Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve Day

Happy New Year Eve!  Let's look forward to 2013.  Rose, Shirley, and I still have Brayden though today we're sharing him with Chris and Shelly.  Chris came by early and took him to work with him.  I'm sure Chris wanted show him off and to show him where he works.   After they were finished at Uncle Chris's place of employment, they were meeting Aunt Shelly at the zoo which is her place of employment.  They were going on a tour and then having lunch at a Buffalo Wild Wings place.  Then he and Aunt Shelly are going ice skating.  We have to take Brayden halfway to Louisville tomorrow and are certainly going to miss having him.

We got a lot of us together for a family dinner last night at a place called The Brick House in Chesterfield.  We had a great group.  Attendees were:  Margaret, Sabrina, Dave, Alex, Chris, Shelly. Drew and Nancy his mother, Shirley, Rose. Brayden and myself.  We ate well and visited a lot and there were several TV's with volume turned down for those keeping track of the Rams football game.

Rose will post pictures later.

I'm not sure everyone knows Lydia is back from Jordan.  With all going on in that part of the world, we are happy to know she had a good experience anyway and is home safe.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

On the Road Again

I'm back from Louisville with Brayden after spending several days with Scott and the boys, including Christmas.  Beth flew back to Kansas City on Christmas Day to spend time with her family and then flew back to Louisville Saturday while Scott drove Brayden and me  half way to St. Louis and Goldman met us to take us to Rose and Shirley's where we get to keep him a few days.  Scott and Beth will spend New Year's in Nashville.  He's still in bed this morning and tends to sleep in.

Rose and Shirley had company from Indiana while I was gone who saw some bad weather coming so delayed their trip a day but I still missed them.  This was some of Shirley's relatives but I knew them.  I was riding in the car when Pete and Janet called and the call broke up.  I called back yesterday and Janet had had a good week and they had a good Christmas.  Merri's girls had helped with the dinner.  It was colder in Idaho than it was here.

I'll have more 'Family Gagette' to post tomorrow.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Scott, Sue, Mark Goldman



Mark Goldman, Sue, and Chris



Jalen, Sue, Drew, Brayden



Beth, Sue, Shelly, and Our Comedian



Beth, Sue, Shelly



Drew and Shelly






Beth, Chris, and Scott Preparing Christmas Brunch



Rose, with a very fitting T-Shirt Gift



Mark Goldman



Brayden, resting from playing football



Jalen and Brayden






Jalen on his 15th Birthday, December 23, 2012



Brayden and Scott



Brayden made this sign for Jalen's Birthday Celebration on Sunday



Jalen and Sue



Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Eve!  I'm in Louisville this morning and got up early even by Kentucky time.  We had Christmas in St. Louis yesterday and also celebrated Jalen's 15th birthday.  Those attending were Rose, Shirley, Chris, Shelly, Drew, Goldman, Scott, Beth, Brayden, myself, and the birthday honoree, Jalen.  We were so glad he could come.

After a lovely brunch and gift exchange, Scott, Beth, the boys and I made the long ride back to Louisville and dropped the boys off to celebrate Jalen's birthday with their mother.  We will have them back tonight.  Beth is flying back to Kansas City tomorrow to have Christmas with her family but will be back Friday, and she and Scott are going to Nashville.  Scott is not a big fan of country music but he has consented and agreed it might be fun.

Besides being a teacher Beth also has a catering company.  She's making dinner tonight.  She knows I like crab cakes and Scott and the boys don't.  They would rather have lasagna.  She says she will make both.  She may spend most of Christmas Eve Day in the kitchen.

Pete checked in with his Saturday call.  All the kids are coming for Christmas.  He hadn't talked to Brother Joe yet so figured he was still in bed or walking Pepper.

Friday, December 21, 2012

First Snow

We're impatiently waiting for Scott and Brayden and Beth.  Jalen may not come but we're hoping he does.  His birthday is Sunday.  Santa is coming here early because everyone has to get back home for Christmas Day.   They will arrive tonight because Brayden has a lesson at the Apple store in the morning.  Beth will be coming from Kansas City and Scott and Brayden will get here very late from Louisville.

