Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cyclones Win!!!

The Cyclone football team won the Insight Bowl tonight 14-13! It was one of those games where we tried to beat ourselves...I think we had 3 interceptions and 2 fumbles! But, in the end, the Insight Bowl belonged to the Cyclone Nation! At the end of the game, Kyle, my great-nephew was on the tv screen for a good 5 seconds - just him, close up! I called his mom to let her know, but she'd already heard from her dad, her sister, and her mother!! She said it had really been fun and tonight they were headed to a big block party in Tempe - 100,000 people were expected to be there. She thought Kyle and some of his friends were going to join them at that party. I just hope the players are all smart!!

I'm not very wordy tonight - it was so noisy in the bar where we went to watch the game that I'm just trying to wind down. I guess I should tell you that we picked up our new truck today. It is really pretty - a beautiful burgundy with lots of chrome. It went into the garage tonight and will stay there now for 2 months. I have to get some things put together for the young lady who is going to be staying in our house while we're gone and I have some packing to do yet. Dave was just reading me the weather reports for the various cities on our way south - looks like we're going to need to pack a jacket or two! Sarasota will be cold the whole time we're there. I'll really be glad to get to Fort Lauderdale.

I also want to say that I have sure enjoyed doing this blog. I know a few other people have also enjoyed my ramblings, but basically I'm doing it just as a form of self-expression. I want to keep my brain working and part of my challenge is to write correctly. With that said, I want to wish you all a very happy new year - I hope that 2010 is all that we hope it will be. See you next year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another Day...

We're getting closer to leaving this north pole location for parts warmer!! It snowed all day today and, frankly, I'm getting tired of this white stuff! It's still snowing, but it's supposed to quit tonight. Then tomorrow and for several days, we're supposed to be in the deep freeze! It's only supposed to get to 8 degrees on Saturday! I think that's probably the day we're going to leave for Florida. That happens to be Aunt Helen's 103rd birthday and I feel like I want to wish her a Happy Birthday before we leave. This morning, we went out to Vista Woods for a care conference with the different department heads. I went in early and visited with Aunt Helen for about 30 minutes before Bob and Ann got there. She was really good this morning - the only problem was that I couldn't hear what she was trying to say. She did tell me that she loved me, though. That I heard! She barely whispers and they were running the floor washer, so I struggled! When they came to get us, they had just taken Aunt Helen to give her a shower. So when we got out of our conference, she was too tired to talk! In fact, she couldn't have cared less if we were there or not!

I've had a good evening - I found a couple more ex-ISU football players tonight...or rather one of them found me and through him I found one of my favorite guys. It looks like he's married with two little children! What a hoot - I can't imagine him married with kids! He'll always be forever young in my mind.

Tomorrow I've got a lot of errands to run and then i've got to finish packing. I paid all the bills tonight, so I'm done with that unless another one comes tomorrow. Tomorrow night we pick up the new pickup!! I'm ready to see it. More later...

Since I didn't sleep worth a darn last night, I'm headed to bed early tonight. More later...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday Ponderings

I think it's Tuesday...maybe not...I get a little confused about what day it is! Oh yeah, I know it's Tuesday because we had our substitute mailman today! I went out to see Aunt Helen this morning. She didn't want to talk, but she was content for me to touch her while she slept. I was there for about 45 minutes when Bob and Ann came in. We stayed for another 45 minutes or so. Aunt Helen would wake up and say a word or two, but mostly she just slept. Bless her heart.

I've been trying to pack and trying to wrap up any loose ends before we leave. I have gotten the newspapers stopped and all of our meds in, so now I've just got to pay the bills before we leave and get the rest of my Christmas cards out!! Yes, I'm a little late on them, but that happens!

I'm afraid that we won't be able to leave on Friday, but we'll just have to wait and see. More later...

Monday, December 28, 2009

My Impulsive Husband!

My impulsive husband...when he gets an idea that he should do something big (like trade cars, for example), he just can't wait to do it. So as of tonight we are the proud owners of a 2009 Chevy Silverado pickup! We'll get it in a couple of days - hopefully before we leave for Florida because I'd like to see what our money is going toward! He's so funny - yesterday was the first day I'd even heard him talk about trading vehicles and I asked him to wait until March when we get back...but no, he just can't wait! Anyway, he did get a good deal and our payments are actually going to be less than they were on the old truck! So that's a good thing!

Aunt Helen wasn't very good today. I went out and sat with her for about an hour. She has lots of pauses where she doesn't breathe at all, then she breathes again. The doctor came in while I was there. He told me that was pretty normal in the last few days or a week before they pass. She didn't eat or drink anything the last two days, so I can't imagine that it will be long now. I actually wrote her obituary tonight - Bob didn't want me to leave town without doing that. That's a first - I don't recall ever having to do that before! I'm pretty sure we just gave the info to Raymond's Funeral Home and they did it for us with mom and dad.

