Monday, November 29, 2010
It was a grand and glorious day. Chelle and Kit hosted us in their home for the Thanksgiving bash. My precious daughter is a charming and talented hostess and her wonderful spouse makes everyone feel welcome. This celebration will go down in the family archives as a Thanksgiving to remember.
Ron and I arrived on Wednesday so the kids took us out for dinner to a Steak and Catfish Barn restaurant. It was recently featured on the Travel Channel show Man vs Food. (click for YouTube video) We had to wonder why anyone ever walked into the restaurant in the first place. It definitely does not look very appealing from the outside but once inside and enjoying their cuisine you are definitely glad you found the place.
How we managed to eat again the next day is amazing. My son brought a smoked turkey. Kit fried a turkey. Chelle baked a ham. We had tons of mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy with green bean casserole, cranberry salad and Chelle had made homemade croissants to die for. Appetizers consisted of a cheese ball that Chelle made and jumbo shrimp and sauce that Ron and I brought. Plus I baked a Sopapillia cheese cake and Chelle baked a perfect pumpkin pie.
Before everyone collapsed from the tryptophan on T-day we played a game of Wahoo. There was a giant bet riding on this game and I regret admitting that I lost. My son-in-law refuses to call the game Wahoo and insists that it is called Aggravation. The bet was if the girls won he would start calling the game Wahoo. Instead he gets to keep calling it Aggravation. If anyone knows their board games they know that Aggravation has a hole in the middle of the board and one less hole on each side. There are also a few minor rule differences. If anyone can testify on my behalf, it would be appreciated.
I only caught glimpses of the grandchildren as they ran in and out of the house and Michael and Hope's rooms. They are such pals and nothing is more satisfying than to see the cousins enjoying each other. I did get some special time to view Michael's latest astonishing art work.
I was especially content to be reminded of Thanksgivings past and feel the large amount of love for extended family this small gathering represented. There is even something extra special in knowing how much my mom and dad would have enjoyed this.
Thank you Chelle and Kit for leading us into the holiday celebrations that will head us out of the old year into the new. It was spectacular!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
This weekend I found myself telling true tales about events in my life as a banker. These I had not been given reason to recall in a very long time.
1968 found me taking my first banking course. The professor teaching the class had told us some outrageous predictions involving the future of banking. This instructor, a banker himself, told our class of skeptical minds that the day was coming when everyone would have a plastic card, much like a credit card, but this card would access our personal checking accounts. This card, he told us, would eventually eliminate the need for anyone to write checks or carry cash. This check-card would enable us to go up to any machine and purchase even a can of soda pop. The cost then of that carbonated drink would come directly out of our checking accounts. This classroom of modern day, upcoming bankers burst into laughter at the absurdity. After all most of us had only been introduced to desk top computers in the workplace and we were still struggling to learn how to use them.
I was glad that I had this class because in the late 1970's my employer asked me to take the responsibility of installing our bank's first ATM (Automated Teller Machine). We were a front runner in that field and it was my duty to see that the machine was installed and up and running in a timely manner. I was required to determine the software, the hardware, the physical building of the machine casing at the front door of our facility, work with the telephone company for the connections and make the arrangements with all vendors involved with the installation. I was also my responsibility to make arrangements for making the cards and getting them to our customers and encouraging them to use these debit cards. (Getting anyone to use these very strange cards was the most difficult part.)
The ATM was ready to go and it only made sense that I be responsible for the maintenance and repair. The rest of the bank staff was not familiar with the machine and this left me responding to the machine calling my pager for repairs at all hours of the day and night. As a single mom with two small children at home, this meant getting the kids out of bed and taking them with me to the bank to implement the needed solution. After doing this on my own for several months it became clear to management that this probably was a dangerous job for a young woman with children to complete on her own and new protocol was implemented. All of the bank officers would be required to train on machine repairs and take turns carrying the pager plus no calls would be answered after midnight. It was not a happy time for the other members of the repair party and the louder the complaints and the more powerful the voices, better remedies were soon found.
Little by little other banks became involved and more ideas for servicing these machines came into being and now, as you know, armored cars do most of the servicing of these machines.
I was telling this story to a young woman who could not imagine a time without debit cards and ATM machines. This young woman had a job that required her to be out at night and go in and out of a facility in the dark. Sometimes it required her, a single mom, to take her young daughter with her and this mom was extra cautious and concerned about their safety. So while a lot has changed over the years and banking and computers have progressed, single parents are still required to make scary sacrifices for their daily bread.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
We shared a belated birthday celebration for my spouse last week. My sister and bil joined us at a local casino for a All-you-can-eat Alaskan King Crab Legs. It was a perfect feast.
