Friday, December 20, 2013

~ Bah ....

.... Humbug!
First, can I just say how excited I was to get an e-mail from
Nancy @ A Rural Journal
telling us that Random 5 Friday is back!!!
Happy Dance!!!!
Really missed you Nancy and your fantastic meme!
1.  On Tuesday we got a third snowstorm in one week!
Yup, you read that right!  #3 storm in 7 days!
The first storm dropped 3.5 inches. 
The second dropped 8 inches.
And the third dropped 3 inches.
Not major storms .... but dang!
Enough is enough already.
And the kicker is ... it isn't winter yet!!!
2.  This is how my living room looks ....
and will continue to look until Christmas Eve.
One big mess. 
Wayyyyyyyy in the corner at the top of the picture are Tom's gifts to me!
I do not peek.   Never have.  Never will.
The mess up front and center are my gifts to Tom.
We use blankets to hide them from each other.
Our old legs just don't permit us to go up and down the stairs
numerous times so for a few years now we just keep them
in the living room/dining room.
Like I said ... one big mess!
3.  Instead of acting like Scrooge when it was snowing
I decided to stay inside and catch up on my wrapping.
Set up my wrapping station on the kitchen table ....
made a cup of mocha cappuccino ....
turned the t.v. on and wrapped away.
Did I tell you that I.HATE.WRAPPING?
 I kept hearing this strange sound as I was wrapping.
Very distracting.  
I turned the t.v. off ... trying to figure out what the sound was
and where it was coming from.
I went from room to room
and the sound followed.
What the ....?
I finally figured out what the sound was ....
it was coming from me ....
I was actually humming while wrapping!
Don't tell anyone!
4.  By late afternoon ....
...things were starting to look a little better in my corner.
Can't say the same for Tom.
He's usually way ahead of me with wrapping.
This year, I'm the winner!
Can you believe those are all for one person!
We spoil each other rotten for Christmas.
I'm not complaining.
But we've discussed cutting back .... spending less ....
it's getting harder and harder to come up with new things to get.
A lot of time spent running around and getting nothing done!
5.  Yesterday I had some last minute crap stuff to pick up.
One was a cake to bring to Tom's brother's house tomorrow.
As I was deep in thought .... deciding which cake to pick up,
I heard someone close by whistling ....
loudly ....
"Jingle Bell Rock"
as he was also deciding which cake to purchase.
When he finished his whistling masterpiece,
I stood back and applauded his talent!
"Very good!", I said.
At first he looked surprised.
Then we both laughed,
said "Merry Christmas"
and went on our separate ways.
Merry Christmas to all ...
and to all a goodnight!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

~ It's beginning to look a lot like ....

... winter!
Yup, winter!
On Monday we had an ice storm.
Ice everywhere ....
And on Tuesday we had a snowstorm.
Nothing drastic ....
We got around 3.5 inches of the white stuff.
It was wet ... and heavy!
My arms are sore and my back is killing me from shoveling.
How can something so annoying be so photogenic?
The local weather forecast is for another storm ...
potentially a Nor'easter ...
for Saturday afternoon into Sunday!
Just what I need this time of the year.
I have barely put a dent in my Christmas shopping.
Anyway, I stayed in during these two storms
and caught up with wrapping what stuff I had bought
and decorated.
The tree is up ...
and the stockings are hung.
I didn't go overboard with the decorations this year.
And I'm okay with that.
But I did put up a few trinkets.
Today I went shopping.
Got about another 40% of it done.
Tonight I'll wrap what I picked up today ....
and hopefully finish up the pocketbook I am crocheting.
And maybe have a cup of vanilla eggnog
with a splash of Amaretto.
Would you care to join me?
PS  If you haven't already, you need to head over to see
Kelly and her awesome holiday shots!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

~ December . . .

