Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Some Good News plus a Fun Tag

I want to thank Jessica for the Friendliest Friend Award! Thank you, Jessica! Hop on over and check out her blog! She is a busy young Christian mom with an adorable little girl! They are a wonderful family!

Some good news! Punky's tumor is shrinking and is almost gone! She is back to eating on her own and seems to be enjoying life once again. We are hoping for another 4 months with her before she has to be put to sleep. The cancer will return, and when that happens again, we will say our goodbyes to her. She's been a tough little trooper! Her 'Pops' will be coming to get her and 'Scooter' the end of this week. Then they will be off to Florida again!

'Scooter' is doing better, too! She is eating much better and loves to walk around the house. She is weak yet, but now that she is eating much better, it's just a matter of time before she can really get around. We love them so much, so this is really good news to us!!!

Also, some other good news! I heard on TV weather this evening that we are in for some below normal temperatures! We will welcome them, that's for certain!!! The mornings are cooler now, but then it heats up during the day. We still have the humidity, so the AC is still running. I, myself, am waiting for those cool nights for better sleeping!

Also, I was tagged by Pam, and I just noticed that I have not done it yet. Sorry about that, Pam.....but here goes!

1. What were you doing ten years ago:

Well, I was just 8 days away from my final divorce court date . At that time, I was working at a large hotel as Administrative Office Manager, a job I thoroughly loved, until the place was sold! I had purchased a new 40-foot Fifth Wheel RV (complete with washer and dryer and dishwasher) and was living in it at a local campground in this area. I loved it, and had bought it with the thought that I would never have to pack up everything if I should ever decide to move again. Crazy, huh? But it was very roomy and had all the conveniences of a house. It had triple slides, and the living room opened to 15 feet wide, so I was quite comfortable in it. That Fall and Winter, I lived next door to Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus! No, I haven't lost it! I really did live next door to them! They were on contract at our local mall for the holiday season. I only lived in it about 7 months when we had a horrible ice storm, and my big awning came down, trapping me inside until the fire department got me out at 4am! Of course, I didn't leave, but at least I could get my door open once they removed the awning and my screen room. That was enough of RV living for me! 10 days later, I had moved back into the new apartment complex where I had previously lived. Then I bought a townhome in a new community, where I am today! I still have the is parked near Orlando, FL at this time.

2. Five things on my to do list for today: (or I should say tomorrow since it is too late to do much today now!)

1. Go to my daughter's home again to check on Buster and feed him. He had his 4th round of chemo this past Monday. He's on an appetite stimulant for 5 days, and he is hungry all the time!

2. Go to Hobby Lobby for fabric for some Christmas projects.

3. Make pizza crusts.

4. Clean house and work on my jobs

5. And naturally, care for my cats!

3. What is your favorite snack?

I really don't snack. If I did, it would probably be Ritz crackers and sharp cheddar cheese and a diet wild cherry pepsi OR maybe a yogurt.

4. If I were a millionaire, I would:

1. Donate money to help with the pet overpopulation and build catteries to save more cats. Dogs get priority at our shelter here, and the cats don't have much of a chance, especially the feral cats. They aren't even given the chance for adoption...they are put to sleep right away. I do understand that there aren't enough people to foster them and tame them, but they DO tame. I have tamed a LOT of them. Sick dogs receive medical care, whereas sick cats are just euthanized right away.

2. Give money and food to the poor.

3. Buy clothes for poor children so they feel equal to the other kids.

4. Make sure every child in our area has a wonderful Christmas.

5. Make sure everyone in our area is warm in winter and cool in summer!

5. Places I have lived:

1. Buffalo, NY

2. Costello, PA

3. Port Allegany, PA

4. Laurens, SC
5. Muncie, IN
6. Spartanburg, SC
7. Moore, SC

6. Five people I'm tagging:

1. Michelle

2. Shannon

3. Diane @ Diane's Place

4. Jessica

5. Sammy

There you have it! Have a great week!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Saturday Surprise!

Edy and George on their honeymoon in 1947

Today I decided to call our former neighbors back in Pennsylvania, as they have a son who lives in Houston, Texas, with his family. I had been up watching the Weather Channel and CNN News during the night about Hurricane Ike hitting that area. I had to know if he and his family were safe. We had lived next door to this wonderful family for over 16 years...16 years 4 months and 6 days to be exact. We saw their children go through high school, college and get married. Those were some of the best years of our married next door to people who were as much family to us as they were friends. So, I was kind of caught off guard when I heard a voice, different than the one I was expecting to hear, answer the phone today. It was their older son, Dana, the one who lives in Houston! They are safe, their home was not damaged, but they did lose some fencing, and their pool had overflowed during the hurricane. He told me he is now retired, as is his wife, and they have been spending the summer months in Pennsylvania with their folks! What a nice surprise to actually get to talk to the person I was calling to inquire about !!! Anyhow, we chatted a while, catching up on each other's children, etc. His parents aren't into email, so he said he would show them my blog this evening when they return from an outing. Dana and I decided that we are going to keep in closer touch from now on.

