Friday, December 31, 2010

LAST DAY OF 2010......

One of my favorite pictures - from the beautiful moss on the roof to the various greens of trees and grasses and then you look closer and see how this was once some one's pride and joy and life goes on....... It makes you wish you had known who lived here, what their everyday life was like, were there children and were they all happy? I love looking at houses when I'm traveling - all sizes, shapes, colors and wonder about what stories these houses could tell about the people who live or lived in them. I love how the earth was created to reclaim what once belonged to it by absorbing it back into nature again. There was a small pasture on the road I live on when we moved here and after they sold their house and land, it wasn't but a few years before you would have never known there had been a pasture there. We also used to be surrounded by trees - especially behind us where you could walk forever before you hit a road or house. There were no street lights and at night it was very dark and quiet. I miss that. That brings us to the word "progress". I guess that word means different things to different people. I do know what some people consider progress isn't always good for everyone. It has been a year with many ups and downs. The hardest part was how the downs were so major and came one after another - almost piggy backing each other starting with Ann's cancer taking control again. At times it felt like I was going to lose my breath - but - I didn't. I did have to finally admit the fact that I've been depressed for quite some time now and it has affected me on many levels. Since I have so many people in my life who are very important to me - the things that affect them - affect me also. Yep - that wonderful quality called empathy. I tend to have it to a much larger degree than needed and lately I've tried very hard to control how intense it affects me when others are affected. It started around April 20th when my niece let me know Ann's CT scan had shown something on her lung. It was so hard to let her go but she wanted to do things her way and succeeded. She was a very strong woman and I miss her very much. She wasn't able to attend our family reunion since this one a few years ago but I was able to set up Skype for her to talk to everyone this past June. She knew how long she had before any of us and allowed us to be in denial because we needed to be. Then Leah got laid off from her job in June which selfishly for me - was a good thing; making it possible for her to go with me to PA to be with Ann before she died and was still okay. Sadly for them - she still hasn't found anything but is still looking. Everything pretty much started going downhill from then on. Just not up to listing all the ones we lost this year and how hard it was to let each and every one of them go or how we are still waiting on tenderhooks for the few we know will go any day and how hard it will be to let them go also. I am definitely in that one day at a time place - one day, one hour, one minute, one second. The only thing that helps is when my babies come home. I so enjoyed having all of my family in this tiny little cluttered house this past weekend and tonight has been great. Of course we have had Page2 all week and I'm sure she will be so glad to go home and be free of her boring grandparents. I have been under the weather (what's new) with some kind of sinus something something. We listened to the meeting last night and today read a WT article together. We have worked hard to get as many of the little items Page1 left for each day done and have been surprised that we have come so close to doing everything. BigD picked GG up earlier and her oldest daughter and one of my best childhood friends followed soon after to take her home later. Leah and Kurt came in pretty close to when supper was ready and what a supper it was. BigD made more of his delicious bleu cheese dressing made with the Danish Bleu Cheese he gets at Costco. It was tres' yummy as before. With the delicious steak was his famous potatoes and mushrooms as well as the great salad. Leah brought a butterscotch cake with creamed cheese icing for dessert. This woman has got to STOP! It was so moist and delicious. Since Debora had to pick her hubby up, we fixed GG a plate go to but it was so nice to hang out for awhile like old times. She plans to retire the end of March so maybe we will be able to spend some more time together. She loved the washer/dryer and new fridge. We do too. Kurt had to show off his new shirt from a friend who owns this business. Leah's brother just went to work with him and Kurt is thrilled he finally got one of these. I don't think anything more needs to be said. I had to share the new necklace (and there were earrings to match) that Leah was wearing. It turns out Page2's guitar instructor makes jewelry also. I liked how light-weight they were. Princess Miya Chula Yum-Yum was quite happy to see Kurt and Leah without her brother Hiro because it means she will get ALL the attention for the next few days. Yeah - she is definitely a princess. We are going to try our best to stay awake until midnight to see if our neighbor does the fireworks he normally does. He has been battling cancer for years and the last I heard, he wasn't doing so well. Hopefully he is better and we can enjoy them this year. My Aunt Eunice called tonight to see how we all were and told me she called my brother-in-law Christmas Day because that is they day she normally called my sister Ann. She told me he seemed to be happy she called so I called Naokie and he confirmed that his Dad was very happy to have gotten the call from her. They were on their way to a party but he told me he had already gotten in touch with Page about them maybe coming down in April. I am so happy to hear that might happen and plan to get the whole family together for them.
I'll close with some cards we got for our 45th anniversary. I started this a little earlier today and am now signing off - it will be 2011 the next time I make an entry so good night dear friends and Good-bye 2010. Hello 2011 - please be kinder to me than 2010.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

52nd Wednesday of 2010....