Other than visiting with Helen, I didn't do much today. I was sort of bored today...but tomorrow's another day! More later...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday at Home

Sundays at home are the best! Especially when they are snowy and cold! It was a great day to read a good book and then take a nap.

There were probably only 35 or so people at church this morning - Pastor Sarah Palmer was our guest pastor today and she said that the Sunday after Christmas as well as Father's Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day Sundays are just not high priority Sundays for people to be in church. She really gives a great sermon. I enjoy her a lot. During prayer time, she said (and I quote)..."Please be with Dave and Margaret Mae as they head south for their winter vacation." I was so shocked, I'm sure I made a noise out loud! I couldn't figure out who had told her that my real name was Margaret Mae! When church was over, I asked her; she said she remembered us talking about names several months ago. Her name is Sarah Mae and there was a Sylvia Mae in our group that day, so it just stuck with her. What a hoot!

After church, Dave and I went to Riverside for eggs, but the line was clear out the door, so we left and went to the 2nd Street Cafe. It wasn't busy at all, so we had our eggs and bacon for lunch! Then we came home, put away all the Christmas stuff, changed sheets on the guest bedrooms, got out the suitcases and then it was nap-30! That's what Dave calls nap-time! What time is it? Nap-30! So I read and then fell asleep. He actually went to the Mall to exchange a pair of shorts he'd received for Christmas. NOW, when it's 9:00 and about bedtime, he's taking HIS nap! What's funny is, he'll be able to go upstairs in a little while and go right back to sleep...not me. If I were napping now, I'd be up for the whole night. Who knows, I may be anyway, since I took a nap this afternoon. Oh well, if I am, I am! More later...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

More Computer Problems!

Merry Christmas a day late! I haven't been able to get on my computer since Christmas Eve at about 3:00 PM. I wasn't home for most of the evening on the 24th, though, so it wasn't really a problem. We had our family Christmas at my brother's house and we had a great evening! But I digress; let's go back a few hours to about 12:30 PM. Bryan arrived and we decided that we should eat a bite of lunch, so we each had a bowl of chili with spiced oyster crackers...actually Dave and Bryan had 2 bowls of chili and I had one! Then I started making the egg casserole for brunch on Christmas day. It has a lot of preparation to it, so it took me about an hour and a half to get it ready for the refrigerator. So, now, it;s about 2:30 and the phone rings. It's my niece asking where we are. I thought we were supposed to go to Bob's after we got out of church on Christmas Eve...but I guess not! We were supposed to be over there for a 3:30 meal of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, noodles, squash, salads, pies, etc....! Well, if I had known that, I certainly wouldn't have eaten at 1:00! Anyway, we already had the presents in the car, so we rushed upstairs, changed clothes to our church clothes, and got to Bob's at 3:17 PM just in time to eat again!! Our meals are usually long and drawn out, so we didn't get done eating until about 4:45 when we had to leave for church. (We got out of dishes at least!!) Then the lessons & carols program took more than an hour and we left church about 6:45 to go back to Bob's where 12 people were waiting to open packages! I think Allison and Cheyenne had already opened a couple of gifts, but basically we got there in time! What a wonderful evening! I love being around my nieces and their families. We just have a great time together.

Christmas morning, I didn't get up until almost 9:00! The guys were up, but they let Deanna and me sleep in. When I came downstairs, we put the casserole and the cinnamon rolls in the oven and about 35 minutes later, we had our brunch...again, enjoyed by all of us. Then Bryan, Deanna, Dave and I opened our presents and shortly after that the kids left - Deanna was going to her sister's for a couple of days and Bryan went back to Waterloo. Linda, Al, Kyle and Kaylee had to travel back to Ames on Christmas day too, because Kyle had to be ready to board a bus for the airport at 6:00 this morning for his flight to Tempe for the Insight Bowl! He was so excited!

Back to the computer problem, after Bryan and Deanna left, I came in to get on Facebook and found out that the internet was down. Since it was Christmas day, I didn't call it in, but I did call first thing this morning. Guess what - it wasn't a server problem; somehow our router had shut off and lost all of its settings, so we were the only ones without internet! Our tech person called me back this morning and in about 3 minutes had me back up and running!!

It snowed all day today and most of the night last night evidently. We've had about 5" of new snow and it's still spitting snow here tonight. Dave said it was slick and he didn't want me driving the Cadi, so he came home after cleaning driveways and took me to see Aunt Helen and to run my errands! Aunt Helen wasn't very perky today. She was sitting in her chair up by the dining room, waiting for lunch. She did talk to me, but I'm not sure she even knew who I was today. The only way I could hear what she was saying was to get my ear right in front of her mouth and then I didn't catch everything. She just kept saying that she wanted to lay down. So they took her back to her room and put her to bed. So we left and ran errands - I had gotten two of John Grisham's new book "Ford County" and two of the "Angels and Demons" DVD so I went back to Target, only waited about 3 minutes and got my money back. Then we went to the book/movie section and I got the new Ted Kennedy book and the DVD "Paul Blart: Mall Cop". Then we went to Bookins to get the bail on my new gold cross replaced with one that is larger and came home. Dave went to work at the Habitat House and I took down Christmas decorations. Tomorrow we'll put away the trees and start packing, but tonight we watched "Ice Age III" - what a hilarious movie!! Last night we watched "PS I Love You" and "Public Enemies" - both very good movies! PS I Love You is at least a 2 tissue movie! I think between Dave and me we got 7 movies!

