Tag Archives: Grandma

I did it!!!

It’s been awhile since I last posted, please forgive me.  I have been dealing with a bunch of personal issues.  Some of them I am learning and growing from, and some I am just dealing with.

My biggest news today, is I have accomplished something I never thought I would.  I actually participated in a 5K.  Yes, a marathon.  Now those of you who have followed me for a while, know I am not a “sporty” type.  But part of my “new” thing, when I quit being Momma‘s Caregiver was to try to find “myself” again.

I started working out, lost a few (10 at the moment) pounds, and just kind of focused on me and MY well-being.  I have a wonderful Coach, (whoever said that daughter’s could not be your best friend when no one else will be was crazy).


This was us this morning at o’dark thirty.  We really did not talk last night about what time we would need to get up to be there.  Here is confession time.  I am living with this wonderful girl and her family for the moment.

THAT is another story in itself which is a little to personal to talk about at the moment, but suffice to say, The Electrician and I are “working” on our relationship and it is what it is.

But, as I am famous for, I digress.  The Nurse and I have been “training” for this for about a month now.  We take nightly walks, she pushes Cam-man in his stroller and I let Bella the dog ‘pull’ me around.

We arrived a little late this morning, as i had an e-mail from my favorite cousin to meet her.  Uhm…we were late, and arrived as the prayer was being said, so the Nurse and I were in the tail end of the ‘group”.

DSCN4595With a total of 670 people, I did not think we would ever find my cousin.  Guess what?  5 minutes into it, we found my beloved cousin, and the Nurse got to meet her and we walked for a bit, with her group.  Somewhere along the line though, The Nurse and I got up to our speed and started passing peeps like there was no tomorrow.  I have never been in a marathon before, but “sis” and I have walked for an hour all over our little town and we were kicking some butt.

DSCN4597We got hit with some “fairy dust” and got us motivated.  We walked all over the little town of Bismarck, Illinois, and we had a blast.  But I do have to admit something.  I had talked to my Mother in law a couple of days ago, and she has always wanted to participate in an event such as this, so I told “sis” and we talked about her Grandma on the way, so my MIL and her Grandma was with us.  I called her this afternoon and told her about it, and she giggled.

DSCN4599This would be me and my most favorite cousin in the world.  I love this woman.  This woman was my pen pal for so many years, and actually flew to England for my graduation,  There is nothing I would not do for her, I am proud to call her my bestest friend through the years.  (Plus, she got my butt motivated to do this.)

But to be honest, my inspiration and my rock, to give true credit where it is due is the one, who did not like me very much 20 years ago, but who has turned out to be my best friend and daughter, although I can not take credit for her birth, I can take credit for some, but I love this girl like no other.  While she has had to deal with a bunch of stuff, like taking in her step-mother in and sharing her home with me,  Thank you to my Nurse, today was a blast.

DSCN4600We did it Sissy.  Thank you!  To the Moon and back…..and as Cam-Man  says….GO BULLSEYE!!!!

Housekeeping and memories…..

I’ve had a rough couple of days lately.  Not just because of Momma, but some other issues as well.  I decided, I needed to clean out my purse and wallet, because it has become a little heavy lately.    I take my purse with me every where, I even changed my purse lately from my “winter one” to my “summer one”.  I have to laugh, though.  Simply because I went through and demolished Momma’s closet, and drawers.  That was a 2 day affair.

In the past few years, I’m not sure what my Momma was thinking, because I have slowly made my way through the house, and cleaned a bunch of stuff.  It took me 3 hours to go through my Grandma Ruth’s writing desk that my Mom had taken over as her own.  It is a very fine antique, that has a pull down desk with slots like the old-time desks, then it has 3 drawers in it.  I cleaned it out and went through everything.  I smiled, I giggled and I cried over things I found, and things I truly cherish.    After filling up a trash bag, seriously, who really keeps old batteries, and cards from forever ago.  I found pictures, that brought smiles to my face.  I found letters, I had written from years ago.  I found letters Momma had written but never sent.  I found My Grandma Ruth’s picture book from the 1920’s through 1950’s, I don’t know who some of the people were, but I could find my Grandma and my Grandpa and also my Dad in the photo’s.  Then I found my Grandma Ruth’s funeral book.  It tore me up.  My Grandma Ruth was a very main figure in my growing up years, she was my Mom so to speak.  It broke my heart I could not attend the funeral.  But when I found the book, with pictures enclosed.  i felt a warm feeling that I can’t explain.

