Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's a Small World, After All

I mentioned yesterday that I was having computer problems that were leading to more computer problems until I was almost ready to start banging my head against the wall or at the least...start crying.

So much for my smart co-workers and their bag of "tricks". Nothing I tried last night would work to trick my internet company into thinking I had more RAM memory than I did.

Sunday I called Aunt Cracker and asked for the phone number of another friend who is wise in the ways of the computer---we'll call him Computer Guru D....or D Computer Guru (I like that better!).

So I called D Computer Guru after seven hours of trying to install a new hard drive to increase my memory---this was what the Office Max guy sold me and said would work. After seven hours, I made a few other calls when D Computer Guru hadn't contacted me. I found out I had been sold the WRONG hard drive. So back to the store, exchanged my drive, and took the correct one home, installed it and did all the things the software told me to and got a "Congratulations, YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL" note which I kept on the screen for about an hour just to boost my self-esteem after 8 hours of working on it. Too bad, Perfect wasn't around to clap with me. He would have, you know. I couldn't get Papa to do much but glance at it, no clapping or high-fiving.

So discovering my new drive wasn't doing the trick, I consulted co-workers yesterday and got some ideas on what to try. That didn't work. So this morning, I sent an email to D Computer Guru. First, he gave me a very understandable lesson in Memory: RAM vs HARD 101. For the first time, I understand how it all worked and what I needed---understanding far more than the guy at Office Max did!

And then D Computer Guru simplified things even more.....rather than trying to load what my internet company was trying to make me, uninstall what I had from them that was out of date, and go with a new approach--another free approach with an comparable quality of product. In 1/2 hour at lunch, I had accomplished this--no head banging whatsoever.

Then continuing further, D Computer Guru solved my RAM memory issues for under $20 and a link to Amazon.com (my favorite online shopping site). What a marvel! I wished I would have called him first. I would have saved myself about a $100 for something I can't return, only exchange....STUPID Office Max guy!

But what was so funny was that as I was corresponding to D Computer Guru this afternoon, I realized that a co-worker of mine that sits close by had the same last name as D Computer Guru and I asked "could they be related"? And found out, yes, they are brothers. In fact, my co-worker knows several of my friends, Aunt Cracker, The Weatherman, and another friend or two. It's funny that we've never crossed paths before but we haven't. It just goes to show that it's a small world.

Humming to myself....Grammy.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Well, no topic today. I have a bunch of pictures I took in the country this past weekend but my computer is being finicky the last few days and I haven't had a chance to download them. It's being worked on but as I'm the mechanic, it's a very slow process.

I've had to add an additional hard drive which took about 8 hours yesterday (seems I was sold the wrong hard drive to begin with and after 7 hours, made this discovery). Now I'm working on tricking the security suite of my internet company into believing I have much more memory than I have in order to download what they sent me. Helps that I work with some very, very smart "computer people" (software engineers) who are chock-full of tricks that they pass on to me when I go into computer "distress". It is about time to buy a whole new system but, but, but....that seems like such a lot of work backing up everything and reloading, so I'll limp along a little longer with this one.

I did manage to capture with the camera, some yellow forsythia bushes before they turned green entirely and before the snow did them in...Yes, SNOW.

(Sad Daffs,,,,they did look much happier a week or so ago!)

Supposedly, we got a dusting at the country home but I ran like a rat in a sinking ship Saturday afternoon when the forecast got the better of me. We got 3 inches in the city home (or actually outside the city home) but it was all melted by the early afternoon. Now that's the kind of snow I enjoy.

Friday night Papa and I met Tiny Sun and her husband, let's call him Tractor Man for dinner. We went to a restaurant in Washington, American Bounty. I've had some meals there with the Elders in the past and was telling Papa he would enjoy this place since he'd never been and that I'd only eaten on the patio, so I didn't even know what the inside looked like. Until we walked in and realized we had both been there last winter, again with Tiny Sun and Tractor Man. Six months ago. Eating inside. More crossword puzzles are in our future, I can see.

Sun took some pictures of us at dinner so they may possibly end up here if she remembers to send them to me.

OK, so enough blog babbling for today.

Until next time....Grammy

Friday, March 27, 2009


For about a year now, Papa has been contemplating retiring. Alot of people are convinced that not working and having their entire day free to do whatever is the perfect life. But is it?

