Friday, September 30, 2011

Final Friday

I can not believe that September is all but over. It just seems like yesterday that I was writing that it didn't seem possible that it was the last day of August! I guess...that it means that I am getting old...I have always heard that the older you get the faster time goes by...if that is the measure...then I am OLD!!!!!!!!!

Today has been a day of getting "ducks in a row," as we prepare for our next trip to NIH (Bethesda, MD). I had never been able to get the hotel room for both nights at the NIH rate so started looking for another place to stay for the first night. We will now have to negotiate rush hour traffic to be able to get to NIH on time to have Woody's lab work done an hour prior to his scans...we need to be at NIH by 7:20am on Wednesday...not a problem when we stay at a hotel just down the street that has a shuttle to take us. We will be about 30 minutes away...BUT...the map quests don't take into consideration rush hour! We'll get there...the good Lord willin'!

Woody got up early and walked his 4-mile-route. Later he took Elijah with him on to do some grocery shopping and errand running. Elijah was so excited! Woody also took him to Caboose Park...there is a red caboose "parked" next to the railroad track almost in the middle of downtown. Woody said that Elijah was so good running errands with him. But he said that the cutest was when Elijah saw his mommy when Woody brought him home. Elijah couldn't get to her quickly enough!

While Woody was out running errands with Elijah, I headed off to run some errands of my own. I stopped at the pharmacy to arrange for them to phone/fax my doctor as the next time that I get one of my refills I will need her ok. And, I will need them filled on the weekend that we get back when the doctor won't be there to ok the renewal. So I have the pharmacist getting that approved for me while we are gone. Then I went for a visit at my favorite store in town...Janie's Sewing Center. I picked up a couple of things, but the main reason that I went was that I just wanted to visit! I had a good visit and made arrangements for my sewing machine to go in to be worked on while we are gone. Good to have it worked on while I am away...that way I don't have too many withdrawal symptoms...can't sew when I am on the road! I came back into the house to the smell of something good cooking. Woody had made a meatloaf while I was gone. It really tastes good. We hadn't had one in a long time.

We have both pretty much taken it easy this afternoon and evening. Graham, Joy, and Esther spent a little while over here this afternoon. This evening, Woody has watched a DVD so he can take it back to the library tomorrow. I had a nice surprise phone call from Erin a few minutes ago. She and I made plans for Goosey and me to stop by her college campus and see her on our way home from NIH next Friday. She goes to East TN State...waaaaaaaaaaaay off in the eastern part of the loooooooooong state of pretty far to just drop in for a visit...but we are in her neck of the woods when we go to and from Maryland so thought that it would be fun to drop in on her and let her show us around.

I guess we are in the mode of getting ready for our next trip. I put the first things on the guest bed that we need to pack...driving directions to the new hotel and Woody's NIH appointment papers. Come Tuesday we will once again be "on the road again!" I'm hoping that we will see some Fall color. Trees are just starting to turn here. Erin said that trees were turning yellow and orange where she hopefully as we head more east and north the colors will be starting to turn.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


This is the "friendly greeter" at our front door. No matter how often I sweep down the web it is back very shortly. It spins a web at an angle in the corner and lives behind one of the siding panels. Graham and I have named him "Jumpy" because when it sees you or your shadow come close, it jumps back behind the panel. When I sweep down the web it jumps back behind the panel...I'm an never successful in catching it and its web at the same time with my broom. I notice that it has moved around the corner to the opposite side so not hiding as close to the door as it once was.

Woody got up early and went for a four-mile walk. I had school with Elijah, Esther, and Joy this morning and then sewing with Abigail. She finished Elijah's placemat. He was very happy when he saw the fire trucks on it. Abigail started her next placemat...hers! It will be very pink! Woody read to Elijah and Esther after they finished their school with me. I took it easy this afternoon and found myself giving into a nap mid afternoon. Woody has been working some on the computer today. Abigail, Joy, and Esther came over for a short time late this afternoon. Graham made a brief stop to take our compost bucket out to the compost pile. He was very happy that he had his school work finished for today and most of it for tomorrow, too.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


We had a normal day of school...Elijah, Esther, and Joy worked over here. Before Esther was finished with her time, Woody headed next door to watch the other children as Kathy had a doctor's appointment. Abigail and I sewed over at her house and did a little preparation work at our house. She is just about through with her second place mat. We told Elijah that tomorrow he would get to use his new placemat at lunch time. After Abigail's sewing lesson, I cam home to grab a quick bite to eat before heading to the library at church. A co-library worker and I got a lot done once again. Before I left for church, Woody headed off for a walk. While I was gone Graham came over to build robots. Woody is now at church for his Fresh Encounter's class.

Today I made my first attempt to get reservations at the NIH rate. I was able to get one of the night's reserved. They said to keep trying to get the other one...seems like the "same song, second verse." I hardly ever get the reservations on the first try. There must be something going on as supposedly both hotels where we stay are booked. At this point we have a room for the second night, but not the first night...guess time will tell if we have to stay somewhere else this time. It is just so much easier, more convenient, etc. to be able to stay somewhere we know where we are going!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Foggy Morn!

When Woody got up this morning, he couldn't see Nathan's house it was so foggy. Last night I happened to notice that the fog was settling in when I glanced out the grabbed my camera and tried to capture the fog in the pitch black...that is except for the street light. Not the best picture, but it shows the fog before it got pea soup thick in the wee hours of the morning. Huntsville had zero visibility this morning. Woody didn't walk due to the fog being so thick. The day turned out to be absolutely beautiful. The children and I had school. It was art lesson day. We tried to show motion in figures by using diagonal, zig-zag and curved lines. They drew themselves or others doing an activity outside...swimming, running, etc. Today we used crayons and colored pencils (and, of course, paper). Graham had a sewing lesson after art and finished the blanket for his baby brother-to-be. He did a great job on it! This afternoon I had an appointment, that I dread like the plague, with the dentist. I survived! Woody did a bit of mowing this afternoon. He left a while ago walking to the prayer room at church. I am getting ready to settle in to watch Dancing With the Stars. Tomorrow I will start attempting to get a reservation at the hotel for next week's appointments at NIH. "On The Road, Again"...shortly! The three month respite from travel is about to end! It's been nice to stay home for this long.

