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.