Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fateful Journey


We arrived home yesterday afternoon. We did have a great time at Sue's for Christmas, but met with a bad mishap on the way up. We were almost half way there when Dick started for the convenience store to fill up my drink jug. He didn't see the curb so fell right on his face in front of the store. I had decided to get out too and stretch my legs, so I didn't see him actually fall, but I saw him sprawled out on his stomach and ran over to him as fast as I could. A nice man was trying to help him up and he asked him if he was hurt. Dick replied, "I don't know." That's when I knew it could be bad. I helped him back to the car and tried to clean up his wound. He had an egg sized abrasion on his forehead that was way swollen. It was bleeding a bit, so I got the antibiotic ointment out and spread it around and he seemed to feel that he could drive. The truth was that he didn't trust me to drive his car. I have only driven it a few times and really don't feel comfortable driving it, but I was willing to give it a try. I had called Dave to tell him what happened and he told me to watch Dick carefully and if he seemed at all sleepy or I thought he couldn't make it to call him and he would come and get us. I kept folding Kleenex into a small square and had him blot his wound when it would start to drip blood and fluid. He was compaining about his neck and shoulders and his hands were hurting too because he fell on them too. All of his weight went on his arms and face.



We did manage to make it to Sue's and when she saw him she took him to the E.R. They were there for about three hours. They took a CTscan and found that nothing was broken. The doctor told him that all the blood in his swollen forehead would go down to his face the next day and to be prepared for black eyes. Honestly, I wish I knew where the picture of Dick, that he took himself about the third day, is so that I could post it, but as you know, I never can find any pictures on this computer. I know it is here, because he e-mailed it to our kids. Of course he is at his meeting tonight, but maybe when he comes home, I can talk him into letting me post it. Maybe he won't though, because it really looks awful and it was a bit better the day that he took it. His left eye was swollen shut and he only had a slit he could barely see out of in his right eye. His left eye looked like a pair of black closed lips. Poor guy. I honestly think I prayed our way to Sue's because he could at least see, but at one point, he had to really put on the brakes when we were in heavy traffic and he got a whip lash on his neck that was already hurting badly. Kathy, he needs your sweet husband. I think next week he will go to his new chiropractor, who bought his old chiropractor's practice when he moved.



We are now trying to get things ready for our New York New Years Eve. Our stake is putting on a New Years Eve party and dance so we have a bit of competition, except that it really isn't because everyone is coming to ours. We have been having them yearly at our house long before the Stake decided to have an affair New Years Eve.



I only have a little bit of baking to do this year. I have to make my chocolate cake and also a pie for our party. Then I doubt that I will bake anything for a very long time. We still have cookies in our freezer.



Dick is not going to be happy that this post was all about him, but believe me, that is what has been on my mind these past few days so, as you know, that is what I write about.



I do hope that you all had a great Christmas with lots of family and that your New Year will be a Happy and successful one.


Love





Respectfully published with reluctant permission.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Five Days Before Christmas


See, I told you that my hairdo hadn't changed at all. I am still the same old me, with my hair pretty regular. I had Dick take this picture a couple of days ago, and I really don't like it, but there is nothing I can do about my dark red circles around my eyes. That is just me, and I have gotten pretty used to it by now as they started doing that when I was about 60 and that is a good 24 years ago. It is a family trait, I'm afraid.

This is going to be pretty short tonight. I have been going a bit crazy trying to get ready to leave early Thursday morning, and I do mean early. We will probably get away from here between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. If Dick should happen to wake up earlier than that, we will leave then. We have been known to leave around 4:30! If we do leave that early we will stop for a long lunch or breakfast as I don't want to arrive at Sue's before 1:00 p.m. I am so ready to be done with all this baking and be out of here. Tomorrow I have to make the dough for the six Danish tea rings that Dick will be making and then all I have to do is bake four loaves of oatmeal bread and two pumpkin pies!! When I get there, I will immediately put the oatmeal bread in the freezer and the pumpkin pies in the garage refrigerator where they will stay until eaten. I don't think we will wait until Christmas to eat the pies though.

I also have to tell you that I won't be reading or writing in anyone's blog until next Tuesday as when we get home we will be working like crazy to get the house ready for our New York New Year's Eve Party. On Tuesday night it will all be over and I can relax.

I talked to Sue earlier, and she still sounds awful. I am so sorry that she won't be feeling well before we all start to descend upon her. It is hard enough to host 19 people plus yourselves when you feel normal, but getting sick leaves one weak at best, and I am going to try to help her all I can. So until next Tuesday, a Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas 2011


It's time again to wish you all
a Merry Christmas day.
We also hope that this New Year
brings happiness your way.

We Robbinses are going to try
to keep you all abreast
of what's been happening in our lives
from snug within our nest.

Our Christmas tree is beautiful.
Our Santas are in place.
In fact, all 43 of them
use up far too much space!


Still I couldn't spare a single one.
In fact, I must admit...
Each year, I buy a new one and
Dick doesn't mind a bit.

We're in the midst of baking still,
the same old things each year.
The cookies and the Danish seem
to bring a lot of cheer.

And so the Robbins Bakery
will do its best to stay
in business just as long as we
enjoy good health each day.


There's just one thing that's new with me;
I had my hair cut short.
No more perms or rollers for me.
I'm looking quite the sport.

I love my hair, 'cause all I do
is wash and brush it out.
I even have some natural curl
that this haircut brought about.

With Dick, let's see; what's new with him?
He bought a new iPhone
to keep up with technology.
These skills he now can hone.


He loves that almost every day
he finds out something new.
That tiny little instrument
shows him what it can do.

I've rambled on quite long enough.
It's time for us to say:
May your Christmas and your New Year
be great in every way.

And please, let's all remember
that very first Christmas morn,
for on that day in Bethlehem
the dear Christ Child was born.

With love,
Darlene & Dick

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Bit of Chat and a Recipe

I had hoped to have pictures of my Christmas decorated living room to show you. I really do love the way it looks, but we have been so darned busy this last week that I didn't get Dick to take pictures. We were also gone Sunday and Sunday night and things have just been too hectic. I am hoping I will have them to show you next week.

I am still working on the baking for all of our children. I only have to send two boxes out this year as we went to our oldest, Nancy's this last weekend and took hers with us. We are having Christmas with Sue and Nikki so won't have to mail theirs.

Nancy's son, Chris, is getting married and all of his fiance's attendants gave her the most incredible wedding shower I have ever been to. The brides mother lives in a complex that has an extremely comfortable club house and that is where they had it. It was decorated so beautifully and I just can't believe all the wonderful presents she got. There were about 50 young women there and I must say, it was very successful. They served the food on the nicest square white plastic plates that I have ever seen. They looked so much like china. I just had to ask where they got them and was told it was at a place called "Party Place." Afterward, they just threw them all away, which made for a very easy cleanup but a very frustrated Grandma. I would have loved to go dumpster digging and gotten them all out to take home and wash. They were just so much nicer than eating on paper plates, no matter how substantial the paper plates are. This old Grandma just can't stand to waste anything (my generation, I think) and I kept thinking how nice they would be for our NYNY party. We have about 28 people over every New Years Eve to what we call our New York New Years Eve party. This is about out 9th year and the same ones come each year. The invitation is for life or until someone moves away, which hasn't happened yet. We barely have room in our living room for a sit down dinner. This year we are going to have to take our coffee table out so we can set up another card table, unless someone can't come for some reason. It is a pot luck, and every year we all bring the very same thing, so our menu doesn't change from year to year, but everything is just so good that we wouldn't want it to be any different. It is so much fun. It starts at 6:00 p.m. and lasts until 9:00 p.m. when we turn the TV on and watch the ball come down in Times Square, hence the name, NYNY Eve. Everyone goes home at 9:00. None of our gang wants to be up until midnight, so this is great for us.

