Saturday, December 16, 2006

Tooooooo Long

I've been lax in keeping up my blog, even if it is just for the sake of Jenn. Sorry about that.

Things are going okay here in G-town. I am really enjoying having time off at Christmas. This hasn't been the case for 22 1/2 years, so I'm having a little difficulty knowing how to handle it. Like so many who read this blog, I work better under pressure of a deadline, and often wait until the deadline is in sight to begin my work. It seems so strange to actually have days at a time with nothing that has to be done.

This week has been a little busier than most. For instance, Tuesday morning was WMU at Maribeth's, followed by a retired teacher's luncheon. The choir from one of the local elementary schools performed at the lunch. When the kids were leaving, something was said by one of the retired teachers about how we were such a grateful audience. The choir director responded with a line about retired teachers, "Old teachers don't retire, they just lose their class!--Especially Meadors!" And I did not in the least bit feel insulted.

Thursday I went to Friendship, which is my usual Thursday practice. I told David it was a lot like teaching, even though the students were, in this case, less than a year old. I liked the challenge of figuring out what their problems were and trying to stop cries before they happened. There's nothing much better than sitting and rocking a baby for an hour or so at a time, talking with them, talking to them, and as my own kids would say, "talking for them." Case in point, this darling little fellow named Sota who had the awfulest case of stick-up hair! I took him out into the reception area of the nursery and said, "hello, ladies! What do you think of my new hairdo this morning?" And another little guy named Allistair, "How do you all do (talking to the two little girl babies"--could I maybe play with you today?" We do have fun in there. Then when I was leaving, I went over to the toddler side of the nursery suite, and this great little fellow named Shusuke came running at me with a big smile on his face and his arms up in the air for me to pick him up!

I do love those babies. They make life seem worth living. If any of you are feeling a little low, I can recommend rocking a baby to calm or to sleep as one of the best (allbeit temporary) morale boosters known to man!

Everyone take care when you're shopping, and don't get too lost in the bustle to call a salesperson by name and ask about his/her day. The sourer they are, the more persistent you should be--if anybody needs attention, they do. And don't be afraid to say Merry Christmas. It's worth saying.

Love to all, God bless, and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Here's the latest. My darling grandbaby disappointed me by not being able to come to Georgetown for Thanksgiving. As David said later, thank God her parents had enough sense to take her home from Corbin on Thanksgiving Day. At the doctor's office on Friday morning, they learned that Cora was just as sick as they thought she was, and were sent to Children's Hospital in Chattanooga, where she spent the night.

At first the medical folks thought she might have RSV, which is a serious respiratory virus that infects premies and newborns. Thank God again it wasn't that, but rather turned out to be bronchiolitis. At the hospital, in addition to finding out what she didn't have, they gave her breathing treatments which helped to break up her cough quite a bit and got her oxygen level back where it needed to be. Her mom and dad said she was a pretty good trooper about the whole thing, and that even when she was at her maddest, the nurses still talked about how sweet and beautiful she is.

Here at the house, she is mostly sleeping, nursing some, taking bottles of formula not very eagerly, and slurping down the apple-juice/water bottles. She coughs a good bit, until it's like she is coughing rather than breathing. BUT, and big deal here, she IS getting better. She can wail like a banshee when they suction out her nose or take her temperature or give her a breathing treatment. We spend a lot of time holding her--she breathes better upright--and "beating" on her back when she's coughing. I don't think we've bruised her yet. She has a beautiful Christmas tree in the living room, and being a child who is fascinated by light, I can usually quiet her down a bit by sitting with her in there.

I think I need to go be Nurse Granny. Everyone take care, and pray for our little Cora. Love you, and God bless.

Monday, November 20, 2006

We Are Still Married

Before anyone gets upset, that is just the title of a Garrison Keiller book. I have no clue what the book is about, but I do know that David and I are still married, with no plans to change that status.

I have finished a couple of projects that I've been working on for quite a while. One was filling and taking to church six Christmas boxes for Samaritan's Purse, Franklin Graham's operation. The boxes will go to three little girls and three little boys somewhere in the world, who otherwise probably would not have much of a Christmas. I did this in honor of my three boys and three girls. We sent crayons, color books, slinkies, puppets, hotwheels, dolls, stuffed animals, lots of pencils, erasers, markers, paper to "write" or draw on, stuff like that. It was a lot of fun for me to get the boxes together.

The other project involved some detective work which was more lengthy than I had thought. When you google something and get the reply, sorry, "-----" has no matches, then you know you have a long search ahead. However, with help from someon named Truman Price and Everett, it got done, and the gift has been ordered. That was a lot of fun, too.

My next project is to go grocery shopping and get cooking for Thanksgiving. I have scalloped oysters in mind, as well as hashbrown casserole and Jello salad. We're all going to my sister-in-law's, Caroline's, for the big feed. That's because she has the most room. Caroline truly has the gift of hospitality. When we go down there, we feel free to invite anybody we can think of, since she has always made all our friends feel at home. This year, we invited Sam, Ting, and Alex, as well as Kumar, and then Sunday when Joann asked where we were going for Thanksgiving, we invited her, too. I don't think she took us too seriously, but she did listen carefully to the directions and came back to talk to us a couple of times about our plans. I may email Sam and tell him to invite Tsing Tsing and Ding Ding, too.

Which reminds me--I can seldom remember Tsing Tsing's son's name. He and Sam are roommates at EKU. Yesterday I was asking about him and called him Dong Dong. Tsing Tsing just giggled. They told me his name was Ding Ding. Tsing Tsing went back to the kitchen and brought him out, so that I could talk to him. Joann came over and said, "On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, his name is Ding Ding. On Tuesday and Thursday, it is Dong Dong." We had quite a laugh over that. We also told Tsing that she could name her next child Dong Dong, and if she had a third child, she could name that one Ding Dong! Silly, I know, but fun. I like to see the folks smile.

I guess I'm through for now. Maybe I'll post again sometime in the future--just keep checking. Love to all, and God bless.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Monkey Mama had a dream

Awright, we all have dreams. So what was different about this one?

Several things--for one, I remember a bunch of it. That doesn't happen a lot. For another, it was a G or PG dream, so I figured it would be OK for Lydia to read it.

Here goes: I was in a house very similar to the one we live in now, five-room plain little house, empty house (that's different from ours!), that maybe we were getting read to sell. On an inspection of the house, we found some animals living there. They seemed to be about the size of squirrels or chipmunks and didn't seem fearful (in that they didn't run and hide when they smelled humans.) What was unusual about them was their coloration. Some of them were brown with white spots--sort of irregular spotting, not anything symmetrical or possibly related to camouflage. There weren't a lot of them, probably no more than 3 or 4 to a room.

Once we had kind of adjusted to these spotty chipmunks, we started to see black ones, with blue glow-in-the-dark stripes and spots. That was really weird. As I said to someone who was in the house with me, "I know birds and fish can be blue, but I don't believe I've ever seen a mammal with glow-in-the dark blue spots!"

There were a few other loose ends that made this dream interesting. My kids will recognize this reference: The Lone Ranger's horse and Tonto's horse were there, not real horses, but plastic figurines about 6" tall. I didn't see the "men" who rode the horses. I thought the figurines might possibly be at my house, so I was going to look for them. Just in case the figurines were there at that house and might show up, I left a note for them on a piece of paper, telling them where I was going. Then I wanted a way for them to acknowledge the note, so I asked if anyone had a golf pencil, since sometimes the two of them could work together and write with a golf pencil. Fortunately one of the men who was there had several in his pocket, so we left one with the note.

And another loose end that has me puzzled: There was a woman there in a gorilla suit, a black suit, and a blue plastic hula skirt that pretty much hung from her shoulders. She wasn't a gorilla, just someone dressed up as one. I have no idea why she was there, but she was helping me look for the chipmunks.

Now if anyone can figure out this dream for me or at least tie in some of those loose ends, I'd appreciate it. Thanks, love to all, and God bless.

Friday, October 27, 2006

I'm baaaaaack--was it worth the wait?

I don't know about you all, but I don't like blogger very much. Yesterday evening I spent a good little bit of time writing a post, believe it or not, and then blogger ate it. So much for that. I will try to remember what was on there.

1. Trees. When you get to be my age, trees are important. There are certain trees that made my drive to Frankfort palatable the last few falls, and in the last two weeks I've had a couple of chances to look them up. They are all still there, the ones at St. Francis, the ones at Fork of the Elkhorn, and the ones on US 60 near the CHR building. There were some beautiful trees at SSS, too, but the one chance I had to look at them was on a gray, rainy evening, and they didn't look too hot. For one thing, it's been too rainy around here for good leaf retention. Surprisingly, the color in the trees south of Berea is much nicer than the trees right around here.

2. Cora's dedication. David, Ann, Daniel, and I all got to witness the baby dedication ceremony for Cora Sophia last Sunday. It was beautiful, very meaningful. One change--I wish I hadn't been behind Geron, because I couldn't see too well from that location. Cora looked like a little doll. If you don't believe me, look for yourself. Go to the Brown baby blog, and click on any one of those pictures. My favorite picture is the one where her bonnet is slightly askew, and she looks like she has her blanket rolled up under her arm. It looks to me like she's saying, "All right, folks, enough with the pictures. Let's get out of here!"

3. Gracie Acie Lacie Macie. This is probably one of my two favorite three-year-olds in the whole world. The other is Gracie's cousin, Alyssa. If I'm slighting any of you, I'm sorry--these are just the two little girls I know best. Gracie had surgery yesterday afternoon in Louisville at Kosair Children's Hospital for a condition called "twisted spine" or "twisted cord", something like that. She came through the surgery well. Apparently they had a rough night, but according to her daddy David, she had weeeeeeed all by herself today. As all of you who have had any major surgery can testify, this is a big step toward getting well. Also, the docctors are saying everything went just fine. Try telling that to parents who have up all night with a crying child--yes, fine, but not too happy right now. I'm sure she'll be back to her old smily, cheerful self in just a few weeks. Gracie is the little dear who has been so concerned about Baby Cora's lack of clothes. All the pictures she had seen of her, Cora was very scantily clothed, so Gracie was insistant that folks get her some clothes. Another concern of Gracie's was Cora's hip brace. She was very worried that she would have to have therapy, just like she had when she was learning to walk. We assured that Baby Cora wouldn't need therapy, since she wasn't walking yet. But I guess you can tell that Gracie is a sweet, caring child, and we all wish her well.

