Thursday, August 28, 2008


Because we have two birthday cakes to make tomorrow, I suggested we make Matt's "orange" cake yesterday. He loved the idea. Now nothing with Matt is cut and dried. I keep the cake pans in the strange cupboard that has an angle so it is not only deep but also goes back by the stove. He insisted we take everything out of the cupboard to get to the cake pans.

Yep, that is Matthew inside the cupboard. You can tell it is him by his orange crocs.

This is the orange cake. We used food coloring to make the frosting.. He told me just use frosting on the top of the cake so there would be sure to be enough frosting in the bowl for licking. I told him we had to put frosting all over the cake so he asked if we could just make him a bowl of frosting for a snack. mmmmmm, NO!

Today we wrapped up the books from Susan B. and the crocs so we could send them to the girls. He loves to go to the cellar (I do not) and we needed to look for a box and paper and then after I printed out the mailing label from the USPS site, he took it to the mail box (by myself Gramma, I know how to do it and how to put up the flag). Tomorrow we will wrap up Mommy's and Uncle Roy's birthday gifts and then make their cakes. That should be an adventure!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's over

My vacation is officially over and there will be no more sleeping in . Gone are the days when I could do what I wanted, when I wanted to do it. Now I have resigned myself to doing things in Matthew's time frames. No more grown up conversations without hearing "why" to every remark I make. No more checking the emails or taking a peek to see who has changed their blog since the last time I looked. No more lunches in a restaurant or shopping for bargains. (at least not during the week) From now on my days are more structured and as nice as it was to be on vacation and have time for myself, I wouldn't want it any other way than this. I really did miss Matt last week and my sweet Wm. was kind enough to take me over to see him when he got home on 2 occasions. Last week I had to bake cookies on my own with no one to lick the beaters.
Sunday is Susan's birthday and Matt wants to bake her a cake. He really is quite the chef you know. We do cook quite a bit but his favorites are sweets (cakes, pies and cookies, oh my) Uncle Roy's 84th birthday is 9/3 but we will be celebrating it this weekend as well. Matt has already told Uncle Roy when he came over this morning, that he would be making him a special birthday cake. He told Uncle Roy that his would be a carrot cake and his mother's cake would be chocolate with chocolate frosting. Then he decided that as long as we were making cakes, we should make an orange cake for him with orange frosting with sprinkles. After all, we were making cakes anyway and his favorite color and flavor is orange and no one made him an orange cake on his birthday and.......................

I didn't get all I was hoping to accomplished on my vacation but I did make a big dent in what I had on my list. I also had a great time with my friend (speaking of friends, Betsy is coming to Syracuse this weekend to close her sister's pool so we will be seeing them ) a good time with Uncle Roy last Thurs. and again on Saturday when went to the mall in Auburn.. Wm. dropped us off at the mall so we could shop and he went to the Home to see his mom. She is planning to go back to Jim and Linda's to live. They are in NC this week on vacation but will be back soon. I feel bad that she can not seem to be satisfied any place. When we were there a week ago, I really thought she was liking the Home, and then I hear she is moving back in with Wm.'s brother and SIL.. Uncle Roy and I got some excellent bargains at Sears on Saturday. I had a coupon for $15 off on $75 on shoes and apparel. We had no problem with finding $75 worth of stuff but the cashier said what I got did not qualify for the coupon as some was on sale. The coupon stated sale or regular merchandise qualified so I asked her to show me where it said my purchases did not qualify on the coupon. She got all flustered and then ended up taking the coupon off. I could not understand why things were not going that well for me there but chalked it up to Sears. From there we went to JoAnn Fabrics where scrapbooking paper was on sale. I brought my purchases to the counter and the cashier told me not all my purchases qualified for the sale price........ what the????? I kept my cool and said "OK, but you had better change your sign where I got the scrapbook paper as it said any paper from $.29 - $.99 included in the sale". Yes, she did give it to me for the sale price and yes, I probably would have paid the original price if it came right down to it. Yes, I know in the big scheme of things saving $15 with a coupon or getting a $.99 piece of scrapbook paper for $.16 doesn't amount to anything. But it is the principle; why claim things to lure people in to a sale if you are not going to honor it. OK, I am getting off my soap box now.

