Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

It's Memorial Day weekend. There will be picnics, parties, and parades, and hopefully, amidst the celebrations, we will not forget why this day has been set aside. It is a day to remember.

I glanced at the newspaper online yesterday morning before church and came across an article about two brothers who discovered each other in the same MASH unit during the Korean War.
The darker haired brother is the only man, other than my father, who I ever really called "Dad". I haven't seen him for almost thirty years now, but his daughter Ruth and I were best friends in school. I knew he had been to Vietnam but didn't know he had also been in the Korean War. (You can find the article, if you're interested, here.)

I'm not sure what I will do this Memorial Day or where exactly it will take me, but I am hoping to do some remembering and possibly to place a flag in the cemetery out in Penfield.

A Story of War

George Miles thought that he’d gone crazy.
Based on his surroundings, it wasn’t a bad assumption. His company had been under heavy attack from North Korean forces, and his captain had ordered a retreat; the last thing he remembered was diving into a blast crater, then feeling a sudden impact as an artillery round exploded right next to him. Thrown into the air like a rag doll, he blacked out before he hit the ground.
When he finally awoke, he tasted powder in his mouth and a few of his teeth were missing. Looking around, he saw dozens of other young men lying in beds all around him. Some were heavily bandaged and others were missing limbs.
Inspecting himself, Miles found that all of his body parts seemed to be intact, and slowly, he began putting things together.
He was in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital.
He was alive.
He was still a long way away from his home in Rochester, but he was alive.
But just as everything was beginning to make sense again, Miles spotted a man that he hadn’t seen for three years walking through the door of the MASH unit and immediately thought that the blast that knocked his teeth out must have knocked something loose in his brain as well.
“I turned and looked and said ‘That’s it. I’ve lost it. That looks like my brother coming through that door,’” said Miles.
The Miles brothers
George Miles was born in Wayne County in 1932 to Allan and Vera Miles and spent his childhood on a farm in Walworth as one of seven siblings. In his youth, his brother Richard, who is just 14 months younger than him, was one of his chief partners in crime; their crowning moment of mischief came when they stole bicycles and painted them, only to be chased around the house by their broom-wielding mother, who had just been informed by a police officer that her sons were thieves.
But when George was 10 years old, his parents divorced, and he, Richard, and their five other siblings were all separated into a handful of area foster homes.
“They took us to the welfare office, and we were all crying in the back of the station wagon as our mother and father waved goodbye to us,” said Miles. “It was hard.”
George Miles landed in Hillside Children’s Home, and through his teenage years, he lost track of most of his siblings, some of whom were still moving back and forth between foster homes.
As soon as he was old enough, he joined the National Guard and then the Army’s honor guards, spending time in Washington following an assassination attempt on President Harry Truman.
He then volunteered to assist in the conflict in Korea — since it was only being called a “police action,” he thought it couldn’t be all that bad, he said — and at age 17 Miles was shipped overseas, assigned to a company in the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division: General George Custer’s old outfit which was famously decimated by Native Americans in 1876 in the Battle of Little Bighorn.
“When I got there, I thought ‘Wow, this was a big mistake,’ because man, stuff was going off all over the place,” said Miles.
Before he knew it, he was in an infantry unit on the front lines, and his company was pinned down by heavy fire from North Korean forces. Cut off from the rest of the regiment, his captain ordered a retreat, while a nearby company provided covering machine gun fire.
As they were pulling out, Miles spotted a soldier wandering around in the open, dazed from a nearby explosion. He grabbed the soldier and started dragging him away from the front lines, when he heard someone yell “Incoming!”
He threw the soldier into an artillery crater and dove in after him just before the shell hit.
A week passed before he regained consciousness.
Custer’s outfit
Miles was still getting his bearings in the MASH when his brother Richard walked through the door.
Richard was scheduled to receive treatment for combat fatigue when a corpsman remembered that another soldier named Miles, who was also from Rochester, was recovering from battle wounds in a nearby unit.
The corpsman sent Richard down to George, and the brothers recognized each other immediately. When Richard reached the foot of the bed, they both started to cry.
