A New Year, A New Hodgepodge…

 

Happy New Year!  What better way to help get the year started than with The Hodgepodge?!  As always, many thanks to our gracious hostess, Joyce, for keeping things going.  Now, here are today’s questions:

1. Share one favorite moment/memory from your Christmas holiday.

My favorite moment/memory from this Christmas was the candlelight church service that Ed and I attended on Christmas Eve.  It was our first time attending a candlelight Christmas Eve service, and our oldest son brought the message. Good moments, good memories.

2. What was the best thing you ate over the holidays? Was it homemade or store-bought? If it was homemade did you make it?

I ate so many good things, it’s hard to choose just one–and my waist is showing it, too!!!  I’ll choose “fruitcake cookies” as my answer, though.  We ate some at a get-together that we attended, and those were some of the best fruitcake cookies I’ve ever eaten.  They were homemade by a friend, and she was kind enough to send some home with us, too.

3. What was one of the most beautiful things you saw over the holidays?

I’ll say the Christmas light displays Ed and I visited, shortly before Christmas.  We noticed there just weren’t many light displays, this year, but we found three families who went “all out” and had filled their yards with all kinds of Christmas decorations.  We thoroughly enjoyed looking at their displays, and really appreciated their efforts.

4. What does fresh start mean to you?

A fresh start means putting the past behind you, and starting all over, like when you move from one place to another, or when you retire.

5. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being very positive and 1 being not so great) how would you rate 2016 in terms of personal achievement and well-being? Explain.

If I compare 2016 to our nightmare year of 2015, I’d have to give it a “10”, but since Ed and I did have a couple of issues to deal with during the year, I’m going to give 2016 an “8”.   2016 could’ve been better, but we know it could’ve been a whole lot worse, too!

6. Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they’d like to see banished from the Queen’s English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse, or just general uselessness. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen or, if you’re like me, to find out what in the world the word or phrase even means or the context in which it’s used. There were quite a few on this year’s list I’d never heard before.

Here’s the 2017 list of banished words-

You, Sir-focus-Bete Noire-Town Hall Meeting-Post Truth-guesstimate-831-historic-manicured-echo chamber-on fleek-bigly-ghost-Dadbod-listicle-get your dander up-selfie drone-frankenfruit-disruption

Which word on the list would you most like to see banished in 2017? What word or phrase would you add to the list?

There were quite a few  words and phrases I’m not familiar with either.  I think I’d most like to banish the phrase “Town Hall Meeting” simply because it makes me think of politics–and I’m not ready to think about politics again!  I’d like to see the word “selfie” banished, too, as well as “selfies” themselves!  Will this fad ever die?

 7. Large or small, light or deep, share with us one goal you have for the new year.

My goal for 2017 is to continue my spiritual growth.  I received a new Bible for Christmas and I plan to spend a lot of time with it.

Random:

A few ‘storm clouds’ [of life] have been gathering around Ed and me during the past few weeks.  I’m not at liberty to share details, but I will tell you these ‘clouds’ involve medical issues, procedures, and waiting for results.  Not the way we’d hoped to begin our new year, but we’ll be okay.

Also, our daughter-in-law, Jennifer, lost her granddaddy on January 2, the day after his birthday.  He had been hospitalized the entire month of December, and was finally sent home, under hospice care, on Christmas Eve. As you can imagine, the holidays have been bittersweet for Jennifer and her family.  They have been, and will be, in my thoughts and prayers.

 

Published in: on January 4, 2017 at 8:51 am  Comments (13)  
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Christmas 2016 Is In The Books…

The Christmas of 2016 was Christmas # sixty-two for me.   It was also Christmas # forty-four with Ed and I as a married couple, Christmas # thirty-eight as a married couple with children, and Christmas # ten as a married couple with grandchildren.  That’s a lot of Christmas celebrations!  Bare with me as I attempt to document the most recent of those celebrations, via this blog…

I began Christmas Eve in a nostalgic mood.  It all started on Saturday morning, when one of those “memories” popped up in my Facebook feed, and I watched a video I’d made a few years ago. Watching the slide show, of so many past Christmases, triggered some tears, and they continued to fall, off and on, throughout the day. (It’s also possible I was having a hormonal moment) So many of the people in that video are no longer with us–all of our parents, a favorite uncle, a favorite cousin…  I cooked and  cried, as I thought about the years past.

Because I was feeling nostalgic, I decided to go over to my late mother-in-law’s house to borrow her Christmas china to use for our Christmas dinner, the following day. (We often use paper plates)  Her china was still sitting in the china cabinet, even though she’s been deceased for over three years.  As usual, “Trouble”, the cat who still lives alone at the house, met me at the driveway, so I gave her a bowl of milk.  I returned home, and began washing dinner plates as memories of Christmases past still flooded my mind.

