Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The birth of a gift of love...

Completion!
I sat last night watching the final stitches go into V's brown quilt, helping her support it so the binding could be completely be attached. 

The goosebumps and pride in her accomplishment that I felt were unbelievable.  I wanted to cry.  That quilt is amazing, in more ways than one.  It will be gifted this weekend.  I know that her cousin is simply going to love it, how can she not?

Just 20 weeks ago, V had never sewn before, she was as new to quilting as you can get, and she came to the first class with a huge goal.  She was making matching quilts, full sized.  One for herself, and one a memory quilt for her cousin, made from the shirts of her husband who had just passed away in February.  All of them family reunion quilts.  How powerful is that?

I watched V recruit friends and family to help her get those t-shirts cut, the backing applied, the cutting of the squares, the cutting of the sashing and the sewing of all of it.  I watched in amazement at her tenacity to tackle something that obviously was not in her comfort zone, her determination to complete the project so evident in her face and demeanor.

Help from S as the sewing begins...
The first two squares of the sister quilt...

Each step to completing her quilt involved love, determination and community.  As it came closer to the deadline and she wasn't sure how she would get it tied and ready to gift, true to form she came up with a plan.  She is incredible at building community and she and a group of friends went on a grand adventure this past weekend... with the help of so many of those friends she got all but one square finished.
Planning the layout...
Pinning the sashing...

The message on my phone asking me to call her yesterday morning seriously excited me.  I knew it had to mean she was ready to sew the binding... I was right.  It made me so happy to assist her with those final steps, to see the final bits and pieces of love come to life.

Pinning the binding...
First side of the final steps...
clipping the threads on the final side...
 We stayed a bit later, just her and I.  I know she accomplished it, but I was very proud of her!  Her confidence growing, her skills increasing... I cannot wait to see the pictures from the actual gifting, she's promised me that she will bring some to show me.

That quilt had no connection to me yet I wanted to cry from the love that created it.  Memory quilts are powerful for me.  They connect the past with the future.  Maybe it isn't a death that brings them to life, but simply the completion of a chapter in someones life.  The final chapter of that quilt's story is so affirming of the time and love that went into the creation, a reflection of the love from the gifter to the giftee...

So Proud!!

Such a powerful night!  I can't wait for the next one...

(p.s. please forgive the incredibly poor lighting... it doesn't do the pictures of V's sparkling smile justice! Darn fluorescent lights!!!)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Good Morning Sunshine??

Okay, that is kind of funny... as it is supposed to be raining in a few minutes.  In fact if one were to believe The Weather Channel it is raining pumpkins outside it is raining so hard... Pumpkins?  Seriously?  I have never heard that before... who thinks of that kind of stuff?

I think I have finally run out of sleep... I have literally spent the last four days sleeping, I guess I needed it.  I was simply not feeling good.  I am usually careful with my health, I know my limits, I guess I haven't been paying attention.  So frustrating to have lost the majority of four days because I haven't been using common sense.  I know better! It's been 16 years, I really do know better.

It might be time to consider a real vacation.  Hubby and I had 4 days off to relax and we did. Hence the power sleeping.

A year ago we were enjoying the last bit of our Germany vacation, getting ready to come home, wishing we had weeks more. 

Hubby and I on a windy German day!
My oldest kids are in Kauai right now, and I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I am a bit worried... seems Tropical Storm Flossie has been bearing down on them, I was quite relieved to hear the news forecaster call it Tropical Depression Flossie this morning.  Seeing how close to the beach their father lives definitely concerns me, but we've discovered in our family that a vacation without a healthy dose of "adventure" thrown in just isn't going to happen.

The oldest two enjoying the Hawaiian coast

Grand baby enjoying Hawaiian Ice as the sun sets on the beach!
Hubby and I haven't really planned a vacation this year.  We've toyed with meeting his sister and brother-in-law in Indiana - the half way point for both of us, for a weekend. It's been a lot of years since we've done that and none of us are getting any younger. For whatever reason we haven't been able to set a date, so that is probably not going to happen.

Who knows... maybe we will just plan a few weekend trips... bouncing around and spending some quality time just being vegetables! That doesn't sound bad... remember I am a complete homebody and already spend way too much time away from home...

