Thankful For The Hodgepodge…

As I mentioned, yesterday, I’m thankful for this blog, and for all of the wonderful people I’ve met through it.  One of the ‘blogging things’ I’m most thankful for is “The Wednesday Hodgepodge”.   I still remember emailing Joyce and asking her to consider hosting, when another meme, we’d been participating in, retired.  Thank goodness, Joyce said yes!

Here are this week’s questions:

1. Are you settling for something?

I suppose there are those who might take a look at my life and think that “I settled for something” because  I married the love of my life right out of high school, and have spent the majority of my life being a wife, home-maker, and mother.  No college degree or illustrious career for this girl.  I haven’t traveled much, nor have I experienced many exciting adventures.  I live on the family farm, in a  simple house that Ed and I built together using our own hands.  To some, my life might seem plain and unexciting, but, to me, it’s just about perfect!  So in answer to your question, “No.”

2. It wasn’t that long ago almost every store in the US locked doors and turned out lights on Thanksgiving Day. This year many will be open all day Thursday, giving shoppers a jump-start on ‘Black Friday’. In your opinion is this a good thing or a not so good thing? Will you be shopping on Thanksgiving Day?

I don’t think “getting a jump-start on Black Friday’ is necessarily a good thing because it prevents so many families from being together for Thanksgiving.  I think retailers need to keep their doors locked on Thanksgiving, at least until midnight.  Let’s get back to what’s really important–Faith, Family, and Friends.  There’s not enough tea in China to make me go shopping on Thanksgiving–or ‘Black Friday’!

3. Speaking of shopping… I saw a recent article on the twelve best shopping cities in the world. In order they are-

New York, Tokyo, London, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Vienna, Dubai, Madrid, Milan, and Seoul.

Ever shopped in any of the cities listed? In which city would you most like to pull out the plastic or cold hard cash?

Ha! Ha! (see #1)   No, I haven’t shopped in any of the cities listed, nor do I want to.  If I have to choose a city, I’ll say New York, because it’s the closest to where I live!  I’m not much of a traveler.

4. When did you last dine by candlelight?

It’s been quite a while since Ed and I dined by candlelight!  In fact,  the last time we dined by candlelight was when our power went out at suppertime 🙂

5. What do you have too much of?

‘Stuff’!  In years past, I’ve enjoyed  buying and collecting all kinds of ‘stuff’–clothes, dolls, teddy bears, ceramic frogs, Coca Cola decor, Christmas decor, dishes, seasonal ‘what-nots’, books, and even toys!  After forty years, I definitely have too much ‘stuff’.  I’ve stopped collecting.  A few years back, Diamond Rio made a song called  “Stuff”.  For most of my life, this could have been my theme song.  These days?  Not so much.

6. The Hunger Games…are you a fan? Did you read the book(s)? Will you/have you seen the movie? Will you/have you seen Catching Fire? No spoilers please!

I haven’t read the book(s), but I did finally watch the movie, “The Hunger Games”.  It was not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.  However, I found the whole concept of  a game of ‘survival of the fittest [children]’ , with people watching, a little disturbing.  I seriously doubt I’ll be watching “Catching Fire”.

7. Share your plans for Thanksgiving Day. The who, the where, the what…especially the what! As in what’s for dinner? If you’re one of my International visitors, whose homeland doesn’t celebrate American Thanksgiving (the whole world doesn’t ya know!), then still tell us your plans for Thursday.

Our plans for Thanksgiving are going to be about the same as usual.  For Thanksgiving lunch, Ed and I will be blessed to have everyone under our roof, once more.  This year, we’ve lost one family member (Ed’s mom), but we’ve gained another (baby Evan).  I’ll cook the turkey and dressing, and the girls will contribute some sides and desserts.  Later in the day, most everyone will go to eat supper with the other sides of their families.

Random:

Don’t ya’ just love Thanksgiving?!  Our little grandson, Caden, experienced his first Thanksgiving Feast, preschool style, last week.  I just had to share a few pictures from his mom’s FB page.

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I especially got a kick out of Caden’s placemat!  Did you notice that he is thankful for “Trouble”, the cat, (and the stranger cat)?!  I thought that was so sweet 🙂

I’ll be taking a bit of a blogging break, after today.  There’s much to be done in preparation for Christmas!  I’ll see y’all next week.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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Published in: on November 27, 2013 at 9:48 am  Comments (5)  
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Reflecting And Being Thankful…

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The year of 2013 got off to a rough start.  Our youngest son, Brad, and his wife, Jennifer, had just bought a new house and moved away.  I missed them terribly, and my heart was broken!  Jennifer had just been through another ‘cancer scare’, and it, also, didn’t look as if children would be a part of her and Brad’s future.  Thankfully, I finally adjusted to having a ‘long distance relationship’ with one of my children, Jennifer’s cancer scare was a false alarm, and in March, Jennifer and Brad found out they were ‘expecting’!  Life was good again.

