Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tuesday Afternoon

There is this old Moody Blues tune I have always loved, "Tuesday Afternoon" and I hear it all the time now on a commercial. Well, that little ditty is floating through my mind as I reflect on last Tuesday's visit to Lake Claiborne, LA.

Josh, Jim and I have been blessed to get to know a lot of special people since moving to Louisiana and one such person is Miss Yvonne. We met her about nineteen years ago when she was our Sunday school teacher. Her warm hospitable southern charm and her love for Jesus won us over right away. She always knew/knows just the right scripture to comfort, instruct, yes and even rebuke when needed.

Her KJV Bible, which was well worn twenty years ago, still sits right next to her chair and is within easy reach whenever she needs it...and she does need it for so many things. She uses it as a weapon against the devil's attempts to destroy her faith, or when she is praying and needs just the right scripture to speak to the Father, or when she needs comforting or to give comfort. There have been many times when she goes to her Bible looking for answers and instruction. She knows her way around it so skillfully it makes me ashamed of myself. Each year she reads through it and each year she finds gems of truth she has never noticed before.

Miss Yvonne has a lot of talents and one is crocheting. She made a beautiful afghan for Josh and Randi when they got married four years ago and also made one for Jim and I ....just because. She made a beautiful little blue one for our newest grand, Frazier James. They are always perfect and we love to cuddle up under them when the damp, cold Louisiana winters roll round. She has a couple she's made from LSU colors if you are interested in making a purchase. Her prices can't be beat.

We hadn't been to see her in a while so we called and she said, "comeon" and she promised a tasty lunch. We (Jim, Sophie and I ) left when it was pouring rain and headed for the lake. I thought it might be crazy, but I knew she would be praying for us to have a safe trip and knew it would be ok....and it was. When we arrived about 12:30 it had just stopped raining. After our delicious lunch of cabbage and sausage soup, cantaloupe, tomatoes, hot water corn bread, sweet tea and fig cake with home made whipped cream, we made it out onto her porch. The porch faces the lake and the temp had dropped and there was a steady breeze.

We sat there and talked about every topic imaginable. She shared with us a book she was reading and loving and read a couple chapters aloud. We never run out of conversation on Mrs. Yvonne's porch and time seems to stop.

Looking at our watches for the first time since we got there we were shocked to see it was nearly 6 PM! Sadly we needed to get going. Sophie who harbors ill will toward all cats spent the afternoon watching Lukey on the back of Miss Yvonne's chair and finally decided she was never going to get off that dang chair and we might as well head home to where her dinner bowl was waiting to be filled.

We packed up her dog toys, water bowl, and blanket...haha it is worse than having a baby...and we said our goodbyes. Our tummys were still full, but our hearts and spirits were even fuller for having been there. It was just a lovely Tuesday afternoon! Thank you, Miss Yvonne!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Up Close and Personal

Frazier James Anderson at 10 days old. Isn't he a cutie? We've all spent a lot of time trying to figure out who he looks like, but I have decided he will look like himself and isn't that always the way it works? Rarely does someone else end up look just like another person. He is unique and special.

He looks a bit young to be a Frazier, but we can still call him Soda sometimes until he grows into Frazier. He will be a baby for a very short time and Frazier will make for a great toddler name.

He is getting over his jaundice and practicing being the perfect baby. He even sleeps four or five hours at night. That is amazing to Jim and I as Josh slept about five hours for the first time at four months. ( I remember things like that!) Words don't inhance these pictures too much, so I will keep them at a minimum. Hard for a new Gabby. (Jim is calling me Gabby, instead of Grammie because that is what they wrote on the side of my Chai Latte cup at Starbucks on Sat. right before we got to their house.) It just might stick....we shall see.

Ahhhh...... nothing sweeter than this! We used to watch TV but now we sit and watch Frazier sleep.

Grampa Jim and Grammie Deb sure were glad to get our hands on that sweet little boy!

