Photos of Brady

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Today Brady goes to the hospital for his first surgery. This afternoon they will be taking the extra little pinkies off of his hands. Surgery is never a pleasant experience, but when the patient is only five weeks old it is a stressful situation. Poor little guy. He will most likely fare better than the rest of us. I have faith that God will hold him in the palm of his hand and all will be well.

My son works in Arkansas for the power company, and due to the tornado damage a few nights ago, he has to stay and work on the cleanup so the linemen can restring the power lines. He wanted to be here so badly, but part of growing up is accepting the things that can't be changed. Since the next surgery is to be the worst one, he plans to be there for that.

Just a note about Napoleon. He made it through the cold night just fine, and although he got spooked last night just before he went to roost, he did make it up into a tree just before dusk. I heard him honking and he was really agitated. Mom called and told me he was headed to my place, so I went out to see what was going on. Evidently something had scared him, and when he gets scared he runs around and honks. I called to him, and he seemed to calm a bit. I didn't see what had scared him, but he did finally roost in a tree by moms garage. It was really cold again last night, but the wind laid.

Have a good day. I will let you know how Brady's big day goes. Your prayers and good thoughts are most appreciated. A most heartfelt welcome to my new readers, and to a special friend who has become a real blessing to me.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I am waiting for first light so I can go out and see how Napoleon made it through the night. When I got home last night it was dusk, and I could see him nestled up in the big oak tree in front of mom and Rocky's house. It was spitting snow and the wind was blowing like crazy. I am sure he had a rough night. Sunday night we had tornado warnings and severe weather. The temps had been in the high sixties all weekend.

The biggest fear is that Napoleons feet will freeze. All information I have read says that is the biggest problem with peacocks and cold weather. We will see how he fares. He is so full of bread, hamburger buns, and old doughnuts, he should have lots of carb energy to stay warm. It is hard to figure a way to make a shelter for him, because he likes to roost up in the trees. Any shelter we make would have to be fifty feet up. Sounds like a good project for Rocky.

This morning I will have to go out and warm the car up before I leave for work. One of the first signs of winter. One of my favorite sayings is "The longest journey begins with a single step". So it is with winter. To arrive at spring we have to walk through the days of winter first. Each day I try to look at it like that. One day, one step closer to spring.

I hope that you have warmth and sunshine wherever you are today.
Until tomorrow,


Monday, November 28, 2005


Good morning from Smalltown. I have had the most wonderful four day weekend, mostly because I only left the house once. Yesterday I had to get out for some groceries, but settled right back into the cozy comfort of the house and lit candles while I watched movies and crocheted. The cat settled next to me and watched the yarn as I worked it into an afghan I am making for a Christmas gift. After watching the hypnotic movement for a while, she nodded off to sleep.

As for Napoleon, my fickle fowl, he has found another new home. My outdoor cat Chicky keeps him chased off from here, and in fact I caught her in the act of chasing the big blue bird Saturday. I heard the honking noise that Napoleon makes when he is afraid or agitated and went out to investigate. He went streaking by me with Chicky right on his tail. He finally flew up onto my sons pickup that is parked in my brother Georges lot next door, and I scolded Chicky for her bad manners. For the life of me I can't figure out why Napoleon doesn't give her the business with his tail. He is brave with every other cat and dog in the neighborhood except Chicky. Mom and I watched him give her cat Callie the business Saturday. It didn't take him long to intimidate her. It is so funny. He is such an indignant bird when something offends his delicate sensibilities.

Napoleon has picked up his skirts and settled in at mom and Rocky's house. He seems to love being around people, and there is always someone home there. Mom and Rocky feed him constantly, and he seems happy there. I am glad, as I felt badly that he was alone here so much. It was sad for me to see him over at Bob's house as well, and now that I can see him every day it seems as if everything is back to normal. His tail feathers are getting so pretty. Mom takes pictures of him all the time, and I am confident that you will be able to see them from time to time over at her blog.

