It all began …

June 30, 2010

The following was in the newspaper yesterday:

“Did you marry your high school sweetheart?  The (newspaper) is looking for stories about couples who dated during their teen years and ended up married to each other.”

So, of course, I thought I would submit our story.  But when I looked back through all the Hubby posts here, I couldn’t find one that told the story of  when “it all began”.  That is really an omission, because it is one of the most important turning points in both our lives.  So, I’m going to correct that omission right now:

On New Year’s Eve, 1961 I was 15 and staying overnight with Robyn, one of my girlfriends. When it was almost midnight, her boyfriend, Wayne, called from a party to ask if he could stop over for a little while to see in the New Year with her. But she explained that I was there, so that probably wouldn’t work. No problem, he said. Just by coincidence he had a friend who he had wanted me to meet anyway, and that friend just happened to be right there at the party too!  So Robyn said okay – in that case they could both stop over.  But when Wayne hung up the phone, he definitely had a problem.  He didn’t really have a friend in mind to introduce to Robyn’s friend whom he had only met a few times, but he needed to find somebody quick! He looked around the room and his eyes landed on his friend Jim (probably one of the taller guys in the room, so he stood out). So Wayne went over and gave Jim a “sales pitch” about Sandy, his girlfriend’s “cool” friend, and convinced Jim to come with him to meet me.  The rest is history.  Jim and I went together, sometimes off but mostly on, for the rest of high school and married a year after I graduated.  We have just celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary.

I’ve always loved telling the story about how Wayne picked Jim for me.  And it’s no surprise to anyone who knows Wayne that he spent his entire career working in sales – he definitely had a talent for it.  But, to my way of thinking, the most important sales pitch Wayne ever gave was the one he gave to Jim about a girl name Sandy, on New Year’s Eve, 1961.

NOT Diet Grape Salad

June 29, 2010

Okay.  We went to Hubby’s annual family reunion on Sunday.  I had made turkey lasagna and some banana bars but I wanted to take another dish too.

I looked in the fridge to see what was available and some grapes caught my eye.  They reminded me that Linda had made a grape salad that they really liked.

So I found a recipe for grape salad in a cookbook, but it called for FIVE POUNDS of grapes!  It says it makes 10 servings, so they are thinking a half pound of grapes is a serving?  Doesn’t that seem like a really big serving?

I measured my grapes and I had two cups, so I modified the recipe to fit what I had.  But when I got it made, while it was delicious, it really didn’t have enough grapes in it, so I ran over and bought another cup of grapes.

Anyway, we thought it was awesome, in a very non-diet way, so I’m sharing it with you for your non-diet days (like reunions!):

Grape Salad, my way

Combine 4 oz. cream cheese, softened,

16 oz. sour cream,

½ t. vanilla,

¼ C. granulated Splenda (equal measurement if sugar) and

¼ C. packed Splenda brown sugar (double if using regular brown sugar).

Mix well.

Clean 3 cups of sweet, seedless grapes.  (I had two cups of dark ones and bought another cup, that time pink ones.)

Add the grapes and 1 C. of coarsely chopped pecans to the mixture.

Mix well and refrigerate.

Okay, back to the diet now.

Profile of a Winner!

June 28, 2010

My old friend, Cheryl, is the winner of my I-can’t-believe-I-posted-700-times contest!

I actually had planned to share photo documentation of the  very high-tech system I used to arrive at the winner, but my photos of the little pieces of paper with all the names on them in a big plastic pitcher don’t want to download, so you’ll just have to take my word for it — Cheryl won!

To remind you who Cheryl is, besides being an occasional commenter here, she and I went to high school together and I wrote about a fun encounter we had here — a time when I noticed her browsing in the tropical fish department of the nearby super store.