With the desk cleaned out, I moved onto Momma’s room, and went through her dresser.  Now I don’t know about you, but I usually keep clothes in my dresser at home.  Not my Momma.  It is a 4 drawer dresser with a marble top that slides.  (It’s heavier than you can imagine) I pulled out the drawers two at a time and dragged them into the living room.   I went through everything, and became amazed at some of my findings.  I guess Momma, did not want to keep clothes in her dresser, because out of 4 drawers I only found 5 t-shirts, but a bunch of everything else.  I found more pictures, that I smiled, laughed and cried about.  To me, these 4 drawers were a memory stash.

If you ever wonder if your parent truly loves you, go through their stuff.  I found things I had sent to Momma years ago, and she had saved.  I also found pictures, and one drawer was dedicated to simply books on tape.  I had the living room torn up, and finally weeded out the stuff that could go, but saved a bunch of treasures.

I then moved onto the top of Momma’s closet.  With things going the way they are, we needed more room to store momma’s supplies to keep her going.   I pulled out everything from the top of the closet, and again the front room was torn up.  I do have to giggle though to the Fed Ex driver who is a regular visitor to our house.  He arrived, and I had Momma’s favorite hat on my head, and things thrown all over the front room when he made his delivery.  He smiled at me, and told me “nice hat”, I had forgotten i had it on, and I smiled and said simply “cleaning out clutter.”

I’ve lived a lifetime of memories the past few days.  I’ve remembered momma at her best, when things were “normal” whatever that means.  I can see the things she treasured, I’ve kept the best of things, and even brought them to my house, when the Electrician looks at me and says, “What’s this?”.  I simply look at him and say, “This is my Momma’s and I’m keeping it.”

The Farmer and I have gone through a multitude of things lately.  We have shredded stuff, and giggled, and hugged over the past.    Momma is Momma, but she was the glue so to speak.  I found a bunch of pictures, that I have taped to her closet, simply so she can look at something when we need her to stand up, so I can finish cleaning her. I will not explain that statement, you can draw your own picture.

I have learned a bunch of things over the past few days.  I’ve had some highs and some definite lows.  That brings me back to what I originally waned to post about.  I cleaned out my wallet today, and I found something I have carried in my wallet for about 22 years now.  I would like to share it with y’all.

It is a small square with a cross, that has been stitched into a pocket, and in that pocket is this:

prayerSo, my scanning skills are lacking, but it something I have tried to do over the last few years….  God is watching over me, and he knows just how much I can handle, and what lesson’s I need to be learning…..  I’ve learnt a bunch the past few days, and I’m still learning.

Some people get uncomfortable about this, but I’m ok with it.  Simply for the fact.  I Am Me.  period, end of sentence.  Whatever is thrown my way, I will deal.

Old age…..

Like it or not old age is where we are heading.  Memories are what we have, like it or not.

Memories,  giving birth to 2 beautiful boys, and adopting 3 others…..

Memories, of sitting with my Grandma, and the smell of chocolate chip cookies.

Memories of, being a kid in the summer time, spending half of my summer with one Grandma, and the other half of the summer with the other Grandma.

Memories of, stepping out into the world on my own for the first time.

Memories of being in the Air Force and all the duties it entailed and embracing it with all of me.

Memories of people I cared about passing on, and the hurt and sadness I felt.

Memories of being Daddy’s girl and going for a boat ride on the Mississippi.

Memories of the first drink I ever drank with the Farmer watching over me.

Memories of flying on an airplane by myself for the first time (I earned my wings!).

Memories, of my childhood, which was pretty cool, I had a bike and was allowed to travel all over as long as I was home by the time the street lights came on.

Memories of, the first time I travelled the train to London by myself , and being allowed to explore the city, not as a tourist, but as a young girl who lived there.

Memories of, being a young wife and mother and watching when MTV came on the air…

Memories of,  moving to Illinois and finding the love of my life.

Memories of, holding the Grand baby for the first time.

