Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Last Night of the Last Day of 2008

I had planned to write all kinds of things today. I wanted to wax poetic and be philosophical about the year that is ending, but when you get right down to it, I've said all that needs to be said in past posts about this year. I've talked about problems and things I'm thankful for. So, maybe I'll just say a few quick things about yesterday.

I cleaned off a place on my table to put a sewing machine yesteday. My Singer feather weight is in need of repair, so I got out my old Viking. The light was burned out and the closest place to buy one is an hour away. So, I put it away and got out the Singer 301. I haven't used it in about 10 years. In fact I tried to sell it and couldn't at a fairly recent Trash to Treasures sale that the Quilter's Guild of Dallas held. Boy am I ever glad that it didn't sell! It took me a while to clean up, but she's running like a top. I'm piecing some triangle blocks for a swap and enjoying every moment of it. As soon as I finish these, I'll continue to work on a baby memory quilt that's long over due.

I took a picture tonight of the last sunset. I plan to add it to this post tomorrow. One of my goals for the coming year is to learn how to upload my pictures on this computer all by myself.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I hate to post a new post without pictures. So, if I do, I'm always looking for some picture to go back and add to it. Just something to remember in case you want to see pictures. I've posted a lot lately without them and plan to remedy that as soon as possible. I even plan to add more pictures of my Christmas tree before I take the tree down. I always leave it up until after my birthday, so I have time to take more.

Monday, December 29, 2008

My Hubby

For those of you who have never met him, this is my sweet husband, Richard. I finally got a picture of him that I liked when we were at his sister's house this last Saturday. I wanted to post it in celebration of his survival of his infection and surgery in November. Now with the Lord's help and any luck at all, we'll survive the bills that come with it. Have I mentioned lately that I'm looking forward to 2009?

Oh Christmas Tree

I wasn't sure I'd get a Christmas tree up this year, but I did and it was before Christmas. I'm just a little late writing about it. It makes me somewhat sad to see how little our trees are now compared to the "old days" of my youth or our young married days. It's bad enough that we no longer get live trees and resort to artificial. To me, that was a huge sacrifice, but it was mostly because of me that the sacrifice had to be made. I developed allergies after we moved out to the country. I actually probably always had them, but they really started to bother me when we moved here.

Our first artificial tree was about 6 and a half or 7 feet tall. I had trouble getting it into the basket at the store to buy it. I had trouble getting it out of the car when I got it home and it was always trouble to store and transport to the spot it would be set up. It was heavy, bulky and a pain in the butt. It was stored out in the trailer that my dad lived in for the last year or so of his life. The trailer was only on our property for a few months before he passed. After he died, I turned the trailer into a quilting studio. That came to an end when fire ants got into the air conditioning and killed it. The next winter, we couldn't get the heat to come on either. I pretty much abandoned the trailer at that point. We continued to store things out in the trailer. Then we found mice living out there. That's when I abandoned the big Christmas tree. I wasn't about to lug that thing into the wheel barrow and then to the house to find it full of mice, nests and feces.

Last year we had a very tiny live tree. I'm talking about 2 feet tall. We got it about a week before Christmas and got it out of the house right after the holiday. This year, I went to the dreaded Wal-mart (NOT my favorite place, but I end up having to shop there or go to Dallas) and found a little 4 foot, artificial tree, with lights for all of $25! Since Richard had not been paid at that time, I was thrilled. I put it up on the bar (another reason for the tree downsizing is that we have too much furniture now for one on the floor!) and decorated it to within and inch of it's little life!

You may not know this about me, but I've collected Christmas ornaments for the whole of my marriage. I have a lot of Christmas ornaments! There have been times when I've had them hanging from the curtain rods and the burlap curtain tie backs (yes, I have burlap curtains in my living room). I've hung them from the shelf in the living room on the stocking hangers that we no longer use for stockings. I put a miniature tree in my bathroom, loaded with miniature ornaments. I put ornaments that can stand or sit flat on shelves, the microwave, any place I can think of. I put ornaments on wreaths. If the wreath is outside and a bird happens to make a nest in it, I leave it up for a year or more. I get ornaments wherever I travel and at Christmas time each year. I give them as gifts and I keep them for myself. They make me happy.

