Saturday, June 28, 2014

Just a Nothing Post

I wonder when I'm going to start posting interesting things again.  I wonder when I'm going to start posting regularly again.  Ah well....

Let's see. I made the Cheesy Ham Pasta dish, and it was well-liked by all. Eler Beth asked me yesterday if we could make it again soon, so I guess it'll stay in the recipe file. I used less basil than the recipe called for because Thomas doesn't like too much basil, and I used a bit more cheese than it called for because it just didn't seem like enough to me. I also used baby portabella mushrooms because  that's what I had and what Eler Beth and I prefer. We had it with corn on the cob and some nice flaky crescent rolls. I need to pick out another new recipe from my list to try this week.

I've started planning Eler Beth's graduation party for probably the last part of August. I'm still checking with a few people to make sure that will work for them. I really want it to be special for her because she's such a special girl. Andrew chose a trip over a party, so I didn't really get to do this for him, and I actually enjoy organizing big parties. 

Eler Beth is looking for a part-time job right now that will work with her schedule. She'll be continuing her classes in the fall and also beginning her ministry work. She's a very busy young lady. The past two days she has been taxiing me around and running errands for me because my tendonitis has been acting up, which makes it very hard for me to drive, not to mention walk. 

Andrew just got a promotion at work, and he and Alexandria are still dating. I think she's the one. We already view her as a daughter, and my family loves her too. My sister P.J. asked that if it ended up not working out between her and Andrew, could we keep her anyway. They complement each other very well. They've already had a few stressful things come up that they've had to deal with, and they've worked through some disagreements and misunderstandings, and they've done it in a very mature, considerate, and loving way. They are very open with each other. They are good for one another, and I hope maybe by next year I'll be helping to plan a wedding. And I guess that's all I'm saying about that because they both like their privacy. I'll only take the Mom Privilege so far. lol

And I guess that's about it for now. Oh yeah, we celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary on the 20th. Took all three of the kids out to dinner at Ruby Tuesday and then went to the movies. It was a simple and very enjoyable way to celebrate the day.

And I guess that's all folks.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Just Plain Silly

I was cleaning out and organizing files on my computers lately and realized that I have so many new recipes saved in various files but have tried none of them. That seems like a pitiful waste of effort. So one of my goals for this summer is to try as many of those recipes as I can. And if I keep skipping over one, then no matter how great it sounds or the picture looks, chances are I'm never going to make it, so I'll delete it. 

I'm going to let the family choose between two for this week, either a Cheesy Ham and Mushroom Pasta, or Roasted Pork Loin With Cider and Chunky Applesauce, because I happen to have a beautiful pork loin in my freezer AND some nice, chopped ham.

It's just plain silly to have hundreds of recipes saved and never give any of them a try!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

My Sister Looks Good For A Hundred Years Old!!

April began with Thomas in the hospital, and May is beginning with my sister Lois in the hospital -- for knee surgery, nothing serious.  She had the surgery yesterday, and she is doing very well. They got her up first thing this morning, and she walked from the bed to the door of her room and back. Then she sat in a chair for a couple of hours. She'll be in the hospital until Saturday.  In a few months she'll have the other knee done.

When she was having the blood work done last week, she was sitting in the waiting room when a nurse came to the door, looked around the waiting room and called, "Lois Dowell?"

Lois held up a hand and said, "That's me."

The nurse's eyes widened and her mouth puckered up. In a deep voice she said, "NO WAY!!!"

A bit timidly and very confused, Lois said, "Um, yes. I'm Lois Dowell."

"What's your birthday!?!"

Lois told her, and the nurse laughed.

They had her month and day right on the chart, but they had the year as '14. That nurse thought there was a centenarian in the waiting room.

She said, "I thought you looked pretty good for a hundred years old!" 

