Current Journal (July 1, 2005)

Sunday - July 31, 2005 - Okay, I'm back but I had to water the flowers so that took a long time and now it's late.  Well, I also had to put some more water in Andrew and Jarrett's pond.  I'll be back tomorrow to chat.  It's still summertime.  See ya later kids, djb

Kyle and Andrew - one hot summer night with nothing better to do than to put white stuff on their faces and red stuff on their hair - but they were bored.  Yes, I love this picture.


Saturday - July 30, 2005 - Gone but not forgotten.  I'm on a short hiatus.  If you don't know what that means, check the dictionary.  That's what I used to tell Andrew and Jarrett.  I'm so funny.  bybybye, djb

Friday - July 29, 2005 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BEV!

Krissy and Bev on our deck - notice the oversized rain gauge! 


Thursday - July 28, 2005 - It's supposed to be 82 today (perfect), but right now we have a cloud cover which isn't visible on the map.  hmmm  There's some sun.  Now, it's gone. Now, it's back!  I haven't really said anything about the space shuttle, Discovery, because I'm not a scientist just an observer so I don't understand any of the technical stuff related to the problems they've been having.  It makes me very nervous for all of them.  Every time a shuttle or a rocket is launched, I know that the Bergs are out in their front yard watching it go up.  I've been there to see various rockets get thrust into the sky - quite exciting.  Can't even imagine being over at the Cape.  Wow.  I just remembered something.  We were in Florida when one of the shuttles returned from space.  I remember the sonic booms.  It was quite amazing.  Right before Andrew was born, the Challenger exploded.  I sat in the rocking chair glued to the television coverage.  That was 19 years ago, we didn't have the instant access to everything in the world technology,  so it was almost like watching it in slow motion compared to nowadays.  (Old people like to use the word nowadays!)  I certainly wish them well on their sojourn into space.  What an adventure.  So many people have worked long and hard to make it a success.  Plus, I totally enjoy the fact that the commander is a lady - a very smart lady!!!  No, I'm not going to say, You go, girl!  hahaaa  But she did flip that baby around so they could take pictures of the damage.  How cool is that? 

Well, back to earth.  As I was going through my photos, I came across this picture that I DID NOT TAKE.  Imagine that!?  This was at that golf tournament that they have every year for the youngsters at the various golf courses in the area.  It was fun to see Andrew participate in it.  There's always another picture - always another memory.  Well, it's time to get going.  I do have to water all of flowers again today.  see ya later, djb

Milo, that Batavia kid, Stephen, Andrew - at Pheasant Run in St. Charles

later today - 7/27 - I had to mow the grass - okay, so it wasn't grass, it was weeds and dead grass.  But now it looks better.  When I went into Elburn. I stopped at the boys' stone.  It made me cry today.  I never know when I'll cry....that's the weird part of all of this.  I want to cry right now.  I just miss them so much.  It puzzles me beyond my comprehension why people don't cherish their alive on earth children more than they do.  I loved my boys so much.  They were my life - my reason for getting up every day.  My reason for living.  I don't know why they died.  I'll never know until I die.  We're almost becoming inured to death in our family.  I'm sure some people are gasping.  In three and a half years, we've lost 5 of our family members.  You tell me how to act....and maybe I can follow your advice.  I know there are some people who can't read this website because they think it's too sad.  Gee, how the hell can I come on here every day and do this.  How sad do you think I am?  Yeah, pretty darn sad some of the time, but not most of the time.  So, I honor their memory by doing this because I loved them.  They were such little weasels most of the time. I had to think fast to deal with them because they were so smart.  But I'm a weasel, too.  Now, that makes me laugh.  When I think about Grandma being gone, I think that they were there to welcome her to wherever they all are.  Heaven seems too trite for me.  It's something better than the Heaven we've been told about.  It's way more wonderful and fantastic.  Can you imagine how happy they all are?!  They don't have to deal with any of the earthly nonsense any more.  Everything is beautiful.  Everything is peaceful.  Love abounds.  What a great place to be.  Now, that makes me feel better.  It's time to go.  God bless all of you reading this, djb

Jarrett, Me, Andrew - our last picture together - who knew?

Wednesday - July 27, 2005 - It's downright COLD here today - about 40 degrees less than it was Sunday.  That's so silly.   I noticed that our neighbor was watering his grass this morning.  That's even sillier.  If the grass in the front yard doesn't come back to life, I'm going out there and plant flowers.  As Jarrett would say, "grass is for losers."  hahaaaa  That makes me smile and laugh.  I'd love to stay and chit chat, but I have to go to the post office.  Plus, I want to check on the boys' flowers at the gravesite.  Yes, I know they got rain but I'm sure there's some pruning to be done.  I know for SURE that there's a LOT of pruning, mowing, etc. to be done in our yard here.  It's a weed-filled nightmare in the back yard.  Why shouldn't people don't grow weeds in their yards because while we had the drought, the only things that grew were the weeds.  I'm not sure what I want to put in here, so I'll go look for something cute.  The boys eating sweet corn.  That's so cute.  Of course, this year, we may not ever get to eat sweet corn because of the drought.  That's a bummer.  I totally LOVE sweet corn.  Just ask anyone.  haha    later, djb


