Monday, August 25, 2008


Wednesday, Aug. 27th....Just a little update: Punky had to have a blood transfusion yesterday. Her hemoglobin was 18 on Monday and down to 11 on Tuesday, after a hemorrhage from her rubbing her tumor on the corner of her litterbox the night before. Normal is 35, so she was in bad shape yesterday. The worry was that she did not have enough red cells to carry oxygen. Today it was up to 22, so she may have to have another transfusion Friday. She stayed overnight at the specialists' hospital. The emergency staff there look out for the animals spending the night there, so she made out okay. I could not get there to pick her up due to tornado warnings here with the sirens sounding just as I was ready to head out the door to Greenville. There were funnel clouds spotted...thus, the sirens sounded. TV reports were telling people to abandon their cars and mobile homes and seek stronger structures to ride out the storm. It was quite scary!

Buster is doing well after his chemo 2 days ago. I went to his house this afternoon and released him from his quarantine today. He has to be isolated from Sweet Pea for 48 hours following each chemo treatment, so he lives in the bonus room for those 48 hours. Yesterday he was kind of dumpy and didn't feel too well, but today he was just fine! He is eating verrrrrry well!!! So things are back to normal with him for the time being until his next round in 3 weeks.

I am behind with my blogging and reading, but I do hope to visit you all over the weekend. This is "crunch-time" week with my job so no time to blog right now. The job and caring for these poor little sick kitties is keeping me quite busy! But I do love you all and will visit as soon as I can!

Please read to the end, as I have something for all of you there!!!!
Upstate Veterinary Specialists, Greenville, SC

We are heading back to Upstate Veterinary Specialists today! This place is state-of-the-art!!! The doctors there are all specialists in various fields. I haven't written lately about the cats and their ongoing saga with cancer. Well, Buster, my daughter's male cat, will be receiving Round 3 of his chemo treatments this morning. He gets one every 3 weeks for a total of 5 treatments. He seems to be responding to the drug, thus far. He's back to his usual old self, playing and eating anything that is put in front of him. He's on a medication for appetite as the chemo would make him stop eating. Actually, cats do much better on chemo than humans do. They really don't get the horrible nausea that people do. Their chemo "patients" are given an injection of Zofran and are sent home with an anti-nausea med plus an appetite stimulant. It was just 2 months ago today, to be exact, that he had his cancer surgery, which I did a post or two on at that time. Below is a pic of Buster (he's the black cat) and Sweet Pea, his live-in girlfriend, who also underwent cancer surgery for a fibrosarcoma twice and received 19 radiation treatments back in April. She is doing well at the present time. Her latest chest x-ray showed her lungs to be clear! That is where her type of cancer will most likely return, if or when it does.

"Sweet Pea" and "Buster"

And I'm sure all you regular readers will recall Punky, my son's cat. Punky had received 5 radiation treatments for osteosarcoma, cancer of the jaw, at the same time Sweet Pea was undegoing her treatments in April. They only do 5 treatments for her type of cancer as it makes the site so terribly sore. I am sad to say, Punky's cancer has returned. We were told it would in 3-6 months, and this is month 4 now. So she is starting radiation treatments again today, too. She was the sweetest little kitty when she was young. She loved to play more than any cat I've ever seen. But I think her playing days are coming to an end. She's one tough little cookie, though, as the radation makes her mouth ever so sore for about a week, but she keeps on eating. The tumor actually shrunk entirely away and was completely gone until just a few weeks ago. She was back to her old self and enjoying life in Florida. She is now spending some time with me as she did before, until her treatments are completed again. Her Pops had to return to Florida today. She was such a cute little kitten but now is 17 years old and looking her age, as you will notice in the second pic below. We will part with her when this cancer returns the next time.