We just had a new couple move into our ward, and they are such fun people. Their names are Jim and Sue Pike. Jim was the one that started the group "The Lettermen". I always loved listening to them and have most of their old albums. After the years spent on the road in the 60's and 70's, Jim suddenly lost his voice, so he sold the name to one of the guys in the group. After about ten years, his voice came back, so he started another group and called it "The Reunion." Sue teaches one of our Relief Society lessons and last week at the end of her lesson, she gave us all one of the Reunions CD's. This one is called "I Believe" and starts with that song. It is so neat and I have been playing it all week. We even took it with us to play on the way to Huntington Beach and Irvine. This music has been going around in my head ever since. They are all sort of religious type songs. They sit with us on our bench at church so we have become pretty well acquainted. They are doing a concert in Escondido in February at at the Performing Arts Center there and I think maybe we will go. They are doing one at the big Hotels here next month, but I doubt we will be attending because it is for a big benefit and Sue said it is really pricey.

I've pretty much run down but of course now you have to have another of my prize cookie recipes. This cookie is such a good one too and is quite different but very easy to make.

Darlene's Cereal Cookies:

1 cup margarine
1 cup oil
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup corn flakes
1 cup rice crispies

Mix in order given. Cream margarine and oil with sugars until fluffy, add egg and vanilla and mix well. Add salt and flour and mix. Crush by hand the corn flakes and rice crispies and add along with the oatmeal. Stir well and add 1 cup of nuts if you like. Mix and make into balls. Press with fork and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

And that, my friends is it for tonight.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Swedish Pancakes and Things

After viewing a bunch of pictures that I could find to post here, I discovered that they were all VERY old, which leads me to believe that sweet hubby hasn't been loading them from our camera and cell phone onto the computer, or else they are in a new place that I can't find. I truly do need to have him help me, so I should probably post on a different night than Tuesday because he has to go to a long church meeting. He goes over there around 6:00 p.m and doesn't get home until after 10:00 p.m. You might ask me what kind of a meeting takes almost four hours, but let me tell you, I don't think it is all meeting. Our Bishopric is made up of five terrific people, including our ward clerk (Dick) and the Executive Secretary. They visit for quite a time and probably go into an actual meeting around 8:00 p.m. Oh well, I am so very happy that he enjoys being around these super neat people as much as he does. They also have a lot of people coming into the office as that is when the young people get together too for MIA. Yes, I think I will change my evening. I just thought it would be such a nice way to spend time to do this while he is gone, but until I can make heads and tails of this computer, I'd best have him handy to help me.


Having said that, I'll go on to tell you about my week. It has been busy busy busy. I like it that way as I do think I feel better, the more I move around. I have been baking almost every day, but today we made Carmel Corn, a double batch, I might add. I do like to pack some along with the other goodies that we make sure our five children get. I have some new cookie and bar recipe's I am going to try next week. Yesterday we baked 12 Danish tea rings. Dick is a master at doing these. All I do is make the dough and he takes over. This year he is also going to do some Krispies, round Fruit Danish and some Bear Claws, so we'll have a little more variety. I am so thrilled that our oldest grandson, Matt, will be coming over on Dec. 10 to learn how to make the Danish!! I think it is so great that he wants to learn. We have one granddaughter, Kristin (Sullivan's mom) who has had the hands on lesson from Dick in Salt Lake. So, between the two of them, we are hopeful than when we are gone, they will keep up the tradition. None of my daughters have had an interest in learning and you really can't just do it from a recipe. At least I wouldn't want to try it. It just seems too complicated. When he teaches them, he makes them do it all so they really do learn that way.


Oh enough about baking. I'll bet you are all bored to tears reading about baking so much.

I did my first and last bit of shopping today and it wasn't even for Christmas presents. It was for my oldest daughter's birthday. I have been looking for a flannel long sleeved granny nightgown for her for two or three years and have never been able to find one. We finally scored today when we went to our local mall. I hated walking all around, but Dick forgot my wheel chair so I had to and boy, did my feet and legs hurt before we were finally finished. I can tell you about what I got her because she never reads my blog. The only one in my family that reads it is Sue. I guess they are just not into blogging, or even reading them.


I seem to get requests for recipe's from my blogging friend, Tima, who lives in Africa. She teaches school there and has a young son, Ethan, who is a great little baker and chef. I'm sure he learns a lot from his mom. She expressed an interest in learning how to make my Swedish Pancakes. You might be interested in reading her blog. It is "Living in Lusaka." Okay Tima, this one's for you: (and anyone else who might be interested)



Darlene's Swedish Pancakes:

3 large eggs
3 cups milk
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups flour


Put milk and eggs in blender. Blend for a few seconds. Add sugar, salt and flour and blend until smooth. Put pan on stove. Heat at medium high until quite hot. Add a small amount of bacon grease (great flavor) or oil in pan and spread with pastry brush---you can also put oil or grease in small container and dip brush into it and spread on pan. Pour about a scant 1/4 cup of batter into pan. Lift pan off stove and turn all around until batter spreads evenly to cover pan. Put back on heat until quite brown. Use long narrow spatula to lift up side to see if it is ready. Put spatula full lenghth under the middle of the pancake and quickly flip it over. It will only need to cook a short time more, about 30 to 45 seconds. You can fold pancake in half with spatula and slide it off onto dish.


Serve with butter & Syrup, sour cream mixed with a bit of raspberry preserves, or the way my son likes it, with peanut butter and syrup. Lots of people like it with just butter and I have a daughter that eats hers plain. You can really use your imagination here.


Again, hope some of you try these. They are really simple and you needn't be afraid of them. I like to use a flat Swedish pancake pan or French crepe pan about 8 inches round. I do have a grandson who just uses a regular pan but it shouldn't be much larger than 8 inches or it will run all over the place. These pancakes area VERY VERY thin. The batter is very very thin too. In fact, sometimes I end up adding a tablespoon or so of milk towards the end if it seems to be getting thicker. This recipe makes enough for four to six people. If you have some left over, they freeze very well if you just spread them out to a full circle and put waxed paper between them. I have to tell you a funny story about these. My kids, when they were still at home, decided to have a contest to see who could eat the most Swedish pancakes. Nancy, my oldest, won...........she ate 13 !! I usually eat about 3.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our "Miracle Baby" and Other Stuff

This is our Sullivan. He will be two years old on Feb 20. We call him our miracle baby because we weren't even sure he would make it long enough to be born. He has "triad syndrome" which is a very rare problem. Only one in 40,000 babies have it. Most die in utero or are born dead. If they manage to come out alive, it is not at all certain whether they will ever be able to sit up or walk. This is because they have no stomach muscles. It was discovered that his bladder had twice as much fluid in it than it should have had and they had to go into the bladder and draw lots of fluid out while he was still in utero. He has been watched by a very interested and involved group of doctors in Salt Lake City, where his parents, Kristin and Craig Mills live. The "triad" comes from the three things that are involved, the bladder, uterers, and the kidneys. He has had an operation to properly connect the uterers. This little kid not only sits up and walks, but he runs. He is such a smart little kid too. He may have a tummy tuck when he gets a bit older to pull in his tummy and give his organs a little more support and he also may have to have a kidney transplant at some later date, but right now, this kid is doing well. I won't go into a lot more detail, in fact it is far too complicated for me to totally understand, but all I can say is that this is one special little boy and both Dick and I are totally besotted with him. This picture is one of the recent ones we have. I keep begging for pics and videos to be sent to me and thankfully Kristin sends quite a few. I can hardly wait until Christmas when we will get to see him again. Whenever I get a chance, I will drive to see him if he is anywhere within driving range of our place. He does get to come and visit his Grandma (my third daughter, Nikki) who lives two and a half to three hours from here and whenever he does, you can be sure we will appear on the scene to see him, even if just for the day. I just had to post this one picture(with the help of Dick, who had to leave for his regular Tuesday night meeting). I just wish I knew how to post videos on here. Some day I may learn, but probalbly not without a lot of help.

