Things are looking Up!

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Guess you could say “It’s about time!” Got the call today that my car has been fixed, come pick it up. I returned the rental and was in for a pleasant surprise: it seems the other PT Cruiser (the one with the huge gas bill) was a fluke – the total cost for me driving 151 miles was $20.04 to fill up this tank! YAY! (I was really dreading the bill on that one, compared with the previous PT rental).  My car is ‘home’, I’m home and starting to relax a little; today’s been a bit hectic. Went to chiropracter and my visits are beginning to be shorter and shorter – it seems my back is healing very nicely! Another YAY! I’m learning to tolerate a little pain during the spinal adjustments, knowing that it’s ultimately working for my good. Things are looking up!

It ‘was’ raining today but even that has stopped and the sun is starting to break through … a third Yay!

Hope your day is either good or getting  better!

Hugs;

Pammie

ps: I also just discovered I can’t count! Several weeks ago I reported that I was getting very close to the 200-mark on total afghans made . . . I was wrong. I have NO idea where my head was when I was thinking that but a few days ago I went upstairs and physically counted the afghans here in my possession . . . total: 10.  Total afghans dispersed to various foreign countries: 185.  Total count of 185 plus 10 does NOT come to over 200! (goofy me, eh?). Anyway, I’m back on track at assembling afghans, working on #196 today. Sometime soon I’m hoping to report that FINALLY I’ve achieved that 200 mark!

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Pancakes and Power Trains

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Well, here we are at Thursday and the car repair place called with the specifics on why the “Service Engine Soon” light stayed on: it needs a Power Train Control Module . . . to the tune of $645! What to do, what to do? At this point in the game, we need a car and certainly can’t afford a ‘new’ used one, so it’s “fix the car”.  Sticker shock like that produced my other response to big surprises . . . I cook – specifically Pancakes! (should have taken a photo, but they were scarfed up as quickly as they were done cooking . . . the boys were hungry!). I’m still driving the PT Cruiser and having fun on the curves, but the fact that I know that sometime very soon I’ll have to visit the gas station for a fill up is not a pleasant thing, in my mind. I finally found the little button that gives you the Miles Per Gallon this vehicle is using and the answer was about what I’d suspect: 16.5  …my minivan gets something like 18! (see post a few back when I said that it cost me $32 for 1/4 tank of the cheapest gas  to fill up the last PT Cruiser I rented a few weeks ago! That broke down to: $32 to drive a total of 42 miles!) That’s just crazy! You’d think that these newer cars (even ones that were built to look “Retro”) should have better gas mileage than that!   . . . wouldn’t you? Hey, I’m no car executive, but ‘fun driving on curves’ just doesn’t cut it when compared to tons of money going out of your pocket and into your gas tank . . . that’s MY bottom line. I’ve had my fun with this one, but a very glad I don’t OWN one! (just my two cents inserted here)

Other than that, our weather is doing it’s best to convince me this has been the strangest summer (weather-wise) in my lifetime. We’ve gone from chilly June/July to a few really scorcher days of mid to high 90’s and now we’re back to 60’s or high 50’s! Drove youngest to orthodontist this morning and it was a very chilly 57 and grey out. At 1 p.m. drove middle son to work and it had got up to 71 (big surprise cause it sure didn’t LOOK that hot out, OR feel it!). By 6:30 p.m. we were back down in the high 50’s again. We had rain yesterday which cooled it off some – that’s another thing! We haven’t hardly had any rain this summer, either. (I can just hear my middle son droning on & on about “Global Warming”…yawn). I’m no weather expert, just paying attention to what’s around me and it’s certainly been a strange summer weather-wise; how about your weather in your area?

