Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunny Day Sweeping The Clouds Away...

This tune just popped into my head.. "Sunny Days, sweeping the clouds away, Friendly neighbors there that's where we'll meet.. can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street"... How do I get to Sesame Street?? I want to go.. Today. I want and Need some sunny days.

Just for fun this morning I clicked on the "next blog" tab at the top of this blogger page.. Just something to do. My truck was not running right, and so fear got me to turn around and skip church. anyway, when I got home I thought I would get on the net and see what was happening with my friends. No new additions. I was bored so I clicked on the "next blog" tab. Wow, are there lots of different blogs out there. I wonder how many.. I bet on this site alone there are hundreds if not thousands.

While I was glancing through the different Blogs I noticed one central theme in almost every one of them. The winter blues, blahs, or ho-hums. Amazing !! I had no idea that the winter months effect folks like this.. I thought it was a "cold weather" state thing, or maybe even just a "me and my friends" thing, but almost every blog I read mentioned "being bored" or "trying to get motivated", or feeling "blue".

I myself am a lover of spring. I know things have a time. Winter has to come. The earth has to renew itself. It has to rest and rejuvenate. I know that spring won't come if winter doesn't happen first.. It is so hard to wait. I'm impatient. I detest waiting for anything. I want it now. I want spring now. It has been dead and dreary enough. I'm ready for sun, and warmth, and color.

I'm ready for a Sunny day that sweeps the clouds away. I'm ready for Spring.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm Trying To Put On My Smiley Face...

Hi, I'm trying to put on my smiley face today.. I think I'll have to do like my friend above and Fake It...

The day didn't start out badly.. hey wait, maybe it did.. The Cardiologist's office called to schedule my stress test.. A test I do not think I need.. I hadn't heard from them (it's been a week since my Dr.'s visit) so I figured they forgot it.. They didn't... so it's scheduled.. As I sit here I'm thinking seriously about cancelling it.. I'm not having any trouble.. I think I will call the ins. We have new Ins. now.. and see what we will have to pay.. I may yet cancel it..

Well and then there was the delightful discussion with my dear precious husband about the credit cards, and how we have to pay them off.. and Why does our Mail order pharmacy not take checks.. Why can't we call and demand they take a check instead of billing the credit card.. blah blah blah...

We have classes at Church.. I popped into the "budget and your credit score" class this week.. I was late and hadn't practiced my Spanish (taking basic Spanish) at all, so I snuck into the budget class.. We discussed how I really needed to get a personal loan to pay my credit cards off.. better interest rate; or I need to consolidate and pay on one.. The loan thing is a no go.. personal preference.. So we move on to the idea of consolidating onto one card.. and only one.. No Matter What Earth Shattering Event Happens..

So after my delightful conversation with hubby... I decided to call one of our CC Co's and see what I could do as far as transferring a balance from another card.. I got my interest rate amount.. and was in the process of figuring out if there would be a transfer fee when I was informed that my 4.95 % rate would be increasing to 15.9 % next month.. I kindly asked the woman if she could check on that because I have never paid that kind of rate with this co. I've been with them for years.. By this time my Blood pressure is rising to epic numbers.. she returns to the phone after 3 minutes to tell me the computers are down and I'll have to call back in 24 hrs.. OK, I will.. But I better hear some better numbers or I'm done..

BTW, I thought that, I didn't say it.. yelling at the people who answer the phone and don't make the polices is silly and rude.. I worked at an ins. co. I know..

So I'm using my fake smile for a bit.. My real one will return.. soon I hope.. It was a rotten day anyway.. Our best friends here in the frozen north are defecting to Florida in a few days.. I'll be without a lunch buddy, or a shopping friend.. yukkk.. I'm thrilled they are getting to head out for some sun, and fun.. but I always miss her tons..

So my day is yukky.. I'm suffering from a severe case of separation anxiety.. and I'm really ticked at the credit card co.. and I gained 3 pounds.. LOL As I'm reading this I have to laugh.. My real smile has returned as has my sense of humor.. thank you God.. I'm chuckling to myself.. Things aren't really so bad.. that dog and those teeth are really funny..

