Tuesday, March 31, 2015

An Eggcellent Day

It has been an absolutely beautiful day...temps actually got up into the upper 70's. We got back into a school routine...we had our normal Tuesday routine...except for a couple of change-ups. Graham came over after lunch to read and we added in Abigail's sewing time since she missed it yesterday. After Graham read and I waited on Abigail to come over to sew, I got back to work on Isaac's second shirt...the first one was just too big in the neck. Tonight's picture shows the new one on him and I am much more satisfied. He didn't care big neck or not as long as it had the pocket in the front. I took the old one off him and popped the new one on him and then made a pass by the garbage can to get rid of the first one! I got over next door a bit late to get everyone coloring their eggs, but did manage to get there before Joy and Esther had finished theirs. Egg dying...always a fun project at this time of the year. We have eaten yesterday's leftovers today...so I didn't have to cook today...but not a lot of leftovers left after our crew had two meals yesterday so it looks like it will be a necessity do some cooking tomorrow! Woody has worked a lot in the yard today. He has mowed several strips of the yard and also used the mower to mulch the leaves that were raked yesterday...not an easy task! He left a while ago to walk to the prayer room at church and hasn't returned yet. I am ready to plop in my chair and do as close to nothing as possible for the rest of the evening...not even sure that I have enough energy to hold up the book I am reading (it is a BIG book (close to 500 pages) so it takes a bit of an effort to keep it propped up! I guess it is time to bid farewell to March...doesn't seem possible that 1/4 of the year is behind us already! Hope that you aren't fooled too much tomorrow! An automated call from Vanderbilt was what woke me up...reminder of Woody's next week's appointments.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Whole Lot of Rakin' & Weedin' & Cookin' & Eatin'

It has been a busy day...Melany, Wade, Erin and Alex paid us a visit and helped a tremendous amount out in the yard. Wade and Alex raked a tremendous amount of leaves. Woody and Melany worked in one of the flower gardens...getting leaves out, weeding, etc. Erin helped me get the lunch ready. We had lunch and they went back to work. I sat on the front porch for a while and watched. At a point I went inside and sat with Erin. She was perusing the cookbook that Woody gave me for my birthday. We had a cup of tea together...she used one of the cups and saucers from my mother's collection. Late afternoon Nathan, Kathy and children arrived back from their latest ministry trip. This was the trip where they juggled at the half-time of an NBA minor league game. They went all the way to Erie PA to do this...quite a trip! They got to see Lake Erie frozen. Everyone visited and played while I got leftovers heated up for our supper. Not long after supper Alex drove his parents and sister back to Murfreesboro. Woody and I are ready to put our feet up!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Feather Ruffling Morn

All the little birdies were puffed out to about twice their size this morning...ruffling their feathers out to help keep them warm. I got up and planned a menu for our Monday guests before Woody headed off to get groceries. Melany, Wade, Erin and Alex are coming to spend part of the day with us. It is Melany and Alex's Spring Break and Wade is taking off too so they are going to come to perhaps help in our gardens (depending on the temps) and to visit. Woody did a lot of Saturday errand running...Credit Union, Walmart and Kroger. He got his exercise in doing them! While he was away, I got underway with our lunch...an imitation crab and rice salad...tasted good for a change of pace from soup...though today's temps hollered soup more than a cold salad! This afternoon I got started on some of the cooking for Monday. This evening I have been resting, putting the finishing touches on the Sunday School lesson, and trying to coax this laptop to cooperate. Woody has helped by cleaning up the dishes from my cooking messes. When I get finished blogging I'm heading downstairs to run the dishwasher. I have been loading as I went along today so after adding a couple of other odd dishes it will be ready to run. Woody drove me to a friend's house today so I could deliver her cross stitch project back that I had helped her out with...Santa now has "wire-rimmed" spectacles.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Chilly Friday

It never got out of the 40's today and it is supposed to get down into the upper 20's tonight. Brrrrrr...especially after having several warm days. Woody chose not to walk today due to the cooler temperatures. He stayed in and made banana bread instead...two loaves. Very good! I stewed chickens and made broth today...guess a good thing to occupy my time on a chilly day. Mid-morning a long-time friend came over for some advice on her cross stitch project. We had a good time visiting. She is a spunky lady...a cancer survivor/fighter...undergoing chemo at the present..."just" two more treatments this time around. Woody has been reading and has done a bit of March Madness watching this evening. Since getting the chicken all deboned and the broth strained and both chicken and broth put in the refrigerator, I have just sat around and rested and tried to stay warm under a fleece throw. And, to think that a couple of days ago, that fleece throw was starting to feel too warm...glad for its warmth today!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

