Monday, November 29, 2010

"Stressmas Time"

I need a break. Thanksgiving was wonderful but as seems to be the norm when my daughter comes home for a holiday, I feel as though time speeds up.
Then while talking to my son on the phone yesterday, the same day my daughter headed back to North Carolina, he casually mentioned that he was bringing out all of the Christmas decorations.
That's great. That's all it takes. 
So I went downstairs and started to carry up a few tubs filled with decorations. There are about a dozen of them. I've only gone through three and I am feeling overwhelmed.
This happens every year though. I wonder if anyone else goes through this. You see I decorate differently every year. Maybe if I put things in the same place each year it would be easier. But I like to change things up.
Plus there are always the new decorations that I swear every year I am not going to buy. And of coarse I acquired quite a few of my mom's as well and you can bet those will be displayed.
I also pack up my regular nick knacks to make room for the Christmas ones. I wonder if anyone else does this? 
So I quit for the day. I'm tired but anxious to get them up as well! Katie told me that I should wait for Natasha to come over on the weekend as she loves to decorate. I just may do that.
Once this project is done I will sit back and enjoy the holiday season. Advent services start on Wednesday evening and I so love these services. It really gives one the proper perspective to the Christmas season.

Our Thanksgiving dinner was fabulous. We had so much food and desserts. My oldest daughter Ginny out did herself with appetizers. As a matter of fact I do believe that was my favorite part of the meal.
There was too much food to mention, so I won't bore you with it all but it was wonderful. 
And one of the best parts of the day was that all of the girls kept sending me out of the kitchen! My Daughter in law just sort of took over all of the cooking. If you know me you know I don't like to cook anymore so this was great!
I love this photo of my DIL chopping potatoes with a very LARGE knife while my husband in his Thanksgiving day garb, tells a story!

I loved my daughter Ginny's face in this photo. She was trying to give Katie and Natasha a thrill while opening a bottle of Champagne. It didn't pop the way she thought it would  :(

It is next to impossible to get a photo of my grandchildren Sarah and Jack. As soon as they see the camera, they run, so I caught this one at my son's house. Squirmy kids!!

Katie and Natasha enjoying Thanksgiving Day dessert.
But this next one is my favorite photo of all.
My four favorite girls together! 
Again, my granddaughter disappeared!

Left to right, Natasha, Amy (DIL), daughter Ginny and daughter Katie.
You can also clearly see in this photo why my husband refers to our kitchen as a "Two Butt Kitchen". That it is!!!
Maybe that's why the girls kept shooing me out of the kitchen,
my derriere is somewhat bigger than theirs!

Whatever the reason, I was blessed and grateful to them for all of the work that they did. I also told Amy that we can go back to having Thanksgiving Dinner at her house next year!!

I hope you all enjoyed the day as much as I did!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

" Cranberries After all "

Sometimes plans change.
Actually I've always been a firm believer that we really shouldn't plan.
Maybe "Hope" would be a better word than "Plan".

I was telling one of my favorite Blogger friends, Rebecca,
from "Life and Godliness", that we wouldn't be having cranberries this year for Thanksgiving.

My mother and I were always the only one's that would eat them, fresh cooked not canned. 
This will be our first Thanksgiving without my mom with us. I know we will all miss her smiling, cheerful face at our table this year.

So when my daughter-in-law, Amy, asked if she should pick some up, I said not to bother since I'm the only one that would eat them.
I couldn't eat all of those cranberries myself.

Well as it turned out my daughter Ginny who arrived yesterday from North Carolina, tried some last week for lunch at her work place.

Now she loves them!

So Ginny bought a bag of cranberries today and I went ahead and cooked them. 
And while mom won't be able to be with us this year at our Thanksgiving table, it will be nice to know that I can still enjoy this treat with someone that I love.

Somehow I have a feeling that mom will be there too.
A "Blessed Thanksgiving" to all.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

" A Double Anniversary "

On November 14th 2008 I woke up as I did every other morning. Early. I am an early riser. That is if you consider 5:30 to 6:00 a.m. early. I have always woke early to have a bit of time and coffee for myself before I cook breakfast for my children. I have done this for the past 32 years.

