Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Thanksgiving is that time of year when everyone reflects on what they are thankful for. So today I will tell you what I am thankful for. I am thankful for my friend Nancy Armstrong. If you have read my past entries, you already know that this family means a lot to me. As a matter of fact, they are family I choose. Nancy has been with me throughout the good times and the bad. She held my hand through labor for Trisha, waited outside the delivery room until she was delivered. She fed me when I was hungry, gave me a place to live when I needed one, and has loved me unconditionally for 40 years or so. And she does this not only for me, but for all of her friends and family.
So now it is time for us to care for her. In October, it was discovered that she had 4 brain aneurysms. Yes 4!!! One would be too many, but Nancy had 4. She also had a small stroke, pneumonia, blood infection, uti, infection in her heart valve. Over the course of hospital stays, she had two aneurysms coiled, biopsy of her temporal artery, 4 days on the ventilator, countless IV's. And once again, I struggled watching my friend struggle with the ventilator. And I struggled trying to act big and brave for Dick and the girls. Today Nancy is slowing getting better and I want her to know just how much I love her.

I added the picture of my son Scott and his deer. You can see he really looks like a happy hunter. Later that morning he came back with the boys for a few minutes. Jayden and Bryce were so excited to tell me that Daddy got a big deer! I love the excitment in their little voices.

We also added a new member to our family this spring. Mr. Bentley Douglas moved in at the end of May. He is a black lab and was running down the middle of the road, no collar, no tags, no microchip. At the time he still had his puppy teeth and was about 4 months old. And what a nice dog!!! He was calm, quiet, well behaved. I called the animal shelters and told them how he was just running down the middle of the road and that someone was surely missing him. The animal shelter kept saying that if no one claimed him in a week he was ours, and I kept saying someone surely will be missing him because he was such a good puppy. Well, needless to say, no one claimed him and on day 8 he turned into the monster dog. He has eaten my coach wallet, a watchband, the house payment, a roll of paper towel, Scott's new T Shirts, 3 pairs of slippers, countless dish clothes, the corner of the kitchen wall, basically anything that does not belong to him. Whenever I lay a throw rug down, he redecorates by moving it to his corner and claims as his own. No wastebasket or litter box is safe! But who can resist those huge chocolate brown eyes! Not me!!! I wish you could see how he looks away and sneaks looks at you when he is in trouble. Yes he still can sit, shake, speak, whisper, fetch. Now you notice I said he can, I did not say he will. As for the name, well we originally started out with Bentley. Then one day Scott said "Hey Douglas" and Bentley acted so darn excited that Douglas has just stayed with him. So now he is Douglas, Bentley, or Bentley Douglas. At 73 lbs, I guess he can be which ever name he wants to be.
So you can see, my days are filled with fun. I am the lucky one who gets to be just the grandma!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cats, Kittens, Puppies, and Babies

Cats, Kittens, Puppies, and Babies you ask? Yes, cats, kittens, puppies and babies has been our life for the last couple of months. First, if you know me, you know there are cats here on our "farm". Lots of cats!!! I am the kind of person that firmly believes every animal needs a person to love it. There is Izzy, Ozzie, Booty, Boots, Cry Cat, Ethel, Harriet, Agnes, Lexus, Sebastian, Cali, Purrslee, Lula, Felix, and Shiver. Now some of these are indoor cats, some are outdoor cats, some are outdoor cats that are indoors for one reason or another. Take Purrslee for example. Purslee is a gray tiger that appeared to have hurt her back when she was only a few weeks old and was having difficulty standing up, soooo, she moved from the barn to the spare bathroom for some one on one TLC. Before long she was up and moving around and could even jump over a baby gate!!! Last Friday, she decided she has not had enough attention and tried to make me think she was going to kitty heaven!!! She would not/could not stand up, walk, eat or drink!!! She would even take a shuttering breath, wait for 30-40 seconds, and then take another breath. I held her, snuggled her, and cried for her all day Saturday and most of Sunday. Monday, no moving, eating, or going to the bathroom and sleeping all day, Tuesday the same, Wednesday she decided to open her eyes so I made her hamburger soup and syringe fed her. Thursday she decided to hold up her head and look at me, so I gave her some hamburger to chew on, and she ate and peed but still unable to walk or stand. Friday she ate about 1/2 cup of burger and drank about a 1/4 cup of water!!!! As of today, she actually walked/wobbled, about 3 feet trying to get to me so she could sit on my lap and purr!!!! Soooooo---Purrslee is showing tons of improvement and ,as a matter of fact, she is sitting on my lap as I type this note. Really, all she had to do was look at me and purr last week, she did not have to play such a game with me!!!

