Growing up in Burrwood

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ellis Island

Of all the places we visited Ellis Island was the most humbling to me. As we sailed up to the Island I tried to imagine what it might have been like for those who came from so far away many years ago to start a new life.

The Island had many names. The Indians called it Seagull Island, Dutch Settlers called it Oyster island and when pirates where hanged from the trees there it was called Gibbet Island. It wasn't until around the time of the American Revolution in 1776 that a merchant Samuel Ellis from New York owned it and built a restaurant on it for fishermen. In 1808 an heir to Samuel sold it to the city of New York who kept the name Ellis Island. Later that same year it was sold to the Federal Government. Later the Island was expanded and other islands built from the landfill taken from building the subway system.

The brick structure was opened in Dec. of 1900 at a cost of 1.5 million dollars and was designed to handle 5000 immigrants a day. As years went by more buildings were added to the Island. Later 

When the U.S. entered WW1 the island was used to detain German soldiers and a couple of years later it was taken over by the Army and Navy to care for sick and wounded soldiers. 

When you first walk in you are taken aback by the size of great room where the immigrants were first processed as they came off the boats. The room measures 100 ft. by 200 ft. with 56 ft. vaulted ceilings. The tall ceiling and huge windows are beautiful. Right across the room from the doors is a line of hundreds of pieces of luggage that was left there by the immigrants. When you look at them you visualize what must have been in them at one time. Ones entire life's possessions in each and every one of them. 

The many rooms there are of different sizes and uses. There is the medical examination room, the mental examination room, the registration room, a court room, a dinning room (which we ate lunch in on the very same tables) a hospital, a laundry room and of course the dormitories. 

We watched a movie while we were there. Before the movie starts a tour guide tells you about the island and what the immigrants had to go through to be able to stay here. I found out that if you had any medical issues no matter how small you could be sent back to your home country.  Many who came had an eye disease. A doctor would examine their eyes and if they were infected they would be turned away and sent back.  They would watch to see if you had any physical disabilities as well and if you did you too were sent back.  When I heard that the first thing I thought of is, I would have been one of those turned away. I was born with a dislocated hip and have always limped. Since they only wanted or allowed the healthiest and the strongest to stay I would have had to leave.  Parents of children who had any problems had to decide who would stay here and who would go back with their children if they were turned away. Can you imagine what that must have been like? If you were allowed to stay and if you had family here to claim you your native currency was exchanged for American money and you were free to go.

Throughout the building they have rooms of pictures placed inside cardboard boxes which are lighted of some of those who came here. They have rooms of clothes from every corner of the world each with it's own style and fashion at that time. You can visit the dormitories where the bunks are 3 high and the bathrooms of just the basic necessities but were probably a blessing for them. They have letters and letters written by many. What I found interesting and funny at the same time that even back then those in charge, who had to be immigrants at one time as well, were complaining about all the immigrants coming and should put a stop to it or slow it down at least (sound familiar?). Some of the letters that were displayed were heartbreaking while some where joyous and happy. There were drawings on the walls where people drew pictures of birds or a outline of their hands with their names in it.

They have books and books of the names of those who came and you can look through them to find your family name. We found ours. We found both sides except for my grandmothers as she was a Cherokee Indian. In fact, there is a website where you can search the registry for your family. Just go here

I was very humbled after visiting Ellis Island. To think what our ancestor's went through to make a better life for themselves and for their families for whatever reason they had makes you feel a little ashamed for complaining when the power goes out or something breaks down and yet, grateful at the same time. As many problems as our country has it is still the best country in the world and we are lucky to live here. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

I know I'm probably forgetting something and if I think of it I'll throw it in another blog. For now though I'll leave you with a video of a scale model of the Island. Here's  a link to a website that tells you more about Ellis Island then I every could. I was so impressed and humbled from this expierence. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Statue of Liberty

As with most every place you visit as a tourist in N.Y. you have to go through security. However, this is the only place we went to that I saw an armed soldier standing guard. Miss Liberty was a gift of friendship from the people of France Oct. 28th 1886 as universal symbol of freedom and democracy. She was dedicated on October 28, 1886 and designated as a National Monument in 1924. A symbolic feature that people cannot see is the broken chain wrapped around the Statue's feet. At the bottom of her robe, there is broken chains that symbolize her free forward movement, symbolizing to the world with her torch the freedom from oppression and servitude.

Ticket prices aren’t too bad, only around $17.00 for adults. You can only get to the Island by the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Ferry. Personnel and privet boats are not allowed to dock on the islands.
The line was long and it was another hot day the day we went. Thankfully there were vendors there selling water and ice cream. Once we boarded the Ferry we headed for the upper deck so we could have a clear vision of everything around us. I can’t tell you what an amazing sight it is as you get closer and closer to the Statue. Not to mention the view of the City as well as the Brooklyn Bridge.
Once you dock on the Island you are behind the Statue. As you walk toward her through the court yard there is a table set up with pamphlets and information. There are headphones you can use for an audio tour as well.
The courtyard is beautiful! Along the sides of the courtyard are vendors and on the other side there are white cast iron tables sitting between rows of trees. As you walk around she comes into view and it just stops your heart to be so close to her. You can have your picture taken by photographers and then view them in the gift shop when you’re ready to leave.
Speaking of the gift shop. I have to admit that I was very disappointed. Of course they have the normal things like shirts, key chains, cups etc. BUT…they were all made in CHINA! I didn’t see one thing there that was made here and I think it is outrageous that souvenirs sold at our national parks and monuments are made in foreign countries. When I think of women & children working in sweatshops making these things for gift shops at, of all places, our nations proudest places it blows my mind. Because of that, the only thing I bought there was the pictures we had taken in front of the Statue. I will treasure that forever! To be there with my boys means more then I could ever say and means more then a mere trinket.
I can’t even begin to tell you the feeling that comes over you while you’re there. To look up at her and realize the reason she’s there is nothing short of humbling. Knowing what happened in the past and the reason the French made this for us is a lesson for us all.
We walked around the entire Island before heading back to the Ferry which would then take us over to Ellis Island. If you ever get the chance to go there don’t turn it down. You won’t regret it.
In my next blog I will tell you about Ellis Island.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The 9/11 Memorial

You have to have a ticket and a reservation to get in to the Memorial site, as of right now they are free. They only allow so many at a time and you can pick a day and time you hope to be there. If there are too many for that day and time they will let you know. Security is tight there as well, you and your bags have to go through a screening there too. When you go in they give you a roll of paper and a crayon so you can etch a name on it if you want as well as information.

