CURRENT JOURNAL (August 1, 2005)

Wednesday - August 31, 2005 - Today is the last day for this page - tomorrow I get to start a new one!  Oh boy!  Here's a picture of me taken 20 years ago on Labor Day up in Minnesota.  I was pregnant with Andrew and we were visiting Grandma Burkholder in the nursing home.  She died the next year - I think in the summertime - when Andrew was a little munchkin and we drove up to Minnesota in my Volkswagen rabbit!  What a car.  Gotta go watch the news at noon. bye, djb

Andrew and me - September 1985

Tuesday - August 30, 2005 - Last night, I stayed up until after 11 watching the hurricane coverage on CNN.  They had Jeanne Meserve reporting from New Orleans.  It absolutely made me so very sad.  I found her commentary to be in stark contrast to the glibness of the anchorperson.  What's her name?  She's from Naperville.  Whatever.  I don't think we can fully appreciate what these poor souls are going through.  I think we can feel sympathy for them but we just don't know how it feels to have everything blown away or under water.  Think about how it feels when your electricity goes off for a few hours.  YIKES!  You can't DO anything - no TV, no computer.  We're on a well and septic system, so we can't even get water out of our faucets!  Think about how it would feel to not be able to drink water or go to the bathroom or EAT food.  Plus, you have no house any more - all your "stuff" is gone.  I mean, this is just devastating beyond comprehension.  At least, in Florida last year they didn't have the added annoyance of flooding.  Water is so powerful and so heavy.  Did you know that a gallon of water weighs around 10 pounds - okay so I just checked, it weighs 8.33 pounds.  That's just ONE measly gallon.  I feel so sorry for those poor people.  It's just so sad.  Of course, we have 24 hour coverage of everything.  Which on the one hand, is perfect so that I know what's going on, but on the other hand, sometimes, it's just too much.  Like that poor man who couldn't hold onto his wife's hand any longer and she was swept away by the water.  God bless her and God bless him.  That's heart breaking stuff to hear.  It makes you realize that life isn't always necessarily fair, is it?  While I was looking for something to put in here tonight, I found this picture that I took a few years ago.  It's a field that's right across the road on Hwy. 47 as we leave Smith Road to go out into the world.  Better go.  Take care, djb

I took this picture in the fall as Bob and I were going down to Woodhaven to see Ted & Vada and Grandma & Grandpa before they left for Florida for the winter.  This was the last time that Grandpa was at Woodhaven.  We had a nice time with them.

Monday - August 29, 2005 - What's interesting about the hurricane coverage is that they are following every gust of wind that blows and every raindrop as it falls.  Okay, so I don't mind hearing about it.  Just heard on the radio that the Superdome is leaking because part of the roof has blown off and water is pouring into it.  Well, we all knew that was going to happen - I did.  I even predicted it.  It might be big, but has it been through a wind tunnel?  Last year, I watched all those hurricanes in Florida from start to finish.  I don't think anyone who has NOT been in a hurricane can really comprehend that those winds are going to be blowing for hours and hours non-stop.  The incessant pre-hurricane coverage is so intense that when it finally hits, you think. "well, at least now it's here and at some point, it'll be gone."  But you can't relax for a long time because the winds keep blowing and they don't stop.  I remember Hurricane David back in the last century because that's the only one I experienced.  You can't ever relax because the noises are so different and weird that you think everything is going to blow away.  The palm trees are laying on their sides, and the rain is horizontal.  It's very scary.  I must go and watch the coverage.  It sounds intense.  God bless everyone in the path of Hurricane Katrina.  later, djb

Andrew & Jarrett's garden last week      

Sunday - August 28, 2005 - Well, instead of serving food, I got to wash dishes at Lions Park.  It was a lot of fun because they have an industrial-size sink with a gigantic sprayer.  It worked out perfectly for everyone.  They were tired after standing around and serving food, and I was just happy to help (and I got to play in the water!).  Kathy and I went over to Rosita's last night.  It was one of those perfect evenings for eating outside.  I'm sure the temperature was around 80.  Plus, there were NO bugs or bees.  They had the Corn Fest yesterday in DeKalb.  Word of warning:  Don't park on 7th Street near Rosita's or you MIGHT get a ticket!!!  duh.  They have the sign placed "behind" the parking spot.  Nice move for a revenue producing situation for the city of DeKalb.  It's another gorgeous day here.  I'm watching Hurricane Katrina.  Yikes!  Yesterday, I heard that the waters in the gulf were 90 degrees in some places.  That's why it went from a Cat 1 to a Cat 5.  God bless all those poor people in its path.  We know firsthand how devastating it will be.  It took Grandma almost a year to get her house back together after Charley came through.  There are still people in Florida who don't yet have their roofs re-shingled.  Did you notice during the hurricane coverage that the news people were using the plural "rooves?"  That's pretty funny.  I don't think that word exists except that it seems logical when you think about it, e.g., hoof - hooves.  Maybe we should start a movement to add rooves to our vocabulary!!  This morning, I came across some old pictures that I'm going to put in here.  The one of Grandma O'Malley with Uncle Howard makes me realize that all of the pictures we have of Grandma's flowers are in black and white because they didn't have color film in those days.  I'm glad I got her GREEN thumb.  Time to go because I've some other work to do.  See ya later, djb

Grandma O'Malley and Uncle Howard among the flowers at their house on Sixth Street - probably around 1926 or 1927

Grandma O'Malley, Grandpa O'Malley and Uncle Elmer - taken 40 years ago after Alan's high school graduation party

Andrew's 2nd birthday party - I'm holding baby Jarrett who is 6 weeks old.  You can see his little hand - isn't that cute?!        

