Thursday, March 30, 2006

I found a site on yahoo that has a map and you can click on the states that you've visited and they show up in red. If you would like to fill out a map like this of the states you've visited just click on the word states that is underlined. STATES I was shocked how many states I have visited. Looks like I need to take a trip to New England states (yummy seafood!!) and the pacific northwest.

I was really tired all day today. I could hardly stay awake. I really think it's due to my blood pressure and high heart rate. Since the doctor's at my physician's office didn't seem willing to help me this week I kind of experimented with the high blood pressure medicines. I doubled the original medicine I had been taking and took 1/2 of the new pill instead of 2. What happened is the top number on the blood pressure went way down and the bottom number barely went down. The numbers are now getting pretty close together. Tonight it was 116/93. I wonder what would happen if they were the same?? The heart rate hasn't gone down's staying about 110 beats a minute. I'm so glad my doctor will be back on Monday. He has told me in the past that my medical case is so complicated that another doctor may be scared to try anything different. That may be why they didn't seem willing to try to help.

Wayne and I watched a good movie tonight that I would recommend. It is called "Walk the Line" and is the story of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. It is now available on DVD for purchase...we were lucky that Katie and Steve let us borrow theirs!!

I fixed a good spaghetti a couple of nights ago. It was really easy to make (except for a lot of dirty pans) and tasted real good. It is also something that could be made in advance.

2 cups canned diced tomatoes
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup water
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves ( I usually use the flat leaf parsley)

1 1/2 teaspoons italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons house seasoning, recipe follows
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 small bay leaves
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
8 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta (it took just under 16 ounces for me)
1 cup grated cheddar
1 cup grated monterey jack

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a stockpot, combine the tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, onions, peppers, garlic, parsley, seasoning mixtures, sugar, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat and let simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Crumble the ground beef in a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until fully cooked, with no pink color remaining. Drain the fat from the meat, and then add the ground beef to the stockpot. Simmer for 20 more minutes. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Cover the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan with sauce. Add a layer of pasta and then a little less than 1/2 of each cheese and then a layer of the sauce. Repeat the layers, ending with the sauce. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Top the casserole with the remaining cheese, return it to the oven, and continue to cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5 more minutes. Cut into squares before serving.

1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

This is a fairly recent picture of Tyler and Caden....brothers!! They get along quite well...they really seem to like each other most of the time. I think it's just the cutest thing when they hug each other and hold hands. Tyler's Mom wanted him to wish me a Happy Birthday today but he thought it was too embarassing. I think it took about four calls and sitting on a chair before he said it. I tried to make it easier for him by you want me to have a happy birthday.

I had a really nice birthday today. Everyone in my family made me feel so special. My brother called me last night to wish me a happy birthday and that was a first...wasn't sure he knew if I had birthdays:) ...just joking!! They usually send me a card but with the cancer treatment she is going through I'm sure the last thing on their mind are birthday cards.

This morning Wayne fixed me coffee and made a card for me and brought home lunch. Alan and Eutemia and their family sent me a dozen roses. Kristi and Katie both called to wish me a happy birthday and yesterday Katie and Steve took me out to lunch. I think after the very rough year I've had physically I needed the affirmation.

Then, tonight my Mom & Dad took us out to eat at the "Corndance" in Culver. It was a delicious meal and we had a very good time. I went with Katie this afternoon to run errands and mentioned about going out to eat for my birthday. Tyler kept begging to come with us and I told him I thought it would be pretty boring for him. When I got out of the car he just sobbed and it broke my heart. I called a little later to see if he was doing better because if not we could have taken him. He thought we were having a big birthday party like he has and he wasn't invited. I knew his cries were not cries of manipulation but of true distress. Hopefully he understood once his Mom explained it to him.

I will go to sleep tonight feeling very loved and appreciated. I couldn't ask for more...that's the best gift anyone could give me:)

I am hooked on a couple of new games. I enjoy playing the games when I don't feel real well. It kind of challenges my mind but yet I don't have to exert any real energy. The first one is a restaurant and I am the waitress. If you want to see a google search for free games and it's called "Diner Dash". The other game is more of a puzzle game and is called pop and drop. Click on the words pop and drop that are underlined and it will take you to the's free but you will get a few ads on your computer. I just let them pile up and click them all off when I'm done with the game. My high score is 165,000.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The two pictures are of Jacob at 18 months and were taken this morning. Kristi bought the cd with all the pictures and I think she said there are 70 poses on it. These are just a couple that I thought were cute. She said by the end of the session he had "checked out"! But, that is a lot of pictures to be good for.

I get occasional calls from Jacob. When I answer the phone and hear breathing I know it's Jacob and start talking to him. A couple of times I was tempted to hang up thinking it was a prank but looked at caller ID and realized who it was. Just lately he has tried to start to communicate with me. Today he said "shoes" and "dog". I can usually get him to laugh...all I have to do is start laughing first.

Steve, Katie, Tyler and Caden took me out to eat for lunch today for my birthday...which is tomorrow. There is a fountain when you first walk in the door of the restaurant and Caden wanted to throw money in it because his other grandparents let him. He threw a couple of coins in and didn't want to stop. He cried for about 5 minutes when we sat down. Katie said when his other grandparents took him there that she had to come and get him because he got so upset that he couldn't keep throwing coins in the water. Little boys have always loved throwing rocks in the water and throwing coins is pretty close to that!!

Tyler spent the afternoon here again today. We had a good time again. We played games and baked cookies. He loved helping with the cookies. I measured the ingredients and he did the dumping and stirring. He also did a great job of spooning them on the cookie sheet. I'm so glad I have a stool in the kitchen because I could never stand long enough to do anything without it.

My back pain is starting to get a little bit worse. I can't even walk through WalMart without being in unbearable pain. I was in WalMart for about 1/2 hour tonight and I just felt like I wanted to die it hurt so bad. I think I need another increase in the pump. The doctor has always been willing to do that in the past and I hope he will again at my next pump refill.

I've stopped taking the 3rd blood pressure medicine. Nobody seems willing to help me a the doctor's office. They called and told me to keep taking it...but it was causing so much stomach distress that I can't. I'm thinking about calling the cardiologist tomorrow and seeing if she can help me...or else I will wait till my doctor is back from vacation. Today the blood pressure was 121/91...and that's a little better than it had been.

I always like to read the message boards after American Idol to see who people are liking and voting for. They don't change my opinion but it's interesting to read the comments. They were saying tonight that during Mandisa's song they were putting up Taylor's number to vote. So...everyone is thinking there will have to be a revote like there was last year. The other interesting thing I read is that people are starting to dislike Chris more and more....they think he's a "one trick pony". I thought that from the start...seems like all he does is scream. But, I guess I'm just too old to enjoy that type of music and it looks like more and more people are starting to join me in my opinion.