Andrew eating sweet corn

Jarrett eating sweet corn

Tuesday - July 26, 2005 - It was not as hot yesterday - not even close, but the pool was still warm.  In fact, it felt warmer yesterday than it did on Sunday which was good because the girls came over to take care of some "business" and also go swimming.  Bryar went down the slide but I didn't get her picture.  So, that reminded me of many years ago (19 to be exact) when I had taken pictures of Bob and Bev and their kids.  Here are some pictures taken in August 1986.  I think Andrew must've been taking his nap.  There is a picture somewhere around here of Bob holding Andrew while Bob Paul is saying hi to them both.  I'll find it some day.  They're back finishing up the road today.  It's a hubbub - but NOT in MY driveway, thankfully.  I have more to say but I want to get some other things accomplished and then I'll be back later.  see ya, djb

Karen at the top of the slide

Krissy on her way down the slide

Bob Paul enjoying the pool.  Notice the water coming down the end of the slide.

The Paul Family enjoying an afternoon in our pool in North Aurora

Dan's in the pool, Tim's in the middle, Karen is pondering behind Tim and Krissy is airborne

The Paul Family (Tim is avoiding the camera) still in the pool - still having fun!

Karen with Bev and Bob floating on a sunny afternoon

I like this shot - it's either Krissy or Karen splashing after going down the slide

Monday - July 25, 2005 - It was 104 degrees in Chicago yesterday.  I don't know what the official temperature was in Aurora (which is really Sugar Grove, which is closer to us than Aurora) but I'm sure it was as HOT.  We didn't really feel the heat because the pool temperature was around 84 degrees.  If you were in the swimming pool, you were quite comfortable.  I like to say that it's refreshing.  I'll try to put some more pictures in here later, but I want to take care of some business early (it's 6:15 a.m. right now).  See ya later, djb

P.S. Grandpa and Granny's computer got sick yesterday - might be a virus - might be something else.  Howard took it home with him to fix it.  So, Bergs won't be reading this.  You might want to write them a letter or give them a call since Grandpa is already going through wwwithdrawal......

Our little mermaid

Bryar walks on water....

Bryar is exhausted! 

Sunday - July 24, 2005 - This is where we spent the afternoon.  Here's a picture of someone having fun. bye, djb

Hey, everybody jump in the pool!!  (Bryar was the first one in.)

Saturday - July 23, 2005 - It's kind of humid and overcast and also very still outside.  The weather radar shows storm clouds headed our way, but before they get here, they fall apart.  I did water the flower beds out in the front yard because I didn't get to it yesterday what with all of the commotion in our driveway - it still looks good this morning.  Very solid!  When I was reading the newspapers this morning, I noticed two things that piqued my interest.  One was an article in the Chicago Tribune about the Akkadian language - only 200 people in the world can read it.  No one can speak it because they don't know HOW.  It's quite interesting if you think that Mesopotamia is interesting!  ha!!  If you want to read about it, click on Nation/World on their website.  I had to register AGAIN, but every once in a while they make register again!  At least, it also gets me into the Orlando Sentinel, so that's good for me because I like to read what's going on down in the sunshine state every once in a while.  I do NOT like their new website.  It's not particularly user-friendly as far as I'm concerned.  Port Charlotte Sun has a nice website.  The website for Rochelle's newspaper - forget it!  They never update it.  I did ask Trisha to please look into that for me.  Ever since then, it's gotten worse!!!  (now that makes me laugh)....... later this afternoon - I did check the Rochelle paper just now and it is full of news!  hallelujah!!!!  Maybe Trisha did something after all.  Thanks to her.

Plus, I read that the White Sox have the best record in baseball.  I'm more of a fan of T-ball and baseball for kids than for the overpaid professionals, however, that news reminded me of the time Andrew was a "Celebrity Bat Boy" for one game for the White Sox back in August of 1993.  It had something to do with Eby and Milk Duds [we knew Les Shankman who owned Leaf Candies (makers of the Duds) not once but twice and his wife Sugar - appropriate name for the wife of a candy company owner!].  Al Palma's daughter, I think it was Allie, was also a Bat Girl.  We got to go into the stadium early - before anyone else.  It was a hoot!  Though, the players were less than accommodating to the youngsters.  That was the only disappointment.  You'd think they could sign their names on a baseball for a little kid.  But it was a lot of fun, we got free food and they escorted us all over the place.  Here's a few pictures from that day.  Got some good long distance shots because I used my telephoto lens.  Better go check the radar again.  Talk to you later, djb

Andrew wearing his bat boy shirt and holding his bat boy bat on his shoulder


Here's the group - the Burkholders and the Palmas sitting on the dugout

Jarrett walking down the steps in the empty baseball stadium

Jarrett (not smiling), Bob (smiling) and Andrew (doing the almost fake smile with eyes averted)