I gotta run - more later...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Computer Woes

Actually, I shouldn't have said computer woes, I should have said provider woes! Last night when I was trying to do things on the computer everything was taking forever, so I went to speakeasy.net/speedtest to see what my speed was...it was 360 download (should be around 1200) and 240 upload (should be around 800)! So I shut it off and walked away! I didn't even come back at all to see if they had the issue fixed. Today has been much better, so whatever happened wasn't an issue today! Needless to say, I didn't blog last night!

I got up kind of late this morning. I was having a hard time sleeping last night, so I came downstairs and slept in my chair. I don't necessarily sleep soundly in my chair, but sometimes it just works better than the bed. Don't know what there is about that! Anyway I came down about 12:30 or 1:00 and fell asleep right away - slept until I heard Dave moving around upstairs this morning - about 7:15. He told me I should go upstairs and sleep a little longer, so I tried. I got up about 8:00 - came down and ate my breakfast, read the paper, played a little Mafia Wars, Farm Town, etc., and by the time I got my shower taken it was 10:30! My oldest niece came over about 11:45 and we chatted for about 2 hours! Then I went out to see Aunt Helen, who was having a decent day today. She didn't really want to chat - everything she said was so quiet I couldn't make out what she was trying to tell me. They came in while I was there and moved her arms and legs - sort of physical therapy. She got along real well with that! Then she was very tired, so she fell asleep. I got home about 2:30 and ate my lunch! Do you see a pattern here?? Late rising, late for lunch, hope it's not a late night at choir practice!

My friend, Sudi, called today - she and Howard are in Fort Lauderdale. She said she wore shorts today! I can hardly wait. I thought it was awfully cold today - it was about 34 with rain all day. Imagine - rain on the 23rd of December! From the forecast, though, it sounds like we may get some snow tonight or tomorrow. I just hope the girls and their families and Bryan and Deanna all get home before it all hits. Some places got an inch of rain today and, in fact, we're in a flash flood watch!

Tonight is choir practice and tomorrow evening is my family Christmas after church services! Should be a late one tomorow night. Oh well, Christmas only comes once a year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Brrrr.....

I had another busy day today - I wrapped packages (one of these days I'm going to be done with this job!!!) and I mailed out our Christmas cards (or most of them anyway). Then I had to run errands - had to pick up Dave's shirts at the dry cleaners, went to HyVee Drugstore to make copies of the Allison family picture, went to the grocery store, and went to visit Aunt Helen. She wasn't so good today - didn't want to talk. She told me she was good, but when I went on to talk to her, she just rolled over and buried her head a little deeper into her pillow. So I took that as a hint!! After visiting her, I went out to Bookins Jewelry and talked to Bob for a little bit. Linda had sent an article about Clayton (Kaylee's boyfriend) that she thought her dad would like to read. Since Bob and Ann don't have a computer at home, she asked me to print the article and drop it off with her dad. That gave me a chance to visit with him for a little bit.

Tonight Dave and I along with 3 others from our car club worked Holiday Nights and Lights at the Ottumwa Park. We had 102 cars and 2 buses in 2.5 hours with almost 500 people go through the display!! Now that was fun! There's supposed to be a big ice storm coming through our part of the state on Wednesday, so I think people were out and about tonight instead of waiting!

Tomorrow morning I have to take my car to the shop at 8:00 AM. We've got a couple of things that need fixed, plus it's due for an oil change before we head south. Then in the afternoon I've got a dentist appointment to clean my teeth. After that I'll go to the used book store to stock up on books for Florida and then back home to wrap a few more gifts and make peanut clusters!! Ho! Ho! Ho! More later...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

What a weekend!

Whew! I'm glad that weekend is over. We just had way too many commitments! We had our flu shots on Friday - we went to Public Health to get them and that's a trip in and of itself. They booked 8 people every 15 minutes, so when we got there at 3:00 for our 3:00 appointment, the 3:15 people were already there and they went ahead of us. I wasn't going to have an H1N1 shot, but they I got to thinking about being around the grandkids for 2 months and decided maybe I should have one of them too. We got a shot in each arm! I'm not a fan of flu shots - to me they hurt for about 3 days. This one hasn't been bad - just the injection site itched a little and felt a little warm, but didn't really hurt this year. The H1N1 hasn't hurt at all. In fact, it didn't hurt when they injected it. So now, on January 1st, we will be protected from both kinds of flu - just in time to leave for Florida.

