Sunday, June 14, 2009

Where Have I Been?

Usually I would have had a post on here by now, but sometimes things get in the way such as life in general. Between an aging father, a teenage daughter and the rest of the family, I got behind on a few things! Never fear, I'm back again!

My daughter Kathy, the dancing teenager, recital went off without a hitch! All the girls just looked lovely and danced quite eloquently in Swan Lake.
Also, Kathy had her prom which she looked like a movie star! Oh, to be young again!

Now Kathy is off on vacation with some friends in Hilton Head South Carolina. She is having the time of her life. Don't worry about poor Mom, Kathy!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Views On Aging

Like I said in an earlier post that I have been dealing with an aging father who will require the use of a wheelchair. You know one of the hardest things in life is watching a loved one age. To watch them go from a strong vigorous body to practically handicapped person barely able to get around on their own. So many times in the past I've watch people say that they are waiting until retirement to do this or to do that. And when that final milestone gets there, they either no longer have the health, or their love one is in poor health, or the money is no longer there due to rising health care cost, and the list can go on and on.

So these past few days have found my brother and I building a wheelchair ramp in hopes of our father returning to his home. His last fight to keep his Independence.

In the past I use to take care of the elderly. One thing I did seem to notice a lot is a person either keeps their mind and their body goes to pieces or they keep their body in good shape and their mind goes. Very few seem to be able to have both. I often wonder what is in store for me and the rest of the family. Will the advances of medicine be in time for us we reach those golden years which I must say don't seem so golden.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Death Of a Balloon

Picture 069
Originally uploaded by BetsyIckes
Remember as a child how much fun a simple little balloon could bring you. Hours upon hours of poking it, throwing it, and just have it tag along you by it's string.
Then the next morning when you woke up, this is what has happened! It just laid there lifeless. And you felt sad that you could'nt play with it like you could the day before.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Road Not Taken

I've always enjoyed Robert Frost poetry and quotes ever since I was around the age of ten. I remember that first encounter as a child was when my music teacher introduce me to his songs and I've been a fan ever since! Here is on of my most favorite poems by him that I thought I would like to share.

The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost (1874–1963).

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Kathy's Prom Dress

These past few days have been centered around Kathy and the prom. Like all dresses you get for these occasions, you either have to send them out for alterations or you need to do them yourself.
Well, this year I thought I'd do the alterations myself! All I can say is that I now have a new admiration for seamstresses! For one thing I am sure that they could do the dress alterations in the fraction of the time that it took me!
I had to do a lot by hand and the hours seem to go on for days! But all in all I did finish this task with a beautiful result! I had forgotten the satisfaction you feel with a job well done!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Having An Aging Parent

Well, just when you think everything is smooth sailing, something new is thrown at you! Since February I have been dealing with my father being in a rehab hospital due to his back surgery. He had this surgery because of his Rheumatoid Arthritis which has caused nerves in his back to be pinched.

Like most people who has aging parents, I'm dealing with a new set of problems. Questions as, should we place him in a home, can we bring him back to own house, send him to another rehab hospital, or should he move in with a family member?

These all have been weighing heavy upon me. Of course you want to do what is best for that member, but also you have to figure out what is going to happen to the bank account. What kind of care will you be able to pay for.

So today I plan on doing some investigations, contacting different help services and case workers to formulate something the is affordable for everyone. Now the big problem- cutting through all the red tape!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Pancake Tradition

Today was a nice, peaceful quiet Sunday afternoon. I had my granddaughters spend the night last night. In the morning we did our usual Sunday morning ritual of making pancakes. This has been a family tradition passed down from when I was a child that was passed down from when my mother was a child. So you can see, we are very proficient at making pancakes!

I think it is cool that families have traditions like this. Building childhood memories that will last the rest of their lifetimes. And when my granddaughters grow up, I am sure that they will pass this tradition down to their family some day. Already I have them mixing and stirring the ingredients. In a few years they will be pouring the batter and flipping the pancakes! This is a rite of passage as far as the pancake tradition goes.

I hope that your family has a tradition too! Don't be afraid to let a comment on what it could be!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Day At The Arts Festival

Today I was able to spend time with my twin granddaughters at the arts festival on Penn State Altoona Campus. We had a great time! Between dodging the rain, eating fried junk food and taking in a few ballet show we left in high spirits! Oh Yes! Dig in girls! Tall lady on stilts. Waitng in line for balloons. Yea! Balloons!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Freaky Friday

Well, here we are again and its Friday. A lot of people refer it to Freaky Friday. Myself, like to think of it as TGIF, thank God its Friday! The reason being is that I try to get things done over the week and Friday I try to clear my plate so I have the weekend to unwind. Most of the time though, things seem to spill into Monday's to do list!
I found this little clip on Wikipedia that was interesting.