I went ahead and set the table with the china, as I washed and dried the plates.  I also used my mother-in-law’s stainless steel flatware on the holiday table.  Believe it or not, after I’d finished setting the table, our daughter and her family showed up bearing a gift–a set of Christmas china–for me!  There’s an interesting story behind this gift, which was actually from Ed, but I won’t take time to tell it today.   Let’s just say I sure was surprised, and it made me cry some more!  Ed pitched in and helped wash the new plates, while I reset the table with my new china… (if you look at the table, below, you’ll see I left my mother-in-law’s platter on the table, along with her salt and pepper shakers)

The highlight of my Christmas Eve turned out to be the candlelight service we attended that night.  Believe it or not, it was my first time attending a Christmas Eve candlelight service.  Our oldest son had been asked to deliver the evening message, and it was one of his best, yet.  His message was followed by the candle lighting part of the service.  This is where things got a little bit precarious in the church.  Our daughter-in-law was at the service with our two oldest grandsons, and she had two of her young nephews with her, as well.  Picture, if you will, four little boys, all with lit candles, inside of a church!  At one point, the candle table became a little shaky while one of the nephews was trying to light his candle.  Thanks to Christina’s sharp reflexes, she was able to avert a possible crisis by quickly steadying the wobbly table!  We all breathed a sigh of relief.

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Our Christmas Day began bright and early, at six o’clock.  Thankfully, I woke up in a better mood, and we quickly set about the business of getting the turkey in the oven.  I sent the Christmas ham across the yard to our daughter’s house to bake in her oven, since my oven would be tied up with the turkey.  Ed and I were invited to eat Christmas breakfast with them, and we did.

I planned a late lunch because some were attending Sunday services at ten.  We sat down to eat around one-thirty, and finished in the kitchen just before three.  We were just getting around to dessert when our oldest son joined us, late.  He’d gone to visit the residents of the assisted living facility where he holds Sunday services, each week.

Because we almost forgot to take ‘the crazy hat family photo’ the past couple of years, I told everyone let’s do that first, this year.  This has become a family tradition with our family for the past several years, and it’s always fun to pick out a different hat to wear each year.  I usually add one new hat to the collection, each Christmas.  Of course, there’s always one grandchild who refuses to wear a hat, and this year it was Chase’s turn.  I’ve also noticed our oldest son wears those same reindeer antlers every year…

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I also did something new this year, that I’d like to see turn into another family tradition.  I baked a small cake which I designated as Jesus’ birthday cake.  It was a lemon cake, decorated with colored sprinkles and candles.  Our youngest grandson, Evan, loves singing Happy Birthday and blowing out candles, so he was excited about this.  All of the older grandchildren happily joined in, too.

Sometime after three, we began the gift opening portion of Christmas Day by letting the children open their gifts first, one at a time.  About the time the adults were finally getting ready to play the “Dirty Santa” game, daughter-in-law, Jennifer, got a phone call.  She was needed for a medical emergency at the home of her grandparents.  (Her grandfather had just been released from the hospital, on Christmas Eve, after spending the past month battling pneumonia.)  We put the gift opening on hold while Jennifer went to give her grandfather his breathing treatment.

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The weather here was a sunny and a warm 75 degrees on Christmas Day, so everyone retreated outdoors while Jennifer was gone.  (We all wore shorts and  had two a/c units running all day long)  The older children enjoyed playing with granddaughter, Madison’s, new basketball goal, while Evan, the youngest, enjoyed driving his new Jeep around the yard–right up until the power switch broke 😦  (His ‘crafty’ dad has since been able to replace the broken switch, thank goodness)

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It was almost suppertime by the time Jennifer returned, so we decided to eat (again) before the adults opened their gifts.  By that time, it was after seven o’clock.  Talk about dragging out Christmas all day!  Of course, by then, the children were wishing they had more gifts to open, too.

The adults played our usual two rounds of “Dirty Santa”, but not much stealing went on this year.  I’m not sure if everyone really loved the gifts they received or they were just too tired to steal from anyone, by the time we finally got to open our gifts.  I was so tired, I forgot to take any pictures, except for this one, when we first started the game.

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It was well after ten, Christmas night, when Ed and I finally finished in the kitchen and fell into bed, shortly before eleven.  To say we were exhausted would be an understatement, but it was a most enjoyable and fulfilling day! Nothing compares to being surrounded by your entire family, especially at Christmas.  Ed and I have been very blessed, to have our entire family with us every Christmas, for the past forty-four Christmases, with the exception of the one year Jennifer had to work.  That’s almost unheard of!

Just think, only 362 more days, and Christmas will be here again…  As quickly as time is passing, perhaps I should just leave all of these decorations in place 🙂  It’s a nice thought, anyway.

 

Published in: on December 28, 2016 at 9:08 am  Comments (4)  
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The First Day Of Winter Hodgepodge…

T’was the first day of winter, and all through the house…the gifts were all wrapped…Christmas candy was finished… and the last thing on the list was more cooking and cleaning!  But that will have to wait until another day, because today is Wednesday, and that means it’s time to join in The Hodgepodge!  Thank you to our hostess, Joyce, for providing another great set of questions that didn’t require a lot of deep thinking 🙂  My brain is weary this time of the year.