While I am on the subject of these very dear friends, I must tell you all that this is the lady from whom I have acquired probably 99% of all my recipes throughout the years! Edy was always into baking, canning, cooking, rug hooking, name it, she did it!!! And she did it well, too!!!! She has made some beautiful things. She taught me so much! We used to sun together, swim together, shop together, sew together, pick apples together, and have a cool drink (or two) together under the shade of her big birch tree, too! Edy was always ready to travel whenever I took the kids to visit the orthodontist in another town, too. We shared some fun times together! She was like a second mother to me. I can remember having surgery one time, and she provided suppers for my family and came to visit me every afternoon. One day, she laid down on my bed with me and actually fell asleep! As I said, she was like a second mother to me.

Her hubby, George, was our local postmaster in our town there. Everyone knew George! And everyone respected his opinion, too. We depended on him so much, being young marrieds starting out in our newly-constructed home with yardwork to do that we really knew nothing about. George got us started on the right track, that's for sure! He knew how to do anything and everything, and we knew how to do...well, not too much! He taught us right, no doubt about that! We could never thank him enough if we tried! We were truly blessed with this wonderful, happy, fun-loving couple as our next-door neighbors! We shared a lot of laughs and fun times during those 16 years 4 months and 6 days!

George and Edy now

They had 3 children...a daughter and 2 sons. Their younger son, who was in high school at the time, was the best babysitter we ever had! The kids didn't give him any trouble at all. We always felt good leaving them in his care, and knowing that his parents were right next door, too. We had the best of all worlds while living there. My mother's family all lived in that town, too, so it was really a great life for us.

Edy and I had such a close relationship that we could pop in at each other's home for coffee whenever, or just sit on the patio and chit-chat anytime. Some nights we would combine our leftovers and share supper together on our patio. Other times, wrap up warm and sit by the fire and roast hotdogs and marshmallows. Those were just the best times!

Then, one day my husband came home and asked how I would like to live in South Carolina. I couldn't believe my ears! All I could think of was having to leave our home that I loved and my family and friends that I loved. It was just a total shocker, believe me! We knew we had to accept the job offer as we had a daughter just finishing up her second year of college, and our son was just a few weeks away from graduating from high school, who also would be attending college that Fall. If you have ever had to move and leave your loved ones behind, then you know the inner turmoil we felt. It made for many sleepless nights and many teary-eyes days, not to mention that we worked the entire summer sorting and cleaning out 16 years' worth of "stuff" that we had accumulated! I started selling furniture, as after we made the trip to South Carolina and had found a new home, we had ordered new furniture to be delivered when we got moved. It was a hectic summer, but these wonderful neighbors were there for us every step of the way. They were, and still are, a great family!!!

After they retired, George and Edy spent their winters in Florida and would always stop and spend some days with us on their way back north. George liked to walk alot, so Edy and I would head to the movies or go shopping. I have truly missed the fun times with this wonderful couple.
Some days, I wish I could go back in time 25 years ago......we have been here in South Carolina now for 24 years this past August. Now that I am alone, I don't get home often enough. I was talking to my son earlier this afternoon, and he said, "We need to go 'home' again, Mom." I agree. I guess he gets as homesick as I do.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad!


This is Dad with his beloved Spooky. He thought the world of his cat.

Today would have been my dad's 97th birthday. He was born in Wharton, PA on September 7, 1911 and passed away in Spartanburg, SC of brain cancer on January 7, 1995. This is my loving tribute to him.

He was born to Mary Agusta and Ephrem Robinson. His father left to find work logging when my dad was just 5 years old and never returned home. He died in Tupper Lake, NY and was buried there. We have no pictures of him at all. Below are a couple of pictures of Dad's mother.

