Thursday, August 31, 2006

And finally, the CPAP

The gentleman from Airway Oxygen is demonstrating how to adjust the face mask that will provide Fritz with what we hope will be a much better sleeping experience. A couple years ago, Fritz had surgery to correct soft tissue problems in his throat, but unfortunately that didn't do the job well enough to prevent snoring and sleep apnea. This machine will keep his airway open, help prevent snoring and sleep apnea, and hopefully, provide him with a much sounder and deeper sleep. One of the things I didn't know about sleep apnea is that it is very hard on your heart. It can give you headaches and a whole host of health problems. So Fritz really needs to stick with this treatment until he gets so used to it he won't be able to sleep without it. He is willing to give a real good try. I'll keep you posted! Posted by Picasa

It's Only Cold If You're Old....

I cropped out the group of lads who were at the edge of the beach with a boogie board. They were standing there wrapping their arms around themselves as if it were chilly. Well, it might not have been 90 degrees out, and maybe the lake water isn't as warm as it has been, but the girls sure enjoyed swimming in it! I went in to my hips, but didn't want to go further because I didn't have a bathing suit top on. Can't find it! And yes, it was a little chilly for my taste. But even two years ago I would've gone in because it wasn't that bad. Guess the expensively dressed tourists with the brand new boogie board just couldn't handle the reality of nature. They piled in their car and drove away. My guess is they were thinking "BEER." It was a beautiful day on the beach. Not too windy, no biting flies, not at all crowded, and even though the waves were quite small, the girls like to float, and that is something that is hard to do when the waves are big. Hard to believe the hottest days are behind us, and the big lake is cooling off more and more each day. I'm not going to say this is the last day of swimming, but for sure there won't be many more days like this in 2006! Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 28, 2006

When The Cat's Away!

Okay, this isn't really the kids celebrating their freedom with the good china, fine wine, sparkling stemware and clean, crisp linens. It's the little dinner party we had at Shortensweet's dino-rama. Auntie Em was there, too of course! We had a lovely dinner made by herself. On the menu: Tasty, redolent meat loaf. Au Gratin potatoes. Salad, broccoli, black olives (large and firm), green olives (tender and tangy), buttered dinner biscuits, and for dessert, light fluffy cheesecake with your choice of cherries or strawberries with whipped cream. Chris liked it so much he licked the graham cracker crumbs off his saucer. Ask him about it. I whined until I got seconds on the potatoes. Yes, really. A good time was had by all, and for that we all have our pleasant and generous hostess to thank. Posted by Picasa

When the Cat's Away....

Well, Dad is otherwise engaged, so what do the kids do? They break out the champagne, the good stemware, the china, and the linen napkins, and make a toast to their freedom. Ha ha. Really, Shortensweet made us a lovely dinner tonight which we all enjoyed. It was so good I'm not even going to tell you what we had because you would be jealous. (Meatloaf, salad, broccoli, buttered dinner rolls, au gratin potatoes, black and green olives, and cheesecake with cherries OR strawberries, topped with fluffy whipped cream, hot fresh coffee with French vanilla creamer, etc.) Val and I caught up on some band gossip and everyone took a turn breaking in a new bathroom, getting it ready for the trauma to come when you know who has her REAL housewarming party! It was cool-ish and rainy outside, but inside, it was warm and cozy. I wanted to include a picture of the place setting but am not that good at Picasa yet. The picture pile covered up most of the picture and I couldn't get it to move around. Anyway, hopefully there will be more little dinner parties to come as the summer days fade into fall. Posted by Picasa
Why cats shouldn't drink tequila. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Now Everybody, Say Cheese!

In digging through my ginormous files of pictures, I found this treasure. Check out the facial expressions! This picture just makes me want to bust a gut laughing. I don't know why everyone looked so ornery in this shot. This was one of many pictures taken that day by a photographer who lived downstairs. I painted the sign for his business and he agreed to take some family pictures in turn. It was a hot day and we had been in the sun for awhile so I am guessing this was the problem. If any of you in this photo remember it differently, don't hesitate to correct me. I am glad I have some photos of us actually smiling and looking happy that day, because this one was definitely not the best shot! Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 25, 2006

Girl's Night In

Even though this memorable event took place several weeks ago, I wanted to make sure to note it on the blog because it was really special. One night when the girls were over, we decided to have Jamie over for dinner and we wanted to make it something out of the ordinary for someone who works hard and deserves a little pampering. Besides their Mom, of course! So the girls set the table very carefully, used the best dishes, and lit candles. They were a very big help, and it was a great dinner enjoyed by all. As you can see, they were very proud of their efforts, as was I! Posted by Picasa

Girl's Night Out

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Girl's Night Out

Hello! I am Jamie's leg. Don't I look cute?! I am tan, tattooed, tipsy, and available for dancing !! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 Check out some awesome pictures!