Today, I am heading back to work, feeling much more refreshed, still tired, but not exhausted.  I definitely need to slow it down, I need to remember I am not superwoman (darn)... making muffins this morning I realized how important that connection to home is for me.

Cranberry Orange muffins hot out of the oven!!
Maybe I don't need a vacation, maybe I need more staycations... how about you?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Grumpy Monday Mornings... uggghhh...

Grrruuuummmppppyyyyyy!!  That perfectly describes my Monday morning mood...  I think it is a hold over from meeting the new neighbor (well sort of) this weekend, maybe it's the two phone calls from work before 6:30 am when I work late, or the fact that I am going to have to hurry to beat the rain to mow the grass when I feel so awesome (note the sarcasm there)... I am really not sure, but... I need to find happy before I hurt something....

Hubby and I have been down to our place in the country a lot lately, while we are showing it, more than we've had time to stay down there in a couple of years. 

I have evidently developed a nasty allergy to something down there and within thirty minutes I am toast.  I have no idea what it is, seems the only place I am not affected is in the car with all windows rolled up... this alone is strong enough of a reason for me to be content with it gone.  Not a fan of swollen itchy eyes and trouble breathing.  Ick!! And I don't have the problems up here, so it's got to be something there... Oak trees??  Who knows...

I haven't actually met the new neighbor, the one that had me concerned earlier in the year, but I can tell you flat out, I do not like him!  Hubby met him.  I stayed away, I have a bit of a temper and when you block my access to my property and act like I am inconveniencing you... well... lets just say my Momma taught me if you don't have anything nice to say...

I saw him at the end of the drive while he was talking to hubby and I am always the first person to give you the benefit of the doubt.  In my mind I will come up with a thousand reasons for you doing something mean, selfish or just plain rude... I had already decided that he simply hadn't realized that anyone would be coming out.  Seemed like a nice enough fella, he and hubby chatted for a bit, he apologized for blocking the drive, etc...

Yesterday, was a completely different story.  We pulled up yesterday and yet again the drive was blocked, he didn't offer to move his stuff until after everyone was out of their vehicles and walking up the drive.  Okay, well maybe he was busy... I get it...

Next his dog comes running up.  I love dogs, I would have dozens if I could, but I am not a fan of a big dog running up to me without an owner around.  Ends up he's sweet as can be, but he was soaking wet.  Evidently the sweet, pretty boy loves to swim.  His owner on the other hand needs to be on a leash.  I could see him on his four wheeler a fair distance away, at no point did Mr. Owner even whistle or call his dog back.  He watched me trying to get him to leave, I had no idea how the folks looking at the property felt about big dogs, considering he was bigger than their toddler and shaking water on everyone. 

I finally convinced the pup to go back at least a bit of a ways to their property.  A huge red flag rising in my mind.  Even if we do not sell the property this is going to create huge usage issues for us.  Neeko and Gator are not really friendly to strange dogs, they do not want them in their pack, and males are definitely not welcome.  As Mr. Owner is such a great pet owner, it will cause us immense stress having the boys in the country. He made no effort to keep his dog under voice command or in his own area.  grrrr  number 2....

The folks looking wanted to see the lake, the view is better from the end of the cul de sac.  Mr. Owner informed them not so nicely that they were trespassing as he owned the cul de sac... ummmm no.... that is what is referred to as a common ground road, read your by-laws. 

Leaving yesterday, lots of evil thoughts were in my mind, I am not a mean person by nature, and I was still trying to make excuses for his behavior. But I was thinking lots of evil stuff.  Hubby stopped by the office to verify that he did not own the cul de sac, as the implications of that were going to make accessing our property impossible. No he doesn't... but the fact that they apologized to hubby and told him the guy is a real jerk, kind of made my skin crawl.

It's not a paradise any longer. I have ugly neighbors where I live now, I simply do not want ugly neighbors where I go to unwind. 

Lets see... Allergies out of control, stress of ugly neighbors, not being able to enjoy the property when there with my boys... yep... it needs to go!!  I actually don't mind when jerks help me make decisions clearly.

Hubby is wanting a new motorcycle, we got rid of his a couple of years ago, his misses it.  I miss some of it too... I miss the wind on my face and the beautiful back roads that we found.  I don't want just any bike this time... I want something comfortable and sturdy.  I don't want a money pit.  So we will see...

