended to hop back in his truck and drive himself to the hospital. I, of course, informed him that I would be driving him to the hospital. As we were getting in the car to go he asked if I was going to take Dodger, our dog, with us, apparently thinking I was going to do a quick drive-by dropping him off at the door of the hospital.  Men! Sheesh!

Needless to say, I spent a good deal of time at the hospital with him while he was there, with him constantly telling me that I needed to go home to check on Dodger. Of course, he was not at the hospital that is about 5 minutes from our house, but one that was 30-40 minutes away depending on traffic.  This was the first time Doc has had to be in a hospital since he was born and it was a real lesson to "Mr. Independent" in letting go of a bit of that independence. The bottom line is that he got excellent care and the doctors, nurses and aids are truly angels, even when a patient gets a little cantankerous.

His homecoming has gone pretty well with just a little bristling at his limitations. If I make it through the next few days until they say it is okay for him to drive, I'll be back with an update.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Flood Aftermath and a Flood of Birthdays

I am very thankful that our home got through the recent flood event in our area of Colorado with nothing more than a little water in our basement. Many in neighboring towns were not so lucky and are now dealing with the loss of their home or business and in some cases the loss of life. There have been eight people reported who lost their life in the storms and there are still six people missing. The news has moved on to other things while the recovery and clean up has just begun in many Colorado towns. My heart goes out to those who are struggling to recover.

As the say on the news...and now on a very different note, my family has had a flood of birthdays just before and during the our week of rain.

My grandson Wil turned 8

My grandson Beck turned 3

He has a couple of more weeks in his cast...I think he will miss it just a little once he gets it off.

I have an ice cream cake in my freezer waiting until we can celebrate birthdays for my son and oldest daughter. My son was stranded in his neighborhood by the floods on the day we had planned to celebrate.  I have been wondering if they would notice a couple of pieces missing if I lose control of myself before we can finally get together.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Thank you to everyone who has e-mailed to check on me and my family during the floods in our area of Colorado this week. We are okay so far. There are a couple of roads washed out in our little town, but nothing compared to the devastation in Boulder a few miles west of us, Longmont, a few miles north of us and Estes Park, north of Boulder. There are also numerous smaller towns in the area that have suffered terrible damage.

This is a road that washed out early Thursday morning, just a short distance from us. It is at an intersection that I go by numerous times every week. Fortunately, all the people in these cars were rescued.

My son's neighborhood, about 20 miles north of us, was an island for a couple of days. This picture is a couple of blocks from their house. They finally could get out Friday afternoon. They went to a grocery store but found the shelves mostly empty because no deliveries had been made due to road closures. Their town is now under orders to boil any tap water they use.

There is an elementary school about a block from our house. About 75 fifth graders from the school have been stranded by the flood for several days at an outdoor lab camp (sort of an educational camping trip that all of the fifth graders here do). They had to be helicoptered out, leaving all their belongings behind. This afternoon when I drove by and saw this sign and their families waiting for them on the school lawn it brought tears to my eyes. 

When I heard the cheer that went up from the families as they saw the school bus bringing their kids home come around the curve I was sobbing right along with them.

As of this afternoon, there are still stranded people being rescued. The first responders have been heroic as they always are. The community response has been so great that shelters have had to turn away volunteers and supplies.

We have had about 24 hours of not much rain, but it is predicted that we will get some rain tonight and a lot of rain tomorrow. We have already had the amount of rain we usually get in a year fall in just a few days.

 Please join us in saying Rain, rain, go away!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Six Word Saturday

Friends forever, through thick and thin.

Bella, 7, and Addison, 9, were both diagnosed with Leukemia one day apart in April, 2010.
They have been best friends through years of chemo treatment (Bella for 2 years and Addison for 3 years). Their support for one another has been an amazing thing to see.
Addison is the son of a good friend of my daughter, Joanna.

They have both now completed treatment and are working together to raise funds to help conquer the disease they have both fought through.

Best friends forever.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wherein A Good Friendship Becomes a Little Sticky.......

I noticed recently that someone had "unfollowed" my blog. I'm sure it has happened before, but I noticed it this time because my number of followers went from a nice round even number to a not so nice odd one. It feels a little odd to be "unfollowed", but the truth is that lots of my not-so-many-anyway followers haven't been around in the blog world for a while.

