December: Tis the season!

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

I don't know how I managed to get appointed the "changer of the thread" but it seems to have fallen to me to do it. I will not be insulted if anyone else wants to do it. Please feel free. :D In the meantime, here is the new thread for December:

I will post this photo of the ceramic Christmas Tree which belonged to my mother. It is a now a cherished heirloom and I display it every year during the Christmas season.
this photo is from last year.

What are some of your favorite Christmas memories? I remember the yummy divinity my mother always made just before Christmas. It was the only time of year that she made divinity. I remember the fun of decorating our fresh Christmas tree, playing Christmas music on the record player and drinking cocoa and eating fresh-baked cookies after the tree was completely decorated. So many pleasant memories for me! I had a truly delightful childhood. We were not rich, by any means, but there was lots of love to go around.

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Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

I am too far behind to comment on everything in the last posts of the November thread. We spent Thanksgiving week in Page, AZ where Al's brother, Don, has a vacation home. Al's sister, Jeanne and her husband (also named Al) were there, too. We spent a lot of time visiting different places in southern Utah in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument which covers thousands of acres. We went to a place called the The Toadstools and to other areas. There is no way you can see the whole area in just a few days. The scenery is amazing--it is starkly beautiful but mostly red and brown--not at all like the lush beautiful scenery I am accustomed to seeing in southern Missouri and in Arkansas. Here are a few photos:

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Starkville, MS(Zone 8a)

Thanks for updating the threat, Marsue.


Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

You are welcome, Ken. :)

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Wonderful pictures Marilyn!!! Thanks for starting the new threads for us!!! I love the Christmas tree. I have one too.

Elaine the Hilton was centrally located for us. We were about 5 blocks from Central Park and about 3 from Radio City Music Hall and then about 8 to 10 from Time Square. We could catch the subway at 50th and 7th and I was really getting the hang of maneuvering when we left. My advise is hang on b/c I was talking the 1st trip and landed on about 3 men's lap. I still haven't lived that one down yet. LOL!!! I was the only grandma so now instead of my 5 grands I have about 10 more. Talk about make you feel old. Our only complaint was you never knew how long the elevators in the Hilton would take but that may have been due to 1300 girls that we traveled with had the same schedules. Take some Tony's with you. They don't use a lot of seasoning. Our favorite restaurant was Ellen's Stardust was between us and Time Square.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Marilyn, we also went to the Toadstools. The scenary out there is truly amazing. Loved it. Can't wait to hear more about your trip.

Thanks, Jeri. I thought it was more central but really hadn't looked it up. I may try to take my DGD up there some time. Hopefully not when there are 1300 other girls there, lol!

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

Jeri, don't you just love NYC!! Buddy and I went there twice==for my 60th birthday in Dec. 2001 and I loved it so much we went back the next year, also in December. Al has done a lot of travelling but he has never visited NYC so we may plan a trip there sometime in the future. This time I would like to go back in May or June.

Elaine, the scenery in Utah is indeed amazing but I wouldn't want to live there full time. I prefer the lush green scenery here in southern Missouri and in Arkansas where I grew up. :) Still, I am glad I have had the opportunity to visit there.

We bought me an Ipad for my birthday and Christmas presents this year. Got it at Best Buy on the way home from our trip on Monday. On Tuesday, I was downloading a book on Ipad Air 101 and the thing went dark. I can't get it to come back on so we are headed to the Best Buy store in Branson this morning. I will check in with you ladies later. Have a blessed day!

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Hello All!
Glad to hear everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We went to my sister's for lunch. Alex came down on Wednesday night and spend the night. It was WONDERFUL! I miss him SO much! He had not been home all year except for one day in March during Spring break, we always go see him because his schedule is so crazy! I can't tell you how excited our little dogs were to see him! Of course, our Rottie, Ace, was excited too but that was because he brought our granddog Joanie with him. Natalie didn't come because she went to her Mom's on Wednesday and then on to her grandparents house in North Arkansas for Thursday and part of Friday I think. Alex went back home Thursday afternoon after lunch because he is busy studying for his next big national test. I hated for them to go different directions - but last year Natalie had came to my neice's for Thanksgiving and Alex couldn't spend 3 days away from home. Plus, they couldn't take the dog to her grandparents - so for this year, I guess it worked. His birthday was the Monday before Thanksgiving - he turned 27...... and one of his friends from HS had a little boy born that same day!

