Sunday, December 28, 2008

Still holding breath?

Now, you promised you wouldn't laugh! That's the way life is for one with ultra-fine hair in the days before hairspray and/or styling mousse. Note also the space between my front teeth. (You can enlarge the pictures by clicking on them) At this point in my life I still sucked my thumb, and the space in my bangs usually matched the space in my teeth. I had a cowlick at my widow's peak where the bangs separated, and a few strands stuck straight up. Ruthie's mom used to tell the story of trying to comb my hair once. She'd wet the bangs, comb them down, and hold them in place for a bit. "Pop"—right back up! "Kathryn," she asked, "how does your mom keep your bangs down?"  "She doesn't, " was my simple answer!

I know I've shown these pictures to you before, but they were lost when my old, old computer crashed, and I never scanned them into my old or to my new computer. This gave me the ability to do that, and to save them to disc. So thanks for tolerating, again.

One day I must tell you the story of how I finally quit the thumb sucking habit. I and my second son both sucked our left thumbs for quite a while. Much to the chagrin of my dentist father. Telling the story of how I finally quit was the catalyst which made it possible for my son to finally stop.

Viewing these old photos again also adds another blog idea and that goes along with Lois' reminiscences of things we had in the past, and wondering what the future might hold. 

Off to KC—more soon

More hugs

Another "old friend"

Above are pictures of my very best friend (now departed—she must have really been needed in heaven) who was more like a sister to me for the 57 years we knew each other. The first photo is of us together taken in 1947, The second & third pictures are of us individually at the ages of 4 & 5—she was a year older than I, and I started school at 4 years of age (these were school photos). Note my unruly hair in the shot of us together—that hasn't changed! Mel calls me "Phillis" (Phillis Diller eat your heart out!) lol When I was that age, I asked mom if I could let my hair grow so that I could have long black braids like Ruthie. Ha! Note in my school photo how well coifed  I was. Actually I believe this was my first grade picture—mom wasn't about to get caught sending me to school on picture day the way my kindergarten picture came out. Tune in tomorrow for that picture! Promise you won't laugh.......   Hugs!

Old Friends

Lois' talking of a friend since childhood made me think how fortunate I am to have had 3 such dear friends in my life. Sadly two of the three have passed. But, I still communicate with the one remaining, and when we talk on the phone, we still giggle as we have for over 60 years.  In the picture above, she and I are with my father (my arm around her). Such sweet memories. Huge hugs!

Friday, December 26, 2008

♪It's Oooooover!♪

Christmas is over, and put away at our house! Yay! Christmas in the rear view mirror is always refreshing to me. But it isn't there very long—next thing I know, it's just ahead around the next bend. My, how time flies, anymore!

I have my annual visit with my neurologist on Monday. He insists that I come in for a check-up once every year. I have gone a few years without, in the past, but it is only reasonable that he needs to see me every year. I'm at the clinic twice each year for my treatments, but I don't see "doc" at those times. He is in Kansas City, and that's quite a haul for us, but that isn't his problem. I have been having major problems sleeping recently, too, so it's probably time to run that by him. I'd rather eliminate the cause of the shooters than to treat the pain. But, I'm ready to go back on Elavil, in the interim. I also have an appointment coming up (on January, 6th) with an endocrinologist. Personally, I've always thought that most of my "shooter" problems were hormonally related. I've seen 19 different doctors trying to find one that would help me correct my imbalanced endocrine system, but they've all been set in their ways, and not willing to to take my personal idiosyncrasies into consideration. Hopefully this one will be different—the magic # 20. She (the endocrinologist) was referred to me by an RN that I met while Mel had his vein surgery. I've got my fingers crossed that she'll be the one! I'll keep you posted.

While we're in KC, we'll go by Costco, and do some more bulk grocery shopping. I know, it's only been a couple of months, but we've had visitors drawing on our "store". And, we have our annual New Year's Day neighborhood brunch coming soon. 

Huge hugs!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Guess what tomorrow is....