Here are today’s questions:

1. What’s left to be done on your Christmas to-do list?

We just need to hold our decorations together until Christmas, and begin preparations for the Christmas meal.  By “holding the decorations together”, I’m referring to keeping the outdoor decorations in place and working.  We’ve already had to replace one outdoor timer, plus we’ve been having to help our inflatables up each night, due to the rain we’ve been getting, lately.  Excessive rain and outdoor Christmas decorations usually make a poor combination.

2. The Hodgepodge lands on the first day of winter this year. What’s your favorite thing about winter?

I was tempted to say “Not having to deal with gnats or mosquitoes”, but my real favorite thing about winter is Christmas.  I love all things Christmas!

3. In what area of your life are you immature? Feel free to elaborate or not.

I’m immature in the spiritual area of my life, but I’m working on that.  To borrow a quote from Joyce Meyer, “I’m not where I want to be, but, praise the Lord, I’m not where I used to be!”

4. What was the most (or one of the most) important lessons you learned in 2016?

Sometimes, the search for a new church home can be long and hard, but there can be joy in the journey.

5. It’s Fried Shrimp Day…are you a fan? What’s your favorite way to eat shrimp? Will there be shrimp somewhere in your holiday feastings?

Yes, I love fried shrimp…that’s my favorite way to eat them.  There won’t be any shrimp in our holiday feasts, but I sure would like to have some.

6. What sound lulls you to sleep?

The sound of the television turned down very low, so I just can hear the voices, but can’t really understand what’s being said.  I set the timer on the television for about 90 minutes, most nights.  Gaither gospel music videos and Hallmark movies are among my favorite shows to fall asleep to.  Going to sleep [or staying asleep] is a problem for me.

7. What one word best describes your 2016?

“Better”.  Although 2016 presented its fair share of problems for Ed and me, I’ll have to say it was A LOT BETTER than 2015 was.

Random:  

Some special wishes from me to you…

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Dear blog friends,

Over the years, I’ve come to know each you through your blogs, and every one of you has a special place in my heart.  When you’re happy, I rejoice for you.  When you’re going through life’s trials, I pray for you.  I care about you.

I’d like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” for taking the time to visit my blog, leave comments, and thank you, especially, for sending up prayers on my behalf, during hard times.  It means more than you’ll ever know.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to  wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and prosperous New Year!  Take care, and enjoy your holidays.

Love,

Published in: on December 21, 2016 at 8:56 am  Comments (13)  
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Have Yourself A Merry Little Hodgepodge…

I can’t believe it’s only a week and a half until Christmas!  I still haven’t finished wrapping gifts, nor have I done the first bit of holiday baking, but all of that can wait, ’cause it’s time for The Hodgepodge!  As always, thanks to our Hodgepodge hostess, Joyce, for everything she does.

1. Are you more task oriented or people oriented? Elaborate.

I’m not sure, but I think I’m more ‘people oriented’.  If I’m not, I’d like to be.  A Google search resulted in the following explanation of ‘people oriented’.
What is the definition of people oriented?
The phrase “people-oriented” is generally used to convey something vaguely like a company where everyone is friends. They all get along, are pleasant and happy and smile at each other when they pass in the halls.

2. December 15 is National Wear Your Pearls Day…do you own/wear pearls? If you’re a man answering the question, does your sweetheart own or wear pearls? Everyone share a ‘pearl of wisdom’ with us here today.

I don’t own a strand of pearls, but I do have a pearl [single black pearl on a chain] necklace that Ed sent me from Okinawa while he was stationed there, forty-something years ago.  Since I rarely wear jewelry, it’s been tucked away in my jewelry box for a long, long time.  While Ed was in Okinawa, he also sent his mama a strand of white pearls, but we don’t know what ever happened to them.  After she passed away, we searched the house high and low, but failed to find her precious pearls. (She wanted our daughter to have them after she died.) My ‘pearl of wisdom’, for today, is this:  If you want to give someone a prized possession, perhaps it’s best to do it while you’re still living.

3. Speaking of pearls…oysters? Are you a fan or not a fan? If you answered yes, tell us your favorite way to eat oysters? If you said no, be honest-have you ever tried one or does just the idea of eating an oyster make you gag a little?

I’m not a fan of oysters, no way, no how.  Just the sight of an oyster makes me want to gag, I can’t imagine eating one!

4. Time Magazine has named President-elect Donald Trump Person of the Year. Let’s take presidents and presidential candidates out of the mix for a minute. If a political figure had not been chosen who would you name Man or Woman of the Year for 2016?

I don’t know which famous person would make the best candidate for Man or Woman of the year, but, as far as I’m concerned, my husband, Ed, is “Man of the Year”.  After all, he puts up with me 365 days of the year!

5. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2017 has been announced, and it’s a vibrant green aptly named-greenery. Your thoughts? Is this a color currently in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in this shade for the new year? Click here to see the color.

