I got a wave board for Christmas

It's a 2 wheeled skateboard for me to kill myself on. VERY cool My niece and nephew were trying to teach me to ride one this fall and now I have one of my own. I also got a beautiful opal on onyx cameo necklace from my hubby who has AMAZING taste in jewelry. The capper was the 105 shell that gets fired from the cannons on an ac-130. very very very cool. I'm going to put a flower arrangement in it. I was happy to see that I chose pretty well for the people we love. We got mom an afghan with the lyrics to a hym she loves. We got his mom and dad memory for a camera and storage memory. We also got the dogs rawhides.. we may regret that one though

Merry Christmas!

Our little town... not Bethlehem.

OOOhh Crappy daaaayy

That's probably somehow blasphemous since it's a religious song but it has been the tune running thru my mind all day. My beloved hubby is stuck in Chicago babysitting his least favorite client. They've screwed around and screwed around for weeks, not doing their part of a data conversion unless he's actually standing over them. Very frustrating time for him. He missed his birthday, a nephew's band concert and church events he was looking forward to because of their incompetence and now it looks like he might lose part of his Christmas vacation too. Of course his company is saying they'll make up the days to him in January when he couldn't care less. I suppose that I could remember that there are people in the world worse off than me and that in the general scope of things I have it pretty good.. Maybe later.. right now, I'm going to make tea, light candles, put on good sulking music and have a nice pout.

Counting down

I have such a busy week this week. Last night was the Christmas party for our church's women's group. We eat lots of good food and open presents and laugh and goof off. I found out that my secret sister for gifts this year also had my name. I hope I did half as well for her as she did for me. I got a russian cookbook, a snowglobe and a beautiful fretwork cross. I love the unusual cookbooks. now it's borscht for Christmas.. my family will be thrilled.

Happy Belated Thanksgiving

We survived the holiday and all the food. My sister found a tip on a recipe site that suggested cooking leftover stuffing in the crockpot instead of beside the turkey in the oven.. A most excellent suggestion, btw. My brother and sis-in-law got to come up and we got temporary custody of my niece's best friend who is rapidly becoming a member of the family. I joined in with friends on facebook a few weeks before in trying to post a different thing to be thankful for in status for each day leading to thanksgiving.. quite the challenge to not repeat yourself or each other. It was a wonderful excercise having to think of all the good in my life.. The bad is easy to think of and complain about but to really concentrate on the good proved to be a challenge that made me think about how I see things from day to day. So, now, my thanksgiving resolution is to try and think of one thing every single day that I'm truly thankful for every day..

Happy Belated Thanksgiving

Happy Halloween!

what a gorgeous day

I can't believe how beautiful a day it was today. Warm and sunny and all the color of fall. We took the dogs out for a walk today and Loki got to chase a huge groundhog. Of course, he also stuck his head down the groundhog's hole so we had to call him back but it was a day too wonderful to miss.

Just a random thought

I keep looking at the colors of the leaves and I wonder... "Is this their true color?" Without the chlorophyll, does the real color of the leaf finally show.. When it's done for the season and no longer has to carry out the business of keeping the tree nourished, can a leaf finally show it's "true color". I wonder if they wanted all summer to show off a glaring red or neon orange instead of a cool green. Maybe the leaves dancing around in the wind are dancing with joy at finally being untethered. Is that why the still green leaves seem to strain and reach at their colored counterparts, flitting around? Isn't green the color of envy? I can't help thinking how much like leaves we must be in the autumn of our lives. When we stop being busy saying and doing all the things we have to say and do in order to keep our families nourished.. food on the table and clothes in closets etc...can we finally let go of our fresh green mantles and say what we really think and do as we really feel. Is that when we show our "true colors"? Is it indicative of the end of our period of pliability that the leaves become crisp and crackling as they become beautifully glaring. I can't help but notice that I am, myself, joining the ranks of a population that speaks it's mind more and lets the grass grow long sometimes and hangs the gaudy drapes that the neighbors just hate. I am disinclined to tie my hair into a respectable fashion that resists the wind and not so concerned about wearing clothes that will stay neat. I find myself more and more inclined to think that purple must be the new black.

Sad stuff

Off in the morning to the funeral of a favorite uncle. He was an incredibly gifted artist. It's always so strange to lose a family member, especially a youngish one.


Paul Newman founded the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children stricken with cancer, AIDS and blood diseases. One afternoon he and his wife, Joanne Woodward, stopped by to have lunch with the kids.> A counselor at a nearby table, suspecting the young patients wouldn't know that Newman was a famous movie star, explained, 'That's the man who made this camp possible. Maybe you've seen his picture on his salad dressing bottle?'> Blank stares.> 'Well, you've probably seen his face on his lemonade carton.'> An eight-year-old girl perked up. 'How long was he missing?'