Kyle turned 22 yesterday and we have one month til the wedding on January 3. Jess had a HS classmate that committed suicide last Friday - and so we have been dealing with that. I went to visitation on Tuesday and she and I went to the funeral yesterday. Today, we are headed to HS for her first followup appt with the new endocrinologist. This weekend, I am planning to be at Kim's for the Christmas get together and then Sunday we have Kyle and Maddie's shower at our church. Sometimes I have a hard time grasping that little boy that came to my very first DG Roundup with me is getting married!! :) I am not sure WHEN I am supposed to get my house cleaned up between now and Sunday. I have several boxes out because we are about 2/3 finished decorating the tree, but I don't have any other decorations up. Hopefully I can get it decent in case Maddie's family stops by here!!! They have never been to our home so I sure don't want it to look like a mess. I also have a ton of stuff on my front porch - pots of plants, pots of dead plants now that it has frozen, etc that needs to be cleaned up. Just not enough hours in the day. I have been putting in long hours at work and coming home late and by the time I get supper done and cleaned up there doesn't seem to be time for much else.

I hate to hear that Cayla is still having so much trouble. I hope this new MRI today helps them figure out the problem.

Elaine, I sure hope Kyle gets an interview at UAB. I know it will be a long shot - but I feel like if he can make it to the interview stage that he will stand a good shot. We submitted his secondary on 11/14 while he was in Galveston for his interview there but I don't know how long it will be before he hears anything - or if he will. He really liked the school at Galveston and he thought the interviews went great.

We also learned that we probably messed up by not having Jess apply early to UAMS for next year! She didn't think her score was high enough, but her friend only made one point higher and has a gpa less than Jessica's and was accepted for Fall. :( Oh well, she can still apply, but I think she would have stood a better shot with the early applications. I do think she is going to go ahead and apply and see what happens. But she will have to do some juggling to pick up a mandatory course that she was planning to take next Fall - she will have to have it before then to get in.

I can't believe it is December already - and something tells me this next month is going to FLY by!! ^_^ We have MOST of the decorations ready for the rehearsal dinner but I need fabric for toppers and still trying to round up some more cast iron to serve in. Plus, we are still trying to decide on place settings - like the type of forks, plates, glasses. I had planned to use bamboo plates to go with our wood/cast iron theme,.... but Kyle didn't want to use the wooden forks/spoons, so now I am torn about using the stainless looking plastic with bamboo plates. What do ya'll think? And, we had planned to borrow pint mason jars for glasses from a family friend who just had about 250 of them for a wedding...... but I am not sure the mason jar, bamboo plate and silver colored forks will look cohesive on the table or just look like I threw stuff out there! I am NOT a decorator, so I will ask ya'll opinion. At this point, any of the 3 - plates, silverware or glasses can be changed - but I hope to have it bought by this weekend at the latest. I would like to stick with the jars for glasses because they are free.... but I don't have to. We are having BBQ if that helps. I also wondered about using the really heavy clear plasticware instead of the silver colored...... Suggestions appreciated! :)

I sure wish everyone was able to come to Kim's! It seems like it has been way too long since I have seen everyone. Hope everyone has a great day! I need to get ready to head to Hot Springs! big hugs to everyone!

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Genna, why don't you try out a 'place setting' to see how it looks? I know my DIL, who can throw together some things really cheaply (I call her 'Martha Stewart, Jr') uses burlap a lot on her tables. She buys it by the yard really cheaply and uses rustic things with it and it looks great. Then use the burlap-type ribbon to tie everything together on some of the other decorations. And I wouldn't stress at all about using real forks (stainless) or stain-less look plastic with mason jars. Most people will just be happy to have something to eat with. I don't know exactly what you mean by bamboo plates. It sounds a little 'asian' to me but maybe if you could describe it or have a photo.

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

Elaine has a good idea, Genna, about trying out the place setting to see how it looks. Her suggestion for burlap is also a good one. I wouldn't stress over it too much. If it is going to be casual everybody will relax and have a good time no matter what you decide to use. :) I was at that RU when Jessi and Kyle came with you. It does seem impossible that he is ready for marriage and that all of your kids have grown up!

