Sunday, September 25, 2011


Got an email this week from Susan G. Komen...inviting me to be a flag bearer (AGAIN!) in the Opening and Closing ceremonies. I get to carry the flag that says
MY DAUGHTER. I am HONORED. The really AWESOME part of this? The Opening ceremonies are at Stone Mountain. That was one of Melissa's favorite vacations growing up. We stopped there on the way home from spring break one year. Donny's cousin John and his wife took us there. She LOVED climbing that mountain. Can you tell?

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TEAM B POSITIVE holds ANOTHER successful fundraiser!
Raised close to $1800 at this event...we are ALMOST there!

COMING SOON.............the EIGHTH ANNUAL "TRYING FOR A CURE"...Cincinnati Kelts Men's Rugby Club has been sponsoring this event in Fort's honor since the year she was diagnosed, 2003. October 8 @ HAPS in Cincinnati. If you are interested in purchasing raffle tickets ($5/ea or 3/$10 - give me call or send me an email. First prize $300. Second prize $200 Third prizes (3) $100
Fairmont is holding the VOLLEY for the CURE this Tuesday, September 27. We were invited to set up a table. We will have BREAST CANCER information (thanks to Sharon Kershner), and accepting donations for our 3 Day Walk AND Kelts raffle tickets.

Fort's JV Volleyball team honored her at Finneytowns FIRST Volley for the Cure in 2007.
In honor of my friend Jackie, who passed away last March, I had a tree planted behind Melissa's bench at Fairmont (since Moraine Meadows closed, I thought Fairmont would be a good place since Jackie's students will be passing through Fairmont for the next 10 years!) The placque for under the tree will be ready in 6 to 8 is beautiful. Will post a picture when it's in! Love you Jackie!

Max & Drew in their Fairmont digs (Drew has his "FIREBIRDS for Fort" shirt on! I love it!

Two Drew's (Drew of my former student from Moraine Meadows...he was THE cutest little boy...when Nick and Mere decided on Andrew for a name - I KNEW I would call him Drew!)

I can't think of a better way of ending this post than to share some "old" photos of Fort...she would love it, I'm sure!

WHEW! Exhausted after eating that apple!!!

BIG shoes to fill...(what is it about babies and their dad's (or grandma's) shoes? Just today Max was wearing MY shoes - trying to walk around with them on!)

BUSTED! (she snuck into the cabinet to get some cookies....I ALWAYS had a camera ready!)

Sorry for the long post...Donny tells me I should post more often (I used to tell Melssa the SAME thing)...but just like FORT, I have to be motivated AND have the energy. That happened to be today.

GET YOUR MAMMOGRAM (or schedule it anyway!)

Enjoy the fall!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten years ago today...

I had a group of students in orientation for Literacy Lab when the phone rang in the library at Moraine Meadows. It was Melissa. "MOM. Turn on your tv. A plane just hit the World Trade Center!" That was how I first found out about the events of that students were second graders, so I didn't leave it on but for a couple of minutes. I took them back to their classroom, and went to the office to tell them. We were told to leave the tv's off and not talk about it. Parents came to school to pick up their kids and take them home...Nick called and said "WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON???" He was at Akron at the time - the Saturday before Akron had played Ohio State. I remember going home and looking up and how odd it seemed that there were no planes in the sky. For several days.
When Melissa came home from work that night, we went to St. Mary's (church) on Xenia Avenue. They had a service that night - there were a lot of people, there was nothing you could do but pray.

Ten years ago...she was HERE.
It's all STILL so unbelievable.

It amazes me how we can go through such traumatic events in our lives and
go on. 9-11...Cancer...but somehow we do. One day at a time....
and with the help of friends, family and for me - my grandsons...and memories
of better times - like the HOLIDAY at HOME Labor Day celebration every year...
Another event Fort LOVED...the Holiday at Home parade. Her last one was 3 years ago...she posted all about it - even posted information about the Clydesdales - they were in the parade that year. She loved the craft show at Lincoln Park after the parade too...another holiday...not the same without her. But we go because SHE loved the boys love it too!

Nick, Mere and the boys at the parade

Pam-ma with Drew & Max...having fun at the parade!

Saw two of my former students (from Moraine Meadows) in the parade...and yes...they are GIRLS...playing football! I love it!

Drew's first friend...

Drew gettin' a feel for driving a firetruck...

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These are some our friends from Compassionate Friends. The 5K was in honor of Cameron, the son of Chad & Tonya. He was having a routine surgery and there were complications and he died in surgery. He was only 18. The proceeds of the 5K go to A Special Wish Foundation. BEAUTIFUL day, great friends...

Sharon & Pam (training in a 5K for the BIG walk in October!)

