Monday, September 29, 2008

Food Planning

I spent yesterday at the Graham's, trying to make the most of the food that people had dropped off and that the church had sent home after the funeral lunch. I froze quite a bit of the ham in six slice packages, and used the cold lentil salad to make a lentil soup in the crockpot. I added chicken broth, some chopped up ham, some steamed rice left over from a chinese takeout, some corn and some chopped tomato. A little garlic, cumin and red pepper to spice it up. I froze that in 2 cup servings in freezer bags, laid flat. They freeze fast and thaw quickly. There were 3 large left over baked potatoes so I used a can of condensed chicken soup and peeled and sliced the potatoes with some chopped ham for a scalloped potato casserole, and we had that last night. I took some of the dinner rolls and made bread pudding. YUM.

There was some left over spaghetti and some meat sauce, so I mixed up enough for lunch today and am going to make a spaghetti pie with the rest. I froze some cooked squash, I don't know what I will do with that yet. I actually had fun trying to get the best use of the food. Some of the salads we passed around to other people, but I flash froze some scoops of mustard potato salad, then packaged them up in bags. It will be interesting to see how they thaw. There is still alot of bread.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dr. Jack Graham

Karen and I have been friends since 1981, when we happened to work on the same floor of Woody Hall. Whenever I couldn't make it home for the holidays, her parents gave me an open invitation to spend time with them, and I often did. When Karen was seriously ill 20 months ago, I spent a lot of time at her home, becoming closer to her parents.

The last year has seen several surgeries for Jack, and before this last one they checked out his heart, to make sure he could make it. Nothing is ever certain, but the hernia was going to block his colon, causing a painful death, so they went ahead. Early this morning Jack lost his fight. His only brother Bill, and his daughter Karen were with him.
He will be sorely missed.

Former dean of students, higher education professor dies at 83
Jack Graham remembered as "mentor and grandfather"Barton Lorimor
A handful of the hundreds of lives Jack Graham touched through the last 50 years at SIUC remembered him as a mentor, friend and gentleman Monday.
Graham, a retired professor of higher education and former dean of students, died just before 1:30 a.m. Sunday at the Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, said university spokesman Rod Sievers. Graham was 83.
Karen Graham, Jack's daughter, said her father had a stint put into his heart in March. Though it is generally not recommended, Karen Graham said her father's doctors thought he was able to undergo a hernia repair Friday.
Jack Graham succumbed to heart complications triggered by that procedure, Karen said.
His death came as a shock to those at his old stomping grounds in the College of Education and Human Services, said Brad Colwell, associate dean of the college. Colwell said Graham frequently visited his office to offer his time to assist the college in any way, report the whereabouts of former higher education students and contribute to the department's alumni newsletter."He was almost like a mentor," Colwell said. "He was a colleague, but he also felt like your grandfather at times."
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Larry Dietz said Graham was there for him when he first arrived on campus in 1996.He said a photograph of Graham hangs in a third-floor hallway of Anthony Hall for his time as dean of students for both campuses in Carbondale and Edwardsville. Graham held the position from 1965 to 1967.
Karen Graham said her father's life was SIU, which is why he served as the dean of students and head of the higher education graduate program without a pay raise." I'd like to know if anyone else did that," she said. Karen Graham said her father did it at the request of then-University President Delyte Morris.
Dietz said he knew Jack Graham outside of the university as an active member in the Carbondale Rotary Club, he said. But the change of scenery did not mean Graham had a different persona, he said."I would characterize him as a gentleman scholar," Dietz said. "I think if you look at this philosophically, I am a better person because of my interaction with Dr. Graham. I know there are several others that would say the same."
One of Graham's former students in the higher education doctoral program, Nancy Pei, said she was one of those people. Pei, a retired director of Student Development, said Graham's involvement with international students allowed him to bring more experiences with him to the classroom than her other professors.
Interim Chancellor Sam Goldman said in a written statement that Graham was a valued member of the SIUC community for more than half a century, even after his 1991 retirement." Jack was instrumental in the creation and growth of SIU's programs in education and higher education," Goldman said. "His contributions, wisdom, insight and advice will be missed by many."
His wife, Sophie Graham of Carbondale, survives him, along with two children, Karen Graham of Carbondale and Mark Graham of Peoria.Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Carbondale or the United Missions to Nepal.
Graham's visitation will be at the Meredith Funeral Home, 300 S. University Ave., Carbondale, at 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Thursday. Funeral services are set for 11 a.m. Friday at the First United Methodist Church of Carbondale.
Daily Egyptian reporter Barton Lorimor can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 263 or

