Current Journal (May 1, 2005)

later - (5/31) - Okay, so the pump in the boys' pond is NOT working.  I'm an expert on pumps since I've always taken care of our fish tank pumps over the years and years and years that we've had tanks.  So, I'm off to Menard's to buy a new pump!  But first, here are some pictures I took in the yard this morning. bye for now. djb

Angels boys in the middle garden by the bench and the candles

Pink poppy - isn't it gorgeous!

Hobbes on patrol

Purple clematis

Tuesday - May 31, 2005 - This is the last day for this page.  I'm going to start a NEW journal page tomorrow.  If anyone cares!  June.  WOW.  How did it get here already?!  Oh yeah, a day at a time!  We're going to have an entire week of gorgeous weather - fantastic.  Denny and Avis came over yesterday afternoon.  They had gone to the cemetery to bring a planter for Andrew and Jarrett's grave.  That's what everyone used to do in the old days.  Decoration Day was THE day to decorate ALL graves.  I knew they were having a ceremony at the cemetery (say that 10 times), and they were kind enough to put pictures in the paper today.  There's a picture of Jessica's grandpa in there.  They had a photo of hundreds of people walking down Main Street in Kaneville to the cemetery.  When Jarrett went to preschool at KCCC, the kids would walk out there for exercise.  They have a tank there, too.  It was quite an exciting trip for the youngsters.  God bless all of our fallen soldiers.  May they rest in peace and watch over their comrades and keep them safe in the hell that is war.  byebye, djb

MY ANGEL BOYS - I put them in the middle garden in the front yard

later (5/30) - Zoe graduated from kindergarten.  Here's a couple of pictures.  I think they're so cute.  The kids in the front row sitting down, have their shoes off.  What a hoot!  I love the pink gown - it's so girly!!  see ya later.  It's still gorgeous here!!!!!!  djb

Zoe's graduation class (she's in the back row right under her name!) - shoes optional

ZOE - She's now a kindergarten graduate!!  Congrats!

Monday - May 30, 2005 - Memorial Day - used to be called Decoration Day when I was a youngster.  I looked up Memorial Day and there's a controversy about WHO came up with idea.  It started a few years after the Civil War (which I call the Uncivil War because that's what it really was).  Anyway, at some point, they said it doesn't really matter who gets the credit.  It seems to go to General Logan though.  My own memories of the day go back to the 1950's.  We lived in Kingston, I was a Brownie, and my brothers were Boy Scouts, on that day, we walked down Hwy. 72 to the Kingston Cemetery for a Decoration Day ceremony.  It's kind of amazing to me that I can still recall it all quite vividly.  Part of it is that we were allowed to walk on the highway, plus I also remember that it was quite WARM and very sunny.  It seems to me that it was a mile or more to the cemetery, and there was quite a big group assembled for the parade.  We were exhausted when we got there!  I'll have to go over there some day and see how far it actually is.  It probably seemed far because my legs were shorter in those days!

Yesterday afternoon, I went into Blackberry Cemetery and planted two more Stella d'Oros for the boys.  Everything's looking pretty good.  I realized that I have to get some baskets for the shepherd's hook.  Plus, I think it needs a little bit of mulch around the flowers.  Andrew's tree is absolutely perfect.  Jarrett's tree looks like it needs some vitamins.  Did I take a picture?  Well, no.  It was kind of cloudy and rainy all afternoon so I figured that the picture wouldn't come out very well and I certainly didn't want my camera to get wet.  They're having a Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetery some time this morning, so I'll probably go in a little later to check things out.  Okay, that's enough chit chat.   It's time to go outside.  When I got up this morning, the sun was shining (we were told that it was going to cold and rainy all weekend).  Once again, they were WRONG!!   And I'm glad they were.  Bye for now, djb

Frank Leigh (Pappy) and his grandson Bobby (Bob) at the gravestone of their ancestor who died in the Civil War (or as people in the south call it, "The War of Northern Aggression")  

Sunday - May 29, 2005 - I'm not writing anything since only a handful of people even came on here yesterday.  What's the point?  There is none.  That's funny.  See ya later, djb

Jarrett, Donna, Andrew

Saturday - May 28, 2005 - We had a tiny bit of rain last night while the sun was shining, so of course, we got a rainbow - but not just one rainbow, but a double rainbow.  Bob and I were at Hughes Creek eating dinner.  When we came out, we saw them.  The top rainbow is backward just in case you didn't know that!  (I just learned that recently.)  Instead of ROYGBIV, it must be VIBGYOR.  When we got home, Lindsay had left a message on the answering machine wondering if we had seen it.  She took it as a beautiful sign in the sky from Andrew and Jarrett.  Isn't that sweet?!  Yes, she is a sweetheart.  We're supposed to be beginning the cleaning of the swimming pool and the pond this weekend.  Rumor has it that we're supposed to be getting rain.  Right now, however, the sun is shining.  That means I have to go into town and get some provisions.  Hopefully, I'll get the mower back today.  The grass keeps growing and growing and growing.  Oh yeah, that's what it's supposed to do, I know.  BUT, when Hobbes walks through it, you can't even see his legs!!  See ya later, djb  P.S.  I remembered that Eric Mikowski was graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD yesterday.  How exciting for him.  Kyle told me that they were planning to attend.  I saw pictures.  It was extremely awesome but I didn't see Eric.  One of these days, I will get a photo of him to put in here.  In the meantime, here's a good one. bye...