. . . already?
There has been frost on the pumpkins
so I guess it's time to bring them in
and start getting the Christmas decorations up from the basement.
But first,
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
We headed up to New Hampshire and spent Thanksgiving with my family.
It was noisy, loud, crazy, hectic and wonderful.
Let me introduce you to my siblings.
Meet Annette.  She's the oldest of the bunch.
Since my Mom died she's kind of like the matriarch of the family.
She has 3 children, 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
Meet Terry.  She's the third of the bunch.
She likes to laugh and have a good time.
She has 3 children and 6 grandchildren.
Meet Irene. 
We worry about her.   She has severe asthma and COPD.
She's rushed to the hospital at least every couple of months because she can't breathe.
But she's a trouper.
She has 2 children and 4 grandchildren.
Meet Robert.   The "baby" of the family.
Spoiled rotten by 5 sisters.
He makes me laugh so dang hard that I pee my pants.
Sometimes we just look at each other and burst out laughing.
I worry about him because he's not married and I hate that he's alone.
He doesn't seem to mind.
The pictures aren't the greatest ... we were all just goofing and laughing and
just whooping it up. 
The older I get ... the more I miss them.
I moved away when I was 19.
I miss never having the opportunity to just
stop by for tea or coffee ...
to call them up and say "hey, let's go shopping".
So, them there are the folks I spent Thanksgiving with.
Christmas is in a little over 3 weeks.
I break out into a sweat just thinking about all the things that I have to get done.
I haven't started decorating yet.
I haven't started Christmas shopping yet.
I am trying ... really hard ... not to stress out.
One thing I love about December
is the beautiful sunsets it presents.
Looked out to see this .....
and was in awe.
Absolutely beautiful.
Calmed me right down.
So,  I'm headed to the basement to drag all of the Christmas boxes up
to get ready to start decorating tomorrow ...
... after I go to the bank, to the market,
start some Christmas shopping, pay some bills ...
Now, where did I put my list?

Friday, November 22, 2013

~ "Delicious Autumn! ...

... My very soul is wedded to it
and if I were a bird
I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive Autumns."
~ George Eliot

1.  I can't help but be giddy in Autumn.  It has always been my favorite season.
September is the beginning of it's lovely being ....
October is just filled with Mother Nature showing off her awesome wardrobe
of golds and reds and yellows and burgundies ....
and November ....
ah! November is wrapped in shades of browns. 

2.  Of all the times to get out and about ...
autumn has spring and summer beat.
We won't talk about winter.
I just love the crispness of the weather ...
the clear blue skies ...
Sure, nature is turning brown and some may even say dying.
I like to think of it as nature is just taking a nap ...
getting her beauty sleep.
3.  I interrupted a bird snacking on these berries.
4.  This almost reminds me of a snowflake.
Note to self:  Go back in the spring and find out what this looks like.
5.  But the day wasn't all autumn brown.
We headed to the shore to visit my brother-in-law who is recovering nicely
from having surgery last week.
The special treat when we got there was his grandson was visiting.
So, let me introduce you to Tom's great-nephew
 Jackson Ferris Chapps.
We all call him "Captain Jack"
He'll add some brightness to anyone's day!
Playing over at Nancy's
Ahoy, matey!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

~ "Only from the heart ....

.... can you touch the sky."
~ Rumi

Most of the trees are bare. 
Some still have a few leaves clinging on until the last possible moment.
And then the leaves fall from the branches and scurry along ....
like children jumping from their parents' arms to run and play.
This week it has been colder than a witch's you-know-what!!
30 degrees during the day and it got down to 15 degrees at night
 .... uhhh excuse me, Mother Nature
but it's only November .... not January/February!
But last week we were blessed with 60+ degree weather.
I went out for a walk.  Not far.  Actually, just across the street.
There's a piece of land that belongs to the town.
Most of it is weeds.
I've walked by there hundreds of times .... but this time I noticed
the milkweed pods.

I stayed in this area for the longest time .... completely captivated
by the beauty of these pods releasing their seeds.
I've seen these fuzzy things floating around
but I just didn't realize what they were.
And now for my Random 5
1.  Christmas is in 39 days!
Let the stressing begin.
2.  I went to Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts this week.
I had three 60% off coupons, one 50% off coupon and two 40% off coupons ...
they let me use them all in one transaction!   Score!!!!!!
3.  I started to crochet again .... making a handbag for my niece-in-law for Christmas.
4.  I refuse to put up any Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving.
Some years I go crazy .... some years I put up as little as I can get away with.
And then I want the decorations down by New Year's Day!
Wonder what I'll feel like this year?  Hhhhmmmm!
5.  Tom has been asking me what I want for Christmas.
Specifically camera stuff.
My mind is a blank.
What would be on your "Wish List"?
Checking it twice.

