A Firsts Party

Today I went to a Firsts party.  Well, it wasn’t called that; it was called a baby shower.  But there were just so many firsts going on that all I could think of was it should have been called a Firsts party.

What firsts?

Mommy and baby

Well, the new mommy with the precious little baby girl on the way.  The little baby girl that already has so many cute little clothes and other baby gadgets and gizmos that I can’t wait for her to get here.

Of course, a new baby means a grandma, and this is the first time my friend is going to be a grandma!  A first-time mom and a first-time grandma.

going to be grandma

She said today that she was going to need lessons on how to be a grandma from me and Dar, but I told her it comes naturally.

grandma love look

The first time she sees that precious little girl she will push Momma out of the way and grab that baby!  She will forget she even has a daughter of her own because she will be in such awe and love of that new little life.

My friend’s other daughter is also having a first:  her first year of college away from home.  She’s been over to the college, done all the orientation, got her room ready to roll (I assume), and will be leaving next month.

bring on the books!

I think she’s excited at the same time that she is a little anxious.  It’s hard to leave your home… especially with a little niece going to make her arrival soon.

So now the circle of firsts begins anew.  From that first breath to her first steps all the way to her first apartment/dorm room of her own to her first baby… and eventually

oh, yeah. That's what I'm talkin' about!

bring it on!




The Tank

propane tank

One of these little darlings is sitting on my deck as I blog.  It’s bigger than I thought but not so big that it takes up that much room.  The city cut me off, you know.  I didn’t pay my $10 bill in a timely manner; pretty sure it was at least one day after the two-week-pay-or-off-with-your-head gas date.  I knew they were doing it with the water but didn’t think they were doing it with the meter rental which is what I pay in the summer months.  So when they said it was $75 to have it turned back on, I told them to just plug it or get the meter or whatever they have to do because I wasn’t paying that and promptly went home and called the propane gas company to bring me a tank or two:  one for the house for the stove and one for the garage for the couple of months I use it in the winter.

After the guys came with the tanks, we all realized I only needed one.  Well, actually the dude that knows what he’s talking about realized it, and then I saw the flame light.  So it sits out by the garage instead of right by the back screen door which is very nice.

I need to paint it with a summer scene.

summer scene

Rolling Stones mouth

Or Rolling Stones mouth.

Michelangelo's David

Or naked men.


Or a big Margarita and flip-flops.


The Wonderful World of Disney

Disney Castle

Coming up soon is our Wonderful World of Disney Adventure!  I am so excited!  We are going for Kate’s fifth birthday which explains why we are going in the hottest part of the year.  She will be treated that day like the little princess she is.  The good people at Disney give her a big badge to put on, and everyone goes out of their way to say “happy birthday” to her and give her special attention.  And Kate loves attention!  She also loves pretending to be a princess, so she will get to eat lunch at the castle and then supper with Cinderella and Prince Charming where she will receive her own little cake (over-sized cupcake) and a small jewelry box.

Prince Charming and Cinderella

I just found out today at the manicure shop (where else besides the beauty shop can you get good info?) that Prince Charming and Cinderella really did get married!  An old acquaintance was there, and as we were talking about the upcoming trip, she said a friend of hers as a young girl went to work at Disney as Cinderella.  She met the young man who was working as Prince Charming, and they fell just as in love as the original pair… and, well, got married.  They now have a home full of Disney memorabilia.  And hopefully will live happily ever after.

Which one is Kate?

I Love Good Days

Yesterday was a good day.  My nephew, Mike, came and helped me mow and trim the yard and wash my car.  It was fun being around him;  he’s a hard worker who does a great job.

Today I got an Apple computer.  I haven’t decided if this has been a good day yet or not; still working on the computer.  But being in church was good.  It’s always nice to give God at least a few hours of my week.

Then tonight I checked my little blog, and there was a new comment.  That’s always thrilling to get some posts on your blog, read them, respond, enjoy the whole blog experience.  Tonight’s comment was a sweet note from another blogger with similar problems with her son as I have with my son, schizophrenia.  So I toggled on over to her blog to write her a personal little note and got caught up reading about her trials and memories and other blog materials.

The whole point of this blog tonight is to let you know that she is not having a good day.  As a matter of fact, it sounds like she needs our prayers and, in fact, has asked for them.  Her name is Michelle.

The people of Norway are not having a good day either.  I know this because I have seen their pictures splayed across my computer, and those pictures are of hurting, crying, distraught people.  They need our prayers as well.

Oh, I could go on and on about people that aren’t having a good day, and I hope that you are not one of them.  But if you are, let me know because I am on a mission this week to pray for the hurting and the downcast.  If you had a good day, as I have, tell us what was good about it.  I love hearing good stories.

Did I Mention How Much I Despise Frogs?