Joy quickly turned to worry when it was discovered that both Jennifer and Brad are carriers of the disease, Cystic Fibrosis.  Weeks later, worry finally turned back into joy when it was discovered that their baby didn’t have this dreaded disease!  In fact, the baby wouldn’t be a carrier either! 🙂  Thank you, God, for double miracles.

Ed and I were able to pay off the last of our debts, this year.  Yay!  What a wonderful feeling it has been, to be debt-free, at last!  Thanks to God, for providing us with the income to do this.  As a result of becoming debt-free, Ed and I were able to do a few things around the house–like having those scary pine trees cut down from around our home,  having some concrete poured under our car shelter, and buying a new lawn mower.  Praise the Lord for home improvements!

2013 has been a year of ‘medical procedures’ for Ed.  He had a root canal, had his first colonoscopy, and had cataract surgery performed on both eyes.  Thank God, all procedures went well, and Ed has 20/20 vision, once more!  As far as we know, he’s a healthy man.

We lost Ed’s mom, this year, but we are thankful for the 91 years that we had her with us!  We are, also, thankful, when the end came, she didn’t suffer for very long.  We find comfort in knowing she’s finally been reunited with the love of her life, as well as the two small children she lost early in her life.  Thank you, God, for happy reunions in Heaven!

The fall of 2013 brought the birth of our ‘miracle grandchild’.  Evan William arrived into this world, and into our family, on October 30.  He was healthy, beautiful, and looked just like his daddy!  Thank God for miracles, and for a little boy who will carry on his daddy’s family name.

The day of baby Evan’s birth, also, brought a ‘very trying situation’ concerning another one of my grandchildren.  In fact, I got the call just moments after Evan’s birth!  Because of an incompetent pediatrician’s office, there was a mix up with some lab results for this grandchild.  This mix up caused great  alarm and stress for the child, and the parents of the child, not to mention the rest of us!  It’s unbelievable what this family has had to endure because of this inexcusable  mix up–three weeks of pure hell!  Thank God for happy endings, including finding a new pediatrician.  The case is finally closed!

As 2013 draws near a close, I’ve found that I’m not the woman I used to be.  I’ve become a smaller, healthier version of the woman I used to be.  It’s a blessing when good things happen as the result of bad things–like having to give up sugar!   It’s also a blessing when second mammogram screenings turn out to be ‘normal’. 🙂  Most recently, I’m thankful for the dentist receptionist, who always fits me in, and for the dentist, who’s willing to think outside of the box, and patch up another broken tooth.

In addition to becoming smaller and healthier, I’ve also become older and wiser in 2013.  We learn and grow through life experiences, and I’ve certainly had plenty of those, this year!  One of the best parts about becoming older and wiser, is watching my children growing older and wiser, along with me.  I take great pleasure (and a little pride) in watching my off-spring become the spouses, parents, and people I’d always hoped and prayed they would be!  Thank you God, for answering this mother’s prayers.

Last, but not least, I’m thankful for this blog.  It’s been a learning experience for me.  Four and one-half years ago, I began blogging, as a way to record my thoughts and stories.  Whenever I go back and read some of my earlier stories, I’m amazed at how much my writing has improved!  Of course, I never dreamed I’d make so many wonderful blogging friends along the way, too!  Thanks to each one of you for your visits and comments. I treasure each one of them!  With all of that being said, I’ll close and say…

Blessings to each one of you!  Have a Happy Thanksgiving

Published in: on November 26, 2013 at 9:39 am  Comments (4)  
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Catching Up On Monday…

It’s hard to believe another week is already beginning, but here we are again!  As usual, the weekend went by in a blur.  They always do!

You may or may not recall that I went for my routine mammogram screening on last Wednesday.  First, Ed bought me a nice lunch at the hospital cafeteria.  Then, afterward, one of his techs did my exam and I came home.  However, the next morning, Ed called me to come back to the hospital to have additional films done.  Joy, joy!  On Thursday, I headed back to the hospital and had four more films done, two on each breast, which concentrated on a certain area of each breast which was questionable by the Radiologist.  I was not happy, as I had to miss a shopping trip with my daughter, plus I was scared to death!

I didn’t find out the results of my second exam until nearly suppertime on Friday evening.   To say I was beside myself would be an understatement!  I felt as if my life was passing before my eyes while I waited for those results.  (I had visions of having to consult with the surgeon again. ) Fortunately, when the results finally came , they were fine!  My second exam was normal.  What a relief!

