Christmas Day

Since we had our get together with our immediate family on Christmas Eve, we were supposed to go to the Manning get together at 1:00 PM on Christmas Day. I was still nauseated, so I told Steve to go on without me.

He said they had a great time. His Mom loved all the gifts everyone gave her; but, especially loved the book I made of our family. He said she kept looking at it over and over with tears in her eyes. I wish I could have been there to see it. I'm really glad she liked it.

Steve forgot to bring home a dish of goodies, like he usually does when I'm not able to go to the gatherings. Drat it! I kept longing for Christmas cookies all day. Then when he came home without them, I was really bummed.

I got Steve a DVD/VCR that records for his birthday. We have tons of VHS movies that we no longer see because our VCR died. I couldn't decide between that or a laptop for him, so we'd each have one. I found a pretty good selection of clearance laptops to choose from. I decided on the DVD/VCR recorder and will get the laptop later.

When I went to get some turkey out for supper, I found that Steve had put all of it in the freezer in one gallon bag. Man! I decided to have a salad for supper instead. We'll have turkey and noodles another day.

I Love our New Door

After living here for 17 years with ugly back and screen doors (not just ugly but, dented and let air in), we finally went shopping for new ones. With getting credit for energy savers, we excitedly picked out the doors. Well, I was excited. Steve was probably thinking about making payments.

The screen door is neat, but the wooden door is the one that really makes me smile. It has blinds inside the glass. So I can have them open to let in the sun, or close them, when I'm cooking and the sun is blinding, which is so neat, I can hardly stand it. I know, you're probably thinking "How dumb is that?" I guess it doesn't take much to excite me.

When you shop for doors, there's not only a lot to choose from, but, the handlesets have a large variety, too. You want to make a wise choice, cause you may live with it for 17 years or more :)

Every time I look at the doors, I am thankful for them. There is no air coming in from the outside to escape into the room. I'm sure the same will be said when it's hot out and we have the air conditioner cold air escaping outside!

Have you gotten anything new that you're excited about? Let me know about it.

Christmas Eve

We decided to have our Turkey on Christmas Eve since the Mannings chose Christmas day to get together at 1:00 PM. Everyone went to Josh and Shelley's for our get together. It is centrally located for everyone for the most part.

After picking up Steve II, Sydney, and Jadah in Desoto, we drove on over to Waukee to Josh's house. Before eating, we opened gifts and the kids all seemed to enjoy the dishtowel/hot pads that I sewed (and added buttons to).

The meal was fantastic as usual. Turkey, stuffing, mashed spuds, cheesy potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, ham, relish tray, pies (pumpkin, pecan, & chocolate), and the wreaths that Shelley made from cornflakes and marshmallows, yum!

The kids had a blast being all together again. The adults had a great time catching up with one another. I was running out of steam around 8, my head was feeling weird, then the nausea came. I asked Josh if I could lay on their bed. I knew I wouldn't make it any longer.

After everyone exchanged leftovers to take home, Steve drove Steve II and his kids home, then he and I made it to our place. I felt really bad that I was sick, once again, which made us go home early.

I had wanted to sit down with the kids and sing Christmas songs, like we used to do when I was young. What really would have been fun would be to sing karaoke songs with the player that Taylor has. All my grandkids love to sing and we love to watch them at it. Oh well, maybe next year.

Did you all have a Merry Christmas? Steve's already asking me what are we going to do on New Year's Eve. I don't know how to stop the nausea from hitting, so I'm nervous about making plans with others. I suppose I'd better call the doctor to set up the upper endoscopy. Yuck!

I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and wish you a great year to come!

5 Buttons to Go

Steve took me to the doctor Monday morning (neuro surgeon) re my neck. Bottom line is 90% of the people who have had surgery for neck pain, did not get good results. And it should not be causing the nausea I'm having. Well, great! Any more good news? He did say that I have four bone spurs, not one.

After that Steve drove to the Union Hall to sign up. Then we went to play for a while (if you know me, you know what that means). We left around 7:00 pm, went to Subway for supper and then back to the Des Moines area.

I have five presents to finish, but, all I have left on them is to sew on a button. Can't tell you what they are as this might be seen by some of the family/friends I'm making them for. Sue has probably guessed what I'm making, but that is OK.

I just finished wrapping Steve's birthday present in Christmas wrapping paper. Our paper is in the computer room closet and if I'd had to lean in any further to look for bday paper, I'd have fell in. He won't mind. I do have tape on it (all over it) that says "It's for you! Happy Birthday". One of those things on TV I bought that I rarely use.

I went to a fabric store for the buttons and they have things out already to have you thinking about Valentine's Day. I cannot believe how early stores start their holiday seasons. They were neat displays, though.

Feels great to have all the Christmas stuff done (for the most part). I'll sew the buttons on while I watch TV. Hope you're all ready for Christmas and don't forget that He's the reason for the season!

The Trees Have Arrived

I sent a contribution to some save the trees place (?) can't remember the name, but it is to plant new trees whenever trees are cut (save the rain forest or something). Anyway, they send you some free trees as thanks for your contribution.

The trees arrived last Friday. Two days later Steve went out to plant them (is that what you call it when it's trees instead of plants?). He found the ground frozen after 1". I couldn't believe it. Why would you send the trees after the ground froze? Same thing with plants. Different company, I received bulbs the day after the trees came. Hello!!!!! Aren't you supposed to do this type of stuff in the fall?

Steve's outside trying to get holes dug for the trees. When you read about it, you think 10 trees, how neat. When you read the directions for planting, you think OMG 10 trees. I actually think they sent me 11, 10 cone bearing and one lilac tree.

This is our second day to have above 40 degree weather. Wonderful. Tomorrow or Saturday it is supposed to be snow or ice. Saturday we have a wedding reception to go to. I hope the forecast is off by a few hours. (Let it be after the drive home, please.)

Speaking of Steve, he's been trying to speed up our computers as they are still slow. We have a dish for internet connection, it should not be this slow. He did a step by step detail with the Wild Blue helpline and still it is slow. I wonder if he checked the vga cable? He knows so much more about computers than I do.

Poor guy, he's out there digging holes in frozen ground. He had the trees in a bucket of dirt in the garage, went to get them, even that dirt is frozen. Wonderful. I bet he won't feel like grilling steaks after this. :(

Here's hoping you'll have a great weekend!

The Little Dancer

Abby and Justin went to a wedding reception last night in Yale, Iowa. It was a wedding on Justin's side of the family. Quite a long drive for them with little Mikayla.

Abby called me this morning to tell me about the dance. At the last wedding, Steve and I were present and we saw first-hand how well Mikayla danced. She started out with sort of a slide to the left, where ever her little whim took her. Then she started going up to people she knew (I think) and grabbed their hands pulling them onto the dance floor. Upon which she'd let go and go off again on her own little dance.

Abby said at this reception she danced for a while, then she went up to two adults who were holding hands with two children. Mikayla grabbed their hands and danced in their circle with them. Next she danced with the little two year old, and finally with the older child (3 or 4?).

Off on her own again someone in the audience gave her a thumbs up! Of course she repeated that. She's so cute. Next she danced around the room giving everyone a thumbs up sign. What a hoot. I wished I'd been there to see it.

With all the signs of Christmas on commercials, I am reminded I need to check out the best christmas gifts for dad. Steve and I normally say we're not going to get each other a gift and then he usually goes behind my back and gets me something. Gotta love him.

After thinking about that, we have a wedding reception to go to next weekend. Steve's niece, Amanda, was married in Florida. They're having a reception in Waukee for those who were unable to get to Florida. Can't wait to see the little dancer perform again.

Do you have any cute stories about kids? Let me know, I'd enjoy reading them.

Birthday Time Again!

Today Maria Alyce Ayala is four years old! We call her Alyce (pronounced Alees), she was named after her Dad's Mother and her Mom's Grandmother (my Mom). She is a real sweetheart. Every time she sees me, she runs up and hugs me, looking up at me with a beautiful smile.

She sat next to me at Godfathers and told me, "My eyes are sparkling blue and yours are blue too!" I just love that little girl. She and her big sis, Katiana, spent the night at our house on Thanksgiving night. She thinks she could spend the night by herself next time.

Anyway, there were three jumbo pizzas, all the pop you want, and a wonderful cake with Dora and her friends on top. Yum! I just love that icing. Mikayla sat on my lap while cake was served. She's another sweetheart. Time is flying by so fast, my grandkids are growing up.

Jordan and Taylor, 11 and 12 respectively, are nearing their teens. Pretty soon they may be looking for the best acne treatments but, so far their skin is nice and smooth. The last choral concert we attended for Tay, I was hit with 'where did my little granddaughter go?' She (and her parents) lived with us till she turned one and now she's almost a teen. Wow!