Of course I could go on and on about this incredible child, but I have a few other things I want to share with you this week. It has been another busy one. I'm still baking cookies and I have a pretty good start on all the Christmas ones. In fact, Dick tells me that the freezer is almost full so I am not quite sure what I am going to do. We still have lots of Danish tea rings to do too. It's a good thing that I love to bake. My family keeps telling me that I don't have to do this every year. But as long as I am able, I will keep on .

I have promised to post my recipe for Ginger cookies. They are quite good, so here it is:

Darlene's Gingersnaps

1 & 1/2 cups shortening
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
4 cups flour
3 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup molasses
1 & 1/2 tablespoons ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Beat shortening and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, beat until fluffy. Add molasses, then flour,soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger, sifted together. Chill for about 15 minutes in refrigerator. Spoon onto cookie sheets or roll into balls and coat with sugar. I usually make mine quite large, a rounded tablespoon. Just make sure that you sprinkle sugar on the top if you don't roll them in it. They are so much better that way. Bake at 375 degrees 12 to 15 minutes.

You can always start with a half batch if you just want to try them out. As usual, I would love to know if any of you try them, and how you liked them if you did.

It was a busy busy week, I can tell you and today was no different. We went out to brunch with some friends and afterward, Dick and I went to a movie!! Yes, the first one we have seen in over a year. Our friends had recommended it to us and I must say, it really was a good one. "The Help". It really did make one think about what those people had to go through, living in the south, working for the white people who thought they were so much better than the black ones.

When we got home, I crashed and went to sleep in my chair right after eating Chinese food that Dick brought in. I will be at it again tomorrow though, yes, making more cookies. 'Til next week..............

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Recipe From The Cookie Lady

Tima, you are definitely going to get a great cookie recipe on my blog this week! Since that seems to be almost all I have done over the past week is make cookies, that is what I am blogging about.

I love to bake. That is not a surprise to any of you, I know. The thing is, I'm not so crazy about having to do all the clean up, but unfortunately, that just comes with the territory, so I don't complain about it too much. I have a pretty good routine that works for me as I usually do about seven of the large (12 by 17 inch) cookie sheets. I tear off strips of non stick Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil and line the sheets with it. (That way I don't have to grease the pans). We have a working table in our kitchen and I get Dick on one side of it and I on the other and we spoon the batter by tablespoons full onto the baking sheets, five one way and three the other so that we have fifteen cookies per sheet. I bake the cookies according to directions two sheets at a time. One sheet on the lower level rack the other on the rack above it, which I keep on the third level from the bottom. My oven has five levels that I can place my racks on. The baking time is so much less for the batch when you do two at a time. After all the cookies are baked and cooled on racks (I leave them in the cookie sheets until they are cooled) I stack them on my table and when they are totally cold, I put put them in the freezer in containers that have tight fitting lids or tops. (I use lots of plastic containers) Now for the cleanup. I take the foil liners and clean them off one at a time with a paper towel. If you put the foil close to the sink, the crumbs will fall into the sink and the little bit that sticks to the foil will come right off with a little bit of pressure as you guide the paper towel toward the sink. I then take a clean dish cloth and rinse it in water and get it as dry as I can, and wipe off the cookie sheets. (Very little comes off, really) . I then stack the cookie sheets on the counter top and place the cleaned foil sheets in a stack on top of the cookie sheets and voila! they are ready for a new baking day, which usually is the next morning. This really works for me and it avoids having to grease the pans and then having to clean the icky sticky cookie sheets.

So now, I have to tell you about the new recipe I tried today. With so many recipes, I put my own touch on them by adding things other than the recipe calls for. My family is not fond of raisins in the cookies, so I usually substitute. Most of them don't like nuts in them either, but Dick and I are very fond of nuts in just about everything. We eat nuts every day, actually. You can add raisins or anything else you might want in these cookies.

So here it is sports fans:

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup margarine
1 cup peanut butter (don't use an off brand. Creamy or nutty can by used)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 and 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 cups pecans chopped
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Cream margarine, peanut butter and sugars together until creamy, add eggs and beat again until light and fluffy. Then add the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, soda, salt until well blended. Then add pecans and milk chocolate chips. Stir until well blended and put in refrigerator for thirty minutes to chill. Drop chilled dough by tablespoons onto baking sheets. Bake @ 350 degrees 13 to 14 minutes or until golden.

I do hope that some of you will try this and if you do, please let me know how you liked them.

I might mention that the recipe called for putting all the dry ingredients into a bowl and to stir it well to mix before adding it to the creamed mixture. I actually measured my dry ingredients into my large flour sifter and sifted it into the batter. This way the soda and baking powder get mixed evenly. You can choose to do it either way or if you have your own way of adding dry ingredients, disregard the two suggestions.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Bright New Day

First of all I have to say, I'm totally well from my fall and feeling energetic and ready to start baking for the holidays. I have to give another big thanks to Jill (Grandma Honey) for being interested enough as to why they wouldn't wrap my ribs, to look up the answer on the internet. In 1990 they did a research on wrapping and found out that it did absolutely no good and could even do harm. Also, they recommended that patients with rib problems do deep breathing. I had been avoiding this as it really did hurt. I started right away and within four days I could totally breathe deeply without pain. Each day I improved so much so that now I am back to normal, my normal at any rate. I just wish I could do something so simple to make me lose my back pain and make my legs stop hurting. Oh well, I have learned to live with these problems.

Dick turned on our large freezer Sunday evening and I am ready to go. If I don't start in November, I won't have enough cookies to fill the Christmas boxes. I hate to start thinking about Christmas before Thanksgiving, but as long as I am feeling well enough, I'm going to start tomorrow. I made one batch of peanut butter cookies (Dick's favorite) but I tried a new recipe (you know me, I love to try new ones) but I am not too crazy about them so am going to go back to the old originals. Everyone seems to love them best anyway, and they always turn out for me.

We are also going to get started soon on Dick's Danish pastry. That is a huge job, but fortunately for me, all I do is make the Danish dough and he does all the rest. Dick used to work for a baker and paid for his college education doing that. He used to make 80 pies a day, along with a lot of other things. It was always in his blood anyway as his dad was a baker and his grandfather was a baker. They both had their own bakeries and when his dad was in the Navy, he baked huge cakes for V.I.P.s. We have pictures of some of them and I wish now that I knew how to put them on this blog, but Dick doesn't even have those on the computer. He was never close to his dad as he left his mom for another woman and Dick hardly ever saw him all the time he was growing up, but his grandfather really took the place of his dad and Dick's love for him is enormous. He looks up to him as being the perfect roll model. I think he wanted to be close to him all the time, so he was around the bakery even as a small boy.

We are going to Heather and Matt's for Thanksgiving. Matt is Sue's oldest son, the one who has Sue's darling grandchildren, whose pictures appear often on Sue's blog. It was a wonderful surprise to find out that Sue and all of her family, except for daughter Karin and husband Bob, are going to be there too!! That will be so neat because that means that we will be spending both Thanksgiving and Christmas with the Andersons. This is definitely a first for us. There are going to be so many people there, over 20 as Heather is having all of her side of the family plus a couple of friends too, so it should be a merry place!!

I'd best get back to work. I am cleaning out our kitchen pantry. We donated a lot of canned goods as our ward is doing that this month. It will all go to a local food pantry for the homeless. It's a good cause and now that I have so much more space in my pantry, I can really make it look nice. Another reason I wish I could take pics and post them the same day. I am almost finished but took some time out to do my weekly post. Hope all of you had a good week and that the coming one will be a good one for all. My love to you...........

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Learning Patience

This past week has been a pretty slow one, I'm afraid, and for a person like me, who seems to be busy and on the go, it has been one of practicing patience. I'm afraid I have never been one to be patient and I do so admire those who are. When the doctor told me I would be very sore for a few weeks, he wasn't just kidding and I am wondering just what he meant by a few weeks. It has just been seventeen days since my fall, and it feels like seventeen weeks.