On Saturday, Ed did some yard work, while I scrubbed our front porch banisters and floor.  I couldn’t bare the thought of decorating a dirty front porch for Christmas!  I haven’t decorated yet, but at least the porch is clean and ready.  My day progressed nicely until I was eating my lunch.  As I was eating the final bite of my hot dog, another tooth broke!  It’s been less than six months since the last tooth broke!  Sigh.  I’ll be hoping and praying that “Santa” doesn’t have to bring me a crown for Christmas, as I head to the dentist as soon as I can get an appointment.

At least, Sunday was a fun day!  Ed and I, along with our daughter and her family, went to Brunswick to do some Christmas shopping.  It had been ages since the five of us had been anywhere together, and we had a great time.  We laughed so much!  We had lunch at The Cracker Barrel, then spent the rest of the afternoon browsing through various stores.  It seemed strange to be in Brunswick and not be heading over to St. Simon’s Island!  Of course, the temps were only in the 40’s, so there’s no way any of us wanted to be at the beach!

That pretty much recaps what’s been happening around here, so now I’ll join in ‘The Monday Quiz’, hosted by Wayne and Heather @ ActingBalanced.

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1. Yesterday (Sunday) was National Adoption Day in the US – does your family (or friend family) have an adoption story?

Yes, our family has an adoption story.  After suffering through five miscarriages, the Lord saw fit to bless my brother and his wife with a beautiful baby daughter, through adoption.  Their adoption story is an amazing one.

2. Do you plan out your Thanksgiving preparations? When do you start?

Yes, I do plan out my Thanksgiving preparations, but I won’t actually start those preparations until about Tuesday.

3. Shopping on holidays – pro or con? What do you think of stores and malls opening at 6 PM or 10 PM on Thanksgiving for “Black Friday” What about Midnight or 3 AM? Are you planning to shop at any time this coming weekend?

I’m not a fan of shopping on holidays.  People should be home with their families on holidays.  I think the stores should wait until at least midnight to open, but I really think 5 AM is early enough.  You couldn’t drag me into a store with a ten foot pole this coming weekend!!!

4. Do you have a fireplace? Do you use it? If you don’t, do you want one?

We have an electric fireplace, which probably doesn’t count.  I love a real fireplace, but would only want one if it had gas logs in it!  For years, Ed and I heated our home by burning firewood in a Buck Stove.  The heat was fantastic, but the dust and ashes drove me crazy!  I do miss being able to roast hot dogs and marshmallows, inside, over the fire though.  Fun times!

Published in: on November 25, 2013 at 12:58 am  Comments (7)  
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The Tale Of The Pampas Grass Cat…

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Sarah Callie Girl- coming out to have breakfast

I seem to be on somewhat of a roll this week, so I figured I might as well end the week with one more tale.  This tale is about one of the cats I rescued from the shelter, back in 2004.  I say “one of the cats I rescued” because in between 2004 and 2005, I rescued over twenty-five kittens and cats!  I have a soft spot in my heart for animals in distress, especially cats!

I’d rescued a lot of cats and kittens, and  by 2005, our yard was getting pretty crowded.  Ed was about ready to run me and all of my rescues out of town on a rail, but a couple more doomed cats would steal my heart away before I finally retired from rescuing!  Sarah Callie Girl was one of those doomed cats.

Sarah, was dropped off at the shelter, along with a sister, or two.  The kittens were already several months old when they were abandoned at the shelter.  In fact, they were half grown.  Older cats or kittens, especially females, were rarely adopted, so I knew Sarah and her sisters were doomed from the start.  One day, when I could no longer stand it, and I knew ‘the end’ was drawing near,  I brought Sarah home with me.

My family of cats was already well established by this time, so it was harder for a new cat to fit in.  In fact, Sarah never did fit in.  I don’t think the other cats really had a problem with Sarah, but she sure had a problem with all of them.  Sarah hissed and growled every time anyone looked her way, which made her very unpopular!

In 2007, when Ed and I moved into our new house, right next door, Sarah chose to stay over at the old house.  Oh, she’d come over to our new house long enough to eat, then she’d high-tail it back over to the old house!  Several months later, when our daughter and her family moved into our old house, Sarah sort of became their cat.  You could say, Sarah came with the house!

For several years, Sarah lived on, around and under the front porch (and steps) of our old house.  Sometimes I’d furnish cat food for my daughter to feed Sarah,or she ate scraps from our daughter’s family.  Sometimes Sarah would even come over to our house and join the other cats for a meal.  One thing was for sure, if Sarah came over to our house to eat, she didn’t stay long!  Soon we’d see a furry streak heading back across the yard!

