Category Archives: Family

Ugh

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I’ve been working for two days, updating our important records list. Since our son lives across the world from us now, he will need to work with people here to settle our affairs when we croak. We have legally done everything we can to make this as easy for him as possible.

Now I’m trying to make a list of financial stuff, people he should contact, all those details he will need as to contact information, what he will need to do, where things are, etc. It’s a headache.

I take a break and walk around every hour or so, but I was still really bushed at the end of the day yesterday. My husband had a really busy day, as well, so we celebrated living through it by going to get a pizza for dinner. :0)

This is going to be one of many breaks for the day. Hopefully, at the end of this one, we’ll have our act updated. Then I’ll make hard copies for files, safe deposit box, etc. and we’ll make thumb drives of all the documents. We’ll send a zip file to our son, and then we’ll put it on the calendar to update things again in six months.

One good thing about this is that you learn what changes you’ve made in the past six months. You also learn the files you should shred that are outdated, and we’re forced to reorganize what’s left.

Good things – but I’ll go visit my husband out in the shop, stretch my legs, get some water, and relax for a few before starting in again…

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, Family

Let People Know

Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero

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Last of the Personalized Christmas Ornaments

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“Butterfly”

 

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Lamb”

 

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“Rocking Horse”

I finished the last of the 20 different hand-painted wooden personalized “Gingerbread Cookies” themed Christmas ornaments today.  I’ve had a lot of fun making them, along with the personalized Christmas Cards on the same theme.

If you’d like to see the whole collection, click HERE

I’m also working on a special group of ornaments as Christmas presents for good friends, so I’m having a blast in my art room lately. :0)

In the shop, I’ve started a new mosaic bowl. The design is free-form, meaning I’m just doing what I like. The sides of the bowl really slope, so I can only do a ‘ridge line’ each day, covering the glass only on the very top of the bowl, then turning it and adding more. Otherwise, the tiles slide down the bowl and dry wherever they end up. (Lesson on a previous sloping piece.)

I love days when I can do errands with my husband, get outside and enjoy the weather, spend time in my art room or the shop (or both), do a couple of “things-I-really-need-to-do-today” and THEN have time to start or continue a book….

I hope that YOU’RE having a fun day, too.

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Filed under Arts and Crafts - Teaching, Encouragement, Family

Com”cat”ibility!

This is Abby

This is Abby

 

And this is Smoke

And this is Smoke

Abby puts up with Smoke grudgingly. And sometimes, not at all, hissing and spitting and wanting on the opposite side of the door from her. “Compatibility” is NOT their thing.

As I was typing this afternoon, I noticed an amazing thing!

 

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Smoke and Abby were in the bed at my feet under the counter NOT fighting!  I took a picture quickly because this is such a rare event.

Miracles DO occur!

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Family

Hugs

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February 16, 2017 · 11:14 am

Just Listen

Rachel Naomi Remen via Lisa Bearnes Richey

Rachel Naomi Remen via Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Filed under Attitude, Encouragement, Family, Friendship

Grandmothers

Nino Chakvetadze via Zen to Zany

Nino Chakvetadze via Zen to Zany

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Measure Your Words

I saw a post today called, “Measure Your Words.” The point of the post was thinking before you speak, realizing that your words have power, etc.

I immediately thought of my mom, though, when I read the title.

 

My mom - Betty Wheaton

My mother’s dad would only pay for one year of college, so my mom –  in one year – took all the courses required for graduation from the two-year, Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri,  but one (not available that year) almost graduating. She read voraciously, worked a crossword puzzle and the cryptoquote from the newspaper every day, almost always finishing both.

She could stand up in a meeting and say what was on her mind succinctly and persuasively.  My husband has said he wishes he could do HALF as well as she did with no notes, talking off the cuff, no matter the occasion. I personally die off at the idea of speaking in public. When I do, my lip twitches…

I remember that I could tell how angry she was by how long the words were. If she were miffed, her message was straightforward. The more angry she was, the longer the words got. She had quite an impressive vocabulary, making a point of learning new words all the time, memorizing their meanings and proper pronunciation and usage. She once got up in a meeting, ripping the previous speaker’s words to ribbons, using words that were SO long, many of the people – including the speaker – didn’t realize he had been gutted like a fish.

“Measure your words” brings back lots of memories of growing up with a wonderful role model.  I would give anything to be able to listen to her now – no matter how long her words were. :0)

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Filed under Arts and Crafts - Teaching, Family, Favorite People

Inside a Hug

Zen to Zany

Zen to Zany

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Poor Disenfranchised Fish!

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As I do twice weekly, I was washing out Sweet Sally’s fish bowl today when all of a sudden I heard a small, “crack!”