Andrew liked Frank Thomas (no. 35)

later this afternoon - (7/22) - Well the cracks are gone!  When I look through my old pictures, I notice ALL of the cracks.  Kind of sad.  Jarrett would totally LOVE the driveway now - he could skate up and down with no interruptions of crackiness.  Now, we're getting ready for Sunday's high temperature of 100 degrees - maybe higher!  It's a heat alert.  What did people do before they were alerted about everything that might possibly happen???  duh.  I guess we had to fend for ourselves!  What an awesome task.  Okay, here's a selection of a few more pix.  Everyone was all excited about the green bug.  I thought it was a leaf that was stuck to the garage.  I don't know WHAT it is, but I hope it's not a locust!!!  All righty, I must go out and swim in the pool - THAT's my job!  byebye, djb

Heavy duty roller is rockin' and rollin'

At the end of the drive

The finished driveway - that's some kind of liquid (maybe water) that sprays out when they use the roller

Green bug that's attached to our garage right under the huge sodium light that's on all night!

 Friday - July 22, 2005 - There's a flurry of activity around the neighborhood.  They're resurfacing everything in sight.  Of course, they had to come back and rip some of the asphalt out of our driveway because things are never as easy as they appear at first glance.  I haven't been out for about an hour but once they put the new driveway in, I'm stuck here for a few days because I'm leaving my car in the garage.  I'll just walk over to one of the neighbors if I need a ride to go somewhere!  haha   Let me go see what's happening and then I can put a picture in here of the activities that are going on.  Of course, you can just imagine what the smell is like.  That asphalt smell always reminds me of summer.  Isn't that weird?  Maybe not, because that's when they always redo the roads!....(time lapse of about 10 minutes).... I'm back from checking things - the pictures below are what I saw when I went out into the garage.  be back later with more, djb

The road paver doing its thing - it's VERY, VERY hot out there!

Here's the road paver in our driveway - it's quite awesome to see in person

As he drove down the driveway, he "just" missed the hoop by inches!  Thanks boys!

later this afternoon - July 21, 2005 - I forgot to mention that it's Alyssa's birthday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALYSSA!!!  She's 9 years old today.  Last week, Aunt Diane had her come over and swim in her swimming pool....such fun.  I love that pool.  Although I think that the summer rains take their toll on the pools in Florida.  Hard to keep the chemicals balanced when it rains every single day. 

Andrew and ALYSSA at Christmas in Florida 2001 (Patrick's off to the right)

MEDICAL UPDATE:  This just in from Erin...  Sable came through her surgery with flying colors.  whew.  We're so glad.  She was kind of groggy until Erin and Scott came in to get her and she perked right up!  Oh, little Sable....  Thanks for your help, Jarrett.  We know you were watching over her. 

Jarrett holding Sable a few years ago

DRIVEWAY NEWS:  They're going to resurface our driveway tomorrow morning at 8 a.m.  Now that is very exciting.  We aren't supposed to drive on it for a day.  It'll be so nice to have it crack-free.  Better go.  see ya later, djb


Jarrett on our CRACKED driveway - you can tell it's fall because of the pampas grass

Thursday - July 21, 2005 - I think today is the full moon so be careful out there.  If people are acting stranger than usual, that's probably why.  Last night, Krissy sent me some pictures that she took at our house while her mom was still here.  A weird thing happened though, they all won't save to my computer.  It's pretty funny.  Especially last night when it was getting late and I was totally confused by the situation.  I would save a picture and then another picture would pop up in its place.  Wait a minute.  I'll bet the full moon has something to do with that!! haha  The weather here this morning feels like Florida.  Very humid.  Once good thing - don't have to water the flowers for hours and hours.  It's time for more coffee.  later, djb

Smiley girl

Bev and Bryar sitting in the white wicker wocker (that word made me laugh)

Bryar floating in the pool

Aunt Vada on the deck

later this afternoon - (7/20) - At 12:46, it started to rain.  It has rained off and on since then.  The sun will come out and then it'll cloud over and rain some more.  VERY, VERY EXCITING.  However, I think it's too little, too late for the farmers.  They're saying that they haven't seen such dry conditions in their lifetime.  How strange it all is.  Plus, today is the opening day of the Kane County Fair.  Kind of ironic that it should rain on the fair.  This is the farmer's time to shine and I'm sure they've all been praying for it to rain - then it rains today!!  Be careful what you pray for, you might get it.  This afternoon, a most wonderful thing happened.  A beautiful bouquet of flowers was delivered to our house - for me!  They were sent by Jessica - such a sweet young lady!!  Obviously she knows that I LOVE flowers, and I can't pick the ones that I grow because, well, you know why.  It might hurt them.  haha  Here's a picture of the gorgeous flowers and the rain.   byebye for now, djb

Flowers from an angel - Jessica!

This is the most unusual carnation I've ever seen 

The rain finally came today........

Wednesday - July 20, 2005 - I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!   Thanks to everyone for writing to me.  Your wonderful support will keep me going for another year!  For some reason, summer is more difficult to handle than the rest of the year.  Maybe that's because the boys were always home in the summertime.  Maybe it's because I go to their graves every other day to water the flowers.  Two years ago, I went in EVERY day to water the grass in front of their gravestone.  I remember coming back from Sherman Hospital in Elgin after Bob had his quadruple bypass, and I watered the grass while Elburn Days was going on.  I wonder why I remember that???