Kyle and Andrew - Kabuki Boys

Friday - May 27, 2005 - It's quite cool this morning.  Despite my trepidations, Hobbes went outside.  When I went out to put some mulch on the roses yesterday, Bud was going to get his mail.  He said that he sees a RED FOX in the woods every morning.  Oh great!!  But I can't keep Hobbes in the house.  He starts meowing as soon as the sun comes up.  Hey, maybe that's what's waking me up!!  Anyway, I've asked Andrew and Jarrett to keep Hobbes safe.  If they can't do that, then I guess he'll be joining them.  What can I say?  That's the way I look at it.

We had a GREAT time last night at Kaneland Senior Honors Night!!  Our ties to the high school are tenuous at best now.  Since the boys aren't there, it's difficult to know what's going on.  I'm still mulling over applying to be a substitute teacher out there next year...  I'd do it only for one year because the kids that will be seniors in the fall are the members of Jarrett's class, and I've known a lot of them most of their young lives.  They have so much wonderful energy and enthusiasm - it's positively contagious - and that's in a good way!!  Maybe I'll type my speech on here on the scholarship page.  I had to write it out because this is the first year that I was fully conscious of what was going on.  The past two years were simply kind of fuzzy - especially the first year.  Bob and I totally enjoy giving these scholarships to the kids.  It's fun.  It's enjoyable.  I wish I had a million dollars so I could give them all one!  That's all for now.  I have to go check on Hobbes and the FOX!!!  see ya later, djb

Andrew and Jarrett - a couple of weasels!

very, very late - (5/26) - Here's one of the only good pictures I got tonight on my camera - other people were using it and I think they shook a little bit because a lot of photos are quite blurry!!!  We had a wonderful time.  I'll chat about it tomorrow.  I'm tired.  bye, djb

Bob, Andrew Wood, Donna - we gave this Andrew one of our scholarships.  He's valedictorian of his class, going to the U of I, and to top it all off, he has a very sweet mom!  Plus, he's quite a nice, friendly young man.  Best wishes to him at ILL - INI. 

and even a little later (5/26) - This morning events are going to make my hair turn white!  A little before 9:30, I looked outside and I saw a critter skeedaddling along the bridal wreath at the end of yard - it was a RED FOX running through the shrubs!!!!  Immediately, I called for Hobbes, but he didn't come right away.  I imagined the worst, of course.  After all, he did get in a scuffle last fall with what I thought was a CAT, but maybe it really was a fox.  holy moley.  Anyway, I can write this now because Hobbes just showed up outside and when I opened the door, he scurried inside as quickly as he could.  He seems a bit skittish so it's possible he met with the fox somewhere on his travels.  I checked him over and I didn't see any gashes or blood dripping on the floor.  whew.  Okay, hopefully, that's my last missive for a while.  mercy.  bye, djb

He looked like this - only he was moving very, very fast

a little later - (5/26) - I've been waiting for this dark purple iris to come out.  He is just awesome.  Every year, he amazes me.  So, as long as I was out there taking his picture, I decided to take some other photos, of course!  I can't help myself.  I love to take pictures!!!  ya think?  bye, djb

This is the one I've been waiting for - the deepest purple iris - simply gorgeous

The very purple iris - you can compare these with the one above - mercy!

Andrew's white pine tree - it's about 15 feet tall now

A light purple old fashioned iris

More Caesar's Little Brother

I think this is called snow in summer - it's so dainty

Purple spider wort

later - (5/26) - 8 a.m. - PROBLEM SOLVED.  whew.  It's a good thing I don't have to work for living.  God bless Bob for going out there every day and putting up with all of it.  Mercy.  bye bye again, djb

Andrew and Jarrett

Thursday - May 26, 2005 - Only 7 months until Uncle Ron's birthday! (You still have plenty of time to shop.)   It's cloudy this morning - I saw a few sprinkles outside.  They say that the sun will come out later.  Let's just hope that's the case.  Tonight we give out our Andrew and Jarrett scholarships at the high school at 7 p.m.  That's when the festivities begin.  I'm having a few PROBLEMS - Okay, make that one HUGE problem right now which I trust will be resolved BEFORE this evening, otherwise, I'll have a complete breakdown.  Then, I read my horoscope this morning - it did not bode well for Libras.  Yikes!!  Take a deep breath.  Bureaucracies take my breath away.  Have you ever been in voice mail HELL (a dark and scary place, as I'm sure you've all experienced at one time or another).  I spent part of yesterday afternoon there.  It occurs when you're trying to reach a real person and all you can get is a detached voice telling you to "leave a message and I'll GET BACK TO YOU!!!"   Back in the day when I was an exec sec, we didn't have voice mail, we had REAL PEOPLE answering the phones.  Quite a change nowadays.  Don't I sound like an old fogey?  A very frustrated and crabby old fogey, I might add.  That's enough for now.  I'm going to list the previous winners of the boys' scholarship on a separate page later on.  Right now, I have to check on Hobbes....he's out and about.  See ya later, djb  P.S.  Have a nice day.

