SUNDAY - October 17, 2004 - I don't have anything to say.  djb

Saturday - October 16, 2004 - Last night, Bob and I went to the Kaneland High School football game.  We didn't know it was Senior Night.  We basically went because we told Shawn we would go.  (Unfortunately, Kaneland lost in OT.)  The new parking lot at the high school is HUGE!!!!  Well lit.  Well marked.  It's great!  First we stopped to have a brat/pork chop sandwich.  As soon as we went into the stands, we saw the cheerleaders and said hi to Andrea and then to Shawn.  It was VERY, VERY COLD!!  Plus, it was Senior Night.  The last time I had been at the football field was Senior Night 2002.  I almost cried, but it was too cold to cry.  It was one of those grief moments where all of sudden you realize the last time you were in this situation, you were with your son who was alive.  I remembered walking down the track with Andrew and Bob to wild applause from Andrew's friends.  (Sad).  The most amazing thing was that I didn't know most of the people who were there.  It kind of reminded me of the saying, "time marches on."  Is that a saying or an "old saw?"  Anyway, below is the picture that was taken of Andrew on Senior Night 2002.  I have another one with all of us in it, but it's in a box somewhere.  We also saw Ben Britz and the Kaneland Marching Band (VERY impressive).  I don't know who their trumpet player was on the National Anthem but he or she was PERFECT.  So, I put the neighborhood boys on the Casa Page in honor Ben's stellar performance.  Then after the anthem, it started to rain in sheets - kind of looked like SNOW.  We had to leave because we were soaked and freezing.  It was fun to be there.  Those kids have SO MUCH energy, it is amazing.  Must go now....see ya later, djb


Andrew on Senior Night 2002

...later (10/15) - Yes, I did go to Rochelle.  I helped Bergy with his computer set-up but we still have a situation with the e-mail name.  They must've made up a name for him and now we have to change it.  That's kind of like having an alias.  The weird thing is that you can send mail to him and he gets it.  But when he sends it, this weird name pops up.  We'll figure it out one of these days.  Here's Bergy and Micki and his new computer.  I also took the Christmas card picture for Krissy & Brian (and Milo).  Then, I stopped and got some apples at the Apple Farm.  Okay, gotta go. bye, djb

Uncle Bergy, Micki and the new computer.

FRIDAY- October 15, 2004 - I'm headed out to Bergy's house.  Plus, I may or may not see Krissy and Brian (and MILO).  It's rainy here this morning and only 42 degrees.  But, the good news is that it's going to get COLDER!!!  Leaves are falling like crazy.  What a beautiful mess.  Yesterday, I started taking a painting class with Sharon.  It was so wonderful, so fantastic, so much fun to be painting again.  She's very good.  There are about 6 people in the class.  It's all independent study.  THAT's what I wanted.  Andrew told me to take a painting class before he died.  So, thanks Andrew, my sweet boy, very good advice.  It's time to be getting my skeedaddling shoes on and get out of here at the right time.  Not that it matters that much but it's good to have a semi-schedule.  We're planning to go to the last home Kaneland football game tonight.  Shawn invited us to come because she'll be cheering at the game.  And, we told her we'd be there.  Of course, we had to wait for the WETTEST, COLDEST, WINDIEST night to go.  FOOTBALL WEATHER.  hurray!!!  okie dokie.  See ya later, byebye, djb

Uncle Bergy, Andrew and Jarrett (with their fake "queso" smiles) at Rosita's

Milo Paul, the Superdog   

THURSDAY - October 14, 2004 - Have you gotten your flu shot yet?  (that's a trick question)  Now, I hear that we're going to ask Canada for some of their flu vaccine.  Hey, wait a minute!  How can that be - didn't we already burn that bridge when we said that their stuff isn't good because it isn't FDA approved, etc., etc.  You might say, "Well, Donna, why are you so concerned about the flu shots?"  Let's see.  For years and years and years, I've been told that I HAVE TO get a flu shot ASAP in the fall because I don't have a spleen, I have a rare immune disorder and I'm at high risk for DYING if I get any sort of infection.  Guess that's why.  I could be one of the few people on earth who isn't afraid to die.  Why would I be?  When I die, I get to see Andrew and Jarrett.  How can that be bad?  So, I'm not particularly worried about that aspect of not getting a flu shot.  It seems to me that people are afraid to die because of the unknown zone!!  Hey, guess what:   NONE OF US is getting out of here alive.  If you really, really, really don't believe what you are TOLD to believe, then you have to figure it out for yourself.  You came from God, you go back to God - and you don't take any MONEY with you.  Why is everyone so damn obsessed with money?  It's stupid.  When Andrew and Jarrett died, they didn't take any money with them.  They brought love when they were born....they took love when they died.  Love.  That's it.  That's the answer.  Doesn't it sound easy?  Remember what I told the boys:  GOD LOVES YOU.  BE NICE TO OTHERS (Love one another as I have loved you.).  That's all ya need to know.  Try it.  See ya later, djb