Yesterday, Karen, Bryar and Melissa came over to swim in the afternoon.  It's always fun to have someone come over to play in the pool.  We finally convinced Bryar that she should go down the slide because she's a "big girl."  She probably went down 6 times.  Karen held onto her hand while she slid down the slide.  This little munchkin is NOT afraid of the water.  It's fun to watch her jump into the pool.  Of course, she has her Dora swimmies on at all times.  The water is absolutely perfect.  Last summer, I only went in the pool 5 times because it was SO COLD!!!  We really do enjoy it.  Thanks to Bob and his perfect placement plan, the pool is close to the house which only makes sense.  Why would we want it far away?  When the boys were alive, I ALWAYS sat outside and watched them.  As they got older, I'd go in the kitchen to make dinner (those were the days when I used to cook) but I'd keep an eye and an ear on things.  That reminds me.  I have to buy an underwater camera.  Speaking of underwater, here's some of my favorite pictures.  Plus, I'll put in a few from yesterday.  Thanks to one and all once again.  I'm humbled by your kind words.  You're all awesome.  see ya later, djb

Andrew, Chad and Jarrett trying to sit on the bottom of the pool

Jarrett underwater

Me and my sweet boys

Melissa, Karen with Bryar and Shamu (or Shampoo as Bryar calls him)

Bryar seriously swimming

The amazing antics of Karen and Melissa - Bryar is behind Karen

Bryar sniffing a petunia

Aunt Vada and me with my BALLOON head when I was taking a LOT of prednisone - after seeing this picture, I lost 60 pounds in two and a half months on the special immune disorder diet that Sue gave me.  On August 12, it will be 10 years since I was diagnosed with ITP.  Thanks to Jarrett, I'm in remission now!  He's my special angel.

Jarrett holding Sable

Tuesday - July 19, 2005 - If I don't hear from anyone today, I'm going to shut this baby down.  What's the point?  It takes me an hour to edit this day in day out.  I know I don't have anything else to do.  Blah, blah, who cares?  Do I sound crabby?  hmmmm  Not really.  I just don't like wasting my time.  I think the heat is finally getting to me.  I'm starting to CRACK!!!!  Sable is having surgery today.  We think she's either 6 or 7 years old which would be very old for a ferret!  Hopefully, Jarrett will be watching over her.  She's still living with Erin and Scott in Hillcrest.  Not sure if their address is Rochelle or not?  Here's a picture of Erin and Sara from Sunday.  Also some other ones.  These might be the last ones you ever see, so ENJOY them.  must be going now, djb

Erin and Sara in Harvard

Avis in Harvard

Dennis and Larry in Harvard

Joan Berg in Harvard - Larry in the background eating a large chocolate chip cookie

Monday - July 18, 2005 - Yesterday, Bob and I went up north to Harvard (so close to Wisconsin, you can almost smell the cheese!) to the Berg picnic.  It was so nice to see everyone, however, yesterday was the HOTTEST DAY we've had since some time in 1999.  Was it really THAT hot?  Yes, it was.  Can you say blast furnace?  Yikes!  Of course, it wasn't as hot as Phoenix (114) was yesterday.  We had such a nice time.  Quite a few of us were running around taking pictures....  Here's a few that I've edited for size.  Have to run to the post office sooner rather than later.  So, maybe I'll be back and put a few more pics after my travels.  bye bye for now, djb

Aunt Gladys and Uncle Everett (and Joan on the side).  Notice that no one is sitting in the lawn chairs in the sun1

SADIE (Lisa and Joe's daughter) named after Grandma Berg (Sadie Vesta)

JOSEPH (Judy and Steve's son) - he's finally 21.  It was so good to see him there.  Hi Judy!!!

One of Marilyn's granddaughters, maybe, I'm not sure.  Someone will let me know who it is!

Sunday - July 17, 2005 - No time to write - was at the Berg Family Picnic at "you know where."  djb

Cindy and me last year's picnic - we were born on the same day a few years apart.

Saturday - July 16, 2005 - They're resurfacing the road in our subdivision next week, and we'll be getting our driveway resurfaced at the same time.  As long as they'll be out here in the country anyway, they gave the homeowners a "deal."  Our driveway has been a cracked nightmare since we've lived here so we're very happy.  Of course, we won't have the cracks that the boys and I used to use when we played "horse."  That's the only thing that makes me sad - we spent so many hours out on that cracked driveway!!!  In fact, those pictures that I put in of Jarrett yesterday on his quarter pipe were taken out there. Everything seems to be connected to Andrew and Jarrett in one way or another....

Last night, I went over to Hughes Creek with Bob (Andrew connection!).  I'm Bob's caddy who drives the golf cart.  There were only 2 other couples out on the course when we went out at about 6:15, so there was no hurry up and wait - very pleasant.  I'm pretty sure it was 82 degrees because it felt perfect.  Then, after we got off the course, we had the BAKED COD in the restaurant  - it is absolutely fantastic!  Now, we're getting ready to go to the Eby picnic this afternoon.  It's at Lion's Park in Elburn.  So, we know that we'll have some excellent food.  Maybe I'll take some pictures.  You never know.  see ya later, djb

Ron, Liz, Andrew, Jarrett at an Eby picnic at Lion's Park many, many years ago.