This is me holding Frazier on Sunday morning. We had some bonding time, just us two. He just looked at me trying to figure out who this new lady was. What you can't see is that our fur kid, Sophie, is laying by my feet. I was somewhat concerned she may want to sit on my lap while I was holding Frazier, but she was happy just to stay down at my feet. I think she was a little unsure exactly what was in my lap and decided she would be cautious and stay back. Dogs are alway a variable we can't predict, but I am so happy to report both Gatsby and Sophie seem to take our new addition to the family in stride.
Gatsby is a bit of a guard dog. He was right there when I changed Frazier making sure I wasn't doing anything I shouldn't. They truly are a sweet little family of four.
Randi continues to have that new mother glow. We saw it when we went in her room right after he was born.
Josh is a natural with Frazier. I really did expect for him to do well. Josh has always been a sweet and tender guy and being a father fits his personality well, plus I knew if he treated Frazier half as well as he treats Gatsby it would be nothing but net! (I don't even watch where did that come from?! )
This motherhood gig just seems like old hat to Randi. She has slipped from "mother to be" into it without even a hiccup. (Speaking of which, Frazier has a lot of hiccups and that is one way he really reminds me of his Daddy when he was a babe.)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Welcome, Frazier James

We are so thrilled that Frazier James is finally here. The labor went very well and didn't last too long....although that is relative. Twelve hours in labor is no small feat especially with the dreaded pitosin used for the induction. One-two hours of labor vs. twelve would have been preferable, but it was much better than twenty or I have even head thirty! Regardless this is twelve hours Randi nor Josh will ever forget....but twelve hours well spent which yielded a great prize.

All this brings back feelings and memories which have not surfaced in quite sometime. It is amazing to me the fierce love which takes hold of a new parent. I remember thinking if anyone ever tried to do anything to Josh.....well, I would feel sorry for that person because I could muster the strength to knock them out!!! hahaha Well, I am not so strong, but with the adrenaline of a new Mom who knows, I might have been able to lift a car if I had to do so.

Now comes the fun....I can't seem to think of much else and have spent the day wondering what they are doing and how their little doggie, Gatsby, is doing with his new "sibling". Josh said they had Frazier on the floor in his little seat in the sunshine as he is a bit jaundiced. Frazier was Gatsby snuck up on this new tiny human to check him out Frazier suddenly spazzed and threw out an arm or leg and sent Gatsby running for cover. That makes me laugh just to imagine it. It will be a big adjustment for their fur kid, but I think he can adjust. There is enough love floating around so Gatsby won't feel left out.

There is no fear in my heart for this little boy. Frazier is in very capable hands. These parents won't always know what to do, but I know they will find out or figure out the right thing to do and Frazier will be safe and cared for extremely well. They will take care of his physical needs and they will be concerned with his mental and spiritual development as well. Will I pray? Yes, I will be praying, but I know they are too and that is another reason why I am not worried a bit.

I will send you to Randi's blog for some great pics and her wonderful writing. She will probably be updating if you are interested in watching Frazier grow.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's TIME!

Oh my is the day!!! Frazier James Anderson will be born today.....I am so anxious about this I can't sleep. Here is a picture of his Mama, Randi. Looks like she is ready to GOOOO! Say a prayer for Randi. It would be great if labor was fast and easy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Coffee - 1930's style....or somewhere around there.

For a while I have wanted to make my coffee taste better......I kept seeing this sorta oily film on my coffee and even with cleaning out the coffee maker with vinegar, it still didn't taste "up to snuff". I was talking to a friend about how she made her coffee one cup at at time with a dripolator. It was a little metal pot with perferorated holes on the bottom. She held this cup sized pot over her coffee mug and poured boiling water through it and she said it was the best coffee ever! Hmm...she had my attention. She didn't call it a "dripolator", but I knew there had to be a name for this I went to my trusty computer and looked on ebay. After trying variations on the word "drip" and "perc" .....I found them. Pictures of dripolators! I guess this is how folks made coffee before there were "percolators"....which is what I had in my dorm room or Mr. Coffee style drip coffee makers.

The water goes through faster on a dripolator and the attraction for me was the water never touches any plastic (or aluminum)....which I was afraid was (over time) leaching into the hot water which then became my coffee. I have been trying to avoid plastics for sometime when it dawned on me my coffee water had been sitting in plastic in our Mr. Coffee.

Okay, I have no proof there were tiny plastic molecules in my coffee, but hey.....if you can avoid even the thought of this plus get great tasting coffee .....why not!?

After surfing around on Ebay and finding dripolators as high as a $120....yikes, I found this one for $30. I thought it was cute and a deal to boot! I clicked on "buy it now" and bam in about three days it was here!!! Amazing....gotta love Ebay.

Here are the pics of how I make my coffee. Many of you will cringe because I probably don't make my coffee as strong as you would, but there are days when I ramp it up a bit and dump in another scoop. Generally I use two scoops (a scoop is 1/8 of a cup) or 1/4 cup of coffee.

I have been very happy with the taste of my dripolator coffee. I just warm it up in the microwave all through the day and it tastes freshly perked each cup! Sometimes I turn the burner on low and just let the pot sit on there....but if I want it to be fresh tasting I just use the microwave.