I trust that your holiday was a happy and blessed one. Mine was wonderful, filled with family, friends, good food, and of course little Brady. This morning, it is back to work....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Friday, November 25, 2005


While many of the shopping faithful are already at the malls and discount stores to score the big bargains, I am content to be right here in my little home. I used to get up before dawn to do battle with the hoards of other shoppers, but it isn't worth it to me now. Good luck and Godspeed, I say. There will be other sales before Christmas.

What a wonderful Thanksgiving I had. The day was so beautiful, and I was out to take care of a few things before making hot rolls for our dinner. I spoke with my daughter on the phone, as well as my dad, and spent a great deal of time chatting with friends both old and new. After making the rolls and doing the dishes I dressed to go down for dinner. Napoleon was in his glory. He ate bread from moms deck, and strutted around with his tail spread for us. He is so funny, and has such a distinct personality. Watching him interact with the cats is a hoot. Mom got some good pictures.

Upon arrival at mom's, I was put in charge of giving their little dog a bath so she would be clean for the company. I helped with the dinner preparations, and watched a little of a football game I still don't know who won. As usual, it was a festive time. Mom was wearing her grandmother's apron. Funny how those little touches make those who have passed seem closer. After we had dinner under control, the neighbors arrived with Davey. He is almost six now, but he still likes to sit on my lap. Knowing that he would be jealous once little Brady came, we tried to spend time with him before they got there.

Finally, Jonathan, Aimee, and Brady arrived. The house seemed to swell with love. To see my son carrying a baby seat and fussing over his son warms my heart to bursting. They are both such good parents, and so good to let us all pass Brady around. Since we were the last stop in their long day, they were all tired I'm sure. Dinner was wonderful. Everyone was so hungry, which makes the cook happy. We missed our family and friends that were absent from the table, but somehow we could feel their presence there.

Brady slept through dinner, but shortly thereafter there were anxious faces around his baby seat waiting for him to wake up. He has grown to 13 pounds and 2 ounces! We took pictures, which I will send to John to post for you, and loved the baby until he was exhausted. I had a wonderful time. Mom and Rocky have a laid back and comfortable home, so everyone was relaxed and laughing. I gave up pie to hold Brady, which was much kinder to my hip line.

It is simply amazing, the heart's capacity to love. One little life made so much difference! Although my thoughts often went to those loved ones who have already passed, I felt them surrounding us all evening. Brady is such a good little baby, and watching how everyone interacted with him had to be so gratifying for Jonathan and Aimee.

Also on my mind were our men and women in harms way. I know their thoughts were of home, but they are faithful to their duty so our country can remain free. God keep them safe until they can return to the bosom of their families.

I pray that your Thanksgiving was a happy and blessed one, and that your refrigerators are stuffed with leftovers so you can have a vacation from kitchen chores today. Enjoy this day after, as I will....here on my country road.

God bless,


Wednesday, November 23, 2005


I am writing my Thanksgiving thoughts today as so many of my readers read from work. Tomorrow and hopefully Friday you will all be surrounded by family and friends sharing whatever is traditional for you and your loved ones. The day will be spent in preparation for your meals, traveling, or welcoming guests in.

I love Thanksgiving. I suppose because Christmas has become so commercial and the weather prohibits travel. Thanksgiving is like Christmas without presents. Since our travel plans changed this year, we are having an evening meal at mom and Rocky's house. My son and daughter-in-law will be bringing the star attraction, little Brady. Since they have to divide their time between families, we will be the evening stop. Mom also invited the neighbors, Dave, Patty, and little Davey. It will be a full house, but a house filled with love and laughter.

