August is back to school time!

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

Time for a new thread! We came from here:

Some of you have grandchildren who will be going back to school or to college this month. I do, too. My grandson, Zachary, is 14 and will be going into the 9th grade in a couple of weeks. His sister, Samantha, will be a senior in college. It's hard to believe they are each that old! I have two grandsons that are grown. Christopher is 29 and is a personal trainer and is in charge of the aquatics program at Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center but he, too, will be going back to college. He is going for his Master's degree. His younger brother, Ryan, will be 26 next week, August 11th. He and his girlfriend are expecting their first baby, a boy, on Sept. 12th. I don't like the fact that they aren't married but a lot of the younger generation does not think that marriage is all that important these days, unfortunately.

We have had an amazingly pleasant summer this year and I know that some of you other ladies have, too. The temperatures have been almost fall-like here in southern Missouri this last week and for several days earlier in July. We are supposed to get back up into the 90's by next week, though, but we are enjoying the cooler weather while it lasts!

I went out and took some photos of my big flower garden out front this evening. I will mention them in order of their appearance in the photos below:
1. My Hot Lips salvia is only a shadow of what it was last year but I think I am lucky that it survived our harsh winter. It took a long time for it to come back.
2. The second photo shows the blue agastache, plumbago leadwort (also blue), Drift Rose, White Snake Root, and Tall Verbena in the background.
3. I have a Joe Pye Weed plant that is over six feet tall. It is blooming now and the bumblebees and honey bees love it.
4. I have a rudbeckia plant that has just been beautiful. It started blooming the first week in July and is still full of blooms.
5. I have a White Snake Root plant that has blooms almost identical to the Joe Pye Weed. The difference is in the height of the two plants. The White Snake Root is only about 3 feet tall.

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Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Congratulations Marilyn on the new great grand baby!!! I know Ryan is excited. You know Marilyn our kids and grandkids may not live their life the way we would chose to live ours. But when they are grown they have a right to live their life the way they choose. But they still need our love and support. Don't let disappointment in their lifestyle drive a wedge in your relationship.

Your flowers are really coming along. I'm like you it's really felt like fall this week. Really strange weather this year. But I'm not complaining! Love all the rain and cooler temps.

Northeast, LA(Zone 8a)

Thanks for the new thread Marilyn. Love love your flowers. You have had some beautiful blooms this year. It has been a little cooler here this week, mostly noticeable around 6 in the evening. During the day we are still hot, although lower than normal temps. We are getting some much needed rain right now.

I have had grands all week but they have been good. The boys have had a ball jumping on the big round hay bales, seeing the new calves,and driving the golf cart. They are 6 and 8 and were grounded from the golf cart yesterday when they decided to go a quarter mile down the road to our other hay bales. I guess they looked like more fun. I am going to let them paint today. They told me they sure hoped I never die cause I was so much more funner. Ha! I guess that is the ultimate compliment from a couple little boys. It is a special time when cousins can spend the whole week together. I can remember spending weeks with my first cousin growing up since she was an only child. I loved it at her house because of all the special attention and she loved it at my house because there were 4 kids plus a neighborhood full. Her mother was such a neurotic and at my house she got to be a normal dirty kid. Luke comes home from 4 h camp today can't wait to hear all about it. They are not allowed to call home all week. Josh and Ashley come home tonight from Jamaica.

Elaine glad you got some of that special time too. Sandra oh my goodness 4 hrs. Sound like my trips to Dirt Cheap with the grands. I know you are proud of Amanda and Cayla . Boy I bet the teachers and students are really going to be shocked when they see Amanda.. You look like you have dropped some weight yourself. I have been on a diet several months. And lost a few lbs very few.!!!
Heading out to paint had hoped to go garage selling but it is raining. I made this piece out of a fish tank bottom. It had no back , bottom , top or shelf.

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Ripley, MS

Thanks Cindy, Amanda started losing last Oct, so she had lost quite a bit when school was out, but she was still wearing some baggy clothes that she bought around Feb. she was determined she would lose more and would not buy much stuff on her way to thin. She went to school Tues to help pass out schedules to some of the Hogh School kids and they all were commenting on how good she looked. She said one of the kids she was talking to was there with his Dad who is another teacher there, she asked him to go get his Dad to help her out a few minutes. She just wanted him to guard the laptop she was using while she went to the rest room. When she came back she said the man was just laughing when she walked up to her table. She said the boy told his Dad that Ms Umberburger needed him, and he needed to go see her cause she didn't look like Ms Umberger !!
Cayla is over 50 now, not sure of the exact number.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch--when I went to the doc in April, my AIC was 7.6-the doc doubled my metformin which put me at the max dosage. He also changed my night time med. I hate taking all that medicine--2,000 mg of metformin every day ! So I decided to act like an adult and try to get it in control. I went back Tues and have lost 13 pounds, and my A1C was 6.6
I need to drop 20 more and hope to do that by Dec when I go back

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

Charlotte, I never say anything negative to my grandkids about how they live their lives. I just let them know that I love them and I always, always pray for them. :)

Cindy: what fun with the grandkids! :D What a beautiful job you did with that piece you made from the fish tank bottom! Amazing!

Sandra: congrats to Cayla, too, and to you on the weight loss! I need to lose 10 lbs myself--it has crept up on me the last few months. :(

Well, I wonder how Genna and her family are enjoying their whirlwind vacation?? They should be home in a day or two. I am looking forward to hearing her report of their adventures.