We went to Best Buy in Branson--would you believe the Geek guy turned it on first thing?? LOL It seems there is a "button" on the very top that nobody told me about that locks it even though it is still on. that keeps anyone else from getting into it if I am away from it but it also makes the screen dark. It also uses less energy. It will also turn it completely off if held down for a few seconds. Why didn't the Geek squad at the Springfield store point that out to me????? I must have touched it without knowing about it and locked it. Anyway, not only did this Geek show me about it but he also replaced the screen shield which had some bubbles in it. All free of charge of course! :D While in Branson, I went to Kohl's and exchanged a sweater I had bought about 4 weeks ago which was too large. I don't usually try on things in the store--hate to do that--so I did not know until I got home with it that it was too large. All is well. :D

I won't be able to make it to Kim's this week-end but I know everyone who attends will have a great time! I will look forward to us all getting together in the spring. I have already bought a door prize! LOL

This message was edited Dec 4, 2014 5:45 PM

Ripley, MS

Marilyn, you will get the hang of it ! I haven't seen an air or even fooled with one so I have no idea if it is like mine but on mine if you hold down the top button and press the home key at the same time it will come back if it seems "frozen"

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

The bamboo plates are supposed to break down a lot faster and is more biodegradeable. My SIL saw them at a rehearsal dinner in Alabama in fact a few months back and just thought i had to use them because they were so different! They would tie well to the wood and cast iron that i am using for the decor......

This is a link to a bamboo leaf plate - I don't particularly like this picture but I can't find the ones I was looking at earlier - but I am somewhat concerned about eating bbq off this plate.

The actual bamboo plate is sealed and my sil actually ate BBQ off of it and said it did fine. The true bamboo and not the leaf ones can even be washed a reused a few times but is really meant to be a one time plate.
Kyle just happens to like the shape of the square ones better - but I can't find the true bamboo in square. I have found locations I can buy larger quantities for less per plate than this.

My sil also told me tonight that she had a friend that went to the dollar tree and bought plain white plates for 1 each and used them at their dinner...... that might work too. I hadn't even thought about that!

I ended up buying 7 yds of burlap tonight that is 58" wide and I will split that down the middle to make square toppers. I am just going to run a stitch around the edge about 1" - 1 1/2 in and fray the edges to there. I have some burlap ribbon already - but might have to pick up some more.

I did think about the fake silverware more last night and realized that it really doesn't matter whether you eat at a bbq joint or an upscale restaurant the silverware is all the same color. I think I was just overthinking it. Not having the decorator gene - it makes me nervous when I start planning things to put together! LOL I appreciate ya'lls input.

Marilyn, seems like just a few months ago we had that roundup at Deborahs - or at least it does to me! Time just flies!!! And something tells me this month is going to be at an even faster pace. But, for once I have almost everything bought and almost everything wrapped. I am way ahead of the game in that dept - now if I can just get the rehearsal dinner finished up I will be in good shape! :)

Thanks again everyone for your help!

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

My SIL also has 48 Havana faux napkins (polyester) from her son's rehearsal dinner last December - so I am going to borrow those and probably buy another dozen and that will take care of the napkins. So I am slowly getting there!

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Ah, Genna, I get the bamboo plate thing now! Never heard of those, but they are cool and I think they will look good with the burlap, cast iron and wood theme. Are you also mixing her colors with everything? A friend has had two grand-kids get married recently and both had fairly rustic themes. One used burlap bows and ribbon streamers on lanterns which looked really nice and carried the colored ribbon with burlap thru on other decorations. Looked really nice. Same with the flowers, which were very casual bouquets and candles similar to what you are doing.

Marilyn, glad you got your iPad figured out!

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I've been busy this week. I got another big shipment of stuff in yesterday and spent the whole day unpacking it. Lot's of big stuff this time. I've got to go back this morning and spend the day pricing and putting it all together.

Jeff is coming next Wed for a short visit. He has a late afternoon meeting in Monroe next Thursday so he is flying into LR late Wed and will spend the night and then drive to Monroe and back Thursday and fly back home late Sat morning. So glad he's getting to come home some now that he is traveling more.

Genna the burlap always works. It's the big hot thing now. They put burlap on everything now. Pictures are matted with burlap, lampshades with burlap, table runners out of burlap, burlap flower magnets........

Marilyn you'll get the hang of the ipad. I like mine but actually prefer using my laptop for most things I do. I do like to read on it and use the Kindle app for my books. I keep it on my nightstand and mainly use it to read on and just browse the internet. So many of the things I do I need to do on a lap top. Not sure what you mean about air... but I have an air printer and can print from my ipad to it. I can also print from my iphone to my printer. But the problem is I can't adjust the size, etc of what I'm printing through my ipad so unless it's just something I want a copy of it doesn't do me any good. I also use a lot of online wholesale sites and they don't fully function on an ipad. It's very frustrating trying to order using the ipad so I stick with my laptop.

I got a new lap top sometime back and it actually functions a lot like the ipad. It has a touch screen and you cut and paste the same way you do with the ipad. A lot of other functions are a lot like the ipad. I can also use the Kindle app on it. I do a lot of typing so I like a full keyboard. Of course you can buy a keyboard to use with an ipad.

