I think my little Bobo has feline leukemia.  He went to the vet today, and had a test.  Won’t get the results till Monday.  He’s been hanging out here ever since 1998 or 1999.

getting chased... again

Poor kitty.  He has been chased by every little tyke that comes around.  He usually wins… unless he’s feeling the need for some tail pulling.  (Ignore messy deck.)

I have some good pictures of my little man, but I’m just too tired to look for them.  It’s been a rough week.  I brought him home from the vet today, let him out of his carrier, fed him some good canned cat food, (he hasn’t been eating) and now he’s gone.  I’ve heard that cats will just go off and die.  I’ve called and called.  Usually when he hears my car pull up, he will come running.  If you didn’t know better, you would think he was a dog.

He loves to lie right beside me when I’m working in the yard.  Picks up and moves to wherever I go and lies down again.  I can call him and here he comes.  He’s always been an outside cat except to come in every now and again and search the house (I think he’s still trying to find James; they loved each other), and then goes to the back door and sits and waits till you let him out.

We accidentally left him in the house a couple of times, and instead of pooping on the floor, he went in the bathroom and pooped in the tub.  I guess it was the closest thing he could come to a toilet.

I hope he doesn’t just go off and die.

The Give-Away Results

Jill with her "laptop"

Finally!!  The picture is viewable!  Jill sent me the pic of her with her “laptop,” and I’ve been trying to figure out how to get it to be an actual picture instead of alphabet soup with a few symbols thrown in for roughage.  I never know how these things work themselves out; just glad they do.

It’s been a rough week.  Not just for me and mine but for my community and the surrounding communities.  On the heels of the tsunami and earthquakes come tornadoes and flooding; fighting rages in the Mideast; gas goes up while the economy precariously teeters toward going down or flat out free falls in some areas of the country and for many people.  My heart is aching for you all, and I could cry my eyes out (just about have over the weekend).  The list is extensive that is under the heading “Heartache.”

So what does this have to do with Jill and her picture with her new laptop?  Joy.  Joy in the midst of sorrow; a smile in among the furrowed brows; an “I-hope-she-has-another-one” happy thought amid the swirling, darker worries; the glimmer of sunshine popping out on a rainy, stormy, sad, exhausted day.

For a moment enjoy the fun I had with my give-away.  Thank you all for participating; I had such fun; you all had such good things to say, uplifting me, making me smile or laugh.  I have read and reread your responses so many times I probably know them by memory.  You make my blog fun as well as feed me your strength when I have none and give me your wisdom because I don’t have much.  I love you guys!!!!

pitiful packaging

The “laptop,” as you have seen above, was an apron, a wonderful piece of cloth that covers your lap when sitting as well as standing.  I’m truly amazed no one thought of that.

The box was a little worse for wear by the time it arrived in Ohio.  I can see I have to learn how to mail properly.  The postal employees wanted to make sure that the mailee knew the mailer was a novice packager.  Here is what the tag on the outside had to say:

damaged box but not goods

The contents were intact, nothing broken.  The balloon I had put in there was still blown up, perhaps not to its full balloon girth, but a nice, cheery, round-bellied blue surprise.

balloon to cushion the goods

In one package was her apron “laptop,” and in the other package was a sugar cookie candle.  You saw the rest of the fun stuff:  a photo album which will go perfectly for her pictures from their beach vacation; a key holder that says “Be Happy,” a car coaster with flip flops all over it.  She said she loved it all, and in fact, does look rather happy in the picture.

Jill has been through a lot this year with her battle against cancer, so I was kind of glad she won; she needed a prize for being thrown in the ring to fight cancer and coming out the winner.  It’s odd, too.  When I uploaded the numbers, her number won.  But just to make sure I actually did it correctly, I uploaded them again… and she won again.

So… I’m thinking the powers that be thought she should win this little fun give-away, no matter how small.  My birthday is in June, and I’m having another one.

Here are the results of your answers for the contest:

A Love Story and the blogs about James won the favorite blog with stories about the grandgirls, Jarred’s struggles, and my sunflowers coming in second.  Movin’ On Up and the grocery fiasco were No. 3.

Julie was first to respond (she really should get a prize for that).

The laptop guesses were great!  My very favorite was by Dymisha who said it would be  “cardboard with a keyboard drawn with a crayon.”  Now that is funny.  A laptop desk got the top guesses with Darla even adding that it would be a beach scene (since I was in Florida).  Notebook was the runner up (wishful thinking).  Gail said NONE!  (hahaha)  And then there was a toy laptop.

Some of you had NO faith in my ability to provide a laptop (you must know my finances) or even be able to sort through the comments and keep track of who said what how many times and when.  (Okay.  Now I’m confused.)  And some of you missed the opportunity to play at all!

June isn’t that far away.  Be thinking of your favorite memory of me or favorite story or favorite quote or favorite something (because some of you I only know through email or blog sites).  Don’t tell me yet… not till June.  Give you lots and lots of time.  I reserve the right to delete those most horrible, embarrassing, stupid moments, words, actions.