Starting in the United States, it has become a common expression of relief at the end of the work week and anticipation of relaxing or partying over the weekend. The term was originated by the Akron, Ohio disk jockey Jerry Healy on radio station WAKR in the early 1970s. The phrase was further popularised by the 1978 movie starring Donna Summer, Thank God It’s Friday. The phrase has also become common for advertising and promotional materials. On college campuses beginning in the 1970s, the phrase (sometimes shortened to "TG") became associated with Friday afternoon beer parties, usually held outdoors.

Well, at any rate, I'm glad its Friday!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thirsty Thursday?

Almost every week I hear on the radio when driving to work about Thirsty Thursday. So today I thought I'd Google it to see what I would get. And it was amazing how much stuff was on the web. I guess Thirsty Thursday was a bigger deal then I ever imagined! Here is some items that caught my eye.

One person on Urban Dictionary wrote:
Pioneered by business school students who don't have class on Friday like everyone else. Thirsty Thursday's is the worship of the gods of alcohol intoxication with limited consequences. Most important at colleges with a high commuter to on campus population ratio.
The best parties on campus are on Thirsty Thursdays.

And here another writes about make up on Thirsty Thursday with a blog on College Candy:
Nobody wants their makeup to wear off early, especially on a Thirsty Thursday like tonight. Unfortunately, that’s what often happens when you pile on the party makeup and the results are, well, messy. Droopy lashes, smeared liner and lip-gloss on your chin are definitely not good accessories for your party look.

Ha! Even Amazon has something on Thirsty Thursday! Where have I been?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wacky Wednesday

My mother is the one to originally had me calling Wednesday this. You see, in the past if anything out of the ordinary happened to me, it usually happened on a Wednesday! So instead of my mother putting the blame on me she'd just say, "You know it is Wacky Wednesday!" And after she would say that, we would chuckle half heartily about what was going on.
Well, my mother has passed away a few years ago after battling Alzheimer's disease, but at my household we still use the say, "You know it is Wacky Wednesday!" And to this day, that saying still keeps us in check and not to panic with life's ups and downs!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Only Tuesday

Of lately, I find more and more often that the stuff I wanted to accomplish on Monday, now flows over into my Tuesdays! Oh yeah I had big plans for my Monday, but it seems the older I get, the longer it takes to get things done around here! Today will be another example!

Of course when you go to an appointment anywhere, you seem to fall into this abyss that takes forever to climb out! What I thought was going to an in and out visit to the eye doctor turned into an all afternoon event! Between the appointment itself and having to run over to the nearest pharmacy for a prescription to be filled it was turning into a real time eater!

And as many times I've been to doctors, you would think I'd know just to penciled in the whole day for them! So here I am, playing catch up today with yesterday's to do list!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Here We Go Again, Another Manic Monday!

Mondays for some reason always start off hectic for me. I don't know if this is the case for you, but mine sure do! I think part of it is the fact I'll put off things over the weekend, starting Friday, for Monday morning. You would think that I would want to ease into the week, but alas, here I am beginning it with a bang!

Unfortunately, I think I piled too much on me today! And to top things off, I have an eye exam right in the middle of the day! And everyone knows about those dang drops they put into your eyes that make you look like an owl for the rest of the day!

I find that the older I get, the longer these appointment get! No more of just walking in and looking at an eye chart! Now it is what I call connect the dots, the air puffer and eye droppers. I guess all of this is necessary these days and it is cool to see what the inside of my eyeball looks like!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Origin of Mother's Day goes back to the era of ancient Greek and Romans. But the roots of Mother's Day history can also be traced in UK where a Mothering Sunday was celebrated much before the festival saw the light of the day in US. However, the celebration of the festival as it is seen today is a recent phenomenon and not even a hundred years old. Thanks to the hard work of the pioneering women of their times, Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis that the day came into existence. Today the festival of Mothers day is celebrated across 46 countries (though on different dates) and is a hugely popular affair. Millions of people across the globe take the day as an opportunity to honor their mothers, thank them for their efforts in giving them life, raising them and being their constant support and well wisher.

Early Christians celebrated a Mother's Day of sorts during the festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent in honor of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ. In England the holiday was expanded to include all mothers. It was then called Mothering Sunday.

What not a better month of May then to have Mother's Day in. For you see, May is also dedicated to Mary, our spiritual mother.

It is May, the month the Catholic Church honors the Virgin Mary in a particularly intentional way. Mary is the mother par excellence; Mary is the mother of our Lord and Savior. This is from the Catholic Church point of view.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Back From Barnesville!