Something that I am still doing today only now I do allow myself an occasional Pop Tart morning, something that always went against my grain. But there comes a time when the energy just isn't always available.

I had not been feeling well for several weeks before this particular morning. But it wasn't anything that I could pin point. I didn't want to go to the doctor only to say "I don't feel like myself". Thinking back on this now, I should have.

On this morning I woke with my arm feeling tingly. I went to bed the night before with it feeling tingly too but just thought that my carpel tunnel was acting up again. The more I do, the worse it gets.

I was cooking some bacon for my daughter Kate. She was 13 at the time. She was still asleep. I picked up the tongs to turn the bacon over and I aimed towards the pan. But my arm didn't go where I wanted it to go. It started to do a sort of circular motion and I couldn't get it to the pan. I did manage to put down the tongs and pick up my phone with my left hand to call my husband who was in some other state at the time. I knew that I would be waking him and felt horrible about it but I was scared. I don't get scared easily.

When I got him on the phone and told him what was going on he very FIRMLY told me to go to the hospital now! I remember saying to him, "Don't you think I should wait for the doctors office to open and call the doctor?". I hate going to the hospital but my husband insisted that I go. I woke Katie and told her I was going to the hospital. That's all I said. And I got in my car, numb arm and all to drive the five blocks there.

In the mean time my husband had called my son who was already at work just a couple of miles away. I don't think it took him 15 minutes before he was by my side in the emergency room. I was grateful to see him. And he didn't leave my side until my husband made it back home.

Anyone who's been to the hospital for a possible stroke or heart attack knows that they pretty much attack you with questions and tests. It all happens very quickly. It was determined that I was having a stroke and was admitted to the hospital for three days. My husband made it home that evening and my daughter flew in from North Carolina the next morning. At least I think it was North Carolina, she also lived in South Carolina for a time and I really don't remember!

It was all so odd at the time. I felt very strange and very tired. The doctors never really did figure out why I had the stroke. The neurologist said I had thick blood. Whatever that meant. My doctor thought that I was just too stressed out. So after a few days rest and some new medications I was sent home. My speech was slurred for a while.  But I had perfect use of my arms and legs. I lost a bit of my memory, especially of the time of the stroke. I am pretty sure that I have left some things out because of this. I was also feeling quite depressed. That lasted for several months.

I was lucky and blessed, although I would go on to have a second "Mini" stroke three months later. This past Sunday I passed the two year mark since that first stroke. The more time that passes the luckier and more blessed I feel. Which is why I try to enjoy life as much as I can. I love to laugh and will use many excuses to do so.

At 50 years old, this was a very scary time for me. And my family. Most people think that only older folks have strokes. Not true. It is a fact that the age for strokes has changed considerably over the years.
Even babies can have them.

Today, November 20th, marks two years since I started blogging. And it was all because of the stroke. While I was home recuperating from the stroke, my daughter Ginny stayed about a week with me to help out. I was exhausted.

Ginny is one of those "Computer" people. I wish I knew half of what she does. While she was here she said "You know what you should do mom?". "You should start a blog, I think you would like it and it would give you something to do while you sit." 

I answered her by saying, "Whats a Blog?". Yup, I hadn't a clue! She went on to tell me that it was sort of an online journal in which you could write about whatever you wanted to. This was a bit scary for me as the only thing that I had done on the computer up until this was bookkeeping at church. Really, I never went on the computer. I thought it was sort of silly!

So while she was here she set up a blog for me. And here we are two years later. I hadn't a clue what to write about. And even today when I feel unsure, I just write whats on my mind. Interesting or not, it is my life. The one that I am so grateful for.

Through Blogging I have met so many wonderful, warm, caring, funny, supportive, interesting, helpful and loving people. It just brings to my mind the song title "It's a Small World".

I never dreamed that I could care about people that I haven't met in person, face to face. But I was wrong. Not the first time!

So I am choosing today to celebrate. Celebrate life. Celebrate friends and Celebrate family. Oh, and I suppose that I should Celebrate blogging too!

I know that Ginny was so worried about me back than. I think she was scared. And I really think that she wanted me to just sit and relax so that I wouldn't die. I can't tell you how many calls I received from my son and daughter, for several weeks after that. It was really nice!

