Grandma Betsey

It is with whole heart today, that I remember those grand memories of my Grandma Betsey Kohlhoff.

The woman who never went anywhere without the right color lipstick or smile on her face.

Her keen sense of humor and firecracker wit certainly brightened any room she entered.

The lady who was my partner in crime for years until my mother caved in and finally agreed to get my ears pierced at age 13. Grandma I have two holes for each ear now!

Beauty she was indeed and it was always a honor to be known as Betsey’s granddaughter wherever I went!

Her hugs wrapped around you like laughter and were full of so much love and comfort always!

Summers were always a treat as it included more time with grandma, especially since I grew up in a single parent working mom family!

This one makes me laugh right now, I like to call it McDonald’s Ice Cream Excursion!

We weren’t allowed to eat at McDonald’s, but with grandma the rules changed! In celebration for Grandparents day one year if you went to McDonald’s with a grandparent you would get a free Sundae.  Well my grandma Betsey was so clever she said let’s hit all 3 locations! Carmel, Hot Fudge, and Strawberry were my dinner, snack and supper that day!

Music plays such as an important part in my life as it did for my grandma! She always had music playing and ♬ ♪ Tie A Yellow Ribbon ’round ol’ Oak Tree ♬ ♪, will always be a spot in my heart. She loved to sing to us and dance around while she cooked, she also loved to play her Electric Organ.

Johnny Cash ♬ ♪ Folsom Prison Blues♬ ♪,  Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb, George Jones, The Statler Brothers, Merle Haggard, Charlie Daniels, Ronnie Milsap, Waylon Jennings ♬ ♪ Good Hearted Woman♬ ♪ were favorite of tunes that rang through her house!

Hogan’s Heroes, Bonanza, The Andy Griffith Show (Mayberry) and Card Sharks are TV shows that we always watched together.

My favorite high school memories were Wednesday Game/supper night! Her apartment was in walking distance of my high school and it was always a nice break in the week. I never did beat her at any of the word games we played, that lady was a whipper snapper of brain knowledge! That knowledge, was always pretty handy when I needed help with my homework, pretty amazing for a lady who never went past 8th grade.

Remember the next time someone makes you angry, frustrated, or upset that you need to make sure you resolve the issue.

Always make it a point to say goodbye or I love you to those around you, for you never know when you may loose that chance!

Due to a disagreement several years ago, my grandmother and I never got to say I love you or goodbye!

So as I grasp at all memories I’m able to find, I know the good times with her growing up certainly outweigh the distance that became of us in the most recent years! Always Cloud the times that do not make you smile in life!

R.I.P. Dear Grandmother I love you! 6/22/1928-10/14/2012

“Hey Grandma Look at my teeth, these Black Jelly Beans are Awesome!”

“Grandmothers Sprinkle Stardust Over Our Lives!”~Unknown

This entry was posted on October 15, 2012. 4 Comments


My heart is heavy with the loss of my handsome boy Francesco. Loosing a pet is never easy for anyone, and most difficult for myself as I have lost two felines within 3 months of each other.

Adopting a cat of my own, thoughts came around sometime in the start of 2004. I tossed the idea around for several months and had just returned from a 17 day European tour in December. A few days later I was off  to the Chester County SPCA to adopt a new friend.

Before my big travel adventure,  I headed to the pet store to purchase the necessities needed to adopt a kitten. Pet food, water bowl, small cat bed, litter and litter box, so my apartment was all set for a new kitten to arrive home.

Adopting a female young cat was my first choice and the list of names were in hand when I arrived. Much to my surprise all the 3 month old kittens they had were all male. They had female cats but they were much much older, and I had my heart set on a kitten.

So a male kitten it would be, wow which one should I choose they are all so adorable? Oh look at this one, he has white paws and a white bib. He also had a mini staring match with me. I told the SPCA attendant yes I would like to see that one. They said his name was “Jerry”. They watched me interact with him for a bit in the meeting play room, while they called to get verification from my landlord that it would be ok to adopt. He was such an adorable cat and couldn’t wait to make his life a happy one.  After an hour of trying they finally received the approval and “Jerry” would be mine to take home.

While filling out the paperwork they asked what I would like to call “Jerry”. Jerry was not the name for him, as that was an ex-boyfriend of mine, so indeed “Jerry” became MIA very quickly!

I had no male names picked out, but had just returned from Europe and my male bus driver/tour guide’s name was Francesco. Yes Francesco that will be his name I told the lady.

This being the first kitten I had adopted on my own I didn’t have a carrier, so they had a small cardboard one that would be great as a temporary just to get him home.

Welcome home Francesco!

Do you remember the time I brought in a snowball for you to play with? You didn’t know what to do with it but kept touching it with your paw. So cold you thought and at that moment I believe you were glad that you were an indoor cat.

Your silly adventures with getting into a paper bag or a cardboard box. It didn’t matter how small some of them were, you somehow got yourself inside.

Through the years you have given me so much love and affection, especially on my lunch visits home as you always had a toy mouse waiting for me to step on as I entered the door.

You were always there with a purr to greet me at the door every evening.