About a year ago, our daughter’s family adopted a dog.  He’s a Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix, named “Jack”.  Jack hates cats, and has terrorized every feline on the place every since he moved next door!  Poor Sarah finally had to take refuge in the woods next to the house, just to get some peace.

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Sarah-cautiously eating her breakfast

For weeks, I’d take a bowl to the edge of the woods and keep the dog away while Sarah ate.  Then spring came, and we planted our garden. When the garden got big enough, Sarah began to stay out in the garden instead of in the woods.  I’d feed her at the end of the corn rows.  This arrangement worked fine until we had to cut down the garden, at the end of the summer.  By this time, we’d seen several snakes crawling in and around the woods, so I wasn’t keen on feeding Sarah in the woods anymore.

Sarah solved our dilemma by taking up residence in a clump of pampas grass at the edge of my daughter’s yard.  I planted that pampas grass many years ago, and Ed has fussed about it every since then!  I’m happy to  finally see that somebody else in the family finally likes my pampas grass!

Each morning and afternoon, either Ed or I will take some dry cat food out to the clump of pampas grass.  I’ll usually call “Sarah Callie Girl”, and Sarah will come out of a hole in the side of the grass!  Pretty clever, huh?  The grass keeps Sarah dry when it  rains, warm in the winter, and provides shelter from the dog.  That pampas grass has turned out to be quite useful, after all!

Note: Jack, the dog, isn’t often allowed to roam free outside, these days.  This gives Sarah and the other cats plenty of time to enjoy the great outdoors without being harassed.  Some of the cats have learned how to ‘put Jack in his place’ whenever necessary, so he doesn’t chase the cats as much as he once did.  Sarah, however, still lives in the pampas grass…

Published in: on November 22, 2013 at 8:26 am  Comments (7)  
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The Saga Of Three Trees…Again!

Ed and I haven’t had a live Christmas tree since the Christmas of 1979.  That’s because during the Christmas of 1979 we put up three different trees!  Not in different places in our home either, but in the same spot!  You can read about that first Saga of Three Trees HERE.

Flash forward, thirty-four years later, and I’ve just experienced another Christmas tree dilemma.  The funny thing is, I haven’t even put a tree up yet!

As I mentioned, Ed and I always put up an artificial tree.  (Actually, I usually put up and decorate a total of four trees, but only one of them is a large one.)  Our main, 7 1/2′,  tree is seven years old.  It still looks pretty good, and all of the lights still burned last year, but it was getting time to start thinking about replacing it.

The decision was made after Ed and I purchased our new washer/dryer from Lowes, in September.  We received an $80 gift card, in a rebate offer, so I designated this gift card to go toward the purchase of a new Christmas tree.  The search was on!

Lowes had their Christmas trees up in early October, so I began looking.  I’d purchased our last tree from Lowes,  and I wanted another one just like it, but a little smaller.  I love huge trees, but I’m getting older, and I’m not sure climbing a ladder is such a good idea anymore.  I decided to choose a 7 foot  tree, for the first time ever.  Lowes had a similar version of our current tree, in the 7 foot size, so I decided I’d go with that one…until I began looking around!

To make a long story short, I ended up purchasing a different tree!  I bought a 7 1/2 foot skinny tree instead.  I don’t know what possessed me to do that, but I did.  We brought it home and decided to take it out of the box to see how it looked in our home.  We didn’t even put the thing together!  It was much too skinny for us, and it was so thin you could see spit through the tree!  Back to Lowes the tree went!

I intended to purchase the first tree that I looked when I bought the second tree, but, once again, I got side tracked!  This time I bought a 7 1/2  foot fat tree!  Don’t ask me why I kept choosing 7 1/2  foot trees, when I was supposed to be choosing a smaller tree, but I did it again. However, something inside me kept telling me I might have made a bad choice.

A few days later, I went back to Lowes to purchase a string of colored lights.  While there, I decided to look at the artificial trees one more time…  I didn’t have Ed with me, so I had plenty of time to compare and look, this time.  I discovered that the tree I’d purchased looked better, at a first glance, but upon closer inspection, was made cheaper than the original tree I’d planned to purchase.  I knew this tree would not stand the test of time.

I got in my car, drove 38 miles back home, loaded the Christmas tree back into my car, then headed back to Lowes!  I returned the second tree, and finally bought the tree I should have chosen in the first place!  While loading and unloading the two trees, I quickly discovered that the third tree weighed more than the second tree, even though it was smaller!

The third and final purchase is sitting on the floor of our pool room.  I won’t put the new tree up until after Thanksgiving, but, hopefully, this tree will be a keeper!  After all, the third time’s the charm, right?  I hope so, but I still have my receipt…just in case!