And this is a three day weekend.......woohoo!!!!! Matt and I drained his pool and then let the air out. We put bleach in the pool and scrubbed it, inside and out. "Gramma, are we doing this because it is getting cooler out now?" "Yep, fall is on the way, my boy" ! "And then it will be winter, right Gramma" ????? .................. Let's not
think that far ahead OK?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Good friends, good food and good bargains

Yesterday was a great day. My friend got here from Canton at about 10am. Once I finished putting dinner in the crock pot, we left for a most enjoyable day. First, it was so good to see her after such a long time. We used to share the same office when I was the Office mgr. at the church.
We started off our day with a trip to Ollie's (the new outlet I was telling you about) For all of you who were waiting with bated breath to hear my review of this place, here it is: They have tons of stuff. Their slogan was right, "good". They have a huge book selection there. Lots of Bibles and inspirational books in addition to kids books, coffee table books, etc. I had been very happy buying Christian novels (Karen Kingsbury and Beverly Lewis) at my neighborhood "Books 4 Less" store for $8 new and $5-6 used) but yesterday I got 2 that I had not read before for $4 brand new. Woohoo!
From there we went to Olive Garden for lunch (it was right across the street) We had a great lunch and a chance to catch up on each other's family and grandchildren(OK, in her case she only has one granddaughter)
Then it was on to the Christmas Tree Shop for more closeout bargains. Did I mention how much I love bargain hunting????? Yeah, I thought I did! At lunch we were discussing the amount of construction on the thruway, and rte 690 and 81. I had the brilliant idea that I would cut across the city and skip the "big roads" as Matt calls them. Guess what, my sense of direction did not improve when I moved to Syracuse. So we ended up taking a tour of the industrial warehouse section of the city. I said it was to give us a chance to digest out lunch before the hunt began again......OK, I said it but we were in fact lost. I am sure this comes as no surprise to anyone from Canton, especially my son Josh.
I was sorry to see her go, I had a wonderful day and she never kept asking "why" when ever I said something!

Today, Uncle Roy and I went to lunch and then it was back to Ollies......I knew he would love it (DH would not) He did and we spent a few hours there. We never did get something for Susan's birthday but since we have another week we are planning to go on Saturday.

My poor Ali feels deserted......not only is Matthew not here but I actually had the nerve to leave her for 2 days in a row. She really wasn't that impressed with the chew toy I brought her back from my adventures.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

making progress

Well, I started my vacation yesterday. My plan was to get things done that I never seem to have time to work on when Matt is here. So, yesterday I did some touch up painting I had been wanting to get to for a while now. Today, I tackled some sewing projects that needed to be done. I got most of what I wanted to work on, finished. I did want to make some cookies but I had not gone to the grocery this weekend so I had no chocolate chips. When my DH came home tonight, we went to the store so I can work on the cookies. Tomorrow, you say? No not tomorrow. My friend from Canton is coming down to spend the day with me. Woohoo! She came down a year ago and we went to the Christmas Tree Store. She is into bargain hunting as much as I am. We are planning to make a day of it and go to lunch, and maybe to the new "Ollie's Bargain Outlet" that recently opened on the blvd. (Their slogan is good stuff.......real cheap". We will see. :-

On Thursday, Uncle Roy and I are planning to make a day of it as well. Susan's birthday is the 31st so we need to find something for her. I have not been one to shop till I drop, any more. Funny, when I lived in the north country where you had to drive just to go shopping, I was always up for it. Here, we have many choices (maybe too many) and while I like to go bargain shopping, but mall shopping does nothing for me. After they had a guy commit suicide in the mall last night at 6pm, I am not sure I will want to go again!

So the way I see it, I can enjoy myself with my friend tomorrow and then with Uncle Roy on Thursday, and still have 3 days to get the things I wanted to work on completed.

All that said, I do miss Matt. Poor Ali is beside herself. She is walking around the house like a little lost dog (pun intended)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The road to Abilene

Today after church, we took the road to Abilene. No, not actually the road to Abilene. Wm. always used "the road to Abilene" as a lesson for our kids and for his employees back when he worked for the USPS. If you have never heard the lesson I will tell you the story. It is about a family who wants to go somewhere but because no one speaks up, they end up going to Abilene. No one actually wanted to go to Abilene but because everyone thought that was what the others wanted to do, no one said anything and they ended up on the "road to Abilene". When we got home from church, Wm. said what do you want to do. I said lets go somewhere. Neither of us made our desire known and we ended up at that Outlet Mall in Waterloo. I wanted to go to the Outlet Mall, just not today. Today I wanted to go to the Amish Market over in the same general vicinity. No not an authentic Amish market as it was open on Sunday (we know that would not happen). Another dead giveaway was the winery in one of the bldgs. This place had Amish quilts, furniture, sheds, etc. that they purchased from the Amish to sell to the public at their Market, which they have open 7 days a week. Now the drive there was gorgeous, along Cayuga Lake, but the market itself was rather disappointing. There were 4 pole barns full of furniture, etc. and tons of sheds etc. outside. There was also a lot of Adirondak chairs painted pink and turquoise and stenciled with "It's 5 o'clock somewhere". Will wondered how many Amish stenciled that on their furniture after painting it electric pink and turquoise :-)

