CURRENT JOURNAL  (April 3, 2005)

later - (4/30) - Tonight was Kaneland's prom which was being held at NIU's ballroom in DeKalb.  Chad and his friend, Price, came over last fall with their dates before they went to the homecoming dance.  So, they once again chose to honor me by coming over so I could see them all dressed up in their finery.  That's why I was sad this morning - Andrew and Jarrett never got to go to prom.  God bless Chad for thinking of my broken heart.  He's truly a sweetheart.  Here they are.  Aren't they precious!!!  Amen, djb

Lindsay, Price, Chad, Andrea (but I could have the girls' names switched!)

Saturday - April 30 - I went to the cemetery this morning and planted two more Stella D'Oros.  It was sad.  see ya later, djb

Grandpa Berg, Gary and Ron on the John Deere pulling Diane in a wagon and Gale - on the farm in Rochelle

Ron helping Diane ride her tricycle with Skippy by their side

later (4/29) - After I started thinking about Mt. Rushmore, I knew that Granny had a picture of it from the All American Bus Tour of the Wild West a few years ago.  But I'm sure she's busy right now.  So, I found my own picture.  Some day, I want to walk inside Lincoln's nose.  Although they may have closed it to visitors.  Maybe it was just the workers who got to walk in his nose.  It's quite interesting regardless.  Speaking of having a lot of fun.  The sun came out around noon, so I went out with my rake to clean up the debris from the raspberry pruning.  I'd forgotten that I bought two blueberry bushes last year.  My vegetable garden has turned into a fruit garden.  Raspberries, grapes, blueberries, strawberries and I used to have rhubarb out there but I moved it near the wood pile.  Speaking of bunnies.  I saw two baby bunnies sneaking out from between the stacks of wood.  They were so cute.  If Hobbes were outside, they'd be dead ducks.  He's too crazy to go out right now.  If it ever gets warm, I'll have to leave the screen door open and he'll be able to escape through that.  Same trick as Snowball - push out the side of the screen and just walk outside.  Instead of going to Home Depot to buy grass seed, I decided to vacuum and clean the floor, etc., etc., etc.  boooorring.  That's all for now.  bye, djb

Mt. Rushmore, of course.

Friday - April 29, 2005 - MEDICAL UPDATE:  Bob is feeling much better today.  His blood pressure seemed to be a little lower yesterday.  I think he's more aware of the deleterious effects of stress on his BP readings while he's at work.  It was quite amazing how much it went up even though he was in a meeting that wasn't at all stressful.  So, I can't even imagine how high it gets when he's in one of those crazy meetings!!  We're keeping a close eye on it.  One good thing is that he loves to have his blood pressure checked.  Thank God, I don't have to stick any needles in him!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are so many things running through my head this morning, I'm practically dizzy! Wait a minute, no I won't go into that flashback.  This morning's paper had a story about first graders in Elburn who were presenting their books (which they had written) to their classmates and parents.  It brought back the memories of the Young Author's competition that occurred every year the boys were in school.  Each year, Sarah Alef won the award in Jarrett's class.  What's the point of even doing a book, we all know Sarah's going to win!!  That's funny because she always won.  I don't know if Bob knows this or not but Sarah's going to IMSA (Illinois Math and Science Academy) in Aurora.  Whenever Jarrett thought I was being a "bad mom," I'd tell him he could go there if he didn't like it here.  Yes, you have to live there.  After a short time considering that things could actually be worse somewhere else, he'd quickly change his tune.  My little argumentative weasel (ferret).....Jarrett!  hahaaa  I came across their Young Author's books from 1994.  Andrew was in third grade and Jarrett was in kindergarten.  I also came across a cookbook that included recipes from both of Miss Pierson's classes.  The first recipe is "Bootsy's Meatballs" submitted by Eric Durrenberger!!  (Note to Kathy:  I'm going to try this, it sounds good.)  It's absolutely hilarious to go through this cookbook because she put their little school pictures along with their recipe.  It helps me to recall who actually has gone through all of their school years at Kaneland.  Amazing walk down memory lane.  Andrew's teacher that year was his all time favorite, Mrs. Edwards.  She was an outstanding teacher and a very classy lady.  The kids adored her.  I still remember doing the Art Mom presentation of Mt. Rushmore.  (Gutzon Borglum)   After I finished, I just wanted to get in the car and drive there because it was so completely and totally awesome!!  Still, after all these years, I've never been there.  hmmmm.  That's odd.  All right, below are the front covers of their books from 1994.  I just remembered that prom is tomorrow night, and that's why I put Chad's picture on the Casa page with Jarrett.  I'm supposed to take pictures before he and his date leave for the prom (at NIU) around 5 or so.  Can't wait.  It'll be a hoot.  Hasta la vista, djb



Thursday - April 28, 2005 - Bob spent a lot of time taking his blood pressure yesterday.  It's higher than normal most of the time but not extremely high.  It was normal this morning.  On the other side of the table, mine was 84 over 44.  That's kind of funny because I don't feel the least bit woozy as you might think I would.  Hopefully, Bob will be able to remain calm and unstressed at work!  yeah right.  The picture I put on here April 7th with Bergy and me and our guns was supposed to be a joke.  I heard that Gov. Bush signed the bill authorizing - okay, so I'm not exactly sure what it was but it involved guns in Florida.  When I used to live in Florida, I noticed that there were a lot of people who had obviously gotten too much SUN over the years and their ability to act rationally seemed to be impaired.  That's the only way their wacky behavior could be explained - all other things being equal.  I'm sure the pundits are having a great time with this topic in the Florida papers.  I'll have to check that out later.  The possibilities are too scary to ponder.  When I go to Florida next week to visit the Bergs, I'd better be careful not to rile any of the natives, they just might be packing heat!  Yikes!  Not to change the subject but here are two pictures of the boys when they weren't young.  These photos were next to the forsythia picture, so I thought I'd put them in here today just for fun.  (Dr.) Nick has helped me tremendously with Andrew and Jarrett's website and every once in a while, I like to put his picture in here.  HI, NICK!!!  See ya later, djb

Nick and Jarrett in the family room watching TV (after school).  Notice the snacks (lower left).  They always had to have sweets to eat!

