Friday, May 30, 2008

Saga of the Ground Hog

Today's the day. Tom got that darn ol' ground hog. It's a critter that's been pestering him for over a year now. A big fat ugly one too boot.
It invaded the back yard over a year ago and Tom did what he could to send it to the neighbors but he really liked his back yard. There is a deck off the family room to the back yard and that's where this awesome but ugly ground hog decided to winter... He dug a hole under the deck and would slip in and out as he pleased. Tom put up some boards to block off the hole but that little critter -- well, really not so little, dug a hole right beside it.
Tom got some cinder blocks, that didn't work. He (Tom *;*) told me how he thought about putting a flare under the deck but he figured with his luck it would start the house on fire... Well, our friends say if we didn't have bad luck we wouldn't have any at all.... enough said on that one. So the flare idea was out. Then he thought about using a shot gun and figured that would just put holes in the deck floor and he still wouldn't get that critter. Didn't want to take that chance either. So as a last resort he got out the 22.... it was kept by the back door, you know, just in case.
Well, that critter had a summer resort toward the front yard on the side of the hill. Wouldn't surprise me one little bit if he didn't have a connecting tunnel. So depending upon the day, the rifle was either at the front door or the deck door.
I would picture in my mind the part about the flare and the house going up in flames and not just little flames but one of the whoosh flames all over the place or him with the shot gun and going pow, pow pow and no more deck to sit on to watch the leaves on the tress as they grow -- I so miss being out there in the country but I do enjoy intown living too so I shouldn't complain. Each week Tom would tell me something new about how he missed that ground hog. (I'm a better shot than he is and he said I should come out and do it LOL) I was the one the guys would ask to site in their rifles before hunting season started -- having two older brothers who were avid hunters might have had something to do with that. Anyway, each week would be a story to tell of the "one that got away".
Tom called just a little bit ago and said he got that critter. It was a bigun -- as the saying goes. So fat it hung over the shovel that he used to remove it from the premises... I told him he should have made possum soup and he said it wasn't a possum and I said well, it's a cousin....
Now we'll just have to see what the latest adventure will be out at the "ranch".... probably just cutting the grass. That has always been an adventure for Tom...
As TW would say "laffin"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Whew ~ What a weekend