An Early Start

Woody got an early start this morning...he woke up around 3am and realized that he wasn't going to get back to sleep. He decided that it would be a time that he could go on an early morning walk. He got in a four-mile walk and was home before 5am...but his walk ended on a wet note. He was on the home stretch when he heard a sound like a "roar" and realized that he wasn't going to be able to avoid the rain that was coming. And, it was a really hard rain...it woke me up it was raining so hard against the side of the house. Not long after it started to let up, I heard the front door do its familiar squeak and that was the first that I knew that Woody had been gone. He came home quite wet. He changed clothes and went downstairs and I went back to sleep. I had a better night's sleep last night...just interrupted by the hard rain and Woody coming back in the house. I got up and fixed us some breakfast and got ready for school. Elijah trapped another squirrel. After his school time, he, Esther, and Nathan went to drop it off at its new home in the woods...far far away from our house...one less squirrel in our neighborhood and Goosey (Woody)is a $1 poorer! Nathan and Kathy and family are getting ready to do a program at an NBA basketball minor league team's half-time...it is this team's "Family Faith Night." Nathan came up with an idea for a different shirt for himself to wear--so he would have on team colors. So I made a long-sleeved black shirt into a short-sleeved one this afternoon and then sewed a gold strip of fabric on each sleeve this evening...the team's colors are black and gold and red. Late this afternoon we headed next door to kidsit while Nathan and Kathy went to a meeting and then had a date. I spent part of my time over there and part of my time over here getting his shirt ready. After supper, Isaac came over here to help me and I left the other six with Goosey. Nathan and Kathy came back before I got the sleeves finished. They stayed over here for a while and worked on performance shirts for the children. They headed home just a little while ago and Woody is back home. Busy day in both Dorrell households. It started raining again a while ago...temperatures are dropping...so much for the warmer weather...at least for a few more days.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Beautiful Day!

Woody headed off to do his weekly Krogering even before I got up. He said that the early bird gets the worm. He was able to get a couple of really good buys due to getting there early before sale items were picked over. Looks like the neighbors and I will be cooking some whole chickens one way or another! I had a strange night's sleep. I went to sleep much earlier than I thought that I would be able to after such a long nap yesterday afternoon. But I woke up at 4am. I finally realized why I woke up...I was hurting...probably due to the weather front that is coming our way in a day or so. Anyway, I decided that I would study the Sunday School lesson for this Sunday and hoped that I would eventually get sleepy and go back to sleep. I did go back to sleep, but not till I had blocked in the whole lesson. At that point I only had time for a power nap before it would be time to get up, have a bite of breakfast and get ready for school.(I'm hoping that tonight I can have a regular night's sleep after two not very good night's rest in a row!) We had a usual Wednesday for school minus Graham as a student for Woody. I'm guessing that he had to make up for time missed yesterday when our church youth went on a trip to Franklin, TN to one of the Baptist Children's Homes to do some work. Schools in Tullahoma are having Spring Break, but our homeschoolers aren't. Esther is working along on a cross stitch project. She is getting the hang of following a graph and isn't needing my assistance for each stitch anymore. So today I read to her while she stitched. After school I had a quick lunch and then headed to the church to work in the library for a couple of hours. Donna and I did the normal maintenance (checking books in that had piled up from Sunday to today and then shelving them). Then we got to do one of the "fun" jobs in the library...deciding on books to order. Always fun to buy books! So we did that for a while and then called it quits. While I was at the library, Woody went on a four-mile walk. I came home to make a pot of soup only to realize that we still didn't have all the ingredients for the recipe that I was going to make. Rather than have either of us make a trip to the store, I scouted my pantry shelves to see if I didn't have ALL the ingredients for another recipe. Decided on making Red Clam Sauce and Linguine. Pretty good...made up for the mussel sauce that I made a while back that neither of us liked very well. This was definitely much yummier! While I was having school this morning Woody did some leaf mulching with the lawnmower...not the easiest of tasks for him...tired him out pretty quickly. He also mowed a strip or so of grass...first mowing of the year. As the picture shows it was an absolutely beautiful day with more things in bloom today than yesterday. We needed to enjoy it as we have a front on its way that will plunge our temperatures back to perhaps below freezing...wonder what Middle TN "winter" this will be...red bud, dogwood or...?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Another Banned to the Woods!

Yesterday when Goosey (Woody) and Elijah were in our front yard, Goosey pointed out a squirrel to Elijah and told him there was a squirrel for him to trap. Elijah headed off and got one of his traps and he and his daddy got it set and bird seed inside the trap. He gets a bounty of $1 for each squirrel he traps in our yard...so there is motivation! And...this morning there was another squirrel to take away from our properties and ban to the woods! After he got his $1, Elijah read to me. Then he and his dad headed off to release the captured critter into the wild. Goosey told Elijah that he was sure that it was the squirrel that was sitting in our yard yesterday! I had a normal Tuesday for school. Then I had lunch and headed upstairs to rest and read for a little while. I had not had a very good night's sleep due to allergies and just getting little snatches of sleep at a time. So I was tired...well, I didn't read long and I was asleep. I slept "hard" for just about the whole afternoon...so much for plans that I had for the afternoon. A little while after supper, Woody walked to the prayer room. I did take advantage of him not being in the family room and vacuumed and ended up giving a lick and a promise to all the downstairs' carpets. I had the vacuum in the family room and had planned a couple of days ago to vacuum, but just hadn't yet...well, today mud got tracked in so the timing was perfect to "make" myself do it today after the mud dried a bit. So that task is done. Woody is still at the prayer room. I think that he may have done a little bit in the gardens today, but I'm not sure because I was dozing. I know that he told me that our Native American Indian princess, Joy, was attempting to make a teepee out on the Back 40 (Nathan and Kathy's lot that is behind our lot...where they do some of their gardening and there is a little wooded area.). So I know that he was at least out back and I figure that he was puttering around with something. I know that Goosey has had Elijah and Esther helping him with one of his gardens. The children are so enjoying our beautiful days and temperatures. They washed their vehicle and our green car this afternoon. I should have gotten a picture...but...it happened while I was dozing. With all that dozing I wonder how I will sleep tonight! At least I have a couple of good books if I can't sleep!

