Thursday, December 31, 2009

My apologies --

In re-reading my post of earlier, there is a typo that I can't seem to correct because google won't let me! Trust me that I do know the difference between there and their and they're -- I just don't type so well anymore. So, lest I offend anyone (dear daughter comes to mind) I will rectify the error as soon as Google lets me. I hope I don't have to go back to Wordpress.
Ushering out the Old and Ringing in the New!

I have read on several blogs, FB comments and heard in queues that people are glad to see 2009 go -- don't let the door hit you in the rear as you exit! I don't feel that way about 2009. Of course, it could be that I didn't have a bad year. I didn't have a monumental year, either. I just had a year. It was quiet -- thank God -- and uneventful -- again, thank God. As I age I recognize the value and blessing of "uneventful" or "boring". There is nothing quite as comforting as "boring".

Of course, there are things I wish I had accomplished like losing weight, exercising more, reading more books, being a nicer person but there are no huge regrets. I was blessed by becoming better acquainted with my DOK sisters and actually seeing the power of prayer through the diligence and faith of these women. I was blessed by my increased involvement in DAR which has strengthened by belief that we do, in fact, live in the greatest country in the world and that we should not take it for granted but be staunch in our values and standards for which our flag flies and our troops defend.

It goes without saying that watching the g-kiddos grow is a blessing and a privilege for which there are no words. Learning, during the latter part of the year, that there is to be a new addition to the family in 2010 has brought joy, excitement and blessing to this family and we can hardly wait to see Bean Wilcox in the summer. What greater purpose can their be for the new year than to gather around these children and watch them grow and flourish.

As New Year's Eve approaches AW and I are settling in for a home cooked meal as the rain falls. There are no parties or get-togethers planned -- we abandoned all that years ago. It is a joy for us to kick off the shoes and watch a movie or listen to music.

I am sure by midnight we will be past the point of no return.I am sure that Rollie, being the teenage cat that he is, has other plans, however.
I sincerely hope, however, that he lays off trying to eat ribbon. It doesn't work well for him and isn't a pretty sight.

So, as the end of 2009 approaches I just want to say to everyone
whatever that means to you. As for me, I am hoping for another "boring" year

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New background!

I just changed my blog background from the Christmas theme it had been sporting for the last couple of weeks. I have done all the regular backgrounds, vintage backgrounds, holiday backgrounds so this time I wanted to go with something upbeat, quirky, and a bit springy so here it is! I hope I can live with it for a while. Maybe not. Hmmm.....we will see.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Current Read

This is the book that I am currently reading. I borrowed it from my daughter and I need to return it. It is not a long book and has caught my interest keenly so I doubt I will take long to finish it up.

I must remember to add it to my Good Reads list.

To Cook or Not to Cook

Tonight I watched "Julie and Julia" for the second time -- this time with hubby in tow. I loved this movie the first time I saw it and the second was no different and each time I was inspired. I can't cook. I don't like to go to the grocery store. Visiting Williams-Sonoma is an entirely different matter, however. I can't imagine what it would be like to shop in a French kitchen shop with one of those old, fold-up baskets like we used to use at the five and dime and just casually throw in whisks, copper pots, and big, beautiful rolling pins. I should cook, shouldn't I, especially since I have a weakness for all things kitchen.

The first time I saw the movie, I looked at the cookbook at Borders. I discovered then that I would never be a Julia Child or even a Julie Powell, even though she can cook and write, both goals and desires of mine. There is no way that I will ever "save" chicken livers -- in fact, I don't even buy chickens WITH livers -- and I am sure than in the remainder of my life, I will never, ever bone a duck. But still, the draw to such gorgeous cuisine is almost irrestible.

