Sunday, July 27, 2008 the summertime!

Of course we pick the hottest month of the summer to head out on vacation. And I'm sure everyone knows about our horrible humidity levels that hit here in July & August!

But we are almost ready to pull our big rig out and head north--about 48 miles! (Parker laughed at me when I told him I was going to Indianapolis on vacation.) I'm looking forward to just being lazy and not doing much else for a few days. While Bob is sweating away in the parking lot, I hopefully will be thumbing through my stack of magazines, working on a scrapbook for my mother-in-law, or reading a book...that is if I'm back for the Malls in time! : )

We have stayed at the Adams Mark before and it is a nice hotel. BUT....I was rudely awakened about every night we were there around 1 a.m. by the sound of jet after jet taking off right over our heads! I found out that the hotel at that time was in the direct path of the UPS jets that all fly out in the wee hours of the morning! This time I'm going to be prepared by taking my Advil PM with me. Beside, the hotel has been completely rennovated & is supposed to be beautiful so I'm looking forward to staying there. I may have to go shopping for ear plugs.

I am one of the poor souls who does not own a laptop...and somehow I don't think Karen would be willing to loan me hers for a week! No telling what all I'll accomplish since I won't be able to lurk around everyone's blogs all day. I'm sure I'll have stories to tell when we get back home!

Toodle doo!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fun Spending Someone Else's Money!

Today April and I went around to some of the suppliers to pick out things that will be going in their new house. It is almost ready for drywall and now is the time when choices have to be made that will set the style of their home.

What fun to look at all of the new products that have been introduced. I used to help Bob choose things for his "spec" houses, but he has developed a pretty good eye and gets along fine without my help. (And he probably saves himself some money. I'm dangerous in a home decorating center!)

First we set off to finalize an order for faucets, sinks, etc. There I made a wonderful impression on my daughter-in-law by setting the lady in charge straight on her letting some things be done before they were approved! I suddenly saw April sneaking around the corner....either in embarrassment or maybe laughing behind my back! Anyway, I don't think that sales lady will be quite so anxious to put her orders in so fast next time. Dear me...I may be banned from that supply house now.

After a tour of their house (I didn't even think to take pictures--but you need to see it when it's finished!) we headed for Lowes--my favorite store! April had already scoped things out which made it easy. Light fixtures were accounted for. I'll gladly let Jeff go back & pick them up and haul them to the job site! Paint choices are sort of-maybe-decided. (Right, April?) And then the very confusing, frustrating job of picking out counter tops. Everything has to blend together to make a kitchen that Jeff the Chef might want to cook in. April too!!!

April's stomach was growling least she said it was :) so we made a detour to Johnny Carino's--Jeff's former employer. We had a delicious lunch, ate way too much, and had a great surprise of our ticket being taken care of by the manager! It pays to go back to your old job once in a while!

With color chips in hand we went back & met the cabinet man at the job site. I had called him earlier and much out of character for me, told him to please sharpen his pencil and bring us a deal so April could get the cabinets of her dreams! And surprisingly, he did! Thanks so much Andy!!!!

Other decisions will have to be made also, but I think we made the important things happen today. Bob raised an eyebrow every once in a while but was in agreement that we did good.

Anybody else need me to go spend their money? I read way too many decorating magazines!

I'll let all of you guess at April & Jeff's decorating style and later will
post picture of the finished product!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How We Spend Our Vacations.

Summertime around our house means getting the old Chevy's ready for "Show 'n Shine", and heading out for car conventions. For many years we were members of The Late Great Chevy Club and Classic Chevy Club. In recent years they have merged and things have changed. They now have a combined convention which was held in Connecticut in early July. We didn't feel like dragging our loooonnnng trailer over the mountains and valleys or through that Eastern traffic. So this is the first year we have missed in over 12 years. But Bob found a way to get with his car buddies anyway.