Monday, March 27, 2006

It has been a pretty eventful day today unlike most of my days in the last few years. My best friend from junior high and high school was in the area because her father had surgery. My friend lives in the San Francisco area. I had not seen her for 11 years and we were able to pick up talking like we saw each other every day. It did me so much good emotionally to see her and talk to her. We both cried when she left. I just hope and pray that she will continue to contact me when she gets into town. We were so close in high school that a lot of people thought we were twins. It's been sad to drift away. Our lives just went very different directions and now we are beginning to be in the same period of life again.

When she left I picked up Tyler and he spent several hours with Wayne and I. We have such a good time when he comes over. He had been grounded off the computer for a week so he was excited to come and play games with me. I always sit right by him the whole time he's on the computer. I had found several free games that I thought he'd enjoy. I try to find games that are a little more on the educational end and he never knows the difference:) He gets real uptight if there is shooting or if the game is real intense.

I called the doctor's office this morning to let them know that I couldn't even talk a half of the new blood pressure medicine without my stomach cramping. They were supposed to call in another medicine to the drug store but by 5:30 no one had called. My doctor is on vacation this week so it might be a little harder to get help till he gets back.

About a half an hour ago I got a call and found out that 2 year old Kael gave his 8 month old brother, Kaleb something to drink out of his sisters chemistry set. They called poison control and they told them to take the baby right to the emergency room. Kaleb is going to be all right but has to spend several hours in the hospital because what his brother gave him could cause seizures. Poor little guy:( I feel kind of sorry for Kael too because I'm sure he didn't know what he was giving his brother. He might have even been trying to be a good brother.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Caden and Tyler came to our house last night for several hours so their parents could go out to eat and have a peaceful meal:) The first picture is of Tyler...he loves to bounce around on this little bouncy ball...he also likes to get carried away having accidents with the ball!

The next two pictures are of Caden having fun with my potpourri. Caden and Kael both think that my potpourri is balls. They love to get it out and play with it as you can see Caden doing in the picture. He would take it out last night and put it in the toy that kind of spins around and then he would stand there and was so cute!!

When I found out they were coming over I made them up plates for supper. They had meatloaf, tri-color carrots and rice and neither one would touch a bite. They were too excited about playing so I ended up sending home the plates of food.

My stomach has been very upset now for more than a week. Now that I think about it and have done some research I think it's the new blood pressure medicine. I was up all night long with stomach cramps and I don't think I had the flu at all last was the medicine. I called the doctor's office this morning to try to get a different kind of medicine. These side effects are not acceptable. (I got that saying from the Nanny911 show:)

Not much news on the American Idol front. Randy, Paula and Simon are on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine and there is an article in the magazine about them. And, Kevin, who got kicked off last week said that he was roommates with Bucky and that he's happy for Bucky that he gets to continue on.

This week was probably one of the hardest to get booted off. The top 10 now will be going on tour this summer and will get to take home a good amount of profits from the tour. Kevin will now miss out on that it's very gracious for him to say he's happy for Bucky.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Kristi sent me a game earlier this week that has been kind of fun and a lot of addicting. My high score is 9 out of 10...I just can't seem to get a perfect score. Just click on the word game and it will take you to the game. Have fun!!

I was calling the doctor's office this morning about my blood pressure and while I was on hold I got call waiting and it was the doctor's nurse with a message for me so I got to tell her that the blood pressure was still pretty high. She said she'd talk to the doctor and call me back. She called in a couple of hours and said I needed to come in and have a nurse take my blood pressure. It was 153/110...way too high. She said he had a note on my chart that if it was high I was to take two of the new blood pressure pills tonight and then call them tomorrow. I took my home blood pressure unit in to the doctors office and right after she took my blood pressure I took it on my machine. It was pretty accurate. So, now I know that when I take it here at home it's pretty accurate.

The lawsuit I talked about yesterday looks like it may be over before it begins. I guess the lady suing us said if we would pay her attorney fee she would drop the suit. I guess she has this new lawyer and owes him money and owes $9,000 for another attorney that tshe dropped...all over suing us. She is now suing the old attorney that she owes the $9000 to and is suing him for who knows what?? I think she needs money and is trying to come by it the easy way. Wayne and his Dad and our attorney are going to talk tomorrow and see what they think is the best thing to do. Wayne was sure relieved today that she was backing down.

I fixed such an easy and delicious dinner tonight. Wayne was hungry and one of his favories is salmon. We both really liked it!! I will post the recipe for the salmon I made and also for brussel sprouts that turned out delicious...they're a little crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Citris Balsamic Glazed Salmon
8 salmon fillets, 3/4 inch thick, about 1 1/2 pounds total
...if you use less amount of fish you'll just have a little extra sauce left

Salt and pepper

3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar ( I used about 3 tablespoons cause I like it sweet)
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Rub salmon with salt and pepper. Place salmon in 2 quart shallow baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork. Whisk balsamic vinegar, cornstarch, orange juice and brown sugar in medium saucepan. Add chicken broth and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring until the mixture thickens. Arrange salmon on serving platter and serve with sauce. Serve over hot white rice, if desired.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons good olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the ends of the brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer them to a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp outside and tender inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the brussels sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt and serve hot.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I finally finished a scrapbooking page. Somehow the scanner cut off part of the bottom of the page...but you can get the idea of what it looks like anyway. I hope that now that I've done one page that it will be easier to keep going. The picture was taken in the summer of 2004. Kael was supposed to be in the picture too but he was sleeping during the picture taking time:) From left to right it's Jacob (Kristi & Eric's boy), Caden (Katie & Steve's boy), Tyler (Katie & Steve's boy), and Rhebeca (Alan & Eutemia's girl).

I am so disappointed again because when I took my blood pressure tonight it is still back up. I think I will be calling the doctor tomorrow. Tonight my reading was 148/113 Pulse 103. That low number on the blood pressure is being stubborn!!

My Mom, Tyler and I went grocery shopping in South Bend today. I have been wanting to go to a bigger grocery store to get some of the things the stores in our small town don't have. It was so much fun!! I never thought I'd get excited about getting groceries. Tyler, of course, talked me into several things including a toy from Target. He was so good the whole time and I know that grocery shopping can be boring for little boys. I don't think he stopped talking for 10 seconds. He found a lot to say and it wears me out to listen because I try to listen to everything he says. I also got my birthday present from my Mom & Dad. We looked at the pans at Bed, Bath & Beyond and she bought me a whole new set. I'm enjoying cooking so much that these pans will be something I will enjoy using every day!!

