Wednesday, December 31, 2008


New Year's eve . . . The new year is almost here. I do hope that 2009 is a better year for everyone. How about resolutions? I have only one resolution this year - "This year I will rise above the little irritations in life." I do tend to dwell on little irritations until they become harbors for stress. I never got around to planning a New Year's eve outing after we nixed the Opryland Hotel celebration. 2008 has just about used us up - we'll take a second look and celebrate the arrival of 2009 right here at home. That ain't bad.

Besides, I have a trip to look forward to and plan for. Harry gave me a gift certificate this Christmas. A trip to Biltmore House (near Ashville, NC) to tour the spring gardens. It'll be a perfect trip. I've never seen the Biltmore House gardens and mansion. Also, it's a perfect opportunity to drive through the mountains. There are several really pretty little villages along the route. I hope Harry just falls in love with Evergreen, NC. It's a beautiful small village filled with neat, quiet homes set among huge evergreen trees.

Here's wishing everyone a truly happy new year filled with all the things 2008 failed to deliver and even more.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas and Video

It seems that I have formed a habit of being a very, very bad blogger. One New Year resolution is to improve my recent track record. I hope my blogging friends haven't forgotten me.

Christmas 2008 was quieter than some past Christmases, but it was great. I didn't do a lot of decorating, didn't haul out the Christmas china, had simple food. (Lots of finger food, baked ham, various rolls and condiments, salad, boiled corn and fresh lemonade for the kids. There were a couple of "adult beverages," too.) I hope everyone enjoyed the day half as much as Harry and I did. If so the day was a great success.

I made a short slide show with captions on each picture. As you will see our day was casual - very casual.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

About 2 a.m. I woke up and the excitement hit! I was up by 2:15 and in action. By the time evening rolls around I'll either be ready to sing or flat on my back. It's any one's guess about which it will be.

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Let's remember the true meaning of Christmas and the importance of family unity.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Eve of Christmas Eve

The eve of Christmas Eve!! I'm almost ready to line-up and fire this event. I have a short trip to the grocery to pick up the fresh veggies. That will be my last venture into the wild world of shopping until after the excitement that's on the way to our house.

I've been lax in writing but it's not for lack of thinking of each and every one of my blogging friends. Time passes with blogs written only in my mind. I'm just lazy, I guess.

There's nothing new other than the stuff that Santa left here for the little ones. Our family made the decision to only buy gifts for the children. The grown-up's gifts to each other is the love and support we give each other all year long. We'll have our gathering on Christmas afternoon starting around 2 p.m. and lasting until everyone is ready to return home and pass out from too much food and excitement.

I have a reputation for always being "outside the box" and this year our Christmas tree is no exception. I thought of all the bright colors, excitement, and noise and decided to have a calm and quiet tree. That's when my "outside the box" side kicked in. Below is a picture of my version of a serene, peaceful Christmas tree. It doesn't look like a tree at all but it'll be on the table where the Christmas feast is spread. If I don't get overwhelmed, I'll snap a shot of the loaded table.

Thanks to my photographer, Harry, who shot the picture above with his fancy new camera and put it in a frame using Gimp, which is a complicated editing program. I don't do photography at all - I'm lucky to be able to just take a picture.

May each and everyone have a happy but peaceful Christmas or Hanukkah.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Our First Gift of the Season

I've been planning Christmas Day. Harry suggested that I bake a ham so I'll probably do that. Does it sound lazy to have two or three different breads and lots of condiments for sandwich making? I want to make lots of different finger foods (both light and heavy), several sweet things, and I'm planning to make a baklava. No one will be interested in a sit down dinner and it seems like a good solution for our particular gang.

Harry and I haven't made plans for New Year. I suggested going to the Opery Land Hotel in Nashville. Harry would have gone along with my wishes, but when I found out that it would cost more than a thousand dollars plus dinner and drinks and that part of the New Year party is aboard the river boat I changed my mind. I'm allowed to do that, you know. Can you picture two old farts aboard a river boat in the middle of the Tennessee River toasting in the new year with icicles hanging off our noses and butts? Not going to happen!

