Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Last week was VBS at our church. The grand prize for bringing the most new kids was "Cheetoh", a goldfish that had been the mascot for our Junior Church the last 2 months. Parker wanted him, but was very gracious to the little girl that won, thanks to his Mommy hurriedly breathing a few extra prayers Parker's way!

Anyway, as it usually goes, that reminded me of something in my past.

As children, by brother & I had several goldfish of our own. We also had some of those black fish with the big bugged out eyes---not sure just what they are called.

And I thought I should pass the tradition on down to my children. But is has been so long ago, even Karen doesn't remember.

It was when we still lived near Edinburgh & I made frequent trips to Danners Dime Store on Main Street. Jeff & Karen were small & I thought I would treat them to a goldfish or two. We chose a chubby goldfish & then I thought they also should have one of the black ones.

We pulled in to the driveway & I decided we might as well fill up the fish bowl outside as the garden hose was laying there in the sun waiting for us.

So, I quickly filled the small bowl with clear water from the garden hose, had the
kids bring their bags of fish to me & we opened them & plopped them in.

Immediately the black one did a back float---& just layed there! Good grief, I couldn't imagine that he was dead already. I stuck my finger in the wriggle him around & at once knew what was wrong. The water from that garden hose was steaming hot & I was cooking the kids fish!

I ran the bowl to the kitchen sink & quickly added cold water to the fishes bowl. And don't you know, that black fish began to move around, wiggle his fins, & came back to life! The kids were so excited...& their Mommy was so relieved!

Hey, we had a Bible story on our hands. I remember telling Karen that we would name him Lazarus since he came back to life...and Lazarus it was.

I'm not sure how long those little fish survived in our house, but evidently not too long as Karen doesn't remember a thing about this story. But I don't think I'll ever forget. And a lot of times when I'm outdoors & pick up a garden hose, I think of the time I just about cooked Lazarus's tail feathers!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Sunday Ride

If you are very well acquainted with us at all, you will know that my hubby is an avid car collector. It all began during our dating months (I can't say years as we only dated a few months before our wedding!), and has been an on going fever of his for many long years. Some day I'll take you on a little tour of his car shop.
From the earliest warm days of spring time until the coolest days of autumn, if the sun is shining I usually "get" to rid to church on Sunday morning in one of his old cars! He decides on Saturday which one he wants to drive, makes sure the battery is up & operating, the car has enough fuel to get us back & forth on our little journey, & is raring to go hot rodding to church!

Recently my ride was the '62 Chevy. It seems to be our favorite as it is the car we dated in, used as our main transportation for several years, & have always kept. (Although one day he came dangerously close to trading it off for a Corvette!)

Bob drove this car nightly to his job as caboose man for Rock Island Railroad. During our Kansas City years, he began showing the '62 at local car shows, including Darryl Starbird events. That's when the real show bug bit him!

Most of these old Chevy's lack air conditioning. Remember the vents that opened & let the warm wind blow inside the vehicle? Bob usually has to have them wide open so he doesn't have to hear me complain about no a/c! The grandkids love riding in the cars, but I'm not too sure if their Mommy much approves. Grandpa Bob usually waits until we are almost home, on the back stretch behind our Walmart, and then he puts his foot to the floor & gives the grandkids a little thrill. They love it! "Do it again Papaw", they say...& they can't wait to tell Mommy about Papaw going real fast!

Hopefully the heat will wait until we get home from church before it is unbearable tomorrow. Because, I just never know what my Sunday ride will be in! (Do I hear the GTO revving up?)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

April "May"...in June!

Today is April's birthday & we want to send her best wishes & hope she has a wonderful day! Bob loves to tease her by calling her "April May", & surprisingly, she sometime answers to it!
We have learned to love you these almost nine years you have been in our lives, six of them as our daughter-in-law. May we get to celebrate many more birthdays together!
At April's request, we will be having one of her favorite little dinners, chicken enchiladas & homemade salsa. She absolutely loves chocolate cake so I'm sure one of those might pop up on the birthday table also!
Happy # ??

Monday, June 22, 2009

One Thing Leads to Another...Part Two!

A couple of years ago Bob & I spent a couple of days in Shipshewana celebrating our 40th wedding anniverary. That is where I spotted this little black table & knew it wanted to come home with me! I had a vacant spot in my laundry room that was begging for an accent piece and I thought this was it! And I knew my Longaberger laundry basket would fit perfectly, and it did.