Jarrett making a face for the camera and Andrew wearing those blue and white striped shorts that were as long as pants.

WEDNESDAY - October 13, 2004 - It's been two months since Hurricane Charley went through Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte on Friday the 13th of August.  The picture below was taken by Krissy last week in Port Charlotte at the retirement village where Uncle Ted and Aunt Vada USED TO live.  After two months, this is what people are living with.  Oh excuse me, NOT living with because no one can live there.  This place has been declared "uninhabitable."  Yes, so where are the former habitants SUPPOSED TO LIVE?  What senior citizen on Social Security has the kind of money to continue to pay an assessment at a place they can't live in and also pay rent on a place they have to live in?  Think about this - YOUR HOUSE IS GONE.  YOUR STUFF IS WRECKED.  WHAT DO YOU DO?  WHAT WOULD YOU DO???  That's not a philosophical or rhetorical's THE REALITY for a whole lot of people living in Florida.  It's always interesting to me when these natural disasters happen and the state government is going to help and the Federal government is going to help - blah, blah, blah...yada...yada...yada.  Well, I guess things could always be worse, they could be living in Haiti.  We don't even hear how they're doing any more.  The reality for these people living there is that the bureaucracy is so stifling that to get anything done the right way (lawful, legal) is tedious, frustrating and downright upsetting.  Remember that most of the citizens who live in that county are old people.  They can't take this any more.  We're seeing it ourselves with our own family.  What about the people who don't have family or financial wherewithal?  What are they doing?  What about Judy Jones and her homeless shelter in Punta Gorda? Yikes.  I shudder to think about that because in good times, it was held together by a wish and a prayer.  I can't even imagine what happened to it.  I'd best go look in the paper and see if I can find out. My advice is simple:  Be thankful if you have a roof over your head.  And, don't sweat the small stuff, eh.  Must be going now.  bye, djb  

The view from Ted and Vada's manufactured home last week (October 6, 2004) Port Charlotte, FL

TUESDAY - October 12, 2004 - We found out yesterday that our good old buddy, John Raimondo died on Saturday.  His wake and funeral are scheduled for tonight at Conley's Funeral Home in Elburn.  He was the one who built our deck.  He started in 1994 and built about a third of it, then finished it the next year when we put in the swimming pool.  I'm sorry that he passed on because I know he'll be missed dearly by Pat and his children.  Here's a picture of the deck I took a few years ago.  God bless John.  I told him to say HI to Andrew and Jarrett! 

This is the deck that John built.

He was quite a guy.  We hadn't seen in a few years because after we stopped having Christmas parties, we just don't get to see a lot of people we used to see.  We'll be going in to pay our respects after Bob gets home from work.  Last night, after we got our long distance service back, I found out that Ron went to the doctor yesterday - no flu shot.  Granny went to the doctor today - no flu shot.  Her doc told her to go the grocery store because they're the ones who are getting their orders filled!  I'm supposed to get mine at the end of the month....I guess we'll see about that.  It's curious to me that the FDA says that we shouldn't buy drugs from Canada because they're not safe.  BUT they're making millions of doses of flu vaccine in England because it's not cost-effective to make it in the US.  How bizarre!  Things just get curiouser and curiouser as the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland would say.  There are many strange and inexplicable things in the world.  Hopefully, all the geese will get to where they're supposed to be going.  Must go now.  bye, djb     

