Wednesday, December 24, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE TO EVERYONE THIS MORNING!!!! It's cold again in Missouri but supposed to be a bit warmer by the end of the week. Our other contributors are behind on their updates so let us know what's happening for your Christmas celebration.

Pete and Janet went back to Idaho and contracted a signmaker to make me this wonderful sign to post on the Lakehouse. FURLINED Sue Boaz Prop Since 1982
Goldman and I are going down and hanging it the weekend of January 10. Doug may go with us. Rose and Donald both said Pete has been laughing about having the guy making it all Fall.

Doug and Suzanne had a party last Saturday night and, although I was the only 'old' person there, I sure felt welcome. I'm MOM to all the young people there. Actually the 'young' ones are getting to be middle aged. Everybody brought their kids, and they had a grand old time playing with Lukas and Josie.

Monday night Liz, my old friend from GMAC, and her husband Dave took me out to dinner down in the Delmar Loop to Blueberry Hill. We had a grand time reminiscing about old times and talking about life at GMAC now. Liz has 70 weeks until she can retire and has been forced to transfer to Chicago. GMAC has taken away a lot of the benefits. She is just praying GMAC lasts another 70 weeks.

Margaret and Norman came by yesterday to wish us a Merry Christmas. While they were here, Donald called to wish us a happy holiday. The Abbott clan is gathering at the Abbott house on Christmas Eve. Donald and Vita are headed to see the grandkids on Christmas Day and are taking them home with them for a few days. Scott and the boys are coming over on Friday and we're gathering at Mark and Karen's on Saturday. Sherry can't come, and we will miss her.

Shelly's Uncle Butch is going to be moved to a rehabilitation facility in the near future. The doctors have put some plates in his face and he can eat some very soft things. I think this indicates he is on the mend.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

COLD weather here in Missouri. We have a bit of snow and ice on the ground and it's too cold for it to melt. It was in the upper 50's here on Sunday and fell to the teens on Monday. It's been very cold ever since.

We bought our Christmas tree on Saturday. Goldman came over and helped us put it in the stand to 'fall out'. He came last night to help carry the boxes of lights and ornaments up from the basement. The three of us were telling him how to put the lights and the angel on the tree. He was very patient but told us the story he had heard about why the angel goes on top of the tree. Santa and some angels were decorating a tree and at some point Santa proclaimed "Do you know what's going to happen to the next one of you who asks me where to put something?" [I've taken a little poetic license with the facts here.]

I've taken up yoga and am very excited about it. Last Thursday this instructor came here and gave Shirley and me our first lesson. Rose couldn't join us but is looking forward to joining us this Thursday. The instructor (Vicki) is a wonderful woman and believes yoga will help me in several ways. I've been been doing my exercises and riding the exercycle, trying to increase my capacity each day. Vicki picked me up yesterday (in spite of the weather) and she and I went to Mary and Lynn's in St. Charles for lunch. I've been friends with Mary and Lynn for probably over 30 years and the four of us spent an all too short day.

Vicki and I drove out the newly opened stretch of I64 going to Mary's yesterday. Sunday Chris and I were slated to do a walk on a portion of the newly-finished highway, but it was so windy I decided to pass. Turns out Chris did, too.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Just talked to Margaret and she seemed just like herself. Norm had made TV dinners for dinner but she laughed and said he didn't mind because he likes them! It was fine with him. Not like most men! She came home this morning at 5 A.M. and said she feels just fine. She said the hospital did a battery of tests and came to the conclusion that perhaps she had a TIA and this happens to people frequently and, unless she has more of them, there's no further testing and no treatment at the present time. She wasn't even at the hospital long enough for the Abbott clan to get a 'pizza' pie. By the way, I thought Rose's entry about Pio's could have been titled like the old song "We Were Country When Country Wasn't Cool".

Shelly's Uncle Butch is still in intensive care at Barnes Hospital though he is breathing on his own now which Chris says is a very good sign. Chris thinks they've been able to do some X-rays which they couldn't do before. He is now responding some and they've removed the cervical collar. Shelly and the rest of the family are taking turns being with him. We are all hoping and praying for a speedy recovery.
Catrina called last night around 11:00 pm to say Margaret had had some kind of incident and was in the emergency room at St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Charles. Sue was already in bed so I decided not to awaken her. Before I arrived at the hospital, Sabrina let me know Margaret was back to herself. Early indications are that she had some kind of mini-stroke--short with no lasting effects.

Of course, the Abbott clan was gathered at the ER, Norman, Catrina, Stephanie, Sabrina and her son Brett. We were all allowed to visit with Margaret in between her various tests and paperwork. A period of high anxiety was short lived, and a good visit was had by all, with the exception of Margaret.

As I drove away from the hospital, I marveled at how much of our lives has revolved around these few blocks of St. Charles. There were the places we lived as children and some of us as adults, the locations of several of our marriage ceremonies, various and sundry trips to that same ER, many stays in that particular hospital, and literally thousands of meals in Pio's, the excellent northern Italian restaurant nearby.

All this reminds me of an incidence from around 1956: When we were moving to St. Charles from Marshfield, Joe, Donald, Sue, and I arrived with a U-Haul filled with a load of our stuff. Somehow we got everything up the flight of stairs and into the apartment we were moving into at 501 Clay Street. Joe with Sue, who was around 13 years old, went back to Marshfield the same day. Donald (age 11) and I (age 14) stayed. Earlier during the trip to St. Charles, Joe (who had been in the army and was very worldly and wise) told us about pizza pie, a delicacy we had never heard of. That first evening, Donald and I went to Pio's. We had, of course, hamburgers and fries. Aftwerwards, we asked the waitress for "pizza pie." She asked, "What kind?" We looked at each other, then at her, and said, "Cherry." Our pie was, predictably, delicious.

When we next saw Joe, we immediately told him we had tried the delicacy he had told us about. He asked, "What kind did you have." We said, "Cherry." Well, Dear Readers, that happened over 50 years ago, and Brother Joe is still laughing about it. Donald and I learned to laugh about it about 40 years ago.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Shelly sent us this update about her Uncle Butch:

"Uncle Butch was in a horrible accisent yesterday; 1:00 P.M. 170 West/Wentzville. He collided with an 18 wheeler, median, flipped, etc. No other individuals were injured. He ended up at Barnes - IU - 8th floor Room 3. 4 face jaw fractures, (was still in cervical collar when I left at 7:00 A.M.), vertibral break, blood/bruising in one lung, blood loss, respirator, arterial tube feed, two many meds to name. They are keeping him in a medically induced coma. Ending on a good note... So far, the mucho tests say no brain damage or paralysis.

I KNOW he is feeling & hearing all around him. He usually doean't get to talk much with Mom, Kathleen and I in the same room anyway. I believe his best meds right now are positive energies and prayers. He has so much more life to enjoy and needs that motivation to pull through right now."

We will continue to post news as we receive it. We are all praying for a speedy recovery--well before Christmas!
The update this morning is a request for prayers from across the country. Shelly's Uncle Butch was in a terrible accident yesterday afternoon. The accident occurred about 2:30 and Chris and Shelly didn't get word of it until about 8 last night. I don't think they know how the accident happened. When the accident occurred he was taken first to Barnes Hospital in St. Charles county. He was then transferred to Barnes in downtown St. Louis and put into an induced coma. He is there now in intensive care. He sustained broken facial bones and a broken vertebrae. I don't believe they know the extent of his injuries. Shelly and Butch are very close and Shelly's request today is that we all pray for Butch. I'll update the blog as I get more news.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I couldn't sleep this morning so thought I'd update the weekend's happenings that were more sensible than swimming in the Meramec. Scott and Mark, I'm glad Chris's brothers were smarter than that. I had called Chris Saturday afternoon and sorta thought I got the cold shoulder. Now I realize it was literally the cold shoulder.