Andrew looking unhappy with his golfing situation.  (He shot a 39 on the back nine - best score on the team.  He did NOT shoot a 39 on the front nine - thus, the frown!)  

later - (4/27) - When I finally called Bob's doctor's office, his receptionist told me that he had a cancellation, so we were able to get in at 10 am.  Bob related his story and our wonderful doctor (there is NO one better than he is!!) told Bob to keep track of his blood pressure throughout the day and before he puts him on any medication, he'd like to see what happens daily for a few weeks.  It's entirely possible every day after work and then the subsequent drive home on the tollway causes his blood pressure to get up in the 190's.  Yikes!!  I do recall that before his heart surgery, he had unstable bp.  Probably most people fluctuate quite a bit during the day.  But, how many people actually take their blood pressure all day long?  Except for us.  We used to do it all the time before and after Bob's surgery.  Then, every once in a while, just to make sure the machine is still working properly, I check mine.  Always pretty much the same...very, very low.  I've had readings as low as 88 over 49.  100 over 58 is normal.  But this isn't about ME.  haha  We'll see what happens.  After Bob went to work, I planted two rose bushes, that's why I didn't get this on here in a timely manner.  My favorite rose of all time:  Peace.  It's so gorgeous.  Hopefully, they'll do well in the spot I chose.  Here are the tulips that Shawn (Andrew's girlfriend) and I planted last year at Conley's.  See ya later, djb

We planted these tulips in memory of Andrew and Jarrett 

Wednesday - April 27, 2005 - Bob's still sleeping (it's 8:20 a.m.).  Right before he went to sleep last night, I took his blood pressure and it was in the 155 range over 80.  I'm waiting for the doctor's office to start answering their phones at 8:45.  We'll see what happens.  In the meantime, I must take care of my garbage business.  We get a lot of newspapers (and they're quite heavy!).  bye for now, djb

Serenity Falls in Elburn - Shawn and I planted those red & yellow tulips at the top last October.

much later tonight (4/26) - The saga continues....  When Bob got home at 5:45, he asked me to take his blood pressure.  He had tried to take it earlier but the reading was apparently wrong because it was something like 190.  So, I checked his left arm and it was 197 over 95 (something like that) the right arm was 195 over 96.  Yikes!  I've never seen readings THAT high before.  So, he rested and then ate some food.  At 6:30, I took it again.  It was 193 over 92.  That's when I called the doctor's answering service and he called me back and asked a bunch of what I thought were stupid questions, but probably not, because after all, he's the doctor, not me!  Anyway, he said to give Bob a couple of xanax and then if he wasn't doing better, to take one every four hours.  We did that.  Then at about 7:15, I took his pressure AGAIN.  This time the right arm was 137 over 62 and the left arm was 152 over 64.  Closer to normal.  So, I guess that annoying doctor knew what he was talking about.  hmmm.  I think he could use some work on his bedside manner.  I'm glad we have the doctor that we have.  He's much, much NICER!!!  All right.  That's it for now.  Hopefully, there will be NO MORE news about this situation because everything will have returned to normal.  Have a nice time.  bye, djb  P.S.  Here are some flower pictures I took this morning.

That yellow plant on the bottom left is spurge!  One of my favorites. 

Dark purple tulip - isn't he gorgeous!?

Faraway shot of the front - it's not sharp enough to suit me!

Pink and dark purple (looks black) tulips

Closer up shot of the front flowers

later today - (4/26) - Before I start getting serious about fixing dinner, I decided to check Newpaperlinks.  On the Rochelle newspaper site, it never shows the pictures - except for today!  Here's a picture of the C.A. Hills Memorial Gym as of mid-afternoon Monday. Wow!  I spent a lot of time in that gym.  It's sad to see it gone.  I imagine by today, it's rubble.  see ya later, djb