It got me thinking about a face-to-face friendship that has become a little sticky lately. I have a friend who is a very kind, very sweet, and very generous woman.....until it comes to anything involving politics. She is very staunch in her political beliefs and surprises me with her vitriol toward those who don't believe as she does or toward candidates of the party opposing the one she supports. It is not that she and I necessarily disagree politically because mostly we don't. What we don't agree about is that anyone who believes differently is a liar, a cheat, an idiot....or worse. During the last presidential election we had "words" when I commented that I thought there were as many "untruths" being told from one side as the other. I admire her passion but I have a hard time accepting her intolerance of differing views.

Since then I have mostly tried to avoid any political topics, until recently when I mentioned that I wanted to see the movie The Butler. She came out with a tirade about how the movie was a bunch of lies, the casting was a slap in the face to any right thinking person and no one with any brains would pay money to see it.....not her exact words, but that is how it sounded to me. After bravely saying that I still wanted to see the movie I successfully changed the subject and we haven't talked since.

I certainly don't want to lose a friend, but I also can't be comfortable in a friendship that makes me feel like I am walking on eggshells in terms of safe topics of conversation. She is not a person with whom you can just agree to disagree. Right now I am just wishing that there was something as easy as an "unfollow" button, but face to face friendships don't work that way.

Have you ever felt the need to "unfollow" a face-to-face friend?

Friday, August 30, 2013

I've Decided To "Like" Facebook

Yes, Facebook can be very annoying with the constant changes, too many stories about who is playing what game and too many invitations to play with them, the occasional over the top political or religious rant, security issues and so forth. Even with the annoyances, I find a lot of things I "like" about Facebook.

I like that I got to see my son and grandson being goofy at a pre-season Broncos game last weekend.

I like that I got to see pictures from my friend Betty's vacation, even though she lives over 5000 miles away in Paraguay.

I like that I got to hear about my friend, June, who I haven't seen in nearly 30 years, having a home-made ice cream get-together with her kids and grandkids. 

I like that I got to see one of my granddaughters going in for her first day of kindergarten moments after it happened.

I like that I got to see my friend Patty "enjoying" her Disney World vacation.

I like that I got to see two of my grandsons on their vacation to Colorado National Monument as it was happening.

I didn't like seeing this picture of my not quite 3 year old grandson, Beck, with his newly broken foot. It is currently in a splint, waiting for a cast when the swelling goes down.

I did like seeing that even a broken foot that he can't walk on hasn't slowed him down a bit.

Compared to most people I don't have very many Facebook friends.  I don't put much on there myself.....I guess I would be considered a lurker, but I like the friends I have and getting to see these kinds of things that I like make a few annoying things not seem so bad.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Going To Middle School or Gone Hollywood

My 11 year old granddaughter, Hope, woke up for her first day of middle school today with one eye swollen and sore from a big stye that had developed overnight. She has been chomping at the bit to start middle school for weeks, so fortunately this little mishap didn't slow her down. A warm compress helped with the pain and swelling, so after adding a big pair of sunglasses off she went.

Ready to go.

The traditional first day of school pic with her siblings.

Lots of parents have watched this scene with mixed feelings this week.

I don't remember having any first day of school mishaps, other than having to start 10th grade on crutches because of a foot surgery that didn't heal as fast as expected.

Do you recall any first day of school mishaps that happened to you or your children?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

No Excuses

I have no excuses for ignoring my blog for the last couple of weeks, other than the fact that I have been working full time and not doing much else. Thus, this will be just a little catch-up post of mostly family fragments.


Who knew there was a national Middle Child Day? It turns out that my middle child, my oldest daughter Jill, knew and thought it was a day worth celebrating with her niece and the only other middle child in our family, my 5 year old granddaughter EJ. I think it may have been an "any excuse to get ice cream" thing.

A "selfie" of Jill and EJ celebrating national Middle Child Day.


Everything seems to be all about back-to-school with my family right now. Two of my grandkids started last week, two start tomorrow and two later this week. (As an aside, I can't believe the amount of supplies that kids going to middle school are required to have.) Anyway, I did get to have a back-to-school picnic with some of my grandkids last week.

Just a few more days of summer freedom for most of these kids. 

Hope, 11, with her Aunt Jill here, is the only one that is really eager for school to start.

Beck has another year before he starts pre-school, so he is happy to just keep playing baseball.


My five year old granddaughter, Anna, woke her mom up at 4:30 one morning recently saying "Mom, my heart's not beating." Fresh off of a CPR/First Aid/AED class, my DIL, Leah, fortunately knew that this was impossible.

Anna, with a fully beating heart and full of sassiness.


I saw this recently on my friend Betty's Facebook page.

I'm sure it has been all over the internet, but I love the succinct way it puts things in perspective.