The View From My Window

The world as seen from my window and through my eyes

Not exactly how we planned to start autumn September 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 1:19 pm

Sorry, it’s been awhile since I’ve written in my blog. There’s been a lot going onΒ  around here since last I wrote.

We love autumn at our house and have a lot of things we normally do to get the house ready for winter, put up apples, hunt and so forth. This year our plans may be a bit different. Poor Mark is limping around with a gimpy knee.

He hurt himself on the job last week and it turns out he tore the cartilage up in his knee. Normally this isn’t a terribly big deal, but, when you make your living in HVAC and have to lift, kneel, climb ladders and such, it can end up being a much bigger deal. It’s a scary thing when you have to depend on something as simple as your knee to do your job.

He’s having surgery tomorrow and then it will be 6-8 weeks before he goes back to work. Hopefully he’ll end up without lifting or other types of restrictions. I don’t think there’s any light duty work attached to his particular occupation. We’re saying our prayers!

Maybe if he’s very lucky he’ll be recuperated enough to enjoy part of the fall’s regular activities! At least the doctor tells him he wants him to get up and walk pretty quickly so he won’t be as chair-bound as we first feared. That, at least, is good news!

Say your prayers and hope old “hopalong” does okay tomorrow and things heal up really well!


Favorite memories of my children September 18, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 8:28 am

I read something yesterday that reminded me of the days when all my kids were home and I seemed to have no shortage of cute stories and memorable moments. I thought I’d share a few of those today (for all of my children who may be reading).

  • When my oldest son was little he used to have the cutest way of saying his name. His name is Robert Joseph McKee. When he was asked his name, he would answer “Bobby Jofish A-kee.” We still occasionally call him Bobby Jofish just for fun.
  • When my two oldest sons were little, Mark wouldn’t talk for himself. He would always whisper in Bobby’s ear and Bobby would speak for him. That worked great until Mark found his voice and had to retrain Bobby not to talk for him!
  • I taught Bobby and Mark to always share with each other. If one got a cookie or a treat, they would break it in half and share it with the other. One of my favorite memories was when Bobby helped rake leaves in the yard for the first time. (Well, he held the rake, but wasn’t big enough to really do much.) He was given a dollar for his pay. The next thing I know he tore it in half and handed one half to his little brother Mark. I saved that torn dollar bill in my jewelry box for years. When the boys were grown and Mark was leaving for the army, I gave each brother their half of the dollar bill to carry while they were apart. As far as I know, they still do.
  • We always knew Annie was going to be a teacher. She was always showing others how to do something. We have a great dance recital video that shows Annie, not dancing, but herding the other dancers in line where they were supposed to be.
  • Sports were always important, especially to Bobby and Mark. There are a couple of great memories that stick in my mind about football. A young boy who lived next door to had suffered a spinal cord injury when he was around 2-3 years old and was unable to walk. I remember how amazed and proud I was when I walked outside one day and all the boys were on their stomachs on the ground, using arms and elbows to pull themselves around for a modified game of football. When I asked them later what they were doing, they explained that Eric couldn’t play football the regular way so they just changed the game so they could all play together. Sometimes your kids just make you proud, you know?
  • The other football memory was Bobby and Mark playing football in junior high school and high school, using their baby brother Allen as the football! πŸ™‚
  • It seemed like we were always going to the emergency room. I lost count of the times we went to the ER with sports injuries to arms, eyes, etc. Seemed like we always had a visit to the ER when Heather and Ashley visited for the weekend. I seem to remember Ashley forgetting to use the glove to catch the baseball and used her face instead…
  • I remember when my children bought me my own Nintendo 64 for Christmas. So they could have their own back again and not have to share with Mom when she got the video game fever. (Mine is jungle green and came with the Donkey Kong game.)
  • Old ladies always loved my sons. They were such gentleman and truly did carry groceries, help them across the street and generally kiss up. As a matter of fact, they still do!
  • Annie used to have the roof and walls of her room covered with glow in the dark stars. When Grandma and Grandpa Croy came to visit they would sleep in her room. He liked her stars so much he bought a bunch for himself and still has them hanging in his room out in Denver!
  • The first time my husband Mark brought his girls to stay at our house for the weekend was before we got married. We were at the breakfast table and the bacon was being passed around the table. The plate was passed to Ashley first and she promptly emptied the whole plate of bacon on her plate. I thought Mark would just die!
  • When Allen was a little bitty boy, he used to like Barney. I know, this is an embarrassment to him now, but when you’re little you like a lot of things you’re mortified to admit later. He was only about 2 or 3 when we went to Denver to visit. Grandma Croy has a central vac system. For the duration of the visit, Uncle Earl had Allen completely convinced that Barney lived at Grandma Croy’s house and he talked through the central vac system. Amazing how Barney sounded just like Uncle Earl!
  • Heather could eat more biscuits than anyone I know. The funny thing about it was she ate them completely plain. No butter, no jelly, just bread. I can still see her with her feet tucked up under her in her chair nibbling on biscuits like a little mouse.
  • Annie participated in a pageant for Miss Teen USA or something like that a couple of years. It was a stressful process. During the first pageant we almost ended up in a terrible fix because all of her things were in our van and I locked my keys inside. What a disaster! Thank goodness for a quick locksmith who made sure we got her things and she made it to the stage on time. Whew!