Shirley got a new I-phone and Rose got a new wireless printer this weekend so they were engrossed in their new purchases for a while so I invited myself to Margaret and Norm's for fried chicken dinner on Sunday afternoon. Rose took me out there but was leaving for Chicago early yesterday morning and couldn't stay for supper because she had a lot to do to get ready. She stayed longer than she meant to anyway and missed a great meal. Sabrina was there for a while and we had a wonderful visit. There's a picture Rose is going to post of her when she has time. Sabrina has lost a lot of weight and is looking really good. Good old Goldman came out to get me. The fried chicken dinner was 'like momma used to make'. Margaret made all the trimmings to go with it. Though it wasn't kosher, Goldman did it justice. Norm set the table. He was cute about it but I don't think he gave anyone any extra utensils. Maybe he thought he was doing the dishes. Their grandaughter Erica, Randy and Lynn's daughter whose a student at Westminister, has a 4.0 GPA. Another set of proud grandparents.

Shirley thinks she can't walk or exercycle as far or as long as I can but I'm not sure about that. We dropped Rose at the airport yesterday morning and started shopping. We took a break long enough to come home and eat lunch and went back out again for several more hours and came home at dinner time. We found some real bargains and didn't get nearly done with what we intended to do so are trying to find another day - other than Saturday or Sunday - when we can hit the streets again. Chris and I are going to participate in a 5K race this Sunday for the opening of the new stretch of Hwy. 40/64 and this shoppinng is good training. Shirley claims she can't do the 5K but I believe she could. Just put an outlet mall at the end of it.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Sue sent an e-mail to Chris asking him about his triatholon on Saturday. This was his response to her inquiry:

"I suppose this all hearkens back to a rainy day in September.

I arose that day at around 430am in order to make it to the Lewis and Clark half marathon….I looked outside and noticed a torrential downpour, just as the weatherman had predicted…the remnants of Hurricane Ike. The thought occurred to me to slip back into my warm dry bed and snuggle up to me beautiful wife and pack tucker, oliver, and eli in and around me to ensure my comfort…..but, some of by best runs have been in the rain and runners aren’t woosies……so out the door I went. I got down to the amphitheatre (whatever they call it now… I still call it Riverport) and sat in traffic, in torrential downpours until 15 minutes after the race was supposed to start. I finally got parked, opened my car door and stepped into ankle deep water…..As I walked to the starting line, the rain needled my face and the water got deeper, at one point over my knees. When I made it to the Start line (they hadn’t started yet)…I checked my iphone….which I had placed in a plastic bag. It had some message about product being incompatible with this device do I want to go into airplane mode…I selected no…turned on some music and waited for the start of the race. Finally, 45 minutes after the scheduled start of the race, we take off. The water wasn’t so deep on the run, but that didn’t mean it still didn’t hurt when it was pelting my face….After 3 minutes my iphone starts cutting out and by mile 5 it doesn’t work anymore. At mile 8 we find out that they have shortened the race to 10 miles. After the race my phone still won’t work (the weather, by this time, has lightened considerably). I am on a bus back to Riverport and the bus radio announces that no buses in lot 2….the wakes the busses make are further flooding the cars in lot 2……am I in lot 2?

As I am waling back to my car, I realize that I am not in lot 2..whew, but I do have to walk through lot 2 to get to my car…..We are in thigh deep water at this time…and what happens when I get back to my car…..I hop in, towel off, start the car, only to realize that I have left my lights on. I live 15 minutes away, I will call Shelly and she will come and save me…..oh, but my phone doesn’t work. However, with the help of a towel and some prayer, I manage to dial out. On the third try, shelly can actually hear me, and she and all three dogs come and save me. By evening time, the iphone works like new.

Which leads us to this past weekend. John Machalek, a gent I work with at Bemes, Inc. had hit me up some time ago to pair with him in an adventure race at Castlewood Park on December 6. The race would combine elements of canoeing, hiking, biking, and orienteering. Certainly…sounds fun….But then stories of John, adventure racing and curious happenings started being leaked from my cohorts…..John’s wife Barb also works at Bemes, Inc. and she may have had the sharpest barbs of all. Then we found out that the race was the same day as the Christmas party….surely Barb would say that John couldn’t go. But a month before the race, John announced that we were signed up and ready to go. A week before the race Barb really starts warning me about all of the horrible things that were going to befall me.

Race day shows up and as I get up I notice that a dusting of snow has fallen overnight. I set out on my way and meet up with John before the race. We are immediately transported to a horse farm far away from Castlewood Park. One of the team members then has to run a mile to get supplemental maps and points to plot. I do the run, bring john the coordinates and the map, he maps them out, we run down to the river and hop in a canoe.

We glide through the first 3 miles and take out at Route 66 State Park for some orienteering…one problem, john lost his compass. That’s OK, we persevere, using the sun as our guide (and the trampled grass from those who went before us). WE collect our checkpoints and go on our way, but we get a different canoe….

We get back into the river, and after a half mile my feet start getting wet and it is then I realize that we have a leaker. It’s a slow leak, but a leak none the less….

We get our next check point along the river and John gets back in the boat. Water is ankle deep by this time. We get back in the current and one of us adjusts a bit and the canoe shakes like Califonia in an earthquake. “hey john, maybe we should pull over and dump the canoe”…”ahhh, we only have a mile”

Two minutes later, on a 30degree day, I am swimming, fully clothed, in the Meramac river.

My waterproof backpack…definitely waterproof….all of my clothes in it were bone dry. I changed clothes and was fine. Poor John had no dry clothes. My waterproof jacket, not waterproof, at least not from the inside out. My iphone…in the jacket. We got rescued and no one was permanently hurt. This made us the first one done with the race, just not the first ones finished.

After two days, the phone has resuscitated itself. I am now familiar with all of apples tricks to make certain that you don’t go swimming with your phone. I have in a dryer at work, hopefully it will start showing a charge and the mottled background becomes clear, but so far, so good."

After reading Chris' account, I ask WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THAT TO HIMSELF????

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Wanted to correct my spelling. It's Gonzaga University that Caitlin's been accepted to. I apologize for my spelling, Caitlin.
Wanted to get this on the blog this morning. Pete called with his weekly check in and Janet got on the line to tell me that Caitlin, their grandaughter, has been accepted to Gongaza University in Florence, Italy. She is going to study public relations. Rick and Nancy must be quite proud as I know Pete and Janet are. I'm not sure when she starts. Will get more details from Janet when she has more.

Joe, Donald, and Donald's grandson Joe spent Thursday in Marshfield and the surrounding area. It was strange. I got up thinking about Donald and when I got on the computer, Joe was already on and asked me if I'd heard from "Fat." I didn't know who he meant. He meant Donald aka "Fat the Pig", a name from when we were kids but Pete's grandkids have shortened it to just "Fat". Joe then told me all about their day looking at old places. Little Joe overheard Donald say he was going and talked his mom into letting him go with him . Needless to say, I haven't heard from him though I'd love to. I'd also love seeing Donald's grandkids.

Speaking of fat, I only weighed 114 this morning. Shirley buys lots of high fat foods for me and I eat all the butter Rose wants but still don't gain much. Thursday nights have sorta become night out for Chris and me and Goldman joined us this week. We went to Applebee's. Rose is going to Chicago Monday and Shirley and I are going to Christmas shop. More later.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Just a quick update this evening. Sam (that King boy) in Springfield had an emergency kidney stone removal on Nov. 15 at Cox South and is having the stent removed tomorrow. This is an outpatient procedure but Leslie says he's nervous about and not good with medicines - even aspirin - so we're praying for him. Sam, hope it's quick and painless. They had Thanksgiving with one of Sam's sister again. Chase stayed in New Jersey and Jeff stayed in Washington since the baby is due fairly soon. Chase will be home for Christmas.

