Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Future Planning

This eggplant is what I have future plans for. We are looking forward to eggplant parmigiana...mmmmmm.......I can taste it in my mind right now! Looking more forward to the real thing, though! Woody got up super early and walked 12 miles. He has done a bit of garden is still so hot and no rain in the forecast (that I have heard of). I got up and worked for a while on my photos. Then after lunch I went to the library and worked with a co-library worker for several hours. We checked books in and shelved them and then started processing some books. We managed to get 12 books ready for the shelves...that is a good thing...almost emptied another box. We still aren't totally settled into the newly renovated library. We are "patiently" waiting for some cabinets to be built so we can get things put away...but I guess if we empty a couple of boxes in the meanwhile that will be good! I came home to unpack a box that came in the mail here today...some of the items were Christmas presents. So we have gotten underway with our Christmas shopping. Woody left a few minutes ago for his Fresh Encounters class at church. I'm going to go downstairs and rearrange and clean out a kitchen drawer (one of those cooking utensil drawers that end up a tangled mess). A couple of things that came in that box today are to go in that drawer and I'm going to try to make room for them!

We got an email from one of Woody's Vanderbilt research nurses today. It's always good to touch base with her. She was checking on Woody and to tell us a funny story. Sometime recently she was talking to someone about a possible treatment at Vandy for melanoma and that person started telling her about someone he had talked to about melanoma treatments. He mentioned that person had ended up going all the way to NIH for IL-2 and that that person hadn't known about his stage-4 melanoma till after a really bad bicycle accident. She told this fellow that she knew who he was talking about! Woody has talked to quite a few people about his melanoma treatments due to others recommending that a friend or family member talk with I hope that the blog is a way for some to read and find out about the path that Woody chose to follow...AND of course it is good for other melanoma patients to see positive outcomes of treatments such as Woody has seen to this point. Anyway, Woody's story has returned to Vanderbilt...glad that it is his story and not Woody!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Today's Tuesday...I think!

Tonight's picture is just for a smile...this is a tree around the corner and down the street from us. It always makes me grin when I go past it. Woody got up early and went on a four-mile-walk. He doesn't usually walk in the morning on the days that he walks to the prayer room, but today he did. He left a while ago heading off to the prayer room at church...two walks for him today. He has spent most of the rest of the day reading. He was about finished with a book the last time I walked past him in the family room. This morning, I got a phone call from our college granddaughter. We had a nice chat. She seems to be settling in very well to college life. She had finished with her morning she had, at that point, been to three of her five classes. Since talking to me she has gone to her two other guess she knows what is ahead of her for this semester. After she finished talking with me, she planned to go to a museum that is on campus and then head to the cafeteria for lunch. She sounded very upbeat...that is good! I have done about as little as possible today...sort of taking it easy...having a few extra aches and pains that I get periodically due to my Transverse Myelitis. But I have managed to make two more Christmas that is good. I can't believe that tomorrow ends August!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Meanderings

This has been sort of an upside down day for me. I had trouble sleeping last pretty much ended up going to bed when Woody got up to go on his walk. I slept for several hours, but neglected to ask Woody how far he walked today. When I couldn't sleep last night I started sorting pictures...something that mounts up here in the computer till I find "time." So last night in the middle of the night I guess you could say that I found time. I moved quite a few pictures into their proper spots on two Passport external hard drives...hoping that if one of those fails that I will still have the other. I got up and got dressed and not long after I was up moving around, a friend called asking if I wanted to go to JoAnn's in Murfreesboro. So I headed off with her and her mother. We had a good time and I must admit that I helped JoAnn's economy. At first I didn't think that I was going to get any fabric, but did find art supplies for the grandchildren's art classes that I hadn't been able to find here in we have more art mediums to experiment with. Oh, boy! In the end I did find some fabric...fabric for the traditional knit gown, hat, and matching blanket for our new little boy-to-be to wear home from the hospital...this is a pattern that I have made since it will be my fourth time to make this little gown and hat and matching blanket. When I got home from Murfreesboro, it was time to get our supper ready. Woody helped me get it ready. We ate and then he headed out the door to go run an errand and then go to Monday night prayer meeting at church. So as you can see Woody's and my paths have just barely passed as we did today's meanderings!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cultured Sunday

We both went to the early service at church and then to Sunday School. In church this morning a missionary to Russia we were exposed to Russian culture very early in our day. Woody taught his sixth-grade boys class. We came home and had a light lunch and then headed on down the highway to Lebanon, Tennessee...about 1 1/2 hours away from Tullahoma (east of Nashville). We were going to our next cultural event of the day...Melany's first art exhibit as a graduate student. She is attending Cumberland University in Lebanon working on her Masters Degree in Art. This summer she took her first two classes in the program...a painting class and a pottery class. She and her fellow students in those classes have their work on display and today was the reception for them and a showing of their art pieces. Melany's technique in her painting class was very unique...I'm not sure that I can describe it adequately and I know that the pictures don't do it justice. She painted with acrylic paints on glass...let it dry...then peeled it off...and then cut it into small pieces (some very small) and then made her paintings much like mosaics. Her painting of the dragonfly and then the two lizards were done in that manner...some of the pieces of paint are very thin and some are quite thick...the wings of the dragonfly are long pieces of paint. The background for the two lizards looks just like they are on sand...she put pumice in her paint medium to make it look grainy. The piece that is hanging above the picture of the two lizards (in the picture where Melany is standing) was made in her pottery class. The dean of the art school inspired this piece (he made a suggestion and Melany flew with it!) can see the details of the lizard's head just below that was made on individual tiles and all the little scales are made of little balls of another mosaic of sorts! Then the tiles were glazed and fired and later put together like a puzzle and mounted on a board to make the picture. I tried to capture the fact that the glaze Melany used makes it shiny...looks rather metallic...a coppery tone...but it was hard to capture. Let's just say that hours and hours and hours and...(you get the picture!) of work went into this lizard pottery tile picture and the dragonfly and lizard paintings. In the painting class they were supposed to paint three large paintings in the three weeks that they had the class. The professor realized that Melany was having to put in much more time doing her paintings this way so she was allowed to "just" do two. Be sure to click on the collage twice so you can see the details better. Woody saw a theme in Melany's pictures/pieces...dragonfly and lizards. The chalice that she made in her pottery class also has a lizard wrapped around its stem. Her teapot is very unique too. I have tried to include pictures of the entire pottery piece or painting and then some of the details of her pottery and paintings in tonight's collage. I would vote Melany's work as the most unique of the exhibit. The bottom picture on the right shows Woody and me with Melany, Wade, and our grandson Alex. I look like a shrimp!!! Everyone else seems to be about the same height...and looks like Alex has just about surpassed the others! Erin is missing from the picture as they took her to East Tennessee State University yesterday. Tomorrow starts classes for her. We stayed at the art show for about an hour and then headed home. Woody is now at our evening church service.