Bob is going to the National Impala Convention in Indianapolis next week. It isn't a new club, but is the first time he has joined or attented any of their functions. I may join him for a few days, but since it is just a hop, skip and a jump from home I haven't been too excited about it

Then I got to thinking about what all I could do in Indy! I would only be a few miles away from White River Gardens---and Circle Center Mall---and not too far from Zionsville---and I've always wanted to check out the Metropolis Mall at Plainfield---and it really wouldn't be that far of a drive to Keystone at the Crossing & Country Folks Shop---and I've heard that have a great garden center at Avon---so maybe I do want to go! Plus I'll get to see a few of my friends we have made at the Conventions through the years, I won't have to cook, and the maid will even make my bed! I'm beginning to think I might even half way enjoy myself, if I'm not careful!

We have been going to car conventions for many years and some day I'm going to tell you about a few of our adventures. Like when we lived in Kansas and I had to drive the car pulling an empty trailer--how we have gone from a "home-made" trailer that ended up swaying in the middle from being overloaded, to pulling a 2 car trailer with a truck that makes us as long as a semi trailer! Somewhere buried in our stack of old car pictures, are stories of car shows where Bob had sideburns equal to Elvis' and I was wearing "hot pants" traveling with our teenagers, searching for an empty motel room in the middle of the night. We definitely have made a lot of memories...but not all of them are too sentimental.

I just realized today that even though we are traveling less than 50 miles from home, I'm going to have to pack our suitcases just like we were heading for Florida! So, I may be a little sidetracked for a while, getting ready for another memory making adventure.

Where are those old photo albums anyway???

P.S....for all of you church bloggers that are in shock---"hot pants" was a type of clothing in the 1970's!

Monday, July 21, 2008

My Happy Bags!

For those of you that know me...would you think that I recycle? day a few years ago, Bob was going to make a trip to the dump and insisted I ride along to enjoy the experience! Yuck!!!! There was a mountain--& I do mean mountain--of trash that we had to drive up, where Bob dumped his load of construction debris. I never in my wildest dreams could imagine how much trash is brought in daily to our waste site!

As I sat there, trying not to breathe in the smelly aroma surrounding us, I began to think about what I could do to help that mountain not grow quite so quickly. Since then we have tried to recycle what we can without being fanatics about it.

After a trip to the grocery store...most things fit in my totes!

Newspapers and magazines go in a local bin that benefits some organization. (I don't care who it is...just so they are getting the job done.)

For years we have recycled our aluminum cans. Bob loads them up every once in a while, along with aluminum from his jobs, heads for Kroots and gets himself a little pocket money.

We save glass, metal & plastic containers that Bob totes to the bins in the Kroger parking lot...more often than you would think! (Our plastic use has increased tremendously in the recent months due to "chocky milk" consumption around here by our little munchkins!)

And for years I've saved the plastic shopping bags & recycled them at Jay C's. (They always know when I've been there as I fill up their barrel. :-)

So when I saw an online shopping link for "BHappy Bags" on Angie's blog, I had to check it out. I now am the proud owner of 2 very pretty bags that will hold a ton of groceries, along with a couple of cheapies I picked up at our local store. I was pleasantly surprised the first time I used them as they were quite easy to carry...& I didn't have all of those plastic bags to get rid of! My only problem is trying to remember to take them in with me! Several times I've gotten quite disgusted with my forgetful self when I get to the check out line & realize my Happy Bags are in the car.

Oh, I'm a long way from being a flag waving Green Earth person...but I figure that my little effort will help in helping our dump not to fill up quite so fast. I'm definitely not a tree hugger...but I am a lover of nature & beauty. I just wish I had started carrying my Happy Bags years ago!

for those who

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kelcie Lynn!!!

And another family event to celebrate!

Happy 19th birthday to Kelcie Lynn, my sweet niece who lives way too many miles away from me! I'm sure they are doing lots of celebrating in Kansas today.

I was going to a family reunion in Nebraska, via Kansas City, and had no idea that my niece would be born before I even got there! Mom & Dad picked me up at the airport & very secretively drove me to the hospital instead of their house. I don't think Carol was quite due & I was expecting to see her sitting in bed, patiently biding her time. And this is what I saw...

a tiny bundle of pink and my beautiful dark, curly haired niece! I instantly fell in love with her & thought she was the cutest thing ever!

