Thursday, October 1, 2009


As this is my weekend to work before my trip to North Carolina with my granddaughter, today was my day off this week. So translated, that means it was my day to be sure to get all of Mother's chores and errands done before I leave town. Whew! The day started with my laundry, then picking her up at 10:00 for a nail appointment. Two hours for that. Bath and Body Works shopping for gifts. The car wash. The dry cleaners. We saved the best for last........Wal-Mart.
By the time I got her back home this afternoon (about 2:30) I was exhausted. I cannot keep up with an 80 year old woman! There's a problem here.

Had a solitary dinner consisting of the roast I put on to cook early this morning. Then off again with my best friend Gwen to a Caregivers Support Group meeting.
That was an interesting experience, to say the least. I've never been to any support group before and didn't really know what to expect. I truly thought it might just be everyone sitting around patting each other on the back. Oh no! Everyone there had a different situation and were dealing with them the best they knew how. Some were offered constructive advice and ideas were tossed around that room all evening. Such interaction with a great group of people! There was a particular lady there who seemed to really NEED the opportunity to talk to someone. Her husband is only 60 and has undergone a myriad of health problems. He is in a nursing home right now undergoing PT and she doesn't know what the long-term prognosis is. Financial matters are another great concern for her. Anyway, I will be praying for her AND for her husband. It suddenly made MY problems with Mother seem very insignificant.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ah, October !

Ah, October! I have always loved it and am glad it is upon us even though it is a harbinger of winter (which I detest). An action-packed month for me, I work very little during the month. THIS particular October starts with my Tristin becoming an official "Tiger Cub". How exciting for him and isn't he a doll ! He is excited that he gets to walk in the Lincoln Days parade this coming weekend with his "pack". Sydney has joined a Brownie troop, but no pictures to share yet. She is taking a trip this weekend with her Mom and won't be there for the parade, but there will be lots of other fun things for her to do in the Brownies. It brings back a lot of OLD memories from when I was a Brownie. Yes, believe it or not, I did that, too.
The trip to the Outer Banks with Kristin is coming up next week, then Tristin's birthday party at a local aquatics center, the annual "Girls Trip", and finally, Halloween (my favorite holiday!).

April drug out her Halloween decorations last week and of course, our boy had to try on masks. He's already prepared. They are having a party this year and I'm not sure if I'll make it or not. I have to work that day and the next, so it would be a ROAD trip to drive 2 1/2 hours each way. We'll see.
Happy October my blogging friends!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hot Slaw, Cool Ice

Okay, do these things only happen to ME? (And apparently my son-in-law Bruce ?)
Once upon a time when my daughter and her husband were here for a visit, I bought some bar-b-que at a local place with a unique side dish, hot slaw. Not temperature hot, but spicy hot. I personally have never tasted it but it has quite a following as this story bears out. Bruce, the son-in-law (pictured above) LOVED the hot slaw. He loves it so much that he wanted to share this great side dish with his co-workers. Hence, the annual employee picnic seemed the perfect time to do just that. He called me and I hooked him up with the owner of the restaurant and I never heard another word. Until YESTERDAY, that is.
Apparently they had worked it all out, he ordered and paid, they shipped. UPS. In ice. In a CARDBOARD BOX.
Ice melts. Cardboard gets wet. UPS faxed the owner of the restaurant saying the boxes were "damaged" and would be returned ! Who wants rotten hot slaw? (Not me.)
This is the day BEFORE the picnic. Uh-oh.
Sweet mother-in-law that I am, I drive like a maniac to the restaurant and pick up replacement slaw and still get Mother to the Doctor on time. Then take her home and hit the WK Parkway. You see, my son-in-law works 2 1/2 hours away from here. We both drive for an hour or so and meet on the road, do the "quick change" on the side of the road and FINALLY, Bruce's company will get the hot slaw.
The picnic was today. I hope they liked it :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Once I Had A Doctor