I came home with my very own signed pottery piece from a very special artist!!!!

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Hummer Day!

This morning Woody got up early and walked his 4-mile-route. Later in the morning he made a grocery run...WalMart and Kroger. I helped him put the groceries away and then he headed off to the library, ran another errand, and visited at the local hospital. He was home before it was time for me to head out the door for my Sunday School Class's salad luncheon. I was glad, as I wanted to be able to report to our class about one of our members (She is who he visited at the hospital.). I had a really good time at our luncheon...good variety of salads (we really are good cooks!), good fellowship (we really are good friends!)...and lots of humming birds to take pictures of. I used my little point and shoot camera and I think that it did quite well capturing these fast flying fellows. I came home and uploaded the pictures and then played around with them in my photo software. Then I got sooooo sleepy that I took a nap. It was one of those naps that you know that you are asleep and that you feel like you can't move. I don't know if that is a good kind of sleep or not. When I woke up I came into my laptop and opened up the Picasa software to make tonight's hummer collage. Woody has watched a DVD, read, and is now watching a baseball game on TV. And, that about summarizes our hummer of a summer day!

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Look Closely!

If you look closely at this picture, you will see that there are really three horses rather than just the white one that stands out so much. There's also a black and a brown horse in the picture. I lightened this picture up a lot in my photo softward so the other could be the original it looks just like one horse unless you look very closely.

Woody got up early and walked five miles. Later in the morning he ran a couple of errands. Then he made an appointment to have the brakes in one of our cars worked on...that took quite a long time so he was gone most of the afternoon. We now have new brakes on our back tires. I got up this morning and set to work on making a salad for a luncheon that I am going to tomorrow. Then this afternoon I was determined to finish scanning the stack of magazine articles that I had torn out. I finished that task a few minutes ago.

This morning the phone rang and it was for Woody. I told him that I thought that it was probably Vanderbilt checking on him. Well, I was right that it was medical was NIH calling. The computers in the research dept. that Woody is a part of had had "a glitch" and they were calling to see if they had his next clinic appointment for the first week in October right. They did and that was the end of the call. But guess he is still in their computer system!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Years Passing By!

Eighteen years ago today Woody and I became grandparents. Our first grandchild, Erin Elizabeth Proctor, made her entrance into the world. I will always remember the surprising phone call that I received at the church that Wednesday. We didn't even know that Melany had gone to the hospital and there was Wade's and Melany's sister-in-law calling to get in touch with us to let us know that Erin was born! Melany had to have an emergency c-section as Erin was in distress. I can still remember walking out to the side yard at the church where Woody and his RA boys were playing a game. I told Woody that he was a grandfather and it took a bit for it to sink in as to just what I had said to him! I would say that you can look at our pictures and see that it was 18 years ago...a lot of changes...lots more grandchildren...lots more gray hair (especially for me...but Woody is finally getting a bit of gray) glasses (I was wearing contacts then and Woody hadn't started to wear glasses to read), etc. Tonight's picture came from Erin's scrapbook...I just snapped a picture of the not the best but tells a story! It is so hard to believe that Erin is 18 and getting ready to head off to college. She will be attending East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN and will be moving in sometime in the next few days. We are really proud of all she has accomplished so far in her life and look forward to seeing what she will do in the future. I called Erin this afternoon to wish her a happy birthday. I asked her if she had registered to vote yet! Oh, just doesn't seem possible that we have an adult granddaughter!!!!! Makes me feel does looking at the above picture of myself!

Today was a "normal" school day for me. Today's lessons included Elijah, Esther, Joy, and Abigail. Abigail added a page about seams to her sewing notebook, learned how to sew an accurate seam, and sewed some examples to add to the page. Woody got up early and walked his four-mile route. He has also been watering some of our plants. They were emptying the swimming pool next door so he filled and emptied a large watering can multiple times (definitely a way to get a bit more exercise!). I'm sure the plants that were the recipients of the water appreciated it as it is very hot and very dry. After lunch Graham came over needing gas for the lawn mower. Woody assisted him and then kept half an eye on Graham while he mowed their lot that is behind ours. It's a nice big open space except for some blueberry bushes and Woody helped him mow around those. Graham did a great job. (I can't believe that he is old enough to be out there mowing, either! Grandchildren do tend to grow up!) A little while ago there was a knock on the door. It was Esther and Elijah needing a stick of butter. (We call each other's homes "a store." If we don't have something...perhaps they do and if they don't have it perhaps we do! Saves on gas to pick up just one item at the store!) Then a little bit later Joy and Elijah knocked and they had a plate of cookies to share with us...Eskimo Cookies...definitely a memory for me...they are a no-bake cookie. The recipe dates back to my Girl Scout days!

