Saturday, October 24, 2009

Joy in the house...cute puppies

Chancey Fancy Pants with his Papa.
He's so cute. He looks like a stuffed toy.

Chancey & Larry
Tooee running and giving lovin'. She's very jealous.

Monday, October 19, 2009

For J-man and Jac Jac

Jaeden with my 3 pups running around.

Going to the pond, Jaeden, Jaclyn, Nicole, and pups

Jaeden has a pond question.

Kids n puppies


Jaeden wanted to talk, then didn't while on video. He was quiet. But he makes hysterical faces and I asked him to make a face. He is 5 now and in Kindergarten. Jaclyn turns 3 today. In Bloomington, my Marcus is 13 going on 30 and Lucas is 9 going on 18.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Next Day

WE FOUND JAMES' WEDDING RING! James lost it when he was climing out of the ravine and got to the top. Tonya & I searched and a sweet couple with a metal detector came. We were about to give up when Tonya hacked one last piece of grass and there is was. We had found his tracks as he climbed up the hill and Tonya searched and searched. But it was closer to the road then we had thought it would be. We screamed! Thank you Jesus. I needed to see a little miracle. They are always big ones to me though.

Oh, plus we found Tonya's bluetooth, James' good sunglasses, and the mirror of the Explorer.

The Jeep jack knifed on the Explorer as the roads were rain slick and cold. The Explorer flipped and went down the ravine on its top. The Jeep broke loose and spun around and went partially down the hill and it hit a tree with its tailgate. It's in good shape except the tailgate and some bent metal of the frame that holds the soft top. A tire was on the rim and they changed it last night and drove it home.

OH, background. Larry had set James' vehicles up with the ability to tow and we were going to leave at 630 this morning to 4 wheel at the Badlands and see Jer's family for Jaclyn's birthday. She turns 3 on Tuesday. Plans cancelled for now, but that's ok. We need to take more time to be grateful for a safe family.

This might show how steep this is.

The Explorer pooped out. Front tire is all out of whack and it won't start right now. Would make a great off road vehicle if it starts again. The term 'Moon Roof' takes on a whole new meaning. Darrell used his big Diesel truck and big trailer that Larry had made to tow it to James' house. Thanks, Darrell.

The Jeep is good except for the tailgate. Fixable or replaceable. Ebay anyone.......?????

What a good feeling to be cozy at home in the basement with Grandma Nana's puppies.

What the grandboys do.

Tonya teasing James that we were giving up the search for the ring. Actually, we had just found it.

Thankful James was not hurt

Last night James had just left our house. He was pulled his Jeep with his Explorer. Halfway home he hit a wet/slick spot and the Explorer flipped and he went down a ravine on its top. The Jeep broke away and flipped around and hit a tree in the back. I found my camera in my pocket after the vehicles were pulled out. The guys are changing the back tire and he was able to drive it home. The Explorer body is pretty beat up and the towed it away. The guys are checking now to see if it is driveable.

James had to get out of the seat belt upside down, kick the door open, and climb up the hill. He didn't have a scratch on him, bruise, or anything. We are thankful to Jesus for his protection.

We are thankful to all the help from the volunteer fire dept who spent their time helping us and to the State Police. Everyone was so nice. This shut down the Hwy to Bloomington for a while and they were all great.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall is here

Oct 11th. We had Homecoming today at our little country church, Mt Zion. What a wonderful day. A great sermon by our pastor in the morning and our previous pastor spoke in the afternoon. Laughter and tears at the same time.
I took a few pics of the pups afterwards. It was a cool, sunny Fall day in the 60's. That's called perfect weather.

Marcus had a string concert last Wed. This is his 3rd year and we are very proud of him. Bloomington has about 100K people and every school has this available and they all join in together for concerts. This is just his own Jr Hi here.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I love my zoo

Chancey on left, Tooee on right

Chancey & Tooee on the couch

Oct 11th with Tooee (Tippy II) and Chancey Fancy Pants (2nd chance with Tippy)

That girl's got it made.

saying goodbye to Rainy Grace who became Gracie Mae. So fitting.