I am grateful to Ginny for showing me this form of self expression and communication, Thank you Ginger Peach!

I am also grateful to all of you who take the time to come by and visit my humble little blog. I thank God that I have been given the special privilege to get to know YOU! I will Celebrate all of you as well! 

Thank you for stopping by and may God bless you all!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

" Blogging Break "

Don't get confused O.K.?
I am NOT, repeat NOT taking a break from blogging....
I am simply taking a break TO blog. 
I have been very busy preparing for the holidays as I am sure a lot of you have been too. My wonderful daughter, Ginny, will be here in exactly one week from today! I am so excited. I haven't seen her in eleven months! We are having Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year instead of my son's so there are things that need to be done!
Cleaning and decorating. I am doing Thanksgiving decorations as well as a bit of Christmas since Ginny won't be home this year for Christmas. I finished the Mantel last night.
I also needed to come up with a centerpiece for our Thanksgiving dinner. I had no idea what I was going to do. So yesterday I went to a local store and found a centerpiece which needed something more.

I purchased it at 50% off which was $3.00. Then I drove just a few blocks away to my favorite thrift store to rummage around. I had no idea what I might find there but it's always a relaxing experience for me to shop there and so I went to have some fun.
I found a bowl. A heavy bowl at that. It was also $3.00. So I purchased the bowl among a few other treasures and I went on my way home.

I had 3 bags of pine cones that I had saved in my pantry. I don't know why I saved them exactly but you just never know when a pine cone may come in handy, right?
So I took the $3.00 centerpiece and the $3.00 bowl along with one bag of pine cones to the dining room table and viola!

A $6.00 centerpiece! Quite Autumnal don't you think?
It is 48 degrees here today and I am cold! My arthritis is what told me to quit working for the day. I had to break out my winter coat to walk the dogs!

I know that all of my dear Canadian friends are rolling on the floor laughing. Well go ahead and laugh at me because this weekend is supposed to be in the 60's and 70's again!
Over the weekend I managed to clean the garage, put all of the yard ornaments and furniture away. The rest of it will have to wait for my husband to come home and put away. The heavy stuff.

Yes things are coming along nicely. It's great to be able to sit here this afternoon with my feet up and visit with all of you.
However I am a bit chilly so I am going to fix myself a cup of hot Chai tea. I wish you were here to share some with me.

I am going to leave you today with another sculpture from Cedarhurst Center for the Arts. I drive past this one several times a week and I just love it.
This always brings to my mind what it would look like after a hole punch got through with a sheet of paper!

It is called "Sabine Woman I".

What do you think?

Friday, November 12, 2010

" Funky Friday "

I used to love Fridays when I was younger. Now it's a bit of a different story for me. I love Fridays when my husband comes home. However that doesn't happen too often.
Fridays are good for most people as they usually mean payday. That is the reason that I don't care for them now. Sounds silly perhaps, but Fridays for me mean running all over town paying bills and shopping.
Some might think "Well shopping is fun!". Not for me. I really don't like to shop. I like to thrift shop. That is fun for me. I found something really exciting this week at my favorite thrift shop.
It is in perfect working order and has never been used. Brand new, still in the box! Perhaps you may remember one of these.
And you'll have to excuse me because I really don't know the name of it, but I think that the grandchildren will get a kick out of it.
 My Katie girl had never seen one before. So as I was putting it together, she looked intrigued. She said "What is it?". I told her "Just wait and you will see, it's really cool.".

When I had lit the candles, it started to spin, she didn't look impressed. But I knew she was. Later that evening when her friend, Natasha came to spend the night, my Katie girl asked " Mom, can I light the candles on this thing to show Natasha?".