Chris's little orange Del Sol had to go in the shop today. He said it ran fine once he got it running but he had to park it on a hill and pop the clutch to start it. He borrowed Rose's today so we're expecting him to return it this evening. Thenk goodness for Goldman. He runs a lot of errands for us and is a delightful personality.

Margaret and Norm are eating turkey soup from Thanksgiving leftovers they brought home from Sabrina's again tonight. I bet there weren't any leftover pies. She and Norm were going to put up their Christmas tree this evening but, after 25 years of us, decided it was time to replace it. She told me they put it in the trash and were going to spring for a new one in the morning.

I'm training for my Highway 40 walk on December 15. Rose and I walked 65 minutes yesterday and I rode 2 and half miles on the exercycle. I rode 5 hard miles on the exercycle today. It's rainy and chilly out today and supposed to be cold the rest of the week so I guess it will be the exercycle.

It's time for my boys - Chris and Goldman.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


HAPPY BELATED THANKSGIVING!!!! The Kansas and Washington/Oregon posts were great. We had a wonderful dinner here in St. Louis with lots to be thankful for. Scott, Sherry and Brayden came from Louisville. Brayden had a flu bug and we didn't know until the last minute that he would get to come but he did recover sufficiently to make the trip. We didn't get to have Jalen this year and really missed him. Mark Lary, Karen and Drew were here. We missed Katie and Austin but look forward to seeing them at Christmas. Chris and Shelly joined us, too. Chris ran in a 10K marathon that morning and Mark ran in a 5K that morning but they're both in pretty good shape and so were able to to eat and later play games with the rest of the group. The dinner was fabulous but Rose, Shirley and I are still eating leftovers!

Pete and Janet are in Quartzsite for the winter and spent Thanksgiving in Laughlin, NV. (I'm not sure if I spelled Laughlin right.) Joe and Mary were having dinner with Lydia and her parents and the rest of the kids. Sabrina hosted the Abbott clan at her house. She learned a lot from Margaret over the years about cooking for crowds. I haven't heard yet who made the pies. Christopher made the pumpkin pie for dinner here.

When I got up this morning there was snow on the ground - our first of the season. Scott and Brayden stayed here in St. Louis until the Blues hockey game yesterday was over. It was Scott's 42nd birthday and he, Brayden, Goldman, Chris Groves and brother Chris all went to the Blues game and then Scott left from there to go back to Louisville. By the way, the Blues lost. With the snow this morning, it's probably a good thing he left yesterday. We sure do miss Brayden though.

Rose has lots of pictures that she's going to post when she gets around to it. Keep up with the updates.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hello from Oregon and Washington! Today is the day before Thanksgiving and all of us are busy making preparations and/or traveling. Last year we all met at Mom's to spend our first Thanksgiving together without Dad. I remember it was such a beautiful day there - cold, but clear and gorgeous. Several of us - Steve, Glenn, Cyndi, Dave and I - went on a walk - which ended up lasting about 2 hours or so! We were almost home when someone's cell phone rang telling us to get our butts home for dinner! Honestly! We didn't even help get the dinner on! We were so caught up in talking and reminiscing about being children and riding the school bus and exchanging memories and funny stories we hadn't even noticed the time. Needless to say, we took dish duty. It's one of my best Thanksgiving memories. I will miss that this year. I hope someone will walk the "loop" for me!!

This year it seems people are meeting with family members in their respective neck-of-the-woods. Mom is hosting the Spokane families: Anna and Dan, Mike and Rose and their two boys and Steve and Glenn are making the trek from Portland the farm this morning. It is a beautiful fall day here so their drive through the Columbia River Gorge should be breathtaking! I hope the brilliantly colored leaves are still on the trees for them to enjoy as they travel through. I just talked to Steve and they were going to try to leave around 11:00 for the 6 hour drive "home" to the farm.

Mom and I were comparing Cranberry recipes. She and I have a subscription to the Cuisine At Home magazine and she was taking a page from there to make Cranberry-Apple Sauce. (I caught her at the grocery store looking for apple cider....) Here's the recipe in case anyone needs more ideas:

Cranberry-Apple Sauce
The sweet and tart tastes of apple shine in this sauce, which also showcases the bright flavor of cranberries.

Makes 2 cups; Total time; 25 minutes + chilling.

1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup sugar
1 Braeburn or Gala apple, peeled and grated
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
1 bag fresh or frozen cranberries (12 oz.)
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
Salt to taste

Boil cider, sugar apple, cinnamon, and cloves in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add cranberries and simmer 10-12 minutes, or until berries burst and sauce thickens. Stir in vinegar, season with salt, and chill at least 2 hours before serving. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead.)

Sounds yummy! I'm not a big cranberry lover, but those who are say that this kind of relish would be great with leftovers on a turkey sandwich the next day. I wonder if the salt takes out some of the tartness like salt on grapefruit does. I guess we'll find out.

I am heading up to the Langston's in Olympia, Washington this morning. Tammy and Dick are driving to California to keep their tradition with Dick's uncles in Pacific City(?). I was trying to get up to Olympia last night to spend time with Tammy before she had to head south, but I had soooo much to do at home I couldn't get away. Plan B was created, both through Tammy's resourceful thinking, good grace and flexibility. I will meet her for lunch today before she heads down to Portland and my house to meet Dick who is traveling from Yakima. They often meet here and leave a car at my house and drive down together, parting ways once again on their return to head back to their respective homes. So, I'll still get to see Tammy, but not while she's at my house, and I won't see Dick at all, (sigh!) . Have a good time, you two!

At the Langston's Cyndi and Dave are having a houseful! Besides me, they are having a couple of friends' families over for the Big Food Day. I will stay tonight and then head home on Thanksgiving night with a plate of leftovers for Monica. Monica (Peggy's youngest), is living/working in Portland, now and has to work on the holiday. (That's just not right!) We will all miss not having her bright smile and bubbly personality to keep us in good humor! Maybe next year....

Doug and Cecile will be with Cecile's family in the Seattle area. The good news about that is we get to have them for Christmas!!! Christmas will be at my house this year - everyone's welcome! The Christmas lights are already up on the house and the wreath on the door. Christmas is also Doug's birthday, so it will extra special for us to have him on that day!

Kaye and Mike Peterson will be joining their daughter-in-law's family in the Phoenix area. Their son Nate has a beautiful little family and it will be Ethan's 2nd Thanksgiving. Last year he wasn't quite two months old, so this year he might get his first taste of cranberries. Nate and Danielle - please take a picture of that one for me - I want to see that sweet little face all crunched up with a sour look!!!

I am most excited about heading out Friday to meet Tyson in Orlando!! Yippee!! I haven't seen him for a year and a half and it has to be done!! That is one reason I couldn't get the-heck-out-of-dodge last night to meet Tammy. I had to pack for Olympia and then pack to catch an early flight on Friday morning to Florida for 5 days. Good thing I hadn't put my summer clothes away yet. I packed shorts and sandals for a few days in the sunshine. Tyson is looking forward to introducing me to his girlfriend, Sarah. I guess I'll have to get used to the idea of sharing him.

Well, I need to sign off and jump in the little red car and zip off to Olympia. It's a two hour drive and with it being the busiest commuting day of the year, I'm sure it'll take at least that amount of time. I wish you could all be with us as we spend time enjoying the holiday together. Wherever you are whomever you get to spend it with - Enjoy!!

Happy Big Food Day and don't forget to give Thanks!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hi from Kansas! It's been awhile since we've posted anything but have lots of updates!

Our most exciting news of all is that Ellie is going to be a big sister! She really wants a little sister but Daddy is hoping very strongly for a little brother! I asked her the other day if she was going to be able to share her toys with her new sibling and she said "Um, probably not!".