Published in: on November 21, 2013 at 11:09 am  Comments (10)  
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How About A Little Hodgepodge?

It’s Wednesday again, and, today, that means two things.  Number one, it means I finally have an appointment to have my mammogram done.  Number two, it means it’s time to join in with The Hodgepodge.  I like number two the best, so let’s hop right to it, shall we?  As always, thanks to our gracious hostess, Joyce, for hosting.  You can join in The Hodgepodge by clicking Joyce’s button at the top of this post.  Here are this week’s questions:

1. What lesson has failure taught you?

Failure has taught me that I am not, nor will I ever be, perfect.  It also taught me that my plans are not always God’s plans! Last, but not least, that if given the chance, I shouldn’t be afraid to “dust off my pants” and try again whenever I fail.

2. What decision are you glad you made?

I’m glad I made the decision to become engaged and married to Ed!  I spent my last two years of high school, engaged and sitting home alone, while Ed served his tour of duty overseas.  Many well-meaning people tried to tell me I was “wasting the best years of my life” by being engaged so young.  They were wrong!  The best years of my life were yet to come, and I wouldn’t change a single thing!

3. I’ve been a little bit surprised to see fully lit and decorated Christmas trees popping up for the past several weeks in friend’s Instagram feeds. So tell the truth-is your tree up and decorated, and if so when did that happen? If not, when will you be decking the halls?

No, I do not have any of my Christmas tree(s) up yet, but I do have my year ’round tree decorated for Thanksgiving!  It’s covered in pilgrims, turkeys, and pumpkins of all kinds.  I do not believe in decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving, so I’ll begin decorating for Christmas the weekend following Thanksgiving.  First things first!

4. Solitaire-Poker-Rummy-Hearts-Go Fish-Old Maid…which game of cards would you most like to join?

I still enjoy playing ‘Go Fish’ with my granddaughter, occasionally, and I’m also still a fan of ‘Old Maid’!

5. This question comes to you courtesy of a Facebook friend, who once upon a time had a blog…When you’re feeling stressed do you snack a lot or are you more the ‘can’t eat’ type?

I can’t eat when I’m feeling stressed.  My stomach feels queasy and my throat seems to close up.

6. Have you ever reviewed a product or service on line? Was your review favorable or less than favorable?

Yes, I’ve frequently been asked to leave reviews for various products, that I’ve purchased on line.  I’m always honest, and fortunately, most of my reviews have been favorable.  I would like to do a review of my new washing machine, but the jury’s still out on that one, so I’ll wait a bit longer!

7. What was the best conversation you had yesterday?

As usual, it was a conversation with my daughter.  She and I can talk about anything and everything–and we usually do!

Random: Update to ‘Trouble and the Man With the Can”

It’s been a year since anyone has lived at my mother-in-law’s house.  The saga of the cats living at the empty residence continues..

The feral mother cat disappeared, never to be seen again, as well as one of her kittens.  The other two kittens are alive and doing well.  Then, of course, there’s ‘Trouble’, who continues to live up to her name…  Ed, the man with the can, continues to feed these misplaced cats daily.  Here’s the latest news:

After staying at our son’s house for well over a week, ‘Trouble’, the cat, has, once again, moved back to Ed’s mom’s house!  I don’t know what that cat is thinking!  Currently, one gray kitten, who’s still pretty wild, is at our son’s house, the other gray kitten, ‘Jo Jo’, is at our house, and ‘Trouble’ is back living alone at my in-law’s empty house.  This breaks my heart.  It’s like she’s waiting for someone to come back home…

On a happier note, ‘Jo Jo’, the former feral kitten, is doing great!  Somehow, ‘Jo Jo’ found his way to our house one day, and has made it his permanent home!  It took me about two months to tame him.  ‘Jo Jo’ follows me everywhere, and not only will he now let me pick him up–he demands it!  That cat just can’t get enough attention!  He loves to be rubbed and talked to, and, just like his cousin, ‘Trouble’, ‘Jo Jo’ drools on me when I rub him and talk to him!   ‘Jo Jo’ often sits outside the kitchen window and meows for my attention.

Ed sold his little silver Neon to our daughter, a while back, and that move thoroughly confused these cats!  For a while, the cats continued to greet the little silver car, thinking Ed was bringing food for them.  They’ve since learned that food now comes in my little black PT Cruiser or in grandpa’s old truck, which now belongs to Ed.

Ed continues to take food the ‘misplaced’ cats food daily…

Published in: on November 20, 2013 at 9:01 am  Comments (8)  
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The Jello Molds…

Ed is continuing to slowly work his way through the details of handling his mother’s estate.  Recently, when Ed asked me which things I would like to have, out of his parents’ house, my first answer was, “Buster, the cookie jar.”  My second answer was, “Your mother’s set of jello molds.”