Green is one of my least favorite colors, so this color definitely won’t make it into my home, and probably not in my wardrobe either.  All of that being said, this IS one of the prettier shades of green that I’ve seen.

6. Today I’ve had too much ‘bad food’.  Today, I ate a cinnamon raisin bagel for breakfast, followed by a hamburger and french fries for lunch.  I did try to redeem myself by eating a salad for supper, though. (I’m answering these questions on Tuesday night)

7. Share a favorite lyric from a favorite Christmas carol.

I love Let It Be Christmas.  Nobody can write a song quite like Alan Jackson.

 

Let It Be Christmas
Let it be Christmas everywhere
In the hearts of all people both near and a far
Christmas everywhere
Feel the love of the season wherever you are
On the small country roads lined with green mistletoe
Big city streets where a thousand lights glow
Let it be Christmas everywhere
Let heavenly music fill the air
Let every heart sing let every bell ring
The story of hope and joy and peace
And let it be Christmas everywhere
Let heavenly music fill the air
Let anger and fear and hate disappear
Let there be love that lasts through the year
Let it be Christmas
Christmas everywhere
Let it be Christmas everywhere
With the gold and silver, the green and the red
Christmas everywhere
In the smiles of all children asleep in their beds
In the
Random:
This week, I brought out my two most annoying Christmas decorations.  First there’s the crazy snowman Christmas clock who requires a little help (a push-pin works) to hang straight on the wall.  He plays a few Christmas songs, but only when the notion strikes him!  This isn’t a bad thing since he plays that dreadful electronic music of yesteryear.  Mr. Snowman Clock must be a night owl, because he seems to play more often in the wee hours…  His other quirk is that he plays his music at five minutes after the hour!  Gotta’ love him.
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My other annoying decoration is my bathroom snowman, Jolly Johnny, who holds a plunger and sits on a shelf behind the toilet.
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 He’s there to startle and greet everyone with his little song:  Ho, Ho, Ho.  Who’s Gotta’ Go?  Ho, Ho, Ho.  Who’s Gotta’ Go?   I’m in the bathroom, don’t mind me.  I’m here to keep you company!   Johnny does his job of keeping us company very well!  In fact he does it so well,  he gets banished to the laundry room at night 🙂
Published in: on December 14, 2016 at 8:33 am  Comments (13)  

Dear Blog…

Dear Blog,

Lately I’ve been unfaithful to you.  I’ve neglected you while I’ve been busy doing other things–or busy just doing nothing.  Today I am feeling a bit guilty, so I’ve come to spend some time with you.  By the way, I’m sitting here in my pajamas, at 11 o’clock in the morning, doing absolutely nothing–and it feels wonderful!  The past few days have been sort of busy for us, so it feels good to just relax.

Then, of course, there’s the little problem of my failing eyesight.  The cataract in my left eye has gotten so bothersome, most days I see two of everything.  It’s hard to do a lot of blogging when you’re seeing double and everything seems to be out of focus.  January can’t get here fast enough, so I can meet with the Ophthalmologist about surgery.

Last week, Ed and I spent a couple of evenings with some of our grandchildren.  ‘Tis the season for Christmas parties, and we were the designated babysitters.  While we enjoyed being with our grandchildren, it made us realize why people have their children when they’re young.  We were tired by the end of the evening!  Of course, these days, Ed and I wake up tired…a lot.

On Friday night, Ed and I joined the ranks of the ‘party goers’ and attended a party, ourselves.  I can’t remember how long it had been since we’d attended a party, other than a family one, but we had a great time!  The home of the host and hostess was the best decorated I’ve ever seen.  I consider myself  near a ’10’ when it comes to Christmas  decorating, but this home was over the top!  There were Christmas comforters on all of the beds, trees in every room,  and beautiful village and nativity scenes displayed in multiple places.  I was in heaven!  Not only were the decorations fantastic, so was the food.  We ended up having a ‘white elephant’ gift exchange which turned out to be the highlight of the evening.  I don’t remember when I’ve laughed so much!

Friday night also turned out to be the coldest night we’ve had, so far.  Our temperatures dipped down into the 20’s which meant Ed and I spent a large portion of Friday afternoon relocating and protecting outside plants.  On Saturday morning, we woke up to find our bird bath was frozen over!  The cold snap was short-lived, and it’s already back into the high 60’s today.

Ed and I have attended three Christmas parades during the past two weekends,  with two of them being on the same day.  I love a good Christmas parade, especially the ones held at night!  Fortunately, the weather was fairly mild for the night parade, but it was rather chilly for the last day parade we attended.  I used to take my camera along and take pictures, but I’ve learned it’s better to just relax and enjoy the parade.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned that Ed’s been dealing with a toothache, off and on, for the past two weeks.  He’s been to the dentist twice, so far.  He has another appointment with a different dentist, this week, for a second opinion.  The first dentist can’t really determine, for sure, what’s causing the problem, so he’s referred Ed for another opinion and possible root canal.  Sounds like fun, huh?  Merry Christmas to Ed.

