Saturday, December 24, 2011

Different Days

 Since my Young Mama Days, Hubby has managed to surprise me every year with the most wonderful gift.  

His Time. 

 He would save up his Use or Lose time off throughout the year then in the busiest of months, he would spend it all.  This would mean that the whole month or at least a majority of the month of December, He Was Mine.  To a young mama with four children and a very busy life, this meant daily support with gift making, treat baking, snow playing and shopping. wrapping and decorating.  It was the best gift ever.  And we loved our time together even though we were usually just grabbing smooches as we passed each other en route to another task.
 Then our house got empty.

Our little kiddos had homes of their own and Hubby and I found ourselves without the busy-ness that consumes young homes.  However, we are creatures of habit and Hubby habitually saved his use or lose for just widdo ol' me.  I haven't sent Christmas Cards in years.  We quit gift exchanges long ago.  This year, the big tree stayed in the basement and only the newest of decorations came out.  In short, there just wasn't much for either one of us to do.  Not being the type to sit still, this year, we sought out Different Days.  This year, our time off took us to different occupations, things that in the previous years of parenting would never been possible....or even considered.
 This year, the last big shopping weekend before Christmas, we went to an auction.  
While most were scurrying around in the mall, Hubby and I searched out the most rural of locations on a very temperate Saturday in December to a hidden home that housed most of the vintage sewing machines known to man.  I got a glimpse of my own estate auction in the future walking through this elderly woman's collection of all things sewing.  Materials, kitschy furniture and dishes from another time, out buildings full of all kinds of useful and decorative things spanning many decades.  The day was bright and agreeable to be out in, unlike most mid Decembers.  We passed on the lengthy wait for a very special vintage sewing machine, but felt a little lighter in spirit after leaving the beautiful, distant location.

We found an unusual stop for lunch in the nearest town.  A deli with an emphasis on cheese.  All things cheese.  No indoor seating, so we just took our very unique sandwiches and ate in the car.  Because it was Different Day.

We needed to leave the auction so that we could help Youngest Son prepare for his First Annual Christmas Dance.  A hoot if I ever saw one.  YS rented out a local dance studio and put on a most jolly of dances in lieu of gifts for his friends.
 We had a blast baking and decorating and of course, dancing to his well selected play list of musical favorites and obscure (to me) artists.  Hubby and I waited for the right song, danced hard, then departed, leaving the younguns to their Big Fun.

 A few days later, found me preparing to go to my Christmas Brunch with my Fleur de Lis Ladies.  Any time this fun group of women meet is a joy, but the Christmas Gathering is particularly inspirational.  Our hostess is our poet laureate of the bunch, a 91 year old jewel of a woman, that hosts us at her home, prepares the turkey, yeast rolls, dressing and dumplings.  Two other ninety year old members, brought covered dishes as well.  The encouragement I receive from the tiny time with these wonderful women, spurs me on like nothing else.  They are gifts.  This year, the hostess left this message on my answering machine:'Don't forget Fleur de lis Christmas Dinner Monday.  Bring a covered dish. (pause) And put something in it!'  See?  A positive hoot.

I tried to take her photo but she kept moving as I aimed the camera.  Lord, may I have her energy when I am her age.
 Of course, there has been plenty of time for crafting, embroidery, crocheting, while Hubby drives me around the countryside and while we watch an endless selection of Netflix streaming.

Then, our Biggest Different Days Diversions:

1.  Passport Application!!  Yes!  First time out of the country this coming year in celebration of our 40th Anniversary.  We headed to the Big City to accomplish this only to find out a bit into our journey that we had left our filled out applications in the buffet drawer.  In the dining room, ten miles back.  In days passed, with time of the essence, we would have railed at our stupidity and cursed at the waste of time.  This time, in the era of Different Days, we laughed and shook our heads and whooped at the craziness of leaving at home, the main purpose of the trip.  Too funny.  Other years, it could have been the reason for a rather large To Do......