This afternoon a funny thing happened. I was sitting on the front porch talking on the cell phone with Melany. A truck pulled up in front of Nathan and Kathy's house. The bed of said truck was full of items that looked like they had seen better times (in other words: one man's trash is another man's treasure!). Anyway, they were eyeing the little picnic table that our grandchildren had pulled close to the road in their attempt to be entrepreneurs. I guess it looked like it was something for the taking...but I rescued it from joining the other treasures in the back of their truck. And, then pulled it back into the yard a bit! I'm rather glad that I was sitting there at that time. I think that the children would have missed their little table!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Medicare Monday

Whew! I'm running back and forth up and down the stairs while I complete the blog tonight. I fell asleep watching the news and it was almost time for Dancing With the Stars when I woke I'm doing the blog piece meal tonight...during commercials.

Woody got up early and walked his four-mile route. I had school with Elijah, Esther, and Joy and then sewing with Graham. He ended up sewing over here as I have the perfect stitch in my machine for the edge stitch for his baby brother's blanket. While Graham and I sewed, Woody had a meeting about a Medicare supplement. He has made his decision so when December 1 arrives all decisions will have been made. Abigail, Joy and Esther came over this afternoon to play and also watch a bit of PBS. I made another new recipe for supper, Chicken Orzo Skillet. It was pretty good...a "keeper recipe" for our recipe notebook. I am trying out several recipes from a cookbook that Woody checked out from the library. It is supposed to be quick recipes from Taste of Home. I'm not sure about the quick...but that could be because we skinned and boned our chicken breasts rather than using boneless chicken breasts and also we used fresh broccoli rather than a box of frozen broccoli...but this one took a bit more time (not exactly quick the way we did it) and I gladly passed the job of skinning and boning the chicken over to Woody. We shared some of this dish with the neighbors...Kathy wasn't feeling the greatest today and the kids had voted for PB&J for lunch...but their homemade bread didn't get done in time so they were promised PB&J for supper. Nathan gladly substituted PB&J (his would have been SB &J (Soy nut butter and Jelly since he is allergic to PB)) with our concoction...I think that some of the children may have sampled it as well. I have the chicken bones and a few veggies cooking on the stove to make some more liquid gold (chicken broth) for our that it is soup weather we will be needing broth. After supper, Woody went to Monday night prayer meeting. And, now he is tolerating watching Dancing With the Stars with me. He tries to guess what the judges scores will be.

Adendum: After I clicked the "publish post" button and went downstairs, I found that Woody had tolerated as much as he could...he is now "resting his eyes!" He's getting the nap that I got earlier this evening!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I have just realized something...when I saw today's date pop up on the is three months till Christmas!!!! Yikes! Yesterday after I blogged I realized that I had meant to mention that that a year ago yesterday's date, Woody he has been lazing around for a year now! Woody got up early and went on a six-mile walk. He came home and got ready for church. He was glad that he got ahead of me getting ready as about the time that I was getting ready our power went off and it stayed off till almost time to leave for church. I managed to get ready despite not having any light. We both went to the early church service. Then Woody's morning became different than most Sunday mornings...instead of teaching his Sunday School class, he headed off to a local nursing home to give the morning's message for the church service that our church provides there. That was my reference to Woody practicing yesterday...he had been practicing his sermon. After he finished there, he came back to pick me up after my Sunday School class. We came home and had lunch. Woody has read, watched a DVD, and started a game of Monopoly with Graham. I have been decorating for Fall. I had been planning to do the little decorating that I do for Fall for a week or more now...but I was thwarted by not being able to locate an item that I wanted to use...well, I came to grips with the fact that I wasn't going to find it and that I had better go on and decorate or it would be time to decorate for Christmas if I waited much longer! So I have been decorating, putting away the decorative items that had been out, and dusting when clearing off table tops, etc. Woody has gone to the evening church service.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Season Firsts

We made our first pot of soup for the Fall. We tried a new recipe from Martha Stewart's Living...Beef and Barley weird ingredients in this recipe...often Martha's recipes call for something that there is no way that we could find the ingredient/s in Tullahoma. Now that I have said that, this recipe did call for a specific kind of mushroom one I had never heard of)...we just substituted mushrooms we could find here.The soup was very good...a keeper recipe. Today was cool enough for soup...but by the time that I finished making it I was rather warm. Martha said that it should take four hours...and she was right! It would have taken longer if I hadn't had help with cutting up the veggies...Graham and Woody helped with that. Another first for the Fall, I sat on the front porch and drank a cup of tea this morning and then sat for a while this afternoon when I took a was cool enough (but mosquitoes were out in the afternoon). I was enjoying the new pillows that I have finished. The acorns in the picture...are not the first for this season...we have many underfoot! As a matter of fact, they can be a hazard to one's health. I don't think that the squirrels will go hungry this winter!

Woody got up early this morning and walked his four-mile route. He ran errands this morning, too. Then later in the morning he took Graham to Lowes. Every other week they have a free project to make. Graham headed off with his work apron and goggles that he got the last time. This time he made a fire engine that has a siren. He was pleased. I'm guessing that he gave it to Elijah. Graham came over mid afternoon...that is when he helped us in the kitchen...he peeled carrots and chopped them, sliced mushrooms, and chopped onions...using a neat chopper/slicer and a new vegetable peeler that we got recently (always fun to do chores when there are new "toys" to try out! I have been cleaning today too...not my favorite thing to do! Woody has been practicing...more about that tomorrow!