This picture gives me the heebie-jeebies.  I took it.  And let me tell you, it was one of the scariest and most nerve-wracking moments I have ever had during my picture-taking career.  The frog looks rather large in this picture, but that’s only because I cropped and enlarged it for the benefit of my devoted readers (whom I hope have not been traumatized by this photo).  By really looking at it in all its despicable ugliness can you get the full realization of why I am petrified of the monsters.  Thank the good Lord above it did not try to hop and attack me during this photo shot ordeal!

They get in the pool skimmer which inevitably causes one of many frog dilemmas.  Do I, as a big person, adult, grown-up, get this teeny, very dead frog out of the skimmer on my own, wearing rubber gloves and using a net, or do I call one of my trusted frog boys/men?  And just as inevitably I call one of my trusted frog boys/men because I know that when I am trying to get the nasty thing out of my skimmer it will touch one of my gloved hands, and I will immediately die of a heart attack.  (I am only thinking of my children and grandchildren! who need me!)

This is not a fear that comes from a movie perhaps titled “The Frog Attack” when I was small or even by my older brother bombarding me with live and/or dead frogs (lots of other stuff, just not that) or a freak frog phenomenon.  It’s genetic.  And I know it is genetic because my Cousin Sandy is just as petrified of the stinking things as I am.  (She also likes storms as much as I do.)

When I was trying to get the pool up and running, there were three baby frogs in the dry, painted pool.  Since I had banged up the fresh paint with one of my brilliant ideas (too tedious to go into), I had to repaint a few places.  And since Kate and Ava were here when I was painting those places, I had to buck up and put on my big-girl panties and pretend to love the ugly creatures… and got IN the pool with them and painted.  Of course, I had on knee-high rubber boots in the 90 degree weather and gloves as well.

Which just goes to show you that a mother’s and a grandmother’s love and sacrifice knows no boundaries.

The Pink Hot Rod

Ken and Barbie

We had all the cousins together again today.  They did all sorts of fun, summer things.  Swimming, of course, was a biggie as well as driving the Pink Hot Rod a/k/a Kate’s Barbie car.  All Dar and I could think when Owen and Maci were in the car was Ken and Barbie.  He has the blonde Ken good looks, and she has the hair half way down her back plus the Barbie beauty.  It was a hoot watching them drive all over the driveway in that pink car.

Bossy Maci

As you can see, they have picked up a hitchhiker.  Maci already has that woman-almost-at-the-wheel attitude.  That girl knows how to boss, now.  Gets it from her Mawmaw.  Owen is just happy to be driving, and, like all other men, has totally tuned Maci’s little, er, loud voice out.

"I thought I told you to go this way!"

And once again, just like a man, Owen has had selective hearing.  The little hitchhiker, Sam, is aghast at the nerve of Owen, deliberately going the opposite direction and defying Ms. Maci!  I can only repeat:  That is one tough, bossy little lady (again, she gets that from her Mawmaw Dar).

"I think I've had about all I can take of this girl's mouth."

Usually Owen likes everything to be blue… or at least he did there for awhile.  The fact that this was a pink Barbie car did not deter him one bit.  I have to say they both practiced their future life parts very well, and this picture pretty well says it all.  I’m quite sure I’ve viewed this very same scene in adults.

And off they go... fighting over the radio or the steering wheel or who's in control or...

They enjoyed themselves immensely in the little pink car.  It looked like so much fun that Jack had to try it as well.

Jack squeezing his big boy body in the little girl car.

His legs were so long he had to fold them into the whole car, and somehow push the pedal.  I guess with his little toe.  He wasn’t too keen on being caught in the pink Barbie Mustang.

Jack & Sam in Barbie car

Somehow, I will make sure his friends see this.

The Sunflower Children

Maci in the Sunflower House

Today was a cousin day:  Owen and Maci are here from Kansas City to stay with Mawmaw and Pawpaw for the week and came down to swim and play with cousins Kate and Ava.   After swimming for awhile, Kate took them over to see the Sunflower House.

Owen, Maci, Ava visiting in the Sunflower House

Maci found in the house a little toy bird that chirped.  I’m surprised it still did because it had been left out in the rain.  Last time Maci played with Ava she wasn’t this nice.  It was Maci’s “I’m turning two” party, so the family from Illinois went out to help celebrate.  Maci wasn’t that happy to see all of us and particularly wasn’t thrilled with Ava, another wee one getting some of Mawmaw’s attention.  But this summer, in just a few short months, she has gotten more social and is sharing her bird that she was thrilled to find.

Maci and mosquitoes

Poor little Maci was devoured by mosquitoes!  This is a cropped and enlarged photo, but even when I was snapping pictures, I noticed something dark on her nose.  I thought it was dirt until I came in and looked at these on the computer!  She had at least six or seven bites on her face and several on her legs and arms.  As I went through these pictures, I noticed she was scratching in some of them, but in trying to get several shots of the kids quickly, I hadn’t noticed.  After they all came out of the Sunflower House and were getting ready to go, we saw the big red splotches!  Mawmaw doused her good with anti-itch cream and some Neosporin, so she should be good as new by morning.

