Friday, December 31, 2010

Truly a GIFT...

The big news for me in 2011 is that I will return to college after over 35 years!! I have some apprehensions, of course. The main apprehension is that I will not "miss" any critical information in the class.

I have only 20% of my hearing left. Although the hearing aids give me closer to normal hearing, I have lost much of the clarification and sound distinctions that are needed to form "words" that I am hearing. Many words sound too similar, and I cannot always "guess" what is being said.

For Christmas this year, my husband found an amazing gift for me. Truly, it's simply wonderful how helpful it will be in college! The PULSE Smart Pen is a mini-computer that will RECORD my notes in class WHILE recording the lecture in audio! When I return home, I will plug the pen into my laptop and will have a visual AND audio copy of the class session!

Now that extreme apprehension of "missing" vital information due to my severe hearing loss is MINIMIZED. You cannot imagine how much stress is lessened with the knowledge that I can REPEAT the information without asking over and over!

(BIG SIGH)... What a THOUGHTFUL GIFT! He knows me pretty good, huh?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Old Friends...

Yesterday hubby and I did a rare thing... we walked around the local mall. So many things had changed or relocated since we were last there (spring, I think?). New stores, GONE stores, etc were a marvel to us.

As we were leaving, I spotted a familiar face in the next kiosk and I ran to get a good HUG from my OLD FRIEND, Candace Brown. She told me her new married name; we chatted a few minutes and marveled that each of us had been thinking of each other recently. I had no idea how to contact her since her marriage. Now I can at least look her up!

I encouraged her to come see us at the church again. We genuinely love and miss her. Its been a LONG time since we heard from her (over ten years) and longer since we last saw her. It was good just seeing her and getting a hug. I hope we can see her again soon!

Proverbs 17:17  A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Having a "MOM" MOMent...

I am so happy I was able to scan some photos of my family when I was home to Michigan recently. This photo of my mom was taken about the time she and dad dated and then married.  Supplies are Scrap Girls products. Here is the online gallery view with comments:  MOM @ 16

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Once upon a time...Mom and Dad

Once upon a time my parents were happily married.

I tried to capture that moment in this scrap page. The photos are my favorites of them.

Seen online in my gallery here:  BILL & VI

Monday, October 25, 2010

What to do when the lights go OUT...

We experienced a power outage this morning...while I was installing software on my newly installed operating system.

I began to think of things I can do without power. Mr Edison would be thrilled to know we were so dependent on his miraculous invention of the light bulb! Here is how my list is going so far...

  1. Read - by camp lantern
  2. Pray for your children, grandchildren, pastor and friends
  3. Clean off your desk
  4. Drive to the bank instead of banking online
  5. SHOP-if the lights are on at the store!
  6. DRAW, if you can find your sketch book (see #3... it might be on the desk)
  7. Use your laptop until the battery goes...
  8. Call someone on your cell phone (house phone is dead, usually)
  9. Play Scrabble on my I-touch
  10. Snuggle with your hunny... 

Hey... what would YOU add to this short list?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Montana memory: BIG PURPLE SPOON

Montana was such a joyous trip... so many memories to scrap. This page came about because the High Noon Crop at Scrap Girls challenged us to scrap "PURPLE". I remembered this funny memory and went looking for the photo. Scrap Girls Camille's Garden was the kit used. Thanks for looking!  ONLINE VIEW

Page reads:  After our Jammer tour on the EAST side of Glacier National Park, we ate lunch and browsed the shops in the park.A SPOON CARVING shop featured this HUGE SPOON.Because it was SCRAP GIRL PURPLE, Al wanted to stop for a photo with Barb and the spoon!  July 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Oh... to be a KID again!

 "BUDDY" doll was our Grandma's "LIVE IN" grandchild.  EVERY grandchild played with Buddy and he was their "BEST FRIEND", even the grandsons. Buddy went everywhere in the house with us. He wore size two clothes and was always "happy" and "Smiling" and "approving" of our games.

When I was in Michigan this past week, I asked Aunt Jean (mom's only sibling) if she knew where Buddy was. They located him in her house and we had such a sweet and memorable visit with him. We estimate he is 55+ years old, at least. The overalls he is wearing were originally my cousin, Gail's. There was a second "Buddy" when he began to wear out, but this is the REAL DEAL Buddy.

Good to see you again, Buddy!

Someone collected these observations about the "good old days" we had as children. They were so insightful and I recall most of these feelings at some time in my youth. I miss the "good old days".

Oh, To Be a Kid Again...

Decisions were made by saying "eeny-meeny-miney-mo."

Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "Do over!"

"Race issue," meant arguing about who ran the fastest.

Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in "Monopoly."

Catching fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening.

It wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends.

Being old referred to anyone over 20.

The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.

It was magic when Dad would "remove" his thumb.

It was unbelievable that dodge ball wasn't an Olympic event.

Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot.

Nobody was prettier than Mom.

Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.

It was a big deal to finally be tall enough to ride the "big people" rides at the amusement park.

Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.

Abilities were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare."

