Thursday, November 29, 2007

Busy Day

As my regular readers (if there are any) know, it's Thursday, so it must be Friendship. Today was also hospital auxiliary, so I'm pretty pooped tonight. (Speaking of pooped, that's an interesting word to some of the internationals I know, especially in the context I just used.) ((Hmmmm, looks like a night for parenthetical comments.))

We played a new game in the toddler nursery today called "Who Poohed?" We had five toddlers today, although Fei Fei doesn't really qualify, since she isn't toddling yet. Anyway, one of the Japanese workers smelled that really ripe scent that all nursery workers have grown to love, and we went around like dogs, sniffing little behinds until we identified the culprit, Alistair. Of course it took a little work to finally find out who had made a deposit, not just had "poop gas", as Ann's friend Catbutt calls it.

Yumi attempted to pull down Alistair's pants to check, but he had on overalls underneath his buttoned-up jacket. Off with the jacket, down with the overalls, wait a minute, that "shirt" is fastened at the crotch, so off with the overalls, not just down. Yes, Yumi was right, it was Alistair. All this undressing took place as Yumi followed Al around the toddler play area. She then took him to the diapering area and changed him, and then the redressing took place all over the nursery. At least Al wasn't mad at her.

So that's how you play "Who Poohed?", or at least it was today.

Love to all, and God bless.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Not mine

Attention, anyone who was doing laundry at my house last week: The two pairs of black bikini panties, one with a chili pepper and the other with the words, "Shake it!", that you might have seen and I found in the wash, are NOT MINE.

Love to all, and God bless.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas is coming, my butt is getting fat...

Just a variation on the old song--I don't have a goose. Actually, my butt isn't getting too fat.

I opened a message from Flylady today about super cruising through the holidays. She said to decorate one area of the house, to spend a few minutes putting up one decoration. Well, I already know what that will be, the Santa Claus and elves that I put in a sled last week. I'll bring it up in just a minute, after I get dressed, check my sugar, and eat some breakfast.

What are you going to decorate today? Love to all, and God bless.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

We Gather Together...and then we come apart!

There's a line in the hymn "We gather together", a traditional Thanksgiving hymn at our church, which says something like, "He hastens and chastens, His will to make known."

Tonight at Christmas cantata rehearsal, I was not behaving myself properly. I have a habit of doing that. I have a habit of finding the ridiculous in the sublime, the unintended funny, the puns that weren't meant to be there, and bringing them to the attention of the choir. If anyone has ever been in choir with me, they know exactly what I'm talking about. I'm sort of like a nominally clean Robin Williams after a couple of Mt. Dews. Anyway, I kinda got off on one of my streaks tonight. About midway through the silliness, I recognized it as a result of the candy I had been eating before I left home and quit. But that didn't stop David from scolding me after it was over, despite the fact that I told him I KNEW what I was doing and knew it was wrong. Oh well.

Love to all, and God bless.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving dinner, the pajama party and Friday's lunch gathering

We had a good Thanksgiving at Caroline's this year. Our crew was a little later than we had intended in getting there (closer to 3:30 than 3, when the meal was supposed to take place), and a little smaller than we had intended (7 rather than 10), but we still were able to put together a good feast and a good time. We had plenty of food from the folks who were gathered there. Michael made one really great cheesecake and three chess pies, which for sure took honors in the dessert category! There were a number of good salads and raw vegetable dishes, plus a number of vegetable dishes (including cushaw), as well as the traditional turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. I contributed my hash brown casserole, purposely baked in a disposable pan so that I didn't have to bring back the leftovers, the traditionally forgotten jello salad (which was remembered again this year, so maybe the tradition is coming to an end), a new corn salad recipe I invented this year, scalloped oysters (parsley rather than cilantro this year), pumpkin cookies and cool whip, country ham (cooked and sliced by Mr. Mac and arranged by David), and two-bean green beans (green and kidney), also cooked by David. What a feed! And a very limited amount of stuff to bring back--a few cookies, some beans, and a little corn salad.

We entertained ourselves after dinner with a musicale. Virgil played guitar, accompanied by Laurel and Margaret (alternating) on the keyboard, and we sang hymns from a variety of hymnals. That is always fun, since not all the hymns are in each book, and when they are, the verses may vary. I kept Jennifer laughing by making up lyrics to hymns that didn't happen to be in our book (or had different lyrics, if they were). Actually, the adults had a pretty good time, just sitting around singing. Aunt Caroline was obviously not feeling well (she had a cold), since very little dancing took place. Aunt Margaret did get up and do some sort of Baptist-approved version of Caroline's country dancing--I even got it on video.

