Photos of Brady

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I got the promotion!!!

Word came in yesterday morning while I was working in the office to complete end of the month reports. The supervisor that had also applied was in the office, so we were told in person rather than getting a phone call. We had lunch together, and it was a great day. We will work well together ongoing, so the transition will be a smooth one.

I thank all of you for your thoughts, prayers, encouragement and support during the last two years of my work woes as well as through the promotion process. With Brady sailing through his surgery and recovery, my being named Chief, and Rocky feeling better I have much to be thankful for. God is faithful.

I hope you have a wonderful day in your corner of the world. It will be for me.....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Monday, October 30, 2006


I am thrilled to report that Jonathan, Aimee, and Brady came home yesterday afternoon. I took out a casserole and a few groceries, so while the adults unloaded the car and ate their dinner I played with Brady. He looks so different!

If you didn't know that the little guy had been in the hospital and had surgery you would never know it. His scar will never be noticeable once the hair grows back, and once the dissolvable plates and screws eventually dissolve his head will be perfectly shaped. The good news is that Brady's brain now has room to expand and grow. The doctors told the kids that as soon as they made the incision to open the skull they could see the brain expanding. This was the confirmation Jonathan and Aimee wanted to hear to confirm they had made the right decision to go ahead with the surgery.

Even the doctors were amazed at the rapid recovery Brady has made post surgery. The swelling is almost gone, and his eyesight is back. He didn't have the terrible bruising that was expected. I will take my camera out and get a picture for you in the next day or two, once everyone gets rested up. Thank you again for your support and prayer, it made all the difference.

Praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy. You are all angels who had a big part of this ordeal, and we will be forever grateful.

Hopefully I will get some news about my job today. I will let you know as soon as I hear. Since it is kick butt Monday, lets get out there!

Until tomorrow,


Friday, October 27, 2006

GO BRADY!!!!!! 

I am happy to report that the doctors say Brady has exceeded all of their highest expectations. The surgery went perfectly, and even taking eight hours and Brady having asthma he came through like a champ.

While they are keeping him mildly sedated and on pain medication, my son said he was sitting up in his crib playing. He is in a helmet to protect him from himself, although he has already tried to take his helmet, the turban bandage, and the drain tube off. While I was talking to Jonathan last night Brady tried to climb out of the crib. He is a little confused at why he can't see. The problem isn't with his eyes, but from the trauma of the surgery itself and the swelling. This should be temporary and subside in a few days. Jonathan and Aimee took several of his toys from home that he loves, and for the most part Brady seems content. He is having a hard time understanding why he can't get down and play on the floor, but the kids hold him on their laps as much as they can.

We know that the reason Brady is doing so well is all of the prayer support he is getting. Thank you for the comments and emails that are pouring in. Blog folks are the best. I can text the kids through the day from work, and I call them in the evening. It will be my pleasure to keep you posted on Brady's progress. He is truly a tough little guy. Actually everyone at the hospital loves him. He blows kisses to the nursing staff and hams it up for the doctors when they come in to check on him. I'd say he is going to be just fine!

Until tomorrow,


Thursday, October 26, 2006


Brady came through an eight hour surgery with flying colors. He is currently in ICU and resting well after his ordeal, and Jonathan and Aimee are by turns thrilled, relieved, and worn out.

To abridge his procedure, they cut the skull from ear to ear to relieve the pressure on the brain. The doctors said there was a good deal of pressure there, which made the kids feel better about making the decision to proceed with the surgery. After putting in plates and screws, they totally reshaped Brady's little skull. It will take a year or better to see the end result, but eventually he will have a normally shaped skull.

There was no brain damage or eyesight damage prior to the surgery. He is currently blind, but we understand that this is normal and temporary. His prognosis is very good, and if we can get through the next 24 hours with no problems all should be well.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your thoughts, prayers, comments and emails. I have passed all of them along to the kids, and they are grateful for them.