For now I need to go look for happy... I have a few hours before I have to go to work... Boy I sure hope that I find it... I need it...


Sunday, July 28, 2013

brrrrr.... chilly in July??

It's late July, it's the Mid-west and it is fifty degree's outside this morning?!?  I am beyond amazed right now.  This is definitely my kind of weather and even more definitely not the kind of weather that usually happens in this neck of the woods at this time of the year ever!!

I am not sure what is going on... but Mother Nature is my kind of gal this weekend.  I do not do well with hot weather, my body hates it, it makes me cranky, tired, irritable and just plain miserable.  So these cool days are perfect. I could live further north if I could convince hubby, but sadly that is not going to happen.  So I usually just make the best of it. 

I am sure that the repayment will be coming, just like anything else, there is always a price.  I heard the weather man say to enjoy these few really cool days because there was rain and 80's coming on Monday.  Okay... again this is pretty mild for this area... 80's are basically the night temperature this time of the year, not the highs. 

I am perplexed... last summer we endured  temperatures in the 100's and no rain for months... this summer ample rain and mild temps... strange isn't it?  Or maybe this is the repayment for last year?

I am hoping to get out in the garden and get the fall stuff in. I don't often put in a fall garden because I simply can't stand the heat of summer that long.  It's only six and I am hearing lawn mowers in the distance.  It's too early.  The sun has barely broken the horizon, and there is no heat to beat. 

Hubby and I are going back to the country today, we've shown the place down there a few times, we have one more today.  Ironic, we are selling it because we never get down there and we seem to be there non-stop lately.  We were there yesterday, we would have stayed, but there really is no place to put the boys when we are showing the place so we decided against it.  It's a nice drive... okay sort of... I am having trouble with finding a four hour drive nice lately. 

Yesterday we were lucky enough to spend a bit of quality time with the twins and the boyfriend of one on our way back, it made such a difference in the day.  Laughter and fun with family is always a good thing.  We sure don't see them enough anymore...

I have three quilts waiting to be quilted, I will get to them this week. I am going to take some yarn and crochet hooks with me today, I am considering getting a booth at one or two of the craft shows this fall.  I love making fun hats and it will keep me busy on the drive.  Like I said, I don't sit well and four hours driving time is enough to make me scream...

Well... I think I have rambled enough... I am going to go and enjoy this cool weather, a hot cup of coffee and a good book... chores and stuff like that can wait a bit...

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fairy tales can come true...

Wow!  Ten years with Hubby and never a dull moment!!  He promised me that when we married, he would never be boring or dull... have to say he has definitely lived up to that and then some!

video

I should have known it would be an adventure when Mr. Horseman kept riding off the trail and my smitten horse (being ridden by a terrified rider) kept following... it's definitely been an adventure!

Seat #1


Last night hubby took me to a baseball game, I love to go to live Cardinals games.  Sadly, not the same on the television.  We had great seats, in the field box, just near third base. It was incredible. A couple of German beers before heading out (because... 1 - I'm cheap and almost $9 for a beer is nuts!  and 2 - Budweiser is not really beer... sorry folks, but it's not!), a very short walk to our seats it was all set to be incredible!



A few minutes later, just as the first inning is getting ready to start, a very sweet lady, behind us in the handicap section came up and asked us if we would mind terribly switching them seats.  Their seats were about 5 rows closer and even better than ours, but they wanted to all sit together. Sure!  No problem at all!! 
Seat #2

The evening was definitely getting better, the temperature was perfect and we were close enough to the field read their names on their uniforms, clearly.

I guess I should insert ominous music here... because when things are going that good with Hubby... something is going to happen...

Yikes!  Hello First Aid!

snap... picture taken with the camera... bang... seat collapses with hubby in it right down onto his left ankle...  Yikes!!  Not even through the first inning and folks are running for first aide, helping me unwedge him from the combination of close aisles, seat folded on his leg and him being in a really odd position that maybe resembled a failed yoga pose.

Hmmm.... good thing I had stopped drinking at that point...


The folks at the stadium were awesome, the sweet lady that had asked us to switch was horrified and apologetic, and we watched the rest of the first and all of the second inning from the first aid station.

