THURSDAY - September 16, 2004 - It's so much fun to come in here to the computer room and have everything WORKING properly!  Once again, MANY THANKS to Nick!!!  We did have some rain yesterday, but this morning, it's sunny, clear and cool.....feels like fall.  Maybe that's because it is.  I don't have much to say this morning - that's odd.  I always have something to say.  Anyway, I'm going to get going and do some stuff.  Could be a good day to wash windows.  When the leaves fall off the trees and the sun is shining in, you can see the streaks and dirt on the outside, and quite frankly, it doesn't look good.  I finally found FABULOSO in the stores up here.  When I was in Florida in April, Granny had some and it works fabulously (that's WHY they call it that!).  It's made in Mexico, and not only does it smell good, but it works great to get the scum off the windows.  Am I rambling?  Yes, I think I am.  Okie dokie, I'll be going now.  see ya later, djb

Jarrett and Andrew - they landed among the stars.  (I like that.)

Wednesday September 15, 2004 - I finally figured out what was wrong with my keyboard.   It's 3:15 in the afternoon on Wednesday.  I wasn't going to rest until I figured it out.  Yesterday, I was trying to burn a DVD for Granny with all of the pictures that she brought along on a CD-R.  All of sudden, everything froze.  It's still a mystery why it happened.  But, NICK (that's Dr. Nick to you) came over and fixed the mouse.  Unfortunately, I didn't realize there was anything wrong with the keyboard until later.  I was trying to get Granny's pictures onto the Roxio program, and every time I tried to type something, it didn't work!  So, I blamed the program.  Then, I tried to type something else and the keyboard DID NOT WORK.  I FINALLY figured it out after I went into the original installation material.  I don't know why they don't have that readily available on line.  Plus, when you can't type, you really can't send an email to the Dell website.  Now, whew - another problem solved!  About 2 pm this afternoon,  I got a call from Granny.  She and Grandpa are in Seattle.  In a few hours they're flying to Spokane to see Uncle George, Aunt Helen and Debbie.  We had such a nice time having the Bergs here visiting for a few days.  It's their annual fall tour of the USA.  Not only did they bring us perfect weather (82) but they escaped Ivan's wrath.  God bless the people who will get hit by that terrible hurricane.  What a mess.  Here's the Bergs as they were getting in Bob's car this morning at 5 a.m. for their trip to Midway.  Storm is coming.  Gotta go shut windows. bye, djb

Grandpa and Granny getting ready for the continuation of the "big adventure"  

Here's Bob's car driving out of the driveway - check out the ORBS!!

Tuesday - September 14, 2004 - I did something wrong with the thing.  Now, I have to go back and figure out what I did wrong.  bye, djb  P.S.  I figured it out.  More later....

Andrew in 2002

Jarrett in 2002

later a.m. - (9/13) - I went out and took a picture of the pond this morning with the angels.  Here it is:

Andrew and Jarrett's pond with the angels on Monday morning

Monday - September 13, 2004 - Beautiful morning - it's already 60 degrees and there are NO hurricanes in sight.  Of course, Howard and Irene have to keep a wary eye toward the Gulf.  Crazy Ivan is still wobbling around out there.  I'm sure everyone's going to be VERY, VERY glad when the hurricane season is over.  We're going up to see Anna and Mary Margaret today in Woodstock.  Denny's driving us, so it's going to be like we have our own chauffeur.  Let me see what I can put in here this morning.  Gotta go now.  Must check on the situation upstairs - Hobbes, etc.  Coffee, etc.  bye for now, djb

Eric and Jarrett at the chess tournament in February 2003

Andrew hitting a drive at Hughes Creek in the fall of 2002

later... (9/12) - After I took the first picture, I decided to get the angels from the front garden and put by the pond.  They look VERY nice.  It's going to look great when I get some large pine bark nuggets to put where the dirt is.  Bob noticed that there were critter paw prints in the bottom of the pond, and sure enough, I went and looked closer and I saw raccoon prints.  So, we decided that the raccoons figure that I made them a drinking pond.  haha  It's a beautiful afternoon (82 degrees - my favorite temperature).  Very nice summery weather - finally!!  Take care.  bye for now, djb