Ed recently purchased himself a used electronic keyboard/stand.  For the first time, in many, many years, the sound of piano music is filling the air of our home, again, and you know what?  It’s kind of nice!  Ed has some more practicing to do, but every day he gets better and better.  His previous piano was a monster of an antique, which took up a ton of space and never really sounded that great. (It’s currently sitting in his parents’ house.)  I love, love, love this keyboard.  It’s portable, sounds great, and has a volume control.  What more could you ask for?

Our daughter and her family are still without floor covering in three rooms of their home, and are still without a kitchen sink or base cabinet. (their home was flooded by an over-flowing toilet)  They’ve been ‘making do’ for almost two months.  I hope the New Year will find their house back in order, once again.  Two months are a L-O-N-G time to ‘make do’, but it can be done.

Today is our oldest grandson, Caden’s, birthday. He is now eight.  I still remember the day of his birth like it was yesterday!  I was in the middle of hosting a Christmas luncheon for Ed’s employees when the call came saying the doctor was going to do an unscheduled c-section!  Man, talk about bad timing!  But I was able to make it to the hospital in plenty of time.  The rest is history.  Ah, they grow up too fast, don’t they?!

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Happy 8th birthday, Caden

You know, I haven’t wrapped a single present to go underneath the Christmas tree, so I suppose I really should get off this computer and get busy. I know, for sure, they’re not going to wrap themselves, and it’s only 12 more days until Christmas.  Wow, where is the time going?

Until next time… Happy Monday!


 

 

Published in: on December 12, 2016 at 1:12 pm  Comments (7)  
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It’s Beginning To Look Like A Hodgepodge…

Greetings everybody!  I can’t believe another week has passed since I last blogged.  I’ve been as busy as a bee, getting ready for Christmas, but I’m finished, so today is the perfect time to relax with The Wednesday Hodgepodge.  As always, thanks to our wonderful hostess, Joyce, for providing us with this day of fun and relaxation!

1. Let’s talk holiday decorating. On a scale of 1-10 where do you fall? (1=Scrooge and 10= Clark Griswold). What’s your favorite corner-room-table-space to decorate? Is it done?

Oh, my goodness!  Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m almost a “10” on the scale of holiday decorating!  Every year I go overboard, and it takes well over a week to put it all up, and another week to put it all away.  My favorite room to decorate is the living room, because that’s where the majority of my decorations are displayed, and yes, the living room is finished.  In fact, I ‘officially’ finished decorating, yesterday morning–ending with a total of four Christmas trees inside the house,  two Christmas trees on the front porch…and a reindeer head cover on top of the toilet lid!

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some of the decorations I’ve collected over the years

2. Is there a nativity scene in your decorating somewhere? Post a picture or, if it’s special to you in some way, tell us why. Or do both-it’s Christmas!

Yes, there is a nativity scene among my decorations.  It’s the fourth nativity scene I’ve owned during our forty-four years of marriage.  I found this particular nativity scene in a thrift store, two years ago, and added it to my collection.  Unfortunately, my favorite nativity scene is packed away.  It’s a three-piece, light up, Bethlehem village scene, that I didn’t have a place to display, this year.

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my ‘thrift store’ nativity scene, along with my two angel music boxes

3.  Do you live in a social neighborhood? If so are you glad? If not do you wish you did?

We live in the country, so I’m not sure you could say we have a ‘neighborhood’.  However, our neighbors, on three sides of us are family, so, of course, we’re social.  It’s very comforting to have neighbors you can count on in good times or in bad.

4.  As the saying goes, ‘there’s no time like the present‘. How does that ring true in your life right now?

Time seems to be going by faster and faster, these days, and more and more people we know are dying.  I’m thinking, ‘there’s no time like the present’ for doing whatever it is we want (or need)) t0 to do!

5. Do you dread Mondays? Why or why not?

 No,  I don’t dread Mondays.  Now that Ed and I are both retired, there’s no reason to dread Mondays anymore.

6.  Poinsettia, Christmas Cactus, Amaryllis-which on the list is your favorite holiday plant? Are any of these on display in your home right now?

I love Poinsettias, but I’ve never been good at keeping them alive, so I feel guilty about buying them. I do have an artificial Poinsettia on display, but I’ll deliver it to the cemetery in just a few more days.

7. Share a favorite quote from a Christmas movie.

“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”  from the movie, A Christmas Story.  I love the line, and the movie.

 

Random:

I mentioned, the other day, how my eyesight has gotten a lot worse, especially in one eye.  Last week, I went for an eye appointment, and my optometrist told me she can no longer improve my vision with glasses.  Apparently, the cataract that’s been growing on my left eye is ready for removal.  My right eye will have to wait a while.  I’ll be meeting with the surgeon in January about having this procedure done.  Ed’s already had both of his eyes done, so at least I already know the scenario.