Matt was here when we got back. They stopped to drop off a pair of pants I am taking in for Susan.(she lost more than 40# and she looks great, but she loves these pants) She will be in CT. this week and I am on vacation. Matt's other grandma will have him.

We have 5 pumpkins, too many green tomatoes to count, green beans and only one cucumber the size of a pickle. Maybe with more sun this week, the garden will ripen up some of its bounty. We can always hope, eh? My neighbor John shared more of his cucumbers yesterday.

Thank you all for your prayers for Jon Christian. He told me that he just found out he can collect unemployment for an entire year once his severance pays stops because they sent his job overseas. No, he is not looking to do that instead of working, but he is not finding anything that is a good fit for him. He is toying with the idea of starting a website company at home. He has done some of this from time to time while working for the paper.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

nore musings

I am pleased with the garden. My tomatoes are out of control as is the pumpkin patch. I love tomatoes but they are not ripening as fast as I would like. I know from experience that when they do, I will have more than I can possibly eat. My cucumbers have tons of flowers but no cucumbers; not to mention they are strangling my pepper plants. I still have no peppers other than the hot banana peppers. Despite the fact the pumpkin patch has sent out shoots through the fence into the neighbor's yard (yes, Will cut them back) there are still only 3 pumpkins

My "wild" tomatoes.

If you look close you can see the hot banana peppers. Yes, the fence has kept out the rabbits but it makes it nearly impossible for me to pull weeds.

I took this picture on Sat. evening. A lot more flowers are out now!
I am blessed by this little garden and how much time Matt spends every day checking it; it definitely pales next

to my DIL's! She definitely has a green thumb whereas mine is brown.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Best Day Yet?

We love Mondays......OK, Matt loves Mondays. Because he gets to come back to Gramma and Papa's house? No! Why you ask? Because Monday is garbage day. No matter where we are in the house, he can hear when it turns onto our street. We have to go outside and stand at the end of the driveway and wait for both the recycling and garbage trucks to pick up our stuff. The guys from the trucks always talk to him and he loves it. For his birthday he got a garbage truck and last week we took it down to show it off to the garbage guys. Today they blew the horn at him when they were across the street but it was not until they stopped at our house did this turn into Matt's best Monday yet. They told him to promise them he would never be a garbage man but a doctor or a lawyer. Then the unthinkable happened. They asked if he wanted to dump the garbage into the truck. They explained that they did not have as nice a truck as his garbage truck was but once they hooked our can onto the arm, they let him push the lever up to dump our garbage into the truck; and then pull it back down to lower the can to the ground. He told them, "I can not believe you are letting me doing this. This is way too cool! I really can not believe this! " What could possibly top that? Probably nothing but we did have to call both Papa and Mommy at work to tell them about his experience. There was no way this kind of news could have waited until 5pm!!!!

Saturday William took Uncle Roy and I to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I had gone to the one in Raleigh a few times when we down visiting Jon Christian and his family. It is no where near the size of the Raleigh store but I had a great time scrounging around. I got some mosaic tiles that were a perfect match for my kitchen and would have made a fantastic backsplash had there been more. I bought all they had . I got 8 sq. ft. for $4. I also got some new handles for the bathroom vanity. I had changed the faucets but not the vanity handles or the towel bars and TP holder. Well, they are all changed now. We also put a cornice over the hardware for the shower rod. (I dislike seeing them as much as curtain hardware)

Yesterday, after church, we went over to the Home to see Will's mom. She was sick last weekend so did not make it to Matt's party. She was doing much better yesterday. She was really quite chipper. We rode down in the elevator with her when she went down for dinner and everyone was talking to her and she was talking to everyone. I was surprised to see she has become "Ms. Congeniality"

So another weekend has gone by and we have not worked on the bulldozer bed we are making for Matt's room. For the second week in a row, he has decided not to sleep in the crib and opted for the couch instead for his nap

This morning, Matt and Ali were watching Diego (Matt may have been a little more engrossed than Ali)

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Lately we have been purchasing more at Aldi's than we ever did before. Eggs have been on managers special at our "neighborhood" Aldi's for the past few weeks. I use quite a few eggs in cooking and baking so I have been purchasing 2 dozen when I shop there. I found it refreshing that on the inside of the cover it said "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it". On the outside of the carton was a recipe for deviled eggs. Hmmmm
This week when I picked up the carton, there was recipe for Heavenly scrambled eggs. Maybe I was not the only one to have thought the other recipe strange. Or maybe it was just time for a change. Who knows.