Hope you had a good day today;

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on August 27, 2009 at 7:19 pm  Comments (1)  
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Not Much to Add…

Life around here the past three days has been pretty predictable: drive to chiropracters, come home…etc. My back is feel much more limber (thank heavens!) and today’s treatment wasn’t nearly as painful as days past (I’m getting more mobility in my lower back and that’s a GOOD thing!). My other ‘not fun’ thing is: my car is in the shop…AGAIN. As I write these words I have the feeling I’ve already gone over this with you, but upon checking my previous posts and drafts, I guess I’m wrong. Yes, I’m once again driving a PT Cruiser (since Monday). My car is being checked this time because the “ABS” (brake system), “Service Engine Soon” light, and the “Alarm Set” lights are all staying on. I’ve encountered various opinions on this from several friends; some say (as I believed) you need to get the vehicle in for a check up immediately and NOT drive it (especially with the Service Engine Soon light on) – others say: “Aw, those are just ‘idiot lights’…you can ignore them.” I tend to error on the side of caution, so once again…we’re playing the ‘car repair’ game. So far, I’m hearing they have NO idea WHY the lights are on…”It’s a communications problem…it isn’t really the engine.” GREAT…then FIX IT!!! I gave them until today and said that if they can’t fix it by Weds. it goes to the dealership (not wanting to do that, either…see last encounter with them…sigh). I just got back from the chiropracter’s office and am not really wanting to face the next step of confronting the repair place, but will do so when I get off here. The bad part of all this? It’s costing me $30 a day for the car rental; the good part?  THIS car rental is $5 cheaper than the last time! I’ve put 83 miles on it since Monday (can you tell I needed a car?) and tonight is my special needs group, so that’s going to add quite a few miles also. Getting really tired of the ‘car game’ here.

Not much else going on, haven’t been knitting or crocheting or sewing squares together much; I did, however, get to go to my knit group last night and that was refreshing to re-connect with friends who enjoy my yarny obsession.

Keeping my chin up, back limber and hopes high that eventually this will all clear up! Hope you’re having a good day;

Hugs;

Pammie

ps: Update: Middle son got out of work early, I had him drive my van home from repair place (they couldn’t find out why the light was on, so ‘no charge’…YAY), then I drove my van to the dealership. Word from them: they won’t be able to get it looked at until tomorrow morning, but at least it’s now (hopefully) where it ‘should’ be. Got a ride home from there with their ‘Courtesy shuttle service’, so things are looking up.

Published in: on August 26, 2009 at 12:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Look for the Blessings

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Look for the blessings – that’s the phrase that ran through my mind while sitting in my car awaiting a tow truck … again. Today it was pouring down buckets of rain while I was driving to the local post office. Upon beginning to turn into the post office driveway my car stalled; I was able to start it up again immediately but had no power steering. I manuevered it into the first spot I could (which put me partly in a no-parking zone and also partly on the sidewalk).  After getting my wits about me I called my husband who said: “Was it raining?” (yes) and “Open your hood and see if your Serpentine Belt is still connected”. (Wise man…he’s been through this before with HIS van!). Since I made the call to him inside the post office, I had to walk outside to my van to check…before I even arrived at my car I could see the belt hanging on the ground under my car.  (Look for the blessings)  I called AAA for a tow, called the local Midas (who had my car not even a month ago with the gas tank/brakes problem…remember?), then “Looked for the blessings.”  (1) I didn’t get into an accident because of the belt failing (2) my car WAS off of the road where it wouldn’t be hit (3) I was safe (4) this didn’t happen last night going to or from my special needs group while I had 4 special needs adult men in my car with me on the expressway; the only real problems were that my car needed fixing again/I’d be inconvenienced without a car for about a day/I missed my chiropractors appointment…all of which could be ‘handled’.  Praise the Lord this didn’t happen when I was in so much pain with my back! As of yesterday I’m finally able to stand up straight . . . that came in handy today when I had to climb up into the cab of the tow truck (very high, but they had 2 steps) then the same when the repair place owner drove me home in his (very high up) pick up truck.

Just got a phone call that they can probably get my car fixed and back to me this evening . . . in time for me to drive me son to his school registration (before 7:30). That’s a blessing! Problems? It seems they found a lot of oil leaks on my engine and can’t really assess where it’s coming from until I get the engine cleaned! Good thing? He told me there’s a $20 car wash almost across the street that can steam clean my engine so that they can locate the oil leak problem.