Putting green at Hughes Creek - you can see our house way back in the middle of the trees!!

I love this hazy shot looking down at Hole 5

You know you're in the country when you see a farm across the road.  I didn't even see that HUGE bird on the right when I took the picture! 

Andrew at Hughes Creek - notice the vibration of his golf club.  He could really hit it far.

Friday - July 15, 2005 - Bob always tells me to "make a list."  He used to tell the boys to do that.  Andrew no.  Jarrett yes.  But today, I'm going to HAVE TO do it.  I'm pretty sure there are some things that are falling through the cracks and I don't even know what they are because I don't have a list.  Enough said.  So, I'll make it short this morning.  We're having another day of hot and somewhat humid weather.  However, it's not even close to July in Florida - the steamiest place I've ever experienced.  It's going to be in the 90's this weekend.  Good for the pool - bad for the corn.  While I was looking through pictures the past few weeks, I came across the following photos which I truly enjoyed seeing again.  They made me smile.  bye for now, djb

Jarrett - dropping in (a term used by the youngsters)

Jarrett going up the quarter pipe

Jarrett still going up the quarter pipe

Jarrett up in the air

Jarrett way up in the air

This picture was taken 8 years ago this month - the day we got Hobbes.  He was 7 weeks old at the time.  We didn't choose him, he chose Jarrett.      

Thursday - July 14, 2005 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JAKE!!!   It's Jake's birthday today.  Isn't that great!?!?  I was going to put a picture of him in here with Hope BEFORE I even knew it.  How cool is that?  Plus, Gayla sent me a picture of the sign that Zoe made for Jake's studio.  Very cute!!  There's so much to do this morning because I have to water everything every day.  It takes an hour in the front yard and I don't know how long in the back yard because I do that in stages.  Also, have to go into the cemetery and water the boys' flowers - that's a labor of love.  Plus, Hobbes needs more special food.  He was having a breakdown this morning because I wouldn't let him outside before 7:30.  His pea brain doesn't understand DANGER.  Although, he seems to be staying away from the Cassidy's house.  For how long, we don't know.  There's something else I'm forgetting.  Oh yes.  Andy's shoulder surgery!  (see below)

Jake and Hope

Daddy's Studio excellent sign being held by Zoe

I got an e-mail from Andy's mom, Annette, regarding his shoulder surgery.  Ouch!  It took longer than they had expected.  Of course, he's experiencing discomfort.  Poor kid.  He was one of our Andrew and Jarrett Scholarship recipients, so if you have his address, send him a GET WELL CARD or thinking of you or hope you're feeling better, etc.  We did get all of our thank you cards from the kids this year.  I guess it helps to give them the stamped, pre-addressed thank you cards when you give them the money.  That way, it makes an impression on them.  It just amused me to do it mainly because I know the youngsters are busy nowadays and it's not always easy to find the time.  Since it was such a big deal to me, I decided to facilitate matters.  Now I'm happy!!!  Also, I always hounded Andrew and Jarrett about thank you cards.  They were very happy when they would send e-mail thank you's.  Sure why not?  Something is better than nothing.  Must go.  I can hear the flowers begging for water. bye, djb

Bob, Andy, Donna

Wednesday - July 13, 2005 - There are so many things I can write about but I forgot to mention something that happened after Grandma's funeral. Bob had dropped me off at Bergy's house because I couldn't go to the church for the luncheon for any one of a number of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that the last time I was there was for Grandpa's funeral luncheon and Andrew and Jarrett were still alive.  Maybe you think, well that was quite a few years ago, wasn't it.  Yes, and your point is?  I should be over it by now.  Not quite that easy...

Anyway, I'm getting off track here.  Bob did go to the church and obviously he was quite upset because he had just buried his mom next to his dad.  That's not going to make you want to socialize much or eat a lot of homemade pies.  He told me that he spent a bit of time downstairs, then he went up to the church and sat in a pew and was very, very sad remembering all the years he had spent there with his family while he was in high school and beyond, when we would go there for various family get-togethers and the 50th Anniversary wedding, etc.

All of a sudden, out of nowhere, this sweet, little, darling girl came in and sat by Bob and asked him why he was crying.  He said he was crying because his mom died.  She told him that her Grandma Jewell had died.  He said, "Yes, I know.  She was my mom."  This statement kind of confused her for a bit....until he explained it in words that she could understand.  Then, she launched into a discussion about a special toy she had.  Maybe it's arm had fallen off I recall, there was something wrong with it.  He asked her questions about her toy and she told him stories about other toys and action figures and so on.  For a few moments, he forgot his sadness because this little sweetheart came in and helped soothe his heart.  He wasn't sure who she was.  Obviously, he was quite distraught.  But he didn't forget the gift of kindness that she gave him.  We found out later that it was Adelyn.  God bless you, sweetie.  Thanks for doing something that no one else could do.   As Grandma Burkholder would say, Love you, djb