We also went through the part of Utah you were in. Like you said it's all very pretty but I wouldn't want to live there. Bryce was my favorite part as far as scenery. There was also lots of trees in that area.

Sandra is it today that Cayla goes back to the doctor?

Marilyn asked about Christmas memories. One of mine is going down to our farm every year and cutting down a cedar tree. We had lots of cedar trees growing for some reason. When my mother died on the 13th of Dec my brother was at the farm cutting down a tree when I called to tell him she had died. Jeff and his family have a fresh tree every year also. They always go into the mountains and cut a tree down at a Christmas tree farm. This year Justin and Clint's girlfriends went with them. I don't remember them ever having an artificial tree. Richard and I bought live trees for several years (he was the one that wanted a live tree) until I finally figured out he was highly allergic to it!! The last year we had a live tree I actually finally put it on a sheet and drug it from the den across the foyer into the living room and shut it up! He started getting much better as soon as I did that. Now I don't even put up a tree!! I really don't miss it. I would if I had lots of people over during the holidays like I used to. But not putting all that stuff up makes for a lot less stressful Dec!

This message was edited Dec 5, 2014 9:48 AM

Ripley, MS

I agree on the not decorating, Amanda is hosting our Christmas get together this year if we can work out a date everyone can come.

Cayla had her MRIs yesterday and doesn't have anything else scheduled until the 23 to see the pain doc. I have come home to stay, I tried to get her and Eli to come with me but she didn't want to. I know she still needs my help, but I can't stay there always, I have a very lonesome and tired husband here that needs me too. I told her I would come and get her anytime she wanted me to. I hope his Mom will help her some as she has been very helpful so far.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Sandra I certainly understand you going home. Like you said you can't stay there forever. You have your own life you've got to take care of also. What about Mrs. Mills? I haven't heard you say anything about her lately.

Ripley, MS

Mammaw is feeling better and sleeping better, but she is very weak. She goes to the bathroom on her walker and her legs are jerking so bad on that short distance. They are still staying with her all the time.
The results of Cayla's MRIs showed nodules and lesions, in her spine and brain. Dr Lori told her she had no idea what that meant. She said it is highly irregular. They went to Memphis and got the disk or the brain MRI that was done there before Cayla even woke up to compare them.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

That doesn't sound good! Hopefully they can start getting to the bottom of her problem. Glad that they are finally actually trying to find out what is causing the pain.

Wonder if there is some kind of home care that Mrs. Mills would qualify for. I've been checking into those kind of things. I'm going to have to pay for it but I'm having someone come in from 12 noon until 6 pm while I'm going to CA and stay with Richard. I'm only going to be gone 3 nights and 4 days. His daughter can also check on him at night. The company I'm using was recommended to me by a friend that has used them for her parents. Hope Richard likes them. They will send the person they plan to have stay with him over to meet him before hand. She said if for some reason he just really doesn't like that person they will send another one for him to meet and check out. Then they will put a lock box on the front door so they can get in without having to rely on him to let them in. I've just had a lady bring him dinner every night before. I decided it would be better to have someone with him for more of the day. I thought they could keep him company and it not seem so lonely for him and keep his tv straighten out for him and do some other things. They will actually do things around the house if I want.

Ripley, MS

I don't think her kids would ever want to do that. I am surprised that Glenda has not approached her about moving in with her, she wanted her to do that even before she bought over here, 4 years ago. Glenda lives an hour and a half away, but she doesn't have a job. She has been staying through the week and Jerry and Cathy take the weekends.
Sounds like that would be great for Richard for while you are gone.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Seems that at his point it would be much easier on Glenda for Mrs. Mills to move in with her. I can see her living alone but close to you and Jerry when she could still do for herself but if Glenda is spending the whole week with her I'm sure that's hard on her and her husband.

I'm trying to figure this all out. There are times when I'm going to need someone to stay with him while I do things. We do have to take care of ourselves also. He is fine to leave alone during the day now but I'm sure there is going to come a time when I'll need someone that can come over from time to time.

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

Charlotte, I know the Lord will give you the wisdom to make the decisions you will need to make both now and in the future for Richard's care. Dealing with someone with Alzheimer's is a 24/7 effort but you are correct in saying that you have to take care of yourself, too.

The Ipad Air is just the name of my particular version of the ipad. They have now come out with an Ipad Air 2. Like the Iphone, they are constantly upgrading the Ipad. My Iphone is the 3G version. I have had it for 3 1/2 years and it still works fine and takes good photos, too. I paid 49.00 for it after the Iphone 4 came out. :D Now, instead of upgrading my Iphone, I decided to try out the Ipad.