Saturday morning cartoons weren't 30-minute ads for action figures.

No shopping trip was complete unless a new toy was brought home.

"Oly-oly-oxen-free" made perfect sense.

Spinning around, getting dizzy, and falling down would cause giggles.

The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.

War was a card game.

Water balloons were the ultimate weapon.

Baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle.

Taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin.

Ice cream was considered a basic food group.

Older siblings were the worst tormentors but also the fiercest protectors.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Home church "reunion"...

 Mrs Mae Noe with Georgia, Raymond, and Wil Bice
in the new building for Galilean Baptist in Plymouth MI

Me with Mrs Noe. She is such a sweet blessing
to me. I have quoted her teachings many times over
the years. It was good to hear she prays for me each week!

Going back to our "home church" to see my "preacher's wife" was a sweet trip. The church is in a newer building in a different city, but many of the same faces greeted me last night. It was wonderful to see God at work and hope for better days among the congregation. I shared with them a little bit about our church's GROW ministry and they peppered me for details after the service.

After the meeting I finally dragged myself away to get a bite with the Bices and Shirley McFadden and spent another hour or two just remembering and enjoying each other. Good times!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Siblings together again! Mixed emotions...

The house on Winifred in Wayne where Al lived from 
Kindergarten until his folks passed away.  
Its vacant and in foreclosure.

Ernie and Agnes Leasure with their daughter, Carol (aka Kirk),
who babysat Al & I often in her teens. The Leasures
lived across the street from Al's family and Ernie worked 
and carpooled with my dad to Ford Motor Co. They were
the COMMON LINK that brought our families together.

 SIBLINGS: Bill, Rose, Barb and Vicki 

Siblings with spouses, minus Al: Dan & Rose, Barb,
Vicki, Cheryl & Bill 

Its been a roller coaster ride of emotions this week. Driving down the street I used to ride my bike on, seeing the aged homes looking so much the same as then, feeling a bit of excitement to be there, but apprehension at what I might find around the next corner... Seeing the lot where I lived with a new home and the same old address was a totally unexpected experience.

Its is SO HARD to see the economic crisis here. So many homes are on the market, with so few persons to buy them. 

Driving out to the country where my sisters live, memories flooded my mind of the country afternoon rides with dad when we drove through fallen leaves at breakneck speeds on dirt roads, hunting down the elusive hickory trees on the roadside. When we found hickory trees, we jumped out of the car and gathered as many nuts as we could before heading out to locate more trees. (Dad LOVED ice box cookies with hickory nutmeats!)

I spent much of the week trying to copy family photos for the siblings. After several days of computer vs scanner conflict, I finally called my other sister, Rose, to see if she had a functioning scanner. We spent the evening scanning over 250 photos before I headed back to Pinckney for bed. 

Today the brothers and the sisters came together again for the first time since I was here last... about ten years ago. It was a wonderful time of remembering and getting to know each other again. If you still have your siblings close enough, get a hug while you can (I can certify that we hugged on each other all afternoon!)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Back "HOME"... not what it used to be!

I don't have a photo to share, but my sister's dining room table is covered from one end to the other with stacks of photos I want to scan or photograph before I leave here. However, the scanner that I brought with me "hiccuped" so often that it finally quit altogether. There seems to be a problem with my 64 bit processor vs the old scanner software.

Next choice is to wait on my sister bringing her scanner back from my nieces tomorrow night, so I will be scanning all afternoon Sunday! It will be an interesting rest of the week here.

I have found some wonderful pictures and cannot wait to share them with my own family.

See you soon, family! (and Al, of course!)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Never FORGET 9-11; 2 pg memory

Our trip to the local fair turned suddenly somber when we discovered the two beams from the World Trade Center. The story is in the captions. NOTICE the somber faces of the children of all ages!

Thanks for looking!  
Online gallery views:  LARGE COMPOSITE

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cousins... a photo to scrap!

During a church dinner, the oldest three granddaughters were goofing off and posed for a cell phone. The companion print of their "goofy" faces might make a nice second page!

Thanks for looking... ONLINE GALLERY VIEW... HERE

Monday, August 2, 2010

Montana 2010 scrap pages


Gallery VIEW

The Glacier tour this year was so different from the previous two trips. We visited the EAST side of the Continental Divide, and saw so many differing views and had different kinds of adventures!

Left and right single views


Touring the EAST side of the Glacier National Park gave us new views and adventures!

The tour included a boat ride on Two Medicine Lake, a small hike to a waterfall and photo opportunities we never expected.  On the hike to the falls we noted the warning for bears... and saw the bear claw mark on a tree just a 100 feet or so later!  We were amazed at the huge flowers in the wild! At the falls we spotted a lone fly fisherman and we discovered he was in our photo when we returned home!

Jimmy, the tour host, allowed Al to sit behind the wheel of the Jammer, and he took a photo of us standing inside it.

After the tour we stopped at a park area cafe to share a buffalo burger... SO yummy!

Although we saw no wildlife except fish, it was a very good tour! We enjoyed the adventure immensely!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

42 years...