2.  Hand Gun Purchase!  I KNOW! For years, I would not let Hubby even reveal his guns in my presence.  I had no idea where in the house they even where, that 's how good he was at hiding them.  But as in all things changing, I have come around to the thinking that a little personal protection might not be a bad thing.  I plan to take a firearms class, practice at a shooting range, and become a very legal hand gun owner with my very own gun.  Hubby and I were coming home from a rather superfluous errand the other night and after 'rocking the value menu' (E/A's Hubby saying) at our local fast foodery, we happened by a new gun shop in town.  They were closing as we passed but Hubby pursued on, asking the owners as they were leaving for the day, their hours etc.  The men leaving their store decided to reopen their shop, show us the best arm for my needs and we proceeded to fill out the proper paperwork and off we went, intending on shopping for tulip bulbs at Lowes and coming home with a very nice firearm.  See?  Different Days!  Who Knew??

For all you most busy of young mama's:  Hang In There!  Your time is coming...!! 

Different Days is well worth the wait......

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Very Girly Christmas!

Last Christmas, those of us gathered to celebrate, awaited anxiously for the news of Lil' Lady's arrival to this world.  Two days after Christmas Day,a most charming little granddaughter appeared.  The next day, we piled into Papa's red sleigh, and headed northward to oooh and ahhhh over this precious gift.  Eldest Admin, Miss Viv, Unca Joco and Papa and I shared a hotel room that night so we could spend some more time admiring this addition to our family.  I can remember clearly walking down the hospital corridor and seeing the open door to Baby Girl's room and noticing, from a distance of about 20 feet, the deepest, cutest dimples on my new granddaughter's nursing face.  I melted and fell in love all over again.  How could this be?  Miss Vivien had encompassed my grandmotherly heart yet, the same overwhelming love I felt for her, was showing up again.  Amazing.

Then this summer, I'll be darned if it didn't happen again!  Lovely Wife presented my Eldest Son with Sweet Adeline, our most tiny, adorable little baby girl.  Three Girls to fawn over, to engage with, to sew for, to admire and train up to be a most Proverbs 31 like woman.  Granted, most of the responsibility is in the hands of their very adept and capable parents, but I do believe there is much to learn from the grandparental units.  I constantly have to seek wisdom and guidance from the Lord to know just what it is/will be that I shall impart to these darling girls.

Then last Friday, it was revealed to this very happy family, that indeed, we shall be blessed with another wonderful female grandchild!!  Dare I tell you  that I am already gearing up for that magical moment when the first glance quadruples my Mimi heart to embrace this newest grandgirl into my life?  Months ago, I began the quilting of her sunshiny quilt.  Months ago, I have reserved in my scheduling, a time to go and help E/A 'nest'.  Months ago, I have prepared my emotions for the welcoming of a long awaited infant into E/A's eager heart and home and have girded myself with prayers for the safe carrying and delivery of this much planned and anticipated baby......

 At this wondrous time of year, when anticipation is high, joy is near and excitement is at it's apex, it is so good to think of the blessing of new life.  An old year wraps up and hopes for the new year all comes down to the advent of birth and rebirth.

This season exists because of the One Life that provides eternal life for us all.  God knew that we would respond to a babe.  He knew that the story of His Son's life would draw us.  He designed us to listen to Someone that had walked this earth and knew what we experience.  He knew His Son wrapped in humanity in the form of a helpless babe, would be the way we would respond to His message...

Thank you Lord for the blessing of babies and for the special gift of Your Son........
Amen and Alleluia.....

Thursday, December 15, 2011

39 Years.

 You wouldn't know it to look at these two youngsters, but we knew everything.

 We had three months to plan our wedding before Uncle Sam would be taking my young hubby to Vietnam.  (President Nixon stopped the draft 5 weeks after our wedding.  I did ask Hubby if he wanted to return me since he wasn't leaving.  He said, 'Nah.')

Of course, I had conflicting ideas with my mother as to what a young December Bride should wear. Hubby to Be and I thought we would just pay for our wedding  so we could have the final say on the decorative, fashion elements for  the day.  After viewing these photos, I'm sure you might have suggested that we listen to Mom.
 At the time, I worked at a fabric store and I knew the day after we decided to get married, which fabric would clothe myself and my bridesmaids.  The most beautiful border eyelet became my dress, made from two different patterns, by my talented manager at the fabric shop.  She made/designed my dress as her wedding gift.  An all cotton calico became the most simple bridesmaid dresses.  Eyelet and ribbon trim, de rigueur for the day, was all the detail the dresses had.  Different colors for two attendants and a bright yellow for my three year old niece as flower girl.  All four dresses cost 50.00. Total.