I am sure I will soon be using my Ipad like an old pro. LOL I just have not had much time to spend on it this week--I have had activities at church and also I have been working on getting the house decorated for Christmas. I enjoy all of the decorations so I keep putting them out every year in spite of the time and effort involved. However, I can certainly understand why some of you don't put up a tree anymore. I didn't have a tree the year Buddy died and I missed not having one but most of all I missed not having my hubby to enjoy it with. Now I have Al and he enjoys all the decorations as much as I do and he pitches in to help me, which makes a huge difference. I know the reason for the season is Jesus and I never forget it. One of these years I am going to have nothing but Chrismon ornaments on my tree but for now the others will have to do.

This message was edited Dec 6, 2014 10:22 AM

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Marilyn do you use icloud? One of the beauties of icloud is what ever picture you take from either your ipad or iphone will sync onto both devices. If you have your icloud on your laptop it will also send it to it. The only calendar I use is the one on my iphone and with the cloud it also sends whatever entry I make on one to the other. All your contacts will also sync to all devices.

I don't know about other carriers but with ATT I'm eligible for an upgrade every so often and get a new phone at a very reasonable price. Some of the older iphone versions are almost if not free. I had upgraded my iphone 4 to an iphone 4s some time back and had just put my old phone in a drawer. Nothing wrong with it. I just wanted the newer version. Jake had dropped his iphone 4s on the very last of his Europe trip and cracked the screen. It worked fine but had a cracked screen. So when he was here this summer I gave him my old phone and they just took the sim card out of his phone and put it in the one I gave him and it worked fine. He said he would rather have the older version and no crack in the screen! They have improved the cameras and I like siri for some things. If I have a long text message I can just dictate it rather than type. I keep a lot of notes in mine and can use her for it also. You can also use siri to dictate an email. She is actually a pretty useful gal! I'm eligible for another upgrade. I think I'm going to upgrade to the iphone 5 or whatever the latest one is but I've been waiting until it's been out for a while so most of the bugs get worked out of it. I've gotten to be as bad as Sandra about my tech toys! LOL

I have a large angel collection that haven't seen the light of day in several years now! I also like crosses and have a lot of cross ornaments that also haven't seen the light of day in many years!

Ripley, MS

Charlotte, I think the Iphone6+ is the newest Iphone, but like you, I want to be sure the bugs are worked out. I have the 5, some days Siri works well for me and some days she turns what I tell her into unreadable gobbly gock !!! Guess my southern accent is just too much for Siri !!!!
I am well pleased with the 5 except it is a 16gb and I have practically nothing on it, but will not do the latest update because not enough room. They should not make the update so large.
Cayla has the big Samsung galaxy and she really likes it. She dropped it on the brick steps one day and it was fine. She read reviews about all the phones and said it is almost indestructible.

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

Charlotte, I have not used Icloud up to now but I will now that I have the Ipad. Since my Iphone is the old 3G will I be able to sync it with the Ipad. It does not have Siri on it--can I download her to my Iphone or do I need a later version? I would love to be able to dictate long text messages to siri!

P.S, I saw your photos of your booth on Fb. Everything looks great!

This message was edited Dec 7, 2014 7:56 PM

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Sandra after I typed that I got to thinking there were a later version. I can't keep up with all the numbers!! I'm like you and waiting until they get most of the bugs out of it before I upgrade. My son who knows his tech stuff has always told me to wait until something has been out for awhile before buying. Just like you said - he says there are always bugs at first. Surprisingly siri works really well for me. Occasioally she doesn't understand something I say or I start saying something and then change my mind and really confuse her. Sandra I was able to update to ios 8.1.1. I had to take a bunch of apps off in order to do it. I think mine is a 16 also. It told me at first that I didn't have enough room. I had a bunch of apps I never used so I just started taking them off until it let me up date. I still have more apps than I need.