We also had Dave's Golden Furrow Christmas party this weekend. There were approximately 150 people at the party and that's not even everyone! It was in Fairfield at the Best Western. I think everyone there had a really good time. Dave was the co-planner of it, as well as being in charge of pictures, etc. So, I took pictures all night while he worked the room. We stayed at the hotel after the party and it was a good thing. It seems my husband had a little too much whiskey, so we were up until about 2:30 AM!! Hopefully he learned his lesson - we're too old to be up that late!!

This morning after church, it was snowing. I left to go up the hill the way I always go home. I got 3/4 of the way up the hill and my car just stopped - I couldn't get any more traction - I was stuck on a very narrow street with cars parked in 1 lane and I was in the right lane. So, I had to back down the hill until I could get to a side street that I could turn around in. I'm glad I'm a good backer and I'm especially glad that no one tried to come up the hill while I was backing down it. When I got down to 5th Street, I went east and it was a 1-way street going west! This guy was coming out of the church on the corner of Washington and 5th (a Spanish speaking church) and he's trying to tell me that I'm going the wrong way - well, I knew I was, but it was only a block and since I was already commited to going that way, I kept going! You should have seen the look on his face!! Anyway I got over to Jefferson and didn't have any problems getting up it. They had already sanded Jefferson.

This afternoon we went back to church to eat lunch and go caroling to our church shut-ins. There were 15 of us and I think we sounded great! Dave even went too. He usually lets me do that on my own. After caroling we headed home and this black blazer was behind me flashing his lights. I said to Dave a couple of times, I wonder what that guy's trying to tell me. Finally, I just waved to him and he flashed me again. I got a glimpse of his license plate and realized it was my niece and her family from Texas - they had just gotten to town! So went led them to Bob's so we could say hello to all of them. It's so good to have them in Iowa. for the holidays. Then later this afternoon, Dave and I got our Christmas cards ready to mail in the morning. I want to put pictures of the Allison family reunion in several of the cards, so I'll take my CD down to Drugtown tomorrow to get prints made.

Since this has become as long as a dissertation, I think I'd better quit. Tomorrow I have to get some pictures made; I need to wrap packages; I need to make peanut clusters; and tomorrow night Dave and I, along with a couple of others from the Vintage Cruisers are working at Nights and Lights at the Ottumwa Park. Hopefully we won't freeze!! More later...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Busy weekend.

This is a super busy weekend. Dave's company's Christmas party, finishing shopping, wrapping and getting cards ready to mail. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. Aunt Helen wasn't very talkative today - she mostly just looked at me and moved her head a couple of times when I asked yes or no questions. She had a perm yesterday and a shower today, so she was really tired. Stay tuned...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!

What a gorgeous day we had today! My car said it was 46 degrees at 3:30!! I didn't even have to wear a coat this evening. Dave came home early and took me to Oskaloosa to try to find that one last gift I've been looking for. We left our coats in the car! After we shopped for an hour at Mahaska Drug - which, by the way, is a wonderful store - we went to Mi Ranchito for supper. We hadn't been there for a long time. It's the same menu as our Mexican restaurant here in town, but for some reason the food tastes different. Back to Mahaska Drug - I can't believe what all they have in their store. If you're looking for something for Christmas, or for a snowman, or for Hawkeye or Cyclone stuff, that's the place to go. Their aisles are so narrow because of all the "stuff" they have!! I called it sensory overload. I WAS able to find that one last gift there, so basically I'm done. I've still got a couple more things to get for our grandkids, which I hope to do tomorrow. Then I have a few more gifts to wrap, and Christmas can come any day after that! I've even got 63 Christmas cards made. Tomorrow I plan to print our Christmas letter and get them addressed and ready to go. I'm hoping that 63 cards is enough. If it isn't, then I'll have to make a few more!

I went out to see Aunt Helen today - Bob was at work again. Hopefully he'll go tomorrow. I thought her color was really bad today. She told me she didn't feel any better today. She was dressed, though, and had her glasses on. I asked her if she wanted me to take her glasses and put them on the shelf, but she said no that she hardly ever takes them off. That struck me as funny, because she hasn't had them on for at least a month. More later....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm Ready to Go

As you can tell by the new picture and the color of my blog, I am getting ready to head south! In fact, I'm ready! I guess I should wait for Christmas to come and go first though!

I don't have much I'm pondering on today. I had a hundred different calls to make today and I actually got them all done. We're looking at getting our attic insulated with foam spray. The guy that runs this company came and after he left I had to call MidAmerican Energy to schedule an energy audit and find out about rebates and tax credits involved. I'm pretty sure we'll qualify, but it's a formality you have to go through. The energy audit is free so it'll be interesting to find out how bad this house really is! Then Dave had me checking on Qwest internet services. I think we'll probably change from Affinity to Qwest when we get back in March. They have a 30 day free trial, so we don't really want to change now when we're not home to use it. Dave also wanted me to check on when I have to apply for social security benefits, so rather than calling I got online and applied tonight! I will start getting my checks in April of 2010!

