Our computer crashed months ago and Steve keeps trying to get the problem solved. I took the computer to a repair shop the last time it crashed and was told the tower was probably going out. The thing is seven years old so I suppose it is time for a new computer but they are so expensive. With me off work it is really not the time to invest money now.

First the computer crashed, then Steve's truck went out, and then our refrigerator died. We had just bought a new lawnmower (which is Steve's pride and joy) and he's still making payments on it. We bought a new refrigerator (which is my pride and joy) which was close to $1000 and he is making payments on it too. So a computer is not high on the list to replace.

My daughter invited me to her apartment and handed me a box. Inside was a laptop computer which she said was an early Christmas present for Steve and I from Heather, Joshua and Abby's families. What wonderful kids we have raised. I was really surprised.

Heather set the computer up for me and then off I went home to play. I worked on it for five weeks or so and it kept shutting down and doing weird things. Finally Steve and I took it back to the store and got the money back. It is sitting in my checking account until we can come up with another two to three hundred dollars so we can get a Dell computer. I can hardly wait. Oh, in the meantime, Steve got this computer completely wiped clean (lost all of our stuff) and it is working somewhat.

Just turning it on for this entry took me three times of getting online to actually be able to pull anything on the internet up. Here's to another few weeks to get a computer that really works! Halfmoon

A Very Sad Time

Right before Thanksgiving Justin's dad and uncle were killed in a truck rollover accident up in Minnesota. (Justin is Abby's husband.) They had gone up there to check out a classic car that Gilbert (Justin's grandfather) was considering buying. He wanted Mike and Cory's opinion on if it was a good deal.

This has torn up both Justin and our families. How do you deal with two loved ones' deaths at one funeral? There is no answer to the question "Why?". You wonder if they had waited till the next day to drive up, if things would have ended up differently. Justin and Abby had just lost their dog the week before which was difficult enough. When Mike was buried, the dog's ashes were buried with him. How tragic.

Life is so short and you are so rudely reminded of this when something of this nature occurs. Live life to the fullest as if tomorrow could be your last day (you never know, it may prove to be true). Halfmoon


I will always remember when Sydney was born. Sarah was only 30 weeks along but due to complications had to deliver Syd early. She was only 13 ounces, I think, and about 13 1/2 inches long. An amazing little fighter, Sydney never had to go on oxygen, but breathed room air immediately after burth. I couldn't believe it when they wheeled her little bed down the hall and there was no oxygen in sight.

She looked like a little man, I'm sorry Syd, but you weren't very pretty yet. When your Dad (Steve) put his hand over you, we could really tell how little you were. I have to hand it to Sarah, she pumped breast milk for you so they could insert it through your IV to nourish you. I used to go to the hospital daily to see you until your Mom and Dad were so sick of me! And when you were finally able to go home (after a few months at the hospital), I came to see you daily until your Dad gently asked me to stop coming so much.

I cried over that, I was so afraid you wouldn't make it at the beginning. It took me back to when your Aunt Heather was born. She was taken from the hospital by ambulance to go the the Nebraska University Hospital where they saved her life. And she was only born three weeks early, not ten like you!

Well, you are six years old now and your Mom and Dad are no longer together, but Lance is your step-dad now and I hear that he's pretty good to you. I'm glad. You now have a little sister, Jadah (from your Dad and Angie), and a little brother, Talon (from your Mom and Lance). I know it's hard now not being the center of attention, but eventually you will come to really love having them around.

Your Dad brings you over when he can and I just love it when he does. You are like a little ray of sunshine in my life and I love it when you immediately run to hug me when you see me. You are so petite, you remind me of me when I was young. I hope you stay that way forever. As your great Aunt Jackie would say "Dynamite comes in small packages!" And if my brother was still alive he would say you are 'cute as a bug's ear'... that's what he and Jackie used to say about me (I hope that was a compliment). I've never seen any bug's ears, so I can't say.

You're not ready to stay at Grandma's alone yet, but I hope that will change soon. We had fun when you and Taylor spent the night, didn't we! I love you so very much! Your Grandma, Halfmoon

Katiana Lynn

I don't remember a lot about the time your Momma struggled to bring you into the world except that she outran the spinal block they had given her and she was too close to have you to get more. What I do remember is what Dr. Holcomb was dressed like when she was checking your mom. A really nice sweater and slacks, no doctors coat, or scrubs. The next thing I knew you were flying out and Dr. Holcomb was struggling to catch you, she finally put you in a football hold and saved you from falling. Thank goodness, I was wondering if I was going to have to catch you myself!

What a glorious day it was after that. Apparently you were what they call 'sunny-side up' or the opposite of the way most babies are born. You little stinker! And you have been sunny-side up ever since.