Well, there he is folks. The Doctor.
It seems I've had a lot of trouble with retaining Doctors and I've come to think it must be ME. When I first moved to this little burg I had no difficulty finding a doctor. Crouch, it was. He was very good for me. During his tenure I developed hypertension that was discovered during an "episode" that he diagnosed quickly and during which I was hospitalized for a few days. He discovered the correct prescription medicines for me to keep this problem under control (if I behaved) and all went well for several years.
Then, lo and behold, the young Dr. Crouch and his pretty wife and baby up and move to Florida (I'm sure now it was to get away from me).
No problem. He was in a group of family physicians so all I had to do was pick one. Problem. So which one? I decided the simplest thing to do was to interview them. So I scheduled an appointment with the "looker" above and paid the office call charge to perform the interview. Instead of taking offense, he got a real charge out of it. Rolled with the flow and discovered an immediate rapport. He got the job.
He's been with me through back surgeries, hypertension medication adjustments, pap smears and confessions. My all-around great doctor.
GET THIS !!! He has deserted me! Gone on to bigger things at his ripe, sweet age. I understand our government is opening a VA clinic in our town and he will be the medical director. Grrrrrrrrrr. I am NOT a veteran, alas. No more pap smears for him! I truly am developing a neurotic feeling that I am too much for the doctors around here.
Okay, so I will pick another one in my practice. I know all the nurses, the front desk gals, etc., etc. NO..... none of them are accepting Dr. _____'s patients. I have great insurance. I am being blackballed here.
So this time around, after spending a day on the phone and finding that no one accepts new patients, I have lowered my standards and am now begging my Mother's doctor to "accept" me as a patient. No longer am I the interviewER, I am now the candidate. It is a contest here.
I saw my desertion Doctor in the grocery store this afternoon. He politely says hello and remarks that I look great. I tell him that I hope he's happy in his new position and how much I miss him. Damn, I wish I didn't have to be so polite. Those were NOT my thoughts.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Working on Sunday

I know it's Sunday, but it's a "work" Sunday and here I am at the funeral home again. This evening we are having a visitation for Art Ward whose funeral will be tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. at our local United Methodist Church. I have known Art's wife Glynn since I moved to Hopkinsville 10 years ago so feel much more of an attachment to this family than to most. There are many unique and interesting facets to each and every service I plan, as well as each and every family we serve. The Ward family is no exception. The most unique aspect (to me) is that inclusion of The Salvation Army and in a very big way.
Evidently Mr. Ward spent his life serving The Army in many capacities and wanted his funeral service to reflect that. In the photo above is Lt. Col. Richard Norris, who is here to speak tomorrow and Major Hilda Howell from Atlanta who serves as somewhat of a facilitator between The Salvation Army and the funeral home. Every contact I have made with them has been most professional and personable, I am happy to say.

On another note, the adorable young girl in the picture above is Carrie, who is visiting with us tonight but making GREAT use of her time and talents. She is making "bracelets" from the various colored rubber bands pictured here and selling them for 25 cents each to raise awareness and funds for orphaned children from Zambia whose parents died due to AIDS.
She's a COOL girl!

Mine are purple and pink and the other is orange and green. I told her she was not charging enough money and so we all overpaid her here, but she's certainly doing something worthwhile with her time and talents. Glad God sent her my way today. It lifts me up to hear a young child talk so adamantly about helping others.
Have a great Sunday night, my blogging friends!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Girl's Trip Shirts

Excitement has been mounting as I've waited with great anticipation for this year's edition of our annual Girl's Trip t-shirt to arrive.  It gets a little harder each year to design something new and different in a different color than we've ever had but they are HERE.

Brown_County_2006 031 This 2006 shirt in orange quoted a popular saying of that year "What happens on the Girls Trip in Brown County stays in Brown County" and was one of the more popular ones :)

2009 Grandparents Day ALES 029Okay, just a teaser above !  I AM getting ready to mail them :)2009 Grandparents Day ALES 030 Ah, I LOVE them!  We've not used yellow before and either khaki or denim will look GREAT with them!

But NEXT year I want HELP !!!!!!

You'll read way too much about the girls trip in October so away I go to address those labels you see in the above picture......