Andrew and Jarrett's Memorial Pond with angels added

Saturday - September 11, 2004 - sigh  It's September 11th and in honor of our country and peace on earth, we decided to have a family get-together today to celebrate our peaceful family.  I finished the Andrew and Jarrett Memorial Pond.  How appropriate to have my pond finished on September 11th.  Okay, so you want to know what it looks like.  Here it is:

Andrew and Jarrett Memorial Pond on September 11, 2004 - God bless the boys and God bless America

We had our family gathering - I'll put more pictures on tomorrow, but here's a picture of my oldest cousin, Bob Berg, who looks like he's getting ready to go to school on the first day.  I think this is very cute.  Hi Judy, Anthony and Philip!  See ya later, kids, djb

Bob Berg with his BIG lunch pail going to school

Friday - September 10, 2004 - Grandpa O'Malley's birthday.

Thursday - September 9, 2004 - This is just UNBELIEVABLE.  Now, we have Hurricane Ivan as a Category 5.  Oh my goodness.  That's just incredible.  They're already starting to evacuate people from the Florida Keys.  The news reports are saying that some of the islands that were hit are 90% devastated.  Yikes!  Quintuple YIKES!!!  There's still all of the people with roof damage from the LAST TWO hurricanes!  Now this!  Holy Moley.  Ay carumba.  It's probably a good thing that Bergs are leaving the state.  Or not.  Is it better to be there or to be gone?  I don't know.  It's very nerve-wracking, I do know that for sure.  How much more can those poor Floridians take?  All we have are tornadoes and blizzards.  Right now, that sounds pretty good.  All right.  I'm going to get back to work.  Clean, clean, clean.  Toss, toss, toss.  See ya later, djb

Andrew in the cupboard - he thought this trick was quite hilarious

Jarrett (big blue eyes) playing in the sink in North Aurora

Wednesday - September 8, 2004 - Yesterday, Granny and Grandpa spent a major part of the day at Steve's house cleaning up more of the ceiling residue and putting plastic above the kitchen and dining room.  For some reason (maybe luck), the ceilings in the master bedroom and Alyssa's bedroom were intact.  That's good because a few weeks ago, Mary and Alyssa repainted her bedroom with murals, etc.  It would have been a shame to see their hard work destroyed.  It's going to be a major project getting everything taken care of at Steve's house.  The building inspector came by for some reason (?) and didn't declare their house uninhabitable but did say that they could occupy it at "their own risk."  I'd say every day is a risk, but I guess that's a little too philosophical for most people.  Just think about.  Multiply their disaster by many thousands of other homes and you've got a big, huge, gigantic MESS and a half!!  whew.  Good luck to everyone in Florida.  Keep an eye on Crazy Ivan because you don't know what he's going to do next.  In the afternoon, I worked on the pond.  Had to go into town to water the flowers at Andrew and Jarrett's grave, so I decided to get some stones to put around the perimeter.  It was an incredible adventure!  I bought 500 pounds of stone!!  That's hilarious.  Stones are VERY heavy, you know.  Each stone was inspected and chosen personally by me.  Here's a picture of what the pond is supposed to look like when I get finished with my work.  Going to get some more coffee.  I woke up early and I have miles to walk before I sleep.  See ya later, djb

Picture of Andrew and Jarrett's future pond.  It could look like that since I already have all of the plants in the picture. 

Tuesday - September 7, 2004 - It's a cool morning here in Illinois (51 degrees) but it is meteorological fall, after all.  On Saturday night, I had a dream about Andrew and Jarrett that I finally remembered because I stopped taking all my medications (except for fosamax).  I've taken so much medication over the years that after my bone scan on Saturday, I decided to not take the prednisone any more.  The small amount I was taking doesn't keep me from low platelets because they do whatever they want.  When you have an immune disorder, you can do everything right and still get sick.  Anyway, I felt pretty tired and sore on Sunday and Monday, so I just kept digging the hole for Andrew and Jarrett's pond that I'm putting in out in the back yard.  We spend most of our time in the back yard in the summer, so I might as well have a nice pond and flower garden out there.  It's very woodsy and quite peaceful - perfect for a pond.  It's going to look awesome.  Okay, time to get to work.  I think these pictures of Andrew and Jarrett are hilarious.  See ya later, djb

Andrew AWAKE in the swing on the porch in North Aurora - I think he was 3 in this photo.