Friday, November 8, 2013

~ I Won ...

... the giveaway at Timewashed
Back in September, Becky at Timewashed had a giveaway.
All we had to do was leave a comment on her post and a winner would be picked.
When I checked her blog a few weeks later ....
whoop, there it was!
My name.  Announced as the "winner".
I was ecstatic! 
And you'll see why.

 I won this gorgeous wire-basket filled with her handmade fabric pumpkins.
Are you sighing as deeply as I am? 
I fell in love with these the second I saw them on her blog ....
never thinking that I would be lucky enough to win them!
(She does sell them in her Etsy shop).
The basket alone would have been the grand-prize in my eyes
 but she filled it with not one, not two, not even three!
She filled it with four gorgeous fabric pumpkins.
Each pumpkin wearing its own little jewel on its stem!
Makes me ooohhh and aaahhh!
I want to keep them out ALL.YEAR.LONG!!!!!
And then....because she's awesome.... she added this little beauty
A jute pear!!!!  Holy fall foliage!!!!
I was absolutely giddy!
If you get a chance, please hop on over to her blog.
Be prepared to be stunned!
And now, it's time for Random 5 Friday.

1.  Daylight Saving Time.   Phooey!  Why must we keep doing this?
Fall back ... Spring forward.
Who the heck came up with that?

2.  It now gets dark by 5:00 p.m. .... soon it will be pitch dark by 4:30 p.m.!

3.  I'm also not fond of the time switch in the Spring.
I don't mind it staying lighter later ... but when it's still bright as day out
at 8:30 p.m. .... well, I'm not a fan.
I like it when August hits and the sun sets around 7:00-ish. 

4.  This year I remembered to put all of our clocks back one hour.
I was so dang proud that I remembered all of them
and that I didn't complain once!
I was actually humming while completing this task.

5.  And shortly after I finished resetting the last clock .... the power went out.
It came right back on but it was out just long enough so that I had to go and reset all the clocks.
Just my luck.

This time I wasn't humming.
This time I pissed, whined and moaned.


Friday, November 1, 2013

~ My Heart ...

... is heavy ...
for Kelly.
Some of you know Kelly and what she's been going through this year.
On Tuesday evening, October 29, 2013,
Sally Ann Crooks, Kelly's Mom,
lost her battle with cancer.
Kelly was there by her side.
I am going to dedicate my Random 5 Friday 
to Kelly.
1.  Kelly, I understand your pain.
I lost my mother ... back in 1984 ...
sometimes it feels like yesterday.
I am so sorry.
2.  It felt like it took forever before I could think of my Mom and not cry my eyes out.
I felt lost without her in my life.
I felt empty without her in my life.
The sense of loss was overwhelming.
But you will survive the grief.
And there will come the time when you will think about her
and you will smile.
"When you lose your parents,
the sadness doesn't go away.
It just changes." ~ Judi Watson
3.  Do not fight the grieving process.
Do not let anyone tell you that enough time has passed.
Or even that not enough time has passed.
Some days you may feel perfectly fine ...
other days you will feel like you are being shook like a storm.
"Life Lesson #3:  You can't rush grief.
It has its own timetable.
All you can do is make sure there are lots of soft places around -
beds, pillows, laps, arms."
~ Patti Davis
4.  Kelly, keep doing the things that you love to do.
Keep life going ... as difficult as it may feel at times.
It's what your Mom would want.
"Grief is love turned into an eternal missing."
~ Rosamund Lipton
5.  I spoke with Kelly yesterday.
She is my idol.  She is such a strong woman.
She told me how she held her Mom's hand through this journey.
She told me how she watched as her Mom took her last breath.
Her Mom was at peace.
Kelly was at peace.
Heaven has a new angel.

Kelly, I am here for you.
Whenever.  Whatever.  Forever.

Much love.

Friday, October 25, 2013

~ Happy Birthday ...