I have scads of stories left. Maybe I’ll post a few more later!


Campaign season is distressing September 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 12:15 pm

I don’t much care for national or local politics. The reason is that I think campaigning brings out the worst in all of us.

In almost every situation, if we’re truly honest, each candidate brings both positives and negatives to the table. We may not always agree with everything a candidate proposes, but, we’re likely to find at least some things we can all agree on if we try. Campaigns always focus on the incredible divides, the areas where we most vehemently disagree with each other. Whenever you try to reach out and bring people together, isn’t the usual approach to focus on those things that make us the same? It’s unlikely that any candidate or political party will be successful at bringing our nation together after the elections as long as we focus so exclusively on what makes us different.

In times past there were certain limits (spoken or unspoken) that were observed. For instance, when FDR was president the press didn’t take photos of him in his wheelchair. He needed to be seen by the nation as strong. During those tough times it didn’t do anyone any good to have their president appear weak. I think most people would agree that FDR’s presidential legacy is a pretty strong one. Oh, there are a number of initiatives that some would disagree with and, years later, other personal things have come to light that were kept hidden while he was our president, but, he managed to hold our country together during a Great Depression and a World War.

JFK was treated in much the same manner. There were certain personal issues that remained off limits to the press. Years later some of his personal life was revealed that indicated his life had dark corners that could have tarnished his presidency. However, his presidential legacy is also one that, although short, is still revered by many.

When did we cross over into this “anything goes” form of political reporting? When did the lives of the wives and children and even parents of political candidates become open targets for the press and the public?

This post is not meant to be partisan in any manner at all. It is completely inconsequential what party or candidate one is for or against. It has to do with how we all act as human beings toward one another. Things have become so nasty in our political campaigns that it causes me to be ashamed of all of our parties and the media who report their activities. There are so many celebrities who are given an open microphone to talk about who they support and what they believe that one would think they, in fact, represent a majority of the people in our country. If normal, everyday folks across the nation were given the same platform and opportunity it might be easier to tell what percentages are really true. The balance has been given up for the lure Tinsel-town celebs add to a candidates campaign. Too bad. It’s hard now for me to watch movies of some of these actors after the nasty remarks they’ve made in public. Saying what you think is your right. How you say it is your choice. They should make the choice more wisely.

I have a fear that those people who would be the best leaders for our country have decided to leave the invasive and nasty world of politics in order to shield their families from that horrible environment. Although I would be the last person who would run for an office, if I were qualified I wouldn’t do it because my family doesn’t deserve to suffer like that.