“We didn’t even know each other was in the service,” said Miles.
His amazement grew when Richard told him about the company he’d been fighting with: a machine gun unit in the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division.
“I looked at him and said ‘General Custer’s outfit? What company?’ He says ‘Dog Company.’ I said ‘Oh my god, you were giving us supporting fire and you never even knew I was out there,’” said Miles.
The brothers spent another week catching up in the hospital, and when they got out, they were determined to transfer to a company where they could serve alongside one another.
Their higher-ups were wary of assigning family members to the same unit — an attack on the unit could mean sending two telegrams to the same address — but the brothers were insistent, and they were both placed in a mortar company that would provide support to the infantry.
The day after he was reassigned, mayhem broke loose on the front lines in a region later known as Bloody Ridge. The Miles brothers, safely positioned behind a hill that was overlooking the battle, fired mortar shell after mortar shell over the hill and into the fray, relying only on their forward observer to direct their shots.
Their mortar tube got so hot that they had to stop firing and wait for it to cool down.
“I said to Dick, ‘What in the hell is going on up there?’” said Miles.
Then, Miles spotted a wounded soldier being helped over the hill by a medic. He realized that the man was a member of his old infantry company and ran over to greet him.
“I said ‘Where’s the captain? Where’s the first sergeant?’” said Miles. “And he says ‘Take a good look. I’m the only one left.’”
With the enemy having overrun the front line, forcing infantry members to fight hand-to-hand, a commander had made the decision to wipe out the entire area. Miles had been unknowingly firing mortars down on the company he’d left just one day earlier.
He started weeping right there on the battlefield, and when he got back to his post, he told his brother: “I’m never going to forget this.”
‘A miracle’
The Miles brothers fought together in Korea for the remainder of their service and came home in 1952.
Now 78 years old, Miles lives in Ontario, Wayne County, and still visits his 76-year old brother, who is a patient at the Jewish Home of Rochester in Brighton.
A stroke has made speech difficult for Richard Miles, but tears still well up in his eyes when he talks about being in Korea with his brother, and to this day, friends, family and fellow veterans can’t help but be amazed by their story.
Fred Bacher, a Korean War veteran who attends church with George Miles, said that it’s the most outstanding private war story he’s ever heard.
“It kind of reminds me of the search for Private Ryan,” said Bacher, 80, of Webster, in reference to the 1998 Oscar-winning film. “But George wasn’t searching. It just came about; it was happenstance.”
If the Miles brothers hadn’t met in the MASH, George Miles wouldn’t have been transferred off the front lines and would likely have suffered the same fate as his old company, a fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed on his son.
“It’s really a miracle that that happened,” said George Miles Jr., 54, of Parma. “I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for that situation.”
His experiences have played no small role in his family members’ lives, either; George Miles Jr. was a U.S. Marine, and Miles’s grandson Matthew serves in the Army.
Earlier this month, Miles held a military gathering at Living Word Assembly of God Church in Ontario as a tribute to his fallen company.
During the service, which he’s hosted for the past 30 years, he spoke to the congregation and was joined by members of each branch of the military. He asked those in the audience who have served to stand up and identify themselves, and led the congregation in giving them a round of applause.
And if asked in private, he’ll tell his story of miracle and tragedy. Some veterans are reluctant to discuss their service, but Miles said that he made peace with his experiences long ago.
“I don’t know how many years I can keep doing it,” said Miles, “but I’ll do it every year for as long as I can.”

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hope and Mercy

The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy.
Ps. 147:11

Bethany sent me this verse the other day. When my own dad was sick I prayed for grace, with my uncle I have prayed for mercy. It has been a rough week. First was the diagnosis of pneumonia, which was thought to have been caught early but quickly became life threatening. ICU and sedation have been the words of the week. As the pneumonia itself was brought under control a new complication arose, bleeding lungs. Every day we have hoped and prayed for good news. Today Uncle Chuck is in a Rochester hospital, his lungs are not bleeding quite as much, and when they begin to wean him off the sedating medications, he tries to get up. Aunt Mary knew this would happen. He obviously has things to do but is still very sick and so he remains medicated. They say you can't keep a good man down.

