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.....

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Brazil-Bound !

Anticipation was high as tonight approached since word of this fundraiser first began circulating. Olivet Baptist Church in Herndon is sending a contingent of folks to Brazil the last week of September and first week of October for a mission trip. A fish fry was decided upon, the date set and plans set in motion. The funeral home where I work bought 10 tickets so I was fortunate enough to go and take Mother with me. My best friend Gwen and her mother rode with us when I got off work and we met two more friends when we arrived.
Even though the event was held in the Fellowship Hall, the smell of fish wafted outside to the parking lot. For a carload of hungry gals that was a heavenly scent from a heavenly place and we were NOT disappointed!

We saw lots of old friends and made some new ones. It was really fun catching up with folks and hearing about the upcoming trip!

It's a well-known fact that some of the best cooks in the county are members of that church, so in addition to dinner, they held a silent auction for desserts. Yes, I was fortunate enough to be able to buy 2 pans of Ann's famous cinnamon rolls (which freeze well, by the way) and at the same time, help the folks out with their Mission Trip.

As an aside, poor Frank (who is a member at Olivet) walked in the door and got a death call :( Of course, in our business, that is when it usually happens. So he missed his own church's event but I heard that his Mother prepared a plate for him to enjoy later.
Hoping you all had a great Saturday and that Sunday will be even better!
With a full tummy and a happy frame of mind, I am off.......

Sweet, Sweet Saturday

Sometimes families who are well-served are thankful in in the "sweetest" ways! Okay, if you HAVE to work on weekends, you might as well include doughnuts !

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Go Straight to Jail

Of course I've seen the inside of a jail before, but only on TV and in the movies. So I was naturally WAYYY curious and excited when a planning committee I serve on was scheduled for a meeting at our local facility. My excitement was short-lived as I didn't get a tour and only got as far as the general waiting area where a table with chairs was set up for the meeting. I did get to see the visiting area, though. It was really nice, I mean REALLY nice. The inmates must have been forewarned as I saw not one, no, not one. Oh well, maybe they were busy studying for their law degrees or something ???

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Stormy Summer Night

Generally, I love a good storm, be it summer, winter, spring or fall. But tonight is a little bit different as I did NOT have my yard prepared for it evidently. No furniture has landed in the pool (yet) but the old grill that was standing on its' last legs is standing no longer. I tried to get a picture of the hot tub cover HALF off and quickly filling with water, but alas, the lightning and torrential downpours kept me standing in the kitchen and trying to get a picture of said cover. About five minutes ago, I could stand it no longer and raced out with an umbrella to affix the cover. I was surprised that the hot tub wasn't FULL of water, but it's not! Sometimes I have a little good fortune along with life's unpleasant surprises.
Today was a much better day than yesterday all around. Yesterday I had to return to work after having been off for several days with the little ones. After doing payroll and a few other necessary things at work, I raced out to get Mom to an eye Dr.'s appointment at 10:00. They finally called us back at 11:30! That is a real pet peeve of mine as I feel that my time is at least as valuable as the Dr.'s. I will just remember to show up at that particular Dr. an hour later than the appointed time and perhaps the wait will be shorter. Then back to work and it turned out to be a rather busy day there.
Wiped out, I got home with a pizza from Little Caesar's and devoured half of it before my best friend Gwen called to tell me her niece Alicia and her husband Nathan were here and asked if I would meet them for dessert. Where? My FAVORITE place in the world to eat, El Bracero's!



Alas, I had just eaten the pizza and was SOOOO full! Off I went to meet Alicia and Nathan. I had met Alicia before, but wasn't able to get to the wedding last October because of a prior commitment, and was anxious to meet him.

I didn't remember to grab my camera, so all I got were cell phone photos and they're not very good, but it was really nice to get to visit with them for a while. Evidently Alicia had been here on Saturday visiting her grandmother and found a piece of furniture she REALLY wanted. So after work on Monday Nathan drove her the two hours to pick it up. Must be a really nice husband to do that!

They seem really happy and I am so glad for them. Alicia is really a fine young woman and they are both Christians. Besides that, Gwen LOVES her very much! I'm glad they are close friends in addition to being related. I had several aunts that I was fortunate enough to love very much and be close to. As I am getter older their health is failing and some of them have died, but the memories of those relationships will be with me always.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Goin' Home

Their parents might not have approved of a Three Musketeers or a pudding cup for breakfast, but hey, those are the things that memories are made of. And their last morning at Mimi's should be just the way they want it, and it was! While their laundry was being dried, folded and carefully packed for their return trip, they fired up their imaginations in the garage. Tristin made a basket for his "bike" from a cardboard box and managed to get it affixed with some cord he found in the garage while Sydney used the pet carrier for her stuffed animals. Yes, she finally allowed Tristin to take them for a ride.

Kristin and Jake were glad to see Tristin when he got home, but I think that lasted about 10 minutes and they were back to their old selves!

Sydney's little brother Hayden was sure glad to see her, too! He is a character for sure and will be starting pre-school in another week or so. Miss Kim will have her hands full with this one!

Granny (my Mom) made the ride with me and it is a long one if you do it in one day. 2 1/2 hours each way makes 5 in the car, but she wanted to go. The kids were all going to the last night of the county fair so we didn't stay long. Tristin entered the "mini" pedal pull. They put a sled behind a pedal tractor and based on the child's weight (for the class), they see who can pull it the farthest. Don't you just know he came in second place! I am so proud of him.

Sydney was right there to cheer him on (of course). I am happy and surprised that after all their "together" time they never argued and remain best friends.

I have to share this with you all. One of the funniest things I heard this week went like this....."Mimi, when you get really old and you die, don't you want to give your house to me and Sydney?"

Then just last night when Tristin was getting out of the tub, he proclaimed that he had decided just to stay at my house forever. We could take Sydney home if she HAD to go, but he was going to live with me. Isn't that sweet?

After the big tractor pull, they all went off to happily take in a few rides at the amusement park section of the fair. Sydney is riding with Hayden in the picture below.

It was a great week, just full of laughter and love and fun. My body is exhausted but my heart if full. I will remember this time always. I am missing them a lot tonight. We already had a little routine of getting "tucked in" and prayer time with all the "God blesses". Tonight, a SPECIAL "God Bless Tristin and Sydney".