Friday, September 23, 2011

20% Chance = Drowned Rat

I wish that I had a picture to go with the title of tonight's blog...but I missed the opportunity! Woody watched the news this morning and the weather reporter said that there was a 20% chance of rain so Woody didn't check the radar. Well, not far from home it started to sprinkle...but he thought that was all that it would do so he continued on. At a point he put over his head the bag that he had for picking up aluminum cans. A nice lady stopped and offered him a ride, but he declined and continued on. About the time that he got to the next subdivision over it started raining hard and he was totally soaked by the time that he got home...that is...all but his hair that the bag kept dry! It was my day off from school and I have had a very lazy day. I have done a little bit of picking up around the house (but hardly enough to notice) and worked a little on the computer planning some machine embroidery projects and also cut a piece of fabric for the next pillow for the front porch. Woody went to the Credit Union and WalMart and Kroger. This evening Woody and I managed to hang a couple of decorative items on the wall that had been waiting for a couple of nails and my decision as to just where to drive those nails...task accomplished! Graham came over this afternoon to finish a game of Monopoly that he and Goosey had started yesterday. Then they roped me into playing a short game...that one we decided ended in a three-way tie...since everyone still had money when Graham got the call to head home for supper. And, with these words I have summarized our first day of Fall 2011. The rain that passed through this morning brought cooler temperatures...very crisp feeling outside...very fallish!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Quick Post

We're next door "child sitting" while Mom and Dad go out on a date. I came home to look up something on the computer for Woody and Graham and decided that it was a good time to blog. Woody got up this morning and walked his four-mile route. I had school with Elijah, Esther and Joy and then sewing lessons with Abigail. Abigail got well underway with Elijah's placemat. His has fire trucks on that "BIG Trucks!" Graham and Joy spent some time over here this afternoon. I ended up taking a nap as I didn't get a very good night's sleep. When I woke up, Woody told me he had a sinus headache...I have had one for a couple of days too...this change in the weather isn't good for our sinuses! Just as I was drifting off for my nap, I started hearing thunder and shortly we had a pretty good rain...we got close to 1/2 inch and quite a few loud thunder booms before it was all over...I did hear it as I drifted off. We headed next door at five to have supper with five little munchkins. Woody has been reading a navigation book to Graham. Joy has been doing some math on the computer. Esther has been using the iPad. Elijah has been playing with cars on the quilt town/road play mat that I made him for his birthday. Abigail has been doing some art. Busy times! Shortly after I get back it will be time for jammies and then stories.

Tonight's blog picture I took last year when we stopped at Normandy Lake one afternoon so I could take a picture or two. I was taking pictures of the Canadian geese when who should appear walking in the water close to the shore but this Great Blue Heron.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

And, There Was Light...Once Again!

As you can see it is a rather precarious job to change the lights over our staircase. We wait till all three of the bulbs have gone out before we even think about it. But, once they do go out, it is rather precarious to go up and down our stairs when it is dark...we have to leave the lights on in the upstairs hall and also a light on in the living room to keep it safe to travel by stairs at night. So once that last bulb goes out it doesn't take us very long to seek help from a friendly neighbor. (For those who don't know...our next door neighbors on one side of us are our son and his family.) So this morning Woody sought out Nathan's help. Now we have this nifty ladder that can be bent into all different shapes to do all sorts of jobs. The trick is figuring out just the way it needs to be bent for each particular job and it is easy to forget between times of changing those light bulbs just how it was bent the last time. But finally after several tries Nathan got it figured out and safely went up and changed the bulbs so we have light on our staircase once again. Thank you, Nathan!

I had school with Elijah, Esther, and Joy and sewing lessons with Abigail this morning. Abigail finished her daddy's placemat...much to her delight and got started on Elijah's. She was pleased to have her Daddy use it at their noon meal. After lunch Graham came over and got Woody to help him dig a garden for Joy. Woody didn't take his walk till this afternoon when he walked into town for a meeting. I worked in the library this afternoon. A library co-worker and I got a lot quite a few books completely ready for circulation...and, in doing that we emptied another box. We're still waiting for the cabinets to be built in the library so we can get things totally back into shape...maybe that will happen "one of these days." Woody has just gotten home from his "Fresh Encounter" class at church.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More Rain

Another rainy I decided to brighten things up by getting a photo that I took back in the late that I played with in my photo software. We had a good day of school. Tuesday is art lesson day. Today we did some weaving...paper and also we wove with some yarn. We talked about the warp and weft threads in a weaving. Everyone went home with a unique woven paper. We had fun...once again...they do love to art! Graham worked so hard on trying to finish the baby blanket and came close. He will definitely get it done next week. I had a dentist appointment today (not a favorite with me), but when I got there I wasn't on their appointment I got a reprieve! Graham came over after lunch and worked on his multiplication tables with Goosey and then he did a bit more sewing on the baby blanket. Abigail joined us after a while. She enjoys coming over and playing games with Goosey. I made a chile relleno casserole to go with leftovers from our southwest wraps of last night. Woody waited for a break in the rain to walk to the prayer room at church. I'm going to go down and either stuff a pillow or work on some handwork while I watch Dancing With the Stars.

Monday, September 19, 2011

It's Raining! It's Pouring!

I just sat out on the front porch and tried to get a picture showing how hard it was raining. It was rather low-light conditions, but I think that you can get the idea that it was coming down pretty hard. We have gotten a half inch of rain in not too long a period of time. This is a slow-moving cold front. I'm not sure how long it is supposed to hang around. It took its time in getting here so we have had pretty much a rain-free day till just a couple of hours ago.