Jarrett and Andrew

Wednesday - May 25, 2005 - It's another sunny day!!! woo hoo!  Krissy came over here to surprise me!  And surprise me, she did.  I was completely and totally taken aback when I saw someone coming up to the back door - I thought it was one of those meter readers.  But no, it was Krissy with all of her wonderful, snowflake wedding stuff.  VERY BEAUTIFUL.  Plus, I talked her into fixing my hair - it didn't take much talking but I did have to slip her a ten.  Just kidding.  (That's what's known in these here parts as a "Burkholder joke.") yuk yuk  Hi Boys!!!  Right now, I'm going outside to put RED stuff around my tomatoes.  I heard that it makes the tomatoes redder.  Seriously.  No, really, I mean it.  I'm not kidding.  See ya later, djb

FIVE HOSTA IN A TIRE (the fifth one is hiding in the middle of the other ones)!  No, I'm serious.

later tonight - (5/24) - I'm being disingenuous because I'm acting like I have nothing to say, when anyone who knows me even in the slightest, knows that I ALWAYS have something to say.  My problem is that I don't hear from people any more because they can all read about me and they don't have to write to me to ASK HOW I'M DOING because they know.  hmmm  A conundrum if ever there was one.  But, I'm getting over it.  Thank you for asking.  Tomorrow, I'm going to put on the names of the scholarship recipients from years gone by.  I can't find the list from 2003 but it's around here somewhere!  We're giving out 9 scholarships on Thursday night at the high school.  We're also giving two others to students from 2003 and 2004.  Why?  Because they deserve it that's why!  Remember:  capricious and arbitrary - that's our criteria!  Let me see if I can find one more flower picture before I turn this off for the night.  I'll see ya on the flip side, djb

The gigantic hosta behind the fence that needs painting - another chore - another day!    

Tuesday - May 24, 2005 - Still nothing to say.  I'll let my flowers speak for me. djb

Yellow iris, purple iris, white iris and daisies in front of Andrew's white pine tree

White iris with a bug on it in front of Andrew's tree

One of the first clematis to bloom

Dame's rocket and a golden spirea

The rhubarb is getting very, very large

Those leaves are as big as elephants' ears

Purple iris - another golden spirea in the background

Monday - May 23, 2005 - I really don't have anything to say.  later, djb

Andrew skipping

Jarrett balancing

Sunday - May 22, 2005 - I'm so tired.  It's after 9 p.m. and I'm finally getting on here.  Well, now I'm getting off!  haha bye, djb

This is what I did yesterday (I mowed the grass) and I had a situation develop - I drove next to a garbage bag and it got wrapped up in the blades.  Have nice day!

Saturday - May 21, 2005 - Yesterday, we received a completely unexpected surprise in our mailbox.  Don and Pat (Erickson), my cousin and his wife who live in Wales, sent us a book entitled, A Heartbeat Away - Finding hope after grief and loss.  How wonderfully kind and thoughtful of them.  It is packed full of all kinds of wise and comforting words from parents who have walked a mile in our shoes - or maybe I should say a kilometer!  One of the things I noticed right away is that the parental feelings after the loss of one's child are universal - they don't stop at a country's border.  We all share the same grief, anguish, heartbreak, sadness and despair.  Not that it makes me feel any better that they feel as badly as I do but it always amazes me when I realize that we're mostly pretty much the same with variations on our individual themes.  What can I say, but have a nice day.... bye, djb

Andrew and Jarrett

later in the pm - (5/20) - I've been out working with my shovel and some pond pebbles.  They're very heavy!  I'm putting them around the swimming pool.  It'll look nice when it's done but it takes a lot of time.  So, I guess it's worth it.  Meanwhile, down on the flower farm, I noticed the old fashioned yellow iris came out in the last few days.  It's good to see an old friend.  haha  Plus, I planted a row of forget-me-not flowers last spring, and they're absolutely gorgeous this year.  Must be going now.  I bought a new edger, have to try it out.  later, djb

Old fashioned yellow iris

Forget-me-nots - whenever I look at these, I think of Andrew and Jarrett!