HOLD THE PRESSES, I have an announcement to make. We just received our first Christmas gift of the season. FedEx delivered it to our door via express delivery. I guess Santa is busy getting ready for the big night. It's something we never had before. Two lollipops designed especially for us. One is tequila flavor complete with WORM. The other is strawberry complete with a SCORPION. Yep, Ricky, we never had anything like this before but we did see them on television and wish we could try them. You must have read our minds. I think I'll put them on the Christmas table as part of the decoration. Save the eating for snuggling on New Year's Eve. Ricky, thank you for thinking of us. We really do appreciate the gift - the boys will really be interested in these. I love it when someone comes up with a really unique gift. I wish I could think of - and find - unique gifts.

That's all for now folks. Have a wonderful rest of the day and an even better tomorrow.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Quiet Days

As I sat here thinking about how to begin writing an old jingle that I remember my dad singing sometimes on Saturday morning came to mind..........

OOOH, today is Saturday
Next day's Sunday
Ain't gotta work no more
'fore Monday, Whooo-ray.

I know, it's silly and I hadn't thought of it for years.

I know I'm getting old because most of the news I hear from family and friends is that some one has died or has an incurable something. Since Thanksgiving I lost a sister, a casual friend, a school mate who was a close friend during school years, and today I learned that a fellow that I worked with for several years has a terminal illness. I've come to the conclusion that the only thing worse than checking out early is being the last to go. Enough of the morbid.

Christmas shopping is history - all done. If I forgot anything, too bad. I've used all the hiding places and I don't have room for more. I really want to put up a tree but I think I'll just do other decorating this year and let the tree decorations rest. The local kids have children of their own so our Christmas will be presents for the children and a Christmas dinner on Christmas Day. We're not feeling "Humbug" just being practical. Monday we'll UPS Maddie's Christmas to Phoenix and the rest will stay quietly in their hiding places until Christmas Day.

Today I received something I've wanted for several years but never, ever thought I'd have - a top-o-the-line Onkyo sound system. Keith and Mary gave it to me. It's still like new but they've decided to go another route. I am so very proud of the system. Now my CD collection can perform on real equipment. The sound is unbelievable. Do you think that maybe Harry will dance with me since no one can see? I bet the kids will.

I hope to get Christmas cards in the mail on Monday but it'll probably be Tuesday. No excuses, I'm just being lazy.

Speaking of lazy, I think that I'll go to bed and try to sleep for a few hours. Wish me luck. See ya later.

Monday, December 8, 2008

23 Days and 2008 is Over

No, I didn't disappear - I'm not ill - I'm not in a bad humor - It's just been a rough end to 2008 for me. I do hope everything is smooth from here on out. I'm so glad that the kids and Ricky were all here for Thanksgiving. It gives me a happy memory to re-live when I begin to feel "down"

This breathing problem is doing well. I called my doctor today to ask how long I should stay on the meds since I am feeling OK. He advised me to keep taking it for a total of two months to let the damage the "whatever was wrong" have time to heal and my body "right itself" Smart old me decided to not listen and skip the breathing med which I should take two times per day. Guess what - well, let's just say that I've decided to listen to someone who knows more about medicine than me.

The sleep over was fun until Jesse got really sick in the late evening hours but he did go to sleep. He woke up again in the early morning hours really crying (not at all like him) and wanting Daddy to come get him. I called Keith and he came. Jesse was really sick for a while but finally went to sleep. Like most young children he woke up feeling fine. I can't tell you how relieved I was to hear that. I should have know something was wrong when he wasn't interested in the treat cabinet. It's usually the hit of the show at Nana's house.

