Sunday, March 30, 2008


We had a marvelous time in Gulf Shores, bright, sunshiny days, clear, starry nights with a full moon glistening on the ocean. And then, a return to reality and dark, gloomy French Lick; my psyche may not survive the trauma. By 9:00 AM Saturday morning I had spoken to 5 parents, a law officer and a trucker with 336 flats of Florida strawberries flying north for me. Needless to say, I'm back. I'm cherishing my memories of warm breezes though; I wrapped them in a turquoise box, tied it with a pink ribbon and hid it from the world. I'll take it out whenever I'm desperate.

Apparently the trip did me good; my mom says I look 15 years younger. It is the tan, of course and the 16 pounds I've dropped. But it felt great to hear her say it. Fifteen years, wow, I'm still old enough to be Anna and Kirstie's mother, hehe.

Speaking of the young, you are moving in with David? When did we vote on this? Just because we approve of him, doesn't mean he can move in. I suppose he does meet all the requirements; he loves Anna and he'll make pretty babies. OK, he's in. House hunting, how fun, I wish I could help. Janelle's would be a great place for you, another goose close by. Is that far from Crawfordsville? I'm still location challenged by your area.

Alison's break sounds great, I always loved fence building with my boys, too. Work facilitates the best conversations, everyone seems so earnest and intent of doing a good job. I can only imagine the treasures the guys found along the road, Al. Scary. When is your next long break? We are just considering year-round school and I want to be well-informed on the dynamics. I am wondering about the athletic seasons and how they are managed.

What does Lady Avery think of her new cousin, Janelle? Does she look as much like Joey as Lady A did? It is great that there were no complications with this one. I bet Avery looks grown up now compared to the new one. When our Stephen was born, my little brother Robbie was a year old and seemed to grow ovenight into a real toddler. I cried for a week. Stephen soon caught up and passed him though. I hope these little ones will be close; cousins are great friends.

Poor Angela, why do some trips turn into roads to hell? At least tears still work on gentlemen. I once took my 3 to see my brother's family in Kentucky and had 2 flats on the way and the air-conditioner blew up on the way home. Ah, the good old days. I'm sure Abbie will handle the braces well AND the mean girls and their hateful comments. Her real friends will stand up for her, even at their young age. Abbie is still the same strong, outgoing, imaginative fairy princess she was before, she will be OK. She will mirror your acceptance, Angela, show her grace and determination. :-). Prayers and love, Lila.

Like Angela, I cannot believe break is over and tomorrow is the beginning of the last grading period. I've been a school all afternoon selling berries in the rain and then to Trent and Nina's for supper. My kids are so good, they know how much work these sales are for me. Little Gavin could not believe I didn't bring sand back from Alabama. He knows there is lots there, he said. He had to settle for trunks and tee shirts.
I have ordered a new program for an inservice. It is "No Complaints". All about making the changes in your school rather than bitching about them. I swear the staff needs something motivating, so I ordered the guidebook and bracelets. I'll hit the students if it works on the adults.

Prepare for a crazy week, Gaggle; everyone will be spastic after 13 days away. Take care. Hedy (the bronzed and beautiful version).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Peace & Quiet

This is just one of the hundred colors of the Gulf. It is a fanastic, slideshow of sights and sounds from our deck, where I am planted 10-12 hours a day. The weather has been perfect, so far AND IS EXPECTED TO GET BETTER. I will stop now because I know you all are still in the cold, dark land of Indiana. Ofcourse, I do not know how to post pix, but I will ask Jessie to do it for me. She is taking some amazing shots.
I hope everyone is enjoying the break; hang in, Anna, your time will come. How is the General? Any plans for your break?
Do they have vacation rentals at the Dunes? Maybe we can get one sometime over the summer and have a visit.
Miss you all.

Monday, March 17, 2008


I cannot express how impatient I am for Friday. My friend, Connie, and I are leaving after 3rd period for Gulf Shores. I feel as if it has been 1000 years since I saw, smelled and heard the ocean. I've always had this connection with the sea, even though, I am dreadfully afraid of drowning. I read recently that water is surrounded by negative ions which are very good for us. I know I always feel better when I'm at the coast, but thought that was due to not doing anything but relaxing while there. Now I have proof it is really a beneficial experience.

