Photos of Brady

Thursday, June 29, 2006


When I got home this evening from work mom was sitting on my garden bench waiting for me. Since I had received no phone call at work I knew that it must be bad news. She would never call me with really bad news.

I have written many times about Amber, their little tea cup poodle. She and I forged a kinship when Rocky brought her and her sister Sugar from the farm. Two little ragamuffins who needed a home. Since Sugar was always on Rocky's lap, I usually had Amber on mine. I could identify with her plight, and decided to be her champion. I called her Amber-Bamber. When Sugar died Amber was the only dog left from Rocky's dog breeding business. She had ridden all over the United States with Rocky on his big truck, and at only 2 pounds she stood ten feet tall. She might not have been the most lovely dog, but the love she felt for you shone loud and clear out of her big black eyes. When she became ill and almost died several years ago she rallied when I spoke to her. We were kindred spirits in a way. I knew what it was to be on the edge of life and have something call you back. After surgery she was fine, and has enjoyed relatively good health since. It is a family joke that she seemed to know when I was coming to visit, and she was remarkably accurate. It always warmed my heart to think that someone loved me so much that she could tell when I was around.

This evening mom told me that Amber had been missing since around lunch time. She is 10 years old, blind in one eye, hard of hearing, and had suffered a broken jaw when she was a puppy resulting in a missing lower jaw. Yes she was a special needs dog, but she gave so much love and companionship to all of us. Mom and Rocky had been out in the heat calling for her and looking for her all afternoon. I can only imagine the heartache and pain Rocky must be feeling about his little lost Amber. I changed my clothes and quickly took up the search with them. If she didn't come to the sound of my voice, it would be grim.

Night has fallen. It breaks my heart to think of her out there lost, afraid, maybe hurt. I don't care if you think I am silly or not, but I know that God cares about little dogs. He knows where she is, we only need to ask Him to show us the way. I ask you to pray. We called the neighbor, Bob, and he told us that his daughter's dog was also missing. We called the local radio station, and due to Amber's circumstances they agreed to get it on the air.

As always, I will keep you informed.
Until next time,



Good morning from Smalltown. It is still dark outside, night is receding and the day is yet to come. When the house is quiet and nature is still sleeping I can focus on those I am concerned about and pray for their circumstances. This morning I have Lena on my mind.

I spoke with Aimee last night and she was encouraged. She had been able to talk to her mom at the hospital, who was already feeling some relief. The medications are working to rid her body of the fluids and she had been able to rest a little and eat something for dinner. Such simple things really, but to Lena it is major progress. Today they will be attempting to do an angiogram. This will give them the information needed to determine where to go with her treatment and how badly the heart is damaged.

Aimee was overcome when I told her how many of you had written to let me know you are praying for Lena. God is so faithful. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers on their behalf, and I would also ask for prayer for Jonathan and Aimee as they travel to St. Louis this weekend to be with Lena. There have been so many traffic accidents on that highway due to construction, and doubled with the holiday weekend it will be a dangerous journey.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. It is a joy to know how many caring people there are in the world! I hope you have a wonderful day. For those of you who will be leaving for an extended holiday weekend, please be careful and enjoy your activities.

Until tomorrow,


Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Last night I had finished dinner and was just settling into my chair to go through the mail when I got a phone call from my son. He works in Arkansas and comes home each Thursday evening. Knowing that my daughter-in-law had taken Brady and her mother Lena to the doctor in St. Louis yesterday, I figured he was calling with an update.

While Brady got a glowing report on his feet, Lena was kept at the hospital. She had seen a heart specialist and was to have met with the heart transplant team. The local doctors here had not helped her swelling with the congestive heart failure, and her legs had been leaking water. The specialist in St. Louis said that her legs were about to split open and that she was in the latter stages of heart failure.

Aimee had to make a decision. She didn't want to leave her mother at the hospital that ill alone, being in such a dire situation. They had been given tough news, but the Dr. was hopeful he could help ease Lena's discomfort. Aimee had been off for a week on vacation, and has to return to work today. There was Brady to consider. Being a grown up is hard. Aimee is 23. With a broken heart she left her mother at the hospital alone and drove through St. Louis rush hour traffic toward home. It is a three hour trip.