Can you imagine a one-hundred-year-old lady being in such good health that they would do knee replacement surgery on her?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April Beginning A Bit Dubiously

First the good:  We had such a nice and busy weekend. We were in Indianapolis all day long Sunday. Eler Beth was baptized, so it was a very special day. She made her personal dedication to God last year and now has symbolized that dedication with water baptism. She is still walking on air. She wants to eventually be a full-time minister. She has set her goals and has started along that road. Thomas and I are very proud of her. She and I will share in the auxiliary ministry this month, so she will get a chance to work on her schedule and make sure she is capable of meeting her goals. She will be finishing up school in a few months and getting a part-time job to help support herself as she continues her education, secular and spiritual. I'll share some more pictures on here later, if she doesn't mind, but for now, above is my beautiful girl on Sunday morning.

More good: We went out to eat afterwards with a group of friends. She got to pick the restaurant -- and the friends, haha. We went to Applebee's in Greenwood which was on our way home from Indy, and she had most of her closest friends with her. Thomas and I had the mother of some of the friends, Andrew, his girlfriend and her mother, and a good friend of Andrew's who is married to a close friend of Eler Beth's.  I thought I was going to miss the KY/Michigan game, but they had it on so I got to see UK progress to the Final Four (yay!!). So that was good.  Here are a few pics from dinner.  (You can't see much of Thomas in the second one, but he's there beside me. I have a better one that I haven't uploaded yet. I'll post it later.) And below is a good one of Andrew and Alexandria. I really love that girl, and I hope they stay together. We got stuck in construction and NCAA traffic heading out of the Indy area and it was 1 a.m. Monday morning before we got home!

And now the bad: Thomas has been feeling a bit nauseated for a few days now, but he thought it was just allergies. But Sunday he really couldn't eat much of anything. He couldn't get any breakfast or lunch down on Monday. He'd be hungry, but after two bites he'd know he couldn't swallow another one. Well, you can't work without eating, so he scheduled an appointment with his doctor for after work. He thought it was probably a stomach bug or flu. The doctor did an abdomen x-ray which showed an obstruction in his intestines. So he sent him right to the hospital. 

They did a CT scan Monday night. The CT scan showed nothing. So perhaps it was a temporary obstruction that flushed out on its own, or perhaps an intestine was twisted and it got straightened out. Who knows? But to be sure they are doing a colonoscopy in the morning. 

He will probably get to come home tomorrow. I am exhausted, though. Thomas is not. lol He has been getting a lot of rest at the hospital, but he's ready to come home. And he is NOT looking forward to the colonoscopy, although he knows the worst part is over -- taking the prep solution. But I'm really tired. I have had about 5 days in a row now of constant running to do this and running to do that with not a little stress and worry thrown in, because you can't hear "obstruction" and keep your mind from running on down those "what if" corridors. And I can't do more than a day or two in a row of that kind of going and stressing without it seriously affecting me. My brain has been in a fog all day today, and I have felt my "operating system" shutting down. If I hadn't had Eler Beth to do all the driving today, I don't know where I'd have been. Haha! I just re-read that last sentence and realized that I'd made a joke, although not on purpose. "...all the driving...don't know where I'd have been." Get it?!? Yes, I'm going to bed now.

But I'll get some sleep tonight, and I don't have to be up too early in the morning. I will go by Thomas' work to get the FMLA paperwork to fill out, get out to the hospital about when he's finishing up the test, and wait around to see what the doctor says. 

So March finished up wonderfully, but, aside from the gorgeous day we had today, April has started off a bit dubiously. But it will get better, I'm sure. Just had to de-stress a little on here before going off to bed. Happy April everyone!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Letters From Barbara

Barbara still writes letters. You know, actual hand-written, stick-a-stamp-on-it-and-put-it-in-the-mailbox letters.

Barb is my sister closest to me in age. I've written about her here, and mentioned her in other posts. I posted a few pictures here.  She's a private person, not computer-savvy and doesn't want to be, and in a lot of ways I'm closer to her than to my other siblings. She has always written letters to me since I've been married, but for the past several months she's been writing me once a week. It started because she wanted to get rid of some old cards and writing paper that she had, and she enjoyed it so much that she has kept it up. Sorry to say I don't respond weekly like I should. She also weekly writes our sister, Midge, in Florida and to one of our first cousins, Sharon.

