December 31, 2017

Sunday Stealing: A Year-End Hodgepodge

Good morning and welcome to the last Sunday Stealing of the year. It sure went fast, didn't it?

Bev says:

People are still busy so this is a short one, stolen from Joyce of "From This Side of the Pond."

1. Where have you found unexpected magic or delight this holiday season?
  I can't say it was unexpected, but I have certainly delighted in watching our youngest grandson experience Christmas. Is there anything better than the innocent wonder of children?

2. What's your favorite type of holiday gathering? Will you/have you gathered in your favorite way this month?
I'm not much for big crowds and trying to think of things to say to people I don't know all that well, so I like small gatherings of family or friends and I've been blessed to get together that way several times this month.

3. Time has named 'The Silence Breakers' (women who came forward with stories of harassment)  'person of the year' for 2017. Would you agree? If not, who do you think deserves the title?
  I don't know who I feel should receive that honor, but I don't really agree with "the silence breakers." I'm absolutely in favor of men (or anyone) being held accountable if they are out of line sexually in the workplace (or anywhere), but the definition of "harassment" is so loosey-goosey that men are being accused for the smallest of things. Then there is the thing about our legal system where the accused is supposed to be presumed innocent until they have their day in court. Most of the men who are accused are having their lives destroyed without anything more than the say-so of someone. It stinks of a witch hunt. I just think we should proceed with a bit more caution, because I am afraid some innocent men are losing everything.

4. How did you spend your time this year? Are you happy about that? Elaborate. I spent a LOT of time putting our daughter's wedding together. I spent a LOT of time in the company of our youngest grandson...cuddling and enjoying having a baby to hold. I spent a LOT of time dealing with some personal things in my times with God. I am happy about all of those things. The one thing I'm not so happy about is the amount of time I spent online. I really need to cut back.

5. Bid farewell to 2017 in ten words or less.
 I'm thankful for changes, growth, and joy 2017 brought us.

6. Insert your own random thought here.  The one thing I hope that 2018 brings to all of us is a return of peace, love, and understanding of one another...Of being kind to one another instead of angry and hateful and violent.

Be sure to visit the Sunday Stealing site to find the links to more players' answers or to join in the fun yourself. 

Happy New Year to you and yours!
May 2018 be a year of love,health,
prosperity, and contentment.
Peace out.

December 30, 2017

Saturday 9: It's Just Another New Year's Eve

Saturday 9: It's Just Another New Year's Eve (1977)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

Welcome to the last Saturday 9 of 2017! Thanks for a great year, everyone.

1) In this song, Barry Manilow declares New Year's Eve is "just another night." How do you feel about 12/31? Is it a special occasion or just another night? It was more of a big deal when I was younger. My family often got together with friends or cousins to ring in the new year.  Once we married, Tim and I often invited our families and friends to celebrate with us. I guess it was once everyone had kids of their own that we started celebrating with just us and the kids until around 1999, when we became part of a large group of friends at our church who were all of a similar age and raising kids who were all around the same ages. That group was like family to us and we had great parties on New Year's Eve. These days we usually spend New Year's Eve at home with Tim asleep long before midnight and me watching TV or reading. Once in a while we get together with friends but it's pretty low key and usually over once the ball comes down.

2) Barry sings that in the past year, "we've made mistakes." What in 2017 do
you wish you could do over?  I really can't think of anything. All though it was a bit stressful financially 2017 was the first year of our youngest grandson's life, our daughter got married, and for the first time since our son left home 11 years ago, it feels like our family is healing and will be okay.

3) He also sings of happy nights with friends. Tell us about a really good time you had in the past year.  It probably should have been our daughter's wedding day, but I was suffering from heat exhaustion at the time, though I didn't know it until the next day. I have beautiful memories of her happiness, but I really didn't mingle too much because I wasn't feeling well. So, with that out of the running, I'd have to say it was the Saturday after Thanksgiving when our whole family was together and it became apparent that something had shifted and we had a wonderful day. I don't think we believed we'd ever see our family together like that.

4) The song references growing wiser, as well as older. What's something you learned or discovered in 2017?  I worked through a lot of stuff in my daily Bible study and prayer time. Really deep, personal stuff that I'm not going to get into here, but God was really teaching me a lot this summer. I'd like to believe I'm a much different person now than I was 6 months ago.

5)  What do you wish you had spent more time doing during 2017?
Pretty much anything. Every spare penny we had went into the wedding so I didn't get to go do too many things until after it was over. I guess reading would be a good second-choice answer. I spent too much time online this year.

6)  What was the smartest thing you did all this past year?
  Refuse my daughter's pleas to rent a "rustic" wedding venue and insist we hold the wedding at my step-father's farm. We couldn't have had a more beautiful setting and we didn't have to go into debt over it.