Take note of our new Bichon mug, compliments of Jim's sis, Darlene and her husband, Jim. (There can never be too many Jims in one family!) My Jim and I take turns with it....well, sorta. I seem to use it a bit more than he does, but then when I am in school he can use it every day if he wants.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Here is a picture that should scare us all! Just thought I would share it. I know there is a health care problem in this country, but compared to other countries who have gone the socialist/ rationing route, the United States health care system provides excellent care. The stories from Canada are frightening.....waiting seven or eight months to get into see a specialist is reprehensible. A lot of people can't wait that long and when they do it is TOOOOO LATE. This country is at THE crossroads and the devil is beckoning to us to follow him down a road which I fear will lead to disaster all of us.

Our president is already implying that after a certain age it is not expedient to choose life preserving surgeries. I heard a commentator say that age could be as low as 59 for some procedures! I doubt most people at age 59 or age 60 are thinking they are willing to throw in the towel....thankful for the time they have had if there is a way they may extend their lives allowing them to be productive members of families and society. Think of the what they would be able to do with an extra ten or twenty years. For those of us with grandchildren we understand the desire to be here as long as possible. Also, people want to be able to be with their spouse as long as possible....or to be available to their parents.

It is now we need to begin with our calls and letters to legislators letting them know we don't want the European/Canadian health care system. We want access to health care WHEN we need it and WHERE we need to get it.

In a speech Obama offered a question on the efficacy of further care for his grandmother saying, "and the question was, does she get hip replacement surgery, even though she was fragile enough they were not sure how long she would last?"

Jim's grandfather had a hip replacement in his 90's and was able to live until the age of 100 without pain. Quality of life will be decided by the government and I doubt very much they would ALLOW this kind of surgery for a person of 70, 80, let alone 90! Let us not forget the government treats us as a number, not a living, breathing, human! We will be considered a statistc even more than we already are.

So beware presidents bearing that are not paid for and gifts that may end up costing a certain percentage of us our very lives.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Color of Hope

I went to Monroe yesterday with no real destination in fun. Having the freedom to just land where ever the wind blows is my idea of a good time. For some of my readers it is the recipe for disaster as they are very goal oriented. But there are people like me who do live in their heads for the most part and they do their best thinking while digging through sale bins.

I accidentally got off on the wrong turn in W. Monroe...was heading for Cracker Barrel to see what they had on sale and ended up going towards the shopping plaza off Thomas what the heck. After a quit scan through Big Lots where I bought a book on hormones, (what every woman my age is confused about) I made my way to Hobby Lobby and they had a good number of items on sale.

That is where I found this cross....which I just loved! I have had a little snow sled on the wall of my carport ever since the after Christmas sales and I have been needing to take it down and save it for next Christmas. What to put in that spot? There needs to be something there. I think the former owners had a metal coke sign of some sort much like those signs found in the dining area of Cracker Barrel. I wanted something cute like that which had a catchy saying of some sort, but when I saw this 50% off cross I knew that was perfect. The only thing was it had these little squiggles that seemed so plain......sooooooo I found a little bag of acrylic gems which I eyeballed to be the exact size I needed. (Jim asked how did I know they were the perfect size and I said, "I just knew."....hahaha I guess he was amazed at that.)

After I returned home, via Pecanland Mall, Ross Dress for Less, and Petco it didn't take long to glue my "gems" on the cross and hang it in it's new home and I think it is perfect for that spot. I really do attribute the fact I thought it looked "naked" to DIL, Randi. I have come to appreciate the use of color since she had entered our family. I probably wouldn't have done this BR (before Randi) and that cross would have gone through it's whole existence stark and colorless and that would have been sad.

Now don't get all theological and worry I have thought more about the pretty "gems" and not reflected on the meaning of the cross. The message of THE Cross is one I will never escape, nor want to as it is the only hope of eternity I have. I know relying on anything but the act of redemption performed on the cross is foolishness and without the cross (which is actually ugly symbol of torture and death) I am lost. It is the act of love which Jesus bestowed on us, God's children that has turned this instrument of pain into a symbol of hope....and that is what I see when I look at it....HOPE....and hope looks like a rainbow, hence the pretty rainbow of colored gems. :-)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Outside Where the Air is Sweet and the Birdies Tweet

There are few things I enjoy more than sitting out on our deck, and today is no exception. It is just a mere 80 degrees out here and the air is moving nicely ......and the humidity has taken a little break. It is just wonderful!