Just before I was deployed to Iraq , I sat my eight-year-old son down and broke the news to him. 'I'm going to be away for a long time,' I told him. 'I'm going to Iraq .'> 'Why?' he asked. 'Don't you know there's a war going on over there?

On the way back from a Cub Scout meeting, my grandson asked my son the question. 'Dad, I know that babies come from mommies' tummies, but how do they get there in the first place?' he asked innocently.> After my son hemmed and hawed awhile, my grandson finally spoke up in disgust. 'You don't have to make something up, Dad. It's OK if you don't know the answer.'>

Out bicycling one day with my eight-year-old granddaughter, Carolyn, I got a little wistful. 'In ten years,' I said, 'you'll want to be with your friends and you won't go walking, biking, and swimming with me like you do now.> Carolyn shrugged. 'In ten years you'll be too old to do all those things anyway.

While I sat in the reception area of my doctor's office, a woman rolled an elderly man in a wheelchair into the room. As she went to the receptionist's desk, the man sat there, alone and silent. > Just as I was thinking I should make small talk with him, a little boy slipped off his mother's lap and walked over to the wheelchair. > Placing his hand on the man's, he said, 'I know how you feel. My mom makes me ride in the stroller too.

As I was nursing my baby, my cousin's six-year-old daughter, Krissy, came into the room. Never having seen anyone breast feed before, she was intrigued and full of all kinds of questions about what I was doing.> After mulling over my answers, she remarked, 'My mom has some of those, but I don't think she knows how to use them.

His wife's grave side service was just barely finished, when there was a massive clap of thunder, followed by a tremendous bolt of lightning, accompanied by even more thunder rumbling in the distance.> The little old man looked at the pastor and calmly said, 'Well, she's there

sappy mushy story

If you guys haven't read Robert Fughum's books "All I really need to know I learned in
Kindergarten" and, "It was on fire when I lay down on it" and, "Uh- Oh" etc.. you really should pick up a couple.. Some of the most wonderfully touching stories ever.

from All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
by Robert Fulghum, Villand Books, 1988

This is kind of personal. It may get a little syrupy, so watch out. It started as a note to my wife. And then I thought that since some of you might have husbands or wives and might feel the same way, I'd pass it along. I don't own this story, anyway. Charles Boyer does. Remember Charles Boyer? Suave, dapper, handsome, graceful. Lover of the most famous and beautiful ladies of the silver screen. That was on camera and in the fan magazines. In real life it was different.

There was only one woman. For forty-four years. His wife, Patricia. Friends said it was a lifelong love affair. They were no less lovers and friends and companions after forty-four years than after the first year.

Then Patricia developed cancer of the liver. And though the doctors told Charles, he could not bear to tell her. And so he sat by her bedside to provide hope and cheer. Day and night for six months. He could not change the inevitable. Nobody could. And Patricia died in his arms. Two days later Charles Boyer was also dead. By his own hand. He said he did not want to live without her. He said, "Her love was life to me."

This was no movie. As I said, it's the real story - Charles Boyer's story .

It's not for me to pass judgment on how he handled his grief. But it is for me to say that I am touched and comforted in a strange way. Touched by the depth of love behind the apparent sham of Hollywood love life. Comforted to know that [two people] can love each other that much that long.

I don't know how I would handle my grief in similar circumstances. I pray I shall never have to stand in his shoes. (Here comes the personal part - no apologies.) But there are moments when I look across the room - amid the daily ordinariness of life - and see the person I call my wife and friend and companion. And I understand why Charles Boyer did what he did. It really is possible to love someone that much. I know. I'm certain of it.

Our bike trail

These were taken on the bike trail that goes right by our house. We took quite a ride this evening just before sunset. click on this postings title for a link to information on the trail itself


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End of Summer

And, now I'm done with the family reunions and my rained out August Party and an additional fair at which I lost my cell phone. (very cool fair, btw http://www.canfieldfair.com/index.html) Plus, we replaced the stairway in the church and I get to paint the new steps, we have a hayride, civil war re-enactment to attend and projects to finish.. so much for sleeping thru september.

Busy Summer

Such a busy summer so far.. my brother's wedding and receptions, our church celebration of the new land purchase, our good friends' Fourth of July Meatfest, a parade, yard work for us, yard work for the friends who helped us, and the local county fair 3 times. I'm tired just looking at the list. but, what fun it's been so far. and now, I only have Vacation Bible School, 3 family reunions and our very own August party. I think maybe I'll sleep thru September.