Memories of, that first cruise I went on.

Memories of, life before Momma was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

Memories of, life AFTER Momma was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

Switch up day.

Ok, after the last few posts, I have realized, I have taken myself FAR to serious lately.  I’ve also realized, that since this week is Spring break, and we don’t have Cam-Man on a day-to-day basis, there are some serious giggles missing in my life.

So, after going to the Farmer’s this morning and getting Momma up and ready (by the way, today was a GOOD day for Momma).  I hung out with them for a while and did the normal, however, I gave her noon meds a little early and went on a trip.

Yup, I slid by the Nursing Student’s house and kidnapped , picked up Cam-Man for the afternoon.    Here is a little bit of how my afternoon went.

The Electrician has been missing Cam-Man too.  So, after lunch, Poppa took Cam down to the see the fountain that we had put back into the pond since winter is over.  They sat on the bank, and watched the fountain. Then they saw a rather large turtle swimming just around the pond.  (it has a lot of creatures in it, not just fish, but turtles, frogs, and I believe 2 muskrats.) We had a good time in the back yard today.  I am very lucky that I have the pond in my back yard.  The fountain actually is my neighbors, however, we’ve kinda claimed ownership over the past few years, because  The Electrician and the “other” Farmer dude put it in EVERY spring, and take it out EVERY fall.

There was one summer, where we got a paddle boat and paddled under it, that was awesome.

Cam and Granny had to stop playing for a “pose” Then we raced up to the house together.  Have you ever seen a lil kid run?  This kid just cracks me up, swinging his arms to give him more momentum.  By, the way, he won the race.  By the time we got back up to the porch, we all 3 had a sit down and just played a game of peek-a-boo.  I can’t explain to you the giggles that we had, but when Cam-Man was hiding behind me on the glider and then came around the side and said “I see you Geema” and started giggling.  Well……  I think the picture says it more than I can.  This lil dude, straight up can turn some of the awful days into the brightest just by his smile.

He just straight up can make me smile, by a hug with him patting my back.  Or, him giggling his giggle and thinking he can give me a wet willy and giggle, or just pushing at my toe, and me saying “ouch”  and him letting out a giggle. 

 After we had goofed off for a little bit, Poppa told Cam, they had to water the new grass that Poppa has planted.  So, Cam man grabbed the bucket and helped Poppa carry it to the new grass. Cam-Man was talking to Poppa the whole time and I believe he was saying..”Uhm, Poppa the new grass looks great, except I just stepped on some of it, but here, let me help you water it and it will grow.  ok?” 

(I gotta laugh here, simply for the fact, that I’ve been uploading pictures and the Electrician just asked me what’s taking so long for my post) … Uhm.. The Electrician has just advised me that the pictures HE took of the afternoon were really good…uhmmm…huh?  I advised him I took the pictures and he told me that I had GREAT subjects to take pictures of, my family is very humble, can you tell?

Apparently our pond is almost famous with other members of the community because this shot showed up on my face book page yesterday after the weekend.

This photo was taken by my friend Heidi Monyok-Newlin, she is a budding photographer, but in my book.  She IS a photographer, this is my pond from the other end.  The tree that the boat is by is my tree.  And I really want to frame this one.  Thank you Heidi!


Name Carrier….just a thought.

This is not really what I had originally planned to post tonite, but then I started thinking about it all through out today.

I am part of a family, but…I am the last in my line of name carriers.  When I got married, I gave up my last name.  It has never changed who I am because I was born with my name.  Does that make sense? 

I was thinking about my family name today, especially when I hear the name “Grandma Burwash”, because it always brings to my mind MY Grandma, not my Mother. 

You see, My Grandma, had 2 kids, my Dad and my Aunt.  My Aunt got married and hyphenated her name, but her children have their Father’s name.  My Dad had me, an only child (ok, I really guess I broke the mold and swore him off of having any more kids…hehehe).

I got married and changed my name.  So, that leads me to thinking.  Although my children, are 1/2 Burwash’s, they have their Father’s last name.  So, I guess that means I am correct that my family name ended with me, in this line of our family.

This makes me sad, I’m not sure why, and I can’t really explain it.  We have a family member that is in “charge” of our family “tree”, I guess every family has one of those, my husband’s family has one and has extracted all kinds of information from me, so our lines will be crossed.