Jarrett SLEEPING in the swing (he's about 18 months).  This is around the time when he stopped taking naps, however, I think he was trying to catch a few zzz's without actually having to go to bed.

later... (9/6) - Earlier this afternoon, I was outside digging Andrew and Jarrett's pond out back and I came in for a well deserved break and Granny sent some pictures from Steve's house.  It's unbelievable.  What a mess.  Oh my goodness.  I can't believe it.  Here's some of the pictures from my brother's house that got whacked by Hurricane Frances:

Kitchen ceiling falling down

Garage ceiling falling down

Roof of Steve's house BEFORE it was repaired.  The doors are boarded to keep from breaking.

I think this is the spare bedroom

I think this is the living room

I don't even want to know what Ivan is doing.  Must go.  see ya later, djb

Monday - September 6, 2004 - HAPPY LABOR DAY - It's about 2:30 pm on Monday afternoon.  I talked to Granny a little while ago and she and Grandpa had just gotten back from Steve's house.  He had shingle/roof damage from Hurricane Charley on the 13th of August, so he was hoping to get that fixed BEFORE Hurricane Frances.  The insurance adjuster was supposed to come on Friday  (9/3) to assess the damage from the first hurricane (but their bosses told them to take the day off, however none of them called the homeowners to TELL THEM!!), now the damage has been compounded by the SECOND hurricane.  I don't know how they're going to deal with all that in Florida.  It's just a nightmare for everyone.  NOW, Hurricane IVAN is on the way.  That's a quadruple YIKES!!!!  Anyway, Steve's ceiling got damp from the torrential/hurricane force rains and it just started to fall down.  Granny and Grandpa went down to help him pick up the pieces (God bless them), and Grandpa brought some tarps he'd bought before the hurricane.  One of Steve's neighbor's (God bless him) got up on the roof with Steve and they worked for two hours pounding in nails (IN THE RAIN) to secure the tarps before he has any more damage.  Granny said that she didn't know how many bags of ceiling they loaded up.  It's just a mess.  Well, I think maybe a mess and a half!  Earlier this morning, I talked to Howard and Irene and they were getting wind and rain from a very ferocious band that seemed to be sitting in the gulf pounding on them.  It's quite incredible is all I can say.  Grandma Burkholder and Ted & Vada are still up in Georgia.  I imagine they might want to stay there for a bit longer while they see where Crazy Ivan is headed.  Here's a picture Krissy sent me this morning of damage at Port Charlotte.  Okay, I'm out of here now.  later, djb

Another view of Grandma's back yard in Port Charlotte

The front of Grandma's house in Port Charlotte after Charley

Andrew and Jarrett's grandparents (Bergs & Burkholders) a few years before the hurricane - notice the blue awning is missing in the previous picture.  The house next door to Grandma's house lost its entire roof.  Her neighbor said that he'd never live in the house again! 

Sunday - September 5, 2004 - It's Day 2 of Hurricane Frances hitting Florida.  Good golly, Miss Molly!  It is just incredible.  I've been watching the TV station in Orlando.  It's at   They have live coverage online which I find to be very helpful because I am a severe weather junkie.  As you all know, Tommy Skilling is my favorite weatherman.  Talked to Granny a couple of times this morning.  They still have electric but it flickers from time to time.  She talked to Diane.  She and Marc saw a tree fall this morning.  They were concerned about that tree ever since Charley came through.  It's just unreal.  Irene was getting started on making chicken cutlets.  Yummm  Of course, they all get to go through another day of hellacious winds and rain.  I've been also watching the Weather Channel, and I'm a little concerned about Jim Cantore in Palm Bay out in the ferocious winds and rain pelting him mercilessly.  Poor guy.  Let him get inside, I say.  I guess it makes one feel like they are there!  I'll pass on that.  We keep wondering if this will make some of the new Florida residents change their minds about living in the Sunshine State......or maybe they'll change it to the Hurricane State!?!?  Okay, I've got to go and watch the 10 a.m. updates so maybe I'll chat later or maybe I won't.  See ya, dbj