The Party's Over!

Finally finished!! The reception in Dayton and the family do here. My brother's simple wedding is complete. As for myself, I'm happy everyone seemed to have a good time.. there was NO leftover food or punch and my friends-n-family are basically tidy people so there's no big trashed mess of the yard. My beloved hubby and dear friend got the porch done in time for the party which was extremely cool.

All proud of myself

This is the cake I made for my niece's confirmation party. Wilton makes a sparkle gell icing that came out perfect for this stained glass cake.

Happy Birthday to ME!!!

. . . and several of my friends. In honor of my birthday, here's a poem my sister once sent me.

A Morning Poem
I woke early one morning,
the earth lay cool and still
when suddenly a tiny bird
perched on my window sill
He sang a song so lovely
so carefree and so gay
that slowly all my troubles
began to slip away
He sang of far off places
of laughter and of fun
it seemed his very trilling
brought up the morning sun
I stirred beneath the covers
crept slowly out of bed
then gently shut the window
and crushed his little head
I am just not a morning person.

Hawaiian Wedding

Well, My brother is well and truly married. I have to say it was a beautiful wedding. I posted quite a few pictures onto webshots. If you haven't gotten an email from me with the link, please let me know and I'll send it to you

Hawaii Trip

This is the view from our hotel room.

What a week...

Such a week for sadness. Last monday, our best friends had a miscarriage at 5 mos. As much and as deeply as we grieve for them, we feel a sense of loss ourselves. When I think how heartbroken I am to lose the new little angel I was so looking forward to holding and spoiling and babysitting, I cannot even conceive of what her parents are feeling. I feel that we are so fortunate to have them as friends. They've let us share in the joys of their lives and spoil their 2 kids and given us their help and support. Now, they have the grace of spirit to allow us to grieve with them and to feel like we've been of some small use to them. It can be a hard place to be when you care greatly about someone who's in so much pain and to have no way to express your own caring or your own grief which seems rendered insignificant by comparison. I'm so glad to have friends who could reach out to us and include us in even this most private and painful time.

Today, just a few minutes ago, I learned of the passing of hubby's brother-in-law. His lung cancer progressed so rapidly that it's terrifying. Just a month ago, they told him he might not last a year and now today, he's gone. For all of you who smoke -- just stop. There's no way to describe the distress of the family gathered around him trying to breathe for him as they watch him struggle to breathe. There are probably harder, scarier, more painful ways to die but there are not many. He was someone who would have tried to do just anything for someone he cared about. Always pleasant and always interested in the friends and family around him. I think maybe it makes the pain and frustration of his illness just that much more upsetting. I think people don't mind when someone bad tempered suffers. When someone who needs to make peace with their Maker or their family lingers, it seems justified that they have time to tie up the loose ends of their lives. This man had neither issue. There was just nothing about him that would make you feel justified that he suffered or that he needed time to come to terms with anyone. There was nothing at all that he ever did that made him "deserve" this type of death except for one thing.. he just couldn't quit smoking.

Happy Easter

In the dying of the light:

The people’s steps are slowed,
Their feet unsure. They try to find
The path that seems to fade.
As though the world were going blind,
Their eyes strain to see ahead.
They try in vain to find the way.
Their vision -- at first dimmed -- now lost.
Confused, directionless, they stray.

In the tightening coil of night
In the dying of the light

In the rising of the Sun:

The people turn uplifted.
In faith and unity they stride
To see the promises fulfilled.
Alive again the light that died.
They see the day before them.
They see the way again made clear.
Brightly now their purpose shines.
Now that the rising sun is here.

The time of darkness now is done
In the rising of the Son

April fools day

OH MY GOODNESS I can't believe I missed April fools day... I didn't prank a living soul and I usually get and am got by several.

A day that will live in infamy

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Some Irish recipes for those so inclined

While I, myself am Irish to some extent, my hubby is not so we're havin' sketti for supper but I did get to watch "The Quiet Man"

We've really had ups and downs this last couple of weeks. Hubby made the news. http://content.usatoday.com/topics/article/Places,+Geography/Towns,+Cities,+Counties/Cleveland/0gjW00QgfG1lY/1
A good friend got a good job after being laid off, another good friend got to hire help he desperately needed and yet a third has been out of work long enough to be frantic. We have 2 friends who are pregnant and another who is working on acquiring custody of a little one whom she just loves. There are 2 we care about who have had some bad breaks in their love lives and a family member's upcoming wedding. (In Hawaii, no less) One good friend cleared of cancer and a family member who was confirmed with an aggressive type. Lots to be happy about, lots to pray about, lots to do in any case. I guess those are the three leaves of my shamrock... happy, sad, and busy. Wish me Luck!