When I first met my husband, Ed, those jello molds were hanging on the wall of his mother’s kitchen.  I was always intrigued by the molds, since only one other person that I knew had any.  (Back then, to me, jello molds were a symbol of prosperity! Ha!)  One day I asked Ed’s mom where she got her jello molds.  My future mother-in-law proceeded to explain where her jello molds came from and how she got them.

Many years ago, one of our town’s more prominent citizens built a home furnishing store in our little town (appropriately named, Dream Home Furnishings).  Charlie was a shrewd business man, which earned him the nickname of “Cheatin’ Charlie”.  Did I mention that Charlie was also our city mayor, one time?  Or that he built the first set of apartments ever located in our little town , known as Dream Home Apartments?

One day, Ed’s parents were in need of a new appliance. ( I believe it was a refrigerator or a washing machine.) While Ed’s parents were at the home furnishing store, haggling with Charlie over the price of the appliance, Charlie offered to throw in a set of jello molds, as a bonus.  Ed’s daddy bought the new appliance, and Ed’s mother became the proud new owner of five shiny jello molds.

Ed’s mother hung her new jello molds over her kitchen sink, and they hung there for many years.  Just like “Buster the Cookie Jar”, the jello molds were present for many great family meals around the kitchen table!  I can still remember admiring those shiny copper molds, as I sat, eating  meals with Ed and his family.

Some years later, Ed’s daddy built a second, new kitchen onto the back of their house, and the molds were then moved to the new kitchen.  They hung in their new place of honor for close to thirty years, and I continued to admire them.  As far as I know, the molds were never used for making jello or jello salad.

A little over a month ago, Ed removed the jello molds from the wall of his parents’ kitchen and brought them home to me.  The old molds were sort of like “Buster”– soiled and a bit fragile.  Ed gently cleaned the molds, then promptly hung them in their new place of honor on my kitchen wall.  They fit perfectly in the space I’d chosen for them!

I think of my dear mother-in-law every time I look at her jello molds, and I remember all the good times we used to have in her kitchen.  Throughout forty-three years, I never once dreamed that, one day, I’d have those jello molds hanging in my kitchen.  I thought they’d hang in Vivian’s kitchen forever, but, alas, time has a way of changing things.

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If you look closely at this picture of my daughter (on her birthday), you will notice five jello molds hanging on the wall.  The molds are hanging in their new place of honor– over the ‘picture’ window in my kitchen.  I’ll always treasure them, just like I treasure the fond memories of my mother-in-law.

Published in: on November 19, 2013 at 9:02 am  Comments (6)  
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Odds-N-Ends On Monday…

When I last blogged, it was Friday, and Ed was off from work, with a ‘honey-do” list facing him.  I’m happy to report that, by Saturday afternoon, the “honey-do” list was completed–including fixing the toilet!  I tell you, that Ed’s a keeper!  In addition to fixing the toilet, Ed plowed up the sweet potatoes, drained the fountain and covered it for winter, made a new arbor for our thorn-less blackberry bushes, did some repairs around the greenhouse, changed the spark plugs in his truck, and took time to celebrate his birthday with all of our family!  (Ed may have been happy to go back to work, this morning.)

I’m thankful that Ed’s still able to do most things himself, because he’s saved us a ton of money over the years.  He recently checked the price on a ‘spark plug change’, and was told the cost would be $98.00!  He did it himself, on Saturday, for nothing.  At one point, I looked out of the window, and saw Ed standing in a lawn chair, with the upper one-half of his torso buried underneath the hood of the truck!  I’m not sure how many more years Ed will be able to pull off these moves, but for now we’re still good 🙂

The results of our first attempt at growing sweet potatoes were fair.  We made LOTS of potatoes, but the majority of the potatoes were small.  I’m not sure why they didn’t grow larger, but at least there are plenty of them!  Now all we have to do is figure out where to store our ‘bounty’…

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Ed’s birthday celebration was good.  All of our family was able to gather, once more, so our house suddenly became very full and very noisy!  We ordered some  bar-b-que  from a local restaurant, so nobody would have to spend much time in the kitchen.  Our son-in-law, who enjoys cooking, made some delicious Brunswick stew to go along with the bar-b-que.  (Thanks, Clint!)