Saturday - August 27, 2005 - I have to go into Elburn and help serve a picnic for the Lions Club.  Hopefully, I'm not too late!!  Maybe they forgot that they even invited me to help.  Here's a picture of Andrew when he first got a used golf bag for his clubs.  Then, there's the picture of him with his new golf bag - I think it's Ping.  This was at that course in St. Charles out in the country - can't ever remember the name.  Gotta go. bye, djb

Andrew holding his golf bag that is almost as big as he is!  I think we still have that bag in the garage!

Andrew in later years at that course in St. Charles - I still have that shirt

tonight (8/26) - I went over to Patty Savage (Milo's) visitation in Sugar Grove this afternoon.  She's Greg Milo's mom.  It's hard to believe that she's gone.  I did see an amazing thing ocurr while I was there.  Quite a few of Greg's (and Andrew's) classmates were there to pay their respects.  What a wonderful group of young men and women.  These are kids who have seen more than their share of death.  They are some very strong and awesome kids - pretty near grown up.  They just knew how to do the right thing.  Isn't that something!?  Their are grown people who don't know how to do the RIGHT THING but these youngsters did.  They were there to support their friend in his time of grief.  How utterly kind.  When I said a prayer for Patty at her casket, I told her to say hi to the boys.  Whenever I go to a visitation, I always do that.  With Uncle Bob, I stuck a five dollar bill in his pocket and told him to buy the boys some beers!  I figure they don't cost as much on the other side!  It made me smile.  I know they were there for him.  It's not easy for me to go to a funeral home because....well, you know why.  I wish Rudy and Rudy and Greg well.  I know it won't be easy for them because the light of their lives went out.  How the hell do you re-light it!?  I don't know the answer to that.  God bless you, Patty Savage.  We all know that if anyone ever was or ever will be, you are truly an angel in heaven!  sweet dreams to you.  with love, djb

Peace rose for Patty - May she rest in peace  

later this am - (8/26) - I'm back from mowing the lawn in the front yard.  It is so pitiful.  I had to come in and eat the rest of my food from last night.  Hobbes always wants a little bite of what I'm eating.  He's so funny.  Showers aren't coming until later on this afternoon.  So, I'd better get back out and at least finish up the front yard on the other side of the driveway.  Here's a picture of Hobbes from last night.  I was watching the hurricane coverage and he decided to climb in this basket.  Plus, I wanted to put in a picture of my foxgloves.  I thought I had only one, but as you can see from the picture, there are TWO.  see ya later, djb

Hobbes in a basket - he's a riot.

Foxglove - what an appropriate plant to have in my garden

Friday - August 26, 2005 - The sun is shining right now, but it's going to rain later so I really have to get out there and mow the lawn.  Ever since we stopped having 100 degree temperatures and it started raining, the grass is growing.  Imagine that?  It is coming back in more places but there are patches that are truly dead forever.  I'm thinking of digging up the dirt and planting flowers there.  Personally, grass is very annoying.  It's not only a water hog, it's also a time consuming pain in the neck.  Better get my skeedaddling sandals on.  I'm going to put in a picture of Karen and Bryar.  They were here yesterday.  We had so much fun.  Since the floor was drying, we decided to go shopping.  Bryar wanted a fish.  We eventually did get to the pet store and she got a white fish that she named Sam.  Being around her is so amazing and amusing.  WHY?  WHY?  WHY?  Everything is a why!!  I totally love it.  Think about it, almost every question can be a why question forever.  That's one reason Andrew and Jarrett and I made the "No WHY QUESTION Rule."  You can't ever answer it satisfactorily - even to a child who is two and a half.  Okay, I must go mow now.  (Notice those two words don't rhyme.)  No wonder some youngsters have a hard time learning to read.  bye bye, djb

Karen and Bryar - in front of the fireplace

Bryar posing for Aunt Donna

Thursday - August 25, 2005 - The floor is still gorgeous this morning!  As soon as I'm finished putting this up on the world wide web, I'm going to get at the second coat.  Hobbes is outside which is where he wants to be.  I can't even imagine him walking on the wet poly.  yikes!!  It's the second day of school today.  I thought I'd put in some more first day of school pictures of Andrew and Jarrett.  If I think about it too much, it makes me cry.  And I don't mind that at all.  Well, except for the puffy eyes.  Oh boy!  That's really annoying.  Better go.  Just wanted to get something up here.  I'm inserting this part after I put the pictures of the boys in below.  As I was looking at the picture of Andrew, I saw the basketball in the background.  I thought to myself, "hmmm, maybe I already put this picture in here because I remember the basketball being in the background."  So, I went back to August 22nd and there was a picture of Andrew and Jarrett (his first day of kindergarten) with the basketball in the background!  How sweet that was!  Glad they didn't pick it up and put it away!!  Thanks guys - THAT makes me smile!  ...and don't forget, it's 4 months until Christmas (and 4 months and one day until Ron's birthday!).  haha  bye for now.  See ya later, djb