This is my beautiful Page tolerating me taking her picture. I LOVE her scarf - she has had it awhile but it seems new to me everytime I see it I guess because I didn't remember it. She and Page2 were getting ready to go out for the play date with Boy and Biscuit this past Monday. She left for home yesterday afternoon and got home safe and sound. Color me, BigD and Page2 happy she got home safe but sad she had to go. I have to work very hard at acting like a grown-up at times like this. She has to get everything in order before her new work year starts next week and I'm sure she and Bentley want to have some free time together before he goes back to work next Tuesday. I know he is dreading it on so many levels but maybe they will surprise him and have an inside job for him - yeah - right. Page and I started
a new book last night - one of the Callahan Cousins series. I don't think it is too old for her (they are 12) and she seems to like it. We'll see. I let her sleep in again this morning since we got to bed so late but hopefully I will get her (and me) down earlier tonight. These are the candies Page brought us - YUM. Not too rich but decadent just the same. She also brought a chocolate cake with chocolate icing, a coconut cake and a peach pie. GG stopped by for a few minutes and we asked her to come to dinner Saturday night when Kurt and Leah are here to get Page. We enticed her with BigD's great steak and some more of his homemade bleu cheese dressing. YUM! Wish Page and Bentley could be with us too but maybe we can talk on the phone while they are all here. BigD has given me some paperwork that has to be done and gone to pick up some groceries. Guess I had better get busy - Page still needs to practice her guitar, do her multiplication exercise and read and I'm still in my PJ's. Hmm - think I'll take a shower first. That should make everyone much happier!

Monday, December 27, 2010

52nd Monday of 2010.......

We had a busy weekend which sadly has come to an end. We finally got the snow that has been promised us - can't remember if this is our 4th or 5th snow this month. Crazy! It is pretty though and still on the ground. It has been quite windy so most of the snow on the trees is being blown off but the temp is at 28 degrees so don't anticipate it will melt very much today. The sun is bright, the sky is blue and the ground is white. Kurt, Leah and Page2 got here Thursday night which was a really big help for me. Leah helped me a lot in getting some things done before Page got here Friday night.

Leah and Page2's "anniversary gifts" had finally come in and I think they both were surprised and happy with them. We have eaten like kings (or should I say pigs?) and it isn't over yet. This is the homemade bleu cheese dressing BigD is famous for and we all agreed it was the best he has ever made. We ended up eating all of it as a dip! We had sirloin steak, taters and mushrooms with this. BigD also cooked a Pork Butt on the rotisserie and sliced it for sandwiches.Kurt went for a ride around town Friday - he wanted to see one of his cousins, went to BigD's old home place and took this picture of the garage out back.The story goes that BigD's Mom, Dad, sister GG, and brother HL lived in the little white building until their brick house could be built. BigD and his younger brother were born after the brick house was built. Kurt also looked in the yard for the Jerusalem Artichokes his Gma used to pull and cook for them. He thinks he found one - going to plant it and see what happens in the Spring. I think he was feeling nostalgic. BigD's parents always had a huge garden in that field behind the white building which became the garage and "catch-all" for his Dad's "stuff". Kurt tells me all the time how much he misses home. I know we miss them - when I told him I feel cheated at times because both our children live so far away - he said he feels the same way. One of the things Leah did was place the magnets I decided to keep on my new fridge. Everyone agrees that the filtered water that magically comes out of the door is delicious.This is pretty much what went on this weekend - eat, lay-around, nap, watch movies, play games with Page2, eat, lay-around, etc., etc.,. Kurt enjoyed having both his "babies" with him together. He has always said if he had not brought Miya to us when he did, he would have kept her. They got along so well this trip - I so appreciate that Kurt and Leah clip Miya's nails and put her flea meds on her neck for us when they are here. Kurt does so well with both of the cats - they let him get away with murder. If you look behind Miya on the floor, you will see the anniversary gift Kurt and Leah bought us! We didn't have time to set it up this weekend but they will be back next weekend to pick up Page so hopefully we will get it done then. I know we are going to love it. I sure hated to see them leave yesterday but Kurt has to be back to work. I think they are a little excited about having a week "alone". Hope they have a great time together. Page1 and 2 are getting ready to go out to Ann's to visit and play in the snow with Boy and Biscuit. I'm going to use that time to work on the house some more. As always - everything has been piled into the office but I'm going to work on those piles today. BigD always asked me to let the kids go through all my old cookbooks and pick the ones they want to make some room for other "stuff" so I did. Page is taking a box of them home and I'll offer the rest to anyone who wants them. I did keep some family ones though.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Staying warm and taking naps....