Ordering Ed’s birthday cake turned out to be a bit of an ordeal for me.  I couldn’t make up my mind what I wanted!  I went to the store’s bakery, ordered a cake, then came home.  Two hours later, I called the bakery and completely changed my order!  Two days later, when I picked up the cake, the lady still remembered me 🙂

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I thought about taking a family photograph of everyone, on Saturday night, but never did.  By the time we finished eating, I was pooped!  In fact, I nearly forgot to have Ed open his birthday presents!  I don’t think Ed thought about opening them either.

I’ll make it a point to take an updated family portrait on Thanksgiving, then we’ll have one that includes our newest family member, baby Evan!  In the meantime, here’s a picture of me getting some ‘Evan sugar’ on Saturday afternoon.  Evan had gained thirteen ounces, last week, so, as you can imagine, he was visibly larger!  I enjoyed rocking him and giving him his bottle 🙂

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Wow!  In looking at these pictures, I’ve come to a realization! Ed and I looking an awful lot like our parents used to look!  Who are these ‘aging’ people who have taken over our bodies?   I don’t feel like I should look the way I do!  Ed says, the down side of having cataract surgery is, now he can see all of his wrinkles, clearly!  For that reason, I’m thankful my vision is declining…

On that note, I’m joining  The Monday Quiz:

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1. According to the source I use for strange and wonderful days, today is Occult Day – are you a believer? 
I’ve never really given much thought to the occult, so I guess not.
2. Have you ever attended an auction?  Did you win what you were bidding on?
I attended a car auction, once, and it was rather interesting.  Ed and I went with our daughter and her boyfriend, and we met the boyfriend’s parents at the auction.  Ed and I were just spectators, and didn’t bid on anything.
Every year, around Mother’s Day, our school used to hold silent auctions on gift baskets, to raise money for ‘Relay For Life’.  I bid on a few baskets, over the years, but never won anything.
 
3. Have you started your Christmas shopping?  Finished it?
I have begun my Christmas shopping, and have been having some interesting experiences while shopping on-line!  Every time I’d finish my shopping, and start to check out, at least one of the items in my cart would have become out-of-stock while I was shopping!  This happened to me three times over the weekend!  I finally finished purchasing our gifts for the grandchildren, last night!   Hurrah!
 
4. How’s your weather?
Our weather is strange!   We’ve been experiencing vast fluctuations in our temperatures, lately.  We experienced freezing temperatures mid-week, and now it’s back in the eighties!  We desperately need rain, as well.
My question for you:
5.  How do you feel about stores having ‘Black Friday’ sales on Thanksgiving Thursday?
I think stores need to wait until Friday, to begin their sales, so people can spend Thanksgiving with their families.  There’s plenty of time to shop afterward.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Published in: on November 18, 2013 at 10:43 am  Comments (11)  
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A Few Friday Fragments…

Half-Past Kissin' Time

It’s been one of those weeks!  For some reason, I don’t feel like I have accomplished very much, this week.  That’s probably because I’ve spent a lot of time on the computer!  When I wasn’t blogging, I was doing  Christmas shopping.  As of this week, I’ve officially begun my Christmas shopping!  Yay for me!  Two grandchildren crossed off the shopping  list, two more to go…

On Monday I went for my yearly eye exam, and a field of vision test.  I look forward to this appointment almost as much as I look forward to my yearly gynecologist visit!  (There’s a hint of sarcasm here.)  My eyes are extremely sensitive, so I hate having those drops put into my eyes.  It’s not much fun staring into that machine for the field of vision test either!  (My medical doctor requires a yearly field of vision test because one of the medicines I take, for rheumatoid arthritis, can cause vision problems.)  My poor, tired eyes remained dilated for over seven hours after the exam was over!  The good news is, I didn’t need new glasses, and I don’t have to go back for at least a year!

On Tuesday, I went with my daughter to take her daughter to the doctor, for a check up.  We left early enough to eat lunch out, then shopped a little bit before and after the appointment.  It had been ages since the three of us had been able to go on an ‘outing,’ and we had fun.

After  almost seven years of taking her daughter to see a practicing group of pediatricians, my daughter, Brandy, decided to switch Madison over to the care of a family practitioner.  Apparently, it’s a good thing Brandy made the switch!  On the first visit, a nurse practitioner discovered that Madison has a heart murmur.  We found it amazing that none of the previous pediatricians had ever bothered to mention this before!  The nurse practitioner doesn’t think Madison’s murmur is serious, but she scheduled an echo cardiogram to check things out a bit further anyway.  This wasn’t the first ‘mistake’ this group of pediatricians this group of pediatricians have made concerning Madison, but it will, definitely, be their last!

