I Got a Bee in My Bonnet

My mind is forever thinking of new projects that I want to do. Sometimes the ideas get to "buzzin" around so fast that I feel like I have bees swarming around in my head. This saying actually came from my grandmother. She used to say, when she had an idea about how to do something, "I got a bee in my bonnet and I couldn't rest until I got it out." So, when I think of something new I want to do, I can't rest until I get that bee out of my bonnet. Ü

Monday, June 30, 2008

Send your Thanks to our Troops!

My daughter has a friend who is in Iraq who is becoming discouraged, and she had an idea to send some encouraging e-mails over to the group of soldiers where Kyle is located in honor of the Fourth of July. Here is the e-mail she sent to me:

"Kyle has been getting frustrated over in Iraq and discouraged. He's hot and tired and ready to come home. Last time I talked to him he had only had 7 hours of sleep out of the last 58. I know he's only over there for 4 months, but as you can imagine, it would start to get to you. So, in honor of Fourth of July, I thought it might be nice if we got some people to send an email, or write a note, or send a card just telling him thanks and letting him know you're praying for him and the other soldiers."

We decided e-mail would be the fastest way to get them these notes. If you would like to send a word of encouragement to some guys/girls that we know are fighting for our freedom, please send the note of encouragement via e-mail to Andrea by noon on Thursday, July 3rd. Make sure to have "For our Troops" in the subject line and include your name and e-mail address. Andrea will keep all of the e-mails in a list and when she hears back from them, she will forward on to all who sent a note.
Thanks so much for helping give a boost of encouragement to our Men & Women who are fighting to keep us free!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Hair Cut for Chewy

This week while Camryn and the Ross' are in Vegas, Andrea is getting the chance to keep her dog, Chewy. She has been staying at the Ross' for the past 4 years because Andrea was living in an apartment and because Chewy is a big dog she needed more space. At the Ross' she stays outside and has not had much pampering..i.e. no grooming. Therefore, her hair was just full of mats and knots to the point that it was hampering her movement. We thought she was not moving very fast because she was getting old. After all, she is nine years old. Come to find out, her lack of vim and vigor had more to do with her matted hair condition.

Well, Andrea could not stand seeing her matted up like this so she decided to borrow clippers from my friend Christine to cut Chewy's hair. And of course she was going to need my help with this project. I had told Christine to be ready in case we needed her expertise. Before I even got to Andrea's I called Christine because I decided that since neither of us knew the first thing about clipping a dog's hair we better call in the pro. Christine, Russell and Ashley came to help with this chore. Since Chewy has never been too fond of men, we had Russell stay inside the house for his safety.

Christine was wonderful. She allowed Chewy to get to know her first and then the clipping began. Chewy did wonderfully. She seemed to enjoy all the attention. When she realized Christine was not going to hurt her she laid very still as the hair, knots and mats began to fall away. She allowed her to get up after one side was clipped because Chewy was getting antsy and the clippers were getting hot. Here is what she looked like after one side was complete.

After a brief rest Christine began on the second side. Again, Chewy was calm and cooperative while Christine was clipping until she got around to the underside of her tail. The following pictures show the process of her hair cut. It was amazing how her personality changed once the hair was gone. She ran around and jumped and was much more frisky. We determined that possibly the matted hair and knots were impeding her movement. She seemed to be genuinely grateful to have all that hair with all the knots gone. The next chore is to give her a bath because she is really dirty and stinky.

See how still she sat while Christine did her magic.

It was at this point that Chewy gave a little growl...she did not like having her hair cut there.

She looks like a wolf that has on furry boots.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Camryn is heading to Vegas

Well, this has been a difficult day for this Nanna and for Andrea. Camryn just left headed for Vegas for 8 days. She will be visiting her Dad and her brothers. We have known this day was someday coming but it is still hard to handle letting your child/granddaughter go so far away. This will be the longest period of time that Andrea has been away from her. Four states away and 1500 miles....it is going to be a long 8 days. We know God will protect her but it is still hard to let your 6 year old go. We are just trusting God to be there for her.