Long story short, my son called me to tell me the situation. I told him I would drive out to their house and lend what help and comfort I could. I also promised Aimee that all of you good people around the world would pray for Lena. She was grateful for that.

It is a small world. It cheers me to know that I have friends out there who will be faithful to help and lend prayer support when there is a need. I thank you in advance, and will keep you posted on Lena's condition.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, June 27, 2006


So far away from Iraq and Afghanistan it is easy to forget that our country is at war. Each evening on the news there are grim reminders of the cost of our freedom and the way of life we enjoy here. Our brave men and women are standing in the gap for the future of our children and grandchildren, and it is sobering to see the young faces of those who pay the ultimate price to guarantee it.

We all have gripes and complaints about our lives. Bills, the rising cost of gas and heating fuels, stressors at work, irritating coworkers. When I get home from work the last thing I want to see is more bad news. However, in order to honor those fighting men and women we also have to honor each day. Is it easy for them? They can't get away from it. To let down their guard is to lose their lives.

As a nation we must stay resolved to be informed and pray for our soldiers wherever they are serving. Honor today. Offer thanks for our way of life and pray. It is easy to forget when we don't hear the sounds of war being played out on our soil. How different would our lives be today if we had to worry about being caught in the crossfire to go to work or hear helicopters and planes overhead?

I am thankful for my freedom. And I will endeavor to be more faithful to those who defend that freedom today by honoring their sacrifice and their service. God bless them and keep them safe.

Until tomorrow,


Monday, June 26, 2006


Thank goodness we finally have news of Brady's tests. The doctor called with the results, and we got our miracle. He does not have to undergo any surgery on his head to reopen the soft spot. I know that you all have a big part in this news, and I am grateful for your support on his behalf. He does have a bad upper respiratory infection, and he was battling a stomach virus, but other than that he is happy and growing.

Tomorrow he goes back to Saint Louis for the post surgery checkup on his feet. Lena also is going to meet with the heart transplant team. She sounded stronger when I spoke with her Friday, better than I have heard her in some time. She is suffering a lot of fluid retention and swelling with the congestive heart failure though. Hopefully they will be able to help correct that so she can breathe better. I will keep you posted.

I had a long list of things to do around the house this weekend. As a result I have blisters and sore muscles, but a lot of things crossed off the to do list. It is a good feeling to see things completed. Thank goodness I know just enough about tools and home repair to be dangerous. The good thing is that good or bad, right or wrong, things get done. I still have a long way to go before I am caught up, but as the tortoise learned, slow and steady wins the race.

You know that this is kick butt Monday, so rise and shine! The day is waiting for us. A bright smile and a little determination will go a long way in having a great day.

Until tomorrow,


Friday, June 23, 2006


Friday! It always seems like the longest week when it began as a short one. Having not worked on Monday I would have thought that the week would speed by, but quite the opposite has been true.

It is most likely because I have so many projects I want to get to and work is standing in my way. Sounds like a good time to take a short vacation, but I can't as two coworkers are off for the next two weeks. Guess I will just have to wait. Instead I will focus on the eight hours separating me from the weekend. I know they will pass quickly as we are short handed today. Sometimes that is a blessing.

I still have no word on Brady. My dad looked real good and is walking great after his bypass surgery. Rocky is sailing along like a champ with his chemo and the results are amazing. Lena goes to St. Louis to meet with the transplant team on Monday. She struggles each day with getting a full breath.

When you look at the short list of problems listed here, a long work week is a paltry thing. I am grateful for health and strength. The best medicine is to look at the circumstances around us and buck up. Today will be a joy for me, and I hope that in your corner of the world you choose happiness. It will lighten your load and put a spring in your step.

I hope you have things in your life that give you inspiration and motivation. Family and friends do it for me. Happy Friday, Happy weekend, Happy life! It is what you make it.

