Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Can you see it?? The tiny, miniature snowflakes? Well, they were there. It was a true "snow shower" that lasted for about - oh, a minute or so. See the hazelnuts on the table? See those cute girls? Here's Hannah serenading us with her "stick violin":

This past weekend: baby in the leaf pile (witness that thousand-dollar tooth!):
99% of my pictures of Hannah are "action shots":

Monday, October 27, 2008


Just wanted to share a couple finds I made today!

I found a Christmas present in an unexpected place today and it was free! The library offers a box of magazines "free - take some" and I found a very old one dated the same month and year of a loved one's birth. AND, it is an uncommon magazine in his or her field of interest. That is all I can say...family will have to wait until Christmas....

OH, and another Christmas present I got today for FREE....Do you know about CVS' wonderful, generous customer rewards program? Well, just by scanning my CVS card, I got a coupon for a FREE $25 CVS gift card with a new or transferred prescription. Wehhhelllll, between the four of us we probably have eight prescriptions that I could choose from, so I did, and I got it. I can either give the gift card "as is" or I can use it to buy a restaurant gift card, AMEX gift card, etc. I was going to use it for myself, but this another way I can help us take a dent out of our Christmas spending.

Finally, I made an edible discovery in the yard (I'm ALL about food, you know!). We have these shrubs in a little patch beside the old shed. I had no idea what they were, just that they produced little fuzzy flowers. But they ARE something....Hazel Nuts! Filberts! And they are Ripe! Not enough to make fruitcake or anything, but I sure won't be cutting them down (or letting DH cut them down!) like I had planned! Love it.

It smells like winter outside: its cold and there are heavy dark clouds. Its 42 degrees and supposed to drop to 35 tonight, with snow showers and/or sleet tomorrow. Can't wait!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

aaaaaalllllll better

whew! It was actually fairly painless, this root-canal stuff on a 16-month old. The most difficult part was actually the drive there and back - about an hour and a half each way. Mama and Daddy-o were exhausted - I drove halfway back after it was frightfully evident that Andy wouldn't stay awake.

Abba has a brand new white front tooth. She was a little fussy when she woke up because of the IV port in her hand, but once that was removed she was fine. She was hungry as a bear, too, as she hadn't been allowed to have anything to eat since the night before at midnight.

I entertained Hannah by letting her go up and down the escalators eight times - they were in a less-crowded part of the hospital and it was a nice diversion. I can't say enough about how professional, courteous and friendly the staff was. We were at Roanoke Memorial (Carillion) and from the nurses, to the anesthetist, the doctor, the janitors, the folks in the cafeteria...everyone was great. It is a HUGE facility, but we managed to find our way around alright.

Well, I gotta get suppah on. Its lazy and low-nutrition pigs in blankets with baked beans. We're all having an early bedtime - we'll hit it again tomorrow.

Well, thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

24 degrees outside at 7:30AM
75 degrees inside

cost: priceless (Andy gets free wood from a friend's property up near Humpback bridge - we're stocked for this year and next)

I just love wood heat!

What a difference a year makes - seasoned wood burns so much better in the wood stove!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I have been on a roll this week! I am not prone to organization, and certainly the housekeeping gene so prominent with my ma and my grandmother skipped my generation - well, maybe my sister got it? - anyways, I sure didn't. I'm on a mission to SIMPLIFY and pare down and clean out. Or up. Whatever.

Maybe its the weather. It is 52 degrees at 11AM, very windy and overcast. No precip in the forecast, but definitely deep fall weather. Just beautiful. Can I say again that I LOVE the Highlands? This whole area is just beautiful. Yeah, yeah, its got its sore spots, but on this side of heaven, its bound to happen even in the beautiful mountains. We're past peak leaf season now, attested by the blowing leaves and bare patches on the hillsides. But driving down Route 60 or the Draft with the leaves swirling before and behind - well, its like a movie trailer or somethng.

But the wind and the chill means we girls can't spend so much time outside - not to mention baby naptime or big girl quiet time, so I'm working inside. No, really - I am!! I thought perchance I was nesting, but as it turns out, alas I am not. Just in the mood, I guess. I cleaned out the upstairs freezer this morning....what in the world am I saving all that stale bread for? Abigail is a taker for frozen banannas, and I think we'll have ham for supper tonight. The pork rinds from last years' Fall Festival are now enjoying the black plastic of the kitchen trashcan. Thanks to my magnificent husband, in the girls' room there is plenty of room in their new bookcase to store books, puzzles and toys. Even Hannah and Sugar Baby can get the room done in a reasonable amount of time (they don't but they could.) In my room, I stacked sweaters on the shelf in my closet and moved the bags that were up there to a hook in the back of the closet. I jotted down the address of a consignment shop where to drop off 2 coats, a bedspread and a sweater tomorrow. (Plan: use the $ to buy a gift certificate to give as a Christmas present). A timely email from my pal Andrea redirected me to the FlyLady's website, where I was encouraged to begin planning for Christmas. Funny, just last night I was considering a gift list and budget during yet another bout of insomnia...

Of course, it could be nerves, too - day after tomorrow is our appointment in Roanoke. I guess I have to be ready for that by tomorrow night as we'll have to leave at o'dark-thirty to get there by 7am. I've been praying from my heart as well as scripture for comfort. I know that the Lord loves children and ....

