2017 Holiday Recap (part three)…

A few weeks before Christmas, my daughter expressed a desire to have a family New Year’s Eve party.  She’d hosted one back in 2015, and everyone enjoyed it very much.  After sickness invaded our family, prior to Christmas, those plans got put on hold.

After everyone began to feel better, we decided to go ahead with the plan for a New Year’s Eve party.  However we left the location undetermined, until we could see who was feeling up to the task of hosting.  Ed and I ended up hosting the party, but my daughter did all of the planning for us.  Everybody pitched in with preparing the food.

Everyone wore their pajamas to the party which was fun and comfortable, too!  We made tacos, plus an array of ‘finger foods’ to snack on throughout the evening.

Our daughter planned different games/activities thirty minutes apart, beginning at six o’clock.  We stayed busy the entire evening, and time flew by.

For the first activity of the evening, we took some New Year’s Eve pictures.  Everyone chose what props they liked and let the camera (and Ed) do the rest.  Here are a few of the best ones-


In one activity, we competed to see which couple could transfer the most Hershey’s Kisses from one spoon (held in our mouths) to another, then into a bowl on the floor. We laughed so hard while playing this game!

We also played several games of ‘Dirty Bingo’ in which we could steal each other’s prizes. (I think some may have been looking at Steve Harvey’s coat/hat when I took this picture…but more on that later.)

One of the scheduled activities involved sparklers for the grandchildren, so we went outside, even though it was freezing cold and drizzling rain! This was the best picture I could get-

Yet another game involved trying to earn points by ringing cups with ping pong balls…  The grandchildren liked this game!

Unfortunately, at some point during the evening, I got so carried away watching the activities, I forgot to take any more pictures. However, I didn’t forget to take a picture of Steve Harvey’s coat and matching hat during the New Year’s Eve countdown on television:

I think only Steve Harvey could get away with wearing that white coat and matching hat!

The evening progressed quickly and before we knew it the clock had struck midnight.  All except two (Brett and Evan) of us lasted to ring in the New Year together–and we had a great time while doing it!  It’s my hope and prayer that 2018 brings lots of health and happiness, and this concludes my holiday recap.

Published in: on January 12, 2018 at 9:30 am  Comments (4)  
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Holiday Recap 2017 (part two)…

In spite of all of the sickness our family experienced leading up to it, Christmas turned out wonderfully.  Ed and I began the day by having breakfast with our daughter and her family.  Occasionally, we visit each of our children on Christmas morning, but chose not to this year, since Ed was still recovering.

Brad and Jennifer filmed our grandson, Evan, as he woke up to find what Santa had left him.  I enjoyed watching their video, later in the day.  There’s nothing quite like sharing the ‘wide eyed’ wonder of a child on Christmas morning!

Santa was very good to Evan

Food prep went smooth and easy, this year, thanks to a lot of help from my girls, and some planning ahead on my part. (I made a double batch of dressing/stuffing on Thanksgiving and froze some)  This year, instead of using paper plates, I chose to set the table with my “twelve days of Christmas” china, last year’s Christmas gift from Ed.  Using paper plates is easier, but the table looked prettier with the china.

Following lunch, we took our annual ‘crazy Christmas hat’ photo, which went effortlessly, too.  We only took three shots, and none of the three were really bad.  That’s quite a feat considering there were twelve people in the photo and the camera was set on ‘timer’!

For once, the weather was actually cold on Christmas, this year!  We could actually wear our Christmas outfits, and not have to turn on the A/C.  (one year I actually wore shorts) However,  we did have to turn on the ceiling fan during our gift exchange!  Things get a little crazy when we play ‘Dirty Santa’.

As always, we started off the gift exchange with the grandchildren–opening one gift at a time, beginning with the youngest. I know, I know, but it makes the fun last longer.

patiently waiting for Evan to finish his turn

Next came the adult gift exchange–something new, this year.  (We usually just play two rounds of the ‘Dirty Santa’ game).  I think Brad got the most interesting gift, a Georgia Bulldogs SEC Championship t-shirt.  Brad’s a ‘die-hard’ Bulldogs fan, so it was the perfect gift choice for him.

this shirt brought Brad’s ‘dawgs’ good luck last weekend

Brad also got another interesting gift, this year. Our grandson, Caden, chose to pass the “Christmas Panties” to his Uncle Brad–complete with a hand-written note!

For those who don’t know, we have this HUGE pair of women’s panties that have been passed around in our family since the late 80’s.  Attached on the outside of the box is a note from each previous recipient to the next.  If you’re counting, that’s about thirty years these panties have been traveling!

Brad was gracious and posed for several pictures with the panties–one with all of his family tucked inside of those panties at the same time!!!  (Sorry, no picture)

After we finished with the gift exchange, we played a round of ‘Dirty Santa’.  One of the most unusual gifts to come out of this game ended up belonging to our son-in-law, Clint.