Life just keeps ‘coming at ya’…the secret is not letting it get the best of you.  There’s a verse that’s stayed with me ever since I was flat on my back in the hospital many years ago recovering from a hysterectomy; it spoke to me then and has stayed with me all these years:

“I have learned , in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”  Philippians 4:11

It’s not always easy and it doesn’t always come quickly, but if you look past the problems and try to find even one blessing, it’s a start.  Life isn’t going to get any easier… it only makes sense to (in the words of that old song) “Look for the silver lining.”

Hoping your day is going well;

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: The other blessing? Today is my husband and my 33rd wedding anniversary! (the ‘extra blessing’?…he’s bringing home our favorite pizza and a huge Greek salad!!! YAY…I don’t have to cook!)

PPS: One more thing…took youngest to register for the school year; got to the “Fines” table and learned that they had on record my son hadn’t returned TWO of his books last year to the tune of $122.00! The ladies at the table were really great, searching lists of books that had been turned in since the end of school. BOTH books were on the lists…what a blessing! The $105 that I had to pay for the car was ‘something’, but at least it wasn’t compounded by another bill for $122! Now that’s what I call a blessing!

Getting there…slowly

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Hello, all; just thought I’d drop in for a very quick note to tell you that today was Day #3 of going to the chiropracter and I’m FINALLY able to stand up straight! Two more days this week, 3 next then if all’s well – maintenance from there.  It’s been slow going (and painful), but I’m doing OK.  I even asked the doctor yesterday if any people ever quit after coming once and knowing upon return that there would be considerable pain that day as well? He said he imagined that over the years a few might have done that. I wouldn’t fault them, believe me! Today was a bit scary because when he said lie down on this sort of stretcher table, I KNEW what was coming …. and I KNEW it would be painful for me (it wasn’t as bad today…not as many vertebrae ‘popped’). Knowing it’s coming and hearing the doctor’s very soothing voice telling me to ‘just relax your shoulders, let all your air out and tip your chin up’ is not a ‘fun thing’, but I know also that, ultimately, this is for my own GOOD and I’m determined to get my back ‘back’ into shape…whatever it takes. I certainly didn’t know (or think) last Thursday that I’d still be going through all this, but perhaps that’s a good thing…sometimes knowing something unpleasant is coming doesn’t make you want to run towards it . . . know what I mean?

Sorry for the long dissertation; weather’s a little cooler today (in the 70’s instead of mid 80’s as it has been; humidity has been around 61 % which makes it feel hotter).

On a good note, am almost done with “Red Rabbit” by Tom Clancy (another good spy-type book by Clancy); probably another 80 pages to go (this one’s a really tiny print/very thick book….just what I needed to take my mind off the pain).

Hope you’re having a good day/night . . . mine are getting a little better every day!

Hugs;

Pammie

ps: Xray results: I have Scoliosis in my lower spine area; looks like it’s been that way for many years (who knew?). Just one more thing to ‘keep a watch on’…sigh.

Published in: on August 19, 2009 at 1:05 pm  Comments (1)  
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Makin’ the Best of It

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It’s been a hot week here and our air conditioner died…my husband said he thinks it’s the condenser?…it blows cold air then the outside fan just stops. Yesterday during a run to the Post Office I noticed that our local WalGreen’s drug store had a big sign out front saying: “All Fans 50% off”…so I stopped in and bought two small floor fans ($6.99 ea!) and 3 beach towels (3 for $9!)…told ya that drug stores have great sales!!!