I guess, as I have been getting older, certain things have become more aware to me.  My question is this, When my descendants are around long after I am gone, will  they know my family and all of its rich colorful history?  Of the Farming, and hardships my Great-Great-Grandparents, Great-Grandparents and Grandparents have known?  

Will they know that the Saturn Car Dealership in Champaign Illinois was once  my Uncle Art’s Farm,   That I remember the Farmhouse and the Tree outside that I climbed as a child, or the fact that Uncle Art only had a thumb on his hand because his other fingers were taken off in a corn picker?  That the tapes the Farmer has of my Grandma and her brother Uncle Art talking about when they were kids, walking in the snow to school, and all of their escapades.

Maybe…as we get older….we appreciate what our family has gone through before us.  I know I sure do.  I miss my Grandma, I miss her telling me always it would be a brighter day tomorrow,  and eating a dinner of popcorn on Sunday nights, cuz well that’s just what we did.

I guess I am just feeling a little sad, because folks, I am the last of my line as the name carrier.  I am proud to carry my name, and if I could figure out how to carry my name with my husband’s name and not spending a million dollars to do it I would.

But…let me say this….I was born a Burwash, I am a Burwash and I will carry that name throughout my entire life and be proud.



Well here it is Wacky Wednesday, and things are good peeps.  Momma is out of ICU, FINALLY.  She has been moved to the medical floor in the Hospital, and is on the mend.  Although, tomorrow, she is going to be taking some tests that I imagine will not make her very happy.

The Farmer took me out to breakfast today, after we had been in to see Momma this morning.  We were both feeling better since we knew Momma was doing well.  The Farmer kinda talked to me and then looked at me with the “I’M Dad and you’re gonna listen to me” face.    I guess he’s decided that I should NOT worry about him.  In fact, it was a little conversation we had.  “You really should not worry about me Joanne”,   “Uhm Dad, you can’t tell me what to worry over and what not to, and If I feel the need to worry well….I guess there’s nothing you can do about it huh?” (typical defiant daughter response).  To which he responded “I’m okay really”…”really?”  “Yup”    me…”well okay then”.

Don’t let that conversation fool you folks, I will still worry, but ya know why I worry?  Because, he’s my Dad, she’s my Mom, and for some reason,  I really, really like having them around.

My Grandma lived until she was 97 years old I believe, I learned a lot of stuff from Grandma.  She was strict, and didn’t think twice about telling me off or spanking my butt when I needed it, and she always had a cookie or a hug for me when I needed it.  She tought me how to eat at a table with FULL silverware, she tought me MANNERS, and alot of other things I thought I would never need.  But you know what,  I HAVE needed that knowledge. 

I see alot of my Grandma in my Dad.  (Oh to the Farmer, THAT’s a compliment because she was one of the finest women I’ve ever had the pleasure to have known AND be related to).

But for all you peeps, Momma’s on the mend, I will TRY not to worry about the Farmer, and today has been a good day.

Oh yea, one more thing, I told the Farmer that if Momma was still in the Hospital for Christmas, he was to come to my house for dinner.  Do you know what he asked me?    “I read your other post, does that mean I get the Banquet Turkey T.V. dinner?”  ….Uhm…no Dad, you get the ham that I am making AND you don’t have to dishes ok?

Wacky Wednesday, Momma, Cam, & the Farmer

Well, ya’ll know how part of my morning started.  After I posted I went to the Farmer’s, and he and I chatted for a bit, then I made some pancakes and bacon.  In my morning chat with the Farmer, I learned that while I have been having “Good” mornings with Momma, the late afternoons left something to be desired by him.  Apparently yesterday, momma had a bad afternoon and didn’t really surface until about 6:45 pm. So, to the Farmer, I’m sorry, but you will have a break tomorrow night k?

I got Momma up, bathed and dressed in her new duds.  She was in really good form for me.  We did her exercises and she did really good.  I made her some chocolate chip pancakes and bacon, and then had to fly over to pick up Cam-Man.