The gym where I graduated from in 1967

Tuesday - April 26, 2005 - It's about 10:30 a.m. right now.  Last night at 10:20, I was coming in from the garage where I had been on the phone talking to Krissy and getting some food for Hobbes, when what to my complete amazement and surprise should I see but Bob sitting on the floor.  "WHAT are you doing on the floor?"  Apparently, he had come downstairs to get some water and his legs started to feel unsteady and he fell down on the floor.  At least, he was able to brace his fall, which happened shortly before I came in the door.  I hadn't heard a sound.  So, I asked him if he could get up and sit in the chair and I'd take his blood pressure.  He was able to do that and didn't feel particularly woozy.  However, the first blood pressure reading was something like 101 over 59.  That's normal for me - NOT for him.  I took the pressure on the other arm, and it was 100 over 58.  Once again, not normal.  He had some of that water that he had originally come downstairs to drink.  Then, I took his pressure again.  This time it was 125 over 62.  Better.  That was good.  So, we went upstairs.  He was laying or lying down (I NEVER know which word is right, I always choose the wrong one!!) and then said that he felt kind of funny and his legs were tingling.  We both agreed that I should call his doctor.  I got the doctor's answering service and left my message.  Within two minutes, the doctor that I had seen when I went in a couple of years ago called back.  I filled her in on the scoop.  She said that I should take Bob to the EMERGENCY ROOM!!  Oh no, not that!!!  Yes, he should probably have an EKG.  Okie dokie.  I went upstairs and told Bob that I had scheduled a road trip to the ER and he might want to get dressed.  It has to be an emergency for me to drive at night, in the DARK.  This time, however, there was NO ONE - not one single person - in the waiting room.  Oh boy!  We were ushered back to a room fairly quickly and they started asking a lot of questions.  No chest pains.  That was good.  They started putting pieces of sticky tape on Bob's chest and his legs, then they did their magic with the EKG machine, and were soon finished and on their merry way.  It was fast.  Another nurse came in and took 4 vials of blood.  She was good.  We were suitably impressed with her expertise.  Then, we had to wait an hour for some sort of cardiac blood panel to be completed.  Bob was resting in the room and I went out to get some more coffee and I started talking to one of the nurses.  Whenever I'm in that ER, it always reminds me of the night that I saw Andrew in there right after the accident.  Sad, horrible images.  It's not one of my favorite places to be.  After a while, the results came back.  Everything checked out okay.  They didn't know why it happened.  My wise guy comment was that maybe it was simply idiopathic.  That made the doctor laugh.  We left there about 1:10 a.m. (this morning) and I drove home.  This time, I drove home exactly at the speed limit because I didn't want to scare Bob.  He had me call Dick to let him know that he'd be in late today.  I guess so.  Dick always thinks that I'm less than sympathetic when Bob is sick.  You mean because I call him a big baby?  When I called in the wee hours, I made sure that Dick knew I was being 100% caring and compassionate.  It was all very bizarre.  And that's the end of my story.  Now, I think I'll go up and see if my patient is awake and needs anything.  I'll let you know how he's doing.  See ya, djb

Bob, Donna Jean, Andrew, Jarrett in Port Charlotte, FL - December 2001

later (4/25) - Last night, I talked to Granny.  For the first time in months, her legs don't hurt as intensely as they had previously.  She's taking a medication that is supposed to help leg circulation.  Apparently, it's working.  I'm so happy about that.  Maybe now, she can start walking around the block again.  One of my favorite activities while I'm visiting the Bergs in Florida is to walk around Crystal Bowl Circle.  You go, Gran!!!  Here we are in March.  see ya later, djb  P.S. When I go down for Mother's Day, I'll get a new picture of us.

Diane, GRANNY, Me  

Monday - April 25, 2005 - This morning, for some reason, this picture caught my eye.  Let me get some coffee and I'll be back with more chit chat. I can't remember the exact year, but I know it was after 1995 - maybe 1996 - that the coyotes put a contract out on Snowball's life.  One morning, I went outside to get the papers and he wasn't sitting in his usual spot in the chair on the deck.  I don't why but I immediately knew he was never coming back.  As they say in the movies, he was gone without a trace.  That's what is holding me back from letting Hobbes outside - the coyotes.  When people ask if their pets are in "heaven" when they die, I like to think that Snowball and Jarrett were reunited.  Might be silly but it does make me smile.  I have more news for later.  bye, djb

Jarrett holding Snowball

later (4/24) - This afternoon, I mowed the lawn - most of it anyway.  Last week, I discovered the most amazing gift in my back yard - a trillium that was growing near the wood pile!!!  They're a protected wildflower which means that you can't dig them up in the woods (where they usually grow) and transplant them.  I'm not sure what the consequences are but I'm pretty certain they're quite severe.  While we were in Kauai last year, we took a trip to the Allerton Botantical Gardens.  They told us that most of the flora in Hawaii came by way of the three W's:  wind, water or wings.  I'm not sure how my trillium came here but I'm quite thrilled.  Here it is below.  Have a nice day?  Yes, I did. djb

A rogue trillium  

SUNDAY - April 24, 2005 - For some reason, I have this weird fascination with Thomas Edison.  I don't understand it but I'm completely mesmerized by his life and his work.  When we were in Florida a few years ago, we took the boys along with Grandma and Grandpa on a tour of the Edison and Ford Winter Estates (next door to each other - I wanted to stay there forever).  Here's their website:   You can read about it and see the pictures.  The thing that amazes me is that these two men who changed the world * cars and lights * were friends.  Ford admired Edison and thought so highly of him that when he died in 1931, Henry Ford never went back to Ft. Myers - it was just too painful.  I always found that to be extremely poignant.  My favorite stiffly posed photograph is the one I'm putting in below.  Most people probably think, hmmm, bunch of old geezers.  But these were truly brilliant men who were obviously not normal individuals!  They never stopped thinking.  There's a picture somewhere (maybe it's on the website) of Edison and Ford (and maybe Harvey Firestone) on a camping trip!  It's hilarious because they're all duded up in their suits.  What a hoot.  I'll also put in the pictures I took of the banyan tree.  It's time to go outside and take the blankies off the flowers.  See ya later, djb  P.S.  It's still cold.

Ford, Edison, Firestone

Large roots.