4. Susie. My sweet cousin Susie got married back in September--forgive me, but I've forgotten the exact date. The wedding was beautiful. It was at the Seelbach Hotel in downtown Louisville, and was a real treat for this hick from the sticks! (I used to know a story about the Seelbach, but I'm not going to do that to you.) Anyway. Susie was the sixth of Libby's children and a delightful addition to the family. Her daddy was really delighted that he had a chance to watch her grow--he had been so busy working when her siblings were little that he didn't get to enjoy their babiness very much. Suze was a different matter. Her next younger sibling was Kenny Mike, around 6 years old when Susie was born. Oh yes--I remember, I already shared about that wedding! And I already told you that Susie danced with all four of her brothers at the ceremony, including Mike.

5. Friendship International. One of the best parts of volunteering with Friendship has been riding to Lexington with some of other volunteers. I so much enjoy listening to Mary Dan Price's stories of Georgetown, as well as to Maribeth Hambrick and Cornelia Wainscott. Yesterday I told what one of them considered "the best nursing-home story ever", the account of my daddy and why there was a top on the fishtank at Dover Manor. Another little bit about yesterday: I had some Halloween sweatshirts I had purchased for a two-year-old I don't get to see very often. I knew it wouldn't be likely for me to see him before Halloween, so I took them to Friendship. The mothers were pleased to get them. I had hoped that Jiagi, my little Chinese baby, would be one to take a sweatshirt home, but she was not there yesterday. I do hope I see her again next week.

Well, not a lot new, but still more than I have posted lately! Love to all, and God bless.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Goooooood Weekend

I got to love on my baby this weekend. The next youngest didn't seem to mind too much, because she was loving on her, too. I wish I had had just a LITTLE more time to visit with my sweet Annie and her husband. It moves me so much when friends, both old and young, seem so happy to see my kids. And it wasn't because of getting to see the new baby, either--their family at church just loves them all.

We got to share a meal with a bunch of great folks on Sunday, at our Sunday lunch place. We had two tables in "the party room" with friends and relatives, all of whom seemed to get along just fine. Everything was good until Libby started to walk out with Cora--she said she'd be back in just a minute, but I think we all knew better. It really wasn't a very strong threat, though, since she didn't have keys to her ride back to Louisville, and I'm pretty sure most of us could walk faster than she. We didn't have to issue an amber alert. Dexter, Brandy, and Chuck got to love on Cora too, after we got her away from Libby. Maybe Brandy will start thinking about another sweet baby--Alyssa is a winner, for sure.

And Julie didn't start a food fight--she was on her best behavior. Alex said he would tell on her if she did--he was on HIS best behavior too. And Andrea and Laura got to spoil Cora. Everyone pray that next fall we will be passing a new little Rose around the table and taking photos all over the place. And Yen got to hold Cora and give her a red envelope. She told us the traditional Chinese gift for a new baby was a "red envelope". That baby ought to be Chinese, as many times as her mommy has eaten at the Plum Tree!

All in all, it was a great day. I wish we could do it every week, maybe adding a few more dear ones each time. Love to all, and God bless.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Phone pranks

Nope, never did any myself, but I've surely heard of a few good ones.

Our current "prank" is the way David answers the phone. If you call our house and hear, "This is me. Is that you?", you'll know David's there. He did that today to a person from another country (which shall remain nameless), a rep for Bellsouth, and the poor person did not know how to reply. That one wasn't on her flowchart.

My brother Mike and some of his friends were excellent at phone pranking. One time they kept the 411 operator occupied for quite a while, trying to get a phone number and address for a friend--they claimed to not know the last name or address, except "down the road from ---". Used to be, long time ago, you didn't get in trouble for stuff like that. Mike had all the fun I wanted to have when I was a child.

The girls (and most of my readers know who I mean) used to call infomercials to ask about products. The younger one once called a 12 step plan and said she didn't have enough money to buy the whole plan, but did they have a six step one? She might could afford that. There were a lot more details, but those ought to be enough to get your memories flowing about the stuff you did. Love you all, and God bless.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Nobody likes me.

How come don't nobody never write any funny stuff on my blog? I been reading the stuff you wrote on Everett's, and don't nobody never write nothing like that on my blog. I love you all anyway, and God bless.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Fall vacations

It's that time of year. David and I usually take a vacation about the first or second week of October. This year we are going to spend our fall vacation very much similar to the way we spent the spring one, sitting around the house and pretending we are getting things done. My friend Joyce has gone to Panama Beach, Joan has gone to Garden City (Leitchfield Beach, SC), and I am here in the dust dunes of Meadors' beach wondering where my feather duster has gone. I have one goal for next week--to dust enough so that Lydia, Cora, and Geron can come to visit. David has one goal, too, to get the taxes finished. Let's face it. If Aniel are old, we're ancient! Love to all, and God bless.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Thank you, God

I don't know all the details, so I may get something wrong. I just know that today around 12:30 pm Geron and Lydia called to tell me they were taking Cora back to the ER at the Children's Hospital there in Chattanooga. They took her to her pediatrician yesterday because she was spitting up quite a bit, and he sent them down there for tests. All tests they did yesterday came back in the normal range. The ER doctors told them to go back to their pediatrician.

That was yesterday. I didn't know a thing about it. Today, they took Cora back to their doctor, since she wasn't better. She had developed diarrhea, in addition to the spitting up. Her heart rate was elevated, both yesterday and today, and their doctor thought he heard a heart murmur. He wanted her checked by a cardiologist.

They were on the way to the hospital when they called. I got on line and asked a bunch of you, some I haven't seen or talked to in quite a while, others I see frequently, to pray for Cora. You did. Thank you for your prayers.

When the doctors at the hospital examined Cora, they found no signs of a heart problem. I don't believe it disappeared--I believe God healed it. Their regular pediatrician is a well-respected person in the medical community in Chattanooga. He knows what a heart murmur sounds like, and he knows when something looks or sounds wrong to him. He wouldn't have sent them downtown if he didn't think Cora's condition warranted it.

All I can say now is thank you for praying, and thank You, God, for hearing our prayers. Thank You again for Cora. As one of my friends (Sandra F) said, God has a special purpose for Cora. I believe that.

Love to all and God bless.

How was my weekend?

One of my good friends asked me yesterday how my weekend was. I can tell you pretty quickly. David and I went to Chattanooga. We saw Cora. I held her, a lot. David looked at her, a lot. Geron, Lydia, David, and I went out to eat three times, with Cora. Lydia and I went shopping, with Cora. The four of us went to church, with Cora.

In church, Cora would sit so still when she heard her daddy's voice, either singing or speaking. She was supposed to be asleep, but I think she was listening. One time during the children's sermon, Geron was giving out little box banks to the children. He asked if everyone had a bank. Cora raised her hand--he didn't see her, though. (It may have been a stretch, but it was very timely.)

We love Geron, Lydia, and Cora. A lot.

Love to all of you, and God bless.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Paper Dolls

When I was a little girl, maybe 50 years ago, I loved my paper dolls. I used to spend hours in my room playing with them, especially designing dresses for them. Daddy had brought home a bunch of old deposit tickets (not used, blank!) from the bank after they printed new ones, and I found the backs of the tickets were just exactly the right size for drawing paper doll clothes. All the dolls had names and personalities. They were even in families. My cousin Sally had paper dolls, too. She took more of a practical interest in hers. When one of them would have a torn arm or leg, Sally would make casts for them out of wet toilet paper. She also gave them tsetse fly enemas. I didn't grow up to be a designer, but Sally became a nurse!

What prompted this trip back into childhood, you might ask? Or then, again, you might NOT ask. I got an email yesterday from Dover Publications. They used to send me a teacher's preview of materials they considered educational once a week, and I would run off color pages, etc, for my "kids". This particular email was about their new books, including something I had never imagined, Dalai Lama Paper Dolls! Love to all, and God bless.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Forgiveness is a funny thing, no, I mean that, really a funny thing. Just recently amidst the daily emails I receive were a couple of jokes. Actually, there were a lot more than a couple, but these two looked like jokes some former coworkers of mine would enjoy. The first one I forwarded yesterday to my former boss. It was a jibe intended for folks who take life too seriously, a list of funny little bits such as 47.9% of statistics are made up on the spot. He and I had often laughed about things like that together, and I thought he would enjoy them. He did, and sent me an email back thanking for me for sending them his way.

The second one came today. It was a story on Mikey's Funnies about a family going camping. The husband had taken his blackberry with him. A former supervisor used to email me from meetings on hers--she said once that was a sign of how boring the meeting was, when she was sitting there checking her email during presentations. I figured she would get a kick out of this one, especially since the wife in the family referred to husband's blackberry as his crackberry. It struck me right away as odd that I would even think about sending this email to her, since we haven't communicated since I "left office". But I went ahead and sent it. I haven't heard from her yet.

I believe that was God's way of telling me it was time to let go of the past and get on with my life. Is there someone in your past you need to forgive? Or at least reach out to? Life is too short to keep these things smoldering. We need to go ahead and go forward. I'm glad I did. Love to all, and God bless.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Things that make me smile, and things that make me laugh out loud

First, smiles: Three entries from the weekend. The first one was at Susie B's wedding. Susie is my precious cousin Libby's baby, who has finally tied the knot with a great guy, John. Following the wedding ceremony, meal, cake cutting, and first dance by the new couple, Susie came over and got Dexter, her stepfather. Some of you know Dexter. He is a super fellow, pretty spry for his 80+ years. He has just started walking with a cane. Susie pulled him out on the dance floor for the traditional father/daughter dance. He and she hadn't been at it very long at all when Susie's older brother, David, cut in. After David's few spins, brother Jim was there to cut in. Then came brother Mark, and finally, brother Mike. It was so sweet watching them all cut in on each other to dance with baby sister. Even more special, it symbolized the special place each brother held in his heart for his little sister.

Entry number two: While I was enjoying my meal at the wedding, I felt a little hand "scratching" my arm. I looked over and saw Amber, age 5, Libby's newest granddaughter. I asked Amber what she was doing, and she replied, "bothering you." She and Gracie, her younger sister(almost 4), were distributing "goodie bags" to the other children at the wedding. They got the idea from Annie's wedding last May. Faye, their mama, told me that when they were shopping for the goodies, the cashier mentioned that someone must be having a birthday. "No, a wedding!" they said. "We're taking goodie bags to the other kids at the wedding." The cashier thought that was a great idea, so we may have started a new tradition.