Kathy and I went to the Memorial and Bill and William went to the Natural History Museum that day.

As with everywhere you go in N.Y. there are lines of people waiting to enter and the Memorial was no different. I’m sad to say that Kathy lost her Dad in the towers the day of the attack. Families who lost someone that day doesn’t have to wait in line, they have a separate entrance for them and I think that’s how it should be. Her Dad’s name is engraved on one of the pools.
It is hard for families. Kathy said that even though she understands why people want to visit there, for her it’s grave site. At the same time, it’s a tourist attraction and a place to mourn.

There is a temporary museum there right now while the permanent one is being built. You can see it in my picture that is titled…People at the Memorial in the back of the photo. It’s slanted building and it will be amazing when it’s finished.

All through the museum there are video’s. Video’s of the day of the attack, video’s of the aftermath and clean up. Video’s of peoples reaction and of the first responders who never gave up. There are artifacts of the buildings and of the planes, of personal items found in the wreckage. There is a wall of just photos of those gone from us and a wall of those who are still missing. There is a flag called the honor flag that has the name of every person who perished that day. It is very humbling to say the least.

The names around the fountains are arranged not alphabetically but by the group of people who were close together on the day the planes hit. Police officers are listed together, as are passengers on each of the planes that crashed -- and the crew and passengers of each plane are listed on the pool corresponding to the tower their plane hit.

The Reflecting Pools are amazing and beautiful. They are the centerpiece of the memorial and are two giant, square pits and they sit in the footprints of the two towers. The waterfalls cascading down the four walls of each fountain are the largest such fountains in North America. To me the the continuous fountains are reminders that we will never forget.

There is a tree there that was originally planted in 1970 that now stands alone in the plaza, it's called the Survivor Tree. It is a pear tree and is the last living thing pulled from the ruins. The tree was found in the smoldering rubble and had sustained extensive damage. When it was found it had lifeless limbs, snapped roots and the trunk was scorched and blackened. At that time it was 8 feet tall. It was taken to a nursery and nursed back to  health and replanted and now measures 30 in height. Since trees is my most favorite thing in the world other then my family I had to get a picture of it and of course I had to touch it. To me the tree  symbolizes that as Americans you can  knock us down but you can't knock us out. We will  'Always' get back up and do what needs to be done to make things right.

Next time I'll tell you about the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. For now I'll leave you with a video of one of the Reflection Pools.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Before I talk about Ground Zero

Let me tell you about the subway system.

We would walk just up the street from Kathy’s apartment to the entrance. You have to have metro passes to get through the gates to the trains. It was so hot when we were there and the only good thing being in the subway when it’s hot is that you’re out of the sun. It is hot down there as well and very humid. The trains though are air-conditioned thank God!

There’s a big difference between Brooklyn and the city as far as the subway goes. It’s not as clean in Brooklyn right now. Some of the tiles along the walls are chipped and cracked and dirty. Once you get into the city though it’s like a whole other world under there. Once in the city there are shops and restaurants and it’s all spit polished and very clean. Bill said they are in the process of renovating it all under there so it’s just a matter of time before it will all be as nice as it is in Manhattan.

I don't know how many times I've heard over the years that New Yorkers are rude and unfriendly. Well, I'm here to tell you that that isn't true.  Some of my fellow subway travelers offered me their seats more then once.  I'm sure I was red from the heat and of course I walk with a limp so no doubt they thought I needed to sit more then they did and I appreciated it. 

People do find a way to pass the time in their travels though. I saw many with Ipads, and kindles. Some brought their knitting along. Teens and kids had their Ipods and mp3 players. I saw a few Rabbi's reading their bibles, mom's and dad's with their babies and of course some working on their laptops. Me, I'm a people watcher so I would sit and watch them. 

You have to be fast getting on and off the trains as they don't wait for anyone. If there are a lot of people trying to get on the same car it can get pretty tricky. Kathy told me though that I was as good as a New Yorker and got through the crowd like I did it for years  though lol. It's hot under the subway too and humid. At least the trains are air-conditioned though. Thank God for that because it was so very hot there, and of course there's no air flow under there. They do have benches for you to sit and wait for the trains though. Not many but there are some. Just talking about it makes me want to go back. Heat and all lol.

No doubt you've heard about people singing and playing music in the subways hoping to make a little extra money. It is true. Even though I didn't see anyone on the platforms panhandling there was twice that I did on the train itself. They walk from car to car holding out their hats or cups hoping for a donation. No, I didn't donate and in fact, I didn't see anyone else donate either. 

I'll leave you with a short video of one of our entertainers. Tomorrow for sure I will tell you about Ground Zero. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The day we left for New York

We had to get up bright and early to catch the 3:00 a.m. bus to Chicago as our plane was leaving at 6:45. I love flying by the way. If you’ve ever been to O’Hare airport you know how big it is. It’s always a long walk from where you check in to where you board the plane so you want to give yourself plenty of time to get from point A to point B. Once we boarded and were on our way I couldn’t wait until we got there.
I took this picture of the city from the plane with my Ipod.

New York 077

The tall building you see in the center of the picture is Freedom Tower which is  at ground zero and is still under construction. I won’t go into that anymore right now but will talk more about it in another blog.

