Monday, October 27, 2008


Just returned from a spectacular weekend at our country house and I am so glad I live someplace that has four definite seasons. Winter where we actually have frigid temps and Snow---we are lucky to have snow, some people have never even seen it. There is nothing like the morning after a nighttime snowfall. Everything is so crisp and clean and blinding and quiet.

Spring when it's cool and we're about to die to have some warm days. Then all of a sudden it's warm and everything is sprouting and blooming and just gorgeous. Then Summer comes where it becomes maddenly hot some days but we do seem to look forward to shorts and sandals all year long and keep reminding ourselves of the winter that will eventually arrive on those 100 degree days.

Then we have Fall, my favorite season. It's crisp in the morning and evenings and usually warm during the day, the colors are magnificent and the smells of leaves burning (in the country) and even the pine smell seems to be more prevalent. I LOVE FALL.

Anyway, had a wonderful Fall weekend in the country with Papa. I went down early Friday afternoon and got Snoopy settled in and then went to the neighboring town (it's a little bigger than our little town--more stores and a Starbucks!) to run some errands. Back to the house to have dinner with Papa and then he settled in to watch sports shows on tv. I got bored with this after a while and decided to go do the grocery shopping for both houses (city and country houses). I prefer shopping at the country store for both houses because it does seem to be cheaper.

Anyway I headed to town and I usually refrain from driving around at night when we are in the country. We live 8 miles from town on three windy country roads and our country town newspaper is filled with car accidents in every issue. I've made comments to Papa that it seems like all the teenagers are crashing into the elderly folk or vice versa and we're going to run out of teenagers and elderly folk one of these days due to all the traffic accidents.

I headed to town anyway, in the dark, and got almost three miles from the house on the absolute worse blind curve on my journey. Through the trees I saw a truck coming down the hill. But first I have to let you know that I have this real bad habit at night of slowing down, sometimes coming to a stop (when nothing is behind me) when I'm meeting a car in the dark because I don't see well at night and the oncoming lights tend to temporarily blind me. So I was slowing my car down to a standstill and realized the oncoming truck was making a wide turn (aka HE WAS IN MY LANE) coming around the corner and he saw me FINALLY and locked his brakes up. I had come to a complete stop by this time and was just watching and listening to him try to stop. He finally did about a foot (THAT'S ONLY 12 INCHES!) from my front bumper. He composed himself, backed up and pulled up beside me where I asked him if he was OK! What else do you say to some stranger that has almost killed you? He said he "was fine and was glad the road wasn't that wet in that spot (it had rained off and on all day) because he didn't have much tread on his tires and he would have hit me pretty hard". NOT TO MENTION THAT HE WAS IN MY LANE AND PROBABLY GOING WAY TOO FAST DOWN THE HILL. I told him I was glad we were both ok and then we both drove away.

For some reason I wasn't that shaken up until after I finished my shopping and was on the way home and came to this same curve and noticed the tire tracks on the pavement and saw where they had ended. That shook me up a bit. I told Papa when I got home that instead of unloading groceries from the car, we both might have been having a totally different evening. I guessed that since we (me and the other driver) were neither elderly nor teenaged, that we were saved for some reason other than as a newspaper article of another traffic accident.

So after that incident, the rest of my weekend was kind of low-key. I love Saturday mornings in the country. We usually sleep in, have a big breakfast, and what we call "cowboy Saturday". On one of the satellite channels, they show (usually the same ones over and over) old western movies, usually with John Wayne in them. Papa and I have watched these movies hundreds of times but Saturdays just aren't the same without them. I have even bought some of the same movies on DVD for the city house for Saturdays so when I stay up in the city for some reason on a weekend, I won't miss out on cowboy Saturday. But, alas, it's a week before Halloween and we didn't get a cowboy Saturday, just a bunch of horror movies which caused us to get outside alot earlier than we usually would on a Saturday. Papa started on some outside construction projects and me and Snoopy walked the gravel roads and the fields for a while.

Our second favorite thing to do on Saturdays IN THE FALL, is watch college football games. We are both so addicted to this that as soon as it's high noon, we are both in front of the tv with our popcorn bowls and our plan for the day. We started with OU and Kansas, worked into the Texas/OSU game, and ended with Mizzou and Colorado (roughly nine hours of football back to back). Then we collapse into bed.