I love my zoo and my bird room. A lot of work but they give me lots of joy and love back.

Chancey & Kiki sleeping under my desk

3 pups under my desk. We have had people ask if Tooee was the mother of Chancey and Rainy Grace. She's only 3 months old. She's a baby too.

Last day with Rainy Grace before giving her to Pam and Mike. She has the most perfect personality. She plays and needs you.

Oct 11th and I still have color in my garden. Doesn't show as good on film.

Chancey & Gracie's mother

Chancey with breeder. At this time we weren't planning on taking him. They were calling him Winston. So glad the little stinker is ours.

Me & the new babies Oct 11th, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

For Pam

Day 2: Both with Larry

I am backing off from giving them milk and rice cereal. We are going to water and canned dog food. I feed them Little Bites hard dog food a piece at a time. It's so big for them. Vet on Monday.

A lady from church has a friend who rescues pups every week. She said there is a product that kills fleas in 30 minutes. Because fleas kill puppies by sucking their blood and making them anemic. Big DUH. What a loss of 3 great pups from this litter due to fleas and filth. A bath could have saved them all. I am so thankful that these 2 are doing so good.

Chancey & Tooee asleep on my lap last night.

Rainy Grace beating up Big Chancey

Chancey winning this time

Chancey in a basket

Rainy on her back playing

Day 3, playing in their pen

Day 4 6 weeks old today. New flea baths after church. No fleas found! Feeding them cooked beef liver to pump up their iron levels because we know they have anemia due to the fleas. Soap and water could have saved 3 puppy's lives.

Chancey gets his bath.

Fighting and playing

Rainy Grace untied my shoe.

Siblings fighting

Rainy Grace

Outside with my impatiens

Gaining more energy by the day

Day 7 They were so happy when we got home from Walmart. Going crazy in the pen and I took them out by the flowers.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rescuing Chihuahuas

Update: Praise God, my friend Pam, from Martinsville, is taking the female. She will have the best home ever. Even better than mine. I can't part with the male since he looks so much like my Tippy. So I hope my zoo is complete, no more, no less.

We were hoping to get a relative of Tippy's in a litter. A little girl called Chancey, for 2nd chance with Tippy. The litter had 5 and we visited once a week. What a mess. The pups were so flea bitten that 2 had died. I've never seen anything so bad. So at 5 wks and 2 days, we brought the rest of the litter home. One died before I could get a can of carnation milk open and get it to the pup. I found a tulip bulb and we named her Tulip and buried the bulb with her. We worked really hard on the other 2. Female Chancey and male Mr. Lucky. We bathed and bathed them in flea shampoo and put flea stuff on them. They are too young but we had nothing to lose. They were healthy pups but the conditions they were in were appalling. They are tiny but starting to play and bark. I think they will make it just fine now. We are still working on fleas. No one should raise dogs in conditions that these were in. I didn't intend to have 2 more pups but they needed to be saved.
For you who haven't seen my in a while, I look really old. I have the gastric bypass 'crinkly skin' thing going on on my face. Oh well, I am so much healthier, take almost no medication, and have had a wonderful summer working in my flower beds. Hey, I painted my house this summer too by myself. I hadn't intended to do that but I looked one day, and oh my, our cedar was dried out and faded. I stained my decks, and pond docks, too. So, life is good. I look like a person who was a puffed up grape and turned into a raisin, ha.
Larry and the pups right after we got them.

Holding my 2 white rats.
Me and my 3 babies, Chancey, Mr. Lucky, and baby Tooee. They are 7 wks apart.

Rainy Grace for Pam

Rainy Grace looking around the first evening

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day at the Badlands

Welcome to the Badlands. To use a 60's term, it was a Happening. Full of Jeeps, ATV's and we even saw a Mud Buggy. It was like being at Glamis at home on a holiday but not nearly the people you see at Glamis.

Lots of ridersJames JeepJames terrifying Tonya


Jeremy & Jaeden

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My Tippy

My baby Tippy
When we first got Tippy.