After the musicale, we headed back to Georgetown. Margaret rode with David and me, Jamethan rode with his mom and Everett, and Ann and Daniel brought up the caboose--well, who really knows which one was caboose? I just know we beat the "kids" here. We started setting up sleeping arrangements as soon as we got home: Jenn and Jamie, our bedroom; Daniel and Ann, guest bedroom; Everett, camp mat in the computer room; and everyone else (Margaret, David and me), the living room--Margaret on the hide-a-bed, David in the recliner, and me on the couch. Only no one was ready to sleep. Although we were back by 10:30, it was close to 2 by the time everyone was in bed. We were all curled up in the living room for quite a while, just chatting. Margaret said she was just loving the pajama party, so we kept at it, way too late for normal folks.

This morning, it was really difficult to get going again. We had intentions of going out at the stroke of 9 to buy a new dryer, but it was more like 10:30 or 11 when I went over to Goodyear and cast the deciding vote. I think we've picked a winner, and I hope it will be delivered this afternoon, before Mt. Washmore topples over and floods the basement with dirty clothes. Then I stopped at the grocery to pick up some things for the lunch we had planned with Sam, Ting, and Alex. I had wanted to buy a pumpkin pie, but there was not one to be found in Kroger's, nor was there any Cool Whip to use in a punch bowl cake! Last minute menu changes aren't always fun.

Soon after I got back from the store, David started cooking, Jenn and Jamie made plans to head to Mt. Sterling to see her aunt and uncle, Daniel left to experience the Black Friday shopping rush, David Roth called to tell us he was on the way to pick up his mom, and Glynda called to say she would definitely be here by 1:00. That meant 11 for dinner, at the kitchen table which seats 6. What to do? David kept cooking. Ann started unpacking china and silverware from the bottom of the hall tree. Dishes were washed. Clean tablecloths were located, as well as napkins. Still not enough seats...David said, don't worry, and kept cooking. The kids were sent on an expedition to locate a table in the basement--there are at least three possibilities, and they chose the correct one, with a little guidance from David. Then they brought it upstairs, cleaned it up, moved the hide-a-bed in the living room, and set up the table. Now there was enough seating for all concerned!

Good thing, too, because Sam, Ting, and Alex were ringing the doorbell. Pretty soon we were all seated at the two tables, one in the kitchen and one in the living room, dining on chicken and dumplings, California-blend vegetables, yeast rolls, green beans, and corn salad. Little Alex ate as much as they put in his bowl, and seemed to love every bite of it! He also enjoyed looking through the toy box and discovering the Grandfather clock and rhythm band instruments he had played with when he was here before. It was a good, relaxing, enjoyable meal, even though there was a HUGE amount of dish washing and furniture moving to be done.

Once again, I have to express a huge thanks to God for my wonderful husband. I sliced my thumb on a box of Press and Seal yesterday, and it is acting a little on the verge of infected today, so I am trying to keep it clean and out of the dish pan. He stepped right up to the plate, chopping everything, dishing it up in two sets of serving dishes, one for the kitchen, one for the other table, and making sure there was enough food for all. I love him so much. I know there are a million men for every one David--I'm so glad I got him.

Love to all, and God bless.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Random Thanks

The week of Thanksgiving has begun. This morning as I lay in bed (my own bed!), I gave thanks for the lovely bracelet my friend Tara sent me. It has six little flowers, one for each of the kids (birth, marriage, and grand), and I wear it LOTS. Thank you, Tara--I really do appreciate this gift! I also appreciate the friendship between your husband and my son, Everett. Thank you, God, for this wonderful family.

Let the thanks continue. Currently the population of 192 has increased by two, Everett and Ann. Thank you, Lord, that RIGHT NOW there is room for everyone! And thank you in advance that as the number increases this week from four to eleven, we will still be able to walk around here!

Thank You for my wonderful husband. This morning he quietly got up, got dressed, fixed his own breakfast, and left for work--before the crack of dawn--just like he has done every work day for the last nineteen years. Thank You for his faithfulness in supporting his family and for the fact that he ALWAYS kisses me good-bye before he leaves. Thank You for his willingness to step in when needed, as he did last night when he fixed supper for Everett and himself. And a special thanks for whichever one it was who began the clean-up!

Thank You for traveling mercies, which You bestow so often on us! Thank You for Everett's safe trip down from Vernon Hills, and for my safe trip to Franklin--a special side thanks that nothing happened to the car on the bridge near Weisenberger Mill, despite the horrible noise I heard! Thank You again for Ann's and my safe trip home from Franklin, for the little wonders You did such as letting Ann sleep during the mundane part of the drive so that she and I could both be awake and alert for the dull-as-dishwater stretch from Elizabethtown to 127.

One more quick thank-you--Thank You, Lord, for Ann's sense of humor! Especially thank You for the hilarious moment in the parking lot at the hospital in Frankfort where she was able to respond with grace to the ridiculous question, "Ann, why do I have a tail?"

Love to all, and God bless--more thanks on the way.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's Thursday, so it must be Thanksgiving!

At least at Friendship, that is. We had our annual Thanksgiving brunch today for the international ladies. Our church has been responsible for making salads for years and years, and this year was no exception. I was so proud of myself--I fixed a broccoli slaw and a corn salad yesterday afternoon (the ladies don't like sweets, we've been told, so no Jello salads). Then I took them to church and put them in the ice box last night so that I wouldn't risk forgetting them today.

