Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Life's Tough...

Wudda u lookin at?
Put a log on the stinkin fire already!
And oh yeah...
Happy New Year to Ya'll

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Rendition of Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY December 30, 2008...

Outside my window the sun is shining brightly against the blue sky...


I am thinking of why did I write the wrong address on my sister's Christmas card as it was returned to us this morning...


I am thankful for the roof over my head, the food we have to eat, and the family that means so much...


From the kitchen there is an almost empty pot of coffee that may need replenishing...


I am wearing a purple fuzzy fleece pajamas that kept me warm and cozy last night...


I am creating a wonderful Christmas Box for my friend, Kate...


I am going to make for dinner my husband's favorite Dutch recipe, sauerkraut with mashed potatoes...


I am reading Wicked...


I am hoping that we get word very soon that "Walter" is retiring so that my husband can start working...


I am hearing the tv sounds in the background as my husband channel surfs...



Around the house the Christmas decorations have but a few more days before they go back into hiding until next year...


One of my favorite things is lighting candles at night...candles change everything...


A few plans for the rest of the week is to lie low and stay out of trouble...


Here is picture thought I am sharing...
This is my first entry in the Simple Woman's Daybook.

If you'd like to participate, visit this site

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday...and This Is All I Got!

Almost two years ago, my husband and I were shanghaied on Interstate 10 in New Mexico. While everyone sat in their cars or trucks...I made lunch in the RV.
Yes, I made this snowball. It is not perfectly round, but I didn't see the Snowmen Police anywhere around.
Where is that sweater? Hmm...

Can you tell what this is? I mean, besides snow.
Look closer.
It's a Snow Angel made by my husband.

He's a big kid at heart. What husband isn't?

Am I right?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

And The Winner Is.....

Here is the Christmas box that I am making with lots of love.
It is slightly different from the one I sent my sister (umm...she thought I bought it...duhh).
None the less, I love the green version as well.
Hubby helped me with this undertaking. I read off the names from the comment section and he wrote them all down. Next, I checked every one's blogs to see who linked the Give A Way and they received an extra ticket.

Hubby takes his job very seriously. Did I tell you...he chuckled at some of the names you ladies have on your blogs! AsthmaGirl? Country Girl? Well, he just doesn't get "us".
I wished that I could make a Christmas box for everyone....but that would be very difficult.
And the winner is.....

Country Girl!

Imagine how lovely her fantastic photos will look in my little gift.

Kate, be sure to email me so I can mail this little treat out to you next week.

Time's Up

I'm off to tabulate the findings.
Where is my Ernst & Young accountant?
I hope the winner likes my green theme!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Traditions...And Some New Ones

Christmas memories are different for everyone. Some families have Christmas Tacos. Other families have traditional turkey and stuffing. Others even travel over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house.
For me, I love to set a grand table. I want my family to expect the very best on the table because after all, they are worth every bit of effort I exude.

Over the past 20 years, I have collected Lenox Holiday China. Due to the expense, it takes a person that long to collect a complete setting for 12. Just between you and I...I didn't find all of my china, but there was enough for us to enjoy.

Being the oldest daughter, I was lucky enough to inherit my mother's sterling silver. I have been known to have as many as 3 forks and 3 spoons, but this year with all of the unpacking going on, I scaled back.

The linens on my table were gifted to me by my mother in law. I couldn't have selected a more perfect pattern if I choose it myself.

The red water goblets were purchased years ago at Crate N Barrel. Over the years a few have broke, but two years ago, my daughter and son in law found a couple of glasses that were a perfect match.

The plate chargers were a gift from a dear friend. The deep cranberry red perfectly compliments the entire table. My wine glasses were a gift from my dear sister.

In years past, I usually have a complete candle extravaganza as my table scape. It is so elaborate that we keep a phone near by in case we have to call 911! Since there are at least 8 boxes of "dining room" not unpacked yet, I was not able to bestow the table scape I had imagined. Don't worry, there's always next year.

This year, my entire menu consisted of Tyler Florence's Prime Rib, Cornish Hens with Sage Butter, Roasted New Potatoes with Rosemary, Cream of Spinach and Cream of Pearl Onions. This was all topped off with Pioneer Woman's delicious Rum Cake.

I guess you can say I am one of those cooks who is a risk taker. (or is it whom?) I'll try a new recipe for a crowd anytime (except risotto..which I will never master).