My memories of Thanksgiving past are always of the same thing. We had a full house of family and friends, wonderful food, and relatives that excelled at story telling. Mom always wore an apron that day to protect her festive outfit, and my brothers and I were on our best behavior.
Since our family all lived so far away, we often had Christmas with them at Thanksgiving when they came to visit. For three little kids this was great! Two Christmases. After the meal was over, the food put away and the dishes done, we gathered in the living room and the gifts were passed out. We spent the rest of the day playing, listening to stories, and eating leftovers.

This year has been quite the year. There is so much to be thankful for. God has blessed me beyond measure, and has protected my family in the face of tremendous peril. Of course the obvious thing is Hurricane Katrina. John, Barb, and LJ were spared from loss of life and property. It was a scary few days for us. Although I broke my leg, it healed and I am once again back to normal. The experience was a good one and my time at the office will help me in the months to come. I have a new grandbaby. Brady is a joy. I am so thankful he is healthy and growing strong. Seeing the changes in Jonathan and Aimee since his birth is so rewarding. I got to see my daughter and her husband, and she will be returning in a couple of weeks for another visit. George is healthy and doing fine.

God has blessed my life and my heart is full. Although I have challenges and heartache like everyone does, I have faith and hope for a better tomorrow. Our country is free, however we are a nation at war. As you gather around your holiday table, remember our brave men and women so far from home that stand in harm's way that we may celebrate Thanksgiving and enjoy our way of life.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, wherever in the world you may be reading this from.

God bless,


Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I wrote yesterday about the frozen fog. It was the first morning I had to scrape the windshield before leaving the house, which would have been totally unecessary had I listened to the weatherman and just warmed the car first. One of the things I have learned about living in Smalltown is that the approach to life is totally different than anywhere else I have lived.

As I drove into town I noticed that most people had not taken the time to warm their cars or scrape their windshields. Most of them were running their windshield wipers full blast in an attempt to see. I could see faces through a small hole in the frost. This is a fly by the seat of your pants approach to driving safely on your morning commute.

Many people were looking out through a hole in the frost, running their windshield wipers, and misting the frost in an attempt to melt it. Having tried this myself in the past, it is a fools errand. This method only temporarily rids the glass of the frost before the mist freezes in the cold air. Add to that the problem of the defroster not being warm yet, so you have to keep wiping off the inside of the glass. Not good.

The most innovative guy I saw however, won my laughter. I just couldn't help it. I had just gone through the four way stop in the middle of town- our only traffic light by the way- and was just picking up speed again when I saw a big old Ozark cancer eaten pickup truck coming toward me. I would have noticed him anyway, as it was jacked up and I could hear it coming before I actually saw it. The kicker however, was that his whole windshield was completely covered with frost. No hole, no windshield wipers, nothing. He could see really well though. He had the drivers side door ajar, and his window down. He was leaned out as far as he could get and still drive the silly thing, and aside from the fact that he almost took me out with the door being ajar as I passed him, it was a hillbilly method that was working for him. If I was a betting woman I would have put a hundred dollars on the fact that his heater and defroster was broken. What a sight. His long hair was blowing in the breeze, his hat was screwed down on his head so it didn't blow off, and he was smiling like an idiot and waving at passers by. Was it my imagination of did I hear the Dukes of Hazzard theme?

Well, it was a hoot. I was running a bit late due to having to scrape my glass, and I was feeling pressured. Seeing this guy made me laugh. The funny thing is that it is typical of the laid back country approach to life here in Smalltown. Most of the time I feel like I am living in a time warp, but every now and again, you just have to tip your hat to the locals.

Seen and noted.
Until tomorrow,


Monday, November 21, 2005


My day with Brady didn't happen. I was so looking forward to it, and had finished his little camouflage afghan for the occasion. However, things didn't work out. I called to make sure what time they would be bringing him by, and Aimee told me that they had to take Brady to Springfield for xrays of his extra fingers and toes. I was disappointed of course, but there will other times. In the course of the conversation she told me that their car was acting up, so I offered to take them in my car. That being taken care of, I just changed gears. My son was to call when they were ready to go.