I will end by wishing Erin Elizabeth a BIG Happy Birthday!!!!! Happy 18th, Erin!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wacky Wednesday!

Woody got up and walked his four-mile route. That got him prepared for the two of us to head next door to take care of three of the five! Abigail had to go to Nashville to her ear surgeon. She was having some problems with her ears and her pediatrician here wanted her to see the ear specialist who had fixed her ear. At this point they are just watching Abigail's ears. The tube has come out of the ear that we call her "good ear" and she perhaps has an infection in it. She is to continue the antibiotics that the pediatrician put her on and then go back to see her ear surgeon in a couple of weeks. The one thing that they definitely learned the moment Abigail's "bad ear" (the one that she has had several surgeries on) is now her "good ear" as far as hearing goes. She will have further testing on her hearing the next time that she goes to Nashville. Graham went with them on their Nashville excursion. We took care of the the other three...had a good but tiring day! We kept to their schedule...Elijah had his time of school at our house with me while Woody and the other two played. Then Esther had her time of school and then Joy. Worked out well! Shortly after Nathan, Kathy, Graham, and Abigail got home, Kathy took Joy to the dentist. One of her bottom permanent teeth had come in behind her baby teeth and the baby teeth weren't loose yet. So they headed off to see what the dentist had to say...well, Joy came home minus two teeth (well, she did have those two teeth, but they were in a little container)! She was very brave and was enjoying all the extra attention that one gets at their house when surgeries or pulling of teeth by dentists happen. She got to eat her pudding before her meal tonight! She is quite excited that she has lost her first teeth and looking forward to finding something in her tooth pillow pocket in the morning! I'm so glad that the tooth pillow is already made! Abigail made her one as one of her first sewing projects!

Woody is at the Fresh Encounters class at church. I stayed home to rest and relax!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Future Van Gogh, Monet, or Manet?????

Art is the highlight of Tuesdays! At ten o'clock Graham, Abigail, Joy, and Esther all assemble in our school room/office to have art. We're learning lots of things. Today we talked about thin and thick lines, horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines, primary colors and spectral colors (colors in the rainbow) AND we learned how to take care of paint brushes so they stay nice (hopefully) and how to use our paints and not get them all yucky colored (clean the brush before dipping it in a different color paint) and they enjoyed mixing colors and lastly they learned how to clean the brushes and reshape them at the end of the painting time so they will be ready for the next painting session. But mostly they just enjoyed the treat of getting to paint. Graham experimented with mixing colors...two of his papers he called "test kitchens!" Esther jumped right in and started painting objects...from people to flowers to shapes...she painted the most pictures (she's fast!). Abigail painted a scene with a flower and sun first and then for her second picture she painted different colored horizontal lines and then went back and painted vertical lines and made a very pretty plaid (that's what the sew-er in me saw anyway). Joy enjoyed painting a multicolored heart and then on her other paper painting a vertical line and then a horizontal line and "dragging" different colors down the line to see them change color. They all enjoyed seeing what colors they could make out of the primary colors AND then when I gave them some white paint how they could make colors get lighter (tints of the color). I would say that we had a successful art day. They want to paint the next time we have art too!!!!! Elijah got in on painting too as Kathy let him paint at their house. He joined us in our gallery of art portrait after class! Oh, and the art smocks that Graham and I revised worked great!

Before art Elijah had his school time and then time with Woody...they look at books and talk about the pictures in the books. Esther came over after Elijah. She started back on the movable alphabet today and also did a page of addition. Yeah Esther! Right after art, Graham had his sewing lesson. He is in the preparation stage of making a blanket for his little baby brother-to-be. He is learning to applique so he is going to applique a sailboat on a blue flannel blanket. He chose the fabrics for his applique today and got them all cut out.

I have been a bit tired this afternoon...I wonder why! Woody also seemed to be a bit tired...he seemed to sleep quite soundly for a while this afternoon in his recliner. He has also read today and worked on his Fresh Encounters workbook. And, he has done a little watering of plants (our eggplant plant looked pretty bedraggled this afternoon...the eggplant continues to grow...I'm looking forward to cooking and eating our very own homegrown eggplant. It has been so hot and no rain...rather rough on the plants. He walked to the prayer room at church a while ago. Tonight for supper we had Burrito Pie. When I made this recipe the last time I made up one in a pie plate and put it in the freezer to have at a later time. It was nice to pull it out or the freezer and pop it in the oven for our supper tonight...I needed easy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

An Armadillo Day!

I haven't taken any armadillo pictures so decided to use this old goat's picture instead! I have been playing around with my photo software making some of my pictures black and white...and tonight's blog picture is one of them.

The reason that I call today an "armadillo" day is that over the weekend the neighbors (Nathan, Kathy and family) saw some armadillos on their trip to West TN. Since we were talking about them I used them as part of Esther and Joy's school today. We did an armadillo search on the computer. We found some great pictures and also found out how they roll up in a ball...pretty interesting! Graham and Abigail helped me prepare for tomorrow's art lesson. For Graham's sewing lesson we slit the backs of some old T-shirts and then put ties on them so we don't have to use clothes pins! Then this afternoon Abigail came over and she helped me get the art lesson ready for tomorrow. Tomorrow we are going to PAINT!!!!!!!!!!! I sort of experimented with the lesson on her to see if it was going to work. She was happy as she got to paint today too!

Woody got up early and walked. He has run a couple of errands today. He has also read and watched a bit of TV and relaxed. He is at the Monday night prayer meeting right now.