I got to the Nursing student’s house and she was clearly a little bit upset.  Cam-Man had a Doctor’s appointment yesterday and I guess the doctor upset her.  Apparently Cam-Man is low on his weight for his height, and the Doctor said he should be talking more….uhm…huh? I’m about to get a little snarky, but EXCUSE me….As a Mother, and a Grandmother I am here to tell you there is no kid the same as any other, and I don’t care what you are basing your ASSUMPTIONS on, or the fact that there are studies on this subject, I know Cam-Man.  He talks, and he also eats.  He talked my ear off after I nabbed him to take him to the Farmer’s.  He understands what you tell him, and he has powers of reasoning that sometimes make me stop and think.  I guess I got a little snarky because it upset the Nursing Student.  But after being reassured by EVERYONE, I think she feels better now.

Back to the day,  Cam-Man arrived at the Farmer’s full of giggles and fun.  Momma was happy to see him, he went right up to the Farmer first and said his “hello’s” then up to Momma. The next hour or so we all played, and then Momma was watching the Walton’s so, I put Momma’s t.v. in her room onto some Sid the Science Kid, and Cam-Man (who was feeling a little tired by then) sat in the chair with his blankey and thumb and watched it for a bit.

After he was done with Sid, he decided that since the kitty’s were sitting in the other chair in Momma’s room he would stir them up a bit and then a little chaos ensued.    I got Momma up and we were making our way to the kitchen so we could wash Momma’s hair when the doorbell went off.  I told Momma to stay in the hallway until I could back to her and went to the front door and there was no one there, I went to the back door and there was the Farmer (he had gone shopping at Wal-Mart) .  He brought in his groceries, and I went to check on Momma who was in the bathroom by now, and yup, you guessed it Cam-Man was “helping her”  I wished I had the camera, because (for the faint of heart don’t read the next sentence), Momma was sitting on the toilet, Cam-Man was sitting on the edge of the bathtub, holding her hand and they were having a conversation.  The Farmer told me that Cam-Man was helping Momma.  After we got her back up and ready to roll, the Farmer and Cam-Man went to have a pow-wow in the den and I washed Momma’s hair.

After Momma was settled back into her chair and her hair had been washed and combed, I got us all a snack of cheese-its.  I love those crackers!  Apparently so does Cam, because he ate all of his and then because the Farmer and I hade ate all of ours he went to Momma (who is a little slower at eating than the rest of us), and begged some from her, he even said “pwease”.

It was time to take Cam back to the Nursing student, so I put Cam’s hat and coat on and told him to go tell Great G’pa bye-bye, which he did, and told him to tell great G’ma bye-bye, which he did (he even gave her a hug & kiss).  Cam was asleep before we even hit the end of the driveway.

After dropping Cam off and talking to the Nursing Student for a bit, I had to leave to go to the DMV.  Yup, the State of Illinois sent me a letter advising me that as of tomorrow I was expired.  So, I waltzed right in and renewed my driver’s license.  It was kinda funny actually.  The lovely lady that helped me after seeing my name asked me if I was the Nursing Student’s Momma, and I said uh…yea….and then proceeded to ask me about her and her wedding and her baby.  So, it was kinda not so bad to go re-new my driver’s license. Plus, I was in there and outta there in about 10 minutes.

After coming home and relaxing by doing yet some more domestic goddess duties, I made a really good dinner.  Pork tenderloin steaks braised in white wine and butter, fried potatoes, and broccoli and cheese sauce.  On that note, I’m stuffed (uhm burb). I’ve had my shower and I am calling it a night.  Hope all of your Wednesday’s were as great as mine.

A Momma’s curse…..

Has your Momma ever told you this line?  “I hope you grow up and have a kid JUST LIKE YOU, so you’ll understand what you are putting me through.”  The reason I say this is because well…uhm…that’s what I told my kids.  Guess what? hehehe  PAYBACK time….

Ok as a Grandma, which I accept whole heartedly, I’m ready…(okay truth, I have 4 Grankids).  The one’s to which I am referring to in this post are these:

These would be my oldest son’s kids.  Kendra, and Jr.  Now Kendra, who I would say takes after her Momma, is a sweet, smart and very inquisitive little girl, although she has some of her Daddy in her (i.e. cutting her hair and some other escapades).  Now we get to Jr.  First off, I am of the thinking there should never be a Jr., simply because well…just take my advice and know there should never be a jr.  He is the one to whom this post is dedicated.