Great Uncle Bob and Adelyn a few years ago - how sweet

Adelyn looking at the camera while holding her bear blankie

Tuesday - July 12, 2005 - We've had some very light rain this morning than to Dennis.  I suspect it will be similar to the rain we had on the 4th of July - annoying and useless.  A few years ago in July - maybe it was 1996 - we had more rain than we'd ever seen in our lives.  The funny thing was that the rain gauges couldn't hold all the water so no one was ever sure exactly how much we got in this area.  I know Aurora got something close to 16 inches.  I think they said it was a 100 year flood.  That means we won't have another one for one hundred years.  But, you never know.  We're having some pretty strange weather these days.  Plus, it's kind of early for the hurricane season to be starting.  Notice to our Florida relatives:  Keep an eye on Emily.  Enough weather chit chat. 

Once again, Hobbes and the RED FOX had an encounter - which animal could yell louder!  I heard the commotion in the Cassidy's yard, and I thought to myself, "Here we go again."  Shortly after that, the telephone rang and I knew it was Dianna.  Yes, Hobbes and the fox were in their yard facing each other and growling and screaming at each other.  Eventually, the fox went toward the woods and Hobbes came back home.  I lured him into the house with a piece of ham.  Apparently, every morning around 7 am, daddy fox goes a huntin' for food for his babies.  He walks through their yard after getting an unsuspecting critter and then brings it back.  We think there might be three different fox families in our neighborhood.  Gee, it's so nice to live in the country!!!  Better go.  The plumber is coming here any minute.  bye bye, djb

Hobbes napping yesterday - not a care in the world

A pink freckled lily that's related to the stargazer family

Two lilies - they always remind me of the saintly boys

Front garden flowers - they look pretty good for having had NO RAIN for weeks and weeks and weeks....

Monday - July 11, 2005 - Okay, it's seven-eleven today!  Sounds lucky to me.  Yesterday afternoon, Bob had planned to walk and carry his clubs  (late afternoon, early evening) and I decided to go along and drive the cart with his clubs and take some pictures.  I used to do that for Andrew, but he didn't walk, and he drove the cart after we'd get over the hill where they couldn't see him.  haha  One time, we were doing just that and we drove to the second hole and there were two less than stellar golfers standing there looking perplexed.  Andrew asked if he could play through and they responded kind of rudely that he could just play with them.  Andrew said OK, and then put his ball on the tee and hit it 300 yards perfectly straight down the fairway.  That's when they said that Andrew might as well play through because they couldn't find their balls.  How embarrassing.  I'll never forget that.  When I go out to Hughes Creek Golf Course, that's where I feel Andrew's spirit.  It's very comforting.  Here are my pictures from yesterday.  We had fun.  See ya later, djb

A hole in one - well, the ball went in and it is the first hole (it was actually par)

Teeing off on the 2nd hole - that's my favorite

A beautiful view behind the 4th hole

Bob on the 9th hole - so close.

This is one of the lilies that I bought at Wal-mart last week - cost $4.50 and has at least 25 flowers on it.  Plus, after it finishes blooming, I can plant it in the ground this fall and it'll come back next year!!!  What a bargain!  (And they smell good, too.)

later - (7/10) - I took a nap for an hour and now feel much better.  Bob was working on the bills when I woke up, so I went out and opened up the swimming pool and sat in his Father's Day lounge chair.  Blissful.....  Then, he came out and vacuumed the pool and I had to get out and get some water and then he lounged in his chair for a while.  When I came back in here, I found these pictures from Gayla of Zoe and Hope visiting Andrew and Jarrett's grave.  Zoe put two pinwheels on their grave.  The gold one for Andrew and the green one for Jarrett.  How totally sweet.  Thanks so much, girls, for paying your respects to my dear, precious saintly boys!!!!  bye for now.  Bob went back upstairs, so I'm getting in that chair again!!  djb

Hope and Zoe looking at the drawings of the saintly boys etched on their gravestone.

Hope and Zoe sitting in front of Andrew and Jarrett's grave.  You can see the gold and green pinwheels stuck in the ground.  Wonderful!  God bless the girls and God bless those boys!

Sunday - July 10, 2005 - Day of Rest.  Good idea.  I'm tired already and it's only 11:40 a.m.  It took me over an hour to water all the flowers - they're all extremely parched.  On a good day, the soil that I haven't improved is like concrete - it's now worse than that.  If you can imagine that.   Of course, every day, I have to put some water in the boys' pond.  We may get rain this week - we'll see what happens.  The farmers will be thrilled.  The corn crops are in extreme danger of producing nothing if we don't get rain.  I never ask for rain.  Last time someone I know asked for rain, they got three hurricanes!!  Yikes.  Not so nice.  I feel like I used to feel when I was on heavy doses of prednisone and I couldn't keep my eyes open.  In those olden days, I'd try to take a nap and Jarrett would inevitably come in and wake me up with some matter of great importance to him.  Here's a picture of the guys up in Minnesota a few years back. Can't remember exactly when it was.  bye for now, djb

Bob, Jarrett, Andrew and I'm reflected in the window waving at the crowd

Saturday - July 9, 2005 - Did someone say Hurricane Dennis????  Yes, someone did.  If I see any more hurricane coverage or the Three Stooges, I'll have a breakdown!  I'm serious.  However, that does reminds me of my brother, Bergy, whose real name is Dennis - I think we need to put this picture in there. bye for now, djb

Aunt Avis and Uncle Denny in Rochelle circa 1973

Friday - July 8, 2005 - You would not believe the day I had.  I don't even know where to begin.  So I won't.  bye djb

Princess Zoe - nice crown, Princess!