Monday - October 11, 2004 - Today is Columbus Day.  I don't understand what we're supposed to celebrate.  Do a search on the internet for "atrocities perpetrated by Christopher Columbus."  It will curl your hair.  I find it interesting that people really DO NOT want to know the truth about things.  Nor do they want to tell the truth about things (head in sand).  That was one thing I always wanted Andrew and Jarrett to do - tell me the truth.  Then, you say, "Well, what is the truth?"  Apparently, that's open to interpretation!  Maybe we each need a video camera with us at all times to document our activities.  That's funny.  I think God has one aimed on us during our entire lives.  So, watch your step, my friends!!  Well, then there's Halloween.  That's another brouhaha for some people.  Dress up, eat candy, have fun.  That's what I say.  Here's a couple of pictures of Andrew and Jarrett in their pirate costumes.  It wasn't the same year, though.  When I made the pants, they actually fit.  I also made the blue vests.  The first year, they had EXACTLY the same costume, but I can't find the picture of Jarrett right now.  It appears that the next year, he improvised.  Must go and see if I can find some more pictures.  Snow flurries are forecast for this coming weekend!  (Remember: SNOW is a 4-letter word)  Yikes, djb

Andrew in in his pirate costume - nice parrot! 

Jarrett as a pirate of sorts - notice flowers and swingset in the back.

SUNDAY - October 10, 2004 - It's 10/10 and it's 10:10 - that is synchronicity or something like that.  Don't have much to say.  Grandma Burkholder sent a bunch of hurricane pictures with the birthday cards.  I'll have to scan those later and put some in here.  What a mess they have down in Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda.  Those poor people.  Now that the hurricanes are gone, no one knows WHAT's going on down there!  I can tell you, it's still a big mess.  But life goes on....  It isn't always the same that's for sure.  Especially when all your STUFF is gone.  see ya later, djb

JARRETT - red sweatshirt - BLUE eyes

ANDREW - cleaning out the critter tank

Frogs and salamanders in a bowl while their tank is being cleaned by Andrew

SATURDAY - October 9, 2004 - This morning, I was cleaning out some stuff in the garage and it just made me so, so very, very sad.  It makes me cry just to think about it.  It was Andrew and Jarrett's fish tank and critter tank supplies.  This time of year makes me remember when they used to go up on the roof to help get the leaves out of the gutters and help with the Christmas lights.  Here's some pictures of my helpers below.  We're just starting to lose our leaves.  That'll be a lot of fun to go through the leaves with the mulching mower.  It takes a long time because you have to go over them more than once, more than twice....quite a few times.  Better go.  Have to bring some plants inside.  It looks like a jungle in the garage.  I guess it's good to have a lot of plants because they clean the air.  bye for now, djb

Andrew cleaning out the gutter

Jarrett posing after helping with the Christmas lights

Andrew still cleaning out the gutters

Jarrett on the roof with the wide angle view - there's the big ladder and the Christmas wreath

a little later (10/8) - Here's a picture of Skippy sleeping and also one of Ron and Skippy.  Ron's trying to get Skippy to look at the camera, but he has other ideas.  Then, I scanned another picture up in Harvard visiting Grandma and Grandpa O'Malley.  Oh yeah, and I also put in the front view of Grandpa, Grandma, Sister and Howard in the back looking at something taken on the farm in Rochelle.  These are from the stash of black and white photos I found this morning.  oh boy. bye, djb

Our dog, Skippy, sleeping on someone's coat on the farm

Ron and Skippy in the lane on the farm - notice the ice coating everything!  Yikes!

Granny & Grandma O'Malley and Steve in front of them Dennis in the back and Alan in the front in 1959

Grandpa, Grandma, Howard in the back and Sister on the farm in August 1965

later...(10/8) - We've already had an inch of rain.  That's wonderful for the grass and the flowers.  They were parched!  I found these pictures....all taken at the FARM in Rochelle.  Must find some food, it's almost noon.  bye, djb

Grandma Berg, Steve, Granny around 1953 on the farm in Rochelle

Ron in the back, Kathy in the middle, Diane on the left and Judy on the right - you can see the cornfield in the background - 9/66


FRIDAY - October 8, 2004 - I'm still looking for Andrew and Jarrett's Halloween costume pictures.  In my search, came across this picture taken in August 1965. 