I love Barbara's letters. She's a very talented writer, and it shows, even in a simple letter to me. There is often something funny that she tells me about or some strange thing she's been thinking of, and I almost always get a smile, a chuckle, or even a belly-laugh out of her letters. So I have decided, after long consideration, to share some of her letters here on my blog. I don't think she'd mind too much. After all, Midge and I often tell friends about things she's written to us, and that's what I'd be doing on here as well. And sometimes her letters are much more interesting, funny, and blog-worthy than anything I could think of to write.  (The picture is of Barbara holing me in 1966.)

So expect Letters from Barbara in the near future.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Meet Grandma Betty

I never saw any need for an Instagram account. I just knew I'd never want to post pics or videos on one. Even after I was forced to get a smart phone, I still refused to succumb to Instagram,  I don't have anything against Instagram, I just didn't think there was any particular reason to have one.

Well, now I have one, and it's because of Grandma Betty. If you're a friend of mine on Facebook, I shared her story from a local TV station, so you might have seen it my post there. If not, here's a link to the interview they did with her:

"Louisville Teen Dedicates Instagram Account to Ailing Grandma"

I enjoyed the pictures and videos that the article included, so I opened an Instagram Account to join in the fun with Grandma Betty. At this time she has 70,000+ followers, and, according to her grandson, it gives her great pleasure to find out each day how many more she has. 

I guess it's as good a reason as any to have an Instagram account.

Monday, February 17, 2014

"How doth the little Busy Bee...."

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I found out recently that a friend-slash-neighbor-slash-cousin used to read my blog, and I never knew! She saw a comment of mine on a post on a Facebook page for my high school and sent me a friend's request. She only lives a little ways down the road from my Mom's house and even closer down the road from her parent's house. She was a classmate of my sister Lois, is a second cousin once removed, and I went to school with her brother. So anyway, it was really nice to connect with her. I always thought she and her sister were two of the sweetest and prettiest girls I knew. She told me "I used to read your Dusty Pages and enjoyed reading about your family and learning more about my own thru your posts and pictures." I'm glad she let me know, and now I wonder how many other people I know or have known who might actually have stumbled onto this blog.

I am tired of winter! And I know I am not the only one. Traci DeSheles, a J-Land friend, posted a link to this funny US National Weather Service forecast for Nashville Tenn. today:
Enjoy the warm weather this week, Facebook friends. Nurture it. Cherish it. Remember it fondly. High temperatures at Nashville starting today and going through Saturday are expected to run 59, 66, 63, 70, 58, and 61 degrees. You could make the argument that since we were punished with such a long period of below normal temperatures, we now deserve the flip side. It's a legitimate argument. We do deserve that. But, alas, winter shall reassert itself at the start of next week. The ECMWF flashes the dread 1044 millibar high over South Dakota. The polar front jet slices through the southeast and lands just south of Tennessee at one point. And by this time next week, our flirtation with spring will be a vague memory. The fresh buttercups we clutch in our hands will frost over. We will be dragged back into winter like a hungry man invited to a feast and then asked to leave. We will wail and gnash our teeth. We will once again don our winter coats, our gloves, our big furry hats. And still, it will not snow."

That actually sounds like our own forecast, basically. I will enjoy it while it's here and try not to think too far ahead to the nasty weather we will probably once again have in a week's time.

As I announced on Facebook I'm trying to spend less time on that site, and, aside from playing Mah-Jong on there rather obsessively, I do seem to be doing well. I am not reading as many statuses, even family's statuses (I have the strangest urge to write "stati" as the plural of status!!!), and I am not posting as much or "liking" as many posts. 

I have so many things I want and/or need to get done in the next two months! Eler Beth is finishing up her high school curriculum, or at least she's supposed to be doing so. I have to admit that we have let a lot of things slide this year. As long as she can pass her test for her diploma, though, she'll be fine. She's making decisions about what she wants to do this summer and this fall regarding school and vocation. We have three trips coming up in the next several months for which I have to save and plan. And then there are things I want to do in my yard and to my house, inside and out.

I am going to try to do more writing in my blogs because I really want to. I am still working on the book I began in November, and I am leading the March discussion in the online reading group I belong to. So yes, my plate is rather full and I'm feeling pretty good about it. If only spring would come! In the meantime I'm all for clutching those "fresh buttercups!"