Friday - May 20, 2005 - We had quite a wild thunderstorm yesterday afternoon.  The winds were said to be 60 mph in DeKalb County and I think they weren't that much less when they got here - those little seeds were blowing off the trees so that it looked like it was snowing.  The trees were getting blown every which way -  it reminded me of the hurricanes.  Plus, we had a little bit of hail throughout the entire ordeal.  It was almost scary except for the fact that it was over so quickly.  I was surprised at the small amount of rain we got.  Today, it's supposed to get clear and sunny later.   We HOPE so!!!!  That means only one thing - grass grows, lawn must be mowed.  This is all I can get on here for now.  I'm very tired this morning.  There was either an earthquake last night or someone was snoring quite loudly - I don't know which for sure but I think the latter.  haha  Here's one of my favorite flowers.  They started coming out in the last few days.  They're so dainty.  bye bye for now, djb

Siberian iris - Caesar's Brother - these are the early birds  

later - (5/19) - It was cloudy all morning - now the sun is coming out.  It's VERY humid - feels like Florida.  oh boy.  Here's another one of my gorgeous iris that came out this morning.  After I planted them, I realized that I had purple and white - Rochelle's school colors.  What can I say?  I'm loyal to you Rochelle High.  haha  see ya later, djb

White iris - isn't she gorgeous!?

Thursday - May 19, 2005 - We had an inch of rain last night.  Wow!  The grass is very happy about that!  According to Tommy Skilling, we have a rain deficit.  Not so good for the farmers but hopefully this little bit will help.  [Note to Grandpa:  I noticed the other day that the corn was just starting to come up.]  We have to keep an eye on the fields!!  It seems as though all of the fertile farmland around here is being turned into subdivisions.  I wonder where we're going to get our food in the future if all of the fields are paved over.  hmmm  Good question.  Maybe we can all have little victory gardens in our back yards.  Speaking of food, I did buy 5 tomato and 2 pepper plants yesterday.  Tomatoes are fairly easy to grow, but I NEVER have good luck with green peppers.  Sure, I can grow the hot ones, but how many hot peppers can a person eat?  That reminds me of the dares that Andrew used to take.  For example, eating the hottest of the hot peppers and acting like it wasn't burning his entire body!  Then, there was the yeast dare.  He would amaze and amuse everyone!!!  That's funny.  Yin yang - If I say something about Andrew, then I have to say something about Jarrett.  I always wondered where Jarrett got his ability to skateboard and roller blade and all that jazz.  The picture below explains it all.  bye for now, djb

Granny bustin' a move on her stroller - 16 months old!

Wednesday - May 18, 2005 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MILO.  Milo, the cocker spaniel is one year old today.  His mom, Krissy, is going to get him a beefcake.  What?  I thought that was what she said.  Maybe she was getting the beefcake for herself?!  We wish him many happy years of happiness and good health.  This morning was a whirlwind.  First, of course, there was all the garbage I had to take out.  I actually cleaned out the garage yesterday - not the ENTIRE garage, but quite a few parts of it.  Then, Jim came over with his big truck and front end loader and took away the burn pile - it took two loads.  It was HUGE!  We can only legally burn during certain specific times.  That leaves most of the year burn-free.  You can't imagine how happy I am to have that gone.  It was out of control.  Being an earth person, I do try to compost but some things take years to break down.  So, now I have a tabala rasa.  This morning, while was taking out the garbage cans and bags of stuff, I noticed that the deep purple iris came out.  It is my favorite (don't tell the other irises!!).  Well, you'll see for yourself when I put its picture in here.  It's quite striking.  Better go.  I have lots to do.  Let me go find a picture of Milo to put in here.  See ya later, djb

Milo - the birthday dog!

Deep purple iris

It's not a cornflower but something else - when I see the name, I say, "Yes, that's it."

Tuesday - Syttende Mai - May 17, 2005 - On this day in 1814, the Norwegian constitution was signed giving Norway independence from Denmark after its 500 year rule.  It's kind of like their July 4th and also a celebration of spring.  Liz's dad, Art Fenske, always said today is the first day that you can plant vegetables in northern Illinois.  Even though I'm half Norwegian, I'd never heard of that before Liz mentioned it to me.  However, being inclined to jump on any bandwagon that sounds even remotely interesting, I have embraced this day wholeheartedly.  Mainly because I like to say, Syttende Mai.  haha.  Liz and Ron won't be planting anything today.  They left for Barcelona last Saturday.  I'm not sure what day they were leaving on their Mediterranean cruise, but they were going to Greece and Italy for sure.  Wherever else, I can't remember and I didn't write it down!  They love their cruises.  Time to skeedaddle.  bye for now, djb

A couple of happy Norwegians celebrating Syttende Mai - Uncle Malvin and Aunt Gladys (1974)

Monday - May 16, 2005 - Wasn't it just May Day?!  Is it an illusion or does time seem to be going by faster than usual?  hmmm  It would certainly slow down if it were a bit WARMER!!!  I don't think it's ever going to get above "normal" this year. And hot?  No way.  I think global freezing is here in the midwest.  For sure.  There must be some good reason why it's so cold but I don't know what it is.  Weather talk - boring.  Sorry.  I operate at my optimum when it's 82 degrees and this cold weather is making me a little crabby.  Maybe I should have a nice day.  Thank  you.  It's before 5 a.m., so I guess that could be contributing to my lack of enthusiasm. 

