Category Archives: Family

Odd and Ends from the Kramer House

I didn’t really have enough pictures or words to write about a single thing.  So this blog post is kind of a montage of lots of little things from the Kramer house.

The kids are loving the two costumes and wooden toys a blog reader recently sent.  Georgie can often be seen (when she’s not pulling the hat over her eyes) wearing the vet costume.  She loves stuffed animals and loves watching Doc Pole on television so she’s often the vet here.


I had a spa day.  Aren’t I cute?  Continue reading

A Visit with the Rebels

I told before that I had referred to our adult kids that live near and around me as the northern contingent and the kids that lived south, the southern contingent.  Well, then the kids joking started calling the northern contingent the Yankees and the southern contingent the Rebels…you know, a play on the Civil War??

I had a visit with the Rebels and I forgot to tell you about it.  Sometimes I forget due to timing and sometimes current events bump a blog post like the flooding.

I was going to Buck and Lora’s because Lora was gone for a bachelorette party and Buck needed to be gone for a funeral.  I was to be on Grandma duty.

Here are some random pictures I snapped when we were on the swings.  This is Lucy.  She’s 3 1/2.


This is Scotty.  He turned 6 recently.


Scotty loves pushing the limits a bit as you can see him not holding onto the swing.  It makes this grandma nervous.  I ended up having to tell him the true story of my niece who didn’t hold on to a swing, fell off, and broke both of her arms.


He hung on after I explained that she had to be fed and had to have help in the bathroom as the way her casts were bent, her arms didn’t work right anymore.  She was about five and it was a challenge to help her all of the time.



That night Buck wanted to take me to supper in Sutliff.  It is a really neat bar and grill that serves great food.  I highly recommend going in you live anywhere in NE Iowa.  It’s worth the drive.

The “town” consists only of the bar pictured above, a couple of houses, and the historic bridge that is right across from the bar.


The bridge was awesome.  It was completely safe for the kids to run around on.  They would look out over the water and they just loved it.

The bridge is historic so there are placards along the bridge telling about it.


On the bridge are a few picnic tables.  Patrons can go over to the bar, order food, and then go hang out on the bridge.  They have a loudspeaker and when your order is ready, they call out your name, you cross the road to the bar and get your food.  Then you can eat it at one of the picnic tables.

It was so fun especially when we had met Kayla and had Jasper with us too.  MUCH more space for kids to be kids.  Lilly in the stroller looks sad but she really wasn’t.  The picture was just an “odd moment” shot.

There is seating inside the restaurant too.  We simply preferred the outdoors.


The views from the bridge were so pretty.  There were people boating on the river so the kids had fun watching them.


Scotty loved pushing the stroller with Lilly as we waited for our food.


People seemed to stroll the bridge before or after they ate.  This person saw a turtle in the water and called the kids over.  We didn’t know the person.  She just wanted to share her find with the kids.  Everyone we saw teased the kids and all were so friendly.  The atmosphere was just great!


I snapped a picture of Kayla and Jasper.


Our number was called so Buck went and got the food.


We ordered two burgers for Buck, a meal for Scotty and Lucy, Kayla and I got a meal and she ordered a chicken strip for Jasper.  We also order two appetizers, deep-fried pickles, and deep-fried green beans.  Plus we had three beers and milk.  The bill was $62.  That was CHEAP!!

What a fun night!  I really hope to do that again.

If you’re wondering Sutliff is between Lisbon and Solon Iowa.

We all went back to Buck’s and hung out for a bit before bed.  Lucy wanted me to be the sad lion.


Here is Lucy and Kayla chatting.


Here are Lucy and me.  She is such a pretty girl but the goofy girl over smiles likes this the second she sees the camera.


Saturday I took Scotty to see his other grandma.  She was taking him for an overnight.  She lives about a half-hour from them.  She’s so lucky.  She is a great help to them and I’m so thankful she is around to do the things I wish I could.

I try to soak in as many smiles and giggles as I can when I see them.  They really are great kids.  Lilly and I spent the two days fighting over her hair.  She WILL NOT leave a clip in her hair.  If I put on in, within 10 minutes, she pulled it out and had her hair in her face.


This swing was a new addition to the play area.  Lilly wanted to go but I was nervous not knowing if she’d hang on.  She was a champ.

HERE is a link to their swing.  I thought about getting one for the other grandkids for Christmas but they don’t all have trees.  We’ll see.


I would have just adored a swing like this when I was a kid.