Sundays, we usually spend wrapping up any inside/outside stuff we need to take care of (I usually clean the house, run the dishwasher, do the laundry from the weekend), Papa finished his outside construction project with help from Joe, our renter from the property we own across the road.

But on this Sunday, right about noon, Papa came running to the front door yelling at me to come outside and don't bring Snoopy. Well, of course, me and Snoopy are both running to the door and I'm trying not to trip over her while trying to get in the front of her which I succeeded in and flew out the door closing it to keep her in the house. There stands this huge cow (steer, I was told), in my front yard looking at me. Me and Papa looked at it and at each other, completely without a clue of what to do. H started walking towards the cow, who trotted back to the road with Papa in pursuit going in the direction of home. There is one guy who has cows on our road, so it was pretty easy to figure out where this one came from and he seemed to know the way home. Papa followed him, making sure he was headed back home. Thankfully the neighbor was home to get the cow back in the pasture where he belonged. in the country, there isn't anything else like it!

Until next time...Grammy

Monday, October 20, 2008


Hello blog readers. Just a short note reminding everyone to stop and smell the roses out there!! We're gearing up the start of the holiday season (Halloween is next week!!) and all the stress that is involved, never mind the winter season and all the illness that goes with that. Slow down and enjoy your lives.

This weekend, the first half, I spent with a couple of the Elders for an enjoyable urban night out and then Saturday afternoon I journeyed to our country house to spend some time with Papa who is out there every weekend no matter what.

I must admit, I also get re-energized after time in the country. Especially when the weather is beautiful and with the beginning of fall and all the sights and sounds that's involved in the change of season. Sights and SOUNDS. Yep, everyone equals peace and quiet but after being out there for the past 8+ years, I can tell you the country is no quiet place.

In the early spring, we have the frogs that start their symphony in the ponds across the road. Then the birds return and there are some mornings I feel like yelling out the window for everyone to just shut up! Most of the summer is the buzzing of insects of one sort or another and then the cicadas come in with their noisemakers toward August and then the geese flying through on their way south this time of year. So if you are looking for peace and QUIET in the country, I suggest you journey there after the snow has fallen....then it's quiet!

Not that I'm complaining about these sounds. There are some mornings that are quite deafening but it does beat the sound of traffic and sirens. But as usual, I've drifted off on another tangent. The simple seems like they are easier to spot and enjoy more on my country weekends.

Saturday evening Papa and I went on our usual 2 mile walk up the gravel road with Snoopy the dog (LOL---even she has a fictitious name!) A mile down the road, one of the farmers has been working several years building a huge lake. We were alarmed at first, because we thought a development might be the next thing to come in around the lake, but it seems that he just wanted a big lake in the middle of his farm fields.

As we are walking along, enjoying the evening, watching the prerequisite deer that cross the road and Snoopy chases, we start hearing this thunderous noise. Geese....several long V's of geese and then the stragglers in straight lines and more V's. And they are all quacking and carrying on as they flew over our heads; all headed to the new lake. Geese are quite loud when they are in the country, flying low, and there were so many of them. Papa and I both stopped walking and just looked up for several minutes watching them fly over and they were carrying on so, we couldn't help but laugh at them. I could just imagine them as a huge party group of people meeting for the night; they're all laughing and talking and having fun and you can't get a word in edgewise because they are all talking at the same time. Loud, boisterous geese-people! (Yeah, I've watched too many Disney cartoons in my lifetime!)

They all finally landed on the water and we continued our walk home through the sunset but we had big smiles on our faces put there by the geese-party people and were almost envying them their big fun night on the lake.

Grammy says---get out in the country sometime this fall and see and HEAR what's going on.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Hello blog audience and buckle in because this "issue" may be turning into a short story! Not long ago, one of the Elders was told, by her gynecologist of all people, that she and I were very contemporary women because Aunt Cracker was sending me text mails during her office visit. You chuckle to yourself but there are times and places that you need to carry on a private conversation and texting is the least intrusive way to accomplish this long distance.

