Saturday, March 14


Memories linger. Meet Bill and Jean. These people are Michelle's grandparents and Brandon and Jordan's great-grandparents.

Bill died when he was 43 years old of a heart condition. I was never told the name of the condition but apparently his arteries grew in, instead of out. No one knew back then that he even had a heart condition. He lived on the outskirts of a small village and had walked the distance of about four city blocks to the Post Office to get the mail. He collapsed beside an old oak tree at the end of the driveway on his way home and died instantly. The doctor said that he couldn't have helped if he'd been standing alongside him when he fell.

My first husband was Bill and Jean's oldest son. They had two sons. Lynn, my husband, being the oldest. He and I grew up together and were married young. He died of the same heart disease as his father at the young age of 31.

Jean remarried after her boys were grown up and she had another baby late in life. Peter is Michelle's uncle, though he is only a few years older than her. We saw him recently at a funeral and I can't believe he is a middle aged man. Where did all of the years go?

Lynn died on December 31, 1977. His mother died the following year. She just wasn't the same after Lynn died. She had lost her first husband and her oldest son. It took its toll, as did alcoholism, diabetes and emotional abuse by her second husband.

Jean treated me just like her daughter. She was a great mother-in-law and I still miss her. I never knew Bill. My husband was only 8 when he died and that was three years before we met. It was ironic that when her father died, Michelle was also 8. Odd how things happen.

For many years, Michelle had to have checkups to ascertain she didn't carry the same genes as her father and grandfather, though the disease is more prevalent in boys. Now Brandon too has to have these checkups, but today's medical technology could prevent death--something it couldn't back then.

When Michelle uploaded this photograph to Facebook, I just had to have a copy. Jean was a lovely woman and I wish Michelle had been able to know her better. Brandon and Jordan would have loved Grandma Jean.

Do you have photos of someone that was special to you? If so, I would love to see them. Old photos are one of my favorite things. If you post some, please be sure to let me know.

Today was a beautiful day here and we got out and about for a change. I will tell you about it later in the week. Enjoy the warm spell. We never know if the chilly air will move in once more. ~Blessings, Mary~

Friday, March 13

Lunch and Shopping

Today the boys were home from school and their parents had to work. Michelle left about 11:15am and I arrived about 12pm. They boys were fine for the short while by themselves and it teaches them a bit of responsibility.

We left their house about 12:30 and went to the pizza place and had a slice and a drink. That's the first time the boys and I have had lunch together in a long time, so it was nice to just sit and chat while we ate. Then, we headed out to browse the stores.

The boys are growing up. They actually waited while I tried on a pair of jeans that were on sale. I don't usually shop for clothes when they're with me, as I have trouble finding things that fit. Today was my lucky day. I took two pair of jeans into the dressing room and the second pair fit perfectly. Then we browsed the shoe department, electronics and toys. They both found Le*go that they'd like to have. Brandon is a Le*go nut. He's loved it for years and has a lot of it, but he still enjoys building it. However, now that he is almost 14, the Le*go he wants to build is expensive. So, no Le*go, but he did ask me to buy him a shoe horn, which I did.

After that, we went to the mall, but it was crowded. It seemed every kid in the city was there so our visit was very short lived. We headed home. It was time because the boys had chores to do before their Dad got home.

When we arrived, the boys took the dog for a walk, swept the living room and kitchen floors and then it was time for them to relax. By this time my left knee was killing me. The hardest thing I can do, other than go down stairs, is walk on cement floors. I think it should be compulsory that all stores install cork flooring. It is cushioned and easy on the legs and feet. This would also be a plus for the staff.

We had a pleasant day and made plans to do some other things in the coming weeks. We may go to the sugar bush next week if it's nice and it is tradition that we attend. It's a nice outing.

The first weekend of April is the Rock and Gem show. I didn't go last year, but since Michelle is having surgery on April 3rd, it doesn't look like she will be able to attend. The boys always enjoy the Rock and Gem Show and so does she. It's fun and admission, up to this point, has always been $2.00. One way or the other, the boys will get to go. It's another tradition we have practised since the boys were small, although their parents most always take them. Some years I meet them there.

Do you have traditions for Spring Break? I would love to hear about the activities you do with your children or grandchildren, or even the traditions that you do without kids.

Enjoy your weekend. It's to be nice here and I plan on getting out of the house. Cabin fever is setting in. ~Blessings, Mary~

Thursday, March 12

The Circle Journal 2009

In 2008, Sammie from Bears in Exile started a Circle Journal. I signed up for it and was the first after Sammie to write in it. It then made the rounds to several other particpants. It went from Tennessee to Ontario, then on to Tennessee, Oklahoma, Australia, Saskatchewan and Oregon. From there it made its way back to Sammie, she read it and has sent it back to me so I can read everyone's enteries. I've had it a long time and have enjoyed reading it a few times. Now I need to send it on to the next person.