Ava hiding in the Sunflower House

Kate isn’t in any of the pictures; she was too busy swimming… or that may have been when she was pouting.  But nevertheless, I couldn’t have used her shots because she was skinny dipping… again.  I am going to have to crop every single picture this summer!


Owen did just fine with the girls until Mawmaw mentioned Jack and Sam.  He was on a mission then.  No more swimming; get the stuff loaded in the truck; see ya later, gater; Jack and Sam are home.  It was time for Ava to take a nap since she was running around like a drunken sailor, staggering all over the yard, and looking a little loopy.  So it was decided to end our fun afternoon.

And off went my little Sunflower Children… until next time.

The Potential Nudists

Sorry, folks, no pics on this post.  I have plenty of them, but they are X-rated.  My grandgirls are practicing for their future in the nudist colony.

It began with Kate.  She abhors clothes of any kind and sheds them the minute she opens the door to come inside.  And truth be told, if you look at my house or her house on any given summer day, you will probably see a full moon on that bright sunny day making it’s way around the yard.  She has no inhibitions whatsoever and thinks nothing of running all over the place “nekkid.”

So now Ava is following in her footsteps.  The minute they both set foot inside my kitchen door they begin stripping and are bare before they walk into the living room.  Amazing!  I am trying to teach them that nobody wants to see their buhiney, but Kate says that, in fact, they do.  A statement made purely out of the desire to remain unclothed.

I have to admit… I would do the same thing if it didn’t make me wonder who that old saggy, baggy woman was every time I pass the mirror.


My Grumpy Day

The day started out with oversleeping.  Not much, just enough to get me rushing a little.  Then I found out the city had turned off my gas because I paid it late.  After I had called to get an appointment with the P.A. to have my shoulder checked out, I fell asleep again and missed it by 15 minutes (would have been 30 by the time I got there).  The young lady said she would have to charge me for a missed appointment.

So I have been pretty grumpy all day.  The shoulder I injured in the pool fall has been killing me; I keep forgetting to call my occupational therapist nephew who graciously offered to help me for free; every night I fight with sleep.  Me: tossing and turning, getting up to pee, getting up to do something on computer, tossing and turning until, I suppose, I finally wear myself out in the wee hours of the morning.  Must be how babies feel… only I want to go to sleep.

Then the turning my gas off because I was two weeks late on my $10 gas bill just irks me.  Somebody else had a bill of $7, I believe; well, $7 plus 75 now.  Since I only use gas to cook with, the charge in the summer (heat the garage about a month in the winter) is meter rent usually, so I pay two or three months at a time; write one check.  Now my little town has decided everyone of the 3- or 400 patrons must pay by a certain date or off with your gas!  And to do the rehook-up is $75.

In the old days (last couple of months ago) the guy that reads the meters (who has caused part of this problem) could leave a note on your door or tell you to pay up or you would get shut off, or the keeper of the bill records would perhaps send a notice.  No longer: postage was too expensive I was told.  And the meter reader could not give you verbal notice either, just get paid his hourly rate to turn off your gas and then come back and turn it on again… that is, if you paid your $75 fee and your bill plus, I’m assuming, the late charge.  Hmmmm.  Five minutes versus 50+ minutes.  Sounds like the stamp would be cheaper.

I wouldn’t have minded paying my bill two or three months ahead instead of behind; wish I had thought of it or someone had suggested it to me.  Oh, I’ve been late paying it.  Sometimes I would wait to get the water bill and pay them both together, making me late on the $10 gas bill.  Sometimes I carry the stupid thing in my purse with the check I wrote out a week ago until I’m late.  The powers that be should be happy about that:  I’m paying late fees, too.  Nothing like the $75 dollar fee to hook my gas back up though.

Now… I’m just getting a propane tank.  I refuse to pay the $75.




Ah the Breeze of Relief

Several years ago I wrote a poem on a hot, sticky, summer night.  As I sat on the small, screened-in porch, the cool wind began to blow, just as it has done today, and I penned these thoughts.

THE BREEZE by Brenda Byasse

Oh, there it comes!
I feel it now.
I can even smell the changes it has wrought.
From the heated, sticky heaviness
To the first whisper of relief,
I feel it now.
And the coolness it has brought.

The trees begin their dancing,
The bushes jump around;
The leaves can’t help but falling
Laughing to the ground.
As I myself am giddy
From earth’s long-awaited breath,
I rejoice with all creation:
Joy flows from my soul’s depth.

It speaks as it caresses,
My legs, my hair, my face,
And brings with it the treasure
From a cooler, distant place.

I feel it now.