Last night after the children were in bed Kathy and Nathan took turns coming over to sample the blueberry cheesecake bars...they were lured over after reading the blog. I told Woody that I expected them to come over "if" they read the Kathy's knock on the door didn't surprise me! They are a big favorite of Kathy's...Nathan seems to like them pretty well too! I put seven on a plate and took them over for today's lunch dessert so the children wouldn't be left out from sampling!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Here we are at the start of another week...the last full week in August. Where are the days going? Today Woody got up early and went for a six-mile walk. I got up pretty early too after not too many hours of sleep. We went to the early church service. Then we both went to Sunday School. Woody taught his class. We came home and have pretty much taken it easy the rest of the day. I did bake a pan of Blueberry Cheesecake bars (need to use some of those berries in our freezer...and this is one of several very good blueberry dessert recipes that we have). Once they were cooled we each had to try them. I was talking to my sister on the phone and Woody ate one for her too! Woody is now at the evening worship service. I did go in and straighten up the school room/office a little while ago...getting ready for school in the morning.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

If At First You Don't Succeed!

I guess that yesterday and today have been days of "try, try" again for me. Our multipurpose printer hadn't been working for a long, long time. Nathan and I both had been through all the trouble shooting paths with it. Finally it looked like I was going to have to order a new printhead. Once we figured this out I attempted to order one online, but when I was checking out I had a message that one of the items in my shopping cart wasn't available at the current time. Well, I only had one item in my shopping gave up ordering that time. After that I'm not sure how many times I attempted to order again...some of the times I couldn't even find the part number that I needed...several other times I found it, but then the computer froze up before I could get it ordered. Anyway, it has been a bit of a nightmare getting the part ordered. The other day I had someone at the site that I was able to "chat live" with and they gave me the number of the part and I managed to get it into my shopping cart and managed to place the order before anything happened. Once ordered, it only took a couple of days for it to get to us. Of course it arrived just as Nathan was pulling out of the driveway yesterday...but I was determined that I wasn't going to wait any longer so I bit the bullet and opened up the printer and pulled out the old part and managed to put in the new part. Then it took a while for the printer to align...but it did and we once again have our good color printer/copier/scanner. I'm once again a happy camper when it comes to printers (till it balks again)!

Woody got up early and walked his four-mile-route. Later in the morning he went to the Credit Union, went grocery shopping, and went to the library. As far as the yard goes, he has done some watering...back to being hot and dry...sort of typical weather for August. He has also read, watched a library DVD, watched some baseball on TV, and rested. I have spent most of the day in the sewing room...again on a project of "try, try again!" My first attempt at making some new Christmas ornaments didn't work...but the second was successful. So one Christmas ornament made for 2011! While the ornament was stitching out on the machine (it's a "look Ma, no hands" type of project except for changing thread), I started going through some magazines to find articles that I want to keep for further reference. I scan them into the computer as PDF files and file them on the computer rather than in paper files...I'm trying hard to cut down on paper stacking up around here. I had been in the midst of doing that when my printer now I can go forth with my magazine recycling task. I'm just hoping that I can remember just how I did has been so long! Probably another "try, try again" project!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Food for the Brood!

Much to the baby bluebirds' delight their parents returned! Thought that this one was good as you can see the baby in the birdhouse hole and the parent on the top of the birdhouse. Once their mommy or daddy arrives back they start letting them know that they are in great need of whatever is in mommy or daddy's beak!

Friday's are "no school day" for us so I got up and just fiddled around...when I should have been accomplishing something...oh, well! Woody got up and went on a six-mile walk. Later in the day he mowed the lawn. Abigail came over to see if I had washed the burp cloth that she had made. I hadn't so she and I started a load of wash with it in it. I then put away another load of clothes so the drier would be empty when the burp cloth and the rest of the load finished washing. Abigail was very happy when she finally had the completed item in her hands. After lunch I headed off to run some errands. I spent most of the afternoon going one place and another in Tullahoma. Woody has spent the afternoon reading and watching some TV. One of the things that I picked up was a CD of machine embroidery designs for Christmas ornaments. I think that I'm going to make one as soon as I complete this. A little too hot to think about Christmas...but perhaps what we need are cool thoughts on these hot dry days. It would be good to get started on Christmas especially if I plan to make things.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Daisy of a Day!

I guess a "daisy of a day" is better than a doozy of a day! We have been busy. Woody waited till later in the morning to walk as he ran a couple of errands on his walk today. I had school in the morning with Elijah, Esther, Joy and Abigail (sewing for Abigail). Abigail was very pleased to finish up a burp cloth for her little baby _________-to-be. She did a very good job! Later in the afternoon Graham came over to do some extra math with Goosey. I cooked this afternoon. Woody cut fresh basil, oregano, and basil and picked green and red peppers and tomatoes for me to use. It's so nice to have fresh produce right in our own back yard.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sweet profile!

Look at this sweet profile or our little grand-baby-to-be! So very sweet. The siblings are very excited about the baby.

It has been a busy day. Woody got up early and went for a walk. He went to the Farmer's Market and got a couple of eggplants. They had good watermelons but he didn't get one since he was walking so he arranged later in the morning for Nathan and the girls to pick one up for him when they went to get fresh fruits and veggies. I started out the morning rather frustrated. I was trying to order a part for our newest printer (which has gathered more dust than producing copies, photos, scans, etc.). I finally after several attempts was successful in ordering the part. Then school began with Elijah coming over. Esther had her time and it was a good day for her...she started doing addition. Then Joy came over and read and worked on her writing. THEN it was time for Abigail to have her sewing lesson. She is in the process of making a burp cloth for the new baby. We worked some more on it. She still has one more step to go to finish it. She is excited to be making something for her sibling-to-be! After school I was tired. I decided to eat lunch and then rest my back and look at a magazine while lying down...well, next thing I knew the phone was waking me up! Guess I needed a power nap! A little after waking up I headed to the church to work in the library for a couple of hours. I ended up shifting 12 shelves of books. Then I came home and rested for a few minutes and then started on tonight's supper...Eggplant Parmesan. I had just gotten underway peeling eggplants when Nathan called and invited us over to try Korean Lettuce Wraps. The Korean way is to wrap up all the ingredients and then put the whole rolled up ball into your mouth...Graham was the champion of doing that! After having a Korean Lettuce Wrap Woody and I came back home. Woody went to the Wednesday night Fresh Encounter study at church and I finished up the Eggplant Parmesan. It has just come out of the over and Woody has just gotten off to eat the next course and relax!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Where's Mommy & Daddy?