The goblet I had been using as her fish bowl for more than a year suddenly gave up the ghost and died. I didn’t hit it on anything, bump it, or do anything differently than I’ve done countless times before. My poor fish was in a small bowl with a towel over it, waiting for her home to be cleaned and her to be able to enjoy fresh, clean water and scrubbed decorations and aerator – but her home was gone.

I had to look for quite a while to find her old home. I got it cleaned up and Sally back in as soon as I could.

I got her wonderful, big goblet from the exclusive emporium of Wal-Mart. I’ve found that a lot of the time, when I really like something, they have quit carrying it the next time I go. We’re going tomorrow, so I’m keeping all appendages crossed that I can replace her home so she is no longer disenfranchised, but time will tell.

I feel as if I’m in the Peter Pan movie – the part where they say, “Clap if you believe in Tinkerbell….” I’m clapping as hard and fast as I can that Sweet Sally gets her home back.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Family

What Do I Want?

GrowingBolder.com

GrowingBolder.com

Raising kids is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Sometimes your kids become really good people in spite of you. Whatever happened in our case, I’m really proud of our son.  He’s across the world from us, living and working in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He spends part of each day learning Thai.  His kindness and generosity make me humble.

He wrote us last night, saying he was going out today with New Year’s cards – with money in them – giving them to people he didn’t know who ‘had crappy jobs.’

My eyes are filled with tears of pride that he would think to do this, and actually do it. He makes ‘loans’ he won’t allow people to repay, he gives away stuff he has to people who don’t have it, he gives hugs to me without my having to ask. These are only a few examples of the way our son lives his life. How lucky I am to know such a person!

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Filed under Attitude, Family, Favorite People, kindness

Merry Christmas!

pinterest

Blingee via pinterest

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”  ~Norman Vincent Peale

 

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”  ~Author unknown, attributed to a 7-year-old named Bobby

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Filed under Family, Friendship, holidays

A Wonderful Christmas Gift

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This is an old picture of our son Brian and me, but it’s one of my all-time favorites. He gives absolutely the best hugs I’ve ever had, bringing tears to my eyes.

He’s living and working in Thailand. He loves it there. He can live alongside good friends, also from the States, do computer work for clients in the United States, and live the life he wants, cooking for himself, working out every day, meditating, and learning Thai.

We’re very lucky, in that we’ve always been close, and he’s a wonderful communicator. We have a chat program he set up that is super reliable and private. We can ‘talk’, sometimes in real time when we’re all up at the same time (he’s 12 hours ahead of us at any given time), or we can leave messages for each other. We can send music clips, photos, etc. We talk almost daily.  We tried Skype, but since we live in the sticks. we lose the connection and the images are fuzzy.

Today I checked the chat program to see if he’d left anything.

I read the second-best thing possible – (the first would be that he’s coming home for a visit) –

He’ll try to call us tomorrow for Christmas, when we’re all up at the same time!

Merry Christmas to us!!!!

And to YOU!

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Filed under Family, holidays

I Love Giving at Christmas

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I love making things for friends for Christmas.

This year I did personalized note cards for 8 people: the three ladies who work at the post office; my Lunch Bunch friends, Linda and Kay, and my good friends Carla and Nora. I’ll do two other sets over the next few days for the two wonderful waitresses at the Pizza Barn in Greenwood, where we have Lunch Bunch. They gave each of us a Christmas mug! I also enjoyed giving some of my mosaic Christmas ornaments, plus jewelry, etc.

There is almost nothing that gives me the pleasure of watching people I care about open gifts from me at birthdays and Christmas. Next year I’m seriously thinking of giving some “Just Because” gifts, purely for the joy it gives ME. I know – I’m thinking of myself again, but at least I’m honest about it….

I hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Filed under Encouragement, Family, Favorite People, Friendship

Hug

Favim.com

Favim.com

“A hug is a great gift – one size fits all, and it’s easy to exchange.”  ~Author Unknown

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Filed under Family, holidays

Kids Participate in Difficult Christmas Experiment

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The experiment took place at a Boys and Girls Club in metro Atlanta, where 83% of the kids come from low-income families. One by one kids are brought into a room to answer several questions. At first, they are asked what they want for Christmas. The video shows different clips of the children revealing their most desired gift – from a dollhouse, to an Xbox 360. Then, the interviewer asks what their moms (or families) would like for Christmas. Each of the kids name a gift that they know that their person would love.

Here comes the hard part of the scenario. The kids are presented with their dream gift, and told that it is theirs to keep. Everyone is thrilled…but then they are also given their family’s gift as well. They are told that they must pick between the presents. Although it seems as if it would be a tough choice, every single one of the kids chooses to act selflessly – and picks the family gift. All of them provide answers for why they made their decision, which are so heartfelt, they will bring you to tears. Wow, what amazing kids!

