Thursday, April 30, 2009

I'm behind on posting and hope I can remember the past week. I had a great birthday on the 23rd. Mark Lary, Karen, Chris aka Ding, and Shelly took me to JJ's for dinner. I got lots of cards, letters, emails and phone calls, too numerous to mention. I don't feel 65.

Suzanne Hollensbe turned 40 this week. Mad Dog and I kept confusing the day but belated Happy Belated Birthday, Suzanne. You're not old!

Mad Dog took me down to the lake on Friday, and we had a beautiful day on Saturday. However, it rained and wasn't such great weather on Sunday Mad Dog did the grocery shopping, cooking, cleanup, and ran back and forth between checking on me and his dad. Aunt Rose met us in Kingdom City on Monday for the trip home. Mad Dog is one special young man!

Rose has an Apple computer lesson today at noon, and I'm going to the Galleria to the Starbucks store to wait for her. Somehow my West Coast relatives know that Starbucks is our latest addiction and sent me a gift certificate for Starbucks. I'm going to hang out there, have coffee and read my Kindle. Thanks, West Coast relatives! Chris and Shelly gave me a gift certificate for new books for my Kindle.

My yoga class was rained out yesterday. Rose, Karen and I were going to go to an outdoor class that Vicki is teaching. It's on Wednesdays, and we'll try again next Wednesday.

Our friend Mary Myers had a terrible attack of kidney stones. She was in horrible pain and went to the hospital. They sent her home and two hours later she went back and was admitted. She's home now with pain pills and they're just waiting for stones to pass. Mary, we're praying for you.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

When we lived in Marshfield in the 40's and 50's, there were two Black people in the town, Rosie and her son Del Massey. Rosie had been a slave. She and her son kept very much to themselves. I believe she cleaned houses and her son raised hunting dogs and did various jobs for people around town. They had no heirs and left their few acres to the town. These meager facts I am conjuring up from memory. Joe, via Pete and Janet, has sent a link to an article about the park:

Del Massey park given makeover for 50th
> To view the contents on, go to:

I haven't read the article yet, so my facts may be askew.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Stephanie sent this photograph of her husband Dan and their sons, Jacob and Nathan. Jacob just graduated with an AA in computer game design. Congratulations, Jacob!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Fwd: look alikes!

Hello, Dear Readers,

Jana sent this delightful, newsy e-mail to Sue.  Too good to keep to ourselves!

Begin forwarded message:

Date: April 23, 2009 2:19:57 PM CDT
Subject: Fwd: look alikes!

From: Jana Moore <>
Date: April 22, 2009 9:24:46 PM CDT
Subject: look alikes!

Aunt Sue,
I read the blog tonight and saw the picture of Donald.  I  had to email you and tell you how much he looks like Grandpa!  It is amazing to me how similar they look and I just stared at that picture for the longest time tonight.  I was thinking about Grandpa and Dad today as we are still trying to figure out baby names.  I'll probably never get to use any part of Dad's name b/c if we ever decide to have more kids and it is a boy, it has to be named after John.  Dad and Mom wanted to name me Joseph if I were a boy and I'm so glad that I wasn't!  I don't think that name is very becoming (don't tell Uncle Joe I said that though)!
Things are still moving along over here.  I had a doc. appointment today and they scheduled my c-section for May 6th now.  We have to be at the hospital at 5:30AM but the surgury isn't until 7:30AM - Of course I'll have John call you with the news of our nameless baby!  It's going to be a long day - especially since Ellie and I usually don't even get up in the morning until 8am!
I can't wait to bring Ellie to see you - you won't believe how much she has grown and all the things she says now. She really has a big imagination and she does not forget anything at all!  She takes such good care of her daddy too.  Whenever John is resting on the couch, she makes sure to put a blanket on him and pull her rocking chair right up next to him so she can pat his back.  It is so sweet!
Have a good weekend - we love you!  Jana

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This is a continuation of the last post. I accidentally logged off and didn't even proofread it so allow for any errors or omissions. I think Pete and I were at lunch with Donald and Vita when I ended the last post. Donald drove us there and back through Forest Park and at one point Vita asked him why were we going by the birdcage AGAIN. He told her that Pete was really wanting to see it and then explained to Pete that it was built for the 1904 World's Fair and told him some other facts about it. Pete told me later he'd never heard of the Birdcage but we sure both enjoyed the ride through the park and the company. We had a great visit but ate too much lunch.

Goldman came over after school on Monday so he could see Uncle Pete for a little while. Goldman has known our family since kindergarten and knows most of us. He then went to the airport to pick up Shirley. Pete and I went to JJ's in St. Charles to meet up some of the group for supper. Margaret drove herself in their modern and big truck. She said Norm wouldn't come so she just came without him. She looked very pretty all dressed up in blue. She says Sabrina picks out all her clothes. Chris says JJ's has great hamburgers, and they were very good. JJ's also had great bread pudding. Two servings was more than enough for the four of us. Rose and I have become connoisseurs of bread pudding, and I'm eager to go back for seconds.