I made the straw flower arrangements that my girls carried.  I designed our wedding invitations and my printer brother in law, printed  this most out of the ordinary for the day invitations.  Hubby's brother took our photos.  My daddy was in charge of maintenance at our local Eagles Club so the reception venue was taken care of.  Magnums of champagne were purchased for 10.00 per since Daddy-o had an 'in' with the supplier.  Hubby's aunts brought the reception food: baked ham, salads, jello, chips. My sister and BIL paid for our overnight stay at a local hotel; a rather extravagant sum of $25.00 per night  One night.  Hubby had to go to work the following Monday. Our whole florist bill, which was reduced by having the good fortune of marrying in a Catholic cathedral with all it's grand Christmas decor, totaled 68.00, my bouquet and wreath included.  Looking through our receipts in our wedding book, it appears the grand total for the whole shebang was a whopping $500.00.  That's a lot of fabric cutting and pizza making for this crazy young couple.

Three decades have past and I still get that little leap in my heart when I see him enter the room.

Bumpy times have come and gone.  We have seen each other at our absolute worst and have loved each other anyway.  That is what it is all about.  Complete commitment.  Depending not on feelings but choices we vocalized with our very young voices on that very cold December day.

Best $500.00 investment we ever made......

Friday, December 9, 2011

One of Those Days.

I was making lunch when Hubby pointed out that perhaps we weren't alone.  Looking up, on the roof over the back door, was our neighbor's cat, peering in with that 'Whaaa?' look.
It reminded me of the book 'Wacky Wednesday': 'Cat on the roof? Cat on the roof shouldn't be there at all!'
But it was Thursday.
I took it as an omen.

See this purse to be?  It was in the doing of it that I first should have known that things could go awry.
I was too excited.  Too pleased that I had a new machine that would sew through the leather on the ex belt to be a purse strap.  Too giddy that most of my pressing Christmas Sewing was wrapping up.
None the less, I, flibbertigibbet like, grabbed my new machine (well, not exactly grabbed; more like grunted and groaned) as I lifted it into it's new position in The Sewing Room.  I introduced my Japanese Friend, Janome Jean, old sewing machine, to the current crush,  Heavy Duty Harry.  Harry seemed quite pleased with being in the forefront as Janome Jean politely bowed to his appearance. (JJ is very hospitable).  The Operator plugged in and poked around, checking out all the buttons and gadgets.  HDH is very plain; simply utilitarian and functional but I needed to get familiar.  On his shiny new motor and wheel was a most obtrusive orange thingy.  With saw teeth and bright color, I figured it must be a temporary thing placed on it for shipping it safely.  Surely it couldn't be permanent?

Without so much as a hesitation in my go go go mode, I grabbed my snips and SNIP! That was it.
It was pretty much immediately following that crisp sound that I had second thoughts.  Useless and empty, I could not even consider my last action.
Until I Pressed On The Pedal And It Would Not Go.
"NO!" I says to myself.
"NO, NO, NO!" I says louder to myself in case the first one didn't work.
The next thought was denial.  Something else must be wrong.
Time to get Hubby involved.
I call him sweetly, "Hubby dearest, would you mind checking my new machine?  It appears, dearest hubby, that something could be wrong with it?"
But I knew.

Hubby appeared with his Rescue Ranger Look on his face.  Hubby is always ready to attack a mechanical problem.  It's his thing.  I almost hated to ruin his day.
I looked straight into his eager eyes.  
" I do believe I know what is wrong.  It appears this rather useless looking thing seems to be something rather important."
I showed him where I clipped it off from, held the ruined Lug Belt in my hands and we just looked at each other incredulously.
Then we Laughed Our Arses Off.
Hubby sensing that my laughter was reaching hysteria, came to a non mechanical rescue with these words:
" Well, honey, at least you figured out what you did!  You saw how it doesn't work without it and put two and two together!  That's good!"

Good Ol Hubby.  Wise Hubby.  He hasn't lived with me for nigh on 39 years for nothing.
Leave me alone enough with my frustration and anger and I will beat myself up pretty good without any help.
He turns around to leave the sewing room, shaking his head at another bonehead action that I have managed to accomplish in this last year.  But wisely,  not saying a word.