7)  As this year comes to a close, what are you most grateful for?  My family and friends.
8) When this week's featured artist, Barry Manilow, was a jingle writer, he wrote the famous "You deserve a break today at McDonald's" song. When's the last time you visited the Golden Arches?  For food? I can't remember. It's been a good while since I don't really care for their food. I will often swing through the drive-thru for a drink when I am on the road, though.
9) Random question: In high school, were you more popular with the boys or the girls? I suppose with girls since my closest friends were girls, but I had a lot friends that were boys and I actually tended to prefer hanging out with guys since there seemed to be less drama with them. I didn't date in high school thanks to my dad's strict rules. I don't know if that helped or hindered my social life. 

Thanks for stopping by and reading my answers today. If you enjoyed the music-based theme and want to read more or perhaps join in yourself, please visit Sam @ the Saturday 9 site for the questions, rules and link up.

December 28, 2017

Thankful Thursday: Christmas Blessings

What a great day to end my holiday break from blogging. Thankful Thursdays are my favorite blogging days, because what is better than showing gratitude for all the things God has blessed us with? A special thank you to Rebecca Jo @ Knit By God's Hand for hosting the link up week after week.

This week I am thankful...

* for a blessed and happy Christmas with my children, grandchildren, mom, stepdad, and husband.

Watching Colton's reaction to his Abominable Snowman
sing "Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas."

Pappy, daughter Megan, and daughter-in-law Ashlei
watch as the kids begin tearing into presents.

Colton shadowed Aeden all day.

Figuring out the Lego kits.

The day ended with a concert featuring Sora on bongos, Aeden
on guitar, and Colton on the drums.  All overseen by dad (and
uncle), Matt, the family musician.

* we were able to give gifts that were needed and really wanted.  Highlights included: A Makita tool kit for our son (exactly what he wanted); a yearly membership to the Carnegie Museums for our son's family; the new big boy car seat Colton was in need of; a toolbox and REAL tools for Aeden; a chest freezer for our daughter and her husband; and bikes for our son's kids.

Unwrapping the car seat.

Opening the box I used to disguise the papers on the freezer,
which will be delivered in January.

Two happy bikers!

* for special moments and memories created. The best being the moment when my mom gave my son his grandfather's white gold and diamond wedding band. We all teared up. 

* for those who knew I'd be missing my dog, Elvis, at Christmas. My friend gave me an ornament that looked like him with angel wings and a halo and my mom gave me a beautiful blown glass Basset Hound ornament. I love them both and will not be packing them away with the Christmas decorations.

* Tim and I didn't exchange gifts this year. Instead, we went to Lowe's the day after Christmas and picked out and purchased all the tile (over $800 worth!) we need for the bathroom. I told him after 15 months of being without our main bathroom, that getting it done was all I wanted. I'm tired of everyone having to tromp through our bedroom to use the master bathroom. It's going to be so pretty. I can't wait and when it's done I will definitely share pictures.

* for a bit of a girls' day with my friend, Fran, today. We drove to the only stylist around who does our Deva Curl cuts (with the drive to Fran's and then to the salon, it's about an hour-long drive for me). There's a bakery next to the salon and after smelling the cinnamon wafting through the walls we practically ran over when we were done. I bought 2 of those cinnamon rolls to bring home...they are huge at around 6-inches across! Then we drove to a favorite restaurant near Fran's for lunch. I got home just before 4:00. Gotta love a day with a friend just laughing and carrying on.

* for all those Hallmark movies...and they're still on even though Christmas is over. I kind of got addicted to them this year and I think they are kind of what got me back in the Christmas mood after losing Elvis.

* that Colton was okay last night after pulling Sora's new bike over on himself and taking a good knock to the head. We took him to get checked out, but it was pretty obvious he was just fine in spite of the small dent in his forehead! I took a video of him in the exam room when we were waiting and trying to keep him amused...but I don't know how to post my own videos. If you're on Facebook you can look me up and see it there.

* that Tim was so great about helping me finish up our shopping on Saturday and with wrapping those presents after we got home from our friends' home on Christmas Eve.

* for small gifts. I'm sort of hesitant in my relationship with my daughter-in-law because it was rather rocky for a lot of years so when we parted on Christmas Day I just said goodbye and wished her a merry Christmas. She walked over and gave me a hug and thanked me for everything. That was probably the best gift I received.

Well, I am off to tackle the kitchen since one thing I didn't get for Christmas was a maid. Ha! I am thankful for that messy kitchen, means we have plenty of food and then some.

I hope your Christmas was wonderful and if we don't meet back here before then (I don't know if the memes are running this week or not) I wish you and your families a very happy and healthy new year!

December 23, 2017

Saturday 9: Happy Holidays!

Hello! I'm weighing in late today as we just got home from a marathon day of shopping. In the rain. Till it turned to sleet. Then snow.