We took Ellie to see Santa today and she did great - she had to sit on Mrs. Clause's lap though b/c she was less intimidating and would sing to her! Before that, we had a birthday party to go to for one of her friends. It was one of those jumping places and then had cake afterwards. When the little girl picked up our gift to open it, Ellie told her it was barbies before she even had a chance to unwrap it!

Yes, she was Tinkerbell for Halloween and had such a good time - we did a hayride with some of her cousins on John's side of the family. It was not near as convenient and fun as trick or treating in U City in Aunt Rose's neighborhood though!

Tricia is still living with us and we enjoy having her. John misses her when she is gone to Walter's b/c our kitchen is just not quite as clean and tidy as when she is around! Ellie likes her here too and always tries to wake her up in the morning when it's Tricia's day off from work. She is now working at KU Med and will start applying for nursing schools soon. Walter is going to try to find a job in KC after the holidays - I'm sure we won't ever see her anymore if that happens!

Cathey emailed and said that Grandma Felin is back living at her home again and feeling much better. They have adjusted some of her medication and they are hopeful that this is helping her. We are headed back to St. John this Saturday for dinner at Debbie's. We can't wait to see everyone as it has been since August at Ryan's birthday party since we've visited with Dad's side of the family.

I'm getting ready for Black Friday - It should be a bunch of organized chaos once all of us hit the streets. We will not be standing in line all night like Chris and Shelley though. Our first stop will be at 5am at either Toys R Us or Walmart. Last year, John fought through the crowd at Nebraska Furniture Mart to get us a Dyson for super cheap - we absolutely love it.

I almost forgot about our celebrity sighting!!! While one our way to the KSU game, we stopped at a beverage store to pick up some necessities (for john) and on my way out, found myself speechless as our KSU former Head Coach Bill Snyder was getting gas at the pumps next door! (I know all you Missouri fans don't care but he is a Legend around here). Before I could get a word out, John was telling me that we needed to go meet him so we did and got our picture taken with him. Such a nice guy and was so happy to make us so happy! And to think that I almost offered my ticket to our 6 yr. old nephew since I didn't quite feel well the night before!

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone! Enjoy these few pictures....

Friday, November 21, 2008

Kay sent an update that Mike's surgery has been postponed. He went in to surgery today and they had a problem with his breathing tube so they had to cancel and reschedule. He is home and resting and doesn't yet know when the date for the surgery has now been rescheduled. Keep us informed.

Thanksgiving is coming up this Thursday and we're being very thankful this year. We're having the same group for dinner as last year. Michael and Leslie aren't going to eat with us but are coming by to visit. That's Shirley's nephew and his wife. Again we'll miss Kate and Austin. They're going to spend the day in Kansas with Austin's family. We'll also miss Jalen. He's staying in Louisville with his mother.

I talked with Margaret this afternoon and she said Sabrina is again cooking for the Abbott clan. I think Jana told me that Debbie is cooking turkey for the Kansas side but what we need here in St. Louis is some updates!! Jana and John had promised to update but that was two weeks ago. Betty is living with Debbie and Joe now. Ellie was Tinkerbell for Halloween. We need updates with more of a time line!

I looked at last year's entry for Thanksgiving and had heard from most of you. Let's do it again this year!!!
I have some great news from Springfield to post today. Joe sent this to me and I wanted to share it around the country. His grandaughter Lydia attended the National Scholastic Press Association and Journalism Education Association's annual national convention and contest this past weekend. It was held in St. Louis. Over 5,000 students from 48 states and London competed with 381 schools entering Best of Show competitions in 3 categories. Lydia's school, Central High in Springfield, was named #1 in the nation winning the overall Best in Show Award!! Her school also brought home 20 individual awards, more than any other student journalism competition. One of those was Lydia Berns. She won third IN THE NATION in Broadcast Commercial!!!! Many Congratulations, Lydia.

On another note, I had an email this morning from Kay (or KayKay as we used to call her) that Mike is having surgery this morning to repair a pinched nerve and herniated disc in his neck and fusion in his neck. The surgery was scheduled for 8:30 A.M. was to last 2 to 4 hours. Let's all keep Mike in our prayers today. We need someone to update the blog to let us know how quickly Mike recovers after the surgery. You're in our prayers, Mike.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I've been waiting for one of the other contributors to update the blog with no luck. My computer has also been on the blink some and Christopher is supposed to come by and fix it sometime this week. I hope I don't do a lot of typing and then lose it all.

Goldman and I went down to the lakehouse weekend before last. Maddog got there before us and turned the heat up because it was cold. I talked to Pete and I think Missouri was colder than Idaho that weekend. The guys made stirfry for dinner that Saturday and we tried to get Joe to join us but he was reluctant to drive because of his medication. I talked to John and Jana during the Missouri-K. State game and, although it wasn't an upset, John was disappointed. He was still hoping K. State would win. We need more news from Kansas posted here on the blog.

Rose and Shirley were in Chicago last weekend so Goldman dropped me off at Chris and Shelly's on the way back from the lake and the three of us went out to dinner. Chris then spent the night here with me. Shirley got home on Monday and Rose on Tuesday.

Shelly had a gym teacher convention of sorts back down at the lake this past weekend. She and some other women went down Thursday and Chris joined them Saturday morning and they all came home yesterday. It was just too cold. I didn't want to go with them. We got the boat winterized the previous weekend.

When Brayden looked at the pictures from the race posted on the blog he immediately called me and asked if I really got a medal. What I didn't tell him was that everyone who completed the 5K got a medal in no matter which order they completed it in. Joe looked at the picture of me laying on the sofa and wanted to know if I had had a 'chicken stroke' after the race. That was something he teased me about when I was a kid and Joe never forgets things. I've been doing 5 hard miles on the exercycle almost everyday since the race. Brayden has promised to exercise with me when they're here for Thanksgiving. I hope it's warm enough to walk.

Thanksgiving is next week and we're cooking the turkey here. I may go home with Scott after that for a few days. I love being with him and the boys. I see my healing touch person on Thursdays and I'm thinking about joining a yoga class. I could make my visit around these.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

In my last post, I meant we cast our votes for OBAMA and assume everyone else did too.

Still waiting for more updates!!!!!
ELECTION DAY and Rose, Shirley and I voted this morning. We had to wait in line over an hour but then we cast our votes for Osama. Scott and Chris wouldn't tell me who they were voting for so I sure hope it's not someone they're ashamed of admitting to favoring.

Last Sunday was my big race day. I participated in a 5K race sponsored by the St. Louis Track Club. Notice I said 'participated in' - not 'ran in'. Chris accompanied me on the 5K trip which was a long 3.1 miles. It was held here in University City and Clayton and it truly seemed all uphill. Rose rode over on her bicycle and took movies with her camera but accidentally left the cover on the lens. She did take some still shots which she'll post.

They put this chip on your shoe to measure your time. Chris finished one or steps behind me just so I wouldn't be the last one in. At that point I didn't care. We had driven Goldman's car over there and weren't sure we hadn't parked it in a no parking spot. I told Chris if it was gone I'd just lay on the parking lot while he found us a ride. When we got home, I did lay down and rested for several hours. This time change has me messed up anyway.

Chris says the next race is in February and is 5 miles. As soon as I recuperate from this one I'll start training for the next one. I sure hope it's not another uphill race.

I was talking to Brayden on the phone Sunday afternoon and told him I'd been in a race that morning. He flat out didn't believe me. After Scott confirmed the fact I had been in one he said to me "I guess you came in last." I told him "No, Uncle Ding came in last. Results will be posted on" I don't know if he's looked them up yet. In truth, I'm just glad I was able to finish.

Margaret and Norman voted early this morning and said there was no wait for them. Margaret must be feeling pretty good. She was cleaning her refrigerator when I talked to her. Rose and Shirley both have clients this afternoon. Rose's new office is almost finished. Dave Smith has some painting to do and Doug has some glass shelves to hang and that should be it.