Somewhere under here is where Andrew and Jarrett posed for the picture on the Casa page

SATURDAY - April 23, 2005 - When I turned on the computer this morning, I had a RED FREEZE WARNING flashing at me.  It's for tonight into tomorrow morning.  When I came downstairs earlier, it was 34 degrees (outside), and now it's all the way up to 36.  Of course, it's not unusual at all to have this type of weather - it's just kind of rude and annoying that we can't really do much of anything outside.  I have to get some more coffee and feed Hobbes (he started meowing at 5:30 a.m.!)  Since I'm getting so much positive feedback about the old, black and white photos from my loyal readers, here's another picture from the Wayback Machine.  bye for now.  djb

Howard, Gale holding squirmy Steve, Dennis, Granny standing, me sitting in the chair and Alan (I'm not sure WHY I was sitting in the chair and not my mother, but I suppose I called "dibs" first).  Summer of 1953 at the farm in Rochelle

early afternoon (4/22) - As long as we're going down RTHS memory lane, here's the famous picture of me when I worked at the high school.  To the best of my recollection, they took this picture for the yearbook.  have a nice day, djb

Donna Jean with her hands poised over the keyboard in the Counseling Center at RTHS - 1968

Eureka!  I found the picture I was looking for.  Here's Ginny's son, Chris, in front of Rochelle Township High School.  okay, djb

Chris in front of RTHS - July 1970

this morning - (4/22) - I got an email from Ginny this morning.  She had gone over to Rochelle yesterday to see the final demolition of the high school.  I didn't realize how much it affected me until I saw the pictures of my high school being knocked down to the ground.  Wow.  To my brothers who went to RTHS (and also Bergs).  Here's what you do.  Go to  scroll down to the bottom of the News box.  At the bottom, there's a link to More news.  Click on that and you go to the demolition story (plus, there's a photo essay with tons of pictures).  There are a lot of people mentioned whose names I know, but I don't remember them personally.  Avis knows everyone in Rochelle!  I always ask her when I want to know the scoop about someone.  Remember also that I worked at the high school counseling center (with Miss Parks) from January 1968 until September 1968 when I went off to go to Southern Illinois University for a year.  (And after I left, Ginny went to work there for a couple of years!!)   It's really weird to see those pictures.  They evoke long dormant ghosts from years gone by.  Seriously.  Ginny told me that Mrs. Thomas retired in 1981 and Mrs. Stotmeister is in a nursing home in Oregon, I think she said.  Mrs. Stotmeister was unbelievable.  Probably one of the best teachers we ever had.  Let me see what pictures I have of the high school.  I know I have one in here somewhere.  Well, I can't find it, so I'll put in the picture of Ginny with Andrew and me in 1987 at the mall in Galesburg.  bye for now, djb

Ginny, Andrew, Donna (two of us went to RTHS - class of 67)

Friday - April 22, 2005 - Snow flurries?  Wind chill?  Yikes.  It's just too much.  We do need the rain but snow - no, thanks.  They're supposed to be getting severe weather in southern Illinois today.  This morning I was thinking about that.  The experts in charge always say to watch the Weather Channel for changing conditions in your area.  Last year, I remember one time we were having 60 mph winds and hail (oftentimes hail precedes a tornado), and they reported that everything was fine.  Duh.  Of course, most of the time when we do have severe weather, the electricity goes off so that makes it a little difficult to watch the TV.  Last summer, when Florida had their hurricanes, I was glued to the Weather Channel.  Plus, they had the TV station in Orlando live on the computer.  That was extremely cool.  I'm always amazed when they stand outside to give their reports - not such a good idea.  Hopefully, we won't get this much snow.  See ya later, djb

Jarrett and Andrew standing in some snow flurries

Thursday - April 21, 2005 - The sun is shining this morning but it's 20 degrees cooler than yesterday.  It never did rain yesterday.  In fact, it was quite warm into the afternoon.  I went on a semi-large adventure to DeKalb and Sycamore.  Suffice to say that it was a sojourn into bizarro world on the way back home.  You're wondering what in the heck is she talking about.  I'll tell you later.  It is relevant.  It is interesting.  And it was kind of weird.  Maybe it was just my interpretation of the situation.  Could be that.  Did you see the picture of me from fifth grade (with glasses) on the Casa page?  What can I say!!  Not to change the subject but what about my flowers?  More and more tulips come out every day.  Although they are speaking of snow flurries Saturday morning.  I'm going to have to get some mulch when I go into town so I can cover the hosta.  They should know better than to come up this early.  Silly plants.  Here are some pictures.  We're very excited about the rhubarb.  It's growing like a weed.  Last year, it was HUGE.  Looked like elephant ears.  Julie already has already chosen her recipe for rhubarb crisp.  I have rhubarb crunch.  Who knew rhubarb would make a come-back one dayl.  Have a great day.  luv to you all, djb

The red and yellow tulips (and pink and orange) and a couple of dandelions

Front flower bed - one view


Wednesday - April 20, 2005 - It's kind of dark outside this morning, and it looks like it could start raining any minute.  Let me check the radar on Tommy's weather page.  I'll be back.  THAT was a long time ago.  It didn't look like we had anything coming our way but Tommy said that there was rain in DeKalb County.  So far, nothing here.  Last night, we met Rob Anderson at Fisherman's Inn.  We always enjoy talking to him.  After he left, Matt came by because Crystal was working upstairs where we were sitting.  They're such an awesome couple.  So young, yet so happy and in love.  It's very sweet.  We've known Matt since he was a munchkin.  Always playing sports.  Bob teased him about being a "ball hog."  He laughed about it.  The Coach told him to get the ball and get some points (all the time) because he was so good.  We also remembered that Andrew won the three-point shooting contest one year at the All-Star Extravaganza.  Matt was always the winner - except for that year.  I had to put in the picture of Jarrett with Hobbes by Andrew's tree because it's so big now that it's getting slightly out of control.  When I took this picture I asked Jarrett to stand next to it so we could see how tall it was.  Of course, I'm not exactly sure what year it was but it was sometime in the last 7 years (that's how old Hobbes is).  My work is done here. bye, djb

Front row:  Matt's on the left and Andrew's in the middle (I can't remember everyone else's name, but I do know which one is Matt Merfeld)

Here's another picture from that same year - we played basketball all winter long.

