Monday, December 31, 2007

And so, another one bites the dust

Here it is New Years Eve. I know, I know, you thought I had forgotten you!

Fear not, I have been otherwise occupied with holiday revelings. Ever wonder what that term means? Sounds daring to me. My holidays were filled with love. My oldest son, Paul, visited for several days. I didn't cry. What I should say is that I didn't cry when he arrived and I didn't cry when he left, but good golly miss molly!! did I cry whenever I set my peepers on him all the time he was home. And I had to keep hugging him, hoping that in doing so I could turn back the hands of time and he would be mine all over again! It is so very hard to let them go, isn't it? How DARE they grow up!! I couldn't believe my eyes.He is an intelligent, charming and mostly grown man. I say mostly grown because despite his facial hair and the letters after his name, I will consider him all grown up when I am. And that will be the twelfth of never !!

I am a very poor photographer but I was able to get a few good shots of Paul and Sarah the night before he left.

The entire family spent Christmas at my folks home and it was a good time for all of us. We are ever mindful of the blessings that we still have my Mom and Daddy around. Okay, enough of Christmas memories - I will be boo-hooing for missing my son again.

Do you make New Years Resolutions? I don't. I mean I may think of a few things that I would like to do or accomplish but hard and fast resolutions? Not me. I do try to write down a few things that I have learned during the course of the year.

I have learned . . .

1. One doesn't need to be brilliant or even well versed in HTML to get a website going. All you need are a few folks who believe in you, google, and a patient husband who knows how to cook. Thank you, my HARTS.

2. I am always amazed at the loving and giving nature of the human race. While the media likes to be bad news bears, the world is never quiet and we are surrounded by chaos, people like YOU took time out of your day to read this blog and others like it. YOU found the Ava Grace Auction and helped to raise thousands of dollars to help a child you did not know. Thank YOU, sisters. You will never know the impact that one good deed did. Thank you.

Through this wonderful device called a computer I have met many delightful folksies over the past several years. I have even had the pleasure of meeting many of you in person! In thinking back over this past year and the new friends that the Lord has graced my life with, I have to say that because of blogging I have felt my world enriched and my horizons broadened.

Okay, that's enough of the reflective stuff ~ let's play ball!

See you next year!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to all

Oh holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angels' voices!
Oh night divine, Oh night when Christ was born;
Oh night divine, Oh night, Oh night Divine.
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Behold your King.
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Two for one . . . .

More Fun Quizzes at

Okay, two posts in one day; just had to let you know that Larry just took the quiz and his name is just as appropriate and endearing as mine. Eat your heart out, Brad Pitt!

Sunny Monkey Buns

Ye gadzooks it is now officially less than a week away! I should know, my birthday was yesterday.
For those interested it was a wonderful day full of phone calls and friends - I now believe I have heard every version of happy birthday that there can be. Thanks to all my dear friends for their love and friendship.
Last evening, Luscious Larry carried me out to dinner - our favorite Mexican Restaurant where the food is always delish. I decided to try something new and gosh was I glad. I ordered the shrimp with zucchini squash on a bed of rice and accented with their wonderful cheese. I can't believe I ate the whole thing. Well, I did share a bite of shrimp or two with Luscious. Who could resist those big puppy dog eyes staring at my plate. I enjoyed a taste of his enchiladas as well. He also gifted me with a wonderful book by Linda Causee "365 Foundation Quilt Blocks"

I went to my good bud's Terri of Primcreek blog and saw this wonderful quiz. I took it and wow! I am officially

More Fun Quizzes at

I laughed so hard at the name but I would have spelled it like Inspector Clouseau would say "Minkey". I think that my hubs shall have a new nickname for me this season.
Thanks Terri for having this on your blog, along with all other wonderful sorts of ideas!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Birthday to ME

As you may recall, I am the middle child. As if that didn't give me enough issues, I was born the week before Christmas. I never had birthday parties or presents. I always heard, well, Christmas is in a week . . . that works okay when you are a little kid and think you will have extra gifties under the tree! Then as I grew older, it didn't mean that much to me. Wrong! Everyone likes to be remembered. These days my folks remember my birthday with a song and occasional small pressie and the ever popular Christmas is in a week trick.
Then I met Luscious Larry. The man who renewed my faith in men. He always makes my birthdays special. He told me last night that one of the things that makes Christmas special for him is that my birthday is a week before. So, everything is already decorated and colorful. He told me the reason he made a big wooden star to be lit in the front yard was because of me. He said I shine. Awwww- ain't I lucky?