.... to my baby.
My son .... my baby .... will be 38 tomorrow (October 26th).
Thirty-eight!!!!  How the heck did that happen?
Where have the years gone?
1.  Here is his birth announcement. 
We spotted it while shopping one day but I didn't want to buy it yet.
We didn't know what we were having and although we both secretly
hoped for a boy
we didn't want to jinx it by buying it ahead of time.
So, after Keith was born and we were settled in our room for the night
my husband went out and drove 45 minutes away to buy
the announcements.
What a guy!!!
2.  My water broke while we were at a Halloween Party.
Yes, I was in costume.
I was dressed as a nun.
3.  Labor didn't start right away.  It felt like it took forever.
In fact, it was taking its sweet time so much that they decided
to wheel me up to my room to wait around up there.
Once in my room I announced I had to pee.
I tinkled and labor started immediately.
It started up so fast and furious that the nurse thought I was kidding.
She checked. 
Baby was crowning.
They plop me on a gurney and they are speeding down the hall ...
into the elevator ... down another hall ... 
and to the delivery room.
Just in time!
4.  Once in the delivery room it was a blink or two and ....
... this little guy was born!
Labor started at 10:30 a.m. ...
Keith was born at 11:59 a.m!!!
5.  Giving birth is quite the experience.
The range of emotions you go through during and after
is beyond description.
The same goes for motherhood.
It's an emotional occupation.
I worry that I haven't been the best mother that I could have been.
I still worry about him ....
is he okay?  Is he safe?  Is he healthy?
I can't take him by the hand anymore
and steer him away from things that aren't good.
He's a grown man.
He has his own life .... his own choices .... his own decisions.
Happy Birthday, Keith!
Played along with Nancy and  Random 5 Friday

Friday, October 18, 2013

~ Let's Meditate .....

... and I found the perfect spot to do this.

I was out and about ... just me and my "friend" ... and came across this porch.
It looked so inviting ... so peaceful.
I thought "What a great place to just sit and meditate."
It even has the items used for meditation tucked in the corner.
How convenient!
So, let's quietly head onto the porch and grab a chair and sit and meditate on our
Random 5 Friday!

1.  I had a much better week.  I am coming down from my pity party and ...
well ... I am starting to think about my lessons learned from this lost friendship.
And there are a few many.  But I won't get into them now.

"The moment you feel like you have to prove your worth to someone
is the moment to absolutely and utterly walk away."
~ Alysia Harris

2.  I had my physical on Wednesday ... my annual "look under the hood".
Physically, I am doing well ... for my age (snort!).
I had a Bone Density Scan and Doc says I have
a very very very mild case of osteoporosis ... nothing to worry about ...
right now.
So, I have to stock up on yogurt ... discipline myself to take my calcium pills ...
and sadly I will have to put away my stripper pole.
Can't take a chance of falling off it and breaking a bone.
Just kidding!!! 
I did speak to Doc about my state of mind ... and with winter just around the corner
(brrrrrr......shiver me timbers!) I wasn't sure if last season's
sadness was just a fluke or if I really do have SAD.
So, we decided to go forward with medication on a trial basis.
I'm fine with that.
If it works ... yippee!!!
If it doesn't ... well, we'll discuss that if we get there.

"Eat healthily, sleep well, breathe deeply, move harmoniously."
~ Jean Pierre Barrel

3.  Isn't October a beautiful month?
Absofrigginlutely beautiful.
Its crispness.  Its colors.  Its smells.  Its sounds.

"There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on
and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings as October."
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

4.  October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Most of us probably know someone who has battled/is battling with this monster.
I had been neglecting getting a yearly mammogram.
The last time I had one was ... ummmm ... about 8 years ago!
But this year I decided to stop being a wimp and git 'er done!
I did.
I'm fine.
So, get out there and get those ta-tas squished ... it only smarts for a second.

"When life kicks you, let it kick you forward."
~ Kay Yow

5.  I need to get my groove back. 
I need to start picking up the things that I used to enjoy.
Reading.  Photography.  Knitting.  Crocheting.  Crafting.
I need to pull out all of my craft paraphernalia and give myself
a shot in the arm and just craft my little butt off.
Stop stressing.  Start crafting.
Yup!  Imma gonna do that.