I also went out to see Aunt Helen today. She told me she felt awful today. I asked if I could help her in any way and she said no. She told me they gave her a shower today and that it felt good. She seemed to have a lot of "debris" in her mouth (her word, not mine), but it was really a thick phlegm that she was able to spit out, but it took a lot of effort on her part. I just feel so bad for her.

Tomorrow I've got to go to Walmart (yuck!) and a couple of other places. I'll try to go in the morning before some of Ottumwa's finest get out of bed! More later...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday Ramblings

Here are a couple of birthday cards I made recently. The first one is on hot pink; sorry it looks so weird on here! All of the stamps, paper, etc. are from Stampin Up. I really like this second card. I think I probably like it because it's pink and green which just happen to be two of my favorite colors. Again everything about this card is from Stampin Up. I think this could be done in many different color combinations and used for a variety of cards - thank you, anniversary, get well, even sympathy with the right colors. I'm sure I'll do this card several times.
I had a great morning. This was my massage day! After my massage, I had to run to the mall because the shirt I'd gotten for Kaylee was an XL instead of a M. For some reason we grabbed the wrong shirt when we were shopping a couple of weeks ago. I just noticed it when I was starting to wrap it yesterday. Can you believe they actually still had the medium in stock, so I didn't have to shop, I could just exchange! Then I went to Herbergers and bought myself some CuddleDuds. Dave and I have to work Holiday Nights and Lights a week from today and I know how cold it's going to be out there. A new set of long undies will come in handy! I continued wrapping packages when I got home, and can you believe it...we also got the wrong size for Al R. So tomorrow I'll go back again to see if they happen to have this same shirt that I can just exchange for an XL. We didn't do very well shopping this year. I've still got a few little things to pick up, so hopefully I can get everything done tomorrow! Then the next project is finishing making the Christmas cards!! I keep telling Dave that 75 handmade cards is waaaay too many, but he said we've already cut back! I had to go get some more red cardstock today so that I could finish the cards. I got it from Baileys and it's not card quality, but I think it's heavy enough to work. Since there's no scrapbook store in Ottumwa anymore, I didn't have a lot of choice.
I was glad to hear from Sudi - they're in Fort Lauderdale! She said their condo is nice and even the couch is comfortable to sit on! I can't wait to get there! More later...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Man, is it ever cold outside. It's 16 degrees right now, but the wind is blowing from the north enough that our flags are completely unfurled which means that the wind chill is probably below zero. This morning when I went to see Aunt Helen it was 40 degrees out - by the time I came out of Vista Woods it was down to 28 and at that time the wind was blowing hard - probably around 25 mph. Speaking of Aunt Helen, she was great today! When I went into her room she was propped up in bad but asleep. I always say, "Hi Aunt Helen". She woke up and wondered who it was so I told her it was Margaret Mae. She smiled and grabbed for my hand. She said my hands were cold, but she wanted to hold them anyway! We probably talked for about 25 minutes today, then she told me I could go home because she wanted to take a nap. Indian Hills' CNA students were at Vista Woods today, though, so she didn't get to nap right away. One of them came in to do her nails for her. She acted excited about that even! I told her that her new haircut made her look young - about 75 and she just laughed!! She said it felt like an Australian chicken with all those feathers sticking out from its neck!! She was truly my Aunt Helen today - it was so nice to see that Aunt today instead of the one lashing out at everyone.

I wrapped packages today and even made a few more Christmas cards. I've got to get busy - my goal is to have the cards out by the 19th. I'm not sure I'll make it though! We send out way too many for me to make homemade ones for everyone. I'll keep you posted...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday ponderings

Church was good today! Our anthem, "The First Song of Isaiah", was a combined effort with PraiSing which is a group of 8 young girls in our church with absolutely beautiful voices! Then during the refrain, the congregation was supposed to join in also. It made for a beautiful song. It's one of those songs that stays in your head long after you've presented it.

I was glad to hear from Sudi that she and Howard made it south of Memphis today. The way it looked when we went to bed last night, I didn't know if they'd even get out of Iowa! Tomorrow, hopefully, they'll get into warmer weather. I haven't looked to see how warm it is in Tallahassee, but it has to be better than here! It was 86 today in Miami - I'm getting anxious to get there.

Today is Megan's birthday (our middle grandchild). We called and sang happy birthday to her! She is so cute! She loved it. Tomorrow is my middle niece's birthday. She's going to be 45 I think - it's hard for me to believe those girls are that old! I haven't heard from Bob today - I don't know if he went to see Aunt Helen or not. I just have to assume he did and that she hasn't changed much.

