Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I went to Rolla and bought groceries after going to the book signing. It was surprising that it wasn't too busy at Wal-Mart.
After putting away the groceries I went up to visit with Mom and Dad and give them their book. I stayed a little over an hour and we had a good visit.
Dwayne worked in Columbia and then went on over to Vichy to our lake to help the boys get ready for the up coming Pig Roast on Memorial Day. They also fished until around 1 a.m. Long day and night for Dwayne.
I went to church and had the opportunity to hold
this little guy.
Tyler is such a good baby and his Momma seems a natural at it. She just calmly attends to him if he fusses and enjoys every minute of parenthood.
I stayed after church for the Graduates Dinner. The nurture committee fixed chicken and everyone brought side dishes. As always, it was a great meal.

The weather was so hot and poor Dwayne spent the whole day staining our back deck. He had planned on getting this done over the past month but the weather hasn't cooperated very well. We will be hosting my 35th Class Reunion next month and trying to get a few things done around the house that we put off doing. It's nice to have an event at your house every once in awhile so you have a deadline to get things done. Otherwise we just put it off to "another time".

I am glad Summer weather is here and we can put the pool up. Lots of lazy Summer days to come in the near future.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Book Signing:

Saturday, I went to my first book signing. April had told me Mrs. Jean Carnahan was having a book signing at Rolla Books on the 22nd. She suffered a great loss when her husband, Governor Mel Carnahan, her son, Randy Carnahan along with Chris Sifford died in a plane crash in 2000.

The funeral for our governor was an historic event. Governor Mel Carnahan lay in state on Thursday, October 19, 2000 at the Missouri Governor's Mansion. Funeral service was at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, October 20th, 2000 on the south lawn of the Missouri State Capital. After the Friday services began the long journey of traveling along highway 63 south towards his home of many years in Rolla, MO for a funeral service to be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, October 21, 2000. Following the service in Rolla was another long leg of the journey on to Ellsinore, MO for burial at the Carson Hill Cemetery.

All along the route in towns and farm roads families stood to await the solemn funeral procession. Many people stood patiently for hours waiting as the trip took much longer than anticipated. You could see young and old proudly waving small American flags. April, my niece Kayla and nephew Tyler, and I waited along the highway by Stratman Trucking as that was where I worked at the time.

I visited with Mrs. Carnahan for a few minutes as she was signing my book. We talked about her son, Randy coming to Mom and Dad's in the years past to attend the Molasses Making. I told her if Dad had come along, she would have had a rather lengthy visit as he would be telling stories and relating different events to her. She smiled and said that would have been nice to hear. Mrs. Carnahan is a very gracious and kind woman.

I feel honored to have met Mrs. Carnahan and buy her book for Mom and Dad.

Friday, May 21, 2010

My Kids:

What a wonderful evening we had. The boys had come over and set out flower plants for me and mulched the flower beds. When they were finished we all sat on the porch visiting for about an hour or more. First time in a long time the five of us have been together relaxing and enjoying our time together.
I love my kids!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend Recap:

Our friend's daughter, Kelsey Southard, graduated from Mizzou with her Masters, CPA in accounting. Kelsey excelled in all of her hard work.
Dwayne and I drove to Columbia Saturday morning to attend Kelsey's graduation party. Needless to say, we got lost!! We made it to the apartment complex with no problems, then went in circles trying to find her apartment. The numbers did not reflect the backside of the complex and there was not a driveway on the back side either.
We had a good time visiting and especially playing with Carrie and Ryan's little boys, Avery and Evan.

Carrie Southard Stark & Kelsey:

The Graduate, Kelsey Rae Southard:

Kelsey & Susan:

Mike & Kelsey:

Congratulations, Kelsey, you did a good job.

Saturday evening, Dwayne and I went up to Mom's to visit. Russ and Shannon were there with two of their grandsons, Gavin and Kaden. We had a good time watching the boys show off. Gavin is such a little character!!


I got up and went to church. After Sunday School, Pastor Karen told me about Aunt Carol Lennaman's sister being in a car accident and died. This was very disturbing news. Aunt Carol is one of the nicest people I know and her and her four sisters are very close. I left during the church service to go see Aunt Carol but she wasn't home. I feel really bad for her and her family.
We went to my nephew, Tony Rowe's house for dinner. Tony turned 40 on the 11th of May. He is the first born nephew, hard to believe little Tony is now forty years old!
It was great to have Russ and Shannon at the dinner along with their kids and grand kids. Joe and Judy went to their grandson, Cody Tilley's High School Graduation in De Soto, MO
Dwayne fixed supper last night of ham 'n beans, cornbread, ham slices and fried potatoes. Very good old fashioned meal. We finished off with brownies.
We spent the rest of the evening watching our Sunday night shows.