The photo is of Uncle Chuck and my mother many years ago.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sliding Along

The swing set arrived yesterday. James pulled the box open last night and today we decided to make use of the slide. It was a nice day and the girls were excited. We propped the slide on the picnic table and the girls thought it was great. Lucas was here and he found it fun too. Soon they will have not only a slide but swings too. How much fun is that?

Pray Without Ceasing

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-17

This photo made me smile last night. I didn't recall having taken it, but I'm glad I did. We are all praying continually, hoping for good news, and looking forward to our 4th of July picnic in the park. It's going to be a big one this year.

PS. Happy Birthday to my favorite Uncle Chuck!
(Rachel just told me today is his 74th birthday.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Eating Cat Food

It was the last day of preschool. The children all brought brown bag lunches for a picnic out in the grass. I packed a lunch for Hannah and me, and also one for my cousin's little granddaughter who was with us today. Kylie will be four this summer, so she is just the same age as the other little "flowers" in my care.

Kylie informed me she did not like sandwiches. I ate hers... No, she did not like applesauce either... I looked back in the little brown bag I had packed. Did she want a granola bar? It was chewy with chocolate chips... Yes, she liked that. How about some Sunkist Fruit Snacks? She tried them and decided they were not to her liking. I was running out of options, but did have a package of Rainbow Goldfish Crackers. All little people like goldfish crackers, don't they?

Children were running around, parents were chatting, and I was pouring more apple juice into cups for Bella and Em. Kylie said something about cat food, but I didn't totally hear what it was. Pretty soon she was handing me the little napkin with the goldfish on it. "It's cat food," she said. I assured her it was not cat food, but she wasn't convinced. "It tastes like cat food," she said... What do you want to bet her cat eats Friskies Seafood Sensations?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Much Prayer

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
James 5:16b

My Uncle Chuck is still very sick and heavily sedated. The fluid is not draining from his lungs as anticipated and he is still very heavy on my heart. I continue to pray God's mercy on him and his family, which includes us.

In September of 2007, we had a birthday/going away party for our son, Jim. He was moving away to Minnesota. We had, at that time, a little dog named Ellie, a very friendly little shih tzu. Uncle Chuck found a friend in her. "I'll give you fifty dollars for this dog," he said. We smiled and said she wasn't for sale. Pretty soon he looked at me and said, "I'll give you forty-five dollars for this dog."

Ellie continued to sit on his lap and he continued to enjoy her company. "I'll give you twenty-five dollars for this dog," he said.

"Twenty-five?" I answered, "I thought you just offered me fifty."

"You better hurry," he quipped, "The price is dropping fast."

Of course, he didn't really want to buy my dog, it was just his way of making conversation and having some fun with me.

When we were kids Uncle Chuck would grab us by the leg, pull a sock off, say, "You've got jelly on your foot!" and start scratching the bottom of our foot while we squealed and squirmed to get away. He always has something up his sleeve and that is what makes him so much fun. It is also his way of telling us we are loved. Please keep him in your prayers too.

Cool Cat

Summer temperatures have arrived. Here by the lake it is absolutely perfect, great weather for sitting on the back porch to read a book or fold laundry. We've been taking out supper outside the past few nights and I find the back steps a wonderful place to enjoy my breakfast. Bo Cat finds the cool concrete a good place to cool off.

Cottonwood fuzz is flying through the air and collecting up in the grass up near the grocery store in town. I am thankful to have no cottonwood trees very close to my house. Though it looks cool floating on the breeze, it causes me grief and I roll up my windows when I see it coming.

I haven't heard anything new on my uncle, but the doctor put Mom on some antibiotics to help her with her cough yesterday. I hope she is feeling better and will have to call her later this afternoon. And now, I need a nap...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another Change of Plans

My morning started out with doing laundry and keeping track of small children. It was a gorgeous day to be outside. We spent the morning in the yard and even ate our lunch on the back porch. That was when I got the phone call...

