Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday Christmas Past

Richard Our First Christmas together 1978

Granny and Papa with 6 of the grandkids at the Christmas Tree Farm

Papa lying on the ground cutting down the tree

Christmas dressing up for granny 2002
Doesn't appear that Paige is happy!

Richard loved Christmas. When our boys were growing up and for a short while after we started having grandchildren, we drove to the Delp Christmas Tree Farm in St. John, Kansas every year to cut down our Christmas Tree. We usually went with a group of family and friends. Everyone would load up at our house in several cars and down the highway we went, caravan style. First stop was always in Stafford, Kansas at a little cafe called Ickies, for breakfast. Then on to farm to get our saws and head to the field to pick our trees. Everyone usually had their own criteria to follow. The trees were then shaken, bagged, and loaded while we went inside to warm up by the fire and eat shelled peanuts. Throwing the shells into the fire was always entertainment to the boys. We sipped on hot cider stirred with a candy cane. And every year Richard told the story of going to the Christmas tree farm with a big trailer, cutting down hundreds of trees, loading them up and bringing them back to Hutchinson to sell at the Kansas State Fair grounds for the local Jaycee fundraiser. We never tired of hearing him tell the story. (Well, maybe we did. But we never told him) After the drive back home with the trees we would gather (either at our house or the house of a friend) for chili and vegetable soup. And there may or may not been a bottle of bourbon passed around. Ah, good memories. Slowly, all of us got pre-lit artificial trees and this tradition ended. But not before lots of memories were made. Do you have a holiday tradition you'd like to share with us?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ten on Tuesday

Carol Knits hosts Ten on Tuesday and this
week she is asking:What 10 Things You Would put in a Christmas Letter? You all know the ones. Those braggy letters that tells all about the wonders and wealth of the past year for the sender. I have said for years that I was going to write my own special Christmas letter and this is what it would include (tongue in cheek)

1. The house burned to the ground this past January. We weren't able to save a thing.

2. Our oldest is starting his 8th year in jail. I don't think the judges will ever listen to his appeal.

3. Grandpa lost another front tooth. He looks so adorable now with all four of them gone.

4. The old car finally quit running. We might have to get another one. For now, though, we have our bicycles.

5. The dog ran out the door and was hit by the little, old lady who lives down the street. Luckily it didn't kill him. We only had to amputate his leg. So now he only has three.

6. In April we won the lottery. We got $10.00. We had such a good time spending it. Didn't believe we really had that many relatives. But we do believe in sharing! And money sure doesn't last long does it?

7. Was so happy when our youngest took up growing houseplants. And they were so nice and green (under those grow lights he rigged up). I can't understand why the cops took all of them when they paid us a visit.

8. For those of you who don't know, Papa died and he left us this summer. We miss him terribly.

9. We took our first vacation this year. Yep, we drove all the way to the state capital. Paid our taxes and drove home. None of those high class fancy hotels for this family.

10. We now lovingly sign our names and tell everyone that other than #8 this was all just a pack of lies and was meant to bring you some holiday cheer.

Now let's link up with Carol on Ten on Tuesday and see what others would share in their letters. Speaking of such letters, I got one in the mail just this week. I won't name names. But I didn't know a single person she spoke of in such glowing terms. I barely know her!! Keep laughing everyone. Life is too short. 


Sunday, December 14, 2014

My Simple Woman's Day Book December 15th Edition


December 15, 2014

Outside my window...

Today was a crazy day in Kansas. We had a 4.1 earthquake about 50 miles southeast of my house. And then that was followed with a tornado warning here in my county. And currently it is 53* and raining. What happened to December? 

I am thinking...

I am thinking that crazy weather goes along with my crazy life.

I am thankful...

I am thankful the kids at my house are healthy and happy.

In the kitchen...

Monday:Leftover Meatloaf sandwiches
Tuesday:Harley gone...salads for Darian and granny
Wednesday:Kids Christmas party at church
Thursday:Home wrestling match;hamburgers and fries after
Friday:Home basketball game; pizza after
Saturday:Tater Tot Casserole, Brussels sprouts
Sunday:Spaghetti and garlic bread

I am wearing...

I am wearing black slacks, a maroon, white and grey ruffly top and black socks (I wore this to a church program today)

I am creating...

I am really not creating. But I am thinking about something. I'm just not quite sure how to put it all together.

I am going...

I am going to finish all of my Christmas things this week and hopefully just try to enjoy the season.

I am wondering...

I am wondering what is the record number of sneezes in a row! I have just sneezed 8 times and it is about to kill me!

I am reading...

I am reading The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. It has been around a long time. All of my grand-kids have read it and they think it is way past time for me to read it. So I downloaded it onto my Nook and started it yesterday. Have you read it?

I am hoping...

I am hoping for a peaceful week.

I am looking forward to...

I am looking forward to morning. That is as far as I can go. One day at a time.

I am learning...

I am learning there are just some things you have to let go of. It might be hard; but just let go.

Around the house...

I need to finish vacuuming and dusting.

I am pondering...

