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Showing posts from 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 a…

The Statue of Liberty

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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…

The 9/11 Memorial

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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 sa…

Before I talk about Ground Zero

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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 Yorke…

The day we left for New York

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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.

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 apartm…

I went to New York

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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 t…

Are you ready?

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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 t…

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 w…

Yep, I'm still kicking.

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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…

Our Van went up in flames

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Yep, that’s me

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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. 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…

Spring is in the air

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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. 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 …

Toes taste good

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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 "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 …

20 Years ago today

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

“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 gav…

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 s…

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 rig…

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 …

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 HAL…

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 s…