Monday, September 14, 2009

Catching Up

Like the rest of the world, I have been so busy with LIFE lately that I haven't even been blogging with any regularity at ALL.  I'm just gonna play "catch-up" a little tonight and hit some high spots.

Black Angus 2

I know you'll all be as thrilled as I was to learn that my younger brother is switching over to Black Angus cows from whatever kind of cows he had before :)  Okay, he's pretty proud so let's give a big shout-out here.


I got to visit with my older brother for about 15 whole minutes (okay, that's an exaggeration) when he brought Mom home from her little week-long trip with the boys earlier.  I miss him but when he's here he has so little time.  Of course, my working at the funeral home when he's here doesn't help with the visiting part much.

Hot August Blues 2009 006 

I DID manage to get my hands on a set of bunk beds for my spare, spare room so when the kids some again we'll have a couple more beds.  Wayne put them together for me.  There was a bag of screws and nuts and "man things" that I had just been looking at for a week or two.  I WAS going to tackle that project someday, really.

Hot August Blues 2009 042 Hot August Blues 2009 057Hot August Blues 2009 056

THEN I went to the coolest cook-out/party of the year.  Don't ask me who these folks really are, cause I really don't know, but they are friends of David and Barbie and I got an invite.  Best bluegrass picking I've heard in YEARS!  And it was seriously in the country.  Had a great time with many new friends and lots of good food.  Wow, having grown-up kids sure have great benefits! 

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Flag Football Days !

Anticipation ran high as I woke up to a beautiful Saturday morning and loaded the car for a 2 1/2 hour drive to see my Tristin play in his first flag football game this year.  He played last year, but at 5 yrs. old, I don't think he ever really got the "hang" of it.  Wow, what a difference a year makes!  His Mom told me he got out of bed and started studying plays (without prodding).  Now I don't profess to know much about football, but I DO know lots about little grandsons.  He is not big, but he is fast.  Don't even know what position he plays, but I know he's the one they hand the ball off to and I know he can run like the wind.  He scored THREE touchdowns!  (Well, okay, he really scored four, but they only counted three of them.)  See, things like penalties I don't understand.

Hot August Blues 2009 008 This is the old shirt coming off and the new going on.  Thanks to Veolia Water for sponsoring his team this year.

Hot August Blues 2009 012Coach Dad helping get things adjusted a little here.

Hot August Blues 2009 017

And we're ready for some action.  His Mom took lots of touchdown and flag-taking pictures and I'm not going to put them here, but you get the picture.  We all had such a great time and I'm just sorry I'll be working next Saturday and won't get to see him play.  Sometimes life just doesn't seem fair.

Hot August Blues 2009 022 

Cousin Sydney came to watch !

Hot August Blues 2009 023

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day 2009

Betcha thought I'd be blogging about the fabulous Labor Day weekend I had full of pools and parties, food and friends. Well NO. Instead, I just about worked myself to death (pardon the pun) at the funeral home ALL weekend! Brother Rodney brought Mom back home as planned and they were here two days before I even found (made) time to get over and see them. It was really good to see him and I was glad that she's back home safe and sound. Of course, brothers DO say the sweetest things. He looked at my hands and said, "Gosh, your hands look really old! When did that happen?"
This afternoon I hurt my hand a little unloading some furniture so I took a picture to show you all what blood thinners do to hands and when I looked at it, I wondered just whose hand that IS? Surely MY hand doesn't look that old? Okay, so he was serious for a change :(
This is a picture of what I do every night before I go to bed. No , I don't watch TV because I'm a facebook addict. We are all sick and I know it, but at least I discriminate. I only play five rounds of Farkle and then I quit. See, I'm no sick at all.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I don't usually post a "Thankful Thursday" but this week I am especially thankful to be blessed with two fabulous brothers! My brother Wayne (in the blue shirt) came to visit last weekend and took Mom back home with him for a few days to northern Indiana. Then yesterday he took her to my other brother's house in southern Illinois. Rodney (in the black) will be bringing her home this weekend. I absolutely love and cherish all the time I get to spend with Mom now that she is older, but she is not well. Alzheimer's is stealing her away from us. But I feel blessed to have such caring brothers who took time out of their busy lives to give me an emotional break.
Today is my day off as I will be working this Labor Day weekend and it is a busy day. I am baking a cake right now as one of the men who work for me at the funeral home lost his Dad this morning. This will be my only opportunity to bake for them.
My heart is heavy for Jimmy and his family in the loss of his Dad this morning and also for another friend of mine who lost her Grandaddy this morning. I will have a very busy weekend at work but am happy to be caring for families I love.
I have laundry to do, the cake in the oven, errands to run and a zillion other things to get done in one day so off I scoot!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Uncle Roscoe Rallying !