Weather has been beautiful the past few days but it's supposed to cool off for the weekend. Rose and Shirley are going to Chicago and Goldman and I are going bto the lake. Maddog may have to go over and turn the heat on for us before we arrive Friday evening.

Friday, October 31, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NORMAN AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL!!!! We're all set for trick or treaters. Shirley has several bowls full of candy if they last till dark tonight.

I had a longer post on my last entry but somehow erased it, much to my dismay, and it was past my bedtime so I didn't completely finish my entry.

Brother Joe had some out patient repair on Monday on his open heart surgery incision. He had what they call an incision hernia. He had noticed the incision bulging ever so slightly and reported it to the rehab nurses which set up a new round of doctor visits. They said it wasn't serious but keep watching it. It kept getting larger and during his Oct. visit to the family practitioner (who's from Idaho) that doctor decided to send him to another doctor - the one who did his spleen operation in 2003. Monday was the day for the surgery and the hole was larger than the doctor expected but Joe now has it meshed and he's back on more pills for a few days and no driving for a few days.

Scott and the boys just returned from four days at Panama City Beach. They had invited me to go with them but it was a long ride for such a short stay and it was a weekend when I had lots of other things to do insyead of a quiet do-nothing weekend. I hope the boys missed me but I doubt it. They skipped two days of school but the principal said if they made a journal of their trip and turned it in they wouldn't be counted as absent. They jumped on that opportunity or should I say, Scott jumped at that opportunity. They didn't care if they were counted absent.

Chase Heilman (Leslie's son) is on the last voyage of the QE2. He's making a documentary of the voyage and already has lots of interest in people who are on the ship. His address again is The

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I've got lots of happenings since my last post and probably won't get all caught up tonight but I'l start. First I had this passed on to me from Joe who claimed it came from a wise old Indian Chief when he was asked his take on Daylight Savings Time: "Only the Whie Man is dumb enough to believe a person can make his blanket longer by cutting a strip off thevtop of the blanket and re-sewing it back on the bottom of the blanket." It is food for thought.

Last Saturday I went to Herculaneum with Sabrina and Dave to watch Brett, their youngest, in a cross country race. Brett placed second out of about at least 150 other boys. There were several other schools in the race and Brett's school placed first in the competition. Brett had a friend who was spending the night because his parents were out of town. I asked the boy where his parents were and he said his mother was a Spanish teacher and they were at the Lodge of Four Seasons for some teacher to get an award. I, of course, told him that teacher was my niece. Congratulaions again, Lisa and Brett!!!

Saturday night Sabrina and I met Mike and Sarah Madden in Hermann, MO. Neither Sabrina nor I had met Sarah and were immediately taken with her. I'm eager for her to come meet the rest of the family. Mike says Sabrina is just as delightful as she was as a kid. I'll certainly agree with that. Mike took us to a place he called 'out in the sticks' and it was but looks were deceiving. The place was elegant and the meal was superb. We finished the evening with Sabrina and Sarah playing some game in a bar in uptown (or downtown, I'm not sure) Hermann and Mike and I caught up on old times. As they say down home, 'a good time was had by all'.

I've got more catching up to do but it's bedtime. More tomorrow. NEED UPDATES.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pete and Janet sent this photo of their granddaughter Caitlin picking beans in their garden. She is wearing gloves because she is afraid of grasshoppers. Caitlin is a second year student at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA.

Joe and Mary's daughter Lisa was named Missouri Foreign Language Teacher of the year. The whole family traveled to the Lodge of the Four Seasons at the Lake of the Ozarks yesterday for the presentation of the award. Congratulations, Lisa!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

First let me extend a further invitation to meet Mike Madden and family at the Oktoberfest in Hermann, MO this Saturday for dinner. Right now it's Sabrina and me that will be there but we're hoping more word gets around and more people will join us. We're meeting at around 5 at the Wine Valley Inn which is at 4th street right after you cross the bridge into Hermann if you're coming down from I 70.

Mike says there is a restaurant in an old funeral home near downtown that's kind of fun. One time the owner let them go down in the embalming room to play pool. There's also a really cool restaurant outside of town in the sticks that Mike likes. My cell phone number is 314-452-3685. Hope lots of you can come.

Rose and Shirley can't make it. They have an out-of-town guest for the weekend and a workshop they're attending that has been scheduled for some time. Margaret and Norman are closing their camper in the Valley - a very sad time for Margaret especially. She truly loves going there. Joe and family are going to Lodge of Four Seasons for Lisa to be presented some Missouri teacher's award. He wasn't sure exactly what the award is but promised to elaborate when he learns more. We'll be waiting to learn more about what the award is, Joe. I am hoping some of his family will stay at the lake house. It's all clean and ready and just waiting for someone.

Scott and the boys are going to Florida for 4 days, leaving tomorrow afternoon. They invited me to go with them but since I was just there in Louisville last weekend and they would be in Florida for a short time and I had so many things to do
this weekend, I decided to wait and spend a week in Louisville next month. I went this weekend with Chris and Shelly so they could participate in the Louisville Marathon. Shelly did the Half Marathon and Chris did the whole race. After it was over, Chris and I were standing outside and Shelly had gone to get the car. I asked him if he was cold. He said he was too sore to tell. He was going home and crawl upstairs and go to bed.

I've been 'in training' for my race on Nov. 2. I did 3 hard miles on the exercycle yesterday and walked for an hour. Today I've done 4 hard miles on the exercycle and I'm not sure about how long I'll walk today. Brayden thought I was going to do the Marathon when I told him I was going to do a race and he was going to do it with me. Jalen, on the other hand said "Granny, I don't care what you do. I'm not doing it with you." Sounded just like Scott.

Sabrina and Dave's son, Brett, is in a meet Saturday morning and I'm going to go with them to watch. It's in Herculaneum and, though Sabrina didn't know where that was yesterday, I'm sure she will by Saturday morning. After Hermann Saturday night I'm going to spend the night with them. Dave isn't going to Hermann with us because the boys are having a friend over whose parents are going to be out of town and the boys don't want to go to Oktoberfest.

Tomorrow is AUNT ROSE'S BIRTHDAY. I won't say which one but someone called here last night doing a political survey and all three of us were too old to participate!!!

It's gotten chilly here and we've reluctantly had to turn on the heat this morning. Last night we had to go out in the garage to get warm.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rose finally got the pictures of our track star posted. He has come in first place in the last two meets and the next one is on the 25th in Herculaneum and I plan on going with Sabrina and Dave to watch him win again. He is only in eighth grade but the running coach has already approached about being on the team next year.

Christopher is running in a marathon in Louisville on Sunday and Shelly is running in a half marathon. Chris explained to me the difference in some of this racing. Guys like Brett are running to win while guys like Chris are just trying to finish. I'm in Chris's category. Chris walked with me 2.5 miles on the Katy Trail last night and the last half mile was pure torture. It was pitch dark. We could hear noises in the bushes. I was holding on to Chris's arm and he said I was pushing him in the ditch occasionally. I'm going to sign up for a race of 3.1 miles on Nov. 2 and have lots of training to do. I'm also going to make sure it's in broad daylight.

I had a nice email from that King girl in Springfield. Her son Chase left for London this week and here's his blog address. I especially love the sailboat picture. He may be a famous photographer someday. Jeff is probably going to be deployed to Iran or Afghanistan in the spring. This will be his 3rd trip over there.

Chris took me to Steak n Shake last night after our walk and when he ordered a portabela mushroom burger I had to call Goldman to see if he thought this was Iron Man food. Chris immediately told us this burger was for Shelly abd not for him. He insisted I watch when we got to their house that he didn't eat it.

