Friday, April 2, 2010


Before I go into anything, those of you who’ve been reading this blog for long know that I’m very close to my mother in law, Gretchen.  Here’s the funny thing; her REAL name is Marbet. 

In different areas of the country, children use all kinds of names for their grand parents.  In the South, there’s Mee Maw & Mammy (spelled phonetically), other places use Grandma, & here in the frozen tundra of the North, they’re often called Mom Mom.  But, nooo.  My crazy in laws went with Gretchen & Normie; long story.  I should add that Normie has gone home to Heaven, but, he was a pip!  I could tell you funny stories about him . . . . .

Unfortunately, Gretchen, too, has been diagnosed with cancer.  She, however is a much more private person than me.  Read: lady.  But she’s been diagnosed & will be going through a different form of chemo than I.  Her prognosis is good, & if there’s one person on the face of this Earth that deserves a miracle, it’s her.  Do you remember that old saying, “When H&R Block talks, people listen”?  Well, our family has a saying, “when Gretchen prays, God listens”.  Please, please keep her in your prayers.  I’ll keep you updated on her condition as much as she’s comfortable with me doing

Of course, that doesn’t stop me from teasing her!  After she was diagnosed, I told her that just because I have cancer, didn’t mean she had to copy me.  I think she went & got it for the bracelets Michele & I made.  Exasperated, I said that all she had to do was tell me she wanted some.  Man, talk about going to great lengths – gee whiz!

Gretchen is a devout Catholic, & she & Matt take the kids to church every Sunday.  I don’t go, though, because it seems like too much exercise that early in the morning.  Have you ever been to a Catholic service?  Holy cow!  Kneel, sit, stand, get up & get some wafers, kneel, shake hands with everyone around you, sit, stand, & so it goes.  Plus, they go to 7:30 mass, which is just about when I’ve gotten into a really deep sleep. 

Now, don’t go thinking I’m some Godless heathen, though.  I do go to church sometimes, & I pray – a lot.  I’ve even had an honest to goodness Angel experience when I was pregnant with my son, Dakota.  He wasn’t supposed to survive his birth, but God made sure I knew he would. 

Any who, talk about getting WAAAYYYY off the subject.  Back to my story about Gretchen.

Gretchen is never too far from a set of God Beads, which is technically called a Rosary.  We even had a hotel send us a set that she had left under her pillow while on vacation.  So since I’d taken to beading like a pig to mud, I thought I’d make her one.

What was I THINKING?  There’s a pattern to those God Beads, folks, & apparently, you really, really need to get it right.  It’s kind of the point.  The first time around, I messed up the count, & had to start over.  The second time, I missed a spacer bead.  Now this is important because it keeps the person’s place while they’re saying these prayers.  Even though I knew she’d never mind it, I took all those God beads off, & strung them all again.  I finally got it right the third time.  Well, at least I’m fairly sure I did, since I stopped looking too closely.   Of course, if I screwed it up, she’d never tell me.  From all accounts, though, I managed to do it right!

Here’s a photo of my rendition of a Rosary; heretofore called God Beads in our house:
I figured that since Gretchen spends most afternoons praying over me, she should have a rosary made by me.  For my part, man, I’m glad that’s done!  I have a few other things I want to make, but I’m going to need a break.  Those God beads were a pip!


I’ve started back to work at the Examiner; a little.  I’m putting together my homeschool group’s third annual cyber school fair.  I decided to start with writing about that & interviewing the different schools.  Next up, I’m going to interview the Phillies’ minor league team players. 

I swear, people, I’m not making this name up.  They’re called “The Iron Pigs”.  Whaaaa??  I guess it could be worse, though.  Other minor league team names are Mud Hens, Bats & Bisons; just to name a few.  It makes you wonder if they chose names like that to get the players super eager to move up to the majors so they don’t have to walk around wearing those jerseys.  You know what?  I’m going to have to ask & I’ll let you know what I find out.  And if you’re an Iron Pigs fan, please don’t kill me!

The problem with writing for the Examiner is that I have to be all professional.  I know!  Get up off the floor – ME, professional & behaving!  Well, not exactly behaving, but at least trying really, really hard not to piss anyone off.  I do that so well without even trying.  I think it may have to do with my big fat mouth.  Words just fly out of it before my brain catches up to tell it to shut up.  On the bright side, it’s good practice for my real life. 

If you ever run into Scott Palmer of the Phillies, say my name & I’ll bet he remembers me, but probably not all that fondly.  Apparently, he was not amused that I knew nothing of baseball, & shared my ignorance, no matter how innocently, with him.  What may have been the final straw, & truly annoyed him, was when I remarked,   “I didn’t know y’all have two of those big ol’ trophy thingies (World Series cups).  Hey, Michele, doesn’t it look like Caesar’s crown?”  I thought Michele was going to dive behind one of the plants to get away from me.  Her facial expression in the photo below might illustrate my point better than my words.
Michele in front of one of the series trophies – the BIG ONE (ooohhhh)!

Doesn’t it kind of remind you of those crowns Caesar wore?  Well, anyway, I don’t plan to run into Mr. Palmer any time soon, & I’m sure he’s not losing any sleep over it.

I’m still having good days & bad days, but, now that the major poison round is done, hopefully the good will out weigh the bad.  At least I hope so.  I’ve got to show up for the field trip to see the Pigs.  I don’t think it would look very good if Michele ended up having to pull me along in a little red wagon.  Trust me, she’d do it, but she’d probably make me wear some type of hospital gown with a bib in case I drool.  Not exactly the first impression I want to make, don’t ya’ think? 

Wish me luck with that.  Well, actually, you might want to wish MICHELE luck that I don’t go & do something stupid that’ll make her end up sitting in a jail cell with me.  We’re both perfectly prepared for what most of our friends consider an inevitable happenstance.  But I think she’s hoping that our homeschool groups will only have to read about it in the paper.  Not witness it in person; sigh.  She’s a really, really good friend.

In the event that I don’t get back to writing for a few more days, I want to wish all of you a very Happy & Blessed Easter. 

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