There is much to ponder. This week I am pondering Psalms 27-4. I didn't get it memorized this past week. So I will get busy and work on it tonight. So far I am staying on schedule with my memorizing. Do you find that the older you get the harder it is to memorize?

A favorite quote for today...

One of my favorite things...

One of my favorite things is a simple glass of eggnog.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Our week is much like last week. Monday,BB practice, wrestling, practice and Boy Scouts. Tuesday, wrestling practice, out of town BB game, Wednesday, both have practices; Darian is going to Wichita to see The Hobbit with his English class and the kids have their church youth group Christmas Party. Thursday, wrestling match at home for Darian, BB practice for Harley. Friday, 1/2 day of school, wrestling practice for Darian, at home BB game for Harley. Saturday and Sunday: remains to be seen yet!

A peek into my day...

Come link up with me at The Simple Woman's Blog.


Friday, December 12, 2014

A Man To Die For

This is what Barnes and Nobel had to say:

St. Louis Trauma nurse Casey McDonough thinks her life is interesting enough. Her best friend still drops acid, her ex-husband is a cross-dressing psychiatrist, and her mother has turned the third floor of the family home into the Chapel of Eternal Vigilance.

Then, things begin to really go wrong when OB/Gyn Dr. Dale Hunsacker arrives. Handsome, wealthy and charismatic, the good doctor is enchanting the patients of the St. Louis hospital. But, Cassy believes he is a serial killer. And the only person who takes her seriously, is Hunsacker himself.

Caught in a spiral of suspicion and intimidation, Casey approaches ex-Marine, ex-Jesuit homicide sergeant Jack Scanlan for help. All she has are hunches for proof, but she'll do anything to stop the monster walking the halls of her hospital.

I love a good suspense novel. And this one kept me up reading long after I should have been sleeping. It had everything I loved: a good nurse, a good cop, and a good ending! It is also a Lend Me Book if any of my Nook friends would like to borrow it!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

You Cannot Prepare

Here it is once again, Friday! I find it so hard to believe how fast the days turn into week which turn into months. And right around the corner is a new year. Time does not stand still even when I feel like I am standing still. But on Friday I like to write, along with a group of people who follow the Five Minute Friday prompts left for us by Kate Moutaung. This week the prompt is: prepare. We write for 5 minutes. No editing, no backtracking to make it perfect. Just writing. From the heart. 


I really thought I could prepare. But I was, oh so wrong. You cannot prepare yourself for the death of your spouse. You can see it coming. You can get yourself ready. But there is just no preparation that will make it anything more than the most powerful experience you will ever go through in your life. The biggest event. The saddest. The most horrible.

I saw him start to fade in the early part of July. I knew he wouldn't make it through summer. I talked with a cool head to the hospice nurse. I explained it carefully to his grandchildren. My son and I stood in the kitchen, with our arms wrapped around each other, and knew it was coming. I told myself it was going to be okay. His suffering would end. And we would go on. And it would be okay. How hard could this be anyway? I had witnessed death before. I had lost my mom, my dad, grandparents, a baby girl,a mother-in-law, a brother-in-law, a sister-in-law. I had stood in the room with hundreds of patients and their families as their loved one had slipped quietly away. Some we fought hard to save. They didn't go quietly. But I had witnessed death. And I was prepared.

And then he died. I was in shock. I felt as if I was walking through mud. I got up each day and went through the motions of living my life. I made the preparations for his memorial service. We took care of the finalities of his very long and loving life. We said good-bye. We tied up the loose ends.

And then in the weeks that followed the grief hit me. It was more powerful than a tsunami. More powerful than a tornado. I cried enough tears to flood our town. My heart ached. It still aches. I couldn't move. I couldn't stand. I couldn't think. I'd turn to say a word to my husband; only to find him gone and start the grieving again. I couldn't prepare. There isn't a plan. Grief has gripped me in his ugly hands and squeezed my heart until it bursts. And then it happens again tomorrow. And the day after that. And the next day. And on and on and on. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.....


The Hateful Captcha!!

I do know know why this is happening. I have reported it to Blogger. Hopefully it will be fixed soon. I do not have captcha activated on my blog. Yet, it seems to be appearing. I am also seeing it on others blogs that I read. Those blogs that didn't have it before. (For instance Kwizgiver, yours) They say they are working on it. If you know how to fix it let me know.....

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday

All the years that I was growing up my
Mom 1982
 mom was into crafts. And she was really, really good at it. She could sew too. She made a lot of my clothes. Even though I hated homemade clothes. What a brat! But I remember the things she would make out of things we might just throw away. In this picture of her with a couple of her things: on the left, the snowflake, is made from the old-fashioned type pull tabs from a beer can. Do you remember those?? She put them together(what with, I don't know. It was before we had hot glue guns) and covered them with glitter. Very cool ornaments to hang on the tree. The other thing she is holding is a 'kissing ball' that is made from medicine cups, dipped in green glitter and glued to a Styrofoam ball. That hung at her house every Christmas after she made it. I wish I still had them. But those were things that didn't get saved when she moved into the nursing home. My mom loved Christmas and she loved crafting. Sadly, I didn't much inherit either from her. 

I am linking up with ThrowBack Thursday Tell-All Party. Click the link