Seat #3
Foot wrapped, no evident damage, just stuff pulled ways they shouldn't be and we had our third seats of the night... Wow!  These ones were amazing!  We went from behind third base, to sitting behind the dugout... nothing blocking our view, in the shade... WOW!!  Although we did have that rouge Cubs fan (yeah he must have gotten lost and I am guessing by the mass quantity of beer he drank that he was trying to hide his shame)... but it was great!

How did he get in?  Guess he wanted to see a winning team!

Yep!  We won!!
There has never been a dull moment... 10 years ago hubby promised me laughter, joy, adventure and love... Sure there have been rough patches.  The laughter is sometimes bitter.  There really are boring days (I live for those), the adventure has sometimes leaned towards things I could have lived my entire life without, the joy has sometimes been bitten at the edges with sadness and tears.

But the love.. Well the love has always been strong and perfect!  Through the dark times, through the good, during times that test the strongest love... our love has proven to be strong, powerful and everlasting!

Ten years ago, someone said to me... "I give it a year... then we will talk... you will see"... I just want her to know... She was wrong, so very wrong...

My sweet hubby... I love you!!  I'm ready for the next 10, 20, 30.... bring it on!!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Life passes quickly when you are busy living it...

you blink... time flies... moments come and gone...


this morning my kiddo's took off for a Hawaiian vacation...

Hawaii or Bust 2013
 a year ago, hubby and I were bouncing around Nuremberg Germany....

June 25, 2012 - Nuremberg
ten years ago we had arrived in Eureka Springs, Missouri, at the court house getting our marriage license...

Why YES we would like our marriage license!! June 25, 2003
Watching the kids leave this morning was so reminiscent of just over a year ago, it was so strange to realize an entire year has gone by.

Ten years ago we were doing final preparation for our wedding.  Mom and I were sitting in the living room of our cabin, working on flowers I believe.  My memory still has some big holes from that time.  Each family that was there had a cabin in the hills, it was so beautiful.

I wish I could find the picture of three little heads bobbing in the bubbles that over filled that HUGE jacuzzi tub.  They sure thought we had the best indoor swimming pool ever!! Swimsuits, an entire bottle of bubbles, moving water, they sure had a blast!

The Dinner Bell Ranch is the most amazing place.  Hubby and I were struggling to pick a date and time that worked for everyone in several states and for us.  It was not working.  We'd both been married before and so a church wedding not happening was not really a deal breaker.  I did not feel the need to wear a long flowing gown, besides I was still very ill back then and that could have been a danger to all concerned.

It was also hard that the only blood family hubby would have there were the girls, where I had sisters, my mom and even my aunt and uncle.

The attempt at planning was causing so much stress, we couldn't even pick a date everyone liked, much less a location.  This church, that church, this state, that one... it was not pleasant.  And more than once we thought about just up and running off and getting married.  Just us and the three youngest kids.

Finally, after much thought, much anguish and stress... I found The Dinner Bell Ranch it was perfect!  Sight unseen we picked a date.  We knew that some would not be able to attend, due to prior commitments or simple stubbornness... we finally decided we had to deal with that, accept it and move on... we did.

My reason for picking it... was strictly for hubby!  I had never been on a horse in my life, heck one of my best friends used to laugh at me because I couldn't tell the difference between a horse and a mule (yes, I finally learned), and I have never been on one since.  Hubby's folks had already passed, he and his sister were going through some troubles that I didn't really know much about. All I knew was that he was only going to have the twins there, and two seven year olds are not much to represent your life when getting married.

Enter The Dinner Bell Ranch and the horses... Hubby was raised on horses, he loves them deeply and the connection with his beloved Dad and horses brought him to us.  I have no doubt at all Dad would have approved!

There were many struggles getting to that cabin ten years ago.  We almost didn't have the girls, his ex-wife was not a sweetie and did end up forcing us to change our plans, my daughter had moved back to Washington, his eldest was not part of our lives,  my father and one of my sisters were not able to attend due to previous engagements, my health was very iffy...

Ten years later.... its flown by in a flash, it seems like yesterday.  I am looking forward to tomorrow the same way I was ten years ago... we won't be sitting in a cabin in the woods with our kids playing around us, there won't be three little heads bobbing in the biggest bathtub swimming pool they'd ever seen... tonight we will be going to watch the Cardinals play (even mother nature is in on it as the weather will be cool and comfortable) while the youngest two are working and two of the older kids are off on a grand adventure.