Jarrett - first day of school - First Grade

Andrew - first day of school - Fourth Grade

Wednesday - August 24, 2005 - Isn't it weird that I put Grandma O'Malley's picture in here yesterday?  She died 29 years ago today.  She was my Godmother.  She was an awesome Grandma....as was my Grandma Berg.  I had two of the best grandmas in the world.  They loved us all so much.  Isn't that a nice thought to remember?  Yes, it is.  I heard some things tonight that have chilled my soul.  I don't understand how some people can disrespect the dead.  I just don't get it at all.  It has nothing to do with the boys, but it has to do with someone else.  How can people have such mean spirits?  I don't understand.  Don't they realize that they WILL have to pay for their meanness some day.  Don't they realize that they look small and petty and pretty darn stupid.  I don't get it.  How can they look in the mirror every day?  You only have to look to Elburn to see one of the most awesome individuals that God ever put on this earth, and that is Bruce Conley.  What can't more people act like Bruce?  He is one of God's angels on earth.  It is true.  If you're reading this now and you have any desire to be mean - DON'T.  Be nice.  Because I said so.  Thank you.  I spent the entire day working on my wood floor.  I put down the first coat of polyurethane.  Tomorrow morning, I will put down the next coat.  It will be gorgeous when I'm finished.  Hobbes is very interested and very confused.  Business as usual, I'd say.  I found out late last night that Greg Milo's mom, Patty Savage, passed away.  She was an awesome woman, and she was a wonderful mom.  I totally enjoyed talking to her.  I'd drop Andrew off at Greg's house and spend an hour yakking with her.  An amazing lady!!  God bless her.  Here's a picture of Greg from the third grade picnic - many, many years ago!  It's very late.  Talk to you later.....  God bless all the children.  love, djb

Greg Milo

Tuesday - August 23, 2005 - I'm a little late getting in here to update my website.  Excuse me for my tardiness.  I usually like to get at it early in the morning.  I was out driving around this morning on the tollway.  Oh boy.  It always puzzles me when I see people driving recklessly.  Don't they GET IT?!  Hello people, if your car crashes, you could die.  My favorite sign along the road was:  STAY IN YOUR OWN LANE.  I want to add, Dummy.  duh.  The people who really drive me crazy (pun intended) are the ones who drive up really fast and really close to the car in front of them and try to make that car move faster.  In the meantime, there are 50,000 other cars in front of that car.  There's NOWHERE to go - except maybe into the ditch.  And everyone thinks that they're the only one on the road.  Yikes!  I guess that's why I like driving west instead of east.  Although with the increased tolls, a lot more trucks are driving on the regular highways.  They did some sort of study and said that wasn't true, however, everyone I've talked to about it, disagrees with that.  Not only more trucks, more cars!  Speaking of cars, let me find a picture of a car.  I wonder if I have any.  hmmm  See ya later, djb

Grandma O'Malley in front of their house on 6th Street and Granny with her shades on - sitting in our shiny OLD car

a little later (8/22) - Granny was the one who told me about the Kaneland student writing into the boys' guest book about Mike King.  I had completely missed it because I had to refresh my page.   So, I called her to tell her that I had found Mike's picture and made a special page for him.  Then, I told her about some stuff and she told me about some stuff.  Grandpa asked where the pictures of the old cars were....so, I'm going to put those in here now.  see ya later, djb

Cute little car at Elburn Days - we got out here too late to see most of them because we were working.  We were going to see them before we started but there were TOO MANY people driving into the parking lot.  Imagine that?!

Interesting vehicle

Two cars at Elburn Days

More cars at Elburn Days

I love that purple truck!

Pretty pink car at Elburn Days

Cars at Elburn Days

Those little remote-controlled trucks

later - (8/22) - Thanks to the Kaneland Student who wrote in the guest book about Mike King.  As I read his obituary the other day, I knew that he had to have been in Andrew's class.  I went upstairs to Andrew's room and found the newspaper that had all of the pictures of his classmates in it and scanned Mike's picture.  I put it on a separate page with his obituary (Mike King's picture and obituary). 

Sure, this website is about Andrew and Jarrett, but it's also about their friends and family and classmates.  Especially those classmates or family or friends who die.  Most people are extremely afraid to talk about death or imagine their own demise but in our family, we seem to be having to confront it on a regular basis, so although it certainly isn't welcome, it's definitely not that unusual to us any more.  Having said that regarding our situation, it does make me feel very sad for his family that he's gone.  I hope that anyone who knew him will send a note to his family directly or by way of Conley's in Elburn.  If you knew Mike, please do that for his family - you don't know how much, how very, very much it means.  Even now, after two and a half years, I can go back and read the little notes that the kids wrote to us - it still makes me cry but also makes me happy to be able to have something tangible to read.  A lot of them said that they didn't know the boys but they were sorry for us.  That's all you have to do.  Just tell them that you're thinking about them.  I read somewhere that someone was offended by a person telling them that they didn't know WHAT to say to a bereaved parent so they said, "I'm sorry for your loss."  Now, that sounded okay to me.  In fact, a lot of people said that to me.  It didn't matter exactly what they said but that I knew they were thinking of us and praying for us.  So, do a kind and thoughtful thing for Mike's parents and the rest of his family.  God bless him.  It's always so heart-wrenchingly devastating when someone so young passes away.  All you want to do is ask WHY, WHY, WHY???   So God bless you, too.  Go and do that RIGHT NOW....because I said so.  later, Mrs. B, aka djb

Jarrett and Andrew

Monday - August 22, 2005 - School starts this Wednesday at Kaneland.  I reminded me of Andrew's first day of kindergarten.  Bob took the day off work so he could be here for the momentous occasion!  If my memory serves me right, I took some video that morning of the boys jumping on Bob while he was still sleeping.  Andrew was so excited to go to school.  He wasn't going to school to learn anything, he was going to see other kids and have fun!!!  Then two years later, Jarrett went to kindergarten.  He went in the mornings, so he was able to ride the bus in with Andrew and then I picked him up at noonish.  It makes me sad to see these pictures but it also makes me laugh, so I guess I'm laughing through my tears.  bye, djb

Bob and Andrew waiting for the bus - first day of kindergarten

Andrew running down the driveway after his first day of kindergarten

Andrew and Jarrett wearing Bull's related clothing - first day of kindergarten for Jarrett