Saturday 9: Happy Holidays! (from the archives) 

1. As you can see, Sam loved giving her annual wish list to Santa. Yet some children are reluctant to climb into Jolly Old St. Nick's lap. Did you enjoy the tradition or were you shy? Or did you by pass it altogether -- either because you wrote him a letter or because your family didn't celebrate Christmas?  I always sat on Santa's lap. My mom has a photo cube she brings out every Christmas with the photos to prove it.  My daughter, on the other hand, has been terrified of the jolly old elf since day one. Her reasoning: "What's not creepy about an old guy in red velvet pajamas roaming through your house while you're sleeping? And he's obviously a stalker since he 'sees you when you're sleeping and knows when you're awake.' He knows what you're doing ALL the time."

2. Are you currently on the Naughty or Nice list? How did you get there?  I hope I'm on the Nice list since I try to always do the right thing and I'm nice to everyone.

3. Did you ship any gifts to friends and family this year? If so, which one traveled the farthest?  I didn't send any, but we came home a little while ago to find a priority mail package on the porch. It was soaked.  Thank goodness the digital picture frame my aunt sent so I can load it with family photos for her was still in the original plastic wrap and that she'd put the nearly 200 year old book she was returning to me in a plastic bag or they'd have been ruined! The post office is getting a call on Tuesday.

4. Did you buy yourself a gift this year?
I bought three! I bought myself the Copper Chef deep-dish pan that's on TV (Wally World had it marked down to $29!), a book at Barnes & Noble, and a green tunic sweater.

5. What's your favorite holiday-themed movie? Have you seen it yet this year?
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story are my favorites and must-see Christmas viewing. I have seen Christmas Vacation and I saw A Christmas Story Live, but I'm not sure the musical counts. It was just....okay. I will most likely watch the real deal at some point on Christmas Day.

6. Thinking of movies, Christmas is lucrative for Hollywood. Have you ever gone to a movie theater on Christmas Day?  We did a couple of years of the first Christmases that we found ourselves with grown children who had other family plans. I don't remember what we saw...must not have been that good.

7. Have you ever suffered an embarrassing moment at the company Christmas party?  Nope.

8. What's your favorite beverage in cold weather?
  It's the same as it is in warm weather....Diet Coke. I do drink hot, herbal tea or hot chocolate, once in a while.

9. Share a memory from last Christmas.  Last year we got our youngest grandson just in time for Christmas. What a gift!

I will be surprised if I am able to participate in Sunday Stealing week, so I pray all of you have a safe, healthy, and merry Christmas!

December 16, 2017

Sunday Stealing: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

It is definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas. I can't believe we're down to a week to go. Where has the time gone?  Anyway, I'm joining in with Bev and the rest of the thieves for a Sunday Stealing about Christmas. Just click here if you'd like to join in the fun or read the answers from the other players.

A note from Bev, our hostess and finder of the questions:

Last week we talked about things that bug us.  This week (and maybe next), how about things that we like about the holidays.  

Apologies if you do not celebrate Christmas, but perhaps you can change some questions to match the winter holiday you do celebrate.  I would love to hear from people who celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanza, or Winter Solstice!

1. What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?  Getting together with family and friends, having at least a week off work, seeing my grandchildren's excitement, cheesy Christmas movies, the food...and the single most important thing to me, celebrating the birth of Jesus.

2. Do you send out Christmas cards and if so how many do you send?  I've gotten to the point that I only send cards to those who send them to us. I sent them to everyone in our address book and then some for years, but about 5 years ago I began to notice that fewer and fewer people were sending out cards and I'm not going to stress myself or go broke sending them if no one else is. I guess at this point we've got about 12 and that's how many I've sent. 

Personally, I don't miss them. Most people didn't include newsy letters and the ones who did were the ones whose letters made me feel inferior to their perfect, wonderful, exciting lives....kind of a year's worth of Facebook posts in one blast.

3. Be honest: holiday newsletters. Love ‘em or hate ‘em?
  As mentioned above, I'm not really a fan. Everyone makes their lives sound perfect in their annual letter and I don't think that way so I always struggled to make mine sound perky and perfect enough.

4. Be honest: photo cards. Love ‘em or hate ‘em?
They're okay. It's nice to see how kids grow...if you know them...or friends or family you haven't laid eyes on in years.

5. How soon do you start shopping?
  If something catches my eye as being perfect for someone, I might pick up something in the fall, but for the most part I don't start until sometime in November and continue through December right up to Christmas Eve usually.

6. Real or fake tree?  Fake. I don't like mess from a real tree and I worry about them drying out and catching fire. I always burn a pine scented candle, though, so it smells like we have a real one. That scent is so tied to my Christmas memories. Growing up, we always had real trees and Santa always brought them and put them up after I had gone to bed on Christmas least until I was 8 or 9. When I'd wake up Christmas morning that first big whiff of pine let me know that Santa had come!

7. When do you put up your tree?
  If not the day after Thanksgiving, then before that weekend is over.

8. When do you take down your tree?
Either New Year's Eve day or New Year's Day. I like to have things back to normal before I head back to work after the Christmas break.