Marilyn the 4s is the first one to have siri. You can't download her. She has to be on the phone. I'm not sure your 3g will sync with your ipad. The version may be too different. I love icloud and use it all the time. My iphone, laptop and ipad all have icloud and are all synced together. I send a lot of emails with photos. The one thing I don't like about the iphone or ipad is it will not let you send more than 5 attachments at a time in an email. I need all of them to be in the same email. So I just send the photos I need to icloud and then download them to a folder on my laptop and through my laptop I can send as many attachments as I want. You just have to make sure every device is logged into icloud. You first have to create an icloud account and use the same log in and password on all devices.
I use the find my phone and find my ipad. If you lose it, find my phone on icloud will find it for you. It will give you a map showing where it is. I've lost my phone in the house before and couldn't find it. The app let me know it was definitely at home and I was able to just keep calling it until l located it. One time I laid it down on something in my booth and forgot to pick it up before I left. With find my phone I knew for sure where it was. My guess is you are going to need a later version Iphone to get the full benefit of what you can do with an iphone and an ipad. Lot's of changes since the 3 even though it still works for you. Jeff got the boys all iphone 4s's over a year ago and didn't have to pay anything for them. They were free with new service.

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

Hmmmm, I may have to check into what kind of iPhone upgrade I am eligible for but my current iPhone is like an old friend to me, LOL. I have already created an iCloud account. There is just so much to learn and know in order to make use of one's devices. 😳. It's time for me to enter the 21st century!

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Happy birthday, Marilyn!!! Maybe a birthday present???

I'm with Verizon and when I went for an upgrade I got on the pulse program (I think that was what they called it) I pay $30.00 a month and get a $25.00 credit a month for 2 years. I can upgrade after a year to a new phone but if you keep the same phone for 2 years then you stop paying the $30.00 a month but continue to get the $25.00 credit to your bill. No contract.

I think I am catching up with laundry and mail and emails since our trip the week of Thanksgiving. I had our suitcase dirty clothes done the next day after arriving home but Ashley & I shipped home a box of dirty clothes each and they didn't arrive until Sat. Then this weekend was a dance convention at the Hyatt in New Orleans so she came in with another suitcase of dirty clothes.

Terrie and Breanna moved out and it has taken a week to clear out 1 bedroom of stuff. It was easier to clear her storage room out with the beds, couches and dinning table then one 14X14 bedroom. So I decided Sat. to take her bed apart and wash those linens to add to the laundry. Mary said she wanted to wash today or tomorrow. Poor machines!!!

Still praying for Cayla!!! I'm with the rest of the group that the MRI findings have me scared!!! I don't completely understand the findings.

Charlotte I'm glad that you are getting to see Jeff and make the trip to Calf also to see the rest of the family. I'm also praying that things will transition well with Richard and his caregivers while you are gone.

Genna I don't envy you the next few weeks. I guess it would be fruitless to tell you to enjoy it as much as you can. It is a little easier being the mother of the groom than the bride. I took everyone's advise to you and am trying the burlap ribbon with poinsettias for my Christmas bows and I've fallen in love with the look of it but I'm having to wear gloves b/c the burlap was so rough it hurt my hands but the gloves are working fine.

Elaine are you in NY now? I just heard that the Duke & Duchess are there. I'm hoping that Kate will visit the school that Clem's daughter(Andrea) is teaching at for autistic children. I think that would be so exciting for Andrea.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Sandra, I have the 5s, 16 GB, and was not able to upgrade the latest version either. When I was at the Apple store the other day I asked them about it. They told me to plug my phone into a computer and use itunes to download the update rather than try to do it via wireless. I haven't done it yet, but it should work that way. It basically will use the cloud to do it I believe. You'll just have to log into your itunes account (same as for any Apple device you have registered) and go through the update of an external device (your iphone). I think that is how it works.

Sandra, I'm glad Cayla got some partial news about her MRI, but the results do not sound like what we wanted to hear. I know you are very concerned but I hope they will give you much more information at her next appointment. All we can do right now is pray and hope she continues to improve.

Charlotte, I'm glad you will have help coming in for Richard, especially given he has been wandering lately. Plus he will have some companionship during the day too while you are gone and you will have someone you can call to check on him and rely on for information. BTW, with a cracked screen, there are aftermarket repair shops that will repair those for a fairly reasonable price. Much cheaper than a new phone. There are a couple of shops around here. I know my DGD had to have hers repaired. They look new and it's much cheaper than taking it back to Apple.

And if you are using 'Find my Phone' or one of those apps, be sure it is enabled in your settings; your 'location' setting must be enabled also. I go to my settings on both my phone and ipad periodically to make sure I have my settings like I want them. You do want to disable some of them because they use a lot of battery life and aren't really necessary. There are some good tutorials on you tube about this. When you have some time go through this.

No, Jeri, I'm not even planning a trip to NYC right now, just thinking about it for my DGD and DD eventually. Thought they would enjoy it.