Yesterday was about staying warm and some of us taking naps. I love when Miya decides to take a snooze on my body - to feel her even breathing against my body. BigD is not tolerant of her laying on him for very long and would never hold his leg still so as not to bother her rest. Of course she was quick to show her total disdain when the camera clicked the second time and woke her from her nice warm snooze. Like - are you crazy Mama? It didn't take but a second for her to settle back down. While we were getting warm and chatting, I got a call from Keith. He said come out here - I went and looked out the window and there he was sitting in Jeri's car with her in the front seat!!! I ran out to say hi and asked Jeri if she wanted a fresh Krispy Kreme doughnut and she said - why not? I said - why not indeed and ran back in to get one for both of them and told BigD she was out there. I got in the back seat to visit with them while BigD stood at her window chatting. We then rode to the house next door to visit with Al and Pat but they weren't home. I know he will be sorry he missed seeing her. I asked them where they had been and they told me they had visited a few of the "older sisters who couldn't get out". I want to be Jeri when I grow up. One of the strongest women in my life - what a privilege I've had in knowing her for so long. Kurt, Leah and Page arrived tonight. Now for Page1 to get here safe and sound tomorrow - then the weekend can officially begin.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter is officially upon us....

If there was any doubt about winter being upon us, just look at this poor tree. Even with no foliage, it is still pretty. I love the shape of it and look forward to seeing some snow on it soon. Yep - more snow. They are calling for it this coming weekend - I think that will be the 4th or 5th snow this month. It has also been very cold this month - bone chilling cold. Even when the sun shines, the wind blows right through you. I also got a picture of this really old car behind a large house we were beside today. I love the color - it is a deep cream color with deep red top. Gene said he thought it was a Chevy but I'm going to get BigD to look at it later to see if he can tell. He is pretty good at naming older models of cars.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Bad news, good news, almost good news....

Bad news is Page let us know Bentley isn't going to be able to make it up this coming weekend which is really sad news. It's okay though - his beloved Coco has been "leaving the homestead" recently to "visit a new ...ahem - friend of the female persuasion" and he is afraid the bad boy might get into too much trouble. Bad Coco. I truly do understand his concerns because I think I would have worried about it too. As a rule, Coco doesn't leave the yard so this is not normal behavior on his part. Had an interesting day in service today- visited a dear friend in the hospital, dropped by Jeri's and she and her son who had by-pass surgery were both doing pretty good. I love Gail's granddaughter's new "do". She has super thick hair that is also very curly so this is a new look for her. This is her cousin who came a few weeks after she was born. They are super close to each other and are both out of school for the holidays so what better place to be than Gma Jeri and Gail? After visiting with them a bit, we headed back toward home for the day. I wish I could say I got tons done tonight but to be honest, Page called while I was drinking a glass of KJ and we talked for hours. Can't wait to see her this weekend.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I love Paris in the springtime, I love Paris in the......