It was Leta on the other end of the line. She had taken Mom to Urgent Care because she was short of breath and they were sending her to the hospital in an ambulance. Could I meet Mom there? I made some quick arrangements for the kids and set off to spend the afternoon with my mom. They gave her extra oxygen and a diuretic, did a chest x-ray, hooked her up to some monitors, and left us to wonder why she was there. After five hours a doctor showed up, decided her oxygen levels looked good, and said she could go home. The chest x-rays were clear and she was looking better. (That was about ten minutes after saying she was going to be admitted... ) You've got to love hospitals...

My Uncle Chuck is showing improvement today. He's finally responding to the antibiotics (he's on three), is still sedated to help him rest, and will likely remain in the hospital for the next week. I asked the Lord for mercy through tears last night. Mercy for my mom who I believe needs her brother right now, and mercy for my sisters and I who have no brothers to turn to if we need help with Mom. I came to the sudden realization that not only do I love my Uncle Chuck intensely, but he is also the last family patriarch. Time marches on and life continues to change.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Time to Pray

As a little girl I was blessed with a wonderful family. Not only did my brothers, sisters, and I have two parents who loved us, but we had lots of aunts and uncles who showered affection on us as well. Tonight my Uncle Chuck is in intensive care at a local hospital fighting pneumonia. I'm told he is sedated. He is very much in my thoughts and prayers this evening.

Being Transformed

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:2

There is no doubt these little flowers are undergoing a transformation. Something deep within is causing a visible change in the outward appearance. (Yes, I'm getting redundant here... Be patient with me, please.) My question is, is my life being changed from deep within? Is there a visible difference on the outside part of my life? Am I more like Christ today than I was five years ago? One year ago? Or even yesterday?

Today I am tired. It has been a tough week physically. I am fighting sinus issues and allergies and just want to sleep. I am weary in the battle at the moment, but God is here with me, still working deep within and changing my life, and I am grateful. He is not finished with me yet.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Little Gardens

So today I went to the garden store and bought some vegetable plants; peppers, cucumbers, squash, and celery. I picked up some flowers too, marigolds and alyssum. Bethany had already given me some tomato plants, grape tomatoes and beefsteak. We mixed up some new garden soil in my garden boxes, covered the dirt with landscape fabric to keep the cats out, and then I planted my gardens.

Planting vegetables always brings back childhood memories of Dad and his big vegetable garden. Today was no exception. It was Dad last year who suggested I try planting a square-foot garden. He was such an encouragement when it came to growing things, always excited with our success. I hope this year's garden is one that would make him proud.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Blushing Tulips

Yesterday and today... Each day the blush spreads a little farther gradually changing the tulips from yellow to red. If one wasn't paying attention, they might not even notice the difference. I only realized last year that these flowers were being transformed bit by bit until they finally appeared a totally different color.
Pretty cool, huh?

Being Discovered

In the midst of chasing children... uh, I mean "tending flowers"... I have been attempting to do a little bit of gardening and lawn maintenance. While pruning dead lilac blossoms the other night, I discovered a robin's nest. I would probably have not noticed at all had the silly bird not made all kinds of noise in her haste to distract me.

The nest, though nicely hidden, is not in the best of locations. I fear the little fledglings may never live past their days in the nest. Three cats prowl the grassy area just beyond the lilac bushes. They sleep in the shade, wait in the shadows, and soak up the sunshine. They live here. Yes, I am quite certain these little birds are doomed. It's all too sad.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Looking Forward

Blueberry bells are bobbing in the breeze. Now if only I can use up what remains in the freezer without eating it myself...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mystery Bird

I spied this feathered friend in my back yard tonight. He was waiting, I hope patiently, for me to find him something to eat, which I did as soon as I saw him. I did not, however, get to see whether or not my offering was accepted. I hope he doesn't mind that we cut down the snowball bush. The lilac tree is still there and it makes a very good place to hide or build a nest too.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Laughing Wisterically

Apparently we are only allowed one day of warm weather and sunshine at a time and it was yesterday. Today was not sunny and I feel cold. On the bright side, for the first time since I have left it to grow, my wisteria has bloomed. The leaves look sick, probably from our Mother's Day snow, but it actually has blossoms! Too bad it is such a nuisance to me. I do not know how to train it and therefore am seriously considering removal. I am tired of vines crawling across my picnic table and reaching out to pull the hair of little girls. It is wild and unruly.