Lest you think that I am angelic in my dilemma, you can be sure that my best naughty words were brought out for the occasion and that all day long I was found to keep repeating, "I CANNOT believe I did that!! How stupid am I", throughout the house.  Even Miss Dixie was getting tired of the tirade.

On the bright side, after all was said and done, HDH was shelved till the Mighty USPS delivers his brand new Lug Belt, hopefully, next week, and most gracious Janome Jean returned to her rightful place, with enough joy to finish Sweet Adeline's most brilliant Christmas Stocking!  Nothing like sewing for one of my little grandgirls to make me forget the silliness in my day to day..... 

Do not let the Grinch of Circumstance rob you from your proper joy this season.....

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Debustle

 This is the extent of my bustle these days.
Haven't done gift exchanges with the kids for years.
Hubby and I haven't exchanged gifts forever.  We kinda like the ongoing, through the year, surprise you big time gifting.
This year, the bustle has quieted to some hours on the Internet searching for the right, green, local, organic gifties for the grandgirls.  The other time is spent in the sewing room making sure each one of the girls has a   Mimi Made gift and ornament.
 This extra time is a gift for me.  Time to appreciate time with friends.  Time to reflect on the source of the celebration.  Time to appreciate the talents of others.

 Last year, we started a Pink Tree Tradition.  Little pink trees have been purchased for each of the grandgirls.  We decorate each one with symbolic things of the little girls past year.  This year, we have a Mary Poppins tree, complete with a vintage Mary doll and lots of Mimi made kites.  A Happy Meal penguin from 1999 and a little pin that says 'lets go fly a kite' completes Miss Vivs theme this year.  She is quite the Poppins fan.  Last year was a Sea Booty (translated: Sleeping Beauty) tree due to her infatuation with the classic movie. 
 Lil' Lady's tree has sparkly royal blue ball ornaments,her favorite color.  She has some of her mama's ornaments to complete the look.  BG ordered lots of crocheted snowflakes this year for her home and Mimi got addicted and used up a whole skein of yarn for all three trees.  Our latest pink tree has some of her daddy's ornaments, her initial ornament and blocks and the sweetest snuggle bunny ornament.  This December 16, we shall find out if Mimi and Papa will be buying another pink or...dare I say it....a BLUE tree for next year??!!
 This past years redo in the living room screamed for new Christmas decorations.  Something simple.  Something turquoise.  Something in keeping with the New Look.  Think I found it....
 Years ago, Kindred Spirit's daughter, Emily (The Fashion Designer) made these fabu ( a word I first heard from her!) Christmas Stockings for me.  Made from vintage sheets and just the right colors, you'd think she was positively clairvoyant, seeing my turquoise/orange/yellow Christmas needs years ago.  The size will be perfect for the Grandgirlies toys.

In case you have noticed an absence of a big tree, you are absolutely astute.  Since this is the year that all the chickies spend with their other families, Hubby and I will be on our own and we just didn't see the need to put up the big tree.  We shall enjoy our little pink trees and what they mean to us and save our energies for other fun Christmas projects and people.
 Last night, during a Mad Men a thon with Hubby, I  made the felt ornaments for the girl's trees.  On the way to and back from church yesterday, I finished up the crocheted snowflakes, courtesy of Attic24.  (can you see Lil Lady's dolly to be peeking around the snowflakes?  Her First Birthday is two days following Christmas.)

And after a year or so of working on Pretend Granddaughter Sara's Big Girl Quilt, I am finally at the point to do the yarn tying......PGS is an animal lover, particularly doggies, so I don't even think she'll mind the Miss Dixie popped into the photo shoot...

Hoping you're taking the time to drink in the wonder of this season.....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Every Thing Old is New Again: Leftovers and Such

Just this week, Baby Girl made a rather revealing statement to me.  She says, 'Mom, you are the Queen of Leftovers! '  While this appears to be a dubious distinction, I did take it for what is was worth and have reflected on it since.

It appears that raising a family of six with one income and an agoraphobic wife/mother, has made me somewhat of a Meal Designer Extraordinaire by default.  I never really thought of it as special, but in these days of frugality and using what you have, perhaps my day has come.