In other news, here are a few more pics of the  Christmas decorations we’ve been working on…

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the tree in our living room ( with the new throw pillows I crocheted)

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the kitchen tree (excuse Ed’s bucket, please)

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outside decorations (next to the woods)

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more outside decorations (next to the house)

Published in: on December 7, 2016 at 9:03 am  Comments (10)  

Doing A Little Catching Up…

I feel like this blog is as dusty as some of the rooms of our house.  It’s been unattended for quite a while, and, for that, I feel guilty.  The fact is, I’ve been on the computer very little these past few weeks, for much of anything.

I’ve been experiencing a few issues with my eyesight.  A while back I got a sty on my left eye, and afterward, I noticed some blurring of my vision in that eye.  I kept waiting for my vision to clear, after the sty, but it hasn’t.  The computer makes my eyes tired, so I don’t spend as much time on it, these days.  I have an appointment for an eye exam next week, and, hopefully,  some new glasses will help my tired, blurry eyes.

Meanwhile, life keeps rolling along, here in our neck of the woods.  Halloween came and went, then the month of November showed up in its place.  Along with the month of November came the dreaded “time change” to which I’m still trying to adjust.  I’m tired!

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cousins, on Halloween, after trick-or-treating was over

Our youngest grandson turned three on October 30, but didn’t have his birthday party until the first weekend of November.  His birthday party was held outside, and the weather couldn’t have been nicer for an outside party.  Evan and his guests had a great time playing on the super slide and bouncy house. The theme of Evan’s party was “Paw Patrol”, and he had a unique, three-tiered, three flavored birthday cake that was delicious.

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Evan and his cake

November also means it’s birthday time for Ed, and he celebrated his 67th birthday, on Sunday. Family gathered to help him celebrate a little early, on Saturday night.  I’m so grateful he’s still here to celebrate another year of life!  Praise the Lord!  Ed and I spent the majority of his actual birthday in church, but I can’t think of a better place to celebrate life.

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Evan, Ed, and Ed’s cake

Our daughter and family have moved back home, after being gone nearly three weeks.  You may recall their house flooded when their toilet ran over.  Everything is dried out, but, until now, they’ve been unable to find anyone to do the work of replacing the flooring or kitchen cabinets.  In the meantime, they’re “making do” with no kitchen sink and bare floors.  One day they’ll look back and laugh about all this, but I don’t think it’ll be anytime soon.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and I’m trying to get prepared.  I’ve already purchased the turkey, and plan to make the stuffing ahead of time.  Our family actually discussed purchasing a Thanksgiving Day meal, already prepared, but I couldn’t quite give into that just yet.  I know the time is coming, but not this year.

The weather has cooled off, and we’ve been enjoying some nice fall weather, especially in the evenings.  Unfortunately, the cooler weather hasn’t gotten rid of the mosquito population, yet.  We may still be wearing insect repellent at Christmas!  Last night’s view of the Super Moon was awesome, in spite of the mosquitoes.

We haven’t had any rain since hurricane Matthew brought us seven or eight inches.  It’s getting pretty dry here, and I’m beginning to worry about wildfires.  There’s so much debris all around, from the downed trees, a fire would be disastrous.  I hope we get some rain soon.

I’ll be losing my Humana healthcare at the end of this year, so we’ve been trying to look for new healthcare coverage for me.  What a headache!  None of the plans offered (that I can afford) have all of my doctors on their provider list, nor do they cover all of my prescriptions.  It looks like 2017 may be a challenging year.

Ed and I went for our six month checkups, last week.  Ed’s cholesterol was up, so the doctor changed his medication.  My cholesterol is ‘borderline’, for which he prescribed “exercise and fiber”.  The dreaded word “colonoscopy” also came up in the conversation with me.  Oh, the joys of growing older!  And on that note, I think I’ll end this post 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on November 15, 2016 at 8:15 am  Comments (3)  
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Reflecting On Sixty-One Years Of Life…

Tomorrow will be my birthday, and I will turn sixty-two.  As I sit here in my glider/recliner chair, I’m feeling many things, but none of them are the kinds of things I want to share.  Instead, I think I’ll take a little stroll down memory lane.

I remember…being a young girl, of fourteen, and meeting the love of my life on a blind date, only, at the time, I didn’t realize he was the love of my life.

I remember…saying “goodbye” to the love of my life, at a bus station, just three short months later, as he left for army basic training.  By then, I knew he was the love of my life.

I remember…many lonely days and nights…marking days off of a calendar…waiting for a letter to arrive in the mail, or a special weekend phone call, all while attending my last two years of high school.  This was my life, for nearly three years, while Ed was in the army.

I remember…an unexpected call saying Ed was at the airport…home from Okinawa, discharged from the army.

I remember…us planning a wedding in just three weeks…getting married, and moving away from everyone we knew.

I remember…a honeymoon phase that lasted almost six years..getting to know each other…riding our motorcycle…having fun with our boat..working together at the hospital.