If the link above doesn’t work, please copy and paste the following URL into your browser – http://www.faithtap.com/5188/kids-particpate-in-difficult-christmas-gift-experiment/?utm_source=shared&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_campaign=main&src=shared

 

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Thank you to http://www.faithtap.com via Lenore Garnhum, Facebook

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Delightful Surprises, Family, Favorite Videos, holidays

The Vet’s Office – Take 7

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Thanks to Marsha Koenig for her email.

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Need a Hug? – Take 5

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4GIFS.com

Thanks to Marsha Koenig for her email.

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Need a Hug? – Take 4

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Thanks to Marsha Koenig for her email.

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Priceless Gift

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Recently we drove to Thibodaux, Louisiana to visit with our dear cousins/great friends, Murray and John. We write, we call, but seeing them face to face and being able to share hugs is the best. They couldn’t make us feel more welcome.  We just wish we could see them more often.

The latest trip I was so touched that Murray insisted I choose something I liked from her wonderful collection of glassware. I chose this wonderful purple pitcher because I LOVE pitchers of all shapes and sizes. Murray said there were glasses that went with it; but, although we looked and looked, we were unable to find them.

Murray was setting up for a meeting of one of her clubs, getting out fall things, and found the glasses! They arrived in the mail today along with a nice letter from John.

This set belonged to one of my husband’s aunts, Kathryn Dennis.

I love the set because –

  • I love pitchers, with our without coordinating glasses
  • I love purple
  • I love things with texture
  • the set belonged to my husband’s Aunt Kathyrn
  • the set most recently belonged to my wonderful cousin/friend Murray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Delightful Surprises, Family, Favorite People, Favorite Things

Need a Hug? – Take 3

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Animal House for Real via email from Marsha Koenig

 

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Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library via email from Marsha Koenig

 

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Sabrina Page, Manhattan Animal Care & Control via email from Marsha Koenig

 

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The Vet’s Office – Take 5

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Thanks to Marsha Koenig for her email.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Family

I Wish…

"Dandelion Fluff" - Paul Militaru Photography

“Dandelion Fluff” – Paul Militaru Photography

Did you blow on a dandelion as you made a wish when you were a child? I have fond memories of that – wishing for the stars – and then some.

Today I would do it again, if I had a dandelion. I would wish for as many days like today as possible.

It was, in some ways, an ordinary day for us. We did our chores around the house, went to town and did our errands. I did two more sections from my new yoga DVDs and was so relaxed I took a nap. While we were out, my husband asked me if I wanted him to cook steaks on the grill tonight. It was a perfect night for it. The temperatures cooled off and there was a beautiful breeze on the deck. We plugged in our rope LED lights that go all the way around the inside top of our deck, so it looked quite festive. Our dogs and cats were with us, enjoying chasing the occasional ‘something’ across the yard in the grass.

We just finished our glorious dinner, celebrating the weather, the fact that we’re trying to get healthier, and that we are together. I ate my steak, enjoying every bite, and my husband also enjoyed a baked potato, although I convinced him to be satisfied with a much smaller one that he is used to eating.

He is happily enjoying a book now. Recently I re-read “To Kill a Mockingbird” for the umpteenth time. I got on Netflix awhile back and ordered it, so I’m about to go in, grab my ice water, and enjoy one of my favorite movies of all time.  The day was all I could wish for. I hope my virtual wish, looking at this beautiful photo by Paul Militaru, comes true.

 

 

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Filed under Family, Favorite Authors & Books, Favorite Things, Paul Militaru Photography

Gift of Love

Sew Mama Sew

Sew Mama Sew

This picture gives you an idea of what my good friend Kay is making for her sister, who has Alzheimer’s. She showed it to us yesterday at Lunch Bunch, and I’ve had tears in my eyes off an on every time I think of it.

Kay’s sister is always doing something with her hands when Kay visits – folding a piece of paper, then unfolding it, worrying a thread she found, etc. Kay got the idea that she might enjoy a quilt that had lots of interesting and fun things to do, as well as serving as a lap robe in her chair.

There’s a

  • zipper to zip and unzip,
  • a ribbon tied in a bow that she can untie, then tie again
  • a snugly material right in the center with openings on both sides so that her sister can put her hands in it to keep them warm
  • a stuffed doggie that barks when you squeeze him
  • and she’s making a quilt ‘book’ that her sister can enjoy, turning the pages

I may be forgetting something, but you get the idea. I’ve never heard of a more thoughtful gift, or one that shows more love and compassion.