Jarrett and Andrew getting ready to tip over in Grandpa's red wagon in Florida 

Saturday - September 4, 2004 - Just talked to Granny at a little after 8 a.m. Illinois time.  She and Grandpa were covering their windows with plastic (or was that bubble wrap?) to protect them from the wind and rain that is coming!!  Yikes!!  and Triple Yikes!!!  The slow progress of this storm is making it even more dangerous because of all the rain that is expected.  I'm going to be a nervous wreck until this thing is over!  I'm pretty much a nervous wreck anyway, even WITHOUT a hurricane to watch from afar.  GOOD LUCK to everyone in Frances' path.  God bless you all and may you all be SAFE, SECURE and DRY!!!  Jarrett and Andrew are sending their best wishes from in front of a palm tree in Port Charlotte.  I've asked them to watch over everyone because they are the saintly boys!!  I'm not sure what Andrew's three finger salute means so you can make you own determination.  GOD BLESS.  GOOD LUCK.  Talk to you later.  bye, djb

Jarrett and Andrew (giving the 3-finger salute) in front of a large palm tree in Florida a few years ago

Friday - September 3, 2004 - Hurricane Frances has slowed down to 9 mph and the winds have decreased somewhat.  That's GREAT news....I think.  Unless it just gets STUCK somewhere over Florida with torrential downpours.  Hopefully, it will just go NORTH and then out to sea.  As I've heard more than one person say, "I'd rather be prepared and have it miss us than the other way around.!"  Everyone still remembers what happened over in Port Charlotte.  If you forgot, I can put a picture on here to remind you.  This is the back of Grandma's house.  We think she told Aunt Vada to SMILE for the camera amid the destruction and chaos left by Charley.  All righty, I'd better get busy and do some stuff.  It's too bad I don't have a job so I could at least celebrate Labor Day.  haha  Very funny.  See ya later, djb

Aunt Vada standing in front of the rest, residue and remainder of Grandma Burkholder's lanai

Thursday - September 2, 2004 - We're waiting and watching for Frances!!!  Very anxiety-producing.  The power of hurricanes is unbelievable.  Have you seen that thing on radar?  It's HUGE!  In contrast, here in Illinois, it's as calm as it could be.  Last night, I talked to Diane and the Bergs.  They're closing the schools on Friday.  Mary and Alyssa are taking a bus up to Georgia.  Everyone is ready for the worst because, well quite frankly, this is close to one of the strongest hurricanes we've seen.  The people in southern Florida remember Andrew.  At the time (1992), I remember my Andrew saying, "Why did they name it after me?"  haha  I said, "Well, they named one after me, too.  I guess we're just special."  Okay, in honor of everyone in central Florida who is "hunkering down" GOOD LUCK and GOD BLESS.  See ya later, djb

Jarrett, Grandpa, Andrew with blankie, Aunt Diane, Granny with bunny

Aunt Mary, Jarrett, Uncle Steve, Andrew

Wednesday - September 1, 2004 - Since it's a new month today, I decided to start a brand new page!  woo hoo.  Of course, Wednesday is garbage day, so I had a lot of stuff to get out to the road.  I have been cleaning up and out these past few days.  When I signed on this morning, I noticed that Frances is near Turks and Caicos.  Yikes!  The hurricane season seems to be quite active this year.  Batten down those hatches and get ready to hunker down.  Someone on the weather (probably Tommy Skilling) said that because of the hurricane, we get to have NICE, perfect weather for a change.  When Charley went through, I think we got stuck with yukky, cloudy weather.  I much prefer 82 degrees.  sigh.....  On Sunday, when Krissy and I were at Target, I ran into Kathy Payton.  She lost her son, Randy, four years ago in a car accident.  Talking to her made me feel so much better.  I'm not sure why but her words of comfort meant more to me than anything I've heard in a long time.  Maybe because she also lost her son, and I knew him personally.  I don't know.  But isn't it amazing how a simple serendipitous meeting can have such a profound effect.  She's always been able to touch my heart.  Plus, talking to Dave and Terry on Saturday was also very helpful to me.  He said, "I remember feeling like that."  It kind of makes you feel better when you realize that you're not crazy.  Not that any of this is normal - far from that.  But it is amazing how many people have gone through the same thing.  God bless them all.  Better go.  Have to see if I have any more stuff to toss!  bye.  see ya, djb

Jarrett and Andrew with similar expressions - love the black and whites