Until next time,


Thursday, June 22, 2006


I have found the guilty party who has been trashing my container gardens. I should have known, but I wanted to give the guy a little credit for having learned something since last year.

It is Napoleon.

For the life of me I can't figure why he likes to dig up my beautiful flowers. I came home yesterday to find another big hole dug in the dirt, and two of my flowers upended with their roots baking in the ninety degree heat. Not good.

The neighbor told me Napoleon has also been up on their deck rail digging around in her hanging baskets as well. I suppose he is looking for bugs, but good grief! There are bugs everywhere. We live in the woods.

I know the poor thing is bored. I also know he is doing us a favor by eating bugs and other insects. He has no manners. I suppose this weekend I will have to buy some replacement flowers and somehow put some rabbit wire over the wash tub he favors.

Napoleon has been with us for a year, and somehow it seems like only yesterday. Every day we think he will move on, just the way he came here. I suppose it is the floral buffets that keeps him.....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Wednesday, June 21, 2006


One has to wonder just what goes on when you are gone to work each day. When I came home yesterday I noticed the front container garden had been torn asunder. Some varmint had been in it and dug holes in the soft dirt. I use the Miracle Grow dirt that is supposed to encourage bigger brighter blooms, but it is really a critter magnet. I recovered the exposed roots, patted the plants back into place, and went into the house.

Later in the evening I returned from visiting little Davey and checking on mom and Rocky. As I walked up to the porch I noticed the same critter had been in the container garden I have sitting across the tongue of the mobile home. It is actually a big oval washtub, and holds a lot of dirt and flowers. There was a hole the size of Texas, and the dirt had been scratched out along with several of my flowers.

After repairing the damage, I watched a few minutes, scanning the edges of the big woods. Last year Napoleon was the culprit. He loves munching the tender blooms, and seems to like scratching up the dirt. I suppose it is cool, and as hot as it has been here in Smalltown, it would be understandable. I have to go out and water the flowers as soon as it is daylight, so I will let you know what I find. I hate to blame Napoleon out of hand, as I have also seen Chicky up in them.

My voice seems to be stronger today, although my throat is a bit sore yet. Allergies are the pits, and sinus trouble a pain. That's the price you pay for living in the country. Have a wonderful day.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I had a nice vacation in KC with my dad, brother, and friend. Friday went well. The trip up was great, and I got there in good time with no traffic delays. My friend Diane took me to lunch, and we got caught up with news. As the afternoon wore on I grew more tired as the hours passed, but decided it was just because I hadn't slept well the night before. It wasn't until I woke up Saturday morning that I figured out why I felt draggy. When my brother asked me a question, only a squeak came out when I tried to answer.

As the day wore on, even the squeak faltered, and I just gave up altogether. So. On Sunday I decided to stay one more day, as I didn't feel well enough to make the drive home. When I woke up Monday morning, I had a little bit of voice back. As long as I don't try to talk too much at a time I think it will come back in time.

Other than losing my voice it was a good time. We ate and shopped, visited, watched HGTV (which I don't get here), and got caught up with friends and family. When I got home yesterday it took a while to unload the car, get everything put away, and start the usual laundry. Now I have to decide where to put the new things, take the old things out, and get back to work.

I hope that you all had a nice weekend with your families. Since I missed kick butt Monday, this will have to be mine. Have a wonderful day. Hopefully I will be able to squeak good enough to do my job.

Until tomorrow,


Thursday, June 15, 2006


Good morning. Today is Thursday, of course. Unless you are opting out of the rest of the work week and taking a short trip. Today is my Friday. Tomorrow I will be in KC to see my dad for Father's Day.

Since I took off on Monday, my work week has been abbreviated. Why is it that when you have a short week they are always tougher than the long ones? No matter, as I am going to be rewarded with an extended weekend.

