Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Post Inspired by Donna

I wouldn't share this on Facebook -- unless I hid it from certain family members -- but Donna's post has inspired me to write about a lapse in memory I had yesterday that really freaked me out.

I am FB "friends" with a first cousin once removed on my father's side, Allison.  Her father and I are first cousins, and she had posted some vacation photos of her father and mother. They were very nice pictures, and I was marvaling at how good my cousin, her dad, was looking at his age. I wanted to leave a comment that included a message to her dad, but I couldn't get his name to come to me. So I made the comment without using his name, but it really bugged me that I couldn't get his name to come to me. Sure, he's quite a bit older than I am -- not like we "grew up" together -- but I was the kind of kid who knew ALL of my first cousins' names on both sides of my family (and that was more than 60 first cousins) by the time I was six years old, even ones I didn't associate with much.

So I was sitting at the computer, counting on my fingers, and naming off all the siblings of this first cousin, trying to get his name to come to me. I was muttering and fussing and actually clutching my hair in frustration. Thomas was no help at all. I started reciting this cousin's sibling's names out loud, hoping it would help me remember.

"Okay, so Jerry's the oldest. The other boys are Roger, Dean, Bobby, and Stuart. And there are the girls, Bonnie and Joan. But who is this one!?! What name am I leaving out!?!" 

Then I'd say the names again in a different order. "Jerry, Bonnie, Joan, Roger, Bobby, Stuart, Dean! Who is the other one?!?" 

Then I tried a different tactic. I threw in my aunt's and uncle's names to see if that might work. "Okay," I said to myself, patiently. "Uncle Burton and Aunt Vera's kids were...Jerry, Bonnie, Roger, Joan, Bobby, Dean, Stuart, and...." But that last name just wouldn't come to me.

I was seriously, seriously beginning to get worried about the state of my mind. This family lived just down the road from us. Yes, I grew up with their children, not them, because of the age difference, but these were cousins I saw on Sundays at my Grandmother Dowell's house. Their father was one of my dad's brothers closest to him in age; their mother was a first cousin of my mother. There was interaction and socialization between the two families! I saw them at family funerals and reunions! This particular one I'd had a very long conversation with at the last family reunion I'd gone to a few years ago, and he'd introduced me to his newest newborn grandson and told me how much he liked that his daughter had given the baby "Dowell" as a middle name. I could remember how this cousin and his brother Stuart looked when they were teens, about the same age as my brother Alton, and how I really admired their side burns! I was determined that I would not call my mother to ask her the name of Aunt Vera's son, Allison and Neal's father, and I said as much out loud to Thomas!

And that did the trick. When I said, "Allison and Neal's father" it came to me. Blindingly. Embarrassingly. 


It was Bobby!

There was no missing sibling. Just a missing brain. Mine! I'd put him in the list and searched frantically for the one I was missing when there wasn't one missing. And I felt very, very foolish.

I have a feeling I'd better get used to that feeling.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Autumn? Already?!?

I have absolutely nothing to write about. Actually, I do, I'm just not in the mood to write. I think of things to write about almost every day and certainly once a week when my snail-mail letter comes from Barbara, but I never want to sit down and actually compose anything. Maybe next week.

But since I'm here...

Everyone is doing well here. I don't know where the summer went. I didn't do everything I wanted to do, and yet I still feel like I did too many things. It was a busy summer without accomplishing what I personally wanted to accomplish. I think I did too many things for other people and not enough for myself. Well, no, not really. I enjoyed what I did that others wanted to do and won't call that doing too much for others; I just wish I'd done more of what I wanted to do as well. Selfish, aren't I?

Thomas is going to need knee surgery, so we're trying to plan it for January. That will be after deer season and during the coldest part of the year. I need to look into his disability benefits at work to make sure we do everything correctly.

Eler Beth is LOVING her job and staying busy. We gave her a big graduation party in August that was a hit.  Andrew and Alexandria are still a couple and doing well. I'm fine. Mom will be 91 in December and is doing well. 

And that's about it for now. Happy Autumn!

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.