Summing it Up...

Now, that I'm way on the wrong side of sixty, I feel that being true to self is important. "I yam, what I yam." Kindness and smiles are to be given away. Women are strong. Men are more vulnerable than we believe. Husbands may come and go...but one thing I know for sure is that I will NEVAH live without a corgi or coffee in my life if I can prevent it. Come piles of dog fur or hot water!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mom/Gram is bouncing back.

Our Mom, of three, the grandma of eight, and great-gram of four, soon to be five, is getting better and stronger each day from her most recent stroke which occured the first weekend in March. Tim/Bev and Mike/Carolyn are doing a great job keeping her on a schedule involving in-house exercise, a low-fat, low-sodium diet, physical therapy appointments and ongoing doctor visits. She's surrounded by people who want the best for her. Having always been fiercely independent, she sometimes feels "too monitored" for her comfort level. She hopes to go home someday, back to her little Indiana town , going to the library and lunch out with the girls. We wish that for her as well, but, her needs are more complex now, which complicates her freedoms. She'll celebrate her 90th birthday, this April 4th.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

One more day of Grandma time..

"Oh poopsie," as April would say...

These three weeks have flown by...and it's time to head north. We've been living on Claritan and allergy eye drops while here because the pollen is at its peak. The high price of spring blooms.

Anyway, it's time to leave the "girls" April and her little Emmy. It has been WoNdErFuL playing "Grammy" everyday. April will miss those morning naps, and Em might wonder where her personal servant has gone off to. Oh well. They'll come up to meet Great-Grandma, uncles, aunts, cousins, and various other sides of family in a few weeks. She could be potty trained and painting her toenails by then for heaven's sake! Now I know how Jim feels with two grandsons living in Florida. Emmy likes bath-time and enjoys looking in the mirror during the process. She went along and was a good little trooper while her Mama and Grammy looked over the organic grocery goodies at Whole Foods. Always so much fun to do while down here. Thursday is it....Friday morning we head home. Boooooo-hoooo!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Playing Tourist...

Today was beautiful, making it hard to stay inside. We played tourists today, driving through Carrboro, an artsy UNC village hangout full of coffee and book shops, then on to Chapel Hill, again driving through the hub of UNC, as students walked along the shop filled streets. We ended up in Durham, scoping out Duke, and by accident found the Sarah P. Duke Gardens which is considered the "crown jewel" of Duke University. (It is also the place where April and Keith became engaged!) We parked along a busy street and hiked on over to the popular 55-acre lush garden-park in the heart of the West Campus. This public garden is visited by 300,000 visitors from all around the world each year. Being Spring, it's just coming alive, but there were loads of Japanese Camelia Bushes in full bloom and many bulb flowers. In another month or two it will be breathtaking! The best part of the whole "Duke" experience, however, was that the dogs were welcome to stroll along with us in this lovely setting. Families, dog-lovers, grandparents pushing baby strollers, people of every nationality were all enjoying being alive on this sunny day, in this tranquil, pleasant spot.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Enjoying the Woods and Wildlife

How nice to spend the 10th of March, in shirtsleeves, barefoot, eating supper outside, listening to the birdsong, seeing a herd of deer, watching the squirrels bark and wagging its tail at Jake who was literally at the end of his tether! The corgi kids love being outside and sniff until they sneeze! They've both marked their territory and are enjoying these North Carolina woods we're staying in for a few weeks.What a nice respite from our usual winter doldrums.

I got to babysit baby Emmy last night while the NC kids had a pizza/movie date night. What fun to snuggle with that dear little new soul. She's entertaining with all her quirky grunts, squeaks, and I even saw evidence of a dimpled cheek. This grammy thing is a pretty good deal!

Happy 60th birthday to big brother Mike. May you have many, healthy more. Love you. Tim & Bev thank-you for taking good care of Mom so we can enjoy this time with the new babe.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

THAT!! Is one cute grandbaby!!

Little Emmy is the second "cutest" little girl baby
I've ever seen! (Ape was the first!) She has a lot of personality already, and will be a month old this Thursday. Since Monday, I've been able to go play Grammy every day. Today we talked about "shamrocks," I know April snickered when she told me to be careful with how Emmy handled the scissors. Sheesh! I also got to change a dirty diaper (the first in about 30 years!) Jim's filled several bird feeders at our site in the RV park, so we're seeing a variety of birds, and bang on the windows when the squirrels jump in and fill their paws with seed. We're going out to a local restaurant that we always visit while in this area on Thursday night. Days are nice and warm and sunny, with much cooler nights. It feels like a northern April down here, with the daffodils, jonquils and flowering crabtrees all in bloom.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Bluegrass Jam Session at Escapee's RV Park

What a cool evening we had here in eastern Tennessee, 50 miles away from Dollywood and the Smokey Mountain National Park. We're staying at an Escapee's RV Park and enjoyed an evening of listening to thirteen local pickers jam their guitars, mandolins, and bass instruments and sing a variety of old fashioned country, bluegrass, Jim Croce, and gospel songs. They come from all walks of life, but share the love of playing music and singing, so they meet here twice a week. It's a place for them to jam, and free entertainment for locals and/or rv-park folks. A great trade off. They each took turns at the mike to sing, but all joined in to sing and play back up for each other. We smiled for two solid hours, enjoying every moment of it! The sweetest thing we witnessed was a church music minister's severely handicapped daughter having her turn at the mike, and all the players joined in and grouped around her to sing and play. It was very, very hard not to cry our eyes out!!
Daffodils are blooming in this part of Tennessee, the grass is green, and it's such a nice sight to see after leaving winter's gloom behind us in Indiana. The babbling brook that runs through this area is getting very high, and the roads are flooded from the day's non-stop rainfall that began during the night. A lovely evening, however, in spite of all that.

Y'all come back now...

Y'all come back now...

Everyone is special, and counts!