It’s been too hot to sit with a ‘afghan in progress’ on my lap right now so I’ve taken up a few (new to me) projects. During the two years that my afghan project has been going I’ve received several crocheted squares with a very interesting pattern. When asking the sender the name of the pattern (and this has been 2-3 people), none of them seem to know the name (they only know how to do it!). It’s intrigued me for quite awhile and the other day I just decided to see if I could find it on ‘the net’…well, sadly my coping skills gave out before I located it. (translate that to: TONS of crochet patterns; you have to click on each ‘name’ before you get the photo (or not) of said pattern…I got REAL tired of the double clicking before even being able to see if it looked anything like the one I wanted…..sigh).  That led to me being my feisty self and deciding that I’d see what I could do to copy the pattern myself.  I give you the results:

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I’m also working on loom-knitting a baby hat using some yarn that was just donated-it’s a Red Heart Baby Teri yarn that, when knit up, looks like the item is made out of terry cloth! Pretty neat! (sorry, no photo).

Just worked my way through the two library books and I would recommend both:

for light reading:

JoAnne Fluke  “The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder”

for a little deeper reading:

Ken Follett  “The Third Twin”

Ms. Fluke’s book was fun to read with ‘just the right amount’ of suspense and folly all mixed together and including some yummy sounding cookie recipes to boot! I’ve just reserved another of her books through the library and I’m sure it will be equally fun to read (she does all culinary murder/mystery books).

This week it seems I’ve managed to slightly throw my back out (AGAIN); it seems to happen about 1-2 times a year, sometimes worse, sometimes not. This time I can’t really say as I know ‘how’ I did it (sometimes I can pin point the cause…not this time).  It’s not totally debilitating, but it makes standing for any length of time not pleasant. I’ve learned to apply hot back compresses, take my ‘standard’ (Doan’s Back Pills…over the counter), and sit or lie down as much as I can while also remembering not to lift anything heavier than a slice of toast  (look out for that gallon of milk – real pain hovering there in the distance if I do!). I’m OK; haven’t done much other than laundry (done very carefully and asking others to carry  clean baskets upstairs for me…wise woman!).

Our youngest is due back from his missions trip to GA. some time either very late Saturday night (in the a.m. sometime) or early Sunday, depending on when we get the “Come pick me up” phone call.  It has been strange here this week;  none of us has felt like eating much due to the high humidity. I did try a (new to me) product the other day that I spotted:  Betty Crocker’s  Suddenly Pasta Salad (Bacon-Ranch). It’s really easy to throw together, not expensive and once I doctored up the ‘ranch’ dressing some (it was way too thick and salty tasting…I added a little sour cream and that did the trick), plus added cut up tomatoes, cucumbers and chopped green peppers, it made a nice, light summer dinner.

Think that’s about ‘it’ for what’s been going on around here; hope you’re staying cool and enjoying these last days of Summer.

Hugs;

Pammie

ps: No title yet on middle son’s ‘new’ car-(sigh) now we have TWO cars sitting in our yard and neither one can we drive! Oh, goody (said with much sarcasm).

Published in: on August 14, 2009 at 2:22 pm  Comments (2)  
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Something Different…

and enjoyable!  Have you ever, while searching for something on the ‘web’, run into a site that you probably wouldn’t have if you hadn’t stumbled onto it? (boy, that was a strange sentence!) Anyway, my point is: I found a site that deals in all sorts of Native American craft items (that’s not what I’m writing about, however…). At this site, the first time I came across it, they had a embedded music ‘stream’ which played Native American music and I became fascinated with it. Time passed, I forgot about the site and the music. Yesterday I remembered the music but couldn’t remember the name of the person who was singing it…but my dear husband did! The singer/performer/flute player extraodinaire is named Robert “Tree” Cody, son of Iron Eyes Cody, actor and magnificent person. Robert has a site of his own and you can listen to four excerpts of his music (or purchase some if you wish!). He has an excellent singing voice as well as flute playing.

If you’d like to peruse either of the sites above mentioned, go to:

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(Robert “Tree” Cody site)

http://www.herschelfreemanagency.com/cody/cody.html

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(Native American Craft site):

http://grizzlymountainarts.blogspot.com

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The person at Grizzly Mountain Arts site is very nice; I emailed them yesterday asking for the music site and she explained that she hated to remove the music but the site maintaining the music feed kept having technical difficulties. I spent considerable time just looking at all the many very creative items made and sold on their site: tatting shuttles, pineneedle baskets, crochet hooks…it is all very lovely, from the presentation to the quality of each item; I’m sure you’ll enjoy looking, too.

