Saturday, September 24, 2011

Good Grief, It's September!

When I finally decided that I needed to write, to post, to spew out my thoughts, I couldn't get my password straight. There is nothing easy about this blogger account. And with all of the passwords stored in my head, this site was very safe from ME!!!
So, what's going on in my life? A new love for Christ! Lots of Bible studies! And wonderfully funny precious stories about the grands! Those children, all children, are so precious!!! Thank you, God! Thank you for little children!!!
So I was talking to 5 year old Hankie last week, trying my darnedest on the telephone to make conversation, and I said, "So Hank, (knowing that he was getting ready to leave for a soccer game), "How is soccer going?"

Hank replied, "Well, I don't know, Nana, I am not there."

Then when his mother told me that he had been tossed out of speech because every time the therapist got one problem corrected, Hankie came up with a new one, I realized that this little guy is as smart as a button and enjoys "playing" us.

Hank is still wanting a cellphone, which he said he "needed" before starting kindergarten. Now he wants it for Christmas. If Dad won't let the boys have iPods or hand held games, the chance of a cellphone is as remote as the moon for this child.

Three year old Charlie Rose told Mama this morning that her favorite part about the first half of the football game last night was watching "Papa" crown the homecoming queen. I have no doubt. But as Hubs said, she sure appeared to be enjoying the hot dog that she had, too. Mama also said that Ms. Maria, who took ChaChee to the game, commented that ChaChee appeared to work the crowd as if she were running for mayor. Oh my!

I haven't heard much from the oldest two grands. They are busy with school, home work, and sports. The youngest one, Ms. Ellie Grey is working on getting some teeth in that little mouth and standing. She has no desire to walk, at this time. And we already know that she is a pro at texting at the tender age of 13 months. She got hold of my cellphone when I was last visiting and managed to get in a few calls. LOL!!!

Since I last posted my golf game has improved considerably. We won the 9 hold Scramble last Friday in the pouring down rain with high 50's, which came close to throwing me in to a wonderful case of bronchitis. Praise God for saving me from that!

But during my last golf lesson, something went "click" and suddenly I can get my drives in the air. It is the most exciting thing for me!!! It is life altering. I want to play golf daily now. One day this week, we got rained out, but I did manage to get in 9 holes yesterday

Must run for now, as the market (ha ha) calls for the ingredients for a salad for tonight's dinner.

Blessings on your day!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Another Month: The Dog Days of Summer

Like never before in my lifetime, the dog days of summer that my mother always commented upon, but never experienced to my knowledge, are here.  Record temperatures all over the state are being broken by new highs on a daily basis.  Today we registered a high of 112.  It is hard to motivate oneself to do anything with the heat so bad.

I am getting ready for Emily's visit and preparing for upcoming church events.  So, yes, the errands needed to be completed.  Undies for Undie Sunday and the fixing's for Emily's favorite casserole.

I purchased socks for our own little boys and underwear and some PJ's for Charlie Rose.  I have some new bags for Em and books for Ellie Grey.

I've returned calls, made calls, and have more errands for tomorrow.  The days all seem to run together.  Where is the fun that I am supposed to be having?

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A Walk on the Wild Side?

So last night before bed, already in our jammies with the alarm set, Hubs says, "Do you wanna see what's makin' all of that noise outside?"

I, of course, had heard him say that I wouldn't believe how small the frogs were that make that huge sound near our water feature, but I hadn't seen them.

So, clad in monkey bottoms for him and soft blue for me, we took a walk in the pitch black, shining a dinky flashlight to show our steps on the path.  Have I mentioned that we are surrounded by woods on three sides?

The entire time I was out there I was seeing headlines in our local paper reading, "Couple snake bitten at night while walking in the woods."  It paints an embarrassing picture, in my humble opinion.

Looking back at it, the adventure was worth the fear that it instilled in me.  There were two of those tiny dudes croaking it out as loud as their little 2" bodies would allow.  And if I hadn't seen their tiny size for myself, I wouldn't have believed it.

Hubs is just full of surprises.  He never ceases to amaze me.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Skipping the Month of May

Yep, it is true.  May skipped right through my life.  That's what happens as one gets older.  The days don't just pass any longer, they truly fly!