And so began my love for worn, weathered looking black furniture.

Since my grandbabies are more or less out of the diaper stage, I handed down my changing table, & once again had a vacant spot in my laundry room. Hmmmm.....I needed storage space as my room had become cluttered over the months with baskets of books & magazines, bags of treasures, & boxes of things I didn't want to part with. I considered buying ready made shelves, the ones that just screw together, and then I could have my clutter half way organized.

Then the idea came to me to have Bob's cabinet man build some shelves. I knew he could at least paint them black!

I should have known that anything Andy made would be the best. He is quite the craftsman & makes beautiful cabinets for our homes we build. Andy came & measured, looked over my little black table, and when he left, I could see the wheels turning. And so I patiently waited for several weeks for Andy to work his wooden magic.

The day for delivery came last week. I was thinking that Andy would come in with some type of shelving system that had to be mounted to the wall. Needless to say, I was quite happy when I saw the beautiful cabinet he had built! He knew what I wanted without me even planning for it! All at once my idea of just a storage unit turned into something completely different. I was still going to use it for storage, but now it would also be a display piece, giving me access to things not used every day.

It didn't take me long to cruise through the house & find enough things to begin filling up the shelves. My green pottery I had found at T J Maxx had a new home on the top shelf, along with the white ceramic bunnies & Target bird salt & pepper shakers.

The next shelf would give me easy access to the Martha Stewart dishes I had found on sale at Macy's.

And then I found stacks of my Paula Deen magazines, cookbooks, pottery, a few Longaberger baskets, mixing bowls that once belonged to Mom, & matching mixing bowls of my own & even Mom's old kitchen tablecloth.

More cookbooks are stored in baskets on the floor, along with holiday napkins & paper plates. Believe it of not, most of these things had been either crammed on shelves in my hallway, or stuffed in my laundry room closet, waiting for a place of their own.

For now everything has been cleaned & put away. Knowing me, I may find a few more pieces of the green Portugal-made dishes, or some other holiday accent that I can't live without. No doubt, the shelves will evolve into something completely different in a few months.

My next project...I think the washer & dryer area is begging for custom made "Andy" cabinets that would house more things that need more elbow room in my laundry closet. Wonder when Andy can get started....

(My faithful old Whirlpool washer does a dance at least once on laundry day. I'm just biding my time until it bites the dust & we can get new front loaders! Dream on......)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

One Thing Leads to Another...

I have a project that had been on hold until today. And you know how it goes...one thing leads to another...once you start something, you find a dozen other things that also need to be done. Needless to say, I'm not finished!

My laundry room has turned into a gathering place for a bunch of necessary junk. Since my hubby is a builder, I finally talked him into having his handy dandy cabinet man come by & measure a corner that used to be the diaper changing station, the corner that I planned on making a storage space for that necessary junk I was telling you about.

After a few weeks of patiently waiting (I knew it would be worth the wait!), handy dandy Andy called to say the shelves were done! So.....all of that necessary junk that was piled in the corner where the changing table used to be, was carried into my just cleaned on Monday dining room. Yep...that one thing of me piling all of that stuff in my spiffed up dining room means it is going to lead me to having to clean it up again! That is, after that necessary junk gets put away.
My first idea was to buy wire shelves like the ones you see above. Then I thought maybe something a little nicer might be better. For right now, I'll just say that Mamma is happy!
Hopefully I can continue with the deep cleaning tomorrow & post a few pictures of my project. Who knew a laundry room could harbor so many dust bunnies in cracks & crannies I've ignored for quite some time.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Country Gathering

We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day.
Our first stop was at
Nichols & Dimes Antiques
"A Country Gathering" Festival
held every June in Elizabethtown
There were vendors with antiques, birdhouses,
pottery, old dishes, jewelry, water plants, perennials & annuals,
planters made of rusty iron work, garden benches, and many more country treasures. If you are into gardening, antiques or primitive decorating,
it is a festival you won't want to miss.
Just a short drive to Brown County found us at
The Farmhouse Cafe
for a delicious lunch!
I had discovered this little lunch & tea room late last summer,
but it was Mary Ann's first trip there.
Who knew such a beautiful place existed down the curvy little road
just outside of Bean Blossom!
Not only is there a Tea Room & Cafe,
but beautifully displayed gardens
with plants galore for sale
along with all kinds of garden decorating ideas!
The Flower & Herb Barn
overflows with just about anything you might need
in a perennial garden.
Throughout the garden pathways
are little wooden signs with all kinds of garden quotes.
Angels, Adirondack chairs & wooden benches were everywhere.
It was enough to make a couple of gardening guru's heads twirl
with creative ideas.
It is well worth the drive to discover this Barn full of flowers.
I don't know about Mary Ann...
but I'm pretty sure my vehicle might be heading back
that way soon.
One of those wooden benches has my name on it!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Papaw's Party!