Wednesday was Ed’s birthday, so I spent most of the afternoon baking a cake for him.  Since I can’t eat much sugar, anymore, I rarely bake.  I can’t even remember when I last used my cake pans!  Ed loves German Chocolate cake, so I always bake one for him on his birthday, and on Valentines Day.  Valentine’s Day may have been the last time I baked a cake!  I was ‘rusty’ and needed the practice 🙂

On Thursday I was supposed to have a mammogram, but the mammogram machine broke on Wednesday, so I had to be rescheduled.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to get it over with have it done next week.  I.Can.Hardly.Wait.  I don’t mind having the exam as much as I mind waiting for the results.  I had a cancer scare a few years back,  so now I dread mammogram time.

Ed’s taking a vacation day today, so he’s home with me.  For now, he’s required to take a day off every two weeks, due to low patient census at work.  I have a long ‘honey-do’ list awaiting his attention, so his day won’t be wasted :).  Fixing the toilet is at the top of that list!  Our toilet still flushes, but it takes ten minutes, or more, for the tank to fill back up with water.  Digging sweet potatoes is also on that list!  Sounds like a fun day, huh?

As for me, I plan to rake some pine straw, clean the bathroom, and if those sweet potatoes get dug up, I’ll help pick those up, too!  We’re having a family get-together on Saturday night, in honor of Ed’s recent birthday, and I need to do some preparations for that, as well!  It’s always great to have everyone together again, especially when birthday cake and ice cream is involved 🙂  Two cakes in one week–you go Ed!

In reading back over my fragments, I guess it wasn’t  such a wasted week after all!  I managed to get a few things crossed off my ‘to do’ list!

Have a great weekend, everyone, and thanks to Mrs.4444 at halfpastkissintime for hosting Friday Fragments!

Published in: on November 15, 2013 at 8:58 am  Comments (3)  
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On A Cold And Frosty Morning…

I guess cold weather has officially come to our neck of the woods, since we had our first official frost last night!  When I flung open the front door, this morning, I saw a thick blanket of frost covering everything in sight.  The frost will officially end our grass mowing season for 2013, thank goodness!

Unfortunately, the frost will also end the crop of ‘volunteer’ watermelons, peanuts, and corn, too.  Ed covered the huge ‘volunteer’ cherry tomato plant, growing next to the chicken house, with a tarp.  I’ll uncover and check it in about an hour, to see how the plant survived the night.  As I mentioned, it’s huge, and was still covered with blossoms and little tomatoes.

Our little sweet potato patch looks pitiful, this morning, so I suppose we can officially dig our sweet potatoes, now.  Those potatoes have been growing since late spring when I started growing sweet potato ‘draws’ in my kitchen window!  (For those who may be wondering what a ‘draw’ is, it’s the vine that sprouts from the eye of the potato.)

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potato draws growing in the window

Anyway, Ed planted the ‘draws’ back in early June, right before our excessive rainy season began.  It’s a wonder the vines didn’t drown, since they were underwater for quite sometime!  Somehow they survived and have been growing in a patch of very dry dirt, lately, since we’re now in the middle of a drought!  (Our precipitation can’t seem to get regulated!)  I can’t wait to see if we actually grew any potatoes, after all that!  Ed dug around the vines last week, and found four very small potatoes, which I baked for supper!  They were small, but delicious.100_2140 (2)

my little ‘green’ house

We’re using my little green house to keep two strawberry plants warm, (which bloomed and had berries all summer), as well as to house a squash plant (with a squash on it!) and an aging tomato plant that has a few tomatoes left on the vine.  This will be our first full winter using the green house, so we’ll see how it goes.  I wonder how much electricity we’ll use keeping four plants warm???

We have mustard, turnips, collards, cabbage, lettuce, and carrots still growing in the garden.  We’ve been running the sprinkler in the garden because, as I mentioned, we’re in the middle of a very dry spell.  Frost and ice covered all of these plants, this morning, too, so it will be interesting to see how everything looks later in the day.  It should be fine, since all of these crops are cold-weather tolerant.

We’ve been enjoying eating mustard greens for just over a week.  Since we’re southern, we love our greens and cornbread!  We’re looking  forward to trying some of the other stuff soon, but most of these veggies were planted for “the girls”, aka our hens.

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“the girls”

Speaking of “the girls”, they’ve finally recovered from the illness that plagued them back in early summer, when we lost one of them.  They’re fat and very sassy, these days!  In fact, one of the ‘sisters’ reached up and pecked me on the butt cheek, the other day!  I quickly swatted her away, and told her that was a great way to end up in the stew pot! (I’m sure she’s not worried much about that!)  Egg production has slowed, due to the shorter days, but we’re only three eggs away from 1850!   That’s a lot of eggs for five hens to lay!  The girls have kept more than three families supplied with eggs, for over a year!

Published in: on November 14, 2013 at 10:03 am  Comments (3)  
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