A yard of Snickers!  That’s a lot of candy bars!!!

By the time we’d finished playing ‘Dirty Santa’ it was almost 4:30.  We still had two more games to play, but decided to take a break.  Some folks ate a snack, some folks took a nap, while  still others drank a cup of coffee.  A few folks even went outside to search for a little missing hand-held video game, that had been lost in the yard, earlier. (Fortunately it was found!)

Eventually, we played the remaining two games, and everyone had great fun.  Both games involved rolling some huge dice and opening gifts.  Who wouldn’t love that?  The kids sure seemed to enjoy it!  The best gift won was $10, by grandson, Caden, while the worst gift was a lump of coal, won by Ed.  These last two games were so fast-paced, I forgot to take any pictures!

Finally, we ate supper, divided up the left-overs, and, eventually, called it a day.  The last of our holiday guests left for home around 9:15 that evening.  Shortly afterward, Ed and I took our nightly bath/shower and called it a wrap!  It was a great Christmas.

Of course, the holidays weren’t quite over.  New Year’s Eve was just around the corner.  I’ll save that story for part three of my recap, but I’ll give you just a glimpse into that evening…

uh-oh…the camera mis-fired!

Published in: on January 8, 2018 at 8:35 am  Comments (5)  
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2017 Holiday Recap (part one)…

I know I’m a bit late in posting this, but we’ve had a lot going on!  I always say, “Better late, than never.”  So here goes…

T’was the week before Christmas when folks in our family began dropping like flies…  It actually began nine days before Christmas when our oldest grandson came down with the flu on the day following his ninth birthday party.  Within the next three days, three more family members were down for the count, including Ed.  This was not the way we’d all planned to spend the final days leading up to Christmas!

Now, Ed and I always get our flu shots, but little did we know this would be the year that the vaccine would be only ten percent effective!  The flu has been rampant in our little town, and virtually every household has had at least one case of it!

Fortunately, Ed and I were able to do one thing we’d planned [before he got sick] the week before Christmas–we decorated a gingerbread house!  We’d actually planned to do this with our daughter and granddaughter, but, unfortunately, they had to bow out due to illness.

Decorating a gingerbread house with Ed was quite an experience.  It took us no less than five hours to complete our project, but we were both satisfied with the finished results.

Notice that little yellow window on the side?  Ed rolled out yellow gumdrops to make those panes.  Notice the green door and Christmas tree on the front of the house?  He carefully measured, rolled, and cut the fondant for those, too.  Do you see those carefully placed candies all over the gingerbread house?  Ed actually used surgical hemostats to put them into place, while I spread and piped white frosting on the house.  Only someone who’s also worked in the medical profession (and has fingers too large to hold onto the candy), would try to hold onto candy with hemostats.  I tried it, and the candy shot halfway across the kitchen!

The gingerbread house was a fun project, and I’d definitely like to try it again, sometime.  My question is, What do I do with this house now that Christmas is over?  I’d like to eat some of it, but I’m afraid I’d break a tooth!  Ours is still sitting in the kitchen…

Following the construction of our gingerbread house, on Wednesday before Christmas, poor Ed spent the next four days hovering over a vaporizer, taking Mucinex D and antibiotics.  Similar scenarios were taking place in two other households of our family.  It was not a fun time!

Whether or not we’d be able to actually celebrate our family Christmas on the actual day remained uncertain until Christmas Eve.  By then, some still had residual effects of their colds/flu, but none were running fever.  Almost everyone had finished taking their medications.

It turned out, other than the initial four who got sick, the rest of the family stayed well.  It looked like we might be able to celebrate Christmas after all.  Thank goodness I’d prepared some of the food [and froze it] ahead of time!  (to be continued…)

Published in: on January 5, 2018 at 11:00 am  Comments (5)  
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This Hodgepodge Feels Like Home…

This time of the year always brings back memories of moving into our second new home.  We weren’t quite finished with our house, but, on November 9, 2007, Ed and I moved out of our home of 30 years, and into our second home.  It’s hard to believe almost nine years have passed since then.  I can still remember hauling boxes and furniture across the yard…  Yes, we moved right next door!

Thanks so much to our hostess, Joyce, for taking time to host this week’s Hodgepodge, especially since she’s getting ready to move, herself!  I appreciate you, Joyce, and best wishes with the move!

1. Besides your very own house, describe a place where you feel most ‘at home’?

I guess that would have to be our daughter’s house, located next door to us, which used to be our house until about nine years ago.  It’s only natural that I’d still feel ‘at home’ there, since Ed and I lived there for over 30 years, and raised our family in that house.