Kelcie has been a joy in our family and we wish her many more fun filled birthdays. Who knows what her future holds...but we wish her the best.

Now for a few of my favorite pictures...

Jeff loves babies in T shirts!

There is that old metal lawn chair again!

Kelcie & Kyle....graduates of 2007 Auntie Sheila & niece Kelcie Lynn

You really need to check out my sister's blog for lots of darling pictures of my sweet niece.

Dinner Disaster!

For some reason, I always seem to have cooking disasters when I'm expecting dinner guests! Ya might know....

We have been friends with the Williamson's for a long time. I'm not even sure just how many years ago we met. For years we shared the same road and only lived about a mile apart but our paths never crossed. Then one year we were at a Car Convention & Bob noticed a car with a window tag that said "Columbus, Indiana"! Right in our own home town. Bob kept watching to see who's car it was & finally met up with the couple from Columbus...& would you believe, they lived just about a mile away from us! It was the beginning of our friendship. (I think I've told this story before...but it bares repeating.)

Our "Bob's" are quite the Chevy men and love to talk cars. They both have "car shops", collect car memorabilia, old signs, and about anything pertaining to growing up in the 50's & 60's. Mary Ann enjoys the car hobby more than I do (I tolerate it!) but we both enjoy gardening, scrapbooking, & genealogy. So, as couples...we have plenty to talk about, although we don't get together very often.

Mary Ann used to have a catering business & is quite the gourmet cook. I've enjoyed many of her delightful dishes that have always turned out perfectly.

So you can understand that I'm a tad bit intimated!

I'd never had them over for a meal--until tonight.

I thought I had everything under control and was going to do an easy grilled steak dinner, baked potato casserole, fresh steamed veggies & spinach salad. And a dessert that Karen suggested.

Well....I was layering my summer torte, and for some reason it just didn't look quite right. I kept layering...smearing on the Cool Whip (sorry Mary Ann, no fresh whipped cream!), more berries & cubes of pound cake. I finally swirled on the last of the Cool Whip & thought I would top it off with some grated white chocolate. That's when it hit me. I was supposed to be layering the silly thing with a pudding mixture--not Cool Whip!

Exasperated and with no time to go shopping for ingredients to assemble another torte, I threw it in the fridge. I ran to the deep freezer in the garage and, thank goodness, found a Schwan's Turtle Pie! (Thank your Karen for letting me store that for you... mmmmm.) The day was saved.

Until I put my steaks on the grill.
I do believe that marinade for steaks must be very flammable! Because I didn't think I waited that long to go check the steaks and much to my dismay, they were actually on fire! Yikes!!! I quickly dragged them to a safe corner on the grate & smacked the blazes out with my grill fork. I checked & although charred, they were still very rare, so I knew they needed more time on the grill. Believe me, I was very careful to keep an eye on them the rest of the time.

Other than that, we had a delightful evening with our friends. The guys were nice enough to sit around and visit with us without making a mad dash for the old cars. Later Mary Ann & I walked through my yard (I had plenty of weeds & Japanese beetles for her to see!) and we talked flowers until the heat & bugs drove us back inside.

So, I can say I've done it. I've finally had the Willaimson's over for a meal. And we won't wait so long to get together with them again. But I think the next time we just might go out to a nice restaurant & give this ole cook a break! I'm sure they will appreciate not having to suffer through any more of my burnt offerings!

P.S. I did end up serving my Cool Whip Torte along with the Turtle Pie and Bob said he thought it was better without the pudding! I shouldn't have even told them of my mistake....
And no, that isn't an actual picture of my steaks on our grill (I "borrowed" it for somewhere in blog land!). but mine were about that black on one side. :(
And I completely forgot to take any pictures until our guests were about ready to walk out the door and Mary Ann refused to pose! I'll get her next time!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Grandma from the Ozarks...

My Grandma Brown was a country woman. There was nothing fancy about her--nothing fancy in her home--she was just plain & simple, my loving Grandma Brown.