"Punky" a few days after he got her from our local shelter

"Punky" taken when she was receiving her first round of radiation treatments
It doesn't end there! The drama continues! My son's other cat, Scooter, who is 15 years old, is having some very serious heart problems. Her heart is enlarged and is working too hard. She is so frail and has a blood clot in her left rear leg. She had an ultrasound of her heart and also an EKG just this past week. She is on 4 different medications, and the vet informed my son that her condition is considered guarded. So she is also here staying with me. Her Pops will return over Labor Day weekend to get them.

Scooter was a rescue from Augusta, Georgia. Tim was coming back from a wedding late one evening, and they stopped off to eat, and there was this tiny little kitten behind a bush by the restaurant. He inquired within and was told that she had been there 5 or 6 days, and the one waitress said she'd been bringing cat food from home to feed the kitten every day. She said her husband was considering taking it for snake food for his snake! The next morning at 6am, with a pet carrier and a little litter pan and some food and water for her, he headed back to Augusta, a 90-mile trip, one way, from where he lived at that time. He named her "Scooter" as she was just so fast! We always take the ones no one else wants, and they've all made great pets! This little gal is pitiful right now as she's lost so much weight. She is weak and her one rear leg slips out from under her at times when she walks. The vet explained it is much like how one of our limbs feels when it has gone to sleep. She's her Pops' girl...has to be right in the middle of things!

Then I have my Butch and Bootsie on Buspar, as they are overgrooming to the point of licking their bellies raw! They are wearing the large Eco-collars to keep them from getting to their bellies, but they still do! Plus, I have two 15-year old diabetic cats (littermates and sisters to Buster) who I give insulin shots to twice a day. I have another one with allergies who I give half a children's Benadryl tablet to every 12 hours. I also have 3 other cats on Cosaquins for bladder irritations, and then about 6 weeks ago Oliver had a serious bout with kidney stones, and he is supposed to be on urinary acidifiers twice a day, but I can't get them down his throat. He will not cooperate at all! I have to give him 30cc of extra water every day! Seems everyone is on different special foods and different meds, etc. , all at different times! So I had to make myself a chart to follow in order to keep it all straight! Right now I am caring for 35 cats, so you can see that my life is hectic, to say the least.

And now, this week starts my really busy time with my jobs, too! For the past week or so, I've been planning a different post but haven't had time to get my pics taken yet. So, I am hoping to squeeze a little time out for me so I can get it posted one day this week. I thought it was kind of cute and interesting. I've got this new hangup in my life.......BUT.......I'll say no more! You'll have to return later in the week to find out what it is! Going through all those old pictures has done something to me!!! LOL


I have received several new awards which are posted on my sidebar. I would like to say "THANK YOU" to Lisa, Pea, Train Wreck, Grams, Mary, Donna, Stephanie, and Heidi for the latest ones! I do appreciate each so much! Drop by their blogs for some great reading and fun posts!!!

Now....I would like to invite ALL of my regular readers to please take these awards to your own blogs! You all are so deserving of them! Blogging takes a lot of time, and I want to pass them on to each and every one of you because I love you all!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today would have been my mom's 85th birthday. She was born in Austin, PA on August 14, 1923 and passed away in Spartanburg, SC on March 1, 2004. This is my loving tribute to her.

Her father, Ray, and her mother (Grandma Jenny) on their wedding day

This is my mom's grandmother, Lily McLeod. This is Grandma Jenny's mother. My mother loved her to pieces!

Mom was the youngest of four children born to Raymond and Jeanette Blanchard. Her father died when she was just 7 years old, but her mother lived to the age of 105 years 4 months. Mom had a good life, although they were dirt poor during the Depression, but Grandma managed somehow to raise them on her own. She took in washings and did dry cleaning to make money. She also took in a couple of boarders. Plus, Gram had an admirer by the name of Wardie who helped her feed and clothe her children during those rough years. I posted about Grandma and Wardie's love in the previous post, in case you missed it.