We landed in LaGuardia around 10:00. I have to say that I was pleased to find out that LaGuardia isn’t anywhere near as big as O’Hare is.
Bill’s girlfriend Kathy, who was born there and grew up in New York, met us at the airport. She said it would be cheaper to hire a car to take us from there to her apartment in Brooklyn so that’s what we did.  Otherwise I guess we’d have to take buses and the subway and change several times before we would get to her place.

Morning walk in Brooklyn 004
She lives on the 6th floor in this building. The best part is is that it has an elevator. I guess the apartment she had before she bought this one didn’t and she lived on the 8th floor there. So needless to say, I was thankful that she moved lol.
Her apartment is nice, small but nice. It’s a one bedroom but she has a hide-a-bed that I slept on and William slept on a portable air mattress so we were comfy.
There is one thing that I didn’t like about her place and it’s a big one for me. When I walked into her place and after we got settle in I went to pull her blinds apart so I could look out the window. You guesed it? All I could see was another part of the building and a direct view into another apartment. Needless to say she keeps the blinds closed at all times lol.
I have to be honest here. I think I could live just about anywhere, there included. But! I could not live in an apartment where I couldn’t sit by a window and look out. I just couldn’t. I’d also have to have a balcony so I could sit out and enjoy the weather. That would be a must for me.
I felt so closed in and penned up while there that I would go out and go across the street and sit on a park bench for a couple of hours. I usually did that every morning while they were still sleeping and after we would get back home from our sight-seeing trips. I would walk down the street to the corner store in search of coffee lol. She doesn’t drink coffee so for survival sake I had to find it somewhere. I’d take my coffee and walk across the street and sit and people watch. Prospect Park is right there across from her building too so I would take walks in the park sometimes as well.
She lives in a nice neighborhood in Brooklyn and I felt safe. I think I saw every race and ethnicity there on my walks and coffee breaks. I was surprised to see so many people with dogs. Some with 2 or 3. They must all take their dogs to obedience school because I never once saw a dog bark or growl at another dog or person the whole time I was there. It has to be hard to have a dog and live in apartments like most people there  but it seemed to me plenty do.
We went out for dinner at a place called Johnny Mack’s that night. It is a typical neighborhood place with good food and friendly faces. I wish I’d taken pictures inside while we were there but I was too excited being with them that I didn’t think of it. We did take these photos though.
Bill, William and I at Johnny Mack's
 Kathy, William and I at Johnny Mack's
We drove around a bit after dinner and made our plans for the rest of the week. I must say, they were very gracious hosts and was willing to do anything and everything we wanted. I think I might have worn them out though because I wanted to keep going and going lol. I’m the type that I want to see and do as much as I can while I’m there and they did everything they could to make that happen for us. I usually have a must do list when I travel and this time was no exception.  I’m happy and grateful to say I was able to check off everything on my list for this trip. 
Stay Tuned. The next blog will be about Ground Zero at the the 9/11 memorial.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I went to New York

I have always wanted to go there and would definitely go back again. This time I mostly wanted to see the sights. You know, The Empire State Building, Lady Liberty, Time Square etc.  and I did and enjoyed every minute of it. Next time I go I’ll go and see a Broadway Show or a museum or two.

We went to Liberty Island, Ellis Island, The Empire State Building. Rockefeller Center and went to the top of the Rock. We went to Central Park, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Grand Central Station and the 9/11 Memorial. Love it all.

Security is very tight all around New York. When you want to go to the top of the Empire and the Rock as well as the Memorial, The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island you have to go through security the same as you do at the airports. Even at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral they have security personnel that that checks your bags before you’re allowed in.
Over the next few blogs I will take each sight one at a time and post photo’s and tell you all about them. It would take much too long to write it all in one blog. I wish I could pick a favorite but I really can’t.

What I will tell you about right now is about the night we were in Manhattan and it started to storm. Bill, William and I were heading for the subway when the sky literally opened up and it poured.  We had umbrella’s with us but they weren’t much good because the wind was so strong that it was hard to hold them over you. We got drenched. You know what though? I loved every minute of it! The thing that struck me the most was the sound of the thunder coming down between those tall skyscrapers. It was nothing like I hear when it storms here. It is really hard to describe it other then to say it was so different. I think in my opinion the reason it sounds so different is because of the tall buildings. The sound can’t spread out like it does anywhere else so it comes down right on top of you and seems to be amplified.  I couldn’t wait for it to thunder again and again. If I wasn’t afraid of ruining my camera I would have taken it out so I could take a video of it just so I could relive it over and over again.  I know, I’m strange but I love things like that. Bill and William just wanted to get to the subway but I wanted to stay until the storm passed lol. It’s one thing I’ll never forget.

So until next time I’ll leave you with a little video that I took from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Are you ready?

For the up coming holidays? I’m not! I’m certainly not ready for winter I can tell you that. If we have a winter like we had last year it won’t be so bad. Last year winter was very mild for us so would it be too much to ask to have another mild winter?  Summer was brutal here so I’m worried that winter is going to follow suit. In the mean time I’m going to enjoy the fall season. I was beginning to wonder if we were even going to have fall. It got pretty cold here for a few days and nights but the forecast is looking pretty nice. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Now that school  has started it is pretty quiet around the old homestead again. Brody goes to school in the afternoon this year so I still have him in the mornings. I get them up and drop the two older ones off at school then bring Brody home with me until it’s time for him to go. He loves school! Wouldn’t it be nice if the love of school would stay with him throughout? It rarely happens I know but one can hope.

William is going to school too. He decided since jobs are so scarce and has had a hard time finding one he better do something. He’s going to a tech college for forensics. I hope he does well. It sounds like very interesting work to me. It is interesting how many crimes are solved just from that. In a lot of cases forensics is the deciding factor on someone’s guilt or innocence. Anyway, I’m proud of him and hope he aces it!