My precious Uncle Roscoe has cancer. There, I've said the ugly word. He is in the ICU of the hospital in a neighboring county where he lives. Alone now. Aunt Peggy died, gosh, I don't remember, was it 2 years ago, 3? They had been life partners for all of my life that I can remember. She was diagnosed with lung cancer herself but didn't live long afterwards. He continues to live in the home they made together near 3 of his adult sons (the fourth lives in Louisville). All four boys are grown now, married and have families of their own. He's a great Dad to them and their closeness attests to that. He's a great "Poppy" to all his numerous grandchildren, too. Their presence and shared stories with me attest to THAT. But to me, he will always just be "Uncle Roscoe". The five Smith children were born in the midst of the Great Depression. Papaw had a good job, though, working in the coal mines as a small boy and continuing throughout his life until he was no longer able to work. He and Bernice had five children. Dorothy is my mother and the oldest of the five. Then came the twins, Roscoe and Gabrielene (or Aunt Gabe as I know her), Uncle Bryan and lastly, the baby Uncle Russell. When my own mother was but 12, Grandmother Bernice had to go to the hospital for gall bladder surgery and died there. My mother shares the story with me that the last thing her mother ever said to her was an admonishment to always take care of the children. And that, she still does. She has honored her mothers' wishes all of her life. Or tried to. She loves them all as if they WERE her children.
This is a picture of Uncle Roscoe with his remaining siblings. My Mom is on the left in the picture and Aunt Gabe is on the right.
I have so many childhood memories of Uncle Roscoe. They lived in Nashville for several years after he married Aunt Peggy. He had been in the Army and after getting out, married and moved to Nashville where Aunt Peggy's family, and the work, was. That's where the children were born and they stayed until the plant he worked in closed and he was forced to return to Hopkins County and the coal mines, where his roots ran deep. But he did what he had to do to raise his family. And he did it with honor and pride.

They never had a daughter and I think that MAY be why he teased me so much growing up. And tease he did. He put the fear of God in my brothers, but never me. He always made me laugh, and still does. These days he has FOUR daughters-in-law and one granddaughter and TWO great-granddaughters, so he is surrounded by girls. The picture above was made this past May at my Mom's 80th birthday party. He wasn't feeling great but nevertheless made the effort for her.

This picture was made last night in ICU. He is feeling better and they hope to move him to a regular room tomorrow. My Mom is with him, of course. She is taking care of her little brother. I LOVE how she loves him. And so do I. I know God is watching over him and God has a plan. His plan didn't include a final good-bye quite yet, and I hope it will be a LONG time.
Everybody who knows Roscoe loves him. I ask for your prayers that God's will be done and selfishly, that His will includes some good years left on earth for Uncle Roscoe to enjoy watching babies grow, playing with his dogs and making us ALL laugh, a lot.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Busy-ness of Life