More photos from my flowerbed: 1. hibiscus 2. Tall verbena from Sandra 3. Surprise Lilies 4. Shasta Daisy 5. Zinnias

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Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Cindy that was the ultimate compliment from your grandson!! I have such fond memories of the time I spent with my cousins at my grandparents. After my cousin lost her daughter last Aug I went down to visit her as we really hadn't had time to visit at the funeral. We hadn't sat down just the two of us and visited for probably 35 years and we talking non stop and it felt like it had just been a few months since we visited like that. I commented on that and she reminded me that we were blood and of all the shared memories we had. I wish my grand kids had been able to have some of those same experiences. Of Jeff being an only child it didn't happen. Kristi has one sister and she has 4 kids but they have always lived so far apart. They know their cousins but visits together have been few and far between. Jeff had a cousin that was less than a year younger than him. They both spent a lot of time at my exhusband's parents. Jeff would take care of her when he was less than 2 years old! When she started crying he would go to the fridge and get her bottle and give to her. He would hold her hand when they were outside. It was so cute!

Sandra that a lot of weight Amanda and Cayla have lost! I know they are proud too! They should be. Sandra I think it gets harder to lose weight the older we are. So don't get discouraged if you don't lose the 20 lbs you want right away.

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Marilyn I know what you are talking about when Chris' GF, Tori got pregnant I just knew they were gonna get married but they didn't. I figured when Blaidon was born they would get married. Blaidon is now a year old next the 25th of this month and they still aren't married.

It's hard to meet deadlines when they keep changing them. I know your are frustrated Sandra but I see that you have achieved a lot. You lost weight, you look great and your #'s were down. They also didn't have to put you on more medicine.

That is amazing what both the girls have been able to loose!!! I know they have worked hard at it but when I talked to Cayla it sounds like they are doing it right. I think Terrie is addicted to zumba. She goes 2-3 nights a week. Comes home totally drenched from her workout. I tell her to come home and help me in the back yard and I GUARANTEE a good workout!!! LOL!!! Just toting my wheel barrel from the front door to the compost pile behind the fence is around 250-300 ft. one way. Not to mention the actual work in the beds.

Mary went to the Dr. yesterday. The papers were in but Dr. Fort only received the written version of the CT scan so now he has decided to re-do everything. Mary did the CA-125 yesterday and they are scheduling her for the CT-scan. If it shows anything next month then he wants her to go for a biopsy and then decide the course of action the next month. Mary was really upset that it's gonna take all this time to decide. She also got into a wreck yesterday on the way to Dr. Fort's office. She was at a red-light, her foot slipped off the brake and she tried to re-apply it but instead she hit the gas and rammed the back of the car in front of her. They were OK but she said the other car was pretty damaged.

Cindy I know you are enjoying the boys!!! That is quite a compliment, that you are funner!!! Jimmy and his friends would play hide and seek after dark in the back field with their 4 wheelers and the hay bales. They still talk about how much fun they used to have just goofing off back there.

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

Jeri, I hope Ryan and his girlfriend, Casi, will get married, but who knows? It is their decision, not mine. They have already named the baby (a boy) Chandler Scott Brynell. The baby's mother put a 4D ultrasound photo of Chandler on her FB page a few weeks ago. It was the clearest ultrasound photo I have ever seen and it was a close-up of the baby's face. I swear that baby looks just like Ryan did when he was born!

I can't understand why Mary's doctor is going to wait until the next month to decide the course of action for Mary's treatment. I know it is frustrating for her! It seems he could do that as soon as he gets the results from the tests. I hope her insurance won't be cancelled or won't go up because of the wreck. I'm glad nobody was hurt.

I've been outside finishing up the flower bed on the north side of the house where I have shade plants. I lengthened the bed to extend alongside the new front porch. I bought two fairly large hydrangeas on sale to put in that space and got them planted the other day. Today I put the brick edgers in place. I had already put some cardboard down. We have three tall pines on the side of our yard so hopefully I will be able to rake enough pine needles to cover the new area.

Well, I need to get off here and get outside! Talk to you ladies later. :)

Ripley, MS

Jerry and I had our goofing around day today. He got out of the dentist and felt fine, so we did some shopping. He has been complaining about not having enough Sunday clothes so I insisted he go shopping while we were there. He NEVER likes anything I pick out for him, so I have stopped trying, told him he would have to do his own shopping from now on ! We had a good time, but sure am tired tonight.

Marilyn, that tall verbena is not the prettiest flower in the garden, but it draws the butterflies in, they love it. I have cats all over my fennel and they are stripping it. I had about decided there wasn't going to be any this year. It seemed like they were later than usual. I had a few daylilies blooming this morning on the first day of August. Hard to believe but this has been an unusual growing season. My large tomatoes--all 6 plants are just now starting to ripen. I have been eating grape tomatoes for a couple of weeks now, they are so good.

You all know Cayla wasn't married when she had Eli. It really hurt Jerry for a while, I would have preferred her been married, but I know that only God gives life. She was also on the pill and the OBGYN has threatened to take one of her ovaries as she has ovary cyst problem, can't think of the name right now. Like some of you have said they choose how to live and when they are grown, they are to ones who live with the decisions. Every child born is created by God !
I thank God every day for Eli and can't imagine our lives without him now !

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Trust me they are the one standing before the Lord. I have my own sins to stand up there for. I just wish!!! You didn't tell us if Jerry found any clothes?

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I planted some fennel at my garden spot. I haven't been down in a few days. I need to check it.
It looks like a cat has been after my hardy hibiscus in the front. I looked around and didn't see anything. Something has to be there somewhere the way it looks. It's the first picture if it actually comes out that way! (It didn't! it's the second photo) Had to show you the blooms on my tree hydrangea. They are just amazing. This one is from the one in the front. The tree is covered in blooms and they have weighted the branches way down.