Now for some serious stuff about birthdays . . . For all the years I spent wallowing in the self pity of being the middle child and getting blamed for big brother's or little sister's mishaps, for all the years of no party or cake, I adopted the attitude that birthdays are just another day. Then, the Lord reminded me in the gentle way that only He can, that this IS a special day. That this is the day He chose for me to enter this world. Not the day that the doctor's determined, but, Him. So, this is a great day. I have all my body parts - two legs to walk on, two eyes to see from, my health is good and my mind - well, no comment about my brain. LOL. But that being said, think on this. Each birthday is another gift from God. wow!
Since it is my birthday, I want to give you a gift! Yes, I know, I know, Christmas is in a week - wouldn't you like an extra gift for no other reason other than that I am happy to be alive, well and kicking? Sign in on the comment thingie and I will put everyone's name in a basket and get someone in my wonderfully dysfunctional family to pull a name out. I will send the winner a little pressie. Names to be drawn on: December 23. That is this Sunday. Better hurry!

Now for a gift for EVERYONE . . . I found this lovely website called Pink Pig. I have been far too greedy in not sharing this with all of you until now. Sweet Debbie started her blogging last week. Gals, you HAVE to go to her blog and then click on her store. She has the most delicious antiques and collectibles! I wish I could go in person and drool over it, but I will be satisfied to mop up my keyboard instead. I have purchased several of the hand carved and painted Santas (my birthday gift to me).

Her blog addy is:
Be sure and tell her that Blondie sent you. Trust me, you will LOVE her stuff!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

winter never starts
before the cookie crumbles
lips and fingers licked

(Okay, so I am lousy at writing haiku. I never follow rules! Good grief, at least I mentioned a season.)

The cookie swap was today. This year we met at Faye's house rather than at the Mexican Restaurant. Faye's house is the ideal place for any good time as she is the ideal hostess. Her house always smells good, looks good and even her pets are well behaved and are not allowed to shed. Faye, I know you will read this eventually and I am telling the truth and YOU KNOW IT. We have to have get togethers at Faye's house or Gloria's or even Brenda's because they have clean houses. Well Faye and Gloria do. I always feel right at home at Brenda's. We share a commonality. Brilliant minds that attract "stuff". Heck, we even sit next to each other because we can laugh at ourselves. Her ying to my yang.
Everyone brought some finger food - and gosh it was all so durn delicious. We had to get something in our tummies before the cookie binging.

I remember enjoying cheese broccoli soup, some good little meat thing that tasted like it was a pizza something or other, chicken salad, fruit dip, cheese ball and I will not announce the other disgusting things that jumped on my plate like mini eclairs, more fruit dip, mini eclairs and then I washed them all down with a diet sun drop and another mini eclair.
Two new gals joined us this year We enjoyed their food so much we decided to invite them again next year.

Everyone went home with 10 dozen cookies that they didn't make. And then there were extra ones to go around since a few couldn't make it. More for our hubbies.
I have been nibbling for awhile. I know I came out on the good end of this deal. I sure wish that I was a better photographer. All my pics came out blurry. It was probably all that sugar that made my hands shake.

"The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully." 2Corinthians 9:6

Thank you sisters for allowing me to sow and reap with you another year. Thank you for loving me just the way I am. There is comfort in friendship. My cup runneth over and my cookies never crumble, they just melt in my mouth.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Twas the night before . . . .

I know that you think that I have forgotten you - I am not a fickle friend, I promise. I have been sooooooooooo busy with baking, and baking and of course, I must work and occasionally cook for my husband, then bake, bake, bake. Tomorrow is the annual cookie swap. My favorite friends are going to be gathering and having a good time. It is not really about the cookies. It is about taking a break mid craze, enjoying what we have and being girls. Of course, it isn't about the cookies. But we all are like kids on Christmas Eve tonite. I had to run out to the dollar store for some more bags and ran into one of my bestest buds, who told me that she had seen another swapper at the Big W, who had seen - you get the picture.
Our families have been well compensated already for their tolerance, eating the burnt, broken and misshapen cookies. (don't tell Larry that I dropped that macaroon on the floor! I dusted it off before I gave it to him. It fell under the 3 second rule. Besides, I had just mopped.)

Actually, the menfolk really don't get it. Men think: They're cookies, for goodness sake! Buy them at the deli counter and eat them! Cheaper still, buy Oreos. They are round, have chocolate and cream and go with any beverage. They can not appreciate the angst we suffer surfing for the perfect simple cookie that will make the rest of the gals clamor for the recipe. And by the night before, we are all so blasted tired of baking, that we are wondering why in the world we are doing this. Come tomorrow when we are dressed appropriately (last year I wore reindeer antlers with bells on them, we will get all warm and gooey inside over sweet friendship, swap some good stories, eat our luncheon and carry home more cookies for the hubbies to eat.
You are looking at 28 dozen cookies. You cannot see all the baskets or tins because they are hiding behind all the ones in the front. Everyone present will get one dozen and we will share our buffet spread, play some games and exchange a gift or two. I highly recommend starting a cookie swap if you have never done one before. It's a lot of fun - now to decide if I should I wear my reindeer antlers again; that's the other thing guys don't understand. Women do not dress for men; they dress for each other. But that is another blog topic.