Woody has done a lot of work in the yard today and then after lunch he walked to a nearby grocery store to get me a couple of limes that I needed for a new recipe that I tried for tonight's supper. I made chicken veggie wraps--they had a southwest flavor. I'm not going to say that they are my favorite, but an "ok" recipe. Woody seemed to like them pretty well. We had school this morning. Graham finished the applique on the baby blanket so tomorrow he will stitch the front and the back pieces of the blanket together. He did a great job with his applique. The children came in and out this afternoon. Abigail helped me stir together part of tonight's supper concoction. Graham is trying to make a K'nex airplane really fly so is trying to figure out rpm's! His daddy gave him a formula and Graham was using a calculator that Goosey gave him. Not sure that the K'nex plane will ever leave the ground on its own power, but it is a learning tool none the less! Woody is at Monday night prayer meeting. And, I'm getting ready to get tomorrow's art lesson ready and also getting ready to watch Dancing With the Stars! I plan to do a little hand sewing while watching once I get the art lesson ready.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

#1000...reflecting back...

Can you believe it? This is my 1000th blog! Lots to reflect back on...lots of water (or in this case cars)have gone under the bridge since I wrote my first blog back in January of 2009. I'm glad that we are on the side of the bridge that we are now rather than the side we were on back in 2009. Tonight's picture was taken on the Blueridge Parkway on our fourth trip to the National Institutes of Health in 2010. We will be heading back to NIH (Bethesda, MD) in a couple of weeks for Woody's next scans and meetings with his team of doctors and find out the current status of his melanoma tumors. The trip that is coming up will be our 13th trip to NIH since the end of April in 2010...eight trips in 2010 and so far four this year with our fifth trip coming up the first week of October. Then, when you add in all the trips to and from Vanderbilt prior to the NIH trips, we have been on the road a lot since we began this melanoma "trip" back in November 2008. I started blogging shortly after Woody had his first appointment with Dr. Sossman (head of the melanoma department at Vanderbilt ) on Dec. 26, 2008. I started blogging once treatment decisions started being made in January of 2009. This seemed the best way to keep family and friends up to date on Woody's treatments and how he was responding to treatments. we are 1000 updates later!

Woody got up early and went on a six-mile walk. We both went to the early service at church and then to our Sunday School classes. Woody taught his class. We came home and took it easy this afternoon. Woody has just gotten home from the evening church service. My treat for the day...Erin called and filled me in on her college happenings. It was good to talk to her! And...that's the summary of our day for this my 1000th blog!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Last Summer Saturday

Well, today is the last Saturday in SUMMER as next week FALL will begin. It is definitely starting to feel more like Fall. Today it got to the lower 80's...a beautiful day with puffy clouds overhead. I look forward to the blue skies of Fall...the blue just seems so much vivid...especially when the trees turn their brilliant oranges, yellows, and reds. I took this cockscomb on our walk yesterday. They were growing along a curbing on the road side rather than the yard side of the curb...but it did look like someone had planted them.

Woody got up early and walked six miles. Then he headed off to do the grocery shopping very early too...sixish. He was home with the groceries about the time that I got up. We put the groceries away together. Then not long after we got them put away, Woody headed off to the library and the fruit and vegetable market (our tomatoes are dwindling so we are having to supplement them with bought tomatoes that are grown in our area). This afternoon and evening, he has watched a bit of football and baseball and a DVD or two that he got from the library today. I have continued to work on a decorative pillow for our front porch. I have finished the top. A little while ago, I headed to WalMart to buy some batting and fiberfill to stuff the pillow...when it is made. I am hoping to get this pillow finished tomorrow and I didn't want to go to the store tomorrow so tried to think ahead about what I would need. I am pleased with the way the top looks...hope I like it as well once it becomes a pillow!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall Is In The Air!

Woody and I went on a morning walk together this morning. There isn't a lot of color in the trees but there are spots that show that Fall is approaching. Tonight's picture shows some color on our dogwood tree. We didn't walk far this morning as I was testing my foot...and I managed the walk without it giving me much pain. I can still feel that it has had a problem...but it is much better. We walked over into the next neighborhood and around a block there and then back. It was a bit nippy out...and my foot didn't bother me too much, but other joints did protest! Later in the morning Woody took another walk and got his hair cut. The children have been in and out today playing (no school for Grammy today). Woody worked with Graham on his math and he read some stories to the girls. I worked on cutting out the fabric for a pillow top while some played in the living room. Before they left Woody took a nap. I never got my nap in today...and so...I keep falling asleep in front of the computer. I didn't think that I would ever get the pictures downloaded and then looked at to choose what I would post tonight...if the computer took its merry old time...then I would doze! Woody ran an errand in the late afternoon. Then we settled in and had supper and watched the news. Compost boy and girl just came over to take take our and their compost containers out to dump them in the compost pile. Compost boy hadn't been around for a while and when he came the other day (in mask and cape), I told him that we had been missing him. He explained that he was back to doing the job because compost girl (Abigail, who had been assigned compost duty as one of her chores) had been fired and that he had gotten the job back! Today he said that she was assisting him (rather dark out so I don't blame either of them for bringing an assistant). That about sums up our day=Compost Boy and Assistant to the rescue!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Three Year Anniversary

An anniversary (September 15, 2008) that I wish that we didn't have to think about...but then again I am so glad that Woody is here with us today on this third anniversary of his bicycle accident. Tonight's pictures were taken one week after his accident. I won't go into all the details of the accident as I told about it in my very first blog back in January of 2009. Here is a link to that blog:

And, Woody has never had further surgery on his lower arm...a bad fall would not be good...then he might have to have that surgery to put in a plate. But, he feels, and I agree, that he doesn't need to have that surgery as he doesn't want his body to concentrate on healing his arm and forget about keeping his melanoma at bay!!!

There is pretty much a consensus that the trauma caused by the accident probably caused his body to stop fighting the melanoma cells that were in his body and let the melanoma return when it had to concentrate on healing his arm. Two months after this accident Woody noticed a lump behind his ear that turned out to be melanoma...meaning that his original melanoma had metastasized and that he had 4th stage melanoma. The thing to celebrate about today's anniversary is that Woody is sitting in the same recliner tonight that he was sitting in when tonight's picture was taken three years ago...doing well and here with us to celebrate that "not so great day!" Once he was diagnosed with 4th stage melanoma his prognosis was to only live from six months to a year. I'm glad that he is going against the "odds!" Thinking back on his accident and looking at these pictures makes my stomach sink...and brings back lots of not so great about this time three years ago, Woody was heading into surgery. I'm very glad that we are three years down what at times has been a very bumpy road...but God has seen us through thus far and he will continue to guide us along!

