Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Electric memory


I have been challenged to find one word for 2008. One word that will be my pseudo mantra for the year. Something to focus on. The one word will be something to consciencously incorporate into my daily life. It will be my one resolution.

So I need to figure out what the one word will be. I'm considering a few. Today I'm considering peace.

Peace. It means everything. It has been interpreted in so many ways. World peace has always been the standby answer for every pageant contestant. "And world peace." Elvis and I still make a joke out of it. "What are your goals in life?" "Well Bob, I want to be a professional MnM Thrower and the instrument of World Peace."

I need the kind of peace that you find despite your own chaos. The peace that makes the chaos seem a little further away. I need the peace that comes from knowing that this too shall pass.

Prayer of St. Francis ... it fits in with what I want for myself in life

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

May you find peace. If only for a day. If only for a moment.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Out with the plan and in with reality

So that quiet weekend and holiday we had planned went on the window in a whirlwind. I did get 4 different kinds of cookie dough made on Saturday. Put it in the fridge to bake later. And then promptly left it in the fridge when "later" arrived. Oh well. We like cookies. :)

Got a call Saturday that Jim's mom was in the hospital with pneumonia. Apparently it is because she is aspirating liquids when she is swallowing. They wanted to put in a feeding tube. She ended up choosing not to have it but in the meantime, we decided to make the trek to CR.

Would have left on Saturday 0r on Sunday for that matter... but Mother Nature had other ideas and dropped a blizzard on Eastern Iowa. We left on Monday AM instead. GLAD we hadn't gone on Sunday after counting all of the cars in the ditch between DM and CR. It was insane. I just hope everyone that was IN the cars when they went off the road is OK. I can't imagine how scary that would be.

Christmas Eve is a fondue Party at Erika's. Tradition. And it was just what I needed. Spent time with the little nieces. Talked with old friends and E's family who I love as much as my own. I am so lucky to have them in my life. Helped Santa finish wrapping presents. Glad we were there when he showed up. Sounds like the elves were a little behind this year. But we covered for them. Those elves though. They owe us big time.

Jim and I stayed the night in a hotel. It was quiet. And SOOOO what we needed. He even brought me breakfast in bed. That was the best way to start Christmas morning. I am so glad to have him. Remind me of that next time I complain about him. LOL

Off to collect kids and to my parents for breakfast (shh. don't tell her we had already eaten) and presents. It was great to have all of the kids in the same place. Well at least 3 of the 4. We took a family picture. Gotta love my dad for that. I'll post the pic when we get them from him.

Went from there to the care center to see my grandpa. Probably for the last time. They don't expect him to live through the week. He needs to go home though. He hasn't been the same since grandma Rachel passed. I miss her a lot. But he has been heartbroken over losing her. He's ready. I just hope the rest of us are ready to let him go. Glad we were there when we were. I got to tell him what I wanted to. And that made a huge difference for me. I only hope others can do the same.

Spent a good deal of the rest of the day back at Erika's. She really is my calm place. Even when it is pure chaos at her house. LOL She is an awesome friend. I got the blessing of being able to watch the kids open LOTS of presents. It was INSANE the amount of wrapping paper in that living room. But watching them brought a smile to my heart. Honestly, for probably the first holiday in many years. I felt happy watching the kids. It is truly what the spirit of the holiday is about. The blessing that children and most importantly THE CHILD have brought into our lives. Now if only I could hold that in my heart every day.

We also got to spend time with Jim's side of the family. His sister has a great new house that she is renting. It fits her. And that is what she most needs. She cooked a Christmas dinner that puts anything I have ever attempted to shame. It was her best yet. Thank you S for giving of yourself and sharing with all of us.

The whirlwind ended with the long drive home. I got to spend some quality time on the phone with my bestest friend that lives far away. She was able to share the goodness that was her Christmas with me and that made a huge difference.

Called my sister after to tell her happy birthday. We spent the next 45 minutes laughing about a lot of nothing. It was a gift.

And now reality has come back in.

TTFN. May your day be blessed by laughter and smiles.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


So, I've put off the fa-la-la-ing just about as long as possible. Jim finally told me this morning what he wants for a present. It's boring but it's what he wants. So I suppose I'll go get it. E wants clothes so that's easy. He's talking about moving back home, so he'll probably need grocery money too. A is impossible to buy for right now. I'll get her a gift card probably. She'll just have to promise not to spend it on Z or someone else. She's like me that way. Sad isn't it? I'll get the same for little J as he can't decide what the heck he wants. But he'll spend it on the new baby, I'm sure.

Everybody else is getting food. The cookie baking shall commence this afternoon. I need to bring back one tradition for myself. I gave cookies last year, but I bought them from my friend Sherry. She makes awesome cookies. I'll miss the date pinwheels this year. :( One of the kids is requesting homemade Toll House, and I'll be darned if I'm going to pay somebody else to make chocolate chip cookies. That's just dumb. There will however be NO rolled out sugar cookies or gingerbread men. I considered it. But I just can't get past the memory that comes with making them. Baking cookies again is hard enough.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Another day closer and a little less Grinchy

Last week A&Z came over for dinner and movies. A brought the Christmas tree with her. I had her put it on the porch.

Last night they came over again. The tree was still on the porch. She proceeded to ask me where I wanted it and started setting it up. Once it was up, she says "looks pretty bare without ornaments. Are you going to get those out?" So off we went to the basement to get the Christmas decorations. And having just recently moved, I knew EXACTLY where they were! Aren't you proud? We pulled out the zillion Christmas things we have. Why do I have a zillion Christmas ornaments and flags and various decorations anyway? But we drug them out. And she decorated the tree. And I put out the Willow Tree Nativity.

So now I have a decorated Christmas tree in my front room. Right next to the TV where everyone can see it and NOT shoved in the black hole next to the couch where I had said to put it. So now I have to look at it. And I have to admit, it's made me a little less Grinchy.

I may even Christmas shop.

Don't hold your breath though.

Monday, December 17, 2007

In 37 minutes Christmas is a week away

I am so not ready. It's my own fault. I really am trying to be Christmasy. I thought if I read other people's blogs about the happy holidaying stuff that I'd get motivated. So far it isn't working. I have however learned a few things. Ok, maybe not LEARNED, just observed.
  • some people have way too much free time
  • there are people who actually have more than one Christmas tree. I don't get that. I can barely get one up and decorate one
  • tradition is what you make it
  • the current "trend" in the stamping blogging world is to decorate peppermint patties for gift giving. Peppermint patties. Do they really think anyone will say anything beyond, "oh cute. a decorated peppermint patty. how nice." munch. and in the trash that stamped patty wrapper goes
  • there are as many variations on Christmas cookies as there are people in the blogosphere
  • not every body's kids look cute dressed up like a Christmas pageant character
  • a dog dressed up like a reindeer makes a really funny picture. no matter who you are and who the dog is. :)
  • hand crafted does not always mean "good to give"
  • I am way behind in the decorating thing
  • I am way behind in the gift purchasing thing
  • I am way behind in the fa la la la la-ing

that is all for today

- the Grinch

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Yeah, I know. It's been awhile

Yeah, I know. It's been awhile. No really good reason why. I've been busy but that's no excuse. I guess it is more because I haven't really had much of anything important to say. Still don't. Huh. imagine that. Me, with nothing to say. I'll have to work on that.

I kind of feel like this cartoon. You just deal with what you have instead of making it what you want. Sometimes that's just easier. And it's often just as nice as what you had originally planned.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bowie Meets Crosby

Sorry I haven't been a blogging for a while. I'll work on a "real" entry tonight. In the meantime.... Enjoy my favorite Christmas song!