Well where there are cats, there will be kittens!!! Especially when Scott happens to let Izzy out of the spare bathroom, where he was healing up from a fight with another tom cat, and OH YEA, there is Shiver!!! Now Shiver had only recently moved to our house and has not been fixed. Shiver had 6 babies!!!!! So out of the spare bath moved Ozzy, and in moved Shiver and kittens. Then Ethel, an outside cat, decided to have babies in the mulch!!! So into the house came Ethel and 5 babies!!! All well and good as long as they are confined to the box, but soon there were ll babies who needed to move outside and down the road. We have a free kitten sign and actually, only one of those kittens is still here, Mr. FuzzBucket!! Does that mean there are no other kittens outside? No way!!! I can actually see 7 babies sitting in front of the garage as I sit here. I know there are some outside in the barn, not sure if there are 4 or 5. Now I know you all are going to ask why I am not a responsible pet owner and have them fixed, well if I took every kitten that shows up here to the vet, I would not own this house!!!! Seems like there is a sign that only cats can read out front that says "Free Food, Lots of Cuddles Here". The ladies from the church are even calling to tell me about some cat or another that is in need of a home or else, so out to the barn they go!!!

As for the puppy part, we have a new Black Lab. Bentley was a stray/dumped dog that was running down the middle of the road. I stopped, and in he jumped. I reported him to Animal Control and they advised me that Bentley would be ours if no one claimed him in a week. No one came forward for him!!!!! I thought, this is a great puppy, maybe 5 months old, he can sit, he is calm, he is quiet, surely someone will want him back. Nope. So at the end of the week, he became ours. And we became the owner of a rambunctious, loud barking, waste basket emptying, dog. He redecorates any throw rug in the house to a new location, chewed the corner of the wall, has destroyed slippers, emptied every waste basket in this house!!! But he only does this when you are not looking. When you are with him, he is loving, calm, even smiles at you. If I hear paper rattling and I catch him in the act, he actually looks away like "What do you mean, I do not have any paper!" Explain that to Wells Fargo when they open my last payment!!! Scott looked at him the other day and said "Hey Douglas! and guess what? Bentley was so excited that we actually call him Douglas most of the time now. Go Figure!!! So I painted the wall corner with Cayenne Pepper, moved the waste basket into the spare bathroom, and I pray that the puppy settles down to the wonderful Black Lab he should be. As I type, he is actually removing every bone, chew toy, balls, everything from his basket of toys. And I love him!!! I am not so sure that Buckwheat the Cocker loves him, but Baby the Beagle is his best friend!!! What would we do without the spare bathroom?

Now we are on to babies. We are going to be grand parents again in January. Scott and Brandi are having a Baby Girl!! Jayden, who is now 4, said that if the baby was a boy, he was going to throw it in the lake. Yesterday when Scott and Brandi told him it was a girl, he was jumping up and down and squealing!! Bryce, who will be 3 in November, said NO when asked if he wanted a sister. I call this baby our tie breaker since we have 6 grand sons, and 6 grand daughters.

Our Laura started chemo again last Monday. This chemo is to beat down her immune system so she will be able to receive the 3f8 treatments that put her into remission. She has not been able to get these treatments for awhile and can only receive them until December. She is still showing no signs of active cancer and for that we are so grateful. GOD is good!!

So as you can see, we have had a busy summer. I am so very blessed to be "Just The Grandma"!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kids, Kittens, and Puppies Oh MY

WOW what a long time it has been since I updated this blog. Just proves that life is as busy as usual.

Last Sunday the kids came for a picnic. Heather, Phil, and Ayden, Scott, Brandi, Jayden, and Bryce, Mikey and Laura. I love seeing the grand kids playing together and laughing and giggling. The swing set got a good workout and the kick balls have been kicked to there and back. Laura stayed over night with me and we had a great PJ party eating Chocolate Ice Cream and popcorn. There were also lots of petting of the new kittens.