It got really cold here and we had some snow yesterday.  Joe says they're not quite ready for Christmas but are waiting impatiently for Lydia to arrive from Jordan.  She will come all the from Amman, Jordan to Chicago in one flight and then from Chicago back to Springfield in the second flight.  I don't know when she resumes classes again but will get a few days off.

I'm still doing my exercises and Rose is practicing the guitar daily.  Shelly and I went to the Galleria and had lunch and went Christmas shopping on Tuesday.  I walked that day a total of 2.91 miles.  On Wednesday, Goldman and I had dinner at the Pasta House and I walked over 2 miles but no much as on Tuesday.  Today I'm again walking around the dining room table because it's too cold to walk outside.  There's even some snow that stuck.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas is Coming

I got back from a quiet weekend at the lake.  My new companion is a good cook and helpful attendant and also a gracious helper.  It was a bit chilly to sit outside bur not as cold as in Idaho.  Pete and Janet called Saturday morning with an update on their Christmas activities and their Christmas plans, among other other than things.   Rose and Shirley got Goldman to help them decorate the tree here at home while I was away.  It looks really good and I hope we have a picture to add for remembrances.

I got back Sunday and had a neurologist appointment on Monday.  This physician is a handsome fellow and I've been seeing him for several years.  The nurses do most of the work but I feel he takes most of the credit.  He left my medicine the same dosage, renewed my prescriptions, asked how I was doing, and visited.  He made me a new appointment for next March, but told me to come back sooner if need be and that concluded my visit.

Chris and I had dinner last night with Margaret and Sabrina and Dave at JJ's in St. Charles.  It's near a place that Mother and I used to live in St. Charles when we moved back from Spokane years ago.  Shelly was babysitting with her cousins' kids and couldn't come.   We were going to walk but I didn't feel like it so we're walking tomorrow.

Rose is still practicing the guitar and taking her guitar lessons.  I'm doing my exercises everyday striving to gain strength.  Chris will walk with me tomorrow after he gets off work since I do feel better than I felt yesterday.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Saturday Update

I'm sitting by my phones waiting for Pete's Saturday call though I know it's earlier in Idaho.  Peggy and I are here at the lake house and the temperature is supposed to get up to 61 today.  I believe it rained all night but Missouri needs rain.  I may not get to come back down here until next year but we're having our Christmas on the 22nd and then I'm going to Louisville with Scott on the 23rd.  When I come back Brayden is coming with me.  His Christmas break lasts un January 7.  Again, I don't know how he and I will get to St. Louis or how Brayden will get back to Louisville.  Rose tells me that I should just stop trying to organize things and leave it to the kids.  These 'kids' are now middle aged men.  Beth is coming for our Christmas on the 23rd and will also go to Louisville but I'm not sure about those plans.

Peggy is working out very well.  She's still sleeping this morning but had the coffee ready for me to start.  Shirley gets me cinnamon rolls at Whole Foods which Peggy sets out for me to eat if I'm hungry before she gets up.  I've talked to Rose this morning and Pete just called.  He and Janet had spent two hours shopping last Sunday.  Janet is now back to playing the piano.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Brayden, the Scholar

In Kentucky, when a child does well on the state tests for proficiency, someone  from the school district puts a sign in the parents' yard recognizing the achievement.  Brayden did well, and here he is with the sign:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Long Walk

Wanted to make a short insert that I walked 3.9 miles yesterday!  My daily exertions, time, distance, speed, activity level, are registered on my Fitbit.  This little device is truly a motivator and awfully good for my health.  This distance topped my previous long walk of 2.2 since I broke my ankle.  Toward the end of it, I was practically leaning on Chris but it was farther to go back than to reach the car.  My toothbrush had fallen out of my bag into Grove's trunk on the way back from the lake so Ding and I went by there and got it after we walked.  Then he took me to Steak and Shake for supper.

I got my hair cut yesterday afternoon.  The hairdresser is the one who introduced me to both Linda and Peggy.  Peggy's mother was there right before I was.  I asked Bobby, who washes hair, which one she was.  Bobby didn't know who I was talking about.  Peggy's mom left about then.  Stephanie, my hairdresser, walked by and Bobby flagged her down and when Stephanie saw me, she went running toward the exit to see if she could catch Peggy's mom.  She couldn't and was so apologetic for having forgotten.  Stephanie does great work and does hair for Shirley, Rose, Linda, Peggy, Peggy's  Mom. and me and sometimes we have to wait for appointments.