As you know my daughter is going through a divorce. We were hoping that it would be a nice friendly divorce but it’s not looking like that’s going to happen. Her ex has decided that he wants more and more. She’s the one who has always had steady work where he would flit from job to job or take lay offs when he could have worked.  Now that he HAS to work he’s decided that he shouldn’t have to pay child support and wants half of her 401. He owes her so much money for half of what they owed together but has yet to pay her a dime. They always had payments deducted right from her check but he hasn’t even offered to pay her his half. Heck, he even thinks she should pay half of things like hunting licenses for the kids when he takes them along. She was going to give him a break on the amount of child support she was going to ask for but now she’s decided to go for the maximum allowed since he’s trying to take her for what he can. I hate it! It makes me so upset! I knew he was going to be like that too. I just knew it! Ok, enough of that. If I keep talking about it I’ll just get myself all worked up again.

Bill’s been having problems. He has sciatica and has been in a lot of pain. The pain meds didn’t help much but they gave him something new a couple of weeks ago and he thinks they are beginning to do some good.  Being that he’s diabetic they don’t want to do surgery on him so treating him with meds is the best way to go. I had to go out the other day and buy him a cane.  It’s really hard for me to see him using a cane though. I don’t want to admit that he needs one.  I guess it makes me realize even more that we aren’t getting any younger.  He turned 72 on the 22nd so I guess I have to admit that we are definitely in our golden years.

I guess that’s enough from me today. I hope you all are well and happy, fat and sassy, and all that good stuff Smile Take care now ya hear!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It’s a Family Tradition

I’m sure Terry has told you all about our family reunion. You know, facebook makes it so easy to plan something that big when most everyone has joined facebook.  All I had to do was make an events page and invite them all to it and lo and behold you have a party in the making lol.  It turned out great, in fact, it turned out better then I thought it would.
When our family gets together, no matter how many are there and no matter if it’s a reunion a wedding or just a plain ole gathering we always play the song We Are Family by Sister Sledge and we all get into a circle and dance to it. Needless to say that if we are at a wedding reception where other people don’t really know us they look at us like we are nuts. But only for a little while. When the song is played again they join us lol. It’s all about having fun right!? So here we are dancing to that song…

We were tickled pink when our brother Leroy and his wife Cher decided that they would come too. It has been a long time since we’ve seen them. The last time Leroy was here was for Dad’s funeral so it was great seeing them for a happy occasion.  They stayed with us because they brought their dog along and I know Leroy’s feet had to hang over the end of the bed lol. He’s 6 foot 4 and the extra bed is just a double bed so I know he was dangling lol.  We all gathered over in Terry’s yard for dinner which was a big help to me. We all pitched in and did our thing. I was sad to see them leave and head back to California and I miss them already. Who knows when the next time will be but I hope it won’t be as long as it was this time.

You’ve heard about Murphy’s law I’m sure haven’t you? Well Murphy decided to pay me a visit just before Leroy and Cher got here. A couple days before they got here our toilet broke. Bill was in Madison for a doctor’s appointment so I called Terry’s hubby Jack. He came over, checked it out, went to the hardware store and bought the part and fixed it for me. THEN we needed a new ceiling light and fan because the old one quit working and Jack put that up for us as well.  Ok, I thought all is good and I’m ready for company. WRONG! The day Leroy and Cher were due to arrive our AC went out.  Bill went to Sears and bought another one and the next day him, Steve and Jack put that in for us.  Thank God for family is all I can say. Hopefully that’s the end of it for awhile but it sure can throw a wrench in the works when you need it the least.

Well I better scat for now. I want to jump in the shower before my shows come on.  I can’t take one in the mornings anymore since I have to get up so early to go get the kids so mom can go to work so night showers are the way. I sure hope all of you are doing well and are fat, sassy and happy lol. Take care ok! Hugs!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Yep, I'm still kicking.

So far spring has been perfect for me in every way. We have had a couple of really hot days and I know more will be coming but right now I am loving it. As of this minute I am sitting out on the deck in my swing. The temp has already reached it's high of 71 for the day and it is so lovely sitting out here relaxed and enjoying the gentle breeze.  Maybe we'll get lucky and have a mild summer with great temps like we had over the winter. Let's keep out fingers crossed k!

As you all know I watch our daughter's children and they keep me hopping for sure. I get up at 3:30 in the morning to go to their apartment so she can leave for work by 4:30. I usually lay down on their couch and hope I fall back to sleep again lol. I usually do but there are some days when I can't though and that makes for a long morning. and a sleepy grandma by the end of the day  Once the kids are awake I bring them to our house as there is more for them to do here. Sometimes I'll pick things up around there or do the dishes if there are any just to have something to do and to help her out a little. 

Are you into fashion trends? Well my granddaughter is and this must be the new trend for their age group. 

I was trying to think back as to what the trend was when I was her age. Was it poodle skirts and sweaters. I know that tennis shoes were big. They had to be white too and if they got dirty we polished them. I remember the polish would soak through the shoes and make my feet white as well lol. Ah, the good old days! 

Grandpa gave Brody a treat today and he loved it.

He thought that was so much fun. He was actually steering it and did a good job of it too. Of course grandpa had the blades off for safety. How much do you want to bet that now every time he mows Brody will want to ride with him. I posted this on facebook and Terry suggested that we better hide the key. Knowing Brody he would figure out how to start it and take if for a ride lol. It wouldn't surprise me. He's such a neat kid. I had to laugh at him yesterday. I stood up to go to the kitchen and he asked me where I was going. I told  him nowhere. So then he asks me if we can go yes-where lol. It's so funny how kids think sometimes isn't it? 

I bet you're all surprised to see a blog from me huh?  Every day I think I should write one but I swear I'm up every five minutes looking to see what Brody is in too or he's yelling for me to come watch him do something. The two older kids are usually out riding their bikes or down to the river fishing so most of the time it's just me and Brody. Seems I can never finish anything I start until they go home.  I took them to the park the other day just to give them something to do and it didn't turn out so well. They all had fun while there but when it was time to go home all hell broke lose lol. Brody did not want to leave at all! He cried, he kicked, he screamed and literally went ballistic. He had to be carried to the car screaming all the way. So, needless to say we won't be going there again for awhile even though he promised me that he'd be good at the park lol. I'm sure he will... until it's time to leave :)

So anyway, getting back to the subject of blogging. I think of it everyday and try to read yours when I can. But, I wanted you all to know that I think of you all all the time and say a prayer or two for each of you that you are all well and happy. I know Toodie's Hugh had a bad fall and is recouping and she's trying her best to keep up with all that he did at home and doing a mighty fine job of it too. So even though I might not comment or blog much just know that I'm keeping my eye on you and making sure that you are all behaving yourselves :). 