Plans with my son are always fluid at best. He marches to his own drummer, so I wasn't surprised when he called to say there had been a change. He had been able to get their car fixed, and wanted me to know that they were going on and wouldn't need my help. However happy I was that the car situation was taken care of, it meant no day with Brady and the kids. There will be other times.

On another front, my Thanksgiving plans have also changed. Mom, Rocky, and I had planned to go to KC to have Thanksgiving with my brother George. Due to Brady's possible surgery this week, and other issues, we canceled those travel plans. It looks like we will be having a small dinner at mom's house. I invited the kids and Brady to come, so I hope that happens. George was to come here for Thanksgiving, but within an hour of making those plans, he called back to say that he had tickets for a basketball game at KU and wouldn't be able to come.

A person has to remain flexible in this life. I did have a nice quiet weekend at home, and did go out to see Brady yesterday morning. I can't believe how big he is getting. I see him once a week, and the changes are amazing. Today it is off to Springfield for the little guy. He meets his orthopedic surgeon for the consultation. The fingers will be no problem, as there were no bones in them. The two extra toes will be the issue. Both of them have bones and will have to be surgically removed.

As always, I will keep you posted. We have heavy fog, which makes visibility nil, and a little frozen fog on things this morning. I will have to be extra careful until things warm a bit. Always a challenge....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Saturday, November 19, 2005


It is such a beautiful day here in Smalltown. It is really the only day that I can sleep in without setting the alarm, and I wake up at the same time anyway. This morning I was glad. The sunshine is streaming through the trees of the big woods behind the house, chasing away the chilly temperatures and promising a beautiful fall day.

Napoleon is still here. I saw him eating his feed a bit ago, seemingly unaffected by the cold. I set his feed bowl up on the patio table so the wild animals don't get it at night, and he likes being up off the ground. He is sure a good example of grace under fire. Having just wandered here, Napoleon has adapted to things very well and is eeking out an existence with little fanfare. He has no animal companionship, which is fine, as that gives him even more time to groom his beautiful feathers and admire himself in the doors and windows in the neighborhood. Several attempts at trying to move him to an environment where he would be with other peacocks have failed. He seems happy just to be as he is. A lesson we could all do well to learn.

Deer season is still in full swing, but for some reason the deer count is really down this year. Yesterday on our way to work we had to travel cross country. It is one of the more beautiful drives in the area, and we were happy to see several groups of deer moving. There was also a bald eagle soaring high above us, and against the deep azure blue of the autumn sky he was quite a sight.

There is such joy in the simple things of life. It makes me happy to be alive.
Happy Saturday, everyone.

Until Monday,


Friday, November 18, 2005


Today I have to leave early for work today, so will type out a few updates for you before I leave. I am still in a lot of pain and discomfort with my tooth, but am thankful for pain medication. I can't eat, so may actually lose some weight over the Thanksgiving holiday. I have to put up with this until the 30th. It is okay, I am sure that the discomfort of it will ease in a day or two.

Napoleon continues to hang around. He is a constant source of entertainment. The cold weather doesn't seem to bother him very much. My cat Chicky chases him off at every opportunity, so he has been staying at moms where there is more activity. He seems to like being around people. For whatever reason we are happy to have him.

In the morning I get to babysit my new grandson Brady for the first time. I am so excited. I finished his little camouflage baby afghan, so will be able to send it home with them when he leaves.

Rocky's birthday was yesterday, so send a shout out to him via mom. He is currently training for another powerlifting meet. Not bad for a guy of seventy something, huh? Today is a dear friend's birthday as well, and want to wish sunshine and warm weather for both of them. Wonderful to have great family members and friends to hope good things for. Makes life rich and full.

Have a wonderful day, and I promise to take pictures with my new camera tomorrow and send to John to put on my site. Happy Friday.