I was so glad to find this picture. The look on Larry's face describes how we both felt about Tippy.

My beautiful, spunky girl. One year old.

She went everywhere with me, as do all my dogs. We gardened a lot this summer.

Gardening with me.

Tippy and Cricket, our quaker parrot, last Christmas.

Nicole made turkey cookies with candy corn for the tail and Tippy got one and thought she had a real prize.

Just a tribute to my Tippy. I didn't have too many pictures of her. I thought I'd have more years with her.

Camping with Tippy, best movies I have of her

Mija and Tippy

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Meet Tippy II

Meet Tippy II. I am planning on calling her Too-ee, like Beaver did one of his friends. But you can call her Tippy or Tipper, too. We got her in Linton and she is already healing some of our pain. This has been the hardest thing. I have cried since I woke up this morning, and I'm not a crier. Her color and her spunkiness remind me of Tippy but when I look at her face with its markings, there is no mistaking that she is Tooee, her own dog. I pray she helps ease our pain of losing Tippy.

We just brought her home. She is with Larry, Mija, our poodle, and Roxanne, our German Shepherd, at the end.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Tribute to My Tippy

Tipp's resting place

My Beautiful Tippany

Tippy's Flowers. My friend, Pam, sent these for Tippy. She has been through this too with the loss of her beloved Elvis last year. My friend, Bea, has been through this with the similar loss of her Samson. Connie had to put down her Katie about a month ago. And Rachel understands as she lost her beloved Boston Terrier like we lost Tippy. I am thankful for those who understand how a pet can grab your heart and you grieve for them so deeply.

My Bloved Tippy

Tippy was tragically killed last night. She was a one year old Chihuahua and had become our closest companion. All my dogs are good companions but there was something special about Tippy. She made us laugh. She was feistly. She always wanted to touch us, at least with one paw. She would ride in the car with us and sit behind our necks or lie that way on the couch behind us and touch us with one paw. She loved to burrow in the bed and be under the pillows. We loved her so much and we are devastated. She is buried under our willow trees at the pond. How I wish I could turn back the clock....

Tippy & Kiki the Kitten

Tippy and Mr Kitty

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Updated 8/12 VBS in Bloomfield, Greene Co, Indiana

Mt Zion Wesleyan Church in Bloomfield, under the water tower. Allen's Chapel and Mt. Calvary also had this VBS with us.

Pat & Larry on van pick up duty.

Mt Zion Wesleyan, Allen's Chapel and Mt Calvary churches went together this week, the first week of August to have Vacation Bible School. They are all sweet, small churches and we had a wonderful old fashioned VBS. Here are a few pics and videos.

Evan Fuller rings the bell. His Grandma, Loralyn McHenry is on the end of the clip.

Janice Hardesty opening up on Monday. Phoebe Fuller and Wanda Parker at the piano.

Janice Hardesty opening on Monday.
Jan Abrams leading the Cluck Cluck game.The younger kids having snacks. Helper Sandy Wilson, Phoebe Fuller, Beth Newkirk and the McHenrys.
Working ladies, Jessie Wiles, Jennifer Faultless (due for a new baby), Katrina Michael, Denise Andrews with her back to us, Kristie Pickard, and Sandy.
Beth Newkirk, our Crafty Lady
Dalton ringing the bell
Cameron & Gage
Whiffle ball
Girl Group
Gracie & Regan
Jacinda from Colorado
Janice at Crafts
Jessy Wiles


Phoebe leading singing

Rachel & kids

Mt Zion Sanctuary

Say Your Name

Kaelee and Dad



Jacinda and Taya

More whiffle ball

Monday, July 27, 2009

Why didn't I do this before? I wish YOU were here with me today.

I did something wonderful today, quite by accident actually. And I need to stop and do it more often.

We stayed the night at Jer's after our ByrdDay celebration. Nicole let me take some baby plant starts and seeds from her garden. So I was out planting them. It was a pretty nice July day but I was getting a little hot. I had driven to the backside of our pond on our Hog (like a John Deere Gator).