This little birdie seems to be looking out for his mommy and daddy to return and bring him and his brothers and sisters some tasty morsels. I'm not sure how many babies there are in there with him...but more than just one. You can really hear them when Mommy or Daddy Bluebird come back...they really let Mom and Dad know that they are starving!

Woody got up early, but didn't go on a walk right away as it was rather chilly...sort a taste of Fall in the air these mornings of late. Early Sunday morning Woody found a cell phone in the parking lot of the high school when he was on his walk. It was dead when he got it home so I checked and my charger cord fit so I got it charged...then I couldn't figure out how to turn it on! So I had Nathan help me out. He checked and found a listing for "mom" so he put in a call and left our contact information on a message on her phone. Early this morning we got a call from the young man who had lost it. Okay you know that it is a small town when you know the person on the other end of the phone line! A bit later his mom called to thank Woody for finding it and letting them know. Woody made arrangements to get it to the young man...Woody walked to the high school and met him outside the band walk #1 for him today. When he got home, he headed off on walk #2 to take some tomatoes to friends. Now he is off on walk #3 for the the prayer room at church.

Big excitement at school today. I added a new class...ART!!!!! Elijah came over for his short time, then he read with Woody and went back home. Esther came over after Elijah and had her time and THEN her brother and two sisters joined us over here and we had art class for the four oldest children. We had fun...learning what "art" is (not just painting!) and then talked about illustrators of books (Beatrix Potter this time) and then made some drawings using thick and thin lines. Today we used markers and crayons and colored pencils (mainly markers!). I think that fun was had by all and they look forward to their next Tuesday art lesson. After art, Graham stuck around and we had his sewing lesson. He actually got to sew a "fine seam" today!

Then after lunch, Goosey and I headed next door to take care of all five of them while Nathan and Kathy headed off to Nashville for an ultrasound that their OB had ordered. They went to the same Vanderbilt location that we went to last Friday. They just got home a little while ago so that is why I am late I had to look through a lot of birdhouse pictures to find one with the baby peeping out!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Serious Study

Today school at our house added in the three grade school age neighbor grandchildren along with the two preschoolers. Elijah started out the morning with his time and then Esther followed. Joy came over to read to Woody and then she had school with me after Esther finished. Joy (first grade) read and worked on her writing with me. Then came the first of the school sewing lessons. Graham has sewing on Mondays and Tuesdays. Abigail read to Woody during Graham's sewing time. Today I taught him all about seams. We were heading over to his house to sew a few seams when he happened to discover this cicada just emerging from its shell. Now this cicada is different than the ones we had earlier in the summer. The ones earlier were the 17-year-variety with red eyes. I believe that this is the 7-year-variety. Anyway, we decided to put sewing on hold till tomorrow so he could have a science lesson (lessons of the moment)! He enjoyed watching it finally come all the way out of its shell and move to the other side of the railing on their front porch. The whole family enjoyed checking this critter out. When they went in for lunch I sat on their front steps and watched it for a while and enjoyed getting pictures of it and also some pictures of a blue bird family that is living in one of our bird houses. After lunch, Graham brought his school work outside on the porch so he could work on his lessons and keep an eye on the cicada. It has been quite a learning day! I'm hoping that these pictures are clickable...this creature is quite incredible...note his eyes especially when the picture is enlarged. Yes, they are be sure to click on them twice to see them huge...the wings on this creature are incredibly beautiful too...we all noticed how much like lace they looked.

Woody got up early as usual and went on a walk. I don't know how far he went and he is at Monday night prayer meeting so I can't ask him. He has been reading a lot today and helped clean up the kitchen. This afternoon after I rested a bit, I went downstairs to make our supper. It is "Crab and Vegetable Bow Ties." Lots of work...lots of dicing of lots of garden is guess it is worth all the work...but my back is questioning whether it was worth it at the moment! The kitchen is once again a mess. I'm going to go down and load up the dishwasher and get it running and then "hope" that my other dishwasher will clean up the rest of the dirty dishes that can't go in the dishwasher!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Woody woke up early as he usually does...and went on a six-mile walk. We both went to the early church service and then we both taught our respective Sunday School classes. We came home and ate lunch and have since pretty much just taken it easy. Woody is now at the evening church service. It has been one of those good hum-drum days that we enjoy!

When I went looking through my photo files for tonight's blog picture, I came across this picture of Molly. She belongs to a gentleman Woody used to car pool to work with some years back. One day some time ago she was out amongst the roses and struck the perfect was just the perfect picture...except that I didn't manage to get the camera in focus and she moved before I could take another. When I came across it tonight I decided that I would try to "save it" by using some of the Photoshop effects. So I have been playing with it and turned it into an "oil painting" that doesn't have to be in focus! Again, be sure to click on the picture once to make it slightly bigger and then again to make it really big...interesting to see the strokes that the software adds to make it look like a painting. The effect that I used is called "dry brush."