Hmmm.  Not much left, is there?

Hope… A Powerful Word


“What’s the use?  I can’t get a good job.”  “Yes, you can; you just need to stay clean and dependable.”


“I just want to die.”  “I’ve seen you happy before, and you can be happy again.”


“I don’t remember what it feels like.” 


“You’re just down for the count right now.  Things will get better.”


“No.  I can hear the final count. “



“Never give up.”

In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  Romans 8:37

The count can stop.  There is hope.

The Agony of Defeat

Today… I admit defeat.  It’s painful.  I can’t get out of bed nor can I get awake.  The monster has kicked my a-double.  Saturday I could feel myself lose my footing, stumbled, took some major punches to the gut.  Sunday, the pummeling continued to the point I was numb, could only sit and stare.

Today… I admit defeat.  I am just too tired to go on, so went to bed and went to sleep as though drugged.  Which reminds me… I need to get my prescription filled again.  Sometimes, a therapist once told me, a person just needs a little help getting over the hump.  My hump is here right smack dab in the middle of my pathway.  There is no getting around it, and I sure can’t get over it.  I need just a little help.

Today… I admit defeat.  Every day I get up, look the monster in the face, and proclaim victory.  I may be bloodied and bruised by the end of the day, but I stand victorious, the winner.

Today…  I admit defeat.  The fight was too hard, or maybe I took the hit too intensely.  The life in me is barely there; the nothingness wanting to take over; the black hole pulling like gravity.

Tomorrow… I proclaim victory.  I know it will be tough.  I know the monster will be strong.  I also know I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.  Phillipians 4:13

An Apron Is A Holy Thing

“He took a towel and tied it around His waist.” –John 13:4

           An apron is a holy thing.  At the Last Supper Jesus Himself donned a makeshift apron when He wrapped a towel around His waist before He washed His disciples’ feet.  Aprons are also symbolic.  They remind us that serving others is not always neat.  Our various forms of loving can get messy at times.

The Humble Servant

The story of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet, it was an act of extreme humility that caught them off guard.  And so He asked them: “Do you realize what I have done for you? . . . As I have done for you, you should also do” (John 13:12,15).

        So is this the final lesson?  Did Jesus wash His disciples’ feet as a way of calling them to take up a life of humble service?  Well, yes and no.
        “Jesus knew that His hour had come.” –John 13:1

Jesus praying

Yes, Jesus did urge His disciples to become humble servants like Himself–and He did it in a specially powerful way with this prophetic gesture.  But that’s not all He was doing.  Look at the way John introduces this story: “Jesus knew that His hour had come. . . .He loved His own in the world and He loved them to the end” (John 13:1).

    Jesus knew that the end was near.  Yet rather than spend these final few hours focusing on His own life, He went out of His way to show His disciples how deeply He loved them.  He knew that words alone weren’t going to do the job.  Words can be forgotten all too easily.  So He chose a prophetic gesture that would make a deep impression on them.  He chose to perform an act that was reserved for household slaves.  He chose an act that would be forever etched in the disciples’ memories as proof of His love and His commitment to them.  With this act, Jesus went beyond humility.
It was His way of telling them: “I have loved you right up to the end of my earthly days.  I have confidence in you.  I am entrusting my church to you.  Now go and lead others as I have led you.


   Let our hearts be filled with gratitude for the people who have served us throughout our life and for all those individuals for whom we don our apron.
Servant Jesus, may I serve the people in my life as generously and graciously a you did.–Sr. Melannie Svoboda, S.N.D.   Living Faith 

Spend time with Our Lord contemplating His unfathomable love for us, His giving us His Body and Blood , His agony in the garden, His walk to Calvary.  Then as Easter morn dawns, we can sing that Our Savior has indeed risen!!!  He have given us immeasurable gifts . . . . can we not go and stay awake an hour with Him?
(Excerpts from a devotional sent to me by email.  I’m sorry; I do not know the source.) 

The Cross

One Down… 1,000,000 to go

Beef loin

Tonight was the first meal made from my many magazine recipes!  I will be cooking quite often now (at least every six months) so please put your reservation in for a meal.  I do not want to eat alone.

The maiden voyage meal was ingested by none other than the Funky Four followed by a robust game of pinochle… although we could only muster up the gumption to play two games.  The general consensus was that everything was delicious.  There was a rotisserie chicken waiting in the wings just in case.

the table awaiting its guests

The menu was Beef and Bean Stir-Fry, Oven Roasted Root Vegetables, and Chocolate Pudding Bunny Cake with Strawberries.

slice the beef thin

Beef and Bean Stir-Fry Recipe:  2 Tbsp. olive oil; 1 lb. boneless beef top loin steak, trimmed of fat and cut in thin strips; 2 cloves garlic, minced; 1 tsp. chopped fresh ginger;

broccoli florets

2 carrots, thinly diagonally sliced; 3 1/2 c. broccoli florets; 6 green onions, cut in long thin strips; 1/4 c. orange juice concentrate, thawed, or orange juice; 2 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce; 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper; 1 15-oz. can cannellini beans.  I had to improvise; just knew I had some things and didn’t.  No crushed red pepper=course ground pepper.  No soy sauce=Tiger sauce.   I was craving beans, so I added two instead of one.  Also, no green onions so I had to leave that out.