Thankfully, she is not alone in this adventure. She is flying with her other grandparents....and although we have all assured her that she will like the flight and that she is going to have a good time, she was still apprehensive about flying in the airplane. I have had her with me today because the Ross' were picking her up from here. We did a few errands and then met Andrea for lunch at Jason's Deli (Camryn's favorite place to eat.) When Andrea said she had to get back to work, Camryn grabbed her around the neck and hugged and hugged her. After lots of tight hugs and many kisses Andrea left. I was very proud of her...she did not cry. She told me she waited until she got in the car to fall apart. On the way back to my house Camryn was very quiet. Those of you who know her know this is not the normal Camryn. I asked her if she was alright and she said, "Yeah." I asked, "Are you worried about flying?" She said, " A little...what if I get sick up there? What will they do? You know I sometimes get sick when things go fast." I told her that Mamaw will probably have some medicine she can take to keep her from being sick. Then she said to me, "You know why I don't want to fly, Nanna? It is because I am afraid there will be a storm up there and the plane will break and fall." I told her. "They will not let the pilots fly in a storm. They will either wait or fly in another path to miss the storm, if there is one, so just put that worry right out of your mind." She said, "OK, I will try...but it usually takes me a long time to get my worries out of my head." She also said she was afraid that she would get separated from her grandparents and she would be left to fly by herself. I assured her that this would not happen. They would not leave her nor would she have to fly by herself. She said, "Yeah, cause I am to young to do that." Bless her little heart...she is such a worrier.

We came home and she decided she wanted to swing until her Mamaw and Papaw got here. So, I used that as an impromptu photo opportunity. Here are the results. You can tell from some of the shots that she had not been able to get "her worries out of her head." Even though she told me several times that she had. Ü

Here she is deep in thought as she swings
And then I get a bit of a smile. Being the little camera hog that she is, she decided to do some posing for me.

She suggested that I take some of her beside the tree...

....and in her swing acting like a monkey.

And then the wait was over.....she was off.....

God she is yours....please protect her and keep her safe until she returns to our waiting arms.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Proud to be an American


I spent yesterday at the VA Hospital in Little Rock because a friend of mine, who happens to be a Vietnam Vet, was having a kidney stone removed. As I sat in the outpatient surgery area with his wife, watching vets of all ages come and go, I was overcome with gratitude for what these men and women have done for our country. It overwhelmed me to think of the sacrifices they have made so that our country can remain free. Some of them were very old...veterans from the WWII era. Others were from the Vietnam War and still others from Desert Storm right on up to the present war with Iraq. No matter which conflict they were in, they all seemed to have a pride about them for having served in our armed forces. They went willingly when called, fought bravely while there and returned never to be the same again. Some returned with limbs missing while others returned with emotional scars, such as post traumatic stress syndrome, that will never go away. Some of the vets I saw yesterday were suffering with tremors, heart disease or cancers possibly due to the conditions they were in while defending our freedoms. But I am confident if you asked them if they would serve again, they would say they would gladly do it all again in a heart beat, because they were proud to have had the opportunity to fight for this great country.

While sitting and watching those vets yesterday, I felt honored and at the same time humbled to be in their presence. I guess I am just a very patriotic person by nature or by training because military men and women have always held a special place in my heart. My Dad served in the army and was stationed in Japan in 1945. I have had many uncles, cousins and an aunt who have served this country in the various branches of the armed forces since WWII. I am very grateful for the contribution they have made so that we, as Americans, can live safely in this country. It really saddens and yes, even angers me to hear arrogant, impudent, knuckled-headed people put down our military and the jobs they do. Don't they know, without the actions and sacrifices of these brave men and women in uniform these "conscientious objectors," like the above mentioned, would not be allowed the right to speak so boldly and with such malice?
I know I am on my soap box and just rambling on, but I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to all our military forces for the great job they do to protect us and the freedoms we enjoy. I, for one, am very proud to be an American and to live in the greatest country in the world...the USA! We don't need to take that privilege for granted....because Freedom is not Free. It comes with a price.

I tend to agree with Maxine, the cartoon character, when she says....