Entry number three: At the Plum Tree Sunday, Madison, the granddaughter of Tron, the chef, and honorary "grandma" Yen, showed up at our table to thank me for the ballet barre, mat, and video we had brought for her last week. Yen told me how excited Mad had been about learning to "dance ballet". She had worked at it all day on Saturday but had some problems, since she doesn't know her right foot from her left foot yet and couldn't quite follow the steps on the mat. When Yen tried to show her how to follow the directions, Mad said, "No, get off! Your feet are too big!" Yen finally painted one of Mad's toes blue and one pink to match the feet on the mat, and she did better after that. Mad said she couldn't dance yet, but I believe she'll learn pretty quickly since she is a really smart little girl.

And now for things that make me laugh out loud: Jane S had a birthday yesterday (incidentally, it was also our anniversary!), and I journeyed to Casa to join the ladies for the celebration. If you know Jane and the other ladies, then you know I was anticipating an afternoon of laughing out loud. I woke up Monday morning trying to think of what I could get Jane for a gift, something fast, quick, and funny. Then I remembered the onesies I had bought for Cora, especially the one that asked, "Does this diaper make my butt look big?" I went to Family Dollar and bought a package of really large granny panties. When I got home, I got out my marker and wrote on the seat of one pair, "Does this butt make my panties look big?" I was already LOL when I finished that part of the present. It was one of the hits of the party, when used as decoration (J hung the panties on the railing by our table).

Another one: I got a catalog recently with a picture of a "boyfriend" pillow. I also made Jane one of those (very simple, mainly just stuffing and safety pins involved). This was another hit, especially when the waiters came to sing to her and put a sombrero on her head. As they were leaving, a waiter picked up "boyfriend", handed it to her, and suggested that "he" try on the sombrero. It was a real Kodak moment, as boyfriend circled the table to have his picture taken with the ladies. We were pretty much ALL laughing out loud at that.

As the person who cuts in on our phone line, cable TV, and computer says, over and out. And I'll add, love to all, and God bless.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Baby Dojo

Thursday morning I got to go to Friendship International to help with child care. Friendship International is a program several churches in our area set up to help welcome newcomers to America--in particular, female newcomers who would ordinarily be sitting in their houses all day with little to do and no one to talk to, since their husbands are at work and they haven't made any friends here yet. For the most part, the women appear to be young Japanese with small children in tow. This past Thursday, 8 of those children, all under the age of 1 year, ended up in the room I was supposedly staffing.

Thank goodness, there were two Japanese women there to work with me. Not only did they speak some English, they also had "worked" at Friendship before and knew the ropes. And they also spoke Japanese, which was helpful when the mothers were leaving the babies with these strangers. Of the 8 babies, only 2 had bottles, and neither were the least bit interested in taking those bottles. What they were most concerned about seemed to be, where has my mommy gone!

The 8 babies took turns crying for the 2 hours I was there. We would take them out of their carriers, then put them into either an exersaucer or a swing, or occasionally prop them on the mat to play with toys there--like they wanted to play! We usually ended up rocking them, one at a time, which took one helper out of commission until she had that child soothed. Some of them could then be put in a swing or saucer at that time. One little one could not be soothed, and she was returned to her mommy. (When mommy came to pick up the diaper bag, we told her to be sure to try again next week.) Another one was only satisfied as long as one of us was rocking her. Eventually she fell asleep in my arms, but she wouldn't let me put her in a crib. Another person took over, and the little lady was asleep in that woman's lap until Mama came.

All in all, it was a good morning. I will gladly show up again next Thursday to try it another time.

You may wonder where I got the title for this blog--I overheard one of the Japanese workers talking to a mother about the "dojo", and I thought baby dojo was a pretty descriptive term. Love to all, and God bless.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Where Were You?

A lot of folks are asking each other, Where were you on 9/11? (I had just walked into 2 Street from FHS, where I had spent an hour in the file room, and was met with the news.) That sort of question has been asked a lot over the years. Where were you on 9/11? Where were you when the shuttle blew up? Where were you when Reagan was shot? Where were you when men walked on the moon?

I have memories of all those things. (That, folks, shows how old I am!)

The "where were yous" go back farther. I remember when Martin Luther King was assassinated--I remember our house mother at Georgetown College's fear that the students at KSU would come over and attack our dorms. I remember when JFK was assassinated. I was in class, and a student who was cutting a class, sitting in his car in the parking lot, came runing in to tell the folks at the principal's office the news. At first they didn't believe him, but pretty soon the radio on the intercom was all we heard. I remember Mrs. McKechnie, my Latin II teacher, saying, "I don't know how you personally feel about prayer, but this is one time when it is appropriate to pray in school." I remember the Cuban missle crisis and stocking my school locker with canned goods, a blanket, and deodorant in case of nuclear attack. I remember when Kennedy was elected, how all the Protestants were worried about this Catholic president, and news footage showed nuns dressed in their traditional black and white habits coming from the convents in droves to vote. I remember newspaper headlinees of Castro coming to power in Cuba. I remember watching Queen Elizabeth's coronation on black-and-white television with our neighbors in Eminence, before I started school.

David's memories for historical events go back farther than that. He remembers when Israel became a nation, in 1948. Even though he was three at the time, his mother wanted him to know what a significant day that was. Our parents could tell you where they were and what they were doing when they heard about the nuclear bombs in Japan, where they were on both V-E day (victory in Europe) and V-J day (victory in Japan). They knew where they were when they heard FDR had died from a stroke. They remembered Pearl Harbor vividly. Some could remember the fall of Wall Street in 1929.

More important than where we were on 9/11 is where we are now. I just read a great editorial to that effect and will close with that.


By C. McNair Wilson

Where were you, when they raised the price of freedom?
Where were you when our family disappeared?
Are you glad you weren't there?
Did you lose a friend that day?
Are you as changed today as you felt on that Tuesday or did you change your
We all changed our minds, but did it last?
Are the changes we now live with making our lives safer, better?
Will we need to change more and are we willing?
Do you like taking off your shoes at the airport and not carrying water or
Is it worth being safer in the air?
Are we?
What cost Freedom?
What price Liberty?
What have YOU done since 9/11, 2001?
What will you do?
Have you changed?

Watching TV that morning, I saw a man in a suit and tie, carrying his
briefcase come out of the fog or the dust storm of the fallen Towers and
walk right up to a news crew and say, "There's a reason why my life was
spared and I'm going to spend the rest of my life trying to find that

Do you hear him?
Do you know the reason he was spared?
Are you aware that the reason for his life has been the same since the day
he was born?
So, too, there's a reason you were born--did you know that?
There's a contribution your life can make. Are you ready to make that
Are you ready to be a contribution?
Will it take an attack on your life to get your attention?
Are you aware that whatever your circumstances, you are NOT covered in dust?

What will your contribution be?
You can make a small change today and a bit more tomorrow.
Did you know that if you pick one area of your life to expand on, to improve
on just 1% a day, that in 70 days you would be twice as good as you are now?

If you haven't started the change you wanted to make, you can start now. You
know it's only too late if you don't start today?

Did you know it took three months to completely extinguish the fires at
Ground Zero?
Did you know they never even discussed not finishing the job?
Can you, today, brush off the dust and start making your contribution?

Did you know the rest of us need you?

Copyright 2006 C. McNair Wilson. Permission is granted to send this to
others, with attribution, but not for commercial purposes.


Love to all, and God bless.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Week that Wasn't

This hasn't been much of a week after Tuesday at about 7 AM(that's when Everett left). I think this is the sort of week that all retiree's have, one when going to choir practice or the grocery store is the only time you get in the car. Heck, it's the type of week where getting the mail is the event of the day!

I'm in a real rut, but you know what? I think I like ruts. This week I've gotten up every day, made my bed, fixed breakfast, caught up the laundry, talked to folks on the computer, read the paper, watched some TV, played some spider solitaire, reloaded my mah jongg game, done a little Christmas shopping on line--nothing for any of you, don't worry!, been to Kroger's on Old Ladies' Day, cooked (or at least planned--some of it wasn't cooked) supper every evening, been to choir practice, washed dishes, knitted, watched TV, and right now, David is asleep in the living room to the tune of the History Channel. Highlights of the week: finished sewing together a cap and booties I finished at the hospital when Cora was born, finished some knitting for Cora (including sewing it up), and almost finished a pair of booties for Allyn. I went shopping at Salvation Army once. Beside Kroger's, that's the only store I was in.

Now we did have a good Labor Day weekend. David and I pretty much stayed home on Saturday, went to church on Sunday, ate at the Plum Tree, straightened up the tiniest bit. Ann and Daniel showed up late Sunday evening, around 9. David fixed a dish he calls hamburger curry. It's basicly his goulash recipe plus two teaspoons of extra hot curry powder, and on rice rather than macaroni. Monday at lunch, we ate the same dish, warmed up. We ran out of rice and found it it's just about as good on whole wheat bread. Ann let me spoil Daniel and her at WalMart a little which was fun. Then they left, and we spent some time wondering why Everett wasn't here, since he had left Chattanooga at 11. It was 6:30 when he made it to the house, due to a stop at a book store and heavy traffic on I-75. (That's about 2 1/2 hours longer than I took on Friday to drive the same distance.) We enjoyed a quick chat with him--he had laundry, and David went to bed early, since he had to work on Tuesday. It's quality, not quantity of time, that counts, and we had pretty good quality of time with all the kids.

And folks, that's the way it is around here. Love you, and God bless.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Real babies don't go bow wow!

Patrick McManus wrote a great story once about a pet pig he had as a boy. He actually wanted a pony, but he had a pig--the title of the story was "Real ponies don't go oink!" If you ever have a chance, read it.

This morning David and I were lying in bed and talking about the past week. I can keep David pretty well entertained lately with Cora stories. I heard this little noise outside the house that sounded vaguely familiar and started to get up, but then recognized what it was--a dog, not the baby. Funny how much your life changes in a week! David was the one who told me, "Real babies don't go bow wow."