I am so grateful for my grandsons and will be for my great grandchildren if I'm still around when they get around to having kids. Jake is coming this Wed and will stay until the next Wed. We really have a special relationship and I'm so thankful for it.

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Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Jeri we did a cross post!
As the bible says "Judge not that ye not be judged!" You can really get me riled up with that verse. I grew up in a church that preached that all the time yet they were continually doing just that! Very hypocritical I thought even as a teenager. We are not the judge!

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

On another note I just ran across this and thought I would share it. This is a sketch Jeff did recently. He is going to a art group one a week when he can. Most of the people that go are professional artist that just like to get together with other artist. Jeff is the non professional. They hire a live model and he said they spend 30 minutes or so just getting the model in the pose they want and getting the lighting just so. I really encourage him to keep up his art. I think everyone needs a hobby. The place they meet is close to his office which also makes it easy for him. Of course I'm prejudice but I think he's really good. Another reason to keep it up.

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Ripley, MS

Oh Charlotte he is good, that is a wonderful drawing, I am always in awe of people who can draw !

Jeri, we did find him some clothes. He got 4 pair of dress pants and 4 shirts. We only found one short sleeve though. I wanted him to get 2 short and 2 long, but he is so picky he couldn't find but 1 short he liked ! I think he actually got aggravated at himself before we got through, he said he was just tired of fooling with it !!! He got up early and went to First Monday. I told him late yesterday afternoon that I didn't want to go. It got hot here yesterday afternoon. He took my beauty shop "cash" I had in case he finds something, he said if he spent it he would go by the ATM before he comes home. I told him he better I am going Wed. They still have to have cash or check there. He never keeps much cash as he has no need for it working all time.
I don't remember if I told y'all but I bought 11 pounds of okra Wed that I still have in the fridge, I have gotten way behind goofing off this week. If any of you put up okra tell me how you do yours

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

Sorry, Sandra, I don't like okra enough to put it up. LOL You might google "putting up okra" or words to that effect and see what comes up. I have put up some green beans and squash, though. We have had quite a few bell peppers but we have been eating them almost as fast as Al brings them in. We like them cut into rings and just eat them fresh--sort of like potato chips but not fried or cooked in any way. Our tomatoes have been good, too, and we are eating them as Al brings them in. We aren't getting a lot of tomatoes, though, but just enough to eat one a day for each of us. I just cut them into quarters and put them on our plate along with the sliced peppers and whatever else we are having. It sounds like Jerry got some nice "threads".

Charlotte, that sketch is really, really good! I think drawing humans must be the most difficult kind of art to draw. Jeff is to be commended for his efforts! Your hydrangeas are gorgeous!

It's been overcast pretty much all day but no rain. Our current temp on our back porch is 83F which is warmer than it has been the past couple of days but not as hot as it normally is this time of year.

Ripley, MS

Marilyn, don't you know that okra is the new " superfood"--LOL

I plan to slice it and bread it and spread it on a cookie sheet to freeze, then put it in bags for the freezer. I would like to freeze some whole to makes boiled okra, I love it both ways.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Sandra that's how I freeze okra. I love it. It's the one thing in my garden that is doing good. Some days for lunch I just have a big plate of fried okra. One thing I can do is make good fried okra. I like to put it in soup. I do cut mine up and then just put it in zip loc bags and freeze for soup. I have a friend that blanches then breads squash and spreads on a cookie sheet and freezes then bags up. I tried that and the squash was not crisp enough when I fried it. So will not do that again. I don't bother to freeze anything but what I might eat. I do have a bunch of frozen blueberries and black berries I picked this year.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I have to show you one more piece of art. Jake was in an art show this week and this is one of the pieces he had on exhibit. The mask looking thing on the tree is composed totally of butterflies. Just something he created in his mind.

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Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Jeff and Jake are very talented!!! I'm glad that Jeff decided to take up drawing again after all these years. I know it must bring them both great joy to bring alive the paper the way they do. They have such great detail.

Hope everyone has had a great weekend!!! I'm headed to church by myself. Nobody else has even gotten up. Jimmy is on his 8 days straight this week and Ashley has to work, of course. The water park closes Tue. other than weekends thru Labor Day. I just can not believe that the summer is over already. I'm not ready!!!

Ripley, MS

That is also beautiful, what an great mind to think up such an image!

Got all the new clothes laundered and ready to go. I hate ironing, so I bit the bullet and did everything yesterday afternoon. Judy called last night and wanted me to go pick up some medicine for her after church. She has been sick with a kidney infection the last few days. Then she called this morning and said she has had high fevers all night and is ready to go to the hospital. She wanted me to go on to church first she said she didn't feel like getting a bath right away. I will take my time getting ready, then go on and get her before she changes her mind. It is not unusual for her to have to go to hospital with kidney infection, she has had kidney problems for years and sometimes the oral meds just won't fix it.

Ripley, MS

We cross posted Jeri, is Jim back in Texas ? I had to go all by myself while Jerry was working all those Sundays last year.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I hate ironing too! I keep an ironing board set up in a spare bedroom and just do it as I need to! I hope Judy gets over her kidney infection soon! Sounds like she really has problems with it.

Art gives Jeff and Jake a lot in common. They both love going to art galleries and go at least once a month. Sometimes they will spend a whole day just going to galleries, etc. No one else in the family likes to do that!

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

How creative that piece of art is that Jake did with the butterflies! You said that he is arriving this Wednesday for a week's visit with you, Charlotte. I know you have been there but has he ever been to the Crystal Bridges museum? He would love it!