For instance, this is what I prepared for the past week for my visitors:

  • Enchiladas - leftover meat turned into chili days later
  • Thanksgiving Dinner:  Stuffed Turkey Breast - turned into eggrolls; Root Vegetable Gratinata- turned into a chicken casserole; steamed broccoli - turned into broccoli/cheddar soup; Sweet potatoes/squash -turned into creamy sweet potato soup; homemade crescent rolls- added to almost every meal throughout the weekend
  • Devon's Birthday Spaghetti -( nuthin leftover (sorry Dev)
  • Chicago Style Pizza a la America's Test Kitchen
  • Roast Beef Wraps to serve with the Broccoli/Cheddar Soup, thanks to deli RB
Baby Girl and I agreed that if your larder has been adequately supplied with the basics, you can put together a meal quickly utilizing what you have on hand.  So you ask, 'What is an adequately supplied larder? '  Well, I'm glad you asked.  I would get a bit twitchy if I did not have the following in my pantry.

  • boullions of all kind; vegetable, beef, chicken
  • assorted condiments: ketchup, mustards, soy sauce, worcestshire
  • oils (olive, canola, Crisco)
  • flours and sugars
  • vinegars
  • frozen rolls (okay, technically not in my pantry)
  • assorted spices of all kinds
  • pasta of all varieties (including egg noodles)
  • assorted canned vegetables and fruits
  • Nutella.  seriously.  Drop in guests can be treated with Nutella on apples or grahams.
  • Oatmeal 
  • assorted rices (brown, long grain and instant kinds)
  • beans of all kinds: kidney, canellini, chick peas, butter etc. etc.
  • dried milk (I know. Would not drink the stuff straight but comes in handy for sauces when the last drop of milk has just been used)
  • cheeses (in the fridge, BTW)
  • all canned tomato products
  • canned mushrooms
  • potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips
  • canned bamboo shoots and water chestnuts
And this is just the dry portion of the larder.

Keep in mind, that most leftovers can be divided into several categories: 

  1. savory  (cream sauces and soups)
  2. mexican (adobo sauce, cumin, cilantro, cayenne, paprika, chili powder)
  3. italian (basil, oregano, rosemary, garlic, parmesan)
  4. asian (soy sauce, paprika, garlic, red pepper flakes)
  5. other ethnic
If  you possess one of these in one form, with a little help, it can become something else almost without anyone notice.  Few noticed that my chili meat had previously been known as the yummy enchiladas we all enjoyed a few days before.  Many a leftover spaghetti dinner has been magically turned into a baked pasta before you can say freezer burn.  And the most magical of all, when leftover any meat becomes....TA DA!  Authentic Eggrolls!! 
Add your larder with a fresh supply of veggies and fruits each week and you are set.

  Back in my young mama days, Hubby did ALLLLLLL the shopping (see above mentioned agoraphobia).  Back then, he was known as Frugal Fred and he would give all the coupon clippers a run for their money.  That man could squeeze a grocery budget dollar dry.  He knew how to shop and pack at Aldi's like a pro.  He was aware of end cap scams.  He knew that it was senseless to use coupons for things you don't need/use just to 'save money'.  He knew that the things you really could use, rarely had coupons and you just shopped sales.  Hubby did all the grocery shopping on one trip.  Once a week.  We DID NOT go to the store other than the appointed day/night.  If we did not have it , we made do or did with out.  We did have an extra freezer so it is safe to say that we were not deprived.  And I have to say that it made me the creative cook I am today.  I cooked what was brought to me and that was it.  Every now and then, after perusing a magazine and finding an exceptional recipe, I would jot the needed items on my list, and wait for grocery day.  If it wasn't on the list, it was not purchased.  No spontaneous purchases only the really good deals that might not have been advertised.  Before you think that Hubby was trained by the Gestapo, let me just say that with all my grumbling and complaining, in hindsight, I think that it was a brilliant way to do things.  Like I said, Single Income Family.  It could not have happened if I was in charge of groceries.  Oh, the things that I would have drug home.  Thank you Lord for agoraphobia.  It reigned me in properly.

Speaking of lists: Do you have a Grocery List Location?  Secret to successful shopping.  You need to keep an ongoing, running tab of all the things that you just used the last of.  Three more teabags?  On the list.  Somedays, I might be off on one of my benevolent visits and Hubby gets a hankerin to do groceries.  No need to wonder what the little lady needs; it's there on The List where it always is.  I return home and voila!  Needed groceries are in their proper place!   Install the habit of ongoing grocery list making.