When I come to your house or you come to mine, you run to me and hug me and usually say "I love you". And your smile lights up my life. Of course you do have some sad and mad times but when you're around Grandma you are usually your little sunny self.

I tried to have you come and spend the night with me, and you really wanted to, but when 8 pm rolled around, you wanted your mom. I suppose that is as it should be. When you get a little older, you'll come to Grandma's with excitement.

You have a little sister now who plays with you and sometimes bugs you. (Especially when she plays with your toys and you don't want her to.) I've heard she's often bopped you on the head when she's mad at you. Well, she'll grow up too someday and you'll wonder where the time went.

Tonight you are leaving for Ohio with your family to see some of your aunts and uncles from Ohio and Mexico. Go with God's grace little one and may he bring you and your loving family back home to Iowa so Grandma can spoil you again. I love you so...Grandma (Halfmoon)


I would like to introduce you to my brother, Denny. January 10 would have been his birthday! I wish he were here. He was 10 years older than me. He was the oldest in our family and I was the baby or 'tail ender'. I have two sisters who were in between us in age, but I wasn't close to them.

When I was young, my brother also seemed like my second dad. At least it felt like that when I did something wrong. I heard about it from both Dad and Denny. On the lighter side Denny called me 'Cappy'. His favorite line was "Cappy Capicious, go do the dishes!" I got tired of hearing that one.

Once when he was acting like he thought he was really something, he swung his belt around and the buckle accidentally hit me above my eye. It made a little bead pop out of place (probably cartilage) and it was there until a few years back when I had it removed. Sometimes I wish I hadn't had that done as it was always a reminder of my big brother.

He went to South Korea when he was around 19 years old and wrote letters to me. I remember he always enclosed a few words in Korean for me and their meaning.

When I turned 19 and was married, he ceased being my second dad and became my best friend. He could see that I had made a huge mistake, one that I couldn't see until 3 1/2 years into it. I was in a physically abusive relationship and was convinced if I would try to get out of it, my husband would kill me.

One day when I was leaving my parents' house, Denny put his arm around me and walked me to his car. I began to wonder if he was going to try to put a move on me and I was scared. Denny told me "If you ever need me, just call, I'll be there for you." I had a lump in my throat and I hugged him and kissed his cheek. That meant more to me than anything.

Denny was true to his word. It wasn't long after that stroll to my car when I found out my husband was having an affair and had been throughout my entire marriage. I decided I would rather be dead than continue to live with him. I called my mom who only lived a block and a half away and told her "I'm leaving Jerry. If I'm not there in ten minutes, call the police for me." I didn't want her getting hurt if Jerry came home and caught me in the act of leaving. I rushed around the house gathering things that I thought were important. Someone knocked on my front door, I froze thinking Jerry was back. But then I realized he wouldn't knock, he'd just come right in. I answered the door with trepidition. It was Denny, he had been at my parents' house when I made the call. He helped me gather the rest of my things, and then followed me down to my parents' house. While we were there I decided to take him up on the offer to stay with him and his family until the divorce was in action.

The next day Denny took me to his lawyer and I started the proceedings to get out of that marriage. He was also a shoulder to cry on when I needed it. We were a lot alike emotionally. I get a lump in my throat when I think of him now. He and his family (except one son) were killed in a car accident in 1982, but that's another story. Two weeks before the accident I hugged Denny and said "I love you so much, it hurts." He said to me "I know exactly what you mean, Sis, I feel the same way". Halfmoon

Abby's Wedding

What a wonderful day! Our youngest was married yesterday at the top of the Holiday Inn in the revolving restaurant. I couldn't picture having a wedding there but it turned out so beautiful, I was highly surprised. Most of the guests sat on the revolving platform where you eat your dinner. There was a path down the middle of the platform to walk as you would in a traditional church wedding.

The bride looked like a princess in her beautiful gown and wore a tiarra. Abby helped me find a gold long dress that had a gold crocheted-type sweater that went over it. I felt like Cinderella with gold shoes and all! After the wedding, the reception was held there with a sit-down meal and a DJ playing hits. It was awesome. Even Steve's family loved it. All of his sisters were dancing all night and his mother even danced to a few songs. She walks with a cane, so that surprised me.

I couldn't help but cry when I watched Steve and Abby dance the father-daughter dance. For weeks after, Steve's family kept talking about how much fun they had. It was wonderful.

Heather would like to do this type of thing for her wedding to Pato, but money may not allow it. I hope she can still do something special. Halfmoon

I Am Addicted!

I have been going to casinos for years, but more so lately. I have always paid my bills before I go so I justify that it is all right to be there. Lately though I have allowed my checking account to go under some as I have the protection of up to $300 that I can use if needed and just pay the interest.