The bad weather that we had here in the Village and around the United States didn't help.  For awhile we were focused on our own area here after at least one tornado touched down destroying hundreds of trees and damaging a great deal of property very near us.

Then our company began coming, and the days went faster than flying; they went at warp speed.  That's what happens when you enjoy spending time with loved ones and good friends.  The time goes faster.

It is now three families and ten days later, and the company is over for awhile.  It was so enjoyable that we didn't even mind the extra laundry and are now quite adept at getting the guest room ready for the next crew.

The new thing in my life is my struggle with God's will and the resolution that I found in a book one of our pastors recommended.  The Will of God  seems to be just the book that I need to explain the on-going question of bad things happening to good people.

And I have a time management problem that is not abating.  I need to work on that, as well as work on taking off the pounds that are finding their way on to my mid-section as I spend more time cooking and entertaining.  Of course, I love everything, so even if I cooked liver and onions, I would gain weight.

My golf game is gradually improving.  I am hoping that my handicap goes down at a steady rate.  Perhaps I could get my weight and handicap down at the same rate of speed.

Hubs and I did a great walk this morning in our neighborhood.  We met the most people out doors walking and working in their yards than ever before.  I think that it is because it is a holiday weekend, and there appear to be many visitors in the area enjoying this beautiful place that we are now calling "Paradise."

We are hosting our monthly card group for dinner and cards tonight.  I'm making Ashley's Angel Chicken over Angel Hair Pasta, Jackie's Crunchy Salad, Mrs. Stutzman's homemade whole wheat rolls, and an angel food cake "frosted" with layers of a combination of Cool-whip, crushed pineapple, and a box of vanilla pudding mix.  It promises to be a good dinner. ; -)

Blessings on you and yours,

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday: A day for Sunday School Class Potluck

With our own family so far away and spread out over three additional states, I found myself wanting to do something special with the wonderful "family" whom we call a Sunday School class.  So, weeks ago, I surveyed to find an appropriate "potluck" date (we are Methodists, you know) and started planning.  Today was the culmination of that planning with a few curve balls thrown in for flavor and good story telling.

Earlier in the week I went to town to "shop."  Now going "to town" is not a little thing to me, because it involves what I now consider "traffic."  Remember that we moved here from the Dallas Metroplex where they invented "traffic!"  That traffic makes Hot Springs look like a comedy by comparison.

I, who do not like to shop, made so many stops that I can not count them.  I made planned and unplanned stops, which confuses the issue of remembering.  Thank goodness that I had on comfortable shoes and a list of Hubs needed gardening items.

It was a beautiful day (obviously before the Big Cold hit AGAIN).  I came home with plants, plants, plants, a few groceries, an oil cloth for the dining table (the only thing that I could find - had to have it cut) to cover the long, long, long, table that we purchased for Family Dinners, and some knitting supplies.

Hubs was having fun golfing in the mornings and planting at night and then, the Big Storm came.  The Big Storm killed 7 people in our state in one night.  It felled trees on lots, streets, and houses.  And the Big Storm made a lot of additional work for Hubs.

The storm saddened my heart, as 3 of the dead in the storm were children.  I know that they are in a better place, but it is still hurtful to me.

With the storm over, I decided that the pollen was gone and that I could finally tackle the back facing windows of our home.  And that I did with little pain and great gain.  I think that I did a great job and that "said" windows look good.

Hubs went to the really Big City of Little Rock and picked up a large honey-baked ham for the potluck.  That was our main dish taken care of.

I systematically cleaned and organized in the house all week so that I wouldn't end up at the end of the week in a panic.  That was surprisingly smart of me! 

Being a great fan of Erma Bombeck and believing in the philosophy of using what you have, I polished silver, silver plate, and got out the flatware.  With pottery and china and all of the various tableware, I made place settings for 18 without using any paper products except for 12 white napkins.  I had enough cloth ones, but they are green and don't match the blue china.

I made the easy potato casserole after playing cards with friends last night.  The cake (molten chocolate) was put in the microwave when we arrived home from church around 11:45 am today, and the rolls (Amish whole wheat rolls from the Farmer's Market) were placed in the oven to heat.

