Saturday, October 31, 2020

Happy Halloween!

We used to celebrate Halloween every year.  Before I retired I worked in a medical office where we all dressed up in costumes and celebrated at the office.  That was fun finding different costumes to wear each year.  And of course when our two sons were young we enjoyed helping them with costumes and taking them trick or treating and to other holiday activities.  Then when our two grandchildren came along they would often come out to show us their costumes and trick or treat in our neighborhood.  It was fun for them to trick or treat in the same neighborhood that their Dad had lived in as a child.  

We had to carve a Jack-O-Lantern!

These days even our two grandchildren are grown so we have no little ones celebrating.  But we still enjoy our many memories of happy times spent with our children and grandchildren.  With no new Halloween pictures I thought I would post a few memories from Halloween 2004.

Our Grandson Gavin was a Hobbit, complete with sword and toothbrush!  And following the theme of the night our Granddaughter Annika was Arwen from The Lord of the Rings.

We feel blessed to have celebrated many fun holidays with our family.  I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend whether you celebrate Halloween or not!

Sunday, October 25, 2020

A What Did Your Surgery?!


Last Friday our younger son Sean had outpatient surgery for a hernia repair.  We always help him out with things like that since he is single and lives alone.  As with many surgeries he had to be at the hospital early - 6 a.m. early.  In order to get to his house to pick him up and then to the hospital in time we left our house at 5 a.m.  I am not really a morning person but you do what you have to do in these situations.  The difficulty we encountered was the fact that just as we were leaving, our area got hit with a major severe thunderstorm that lasted all morning.  Let’s just say the trip to get him to the hospital was not a lot of fun with the storm and the morning rush hour combined.

We did get him there in time despite the storm and traffic.  Due to the increase in covid in our area and new hospital restrictions we had to just let him out at the door.  We were not allowed to enter the hospital and wait inside.  That was difficult for me as a Mother but as my son reminded me, he is an adult.  We knew it would be several hours so we found a restaurant that opened at 6:30 a.m. and went there for breakfast and coffee.  We managed to spend a couple of hours at the restaurant and then went back to the hospital parking lot.  There was really no place we wanted to go after that and we wanted to stay close to the hospital so we waited in the car.  We noticed there were others waiting in their cars too.  The increase in covid combined with the almost full hospitals does create some changes in many different ways.  I received several calls from the recovery room nurse telling us he had done well but had to stay in recovery a bit longer.  Finally, around 1:00 p.m. they let us know we could pick him up.  He was groggy but basically doing okay and we drove him back to our house to stay for the initial recovery time.

After we got home, he casually mentioned to me “You know a robot did my surgery.”  I stopped what I was doing and said “A what did your surgery?”!  Sean thought it was rather cool that his surgery was done by a robot.  Yes, I have heard of that being done these days, but somehow I had not expected it.  I was glad he didn’t tell me that before the surgery as I think I would have been much more worried! 

This is the type of robot that was used.*

Apparently the surgeon he had and the hospital he was in are well know for their robotic surgeries.  I looked up the hospital and read about this type of surgery and I must admit it sounded good.  They say there are many benefits of this type of surgery including greater surgical precision, increased range of motion, improved dexterity, enhanced visualization and improved access.  There is also less pain, less risk of infection, less blood loss, less scarring and faster recovery.  Sean said the surgeon sat at his head at a computer with a screen showing the magnified view of the surgery. 

The doctor sat at a console similar to this.*

Sean is sore and tired but overall doing well, thankfully.  Advancements these days continue to amaze me.  But you know, I’m still glad he didn’t tell me it was a robot until after it was over!

* Credit for photos:    By Cmglee - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,           


Monday, October 19, 2020

It’s That Time of the Year


Every year about this time I become more acutely aware of the change of seasons.  The days are colder and the nights are longer.  I like the changing of seasons because it keeps me in touch with that part of our world that continues on as it has all my life.  It reminds me that there is something bigger in life that moves forward despite us.

A Squirrel eating one of those hedge apples I mentioned in my last post. 

Saturday was a nice day here with temperatures in the low 70’s, windy but warm.  I spent the day outside doing yard work and getting ready for the winter months.  We have a redbud tree in the front yard that badly needed trimming and I got that done and bagged.  It felt good to be outside in the fresh air especially knowing that we would not have many more days like this.

Saturday night we were able to spend a few hours with our oldest son, Chris, just visiting and enjoying the opportunity to be together for a bit.  We don’t get to see family very often and it is special to us when we do get together.

