Tuesday, December 23, 2008


The number "forty" is a kind of mediocre number. It is an "old" number if you are young. It is a wishful number if you are in your 60's looking back at how you used to feel and look and what you were able to accomplish in a day. It could be a blessing or a curse if it is the size of your chest! And a definite downer if it is the size of your waist.

No, as I sit here sick with nothing much I can do but blow my nose, and think, I am thinking of the forty inches of snow outside my front door. YEP! I said "FORTY" and there is more on the way tonight, and Christmas Day and we are 2 inches away from the record for December and with Jan, Feb and March still to go, we are only 17 inches away from the record winter total!

That's a lot of snowflakes! Just imagine...

Welcome to Wisconsin and I am saying that for myself. This is our first winter here and our first back up "north" from the sunny climes of Texas where we spent the last 11 winters. While the first few snowfalls were fun, the last ones have not been as much fun since I have a cold. Guess it is just part of the cycle of life, sometimes things just are and we need to pull ourselves up by our boot straps and suck in a deep breath (oxygen always helps) and deal with it.

So for all who wish for a little of the white stuff...be careful what you wish for!


Whomever made the astute observation "Life happens when you're planning something else" sure knew what they were talking about.

We came over to WI to spend Christmas and New years with our son and his family. I guess since it is the end of Dec and it would be completely normal to anticipate spending time with family, shopping for gifts, making sweet treats to give and to eat, planning special meals, enjoying the lights other people have put on their houses and in their yards, singing carols, going to Christmas Eve services to acknowledge Jesus, the reason for everything...etc, etc, etc!

BAH! HUMBUG! Life happens and I have been sick with an upper respiratory infection for a week now, and I don't have all my gifts purchased, and I don't have the ones I have wrapped, and I can't see our grand daughters this Christmas sneezing, blowing, running a temp and coughing as I am. We had an invitation for Christmas Eve dinner and can't accept it. I can't sing because it makes me cough and my voice sounds like it is a deep bass anyway. I didn't get my Christmas cards done again, and I don't want to include my germs inside sweet treats. I am living in my pj's and barely getting something to eat. So our Christmas is not as I planned for sure. Plus we are getting a snow storm about every third day and while the condo association takes care of the front, I was trying to keep the snow off the small deck and away from the sliding door. Well, there is a foot of snow drifts out there right now with more on the way and I just don't have the energy to do a thing about it!

You are right...I need an attitude adjustment. I am so typical of the many who plan and work and live acccording to our own understanding. I NEED to get back to the basics of "walking each day with the Lord" and not grousing about my plans that didn't come to pass. HIS is a better plan and if I am to be sick during this time of celebration for the rest of the world, then I need to look for the blessing in it. "Forgive me Lord my selfish spirit and help me to be joyfull and content in You and in all circumstances. Teach me Thy ways". This is my prayer.

I wish for each and everyone a blessed Christmas full of the happiness that comes from knowing the Lord personally. He gives to our hearts His joy, His peace and His provision according to His plan for us, which is perfect. So sit back and enjoy and let Him do the driving! Merry Christmas

PS There will be no picture with this posting. You wouldn't want to see me right now. LOL

Monday, December 15, 2008


Most of you know we have a two bedroom condo in Oshkosh, WI so we can have a bed to sleep in and a comfortable place for the three cats when we come visit the grand daughters and their parents. We learned that sleeping on cots and staying with them a week at-a-time, just wasn't good for any of us, although they were always gracious about our staying there. You know the old saying "Company and fish smell and get old after three days". So our condo is our "other" home instead of the RV which has been sold.

As we furnish the condo slowly and with not too much clutter, we tried to make good choices. I knew we needed enough seating for all of us, and although we have a nice high quality futon couch, it wasn't comfortable enough nor quite big enough and had no recliners. We looked at a Slumberland outlet store on the north side if Minneapolis and found a reasonable "L" shaped leather couch with 3 recliners and enough seating for all. So that was added to the decor and the dark brown is neutral enough to go with the room.

Our main purchase was window covering. At our MN house we have mini blinds (with lace valances) and the blinds have to be pulled up to keep the cats from breaking the narrow slats trying to get behind them. (While Beth was in college, we saw evidence of that in all the apartments with cats.) Our son has vertical blinds and the cats seemed to be able to get behind them OK. His have the little chains from blind to blind and that was a problem as they would pop those loose. We thought of drapes, but I didn't want cat hair on them and sheers were too delicate. We came to the conclusion that vertical blinds the same color as the wall would work best. We can turn them for light adjustment and the window ledge is 6" deep and two feet off the floor, so the cats often jump up, and get behind them and sun themselves and look out. They are working out so well. We got the "S" shaped verticals with a slight vine pattern in a little darker shade of white on white. It is very subtle and if I ever make the nice valances on valance boards I want Bill to make out of wood, then the windows will be really nice. We have often thought out loud what a good choice they were and how happy we are with them. Sometimes you win...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Emma has been taking "mermaid" lessons. She is the blond in the green "pookadot" mermaid suit. I was priviledged to go to the YMCA and observe the class. I couldn't quite figure out why the boys are in the class unless they were taking the class so as to someday be able to "catch a mermaid".

Anyway, there was a lot of jumping while in the water and going under the water while holding onto the side of the pool (a few brazen mermaid wannabees even let go while they bobbed under the water and up again.) Their kicking styles were quite differentiated, some using both legs, some using one and some just not using their legs at all. They put on their floatation devices around their waists and leaped from the side into the waiting arms of their mermaid instructor. They all had a couple of tries using the foam bar bell-looking floats, first held in front of them and with them on their tummies kicking as they went across the little pool. Then they held it across their chest with them mimicking swimming on their backs. Most forgot to kick as this is not a normal "mermaid" activity! Since there were only two floats, they had to take turns. Those who were awaiting their turn, put their tummies on the pool edge with their feet in the water and practiced their mermaid kicks, which produced a lot of laughter and splashing of neighbors. But hey, mermaids just wanna have fun!