Yesterday, I compiled the list of recipients for the Andrew and Jarrett scholarship for this year.  It's hard to choose this one over that one, but I implemented my arbitrary and capricious methodology and came up with a good group.  Bob agreed with my list.  The deadline for notifying the school is this Friday.  Ten days from this date is the Senior Honor's Night ceremony.  This is the class with which we have no connection except for the fact that some of the kids had a few classes with either Andrew or Jarrett.  Next year's class - Jarrett's class - will be the hardest of all, I think, because it'll be the end of it all.  Oh, I just remembered something.  Last summer, I was told by a so-called professional that I have trouble with "endings."  That does makes laugh!   Gee, I wonder why??  Hobbes is whining at me for some special food, so I'd better go feed the little rascal.  See ya later, djb


Yellow tulip - red and white tulip behind it and a former tulip next to it         

Sunday - May 15, 2005 - The Ides of May - I wish that picture of Irene and her dad was a little clearer, but it's the best I can do - it's been severely cropped - most of the picture is a huge building in the background!. [Note to Irene:  I'm so glad that you enjoyed seeing it.]  When I looked at it the first time, I just figured that was Uncle Guido on the left - or maybe a bodyguard?  haha  Send me your wedding picture and I'll put that on here.   Hey, I'm no Mitterando website, but I do have a LOT of pictures.  While I was in Florida, I downloaded the free Picasa2 program for Granny and Grandpa.  I wasn't sure what they were looking for in a picture organizing program, but lo and behold, they love it!!  A person has to have some kind of program that resizes the pictures, crops the pictures and generally or specifically fixes the pictures so they don't look goofy. These new programs are so user friendly that it's quite amazing.  This morning, I scanned some more old pictures.  I also took a picture of not only the first iris but also the allium.  They're such a cool looking flower.  It's getting late - better go.  see ya around, djb


Allium trio

From left: Steve in stroller, Donna trying to get down or up, Aunt Lucille, Alan, Grandma Berg, Howard (don't know where Denny is)   

late afternoon - (5/14) - Okay, so I had to mow the entire lawn again - this time at a lower level so that when I walk on it my feet don't disappear into the grass.  Picked up sticks, etc.  Stirred and watered the compost, etc.  Dug up some grass, etc.  Then, the winds came!!! yikes!  It was very windy.  Extremely windy.  Glad I got everything finished.  It just all takes such a long time.  The lawn looks good except in the spots where the grass is NOT growing.  I'll work on that another day.  Here's a picture below of Irene and her dad going into the church on her wedding day.  That was in September of 1974.  Grandma Berg went on this trip to New York before she went into the hospital.  At least, she was able to have one last enjoyable vacation.  That's all for now.  djb

Here comes the bride - Irene - isn't she adorable!!

later this morning - (5/14) - When I was in Florida, I happened to go through some old photos and brought quite a few back with me.  Here's some I glommed onto of Grandma Berg.  She always seemed to have little kids or babies around her!  Wouldn't she LOVE the sign language they're doing now with the little babies?  Or maybe she wouldn't have needed it!  That's a thought.  bye, djb

Grandma watching Steve in the wagon on the farm in Rochelle - 1953

Grandpa Berg, Howard, Alan, Granny, Grandma, Steve in stroller - 1953 Milk Day in Harvard, IL

Sadie holding Baby Diane - Christmas 1964

Ron in the little wagon, Diane on the little John Deere tractor and Grandma supervising - where else could it be but on the farm.

Grandma Berg, Granny and Grandpa in Casselberry FL sometime around 1973 or 74

Saturday - May 14, 2005 - For some reason, I woke up VERY early - with the clock showing a 5 for the hour.  When I wake up, I'm up for the day.  There's no going back to sleep.  When I was really sickly years ago, I could sleep for two hours every afternoon - out like a light.  That picture on the Casa pagina reminds me of how unaware I was of my pending doom!!  Smile and the world smiles back at you (hear that, Jarrett?).  Today is the anniversary of the day that Grandma Berg died - can it be 30 years ago???  Wow!  I think it is.  Because I graduated from Northern in 1974.  Then, I went to Aurora to teach in the fall that year, and that's when she almost died in September.  That just blows my mind - what a trip down memory lane - very bumpy ride!  Well, God bless Grandma (Sadie Ruth Vesta Berg).  I'd forgotten all about today being the day she died, so I'll get a picture of Grandma to put in here.  In the meantime, here's a picture in the front yard of Grandma and Grandpa Berg's house on the farm.  Now, you want to talk about OLD...this picture was taken about 54 years ago (I think that's what they call a semi-antique).  I'm the little munchkin being held by my cousin, Sonja.  What a hoot.  See ya in a little while, djb