Of coarse I said yes, how could I not.
I will tell you that these two girls refer to themselves as "Jesus Freaks". So this carosel of sorts intriquded them.
The bottom of the carousel has a nativity, the middle a shepherd and his sheep, and at the top are angels blowing trumpets.
They stared for a while before they blew out the candles. They liked it I know. I know because they were quite.
All of that for five bucks. Thats why I like thrift shopping.
I also went turkey hunting today. When Katie was a little girl I would say to her "It's time to go turkey hunting!". She loved it then. She turned me down this time. I expected as much.
I think I got a good deal. I bought a 23 lb. Jenny O, for $15.00. And a whole bunch of fixin's for Thanksgiving Day. I am looking so forward to that day. To me, it is one of the most wonderful days of the year.
Thanksgiving Day last year was the last time that my husband Jake saw my mother. It was just a couple weeks later that she passed away. This will be our first, well, my first Thanksgiving Day without her. In 52 years. As much as this hurts, I intend on enjoying and giving this day my all.
My daughter Ginny will be here! I am so excited about that. I haven't seen her since last Christmas. She came home for mom's funeral and then came back for Christmas. I miss her so. She is truly a wonderful daughter. One that anyone would be proud to call "Daughter".
As many of you know, this past year I have redone our living room and just recently our dining room. My oldest daughter, Ginny has not yet seen either rooms. Except for pictures. And I promised pictures. So here they are.  


So there's some of the photos that I promised. The color on the walls isn't quite that dark but my little camera and I have issues at times!

After I first painted the room and put some of the things up, I was a bit dissappointed. I think it took me time to get used to the change. I have rearranged and added some things since then and now I am happy with it. But I need new curtains. Unfortunatly the old one's just didn't match anymore. This was sad for Ginny and I as we both loved those curtains. 
I looked around today for some new ones but just couldn't find anything that I REALLY liked. So I hung some white lace one's for now. They look better. I'll find something just right eventually.

So that's my funky Friday. Katie is gone tonight so I am alone and very tired from the day of errands. I hope that everyone has a good weekend. I still have lots of work to get done before Ginny comes home but the rest of the night belongs to me!
I will put my feet up and perhaps try to find a good movie to watch!
Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

" Veterans Day, Small Town, U.S.A."

Thank you to all of our servicemen and women,
past and present,
for allowing us these freedoms
in the "Small and Big Towns"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

" And "The Dumb-Assed Parents Of The Year Award" Goes To.........

Jake and Diana 
from Southern Illinois!!!!
This less than prestigious award was given to this couple because of their sheer
Notice below, if you will, the 13 foot long wall that is painted with chalk board paint.
No big deal for a teenage girls room under normal circumstances.
She did, after all ask her mother and fathers permission to do it first.

Good teenage girl.

She bought the paint with her very own, hard earned, babysitting money.

Good teenage girl.

Why her very own mother and father were with her when she bought it. I suppose that the good teenage girls parents both had their heads in another place.
NOTE: please refer to blog tile.

So said paint was purchased and the good teenage girl drove her mother and father home after which the mother and father went out alone together to run some errands.
Imagine the good teenage girl's parents reaction when they arrived home to a BIG, BLACK AND VERY SMELLY cloud of paint in the house!

Please note that these parents have been around the block a few times. They have also painted many different things many times.

They also KNOW that you never SPRAY PAINT in the house!

So what happened you may ask? 
Did the good teenage girl's parents not think to suggest that she purchase chalk board paint in a can, you know, the kind that you roll on the wall with a roller.

Just like the sort of paint that the good teenage girl's mother had used the week prier to paint her dining room with.

The kind of paint that comes in a CAN!!!!!!

The answer is NO! The good teenage girl's DUMB-ASSED
parents were apparently on a mental vacation.

Windows and doors were then opened. Fans were turned on. And the good teenage girls parents just sat there the rest of the evening.
Wondering what the heck they were thinking?

They certainly could not blame the good teenage girl for her lack of painting experience.

No, this is one faux pas that they would have to accept for themselves.
Diana paid for the stupidity today. She had to launder bedding, curtains, throw rugs, clothes and cleaned the carpet.....

Since her husband is not here today, Diana, unwillingly of coarse,
is accepting this award for both of them.

Diana feels better knowing that she is saving some other nice couple from being awarded,

"The Dumb-Assed Parents Of The Year Award"!