Actually, I have been a few places, such as doctors offices, lab, and last night we went to some good friends of ours. They live in a gated community. We had dinner and enjoyed watching their video of their Alaskan cruise. How beautiful that scenery was. They had some great shots of the glaciers and the big chunks that fell into the ocean, complete with the sound. They really had such a good time and their son surprised them by hosting the other two children, their spouses and their grandchildren for this remarkable trip. This was such a great anniversary present to them. It was so fun to see the surprise on their faces when ALL of their family showed up, not just to see them off but to go with them. We also watched Dancing with the Stars so we didn't get home until after ten.

I had to take my big pillow with me, which I partially sit on and wrap the rest of it around my ribs. I don't know why the doctors don't wrap the ribs tightly anymore. They used to do that and I am sure it would make me more comfortable.

It was a good thing that we did go over there, otherwise Dick would have been going to the door for trick or treaters every few minutes. We only have a couple of kids in our neighborhood and where all these kids come from, I have no idea unless they bus them in. They come in great big groups, sometimes ten or so and it is constant for a couple of hours. We have well over 100 each year. It is fun to see the little ones in their costumes, but we have a lot of teenagers, who I think are a little old for that.

I have been doing a lot of reading. It's a good think I like to do that. The phone seems to ring off the hook too and it is hard for me to talk. It's bad enough to have my partially paralized vocal chords to deal with, but the sore ribs make it hard for me to breathe deaply and I have to do that in order to have enough force on those chords to get more than a whisper out. I always sound like I have laryngitis anyway, my voice is so raspy, but it is hard to talk loud enough sometimes for people to hear me over the phone.

Such a boring post this is, but I just needed everyone to know that I do think of you so often and love reading your posts. I don't have many blogging friends, but the ones I do have are so very special. I really wouldn't want any more. I couldn't possibly feel close to them all the way I do to you guys.

Hopefully next week I'll have more interesting things to post about, although at the moment I can't imagine what it will be. I also wanted to post some pictures, but guess what? I have forgotten how and Dick is at his church meeting. Can you believe that? Oh well.............

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Home Sweet Home

We got home from Dallas last Saturday evening and let me tell you, the best thing about that whole day was getting to sleep in my own bed. I swear, every time I get on an airplane I am convinced that the seats are smaller, with less room in the front and to the side than ever. The last time I flew it was to Dallas, and the way I feel now, I don't think I'll ever fly there again. (Sorry Nancy).

I have been inundated with phone calls and every one asks, "Did you have a good time?" My answer......."No." Of course they want to know why so I start out telling them that the first three and a half days were great, even though we didn't get to visit with my niece, Nancy, very much. She was so busy. The phone rang off the hook. It was either about her estate or the wedding. She is finally getting everything sorted out as far as her estate is concerned, but it's never really over, I think. I have told Dick that I am going to be very mad at him if he dies before me, even though our "estate" is very small.

I will have to say that the wedding was wonderful. David, the groom, had never been married and he was 41 years old and Nancy's "baby". His wife, Karyn, is such a lovely girl and we feel he really has a wonderful life ahead of him. The wedding was held in the Dallas Art Museum which is in downtown Dallas and it is a beautiful, very large place. We had to walk from one end of the building to the other, and I was beginning to feel sorry that I hadn't brought my wheelchair, but thankfully, they had one to loan me, so Dick got his exercise that night pushing me around, first to the wedding itself, which was beautiful. Then the reception was at the other end and was held in a super large place with a big stage for the band. The ceiling was very high and our nephew, Fred, got some pretty neat shots by going half way up the stairway to take some pictures. Of course, every time he turned around, he was taking photos with his really nice professional camera. The catered dinner was amazing and the wedding cake consisted of multiple small, super delicious cupcakes shaped like a large wedding cake. Terrific idea, I thought. We moved our chairs over a bit so we could watch the dancing and from that point everything went downhill for me. The band played a nice slow dance so Dick and I danced it and when he brought me back to sit in my wheelchair, I started to sit down (or so I thought) and for some reason, instead of sitting down, I must have lost my balance and I started to go forwards. I threw my left arm out as I was falling in that direction, and I landed on that hard floor on my left side. A few of the men wanted to try and help me up, but I told them I just wanted to lie there for a minute until I could take stock of my physical condition. I hoped nothing was broken. Finally, I let them help me up into my wheelchair and fortunately I didn't have to wait a super long time until it was time to leave. Of course we were one of the last ones to go and had to go through the ceremony of them throwing rose petals as the newlyweds as they exited the building. It was much prettier than rice. They brought the car around to me but not before my discovering that I had lost the center diamond in my wedding ring. I was doubly sick but Nancy assured me that David would fix it for me after he got back from the honeymoon. In fact, he did get to look at it, because I discovered it before we left the dining room. We did go right home and I went straight to bed. I was really hurting but I was so exhausted that I did sleep. The next morning I could hardly get out of bed and my ribs hurt so badly and my upper thigh had a huge bruise . I told Dick that I thought I had better go the the ER because I was having trouble breathing. I wanted to make sure that nothing was broken or that my lung hadn't been pierced. We got straight into the ER (not like here, where sometimes you have to wait for hours unless they feel you need to get in immediately) The doctor who took care of me was so nice. I told him that I had a grandson about his age who was in medical school and he seemed very interested and asked, "Which medical school ?" and I told him it was UC Irvine and he said, "Oh he must be very smart!" I bragged a bit and had to tell him that Todd was a straight A student. But I also told him that Todd was older and was 29. He said, "Oh that is how old I am." He looked me over and said he wanted to take Xrays and when he came in after getting the results he told me that I was very lucky that I hadn't broken anything. He was quite amazed that I didn't at my age. He also said I must have pretty strong bones. I have a huge hematoma that will not be healing any time soon, and he told me that I was going to be sore for a long time as sometimes when ribs are as badly bruised as mine are, it can hurt as bad as when the ribs are broken. He sent me home with instuctions to ice everything and wanted to give me pain medication. Of course I had to tell him I was allergic to all that stuff, so I have been having to tough it out. I can tell you that plain Tylenol doesn't even begin to make a difference.

Well, that is quite enough about my drama. Needless to say, I am extremely grateful that nothing was broken and I know that it will just take time. (I am still applying frozen gel packs daily and having Dick rub me nightly with Biofreeze. Thanks to those of you who recommended it). My gosh this had gotten way too long. Please forgive my not editing this. I am afraid that I type too fast and am prone to make mistakes, even though I am really a very good speller. I'm just too tired to sit here one more minute! Later..............................

Saturday, October 15, 2011

LETTER FROM DALLAS

Here I am in Dallas and it has been pretty hectic every minute until now. I have a couple of hours before I have to start getting ready for the wedding. The rehearsal dinner was last night and it was really nice. The only thing is that I have been freezing ever since I got here. Actually the day and night temperatures were pretty close to what they are in Palm Desert so I thought I would have no problem and I took the kind of clothes I would wear at home. It isn't the outside temperature that is the problem, it is the air conditioning. People here have it freezing. They set their temperatures at 74 degrees, which to me is cold cold cold! In the desert most people have learned to set their temp. at 80 because it is so expensive and the summer season is very long. When the outside temp is 110 and you walk into a house set at 80, it feels really cool. At any rate, I only brought one sweater. Thank goodness it is my warmest one, but I end up having to wear it over everything. I know I will have to wear it at the wedding too. Oh well, enough complaining.

Dallas is a very interesting busy city. We have enjoyed riding around with my niece, Nancy, who has been a wonderful host, just having lost her husband a few weeks ago. She is still recovering from all the trauma with that. (getting her financial situation in place, having to deal almost daily with attorneys, insurance, probate judges etc.) Her husband was the senior partner in a very successful insurance business and the other two partners are having to buy her out. I do feel sorry for her and am amazed that she has managed so well all alone. She hates living alone in this big (almost 6,000 square feet mansion) and I don't blame her. It is a beautiful place, but just too large for one person.