Until next time...Live, Love, Laugh and be Happy!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Our Van went up in flames

Yes, Bill’s van is totaled. He had said earlier that day that he could smell something hot and was going to take it in to be looked at the next day. Later that day he was running some errands when all of a sudden smoke started coming up from the steering column. He was going to pull into a empty parking lot but before he could get there flames started showing. He pulled over, jumped out and called 911 but by the time they got there the fire had taken over and hope was gone.  He called me at home and when he said the van was on fire I about lost it. At least I knew he was alright but the thought of what could have been was terrifying. It was a blessing though that it happened when it did. You see, the next day I had to take my future d-i-l to Madison for some pre-op tests for the surgery to remove her brain aneurysm next week and Bill was going to take Brody to school and pick him up.

Can you imagine if that had happened then and not when it did? The thought of that just makes me literally sick. Having to get him out of the car seat as fast as you can would be the first thought but at the same time being scared that it might not unhook like it should is a terrifying thought. I can’t even bare to think of that and push it out of my mind when it pops up. I just say … Thank you God!

As I was going to get Bill after he called that’s all I could think of and kept thanking God all the way there that Bill is safe and that it didn’t happen when he had Brody with him.  Cars can be replaced so even though it’s a terrible thing to have happen we are truly blessed. God was watching over us for sure.

They say trouble comes in 3’s… Last night William was on the computer when a message popped up saying to back up the files because disk crash is imminent. I certainly didn’t want to lose my pictures that I recently put on there or my music so I spent a good deal of the night copying them. I’m hoping the health scare Bill had a few weeks ago was the first of the 3 and it’s over now.

It has been a busy time around here as of late but I know Terry has kept you all up to date with us. Thanks Terry.

I do hope all is well with all of you. Things can change in a flash so please… Take good care of yourselves and each other.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Yep, that’s me

St. Pat's Day

The weather has been so unusually beautiful for the month of March that we all decided to have a cook out for St. Patrick’s Day.  I didn’t have a green shirt to wear so I went looking for one. As you can see, I not only found a shirt but I found a wig, a necklace and even some knee high striped green socks lol. I was quite the sight.  Bill laughed and said I looked ridiculous (which was the whole idea) and William said he wasn’t riding with us lol. Of course everyone but my own kids thought I looked pretty cool hehe.  Isn’t it a mother’s responsibility to embarrass her kids? I thought so and I take my job seriously. Smile William was telling one of his friends about me and my outfit and his friend said I was a cool grandma lol. 

Either Brody gave me his cold or I have a bad case of allergies.  I have been coughing and sneezing and blowing my nose for days now and my ribs hurt from coughing so much  I’d like to kiss the guy who decided that tissues should be made softer.  If they were still made like they were back in the day I would look like Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer by now. 

I can’t get over how everything is turning green already. It feels more like May then March. Flowers are coming up and bushes are starting to bloom.  I’m loving it but I hope we won’t be paying a high price come summer.  We’ve had a very mild winter so is it too much to ask to have a mild summer too where it’s not too hot but just right? It could happen couldn’t it?  Never hurts to dream they say.

Well it’s such a nice day that I think I’m going to take Brody and go to the park.  It’s to nice to stay inside so I’m outta here.  Ya’ll have a nice day now ya hear!



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring is in the air

Finally!  I have decided not to ever complain about “IT” (snow) anymore after hearing and seeing the devastation and loss of life from those tornado’s a couple of weeks ago.  I meant it to be a joke by calling the snow “IT” but after that it just didn’t seem so funny anymore.

I’ve been getting up at 3:30 in the morning to go up to my daughters to get the kids up and off to school.  She was bringing them here but I think it’s too hard on the kids and to disrupt their sleep like that isn’t good either. I will say, they’ve been easier to wake up at 6:00 then it was when they came here.  Brody is so cute when he wakes up and sees me.  He says, “There’s my Mama” and comes and crawls up on my lap. Love that!

Look what I got from Seth.

magazine photo

Isn’t he silly? Thanks Seth! I LOVE it. Just wish it were true.  Can you imagine yourself being on the cover of a magazine?  My cousin’s daughter who use to be a model was on the cover several times but she gave up all that glamour and the runway and the world travel to raise and race dogs in Alaska. How cool is that!

I’m sure Terry’s told you about Jimmy passing away and we are all sad and heartbroken and will miss him terribly.  His funeral is tomorrow and I’m dreading it. I’m sure there will be tons of people there but it will be so hard on Micki and the kids and grandchildren.  The grandkids are taking it really hard as is Mick but her kids are trying to stay strong for them.  He was only 58 and fought so hard and so long and there were several times we thought he was going to beat it.  He’s with God now watching over all of us and is no longer suffering or in pain and we are grateful for that!

Well it’s absolutely gorgeous out and I’m going out to enjoy it. I hope it’s gorgeous where you are. Have a great day and go out and do something fun!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Toes taste good

Toe jam anyone

I would hurt myself if I tried that. He’s such a funny kid and ya gotta love him.  He’s finally getting the potty training down pat. Well, for the most part that is. he still won’t go #2 on the potty  We’ve caught him a couple of times but mostly he’ll hold it and tell us to put a diaper on him.  I don’t know what it will take to get him to do that.  We’ll keep plugging along, he’ll get it someday.