I hate ironing, too, LOL but it is nothing to iron today's clothes compared to what it was years ago. My mother had a lady come in once a week to clean house and iron. I can remember her fussing about having to iron those "wide-tailed skirts" that we girls wore back during the 50's. Of course, everything was 100% cotton and had to be starched, too. She would sprinkle the clothes with water and then roll them up to "set" while she dusted and vacuumed. Then she would do the ironing in the afternoon. What a difference the fabrics of today make! Ironing is much easier than it used to be, thank goodness!

Sandra, okra may be the new super food but I won't be having it, especially boiled okra. Fried okra is okay but I rarely eat fried food of any kind, except for the occasional serving of french fries. LOL I can remember gagging on that slimy boiled okra (nasty stuff!) when I was a kid. I may have told you all that there was a rule in our house that you had to eat three bites of everything on your plate, even if you didn't like it. Well, liver was number one on my hate-to-eat list, followed by beets and, oh yes, boiled okra! I never cooked any of those three things once I got married and never made my kids eat them, either. My mother was a good and kind woman but she was adamant about us kids eating those three bites of everything on our plate! I actually had the same rule in my house but I never put anything on my kids' plates that I knew they hated or that would make them gag :D except for green peas, that is. Adam, my adopted Pima Indian son, did not like green peas and one time when we had peas, I did insist that he take 3 bites. Some time after supper, I noticed he had a bulge in one of his cheeks. I told him to open his mouth and there they were--the three bites of peas! ROFL He put them in his mouth but he didn't swallow them. I let him spit them out and I don't think I made him eat peas again.

Sandra, I am sorry about Judy's infection? Is it her kidneys or a UTI? Does she drink cranberry juice when she gets an infection? It is supposed to help but cranberries will thin the blood considerably so if she takes a blood thinner she shouldn't drink cranberry juice. Let us know how she is doing, please.

edited for spelling

This message was edited Aug 3, 2014 12:13 PM

Ripley, MS

We are at the ER in New Albany and they are going to scan for a stone. Run blood and urine tests, she is so weak she can barely walk, been in the bed for 4 days.
She thinks she took the stomach virus right after she got her medicine for the kidney infection Thursday. I am afraid she is dehydrated.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Yes Marilyn I took Jake to Crystal Bridges right after it opened. He really enjoyed it. He was my tour guide. He knows his art history and artist. He told me something about every artist we saw. Crystal Bridges is really nice and he did enjoy it but it's kind of a hick art museum compared to what he is used to seeing. Now after seeing the finest art museums in Europe it would really be a small showing for him.

You've mentioned adopting a son before but I never heard you say anything about him recently. I've meant to ask you before but always forget about it. Where is he now?

When Jeff was young and we still lived in El Dorado I had a lady that came and cleaned and ironed every week. The main thing I wanted her to do was iron!! That's how she ironed also. Remember the shakers with a cork stopper we used to put in coke bottles. I still do that now if I have table cloths that need to be ironed or vintage linens I have laundered and need to iron before I sell them (not the cork shaker thing but sprinkle them). I actually put mine in the fridge for several hours or a day. Years ago I actually used to put my damp things in the freezer. Probably because I hadn't gotten around to ironing and didn't want to mold. Yes fabrics have changed!!! Very few things now actually need ironing. I look for wrinkle free fabrics. Richard used to take all his shirts and pants to the cleaners and have them laundered , starched and ironed. I don't do that anymore. I just buy him wrinkle free!

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

That was how my grandmother did it Charlotte. She would sprinkle it, roll it up tight and then put it in the refrigerator before she ironed . I wonder why? There has to be a reason.

Tell Judy I hope she feels better soon!!! Hugs!!! You are a good friend, Sandra!!!

Ripley, MS

My Gunny did it the same way, she used to have granddaddy's carpenter overalls to iron, boy that was rough !

They kept Judy and that is exactly where she needs to be ! Her daughter and granddaughter got there and one of them is going to stay with her. I told them I would come back tomorrow night and stay the night if they needed me to. need to cook something for Jerry and Mammaw and then I can go. Her urine was so high they couldn't read it. She is dehydrated and on the scan they saw inflammation from her diverticulitis.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

My goodness Judy does need to be in the hospital!!

The reason you put damp clothes to be ironed in the refrigerator is the dampness gets very even that way.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Kenny and Jim are having a RU at Jim's on Oct. 4. He has created an event on FB. Marilyn he discovered you are no longer on FB. He is no longer on Dave's. So Marilyn I told him I would let you know about it on this thread. Please confirm that you have seen this.

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Hello all.... ya'll have sure been chatty while I have been gone! After 3600+ miles, 19 states and over 6 hrs driving in Canada, we got home last night (or this morning) at 2:30! I had to be up early to go pick up the dogs at the kennel, but then I came home and collapsed in bed again! LOL Then I got up around lunch time and fixed breakfast and started clothes washing. I also went into town and got a few groceries and did lab at work.