In January, Sammie asked who would like to join the Circle Journal for this year. It was so much fun last year that I immediately signed up. There are more participants this year and it's going to be that much more fun. The Circle Journal arrived here today and I have already made an entry. When I've had it for a while, it will be passed on to Oklahoma. Many of last year's participants have joined, as has ladies from Pennsylvania, New Zealand and California. By the end of the year, all posts will have been made and then it will make its rounds so all of the participants can read the enteries.

If you have never taken part in a Circle Journal, be sure to watch Sammie's blog so you can sign up for 2010. I'm already looking forward to reading what the other participants write.

I haven't been around for a few days. I wasn't that busy, but couldn't think of anything interesting to blog about. I think I'm just tired out from all the pain that I've had in my knees for so long. I haven't been doing much writing either. I don't seem to have the inspiration that I need.

Tomorrow, I'm going to be with Brandon and Jordan part of the day. They started Spring Break and will be enjoying themselves at home until they head back to school the 23rd. So, possibly we will be doing a few things that will give me something interesting to blog about. ~Blessings, Mary~

Monday, March 9

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY March 9, 2009

Outside my window...
The sparrows have been swooping over the park all day long.

I am thinking...
About the writer's guild meeting that I went to tonight. It was my first and very enjoyable. I will be attending the next meeting later this month and I'm expecting to join. Membership is very reasonable and attending will allow me to network and socialize with others who have the same interests as I do.

I am thankful for...
Iboprufen and Pennsaid, which has eased the excrucitating pain in my knees.

From the learning rooms...
I've finished polishing the historical fiction short story that I had to write for assignment two of my children's writing course.

From the kitchen...
Hubby cooked dinner tonight and it was delicious. Nothing fancy. Ground beef and mashed potatoes with veggies. I enjoyed the break.

I am wearing...
Green slacks and a print tunic top.

I am creating...
A gift for a blogging friend. I haven't had much time to work on it. It's an embroidery project and I really want to get it finished. I'm also writing a child's fantasy. Wish me good luck. I'm not a fantasy writer and I'll need it.

I am going...
to start my spring cleaning this week. It's long overdue.

I am reading...
Centennial by James A. Michener. The book was a gift from a blogging friend.

I am hoping...
I can get Dakota fully housetrained this month. He's doing great, but I'd like him to be fully trained. I'm also hoping that spring arrives soon and that the robins will be searching for worms in the lawn.

I am hearing...
Dakota eating his puppy chow in the kitchen. It's crunchy.

Around the house...
Laundry is waiting. I usually do it on Monday, but had other things that took precidence. I will get to it tomorrow.

One of my favorite things...
Is chocolate ice cream. I don't have it often but did have just a little on Saturday.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Catch up on laundry, tidy dresser drawers and spring clean the bedroom.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Snowdrops should appear soon.

If you would like to take part in the Simple Woman's Daybook, it can be found HERE.

Sunday, March 8

A Great Movie for the Entire Family

On Thursday I took Brandon and Jordan to the video store so they could rent games and I saw this movie. I rented it and invited the boys over to watch it today. They arrived about 1pm and them and hubby had a game of Mario Baseball. Then we put in the movie.

This is an adorable tail of a mother polar bear and her twins. It starts with her and her male companion, who advises her he will be moving north without her. Though somewhat disappointed that she can't go, she moves inland to wait for the birth of her cubs.

This story, though animated and cute, tells the story of how global warming is making it more difficult for polar bears to survive. The ice caps are melting and there is some excellent footage of large walls of ice falling into the ocean.

Mama polar bear travels with her cubs back to the sea in hopes of catching seals to feed her and her babies. However, when they get there, the ice is gone.

I won't tell you anymore about the bear's adventures, as it would spoil the story. However, I highly recommend this movie for those who have children and those who love animals. It was a hit here.

In other news, Jordan read the story that I'm writing for assignment two of the writing course. I told him to be very honest with me and let me know exactly what he thought of it and not to take into consideration that the author was his grandma. He sat in the computer room, reading and I left him on his own to do so. Keep in mind, this is a short story, about 800 words, which is four double spaced printed pages. He was done in about 10 minutes and called me when he was through.

What he said amazed me. He said the story was fast paced, interesting and full of adventure. I told him that I hoped my tutor agreed and he asked me to let him know what she said about it. Then we talked about writing stories and he asked me to give him three words and he would tell me a story. This is a game we used to play when the boys were younger.

So I gave him "whisper," "slippery" and "pond." He told me a story about Slippery, the frog and his friends who lived in a pond in a clearing in the forest. A builder had purchased the land and was going to destroy the pond to build condominiums. But Slippery and his friends banded together to defeat the contractor and their home was saved. Not a bad story for a boy who is only 11. So, now he's going to elaborate on paper and write a 500 word story about Slippery. I hope he does. It's great that he has an interest in storytelling.

That's about all the news from here. The Pennsaid is working and the excruciating pain is only a dull ache. What a difference. In the meantime I'm going to take a friend's advice, see my own doctor and ask him to make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon to see what can be done to make my quality of life a little better.

Take care. Enjoy your week and do a random act of kindness to make someone else's world a little brighter. ~Blessings, Mary~