Andrew and Jarrett in the driveway - Jarrett's first day of kindergarten

Sunday - August 21, 2005 - It feels like FALL this morning, and tomorrow will feel even more like fall.  As it gets closer to September, I notice the angle of the sun is different in the morning - something changes dramatically in the perception of my world.  Bob and I used to go up to Minnesota every year (before Andrew and Jarrett were born) around Labor Day to visit his Grandma Burkholder and to see his fraternity brother, Uncle Dave.  Every time we came back from "up north," it just felt fallish.  If you're in Florida right now, you're thinking, "Whoa, she should come 'down south' and feel this heat and humidity - there's no fall here!!!"  That's funny, ya'll.  They're having the car show at Elburn Days this morning.  When I go in, I'll take some pictures.  I'm still mad at myself for not using the RIGHT SETTING on my camera at Christy and Matt's wedding.  Obviously, I should've used the portrait setting - duh!  You'd think I just started using a camera.  Mercy!  Maybe I've been out in the sun too much this summer.  That's what I always say when someone does something strange in Florida.  TOO MUCH SUN.  Here's a picture of Andrew and Jarrett at Lions Park at an Eby picnic quite a few years ago.  Talk to you later, djb

Andrew and Jarrett at Lions Park in Elburn at an Eby picnic when they young - (1990 or 1991)

later this afternoon - (8/20) - We just got back from Lions Park.  Bob and I worked the 2-4 shift in the Hot Dog Stand.  It was extremely busy at times and then, it would stop....just like that (sound of fingers snapping).  It's always a lot of fun.  I took some pictures of the tractors that they had lined up by the parking lot.  They were doing the "tractor pull" while we were working, so I think that it was going to get pretty busy later on.  Remember, Elburn has always been a farming community until all the suburbanites moved out here and have changed the face of Elburn to that of a far western suburb.  Of course, they bring their "city ways" and their urban sprawl with them.  But as long as we can hold onto some shred of country life (tractors, slow moving farm implements, etc.), I'm sure we'll all be happy..  Here's a few pictures I snapped.  See ya around, djb

This really is an OLD tractor

This looks like a souped-up model

This is a very cute little tractor - and it's for sale!

I took this just before we went in to work - the security detail (some of them are pictured above on the right).  Their main post is located right next to the pavilion.  

Saturday - August 20, 2005 - I don't think they could have had better weather last night for the Elburn Days parade.  I'll put in a picture of the Batavia Shiners vehicle.  Bob decided that he had to play golf and walk so I went along as his caddy.  For the first time this year, he played the back nine which was good because I hadn't taken any pictures out there - photo op!  We knew they were having an outing at Hughes but until this morning, I didn't know why.  When I read the Daily Herald, I found out that it was the third annual golf outing in memory of Staff Sgt. Jacob Frazier (he graduated from Burlington High School) who was killed in Afghanistan on March 29, 2003.  He was a member of the Air Force Tactical Air Control Party, an elite military group often embedded with special operations forces.  I remember quite clearly when he was killed because it was the same month that Andrew and Jarrett died.  What a wonderful tribute to him.  His fellow airmen came from all over the country to participate.  Some of them drove 18 hours from Louisiana just to be here.  It was quite huge turnout - I think the kids told us that there were 170 people there outside in a gigantic tent.  God bless Jacob Frazier and God bless his family and all of his friends.  later, djb 

Here's a picture of Staff Sgt. Jacob Frazier - I found it in a newspaper online

On their way back to Batavia, the Shiners stopped at Hughes Creek for a bite to eat.

I totally love this shot - out on the Back Nine

Isn't this a lovely picture?  The answer is Yes.

A very angular dead tree - interesting shape

THE SILO

The silo and the red barn

Nice faraway view of the trees

Looking back up the hill

The Clubhouse is in the middle and on the right is the BIG tent where they had their festivities - taken on the 18th hole.

Someone flying high in the sky

Full moon last night

later (8/19) - I found this picture of Bob and me - it's probably from 1984 in the fall.  I had to fix Bob's hair because it was QUITE puffy.  I know that's my hair is also puffy, but that's the way we wore our hair in those days.  byeeeeeeeee, djb

Donna and Bob - I can see my pearl ring on my right hand, plus my nails have been done but I don't have my engagement ring yet!  The necklace I'm wearing belonged to Sadie.

Friday - August 19, 2005 - ELBURN DAYS begins today, tomorrow and Sunday.  Oh boy.  Such fun.  The theme for the parade is "A Community that Cares."  How appropriate.  I just visited Dr. Willey's blog (Elburn's mayor and he was Andrew and Jarrett's dentist - you remember the Crocodile Club - see below!)  His blog is hilarious!!!  Here's a picture that he put on there with a view of a parade in years gone by.  We have a picture of Aunt Clara in the parade many, many years ago.  It's in an old Elburn Herald - she's carrying a flag and marching down the street with a few other ladies.  As I recall, it was during World War II.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get some GREAT pictures....but not of the parade.  That's just too much for me.....the crowds, the humanity.  It's interesting that the Union Pacific can't hold up their trains for a few minutes for the parade to pass over their "precious" tracks.  What weasely attitude.  Don't you just love anonymous, corporate cold-heartedness!  At least, in Elburn, we're still a community that cares.  I'll be back later with my up-to-the minute reports.  bye, djb

Elburn Days Parade - looks just like itself

Jarrett - a member of the Crocodile Club

a tad bit later - (8/18) - They keep saying that the storms are headed this way so I thought I'd better take some pictures before everything gets whacked by the wind and the rain.  Here they are.  Enjoy.  bye, djb