But real babies do have some similarity to puppies, you know. Maybe you have had a new puppy at your house--you know those little squeaky sounds they make? Real babies make the same sounds. Have you ever seen a little puppy right after it finished feeding? Eyes closed, milk running down its chin? Real babies do that, too. And you know baby puppies' little fat tummies? Real babies have those. At least Cora does.

There is nothing any sweeter than a sleeping Cora, unless it's a waking one. The little arms start stretching, the feet draw up to the tummy, the shoulders start squirming, the head turns, the little mouth opens wide, yawns, sneezes--eyebrows raise, corners of the mouth turn down, turn back up, maybe a "rrrrrrrrrrrrrrip" in the nether regions--Then the cries may start. You talk to her very quietly, pick her up, carry her to the changing table, lay her down. The arms flail, the eyes open and look around. Off comes the diaper, the warm wipes, a clean little bum, a clean diaper--pick her up again. The eyes are open now, looking around. The little mouth opens, searching for something she remembers having once before. Then you hand her over to the mommy and the feed starts. In the middle of the feed, Cora backs off, lies there very peacefully, another "rrrrrrrip". Again with the diaper business. Back to the feed. This time when she finishes, it's swaddling time. Once she is completely wrapped, arms and legs snug as a bug in the blanket, it's back to her bed. That is, IF you can get her away from Mommy long enough.

That's pretty much how the last six days went. I hope yours were just as great. Love to all, and God bless.

By the way, if you want to see a picture of Cora in all her beauty, check There are plenty of links there.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Color of Love

Last night when David and I were coming home from Chattanooga, God gave us a beautiful sunset to admire. We were talking about how beautiful it is. David said the world was more beautiful because of a new, beautiful person. And I said, yes, and because of an older one, too. Thank you, God, for sunsets. Thank you, God, for my beautiful granddaughter. Thank you, God, for letting us keep Lydia. We love you, Lord. Love to all of you, and I hope God blesses you as richly as He has blessed us the last two days!

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Wanna know what kind of God we serve? The one who puts the right people in the right place at the right time to do His work here on earth. The one who makes things we don't want happen so that He can help us anyway. The one who listens to His people when they need help, even when they are too worried to pray themselves. I'll tell you more about circumstances, coincidences, so forth, tomorrow, but right now here is what He did for us yesterday, straight from an email I wrote to a friend. Please don't feel like you're second-rate because you aren't reading your own email. This mama has not slept more than two straight hours in the last 38 or 40, and she's about ready to conk out right now.

Thank you. I am home from Chattanooga!

Lydia is doing really well. God is soooooooooo good. We had a real miracle. When the doctor did the c-section yesterday, things went pretty well until he lifted the uterus to close the incision. Lydia had some major bleeding. There is a huge blood flow to that area of the body in all pregnant women. When those blood vessels started to bleed, there was almost no stopping them. Her obstetrician worked on her until he realized there was more than he could handle, and he called in his senior partner who also worked on her at the same time. She was in the delivery room for at least three and a half hours. At the end of that time, they had her pretty much stabilized, minus one ovary and one Fallopian tube--but thank God, that was all they had to take. She had two units of whole blood and a unit of plasma (I believe that was what I counted) yesterday. That seemed to be enough. They took her back to the same room she had been in before the surgery, one step down from the recovery room but not as good as regular mother/baby room. She pretty much had the ward to herself that night--she had her own private nurse until around 2 or so, when a woman came in, in labor. She was in another room, so everything was okay there. A second nurse covered Lydia while her nurse was in with the other patient, and she was very nice and helpful. Lydia had great nurses.

She was not in a lot of pain. Fortunately, she has a very high pain threshold, so she was able to manage things pretty well until about 12:00, when she finally decided that she wanted the morphine pump they had on orders for her. She got that around 1 or so, and from then on, she slept well, except when the nurses would come in, and seemed rested this morning. They started letting her have clear liquids around 4 or so, when they were pretty sure they wouldn't have to take her back in to the OR.

Cora Sophia, our new granddaughter, is a trooper. She weighed 7 lbs 3 oz, and is too beautiful to believe. We are fairly sure she will have curly hair. Right now it is a really light brown, which was the way Ann's was when she was first born. David was standing outside the nursery yesterday watching the nurses take care of Cora. There was a family group a few babies down from her, admiring their new baby. David heard the man say, "I'm going over there to look at the pretty baby for a while" and headed straight for Cora.

Cora slept in the nursery last night, but is rooming in with Mommy and Daddy now. She is feeding well, sleeping well, pretty easy to comfort when she cries. Geron and I found out pretty quickly that she likes to be "danced" with. You just hold her in the crook of your arm and do a two-step with her. She settles right down. She just takes everything in. You can see her for yourself here:

Back to Lydia--Geron gave us an update on her just as we got to the Horse Park exit here in Georgetown. She is in that regular mother/baby room now, has been up to the potty already, has walked from her room to the nursery and back, even got into a chair by herself. If you have had abdominal surgery, you can appreciate all those things. If you haven't, find someone who has. Her "friend", morphine pump, was discontinued before she left the labor/delivery area, also her "friends", her compression boots. Cora is in the room with them and is feeding well, still--she had been at it for 15 minutes when Geron called. I hope she is finished by now. Our only concerns now? A slight fever on Lydia's part, which they are already treating, and a row of blisters across Lydia's lower back. The nursing staff seems to think the blisters are from the waterproof pad she was lying on--now that is gone, so the blisters should clear up soon. She may go home as early as Sunday.

Thank you, Jesus, and thank you friends for your prayers. Love to all, and God bless.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

She's Making Me Mad!

I have a good friend, Gpjm Slop, who put on Lydia's blog that she thought the baby would be born on August 23, 2006, somewhere in the 8:00 ballpark. When Gpjm found out the Cesarian was scheduled for 12:00, she tried to change her bet to 12:15, but Lydia won't let her change! And darn it, she would win a free diaper change and a 3:00 feeding! Do you think it is fair of Lydia to treat poor Gpjm Slop like that?

Now I have to go to Wal-Mart to look for a magic mirror for my friend Ree Ree, among other things. And my good friend jjsmommy is sitting there reading this and wondering if this woman is EVER going to get her suitcase packed! Maybe will, maybe won't--we'll just have to see. My ADD is in overdrive, but I have ALMOST finished three loads of laundry.

Love to all, and God bless.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Didja Ever Wonder?

Didja ever sit down to blog and then wonder what to write about? Doya have to have some exciting bit of news or pressing issue to orate on, in order to produce something worth reading?

Yesterday I saw a picture that I just loved. It was in the Life magazine section of our local newspaper, page 10. There are a group of four women standing around outside a little white frame house, working on a quilt. They are all elderly. Three of the four are wearing dresses, three of the four are wearing hats (not the same three), and one of the four is wearing a pair of slacks, athletic shoes, and a very fancy hat. Her name is Annie May. I LOVED that picture. Now I know what my mama is doing. I think I am going to buy a frame for it.

Then I saw a cartoon this morning on the Back Pew website. It is a cartoon of an elderly woman participating in the X games, walker category. Too funny. I have printed it out to put in my Bible by the corresponding verse. My Bible is acquiring quite a collection of Back Pew and Reverend Fun cartoons alongside their scriptures. I told the guy who writes Back Pew that he needs to think about doing an illustrated Bible, and he wrote back that he was considering that very thing.

And, ta dah--I got published! I was reading a Flylady testimonial yesterday and thought, gee, that lady sounds like me! Then I read a little bit farther and realized, that lady IS me! I had responded to a testimonial about a week ago, and lo and behold, Flylady printed my response! It sounded pretty good--looked pretty good, too. If you get Flylady, try to figure out which one is mine. If you don't, that's okay. It was really short and not too awfully inspirational.

Love to all, and God bless.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Two posts in one day? Am I crazy or what?

My friend Jenn cautioned me in a comment on the last post to not try to put both legs of my pants on at the same time. She said it never worked. Becca said that yes, it would work, if you were sitting down at the time.

Back to putting on pants in unusual ways: When I was but a child in days of childhood, my folks used to try to get my brother and I to go to bed with some silly little games. One of them was to see who could put on their pajamas in the funniest way. Darn it, Mike always won that one--he could put his pajama pants on his head, but I couldn't!

Another thing they would do back before tv--we would play out in the backyard, my mom, dad, Mike, and me. We would play charades, of all things. And Mike was only 3, so the charades had to be pretty easy. Another thing they did--Mom would give each of the four of us a plate. One plate would have soot on the bottom, but it was dark, so we couldn't see that. Then either she or Daddy would rub their finger on the bottom of the plate, and then draw on their face. We were supposed to copy what they did. That was usually worthh a laugh or two, when they turned on the lights or we went inside.

I have some great playing memories. There were some wonderful games we would play at school, like "Queen of the Merry-go-round". We would also climb up in the crab apple trees on the edge of the playground. We could usually get away with that for at least ten minutes. For one thing, the teachers didn't see us until about five minutes after we got up in the trees, and then they would send someone down to tell us to get out of the trees. The person would probably take at least five minutes to get to us. We could ignore the first warning, and sometimes the person who warned us would climb up in the trees, too. No, we were not good kids. And no, no one fell out of the trees.

I guess that's it for now. I just felt like sharing the pajama game. Love you, and God bless.

Whoops! I did it again!

Folks, thank you so much for the kind words of encouragement. I think I am going to be able to handle Granny-ing, well, maybe. And Grandpa has actually had his horn out this weekend--something he hasn't done for over a month or more! That's hard to believe, isn't it, considering he used to take it on vacation with him! At least one of you remembers the summer we took a tuba and a euphonium to the beach house in South Carolina.

The title refers to the clumsiness of me. Here's something stupid not to do: Don't try to put on your pajama pants without taking your Birks off first. Yes, the pants will fit easily over the shoes, but--and it's a big but--they will probably get hung up in there. Last night I was putting on my pajamas in my "computer room", across the hall from the bedroom, to avoid waking David up, and I thought I'd just be cool, pull those pants up without sitting down or anything. Ha ha. Right foot got stuck, clumsy arse tripped over the chair, fell down on same chair, which had turned over, and got a carpet burn on recently healed left knee about the size of a nickel--lost all the skin on that patch, burns like heck still this morning. Right leg has a bruise about halfway up the thigh where it hit the chair leg. BUT I can still walk, no real pain.