We go to trial next week in Fort Wayne. We sold a gumball route back to a couple who sold it to us to begin with. They are making a fuss that several machines were stolen, merchandise was old, etc. Well, it is very complicated but they have neglected the route. Just one small area to explain is that they are supposed to take our stickers off the machine and put on theirs so they get the out of order calls. It's been 2 years and we are still getting calls that places are out of order...our stickers are still on many of the machines. The trial is on my birthday...what a great birthday present! Wayne got so upset about it today that he came home with a migraine headache.

I talked about my sister-in-law finding out about having breast cancer about 10 days ago. We got really devastating news tonight that the 2 lymph nodes that were sent in for lab testing came back positive for cancer. She will start chemo next Tuesday. My heart just feels heavy feeling the pain of her news. Please keep her in your prayers. She has a little 5 year old boy that needs his Mommy!!!

And, to end today I am posting a recipe for meatloaf that we had last night and had in sandwiches tonight. It is one of the best meatloaf's I've ever tasted...and very quick and easy.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 cup bread crumbs
1 onion, diced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
3 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup water, if needed to thin sauce ( I didn't use any water)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix together the beef, bread crumbs, onion, egg, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce. Form this mixture into a loaf and place it in a shallow pan. Stir together the remaining tomato sauce, vinegar, sugar, mustard, worcestershire and the water (if too thick). Pour this sauce over the meatloaf. Bake for 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes (I usually baste halfway through...only one time).

This is great as a sandwich too. I used a hamburger bun and spread mayonnaise on one side of the bun. I put a nice hunk of meatloaf on top of the mayo and then added some cheese...any kind of cheese would taste good. Wrapped sandwich in foil and baked in the oven till warm and the cheese was melted...Delicious!!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

To the left is Jacob, our daughter Kristi and her husband Eric's 18 month old. He has taken a real interest in cooking lately...besides his love for climbing. Yesterday he got a pan out of the cupboard and put pretzels in it and put it on the stove. This morning he had strawberries for breakfast and put one in each of 3 bowls and started changing them around and then while his Mom used the bathroom he had gotten water in the bowls and was swishing them around. Children love to do what they see the adults in their lives doing. We don't always realize it but those little eyes are watching us and copying us.

I was so excited this morning because my blood pressure was way down. I thought the medicine was working. I also had a pretty good day besides the fact that I only slept 1 1/2 hours last night. Then tonight I took my blood pressure again and it had shot right back up to the same readings as before. I'm begining to be a little concerned about this. I'm on 3 blood pressure medications and it still won't go down.

The narcotics I took about ruined my teeth. The meds cause a dry mouth and that is what causes decay. I am finally going to get started getting them fixed in April as long as my family doctor approves their anesthetic. I wrote him a letter today so we'll see what he says!

We don't have our personal car this's in getting repaired so there's not much else that happened...American Idol was the highlight of my day! I am hoping by tomorrow I will have a scrapbooking layout to post...we'll see:)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Rhebeca had a talent show at her school in November of last year. I worked with her quite a bit with her song and was planning to play the piano for her. I was excited about it because I haven't done anything musical for so long. She was singing the song Carrie Underwood sang when she won American Idol 2005..."Inside Your Heaven". It was a difficult song and I thought she did pretty well. As my luck usually goes the talent show was scheduled for the day I was getting the morphine pump implanted and since the doctor worked me in his schedule as a special favor I couldn't change the date. I just found this picture today trying to organize my documents.

I took my blood pressure this morning...hoping it was down but it was 140/106 with the pulse being 106. So I called my doctor's office and he was booked today..of course. They took my message and his nurse called back and said he was calling in a third blood pressure medicine and I should continue on all three of them. I took my blood pressure tonight and it was still very high. I hope it just takes a few days to work.

I did have a little more energy today than normal. I hope it's a trend!!

I read American Idol news this morning and I think it took me about an hour. Here's a condensed version of what I found out. Paula Abdul has a new boyfriend and he's been hanging around backstage till she finishes and they take off together. Before Kevin Covais (chicken little) left for his Hollywood trip he and his girlfriend broke up because they thought he would do better on American Idol if the girls knew he was single...I've gotta say the kid has a lot of self confidence. He and his "former" girlfriend entered a talent competition at school and she beat him...she won and there were no other places. There was a letter published in a Florida paper written by Kellie Pickler's Dad who is serving 45 years in prison for battery of a police officer. He said he is proud of Kellie and doesn't take any credit for the good person she has become. He has had a change of heart since being in prison because he gave his heart over to God and he hopes he can show people that he is a changed person when he gets released from prison. The letter was very humble and he talked like any proud parent would talk about their child. Hopefully they can reconcile and work out what problems they've had in the past.

This morning I watched a cooking show and the food they made looked so good to me that I had to go out and buy the ingredients and make it tonight. I felt bad that I had to use 3 pans cause Wayne always does the dishes for me. By the time I'm done cooking my back is hurting and I need to rest. I appreciate his help.

I will post those recipes for anyone interested in a good meal:)

Teriyaki Chicken with Warm Ginger-Carrot Slaw
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast cutlets
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
4 T vegetable oil
1 rounded teaspoon grill seasoning
1 small savoy cabbage
1 bunch scallions
1 cup snow peas
1/4 cup honey
3 T pickled ginger ( I couldn't find pickled and used crystallized ginger)
2 cups shredded/julienned carrots
Salt and Pepper

In a large plastic food storage bag, combine chicken cutlets with teriyaki sauce, 2 tablespoons oil and grill seasoning. Close bag and combine to coat evenly. Let stand 15 minutes.

Preheat an outdoor or indoor grill or grill pan to medium-high.
Cut cabbage into quarters and cut away core. Shred the cabbage and set aside. Cut clean, trimmed scallions into 3 inch lengths. Pile scallions lengthwise and julienne them into thin strips. Pull the threads from the ends of snow peas and julienne into thin strips, lengthwise, like the scallions.

Drizzle honey into a small bowl. Add vinegar and combine with a fork.
Place chicken cutlets on grill or into hot pan and cook 3 minutes on each side.

Heat a nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil, 2 turns of the pan. Add pickled ginger and cut carrots and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add cabbage and stir-fry 2 minutes more. Fluff and toss veggies with tongs so they stay dry and crisp while cooking. Add scallions and snow peas and stir-fry another minute. Add honey and vinegar combination, pouring it all around the pan in a slow stream. Cook the liquids down 30 seconds more then turn off heat. Continue to toss the slaw and season it up with salt and pepper to your taste.

Slice the chicken meat thinly on an angle. Mound up 1/4 of the slaw on each plate and place the sliced chicken along side, edging its way up the slaw salad. Serve immediately.