Peggy and I are going back down to the lake house on Friday afternoon.  I've given Brother Joe a rain check on coming to see me but may 'cash in' on it.

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Helper

It was nice hearing from other members of the Family Gazette.  Please keep the updates coming and the Gazette will keep informed and make it a true Family Gazette.  Pete called Saturday morning with his weekly call and he and Janet we going to go Christmas shopping that day.  Janet is a true miracle.
The other three blogs add more news to this one.

I just came back yesterday evening from a great weekend at the lake house with my new weekend helper.  Peggy is an autistic schoolteacher and can only be with me on some weekends.  She's a good cook and I hesitate to ask her to do anything because she just immediately does it.  We ate at Applebee's on the way down there - my fourth time this week.  Linda will be back  some after the first of the year.

Rose has a guitar lesson this afternoon so she's practicing diligently before the lesson.  We don't have our Christmas tree up yet but Goldman is going to assist us on the 16th.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Other News

Margaret called this evening to let us know the latest happening in the Abbott Clan.  Her granddaughter Erica, daughter of Randy and Lynn, is finishing this month at Westminster in Fulton with a double major and double minor.  She is graduating summa cum laude and will be starting a new job at Edward Jones in St. Louis soon.  Congratulations, Erica!

News from the Pacific Northwest

Hello All,

Tammy (Fellin), daughter of Madie and our late brother Bernie, posted this in the comments section a few days ago.  When I found it, I thought it might get overlooked so am reposting it here:

"One can't always count on a new grandma, so news from the FeLLins is coming from another source: Maudie and Tammy decided to weigh in.

First things first. We had a relatively tame group at Tammy's for Thanksgiving; only 13. Maudie came from Spokane. She picked up grandson Kyle from college at about the mid-point - Ellensburg, WA. Steve, son Dan and current girlfriend Pamela made it from Portland. Glenn came up from Eugene, Oregon and Doug and Cecile joined us from Seattle. The Langstons rounded out the baker's dozen.

Sandi tells us she's working, but with a brand new grand baby, it's hard to know if she's just over there staring at the precious package. Dellah Marie Westrope was born on November 17, just one day before her daddy's birthday. I'll forward via text a couple of the pictures so you can admire her, too.

Maudie gets to stay with us in Olympia for a few more days. Hooray! We're heading up to the annual cookie exchange at Doug's this weekend, so she and Cyndi baked cookies most of the day yesterday. We'll plan to retrieve Dick from the airport tomorrow as he returns from visiting family in California.

It's been a bit chilly and foggy but the roads were good for all the traveling. Rain expected in the next day or two."

And Tammy did send some photos of this precious and beautiful new addition to the family line.

The baby is absolutely gorgeous just like her father, Tyson, who is the son of Sandi.  Congratulations on this wonderful event!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Ready to Return to Lakehouse

Thursday morning and it's rather chilly today.  Rose and I are both up and drinking our coffee.  Chris and I had dinner at Applebee's again last night.  It has become one of my favorite places.  He took me there once last week and so did Goldman and Chris and I went again last night.

My new weekend companion starts tomorrow.  Her name is Peggy.   She will pick me up at four in the afternoon and we'll stay until Sunday afternoon.  Mad Dog is down there with his Dad and will come by and show her how to work the coffee pot.  Margaret, remember how much trouble you had figuring it out.  Mad Dog also got the closed caption working.  The problem was the cable box.  The cable company gave us the wrong one.

Brother Donald emailed me one day this week and wanted to know where I'm going to be at Christmas.  I'm not sure yet but ask him to send me Jennifer's street address down there.  He didn't have it but said he would get it.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Weekend at the Lake

Sunday at the lake.  I'm the only one up.  Groves and Mad Dog are still sleeping.  I came down in the red Saab convertible but we didn't have the top down.  It's cloudy this morning but supposed to be warm.  It was 35 in Idaho when Pete called yesterday morning, much better here.