Steve II wasn't able to come, but everyone else in the family was there. It was a lot of fun and of course there was all that yummy food. And I wonder why I can't loose weight. Steve and I are starting to eat fresh fruit and carrots more, better than more fattening stuff, right? Hope you had a great day!

A Western Wedding

Wow! We went to a wedding Friday evening that was so much fun, I couldn't believe it. Throw out all you remember about weddings you've ever been to, cause this one was soooo much different. When we walked in, there were bales of straw strategically placed all over the cement floor.

I knew by the invitation that it would be a Western wedding (casual or Western clothes required) but, I will say I was taken aback when I went in the building. The tables either had a cowboy boot or a cornucopia with leaves and other fall items flowing out of them. Very unique idea. Scattered around the centerpiece were peanuts (in their shells) and candy corn that the guests could eat while waiting for the wedding to begin. Yum! (We ate our fair share.)

The bride, Teresa, had on a yellow shirt with gaucho pants, and cowgirl boots and western hat. The groom, Rick, wore a Western shirt, hat, jeans, and cowboy boots. Bridesmaids, best man and groomsmen wore western apparel, jeans, and boots, with a western hat. Even the flower girl and ring bearer had on western clothes and boots. What a hoot! My Son-I-L, Justin, was one of the groomsmen, his sister, Jade, was maid of honor (it was their mother's wedding), and my granddaughter, Mikayla, was the flower girl.

Instead of the standard bride and groom on the top of the cake, there was a couple on horses. Really cool. The food was fantastic and there was a western band until 10 pm, then a DJ until 1 or 2 in the morning.

I could go on and on but you're eyes are probably getting tired from reading already. I found out the night before that my batteries for my camera wouldn't charge. Great, I had wanted to take pics for my blog. Shelley took a lot of pics so maybe she'll send me some I can insert here.

I've been thinking about making my blog into a web page. When I do, there is a directory submission software you can get that will increase traffic to your site and they will submit your site to 40 (or more) web directories, plus it is free. How cool is that?

When I post on my blog, I am creating a written history of events in my life and the life of others, such as the wedding above. This wedding was one I'll always remember. I had more fun there than at any other wedding I've been to.

Have you gone to a wedding that was different than the norm? Let me know about it!

Ahhhh, True Love

I know I've told you about how Steve and I met, but I know I didn't tell you about the ring Steve gave me. It was just before my birthday, Steve was getting ready to leave the Air Force. I really, really liked him, but wasn't sure it was love. I'd had such a bad experience before I met Steve, that I wanted to make sure this was the love of a lifetime. I was scared to make a second mistake.

I'd let Steve know how I felt so on my birthday when he got out of his van at my parents house, with a small package in his hand, I about died. I grabbed my sister, pulled her down the hall and told her, "I told him I wouldn't accept a diamond, what do I do if that's what's in that ring box?"

I must have acted so weird, he didn't give me the present until we were alone at my house. When I opened the box, I was very surprised to see an 'I am loved' ring. It was really beautiful, a heart with a diamond in the center.

I'd seen promise rings before, but this one was so neat. I was so happy, this I could accept. It still means a lot to me. And it was what I needed to calm down and continue on to find my love was the true thing. We've been married for 33 years now and that ring started it all!

Gaining Weight Again?

Is anyone else struggling with their weight? Normally I struggle a lot but before the holiday arrives, I'm usually down 5 to 6 pounds. This year I am fluctuating up 2 to 5 pounds. What a drag.

I remember the days when I couldn't gain weight. Being the smallest person in the whole junior high, except for one guy, who was a midget. I'll leave his name out, but even his name was a hoot. Seriously, he was the only person smaller than me.

I read a lot about the best weight loss pills you can buy to get a hand losing weight. Unfortunately, my doctor won't let me go on them because of my heart rate and blood pressure.

Just doesn't seem right, does it. Heather's been losing weight and I am envious. Ever since I've been nauseated, I've gained. Hopefully my doc's office will call me soon with an appointment for the neuro surgeon so we can see if my neck is causing the problem.

Oh, well, time will tell. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, don't eat to much!

Are You Ready?

Every year Christmas items and gifts are on display earlier and earlier! The retailers used to wait until the day after Thanksgiving. Now it's the end of October.

I love the atmosphere of Christmas and miss being able to go out with my list, dragging my hubby along. I can remember the year I decided I was going to buy all the grandkids sweatshirts and sweatpants (cause I loved wearing them around the house and I wanted them to dress just like Grandma :) Oh, it was fun getting them for the toddlers.

Now, I love to see all the Christmas decorations, the Angel ornaments, the people all excited, trying to get everything they want before they are sold out.

What can I say about 'Black Friday'? This will be the year Grandpa and Grandma will be taking Kat and Alyce home with us so Heather, Pato and Christian can go shopping all night. Whew! I'm glad I'm not doing that.

I won't be shopping as I'm not able to walk around to shop, but I'll be there in spirit. What do you have planned for your Christmas? Any new traditions? Leave me your tips and comment!

Jadah and other things

This is a pic of Jadah showing me her Halloween costume. She will make a very cute mermaid. This is the last time I've seen her. I had hoped to be able to see her the day we moved Steve II out of this house into his own apartment, her Mom and Grandma vetoed that.

He lives just minutes away from where he works, now. That will be good for the winter in case he has car trouble. I hope he will once again get his feet under him and be happy. He won't be able to see Jadah as much, but should have her every other weekend, I hope.

Enough of that, Steve and I went to Jordan's game a few days earlier. This pic shows him warming up.

Great block!

Steve's been spending many hours on the computer looking for work, doing mock tests for IT, catching up on his emails. Now he's studying again, getting ready to take the big test. We'll both be glad when that is over with.

He is taking computer classes once again twice a week. I hate being home alone on Tuesdays, however, last week Josh invited me over for supper. It was great! I took a DVD that we watched after we ate. Shelley made the most scrumptious supper. French bread? split open with the inside dug out, then pieces of chicken, Alfredo sauce, Parmesan, and more cheeses, then it is cooked under their pizzaz pizza cooker, Yum Yum Yum!!!!

Back to Steve and computers, hp printers, and more. I love it that he is comfortable on the computer now. I really think he will get a job in that area.

Have a great weekend!

What Causes Nausea?

It started October 20. That was the worse day of all. From then on it was just feeling sick to my stomach. Yuck, right? What a topic to talk about.

I went to the Urbandale clinic as I wanted to have a test taken that I didn't want my clinic nurses to know about. They have enough fodder they spew to each other. Hopefully, the nurses have been talked to and this will cease.

The doctor took tests, even sent one away to culture to no avail. Yes, I know I need to get to my own doctor for more tests. I have had thyroid tests taken in the past and I was fine. I hope I won't have to have hypothyroid treatment austin in the future.

When I look at symptoms, I just hope I don't have a problem there. The doctor I saw didn't request blood samples be taken. He did give me pills for the nausea which make me really tired. Oh, well, I love to sleep, though my family wishes I wouldn't do it so often. I guess I'll call my doctor Monday and see what can be done. Sorry this isn't a happy, uplifting story. Some days are just like that.

Green Thumb or Black

Do you have a green thumb?  Not to brag, but I’m pretty good at keeping plants alive.  Heather has told me before that she wishes she could keep hers alive like I do.  She always wants shoots off of my plants as they have them.  She also always forgets to grab some, but like mother like daughter in that regards.  She calls it mommy brain.  You have 4 kids and you forget everything.  I say use whatever excuse works. :)

If we ever win the lottery, I am going to have Steve build a beautiful pond and fill it with pond plants and gorgeous fish.  What do you do with them in the winter though?  I don’t suppose they’d survive in the frozen water to well.  Do you have a built in heater keeping it warm?  Oh, Steve would love that electric bill.  We’re dreaming though, I won the lotto, he’d have no problem with me heating the pond. :)

What’s On Your Christmas List

I know, I know, it’s too early to be talking about Christmas….isn’t it?  Unless you saw this picture on Heather’s blog the other day.  (She said I could steal it.)


My grandson Jordan has been talking for months about wanting an iPod touch for Christmas.  Both his mom and his dad have one and he has iPod envy.

Next, he’ll be having iPad envy – wait, that’s Heather that wants one of those so badly.

Heather isn’t quite sure if he’s ready for one because he doesn’t take care of a lot of his things, but on the other hand, he takes excellent care of his laptop.  (Ask him where his phone is at any given moment and he’s not quite sure though. 