I follow some blogs of people who visit Paris on a regular basis - some live across the pond and others just fly there on a regular basis. Color me jealous. Their pictures make me yearn to be back there for a much longer visit than one day. I also learned something today about Claude Monet...It turns out I haven't even touched half of his works. There just isn't enough time to indulge in all the interests you have but I would love to go back and see some of his paintings there including some of his "snow" pictures.When I saw this picture on the blog, I immediately started searching and found that this was just one of many delicious such paintings done by him of snow scenes. I loved reading about his life and learned that he pretty much lost his sight but did have one surgery for cataract removal later in life which made it possible for him to continue painting. Sadly, it was lung cancer that finally took his life. When I read about his life as a younger man, I try to imagine what it was like back then. He loved nature and there was so much more of it to enjoy back then. What a talent he possessed - Awww - Paree!!!!

What a nice treat....

Since our KH was being used for the Elder and MS school this whole weekend, we were told we could go to our meeting at any of the other congregations in our area we wanted to. It looks like my dear Lin and her two daughters came to this one too. They used to be in this congregation and still have close friends here, so it was nice for them to see everyone. Eileen and I had planned to go to the one my sister and her hubby attends but found out he has been really sick all weekend (he even missed the Elder School - bummer)and they were going to listen in. This is also the congregation Roseanne attends. Most of her family were there today excluding her son and wife who I found out today just purchased a townhouse in a city closer to us! They were all together for dinner last night and surprised Roseanne and her hubby with their anniversary present -Adirondack chairs!!! As she put it - the "real" thing! They are unfinished so she can either stain them or paint them whatever color she wants. I know she and hubby will enjoy them. It made me remember the ones I loved down at OBX - I liked the soft pastel colors they used too.Bri's little girl - Rose - was wiped out! Look at how big she has gotten and I love her shoes.And here is little Jane - what a cutie pie she is. A real mix of her Mom - petite - and her paternal grandma - short!I got to speak with her in the restroom and she is smart as a whip. I found out today that Roseanne is the "big" voice in her congregation. Some of the little ones got a little too rowdy and she called out to them to stop running. It cracked me up because I'm only one of several in my congregation who are known to have the "voice". Once you have been a Mom in the congregation - all the children are yours and in her case - I think a few of them might have been some of her "grands". Bri and SherA dear old friend - his wife was telling me today she will be 70 in May!!!! When did that happen? They both look great though. Wonderful memories of times spent with them before children, during children and some since children are grown and gone.Poppy and her pretty Mom - didn't get one of her baby sister who is just a little hand full of love. She finally woke up and when I smiled at her in her Mom's arms, she just kind of reached right out and fell into mine. That would have been great except I was in the middle of a "flash" and when I went to hand her back to her sweet Mom, she was fanning and in the middle of one herself (post baby flashes) so I handed her to Katarina. It was sad and funny at the same time.And last but not least - my dahlink Lauren. Don't you love her hair like that? Looks tres' elegant and sophisticated. This young woman and I became good friends about 6 years ago when we both started pioneering. I have enjoyed watching her blossom into a beautiful and strong woman on so many levels. She has gone through the kind of disappointment this year that takes your breath away and as you can see, she is still here. My Page reminded me that in time, she will look back on what happened and realize it was only about 2 years of her entire life and that she learned invaluable lessons it takes many of us a lifetime to learn. Most of the pictures I took didn't turn out but when we came outside (we were part of the last ones to leave), the sun was bright, the air not quite as frigid and Eileen told me she had so much fun talking to everyone! Ahhhh - a good day.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A new home....

Awwww - finally, they are in their new home. I hope Ann loves these brushes as much as I did. I know they will be very happy in their new home. I just could NOT toss these unique brushes and dusters. I bought them from Martha Stewart who is one of Ann's favorite people in the world as far as cooking, decorating, and crafting and on top of that - they cost a fortune. Anyone who visits Ann's blog can see how it has paid off. Recently she completed a gorgeous, handmade wreath for their back door. I've seen a picture of it and if it looks anything like the picture, it was perfect. I was hoping she didn't agree to take these just to help me out but now that I've seen them hanging up, I do believe she likes them too.

Sixty-Six Years!!!!!!