Today has been a bit different day. Kathy's parents made a stop in Tullahoma last night and spent the night with them so the children didn't come over for school this morning...that is except for Abigail...she did come over for sewing lessons shortly after they left. She also came back this afternoon to read to Woody and then play a board game or two. Woody took two walks today...a 4-mile walk this morning and then he walked to the drugstore after lunch to pick up some prescriptions for me. I have done a little bit of didn't accomplish a lot...a little cleaning, a little cooking, a little laundry, a little dish washing, a little reading, etc.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

King O' The Mountain

This picture makes me think that the kids (and a couple of adults) are playing King O' The Mountain.

Today has pretty been much a "same ol', same ol'" day. Woody got up and walked. I had school with the children. The change ups were that Abigail had sewing lessons today and will again tomorrow. Woody got a "care package" ready to send off to Erin. After lunch he mailed it and then we went to the church library...I went to work on processing more books and Woody to look up some things in some of the church library commentaries. We came home and Woody went over to sit with Elijah till he got up from his nap and Elijah's parents and siblings returned. They had a program at an assisted living residence in town this afternoon. Woody is at church for his Wednesday "Fresh Encounter" class. Storms are predicted for tonight and into the early hours of the morning and then maybe showers during the day tomorrow. Rain will be welcome to keep us from having to water gardens.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuckered Out Tuesday

Woody got up early, as usual and went on a four-mile walk. I slept in when compared to yesterday (when I woke up before 4am) up and got ready for school. I call over to their house when I am ready for each child and that child likes to answer the phone for his or her time of school. Elijah most of the time just nods (or so I'm told!), but he has started to say a little more on the phone. Today he told me that he would be over as soon as he got his pants on. I thought that it would take him a bit longer than usual since he was in the process of getting dressed, but he beat me coming across the yard...he was just a bit upset that I wasn't in sight when he got onto the stepping stones that connect our yards. But I popped out and he was happy once he saw me. He came in and had his lessons (working on primary colors, counting, sounds of the letters, and shapes). It's amazing what we can get done in 15 min. (the perfect time for his attention span at the moment). As soon as he gets through he heads down the stairs to read with Goosey and then Goosey takes him home when they are finished. As soon as I'm through with Elijah, I put in the phone call for she couldn't find her shoes...but she finally did and headed over. She is making three-letter phonetic words with the movable alphabet (a box like a printers box with cardboard lowercase she can make the words on the floor that I say and sound out for her). Then she worked on counting from 11-19 with the beads and today we put the written form of the numbers with the beads. At that point it was time for us to get ready for the art lesson...she is my helper in getting things set up for art class. Then we put in the call for Graham, Abigail, and Joy to join us for an art lesson. We spent a fun hour doing prints today. They drew shapes on the bottom of a styrofoam plate and then we "inked" the plates with a magic marker and then pressed the plates on a piece of paper. Graham wrote everyone's names backwards so they would print correctly! Esther had no problem with writing hers backwards...she always wants to start on the right side of the paper and write back to the left...and then she makes her letters perfectly backwards!! She is a she is her daddy's daughter and he can write most words backwards...he can even make an entire word appear the way he sometimes writes I think that talent must run in the family! After art, Graham washed his hands so he could get back to work on appliqueing a sailboat on his baby brother-to-be's blanket. Today he got the sails appliqued down and has the stripe on the sail ready to applique when he has his next sewing class next Monday.

Woody made tuna salad and had it all ready for our lunch when I got finished with school. We ate and then I came upstairs to work a bit on the computer and also a bit in the sewing room. The sewing never happened as I got really sleepy. I finally gave in and flopped down on the bed while I waited for a phone call from a friend and slept till the cell phone started ringing...Melany was calling (not the call I had been waiting for prior to falling asleep!). After talking with Melany, I went down to fill Woody in on her call and I found him just waking up...he had also slept away most of the afternoon and was very surprised at the time. I guess we were both tired and/or sleepy. We scrounged (leftovers) for supper. Woody finished watching the news and then headed off on his Tuesday evening walk to the prayer room at church. I think that we are both planning to watch the Jacqueline Kennedy special tonight.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday rolled around once again!

Tonight's picture is for Erin...she misses her cat!

Woody got up super early. He waited till it was light before he went on a four-mile walk. Woody getting up early, woke me up and I couldn't get back to I also got up super early and there has never been a time to take a nap today so may find myself nodding off even while I blog! Everyone had school with us in some form or another today. Elijah had his time with me and then Goosey took him down the street to watch the big truck that was grinding up trees and then they came back to read. Esther had her time and when she finished with her lessons with me she went down and Woody read her a story. Then Joy came over and she read and did a couple of other lessons and then she went downstairs and I read her the story that Goosey had read to Esther! After Joy finished, we headed next door so I could have a sewing lesson with Graham. Somewhere after that I had lunch and then came up to work on the computer for a while and then Abigail called to ask if she could come over to read to Goosey and Esther trailed along to play. After Abigail read, they played some board games. Esther played with some of the building things that we have and also played school with the Fisher Price desk. After they went home, I started our supper and Woody headed to church for Monday night prayer meeting. The Eggplant Parmesan has just come out of the oven...made with the eggplant that we grew. Woody just came home, so I'm heading down to try out a favorite of ours made with our very own eggplant and put my feet up for a little while. And, then I will plan tomorrow's art class for Graham, Abigail, Joy, and Esther.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Remembering September 11, 2001. Tonight's picture is a picture that I took of our church during the week after 9/11/01.