9. Describe your typical tree (size, decorations, type)  When we were younger we always had HUGE trees. They were live the first few years we were married, then we went to artificial so they could be up longer. A few years ago I started scaling back on the size because no one wants to help decorate or undecorate any more. I shared it yesterday, but here is our current tree...a 6' Alpine decorated in a red and white woodland style. And yes, that is a snowy owl on the top.

10. What do you top your tree with?  Oops! Got ahead of the questions again. A snowy owl holds that honor.  When I had a beach themed tree my husband figured out a way for me to use a big starfish on top.

11. Do you put Christmas lights outside your house?
  We hadn't for several years, but with our youngest grandson here quite a bit and the other two being around more often I wanted to do more for them this year.  We put multi-colored LED lights on the deck and in the front yard I put up the arch made of two old doors we made for our daughter's wedding. An inflatable Santa and elf are standing in front of it with one of those laser light things swirling colors all over them.  I have electric candles in the windows.

12. Is there a wreath hanging on your door?
  Yes, the front door has a shiny, green tinsel wreath, the one on the backdoor is red. Both have shiny, multi-colored balls on them.

13. Do you hang up stockings? Not since my husband and I are the only ones here, but we do fill stockings for each other and I fill them for all the grandkids. I broke the news to our children that I wasn't filling theirs any longer after last year. Trying to figure out fun things to fill all those stockings was really stressing me. Our daughter is the only one who complained. Turns out that's her favorite part of Christmas morning.

14. Your favorite Christmas Movie(s)  A Christmas Story and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation hold the top honors, but I am a Christmas movie junkie. I like them all.  The funny, campy, cheesy ones are best...however, this year finds me turning on Hallmark or Hallmark Movies & Mysteries at least once a day.

15. Be honest: A Christmas movie you don't like.
  I can't think of one.

16. Favorite Christmas Song(s).  Pretty much anything sung by Bing Crosby. I always say it isn't really Christmas until I hear Bing sing.  

17. Be honest: If I hear this/these Christmas songs again I will throw up.  The Twelve Days of Christmas. Ugh. However, this version makes me laugh.

18. Give or Receive? In all honesty, both. I love to give something to someone that they really wanted or that is perfect for them and makes them feel appreciated and loved. But who doesn't like to get a gift, as well.

19. Eggnog or Mulled Cider?  I have to be in the mood for either. I do like flavored eggnog and the plain stuff makes a great base for the richest, creamiest hot chocolate you will ever taste.

20. Ham or Turkey?  One year early in our marriage I thought we should do a "traditional" Christmas dinner and bought (for a small fortune) a goose and an English friend gave my mom a traditional plum pudding. We all learned that year that goose is not a favorite and nobody likes plum pudding. LOL  Anyway, we've pretty much been a ham family since then. My husband went through a phase for a couple of years where he thought we should have a ham and a turkey, but he's gotten over that. Last year we had ham and lasagna. This year the ham will stand alone.

That's it for this week and I don't know if there will be 
a meme next week with it being Christmas Eve and all
and even if there is, I don't know if I will have time to play.
So, I want to take the time this week to say...

Merry Christmas to you and yours!
May your holiday be filled with love and joy.

Saturday 9: Silent Night

It's Saturday so that means I'm joining in with Sam and the gang for Saturday 9, a weekly meme that's inspired by a different song each week. Please, feel free to join in the fun. Just pop over to the site to find links to the other bloggers playing along and the rules to play along (there really aren't any).

Saturday 9: Silent Night (1957) 

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) How well do you know "Silent Night?" Without looking up the lyrics, could you sing along with Elvis?  Probably, but only the first verse. My mind is like that with most hymns...totally blank on any subsequent verses.

2) The Christmas with Elvis album hit the stores in October 1957. Were you already preparing for Christmas back in October?  No, but I should have been. I am always kind of stressed these last two weeks before Christmas. It's one of my fantasies to be that woman who has all her gifts bought and wrapped before Thanksgiving so I can just slide through the holidays.

3) Clearly Elvis liked a flocked white Christmas tree. Is your tree flocked, aluminum or pine green? Real or artificial? Or do you skip the whole tree thing altogether?
  I have a skinny little artifical Alpine tree. It's decorated in a red and white woodland theme. I love it, but have to admit I've seen a few flocked trees lately that I've thought were just gorgeous. If my hubby ever gets around to adding that big room onto our house I've promised him he can have his huge Christmas tree again...maybe it will also be flocked.

My skinny little tree.

4) Back in the late 1950s, Elvis left his hair its natural brown color. In the 1960s he began having it dyed black. Do you have a salon appointment scheduled between now and year end?  No, but I could really use a trim. It's just that the closest salon that does the Diva cuts I need for my curly hair is an hour away. I can't just pop over there at any old time. I may see if she can fit me in while I am off on Christmas break.