Oh: I have a good friend who recently broke her foot. I asked her how she did it, and she started giggling. She was getting ready for a social event and having some trouble getting her shoes on. One went on easily, but the other didn't want to go. She tried stomping on that one, trying to get her foot to go in--seems she was in a hurry. Then she said, very calmly, "Don't ever do that." Five minutes later, she couldn't put that foot to the floor. It was broken. So there are two things to remember when getting dressed: (1) Don't stomp on your shoe, trying to get your foot into it, and (2) Take your shoes off before you try to put your pajamas on.

I hope all of you are doing well and not conducting yourselves in a similar manner. Love you, and God bless.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I'm Not READY!!!

I just got word from my daughter that my grandbaby is coming a week early, around August 23 or 24! I am really excited, but I'm not ready to be a grandmother! I have no idea what to do to get to that stage. Am I supposed to babyproof my house? Do I need a crib, high chair, baby bath, stroller, carseat? This baby will be living in Chattanooga, and I will probably only see her once every two months, and then only if I go down there, so do I still need those things?

I've had eight and a half months (well, almost that long) to get ready for this baby, and I'm not there. Maybe it's because so many other things have been going on in my life, maybe it's because I just don't know what I need to do. I have been shopping almost since the day I found out she was on the way, but she won't need much of what I've bought. Her closet already looks like the baby department at Kohl's. She has plenty of folks to spoil her down in her own neighborhood.

What do I do to bond with this baby who will be living so far away? This is one of those times when I wish my mom were here. I could ask her about the bonding--how to be a grandmother. She did such a super job with my kids. They expect me to be the same sort of person. I have news for them. I never have been before now, and the actual arrival of this baby will NOT turn me into Granny. There was only one, and they were lucky to have had her.

I don't even know how to be a mother to my daughter who is about to become a mother. What do I need to do for her? Keep her house clean, cook for her, wash her clothes, sure, but what emotional support do I need to provide? How do I reassure her that she is going to be a fantastic mommy? What sort of gifts do I need to give her? Folks, any and all thoughts on this matter will be appreciated. Love to you all, and God bless.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Back to School (NOT!)

Annie suggested I share this bit from an email I wrote her this morning--good idea, Annie. Background information: School started today for some of my best friends. Please pray for Joyce, Sue, Vicki, and Marlyn. They're there, I'm not.

I am not much missing school's politics and messes, but I am missing
starting a new year. I keep thinking of things that I would do to decorate
my room or first-day activities I would do with my kids. I believe my theme
this year would have been something to do with pirates. I thought it would
be fun to piggyback off a kid-appropriate summer movie that had been hyped
all the summer--that seemed to make it more fun for the kids, too. And there
seem to be a lot of pirate things available at the stores. I probably would go more for the "treasure" aspect, though, since that's what the kids want, anyway. I might put together some sort of "treasure chest" for each child, made out of a brown lunch bag, or maybe even work out a "treasure map" where they could find their treasures in the classroom. Darn, I miss the creative end of that job!

A bunch of us got together last night for a "last hurrah" before school started. Just for the heck of it, I made little back-to-school gift bags for the
teachers that were going back, with different things that had significance,
like rubber bands to remind them to be flexible (I told one friend I put a bunch in
there, because I figured she would be snapping hers pretty quickly). I have
the list on a word document. I really liked this list, because it had
scriptures with it, one for each item. I added some stuff of my own, though,
and didn't get a scripture for any of those items. I added buddy bars (to
remind them to get a buddy and enjoy school together), reward stickers (for
the teachers, not the kids, to remind them that they deserved a reward for
what they did to educate kids), and Pop Rocks (to remind them that teachers
rock the world). They seemed to be delighted.

If any of you would like to make a gift bag for your child's teacher, just let me know and I'll send you the list. The items are not expensive and the bag won't take up much of your child's backpack space. Love to all, and God bless.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Prayer requests

Seems like lots of folks are back from vacations now. The folks in Frankfort are already in in-service, with opening day on Monday. I had a back-to-school dream recently--same place, same folks, but I wasn't teaching. I was just visiting. I was upstairs in the copy room running something off for a friend, and I met my replacement. She lived in Georgetown and was asking about the possibility of a ride--sorry to tell you this, sis, but it isn't going to happen. I wonder how long I'll keep having these dreams? I wonder if they'll be like the "final exam" dream that continues for years and years after a person graduates from college.

Another recurrent dream, possibly brought on by Lydia and her baby-to-be: I dream that I'm pregnant, and that the pregnancy keeps going on and on for ever. Most recently, I dreamed that I had given birth, but that the baby was already a three-year-old Annie, or at least that was what I thought. Then Lydia found the REAL baby in a bassinet in the living room, under some blankets. He/she/it was okay but hungry--no telling how long it had been there without eating! I didn't get a chance to change its diaper before I woke up, so I don't know if it was a boy or a girl. There is some truth to that old joke about why women my age don't have babies--we'd for sure forget where we had put them!

Family updates and prayer requests:

1. Ann has a job! She will be teaching preschool in a Christian school near her apartment. Everyone is delighted for her. I don't know when she starts, but folks, I know she would appreciate your prayers. Daniel's family is much improved healthwise, but he really misses them. Pray that paperwork goes well, and that they will get a chance to be together soon.

2. Everett is going jet-skiing this weekend and rock-climbing next weekend with different groups from his church--college one week, middle school the next. Then immediately after that, he is leaving for Miami to help bring the Trinity University Miami branch's library into the 21st century. He and a team from the University in Deerfield will be there for a week. Pray for safety for both him and his campers and fellow team members. There is a lot of potential for danger in both situations, but also a lot of potential for fun.

3. Lydia's baby has decided she likes to sleep and live crosswise (breech) rather than head down. Right now it is less of a concern than it will be in five weeks or so, when it is time for her to come into the world. If she stays in her current position, Lydia will probably need a c-section. This is really causing her some worries, despite everyone's comments that c-sections are the way to go. I guess I passed that breech business on to my grandbaby--I did the same thing, resulting in my mom having to have a c-section. Shame on my lazy butt. I think she should name the baby Susan, just because of that. We're already showing similarities. Pray for Lydia's and Geron's peace of mind, and for Geron's continued support of her--he's been a Godsend so far.

4. David has a toothache and is going to need a root canal. His appointment isn't until the middle of August, which is no fun. Our dentist here at home has him on penicillin to prevent infection, but he is just toughing out the pain. You can probably figure out what and why to pray for him.

5. Me? Good news--I went in for my fourth or fifth diagnostic mammogram this morning, and I am now on the once-a-year screening schedule, rather than the twice-a-year diagnostic schedule! What a relief! Prayers of thanksgiving are appropriate here.

Well, now that you know more than you ever thought you would need to know about the Meadors family, feel free to pray for us as God puts it on your heart. Good night, and God bless.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Have You Missed Me?

This is Friday, day five of our sojourn with the Alurus. Need I say that we all stink by now? At least the Meadors' side of the family does, although we have had showers and brushed our teeth regularly. It's just time for us to get out of here, if we want to stay on the good side of our son-in-law #2. I told Annie the next time we came (and she didn't start screaming in horror), we would drag their bed into the living room and sleep in there, so that she and Daniel could have their bedroom back.

One might wonder how we spent fish day and the day Daniel took off work for vacation. Again, one might not, but I'm going to tell you anyway. On Wednesday, we spent most of the day running from grocery store to grocery store looking for lamb meat. Daniel wanted to fix lamb curry. Unfortunately, the grocery stores we tried here in Madison (Kroger's) and Hendersonville (Wal-Mart) had discontinued it. That was a big disappointment. I figure they will have a search on their hands like unto Little Bo Peep's. Wednesday afternoon, David fixed hamburger goulash along with corn, green beans, and sweet potatoes, for supper--it was supposed to be lunch, but it came ready closer to supper time. It was great. That night, Everett and I took our newly purchased pool noodles and headed toward the apartment complex swimming pool, only to meet Ann and Daniel on their way back from a walk with the news that the pool was closed. We went home, ate ice cream with Magic Shell, and conked out for the night.

On Thursday morning, everyone slept WAY too late. We had intended to head for the zoo at 8 or 9, but instead ended up eating "live" dosas that Daniel graciously cooked for us. We went to the Parthenon to see the statue of Athena, replicas of the Elgin marbles, and a nice little art gallery. After that we took Ann for a job interview and waited for her across the street at Jack-in-the Box. That was the entire family's first experience with JITB, and it is a nice little chain. We took our own sweet time eating lunch, saving Ann a french fry or two. When we picked her up, we took her to lunch at the same place. The woman at the counter got a kick out of Everett's comment: "You told us to come back soon--so we did." Gentle fun.

Daniel fixed supper for us--dal and rice. Really nice. After that, we went to the Ryman and saw Marty Stewart. That was a great show--a highlight of the trip. Eddy Stubbs, the announcer and a commentator on WJM, told us there was a difference between a concert and a show, and that Marty would do a show. He did. It was great. He had guests, Charlie Cushman, who plays banjo with Mike Snyder, Leroy Troy, a commedian and banjo player from Goodlettsville, the Sullivan family (also known to Everett as "Mighty Lemon Drops of Joy"), a gospel group--according to our family musicologist, the "first Bluegrass gospel group", and Connie Smith, Marty's wife. Did I say it was a great show?

Now we're packed, waiting for the clothes to finish drying in the dryer, and Ann and I are leaving shortly to get her hair cut. Then we're off to Lydia and Geron's. This has been a really good week. Love to all, and God bless.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Stinky Day

Day three has arrived, after which both house guests and fish begin to stink--just ask Benjamin Franklin. Most of we (Daniel not included) did not leave this apartment until 12:00 noon. We spent our afternoon today eating lunch at a Mexican restaurant called El Rodeo. One of the highlights of the meal was trying to figure out the Jerry Springer-type show that was being broadcast in Spanish. It was way similar to what we see on Geraldo or Montel or something like that. We think it may have been that the teenaged/young adults on the show were rebelling against their parents. We weren't sure. We did manage to translate one caption, where a girl was saying, "Rufus (or whatever his name was) is not my father, and I have nothing but loathing for him." I think we got that one right. We didn't understand any of the other captions. Oh, yeah, the food was really good too. We ate all of it. Ann left a pile of greasy cheese on her plate and tried to tempt the rest of us with it, but we were really nearly full by then. We still had room for dessert, though. Flan, three-milk cake, and ice cream on a fried tortilla thingy. Good stuff. Oh, nearly forgot--Ann had a Malta drink. I thought it might be a root-beer thing, but it was more like carbonated molasses. Nobody wanted to share it or finish it off for her.