Yikes - I um....gotta go. Earlier this morning I tied up a sheet for a tent in the girls' room, where they are now playing loudly... I heard a bang and Hannah bellowed out "MAMA, you HAVE to come. Abba needs to be breasted - you have to breast her under the tent!!" Argh.

Monday, October 20, 2008

medical alerts

I consider myself to be pretty bright, but I just don't put all the pieces together. There is probably undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder lurking amongst my neurons, too. Either that, or I just "don't think." (Hmmmm, haven't I heard that before - recently??)
I considered all of this today on the way home from Abba's physical with a VIRGINIA pediatrician. All jokes aside, she has to have outpatient root canal surgery this Thursday in Roanoke. The hospital wouldn't accept a physical performed by her West -By Golly- Virginia pediatrician, so I had to go to one here in town. I will allow you to speculate on the reasons for that, but I figure it has to do with insurance regulations or HIPPA, as it all does.
So we went to one of the two local pediatricians - (it's WHO you know that counts. A fellow Dunlap VFD/Rescue Squad member is a nurse there and got us in on short notice) - and got the Sugar Baby pre-approved for surgery.
This doctor told me that she puts all of her patients on a fluoride supplement at 6 mos. if they have well water at home. Further, she figured that breastfeeding (i.e., no juice, no bottle) would not significantly predispose said toddler to cavities, unless there was a fluoride deficiency.
Now, to relate this back to gullibility - and there is a connection here - I just took the first (WV) doctor at her word that the spot on Abba's tooth was nothing to worry about (3 months ago) and that fluoride supplements for our well-water family should begin at 3 years old (as for Han). Also, I didn't piece together that it was rather unusual for the Sugar Baby to have such a bad cavity when she is the best "eater" of any of us. (Her appetite is definitely NOT genetic!)

On a similar note, please withhold your "I TOLD YOU SO"s on this: Hannah's hyperactivity / behavior is directly linked to her sugar intake. Yas, yas, yas, I know. It was painfully obvious after she finished her buttercream-icing-laden birthday cake and half a bag of cotton candy (from her DADDY-O!!). The next day was miserable. But the following day, which was Sunday and should have been a "bad day" was fine - even though we were late waking for church and her schedule was altered. Anyways, we are now in search of sugar-free, high-protein, complex-carb foods - especially for breakfast and snacks. The rest of the day is easy, but those two areas are difficult as far as convenience.

OK, this post was all over the place but that is because I am tired and a little edgy. If I don't post again, remember Abigail in prayer on Thursday. She is having outpatient surgery (root canal / "pulpectomy") in Roanoke Memorial Hospital at 10AM for a deep cavity on her front tooth. She should be discharged in the early afternoon.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Halloween...last year

This was last year's Halloween picture. My, how things have changed!! I just wanted to do a "before" picture....look closely at the pumpkins. We will be making them again this week....Lord willing....

signs, sights & smells of fall

smoke settling low over valleys from leaf burn piles and wood stoves...
Clifton Forge's Fall Festival next weekend...
ladybug swarms in Callaghan (including the 104...yes, 104 that we vacuumed up from the living room and bedroom walls & windows yesterday)...
georgeous, breathtaking glowing fall colors on mountains, up hollows, across valleys and meadows...
crunchy leaves underfoot....
late purple asters growing wild by roadsides, in fields, everywhere...
morning fog...
black walnuts (Andy swept thedriveway clean last evening, and this morning there were 42 'new' fallen nuts out there....not counting the one that dropped sometime yesterday, breaking the windshield of my Ford Escape. Grrrr.)...
deer by the dozens feasting on fallen apples...
crisp blue sky and 40 degree nights...
cozy sweaters...
apple butter simmering in brass kettles at church fund-raisers...

Monday, October 6, 2008


I forgot why I even started looking at Facebook yesterday anyways. I think I was looking up someone from high school, but it just totally snowballed on me from there. Yikes! Turns out that I had signed up for it and had created a profile back - I guess, 2 or 3 years ago, because there is a pix of me with Hannah in the baby sling on our Gettysburg trip. I think she was 7 months.
Anyways, it is a hoppin' place! Much too tempting for me....because don'tcha know that (sitting side by side), Andy and I each looked up former gf's and bf's (and I even looked for some bff's) for an hour. An hour that we can never get back!
Then, we looked up folks from school, former churches, neighbors, and so on. We could have spent hours and hours. You never get to the end of it! Personally, I like my blog much better. Maybe I'm selfish, because its all about me. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm also not too tempted to stay on too long - I don't even spellcheck half the time!!
Don't get me wrong, half of our former church members have Facebook pages. I just don't have time for it, myself! Then there's that temptation to . . . . well, fill in the blank. My social calendar is full: grocery shopping, cleaning, playdates, storytime at the library and boring mom stuff.
That said, I'm off to bed. I have apples and too-ripe pears in the crock pot on low for warm applesauce for breakfast. YUM!

Ohhh...one more thing before I go. Andy and I heard something kind of "yip-bark-kikkik"ing in the back yard Thursday night. We knew it wasn't foxes, and didn't think it could be dogs - but the more we listened, we knew it was something - well, different. Turns out it was COYOTEs! Our n/d neighbor said he saw them in his back yard down by the creek. Hoowahh!