To go along with this meal I grilled sliced fresh pineapple that were first covered lightly with fresh squeezed lime and then when they had grill marks and were done I drizzled honey and lime zest on them...mmm mmm delicious!!!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The picture is of a little boy by the name of Aluizio. He is from Racife Brazil and the new "adopted" son of Eric & Kristi. She wanted to do something for someone less fortunate and researched the children born on the exact day Jacob was born. She found this little boy the exact same age and plans to support him and talk to Jacob about him and even visit the child in Brazil some day in the future. Wayne and I had sponsored two children when our kids were little and I think that Kristi wishes we had done more than just send money every month. I hope she can learn a lot about little Aluizio!

I have had the stomach flu all weekend so there's not much else to write about. Got up about every 15 minutes all last night to use the toilet...that's about all that's happening here. Wayne feels like he's coming down with it now...don't know where I got it. I don't go too far from home!

Friday, March 17, 2006

To the left is Jacob...our little southern boy. He and his Mommy and Daddy...better known as Kristi & Eric went to a wedding in Dallas, Texas over last weekend. I think he looks so adorable in his new suit. He looks so grown up.

Jacob is just starting to talk (he's not quite 18 months) and his Mom told me today that he is talking with a southern accent. How cute!! I can't wait to hear it. I never thought we'd have a grandson that is a little southern gentleman. I suppose he will also say Yes ma'am and No sir. There's nothing wrong with being polite. I'm sure the majority of people will love it.

What a shocker on American Idol last night. Melissa went home which most people kind of expected. But Lisa and Ace in the bottom three was really not expected at this time in the contest. There could be one reason for the number of votes Kevin is getting. There is a web site with a pretty large following of people that power vote for the worst contestant to try and change what should be happening on American Idol. their web site is if you want to check it out! I don't know if they are big enough to throw a wrench in 32,000,000 votes. It would really be interesting to know!! The theme for next week is songs from the 50's. Barry Manilow will perform on the results show .

I am still having a lot of fatigue but it's to be expected in the last couple of days because I haven't slept more than 2 hours the last 2 nights. Makes for a pretty exhausted day that next day.

Today was a terrible day for pain. I wonder if there's a front coming in or somthing like that. I just can hardly walk through the house without excruciating pain. How disappointing. There's always tomorrow....

We had another very good supper tonight. I had seen one of the cooking shows and they made a moist delicious looking beef brisket. I had looked for a brisket at the store last week and asked the meat manager if they had a beef brisket...he showed me the corned beef bisket. That's not what I wanted but then last night when I went there I noticed they had a brisket in so I took it because there was only one! I wondered if they'd gotten it because of me??

Following are the recipes for the brisket. The brisket calls for sweet vermouth which somehow I knew was alcohol..don't know how I knew but it gives such a good flavor to the meet that I would NOT leave it out unless you have to.Also be sure and don't trim off the fat cap on the one side of the brisket..that also helps with flavor. If I hadn't known that I would have trimmed off all the fat and then it might have been dry. It was very cheap (the vermouth) and made the flavor of the beef absolutely delicious. I sent Wayne to the liquor store at noon today to get the vermouth and it was only $4.00 plus a little change


2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 ( 3 1/2 pound) first cut brisket, with "fat cap" and DO NOT TRIM

3 tablespoons sweet paprika

1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus to taste for brisket

Freshly ground black pepper

6 medium yellow onions (you can bet I didn't use even half that amount)

1 1/2 cups sweet vermouth

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth.

8 mediun sized carrots, peeled and cut in thirds (forgot to put these in this time)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed Dutch oven over medium high heat until beginning to smoke. Season the brisket generously with the paprika, salt and pepper. Place fat side down in the dutch oven and cook until brown on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.

Discard about half the fat, then add the onions and cook over medium heat until browned and tender, about 10 minutes. Pour in the vermouth and cook until reduced by about half. Nestle the brisket into the onions fat side up, add the broth; bring to a simmer and bake, covered, until the brisket is fork tender, about 30-45 minutes more. (I cooked mine a little longer because I went to the store with Katie while it cooked)

Transfer the brisket to a cutting board, cut the fat off the top and thinly slice the meat across the grain. Return the meat to the braising liquid, and serve immediately or cool to room temperature in the sauce, cover and then refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, reheat in the sauce.

This recipe is from a show called "How To Boil Water". It is a show that teaches beginner cooks how to cook. He is an excellent teacher and everything he makes looks delicious and the ones I have made also taste delicious:)

I apologize ahead of time for any typos. I am so tired that I've fallen asleep 3 times while typing this. Maybe tonight I'll sleep better!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

This smiley little guy is how I started my day today. He is such a pleasant fun-loving little guy. As soon as he walked in and saw me this is the smile he gave me...what it does to my heart I cannot even begin to explain. He stayed here with me for a little over an hour. He loves doing something...whatever...and having me cheer for him. I cheered so much that my voice was hoarse by the time he went home.

I had a decent day for energy. I tried taking 2 vivarin this morning when I woke up. I don't know if that helped or if I just had a better day today. I went and got groceries and by the time I was ready to check out the back of my hair was completely blouse was half soaked and the sweat was running down my face onto the floor. I have learned to keep paper towels in my purse and I used all 8 of them before I left WalMart to wipe the sweat off my face. I just wish the doctor's could figure out what is causing this. It is the most annoying thing to have happen. I sat on the chair in the front of WalMart just watching people leaving with their carts...while my Mom checked out my food for me. There was not one other person sweating half as much as I was and most of them had their coats on. It just doesn't seem fair...

When I got home I took my blood pressure and it was 183/116 and my pulse was 120. The pulse is a little better but it looks like another trip to the doctor's office to see what's up with the blood pressure. Even tho I doubled my blood pressure medicine it doesn't seem to be making any difference.

Time for all of you that aren't into American Idol to check out:) About 15 minutes before the results show tonight I read about a site that somehow hacked into the American Idol phones and tried to judge who was getting voted off by the busy signals...or lack thereof. They said the bottom 3 were Melissa McGhee, Ace Young and Lisa Tucker with Lisa getting voted off. They were right except for the one leaving.

That site was closed down this afternoon by American Idol. The creator of the site said they threatened him with a lawsuit unless he closed down his web site...maybe it's too accurate? Who knows? The guy was asking for donations to cover his legal fees. I would hate to have to fight the big American Idol machine....that's a pretty big and pretty wealthy company.

One more thing....I watched American Idol at 8:00 last night and then tuned into a recording of Nashville Star. Nashville Star is a show that is very similar to American Idol except the singers are all country. There are 3 judges and Wynonna Judd is the MC. Where they lack is that they don't get you involved in the lives of the performers like American Idol does. By the time the contestants on American Idol start singing we know so much about them that they seem like our friends...or at least a pretty good acquaintance. The difference was really interesting to observe.