5) Have you ever peeked, looking for a Christmas gift you know is hidden for you somewhere in the house?  I sure did when I was a kid. I still hate secrets and surprises (if I know they are being kept....drives me nuts!), but I am able to refrain from snooping these days.

6)  Which do you prefer, candy canes or gingerbread?  Mmm...I guess candy canes because I do like ginger snaps, but I have to be in the right mood.

7) Is anyone receiving a home made or do-it-yourself gift from you this year?  My daughter is getting a rustic sign I painted at one of those wine and paint evenings I went to with some friends from high school.

Mine is on the left.

8) Do you wrap holiday gifts in paper, or do you take the gift bag route?  It's usually a bit of both...wrapping for boxes or square shapes, bags for the oddly shaped items...but some years if I'm in a time crunch, into bags it all goes!

9) This time of year is big for charitable fundraising. Here's your chance to plug a cause or organization that's near and dear to you.  Heifer International has always been near and dear to my heart. Rather than just throwing money into a charity without knowing exactly what it does, Heifer International allows you to purchase an animal or help fund a project of your choosing. The real difference to me with this charity is that they don't go in and give a one time gift, but teach the recipients about farming and marketing their products, etc. They change lives through education and self-sufficiency. I know it's good to take care of immediate needs, but Heifer International works to solve the problems not just minister to the symptoms.

December 14, 2017

A Snowy Thankful Thursday

I'm linking up with Rebecca Jo @ Knit By God's Hand for Thankful Thursday and I'm hoping I won't have to do a rush free time just got shorter because my daughter saw on Facebook that I don't have work today (snow day here in the mountains of southwestern PA and school is closed) and decided I needed to babysit so she can get her house cleaned.  So, here we go!

This week I am thankful...

* for a snow day! There's so much I can use the time to get done. Plus, I am glad intelligence won the day and for once we are not out there on the roads.

* for God's protection on Tuesday afternoon. A few squalls passed through the area just as we were taking the kids home (of course) and the road that makes up my bus run was a sheet of ice from one end to the other. The bus slid sideways off the road and into a ditch at my first stop. Out of that mess, I made it up the mountain and back down on the first run, but parents who lived up on top were called to meet me at the bottom to collect their kids. It was still 6:00 by the time I got home!

* for the kind gentleman who stopped when the bus was in the ditch and acted as my eyes on the outside and helped me drive the bus free. (And maybe I'm just a little thankful that the man was a dead ringer for Pierce Brosnan in his slightly younger, yummier days!)

* for Colton's 1st birthday and the wonderful year we've had with him in our lives. His party was Sunday and was a huge successs.

Stripped down and waiting for his cake.

Another memorable display by our cupcake lady.

Opening gifts with Mommy and cousins.

First ride on his new wheels.

* Tim's most recent round of blood work and tests show everything to be fine. The doctor keeps telling him to get the CPAP machine and use it, that he's pretty sure the exhaustion and aches are all from the sleep apnea. Tim doesn't seem to believe that, but I'm working on him.

* for another great time with our son's family. It's still new to us and we are so very, very thankful as we never thought it would be this way.

* that our son seems to be coming back around to some of the values he was raised with.

* that it is getting easier to come home to a house without Elvis in it. I still miss his wagging tail and excited hound dog bray that welcomed me every single time I walked in the door and his soft snores from the couch, but it doesn't hurt quite as much.

* for Christmas movies! I'm kind of addicted to them and the cheesier and more over the top they are, the better I like them. I've also gotten sucked into the Hallmark movies this year. 

* for each and every one of you!

Have a blessed day and stay safe and warm wherever you are!

December 13, 2017

The Wednesday Hodgepodge: Get Your Ho, Ho, Ho On!

I'm joining in with Joyce and the gang over at From This Side of the Pond for the Wednesday Hodgepodge.

1. 'Hurry less, worry less'...what's your strategy for making that happen this holiday season? How's it going so far?  You caught me. I don't really have a strategy, but two things help. One, I'm not hosting Christmas so the house doesn't have to be perfect and two, I've gotten to a point where I'm good with whatever gets done being enough. No one else ever notices or cares about all the little details I used to stress over so why kill myself to get them done? If I get it done, great and if I don't....well, Christmas won't be ruined so there's no point in stressing.

2. Do you have a list of to-dos that need accomplishing in order to prepare your home and/or property for the winter season? What are some of the jobs on your list? Are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire someone to accomplish these tasks?  It's not really much of a list. We just clean up the gardens, put away the deck furniture, and clean out the pellet stove so it's ready to go...and yes, we do it ourselves.