"We need to show more sympathy for these people.
* They travel miles in the heat.
* They risk their lives crossing a border.
* They don't get paid enough wages.
* They do jobs that others won't do or are afraid to do.
* They live in crowded conditions among a people who speak a different language.
* They rarely see their families and they face adversity all day every day...
I'm not talking about illegal Mexicans,
I'm talking about our troops!
Doesn't it seem strange that many Democrats and Republicans are willing to lavish all kinds of social benefits on illegal's, but don't support our troops and are now threatening to cut funding for them?"
Remember our soldiers...God Bless them all!


Thursday, June 19, 2008

My how time flies....Andrea is 27 today

I can't believe that my baby is turning 27 today. It doesn't seem possible that she could be that old, but she is. I was looking back through her baby book (being a little nostalgic) and came across the note I had written to her. Although I did not get it written until she was 4 years old, as I explain:
July 20, 1985
"Dearest Sweet Andrea,
Here you are four years old and I am just now writing my message to you. I guess with all that went on during the week of your birth, I never got around to writing. You see, 4 days before you were born, my Granddaddy, your great-granddaddy, died. He was a very special person in my life and it hurt very much to lose him. But the Lord was so good to give me someone that would become just as special in my life. God gave me you! We named you for your Great-gran. His name was Andrew Homer so we named you, Andrea Hope, in honor of him.
Andrea you are so very special to me because you are my last baby. You have a very contagious personality and have been fairly easy to manage. I look forward to what God has for you in your life. My prayer for you is that you will come to know our Lord as your Saviour at an early age and that you will dedicate your life to His Service. I pray you will be sensitive to His leading in your life and when the time comes for you to marry, you will find a dedicated man like your Daddy that will love the Lord and you. And when you have children, boys or girls, may they bring as much joy into your life as you have brought into mine. When you come running and throw your little arms around my neck telling me you love me, it warms me through and through. I thank God for sharing you with your Daddy and me.
I love you,

Those were my words to her then and after 27 years my feelings haven't changed much. Although, the part about her finding a husband that would love her and the Lord did not exactly come about as I prayed. Andrea's marriage was difficult and after exhausting all possible means to bring it into line with God's design, it eventually ended in divorce. However, the one good thing that came from her marriage was that God blessed her with a precious little girl. Andrea is a great mother and she has done a wonderful job with Camryn. Earlier this year she had the privilege of leading her to the Lord.

Even though Andrea has been through some difficult times she has not let it get her down. As a result of these difficulties she has developed into a much stronger, more independent young woman who knows what she wants out of life. She has made a good life for Camryn and herself. This past December she set out to purchase a house. It was her desire to move she and Camryn into a place of their own rather than continuing to pour money down the drain in an apartment. She applied for, got the loan and became a home owner the week before Christmas. Yes, she is a lot stronger than I ever thought she would be. I say she is stronger...that is until it comes to bugs or possible critters in her house...then she calls on me for help! lol

It has been my joy and privilege to be her mother and to have her in my life for these 27 years. I am very proud of the Godly woman she has become. I continue to look forward to what God has in store for her and how He will use her in the future.
I love you, Andrea
Happy Birthday!

Monday, June 16, 2008

57 Years of Love

Today my Mother and Daddy celebrate 57 years of marriage. Wow! That is a long time. And to think, they only had $25 to their name when they married. They didn't even have dishes, linens, or towels. Mother told me that her mother had given them a plate, cup, fork, knife, and spoon, along with a pot. Daddy's mother gave them about the same thing. And that is how they started out their married life. They moved into a little efficiency apartment above their landlord's garage. The only thing they had to cook meals on was a toaster oven and a hot plate. Since it was a garage apartment, Daddy could not even stand to his full stature anywhere other than right in the middle. Airconditioning was relatively unheard of in 1951 therefore, it was very hot, being that they married in the middle of June. So after their first night of trying to sleep in that heat, their first purchase was a oscellating fan, which they still have to this day.
Mother and Daddy have weathered many trials during their 57 years of marriage, from job layoffs (which happened right after they moved into a new house and Shelia and I were 3 and 5 years old) to health related issues. But these trials have only served to make them stronger and closer to one another. They came from poor farm families who were people of integrity that believed in working hard without complaint but with thankful hearts for what the Lord had given you. These latter years have seen Mother lose her eyesight and Daddy has suffered a heart attack, triple by pass surgery and the instillation of a pacemaker. Although, they have had to sacrifice and delay gratification at times, they have enjoyed retirement in a house that is totally paid for and two vehicles on which they owe nothing. All of this acquired on a policeman/deputy sheriff's and teacher's salaries...two of the lowest paid jobs in our society.
I am very proud of my parents. They are both well known and well respected in the town of El Dorado, AR. Both have touched many lives in their own way....Mother, through imparting knowledge to children for 30 years in education, mostly as a teacher in the Parkers Chapel School System and Daddy through giving people a sense of security as he helped to keep the town safe as an officer of the law.
So, it was great pride that I wish them a very Happy Anniversary! I am honored to be their daughter.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Daddy's hands....