Kael got to spend time at our house all by himself for the first time on Sunday. We were excited to have him here. I saw on a TV show this week that there is something every 4 year old does 437 times a's ask a
question. If a 4 year old asks it 437 times a day then a 2 year old like Kael with a questioning mind asks "What's that?" at least that many times. The picture here is Kael looking at the register in our house asking "What's that??"

I love his inquisitive mind and love watching him learn and be so interested in his environment.

I finally had a decent day today. I had enough energy to go get a prescription and then was planning on going to the grocery store. Wayne needed to deliver a crane and fix a crane before he took me to the store but on his way to fix the crane our van broke down...again:( Both of our vans have over 200,000 miles on them and we have been babying them along the best we can. We don't have the finances right now to make a car payment. So, Katie picked up Wayne and brought him home and my Mom took me to the store and I got just what we needed for tonight....hopefully I can make the trip to the grocery store tomorrow!

The main reason I had a decent day is because I took my last provigil pill. The doctor told me to wait two weeks but when they're sitting right beside me and I know they'll give me energy it's hard to avoid....they're gone now so tomorrow I have to find another way to get some energy!

Anyone that reads this, please pray for my brother and his wife...Jeff and Andrea. She just found out she has breast cancer and it is stage 2 cancer. Our family is just in shock and our hearts are all heavy knowing what Andrea faces...chemo, surgery and probably radiation.

One more story about Kael's visit...I wanted to download a picture but it won't work and I'm getting sleepy. Kael got so excited about this little fly that he saw on the sliding glass door. He wanted to catch it but every time it touched his hand he thought it bit him. He has had some bugs that he carries around the house at his house and at one time had a ladybug that he carried around for a while and then decided to give it a bath in soap and water....he said the bug went to sleep. Kael is a typical little boy that is fascinated by bugs!

Monday, March 13, 2006

The picture is Rhebeca. She lost her 2nd front tooth a couple of days ago. I told her she was a little early to sing the song..."All I want for Christmas is my two front teef..." She thought she could change the Christmas in the song to sing "All I want for Easter is my two front teef..."

Any little change made to my health is major to my body. All I did today is sleep. When I saw the doctor last week he told me to get off the Cytomel which was the thyroid medication and also stop taking the provigil for 2 weeks to see if my heart will bec0me a more normal pulse and blood pressure. Both the medicines I am to stop taking were to give me more energy so I'm really feeling it today.

I have felt so badly for several days now after hearing my brothers wife has breast cancer. It is at stage 2. I feel so bad that as a mother of a young child that she will have to go through so much many things that can change her energy level and make her feel lousy. We just never know what life is going to throw at us. Please keep her and my brother in your prayers.

Tyler spent the night Saturday night. We enjoyed him SO much. He is just a delightful little boy and tries very hard to please us.

Then Sunday morning when Tyler's Mom picked him up she left Kael with us. He is our 2 year old grandson. I have a picture of him from when he was here that is really cute but will post it tomorrow.

When Kael got picked up Rhebeca stayed here for a couple of hours. I enjoyed her a lot too but was beginning to get very exhausted. I pushed with Beca as hard as I could. We scrapbooked and played American Idol making several trips to the basement to get one thing or the other. I just glad I got to see her for a while.

Tomorrow is American Idol...the top 12! It will be on the big stage with a bigger audience. I always enjoy it when it gets to this part of the competition but feel so sorry when they get voted off one by one! I don't really have a strong favorite like I did last year...just a few that I have liked so far.

Friday, March 10, 2006

I think that after I explain my day today you might understand a little better why it's so hard to know how to answer when someone says How are you doing? I would love to say I'm doing just great but that's just not the case yet. It seems like I'm in a merry-go-round of poor health and I just can't get off no matter how hard I try.

Earlier today I was feeling so tired and just couldn't figure out why I can't get more energy than what I have. I took my blood pressure and pulse and it's no wonder I'm tired. The low number on the blood pressure is still running 90-95...hopefully it will take a little more time for the extra medicine to take effect. And, my pulse is averaging 120 when resting and goes up to about 150 when I'm doing taking a shower and getting dressed.

So, today I went to see my family doctor again and he wants me to stop taking the 2nd thyroid medicine and also stop taking the provigil (for energy) for 2 weeks. In two weeks time I am to try the provigil again and if my blood pressure and heart rate go up again I am to not take the provigil at all.

When Wayne got home he wanted to go to the new chinese restaurant and I told him that's fine as long as there's no line. Of course, the line was completely out the door. So, we drove over to Ponderosa and there was a big line there. I told Wayne...I can just make a pizza at home...I just need a few things from Kroger.

I got home and started making the pizza right away because I was starved. Our favorite is to grill mushrooms and red and yellow peppers. I got the red peppers all sliced and as I was slicing the yellow peppers I sliced right through my right index finger. I had thought this knife was a little dull but no way! I cut clear through my fingernail and my finger...almost to the bone. Wayne and I both thought it needed stitches so we drove to the ER.

You know you've been to the ER too much when the nurses recognize you:( The nurse got my vitals and I showed him my finger. He thought it needed stitches and that the nail would have to come off. But, there was at least a two hour wait. We waited for about an hour and asked how much longer and they said all 7 rooms are full and 3 critical patients just came in. So, I decided to call the doctor that was on call for my family doctor's office. He called back and I explained the cut to him...told him that it stopped bleeding and was no longer gaping open. He asked me how deep I thought it was and then said I probably didn't need stitches. I was thrilled to get to come home!!...and Wayne was beyond thrilled...he never complains but I'm sure it wasn't the way he wanted to spend his Friday night.

We came home and finished making the pizza...except Wayne did the cutting.

So, when someone are you? It's hard to know exactly what to say...I'm sure they don't want to hear what I just wrote....

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Yesterday I predicted that today would be a bad day for me physically and I was right. Everytime I take a water pill it does the same thing...makes me weak and feeling just lousy. This may sound like a contradiction but I took a trial pill of the provigil that is to give me energy and keep me from feeling so sleepy. Even tho I didn't feel well I was much more alert and awake. I am so thrilled to find something to help with the sleepiness. I may eventually get to living the same time schedule as most people. Right now I getup around 10 or 11 and go to sleep around 1-2 in the morning. That's not a normal schedule and interferes with trying to get things scheduled. No one wants to make an appointment at 10:00pm:)

Rhebeca called tonight to tell me she lost her 2nd front tooth on top. I called Alan after I talked to her and told him to be sure and get her picture with her front teeth missing. She will look so different when her permanent teeth start to grow in!