It's a warm and wonderful feeling that ten years has passed and I would do it all over again!!  We thought about renewing our vows tomorrow, it occurred to us...  in the end it simply was not something that needed to happen... we are happy, we are blessed...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Sustainer? Well maybe...

And she's off.... the drone of the announcer on NPR woke me promptly at five this morning, and I can tell you that if it hadn't, I would still be sleeping peacefully.  Sadly, it just wasn't meant to be.  I am enjoying a few minutes of quiet while I wait for the gooey butter cake I am making for hubby to be done.

Gooey Butter Cake anyone??
A friend of his is celebrating his birthday on Saturday, but today is the day he will see him, so either I am a nice person or I am a sucker... I am leaning towards sucker... how many folks willingly get up before the sun and immediately bake a cake, before even having a cup of coffee.  Go ahead and say it, I've accepted the fact, one that is completely crazy!

Today is going to be a day of continual meetings, it is a new format and I am trying to keep an open mind, but I get stir crazy after one hour, I can hardly imagine how I will be by hour six... I am not someone that sits still well.  It would be different if I were able to bring my latest handwork project, but that would probably be perceived as rude and inattentive.  I wish people understood that folks like me can hear and retain better when you don't ask us to just sit.  There is a lady on our board, that I completely admire, she's a highly successful business woman, and she sits through each meeting making yo-yo's for a quilt.  It is unobtrusive, most folks don't even realize her hands are moving and she is completely engaged in the meeting. I understand her...

We took one of those online "tests" to tell us how we fascinate people... I don't think I am very fascinating.  Actually, I am not really sure where the "fascinate" part really comes from.  Seemed more like a personality test to me.  And a spot on one at that.  It isn't very flattering to know your main trigger is Alarm and your secondary is Trust... but when you read the description it says those two things make you what they call "the Sustainer" - or steadfast, composed and by the book.  I am least likely to come from a position of power.  Yikes!  Yep, that is me... Simply put I am cautious, focused, can be counted on, and I draw folks to me with trust...

Not very glamorous... Hubby is Power and Prestige - completely him! A part of me would have loved to have been rebellious or mystique, but that isn't me... Occasionally I dance really close to those things. But I am simply too much of a rule follower.  It seems I was only 1% away from being "the Artist" though... and I am okay with that....

All of that probably explains why I am completely okay with many things, and why I don't rock the boat or create waves.  For the most part...

But at two-thirty today my day opens up like a beautiful flower!  I am so excited!! I have four days off!  I can't believe I am following up a long week with a four day weekend.  I am meeting my girls for a snack after the meetings, lucky me they are only minutes from my daughters house, and then I get to bring the kids (... do 22, 17 and 6 count as kids?) home for the evening.  My grand baby is spending the night and so is the the youngest twin. Uh oh... better plan dinner!

Hubs and I a year ago today in the alps!
Tomorrow morning, we will drop some of them off at the airport, they are off on a Hawaiian vacation, one will head home for work, and then Hubby and I will spend some quality time together... just us stuff!  We rarely have this kind of time, four days that for the most part are completely unbooked, doing stuff for us.  Sure I have a quilt to finish, and we will go down to the country to show the property, then really who knows!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Besties...

I don't know when my daughter switched from being simply my beloved child, into my best girl friend... but she did...My son hasn't quite made the full transition, but my girl... oh yeah!!

She and I have not had an easy road.  I was the proverbial strict parent, she was the original free spirit.  Those two things do not mix well. Heck they don't mix at all.  Her teen years were battles that were almost insurmountable!!  We rivaled the troops storming Normandy beach all too many times.

I am an odd mix of old fashioned and hippie, she is an odd mix of gypsy and determination.  During her teen years I can't tell you how many people said "she is just like you were"... ummm no, that was my response then and my response now.  I was a fearful teen, I wanted to rebel, but frankly, I had absolutely no backbone.  My girl, she was fearless and often reckless.  She and I are nothing alike.