Tuesday was Pete's last day here. If he had stayed a few more days, he would really have learned his way around. He and I went to the airport just as Rose's flight was arriving and met her and Donald and Vita at the Starbuck's in the airport. That's where the pictures in the previous post were taken. It was Rose's camera, so there isn't one of her. We all sat around and talked about the next generation and their offspring. We all agreed our visit just wasn't nearly long enough.

Had an email from Janet this morning thanking us for taking care of Pete. On the contrary, Janet, you have him well trained. He took very good care of me. I have a lot more things to tell on the blog, but it's my bedtime.

We need stories and happenings and pictures from family and friends all over the country. Send them to me and I'll blog them or be a contributor. Either would be great. Everyone loves updates.
Lots of happenings this past week. Joe, Pete and Donald were down deep sea fishing off the coast of Florida with some other fishing buddies and Pete and Joe actually brought back some fish! Pete left his here for us because he was afraid they would thaw before he got back to Idaho Falls and we're looking forward to cooking and eating them. I'll update that when we try them - the cooking part mostly. None of the three have cooked many deep sea fish.

We had arranged the dinner at Pio's for Sunday so Chris and I checked it out last Thursday. The neighborhood and the restaurant have both changed in the last 50 years. After dinner Chris and I cruised the neighborhood and I pointed out places where we used to live. Brother Joe used to say that when he came to see us after we had moved he just looked for a place with all the lights on.

Shirley had to go to Chicago and Rose had to go up there on Saturday. It was a prior commitment on Rose's part and she really hated to miss the weekend. Goldman and I took Rose to the airport and then Chris and Shelly came and the three of us went to dinner on Saturday night. I stayed by myself Saturday night and had no trouble managing.

Pete, Joe and Donald were all on the same flight from Birmingham on Sunday and Vita and her sister, Jenny, picked them up at the airport and brought them to our house and had time to visit a little while. Vita and Jenny look so much alike that I was hugging Jenny and at first thought I was hugging Vita. Someone had ask them the day before if they were twins so I wasn't the only one fooled for a minute. Needless to say, they're both very pretty.

Vita couldn't come to the Pio's dinner so the brothers and I headed to St. Charles to meet up with the rest of the attendees. We had an upstairs room at Pio's which was quiet and spacious. The service wasn't so good but the waitress tried hard. The attendees were: Norm, Margaret, Sabrina, Alex, Catrina, Sam, Lizzie, Randy, Lynn, Conner, Amanda, Chris, Shelly, Pete, Joe, Donald and myself. Randy 'returned thanks' as Grandad Madden used to say and did such a nice job of it. It made us all be truly thankful to be there and to have each other.

Pete spent Sunday night with me here and Joe headed back to Springfield. Donald and Vita picked us up and took us to an Italian restaurant - Amighetti's - down on the Hill which is the Italian section of St. Louis or Vita's section as she called it. it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Just a quick update because not a lot has happened since yesterday. I did 5 miles on the exercycle this morning and then had to take a nap this afternoon. Brother Joe was here for lunch on his way to Birmingham. He drove up from Springfield to catch a Southwest flight for the rest of his journey. Pete was arriving in Birmingham this evening too, and they are all going to see Wanda Jean (our cousin who lives in Gladsden, AL) tomorrow I guess fishing begins Thursday. Donald, Joe and Pete will all be on the same flight to St. Louis Sunday. Vita is going to be in town and will pick them up at the airport. Joe's van is here, and Vita will bring the brothers over here.

The dinner is Sunday at Pio's in St. Charles. It's at 403 First Capitol Drive which used to be Clay Street when we lived nearby 50 years ago. We haven't decided on a time yet but probably at 3:00. I just talked to Margaret, and she said all her offspring seemed interested. Chris and Shelly are coming, I think. Please email your RSVPs to or 314-452-3685 so we can make a reservation at Pio's. I spoke with Pio's and they need a headcount and reservation soon. I'm looking so forward to Sunday.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday morning after a nice weekend at the lake. Goldman and I drove there Friday afternoon. Mad Dog was already there. We had great weather on Saturday, and Mad Dog stained the balconies. They looked 100% better when he finished. Even though yesterday wasn't so good weatherwise, it's always a good day at the lake.

Vicki, my Yoga teacher, came over for a session Thursday morning. Mark Lary's wife, Karen, joined us. It was a really good session. I am doing things I never thought I would be able to do again. I have another session scheduled this week for Thursday. Brother Joe told me that since he just sees me occasionally he can really tell additional progress.