Since I put in two pictures with Andrew, I have to put at least one of Jarrett - he's holding Hobbes next to Andrew's white pine tree that is now 14 feet tall.  I'll take a picture of it. 

Tuesday - April 19, 2005 - They're showing all those pictures from the Oklahoma City bombing today - it's hard to believe that it's been 10 years.  It makes me feel so very sad not only for all those involved but for all of us.  God bless them.  I hope they're able to find some shred of peace to hold onto.  It's not easy to do.  When I came across these pictures of Jarrett this morning, I was reminded of the Power Point presentation that the girls put together for the funeral.  And I remember laughing.  Laughing at a funeral.  Isn't that amazing.  We laughed.  We cried.  Now, I simply enjoy looking at the pictures because they're all I have left.  And they still make me laugh.  (insert smiley face), djb

Jarrett - underwater - taken by Chad with the waterproof camera 

Monday - April 18, 2005 - We're going to get up to 82 degrees today.  THAT is my favorite temperature.  Who cares?  I do.  For some reason, I can always tell when it's 82 because it feels perfect.  Since I know that almost everyone who is reading this these days is related to me somehow, I can tell you family business:  Bob's going to the doctor at 8:30 this morning.  He had to do the fasting for the cholesterol and all the other blood work type tests.  Hopefully, all of the medications he's taking are doing what they're supposed to do.  Speaking of my lawn.  It is not shaping up.  I think I'll have to go into town and get some special medicine for grass.  I used to use Ringer a long time ago.  Maybe I'll try that.  Good idea.  I was looking for picture to put in here and I saw this one of Stacy and Andrew right before we moved from North Aurora out to Elburn.  It's so cute.  Andrew was 4 and I think Stacy may have been a year older.  I can't remember.  But on my Casa page, you can see that when we were younger, Andrew and I resembled each other.  Maybe he resembles the 3rd grade picture more than first grade.  It's time to go.  Hope you have a wonderful week.  May all your dreams come true.  xxoo, djb

Stacy and Andrew - what a couple of sweethearts.

Sunday - April 17, 2005 - It's about 1:30 in the afternoon.  I had to come inside because it started raining.  Yes, I have learned two things:  1) I won't melt and 2) don't run in the rain.  I'm so close to being finished cleaning out all of the flower beds - I'm simultaneously working on the last two.  What a pain.  What a labor of love.  Reminds me of the boys.  ha ha.  When I went to the grocery store, I bought 4 daylilies (don't tell Bob).  They're going into the boys' pond garden in the back yard.  We all know that I'm a plantaholic.  The funny thing is that I want to go back in and get some more.  Now, that's kind of a bit much even for me.  While I was in the rain, Brenda offered me some gigantic stone which I plan to use for a walkway in the back yard.  How exciting is that!!!!  I think it stopped raining, so I'd better get back to work.  See ya around, djb  P.S. While I was looking for a picture, I remembered that Judy had sent me a get-well card (isn't she sweet!!).  So, here we are together back in October 2003 at Rich and Sue's 40th wedding anniversary party. 

Judy and Me

Saturday - April 16, 2005 - It's already 52 degrees here and only 63 degrees in Orlando.  So, what does that mean?  It means that we don't have palm trees.  I've already walked around the block this morning!  That is so ambitious of me.  I have to get myself in summer shape.  This winter was devastating on my entire being - physical, mental, etc.....  Now, spring has sprung.  It's so wonderful.  Not to change the subject, but a lot of people say that Andrew looked like Bob.  I can't tell because my perspective ranges from so many years ago to now.  Here's a picture of Bob's family.  I think Bev might have still been in high school.  Speaking of RTHS, they're demolishing our high school.  We read in the Rochelle paper that they're selling bricks from the old building.  I don't think the girls nowadays appreciate the fact that we DID NOT have sports for girls while we were going to school.  NOTHING.  I'm sure there must've been something I would've excelled at.  We'll never know.  hmmmm  Interesting to ponder.  While I ponder, I think I'll go out and see what I can take into the Salvation Army truck that sits in the parking lot every Saturday in Geneva.  That reminds me, I wonder how Dave & Sue and Taylor & Lauren are doing (in Geneva!).  I'll have to call Aunt Gladys.  I seem awfully scattered today, however, my throat has finally stopped hurting.  Go figure.  Until we meet again, djb

Front: Grandpa (Glen), Jim, Bill, Grandma (Jewell)  Back: Bob and Bev (around 1967)     

Friday - April 15, 2005 - The picture of Jarrett on the Casa Page AND below was taken at this time of year probably in 2002.  You can tell it's April by the appearance of the daffodils in the background.  Yesterday, Chad and Price came over and took this rail to use for their skating enjoyment.  Don't really care what they do with it.  I'm glad they wanted it.  Plus, I had some hockey sticks, a puck and another rail and post that they could also use.  It makes me happy to see this picture.  Sad but happy.  I hear Bob rattling around upstairs, so I'd better go put his eye drops in.  It's going to be a beautiful day.  Happy, happy.  Joy, joy.  bye, djb    P.S.  Oops.  I went upstairs and forgot to post this to the web. see ya