Thank you very much!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

" It's Here ! November Chill ! "

I just came into the house from walking my dogs, Ruby and Roxy.
It's finally here!
The November Chill.
Oh it's been on it's way.
We've had some beautiful Autumn days.
I had my sweatshirt jacket on while my dogs were wearing their furs.
It somehow seems unfair!
I have been thinking lately of bringing my winter coat out of the closet. I suppose that will happen soon.
They say, those weather people, that we are getting some cold Canadian air swooping in. Don't my hips know that's true!
But I will handle it just fine. My Canadian friends make it bearable with their wonderful humor.
We have been blessed this year in Southern Illinois.
Our Autumn has been spectacular this year.
The cool air makes me feel alive. So I am going to post a poem that I wrote last year. 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

" The Autumn Of Her Life " by Diana

The wind was cold and dry as it brushed against her cheeks .
And even though she quickly felt the shiver of the wind flow over and around her skin,
It felt wonderful . It felt refreshing .
It made her feel alive .

The moon hung low in the sky,

glowing in beautiful warm shades of amber.

It was the harvest moon .
To her , it was the most splendid moon of the year .

She closed her eyes beneath the moonbeams
and she could hear the yellow, orange a
nd red leaves
rustling past her silhouette.

One or two of the dried leaves touched her skin as she took
a very deep breath .

She imagined what the warm flames of the wood fire looked like
that someone unknown to her had lit in their fireplace.

That inviting scent mixed with the smoky scent of burning leaves
lingering in the air , filled her lungs and brought a smile to her face.

And while all of this was a special treat to her senses, she was getting colder now and realized that she would soon have to go back inside.

These magical days of this season were fleeting now
as were the magical years of her life .

The days grew shorter as did the yea

Yes she was getting colder now as well as older.
It was time to come in out of the chill to warm her body .

But her mind would always remain warm filled with the thoughts
and feelings of this beautiful season
and this beautiful life.
Diana Siebels

So there you have it. My thoughts about this Beautiful time of year.
There are so many things happening in my life right now.

In five weeks it will be a year since my mom passed away. This still just seems so odd to me. 

In six weeks my last child will be getting her drivers license. This still just seems odd to me.

Where does the time go? Better yet, why does it go faster as we get older? Wouldn't one think that it would slow down as we get older?

Well I certainly don't have the answers. I'm still trying to figure out what the heck my purpose is !

Three children, two grandchildren so far.
Maybe that's it.

Maybe that is what I was meant to do.

I am grateful for what I have accomplished. My children and grandchildren are extraordinary. I was blessed.

But now that they are all on their way, I think that I would like to help others in some way.

How about you? What about you empty nesters?
I am not completely an empty nester but at 52 years old, I am thinking hard on the subject.

How have you, if you've been in this situation, restarted your life?

It is an exciting yet scary time. 
Time for new ideas?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

" Promise Not to Laugh."

Please don't laugh at me. O.K.?
My son brought over these lovely root things for me along with some pears today. They were from his father-in-laws garden. I am pretty sure that they are turnips. But since I've never had a turnip, 
I am really not to sure. 

So I need your help identifying these roots. And remember that I am a city girl. And my mother never had these in the house when I was growing up. I have lots of excuses for you to not laugh at me.

Here is the root in question. At least I think it's a root, I'm not even sure of that!

I do think that they are pretty. I love the purple on them. So after you have finished giggling at my ignorance perhaps you can also tell me what to do with them. 

Alright, lets not get nasty here!
Just perhaps a few preparation ideas would be nice as I would like to try them. Thank you ahead, for whatever info you can help me with.

And it's really alright to laugh at me if you want to. I don't mind.

So I finished painting my dining room today. I am so happy with it. It now matches the front room. That's what happens when you have left over paint!

I will show you what it looks like now. Everything won't be put back together until the weekend. I will post pictures sometime next week of the final result.

And please excuse the dirty chandelier. It will get cleaned when all is said and done!

There you go, in case you didn't remember the colors of the living room. I am so happy to be done with this job and am grateful that my body held up!

I am going to relax for the rest of the evening but before I go I have one more thing I wanted to tell you. 

We have digital cable for our television. It also has music channels on it which I often listen to like now while I am typing this.

One of the music stations is called "Sounds of the Seasons".
Right now they are playing "Snowfall" by The Four Freshmen.

It is such a beautiful song. They also just got through playing "Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer".

I just love Christmas and Holiday music, don't you?


Monday, November 1, 2010

" I'm Still Alive!"