Monday, March 23, 2015

First Spring Cookout

We had a nice treat this evening...got invited next door to "the neighbor's" (Nathan & Kathy and family)first Spring cookout. Food was yummy and the company was delightful! I had a full day of school this morning and the first part of the afternoon. This is the day that I have all six of my scholars and Elijah twice. Abigail got the sleeves set into the doll dress that she is making...big accomplishment! Elijah worked with snap circuits. He is getting pretty good at following the diagram and making sure that he has a closed circuit. Woody walked five miles today. His walk included a stop at the library to pick up a book that he had requested and to get a book that I needed next in a series. The book that he got for me was a huge over 500 page book...that taxed his upper body strength on the last part of his walk! Abigail came over almost as soon as Elijah finished his extra time with me. She wanted to put all the Bobbsey Twin books that we have in the order they should be read. That took a bit of time. I have some Bobbsey Twin books that were my mother's and some that were mine and some that were Melany's and some that used to be in the church library. We have been revamping the older children's books at the church library and the Bobbsey Twins just weren't being read/checked out any more so we decided to discard them...and since I have a love of those books from my childhood, I just couldn't totally get rid of them so they left the church library shelves and found a home in a bookshelf in the school room at our house. Abigaill and I are reading a Bobbsey Twin book out loud for her extra reading and she decided that she really liked them so she got her daddy to read one to the girls for their bedtime stories. And, they decided that they wanted to read them in order...so now they can go through ours (after Abigail's diligent work this afternoon) in the order that we have them. We have a few missing and Abigail plans to see if she can get them on her Kindle. So for the moment The Bobbsey Twins...old that may be...are being read by another generation in my family. It has been a beautiful day. Several of the children and I decided to do our reading time out on the front porch in the glider today...nice! Esther and Elijah helped Goosey (Woody) in one of our gardens today...you should have seen their hands when they got through. The children really enjoyed a pretty day to be out to play and garden.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Saturday, March 21, 2015

First Spring Saturday

Woody headed off fairly early to go to Walmart and the library. I put away the groceries when Woody got back home. Mid-morning he went to the hospital to visit a friend. I spent a good part of the morning putting the final touches on tomorrow's Sunday School lesson. Then I have read most of the rest of the day...trying to stay off my foot and leg...which, by the way, are both much better. Late this afternoon, I got a call from the library saying that a book that I had requested had come in so I did venture out long enough to get the book. I came home and finished the book that I had been reading and since have started the book that I picked up. Woody went on a four-mile walk this afternoon. He has also been reading, watching a bit of March Madness and doing some yard work. He finished cutting back the dead "sticks" on our butterfly bushes. Now I'm heading back to my recliner and new book!

Friday, March 20, 2015

It's Official!

Spring arrived at 5:45pm Central time!
Spring arrived on a rather dreary, drizzly day here in Middle TN...but that is good...a good day for all the spring flowers to get a real good soaking. I woke up early and started working on the Sunday School lesson for Sunday...though I haven't seemed to get too far with it. After Woody got up I headed downstairs and started on cooking our meal of the day...and hopefully several days to come! We didn't have our traditional New England Boiled Dinner (corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions) on St. Patrick's Day since we were at Vanderbilt. So I prepared it today. We enjoyed it for supper tonight. When I wasn't cooking I was flopped in my recliner either reading or working on the Sunday School lesson...my foot and knee are still bothering me so trying to stay off of them as much as possible. Woody went behind me when I cooked and kept the counters all cleared. I put the last of the dishes in the dishwasher and have one pan soaking...so the kitchen is pretty much clean after a big day of cooking. Woody went on a four-mile walk this afternoon while I napped! Woody says that he is feeling much better after this infusion...he said that after his walk today he felt like he could have kept on walking for a while. His cough is pretty much gone. About the only side effect that still bothers him is when he uses upper body strength and that wears him out. But I think that he is encouraged to be feeling better. Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spring...Just a Day Away!

Critters such as these tend to "say" Spring! This fellow settled on the table next to me the other day when I was sitting on the porch glider...as long as he stayed wandering around on the table and not buzzing around me I was okay. I had school this morning and then decided to try out another recipe from my new cookbook...one for macaroni and cheese. I have been looking for one that ended up creamy and saucy. This one seems to fit the bill. Woody isn't overly fond of mac and cheese (guess one wouldn't who doesn't like cheese, which he doesn't), but he did take a bite or two and said that he was still living! The rest of the afternoon I pretty much stayed in my chair as I just felt the need to rest. I have a foot that is bothering me and also a knee...so that is tiring in and of itself, but then perhaps I was just looking for an excuse to sit and read and talk on the phone with my sister. Woody walked to the library this afternoon as he was in need of another book. After my short cooking spree, I loaded up everything that could go into the dishwasher and got it washing and Woody washed the rest by hand. He has been reading and watching some March madness this evening. I've almost finished another book so I'm heading back to my chair to finish it after I post this blog. Spring arrives tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Recovery Day!