I took a 4-hour nap this afternoon. I have a feeling that I'll have trouble going to sleep tonight! I also finished my Tess Gerritsen book, "Keeper of the Bride". She's such a good author. This book was written before she started being so gruesome!! More later...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday Musings

Another beautiful winter day. I love it when the sun shines! (I know, I think I said the same thing yesterday!) It was a pretty day - the sun shining on the snow makes for pretty sights! I'm sorry that I didn't get to enjoy much of the day. This morning I had a meeting to help design our new church website. Unfortunately it was inside and in a room with only 1 window - looking out at a roof that was completely covered with snow. It looked as if we were snowed in clear to the top of the window. Our meeting lasted for 3 hours - my seat was tired of sitting! We did, however, get lots done! I am very happy with the design so far - now we're ready for the contents of the website, which to me is the hardest part. We've got a goal to get most of it done by January 1st, so we're really working hard.

After my meeting, I went out to see Aunt Helen. I love her haircut. It just looks so cute! Her hair is the prettiest white and this "style" is so out of character for her, but I just loved it! She knew who I was as soon as I told her and she grabbed for my hand. Then while we were talking she fell asleep again. The gals came in to move her back into her bed, but when they woke her up she was GRUMPY! She was yelling at them and slapping at them. I couldn't believe the difference. Then once they got her laid down, she seemed to calm down again. I must remember to get one of her afghans out to her - she needs a lap blanket. She didn't eat anything again today. I just don't understand what God's waiting for. I know I shouldn't question Him...that's just one of my "ponderings". Maybe His purpose in keeping her here is a lesson on patience for Bob and me. Do you suppose?

Dave worked at the Habitat for Humanity House all day today. He loves doing that! Tonight we went out to Craig and Sue's for pizza. It was fun to be with them again. We haven't seen each other for quite a while and may not be able to see them again before we leave for Florida. Speaking of leaving, it's drizzly tonight. I'm sure hoping Sudi and Howard watch the radar for ice before they leave tomorrow. It's still not freezing here, but that doesn't mean it isn't somewhere else.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I love Fridays!

This was such a beautiful day! The sun was shining brightly and the snow is gorgeous! That being said, I'm still ready to go to Florida for the rest of the winter! Dave left me a whole list of honey-dos, so a lot of the day was taken up doing projects that he thought I should do! The rest of the time was spent either in my craft room or in front of the computer! Plus, I even watched All My Children while I ate lunch and played Mafia Wars.

Tonight we went to Fairfield to have dinner with my high school classmates and their partners: Sudi & Howard, Chris & Earl, Rita & Bob. I think everyone had a great time - lots of conversation and stories! I kept an eye on the television, though, because my Cyclones were playing the Hawks in basketball. We won! It was a very good game from an Iowa State standpoint. I'm sure the Hawkeye faithful weren't happy with it, but I enjoyed it definitely. Sudi and Howard are leaving for Florida on Sunday, so we won't see them for about 3 weeks or so - until we get there! I hope they have a safe trip and that they can enjoy the ride!

Tomorrow I go out to see Aunt Helen and I have a meeting to work on our church's website. Then I'll be free for the rest of the day. Aunt Helen got her hair cut today. Bob said she made it through that just fine. They had given her a shower prior to taking her to the beautician, so she was awake and seemed to enjoy it. Her hair had gotten so long! Next week they're going to try to give her a perm. I can't imagine how that will work, but I guess she can sleep thru most of it!

I'm done for tonight - I've still got to check my email and my games and then I'm off to bed. I'm reading another good Tess Gerritsen book, so I can hardly wait to get to it! More later...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Slipped Up Again!

Sorry, I could have sworn that I posted something on my blog yesterday, but I guess I didn't! I was working on downloading songs from CDs to my IPod and copying CDs for a friend. I guess I plain forgot! The CDs to IPod thing didn't work, and I don't have any idea why. I even tried just dragging them from the CD to the IPod, but that didn't work either! I guess some of this technology is way over my head! I'll have to ask Bryan what I'm doing wrong!



Right now I'm on my way to sing with the IHCC Staff Chorus at the annual Christmas Concert. We practice at 5:00, then Christmas party, then sing! Hope I don't drink too much wine!!! More later...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snow, Snow, Go Away!!

We are really having snow here in SE Iowa, but it's nothing like what they're having around Ames. We've probably got 3-4 inches of snow on the ground. This afternoon, however, it started raining! So some of the snow squished down and there appears to be a lot of slush. This could really save us as they are calling for high winds tonight and tomorrow with blowing snow. It seems to me that if it's slush, it can't blow! Dave's been outside working on moving the slush off our driveway so that it won't just be ice. Actually, he's done with that now and he's putting together a generator that he bought - just in case the electricity goes out. We said that we were going to buy one last time the electricity went down, but didn't until today. I guess that's going to be his Christmas present!! He does love to fiddle!!

