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!