Since the chickies have all flown, the Hubby and I are a bit looser on the grocery visits.  I have been known to now run into the local for Just One Thing.  Hubby still gets a bit nuts about that, but since our abode is in a small town now with the grocery just a bit away, he can't pull the 'Save Gas' line of the past.  However, we still buy up the deals as they happen, meat wise.  He has been known to buy round steak or rump roasts by the half dozens or more.  Boneless skinless chicken breast on sale, reminds us on to buy more freezer bags for dividing the deals, usually in 10 pound packages, into Empty Nester proportions.

Now that I have pridefully boasted about the amazing skills in the kitchen that I possess, I suppose I should invite you to drop in on me sometime and have me show you my culinary stuff. 
And that's just what I'll do.....

Drop on in anytime for a meal.....
Or Nutella on graham crackers.....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Full Heart *sigh*

 Not many words today.
Heart is imploding and lots of sighs are expending but words just fall short.
 Having a house full of my favorite people just does a number on this very very very very thankful Mimi.
 Making food for my sweeties always takes me over the top.  Listening to their conversations while I saute and bake keeps a smile on my face for days.
 Taking part in my grands first holidays darn near takes me over the edge, emotionally.  Observing that I do indeed have the most adorable in laws ever, seals the deal.
 The transformation of the quiet little house to crazy, hectic party home tickles me like nothing else.
 Running the dish washer three times a day makes me laugh at what it must be thinking.  Wondering how four dozen eggs, innumerable loaves of bread, gallons of tea and juice and never mind the pounds of butter that were ingested and enjoyed, could have disappeared,  makes me giggle.
 Pretty sure my muscles groups that seldom carry little ones, are thinking that I've lost my mind.  Pretty sure I have.  And my heart. Many times over.
 Remembering the joy of pretend play as Papa, Unca Joco and Pretend Cousin Sara played Daddy, Mommy and baby horsies with Miss Viv for hours......

We even had two courageous men head out to Black Friday to score some deals....

In keeping of the competitive and wacky spirit of gaming in this household, a trophy was awarded the high points of some video game that involved unicorns and rainbows.  I think.  All we know that Miss Viv's Mommy horse was sacrificed for the honor of becoming the trophy. I told you; things get strange around here.

On Sunday afternoon, after four days of wonderful camaraderie, lots of food and laughter and baby holding, my adorable guests searched the house for their belongings and added some things as well and packed their cars well as they headed off to their real lives, far away from this Mimi....... The silence was deafening as the house sighed in contemplation as to just what went on.

So as we head off to the Merry Month of December, let us carry in our hearts the warmth of our relationships and the priorities of family and friends.
And may we be kind - as if at the end of the Christmas Season, we shall receive a trophy as dandy as the one that was fashioned out of my sewing room this past weekend by Baby Girl's Hubby....

My dear children: I love you more than my luggage.....

Monday, November 21, 2011

When the Chickies Come Home to Roost

Most times, I have accepted that having the privilege of having my grown up babies nearby, close or neighborly, is just a dream.  But every now and then, we all get the moment, the day, the, dare I say it: A Span of Days, where we all get to breathe the same air, be under the same roof, share a table.
This type of gift is a rare blessing and is fodder of a multitude of pre event texts, regaling the wonders of all of us being able to Be Together.

I Homeschooled my children for eleven+ years.  They were with me day and night, in season and out of season for most of their time in our home.  I clucked and supervised and nosed around their lives, welcomed or not, for as long as they lived under our roof.  Not quite a Hovering Mom, but certainly 'involved'.
Once they flew the coop, that was it.  I let them fly and roam and pursue their lives, loves and interest with barely a phone call.  Honest.  Ask them.  Barely call, usually text, email or Facebook.  We visit when we can but normally, we wait to be invited, wait for them to call when it is convenient and thoroughly enjoy our time with them when it all lines up.  I rationalized that if I was vigilant when they were under my care, then once they left, I would have little to say about the goings on in their Adult Lives.
I make no opinions unless called upon and even then, I make it short and sweet.
They are, after all, adults. Always my babies, but also their own selves with their very own lives and I shall not butt in.