Thursday - April 14, 2005 - April will be half over tomorrow.  Can that be possible?  I haven't even made my calendar for April yet!  That's right - times flies when you're having fun!!  (that's a joke)  This morning, I feel 100% better than yesterday.  Apparently, all of the medications I'm taking are having their intended effect.  My brain is starting to function again, too.  I figured out what I need - a dumpster!  Isn't that funny?!!  Yes, it is.  We have so much useless STUFF in the shed that has to be gotten rid of immediately.  If I have time to think about it, I'd keep everything.  Oh yeah, THAT's my problem.  My office/room/disaster area downstairs next to the computer room is a testament to my compulsion.  It's kind of like an archeological dig when I go in there.  Eureka!  I found these two pictures - one of Sadie & Diane (Aries) and one of Donna & Stella (Libras).  This is taking a very long time today.  I'll be back later, djb

Grandma Berg (Sadie) and Diane - December 1964

Donna Jean and Grandma O'Malley (Stella) - December 1971

Wednesday - April 13, 2005 - Sick, sicker, sickest.  I feel less bad tonight.  Since it's very boring to hear about other people's illnesses, I won't go into the details but suffice to say that these past few days have not been fun.  Just thought I'd say hi for a minute.  These are the pictures that were staring at me while I was resting on the sofa today.  Best of health to you, djb


The little weasels

Tuesday - April 12, 2005 - I slept all day. djb

Monday - April 11, 2005 - I'm sick. Congested, etc.  Must go rest, djb

Sunday - April 10, 2005 - I finally finished cleaning out all the flower beds in the front yard at 5:00 today.  The daffodils are gorgeous.  Some of the little munchkin tulips are blooming but the big tulips haven't done anything exciting yet.  As long as I was working, I felt okay - not great - just okay.  Now, I'm starting to fade fast.  I think it's pizza delivery night.  Bob seems to be not so bad.  He's still coughing but it's not the bad cough he had before.  I feel like I have a bad head cold and I'm kind of achy all over!  However, I did accomplish what I set out to do.  Not everything, of course.  Note to all novice gardeners:  NEVER plant peppermint or spearmint.  It's a nightmare.  Although they do smell good.  They never die.  If you dig them up, they grow back.  Here's a picture of the daffodils that reminded me of the boys.  That's all for now.  I don't feel so good.  bye, djb

These daffodils reminded me of Andrew and Jarrett  

Saturday - APRIL 9, 2005 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DIANE!!  The other day, I said that I was 15 years older than Diane, but that's not true.  It's actually 14.5 years (remember, I just had my half birthday a few days ago!).  This morning, I woke up a little before 4 a.m. with my own cough and sore throat.  At least, I have cough medicine in the house!  It was time for Bob's inhaler, so I went down and got that so he could do 2 puffs.  (Note to Irene:  Albuterol).  She always asks what medications we're using.  That's cute.  As for me, I have a good old fashioned cold.  sniff sniff.  That won't stop me!  I have to finish putting that sweeper together.  Here's my plan for the yard:  de-thatch (pick up the thatch with the SWEEPER), then aerate, then put down the Garden's Alive earth-friendly fertilizer, then use the heavy-duty roller.  Somewhere in there, I have to put down some grass seed.  I have a LOT of spots where the grass is not growing.  Last year, after getting the compost starter, I realized that I can't put the commercial fertilizers on the lawn because I'm totally against that because of the unknown, long-term, residual effects of the chemicals.  I don't think we should be polluting the earth.  When they put up those signs after they spray chemicals on the lawns, it scares the crap out of me.  This is our Mother Earth.  We should be nice to her.  Hey, isn't Earth Day coming up soon?  Maybe I am too sensitive, but one time Bob sprayed some dandelion killer on the front lawn.  The boys rolled around in it because we were watching the neighbor's fireworks and later that night, Andrew woke up coughing and couldn't breathe.  It was an allergic reaction to the chemicals.  Thank God, I gave him Benedryl.  So you see, THAT's what I'm talking about, Willis (hey, Jarrett!!).  Must go.  The hot coffee really helps my throat feel better.  bye for now, djb

Diane Marie (birthday girl), Granny, Donna Jean in March 2005

much, much later - April 8, 2005 - It's 10:20 p.m.  About four hours ago, I took Bob to the Emergency Room.  Before he got home from work yesterday, I was putting together a sweeper for the riding lawn mower (I de-thatched the front lawn).  Oh good luck!  It took me two hours to "almost" get it together.  Then, as I was picking up the bags of bolts off the driveway, I heard the distinctive cough of Bob while he stopped at the mailbox.  That was when I knew I had to take action.  I told him that we were going to the ER.  Get ready.  We spent 3 hours of sitting and waiting with the teeming masses of sickly and injured humanity.  Many young kids with possible broken limbs (arms, legs), a lady barfing in a pink kidney-shaped-plastic-hospital-type-Jell-o mold, a loud talker riding his wheel chair around making small (loud) talk with everyone, a kid behind me with a possible concussion, a baby who would NOT stop crying, a big guy who would NOT stop coughing, a Geneva baseball player on crutches with his leg totally wrapped (and I don't mean rap) and lots and lots of other sickly people.  The X-ray guy (Santiago) and I blamed it on the lunar eclipse.  Okay, so it's not totally 100% in the USA, but still the vibes are there.  You know, drop a pebble in a pond.  That sort of thing.  It took us 3 hours to get in and out of there. Three very long hours........