I still have no word about my promotion. I will let you know as soon as I hear. God bless all of you out there in the blog world! Your support and caring is awesome.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Brady got this angel for his birthday, as his surgery is tomorrow. It was a thoughtful gift, and I wanted to share it with all of you. I know that you will remember him in your prayers, as well as my son and daughter in law. I won't be able to go for the surgery as one of my coworkers had an unexpected death in the family and will have to be off for the funeral. Brady did pass the psychological tests yesterday with flying colors. Thank God there is no brain damage yet. Once the surgery is over and the pressure on the skull is relieved I hope that he can be a normal little boy and all of these medical issues will be behind him. I will let you know as soon as I hear from my son. Surgery is 7:30 am Wednesday.

Until next time,



Monday, October 23, 2006


Brady and his cake!!!!!

Brady without his cake!!!!

Mom, Rocky, Jonathan, Brady and Aimee
Brady and me
Brady's other cake King for the day! Brady in his new red wagon.

Saturday we had Brady's first birthday party out at the kid's house. It was a lot of fun, and I would say that he entertained us all very well. They leave this morning for St. Louis where he will undergo two days of tests before the actual surgery on Wednesday morning.

Since this is kick butt Monday I hope you are up and at 'em and ready to go. Hopefully I will get some news about the promotion this week.

Until tomorrow, Becky


Friday, October 20, 2006


This morning will be the first time I have to scrape my windshield before leaving for work. I stepped out on the front porch this morning and everything is sleeping under a blanket provided by Jack Frost. The air has a decided snap to it and all is quiet.

I always dread the first killing frost, for that signals the end of the growing season and the beginning of a long winter's sleep for nature. The smells of nature in Autumn are wonderful. Mums have a distinctively spicy aroma, and most especially if they are wet with the morning dew or the sun is shining on their blooms in the afternoon. The mustiness of the fallen leaves, the tangy pine needles and pine cones are always present, and a canopy of brilliant fall leaves adorn the trees. It takes a few days to get used to the sharp crack of acorns falling on rooftops, cars, and the tin rooftops of barns and outbuildings. At first I think someone is firing a rifle, but now I know that nature is providing us with more oak trees and winter food for the deer and squirrels that inhabit the big woods.

I hope that you enjoy today- look around, for I know that you have the same beauty wherever you are. I can't wait to smell pumpkin desserts baking in the oven!

Until next time,
p.s. Still waiting to hear about the promotion.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I heard from my son last night about Brady's surgery. It has finally been confirmed for October 25, and they have two doctor appointments the two days preceding that. At long last the waiting and tests are over.

Brady's first birthday is this coming Saturday, so it will be a fun day for all of us. It is good that he will get to enjoy his party and all of the gifts before the surgery. I will take lots of pictures of the event so I can post some for you.

Little Brady has sure had a journey already. We are just happy that these are problems that either can't be fixed or are terminal. Thank God for medical technology and good doctors.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Good Tuesday morning from Smalltown.

I wanted to give you the news about yesterday, for I know that there are many of you who were praying and sending good thoughts my way. The test was difficult, but I had studied most of the material so I was able to go through on the first pass and answer the questions I knew and was sure about. On the second pass I took my time, read the questions carefully, and ruled out the wrong answers, which most of the time gave me the right one. After almost an hour, I turned in my paper and left the room. The other applicant wasn't finished yet. As soon as she did come out of the room, she told me that the tests were being graded. I was called in first. My test paper was laying on the desk, and even from several feet away I could see the big red numbers- 100!!!

I was so overcome with relief and shock that it took me several seconds for the reality to sink in. The interview is weighted as 55% of the total score, so anything can still happen, but I am confident that whatever happens I am already a winner. For me the test was the big hurdle.

I will let you know as soon as we are told the outcome, which may take a week or two. However, I feel good about it and thank you all for your emails of encouragement, good wishes, and your prayers. God gave me the presence of mind and peace for the day.

Have a wonderful day. I know it will be for me.....here on my country road.
Until tomorrow,


Sunday, October 15, 2006


I am writing this Sunday night, as I most likely won't have time in the morning to do it. Tomorrow, Monday October 16 at 10:00am I will be taking the promotional test. The interview boards will follow after the tests are graded and it is determined I have passed and am eligible for the interview.

I have worked twenty years and really never thought I would have this opportunity. I suppose it is because I thought the time would never come. Since it has, and there are two of us who applied it is clear that one of us will come out the victor.

