Sunday, July 19, 2009

Leah's 30th Birthday

Today is Leah's birthday. She is thirty years old. It is unbelievable to me that she could be that age. It really seems that I should be only 30. I was a young mother :) .

The day she was born was a long one. I had been told my chances of having her naturally was almost zero. I think Dr. Smith knew this but wanted to give me an opportunity to try. They started trying to induce my labor at 8:00 a.m. in the morning and I took pitocin all day without one labor pain. They gave me an enema and made me use a bedpan when the bathroom was less than six feet away. Anyway, by 7:00 that night, they decided that a c-section was necessary and away to the operating room I went! Of course, Jerry didn't get to go with me. The year was 1979 and dads didn't do c-sections!

They strapped me to a surgical bed with one of my arms extended straight out. I had to lay on my right arm for some strange reason. Maybe they thought I would want to help with the surgery if my arms weren't tied down!

When it was almost time for the surgery to begin, they gave me a shot to make me happy. When Dr. Smith was ready to begin, he turned to the anesthesiologist and said: "is she ready"? The anesthesiologist said "she is ready". I was in happy land but I could hear it all and couldn't make a sound or move. I had an oxygen mask on my face and of course, my arms were tied. I was laying there thinking, "I am not going to be asleep for this surgery".

Dr. Smith raised the scalpel to cut me, the anesthesiologist shouted "no, she is not asleep! I thought you meant is she ready to go to sleep, not cut". He then looked at me and said, "you are going to sleep now, count backwards from 10". Out I went. When I woke up, I had a baby girl who looked like two baby girls because of the pain medication! I am a cheap drunk.

Leah had fuzzy brown hair and big blue eyes. Boy, could she cry! She and her daddy bonded quickly and he became her caregiver while I was in lala land from the pain medication. He was so wonderful with her and knew just what to do to make her happy.

Leah was born on Thursday and by Sunday, the three day rule for surgery set in and I was miserable from all the air they pumped in me in the operating room. Needless to say, the Sunday afternoon company came in droves. My roommate and her family (about 20 of them) had a watermelon feast in our room and I thought I would blow up!

We took her home on Tuesday and laid her in her own bed to sleep. It was amazing and scary all at the same time.

Today, Leah is a wife, mom, daughter, sister and aunt. She is a writer and soon to be a teacher. Her little family is precious and she takes good care of them along with her husband, Nick.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl! I am so proud of you and I love you very much. May God's blessings rain down on you!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Morning Glorys

Jerry and I went to the garden late this afternoon to do some work. It has been too muddy this week to do a whole lot up there. We decided we had waited long enough. We put on our old shoes and took off up the road.

Jerry's first project was to stake the tomatoes. There are fifty seven plants and they are growing pretty fast. I am excited about having buckets and buckets of ripe tomatoes to share with our family and to can! Leah and Rebekah want to learn to can and I think tomatoes will be where we will start. The day that they are predicting frost in the fall, we will go to the garden and pull all the green tomatoes so that we can make chow-chow. Our chow-chow is so good, we have an unofficial fan club!

My job tonight was weeding. I have decided that there are morning glory seeds wrapped up in the corn seed. For every stalk of corn we planted, there was a long morning glory vine wound up the stalk from the root to the top. My first impulse was to jerk the weed but when the corn started wanting to rip out by the root, I figured my method would have to change.

In order to get that pest of a plant away from my corn, I had to go straight to the root of the problem. I had to trace the vine to the root and pull it all out of the ground and then unwind the vine from the corn to keep from damaging the corn stalk.

I guess morning glory weeds are like the problems we all have in our lives. In order to either solve the problem or make it go away, we have to start at the root. We can't start in the middle or at the end-just at the root unless we want to do some real damage.

Next time you see a morning glory in your garden, rip that sucker up from the root. It will give you great pleasure!

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It pays to do a little price checking.......

It seems the older I get, the more medications I need. If you looked in my medicine drawer you would see several orange bottles. High blood pressure, thyroid issues, etc. plague me and I have to medicate them. The cost of taking care of yourself has skyrocketed in the last few years along with everything else.

I got my doctor to give me generic prescriptions that are on the $4.00 list at my grocery store. There is no need to pay more for the same drug in the name brand. I found out today how my grocery store and the others who offer discount prescriptions can do it. They are not just being nice to their customers. They are making the difference up with other generics.