Until next time,


Thursday, November 17, 2005


Yesterday mom and Rocky took me up to the dentist to get a crown prep on the tooth I broke. It took a while, but yesterday it felt great. Huh. Must have been the influence of the anesthetic and the pain pills. About bedtime all of that wore off and the throbbing pain started. I didn't sleep more than 2 hours all night. This morning I rummaged around and found the pain pills I had left from breaking my leg. I can usually withstand a lot of pain, but you know it is going to be bad when the dentist warns you it is going to be painful.

The air is a bit nippy this morning. We are in the teens here. Napoleon was eating a crumbled hamburger bun at mom's last night, and she called me about his feed. I grabbed the bucket and took down to him as it was getting dark. I hope he fared well in the night. I'll check on him and let you know tomorrow. Right now I am going after a cup of coffee and a pain pill. Breakfast of champions.

Have a great day, and hopefully I will be much improved tomorrow.
Until then,


Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Well my first day back with the crew will be memorable. I told you that we had severe weather promised for yesterday. They weren't kidding. We got to the station and set up the office with no problem. We didn't have any customers the first hour, and were enjoying the quiet.

Smalltown had cancelled school for the day due to flooding in the computer lab and the difficulty in picking kids up with the high water. In fact, the local network news was here and I was surprised to see Smalltown featured on the morning newscast. Everyone was a bit on edge due to the weather forecast.

One thing about working for the highway patrol- you can get information when you need it. Shortly before ten the sky darkened and the tornado sirens began to blow. I called troop headquarters for details and was informed there was a very good chance that Mtn. Grove would take a direct hit. I had about ten seconds to process the facts, make a decision, and act. We had about ten minutes lead time before the storm hit. We work in an office used by another department, and the building is falling apart. Gathering up all of the secure documents and grabbing the briefcase, we locked the building and went to shelter.

I could see the storm approaching as we crossed the overpass to the shelter. You could see the rotation in the clouds, and I was not sure we could make the last half mile before the storm was upon us. We did make it, just in time to see trash containers and flower pots flying around. Hail rained down and the wind drove the rain from every direction. As I looked into the faces of four worried people, I chose humor to lighten the mood. It was a very fast moving storm, traveling at fifty-five miles an hour. We could hear the roar of the funnel, but it must have passed by aloft.

Ten minutes later the sky lightened and the rain was a gentle remnant of the storms fury. Once I knew that we were indeed out of danger, we got back in the van and returned to the office. By lunch time temps had plummeted and when we left for the day there was a thirty degree drop from when we had arrived.

Just another day.....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Typical of how things go, we had a tremendous end to our drought here in Smalltown. It has been pouring like someone tipped the bucket since yesterday evening, and after a huge good old fashioned thunderstorm to get things started, the rain has continued. We have reports of 4-6 inches and the rain is still falling. I guess we are catching up the in one fell swoop.

I didn't sleep well through the night, mainly because the thunder and lightening kept waking me up. Now I have to return to work with my crew worn out. As my grandmother used to say, always something. It will be a day of catching up. I haven't worked with the crew since the first of August. It will be strange.

Today will also be a day of weather phenomenons. We are starting the day near 60, and it will be snowing when I come home. Flurries, but still snowing. Amazing. In the interim we are to have severe weather that is bringing the cold from the north. I think it is time for a trip to the beach. Any beach. As long as it is warm, there is plenty of sunshine, and a cabana boy. Oh well. A girl can dream.

On the up side, the hunters are getting soaked in their deer camps and the kill for the first weekend is down 25% from last year. There is always a silver lining. I hope wherever you are that the sun shines for you today. A dear friend of mine is fond of saying the sun is always shining at 30,000 feet. So, look up! Everyone gets sunshine today.

Until tomorrow,


Monday, November 14, 2005


Deer HunterSaturday marked the first day of deer firearms season. I dread it every year, as our town and surrounding area is overrun with out of state people who arrive with campers, guns, and all manner of orange clothing. It is good for the local economy I suppose, but the wildlife is interrupted for two weeks.