We had an awesome trip. We didn't drive straight thru, but our intention was to get several hrs of driving out of the way on friday evening to make getting close to Niagara possible on Saturday. We were a little late leaving the house on friday, then we went by Alex's to pick up Leigh there. We made the mistake of going to the new chipotle for supper - and that made us even later leaving LR. We made it to a small town name Hayti, MO the first night. But we hit the road fairly early the next day and spent the next night in Hamilton, Ontario Canada. We changed our route at the last minute and went up thru Detroit, Michigan and crossed into Canada there - and we drove across part of Canada. We came into Niagara on Sunday morning and it was the most amazing sight! We all were in awe of it. I am so glad that we made the decision to come in from the Canadian side because it was so beautiful! We spent several hours looking from the Canadian side - and hitting a few of the shops on that side. Then we went to the American side and rode the Maid of the Mist up to the edge of the Falls and then went down in to the Cave of Winds and under the Bridal Vail falls. It was wonderful and the weather was perfect! Then we headed down the road into NY state on our way to Maine. We decided to skip Montreal because we just thought everything was going to be too rushed - and it is a good thing because the next day ALL of New England was covered with torenticial rain. We had barely gotten on the road that morning when we had to route over an hour out of the way because of flooding on the interstate. It rained on us very hard all day and made for a tough day of driving. We had planned to arrive in Bennington, Vermont around noon or shortly after - but thanks to miles and miles of hard rain and the detour, we made it there around 4:30. We had time to go to the pottery that I wanted to see - but the tours were over for the day. We bought a few pieces of pottery and then went to look at 4 of the covered bridges out of 5 that I had hoped to see there. I had also hoped to see Vermont's two longest, but because it was another 40 mile detour, I skipped them. Plus, the weather was still bad, and it was hard to really enjoy the picture taking in the rain. :) But, we ate there in town and continued driving around the rest of Vermont and into New Hampshire. The next morning we got up and went to Freeport Maine. Thankfully, the weather was beautiful again that day and Kyle was able to take his Standup Paddle Boarding class that we had booked at LL Bean - and he had great time. We shopped at some of the outlet stores while he was gone, and shopped some more when he returned. The next day we headed to Boston. Elaine, we did stop and see the Portland Head Light Lighthouse near Port Elizabeth - it was beautiful. We did some hiking on the rocks near the shoreline and looked at some of the old buildings from the old fort, and then headed on to Boston. The traffic was horrendous - but we survived it. We couldn't find a place to park and we were frustrated at the traffic and so we just drove by a few sights that we had wanted to see. Then we decided to skip Plymouth because we were behind schedule. We headed on to Providence RI - mainly because I had never been to RI and I wanted to say I had at least been there. We ate dinner there at a south american restaurant that is very highly rated with very inexpensive prices. It was very good. Then we headed on toward NY city. We ended up spending the night in New Jersey - Thursday morning we parked on the NJ side and rode the path train in to midtown and spent the day seeing all the sights on Jessica's list plus a few extras. Kyle bought a sweater at Saxs on Fifth that was 25% off of an already marked down 75% off which finally got it to a reasonable price. Jessica did some shopping at Macy's which we love! We were exhausted, but got back to our vehicle around 7:30 pm then drove a few miles over to Hoboken, NJ and went to Carlos Bake shop from Cake Boss fame. We were terribly disappointed in their famous canoli's but enjoyed some of the other items that we got. We didn't get out of there until after 9 because we had to wait in line, and then had supper and drove another hour and a half or so down the road toward home. The next day we had more rain to deal with while driving, and a couple of people who almost changed lanes into us that got wayyyy too close for comfort, but thankfully we were safe! We stopped in Nashville at a mall that Jess wanted to go to because it was tax free weekend and we wasted way too much time there. It took forever to get down the exit ramp and into the parking lot of the mall. By that point, we had already wasted a lot of time, but we went in to see what she could find. Kyle picked up a few things at Lucky Outlet while Jess got a sweater at Gap - then we headed back out. Then last night in Jackson, TN, we exited so that we could drive thru the campus of Union University where Jessica is considering applying for pharmacy school........ after that, we ate supper at Chick Filet and were sitting at a stop light with two cars in front of us waiting for the light to turn when all of a sudden we heard all these tires squealing. I looked in my side mirror to see a truck coming toward us sideways - he was driving wayyyyy too fast and I guess saw us at the last minute, slammed on the breaks and was fishtailing and sliding sideways toward us when he went into the left turn lane beside us (barely missing us) and thru the red light! Thank goodness no one was in the turn lane, and the cross streets light had just turned and so he made it all the way thru the intersection without hitting anyone. It was a very busy intersection - and I couldn't believe he got thru it without hitting anyone - then of course, he gunned it and speed off. Then we drove from there to LR and picked up Leigh's car and came on home. It was a late night (or early morning) but it was so nice to sleep in my own bed! Plus, I had already talked to the kennel and they expected me there at 8, so I didn't have much choice but to come on home.

We also got some amazing news while on vacation! We had just walked into Grand Central Station and were admiring it when leigh's cell rang. It was his boss from NLR - and I heard him ask him "Guess what I have for you?"..... Leigh said, "what?" and I heard him say that he had a job offer for a job in CAMDEN for him!! We couldn't believe it! We do not know WHO he will be working for or even exactly what he will be doing. We just know the job title is a comm tech - like he had in Magnolia, but it could be a couple of different types of jobs. But, his boss called to see if he wanted the job! Of course, Leigh said YES! and so he will start whatever the new job is on August 18th! Just two more weeks of driving. It will be 18 mos to the day since he started work in NLR! It has been a very, very long and trying 18 months! But, he has never had the opportunity to work in Camden since he has been with AT&T the past 15 yrs. First he commuted to Hope - which was about an hr away- for about 5 yrs, then 8 yrs driving to Magnolia about 45 min one way and then of course the past 18 months in NLR. The last year driving almost every day for his 5 day work week. It will be nice not to have the constant wear and tear on a vehicle, plus the cost of gas and upkeep..... and it will be nice for him to have the extra time each day to do things he would like to do instead of driving! Praising the Lord for His blessings for sure!!

I have spent way too much time trying to catch up on everyone's posts and let ya'll know we were home safe. Better get to bed!! I have a feeling the alarm will be early tomorrow! :)

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

Whoo, Genna, I am tired just reading about everything you did on your trip! It sounds like you all had a wonderful time, though, and that is what counts. Congrats to Leigh and you on his job! I hope it all works out perfectly for you both. I know it will be a big relief to have him working in Camden after all these years. It's good to have you back home and I thank God for protecting you all in those close calls! PTL!!