It is Dotti's birthday!  Seriously! Dotti is an old, dear friend of mine. In the photo above, she is the first on the left—I am second on the right. The picture was taken in the late 60s. Told you she was an old friend! lol  We still communicate regularly. Isn't that a treasure?  

So, Happy Birthday, Dotti, and  Merry Christmas!  

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Testing—Tue #2

This is a test to see if I can write a blog in any font, send it via email, and still add a picture. I think I can! 

The Desk Lamp

This is a simple story of needing and purchasing a desk lamp for my computer desk. 

I'm a poor typist, because my left hand isn't too coordinated. It does pretty well for most things, but typing isn't among the acceptable limits of its abilities. I'm therefore reduced to mostly right hand typing—I do use my left index finger on the "shift" key for capitalization. But, I must watch the keyboard. After getting my new computer desk, a lamp which I had been using was no longer useable due to the high back on the new computer desk (the lamp had a toggle switch which was no longer reachable), and without the lamp, I was having difficulty seeing the keyboard. The solution, of course, was to purchase a new desk lamp, without the toggle switch.  Simple enough!

I found an inexpensive (cheap) banker's desk lamp at Wal-Mart with a touch sensor! Perfect! I brought it home and set it up without too much trouble. It was exactly what I wanted—for about 5 minutes! It burned out! It wasn't the bulb. Mel took it apart, and discovered that the touch sensor switch was the culprit. So, having saved the receipt, I waited (blindly) for the next opportunity to get to Wal-Mart to exchange it. The time finally arrived, and I made the exchange without too terrible a hassle. The new lamp worked just fine—for about 15 minutes! The touch sensor burned out again!

I've not always made the best decisions, but I'm not totally without common sense, so I wasn't about to try for lamp # three from Wal-Mart. Instead, I checked out finding a banker's desk lamp (I loved the style) on line. I found and ordered one from Amazon. This was about double the price, but it had a glass shade instead of plastic, and it had a pull chain, rather than either the toggle or touch sensor switch. It took a bit of time for it to arrive, but it's working well for me and I just love it!

All that remained in my Wal-Mart dealings was to return lamp # 2 for a refund. Not too big an ordeal, right? Wrong! Just my rotten luck, I happened to get behind a lady (a female, anyway) who was returning about 50 items! This was at the store entrance, not at the service desk. It wasn't just a matter of putting a sticker on a bag (a huge cart full, actually) of returns, but their new computerized system required feeding in each item, and whatever else I don't know. Anyway I waited for about 30 minutes until the process was done. Then I followed the female to the service desk! She went to one line (there were only 2 lines)—so I went to the other behind several others. I advised a few others to do the same. We all got out of there faster than the female!!

All ended well! I have my lamp, and got my money back, but I thought it'd make for an interesting story. And, if you're ever in the market for a desk lamp—you'll know one not to buy!  Hugs!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fill in

I'm going to fill you in on a bit of what occurred while sis was here for the month of November. You might want to check out Nov., 3rd's blog, as this continues from there:

I met Linda (sis) at the bus station in Springfield as planned, and the chaos began! I'll leave the story here for now to give you some of Linda's history. She married at 18 to Gary, and they were a dynamic pair. They were married for 48 years, and accrued quite a fortune. They had 4 children whose births ranged from 1963 to 1978. The first was adopted, followed within 3 years by a natural child. Several years lapsed before # 3 arrived, then a few more years before # 4. The first two were reared quite strictly in hard times, during Gary's drinking days—he was an alcoholic.
The second two had an entirely different upbringing. Gary was sober, they were quite well off financially, and the kids were all spoiled rotten! They wanted—they got. I tell you this to explain that Linda always felt guilty that the first 2 didn't have the same "advantage" as the second two. All 4 turned out to be bums—so I don't know why she feels that she/they somehow discriminated. Anyway, Gary developed diabetes, and his health declined pretty rapidly in the latter years. By 2003 he was legally blind, and Linda had her hands full doing everything for him. None of the kids were financially (or emotionally) independent, so Linda carried them all. All four kids had drug problems, and were in rehab numerous times. Linda refused to "let go and let God" as her training dictated. She "jumped" when any of them whined. 