Long story short, shame on all of us who enter into the nasty, spiteful conversations that bring out the worst in us. No matter who gets the presidency, I’m sure that we’re all going to be alright if we continue to be our best and legitimately try to work together to solve our problems. If it’s only about winning a race, then we’ve all lost already, right?


My very sinful habit: ICE CREAM September 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 8:36 pm

I have a sad confession to make. I am an ice cream addict. As I sit here watching the presidential debate, I’m enjoying a lovely dish of the stuff. Makes all kinds of things more tolerable!

My favorite kinds are:

  • Vanilla (preferably Blue Bunny Homemade Vanilla)
  • Pistachio
  • Peach
  • Cookies and Cream

I typically like my ice cream straight, without the addition of nuts, candy, etc. Cookies and cream is the one exception to that rule. I don’t like cookie dough ice cream, though. And I don’t like chocolate chips in my ice cream either. I’m a real vanilla kind of gal at heart.

Love soft serve ice cream cones from Dairy Queen. I remember in my earliest memories the first chocolate dipped ice cream cone I ever had and having it melting all over my little hands. That moment certainly set the stage for a lifetime of love affairs with ice cream. I typically don’t order things like banana splits. However, they have this AMAZING fudge brownie temptation. Ya, they named that one right. I’m so easy, my sons know precisely when to mention they’re thinking about making a trip to Dairy Queen and asking me if I want anything? DO I WANT ANYTHING? Does the sun rise in the east? Of course, that’s also a great way to make sure I’m paying for the ice cream for everyone. Hmmm, I’ll have to figure a way out of that one.

What’s you most sinful habit? πŸ™‚


Random musings about TV September 10, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 9:02 pm

I remember being so excited about getting cable TV when we moved to town in the late 80’s. I had grown up with 2-3 network TV stations and the thought of having a large variety of programming to choose from was really cool. In the beginning it WAS cool. It took several months to get my fill of all my old childhood programs in syndication. Several more to explore all the old movies and VH1.

The reality set in later when I realized all of this old programming seemed to be in an infinite loop on cable TV. I could watch for years and saw the same old stuff all the time. When we built our new house, we switched to DISH satellite service. I felt the buzz of excitement about all the additional channels we would get and the new things we would see. This lasted for about the same amount of time as the euphoria over cable TV. Last night, my husband and I looked at each other and remarked how amazing it was to have literally hundreds of channels and there wasn’t a blasted thing on TV worth watching!

So, here are my random musings about TV. I’m sure this will sound familiar to some of you.

  • Who gets control of the remote control at your house? Does one person browse the channels for everyone or do you pass the remote around and have a more democratic process?
  • Mythbusters, Dirty Jobs or Ice Road Truckers?
  • I think Survivor has sort of run its course with me now. I used to get really excited about it because people actually had to attempt to survive in the wild. I could admire that. Now they cast “pretty people” and provide them with way too many comforts. It somehow seems unfair to those who went before and actually had to suffer and earn their chance at a million dollars.
  • In fact, reality TV was sort of interesting in the beginning and now its getting a little old and tired. I wish we had some creative TV writers who could create original programming that would stand the test of time like I Love Lucy, the Andy Griffith Show, MASH…you know, the classics!
  • They have to quit with all the food commercials. They’re KILLING me!
  • Is it just me or does it annoy other people when they have the little promos for other programs running at the bottom of the screen when you’re watching another TV show? Somehow it’s the same kind of intrusiveness that bothers me with pop-ups online.
  • It’s Murphy’s Law that when you finally do find something good to watch on TV that the phone will ring (several times) or someone will drop in.
  • I am spoiled by HD. Wow. Who knew there was such a difference between regular TV and HD? Ahhh, so pretty!
  • It’s too bad that I don’t like to watch the same kind of movies my husband and son like to watch. Although I patiently sat through American Pie, it wasn’t exactly my thing. It’s nearly impossible for me to suffer through a Naked Gun or a Pink Panther movie. However, we all agree that the Lord of the Rings completely rock! Especially in HD!
  • Wow, it’s amazing how long I can muse about TV in my blog because THERE”S NOTHING GOOD TO WATCH ON TV! πŸ™‚

Question of the day: What’s your favorite program to watch in reruns? My favorite is The Andy Griffith Show, hands down! The black and white ones with Don Knotts.