So I'm off to call the ins. co. and see if they will pay for the stress test.. then I'll put calling the CC co. on my list for Monday.. I'll pray that God has them find me a favorable interest rate... He is really good at that..

I hope your day is great.. if not.. look at that dog.. how can you not laugh.. now put on your own smiley face.. it's not so bad..

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Time To Start Thinking About The Garden

The first of the garden magazines came in the mail last week. I'm excited... Husband had me get on-line and order about 10 more seed catalogs. I ordered a few extra.. LOL So we have a wide variety to peruse through..

This is a little early for us to start dreaming about the garden. I think it's because we've had a warm up for the past few days. Some of the snow has started to melt, and thinking about being warmer means garden planning..

I have planned some gardens ! I mean, I have P L A N N E D some gardens now.. I have planned rock gardens, herb gardens, rose gardens, flower gardens, butterfly gardens, hummingbird gardens, and vegetable gardens.. I have planned huge gardens, small gardens, window box gardens, and Truck farms.. (giggle) I have planned many an orchard and nut tree farm.. I can PLAN a garden.. It's the getting it all together, working up the ground, planting, weeding, fertilizing, picking, and canning that I'm not in to so much.. I guess I should take back the word canning.. and planting.. I love to can and I love to plant.. I love to watch it all grow.. I do NOT like weeding or picking..

Dear husband has always had a garden. He worked with his mama in their garden every summer as soon as he was old enough to walk. He worked with his brothers in their gardens. (he was the baby in the family) When he had his own home, he immediately fixed a garden spot.. planted fruit trees and grapes. He put a garden in for the neighbor lady. She owns the field behind our house. He put in a garden for her and She let him put in 2 acres of garden for himself as his pay for planting and caring for hers.

Our garden is much smaller now. Just a section of the back yard. Our rototiller needs work, and husbands back won't take much in the way of hoeing, planting, or picking. We have a nephew who came and worked up the garden for us a couple of summers ago. We were so thankful.. It just wasn't a good year. So we didn't get much out of it. Last summer another nephew offered to give us his garden excess (as have other family members) But last year was a really bad year. Cold and wet for most of the summer. We didn't even buy much from the roadside markets.

I'm not sure we will be able to have a garden this year. Husband has mentioned just working up a small area and sticking out a few tomato plants. His back just won't take running the tiller anymore.. He wants those garden catalogs so he can order some plants. He was really excited to see that he could get plants..

I don't know if we'll have a garden this year. I hope we do. Maybe our nephew can come over and work up a little space in the garden for us. Maybe I'll talk our friend into coming over and looking at the tiller. I'll bet between husband (whose eyes are bad) and him, they could get it running again.. For now I'm going to say YES, WE WILL HAVE A GARDEN.. It will take me a little longer to weed it, and I may have to water it. I may even have to pick most of it.. But man will it be great to watch it grow, taste it's goodness.. and share it with friends and family.

Yep, it's time to start thinking about the garden. Time for me to PLAN...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Today I Had To Say Goodbye...

I love this picture. So peaceful, so quiet, so tranquil. So unlike my thoughts and emotions.. Today I had to say goodbye. One of the members of our Troops Support group passed away in the night on wed. Today I took the long quiet drive to the funeral home. To pay my respects, to hug the grieving wife and children. To recall a joke that Jack and I had between us. To remember..

I haven't known Jack and Shelly for long, but they have touched my heart. Jack especially. He is a Vietnam Vet. I don't mind telling you that Veterans hold a special place in my heart. I think Vietnam vets touch my heart in a special way because dear husband is a Vietnam vet.. I know from his stories and those of other Vets of that time, that theirs was not a pleasant or joyful homecoming.. I try to make sure I always thank them for their service and if they don't mind, I want to hug 'em.. I am a huggy person and I'd love to hug everyone I see. I have come to realize some people do not want strangers coming at them, let alone hugging or touching them.. so I ask.. I asked Jack.. just to make sure it was ok with him.. and with his wife Shelly.. Jack laughed.. and he gave me a big ole bear hug.. That was our greeting always.. a smile and a quick hug..