Another great weekend with family and friends.

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Momma:

Last night we had to take my Mom to the hospital for chest pains and shortness of breath. Several hours later...........they finally come in and say the tests look okay buy we want to keep you overnight for observation. Mom did not want the cardiologist they had at the hospital so they told us they could not accept her as a patient. What? You can't pick your own doctor?? Mom said she just wanted to go on home. They didn't like that, advised that she stay in the hospital (which they wouldn't let her unless she saw their doctor) or be transferred to Springfield by ambulance. By this time we could have drove to Springfield ourselves and been back home!! Dad and Mom both decided to risk it and have Mom leave the hospital. Mom had to sign off on leaving the hospital without doctor's approval, fine we understood that.................. Many minutes later, they get the discharge papers and forms for Mom to sign.

Mom was in the hospital at Rolla last month with multiple blood clots in both lungs and the ICU Unit was excellent!! Couldn't have asked for better care, don't know what happened last night. Very frustrating!! The RN and the ER attending physician were very nice and helpful but the time frame with the care and tests took forever and then the "hospital politics" of which doctor you use was also discouraging.
Mom went to her doctor today and they repeated blood tests and she will see her cardiologist in Springfield next week. I just spoke with her earlier and her voice sounds okay and she said she felt better.

I so hope Mom doesn't have to go back in the hospital and miss another family dinner.
My brother, Russ is home from Arizona for a visit and we are having a dinner at my nephew, Tony's house on Sunday. So looking forward to everyone being present.

I'm grateful we live close to our parents and are there for them as they are here for us whenever we need them. I have a lot to be grateful for.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Prissy Nerd??

I don't know if there is such a stereo type as prissy nerd but if there is, I am definitely one!!
I grew up on a farm, had dogs as pets, helped my Dad feed and take care of the pigs, went with my Dad on most of his farm chores. (and believe me, when you step into a pigpen you are going to get pig crap all over you) So when did I become such a namby-pamby about animals?! I like them, they're okay, just don't want any animals to lick me or touch me. They're fine, but at a distance.

So now to the prissy nerd me: (The Culprit )
Last night I was talking to my sister Kate on the cell phone and stepped out the front door to sit on the porch. As I went through the door I felt something land on my head, I reached up and there was a small frog in my hair and it peed on me!! I then had frog pee on my hand and in my hair. Of course, when Kate hears me squeal she wanted to know what was wrong. Boy did she like to tease me about the frog pee!! When I got off the phone, I immediately went and took a shower.

Now I can clean up baby spit, puke, crap and whatever ailments my kids had in their growing up years, but I can't take a little animal residue!! To all of you animal lovers out there, I applaud you!! I used to be one, too but for some reason (maybe age, as you get older you can claim age as a reason for a lot of things!) I'm just not into animals anymore.
And get this, I WORK FOR A DOG FOOD COMPANY!! How is that for karma?
We actually get dog poop specimens in the mail or by UPS. No kidding!! When I first started working I had to sign for a package from UPS. Alan, the salesman said, "you do know you're signing for a package of dog shit, don't you?" I'm like, yeah, sure, whatever! And it was!! If people have a problem with their dog's food or health, they sometimes send in dog poop for us to have analyzed to see what the problem is.
Never in a million years would I have thought I would sign for a package of poop!!
Moral of the story, packages at work are like a box of chocolates, never know what ya gonna find.

Mother's Day Weekend:

I am so far behind in posting, I'll try to get caught up some.
I got up as usual to get ready for work but felt so horrible, all I wanted to do was go back to bed. Work has been busy so I went ahead and went in. Mid-morning, John noticed I how tired I was and told me I looked awful. (thanks, John LOL) At first, I wasn't going to but by noon I was really dragging. Went home and slept for a solid five hours!! Then I went to bed at ten and fell right to sleep. I've been pretty exhausted for quite a while and I need to learn to pace myself when I do feel good not to overdo it.
Having an autoimmune disease is the pits!!
Dwayne went to the field and plowed all day. In the afternoon, I went to my sister, Judy's for my great-nephew, Gunner's birthday party. He is such a cute little boy and it is surprising how much he looks and acts like Troy did at that age.
We didn't do anything Saturday night, just relaxed and watched TV. I prepared my dishes to take to Judy's for the next day.