I haven't seen Napoleon for a day or two. He was here Saturday, but every time he heard a gunshot in the distance, he got agitated. Not that I blame him. Chicky and all of the other outside cats are really spooked as well. There have been several really close gunshots. I try to stay inside as much as possible during gun season, as each year animals and people get shot just for being out in the field of play, so to speak.

Although I understand the logic of the hunting seasons, it is hard for my heart to accept. There were many years when the kids were small that we would have gone hungry if not for venison, rabbit, and squirrel meat. It was hard for me then. I am a city girl who never gets used to seeing beautiful deer dead and gutted as they are being taken to the checking stations. It breaks my heart.

Our little herd of deer has been hidden deep in the big woods since season began. I hope they stay there. That is most likely where Napoleon is as well. For all of you deer hunters, I pray that your shots are clean and quick. Be safe out there.

Until tomorrow,


Friday, November 11, 2005


Two years ago I stood in the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. It was one of the most moving experiences of my life. Once the tourists boarded the boat that took us out to the memorial, a hush fell. People from all cultures and races watched as the stark white memorial drew nearer. Members of the US Navy guarded the front and rear gates of the boat, and helped us disembark once we docked at the USS Arizona Memorial complex.

The day was typical of Hawaii. The sun was shining and the wind was blowing across the water. Before we were allowed to walk through to see the ship at rest below the water, there was a presentation on the events as they happened December 7, 1941. The film made you feel as though you were there. It put into perspective what we were about to see as we walked out to the memorial.

Nothing can prepare you for the emotion of the moment you first see the broken ship laying below the surface of the water. Oil droplets continuously escape from the wreckage and rise to the surface of the water at regular intervals. It is an eerie reminder that 1102 bodies are still entombed in the sunken battleship. Those who survived the attack have asked to be buried with their shipmates when they pass. Their cremated remains are secured in the ship by Navy divers so they may rest with their fallen comrades.

Today we are a country at war. Our support and gratitude is what Veteran's day is all about. We enjoy freedoms and safety that is hard won and bought with the ultimate sacrifice of our brave men and women. As you go about your day, take a few moments to reflect about the price of freedom, and thank those you know have served or are serving to preserve that freedom.

To those of you reading this who are veterans, thank you. I am proud to express my gratitude for your service. Our thoughts and prayers are with our nation today, and to those who have our backs.

Remember the family of Justin McLeese today. John will be attending a special service and award ceremony for him today in Covington, LA.

God bless America.
Until tomorrow,


Thursday, November 10, 2005


Good Thursday morning. I worked very late last night, and am hurrying around tis morning as I overslept. Today should be my last day at the office before rejoining my crew. I survived my flu shot without a fuss, and my arm doesn't even hurt. Enjoy Napoleon's pictures another day, and I promise a full post in the morning. It will be a holiday for me. Thanks to John for posting the pictures! Napoleon would be so proud.

As always,


Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Good morning from Smalltown. Thought it would be a good day for an update on Napoleon, since mom got such good pictures of him yesterday. Hopefully John can get the pictures into my post so you can admire him. He is really getting pretty.

Napoleon fannning his tail feathers

Napoleon, side view

Last week, Bob's wife called mom and said that although they loved Napoleon and enjoyed having him around he was becoming somewhat of a nuisance. Of course they don't want to get rid of him, which is the decision I came to when he was being a problem here. I felt duty bound to call her after talking to mom, as everyone thinks he is my peacock. It was a frustrating conversation, and no decision was made about Napoleon's future. I gave her the phone number of the man who was to come take him to his farm to live with his peacocks. She said they would only do that as a last resort.

Napoleon knows. Ever since I had the conversation with Bob's wife, he has been hanging around here again. He has been coming every evening to eat his feed, but had been going back to roost at Bob's. For the past two days, Napoleon has blessed us with his wonderful presence. I guess he knows that we will not try to capture him and send him off to a farm where he could live in bliss with other peacocks. He seems to like it here. So, we welcome him back for however long he will stay before he goes back across the field to Bob's again.