Berg and Erickson Cousins - Brother Alan (lives in Arizona), cousin Don (lives in Wales), brother Howard (lives in Florida), cousin Roger (lives in Illinois), baby Donna (lives in the past), Sonja (lives in Texas)

ternoon - (5/13) - Because of the rain and the cool temperatures, the grass grew like a weed while I was gone.  I'm sure some people think that Bob should be out mowing the lawn, but he knows how much I love to ride the tractor so he doesn't try to weasel in on my fun!  Last year, when I broke my foot, he had to mow the lawn for the entire month of June.  I still remember when I got to get back on the tractor and mow it myself!  Even though I was carrying that book, There are No Accidents, to this day I haven't figured out WHY I broke my foot???  After I broke it, all I did was sit in my wicker rocking chair outside and feel depressed.  Plus, it hurt!  Okay, I did learn one thing, "don't run in the rain because you won't melt!"  It's so much fun to mow the lawn in the spring because all the birdies are out in the yard and the flowers are so beautiful.  The honeysuckle bushes are blooming right now.  When we first moved here, Bob counted them - 145.  It's too hard to figure out how many bridal wreath we have.  They'll be coming out soon.  I love spring!!!  Must be going now.  chat with you later, djb

Honeysuckle bushes

Raspberries - on the left you can the grapes

Isn't this gorgeous!?  It smells like Grandma Berg's roses that she had on the farm.

The rhubarb keeps growing and growing and growing.  We got the huge tire in the background for a sandbox (never used it).  I decided to put some hosta in it.

A Robin in Illinois!

later this morning - (5/13) - After reading Colleen's post to the guestbook, I remembered that I had pictures that were taken at Alice's.  When I was the coach in 1994 and 1995, we would always go to Alice's for ice cream after each game if we were playing in Elburn.  Somewhere, there's an awesome picture of a strawberry dipped cone - I'll have to find it.  The picture I was looking for is the one that I'm putting in below.  It appears that there's no ring on Denny's finger so I'm guessing it's before they got married.  There's a lot of hair in this picture that somehow disappeared over the years!!  haha  Just kidding.  It's fun to look back and see how cute we all were!  One thing that I noticed as I was going through the old pictures was that the quality of the pictures in the 1970's was extremely poor compared to other years.  Not good color and what color is there has faded.  Must have had something to do with the moon being in the 7th house....the Age of Aquarius.  Someone knows the answer to that but it isn't me.  Better go.  Have a lot of things to do today.  Say hey, djb

Avis and Denny - don't they look young?  Probably 1973

FRIDAY THE 13th of MAY, 2005 - Good luck to you all today!  It's hard to believe that it's already Friday.  As the kids would say, "seriously."   The picture that I want to put in here is upstairs.  Let me get this up and running with a picture from last summer, and I'll be back with a golden oldie!  see ya sooner, djb

Bryar riding on Shamu in the pool last summer

even later (5/12) - While I was putting the flower pictures on here below, I found the birdies and other critters I encountered at the Bergs' house.  It's like a wildlife refuge in their back yard.  Here's a few pics.  I altered their color (made some MORE colorful) just for fun (and because I can!).  bye, djb

Monk parakeets who just happened to drop by one afternoon to have some food at Grandpa's bird feeder - aren't they cool?!

Mr. Cardinal on the grass

Mrs. Cardinal on the fence

Blue jay's backside - taken through the screen

Squirrel climbing down from the BIRD feeder - also taken through the screen

Lorenzo - Granny's pet lizard

later this very same day (5/12) - Okay, so you've heard of jet lag.  I don't really have that - what I had was one cup of coffee after 8 p.m. last night.  yawn....  Below are some of the flowers that I saw in Florida.  Flowers news from Illinois:  the irises have their blooms up and poised to blossom; the dame's rockets are starting to bloom; some of the allium are blooming and the honeysuckle bushes are coming out (that deserves a picture).  It's very exciting.  Right now is what I always call the blue period - all of the blue and purple flowers seem to come out simultaneously.  I can't remember what comes next!  Maybe white.  Yes, I think that's right.  The white irises and the white early daisies.  see you later, djb

The gardenias were in bloom and they gave Granny and me severe allergy attacks! 

One flower of the hibiscus I gave Granny for Mother's Day

My new favorite plant - the Sky Vine (you can see the wave petunias in the background)

Thursday - May 12, 2005 - Boy!  May 12th sure got here fast!!!  This morning, I got a call from Granny and she told me that my cousin, Richie's visitation will be tomorrow.  It was in the Northwest Herald which I can't access right now.  Richard (Richie) Powers was killed while riding his motorcycle in Nashville, TN, on his way to attend a celebration in honor of his daughter's husband receiving his doctorate.  It happened last Friday, May 6.  I haven't seen Richie since my Uncle Jerry died but every time we met, he was always happy to see me.  We were the same age (he was about 10 months older than me).   In the picture of the Powers' family on my Casa Page, the only ones still alive are Anne, Mary and Pat.  God bless Richie, John, Opal and Jerry.  May he truly be at peace now.  You never know when your own time will come.  Be nice.  Enjoy today.  Well, I have a lot to do, but I'll be back.  Not sure when.  bye for now, djb