We finally got around to having a party for Bob's birthday today.
Better late than never!
Sunday's seem to work out better for everyone to get together.
The grill was fired up & Uncle Steve cooked up some delicious steaks.

He's just happy to be here! : ) I found out that Coldstone Creamery has frozen ice cream cakes & decided to try one out. It was delicious...chocolate cake & chocolate ice cream, called "Midnight Delight"! Mmmmmm

(I think there are some leftovers in the freezer)

It was a good day, fun to be together & visit. The grandchildren found a huge puddle of water out on our back driveway & had the time of their lives riding bikes & Big Wheels through it. That led to some big time stomping in the water, then some took off shoes & socks & did a little dance...& we even saw one child taking off his britches! I'm sure the neighbors were being greatly entertained! All of the fun they had was well worth the wet mess they brought inside with them when it was time to go home.

Happy Birthday, Papaw! Your family loves you very much.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Born when a stamp cost 3 cents!

Just wanting to wish my very favorite hubby : )
a happy birthday....before the clock strikes midnight!

Some of our family had plans for tonight so we decided to put off the birthday celebrations until Sunday afternoon.And if the grandchildren cooperate like they did a few weeks ago,we may have some lovely pictures to post once again!

Dad Thompson took Bob & I out for a special birthday dinner at Red Lobster.

Seems like quite a few of our celebrations are held there! Cake pictures will be taken on Sunday...IF I remember to pick one up!

(I just happen to have a big day planned tomorrow with my gardening friend--going to Nichols & Dimes Country Gathering festival in the big city of Elizabethtown (just find the 4-way stop at the grainery & you're there!)

& then on to lunch at The Farmhouse Cafe near Bean Blossom, so hope I don't forget to come back early enough to hit the grocery store!)

Oops...sorry, Bob, I forgot this was supposed to be your birthday post.

If you happen to know what vintage year this car was made,

then you can figure out how old Bob is!

(It is his tradition to stand by the car that is the model of his age.

Good thing he is a Baby Boomer)

More to come....

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lord help the photographer...

All I want is a good picture of all six of my grandkids...
and looking sweet!

I found this picture frame, and the grandma that I am,

just had to have it,

thinking I would just snap a picture of those little darlin's

& hang it on my wall.

Ha! Have you ever tried to photograph six wiggle worms?

Well, let me tell you...it ain't easy,

& I haven't accomplished the job just yet!

I thought Mother's Day would be "the" day!

As you can see, we ran into a little problem. Not everybody wanted to say "monkeys" as the same moment...

& some didn't even want to sit still! And this was as good as it got

before some of those little wiggles made their escape!

Peyton even said "ta-dah"....

in other words-catch me if you can!

We gave up.

But since it really was Mother's Day

we thought we would try for a few family shots... Hey! April got a good one of her little brood!

And since it was Karen's weekend to work

Jonathan took the kids in to see her at CRH.

(Good thing one of the other nurses thought to bring a camera!)

So, for now, I still have an empty spot right in the middle of my picture frame.

Just waiting for those six little youngin's to quit squirming long enough

that some lucky photographer can capture them all smiling at once.

Anyone want to set up an appointment?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Just a year ago...

Tomorrow marks the 1 year anniversary of our Great Flood.

It happened in a matter of just a few hours,
with the heaviest rains hitting north of our community,
yet the flood waters swept across the spillways & dams, bringing tons & tons of water, corn stalks & field debris
& changed our lives forever.
It was on a Saturday.

I'll never forget.
The radio was amazingly silent about what was happening
yet my phone began ringing, sending fear to my heart
as we had one sweet 86 year old lady that rented
from us & she was in harms way.
I jumped in my car to make sure Miss Julia was okay.
At Haw Creek & 7th street I found waters rolling across
the intersection & a police man frantically shooing us
another away.