I was thinking it would be fun for myself to get an ipod nano.  Something to put all the cds on that I keep in my car.  Yes, I should really move into the digital age.  I think it would be great to have all of those on one small device for when we take trips.  Steve likes to play DJ, and sometimes I can even get him to sing along with me.  Being able to push a button rather than sort through all the cds in the visor would be great.

Too Cold Already

I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining.  We’ve had a wonderful October so far for Iowa, but it is time to break out the afghans.  We have our first freeze warning of the year for over night tonight and like most of the midwest over the last 2 days, the wind has been bad enough to take your breath away.
Good thing with it freezing.  Adios allergy problems!  Only positive thing that comes with the cold weather.  No ragweed or pollen until spring.  I can’t decide what is better – not dealing with allergies for a few months or having the warm weather.  Ask me in December and I’ll tell you the warm weather would be much better for sure!

Heather’s New Little Dog

Heather got the cutest little dog that she brought home tonight.  She tried to talk Steve and I into getting before she made arrangements to be able to take her herself.  Steve doesn’t want an indoor dog, so we couldn’t.

She sent me a picture of her, though I haven’t gotten a chance to meet her yet. 


I’m sure you will see that picture on her blog tomorrow morning, but I beat her to it. :)  I couldn’t help it, it’s such a cute picture.  Heather said that that is a Build A Bear Workshop bed if that tells you how tiny this little 3 year old dog is.

She has been running the barcode scanners crazy with all she has bought for this little dog.  She’s a rescue.  She was raised in a puppy mill and has been bread multiple times.  She was in a cage most of her life, somewhere along the line getting a broken jaw that was never treated, leaving hers crooked.  From what Heather has told me, this little dog deserves a lifetime of love and happiness and being spoiled.  Heather has raved about her foster mom and the care she received there.  How that woman turned a dog that was probably terrified and so nervous into this sweet little bundle of joy.  She hasn’t seem scared at all of Heather or her family, in fact, she climbs right up on Heather and buries down to sleep in her lap.

I’m sure if you follow her blog there will be many more stories of little Junie Bee to come.

May that little one have a long wonderful life from here on out.

The Pink Elephant

Did I ever tell you about how I started collecting elephants? One day, when I was 18, I had a light blue dress on that had pockets. On the pockets were navy elephants with red eyes. I stuck my hands in the pockets and moved them out and back saying, "Aren't my elephants cute?" My sister, Jackie, said "Oh, Kathy, aren't you ever going to grow up?" To that I said, "Probably not!"

The next birthday I had my sister bought me an elephant. She said, "Remember how you loved your elephants on you dress?" Haha! I didn't really love them, I just was acting silly, as usual. Well, the next birthday came and she bought me another one.

The following Christmas, my brother, Denny, gave me an elephant as a gift. And so forth, and so on. The elephants he got me usually had a story behind them. One was brought out of China when it was illegal to do so. One was made of teak which was illegal to cut.

Elephants became special to me from then on. Denny got me one every year. The year that he and his family (except Cory) were killed in a car accident, I didn't even think about not getting one. However, when my Mom and Dad went to clean out his house she found a stuffed pink elephant and knew it was for me.

A few years back my son, Steve, started buying elephants for me again. I cannot tell you what they mean to me. It doesn't matter if it is a big elephant or even one gotten out of a machine, I love them all. Most of the older ones are out in the building we store things in (because our house cannot hold them all). The elephants are probably pretty dirty, possibly moldy, from being out there that long. We're talking 16 years or more. I'll probably have to wash them with something to kill the mold.  Yuck!

Do you have any collections that you didn't intend to start? Let me know how it all started!

I Love My Entertainment Center

Have I told you that?  Steve’s brother gave us his HUGE entertainment center when he moved and we gave ours to Heather to replace her old one, it wasn’t one of the sturdy tv stands.  The kids had tried to climb on it one too many times and she was nervous it was going to fall on them, even when she kept them off.  (It’s usually Katiana, the little monkey climbing up on it.)

There’s just something about this entertainment center, it’s lighter and bigger and just just seems to bring the living room together.  So much more room for TV equipment and dvd’s and even old vcr tapes – although, I think those are actually in another table at this point.

Now to keep Christiano out of it.  Love that child to death, but he gets into everything.  He keeps his mama on her toes when she is out here. :)

Time with Jadah

Steve and I went to Steve II's house so Steve could help our son work on his van. Jadah was supposed to be taking a nap but that didn't work real well. I even tried to bribe her with a Tootsie Roll Pop after she wakes up. To no avail, she stayed awake, but I will say she did stay on the couch. Here's a pic of her, not a great one (I think she had something in her mouth..oh well), but you can see how cute she is.

I was really hoping she'd take a nap because her Grandma was tired and needed one, too! Oh, well, after her Dad said she could get up we went out on the back deck to watch the guys. Jadah decided to collect rocks at the bottom of the deck, to place one rock on each step so she could count how many steps were on the stairway. What a hoot!

After they quit working on the car, Jadah showed me her Halloween outfit. I think she's going to be a mermaid. It's pretty cute.

At that point I told Steve it was time to leave, I was getting hungry once again and it was supper time by then. Sometimes all I can think about is food. We've been trying to buy good things to eat such as apples, yogurt, juice, etc. I seem to be stuck at the weight I'm at. I think it would be great to take fast weight loss pills but, my doctor won't prescribe them due to my bp and cardiac meds.

I actually am down one pound but it's frustrating when you're trying and you stay stuck at one level. Oh, well, eventually I'll get a handle on it (probably just in time for Turkey day, right?). Have a great one!

Why is it?

Every time I get on my laptop I immediately get sleepy. Anyone else experience that? I have to fight to stay awake. It's not that what I am doing is boring, far from it. I think it's crazy that all I can think about is taking a nap.  You would think since I am playing on one of my toys doing something that I enjoy, I would be awake and happy to do it.

It’s a conspiracy, my laptop releases something that makes me tired so that I can do more mundane browsing on the web instead of getting work done.  KIDDING!  I never do mundane browsing, it all has a purpose!

Let me know if it happens to you, too. Maybe someone has some ideas about how to combat this. Let me know!

Do you like your furniture

I’ve thought about getting designer furniture, it would be nice to have my house look chic and put together and right out of a magazine.  Then I think though, almost every piece of furniture in my house has memories, attached to my children, attached to my parents, attached to something important in my life.  And they are all pieces that are classic.  You would never know by looking at my recliner that it came from my dad’s house and that he spent so much time reclined in it doing crossword puzzles.  It still looks as nice today as the day they got it.

And none of it was ever covered in plastic either.  Did your parents ever do that?  Cover the good furniture in plastic?  I’m trying to think back to if mine ever did.  I don’t think they did.

Heather was mighty glad when she got a leather couch.  No more steaming her microfiber couch that even water would leave a mark on.  See, there you have it.  She had a nice piece of designer furniture and went with the old standby because it’s easier when you have little ones.

Setting Goals

Do you set weight goals?  I do.  I get so excited when I’m down 5 lbs or so.  It’s hard to keep it off though and I can’t take anything to help with it due to other meds I am on.  I do go to the Y with Steve to work out and I love warm water therapy.  Moving in the warm water helps ease some of my back pains. 

When I do drop down to where I want to be I’m going to buy me a pair of skinny rocawear jeans to show off where I got.  This will be before Thanksgiving or after the holidays are over.  Pumpkin Pie and fruit salad and stuffing will be the end of me. :)

Gruene by Baccus Steam Cleaner

I've been at my daughter's place and watched while she used her old steam cleaner on her couch, microwave, and refrigerator. I was impressed that something could clean and sanitize in one step and without using any cleaners, only steam.

I wanted to have her bring her steam cleaner to my house so I could have her clean my angel statue before I glued the wing to reinforce it so it won't break off. That hasn't happened, thus far, so when I was chosen to review the Gruene by Baccus Steam Cleaner, I jumped at the chance.

Heres a 'Before' Pic

My daughter was with me when I cleaned it, she said this steamer has more power than most steam cleaners she's seen and used. I am excited as there are many attachments with this Steam Mop & Steam Cleaner! Now watch it in action!

See what it comes with:
  • Squeegee Hand Tool Designed to make quick work of cleaning windows and mirrors.

  • Garment Hand Tool Great for taking wrinkles out of clothes and curtains. It also works great for sanitizing matresses

  • Nylon Brush Set Includes three brushes to handle most of your cleaning needs. Large Brush for wide coverage. Great for scrubbing tile and grout lines. Triangle and Detail head brushes for getting into tight spaces.

  • Wire Brush Makes short work of cleaning golf clubs. Designed to take the elbow grease out of those really tough jobs.

  • Scraper Nozzle Perfect for removing wallpaper. Seriously it cuts the job in half.