While I am waiting for my coffee to finish perking, let me tell you about the weird dream I had last night. I looked out the back window as I normally do when walking through the house to my office. Instead of the usual robin bobbing along in search of worms, I saw a big brightly colored cockatiel. When I say big, I am talking maybe the size of a large chicken. It was such an odd sight! Firstly that it was on the ground pecking around like other birds, and secondly that it was so large and the colors were so vivid. While I was processing all of that, I saw Napoleon strutting across the lawn. When he spied the cockatiel, he began running toward it like a long lost friend. For several minutes I watched Napoleon chase the bird before it remembered it had wings. Sadly, he flew off into the big woods.

I told you it was a weird dream. I can't be responsible for the things I dream while asleep. It was so real that when I woke up this morning I wasn't sure if I had dreamed it or had actually seen it. I hope it isn't an indication of the day I am going to have.

To all of you, I wish a wonderful rest of the work week and great weekend. Celebrate the men in your life who are great dads and role models. I will see you in a few days, good Lord willing.....here on my country road.

Until then,


Wednesday, June 14, 2006


As I was coming through our little town on the way home yesterday afternoon I noticed dozens of American flags stuck down in the flower bed of the grocery store. It struck me odd at the time, as I hadn't noticed them when I drove by there going to work yesterday morning. Seeing all of those flags blowing in the breeze made me feel good, and I thought of our men and women bravely serving around the world.

This morning I got up and turned on the computer and started to the kitchen to make coffee. As I passed the calendar I saw that today is Flag Day. It made sense then why the flags had been set out in front of the grocery store yesterday.

When I turned on the TV to catch the morning news they were talking about the history of Flag Day. In 1949, President Harry Truman signed an Act of Congress making June 14 officially National Flag Day. It is the anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as our National Flag.

Look around your communities today and see if you don't notice our beautiful flag waving proudly in the breeze. It is a good thing.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I am not a woman who complains about her age, except when I have fought the pillow all night and lost. It is currently dark-thirty and I can't keep my eyes open. Between Napoleon screaming all night, the cat wanting to play with my nose because she was edgy about Napoleon, and drinking two cups of coffee before bed, I didn't get much sleep.

Something is wrong outside. Normally it sounds like a jungle rain forest at this time of the morning. The birds are usually singing in the dawn, Napoleon is screeching at the remaining darkness of night, the neighbor's dog is barking at the early risers who are driving by on their way to work. This morning it is silent. According to the weather man a storm is coming. Evidently the birds knew it first.

This morning is trash day, so I am going to hunt and gather a hot cup of coffee and wrestle my weekly bag to the street. Don't you just love those new magic Flex bags? You can get more in them than you can carry. Although it saves money, it takes twice as long to drag it down for the trash truck.

I hope you had a good night's rest and are ready to greet the day. Ready or not, here I come! When you hit spell check and it finds no errors, a good day is in progress.

Until tomorrow,


Monday, June 12, 2006


The joy of a weekend is having the opportunity to stop and smell the roses, or in my case, nature. I was up at my regular time of five a.m. Saturday morning to get ready to help accompany Rocky to the outdoor flea market. He wanted to sell some things he had left from his farm, and since mom doesn't do mornings very well I planned to go with him. Mom had told me he wanted to leave by six a.m. Chicky was a bit confused at being let out of the garage so early, but she didn't complain too much.

The air is heavy with moisture at that time of the day, and the sun was just beginning to peek over the trees of the big woods. The birds and squirrels are very active first thing in the morning, so I took my cup of coffee out to my little garden bench to enjoy them for a while. The smell of nature is pungent. Grass freshly mowed the day before, my flowers, damp earth, and rotting leaves from the floor of the woods. Reluctantly I went back to the house to get ready for the day.

Rocky and I got to the flea market in good time and picked out a place he could park his van and trailer. While he got settled, I went around to see what the vendors had for sale. I scored great toys for Brady, some things for my house, and a hard back Louis L'Amour book for Rocky. Mom came closer to lunch, so we all baked slowly in the hot June sun. It was a good day.

I had promised Davey, my adopted nephew and neighbor, that I would swim with him when I got back. I had a good time with him, getting even more sun. By the time I got home I was a nice shade of medium well. The rest of the weekend I behaved myself. I got caught up with chores, did the grocery shopping, and managed to sneak in a few decorating shows while I folded laundry.