2. When did you last ‘hit a home run’ with something? Explain.

I’m going to say “surviving hurricane Matthew”.  We only lost our power for 21 hours, compared to many neighbors who were without electricity for several days.  Although we lost two large trees, we had no damage to either of the houses on our property.  Nine family members stayed together in our tiny, two bedroom, one bathroom home, for 3 days and 4 nights, and everyone got along well. God is good!

3. Tell us about something you love in your house or kitchen that is ‘homemade’.

I have a large, ‘homemade’ sign hanging over the refrigerator that says “Kathy’s Diner”, and has a menu written on it.  I had this sign specially made for my kitchen whenever we built this house, and I love it.  It matches my red, white, and black Coca Cola decor.  Look closely, at the picture below, and you can see the sign over the refrigerator.

Coca cola Christmas kitchen...

4. ‘A man’s home is his castle’…which of the world’s ten most captivating castles (according to The Travel Channel) would you most like to visit and why-

Mont Saint-Michel (France), Edinburgh Castle (Scotland), Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany), Glamis Castle (Scotland), Windsor Castle (England), Chateau de Chambord (France), Hampton Court Palace (England), Prague Castle (Prague), St. Michael’s Mount (England), Leeds Castle (England), and Swallow’s Nest (Ukraine)

I’m sure any one of these castles would be captivating, and fun to visit, but I don’t know anything about any of them, so I’ll take a pass on answering this one.

5. What’s a recent or upcoming plan or project that’s required you do a little homework before getting started? Did the homework cause you to abandon your plan or adjust it in some way?

Hurricane Matthew has caused a couple of unplanned projects at our house.  First of all, we had to move two freezers and install a new screen door on our storage house (for ventilation).  Next, was the project of cutting up and removing the two trees that were blown down, which required some repair work to the chain saw. (Ed still has one tree left to cut) Last comes the project of shopping for a generator, so we’ll be prepared for the next big storm that blows our way!

6. In your opinion, is homework an unnecessary evil or a valuable practice? Should schools be done with homework? Why or why not?

I think a little reading and math homework is valuable, because there’s not much time for practice during class. However, teachers need to be considerate and assign homework in moderation.

7. Share a favorite memory of your childhood hometown.

I remember when ‘Dairy Queen’ first came to our tiny little town.  It was back in the 60’s, and it was a big deal to everyone!  I don’t know which I liked best–the hamburgers and french fries or the soft serve ice cream.  Our original Dairy Queen was a very small, barn-shaped building, with a red roof, and no inside seating.  Over the years, our Dairy Queen’ has been renovated two or three times, and the name has been changed.  These days, it’s a very nice D Q Grill-n-Chill, with inside [or outside] seating, and I still enjoy their hamburgers, french fries, and soft serve ice cream, on rare occasions.


photo courtesy of Google

There’s something else that’s special about our local DQ.  The owner, Zuber Malek is a wonderful person, who cares about, and gives back, to the community.  Local citizens have responded to his kindness and generosity by giving his DQ the honor of being a top fund raiser for The Children’s Miracle Network!  Below is a picture of the sign, showing this year’s grand total:13906971_10153903695795892_7909803460642953741_n


Yesterday, the ‘unthinkable’ happened to our daughter.  She flushed her toilet, then came back a while later to discover a disaster.  The toilet flapper didn’t close after the tank refilled, and, apparently, the drain was sluggish, and couldn’t handle the flow of water.  The two malfunctions became the ‘perfect storm’ for a flood. Water went all into their bedroom, into the dining room, and into the kitchen.  Water even ran out the back door and down the steps.  Did I mention our daughter has laminate flooring?  Laminate flooring and water do not make a good combination.  Within the matter of a few minutes, there was quite a mess to deal with.

By mid-evening, with the help of family, the kitchen and dining room had been disassembled, with cabinets and furniture removed.  All of the soggy laminate had been taken up, as well.  Hopefully, there will be no chance of rain in the forecast, because most of the kitchen cabinets are sitting on the front porch, and will be sitting there for a few days while the floor dries out.  Fun times!




Published in: on October 26, 2016 at 7:48 am  Comments (14)  
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Hodgepodge # 284

You’ve gotta’ love and appreciate the tenacity and determination of our Hodgepodge hostess, Joyce.  She’s only days away from moving into her new home, but she still managed to plan and host The Hodgepodge!  Thanks, Joyce, my hat is off to you.