Well, I made it back from Barnesville that is over three hours away. We had a large blood mobile of a goal of 500. It was at the highschool there and was quite a happening place! The kids were great! They worked real hard and succeeded in achieving their goal! Who ever said that teenagers are bad?!

I put in a double shift recruiting double red donors. Double red is the term we use to call people who are able to donate two units of red cells. Of course they have to meet our criteria in order to donate. We like to have this type of blood on stock for people who get multiple transfusions. A lot of times it is chemotherapy patients who need this type of blood.

Don't forget to donate blood!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

dancing fool 004.avi

Hers is one of the dances that her dance troop did at last year's recital. Would you believe that they all are ages 14 - 16! Great job girls!

As I Promised, More Pictures

Although Kathy wants to go off to college to be an accountant, she is very into dance! This is a pose of her wearing her Tap Costume. I just love the red dress and diamond choker together. The choker was a last minute add on! But it made a nice finishing touch!

Sorry, I cut the one girl's head off! Why does she have to be so dang tall? This is their jazz costume. Kathy is the one standing on the left.
Kathy's dance instructor Skip managed to sneak into the picture. Skip is a great guy!

This year they will be doing Swan Lake. I think you already figured that one out with the feathered headpiece.

Well, I'm off to work soon! Another fun filled day at The American Red Cross!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday

I don't know why I would call Monday manic, because you will find that just about every day with me has a lot of activity. Yesterday started off slow enough, but didn't take long for it to kick into high gear! Shortly after lunch we had to race over to have Kathy's photo shoot for the program of her dance recital. It was a gruelling 3 hours of hair and makeup!

Here is Kathy practicing one of her poses.

I'm sure today I will find myself in the middle of something else. The good thing is that I am off work today. I plan on tying up a few loose strings. And like most women who are out in the work force, go over my calendar and set appointments for what not.
Oh, by the way, more pictures to follow!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Lazy Sunday Morning

This morning I laid in bed trying to decide weather to get out or just linger a little bit longer and snuggle under the covers. Glancing out the window, I can see that it is another dreary morning for the sky is gray and the ground is wet from last night's rain.

Downstairs I hear my Puggles being restless and wanting to go out to do their business. Well, that made up my mind! Better let those two out! They have a way of keeping me on a tight schedule!

We have this every morning ritual. Get up, put on the coffee, let the dogs out and feed them. If anyone who owns a Puggle, they will agree that these creatures and continuously hungry! Only after a few months of having them, I found out that I had to start limiting their food. They are like little eating machines! You can check them out on my other blog:

OK, that's taken care of. Now the next big question is - Church or No Church. I swear I have the two characters on my shoulders like you see in the cartoons. You know, the cute little devil on one side and the little cupid looking angel on the other. The little devil says, "Hey, you deserve to stay home and relax!" And the little angel says "Up and Adam, Get your butt to church!" It seems that every Sunday morning I go over this conflict, but in the end I usually will head off to church. And believe me, I'm far from being perfect!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Today Started Out With A Bang

I always am an early riser. It is nothing uncommon to see me with a cup of coffee in my hand around 6 a.m. I am the type that likes to ease into my day. Well, I thought that was going to be my Saturday morning, but Ha! Low and behold I was out of coffee creamer! My first thought, "Can I hold out from caffeine withdraw till I get to the store?" You see, I'm very spoiled when it comes to my morning coffee. I order specialty coffees and use a certain coffee creamer and I go to no lengths to have that perfect cup in the morning!

Shortly after finding out of my coffee dilemma, my daughter Kathy was up. She needed to be up early in order to take her SAT exams at school for college. She was having her own crisis. No no.2 pencils! YIKES!

Ah ha! I'll just run down to the local grocery store and get my coffee creamer and some no.2 pencils! Sounds easy enough, but little did I know!

You know, I never realized how hard it is to find no.2 pencils until today. Maybe it was the time factor. Maybe it was the caffeine withdraw. But here I found myself in a frantic state searching for no.2 pencils at 6:30 a.m.!

Oh, I found oodles and oodles of pens and graphic pencils! But that isn't what I needed! Why aren't there any no.2 pencils? Dah! Did I think my daughter was the only kid in town that was taking her SAT's today? Well, I must of had my guardian angel helping me! Here hidden behind some graphic pencil was a box of no.2s! Yes!

So I scarfed those babies up, got my coffee creamer and rushed back home! All is peace and tranquility at the Ickes homestead now!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Just Me

I started this blog so that family and friends can keep up on my latest events and happenings. Of course anyone is more then welcome to view my blogs!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I work at The American Red Cross in blood collection department. And I must say that everyday is a new adventure there! It is a nice job to meet new people and learn about different lifestyles and cultures. One of the things I like the most about my job is that I work with different people and locations. No two days are the same!