We need UPDATES from our other contributors!!!!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

We've got some new pictures but Rose isn't back from Chicago until later today so she will post them when she gets back. Shirley got back yesterday and is very sick this morning. She said she did sleep in between coughing but is canceling her client sessions today. Goldman and I picked her up at the airport yesterday afternoon and then he and I went to Ozzie's for dinner. Shirley was sick but worrying about my dinner.

Pete called Saturday morning with his weekly report. We got cut off when my cell phone quit working as Goldman and I pulled into the overhang at the bank. We had just dropped Rose off at the airport for her trip to Chicago. Margaret is back to baking pies which I'm sure Norm is happy about. She told me that Sabrina took what was left of one she made last week so she had made Norm another one yesterday. We could help him with that one.

Donald called yesterday. They're headed to Missouri next week for Grandparent's Day. They had just returned from Florida and a few days at the beach. Scott and Sherry were in Florida and had told me the weather wasn't so nice. Donald said he guessed it didn't matter. The shopping malls were open.

Chris and I walked 2 miles on the Katy Trail last Thursday. Shelly and the dogs joined us for part of the way but she took the dogs home before we made the two miles. Chris has come up with idea that I should get in a race. The only slow race that I ever knew of was when Scott and Chris were little and I'd tell them to do something and they'd have a 'slow race'. It would infuriate me. I just talked to Scott and he was all for my doing it. He and the boys had done one for a mile a few weeks ago. It was for a fitness thing for school. He and Chris both pointed out to me it's not really a race. People do it just to see if they can finish. Chris is running in a marathon this weekend in Louisville. He's thinking about joining a gym to train swimming. He says if you bike or run you can stop and rest but if you're swimming and get tired, you drown. He's says he's not ready for the Iron Man.

Suzanne had a baby shower for Angie Slayton on Saturday and Goldman took me over there. I got to see some people I hadn't seen in a while and had some great food. I'm sorta bossy so Suzanne kept reminding that this was her house - not mine! I spent the night and at 6:03 A.M. one of the cats jumped in bed with me. Rose's question: "Did it live?" Goldman brought me home and we drove by the old Glenlea house. It looks like an old neighborhood. The trees are huge and the zoysia grass is beautiful. Wait til it turns brown and the huge tree starts dropping leaves and sweet gum balls. It won't look so good.

Chris came over Sunday night to spend the night. Shelly didn't feel good so didn't want to have dinner out with us. Chris was adamant about eating at the Cheesecake Factory. First they seated us outside at a dirty table and then made us get up and move. We told them we didn't mind the dirty table but they did. The inside was full so we had to wait. Chris wanted to eat there because he wanted an eggplant sandwich. I had never heard of an 'eggplant sandwich'. I'm sure he never had one when he was growing up and it doesn't sound like Iron Man food. He did eat it all. I had crabcakes.

Goldman and Doug play hockey on Sunday nights. When Doug gets home he puts his gear - all zipped up in a huge bag - in the garage. Suzanne says he doesn't even bother sometimes to takes his jersey out of the bag. Goldman says sitting by him on the bench about makes him puke. This week while I was there he took all this stuff out of the bag and aired it out. He even washed his jersey. There's lots of protective equipment that a hockey player wears and as it was airing out on the deck outside Suzanne sprayed it was some stuff that I think is for diaper pails. Doug came back from the store, came out on the deck, and had a fit. "I'm not going to hockey smelling like a baby's butt!" These were not exactly his words! Goldman did say he did smell much better and their team won the game and Goldman scored three goals.

Mike Madden and family are going to be in Herman, MO on for Oktoberfest on the 25th and the and the current plan is for some of us to meet him for dinner on the evening of the 25th. Sabrina and Dave and I are planning on going and I'm not sure who else. Sabrina wasn't sure about her boys. Margaret wanted to know when it was so I'm hoping she and Norm can make it.

We need some updates from our contributors!!!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

One night last week brother Joe had pizza at Pizza Inn in Springfield. I'm not sure but I bet the rest of his family joined him. Part of the proceeds from the evening's sales went to his grandaughter Lydia's cheerleading team. The cheerleading team is striving to earn enough money to go to Orlando, Fl., for the Capitol Football Game. They will perform either at half time or in the parade, I'm not sure. Joe says they are well on the way to their goal. Joe, I may have my facts confused so check it out with Lydia and we'd love to have a picture of Lydia to post on the blog.

Back to the weekend. On Saturday Rose and the boys and I had lunch at Macaroni Bar and Grill which is one of their favorite places and then met Suzanne and Josie and Lucas at a place called Skyzone. Jalen had looked it up on line and there's only two of them in the world. One's here in St. Louis and the other is in California. They were doing a land office business. Sabrina had told me about it so I was prepared for this gigantic room with huge trampolines and all the kids did was jump, jump, jump. There were grown people jumping around on them too but Rose and Suzanne and I just watched. Their time was limited to an hour and all of them were dripping with sweat at the end of the hour. We let them play at Lucas and Josie's after Skyzone and were very unpopular with all the boys when it was time to leave. Brayden and Jalen wouldn't speak to us all the way home. Brayden said, when he was finally speaking, that playing at their house was more fun than Skyzone.

This is a Chicago weekend for Rose and Shirley. Shirley leaves Thursday and Rose leaves on Saturday. Scott enjoyed teasing Shirley about the Cubs loosing out on their chance for winning the World Series when he picked the boys up on Sunday. She is a loyal Cubs fan.

Brayden didn't feel well Saturday evening and again Sunday. We gave him some liquid baby aspirin and it would perk him up for a while. Scott said he was a bit lethargic Sunday evening but fine yesterday and today. I remember Mother shaking her head and saying to me "I don't know how I raised 8 kids without a pediatrician." I figured with Brayden it would go away pretty quickly. Again yesterday and today there was no school. That used to always make Chris feel better no matter what was wrong with him.
I may just get started and have to finish later but I do have some updates. Margaret and Norm got back from N. Carolina late Sunday night. She said they were going to stop about 4 hours away but were eager to get home so just came on in.

Yesterday was Randy's birthday. Happy belated birthday, Randy. I haven't heard how Catrina did on the Lupus walk on Sunday. We need an update, Catrina.

This was a big weekend at the lake house. There were 14 guys there at one time. It wasn't to be a work weekend but Doug had some things that needed doing and couldn't have a good time until they were done. A new screen door upstairs and a new lock and door knob for the shed were the two chores I knew about but Doug can't have a good time if he sees something that needs doing right away. He told me the screen needed replacing since air conditioning weather was over.

I'll let one of the guys name the fellows that were there but I bet the old fisherman who wondered how many kids I have is really puzzled now. Scott told us a dream one of the guys (Groves) had while they were there. In the dream I was up by the pool and some guy decked me so then I beat the crap out of the guy. The little boys - and probably the big ones too - loved the dream.

Another of Doug's chores was catching and then frying the fish for the fish fry. He had caught most of them and put them in the freezer. A staple they usually have is fried potatoes but I can't imagine frying potatoes for fourteen guys. I haven't if they had fried potatoes or who peeled and fried them. They consider that their vegetable.

I hope they took some pictures. An update with names, pictures, and any corrections on my entry is looked forward to. There was a poker game that lasted off and on for the three day weekend and I heard that Scott was the big winner and Goldman did not fare well but didn't get any other details and got no monetary amounts or names of any other winners or losers.

Scott dropped the boys off with us Thursday evening. By the way, they didn't play hooky on Friday. There was no school on Friday. Rose took them to the indoor pool on Friday. She forgot something in the car and sent Jalen back to get it. When Jalen came back, some man followed him and complimented Rose on what a polite young man Jalen was. Needless to say, Aunt Rose was quite the proud Auntie and was almost still grinning by the time they got home.