Terry and I met Cindy and Ursula for lunch at the Red Robin Tuesday.  It’s always a good day and lots of fun and I really enjoy doing that. I wish more of us could meet somewhere for lunch and talk face to face. Wouldn’t that be nice?  When (not if) I win the lottery I will come to each of your homes and take you to lunch. How’s that for a plan "Smile

I had to take my sons gf to Madison yesterday to get the results of her angiogram. They wanted to see just where her aneurysm is so they know the best way to remove it.  We where hoping that they could go through her thigh as it’s less invasive but it didn’t turn out that way.  Where it’s at it is close to another artery and if they put a coil in through the thigh it could move and block off the other artery and cause another bubble and they don’t want that to happen.  So she will have to have surgery where they will have to go through her head which will probably be around April or May. Needless to say we are all a little worried but she’ll be in good hands. 

I’m not happy with the weather man. He says we are suppose to get up to 7 inches of IT today.  If you follow me on facebook you know that I use the word IT in place of that nasty word snow.  March is going to be a very long month I’m afraid Sad smile

My google reader says I  have 202 blogs to read. I guess I better get to it. Have a great day ok!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

20 Years ago today

Our first grandson was born. We were so excited and happy and he was the cutest baby in the whole nursery.

Happy Birthday William

The first two days we were all walking on cloud nine. I was there the day he was born and I couldn’t wait to hold him. He had a full head of hair, 10 fingers and toes and was just perfect.

On the third day our world came crashing down around us.

I was getting ready to go to an 80th birthday party for a very dear friend of ours when our son called and told us we better stay home.  He said the nurses came in and told them that they think something is wrong and they have a call put out to the doctor to come to the hospital right away. They said that his lips turned blue and he had a hard time breathing when they were feeding him. A few minutes later he called again and said that when the doctor got there he told them that William has a heart condition and that they have called for the medical helicopter to take him to Madison to the Children’s Hospital there.

I  told Billy we’d be up right away and then I crumbled and broke down in tears. We rushed up to the hospital praying all the way to be with our son and his wife and to see William before they took him away.  We stood there and watched them prepare William for his flight and watched them wheel him to the helicopter.  As we stood outside and watched as they took off I couldn’t hold back the tears. I prayed and I cried and prayed some more.

Once we got to Madison the doctors had already checked him out and told us that William’s heart had what they called Trans positioned Coronary Arteries and would need heart surgery. They were hoping they could wait until he was a year old but it didn’t happen that way.  Later that night they had to do emergency surgery. When you’re born you are born with a hole between the heart chambers that helps oxygenate the blood and it closes after you’re born.  Williams was closing but for him that was a bad thing. In the middle of the night they had to do surgery and open that hole again so his blood could get oxygen.

He was sent home from the hospital after 2 weeks with medications I’d never heard of before.  The hope was  that he would do ok until he was a year old.  That didn’t happen either.  He ended up having to have open heart surgery when he was 5 months old.  I can’t tell you how heart breaking it is to walk into his hospital room and see that little tiny baby with his chest bandaged and tubes and wires hooked up to him and going into him all over his little body. If I could I would have traded places with him in a split second. There’s nothing worse then seeing a child have to suffer like that.

The surgery was a huge success and he was able to go home about a month later. He grew and did wonderful for 4 years.  When he was 4 he started having problems again and we found out that he needed another open heart surgery.  His heart valve in the right chamber needed repair.  The doctors in Madison told us that the best hospital for this type of surgery was in Chicago.  So, we all packed up and headed to Chicago.

Once again he had bandages, wires and tubes all over him. I remember standing by his bed after all of his surgeries and watching the monitors that were hooked up to him. I’d watch that line go up and down showing us his heart beat. If it seemed like it was slowing down I would hold my breath and pray that it would beep again. It did. It always did! And I say a prayer of thanks each and every time.

Last year he started having problems again. He was here staying with us and he told me one day that sometimes it feels like his heart is beating super fast and that once in awhile he feels like he was going to pass out.  We called his dad and told him about it and he made an appointment right away with Williams cardiologist.  It turned out that his heart had grown scar tissue and was, for a lack of medical terminology, kind of shorting out.  This time though they could fix it by going up through his thigh and he would be in and out over night.  This procedure was a whole lot easier him and I thank God that he didn’t need another open heart surgery. While they were in there they checked his other surgery sites and told us that they look really good and is doing great.  I was really glad and grateful to hear that.

After he was born and my other kids started their families I made sure they all told their doctors about William. Even though the doctors said that what he had isn’t hereditary I wanted their doctors to know just in case.  Thank God all of them were born healthy and happy with no problems.

So today he turns 20 and has grown into a wonderful young man.  He’s kind, courteous, loving and remarkable. He’s happy and has a great sense of humor, kind of like his Grandma I think lol.

I know I’ve told some of you this before but I think of this every year on his birthday. And Every day we thank God for giving those wonderful doctors the ability, the talent and the courage to do what they do.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

“I wanna go to Mama’s house.”

My daughter told me this morning that that’s what Brody kept saying last night after they moved into their apartment. To say that didn’t bring tears to my eyes would be a lie.  He definitely is Grandma’s boy and I  L O V E it!  When I was up there yesterday he would say to me “We go to your house as fast as we can”   Isn’t that the cutest thing ever?

It is going to be a big adjustment for him.  He’s been here for over a year and he’s only 3 so really, this is all he knows. This is home to him. She went and bought the kids all new bedding and she got Brody a Lightening McQueen set from the movie Cars for his bed.  It didn’t help though. He slept with her last night and kept saying, “ I scared” . Poor little guy.

They still have a lot of things here they have to get so that’s what we’ll be doing today.  Brody’s toys are still here and some of the Josh’s and Devan’s things as well. Then she will have to go to the grocery store. Right now her cupboards looks like Old Mother Hubbards.  I gave her some things from here last night to get her through breakfast though.

It sure was quiet here last night I tell ya.  I kept thinking about them and missing them.  I don’t know who will have the hardest time adjusting, Brody or Me!  It’s a toss up I think.  I feel better knowing that they are only 5 minutes away and they’ll still be here after school.  I’m just happy that she found a nice, clean, modern and SAFE place! That’s the most important of all.