It was a good and productive day. I am grateful to be resting with my feet up and not to much pain. Praise God, my prayers are being heard!

I completed two walls in my dining room today. Only two more to go which, God willing, I will complete tomorrow. It looks so beautiful so far, I am so very proud of my hard work.

However it is inspiring me to do more. I just can't seem to sit still! But I have discovered that when I am working hard, my stomach doesn't hurt, unless I get too hungry.

So I guess I know myself pretty darn well. I always fall back on working when times are tough. The more I work, the less I worry. The less I worry, the less my stomach hurts. I can not just sit and dwell on my troubles. 

Did I mention that the doctor that did my endoscopy prescribed anti-depressants for the pain in my stomach? When I found this out (at the pharmacy) I was outraged! I am not depressed. And for him to assume that my pain was from depression, to me, was ridiculous.

That is when I called my own doctor. When I told him what was going on, he knew that I had been worrying too much. So he doubled my anti-anxiety medication. That did the trick. I have since cut back the dosage, have been practicing setting my mind free and praying more. It is working just fine. 

Please don't take this the wrong way. I do understand depression. I know that it is a horrible problem for people, people that I am close to. But I have never, ever considered myself depressed. Well sure we all have our moments or hours, but I have always fought my way out of it. And won. I guess that I am lucky that way.

I am however, a very, very big worrier. It has followed me around all of my life. The way I fight it is to work. So now you know why I am constantly busy. Unfortunately, all of that work wasn't enough to control it. So after having two strokes, I have to also take medication.

It has helped, but not always. So I am still moving and working. My husband has a joke about me. He says that I could never die until the entire house and yard was spotless. He thinks that isn't possible so I will never die!

Anyway back to the painting. I hope to finish tomorrow as I clean for my people on Thursdays. I need Wednesday to recoup. So if all goes well. If I make it through another day. If I can manage that ladder one more day. I will be done.

Oh I forgot, I also cooked, yes COOKED, three full meals today, hung out a load of clothes in the yard, walked the dogs and took the garbage out! I can't hardly believe that I am still here!

Just give me one more day Lord, one more day........

"Progress, I Think...."

I started at 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning. I finished sanding the last few spots on the walls. Walked up and down the ladder umpteen times to wash the walls. Then I vacuumed the dust off of the floor.

Then I climbed the ladder umpteen times to tape the walls around the ceiling. Then I walked up and down the ladder umpteen times to paint the trim and around the chandelier.

I haven't had to paint a ceiling in years. Twenty-one to be exact. My 6'3 husband usually does this fun job.

 Than he has a beer. See how happy he looks after painting a ceiling?
These ceilings in this old house are all textured. Very nicely but textured. Which makes them difficult to paint. Even when you have a really good extension pole, when you are 5'2, it is very tricky.

While up on the ladder, my feet where killing me and my knuckles were starting to swell, I started calling out to God. 

Yes as I was half way around I kept saying "Oh God, oh God, oh God!". At one point I held up the brush and asked "God would you please take this brush and finish for me?", I knew he wouldn't so I said " That's O.K., I CAN DO THIS!!!!!".

And so I did. After the trim I poured the paint into the paint tray, rolled my roller in the paint and started rolling.
I had no idea how hard it was to roll a textured ceiling!! One coat was definitely not enough. That ceiling just sucked that paint right in.
My husband warned me to wear a bandanna and my old glasses. He was right about that. I had paint spattered all over me and my neck was killing me.

I finished at 3:00p.m. It came out good after the second coat. I was too exhausted to go to the weeny roast and service at church that night but not to tired to have a beer!

I was proud of my work but oh so sore! This was one weekend that my husband was SOOOO glad that he didn't come home! But he was sweet to listen to me moan and whine all evening!
I went to church Sunday morning instead. It was a beautiful service and it gave me a really good reason not to work!

You would have been proud of me. I sat on my butt all the rest of the day yesterday!!!

So Carpel Tunnel be damned! I am going to start on the walls today!!

I apologize for this post being so boring! This is just something that I must get done this week and it's really all that's on my mind. So I will leave you with a couple more CedarHurst photos. 

 Another view of "Alfred Atlas"!

Got to get busy, catch ya later!!!