Lots more to update but it's lunchtime.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Emma Frances Abbott Southard

SOUTHARD YADKINVILLE - Mrs. Emma Frances Abbott Southard, 84, passed away peacefully Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home. Emma was born in Stokes County on October 14, 1923 the daughter of the late Walter and Elizabeth Stephens Abbott Sr. She worked 40 years for Szabo' s Food Service in the RJR Building. Emma was a member of Woodland Baptist Church and a member of Faithful Followers Sunday School Class. In addition to her parents, Emma was preceded in death by her husband, John Click Southard; two brothers, Harvey and Dewey Abbott; and a sister, Lottie King. Surviving are one daughter and son-in-law, Loretta and Jim Whisenhunt of Yadkinville; one son and daughter-in-law, Bobby and Peggy Recard of Winston-Salem; one granddaughter, Robin Wooten of Yadkinville; one step-granddaughter, LeeAnn and Brannon Raines of Harrisburg; and one step-granddaughter, Andersen Raines. Also surviving are three brothers: Richard Abbott and wife, Ruby of Clemmons; Norman Abbott and wife, Margaret of St. Peters, MO ; and Walter Abbott and wife, Judy of Waynesboro, VA; one sister, Doris Goins of East Bend; also, several nieces, nephews and cousins whom she loved dearly. A Funeral Service will be conducted 2:00 p.m. Friday, October 3 at Woodland Baptist Church with the Rev. Tim Gammons, the Rev. Zeno Groce, and Jimmy Crawford officiating. Burial will follow at Gardens of Memory in Walkertown. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. this evening at the church. Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to Hospice & Palliative Care Center, 101 Hospice Lane, Winston-Salem, NC 27103 or to Woodland Baptist Church Building Fund 3665 Patterson Avenue, Winston Salem, NC 27105. The family would like to extend a special thanks to all the friends and church family for the cards and visits, and to Hospice for the wonderful care given to Emma. Also, a special thanks to Emma' s dear friend, Pearl Whisenhunt for her love and support.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Margaret and Norm left yesterday to go back to N. Carolina and got the word early this morning that Emma had died about 3:30 a.m. Sabrina emailed me but didn't know any of the arrangements yet. Margaret and Norm had stopped for the night so weren't there yet when they got the call.

Shirley went grocery shopping this morning to get ready for our having Jalen and Brayden this weekend. Scott is dropping them off here on his way to the lake. It's guys' weekend at the lakehouse and the old guys are going to eat, play cards, fish, cook, and I think some of them are going to golf. Scott is letting the boys play hooky on Friday. Is 'play hooky' still an expression? Brayden still doesn't like going to school so that makes the weekend even nicer.

We have plans for the weekend. The boys are bringing their Guitar Hero and are going to do a concert for us. Mark and Karen got them the Guitar Hero for Christmas last year and they dearly love it. I was talking to Brayden on the phone the other night and told him that Karen got a Guitar Hero for her birthday. He said incredulously "Do you mean Aunt Karen?" I said "Yes, Aunt Karen." His next question "Does she know how to play any songs?" We'll have to have a joint concert sometime and Karen can show these youngsters up. When the boys were playing for me I asked if they knew any old songs. Jalen informed that these were old songs they were playing.

We have other things we're going to do but we're not sure when yet. They want to spend some time with Lucas and Josie and to take Lucas and Josie to Skyzone with us. Suzanne wants to go to Skyzone, too, though we thought she might just want some peace and quiet. We're glad she's going. She can show us around.

Will try to update a bit more before the boys get here. Meanwhile our other contributors are past due!

Hi All!

I apologize in advance for the "plug", advertisement, whatever you wish to call it.
I (Catrina) have decided to walk in this years Walk For Lupus on Sunday. There are over 1.5 million Americans diagnosed with Lupus; 30,000 in Missouri alone - one of them is a very dear family member. I have set a personal goal to raise funds for the Lupus Foundation of America, Missouri Chapter and need your help to reach my goal.

Lupus is a chronic, potentially life threatening autoimmune disease that can cause damage to virtually any organ in the body, especially the skin, joints, blood, and kidneys.

The Lupus Foundation of America is the nation's leading voluntary health organization that provides direct services to people with lupus; education to the public, to patients, and to healthcare providers; advocates on behalf of people with lupus; and funds research into the causes and cure for lupus.

If you would like to make a donation and support me in my efforts, follow the link below. I appreciate your help!!


Monday, September 29, 2008

Mike Madden sent me some photos he and his brother, Sean, took when they hiked Yosemite. Here are two photos. Mike says Sean is clinging to him for dear life in one of the photos - I think the second one but I couldn't find either of them in the picture. Rose recognized the areas - or claimed she did. She did say lots of the places looked alike. She and her group hiked during the day but made their way back to a very comfortable lodge and some fabulous meals in the evening. They weren't exactly roughing it!

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's been a while since my last post so I maY forget some things. I came back from Louisville just in time to miss what Ike did to it. The boys didn't have school for a week. Jalen didn't mind that at all. There are 15 Domino stores in Louisville and only 4 of them had power. I forget when Scott's electricity at home finally came back on. He worked 70 hours that week.

Doug and Suzanne went to the lake last weekend with the kids and another couple. Lucas finally likes riding in the boat. They caught 26 crappie and had great weather.

I stayed home. Rose gave a talk to he Jungian group on the principles of Jungian psychotherapy. It was well attended and well received. I was quite proud. That was last week on Friday night. Chris came and got me on Saturday evening and took me to their house for dinner. On Sunday Goldman and I went over to Alton and visited with Fat Jack. He is in an assisted living facility and has appointed himself entertainment director. He says he has to be there so is making the best of it.

Yesterday Karen picked me up and took me to see the Cardinals play Arizona. It was the first time I had been to the new stadium. Cards won 12-3.

Chris, Shelly, Goldman, and I went to Macaroni Grill for dinner last night. There was no occasion - we just went out to eat.

Margaret and Norm came back from North Carolina last week but it looks loke they're going to have to go again soon. They've moved Norm's sister, Emma, to a hospice there in North Carolina and I think she's suffering a lot.

I'll try to update more often and hope some of the other contributors do so too.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'll try to finish my post of yesterday. Goldman and I went to the lake Friday evening and Maddog was there. It was a quiet weekend. Pete called Saturday morning with his weekly report. He said he had contemplated driving back to Birmingham by himself towing something and the family was all upset cause he wouldn't have anyone to tell him what to do! The deal fell through much to the family's relief. Pete said Donald was in New York and was going to one of the last games at Shea Stadium. He was going to visit a friend in DC after that.

The power is still out in Louisville and no school again today. Those kids are going to hate when they have to make up these days. They're stay're staying with their great grandmother cause she has power. Brayden still does not like school.

Chris came over Sunday evening and brought pizza (not Domino's, Scott). Goldman spent the night here and Shelly brought lunch yesterday. Shirley got home yesterday and Rose will be home today at 1. Shirley and I will pick her up at the airport. I have an appointment with the GI doctor tomorrow and the healing touch therapist on Thursday. Rose and I both need haircuts and pedicures.

Sandi FeLLin left me a VM while I was in Louisville. She was on her was from Portland to Spokane to visit her mom and relatives there. I hope we get a great newsy update from her after her visit. I'll get Rose to post one about Yosemite when she gets home. We NEED updates. I'm sure people get bored reading about me. WRITE.

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's been a while since my last update and a lot has happened. I spent last wee in Louisville with Scott and the boys. Goldman drove me over weekend before last and he stayed the weekend but had to leave Sunday for school on Momday. We had a great week. The boys aren't crazy about eating out, especially if they have to dress up at all. We did go to a place called Gattiland one night which was a pizza buffet and a game room. Scott, Sherry, and the boys played games until I thought they might be closing the place - or should I say - I hoped they might be closing the place. The boys have a dog named Layla and a cat named Leo. You hardly know Layla is around. She stays under a bed while Leo likes the bathtub. Scott brought me halfway to St. Louis Thursday evening and Goldman met us to bring me the rest of the way.

