Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Still on probation

Bailey's six month probation period is up in September, but I may have to extend it to a year. 

You know how some pets  employees start out strong, working hard and trying to impress their new owners employers?  And you think "I am so lucky to have found that pet employee!

Baiey stalking her prey

And then you see signs that they aren't getting the job done...
You know, signs like when you walk outside to put meat on the grill, and then turn back around to go back into the house and you hear CRUNCH under your feet... and you look down and there is a mouse flailing because you stepped on it.  How I wished I had been wearing tennis shoes, rather than sandals - but at least I wasn't barefoot!  What if that mouse had crawled across my foot.  Yikes!  Once I finished screaming and shaking, I looked for the lazy cat employee who didn't do her job.

Bailey lounging in a rocking chair

Just as I feared, she had become complacent - and didn't even care that I knew it!

Bailey sleeping in the rocking chair

Sleeping on the job is a firing offense - don't you think?

I think I'll give her one more chance.  She does provide me with a lot of love and who knows how many little critters would be running around my porch if she wasn't around.  Bailey's a keeper after all.  But please... no more mice!


No, I did not take a picture of the dead mouse.  And yes, Jim had to get rid of it for me.   Yuck!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Believe and it will happen

Remember this dismal picture from earlier this spring?

Bare ground rose garden

Here is my rose garden today with beautiful, sweet smelling, roses blooming.

Rose Garden

Even the insects appreciate their beauty. 
I just hope they are nice and don't decide they are sitting on an afternoon snack.

Pink rose with insects on it

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Watch out for June!

June.  What can I say... June is the happening month. 

39 years ago, this guy I met in Kindergarten and I got married.

Playing nice when cutting the cake

We were young and in love.  We are still in love and young at heart.  Our lives are full and blessed beyond all of my dreams.  Together we have raised a family of three wonderful children.  Our lives have been one challenge and many joys after another.  All I can say is that I would not have wanted to walk hand in hand through life with anyone else by my side. 

If we promise something to each other, we try to keep our promises.  In 1976, money was tight.  We already had a beautiful little 2 year old girl and were expecting another baby that summer.  Even though it was going to be financially difficult, we decided I would quit my job and stay home with the kids.  Since we seldom ate out - even fast food was a budget buster - Jim promised this very pregnant wife that he would take me out to dinner for our Anniversary on June 17.  This was one promise that he struggled to keep.

Greg - 2 months old

Gregory James chose the evening before our anniversary to make his appearance.  What a sweet bundle of joy he was.  I immediately thought he looked just like his daddy.  Happy Birthday to my sweet son!
Of course this meant that I was in the hospital doing the mommy thing when our anniversary rolled around.  But never fear, Jim kept his promise (kinda).  He shared my hospital tray of food with me.  That was as close as we could get to eating out for our anniversary this year.  At least it was free!  Good thing, because our new baby boy wasn't!  Oh, and for dessert Jim brought me a milk shake.  Chocolate.  That probably wasn't the wisest choice of dessert for a nursing mother.  I'm not too sure how we have survived each other, or how our kids have survived us, but somehow it has all worked out!

Here is our rolly-polly lovable little boy. 

Greg & Alicia and family
And here he is 34 years later with a family of his own - still making me smile with all my heart.

Who could have guessed that many years later, our daughter would meet and marry a wonderful man.  Well, that part isn't so surprising.  But the fact that his birth date is also June 16, was kind of amazing.  Happy Birthday to our son-in-law, Bill.  Thank you for being part of our family. 

Tess and Bill and family

Here he is with his happy family.

And that leaves Julie for another day. 
She was considerate enough to not be born in June.  But watch out July!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Honor Thy Father

How fitting that my Grandson, Allen, made his First Holy Communion on Father's Day.

Alicia, Reagan, Allen, Fr. Bob, Greg

In the Catholic Church, this is a person's first time to receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, which is the focal point of our faith.   The Eucharist nourishes our soul.  Allen was Baptized as an infant and now joins his family at the Lord's Table.
Allen's First Holy Communion was a day of excitement.  He was dressed in a white shirt and tie, black pants and new cowboy boots.  It doesn't get any snazzier than that!  As his mom, dad, and sister, Grandparents, and his Baptismal Godparents watched, he walked to the Altar alone and said Amen to the Body and Blood of Christ.

Allen receiving the Body of Christ for the first time

After leaving Church, we headed to Greg and Alicia's for a little nourishment for our bodies.  Allen received gifts from everyone. 

Opening present of his Great Grandpa's prayerbook in a keepsake box

I don't remember the last time I've spent such a beautiful, relaxing day.

We have celebrated some other special days over the past few weeks.  Hopefully I'll get a post about them done soon.  It will definitely be a case of "better late than never"! 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thanks for being a friend

My world has been a busy one these past few weeks.  There are lots of special things that happen in June every year - and this year has been filled with the usual and then some.  I will catch up one of these days, though... I promise!

Imagine my surprise when going through the mail last week and discovered this little gem:

Thanks for being a friend

My blogger friend, Queenie Jeannie has been at it again.  She creates the prettiest cards - and I am always excited when I am the recipient of one.

"Thanks for being a friend" - is stamped on the inside - and then a very sweet note that says "Deanna, This picture reminds me of your lovely gardens!  Enjoy your spare time, sitting on the porch, with a cool glass of iced tea!  Hugs, Jeannie."  The photo doesn't quite show the beautiful details of the gate stamp colored by Jeannie with her Copic markers.  At least I'm pretty sure it was... I'm sure she will tell me if I am wrong!

Jeannie, I would love it if you were visiting with me on my front porch right this very minute!  We'd have a wonderful time.  Of course, it would be a bit of a challenge for you to get here considering you are still in Italy!  (I'm still very jealous about that).