"Give your stress wings and let it fly away." ~ Terri Guillemets

Alrighty then!
Let's start meditating ...



Friday, October 11, 2013

~ We Meet Again ....

Gonna do it up a little differently today.
Starting with the bottom ....
5.   Yup!  I changed up my blog look ... again!
I wanted to give it a little "Halloween" look.  Did I succeed? 
Don't worry ... it'll change again next month.
To what?  Hhhmmmmm......Not sure.
Why can't I just find something I like and just stick with it? 
4.   I am seeing birds around my feeder less and less as the weather
gets cooler and cooler.
I may just keep the feeder out through the winter just in case a fine feathered
friend decides to stop by for a little snack.
3.  Dear Blogging Friends ...  I want to thank all of you for your wonderful support
during my lost friendship last week.   Wow!
I received so many lovely comments and e-mails.  I was overwhelmed!
Having the door closed on one friendship led me back to a friend
that I had been neglecting for too long.
This friend is there whenever I need a friend.
I can push this friend's buttons and this friend doesn't get upset
and shut me out.   Nope!
This friend lets me make mistakes.  Yup!
Say hello to my little friend ....
2.  My "friend" and I took advantage of a gorgeous day and headed out the door.
I grabbed some props and looked for the perfect spot.
As I put the items down on the ground and was changing the settings on the camera,
I accidentally clicked the button and ....
took this....
... and I did  not notice the visiting Mr.DaddyLongLegs until I looked at the shot on the computer!
I just love it when stuff like that happens!!!
1.  This one is for Kelly. 
We've been cyber friends for a few years now.
We've never met in person.  We will......someday.
Kelly has been having a really tough year.  Really tough.
To add to her burden, she just found out her Mother has cancer.
 Please visit Kelly and give her hugs.
Dear Kelly,
Saying "I'm sorry" just doesn't seem like enough.
I wish I could do or say more to help you through this difficult time.
I wish I could find Aladdin's Lamp and wish away all of the pain and sorrow
that you are facing.
Know that I am here for you .... always.
Text me anytime.
Call me if you ever want to talk or scream....I'll listen.
And if the pain is too strong ... and you can't talk ... or scream ... but can only cry
then FaceTime me.
I'll put the phone on my shoulder
and let you cry on it
for as long as you need.

Friday, October 4, 2013

~ A Question....A Comment....

.... injured a friendship.
I am still in disbelief.
I have been crying off and on since yesterday.
I have read and re-read the email at least a dozen times.
I am confused.  I am hurt.
Shouldn't we be able to say pretty much anything to a true friend?
Not a hurtful thing .... but an opinion?
A thought?
A "this is how I felt" comment?
I said these things to open the door for more conversation about what happened.
NOT to close it.
She said I closed it.   I didn't.
My door is still open.
"Where do they go,
the people who sail into our lives
like green leaves
and disappear like snow." ~ Rod McKuen
1.'s been a tough couple of days.
I lost a good friend....a best friend. 
It doesn't matter who was right ... or who was wrong.
The door has been closed to that friendship
over something that happened six months ago!!!!
Over a comment about how I felt at that time.
Over being honest.
I have been crying all day. 
I have that "ugly cry" look.  
It is not flattering.
2.  I'd call my friend  ex-friend
but I'll only cry and won't be able to say a single word coherently.
3.  I wonder if she knows how hurt I am?
I wonder if she is as hurt as I am?
How can a friendship that I thought was so deep just dissolve
over .... what???  Seriously, what???
I want to roll up my sleeves and talk it out.
She has opted to "go our separate ways". 
4.  Is this friendship even fixable? 
"If the other person in the friendship is worth it,
then the broken friendship can be fixed,
no matter what." ~ Anonymous
Is that true?
I just don't know.
What I do know is that I am Hurting.Like.Hell right now.
I go from sad to angry to sad to angry......
5.  She blames me for "closing the door" on the friendship but to me
she slammed it shut.

It's sad when people you know
become people you knew.

Crying my eyes out over at Nancy's


Friday, September 27, 2013

~ Berry Burst ....