Sister Herman Joseph, Grandma O'Malley and Grandpa O'Malley at the farm in Rochelle

I finally figured out how to type poems.  This one especially touches my heart since Grandma O'Malley was my Godmother and Sister was always so kind to all of us kids and prayed like crazy for us.  When Andrew and Jarrett were born, I always regretted that Grandma had already died because I wanted her to know my children...and then, after they died, I realized that NOW she would get to meet them.  I'm not forgetting my Grandma Berg at all because she also very kind and sweet to all of us grandkids and her chocolate chip cookies were legendary.  I have a picture of her that I'll put in here later.  It's 7 AM, gotta go.  bye, djb



I am home in Heaven, dear ones;

Oh, so happy and so bright!

There is perfect joy and beauty

In this everlasting light.


All the pain and grief is over,

Every restless tossing passed;

I am now at peace forever,

Safely home in Heaven at last.


Did you wonder I so calmly

Trod the valley of the shade?

Oh? but Jesus' love illumined

Every dark and fearful glade.


And He came Himself to meet me

In that way so hard to tread;

And with Jesus' arm to lean on,

Could I have one doubt or dread?


Then you must not grieve so sorely,

For I love you dearly still.

Try to look beyond earth's shadows,

Pray to trust our Father's will.


There is work still waiting for you,

So you must not idly stand;

Do it now, while life remains-

You shall rest in Jesus' land.


When that work is all completed,

He will gently call you Home;

Oh, the rapture of that meeting,

Oh, the joy to see you come!


(Sacred Heart Monastery)




THURSDAY - October 7, 2004 - Yesterday, those Japanese lady bugs returned with a vengeance.  Those things are nasty AND they also bite.  What a wonderful treat!  I'm going to look for the Halloween pictures of Andrew and Jarrett and put those on here.  I know that they had some great costumes over the years....even if they didn't win a prize.  We thought they were first place in our book!  Our neighbor in North Aurora, Karen Collins, used to come up with the BEST costumes for her kids.  Some people just have the creative knack.  When I put a clown face on Andrew one year, it looked like he'd gotten into my makeup and did it himself!  I'll look for that picture after a while.  Here's a blimp and some big monsters for you all to ponder.  This was on the road to Sandwich.  Must go.  Have to check on some stuff.  bye.  later, djb


We all live in a yellow, make that a yellow blimp.

Picture of BIG monsters out in the cornfield


WEDNESDAY - OCTOBER 6, 2004 - TODAY IS BOB'S BIRTHDAY.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BOB.  If you're smart, you can figure out how old he is (hint: he's 2 years older than I am).  He doesn't get quite as hyper as I do, but it's still his birthday.  We're going to celebrate at the closest German Restaurant which is in downtown Elgin.  We used to go to Dieterle's in Elgin, but they closed.  Too bad because they had great food.  Anyway, it should be interesting.  I'll take my camera just in case.  We're supposed to have a very nice day today - up to 72.  woo hoo.  I have bulbs to plant before December 1st, so I think I'll be able to get them in the ground.  Don't want to plant them too early or they might sprout.  It's time to get my skeedaddling shoes on.  See ya later, djb

Bob, Jarrett and Andrew in Minnesota  

TUESDAY - October 5, 2004 - After I put that picture of the basketball boys in yesterday, I realized that I should have also put in a picture of Verna Gittleson Horne.  Verna is my dad's first cousin.  She began teaching in one-room schools in the early 20th century.  At some point in time, she taught at Elburn Grade School.  I've talked to various old-timers who had her as a teacher.  Apparently, she was QUITE STRICT.  Aunt Gladys told me that she rarely gave out A's because after all, NO ONE IS PERFECT.  haha  My point is this:  She and her husband Earl Horne (sp?) lived in a house on Hwy. 47 in Elburn which has subsequently been torn down and is now the location of SERENITY FALLS.  Isn't that a hoot?  Actually, it's a hoot and a half.  We're planning to put two concrete benches at the Falls in memory of Andrew and Jarrett.  I wanted the inscription to read:  ANDREW & JARRETT DIDN'T SIT HERE.  Kind of a spoof on "George Washington slept here."  I know for sure that Jarrett would GET IT and find it quite humorous.  But, apparently, no one else does.  Pardon my wacky sense of humor.  Anyway, I'm going to put a picture in here of the one room school that my dad and Aunt Gladys (his twin) and my Uncle George attended many years ago.  It's either Randtown School or Chamberlin School.  Verna is the teacher (she's 21 in this picture).  I can't remember who the old guy is in the back but he was one of the students.  Maybe he looks bigger because everyone else is so young.  I totally love this snapshot of Americana panorama.  It speaks volumes.  Must go now....we do have frost on the pumpkins. bye, djb   


