Thursday, December 31, 2009

Buh bye 2009.....

Well, this is it, 2009! Its been……interesting. However, I would not like to have to do it over again. There have been some good times, times that made me laugh; and there have been some bad times, times that made me cry with frustration and anger. But we have weathered them all. As a family, we have pulled together and forged through the bad times and come out the other side stronger for the experience. We have learned many things…..friendships have been tested, as well as family ties. We have grown.
My daughter has been through an awful lot this year but in the end she won her disability case which had been pending for nearly three years. That, in itself, is a giant hurdle and hopefully both our lives will now be a lot easier. I’ve made some new friends online this year and hope that they will be lasting friendships. I’ve gotten closer to older online friends and truly cherish being part of their cyber family as much as they are continuing in mine.
I've seen some good movies this year (Taken, Curious Case of Benjamin Button, UP) and some stinkers (Sideways, Identity) and some in between (Twilight, New in Town, Four Christmases). UP we watched on Christmas Day and it was so good I watched it again the next day. Its a great movie.....I just love the bird! I've made a purchase that I'm in love with and proclaim it on a daily Keurig one-cup coffeemaker. If you are a coffee lover, you simply have to own one of these. I figured out that it costs approximately 34 cents a 16 oz. mug, so its not an expensive brew. There are a couple places that sell the K-cups (used to brew the coffee) online and the shipping is free. Look into it if you love coffee!

The first day of the new year is really just another day but we all look at it as either a new chapter in a big book or else a new book entirely. I tend to view it as a new chapter. We all hope that this chapter or book will be better than the last one…..that’s human nature. But the unforeseen bad things that happen as well as the good things are all part of what makes up our lives and our personal recipe for what makes us tick.
I know the economy has hurt so many people and their lives have deteriorated noticeably from the way things were a couple years ago. The rest of us feel like we are teetering on a cliff, just hanging on by our fingertips. Maybe we haven’t lost our homes but we don’t have anything extra…we just have enough to pay our debts and guy groceries. We are at the mercy of the credit card companies and their penchant for raising interest rates. Hopefully that will end in a couple months. For people like me who feel joy and a deep sense of …..completeness when I can do for others, be it two-legged or four-legged….it hurts when I don’t have enough to share. So my prayers are not so much for me personally…..they are for things to improve so that I may have extra so I'm able to help others as well as myself and my family. For the time being my little part-time job has survived the budget cut-backs at work….my position is needed there; it is not frivolous. A review will be done quarterly and more cuts will be made then if need be. They also removed the hiring freeze, so the 4 police officers who retired can be replaced. Much to the relief of the township residents.
So, my wish for all of you, my dear friends and readers….is that you may have health, happiness and inner peace…..peace that comes with being comfortable in your own skin….that comes with following your heart and being able to fulfill some of your wishes. And because I believe in God….I will say God Bless you all. If you believe in a different higher power, then please realize that I mean for you to be blessed by how your beliefs may encompass you. Thank you for visiting me and stay safe out there. Hugs and love.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


The Asian girlies have started to advertise on my blog again and since they didn't give me part of their earnings last time, I'm not permitting them to use me I had to turn on word verification for a little while. Don't worry, they will soon tire of not being able to get in and go elsewhere.....then I'll turn it off, PROMISE! (I hate it too but it does work)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Just tell me.....

in the average person's performance of the gift-wrapping ritual, just how many times do you think the effin tape is misplaced or falls on the floor while both hands are otherwise occupied.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Everything is good to go.....

and now all I have to do is cook, wrap and organize. I'll be back on the weekend but in the meantime............

Merry Christmas.....I love you all.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A friend from the past.....

I was very fortunate. When my husband and I purchased our first home, it was located in a subdivision of what they called, "starter homes". They were cute, well-built and sat on 50 foot lots, but most of them only had two bedrooms; enough for a couple just starting out.

Anyway, you couldn't get much more "Norman Rockwell" than this subdivision and the assortment of couples who lived there. When we moved in, the neighbors welcomed us with gifts of baked goods or casseroles. It was soon discovered that most of us were all in the same age range and financial bracket. Most of the women stayed home and the men worked. Most everyone had at least one child, was expecting a child or had dreams of having one sometime soon. We fell into the latter category since I was still working and wasn't quite ready to give it up. I think living there and watching those little families was a great incentive for me to stop work and concentrate on having children. We all felt safe there. This is where we had pinochle club once a month at rotating homes....where we had cookie exchange at Christmas and where the men all helped one another dig out during some vicious snowstorms. The picture I have attached is actually one I had hanging in the sort of put my feelings on canvas on how I felt there. And having my parents within walking distance was a plus.

We all got together and had coffee and visited. The kids all got along and so did the husbands. I miss that very much. Over the years, one by one all but two families moved out as we outgrew our little homes. Those that could build on because they had an extra lot, did so.

I was disappointed when I moved into this neighborhood where I now live to find that, although the neighbors would stop and wave, they didn't get personally involved. I've lived here 36 and a half years and its still the same way. We all get along (and for that I'm very grateful, especially when you read some of these "neighbors from hell stories")....but no one visits, no sitting around the kitchen table having coffee sort of thing here. My best friend bought the house next door to me and for about 12 years we enjoyed our friendship, but she moved to AZ for her health and the 3rd family since she's left moved in a year ago. They are nice and they wave.....but the closeness is not there.