In 12-in skillet with flared sides or a large wok heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil over medium-high heat.  Coook and stir beef, garlic, and ginger until beef is browned, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove from skillet.  Heat remaining oil.  Add carrots and broccoli, cook and stir 3 minutes.  Add green onions, cook 1 minute more.

Add orange juice concentrate, soy sauce, and crushed red pepper; toss to coat.  Add cooked beef and beans; cook until heated through.

looks good!

The Oven Roasted Root Vegetables can be whatever you like.  Be sure to try new ones though.  You might be very pleasantly surprised.  Tonight I roasted sweet potatoes, parsnips, and white potatoes.  Cut them in wedges or long slices, lay them in a cookie sheet, drizzle olive oil over the veggies, add salt, take your hands and turn them over and over to coat with the oil and salt.  Some recipes call for roasting at 375, but I like to roast at 430 to 440 for 20 minutes or so, until fork tender.

can you tell which veggie is which?

The Chocolate Pudding Bunny Cake was just made from a box mix with a small box of chocolate pudding added as well as some extra water.  The glaze is 2 c. confectioner’s sugar, a couple teaspoons of vanilla, and water.  Whisk together and pour over bunny; add a little decoration for his ears, etc.  I bought the bunny mold last year on sale.

a little grass, a little glaze, yum

We drank the old wine that was in the refrigerator to make room for groceries.  Not too bad.

The end product looked like this:

Bon Appetit!!

It’s Apron Time!

This is so us... especially the loud part

Taxes are done.  Test for work (that I bombed by the way) is out of the way.  The flower beds are beginning to take on a little shape.  And this week I’m going to tackle the tremendous amount of tantalizing and tasty-looking recipes staring at me from the box in my office.  I have occasionally taken one or two out with a big whim of getting started with my Julie/Julia-Mommas/Magazines endeavor only to put them back after letting them lie around on the desk for a couple of days.

But tomorrow…  I cook.  Bake and cook to be more specific.  I’ve got the camera out and ready to shoot.  I am going to make Easter cookies that were inspired by Pink Martinis and Pearls.  I’m so excited!   I’m quite sure mine will not be as beautiful as hers.

With which apron should I start off?

I love these fun aprons!

The red and orange is a half apron.  The other two are full body.  I also have two new ones; one from Dolores and one from Darla.  They are so cool and fun.  Pics of them tomorrow too.

I’ll have to put on some make-up.

Living It Up In ‘Louie

Thursday afternoon I came to St. Louis (okay– Fairview Heights — but it’s close to St. Louie) and have been here ever since.  We had a reporter seminar that was a must attend, then there was the visit to my son after that, and then there was (drumroll) (horns) (fanfare) SHOPPING.

So far I have only made it to Kohl’s and the hotel bar (free drink coupon).  The plan was to snag an orthopedist or optomologist or oral surgeon or whatever dentists do because there was, I thought, a dental seminar going on Friday and Saturday.  I did meet a very nice young man who is serving our country in the military who explained all sorts of top secret stuff to me (it sounded top secret).  Plus he said he would never have guessed I was old — well, actually he said he never would have guessed it after I told him how old I was.  So, of course, the little darling will always be close to my heart even though I have no idea what his name is.  But I do know he has some Indian blood in him and he hails from California.  Actually, I know a whole lot more but, as I said, I’m pretty certain it is top secret.

I am totally in love with Kohl’s.  The thought of taking a picture of all my purchases and then meticulously detailing how much I saved ran through my mind, and I would probably have done it if I had brought my camera.  Such a shame.  The sweet little gal at the store, Brittany, let me scratch off two cards, so I got 20% off instead of 15%.  I am giving her a great review on the little survey thingie they want me to fill out.   She and I both love children and oohed and aahed over the shoes I got Ava.  She spent a fortune on her nephew’s sixth birthday!  Such a sweet little thing whom I shall forever hold dear to my bosom.  She was so helpful and kind even though I had brought only one shoe from the shoe department and had taken the tag off of it (well, it was a display model).

Tomorrow before I leave I have to hit Macy’s (coupon from the paper) and Hobby Lobby (coupon on line) and maybe Joann Fabric (half off coupon).  Then it’s hightail it home in time to go to the birthday party for little Charlotte Anne.  I can’t tell you what I got her until after the party!

Oh, yeah, and I won one of the door prizes at the seminar today — oops — yesterday.  I love good days.

Practicing for Puddle Olympics

Rain Puddle Feet

Her little pants were soaked, as were her pink clog shoes.  She was thrilled to get to go without them.

Freedom for the Feet! Water Here We Come!

Contemplating speed and accuracy for the mighty puddle splash.

It's a Miss!

Aw, man!  She missed!  She has too much of her Gee (g sound as in goober) in her.  My dork gene has been passed down.