I sat down on the grass under an elm tree we had planted. After 10 years, it has gotten big enough for a little bit of shade. I was just messing with the seed and throwing the seeds out.

Suddenly, my eyes really opened to what I was looking at, where I was, and what the Lord had blessed me with. You can look at something like this in your life every day, but yet never SEE it.

Growing up as a Desert Rat in the Imperial Valley, CA, this would have been a dream, a piece of heaven, and yet there it was in front of me. Although I am retired, I just am always working trying to keep up with my babies (my pets) and the house and the yard. Work, work, work, clean, clean, clean, poop patrol, poop patrol.

But you never take time to smell the roses, as it is said.

We built our pond 11 summers ago and have 9 lb (average) catfish, bass, hybrid blue gills bigger than your whole hand, and Indiana crappies. We had fed our fish from the dock before I drove to the other side. The catfish and bass were eating and splashing the water. Dragonflies were darting everywhere.

I was sitting in the middle of my flowers and a large amount of 'Queen Anne's Lace'. It's a weed in Indiana but it's a beautiful flower to me. My Mom had told me about Queen Anne's Lace and it always reminds me of her. I could see Dane's Rocket, a pink wildflower here and a precious little plant called 'Butter & Eggs' that is blooming in one of the pictures.

A cool breeze was blowing as I was beginning to cool off. Then my big dogs were swimming in the pond and had come up to sit by me. What a great moment the Lord had made me stop and SEE.

I took pictures to share with you. I hope you take a minute to look around at what you have around you today. I was surprised and so blessed by what I experienced. You will be, too.
Trix through the 'lace'

Our pond. Bloomfield, IN

Roxanne our GSD, and Liana. Liana is a lab/golden mix (an official LGX) bred by CCI and born in Santa Rosa, CA.

Queen Anne's Lace

The dogs and the 'Hog'

Pink coneflowers on the left, Dusty Miller is the white stuff, The small yellow flower is Butter & Eggs, and Dane's Rocket on the right.

Trixie by the dock.

My Liana

Byrd Day Celebration

Larry, me, our oldest James & Tonya, youngest Jeremy & Nicole

Us at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. We did a decent job of surprising Larry. He said one time that he's like his boys to take him there for his 60th. Luckily, he forgot and we all met at Indy. The food was the best I've ever tasted and the service was elegant. It was something we won't forget. Thanks kids! Wed he will be 60 and I will be 58. We were 21 and 19 when we met in San Diego!!! All due to Dicky!

Monday, July 20, 2009

To my Cousins, Stevensons, Thomas, and Ogan

Dad's sister Iris' family in Yuma around 1955

Dad's sister Ina Mae's family around 1955 or so. Dad got his movie camera at Christmas 1955. There are Roy & Ina with toddler Theresa and baby Bruce in Banning. I am playing with Theresa & Bruce and Uncle Roy is goofing around in our yard and you see Mom. Older Thomas family.

Uncle Jim, Aunt Juanita, baby Linda Lee (named for Dad), David & Debbie at Grandma's house. Uncle Jim hitting a baseball, Geneva Mae on last of video.

For my Family and cousins

Here are some views of our family from my Dad's 8mm movie camera. Here are Grandpa Charles Edwin Stevenson and Grandma Geneva Jane (Wait) Stevenson. My parents had just come in and we surprised them with a 25th anniversary party. You will see Geneva & Jimmy and Grandma and Grandpa in it.

Baby Beki and shots of Geneva & Richard at their home on 'D' St.

Becky and the Brownie camera, Mom

Jimmy in uniform before going to Viet Nam. Becky adored him but she didn't want anything to do with him in his uniform. Good shot of Mom holding Becky.

Jimmy boarding the Bonanza for Viet Nam. The day I saw my Daddy cry.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

For Nancy, Jamie and the 57, Gail Fowlkes Garcia, Pete and Johnny

Yeh, Nancy, my folks were real nice, yet very strict. I was raised strict and had real solid rules and unbendable curfews.

