Wednesday, December 31
My wish to each of you is that you are blessed with abundant blessings, love, laughter, good health and happiness throughout 2009. Remember that life is only what we make it. Love your family, friends and God and the rest will take care of itself.
The past year was very good to us and I must count my blessings. There were a few things that I would rather not have gone through. All the mess with the tenant in the first five months of the year was trying for us. The next five months were labor intense as we renovated the apartment and made it liveable again. Sometimes we thought it would never end. We finally got it finished and Aunt May, who was suffering from bone cancer went into the hospital and within two weeks had passed away. Though I`m glad she is free and no longer in pain, I will miss her.
The past year was not the hardest one I've ever been through and I am thankful for blessing received. Mom is doing well for her age. Hubby is working and is doing fairly well health wise. The grandsons are healthy and we all had a beautiful Christmas. So many things to be thankful for and as I bid 2008 goodbye and welcome 2009, I only ask that the coming year is as good as the past one has been.
Count your blessings as you begin the New Year and continue to count your blessings throughout the entire year, for there is always someone who is even less fortunate. Be kind and love thy neighbor as thy self. The rest will take care of itself.~Blessings,Mary~
Tuesday, December 30
One of my fondest memories is Christmas at Grandma's. When Grandma lived next door to us, we would always trudge across the snowy field to celebrate Christmas Day with Grandma and all of my aunts and uncles and their families. It was always a joyous occasion. Grandma always decorated her tree on Christmas Eve, so when we walked in the door on Christmas, the first thing we saw was the tree. It was always a spruce if Grandma had her way and it was always decorated with the vintage decorations that she had collected over the years.
The focus of Christmas was not so much on the gifts, but the birthday of our Lord. Second to that came the celebration of being with family. We kids all waited in anticipation of the gift giving, as Grandpa always insisted that the meal be taken first and then when the kitchen cleanup was completed, he would hand out the gifts. No one else was allowed to go near the Christmas tree until that time. Each year, as faithful as clockwork, I would unwrap a book that was wrapped in green tissue paper and tied with red cord. A few Christmas stickers was always added to brighten the gift up just a little.
That gift in that green tissue paper was one I always looked forward to and the contents were always treasured. Grandma & Grandpa had little money but each year I received a book. As I grew older, it was always the latest released Nancy Drew Mystery and that suited me fine. I still look forward to receiving a book for Christmas.
Today, I wrap Brandon & Jordan's big gift from us in green tissue. I don't add the red cord, but do add the Christmas stickers. You can see the wrapping from Brandon's gift this year in the post below. It makes me wonder if in years to come the boys will Remember When Grandma wrapped their Christmas gifts in green tissue paper with stickers added to make the parcel just a little more festive.
If you would like to take part in this meme, be sure to follow the link above and add your name to Mr. Linky on Jean's site. ~Blessings, Mary~
PS. To read about my memories of Grandma's Kitchen, please click on the link.
Monday, December 29
Sunday, December 28
The meal was great. There was turkey, mashed potatoes, lots of different vegetables, a cheese platter for before the meal, which included pickles and biscuits. There was pumpkin pie for desert and a huge plate of Christmas cookies. It was all delicious.
Here is a picture of three generations. Mom is in the light green sweater beside me. Michelle is in blue and Melissa in red. We are varying ages. Mom is 81, I'm 59, Michelle will be 40 in February and Melissa will be 33 in March.
Mom was very ill on Christmas Eve while at my sisters. She seemed to recuperate quickly and I think it was the same bug that I had early in December. Please keep her in your prayers.
Saturday, December 27
Holding the toilet seat so everyone could see that it was transparent. You would have thought she had been given a million dollars.
Thursday, December 25
Wednesday, December 24
Above is a photo of Grandma. She is the one that I'm always writing about. She taught me many things, including a love of God. This is Grandma when she was 23 years old. That is my mother in her arms. Mom was my grandparents' first child. Mom would be about 6 months old here. The photo was taken in the spring of 1928.
Above is Grandma as I picture her. She is wearing a housedress, which was what she wore around home everyday...and the ever-present apron tied around her waist. I remember both the dress and the apron well. Since I don't have many photos of Grandma, I was ecstatic.
Tuesday, December 23
The first photos shows our Christmas tree when we put it up on Saturday. All it has on it is the lights. Excuse the Christmas boxes sitting on the sewing machine cabinet in the left foreground and the vaccuum in the right corner. These will get put away.
This angel was a gift from my dear blogging friend, Sammi at Bears in Exile. I participated in her Circle Journal last year and she just sent it for me to read all of the entries. It is fantastic. In the package was this little handmade angel. I love it. A special token of our friendship. Thanks again, Sammi. She will be carefully stored away with love after Christmas.
This is the main part of the entertainment unit. It holds some of my angel collection. Two were given to me by hubby and the purple one on the left was made for me by Mom. The nativity was a gift from a stranger. A story for another day.
This is the other side of my entertainment unit. I also love snowmen and women and on the bottom shelf you will see some of those. The middle shelf holds Santa's sleigh that the reindeer are pulling. It is acrylic and was a gift from Mom. The boy and girl with the musical instruments was something I won when I was a Princess House crystal representative. The top shelf holds the crystal angel that was a gift from Denise at Shorty Bear's Place in 2007. Beside her are kissing angels that I made in ceramic class in the 70s.