..... before I tell you about Berry Burst
let me first say that I try to do my best.
1.  I walk 4.25 miles 5 days a week.  
It takes me an hour. 
2.  I feel GREAT after a walk.   I think its a combination of the
endorphin rush and listening to music while I walk. 
Note to self:   I probably should stop singing while I walk .....
a.  I can't carry a tune
b.  I swallowed a bug this week.  
Yay!  Protein!!!
3.  With that matter how much walking I do....
no matter how much hula hooping I do.....
why is my waist still expanding? 
They say that the average woman's waist is 34.4 inches.....
7 inches larger than 50 years ago!
I used to have a svelte 28 inch waist.
What the heck happened???? 
One day.....I looked at myself......saw my waist line and said
"How did my mother get here?"  
Right now I am above average with my waist measurement.
Do I get a prize for that?
4.  I really try to eat reasonably healthy.
I've eaten my share of salads .....
veggies .....
They say you are what you eat.
The thing is, I really don't overeat AND I really watch my portions.
I'm stuck at @*# lbs.
Sometimes it's just downright depressing!!!
5.   So ..... instead of punishing myself
day after day after day after day
rarely  occasionally  generously treat myself to .....
drum roll please ..... ♫
♪  ......a Berry Burst Oreo!!!!!!!!!!
Oh yeah!!!!
You know you want one.
I think they're a summer special .....
.... they are delicious
and so well worth the guilt.
Heck, they are so decadent that they deserve
to be served up with one of those luxury napkins.
'nuff said.....
grab a cookie!!!
Played along with Nancy at "A Rural Journal"

Friday, September 20, 2013

~ It's Fall Y'all .....

....well, at least it will be on Sunday.
Fall.  My favorite season.
For so many reasons.
One of them being Butternut Squash Bisque.
At the first sign of crisp fall air, apple cider and apple cider donuts
I get the urge to make Butternut Squash Bisque.
The original recipe was found here allrecipes
Although it was yummy,
I decided to doctor it up a bit.
So, get that apron on ... pull out your soup pot and let's get started!
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter in a large pot over medium heat.
Throw in 1/2 cup (or more) of diced onion and cook until tender.
Throw in about half a small bag of baby carrots and 4 cups
of peeled and cubed butternut squash.
Now, I have struggled with peeling and cubing that bad boy
I now buy the squash already peeled and cubed.
Now, here's where I changed it up a little.
I also add 2 small or 1 large Cortland apple (peeled and cut)
and 1 large sweet potato (peeled and cut).
Then pour in 3 to 4 cups of stock. 
This recipe calls for vegetable stock.
I've also made it with chicken stock or beef stock.
I really didn't notice much of a difference in the taste.
Oh!  And season with salt and pepper (to taste)
nutmeg (to taste)!
Yup!  Nutmeg!
Bring this to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer until everything becomes tender.
I know, it looks mushy .... but that's okay.
Now, remove the pot from the stove and grab your hand blender (or food processor)
and puree the heck out of it ... until it looks smooth and thick.
I usually find that using my left hand to control the hand blender
allows me to use my right hand to ....
wipe down the splatters I just made....
or sip on a glass of wine....
or make a phone call....
or wave to the neighbor.... that that's all pureed,
return the pot to the stove and stir in 1/2 cup of heavy cream (optional).
Stir and heat (but don't boil).
♫ Ta-da ♪
You are done!!!!
Get yourself a cup (or bowl), fill it up with the Butternut Squash Bisque,
add a little (or a lot) of nutmeg,
tear apart some French bread and dig in!!!!
Huh?  Huh??
Is that good or what? 
Okay, so while you're eating that
let me tell you about this week's
with Nancy:
1.  I don't particularly like to cook ... I KNOW, RIGHT???
You'd think with the above masterpiece that I would be a chef!!!!
2.  I don't like grocery shopping ...
3.  .... and I tend to buy crap stuff even if we don't need it.
Why do I do that?  Why did I need to purchase that jar of applesauce?
So I could place it next to the two jars I already have?
4.  I cannot pass a craft store.  I have to go in.
I'm like a dog marking my territory ... up and down every aisle.
Sniffing everything.  
I need to get a grip!
5.  I do love a bargain.  And coupons.
And saying "I couldn't afford NOT to buy it."
What does that mean????