Our Support group packed boxes on wed. night. (We send the boxes to deployed troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.) Jack packed a box. He usually helps tape them up, but wed. night he packed a box.. Jack felt good wed. night.. He even remarked to a few of the guys how great he felt.. I noticed that he like several others were touched by an especially sweet letter that was sent to the group from one of our Troops.. The letter mentioned how special the group was and how they would never forget all the love and smiles that were packed in each box from our group. That was the last time I saw that smile.. and my heart is grieved.

I don't know Jack's personal beliefs. I do know he loved his wife, his family, and his country.. I know that an American Hero left us. I know that I will always remember the smile that filled up that face.. and I'll remember that big Ole bear hug.. Today I had to say goodbye.. and my heart is grieved...

Another Year, Another Diet aka: Healthier Way of Living..

Another Year, another Diet... Holy Moly, I'm attempting it again.. I do so well for the first 15 or 20 minutes.. then it's a struggle. A stronghold... A battle of epic proportions..

Diets, I have tried them all, well most of them. I have never been big on just eating one food, or gross out diets that have you eating some weird thing, or "cleansing your innards", and I have never gotten acupuncture, or been hypnotised. I just resolve every year to make healthier choices and to do some kind of exercise..

Some of those healthier choices include getting off the diet pop.. I did it with great gusto last year. and did really well until the fall when I kept finding great pop sales.. you just can not miss a good sale.. so it's some weird brand and it's a weird flavor.. hey, it's on sale, buy it.. LOL but I digress.. or should I say I'm off chasing a rabbit.. Yes, last year I replaced pop with good old water. I am trying it again this year. I really like those little packets of sugar free drink mix, so when I want to change it up I add one..

I still have a house full of Christmas Groceries.. the stuff I never got around to making. Cookies, peanut brittle, cheese balls, etc. I plan to use them, just sparingly, and when I do make something I plan to have someone here to send it home with.

I went to the grocery store and started stocking up on low-calorie soup, low fat dairy, low calorie bread, along with fresh veggies, salad stuff, fresh fruit, etc. I like it all, it's just so dag um expensive. I'm not surprised that we are a nation of obese people. healthy food is expensive, and if you have a family to feed you skimp where you can.

I have a little group of friends on fb that have joined me in this years endeavor. They are fun and supportive. Something I need. It's always good to know we don't battle things alone.

I haven't started exercising yet. I have done some weird thing to my knee. I had surgery on it in '91. I finally decided that it's gotten bad enough to warrant a visit to the Knee dude.. I have my appt. for the end of the month. I'm hoping some meds and maybe some therapy will get it back in shape.

I'm glad I started this again. I need it. I need to stop looking at it as another diet, and keep thinking about it as a lifestyle change. I need to remember I want to live a long time, and I want to be healthy.. So I'll begin again.. I'll watch my portions, I'll eat when I'm actually hungry (not mad, or sad, or stressed, or moody, or happy), I'll make healthy yummy choices, and I'll pray about it. "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Christmas Card Album is finished.

Well, here it is, My Christmas Card Album. whoo hooo.. not to shabby for a first attempt.
I got out to JoAnn's after Church this morning and found a little Christmas paper left. I grabbed it and headed to the door, then realized I needed a few other things too. I had to get those metal hoopy things.. LOL the ones at the top that open and close that I needed to make my album flippable. I don't know what you call them. LOL I call them those flippy things.

I looked and looked for them, but finally had to go and find a clerk. I really hoped I could describe them well enough for her to find them. whooo hooo she knew what I was talking about. There was only one size, but I grabbed them and a roll of grosgrain ribbon, just in case, and headed home..