Speaking of kittens, why do they have to be so darn cute!!! We have had several litters and have sent many to good homes, but there are a few still here and they are such fun to watch. Nothing like seeing 3 or 4 all snuggled together taking a nap or chasing each other back and forth across the yard. I will admit though that 13 babies in the spare bathroom was a little, OK alot, too much!!!

Then there is the new puppy in our life. We recently added a Black Lab, Bentley to our family. He is approximately 6 months old and has made himself very very comfortable here. Obviously he has been trained some because he can sit, and come. Now I said he can sit and come, not that he will always sit and come!!!! We got him as a stray and his first week was calm and quiet. After reporting him found to the Animal Shelter, no one claimed him so he became ours!!!! After his first week, his true puppy colors became clear. He loves the wastebasket, and unfortunately, the litter box. I hope that a few dietary indiscretions will teach him to stay away from these two things, but we will have to wait and see. It has been fun watching this 49 pound pup as he clumsily chases a ball or tries to get Baby the Beagle to run and play with him. Just try to be mad at him when he flashes those huge chocolate eyes at you!!! Or greets you with a big old dog kiss.

Today is my husband Scott's 55Th birthday. I told him that we are so lucky because now we can live in a trailer in a park for 55 or older only folks! He was not amused! Happy Birthday to the love of my life.

So that is how our life has been going. Fun, Fun, Fun. And since I am just the grandma, that is the way I like it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

People Who Make Me Who I Am

As I go about my days, I am constantly reminded of the people who make me the person I am. So today I decided to tell you about these special people. First there is Dick and Nancy Armstrong and their three daughters Cindy, Cherie, and Christine. I met them when I was 15 years old, you notice I did not tell you how long ago in years that was! My best friend Jane Gallaway was babysitting for the girls and she needed someone to fill in for a couple of weeks while she went on vacation. Fortunately for me, unfortunate for Jane, I became the full time sitter from there on. I babysat the girls every chance I could, even going up north for weekends. By the time the girls were old enough to babysit, they were babysitting for my children. When Cindy got married, I was her Matron of Honor!!!! Nancy was with me at the hospital when Trisha was born and is her God Mother. When they thought I was too skinny, they moved me into the basement apartment at their house. There has never been a time in my life since I was 15 that they were not there, good times and bad times. In December of 2008, Dick had to have a double bypass heart surgery and as I watched him struggle with the ventilator, I struggled with my fear of losing the man who loved me more than I would ever know. Thankfully, he came through with flying colors. Nancy and Dick are now enjoying some warm weather in Florida. To say they are family would be an understatement. I love them all very much.

Speaking of Jane, she is now Jane Mayott. Jane and I have remained friends from the day we met in 8th grade. We both got married, moved away from home, and still remained friends. I had not talked to Jane in awhile when I ran into her at my son's Scott's school. I was walking down the hall and I heard behind me "Carolyn-I would know that butt anywhere!" Sure enough, there was Jane, a teacher at Fulton High School. She even was Scotty's teacher. I always laugh when I remember her telling me that she told him that if he acted up in class, she would tell everyone how she had changed his diaper as a baby!!! Jane has always rejoiced with me during the good times, and held me up during the bad times. She is a wonderful Christian woman and I am so thankful for her friendship.

My Grandma Agnes Marr also taught me alot about life. Grandma was always PROPER. By that I mean, I never saw her in pants, or with her hair messy. She was always dressed to the nines, hair perfect, soft spoken and impeccable manners. She taught me how to be a lady. We lived with Grandma and Grampa the year I was in 4th grade because my mother took care of Grandpa until he died. We had to be very quiet all the time and grandma taught me how to embroidery. I still hand embroidery to this day. I have become less proper though, giving up on stucking in my shirt and such, but there is never a day that I do not think about something she taught me.

I would be remiss if I did not mention my husband Scott. He certainly has made me a better woman, wife and mother. I have loved him since I was 14 years old!!!!! Scott works long hard days driving Semi to provide for us so that I can be just the grandma.

Of course there are the grand kids. They have tried my Patience, swelled my heart, made me laugh and made me cry. They have made me realize that being a grandma is the best job in the entire world. I am paid with wet kisses, big hugs, I love yous. I am rich.