I just talked to Scott. The power is out in a lot of Louisville, remnants of Ike. He doesn't have power at home and school has already been cancelled for today and tomorrow. There are 15 Domino stores in Louisville and only 4 of them have power. He worked until 3:30 thos morning and went back at 8:30. He said he only had cold water for a shower and that helped him wake up.

Margaret called me one morning last week. She and Norm were in Louisville, too! They were just passing through on their way to North Carolina. Norm's sister, Emma, has stomach cancer and is not doing very well. I haven't heard from them since so don't know how Emma is doing or when the Abbotts will be back.

Rose is in Chicago abd Shirley is on her way home from Chicago. Goldman and I are going to pick her up at the airport. Rose spent last week hiking Yosemite. More on that and a picture Mike Madden later.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Cathey, Tricia, Me, Joe, Debbie, Sabrina
Gary and Cristian playing Mexican Poker with John

Gary the Transformer!
Ryan with is new motorcycle
Ellie holding Carson - so proud of herself
Carson in his K-State apparel
Happy 3rd Birthday Ryan!
Ryan and Ellie

Greetings from Kansas. We had a great Labor Day in Salina - we celebrated Ryan Henderson's 3rd birthday and got to spend some good time with the rest of our Kansas relatives. You may notice from the pictures that K-State was playing that day so lots of us wore our purple to support the Cats and huddled around a small radio to listen to the game since it was not televised. Ryan and Ellie had lots of fun playing together - Ryan even managed to give Ellie a bad, swollen black and blue eye w/o even trying earlier in the week. I've also included some pictures of my newest nephew, Carson Taylor. Ryan is loving being a big brother and takes very good care of him. This coming weekend we are going to the state fair in Hutchinson. The kids should love it and I can't wait - I haven't been there for probably 8+ years. Aunt Rose - enjoy your time away.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday morning and I'm off to Louisville this afternoon with Goldman as soon as he gets out of school. Rose has been helping me pack so I'll be ready and waiting when he gets here. Brayden and Jalen are excited about our coming and so are me and Goldman about out going.

I had a newsy email from brother Joe this week. They had a much needed rain on the third and I think they've have had quite a bit since. August was the second driest month on record. The big three (Lisa, Beth and Lydia) had been to Kansas City recently to see an American Idol Concert and had stayed in Kansas City overnight.

David had gone to a car race in Kansas, must have been near Topeka. Mike Madden had been to a meeting at Big Cedar Lodge at Tablerock and Sean was supposed to meet him and bring his truck to pull the boat......he forgot. They went to races at Bolivar instead. Mike didn't tell me they were car races and I asked if they were horse races. He replied theat they were stock car races. The only thing horses do in Bolivar is pull farm implements.

Chris and Shelly and 'Shelly's clan' are going to the lake this weekend. The weather isn't supposed to be so hot as it has been but still very nice. I hope they have a good time.

I'm going to stay in Louisville until Thursday of next week. Then Scott will bring me half way back and Goldman will meet us. Goldman and I plan on going to the lake then on next week Friday after school and I hope some of my Kansas relatives join us for the weekend.

Rose leaves tomorrow for her hike in Yosemite. Mike Madden has hiked there several times and says it is awesome. Mike has a photo he took of Bridal Veil Falls he'll post when he gets his laptop fixed. I think this Falls is higher than Niagra Falls. Rose is taking her camera. She'll camp overnight with a group for a week and hike during the day. I hiked down the Grand Canyon once a long time ago and the best part of that hike was the helicopter that took us out.

Donald just called me. He and Vita are in Birmingham and have had no after effects from the storms down their way. They had been to Florida over the weekend and things were fine there, too, but they were keeping their eye on Ike. Donald's birthday is the 7th and he, Rose and I will be 63, 64 and 65 for a short while (until October 23).

The Abbotts had some bad news this week. Norm's sister, Emma, has terminal stomach cancer. The doctors have given her 3 to 6 months. Margaret and Norm are leaving in the morning to go down there. She lives near Winston-Salem, North Carolina, which isn't and hasn't been in any of the storm paths.

I saw Mary Lenihan yesterday. She's the healing touch therapist that I used to see. I'm going to have some more sessions with her and do some hand therapy also and she's going to teach me some other exercises I can do myself and we're going to do some more healing touch sessions.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Again I'm on Rose's computer but it's me updating. Chris has mine and will bring it back later this week. It was a marvelous weekend at the lake. Scott, Brayden and Jalen picked me up Thursday evening and we went on to the lake. Suzanne, Lukas, and Josie were not far ahead of us and we all drove through terrific rain and thunder storms. It stormed all night long but cleared up Friday morning. The lightning lit up the sky like fireworks and was much cheaper than buying fireworks.

Suzanne and I did the grocery shopping Friday morning and didn't leave the lake house again until yesterday. The kids played in the lake and Suzanne took them to the pool and they alternated pool, lake, and video games the whole weekend. I don't don't how many times they took their swimsuits off and then put them back on! Mike and Stacy Derrington and their two kids, Brighton and Riley, arrived that evening as did Doug, Goldman and Maddog. The weather stayed clear and nice throughout the weekend. I don't know where these kids get their energy because they didn't wind down until late any of the three nights and really didn't sleep very late in the mornings.

Doug did some fishing and I think he cleaned 2 messes of crappie. It might have been 3 messes. Brayden went fishing with him and caught one of the biggest crappie of the weekend. We'll post a picture of him and his fish when we get it. Doug rebolted the waverunner hoist. He dropped one of the bolts in the lake. Scott donned a mask, dived down to the bottom, and retrieved it!

Chris Groves arrived on Saturday afternoon with Omaha steaks for dinner. Maddog cooked them. We invited Teresa next door and Jamie and Mike from a few doors down to join us so we had a great crowd for dinner and a great dinner. I went to bed fairly early but I understand there was some dancing going on later in the evening. Teresa next door brought over some music that set Doug and Maddog's feet to moving. I don't know if they had partners or if they needed partners. They just felt like dancing.

Goldman did his back flip off the swimdock as did Jalen. Chris Groves rode the red round thing behind the boat with Jalen. The weight distribution wasn't exactly even. Not only would it not spin, Groves could barely hang on and fell (or got thrown) off several times. That was Saturday. Julie Nichols and her son John came over Sunday. Jalen, Brayden, and John rode the red thing and got it to spin, bounce and do just everything. The weight distribution was much more even which made it do what it was supposed to do. Those three boys would ride it as long as any one would pull them. Needless to say, the boat driver tired out first.

Rose and Shirley spent the weekend glued to the TV keeping track of Gustav. Shirley's sister and niece and great niece evacuated New Orleans but her brother who lives in the French Quarter stayed put. An email last night said he's fine.

I think I said something nice about the Cubs in one of my updates. Scott said I should print a retraction. Shirley says I can't. I'll leave it at that.

Rose has found a way to get around the high price of gasoline. She's been letting me buy the gas!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Hi Everyone - Aunt Sue asked us to post some recent pictures of Ellie. She is getting old enough now to experience lots of new things! These are pics of Worlds of Fun - we took John's niece and nephew with us. She really enjoyed Snoopy Camp and there were so many rides that she could go on. Ellie also had her first pedicure a few weeks back - she loved every minute of it and was so intrigued by everything the ladies did to our feet! We also included a picture of Ellie getting her face painted at her school carnival. We had them put a K-State PowerCat on her cheek, of course!!!!
This weekend, we are headed to Salina, Kansas for my nephew, Ryan's birthday party - he will be 3 years old and now has a new brother, Carson Taylor Henderson. He is only a few weeks old! I'll send pictures from the party - the rest of our Kansas relatives will bet there too.