When I was with Katie and the boys yesterday afternoon Tyler had a back scratcher. He told me he had gotten it free on his vacation in Florida. I asked him if he was using it a lot to scratch his back and his Mom answered telling me he uses it a lot but he uses it for pounding on things. What a typical boy! They have such a different mindset than adults and we all need to remember how differently the world looks to a 5 year old.

Now, for my opinion on American Idol...if you're not a fan you can stop reading:)

I agreed with a couple of the people that went home and disagreed with some. I'll just give my opinion of the ones that got voted off tonight....

Kinnik Sky....Kinnik's time was limited from the beginning. AI didn't do any taping of her before she made it to the top 24. When they do this the contestants never have a chance. She is a very classy lady with a decent voice. I think she was one of the sacrificial people so the favorites would be sure to make it to the top 12.

Ayla Brown...How could you not feel sorry for this girl when all she wanted to do is sob? She could hardly keep it under control. She didn't have the best voice but I think her biggest problem was her song choice. It just didn't fit her well at all.

Will Maker...What a mature young man. He is only 17 years old with wisdom and poise beyond his years. He has a nice voice that will only get better with time.

Gedeon McKinney...He is the one that was robbed tonight. (in my opinion) There are 2 boys that should have gone before Gedeon. He is also only 17 but seems so much older because of his mature attitude. He is from Memphis and Kristi said they have done a lot of airtime on him in Memphis. He comes from a very poor section of Memphis and has been singing in a band for some time. This guy should make a living with his music...he is fantastic!! (again, in my opinion) He should never have gone before Kevin!

Next week will be quite interesting. The idols will all be getting a clothing allowance and help in picking out their outfits. They should all be looking better and more stylish. It will be quite interesting to see what they can do with Kevin. And, have you noticed that Taylor's hair is getting darker every week? If they colored it all at one time it would be too big of a change but I think they are making him a little less grey as the weeks go by. It will also be interesting to see if that continues. Maybe I'm just seeing things but it sure looks to me like he is getting darker hair!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The thing I like most about American Idol is that it is a television show that bridges all age groups. The picture is Beca at her 7th birthday party with a shirt of her favorite idol from last year...Carrie Underwood. She was so excited when Carrie won last year that she had trouble sleeping that night. Wayne and I took Rhebeca to the American Idols concert tour in Chicago last August. I don't know who enjoyed it more...Rhebeca or me. (it definitely wasn't Wayne...he was a good sport to drive us there and sit through the show). There were so many age groups at that concert that you couldn't really say it appealed to just one group of people. There were lots of kids there and lots of people my age.

I had my stress test yesterday. The test itself wasn't bad at all...just a little uncomfortable to have my heart beating so fast. They had usual getting the IV in my hand. I have two big black and blue marks from them digging around in my hand trying to find the vein. I also had a hard time laying on their bed for over an hour. The neuropathy in my feet really acted up and my left hand and arm went to sleep from the new herniation in my neck and towards the end I had pain down my left leg from the back problems.

Dr. Randazzo is my cardiologist. I have always really liked her because she seems really sharp and really "knows her stuff". She studied the echocardiogram as the technician was doing it and finally said...your problem is that the bottom number on your blood pressure is too high and it has caused a certain area of your heart (can't remember which one) to harden and it is probably what is causing the swelling in your feet and legs. S0, I double up on the blood pressure medicine and take it twice a day and start taking my blood pressure twice a day. Then go in and talk to Dr. Stillson after a couple of weeks and show him the chart I keep of my blood pressure. The really bad thing is that this is all my fault. I was trying to save money on our prescriptions and had started taking half a dose of the blood pressure medicine about a year ago. So, I really caused this myself.

The good...and bad...thing is that my feet and legs were swollen yesterday so she could see the problem. They were still swollen today so I had to take a water pill. I hope I won't feel as bad tomorrow as I did last time I took the water pill.

I went with Katie and the boys to help her run errands this afternoon. I sit in the car with the boys while she goes in the stores she needs to go in. It works out well for both of us because she can run her errands easier and I can be with Tyler and Caden. I had to get a couple of things at the grocery store and Tyler came in with me. He talked me into a toy, a muffin and some baby bananas. The toy he picked out were handcuffs...and his Mom kept a key to them in her purse because we both could just see him putting the handcuffs on Caden and not being able to find the key. Caden started whining right after we got back in the car. We kept trying to give him different things thinking that's what he wanted. I felt so sorry for him because he has no words to tell us what he wants...he just keeps whining. We'd give him something and he'd say...NO! Finally we found what he wanted...he wanted one of the baby bananas. I only got 3 of the bananas and as well as the boys like them I think I'll have to get them more next trip to the store.

Tyler spent the afternoon here yesterday. I joined the Nick Arcade "Nick pass" several months ago. For $7.45 a month I can get a new game of my choice to be downloaded every month and then when the new month starts I not only get the new game but also get to keep the old game. We've collected quite a few games so far. Yesterday was the day we could pick a new game. Tyler went on their web site and picked out a game. Then I started filling out the forms I needed to get the new game. I had some problems getting it figured out yesterday and finally Tyler decided to pray about it....Here's his prayer and I think it's just precious....."God is great, God is good, please help Grandma Becky figure out how to get my game started. Amen" He starts all his prayers with God is great, God is good.

I also got a call from Kristi yesterday morning. She has free long distance and calls me almost every day. I try to encourage her in her mothering and she keeps me up on what Jacob is doing. It's almost as good as having them live close by. When she takes her shower she shuts Jacob in the bathroom with her so she can keep an eye on him. You don't want a child that age fending for themselves for even 5 minutes. Yesterday she peeked out to make sure he was doing all right and saw the he'd put his shoes in the sink and filled them with water and was having just a great old time. She said she decided to just enjoy the rest of her shower because the damage was done by that time. By this morning his shoes were almost dried out:)

I made chili when I got home from running errands with Katie. I use beef and pork stew meat in my chili instead of ground beef. If cooks long enough the meat gets fork tender. Well, tonight it just wasn't getting tender at all. So, at 8:00 I finally decided to save the chili for tomorrow and made the most delicious Bean Quesadilla. I will end today with the recipe to the quesadilla. It's something I'm going to keep the ingredients to all the time for a quick and delicious meal.


2 burrito size tortillas
1 (14 1/2 oz) can of refried low-fat black beans
1 cup chunky salsa (your choice of mild or hot)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese...your choice...I used cheddar
Guacamole...recipe below

2 tablespoons sour cream (I forgot about this...didn't use it but it would be good)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lay 1 tortilla on a clean work surface. Spread a thin layer of beans evenly over the tortilla. Spoon 3/4 cup of salsa over the beans, then sprinkle with the cheese. Top with the 2nd tortilla. Place the quesadilla on a foil-covered cookie sheet. I used a pizza stone...made it crispy on the bottom.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or till the cheese is melted and the top is crisp and brown. Meanwhile make the guacamole (or use store bought) and swirl the guacamole together with the sour cream. Cut the quesadilla into 4 equal portions and transfer to a plate. Serve with the guacamole mixture and remaining 1/4 cup salsa.