Mom at age 7

Mom at age 7

My mother was a tiny little girl, ever so frail. Her nickname was "Squeek." She went by that name right up to the time of her death. She was called that as she had this tiny little squeaky voice. She proved them wrong, though. When she grew into a young lady, she had a beautiful voice for singing! She performed in high school plays and played Little Bo Peep in one of them. Grandma had made her costume entirely by hand for that musical. Mom played piano "by ear" and even played for local square dances when she was young, too.

Mom as Little Bo Peep

Mom finished her high school education, graduating with her small class. This was considered quite a feat back in those days, as most children had to quit school to help support their families. The one thing Grandma insisted upon was that her children get an education and graduate from high school.

The girls in her graduating class (Mom in center front)

Mom in her cap and gown

She grew up with 2 sisters, Naomi and Vivian, and 1 brother, Kenneth. He served during WWII and was stationed at Pearl Harbor on that dreadful day in 1941. The stories he told of that day, you would never believe. There is just one sibling left now, and that is my Aunt Vivian, but we call her Aunt Biddy. She will be 89 next month!

Vivian, Mom, Naomi, Kenny Grandma Jenny

Vivian, Mom, Grandma Jenny, Naomi

Young sweethearts

Her Wedding Day

Later, my mom and dad married. He was so good to her! She had 2 babies, first a son and then 3 years 4 months later, me. My dad had 4 children by a previous marriage, so those kids lived with us from time to time, too. My parents lived in Buffalo, NY where they both worked for Curtiss Wright, building airplanes during the war. Grandma Jenny lived with them and took care of my brother, Jake.

Mom with her new step-children, Mary, Arlene, Bill, and Jack (in back)

My brother Jake and me

My brother Jake and me a couple years later

When I was 3 months old, they moved from Buffalo back to PA where they purchased an old hotel. They worked hard at remodeling it from top to bottom. They opened their own business...hotel, restaurant, tavern, gas station, small grocery store. My mother was almost 23 years old at that time.

The old hotel a few years after they purchased it. Dad had the shingle siding put on it as it was just bare boards before.

The old hotel as it looked undergoing some porch remodeling, but mostly on the interior at the time this photo was taken.

A side view of the hotel as it looks today. This was taken from my mom's driveway.

Mom, age 31

She started keeping hunters and fishermen during the hunting and fishing seasons. That was quite an undertaking for such a young girl with no experience cooking for so many. But she was a hard worker and did quite well. It was hard work for her, as that was back in the days before there were clothes dryers. And at first, she used a wringer washing machine, too. I can remember her hanging all those sheets and blankets and spreads on the lines, and then bringing them in frozen stiff as boards. Dad bought her a new automatic washer and clothes dryer when they became available and also a dishwasher.

The old kitchen, complete with wood cooking stove, when they purchased the place. This is Mom and her friend, Anna Cooney, and a hunter who came to check out what's cooking!


Another dinner table!

Acting up for the photographer!

No, they didn't sleep 6 in a bed...they were just posing for the camera!

When I got older, I helped at mealtimes. I don't know how she did it...getting up at 2:30 each morning to start breakfast preparations. She had a system, and things went like clockwork. She always served homemade cakes and pies for dessert, too. I can remember helping pack sometimes 100 lunches every afternoon! Each lunch consisted of 2 meat sandwiches, 3 cookies, and a piece of fresh fruit, plus we filled their thermos bottles with fresh hot coffee each morning. The daily cleaning and bed making happened after the breakfast mess was all cleaned up and the hunters had all left for the woods. After the morning chores came the dinnertime preparations. 80# of beef roasts, or whatever the meat choice for the day was, went into the ovens. Huge canners of potatoes were prepared. Can after can of vegetables and applesauce or some other fruit were opened. Individual salads were prepared, too. Closer to mealtime, bread was stacked on plates and the gravy made. Mom could make theeee best gravy!!! I forgot to mention the planning and shopping she had to do beforehand!

Kitchen help L-R Grandma Jenny, Mom, Me, Rose Ripple
(Note the pop beads on Grandma! And also the aprons! Never see them worn much anymore.)