Gary was Linda's emotional "rock" even though he'd become a physical drag.  Gary passed away in 2006—a result of the diabetes, and sis was left with a big bag of worms without her rock, and with 4 leach addicts. She enrolled in a truck driving school (age 67), and obtained her CDL. A few months on the road convinced her that that was not the life for her, but she met a truck driver 18 years her junior, and after a year of "mostly together" she married the bum! He has hardly worked in the last 2+ years, and loves Linda's bank account almost as much as her kids do. 

Back to the bus station in Springfield On Nov. 4. (Linda had left hubby to spend time with us)—she got off the bus with cell phone to ear talking to hubby! We hardly got a chance to talk to each other on the trip home because her phone(s), she had 2, kept ringing, and she refused to ditch them or turn them off. When we got to Cedarcreek, she asked me to stop at the Post Office. She sent money to oldest daughter (just out if prison)! I voted with no lines or waiting.

The whole time she was here, she was talking with the leaches, and sending money! It was really pathetic. But, it allowed me to "let go and let God" with her. I'll be available to her—but if she wants to come back here the phone(s) can't come. And the only money she can spend must be on herself (I'll hold her checkbook(s)).

Anyway, that explains some of the "stuff" I was dealing with for the month of November. Linda is now back in Alaska with her hubby (no step-daughter) and calls occasionally. She also lives with her oldest daughter, (just out of prison ) daughter's dog, (sis paid to transport) and significant other (junkie) of 3rd daughter who is in expectant mother's rehab! I am able to listen without offering advice or opinions. Hubby is working *gasp* but will be giving that job up when he returns to SC for daughter's birthday in January. What happens next? Nobody knows! Stay tuned!  Hugs!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Nance's Computer

I had sent the computer off to Nance via UPS, and was watching the tracking on it. When I first checked the tracking this morning, it said "out for delivery". But that didn't tell me much, as I have no idea what time they'd arrive at the home. So, I checked periodically. Finally, not long after noon here (1:17 p.m. EST, exactly) It said "delivered". YAY!! Nance had received her computer!! I called a couple of hours later, and we both had some choked up moments as we exchanged the joys of giving and receiving. Her world had been diminishing to such a small place, and it has opened back up again! I published her email address on MSOhio, and suggested that we hold a special "welcome back" session. 

Huge hugs!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

During and after vein shots

Mel saw the surgeon who did his veins, yesterday for his follow-up appointment. She was real pleased, and will see him again in 3 months. You can see in the 1st shot above how much improvement there is, and she explained that it will continue to get better. The second picture (tho blurry—must concentrate on holding the camera steadier) Shows some of the black the upper leg turned. The really black part was not due to shadow--it really was black! And it got much worse than shown. But that has cleared, now. 

We got the computer sent off to Nance, yesterday—She'll get it tomorrow (Thurs.). And, I went back to town for a mammogram, today.  

More hugs!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Boo Boo #2 (I'm a poet)

To continue: After the bacon incident, I did one of my brilliant falling tricks. I never see them coming—I really don't think I need to explain. One second, everything is okay—the next second, I'm either on the floor or just about to hit it. Boom—I landed on my a** (just my left cheek)! Owie! No harm—butt for a bruised pride, and bottom. Sitting is still tender today, butt it IS better.☺

And, in summation, JOY:

For this segment I'll quote myself segments from a letter I mailed today to Nance. Yes, our Nance.
"I am so excited and full of joy! I have stewed over your dilemma for such a long time wondering what I could do to assist, and grieving over the pittance anything I could offer would be. Randy had written the MSOhio group trying to solicit ideas, and funds to make your life easier. I put a check into the mail, but I knew that little could be done with that. I finally asked myself what I'd like to have/do if I was in your place."