She was born in Morgan County, Missouri. I've tried to research her family but have come up to a dead end. Her maiden name was "Smith" and she married a "Brown". The County Courthouse from where she was born burned down at some point in the mid-1900's, leaving no trace for ancestry digging! I've also been told by a distance cousin of hers, that the community she lived in is now under water...covered by the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks...leaving no local tombstones to stumble over. So I've not wasted much time trying to find out about those who lived before her. I do know her father was Robert & her mother was Minerva.
My Dad did remember his Grandma Smith as a little old country lady who carried with her a metal lunch pail that was full of tobacco for the pipe that she smoked!
Grandma & Granda Brown with Eva & Fern

Cousin Nadine, Aunt Fern,
Grandma Brown, and my
pipe smoking Great Grandma Smith!

Grandma Brown was born in 1889. She married when she was 19 years old, and had her first baby by the time she was 20. Born to her were 7 children, 4 daughters and 3 sons. My Dad used to say that two of his sisters died during the influenze epidemic. But there are notes in a family Bible that little Eva Thelma died in 1918 at the age of 7, and Vivian Velva died in 1914 at 19 months. I never remember hearing Grandma talk about her babies.

Grandma with 3 of her children--Joe, Rose & my dad, Duane

Grandma was not a very fancy cook. About anything she cooked was either fried or was prepared with lots of left over grease! They always had beans of some sort, fried potatoes, and the best iron skillet fried chicken in Central Missouri! I loved her fried chicken. Her salads were made from dandelion greens, when she could find them, and she loved to cook polk....sort of like spinach!
Grandma, the way I remember her...
straw hat, cotton stockings, cotton dress...
I remember that cellar door & not wanting to go down there!
And she always had a rain barrel to catch water for her garden & chickens
She raised later be fried up golden brown!...she usually had a couple of cows...and later had some geese that chased me, pecking at my legs, scaring me half to death! I remember her gathering her apron up, putting chicken feed in it, & walking through the yard, scattering feed for her flock of hens. Little did they know they were being fattened up for her frying pan! She did the milking. In the winter when it was snowy or icy, she wore black gum boots with buckles, and when it was slippery she would wrap her feet in chains.
Dad would tell how Grandma had a cure for everything. She would gather herbs and make up a poltice for any sort of sickness that came their way. She made tea from Camomile that was supposed to cure their ails! And kerosene was one of her favorite potions to put on cuts or wounds!
They lived far enough away from us that we would visit them on Saturdays. Often we would grocery shop for them as they didn't have a car. I remember being facinated with their home as it had no electricity, no running water, and of bathroom! They had coal oil lamps that she read by in the evenings, always reading her beloved Bible. Grandpa had a battery operated radio that he listened too, tuning in the St. Louis Cardinals or some comedy program of the 1950's. I was always amazed how she could cook on her wood burning stove, even baking cookies for us in her oven. She was a very frugal lady, wasting nothing...meaning she cooked about every part of the chicken that was edible!
Me & my cousin Bobby in the chicken yard...

Uncle Joe & Grandma Brown
Later, she & Grandpa moved from the old farm house to a small trailer, with one tiny bedroom, kitchen & sitting area. Still no indoor bathroom. They moved across the graveled road from my uncle...the one with nine kids! My brother & I loved to go there, especially on Saturday mornings, as my uncle had a TV and we got to go there & watch cartoons, Fury, & Sky King! Then it was outdoors to run & play with all of the cousins. They didn't have indoor plumbing either and had to carry water for all 11 in their family. Somehow it seemed that it was always my cousin Wanda's turn to fill the water buckets while I was there.
Summertime brought me the chance to go spend a week with Grandma Brown. I don't think I spent very many hours of the day actually with her as I would head out to play with the cousins across the road. Wanda & I would go back & forth & talk, often finding her sitting in the small room reading her Bible. I'm sure she had other things, but I never remember eating at her table without at least having fried potatoes, much to my delight! And for a treat she would buy the powdered sugar donuts for me from the man that stopped by on the Bread Truck.
Grandma & my pretty Aunt Rose
Grandma out lived Grandpa by two years. We could see that something was wrong and sometime in 1961 she found out she had cancer. She stayed with us for a while and then went to a Nursing Home several miles away. Dad always went to see her on Saturday or Sunday and would take fruit for her to eat. He would sit & read the Bible to her when she could no longer read for herself. She died in March, 1962 when I was 13 years old.