This past week has been busy with a lot of the basics of life.  I saw my eye doctor as my vision continues to challenge me.  I was given a prescription for new glasses and I got a new pair picked out and ordered.  I look forward to getting them as the pair I have been wearing has not been doing me as much good as they did at first.  This time I ordered the kind of glasses that get darker in the bright sunlight.  I’m supposed to wear sunglasses but I rarely do as they are such a pain when you wear glasses.  I don’t want to carry two pairs of glasses or try and put sunglasses over my regular glasses.  So, I will give these a try and see how they work out. 

Winter was beginning to feel much closer on Sunday when instead of temperatures in the low 70’s our high was in the low 40’s and it was damp and cloudy.  I was glad I had done my outside work on Saturday as this was a day to stay in with the heat turned on.

When it gets cold Zeus always heads for the covers!

This new week will be busy with the usual variety of appointments, grocery shopping and such.  Also on Friday our younger son, Sean, is having outpatient surgery and we are taking him to the hospital for that.  He is not married so we help him out with things like that.

It has been fairly routine days around here.  Many bloggers I know write about their day to day activities but I’m not so sure there is much of interest in my days!  I hope everyone is well and having a nice week!   

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Passing Thoughts


It’s been a quiet weekend but that can be good at times.  I’ve stayed busy with odds and ends of jobs around the house.  Yesterday I did some much-needed cleaning in our basement.  We need to get someone out to do a winter check on our furnace this week.  I am also planning on clearing some shelves in the basement for food storage of canned goods.  We have very little storage space in our kitchen so I’m using a couple of shelves in the basement.  I have been slowly adding to our back up stock of canned goods and non-perishables.  This winter has the potential of not being the best and I do want to be prepared.  There have been some predictions of much more snow and cold weather than usual for us on top of the increasing number of covid cases in the area.  It’s funny, in some ways we were much more cautious back in March when the pandemic first started than we are now.  I guess because it was new.  But actually, now it is much worse where we live than it has been at any time before.  We go out for groceries and medical appointments and that’s about it.  Due to our age and Tom’s health we can not afford to take chances but it sure does get old fast. 

I have also been trying to help Tom with a few changes in his life.  Because of his balance problems it was suggested that he start using a walking cane.  When you think about it that can be a big step for some people and not an easy one.  On top of that, he has failed to have much improvement in his hearing and has an appointment this week to talk to someone about getting a hearing aid.  He is not over-joyed with either of these developments and I do understand.  I’m trying to help him see the positive side of both and hopefully he soon will realize the benefits of them.

Trees on our street are just starting to change colors

Our Fall colors are just now getting started and no where near peak color yet.  There are a few trees on our street beginning to change.  In our back yard we have a row of Osage Orange trees and they are dropping their hedge apples or Osage Oranges like crazy all over our yard.  These are a strange fruit that is not edible for humans although the squirrels here love them.  The Osage Orange tree got its name from the Osage Indian tribe which once lived in this area.  They used the wood of the tree for making bows and it is still considered very good for that purpose.  


Osage Orange or Hedge Apple Trees

Osage Oranges or Hedge Apples

As you can tell, there is not much excitement here.  I hope everyone is well and enjoying a beautiful Autumn!

Across the street from us

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Do You Remember Your First Car?

I would guess that most of us remember buying our first car.  It is usually one of those occasions that we have waited, dreamed and worked hard to make it happen.  As I remember, it was a major rite of passage when I learned how to drive and got my first driver’s license.  You had to be 16 to take the test in order to get your license.  I took that test on my 16th birthday.  When I first had my license, I only occasionally drove my Mother's car but I loved the independence.  The summer after I graduated from high school, I got my first full time job as a waitress in a restaurant.  I wasn't crazy about the job but I saved every penny I earned so I could buy my own car. 

When I had saved what I hoped was enough money my Dad and I went to a used car dealer.  I found a 1964 Pontiac Tempest convertible and I was in love!  This was in 1970 so the car was six years old and in excellent shape except it needed new tires.  I paid $500 cash for the car and I still had enough left to buy new tires.  

1964 Pontiac Tempest 

I owned that car for eight years and it served me well.  When I left home it took me from central Arkansas to Memphis, Tennessee.  What an adventure it was being a small-town girl in a big city.  I rented my first apartment and found a job doing office work.  A year later I drove my car to California where I got married and lived for three years.  I still had the same car when I moved to Colorado for a year and eventually to Kansas City, Missouri where I currently live in a nearby small town.  When I was just out of high school the $500 I paid for my car seemed like an awful lot of money but it was a good car and I think I got my money's worth out of it.

What was your first car?  Do you have special memories about how you got it or how you felt when you got it?  Did you have any adventures with that first car that you still remember?