Monday, November 30, 2009

Giving Thanks in black and white


Our Thanksgiving Friday in black and white. Isn’t it cool how the women wore dark clothing and the guys light. This was totally planned. Yea right. (Tessa, Greg, Me, Jim, Julie)

373 Did you ever look at your shoes? Jim’s mom and Greg were checking theirs out. She very seriously told Greg that shoes these days cost $10 a pair – that’s ridiculous! That wicked Alzheimer’s disease has taken hold of her pretty good. She had us all confused, calling her daughter, Sandy, Verda (her sis’s name), Tessa was Sandy and Sandy’s daughter Liz was Tessa.


We all stood in a circle, holding hands, and said a prayer of thanks. We have so much to be thankful for. After that all bets were off. The feeding frenzy began. How can it take so many hours to fix the food, and so little time to eat it?


Little Miss Reagan had her own private dining area.


Say “cheese” Austin! The younger grandkids were at this table. Cara wasn’t too thrilled to be cast with the little ones. That’s ok dear, you will graduate to the teen table next year.


Travis, Emily, Paige, Cody. Paige is Jim’s brother’s girl.


This is the reason Travis has such a strange look on his face in the previous picture. He was working on one of those totally mature teen moments of showing the food he was eating.


Julie, Landon (niece Lizzy’s boyfriend), Lizzy, Teer (Jim’s sis’ husband), Jim’s mom, Jim and his sis, Sandy. Jim’s brother, Tracy, and our daughter, Tessa. I’m kicking myself for not fixing that table cloth on the table better.


This was by far the coolest moment of the day. Our nephew, Jesse, is in Iraq. We got him online so he could talk to everyone. I truly thought the whole computer thing would freak Grandma H. out. She was cool with it. She was waving and blowing kisses at him. Then she did the coolest thing. She saluted him and said “I salute you”. Totally amazing.


A light moment with daughter-in-law Alicia and niece Liz.


Jim’s family. A loved one dies and yet a family goes on - minus one . That one is still there in our hearts. Jim’s dad was quite a guy. He has been watching over us for 13 years now. I guess we’ll always miss him.


We pulled a stupid trick. We waited until the end of the day to try to get a family picture. Everyone was totally beat. I am proud of each and every one of these little tykes. And I am in awe that they are part of my life.

404 406405398

412Our little Anna Rose hung in there with us as long as she could. It didn't take more than 5 minutes to take the pictures, but she was not in the mood for this photo op to begin with. As sad as she looks here, she is only weary because of a wonderful day. I know I often felt like she did over the past week and yet I wouldn’t have changed a single thing. I love my family.

Did you notice that I didn’t even mention food in this post? It was all great! But I didn’t think to take a single picture of food, and all of y’all know what is served at Thanksgiving.

This past week has been a wild ride.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I’m Breathing Again

The house is clean. check

The menus are planned.  check

Any prep work that can be done ahead of time is done. check

Grocery shopping is done.  check

Bulletins, liturgical roles, and calendar are not done – will check that off the list this afternoon (hopefully)

One embroidery job done – will deliver this afternoon. check

Another job will be done tonight (if I’m not too tired)

Photo project is put on hold.

Invitations to our annual Christmas party created (75 of them), envelopes addressed, stamped and mailed.  Check.

Hubby just called from dentist (he had his wisdom tooth removed).   He called me on home phone to say he was heading home.  The connection wasn’t good, so he said “you are breaking up, you must be driving”  Huh?  I think I should have gone with him…

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Time Out

time out

I’ve fought against it.

I’ve tried to pretend it isn’t necessary.

I thought if I just moved a little faster, I’d find a way.

I thought that if I just stayed up a few extra hours every night, I’d “get “er done”

Now I’m just thinking… what was I thinking!  I can’t get it all done!  I have so many unfinished projects that it is unreal.

Things like embroidery jobs for very understanding customers.  Yes I said customers.  I’m starting to catch up there but the jobs keep pouring in.  I’m not complaining, but I’m not keeping up.

And then it is the photo job I started.  There are 37 years of photos that years ago I carefully placed in albums with magnetic pages.  You know the kind.  The kind that stuck the photo solid and then slowly ate away at it.  I’m carefully removing them from the albums and scanning each and every photo.  What a walk down memory lane!  How time consuming.  But it will be worth the time it took.  Right?  Right?  Please say right!!!!!

And I have to get the Liturgical Roles, the monthly Calendar, and of course the weekly bulletin done at Church next week.  I haven’t even gotten the bulletin done for this week!  Remember, this is a very, very part time job.  And of course it is a holiday week, so I have 2 days to accomplish this, plus update the web site.  Nobody will notice if there is no bulletin or calendar, right?  And does it matter if nobody knows what they are scheduled to do?  And it doesn’t matter if the web site doesn’t get updated.  Right?  Right???? Please say right!!!!!!

But I think what finally put me over the edge is I am getting company for Thanksgiving.   Jim’s sister and her family are heading our way for a visit.  I found out yesterday.  I’m thrilled that they are coming to visit.  They are coming exactly a week from today.  And they plan on staying 4 days.   I’ve been so busy with all of the other things I’m not getting done that I’ve also not been getting my cleaning done.  I need to clean!  They won’t notice if I don’t, though, right?  Right?  Please say right!!!!!


Oh and I need to cook.  Right?  Please say nah, you don’t need to cook.  In addition to day to day meals for guests (3 days worth), plus 24 for Thanksgiving, I think I’d better plan on cooking.   Actually I love to cook, but once again, it takes time.  I’m wazzing here! 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone and remember…. we have so much to be thankful for.  Even when things are not going the way we want, we have much to be thankful for. 