His tail feathers are getting longer, and have developed the beautiful iridescent eyes peacocks are known for. Mom got wonderful pictures of his tail. As far as I can tell, Napoleon spends as much time grooming his beautiful feathers as he does admiring himself in glass windows. He seems to love being around where people are. While I was home with my broken leg, he stayed here. When I went back to work, he strolled across the field to Bob's, where they come and go all day puttering around their place. Yesterday, mom said he watched her through the window of her computer room for the longest time. He is so funny.

So, at least for now, Napoleon stays.....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Today is the day flu shots are given at Troop headquarters. I have been trying to figure out a way to get out of it, but common sense tells me to buck up. I have always had an intense fear of shot needles. When I was in first grade the school nurse sent home notes for all of the parents informing them of what shots their child needed to attend school for the year. I always put the notes my teacher wanted mom and dad to see in my little red plaid lunch box. The day the shot note was sent home I pondered the conundrum I was in as I walked home from school. Finally, just half a block from home, I opened my little lunch box and let the note fall to the ground.

I am not sure how long it took, but one of the neighbors found the stupid note and called my mom. My fear of shots was legendary in my family. I don't remember the incident, but mom likes to tell the story about chasing me all over the doctors office to avoid the shot needle. She tells it much better than I do. It is always an opportunity for my brothers to laugh at me. So, the call was made and my brother George and I had to go to Dr. Needles (I'm not kidding here, that was his name) office for shots. He always went first, mainly because I was chicken. He would come out with his piece of Double Bubble bubble gum with a smirk on his face. By this time my heart was hammering like a freight train. The rest of it is a blur. John could probably give some fancy handle to my fear, but lets call a spade a spade. I hate shots.

After I finally got home, my arm would hang like a dead weight for days. It hurt from the medicine in the inoculations, which gave my brothers more ammo against me. They always went about life as though nothing untoward had happened. Oh well. That is a sister's plight in life. They still double team me at family functions, but it's okay. If they didn't love me they wouldn't tease me.

So, today I will have to stand in line to get a shot I don't really want. Nurses used to take pride in giving you a shot before you realized they were finished. Now they squeeze up some skin and jab the needle straight in to the hilt. And to think they are going to let me pay twenty dollars for the experience. Waaa.

Oh well. I will hopefully survive the experience and see you right here tomorrow.....here on my country road.

Until then,


Monday, November 07, 2005


I spent all weekend getting the house ready for winter. After five years of moving the extreme weather door and window caulk from one room to the other, I finally got out the caulking gun and did the deed. While the results may not be pretty, I did get all of the windows winterized. The last time I was at Lowe's, I also bought rolls of weather stripping for the doors. I forgot the door sweep, though, so will have to get one of those.

The air conditioner also lets in a lot of cold air, and the cat had pushed the window out a bit when she discovered she liked to lay on top of it to look out the window at the birds. After taking stock of my meager handyman supplies in the garage, I chose a piece of board and some long nails, grabbed my hammer, and walked around to the window. I pushed it in tight, laid the board against the bottom of the window where it meets the top of the air conditioner, and nailed it into place. Now Paddy can lay on her lofty perch without letting in cold air. A little foam stripping finished the job. While she was occupied, I changed the litter in her litter box.

Yesterday I spent the day doing normal household cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking. I did run out to Jonathan and Aimee's house to see Brady for a little bit. He passed his first doctor's visit with flying colors, and has gained a pound and four ounces since he was born two and a half weeks ago. When I took my shower I noticed the caulk along the tub had let loose, so right before bed I caulked that good.

I fell into bed feeling good about the work I had accomplished. Sleep came quickly. All was well until sometime during the night when I heard a crash and another sound I couldn't identify. Silence once again fell on the house, so I rolled over and decided to wait until morning to see what the problem had been. Not good.