The sunflowers that I didn't plant - it was either wind or wings, but not water

Red geranium

Gorgeous pink petunia and the pink-tinged vine

That weird flower whose name escapes me - nice flowers this year

Thursday - August 18, 2005 - We're supposed to get some thunderstorms today.  hmmm  They appear to be gathering steam as they cross the Mississippi River.  It's quite humid this morning, also.  Our only hope is that the rain holds off for Elburn Days and the parade that starts at 6 p.m. tomorrow night.  They work so hard to make it a success, it would be so sad to see the rains ruin it all.  Below is a photo of the ride that Andrew loved to go on.  I thought it was horrible, but then again, I don't care to have my entire body rattled to the core by a gigantic steel edifice turning me around and around like a chicken on a rotisserie.  Yikes!  Better go.  If it's going to storm, I must batten my famous hatches!  bye for now, djb

Andrew's favorite ride at Elburn Days - of course, Jarrett loved it, too.

Wednesday - AUGUST 17, 2005 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO GALE & GLADYS!!!!!  It's the beginning of another year of birthdays.  We have more birthdays from August to April than any other time of year.  I had to water the flowers again this morning.  Well, I watered the ones out front.  After I finish this, I'll go out back and water those.  The sunflowers are gigantic.  I'll have to take a picture before I water everything.  Let me get busy and finish my chores.  Plus, the books are still waiting to find their way into a box and then to the book sale.  So many books!  See ya later, djb

SCHOOL DAYS - 1931  (Can you spot the TWINS?)

later tonight - 8/16 - Bob's doing better.  He slept alllllll day.  He did come outside after I finished mowing the lawn and said that he enjoyed the "freshly cut grass smell."  So, he's apparently making a comeback.

I was thinking about the boys while I sat outside tonight.  (Actually, I was talking to them but that might sound weird.....although I do it all the time!)  The thing that strikes me from time to time is the fact that I don't know what's going on in the world any more.  What are the latest and greatest music groups?  Don't know.  Who's going out with whom?  Don't know.  What's the LATEST fad in apparel?  Don't know.  What's up?  Don't know.  I feel as though I'm cut off from the part of the world that affects the teenagers and their friends - it's like an amputation.  It's so weird.  I used to know.  Now, I don't.  I miss my boys.  They made me feel alive, like I was a part of it all.  Now, I'm clueless in Elburn.  At least, we have Elburn Days to look forward to this week.  Life goes on whether you want it to or not.  I guess I'm just feeling a little sad tonight.  sweet dreams, djb

I put this picture in when I'm missing them.....

Tuesday - August 16, 2005 - Bob's home sick.  I'm trying to get some more books together for the library book sale.  Maybe I'll be back.  I also have to mow the lawn - it has grown in some spots and NOT in others.  Maybe I'll be back - who knows?  bye, djb

According to Bryar, she is doing a back flip in this picture

Monday - August 15, 2005 - Okay, so I didn't get any more pictures in here yesterday.  I guess I must've been too busy!!!!  The sun is finally shining again.  This coming Friday is the Elburn Day's parade, plus the Elburn Day's festivities all weekend long.  Hopefully, we will have dry weather.  Bob & I are working in the hot dog stand which actually sells more hamburgers, brats, pork chop sandwiches than hot dogs.  This is the biggest event in Elburn without a doubt.  I stopped going to the parade quite a few years ago when it became apparent that it was impossible to see anything any more.  Lots of people and lots of kids trying to get the candy that they throw out from the floats.  I think last year, they had kids walking along the parade route giving out candy to those poor, unfortunate children who have to come to a parade and beg for treats.  duh!  I never understood why getting candy thrown at you was better than buying it in a store.  But then again, I am teetering toward fogeyhood.  HA!!!   Although I guess one way of experiencing the parade would be to enter my own float or car or tractor....etc.  That's funny.  Jarrett and I were in it one year.  Can you spell disaster?  Then, there was the year that a tornado was spotted near DeKalb so they stopped the parade as soon as it started and everyone scrambled to get out of harm's way.  Just a lot of rain - no tornado.  What fun.  That reminds me.  I have books that I'm planning to donate to the library book sale.  Guess I'd better get busy and take those in this morning before I put it off another day.  Here's a few more pictures from the wedding.  I'll scan some boy pictures later or maybe I'll take a picture of the sunflowers - they are quite stunning!  Take it easy.  See ya around, djb

Matt and Christy not looking at the birdie

Matt and Christy smiling for the camera

Sue and Rod - mother and father of the bride

Liz and Ron in front of the ice sculpture

Champagne, anyone?

Sunday - August 14, 2005 - Yesterday, Bob and I went to Christy and Matt's wedding in DeKalb.  Christy is Rod's daughter.  Rod is my first cousin for those youngsters out there who don't know my family tree!  haha  As usual, I didn't put my glasses on because I only need them to see up close, so then I always take them off and then when I need them I can't find them - it's a nightmare.  I think there could've been a better setting on my camera for nighttime pictures - maybe even the portrait mode, duh!  I'm so used to my 35 mm cameras that take the shot instantly and this camera doesn't do that, so I'm always surprised when I look at the pictures because they're not the ones I actually wanted to take.  But having said THAT, I did get some good shots.  Not as many as I would have liked to have gotten because I always want to take too many in case they come out blurry - which some did.  But my photographic woes aside, we did have a great time.  Judy flew in from California - so it was wonderful to see her.  We got to meet Joe's girlfriend (not just a friend).  Christy's theme for the wedding was Disney-related so it was kind of cute that they had a Fairy Godmother there.  It was a very lovely wedding at the Methodist Church in DeKalb (that's the one across the street from St. Mary's).  I'd never been in that church before, it's quite nice - I could go into detail but I won't.  The reception was at the Fargo in Sycamore which is where I took the following pictures.  No descriptions necessary because as we all know, a picture is worth a million pixels (that makes no sense!) and a thousand words.  Here's a few photos.  I'll may put some more on later - you just never know.    bye for now, djb