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Need a Hug?- Take 2

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Thanks to Marsha Koenig for her email.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Family

Need a Hug? – Take 1

My friend Marsha Koenig sent me these in an email. I melted into a puddle. I thought YOU might need a hug, too…

 

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Family

Cats Play Pounce

ex-askthetrainer-com

AsktheTrainer.com

I’m not the only one using my new exercise ball.

The dogs laborious walk around it, or nudge it carefully out of the way of their bed, which is beneath the entertainment center. They’re pretty leery of it, mostly.

The cats, however, used it as a play opportunity yesterday, and had my husband and me laughing out loud. :0)

My husband noticed it first. Abby, our older tortoiseshell cat, was on ‘our’ side of the ball. She was looking at the ball funny for some reason. All of a sudden Smoke, our short-haired gray cat, suddenly leaped from behind the ball onto Abby. They rolled for a second, then split up, opting to try it again. Abby didn’t leap, but was totally engaged in the game. Smoke leaped a couple more times until Abby hissed at her. The next time, the ball suddenly came at Abby, running right into her, causing her to leave the area.

I swear I heard Smoke giggle…

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Kids and Pets – Take 7

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Thanks to Emily Davis, trendingly.com

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Kids and Pets – Take 6

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Thanks to Emily Davis, trendingly.com

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Kids and Pets – Take 5

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Thanks to Emily Davis, trendingly.com

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Good Morning!

Whoever “Sam” is, I applaud this drawing. I love the color and the sense of humor! Great job!

This morning I’m remembering our recent vacation, where we drove to Thibodaux, Louisiana to visit our cousins/good friends Murray and John.

To say we had a wonderful time just doesn’t say enough. I’ve been having lovely, random thoughts and emotions ever since we came home. Here are some of them –

  • CHEESE GRITS – I really can’t eat regular grits, no matter how they’re prepared. I avoid them like the plague. When Murray served them a couple of visits ago, I dutifully put a very small spoonful on my plate, trying to be polite while I grimaced inside. I was really glad grits wasn’t the ONLY thing on the breakfast menu, and figured one spoonful wouldn’t kill me.  I’ve never been so shocked in my life. They were ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! I have to admit I made a pig of myself, timing getting more after the bowl had been passed around the table each time.  My husband simply said that “Linda has to have cheese grits” almost as we walked into their home! I was embarrassed. I wasn’t going to ask because both Murray and John had been ill recently and I didn’t want to put them to the trouble. Murray served them on our second morning there. I ate all that was reasonable, and was delighted when they packed a doggie bag for me to take home. My husband and I enjoyed them our first morning home. Since I’m trying to get the lard off, I won’t have them again until the NEXT time we go visit – IF Murray will be kind enough to make them.  cheesegrits
  • HUGS – I probably drove them nuts, but I sneaked in as many hugs as I could while we were there. They make us feel so welcome. The love simply pours out and embraces you. It’s hard to leave.
  • STORIES AND CONVERSATION – I love their home. Everywhere you look there are treasures. Some have been in the family for several generations. Other things bring memories of trips. All have been gathered with love. I can’t tell you how I love hearing the story behind new things I find each visit. We laugh at the funny stories. We tear up at the memories of ones we love. If it’s possible, we feel closer to each other each time we visit.
  • FRIENDS – This visit we got to meet some of their good friends – Matt, Ann, Gordon, Jacque (sp?) There was good food, of course, but the conversation was priceless. I teared up several times at how they teased each other (as really good friends do, if you’re lucky). I noticed how Murray would ask someone a questions, or ask them to share a story, and some of the richness of their friends’ lives flowed over and around the group. Many laughs were shared.  One example: Matt calls himself ‘The Dumb Plumber.” He has been so successful that he can now pick and choose the jobs he takes. He has chosen million dollar homes as his specialty. He loves to hunt and has four college degrees. His accent was a bit difficult for us to understand, but I could have listened to him forever. His eyes danced as he talked, taking in everyone in the room.
  • OLD ESTATE – This is one of my favorite places in Thibodaux. All four of us went this time. My husband found earrings he wanted me to have, plus a sign that says, “In dog beers, I’ve only had one.” (It’s hanging on the wall in our kitchen now).  This is a beautiful combination of goodies shop and art gallery, owned by a friend of Murray’s and John’s.  (Murray calls it “Jerome’s). I look forward to finding a new treasure to take home each time we go.

I could go on. I find a happy image floating in front of my face from time to time. Or I grin, thinking of something we talked about. We are so lucky to have relatives/friends who encourage us to come see them, make us SO welcome when we do, give us such good feelings to enjoy long after we come home, plus memories to last a lifetime.

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