Here are today’s questions:

1. What would you say is your strongest sense?

That’s a good question!  My eyesight and hearing sure aren’t what they used to be.  Working with stain and polyurethane, in an enclosed area, has dulled my sense of smell, too.  I have neuropathy in my feet, so my sense of ‘touch’ isn’t what it used to be either.  I still enjoy eating, so I guess I’ll say my sense of ‘taste’ is my strongest sense 🙂

2. Do you believe in the idea of a ‘sixth sense’? Why or why not?

Yes, I do believe in a ‘sixth sense’.  Sometimes, I’ll get a particular ‘feeling’ about something (or someone) that I just can’t explain.  I refer to this ‘feeling’ as my sixth sense.

3. When do you most feel like a slave to time? Explain.

Now that Ed and I are both retired, the time I feel most like a “slave to time” is on Sundays.  We  watch the clock closely, all day, so we won’t be late for church.

4. Have you ever worked in a restaurant? How would you rate the experience? If you could own a restaurant what kind would it be?

When I was a teenager I worked in the restaurant part of my uncle’s gift shop/restaurant.  I hated everything about it, and only lasted a couple of days.  I’d rate the experience zero stars, and I’d never own a restaurant of any kind, period!

5. Ever traced your family tree? Share something interesting you learned there.

I’ve never traced my family tree beyond my grandparents, but my paternal grandparents lost two of their children, early in life.  Their only daughter fell, as a child, hit her head and died.  One of their six sons died from a ruptured appendix while still a young man. Oh, I also thought it was interesting that both of my parents had sisters named “Georgia Belle”!

6. What did your childhood bedroom look like?

I had several different bedrooms, while growing up.  The bedroom I remember most ( from ages 12-17) was located on the front corner of the house, so it had two windows facing two different directions.  (I could sit on my bed and watch the teenagers riding from one end of town to the other!)  As a young teen, I painted the walls of my room blue.  The paint job wasn’t perfect, but I was proud of myself.  The furniture in my bed room was older, and had been painted white.  I had a poster of Peter Fonda (as Easy Rider) on my wall, and a stereo in one corner.

7. Anyone who knows me knows I love decorating for special occasions.  

I love to decorate my living room (and sometimes kitchen) for all special occasions, not just Christmas. (although Christmas is my favorite.)  I have a ‘year round’ tree in the living room, and change the decorations, every month, to reflect whatever occasion falls within that month. The shelves in our living room are decorated with matching curios, as well.


Left:  Year round tree decorated for Easter

Right:  Year round tree decorated for Halloween







Ed and I did something, last night, we hadn’t done in years. We went to a county fair, alone! In years past, we’ve always gone to the fair with family, but, this year, we went solo, and you know what? We had a great time!  It was the first time I ever remember going to the fair, on a week night,  not having to worry about how late it was getting.  Yay for retirement 🙂


Published in: on October 19, 2016 at 8:10 am  Comments (12)  
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Spring Is Here…

Spring officially arrived yesterday, under cloudy skies.  However, it turned out to be a beautiful day, in the end, as the clouds cleared out in the afternoon. After over a week of temperatures in the 80’s, our overnight low bottomed out at 40 degrees, last night!  Whoa!  What in the world happened to our spring weather?


early blooms of spring (a $5 bargain, at Lowes)

Since spring is here, that means lots of time is being spent outside.  There’s been a lot of clean up to do around the yard, as well as flowers waiting to be repotted, and garden soil waiting to be prepared for the rest of our 2016 garden.  We have a few plants needing a permanent home…


tomatoes, lettuce, peppers

Our new Transit Connect has come in quite handy over the past few weeks, as we’ve hauled huge bags of potting soil, lawn fertilizer,  and ant poison.  We’ve also hauled several large plants and shrubs, as well as a peach tree.  We love our van!

May-October 2015 1091

our van, aka the “short bus”

Ed and I enjoyed another nice (and busy) weekend.  We took our weekly shopping trip, on Friday, then enjoyed some family time with a couple of our children and their families, on Friday night. That’s always a great way to kick off the weekend!

P1010444yard signs in front of the house

On Saturday morning, Ed and I finished up our weekly shopping, then later in the afternoon, Ed helped our youngest son work on a riding lawnmower that had been sitting up for a while.  When I saw that dusty, dirty lawnmower, I didn’t have a lot of faith, but, by golly, they got that sucker running, and have already mowed some grass with it!  Ed is the man 🙂


one of several azaleas in the yard

Saturday turned out to be a pretty nice day, in spite of the clouds hanging around.  One by one, our grown children and families showed up, then gathered outside in our daughter’s yard.  All had been to the church egg hunt, earlier in the day.  We sat there for the longest time, just watching the four cousins playing and enjoying each other’s company.  It was one of those moments when I wished I could stop, or at least slow down, time.  Why can’t they stay little longer?


the Easter bunny (and Dixie chick)

Eventually, the adults decided to order pizza for supper, so I came inside to make some salad, dessert, and drink to go along with it.  Once again, my kitchen was noisy and crowded with family, but it was so good to have everyone together under one roof again!  That makes two weeks in a row–and since Easter is this coming weekend, we’ll soon make it three.