"Then the "light bulb" came on (God whispered in my ear)—what I'd want the very most would be a computer. The "wheels" started spinning. Where could we get a computer at an affordable price? Then God tapped me on the shoulder—you've got a laptop sitting in a closet downstairs. But it's old, and so outdated, logic argued with me. God pushed me toward the phone—call your computer man! I called my computer repair man and got the good news that he could erase the hard drive, and get the machine up to good order for a good price. I got another nudge—call Randy for more information. I dialed Randy, but he was not available, and I left a message on his answering machine to call me. Another nudge—I didn't mean for you to call Randy—call Nance!"

I did call Nance and asked her lots of questions about where she was living and what was available to her. I learned that she has wireless access to the internet! I told her that I'd send the computer to her. In closing our phone conversation she asked if I had plans for Christmas. My reply was, " To get you on line!" With that in mind, more quoting from my letter to her:

"You know most of the rest of the story. But, I'll add that Randy returned my call and is nearly as excited as I about the prospect of getting you on line. I gathered your computer, and drove to the computer repair shop (about an hour away—told you we were in the boonies) I had taped a note on your computer to add a wireless card, and bring the USB ports up to high speed. My computer man was not there, but his wife was expecting me. So your computer is going to be worked on this week-end, and might be ready early next week! I'll get it into the mail ASAP, and you should have it by the end of the week! YAY!!!"  

"I'm going to tell you that your computer was given to me by my sister who refused to use it. Her husband had purchased it for her. Her husband passed away in 2006, and when I made the decision to get the computer to you, he smiled down! I see a job and income in your near future! You have so many friends and a new horizon is spreading out before you. This was meant to be! "See" you next week!"

 God works in such wonderful ways—he put some of my recent plans out of reach so that this would be possible!

Huge hugs!

2 boo boos; 1 great joy day

Mel's been taking lots of field trips, and frequently packs a meal to take with him. He had asked me to cook some bacon for him, and I did that first thing this morning. I have a great way to cook bacon using the microwave, and avoiding all the splatter and clean up. I have a microwave tray with a cover that I use just for that purpose. The first batch came along without a hitch. I was engrossed in another project (computer) when I started the second batch. I set the timer for 4 minutes (I thought), then returned to my typing. Suddenly I realized that it had been waaaaaaay more  than 4 minutes—and then I smelled trouble. I stopped the microwave, (I gather that I'd had 40 minutes set, and that about 10 had lapsed) disposed of the burned bacon, and grease, and cleaned up the mess. But the stench was awful! I was expecting Mel home from his morning run, and taped a note to the door saying that everything was okay but hold your nose! He was grateful for the warning when he came in, but said the stench was more than burned bacon! We checked out the tray and cover that I'd cleaned. The tray was fine, but the cover was singed, and it was that which was so stinky. We threw it away, and it took a lot of scouring with baking soda to finally get the microwave smelling better. That was boo boo # 1. To be continued. Hugs!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I DID it!!

Yay!! I finished Christmas cards! 63 are in the mail, and on their way. I remembered one more to get out tomorrow, then Mel will need some to pass out at work—but for the most part they are done. I normally have the task completed within the first few days of December, but sis' month long visit left me quite discombobulated, and I'm just beginning to get it back together. (for me—lol)  

It's late—or rather early, so I'll make another promise to do better soon.   Hugs!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Okay, Lois.....

Lois shamed me in to it—not into decorating, but into publishing a picture of last year.  lol   This is as easy as it gets. Takes about 20 minutes each year. I am working on cards, and will get to better blogging when those are done. I will pass along a quick tidbit while it's on my mind. The NMSS fund drive envelope stuffing we did brought in $690!! I was very impressed that one old friend contributed $500 ! Wow!  Hugs!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

birthday second post

My CA sister sent me a tear jerker e-mail which I wanted to share. This sister turned 5 years old 2 weeks before I was born.

HAPPY  BIRTHDAY  MY DEAR  SISTER!!!  I've been thinking of you all morning and remembering when you were born.  Grandma was at our house when it was time for mom to leave for the hospital.  Uncle George was driving her because dad was in the Army.  Grandma was litterly wringing her hands because I was sick with a cold and begged mom to rock me because I didn't feel well.  Mom stopped everything and rocked me  -  with what little lap she had left.  I later learned mom hardly made it to the hospital before you popped out.  Dad got leave from the Army and came home.  He took Linda and me to the  hospital,  but we weren't allowed to go inside, so we stood on the lawn and mom came to the window of her room and I could see her inside and she was crying when she saw us outside  -  I knew she missed us very much.