My dad's mother, my Grandma Gustie

My dad's mother, my Grandma Gustie

Grandma had just the 2 sons, Milford and Maynard, who was my dad. She had quite a time trying to raise them on her own. She moved around and did housekeeping and finally an older gentleman by the name of Art Robbins took her and her sons in and gave them a home. In return, Grandma cooked and kept house for him. Art lived to the ripe old age of 93. In later years, Art became an invalid and unable to live alone, so my dad moved him into town and let him live in one of his rental cabins across from our hotel. My parents looked out for him right up until his death. My dad told me one time that Art had been like a father to him and his brother and was the only father figure he could ever remember. Art read the Bible all the time and said it was the best book he'd ever read. Without him, I don't know how Grandma could have ever fed and clothed those little boys and kept a roof over their heads. People were poor back in those days, and neighbors were always there to help one another. My dad grew up loving this wonderful old man just as if he had been his biological father.

Art Robbins

Below is a picture of my dad with his brother, Milford, and paternal grandmother. Dad is the smaller one of the two with the big grin on his face.

Milford, Grandma, Maynard (my dad)

Below is a picture of his maternal grandmother....

Grandma Graham

And below is my dad's uncle, his mother's brother. His name was George William Graham, and we called him Uncle Will. He was a deaf mute from the age of 5 when he fell off a bridge and broke both eardrums and damaged his voicebox. He attended special school in Philadelphia for the deaf where he learned to read and write and all the other things than normal children were taught in school. Dad also took care of him as he grew old. Uncle Will used to work in the stone quarries for my dad, so he had a steady income. He could work circles around the younger guys! He taught me sign language when I was a child and taught my little girl the hand alphabet and how to spell words with her hands when she was only 3 years old. He was always there for my dad and his brother, too, while they were growing up. Uncle Will was a sweet old man. He never married.

Uncle Will

This is a picture of Dad when he was a young lad in school....

Dad finished 8th grade only and later went on to work in the CCC Camp. I can't recall now what the letters stand for, but it was some kind of Conservation Corp. He said it made a man out of him in a hurry, as they worked hard there. Below is a picture of the CCC Camp. Looks mightly cold to me in the wintertime. They lived in barracks much like our servicemen, I guess. He used to tell stories about the mess hall, too.

Then later, he met my mother and they fell in love...

Young Sweethearts

They moved to Buffalo where they both worked for Curtiss Wright during the war, building airplanes in a factory. After the war, Dad decided to buy a business as he always said you never get ahead when you work for someone else. He wanted to be his own boss. So they bought the old hotel. They got their state liquor license and also started a restaurant. There were 2 gas pumps in front, too, plus a little country store inside the hotel. They also started boarding fishermen and hunters. Pic below:

Here is a picture of my dad taken for the first state liquor license. I think he grew up to be a good looking guy!

My dad had been married before and had 4 children by that marriage. Then he had my brother and me by my mom. He was the father of 6 children. I believe the only time all 6 of us had ever been in a room all at one time was at his funeral. I have a picture of the 6 of us that day but can't put my hands on it at the moment, wouldn't you know?!!!

Dad was a likable guy. He got his nickname from talking all the time. "Windy" was his nickname. He and Mom would receive mail with just Windy and Squeek on it and then the name of the town where we lived. Everyone knew them! He had the personality for running a bar and hotel. He loved it! It was hard work and long hours. Sundays were spent cleaning, mopping, and waxing those big floors. There was a shuffleboard room with tables set up in there for customers, too.

An afternoon with some friends.

L-R: ???, Roy Logue, ???, Ross Spear, Wormy Wolfanger, Dad

If anyone back home knows who the other 2 guys are, please let me know so I can add their names.

Below is a pic of a New Year's Eve celebration they held. They were young and having fun while making a living, too!

One day, Dad decided that he wanted to quarry stone out of the mountains. Mom went to work in a factory, and Grandma Jenny moved in to take care of us kids, and Dad went climbing the hills looking for stone. He had to uncover several mountaintops before actually finding a good quarry. It was quite costly to pay a bulldozing bill and then discover that the stone wasn't any good. If he found a good quarry, it could last a long time. They would work it til the stone was gone. Then on to open a new quarry. During the cold winters, the stone layers would be covered with hay or straw, then the dozer would push dirt over it, and the quarry would be closed until Spring.

The first 3 pics below show custom cut stone for patios and sidewalks. It is a true art to cut a big piece without breaking it down the middle or a corner snapping off. The rattlesnakes lived in these mountains, and they had to watch their step every minute! The snakes loved that warm stone to sun themselves on. The guys would kill one every now and then. My dad was a hard worker...he worked right alongside his men every day in the heat.

I remember when I was just out of second grade for the summer, my mom was working in a factory, so I had to go with my dad to the quarry every day. Grandma Jenny had her hands full without having to keep track of me every day. My brother was almost 4 years older so he could take care of himself pretty much. It was a good hour's drive one way. The days were hot and dusty, but lunchtime was always fun with my dad, and the workers would always have candy bars, cookies, and lollipops for me, too. I loved being with my dad.