  • DirectJet Nozzle Shoots out a jet of steam. Great for hard to reach areas.

Here's some info directly from the company:

GrueneSteam Cleaning System

The Gruene Steam Mop and Hand Cleaner is the answer to your household steam cleaning needs.

If it is floors you are tackling, simply fill the water tank, and seconds later steam is at your fingertips. Using steam means that you can toss out that bulky, messy, mop and bucket and trade it in for a better way to clean. Never again will you barricade the kitchen while you wait for floors to dry, when you use Gruene Steam the floors practically dry as you go. If you have children and pets you will love that Gruene Steam is chemical free system.

Perhaps one of the most unique and innovative features of the Gruene Steam Mop and Hand Cleaner is its ability to convert to a hand steamer. Unlock and remove the center section, and viola! The Gruene Steam Hand Steamer comes with 10 attachments. When attached to the hand steamer these tools make even the toughest jobs a breeze.

Take for instance the Garment attachment, this tool can be used to steam the wrinkles out of clothes, lift stains off mattresses, and even remove wallpaper. The small, large, and angled nylon brushes can be used for anything from removing stains and mildew from tile or grout to cleaning countertops and sinks.

Don’t forget, steam is nature’s disinfectant so when you use Gruene Steam you sanitize as you clean!

Can you imagine being able to do that with just one product? I'd call it the Cadillac of steam cleaners. I cleaned my statue with it and the dirt just rolled off it. Now, don't you want to go out and get one? Heres my 'After' Pic, if that doesn't convince you, nothing will!

Jordan's Run

This is a long time coming but I wanted to blog about Jordan's 1K run. We were there and so proud of Jordan finishing, not to mention going through with even doing the run when he wanted to back out. Yay Jordan!!! There were some 7th and 8th grade girls (7 - 10 of them) cheering the kids on.

They cheered Jordan and it was sooooo cool. He couldn't understand how they knew his name, but it got him trying to run again. He was so tuckered out by then he just wanted to lay down.

I don't blame him. When Mom, Kat, Grandpa, and a volunteer helper started running with him, he picked up speed to get to the finish line. I had tears in my eyes. After he passed the finish line, I said to Heather, "I wished I had a camera to show you how cool it looked from the back seeing you all running with him for encouragement."

Little did I know a picture was taken from the front by a DM Register reporter. She walked up to us afterwards to get Jordan's name and also the names of everyone who ran with him. I'm inserting here my daughter's comments from The Infamous Mile : The 24/7 Mom:

On the way to the car, a lady with a camera that I dream of came up to us and said, I got a picture of the 4 of you running at the end. Do you care if I put it in the paper on Thursday? My mom had just said, I wish I could have gotten a picture of you 4 at the end. It was so neat! I guess Thursday she will get that picture. :) The lady took our names and got a quote from me then left.

That cheered Jordan up a little bit.

And his picture was in the Register, I encourage you to go see it! His pic is #20 so press the left arrow to go back to 20 (it's faster). Jordan finished what he set out to do, no matter how hard it was for him. Jordan has a goodness in his heart that shines out to everyone close to him. Grandpa and I were so proud! Way to go Jordan!!!!!

On That Quest

Heather here and I’m guest blogging for my mom right at this moment.  No reason really, just fun!

I am always on a weight loss quest.  I am always interested in the latest exercise equipment, dvd's, weight loss pills, etc etc etc.

Along with that though comes wariness, I want to know the side effects of weight loss pills, whether you’ll get hurt doing the exercise, etc.  Plus, is it something I’ll actually follow through on?

Obviously most of them aren’t.  I’ve bought so many things and haven’t kept up with any of them.

In this case I don’t think it’s the products’ fault.  Most likely the buyers.

Cuz she has a very very short attention span.

Heather here and I’m guest blogging for my mom right at this moment.  No reason really, just fun!

When I was little I always wanted to be a singer.  Jordan wants to be an archeologist.  (At least that’s on his list this year.)  Katiana wants to be artist and Alyce wants to be Tinker Bell.  Who knows what Nano wants to be yet? 

Did you want an engineering job, a police officer, a fire fighter?  What did you always dream of doing?  And did you grow up to do that?

I didn’t.

I grew up to be a stay at home mom to 4 crazy kiddos who wants to go into naturalistic medicine when she grows up.

The Kids Fundraisers

Heather here and I’m guest blogging for my mom right at this moment.  No reason really, just fun!
It’s getting to be that time of year when my kids will start hitting my parents up with fundraisers for school.  I always feel bad for my parents because they have 3 grandchildren in the same school district selling the same thing. 
It’s not so bad when it’s wrapping paper or presents of some type, but you can only buy so many Entertainment books and magazine subscriptions without going broke.
Our district started something new last year with a spelling bee.  You sponsored them per word.  A quarter per word or a dollar or whatever you felt like giving.  The words were pretty age appropriate.  There were some tough ones for each age group to make it a little challenging though.
I thought it was a pretty neat idea for them to do!

What’s Your Dream Vacation?

Heather here and I’m guest blogging for my mom right at this moment.  No reason really, just fun!

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?  Some people dream of trips over seas others dream of Branson vacations.  I know my mama dreams of a trip to Hawaii with my dad.  You know, a romantic second honeymoon.  I would love to go back to Nassau, Bahamas – this time without the fighting that accompanies my brother Steve and I when we are stuck in a small place for any extended period of time.  We love each other, we just can’t live together…at all. 

I also would love to visit Scotland someday.  When I was a little girl I would always ask my grandpa where our family was from and he would always tell me our ancestors were from Scotland.  I know I’m actually a Heintz 57 when it comes to my ethnicity, but it’s nice to think that I’m Scottish.  I would love to visit there. 

For someone who loves Scotland, I ended up being named perfectly, don’t you think?

Heather - The English name Heather means - Signifies a flower associated with Scotland.

Good job mom!

What’s Your Favorite Shoes?

Heather here and I’m guest blogging for my mom right at this moment.  No reason really, just fun!

Color this my own informal poll.  What do you prefer to wear?  Tennis shoes, mbt shoes, sandals?

Mine are Old Navy flip flops until it snows and my Ryn tennis shoes when I can’t wear flip flops.  I hate heels.  I haven’t worn them since I was pregnant with Katiana and I just can’t do it.  I’ve tried a couple of times.  Doesn’t work for me at all.

Katiana and Alyce love flip flops too.  Jordan wears his tennies and my mama wears her z-coils.

Heather here and I’m guest blogging for my mom right at this moment.  No reason really, just fun!

If you don’t know me, I’m my mom’s oldest daughter.  I have 4 kids.  My oldest is Jordan, he’s 11 – going on I know everything mom knows nothing.

Things are starting to change for Jordan, I think he’s growing up too fast on me.  Voice is getting a little lower (no squeaks yet), needing to use the Old Spice deodorant daily, and asking me to buy him acne products, though I don’t know why, he doesn’t have facial or chin acne.  Just a pimple here and there, the current one being on the back of his leg.

I’m not ready for him to grow up yet.  I’m going to put him in a mason jar and keep him small a bit more.

Who am I kidding, none of my kids are going to fit into a canning jar anymore.

Who Shops Where

Heather here and I’m guest blogging for my mom right at this moment.  No reason really, just fun!

Who has a membership to a wholesale club like Sam’s or Costco?  Do you use it enough to justify it?  We used to have one to Sam’s.  You’d think with a family of 6 that I would use it constantly.  The problem is, with living in an apartment, there is no room to store all those bulk extras.  If I had a deep freeze or even an extra closet for toilet paper it would be awesome!  As it is, we buy the membership, go a couple of times, then stop going because we run out of room.

What do you do with limited space when you want to save money by buying in bulk?

Heather here and I’m guest blogging for my mom right at this moment.  No reason really, just fun!

The bills fall out of the elephant’s snout.

Not really, but they are never ending.  Do you feel that way?  We really don’t have many:  rent, car insurance, car payment, electricity, internet, cell phones, coughcoughPato’sTrafficFinescoughcough, I think that’s it, no credit cards, no water bill – that comes with rent, no rv repairs – because we aren’t that fancy, just the basics.

It still feels like something pops up all the time, a trombone here, soccer uniform there, 2 kids who outgrow their shoes at the same time and the other 2 who follow the next week, you know what I mean.

What do you do when you feeled overwhelmed by it all?

Losing Weight

Hey all!  Heather here and I’m guest blogging for my mom right at this moment.  No reason really, just fun! 

So, I am on a quest for Jordan and I to lose weight.  We have decided that we are going to start running jogging walking/jogging every morning before school.  We could both stand to lose about 50 lbs.  Seriously.