Monday, December 10, 2007

I think I have a serious problem . . .

I think I have a problem. Not just because it is December 10, my annual cookie swap is coming up, or that I have just found out my Number 1 Son is coming home for Christmas, or the fact that my house looks like I have thrown confetti around . . . Not only because I have just burnt a pot of pinto beans, as well as two trays of gingerbread men cookies (poor toasty tasty dears - even trying to eat the evidence with a cup of coffee didn't help their blackened taste, sigh). No, not even those things are what I intend to write about. Nope. That is something of normal for me. You see, I thrive on chaos. My whole life has been lived on an adrenaline charged jolt of spastic chaos. Ask my children. Instead of testing children for ADD, perhaps the schools should be testing the parents?
I always seem to have so many irons in the fire. Lots of things I need to complete, laundry to fold, calls to make, bills to pay, litter boxes to change, dogs to feed, dolls to mutilate, er, I mean create. You see, the problem is I have a problem with comittment. Actually, let me re-phrase that. I have a problem with over comittment. My granny always said, "if you want something done, get a busy person to do it - they will find the time and the way to get it done."
I am not sure how to escape this. Really. I want to live each day fully and that is the problem. I sleep good at night because I am exhausted from being such a busy person.
I never make New Years resolutions. Instead, I write out the things I have learned during the course of the year. Sometimes it is only 2 or 3 things. Perhaps, I should start on my list earlier this year. Perhaps I can cram one more project into a day that is already shot to hooey and consider it a bonus.
Gosh, I just know that someone else out there feels the same way. Wanna share a burnt ginger with me? I like to bite their little heads off first.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Three Small Things has a Winner or two

Hi Folks
Not a lot of time for the puter this evening; too many irons in the fire - betcha you do too. Got a yummy smelling chicken casserole ready for the Luscious Man to munch on soon. If he doesn't get home soon, I will eat it all by myself!

A bit ago I snagged middle son Josh to pick a few names out of a basket for the Three Small Things. I had received several emails besides the posts so I threw them all in the basket, just as I generally throw out all the rules in life.

The winners in no particular order are:

Donna - Made in Heaven
Shea - no blog, shame on you for your secret pleasure of reading blogs at work! Shhh, I haven't told anyone . . .
Jeannene - Love Conquers All

Please send me an email, ladies and I will need your addy to mail you your goodie!

Thanks for realizing that it is the little things that can change our life!

Here is a pic of the winner picker, Josh, with his new love, Joy. I told him I was going to call her JJ (josh's joy). She is a rescue kitty his beautiful gal friend, Cheryl, gifted him with recently. Cheryl, not only does Josh thank you and love you but he has to SHARE you with me. I loves you TOO! Thanks for our JJ!!
She is a keeper.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ever have a bad hair day?

Good Morning, Folksies!

I didn't have any clients early this morning at the salon, so I am taking advantage of the precious time to sit with you, a fresh cup of coffee and some whine on the side.

I have cut my own hair for more than twenty plenty years. That is because most of the time hairdressers don't have time to take care of their fellow workers. And also, hairdressers are the worst for sniping each other with what they think their other cell mates, I mean cosmetologists, need done.

Okay, so here goes. On Saturday morning in between clients, I asked one of the gals I work with to "clean up" the back of my hair. It was getting raggedy - which I personally like, but just a tad too long. I needed the back redefined basically and wanted someone else's hands in the back of my head for a change. This is the first time in at least 10 years that I have allowed another hairdresser to stand behind me with a pair of shears.
As she was snipping cautiously, a client came in and she wheeled the chair so that we could chat about appts. When she said, Hon, I am going to balance it out a bit, I said fine - mostly because I was intent on what the client was speaking about and mostly because I have worked with this gal for about 5 years and she KNOWS how I wear my hair. OMG. Never again. Do you hear me? NEVER AGAIN! I look awful. It is so short around the face and I like to hide behind my hair. Balanced? I cut my own hair, do you think I care about symmetry and balance? Get real! I feel like a middle aged woman who colors her white hair. Well, I am, but, I don't like to LOOK LIKE THAT. grrrr. When she twirled me around I wanted to cry out, What the heckfire shoot were you thinking????

Hubs is a wise man. He has not mentioned the haircut. Even when I am first waking up and it is standing in spikes a punker would be proud of. It looks like a peacock tail, to be honest. Before I even brush my teeth or wash my face, I am standing in front of the mirror saying GROW! GROW! GROW! I have also used some expletives that may offend your sensitive ears but it is often heard after the word "Bull". I am allowed to use that word, I was raised in the south and you may recall my adventure of rolling down the hill through piles of it.