Papa has now made some comments about possibly being lonely after retirement not having the interaction he does at work with alot of different people every day. I can see his point. Being male, he does not have the constant interaction with his friends like most women do. He doesn't read, doesn't care for handywork around the house, no gardening aspirations, he enjoys watching movies and playing baseball in the summer months but otherwise no real hobbies. Playing baseball in the summer and watching movies all winter? Would that be it?

Sure we all get tired going to work day after day and we so look forward to our weekends, vacations, and any other time off work but I've noticed on our two week end of the year holiday break, I do start to get a little bored. Maybe it's because I'm usually also running out of money and need to get back to work and collecting those paychecks to continue my life as I've grown accustomed to it. But really, how much shopping can one do?

I also notice that when Papa and I spend a considerable amount of "quality" time together, we both start getting a little testy with each other. We sometimes need more interaction with others and less with each other and going to work usually satisfies this.

As I've been thinking about whether I would be happy not working, I discovered something in another little daily routine I have. Every morning, when I get up, as I'm trying to pry open my eyes and get all my parts working as they should, having breakfast, and taking my assortment of medications (pain and allergy) and vitamins for the day, I watch Andy Griffith. There are two episodes on every morning 5:00 and 5:30 a.m, Monday-Friday. I usually only catch the 5:30 episode and then watch just a few minutes of news before I'm finally awake and my body is functioning and I can then start getting ready for work.

I have discovered watching 30 minutes a day of the exploits of the Mayberry residents really improves my overall mood. I not only want to live in Mayberry but I want to hang out with Aunt Bea sometime. (In reality my time for that has passed as she has also.) Such a positive person she is and nothing ruffles her feathers and she's got a kickin' car as well. Papa explained to me what it was but it's a convertible and I love those.

OK, you are saying now, she has gone off on another tangent. No I've not, I'm setting the stage.

Recently, there was an episode of Andy Griffith where Howard Spray (he's some sort of accountant, I believe), had met someone who didn't work and lived a dream life....Howard believed. So Howard thought about it and decided he wanted this type of care-free life also. He sold his business, packed his bags, told everyone in Mayberry goodbye, and went to live in a hut on a tropical island.

No cares in the world right? Well, after a day or so, he got extremely bored. Nothing to do and no one to talk to. He went on to meet some other island inhabitants who had been on the island for years but had started off like him and they had gotten so they didn't even care about their looks any longer...your typical hermit-types; long, tangled hair and beards, and glazed eyes from just not doing anything or caring about doing anything.

The episode wrapped up with Howard having a dream (nightmare) that he turned into one of these island inhabitants and when he woke up, he packed his bags, and headed back to his old life in Mayberry.

The moral of the story was that Howard found out he was actually happy with his life back in Mayberry but it took a total change in lifestyle to make him realize this.

I think I've mentioned before about a co-worker of mine who retired and moved to the island of Roatan. I read their daily blog and it is a pretty exciting existence. BUT I saw a picture his wife had taken of him the other day and immediately thought of Howard Spray.

I must agree that this is a gorgeous picture but it seems so lonely to me at the same time. Don and Jeanette love their life on Roatan but.....they kept their house in St. Louis. They did not completely cut ties to start over. Who knows maybe they will sell it eventually but they have a safety net to their old life for now. (Ok, now I've gone off on the tangent!!)

So back to Papa and retiring (or retiring for any of the rest of us), maybe it's not the ideal existence for him or many of us, at this time, if there are doubts. Maybe we all just need a change. It seems so many people retire and then go back to work doing something else, but they go back to work. But that's for each of us to decide. For now I'll just sit back and keep dreaming of the perfect life in Mayberry as I sit at my desk at my job doing what I do everyday.


Thursday, March 26, 2009


What a gorgeous color this time of the year. Although rain and (deep breath) snow is forecast for Saturday, last weekend in the country, everything was YELLOW.....Daffodils and Forsythia bushes were seen everywhere I went this past weekend. Yellow sun too.

But sadly I didn't have my camera with me and I'm sure by the time I go back out there tomorrow, the yellow will have turned green. But I still have the Dogwoods and Bradford Pear trees to enjoy with their sprouting blooms.

But what I do have is.......

Precious in her Easter dress. She is about to turn 1 in about 2 weeks and so DD took her to get her one year picture(s) taken.