The Girls!

Hope truckin'

Nice cartwheel, Zoe!


Hope in DeKalb

Thursday - July 7, 2005 - I didn't get on here earlier (it's now 9:43 p.m.) because I was SO busy today.  Started with feeding Hobbes, of course, next drying towels (the pool, ya know), took out the garbage, then it took an hour to water the front flower beds, brought the 4- 40 lb. bags of salt down to the water softener, then I had to go to town to get food because Uncle Ted and Aunt Vada were coming back here tonight, then I had to water the rest of the flowers out on the deck, clean out the stuff under the sink in the kitchen because the faucet's been leaking for 6 months and I'm finally getting it replaced whenever the plumber calls me back, washed more towels, dried more towels, then Gayla and the girls came by to say goodbye (they're going back home tomorrow).  Zoe had to go down the slide "one more time."  Then, as soon as they left, Ted and Vada came.  We made dinner and sat outside and Vada told us stories about the good old days, then we covered the pool and came inside, then I turned on the dishwasher because I had dirty dishes inside.  Now, I'm here writing this.  I'm sure I left out some things.  I'm very tired.  I didn't even get in the pool.  I'm exhausted.  No frog today.  Here's some pictures of the girls.  I hated to see them leave.  I'll miss them a lot.  We had fun.  See ya later, djb

Zoe going down the slide "one more time.........."

Zoe splashes after sliding - notice how much better it looks with a little sunshine!!

Hope playing with the toys inside the pumpkin

Hope looking intently at Zoe with a towel on her head

Zoe with a towel on her head - this is what Hope was looking at

Gayla - on our deck sitting in the white wicker rocking chair

Wednesday - July 6, 2005 - We had a very bad night last night.  Hobbes was missing.  Happy ending:  he went in the shed while I was getting out a flower pot and I didn't see him and closed the door.  He was in there all night.  This morning when I went out to get the newspapers, I heard a meow and opened the door and there he was, that little weasel!  I don't think I could take another tragedy - even if he is "just a cat."  He's our last connection to the boys.  He was their cat.  whew.  I'm leaving for DeKalb to see the girls.  Bob's playing golf with Bergy at Hughes.  He really needs to hit a few golf balls.  Plus, it's a gorgeous day.  Not too hot.  Not too cold.  Just right.  See ya later, djb

This is my latest and greatest lily (are you getting tired of the flower pictures yet?)

Tuesday - July 5, 2005 - We held another get-together with my two Illinois brothers (Bergy and Ron) and my AZ brother (Uncle Al, the kiddy's pal) and of course my sisters-in-law (Avis, Liz and Veralee), and Gayla, Zoe and Hope were back for more fun!!!  It was overcast and light rain fell almost the entire day (it registered an imperceptible amount in my rain gauge!).  For about an hour the rain/drizzle stopped, so Zoe was able to slide down the slide.  During that time, Alan cooked steaks that Ron and Liz had gotten at a butcher shop in Algonquin (the city with a watering ban).  Normally, I don't eat a lot of beef, but these were quite delicious.  It was a nice, low-key afternoon.  We had to sit on the patio (where the green carpet covers the concrete).  An Aside:  When we decided to cover that area many years ago (maybe in 1994), Bob's mom came over to help as a sidewalk superintendent and tell him how to do the gluing and cutting, etc.  It's held up through every kind of weather and many, many boys' feet and roller blades and bicycles and WHATEVER else, for all these years.  Isn't it interesting how you associate someone with something they did - even though it may have been a seemingly minor thing at the time.  That's why it's good to help other people because if you meet an untimely demise, then you'll be thought of kindly.  Well, I guess that's what the saintly boys did.  They were good guys to their friends and of course, that's why after they died, they became THE SAINTLY BOYS!!!  Perfect children, that's what they were.........

Anyway, we also had fun yesterday.  It was good for Bob to be around his family and my family for the past two days.  He's quite devastated by his mom's death as I'm sure you can imagine.  He was the oldest son and after his dad died, she relied heavily on him to help her with various things related to his dad's estate and a lot of other things.  One of his favorite recent memories was treating her and her crew of "red hat" friends to a very nice (read expensive) restaurant on her birthday in January 2004.  At the time of her birthday that year, he just happened to be in Florida, so he came up with the idea of treating her to a nice evening out celebrating her special day with her dear friends.  It was an unforgettable experience that has never been forgotten by Bob or his mom or those attending.  The other ladies were quite impressed that Jewell had such a wonderfully thoughful  son.  Plus, he used Valet Parking and they thought that was quite extravagant and almost downright decadent!  (My son always uses valet parking.)  In fact, we have pictures of that night.  I'll have to find them.  You know everything is around here somewhere. 