I do cook a bit, however, but I need a cookbook -- no natural talent here -- and I am very messy but still, I do have my moments. For instance, I do make fruitcakes almost every Christmas and this year I did make Cousin Jean's Welsh Cakes which were very good. I have no photos of those but I do have some photos of a meal I made back in the summer -- flatbread with Asparagus Milanese. So, welcome to my messy kitchen and my lovely dinner.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Project completed

A while back my daughter in law asked for some old fashioned embroideried cup towels. Since I like to do that sort of thing, I began making a set for her. I didn't want to post photos here since they were for a gift but, since the gift has been given I am now posting photos of the finished project. I enjoyed doing them and am thinking of doing some for myself.
Christmas Eve 2009

I guess all of us have some idea of what the perfect holiday is. It is probably made up of memories from childhood, not always accurate, probably department store fantasy, probably some preconceived notion of what it is SUPPOSED to be. At any rate, for many of us, the perfect holiday is probably not achievable -- too much perfection involved.

This Christmas was no different for me. I harken back to the Christmas's of my childhood -- great recollections of going to relatives houses, egg nog and black olives (thanks for the memory, Penny), lots of gifts, real trees, big, colorful lights and food. Teenage years brought Christmas parties at home with all the neighborhood kids -- dancing school Christmas parties, new Bobbie Brooks skirts and sweaters, the boyfriend coming home from A&M for the holidays -- blue northers blowing through south Texas that would chill you to the bone only to be gone the next day! Of course, my memory likes to obliterate the thoughts of cedar allergies (yes, even back then), calendar towels, relatives arguing and messing up the whole thing for others. But, hey, it is my perfect vision -- I have the right to obliterate those things.

Then I think back to my children's Christmas's. We were always at the grandparents houses, lots of toys and food and happiness all around. Of course, my selective memory is leaving out the little boy so desperately allergic to the winter that he was sick every year with horrible earaches but he wouldn't give up and give in -- had to go on. I am also choosing to forget how sick the little girl got sitting on bales of hay while portraying a lovely little lamb in the church Christmas pagent. I still have the cotton ball covered hat. No, my dream holiday doesn't include sick children.

I sort of thought I was going to have the perfect holiday this year. We were going to go to daughter's house on Christmas Eve and, in anticipation of the "wintery weather" we were planning on spending the night -- a first for us. I was looking very forward to this since Christmas Eve is, in my "perfect holiday", the epitome of Christmas. Well.....this happened.

The wind was blowing like a hurricane and the event was aptly dubbed "a BLIZZARD". It must have been because we had snow drifts in the yard.

And ice in the birdbath.

In the spirit of the sick little boy of the years past, we wouldn't let this get us down. We were determined to get to daughters house for an evening of holiday food, movies and perfection so we forged ahead. Heading down the highway to pick up Grandmother we saw an accident. Not a tragic accident but more an inconvenient accident for those involved. At Grandmother's house it was harrowing to see the elderly bundling up against the bitter cold wind trying to maneuver walkers through slush, blowing snow and patches of thin ice. However, with Grandmother bundled into the back seat and gifts and food safely ensconsed in the trunk off we go -- retracing our travel, back on the highway, there is another accident. No driver in sight, one car sideways in the road -- no damage -- not sure what happened but everybody was slamming on brakes, sliding dangerously close to one another. That is when I got THE LOOK from the hubby. You know, the one that lets you know that this just isn't going to happen. Well, it didn't -- circling around, back on the highway for the third time back to Grandmother's we went to drop her off at her apartment and venture home. The streets were freezing much quicker than we anticipated and visibility was scary to say the least. Obviously my dream holiday vision was evaporating fast. I was angry and disappointed not to mention just a little more than frightened at the prospect of winding up in a 20+ car pile up less than a mile from my house.

The Perfect Christmas Eve was not to happen this year so I threw myself a huge pity party instead and spent the evening doing laundry which my husband was very thankful for - so glad I could oblige him.

However, Christmas Day dawned bright and sunny and even though the streets were bad and we didn't venture out to church, the afternoon turned out to be very enjoyable. The daughter and hubby came over and spent the afternoon, we had a little food and exchanged some gifts and had a good time -- well as good as I could under the influence of Benadryl and feeling like a wrung out dishrag -- oh, yes, I forgot to mention that the cedar fever is hanging on way, way too long now.
And, we did have a lot of fun with the family cat. Our Rollie had found his gifts a few days before and we had to hide them from him. When I finally remembered where I had put them, I wrapped them up for him and let him go to town unwrapping his loot! He really likes to get "into" the spirit of things!