I immediately took a nap.. Hey, I was tired. My dogs got me up this morning at 6:00am. anyway, after my fabulous nap, with my favorite fuzzy blanket.. I got to work. I only had some flimsy box cardboard, but I decided I could make it work. My first attempt I finished my cover to find that I had cut the pattern the wrong way.. LOL so I used the wrong way cover for the back , instead of the front, and adhered another card to it.

I don't have a 3 Hole punch. I plan on getting one. I had to punch each hole separately and it took a while.
This was really easy to make once I got a good look at everything.

 I get a lot of those Christmas newsletters from family. I adhered a small gift bag to the back of the last card, Removed the string, and voila I had a pocket where I can tuck my Christmas Newsletters.

I just Love this idea. So many send Christmas card photos.. and I've been storing them in envelopes in a box. I've recycled the regular Christmas cards, but in doing so lose the sentiment and notes that are enclosed. This is a perfect and compact way to remember the season and the cards that are special, for many years to come.. And for those of us who like to play around with scrapping things. It's a perfect weekend project.

If you would like to see a step by step guide to making this album you can go HERE, My Cousin Sharyn is a master at scrapping things.. and gives excellent step by step directions.

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Sometimes You Just Need To Create Something...

This is my bread, the one I made to go with my homemade beef stew. My husband thinks this is the prettiest loaf of bread he's seen since he was a kid.. LOL I think it's rather handsome myself, and it was mighty tasty warm out of the oven with butter slathered all over it.. Sometimes you just need to create something.

I don't mind telling you that sometimes the only thing I create is a mess. It seems like I am forever picking stuff up, organizing it.. well, I like to think I'm organizing it, and putting it away.

I love to make things. I love to crochet, and do cross stitch. I love to make pie and I love to make home canned stuff too. Jelly, green tomato Ketchup, salsa, and green tomato mincemeat.

I especially love to make something that I can organize my keepsake items in. I am working on a scrapbook type album for this years Christmas cards. (see photo above) My cousin Sharyn is really creative. She is a photographer and a published scrapbook designer. She even holds classes. I am totally impressed by her. This weekend she got my creative juices stirred up again.

I had let my scrapbook supplies sit dormant for over a year. Sharyn decided to post a step-by-step album craft on her blog.
I love Christmas, and the wonderful photo cards that my family and friends send me. I have always wished there were some way to keep the cards and the photos all together. This little album solves the problem and is soooo cute. It got my creative juices flowing again. It stirred my soul and has kept me excited all day about completing it.

This little project has reminded me that sometimes I can get so busy doing the "have to " stuff, that I forget about doing something fun that I love. I'm going to head out to JoAnn's after Church. My supply of scrapbook paper is low, and I need a few little things to complete this project. My mind is starting to fill with other little creative things I'd like to work on this winter. Sometimes you just need to create something...

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Years Goals and INTENTIONS: A Better Solution