It’s been a few days of ‘scorcher’ heat here (in the 90’s and VERY HUMID). Our air conditioner compresser (?) is out so the air conditioner just runs and doesn’t blow any cold air…sigh (of course we turned it off…no sense running it and building up the gas bills, eh?). We had a big thunder storm last night which was nice to hear but only managed to add to the levels of humidity and not decrease the heat levels much. (Can you tell I’m spoiled with having had air conditioning?) Brings back the old expression: “Men sweat, Ladies GLOW!” (and BOY, am I GLOWING these past few days!!!).

I’ve decided to ‘treat’ myself (a very rare thing which only happens about every 4-6 YEARS)…I’m taking myself to the movies! The new movie: “Julie & Julia” is out and I’m going to the 12:40 p.m. showing (in about 42 minutes!). My husband’s at work, middle son is off with his friends going to a water park, youngest is at missions camp…I’m free!!! I’ll let you know what I thought of the movie, but I’ll tell you that being the mother of an executive chef…I’m partial to cooking shows/movies!

Hope you have a great (“GLOW”-free) day!

Hugs;

Pammie

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ADDENDUM:  The movie was GREAT! Being it was a matinee, there were probably only around 20 people in the theater with me, but I had a great time enjoying all the wonderful shots of great food; Merle Streep did a magnificent job of portraying Julia Child and Stanley Tucci was very good, also. After the movie I decided to try a new (opened about 4-5 months now) pizza place which advertises 99 cent slices of pizza. I ate it in my car and it’s a good thing I grabbed a few more napkins as it was VERY greasy! (Pepperoni & cheese) The owner told me it was all fresh ingredients and I know that fresh pepperoni CAN be greasy, but this was ‘above and beyond’…can’t say that I will ‘sing the praises’ of this place to my friends. Oh well, it filled my tummy and was a large slice, I’ll give them that.  Stopped at the library to return 2 books and picked up 2 “Friends of the Library” used sale books: Ken Follett and Tom Clancy (I do love a good mystery!).  The last ‘hurrah’ for my ‘day to myself’ ended with me stopping at Tim Horton’s for a large iced coffee w/double cream. Got it home and it was a bit lacking in ‘something’, so I added a bit of Hershey’s chocolate syrup and it’s now ‘keeping me company’ while I type here.  Great afternoon; very ‘liberating’ for a ‘housewife/Mom/Grandmother/stay-at-home person’…I had a good time!

Published in: on August 10, 2009 at 11:01 am  Comments (1)  
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Crazy, but sorta ‘on hold’

a Neon (not ours)

a Neon (not ours)

As I promised I would report on our latest crazy/wild adventures. Let’s see…where to begin? As you know, middle son’s car (the one he purchased in January) finally died (think it’s the transmission-won’t shift into ANY gear, and now that battery’s died, too…it’s taking up space in our front yard at the moment).  I’ve been “Mama Taxi” for a few weeks now while he constantly complained about not having a vehicle. Last week his friend told him her sister was going to GIVE him her car! Sounds like a great idea, right? Well, if you know my middle son’s ‘luck’? with cars, this sort of fits right in. It’s a crazy story (what else, right?); son and 2 friends drove 45 min. to the ‘car owner’s’ house to pick up the vehicle. As far as they knew, all paperwork was in order.  The two friends drove their car and middle son drove the ‘donated’ car home. When youngest son announced that the 2 friends were in the driveway but NOT my middle son, I began to panic.  About 20 min. later he arrived, driving ‘new/donated’ car. To say that the Lord was definitely on his side watching over him is to put it mildly! Let me list the reasons:  son drove car home (45 min.) with (a) no license plate, (b) the left rear tail light not working (c) a ‘mini tire/donut’ on the right front, and (d) the paperwork was all wrong! Seems the owner gave him a proof of no fault insurance FOR HER MOTHER’S CAR! IF a policeman had pulled him over, I can’t even imagine the fines/charges! No insurance, faulty tail light, no license plate, no proof that he even had anything to do with buying this car, NO TITLE!!! Now we have a 1995 dark purple Neon (with peeling paint in several large spots)  in our yard. This all occurred last Friday…and no knowledge of just WHEN we’re getting this title in the mail!  Yep, we’re ‘on hold’ awaiting the title; now you see why I titled this one CRAZY! Guess it sorta fits my lifestyle lately.