Early Friday morning my daughter called and had that tone in her voice -- you know the one. Mom, have I got a deal for you -- only this time she didn't say that. And that's a saying that gets used often in our family and when used, a BIG smile comes to my face. Anyway, she asked if I could watch the kids after school. I said no problem. Then she said Kevin, her husband, my son-in-law had been in an accident. SAY WHAT!!! I knew he had gone to TN on a business trip and asked if he was o.k., then I asked what had happened. He had a broken bone, I'm thinking maybe his arm or leg something sort or minor and that he was o.k..... he was alive.... hmmmmm I'm thinking. He's alive, I could hear the concern and worry in her voice.
Kevin and his brother were riding their motorcycles (they drove them to TN from PA) and Kevin hit some gravel on a sharp curve, skidded and went down--head first into a guard rail. The guard rail saved his life as the cliff was over a 500' drop. He broke his hip in two places and his ribs were badly bruised. Elizabeth, my daughter was going to fly to TN and help Eric (her brother-in-law) drive Kevin et al, back. The plan was to rent a van to carry Kevin and a trailer to carry the bikes. Of course, I didn't learn all this in that initial conversation but during the day, the call backs and calls from her sister-in-law. I tried calling Kevin on his cell phone but got his answering service. Bummer. Through these many back and forth calls, and I did manage to find which hospital he was in (hunted and searched on the www) I learned they would be leaving Saturday morning to drive back. Whew.
Annette walked over to my house after school,
Jerod was staying with a friend and I picked up Nolan around 5ish from day care. During all this rush and fuss, Jerod picked up Nolan's clothes sooo Nolan had Jerod's. Had to drive Annette home where she got the proper outfits for a day or two and some more "items" of interest for herself. Her plans were to go to the church that night for "dinner and popcorn and pizza". A monthly event and she would be staying overnight with a friend after. So that left me and Nolan, the 5 year old. We had a great time. I think I was a 5 year old in my former life ;o) We watched Jurassic Park for probably the 20th time, I made popcorn and he could tell me what the actors were about to say for almost every scene -- he's just too much. A couple of times he had to sit close to Grandma but most of the time he was right on top of the TV screen.
Saturday comes and he helps me with some chores, watches some TV (he's not allowed to watch too much TV at home -- but I find it almost the perfect babysitter...) we colored and his pictures were put on the refrigerator and mine were put on the coffee table WHOA... We called his Mom and Dad who were en route to heading for home and I heard Nolan tell his Dad -- "I have everything under control" and gave him (Kevin) a thumbs up. I just love the way their minds work. Tom came over towards the end of Spy Kids (another favorite) and then we -- Tom and I had to make plans to pick up my brother at the Pittsburgh Airport. Ken (my brother) would be coming for a week long visit. I haven't seen him in almost 5 years as he lives in CA so with all that was going on my mind was in a whirl. More back and forth calling. Do I take Nolan with me to the airport... or should he be brought to the Jerod's friends house. The final decision (without winning any money) was to have Teena (Eric's wife) take him home and just wait until the TN 3 would be home. Tom and I had to leave by 10 p.m. and they, the TN 3 thought they would be back by 10:30 or 11 p.m. Close but no weo. So Teena came and got Nolan about 7:30 so he would be in bed by 8 and have a good nights rest. Sounds like a plan to me.
Tom and I get "things" ready, you know my just in case stuff. Medicine packed and in it's cooler with extra ice. Fill up my portable oxygen tank, take along a spare "just in case". The usual things I need when I walk out the door. I'm just glad we weren't going on a trip -- then imagine all the extras... Anyway, we load up the car and off we go. Stopped for gas "just in case" and hit the highway in style. It's take about an hour and a half to get to the airport from my house and there is always some kind of construction going on on I-79 so it was decided we would leave about 20 minutes early. We're heading down the highway and the moon is full, yet the sky is clear and there were large puffs of clouds here and there, the silhouette of the mountains on either side. It was an awesome site. The dark sky in the background, the man in the moon looking down on us; the bottom side of the clouds being dark... I don't ever remember seeing such a site. As my Mother would have said, "A site for sore eyes"... Something that make you go, whew... A Hallmark moment if you will. Tom and I chit chatted on the way down, something we don't usually do and the time just flew by. We got to the airport, not really too early but there was no construction going on so no hold ups. Now coming back may be a different story as we noticed there was more traffic heading north than south.
The plan was (via phone calls with my brother) that Tom and I would drive around the terminal until my brother came out. His plane was to arrive at 11:55 p.m. such a wonderful hour and we got there at 11:20... Oops, just a little bit of a wait. Now you have to realize that before 911 you could park on the berm of the road and watch the planes take off and land -- not any more, so we drive around and around and around. There is this one "stop" sign so I told Tom if no one is behind us, just 'stop' there until someone does come behind us... that worked only twice. Finally, the car ahead of us stopped so we had to stop, there was the Highway Patrol and local Police everywhere to make sure the traffic kept flowing. I asked this one lady who wasn't waiting with our previous drive by if she was coming in from Denver -- she said YES. Yippee, the plane was in on time. Down the ramp a way I saw this "guy" with a beard.... hmmmm.... so what the hay, I yelled out Ken and he waved back... We only drove around the terminal 5 times, that must be a record... Ken only had a carry on and one suitcase. We put those in the trunk and off we were, headed for home. That's when the fun began, I tell ya, brothers.... my oh my. We got home about 2 ish and we were in bed by 2:30 a.m.
I'll write about the visit but my fingers are getting wore out about now so: TO BE CONTINUED....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Just Not Sure

Well, a little bit ago I received a phone call about doing a brief survey. I usually listen to their spiel to see if I'm interested or not before I hang up. :o) I was asked if I was a registered voter at this address. Ahhh a political one, my cup of tea. I replied, yes I was a registered voter. I'm thinking with all I have been through in the political realm over the past several years, I may be able to put in my two cents worth somewhere in this conversation. He asked if the man of the house was home, I said no -- I didn't lie -- just because he's not allowed to live here... and besides, what does that have to do with the price of peas in China? Then he asked if there was a man who lived here or did I live alone. Hmmm. I answered I lived alone, he said something I couldn't quite understand and I don't think it was thank you and hung up...

Oh bother, did I make a mistake, should I have lied and said "he" was at work. Tom would be here tomorrow, I could have told a little lie, maybe. But then again, I have PH and my thinker wasn't working that fast. You know, lack of 02 to the brain -- the thinker doesn't work as fast as it should sometimes and today is one of those days.

Well, now my brain is working overtime. Am I getting paranoid, do I have something to worry about. Will bad guys come in a rob me or whatever... and I'm thinking the whatever. Get a grip girl. The 02 is kicking in and I'm thinking. So I called the local police -- it's after hours and I got a recording -- if this is an emergency, please call 911. Dah Of course, there were extention numbers for reporting this and extention numbers for that and to call between the hours of... Give me a break.

I remembered years ago there was this guy who would call and ask you to do a survey and then it ended up being an obscene phone call. Does this give you any indication of my thoughts. I got that call and he really scared me -- I am so guliable, I fell right into that trap and that time I called the State Police because then I lived out of town and the number was listed in the phone book. So I looked up the number of the State Police -- would you believe they aren't listed unless you want to report a Homeland Security or Terrorism tip, Missing Person, Wanted Person etc... again it would be a 911 call and I don't think this call would qualify.