We will be here for one more week, so I will likely be posting once more before we leave. I haven't been on Nancy's computer before. It is a Mac and so different than ours. I don't know how to navigate it at all so I am just not very comfortable using it, but we can't use our lap top because we don't have the pass word to her wifi.

This certainly isn't much of a post. It is more like a letter and I guess that is okay-----just a personal letter to my blogging friends.

Love to all

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Home Sweet Home








Today we had a very nice Relief Society Birthday Luncheon for all of the people who were born in October. We have these once a month on the on the first Tuesday of the month. It is pot luck and of course I always eat too much at these luncheons, but they are so much fun. Dick always gets to go too because he is one of the two Priesthood holders that have to be in the building whenever we have anything going on with the women. After the luncheon we had to do a bit of shopping so I naturally wore myself out this afternoon. I have such a time walking and it is such a lot of trouble to get the wheel chair out each time we go to a store. We went to only two looking for 7 inch long thin spatulas so that I can have them to give as presents along with a crepe pan and my recipe for Swedish Pancakes. That is what I give all the members of my family for wedding presents. Since we will be attending the wedding of our grand nepheu while we are in Dallas, I wanted to be sure I had the spatula to go with the pan I have, to give to them. I don't know why these particular spatulas are so very hard to find anymore. You used to be able to find them in all of the grocery stores. Now you have to go to specialty stores like Kitchen Kitchen or Williams Sonoma. Dick had already checked out Kitchen Kitchen so today we went to the Alley and to Williams Sonoma. No real luck at either so we are going to have to keep looking.




We leave a week from today and I am already getting nervous about what to take because I like to pack light whenever we go away and we will be gone for ten days so I just know I will wish I had packed a certain something when I get there and it will be at home. It always happens to me whenever I go away. I can never seem to get my packing right.






Here are the pictures I promised of my house. I haven't found one of the outside yet, but will post the interior ones:












This is what you see of the living room from the entry way. The celings are very high and unfortunately do not show up too well in this pic.















Yoou will see my favorite chair where I spend most of my time. It is the reddish one in the corner. The sliding windows go out to the pool so I have a nice view when I twirl my chair.










This shows a tiny bit of the fireplace with the entertainment center on the right. The bit of blue you see in the foreground is the end of the love seat.










This is our dining room area. The sliding doors go out toe the patio, which is where Dick has his built in barbecue and our outside eating area. Will take a picture of that for a later post.










Dick's office, but I do share it. You can see his chair behind the desk and the television set is directly across from it and on the side is a sliding door closet where he keeps all of his office supplies. We converted this fourth bedroom into an office and it is light and cheery with a big window to the left when you are sitting in the chair.










Here you will see our kitchen which is really quite workable, even though it is small. We have what I call the "kitchen annex" in our garage that has lots of built in cabinets which house my pots and pans that I use only occaisionally.










This is how the den looked before we took out the couch and put in the day bed with the trundle underneath. I actually like the look of day bed and trundle better than the couch. I pictured the new look for this room somewhere earlier. The mirrors reflect the large china cabinet that Dick put together from an Ikea kit. The walls in all the bedrooms are irregular, so it makes it interesting. We converted this bedroom into a den and it also has a huge closet with sliding glass mirrors.










This is one view of the guest room. It is small, but adequate and it has a huge closet with sliding glass mirrored doors all across the wall directly in front of the bed. It had a very interesting wall decor over the bed that my sister and brother in law made before they died. Unfortunately it fell on Stacy who came to visit us before she married our son in Lake Tahoe. She wasn't hurt, but was quite surprised. I have taken the broken part off and have restored the center section and have since hung it above the bed, but now I need to get something to put on either side.







This is a shot of part of our bedroom. It is seriously old fashioned and I like it that way, except for the totally outdated artificial flowers above the bed. I hate them and have been trying to find something different, but have been unsuccessful so far. I don't want pictures. I just look for something to cry out to me when I'm shopping, that will say "this is perfect", but so far haven't been successful. Any ideas anyone?


I hope this hasn't been too many pictures, but I really wanted for you to get an idea of all of our rooms, except for the bathroom (three of them) and our wide wide hallway in which I have my photo wall, with pictures of the family all over them. I really wish I had more wall space. I will save the hallway for another post. It really is quite interesting. Will write more next Tuesday, which will be the day we leave to stay overnight with our oldest daughter, Nancy, in Huntington Beach and the next morning she will take us to John Wayne airport where we will leave for Dallas.






Tuesday, September 27, 2011

At Home in Palm Desert

I've mentioned how interesting I thought it was when at the beginning of spring we could see the snow on the mountains in the background and the palm trees in the foreground. Now that I can finally move pictures to my blog, I wanted to show you this shot from the street in front of our house. Sorry our neighbors hadn't taken their garbage in, but it does give you an idea of our view. The mountains are very high and our temperatures down below are perfect. We have a tram that can take you up to the snow. I went on it shortly after it was built and I hated it, so haven't gone back since. And to tell you the truth, I have no plans to visit the snow up there because I hate being in snow. Lots of people like to go up there though, both in the summer and the winter.







This is where we spend about 45 minutes each afternoon, doing our aerobic exercises so that we can keep fit. This only shows part of the pool. I'm afraid our pictures are not easy to access because they are not filed properly. Since I don't know how to do that, it will be some time before I can show you a bigger picture of the back yard and the pool area. I plan to show you our home and yard when I can find the rest of the pictures. If I can't, I will just have to get Dick to take them again. We took a lot of pictures of every room in the house last year to have for insurance purposes so I know they are somewhere. I just didn't have time to look for them right now. I want to do this because I know how much I have enjoyed seeing pictures of so many of your homes and yards and have always wished I could do the same, so it shouldn't be too much longer.




This has been a very busy week for me. It seems like every day I have had something major scheduled. Today we did a huge grocery shopping at Winco, which is a large supermarket that we like to go to about once a month because for the most part, their prices are somewhat less than Von's, Ralph's, or Albertson's, which are our three major supermarkets. It is getting to be so depressing to go grocery shopping as every month we go, I notice how much the prices have gone up. Honestly, it is really sad for those of us who are on a small fixed income, such as we are. Oh well, I am definitely not going to blog about our terrible economy.






Just found another picture of the pool which gives a larger view. These are some of the grandkids playing in it. Now I am finished for tonight.





Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Addition

I couldn't even post a comment on my own blog. I just couldn't figure it out. That's how lame I am. I just had to do it this way because I made a stupid mistake on my blog. I made Bryce a year older than he really is. He is just three years old, which makes him even more remarkable! Sorrry Heather.

Incidentally, I would have posted more pictures (yes, I did it myself, with Dick looking over my shoulder and giving me directions which I again wrote down.) but he only took two! He hates to take pictures so I guess I am lucky to have that many. I don't even try any more. I was never meant to be a photographer.

Visiting with the Andersons




Grandma spent an awful lot of time with Bryce listening to the gosh awful music that is connected to his numerous T.V. games. Unfortunately, Grandma doesn't think this is a good passtime for kids, although I will have to say I marveled at his dexterity and knowledge about finding his way around all this technology. Would that I could know as much about it as my adorable four year old Bryce!