And we are completely alike... we both are very family centric and oddly neither of us could have been called "kid people".  I remember my Aunt offering to raise my sweet girl until she was older, because I simply didn't do babies... not my thing.  Too funny, considering now if you ask me to describe myself I will often list my top three - not always in any particular order as mom, wife, gramma... my world centers around my family.

My sweet daughter is an even stricter Mom than I was... yet she is probably the best mom I have ever met.  My grand daughter has no doubt that her mother loves and cherishes her, and she has no doubt that if she crosses the line she will hear about it.  She's raised a strong, smart, compassionate, empathetic, determined young daughter and she's only going to be seven next month.

I think I raised a strong, smart, compassionate, empathetic, determined woman myself...  She has gone head on with so many things in her young life and even though she has hurt and been almost destroyed by those things, she keeps smiling and being her wonderful self.


She rally's around her step sons and even the wayward kid that she has taken under her wing.  She has a heart bigger than the world and if you are an animal... she will be your best friend - even if she does not like the type of animal you are. I have seen her take her own clothing and sneak it to another in private so they could have nice and not be embarrassed by the gift.  She is one of the most unselfish loving people I have ever known...

I am so proud of her, I always have been... even during those horrid teen years!

But what I love the most, is that we talk... a lot!  I am amazed at the incredible conversations we have, the way we laugh and support each other.  I love that she and I are so different and so the same.  I love that no matter what we can encourage and support one another.


I thought I was tired last night and when she called I wasn't...

I enjoyed talking with her, laughing, learning and simply enjoying.  We shared a laugh at her Dad's expense (well... I wasn't really joking... he better be more careful this time!).  My grand daughter even allowed us to talk to a while, it was great.

I don't know when the change happened... But I cherish the relationship I have with my beautiful girl...


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Wish you the Merriest, the merriest...

Ding, dong, ding, dong hear the bells.... Hubby knows how to make my day amazing!!  He was on his way down to Sullivan, (yet again, we have had lots of interest on our little plot of land) when he called me to tell me to turn on 102.5... it's July... that could only mean one thing!!  And I forgot... unbelievable!

It's Christmas in July!!  I am an absolute fan of Christmas and I especially love my carols.!!

It sure makes the day quicker and easier to be listening to all my favorite songs... And the day is even cooperating too.  It's dreary and overcast, so easy to believe we are not in the middle of summer, but moving on to my favorite time of the year.

I can't help but wonder if more places celebrated Christmas in July, if it wouldn't help people remember the beauty of the season all year long.  The peace and goodwill that people seem to be able to find in December, carrying through to the entire year... ah... yes that would be perfect!

I am so blessed to have a husband that understands my love of Christmas music, he is not a huge fan... he will listen for a bit, but then he's done for the year.  He knows that I plan almost year round for the coming Christmas, that I love to give gifts that I have made, and go for snowy walks through the lights.  He knows and understands this... he is amazing!

I had spent this morning working on a special quilt.  It's a gift for someone, and it is starting to come together nicely.  I wonder how much nicer it would have been if I had been listening to carols?  For some reason the melodies calm me, they center me and help things come together better. 

 
Each carol has beautiful memories, some from my childhood, some more recent. 

Right now Micheal Buble is singing The Christmas Song... I can almost smell the cookies and see the twinkling lights.  I taste the candy canes and remember wrapping many Christmas gifts to this very song.  I remember the last Christmas I was home in Erie for the holiday's and my Uncle Chick taking us all ice skating on the frozen creek up the road from the house on Conrad Road...

I must have sensed it was almost that time... I emailed my sisters this morning about Christmas... as soon as I heard the first song my brain started planning what I wanted to do that was special for each of our children and grand daughter! And it should have been an omen when I was looking for something else and a stack of Christmas gift magazines fell out on the floor...

I think the reason it is so important to me to give a gift from the heart is my Great Gramma always did that, and I treasured those gifts.  They didn't cost much in terms of money, but the cost to her was  time and love.  What a great way to feel the love of a loved one... a gift from their heart and talent....

My Dad's mom also gave a lot of handmade gifts and I have a great many of them still, some are a bit worse for the wear, but they were made with love.  Her and Grammie also made us lots of baked goods no matter where we were in the world, we felt their love.  I have some treasures left from Grammie too, that I cherish and keep close to my heart.