The cake

Matt and Christy before they made their grand entrance

The cake topper

Christy and Matt entering the festivities

Starry, starry light

Christy and Matt are now in the room

THE Fairy Godmother

Our table - minus me (you can see the ice sculpture in the top left corner)

Donna & Bob and Liz & Ron

Cindy & Perry and Marilyn & Chuck

Rod talking to Joyce and Judy in the background next to Sherry

Aunt Gladys - a little fuzzy because I didn't use my portrait setting and I got too close

Bob and Joan

Rod - the Father of the Bride

Marc & Christy standing behind the cake - you can see Gary on the right and Judy's taking a picture of the cake

Pat and Gene

Richard talking to our table

Gene, Sue and David (while Richard was talking to our table!)

Judy and me

Richard taking a picture of someone - so I took his picture!

The back of Christy's dress

Saturday - August 13, 2005 - A year ago on this day, it was Friday the thirteenth when Hurricane Charley struck Florida with a ferocious fury, relentless rage and lots of wind.  It still amazes me when I see the pictures of the damage.  Grandma had only been back in her home that had been decimated by Charley's unwelcome visit for a relatively short time before she came to Illinois in June.  That's what I'm reminded of when I recall this "anniversary."  I still remember talking to her a couple of days before it hit.  She was at Woodhaven, and I asked her if she had seen the news.  "Well, not really," she said.  I told her that she might want to check it out since there was a hurricane headed for the Gulf.  After it struck Port Charlotte with such devastating results, she and Ted and Vada drove down to Florida the next day.  At first glance, things didn't seem as bad as they eventually turned out to be.  I remember waiting to hear something - anything about the state of their homes.  All we knew was what we were seeing on CNN and the Weather Channel, and it was heart wrenching and pitiful - very hard to watch.  Of course, I never stopped watching it or following it on TV and the computer.  Even today, a year later, the thing that I remember the most is the empathy I felt for those poor people who had lost all of their "stuff."  Stuff equates to memories and people you love.  A lot of the unfortunate individuals who lost their homes were widows.  Now, they had nothing.  I still recall one lady who was in shock looking at her former home reduced to a pile of twisted rubble and she said, "I don't have anything.  I don't have anyone.  I don't have anywhere to go."  I wonder where she is today - wherever she is, God bless.  I hope some kind person helped her....  here's some flashback pictures of the nightmare that was Hurricane Charley.  bye, djb

Grandma's backyard looking at the canal on Easy Street

Those same trees a few years BEFORE Hurricane Charley - Bob and Jarrett

I think this was the park where Uncle Ted and Aunt Vada live

later - (8/12) - I put a picture of Neil and Andrew at the third grade picnic next to the one in yesterday's journal.  While I was looking for a picture of Sable's cage for Erin, I came across some pictures that I liked.  I'm having a very hard time trying to find ANYTHING.  When Grandma died, I went through all the pictures to find ones that I could put on the 3' by 4' posters.  So, that's a LOT of photos, my friend.  Yikes!!  It takes a lot longer to put them back than to get them out.  I don't know why that is???  Okay, here's a few more........bye for now, djb

Jarrett with Grandpa Burkholder looking at the smoky fire at Woodhaven

Howard reading the road atlas, Grandpa giving advice and Andrew lending moral support in Florida - you can see the Andrew and Jarrett Christmas card photo in the background.

A deer in our front yard in the early morning haze a few years ago

Pink Calla lily I grew in my garden last year - isn't it gorgeous!

Jarrett, Me, Andrew, Granny - probably in September 1988

Friday - August 12, 2005 - Every time I see that date - AUGUST 12 - it reminds me of the day I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP for short) back in 1995 - ten long years ago.  That was the day that my platelets were measured at 6,000.  You're supposed to have somewhere between 250,000 and 400,00.  Anything under 20,000 puts you at risk for a brain hemorrhage or internal bleeding.  They consider it critical condition.  Imagine that?  I went in for a blood test early in the morning at Delnor.  The phlebotomist who performed the first test told me that I didn't have any platelets.  Okay, that's nice, gotta be going.  No, they had to do the test again.  This time, I still had no platelets and they just let me walk out the door.  They didn't say, "You might want to admit yourself to the EMERGENCY ROOM because you could BLEED TO DEATH!"  No, they just let me go.  When this happened a few years later - that time I had ZERO platelets - another medical facility told me to call my doctor immediately.  What a weird and strange immune disorder.  At the time, it was still in the early days of the internet.  Couldn't find out very much information about it because it's so rare.  How extremely fortunate we are to have unlimited information at our fingertips with the click of mouse.  It is truly amazing when you think about it.  If I knew then what I know now, they would NEVER have taken out my spleen (a/k/a the forgotten organ).  Did you know that the spleen IS an organ?  It's a little weirdo but more important than you'd think.  Well, that's enough about my rare and special case.  I do remember that the boys were very young when it happened.  They spent the rest of their lives waiting for me to get "cured."  Of course, I do believe that Jarrett has made the right connections and has intervened in my case because I've been in remission for two years, but it can come back at any time.  You just never know.  Here's a picture of all of us right before my diagnosis.  I have a bunch of other pictures to put in but it's getting close to noontime and must find some food.  see ya later, djb