So here we are - I turned 64 last month, we were married 45 years as of last Friday and today BigD turned 66! It is hard to catch BigD for a picture but I did find a few including the one of us in 2004 down at Oak Island. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday we got married and lived in that tiny little 8x36 trailer over on Rowena. He gets down there quite often with his friend who has a gorgeous house down there. I've been with them a few times and the last time I went, I was with my dear friend Fran. This next picture of BigD was taken in 2008 at a graduation party for a friend's daughter. This was one of the last parties we were at with I.T. so it was a special time for us. He just came home from the grocery store and called GG to see if our niece was in town but she won't be in until December 22nd. I think he is going to cook some BBQ chicken tonight but I all but begged him not to invite anyone over because I am finally making a tiny bit of headway in this house. Going to work at it for a few more hours and then sit down for a nice glass of wine. I plan to plod through more of it tomorrow and hopefully will have major things done by Sunday night. Since I haven't been out but two days this week, I'm an even further behind than before but - - - one day at a time. :-)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

50th Thursday of 2010th year.....

Wow - I was looking at older pictures and can not believe how little Page was and she was actually pretty plump right here. Now she is 10 years old and growing up so fast. How did that happen? We woke to snow this morning but it had already started raining before I got my first cup of coffee. It did warm up some during the day but is freezing rain again tonight so the meeting was cancelled. I actually got quite a bit of work for BigD done today. Don't get excited - I haven't really made that big a dent in
what is ahead for end of the year but some things we had been putting off. I just checked and the high tomorrow is supposed to be 41. The problem is; when will the roads be okay enough to get on them tomorrow? Oh well - I'm working so hard to stick with my plan for this service year of taking things one day at a time. It actually goes against everything in me to be that way as I've been reminded of in many ways over my lifetime. The message in a nutshell is how much I need to "stop and smell the roses" instead of anticipating what is ahead so much. I have heard it so many times I feel like poor Vinnie does in this picture and want to tell people to "kiss my big fat peach"! I know, I know - you had no idea I could be quite so rude did you? Take a close look at Vinnie's face though - it cracks me up every time. The things we put our pets through some times. Princess Miya is so angry with me right now she will not even look at me. I'm determined we are going to get at least one dose of her meds in her a day. I hate how she holds grudges though and miss feeling her body being up close and against mine - especially at night. We have two more Thursday's to go and hopefully my girls will all either be here or close to being here next Thursday. Also looking forward to Bentley and Kurt but not 100% sure either of them are coming yet - will know something by next week for sure.So I'll sign off with a little note Page wrote a few years ago. Hope it makes you smile and feel good too.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

where does the time go.....

When I went on Shen's study yesterday - it really hit home that another year is coming to an end. I had to laugh at the little "statue" on top of the tree. She isn't celebrating this year but her hubby went ahead and put up a tree. She said she had no idea where he found this but we laughed and laughed and I had to take a picture - besides I wanted to show her my new camera. Lynn was with me and we were all trying to guess what it represents - and whoever it represents, it is black. That is what made us all laugh - Shen and her family are white! Lynn is black but she couldn't figure out who it represents either. We all agreed her hubby did a pretty good job. I'm very proud of Shen for the stand she has taken and hope this means she is planning to continue moving forward. I know she is enjoying her new little house with it's fenced in yard, wonderful warm heat and a bathroom that actually works!Everyone who knows me knows how much I love trees. Look at the trunk of this tree - it looks like different trees joined together and grew into this full, beautiful tree.Last night, our Elders and some of their wives took all the Pioneers to dinner at BigD's favorite local fish restaurant so I was able to bring him a plate home. It was nice being with everyone in spite of the cold weather.I picked Luz up and we talked and laughed all the way there. I think I like Luz's hair color like this over any other she has ever had it. Such a sweet person who has overcome some pretty large obstacles to get where she is.
BigD didn't even bother to wake me this morning because it was so cold. When I woke, my sinuses were so dry from this heat they felt raw. There was no way I was going out to breathe in that cold air. Been stuffy all day. Keith called from his grandma's to invite me for lunch but when he heard how stuffy I was, he agreed it wasn't a good idea for me to be around her. I know everyone had fun though. I made a tiny little dent in some of the clutter "on top of things" today. GG stopped by this morning for a short visit and seemed pretty good. BigD put some pinto beans on to not only eat but so we would have some moisture in the air. Not sure about the moisture but they sure did taste good. Big chunks of ham, lots of soup - yum.