the egg tree (and Dottie chick)

Ed and I have been busy, the last couple of weeks, getting ready for spring/Easter. I went outside, yesterday, and wandered around the yard, admiring our ‘touches of spring’.  I’ve scattered a few of those ‘touches’ throughout this post.  I hope you enjoy them.


a new pair of garden gnomes

Have a great Monday, and a great second day of spring!  Ed’s already outside, riding his tractor in the garden 🙂

Published in: on March 21, 2016 at 10:13 am  Comments (4)  
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Catching Up On Monday…

Lately, this blog seems like a long, lost friend that I need to visit more often.  More and more, I’m finding it more difficult to make my way over here to blog. Sometimes, I’m just not feeling it, and then when I am, I have other things to do.  Such as the following…

The past week went by in a whirl of activity.  There’s something about the arrival of warm, sunny days that makes me want to clean and spruce up the place!  Therefore, the beginning of last week found me stripping old wax off the kitchen floor, and applying new wax.  I know, waxing floors is a dying activity, but my floors aren’t the no wax kind–yet!  It took both Ed and myself to get the task done, but we made it!  We were so inspired by having a clean, shiny kitchen floor, the following day we began shampooing carpets, and spent the next two days doing that!  Unfortunately, I think I hurt my back, in the process, so it’s been aching for several days. Live and learn.

In addition to cleaning floors, all week, I was trying to get ready for a yard sale, on Saturday.  I’d spend a couple of hours, here and there, working on that.  Meanwhile, Ed finally got started building a small shelter to store his lawnmower under. I worry a bit about him, it’s his first real project since his heart attack, in October.

Ed and I had our yard sale, on Saturday, along with our daughter and her husband.  We held the sale at Ed’s parents’ house, and could not have asked for a prettier day!  The weather was cool and foggy, at first, but that soon gave way to glorious blue, sunny skies.  We didn’t make a lot of money  because we had our stuff priced cheap, but we got rid of a lot of stuff!  At one point, we gave a chair away, and when the chair wouldn’t fit into the lady’s car, our son put the chair in my van and delivered it to her house!

Prior to the yard sale, I worried about “Trouble”, the cat who lives alone at Ed’s parents’ house, because  I was afraid she might get hit by a car, with all of the traffic coming to the sale. However, I think all of the yard sale activity was more than “Trouble” could stand, so she quickly disappeared until the end of the day. “Trouble” did have a close call earlier in the week, though,  when she ran onto the highway to greet Ed as he was coming to feed her.  My blood runs cold just thinking about it!

Speaking of “Trouble”, she was in “hog heaven”, on Friday night, when Ed and I took a break from pricing stuff, and shared a pizza at his parents’ house.  We let her in the house with us, and she sat at the table and begged for scraps from our pizza, which we gladly shared.  Then she wandered all around the house, looking at the boxes sitting all around.  The whole situation makes me sad. Four years is a long time to live alone, at an empty house, but, at least, she has the visit from “the man with the can” to look forward to each day.

In other news, Ed and I were tickled pink when we discovered that our garden peas have sprouted!  There’s a beautiful row of little green plants now decorating the row!  We’re hoping they will soon be  joined by some potato sprouts.  Our seedlings, growing in cups, are doing quite well, in spite of the fact that I dropped one of the trays, last week.  What a mess that made, but the plants all seemed to have survived, believe it or not.

We managed to have some great time, with family, on Saturday, when all the rest of our gang met up following the yard sale.  The weather was so nice, the adults sat outside and watched the grandchildren all playing together.  Actually, our oldest son, and perhaps the biggest kid of all, was pretending to be the wrestling announcer (complete with a karaoke machine), while each child took a turn strutting up the steps and getting onto the trampoline they were using as a wrestling ring!  If I hadn’t been so tired, I surely would have taken some video of “the show”.

As suppertime neared, our youngest son volunteered to go to town and pick up some food for supper.  Praise the Lord for him, because this woman sure didn’t feel like cooking!  I think everyone enjoyed the food and the fellowship, I know I did, even if I had to enjoy much of it from my spot on the couch!

The rest of the weekend passed, and all too soon, it was time to change our clocks–all twelve of them!  Yes, Ed and I actually have twelve clocks!  Oh, how I dislike this time of the year, when the time changes!  In addition to adjusting all of those clocks, I’ll spend the next month trying to get my body clock readjusted.  On that note, I’ll just say “Have a happy Monday” and get ready for my appointment at the dermatologist’s office.  Fun times–not!