I am taking suggestions on how to get started running.  My sister told me to start out just walking.  Then progress to fast walking.  Then to a jog.  Then you sprain your ankle and have to start all over again.  Kidding!  That’s actually what recently happened to her.  She was all in a pretty boot and everything.  Poor Abby!

I need to get a playlist going on my iPod just for this.  Must keep up the beat while walking/jogging or I’ll get incredibly bored and not want to finish. 

Wish us luck because unless they come out with a magical thermogenic fat burners that actually work this is probably the only way we are going to get in shape!

In Remembrance of 9/11

It's one of those things that you will remember the rest of your life. Like where you were, what you were doing, etc., when you got the announcement. 9/11 is one of those instances.

I was working at SecureCare of Iowa, where my sister, Sue, also worked. I had just heard about the towers being hit. Someone had their small TV on their desk and it was showing the event as it was occurring.

It was something too great to comprehend, but you are seeing it before your own eyes. As I was walking to my desk and pondering this, someone came up to me and said I needed to go to Sue immediately. At first I thought something had happened to my Dad. I was walking to Sue's area, someone I knew walked past me and said, "It's really bad."

I came up to Sue's desk and everyone is standing around her. She looked at me and started crying. You can't know how that felt. I was sure by now that my Dad had died. Sue tried twice to tell me whatever it was, failing to do so. Finally her boss said, "It's good news, Kathy. Your nephew, Mike, was in the Twin Towers when they were hit, but he is OK."

OMG, I didn't even know Mike was in New York. Please take a moment to read Mike's story. He was attending a meeting on the 63rd floor, coming back from a break when he heard the first explosion. I'll let you read his story to find out the rest.

Let me just say, Sue and I were so emotional....happy because he was alive, sad because of the whole 9/11 event. Both of our eyes were red and puffy from crying. I wonder if they have any eye creams that help eyes in that condition.

To this day, Mike is asked to speak at conventions and events, even for kids, where he explains his experience and helps anyone who asks him. He is such a wonderful man, that nephew of mine. I cannot even imagine what my sister, Jackie, went through until she finally had contact with him to know he was really alright.

Do you remember where you were when 9/11 happened? Tell me about it! Kathy

Watching the Fire

As you probably already know, we love to have campfires. Love having the family out, the kids playing, parents talking, just getting together in general. The highlight is always lighting the campfire (after lighting the Tiki lamps for mosquitoes). The kids, of course, always want S'mores. I just want a roasted marshmallow!

We have the wooden swing set that came with this house, but I'd love to have another swing set so all my grandkids could swing at once. You know how it is when you have 3 swings and at least 7 or 8 grandkids here at one time. Back to campfires...

The other night Steve and I were alone. He had the wood built to have a campfire and he looked at me and said, "What do you think?" Of course, I smiled and said yes to lighting it, though no one else was here. We've lit them before with just the two of us, but not this summer.

He stuffed a few pieces of newspaper to get it started and off it went. I love watching the different colors of the flames, especially the blue pretty. Pretty romantic stuff, just the two of us watching the flames. No S'more, no family, just ourselves, our conversation, and our thoughts.

Steve is such a beautiful guy. Not just his looks, I'm sure my daughters are thinking 'yes, he's good looking, but it's my Dad'. He has a beautiful way about him. He takes care of me, worries about me, loves me. What can I say except I'm in love. And I love 'love'! Don't you?

Thank You Party

We were invited to a party in thanks of everyone who helped Steve's brother and SIL move into their new home. I wish we could move into a new home. It doesn't have to be brand new.

We would like a ranch home with a finished basement. Or I should say, I would like it. Steve just wants a ranch-style home. I want one with the stairway wide enough to have one of those handicap seats that can take you up and down, in case I get worse down the road.

Back to the party. All of my kids were there and most of my grandkids. They had hamburgers, hotdogs, and brats, salads, chips, cake, and cookies. Yum! Their home is really nice. We all had a great time and the kids had a lot of fun.

I've been borrowing DVDs from Josh and Shelley. They are great for pasttime when you don't have a good antenna. Did you have a good weekend? Let me know. halfmoon

Up in the Attic Again

Since the change to digital television, we have had such poor reception, we started renting DVDs to watch instead of TV because the show would fail to broadcast so many times, you'd get sick of it.

We have a Standard Definition television, not HDTV, but close. Our normal channels are 5, 8, 8.2, 11, 13, 13.2 and 17. Since the change to digital, we could get 13, 13.2, and 17 (and not all the time, at that). No channel 5 or 8 at all.

Steve searched the web for antennas to see if we could get better reception. It's not like we live out in the boonies (sometimes it feels that way), but we do live out in the country and our house is surrounded by huge oak and fir trees.

I think maybe we should take an Orlando vacation. Just forget about the TV reception and go relax somewhere else.

Since we can't take off right now, Steve finally decided on an antenna called 'Futura' and it is an antenna/amplifier. We got really excited when he hooked it up and was able to get channels 5 and 8. We haven't seen those channels in months.

Now we are having trouble getting channel 17 to come in. It's my favorite channel as "Everybody Loves Raymond" is my favorite show. I wish they'd continue making that show. Oh, well. What's your favorite show?

It's Campfire Time Again

We decided to have a campfire on Saturday night and Josh and Heather's families came over to grill out and enjoy time together. Actually, Steve and I had gone to Josh's the night before and they had a small campfire which fired (pun intended) the desire to start having them again.

Josh's family and Steve and I had hamburgers to grill. Heather's family had other ideas: Brats and steak soft tacos. Man, I wish I'd known that, I'd have loved having one of their tacos. Yum! Pato is a Master Griller, seriously. Josh is really good, too. If I'd known Pato was coming, I'd have thawed the chicken legs I'd bought with hopes that Pato would cook them some day.

Having the grandkids out, too, is always wonderful. Christiano is getting less shy and actually put his arms up to me tow different times and I held him for a short while each time, then he'd slide down and walk around more or go to his Mom.

Heather brought stuff for S'mores, the marshmallows were huge. I had one huge marshmallow, that was enough for me. S'mores are great, but also a real mess to deal with. The kids and grandkids love them, so they're worth it.

Some day I'm going to have a large three-season porch to sit in when the insects come out to spoil your fun. It would have one of those Casablanca ceiling fans for nights when there is no breeze so we'd still be comfortable.

I've been wanting an enclosed place to sit in outside so I can read or just relax for so long. There's so many things we need to get done on this place though, the porch is not the top priority.

What are your desires? Did you have a great weekend? Be sure to let me know! Halfmoon

Spending the Day at Heather's

Heather and Pato are on their way with the kids to Ohio! I'm kind of excited for the kids because Pato's Mom will be their and she hasn't seen Jordan since he was three, I think. She's never seen the other three.

I know they will all be shy, especially Alyce and Christiano. Alyce and Kat are both my little snugglers. They come up and hug, hug, hug. I love it. Usually Kat goes off to play then but sometimes Alyce stays by my side, especially if we are in public or at someone's house whom she doesn't know.

Anyway, today I am at Heather's apartment. Management is supposed to come by and Heather doesn't want them to come in when no one is here. I don't blame her. I wouldn't like anyone having the opportunity to sneak around in my things.

Steve will be here soon to pick me up to go get a nerve block done on my back and maybe on my neck, also. The pain is getting worse all the time. After that, we'll come back here to see if they've looked at the apartment yet. When that is done, we will once again be homebound.

Heather's family will be back Sunday. That will give them only 2 days to visit with his family. What a fast trip. Are you planning any trips this summer? Let me know about them.

Josh Came Over

Josh had the day off yesterday so after lunch he brought Cambria with him to visit. Shelley had taken Taylor and Carter to the Iowa State Fair with Angie and Jadah. Josh didn't want to be in the heat all day and that wouldn't have been good for Cambria either.

Steve was on the computer for the first half of the visit. Josh and I sat on the living room floor with Cambria and played with toys with her. Man, can she move fast. I've never seen anyone crawl that quick in my life. Once, I rolled a car toward her. She didn't know it was coming and the next thing I saw was her standing at the couch. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it. I don't know if the sound scared her, or if she just decided that's where she wanted to be. What a hoot!

Josh showed us a few houses that the Realtor sent him. They so want to move to their own home. I don't blame them, I can remember what it was like to rent. Pretty soon, Cambria started getting a little cranky so I made a pallet on the floor and Josh layed down with her and gave her a bottle.

All the guys in my family love to fish, Josh included. However, he doesn't have as much time to do it as the others. I know Josh loves to have fish frys at his house. We have a few fish in our freezer waiting for the next one. I wonder if the guys still smoke cigars while they fish like they used to.