Sunday we shared more legs with my sister and bil at their home. We had delicious smoked chicken legs.
Enough about legs but NEVER enough legs:)
The doctor called Thursday night and told me that I have severe sleep apnea. I stop breathing on an average of 57 times an hour which anything above 30 is very dangerous. The technologist last Sunday could not control it with the air mask they used so I have to do another study in order to determine what will work best. The doctor said that even though I have probably had this for a very long time, now that we are aware of it we must proceed quickly. Until the next study I am supposed to sleep under oxygen which I can do because Ron has lots here for me to borrow:) While there are many things that cause sleep apnea, a major cause is weight. My cardiologist ordered the study because he believes I cannot lose weight because I am too tired all the time and once I start getting undisturbed sleep I will have more get-up-and-go.
Lots of things are getting done around our home. The rocks and overgrowth are being bulldozed out of our woods. Our front porch has been completed and the utility room is finally moving along smartly. It is looking beautiful.
BOA Grand National Second Place Winners -- THE PRIDE OF BROKEN ARROW HIGH SCHOOL BAND. They went to the Grand Nationals hoping to make one of the top 12 positions in the Finals. Imagine their delight in taking overall Second place. CONGRATULATIONS!
IT'S ABOUT PRECISION.
If you missed my previous post, you will want to click to be thrilled by
A Random Act of Culture.
A Random Act of Culture.
Friday, November 12, 2010
My brother forwarded this to me and I cannot stop watching it.
On Saturday, October 30th 2010, The Opera Co. of Philadelphia and 28 choral organizations totaling over 650 persons gathered in the Grand Court at Macy's Department Store in Philly. They mingled with the crowd and then accompanied by the (Wanamaker) worlds largest working pipe organ, sang Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" to a stunned and surprised audience, which some joined in to sing. This was presented by the Knights' Foundation, "Random Acts of Culture"
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
The sleep study is over. Now the wait is on. It will be 3 - 14 days before I know the results. Thankfully my technician was a riot and kept my mind off any inhibitions. He talked and joked as he applied electrodes to me for about 1 1/2 hours. For once in my life I was glad to be bald headed. They use so much glue I cannot imagine how a person with a full head of hair can contend with the gunk. Mine was a "split sleep study" and this link will take anyone who is interested to a website that explains all the ins and outs of the study.
Meanwhile back at the ranch my poor dog Slim could not understand why I would leave home at dark and she stood in the van parking spot and howled for me until Ron made her come inside. She greeted me joyfully at 4:30 AM when I returned home still in the dark.
My son (chaperone) and his three Pride of Broken Arrow Band children head for Grand Nationals this week. They will compete on the weekend and there is a chance our friend Nora of Chez Pez will get out there to see them. Wouldn't that be great?! The band has already won local, state and district competitions and we are pretty convinced that they have a show that will take the prize in Indiana.
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Friday, November 05, 2010
The rooster Jack Bauer, after being given the boot by his fellow fowl, has found a new home among the goats. He has moved his roosting place into the goat pen and during the day he wanders the property with the goats. It appears he has informed the goats of the cat Lil' Bear's attempt to lead them astray. Sometimes the guinea fowl will join the goats and Jack. They all seem very much at home in the company of strangers.
Speaking of strangers, my portrait art community is no longer a group of strangers. There is something about studying the face of a person in order to draw them, and suddenly starting to feel like you know them. I have drawn over 60 portraits and believe I would recognize these individuals and call them by name if I ever ran into them. Twenty in turn have drawn my portrait. Of course one that I treasure most was done by our good friend Ileana "Ily". I don't believe she will care if I share it here.
Isn't she a wonderful artist!!!
Hubby has visitors coming this weekend. One is a long time friend and the other is a stranger. We know the other visitor will be okay because he is traveling with our friend. Both are rather prestigious state officers of the VFW. I know that Ron is looking forward to war stories and a house full of testosterone.
My sleep study is finally scheduled for Sunday night and it could not come at a better time. I'll fix a big pot of soup and some desserts for the boys and be off for the night. Can you think of a better way to entertain guys than to go away and leave them alone while you sleep?
Tomorrow night we all need to remember to turn our clocks back. I truly relish gaining back this hour we lost in the spring. Enjoy your weekend and if our temperatures this morning are any indication, also enjoy some teeth-chattering weather.