This tells me that I have a problem. I've known I'm addicted, but I never had the cravings that I've been getting lately. I don't want help, I want more money to try and win. Last night I admitted to Steve that I keep feeling depression trying to come over me. I don't feel it when I'm at Prairie Meadows. I don't hardly feel my pain in my back when I'm there either. Can it be so bad??? Yes, I know it can and is. Right now I don't dare go out there. Friday is payday and I already owe part of that check to the bank.

I can see how people go overboard. My cousin lost his family's house due to gambling. They now live in an apartment. I am glad Steve hates going out there. He is always disappointed in me when I go. That hurts me worse than any money I've lost.

I'll be going to my sister's in Council Bluffs soon, and we always go to a casino there for a little while. I'm trying not to go to Prairie Meadows at all so I am able to go with Sue.

When I look back, sure I always pay my bills, but how much more could I have spent on my family, my grandkids, and clothes that I really need but never buy because I don't have extra money. Also, I could have started my 401k so much sooner and Lakeview would have matched it up to 6%. I never look to the future until it is almost too late.

The sad thing is I don't want to change. Oh I don't want to go out there as much, but I still want to gamble. My grandfather on my mother's side made his living by playing cards. Could it be in the blood????? Halfmoon

My Birthday!

Well, today I am 55 years old. Doesn't seem much different from being 54 unless maybe you are counting the new gray hairs:) I used to say that I earned every one of them, but that's not really funny any more. Since I was hurt in February the whole front of my head seems to be mostly gray. Bummer!

We had the usual get together with our family, cake, the works. Now I'll have to try and work those calories off. Why is it so hard to lose weight??? Enough here for now, I think I'll finish the night off reading a good book! Halfmoon


I have a handsome grandson named Jordan! He is now eight years old and in the second grade. He has ADHD but Heather (my oldest) took him off of his meds after she found out how bad they are for you. I am so proud of her for doing that. Yes, it means spending a little more time with him to keep him occupied, but it is worth it.

Jordan has a beautiful smile and he is so sweet. He loves to come out and spend the night with his grandma and is always thinking of things for us to do together outside. With my back the way it is, I am not always able to run and play with him but just being out there and watching him, you can almost see his brain ticking. I love him soooo much!

I think back to when Heather carried him. She was so sick throughout the pregnancy and in the hospital a lot. Oh, but it was worth it. I used to go to their house in Adel and almost every time I could see little changes in Jordan. He either had gained weight or length or could do new things. Then they would come out to our house a lot. I remember when he used to do the Army crawl. It was so cute. Put something a ways away from him and off he would go to get it. What a riot! He and Taylor were close in age and it was so fun to watch them together.

Jordan has always been an active child. I've heard that kids like him are sometimes geniuses. It's not that they cannot sit still, but that they are bored and need something to challange them.

Jordan is in soccer each season but other kids are not nice to him. The same thing happens at school and on the bus ride home. It really hurts me to hear that others have picked on him. I'd like to go straighten those kids out. Some day when Jordan has his own company, has shown the world his genius, (like another Bill Gates), those kids will look back and wonder why they were so cruel. Someday his bio-dad will wish he had treated his son better. He doesn't realize what it does to my grandson to be ignored. He also needs a lesson in reality. I'm sure he will wish he'd lived his life differently some day.

Jordan, I love you and am so proud of the young man you have become! Your Grandma, Halfmoon

Taylor Sue

I remember my sisters telling me how wonderful it is to be a grandparent. You could see such happiness in them, their faces actually seemed to light up. I became a grandmother when my youngest son had a little girl. I remember driving to the hospital in downpouring rain, so hard it was difficult to see the road. Then Taylor Sue arrived, what a bundle of joy.

Josh and Shelley lived with us as Josh was in the marines and was heading back to CA for more training. Taylor had some difficulties for the first few months, but after a specialiast found that she could not break down her mom's breast milk, put her on a special formula for her problem, she started thriving.

When Josh graduated from Boot Camp, our family flew to San Diego for the graduation and a wedding for Josh and Shell in the Chapel on base. We stayed in a timeshare in Tiujana which was a story in itself. Wandering through the markets was an experience also. Our family will have many memories of that trip. Finally on the day before we headed back to Iowa we were allowed on base to see Josh graduate and have the wedding ceremony. He was able to go back to the resort with us for one night in Tiujana.We became very close to Tay in the year they lived with us.

While Josh was in CA we had a large picture of him that Taylor would crawl to and touch when we asked her "Where's Daddy?" Steve (my hubby), and Abby (my youngest) loved having Shelley and Taylor there while Joshua was miles away in training. When he finally came home for a short visit, it was wonderful watching Taylor's eyes when Joshua walked in! He was home for a short while, then down to MO for more training. Now Shelley was able to drive down on weekends and she and Tay would spend time with Josh.