Woody got up early (as usual) and went for a walk...this time his six-mile-route. He got interviewed by two policemen...they had been called about hearing a loud bang and and they wanted to know if Woody had heard it. (He hadn't.) Woody and I headed off to church this morning. We both taught...Woody taught his 6th grade boys' class and I taught my adult ladies' class. We came home and had lunch. Then we had a quiet afternoon. I had a VERY quiet afternoon...ended up taking a long nap. Woody has watched football, a library DVD, and has read. After I woke up I have done some work on the computer with embroidery designs. I had planned to do some actual sewing...but so far I haven't found the energy. It has definitely been a low-key day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Goosey and I were treated to breakfast in our honor for Grandparents' Day. We got to celebrate a day early! Last evening Abigail arrived with a special invitation telling us of the breakfast event this morning. We sent back our RSVP with her...Goosey = "The good Lord willin'" and mine = "yes, I'll be there." The children cooked (with a bit of help from Mommy), set the table, served us, and were good entertainment, too. We had pumpkin pancakes...yum! We left after breakfast to go home so I could complete the grocery list so Woody could make his weekly rounds to the stores. Before he left, there was a knock on the door...Graham's secret knock. He came in to ask Goosey if he could go shopping with him. The rest of his family was going clothes shopping...and errands with Goosey sounded more to Graham's liking! Soon Goosey and Graham were off on a Saturday morning adventure together. One of their errands took them to Lowe's...and unbeknown to them this was one of Lowe's special "Build and Grow" programs for kids (Graham read the sign as they were going into Lowe's...or they wouldn't have known about it as Goosey didn't see the sign.). This is a totally free program...I think held twice a Graham built a police car and came home with safety glasses, a work apron, and his project. He very nicely gave the police car to add to Elijah's growing collection of vehicles and BIG trucks! When Graham and Goosey got back to our house, Graham's family still wasn't home so I offered him lunch...gave him several choices, but he chose PB&J...easy choice since he made his own sandwich! Before he finished lunch his family got home so after his lunch he headed back home to show and tell them about his adventures with Goosey. One of the things that he and Goosey bought were some seeds so Graham can plant peas in a row along their fence. After Woody ate lunch, he headed back out to finish his errands...Kroger, library and the fruit and vegetable market. While all this was going on I was attempting to get my Sunday School lesson prepared for tomorrow...still working on it! Graham came over to work on a project with Goosey later this afternoon and after a while Abigail joined him. They ended up reading and then playing games. Abigail convinced me that she was about to play my favorite game...Tiddly Winks...and that I needed to take a break from Sunday School preparations and play a game with her! Graham played with us till he had to go home to set the table. Then I went back outside to work some more on my lesson. It was such a pretty day that I was doing my Sunday School lesson background reading sitting in the glider on our front porch. In between all his comings and goings, Woody has watched a bit of football and tennis, and is now watching a DVD from the library. I'm going to get back to attempting to complete the Sunday School lesson...this time inside making notes on my computer.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Beautiful and Busy Friday!

Woody and I got up early and headed next door. We needed to be over there by 6:15am so Nathan, Kathy and Abigail could head off to Nashville for Abigail's ear appointment. When we got over there only Abigail and her parents were up. I took them blueberry muffins for the road. When they left, I headed back next door to get the blueberry muffins for the rest of us. By the time that I got back Esther was up and the others came downstairs one at a time over the next hour till all were up...Joy was our last to rise. The muffins were enjoyed by all. Right after breakfast Graham headed upstairs and got dressed and then came down and got to work on his school work. Joy decided to have it be a jammie day and got busy with her school work, too. I went back home and got some papers for Esther to do so she had school today (though technically today is her day off from least from Grammy's school). Elijah got Woody started on E-I-E-I-O right after breakfast and after Elijah got dressed, he and Goosey went outside to play in the backyard for a while. The school kids kept busy all morning with either school work or breaks between their subjects. Graham helped me make the sandwiches for lunch and Esther set the table. Then after lunch the two older ones headed back to work on their school work. Then they did a bit of "whatever" after they were finished today's school assignements, till Abigail and her parents returned. Abigail is still getting a reprieve from any further surgery. She still does have a hole in one ear...but it is closing slowly. Today the doctor vacuumed out her ear! Abigail said that it was LOUD...sort of like a BIG truck going past your house! Graham came over to our house to work with Woody on an electronic project that they started a couple of days ago. I took a nap not long after I got home! For supper we had the ham macaroni salad, that I made yesterday, along with some of the squash that Woody bought the other day at the Farmer's Market. After we finished supper, we did something that I haven't done in a long time...we went for a walk around the block. The weather is delightful...perfect walking weather. We were testing out my has been feeling a lot better lately...but I could tell on our walk that it still isn't it a stress fracture...or whatever... I will continue to wear my tennis shoes tied tightly to help support it and try not to aggravate it. I took tonight's picture on our walk. The sedum was the main thing in bloom on our block and it really seems to attract flying insects. Every clump that we walked by was being enjoyed by a lot of the bug population. I managed to capture three different flying insects in one twice on the picture and you can really see the pollen on the bee. It was good to see quite a few honey bees attracted to the sedum...there for a while it was a rare occurrence to see a honey bee and we saw quite a few tonight.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hard Workin' Thursday!

Woody got up early and walked his 4-mile-route. I also got up early...but didn't walk. At their appointed time Elijah, Esther, Joy, and Abigail came over for their school time. Abigail did get some sewing machine time today and did get the first placemat seamed and turned. I came home and relaxed...talked with my sister on the phone. Woody headed next door after he finished lunch. They had plans for a couple of new gardens and he had told them that today was a good day as the ground would be wet enough to dig and also weed. Graham really worked hard as did all. Graham decided that he wanted a little plot to call his own and found a place for it...he planned for a triangle shape...but decided that he ended up with a plot the shape of a piece of pizza! With Goosey's and his dad's help he did get it dug up and a layer of mulch on it...ready to winter over I guess! He is so excited making plans as to what he will plant in it come Spring. I was the photographer and the rest worked really hard...Elijah was best at gathering worms that they found and putting them in his BIG dump truck. Kathy did a big weeding job in one of their gardens. Woody and Nathan dug up another bed and hauled mulch in and other dirt and grass out. The girls did a little bit of everything. Everyone was enjoying digging in the dirt on a very pretty day after all the rain. They put me to shame so I did go out and deadhead and weed some in the front flower bed for a while.