My wisteria is not the only plant scheduled for possible demise. Our snowball bush is also going away. It has been a faithful friend, always covered with snow white balls of blossoms each spring, however we are looking to minimize yard maintenance and place our swing set in a visible location. The snowball bush stands in the way. Since grass is fairly easy to maintain, we are looking to turn several areas from unkempt gardens into lawn. It is difficult to say good bye to some of my plants and yet I am totally unable to keep up with them. I think I will be happier and have much prettier flowers if we reduce the amount of garden space to tend. Now if only I can decide what to keep and what to get rid of.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Color Changing Tulips and Garden Competition

I have a small group of tulips that start out yellow and gradually turn red, at least that is what they did last year. I have not noticed other tulips changing, just these. Kind of funny because the red starts out along the very edge of each flower and travels along until it fills each petal almost entirely.

I tried doing some work outside today. I lopped lilacs, burned branches, and chased children. I had thought to dig dandelions but didn't get to that, in fact I never finished lopping lilacs either.

I have some rather stiff competition in my flower gardens. The gardens are full of weeds, weeds with long tap roots that grow deep into the soil. Pulling them out is impossible and digging them out is almost out of the question too. One of these days I will muster up some gumption and plan an attack, but not today.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Walking By Faith

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1

It was a busy weekend for me. Most weekends are. Since my weekdays are filled with small children I am left with evenings and weekends to run errands and catch up with housework. Mostly I run errands and try to keep up with whatever activity is on the agenda. Last week it was Mother's Day, this week it was the Apple Blossom Festival. Though I struggle to move faster, I never quite catch up to where I want to be. Housework gets done only in tiny bites. Maybe I need to slow down and realize instead that I am just where God wants me to be... at least as far as housework goes.

So far it has been a year of struggles and yet not a year of frustration. We have been dealing with spiritual issues that are drawing us away from one place and toward another. Though we would like to settle into one location and make ourselves comfortable, God appears to have a different plan in mind, one that will teach and grow us in a new ways and we must follow Him. It looks like this path may be leading us from one church fellowship into another.

Changing churches always comes with much hesitation and this is no exception. It is not a knee-jerk reaction and involves a certain amount of pain. There is no "perfect" church out there and every one is full of imperfect people, therefore we must step out in faith trusting God to lead us, even when we are unsure in and of ourselves. God continues to call out to us, to speak to us through His word, and talk to us in messages shared. He has not left us alone and, though I sometimes feel lonely, I am grateful for those He has put and is putting into our lives. He is not finished with us yet.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Help From a Friend

It's always a good idea to have a friend close by, one who can help out in case you get stuck along the way and one to whom you can lend a hand in case of trouble.

Thank you for being a friend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hula Hoops and Hannah

In my attempt to find something for little girls to do outside, I stopped at the Dollar General and purchased a few cheap hula hoops. Unfortunately, they are a little on the light side and tough to keep spinning. (Did I mention they were cheap?) Oh well, the girls find them fun and pretty and that is what counts. Vinegar, of course, finds them funny. He laughed at Hannah spinning one on her arm. That baby has a silly sense of humor.

Rather than giving the girls bottles of bubbles today, Hannah blew bubbles for them. I think I need to add a little soap to the solution as these bubbles disappear faster than they can be made. There's scarcely time to chase them before they all pop. I must look up that recipe for homemade bubbles...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dress-up Clothes

Days around here are quite different from what they were a few years back. Today, instead of wandering my yard looking at flowers, Hannah and I stopped in a couple of second hand shops to see if we could find any dress-up clothes for little girls. When we got back home I dug up an old suitcase to keep them in. The girls were all excited to try on the new dresses! Now I will be on the lookout for strings of beads, scarves, pretty shoes, and maybe another hat or two. (Being a kid again sure is fun!)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Bees Knees and Bubbles

Can you guess what's in those cute little boxes? They aren't apple crates, but I do believe they just left one of the local orchards. I would not want to be in the vicinity if that truck were to have an accident. (Reminds me of an old movie...) We followed it down the highway for a while before it turned off down another road. What's in those boxes? I'll give you another hint. Can you see what it says on the mud flaps? "Buy USA Honey" Bzzzzz...