Saturday, August 13, 2011


My day seems to have been very elusive...sort of like this hummingbird. I did capture a couple of pictures of a hummingbird several days ago with my new little point and shoot camera. Tonight's photo is an "artistic rendition" of this photo using my photo software (click on it twice to see it larger and see the photoshopped effects better). Woody and I both got up very early. He took his four-mile route for his early morning walk. When he got home, I made us both a mushroom parmesan omelet. After that I was about ready for a nap...I just didn't get enough sleep so have felt like taking a nap almost all day and have taken a couple of short rests here and there and then later this afternoon took quite a long nap that lasted into the evening! Woody went to the grocery store shortly after he finished breakfast and in that trip also included a stop at the library. Later in the morning he visited a couple of friends who are in the hospital. Not long after he left for the grocery store I got a phone call from Melany. She filled me in on their day yesterday. It was freshman orientation at East Tennessee State University. So I guess you can say that Erin and her parents are now orientated...or is it oriented! Sounds like that they had a great day. After I got finished talking with Melany, I called Erin. She sounded so excited. She and I made plans for Goosey (Woody) and me to stop and see her in October on our way back from NIH so she can show us her campus. They both commented on what a pretty campus it is...and that the campus is very hilly. One of the exciting things that they shared is that Erin will not have to take freshman English because of her ACT scores. Erin seemed very pleased with the classes she will be taking...hope that lasts once the classes start!!!!! When Woody came home, I helped him put the groceries away. He got some of the most delicious dark cherries. They are now only delicious but huge. Later in the morning I talked with my sister so I could fill her in on Erin's and her parent's day yesterday. Then later in the afternoon my sister called to tell me that Erin had called she filled me in on all that Erin told her! I guess my day has been phone conversations and naps!!!!!!!!! I'm "supposed" to be preparing a Sunday School lesson. I know that Woody has made Peasant Salad and has watered plants in the various gardens with water from the neighbor's kiddie pool (sort of hate to let that water go to waste and don't want it to stand to breed mosquitoes!). He has watched a DVD from the library and some TV and has read. I don't think that his day has been as elusive as mine!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Vandy Infusion

This was the view of the sunset we saw in Nashville this evening as we rolled out of town. Woody got up early and went for a four-mile walk. Then a little later in the morning he went to the Credit Union. Shortly after noon we headed out of our house and started heading Vanderbilt way...but this time we went to a different Vanderbilt...we went to the part of Vanderbilt that is now housed at 100 Oaks Mall in Nashville. And, we weren't going there for Woody, but were taking a friend. But it was a reminder of our Vanderbilt days. I sat with her during her infusion and we caught up with each other's lives. After her infusion, we headed on down the road to Skyline Hospital where her husband is an inpatient having rehab and visited with him for a while. Then we got back on the road and headed home making a stop for dinner on the way home. So we can say we have had another Vanderbilt adventure.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Little Baby...

Look! A little baby eggplant! Woody planted an eggplant plant in one of our barrels and a day or so ago we decided that we might have the start of an eggplant...and sure enough you can now see its deep purple flesh peeping through! I'm looking forward to cooking with it. I think that there may be another one just above it.

Woody got up early and walked. I'm not sure how far he walked and at the moment he is next door reading a bedtime story to Graham so I won't go back over to ask! I just tucked the girls in and Woody had tucked in Elijah a bit earlier...though Elijah was pretty unhappy...found out that he was upset because he didn't have his favorite blankie...Grammy and Goosey hadn't put him to bed for a while and it didn't get carried upstairs when he went up for his stories with Goosey...oops...he has it now...hope all is forgiven! Kathy and Nathan have gone out for the evening to celebrate their 11th anniversary which is tomorrow.

Our morning was pretty much a school routine...the two smallest came over for school. The three oldest had swimming lessons so have only had school at their house this week. Next week I will add in the oldest three into the morning school activity over here. The youngest have really settled well into their school routine. Woody has read, pulled a few weeds, watched a library DVD, and made sweet pickle relish today.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Busy Day/s

Woody got up early and walked his four-mile route (no encounters with the police today!). Elijah had his time with me for school and then went downstairs for his time with Goosey (Woody). Then it was Esther's turn for her school time with me. She did several papers (wrote her numbers to 10 and also did a page of counting things) and when it was time for our school time to be over she decided to go home without Woody reading to her. I think that she was excited that she had three papers all stapled together to show her mommy and daddy. I walked next door with her and got to listen to Joy read in her reader. While I was doing that Woody went to the Farmer's Market to get some yellow squash that I need for a recipe and came home with a big watermelon too. He made the comment that it was a good thing that he didn't walk to the Farmer's Market when he showed me the size of the watermelon that he had gotten. He does love watermelon! At noon we went to the church to hear the guest speaker. This afternoon I was tired and took a little nap. Then talked with Melany and my sister on the phone for a while. Melany had to fill me in on how her first week of school had gone so far and also Alex's first days as a freshman in high school and we also talked about the big day ahead for Erin and for Wade and Melany...they will be heading to Erin's college-to-be (East TN State University) for orientation on Friday. Lots of big things going on in their lives!

We have just returned from the evening service at church...the last day for our special speaker.

Something of note...Woody's hair seems to be getting less and less curly. When his hair grew back after chemo, it came back in curly...and I just noticed in the last couple of days that it seems like it is just about back to "normal" (what it was like prior to chemo). No hair to curly hair to straight again...that cycle has taken just about a year. (I just checked last year's blogs in August and one year ago tomorrow is the day that he finally allowed the nurse to shave what was left of his hair just about one year exactly!)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Woody woke up very early and couldn't go back to sleep so he decided to go for his morning walk well before it got too hot. He decided to take his 12-mile route which takes him out to the movie theater and then back. About the time that he got to Zaxby's he had a policeman stop and check to see just exactly why he was out and about so very early in the morning. So Woody came home saying that he had been "interviewed" by the police on his walk this morning. Guess Woody satisfied the policeman with his answers as he was allowed to continue with his walk! Elijah, Esther and I had school the same as we did yesterday. All went well again. After they finished with their lessons they each headed to our family room to read books with Goosey (Woody).