My mom has had the flu for 3 weeks and had to be hospitalized last week, she was dehydrated. It was scary how quickly she lost ground. Mom has always appeared much younger than her age, has always been trim and active, but now she looks so frail and old. It is hard to come face-to-face with your parent's mortality. Jill, my heart goes out to you with your situation. Dad was with us for several months after his stroke, but my sister always felt she had lost him with the stroke. He knew us and could speak, but never really connected. It was a sad time and I realize you face this daily with your mom.

This has forced us to make some decisions about becoming more responsible as children; we have divided up the things that cause Mom stress and are going to take care of them for her. Her financial issues upset her so much, she has plenty of money, she just gets nervous dealing with decisions around it. So I've taken over her taxes and investments. My sister is in and out of Mom's house several times a week and will take cake of medications and paying routine bills. The boys have pledged to stop by and visit more, and take care of minor repairs. We shouldn't have to be shocked into these things by illness, but no one ever thinks Mom needs us, we all are used to needing her. She is a nurturer and has spent her life taking care of 12 brothers and siters then us four kids, our kids and Dad. It is time for her to be taken care of.

We have a meeting this evening for the After-Prom parents. Our theme this year is The Wild, Wild West; the kids want a mechanical bull and the works. We have worked very hard, but don't seem to be getting far in raising $$$. Our annual Strawberry Sale is on hold until wholesale prices drop, if ever. That is typically our big money-maker; between $2 and $4000 each year. With our candy, and icream sales and junior high dances, plus local donations we usually raise enough to have a nice evening for the kids. But gas prices and other money crunches have hurt most everyone. I do not want to charge the kids to attend, but may have to eventually.

I hope you all are having a good week and looking forward to Spring Break and a chance to relax with family. Be safe. Hedy

Monday, March 10, 2008

"the best laid plans..."

Well, I guess that didn't work. I hope you all got together without me and had a wonderful time. I'm sorry to have missed it. Indiana weather is not to be messed with; I've never seen so much snow. BEAUTIFUL, thick, wet stuff and lots of it. I tried to give some away, but had no takers. Steve and I were home alone, but I wanted to make donuts and hot chocolate like I did when the kids were small. They called asking if I were making them. Whenever we had snow days, we always celebrated with homemade donuts and cocoa. Except for the winter it snowed for weeks and they didn't go to school any in January. Donuts, cocoa and kids got a little tiresome. That was the winter the boys would tie their sister to the sled and push her down the hill, under the barbed wire fence, betting on her missing the pond.

Yesterday was one of those amazing winter days when the sun is so bright and warm that you don't need a coat, but the ground is covered with snow. Even the little ones had on sunglasses against the glare. I even went to WalMart. Big mistake.

Just thinking that everything was bright and shiny did not mean WalMart was safe. Thousands of strange people having a reunion in the aisles. Don't they have homes or phones or email? I avoided all eye contact, so I wasn't trapped for long, but I will not go again, I swear. The Lost River Market is so much cosier and quieter and more interesting. I'm going to attempt to add a link to their website and to Alice's. Her recipes are great and she is a very cool lady. She sings with " Lick Creek" a local band made up of some old friends and runs the local farmers' market in the summer.

Shayla and I cooked supper for the family last night; she was a great help. She even made the caramel frosting for the birthday cake. We did the cooked kind that has only white sugar, brown sugar, butter and milk in it, no powdered sugar. My great grandma Daily taught me to make it when I was about 10 years old. It turns to crackly candy on top of the cake, yumyum. My boys both commented on how long it had been since we had had that kind. I am usually so rushed, I throw canned frosting on my cakes and add some coconut or nuts to fool them. We made fruit salad with frozen peaches, strawberries, grapes and fresh bananas; Mackenzie said, "I've waited all winter for this". I guess fruit salad is a summertime dessert. I do mostly pies and cobblers in the winter. We had Mexican chicken casserole and a big tossed salad, too. They all ask for this meal if I'm out of ideas.