I keep telling Steve I'll go with him the next time he goes fishing so I can see if I can sit that long. I'd like to get a license and fish with them.

Back to yesterday, Josh called Shelley at least three times to see if she was going in to work that evening. If so, he needed to be at home before she left. Since he received no response, he loaded Cambria up and drove home. Turned out, Shelley wasn't working so he could have stayed longer. Shelley said she told him before she left that she wasn't going to work. Oh, well, there'll be another time to visit soon. We usually see him and Heather's family pretty often.

Do you have any fish stories or stories about your grandkids? Let me know!

Time With Mikayla

Wednesday I went with Abby and Mikayla to Abby's doctor appointment. I stayed in the lobby with Mikalya while Abby did her thing. They had a neat little corner for kids, a little table and chairs, a TV with kids shows and an aquarium with lots of cool fish swimming around.

Mikayla calls me Momma and Steve Papa. She calls Abby Mommy. Abby's tried to get her to call me Grandma, MiMi, and a few other names but Mikayla refuses to call me anything but Momma. How cute is that? Justin told Abby to let Kayla call me whatever she wants, it's OK.

When we were waiting for Abby to go in for her appointment, I walked over to the drinking fountain to get a cup of water. As I was walking back, Mikayla came running to me and yelled "Momma!" What few people were in the lobby, looked at me and I'm sure wondered how I could have a child that young :)

After the appointment, I sat in the car as Abby stopped to run into HyVee. I played a game with Mikayla having her repeat words I said as I pointed to the objects. Finally, I said, "Say Mommy," she replied correctly. "Say Daddy," again she said it right. "Say Grandpa," she replies "Papa", you know what's coming next right? "Say Grandma," and she said "Momma". I said, "Mikayla, can't you say Grandma?" Mikayla's response was "Nope". What a sweetheart!

They are only little for so long. Before I know it she and her cousins will be visiting Grandma's with ipods on their laps and they'll be listening to their favorite songs. I know how fast it goes having raised four kids.

I remember when Abby moved out, I really thought it wouldn't bother me. Wrong. It was one of the hardest things I've gone through, other than Heather, my oldest, getting married. Seems like those are turning points in my life. I hope it won't be as hard when my grandkids get married!

Here's a pic of Mikayla at a story time. Shelley's also in the pic with Carter and Cambria (in the car seat). Wish I could have been there. We never did that type of thing when our kids were young. Oh, well, I never had time for it, anyway. Hope you have plans for a great weekend.

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Shopping With Sue and Steve

The day of the reunion we spent time with Sue and Walt. Before we arrived, Sue and I were talking on the phone when I realized we both needed to go shopping, so we decided to do that shortly after our arrival. Steve normally doesn't like shopping but he wanted to exchange a pair of jeans so he jumped in the car, too.

We found a lot of what we needed at Walmart, including the food Sue needed to go with our supper. After that she stopped to get pies for dessert. Since we had cold food, we made a pit stop at Sues to get things in the refrigerator. Then, Sue and I went to Penneys where I found a pair of jeans I needed.

Sue wanted to get some pillows and they were buy 1 get 1 free, even on the two packs. I told her I needed new pillows, too so we should go together on the pillows . Steve was surprised when I brought them home because we have a lot of pillows, but none of them are comfortable for me and a good night's sleep is so important, right?

Sue and Walt's friends, Terry and Karen and their daughter, arrived and shortly thereafter we had a really scrumptious dinner (roast, potatoes, carrots, homemade gravy, the works). Then it was time for us to go to my reunion so we missed the pie, darn! Have a great weekend!

After the Fact

This is me sitting at the registration table. I tried to grab my glasses before the pic was taken, didn't work.

Remember how I dreaded seeing certain people at the reunion? Boy, did I have a case of nerves for nothing. I will say the first half of the night was a little boring. The main problem is, no one had name tags on, thus, I didn't know many faces. I think there were four girls that still looked like they did when they were young so I recognized them. Same went for the guys.

Steve and I sat with Connie Powell (maiden name), Patty Brown, and another girl whose name was Jewel Tomlinson (I think), plus Patty and Jewel's husbands. At one point Steve turned to me and said Patty and her husband live in Montgomery, AL. That's the next city to Prattville where my sister and brother-in-law live. Small world.

Once people started dancing, everyone seemed to loosen up and enjoy the night more. I decided to introduce myself to those who I couldn't place. I ended up reconnecting with a lot of people I went to school with and received many hugs. It was great. They really should have had name tags, personalized basketballs, or something so we could recognize people.

Steve and I went to Ameristar afterwards for a short while, then made the long drive home.

40 Year Reunion

OK, that's telling my age, isn't it? This weekend is the 40th year reunion of my high school. Man, doesn't seem like that many years have gone by. But then again, I have a wonderful husband, 4 great kids, and 10 magnificent grandchildren!

Thursday night they had a bike ride to Mineola??? I guess that's south of Council Bluffs. Tonight is a meet and greet at a bar and grill. Tomorrow night is the big event at a hotel ballroom, DJ, kegs of beer, and finger food. Myself, I can't see spending $25 each for finger food and beer is really not my thing, but I bet the price is mainly for the place the event is being held. I could go for a campfire with outdoor pillows so you could just lay back and look at the stars, eat some snacks, or sit around and chat with your old friends.

Part of me (half) doesn't want to go. The other half wants to at least see the girls I hung out with in high school. When I think of having to see people who have their noses up in the air, I want to say, "Grow up, we're not in high school anymore!" Those are the ones I could care less about seeing.

Have you had a reunion lately? How'd it go? What do you say, "What have you been doing the last 40 years?" Oh brother. I'll be back in touch after the fact. Have a great weekend!

Beautiful Dobermans

Man, a family is moving out of the Des Moines area and cannot take their two dobermans with them. One is 5 years old (the dad), the son is one year old. The dad is black and the son is red and rust. We had a red doberman and she was so pretty. She was killed right before her first birthday. I swore I'd never get another dog because it hurt me so.

When I look at the pictures of them, the red one looks so much like Brandy. We don't have a fence so it's almost impossible to have them here. We have next door neighbors who have two dobermans inside an electric fence. That wouldn't stop our dogs from going inside their yard.

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This is a picture from Craig's List that shows both of them. Aren't they beautiful. And they are "gentle giants raised around our children" according to the ad. Man! I know I'm allergic to animals but I was always careful around Brandy and didn't get asthma from her.

On other notes, I'm sick of our car insurance. The ads on TV say they are the lowest company and you get a rental car free when your car is worked on. Baloney, unless they've changed their policies. And I don't believe they are the lowest. I'm going to ask Steve to check into to see if we can get a better deal. Then, maybe, we could buy a fence on the money we save on insurance!

I'm Feeling Slightly Better

Friday night was a night of a lot of fun for the most part. Linda came over because she wasn't able to come on her normal night (Thursdays). Her mother-in-law died that morning and she still had to go to work because it was the end of the month and no one else knows how to run the reports she does.

Abby came over as Justin took Mikayla with his family camping. Abby had to work so since she'd be alone I invited her to spend the night. With Abby and Linda there we got out the decks of cards and convinced Steve to play Nertz (sp?) with us. It was really fun.

After the last game was over, a wave of nausea hit me bad. I asked Abby to see Linda to the door as I headed to bed. After a half hour of laying down clutching my nighttime pills (I was afraid to swallow them as I was sure they'd come back up) I ran to the bathroom. I won't go any further, no sense in making you sick, too. I was sick all night and just had nausea the next whole day. Yesterday I felt better, than as I was making supper, the nausea hit me hard again.

Today I woke up with a terrific headache and nausea. I had Steve cancel my dental appointment. Oh, well. Someday I'll get my crown on. I took two Tylenol and went back to bed. I feel slightly better now. I'm hoping it will go away completely today.

I really have been drinking a lot of water and am thankful that we have a filter on our refrigerator.  I use to add ice to my water and crunch on it, but lately I have just been craving the water.

I think if I keep drinking it to flush out my system, I'll get over this. Right?

Taylor Spent the Night!

We had Tay spend the night a while back and she is so sweet. So different than when you have a grandchild stay that you have to watch constantly. When we weren't doing anything together, she was reading the latest kid's book that I bought (One of the Twilight books for kids).

We watched a DVD together and played multiple games of CLR. It's a little harder to play with just two players. You're supposed to have three players to have a game going. With only two, the game ends real quickly.

Tay just turned 12 years old July 22, 2010! Hooray! Next year she will be my first grandchild who is a teenager! Before you know it most of the grandkids will be in school again. But first will be the school shopping for clothes and shoes. That will be a lot easier by using cyberpowerpc coupons.