I have prepared long and hard, have the skill, knowledge, and experience to do the job, and am excited about the opportunity that awaits. I appreciate your good thoughts and prayers. It may be a couple of weeks before we know the outcome, but I will post when I get home and let you know how it goes.

Since it will happen on kick butt Monday, maybe it is an omen. Let's go out there and win one for the gipper!

God bless,


Friday, October 13, 2006


As promised, the temperatures took a nose dive overnight. My outside thermometer is sitting at 28 with two hours to go until sunrise. That should take care of my flowers.

I am sure that Napoleon and all of the other outside critters are huddled against the chill, but we have the promise of an afternoon in the fifties. All in all it would be a good day to stay in by the fire with an afghan, a hot cup of coffee, and my cat Paddy. Instead I will be leaving shortly for a regular weekday at one of the farthest stations in the troop. The upside is that it is also the most beautiful drive across the backwoods of the Mark Twain National Forest. The leaves are turning, and the deer and turkeys are stirring.

Have a wonderful day, enjoy all the beauty of Autumn, and I hope that good things come your way today. I will see you next time....here on my country road.

God bless,


Thursday, October 12, 2006


When I went to bed last night Smalltown was bracing for a plunge into winter weather. It is typical here in the Ozarks to have the air conditioner running during the day and the heat at night this time of year. In the past when I have written of this swing in temperatures many of you comment about similar weather patterns in your corner of the world. It seems that Mother Nature is off balance and can't seem to get it together. Whether you blame El Nino or global warming, we now have two seasons instead of four.

The weather team was talking about snow flurries for last night, so when I went to bed I wasn't sure what I would wake up to. As usual, the forecast was a bust. Thank goodness. Tonight however, we are headed for the first freeze warning of the season.

While I was waiting for mom and Rocky to come from their appointment with the oncologist last evening I walked their dog Mandy. Before we had made one full loop of the back yard one of her cats was following along. As we made the turn at the edge of the big woods another one fell in behind us, and as we completed the first circle of the yard I had all three of her cats and Napoleon following me. I had a vision of the pied piper. What a funny parade we must have looked like. With the cold weather, the gray skies, and windy conditions, the cats wanted to be put into the garage for the night. It was an easy thing to accomplish. Usually they like to play hide and seek with mom, as the weather has been so mild.

When mom and Rocky got home we shared a hot pizza for a late supper. Rocky was toting an old friend- his chemo pack. The news wasn't what we had hoped, but the good thing is there are options with which to wage the battle. Cancer is a constant foe, and you can never let down your guard.

Enjoy your day, and I hope that it is everything that Autumn is known for. Beautiful fall color, crisp temperatures, and bright blue skies.

Until tomorrow,


Wednesday, October 11, 2006


As I told you some time back my boss retired. That means that his job opened up, and it was posted three weeks ago. After being open for two weeks, there are two of us that applied. The promotional test and oral boards are set for Monday, October 16. I have been studying very hard as there is so much material to cover. After all this time, I am just ready to move on. Until this position is decided my life is in a holding pattern and work is awkward. Waiting isn't my longsuit, but I have improved over the years. Wish me luck and say a little prayer.

We are also waiting for Brady's surgery on October 25. Again, while we want to get it over with and get him well we are worried for the little guy and hating what is ahead of him. The two surgeons are supposed to confirm the date, but the office hasn't called yet.

Today, at last Rocky and mom go to the Dr. for the news about his tests. We are hoping the news is something that can be fixed and they can enjoy their life together for a long time. The waiting and not knowing is the hardest. You are fighting an unknown foe. I know they will appreciate thoughts and prayers this morning.

Well, tick tock. The old clock on the wall just keeps spinning around. It is time for me to get ready, pack my lunch, and leave for work. At least it is midweek already! We have cold blustery weather that moved in overnight, and through next week. It really feels like fall now. I am glad people here love to decorate for Autumn holidays. The bright mums and pumpkins are so festive in the bleak gray of a rainy day.

Have a wonderful day. Today Bear, my brother John's dog has surgery. Good luck Bear!

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Many of you emailed or asked through your comments about my document that I was looking for. I hate to say that I lost it, rather that I put it in a safe place and can't remember where that is. However, it is still in that safe place. Wherever that may be.