2 Avacados
1 clove garlic
1 small tomato
1 1/2 Tablespoon lime juice (or lemon juice...I used lemon juice because I was out of limes)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Mash the avacados and then add the rest of the ingredients. The recipe does call for 1/2 cup chopped onion but I like mine without...if you're an onion lover...add the onion!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Today was a really busy day for me...unlike many of my days! I picked Tyler up from nursery school and he spent the afternoon with me. We really a good time together. We played games and ate ice cream and talked...not much different than a friend my own age would be. He talked a lot about his trip to Florida. It was a really nice time for all of them.

The doctor called in a prescription for Provigil but the insurance is refusing to pay for it so far. That is so disappointing. I would love to have something that would give me some more energy. It gets frustrating being so exhausted ALL the time. Anything I do takes a tremendous amount of effort.

Tomorrow is my stress test. I don't know why but I'm a little nervous about the test. I just don't like losing control of my own body. But, it has to be done and I sure can't walk on a treadmill with my back the way it is.

I haven't been able to find any spoilers for tomorrow's American Idol. Last week they were able to find out what the contestants were singing but no such luck this week. The only news I've found out is Bo Bice will be singing Thursday night and there will be a new American Idol show starting on March 16th. It will be on Fox Reality TV and show an hour of behind the scenes with the idols. Sounds pretty interesting. I know Direct TV carries that channel but not sure about some of the cable compainies.

The picture of the church is Kristi, Eric & Jacob's church in Memphis It is actually one of the smaller churches in the area and to me it's huge! We have noticed that almost all the churches in the Memphis area are HUGE!! They are like a city within a city. Wayne and I loved the church Kristi & Eric went to before this one but haven't been to this one as much...only for Jacob's dedication. Kristi has been very accepted and has made some really good friends here at this church. I appreciate the people that befriend her and help her out since her family isn't close enough to help her.

Kristi spent from Friday afternoon to Saturday night in the church with lots of teenagers. I think she said there were 250-275 teens there for the night. They came for a "fasting party." Most of them were able to fast for 30 hours. Kristi stayed with the group that needed to eat something due to health issues. There was a lot presented about the hungry/starving people in the world. It sounded very impressive. They were told it takes only $1 a day to feed a hungry child and I think she said $10 a week for a family. Can you imagine feeding our families for $10 a week? I think it's really good to make these kids aware that there are many less fortunate than we are here in this country. I cannot imagine watching a baby die from hunger...or any child for that matter. We all need to be made aware of the injustices in the world so we can do our part to help.

Rhebeca called me on Sunday and we talked for about an hour or more. She finds plenty to talk about and I think she is one of the sweetest little girls I have ever been around and I'm lucky enough to be her Grandma. She and I used to be members of a web site called ksolo. You can go to their site and record with their prerecorded music. It even has the scrolling scene like you would see in the bigger karaoke places. We had stopped using it so I canceled out our account in about November 2005. Yesterday she told me she was ready to start recording again. If you'd like to go to the site and hear some of the music either from us or someone else the site address is My user name is rstockman and I don't think you'll need the password to listen to songs. I don't really want to post my password on the internet. If you would like the password, please email me and I will send it to you. My email is

Sunday, March 05, 2006

This picture is Kaleb (on the left) and Kael (on the right). They are Alan and Eutemia's sons. Kael is 2 and Kaleb is 7 months.

Kael drew the picture that is below their picture. It is incredibly good for a two year old. It is a picture of a whale and if you will notice there is the blow spout, a mouth, eyes and a tail. Today while he was taking a bath he drew another whale and 3 letters. He has liked to draw for some time and has been drawing little tiny marks in his pictures that takes a lot of fine motor skills. Maybe he'll be the artist of the family.

It is so good to have Katie and her family back from Florida. Tyler spent about 4 hours here yesterday and we had such a good time. I saw him today for just a few minutes. He was in the car while his Mom ran in the house so I took Tyler and Caden some fruit snacks. Caden gave me a kiss and I asked Tyler for one too (didn't want him to feel left out) and he told me he had just run out of kisses. That's what he always likes to say when he wants left alone...I think it's a pretty inventive way to say it!

What can I say about my health? I still have little to no energy. Everything I do takes so much effort. I'm finally ready to call the doctor and see if he'll write me a prescription for provigil. So many of the people that have a pump have to take the provigil. I don't remember what it's like to wake up in the morning and to actually feel like doing something. Even showering is such a huge thing for me!

Tuesday is my stress test. I'll be glad to get that behind me and know if there's anything wrong with my heart. Then I can finally start on getting my teeth fixed. I have a chip out of one of my upper front teeth. It's not real big but I'm very self-conscious about it.

If you are not a fan of American Idol you can stop reading now...............
Won't be long now till American Idol starts a whole new week. I think it's another 4 hours this week...but I've been known to be wrong at least once in my life. So...the newest American Idol news is that Chris Daughtry has been offered the role as lead singer for the rock group "Fuel". He sang a song by Fuel last week. Anyway, the person who wrote about this heard it from an interview given by Randy Jackson. He let it slip that Fuel had offered Chris this position. According to the lady who writes the blog where I get my news is that she thinks Chris should jump ship and do it ..NOW! That is, if what Randy says is true. If he continues on at AI, they will have all the say over what kind of record he makes and what music is on it. She also said that AI could be setting Chris up for the win. They do this early on in the competition by saying little things to them like they said last Simon telling him that he is the only one that is market-ready and could record and make a hit right now. Also by going on talk shows and letting a name slip out who they think will be the winner. I remember seeing Simon on Regis & Kelly last year and before the finale 24 ever sang he said Carrie Underwood would be the probable winner. It looked like early on this year they were setting up Ace as the winner but it looks like they may want the top two to be Ace and Chris. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Ace better do a LOT better this week or he may be out before the final 12.

Also news from the four that left this week here are what they said on Access Hollywood...

David Radford said that he needs a date for the prom this year and hopes someone that sees him on TV will give him a call. He obviously doesn't know how popular he will be when he gets home:)

Brenna is obviously living in lala land somewhere. She wants to pursue her acting career. She wants her producers to be Larry David, Steven Spielberg and Wood Allen. She will not be going back home to White Plains, New York because of the mobs of people who would obviously follow her there. I sure hope she is trying to be funny....if not she's gonna be one disappointed girl!

Heather said in a MTV article that she was totally confused by what Paula said when asked if she or Kinnik were going home. She I am at the most important moment of my career and Paula spouts off about one of them eating pizza and the other eating salad. Heather said she still has no idea about what she was saying....I don't think those of us at home knew either.