My daughter says it looks good, then turns her head to try to hide the smile. Can you tell I feel NAKED?

You really can't tell from this self portrait how short it is in the back and the sides. If I took a full frontal, which I am NOT, you would say things like, well, your hair grows fast or it's winter you can wear a hat, or I have an extra bag you can borrow.

My compatriot knows better than to ask me to give her a cut anytime soon . . .

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Hippo and The Tortoise

I love this story... thank Cookie!

Hippopotamus and the Tortoise

"Much of life can never be explained but only witnessed."
- Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

NAIROBI (AFP) - A baby hippopotamus that survived the
tsunami waves on the Kenyan coast has formed a strong
bond with a giant male century-old tortoise in an animal
facility in the port city of Mombassa, officials said.

The hippopotamus, nicknamed Owen and weighing about
300 kilograms (650 pounds), was swept down Sabaki
River into the Indian Ocean , then forced back to shore
when tsunami waves struck the Kenyan coast on
December 26, before wildlife rangers rescued him.

"It is incredible. A-less-than-a-year-old hippo has adopted a
male tortoise, about a century old, and the tortoise seems to
be very happy with being a 'mother'," ecologist Paula Kahumbu,
who is in charge of Lafarge Park , told AFP.

"After it was swept away and lost its mother, the hippo was traumatized.
It had to look for something to be a surrogate mother.
Fortunately, it landed on the tortoise and established a strong bond.
They swim, eat and sleep together," the ecologist added.
"The hippo follows the tortoise exactly the way it followed its mother.
If somebody approaches the tortoise, the hippo becomes aggressive, as if protecting its biological mother," Kahumbu added.

"The hippo is a young baby, he was left at a very tender age and
by nature, hippos are social animals that like to stay with their
mothers for four years," he explained.

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

This is a real story that shows that our differences don't matter
much when we need the comfort of another.

We could all learn a lesson from these two creatures of God,

"Look beyond the differences and find a way to walk the path together."

This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalms 118:24

Monday, December 3, 2007

December Morning

I am an early riser. I get up so early that most of the time the birds are not singing. My wonderful, magical hubby makes coffee appear by my nightstand before I awake. He knows from years of experience that I am totally incoherent at 4 am without a pint of the dark brew.
Once I have imbibed a bit, I can actually say trite things such as Good Morning; did you sleep well; I love you; More coffee, please . . .
Once I am a functioning woman and hubs is out the door to work, I sit down in our little office and read my morning mail, read some blogs and if I feel the need to get slapped, I will scan the news - local, national and world.
This morning was no exception, except that I haven't felt the urge to get slapped yet. I do all sorts of other mundane things such as start a load of laundry, fold up the wrinkled items from the dryer that I forgot were in there, coax Sir Duke, our fat and lazy basset outside for his morning constitutional, and on and on. Fascinating life I live - aren't you glad that I am sharing this with you.
This morning I stood out on the deck with a fresh cuppa joe and realized the leaves had covered it once more. As I swept them away I noticed how pretty everything appeared if I looked up. I am not a good photographer. I don't know how to adjust my camera to get really neat and true images. Like the one above. The moon this morning is really a crescent and it has been surrounded by a foggy haze. I wish my camera had been able to clearly show that. So very pretty.
And the picture below is another huge oak from the distance of my deck where the sun is starting to wake up as well.
I think that all beauty really does begin when we lift our eyes above. I know that peace does.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

It's Official ! It's Here !

It is now officially December. The radio has been playing Christmas music since Halloween. Retailers started to display decorations in August, right next to Back to School signs. Sigh.

Since I have the radio playing at work, one song I hear frequently is the Twelve Days of Christmas. (I personally like Perry Como's version) Here is a bit of truthful trivia to keep some small part of the spirit of the season alive:

It was illegal to be a Catholic in England from 1558 to 1829, so this was written as a catechism song to help young Catholics learn the basics of their faith. Since it sounded like rhyming nonsense, Catholics could sing it without fear of imprisonment. The song had hidden meanings; "true love" refers to God and "me" refers to the church. The twelve gifts also had their meanings. On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me twelve drummers drumming (the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles’ Creed), eleven pipers piping (the eleven faithful apostles), ten lords a-leaping (the ten commandments), nine ladies dancing (the nine fruits of the Spirit), eight maids a-milking (the eight beatitudes), seven swans a-swimming (the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments), six geese a-laying (the six days of creation), five golden rings (the first five books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch"), four calling birds (the four Gospels, the four evangelists), three French hens (faith, hope and charity), two turtle doves (the Old and New Testaments) and a partridge in a pear tree (Jesus Christ, symbolically presented as a mother partridge that acts as a decoy to save her helpless chicks from predators).