Richie and Mary with Lassie - probably 1958

Wednesday night - May 11, 2005 - It's tomorrow in Florida, but it's still Wednesday in Illinois.  I got back around 11.  The most amazing thing happened to me.  My bag came out with the first group.  That NEVER happens.  It was so exciting.  Last time, I got home at midnight.  Bob got me some Lois Hill jewelry for Mother's Day.  There's a long story but suffice to say that I'm thrilled.  Her stuff is awesome.  I lost my silver earrings in Florida this afternoon.  Then, I come home and I have MORE Lois Hill jewelry.  Synchronicity, I think.  Now, I'm tired.  Nighty night, djb  P.S.  I had a wonderful time in Florida, and I have pictures to prove it!

Hobbes was GLAD to see me. 

even later than before (5/4) - I called Granny to say hi and she asked about the lilacs, so I took a picture.  She informed me that the GARDENIAS are just starting to bloom at their house.  When I was in high school, we always had to wear a corsage whenever we sang in the chorus in front of people.  Guess what flower I always picked?  Yes, gardenia.  I love the way they smell. mmm  So, I decided to also take a picture of the tulips out back in the boys' pond garden.  Then, I decided to take a picture of the pink parrot tulips that got zapped by the cold.  None of the others had a problem.  I also had to take a picture of the pink flowering crab.  They're all so pretty and they smell so good, too!!  byeeeee, djb




The back yard - which was mowed yesterday, thank you.

even later (5/4) - If you're a mother, have a happy Mother's Day.  That's where I'll be on Sunday, with MY mother.  In fact, let's just put a picture in here now of Granny Irene, Mary, Diane and me at Christmas.  See ya'll in a week, bye. luv, djb   P.S. I'll be talking "southern" when I get back!

Irene, Granny, Donna, Mary, Diane in front - the usual suspects! 

later today (5/4) - Since I won't be here on Mother's Day, I thought I'd put in some things I found in the archives of my life.  that's right, djb


Andrew made this card for me in 1994


Jarrett's kindergarten class made a cookbook for their moms on Mother's Day 1994

Wednesday - May 4, 2005 - I just noticed that yesterday I typed MARCH 3 instead of MAY 3.  What would Freud say?  hmmm   I'm working on a little project that I'll put in here later, but I know that some people come on here early and check to see what's up.  Actually, not much yet.  I have to take out the garbage cans ASAP.  Oh, that reminds me that I have to walk past the tulips with their heads hanging low.  Too sad.  It was 30 degrees when I got up this morning so it wasn't quite as cold as yesterday (21 degrees in Aurora Tuesday morning).  But the Aurora Airport is really in Sugar Grove which is closer to us.  Because I'll be gone for a week, I have to take care of all my real and imaginary business today.  This morning, I remembered that I have to water the plants at Andrew and Jarrett's grave.  Then, I decided that I should clean the stone since I haven't done that yet this year.  Whenever I go in there and do that I always say to them, "I'm ALWAYS cleaning up after you guys."  It makes me laugh.  It is time to get my skeedaddling shoes on because I have a LOT to accomplish today.  That's right, mister.  This time tomorrow, I'll be up in the AIR.  see ya later, djb

Here's the back yard yesterday afternoon after I mowed the entire lawn - took 2 hours.  Still working on the boys' pond.  Have to get rid of that bench on the right.  You can see one of the angel statues.  Of course, the tulips are gorgeous.

Tuesday - May 3, 2005 - With all this Mother's Day hype around, I'm finally beginning to crack.  You might think it's just another Hallmark holiday.  Apparently, you're NOT a mother and certainly not a mother of saintly boys.  Everyone wants recognition - especially mothers.  Some of the most precious things I have are those goofy little plaster of Paris suns, smiley faces, etc. that were made by everyone in the class for their moms.  I wonder how many moms still have theirs???  Why would I go to a store and buy something made by an artist I don't even know when I can put Jarrett's yellow sun on my wall?  A yellow sun made for me.  I keep trying not to cry and not feel sad but it's always there - just below the surface.  Maybe I'm trying too hard to suppress it.  Maybe I'm trying to conform to someone else's idea that I should be OVER IT!!!  Besides, I have a mother, and I'm going to see her on Mother's Day.  I keep reading that the best way to deal with grief is to do something for someone else.  hmmm  probably a good idea.