When the alarm went off I walked down the hallway and into the computer room to turn on the computer. My bare feet met with sharp hard crystals. Flipping on the light I discovered the source of the unidentified sound I had heard in the night. Paddy had dumped her litter box over and the crystal litter was everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Except, of course, in the litter box.

So. Happy Monday. It took me half an hour to police up the mess, get the coffee made, and sit down to post. I suppose there is good news. The day has to go up from here. I hope you had a better start to the work week, and will take advantage of kick butt Monday to accomplish something wonderful. Now that things are back on track, that is exactly what I am going to do....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Friday, November 04, 2005


Yesterday I went to the orthopedist to see how my foot is progressing with the mid foot sprain. The ankle is still swollen and hurts some, but that is to be expected. The foot is coming along fine, and although I am still having pain and muscle spasms in the mid foot area, I am much improved. After ten weeks of casts, crutches, hobbling and limping, I have been released to return to regular duty November 14. Until then, I will be continuing with the alternate duty assignment on the desk at headquarters.

I would like to thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers during this ordeal. It sure has been a learning experience, and I have much more empathy for those who are permanently disabled than I did before. Everything happens for a reason, and at least for a while I limped through life instead of running. Interesting.

I hope to get out to see little Brady this weekend. He is now two weeks old, and I haven't seen him all week. Time for a visit. I guess I could lure the parents here for dinner, and I can hold the little angel while they eat. A win-win for everyone.

I get to drive to work today for the first time. It seems so weird. Well, back on my head. I have things to do before work, so I wish you a wonderful TGIF. We are having beautiful weather here in the Ozarks, which makes Friday even more wonderful.

Until tomorrow,


Wednesday, November 02, 2005



Before Brady was born, I didn't feel like a grandma. I suppose many women feel like one right away, begin to crochet or knit, buy little baby things and start scrapbooks to chronicle the event. Not me. There was a defining moment that changed everything however. The night Brady was born, I stood at the bedside next to my son Jonathan as his son was delivered. We watched as he took his first breath and began to cry. Along with Jonathan and Aimee, I cried with Lena, Brady's other grandma, at the miracle we had all witnessed. For those of you have been through the experience of the labor and delivery of a child, you know what I mean. There is an instant bond forged with the new little life.

Being a grandma is great. For one thing, Brady is the image of my son. He is his own little personality though, and such a sweetheart. My heart grew tenfold the first time I held the little guy, and like everyone else, all I want to do is hold him and watch him sleep. While my daughter was here to meet him last week, mom took lots of pictures. My brother John will hopefully post a few so you can see what all the fuss is about.

I am proud to be Brady's grandma. Aside from having my own children, this has been the greatest experience of my life. Jonathan and Aimee did very well, and will make fine parents. I am sure there will be more about Brady as he grows...here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Last week, the view changed here on my country road.

Cooler weather and some very heavy dew brought almost instant color to the foliage in the big woods. I was beginning to think we would just slide into winter with green leaves on the trees. The fall pumpkin displays looked out of place, and frankly weren't selling very well. When the leaves began to change color, sales picked up briskly. It seemed silly to buy mums to plant the container gardens when the temperatures hovered in the eighties, but I am thinking about some now.

Yesterday, at long last, we got some much needed rain. It has been a couple of months since we had a good soaker, and although it cancelled Halloween trick or treating for us, it was a good thing. As the sun rises this morning, it is glorious to see the red, gold, and orange leaves illuminated in the first rays of sunlight. At this time of year, I am always sorry I can't paint. There is no way to capture the autumnal color adequately, but I have always wanted to try. I suppose my talent falls to the use of words to describe natures most glorious season.

The trees of the big woods are now dressed in new skirts of vivid and beautiful color, and the view against the azure blue of the November sky is breathtaking. I am most thankful for the little home I have.....here on my country road.

Happy November,