Today we met Del and Nancy French at the Airport Inn. Will took them into the airport with their van and Matt and I drove the Explorer home. All the way home, Matt cried, "I don't want you to drive". "You don't know how to drive Gramma" "Papa should be driving this car, why do you keep doing this"??? He cried all the way from the airport to the exit at Jones Rd. When I drove into the driveway, he calmly asked "If you had to drive why didn't you take me somewhere instead of just coming home? I am beginning to think there is no winning with him.

We have had some nice sized red tomatoes from our garden. The green bean are coming and the cucumbers are flowering. The pumpkins, they are amazing. Bursting with yellow flowers and at the last check, we have 3 pumpkins, I am sure we will get more. I was planning to take some more pictures of the pumpkin patch but it has rained most of the time since we got back from the airport. My neighbor John gave me some cucumbers on Mon. from his garden. He has one cucumber plant and it giving him more cucumbers than they can eat on a daily basis. He planted cherry tomatoes which are doing nothing yet. Neither are his bell pepper plants or mine for that matter. The neighbor next door to John, whose pepper
plants are probably 5 ft. away from John's, are flourishing. The peppers are huge. Maybe they used Jackie's secret :-)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Jason's wedding, Matt's party ; Matt and the doggie door

GF wedding cake
Double rainbow seen from the ship

Jason and Shelly
Papa and Matt
kids table at the party
I love this pix of Lauren!

Matt and Alice spent most of the morning going in and out the doggie door

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Whirlwind weekend

Our whirlwind weekend is coming to close. We left on Friday morning to go to Burlington for the wedding. I did not sleep well during the night because my stomach was very upset. I figured I could sleep in the car. Susan called early in the morning to say that Tom was not going as he had a stomach bug (yes, the same; Matt had it on Tues and Wed.) I was OK and not feeling much worse until we got to Rutland. We stopped there for lunch at Ponderosa and I decided to just eat mashed potatoes, safe right??? no butter, no gravy, may settle my stomach, right? Wrong!!!!! Going through the gorgeous Green mountains, I began to feel worse, Wm. had to pull over and I never got better. Needless to say, William and Susan went to the wedding, I stayed at the hotel and tried to sleep. Continually getting up and down to run to the bathroom, made it difficult to sleep. So needless to say, I have no pictures of the wedding, or the cruise ship or anything. Susan took some good shots so just be patient and I will share.

Saturday morning we made our way back to NY through the rain. Five hours is long time in the car when you don't feel well. The light at the end of the tunnel.......three of the most beautiful granddaughters in the world were here waiting for me when I did get home. Woo hoo. We decided to go out for dinner and Alyssa (a real girly girl) said " I need to go to the hotel and slip into a dress before we go to dinner". (I loved it!!) We went to our favorite haunt (of course, Kirby's) I knew my stomach could not handle the barbecue so I got chicken and linguini with no sauce. Did choke down a few bites.

This morning was my sweet little Matthew's 3rd birthday. After having breakfast with Grampa and her family, Lael helped me get things ready to take to the party. I made some potato salad, veggie tray, with dip and a fruit salad. Alyssa went with Grampa to walk Alice to the playground. I am amazed at how the girls have grown and how Lael seems to be up for handling big tasks, like chopping eggs for the potato salad, or making the veggie dip. Because of Alyssa's allergies, we had to wash the counters, etc. in between the salads so we would not cross contaminate.

I will leave you with a couple of pictures of the party, Susan had Matt's cake made but she also made cupcakes for Alyssa and Uncle Roy with no eggs or milk and a small round one that was gluten free for her father and Stephanie. Loved having every one together, would have rather I felt better, but hey, I will gladly take what I can get. I realize how infrequently I get to see my other grandchildren anymore. I am blessed to have Matt every day but it comes at a price. What doesn't?