But anyway, back to the original thought for this post. I answered the phone to hear a voice from my past. It was the woman who had lived across the street from me in that wonderful subdivision. She was one of the ones who stayed and built on to their home. We have so many good memories to talk about. And yes.....we did try to stay in touch after I moved. I only moved about 4 miles away....but that 4 miles prohibits you from running across the street in a rural subdivision in your jammies to have coffee after the husbands have left for the day. Through the years we didn't see each other so much....I was working odd hours and lots of overtime, then she went to work too. So it was wonderful to talk today. We gabbed for over three hours (thank goodness for cordless phones) and got caught up on a bunch of stuff. After the holidays we've made promises to meet on regular intervals for coffee and gossip. I'm so glad for my fond memories of that old neighborhood and I hope that there are still some like that here and there.....Americana at its best! I'm mostly glad that she remembered me and cared enough to call me. Another close friend and neighbor from that era is way down in Florida!

An award......

Lee, over at Hormones, Headaches and Hot Flashes, is a regular hoot. She has the ability to take a time period of about 10 years in a woman's life that is filled with all sorts of craziness and joke about it. We women can all identify with it and most men can too since they have to live with us.

I'm honored to have been one of many of her readers to be given her award and also to extend an invite to anyone that wants a chuckle or two to go read her blog. She's taking a little rest until after the beginning of the year to handle family stuff and we all know that real life trumps blog make it a point to visit her then.

And, thank you Lee, for remembering me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


what some people are capable of. I've never seen anything like this before and thought maybe you all would get a kick out of it too. Talk about putting the run of the mill Christmas lights to shame! This is somehow all hooked up to the Wii Game Guitar Hero, which determines the lighting sequence. Wow. Enjoy and if this doesn't get you in the spirit, then nothing will.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A better vehicle.....

My daughter finally found a vehicle that she absolutely loves and tonight it became part of her family. This picture is not the actual vehicle but its the same make, body style and year.....Dodge Durango, 4x4. Hers is dark blue. We ran a "Carfax" report on it and its been a leased vehicle all of its life with the only accident being a broken fog light. As far as leased...... I think that may be a good thing because people seem to be a bit more careful about maintaining a leased vehicle as they don't want to be 'fined' at the end of their lease. It does seem to be in very good condition, inside and out. My daughter's friend looked it all over and since he's a mechanic, he hopefully can give an opinion with some expertise behind it. The first vehicle she found had unusual circumstances surrounding it. She liked that one too but never did get to test drive it. She found the Durango and promptly forgot about the other one.

The other vehicle is an Explorer. The guy said his wife won it and she's been the only driver. Its a one-owner vehicle, which is a good thing but I think this guy was being less than honest with us about several things and that made us nervous. When we ran the carfax report on that one it showed that on 2 seperate occasions the registration expired and one time it sat for a year without supposedly being driven and the second time it was nearly 3 years before the registration was renewed. It had extremely high mileage on it and when you factor in that it "supposedly" sat for over 3 years, it makes the use more than triple that of an average driver. It also has one recall that's never been taken care of.....since 2004!! You know what they take better care of something if you have to pay for it. I sort of think that the vehicle was not really maintained like it should have been. The guy let it slip that he had paid out over $500 to have it detailed to get ready to sell it. Wow....this vehicle must have been pretty dirty at one time! My daughter's friend was more worried about the horribly uneven tread wear on the front tires...he suspected a major repair looming in the near future. The owner also has had it up for sale for 3 weeks and has come down $1,000 on his original asking price. So....even though it was the first vehicle to catch her eye, I'm glad she didn't get it and went with the Durango instead.

So tonight it sits all comfy inside her garage in its new home. I feel so much better knowing that she has a better vehicle to drive.....although I cannot fault her old car. That poor car has been through the mill and it still bravely took her where she needed to go. My long-time readers will remember when vandals took baseball bats at it, breaking the windows, the dashboard inside, the hood and front grill work....along with slashing 2 tires. She only had PLPD insurance on it so she had to drive it looking like that (after getting the windows replaced). We found out much later that the vandals thought it was someone else's car.....someone they had a vendetta against and so they did all this damage. She had left it in a Pizza place parking lot because the battery had gone dead....that place is only a couple blocks from where I live and she thought it would be safe for the night, until she could get another battery in it. She learned a valuable lesson....she says she will never again leave her vehicle anywhere for the night.

So, I'm headed for my warm comfy bed. Its 9 degrees outside with a wind chill of 8 below zero. We do have some snow on the ground but nothing as bad as Iowa....(I sent the rescue dogs with a keg of beer, Jamie!). My Christmas shopping is done since I did it online. I have half of it here....the other half is in transit. HO HO HO All of you contending with this cold....stay warm and those of you who are already warm.....all I can say is...."You lucky stiffs!"

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Are you gettin' this, Santa?.....

Well, my daughter stood in line for a while so my granddaughter could see Santa. She (granddaughter) was so excited she could hardly breathe. When it was finally her turn, she told Santa that she wanted "a horse farm".....a real one. HO, HO, HO, Santa said, that's a pretty big request there, little Missy. Santa's not quite sure he can do that one. She was visibly disappointed as her sad eyes looked at him in disbelief..... then thanked him for his time and got down off his lap to walk away. (this is the same little girl who just lost the beloved family pet, Mollie, a couple weeks ago)

Much to Santa's credit, he actually called her back to him (even though he had a bunch of kids waiting in line) and explained that a horse farm just wouldn't fit in the sled and it would be too hard on his reindeer. Then she compromised and said that she would be happy with a toy horse farm and, as this picture depicts, she explained all the things that it should include. Note the look on Santa's face. The old boy is really taking it all in.

You know, some people are just perfect for this kind of thing and this Santa needs an "atta boy", for going above and beyond what he was expected to I'm giving him one....even though he'll never know it. But, deep inside.......I'm sure......... he knows!

Thanks Santa.....for really caring. My granddaughter was happy that night. (anybody know where I can find a good buy on a toy horse farm, complete with horses?)

UPDATE: I found one at (free shipping) and also found a dozen horses to go inside of it (also free shipping). Can't get much better than that's been taken care of.