The thinker is still working overtime and I looked at my phone -- I now have caller ID (remember I gave up my cell phone so I could get long distance and caller ID) and guess what -- it says unknown name and unknown number. Hmmm, paranoia kicking in again. What's that saying about luck -- what did my doctor say about Murphy's Law and me...

My State Rep lives a couple of blocks from here and I've known him for over 20 years -- actually we use to work in the same "field" before he went into politics. Anyway, I look up his number and call him... got his recording and left a message. I thought maybe he would know if there are any political surveys going on right now. That would help ease my mind. The primary is in WVA tonight, just south of here and PA has already had its primary so why this call, why tonight. I guess I'll have to be patient and do all my calling tomorrow. Bummer

Surprise, surprise, my son-in-law stopped with my grandson, they were out getting ice cream. So I told him my story of woe and he said with most surveys they ask for the man of the house because men are more open. They will give their salary, rent or mortagae info. All kinds of "stuff" that women won't pass out freely. Was he trying to calm me down. It helped some but not much.

I've done all I can for now and I'm not going to worry about it any more tonight and right now I'm not even sure if I'll do any calling tomorrow. This is a very political year and with all that is going on with Obama and Clinton, maybe it was a legit thing.... but maybe not. Just not sure.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


This is an email that comes around once a year. I am so glad it came today -- enjoy.

This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up puke laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, "It's okay honey, Mommy's here".
Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can't be comforted.
This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON'T.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.
This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.

And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers at football , hockey or soccer games instead of watching from the warmth of their cars, so that when their kids asked, "Did you see me, Mom?" they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and mean it.
This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner. And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but realize how child abuse happens.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the (grand) mothers who wanted to, but just couldn't find the words.

This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat.

For all the mothers who read "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a year. And then read it again. "Just one more time."

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for every mother whose head turns automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home -- or even away at college.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches, assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the words to reach them.
For all the mothers who bite their lips until they bleed when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.
For all the mothers of the victims of recent school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting.

For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war.
What makes a good Mother anyway?

Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?

Or is it in her heart? Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time?

The jolt that t takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?

The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. when you just want to hear their key in the door and know they are safe again in your home?

Or the need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?

The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation...

And mature mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.
Single mothers and married mothers.

Mothers with money, mothers without.

This is for you all. For all of us.

Hang in there. In the end we can only do the best we can. Tell them every day that we love them. And pray.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Hodge Podge of feelings

I probably shouldn’t be writing this right now as I don’t feel too swift but this morning my mind was just whirring and I said to myself… self, you should write this down. I will try to remember but you must remember that I have Pulmonary Hypertension and sometimes the thinker just doesn’t want to think and things just need to be put on hold.

Yesterday I went over to my daughter’s house for a cook-out – the first of the season and it certainly has been a mighty long winter. It was good to get out and “see the sights”. Well, much to my amazement, SPRING HAS SPRUNG, the grass has riz [cut once and needs cut again], I wonder where the daisies is [well, the dogwood is in blossom, the lilacs are out, the trees are spewing forth their leaves amongst all those blossoms – and the colors are just gorgeous – hot pinks, whites, soft pink, the leaves are a granny apple green and some are a deep greenish red – don’t ever remember that before – and mustn’t forget the Japanese Maple – they have that deep red color and are just sharp. My neighbors have one in their yard and I think they also have a blooming quince – my Mother would know, she knew all the names of the flowers and trees.], the bird is on de wing [and I saw a robin this morning on my porch railing with such a big belly that I’m sure within a day or two there will be little chirpers’ singing a song of joy and happiness] ain’t that absurd, I always thought the wing was on de bird… ;o)

It was a little chilly but the spirit of those who were at this impromptu cookout was warm and that’s what counts. It was a gathering of folks from the neighborhood. The kids were sent to knock on their doors and say Mom and Dad are having a cookout, come on over. They cooked burgers, hot dogs and had grilled shrimp, potato salad, baked beans, cheese and pepperoni tray and a veggie tray. I ATE TOO MUCH [I didn’t have a hot dog] but it was most enjoyable. Tom and I decided to go in separate vehicles as he had to stop at the hardware store and he would meet me at our daughters house as it's on his way home -- he would have to backtrack to bring me home; after a while, it was time for me to head home – Tom went his way and I went mine and we left just in time – by the time I got home it started to pour down cats and dogs [I’ll have to look that up and see where that expression came from] but I doubt if it put a damper on the festivities.

Now that the good weather is here I plan to get out a little more often.