When I met with the representative I explained my plight to her. She laughed and said she had heard similar stories at every Troop she had been to. She gave me instructions how to cut through the red tape to get duplicate documents sent to me. Now I am waiting for the duplicate to arrive, at which point I can use that PIN to get through to the people who can change it. I am entertaining the thought that I might have gathered it up with the junk mail and pitched it. Since that is a real possibility I will reassign a new number so the account isn't compromised.

While there is no way to get into my account without the number, I found a way to work around that. If you can't beat 'em, make the system work for you. I will keep you posted on that situation.

Lena has been sick again and spent the past few days in bed. I spoke with her briefly yesterday, and she is really weak. Aimee told me that the fluid is building up in her body again. The Dr. wanted to put her back into the hospital, but she is hoping she can wait until we take Brady up to St. Louis for his surgery the end of the month. Lena goes to the same hospital, and she could spend the week there while Brady is there for post-op.

It is back to work for me today. It is also Patty's first day at her new Troop in St. Louis. Her return to work was delayed by an accident that totaled their van last week. While they didn't have any bad injuries, she was stiff and sore. Dave is settling in fine and Davey will begin school next week. I sure miss them....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Monday, October 09, 2006


Happy Columbus Day!

Do you remember learning the rhyme "It was in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue?" I went to school in the early sixties, and they were big on teaching us facts through little poems or songs. I still use the same methods when trying to memorize facts for tests. If it worked as a kid it should work now.

Saturday morning I was watching Chucky eating the food I had put out for him and I noticed what I thought to be a dog coming out of the big woods toward my fenceline. As I watched it, I saw it was a fox! He didn't see me from where I was standing, and I watched as he made his way through Bob's field and sat down in the high grass. He had his eyes trained on the far edge of the field, but I didn't want the fox to spy Chucky, who was happily eating his food and had no idea there was danger afoot. I walked to the fence and clapped my hands together several times. Like a rocket, the fox took off and ran through the field and away. Safe for another day.

On a personal note, I spent the afternoon with little Brady yesterday. He is learning to walk, and the joy of accomplishment the little guy feels is apparent. We clapped for him every time he made several steps alone, and it didn't take him long to start clapping for himself.

I hope that you are well into kick butt Monday, and can enjoy the beauty of the autumn weather in your little corner of the world. Housework awaits me.

Until tomorrow,


Friday, October 06, 2006


I have looked for two days for an important document that I need to access my retirement investment account. I can get the password replaced or changed, but I need the document to do it. The frustrating thing is that I put it up in a safe place so I wouldn't lose it. Now I can't remember where I put it so I could retrieve it when I needed it.

Yesterday was our annual Troop Meeting. It is a spit shine and polish day when the Colonel and all of the Majors come to the Troops to tell us about the changes going forward into the new year. It is also the day the representatives are there from the various agencies that provide our uniforms, insurance, and retirement benefits.

Besides my cat Paddy I am alone in the house. I knew that I needed that document for the meeting yesterday. So where did I hide the thing so I could find it?

Age is a funny thing. Well, in this case it is a frustrating thing. I have been awake since 2:30am trying to remember where I hid it. If I find it I will be sure to let you know. It is the principle of the thing now.

Game on!

Thank goodness it is Friday. I have a 3 day weekend ahead of me. I hope you have a restful and enjoyable one as well. God bless,



Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Well, it has been a while since I have written about the critters here on my country road. When I came home yesterday evening, an hour and a half later than usual, I was met by Chicky and her two buddies. Old Yeller is the old yellow cat that took up residence here because I am trying to feed Chucky, Chicky's brother. Once Old Yeller found out I was feeding, I had to begin feeding him around the back of the house because he would chase off Chucky to get to the food I set out to lure him up to eat. Poor Chucky has had a hard time. Chicky and Old Yeller both have been slow to warm up to the little guy.

Last night I came home tired. These ten to twelve hour days are hard enough, but I am trying to study for promotional boards as well. When I came up the walk, all three cats were laying there. Yeller on the walk, upset because I was late with his dinner. Chucky was under the big yew bushes by the front porch, and Chicky on the porch.