Finally we got everyone together enough so that we could go out to dinner. We were starved about this time because Dick and I are used to eating at 5:00p.m. We went to California Pizza Kitchen, which isn't a place that I love going, but at this point I would have gone anywhere and everyone else was fine about going there. I can tell you right now, the best thing on the menu was the children's menu, but somehow I didn't think I could pass for an 84 year old child. I was sitting on the other side of Carli and she told me that she would order two desserts so that I could have a heated brownie with chocolate sauce, whipped cream and a cherry! I was delighted and guess what? I not only ate my own special $1:00 dessert, which by the way happened to be VERY large, as were all the other $1:00 desserts on the childrens menu. I hate to admit it, but I ate the balance of not only Carli's original dessert, but the rest of Jeremiah's. Yes, little piggy that I am, I ate all that was left of theirs but also had a pretty big taste of Bryce's key lime pie, which Sue let him order from the big peoples menu. I will hasten to add that Dick had to eat most of my tortilla soup, so I was really ready for the desserts and I admit that I left the restuarant plenty full.


The lineup of the people in the picture left to right is: Carli, Todd(my medical school student), Jeremiah, Bryce and Matt.




Today is the 14th anniversary of the day that Dick and I were sealed in the Temple. We have another couple who celebrate the anniversary of their wedding and we always celebrate together. It is time for us to leave so will have to call this my post for tonight.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Family Time Coming Up

It won't be long now until I will get to see Sue. I know all of you are very much aware of the fact that she is my second daughter, ----you know, the one with the talent to write interesting books, stories and all those countless poems. I can just imagine how Sue feels reading this opening sentence. How she hates me to brag about her, but I ask you, how can I not brag about her extraordinary abilities? I'd better stop right now, or I know what I can expect when I see her, which will be either tomorrow or Thursday. I'll know before the night is over. It is especially exciting because I had no idea that I would be seeing her soon. She just decided at the last moment to come, and I am so glad she wasn't about to ignore a special invitation to come and stay with Heather while Matt is away on business. Lucky for us all that Heather thought it would be a good idea for her to come.

I had a very interesting day today. I went to the dental specialist and he gave me a brand new way of making a new bridge to go on the three implants I have left. He will put a titanium ring that will fit over the implants which will give them support and stability. Then he will make a new denture supported implant that will snap on to the ring and hopefully it will be a lot better than what I now have. I hate to spend the money because of my age, but I am going to take the chance anyway because I think it will be so much better. For one thing, the teeth will be porcelain instead of plastic, which is what these are, so the whole thing will be much slimmer. This thing I have now is so fat that it hides a lot of my taste buds and I don't get the full flavor of the food I eat. I hope I am making a good decision.

I am so darned mad at myself because I can't remember a darned thing about how to transfer pictures onto my blog from my online album. I seem to be so stupid. It was as if Dick didn't spend a lot of time trying to teach me either. I think I tried to write directions down but I can't find the directions. I am a hopeless case. I will try again, because I do think it makes posts a lot more interesting if you have pictures to show about what you are writing. Still, I'm not sure what kind of a picture I would have posted anyway with this particular blog, so I guess it is okay. I will be taking some pictures tomorrow, or Thursday, so maybe you will get to see some more pictures of the Matt Anderson family and me. (As if you haven't already seen countless pictures of my darling great grandchildren.)

Not very interesting tonight..........pretty uneventful week, actually. Sorry. I will try to do better next week. If anything of interest happens in the meantime, I might even blog before next Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

San Diego Experience

Yesterday we went to San Diego to re-connect with a friend that I worked with 28 years ago in Orlando Florida. We went there in 1983/84 when Dick went through mid-life crisis when he was in his 40's. His so called "best friend" that he went to college with decided to take advantage of getting the right to build British hovercraft, which is a pleasure boat seating two people, that rides on top of the water. He talked Dick into going into business with him and they truly started from scratch. They had to find a big plant where they could manufacture these boats, and all the things that go with starting a new business kept the two of them busy for quite a while. Unfortunately Dick only had a 10% interest so he didn't have a whole lot to say. The whole mess was a bad decision that I may blog about later, but it is a long story. I just wanted to explain why we were in Florida to begin with. We were there 11 months and during this time I was the sole bread winner. We bought a home thinking we would be there for a long time. Dick didn't take any salary, so it was up to me. We also had a daughter in college that we had to send money to each month.





I got a job working for a CPA company and Ivette Rivera was the girl I met in that office. She was from Puerto Rico. We really hit it off even though she was lots younger than I, having recently graduated from college with a degree in Accounting. I was 54 so there was at least 20 or 22 years difference in our ages. That didn't seem to matter though as we really got along well.





I got an Email from her recently telling me she was going to be in San Diego this week, starting on Sunday. She was here for a conference that her company sent her to. She is a CPA now and tomorrow she gets her certificate for financial planning. Since she has been living in Puerto Rico for the last 20 years, needless to say we haven't been able to see each other although she has invited us to come and see her for many of the last few years. That is why we were so eager to see her in San Diego. The convention was in downtown S.D. and neither Dick nor I had ever been there. We had been in Oldtown San Diego, but this was like a maiden journey to a place we had never been before. We were so happy to have our GPS. She was staying at the Hyatt Manchester, which is a beautiful hotel with two very high towers. She was on the 5th floor so we got a beautiful picture of the harbor from her window.










Ivette was staying in the Seaport Tower . The other tower is called Harbor Tower. These two towers are more than the length of a football field from one to the other, which gives you the idea of how far it was between the two towers. Unfortunately, I had to do so much walking. There wasn't any place I could sit between towers so just had to do it without so much as a minutes rest. When Ivette arrived on the airport shuttle, she went up to her room and then she came looking for us. It was so great to see her again. She took us up to her room and wouldn't you know, hers was the last room on the floor so we had to walk about 50 yards to get to her room. We visited until it was time to get something to eat. We decided that it would be best to eat in or near the hotel as we didn't want to take the car out of the garage. Dick had been looking the place over before Ivette got there and he found a village that had pretty much started out one of the doors to the Hotel, so we walked all the way through it. It would have been fun to browse, but my feet and legs were bothering me so much. I wished I had brought my wheel chair, because it was all cobble stone and it really made it harder for me to walk. Fortunately there were many places to sit down though so it was okay. We had dinner in a very nice restaurant. Then we bought warm cookies right out of the oven on our walk back to the hotel. We went up to Ivettes room and visited a bit more and left about 8:30p.m. so that we wouldn't get home so late and Ivette could get some sleep. We actually made pretty good time and got home about 11:00 so that wasn't too bad. The shocker was that for the six hours our car sat in the parking garage, it cost us $28.00

We figured with all the walking we did, I had walked the length of a football field 8 times plus the circle around the village. I'm so glad we did that circle though because on the other side was the harbor and there were a lot of ships and sail boats, such a pretty sight. I wish we had taken more pictures. Dick left the camera in the car so we had to take these with the I -phone, but I think they turned out better than the camera, so next time we go somewhere, I will definitely take more pictures. I did this earlier tonight because I really needed Dick to help me with the pictures. He let me do it, so maybe next time I can do it myself......just maybe though, because I still may need Dick.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Random thoughts

I'm a bit late in posting this week. I had a pretty hard day yesterday. It seemed like there was just so much running around to do, things to shop for etc. We didn't get home until late late afternoon and I only had a short time to recover before we had to be off to celebrate one of our good friends 90th birthday!! His wife hosted it and believe me it was super nice. We had a beautiful prime rib dinner with all the fixings at a very nice restaurant. Needless to say, we had a great portion of it left over so had the same dinner tonight, compliments of Dick and his warming up skills.

I was so happy to get to bed last night and I told Dick not to wake me this morning unless I was still in bed at noon. He agreed, but wouldn't you know, I woke up about 7:00a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep. It has been a pretty busy week for me and he has had to wake me up each morning (which I hate, since it is so much nicer if I can wake up on my own.) Oh well, I got up and told him not to expect me to do one darned thing today so he promised to pamper me.

I was reading some blogs when he brought me my dinner and I am a very slow eater so it took me quite long to eat. He left for his meeting over an hour ago, and I just finished my dinner not too long ago. I was going to do my blog immediately after, but went in the kitchen to take my dishes and what a mess I encountered. I just couldn't leave it for him to clean up, so had to do it before starting this.