What was so important that we had to discuss right then and there? We were planning how to play our music on our ipods at our Girl's Night Out/In that evening.

Contemporary, the doc called us and we laughed because here we are all approaching 50 years of age and yet our Elder group gets together every couple of months for a typical jr. high school age slumber party. Maybe not typical, we don't do makeovers or try to sneak out of the house to teepee the neighbor's house; it's usually just long nights of eating, DRINKING, and talking that we don't want to end.

But boy have things changed as we've grown from those jr. high school years. In music, we've went from albums, 45's, 8-tracks ("Eat a Peach" by the Allman Bros was my first 8-track and I literally wore it out), to cassettes. CD's were a big thing and now we have our Ipods and recently purchased little "boom boxes" (for lack of a better word) to play our Ipods anywhere we go. And I've added to my Christmas list some sort of gadget to play my Ipod in the car. I love my Ipod, I can carry most of my music with me at all times; who would have thought this would have been possible!

We started out using landline phones (and remember when the first cordless phones came out? We could even walk outside with them). Then we got "important" and had to have our beepers and now we can't live without our cell phones. Not only do we make calls, we send text messages and some of us have phones with little miniature keyboards to make this task easier. We've gone from VCR's to DVD's and Tivo's and DVD-R's and Blue-Ray (whatever that is) and on and on and on. It's really hard to be Contemporary with all this updating. Some things I just procrastinate on learning, hoping the next phase of technology may be clearer and easier to learn.

And computers....I remember when I received my first computer at work. My boss at the time decided I needed one as other areas in the company we worked for had them. So he ordered me a computer. As the tech was setting it up and I'm asking how to turn it on and off--couldn't think of anything else to actually ask---I HAD NO IDEA HOW IT WORKED and was just totally overwhelmed, my boss is carrying out stacks of paper and folders from his office to mine for me to "put in the computer". Talk about a long, boring weekend reading technical manuals about how a computer worked and all the things that I could do with it! I was in tears most of the time but I learned how it works and here I sit working in a software engineering department. How I've grown!

I literally cannot do without my email (home and work) and we've all learned how to set up accounts in MySpace and Facebook just to keep up with our friends (and stalk the kids!---not strange kids, just ours, we gotta keep up with their lives somehow!) Look at all we've learned!

But how much do we want to know? Believe me, cruising around MySpace, I've seen and read some things that I wished I hadn't but it's like we are all possessed. Not only do we read it all, we want to write it all as well. And here I sit writing a blog for anyone to read.

When I was much younger, I gave my grandma a little book that I bought from a mail order catalog. It gave her topics to write briefly on such as "how did you meet grandpa", "what was school like for you", etc. I treasure that little book but imagine if she could have written a blog where I could have read all sorts of her thoughts and insights like the P's will be able to when they get older. (You know, this stuff out on the internet, stays out there forever!!) But with the way technology is increasing and whipping past us all every single minute, one must wonder, what will be replacing the internet in a few years?!

Something to think about and now it's time for me to do some research on a Kindle Reading machine (to replace books). Imagine!

Contemporary Grammy signing off.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Love Bug

Another quiet week or so but have been sick. Poor little Perfect had a rough go of the croup and Grammy, here, got the adult version (doc calls it bronchitis and pharynxitis--accused the doc of making up that word but he suggested I look it up on the internet--he knows I do that!!) But both Perfect and I (as well as DD, who also suffered with this illness) are all headed on the road to wellness.

This was pretty much the first time in his two years here that Perfect has gotten ill and the first time, we've all had to worry about passing germs around or not passing germs around. Everyone was so sick that Papa insinuated that distances need to be maintained or we're all "going down with it". But through all the handwashing and Lysol spraying that was done, when little Perfect was laying there with his big orange lips (from a popsicle) in the ER hospital bed, what Grammy wouldn't have gone up to him with big hugs and a kiss, not once but several times. Sometimes those Love Bugs are much more important than any Sick Bug.

But for the rest of you....time for that flu shot!