After that I came in and I made a salad...but didn't get it started early enough for tonight's we had leftover chunky tomato sauce and sweet Italian sausage on linguine...pretty good leftovers! After supper, I got busy making muffins. Abigail and her mommy and daddy are heading out really early in the morning for her to have a hearing and ear check-up so Woody and I will be keeping an eye on the other four. I made a double batch of blueberry muffins for everyone in the morning. While I was getting ingredients put together we had several knocks on the door...the first knock was Joy. She and her siblings were on a scavenger hunt and she needed hugs and kisses! No problem! I ended up fulfilling all their needs for hugs and kisses! And, then they came back looking for a squirrel...found a picture of one in one of our books, as all real outside neighborhood squirrels had gone to bed for the night (or so it was determined)! The children were having great fun. Well, muffins are out of the oven...time for me to go put my feet up!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday...All Day!

Woody got up early to walk about four miles in the mist today. It has pretty much decided to stop raining...just light mist and sprinkles today...and most of the day dry. I took tonight's picture yesterday when I went to get my hair cut. It is a picture of Lake Tullahoma. I took this through rain drops...a bit hazy out over the lake.

Today has been a busy school day for me. Elijah started the morning off with his school time, with Esther close behind, then Joy following, and Abigail bringing up the rear with a sewing lesson. Today Abigail learned about cleaning the machine and then came over to the house to make plans for her next project/s. She is going to make placemats for each of her family (minus Graham--he made his own several years back). We started looking through my scraps to see what would be best for each person...we're going to make them each different. Kathy suggested that we might use scraps from clothing that I have made for the girls so they would know that the placemat was theirs so we found some of that. I think that Abigail decided on several...tomorrow we will narrow the choices down and see if we have other fabric to put with these...this project may take a while! After Abigail's lesson, I came home to eat lunch and then shortly after that headed off to the library to work with one of the other library workers. We got quite a bit done. We managed to get at least a half dozen books ready for the shelves...but have a lot more that are just about a step away from being ready for the next time we should see even more headway! Woody ran an errand this morning while I was having school. One stop was at the Farmer's Market...we have some fresh yellow squash. This afternoon he has read and watched a bit of TV. Right now he is at his Fresh Encounters class at church. I'm ready to go put my feet up!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dabs of Color on a Dreary Day!

Woody got up and walked in the rain. It has continually, at least dripped, since night before last. We have had a half inch today and since it all started Sunday night we have had a total of 2.77 inches. As you can see from tonight's picture the children did paint in our art class today. Today we talked about landscapes so they painted a landscape. I also had school with Elijah and Esther. After Elijah finished he went downstairs to read with Goosey (Woody). They have a good time naming pictures in a couple of Elijah's favorite books...Old MacDonald and Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever. Esther helped me set up for our art class and then her older siblings joined us. As soon as art class was finished, I headed out the door to get my hair cut. I had made the appointment five weeks ago...before school started and my appointment landed at Graham's time to have his sewing lesson. So he graciously let me change our school schedule and have his sewing lesson after lunch today. He is learning how to applique on the sewing machine and is doing a great job. He is practicing so he can applique a sailboat on a blanket for his baby brother. He will make the blanket also. Woody has read, watched a bit of TV, and rested on this rainy day. I ended up taking a power nap a couple of hours ago. I'm hoping that it is enough to get me through a concert that I'm getting ready to attend at our church...The Allen Family...a family of ten who travel all over in a bus (their home) giving concerts. Woody has walked to the prayer room and plans to bum a ride home with me after the concert!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Raindrops Keep Falling on Our Heads!

This morning Woody got up early and walked his the rain! Later in the morning some of the neighbor children came over for their school time. They had taken their travel day home day off from school on Friday so had school today. I had had all last week off so was ready to get back into school. Elijah came over first...carrying an umbrella, then Esther...again carrying an umbrella...and then Joy...still raining so still carrying an umbrella...until it was Graham's turn to come over for his sewing lessons...again carrying an umbrella. Woody and Esther made Blueberry Dump Cake which we shared with their family for a lunch dessert. Then Woody and I had sort of a quiet afternoon...good afternoon for napping! I cooked our supper...Chunky Tomato Sauce with Sweet Italian Sausage and Linguini. We ate out supper watching the news and then Woody went to the Monday night prayer meeting at church.

It has rained and never stopped since a little before midnight last night. We haven't had really heavy rains...but as you can see we have had quite a bit of 6:24pm we had had 1.66 in. since midnight. And, I just checked at 7pm and it is now a total of 1.70 in. Also check out the is about 16 degrees cooler outside than never got to 70F today. Pretty cool after so many days of around 100 or higher! Perhaps summer is thinking about ending?

I'm off to plan an art lesson...they want to paint again! We'll see...maybe...but if we do then next week we definitely are going to do something else! Graham told me today that the girls wanted to paint...and, that he did too! Why is painting so intriguing to little ones????