I remember…being pregnant for the first time…morning, noon, and night sickness for a while…building onto our home during the pregnancy.

I remember…lots of 2 a.m. feedings, and six months of colic…being very insecure as a parent.

I remember…changing cloth diapers and making baby food from scratch.  There’s nothing like having someone accidentally flush a [soaking] cloth diaper down the toilet…money was tight.

I remember…two more babies arriving within the next seven years…breast feeding…getting Pampers at a reduced price through the hospital where Ed worked…free baby formula, too.

I remember…our children growing up…leaving them at school for the first time…that nervous feeling when each one of our children drove the car to high school for the first time…sleeping lightly, waiting for the sound of each teenager to arrive home from a Saturday night date.

I remember…the apprehension I felt as each child graduated from high school, trying to find their path in life…the agony felt when each stumbled and fell along the way…the relief I felt when each one eventually found their way.

I remember…the heartache felt for each one of my children when they experienced a failed relationship, but also the joy felt when each finally found their true love…the madness of wedding planning, which I never liked.

I remember…“the empty nest syndrome”, learning how to connect with my husband again, after so many years of raising children…loving not having to be responsible for anyone else, after all of those years.

I remember…dealing with each of our aging parents and their needs, as time quickly passed and they grew old.  Watching them grow older, knowing they were slowly slipping out of our lives…saying “goodbye” to them as  each passed away…dealing with the aftermath of losing a parent, while helping the remaining parent deal with their own grief.

I remember…dealing with unexpected health issues…a hysterectomy for me, a thyroid problem for Ed…two more surgeries for me, along with rheumatoid arthritis…then a heart attack for Ed…both having to pack pill organizers each week–just like our parents.

I remember…being present for the births of each of our grandchildren…Marveling at each new, tiny little miracle…being a little sad at how quickly I know they’ll grow up.

I remember…giving unsolicited advice, to our grown children, too many times, then, finally, realizing they have to learn by making their own mistakes, just like we did…and learn they will.

I remember…watching our parents navigate this thing called “retirement” while living on a “fixed income”, knowing how quickly the years will pass.

Now it’s our turn to navigate this thing called retirement, and live on a fixed income.  It’s not always “sunshine and roses”, but it’s a very welcome change from running in “the rat race”.  I just wish time would slow down so I could savor these retirement moments a little longer!

Tomorrow, I’ll celebrate my 62nd birthday with gladness! I’ll walk ‘sideways’ with my ‘bad back’.  I’ll get a stronger prescription for my failing eyesight.  I’ll even wear these wrinkles, surgery scars, and graying hair with pride!  After all, they’re my “battle scars of life”…and, believe me,  I’ve earned every one of them!

Life, bring it on– let’s take another trip around the sun!

 

 

 

Published in: on August 29, 2016 at 8:34 pm  Comments (5)  
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Life These Days…

Lately, my life feels like a bit of a roller coaster ride.  There have been a few steep climbs, followed by several drops.    The months of May and June have not turned out quite like I’d envisioned.  I’m tired, I’m weary and worn, and it’s not just from working in the garden!  I’m weary and worn just from dealing with life, these days.

Lately, Ed and I seem to be surrounded by stress and strife.  I don’t know if God is testing us or if Satan is tempting us, but, lately, strife has been all around us!  This isn’t the kind of  stress and strife we had last year, when Ed lost his job, or we discovered we had termites and mold in our house.  This is the kind of stress and strife where certain family members are mad with certain other family members.  When things get done and said, and a molehill morphs into a mountain.  My head aches just thinking about it all.  Can’t we all just get along?  Apparently not.

The other day, I read a church sign that said, “Self control begins with tongue control.”  Believe me, truer words have never been spoken!  It’s so easy for the wrong words to flow out of our mouths, sometimes,  but it’s SO hard to put those words behind us once they’ve been spoken.  I almost wish people had safety valves on their minds/mouths, that wouldn’t let them take any action or let any words escape until the level of emotion decreases a notch or two, but, alas, that is not the case.  Sigh.  And so we deal with the aftermath and we give it time.

In spite of the stress and strife surrounding us, at the moment, Ed and I managed to have an enjoyable day on our anniversary.  The weather wasn’t suitable (cloudy/rain) for going to the beach, so we postponed our trip to St. Simon’s Island until another day.  However, we did take our usual anniversary trip to Kentucky Fried Chicken to celebrate our 44th.  It was early evening when we got there, so we actually had the entire restaurant to ourselves!  It was quite nice.