Now what to blog about? Not too much of interest happens to me lately, so I'm sure I can't say anything that interesting. I guess I will tell you a few of my plans for tomorrow. First of all, I am going to my periodontist's office to cancel my bone scan. I think I told you about him sending me to a maxillofacial specialist. He arranged for me to have this bone scan at my periodontists office next week so have an appointment. I know he wants to start from scratch and do a permanent bridge. It sounds lovely, but I know that my bone is just not viable to hold any more implants. My periodontist, who did them all in the first place, told me it couldn't be done and I believe him. Even if it were possible to do it, I am just not willing to take the chance, plus all the pain I would likely have to go through. Added to that would be so much more expense after already putting so many thousands of dollars in this mouth. It would likely cost me another $20,000 to $25,000 more as he certainly wouldn't give me the discounts the other guys did, so forget it. I just don't want to tap our savings any more for this 84 year old mouth. I feel good about this decision.

I am also going shopping for some more pillows for my den. It is looking pretty darned good, but need to get the maroonish color in the small rug onto the daybed. Then I will take some pictures of it and have Dick post it for me. (If I don't learn how to do it myself by then, which I am hoping I will.)

At least I don't have to go shopping for a white A -line skirt anymore because Sue sent my one from a place she found online. I have only been looking for one for about three years. I'll have to stop moaning and groaning about things I want and can't find, or she will buy them for me. She is a great daughter, but I hate for her to spend so much money on me. I know, a lot of you will think I'm crazy, but that's just the way I am.

Darn! This is getting too long again. Sorry, will try to do better next time. My good thoughts go out to all of you..........

Darlene

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Uneventful Week

It was 116 degrees today! I thought it seemed a little bit warmer when we went in the pool to do our 40 minute exercise routine. I sure don't mind it, but hey, we are in the house the rest of the time. Isn't air conditioning wonderful? Sue would have hated it for sure. She can't stand it here when it is only 80 degrees. When she does come here, we turn down the air conditioner to about 74 and she is still too hot. But whenever go up there, I freeze.

We will be going north to Sue's for Christmas. Every other holiday we go up there for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. The other times, we go to Huntington Beach to our daughter, Nancy's. I guess we will keep doing this as long as I am able. One year I was sick at Christmas and we had to stay at home and it was awful having to spend it without family. I never want to do that again!

I am geting so tan! I have never been this tan before in my whole life. I look like a foreigner or something. I will have to post a picture of me before I lose it. However, I do think I will stay this way for awhile longer. Our weather doesn't start to cool off until October. We will be going in the pool every day for exercise until it is too cool for me. I don't dare get chilled as then I get asthma.

I promised myself that I would make my posts lots shorter. I can't believe how long they have been. I tend to ramble a bit. Our week has been pretty uneventful......just trying to rest up from out Tahoe trip. I'm catching up on all my reading, back to my kindle. I'll soon have to have Sue transfer some more books over to mine as I'm about to run out. I prefer reading books than magazines, so the ones I have just pile up. I'm almost to the bottom of them too. I should be reading my scriptures more also. Once I start a book, I want to finish it quickly. Maybe that's not a good thing. I will say though, that I won't let myself start until after dinner at night.

There I go rambling again. I'm going to say goodnight...........I'll be off to bed earlier tonight. For some reason, I am really sleepy. Take care all.................My love

Darlene

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Few Pictures

View of oue lake front





















The front of the main house

















Our little cabin

















Dick, Stacy and me, in the blowing wind

















Rich and Stacy, with our pier to the right













Lake Tahoe Wedding

We did have a wonderful time in Tahoe. The lake is indescribably beautiful. I am going to have Dick try to put some pictures of it and some of the shots he took after the wedding and during the party that was held the night before the wedding on when he gets home. Stacy (the bride) knows everyone in Lake Tahoe so it was very difficult for her to choose whom she would invite for the actual ceremony. She had to leave an awful lot of her friends out, so she invited them to a big party the night before. It was also a very nice celebration and the food for both the party and the wedding was incredible. They were both buffet style and I ate way too much, I'm afraid. They had prime rib Friday evening, with all kinds of salads and side dishes. Saturday evening was unbelievable. I have never in all my life of going to weddings and other parties had such food........and there was so much of it. They served all you could eat of filet mignon, rack of lamb, lobster tails, some kind of a chicken thing and fresh sea bass, that was out of this world, and all kinds of fruit and salad. The cake was so delicious too. One of my nephews ate five lobster tails and he also had eaten a lot of hors d' oeuvres beforehand. The amazing thing was that it was all so fresh and good that it didn't even seem like a buffet.

But enough about food. We were so glad that we went on Thursday because it gave us such a lot of time to get acquainted with Stacy's family. We had a pretty good trip up Highway 395. It is just a two lane highway for a good part of the way and we were so afraid that we would have traffic problems. So much of it was through mountains and unless there were frequent passing lanes, it could be awful if you got behind a slow moving vehicle and there were plenty of R.V.'s and trucks pulling boats behind because, after all, it is a great place to spend a vacation. There are so many water sports and quite a few lakes too. We were very lucky as we were able to make very good time and we got there at exactly 3:00 p.m. which was our target goal. It took us 9 hours to drive there including one stop for lunch and gas.

We went immediately to the beach. Lake Tahoe is such a big lake that it is just like the beach. It was fun to sit there and watch the activities on the water, para sailing, water skiing, boating, canoeing, and swimming. We had a private beach and our own pier. The kids were diving off the pier and having a great time. Rich's new step children are Trent, Troy and Lily. The oldest is about 10, the younges is almost six. Troy is somewhere inbetween. They are the cutest, sweetest kids you could ever have and they seemed happy enough to call us Grandpa and Grandma. The great thing is that Rich's kids get along so well with them. Two of his boys are still living at home and they are so good with the little ones. Altogether, the families blended very well.

It was great to have so much time to visit with Stacy's family. She, like Rich, has four siblings. Her parents had four girls and one boy. The difference is that their boy is their oldest, while our boy is our youngest. Her parents are from New York State and one sister lives close to them, while the rest are scattered all over from Texas to Minnesota. We are fortunate to only have one daughter, Jayne, living out of State. She lives in Salt Lake so we do get to see her a couple of times a year. All the rest of ours are in California, except for Rich and it is hard for me to remember that he lives in Nevada. The California/Nevada border is right in the middle of Lake Tahoe, the town, so it is hard to know whether you are in Nevada or California.

We stayed in a cabin behind the main house. Our bed was upstairs and other than the bed was pretty bad (the bed from hell) it was really nice. It had a huge closet, nice bath, and downstairs it had a kitchen and table, and a living room with a pull down couch. Jayne slept there, but she just slept on the couch without pulling it down. The main house, which was right in front of our cabin, is very large. It had six or seven bedrooms and a huge kitchen. Stacy's family stayed there and all of our children stayed at the Lakeside Inn, which is a hotel casino and also where Stacy works. They all tell me that their accomodations were great! We spent most of our time in the front yard. They had so many comfortable chairs out there and we were right on the water. I was surprised how close the beach was. The wedding was held out there on the lawn, with the gorgeous lake behind. They were married at 6:30, so it wasn't quite dark, but was pretty dark by the time we were finished eating.

We had planned to stay four days and come home on Monday but Dick was really having trouble with his blood pressure. It seemed to go up and his head was really hurting him. Sue, our daughter, had the same problem, so we decided we had better get him off the mountain, so we left Sunday about noon and got home about 9 hours later. It was really good to be able to sleep in our own bed Sunday night.

We are pretty well rested now. The funny thing is that I took my huge bottle of biofreeze with me so that I could use it on all of my painful parts and it was amazing but I didn't have to use it at all. I didn't have any pain!!! I just couldn't understand it! As soon as we got home though, all the pain came back. Can anyone explain how this could possibly have happened? I didn't even have much trouble with my breathing, which so many thought I would. We were about 6500 altitude. I did get a little more tired when I did anything, like making the bed, or anything that required a little bit of energy. I noticed then that I wan't breathing quite as well and I tired very quickly, but as for pain, it was super neat not having any.