After that we spent some quality time buying toenail polish, face cleanser, a new camp chair (hers died), and groceries at Wal-Mart. Then we came home to read and nap some more. Not our typical vacation, but okay.

Love to all, and God bless.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Vacation, day 1, 2, and part of 3

Okay. We are now in Nashville, at the apartment home of Vijay Aniel Louise Aluru Meadors. (Daniel doesn't like that name) We are completing the second day of our stay, and tonight we will begin the third day, after which fish and house guests begin to stink.

We had a fairly uneventful trip down. The biggest excitement was when I (who drove the lead vehicle) got behind a group of bicyclists on Pisgah Pike. This is a rural road, barely more than one lane, with no shoulders and quite a few curves. I just followed the bikers. The folks in the car directly behind me thought that was pretty dumb, I know, but that's what I did. One time I pulled out in a half-hearted attempt to pass the bikes, but then I spied a curve up ahead and decided to stay where I was. The following car's thoughts when the bikers stopped: "Is Mama going to stop, too?" I didn't, I went around the slow group and then followed the lead cyclists until they pulled over, too. After that, there was nothing to talk about in the caboose car other than, "I don't think I understand how that woman uses cruise control." I didn't--I couldn't figure it out. At the rest stop above Bowling Green, Everett took over the driving of the lead car and the rest of the trip proceeded without incident, except that he didn't get the hang of the Taurus' cruise control, either.

Daniel and Annie cooked chicken byriani and chicken curry for supper for us on Saturday. They are cooking as many meals as we will allow. It was good--we ate all the curry, lots of the rice, and much of the byriani. And all the green beans--forgot those. David and I were given the bedroom, and Ann, Daniel, and Everett slept in the living room. We had a great night's sleep.

Sunday morning, breakfast was rosemary bread, followed by Panera bagels--great, by the way--at church. Ann and Daniel attend a Vineyard fellowship in Hendersonville, about 15 minutes from their house on a Sunday morning. The fellowship is a new plant, only having been in existence about 7 months. It is small in number but great in spirit. They are meeting in an apartment complex clubhouse. It is weird to sit around on couches and upholstered chairs finishing up coffee during a worship service, but weird in a nice sort of way. This Baptist from a very traditional Baptist background found the contemporary-style Vineyard service to be, in my thinking, very much like the fellowships the early Christians must have had. I would go again.

We lunched at Black-Eyed Peas, a family-style restaurant in Hendersonville. Although we didn't get there until around 1 on a Sunday afternoon, we still had a thirty-minute wait. The food was worth the wait, though. Everyone seemed to enjoy what they had, and group consensus seemed to be that we would eat there again, if only for the basket of hot rolls and cornbread they brought before the entrees.

Sunday afternoon we all slept, all of us. We awoke around 6 and went to Old Hickory Lake, again near Hendersonville. Daniel considers this "his lake". David said on the way that he was looking forward to seeing the mother elephants washing their babies with their trunks--he claimed he was surprised there were no elephants there. There were ducks, boats heading into the marina, families fishing, little children throwing bread to the ducks--really a great family place. I got a kick out of a young man and his son who walked fairly close to us. The little boy was leading the way, walking with his head back, his tummy out, swinging his arms just like his daddy. The daddy was following behind loudly complaining about this two-year-old who still dirtied himself and then made an even bigger mess before daddy got him cleaned up--Two year old didn't seem to mind, just marched on in his "manliness". Too cute.

We came home to a late supper, the last of the byriani, kichiri (or something like that), peanut chutney and celery. It was probably almost 11 before we finished supper, and then we were asleep again.

Right now, Everett is reading, Ann and David are napping, and I am about to finish up my blog post for today. Our plans for today are to go to the Goodwill Superstore and try to find the knife Ann accidentally donated a while back, and then to go buy me a pair of Croc's and maybe another pair of shoes to replace the bag of shoes we left at home.

Love to all, and God bless.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Official knee news

The doctor has called. At least his nurse called. He says all the x-rays show is arthritis in both the hip and knee. Why am I surprised? I could have told him that (and did, as a matter of fact). Why it gave out on me on Wednesday, no one knows. They said they could write me a prescription for pain meds if I need it, but I seriously do not need pain medication. I just need something to make my knee hold weight! They also told me if it wasn't better by Monday, to call. I guess that will have to wait until Monday a week. We're still going on vacation!

Love to all, and God bless.

Knee News

There isn't any. I can hobble to the john, I can hobble to the computer, but I don't do anything in the kitchen or anywhere else in the house--except my recliner.

I guess we'll hear later today, and if, and when, I do, I'll try to spread the news. I did sleep well last night, though, and got to the bathroom this morning with a minimum of stumbling. Love to all, and God bless.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Blog Burnout

I'll try to post sooner or later, folks--right now I seem to have creative burnout.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Sin of omission

I forgot! Good night, and God bless.

MVB for MVP, part 2

Correction to last post: Libby said I had a lot of my details right in the last post, except that her mom died five days before Christmas after my mom married my dad, so Mom wasn't there at the time, and she was around 8 when her dad died.

Soooooo we have a ten-year-old orphan living with her grandmother. We visited Granny and Libby when I was little. I remember on one visit, Libby took me to the store near their house. About all I remember about the store was the wooden floor, and that I wasn't tall enough to see over the counter. (As far as I was concerned, stores didn't start selling merchandise until I was about six--then I was tall enough to see what was there.) I also remember the smell of roasted peanuts. We probably bought candy, since Libby was a big candy kid--candy and soft drinks. Daddy said she would have a bowl of chili and an RC for breakfast as often as she could.

When Libby was 16, about to be a senior in high school, Granny got pretty sick. She wasn't able to take care of Libby anymore by herself, not that Libby was a problem, just that Granny wasn't well. They moved to Eminence and moved in with Mama, Daddy, Mike and me. That was so much fun. Libby would play with us and take us to the drug store for ice cream. She also walked to school with me. I started the first grade the same year she started her senior year, and we were both in the same school. I loved having an older sister around. There are pictures of me dressed up in her prom dress. I also remember being so envious of her getting to go to Florida on the senior class trip! We never even got to do that when I graduated from school, 12 years later.

Libby said Tuesday that Granny lived long enough to get her raised. She picked out Gene Banta for Libby. Gene was the older brother of one of Libby's school friends, Naomi. He had three sisters, ranging in age from senior in high school to a second-grader. I'm sure Daddy checked out his background--Gene was from a farm family. His father died when he was a boy, in a farm accident--his tractor turned over on him. So he and Lib both had grown up without a father at home. Once they were dating steadily, Granny died. Libby continued living with us and moved with us to LaGrange. She and Gene got married at the Methodist Church in Eminence the year after she graduated from high school. Pretty soon after that, Gene was in the Army, and Martha Ann was on the way.

After Martha was born, Libby was still living in LaGrange. She had a little apartment not far from our house. From the apartment, she moved into a trailer, then into again into another trailer, still in LaGrange. I loved to get to sleep over at her "house". Pretty soon, Gene was home from the Army, and the boys were coming along regularly--David, then the three younger ones, Jimmy, Mark, and Kenny Mike, five children under the age of 7, I think. A full house! Libby said the other day that she had always envied her next-door neighbor and life-long friend Alma as a child--Alma had maybe upwards of 8 siblings--so she decided to have a big family, too! What I also remember her telling me, though, was that all Gene had to do was sneeze, and she was pregnant. I remembered that when I had my own family and tried to keep my David's allergies under control.

By then they had moved to Louisville. I was in high school, and Libby was busy raising children. We loved to have her and her family come to visit, and we loved going to visit them. We also liked to take the kids places. Once we took Martha and David to the circus, at Freedom Hall in Louisville. They looked so cute. Martha had her hair French-braided--did I mention that Libby was a whiz with hair?, and David had on this cute little suit with button-up short pants that he had worn as a ring bearer in one of Gene's sisters' weddings. David did NOT like the noise at the circus--he cried, and Daddy had him in his lap, with his hands over his ears. About halfway through the circus, David had to go to the bathroom. Daddy had a dilemma--here was this little fellow who wouldn't let him take his hands off his ears, but he HAD to take him to the bathroom. Finally David agreed to walk out, holding Daddy's hand, and they went to the BR. When they got to the john, Daddy proceeded to unbutton the shorts--maybe six buttons. They were like sailor pants and buttoned on either side. Once he got them undone, he found out that wasn't necessary, that David still sat down to pee, so all he really had to do was to pull them down. That story got a lot of mileage in years to come.

Okay, Libby sounds like a nice enough person, right? I'm sitting here trying to figure out how to convey to you how special she is, and I think it's going to be a while before I get that figured out--look for more on Libby in another post.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

MVB Party for our family's MVP, Part I

Her eminence asked me about the Mitral Valve Birthday Party, so here goes.

You have read references to my cousin Libby in the blog. If God only allows one good thing to happen to you for the rest of your lives, and you get to choose what it is, meeting Libby and becoming a part of her extended family should rank pretty high up there on your list. Libby was one of the sisters I didn't have but SHOULD have. She is the only child of my mother's sister Florence.

Here's the kind of person Florence was: she didn't have a middle name, so when people asked her what her whole name was, she would say, "Florence Ann Rebecca Tincher". (You might notice that two of my children also have the names Ann and Rebecca.) I never got to meet Florence, since she died before I was born. She had rheumatic fever as a child and had a weak heart. That didn't stop her from being a wild, fun-loving person. We have pictures of her where she has this great, free-spirit, beautiful smile on her face. (My daughter Ann bears an uncanny resemblance to her.) Florence was several years older than Mom, old enough that Mom was her bratty little sister. Mom said she used to love to dress up in Florence's clothes (and get in trouble for it). Mom also remembered going to Nashville with Florence on a bus to see the Grand Ole Opry. Mom said she hated the Opry--but sometimes now I wonder if she really did.