Friday, February 3, 2012

I can’t wait to CLEAN

Now that the kids have got their own place and are moving out I can’t wait to really dig in. It was hard with all the extra things around that comes with 4 other people with 3 of them being children. Of course there’s all of Brody’s toys and the two older ones have their things laying around too. The extra clothes and coats created some clutter as well. And of course, with kids being kids they sometimes forget to pick things up or put them back where they got them. I’ll have to learn how to cook smaller portions again too lol.

I’m sure we’ll notice the difference money wise too. Sis would help with the groceries and things but the laundry alone will save us tons of money. The light bill will go down as well I’m sure. But it was the clutter that bothered me the most. I tried not to let it get to me too much and succeeded for the most part but now that I see things slowly getting cleared out it feels like a weight’s been lifted.

She isn’t going to get cable for their television. Instead she gave me money last night to go buy her a converter box that will change digital signals to analog. I think that’s very wise.  I don’t know how many channels they’ll get but they’ll get by.

Her co-workers did a wonderful thing for them.  Several of them got together and bought her two laundry baskets and filled them with cleaning products, kitchen utensils, kitchen towels, TP and paper towel and several other things. She was so surprised and flabbergasted. She never dreamed they would do something like that but she sure appreciated it. Not only that, one of the girls she works with was telling her family about them so they went through their things that they don’t use anymore and gave them too her too. Isn’t that wonderful? It made me feel so good that they think that much of her to do that.  One of them said…”We kind of like you Deanna” They sure showed her just how much they do. I love them for that!

I better get in the shower so we can go get that box for her. We also have to stop off at our sons and get a television he’s giving her and some end tables. So I’ll say Ta Ta for now.

Have a great weekend. Go out and do something fun!

Monday, January 30, 2012

I’m so pissed

Excuse my language but I can’t help it.

As you all know my daughter left her husband and will be getting a divorce.  The kids have been going to their dad’s on the weekends and every weekend Josh comes home sad and upset.

Last Sunday night as Josh was getting ready for bed he told me that he doesn’t want to go to his dads anymore. I asked him why and he told me the things Jon says to them. He makes them fold his laundry. Ok, that’s all well and good as it doesn’t hurt kids to have chores. The problem is, if they don’t do it the way he likes it done he hollers at them and calls them retards.  They have to bring wood in for the wood burner and if they bring the wrong kind in he does the same thing. Josh said they don’t do anything while they’re there and that he spends pretty much of the time in his room.  He said if they get rowdy like they do here he yells and says mean things to them.  He says that they can’t do anything right no matter how hard they try and they don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong.

Well, last night as he was getting ready for bed he says to me, “ I hate my Dad “  I asked him what happened now and you won’t believe the things he told me.  He said he was outside playing on his snowboard and when he fell off his dad rolled his eyes and again called him retard.  Josh has a little girlfriend who he talks and texts with and that evidently irritates Jon.  Josh told me that Jon called Taylor a little Bitch! Now who does that?!  She’s a little girl for heavens sake.  Not only that Jon told them that he had things against Sis that he could take the kids away from her if he wanted.  Josh was really upset about that because he told me he doesn’t want to live with his Dad.  Now believe me, Jon has nothing that would warrant the courts taking the kids away from her.  She works hard, never turns down overtime and never misses a day of work.  She doesn’t go out and party, she doesn’t do drugs and she isn’t dating or even interested in dating.  Jon is just saying these things because he’s pouting and is taking it out on the kids.

I told Josh that sometimes when parents are going through a divorce they say things they shouldn’t and use the kids against each other.  Josh says “My mom doesn’t do that”  And I know for a fact that she doesn’t.  She knows that it only hurts the kids and  would never do anything to hurt them.  She is a wonderful mother and never says a thing to them about their dad.  Too try to soften the blow I told Josh that maybe his dad is sad that things haven’t worked out between him and Sis. I told him that might be why he’s saying the things he does and doesn’t really mean it.  Josh just said, “Yeah, maybe”.

I would love nothing more then to call Jon and give him a peace of my mind but I can’t do that. I know if I did Jon would just get mad at Josh for telling me these things and take it out on him.  Josh did tell me that he told his mom about it and I’m glad of that.

Now I know that kids that age can say and do things that they think might help them get what they want but I don’t think that is the case here. Josh was so upset about it that he even got a headache. He was sad and almost in tears as he was telling me about it.

One good thing. When they get to  court  the kids will have a Guardian Ad Litem who they can talk too. At their ages 14 & 12 I think they will take what they say into consideration and I don’t think they would even consider taking Brody. I don’t think Jon would even go after Brody.  He has no one who can help with the kids at all.  Both of his parents are gone and his sister’s live out of state so he’s on  his own.  And you know darn well if they talk to me I will hold nothing back.  I won’t blast Jon or say things like I think he’s a bum or anything like that,  but I will tell them the things Josh has told me. 

Sorry for the rant but I had to get that out of my system. Besides, I don’t want to forget the things Josh has told me so writing them down is a good thing.  Now I have to get busy around here and go beat the rugs.  Poor rugs, they will suffer from my anger lol.  Hope you all have a super duper day!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Can YOU see it?