My favorites are porcelain birds, Santa's, angels, Hallmark ornaments and lately Radko ornaments. For many years, I collected Precious Moment ornaments also. I love handmade ornaments and ornaments made of tin. I'm especially fond of anything that looks old fashioned.

My little 4 foot tree is covered this year with the ornaments that I dearly love. The ones I've mentioned above and the ones that remind me of loved ones. They have been made by friends or family, given to me by friends or family or in some other way remind me of them. They are ones that I will never part with.

That being said, I'm considering parting with many of my ornaments. I live in a small house. We moved here with more than we could fit into it. We got rid of lots of things and have accumulated even more over the almost 20 years we've lived here. Besides that, my love for ornaments has not diminished. I still find new ones each year that I want to buy and I have no where to put them or hang them. Of the 6 or 8 boxes of ornaments I have, I could only get about 1 and a half on the tree this year. My husband has his own collection too. His are all Star Trek related and all from Hallmark. Most, if not all, make some kind of noise or light up. None of them are on the tree this year, but today, I went and bought him his own tree. Next year, he'll have it full of his ornaments! And after the Christmas of 2009 I'll go back to Wal-mart to see if they have any of the same trees on sale. If they do and I have the money, I'll get at least one, maybe two more of the trees. One will go in the bathroom to replace the miniature that I've finally agreed to give to my son. I actually bought it for him many years ago and then wouldn't let him have it. The other may go up in our bedroom on my cutting table. I've always wanted several trees in the house. I just didn't realize they'd all be little 4 foot trees!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Woo Hoo!

Hurray! My hubby finally got paid yesterday! He hadn't been paid since the Friday before his emergency surgery. That was November 7th for the last payday. Talk about being stretched thin. I'm not the best manager of money. I try, but something always comes up before we have a good handle on saving and we end up charging -- often, quite a lot. That was sure the case over the last month and a half. We lived on credit cards.

It felt good to pay bills yesterday. It felt good to be able to pay on late bills. It felt good to pay the majority of the late bills even if I couldn't get them paid in full, knowing that with the next payday, I'll more than likely be able to pay them in full. If not all of them, then at least some of them. Times are tough all over. I'm extremely grateful that Richard has a job. In fact he went back to work on limited duty last Monday. So, despite credit score worries, I'm a happy camper.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Absolutely Delightful

A friend (who shall remain nameless to protect the innocent) told me of her plans next Saturday with another friend. They plan to get together to make cookies. They're going to eat them while they're hot and look at all of their diet books together! They plan to map out their strategy for after New Year's when they start to concentrate on getting healthy. I thought this was delightful! I laughed out loud! I suggested that they throw away all the diet books after that meeting. My friend said she may donate them. After all, we pretty much know what we need to do to loose weight and get healthy. Eat correctly and move more.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Frosty the Snowman

I just watched Frosty the Snowman. The thing about the Frosty the Snowman show that I've told very few people is that I used to cry every time Frosty melted in the greenhouse. I don't remember the last time I watched the show before this year. I'm pretty sure I didn't cry the last time and I didn't this year, but I did feel a little tingle behind my eyes. I do have a cold or bronchitis or whatever -- probably the only reason I got that little tingle. Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I love the song, Frosty the Snowman sung by Jimmy Durante. Brings back all those warm, fuzzy feelings.

I was talking to a friend recently about watching The Wizard of Oz and all of the Peanuts holiday specials when we were kids. It was a big deal to us back then. They were only on once a year. There was no such thing as DVDs or recording it for later. It was - watch it then or wait until next year. The Peanuts specials even had the same commercials every year, Dolly Maddison snack cakes. When they stopped being the sponsors, that was the beginning of the end. Soon, they were developing new specials with different kids as the voices. I never did like the new ones.

The same friend called me last night and one of the first things she said to me was "you get sick every Christmas!". I don't think that's right. I did literally get sick every year, for years, during Christmas vacation when I was a kid, just as soon as that last bell rang to let us out school.

One of my best Christmas memories is of my dad's side of the family all being at our house for Christmas Day. I think I was about six or seven and I was sick. I wasn't allowed to be in the room with everyone, but one by one, they all come to visit with me for a few minutes. While I was alone, I lay still in my bed and listened to all of the conversations and laughter. I know I must have felt a bit sorry for myself, but what I remember now is the love. I also remember getting my first bicycle that year from Santa! Since I was sick, I couldn't go outside and ride it. That was tough.

