Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend and Celebrations

Looks like a nice weekend lies ahead.

Tracy and Keith are celebrating their wedding anniversary. They are going camping in the hills of WV. (I have no pictures from those early days or I'd put 'em up here.)

John is helping his Dad with the machine gun shoot; Trisha and Zoey may visit us today.

Most of the school kids are finsihed with work - some are looking forward to graduation, some are just looking forward to the END of classwork for this year. My students are partying next week: awards day with movie and popcorn, trip to Wheeling, move-up day and clean out your lockers, R&R picnic at the Lake. Then next Monday... The Last Day for This Year... all day, with kids. We, of course, have two days after that to clean up loose ends.

The county messed up our direct deposit. Who knows if my check stub matches what I'm supposed to get this time? No good deed goes unpunished.

I am enjoying all the trip pictures, Barbara and Ed. Looks like you'll be spending The Big 31st in the midwest somewhere.
Hope you all enjoy this fabulous weather and memorable week end.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Time to Update the Blog

  • Not a very creative title today. That's because I'm lazy. The rain pours from the heavens about every twenty minutes. Big fast falling drops. Then, the clouds move on - there is respite - and rain begins again. The sky is a deep gunmetal gray.

  • Stan is sleeping; the History channel showed the story about connecting all the ancient pyramids all over the world to ancient astronauts. We lived through that story in the 60's when the books were written. And we know it by heart. And we were bored today.

  • I have the AC running to keep the humidity down somewhat.

  • Zoey is ok - I'm assuming. Trisha said she would e-mail the details, but that crisis is over. And we move on. No harm, no foul.

  • Barbara is in Sacramento - she and Ed are driving through the Sierra's toward the east, when the snow stops up there in the high country.

  • Norma called. She has had pnemonia these past two or three weeks and is just now taking her last meds.

  • Tracy overslept her alarm one day this week. The summertime sunshine tricks us into going to bed later than we should.

  • I am really tired. We had reward for good Westesting yesterday. Kids were remarkably good: no yelling, no girl-on-girl fights; they played well together during the movie, and in the gym in the afternoon, and then, we went home. I could hardly wait to get home and lie down.

  • The garage charged me again for looking for the squeek in the brakes. I called Kevin; he took Friday's charge off.

  • I discovered that school starts the 16th for teachers next August, and the 19th for kids. I haven't looked to see what day we begin. Early. Who know how or when it will end...

  • Just taking Life One Day at a Time...

    Saturday, May 15, 2010

    Sunny Saturday in the Valley

    Fantastic Day!



    Green leaves, green grass.

    Yesterday the weather forecast described an evening of thunderstorms with 60 mph winds, hail the size of quarters and cloud to ground lightning.

    We got rain, after 6PM.

    Yesterday, Linda and Sandy planted the flowers from the High School greenhouse in last year's leftover containers. Multi color flowers in odd sized containers abound around the edge of the deck.

    The mail today revealed a note from the Parkinson's Support Group and a Letter from Susie.
    Susie got her license. She can see to drive; claims she just can't drive: Butch inherited her skill - like Mr. Toad's wild ride in Disney. (story included)

    My mental state is "mental": I wonder if I should try to make my (our) parents' home into our (Stan and my) home ...even for a little while.
    Sunshine cleaning makes me want to "decorate" - "plant flowers" - which makes me want to "clean house".- "change the curtains"..... aughhh Not ready, yet.

    I tried to take photos and post them; I got the photos - I can't remember how to get them off the camera - again. Duh. Trial and many errors.... trial.... try again... L8tr.

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Election Day in West Virginia

    I'm sad.

    The weather was rainy and cold today: A typical election day.

    This was to have been a day off from the constant struggle to get-it-together I find myself in every working day.

    The things I have to do list got modified and some things never got finished.

    We almost lost NCIS to the election reporters on Channel 5 - Dumb guys. That's a story for another day, too. Election Day in November!!!!

    I read the blogs about the grandmothers.
    I reflected upon the fact that I, too, have grandmothers (and I know many grandmothers now that I am one myself.) My grandmothers were STRONG women. I loved and feared them at different times in my life (for different reasons.) I will have to look for a picture of my Grandmothers to post, but the generic picture above will do for now.

    I didn't know her when she had any other hair color than gray. Her hair was long and she kept it braided. She was so heavy that I could not get my arms around her to give her a hug. And she always gave me one. Amanda Olive Wright worked hard and, with my Grandpa Clem beside her, she raised her sons and daughters: Erse, Red, Buss, Ray, Eveline, Louise and Marg (and there was at least one baby whom I didn't know about as a child, who died soon after birth). Even while raising her family, she took care of my great grandparents (her in-laws) who were bed-fast toward the end of their lives, in her country home. Columbus, I believe, and Mary were gone before I got on the scene.

    At Thanksgiving time, Clem and the men of the family would butcher a hog and she would "put it up" - make sausage and put sausage patties in crocks with fat poured on top, to set in the cellar house..., and then there were the pickled pigs feet - I didn't eat that. When the butchering was finished, she would roll out her famous (chicken) noodles - I DID eat that. She rolled out dough on the porcelain top table under the window in her kitchen, and cut them in long strips to boil in the chicken broth. We had farm killed chicken every weekend. I saw eggs inside the chicken, heart, gizzard, liver, too. I loved chicken livers and still do. (and I ate her fried chicken even though I saw her pluck the feathers and cut up the chicken ;)

    Clem and Mandy didn't have indoor bathroom until I was big enough to remember (4 or 5)the shower and toilet in the very back of their one story, three bedroom home, with the cellar house up the hill almost under the garage. By that time, her daughter Marg, had died of cancer, and we saw our cousins from in and out of state in the summertime at Grand Dad's birthday on the 4th of July.