The stone machine for cutting veneer stone was always covered at night in case it rained, as you can see in the background. It was a $20,000 machine, a lot of money back in the 1950's. It's a lot even today, so you can imagine how much it was back then!

The pic above shows the forklift needed to load the pallets of veneer stone onto the truck.

This pic shows the pallets of veneer stone strapped onto pallets, ready to be loaded and delivered to customers. He sold stone in the eastern states and also in Canada. He would make some of the trips himself, leaving at 3:30am and not getting home til close to midnight that night. Sometimes I would ride along with him, and sometimes Dutchess, our boxer dog, would ride with him. She absolutely LOVED my dad!!!! He was an animal lover, as was his mother, so you can see where I get my love for animals.

"DUTCHESS"...she was such a wonderful dog!!!

And this was the truck we rode in! It was a rough ride...poor ole Dutchess would lay and sleep for 3 days after a trip! This was a brand new truck back then but looks kind of ancient now. Dad also had a couple of drivers who would haul for him, too.

Here's another pic of Dad with Dutchess. Prior to coming to live with us, she had had a bad life, living on a 3-foot chain in a cold garage in PA, with not even a rug to lay on. The night we went to see her, it took my dad just long enough to get the words out of his mouth that yes, he would take her! She had a good life after that, a real cushy life! She had a real people bed to sleep in! She and Dad had such a bond.

This is the home Dad had custom built, using his own veneer stone. This was a blue-green colored stone. Once the stone is washed, this is what it looks like.

With the quarries closed for the winter, that was when we'd get our vacation. We'd head to Florida every year on December 20th, just as soon as hunting season was over and the hotel was all cleaned. One year they even put us kids in school there. It was fun having Christmas early at home and then having it all over again in Florida every year. Below is a pic of Mom and Dad together in 1958 in Florida...Dad looked sharp in his shades! They certainly earned this vacation every winter!

I have always said my dad was a saint. Anyone who could put up with this crew and take them on vacation HAD to be a saint! Notice my brother sticking his tongue out. LOL Yep, my dad was a saint, for sure!!!

Mom, Grandma Jenny, Jake and me

My dad was a 32nd Degree Mason. He joined the Coudersport Consistory. He was a highly respected man and a wonderful husband, father, and friend to so many!

Coudersport Consistory, Coudersport, PA

When we had to relocate to South Carolina in 1984 and leave our parents behind, it was just heartbreaking. My folks came to SC every winter, sometimes staying for 3 months with us. The day they had to head back North was heartbreaking, as well, for all of us.

Mom and Dad ready to leave for home

I do believe this is my favorite picture of my folks together. It was given to me by my sister-in-law.

And this is my dad's final resting place. He'd be here in SC next to Mom, but the quote I was given was $15,000 plus another $8,000 for the mausoleum. Mom said she wanted to stay here and said it really didn't matter where they were buried, as their souls would be together and that the body is nothing more than a shell. Her words. He is there close to his mother and Uncle Will. There is a bulldozer engraved in the middle of the stone as Dad had his own and loved it, and also the masonic emblem is engraved on it, too.

This post has taken me hours to do, as it is now 5pm, and I started around 11am this morning. With tears flowing, I want to wish you a Happy Birthday, Dad! I miss you, and I love you so much!!! Rest in peace until we meet again.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Update on Punky and My Son's Car Accident

Just a little update to catch you all up on the latest. I have been so busy with caring for all the sick kitties here. I start at 6am and never finish until the last med is given at 10pm. It's been one thing after another, or so it seems. I am sorry to say that I have had no time for blogging these past few weeks, and I really have missed that so much!!! I keep hoping that I will be able to read, but then I am so tired at the end of the day, I literally pass out when I finally hit my Lazy Boy chair!

Punky finished her radiation just last Friday. Well, today we had to take her back for a re-check to see how much the tumor had shrunk, if at all. She has lost a little more weight, and the tumor measured somewhat smaller, but we were told to bring her back again next week, that the radiation needed a little more time to do its work. At that time, we are to meet with a surgeon to discuss the risks of the surgery to remove the outer portion of the tumor. We were told that since it is radiated tissue, she would undoubtedly lose a considerable amount of blood during the surgery and would no doubt require another blood transfusion. Then there is also the question of it healing, as radiated tissue usually does not heal well. They feel NOW that the cat should be euthanized! The oncologist said we needed to consider her quality of life. We KNOW that!!! But WHY then didn't they say this before even starting the radiation???!!! Once they get their money, which, by the way, this time was just shy of $3,000, they say the cat should be put to sleep just 6 days after finishing radiation!!!!