Don't forget the Christmas Give A Way. There are less than 20hours left to enter.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merriment of the Season!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a spectacular time and celebrated the Birth of Our Lord in you own very special way.

Here's our whole family, sans my side, gathering on the couch for a photo.
Uncle Steven on the floor with his nephew playing the part of protective uncle!

One of Jack's presents had tissue paper in it. He played with the paper for at least 10 minutes squealing with joy! Oh, if you are wondering why there is a bottle of Purex behind Jack, it was a gag gift from my daughter and SIL. My husband lives for doing the laundry! If we are at their place for more than an hour, he finds their own laundry and starts the wash! A nice obsession to have...
Christmas is all about children. Jack was a delight to have around yesterday. He thought it was pretty cool, too.

I believe I must have practiced what I preached because I woke up with a whopper of a headache which should be classified as a migraine. Up at 9 this morning, I vaguely remember swallowing some Advil and the next thing I remembered was my hubby waking me at 1:00 this afternoon. Feeling better, but still having a dull headache remaining, I swallowed more pills in hopes for this to subside.

Don't forget about my Christmas Give A Way. Be sure to click on the link and add your comment if you haven't already! Today, I will begin creating the Christmas box for the pleasure of the winner!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Give A Way!!!


It's Christmas.

I'm feeling kind of giddy.

Because I'm going to do a give a way!


Here are the rules

1. Leave a message and get one chance to win.

2. Post a link on your blog about my blog Give A Way and get an extra ticket for the drawing. Don't forget to leave me a comment that you added a link on your blog.

3. Christmas box may be slightly different due to creative juices may vary on any particular day!

Contest ends Sunday, December 28Th, 2008 at noon EST.

Winner will be announced at approximately 6:00 PM on the 28Th.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Monday, December 22, 2008

An Accomplishment of Grand Proportions

Now, I am not bragging, but I accomplished everything on my to do list for Sunday. Yep! And it feels soooo good. Often, when I feel as if I'm running around with my head cut off, I have to just sit down and make a list. It may be simplistic, but for me, it works wonders.

I promised photos of the little box I am sending to my sister. That reminds me of the special gift that Kate received this year. Hmmm...there may be a theme here.

Here is the picture of the outside of the box. The Santa is actually 3 D, thanks to little pop dots. The box is sitting on extra paper as I didn't want you to see my cutting matt with all of its scars.

Note the hardware that actually works.

The inside of the box is lined with this vintage paper. Inside the box holds a stand up album.


My sister will go ga ga over this paper. I expect a call from her because she will want to wallpaper a room of her house with it.

I told you the album could stand up.


The cover ...

... a few of the pages...
I like to use all kinds of ephemera when creating little projects.
Did I mention that I have had this paper and box set for over 3 years?
No, huh. Well, I knew I would use it one day.
That day is here.
I am thinking of doing a give a way for one of these little Christmas albums.
That would be a grand idea, now wouldn't it?
Now don't get too excited...I can't make another one until after Christmas
but your photos will still be in your cameras anyway!
Watch for the Give A Way

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'm Taking Sunday Off From Blogging

Today, I have decided to take the Sunday off and not blog. Wait. I am blogging right now? Well, this one doesn't count.

Here's what I plan on doing today....

...finish making this pretty little Christmas box for my sister so I can mail it tomorrow (yes, there will be pictures...

...make a few Christmas cards to send to my family...

...Friendship bread is in the oven now...with two more loaves to go....

...getting my hair cut today at the salon my daughter goes to (you know how I feel about hair cuts...yes, I am nervous and I'm sure there will be a post)

...going to my daughter's home to watch the Falcons play...

...my darling SIL is making us dinner....

and that's it...

What are you doing? Oh, never mind...I'm not blogging today...I forgot

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oh Christams Tree....Oh My Christmas Tree!