You always were the best alarm clock, waking me by jumping up on the bed with a purr and a gentle touch on my face with your paw.

You with your cat claws never seem to hurt me, your affection was always with love.

Though I love you and Fiona both, I can’t help to think you were my favorite. You were the first cat I adopted, you were always so good as you always seemed to listen to me. Your stare was so intense, if I said your name in stern it was almost like you knew what you were doing was wrong and you would stop.

I thank you for hanging on these last few months, to help me with the loss of Fiona in March. I know you miss her as much as I do as you started doing things that only I remember her doing.

You know the scratching of the plastic blinds in the morning to wake me up, or the meowing at me from the floor. Not letting me eat my lunch as you wanted to be held with hugs and kisses.

I thank you for all the memories that we shared and I’m grateful for all the photos I have of you.

Your time in the world was short to me, but you brought me so many smiles, affection and love that I will never forget.

Love to you my dear Francesco!

R.I.P.  9/17/04-7/5/12

“There Is Something about the presence of a cat…that seems to take the bite out of being alone”~unknown

“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.”~Martin Buber


It’s hard to explain exactly how I feel, with the loss of my little cat Fiona. I miss her so much, as I had to say goodbye to her on Monday March 26th.

She was adopted into my home from the SPCA in July of 2005 at the age of 3 months. I felt that it was time for Francesco my male cat to have a playmate! My vet said “If you plan on getting another cat you should do so before Francesco turns 1 years old as he will become very territorial.”

So with Francesco at the age of 10 months and also being adopted into my home now for 7 months, it was off to the SPCA I went in July of 2005.

When I arrived at the SPCA July 4th weekend, I was looking to adopted a 3 month old female kitten. That was the same age Francesco was when I adopted him in December of 2004.

Wow, being the warmer season of the year they had an abundance of kittens to choose from. I immediately fell for this kitten with the name “Butterscotch!” She was also a brown tabby like Francesco but instead of the white belly and paws she had a leopard print spotted belly.

When I told the staff she was the one I liked they took me to a room to play with her while they called my landlord for the ok to adopt. When you rent you must always get your landlord to verify this adoption.

I truly fell in love with her while I bonded with her in the play room. They were not able to get in touch with my landlord after trying for 45 minutes so they said they would hold her aside and that as soon as they heard from my landlord they would let me adopt.

I drove home that July day with tears that soon became MIA when I stepped into my apartment. That flashing light on my phone, that contained a voice mail message from my landlord, was my favorite thing that day. His message stated the approval of the 2nd cat adoption and told me to drive back to the SPCA to get her!

I couldn’t get into my car fast enough and called the SPCA in route to say I was on my way back to get my little kitten.

“Butterscotch” was so tiny, adorable and full of snuggles that while signing the adoption papers I reviewed my name suggestion list and thought Fiona was the perfect name for her and the perfect companion for Francesco.

They had to be seperated for about two weeks in different rooms while I was at work, but then Francesco warmed up to her just fine, and we now could say welcome home Fiona!

Francesco and Fiona were well on their way to a great Friendship!

As much as you say you are only going to have your pets sleep on their beds or the floor they melt your heart and you let them sleep where ever they choose.

So Fiona not only did you bring joy to my world, but you made a lonely Francesco a new kitten all over again. He became more playful, energetic and loved to bathe you every morning.

I like to look at my apartment as not my apartment but Francesco’s and Fiona’s warm and cozy place. Fiona loved to snuggle in blankets, and with me, she was such a wonderful loving cat.

As years went by Francesco has developed a hip arthritis issue and has trouble sometimes jumping up and looking out the window.

With my trips home daily for lunch and a break from work to see my cats I noticed a pattern. Somehow Fiona and Francesco worked out a signal plan. Since Francesco couldn’t get to the window everyday, I started seeing Fiona at the window as I pulled into my parking space. As soon as she saw me get out of the car through the window, she would Meow and by the time I got to the door and opened it both cats were there to greet me. Francesco thanks you for helping him know that his lunch would soon arrive.

Fiona you were yso wonderful helping your buddy out and letting him know I was home to have lunch with you both. I know you were as happy to see me, as I was to see you even if you and I knew that food was involved.

No worries that task at hand you had every morning when my alarm clock went off and I hit snooze has now become Francesco’s new task.

Yes indeed that playing with the plastic blinds noise that seemed to annoy me, but never made me angry is now something Francesco does. (He never did that before).

You always seemed to find comfort in me being awake, not just to get fed, but you knew I would hold you!

Brushing my teeth and getting ready for work or going out, was one of your favorite places to be, as you always found your favorite spot on the bathroom rug.

Trying to put makeup on while holding you was difficult, but you always found your way to melt my heart until I picked you up.

Fiona you are so missed by Francesco and I, that it really is hard to think our home is without you! I even accidentally said “goodbye Fiona” to Francesco Wednesday morning on my way to work.

My visits home for lunch continue and Francesco and I have found ways to remember you. Your red heart blanket now seems to be his favorite comfort spot whether on the sofa or in the kitchen. He seems to follow me around the apartment and is near me any chance he gets, he learned that from you.