At least it feels like a recovery day to me after we have been to Vanderbilt. Woody seems to fare better after the long day than I! A little before 8am Woody left to do our weekly Wednesday Krogering. He got back and I put the groceries away as Isaac had slept in late and didn't come for his school time (later we found out that he wasn't feeling good and was running a temperature...poor little Isaac). Elijah came over and we had his Grammy school time and then Abigail and Joy read to me. After they read, Graham and Esther came over for their hour time with Goosey (Woody) and me. Esther got underway with choosing embroidery thread colors and started stitching on her new design. After the morning scholars headed home, we had lunch. Then I headed off to work in the church library for a few hours. While I was at the library Woody walked four miles...the doctor told him yesterday to keep on walking. On my way home from the church library I stopped at the public library to pick up a book that had come in that I had requested. Tonight's photo is of a little garden in front of the library. It is planted by a local garden club in memory of one of my Montessori students. By the time that I got home I was tuckered out and ready to sit for a while. When I went downstairs to tell Woody something, he wasn't in the family room...nor anywhere in the house. So I went outside and found him out back planting spinach seeds. He also worked some in the front garden...continuing trimming back dead growth on the butterfly bushes. So he has had a very busy day. He is now settled in his recliner watching TV and/or reading. I plan to head back to my chair as soon as I blog and read for a while.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Code Red!

Another eventful day at Vanderbilt...several firsts. We left the house around 8am. Our first stop was at a car wash. We drove through and then were on our way to Nashville. We went the back road for the first time in a while...so much prettier than the interstate! We got to Vanderbilt about a half-hour before Woody's first appointment. He got signed in at the first desk and had been called to the registration desk and had filled out his registration papers. Before he got called back for labs lights and sounds and an announcement over the speakers declared a "code red." We all (all in the waiting room) just sat not knowing just exactly what was happening and/or what we were supposed to do or not do! A lady came to the center of the room and told us not to panic, but to get up and file outside. The announcement said that there was a code red located in the basement...never heard exactly what had happened or what this was all about. But we sat or stood outside for a while and then we were told that we could go back inside. So that was a first...being evacuated at Vanderbilt. I had various codes called out over the intercoms. After we got back in, it wasn't long till Woody was called in for his labwork. Then it was on to Dr. Sosman's waiting area. And, we didn't have to wait very long there till he was called back to a room. Before Dr. Sosman came in, a pharmacist came in to talk to Woody about his meds and to talk about Keytruda and ask about side effects, etc. Another first...to talk to a pharmacist. Then Dr. Sosman came in with a medical student. Lots of questions were asked and lots were answered. We talked about how tired Woody gets when he uses upper body strength. We asked specifically if it could be due to the fact that Woody has a low red blood count...but upon looking at past labs way back...that count has always been in about the same low range. So it is felt that this tiredness was a side effect of the Keytruda. Several other possible side effects were discussed. The pharmacist and Dr. Sosman pretty much came to the same conclusion...as long as the side effects were something that he can put up with then continue...and that when they become too much for Woody then they will stop the Keytruda. At this point Woody says that at this point he can definitely put up with the side effects that he may be having. The labs took an extremely long time to be posted today...way after we saw Dr. Sosman. I headed off to make future appointments and Woody went up to get signed in for his infusion appointment. It took forever to get all the appointments made...a bit of a confusion as at first they were made two weeks apart...so the process had to be started all over again. But in the end we did manage to get an appointment made for his next PET scan and then for the next four lab/Dr. Sosman/infusion appointments...so all total 13 new appointments. He now has appointments all the way into July. Since it took so long to get the appointments made, I was sure that Woody would already be settled into his infusion room...but NO! And, we waited and waited and waited in that waiting room. He didn't get called into a room till an hour after his appointment time. We "think" that it was because it took so long for his labs to be posted. I kept checking the My Vanderbilt Health site to see if they had been posted and it wasn't long after they got posted that he was called back and put in a room...finally! It took a good 2 1/2 hours if not 3 hours for the labs to be posted. The infusion folk have to check his lab work before "things" can proceed. Once he gets in the infusion chair is when they usually order the Keytruda and then it takes at least 1/2 hour for it be brought to his room...but today it must have already been ordered as it wasn't long at all till he was hooked up...we were in the infusion room for less than an hour...perhaps a record...of course that record hardly counts since we sat so long in their waiting room! We had our car and were heading home a little after 3pm. We stopped for our "treat" for a long Vandy day at Steak and Shake. I got to use a coupon that friends gave me for my birthday...tried a hamburger that I hadn't tried before. Woody had his usual single hamburger and a shake...this time their banana shake made with real bananas...pretty good treats for the long day. We pulled into our driveway at 5:40pm...so a pretty long day...almost 10 hours away from home. I am heading to my chair as I developed a stiff neck over the time away...I noticed it a little on our way to Vandy...but by the infusion time I was glad that I had a reclining chair in Woody's room...and, now look forward to settling into my chair with the heating pad. It's good to be home...again! Oh, and sorry that this couldn't have been a "code green" (of course, I don't know what a code green might be...so perhaps good that it wasn't!) to go along with wearing of the green today...Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Happy Birthday, DQ!