Yesterday I stopped at the super store on my way home from church, and it just so happens that I encountered Cheryl again — and again she was doing something “interesting”.  As I walked past the cosmetic aisle I noticed Cheryl studying a wall of products.  So, of course, I walked over to say hi.  And as we chatted she told me she was looking for waterproof eyebrow pencil.  Hmmm.  I’ve never heard about a product like that, nor the need for one!  She said she needed it because hers keep wiping off.  Being the caring, thoughtful friend I am, I gave her my very best advice to solve her problem — “STOP RUBBING YOUR EYEBROWS!”  She said she would take my sweet advice under consideration as she waved a waterproof eyebrow pencil under my nose as proof that she wasn’t the only one who had the problem of disappearing eyebrows!

So, anyway, eyebrows or not, Cheryl is the winner of the original greeting cards.

“I’ll have my people call your people, Cheryl, and we’ll do cards.”

Thanks to all of you who left a comment and joined in the fun.  You are all winners with me!


June 27, 2010

Peace is seeing a sunrise and knowing who to thank.  — Anon

A trick of the eye

June 26, 2010

I have four different sets of measuring spoons.  And I’ve separated them all so that sixteen little spoons of varying measurements float around in a drawer with spatulas and cooking spoons.  It works for me.

Yesterday I wanted to use one tablespoon of whipped cream cheese and one tablespoon of blackberry preserves on my morning English muffin (Weight Watchers has made me so much more of a “measurerer” than ever before), so I got out two tablespoon measures.

I had never noticed these two measuring spoons together before.  But when I did see how different they looked, it was just hard for me to believe that they both held the same amount — the stainless steel one looked so much bigger.  I was so skeptical I even went so far as to fill the black one with water and then pour it into the stainless steel one.  Of course, they DID hold the same amount.

Then I turned them over and it was immediately obvious why they could be the same:

Smaller diameter and deeper, versus bigger diameter and more shallow.

I think the fact that one is black and the other is shiny stainless steel also makes a difference in the appearance of disproportion.

I guess it’s been too long for me since geometry class when we learned about different configurations of objects having the same volume.

If any of you are home schooling your children, feel free to use this in your math lesson today!  It was certainly a little refresher course for me.

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock …

June 25, 2010

… time is running out to enter my I-can’t-believe-I-posted-700-times contest.

Win a box of six original photo greeting cards.  They will be blank inside (unless you want me to try my hand at greeting card writer too — I might be able to do it!) and include matching envelopes.

Think of it this way.  “Someday” wayyyy in the future, after I’m gone, there may be a huge number of collectors who collect … not baseball cards … not comic books … but original greeting cards!  So, if you were to win this box of six now, maybe you could sell them then on a huge black market for the very popular collectible greeting cards, and feather your retirement nest!

So, comment here or on the original contest posted last Monday for this once in a lifetime opportunity! (said in my best Billy May’s voice)

Happy Friday!

Bob, the “dry cleaning guy”

June 24, 2010

Cops are probably (or at least used to be) dry cleaners’ best friends, and maybe not for the reason you are envisioning.  Uniforms have gotten more casual now (a change I personally don’t think is a great “look”), but when Hubby started out as a young uniformed officer the uniforms he wore could be washed and ironed by a devoted wife, but they looked much better (and saved the wife from all that ironing) when they were dry cleaned.  So that means that for almost all of the 36 years that Hubby was a policeman, we were on the “frequent flyer” plan with dry cleaners — first with uniforms, then with suits and dress shirts when he moved up into “plain clothes” jobs.  One of the decisions that regularly had to be made before we both left for work in the morning was who was going to drop off or pick up the dry cleaning.

Ahhh, but when we moved “to town” six and a half years ago, one of the big pluses was that we could be on a dry cleaning route.  What a wonderful service!  The “dry cleaning guy” came by twice a week to pick up the dry cleaning bag hanging on our utility door.  And as long as Hubby was working, it was always there, and full — we definitely made it worth his time to come by.

But things really changed when we retired.  We went from having dry cleaning to be picked up almost every time the guy came by, to only having something for him to pick up once or twice a month!  We fully expected to hear from the company that it just wasn’t any longer worth their time to have us on the pick-up route, but that never happened.  So “Bob” still faithfully pulls into our driveway twice a week to see if we have anything for him, even though we seldom do any more.

But what I’ve never thought about before is that because Bob comes to our house twice a week (and I think he’s been our route driver for most of the 6+ years we’ve been on the route) he is pretty familiar with our house … and apparently notices any changes.