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Funny story...(Fort would post this, she LOVED stories like this about her dad...)
We've had a pretty large branch hanging by a thread from our tree in the front yard -
ever since the wind storm back in August. It's probably 10-15 long, hanging right in front of the bay window. Leaves are dead and it looks terrible - so he decided the other day to try to get it down. He had this rope with a heavy metal hook tied to one end...kept throwing it up into the tree to try to wrap the rope around the branch to pull it down. He must have done it 3 or 4 times with no success. (I was in the house all this time). On the last try - he heard a cracking sound, looked over, and the window on the driver side of his car was shattered. He came in the house and said "come here....I don't know WHAT happened, but my car window just broke." He finally figured out that there was a bolt tied to the same rope he was throwing up in the tree, and somehow the bolt came unattached and went flying...right into his car window.
So the next day, Nick stops by with the kids. I am telling Nick the story (and finally seeing the humor in it)and we are both laughing about it. We get in the house, and Drew says "tell me a story Pam-ma" (He loves stories...anything I make up..usually about firetrucks, firemen, dumptrucks) So I ask him, "what story do you want to hear?" His answer? "The one about pop-pop and the tree!"
(It's not the first time Donny has broken something that he WASN'T working on. One time, he was fixing the sink in the kitchen and broke the water softener in the basement.) Fortunately for me, he doesn't know how to post on this blog...otherwise you would probably here some stories about the many stupid things I've done in the past. I'm sure if you read anything Fort wrote - you'd find some of my faux pas should go back and read HER writing anyway...she ALWAYS had something funny to write about!
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Coming up soon...
Saturday, September 17 - 6 p.m.- TEAM B POSITIVE Fundraiser...Tailgate party for the Ohio State Game at Talegator's on Far Hills in Kettering.
Door prizes, 50/50, baskets to bid on, $10 buffet (through halftime), $2 beers!
Join the fun and help raise funds for our 3 Day Walk next month!

Tuesday, September 27 @ Fairmont - vs. Beavercreek. Will be selling FORT bracelets, tickets for the Kelts Breast Cancer Fundraiser and hopefully getting donations for the 3 Day Walk!

Saturday, October 8 - 9th Annual Kelts Breast Cancer Fundraiser - HAPS IRISH PUB in Cinncinati. Raffles and lots of fun -
half the proceeds go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, half to Melissa's Scholarship fund at Fairmont. THANKS PAULY & ELIZABETH and KELTS!!!!

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Like Fort, I love, love, love the fall...or I used to anyway. Love the weather,
football, watching her play rugby...missing her in the fall...and getting closer to the holidays...wishing I could just jump from October to February. Thankful for a wonderful husband, son, grandsons and daughter in law...and compassionate friends, and my sister...and remembering ALL the things I am thankful for.

Miss you every single day you pretty girl...

Enjoy the fall!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Welcome MIA MARIE!!!!!

Mia Marie is here!!!!!!
(after Fort...Melissa Marie)

She is absolutely adorable...and I had the HONOR of being her FIRST friend. When Emma was born, Melissa was the first visitor and Emma's first friend. When Luke was born, Fort was the first visitor, and LUKE'S first friend. So this summer, I visited Stacy & Casey, and they asked if I would be THIS baby's first friend...
I know Fort was there today too...

One HAPPY family! (baby Mia is in her bassinette, keeping warm!)

This picture is in honor of FORT...if you've ever seen a collection of pictures of her, you will notice that in MORE THAN HALF of the pictures, she is sticking out her tongue!

First friend....

Proud papa & baby Mia

Big brother Luke & Mia

Big sis Emma & Mia

Mommy (Stacy), Mia & Pam

Nick & Mia

Congratulations Stacy & Casey! ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Back to School

One good thing about going back to school? Never a dull moment...and PLENTY of stuff for the blog...

Our "theme" this year is "DREAM BIG". Pretty much about raising test scores. At any rate, I pulled some books that tie in to our theme - and talk to the students about "what is YOUR dream?". I told them one of my dreams was to see all 50 states.
So this little girl (third grader) says "I want to be a vegetarian when I grow up." And I'm thinking, that's I say "you can do that NOW, all you have to do is stop eating meat...". She looks at me funny, and the little girl next to her says "No, she wants to take care of animals..." OH. A VETERINARIAN.....we cleared THAT up pretty quickly. Good thing I've decided to focus on "BUILDING VOCABULARY" this year!

I was telling Nick the vegetarian story on the way to see the baby tonight. It reminded me of ANOTHER school story, only this one involved my school Principal.
GREAT guy. EVERYONE should be fortunate enough to work with someone like this...
I was having a VERY stressful day. This guy was a great Principal, but he was overwhelmed (the district basically gave him TWO full time jobs), and he didn't hesitate to delegate. And I couldn't say "no". So I was overwhelmed, and pulled my rocking chair to a corner, sat down and started crying. Then HE walked in the door.
Not knowing HOW to handle this crying librarian, he comes up to me, hands me a $10 and says "go buy yourself a pitcher of beer"....He was ONE OF A KIND.

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Hope you have a relaxing Labor Day Weekend...I plan on it!