Speaking of Brother Joe, he will be here tomorrow to catch his flight to Birmingham for the brothers' annual deep sea fishing trip. He's coming early enough to have lunch with those of us who are available. Joe, get up early and get on the road. We'll have a good visit in the morning.

Jana, that was a great update. Hope you had a good Easter. Belated happy birthday to Ellie. Do let us know immediately when you 'drop that baby'.

Saturday was Shelly's birthday. She and Chris and I went out for dinner at Macaroni Grill last Thursday to celebrate the occasion. Rose couldn't join us because she had to work but, she enjoyed my leftover pork chop on Friday night. I'm not sure what Chris and Shelly did on Saturday for the actual occasion, but it would be hard to rival our evening because we had such a good time.

Margaret has started therapy for her ankle, and with just one session she already feels improvement. She says the therapy is not painful at all, and she will have three sessions a week. I talked to her this morning. She has another session this afternoon.

The brothers are returning from their fishing trip on Sunday, the 19th and we're all going to get together that afternoon or evening. Uncle Donald is coming to St. Louis with Uncle Pete and Uncle Joe, but Aunt Rose has to go to Chicago. It's something she has to do--much as she hates missing being here. We're meeting up at Pio's in St. Charles which is kinda part of our family history going back 50 years. We're hoping lots of the second - and third generation - can join us so is you would RSVP by email we'll make a reservation.

Uncle Joe has to go back to Springfield on Monday for a dinner that evening for Lisa's nomination for Springfield TOY (Teacher of the Year) award. This is in addition to her being TOY nominee for World Language--the big event coming up in San Diego later on in the year.

Friday, April 10, 2009

It has been awhile since we've posted anything so we thought we should send some updates. Ellie had her 3 year birthday party on March 28th. We had a lot of her friends and family come to Chuck E. Cheese to help celebrate with her. Joe, Debbie, Grandma, Cathey and Gary couldn't come though since the weather was so bad. Cathey said that they got 18 inches of snow that weekend and she couldn't even go to work on Monday! It was a very unexpected turn of events. Karen, Cristian, Ryan and Carson got here Thursday night and it was a good thing that they did. Tricia and Walter were here too and of course all of John's family were able to make it. Ellie is big into princesses, dress up clothes, Dora and anything else girly. She takes after her Aunt Tricia for that. We bought her a Rainbow swingset castle her birthday - she loves playing outside on it now that the weather is getting a bit better. We had a another little party with just us and Aunt Tricia on Monday, her actual birthday. Since she doesn't like cake, I got her a cookie cake from the mall and had them decorate it for her. She likes that much better!

Other than that, the big news is "when are we going to drop that baby?" - says Aunt Sue!!! John said you left him a funny message about Ellie's little sister! We are planning on the first week in May for the baby to be scheduled and Ellie is very excited. Of course, I don't think she realizes how much of her time is going to be consumed with the new baby. After about an hour or so of me around other babies, she is ready for me to just pay attention to her. She will be a big helper though as she takes VERY good care of all of her babies at home - she loves to feed, bathe, change their diapers and put them down for naps. Of course she sits right next to them while they are sleeping in case they start crying for their mother! We are planning to go to St. John to see everyone in June after the baby gets a little easier to take care of. Ellie is going to stay home with us June and July then got back to daycare in August when the baby can get enrolled. John is still working at Hallmark and really enjoying it - he has been there for over a year now. I'm still working out of St. Louis and my next trip into town won't be until the first week in August. Aunt Rose/Sue - I'll have to give you a more advance notice next time so we can get together. Of course, I'm hoping we'll see you at the lake before then. Ellie is really getting to where she LOVES the water!
This weekend, we have lots to do for the baby's arrival and then we are going to John's grandparent's house for Easter. Ellie is excited for the Easter Egg Hunt that they always do and of course there is always great food!

I'll have John post pictures of the new baby when she arrives - Happy Easter everyone!

Sue had her routine appointment with Glen Lopate, her neurologist, yesterday. He is the physician who admits her to Barnes Hospital periodically for immuno-globulin intravenous infusions for treating her neuropathy. He also checks her muscle strength at regular intervals to test how effective the IVIG infusions are. Yesterday he looked back over Sue's record and told us she has increased some muscle strength by as much as 30%, a wonderful result. For the first year Lopate took over Sue's care, he had her do IVIG every month. The second year he decreased it to every two months, and the third year, every four months. Now he is stretching the treatments to one every five months.

Sue's self report is that she is doing much better, has more strength, and can do more. All in all, it was a most encouraging examination and consult. It helps that Dr. Lopate is another gorgeous hunk, extremely caring and empathic.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Some new and not so new photos: Stephanie (at 50) with her son Jacob; Stephanie and Jacob; Leslie and Sam; Chris; Jalen and Brayden;
Wanted to wish Stephanie a Happy Fiftieth Birthday. The birthday is today though we celebrated it last Saturday. Catrina and Robbie hosted the party and the whole Abbott clan was there except for Sabrina and Dave and the boys who were at a basketball tournament and Erica who was away at school. Those kids have all grown up so and were wonderful to be around. Hope to see more of all of them in the near future.