I am sitting here reflecting on Father's Day thinking about my Dad and how big his hands have always been to me. The song, Daddy's Hands by Holly Dunn, pretty much expresses what I feel for my Daddy.

I remember Daddy´s hands, folded silently in prayer.
And reaching out to hold me, when I had a nightmare.
You could read quite a story, in the callouses and lines.
Years of work and worry had left their mark behind.
I remember Daddy´s hands, how they held my Mama tight,
And patted my back, for something done right.
There are things that I´ve forgotten, that I loved about the man,
But I´ll always remember the love in Daddy´s hands.

Daddy's hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy´s hands.

I remember Daddy´s hands, working 'til they bled.
Sacrificed unselfishly, just to keep us all fed.
If I could do things over, I´d live my life again.
And never take for granted the love in Daddy´s hands.
Daddy's hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy´s hands.

Daddy's hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love .....In Daddy´s hands.

Those of you who know him know that he was a policeman and later a deputy sheriff. He has always been a pretty good sized man..6 foot 2 inches of broad shoulders and a trim 210 pounds for almost as long as I can remember. As Jimmy Dean would say in his song, Big John, "he was a giant of a man." Maybe it was because of his profession and the demeanor he had to have in that line of work but because of his size and at times his gruffness, I have always had a fear of him...I especially didn't want to make him mad or have him disappointed in me. As I have grown older and he has too, some of that gruffness has mellowed and he has become much more emotional. That tender side has always been there but it comes out more easily now than it used to.

I was down visiting with him and Mother yesterday and the strong, broad shouldered, 210 pound man I have known all my life, has shrunk some. Due to health issues (heart problems) he has had to be more careful about what he eats. As a result he is down to 182 pounds. He has lost that broad robust stature. You know when you are younger you think your parents will never grow old. But while watching him yesterday as he struggled with getting his shirt buttoned because his fingers are not as nimble as they once were, I realized that Daddy is suddenly an aged man. Time has caught up with him. Something I never thought would happen. It saddens me seeing him struggle with lifting things because his muscle mass is gone. Seeing him have to use a magnifying glass to read because he has difficulty seeing small print hurts my heart. Feeling his boney shoulders when I hug him where once there was hard muscles makes me realize that I need to cherish the moments because they are not going to be here forever.

I love him dearly even though for most of my life I have been scared of him...I still love him. It has been my joy to see him, over the last few years, be more interested in things of the Lord. He gets choked up when he tries to pray over a meal and hearing songs that he sang while in the Friendship Quartet brings tears to his eyes. Yes, God has tenderized him. He is still that giant of a man to me and will always be the toughest man I know, even as age has creeped up on him. But I guess it just hit me, the man I thought would never get old, has grown so before my eyes.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Birthday gifts from my Ya-Ya's

Last night my Ya-Ya's (Annette and Christine) took me out to eat at Carinos for my birthday. (My birthday was actually on June 1st but we couldn't get together then. Hey, it doesn't matter to us when we celebrate, as long as we get to be together!) Ü This is a tradition we have carried out for several years. The one who is having the birthday has her meal taken care of by the other two. We had delicious food and good fellowship. Annette gave me a sweet hand made card and a Dubai Travel diffuser. (In case you are like me and you don't know what that is, it is a bottle of very good smelling air freshener that you can carry with you when you travel to rid the room you are staying in of that musty smell that is sometimes present. It has these little sticks that you put down in the bottle that soak up the oil and release the nice fragrance into the air.) Christine gave me a beautiful Dragon-wing Begonia. We went to her house after our meal to pick it up since she didn't want to bring it into Carinos nor did she want to leave it in the hot car. Since it was pretty early, we decided to watch a movie. She had rented two: The Bucket List (a more heartwarming movie) and Mad Money ( a funny movie). We opted for the funny one, so we watched Mad Money. It was really a cute movie.