We needed to have our front door and shutters painted, and decided to use that opportunity to change the color from the dark red that was on them when we moved here.

So the painter used one of the shutters on the window next to the utility door to put up samples of five different colors we had selected, so that we could “live” with them for a little while and decide which color we wanted to use.

We chose the middle sample and are happy with our choice.

A few days after the paint job, Hubby and I drove in the driveway and saw a note on the dry cleaning hook.  I said, “Oh oh, I bet the dry cleaner is finally giving up on us and saying that we won’t be on the home delivery route any more.”

But I needn’t have worried.  The note was just our long-time “visitor” Bob, giving us an “atta boy”.

Bob’s note made us smile.

In a world that in many ways becomes more impersonal by the day, there are still people like Bob who will look for opportunities to have a little personal interaction.  And I thank God for them.

Words, words, words …

June 21, 2010

… I’ve got words, and I have the statistics to prove it!  I’ve now written over 700 posts.

I remember telling DD, when she encouraged me to start writing a blog, that I didn’t think I would be able to think of enough to write about.  Ha!

Soooo, in honor of this milestone, I thought I would give away some of the results of my new “flavor of the month” hobby — making greeting cards from my photos.

These are some I’ve made to give away at our golf fun day in July.

So, if you would like to “throw your hat in” for the give-away, here’s how it will work.

Between now and midnight on Sunday, June 27, please leave a comment here, and I will randomly draw a winner on the 28th.

For that winner, I will make six cards (they are blank inside), with any combination of the following three pictures (all six of one picture — two of each of the pictures — three of two different pictures — you get the idea, whatever you want).

Orrrr,  if there is some other photo I have published (that doesn’t have people in it, please) that you would like made into cards, I could  do that.

Although I would make one exception to the “no people” rule because this one is me, and I don’t need anyone else’s permission.  I’ve made some get well cards to send out myself with this picture and words on the front.  I have no idea if that would be fun for any of you to send out, but I’m hoping I’ve given some sick people a laugh when I sent them this baby!  (You could write on the inside something like, “Cheer up!  You can’t possibly feel worse than she looks!”)

But whether you win greeting cards or not, those of you who have taken the time to read many of my 700 posts have my undying gratitude!  You are the secret ingredient in the “add humor and faith … mix well” batter that makes writing this blog fun for me.  Thank you.

An update on Cooper

June 21, 2010

I am passing along the most recent post from Cooper’s mommy.

Happy Father’s Day to all you Wonderful Dad’s out there. We hope you got a chance to relax and enjoy your day with your family or perhaps just having some much needed quiet time. We enjoyed a very relaxing day. It started with some of our close friends, the Thompsons, celebrating the Baptism of their beautiful baby boy Grady. What a special moment for all of us! After that, Cooper and I went out for a steamer and coffees for Dad and Mom and then back to the house for a home cooked breakfast. The morning went fast and before we could blink, it was nap time for Cooper, while Grace and Daddy made snow cones – what a great treat on a hot day. The rest of afternoon was spent with Justin and Grace swimming and me making a strawberry fluff pie and cleaning up from the weekend. Once Coop was awake, we ate dinner that a wonderful neighborhood family brought, gave Cooper his medicine, and then headed out for yogurt. The kids were exhausted and after many hugs, kisses, and a few books, their innocent little minds went to rest on their pillows. Our hearts melt as we watch them sleep with not a care or worry, all that you wish for as a parent. What a wonderful day just enjoying one another with laughs, cooking, games, swimming and nothing more!

As you know from our last update, Cooper had another MRI last week. Unfortunately, our little soldier got another ding in his armor with the latest results. In just a short 5 week period, there is regrowth in the location that was recently resected in the third ventricle back on the 27th. We have struggled with this news and have needed time to absorb it. The shock of such a quick recurrence has made it hard to put this into words in an update. We have spent the week talking to our Medical Team trying to better understand why this happened and what to do next. We are continuing with Coop’s chemo and will stay the course until his next MRI in 4 weeks as it is too early to make big changes, but it has truly been a blow and created a great deal of worry and fear. We continue to pray that the tumor will shrink or at the least stabilize and that Coop remains strong and tolerating the chemotherapy. He really is an amazing little boy…his bald little head accentuates his big brown eyes and sheepish smile, as the simplest things just tickle him and in turn warm our hearts.