Charlotte, thanks for passing along the word about the RU in October. I doubt if we will make it this year because we will just be getting back from our month-long trip in September and I don't think Al and I will be up for more traveling so soon after that. As far as my adopted son goes, the last I heard, he was living in the Conway area. He has been a "wild child" since he was a teen and has been in and out of prison. He is now 44 years old. The last time I had any contact with him was way back 14 or 15 years ago. Buddy gave him a job at that time and we found him a furnished apartment in Conway and paid the first month's rent for him. He had a woman with him whom he had met when he had gone to Texas and it turned out she was addicted to heroin. He spent all the money he made while working for Buddy on this woman's drug addiction. When it came time for the rent to be due for the second month, he couldn't pay it and the landlady evicted them after a couple of weeks. The landlady told me she could hear them fighting all the time and she lived in the house next door! At any rate, he and the woman parted company and I don't know where he went after that but he did wind up back in prison for a time. He is one of those people who can adjust to prison life without any trouble, it seems, and he gets a roof over his head, a bed to sleep in, and 3 meals a day. He knows how to make the prison system work for him. I don't know what he is doing or where he is living now. I do pray for him regularly. We adopted him in Phoenix, AZ, when he was a year old. His mother was an alcoholic whose husband, supposedly Adam's father, was in prison at the time Adam was born. She gave him up for adoption right out of the hospital but he spent a year in a foster home (which was a very good foster home, by the way--we even met his foster parents). We later discovered that he might have suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome which affects the way the brain is "wired". He was a problem child in some ways from the time he was little. He could look at you and tell you the biggest lie in the world and yet you knew all the time he was lying. At the same time, he was a charming little boy and could look at you with those big brown eyes and smile that charming smile and make you believe he was telling the truth. We tried hard to raise him right, but to no avail. :(

Sandra, I am so glad that Judy is where she can be treated for her health issues. Dehydration itself can cause health issues so hopefully they are pumping her full of liquids as well as medication and she will be feeling better very soon! Please tell her we are praying for her.

P.S. Charlotte, I doubt very much that the Walton family would appreciate you calling the Crystal Bridges Museum a hick museum. LOL *big grin* I heard on the news recently that it has been listed as one of the top 10 museums in the U.S. Of course, I'm sure it doesn't hold a candle to those awesome art museums in Europe! Al and I only had time to view the paintings in the colonial area when we were there in June, 2013, but we hope to go back and see the rest of the museum at some point in the future.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Wow, I have a lot to catch up on! I hadn't even marked my spot on this new thread!

Sandra, first of all, I hope your friend Judy is doing better today. You are such a great friend to help take care of her and watch over her like one of your own! What did you end up doing with your okra? I meant to ask you if you liked pickled okra. I had some last weekend that my brother made. His was a wee bit hot but you don't have to make it that way but I do like it with a little heat and a little garlic. I have frozen it, cut, and then just breaded it frozen and fried it or used it in soup. Also have frozen it whole and used it to boil. And congratulations to you, Cayla and Amanda on all the weight loss! Y'all have a lot to brag about!

Got the note about the R/U but we are going on vacation on the 1st out west and will be gone. I'm so bummed about the date because I had really hoped to make the next one!!

Genna, great to hear from you and the run-down on your travels. So glad you had God and his angels watching over you on the trip! Sounds like y'all had a really good time and got to see so much. Even if the rain delayed you and changed up your plans a little bit you still got to see and do almost everything on your list and then some. I'm guessing y'all went to the Opry Mills mall in Nashville from the way it sounds? I wouldn't go there on tax-free weekend no way! There is basically one way in from the main highway and I can imagine it was a zoo. You must have been truly blessed and had to get out of town to receive the blessing of Leigh getting the job offer in Camden! So happy for you all, and it must have made the vacation that much more relaxing and happy for you too!

Marilyn, I was talking with a friend Friday at lunch about her husband's son. They have been estranged for several years due to the son's same kind of problem with drugs and jail. The son's ex-wife has custody of their 3 sons and they try to help them and do see the grandsons quite a bit. They are good boys and doing well now (into their teens) but the Dad is still a deadbeat and on drugs and they don't really know what he's doing. It's heartbreaking and sad but I'm glad they are able to keep a relationship with their grandsons.

I canned tomatoes this weekend and planted some things I dug at my neighbors. They have their house for sale and she is downsizing her huge garden. I could probably dig just about anything I wanted but right now I don't need a lot. I did get some lily of the valley, and some other wildflowers she had (can't even remember all of them now) and I may get a small mahonia and some other things later. It was too hot to do anything much yesterday by the time I got over there.

Charlotte, Jeff is really getting better and better with his art. It's good that he has time now to take more classes and develop his skills. I too think painting faces must be the hardest thing and that you've got to have the ability to do that within you. I've known a lot of people who use art as their 'retirement' job and have made a good living at it.

I too hate to iron, but DH doesn't mind it at all, so whenever I need it, he irons a thing or two for me. I do it when I have to but I sure don't like it. My mother used to do the same thing with her weekly ironing - roll it up tight and put it in a bag in the refrigerator until she had the time to do it later in the day. Usually when she was watching her 'stories'.

Marilyn, your flowers are just beautiful. My Hot Lips was pretty earlier too and it's big, but the blooms have almost stopped. I fertilized it and it put out a few more but nothing like the earlier blooms.

Jeri, how are y'all holding up? I can't believe Mary has had to wait and wait. Doesn't seem right but what can you do?

This message was edited Aug 4, 2014 11:50 AM

This message was edited Aug 4, 2014 11:51 AM

Ripley, MS

Yes, they started fluids on Judy almost immediately after her blood work came back. I talked to her daughter about 9 last night and she said she was still in a lot of pain.