Shay's parents have decided to send her back to school next year, after she graduates. She still qualifies and has done so well the last couple of years, her teachers think it would give her an extra edge. She isn't sure about this; she knows her friends won't be back in school and wonders what the other kids will think. We have always had concern for what her future would be. She wants a group home some of her older friends live in, but Trent and Nina are thinking of a small cottage on their land. Transportation is key, she may never be able to drive and if she does find employment would need a way to work. The group home is in town, close to everything. But that is what scares her parents. And grandparents. It is so difficult to let go.

My quilting came to an abrupt halt Saturday, had to reload the bobbin and couldn't see to rethread the needle. Another drawback to growing older. I have several blocks pieced and a few sewn together. I'm happy with it so far. I'm using my Seaside Rose fabric; lots of pinks, blues and greens in pale shades and lots of sandy beige. I may hide under it and pretend to be at the coast.

We took the middle school on a fieldtrip to Kentucky Center for the Arts today to see "The Giver". It was a nice outing; 3 hours on the road, 1 hour in the play. Do you just hate school busses? You would think they would change over the years; I swear these were the same as I took to school in the 50s, errr 60s. OK, both the 50s and 60s.

Have a good week, Gaggle, we will be on Spring Break soon. :-) Let me hear about your weekend. Hedy

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Postpartum blues???

I think I may have post-partum blues this week. It is the only excuse I can make up for laying around all day in my jammies reading. I got Elaine's pix of that Sweet Anna and those proud sibs yesterday and immediately felt old and well, just old. What a precious bunch, how happy you must be, Elaine. It has been forever since we sent out our kids' birth announcements; in fact we had to carve them onto the stone and hand deliver them by horse and buggy. Jeez.
Actually, I had 4 of my grandkids yesterday, which explains my laziness today. Shawn has the flu and I had her 3 and Nina did the Polar-Plunge for Special Olympics so Gavin was here, too. We had fun and everyone survived, but Papaw and I were happy to see the other grandparents show up around 8 last night. There is a reason God gives us children when we are young, we could not make it otherwise.
I have read more this winter than I have in years, wonder why? I love reading and can get lost in a good book for hours. Mom used to find me behind our couch or under the coffee table reading, thinking I was hidden from the world. Now I cannot get on the floor, of course and must read sitting.
I just read "Beautiful Boy" a father's story of his son's addiction to meth. It is something else. I have the son's story "Tweaked" to start soon, but I have to wait a bit and process this one. It is so close to our own experiences with our son 20 years ago that I could scarcely believe it. He was retelling our emotion and experience; the anxiety, the waiting and the lies were so similar; I felt as if I were experiencing it again. I'm going to encourage my family to read them. I think it will help them with their own children and with their memories of that time in our lives.
That blue is difficult to read, no? But it tied in with my "blue" mood. The book was the reason for the blues, I guess. It is difficult to think about those days.
I cannot wait til Saturday :-) I hope the weather cooperates and everyone makes it. I will need an address and directions, I haven't been up there since the 60s, honest!! That was approximately 15-25 years before you all were born, I know. I have no problem with the cost of the rooms, Jill, but this gas price is killing me. And it is my turn to drive to Gulf Shores this month. I may have to sell something to get down there. And we will have no snickering from you little ones with that thought, Kirstie and Anna. I know what you're thinking.
It is finally getting warmer, near 60 today. I keep checking for signs of green. It is supposed to rain for the next 2 days, but at least it isn't snow. How do you all cope with so much every year? We have an extra 3 days of school because of snow days already. A large portion of Orange county roads are still gravel and in poor condition, so it doesn't take much snow to shut us down.
How did all the sectionals turn out for you? We were in the finals last night and put in a good show but were defeated by Orleans. It was OK though, we had only won 4 games all season and everyone was so proud of the coach and team for being there last night, you would have thought we won. Small towns are sweet that way. Our young coach (asst. principal) has conducted himself well this winter. He has not slacked up on either job and it is obvious he loves them both. He is a nice young man and we work well together, I think. I respect him for his efforts.
Steve is home from a shooting match, Caleb calls them gun fights. I better go pretend to be cooking supper, you know, flick some flour on my face, tie on an apron, boil some water...whatever.
See everyone Saturday, have a safe week. Hedy