I have included two poems that touched me and therefore I thought I would share them with you. Bless you all and have a great week ahead.

Daddy can you guess who I am?
You cried when I was as small
As a pebble in the sand.
I was a beautiful baby, I might add,
But that is because Mommy said
I looked like you, Dad.
Singing and dancing,
I love putting on shows too.
You use to read to me, Daddy,
But now I am reading to you.
I am getting big, Daddy,
I am now in first grade.
And I am looking forward to our dance, Daddy, that will be our special day.
Even though you can’t do my hair
Or give me a curl,
I will always be
Your favorite little girl.

Daddy can you guess who I am?
You cried when you found out
You were having a little man.
I haven’t told Mommy
About us sneaking any snacks,
But I look forward to the times
We get to do just that.
We dream of building forts
In our back yard.
But for now we will ride the mower
And use our tools to fix the car.
You introduced me to Coca Cola,
So please smile when I have
Your last can;
Playing games with you, Daddy,
Is my everyday plan.
I may be your clown,
You laugh at what I do;
But when I grow up, Daddy,
I want to be just like you.

Honey you have helped mold me
Into who I am.
We were so young,
But we did the best we can.
We started out
With a simple little kiss…
Who would have thought
It would end up as sweet as this?
You have made my dreams come true,
Making me a Mom

Ticket for Life:
Bandage scraped knees. Kiss away fears.
Watch their heartbreak and dry their tears.
Teach them to know what’s right and what’s wrong.
Show them how to be gentle and when to be strong.
Tell them you love them, and then let it show.
That’s the easiest part of helping them grow.
There needs to be discipline, but don’t over do it.
Praise and encouragement strengthens their spirit.
Show them respect for their feelings and thoughts.
They should know their important, self worth can’t be bought.
Show them some patience and always be kind.
Developing minds make mistakes time to time.
Teach them to be the best they can be.
When they’re happy within,

What an inspiration this whole family is.

Please continue to keep them in your prayers.

Hats and Tea

June 19, 2010

On the day of our Tea Room visit, the girls put on their dresses and the hats.  And, of course, I wanted pictures.

Mimi “stylin'”!

“Auntie Linda” went to the tea room with us and, luckily, took some pictures too.  She got this one that I really like of Mimi before we left our house.

Lulu did wear shoes to the tea room, just not for this picture!

Coco is 12 and becoming quite a young lady.

“Which of these things is not like the other?”  (Do they still play that game on Sesame Street?)  Maybe I should have made hats for Linda and me too.  But I think there may be a very fine line between paper hats being cute on children and maybe a little silly on retirees.

All three of the girls chose hot chocolate to drink and were delighted to find out that they still got their own individual tea pot even though they weren’t drinking tea!

Mimi was given a very pretty, tiny little tea cup and was very careful with it.  And she was okay with me doing the pouring for her.  I was very proud of how ladylike she and her sisters behaved.

I was glad Linda went with us — she really helped make it a party.  And I see from this picture what the server meant when she asked if we were sisters.  We do look somewhat alike!  I guess that comes from all those years we’ve been hangin’ around together!

Each of the children got a dessert plate that looked like this.  Mimi proceeded to use her little demitasse spoon to scrape the frosting off the cute little cake — eating the frosting and leaving the poor little cake “naked”.

But, she didn’t let it go to waste …

… she got a “to go” bag and took it home to Papa.  He agreed to eat it only after she assured him that she didn’t lick the frosting off.

We had a great time. But I had figured once the event was over, we would just throw the hats away (saving whatever was re-usable).  So, I was surprised when the girls said they wanted to take their hats home with them.  They certainly aren’t designed to be long-lasting, so I have no idea how long it will be before they totally fall apart, but I was delighted that they liked them well enough to go to the trouble.

Score one for Nana!