What do I do when I am sitting on my deck? Welllll.....most times I have a book in hand. Sometimes it is my Bible, which I don't read nearly enough, a YA (Young Adult) novel, or just something recommended or something I've seen that catches my fancy.

Today I have my lap top with me.....oh yes, and my coffee, which I might add is much improved since getting a dripolator off Ebay. (I promise to do a post on that). As I sit here snooping around on the Internet....checking current events, weather reports, blogs, and email it occurs to me I have always liked being outside but my habits don't really reflect that truth.

When I was a very small child I remember being outside as much as possible. I played dolls on the large wrap around porch where we rented and rode my tricycle on the little path worn across the side yard......I made "mud" pies in the sandbox. In the winter I remember playing inside the igloo my father made for me and just loving to be out in the snow slipping and sliding every little place I found a slight incline.

As I got older my friends and I spent hours at the public pool. We swam, ate candy and chips, played cards, and just "hung out". We were outside and it was great. In the winter we went sled riding and skiing, plus living in a small town we walked places a good bit.

When I was in college I never had a car so I walked a the grocery store, to class, and out to eat. Plus we sat outside quite a bit....reading or sunning ourselves. In winter we were inside more, but I still had to get from place to place and thanks to my sturdy "chukka" boots bad weather didn't stop me.

But after Jim and I got married and I began to seems I spent little time outside. When we lived in Illinois the summers were nearly as hot as they are here in Louisiana and the winters were much more brutal. I spent very little time outside other than a trip to the swimming pool, to hang out the Illinois with the strong winds it was great to hang out play with Josh, but for the most part I became an inside person.....a cave dweller of sorts. I worked in an office each day and we (Jim, Josh and I) got home by about 6 PM and started making dinner. I walked to the bank during the days to make deposits or sometimes we ate our lunch on the bench in front of the office where I worked, but for the most part I was INSIDE all day.

Now that was in the 80's and people smoked in offices and I think of all the second hand smoke I ingested over those 8 years working there. Like I said, I did get out periodically and usually I did meet Jim for lunch some place, but other than that I was in the office from 8-5 each day. Jim also smoked, but as soon as Josh was born he began going outside to smoke. I am still thankful he agreed to that because I instinctively knew there shouldn't be cigarette smoke around Josh even though he did come into contact with smoke when we would take him to the bowling alley with us or go out to eat....and eating out for dinner was a very rare occurance. Thankfully we don't have to worry about second hand smoke as we once did.

Now I teach and I am inside the school building alllllll day and except for a few days before it gets pretty cold and a few days before the heat hits I keep the windows closed as not to waste the heat or to let out the air conditioning. I come out here on the deck Jim built for us every chance I get so I can breath air that is not constantly being recirculated by the heater or the air conditioner. Next thing you know I will be trying to drag a television out here, too. (I remember the neighbor who used to live next door when we first moved in. He had a TV going in his carport all the time. You couldn't come outside without hearing a game show or the news.) On second thought scrap that, I don't think I want the TV outside....unless it is Super Bowl Sunday or something. I enjoy hearing all those outside noises....the cicadas in the trees, the train whistle, the birds. Sometimes I feel like I live in some sort of aviary! We have birds, birds, birds! Sophie loves coming out here and listening, too. She watches......and watches....mostly for kitties, her arch enemies for some bizarre reason.

But being outside recharges my batteries somehow.....not sure how that works. As much as I enjoyed visiting NYC for a couple days, I am quite sure I would be missing my deck time if I lived in such and enviornment for very long. Enjoying the beautiful green surrounding the deck is a true blessing.

I probably need to do other things outside....go walking and maybe I need to look into doing some gardening on a small scale. There are a few sunny spots in the yard which would be good for that ....for growing tomatoes, lettuce, onions and squash. Also, some spices would be nice. If we decide to do a garden we will have to wait for fall to try it. Jim and I will get some overalls and red bandanas....what do ya think?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Additional Pa/NJ/NY Shots

Jim and Sis, Darlene
Mom outside the Beef and Barrel which we must go to everytime we go home.p Dad and Paul.

Jerry Anderson

Hannah Bell

Jer and Jeannie Anderson

"Hannah Liz" goofing around at Payless

Going to the city on the train with Donna, her Mom and Daughter and sister, Lori

Aunt Debbie and Paulie

Deb in Times Square

Good-bye, NJ

At Ellen's Stardust Diner where all the waiters and waitresses sing.

Uncle Joe is playing football with the kids at Andy and Donna's

Paulie and Sophie having fun...they are both smiling.

Confirmation class at St. Peter's Episcopal Church.

Nama, Papa, Gail and Janet chatting.