Youngest son turned 15 yesterday and we had a small family celebration with Dairy Queen frozen ice cream Oreo Cake! YUMMY! Same son is getting packed today for his one-week trip to Georgia with the church Youth Group on a work/missions trip. They will be staying in a youth hostel and helping teach Vacation Bible School to needy kids in the area; my son is really excited about this trip.

Have to wrap this one up; driving middle son to work then coming home to babysit grandson for a few hours before continuing help with the duffle bag packing.

Hope you’re having a nice, calm week!

Hugs;

Pammie

Well, that was short…

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Sometimes, in life, things are as you expect them to be … and sometimes they aren’t.  My excursion into “Facebook” was probably the shortest on record – something like 1  1/2 days, total. I guess I had in mind a place where you could email others you know and be found by people you haven’t seen in awhile; for that, Facebook is good. What I wasn’t expecting was tons of emails from people I don’t know, people I haven’t seen in years (and don’t choose to see or communicate with) and various ridiculous ‘filler’ (like adopting a cartoon cow, or my thoughts on “Mafia Wars”…I don’t even know what that is, nor do I care to!). I realize that one can ‘filter out’ a lot of that garbage, but to me … it just isn’t worth the effort. I can see that Facebook would fill a definite need for people who have loved ones in other cities, or far away places (like my friend who’s brother is in Iraq), but for the most part it was just not what I imagined.  To quote an old expression: “To each his own.” (Facebook just ‘aint’ my ‘own’!)

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on August 6, 2009 at 8:59 am  Comments (1)  

Oh how I love a bargain!

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Part of today has been spent doing the ‘school supplies’ running; you know, when you hit all the great bargains at all the stores! Not the big ticket stores like KMart and Target…NO! Smart shoppers know that the best bargains for those things are at the…DRUG STORES! Yes, that’s what I said…drug stores! Had a great time hunting down their ‘get you in the store’ sales (can’t remember the exact technical name for those…it’s been a good 27 years since I took Marketing classes in college!). Walgreen’s had great sales on things like index cards for 25 cents ea, limit 2 (I paid $1.70 something a few months ago for one pkg!); college rule filler paper 10 cents a pk, limit 3…that’s just a few of the sales I remember there. Then it was on to Office Max (yes, I know it’s not a drug store, but they had great sales, too!) like: 2-pocket folders 1 cent ea.limit 5; 12 inch wooden ruler 1 cent;12 pk. #2 wooden pencils 10 cents, limit 3; composition books 50 cents, limit 2…yes, I had a good time shopping! CVS has some good sales going on their school supplies, also. Tomorrow is KMart for their mechanical pencils and a backpack for youngest son.

When we were at Office Max the clerk gave me a coupon good for $5 off a purchase of $25 or more at Pay Less shoes; THAT came in handy because youngest & I went there, too! He got sandals and new school shoes and I found a great pair of those backless tennis shoes ($10) AND we got $5 off on the total purchase! It’s my lucky day!!!

It seems to be a week of shopping for school and this upcoming missions trip for youngest son. Still have to get a pair of sun glasses ($5 off at CVS!) and a wallet with chain (there are no lockers or places to store any valuables where they’re going).

Just glad to be sitting down right now and resting my feeties; I have another ‘adventure’ tonight and tomorrow with middle son. Will be blogging about this one, I’m SURE! Stay tuned to the further adventures of this ‘constantly running’ Mom.

Hope you’re having a great day! (It’s a mild day out, something like 70 degrees and a little sunny…not our typical August weather but I’ll take it!)

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on August 3, 2009 at 3:14 pm  Comments (1)  
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