This morning, I got up a little earlier than usual to meet Bobbie at church and pick up the salads, only Bobbie never showed up. So I went down and got the salads myself. I was a little concerned with my own stupidity when I realized that I had put MY two salads into the FREEZER, rather than the refrigerator. What a dunce! I tried nuking them for 2 minutes each in hopes of getting them to thaw a little, but they were still pretty much bricks of frozen food by the time we got to Lexington. (Where was Bobbie? Waiting for me at Cornelia's--Mary Beth told her she would pick up the salads.)

A nice lady at the church offered to take over the thawing of the salads. That was good, because we were all needed upstairs. We had 11 babies in the bed baby room. Little CiCi entertained us again by hollering at the top of her lungs, and yes, she had been fed and changed both. Nothing short of taking her back down to her mom seems to calm her right now, but we will keep trying. Toddlers had 7, including the pharoah and Cleo. The kids in there were pretty calm, but Yuki asked me if I would mind staying in there, since the workers were too shy to discipline little boss man. I said sure and used the teacher voice and look on him a couple of times. He is starting to pick up some English, as in "easy, easy," and "gentle". One time I caught him standing by the fence talking to an imaginary companion, great, dramatic, flourishing hand gestures, explaining something in Arabic. I have no clue what he was talking about, but it was fun to watch him. His sister Cleo was all smiles today. When it was time to go, Moe kept saying, "No home! No home!" and expressing his disappointment at having to leave.

I love Friendship.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Grandpa had a vacation (and I went, too)

For any of you who plan fall vacations in order to view leaf color, we've learned that the last week in October is one of the best weeks around here to view same. Only one other time in recent years have we happened to hit the hills at as good a time as last week, the year we drove the length of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Perhaps the drought this year has affected the lateness of the "bloom". All I know is that we did get to see a lot of lovely red, yellow, and orange trees.

We combined tree-viewing with family visiting and got to go trick-or-treating with the Princess. On Tuesday afternoon, we (along with her mommy) picked her up at the baby sitter's house. She was surprised to see Granny and Grandpa, but she seemed to recognize us right away. That always delights Grandpa. We ate supper at Lilly May's, a fine eatery in Red Bank, TN. Our waitress was dressed in a clown costume, including the make-up, and Fia spent a lot of the evening staring at her. Fia, of course, was costumed as a beautiful blue-eyed baby doll.

Halloween was fun from the very moment we woke up, since we woke up with the Princess. (Of course, we could have used a little more sleep...she seems to think whenever anyone sleeps over, it's a good time for her to be a night owl.) We got to baby sit all day, which is a hoot. Grandpa had never been involved with the baby-sitting end of the visit before, only being there on weekends, so he spent so much time smiling that his face hurt by the end of the day. We didn't keep to a schedule, but we had fun. How far off were we? Well, Fia was eating a cereal bar snack when we picked up her mom at 3:15, and she still hadn't had her lunch. (She really does love those toddler cereal bars.)

Wednesday night, we took a little pink poodle and went to Trunk-or-Treat at Grace Church of the Nazarene. This was Grace's first year to try trunk-or-treat, and they did a great job. It was also my first experience with the activity. I wish they had had similar activities when my own kids were trick-or-treating--so much safer, and a lot more fun for the grown-ups. Fia seemed in awe of the costumed grown-ups she saw, as well as the kids she ran around with on a semi-weekly basis. She pretty much just stared at everyone. I did catch one wide-eyed view of her looking up at Nanny, her babysitter, who had apparently been swallowed by a duck. (I've been looking for my camera so that I could post the picture, but GOK where it is.)

Did I mention we were on vacation? After the second all-night slumber party with Fia, we headed out for a chance to see some more trees. Grandpa had been wanting to see Fall Creek Falls, so that was our next destination. Beside the trees and the lake, there wasn't a lot to see there, since the drought had affected the amount of water going over the falls. It was more like Fall Creek Trickle. At least he got that out of his system. We spent the night at the lodge there (which is really nice, by the way).

The next morning (Friday), we headed out with no particular destination in mind and ended up in Corbin so that Grandpa could take care of business--which reminds me, I was supposed to do the same thing today and haven't done it. Yuck. On the way to Corbin, we went through the general stores at Muddy Pond and bought too much candy. We also stopped in Rugby for supper so that Grandpa could remind himself how much he likes shepherd's pie. And of course we saw a few pretty trees.

We were home on Saturday evening after a relatively uneventful trip up US 25--saw some more trees, by the way. Despite the time change, we managed to sleep in on Sunday, so I think we're pretty much caught up on sleep now. All in all, Grandpa had a pretty good vacation! (Me? I would have rather gone to Gatlinburg or Cherry Grove, but there's always next year, I guess.)

Just in case anyone is concerned, the one part of this vacation I would NOT pass up is the time I spent with the Princess and her folks!