While we ate our anniversary meal, we sat and reminisced about some of our past anniversaries.  We’ve had some good ones, so we have lots of good memories.  Like the time Ed’s parents kept our small children just long enough for us to celebrate our anniversary with a quiet steak dinner at home. (It’s the little things, like silence, that mean the most, sometimes!)  Then there was the time our children were finally old enough to stay home alone, so we left them home for the evening, and spent the night in a nearby motel that had a Jacuzzi in it.  On one anniversary we took our daughter, our daughter-in-law, and our two young grandchildren with us to stay in a beachfront condo. (I guess you could say the honeymoon was definitely over at that point. Ha!)  Last, but not least, there was the time we traveled thirty miles or more, off of Amelia Island, just to find a KFC,  then got back to the beach with our picnic supper, only to discover we didn’t have any eating utensils! You can’t eat mashed potatoes and coleslaw without utensils!  Fun times.

The last time I blogged, there were three men on top of our house, taking off old tin, and replacing it with new tin.  They finished the job in only six hours!  Now we have a noisy roof, since the tin tends to ‘pop’ during the hottest part of the day.  The roofer says, “it’s just the tin settling in.”  All I know is we’ve never had any creaks before, unless Ed was up there walking on the roof!  The roofer came back and added a few more screw to the tin, but we still have creaks during the middle of the day.  I hope the tin “settles in” soon.

Father’s Day, 2016, came and went.  It was extra-special [to me] because Ed was still here for us to celebrate with.  I got up in the wee hours of Sunday morning and put a Boston Butt in the crock pot for lunch.  I baked a cake, and attempted to bake some cookies.  We went to church.  Two of our three children, and families, joined us for lunch, while the third stopped by later in the afternoon.  Ed received several nice gifts, and enjoyed all of the attention.  It was a busy day, shortened by the fact that several of our “grands” had to attend a VBS closing program that evening.  Ed and I went to bed early, bone weary tired.

Now the first week of summer is here, and we’ve been spending a lot of it in our garden.  Most mornings are spent picking/shelling peas, while our afternoons are spent canning tomatoes or corn that we also pick each morning.

I need to go to the beach so bad!  (I really need some time in my chair, enjoying the relaxing view) However, my body just isn’t able to make the trip, even if there was time to go.  Actually, we’d planned to go to St. Simon’s Island, today. However,  I’m practically running on fumes, and just didn’t feel like I could make the trip, then come home and deal with more vegetables tomorrow.  I keep telling myself– the beach will always be there, the garden will not (thank goodness).  For now, I’ll comfort myself with that thought–as I hobble back to the kitchen to ‘can’ a few more tomatoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on June 21, 2016 at 3:02 pm  Comments (4)  
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Celebrating 44 Years Of Marriage…

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Ed and I with the mailman/pastor who delivered Ed’s letters to me for over two years, then eventually married us on June 18, 1972

Tomorrow Ed and I will be celebrating our 44th wedding anniversary.  That means we will have been husband and wife for 16, 060 days!  That’s a long time, but I so feel blessed and honored to have been given this opportunity to share my life with this wonderful man!  I’ve always told Ed, “If you die before me, there will be no other husbands for me!”  (I found “gold” the first time around, and would never attempt it twice.)

I really don’t know where our time together has gone.  It seems like just yesterday, we were so young, and had our entire lives ahead of us.  We blinked and suddenly we were middle aged, and our parents were celebrating their own 44th wedding anniversaries!  Oh, and I thought our parents were so old, back then!  It’s funny, but I sure don’t feel that way, now!

Ed’s parents made it well past their 50th anniversary, before his dad passed away, but my parents didn’t quite make it to their 47th year before my dad died.  I would be thrilled to make it “well past” the 50th anniversary mark, but, these days, since Ed survived the “widow maker”, I am just content with each and every day the Lord lets us share.

I had a real “wake up call” this week, when I found myself sitting in the Social Security Administration office, signing up for Social Security.  Wow, I’m almost old enough to draw my first check!  How did that happen?  There was also another reality check when we discussed future  “Spousal Survivor Benefits” while at the SSA.  Not something we like to think about, but something to be dealt with, sooner or later.

It’s interesting to sit back and look at our three children, today.  I can remember when Ed and I were their ages, living the kind of lives they are now living.  It was busy time–Ed working two jobs, me taking care of the house, then later working outside of the home, too, fulfilling our church duties, tending to my ailing parents, all while raising three children. There was so little time and energy left over for each other–and I thought we’d be young forever!  Ha!  Boy was I wrong!

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Fast-forward about thirty more years, and here we are, today.  Both retired, with some chronic health issues, but not nearly as many as we could be having.

These days, we have more time on our hands than we have dollars to spend. We also work harder, while sometimes seeming to accomplish less. However, at the end of each and every day we are thankful we’ve lived another day.  Every night, we hug, kiss, and tell each other “I love you”, and go to bed hoping we’ll  share another tomorrow.

We watch our grandchildren growing up, and wonder what in the world the future holds for them.  We watch the news and just shake our heads. We wonder, how did things get so out of whack?

And, of course, we live our marriage vows–“for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish, until death do us part.”  It’s not always easy, but it’s SO worth it!

Happy Anniversary to my “better half”.  I love you with all of my heart!  “You complete me.”

 

 

 

 

Published in: on June 17, 2016 at 9:07 am  Comments (4)  
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