Pete had taken Janet to the doctor this week and the doctor said she was doing fine.  Her birthday is Tuesday, the fourth, and some of the kids are coming for a prime rib dinner.  Happy Birthday, Janet.  As usual, I won't put in your age.  For one reason, I don't know.   They belong to a community garden.  Pete was named 'Gardener of the Year' this year.  I may have put this in earlier but if I did it's worth the commendation.

Linda nor all the guys who have tried have never been ablr to get the Closed Caption on this new TV.  I called Scott yesterday to see if he could advise us.  His advice was that I should either up the volume or get a hearing aid.  He wasn't much help,

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Scott's Birthday

I just had to post this today to wish Scott a Happy Birthday.  I think the boys were looking forward to the occasion though when I called the Birthday Boy this morning, he was at work as usual and not really cheerful.  Alas, it was fairly early.

The plumber came today and that worry is resolved.  Mad Dog was there and checked to make sure the  toilet will flush and stop running.  Groves and I will leave at 4 tomorrow and will probably get down there before dark.  The weather is supposed to be unseasonably warm over the weekend.  I hope the forecast is correct.

I walked 2.2 miles yesterday.  This is the most I've walked in one day since I broke my ankle nearly two years ago.  Goldman and I walked in Forest Park and ate at Applebee's.  There were some of Goldman's former students working there and they assumed I was his mother.  It did seem strange to hear them call him 'Mr. Goldman'.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Weekend Ahead

The problems I had yesterday have basically been solved today.  I needed to go to the lake house this weekend to let the plumber in and didn't have any one to go with me.  After I posted that woeful story yesterday, Groves called and had got his work schedule and he can go with me.  Remember, Mad Dog is already down there with his Dad.  After my worrying so much about getting there to let the plumber there this Saturday, he called today and would like to fix the toilet tomorrow because he's going to be out of town this weekend.  Mad Dog is going to meet him over there to fix it tomorrow.

Goldman and I are going to see Jack Delaney this evening.  He is the man I used to work with and sang Amazing Grace at Denny's funeral.  Then we may meet Chris for dinner.   Shirley shops at Whole Foods on Wednesday so that's chicken night at home.

Rose has been practicing the guitar faithfully and has a weekly lesson.  I do the tread mill, exercycle, and walk diligently.  I walk outside when the weather permits and someone will  go with me.  All three of us are missing Brayden but are planning on winning the big lottery tonight.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


It's cold in Missouri today but supposed to warm up by the weekend.  I have a plumber coming Saturday morning but I'm not sure how I'll get to the lake house yet.  The fireplace is fixed but one of the toilets keeps running so the plumber said to just turn the water to it off until he and I could get there.  Hopefully it's no expensive repair.

I'm not sure who will accompany me this weekend.  Neither of my companions can go.  Mad Dog is down there at his Dad's and Grove's will get his work schedule later this week so will know if he can go with me.

After Thanksgiving it has been some eating out.  On Sunday morning, Rose, Brayden, and I met Margaret and Sabrina at a place called First Watch for breakfast.  Scott left with Brayden later that day and Goldman and I went to Macaroni Bar and Grill for dinner.  Then last night Chris took me to Applebe's for supper.  That place had a menu with calorie count which both of us made our choice from.  Nevertheless, all three places were good, in spite of calories.

I talked with Sandi and she promised to send me an email to update me on the FeLLins.  When I get it, I'll post.  Same with the Kansas Felins.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Brayden. Thanksgiving 2012

Brayden and Granny

Karen, Brayden, Sue

Brayden serving guests at school







Happy Belated Thanksgiving!  We had a wonderful family day.  Scott and Brayden arrived for turkey dinner, and then Chris and Shelly and Mark Lary and Karen came for dessert and a family visit.  I walked almost two miles yesterday, and Brayden and Karen and I played catch for a while after dessert.
The Abbotts had their Thanksgiving at Sabrina and Dave's and Pete and Janet's family came to their house.  I had an email from Donald telling me not  to 'eat too much.'  I'm not sure what he and his family or Joe and his were up to.