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dental visits in my future

I got my new crown yesterday and then had a consultation to go over what other work needed to be done. $3307 worth. After my insurance pays. Yep. I went back in today and had two fillings done. Next week I get two more. Then we are looking at the expensive stuff. Two crowns on both sides of the top back, four in all, have to come off, teeth filled, and new crowns put back on. Hopefully none of them will need root canals, because only one of them has had one in the past. As you can guess, I am really looking forward to this. No trips to anywhere in my near future. Just another reason to jack up the EBAY sales for this shopping season. I did just send out two suits today, from the store, so it is time to get the auctions going. Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mason dances and drums, sort of.

Mason and Gwyn watching the Wiggles. This really reminds me of videos we have of Adam and Sarah or Joel and Sarah watching TV. Mason has this drumming thing going on. This is not sped up, but real time. Watch how fast he moves!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Honey the Calico Cat

Mom and I took Gabriel for a walk Sunday, before Mason's party. We hadn't gotten far before I saw a pretty calico cat headed our way. I called to her and she sauntered right up to me. Mom picked up Gabriel because he usually wants to eat cats that are out and about. She followed us for awhile, galloping ahead and then waiting for us. We finally left her behind, but she showed up on our way back to the house. Mom called a neighbor, to see if she belonged to the house with a dozen cats, and was told that they were trying to get rid of her. Uh oh.

I went out a little later and she came up and we sat on the porch, communing a bit. Mom looked outside and said "Bring her in." I did. She started exploring the house and Gabriel just trailed behind wherever she went. She mostly ignored him. Finally Mom sent me out for the fixin's, litter box, litter, food and flea treatment. When I got back we set her up in the laundry room and closed the sliding door and left for Jeff's.

Mom told everyone she had a new cat, so of course James and Denise had to stop by to meet her after the party. When we get home, the laundry door has been opened about 4 inches and no little cat is to be found. I figured if she didn't come running to meet us, it was because she had gone out the doggy door. I went a couple of house down and sure enough she comes running out to meet me!

The laundry door does have a latch, so Mom will just have to be sure it is secure before she leaves, because she definitely doesn't want her outside anymore. She is one smart cookie. She and Gabriel share Moms lap. She has swiped at him when he is too excited, but I trimmed her claws so no real harm done. He keeps coming back for more.

She is very oriental looking with long legs and a pointy face. She talks whenever people are out of sight, calling for company. Very sweet.

Mason and Granny

Mom was convinced that Mason didn't like her, and he did tend to get that "I am going to cry if you get any closer!" face on when she was talking to him, but I got video proof that he did warm up. Sorry it is sideways. Anyone know how to fix that?

Sunday, September 7, 2008


I got here late Friday night. I hit a few yardsales yesterday morning while Mom stayed home to wait for her lawn guy. When I got back we went to pay for this months meals at the church. Then we got on the computer and got her tickets to NY and back for the Rome trip at Christmas, and made reservations for Mom and Brian at St Peter's apartment in Rome. We still have to get the one for down south. We planted the plants I brought for her garden and were just finishing up when it started to sprinkle. Denise and James invited us for dinner at 5, Mom went to church first and then we played a hand of Dummy Rummy before heading to Jeff's to see Mason. He had had his bath and was snuggled up in Vicki's arms. Didn't want anything to do with the rest of us, but I did get some pictures.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Mom just called to let me know that Jeff had just picked up Mason, and that he had talked to Joel and they had not finished checking out so they haven't left Alaska yet. Dang. I can go and meet the kid, but I won't be able to stick around long enough to meet with Joel and Rachel. I was really looking forward to meeting her. I do plan on getting some Mason video while I am there. I wonder how he is doing without his Mom or Dad? I will find out on Saturday!

I just dug up some Peonies, dark pink and light pink, some Dame's Rocket and some Blackberry Lilies for Mom.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hot Flash

It's been happening. A lot, lately. They don't last long, and it is like a wave of heat moving up my face. If I can get in front of a fan for a few minutes, I'm fine. I don't seem to be breaking out in a sweat anywhere else but my face and head. It's very strange. I know I am supposed to be thinking of it as power surges. Humph. No night sweats yet. Hope I get to skip that symptom. Gosh that word looks funny when you spell it out. SYMPTOM. Weird.