Birthday Shout-Out!

Today is a special day to celebrate the family members who are one year older. First, today is Grandma Larson's birthday, and although we can't be with her today I am sure all of you who are reading this will agree, it's great to be able to wish her another year of every good thing life has to offer. So Mom, if you are reading this, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! We will celebrate you when you come to visit. When is that going to be!!!??? Hope it's soon! And Fritz, we didn't get a chance to celebrate your 48th because you had to work on your birthday, but today the family is gathering to honor you, so get ready to start off another year with all the people who love you gathered around to visit and chow down. Feliz Cumplianos!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

One Mouse Down

One mouse is dead. How do I know? Because when Fritz stood at the top of the basement stairs to throw some laundry down to me, and I bent over to pick it up, my face came within a foot of the mouse-killing trap thingy which was lying on the floor where it should not have been! We are not sure if the dying mouse dragged it there or Smoochy did, but needless to say, I screamed and quivered at having come so close to the grey horror. I really hate to see mice, dead or alive. Both of them make my hair stand on end.

Oh, when I updated and published the pictures of the day at the beach, I also put another favorite picture which is just beneath it so don't forget to scroll down. And don't forget to click on the pictures to enlarge. Thanks for checking in.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

August Afternoon

What better way to spend an August afternoon. This is Thursday, August 17, Grandpa Fritz's birthday! (He had to go to work, but joined us on the beach for a little while.) Brooke, Molly and Paige loved every wet and sandy moment on the beach, from jumping in the swells to digging a hole to China. Paige wanted to wear the "floatie" bathing suit and told me, "I don't mind a small wedgie. Just a big wedgie I don't like." The suit was just a tad too small, but apparently the small wedgie didn't bother her.
When I tried to go in the water, I went through all the panting and contortions older people do when the cold water creeps higher and higher on the body. The girls watched me curiously, having no problem at all with getting used to the 65 degree water. Paige squinted up at me and informed me, "My daddy said people who are fat don't feel the cold water." I have to admit that laughing did warm me up some! We had a wonderful time, and yes, I finally did go in the water. Posted by Picasa
Here is another one of my favorite photos. Since Ray was born in California, the folks back home didn't get to see him until he was about a month old. So very few people remember that he had red hair. Yes! Red hair! It didn't last very long, but it was amazing while it lasted! Also, I treasure this picture because it was taken right after we got Ray home from the hospital. We lived in Reseda and he was in the hospital in next-door Northridge, receiving treatment for jaundice. I remember going to visit him (parents were only allowed during visiting hours....humpf!) and my husband and I watched in delight as he kicked his little baby legs vigorously. They had him blindfolded to protect his eyes from the ultraviolet lamp, but those legs were just a' kickin, like, "Get me out of here, and lets get going on my life!" Later, my husband and I went to a movie to take our mind off the fact that we didn't get to bring our baby home. Apparently the distraction didn't work, because we were both very sad during the movie, wanting to be home with our new baby instead. Living in California is a chapter of life I only shared with a husband and infant too small to remember. But this picture brings back so many memories, and in spite of the fact that our young marriage didn't last, this was by far one of our happiest moments. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 17, 2006

About that new version....

For those of you who check the blogs frequently or have tried to update your own, you may have noticed the picture icon doesn't follow through and display your photos. I am wondering if this is because there is a new version of Blogger that they are trying to get people to switch to...the info is on your opening page. Apparently there are a lot of things it can't do yet, plus you have to have a Google account. And as with all internet shit these days, it won't tell you ahead of time if that means you have to pay or not (often you have to really hunt and read the fine print all the way through...and even then they make it as ambiguous and confusing as they can hoping you will just sign up....). Anyway our good old days of doing things the way we learned them are over. Apparently the old dogs will have to learn new tricks. Meanwhile, I have a lot of photos I would like to publish, but cannot. Shitters. I am not going to switch to the new version until they work some of the bugs out.