We'll gladly celebrate Dairy Queen's 75th birthday with a free small cone. If you hurry there's still time to enjoy their birthday celebration! It was a perfect dessert after our soup for supper! This morning Woody went to Life Care Center and had Bible study with one of their residents. Then on the way home he stopped and got us Arby roast beef sandwiches...something to add iron to his diet! I'll gladly go along with some extra iron in my diet too! Good lunch. I ate my sandwich while sitting on the front porch on the glider...Spring actually decided to show up today. It was a really pretty day...got to the mid 70's. Woody did some yard work...cutting back dead growth from some of our perennials...getting ready for all that new growth. He also helped in the kitchen today...washing some dishes. And, he got in a four-mile walk this afternoon. I cleaned a bathroom and did some vacuuming upstairs. I was able to vacuum the upstairs hall now that the Christmas boxes are put away. I also vacuumed the school room, sewing room, and our bedroom and bath. I have now taken the vacuum downstairs so I can vacuum the kitchen floor so I can mop it. I will tell a funny story that I was told one time. I used to belong to an embroidery group in Murfreesboro. We really had a good time getting together once a month. One of the members used to say that she only mopped her floor when it got so bad that the floor would pull her socks off. Well...ours is almost that bad so guess it is time to mop! I also put away all the snowman pillows, covers, and the snowman on the table on the front porch...figured that they had brought us enough snow and that we really don't need any more. So I got out the spring/summer/fall pillows and put them on the rockers and glider and also found a spring decoration for the table...so the porch is ready so we can "set awhile!" Like I said, I ate lunch out there and then later in the afternoon when taking a break from vacuuming I sat and read and watched the birds in the yard...even got a couple of pictures of some birds.Several robins and a sparrow enjoyed the birdbath. We won't be "porch sitting" tomorrow...we will be "Vanderbilt sitting." Woody's appointments start mid-morning and his last one is after lunch...so we will see how long we will be there. I did manage to get the rest of my pictures sorted yesterday...so a clean slate...that is until I "dumped" the pictures that I took today so I could post tonight's photo! Well, time to get some exercise! Time for Dancing With the Stars.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Soggy Saturday

Today was a continuation of photo sorting for me...once I get started I just want to get it finished. Now that I have four cameras it takes a bit longer...though lately I have been using my new point and shoot the most as I am trying to get used to it. I was almost finished with the sorting (just 10 days of pictures on one camera), but I decided that I had to stop for the day as it was about to put me to sleep...sort of hypnotizing moving pictures back and forth between computer files and creating new files, etc. So I left the computer and headed downstairs and made a new soup recipe for our supper...Beef and Barley Vegetable Soup. Quite good...it's always amazing when just a few ingredients can meld together to make something so very flavorful. Woody went to the library and did our WalMart shopping this morning. Walking the aisles of WalMart was exercise today. There wasn't ever a very good time to go outside for a walk as there was just no telling when the rain might start up again. It's definitely soggy underfoot...good that we have stepping stones between our house and the neighbor's (Nathan and Kathy's)as they definitely come in handy on days like we have been having lately...though, today I didn't even venture out to use them as I have just stayed inside...trying to keep dry and warm. It got to almost 60 today but the dampness made it seem chillier to me.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Before and After

I have been analyzing and sorting the photos from my new little point and shoot camera today. I have been going through them and getting rid of the ones that are really bad. I was ready to throw away the one that is tonight's blog photo because it was blurry and overexposed...I thought that I could probably fix the exposure in Photoshop, but knew that the blur was there to stay...then I looked at it again and I "sort of still liked it." Which made me think that I could go in and use one of the filters in Photoshop and make it into a photo painting! I didn't play around too long as I wanted to blog so just grabbed onto the first one that I thought made the picture look much better. The filter I used was "ink outlines." This was taken on one of our trips to Vanderbilt...out the car window when we were on the interstate...so going 70 mph...not the best circumstances to get the greatest pictures! But this shows what one can do with a not so great photo. Now the question is...do I delete these from my photo files...now that I have played with it and sort of like the outcome, I probably won't! It is so hard for me to talk myself into deleting pictures! It has been a rainy dreary day and Woody didn't go on a walk today, except to the mailbox. He stayed in and read with the TV as background noise. I started out the morning getting my notes ready for teaching Sunday School on Sunday. Then two elves showed up to help us out...Woody had not felt well enough to get the Christmas decoration boxes packed back into the Christmas closet. I had worked on it some...trying to figure out the puzzle. Today Kathy and Graham showed up to get them all packed away once again. They were good puzzle solvers! It is so good to have the hall empty of boxes again!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring is Poppin' Up!