I put Chicky up first as she is the easiest. Once locked safely in the garage for the night and enjoying her supper, I tried to feed Yeller at the back of the house. He didn't like the menu. Now I ask you- if you turn up your nose at certain flavors of canned cat food, are you really hungry? I left him to follow me around meowing as loud as he could and hissing at my feet while I got Chucky's dinner ready. I set it out of sight of Yeller, and Chucky came on the run and began to eat. He at least is grateful and not the least bit fussy.

Yeller sulked on the front walk in clear sight of his dish, but Napoleon had been sitting on top of the boom truck parked across the street where the new house is being built. It didn't take him long to come eat Yeller's cat food. It is a lot easier than catching bugs and worms I guess. Yeller thought I would give him something better if Napoleon ate his food I suppose, but I didn't. He will have to learn that if he doesn't like his dinner he goes hungry. Beggars can't be choosers, after all.

The skunks and possums don't come around unless I set food out before the cats are here. The skunks are the bravest, and will push the cats out of the way and steal their dinner. Well, I guess that is the latest on the critter situation. It seems I am feeding all of the strays in the big woods.

I appreciate all of your comments on the new stop sign at the Y of my country road. After a long day they gave me a good laugh and lifted my spirits. Have a wonderful day!

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Sunday morning I got out early to pick up some cat food at the local grocery store. They don't open until seven, so I had a few minutes to kill and decided to run by the car wash. Napoleon had perched atop my car the night before to preen and groom his feathers, and had left me several poopy calling cards.

I started my car and drove up the road, slowing down at the bend in the road where the road Y's by Bob's house. As I looked up the road to my right to check the traffic before pulling out and head on into Smalltown, something caught my eye.

I have lived in Smalltown more than thirty years. We have had only one form of traffic control in the middle of town where two highways intersect. There is a red flashing light there to mark the four way stop. For the twenty years I have lived here on this country road you slow down at Bob's house to check the traffic coming down the dirt road, and drive on down the street to the highway.

Sunday morning I almost ran the brand new shiny red STOP sign the powers that be put up there- who knows when? That post has stood in the Y at the bend in the road at the edge of Bob's property forever. It held the Poplar Drive sign, then the Holloway Drive sign, the county road sign, and now the Shady Lane marker. Directly under Shady Lane is the new arrival. If I didn't see it no one else will either. Habit is a hard thing to break. It is a paradigm. Since no STOP sign has ever been there you don't see the one that is there now.

They call it progress.

Have a wonderful day, and I hope that there are no major changes in your little corner of the world today.

Until tomorrow,


Sunday, October 01, 2006


As September faded into October today my thoughts were of an autumn day such as this was...and happy times of days gone by. I wrote the following passage for my best friend on her birthday almost ten years ago, yet it is as timeless as our friendship and autumn days are.
September brings a symphony of sights, smells, sounds, and memories that no other month does. Stepping out into the crisp clear morning the essence of night still lingers on the grass and frost sparkles like diamonds on the leaves.

Summer is fading, yielding to the golden etchings of autumn. The trees are reluctantly turning loose of their dresses and leaves dance gracefully on air currents as they drift earthward.

The sun rises to reveal fluffy white clouds sailing across a crisp sky of azure blue. Pausing to watch them for a moment I see the familiar menagerie of animals and folk heroes parading across the sky just as they did in my youth. Smiling at the changing shapes I am reminded of another time in my life when I shared September days with a special kindred spirit.

Laughing into the wind as we ran and jumped into piles of leaves, we talked endlessly about what the future would hold, and vowed to be friends forever. As though sensing our carefree days would soon end, we embraced each perfect day with the energy of youth.

Reluctantly we grew up and the years passed by. How very grateful I am that we survived the passage of time with our friendship intact. Although choices led us in different directions and we were separated by miles, letters and phone calls have allowed us to share the challenges of our lives.

Through the years we have always been able to sense when the other was in need, whether experiencing anguish or great joy. That is how I know deep in my heart that wherever you are this morning your face is turned heavenward watching fluffy white clouds sail across a crisp azure sky- remembering, and listening to September's song....

'Oh sing my heart, September's song
and memories will flow from me,
They will call to my kindred spirit
and her heart will remember me.'

Until tomorrow,