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

thanks, Jeri! :) My new Ipad is my combo birthday/Christmas present. I don't think Al would go for a new Iphone, too. LOL and I wouldn't ask him right now. We had our month long road trip and then the 10 days out west at thanksgiving so our extra funds are pretty well depleted after all that traveling. We will be going to the St. Louis area for a few days at Christmas but will be staying with relatives so there will be no motel expense, thank goodness.
Oh, my goodness, at the laundry! I had to play catch-up when we got home from Arizona and Utah but it wasn't nearly as much as you have! I have been doing the Christmas decorating ever since we got home--a little at the time. I still have to get out the ceramic tree which is pictured in the first post on this thread but other than that, I think I am finished.
We are having guests for lunch on Thursday so there is nothing like guests coming to get one motivated to get things done! LOL

thanks for the tips on the Iphone/Ipad, etc., Elaine. I'm learning how to sync everything and how to make the most of the Ipad a little at a time. I downloaded Ipad Air 101 but haven't really had time to read it yet--will do that another day. :D

Charlotte, I will also be praying that Richard will do well with the caregivers while you are away.

Genna, good luck with all the wedding preparations. Whoever told them it was a good time to get married this time of year? LOL I have every confidence that you will get it all done, though. :) Best wishes to the bride and groom!

Burlap seems to be "the thing" this year. I bought a roll of 4"burlap ribbon that has red poinsettias and green holly leaves printed on it to use on my Christmas wreath this year. I really like it. I kept the wreath simple with just the ribbon and a few holly berries with one little cardinal on it. It's hanging outside to the left of the front door.

Thumbnail by marsue
Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Elaine when I gave him the phone that was what I was thinking they could do with it. It's the same size screen as the one he had so I was thinking the screen on mine could be taken off and put on his. He just decided to go the sim card route. Then when he's eligible for an upgrade he will probably upgrade. I do the same thing and go into my setting periodically to make sure my found my phone and location enable is on.

Jeri ATT has something similar to what you are talking about. Don't remember exactly how it works. But they seem to be making it cheaper and easier to upgrade your phone. They make their money on monthly service not the phones. The better and faster our phones the more we use them! One little trick Richard's daughter taught me is to make sure imessage is turned on. When you use imessage instead of a regular text message it's free. I think mine was already turned on but I didn't really know there was an advantage to using it. To save on her phone bill she doesn't have text messaging included. She just uses imessage. The only problem is if someone that doesn't use imessage sends her a text message she has to pay for it. If you have imessage turned on where you type your message will say imessage.

The last time I upgraded my phone I just went on line to my att account and decided what I wanted and they shipped it to me. I activated it myself and transfered all my information to my new phone. It was very easy to do - even for me! When I bought my ipad I also just ordered it. I think I bought it at Best Buy but it doesn't seem to matter where you buy them they all cost basically the same. I like shopping on the internet for things like that because I can take my time and compare all the options. I bought a 64 GB ipad with wi fi and data. Don't know what I was thinking! I didn't need that much space. I think I was thinking I was going to be able to use it for a lot more things than I actually use it for. I have a small data plan for it because I mainly use it on wi fi but wanted the ability to use if I didn't have wi fi available. I was disappointed that you really can't do a lot with pictures on it other than store them. I have downloaded a number of apps for editing pictures including Picasso and none of them do anything but the very basics. Not worth using to me. They don't begin to do the things Picasso on my laptop does. I use a desktop publishing software and you can't use that kind of software on a ipad.

An ipad is great for browsing, games, downloading video, books and music. None of which I do very much of! A 16 GB or a 32 GB would have been all I needed. Now I know if I ever upgrade the one I have.
I sound like I don't like my ipad. I actually do. Although it doesn't do all that I would like for it to do, I love to read on it and it's convenient to stick in my purse if I'm going somewhere and want to use something bigger than my phone. I also like to lie in bed and browse the internet on it. It's my toy and my laptop is what I use for work.

This message was edited Dec 8, 2014 3:01 PM

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Forgot to say I'm learning dementia really runs in Richard's family. A good friend of his was recently telling him that his brother was in really bad shape. His brother is 4 years older. That's all I could get from Richard. So I told my SIL what the friend had said and asked if they were ok. She got actually kind of huffy about it and said she didn't know where the friend got his information but he was fine just old. So I dropped it. I have talked to her about Richard's problem and she is the one that told me about a number of his relatives that had Alzheimer's/ dementia. His brother had also told Richard some time back that she wouldn't let him drive.

