Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012

Christmas is always an adventure.  Whatever you expect to happen, doesn't.  But the surprises that DO happen are delightful.
Our 5 year old grandson Nathan delighted us many times over.  We went to his house early on Christmas morning to watch him open the gifts from Santa and from Mom and Dad, and to deliver our gifts.  He was eating breakfast when we got there, and within minutes of the hugs and kisses, he began taking charge.
We were told to sit in the living room and he would deliver the presents from under the tree.  He had been carrying around a gift that he was SURE was Ninjago something or other board game.  And as soon as we all had our coffee and sat down, he pronounced it was time.

He opened the gift in lightning speed and sure enough - it was the Ninjago game.  He jumped up and down, laughing and I think he was as delighted that he figured it out as he actually got it. 

Next he decided Grammy (me) should open a gift.  Attached to the gift was a card Nathan prepared.  In each card he made, he drew two pictures. One was a wrapped present, the other was a different one.  On mine, he drew a little boy's smiling face.  On Pop-pop's. he drew a Christmas tree.  And the final drawing was an empty rectangle.  I asked him what it was for, he said, "it's for you to write down what gift you got.  Then you won't forget."  Then he ran to he desk to get a pen so I could write it down.

It brought back many fond memories when my boys were young and eager for Christmas.   We so look forward to the day and it is over in a flash.  In our case, we get to enjoy Christmas with many grandchildren.  Katie and Micah spend Christmas Eve day with us.  We had breakfast, opened gifts, had lunch, decorated Micah's gingerbread house, watched movies - and then they had to leave.  Later that day, we Skyped with David and Katie in Guam.  It was Christmas morning there, and Karisa was was opening her gifts.  What a blessing that technology is!
Christmas night we opened our gifts from Andy's family and Vicki and exchanged our gifts.  Exhausted we fell asleep watching TV!
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Photo Dilemma

Going from film to digital has made it so easy to take lots of photos.  I take some kind photo every week.  Lately it has been birds.  I can't even begin to guess how many photos of birds I have.  It was easier for me when the film was developed and photos were printed. I could arrange them in albums and then look at them when I wanted.

I just checked one of our computers, the one that has the fewest photos on it and it adds up to more than 35 GB.  I must have over 150 GB on the other computer.  These are all personal, not business.

So, here is my dilemma.  I am a photo hoarder.  I cannot seem to throw any away.  I am so delusional that I entertain the idea if I throw one away, it will end up being the answer to a crime, or have someone famous in it, or some other ridiculous reason.  Also, I have more photos of my grandchildren, and I cannot bear to throw them away.  It seems like I am throwing the person away.  I know I am crazy about this.  I know I am not being reasonable.  I know I am putting off what has to be done.  Maybe if I admit to being a photo hoarder, it is the first step to the cure.  What do you think?

It's pitiful, really.  Here are some examples of photos I've been keeping.  Bill is right, I really do need help!

Katie is number 3.

Tire tracks made by delivery truck.

Neighborhood cardinal in the garden.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

We are new Pop pop and "Guama"

I forgot to post the pictures of our newest granddaughter. 
Karisa (sounds like Teresa with a K) Victoria Johnson. 
She is living in Tolofofo Guam with her parents.  Beautiful place, far far away.  Here she is.

Karisa Victoria - birthday, June 13th.
Already contemplating the universe - day two.

With mom - about 3 wks old.


Grandson Nathan stayed overnight last night as he has many times before. 

He woke up very early to go to the bathroom and announced "It is way too early to get you out of bed."  So as I was putting him back in his room, he said, "I just had a very funny dream.  Uncle David and the baby were in my bed sleeping with me.  The baby was crying and crying.  She wouldn't stop crying.  Finally Uncle David told the baby to stop crying.  Then she peed on my toes!"

With that he laughed and laughed, laid down and went to sleep for two more hours.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Just Do it - Not now......

I am becoming (maybe always was) a master procrastinator.  Did you ever have something really important to do that is complicated, really involved and has areas where you are either unsure how to do it or just plain uncomfortable? 

I have one of those projects now and have spent the morning and in fact, the last three days, working around it.  I have a book to read about it and instead of just reading it, I am skipping around the chapters.  I putz around on the Internet and Facebook and LinkedIn and anyplace to waste time.  The US Open golf tournament is calling me to watch it.  But I am currently wasting time watching the birds and blogging!  Although one could argue that is multi-tasking.

Actually, I have not been totally avoiding it but I am sure that diving in would be much more effective.  And I am writing about it to get reved up enough to jump in. 

Diving in, jumping in, taking the plunge - I guess they all remind me of feeling scared beforehand and (usually) exhilarated after the step off in faith.