I always loved shopping for school supplies and clothes when I was a kid. Now, it's very hard for me to make myself go buy anything. Tay and I usually try to bake something when we're together; but, it was so hot, we vetoed the idea. She helped me dust the entertainment center, then we played CLR again. Before I knew it, it was time to take her back home.

I worried that she hadn't had a very good time. Heather told me that Taylor mentioned to her, "I thought I'd be really bored at Grandma's, but I had a lot of fun." Whew, that made me feel wonderful.

Josh and the Kids

Last night Josh and his kids came out for supper. We had creamed dried beef and green beans on the side. The kids all loved it and, of course so did the rest of us. Yummy!

I talk a lot about food on my blog don't I? Seems like every time I try to lose weight, food sounds soooo good. Oh, well. Cambria is crawling now. Carter is talking a lot more. I took him outside with me while I was having a smoke break (yes, I know it's bad for me) and I normally read while I smoke.

Carter normally doesn't talk much, but, since I wanted to read, he wanted to ask questions. Are you smoking? Yes. A few minutes later, are you smoking? Yep! Then he found a weed and told me it was a flower. He talked a lot about that. Some of what he said I gave up on after asking him to repeat it three times.

And, he is very active. That's one kid who won't need testosterone boosters. He will have all the muscles he needs just be being himself!

I love to watch Cambria smile when Josh kisses her or talks to her quietly. Beautiful. As for Taylor, she spent the night so I'll talk about her next time! See ya then!

Father's Day

I know Father's Day is already past, but I didn't write about how much fun we had and we also celebrated Sydney's 9th birthday! Almost my whole family was there. Except for Angie, she wasn't feeling good, and Abby's family because she had to work, so except for them, everyone was there.

I love it when we all get together. This Father's Day my kids and I went together and got Steve a new bar-b-que grill. It is really a nice one. Even has a place for a pan to cook on the side. Jackie told me that is for boiling corn on the cob! Yum!

The cake Steve II brought for Syd had that yummy frosting on it so, of course, I couldn't turn it down. Now some of us should visit the website for apidexin. I know I didn't weigh the same the next day.

Steve loves the grill, and I love the steaks he cooks on it! We had steak tonight with baked spuds and raw carrots and ranch dressing, yum, yum, yum. See what I mean. It is very hard to lose weight!

Surgery is Over!

It's been a week since surgery and I feel pretty good. Actually, I've felt pretty good including the day of surgery, just have been soooo sleepy. I think I've slept half my life away, and it felt great.

The Saturday after surgery my feet and legs were pretty swollen so I called the number for my surgeon. The doc on call told me to go to the ER and have an ultrasound done of my legs to make sure there were no blood clots. Once that was determined I would be put on a water pill.

The ultrasound was clear so I was given a script for water pills and potassium as I'm still very low. Man those potassium pills are huge. They didn't look much bigger than my Neurontin so I waited for the nurse to give me the 2nd one. She said, "Are you sure? They are pretty big." Being as smart as I am I answered, "I take one that size along with 4 other pills all at once." "OK," she said and let me take them both.

After practically choking to death, I finally got the pills down and felt a little (a lot) sheepish. Never again will I take two at one time. Whew! Lucky to be here to tell the story. Over all, once being weighed, I had at least 11 pounds water weight on me. Talk about tight feet.

I had my hair cut right before surgery so I wouldn't have to mess with it so much afterwards. I'm really glad I did. It is so easy to take care of right now. For some reason, you can't see where my hair was thinning any more. Abby actually asked me what product I used to make it grow again. You could really see it was thin as it was right in front.

It might be a good idea for me to take some hair loss prevention for protection against future loss. I think my hair being short just covers up where I was thin before. Who knows. I always told everyone I wouldn't mind going thin in the back, but in the front you have to see it every time you look in the mirror.

I want to thank everyone who kept me in their prayers during my surgery and after. I believe that was the reason my days after surgery went so well. Again, thank you!

OK, I went through a lot of nerves, and think I've added a few grey hairs. I had an IV in my hand when the anesthesiologist came in to tell me they were postponing the surgery due to my EKG.

It looked like I had some dead muscle in the right side of my heart (possibly due to an unknown heart attack in my past). Well, great! As if I didn't have enough going against me. I went through the day with trepidation.

Friday, I had the echo (after the tornado scare and we all had to sit in an inside hall or office). My heart is fine. Steve and I spent the day thanking the Lord and praising his name! God is good.

At times like this you find out just how much your family and friends love you. My son, Steve, told me, "When you told me about the EKG, I thought, no, my Mom has a strong heart. There is nothing wrong with it." What a son! You don't know how that made me feel.

All of my kids are troupers, my whole family pulls together at times like this. As if we circle the wagons when there is threat of Indians (in the old wagon trail days). Both my sisters gave me encouraging words and I felt their love strongly through the phone conversations. And my husband, Stephen, what can I say? He has loved me through everything we have gone through and his love shines brightly even when he isn't looking at me. Or is that my love for him???

Anyway, thank you to everyone who has visited my blog and my daughter's blog. We appreciate every one of you. May the Lord richly reward you for calling out to him on my behalf. Kathy

I am about the pain AFTER the surgery. THIS IS ABOUT BEING SICK, if that bothers you, please don't read. OK, I haven't written about what happened to me so here goes. While staying at my sis's house in CB (Council Bluffs), she became ill and we weren't real sure how she got it. The only thing we thought of was the self-serve soda fountain she used when we were out and about. I used the same soda fountain, however, I only got ice in my glass.

Anyway, since my sister was ill and I catch things so easy, I called Steve to come and get me. That was on a Saturday afternoon. I slept most of the way home then went to bed. The next day, Sunday, I seemed fine in the am but around 5 pm, I spent a lot of time in the bathroom (if you get my drift). By 9 pm, I started vomiting and kept on until 2 am when I asked Steve to call an ambulance.

The pain in my upper stomach (gallbladder) was pretty severe. I couldn't even keep water down, everything came up, even when my stomach was empty, it continued. They took xrays because I couldn't keep anything down (strawberry drink?) to get a scan taken. After having blood drawn, I found out my white count (?) was 18,000 when average is 12,000. Besides being dehydrated, I was very low on potassium.

They added a bag of potassium to my iv and she they started it, she left the room. Not even two minutes later my arm felt like it was on fire. Steve ran and got a nurse who stopped the potassium flow which stopped the pain. Man! They decided to try the other arm. Same thing happened. So they put some type of lidocain? in the IV and it calmed down.

Since I am having surgery tomorrow, I decided to finally talk about this. The doctor thinks that not only my gallbladder was acting up, but I must have been around a virus and picked it up. Like I said before, I'm not scared or nervous about the surgery. I love it that they tell you to count and then you are OUT, under, whatever you want to call it.

It's when you wake up in pain (more pain than I'm already in). Then you find out if it was a routine laproscopy or if they encountered something wrong and had to make a big incision and hurray, you're in the hospital for a 3 - 5 day visit.

Also, when you have a surgery scheduled, you wonder if you have enough insurance and think not only about copays and deductibles, but, also about life insurance rates, do I have enough coverage there, you know, just in case?

OK, I've admitted I'm scared, and I don't feel any better about it. My Pain Control doctor said they have someone in their office that had it done and he came back to work after 3 days! Also his friend, who is also a doctor that I know in Waukee, same result -- 3 days. I just hope mine goes that way, too. Hope to be back to my blog soon, I covet your prayers for the days ahead. Thanks.

I Love that He Loves Me

This is a pic of my beloved and I. I met Steve when going to my sister's house to drop my daughter off so I could get allergy shots. He was helping my BIL put a ceiling up in the basement. Of course that is the direction my niece and nephew let me into the house.

Picture this: I had my hair in a pony tail on the top of my head with four soup can size pink rollers up there (to straighten my hair), no makeup, looked really great. He turned and smiled at me as I walked in. I wanted to die!

When I got upstairs I grabbed my sister (Jackie) and said, "Let me guess, that's Steve, right?" I got it right on the first time. "Why didn't you let me know he'd be here? Look at me!" She smiled and said, "You wouldn't have come." And she was right. Well, I tore the curlers out of my hair, put on my makeup and met him properly!

Jackie was the secretary at the office Steve worked in at Offutt AFB. She had been trying to get the two of us to meet for quite some time. For pity's sake, she showed him my senior pic from high school. You know black horned rim glasses! Brother. He wasn't that eager to be hooked up either.

Jackie invited me for supper after I had my shots and when she told me it was fried chicken, I readily agreed. "Oh, good, " she said, "Steve's staying, too!" What a sister! Well, I had my shots, went back and ate my supper, and when the guys were in the living room, I grabbed Jackie in the kitchen and said, "He's kinda cute!" She said, "I TOLD YOU HE WAS!"