I had been perplexed about the cost of a generic medication that I buy regularly. The cost had jumped about $45.00 a month to $183.00 for 30 pills. It seems that every time I refill the prescription, the cost is more. I called the doctor to see about an alternative and there wasn't one. I don't know about you, but $183.00 is real money in our house.

I went to sleep praying about this last night. If you have to buy it, you have to buy it, but dang it, that is just too much money.

I got up this morning with a clear direction as an answer to prayer: call the local, home owned pharmacy and do a price check. As soon as I was finished in the garden, I came home and did just that. I made the phone call.

When the clerk answered the phone I told him I needed to check a price. I gave him the name of the drug, the dosage and the name of the brand name. I told him I wanted the generic version. He was gone a few minutes and when he came back he said: "the price on that drug is $14.92". I was in shock. I asked him to check it again. I spelled the name of the drug and I could hear him talking in the background to his boss. He again said, "it will be $14.92". I asked, "are you sure?" I know he thought I was crazy and he asked, "Mrs. Bryan, what have you been paying for this drug?" My reply: "I don't want to tell you, I am afraid." He laughed. Then I told him: $183.00. Needless to say, he was now the shocked one.

I asked him why the big difference in the price. He said that the big box stores have a corporate office telling them what they have to charge for their medication. The price they pay wholesale isn't always reflected in what they charge the customer. He said that his store adds their profit by their standards and they don't have to deal with anyone but the store owner. He said my refill would be ready by 11:00 a.m. tomorrow.

I am very excited about taking my $14.92 into the drug store tomorrow and walking out with a bottle of medication that I have been paying almost $200.00 for. Just think, if I had known this nine months ago when I first started buying this drug, I would have saved $1521.27. Enough money to pay for a nice trip to Disney World.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009


My new motto is "Simplify". Yeah, right. My question is this: "Why does it take so much effort to simplify"?

I love the show, "Clean House". Niecy Nash, the host, drives Jerry straight up the wall. Her voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard to him. The flower in her hair puts him over the edge. In all fairness, golf on Sunday afternoon does me the same way.

It is unbelievable how much stuff one family can accumulate in a small space. I don't see how they cook a meal, do laundry or even sit down to watch television in some of those houses. I like stuff as well as the next person, but really? The lady on the show yesterday collected monkeys. She owned 297 stuffed monkeys and three live monkeys....who live in the basement. Bless her heart. She was looking for love in all the wrong places.

When yard sale time came, they made $4,100 on their stuff! I have never seen them make more than a couple of thousand at any yard sale. The clean house gang painted, organized and made that house look great in a few days time. I wouldn't dare (even if my house looked like the one on television) invite them to clean my house. I am so sentimental that if one of the team members carried out a precious object, somebody would get hurt.

I do believe that simplifying my life would get rid of some stress I experience when I can't find something that I need or want. "A place for everything and everything in it's place" is a quote I have heard all my life. I just need to put it into practice.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

From this to that.....Blackberry Jam

Well, I guess by now you have figured out that I am staying pretty busy in the garden, cotton patch and blackberry patch. I have picked more than a gallon of blackberries already and I haven't even touched the majority of the berries!

I have been picking the berries and freezing them getting ready to make jam. Today, I had some berries in the frig that I forgot to wash and freeze. So, I thought I would work on my jam making skills. I have never made blackberry jam before but I have vivid memories of jam being made at my house as a child.

I will never forget my Granny standing at the stove making jam. She would cook the jam and keep it hot as she lifted the jars out of the boiling water and filled them. She would always fold a flour sack down lengthwise to match the height of the jar. She would wrap that cloth around the hot jar and then roll the leftover cloth into a handle to hold on to the jar. One day when she was filling the jars the cloth slipped and dumped hot jam all over her forearm. She was burned pretty badly and Mom had to take her to the emergency room to get it cleaned and wrapped.

Since that day, I have a respect for hot jam. I don't use Granny's "cloth" method of holding the jar. I set the jar on the counter and use a canning funnel to fill it. Today, while experimenting using baby food jars for the jam, I dropped one and spilled jam all over the counter. I was blessed it wasn't my arm or my foot that caught the hot jam. I have decided that I won't be cheap any more when it comes to jars. Nine dollars a dozen for jam jars is cheap compared to an emergency room visit.

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