The day ended way too quickly…but sadly it was time to get back to my life.  I had gotten a call from Kalissa.  She was dog-sitting for Rosie.  She got away from her and put Kalissa in a panic but they got her back.  Rosie just doesn’t do well without me.


I left with hugs and I gave Buck a reminder that I like to be asked to come and watch the kids so ask anytime.  I am terrible at scheduling time to visit but if they ask and need me, I typically drop everything.

I hate intruding…but love spending time with them all.  When I’m invited it’s so much easier.  I think many of you can relate.

So that was my visit with the rebels.  I hope I see them again soon.

Randomness with the Grandkids

It’s a grandkid overload post!!  I have a feeling you will see another grandkid overload post soon as I’m supposed to have Buck’s kids over the weekend.

This is all of Kelli and Kalissa’s kids.  I’ve dubbed them the northern contingent but the kids recently said we need to call them the Yankee Kids.

Kalissa wanted me to do a photoshoot for her.  It was the hottest day ever and the kids didn’t want to cooperate at all.  She got shirts in the raglan style and needed pictures for her Etsy shop.

Carver wanted to hide in the corn where there was shade.


Gannon wanted nothing to do with it!


He wouldn’t let go of his toy.  He wouldn’t be held.  Nothing.

The boys wanted to play and hide and seek instead.  Oh, boys…Gotta love them!!


I ended up getting this picture and as far as I’m concerned, it was perfect!!


Kalissa shared a lot more pictures on her blog along with info on the shirts.  You can check that out HERE.

I took my recycling it to the recycling bins.  I opened the tin to throw my cans in and saw this AWESOME (to me) dump truck.  There were three other metal trucks in there too.  There was little to no metal in the bin and these were just sitting there.  I ended up taking them home.  Kalissa made fun of me for it…

But then the next day after a scrub…who spent the whole morning playing with them??… Continue reading

The Scanner

For all but two of our married years, my husband Kramer carried a pager.  He served as a fireman, first responder, and for a time on the rescue squad.  Pagers were his way of knowing there was a call and he should respond.

Kramer was terribly rough on pagers.  He’d lose one while picking rock, filling silo, or doing any number of chores on the farm.  One year while filling the silo, Kramer was running the blower.  For those of you who aren’t farmers and familiar with filling silos, it works a little like this…The tractor and wagon are brought to a blower which is beside the silo.  The silage is dumped into the blower and the blower blows the silage to the top of the silo.  The silage goes up into the silo and then falls to the level of the silage inside.

Somehow in the process, Kramer lost his pager.   We had no idea what happened to it.  Crazily, months later when he was feeding the cattle, he found his pager in the feed.

Kramer lost or broke so many pagers that the first responder group always kept a spare pager or two for him.  They knew he’d somehow break one.  They also kept insurance on his pager…because again, they knew he’d make use of the policy.  No one else in the group had insurance on their pagers.

Well, being Kramer was on the Fire Department and the First Responders, the First Responders provided the pager he carried on his person but we had a handheld radio in the house that the Fire Department provided.  He got calls from both services on the pager and the handheld.  He used the handheld when his pager was broken but for the most part, it stayed in the house.

I always listened to the handheld.  Often times Kramer would be on the skid loader and didn’t hear his regular pager so I would call him on his phone if a call came in.  Also, there were some “dead zones” that weren’t the best at picking up traffic so I’d call him in cases like that too.  Another reason why it was handy for me to listen to the handheld was that we live in a spot where three county borders come together.  Often times I would hear a call from a neighboring county but it wouldn’t come through on Kramer’s pager right away.  I’d call him and let him know and he’d be on his way.

When we moved to town, his handheld started acting up.  We didn’t want to bother the fire department to get a new one so it was “fixed” but sticking a silverware fork in it.  The width of the fork was just enough to push the handheld to the charger.  We got along just fine with the pager like that.

When Kramer passed away, I ended up keeping the handheld.  By now Kaliss and Craig were carrying on the tradition of being a volunteer firefighter and first responder.  I still listened for traffic on the handheld only now, it was Kalissa and Craig I listened for.  I started running to their house and watch the kids so they could go on a call.

Then a sad day came.  The handheld broke for real.  The house got really quiet.  I didn’t hear the storm watches and warnings.  I didn’t hear the fire trucks go out.  I didn’t hear the medical calls.  I missed it…but I couldn’t really go to the fire department and ask for a radio.

When the kids were home, they missed the noise and chatter of the scanner too…They had all grown hearing the scanner, immediately being quiet and listening to the call that might take their dad away to help someone in need.  So look what Buck bought me… Continue reading