    One weekend, in the winter, I stayed over in Wetzel County, with out my parents. I slept in the middle bedroom - it had at least three double beds at the time and was heated by gas space heaters....They slept in the back bedroom near the kitchen and bathroom. I heard her tell Grandpa as they were getting into bed that I was a handful. I didn't like the sound of that - I didn't know what a handful was... and I brooded about that for a long time, but never asked.

    She was a big fan of Eisenhower. She had a little plastic statue of Ike about two inches tall, sitting on the radio in the "parlor" (living room with the big red velvet couch and chair.) That's the same couch that Uncle Jake flaked out on after every Sunday meal at Grandma and Grandpa's. We always had a big family meal there.

    She and Grand Dad got me something to plant in the garden one summer. I dug into a burned patch of ground with my shovel ( a spoon) and planted elbow macaroni... what great fun.
    When she died, she was in the hospital. The doctor had "opened her up" to see if he could fix whatever it was that was hurting her. She had told him: if it's bad, just sew me up. At 86 or so, she had lived a long time and she had never been bed-fast. He did just what she ask.
    He daughter, Louise, came in the room to help care take her after the surgery. Louise had many children, by then, most of them grown men by 1970's, and she lived nearby outside of Mannington. She was one of the best caretakers and God fearing women in the little country Christian church she and her family attended. Grandma complained of her legs aching and Louise massaged them to ease the pain. Grandma Mandy died that evening in the hospital.

    On the other side, I hardly knew my Grandma Jessie Pearl. She took care of my Grandpa Harry during the 1st five years of my life - he had Lou Gehrig's and we seldom stayed at her house. When I did, I slept upstairs in the room with the maple chest of drawers, but not in the spool bed in the front room. Their house was a two story with a bathroom - and a claw foot tub, on the second floor. The furniture was dark and heavy - a round claw-foot oak table, a big heavy rocker, a metal knight statue at the top of the in the back of the house, grape arbor and chicken coop out back... the basement with the dirt floor and cold storage room and that huge garage out back....

    Grandpa's bed was downstairs, in the original parlor. I didn't know why at the time. Someone remodeled the house to make the dining room bigger - more of a living area. Come to think of it, I never saw my Grandpa Harry in his bed the whole time I visited Burt Town Hill (that's what we called the homeplace). I can't imagine my Grandma caretaking him, but she must have.

    Jessie Pearl was a shorter stout woman. She always wore dresses. Sometimes a hat. She went places - to town, to church and to visit relatives in other places. The Straights were Baptists. She and Grandpa Harry raised five children Elba, Roy, Edward, Freda, Stanley. All the kids went to college. Mom is the only one who didn't graduate. They travelled on vacations.

    She collected salt shakers and porcelain statues.

    Grandpa died when I was little -- 5 or 6 mebbe 7. Grandma Jessie came to live with my Mom and Dad when she was unable to live by herself -- just after I got married ( 20 or so years later). I was gone from my parents' home, but I have stories from that time that I will never forget...

    It's time for me to go to bed. I'm not so sad now. At least my mind has something new to think about.
    And, oh yeah, Mollohan has conceded to his opponent - I should have changed my registration so I could vote in the democratic primary. That is where the decisions are being made. Another hi-jacked vote. Chicanery!

    Saturday, May 8, 2010

    Blustery Day in May - Happy Mother's Day

    These are photos that make me happy. After all, it IS Happy Mother's Day!

    Random thoughts

    Happy Mother's Day, family.

    It's gonna be cool this weekend. No sweat!

    The grass has been trimmed. Looks great!

    Cook out or grill? Wear a sweater.

    Sunday, May 2, 2010

    Sunday - and the sun is out! and I ramble on...

    Do you remember this? If I remember correctly, this was taken about two years ago in Marietta, Ohio, in celebration of the imminent arrival of granddaughter #2 for the Walls family, granddaughter #1 for the Miller family and of course, daughter #1 for the JPR Miller family. May is a month for remembering and celebration. And we, as a family, certainly do have much to celebrate!

    This going back and forth from blog to face book and back again is wreaking havoc with my writing skills.

    Mostly I now write in bullets:

    * Rain is imminent for us til noon tomorrow-flooding possible. Tennessee is flooding Big-Time. Nashville is underwater. I imagine we will miss the big water, but we might get some hail. It's warm here. I'm using the A.C. as a dehumidifier.

    * There was a car bombing discovered/foiled in NYC last night. Time Square. I've already contacted Joey. He stays way from Time Square. He was writing a paper Saturday night. Such dedication!

    *Somewhere this is the (put number in here) anniversary of our Kent State memory and the Vietnam War.

    *Oil spill from that British Petroleum rig gets bigger in the Gulf moving toward Louisiana coastal areas.

    *Local kids have Prom this weekend. At Arden, a one car rollover accident was reported in today's Sunday paper.

    *Our seventh grade end of the year field trip is Ogleby Park with a side stop at Cabella's. I'm not going, of course. Not that it wouldn't be fun.

    *May holds several weekends. Some of them might include family visits to the shut-ins. One down: no visit. Do I sound grateful? I can run around bra-less and unwashed, drinking beer and munching on popcorn... Oh, I do that anyway... hummm.

    * I found this picture of Great Grandma Freda and her brother, Uncle Stanley Straight, taken sometime in the summer of 2008, when Zoey was just born. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
    *Uncle Stanley reminds me of Great Grandpa Harry (my granddad) Straight, who was much thinner - due to his Lou Gehrig's disease, as I remember.