Sunday, December 28, 2008

" A New Year is Unfolding..."

Can you believe this year is almost over? As I grow older the years seem to speed by more quickly than the one before. I suppose it is only natural to think of all that has happened in the year past and wonder what is to come in the next.

For the most part, I have shared my 'happenings' with you already. But I thought this would be a good time to share them again and see how your year was.

I started a new medicine for my fibromyalgia on the first day of the year and it proved to be a miracle drug for me.

"This bright new year is given me-To live each day with zest...",
John Burroughs

Did you have any life-altering happenings?

I started blogging and met many wonderful fellow bloggers-some of whom garden, others who offer delicious recipes and those who write with great passion.
"A new year is unfolding - like a blossom with petals curled tightly concealing the beauty within."-- Anonymous
How has blogging affected your life this year?

I've been blessed with new family members and they have become very dear to me. I have lost loved ones who influenced who I am today. I have been doubly blessed with getting to see more of my granddaughters.

"Here's to the bright New Year, and a fond farewell to the old; here's to the things that are yet to come, and to the memories that we hold."-- Anonymous

How has your family changed this year?

I am making resolutions to live my life to the fullest each day and be thankful for all it gives me.

Be at war with your vices; at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man."-- Benjamin Franklin

Do you make resolutions-and more importantly, do you keep them?

My wish for the New Year is love, laughter, family and friends for us all!

See you in 2009!

**my apologies for the lay out. blogger is doing it's own thing tonight!**

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

9 days til Christmas and it is finally looking like Christmas at our house. I told you in my last post that I wasn't stressing this year about Christmas,(well maybe a little) but I am glad the tree is up and the decorations are out. We are having our first Christmas this Saturday with some of our granddaughters. Of course the whole family will be here to help us celebrate with them!

Each year when I take down the tree, I put away only strings of lights that are working. Why is it then that when I take them out of storage and check there are some that have died during the year?

Gray Girl likes to help or hinder depending on your point of view.

I am not ashamed to admit that I used bribery (again) to accomplish my goals. I invited the kids and granddaughters over to help with promises of a spaghetti supper. *Note: I can make other dishes really! Spaghetti happens to be one of their favorites meals. And it is so easy. :}

We went with a smaller tree this year and the girls couldn't get all of the decorations on, but I am very pleased with their tree trimming ability.

The stockings are all hung-we added 3 new ones this year for Sara, Grace and Christopher. Our son-in-law remarried this fall and we love his new family. So Sara is an adopted daughter-in-law and her kids are now our grandchildren, too. That makes 8 granddaughters and one grandson!

Okay, where was I? Oh yes, 'the stockings were all hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.'

As I said, not enough room on the tree for all the decorations so we improvised. The fern looks very festive now. Each year, I get angel ornaments for the granddaughters . Eventually, when they move out on their own they will get their angels to decorate their own tree.

And starting this year, a nut cracker for Christopher!

This angel is this year's ornament.

Amie decided I needed to have some of my collection of angels and Father Christmas out on display."Mom, it feels more like Christmas when these are out!" "Okay, but you do the arranging", said I!

And she did and I am very happy to see some treasures from past Christmases.

This nativity is one we have had for years. It is always the center of the decorations. My girls loved to move the figures around and now, so do the grand girls. As with my girls, we tell them the story of the first Christmas when Baby Jesus was born.
Like some other bloggers, I probably won't get a chance to post again before Christmas. So I want to wish each and every one of you,
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Told You So!

Yes, I am one of those that like to say,"I told you so!" I don't do it often, but every once in a while when I am right-it just comes out. I am so seldom right about something that I think I am entitled to this one little flaw in my character. So forgive me in advance.

In my last post, while complaining about the lack of salt being spread on the icy roads, I mentioned that it was our Governor's new policy to try to save the state money. I also mentioned that I thought he would be investigated in the years to come.

I told you so! This morning Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested for trying to 'sell' former Senator Obama's senate seat. You can read all about it here.

Am I saddened by this turn of events? Yes, because it proves that power does corrupt. Maybe not all people, but it seems to happen in government more and more these days.

Am I happy about this turn of events? Yes! In our government there is a system of checks and balances that try to keep wrongs from being done. And occasionally right does prevail!