Speaking of's what went on yesterday.  Of course, I'm not in ANY picture.  That's okay.  It's hard to take my own picture.  Although there is a setting on my camera for that very purpose.  How bizarre is that??  Okay, I must be going now.  enjoy yourself, djb

Baby Hope decided to climb in this basket and clap her hands!  Happy 4th of July!

Baby Hope exiting the basket in a blur - too fast for Aunt Donna's camera.

Zoe sliding down the slide.  That big blue thing under the slide is the solar cover - supposed to keep the water warm.

Zoe splashing into the pool - oh boy!  What fun!

Zoe swimming in the pool - that girl can swim!!

Hobbes in "his" chair sitting next to Aunt Avis (the animal lover).  I think she's taking a cat nap!!

Zoe, Gayla, Uncle Ron on the deck (the drizzle let up for a few minutes).

Uncle Bergy chillin' on the deck

Veralee looking at the pictures from Ron and Liz's great adventure

Uncle Ron and Gayla looking at the cruise and Europe pictures

Liz is hiding behind the spider plant while Alan looks at the pictures from their cruise in Europe

Uncle Al on the deck during a respite from the precipitation

Zoe hugging her mom

Hope saying, "gahhhhhhhh...."

Hope giving her Grandpa a high five

Liz, Avis (saving my chair), Gayla feeding Hope a cherry tomato, Uncle Ron watching

Hobbes:  "I OWN this place, and I'm not saving a chair for anyone!"

Hope's little baby head (you can see a tear under her left eye), Avis is still saving my chair, Liz, Gayla and Uncle Ron are sitting on the step, Bob is in my white wicker chair talking about stuff.

Just as they were getting ready to leave, Alan noticed that the back tire on the rental car was almost flat.  Thankfully, Uncle Ron had a portable air compressor in his trunk.  The tire was fixed and they went on their way to DeKalb to watch the fireworks.  You can see Hope in the back seat looking out the window.  Zoe, Gayla and Uncle Ron were keeping an eye on the air flow.  It was very exciting for all of us!  (Notice the wet driveway)

Monday - the 4th of July 2005 - We had our swimming party yesterday - really just a get-together with most of the same wonderful kids who were here last year, with the perfect addition of Gayla, Zoe and Hope.  It was laid-back and very pleasant.  It was good to be doing something other than sitting around being sad and mopey.  It seems to me that Grandma spent most of her life preparing to see Jesus.  Although it was one of our saddest days when she died, I'm sure that it was her happiest day.  Grandpa, the boys and Uncle Bob are all somehow connected in this drama although we don't know exactly how.  I simply don't understand any of it really.  Some people say that they KNOW what happened to them. To the smart people, I would ask, if you know where they are, could you get me their cell phone number.  Thanks a lot.  Everyone's entitled to their own beliefs and opinion.  That's why we are able to celebrate the 4th of July.  People seem to forget that the first individuals who came over here from Europe were escaping religious tyranny.  Who was it that said if you don't learn from history, you'll be forced to repeat it?  Google it sometime - should be interesting reading.  It's almost 10 am, we've been having rain this morning.  Hopefully, it will clear up this afternoon (rain before 7, clear by 11)!!!!  We'll see what happens.  Here are some fun pictures from yesterday.  It just proves the saying that "life goes on....."   God bless America and God bless Grandma.  see ya, djb

Zoe climbing up the slide for the 99th time

Zoe landing, Bryar climbing, Derek watching

Zoe underwater

Karen's leg, Bryar getting ready to jump in to her dad and Zoe getting ready to swim to the ladder so she can go down the slide for the 100th time

Derek and Bryar with her "Dora swimmies"

Zoe hugging Bryar - two of my great nieces

Baby Hope taking a nap in her playpen   

Sunday - July 3, 2005 - We had a nice time at Rosita's last night - sat outside on the patio with four of us siblings (and the other guys, too).  When I have time, I'll put in some of the pictures.  Rosita's outdoor patio is really nice now - lots and lots of flowers.  Last week, Diane sent me a smiley face post card - it reminded me of the boys.  That was very sweet of her.  We're having our pool party today.  All my grown-up nieces will be here (Gayla, Karen, Krissy).  We intend to celebrate.  Enough said.  Let a smile be your umbrella on a sunny, sunny day.  Remember parasol means "for sun" in Spanish.  so there.  have fun yourself, djb


Saturday - July 2, 2005 - It's cold.  It's going to get hot.  I put up my flag.  Happy Birthday USA.  bye bye for now, djb

Jarrett and Andrew - I put a copy of this picture in Grandma's casket - I told her to give them a hug and tell them that I love them

Friday - July 1, 2005 - We said goodbye to Grandma Burkholder.  God bless her.  After we left the cemetery, Bob dropped me off at Bergy's house because I couldn't take it any more.  We sat in the back yard and watched Micki and her friend, the squirrel.  No stress.  bye, djb

Micki barking at the squirrel 

The Squirrel