This is her birthday party dress---theme is cupcakes. And, of course, Perfect went along in case he was in the mood for a photograph:

AND, of course, he wasn't. We don't know what's gotten into him lately but he just does not want his picture taken. He's only closing in on 3, surely we haven't worn him out with the camera! But just because he cries and is unhappy, we're not about to miss out on taking his picture, me and DD. We'll continue snapping and then have something to tease him about when he's older.

That reminds me....where are the naked baby pictures of Precious!! (Are you reading this, DD?) I have Perfect's all over my bathroom--where else would the naked pictures belong! These poor children...

They were both over last night and Precious is definitely walking and such a stinker she was. Into everything and she crawls very fast when she doesn't want to be caught, otherwise she tried to walk mostly.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed Perfect was showing a little jealously. I shouldn't really call it that, he was just acting more needy when his sister was getting more attention but he is so sweet with her. She enjoys walking from one person to another and when Papa got busy elsewhere, Perfect became the "catcher" of Precious. She walks about 7-10 steps and then enjoys falling into her "catcher's" arms.

And finally at our house, Elmo is getting dusty, Blues Clues DVDs sit on the shelf unwatched. We are all about CARS now. This Grammy had to go out and buy another CARS DVD (see older blog about the demise of our original CARS DVD) and we watch it about 2-3 times on Wednesday night but poor DD and SIL. They had to also purchase a CARS DVD and it runs non-stop at their house. Precious is hanging right there with her brother and the cars so much so that we are spreading the word that she needs some "girl" cars for her birthday!

Well, enough for today. Hope you still have some yellow in your life to enjoy this week, this Grammy has a tiny little girl in flowers and yellow to brighten up the days.

Until next time.....Grammy

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Perfect was born almost three years ago with a "bump" on the back of his neck. It was about the size of a small grape but since the pediatrician wasn't concerned with it, we didn't really worry either. Until he developed a second "bump" on the side of his neck. This caused a bit of concern and so the doc recently sent Darling Daughter and Perfect to another doctor for an investigation.

Turns out the new "bump" was just a lymph node that was swollen for some reason, but not to worry. However, the old "bump" that everyone had grown accustomed to seeing, was not identifiable and so a surgery date---March 11---was selected and this Grammy proceeded to rev up her worrying gene!

March 11 arrived and all were concerned about Perfect not being able to have his glass of chocolate milk as soon as he got out of bed. An every morning habit (for Perfect, Grammy, and Fantastic Son--must be a family thing). DD and SIL (son-in-law) managed to get past that morning habit and to the hospital they went where they proceeded to WAIT for Perfect's surgery to begin, which ended up to be about two hours past what it had been scheduled for.

With everyone praying and sending good thoughts his way, Perfect came through the surgery with flying colors and the "blob" was removed, still unidentifiable by the doctor who sent it the lab for testing.

Perfect entertained his family with his behavior after the "liquid sleeping potion" was given. "He acts drunk." And entertained the Recovery Room staff when he woke up crying because his hand was splinted...including his thumb. You must understand that Perfect comforts himself with his thumb. Any thumb will do but with one out of commission this proved too much for him. If he quit crying and drank some liquid and kept it down, they would remove the splint on his hand and he would be able to get to his thumb. But he continued crying because his thumb was splinted....a viscious circle all around!

What was so entertaining to everyone that didn't know Perfect, was when the nurse kept trying to give him liquid to drink, he would scream and cry and say "no thanks". Polite to the end, our Perfect. The circle was finally broken and Perfect was able to go home, recovered and "blob-free".

No lasting effects whatsoever, Perfect went home and started playing with his cars and watching his favorite television programs. He thought the hospital bracelets everyone had on (DD, SIL and him) were pretty cool but otherwise, he didn't mention his big day at the hospital or his "boo-boo". His parents and his Grammy, however, were exhausted from their day.

Now a week later the "blob" has finally been identified as a sack of excess skin cells, a birth defect, with no lasting problems forecast. THANK GOD. The incision is healing miraculously fast. Perfect has learned to say neck and doctor. And lastly this Grammy has gotten her heart rate and breathing back under control and is able to once again sleep carefree (until the next catastrophe). And life goes on for Perfect.