I've started on this Goal setting/INTENTIONS things for the New Year.. you may want to go back a day and read the first part of my Goal setting/Resolutions/New INTENTIONS entry. this will make more sense to you if you do...
I went to bed last night thinking about it and awoke at 5:00 am still thinking about it.. There is so much to this goal setting thing.. to my intentions.. I need to make a list.. That is one of my goals for this year.. List making.. I think if I had a list that I could mark stuff off of I'd feel more successful. My cousin Sharyn, who has a fab blog of her own ( makes lists.. EVERYDAY.. and she marks stuff off.. She is a stay at home mom raising 4 children, keeping a house, and working from home. I want to make a list.. oh, I have made mental lists. LOL some days I figure if I did the dishes or cooked supper that is achievement enough, but if I had a list.. of all the stuff, big and small.. hmmm I may just try it. I'll let you know how it goes..
Another thing I want to do this year , I want to be more thankful. Dearest husband asked me to go out to the flea market with him yesterday. I had just gotten home from Church and had about a gazillion dishes to do.. and there is still the odd and end Christmas stuff that needs to be washed (dishes and linens) and packed away. I hadn't even gotten a chance to go through the Sunday paper coupons yet.. What was that crazy man thinking.. I can't just up and leave for an hour on a Sunday afternoon to go off looking at more stuff we don't need.. good grief, I have tons of stuff I want to get rid of. I'm almost to the point to just giving it to whoever shows up at the door. well, to continue.. I said no and worked on my dishes.. after he left, I had some real regret.. We don't often do things together.. He is not into grocery shopping or going to wally world.. or a lot of the activities I am involved in. We do go out with friends for dinner on occasion.. and we go visit them regularly.. we go to the Doctor together. and watch some of the same shows on tv (if he will leave the remote alone long enough for us to watch a program) but as far as going out goofing around, not so much.. I have things to do.. I realized how very insignificant my dish washing time is when compared to my husband wanting to spend some time with me. Thank God he does. So the dishes wait for an hour or two longer, that's really no biggy. I apologized for not going when he came home, and made a mental note to make sure I'm paying attention to him. It's easy to take the ones we live with and see everyday, the ones we love for granted. so I want to be more thankful this year, and I want to spend time with those I love. The dishes will wait.
I read in another email today about "being there".. I want to work on being there.. the article talked about how calling or sending a note is not the same as being there. I want folks to know I care enough about their lives to be there.. at the grands ball games, concerts, T-Ball practice and games, special programs.. there is nothing like being there. I don't want to miss a thing.
Then there are the Spiritual goals I want to set.. (I made a list of these in 2000, I look at them each year and renew my intention of keeping them) some of them include:
being faithful in Prayer, giving the tithe plus, seeking after wisdom, being the most effective witness I can be, speaking the Word with Boldness, giving God what He wants, Living by conviction and not preference, walking in Victory, Having extreme Faith, sharing Christ with everyone, and exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit.. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control.
As I look through my goals and intentions for the New Year.. it seems kind of overwhelming.. goodness sakes it is overwhelming.. I want to work on doing Everything better. I think about it all the time, but I don't do it.. I see myself as doing OK, but wanting to do better..
God and I talked about it again this morning.. setting goals for the New Year.. looking through my intentions.. and during our time He led me to read a little thing in a devotional book I just picked up yesterday.. " Pam Editor of "The Journey" ( : There is value in setting appropriate goals, but for a Christian there is only one essential resolution: to love, follow, and obey Jesus with all your heart, soul, and mind. (Matthew 22:36-37)"
I think that pretty well sums it up.. I can't do any of this stuff on my own.. my good intentions are rarely ever carried out.. Loving, following and Obeying Jesus will help me change into the woman He wants me to be.. He will see that am kinder, more thankful, visit more, that I am compassionate, and loving.. He will see that I give more.. He will help me find time to read more and to write those letters, and to make those long overdue phone calls to loved ones and friends. He will help me get things in order and set my priorities. He will help me to be less judgemental and more forgiving. So My New Years Resolution/Goal/INTENTION will be to Love, Follow, and Obey Jesus with all that is in me..

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year, New Start, New Opportunities, New Intenitons