Are you ready for Christmas? Are you getting stressed? Me-I'm not ready, but I'm not stressed either. It is going to be a much simpler Christmas here than we have had in past years and I am letting go of the 'picture perfect Christmas'. I am just going to enjoy spending time with the family.
Happy Holidays to each and every one!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


December is here and winter has come to Central Illinois.. I know because it is cold and we have snow. Rose showed you how beautiful freshly fallen snow can be in her post on Sunday. And it was picture perfect. Wet, heavy, pure white snow covered the land and a stillness was in the air. It was lovely.

Monday was a different story and Old Man Winter came at us with a vengeance! Here in the prairie lands, the ground is so flat there is little to stop the wind. And wind and snow make for some extreme conditions.

This is the road I take to work. It is a state highway which means the state Department of Transportation takes care of it. They fix pot holes, maintain the shoulders, plow snow and spread salt.

For the most part they do a wonderful job. The men who do the work are conscientious and put in long hours during the winter. They try very hard to keep our roads as safe as possible.

However, and I am getting to the point here, with this storm of snow and blowing snow we learned the powers that be-i.e. our Governor-has decreed a no salt policy on the icy roads. in the pictures you can see the road is covered with blown snow. That snow sticks to he pavement and turns to ice making it very treacherous to drive on.

The driver of this car found that out the hard way. There was no salt spread on any of the roads; the secondary ones or the interstates. Needless to say yesterday and last night there were many accidents in our area. Why the no salt policy? Our Governor, Rod Blagojevich, has decided salt is too expensive! It may be a long winter in more ways than one. So all of you in the warmer climes think of us as we put on our overcoats, gloves, scarfs and snow boots and head out onto snowy, windblown, icy roads and say a little prayer for us, please!

On more pleasant notes- my husband always gets me a center piece for each holiday. He takes a lot of time deciding just which one will look the best for the occasion and which one I will like. In the 41 years we have been married he has missed only a few holidays. I love him dearly for his thoughtfulness.

Thanksgiving day was also our oldest granddaughter's 17th birthday. I don't know how she grew up so fast! She doesn't care for cake so I usually bake a pie or brownies. But this year I made a giant chocolate chip cookie for her. 2 of her cousins are presenting it to her.

We had 15 people for dinner this year-down a couple, but still enough to fill the house. and of course we all ate like we hadn't seen food in a week. I tried a recipe from Joey for cranberry salad and it was a big hit. Thanks Joey! Hubby always cooks the turkey on the grill and what turkey is leftover he make into the best turkey salad the next day. The kids always come back for turkey salad sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving. Traditions are born and memories are made in some of the oddest ways. Do you have any traditions like that?

Now to the price of gas.... Who would have thought back in July when crude oil topped out at $147.00 a barrel and gas was $4.25 a gallon, that we would ever see gas this cheap?!! If you think about it, this alone could help us out of the Recession. The average family probably uses 30 gallons a week. That's a savings of $80.70 a week. And that adds up to 322.80 a month. A car payment, 1/2 a house payment or rent. In a year's time that family has $3,873.60 extra! Think what that could buy-how many businesses could stay open-how many people could stay on the payroll. Are you listening big government??

Well, it was nice while it lasted. The gas prices are going back up even though crude oil dropped to $47.00 a barrel today. Now I wonder why if crude is still going down, gas is starting to go back up? I guess I really don't understand high finance.

One last thing, and then I will let you go. This is a basket of all the products I have bought and used on my rash. Some of them are prescription, but most are over the counter cures. Some helped-some didn't. Some were expensive and some weren't. All were messy! I was-am-looking for a miracle cure, but the truth is there is no magic potion. I am better, sort of. The angry red splotches of rash have faded to a dull pink. The itch is still almost unbearable at times. And my husband lovingly calls me 'pigpen' after the character in the Peanuts cartoon. I peel and flake and leave a trail where ever I go. My face looks like it has saw dust on it about every other day. I don't wear makeup or jewelry. In other words, I look old and slovenly.

The good new is, my Dr. says I am better. The bad news is, the medicine is not working a s quickly as he thought and I will be dealing with this for a few more months. The other bad news is, the meds I take once a week make me very ill the day after. But I AM hanging in there. I have lots of great support and love from my family and friends and I can't ask for more than that. So don't feel too sorry for me. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Granted, at this time it is a tiny light, but a light none the less.

Hope you are enjoying the winter and are happily making plans for the holidays!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008!