3. According to dietitians surveyed, the most popular health foods for 2018 will be -turmeric, sprouted foods (bean sprouts, breads with sprouted grains, etc), veggies in place of grains, dairy free milk, and pulses (lentils, chickpeas, etc). What's the first thought that ran through your head when you read this list? Of the foods listed which one might you add to your regular diet? Also, can milk really be dairy free? Is it still milk? Well, the sprouted stuff doesn't sound appetizing, though I will throw some bean sprouts on my salad at a buffet if they have them. Other than that, I already take a turmeric capsule every day, drink almond milk (I don't know if it's still "milk" but the chocolate stuff is delicious and satisfies a craving for sweets), and I like chickpeas if they are in the form of hummus.

4. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2018 is Ultra Violet. According to the Pantone site 'Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking pointing us to the future.' What say you? Do you like the color purple? Did you see the movie or read the book-ha!?  Is purple a color you wear often? Describe for us one purple item in your home without using the word purple.  If you were in charge of such things what color would you select for 2018?  I loved the color purple when I was a young girl. My bedroom had "African Violet" shag carpet and ruffled bedspread, shams, and curtains that deepened from a light lilac to a deep purple. I always wanted the purple matter what "it" was. No, I haven't read the book or watched the movie. I don't wear purple often, more because it hasn't been an offered color for a while. I've seen some of the new clothes and purses coming out in purple. I LIKE!  There is nothing purple in my home that I can think of.  I'd just leave Ultra Violet the color of the year. It's been off the grid for a while...time to bring it back.

5. Favorite book read this year?  
Driven by Eternity by John Bevere

6.  Insert your own random thought here. 
Today is our youngest grandson's 1st birthday. He had a big party on Sunday so no real celebrations today, but lots of love. He has sure brightened our lives and we can't imagine not having him around.

Dec. 13, 2016

Dec. 11, 2017

December 10, 2017

Sunday Stealing: Bah Humbug!

Welcome to Sunday Stealing! This from our hostess, Bev:

Bah Humbug!  Before we get all warm and cozy for the upcoming holidays, here's a chance to let out all those angry feelings you've been harboring.  I copied this a long time ago and don't remember where I stole it from. 

TV show I loathe: Two and a Half Men. It was sort of clever in the beginning, but the longer it went on, the more it sounded like it was written by a couple of 14 year old boys.

Movie I loathe:
Blackhawk Down. I went to school with a young man who died in that incident. It's just very, very hard to watch.

Music genres I loathe: Death metal, opera, rap that is disrespectful of women or police.

Magazine which annoys me:
Pretty much all of them. Ten or twelve dollars for a magazine? C'mon!

Makes me cranky at restaurant:
A server who neglects my table because he/she is too busy carrying on/flirting with another party or is too busy chatting with coworkers to ever check back.

Makes me cranky in public:
I can't think of anything in particular.

Makes me impatient at home: husband with the remote. He will spend an hour scrolling through all the program/movie choices without getting around to picking one.

Makes me impatient at work: Drivers who cut me off because they are too important to get behind a school bus...then drive 15 miles per hour below the speed limit. I'm on a schedule, people!!!

Celebrity I hate:
I don't hate any of them, but I get annoyed with those who believe their own press about how great they are and start spouting off as know-it-alls when they really don't know jack. Or they use their celebrity to stir division.

Music artist I hate: Same answer as above.

I couldn't care less about:
I fixed that to mean I could not possibly care any less about...and some of you might want to sit down for this...the Royal Family. I know, I know. Sorry to those of you who love them.

Blogger's habit that annoys you:
I wish more bloggers responded to comments, but that doesn't exactly annoy me. Um, I guess maybe all the ads some put on their blogs. I hate when I have to wait 10 minutes for all the garbage to load or worse, when it gums up my laptop and it freezes.

Feature on your blog you hate:
I can't think of anything.

Politician that you hate: Many annoy me, I may not agree with their policies or personal behavior, but I don't hate them. Hate only hurts the one doing the hating...and turns into bitterness if you're not careful.

December 9, 2017

Saturday 9: My Church

Good morning and welcome to the Saturday 9, the no-rules meme hosted each week by Sam and what a great job she does! Thanks, Sam. If you enjoy the questions and my answers and want to read more or play along yourself be sure to pop over and visit the site.

Saturday 9: My Church (2016)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This song is about a woman who loves singing along with her car radio. Is that something you enjoy? Absolutely, but only when the car is empty or my husband is the only other one there. I don't want to be scaring anyone and my voice could certainly do that. I've likened it in the past to a bull moose with a cold. But I love music and enjoy cutting loose in the car.

2)  The video begins with Maren Morris finishing her cigarette before getting behind the wheel. Do you allow smoking in your car?  No, aside from thinking it stinks and yellows everything, it absolutely kills my sinuses and I end up with a pounding headache any time I'm around cigarette smoke.

3) In this song, Maren admits she's lied. What's the last fib you told? This time of year it probably had a little something to do with a jolly old elf in a red fur suit.

4) She mentions having her radio on the FM dial. Are you loyal to a single radio station? Or do you spin the dial? I'm loyal to a few stations. I bounce around between a couple of "classic" stations (I refuse to call the music of my youth 'oldies.'), a Christian station, and a country station.