The house we lived in had three bedrooms. The way the kitchen, one of the bedrooms, the dining room and the living room were situated, if you had the doors to each open, you could walk a circle in the house. My dad, took pity on me and let me ride that new bicycle through the house a very few times that Christmas day. This was totally out of character for my dad. One of the reasons it's such a fond memory. My dad wasn't always the best dad on earth, not by a long shot. But he always said "I love you" and meant it and he occasionally tried to show his love in little odd ways like letting his sick kiddo ride a bike in the house. He also just plain did the best he could with what he had. Just as we all do.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I am reading, when I can concentrate. When I can't I'm working sudoku puzzles. The easy ones. Of course since I do those, when I can't concentrate, I can't always solve them. Quite sad. Anyway, I wanted to post the books I'm reading. I absolutely love Christmas books and it's extremely difficult for me to pass them by in a book store without buying several. Thankfully, I haven't been to a book store often lately.

I'm reading:
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Cheer - Stories about the Love, Inspiration, and Joy of Christmas by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen edited by Amy Newmark

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron, with Bret Witter

The Purpose of Christmas by Rick Warren

Yes, I'm reading all three of them at the same time. I just swap them off. Read whichever one strikes my fancy at the moment. Since I'm feeling poorly, I'm reading the Chicken Soup book heavily now. I'd barely touched it until recently.

Waiting in the wings, for me to finish the three listed above, are all seven paper back books in the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris. The first one is Dead Until Dark. I know the eighth is out in hard back now, but I'm sure that I can wait for it to come out in paper back at this point.

The one I'm going to have trouble waiting on is the new "between the numbers" Stephanie Plum book -- Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich. It's due out on January sixth! I'm a BIG Stephanie Plum fan!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What's been going on?

Well, I haven't posted in what feels like forever. My hubby is healing. For that, I am grateful, even though it feels like a very slow process. I do know that the wound vac that is inside his incision cuts down on the healing time by 1/3 the time. For that, I am extremely grateful. As it is, we're spitting at each other like a couple of cats tied in a sack and I've come down sick.

The majority of this year has been rough. It pretty much started in the spring when I was called for jury duty on a capital murder case. I made it through the jury selection and on to the jury. It was a long process, that I really wanted no part of. The trial was heart wrenching. I was never so glad for anything to be over in my life. It changed me in ways I can't describe.

Then my hubby went into the hospital in late summer. A very dear friend died a couple of months later. My dear cat friend died. My hubby went back into the hospital with something that could have killed him and he's still recovering from. His short term disability is slow to start, so our finances are fouled up at a time of year when we want to spend extra and we can actually spend very little. In addition to us, people we love, have had hard times too. That's difficult because there's really nothing we can do to help them. It's just been rough all the way around. We know these hard times come and go. We know we'll get through this. That memories of Marianne and Barney will ease the pain of their passing. We know that money isn't everything and that we've made it through bad finances in the past. We will this time too. When you get right down to it, we know that we have everything we truly need. For surviving it all in the past and knowing we will again, I am very grateful.

That being said, I am looking forward to 2009! I'm looking forward to seeing my grandchildren again. I'm looking forward to being well and getting myself in order, my house in order and getting to sew again! I want to make some artistic quilts and I want to make some old looking quilts. I want to hand quilt like I used to. I want to continue to explore the quilting I had started to explore that was inspired by Jude.

For now, I want to rest. The cold or bug or whatever it is, is getting to me again. I also want to look at a favorite picture of my granddaughter CV (she was 18 months old at the time) when she first met her new born sister CL. Her mother had been telling her for months that she was going to have a baby. CV was very excited. The problem was that none of us thought of the confusion -- that her mother also called all of CV's stuffed animals CV's babies. From the look she was giving her sister, she was definitely expecting something stuffed that would not take any of her mom's time away from her! She was one unhappy child when she first looked at that baby who was her sister! It didn't take them long to become closer than I could have ever imagined! Of course, CL was none too pleased when she met her brother a little over a year later either.