Published in: on March 14, 2016 at 7:35 am  Comments (3)  
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A Kind And Thoughtful Hodgepodge…

I simply can’t believe it’s already Wednesday, again!  The days are flying by so fast, my brain can hardly keep up.  I’m ready for a mid-week break, and there’s no better place to spend it than here, with my “Hodgepodge Friends”.  Thanks so much to our gracious hostess, Joyce, for providing the questions and a “gathering place” on  From This Side Of The Pond.

Here are today’s questions, along with my answers:

1. February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. It lands on the calendar one day after National Do Something for a Grouch Day (February 16) which somehow feels related. Perhaps the 16th inspired the 17th?

Tell about a time you performed a random act of kindness or were the recipient of one. Will you make an effort to perform a random act of kindness on the 17th? Share details if you’re so inclined, and if you have something specific in mind.

The last random act of kindness I did was to pick up our grandson, Chase, yesterday, from preschool, so his mama wouldn’t have to make the extra trip to town. It’s a small thing, but it helps her out on group [home school] meeting days, when she would normally have to make three [14 mile] round trips to town, plus the trip over to the meeting.

I don’t have any plans to perform a random act of kindness, today, but I’ll try to come up with something, now that you’ve mentioned it!  Spontaneous acts are best, anyway.

2.What’s the most uplifting or encouraging thing you see happening in the world right now? You may have to dig deep for this one.

I’ve been SO impressed by the tremendous amount of love and support shown to the singing country duo, Joey + Rory during their difficult journey with Joey’s terminal cancer.  I’ve been following Joey’s battle for almost four months, through her husband, Rory’s, blog.  The outpouring of prayers, love, and support from their family, friends, and fans has been, and remains, phenomenal!   This has renewed some of my faith in mankind.

3. Black olives, black currants, black grapes, black beans, blackberries, Oreos…your favorite food the color of night? Your least favorite on the list?

Oreos are my favorite, while black olives are probably my least favorite.  I don’t think I’ve ever tasted black currants.

4. A while back I read (here) a list of twelve things you should do before you turn 50. They were-

travel when you have the chance, take care of your skin, learn a foreign language, make exercise a habit, leave a toxic situation, stop caring what others think about you, stop worrying, volunteer, spend time with your grandparents, pledge to work less, learn to cook an amazing dish, and seize an opportunity as it arises

What do you think of the list? What would you add or remove and why? If you’re over 50, have you done all 12? If you’re not yet 50, have you done any at all? What’s on the list that you haven’t done, but would like to do?

Some things on the list are okay, others no so much.  I’d remove learning the foreign language (because English is the only language I care about speaking, anyway).  I’d remove stop caring what others think about you (because I believe caring what others think is a good thing).  I’d never worry about learning to cook an amazing dish (because I don’t even like to cook, these days).  I haven’t had any grandparents since I was 32, so  I’d add spend more time with your parents and children, to the list, too.

I’m  well-over 50, but I did some of the things on this list around or before my 50th birthday.  I did some volunteer work and tried to make exercise a habit, for a while.  I also seized a couple of opportunities that came my way.  We did our fair share of traveling, too, we just didn’t go very far.  I have started trying to take better care of my skin–a little late, but “better late than never”, I say.  Last, but not least, I have removed myself from a toxic situation, when I resigned from a job [I dearly loved] due to certain circumstances in the classroom.

5. Besides the classic Christmas flicks, what’s your favorite film where winter plays a part in the setting?

There was a movie about a team of sled dogs who got left behind in a very cold, barren place (Antarctica maybe?) when their research team was forced to leave without them.  The movie chronicles the survival of those dogs, alone in the ice, while their owner fights to get permission to go back and rescue them. It was a nail-biting, tear jerking movie!  Thanks to Google, I discovered the name of the movie is Eight Below.

6.When did you last feel helpless, and what did you do about it?

The last [and only] time I’ve really felt helpless was when I took Ed to the emergency room, in October, and the attending physician told me Ed  had suffered a heart attack, and would need to be transported [by ambulance] to a larger facility, 50 miles away.  I had no idea what lay ahead of us, or if Ed would even survive the trip. I was somewhat in shock, and had to rely on our daughter to drive me to the hospital.  Thankfully, she stayed with me all night, and most of the next day, until Ed was stable.

7. Share a favorite proverb.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Remembering these words helped keep me sane, at times, while our sons were transitioning into the respectable men they are today.



Our original flock of “red sisters”, back in the day…

The “red sisters” celebrated a birthday this week! The remaining two hens, from our original flock of six red hens, recently turned four!  Those two rule the roost around here, and are doing well, although they do require an occasional wash of their rear ends from time to time.  They’re getting old, but ya’ still gotta’ love ’em.