Until next time.....Grammy

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Hello all and my one follower!! I've again been collecting snippets to write about in my handy dandy notebook (got that from Blues Clues---which I watch entirely too much of!!). First and foremost....Spring is coming. I know that is inevitable after winter but seeing and hearing the first sounds confirms it and a general lightening of mood begins.

The peepers showed up two weekends ago. They are the frogs in the ponds across the road. March 6 seemed to be a little early for them but the weather has been very nice. The forsythia bushes are blooming and my daffodils are popping up. I had to rake the leaves off them to give them a fighting chance but once they had space, up they went. This weekend is "Down with Storm Windows" weekend and we'll be able to hear the peepers all night long.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned in a previous blog about a former neighbor and his peeper story. Justin, the son of our neighbors, used to hang out around our house when Fantastic Son lived at home. The first spring we were out in the country, I was amazed at how loud the peepers were. One minute it's quiet winter and the next, frog music at high decibels. I commented on this one time when Justin was around and he said "Yeah, by August, it will be quiet again." I asked him why and he said "All the snakes in the ponds will have eaten all the frogs by them." I just didn't know what to say to that and being terrified of snakes, I vowed to avoid those ponds from here on out!.

So in the country, there are three things that I am terrified of and the snakes are #2....#3 are coyotes and I am not really afraid of them for me but for Snoopy. The first two winters we were in the country, they were all about. I used to love hearing their howling but now it borders on one of the most creepiest sounds around.

One winter they got so bad that Justin's father told us he was shooting a rifle, aiming above their heads when they came around their house because they were fighting with his dogs. During this same winter, I always made sure I escorted Snoopy and our other dog outside just in case the coyotes (always plural) were around. I figured it would take all three of us to get all three of us back safely in the house. But we never saw them in our yard.

A few months ago, I was standing on the porch and a few "coyotes" ran past me in the front yard and Snoopy gave chase for a few minutes but came right back. I later learned from my neighbor, Joe, that it was actually a pack of beagles who live with another neighbor. They went by so fast and it was very dark outside that I wasn't sure what they were but Joe set me straight because they had ran through his yard as well and he got a good look at them. Regardless of what they were, animals running fast past me in the dark give me the creeps.

OK, we've covered #2 and #3. What is #1 you ask? Skunks!

I feel sorry for them when I see them smashed on the highway---a pretty common occurance in the country. One morning I saw a mama skunk and some babies "running" down the road. That explained why I see so much skunk road kill. They don't run fast at all, in fact, I don't think I would even call it running. They resemble more of a rolling tumbleweed. These black puffs rolling along the road. Their faces are so small and the hair so thick, when on the move, they do look like puffs of hair rolling or blowing along in the wind.

I haven't actually seen them on our property but on several occasions when I've had the windows open, I'll get a whiff of one causing me to run about the house closing windows and refusing Snoopy's requests to go outside.

One night I was coming home late and got out of the car going to the front door and got a whiff of a skunk and swiftly got myself inside. Now when I come in after dark, I be sure and make alot of noise at the car for a few minutes before I go toward the house. Don't want to sneak up on some skunk snoozing in the bushes by the front porch and then spending the night bathing in tomato juice.

A BIG KNOCK ON WOOD---so far we have all survived without a skunk spraying---all people, dogs, and cats. One night, however, we came oh so close. We used to have a black dog (with white scattered here and there) named Sydney who went to doggie heaven about two years ago. Papa, I, Sydney, Snoopy, and Spooky the feral cat used to walk every evening on a 2 mile route down the road (gravel) and back. (Another ponderance---all my animals' names start with S---unintentional but interesting.) So one night as we all were walking along, Papa and I were talking all the way and not paying attention. All of a sudden we noticed at the bottom of the hill we were walking down, Sydney had walked right up to a mama skunk with babies all around her. They were nose to nose smelling each other. I believe the mama skunk might have thought Sydney was a skunk as she had the same coloring and wasn't that much bigger than a skunk. At this time Sydney was up in years and didn't see or hear very well, so she might not have been aware of what she was smelling up.

As for Papa and I, we were both in a panic. I grabbed Snoopy's collar before she realized another animal was around.....to chase (her favorite hobby) and as we were all within spraying distance if things turned bad, we started backing up the hill very slowly, all the time I was calling Sydney in a soft voice.