I'm about ready to stop now, even though I don't have my pictures yet. Dick will have to post them later when he gets home from his meeting.

Love to all

Darlene

Tuesday, August 9, 2011



It was a very interesting weekend we had. We were both so happy that we got to go to our grandson Todd's White Coat Ceremony. What a lovely program it was. All the speakers were so good.


Since I had Dick put this article that was in our paper on the blog for me, I should probably write about it first, even though it is kind of going backwards. We did stay overnight and came home on Saturday. We left Irvine about 2:30 because we wanted to get home before the late afternoon traffic. We have to go through a valley about a half hour from Irvine called Moreno Valley before we can get home. There are some montains on each side of the two lane highway and lots of curves which I hate traveling through at night. As we were leaving the town of Moreno Valley we could see smoke and it looked to be quite close and not very close to the freeway. We never thought too much about it because we thought we would pass it within minutes, but as we traveled, the fire didn't seem to get much closer. We were going pretty slowly and then finally stopped on the freeway. Since it was only two lanes, we were pretty well trapped and we stayed that way for quite a while. It was pretty interesting though because there were helicopters which looked like they were close to the fire and all of a sudden we heard fire engines. At that time our side of the freeway was the only side blocked. The traffic on the other side was still moving so we thought it shouldn't be long before they would let our side through. The fire engines couldn't get through and they had fire fighters out there trying to get both lanes to try to double park as close as they could get to the side of the mountain. It took some doing but we finally got over close enough so the engines could barely make it through. We couldn't actually see the fire from where we were, only billows of smoke that seemed to be going straight up. That was becaue we were around the curve from the flames. Some time after the fire engines got through we noticed that the other side of the freeway was closed and the only vehicles that were coming up that side were more fire engines coming from the other direction. Finally, after another wait, they started to let cars go slowly through and as we turned the curve we could see all the fire up close and personal. It was right down to the freeway in some places and little fires were still going, while up higher it was full flames going way back. Those brush fires travel so quickly. The smoke was getting a bit thick too and the only thing I was worried about was that my asthma might kick in because smoke will do that to me. We did get beyond it though, but I was so busy looking at the fire and all the goings on to fight it that I was too interested to even get frightened. I guess there were some people who were pretty scared, but I didn't know that until after I read about it. That area was about an hour from where we live. We did get home finally but we lost an hour or so being totally trapped. Enough about the fire.


I will have to back track now to the White Coat Ceremony. It was really touching to see all of the med students go up to get their white coats and I was so thrilled when Todd got his. He was the last to get his. Obviously they didn't do it alphabetically. After they got their coats, they all had to recite in unison an oath, which in itself was very interesting.


I was so suprised that they gave all of the students an I pad which will have all four years of their books and lectures on it and they will even be able to do all their notes on it, so won't have to keep track of copious notes. It will all be right there for them in that one little pad. How things have changed. This is just the second year that they have been doing this at Irvine Medical School.


After the main ceremoney we all went out onto the patio area where they had a very nice place with tables and chairs and lots of good things to eat. All the families were there taking pictures of their students and we did get a few. I am so sorry that Dick had to leave for his church meetings because he would have posted some of those pictures for you to see. I wish I could keep this open until he returns, but I am so afraid that if I try it, this whole thing might go away. Maybe I will get him to do it as a separate post. Unfortunately if he does that, this whole thing is going to be even more disconnected so maybe I should wait until we get back from the wedding before we do that. I think I will wait.


I was glad that we stayed overnight though because that way, we were able to join Sue and Dave at Todd's condo that he is renting to help get it set up. The furniture had been delivered, but Todd hadn't had time to do more than just get all of his things put in the condo, so we had quite a busy time, actually. I put together some shelves for his shoes, Dick put together three lamps and helped Dave hang pictures, posters and other things that went on his walls. Sue was busy setting up his kitchen and washing tons of dishes that had been stored. It was a busy time for all. We didn't even stop for lunch. We left at 2:30 to avoid traffic (ha ha) and Sue and Dave had to leave at 3:00 to catch their plane.


We are starting to get everything ready to load the car early tomorrow so that we won't have to do it late in the evening. We are planning to leave at 6:00 a.m. Thursday morning and I don't want Dick to get too tired tomorrow as it is about a nine hour drive, plus we will want to stop a couple of times. I am getting pretty excited about the wedding and it will be so fun to have all of my children together in one place. I will want to take some family pictures for sure. The last time we were all together was at my 80th birthday. A lot of my grandchildren will be there too. Not all though, sad to say.


Sorry this is so disconnected but I'm sure you will be able to make head and tails out of this rambling post. (Most of mine are like that, anyway.)


Love you all,


Darlene



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday Update

Tuesday evening again and I am all alone with my thoughts. I have had a very busy week and expect to be busy for the next couple of weeks. As Dick said, we have triple Friday celebrations. Last Friday we celebrated Dick's 75th birthday. We went to a buffet and of course I ate too much, but it was wonderful, maybe the best salad bar I have ever had.

Next Friday we will be in Irvine, celebrating Todd's White Coat Ceremony. We are still so very grateful that he was accepted into Irvine Medical School. He will do very well there, I am sure. I am going to try very hard to stay on this planet until he graduates and gets his M.D.

The following Friday we will be in Lake Tahoe for the big wedding. Friday we will be celebrating our 39th year anniversary. I am sure we will enjoy it immensely as we plan to go to Harvey's fish buffet for dinner. We used to go all the time whenever we were on our way to Nampa Idaho to visit my oldest sister. She died several years ago, so haven't been back since. It is a great place to go and we hope that a lot of our family will be able to join us, unless our son and his bride have something else planned for the night before their wedding. It will be kinda fun having their anniversary the day after ours.

After those three Fridays, I will probably come home and crash for at least a week.

Some of you may remember what a terrible time I had last year trying to get a bridge for my lower teeth. I wanted it to be like my upper teeth, a permanent bridge that was supported by implants. My wonderful periodontist planned to put a ten teeth bridge in, supported by five implants. He did the implants and it takes quite a while before they are properly snug in the bone, so while we waited, one of the implants got infected and he had to take it out. He put in another one right next to it, and it too got infected, so he had to pull it out (ugh, such horrible pain connected to both of them) that only left me with four implants, which he felt were not enough to support the ten permanent teeth bridge. Instead, he elected to have me do an implant supported denture, which he wanted my dentist to do. Unfortunately, to make a long story short, it was a disaster right from the start. It didn't fit, still doesn't, and I kept having to have him adjust them. Instead of adjusting the teeth, he tried to make them fit by adjusting the abutments on the implants by making them longer, which everytime I took them out, it caused the implant to get a bit loose because of the force put on the long abutment. One of the front implants got loose, so it had to be extracted. Now I am down to three implants. He had me go to a specialist today, a Maxillofacial Prosthodontist, who helped me immensely by adjusting the bite. He has some more work to be done on it, but instead of starting from scratch, which I was afraid he would do, he will be able to make this one I have work. I can't tell you how many times I just wanted to take it out and throw it away as far as I could. At least I won't have double expense. It has cost us a fortune already.

So, my friends, that is about it. Pretty much caught up to date. I am so grateful that I am doing better. If it weren't for my back and legs, I would be in great shape.

Our weather has been crazy the past few days so haven't done my pool exercises. There has been rain and even lightening about the time in the afternoon when we usually go in the pool, so won't do it as long as it is raining, even a little. It is supposed to be better tomorrow. It has been so muggy. High temperatures (1o4 today) but the dew point has been in the 60's and 70's. Just awful. I'll be glad when we can go back to those pool exercises. They really do help me.

Hope this finds all of you well and happy.

My love,

Darlene