Jamie and his 57 Chevy.

I made this for Gail.

Dad & Jimmy.```````````````````````````rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Geneva & Richard, friend Mary Kennerson, Pete & Gail (Fowlkes) Garcia and baby Johnny.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Video Memories of my Folks

July, 20th, Happy 68th Anniversary Mom & Dad. In memory. Lee & Flossie were married July 20th, 1941. They passed away before their 45th anniversary and have been gone now since 1986.

On their 28th anniversary (and a month and a half after I graduated from Imperial High School) there was the moon landing. I went outside with Mom. I don't know what I expected to see. Honestly, did I think I'd see them on the surface up there? No idea. There was a heavy haze ring around the moon. We didn't see that much in the desert and it seemed so strange. Just a special moment with them in the front yard on Imperial Ave.

Mom's Mother was only a couple of years older than my Dad. The Warners had come to the Imperial Valley as dust bowl Okies escaping the dust bowl of Oklahoma. Mom was a toddler then and My grandma told my Dad, "Lee, I'm saving this one for you". And Dad waited and when Mom was about 15 or so began a penpal long distance relationship with her. When she was 16, Dad went to Oklahoma and they got married.

I think it was the first time they had met face to face as adults. A story is the wedding party threw them in a creek in celebration. My Mom's sister, Maxine, said she was 'so mad at ol' Lee Stevenson' for taking her sister away. Mom was the oldest of 6 at the time. Eventually there were 10 living kids for the Warners (a son before Mom had died from whooping cough vaccination according to Grandma Iva Mae). A cousin of Mom's, Carlene Tilson, told me that they considered Mom a movie star in their eyes for marrying and going off to California.

Another story is that they were given a mattress for a wedding present and put it on top of the car. What a sight that must have been!

Give your Mom and Dad a hug or a call today if you still have them here.

My familytree history has 3000 members listed and is on

These films are 3rd generation copies, from 8 mm to VHS tape to just shooting them off the tv screen with a digital camera. The quality is not good but I am thankful to have them and to share.
25th Surprise Anniversary Party. They had never had a real wedding cake
Jimmy home on leave. I think this was right before he left for Viet Nam. It shows all of us, Richard & Geneva and Becky was a toddler.

This one is my favorite of Mom. She hated this little clip of film. But I love it because it shows her sweet personality and funny side. It also shows Geneva in her Easter dress, bratty me, and Jimmy carrying a box. The peacocks had escaped from the Fairgrounds and we were trying to catch them.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

So you think you want Bariatric Surgery? My journey

Day before surgery. My faith coat I bought on sale. It was a small. I could not get both arms in it.
Aug 08 4 months post op with Roxanne. If I learn more about this thing, I'll put these in order.

Aug 22 08, my first wild pair of pants with no elastic. Size 16.

Christmas 08 You are supposed to lose weight for 12-18 months, then you are on your own with diet and exercise. I only lost for 7 months and it quit. But my body and fat keep shrinking. This is size 10.

Nov 08 with the apron Charlotte made me.

November 08

Me and my friend, Beth Clark, around Sept 08. I think I looked my healthiest about this time.

One year picture. Size 8/10 for jeans, but draw backs like wrinkled skin and no hair.

I got my faith coat on in one year. It was snug but I got it zipped.

Day before surgery. I am built like my Dad and sister, Geneva. Bigger on top, no butt, no legs. My stomach was like a very hard, huge basketball, for years.

Oct 08, 7 months post op by our pond

Christmas 07. I had not thought yet to check into surgery. I had my information seminar 1/27/08 and was scheduled for surgery and cleared with insurance for 4/2/08. They zoomed all the paperwork through due to my diabetes.
On 7/17 I added a note about the expense of it that I had not talked about before.

I had a Bariatric Reux n Y procedure on 4/2/08. I weighed about 220. My highest weight ever has been 238. I had a severe case Type II Diabetes. I was taking 112 U of Lantux and various amounts of Novalog with each meal, meaning 5-7 shots a day. Still my sugar was running 250-300. My HA1c was 11.5 which is nearly as high as it rates.
Would I recommend Bariatric surgery for losing weight? Never. It is too dangerous.
Would I recommend it if you had Type II Diabetes or other health problems? Don't give it another thought, get it done. I wish I had done it years ago. I never considered it.