After lunch I began supper preparations...simmer steak (some might call it smothered steak) peppers, onion and tomatoes on top of some round steak type cuts of meat and cooked for a long time in the oven. It can also be cooked on top of the stove, but I find it to be less moist that way. I also cooked some noodles and Woody cooked the corn on the cob.

Woody left the house early to run an errand and go for his time in the prayer room prior to the church service tonight. Nathan, Elijah and I are going closer to the time for the service. Kathy has taken the rest of the gang to gymnastics this afternoon and will come to church from there. Busy day for the older children...swimming lessons, school lessons, gymnastics, and a church service...they should be tired young ones this evening when they get home!

Monday, August 8, 2011

First Day of School!

Big doings in the Dorrell households today...first day of school! A really big day for Elijah (2) his very first day of school. This picture shows him getting ready for a lesson with the sandpaper sounds. We started working on "c," "m," and "s" today. He also had a counting lesson and a lesson with the colors with red, blue, and yellow. Then he did two puzzles using squares, circles, triangles, and rectangles. It was a great first day! Joy came over when Elijah did and she read out of her school reader and then read a "Super Book" (a short phonetic story) to Goosey (Woody). When Elijah finished his lessons with me, he went downstairs to read and play with Goosey. Then it was Esther's turn to come over. We had a good first day too. She did a lot of reviewing of things that she had done before to refresh her memory before I introduce new things. She worked really hard and then got to do some puzzles using shapes...hexagons, equilateral triangles, trapezoids, rhombus, squares...several new terms for her. When she finished, she went downstairs and Woody read her a library book...she liked it so well that she had him read it twice! Then she stayed and played for a while. Graham and Abigail had a good first day of school over at their house. Graham did come over to work on some math with Goosey. Abigail came over all excited this afternoon because she had gotten a letter from her penpal, Abby. I will start having lessons with the older grandchildren next week. This week I am starting slowly and getting in the school groove with just the preschoolers as the three older children are having swimming lessons starting we will get into extra math, reading, sewing, and art lessons next week with Graham, Abigail, and Joy. Let the fun times of school begin!!!! Kathy said that Graham was so excited to get going on school that he was up before her this looks like a good start to a new school year.

Woody did get up early this morning and walked his four-mile route. At noon Woody and I went to church to hear a guest speaker. The neighbors were there too...we waved at each other from across the room! Woody has just left to go back to church. He is going to take care of the grandchildren while Nathan and Kathy have a meeting at church. There is a church service tonight so all (neighbors, Woody & I) will end up in church around 6:30...I will meet up with them a little closer to the church service time...staying home to have time to blog and do a couple of other things. I'm hearing rumbles...wondering if a storm is rolling in.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Belfry Pigeons!

Some have bats in their belfry...we have pigeons in/on ours!

Woody got up early and walked his eight-mile route to Kroger and back. We both went to the early service and then to our respective Sunday School classes. Woody taught his 6th-grade boys class. Elijah popped in to my Sunday School class at the end when I was leading the prayer requests...I think that he recognized my voice. It was cute. He came up to me and I tried to pick him up and sit him on my lap...but he was ready to go out and join his family so he headed out. Woody and I came home and had our lunch. A bit after lunch Woody went to the deacon's meeting at church. I have read and talked on the phone to my sister. I made out my school schedule and am getting geared up for Esther and Elijah's first day of school in the morning. The older children are going to have swimming lessons this week so they won't start Grammy's school till next week. I can't believe that it is time for Elijah to start school...he is following all his siblings...they all started preschool the school year closest to their 2nd birthday. We will be working on the sounds that the letters make, counting, and colors for starters...a very short school time for him and then I imagine that he will be ready to have Goosey read EIEIO and the Big Truck book to him before he heads home.

In a little while we will be going to church for the evening service.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Groundhog Day??????

Woody got up early and walked five miles. I set the alarm for 6:30am (on a Saturday!) so I could get up and go to WalMart before it got crowded. When I got up Woody was working on the computer. I asked him if he wanted to do his WalMart errands with me. And, he decided that it was a good idea. So while I shopped for tax-free school art supplies, he picked up a few grocery items and knee and elbow pads for Graham. After WalMart, we stopped at Office Max as I didn't find the paint that I wanted at WalMart. As we were about to pass the Credit Union, Woody mentioned that he could stop there and not have to stop he made that stop. On our way home we spotted the fellow pictured above cross the street and then stop along the sidewalk to eat some greenery...Woody rolled down his window and I shot a several pictures of him since there were no cars behind us. We had all those errands finished a little after 8:30am. I considered going back to bed after I got home, but ended up cooking instead. I made our long-cooking recipe for barbecued pulled pork. Once it got to simmering, I went outside to watch Graham glide along on his rip stik (a special type of skateboard...just read that it is sort of a cross between a skateboard and a snowboard). He just started learning(and hadn't skateboarded prior to this) how to maneuver this board the day before yesterday and he is already doing amazingly well on it. We got him the knee and elbow pads to try to ensure that he not be physically scarred from his endeavors! So far no major falls...but he still hasn't worked up to a huge rate of speed. Woody went to Kroger and ran a couple of errands while I got the meat and other ingredients in the pot and got them simmering. At that point it was just let it simmer for three hours stirring occasionally. After I came in from watching Graham, I did start to get ready to make some pillows for our front porch...I squared up the end of the far haven't had enough energy to go any farther. After lunch Woody made his Peasant Salad (aka Soggy Bread Salad). Then Woody went to the library and ran another errand and I took a nap. While he was away and I was napping, a storm blew through (I did hear it) that brought us some more rain. We both enjoyed pulled pork barbecue sandwiches for supper. We plan to take it easy the rest of the evening.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Back-To-School Shoe Day!