Norman called me on Sunday just to see if I had a good time. Of course, Norman, I had a great time. You could call me more often too! I've not been feeling very well the last couple days but I'm good today. I've scheduled yoga for Thursday, and trying to get an acupuncture session and a healing touch session for the next couple days.

Leslie and Sam (King) came by last week on their way to New Jersey to see Chase. Rose has pictures to post of their visit and also of Saturday's party. She knows I refer to her dog as that "damned" dog and raises her eyebrows and looks at me when she mentions him. Uncle Joe has a "damned" dog, too. Chris and Shelly have three of them.

Joe and Pete leave for their fishing trip next Tuesday. They will come back here for a couple days on their return trip. Joe is driving up from Springfield and flying out of St. Louis. I think their return trip to St. Louis is on the 19th.

Shelly's birthday is the 11th. Happy Birthday! She and Chris and I plan to go out to dinner on Thursday to celebrate the occasion.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Joe forwarded this request from our cousin Sally Madden:

This is from Sally (nee) Madden. I don't know if this is one of ghe grandaughter's that she had with her when she came to Sue's cabin?

Bro Joe

In a message dated 4/1/2009 9:10:59 A.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:
As most of you know, I am a great believer in the power of prayer and at the moment I find our family in need of all we can get. My granddaughter is pregnant with her third child and they have found a problem. The umbilical cord has insufficient number of arteries and veins and there is a mass where the cord attaches to the belly, it may be intestines outside the body. It can be lifethreatening to the baby. They are sending her to a specialist, but please, help us and pray for this baby's healing and strength for the family. Also, my husband went for a catheterization of the vessels in his leg yesterday and nearly died. He lost two pints of blood in a matter of seconds but the nurse that was with him applied pressure and essentially saved his life. However, there is a complete blockage of the femoral artery and without further surgery he will lose his leg. They are giving him blood transfusions and preparing him for further surgery to try to open up this artery today, tomorrow or the next day, depending on all the tests. etc. He needs your prayers. He is in Galachia Heart Hospital, Wichita, Kansas, room 216. Thank you, my friends and family, Sally

A few weeks ago Brother Joe provided a photograph of Anderson School, the one-room, eight-grades school we attended near (actually not so near) the farm outside Marshfield. If you click on the photo, you will enlarge it. Perhaps some of you Dear Readers know the names associated with the faces. If so, please e-mail to tell us or add your comments to this post.

This is a photo Sue found. Mother is standing in her store on the Marshfield town square. We think the date of the photo would be around 1952. Mother would have been 46 years old or so.
I'll start a new entry though may not finish before I get interrupted. Last Saturday was Margaret's birthday. Happy belated birthday, Margaret.

Last week on Thursday evening Mark and Karen had Rose and me over for dinner. Shirley had clients and couldn't join us and she missed a wonderful evening. Drew was there and Ksren's daughter, Sally, came in while we were still there. Mark made steaks on the grill and Rose and I agreed they were maybe the best we had ever eaten. Rose says she could have kept eating but was embarassed to since everyone else had finished. Mark is building a chicken coop in his back yard! He plans on getting three chickens and having them lay all the eggs he and Karen will need and perhaps more than that. Pete, maybe you can advise him on raising chickens when you're here this month. Remember how Scott and Ding used to 'pick eggs' when they came to visit you and Janet.

We had Brayden and Jalen this weekend. Scott dropped them off Thursday night on his way to the lake. It was Goldman, Mad Dog, Doug, Dane, Ray, Groves and Scott for a guys' weekend at the lakehouse. They took some bedroom furniture down and burned an old chest of drawers that I bought cheap when I bought the place. They went over to Mad Dog's Dad's place and cut some wood. I think Doug had a new chainsaw he wanted to try out. I'm eager to get down there to see what else they accomplished. Doug turned forty on Friday. It was too cold to fish but I think "a good time was had by all".

Kelly started therapy after his rotater cuff surgery per Pete's weekly call. Shirley said this is a long recovery process and requires lots of therapy. Kelly, you have her sympathy.

Brayden and Jalen and I spent Friday night and Saturday with Suzanne and Lukas and Josie. The kids played so well together and weren't ready to come home when Aunt Rose picked us up. We went out to eat to compensate. They liked eating out but still had long faces. They're both really good on the guitar and drums on Rock Band and Brayden can read really well for a kindergartener. Scott says spelling secrets around him doesn't work too well anymore. They both start baseball practice this week.

Stephanie is going to be fifty on the 7th. Joe and I are not sure if time flies as you get older or if it just takes a person longer to do things! Happy Birthday, Stephanie.