Well last night his son - Richard's nephew made a post on FB about his dad's dementia confirming what I had suspected. I know my SIL is going to be livid when she see it. I think she is in denial.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Charlotte, I suspect a lot of people deny, deny, deny because they are embarassed about it and try to hide it as much as they can, when in reality they should share as much as possible especially with family members, as you have discovered. Not only do many people need the support, but other family members need to know in case it happened to them. And in the case of a spouse you are often unaware of what has happened in the past to those who have already gone before. I don't sure understand it.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

You are probably right Elaine. I know years ago people didn't talk about it but it's gotten so much more open in recent years. My mother's oldest sister had it and my uncle kept it a secret until it became very obvious that something was really wrong. When he started suspecting something was wrong he took her out of state to be tested. Then never told her sisters what he had done and what the diagnosis was. He called himself protecting her. He didn't want her to know she had Alzheimer's and was afraid her sisters would tell her if they knew. I doubt he even told their 3 children. My 12 year old niece was visiting my parents from out of state and mother ended up in the hospital. I was sitting in the waiting room with my niece and mother's sisters and then took my niece home for a while. In the car she asked me "what is wrong with Aunt Nell?" None of us knew that she had Alzheimers at that time but a 12 year old could figure out something was wrong! She was actually more observant than I was!

Yes it is much better when everyone is willing to talk about it. It's a disease not something they can help. Like with other kinds of problems it helps to share information. When you start sharing you learn that their behaviors are much the same as others and learn what to expect which helps you deal with the problem.

Ripley, MS

People used to think that their family members had just "lost their mind" and were embarrassed about it. A lot of the medical community are wanting to rename it to Type 3 Diabetes, I don't have all the information on it, but since I read a lot of articles on diabetes I have read a little on the subject. It is the same with Autism, I still don't want to think that Eli has autism, but he has been diagnosed. Most autistic children never smile and don't want to be touched, Eli laughs and has even started giving kisses. But he still doesn't talk very much and he really likes to "line things up", which is one of the things they do. They have stopped using the diagnosis of Aspbergers now as they say there are varying degrees of autism and are just grouping all the children under the autism diagnosis. I heard on the news the other day that 1 in every 88 children are being diagnosed as Autistic---that is just crazy to me.
I am sure that Richards sil is still thinking like the older generation and doesn't want her husband labeled as "lost his mind". While in reality he might benefit from some medications, that is sad.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I know you worry about Eli. But as you know there are very degrees of autism and varying levels of function. This same nephew that made the post on FB about his dad has a son about 10 that is autistic. He functions very well and goes to school. The older he has gotten the better he seems to function. He shows pictures all the time of him and he laughs and has a good time and you wouldn't know anything is wrong with him. They have worked with him since he was a toddler. He doesn't do well in crowds of strange people, etc. He is a very smart boy.

Ripley, MS

Yes, I actually have 4 nephews, or grand nephews, that have had problems -2 of them will never be able to live on their own, the other 2 do really well.
Jerry has a nephew that was pulled out by forceps at birth and has the mentality of a 5 month old baby, but he does things with his hands like autistic kids do. He is close to 40 now I guess.
I know Eli has a very bright future ahead of him and will do well !

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Sandra, I just KNOW Eli has a bright future because he has so many people who care about him and are working to ensure that he does have a future. He sounds so smart and full of life. Yes, there will be a few things to watch out for with him but overall he will succeed. Have you watched the program 'Scorpion'? I happened to watch the first segment a few weeks back. It's totally fiction, action-adventure of course, but it's about an off-the-charts-IQ group who fights crime and then there is another lady with a young son who is apparently autistic but also high IQ. The leader of this group takes him under his wing and knows how to handle him under certain situations. It is really touching in many ways. You'll find out soon what makes Eli happiest, where he finds the most comfort with things and where he is his most creative and he will shine. I think that is why they call it 'autism spectrum disorder' because there is such a wide spectrum of the 'disorder' (what kind of typing is that??) and it is so ill-defined.

Ripley, MS

Cayla got a call from Vanderbilt today and they will see her Dec 22nd. She is excited, they were talking about Feb ---

Edited to say, yes, I like that show too!

This message was edited Dec 9, 2014 7:08 PM

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

So glad so they are taking her!! Did she have an mri of the spine before they administered the block. Just wondering if they have any kind of bench mark. I know that makes you feel better to know she is finally getting help from someone that should be able to get to the bottom of her problem.

I totally agree with Elaine. Cayla is a wonderful mother. She is very perceptive to have already gotten a diagnosis for him and to have already gotten help for him. He is a very smart little boy and will do well. With the help she has gotten she will be able to help him figure out how to handle situations and learn the kind of situations that might cause him problems.

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