The menu is changing with the weather September 8, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:52 pm

I love summer and warm weather. It brings with it the grilling season, fresh produce from the garden and wonderful salads. But, no matter how much I love summer grilling season, my favorite time of year is fall.

As the weather presented some cooler weather our menu reflected the change. This week we’ve already begun to enjoy some of those warming one-dish meals that are some of our favorites. Sunday night was chicken and noodles. Tonight it was blackeyed peas with ham and cornbread. I have more cooked and diced chicken to use up so I’m thinking about chicken pot pie for later in the week. Mmmmm. Doesn’t that sound yummy?

I’m also looking forward to apple harvest. It’s about time to lay in a supply of jonathans and make homemade cinnamon apple sauce to put up for the winter. There’s nothing that smells better than cinnamon apples cooking in your kitchen. The smell of cooking apples will always remind me of my Granny Hamilton. You could pick me up and take away every other sense I have except smell and drop me in her house and I would know exactly where I was because it ALWAYS smelled like apples. What a nice memory.

What are some of your fall favorites? I could use a few new ideas to add to the mix. We love food at our house! πŸ™‚


What is a pawpaw? September 5, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:43 am

Last night at church was children’s emphasis night. We sang lots of children’s songs at the opening of the service and it was great fun. At one point, I was describing to the kids a song that I learned as a small child in the nursery called Picking Up PawPaws and Putting Them in My Pocket. I asked the kids if any of them knew what a pawpaw was.

My niece Emma raised her hand and I asked “Emma, what is a PawPaw?” She pointed to the back of the room at my Dad and said “There’s Pa Pa!” Out of the mouths of babes…

For those of you who don’t know that a pawpaw is not another term for Grandpa, here’s a photo. It’s a fruit that grows around here in central Missouri and has a flesh that is similar to a peach.


The sights and sounds of a church revival September 4, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:24 am

Last night marked the beginning of revival services in our church. We’ve had revivals before, but, this time things felt different. They felt…ready.

There’s an old Bill and Gloria Gaither song called “I Just Feel Like Something Good is About to Happen.” That’s how it felt this week leading into our revival. On the first night, I certainly wasn’t disappointed. The church was nearly full on a Wednesday night and it was “Youth” night. We had a praise band (thanks Ryan, Brett, Jonathan and Susie). We also had great attendance by our youth group, led by Annie and Josh. Our pastor’s son, who is also a pastor, is preaching revival this week and he is, in short, wound up! He gets excited, he jokes, he talks fast and loud and gets everybody in the audience to participate. This is no small thing in our church where people tend to be very polite and quiet.

At the end of the service I was nothing short of awe-struck when approximately 15 teenagers came forward to either accept Christ for the first time or re-dedicate their lives to the Lord. It was amazing to watch.

When people worry about how much money we spend on youth related activities, it’s hard to get them to understand that you can’t place a price on something like this. I think it’s said best this way:

Youth leader’s salary: $100/week

Pizza every Wednesday night: $50

Youth trip to Six Flags $2,500

15 kids accepting Christ: priceless

See you at church!


An optimistic outlook September 3, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 5:16 am

My husband took me out for breakfast over the past weekend. We ended up at Mom’s Restaurant on Court Street. Several groups meet regularly at Mom’s Restaurant including the Red Hat Ladies, the Kiwanis Club and the Breakfast Optimists. As I looked around the room while waiting for our order to arrive, I noticed the Optimist’s Creed hanging on the wall. It was such an inspiring and, well, optimistic statement that I thought I would share it with you.

If we were all able to follow this path what a different world it would be.

Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself –

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

-Optimist International