Mom worked hard her entire life and paid for it with health problems for many years. She and Dad made a great pair...they loved people, and they both worked hard! She was always cleaning or painting something!

The same hunters returned year after year, then the second generation came, then the third. Even after my folks sold that business years later and started another hunting lodge, the same hunters returned! I helped Mom even after I was married. It was like a big family get-together every year when they returned. My mom was really a great cook and served homestyle meals and never ran out of food and had very few leftovers, too. She just knew how much to prepare.

New Hunting Lodge

This is the place they bought after they sold the old hotel. This home was originally built for Mr. Costello, who the town was named after. He owned the tannery there in town, which at that time was the largest tannery in the world. My parents turned this into a hunting lodge without the tavern and gas pumps, though. The third floor of this home was a huge ballroom. I imagine they held parties and balls there during its prime. The woodworking in this home was something you can only imagine!

Mom was active in her church and received a 50-year membership plate one time. She was a member of the Ladies' Aid, and they raised money through bake sales and ice cream socials to buy the velvet fabric for the altar scarves and other things the church needed. We had a little country church with old weathered wood siding. One year my dad pulled his men out of the stone quarry and gave them the job of painting the church. That paint job was his donation to the church. It looked so beautiful! That church is still standing and in operation today due to the efforts of a few faithful church members. This is where I went to church from the time I was 5 years old. I can remember when there were just 4 adults, the preacher and me at Sunday services. In the wintertime, we'd sit around the pot bellied stove in the back to stay warm. I think I loved going to church at that age just for the singing. I always think of that little church when I hear these song lyrics: "There's a church in the valley in the wildwood, No lovelier church in the vale. No place is so dear to my childhood, as the little brown church in the vale!"

Costello United Methodist Church

Another view of the church

Mom was a good mother to us kids. I can never remember her ever laying a hand on us. She worked in a factory for a couple years one time to get ahead so my dad could start another business. She would catch the work bus at a quarter to 5 every morning and get home around 4:30 every afternoon. Then she would work in the hotel and restaurant in the evenings, get us kids' clothes laid out for school the next day before retiring at around midnight. We always had a home cooked meal every night, too. No TV dinners or pizza....ever! No matter how busy things got, we always ate supper together as a family!

Yes, she worked hard...Dad did, too, very hard. My dad quarried PA blue/green stone out of the mountains. He had to buy a big truck to haul the stone and also a stone cutting machine that cut the stone slabs into veneer stone to be used in the building industry same as brick is used. It was also hand cut into patio stones and also for sidewalks. He had a lovely home custom built with 2 huge fireplaces and stone veneer on the exterior, using his own stone. (His birthday is September 7th, and I'll be doing a post about him then with pics of the stone quarry.)

We had more family fun on this side porch!

Mom did get to enjoy life. She joined Eastern Star and loved it! She served as Worthy Matron one year. This is a photo of her and Dad the night she took office. I had never seen my mom look as beautiful as she did that night! Dad thought so, too! He looked pretty sharp himself!

We kids really lucked out as far as parents go. They gave us kids everything we wanted. Yes, we were spoiled, but then every kid is to an extent when you think about it. Now that I look back, I would rather not had everything but more time with them while growing up. Not that we didn't have a good childhood...we did! We went on vacations across the United States and went to Florida every winter over the Christmas/New Year's holidays...we even attended school in FL one winter. But both of them worked such long hours. Sunday nights were our only family nights, and Mom always made those nights special...homemade chocolate peanut butter fudge while we watched Lassie and The Ed Sullivan Show on TV. Dad would flop on the couch with our boxer dog "Dutchess" beside him while parakeet "Petie" would play on the coffee table with his toys. This little bird could talk up a storm!!! He was just too cute for words!!! My mother spent a lot of time teaching him to talk. This pic taken in the old hotel was dated 1959. Gee, has it been that long???

I keep telling my own kids.....take life a little's only "stuff" that you spend your money on, and someday that "stuff" won't matter one bit to anyone.