Back to work(ing)

Working on the house, that is. Still no job for my happy hobo self. Hubby is still greatly entertained by calling me a kept woman. We have started making a family room area in the basement. I personally thought that we'd deal with flooring and walls and insulation and heat first but, I was shown the error of my ways and we got a big TV to start with. He was fortunate enough to get a bonus this year mostly due to his hard work so I did want him to have something to enjoy it with and we haven't had a new tv in a long time. So, the new tv is downstairs on an old desk with older chairs in front of it waiting on our first fun and games night. I did get to order new furniture for the living room out of the deal so I shouldn't poke fun. We're actually starting to live like other people.. real furniture instead of hand me downs and cheapie stuff, finished walls and ceilings. By the time our 20th anniversary hits this year, we might be living like grownups. Perish the thought

my dog plays with cat toys

My poor confused dog...

This is why I have birdfeeders

Several years ago, a family up the road found turkey eggs and a dead momma turkey. So, they hatched the eggs and let the turkeys go free. One of the turkeys took up residence in my cousin's barn, next door.. and came over to my house for lunch everyday. She and my goofiest dog, Loki, played tag together although I don't think either of them realized that it was a game. I've seen turkeys up around the barn and such lately but never this close to the house. The dogs seem to keep the bigger animals away from the immediate area. I'm wondering if "Tina the turkey" remembered where to get a free meal or if this is just co-incidence.

That was some game


I don't normally follow a lot of football these days although I do maintain a fondness for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I loved them in the 70's and was a huge fan of the Steel Curtain. Even so, I went to hang out with friends on Superbowl Sunday. Since the game was still going on when we got home, we turned it on to watch before going to bed. I was amazed. I really thought the Cardinals won it there in the last three minutes. YAY STEELERS!!

snow dogs

Hard to believe the snow was this deep but it snowed without pause all day today. Joel took the dogs out this afternoon to let them "go" and play with them a little bit. The boys had a blast running and wrestling.. Jas played some but the arthritis in her hips limited the activity. By the time I was taking these pictures and video, the birds had had enough of the dogs and abandoned the feeders. When the dogs first ran out though, the first order of business was to git dem birds.

We have a flock of wild turkeys living in the woods on the other side of the road. I wonder what the dogs would do with them.. . .

Warm? weather.

At least I got the Christmas lights out of the yard... mostly.. I missed the weekend just before the snow and ice hit and ended up with them frozen in place until just today. How ironic that my drunken snowman who spent most of Christmas face down in the snow was frozen upright when it was darned near embarassing to have him there. I couldn't get the little trees though, they were still frozen tight in. The picture in my slideshow of the colored lights thru ice is one of those mini trees. The big wreath on the front door might get to stay too. it's got red and blue lights on it so it should be ok to leave it up till memorial day when the temperature might be above freezing.

Inauguration Day!!

Whether with him or against him, I don't think anyone could deny that today is an exciting day.

New years resolutions

I resolve to eat healthier, swear less, pray without ceasing, learn Spanish, have someone over for dinner every Thursday and at least one Saturday a month, find time for a form of excercise that won't kill my knees, try borrowing or renting books and movies rather than just buying them, and try to take in fewer strays. I'm willing to concede that not every homeless creature in the world needs to have a home here. Between pet food and bird seed this icy winter, we're puttin out enough cash to feed a sizable village in Africa according to the "Feed the Children" commercials on late night TV. I'm going to try and be a little more ruthless too. I've already let my beloved switch to a kill trap from a live trap for the mice that keep invading our happy home. We're up to 9 mice released gently into the wild since Christmas and he's convinced the little suckers are finding their way back in. I do not begrudge him his angst since he's the one trudging across the road through the deep snow and nasty cold. I think that would make anyone cranky. We do think we found the problem and patched it up, thankfully, but the next little bugger who finds his way in is going die in a way that my hubby assures me will be less painful than the method the cats have in mind. He has been a really good sport about my "catch and release program" but has finally had enough and told me that he would still do the "release" part but I have to clean out the live traps after the startled little dears void themselves in that narrow little box. ..... turns out that there's a lot of mess for such a tiny little creature.... I finally decided that if he feels so strongly about the trap issue, I can compromise.... all in the interest of marital harmony, of course
Happy New Year!