The food was awesome!  There was absolutely nothing that was not first place fair worthy (remember it was a Methodish potluck)!

It was so much fun to visit with these wonderful people who have come together in this new class for the past seven months to learn more about our awesome God.

Hubs enjoyed showing off his garden and his plants, and I just enjoyed wonderful people enjoying themselves. 

After our friends had left for their own homes and activities, I gave thanks to God for a beautiful day and bounty that made it possible for us to share.  While we here in our little world have so much, there are others who do not.  And I think that part of the reason that I love these people so much is that they are all a part of making our world a better place for all people.  It truly was the best beginning for Holy Week that I can imagine.

Dear God, I thank you for this beautiful day, for sending your son to save us from the woes of this world in which we live, and for friends who really are such wonderful, caring people.  Thank you for sharing your universe with us, for leading us to Christ, for being our beacon in the dark.  I appreciate your presence in our midst as you share with us in our Lenten journey.  In Christ's name, Amen.

P.S.  Thanks for the nap, too, God.  It was so refreshing!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Don't Ask Where This Post Was Tucked Away

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 (This should be before the one that follows it)

Today's Date: Parents' Anniversary

Today would mark the anniversary of my parents' wedding day, if they were both still alive. Daddy died after a very brief battle with leukemia in 1993, the same year that our youngest child graduated from high school, moved most of her belongings to a dorm on the Baylor campus, and was the foreshadowing of my husband's 5 way by-pass. It was a difficult time for me, when I look back upon it.

If I have done the math correctly, today would mark anniversary number 62 for my parents. There are so many couples here in the Village that make it that long and longer, that it doesn't seem as if it could be so hard, but the human body is susceptible to diseases and accidents, as well as the ability to get along with a spouse for that number of years. I am thankful that my parents enjoyed the 48 years that they did have together.

I have learned from numerous hard lessons that today is to enjoy, to celebrate, to give thanks and praise, because no matter how much we plan, organize, etc., ultimately, our time is not our own. Our lives can be snatched in the blink of an eye. That's what Erma Bombeck was trying to tell the world. Don't save things away for rainy days or holidays or special days. Use your china, your linens, your best because there may not ever come a time to enjoy it.

This last week was one of those long, wonderful, God-like experiences for me. It was, undoubtedly, one of the best visits that we have ever shared with our youngest child and her family. The children were ours to hold, hug, read to, listen to, play with, etc. It was just delightful! And while I potty-trained the two and a half year old and comforted the teething infant, my husband hauled sand, rocks, and pea gravel to make a patio, painted the entire back porch, and did landscaping. There was almost no television, little Internet (compared to my usual), and not much in the way of newspapers.... But it was life at its best!

Instead of starting off with my usual litany of wants and needs to today, I began my day with thanksgiving. Our God is so generous with us. He loves us so big and wide that it is mind-boggling. Thank you, God! Thank you for sun and rain, clouds and sky, night and day. Thank you for precious little ones to bring us back to reality. Thank you for infants who suffer with sore gums because we can give you praise that they have full tummys, safe havens in which to live, and good parents to look out after them.

It has been awhile since I have felt so blessed. If I were a kitten, I'd be purring. If I were an infant, I'd be smiling in my sleep. But I am a very blessed sister, wife, mother, Nana, and friend. I am so incredibly enriched by people in my life. Lent this year has brought me that realization. It is the people that matter, and I am richly blessed with people.

Blessings on you all, because if this lands in your hands, then you have given me the priceless gift of your friendship and support. And I am thinking of you.


April Has Arrived: Did Spring Come, Too?

At first many of us were beginning to think that we had skipped spring. I mean it is a bit awkward going from corduroy pants one day to shorts later in the same week. But we are mere mortals, and the weather remains a mystery to us.

In the meantime, during all of that cold, then rain, and sun, our more mature herb garden "popped" into full growth. Coward that I am, I was almost afraid to stick my hand down into the luxurious growth earlier this week to weed for fear of coming up with a snake.