Good to hear the raindrops on the roof! Rain's not over yet!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cloudy Sunday

The edge of Tropical Storm Lee is upon us...we are just getting sprinkles at the moment, but we are forecast to get a pretty good amount in the next 24 hours or so. We really need the rain. Woody got up early and took a Sunday morning walk...six miles. We went to the early service at church. Graham and Abigail sat with us through the whole service. Joy sat with us for a while, but then joined her parents and Esther. (Woody and I sit on the back row and Nathan and Kathy and family usually sit close to the front.) Woody and I both went to our Sunday School classes. Woody taught his. We came home and had lunch and then watched a movie on TV. Woody went to the Deacon's meeting. Graham and Kathy came over to complete the board game that the three of us started yesterday. It was a geography game...Graham won! Woody is at the evening church service now. Sounds like the rain is getting a bit harder...we'll see how much we have gotten by this time tomorrow! Hope that we don't wash away!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Room for One More!

Late this morning, all five children came knocking on our front door. They were very excited and told us to come and see what they got at a yard sale. And, this is what we saw in their driveway when we walked toward their house. They had a seven seat van and now they have an eight seat guess our baby grandson will have a place for his car seat come January...when he is born. The children were so excited. Elijah was trying out all the buttons as he was pretending to drive and Abigail was showing us that it had a DVD player and Graham was trying to rearrange something in the back of the vehicle. And, Joy and Esther were hopping in one door and out another. Exciting times!

Woody got up early and went for a four-mile walk. Later in the morning he took a church member to run errands and then did our weekly shopping at WalMart and Kroger. After lunch he went to the library. I did get the pillow cover made that we measured for yesterday and it worked just great...mathematician and seamstress were successful! Before I would put it on the glider on the front porch, I wanted to sweep all the spider webs off the porch. I managed to do that before Woody got home from his errands. The children came over after their first round of yard sales (for real yard sales that time). They came to show me the treasures that they had found. Elijah wanted to see Goosey and when he found out that he wasn't here, he asked if I "could" read E-I-E-I-O (the Old MacDonald book that Woody has read to him since he was tiny...guess he thought that I might not be able to read it!). So I read to him while Graham, Joy, and Esther played for a few minutes till Kathy came to get them to go on their next round of "supposed" yard sales. That was the trip that they returned with a new vehicle. This afternoon Graham came over to have Woody help him build some circuits in a kit that he had gotten. Then Graham got caught up in a catalog trying to decide what he wants for Christmas...the big question is what doesn't he want in the catalog (mainly he doesn't want the pink things in the catalog!). Then Kathy came over to copy some things on our copier and she, Graham and I went up to the school room and we ended up playing a game...well, it isn't finished...supper time came before it ended. We will attempt to finish it tomorrow. Most of the afternoon I had a ham cooking in the oven...visions of possible casseroles, salads, etc. that can be made from it keep floating around in my head...ahhhhh the possibilities! I had a really good ham sandwich for supper...easiest of those floating visions to make!

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Little of This, A Little of That!

Woody got up earlier than usual...he is having some sinus/allergy problems. So he headed off for a four-mile walk. Then he came home to read, watch TV, watch a DVD, and help me with a sewing project. I got him involved in helping me to figure out how big to cut a piece of fabric to cover a pillow. I had found instructions on the internet for the type pillow that I wanted to make and for the life of me I couldn't see that they had included enough information/measurements. After looking at the instructions, Woody agreed with me so I explained what I was trying to do and then he helped me figure out how big of a piece of fabric that I would need. It's a bit "funny" trying to explain what I am trying to do to a mathematician. Right side to him means the side on the right. Right side to me means the pretty side of the fabric! But we finally got those communication problems out of the way and I now have a piece of fabric cut (with his help) and ready to run through the serger and the sewing time will tell if we measured correctly (I think that we did!) I have also machine embroidered two more Christmas I now have eight just about ready to add to the box where I am accumulating Christmas gifts. The only things that I have to do to seven of these is to wash out the water soluble fabric that I sewed them on...then I will be left with eight ornaments that are ready to put a hanging cord and they will be "tree ready." I also managed to do a little cleaning little as possible! It has been another hot day here in Middle TN...once again Weather Bug and our digital thermometer read 100 to 101F....toooooooooo hot for September! I stayed in for most of the day I did walk out in our back yard a few minutes ago to see the neighbors (Nathan and five younguns). They returned today after being away for a I "needed" to say "hi!" I got an email from Erin. She made it through her first week of college and was setting to work to get her homework behind her so she could enjoy the long weekend. Good plan, Erin!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hot September First

I saw the weather bug temperature go to 100F has been a very hot start to September. I really can't say that it was all that hot as I never stepped foot outside today. Woody said that it really was hot and that the humidity had risen once again. Woody got up early as usual and today walked his four-mile-route. He has sort of taken it easy most of the day as have I. He has worked on the homework for his "Fresh Encounters" class. He has, as usual, also read and watched a bit of TV. I have worked on some more Christmas ornaments. One of them took well over an hour to stitch out...there were 17 thread changes and 20,600 stitches...that one was a bit more stitch intensive than some of the ones that I have done so far. It certainly was worth the extra effort as I really like the end results. After supper, I have already stitched out another that didn't take so long...only 12,300 stitches and five color changes. (I don't count the stitches...the sewing machine does that for me!)The color changes take a bit of time as I have to change the bobbin as the ornaments that I'm making are two sided...pretty on both sides! I would show a picture...but it might give away a Christmas gift that I might give a blog reader! I told Woody that it would be hard to give away the one that took so long and turned out so pretty...he told me that it wouldn't be hard! After I got the ornament, that took so long, finished, I went downstairs and made our supper. We had an old stand-by...marinara sauce on whole wheat spaghetti...pretty good even though it was such a hot day and it is a quick cooking sauce. We hadn't had it in a while. I got to use several of the new kitchen items that came in the mail yesterday for the first time. They worked great as I had anticipated. It was also nice to be able to find things in the kitchen drawer that I cleaned out and rearranged last night. While I was cooking, we had a slight sprinkle...very slight...but enough to see drops on the leaves on the bush outside the kitchen window...and the street did get damp...but only where the trees weren't hanging not very wet!

Woody got his monthly call from Vanderbilt checking on him...yesterday an email and today a phone call...they have been very attentive!

Happy September!