Wow! Last week was so busy it was a blurrrrr. Tuesday night was August bunco at Carolyn's house. She's been remodeling her kitchen and it really looks good. We all had a good time. Thursday night was a BPW meeting (Business & Professional Woman's Club). It was an exciting meeting with a large crowd on hand to hear our State Rep. John Tilley speak. As an added bonus, he brought his beautiful wife Shelley and new baby Charlie for her debut!
The picture above is of Diane Croney-Turner who is this years STATE President. We are all so proud of her and her achievements!
Then Friday night brought the set-up for Saturday's seminar at our local community college "Money Sense for Women". After the set-up which went very quickly most of us gathered at my house. We also planned a "Fashion Sense for Women" style show and the models were meeting so that I could see their outfits and write something descriptive for the narrative.
This is Willee Cooper ready to register attendants and be of assistance. On another note, Willee is this years STATE Republican Womans Club President. I am surrounded by so many gifted and talented leaders who all just happen to be women!
Saturday morning brought the actual seminar which turned out to be a great success. I'm just glad it's over for another year, even though the planning by lots of women and the hard work put into it was more than worth it. I've gotten a lot of feedback from ladies who attended the different classes and they all learned many things and felt the presenters did a great job!
Sunday was a work day and of course, we were busy. Now, all of a sudden, it's another week!
Let's see what this one brings........

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Memory Lapse!

I know I have a problem now and am just admitting it to myself. I can remember that I was off work this past weekend and remember Sunday, but have no earthly idea what I did before that! The Alzheimer's is hereditary, so just remember that before the criticism starts rolling in here.
Okay Sunday, I took Mom to New Salem to church. After church, we came straight back to my house for lunch and then feverishly peeled and canned tomatoes for the rest of the day.
Monday it was back to work with all the headaches that come with it just being Monday. After work I had a Republican Woman's Club meeting at the local Holiday Inn. Tina Fox, who is the Marshall for our state of Kentucky, was our guest speaker and very knowledgeable about lots of topics. She is pictured above on the left with Sandy Blake on the right, who is our local President. This was our first time meeting there and was much better than our last place. We did decide to keep meeting there at least until the end of this year. Hooray!
I got home and didn't get much accomplished simply because I was TIRED !
Today was a semi-normal day at work (whatever that means) but had to leave early to get to a dental appointment. Nothing earth-shattering there, just time for my regular cleaning. But hey, I get a new toothbrush and it only cost me $85.00.
I had an hour to burn after the dentist before time to pick Mom up and head out for our regular monthly Bunco game. We both love this crazy group of people and as an added plus, for some weird reason, Mom usually WINS ! We had a great time tonight but got home late again, as usual. The problem tonight was a sinkful of ripe tomatoes waiting to be canned.

Well, I have just finished peeling them and it is now 11:00 p.m. They are in the refrigerator and hopefully, I will have time to cook and can them tomorrow after work and before church!
I need to S-L-O-W down, I just don't have time.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Squeaky Fromme is OUT ??

Trying hard to keep this blog a simple one much resembling a journal of sorts, I don't usually touch on the daily events that we hear in the news. Today is different. I was born in 1953 which would have made me 16 years old when the terror of Charles Manson and his "family" were unleashed on Sharon Tate (a popular movie star at that time) and eight others. For those of you not old enough to remember the horrific acts caused by that group of people, it is worth the time and effort to find out. I have thought about those events occasionally ever since then, never quite being able to erase it from my memory.
Perhaps the age I was at that time had some bearing on the impact it made with me, or more realistically, the nature of the acts.
Mr. Manson has been incarcerated ever since, even though I don't recall much about his trial and conviction. I do know that several of his "family" were also convicted.
What I DIDN'T realize was that Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme was neither indicted nor punished in any way for those crimes, even though she was a part of them. UNTIL, that is, in September 1975 when she brandished a loaded handgun at then-President of the United States Gerald Ford in Sacramento, California.
Of course, she was then captured and convicted and sentenced to life in prison. She later escaped from a prison in West Virginia in 1987 and was recaptured with another 15 years tacked on to her life sentence.
This is where I am dumbfounded by our "justice" system. She was PAROLED and is out of prison as of today. Where is she? Who will she try to kill next?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Birthdays and Books