At the end of the class, they were given a treat...sliding down the water slide. Emma is still cautious about going down alone, but some of the other mermaid students were so cute as they would come out of the side into the 3 feet of water...some on their backs and head first, some backwards sitting up, and some in a perfect sitting position facing the direction they were sliding, and lastly some on their tummies spinning. The grins and loud giggles were coming from the parents who were watching their fledgling mermaid execute this difficult conclusion to the class. They all received certificates and graduated. If they truly want to "swim with the fishes" they need to sign up for the next class. I think I might too! It looked like a lot of fun.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


SNOW, SNOW. and MORE SNOW!!! I had forgotten the true meaning of "winter" having spent the last 11 in South Texas. The true meaning of winter is that you do not see the ground for 3-4 months, literally! I had forgotten how the "white" is very definitely blinding when the wind is blowing it around and each of those tiny little 6 pointed "creations" can accumulate so fast. OH how I wish I could see the intricasies of each one. I am told they are all different and my curious mind "wants to see for myself".

I shoveled the driveway in MN for 1 1/2 hours before we came over to WI on Sat. Last night and today they are predicting a snow fall of between 8-12 inches. Yesterday I spent 2 hours cleaning off the condo driveway down to bare pavement. The association cleans off the most of it but always leaves an inch and it turns to hard packed snow and is slippery. So I got that off. Then the snow began to fall in the late afternoon again. The plow came in the night and cleaned off some but it is still falling. I cleaned off our small walkway and about 3 feet in front of the garage door before bed last night , and just did it again before breakfast. I like to do it in small doses as it is easier to handle. Matti was helping me shovel the back deck yesterday which is not but 12X12 and after two shovelfulls, she announced "It snowed a lot!" and was ready to "throw in the shovel" on helping Mamaw.

AND it is still falling and will be most of the day. All the schools are closed and Jodi is home today with the grand daughters baking cookies for the exchange on Sat at her house. I hope to join her later. I want to make several kinds, so haven't picked my recipe to share. I also want to make some pint milk carton sized Gingerbread houses with Matti and Emma. My goal today is to find a recipe for the cookie dough, make some templates (after I go buy a couple of pint milk cartons to use as a base), and then make it to the store to get all the ingredients. Emma wasn't feeling well yesterday, so we took care of her and Matti from noon to 6pm. I made a big pot of chili for our supper and it hit the spot on a cold snowy winters eve.

My first order of business is to go to Fleet Farm and find me some warm boots that I can wear to shovel in. Tennis shoes work in Texas winters but not up here in MN/WI winter snows.

AND I AM LOVING IT! I guess they have taken TX out of the girl( I was born in Dallas and lived in TX until I was 23!) I miss the travel and the friends we have made traveling, but I do like winter and all of what that means....snow, snow and more snow! Anyone wanting a snowball, I do ship them for a fee.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I am not refering to a literal storm...but the flurry and hurry of cleaning, organizing, cooking, and anticipation of having the family all here for Thanksgiving. As I have repeated to myself a hundred times..."it didn't get in this condition over night". For the last 11 years we have been going to Texas for the winter. All the extra treasures I would bring home and the duplicate food items from the RV would wind up in the dining room for handy repacking in the RV the next fall as we would prepare to go again. Somewhere along the way, it all got out of hand and there was no place for the extra "stuff". This year we were at least able to utilize the table for the eight of us and it was nice and cozy eating that way. My children, the two grand daughters and Sujan (our daughters guest) were all very gracious accepting that it wasn't perfect yet. I just need to go through some cabinets and weed out items we no longer use and put in the items I want to use. Ahh, the joys of owning too much. This is my public confession of having too much! And my desire to want to have less and and be able to utilize more of what I really want.

The grand daughters were delightful. They loved the pink leotards and tutus that Beth made for them. I provided a new game which kept them occupied for hours. It is the "Princess" "Memory Game and even at their ages, they are able to do the simple version of Memory. They also loved watching (several times) the Disney movie "Cinderella". You can see by their enrapped gaze that they couldn't hardly take their eyes off the childrens classic on theTV.They did try out a couple of dance positions that their "Tia" Beth taught them (I knew those ballet lessons when she was 5 would come in handy). Even Jack the cat wanted to be in the middle of the dance rehersal. The cats tended to be in the middle of everything and no one minded. Sujan was able to observe the three distinct personalities and pronounced Jack as his favorite, even saying IF he could have a cat like Jack, he wouldn't mind.

Our family ate out Weds night before Thanksgiving at a Japanese Steak House and Grill. It was fun sharing the meal and watching the chef do his "grill" tricks. Matti and Emma are mezmerized by the flames. The Thanksgiving meal was enjoyed by all. Beth made a marvelous Cranberry Orange Upside-Down cake. I had two Pumpkin pies (one never would have been enough). On Friday all but Jodi and the girls went to see the latest James Bond movie.

The quiet after the storm is deafining. Everyone has gone back to their homes in Oshkosh, WI. Waco. TX, and Knoxville, TN. Even the cats are missing the extra people around. We were happy that all three cats seemed not to mind having all the noise, converstion, and occasional crying. They seemed to respond to the love from the extra people who would pet and brush them.

We are blessed and I am so Thankful for our family and the provision of our loving God.