Elaine, the okra is still in the fridge, I used part of it and made a little pot of soup Sat, let it simmer while I ironed. I am going to fix it up today and cook some chicken and dumplings, then have to run to Ripley to get Jerry's Moms medicine. Then I will go spend the night with Judy is Morgan wants to go home. Y'all are sweet to comment on me being a good friend, Judy has always been a good friend to me too. We have been friends for all of Cayla's life and a couple of years before that, so it is more like we are sisters than just friends. When Pats car went dead the second time last Monday, she said, where is Judy today?... I said I don't know and I don't know her number either!!!! Having cell phones with names has ruined us from remembering numbers. My phone was locked in the truck !!!
Genna, glad you enjoyed your trip. I went through the Union campus with Tommy a few years ago, I rode to Jackson with him to meet someone and he wanted to visit the campus. he spent part of his college years there. PRAISE GOD for the new job !!!!!!
Better get busy !

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Genna glad you all made it back from your trip safely! You did cover a lot of ground in a short period of time. I've been all those places you mentioned but in 4 or 5 different trips!!! I went to an outlet mall in Maine. May have been the same place you went to. I told you Boston traffic was horrible! We caught a cab to the airport and rented a car at the airport and drove up the coast. Just getting out of town from the airport was horrible. You just can't get around in big cities in a car. Glad Leigh is going to be able to work in Camden. I don't know how he has made that drive every day for a year.

Marilyn I'm sorry things turned out the way they did with your adopted son.

Yes Elaine that's one reason I keep encouraging him to stay with his art. Now that all the boys will be gone this fall he will have more time. There seem to be lots of opportunities for lessons or to meet with groups where he is.

Marilyn "hick" was probably a poor choice of words! I don't mean that it's not a wonderful museum. I was certainly impressed with it. Most of the art is by american artist and fairly recent artist. He is used to going to a couple of art museum in San Francisco probably once a month. They bring in new collections for short term shows on a regular basis. He and Jeff also go down to Los Angeles every so often to see the art museum down there. I was very impressed with the building and the art but he was hoping to see more rare type painting. There was one painting by I believe it was Mary Cassatt. He said it must have been included because she was from the US but later went to Europe and did most of work there. The painting at Crystal Bridges was from her early period and a lesser known piece of hers. He was really excited to go there. He was just a little disappointed in the type of art it had. He also grown up going to art museums. He went to his first ones in Belgium and Holland when he was 6 months old. One of his roommates at college had to go to an art museum for some project he was working on in college. Jeff brought him home with him and took him to the museum in San Francisco. The kid lives in Los Angeles. Jake just couldn't believe he had never been to one before. He grew up thinking that that was just something you did. Jeff has always loved art museums and has always taken Jake with him.

Elaine as the twins have gotten older they have really gotten into how they dress. Both of them wear a lot a regular button up the front shirts which they actually iron. One of the things I got each of them for college was a nice iron. They were thrilled to get it!! LOL

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Genna TG!!! Yall are home safe!!! I wish I had known Yall were going to Michigan. Frankingmuth, Mi is not very far from Detroit. It's the neatest town and I could spend days in the Christmas store.

Frankingmuth, Mi

World's largest Christmas store

Sandra I'm glad they kept Judy. Sounds like she was in really bad shape. I hate that she is in so much pain!!!

Marilyn I didn't know that you had adopted a son either!!! I'm sorry that he chose the same path his biological dad did but I know that you and Buddy raised him right and the choices were his. I see the hereditary traits in Ashley from her mom and she never knew her.

We're doing good Elaine!!! Yes, it is quite frustrating for Mary and she was ready to go into orbit when I asked her if she trust Dr. Fort and she said YES so we have to trust him!!! He has gotten her this far with a Stage 4 Ovarian cancer diagnoses in 2008.

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Sandra,sorry to hear that Judy is still in pain! I was hoping they could take care of that once they got her in the hospital! Hope by now she is doing better.

Jeri, it might be a good thing we didn't know about that place! LOL .... looks like a place where we could blow several hours! I do know that Dearborn, MI has a really neat place that was developed by Henry Ford. It has all types of cabins/ houses, etc that he brought in from all over the US that were of historical significance. Leigh went there once probably close to 20 yrs ago when he and another gentlemen had to attend a training class up that way. He said he wanted us to go there if we ever got close, but there just weren't enough hours to work it in this time around. If you get back that way, you might check it out if you haven't already been there. I know they have the house where the Wright bros grew up and things like that. Plus a museum with all types of neat inventions in it. We would have done a lot better to have had one or two more days, but I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to go. We always travel with an ice chest. We eat breakfast at the hotel if offered, then stop along the way for sandwiches from luncheon meat that we carry with us along with a box of snacks, etc. Then we usually eat out for dinner. I have grown to love our road side stops at various roadside parks along the way............ the kids still talk about this place or that where we have stopped before, so I think it will be a fond memory for them down the road. We didn't have any fussing, or anything along the way. It was really a great trip for everyone - and we made some awesome memories. I simply love road trips - although with more time we would have spent more time on the back roads than we did and gotten to see more of the true feel of the states. We did venture off in some places and always enjoyed the sights when we did, but even from the interstate, we saw some beautiful scenery. Along the way, we saw the world's largest revolving globe, the world's largest chocolate moose, and the world's largest bean boot. There were several other things that were onlys or largest, but I can't remember them all. None of them of major significance - just little fun things that added to the trip.

Elaine, you are right about it being Opry Mills Mall and it was a nightmare! Inside and out! Inside I said the crowds were worse than when we were in midtown in NY city!!

