Thursday, April 23, 2009


Last month I got a call from Tad asking me "guess who just called me?" answer of I don't know brought the reply "Mike Macdowell". Boy did that bring a rush of good and sad memories. Mike and Pennie were our next door neighbors at 26- for almost eight years. During that time, Pennie's kids, Holly and Aaron became Jenna and Tad's best friends as they were all just about the same age. The kids were always together at Mike & Pennie's or our house or playing in the neighborhood. Times changed, we sold our house and moved into the BMS building where Don wanted to start a plumbing retail store to go along with his plumbing repair business. A hard move for all of us, giving up our big house to move into the upstairs of the store. The kids managed but it wasn't the same. In a short time Don would be dead and our lives forever changed. Mike and Pennie divorced and Mike moved to the Valley and then to Oklahoma. He has since remarried and has a three year old daughter, Maddie. Mike came to dinner while Jenna and Weston were up so he got to see all three kids and all four grandkids. He said in a way they felt like his grandkids. It didn't matter what was going on, if they were going somewhere or we were going somewhere or doing something, we always had all of the kids and that was so cool. Tad said if he needed his butt kicked, Mike would do it just like he would for Aaron. All of the kids knew they were loved. Mike was a good neighbor and is a good man and it was good to see him. Mike has always kept in touch with Tad and I keep in touch with Pennie and both Tad and I keep in touch with Aaron. Lots of good times and some really hard, sad times for all of us.

Saturday I got an email from Val Allred, Don's cousin. He was in the valley and heading back home to Colorado and decided to come through Springerville and wanted to know if it would be possible to get together. I emailed him back and the phone rang immediately, Val confirming he would be here on Sunday. Val was a couple of years older than Don but they were close and cared a great deal for each other. I called Tad and told him about the email and call and he made arrangements for Val at a local RV park for Sunday and Monday night. On Sunday afternoon Val and Nancy came when they got into town to visit and to see Ed. Val and Ed went to school together in Safford and lived in the same neighborhood. A small world! Val and Ed visited about old times and old friends. Ed left and went back to Buchhorn and we set a date to meet again on Monday to visit again. Val and Nancy wanted to see Velda and Wade on this visit too and drive around before heading to Santa Fe on Tuesday.

We went to dinner on Monday night and it was good to just visit with Val. A retired Glendale firefighter/paramedic who was cross-trained as S.W.A.T. he had many interesting and funny stories. Val has the Allred sense of humor and it was just good to be around he and Nancy. Val and Tad traded hunting and fishing stories, ending with the story of Val's Grandpa and Tad's Great Grandpa Milt Allred's 30/30 rifle, that belonged to Calvert Allred (Milt's father) that was made in 1910. Val owns the gun and then turned to Tad and said that when he dies, he wants Tad to have the gun. It was so touching and Tad had tears. Now the point of telling this story is that I recognize the blessings of family. I appreciate the stories of old and I want my children to feel the same and it is so important that we write our memories and stories for the generations to come.

I want for my kids to tell their kids of the good people that and memories that have helped shape their lives. I am thankful for all of my family and for my many friends. You all help shape my life and help me have a desire to be a better person. You lift me when I am down and for that I am thankful. Have a great day and know that I love you.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Traffic School, Feeding Ducks & Mud Mania

I had to go to the Valley to see my arthritis Dr. on Saturday and while I've kind of been holding my own, Dr. Fairfax would like to see me in better shape because it is still quite active (so would I) but the new wonder drugs called "biomedics" cost up to thousands (NOT a typo) each month. Of course I don't have insurance coverage for that so he would like for me to go back on a trial drug and see how I do. I'm thinking about it...down side is I have to travel back and forth at least once a month and that gets expensive.

Maggie and the kids drove down with me and we spent several days with Jenna and had lots of fun. Jenna spent Saturday in defensive driving school (she supposedly didn't signal a turn in Globe and an off-duty cop said she almost caused a wreck and the STATE was going to suspend her license unless she went to traffic school) any hooo that was a bummer day for her.

On Monday Gunnar had his first swimming lesson so I went and watched it while Maggie and the kids went to Grandma Mary's then Jenna and I met her there. Gunnar did real well for most of the lesson and then he got a little scared and cried a little. He tried to be so brave, and he did everything his instructor asked him to do. We spent time at Grandma's and then went home. I had all four kids in car seats in Jenna's jeep and they all fell asleep on the way to Jenna's. Talk about a job getting four kids out of car seats without waking them up...Gunnar & Bailey, Bailey & Trentin,

Kamryn in the 3rd seat back...the girls went to the mall and to the grocery store because I was making my special chicken strips and Maggie was making Troy's favorite mashed potatoes.

Tuesday Jenna needed to pack up the last of her office to be through with work so I went and helped her for a while. As I was heading out the door on Tuesday morning, I see Gunnar with his pants dropped to his ankles, peeing on Jenna's new hibiscus plant yelling, "Jenna, I helping you"... I had my camera in my purse but missed the peeing part, this is what I caught and I said, "Gunnar, what are you doing?" He said "helping it grow..." (does it matter if it isn't water out of the hose?) At the office, Gunnar and Bailey played while Jenna and I boxed the last of the office up. Here's Bailey boo...
borrowing the line from Runaway Bride..."don't know where she's going, but she'll get there by 10:00 a.m tomorrow." It was fun watching Bailey figure out how to get into the box without falling in.
After lunch at Jack in the Box, we headed to Freestone Park to feed the ducks and ALL of the kids loved it. Jenna and Maggie were nervous with so many kids running loose around that mucky water, THANKFULLY no one fell in. I think it would have been paper, hammer, scissors to see who had to go.
After the park, the kids were hot and wanted to play in the water so Jenna turned the sprinkler on under Gunnar's trampoline. She doesn't have grass in her back yard yet so it was a MUD PUDDLE! and the kids LOVED it. It was hard to leave on Wednesday morning. Gunnar asked me to stay and it melted my heart. When we got to Show Low we let Kamryn and Trentin out to stretch and the wind was blowing a hundred miles an hour...Kamryn said "what's the wind?" as it blew her pony tails out of control. My thoughts were more along the lines of "damed wind."
Had a great time but now it's time to pick up the pieces at home. Sadie missed me and hopped around like a kangaroo. I always post a picture of Sadie on the blog, the grandkids like to look for "Sadie Sue." I guess "mo mo Sadie" stuck, even Kamryn calls me Mo Mo Sadie now. Hope all is well with all of you. Have a Happy Easter and a good spring.

My Favorite Books (So Far)

  • Anything by Neal A. Maxwell
  • Captains & The Kings - Taylor Caldwell
  • Erma Bombeck
  • Heaven & Hell - John Jakes
  • Love & War - John Jakes
  • North & South - John Jakes
  • The Dwelling Place - Catherine Cookson

About Me

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Crazy grandma, obsessed with scrapbooking everything in her kids' lives and then some!