I think my mother paid one of the highest tributes I've ever heard someone say about their mother-in-law. She told me that she never heard Grandma Brown ever talk bad about anyone, never gossiped, and never raised her voice.
Those footprints she left on our lives are hard to fill. She might have been a plain, country woman, but she was a very gentle Spirit!
In memory of our sweet Grandma Brown
Patsy Aldasarie!
one of Grandma's favorite quotes...
"A willful waste will bring a woeful want"

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sixty Two Years Ago Today...

Congratulations to Bob's parents on their 62nd anniversary!

It was 62 years ago today that the young 18 year old couple married in their hometown of Washington, Indiana. Bonnie attended the Central Christian Church where they wanted to be married, & for some reason the church wasn't available that afternoon. 8a.m. on a Sunday morning, Robert & Bonnie said their wedding vows in the church before the morning worship service!

Robert & Bonnie--July 14, 1946

Robert tells that an aunt of his kept trying to get his Mother to come visit their little church & his Mother always had the excuse that she didn't have a good dress. But she bought a new dress for his wedding, and after that had no excuse & began attending church with Aunt Lindy!

The Bride--18 years old!

Times were hard back in 1946. Robert worked for the railroad & Bonnie worked in a doctor's office. They lived in a very small upstairs apartment, later moving to where they had a little more room.

Grandmother Julia (in her new dress!)

& Grandmother Amelia

Although they were young, and no doubt their marriage went through rough times along with the good ones, they have been faithful to keep beside each other through good times & bad. May they have many more happy years together!

Congratulations & we love you both!!!
The happy couple on their 60th Wedding Anniversary!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Lunch with a long, lost friend...

Nashville, Indiana

Sue & I have been friends for---well, lets just say a LOT of years!
Sue's husband went to college with my husband at KCCBS in Kansas--both had Hoosier roots & ended up back in Indiana. Her husband was an evangelist and in years past they held many revivals at our church. Our children became friends through the years also. During a few slow times, Ben & Sue parked their trailer at our church & Ben worked on construction for some of the Thompson gang. Sue & I became good friends.

Sue, my long lost friend!

But the years passed, they went off the road as evangelists & pastored a church at Bloomington. Though we were not too many miles apart, we seldom saw them. Whenever our paths did cross, Sue & I would say that we needed to go back to Nashville for lunch, like we did several years ago.

She was busy being a pastor's wife, mother, & also worked. We intended to get together but it just never seemed to be the right time.

Our new lunch find...just off of Bean Blossom Road

Ten years passed & they left their Bloomington pastorate for one in Milton, Kentucky...just across the bridge from Madison. Somehow we got each other's email addresses and began writing once in a while. We promised to get together, but weeks, months & finally a few years went by.

Do you think we had a lot of secrets to share?

Finally, today, after way too many years, we made time for each other! Sue drove up from Milton, we hugged each other & were on our way to Nashville! It was so good to see her again. We had plenty of catching up to do! Both of us are now grandmothers, she with 5 grandchildren & me with 6. You can imagine the time we had sharing!

Can you read the sign?

If he brings you flowers for no reason...

there is a reason!

Thanks to the suggestion of a sweet little shop owner in Nashville, we traveled out a country road past Bean Blossom & had lunch at The Farmhouse Cafe. What a lovely place to eat, visit, & just enjoy each others company. I'm definitely going back to that little corner of floral heaven!

Beautiful gardens to tour..

& of course the plants were for sale!

Then it was back for a little more shopping in Nashville, on to Columbus with a stop at Starbucks for a couple of Frappuccinos (it was 94 degrees out there!) & home for a little more visiting.

The Garden Shop

I'm so glad Sue made the effort to come to Columbus & we finally after all of these years got to have our lunch date in Nashville...or at least out in the country sticks nearby. Hopefully, neither of us will let the years pass by & we will get together for a little lady friendship lunch in the not too distant future.