When Josh finished his training, he had a few days at home with us which was wonderful. Then off to Camp LaJune they went, taking Tay with, and I grieved quite a while for that little girl. It was great having them finally in a home of their own, but hard as they were so many miles away. I will say Shelley was wonderful with sending us letters and pics, and occasionally we'd receive a letter from Josh.

We spent a week in a timeshare not far from their home and they came and stayed with us there. It was good to see our little family again! Time moves forward and Taylor is now nine years old and they are living about 15 minutes away. More about Taylor later. In the meantime we now have seven grandchildren who deserve stories of their own (including Taylor's little brother)! See ya later! halfmoon

The Snowstorm

I fell on the ice in the parking lot at work last month. We had to be at work for a meeting at 7 AM and as I walked around the back of my car I slipped on the ice landing on my hands and knees hard. Immediately my low back, neck, right shoulder and right knee started throbbing. By the end of the meeting, I scheduled an 11:00 appointment with Dr. Holcomb. When she saw me I was in so much pain, she sent me home for a few days. At the end of that time period I attempted to go back to work again. I made an appointment with OcMed which accomplished nothing. I had taken my previous radiology reports which showed my herniated disks and explained I hadn't needed nerve blocks for 3 years as it was under control. I told the doctor that something was drastically wrong with my low back. They just told me to go to work in two days. I said aren't you going to take xrays or anything? She responded, "You cannot see a herniated disk on an xray." My response was "No, but you can on an MRI." They don't like to rush things. I then asked if they would send me to an Ortho doc. They don't like to rush things.

The next morning my neck hurt so bad, then the pain went up into my head until I had a full-fledged migraine. I called OcMed and asked what to do at 2 PM. They returned my call at five minutes to 5 PM saying, the doctor doesn't work with migraines, to call Dr. Holcomb. Well great, now she's gone for the day. By 7 PM I was crying and Abby (my youngest) said she was coming to get me to take me to the walk-in clinic. They gave me two meds to knock me out which I thankfully took and went to bed. The next day I was scheduled to see Dr. Holcomb because the migraine was back with a storm. Speaking of storms, one was predicted for that day and the snow had already started by the time I got to the doctor. Steve met me there so he could follow me home as he was concerned about the weather. By the time I saw the doctor I was crying from the pain. I explained that I was supposed to go back to work and there was no way I could work in this pain. She was angry that OcMed told me to go back to work. She set up an appointment to see the Pain Control specialist who knew my history and said I was off work until further notice.

We made it home although the storm was really bad. Both the interstate and highway roads to our house eventually closed and then our electricity went off. The house lost it's warmth pretty quickly. We both put on extra layers of clothes trying to stay warm and prayed the electricity would come back on. Eventually we turned the oven on because thankfully it runs on propane. I threw leftovers in the oven to warm them up and we ate sitting on chairs on opposite sides of the open oven door. I had candles lit all over the house for light. Eventually the oven was cold and I walked Steve through how to make a cake from scratch as we didn't have any mixes on hand. It was pretty good, I must say. When the oven cooled off again we turned it on and sat on those same chairs just to stay somewhat warm. Finally I felt guilty using the oven for heat and we put our coats on and headed to bed. We made it through the first day without electricity.

By the second evening our kids were all worrying about us being there with no heat and no access to get from our house to any of theirs. Abby decided she and Justin were going to come save us. We had told her not to try it because there was no way to get through. She agreed not to but instead called the other kids and told them they were coming to get us and they would relay calls to each other so the others would know that Abby and Justin were safe, too.

Eventually I fell asleep and awoke to Steve's phone ringing. He got up so he wouldn't wake me (I suppose) and I heard him talking on the phone. Then I thought I could hear Abby's voice. I called out "Is Abby on the phone?" Then I heard her voice again and I got up and walked into the kitchen. There she and Justin stood and Abby said "Pack up stuff, Mom, we're taking you to our house."

I hurriedly grabbed my meds and clothes for the next day and just went in my sweats. There was no way I was undressing in that freezing house and putting clothes on. We went the back way to Highway 6 which includes going down a huge hill which my kids have been in three accidents on. At the bottom of the hill there was one car's width to squeeze through with snowbanks on both sides at least two feet above the car. I was a wreck by the time we made it to Abby's but thankful for the warm house. Justin and Abby gave up their bed for us to sleep in and they slept on the couch and love seat with blankets that they had borrowed for the drive to our house.

On the third day without electricity Steve rented a generator and Justin helped him hook it up to our house and by the time they had it ready to go, the electricity came back on. Hooray! Halfmoon!