Bob with Andrew and Donna with Jarrett at Woodhaven in early August 1995   

Thursday - August 11, 2005 - IT'S RAINING!  This is not a joke.  This is not a typo!  Actually has been raining almost steadily since I woke up.  Very light drizzle, but nevertheless, it is RAIN.  Of course, I know why it rained today.  The Kaneland golf team is either having practice or tryouts today.  We can thank them that it rained.  The golf course was getting so very, very, very dry and crunchy - it was turning into a xeriscape.  In our area, the only plants that seemed to thrive in the drought conditions this summer were the weeds.  Speaking of golf, the other day, Bob came into possession of some pictures of Andrew from golf season 2001.  That's why I put the team picture on the Casa Page.  He was supposed to bring the pictures home to me but he "forgot."  I always ordered the magnet pictures ever since they were in t-ball.  On the refrigerator, I have all of the sports magnet of Jarrett and Andrew stuck on the side.  So, it made me feel happy to see some picture of Andrew that I've never seen before.  They were probably taken by Matt's mom, Karen.  Here they are.  bye for now, djb

Neil and Andrew at the third grade picnic that was held at Lion's Park

Andrew and Neil - Go Knights!

Stephen in the background, Milo, Andrew, Matt and some other kid - this was most likely at Pheasant Run when Andrew had to sit out a couple of matches

Andrew getting ready to hit the ball

That other kid and Andrew - I like to see him smiling

Stephen, Matt and Andrew chillin' out after playing golf where Andrew is NOT smiling

Wednesday - August 10, 2005 - We had an immeasurable amount of rain last night.  At least, everything got wet, so I guess that's good.  I have a few more pictures to put in here from Monday's swim-fest 2005.  They're such fun pictures they make me smile.  See ya later, djb

The plan was that the girls were supposed to jump in at the SAME time.....

Lexi is ready to snorkel

Adelyn is ready to put the goggles on

Bryar is getting some nourishment after swimming for hours

Krissy and Kylie - noodle-heads

Haley airborne after going down the slide for the 56th time

BIG GIRL Bryar going into the pool after going down the slide

Kylie in the pool

Tuesday - August 9, 2005 - We had SO MUCH fun yesterday.  The little girls (well, the older girls, too) were on their MOST EXCELLENT behavior.  They got here at 10:30 a.m. and left after 7 p.m. and not once did any of them cause any trouble or commotion.  As Jarrett used to say, it was a "shenanigan-free zone."  haha  I'm trying to get the flowers watered again.  I think it's supposed to break a record here and then they say it's going to rain.  I don't THINK so, but you never know.  Here's a few pictures from yesterday's fun in the sun in the pool.  We took 250 photos between Karen and I.  Krissy also snapped a few.  Of course, the one on the Casa Page is absolutely, positively adorable so I'm going to put it on this page also.  bye for now, djb

The circle of girls - ain't they cute!?  (photo snapped by most excellent photog:  Krissy!)

I'm not sure if this was a race or what? 

The best girls ever!!!

Adelyn is airborne

Bryar is airborne

Haley is airborne (with flippers)

Lexi is airborne

Karen sitting in front of the red petunias

Haley, Adelyn and Lexi - 1, 2, 3 - jump!

Water lily that bloomed yesterday in Andrew's fish tank - it's now a water plant tank!

Monday - August 8, 2005 - The girls are coming over to swim.  Another day in the 90's.  I'm basically doing nothing else except watering flowers and taking care of the pool (and washing towels, of course).  Last year, I went in the pool only 5 times the entire summer.  This summer, I go in 5 times a day some days.  That's fun.  I'm sure I'll be able to get some great pictures.  The kids have so much fun in the water.  Personally, I like the slide the best!!  Better go.  It's 8 a.m. and I have towels to dry.  That's funny.  bye, djb

Andrew and Krissy in the baby pool - I'm not sure why there appears to be bubbles in there!?

Sunday - August 7, 2005 - It was one of those days.  I can't believe it's after 10 o'clock.  Bob already went to bed because he played two rounds of golf and he's exhausted!  On the other hand, I'm feeling quite fine, thank you.  I would NEVER in a million years do what he did.  But, he's crazy about golf.  He did mention that the other lake at Hughes is way, way low.  I think that they're going to have a "situation" pretty soon if they're not able to get water out of the aquifer.  Tense times in Blackberry Township!  I have to sign off now.  I'm almost finished with my story.  Sorry it's taken so long.  I did go out to the boys' graves today and water the flowers.  It's sooooooooooooooo dry.  Kind of pitiful.  see ya, djb

Baby Jarrett in the summer of 1988 (nice drool)

Saturday - August 6, 2005 - It's starting out to be such a gorgeous day.  I'm almost finished with my story.   Every time I read it, I have to revise something.  I need an editor.  ha!!  Bob's golf outing was fabulous.  They had a great time.  I still don't really understand golf.  I think it's a way of getting to play outside - kind of like major league baseball.  You're a grown person but you're still playing a kid's game (and I'm not saying that's a bad thing).  hmmm   That reminds me.  The Kaneland High School golf team starts their practice pretty soon.  We'll have to go out and see the guys play.  We've seen a few of the youngsters out on the links but not like we used to in previous years.  Milo used to play 36 holes a day - every day.  That's how he got to be so good - that, plus he had a lot of natural ability.  He still has the course record....I think it was 61.  WOW!!  Still, my favorite thing is to hear the "ping" when the kids hit a tee shot.  I don't hear too many of the old guys make that sound!  Jarrett could've been a good golfer if Andrew hadn't harassed him every time he played.  It would've been pretty funny to see them on the same golf team.  A long time ago, I remember one of their teachers suggesting that they both take up wrestling and go to the mats to resolve their disputes.  Their response to that suggestion is unprintable. That reminds me of a picture.  Must go now and WATER the flowers.  bye bye, djb

Kaneland golfers - Andrew, Matt, Neil, Milo - 2002  

Andrew and Jarrett - the berserko boys

"Okay Jarrett, I can take you!"