Well, here I go - plunging in.  Pray for me {smile}.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012


We cannot figure out why there are so many black flies in our house.  Suddenly on Saturday, we noticed about 30 flies at the doors and windows.  Since Bill prefers chemicals to swatters, when we woke up Sunday there were about 25 flies on the floor - sleeping, as he likes to say.  Much like the little flattened animals on the road - to Bill they are "Sleeping".


Still there are a few rogue flies around the house.  We've never had them before, at least not like this.  Of course we have had a fly every now and again but never in party attendance.  Usually we have lady bugs, and a random wasp.  But we have seen neither this year.  It is a very odd bug year. 

Also, I haven't had one land on me to know whether or not they are the biting flies.  The year Lew and I were married, we went camping on 4th of July with his best man, Dave and wife Jan, at the base of Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park, Maine.  As I was recovering from mono, I didn't go on the hike to the top of the mountain.  I hiked about 1/3 of the way up and returned to camp.  When Dave and Jan returned, they were covered with black fly bites.  They even got in her hair. {shiver}

It really was a beautiful campsite - by a lake.  But the black fly episode was enough to keep me from camping there again.

Mount Katahdin from the Camp across the lake.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

News from the Ballew family of Virginia

Our grandsons had "Fine Arts" this Month and if you want to see their performances you can click on the link below. Caleb (17) was chosen to showcase his song, he played it for 2,500 people and they loved it. Josh (14) scored 1 point from a perfect score. This was Joshua's first year.
Here are the links:

Caleb on piano:

Josh on drums:

Can't help but be mighty proud of their work and talent. Some of the musical genes are showing themselves!

Also, we are celebrating our new little great granddaughter!

Safe in Daddy's arms!

Sister to Elijah and daughter to Rachel and Clay Horn. Oh, and granddaughter to Andy and Robin Ballew! Born March 5, 2012 at 2:55 pm, weighing 7lbs 14 oz, 20 inches long. Everything went perfectly!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Oh Happy Day

Today was one of those really fun days.  It started with a couple hours of fun on the playground at Cedar beach in Allentown.  Nathan ran, and ran, and ran.  There are at least 10 sliding boards, elevated ladders, ramps, climbing walls, dancing lights, swings.... and even more things to do.  What a joy watching him scamper from place to place.  It was funny seeing us four adults trying to keep up with one of him!  We ended the play time with a picnic.  It was SO COLD that it took awhile to got warm even once we were home.  In fact, we ended up taking naps! 

Tonight we did something we have never done before.  We went to an organ recital at Allen Organ in Macungie.  It was magnificent.  Simon Gledhill is the Theatre organist we heard.  I could never describe it effectively.  He delighted in using as many of the organ's voices as possible - from cymbals and snare drums to piccolo - and many voices in between.  Selections ranges from The King and I to Up, Up and Away to Overture to Orpheus in the Underworld. 

I realize now that my delight in this music must be genetic.  Bill enjoyed it - I loved it.  Maybe it is because I grew up listening to Larry Ferrari every Sunday after church.  But I believe my love for it comes from the generation of Krauss men who built organs here in Pennsylvania.   Here is a video of Simon playing one of the pieces from our concert.

Monday, January 9, 2012

End of the year - Welcome 2012

I intended to end the year with a rambling, but never got around to it. 

Stupid joke - I know.  Here it is 2012.  What will this year bring?  I can tell you I had a store experience today at K-mart.  It actually has very little to do with K-mart except for the fact that their automatic door wasn't working.

I was actually feeling a little claustrophobic - having cabin fever - and wanted to get out of the house for a bit.  So I had a small list of things to buy and do including shopping for a shirt for Bill like one he had particularly liked.  I got the original shirt from K-mart so I started my day out there.  I puttered around the store finding left-over Christmas items, the shirt, lotion, and plastic totes to store my Christmas decorations in - all on sale!  I was happy, happy! 

As I check out, the pile of stuff when bagged filled the shopping cart.  I push the cart to the exit door, which is supposed to be automatic, and it just bumps into the door.  I back it off the mat and try again.  No luck.  I now am trying to gracelessly push open the door  with the cart and my hand.  I hear behind me a "Tsk" and a disgruntled groan.  A young woman (not teenager) is really annoyed that I am struggling with the door, so after making her displeasure known through her groans, she scoots around the corner to exit through the entrance.  I am still struggling to get the door open.  As she exits, she looks at me struggling, shakes her head and walks out. 

What the ?????   No help or offer to help?  I actually was really surprised.  It really wasn't a big deal - but it was so disappointing.  I am noticing that the older I get, the less people are nice to me.  Regardless of the circumstances, it seems that being old is viewed as impeding the way.  Today, the young woman saw me as the problem and not the quirky door. 

The good news is it was great to get out.  Bill met me for lunch and that too was fine.  Happy New Year! 

Don't they know the horseshoe is upside down?  All the luck will run out!