That kind of angered me, and if any of you know me, you know I speak my mind. So I told this oncologist that THEY need to know when to draw the line, too!!! I had asked her before the radiation was ever started if it was the right thing to do. She replied, "Oh, absolutely! Punky responded so well the first time, that we need to go ahead with it again." So then, even after the 3rd radiation treatment last Wednesday, I asked her about moving forward. Again, her reply was the same since we were already halfway through the treatments, we should proceed, but that euthanasia is always an option. I know that if she had told my son the cat should be put to sleep in the very beginning, he would have done that. So needless to say, I am a little ticked off at the moment!!! She said it didn't have to be done right away, since Punky is eating okay, but in the very near future. To tell you the truth, I am really infuriated! Had I not questioned her in the beginning before the treatments were ever started, I wouldn't be so upset. But I DID question her!!! I have come to the realization that everything today has to do with money!!! The more anyone can "take" a person for, the more they try to get!!!!

So for now, I am going to continue to feed Punky as often as she wants, and watch and see if her cancer shrinks like it did last time. If it doesn't, and I feel that she is suffering, then it will be time to take her for her last ride to the vet. I have done this many times and will not allow her to suffer.

My son's other cat, Scooter, has lost the use of her left rear leg due to an aortal blood clot that cut the blood supply to that leg. She will never regain use of it. It is of no use to her now, but amputation is out of the question as she would never survive the surgery with her bad heart condition. During the weekend, I noticed that her leg felt kind of cold. So Tuesday, I called this specialists' facilty, but they wouldn't be re-opening until Wednesday after the holiday. So my own vet took her in. Not much can be done for her except add Plavix to her list of meds to try and prevent another clot from forming. I brought her home and caged up the 2 of mine who are on Buspar for overgrooming and took them to visit the vet! They have been on Buspar for a month now and I cannot see where it has helped them one bit. So they were started on dep shots, which is a steroid shot. They will have to receive them as long as they overgroom....maybe a shot once a month or maybe a shot every 2 or 3 months. We just have to play it by ear and watch them closely. They both have licked all the hair AND skin off their bellies!!! So I got them tended to the same day, too! This is how my days are going, so you can see why I haven't been to visit you all. I am trying....hopefully, after I post a birthday tribute to my dad this coming Sunday, Sept. 7th, I will have time to visit and comment. I am waaaaaaaay behind in reading them!!!! I apologize to you all....just please bear with me. I'll get there just as soon as I can!

Another thing, my son was involved in a 3-car pileup Labor Day morning at 3am in Charlotte. We had just finished the newslettters on Sunday for the apartment complexes and had the ones delivered in Columbia and all the others had been mailed out a few days before. He went to Charlotte to get those dropped during the night when traffic is lighter. A woman stopped as she was to merge onto the interstate and he rear-ended her car, and the car behind him rear-ended him, spinning his car around with the back end hitting the concrete divider, placing his car in the 3rd position instead of 2nd where he was initially! He was so fortunate that the cars didn't explode as he had just filled his gas tank. It totalled his car. So the policeman took him to the airport where he got a rental and then he had to go back to the tow yard to empty his car out. Newsletters were thrown all over, and the backseat had come loose from the impact, so the boxes of newsletters in the trunk were all over, too! He finally arrived home for Labor Day late that day. His dad and he shopped for a new car for him, and he got it on Tuesday then. It's been a rough time for all of us here. I just thank God that my son wasn't killed. He was cut up and bruised some and was complaining of his muscles hurting him. He had a hard time getting up out of a chair at the table.

And now tonight, I am invited to my ex's home for dinner again, as his cousin is here from California. He was there last week and then flew into Florida to visit his brother and is flying back here today. I need to do a post on that, also, as I did get a pic taken last week. I thought it has been 40 years since we saw his cousin, but he said he was at my father-in-law's funeral in '88, but I don't recall seeing him then. Eddie was quite the lady's man in his younger years! These 2 cousins have so much in common, it's just unbelievable!! My daughter is able to join us tonight....boy, she doesn't know what lies in store for her! Whenever any of my ex's family get together, they have such a fun time! Always lots of laughter, so I am looking forward to an enjoyable and relaxing evening!


I have rolls raising and need to finish my strawberry cheesecake yet! Anyhow, I just wanted you all to know that I haven't forgotten you!!!! I hope to visit and catch up soon....verrrry soon!!!!!

(((((( HUGS ))))))