A Reux n Y procedure bypasses 2 ft of colon and something about it cures diabetes in almost every person. Most by the time they stay in the hospital overnight. I was taken off insulin at 7 weeks post op. At one year I was released by my Diabetic Dr because he had no reason to see me anymore. My sugar is normal, no meds, and my HA1c is 6.1.

Good points? It feels priceless to purchase and wear a pair of pants with no elastic for the first time in decades. It feels priceless to buy and wear a belt for the first time since having your first child who is now 36.

Depressing points? If you have it done in your 20's, 30's, or even 40's, you look years younger immediately. But in your 50's you have such issues with crinkling, crepe-y skin (as you have seen on tv) that is makes you very depressed. If you think you are embarrassed to be seen in a bathing suit when you feel fat??? It's nothing compared to not wanting people to see your skin that looks like a 90 year old. Last summer I was starting to feel good about being in a suit, thinking, Wow, next year I have to buy a new one in a smaller size? But then, you have upper arms that flap in the wind, a mid section (your 'apron') that you can pull out about a foot in front of you, and your knees need a 'knee lift'. You no longer wear sleeveless things because it's disgusting to show your arms.

They tell you at surgery that no amount of exercise or creams or anything but plastic surgery will do anything to this excess skin. They weren't kidding.

I am at 151 and stable. I looked healthier around 167. But after that my friends started getting on to me about being too thin, etc. But you aren't in control of this until your body tells you it quits. About 6 mo ago I started shrinking in my face and it got crepe-y too. I feel like I have aged 20 years in the last 6 months.
Oh, also, everyone's hair falls out at 6 months. Some people get it all back but most have much thinner hair, even if it was thick before surgery. Mine was thin like my sister's and my Mom's so it is still real thin.

It is hard work. You get very hungry and then you eat one bite and are full. You cannot have soda before surgery or until at least 3 months post op. Or caffeine or smoke. Caffeine or cheating with sugar make you sick to your stomach forever. So it's not an easy solution. But if you are sick and going to die if you don't have some changes, it is worth it.

When a beautful young overweight woman says, Oh, I'd like to have that done to lose weight! I just say, Then first take a look at my butt with sagging skin, then you decide. It's not a pretty sight.

Yes, there is good and bad. But I don't think I would be here today if I had not gotten it done. And I thank Dr. Gupta at St. Vincent's at Carmel in Indianapolis for doing a great job. Thanks for letting me share.
p.s. The Cost : The average cost is $25K for the surgery. You must be prepared to need an entire new wardrobe about 4 months out, from coats to shoes. There are some ways online to trade off your clothes with other weight loss surgery patients. I do that but gave my clothes away and tried buying new ones on sale.
They tell you that you must commit to taking a multiple vitamin a day for the rest of your life. I thought, Oh goody, no problem. I'll just take a Gummy every day. Well, that does not count. Only 3 Flintstone's Complete or generic equivalent. Or bariatric chewable vitamins which are very expensive. Plus you need Vitamin D every day.
Your stomach opening is the size of an aspirin so you must take chewables, liquids, or powders. also much take B12 sublingual weekly or a monthly shot. Plus B1 every week at least.
The hardest thing is calcium. It must be a certain kind, 1500 mg a day and you can't take pills because they are huge. Bariatric has chewables but they make you gag, or at least it did me. There are bariatric powders to put in drinks but they are very bitter. It says tasteless and orderless but they are bitter.
Your tastes are in a constant state of change. I went through periods where fruit Jello tasted wonderful. For a long time, a cookie with fiber I made. Right now I want a berry, and blueberry, strawberry or any kind of berry each day. So you might do good with a certain vitamin at one time, then cannot endure the smell or taste of it later. So it's really hard to get the vitamins and calcium down.
Just a note.