My dad passed away in 1995. I think that's when Mom started to give up. She became dependent on everyone, as Dad had always been there for her. I'm sure it was quite an adjustment for her without him in her life. She was bitter at times, and we all must try to understand how we would've felt had we been in her shoes. We will someday. I love this pic of them together!

Mom had several surgeries during her lifetime...I believe we counted 27 one time! She needed surgery again and that is when she came to live with me. I told her I would take care of her but I was working, and she would have to come to SC. So that's when she came to live with me. She had hopes of returning back to her own home in PA, but that never happened. She had 3 surgeries in 3 months when she lived with me. She was in the hospital for 13 consecutive weeks! She had bowel obstructions, one after another, and it is so hard to see someone you love suffer like she did. She lost over 50 pounds, and with a high-calorie diet, I had just got her up to 111 pounds. Then one day I went to get her for lunch and found her lying on her bedroom floor. She'd had a stroke. The EMTs arrived in 5 minutes, but 4 hours later she was gone. I held her ice cold hand when she left me. She had a history of high blood pressure and heart problems, having had a heart attack in 1986 and coding blue 3 times that night! She was just too weak to survive anything more.

I know she loved us kids, and she gave us a better life than she had. I think that's what all parents strive to do.

I love and miss you! I am thinking of you today. You are finally resting in peace. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Below are some pics of where my mom is resting for eternity. This is where she wanted to be. It was the last wish I could fulfill for her.

Front of Mausoleum

If you count the 4 pillars going down the walkway, her drawer is the first one to the left of that last pillar. She is on Level 3. This was taken from where I park my car when I visit her.

Level 3

May you rest in peace, Mom.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Happy Birthday, Grandma Jenny!

Yesterday would have been my Grandma Jenny's 121st birthday! Her name was Jeanette, but we called her Grandma Jenny. She was born on August 7, 1887. She passed away on December 11, 1992 at the age of 105 years 4 months. (My middle name is Jeanette, named after her.)

She never colored her hair but loved to have it permed. She took great pride in her appearance and her figure. She was clothes crazy and loved to dress up! I can remember her always smelling of perfume, Tabu being one of her favorites. She loved peppermint and carried a little bottle of it in her purse. She was in 7th heaven with a box of bath powder with a big powder puff! The bathroom would be covered with powder dust, but oh, it smelled so gooooood!!! She loved to bake cookies and breads. Guess that's where I got my love of baking.

I can recall the times when she would come to live with us for 6 months at a time, as it was such a fun time! She had this big trunk, naturally filled to capacity, that my poor father would lug up 18 stairs to her room! She had everything a little girl could ever imagine in that trunk! It was so much fun going through her jewelry and trying it on. She and I would stay up late into the night unpacking that big trunk. She always wore pretty, pierced, dangling earrings! She had those 'pop beads' (see above photo...the pop beads are the light blue strand) which Mom would find all over the house long after Grandma had moved on to another daughter's home for a few months! I loved to sleep with her as she used nothing but flannel sheets, and they were so soft and warm! She made my life so much fun growing up. Guess that's what grandmas do.

She always chewed gum and loved Beechnut peppermint gum! She would remove her gum at meal times and stick it on the collar of her blouse, sometimes forgetting it! Then my mom would have a mess in the dryer on laundry day! She always carried a little bottle of peppermint that she got from the pharmacist and would tip it up to her tongue, saying that it settled her stomach. Grandma complained of every ache and pain you could possibly imagine, and ended up dying of just old age. She loved to watch the soaps every day, too. But shopping was her true love! She loved clothes more than anyone I've ever known. I can remember being in elementary school and coming home to new skirts she had made for me so many days! She made them with little pleats and some with gathers. I totally loved it when she lived with us. I could barely wait to get home from school every day! There was never a dull moment!