Stay tuned.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Hello again, I've been silent for a bit because I have been extra-ordinarily busy with life and death and such. Which brings me to the subject of family and all the different contexts it may come in. I know in this day and age alot has been written about this subject with blended families, same sex marriages which involve children, and single parent families, etc.. What exactly is a family now anyway? And is it always important to be blood related?

I have an "almost husband", we never married but have been together more than a decade and I naturally consider him to be a part of my family along with my children, grands, etc. We celebrate all the holidays together as a unit and I suppose do everything else that constitutes being a part of a family. We are there for each other. Isn't that the bottom line to family?

But AH is a big proponent of "Blood" relations. He gets concerned with his daughter (my almost step daughter) who calls every close relationship a familial relationship and according to her MySpace page, she has a large assortment of brothers and sisters she goes on to name, when in essence, she has one half-sister and one half-brother. I always thought my "almost husband" (let's refer to him as Papa because that's what the P's call him). Anyway, I thought Papa was sensitive to this because his daughter also has a number of "dads" as well (Papa is the biological dad and then there are the steps whom she all calls Dad).

So blood was important to Papa (until the P's came along). He still refers to them as "my" grandchildren when he is talking to his friends (meaning me, not him), not "our" grandchildren as I would like. But you can't get any closer in a blood relationship to what he has with Perfect and Precious. They have all bonded spendidly and at times Perfect prefers Papa's company to mine, but that's ok, they're boys and I understand they need each other.

Back to the subject though, I don't refer to the almost step-daughter's son as "my" grandchild. Double standard, I suppose? I've never met this new baby and have a tenuous relationship with his mother whom I've never considered a daughter either. So is family more those individuals you bond with?

FS's "Serious Girlfriend" has three children---I've never met these children but they could turn into "bonus" grandchildren one of these days and I have bonded with Serious Girlfriend already and see her as another daughter for me. Right now me and DD are at the beginning stages of bonding with the "bonus grandchildren" by sending birthday presents and yes, they are on the Christmas list for this year. I care about these children I have never met because I care about their mother who is becoming more and more a part of our family.

DD and FS consider Papa as a surrogate father, I believe (I know FS does for certain, he calls Papa asking for advice quite often), but what does he consider himself to be to them? I don't consider myself to be mom to his kids, they are just my "almost step-son and step-daughter", Papa's kids. But then again they both have living moms and my kids do not have a living dad.

Papa recently went to the funeral of his son's grandfather (his ex's father). At first, I thought this unusual but when he was telling me about one of his former brother-in-laws insisting on a hug because "he was family", I thought, well maybe that is still true. He is the father of his son who is a nephew of this brother-in-law so they were related through a former marriage and now this young man connects them by blood. So blood matters in an "ex" sort of way?

(I'm starting to think I need to set up outlines for my posts before I write, because I'm really going on tangents in what I wanted to write about while I am sitting here thinking while I type.)

OK, Blood or No? What's more important? I guess it depends on who you are talking to. I don't have much of an extended family, my brother is probably the only person I will claim today. But when I sit down and start writing Christmas list ideas, I will include his friend, The Professor, whom he lives with. The Professor isn't a relative but he is something in my family. He's spent time at our house, we've gone on trips together, and we communicate fairly often and so he will be included on the Christmas gift list.

The Elders are among those I consider family. I didn't have any sisters but these women couldn't be any closer to having a sister, and actually, I feel close to some of their sisters too; as well as their spouses, parents, and their kids.

In fact, Samtastic's son was dating a girl that works for DD (she is a restaurant manager). Anyway, Samtastic's son Joe (I'll explain that one later, Sam!!---think 3 Stooges) came to the restaurant one day and asked for DD, explaining to the hostess he was family. DD comes out and they chat for a while and he leaves. The hostess is dumbfounded because DD and Joe look nothing alike, complete opposites, definitely not members of the same family and she asked DD about that, and DD just said yeah, he's a cousin and went on her way. She said that was easier than giving the official explanation of what Joe is to her.

So in my family I don't think Blood is the important variable to having family. We have all our friends and their families, roommates, serious relationships, almost steps, ex's, etc. on our family list and sometimes it's just simplier to say they are family rather than try to explain what they are to us. They are just loved in some way which makes them connected to us.