The most bizarre and interesting thing was that now (because of WACKY FEDERAL REGULATIONS) they're not allowed to use your LAST NAME when they call you into a waiting room (only your initial, like in AA).  They said it's because of PRIVACY.  However, the individuals who made up this wacky law have obviously never been in an ER waiting room.  Everyone (and I do mean everyone) is on their phone talking quite loudly about EXACTLY what is going on - their business is being shouted into their cell phone.  Privacy, my foot!  Enough of the soapbox, DJ, let's move on.  We took the prescriptions to Osco.  I've never been in this grocery store that late at night before.  It was kind of fun and very quiet - no crying babies!!!  So, Bob's diagnosis is bronchitis with some kind of spastic cough situation.  He had to get an inhaler (with a spacer).  And an antibiotic that starts with an X - no, I was wrong it's Z - Zithromax.  So, that was our big adventure.  Grandma Burkholder called while we were gone and thought that we had gone out to dinner.  I WISH.  I'll say two things.  What a night!!!!  It was very interesting.  Must go now.  Let me put in Grandma and Grandpa Berg's wedding picture as long as I'm doing a Sadie Retrospective.  Good night.  I'll be going to get a beer now.  Thank you, djb.


George and Sadie Berg

Friday - April 8, 2005 - Grandma Berg was born 111 years ago today.  Sadie Vesta, my dad's mother and my grandma.  During the seven years that we were on the farm, she and Grandpa lived next door in the house my dad built, and we lived in the big farm house.  There are so many memories.  As I recall, she was the one who would always say that hard work wouldn't kill you.  Another one was that you had to get your housework finished before 9 a.m.  She was quite a lady.  Chocolate chip cookies.  yum.  She could cook/bake circles around anyone else.  I've commented to various family members that she would've gone nuts using the microwave.  Imagine that!!   Wow.  God bless Grandma.  Keep those boys in line, Grandma.  If anyone can, we know it's you!  Here's a picture (kind of fuzzy) of two of her granddaughters and two of her great-granddaughters.  We think that Diane resembles her the most of any of the cousins.  Although you can see a family resemblance in the rest of us.  Okay, maybe not in this picture but it's there.  Bob went to work (full of cough medicine) and I'm cleaning, so I'll chat with you later.  bye, djb

Judy, Kathy (Granny in the back) Diane, Donna - sometime in the late 70's 

Sadie - a small version for comparison.

much later (4/7) - There's talk of allowing people in Florida to carry guns to protect themselves!  Yikes!  Sounds kind of wacky to me.  So, I had to go through my pictures and I came up with one of Dennis and me more than 50 years ago.  What can I say?   bye for now, djb

Dennis and Donna at least 50 years ago.  What a hoot!

still today (4/7) - Bob didn't go to work because the cough medicine made him woozy.  I'm pretty sure I have a cold (cold medicine makes me goofy).  Enough medical talk.  Now, to the important business.  Yesterday, I came across this bizarre looking plant in my yard.  Do you know what it is?  Don't look at the answer yet!  No, it's not endive. Last year, I made rhubarb crunch.  It was pretty good considering the fact that I've never made it before.  I've always shied away from rhubarb and I'm sure you know why.  Rhubarb - a scary plant.  Speaking of interesting websites.  I found a really cool website on The Ashton Gazette.  They have a link to the school district, then on that page, there's Mr. Toole's website.  It's a hoot!  I haven't gone too far into it, but it looks like fun.  Krissy, you should have Kylie look at it when you get your internet cable connection (you must be next on the list!!).  Maybe I can find some more weird things.  When Andrew was little, we always had to go out and look for worms.  yuk.  Time to go.  see ya later, djb

If you guessed rhubarb, you're right!

Thursday - April 7, 2005 - Yesterday, I was able to get Bob some prescription cough medicine.  I don't know how well it's going to ultimately control the cough, but at least, it makes him sleep.  I woke up before 4 a.m., and as I've always said, when I wake up I wake up.  Bob wasn't coughing but I  was.  It feels like a cold but since his is related to the flu, I can't catch it as long as he's not contagious any more.  At least, I don't think so.  Unless I'm re-catching the flu.  No way.  I can't even THINK like that.  Now that it's 80 degrees in Casselberry, maybe I can return to Florida and escape the germs.  Diane's birthday is coming up on Saturday - April 9th (good reason to go).  I remember when she was born.  I was 15.  It was one of those gorgeous, warm spring days.  In my mind's eye, I can still see the farm house, the trees, the gravel lane, the bus appearing out of nowhere over the hill from the east.  Henry Hutson would always honk his horn if we weren't ready.  Then, we'd have to stand in the aisle all the way to Rochelle if the bus was full.  But that's a detour on my memory lane.  It was very exciting to FINALLY have a sister.  Bob and Joan's kids called her "baby Diane."  Of course, Judy was called "baby Judy."  Somewhere, I have that black and white picture of both of us on the farm.  Let me try to find that.  Even Hobbes knows it's too early for me to be up and about.  He's not bothering me at all.  Okay.  I'll take some coffee.  Thank you.  Later..........djb  P.S.  It's about 5:20 and Bob isn't coughing.  I'm not either.  Oh great, now Hobbes is meowing.  Time for special food.  byebye

Baby Diane (totally without hair) and Me (the wind is blowing my hair - Please STOP IT)