I am thankful for my loving family.  I am thankful that mom and dad are safe in heaven with God.  I am thankful for this great country.  I am thankful for my health.  I am thankful to have wonderful internet friends.  I thank God every day for all of my blessings.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A blip in the road

Missouri is rich in small historic towns along the Missouri River.  These little towns struggle to survive, but survive they do.  We’ve been trying to stay close to home in our “get-aways” and support our beautiful Missouri.

Rocheport is one of our favorite little towns.  It was a trading post for both settlers and Native Americans in the early 19th Century.  It is the home of 150 adults, 50 children, 20 dogs, and 15 cats.


It is located along the beautiful Missouri River, and the KATY Trail (a 225 hiking/biking trail that stretches across most of the state).


The KATY trail is part of a rails to trails project, and used to be the MKT Railroad line.  See the bracings of this bridge? It really doesn’t look as if it would be able to support a train, does it?  I think I’ll walk, thank you very much.


There are train tunnels…


… and goofy ladies…


Historic homes turned into historic shops…


…with everything you could ever want available (at a price…)


And of course, a winery.  One of our many favorites.


The Les Bourgeois winery overlooks the downright beautiful Missouri River.  As we sipped our wine, we listened to the sounds of a barge making its way up the river.


To the left is Interstate 70.  The bridge you see here is one I have had several encounters with.  It is patched and re-patched, and I believe held together with super glue and duct tape.  Years ago, in the middle of a terrible rainstorm, I was traveling as part of my job, heading to Kansas City.  I had almost made it to the end of the bridge when I heard a horrible bang and found myself struggling to keep my car under control.  The semi in the lane next to me immediately pulled over too.  It turned out that I had hit a chunk of concrete that had been used as part of the road fill process and flung it into the side of the semi.  My right front wheel had literally buckled under the impact.  I never made it to Kansas City that day.


My other encounter with this bridge was during the flood of 92.  Even though Rocheport is about 45 miles from my home, this bridge was my alternate path to get to work (the total trip took over 3 hours).  The bridge at Jefferson City had already been taken by the flood.  As I drove across this bridge, I could see the water seeping through the roadway.  It was an even scarier experience than the rogue concrete!


The fall colors may be gone, but the scenery is still breathtaking.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank you

veterans day

Today we honor those who fight for our freedom.  Please take a moment to thank a Veteran for all they have done for you.  And bow your head in memory of those who have gone before us.

Thank you dads – both mine and Jim’s. 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bless her pea pick in’ heart!


Our youngest grandchild turned two this past week.  She was just born yesterday in my mind – not too sure where two years has gone.  But gone they are, and in the place of baby girl Reagan, we have one of the spunkiest, sweetest, two years old the world will ever know. 

She definitely knows what she wants and doesn’t want at the wise old age of two.  She replied with a firm NO when I asked if she wanted to sit on my lap.  And she replied with an equally firm YES when I asked if she wanted to go to the garage with the rest of the kids.  I asked her what she wanted and she replied “I want a drink”.  Ok!   I found myself wishing I had such wisdom about what I want and don’t want. 


No funky blowing face from this little one.  We all learned the correct way to blow out candles is to let out a puff of air between your teeth.  One second those candles were lit and then poof – they were out!  Did I blink?  Nah, she was just that good.


Let me show you how to break this homemade piƱata.  (It’s a puppy dog, in case you can’t tell). 


I believe she is going to be a politician.  She combined a bear from one grandma, fake food from this grandma, and a shopping cart from mommy, daddy and big brother, and away she went.  She likes it all!

We love you Reagan!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sleep writing


I have discovered that I am amazingly funny and witty in my sleep. 

My days have been full of “stuff”, leaving me without any time to blog.  Apparently I am having withdrawals because I blogged in my sleep all night last night.  Dream after dream of what I’d written would wake me up.  And now in the light of day, the stories are gone.  Poof!  That just isn’t fair!


The sun is shining here - and it has been for days now.  The skies were in a flame of red sunset as I left work yesterday.  Since there were a lot of buildings and trees around, I decided to drive to a more open area.  Big.Mistake.  By the time I had driven only a few blocks, my beautiful sunset had almost set.  I probably pissed a few fellow drivers off, because I was doing the old rubber necking thing, trying to figure out where I could safely pull over.  This is all I was able to capture of my beautiful vision.  Maybe He will give me another one tonight and I’ll be ready for it.  Or maybe not.  Maybe I was supposed to take the gift for what it was and keep it in my memory forever.  Probably so.


Jim has been taking advantage of the beautiful weather to get the outside jobs under control.  This morning he is  walking/hobbling like an old man.  These pictures will tell you the story of why.


The photos don’t do the magnitude of the project justice. He spent two days blowing leaves off the drive and grass. 


When I got home last night, he proudly took me outside to show me what he’d gotten done. 


Years ago we discovered the value of keeping the leaves off the driveways.  Dad almost drove over a horse shoe stake because the leaves were so heavy on the drive that he couldn’t tell where to drive.

1773I thought Jim was going to have a heart attack when he saw more leaves had dropped in the few hours since he had gone inside.  Oak trees are like that.  They don’t fully let go of all of their brown, yucky, leaves until the Spring.


He will probably spend another two days chipping them up.  He has also spent days crawling around on the roof, doing some repairs. 


This is the first year that he used the leaf blower for the yard.  We usually rake them and haul them to a ravine. 


Jim seems to think this is the easier way to go (leaf blower and chipper) and I’m not going to complain, because I didn’t have to do a thing!

Oh, he also moved Abe to the field with the little ladies.  According to Jim, Abe is a very, very happy Ram at the moment.