Francesco has also found your comfort spot on the bed pillow, and loves to snuggle with me.
His love, comfort and affection is helping ease my sorrow for you not being here.

We miss you Fiona and I thank you for the wonderful years you provided with so much love to us both and the chance for me to care for such an amazing cat!!!

“Cats make you smile, Cats make life better. Cats make their way into your heart…and that’s where they live forever”~Unknown

“Pets are our close companions because they provide love, comfort, safety, warmth, happiness, wonder, laughter, and friendship. Pets teach us to have more patience with life and to enjoy the simple things.”~Unknown

“There is something about the presence of a cat…that seems to take the bite out of being alone”~Unknown

Today is brought to you by the letters D and G with lots of smiles!

Happy Friday everyone!

Though my day started off with a seasonal headcold, all that mattered is that it was Friday! As many of you know, I work as a Orthodontist Technican that gives me 4 ten hour work days Monday-Thursday.

It’s the weekend, so not even a silly cold was going to get me down today, as my 2012 goal was just about to come alive! The backorder till February status changed in a flash as a new email arrived right before 11:30. “Ready for pick up” was now added to the top of my to do list!

Panera for lunch with friends to catch up and then it was off to Delaware, Wilmington that is! Music playing as I rolled down 202 South just over the border was my destination!

My new 2012 goal that I have kept secret from many of you and that I set for myself back in November right around my birthday was to learn to play the acoustic guitar.
 I spent many nights researching guitars, brands, used, new, where to buy etc. With the help of my family guitar idols/gurus, and a few other rockin’ musicians I know, I narrowed my thoughts down to a couple starter guitars. Something small and little easier to learn to play.

My thoughts were really on a used guitar, as I wanted to play something that a musican had played to give it sole and character.

My Santas on the other hand had something else in mind. While researching on Dec 24th, I found that Guitar Center was having a major Snowman sale. If I purchased this guitar from The Guitar Center by 3pm Christmas Eve, the package deal was something you could not let fly away. My Santas were amazed at the discount gal that I can be, as I always search for the best bargain!

My GPS brought me right to the front door and Wow if you have never been to a Guitar Center store you should go! My eyes were in heaven at all the beautiful guitars everywhere. Oh testosterone was galore also, as the workers are all men ooh la la!

The customer service at this Wilmington Store blew me right out of the water. They brought my online order up front, got me a few additonal things I asked about and even carried all my items to my car that was parked way on the otherside of the building!

So thank you Nicholas who was so helpful, full of smiles, and treated this customer with so much respect!
 I would like to call him St. Nicholas. You can bet that store is going to hear about how wonderful he was! My Santas as you may wonder are my fathers! Daniel and Walt and myself played a huge roll in making this mini goal come to life and I am very grateful to have communication with them both.  Not just for their birthday/Christmas gift contributions towards this goal, but for all the support in their own way that they both have given me over this past year.

Those that have family may not really understand my world, but I can tell you, the love and support I have received from these two fathers, an Aunt, cousins, and friends this year made my heart bigger than it could ever be. They helped me work through some family sorrows that were brought to me in June of 2011!

Ironically today is Ronda’s birthday this person is my mother who has chosen to leave me out of her world for more than 22 years…

It is also my aunt Doris’s birthday today! The strength that she has given me, to over come things that occurred in 2011, make me think if I could switch mothers in a second I would choose her!

D=Dads, Doris and Delaware and G=Guitar, Goal and that Guy St. Nicholas!

Now the amazed owner of a Martin LXM Little Acoustic Guitar is ready to take lessons, but also has a beginner DVD to study upon.

Maybe I can get a few musican I know to play the guitar then it will feel used and have soul.

 So please jump, skip and leap with me as I bring this mini goal to life!

“Keep your heart open to dreams. For as long, as there’s a dream, there is hope, and as long as there is hope, there is joy in living.” Anonymous

This entry was posted on January 6, 2012. 1 Comment

Happy 2012

As I start the new day of a new year, I’m a bit confused by our winter weather! No white fluffy stuff in sight just Mr. Sun so bright. I do wish for snow as it doesn’t feel like winter without it, but I’m thankful for sunshine today. A clear sunny day makes the new year start off with a WOW!

For me goals big or small are better than resolutions and tend to keep me more on track! When I have a list of adventures they don’t get cloudy along the way. Call it what you may, goal or resolution whatever it takes to keep them in your thoughts.

 I have a new favorite goal this year, Shhh can’t tell you as it has been delayed a bit till sometimes maybe mid February. February is still early in the year to make that goal come to life!

“Nothing is Impossible, the word itself says I’m Possible!”~Audrey Hepburn

Hey my ears just told me they need some tunes and my feet said let’s get a move on as today is an amazing day to be outside!

“Each new day is a blank page in the diary of your life. The secret of success is in turning that diary into the best story you possibly can.”~Douglas Pagels

I wish you all much strength, laughter, good times, adventures, smiles galore, more fun than you can handle and the best stories ever written in your life; Happy New Year everyone!

This entry was posted on January 1, 2012. 1 Comment