I've been working on paperwork today and I installed a new external hard drive for my computer. Now I just have to figure out how to use it! I sure wish they gave you user guides when you bought these things. I don't much like reading it online and trying to follow their steps - too much going from one screen to another!

I went out early this morning to see Aunt Helen. She had just gotten back from having a shower. Bless her heart - she said she was really glad to have that shower! I'll bet she was - she hasn't had one since September! It did wear her out, though. She tried to tell me a couple of different things, but I couldn't understand her - she was just talking too softly. She didn't even open her eyes - she just wanted to sleep. Oh well, I talked to her anyway!

I've decided we have a Christmas gremlin! When I put up the tree in our office - my Victorian tree - the top half of the lights wasn't working. In fact, those lights have been out for about 3 days. This morning when I came downstairs, the lights were all on! Don't know what happened - I think it's the Christmas gremlin! I wish he'd wrap all the presents for me! Probably won't though! More later...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Monday!

Last night right before we went to bed, Dave had the TV turned to the weather station and it showed a band of snow over Ottumwa. I looked out the dining room window and it looked like someone had opened a bottle of Fresca! (You have to remember the commercials!) So this morning we woke up to a couple inches of beautiful, fluffy white stuff! The weather station is calling for even more snow tomorrow and Wednesday! Is it time to go to Florida yet?

Today was the cookie exchange that I made the four dozen cookies for. What a fun time. Juliene had invited 11 other ladies to attend, so we all went home with 4 cookies from 12 different selections of cookies. These are not your basic chocolate chip cookies either. They were all what I would call "exotic" cookies - some made with dates, some iced sugar cookies, spritz cookies, cranberry oatmeal Weight Watchers cookies! Juliene had mod-podged decorative Christmas napkins on 12 clear glass plates, and we gathered our cookies on them. Then as we were leaving, she gave us a little paper box, which she had made, with some candy in it. She's a clever lady and a good friend!

The rest of the day I worked on paying bills, shopping online, and writing my annual Christmas letter. We have a great deal of our Christmas shopping done! I just have to get organized so that I know what else I need to get. I know I haven't gotten anything for Ann yet - she and Bob are usually my hardest ones to buy for. This year, however, I am very excited about what I got for Bob. I think he'll be surprised. Tomorrow I go see Aunt Helen and have several items on my to-do list! More later...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Another Productive Day

After church today, I went out to see Aunt Helen. She said she was having a bad day and she was tired. They had just moved her and I think that completely wears her out. I hope she got to feeling better after I left.

I came home and asked Dave to go Christmas shopping with me. He didn't want to, but he did anyway. We got a lot of our shopping done today right here in Ottumwa. It really helps that our families make Christmas lists - at least you don't have to wonder what to get for each of them. We only shopped for about an hour and a half and then came home and had bacon and eggs for lunch! Dave fixed the bacon and I fixed the eggs.

Right now, I'm getting my sports fix for the day...I'm watching ISU-Iowa wrestling on AND the BCS Bowl Selection. I may be on sports overload after this and last night's football game between Texas and Nebraska! Wow, what a game. Maybe I should say what a finish - the last 1:49 was wonderful and indicative of what college football is all about! I know my Hawkeye friends are excited about Iowa going to the Orange Bowl, but we Cyclones are equally excited about us going to the Insight Bowl in Tempe, Arizona on New Year's Eve. I was kind of hoping for the Independence Bowl in Louisiana, because we were going to try to make it on our way to Florida. Now that they're going to Arizona, I will be happy watching it on TV. Go Cyclones!!

Tomorrow I go to my cookie exchange. I don't exactly know what to expect, but I'm sure it will be fun!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Super Saturday

It's amazing what all you can get done when you get off of Facebook!! I mixed up a batch of expresso cookies and about 3/4 of the way thru the mixing process, my stand mixer died a slow death. So I went to O'Hara Hardware and bought myself a new KitchenAid Artisan mixer - a black one! I had no problem whatsoever mixing the second batch of cookies - it's got a ton of power!! In all, I made 56 cookies - I needed 48 for the cookie exchange I'm going to on Monday morning. Unfortunately, I let the last 7 cookies get a little overdone because I was working on making a grape salad for tonight's Vintage Cruiser Christmas party. I even heard the buzzer go off, but I just ignored it, I guess. Oh well - I had 48 good ones so that's all that's important. This recipe is worth keeping - in fact the cookies are really good!

Tonight's Vintage Cruiser Christmas party was fun. I wish Sue and Craig had been there though. It's just not as much fun without them. We had lots of good food, as per usual! The gift exchange was fun again, as it always is. I came home with a cheesecake mix and a decorative plate/server set. Dave got a cool clock for his shop. It's got muscle cars on it and every hour it makes an engine noise. Most of the gifts were very nice, although poor Mike got a pair of boobie danglers (instead of fuzzy dice).