Florence married Herb Bynum. I have no details of their romance or early married life, but I bet Libby does. All I know about Herbie was that he had red hair, he was a barber, and he had tuberculosis. At the time that he got sick with TB, the accepted treatment was isolation in the Waverly Hills TB sanitorium in Louisville, so Herb went there, leaving Florence and baby Libby with my granny, Florence's mom. Herb died way young, maybe when Libby was around six years old.

Florence made a living for Libby and herself, and helped to support my Granny, with whom they lived. My mom also lived there at the time. Florence Ann Rebecca worked really hard, maybe at Steiden's Grocery, a hat factory, seems like a dry goods store (think Dillard's, you young folks). One day two or three days before Christmas, when Libby was still a little thing (maybe about 8 or 9), Florence came home from work and told Granny that she thought she'd lie down for a while. When she hadn't awakened after a couple of hours, someone checked on her and found she had died. Too early a loss of one of the world's great people, in my opinion.

All this knowledge to get to the place where Libby was an orphan at the ripe old age of 10. How that affected her life is the subject of a future post.

Love to all, and God bless.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Reunion update

We decided not to go to the Brumback reunion. Libby called David while I was out running errands and said she and Dexter weren't going. When I got home, I talked to Linda. She hadn't left LaGrange yet, so she didn't go to the official Brumback reunion either. It just isn't the fun it used to be. There are so few people there that I know--David seems to know more of them than I do. And we never see them or contact them during the year--no phone calls, no Christmas cards. We do occasionally run into Franklin at Libby's.

I believe Libby's house is our new reunion headquarters. We are going there tomorrow after church. We do have to stay at church for the whole service, though, since the choir is singing. I believe, just for old time's sake, that I may wear a skirt and a shirt, with a pair of shorts underneath--or at least in a bag in the car! I'm not sure what I'll take--maybe a broccoli slaw. David says we won't take dessert, that there is always plenty of that--and boy, is he right!

Tuesday, the official Mitral Valve Birthday, Libby invited us to come to Louisville again and to bring Sam, Ting, and baby Alex with us. Sam said they were looking forward to the "party". We'll probably bring Aniel too, since they are supposed to be in town Monday afternoon and night. Libby said there wouldn't be as many folks there, since the main part of her clan was gathering on Sunday. I know there are folks who will enjoy the change of pace from the usual gatherings.

I love you all, and God bless.


Read Julie's blog, folks. She has a gift. It's called Mental Meanderings. Here's the url: Since I still haven't managed to get the kinks worked out as to posting links, you will have to copy and paste. But I guarantee it is worth reading. Love to all, and God bless.

Friday, June 30, 2006


Well, folks, it's time for me to live in the past for a while. The Brumback reunion is tomorrow at noonish, at the Ruritan Club in Mt. Eden. For those of you who don't know (and those who have forgotten), my granny, Attie Dennie, was a Brumback before she married Add Tincher. That was a pretty cool combination of names, Addie and Attie. She had three sisters, Blanche, Stella, and Mattie Ann. She also had a bunch of brothers, one named Marshall, and three or four others.

As to the next generation Brumbacks, there is Ruth from Aunt Stella's family, Roger and Glenn from Aunt Matt's family, and nobody from Aunt Blanche and Granny's family. Aunt Blanche had one daughter, Helen, deceased, and two granddaughters, Wilma and Wanda, who more than likely won't be there. Granny Tincher had a slew of children--Harvey (father of Pat and Marshall--not looking for them to be there), Jim (father of Jimmy, Joe, and Louie--all dead), Josephine (mother of Joanne--she won't be there), Florence (mother of Libby--she says she's coming),Ed (father of Lena (dead), Linda, Lolly, and Little Eddie--Linda says she is coming), and Anna May (mother of me and Mike--I'm going, I guess, but not Mike). Now you know about all you need to know about the family tree.

We used to have these reunions in Cherokee Park, at Big Rock in the Beargrass Creek. Those were fun times. They were always on Sundays, since folks used to work on Saturdays back then. My uncle Jess, Aunt Blanche's husband, would go to the park bright and early and stake out our area. They may have reserved it ahead of time. At our house, we would go to Sunday School. I would get to wear a skirt and shirt that day, not a dress, since we would be leaving as soon as SS was over. I would even sometimes wear my shorts under my skirt! Those of you who grew up wearing shorts to school cannot imagine the feeling of recklessness that went along with that! Right after Sunday School, we would pack up our stuff. We had an old Coca Cola cooler that Daddy would fill with ice. Mama would have fried chicken, orange ade, and my cousin Linda says she also brought corn pudding. I don't remember that, probably because I didn't eat it. I know I wanted to be in the front of the line, because my mama's chicken always went really quickly. A special treat were the bottles of pop that Uncle Ed brought--he managed a grocery store, and he always brought the soft drinks.

After the meal, we would get to wade in the creek. That was so much fun. It was considered dangerous, since rumor had it that a child had drowned there, but as long as there were a few adults with us, we could get in the water. And we were sort of taking a chance wading there, because up until then there was a very serious threat that we might possibly get polio from the creek--no one knew at that time what caused the disease, or how it was spread. My cousins Lena and Lolly both had polio. Lena was really crippled up from it,even spending some time in an iron lung, but Lolly got through pretty much unscathed.

Reunion day was really a special day. We didn't have to go to church that night, another treat. It was fun to watch the aunts be silly with each other. Aunt Matt and Aunt Jo loved to play around. Aunt Matt would do crazy things like wear two shoes that didn't match, just to be funny. When Everett was a baby, we took him to probably one of the last reunions at Cherokee Park. He had a pair of red jockey shorts (just for cute--he was still in diapers). Mama told me to put them on him, and to be sure to show them to Aunt Blanche, because she would get a kick out of them. She did, and that was probably one of the last times I saw her. She died the next spring.

Those were the good old days. I hope you are making memories for your children and significant others! Love you, and God bless.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Who'd like to go first?

I have an idea. Let's just chat amongst ourselves. Who wants to make the first comment?

Monkey Mama Makes Misstep

I started off really well today. Got up, made my bed, got dressed to my shoes, washed my face, combed my hair, started cooking breakfast, took my meds, and went out to get the newspaper.

At the end of the drive, just as I was stepping onto the road, I once again tripped over my clumsy feet and had that horrible feeling you get when the ground comes rushing up to meet you. Both knees, both hands--what a mess. I was kneeling there like Gideon's soldiers at the brook when I heard a car starting up back down the street and figured I'd better get back up and get the da-- paper. Which wasn't there.

You see, David worked in the body shop today. That meant he left really early, about half an hour before he usually leaves. At that time of the morning, the paper usually isn't here. So I get it on body-shop days. ONLY this morning, no paper in the mailbox. As I hobbled back in, I speculated on whether we had paid that bill, or whether it was one of those that we have gotten smart enough to let it be paid automaticly.

In the house, I cleaned up my poor knees with dial soap and at the same time cleaned my slightly skinned right hand. The left knee was bleeding much more than the right, but it doesn't appear to need suturing. The right one is just skinned. Neither hand is hurt worth mentioning. I went out to the kitchen, took 2 ibuprofen for the knees, got my breakfast, and checked David's end of the table. The paper was there. Apparently it came early today.

So now I'm sitting around with two skinned-up knees. I've had ice on the left one. It's swollen, but probably no broken bones. I'm wondering what kind of bandaids I need for the knees. The booboos are really too big for the cutesy ones, but I want something on them anyway. Anybody have suggestions? Love you all, and God bless.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Vacation, 3

I think we have about decided to take our vacation in Tennessee this year, unless David surprises me with something unplanned and spontaneous. Instead of going to Gatlinburg, we'll probably go somewhere between the two sissies (Lydia and Annie), if we can find a place we can stand to be for any length of time in that area. I think going off on a vacation like this is a whole lot like going on a vacation to Mt. Sterling, when it isn't Court Day--or Muddy Ford, for that matter--but parents do what they have to do to keep peace in the family.

Everett may be going camping the weekend before shutdownweek. His current idea is to leave Vernon Hills on Sunday evening, and then the three of us leave together for the boonies the next day. David says, "So it's one of those leave in the middle of the week vacations and then only stay a few days?" Sort of looks like it now.

Like I said up in the first sentence, "we have about decided". Folks, that is not final. We are still open for suggestions, although San Antonio and Phoenix are pretty much out of the picture at this time. Love you all, and God bless.

Friday, June 23, 2006


Since I be a monkey mama, I figured you would appreciate this monkey joke from

Today's CleanPun - "Monkey Poker"

Q: Why don't the monkeys in the jungle play poker any more?

A: There are just too many Cheetahs.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What constitutes a vacation, Part 2

I have found a vaccine for knock-knock jokes and silly songs! It's called posting!
Funny--when I was a kid, I thought posting was something you did on your horse when it was trotting.

On to what makes a vacation. In addition to not wanting to ride in the blessed car anymore once we get there, I also don't want to have to move my stuff in or out more than one time! I believe that is because I always take too darned much stuff, and I never know what I'll need at any particular stop. Maybe if I knew how to pack, it wouldn't be a problem. I just know I hate to haul that stuff in and out, especially when stairs are involved. And let's not even talk about how miserable it is if you pack your stuff up to leave and you end up staying another night and you can't get your trunk open, and your daughter has to go through the backseat to retrieve your stuff--we weren't on speaking terms for a while after that.

Here's another thing. I want to be able to walk to whatever I am going to do or wherever I am going to eat. If the place isn't in walking distance, I want there to be public transporation. All my life I have enjoyed public transportation, from my first train ride on.

Since you all like to hear stories, I'll tell you about my first train ride. My family was living in Eminence, Ky, about 40 miles from my granny's home in downtown Louisville. My mom liked to go visit her mom. We usually went by car. Here's the kicker--I have always, ALWAYS, been prone to carsickness. We had a regular puke stop on the trip. My folks thought that maybe making the trip from Eminence to Louisville by train would help with that carsick thing. I will admit that I really enjoyed that ride. We went through a little town called Jericho. When the conductor called out Jericho, I started singing that song about Joshua and the battle of Jericho. Since I was a cute little kid, nobody seemed to mind. I don't have a distinct memory of the trip after that.

Apparently the rocking motion of the train was not what the folks hoped it would be. What I know, because I've been told, is that I was so carsick by the time we got to Louisville, that I stayed in bed for three days. And believe it or not, I was a pretty active four-year-old!