Sirens were screaming. Helicopters were in the air.
Fire trucks were sounding their horns & rushing
down the side streets. Rescue trucks pulling trailers that carried air boats or some other kind of water craft were scurrying every direction.

As I tried to wriggle my way through the streets that
weren't covered with water, I came to 17th Street,
just down the road from our hospital.
There were cars everywhere, driving away from the hospital,
horns blaring, not knowing which way to turn.
At that point I didn't know the hospital was flooding
& being evacuated.

If felt like I was in the middle of some slow moving movie,
where there was a catastrophe & I was part of it.
I saw a young man running across Central Avenue.
He was dressed in blue jeans, no shirt, & I couldn't believe
it when I saw he had an IV bag taped to his chest
& a tube dangling from his arm!
A car behind me sounded their horn, & the young man ran
to them & jumped in the back seat.
No doubt he had been evacuated & someone was trying to get to him.
When I reached 25th Street traffic was at a stand still.
People began making U-turns in the middle of the road
and I suddenly saw why.
Hawcreek had breached her banks & waters were moving our way.
I saw 2 dumpsters swirling like toys in the parking lot
of Eastbrook Plaza, where I also saw a van parked
with water almost covering it.
That is when I decided I needed to get back home.
White River had covered one lane of State Road 46 West
& was lapping at the other lane. It seemed as though there was ocean waves of mud & debris heading towards the highway.
Karen was on duty that day at the hospital & had to help evacuate the labor & delivery floor. She recalls that the fire alarms were screeching as they pushed wheelchairs loaded with new mommies & their babies, then had to help them down the stairways as the elevators were out of service. Never in her wildest dreams did she ever think she would have to put the disaster training into practice, but she was so glad they had prepared for just such as time as that. After the last patient was off of their floor, they quickly went from room to room to make sure everyone was out. And as they left that room, they put a big X on the door so other rescuers would know all were safe.

Jonathan helped friends at Franklin get away from their home that was nearly flooded. Later, he and that friend had to go rescue another couple, ones who suffered much more severe damage. Jeff was out of town, but made arrangements for anyone needing shelter to come to their home, and later Jonathan, Karen & Monty had to spend a few hours there as they couldn't get back home.

I never did get close enough to Miss Julia's home to see if she was okay. Later I tried to call & there was no answer. My phone rang very early the next morning & one of our other renters told me that she had Miss Julia with her & they were in a shelter. I felt a wave of relief, knowing she was safe. But she had gone through a terrifying time, having to be evacuated from her street in a boat, & then was loaded on a school bus. They were taken to Columbus East High School where Red Cross set up a shelter. But in the middle of the night, water breached the street & Columbus East began flooding. Once again, the refugees had to be loaded back on buses & were taken across town to Columbus North, going through streets covered in flood waters. No wonder Miss Julia told me, "Sheila, I about drowned!".

Our community was in shock.

The flood waters had completely shut down our hospital and it took over 5 months for them to be able to reopen.

But during that time, a mobile hospital was brought in for emergencies as our nearest hospital was almost 20 miles away.

Factories & businesses were shut down. Some suffered multi-million dollar losses. Some never re-opened.

Complete housing additions were in total ruin. Mud, sludge, & field debris was everywhere.

I remember driving around a few days later, feeling so helpless & at a loss of how to help. I had my camera with me, thinking I would take pictures of the piles & piles of trash, carpet, clutter & cornstalks that was curbside. But I just couldn't do it. It was like I would have been photographing someone else's loss & it broke my heart.(These photos were taken from our newspaper)

But we found out that during a disaster, our community pulled together & did what we could to help our friends, neighbors, & even those we didn't know. The City immediately began hauling all of the trash away without charge. They went up & down the streets that had suffered damage week after week, hauling away things that used to be someone else's history.

Residents that weren't flooded found it a good time to clean out their closets, attics, or basements & donated tons of clothing & furniture to those in need.

We talked to people we would never even notice before.

Everyone had their own story.

It seemed that if we didn't suffer personal loss,

we knew someone who did.

It was a terrible time.

I'm not quite sure why communities like ours have to go through these kinds of experiences. But I know that we all learned from this terrible flood.

I now have a much more sympathetic ear when I hear of flood waters in other areas and sort of visualize what they are going through. This Spring when the torrential rains came & the river banks were about ready to overflow, a feeling of dread was felt. But thankfully the waters have receded & we are going on with our lives.

We'll never be the same...