That's all I have for tonight. Tomorrow's a typical Sunday - church, then to see Aunt Helen. More later...

Friday, December 4, 2009

She's Out of Sunny Brook!

Today was moving day for Aunt Helen. When I got there this morning about 9:00 Aunt Helen was fighting with the aides who were trying to get her ready for her ambulance trip to Ottumwa. She fought with me; Ann came in and she fought with her. When I looked at her eyes and she looked at me, it was as if no one was in there. I don't believe she had any idea who I was. She called me lots and lots of names, none of which were Peg or Margaret Mae! When Bob came in she was still fighting, and when the ambulance ladies came in it was just more of the same. When they were trying to move her to the gurney, she started calling out for mama. I decided maybe I should "be" mama and maybe that would soothe her. It didn't that I could tell, but they got her onto the gurney and strapped her down for her ambulance ride to Ottumwa. Ann decided to go with her in the ambulance. When they got Helen out into the hallway, she calmed down. Ann said she didn't say a word all the way to Ottumwa, or even when they took her into Vista Woods! While she was enroute to Ottumwa, Bob, Steve, and I moved everything out of her room into a trailer also bound for Ottumwa. I had driven separately, so I stopped at VW to pick up Ann. I walked into Helen's room and she was sitting up in a chair. She had let Ann comb her hair and brush her teeth. I went over to talk to her and she knew me. I told her that her hands were so dry she needed some lotion on them. She replied, "They're dry as bones!" So Ann got some lotion and squirted some into her hands. Aunt Helen just laughed and laughed! She said we'd better put some on our hands too. So we had fun rubbing the lotion into her hands and arms and the excess into ours. A little later when I told her I loved her, she said she loved me too. What a difference. Dementia is really something! When Ann and I left VW, the hospice worker was trying to get her to eat a few bites of food. She wasn't crazy about the food, but she sure liked the milk and the water. Poor thing, I really don't think the aides at SB ever really tried to help her. I hope not, but she may die tonight; and if she does, I'll rest easier knowing that she's someplace she's going to get some attention.

As for her "stuff" - it's mostly in our sun porch. It's going to be lots of fun going through all that stuff! I'm sure I won't have Bob's help! At least I don't have to worry about it tonight!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

I had my final physical therapy appointment today. Amy made me use 3# instead of 2# and let me tell you, going up one pound is really hard...but I did it! We'll see how I feel tomorrow! It was sort of sad to end physical therapy. Those PTs have been a part of my life for the last 4 months and I'll really miss them. On the other hand, I'm glad I'm better. I have to continue my exercises for quite some time, though.

Last night was such a rough night - I'm existing on about 4.5 hours of sleep. Dave went to the ER at 1:19 this morning. Last night he jumped down from his pickup bed and twisted his ankle when he landed on something on the floor. He thought he'd broken a bone in his foot, but it's just a bad sprain. He woke me to tell me he was going to the ER and that I should just stay home and sleep - wrong again! I couldn't go back to sleep. At 3:50 when he still wasn't home, I called him. He was just waiting and waiting and waiting. He got home about 5:15 this morning! That is totally ridiculous! There is no way a patient should have to wait 4 hours in an emergency room!

As for Aunt Helen, we are moving her in the morning to Vista Woods here in Ottumwa. It will be so much more convenient for Bob and I, plus she'll get better care. Hopefully, we'll be able to get her moved and she won't even know it. Bob said he couldn't get her awake again this morning. She woke up when the aides came in to move her, just long enough to tell them to go away! I'll be glad when this is over. Tomorrow is my PEO Christmas luncheon, but I guess I'll have to miss it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hump Day

Sorry I didn't post last night. By the time I got home from my sorority Christmas party, I was too pooped to pop, let alone blog. The party was fun - we had lasagna and a mixed green salad for dinner, plus a cute little ice cream dessert. The social committee this year has done a wonderful job! After we had eaten, we went to the living room and started our gift exchange and secret sister reveal. I got to go first this year - usually I'm one of the last ones! I opened my package to find out that Sue S. was my secret sister...and she was mine!! Out of a group of 19 of us, this happened two times! Pretty funny when that happens. It takes forever to open the packages, because everyone tries to guess who their secret sister has been and each of us hide our names somewhere in the package - except me, of course. My gift is a quilt, so everyone knows it's me when the quilt comes out. I won't be back to a sorority meeting until March, so I had to tell everyone Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Valentine's Day. There's another one of us who goes for the winter too, so she was in the same boat.

Today was my day to see Aunt Helen. I could barely get her awake. She said two things to me - one was my name and the other was for me to go back to sleep. I took that as my hint. Bob called me to tell me that there's an opening over here at Vista Woods, so he's going to check about getting her brought over here. That will sure be a lot better for her and more convenient for us.

Tonight we're getting the trees put up and then I have choir practice. More later...