These days, we let the old and new hens hang out together, and we let them free range most of the day. If we forget to put up our baby gate, this is what we see every day about 4 o’clock–

our ‘girls’, waiting impatiently for their afternoon snack of corn or bread!  Look who’s leading the way up the steps…a red sister!  Some are even bold enough to come up and peek through the glass in our front door!  They’re like a bunch of children begging for candy!!!

Published in: on February 17, 2016 at 9:34 am  Comments (7)  
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2015 Christmas Recap…

Christmas 2015 is now history, but it was a very good day!  It was also a very long and busy day, which left me totally void of any energy for two days!  I’m somewhat recharged, at the moment, so I’ll attempt to “recap” the day in 750 words or less!  Here goes…

Christmas Day began early, about 6:30 a.m., I think.  Ed and I quickly got busy with the morning chores.  He took care of feeding the animals, while I took care of putting the Christmas ham in the oven.  I was happy that I’d finally gotten to remove those pesky steri-strips from the surgical site on my face, but, now I was having trouble wearing my glasses so I could see how to cook!

100_5523Christmas stop #1 – Madison’s house

About 8:00 a.m. our granddaughter, Madison, called us to tell us Santa had been to her house. We quickly walked next-door to see what Santa had left her.  This has been our early morning Christmas ritual for the past seven years, and we feel very blessed to live close enough to just walk next door.  (We also feel a bit sad, because our granddaughter is now nine, and we wonder how many more of these excited Christmas phone calls she’ll be making to us.)


 Interesting note: Madison leaves Santa’s cookies on the same plate her mother used to leave Santa’s cookies on when she was little, back in the eighties.  I passed the cookie plate down to my daughter.

After leaving our granddaughter’s house, we ate a quick breakfast, then drove 1/4 of a mile down the road to see what our two oldest grandsons had gotten for Christmas.  We feel very blessed to have them living close to us, too.

Our oldest grandsons don’t believe in Santa, so Christmas morning is a bit different at their house, as there is no talk of “Santa”.  We watched as they opened their gifts from their mom and dad.


Christmas stop #2 – Caden and Chase’s house

For the first time, ever, we were able to drive across town to see what our youngest grandson, Evan, had gotten for Christmas, too.  What an extra-special blessing it is, having Evan’s family living in the same town with us, again!

Evan is only two, and still a bit too young to grasp the concept of “Santa”, but he was very excited over his new toys.  Excited about having his picture made with Santa on Christmas Eve?  Not so much! (I’ll share that photo on Wednesday)


Christmas stop #3 – Evan’s house

When all was said and done, Ed and I were able to visit all three houses in just over an hour, then come back home and finish cooking Christmas lunch.

Christmas lunch came together without a hitch, with the exception of a turkey breast that refused to get done.  Our son-in-law baked that sucker for five hours!  No worries, though, we continued baking it, throughout lunch, and enjoyed it, that night, for supper!  It was delicious.


the grandchildren eating lunch first

Due to the slow-cooking turkey breast and a lunch-time visitor, we ran a bit later than usual eating Christmas lunch.  By the time we finished eating and cleaning up the kitchen it was after 3 p.m. before we were able to get on with the rest of the Christmas festivities.  Note to self:  I really need a bigger kitchen table.  We had 13 gathered around it, this year!

This year, we decided to take our annual “crazy hat Christmas picture” before we opened any gifts.  Our youngest grandson, Evan, fell asleep while everyone was deciding which hat they were going to wear.  No worries, we photographed him while he slept in his daddy’s arms!  At least we could keep the hat on him since he was asleep 🙂

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The next order of business was listening to our oldest son speak to us for a few minutes about the real meaning of Christmas, basically reminding us where all [good and perfect] gifts come from. Then we let the grandchildren take turns opening their gifts, with the exception of Evan, who was still sleeping.  He woke up near the end of the adults’ game of “Dirty Santa”, and opened his gifts then.


three older “grands” opening gifts while Ed watches


older “grands” watch while Evan opens his gifts

The adults game of “Dirty Santa” was somewhat tamer than it’s been in past years.  I attribute this to the “mini sermon” we heard from our son, just prior to playing.  Something doesn’t seem quite right about “stealing” your neighbor’s gift, after listening to Bible scripture!  However, we did still manage to have a couple of “thieves” among us :).  I probably would have stolen a gift, too, if I’d had an opportunity.  Unfortunately, I was one of the first to open a gift, during both rounds of play, so I was one of the victims of theft!

Last, but not least, was the opening of “the Christmas panties”!  I was the recipient of the panties, last year, and I passed them on to my daughter, this year.  She wasn’t expecting them, as you can tell by the look on her face when she recognized the box!




It’s the Christmas panties…

Everyone stayed all day, ate supper, and helped clean up the kitchen, afterward.  By this time, I was exhausted, so my daughter ran me out of the kitchen, to go take a bubble bath, while she and some others put away the food and cleaned up the kitchen.  I felt a bit guilty, but I gladly went and enjoyed my bubble bath!