Now we face kick butt Monday. I hope that you had a great weekend and are ready to get out there and shake things up. I will try to take some more pictures for you in a day or two.

Until tomorrow,


Friday, June 09, 2006


Good day from Smalltown. I have written many times of my country road, and the many things I see each day in the course of my life. I thought that you might enjoy seeing my little corner of the world.

Let's walk down my country road.

From my front porch, Bob's pasture lies just over the fence.

The big woods across the street from my house.

My new mailbox! Complete with my new address on it.

My new mailbox and grandpa's remaining post, over 40 years old.

My little windchime that the wren family is living in, my garage, and the sunset coming throught the trees of the big woods.

I come and go down my country road every day, and the thrill of coming around the bend in the road and seeing my little home is always a thrill. Have a wonderful day, and a great weekend!



Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Yesterday the news media was so obsessed with their stories about the date, 06-06-06, that no mention was made about the importance of the DAY, 06-06 in history. I suppose that the date is a noteworthy news story when it is an oddly occurring one, but when the anniversary of D-Day, the event that launched the Normandy invasion in 1944 is forgotten in the media frenzy, it is sad.

Normally the news is good to remember the events that shaped the world as we know it, and the lives lost to accomplish them. Today I want to acknowledge the price that was paid for our freedom, and that of the world. Had it not been for the bravery and determination that momentous day, the outcome would have been very different.

The media likes to say that we are an enlightened society and live in a world where progress is the merit badge of success. At what cost? When we forget where we came from, as well as the price that was paid, the battle is already lost. And for what? Floating heads discussing their views on the symbolism of the date?

To be fair, I didn't see the entire National news report last night, but after not hearing even a passing mention during the morning news yesterday morning I was dragging out my soap box and preparing to climb up on it.

On June 6, 1944, Allied forces comprising a huge Armada and fighting force landed on the beaches of Normandy and entered into the battle that effectively broke the iron grip of the Nazi army. It was a Herculean effort that cost thousands upon thousands of lives. Fathers and sons. Brothers. Brave men who took the task before them on their young shoulders with determination and pride. And they won the day. Today we are a free country and the world was rid of a tyrant.

To all of the veterans of WWII, I thank you. For my freedom, and for the sacrifice you and so many other brave men and women made to accomplish it. God bless you, and God bless America. If you know someone who served or is now serving to protect the peace we enjoy, take the time to thank them and offer a prayer for them today.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I just wrote yesterday about the wrens having moved on. When I pulled into the driveway last night from work, I saw a little wren hopping around on the roof that overhangs the little birdhouse windchime they like to call home. I haven't seen them for a week, nor have I heard the beautiful song the male sings to his mate as she sits on the nest.

After I had eaten dinner and was reading a book I heard the male wren. I knew where he was before I even got up from the chair to look out the window. He was perched atop the little windchime singing his beautiful song, head thrown back and little body vibrating with the joy of it. Those of you who know the wren song will understand what I am talking about. For such a tiny bird they have the most melodious song, and they sing it like a bird the size of Napoleon.

I guess the wrens are going to raise another brood. I am thrilled. I love their joyful personality, and at the end of the work day their song lifts my sagging spirit and feeds my soul.

As I turned off the TV and went to my bedroom to read I heard Napoleon fly up to roost. He serenaded me for a while, then fell silent. As I turned off the computer and the lights all was quiet....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Monday, June 05, 2006


Good kick butt Monday to you! It is time to rise and shine, and get ready for the week. I don't know about you, but the weekend was too short. I never even left the house except to walk down to mom and Rocky's. The car is right where I left it Friday evening when I came home from work.

I have surmised that the wren family has flown from their nest in my little windchime. It was ominously still all weekend. I also see no evidence of the blue jay babies that were on the ground last week. With half a dozen stray cats lurking about I just hope that they found a safe haven until they got their wings under them.