This is a favorite at our house and family. A lady from church brought this dish to a funeral dinner and it has been a hit.
Grape Salad:
4 lbs. seedless grapes, washed and dried overnight
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
Mix softened cream cheese, sour cream and sugar together, whip for 5 minutes.
Place grapes in bowl and gently mix with the cream cheese mixture.
Place grape mixture in 9x13 inch glass pan.
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
Top the grapes with the brown sugar/pecans mixture. Carefully mix some of this mixture down into the grapes and then spread remaining on top of grapes. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

I found this recipe on the Pioneer Woman's blog. Since our family is "Mountain Dew Aholics", I thought anything with Mountain Dew has to be a hit!! And this dish is definitely a hit with everyone.
Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings:
2 whole Granny Smith Apples
2 cans (8 oz.) Crescent Rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cinnamon, use to your taste
1 can (12 oz.) Mountain Dew Soda
Peel and core apples. Cut each apple into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll.
Place in a 9x13 buttered pan.
Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla,stir and pour entire mixture over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with Cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream and spoon some the sweet sauce from the pan over the top.

I went to Sunday School and Church. I was pleasantly surprised to see April at Church for the worship service. Her life is so hectic it is sometimes hard for her to get to the services. Below is a picture of my gift from her, coffee with dishtowels wrapped around it and secured with ribbon and a pewter cross. April and my sister, Kate are really crafty. They look at something online or in a store and create it themselves.

I am so happy God blessed me with such a loving daughter.

Our family went to my sister, Judy's for Mother's Day Dinner. All three of Judy's kids were there and I actually had all three of mine present, plus Mike. The biggest surprise of all was my brother, Russ' visit. We knew he was coming home for a visit from Arizona on the 15th but did not expect him to surprise Mom by showing up at dinner time on Mother's Day. Mom and Dad both were so pleasantly surprised and happy to have Russ home. All five of us siblings were present that day.
Sunday evening, we watched our regular TV shows, Extreme Makeover-Home Edition, Desperate Housewives and Army Wives.

I am so thankful we were all together for Mother's Day and appreciate our parents and the life they have given each one of us.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Three Amigos:

Wayne, Ron and Dwayne:

These three made quite the trio!! The evening was a little chilly but we drank some wine while visiting and then the chill wasn't so bad. LOL


Wayne (the wooden man in the background was made my Grandpa in 1973, he cut it out with a chainsaw):

Me and Martha:

My Christmas wine glasses were a little out of place for the month of April, but I was too lazy to get the good ones out of the china cabinet. We didn't get a picture of my sister-in-law, Bobbie. It is actually her wine glass in the picture and she was sitting by the table out of camera view. Lucky her!! LOL

It was a good weekend reconnecting with Ron and Martha and having my oldest brother an his wife there, also.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Early Mother's Day:

My niece, Kayla Wooldrige, came down this week for an early Mother's Day. We met at Sybil's in St. James for lunch. For the little girls, it was a chance to eat at a nice restaurant and feel grown up. They especially loved the bathroom and had to take a picture of it. We had a great time.

Four Generations, Kaye holding her granddaughter, Mariah Wooldridge,daughters, MacKensie Birdsong & Kayla Wooldridge and Mom:

The Sisters, Judy Akridge, Kaye Birdsong, Connie Elrod:

My sister-in-law Bobbi Feeler and her granddaughter, Tess:

My sister Judy and her EAR granddaughter, Elizabeth Ann Rowe:
(covering up her Grandma's double chin with her hand) LOL

The Elrod Girls:

Bobbi, Mom, Judy, Kate, Me:

Bathroom at Sybil's:

I went to church and then to Mom's for dinner. We had a chance to see Kayla's kids. Brighton is now two years old and what a little sweetheart. He didn't even know us but was so cuddly and gave us all hugs.
Sunday evening the boys came up for supper. Desmon came along with them. He always keeps us entertained! Dwayne had barbecued pork steaks and I made side dishes. It was nice having all three kids at home along with Desmon and Mike.

Overall, a great family weekend.