It seems that each day something new is blooming...today...crocus and also our miniature jonquils and miniature crocus. I love spring colors! Though, overcast it actually got to around 70. We had another normal school day...wow...a whole week without one of their ministry trips taking them off to various parts of the U.S. This week it was their daddy's turn to do the traveling. Nathan was in Ontario, Canada on Sunday...got home of Monday. Then yesterday he flew to Boca Raton, FL and got home this afternoon. Wonder if he has jet lag...on top of regular time zone changes, he had to deal with Daylight Savings time change too. My head would be spinning...but maybe juggling so many other things makes time change juggling not so hard! Just think Nathan saw Niagara Falls part way frozen on Sunday and was in the warm temperatures of FL yesterday and today. Woody dared to walk the same sidewalk as yesterday and walked to the barbershop to get a haircut. No problems along his walking path today! I made a recipe from the past to go with our supper tonight...Hot German Potato Salad. I hadn't made it in a long time. When I saw the recipe for it on the opposite page from our baked bean recipe, it called my name to make it. It has been a busy day and now I am ready to settle in with a good book...oh, well, I guess before that I had best go downstairs and load up the dishwasher and get it washing...perhaps I have enough energy left to do that? This afternoon was a perfect day for a bike ride for our neighbors...this was Joseph's first bike ride. He laughed as they headed off. The picture from the front of the bike line...Graham (13) pulling Isaac(3)in the bike carrier, then Elijah(5), Esther(7), Joy(9), Abigail(11), and Kathy with Joseph(1) in the bike seat. They were riding around the block waiting for their daddy to get back. Nathan got back and they talked him into joining them and off the nine of them went! You can click on the picture below to see more detail.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Some people are just downright mean! During Woody's four-mile walk today...while walking on a sidewalk on the main street behind our house...someone threw a big glob of wettish plaster at him. It hit him on the left leg...spot above his knee and then it "exploded" all over him...his other pant leg...his sweater...his shoes. It was thrown hard enough that it left a bruise. He wasn't aware of anything out of the ordinary until it hit him. He was walking along looking down at the sidewalk and then BAM/SPLAT! His clothes seem to have come clean...they are in the drier. But the washer was all grainy and chalky so I am running a wash cycle with just water in it. This happened while I was working at the church library this afternoon. This morning we had a normal day of school. Esther is starting a new cross stitch project and Graham had his chemistry time with Woody. Before I left for the library I got cabbage shredded and a carrot grated...ready to make cole slaw. If Woody has baked beans, he wants slaw with them. I used a new recipe and method for slaw from my the cookbook Woody gave me for my birthday. Woody did his weekly Krogering after I got home from church. I am ready to rest for the rest of the evening. I decided to come in and blog before I sit for any length of time in my recliner as I am afraid that I will fall asleep as soon as I sit down and get still...reading may or may not occur...though I do hope to be able to read at least a little while! A little while ago, we got our friendly automated Vanderbilt appointment reminder of next week's appointments. Three weeks roll around quite quickly...though I am ready for this one so we can ask Dr. Sosman some questions.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Party, Party, Party!

Such jokers we have next door! They invited Goosey (Woody) and me over for cake and ice cream after lunch today and I walk into their house to peels of laughter. I head out to the kitchen to get a picture of the cake that they made for me and what do my eyes see...but the numbers reversed on the cake! The children thought that it was hilarious!
They did switch them back correctly for my birthday picture!
It has been a busy birthday for me. I got up early enough to get a pot of baked beans into the oven before school started. Then we had our usual Tuesday school schedule. As soon as Graham finished reading we headed next door to have cake and ice cream and presents. After the festivities, I scurried off for my haircut appointment. While I was gone Goosey went next door to sit with three of the neighbor grands while the rest went off in two different directions for various appointments. After my haircut, I ran errands and culminated my errands with a stop at Ruby Tuesday's to take advantage of a free birthday hamburger...very good. I settled into a booth and read while enjoying my meal. I had cake and ice cream for lunch so had the rest of my lunch and an early supper ("lupper") at Ruby Tuesday's. As I was coming home, I passed Woody walking to the church prayer room. He has yet to return. I'm ready for my recliner, after so many festivities to celebrate my day...added onto the scare of thinking that I was as old as my cake said when I first saw it! Enough to do this ol' Grammy in! Well, as the Tennessee Ernie Ford song goes..."another day (in this case...year) older...(but thankfully not) deeper in debt"(thanks to Ruby Tuesday's free burger)! Speaking of food...Woody got me a great cookbook for my birthday. For those familiar with the PBS cooking show, America's Test Kitchen, he got me their 15th anniversary cookbook with all the recipes from their first 15 years on the air...BIG cookbook! Along with good recipes it makes for pretty good reading with lots of good cooking hints and information. Oh, and the day has been typical for my birthday...rainy...spring showers!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Drizzly Monday

Drizzly but much warmer...nice to see 60! I had my usual Monday school routine...all six and Elijah twice. Abigail worked some more on her doll dress...next step...the sleeves...moving right along. Woody went to Life Care to do Bible study with one of the residents. Then he went to the Credit Union. On the way home he stopped at Arby's and brought lunch home. After lunch, he went on his four-mile walk. He definitely did more than he has been doing. The part for my vacuum cleaner came today and it did fix the problem. So I have been doing a bit of vacuuming testing it out! When I came upstairs I brought a load of laundry to put away...I will do that next and then I will sit for a while! Woody has settled into his recliner for a relaxing evening. I just took tonight's picture before I came upstairs to blog...the time change definitely made a difference in how much more daylight we have at this end of the day. I hope that these daffodils mean that Spring is just around the corner!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Springing Ahead