I really didn't see a positive escape from this situation but we kept moving backwards, calling Sydney and after a few minutes, she trotted up the hill where we were and the mama skunk turned around and disappeared into the brush with all her babies following. We were so thankful we had escaped and were amazed that Syd hadn't been sprayed either. I guess mama realized that blind, deaf, elderly Sydney didn't pose a threat to her, was actually rather friendly, and we had gotten far enough away that she didn't have any worries about us either.

So there you have it---my top three fears of living in the country, or actually anywhere for that matter.

Until later....Grammy

Friday, March 6, 2009


I did it! I did it! I did it! This is what Perfect runs around saying when he has done something astounding and we are all to clap accordingly! I learned how to post a photo, no stopping me now (and you'll notice I went back to some older posts and added pictures too). Is that clapping I hear?

This is Precious about a week ago...isn't she though. She's had a rough month, caught pneumonia and had a bad earache but I'll say she's recovered remarkably. You'll also notice why she has garnered the nickname Petunia (from Papa). She wears flowers. Alot. Flowered headbands and barrettes, flowers on her clothes and I found this flowered hat and it spoke to me "You need this for Petunia!" So I bought it---but it doesn't take much for the wallet to open when I'm thinking of these two. Again, I did it! Here is Precious getting ready to take off. Yes, she's not yet one but is getting ready to go and there is more and more clapping around the house. And not to be forgotten Perfect himself---not sure what he is in this photo but it looks scary!
So there you have actual visions of my P's--Perfect and Precious. Now I'm off to the country for the weekend. It's in the upper 70's here today just gorgeous so a perfect country visit is in order. I'll take the camera!

Signing off for now....Grammy

Monday, March 2, 2009

The White Rose

In a previous blog, I talked about me and Papa and our Saturday night habit of going to the movies at The Walt. We have another country routine, but it's kind of ad hoc. We go to the White Rose Diner and have dinner quite often. We have our share of fast food places and a sports bar and a Pasta House and another Italian restaurant and we had a real nice steakhouse that burned down last December but nothing that compares to The White Rose.

The White Rose is the only diner of it's kind in Union (our country town). When we moved out there almost nine years ago, we discovered it pretty early on and thought it was a new place but since then we've learned it's 73 years old. They must have just rennovated it prior to our first visit, hence the new wood floor look and smell.

It has booths and tables and bar stools; hardwood floors and a large jukebox in one room and in the larger dining room, there are individual jukeboxes on the tables. I guess so you don't have to walk to the other room, to select your music. You can do it from your own table and it connects to the main jukebox. But it seems that whatever music is playing seems to go with the mood of the night and it's never silent, there is always music. All golden oldies, need I say, what else would they play on a jukebox at a diner?

You couldn't ask for a better menu of comfort food. Breakfast is served all day; every Friday night is a catfish special and every Saturday night is the ribeye steak special. Actually, every night has it's own special, the same special, week after week. We see alot of families and some younger couples, but the main clientele of The White Rose are older folks, so I guess, being such creatures of habit, they appreciate the same menu for the most part. No surprises there.

I love The White Rose because when you walk in the door, it smells like fresh coffee and pie. I've never tried the pie (they usually have 3 or 4 to choose from each night), I'm usually too stuffed from dinner for dessert, but one of these days I think I'll just go up there for coffee and a piece of pie.

Like I mentioned above, the diner must have been rennovated just before we started going there because it has both an old and new feel about it.

Papa likes it because it has framed car prints on the walls and they have "car cruises" there a few times during the year. They also have an old time phone booth in the large dining room. An actual wooden booth with a bench inside. I've looked but never touched so don't know if the phone works or it's just for decoration.

And frogs. They have alot of frogs around there. Not real frogs but glass frogs, ceramic frogs, frog pictures, just alot of frog knick-knacks. Haven't asked about this....yet, but I will I'm sure. The curiousity will get the best of me over these frogs!

It's a come as you are place. I've seen women in dresses and pearls and men in overalls and dirty tractor hats sitting side by side. The people working there are all very friendly. From the owner who runs the cash register and wishes you a good night as you are leaving to the young waitresses, who always yell hello to you when you come in the door, whether they know you or not. It makes you feel like they know you well and that you are most welcome to come in and have a seat and order something tasty to fill your belly.

Almost makes me drool just thinking about those cheeseburgers, the best around our small town.

Signing off to wipe the drool off my chin and start my own dinner....Grammy