This star was made for me by Jordan when he was six. It is a piece of cardboard covered with tin foil. Some people might think it was junk, but it is a treasure to me, as it was made and given with love.
When Brandon was in kindergarten, he made this walnut decoration. He painted the walnut and then put very tiny green beads on it. Quite a feat for a child with Asperger's because their motor skills aren't the best. But make it he did and it is another ornament that is treasured simply because it was made and given with love from the heart.
Monday, December 22
I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE, AND TO SEE JUST WHO IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.
I LOOKED ALL ABOUT, A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE, NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS, NOT EVEN A TREE.
NO STOCKING BY MANTLE, JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND, ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.
WITH MEDALS AND BADGES, AWARDS OF ALL KINDS, A SOBER THOUGHT CAME THROUGH MY MIND.
FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT, IT WAS DARK AND DREARY, I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER, ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.
THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING, SILENT, ALONE, CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.
THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE, THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER, NOT HOW I PICTURED A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.
WAS THIS THE HERO OF WHOM I'D JUST READ? CURLED UP ON A PONCHO, THE FLOOR FOR A BED?
I REALIZED THE FAMILIES THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT, OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.
SOON ROUND THE WORLD, THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY, AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.
THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR, BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS, LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.
I COULDN'T HELP WONDER HOW MANY LAY ALONE, ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.
THE VERY THOUGHT BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE, I DROPPED TO MY KNEES AND STARTED TO CRY.
THE SOLDIER AWAKENED AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE, 'SANTA DON'T CRY, THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;
I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, I DON'T ASK FOR MORE, MY LIFE IS MY GOD, MY! COUNTRY, MY CORPS.'
THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP, I COULDN'T CONTROL IT, I CONTINUED TO WEEP.
I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS, SO SILENT AND STILL AND WE BOTH SHIVERED FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.
I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT, THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR SO WILLING TO FIGHT.
THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER, WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE, WHISPERED, 'CARRY ON SANTA, IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE.'
ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH, AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT. 'MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,! AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.'
Sunday, December 21
When we got back to the house, I put him out in the yard. He loves sitting or laying in the snow.
In the photo above, Meeko is watching the kids up the street playing in the snow. He would love to run and play with them, but he can't be trusted off-leash.
Saturday, December 20
Friday night about 8pm, the snowplow went by and left a three-foot ridge in the middle of our street behind the driveway. I called the city and told them that hubby couldn't shovel because he has a heart condition and asked if a snowplow that was in the vicinity could clear it a little. I was flabberghasted when the snowplow driver came by, stopped, looked at the mess he'd made and then continued up the street. So much for Christmas spirit.
However, my faith in human kind was reestablished when I saw a pickup truck with a blade on the front plowing out my neighbor's driveway. I quickly donned my boots and coat and went out and asked him how much to clear the ridge from our driveway. I almost fainted when he said $40. I offered him $30 because it had to be done. Hubby has to work tonight and MUST be able to get out. I knew I couldn't clear all of that snow in that amount of time and if hubby did, he could have another heart attack. At first he said no, he had too much to do. Well, I don't give up easily and said, "Ah, come on, it's Christmas and my husband has a heart condition." He immediately agreed and I gave him the last $30 in the house. Now I have to go to the bank tomorrow. Dang!
I will try to get photos of the snow sometime today. If you live where there is a lot of snow, be careful on slippery streets and roads. Stay in where it is safe and warm, if possible. And if you have a neighbor who is elderly or disabled and you are healthy or have a snowblower, please think of them and clear their sidewalk and driveway. It will mean a lot, as they are not able to do it for themselves. The Christmas Spirit was alive and well at my house last night. I am thankful for random acts of kindness. ~Blessings, Mary~
Friday, December 19
I picked Brandon up from school at noon because there was a dance this afternoon and he doesn't like to go. So we went out and bought Grandpa a Christmas present and then came back here and baked some cookies. Once that was done, he showed me what he's doing on NeoPets. Both he and Jordan enjoy the site. They have adopted pets and play games, collect things and try to get their hands on the rarest items. During December there is an Advent Calender where you can get something free everyday. They have done this every year since they were very young. It is something that they really look forward to. This is a very nice site for kids.
A little Christmas decorating got done and the boys will be coming on Sunday to help decorate the tree. Hubby and I need to get it set up on Saturday and get the lights on it. The boys don't help with the lights, but they do put most of the other decorations on. We've done this as a family since they were tiny and the tradition continues.
We have about six inches of snow. It is to snow overnight and all day tomorrow. The weatherman said we could get a lot and then it is to do the same again on Sunday. So, we shall see if the predictions are correct. I sure hope not. I like snow but not so much at once. It's difficult to shovel, especially if it is wet snow. We don't have a lot of space to put it in. Some years our lawn is piled three feet deep from where we shovel the snow from the sidewalk. That makes shoveling even more difficult because you have to throw it up on top of a three-foot bank. I do want a white Christmas, but two feet of snow over the weekend is not something I look forward to. I guess I'm getting old. I used to delight in such snowstorms.
Enjoy the season. This is a stressful time of year and we just need to sit back and take a deep breath every once in a while, so we can focus on what Christmas really means. Take care and enjoy the weekend. ~Blessings, Mary~