And, mission accomplished! Of course, he only went after the catnip laced items and left the jingley balls in the bag. He is such a catnip snob!

The evening was spent at our son's house with him, our daughter in law and grandchildren. Grandmother got her day out, we didn't do any slipping and sliding and a good time was had by all. I would post photos if I had taken any but the Benadryl has robbed me of my mind and I forgot to take the camera out of my purse! Oh well, maybe next year. However, one tradition refused to be daunted -- the little-boy-turned-grown-man (the sick little guy from Christmas's past) was sick again this Christmas Eve. One look at the red nose and droopy eyes and it was 1980 again and I realized that it wasn't Christmas Eve that wasn't perfect but rather my vision of the event that was flawed. So, in adjusting my vision I know that all that was important was our safety, our health, being here and being together and that desiring such perfection was, in reality, selfishness. So, I am going into the new year with a new vision -- and that is no preconceived notion at all -- just enjoying what comes, accepting glitches in the system and being happy for the good things we have.

And so, to everyone reading this -- Happy Boxing Day! That might be my next Perfect Holiday.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


In an attempt to get in the spirit of the season, I decided to dress up my blog which explains the new blog background. I am not sure I like it yet so it may change -- who knows. Guess you will just have to come back and check it out.

I am doing a lot of different things this year -- changing things around to spice up the season. I love tradition but this year, due to severe lack of energy, cedar fever and a good helping of Bah-humbugginess -- I decided to refrain from putting up my Christmas village. Well, all those reasons plus we need to figure out how to build some risers for it to make all the cords easier to conceal. Anyway, here is a photo from years past.

I added something new this year in the form of what is probably the cheesiest thing ever -- EVER. I bought THIS--

I really rather like him and, for some reason, he reminds me of my Aunt Velma who loved things of this sort. I even went to the website --- which is very clever, I might add -- and I registered him and named him. His name is Tuppy.

I can't forget about Tinklepaw. I haven't talked much about Tinklepaw or put up many of his photos even though he has quite a few -- he has traveled with us and enjoyed past holidays. So, I decided I would put up a photo now and here he is -- Jingle Bell Tinklepaw!

And last but not least, we bought a new tree. Usually our little tree goes in the middle of the village but this year, without the village, we opted for a taller tree. It is tall but very slender so I didn't have to rearrange the house to put it up. And, conveniently, it fits right next to a plug. You will notice that I have a little helper in this photo. Well, ok, little isn't an operative word here and, actually, neither is helper but nonetheless, here is Rollie taking in the tree trimming festivities.

Even though he is the incredible hulk of tabby cats, I think he is a very handsome guy, don't you?

So, that is where I am in the Christmas process. I have watched several Christmas movies -- "Going My Way", "Elf", "Remember the Night" and "New in Town" which isn't really a Christmas movie, I don't suppose, but there is lots of snow so it works for me!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

It's Been Awhile...

Yes, indeed, it has been awhile since I have blogged but not because I haven't wanted to but more because I haven't had much to talk about. I have been doing a little quilting, a little genealogy, a little embroidery but it has been so little that a blog it doesn't make. However, I have been doing a little reading as well and now I can comment on my two latest finishes.

The first would be "Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl". This was the most hysterical book I have read in a while --- the real life account of Susan Mc Corkindale's journey from big city life complete with high power magazine job to a farm that she, her husband and two children are tending for a relative. It is funny, frustrating, enlightening and let's you know just how fortunate you are to be a block or two away from a Starbucks. It is light reading, goes quickly and is good for more than a chuckle or two.

The second book I read recently was Glenn Beck's "Common Sense". I would recommend this book for any American regardless of political party preference, religious preference or race. It is food for thought -- pick one up, read it and pass it on to a friend.