5) Maren was inspired to write this song while on a long car trip from Nashville to Los Angeles. When do you get your best ideas? (In the shower, behind the wheel, over lunch with friends ...) I'd say behind the wheel. I spend the biggest part of my day driving so I've got an awful lot of time to think about stuff and I tend to do a lot of praying on my drive to work...I get a lot of ideas or things get clearer when I'm praying.
6) She performed this song on Saturday Night Live last year. The host that week was John Cenna. Do you follow professional wrestling? Not these days, but I loved it when I was a teen. My mom and I even went to Pittsburgh to see a big match with all the big names of the day back in the 80s.

7) In 2016, when this song was popular, Alex Rodriguez played his final Major League Baseball game. He has embarked on a second career as a broadcaster. Would you be comfortable on camera?  No. I don't think I'm one of those people that the camera loves and is kind to. I always hate how I look and sound, so I'm very self-conscious about it.

8) A 2016 study revealed that 43% of Americans own mutual funds, many in their 401(k)s and IRAs. Are you involved in the stock market?
  I have a couple of tiny IRAs that we haven't added to in years, but that's all. My husband's company offers a 401K and I have always wanted to participate, but my husband is dead set against it.

9) Random question: You have something awkward and embarrassing that you simply must tell a pal. You know your friend will not be happy with the news. Would you prefer to deliver it by email, in a phone call, or face to face?  I would prefer not to do it at all, but if I absolutely must, I'd probably opt for the easiest way to do it. If it's that important I wouldn't do it by email, but I'd do it by phone rather than face to face. I loathe confrontation.

That's it for this week's Saturday 9.
I'll try to be back here tomorrow for Sunday Stealing,
but no promises. Our youngest grandson's
1st birthday party is tomorrow and it's
going to be a pretty big deal with lots of family.

December 7, 2017

Thankful Thursday: Life Goes On

It's been a bit of a tough week around here, but there is still so much to be thankful for. Joining in today with Rebecca Jo @ Knit By God's Hand for...

This week I am thankful:

* Life has a way of going on even when we think it can't possibly. With every day that passes the pain in our hearts loosens its grip just a little. It doesn't mean that we'll forget, just that we will go on with the business of living.

* To have something good to focus on this week. I have been helping my daughter with plans and details for the party for our youngest grandson's first birthday on Sunday. His birthday isn't until the 13th, but you know....weekends were made for parties. I can't believe this little sweetie has been brightening our lives for a year!

* My poodle is being all cuddly and snuggly. I thought maybe it was because I just had her groomed and she doesn't have much fur so was feeling the cold weather, but I think it is dawning on her that she is alone now. She doesn't seem to be liking it. She tried to dig through the bedroom door today while I was at work. My husband says the next dog is his choice (the German Shepherd he's always wanted), but my heart isn't ready for that just yet. I may have to get over it for the poodle.

* To be back on my prescription diet pills. According to my scale, I've lost another two or three pounds. As soon as the weather warms up just a little, I've promised the poodle we will start walking a bit since it is just her now. (I had this self-inflicted guilt thing before if I took her and left Elvis at home...even though he really couldn't walk, I felt soooo guilty.)

* The calendar is filling up with parties and activities these weeks leading up to Christmas. Busy is good right now when the house feels so quiet.

* For the thoughtfulness of a sweet friend who texted me yesterday to see if I'd like some of the potato soup she'd just made. Of course I did, she is an amazing cook and everything she makes is fabulous. I got home from work to find her waiting in my driveway with an entire crock pot of soup, the cheese to sprinkle on it, a loaf of her homemade French bread, and just for good measure a container of her chicken salad that I like so much. All because I had to say goodbye to my dog. I was floored. A lot of people don't get how much it hurts.

* More than anything, for the nearly 12 years we were blessed to have with Elvis. God brought him to us for a season when He knew we would need his big heart and comfort to get through. He took him home when his job was done.

I could find a lot more to be thankful for but if I don't get moving I'm going to be late getting back to work for the afternoon. Be blessed my friends!

December 6, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge: All I Want for Christmas

From this Side of the Pond  
Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! I hope you enjoy reading my answers and if you'd like to play along, just click the Wednesday Hodgepodge logo up there at the top of the post to go to the site for the rules and all that. Don't forget to say "hi" to our hostess, Joyce!

1. What title would you give this current chapter of your life?  Wow...let's not start off with something easy! I don't know, maybe something like Life Goes On, Finding My Way, or Finding Peace.

2. December 6 is National Microwave Oven Day. Who knew? Besides popcorn and coffee reheats, what's the most common thing you microwave? Could you get along without a microwave? I really don't "cook" anything in the microwave. It's strictly for thawing and reheating. No, I couldn't live without it. We'd never have dinner if we got rid of it because I never remember to thaw meat beforehand so I'm always nuking it at the last second.