This kid is the spitting image of his father at this age, 

 right down to the facial expression.  I wish I could find the picture I have of him and put the two side-by-side.  This lil’ guy is giving his parents memories of what I went through with his father.  (BIG GRIN)  I get phone calls from the oldest son that start like this.  “hello”  “Hey Mom, I just want to say I’m sorry.”  “Sorry for what”, “Whatever I put you through because Jr. is teaching me that I really should apologize to you”.    Then there are details of whatever he has gotten into now, and how did I deal with the oldest son?  Uhm…I whipped yer butt and put you to bed.  That he remembers VERY well. (Uhm, I’m 4’11” tall and this 5’9″ grown adult man is STILL scared to piss his Momma off).

Then follows the conversation of all the lil’ mishaps and alot of good times that were had while they were growing up.  There were alot of them this past 30 years.  And now he is going to start them with his kids.  They have alot of memories so far, and like I tried to explain to him, they only get better with time.

My first advice is to get a shotgun because when this lil’ charmer gets to dating age, he’s gonna need it….

She is so cute, and so smart (must take after her Granny)…(hehehe)  This lil girl sent me a Mother’s day card that was so beautiful it made me cry…but I digress.  She is full of giggles and I’m proud of her.  (Although, she can give her brother what for on occasion).

I don’t get to see these Grankids, as they live kinda far away and I don’t get the opportunities with them that I do with the other 2, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think about them or wish I could spend time with them.  Someday I will get to hold them closer than I do, and until then, phone calls will have to suffice….By the way…J – have you called your Momma lately?

 But my advice for the oldest son is this…..Give them the Momma or Daddy’s curse and then sit back and wait!

Love ya, J, Misty, Kendra & Jr.


Fun weekend.

Well….Monday sure came around fast didn’t it?  I was soooo happy to see my “Outlaws” and also cried a tear (ok maybe a few) this morning when they left.  I learned a lot of stuff this weekend.

I enjoyed cooking some family recipes with my M-I-L, had fun chatting with “Papa” and felt like a kid listening to how the Electrician grew up and memories of past Grandparents and stuff. 

We had a discussion about the “older folks”, it seems funny to say this especially since “according to the young one’s”, WE are the older folks.  But what we decided was it was our responsibility to pass down all that we know, so the one’s before us will be remembered and how much they accomplished in their lifetime.

In my family, the “older folk” would be this woman….

This is my Grandmother, other people in the family called her Aunt Ruth, the Farmer called her “Mom’, I called her Grandma.  This lady gave me more than anyone else will ever know.   This is a Lady.  She had many, many qualities.  Her life was not an easy one.  She was born into a Farming family and didn’t always have a lot, but they did have values.  (To the Farmer: forgive me, for you knew her so much better than I did…but this is MY story..:) love ya).  This lady, tought  me etiquette, grace (uhmm…I don’t think I ever caught onto that one),  compassion, true grit, and a strength you would not believe.  I have a lot to be thankful for and because of her.  She stays in my heart and thoughts for ever.  From the time I was born, until the time she died, she was and is my heritage.  It is my duty to tell my children and their children about her.  I knew her a lot better than my Grandpa, simply because he died when I was little, I do have memories of him, but they are vague.  My Grandma mage a Huge impact on my life that words could never explain.

See this woman?

This is the Electrician’s Grandma, Grandma Mary.  I had the pleasure to meet and be a part of the last few years of her life.  She was a Lady too.  She reminded me alot of my Grandma but in different ways that I cannot explain.  This is the Electrician’s Mom’s Momma.  This is the Lady that my M-I-L took care of until the end.  She lived in Wyoming growing up and did not have an easy life either.  She had alot of qualities my Grandma had too, grace, patience, understanding.  This Lady had an impact on my life as well that I could never explain.

I guess for us this was a weekend of learning about our heritage, on the Electrician’s side.  I never forget my family and what they went through, but now I know more of what the Electrician’s family dealt with and went through.  And I guess the funny thing about it is both families have alot of the same things in common.  Maybe that’s why the Electrician and I, know and have the same values of what family is….