I wish you every happiness on this Thanksgiving! May your day be filled with love and laughter, family and friends and of course great food.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Milestone and News

I shall toot my own horn for just a minute if you will kindly bare with me. This is my 100th post. And I am kind of proud of myself. Little did I know way back in February with that first tentative post, that I would still be writing now. I thought I would share a few photos, get a few comments and soon lose interest.

My cousin Lisa had stared Greenbow a few months before and I always enjoyed seeing her pictures and reading what she had to say. And it would be a fun way to communicate with her. So I began what has come to be an important part of my life.

One of the very first blogs I came across was Cheryl of My Wildlife Sanctuary. She and I have become fast friends and she has taught me so much about the care and protection of wild life of all kinds. I look forward with great anticipation to her posts. And along the way, I have grown to love her dearly!

Rose, who is my life-long-best-friend-in-the-whole-world(!!), has her own blog now and we share this as well. Her posts always brighten my days and she even occasionally mentions me. :)

And then there are people like Wendy and Beth whose posts I have been reading and enjoying since almost the beginning. Mr. McGregor's Daughter, Marnie, Mary, Carol, Gail and on and on, are more of the ones I value as friends. You can see all the blogs I love to follow on my side bar. If I could put a star besides each one I would.

I guess what I am trying to say, is this is such a great community of wonderful people. If I couldn't keep in touch with all of you, I would be very saddened.

Thank you all for making these 100 posts so enjoyable. I hope to be able to do 100s more!

With all of that out of the way, I had to show you these pictures I took today. I went out with camera in hand (like that is something new!) to see if I could find anything of interest in the garden and was amazed that this Delphinium is still standing and still in flower. I posted it a few days ago and the buds were not yet open. Now some of them are. This is after several nights of killing frost and a light snow. I said last time I thought this was supposed to be magic fountain lavender, and that it had been tagged wrong. Now I think not. I have found the correct tag....

it is Delphinium Candle Larkspur, 'Black Knight". Sorry, my filing system is a little questionable. Which ever name she is, she truly deserves an award for longest lasting flower in my garden!
Another visit to the dermatologist, today and more lab work. The good news is I am getting better-according to him. I don't see much improvement. The not so good news is we are talking a few months yet with this condition. The official name for the rash is Pityriasis Rubra Pilaris.
If you are interested I have some sites where you can read more about it. One of the sights has pictures of a child with it, but it is exactly how it looks on me. You can see and read here, here, and here.
I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving. May your holiday be filled with family, love and lots of good food.

Monday, November 17, 2008

White Stuff and a Rant!

Snow! Yes, it really snowed this evening in central Illinois. I'll admit you had to look quickly and it's not a measurable amount. But it does kind of put me in the holiday mood. You know, 'over the river and through the woods...through the white and drifting snow'. I think those are the words. At least that's the way I sing it!

I couldn't resist taking a few pictures. So I put a jacket over my pajamas, slipped on my shoes and the cat and I went out on the patio. I hope the neighbors didn't see me out there in the dark bending over and taking pictures.

By morning it may be gone-at least I got to enjoy it for a little while. There is an old saying that says the date the first snow falls foretells the number of snows for the winter. Does that mean we will have 16 more snows? If they are all as lite as this one, winter won't be too bad.

And now for the 'rant' part. I have been trying for days to download or upload, I'm not very good with computer terminology, this picture. I wanted the header on my blog to be Thanksgiving-y.

I did get it on there, but so tiny you could barely see it. Back to my pictures and into fix mode. Tried to enlarge it. Didn't work. Of course blogger was in S-L-O-W mode while I was attempting the change. My rant is two-fold I guess. First, I don't know enough about the workings of my computer and it's programs. And secondly, blogger can be so #%{*! annoying most of the time. The not knowing I can fix. I'd like to take a computer class this winter at the adult ed. center. Blogger is something I may have to live with as I'm sure I don't know enough to change to one of the other services!

I wish you all a glorious Thanksgiving. May your day be filled with family, love, laughter and joy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

GBBD November, 2008

I know this post is a day early, but this is the weekend with the grand girls and I wasn't sure I would have time to get it posted. So better early than not at all. GBBD is brought to you by Carol of May Dreams Gardens. Thanks Carol!

It is raining-again. Not a heavy rain, just a cold, wind blown, chill you to the bone rain. Typical November weather. And notice the dark gray skies? We've not seen the sun in days. I guess that is what we get after having such a mild beautiful and fall.