Monday, August 14, 2006

A Day To Remember

Today is August 13, Kady Rene Veen's date of birth. She has been on my mind a lot lately as the month of her birth approached and I didn't want the day to pass without saying a few things about her. First of all, I will never stop being sad about the fact that when our family gathers, a dear little one isn't there to enjoy the things we are enjoying. It's only for a moment, because I know she is in heaven, and I do believe babies like Kady are angels that can see and hear us even though we can't see and hear them. So I know, in a way, she is with us always. And I believe she knows how much we love her and miss her and think of her. And I also want to say I am grateful for her even though her life was brief, because I think she changed my life in a very significant way. Because I loved her before she was born, and looked forward so much to being her grandmother, the fact that she was here such a brief time made me the kind of grandmother that treasures each and every moment with the grandchildren that were born in later years. It made me appreciate the fact that all of our lives, and children especially, are a precious gift. And it made me so much more appreciative of the fact that there is a loving God, who will dry our tears and fill our hearts with joy when we gather together with those dear ones who went before us to their heavenly home. I don't know why Kady was called home after being with us such a short time. But I do believe that God loves us very much, even more than we love Kady, and that just as we didn't want to think of her suffering, God doesn't want us to suffer. So I know and just have faith that someday we will know and the answer will replace the pain with unimaginable joy. Until then, I know she has a piece of my heart that will always love and remember her. And I will never stop being glad she was part of our lives, even if only for the months we looked forward to her being her and the week she was here. And last, I can't help but feel she is looking on with loving encouragement as those of us, her family, go about our daily walk of life. It makes me want to be a better person. Kady, I know I speak for all who knew you when I say we love and miss you.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mouse Update

Last night I had dreams about reptiles invading our house. It was a new kind of snake. (MOM, you may not want to read this part!) They were fat like a toad but elongated like a snake. And then there were baby snakes, too, and in my dream they were baby rattlers! So the baby rattlers were attacking the toad-like snakes. And I had to walk through them, barefoot! And of course it wouldn't even be a decent nightmare unless I walked on one -- or two. It was just so ultra-creepy, even now my bare feet tingle with the memory of how it felt to step on a dream snake! And to know at any second one could and probably would lunge at me.

And I figure two things contributed to this nightmare. One, I tried to beat Smoochy into the bedroom last night because if she gets in before me, she hides, and I have to find her and put her out before I go to sleep or she wail at the closed door until I do. So as were were hot-stepping towards the door, I accidentally stepped on her tail. Her long, slinky tail. The arch of my foot was on it so it didn't hurt her, but it gave me a creepy feeling to feel that living tube undefoot. And then, just before I fell asleep, the memory of that mouse climbing my bedspread intruded upon my fatigued brain.

So you see, having a mouse invade our house really did traumatize me some. However, we have not seen it since the last sighting prompted us to stuff steel wool in the cable-holes. A muffin accidentally left out overnight bore no tell-tale toothmarks, nor did the one piece of popcorn on the floor suspiciously disappear. So maybe...we scared it away? The mouse traps remain empty. But like the unseen shark that circles the sandbars, or the folded but unsleeping bat that waits in the dark at the top of the attic, I can feel its presence somewhere. Waiting.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Clancy And Kid

I love the action and color in this picture. And as Ray says, why not put more pictures on that people are really interested in? :)

I was looking for his special baby picture but decided to put this one on instead. It was taken when Ray went to pick up the twins at Vineyard after the Heritage Landing Easter Egg Hunt a few years ago. That is Brooke in his arms. The first time he put on the clown make-up and wig, the twins, who were very young, weren't even afraid of him! As the twins often say, "Daddy is funny!"

Why Dogs Are Our Best Friends

My friend Debbie (Redding) Smith sent me this photo in an e-mail (Or maybe it was Margie, it's been awhile) but anyway it is so darn cute I just wanted to share. It was titled "Praying Dog" but when I look at this picture, I almost think the dog is praying for the child's prayers to be answered.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Favorite Pictures Category