3. If you could insert yourself into any Christmas carol and experience the lyrics in real life, which Christmas carol lyric would you choose and why? Hark the Herald Angels. It's just my favorite traditional carol and as for why I'd want to be in it...can you imagine being there when the sky was full of angels proclaiming the birth of Christ?! Wowzers!!!

4. Describe the most beautiful drive you've ever taken. It was actually on one of the bus runs I had in the past. It was before dawn and we'd had a heavy frost. One section of road was almost tunnel-like because of trees and brush growing right up to the edges. As I drove through it with the bus, the headlights reflected off the frost and it was like driving through a tunnel of twinkly lights.

5. What's something on your Christmas list this year? (an actual list or figuratively speaking, either one)  The ONLY thing I want for Christmas is for the bathroom my husband tore out over a year ago to be finished! One bathroom is not cutting it.

6. Insert your own random thought here. We had a rough start to the week here...we had to put our older dog, Elvis, down on Monday. He was a special boy and our hearts are broken, but after an especially bad day yesterday, my heart seems to be coming to grips with reality. I'm not bawling every 5 minutes, anyway. This is the first time our daughter has had to deal with the loss of someone or something she cared so much about, though, and since he was originally her dog, she is having a very tough time of it.

December 4, 2017

It's So Hard to Say Goodbye

My heart is broken today. Our Beagle/Basset mix hound took a sudden and quick turn over the weekend. His tumors grew very rapidly the last couple of weeks and yesterday his hip was very obviously pushed out of place. By the end of the day he couldn't stand unless we helped him get his legs underneath and once he was up he could only take 2 or 3 steps before his legs gave out. I knew it was time, though I'd hoped we'd have more.

So today at a little after 10:00, we said goodbye to the sweetest, most lovable dog there ever was. He was a gentle soul with lots of love to share with everyone. Trust me, he never met you, but if he had, you'd have been his best friend. Especially if you happened to have some food on you. Did I mention he was almost completely motivated by food? It explains his nickname of Chubby Monster.

He wasn't a noisy dog, but the house sure seems quiet today. At least Megan, Cody, Colton and I were all with him till the end. We brought him home and laid him to rest beside his bestest doggie buddy, Scooby, who went on before him nearly 6 years ago.  My boys are together again.

February 11, 2006-December 4, 2017

Be healthy and happy until we meet again.

December 3, 2017

Sunday Stealing: By the Book

Welcome to the first Sunday Stealing of December!  Is it just me or has this year flown by. I'm feeling like I just might go to bed tonight and wake up to tomorrow being Christmas.  Time...slow down already!  Ah, well, it is, as my husband says, what it is. We may as well strap in, hold on and enjoy the ride and I am surely enjoying the Christmas season this year. After a few years of not exactly loving Christmas as I learned to adjust to all the changes of children growing up and doing there own things and older family members leaving us, I seem to have my mojo back and am LOVING all things Christmas. So...let's get on with the questions.

Of this week's questions, Bev says:

This was stolen from designindigo, a site which no longer seems to be live.  But we all seem to be readers, so I thought this was fun to do.

1. Do you prefer hardcover, paperback, or Kindle...and why?  They all have their purposes and moments...I keep books I want to read, but not keep on my Nook so they aren't stacked up around the house...paperbacks are smaller and lighter for taking to work or on vacation and it's not such a big deal if they get messed up...and hardcover books are great for collecting. If I had to choose only one form, though, it would be hardcover. There is just something about holding a book in my hands...the weight of it, the smell of the pages (be they freshly printed or old and musty), the soft whisper of a turning page, it's an experience of the senses.

2. If I were to own a book shop I would call it ...Buy the Book or Bookaholic.

3. My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is ... 
“Success is doing well when everyone thought that you would not. I am a success.” ― Patricia WoodLottery.

4. The author (alive or dead) I would love to have lunch with would be ...
James Rollins or Janet Evanovich. He is brilliant and would be very interesting to discuss things with and I think she would be hilarious.

5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be ...
the Holy Bible. There is so much in there and I see something new every time I read it. And as a book it has everything...drama, comedy, deception, betrayal, adventure, love, wars, and more.

6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that ...
automatically restores and repairs old or damaged books.

7. The smell of an old book reminds me of ....
history and times past.

8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be....
I think it would be fun to be Stephanie Plum in Janet Evanovich's By the Numbers series. At least for a little while. I don't know that I'd like to be her forever as I like my quiet, down times and Stephanie doesn't seem to ever have any of those.

9. The most over-rated book of all time is....
Frankenstein. I've tried to read it several times. I just cannot get into it. Not at all.

10. I hate it when a book....
has an end that leaves me hanging.  I like neat endings, even in a series. Which, by the way, I kind of have a love/hate thing with series. I love the books, but I HATE waiting for the next book in a series.