I have pictures on one of my blogs from photobucket and for some reason one of them has reached the bandwidth limit or something. Because of that  I now have an exceeded bandwidth image on my blog. The problem is though that it’s on all of my blogs and  not just in place of the picture. It is on the blog itself and it scrolls down over the words as you scroll down to read. Do you see it too? I don’t get it or know what to do about it. I just hope that at the first of the month when the bandwidth resets  that the  floating image goes away.
UPDATE: Thanks to Beth who told me what  was causing the problem it is now fixed! Thank you Beth xoxo
Yesterday I picked up my sister to take her to the car dealership too pick up her new Chevy Cruz. Oh that’s a nice car and wouldn’t mind having one myself. If it wasn’t for the payments and higher insurance rates I’d run right out and get one too. It sure is nice though! 
When  I got home from taking Jodi my daughter and I went to do a little shopping in Janesville. She needs some things for her new apartment when she moves in and so we decided to shop.  It turns out it was a good day to go. We went to Big Lots and they were having a special that if you buy 20 items you get an additional 20% off so it saved her $16.00.  She’s been buying things on and off the past year so she’s got just about everything she needs now. She’s loving that it’s all brand new and it’s things that SHE likes, (if you know what I mean). The big move will be next weekend and it couldn’t come fast enough for the kids. They are so excited and can’t wait to see where they will be living. Devan especially is excited and keeps asking questions about the place. I’m trying to decide if I’d be a bigger help helping her move or would staying home with Brody would be better. Probably keeping Brody is the way to go.  Her brothers will be helping her and a few friends too so I probably won’t be needed that much anyway.
Another snowy day here and kind of chilly. Reaching 40 tomorrow and 46 by Tuesday  I hear. That means the snow will melt and that’s fine with me. 
Have a wonderful day and a great week ahead. Keep warm and safe and don’t forget to smile!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

They’re Moving

Sis and the kids are moving out the 1st of Feburary.  She finally found a place that she can afford on her own and is so relieved. They will be living in an apartment not far from here. The best part is, it’s a security apartment. You have to buzz to get into the lobby or have a key. I LOVE that part of it! She does too!  It’s roomy and clean and very modern so I think they’ll be happy there and her and I both feel great knowing no one can get in without them knowing who it is.
We looked at a couple places the other day before she decided on the apartment and let me tell you, some of these places are beyond believable.  We looked at a duplex that was a dump and they wanted $775.00 a month for it, $100.00 + more then they want for the apartment.  When we got there the landlord was there “cleaning” it up. He was using the shop vac  so he didn’t hear us knocking on the door right away.  Before we even got inside the first thing I noticed as I was knocking on the door was that it was a HALLOW door! Can you believe that?! Who uses an inside door for a front door?  It wouldn’t take much for someone to bust that door down and get in.  In fact, it looked like someone had already kicked it in as the owner nailed a piece of plywood over what I assume was a hole at the bottom of the door. The bathroom was a mess and the kitchen wasn’t much better.  I opened the closet door and it too was hallow with a hole in the top of it that he hadn’t bothered fixing at all.  Not only all that, it stunk in there.  It smelled musty and moldy like it hadn’t had a good cleaning for a long long time.  I’m so glad that apartment came available.  I guess it didn’t matter though as I wouldn’t have let them move into that duplex anyway.  I would be nuts knowing that someone could kick that door in with one swift kick and get to them.  I would never sleep at night thinking about that worrying whether or not they are okay.
They’ve been here a year and 3 months now so it will sure be different around here with them gone.  It’s not like they won’t be here though. I’ll still have the kids before and after school until Sis gets home from work. And of course I’ll still have Brody most of the day and will have to take him back and forth from school.  At night is when I’ll notice it the most. It will be quiet again and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Sure, the kids get rowdy and can be noisy and even misbehave sometimes but I’m use to it now. They listen to me when they get too rowdy and I tell them to knock it off and know I mean business.  I ‘m sure I will miss them at night but I also know that the peace and quiet is good for me too.  I’m not as young and spry as I use to be ya know and need time to get regenerated lol.  The main thing is, I want them to be safe and happy, that’s the most important of all.
The kids are really excited about getting their own place. Josh said he’s going to keep his room clean this time lol.  Devan already  has plans as to how they will decorate the place.  Brody just likes the walk in closet where he can hide lol. 
Well that’s the latest news around here. Not much else going to right now other then the weather but that complaint can be saved for another day lol.  Here’s hoping you all have had a great weekend and wishing you a wonderful week ahead. Take now, ya hear!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It’s nasty out there!

The roads are covered with ice and snow and very slippery. When I took Brody to school this morning a car in front of me started fish tailing and I thought he was going to lose it. On top of that, the temps are going to continue to drop during the day. It’s 30 right now and not bad out but it’s going down to 0 by tonight. Temps like that will just make things freeze on top of what’s already frozen. Of course, the wind is wicked too so that makes it feel colder. Gotta take it slow and easy guys.

It’s just our luck too that the snow blower broke down. I guess the recoil won’t recoil so it’s in for repair. You know what that means don’t you? That means shoveling….YUCK!

Brody was sick last week and missed the entire week of school.  He got sick Saturday when he was at his Dad’s and it made Jon nervous so he brought him back here.  He threw up and got real feverish and kept crying. He was still not feeling well on Sunday but come Monday he acted like himself until evening. Tuesday was the same but then we noticed that he was developing a rash on his face and around his mouth. Sis took him to see the doctor and he confirmed what we thought it was. He got strep throat which turned into Scarlet Fever.  His fever never got really high, only 101, and he never complained of a sore throat either so we thought it was just a bug until he broke out with the rash. Strep can be so funny. Anyway, he’s feeling fine now and is happy to be able to go back to school.

We might be back to a quiet household again soon.  Sis found duplex in our school district that’s in her price range so her and the kids might be moving out.  Not sure how I feel about that. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I know it’s the right thing to do and something they need to do but it will be both a good thing and a bad thing.  It will be good for them to have their own place but it will be harder too.  I will either have to get up early and go there to be with the kids until they go to school or she will have to get them up and bring them here.  I will miss having them here for the most part. I won’t miss the mess that comes with having kids around though.  It’s been over a year now but finding a place in your price range, in the school district you want isn’t an easy thing to do.  Her and the kids are excited about it though so I hope it works out for them. I told her it would be just her luck that her soon to be ex would move into the other side of the duplex lol.  Wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants lol.

Well I guess I better go out and clean some more snow off the deck again. I gotta run over to Beth’s to see how many days it is until Spring. It can’t get here fast enough for me!

Ta Ta!