We have Brayden until Sunday.  Scott is meeting up with Beth at the  lake house until then.  It is overcast this morning and rained some last night.  The temperature may get down to 27 degrees tonight.
Scott doesn't like to fish so probably won't care,  I have a Mr. Soot who was the chimney sweep coming Saturday morning to fix some settling.

Brayden told us a good joke last night.  A woman was complaining because her boyfriend never took any place expensive.  So he relented and took her to a Shell gas station.

Rose and Shirley and perhaps Brayden are going to the Galleria today to try to find Black Friday bargains.  They all three like the Apple store and are much more efficient on computers.  Sometimes they just look around to see what Apple might have newly introduced.

These Thanksgiving pictures Rose has to add because I'm yet to develop that ability.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lots of News

I have several happenings to report.  Chris and I went down to the lake house Friday afternoon and had a hamburger on the way.  We went by Randy's church in Wright City, but it was early and there was no one there.  Chris did the grocery shopping Saturday morning and cooked up a delicious meal that evening.  Meanwhile, I had tried to get Joe to come see us, but he said he was working on their rental house and couldn't get away.  He called later and said he could come.  Shortly after that, he arrive with his dog, Pepper.  We visited and reminisced, and Chris and Pepper went for a walk.  Pepper is certainly attached to Brother Joe and vice versa.

I heard from my old neighbor in Springfield last week.  She and Sam didn't make it to the lake this summer because Sam is working full time now at Bass Pro Shop.  She says he has promised to cut back after the first of the year.  Chase, Leslie's son, is in New Jersey taking pictures of the aftermath of the storm.  Her other son, Jeff, is back from Afghanistan and busy with his girls and house.

Pete called Saturday morning.  Janet has daily therapy at home and is getting along very well.  Kelly and the boys were coming over that afternoon.  I think they were going to the Boise football game first.

Chris wanted to get home in time to watch the Rams game with Shelly so I had him drop me at Margaret's, and that gave us the day together.  Again, she and I spent the day visiting and reminiscing.  Catrina and Lizzie joined us later, and we all had pizza together.  Margaret is as attached to her dog as Joe is to his, and Shelly and Chris are to theirs.

Linda, who had been staying with me at the lake part time has been in the process of moving and out of touch for a while.  Her granddaughter had a serious surgery, and Linda had been keeping her grandson while her daughter stayed with the child at Children's Hospital.

Margaret talked to Mary Pauline Sunday.  She's in a rehabilitation facility in Great Bend, Kansas.  I'll post her mailing address when I'm sure I have the right one.

Goldman picked me up at Margaret's.  He plays hockey out that way on Sunday evening so it wasn't out of his way.

Friday, November 16, 2012


It's only been a couple days since my last update but I have a few things to report.  Ding took Goldman and me to Red Lobster to celebrate Goldman's birthday onWednesday.  As is my custom, I won't say which birthday.  We had a delicious dinner.  The restaurant was my choice, and I had crab cakes.

Last night the potential companion who will spend some weekends with me at the lake house came over to meet with me.  Though we've not spent our first weekend down there together, I believe she will work out.   She is a school teacher and is young and vivacious.  She has another job besides teaching, so she has to give that employer notice when she plans to be with me.  For our first trip, she will pick me up on Friday after school on December 7 and we'll come back Sunday.  My other wonderful companion, Linda, is getting settled in her new home and is not available on weekends.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


My previous entry was mostly about Rose's Birthday Party so I left out a few important items.  Brother Pete called Saturday morning and said Janet had had a pretty  good week.  He is making her a ramp to get in and out of the garage.  There is a step there which makes it difficult and the ramp eases things.

Mark and I went down to Evansville yesterday, the little town in southern Illinois where his and Scott's and Chris's Dad was raised and buried.  Karen couldn't go so I took a raincheck on lunch until a time she could join us.  The town had changed very little, and the Spreitler's house and garage were still there.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Caitlin and Sue

Shirley, Rose, and Brayden



Rose Cutting the Cake



Caitlin and Sue



John and Rose



Shelly's Artwork and Decoration



Caitlin, Jana, Ellie



Ellie at the Microphone



Scott, Beth, and Brayden



The Scene "Starry Night"



Rose and Chris






Sue and Jana