One friend here in the Village posted a picture of a snake that was in their drive recently and another told of an encounter between her small pup and a pygmy rattlesnake. I found myself even fearful touching lush pots of blooming flowers at the nursery yesterday. The nursery is in a wooded area. What "if" a snake had found its way into one of the pots I purchased? I thought of it all the way home. What would I do, how would I react, if a snake slithered by my foot as I was driving home along the curving narrow roads. This is one of those places when I would not ask myself, "What would Jesus do?" Oh, no, Jesus would come no where near being the "girl" who is me. I would scream, lift my feet, and probably wreck my car. Along one lonely stretch of back roads with no houses, I even wondered how long it would be until someone came along and found me. With an imagination like mine, no wonder I fear so many things... Even now I am imagining that a small snake "could have" slithered under the workings of the driver's seat. Oh, imagination of mine!

Yesterday was a bountiful haul from my shopping (which I do not really enjoy): a vanity stool for the bathroom, herbs, veggies, and flowers for our gardens, groceries for the pantry, and a piece of oil cloth, yes oil cloth, for our table. We have a table that extends to 102" without any "drop" or allowance for hem. I finally decided that the best way to go was with the oil cloth. It is white, flannel lined, and should look lively with our old, almost 44 year old, white trimmed with blue, china. I am determined to use "real" plates and silver when our Sunday school class meets for a potluck on Sunday.

While I was trying to wear myself out last night, well pass midnight, I began a book our daughter had suggested, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God. The jury is still out. She thought it was awesome. I'm not feeling the love for this book yet, but perhaps it will come. I read one chapter of that, then switched to my "other" bedtime story, which did tire me. It's the description of a volunteer position that I've agreed to take on for the United Methodist Women at my church. I poured over the materials and still can't figure out what it is that I am supposed to be doing for my part. This is where I turn to God to lead me. I know that it will be okay, because in looking over the last few years' minutes, there were no reports from the people who had this position... Perhaps I have not over extended myself, as I had feared. After that, I went to bed and fell asleep immediately. A word to the wise: find the right reading material to make you sleepy.

It is possible that I'll get to see the little granddaughters when I go to my Relay for Life later this month. Their mom is considering meeting me there. That is a delight to ponder. Love those grandchildren!
And then next month, the middle child, who is turning 40, is marking her Big Event with a Big Event. She is going to participate in an one-half Ironman Marathon. I'm not sure about all of that, but I do know that she has struggled with two injuries during training, so she has been on my mind. That trip will allow me to see the two little grandsons. What side bonuses I am finding in life! That race is in Florida, so I will fly there and leave the Hubs as house guardian. He doesn't mind, as he can play continuous golf.

Our oldest, the only boy, has passed through the stages of life that his sisters are now enduring. His daughter is a freshman in high school and fairly independent. I don't think that he is plagued with carpools, after school activities, etc, as they live so near the school that the granddaughter can easily walk or bike.
And sometime this summer we will get to tour Nova Scotia with the oldest granddaughter, which should just be pure joy for all of us involved.

I am in love with this stage of my life. It is a good season for both my husband and me. God is good!

Friday, April 01, 2011

It's Friday! How Much Faster a Week Goes With Children!!!

It is true.  The days fly by when one is in the presence of children.  They are truly one of God's greatest gifts.  I never remember potty training being this much fun with our own children.  Challenging, yes, but not fun.  The cute things they say.  The disappointments when there is an accident.  The realization that a reward has been loss.  The pride in a job well done.  I thank God for this day and this week.  I truly have enjoyed watching the process of potty training from a different perspective.

My little granddaughter, who will be three in June, is delightful.  Her vocabulary is so cute and funny.  I just enjoy listening to her conversations and delight in her questions.  She is curious about so many things.  We couldn't find her special lovey (sp) for her to sleep with tonight.  At the tender age of two, with Momma and Daddy on a rare date night, she said, "Well, I'll use this one (meaning her special leopard print with silk edging) from her Aunt Amy.  It was enough to rip my heart into pieces. 

The infant sat so quietly for me to read "The Big Red Barn."  Then when I put her down to sleep, she didn't make a peep.  How different these children are from our own three! 

I recently heard a therapist ask a grandparent who was questioning her own parenting skills, "How are your grandchildren?"  When the grandparent replied that they were wonderful, the therapist replied, "Then you must have done a pretty good job with your own parenting."

There is no greater gift that God can give than His son, His love, His children for us to love on.  Thank you, God!!!