Yesterday, Shawn stopped by in the afternoon to chat with me.  I can't help but think that she would have been very good for Andrew as far as being a stable influence in his sometimes unstable life.  They had such a short time together.  I still remember her in the CCU holding Andrew's hand and saying, "Doesn't he have beautiful hands?"  She didn't use the past tense.  It was one of the most poignant memories I have of that horrible time.  Plus, I still remember that apple pie she made for us - it was so delicious and still warm!!  After Shawn left, I knew that I had to bundle up and cover the hosta.  Before I got a chance to get started, the doorbell rang.  When I opened the door, what should greet me but the smiling faces of Elliot and Jay.  My little buddies!  I told them to go around to the garage and I was going to open the door.  What was I doing?  Covering the hosta.  Okay, they'd help me.  It was much more fun with those two guys dragging the sheets over the plants and cracking jokes.  Then as we walked back to the driveway, Jay had to grab the net on the basketball hoop.  Hey, you guys want to play horse?  Sure.  (I knew I could beat them - I'd beat Jarrett about 50% of the time.)  I get to go first.  Okay.  You have to shoot it exactly as I do.  Okay.  Oh no, not the GRANNY SHOT.  Yes.  That's my favorite shot.  I rarely miss.  You already know that I beat them little guys.  They didn't care.  I think the fact that I offered to play horse with them probably was amazing enough.  bye, see ya later.  I felt happy after that.  Imagine!   You never know when you're going to get a surprise gift of  two boys knocking at your door!  Have a happy day, djb

Jarrett and Andrew - February 2003

later - (5/2) - Here is the red tulip that would come up every year for years and years behind the fence all by itself.  Every year, I took its picture.  Good thing I did because it didn't come up this year.  Apparently, it was eaten by a critter.  That's the only explanation I can come up with.  I always marveled at its tenacity.  bye, djb

Monday - May 2, 2005 - It's so COLD here, I can't believe it.  I know I'm ALWAYS talking about the weather, but I spend most of my time outside during the spring and summer months so it does affect me directly.  Once again, when I turned on the computer this morning, I was visually assaulted by a FREEZE WARNING for tonight.  One good thing is that I'm still in Illinois so I can take care of putting covers on the hosta - glad I didn't take the sticks out of the ground since they keep the covers from smushing the hosta's leaves.  The other good thing for Bob is that it's going to warm up once I leave for Florida so he can play lots of golf while I'm gone.  So we've got that going for us!  That reminds me.  Last night, I called Uncle Bergy to see what time he wanted me there this morning for his installation situation.  Apparently, there was some sort of fly in the ointment with the business of the city (blah, blah, blah), so I'll go out west another time.  He needs a consultation on what perennials to get for his yard.  That's always so much fun.  He said this spring he really noticed how gorgeous HIS tulips were (the ones I planted at their house a few years ago) and then as he was traveling around town, he'd see other ones and then marvel at how striking they were.  Something he hadn't really noticed before.   STOP and smell the roses (or the tulips)!!!  That's what I always say.  No, really I do.  I've spent WAY too much time here this morning.  Seriously, I have miles to walk before I sleep.  Even my horoscope said that I was going to be busy today.  There you go.  The stars have spoken.  bye for now, djb

P.S. Note to Bob:  I'm going to make my calendar for May right now!!!!!

Jarrett's in the swing, Andrew's in front and Bob's saying HI (either that or he's yawning) in North Aurora - May 1990

This is our kid-friendly backyard in North Aurora.  Jarrett's in the foreground in the middle of the picture.  Andrew is coming out the door.  I'm reflected in the sliding glass door.  This was taken just before we moved to Elburn 15 years ago next month.  

Sunday - May 1, 2005 - I've been working on editing the prom pictures so I can bring them over to Julie this afternoon.  They're so cute!  The weather was a little iffy yesterday although we did have sunshine for most of the pictures..  Quite windy though.  Hopefully, they all had a good time.  After that, we went into Elburn to Lion's Park to attend the benefit they were having for Chuck and Mary Liss.  They both lost their left legs in a freakish motorcycle accident last fall.  In fact, I 'd forgotten all about this but when the Bergs went to 9:30 Mass the morning after their accident, they were asked to pray for Chuck and Mary because they were in critical condition at that time.  They have certainly come a long way.  Of course, we all know that at some point, insurance costs become unmanageable and more than astronomical.  (Let's see, one day of IVGG 7 years ago was $14,000 - that's a big YIKES!)  Enough about the bad old memories, it was like Elburn Days last night.  Hundreds of cars parked in the baseball outfields, hundreds of people milling around.  When we first got there we didn't see many people that we knew.  Of course, the lady who was selling tickets recruited Bob and me to work in the hot stand at Elburn Days this year.  We're in, honey!   It was so much fun last year.  Plus, we had to eat some of the rejects.  (The pork chop sandwiches are to die for, plus the hot dogs and the brats were also quite delicious.)  Then after a while, we saw Jim and Sue and most of our other neighbors outside at the auction.  It was very cold to begin with and very, very cold when we left.  Earlier in the evening, while we were eating, they said that this is what we do in Elburn.  When someone needs help, we help them!  Of course, I always remember the wonderful, anonymous outpouring of numerous acts of kindness that were bestowed upon us two years ago.  It seems as though everyone in town helped in some way.  They say, "It's what we do here."  God bless them all.  See ya around, djb  P.S. I put in a picture of the kids last night, but here's another one, sort of like the other one, only different.

The kids