This picture is just so adorable. It was taken April 1971 according to the date on it. I used to bathe Laura in the bathroom sink, because as you can see, she fit just right! And you can also see why my doctor asked me who the Indian was in our family! We lived in a duplex about 3 blocks from downtown Whitehall. There was no shower, only a tub that was very low to the floor. I don't remember much about the kitchen sink, but I am willing to bet it usually had dishes in it as there was little or no counter space. Anyway, we lived there about a year, Laura learned to walk at 6-7 months old, partly due to Ray's mentoring. She looks pretty smart for a 5 month old....that look of concentration, figuring out what is going on. And hmmm....I didn't notice it then, but there are definitely some cheeks on that little face, sorta like the ones Em had when she was born. Always wondered where she got those from!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Bubbles and Giggles

The weather has cooled somewhat, but the beach is still the place to be! So after dinner (which Brooke laughed all the way through!?) the twins and I went swimming and it was great. The waves were reasonably nice, the water warm (after you got all the way in it) and not much wind. We all three got into floatie rings and let the waves bounce us to shore. Paige went first, then me in the middle holding onto her foot, and Brooke holding onto my legs, all of us laughing like crazy. The Paige got cold so I wrapped her up in several wraps and held her on my lap onshore while Brooke paddled and splashed to her heart's content a few feet away in the shallows. "Grandma," Paige said seriously. "Do you remember Mrs. Campbell?" "Not one from your school," I answered. Paige informed me, "Her name is Campbell, but she doesn't camp, and she doesn't ring a bell."

When we got home they got a bath and shampoo. Then I put them in clean tee shirts (they are art shirts, beach shirts, or nighties, depending on what we need at the time.) They loved the bath and were so cheerful and sparkling I couldn't resist taking a picture or two. They are going to get their pictures taken Saturday for posters that will be displayed at the hospital. But I really should let their folks blog about that, and hopefully post some pictures after they are taken. Now the girls are sleeping and I better, too. OH, have you all wished Chill and Troph Happy Anniversary yet?! Check out their blogs if you haven't already.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Goodbye Buffalo

The guy with the banjo called himself Buffalo. He was a musician and an occasional friend. Cujo, the guy with the guitar, is a longtime karaoke patron of ours, and a friend. He and Buffalo played together in various night spots throughout our area, and made a cd of some of their more popular songs. Buffalo was part Indian. When Cujo got very ill there was a benefit for him, and Buffalo made a large dreamcatcher to be raffled off as a fundraiser. I won it. I only bought two tickets the whole night and won it. I also have a choker made of beads with an Indian pattern on it made by Buffalo. Val and I each bought one from him years ago. Once Colleen and I asked Buffalo how he got his name. He grinned a great big grin, turned around to make sure no one else was listening, and laughed, "Because I'm hung like a buffalo!" Colleen and I both got very red, but we laughed a lot over that. Buffalo could yodel, and I used to tease him about being an Indian who yodeled like a cowboy. He was also an Indian who played a ....Jew's Harp! Well, as you may have guessed, Buffalo passed away. I know he was diabetic but he did have some other health problems, too. His real name was Dennis Andersen. He had a lot of friends and will be greatly missed. If I knew how to put music on my blog, I would, because I would like you to hear his singing. I hope he is playing his banjo up there and yodeling, too, wherever Native Americans go after they leave this world.

Rescue on the High Seas

Yes, it has been hot. On Wednesday, the big lake was very rough and the red flag was flying. So we went to the beach Grace calls the Grub Club. I call it Guana Beach. Howsomever, the water was great, and this year the gulls must have found a new place to leave their droppings because it wasn't the problem it has been in year's past. But I digress. Look at the pictures. Can you guess which bathing beauty drifted way out beyond the dropoff, and was rescued by a passing sailor in a small sailboat? Look at their faces. Which one looks sheepish, like they made a little mistake? Okay, I'll tell you. It was Emily. But, it wasn't Emily that drifted away. Not on my watch!!! It was the orange noodle. I told the girls if their toys drifted away not to go after them, as the dropoff was fairly close by. And sure enough (as the picture shows) Emily turned her back on the noodle just a moment. But the wind and wave action soon carried it far out of reach. After about a half hour, when the noodle was almost out of sight, we noticed a small sailboat heading right for it. Well, we were right, the guy was after our noodle. "Piracy!" I thought. But no, he must have realized a swimmer had lost it, and he waved it around in the air. We waved back. He steered in closer. "Go to the channel, " he called, "and I'll throw it to you!" So we made our way to the little inlet that goes into the marina. And he cruised in there and threw it to Grace, who had to wade out into the rocks to get it. Emily said it was the best adventure she ever had on the beach. After that we watched the storms come in, the ones that never made it to Muskegon.