She always accompanied our family on vacations. My father was an absolute saint to put up with a wife, 2 kids and his mother-in-law! He would have to give her a half hour notice prior to stopping at a restaurant so she could "fix" her makeup! She carried a big hand mirror in her purse. LOL If she didn't like her meal, she would say, "Maynard, you'd better tell them!" If he didn't, she would cause a big ruckus! He would always reply, "Yes, Jen." She always had to go with him when he checked the motel rooms each night, too, and if it didn't suit Grandma, we didn't spend the night there. Poor dad would have to keep driving! We took her to California one year with us and another year to the New England states and Thousand Islands. She loved to travel and shop. For several years, she also went to Florida with us over the Christmas holidays. Her favorite vacation spot of all was New Orleans, though.

We always went to Florida every winter over the holidays. One year on the way back home, we spent a couple of days in Washington, DC. One of the places we visited while there was the Washington Monument. We took the elevator to the top, but Grandma absolutely refused to come down in it! We had to take the steps down.....all 897 of them!!! The next day, my parents were both hobbling around, as well as us kids, but not Grandma. She was up and ready to go again! She loved to have her picture taken so we always had a lot of pictures to get developed when we returned home. Remember getting those films developed when we had to send them in somewhere and then wait a week or two for them to come back in the mail? Well, Grandma was always the one who watched the mailbox on a daily basis for those pictures!

I recall when I was in school when she would move in every year during deer hunting season. My parents owned a big old hotel, and my mother kept hunters and fed at least 100 men every night. My mom always paid her, as Grandma never really had much when she was raising 4 children alone. Mom never expected her to show up in the kitchen at 2:30am to start preparations for breakfast. She had two other ladies and me when I was in high school who worked those early hours. Grandma always loved to sleep in, so sleep in she did! The hunters all teased her about her getting her beauty sleep, and she just ate that up! She really was an attractive ole gal right up to the end!

The hunters all loved her. They had been "regulars" from the time I was a baby, so it was really like a big family reunion every year. There was this one old guy they called "Skins" who kind of had an "eye" for Grandma! One night, he made the wrong turn while up to use the bathroom during the night and ended up in Grandma's room! He scared poor Grandma about to death! She woke everyone up in the entire place, and then Skins' grandson came and led him back to his own room. That was quite a night. After that, Grandma never forgot to lock her bedroom door! But she and Skins sure took a lot of teasing at supper every night thereafter!

She had a pretty rough life, raising 4 children on her own during the Depression. Her husband died in 1930 when my mother was just 7 years old. My mom was the youngest of four children. For years, Grandma kept boarders and took in laundry and washed clothes on a scrub board until her knuckles would bleed, my mom told me. She also did dry cleaning for the businessmen in the little town where she lived in PA. She had a gentleman (Wardie) who loved her for many, many years, but she would never marry him. That is, until she was 72 years old! He bought her a 1/2 carat diamond ring, and she wore it for several years before actually saying "yes." Then they had a lovely church wedding and a reception at my Aunt Naomi's home. Aunt Naomi was her oldest child. Then there was a son, Ken, and another daughter, Vivian, and then my mom, Oliene. All are deceased now except Aunt Biddy (Vivian), and she will be 89 next month.
This is a picture of their wedding reception held at my Aunt Naomi's home. Pictured L-R are Wardie, Grandma, Rev. Karnes, Aunt Naomi and Uncle Bruce.

The wedding was beautiful! Grandma had chosen a royal blue sheath dress, and she had the figure for it, too! She made a beautiful bride. At the very front of the church where they had to stand, there was a heat register in the floor. Well, Grandma's high heels kept getting stuck in it. So, finally, to avoid another ruckus during the ceremony, the minister moved them off to the side away from that register. All went well after that. That is...until Wardie had to say "I do." He was just standing there, daydreaming, and Grandma had to poke him with her elbow several times, telling him to "say it," and he would reply, "Say what?" And she shouted at him, "Say I do." They had everyone in the church literally in stitches during the entire ceremony.