This day did not start out so good and I should have taken that as a "sign" or something that it would not improve much as the day wore on. Okay, I got in my car, backed out of the garage and saw the cat sneak in. Left the car running, got OUT of the car, put the cat back out with a stern admonition to KEEP OUT. Got BACK in the car and pushed the garage door button to close it and the garage door goes crazy. Mr. Sophie is sneaking BACK in. This time I was not as sweet. I threw (okay, not too hard) him out the BACK door, locked it tight and RAN to the car, pushed the button and HERE HE COMES around the side of the garage and raced into the garage. If I were not such a humane person I would have left that little sucker in there to bake. I didn't think baked cat would smell too good, so THIS time I turned the car OFF. Got out and threatened that little sucker with his life and a heat stroke if he didn't keep out. I thought he was going to eat me! BUT the last effort was re-run and it worked. Of course, I got to work late, but they rather expect that.
Today was not particularly crazy at work so I left early this afternoon and decided to take Mother for her semi-regular visit to the dreaded Wal Mart. She was excited to get to be going two whole days early, but it is the bane of my existence. Running home to get my list, I remembered I had a trunk FULL of books from the library sale so called Mom to tell her to hang on, it would be a bit before we could leave. So I started dragging books, books and more books into the house. Finally empty, we were on our way.
Oops, I remembered the reason for the trip in the first place was for a book I need for work on Friday in CLARKSVILLE. Slight change of plans and we are off to Clarksville. Got the book and back to Hopkinsville. We made it through Wal-Mart with no catastrophe sighted anywhere, came home and unloaded, kicked off the shoes and exhaled loudly. Haven't done one more useful thing since.

By the way, I wanted to wish my sister-in-law Bridget a happy, happy birthday. She is the one and only and as I have no sisters, I like to consider her as one. You read about her earlier in all my Germany escapades this spring. Hoping she had a great day and it appears from the picture emailed to me earlier today, that my brother did good.
Until next time...........

Monday, August 10, 2009

Turkey Tetrazine and Community Concerts

Yesterday was one of those Sundays that I was on call and didn't actually have to GO in to the funeral home unless I actually NEEDED to. Of course, I NEEDED to. I had to meet a family at 10:00 a.m. to make funeral arrangements for a husband/father/son who had died Saturday evening. That is always a two-edged sword for me. I WANT to serve each and every family I can, but I also much prefer to stay home when I'm on call, not getting dressed and leaving home unless absolutely necessary. Ah, the life I have chosen! I came home in the early afternoon and promptly received a dinner invitation to Mike and Gail's as she claimed to have made enough turkey tetrazine to feed an army. It presents well, as you can see in the picture above and tastes even better. No, I STILL don't have the recipe. Gail is a fabulous cook and excels at almost every dish she makes, but she sure is secretive with her recipes! I know it has pasta, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese and lots of other somethings but I have no idea what. I just know it was great and I thoroughly enjoyed being in the company of good friends after a tough day at work.

I sometimes give pause and think about how much time we actually spend with our good friends, especially since our children and other family members live so far apart. We learn to love our friends like family and I DO appreciate them much. I am so blessed to have people here who love me, too.
Today was a regular Monday, and by that, I mean busy work. Payroll to get out first thing in the morning, reports to generate, plus all the paperwork for my new family. Four of us planned to go to the community concert at 7 and I was lucky enough to get my work done and delegate many things so I scooted out of there about 2 this afternoon. It was a hot and sultry day so I headed straight home, changed into my bathing suit, went out and jumped in the pool. I was able to stay there for a couple of hours before coming in to bathe and change.

We took lawn chairs and icy cold bottled water. Surprisingly enough, we sat on top of a little knoll and enjoyed a cool breeze all evening.

Mike and Gail wore their floppy hats (so did I). We were ready for some music and were not disappointed in the least.

Gwen went to the doctor today and had her pain diagnosed as a problem with her sciatic nerve with more testing to come. She had some pain medications in her tonight so was in a great mood!
This is a very loosely organized group of folks who meet once or twice a meet just to play. They have decided to share their talents with those who care to listen and WE were the lucky recipients!

After the concert with sunset upon us, we drove over to the local Dairy Queen for some frozen coffee treats (Mike had lemonade) and some nice conversation before coming home.
All is quiet now, it is storming outside AGAIN and I am ready for my bed. So until tomorrow, my blogging friends, it's lights out.....