You have to know my sis is 8 years older than me and I wasn't sure my cute and hers were the same thing. You have to picture Steve clean-shaven and a GI haircut. I ran around with a crowd where the guys had long hair. I couldn't even picture Steve with longer hair. But, he WAS cute.

I told Steve and his friends that my friends and I were going to the Lifticket Lounge later. If they didn't have plans, I'd introduce them to my friends. Notice, it wasn't for me. When we got there, the guys were already there. I introduced everyone and we found a table to sit and listen to the hillbilly rock music the Lifticket was known for.

Steve's two friends weren't into that type of music (they wanted hard rock) so they soon left. Thus leaving Steve with the three of us girls. He invited me to go eat breakfast with him and I declined, stating I came with my friends. Both of my friends were encouraging me to go with him. I finally said yes and we left the lounge.

That was the beginning of the rest of my life. Here I am in what will be 33 years of marriage in July. When I look back at how thin I was when Steve and I met, then I look at me now, I am amazed by the changes in us, yet our love has stood the test of time. My hands are so wrinkled, they remind me of my Mom's hands when I look at them. I wonder if wrinkle creams would work on them.

Some days I marvel that Steve loves me, though I've gained so much weight. Alth0ugh I am on the downside of the scales again, I still have a lot to lose to meet my goal. He fluctuates between 5 and 7 lbs more than he was when we met. Man!

Diamonds in the Rough

As I've stated before, Steve and I have 10 grandchildren from four beautiful children! We have been blessed.

Taylor is our first grandchild and is from Joshua's family. Shelley and Tay lived with us from the time she was born while Josh was in Marine bootcamp until the time he moved his family to North Carolina. Tay was about one year old by then and I truly grieved when they moved her out of our home to go so far away. When she was four, I think, they moved back to Iowa (Waukee), hooray! She loves soccer. Once she broke her finger clear away from the growth plate, yet she finished the half, though she was in severe pain. She also loves to sing and is now playing the clarinet.

Next was Jordan (from Heather's family). I just love Heather's little man! He is a very sensitive child (as all Heather's kids are). I've been lucky that they lived nearby for nearly three years, I think, then she moved to Ohio. Thankfully, they moved back before her next child was born and live close by now. Jordan loves soccer and is a really good goalie.

Steve II's Sydney is our third grandchild. Born at 30 weeks, she was such a tiny little thing at birth. A little over one pound and 13 inches long, if I remember right. She spent her first two months at Mercy NICU. From birth on, she breathed room air, what a miracle. She's been tiny ever since birth, loves tumbling, and soccer.

Following Syd is Katiana Lynn, Heather's second child. I can't express in words what it means to me to have her named after me (Kathy Ann with a Spanish flair) for her first name and then she has her mom's middle name. She also is a soccer player and boy can she get goals, Atta Girl!!! She was the first grandchild to really come up to me and want me to hold her and gives me such beautiful smiles.

Steve's second daughter is Jadah. Talk about a smart kid. She went from saying single words to paragraphs that you understood. I can't wait to see her wow her teachers when she goes to school. I hope they can keep her challanged so she doesn't get bored.

Alyce is next (Heather's second daughter). Her full name is Maria Alyce named after both grandmothers. We call her Alyce and it is pronounced 'Aleese' (there's that Spanish flair again. My mom's name is Mary Alyce and Pato's mom is Maria. She will be another soccer player, however she loves to dance and sing. I'm hoping she will be another singer like her cousin, Tay.

Carter is Joshua's second child and he is such an adorable little boy. I love it when he talks to me. Most often he runs to the door and opens it for us to let us in. He's always zooming his cars and trucks around the living room. When he's not doing that, he's trying to hug his baby sister. When Steve and I leave, he says "Bye, Grandpa!" Josh thinks he calls us both that.

Mikayla is Abby's first child. She is such a sweetheart. She is jabbering all the time and I catch a word now and then. She's just started potty training and is so cute. She likes to sit on the couch by her grandpa and pretend to read the paper. She imitates her mama a lot. She was pulling dried skin off her finger saying, "Ouch, ouch, ouch" yet she kept on pulling it.

Christiano (otherwise known as NaNo) is a very quiet child (I didn't say he wasn't active, he's just not real talkative around Grandma yet. He does say "I DID IT!" with a yell now when he's done something. What a hoot. He likes to get my broom, mop, and dustpan out, not to mention getting into a few drawers that don't have child locks on them yet.

And finally, is little Cambria, who is almost 9 months old and is very pretty. She has a beautiful smile (as all my grandkids do). I love to watch her smile at her Daddy when he talks to her. Pretty soon she'll be crawling or maybe she'll go right to walking like her brother did.

Those are our diamonds in the rough. A grandparent could not be more proud than we are. Steve and I feel like we are 'rich in family and rich in love'.

It's Raining Outside

We have had days of rain and the mosquitoes are out in droves. It's that time of year to put the window air conditioner in so Steve's been standing outside in the rain taking the window off and screwing in the support (for weight of the air conditioner).

This morning I was standing under the canopy of the door and a mosquito landed on me, in the rain. It happened twice. Are the mosquitoes looking for shelter from the rain too? I've never seen one in the rain before, have you?

Which reminds me of the house we lived in in Lincoln, NE, when I was in 1st grade. It was a neat old brick home and speaking of outdoor fireplaces, OK, I know I wasn't, but that house had one in the back yard. I can remember Sue and I tearing off the papers of a bunch of crayons, putting them in a tiny pie pan, and fired up the fireplace. It made the neatest color pie! One huge crayon.

Mom wasn't real happy with us, and how we didn't get burnt, I'll never know. Actually the color was mostly brown with a hint of other colors here and there. Way cool! Ahhhh, the memories. Hope you're keeping dry.

Our Stay at Nancy's

While my visit to my sisters was in Council Bluffs, Jackie, Randy, and I actually stayed at our cousin's house (Nancy and her husband Edwin) in Omaha, NE. I didn't realize how big her house was until this visit. Besides a living room, dining room, kitchen, and family room, there are three bedrooms and two baths on the first floor. There's also a 2ND story, but I've never been up there (and a basement).

Now, I love to talk, but when we are at Nancy's we talk 24/7. Seriously, no book reading, game playing, or anything else. Just talking. I do have to say I became closer to Nancy on this trip than I've ever felt. It was great.

Nancy loves to read books as much as, or I should say more than, I do. She really should have a door hanger printing that says 'READ, IT'S GOOD FOR YOU!' When I told her I was on my last book, she handed me a new one. Then she told me she has boxes of books in her basement that I could have.

When I run low on books to read I start getting antsy, literally. Then I usually go to the library and check out 15 or more books. As I load them in the car I feel RICH. My Mom read constantly (if she wasn't working crossword puzzles). My two sisters read, my two daughters read and I have one son that reads. Thus far, I have 4 grandkids that love to read and one (Alyce) who was crying once to her mother because she couldn't read yet, her heart was broken.

Such a deal, this legacy of reading. I love it, I love it, I love it. Get a good book today and find yourself transported to a different place and forget about all the stresses in your life!

Do We Have a Fire?

Two nights ago, I was reading Steve's homework assignment when he noticed a smell of plastic burning. I immediately smelled it and started panicking. We went from room to room starting with the crawlspace.

The closer we got to the kitchen the stronger the smell. In my mind I am thinking, "OK, what do I need to grab if there is a fire in the wall, or something? Immediately, I think of our wedding album, my Mom's sewing machine, the sewing machine I bought from Shelley's Dad, my wedding rings (and Steve's), my purse. OK, what if we don't have enough time?

My Mom's machine is upstairs, so is the one I bought. I can just see my husband, "You want me to bring both of them outside????" What do you do if you have a fire, what are the most important things you want to save?

Steve said he thought the smell was a skunk. OK, I've smelt a skunk before, it never smelt like this burning smell. I turned on every light outside and out my hubby went with a heavy duty flashlight. Meanwhile, inside I am spraying this odor eliminator in every room. Then I can barely breathe as the smell of that was too much.

Once we shut the back door, the strength of the smell decreased. What do you ya know, maybe it was a skunk. I hate it when I'm wrong! But, happy that my wiring isn't on fire!

Abby called me last night. They my take a three night vacation in the Wisconsin Dells. As she reminded me, that is where Steve and I had our honeymoon. The area has places geared for parents with small children. She said they can even go horseback riding.

Thought I'd include two pics from my visit at Sue's. The first is my nephew Mike (from Alabama) who had set up a water slide for the kids to have fun. The second is Skip's three kids: Nathan, Benjamin, and Emma! Cute kids, huh?