Tomorrow is my last sibling's memorial service. She was 92, had a long productive life, and died peacefully in her sleep. I believe I posted pictures of her several months back. She was living in Palm Springs when she passed. It's strange and sad to be the only one left.

Now you know the story of what's happening in my life. I have so very, very much to be thankful for. It just seems that sometimes the path of life gets a little rugged but I try to not show wear and tears.

Sorry this post is a bit of a downer - I promise to do better next time.

Friday, December 5, 2008

This Post Contains an Important Message

Hi everyone. Yes, this is sleep over night and all is well on the home front. The boys are all comfy on the air bed with their sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, and night time stuffed animals. They are watching the latest Narnia move to hit DVD. I'm in the same room but the movie is beyond me. I'm taking a break to bring you the following very important message.......

I want to pass some info along to everyone. We believe the culprit in causing the horrible asthma attacks has been identified. It's not positive but I'm hoping. At least the following didn't do good things for me.

As everyone knows we had all the little ones here at Thanksgiving. In getting everything ready for their visit I got all the 'little one' toys out of storage. Of course I needed to clean them since they had been stored for almost two years. My usual cleaning solution is Clorox Cleanup but I decided that I should clean the toys with one of the new "Green" cleaners. I was so proud of myself for being so careful. HA!

In trying to identify anything different in my life at the time I became ill I thought of everything. The last to come into question was the "Green" cleaner. Guess what was one of the ingredients in this new cleaner - Golden Rod - which is the only botanical that I'm allergic to. I'm really, really sensitive to the plant and flower. It took some time and searching to identify exactly what the ingredients in the cleaner is but the "various botanicals" included the culprit.

I'm doing much better and expect to eventually overcome this problem. I want to say that I'm all for cleaning up the planet and protecting our environment. But at the same time I think it should be a legal requirement to list all ingredients. Especially botanicals!

If any of you have allergies to plants, etc., please check the labels and be aware that the could contain the very thing that can be very bad for you.

Now I return to the fun that's happening right here in our house. Later folks.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ramblin' On at Midnight

It's too late for normal people to be awake. I guess that settles it - I ain't normal or sane for that matter. I have cabin fever. Just wait until tomorrow. I'm goin' somewhere outside this house and off this property even if I do have a breathing/coughing fit in public. Let 'em deal with it!

I'm really doing much better. The meds are working well and we're not even sure I'll be on them more than a couple more weeks.

On another note. Friday night is sleep-over night at Nana and Papa's. Two little fellows just can't wait. We're going to watch movies, eat snacks, snuggle in our sleeping bags, and sleep in the sun room. No beds for us - we may not even brush out teeth. Wait. . we won't go that far. Keith and Mary are getting all dressed up and going out to a party and maybe out on the town, too. They may have a lot of fun but we'll have more fun. I wonder about that but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I did most of my Christmas shopping on Cyber Monday. I don't do Black Friday. Only thing left to do is get the house ready for Christmas and make some special goodies. The Christmas gathering will be smaller than Thanksgiving. Judy and family will be in Phoenix. Ricky will be in Vista, CA. The gathering will be in the evening of Christmas Day. Baby Hooper will be the guiding factor in the time. Sarah is still working to get him onto a firm schedule. I'm really looking forward to the fun of watching the children. Thank heavens all the new toys and "stuff" will go home with parents. That's the joy of being a grandparent.

New Year is mine. Don't know if we'll make plans but maybe we will do something special. Somebody tell Harry that I'd like to go up to Opry Land Hotel for New Year. Do you think maybe you could do that? Do you think he'd listen? Hmmmmmmmm

Going to bed now. Nite, nite.

Monday, December 1, 2008

My First Video Effort

Welcome to my first ever attempt to publish a video. It's 2 and a half minutes.

I had another visit to my doctor today. More meds and plans to see a specialist if this doesn't resolve in a day or two. I think that I'm feeling better - cross your fingers that this round of meds does the trick.

Will write again tomorrow.