The beautiful notes make all those memories fresh and clear.  The Carol of the Bells is now reminding me of a more recent trip to see the TransSiberian Orchestra when the girls were younger... And Michael Jackson and his brothers are watching Mommy kiss Santa, which strangly reminds me of Rome, New York... probably because that was the year I got my first record player and it was one of the 45's that I got with it... Pa Rum pum pum...  my grown son is still toddling in diapers beating on his toy drum, that was his favorite song when he was a baby.  And as Alvin and Chipmunks sing I remember my sisters and being silly and singing along while baking Christmas Cookies with Mom....

For me... Christmas Carols are like a soundtrack to my memories... I am so glad that my wonderful Hubby called... now all I need is "All I want for Christmas is You" and Burl Ives again and my day is complete!!
 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

a dream up for sale...

Hubby and I have finally made a few decisions.  We've been struggling with whether or not to keep our beautiful paradise in the country...

On Thursday, we listed it for sale.

It was a tough decision, but a smart one.  We both love it there, we love to hide in the quiet and just relax.  No phone, no television, no intrusions, just us time. The problem is that we never seem to ever get down there.  I am not sure what it is... work schedules, the two hour drive (each way), the effort, or the cost of gas.  Whatever it is, we seem to only find time for at least one week and a few weekends a year.  And those are mostly spent redoing the work we have already done on it all.

It is beautiful or it was.  In the past year, several of the lots around us have sold.  People are tearing up the beautiful green and paving over it with rock.  I get it, I don't always like mowing and dealing with the growth, but if I wanted to be surrounded by rock, I wouldn't go to the country - I would stay in the city.

As more trees come down, and more camp lights go up, the peaceful environment has faded away.  Last time we were there, I was awakened from a sound sleep by the rude sound of a bobcat and someone yelling for all they were worth.  Not only did it wake me, it scared me, as hubby had been outside doing some work, and I was terrifed the yells were him injured.


So paradise went up for sale and the first day we had a call on it... we do not have to part with it, so therefore we are not willing to give it up for less than we are asking.  We've asked a fair price...  Hubby is down there right now, I wish I was, but I had to work.  So I am sitting in the city waiting to hear, I hope he didn't end up driving down there for nothing.  The guy was pretty insistant that he was interested, emailing hubby into the late evening... okay night...


Maybe we have sold it, I expected a call by now... or maybe hubby is just enjoying the beauty...

It's bittersweet... although with all the changes around us, I am comfortable with the decision, I am glad we didn't get around to doing a lot of the stuff we had planned. 

It also feels freeing... I love having my little spot of land, that is all mine, I love the area, I love so much about it... but it also causing a strong guilt feeling.  Because I don't have the time to go. I feel torn with all the things we want to do, because I really want to focus on b'longa'b's and I just feel like there are so many things all competing for the few spare hours I have available and I simply can't make it all happen.


One less thing... One less responsibility... I am okay with this decision... I think hubby is too... I just hope the boys are...

Friday, July 19, 2013

What happens at Gramma's....

My Vexie with her Vexie
I love when then day ends on such an incredible note! I will admit that I absolutely love being a Gramma!!  My Granddaughter is my mini-me, we are both August babies, we have the same temperament, we love to have time together, and she just makes me so happy!

She loves to cook, craft, play games, play in the garden with me, go camping and on trips with us.  She is, in my opinion, perfect!!

For anyone that isn't a gramma yet, just wait!  Oh I love my children to distraction, grand babies are simply different, with my children I will always be their parent.  We have transitioned to friends, yet I always catch myself being mom.  With my sweetie, I simply get to love!  She doesn't give me reasons to have to correct her, where she would give mom fits, she sits quietly for me. 

Last night she was reading the signs on my kitchen wall... "Trust me the Cat did it" and "Trust me the Dog did it"... to which she replied, "they are both liars, the Child did it!"  I absolutely lost it!!  It was so unexpected and ironic that it made me laugh. 

I know she can read, she is a little smarty pants and is always looking for something new to read and learn.  Shoot, Grampa and I gave her a Nook when she was 4, so much easier to give her books and educational games that way.  But for her little 6, almost 7, year old brain to piece it together that way and come up with a reply... Priceless....

