Valentine’s Day Reminiscing

     The first grade Valentine’s Day party was destined to be awesome.  Everyone had made a giant pink construction heart with a pocket in which to insert said Valentines.  Games were first, then food, then, the opening of the much awaited Valentines!  We had waited for weeks for this most auspicious occasion, and hopes were running high for lots of Valentines, and maybe …

How Do You Eat an Elephant?

     The last baby of the Gray household got her learner’s permit last week, the same day that the next to last baby got her driver’s license.  That evening, we toured homes for sale with the oldest Gray baby and her fiancee, and afterward returned home to 5 college-age young men, courtesy of my hospitable college-age son.      I’m trying …

Ping-Pong Day

     Yesterday after spending time schooling my girls, I went to the florist with my daughter and talked wedding flowers. It was a heavy duty talk, and we’re only halfway done. I had to leave after an hour and a half because I had a hair appointment. Gotta keep those greys from sticking out too far, ya know.My husband called …

Airport Adventures

     We’ve evolved into a traveling family, largely due to the fact that Jim travels extensively with his job. Most husbands leave for work in the morning and return in the evening. My husband flies to the office. In Florida. And doesn’t return for days. I can recall him having a local job once for about 6 minutes. Seriously, he …

Why it’s important to recognize the signs of a stroke

Do you know how to recognize the signs of a stroke?  On, January 14, 2010,  my mother experienced a stroke that resulted in temporary paralysis of her left side and a one hundred percent blockage in her right corroded artery.   A tumultuous time My heart was already in turmoil that morning, my husband having been rushed via ambulance to a hospital …

Snuggling in on a wintry day

I love, love, LOVE being snug in the house while the snow flies.  It takes me back to my childhood and the snow days from school.  Today we had our first significant snowfall of the season, and my family was all home with me, except for Jim, who was away on business. The kids slept in, we did a little school work, …

Stories from the “Great Room”

Needless to say, I’ve been short on writing time of late.  I’m still in that place, so here’s a story to (hopefully) give you a giggle.  This story has two parts. Part One We got new carpet and furniture for our TV room/dining/kitchen.  You could call it a great room, it’s long and we’ve had many years of great fun in it.  We’ve …

Today is my birthday.  My birthday always falls during the first week of gun season.  My husband is a hunter.  This presents a problem – for him. In “RuthieandJimGray, the Early Years”, he either stayed home for my birthday, or drove back home to celebrate with me.  Something happened somewhere along the way and he decided it would be ok if …

Great Day With My Dad

This week I took my dad to his neurologist for a follow up appointment at WVU Neurology Center.  Dad cannot hold his head up when he walks, his chin almost to his chest.  His mouth and tongue are always moving – against his will, just a constant nervous back-and-forth movement which he cannot control.  It all happened gradually within a few months and was …

Reminiscing on the 13th Anniversary of our Home

Thirteen years ago yesterday (November 5th) we moved into our home.  We designed it and our contractor friend built it while we lived homeless for eleven weeks.  Yes, that’s what I said.  He built it start to finish just that fast (basement included)! During that time, we lived down the hill with my parents and moved all our stuff into storage. Then one of the kids went …

The Great Flour Miscommunication

My wonderful husband grocery shops for me.  I know, I’m spoiled, but before you get jealous, remember the trade-off.  He’s out of town at least some part of the week every week – last week it was Sunday through Friday. So when he’s in town he does the Sam’s and Walmarting and picks up quick things for me to fix for dinners during the …

Gandview Day and The Rolling Pumpkins

The girls and I make a trek to Grandview State Park every year in the fall when the trees have changed, and today was our day.  We lunched at a picnic table with deer as our audience on this sunny, but cool day.  As we munched on chicken salad sandwiches, Kylie says out of the blue, “You know that Christmas song …

Bizarre Week – from the sublime to the ridiculous

Monday I busily managed the girl’s school, made dinner for a friend, and trained a client.  Unfortunately due to poor planning on my part, we had no dinner. Thank goodness my husband loves to go to Sam’s where they make those roasted chickens daily – they have saved me more times than I care to admit!!! Tuesday I took my mom to a new heart doctor only …

The Big Engagement

We’ve had a huge secret at our house for about three weeks and it’s been killing me!  Taryn’s boyfriend talked to Jim and asked for her hand in marriage.  He has been waiting for just the right time to pop the question and Taryn has been wanting to have the question popped at her!  Jim and I had to keep it from …

Allergy Testing Day and the Unexpecteds

Today was supposed to be all about allergy testing.  All my life I’ve been itching, the past several years sinus problems have worsened, and last year my lips started burning and drying up.  My doctor said I was starting to worry her, and recommended the testing.  In order to do this, I had to be off my Claratin for two weeks …

My Trip to “The Farm”

It’s that time of year again – deer season.  I am married to a hunter, so this means he spends time in the woods whenever possible from now through early December.  In early married years this was a source of contention.  Now, it’s more like – “Go on – git!” Jim owns some property which he terms, “The Farm”.  It’s …

Make your kids practice piano, they may grow up to be mountain bikers

Don’t think for a second that because I haven’t mentioned it, I’ve given up on single track mountain biking.  I’ve been a couple times since the first time with all the wrecks.  Practice makes perfect! Which brought me to a bit of introspection during today’s ride.  I am a person who keeps at something until I get it right – if I …

High School Education – Take Two

Despite popular belief, homeschooling isn’t just for kids. It’s like you, the parent, are getting a second chance to learn what you slept through in high school. At least that has been my experience – it’s either that or I’ve forgotten everything since everyone knows you lose brain cells every time you give birth. Multiply that by four. Today’s history class glanced …

The cold and rainy 5k (and other surprises)

My girls and I had planned to do a 5k together today but the weather was unseasonably cold and rainy – 38 degrees. We agreed last night that they would not go (I didn’t want them to get sick), and that I probably wouldn’t.  In anticipation of the fact that for some crazy reason I might wake up and go, I laid all …

The Great Black Tie Event and Fiasco

Jim was selected to represent his company to receive a prestigious award from Inc 500 this weekend – fifth fastest growing small business in the nation. Your’s truly got to go along and be his date! The awards were held in National Harbor at the Gaylord, Washington D.C. The Gaylord Hotel is gigantic – complete with restaurants, stores (in the form of houses), several ballrooms, a spa, salon, elevators, …