When mom came home with you, I was totally enamored   What a wonderful gift for a 5 year old girl.  You always smelled so good and you were a delightful baby and child.  I loved you dearly  -  and still do.  I am so proud of who you are and what you do.  You raised 2 wonderful sons, and then added your beautiful daughter.  You and your sweet  husband have carved out a grand life for the two of you.  I am so proud of Mel and the love and care he has for you.  Bless you both.

So Dear Sis, I am very thankful for you and am so pleased and happy and proud that you are my sister.  I love you with all my heart.


HAPPY  BIRTHDAY         Love,   Janie


Isn't that a sweet letter? I am so blessed!  More Hugs!


First, let me say with great relief that Mel's leg is looking not only better, but quite good.  Second, today is my birthday, (65!) and the photo above is of dental impressions which my father (a dentist) took of me in 1947. (I was 4) Sister Janie is the keeper of such stuff, and brought them  as a birthday gift to me. I was a serious thumb sucker and the results are apparent in the impressions. The photo is blurry and the details aren't evident, but I thought the size of them was worth showing.

Also worth reflecting—today is the 67th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It was also on a Sunday, and pretty close in time to the very moment I'm writing this. It is interesting to ponder, and compare the times then and now.

I'll be driving with Mel to Forsyth, in a couple of hours—he has another field trip, and will drive his bus back home after the field trip (ROTC to a Branson Christmas parade). He'd left his bus at the barn on Friday to have his surgery (I'd driven in to pick him up after his route). That sounds confusing, I know, but things are backwards for him since he keeps the bus at home.

Huge hugs!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Mel didn't get home until 8:30 tonight, and came in limping. The problem area in the leg is not at the sight of the bulging veins, but where they inserted the laser probe to do its thing. His upper leg (to near the groin) is multicolored red, black and blue. We'll see what it looks like in the morning and make a couple of calls to see if we need to take more action. He has another field trip tomorrow, but it isn't until later, so will give us time to do whatever is necessary. Hugs! 

Friday, December 5, 2008

All's Well!

I don't have the "after" shot yet, but here's the ugly, painful, frightening (to the kids) "before" bulges! Nasty, huh? They were only on his left leg, and as a result of a bus with a VERY hard clutch. 

The surgery was more entailed than I thought, but there is no lengthy recovery. In fact, Mel will be leaving early in the morning for a field trip. He will need a test next Tuesday, and a follow up visit with the doctor on Friday. He'll continue with the support stocking for a week, and that's it. They were late getting the surgery under way, and it was after 3:00 when we finally got out of there. I was able to bring his coffee to him in recovery. There was no general anaesthesia—a local, and IV "relaxer", but they had to be sure he was okay. 

Glad it's done! More hugs!

Mel's surgery

I know that I promised stories, but forgot that today is Mel's varicose vein surgery.  So there is another story to add to my list. Surgery sounds so drastic for the procedure which doc described to us. I will try to get before and after photos for you to judge. And, I'm hoping it is as simple as I'm anticipating. The biggy for Mel is that he can't have any coffee (no food or drink) until after the procedure—scheduled for 11:00 a.m.! More details tomorrow! Hugs!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm back!

Above is a picture of Betty and George. They are a couple who frequented our restaurant in Wichita. They will celebrate their 66th (yes—sixty sixth) wedding anniversary on the 20th! We had been invited to a celebration of their 65th last year, but had to pass due to bad weather. I promised them we'd look them up next time we visited the area. It took nearly a year for us to get back there, but I remembered the promise, and we did get with them. What fun to see them again. I have their email address, now and we'll keep more current. The picture is one we took with Mel's camera phone, and it took a bit to figure out how to get it from phone to computer, (we forgot our camera) but I'm proud that we succeeded. I'm behind in projects, but will be writing more....... promise! Huge hugs!