I Read Marty's blog today.. ( ) He talked about New Years Resolutions and INTENTIONS He liked the word INTENTIONS better.. so do I.. There are lots of things I INTEND to do this year.. I'm sure there are many you INTEND to do too..
I also like that the New Year brings a New start.. I like New starts.. I let myself have them often.. like on New Years day.. the family was all over to the house eating and talking about the past year and the New one that had just come.. Some of the family has experienced difficult days.. some of those days were way past difficult.. We hoped those days are behind them.. after filling ourselves to the brim.. We ladies pondered our New start on weight loss. I don't mind telling you that we are big girls.. all of us except for the elder child who did her weight loss through the stress of life events this year.. anyway.. 3 of us vowed to make a new start at healthy eating, exercising, and losing weight.. We made a plan to exercise together when we can.. to report to each other via facebook each week with our loss for that week.. everyone was freaked out about "others" knowing their weight.. so we left it secret and will just report a loss to the group.. I immediately had to ask for a reprieve as I am the one who purchased about 3082 gazillion dollars worth of baking and cooking supplies for the Holidays.. I am not about to dump them in the garbage. So I asked for a month to eat through the "high calorie, high sugar, high fat" foods.. I will replace them with healthier things as the time goes on.. That is my INTENTION.. I also asked for a reprieve on the exercise thing.. I did great with my mile walking tape for 3 months last year.. this past summer I have damaged my knee and it's something I fear will need surgery.. Since it's not getting better.. my INTENTION is to exercise.. but I'll have to find something that doesn't require the use of my knee, legs, or muscles.. (snicker) I discussed all this Saturday with my dearest friend over lunch at the all you can eat Chinese Buffet rest. My INTENTION is to limit our lunches there. I don't think there is much on the menu that is healthy.
I have other INTENTIONS for the New Year.. I INTEND to get some kind of flooring in the bathroom, paint it... and update the shower curtain... I'd like some matching towels too.. It's been 6 yrs. since we had a friend put in a new tub surround and shower.. re-do walls etc.. He was unable to finish it.. apparently so are we.. but this year.. it's my INTENTION to do just that..
I INTEND to organize my family genealogy notes.. and box them up in a place where I can actually find them.. I have files everywhere for 3 family groups.. my Birth family, adopted family, and husbands family.. they are stacked everywhere.. that has to change.. But before I can do that I INTEND to have a huge yard sale.. one of those "Everything Must Go" Sales.. We have so much stuff lying around that we can not, and will not use.. that it's scary.. things are stacked everywhere. I fear they will send a film crew out one day from the show on Cable "hoarders".. So I INTEND to clean off the back patio, set up tables, and just start pulling things out.. I'll have to sort through it.. as hubby has some stuff he doesn't want to part with.. but I fully INTEND to have as much of it gone as I can by the end of the summer.. I also INTEND to clear out the basement extras during the sale.. We need the room..
I INTEND to plant some flowers in the front flowerbeds.. I let them go last year.. they were sad.. I INTEND to clean up the yard, paint the fence, garage, outbuildings.. oh yes, one of the sheds needs a new roof, and we need to start Replacing windows here in the house.. I INTEND to find a loving relative who will work cheap and help us do those repairs.. I'm taking any and all volunteers.. :-)
I INTEND to spend more time reading and less time on the computer. I want to make my time useful.. I can spend hours on the computer.. not much gets done.. I INTEND to create a balance and give myself at least an hour or two of reading each day..
I INTEND to remember that with a New year come New opportunities.. Opportunities to make new friends and keep in touch with old friends. Opportunities to be kind and compassionate.. opportunities to share my joy and happiness with others.. opportunities to grow and learn.. I love new opportunities.. I INTEND to use them and not let them slip by.
I INTEND to use the phone more and email less.. email is great .. but I need to call some folks more often.. I also need to write.. notes and real letters.. I need to remember that not everyone has a computer..
I INTEND to visit more.. I remember as a kid Sunday was visiting day.. we would go to Church then go visit.. Sometimes we would go for the weekend.. and spend the night.. it was fun.. I loved it.. I want to visit..
I could go on and on with my INTENTIONS.. I already plan to write another post on this.. my Spiritual goal setting for the New Year.. My INTENTIONS.. where Faith is concerned.. I got out one of my old Spiritual Journey books.. I use to set Faith goals for the year.. My INTENTION is to set goals again.. and to keep them in front of me.. to remind myself that I do have INTENTIONS.. I hope you have goals, or INTENTIONS for the New year.. I know I always hate making resolutions.. they seem to set me up for failure.. I don't like feeling like a failure.. but INTENTIONS.. maybe those will be easier to manage.. I liked something else Marty alluded to.. If we don't aspire to change.. if we don't see ourselves clearly and see that there is room to improve.. well, we do ourselves a great dis-service.. I see places that I need to improve.. places where I want to make changes.. And the New beginning of a New Year.. is the perfect place to start...