Most of the crops are harvested and a lot of the fields have been worked and spread with lime. But there are a few fields ,such as the one below, where there is still corn waiting to be picked. For those farmers it may be a while. Kind of like me with my gardens. I think my opportunities are limited now as to what clean up I will get done.

Bloom Day, November 2008 finds little in my garden still blooming. But I will admit to being surprised when I went out to look. After a few nights of hard frost I had little hope of finding anything but brown, brown and more brown.

The ground cover vinca is sporting a tiny bloom here and there. I think it must be a bit confused. Usually I only see blooms on this in the spring and early summer.

And this is Delphinium x Magic Fountain Lavender. At least that is what the tag said. It has never been lavender, but has produced several stalks of these pretty blue flowers. I can't imagine that the frost hasn't reduced this to mush!

Bless it's heart, this Superbena dark blue( it really is a darker shade of purple than the camera shows) still has a few valiant flowers blooming. This annual has done so well this year-my first year to try any verbena-that I am putting it high on my list of 'must haves' for next year.

That is all I could find with any color in the gardens. I told you picking were slim!

I had to show you the fern though. I finally got it hung between the main living room and the front area where we have a skylight. After an initial adjustment period where it lost a few fronds, it seems to be doing well. And even though it does take up a lot of space, it and all the other house plants will add a much needed touch of the outdoors during the long dark winter.

Do you realize that Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away? And then it is only 4 more weeks til Christmas! Time to make out those wish lists with all your gardening wants.

Happy dreaming of next year's gardens!

** still not a lot of improvement with the rash. I take dose 3 of the new meds tonight and am hoping to see some sign of it getting better soon!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Planting Bulbs- the Easy Way!

Time to get those spring bulbs in the ground!

Yes, I knew it was getting late in the season and the weather was not going to hold much longer. I had over estimated my energy level when buying all those bulbs. Somehow when you are standing there in the garden center it's easy to get carried away buying all those pretty flowering bulbs. I bought 50 Tulipa Darwin Hybrid ' pink impressions' , 20Tulipa 'don quichotte', 20 Tulipa 'mata hari', and 12 Tulipa 'angelique'. Then Rose and I split an order from a spring bulb catalog. I had 10 'pink charm' daffodils, 5 'replete' daffodils and 10 'triplet lilies'. (Can you tell I like pink?) Maybe that doesn't sound like many but the thought of digging all those holes seemed daunting to me. So I used my brain rather than my brawn. I called the kids and offered to fix supper if they would plant my bulbs.

Bless their hearts they came, they dug, they planted! And I am sure I will have no straight lines, Carol. In fact, I'm pretty sure I will have quite a mix of blooms as even some of the grandkids helped. It was a fun afternoon and we had a great spaghetti supper afterwards.

Now do you think I can use the same ploy to get those leaves raked?

Our 41st anniversary was last week and we both had to work that day. Hubby was in Michigan-he drives a semi truck-so we didn't get to celebrate til the weekend. We went to one of our favorite restaurants 'Italian Patio'. It is just a little place with lots of quaint charm and wonderful food.

I love the decor! It was a very enjoyable evening. The company was wonderful even after all these years.

I show you this bed so that you will not think I have all my fall chores done. Pitiful isn't it?! Hey, I wonder if the kids would like lasagna for supper one night next week....
*Thank you all for your kind words and all your caring. It helped me so much to be able to share Andrea's story with all of you.
**My rash is slowly strating to get better.
Hope You get all you fall garden projects done before the snow flies!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Birthday Love

Happy Birthday, dearest daughter.
34 years ago today, our 2nd daughter was born. A lovely dark eyed, dark haired, bundle of joy.

She was welcomed by us and her 3 1/2 year old sister, lots of grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins.

She grew into a loving, caring, giving person. She made friends with the friendless. She fought for the under dogs. She protected the helpless. We were very proud of her and her convictions.

We lost Andrea in July of 2006 in a car crash.

This blog is named Dragonfly Corner in her memory. She was passionate about dragonflies and their beauty.

Dragonflies help us keep her in our hearts.

I hope when you see one you will think of her too.

You were a wonderful, fiercely protective mother, a loving daughter, sister, wife and friend.
We miss you, Andie. We will always love you and keep you in our hearts.