When Sway was standing there with Kevin waiting to hear who got voted off Paula made another bizarre comment....she said...The moth who finds the melon always finds the cornflake...always finds the melon and one of you didn’t pick the right fortune." Sway said at first he thought maybe it was a racist comment but just decided to believe it was for interest and what it takes to make good TV.

Did you notice last week how the judges all put down Taylor's performance? And, even tho I like Ace...his performance wasn't the best last week and the judges really built it up. These are the things they do to try to manipulate the vote. Watch them this week and see if you can see it. I promise not to write so much all the time about American Idol but thought these few tidbits were interesting.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

This is Jacob...Kristi and Eric's 17 month old son. Kristi has been on weight watchers to try to get rid of the "baby" weight. She tries to get up early before Jacob is up and has her quiet time eating her oatmeal. Well, yesterday Jacob got up when Kristi did and she gave him his breakfast (not oatmeal) and sat down to eat her oatmeal. He begged for the oatmeal and she gave it to him against her better judgement. This is how Jacob ended up looking after he ate. I wonder how much actually got inside:) They had to go to MOPS yesterday and Kristi said they were short on time but Jacob definately needed a bath so Kristi had to go without her shower to get there in time. I told her that of all 6 grandchildren I think Jacob enjoys his food the most and gets the messiest. Of course, by the time they're this age they won't have any part of being fed...they want to do it themselves.

The swelling in my feet and ankles was down this morning. But, I was drained of energy all day long from the water pill. It always does that to me but sometimes when the swelling is bad I just have to take it. The pain is still so much better since the last pump increase. I still have pain but I can get out of pain much more easily and without taking any medication most of the time.

The final to Skating With Celebrities was on after American Idol and my favorite couple came in 2nd. They did a great job though. I read a rumor that the other couple ended up being a real couple. He left his pregnant wife to be with the celebrity he was paired with. I guess that's one of the reasons I didn't want them to win. The other one is I just love to watch John Zimmerman skate. He has such an artistic look to his skating..acts like he really feels it and he seems like such a nice guy.

They lost another four people on American Idol tonight. No big surprises really. Gone are Brenna Gethers, Heather Cox (who I heard is the daughter of one of the Blackwood Brothers), David Radford and Sway Penala. I read a real interesting article today about Katharine MePhee. There was a big scuttle about her possibly resigning from Idol. The American Idol boards were buzzing about it all day Tuesday! What really happened is she is exhausted and her family lives in Los Angeles so she requested to go home and rest for a few hours. The other contestants threw a fit because they are too far from home to go home and rest. Katharine's mother told the executives of Idol that if they don't let her rest she will see that Katharine gets a medical doctor to write a health release and get out of her contract. Katharine was there both nights without any hint of resigning so they must have gotten things worked out. I thought that little tidbit was pretty interesting.

Katie, Steve and the boys are returning home from Florida tomorrow. Anyone reading this, please pray for their safety. I have really missed them this week. Tyler usually spends at least one day with me during the week and Katie usually takes me to WalMart a couple times a week. I could go by myself but I really enjoy being with Katie, Tyler and Caden. She also can run errands while I sit in the car with the boys. We have fun playing little games and singing. When it's warmer outside Tyler likes to open up the sun roof and stand up in it and pretend he's shooting monsters...typical boy.

Kael got to spend about 20 minutes at our house this afternoon. He ran right to the toy room and the toys were like new ones to him because he doesn't play here very often. Usually when he comes with his Mom & Dad he wants to paint and I try to let him because I want their time here to be fun. Before he left he went out to the kitchen because I have a drawer they all get into to get snacks. I had just bought some gummy dinosaurs for Tyler because he's allergic to chocolate and Kael was thrilled to take home a bag of gummies! He enjoys his time in Plymouth because he can be the center of attention. All children need to feel like the "special one" at times of their life.

My Grandma Cecile and Aunt Helen Ruth always did such a good job of making Kristi feel special. I think they knew that her place as middle child in the family was a hard one and they made sure to do special things for her. I remember one Labor Day when they took her to the Blueberry Festival to have her face painted and how good she felt when she came back. Helen Ruth, if you ever get on a computer and read this...thank you!! from me and from Kristi. We all need our family to balance things out in life and I have appreciated my family and Wayne's family for the help they have given.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

This is sure a nice looking crane machine, wouldn't you think? We just bought 5 brand new ones and Wayne set them out in locations around northern Indiana. We started getting calls every day that they were out of order. In less than a weeks time 4 our of the 5 are broken. Wayne has had to drive to Indianapolis and buy 5 different cranes and go pull the 5 on location and replace them with the new cranes. And, on top of it, when we send them back they were going to charge a 20% restocking fee. Wayne has since talked them down to a 10% stocking fee but it just doesn't seem right. And, it's no wonder Wayne has come home exhausted every night so far this week. These cranes are no easy feat to load in and out of the car.

My day went about like the crane situation. I woke up with my feet swollen twice the normal size. My legs, hands and face feel swollen too. So, I thought I better get back into the doctor. (I had been trying to anyway, this week) I called at 8:00 and there was nothing. They told me to call back late morning and she said they had a 2:50 and just as she went to book it someone else took the appointment. I'm back to having no clue as to what's causing this. And, I'm back discouraged again. I had two decent days in a row and now this again.

Kristi called me this morning from her home in Memphis and said it was going to be 70 degrees there today. So, when she got Jacob dressed she put a short sleeved shirt on him. She said he spent the morning tugging at his sleeves and trying to get them down on his arm like his winter shirts are.

Katie called from Florida and said they had just watched a beautiful sunset. They called Tyler out on the porch and told him to look at the sunset. He took a quick peek and said...Wow, that's a doozey and ran off to what he had been doing. At least he's learning it's appropriate behavior to make the other person think you're interested.

I watched American Idol again last night and the top 10 girls sang. They did a pretty lousy job except for a couple of them. favorite...sang first and I thought her high notes were pretty squeaky...and she just didn't do as good on her song. Then was Kinnik and for some reason I just don't like her voice. The best of the night were Mandisa, Melissa and Paris. I had been excited about Lisa but when you listen to her sing a whole song she goes flat several times during the song. She will most likely get better as her voice gets some maturity...she's only 16 years old after all. Lastly, Brenna is just plain annoying but I wouldn't be surprised if the producers are telling her to ham it up and talk back to the judges.

I read some article on the internet today that says American Idol chooses some people who really aren't very good singers for the top 24 and they are the sacrificial lambs. That way their favorites are never in danger. It sure appears they did that this year.

Tonight is the guys turn. I'll be there listening in an hour and 10 minutes!