Now to my delimma: I can't decide where I want to put my Dragon-wing Begonia.
Should I put it here on my patio? (I am leaning toward this placement)

Or here by the pond?

Or on the plant hanger over my fountain?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Deep cleaning....

Today was my second day to spend deep cleaning my house. I decided when I got out of school that I was going to spend at least the first week cleaning my house. My goal is to take one room per day and clean it from top to bottom. I spent Monday and today on this task.

I guess my inspiration for doing this chore was my daughters request that I get rid of some of my "collections" as they do not want to have to go through all my stuff should something happen to me and I leave it all behind. Sooooo.....with this thought in mind I headed for my bathroom with big black trash bags (leaf size) in hand. Let me just admit from the outset, I am an collector and a saver. I feel sure I am not the only one like this but you know the type...you somehow acquire a collection of things, (soaps from hotels, shampoo samples, random skin care products with just a little left so you don't throw it away, because you might use it someday, as with perfumes, afterbath sprays, etc. etc. ) I spent at least 2 hours just going through the shelves and tossing the majority of the stuff in them. I filled two garbage size bags of old perfumes, lotions, soaps, skin care products, travel items, permanent rods, hair products, etc. They were not completely to the top full but filled to the point that I had a difficult time carrying them outside to the big trash can. Finally, I had my cabinets down to just the things I actually use. Wow! What a good feeling!

With the bathroom clean and shining, I headed for my bedroom dresser. Why in the world I hang on to gowns that are two sizes too small, as well as slips, bras and girdles that I do not want to even try to squeeze myself into is beyond me. So, I ridded my dresser drawers of all the extra things and have much more room for the undies that I do wear. I did the same thing in my closet with all my shoes. By the time I finished I was beginning to think I had a hording problem like the lady who was on Oprah not too long ago. I am really not that bad but it sure took me long enough to get all my belongs pared down to just the things I actually use. I have saved the things that are in good shape to give to Good Will or to a church clothes closet. At least someone will get some use out of all those things that have just been sitting on my shelves or in my dresser for let's just say a good number of years.

Today I headed into the second bathroom and did the same thing. Funny how you are not as sentimental about things on the second day of deep cleaning. I threw away another bag of collected junk from this bathroom as well. Why, oh why, do I keep every little thing? By the time I finish this monstrous task, I hope to have all my closets, drawers and cabinets cleaned and in a manageable shape. I went through my kitchen several months ago so hopefully I won't have as much to do in there. However, my computer/scrapbook room and closet....oh my...it may take me two days of work in that room! But once this cleaning binge is done...I can relax and enjoy the rest of my summer off. I may even get caught up on all my scrapbooking and card making that I have let slide over the last months!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Another year older....

Yes, that is right. On June 1st I became another year older. It doesn't seem possible that I could be this close to the age of retirement (possibly 6 years or 10 if I want to get my full SS funds that will probably not be there by then anyway). Most days I don't feel my age until I try to do some kind of manual labor and then I can tell "the old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be." Ü

My girls planned and hosted a party for me. They grilled chicken and had veggie-kabobs and even made me a german chocolate cake, which is my favorite cake. They had invited my special Ya Ya friends to celebrate with us. The meal was quite delicious and the fellowship was sweet.

Alison and Andrea had sneaked around and had a picture made of them along with Camryn and gave it to me on a 16X20 canvas. I was so surprised!!! I had just thought about a week ago that I sure needed some new pictures of them and then they surprised me with just exactly what I was wanting. I love it!! They are such thoughtful girls and I feel very honored to be their mother. That is one of the great things about getting older. I have the opportunity to enjoy fun times with them as friend with friend and not just as mother with daughters.
Here are a few of the pictures of my party:
Alison did the grilling...mmmm...doesn't that look delicious!

Andrea helped supervise or was she just texting her friends????

Norman, Russell and Christine enjoy visiting

Ashley just chills out while waiting on the food to get done