Friday - August 5, 2005 - You know I really don't have a story to tell, I'm just making that up!  haaa.  Okay, I do but I'm just too chatty for my own good.  Plus, I want to revise my Casa (home) page soon.  I'd like to make it easier to navigate.  Now that I know what I'm doing more so than I did when I started doing this, I think I can facilitate people's experience when they visit the boys website.  I just got back from visiting with Erin and Scott.  They came by to get Sable's condo.  I'm so glad that she's still doing well.  One of these days, I'll go over to Rochelle to visit her and say, "Hellooooooooooooo Sable."  haha  Now, it's time to get going to the golf course and see how Bob's golf outing went.  It's a perfect day - 82 and sunny with a little breeze.  See ya around, djb

The surprise lilies just came up - What a surprise!!!  In the spring, their leaves come up and die and then in the fall, they flower. 

Weird flower - I don't know what it's called but I love it because it's so different.

One of Andrew's golf balls that he hit in my flower bed.  I've left it there ever since.

Thursday - August 4, 2005 - Seriously, I'm almost finished with MY STORY.  I was going to put half of it on here and then I decided I might as well finish it.  Anyone who knows me very well, knows that when I write something it takes me forever........  Every time I read it, I change something.  It's gotten so that I'm annoying myself!  It's almost 4 o'clock, so I'll pop in a picture or two and then I'll see you later.  bye, djb

Grandpa's sunflower in Andrew and Jarrett's pond garden.  I didn't plant any of the sunflowers, they just grow wherever they want.

View from the first hole at Hughes

View from the cart path going down the hill from hole one

Don't look at the sun!

Wednesday - August 3, 2005 - I'm still working on my story.  So, just relax.  I'll put it in here one of these days.  Whenever I go to Hughes Creek, I feel Andrew's spirit there.  I guess that's why I don't mind driving the golf cart and watching Bob hit the golf ball because Andrew is THERE!  That makes me feel happy.  I don't feel him around anywhere else, just there.  Isn't that interesting?  yes, it is.  We had some rain and now the sun is coming out so I've got to go back outside.  Here's some more pictures from the golf course.  see ya later, djb

Shot of a heron in one of the ponds at Hughes Creek - you can see how low the water level is

Heron reflected in the water

Going down the path to hole 2 - one of my favorite Andrew memories

I like the red orbiness in this one

Good night, sun.

Tuesday - August 2, 2005 - Now it's the SECOND of August.  I must be having fun because time is flying by.  We're supposed to get to 96 degrees today.  I think that the corn crop in Illinois is gone now.  Wow!  They're talking about it on the radio as I type this!  Coincidence?  I don't think so.  I heard the following: "the farmers are saying a 'total loss' of the corn crop."  IF we get rain, it is possible that some of the soybean crop can be saved.  The worst drought anyone can ever remember.  Is this global warming?  Hard to say.  When you consider that the weather people don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, how can anyone predict what's going on with the entire earth!  Okay, so I'm still working on my story about Annapolis.  Sorry, folks.  It has to be written a certain way not just blah, blah, blah....blog.  If you want to call me and chat I don't mind that.    As soon as I finish writing this, I have to go into the cemetery and water Andrew and Jarrett's flowers which I do every other day.  Plus, I have to go to The Grocery Store.  Yesterday, Karen, Bryar, Trisha and Haley came over to swim.  I didn't expect them so it was a pleasant surprise.... especially since I was just getting ready to go out and take the solar cover off the pool.  We had joy, we had fun, we had a nice day in the sun - in the pool.  Bryar's going to go down the slide - later.  She is a big girl.  Don't ever forget that!!  She won't let you forget.  As the girls were leaving, they walked by the boys' lockers that were given to us the summer after they died.  There's a picture of Andrew and some notes taped to his but Jarrett's pictures and notes were removed.  Thanks to Aunt Diane for taking this picture so I can put it in here for Karen so she can see what it looked like at school.  As a matter of fact, I did have fun caddying last night, and Bob played quite well, thank you.  later, djb

Jarrett's locker at Kaneland High School  

Monday - August 1, 2005 - All of sudden as I was putting a picture on the Casa page, I realized that it is the FIRST of August.  Time to start a new page.  It's after 5 o'clock and when Bob gets home at 6, we're going to the golf course.  I get to be the caddy driving the golf cart.  Oh boy!  I love driving the golf cart!!!  I don't even know why because it only goes 5 mph top speed.  It might have something to do with not being able to drive the tractor when I lived on the farm.  Bob and I went to Annapolis MD over the weekend.  It's a very interesting story but I don't have time to tell it all today so I'll just put in some pictures from Annapolis.  We had quite a wonderful time.  It was amazing.  Last night, Karen sent some pictures of Bryar in her hockey gear and Bryar with her bunny, so I'll put those in, too.  I must be going now.  See ya'll later, djb

Nice view looking down the street toward the water - you can see the sailboats if you squint your eyes

Cadets at the Naval Academy in Annapolis MD

People walking up the street in Annapolis

Cool dude on a segway

The state capital building in Annapolis, Maryland

Bryar - hockey chick

Bryar and her new bunny, Thumper (quite an original name)

CASA