Tonight's photo is one of my favorite bird pictures that I have taken. Again, it was taken some time ago...and when things were much greener than they are now. I call this picture "Bringing Home the Bacon." Speaking of bringing home the bacon, Woody followed his normal Saturday routine...library and WalMart. I got up and headed downstairs to decide what we needed from the store...looked through several recipes and chose some and added needed ingredients to the list. When I was looking through our pantry items I came across a package of lentils. I looked on the package to see what "goodness" they had in them and found out that they are quite a high source of iron. I, for one, am not all that fond of lentils...don't care for the grainy texture. But since we are trying to up Woody's iron intake in case his anemia that shows up in the lab work is the cause of his extreme tiredness, I decided that I should cook them. So I hunted through my recipes to find a lentil soup recipe. While he was at the store getting the other needed ingredients I worked on the first part of the soup...cooking the lentils. We had the soup for lunch...and it wasn't all that bad...pretty good actually and Woody at least said that it was edible! I put away groceries after Woody got home and washed the cooking dishes after I finished up the soup. Woody hasn't been coming behind me lately to clean up my cooking messes. His energy level is definitely low...especially if he has to use his arms to do something. (Hmmmmmm...sounds like a good excuse to get out of doing dishes, doesn't it!?!) I then got busy putting the final touches on the Sunday School lesson. Just as I finished, Isaac came over. He tried on his sweat pants so I could adjust the elastic and finish up the waist band. He also tried on his new shirt and I wasn't happy with the neck...I thought that it looked too big...so I worked on that while he played games on my iPad. Kathy tried Joseph's sweat pants on him and the elastic was ok where it was pinned so I got his pants finished too. I'm still not happy with the neck of Isaac's shirt...I think that I may take off the neck band and try again...third time's a charm...we'll see! Isaac and Joseph were going to wear their matching outfits to a church event tonight, so I will get the shirt back after the event! Kathy took Joseph to get his 1-year photo taken at a photographers today. The picture turned out cute. Woody's exercise today was grocery shopping rather than a 4-mile walk. It did turn out to be a very pretty day...blue sky, warmer temperatures...Spring may come yet. The neighbor grandchildren were running around outside enjoying the day. Graham came in commenting on how wet it was underfoot...all that snow and ice has made for rather mushy ground now that it is thawing out. We "spring-ahead" in the night...not my favorite time of the year...as that means that we move an hour farther away from my sister as AZ doesn't change times. I like it much better when we are just an hour apart rather than two. Well, guess with that said I will go finish changing our clocks!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Thawin' Out

The sun was out this morning and this is how things looked around 11am:
Below is a picture of the road at 2pm...a definite improvement...thawed and pretty dry. Things are definitely looking up! Woody even ventured out to the mail box today. He said that he was very careful on our bottom step going down from our porch and coming back up...still icy. I have read (finished another book and started another) and sewn and worked on Sunday's Sunday School lesson today. Today's sewing project...one that I hadn't planned for but realized that I had enough of the fabric to make Isaac a pair of sweat pants. I'm getting pretty efficient at making sweat pants. Next planned project is a shirt for me. Woody has stayed in except for his excursion to get the mail. He has read, watched TV and rested. He continues to have a dry cough...only explanation for it is that a cough can be a side effect of Keytruda infusions.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Icing on the "Cake!"

This was the view out the bedroom window a little after 6 this morning. And, this time pretty much of what you see is covered with a sheet of ice. Pretty slick out there. Woody never got farther than our front porch. He attempted to salt the steps but salt wasn't all that effective today. The roads still look about the same this evening and it is already 21 degrees out so no melting will go on tonight...any melting that "might" have happened today is already frozen solid again. Of the grandchildren only Elijah ventured over. He read a couple of stories from his latest Dick and Jane book and then I read him a story. He went downstairs and visited with Goosey (Woody) for a while and then headed home. I think that the back and forth weather got to me and I was pretty achy for a good part of the morning. I look forward to warmer temperatures...but forget what it means to my aches and pains due to Transverse Myelitis when the seasons start to change and the temperatures go back and forth from cold to a bit warmer to cold again. So I stayed close to my recliner and read. Weather of late has been good reading weather. I am glad that I went to the public library yesterday. I finished the church library book that I had been reading and then started one that I checked out from the public library and am already a third of the way through it. Mid-morning I decided that it was time to do something other than read and I headed to the sewing room and made Joseph a little pair of sweat pants. This afternoon I made chicken and rice soup for our supper. What "liquid gold" I didn't use in the soup is now in the freezer. Woody has read, watched TV and rested. It has mainly been a "stay-in-and-attempt-to-stay-warm" kind of day. And, now, I am going to go and start our faucets dripping...supposed to get down into the teens tonight...definitely don't want frozen pipes! We have enough frozen "stuff" around us.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A "Liquid Gold" Kind of Day