The mouse situation seems to have leveled off. I don't see or hear any evidence of them now. After finding the little hole where they were coming and going from the house and plugging it up, no more mice. It is wonderful. They have grown bored with me and have moved on to other venues. I think that Paddy, my cat, misses the challenge as she still sits by the newly plugged hole as though the little critter will make an appearance at any time.

Still no word about Brady. We are expecting test results today or tomorrow. Things in Smalltown move at a slow pace, and one has to have a lot of patience. Lena hasn't felt well enough to make the trip to St. Louis to meet with the heart transplant team yet, but the doctor signed the necessary paperwork so she can get medical disability. She can't work any longer, and that will at least allow her to keep the house and buy groceries. Your continued prayer support is greatly appreciated.

Well, the time has come. The coffee is ready and the day awaits. On your marks, get set.....Monday! Make it a good one.

Until tomorrow,


Friday, June 02, 2006


For the past several weeks I have been in a pattern of waking up in the night and not being able to go back to sleep again. It makes for a long night and even longer day. I realize that many people never sleep well, but I have always been able to lay down and rest soundly until the alarm jars me out of sleep.

Last night I slept well. Who knows why, but I am grateful. I love my little home, but most especially my bedroom. It is a haven where I can escape from the cares of the world. A year ago I painted it again. White this time, in the Shabby Chic style. I invested in a really good mattress set, bought new bed linens, and decorated it with lots of fluffy pillows. The walls are bare except for an old window I hung like a picture, and a vintage painting of a bouquet of flowers. My one extravagance for the room was a white chandelier with lots of crystals that glitter in the soft light. I had my son-in-law install a dimmer for it when they visited last year, so now I can control the mood for the room with that. Many times I will set the light on the dimmest setting so that as I go about my business I can see into the room. It always makes me smile. In the corner of the room facing the hallway is a huge vase silk flowers and ivy. It took me months to create it, buying a few at a time. Now I see the pale pink roses, peonies, hollyhocks and English ivy every time I start down the hallway. It is a calm and tranquil room that I love to be in. Many times I will turn off the TV, take a good book, prop myself up in bed with pillows and read until I fall asleep.

With life being as stressful as it is most days, it is a joy to have an oasis from the storms of life. It really doesn't take all that much to make me happy. A quiet restful home, family and friends, someone special to love me who I can love in return. Life just doesn't get any better than that.

I hope that today you are grateful for your blessings, thankful for the special people in your life, and you have a restful home where you can relax and recharge. It is good for the soul. Have a wonderful weekend!

Until next time,


Thursday, June 01, 2006


Sometimes life takes our paths in different directions, or circumstances interfere with the flow of a friendship. I had the unexpected pleasure of seeing someone yesterday that I am proud to call Friend. Work schedules and business trips, then vacations and holidays have put time and space between us, and before long it had been several weeks. While I have missed talking, laughing, and sharing life experiences, my thoughts have often been of those times and I have prayed that God would bless her life and keep her in His care.

In her absence there have been a hundred times a day that I would reach for the phone to send a text or just call to say hello, but I didn't. Sometimes people, even Friends, need time and space. It is good to honor that and hold to silence. I decided that when she was ready to visit, or wanted my friendship again, she would call me.

Yesterday I was going about my business after getting back from my meeting. I was walking down the hallway when I saw her across the lobby. What an unexpected pleasure it was to see her, but it was another hour before I was able to speak with her. The time away seems to have agreed with her. She looks wonderful, rested, but like everyone returning to work after an absence, wishing there had been another week or two of vacation.

I have other friends that I also miss, but since they live away I seem them very seldom. Time and space doesn't diminish the love between good friends, nor does it keep me from thinking of mine countless times a day. Sometimes during the day I will smile to myself or laugh over something one of them has said and it warms my heart. There is no real distance between friends, and thinking of them always lifts my spirits and gives me unspeakable joy.

I hope that there are people in your life you can call Friend. Cherish a memory, give them a call, or say a prayer for them today. It is time well spent.

Until tomorrow,