Wednesday - April 6, 2005 - Bob spent all day in bed yesterday.  I have no idea if he'll try to go to work today because every time he talked yesterday, he coughed.  I tried to work outside as much as I could.  Last night, I heard that our flowers are two weeks behind schedule.  No wonder everyone is outside walking around the block.  We've been cooped up too long.  This morning, I see that our referendum for the schools passed by quite a few votes.  I'm glad that the kids will still have their extra-curricular activities.  Now, I wish that the people who worked SO HARD to get it passed would re-direct their energies toward changing the antiquated system in this state in the way that schools are funded.  When you think about it, our school system actually does pretty well with what they have - I mean, what they don't have!  It's crazy.  We try to help the youngsters with the Andrew and Jarrett Memorial Scholarship.  Of course, that's for post-high school but you can't get it unless you graduated from Kaneland High School.  That reminds me.  I'll have to go out to the high school in the next few weeks to get the applications.  That's fun.  Okay, here's the plaque that we have given out to 21 kids during the past two years.  It's time to get more coffee, take out the garbage cans and listen to Hobbes whine about wanting to go outside.....  He never gives up.  See ya later, djb

The space in the middle is where the recipient's name is printed

Tuesday - April 5, 2005 - Bob's home today.  He's completely and totally 100% unwell.  Still coughing.  He does have a doctor's appt. in two weeks.  That would be a long time to continue coughing.  Plus, his heart is broken because the Illini lost.  How unbelievable that they didn't win.  Really.  Seriously.  It makes no sense.  It kind of reminds me of the Cubs and the Bears.  Wait til next year.  Yesterday afternoon, I cut down all of the grasses in my flower beds..  That was a huge chore that left my arms and legs scratched up one side and down the other.  At least,  now I know I have adequate platelets.  So, I've got that goin' for me.  Here's a picture of the daffodils in the front yard a few years ago.  This is a lot later than April although I don't know exactly when it is because I NEVER put the date on anything.  I rely on my "mind like a steel trap" memory!  byebye, djb

Daffodils and white and yellow daffodils

Monday - April 4, 2005 - It's another gorgeous day.  Bob went off to work filled with medicine and more medicine.  You can only buy two bottles of cough medicine at a time (if it contains pseudoephedrine) because of the new law in Illinois to curb meth production.  sigh.....  So, that means I'll be going to the store this morning.  That's all right.  I need cat food for Hobbes.  That reminds me.  Yesterday, I was talking to Marc and Diana - my next door neighbors.  They told me that a few weeks ago (early morning) they saw two coyotes walking down their yard along the honeysuckle hedge (our yard is on the other side).  They were as big as German shepherds!  Yikes!  Double yikes!  Now for sure, Hobbes can't go outside.  He keeps howling but I can't let him go out there.  I can't trust him to come back in.  Plus, they saw foxes trying to get Lisa's ducks (long, weird story).  Hopefully, Bob will be able to rally to support the team tonight.  He's not bouncing back from this flu like he thought he would.  My other next door neighbor (Ron) had it for three weeks!  Pardon me, but I'm all over the place this morning.  I think it's the time change.  Since I put Andrew's picture on the Casa Page, here's an adorable picture of Karen and Jarrett.  I love her expression.  You know what I always say, miles to walk before I sleep.  byebye, djb

Jarrett and Karen many years ago  

later - (4/3) - It's officially spring.  Here is proof.  I spent hours in the yard picking up grass.  Tell me again why I like those long grasses.  Oh yeah, because they're so beautiful.  All right.  Back to work.  bye, djb

A little blue flower and munchkin sized daffodils

Sunday - April 3, 2005 - It's time to start a new page because it's now Daylight Saving Time.  At some point during the past few years, they changed it from Savings to Saving.  It doesn't sound right to me but you have to go along with it otherwise, you're an old fogey.  How do you spell that word?  Listening to the death watch for the Pope was very difficult for me on more than one level.  The blow by blow descriptions of his system shutting down.  I didn't really need to hear that - too many CCU memories come flooding back.  Then, the reason for his death was septic shock with a cardio-circulatory collapse.  That's what they've told me to watch out for:  SEPSIS.  It could kill me in a heartbeat because I don't have a spleen.  I'd rather hear about the happy going to Heaven part.  Spare me the details.  Too much death talk these days.  And you know, I'm not afraid to die.  That's not the problem.  I have the book, What to do When you are Dead.  It's quite interesting and very comforting.  I suppose some people might say, well, Donna, you seem to have this obsession with death.  Gee, ya think?  I've spent so much time talking about it and thinking about it these past two years.  If I don't talk about it, I'm in denial.  If do talk about it, I'm morbid.  Although, I will say this.  When I was flying back from Florida, the lady in the seat next to the window was worried about the plane crashing because of engine problems.  I told her that as long as I was on the plane, it wouldn't crash.  I told her, "I can guarantee it."  The man in the middle seat said, "God bless you, honey."   No, that won't happen.  That would be too easy.  Nothing in my life has ever been easy.  It always has to be difficult.  That's the way I learn my life lessons.  Oh yes.  The Illini won the game last night.  But I just had the weirdest thought - this is so bizarre.  Even the University of Illinois team has been touched by death.  Bruce Weber's mom died - she had a heart attack while waiting in line at the United Center to pick up her tickets.  Isn't that strange?  Okay.  So what is my lesson?  Is it that our life on earth is really very precious and we shouldn't take it for granted?  That we should live every day as if it might be our last day because there are things we can do here that we can't do once we're gone.  And we should be nice to one another.  Okay, that sounds pretty good to me.  I must be going now.  Here's a slightly familiar picture of Andrew and Jarrett - although I may have already put it in here before.  There are four in this series and I think this one is the best.  It's from December 2001.  bye for now, djb

Jarrett and Andrew in December 2001 - amazing to me that I still have both of those shirts.  I've given so many away but these still hang in the closet.  hmmm