While at the store last week I bought a package of bubbles, eight little bottles wrapped up together. Of course, everyone wanted the pink one... We took them outside where I foolishly gave each girl (there were three) a container of bubbles. Yes, I do know better... I no sooner opened the third bottle when the "wiggly girl" had spilled her's all over the back steps. Soon after she managed to spill half of the bottle belonging to girl number 2. Only the pink bottle remained unspilled.

Next time I purchase bubbles, I am going for the big bottle and I'm going to pour it in a dish so they can share without the danger of getting my steps soaped. It was lunchtime anyway...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday, Monday...

My little ones came tired this morning. They wanted to play nice together, but couldn't quite do it. They squabbled... Bella sulked... Em poured on a bit of drama... I finally had enough, gave each of them a pillow, and told them it was time for a nap. It was 9:15 am and they were shocked. I should probably mention that I was feeling just as tired and cranky as they. I was wishing for an excuse to lay back and close my eyes for half an hour and the little darlings provided the perfect opportunity.

After about a half hour of quiet time, Em asked if she could get up. We were all feeling better and decided to take a ride to the library and find some good books. First we went to the library in Ontario and then the one in Williamson. There was no more fighting. Back home we ate some lunch; Em had tomato soup and Bella had chicken noodle (I can't get either one to eat both...), and then we settled down on the couch to read our books.

(We have ordered a swing set! How fun and exciting!!!)

It Was Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Funny Guy

This little guy always makes me laugh with his laugh. He typically has a rather serious look on his face, but when he's tickled over something there's no mistaking it. I have heard him laugh at Sofie, they're good friends, but his giggling had everyone curious today. There was Hannah, tossing Beanie Babies at him, and he found it absolutely hilarious. Most funny was what happened just after my camera batteries died... The Beanie Baby Collie landed on his head and stayed there! It was hilarious. Too bad I didn't charge those batteries yesterday.

Already a Princess

All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold.
Psalm 45:13 (NIV)

One of my little darlings brought a suitcase full of dress-up things today. As Em tried on the pretty, pink princess dress, I heard her little friend remark, "I'm already a princess." I smiled. I had heard her daddy say, "Goodbye, Princess," when he dropped her off this morning, and she certainly did look like a princess in her little pink dress and sweater. (It brought to mind this photo taken back in October on one of our preschool field trips.)

The suitcase was sadly lacking in princess clothes, just one frilly dress and an abundance of necklaces, heeled shoes, hats and scarves, and a pair of little pants. I went upstairs to see if by some small miracle we had anything left from my own girls with which to play dress-up. We were in luck. Hannah had saved three little dresses from her early days and they fit the little princesses perfectly. I will now be keeping my eyes open for frilly dresses for little girls to wear.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


It is a gorgeous spring day and I am afraid to go outside. Doctors say that if one has allergies they must avoid exposure to that particular allergen. I wonder if they know that tree pollen is impossible to avoid? Have they forgotten that is blows about in the wind? Quite honestly, I am not sure how to tell if I am simply being assaulted by pollen or am just plain sick.

I neglected to take my camera out into the world when everything was in full bloom. Now the blossoms are falling, some blown off in the wind and others washed away by last night's rain. Across the road on the other side of the new orchard is a blueberry patch, and beyond that young apple trees. James and I have taken several long orchard walks this spring but each time I have left my camera at home. He thinks it is a distraction to me and we have such nice talks when my attention is not diverted. One day I will take it along and maybe catch some deer or a turkey.

My backyard is quickly becoming overgrown as my gardens are neglected due to icy winds and allergies. I am hoping to purchase a swing set in the very near future so that "Willow," "Fern," and "Ivy" will have a place to play. Of course, I will probably be much more excited about it than they.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

News From The Kleenex Box

Maple, Ash, and Juniper; these are the big allergy culprits right now. Funny, I would have thought maple pollen to be gone by the time the leaves appeared, but according to my local "pollen watch" it is not. Well meaning friends suggest all kinds of relief and I have tried most of them, even the Neti Pot, which I did not find helpful enough to warrant torturing myself with. Had it actually alleviated my symptoms, I would try again, and if I get desperate enough, I may try again in spite of myself.