Gladys on the left, Gale on the right, George in the front and Verna in the middle - 1931


MONDAY - October 4, 2004 - Yesterday, I went into Elburn and planted bulbs at Serenity Falls.  This is Tigger's project.  She has so much energy.  When I got there, Shawn was there and also Mrs. Beck.  A little while later, Ryan showed up, then Doug and Adam came by.  It was SO GOOD to see the kids.  Rumor had it that Joe was coming by too but he must've gotten a better offer.  haha  All of a sudden (these past few days), it feels like fall and smells like it, too.  It's been so windy that I can't burn my burn pile.  It has to be a clear, sunny day, with the winds no greater than 10 mph.  Just checked Weather Bug and they're saying that it's going to be 20-25 mph gusts today.  So, I can cross that off my list of things to do.  Or not cross it off.  I found this picture on a CD that Sue Mikowski had given me a long ago.  It's so cute.  Andrew and Jarrett are in the front row.  Kevin is in the back left and Kyle's in the back right.  These kids are all grown up now.  Times sure flies, doesn't it.  It's interesting to think that this is the only day we have.  We don't have a guarantee for tomorrow.  WHY do we keep thinking that the destination is more important than the journey?  THE JOURNEY IS ALL WE HAVE FOR SURE.  I always say, This is the day the Lord hath made, thanks be to God. Or I sometimes say, You made this day. Thanks God.  Enjoy your day today - or as all the people in the stores say:  HAVE A NICE DAY OK, it's time to hit the road, Jack.  See ya later.  Bye, djb

Andrew and Jarrett are in the front row - right.  Kevin's in the back left and Kyle's in the back right.  

SUNDAY - October 3, 2004 - It's VERY cold here this morning, although in a few months, the low 30's are going to look good.  Now, that's pitiful.  I'm still trying to figure out my new video camera.  It's unbelievably difficult.  Although I think that once I crack the code, I'll be cruising along fairly well.  Yesterday afternoon, Lizz and DJ came by to visit.  I was bringing plants into the garage.  So, I took them down to the Andrew & Jarrett Memorial pond to see how much work I had done yesterday.  It's looking great.  DJ loved it.  He has an AB tattoo on his arm.  It's VERY tasteful.  My comment was, "Oh neat.  Did it hurt?"  I don't think I could ever get a tattoo.  I don't necessarily have aichmophobia, but I've had enough needle sticks from blood being drawn, that I could have a fairly large one by now. haha  I'm going into town now before everyone else does.  Weather Bug is yakking at me.  Yes, I know it's cold!  Hopefully, something exciting will happen on my travels.  See ya later, djb

Uncle Bergy, Andrew and Jarrett at Rosita's

Saturday - October 2, 2004 - It's only 35 degrees (at 5:30 a.m.) according to Weather Bug.  Brrrrr  The wind is blowing in from the north.  Yesterday, I was out putting some plants into the new garden next to the Andrew & Jarrett Memorial Pond and it was quite warm in the early afternoon.  A person could tell that we were going to get some "weather."  At first, it just rained a little bit.  Last night, it rained a lot more.  Yes, Hobbes did catch another mouse.  On the one hand, it's gross.  On the other hand, it's good because I don't want them living inside the house during the winter.  yuk.  We went to Rosita's last night.  Sort of an impromptu celebration.  Sometimes, those work out the best.  Here's me in the "special" hat.  Think I might head out to the store early.  What's the point of waking up at the crack of dawn, if you can't beat the crowds.  ha ha.  Very funny.  See you all later, djb

Senora Dona con una maraca y el sombrero de cumpleanos  

FRIDAY - October 1, 2004 - Since it's a new month, I decided to go with an orangey color for October.  After all, in 30 more days, it will be Halloween - short/cold days.  Although I do remember a few Halloweens when it was quite warm outside.  Not to change the subject, but I did have a very nice birthday yesterday.  Really quite fun.  Everyone who called, SANG Happy Birthday to me.  Oh boy, what a riot!!  I was going to change the answering machine, but that would necessitate getting out the book and I didn't have time for that.  It's time to get some coffee and check on Hobbes.  I woke up at 4 a.m. so I let him out in the dark.  I wonder if he's gotten any more MICE?  See ya later, djb