Christmas traditions mean so very much to all of us. This year is very special for so many reasons. Mostly because this will be our grand baby's first Christmas, but because we are settled in a very nice apartment and we are close to our children again.
Back in 1972, my dear cousin, Lennie, who is older than my youngest aunt (my Grama was a hottie!), made this entire nativity set in ceramics class. This was her wedding shower present to my hubby and I. Although is has survived 36 years of Christmas's, it has a few chips and I think the donkey is missing an ear, but tell me, who doesn't have a few chips after 36 years of life!
I can remember exactly where I purchased this beautiful bulb, The Festival of Trees. Always a fund raiser for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, this event was always fun to visit. Many years past, you could drink in over 200 different trees. Sadly, this year, the event was downsized and moved out of Atlanta. No matter where the event is or the size of the number of trees, it still raises needed money for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

This ornament expresses happiness and sadness at the same time. Sadness because this year, I gave my daughter all of her ornaments that were purchased for her by her Oma & Opa, her Dutch grandparents. She can now enjoy them on her tree. On the other hand, this ornament and the many others that were gifted to my son are still on my tree. It is only a few years before I bestow upon my son and his future wife all of his ornaments. But with a growing family, comes another chapter of life and that means more grandchildren!

This ornament may be scratched and worn, but I love it all the same. This little bell came off of my childhood tree. Not a lot of things were rescued from my childhood, but somehow, this bell and another one just like it managed to come with me on my road through life. One year for Christmas, I sent the "sister" ornament to my baby sister with a little note of its history. She now proudly places her bell on her own tree.
It is my hope that all of you readers and friends enjoy those traditions in your family, whether it be of the Christmas celebration, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or even if you do not celebrate anything in December, just hold your family close to you this year.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Decorations ... Set?

Who came up with this lame idea?

I mean, what was behind the thought?

What was the person thinking?

There is just something wrong with an upside down Christmas tree.

Tell me what is the weirdest decoration you have in your home.

I don't think anything can top this...ummm...bottom this?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Trivial Thursday

Today....I got nothing. So I will resort to some fun emails and share with ya'll.

Don't ya just love getting these clever emails from your family and friends.

I get so many that often, I only open the ones in which the subject line looks interesting.

Being a cat lover, I particularly loved these two photos.

Sorry if you are offended by this acronym. You will just have to deal with it today.


If all goes well today, I may start baking.

Tonight, we will put up the tree.

I will reminisce about all of the ornaments as I hand them on the tree.

Probably have a tear or two...but with the drugs I'm on...I am much more in control these days.

Here is one email I received that could resolve our entire economic problems in the country.

Read On...

HOW BIG IS WAL-MART?

1 . At Wal-Mart, Americans spend $36,000,000 every hour of every day.
2 . This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!
3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) than Target sells all year.
4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target + Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined.
5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people and is the largest private employer. And most can't speak English
6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the World.
7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger & Safeway combined, and keep in mind they did this in only 15 years.
8. During this same period, 31 Supermarket chains sought bankruptcy (including Winn-Dixie).
9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.
10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are SuperCenters; this is 1,000 more than it had 5 years ago.
11. This year, 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at a Wal-Mart store. (Earth's population is approximately 6.5 billion.)
12. 90% of all Americans live within 15 miles of a Wal-Mart
13. Let Wal Mart bail out Wall Street!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ode to a Fireman


My husband was a volunteer fireman back in the 80's. He later joined our local fire department full time and became a paramedic. Until yesterday, these were all fond memories. But as I have been saying, unpacking every box has brought back a flood of memories that I thought were filed away until that day when my life flashed before my eyes. OK, I am an avid watcher of Prison Break and was very intrigued with Monday nights story line. But that is another post...or not!
As we open every single box that we managed to acquire over the 36 years of marriage, we found another delight, my husband's fire gear. During his tour of duty with the department, his assigned number was 808. There were many a call when I sat at home listening to his radio in hopes I never heard "808 is down". Believe me, it was nerve wracking.
Often, all of the wives would go to our local grocery store during a terrible fire or storm to get hot coffee and donuts for the fire fighters. It was the least we could do to support not only our men, but also the community.
I enjoyed the close knit community of fire fighters and their families. After all, we were transplants from Chicago and we needed to make friends down in the South. Up until we moved out of the county, I would often see a fellow retired fire fighter in the local K Mart or grocery store. We would share the details of how our families have grown...Johnny is in the navy...Ann is in college...Steve is in culinary school. Ahhh...the memories...I'll have them forever.
The photo op was the idea of my husband. The helmet was way too heavy for little Jack to wear, so hidden behind the pillow of our living room, one old fire fighter is acting as a prop for his little grandson. Even to this day, an old fireman supports those not able to do for themselves.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Boy! Am I In Trouble!

Moving is really an experience. I find that I am opening boxes that haven't been touched in probably 20 years. Maybe even longer! We came across at least 4 boxes of children's books as we tackle every single box there is to mankind. Hubby and I sorted through the boxes and saved at least 150 books for our grandson and future grandchildren to come. But just when we thought we had investigated every book box...another one appeared.