When they come home, I rejoice.  I plan and plot and dream of what to feed them, what to entertain them with, how can I squeeze out the time we have together to its maximum potential, so that when they leave to their individual lives, I have the memories and the grand satisfaction of dropping in on their lives for a fragment of time.

This past month, I have squirreled away recipes, reviewed old favorites, cleaned like the Queen is coming for a visit, made sleeping arrangements to suit all our New Members (ie. grandgirls!) and in general, bask in the wonder of who my children are.
So as I make my yeast rolls and freeze them for the day, as I cook the cushaw for the pie that I so enjoy, as I procure a boneless turkey breast for the amazing Stuffed Turkey Breast recipe that was such a hit last year, as I stump the cashier at the amount of rutabagas purchased for the Root Vegetable Gratinata with Cream and Fontina, as I search for the hidden frozen gooseberries purchased at the Farmer's Market just for this week, as I finish sewing projects to gift them, my heart is indeed full.

And quite honestly, with Guests like these two lovely girlies, wouldn't you be.....?

Whether  your home hosts one or the thirteen or fourteen that shall be upon us, enjoy them, tell them you are proud of them and always rejoice......

The Happiest of Thanksgiving to you...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

 As you know, I celebrate by birthday all month long.  Why not?
  I embrace my years, thankful for all the mistakes I've made in my life and the lessons learned from them.  Thankful, indeed, and quite celebratory that I managed to survive in spite of myself.  So, it was off to do what I do in November- Have Fun.
 I started off the rather long weekend by seeing to it that I had time with Faithful Friend.  We go to Salem Indiana to share a dinner at 'our' favorite restaurant:  They let us stay there for hours, enjoying their atmosphere and not charging us rent for the lengthy amount of time that we park ourselves.  Their Cobb Salad was huge enough for next nights dinner, (as well as the Tiramusu dessert. Yum).  Good time. 

The photo on top shows that I include work in the mix.  My work is an amazing blessing and thrill for me so it can barely be counted as 'work'.  This past weekend, by friendship with Rabbit Rita took me to Louisville, Kentucky, in the wee hours of the morning, to help RR with a private showing preview for the holidays.  Early, early up and helping set up in the darkness of Saturday morning, fuels my adrenalin, not drain it.  I borrow off her abundant energy and learn through her long years of creating and sharing with the masses.  It was a jolly good exhaustion when the Rabbitmobile dropped me off at my residence a good twelve hours later.
 Sunday morning found me packing for my next Birthday Event: visiting Sweet Sharon in Jasper Indiana.  SS used to live down the street from me and she is missed.  Her birthday is in early December so we make it a point to share some time somewhere between the two dates to celebrate the wonders of us and our own quirky sense of humor.
 This visit was particularly memorable because I got to help her nearly thirteen year old granddaughter with the wonderful joy of sewing.  Sewing Stephanie asked for a sewing machine for Christmas last year and she has been want for some direction since then.  It was a joy to witness this young lady  view the wonder of piecing two squares of material together to make something that you can declare that you made!  SS was a natural!  She took charge of her machine like a pro and the more instruction I've gave, the more she embraced it and ran with it.  I love to kindle the spark.  I believe we have not heard the last from this budding creator....
 Sweet Sharon pursued on in our quest for a swell visit....We shopped at a country fabric store in a huge pole barn yet with fabric for all types of sewing.  We played games (ones that SS made up and  changed rules as we went along).  We watched a movie and DVR'd shows. I knitted and quilted.  SS made wonderful meals and I slept like the dead.
A wonderful respite for this crazed woman of much busyness.  Sweet Sharon's lovely home and generous hospitality, fueled my creative juices for new work in the weeks to come.  I got the chance to slow down my movement so that I could plan and prepare in a neutral territory with no obligations, for nearly 48 hours.  Pure balm for a busy mind and body.

Sweet Sharon is one of the most humorous people I know.  She's one of those ladies that can get you in much trouble because no one expects the silliness that she exudes to come from such a lovely woman.  From me, yes, but not my most wonderful of friends.  Her proper exterior belies her crazy sense of humor.  We Get each other.  And I am ever so thankful for her friendship and laughter in my life.

Thank you dear friend.....

Please; be a respite for someone today.......

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