Maybe that's why I don't like the car rides. Gee. I guess I qualify for rocket-science now. Good night and God bless.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

What actually constitutes a vacation? Part One

I have a dear friend who shall remain nameless. To this friend, any time when a person is not working is vacation. I don't feel that way. I think there is more involved.

Yesterday I tried to analyze what actually makes a vacation a vacation. I tried to figure out what I wanted or didn't want in one. For one thing, I don't really care how far I have to drive to get to my vacation spot. But once I get there, I don't want to get in the car again for any length of time. This is awkward, since my better half (and he really is) considers driving part of the vacation. Any day that DOESN'T include taking the car out for three hours or so is a bad day for him. If we DO go for one of those three-hour+ rides, there had better be something good to do wherever we end up!

That probably goes back to the childhood trips. When I was little, before we picked motels with at least swimming privileges, we would go for a ride alongside the creek to find a "wading spot". Criteria--it had to have a good place to park, and the creek had to be accessible without pylons and ropes. The first one we found (which became our favorite), Daddy said, "Well, we can go in here, but I don't think we'll be able to do much swimming! It only looks about knee deep." Ah, the deceptiveness of clear water! It was about five feet deep, which was plenty deep enough for swimming. Actually, though, we (at least Mom and I) didn't do much swimming. We sat on rocks and let the water swirl around us. We also picked up rocks to take home. Somehow those rocks weren't quite as lovely once we got them out of the creek. But we had fun.

Going to the wading place was an acceptable drive. Also acceptable was the ONE annual trip over the mountain to Cherokee. No more than once. Daddy and Mama didn't like Cherokee all that much, and Mama was afraid of heights.

A third acceptable trip--up the mountain to the Chimneys picnic grounds. This was acceptable because we would eat there, we could wade in the creek, and we could look for bears. Gee, that was the whole point of the mountain drives, as far as we were concerned, seeing the bears. The parks system has done us all a disservice by removing the bears from the sides of the roads! Who wants to ride all that distance just to see mountains? One trip to the picnic grounds was especially memorable--a bear came down the creek while folks were wading!

Otherwise, just let me stay put. I don't want to spend my whole vacation doing recreational car riding.

Love everybody, and God bless.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

My mini-vacation

I went to Nashville this past week. I didn't get to see the Grand Ole Opry or the Parthenon or anything like that, but I sure did get to see a lot of the drivers' licensing bureau! (Well, not a lot really, but I saw it for a loooooooooong time.)

Ann and Daniel agreed to put me up in their living room for two nights, which was nice, and I in turn agreed to help Ann do some things she couldn't get done without access to a car. We managed to get to Big Lots, assorted thrift stores and Dollar Stores, Target, Wal-Mart, Kroger's, the Social Security office, and above-mentioned drivers license place. Those places are all within about a ten-mile distance of Ann's apartment.

Unfortunately, on the third day, when house guests and fish begin to stink (just ask Ben Franklin), I was stupid enough to try to open my trunk by pulling up on my car key. It bent, really bad. I was already not in a great mood, since I had been there longer than I anticipated (by about three hours), was missing a good party, and was going to have to drive after dark on the BG Parkway (not a good idea). Ann got the key straightened out enough so that I could get the car started, but then the key wouldn't come out of the ignition, so I was forced to leave it there and to leave the doors unlocked. Not good, especially when a person has to attend to nature at a rest stop or something.

Daniel was sweet enough to offer to take us to supper, so I decided right then and there to stay another night and try going back on Friday. After supper, Ann crawled through the back seat into the trunk and pulled out stuff I would need for the night--I had already packed. Then Daniel offered to take us to the Opry Land Mall. Since we had spent the better part of two days shopping, that didn't interest me. So he decided to cook curry instead--I don't know why, but Ann says that he does that a lot a while after supper, when he decides he hasn't had enough to eat.

Sooooo at 9 o'clock Nashville time (10 o'clock in KY), Daniel and Ann start working on curry. They decided to try out the food processor that Ann had gotten from Granny's stuff. It works great--it's just noisy as heck. Pretty soon we hear a stomping on the ceiling of their apartment--apparently the neighbors didn't appreciate the racket. They went on with their cooking, but cut everything else up by hand. The curry was ready about 11:30 KY time, and yes, I did eat some, and NO, it didn't interfere with my sleep. It was pretty good! The next morning I left and drove almost straight back to KY.

A side topic: Ann and Daniel are both pretty darn good cooks. They're not afraid to try new things and seem to learn from their mistakes, which is something more of us ought to do! Ann fixed a great Rachel Ray recipe for chicken and dumplings, she had a good taco dish for lunch the day I got there, she fixed some interesting hamburgers that were well-seasoned (and she knows now there was too much seasoning in them), and Daniel fixed a good chicken curry. We don't have to worry about them starving to death.

In addition, I got to witness the way they interacted with each other, just normal banter, and they are great friends. I really appreciated that. It looks like they are each other's best friends, not just each other's spouses. They are excited about their apartment and are slowly gathering some furniture. They get excited about the littlest things, like a new mop bucket or a new dust pan, and are seemingly content to make do with what they have until they get newer stuff. I don't think I heard a single cross word the whole time I was there.

They are also excited about their church. They took me to see it. It was after dark when we got there, so I didn't really get to see the lovely landscaping. But it was lit enough for me to see the fountains and some of the gardens. The church is WAY small, only about 10 people--after all, it is a church start! I think that is pretty neat, that they are having a married-life start and participating in a church start at the same time. The pastor and his wife are friendly to them, which is nice--they even went out to eat with them on Sunday. I think that's going to be a good church for them. I just wish it were a little larger, but it will grow.

I guess that's enough for now, folks. Good night, and God bless.

Monday, June 12, 2006


I can't get it out of my system. Summer is the only time for vacations, and only when school is out, of course. No, all those years teaching in the year-round system didn't change my mind. Summer is vacation time.

Lydia wants to know about vacations when I was a child. Starting in 1956, when I was 9 and Mike was 6, every family vacation was in Gatlinburg. Vacations almost always started the week of July 4th, especially if the 4th was on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. That way Daddy got an extra "vacation" day. We would load the car and start out pretty early in the morning or maybe even the afternoon after work. Packing usually consisted of a suitcase each for Mom, Mike, and me, a cardboard box with the iron, toaster, and maybe waffle iron, and about 20 paper sacks. (Daddy was big on packing in sacks)

The ride down to Gatlinburg was often broken up by a night's stay at Corbin. First it was Yeary's motel, then when we got old enough to enjoy swimming pools, it became the Holiday Motel and later the Holiday Inn. When we stayed at Yeary's, we took a croquet set--mind you we were only there one night, but Daddy wanted us entertained! He would set up the croquet set in the Yeary's front yard. Of course Corbin wasn't the first stop--back in those days, you had to stop for gas ever other town, or so it seemed to me. We were allowed to buy a treat at ever other gas station--fun, fun.
You know, I don't remember but once going to Cumberland Falls! That's probably because Daddy was afraid we'd fall into the river, and Granny was afraid of heights.

For years we stayed at the same place in Gatlinburg, Cox's Moonwink Motor Court. We often had the same little rental unit! That was how Granny knew to pack the iron and toaster--they had an ironing board and toaster, but she liked hers better. Sometimes she even took her electric skillet. Moonwink didn't have its own pool--it had "swimming privileges" at another motel. We could really jam folks into those units--one summer we were already in town and ran into friends of the family on the street. They had two sons around Mike's age and a little daughter, sort of an afterthought (maybe eight years younger than the younger son). Daddy asked them where they were staying and they didn't have a place yet, so he offered to let them stay with us--a three-bedroom unit with 9 folks in it. Do I need to say we were well acquaint by the time they left?

I'll share more on the next post. Start planning YOUR vacations, so that you can make memories for YOUR kids to blog about! And Everett, buy a lottery ticket! I promise you Grandma won't mind. If she does, Grandpa and Granny will set her straight. Love you, and God bless.

Friday, June 09, 2006


VBS is over for another year. The first-graders visited a Hawaiian volcano tonight. I don't know why we were there. Our commandment was "You shall not covet." Of course they were pretty clueless about what coveting was, other than that it was a bad thing. The teachers in the volcano area performed a skit about Ahab, Nabob (or whoever he was), and the prophet Elijah. Apparently Ahab was coveting N's vineyard. As background information, the teacher introduced some of the vocabulary, like vineyard and prophet. She asked the kids what a prophet was. One said she thought a prophet was a winemaker. A second one said she thought a prophet was a chair--now where in the world did that come from? Don't you sometimes wish you could be inside a little kid's head for a while and see where they get their ideas?

The teacher also read the kids a story about a cat who lived in a church. Towards the end of the book, the cat was getting old and sick, and the vet suggested they have it euthanized. (I think she said "help it die") A youth who was working in the department asked me where cats went when they died. I told him some folks believed that their pets would be in Heaven with them. He then asked me, what if you have a really evil pet? I jokingly said, I guess it would go to pet Hell. Then I told him that I thought cats and other pets just decomposed and enriched the soil. Then he wanted to know what made them alive in the first place? I pretty much didn't want to go there, because I could see the possibility of a question like, why are people different from other animals? and I didn't feel like discussing that with a 13 year old. Anyway--at the end of the story (which had been going on while the two of us were talking) he said, I'm going to tell those little kids what really happens to pets when they die. I told him that probably wouldn't be a good plan, so he didn't do it.

At the end of the VBS commencement tonight, Brother Mac presented the same message he has been giving to the kids for the last four nights. They had an altar call, and I guess there were close to 15 kids who expressed an interest in learning more about how to be saved. That was rewarding, I know, for Mac. Three of family interest--Darlene's granddaughter, Peyton, and Rob's two oldest children, Benjamin and Sam. That Sam is one deep thinker. I wish I had a chance to work with their group.

Boy, I love working with kids--but in small doses! And I am really enjoying working with what I used to call the regular ed kids. It's fun to talk to some smart little folks once in a while. Now that VBS is over, I'll have to go a little more into the reinventing process. I don't guess I can make the rest-of-my-life's work (as Suze mentioned in her blog the other day) something as mundane as embellishing flip flops or knitting little hats. Not that I don't enjoy doing either, there just doesn't appear to be much of a call for it! Love you all, and God bless!