I decided to show these to my daughter, thinking perhaps she would like to take some home with her. She grabbed Willie's Adventures, opened the book, and the next thing I heard was "O oh!".
"What?", I said. She opened it up and I saw that this book belonged to my elementary school library. "How did they let me graduate?" I wondered. Laughing, I took the book from her hand.
The book brought back no particular memory of reading this book, but I imagined that I checked this book out when I was in the fourth grade. That would put the year at 1964, give or take a year.
Here is proof that I signed the book out. My 4th grade signature and room number. What do you think the fine is for a book that is 44 years over due?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Trimming The Tree

Jack's first Christmas tree.
Mom, Dad and Jack around the tree.
Mommy showing Jack how to hang the ornaments.

Here's Jack attempting to touch the tree.
His eyes were glued to the bright lights.
We celebrated our daughter's birthday.
My Son In Law made a delicious spaghetti dinner.
Christmas will be very special this year seeing it through the eyes of a babe.





The Empty Nest

Yearning for some me time, I found a moment to two tonight to post a photo taken on our drive home from New Jersey two weeks ago. At one of the rest stops along our travels, I found this empty nest once filled with new baby birds. It made me sad to see it now exposed for everyone to see.
And then I got to thinking how traumatic it was when our first born left for college. After leaving the college campus, my husband and I pulled off the road and we both cried uncontrollably for a good 15 minutes. Our baby left left our nest. Our home would never be the same.
That baby girl turns 32 years of age today. She is a married woman and a new mother with a terrific family of her own. Her nest is just beginning to expand.
Happy Birthday, Erika!
Love,
Mom & Dad

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Photo...Atlanta Botanical Gardens



Atlanta Botanical Gardens
Originally uploaded by seabeagle

About a month ago, I received an email from Schmap, a publisher of free digital travel guides for destinations throughout USA, Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. I almost deleted the email, considering the amount of spam these days. Luckily, I did not.



Schamp conveyed an interest in publishing one of my photographs of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, a trip we took during the Chihuly exhibit. Of course, I was just being considered, however I received word that my photo was included in the latest upload.


Check out my photo



Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sounds of Silence

During my short trip to my sister's house, Mom had an appointment with a specialists to have her hearing checked. For years now, Mom had difficult time hearing, especially when she was in a crowded room. Often, I would notice Mom just sitting in her chair, smiling, as to hear the conversation. Sadly, she didn't hear much at all.

We made the appointment a family affair, where my sister and I attended. Of course, I had my camera in my big ole purse. Mom wasn't too happy when I started flashing her picture. Isn't she beautiful for 75?
While in the booth, I was still snapping wildly. Although I couldn't hear her, I have this funny feeling she was scolding me. She didn't want her picture taken. Honestly, I felt, too bad!
She is going through the standard hearing test. All the while, the hearing specialist is telling my sister and I just how bad Mom's hearing actually is.
My sister, Geri, manages a phone call from her 13 year old son, Danny. Isn't she beautiful, too?
After the specialist adjusts the headphones to accommodate Mom's hearing shortfalls, this is her reaction when she realizes she can hear normally. Tears of joy ... here is a verse from one of my favorite songs...
"Fools", said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you
"But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

Sounds of Silence
Simon & Garfunkel



Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Unpacking is Hell!

In lieu of blogging, I have been tackling boxes by the hundreds.
This will consume me until it is all done.
And then....
well, I will have to decorate for Christmas...
At the present time, my desk is quite the mess. All in due time...
My husband claims that all of these boxes are my scrap booking supplies, however,
we managed to eliminate half of these today.
Sadly, the other half ARE my scrap booking supplies....
Half of these boxes are my crafts and scrap booking supplies.
I think I better get busy using these supplies.

It was heartwarming to see my collection of Swarovski Crystal...

...and here are a few of my friends that I treasured over the years...

Quite the mess...but wait...it gets better...
Ignore that person in the corner...
now I can find my tooth brush, hair products and make up....
now I just have to use them!

My darling husband said to me....
"Is that the way the mantel is going to look?"
I said..."Of course, don't you like it?"
No, these are not the ingredients for a recipe I will post....

Our bed is completed.....

there is so much more to do and I've come to one realization....

As I flop into bed each night I can only think of one thought...

Getting old sucks!