Sunday, June 12, 2011

For your enjoyment

Last week we took a day trip to St. Louis to visit The Jewel Box in Forest Park and the Missouri Botanical Garden.  It was a gorgeously HOT day.  Since I took over 100 pictures, I thought I’d share a few with you.  I hope you enjoy the photos of the beautiful gardens as much as we did.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

An unexpected rant

Heading home from Austin's baseball game last night I looked to the right and was favored with a beautiful sight.  I said "stop!" and he didn't (more like couldn't).  But he did turn around so I could capture the sky.

The skies over the Jefferson City last night
 As I look at this picture, I can't help but think of our lawmakers roaming the halls of the Capitol Building, making tough decisions that will impact each and every one of us.  I pray that God leads them to quit squabbling and looking after their own petty special interests, and instead work together to get our state back on solid ground.  We are floundering.  I have no answers to the problems and have never pretended to.  These dudes in that white building, though, did claim to have the answers when they ran for office. 

There is so much waste in government.  As a 30+ year retired government employee, I can make that statement with 100% certainty.  And the waste is usually not in the rank and files.  It is with the bosses who think they are entitled to perks and favor constituents.  Get over yourself!  If everyone would get down and dirty and give 100%, we would see results.  And while I'm on the subject.  I want to go on record that Government employees get a bad rap that they largely don't deserve.  As with any business, there are those employees who don't do their job, are lazy, rude, call in sick when they  aren't sick, take extended lunch hours or breaks, and in general are just lousy employees.  But on the flip side, the majority of my co-workers are dedicated, hard working, individuals who gave 100% to their careers.  They care about the service  they provide.  Government should be run like a business and it isn't.  If it were, there would be fewer free-loading employees and the citizens would have a greater respect for government and the service it provides to all of us. 

Missouri River Bridges at Jefferson City
Speaking of government not doing its job.  See the twin bridges in the above photo?  They are a major thoroughfare into Jefferson City.  During the flood of '93, these bridges were out of commission for a long period of time because the flood waters washed out the roadways leading to them.  The headlights coming towards you would have been underwater.  We are now told that the Corps of Engineers plans to release waters from a dam in Nebraska/SouthDakota that is holding back the waters from the heavy winter and spring rains.  They predict that the resulting flood waters here will exceed the flood of '93.  Many are asking why did they wait so long to release the waters.  Why was it held back until it reached this critical stage, resulting in major flooding here, rather than a slow release that the riverway could have handled.  I believe the Corps didn't do their job and now everyone will pay for their incompetence.

This post was supposed to be a simple picture of the sky and a wish to everyone that you have a nice weekend.  And now look!  I went on a rant.  *shaking my head at myself as I hit publish*

Oh, and I do hope everyone has a great weekend!

Monday, June 6, 2011

We honor

It was time to  set the military plaque at my dad’s gravesite this weekend.  You might know we would pick the hottest, muggiest, day so far this year.  But we wanted to do it while my sister, Kathleen, was home visiting – so this past Saturday was the day.

A word to the wise.  If you plan on digging around a loved one’s grave and there are little ones involved, clearly explain what you are doing first.  They looked on in horror, and Cara said “are you going to dig him up?!?!”, as we quickly regrouped and explained what was going on.


My brother, Tom, set the plaque in place.  There is a story behind the angel food cake sitting on the headstone.  Mom and Dad loved angel food cake, and dad always proudly baked one for family events – knowing it would be the lightest and tallest – of any other cake.  The one on the headstone doesn’t do dad’s cakes justice, but as Kathleen said, “It is probably a good thing”.  He wouldn’t have liked it if my cake turned out taller and lighter than any of his!


Dad’s great grandkids carefully brushed the dirt away.


Last week Kathleen and I continued the time consuming task of going through mom and dad’s many photo albums.  Although I had already scanned a lot of photos, there was much left to decide.  After she left, I continued browsing, and happened on a manual typewritten piece of paper.  I quickly realized at some point dad had briefly documented his service history.  My guess it was used as speaking points at one time or another.  But how timely to find it the day before we planned on honoring him.  Here is what it said:
I was inducted in the Army Air Force in February 1943. I soon found that army life would be much different from civilian life. Basic training was very rigid both for the mind and body. This was necessary, however, to prepare the body for combat if needed and the mind to follow orders without question.
Next I was sent to radio operators school to learn Morris Code. From there I went to Yuma Arizona to gunnery school to learn how to fire 30 and 50 caliber machine guns from an aircraft to targets on the ground and moving targets pulled by other aircraft. I was then assigned to a crew on B17 aircraft with the 8th Air Force in Ardmore Oklahoma. I was then transferred to a B29 outfit in Salina Kansas, and from there sent to Guam in the Mariana Islands with the 39th Bomb Group of the 20th Air Force.
The trip to Guam was no fun as we were all sent by boat that crisscrossed the Pacific taking 30 days to make the trip.
Guam is about 5 miles wide by 30 miles long. All the buildings were leveled by the war and most of the people set up grass huts to live in. The 39th bomb group was at the north end of the island and the airstrip was just finished to accommodate the B29 Aircraft. The jungle was just cleared away and we had to sleep on the ground. There were lots of lizards, but they were the kind that didn’t bite. Eventually they erected Quonset huts for us to live in so we could sleep on cots.
I was on Guam for one year until the end of the war and was discharged from the Army Air Force in February 1946.

So while Tom read the words written by dad many years ago, we each took a chunk of angel food cake and remembered and gave thanks.

IMG_2393    IMG_2392

We finished off the afternoon with a BBQ of the best pork steaks ever known to mankind (I kid you not) and all of the fixin’s to go with it.  The cicadas were relentless – bomb diving into our hair and making a racket that only the 13 year emergence of cicadas can make.