Marilyn, I am so sorry to hear about your adopted son. I don't think I knew you had adopted a son until now. I am sorry to hear the path he chose - but I can totally relate. My brother and his wife adopted a boy who was 6 and had their share of problems with him. At one point when he was a teen, he came very close to beating my brother to death, and my SIL was so scared of him that she wouldn't call the police! He has two kids here in town and my brother and SIL are having to raise them. My brother just turned 67 on Monday, so it is a little rough to be raising elementary age kids at this point, but they keep them almost 100% of the time even though they do not have legal custody. My nephew moved to Colorado with some girl he met here in town - I believe her parents were living out there. He has been gone probably 4 years now........... I don't think he has been back a single time since he left. I know my SIL went out there a couple of years ago to visit him, but since they don't really talk to me anymore, I am not sure what conditions she found when she got there. It is a sad situation, because my brother owns a business here in town, and he could have just simply took it and ran it and had a decent living, but he wouldn't do so. The pictures you posted of your flowers are beautiful! It was 72 and 75 here a couple of days last week while we were gone....and although we had mowed the yard just before we left, it looked like a jungle when we got home. Leigh mowed all the yard again yesterday and I tried to get a few weeds and grass out of the beds - but didn't get finished.

Jeri - can't believe that Ashley is going to be a senior!! Time flies by......... It is amazing as well how many wired tendencies we have that is in our DNA. Kyle is so much like my youngest brother in some of his manurisms etc, but my brother has always lived off and he only saw him a couple of times a year. He hasn't seen him at all since 2002 when my Mom died - and yet, he still does some things exactly like him. Thankfully, in a lot of ways he is also a lot different from him! It sure seems that Mary has to do a LOT of waiting! Meanwhile, we can just keep praying that the dr in philly gave her a false alarm and that this new CT will reveal that she is still cancer free!

I got the FB message about the RU as well and I was almost in tears when I realized I wouldn't be able to attend either. I am SO READY to see everyone, but that is Tiger Tunes/Homecoming weekend at OBU. Jessica will be in Tiger Tunes again, and possibly Kyle, and Maddie (Kyle's fiance) is one of the Tiger Tunes Hostesses so I HAVE to be there....... there is no way I can get out of that one. :(

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

I meant to tell y'all, I found a 12" rattlesnake sunning itself on one of our back gates yesterday! It was the first time ever we have seen a rattler on our property and I hope it's the last, but we have to wonder if mama is around. Earl shot it with rat shot. I was out wandering looking at trees along the perimeter. We have a path Earl cut near the back of the yard that goes up to the barn and he had put a cattle gate across it but it stays open these days. I walked thru it and about halfway up to the barn just looking around and turned around and came back. I saw it but it's head was on the other side of the gate. I first thought it was a rat snake (we have plenty of those) and then I bent and saw a couple of tiny rattles, went around to the other side and saw his head and he stuck out his tongue. I went to get the gun and the rest, as they say, is history and so is the snake. They don't freak me out, as I grew up seeing plenty of them when I was a kid but I do highly respect them. We have had loads of black snakes and king snakes but I haven't seen a single one this year so I have to wonder where they are. They always keep the rattlers away. Hmmmm....

Sandra, so sorry Judy is still in pain. Hope they can give her some relief soon.

Well, shoot, Marilyn, Genna and I can't come. Are we going to have to schedule another get-together so we can all come?

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

Good idea, Elaine! I vote for that! LOL

Maybe the baby rattlesnake's mama ate the king snakes and black snakes instead of the other way around??? I killed a baby copperhead that was also about 13" long on our back patio when we lived in the Conway area. We lived on 16 acres about 6 of which was heavily wooded and abounded with lots of rocks. It was no surprise to find a copperhead on the patio but I chopped its head off with a shovel that was propped nearby against the house. We saw more than one copperhead as well as water moccasins when we lived there. Ack!! I have no qualms about killing a poisonous snake, especially during that time when we had several grandchildren who were under the age of 6 and would visit frequently.

Sandra, it would seem to me that they should be giving Judy something for her pain. It's been a long, long time since I have had a UTI but I certainly know the pain and burning sensation that one of those can cause! I really feel for her! You and Judy have been friends for such a long time that it is no wonder that you are more like sisters!

About my adopted son: I gave him over to God a long time ago so I don't worry about him anymore and I rarely think about him. That may sound harsh but if I start worrying about him then that would mean that I have taken him back from God. I can't do anything for Adam except pray that his eyes of spiritual understanding will be opened and that is what I do. The rest is up to Adam and to God. There is no need in me talking about him because I have nothing more to say. I don't know where he is or what he is doing, but God does and He is the One who counts. I do thank you each for your words of concern, though. :) From what a couple of you have said, it seems that there is more than one of us who can relate to my situation with Adam. Before we adopted Adam, I believed that environment alone had the biggest influence on a person's life but I no longer believe that. I now believe that a good environment can certainly help to shape a person's character for the good but that ultimately, DNA plays the biggest part. That's just my personal opinion, though, for what it's worth.

I have to go get supper out of the oven. You ladies have a good evening!

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Been there Genna and it was amazing!!! We saw the bus that Rosa Parker refused to give up her seat. The Oscar Meyer wiener car, a whole drive- inn theater, whole trains, everything that you could imagine. You were wise to not stop b/c there is so much to see. Henry Ford's home is also a nice place to tour.

I hate snakes Elaine and I really hate the deadly ones!!! I'm glad you got it but I'm sure there are more small ones around too so be careful!!

When Becca had kidney stones while pregnant with Peyton the Dr. told us it was b/c she dehydrated so watch Judy for that happening.

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Cross posted with you Marilyn. They say the sins of the father are passed to the children. Maybe that is what that means!!!

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