Then it was time for the reception and the removal of the garter! Well, Grandma just was not going to stand for her new husband to touch her leg!!! No way!!! So it was quite a fun thing to watch him trying to get that garter off her leg! The giggling and whooping and hollering from all of their old friends was a real hoot! (I couldn't find the picture of this, but I do have one somewhere!)

Below is a picture of Grandma and Wardie not long after they were married. He was the only grandfather I ever knew, and I loved him just as if he were my real grandfather. Both of my biological grandfathers passed away when they were very young. My dad was 5 when his father died, and my mom was 7 when her father died. Grandma was one lucky woman that Wardie waited so many years for her to accept his marriage proposal. He was sooooo good to her!

Wardie had been there for Grandma all those years while she was raising her children. He had always provided their holiday meals for them and saw to it that they always had food on the table. My mother told the story of how he came one Thanksgiving morning and threw a dead duck right in bed with them. That was for their dinner, he told them. He had a great sense of humor and Grandma's children all loved him. He always provided for Gram and her children. To this day, no one knows why she waited so long to marry him. We always thought it was because she loved taking turns living with her daughters.

Below is another photo of them. I would invite them to my home for Sunday dinner quite often, and this picture was taken on one of those Sundays.

Together, they had a good life. Grandma had taken turns living with her daughters. Wardie had lived in a local hotel in one room for many years, walking a half mile every morning to my Aunt Naomi's home to get the lunch she packed for him every day, and then he would walk another mile and a half to the factory where he worked. He loved to walk, and there has to be some connection to walking and longevity, as he lived to the ripe old age of 96! He never owned a car in his entire life and never had a driver's license. He had a huge garden right up to the day he died. He did all the shopping and housecleaning for Grandma, too. So, you see, they really did have a good life together as they had their own home then. And Wardie was quite the cook, too! He gave Grandma a life of pampering and leisure living! They were so good for each other!!!

One night while I was downtown for something, I went up to her apartment and found her watching HBO!!! She said that man on there didn't have any clothes on under his raincoat! She was in awe!!! I said, "Really?" With her eyes as big as saucers, she replied, "Oh, YES, but don't tell anyone because they'll take that channel away from me." I thought I was going to die!!! Somehow, she was getting HBO for free! LOL Grandma was a real character, to say the least.

Below is another photo taken on a Sunday on our patio. They loved to get out of their apartment whenever they could. We used to take them to my parents' home, also, 20 miles away. Just 3 miles from my parents' home, we would pass through the little town of Austin, where Grandma was born and where they both lived in their younger years. They loved to ride through Austin and always had a new story to tell each time about this or that or someone!

After I was married and had moved to the town where they lived and my husband worked, I would take Grandma 25 miles into NY state to our closest mall. She had the best times shopping and trying on clothes! She would spend a day at my home every week, and we would sew and cook and bake together. Sometimes, on Sundays she and Wardie would join us for Sunday dinner. But Wedneday nights were THEIR nights....we would always congregate at her and Wardie's place with Aunt Naomi and Uncle Bruce there, too. Best nights I can remember!!! Lots of story telling and videotaping! Grandma always had dessert to serve, too. She loved her Wednesday nights! These are the times that will never be forgotten....Grandmas do build memories...lots of them! With tears flowing the entire time, I am writing this post in remembrance of all those wonderful fun times gone by.

People really had it hard back in the old days, but they were hard working folks, and I am so proud that I have had such strong genes passed on to me! Grandma, I love you and miss you very much! I often think of those Wednesday nights with so much joy and love in my heart. Happy Birthday, Grandma Jenny!

P.S. I didn't have time to post this yesterday as I was at my daughter's waiting for hours for UPS to deliver an envelope containing a state-certified copy of her birth certificate which she needs in order to obtain a passport for her new job. The package required an "in-person" signature since it was a birth certificate. I had been working on this post for 2 weeks, trying to find the appropriate photos to add to it and then didn't have time to even finish it and post it on Grandma's actual birthday. So it is a day late. This was rather long, but if anyone ever deserved a long post, it is my dear Grandma Jenny.