We are forecast to have a great thunder storm this evening which will hopefully wash some of the treacherous pollen from the air. Cooler temperatures will arrive with the rain and this should help too. In the meantime, my nose, which never ever runs, is training for a marathon. The tissues must be close at hand and in good supply.

I am trying to be positive although I feel miserable. I took a good long nap while the girls were at preschool this morning, just so I wouldn't be quite so cranky, and am trying to drink plenty of fluids. In a week or so most of the discomfort will be gone and I will be feeling better again, I hope.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Cough-ee Anyone?

Anyone care for some cough-ee? The girls are supposed to be napping, but that is hard to do when there is a coughing contest going on. Between colds, allergies, and strep throat, there is plenty to cough about. I, myself, prefer to sneeze.

My "garden" is growing. I think I may eventually assign plant names to all of my "seedlings", but that is still in the thinking stage as yet. Today I have three little "flowers" instead of two. We shall see what becomes of this situation. It is another adventure.

This summer I hope to install a fence around my backyard and put up a swing set. A sandbox would be really cool too. Did you know that "plants" love sandboxes? Of course, I can't do this alone, so I am once again hoping to enlist the help of someone I love dearly. (I think he's not quite sure what to do with me yet. I'm hoping he hasn't gotten any ideas from Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater.)

Monday, May 03, 2010

Laundry and Stuff

It was a typical Monday just like the one I expected last week's to be before we left the house in a rush. I did laundry today, a bunch of it, and baked a batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. I looked the recipe up online and made the Tollhouse version except that I used 2 1/2 cups of flour instead of 1 1/2. (What were they thinking?) Yes, I did eat one. I've been cheating lately and paying the price too. It's so hard to resist.

My new "flower" stopped by for a quick visit this afternoon. Of course she wondered where the other little "blossoms" were but they had already gone home. My mind is now running through how to make my backyard into a "flower bed". Somehow the situation suddenly seems urgent, maybe because the weather is so beautiful and I want very much to be outside.

Warm Weather and Cameras

Warm weather, sunshine and cameras go hand in hand. My patience and watchful eye were rewarded Friday morning with a rather nice photo of Oreo.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Things With Wings

The lilacs are gorgeous and the apple orchards are in full bloom. Along with apple blossoms come the bee boxes and hundreds of honey bees. We walk quietly past the bee boxes and try to maintain a safe distance while in the orchard. Occasionally a bee will buzz over the top of our heads as we walk along. The bees find not only apple trees alluring, but are very happy to buzz about my lilac bushes. I climbed atop the doghouse the other day, not only because the roof was nice and warm, but to catch a fee bees in my "trap".

I also caught a few butterflies in my "digital net". They fluttered about and made quite the game of staying out of my clutches. Maybe this is actually a moth, but it moved it's wings very much like a butterfly would, and rested with them pressed together over it's body. It had a friend too with orange markings. I'm not much of a lepidopterologist but I do find the little creatures fascinating.

Saturday, May 01, 2010


This is my daughter in law. Several years ago I told her she was my favorite daughter in law and she rolled eyes at me and said, "I'm your ONLY daughter in law." I told her that she could ALWAYS be my favorite, and when another one comes along, I will tell that one she is my favorite, then wink at Leta and she will know she is really my favorite daughter in law.

Leta works hard and is always giving of herself to others. Though I know it is often difficult, she does a wonderful job of taking care of my mother. She looks out for her well being, makes sure she takes her medications, keeps the house clean, and checks Mom's oxygen tanks whenever she goes out. I sincerely hope my mom realizes what a wonderful gift it is to have Dave and Leta living with her.

Along with being a wonderful daughter in law, Leta is a loving wife to my son and mommy to two of my little grandsons. She puts up with Dave's shenanigans and helps him in any way she can. She takes tender care for her precious little ones. I am blessed to have her in my family and call her mine.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, LETA!(I know it's still a ways off but I'm getting a head start.)