Woody got up early and walked his four-mile route. He has spent a lot of time reading and working on the computer today. For was a ride to the shoe store with Kathy and the five grandchildren to see if we could find back-to-school shoes for them. It has become Woody's and my tradition to get them shoes periodically from our local family owned shoe store so they are fitted and measured...the old fashioned way...finding out length and width of their growing feet. They each chose a style off the wall and then the big question was whether that style could be found in their size. We managed to find the exact shoe that three wanted...but Esther and Abigail had to settle for a second choice...but all came away pretty happy with the style, color, and fit. Elijah liked his so well that he even took his nap wearing his! This is the first time that we have taken them all at the same time. But this is a tax-free weekend here in TN on clothing and school we took advantage of no tax.

This afternoon was dark and dreary with thundering rumbling and seeming to threaten that we would get storms, but we never really got much of a storm. It rained a small amount...just enough to get it pretty steamy outside. I couldn't get up any momentum to do much so decided that it was a good afternoon to read. I finished a book yesterday and am about half-way through the next one in this series...The Elm Creek Quilt series. Just two more books after this one and I will be current with this series.

The answer to last night's blog question...what kind of cows were pictured was kindly answered by one of our faithful blog readers. They are Banded Galloways...a Scottish breed.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Oreo Cows! Got Milk?

Have you ever seen this kind of cow before? We pass these when we take the back road to Murfreesboro. We call them "oreo cows!" I guess you can see why!

Woody got up early this morning and walked his six-mile route. I spent a good part of the morning over at the neighbor's having sewing lessons with Abigail and Graham. Abigail machine embroidered a pretty design on a cloth diaper. Her current sewing project is making a burp cloth for her sibling-to-be. Woody has spent some time on the computer. After lunch we both went to vote. We have both taken it easy the rest of the afternoon...well, I did cook something for supper.

I guess I can say that I have officially started my Christmas shopping. I made an internet order the other day which included a couple of Christmas presents. That order arrived this afternoon so I have been opening and checking things and putting several of the items (not the Christmas gifts) to use. It's always fun to get orders in the mail...getting the box is sort of like Christmas when it comes to opening up the box and looking at everything! Now to find the place to put these gifts till it is time wrap them.

Today has been overcast most of the day. It hasn't been quite as hot today..."just" got to 95 today. It has been quite humid. We have been hearing thunder rumbling in the distance for the last little while and it just started raining.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Big Day for the Hottest Day of the Year!

Woody got up early and walked his four-mile route. Then later in the morning he walked to get his hair cut. THEN at noon our day really got was time for Esther-Noel Rose Dorrell's birthday celebration to get underway. She planned it just the way she wanted her party...she did NOT want waffles and ice cream (the family's birthday tradition), but wanted a pizza party. We were invited as well as her little friend Molly and Molly's mother. First we had the Pizza part of the party, then the Present part of the party, then came at her request her cake with fireworks on it, and then the surprise part of the party...a Pool party. One of Esther's wishes had been to have a pool party...well, they didn't have a kiddie pool. BUT Goosey and Grammy surprised her with a pool for her birthday. And, we did manage to pull off that part of the surprise as everyone knew about it...but no one spilled the beans to Esther. Once Esther saw her surprise pool, everyone hopped into their swimsuits and had fun splashing and floating around in the pool on a very hot afternoon. I think that Esther had a pretty super-de-dooper day for her was had by all.

I'm not used to spending a lot of time outside and I was really hot when I got back in our house. I got myself a tall glass of ice water. Woody got himself some watermelon. I checked the outside temperature. It read 99.5 and in a couple more seconds it read 100 and not long after that 101!!!!! Too hot!!!!!! It took me a while to cool off. Graham came over and I told him that I was going to have to take a rest while he was there. I settled down on the couch in the living room while he worked on what he was doing and it didn't take me very long to drift off to sleep. Woody said that he thought that he napped a bit too. Anyway...a good day to have a Pizza, Present, Pool Party! Happy 4th birthday, Esther, you plan a great party!!!!!
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Another Busy and Hot day!

Woody got up early, but didn't go on an early morning walk as he gets his walk in when he goes to the prayer room...where he has gone now. I had morning sewing lessons with Graham. Then I went to get my hair cut. Then, after lunch, Graham came back over to finish up what he had started this morning. I had a little break and Abigail came over to work some on her sewing project...well, we carried things over to her house to work on her project. I think that I made three trips back here after going over there to get something else that we needed...sewing exercise! She and I didn't have a lot of time to sew because today is their gymnastics her project is in a "to be continued" state. Woody and I with Nathan's help are trying to pull off a surprise for tomorrow's birthday big happenings for the neighbors tomorrow!

Monday, August 1, 2011

What One Has To Put Up With!

What's a fella supposed to do when he has older sisters who get crazy ideas in their heads?! This afternoon we had knocks on the door and who should appear but three of our little neighbor grandchildren dressed in doll clothes that I had made for the girls' baby dolls!!!!! Poor Elijah!!! But they fit very well...and...he didn't seem to this point in his young life, anyway!!!! I had trouble getting pictures of the three of them together as they thought it that it was so funny that they had trouble standing still.

Woody got up early, but didn't go for a walk, instead read. Then at the appointed time, he went next door to take care of the three oldest children. Later he mowed. And, then this evening he went to Monday night prayer meeting at church. I ran errands this morning and then later had a short sewing lesson with Abigail.