Ed and I finally opened our gifts to each other after everyone had gone home.  By then, it was 8:30, or so.  One of Ed’s gifts to me was another piece [that I’d seen and loved] to go with my Christmas Village.  It’s a “tacky” little camper, all decorated for Christmas, complete with a picnic table out front, and Santa and a Christmas tree on the roof.  We laughed and said this would go on the “poor side of town”–for the folks on a “fixed income” [which we are].

I love that Ed usually gives me an addition to my Christmas collection, each year!  He’s given me everything from village pieces, to animated Christmas dolls, to a set of porcelain Santas from around the world!  Of course, the gift I loved best of all, this year, was simply being able to share another Christmas with Ed.

Published in: on December 27, 2015 at 9:15 pm  Comments (6)  
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Miscellanous Monday…

So, it’s been four whole days since I’ve posted or even been to a blog of any kind!  These days are flying by, and I just can’t seem to get around to everything anymore.  Is it just me, or is anyone else having the same experience?!  The older I get, time seems to move quicker, while I seem to move slower.

Let me begin by saying what a wonderful Thanksgiving our family had.  For the first time in several years, I did not host the meal.  Our daughter took over the hosting responsibilities this year, and I have to tell you, I really enjoyed being “just another guest”.  Brandy had everything at her house decorated so pretty, and she made a special children’s table for the kids which they seemed to enjoy.  All of the girls really outdid themselves cooking, and the food was delicious.  Thanksgiving was one day when Ed and I did not worry about our low-fat, low cholesterol, low sugar diets!


our Thanksgiving host and hostess


the children’s table

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 still relaxing at our daughter’s house on Thanksgiving night

At the end of our Thanksgiving meal, each family member took turns saying what we were most thankful for in our lives.  It was unanimous, everyone was most thankful to still have Ed with us, after his close call, last month.  This was our second year of this meaningful tradition, and it’s quickly become my favorite part of Thanksgiving.  By the end of the round, there was hardly a dry eye in the house.

On Friday, after Thanksgiving, the weather was too pretty to be cooped up inside, so Ed and I decided to start putting up our outside decorations. (No Black Friday shopping for us!)  We spent the afternoon putting garland and lights around our front windows and door.  On Saturday, the weather was even nicer than on Friday, so we continued putting Christmas decorations in the yard. (I’d bought a bunch of new outside decorations for 1/2 price, last year!)  Thankfully, my back didn’t “go out”, although I did have to take Tylenol pm both nights.

Our son-in-law decorated their yard, on Friday and Saturday, as well.  Now, our little corner of the world may look a little bit like Clark Griswold’s house [in Christmas Vacation] but we all love our Christmas lights!  Now, if I can just get the inside of the house looking as “festive” as the outside of it!

I’ve spent the past several evenings re-stringing fake popcorn for our tree and, last night, I put it on the tree while I sweated and listened to Christmas music. There’s nothing quite like listening to Let It Snow, and  decorating a Christmas tree while the a/c grinds away in the background!  Our temperatures nearly reached 80 yesterday!!!

Speaking of Christmas decorations, my hens don’t quite know what to think about the outside decorations.  Every time I look, there’s a hen or two walking among the snowmen and Christmas trees.  I frequently tell them they, “No, you can not be part of the Christmas decor!”

In other news, Ed and I had a chance to pull baby sitting duty, with grandson, Evan, early Sunday morning.  For some reason, our youngest son, Brad, got an abscess on his lower leg, last week.  In spite of medical attention, on Wednesday, his leg became so swollen and infected over the weekend, he had to make an emergency trip to the doctor to have the wound opened and drained.  As a result, Ed and I spent several hours at their house with Evan.  He sure kept us entertained!  By the way, I think we had a lot more fun than Brad did, too 😦

Tomorrow is the day our daughter will be having the surgery to remove the basal cell carcinoma from her nose, followed by some plastic surgery to repair her nose.  She’s been told to expect to spend the day in the doctors’ offices, so I’m sure it will be a long, exhausting day for her.  I’m positive this is NOT the way she’d like to be spending the first day of December.

It looks like the year 2015 is going to keep up the trend of giving our family a hard time, right up until New Year’s Eve.  Our latest mishap came, last evening, when we discovered our dishwasher is no longer working–after we filled it with dirty dishes!  A new dishwasher is NOT what I wanted “Santa” to bring for Christmas, but it looks like that’s what we’ll be getting.  Oh, my!  What a year this has turned out to be!  On that note, I’ll say…  Have a great Monday!


Published in: on November 30, 2015 at 8:32 am  Comments (5)  
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