Later sitting and watching "SpongeBob SquarePants" (uggghhhh brain drain...) she is telling me that she can't wait for school to start because she is lonely.  Evidently, her one new friend where she lives isn't allowed to play anymore, darn overprotective parents, kids play...  so anyhow... I was teasing her about needing a brother or sister and she said "yep... Mom needs to go to the orphanage and get me one!" While that showed great thought, it was what happened next that had me laughing... Grampa said "she's going to get a used kid?" to which she replied "yep, Mom likes used stuff, she goes to thrift stores all the time..." I was almost crying!!  Grampa spent time in an orphanage growing up so he wasn't being insensitive, he was playing with her.  There was a sparkle in his eyes as he said it... the fact that little bit had an answer was great!

Writing her memoirs...

In a bit she is going to wake up, I promised her that we would make a gooey butter cake - her current favorite - together.  Maybe we will make some noodles she really wants to do that, but I am not sure I have enough time...Then we will decide what else the morning will hold and what her plans are for the rest of the day.  I have a bit of time before I go in to work, it's my duty weekend, so I am going to love on her and spoil her rotten, simply because I can!

Good Morning Sunshine!

There is a reason they say what happens at Gramma's house stays at Gramma's house...


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A toast to early risers...


Are you a "night owl" or an "early riser"?  To a large degree I think it depends on your age and the path you have chosen in life. 
Umm.. Mom it's still time to sleep!

I am an early riser... I know, this might be a bit too early for anyone.  I can remember in my twenties when I got a job as an opening cashier.  I was definitely not an early riser, it killed me to get up each morning. I remember having to set multiple alarms and cursing everyone that did not have to get up when I did.  Yet somehow, between the time the alarm went off and I had managed to drive myself to work, I discovered that I loved seeing sunrises.  Somehow during that time just about 20 years ago, I discovered the beauty of morning.

I can get so much accomplished in the morning.  I am fresh, full of energy, the world is peaceful, the ticking of the clock, purring of the cat, the occasional car passing by, those are the only sounds intruding in my world during the quiet hours.  Every now and again I hear an unusual sound, the engine of a helicopter - probably an emergency one taking someone to St. Louis, to the bigger hospitals, a dog barking, a sound of a big truck going by, the coffee pot brewing.  Other than that its silent. 

I treasure the silence, I didn't used to, now I do.  I was that person that turned on the news or radio as soon as I got up.  I wasn't comfortable in the early morning silence, I wasn't comfortable with me. Now, I reflect, I gather my thoughts, have quiet time to say a prayer or two, I write my blog and just enjoy the peace..

I am looking at the window in the mirror, watching for that slight lightening that will signal the sunrise.  I love a beautiful sunrise, as much as I used to long to see the sunsets.  To me, that sunrise is signaling the start of a wonderful new day, the chance to have great things happen.  The bold colors as it breaks through the dark of night, it's a promise.

I am blessed that hubby is also a morning person.  I played that game of being a morning person in a house full of night owls... it was brutal! I am not always up as early as he is, but I always know where to find him.  He will be down in the man-cave, an air pot full of hot coffee, quietly watching an old movie, sitcom or sometimes just the news.  All the while doing email, checking Facebook, or simply playing spades or bejeweled. 

My guy and his cat
This morning, he is being an angel and doing a bit of early morning shopping for me.  He knows that I loathe Wal-mart, but sadly it seems to be the only store around that carries the food my boys like and need.  So instead of running to Schnucks for the few items on our list, he braved Wally World.  Leaving me to slowly wake up, write and enjoy my coffee.  I pray that he isn't too stressed out when he gets home.  That place is horrid.

I fear today I will be regretting being an early riser, I am sleepy already, I stayed up a bit later than usual to spend quality time on both of my night owls.  My girl on the phone and my boy and I got to sit and chat for a bit, just the two of us, like when he was a little guy.  I will always give up sleep to catch up with those two. 

 This morning's sunrise will bring lots of goodness into my life, quality hubby time, some grand baby time, a chance to celebrate, the start of a new second quilting class (hubby started his new quilt last night, it is... awesome!!  He is going to try to attend a bit today - schedule permitting), hopefully a lunch visit from my girl... yep... good stuff is waiting just on the other side of that beautiful, orange, gold, pink and purple orb that will rise just outside my front door...
The Hubby and his next work of art...

Sunrise or moon rise... which are you?