 42nd Anniversary Trip to Glacier Nat'l Park
Al takes a turn at driving the red "Jammer"    
Falls on the tour, coming right out of the "ROCK"

Can it really be 42 years since we stood before the judge with our friends, Bruce and Pat Westlake, in Inkster Michigan?  The double wedding came and went in a matter of minutes, with no family available to witness the event.  And then... Al went to work.

It was a few years later (June 1970) before we were able to take a "honeymoon" to the Great Smokey Mountains. We were awed by the size and beauty of those "hills". (Since 1974, God has allowed us to see some really BIG mountains! From the Rocky's to the mountains surrounding Beijing and the Great Wall!)

Four children, with twenty grandchildren from 3 months to 21 years old, our life is full of blessings and work!

 At the Great Wall in 2003

Thank you, honey, for keeping me around so long! Its been a wonderful life and a great adventure!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Home at last... more work!

Going home last Friday, Domino came into the front seat a few times for variety. She watched the road and checked out passing car occupants...& barked when she saw"intruder dogs".  Ten hours and 600 miles is a lot of "down time" for a dog!  (Me, too!)

Checkers slept most of the way home, had little appetite 
and just wanted to be at home ASAP!
A few times Dom activated her "Back seat driver" license
to help Al drive home.

When not "driving", she took over the larger dog bed.

We enjoyed seeing the mountains crowned in clouds 
as we passed the Idaho mountains near Bonner Ferry, ID
We knew we were in Washington when we saw
this familiar warning at a viewpoint on the Columbia River.

Al wanted a photo with the river... Checkers, too!

We knew we were on the home stretch when we saw
"OUR MOUNTAIN", Mt Rainier, from a rest stop 
in Eastern Washington!

Dorothy was right, you know? "There's NO PLACE like HOME!" So glad to be back in the saddle and back at "work". The cabin was a restful diversion, but we are glad to be home and back at work!

[KEEP READING... more vacation photos in following posts!]

(For readers who decline to comment because they previously had problems... the comment section has been fixed for a month or more. Thanks for using the comment button below each blog post!)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Oh Deer! A SALE!

On the way to town to get refueled for our return trip, we did a "mall date" and found some great sidewalk sales (Hey, we don't have sidewalks, either!)

As we passed the pasture of the farm we spotted TWO deer standing in the field. They posed sweetly for Al to take their photo about 3 times.

Then, at the mall, I found this sweet handbag... it's SO me!!!!  (Who would guess?)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Glacier Park Jammer tour and Al's evening walk.

 This year we drove to the EAST side of the continental divide to take a different tour. The mountain range is still incredibly beautiful, but we saw almost no wildlife (unless you count some strange hippie-looking characters). The tour started at a beautiful Hotel almost 100 years old. Built with HUGE Douglas fir from the Pacific Northwest, it looked like Noah's Ark from inside!

This building is the dining hall of a lodging place that existed during
Teddy Roosevelt's presidency. He gave one of his famous 
"fireside chats" from this building.  Al is standing on the porch 
approximately where President Roosevelt spoke so many years ago!
(In the next photo)

From this building we walked around the corner to take a boat tour on this lovely Two Medicine Lake.

We got some stunning shots of the mountains from the boat.
(They need to be edited. )

After the boat ride we hiked up to a water fall... 
yes, we navigated this interesting bridge CAREFULLY!

 After the tour ended, we wandered in the front lawn of the hotel 
and visited the TeePee and flower gardens before heading out for lunch. 
We were hungry enough to eat a buffalo! 
So we shared a buffalo burger... YUMMY.

 And FLOWERS...  ah, sweetness! 
These pots were all over the porch of the hotel...

And in the wilderness I had Al stand next to these flowers
to show you the LARGENESS of them! INCREDIBLE stuff!

After dinner at the cabin, Al took the dogs for an hour-long walk on the property. He took some nice pics of his adventure....

  An old barn...

And the pasture of the farm we stay at.

Just another day in PARADISE!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Walk to town?

Stretching after 10.5 miles!

Al decided to walk the entire rails to trails from Kila to Kalispell today... 10.5 miles, with a bit of detour adding to it somewhat. 

While he walked, I shopped! No sales tax is tempting, but having a small car curbs my appetite a bit! I found a few items I would have bought even without that no tax incentive! We have to be able to close the doors and trunk, don't you know?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Critter sightings...

No photos yet, but so far we have seen a few eagles soaring overhead, a deer in the yard this morning, chipmunks and snakes on the walking path in town, and not much else.

We'll keep our eyes open (and noses plugged... polecats make horrible roadkill).

Friday, July 16, 2010

Does she like vacation?

Domino relaxed halfway out of her bed this afternoon!

Day 2... just "waiting" for Dad

Dominoes sleeping and waiting at the door 
for her master to return from his walk...

They went with me to the garden to get photos 
this morning... HEY! get OUT of the picture, dog!

That's better! Thank you!

Al is back from his 9.5 mile walk on the rails trail. The dogs have over 300 acres to roam but they sit on the porch and wait for him.