I guess I could say that tonight's title is a test for those of you who follow our blog fairly closely. I have mentioned "liquid gold" a time or two. What tonight's title means is that today was a day to make chicken broth/stock. Some cookbook or cooking show that I read/watched one time called stock "liquid gold" and we continue to call it that. I first stewed a chicken and then took the chicken out of the pot when it was cooked and left the liquid to simmer with celery, onion, garlic, carrot pieces for quite a few hours. Once the chicken cooled enough so I could debone it, I put the chicken pieces in a container to use in soup or a casserole and then added the bones back into the stock pot to simmer with the liquid and the veggies. Just before I left to work in the church library, I strained it. It is in the refrigerator and I will skim off the fat tomorrow and then freeze it in two cup portions...ready for various recipes that might call for it. Called "liquid gold" because of its VALUE when it is awaiting in the freezer for when the need for it arises. It just adds such a rich taste to so many dishes. I used the last of our "liquid gold" that was in the freezer the other day when I made our cabbage soup. I was glad Woody bought another chicken the other day. Another task for the day was to try to figure out what the problem was with our vacuum cleaner. I contacted Dyson last night describing the problem and what I had done to "fix" said problem. I actually got an email back last night and it wasn't just a generic email saying that they had gotten and would reply at a later time...it was from a real person with suggestions as to what to try. Well, I had already done most of what he said, but did what he said to do AGAIN. When I was still having a problem I emailed back again telling what I had done and that the vacuum was still doing the same thing and that it definitely wasn't a suction problem, etc. Well, I got an email back within an hour saying that it looked like it was a problem with the trigger head and that they would be sending a new one to us...my mouth just about dropped open I was so surprised. I thought that I was going to have to replace a part but never dreamed that they would do it at no cost to us. Some companies are so nice to deal with...looks like Dyson is one of the nice ones! Now I just hope that when it comes that it does solve the problem! On my way to the church library I stopped at the public library...hard to get the librarian in me away from a library of any kind...one of my favorite places to spend time. I needed to return some items due and also needed to restock as we are now in a winter storm "WARNING" rather than the "ADVISORY" that we were in last night. Warning means that it REALLY is on the way! So ice, sleet, frozen rain, and snow...is on the way once again. When I left for the library a little before 1pm it was in the "balmy" mid-60's. Right now as I type Weatherbug says that it is 37...so temps are dropping. We're only supposed to get to the mid-20's tomorrow for a high. Brrrrrrrrr...AGAIN!!!!! This too will pass as is noted by tonight's picture...I spotted these at the end of our driveway as I was leaving for the two libraries so snapped a quick picture in the rain. It is now raining quite hard...but as the colder temperatures arrive it will be turning over to frozen precip of some kind or another. Woody walked 4 miles this morning when the temperatures were at their warmest of the day. While I was at the library he did his weekly Krogering. He is still coughing, still fatigues easily, etc. but I know that he is happy to be back to his walking.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

So Ready for Spring

I am so ready for Spring to arrive that I went hunting through my pictures for a spring-like photo and decided on this one of a blue bird that I took some time back...definitely not taken of late with all the green surrounding it! It makes me anticipate sitting on our front porch and trying to capture a bird photo...but will wait till it is a bit warmer! It was a much warmer day today (but not warm enough for front porch sitting for me) and Woody actually went on a 4-mile walk...something that he hasn't done for a while. I have done a little of this and a little of that today. I did do some more sewing...but picked up a project that I had already finished and did some changes on it...now I like my sweatshirt much better...changed the neck band and the band around the bottom of it. A load of wash awaits me in the dryer to get out and fold and I brought the vacuum upstairs a while ago to vacuum the floors where my sewing has been taking place...it just gets to that point at times around the cutting area and the actual sewing area...and it has reached that point! It may not get done till tomorrow...but at least the vacuum is upstairs. It has rained off and on during the afternoon and evening. Woody got wet on his walk. We are under a winter weather advisory...AGAIN!!!! We have everything predicted from rain, thunderstorms, snow, ice, to freezing rain between now and Thursday afternoon. Reason that I am longingly thinking about Spring! We have had our nice snow...so now it is time to get warm and stay warm...at least in my mind. We are supposed to only drop into the mid 50's overnight...but then take a drastic drop in temperatures when a cold front passes through and not get out of the 20's on Thursday. But these back and forth between warm and cold temperatures are a sign that Spring is on its way...and Spring hasn't ever failed to arrive yet...so I will just sit back and anticipate warmer temperatures.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Forbidden Fruit!

Tonight's picture was literally a forbidden fruit in my house when I was growing up. My father was very allergic to them...just mentioning the word "avocado" made him feel sick. He had to be very careful in Mexican restaurants that he didn't get anything on his plate that had even come in contact with anything to do with an avocado. For years I never even tried them knowing how sick they made my father...only in recent years did I decide to give them a try and found out that I love them. The other half of the one in the picture was my breakfast this morning. Yum! Now don't offer me tamales of any sort or salmon...those are the bane of my existence and "make me sick as a dog" (my father's terms after a bout with coming in contact with disguised/hidden avocado). I have had a rather lazy day. I have read, worked a little on next week's Sunday School lesson, talked on the phone with my sister and a couple of friends, and made soup...Cabbage and Polish Sausage. I was going to sew, but so far just haven't even felt like doing that. I did finish the top for Isaac over the weekend. Woody was a bit more ambitious. He went to Life Care Center and had Bible study with a patient there. He hadn't been there in a few weeks either due to weather (ice and snow) or the fact that they had a "stomach bug" go around at Life Care that put them in a "sort of" quarantine for a time. Then this afternoon he walked to the pharmacy to pick up one of his prescriptions. He has read, watched TV and rested...oh, and he even took out the compost to the compost pile. He hasn't even felt like doing that these last few days. We are both still counting on a bit warmer temperatures...though they have definitely risen from last week. BUT there is a prediction for more frozen precipitation on Wednesday. Oh, boy...(not)! My last words tonight will be to wish my favorite (and, only) sister a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! She has decided that she doesn't like this birthday (a new decade for her...she is joining me) so she thinks that she will become a perpetual "29"...that was what our father stayed throughout his life once he got beyond a certain age...he would always say "this is the __ anniversary of my 29th birthday" or that he was "29+tax." Whatever she chooses to say her age is...she still had a birthday today and for about a week, she and I are "only" six years apart! So there you have several memories of my father on this the 31st anniversary of my sister's 29th birthday! (I think that I got the math right!)