Friday, January 15, 2021

Same $#!+ Different Day

 Jack is back in the hospital.  He formed adhesions from his surgery and that caused a bowel obstruction.   We are in the hospital in Ashland... thankfully. It's where I worked so we know everyone. That's comforting but it's still stressful not really knowing how this will shake out. They were hoping it would clear up on it's own but that wasn't happening. Next best scenario is it's just a band of tissue that they can cut and free it up with no loss of bowel and doing it as a laparoscopy.  So prayers please and good thoughts welcome.  

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Is It A Bird? Or A Plane? Nope, Just Blue Skies!

 We had lovely blue skies today...the sun was even visible!

Blue skies above the pines.  The temps were mild in the 30's.  Phil did come over and split wood. Jack and I did lend a hand.

Our son Phil loading the gator with wood to split.  He's been such a wonderful help to us these past months while Jack recoups.  Jack and I helped stack and run the splitter while Phil did the heavy lifting. It was so nice out that he didn't even need a coat and worked up a sweat in the 37de heat! Just being outdoors was a pleasure today.

Our neighbor's chickens enjoyed the sunshine too. They visit daily and enjoy the various selections of up guys and gals!
Wait! One thing is not like the others...but do they care? Do they fight with him? Do they get upset over his different color? Hair style? Big ears? Nope. We could learn a few things here folks. Just sayin'. Plus Jack concluded that that's where we get Cadbury eggs. Hmmm.
Here's a pic of my attempt at homemade bagels. They are good! I'm going to make cinnamon raison next.  Just my way of bringing joy to the world...and it keeps me off the streets.

So as the sunsets slowly in west here at Whispering Pines I do hope next week is calmer in our country. I don't post political stuff but it's not because I have my head in the sand or don't care.  It's because I choose to keep my blog full of peace...quiet...and of course....HOPE.  Night all!

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Week #1

 We're almost one week in on this new year. I thought I'd better blog something but really don't have a ton to write about.  I did get all the holiday decor down and put away and that always makes me think of projects we need to get done this year.  With Jack feeling better each day we'll soon be able to start to get a grip on those.  I have the itch to paint some walls.  I just have to decide on colors.  I don't want to change things a ton, just give things some brightening up.  Our snow has melted again and we did get some flakes yesterday but the worst thing is the grey skies!  Cloudy every day.  When it snows at least it brightens the outside a bit! I think we're suppose to have sun on Saturday and our son Phil is planning on coming out to help split wood again.  Just to be in the sun will have me helping! I finally got to my doctor for my usual checkup.  I have some projects to do there too! I went yesterday and had some x-rays and an ultrasound of my abdomen just to check on my aorta since my sister had an aortic brother has one doctor thought it would be good to see if I had one. Thankfully all is good! It's easy to put aside or "forget" to take care of ourselves.  Usually things end up more of a problem when we do that.  I ordered my blog book yesterday. Getting 2020 into print so it's not ever forgotten...even though it was rotten! I shouldn't be so harsh.  We did  have some good things happen and many blessings also. I need to remember to be grateful for all things..even trials that can teach us so much.  So that's all I've got. I read yesterday that the world is spinning a little faster.  I can agree with that so let's all hold on for the ride! Here's a little sign I bought a few years ago:

  Blessings for sure.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Almost Out Of Here

 2020 is coming to it's final hoorah.  I'm sure many are actually saying HOORAY! for this day.  I read my post from New Year's Eve 2019 and read the optimistic outlook for what I called "The Roaring 20's".  Never in my imagination did I think that statement of being roaring would be so dang true.  I always pick a word to focus on in the new year.  Last year it was CHANGE.  Again I never imagined how true that word became.  My sister's illness, surgery, kidney failure, and near death experience along with my dear Mother's falling and breaking her leg, rehab, eventual homecoming, and then her passing all made our family go through change in heartbreaking ways. My job as a  Surgical Technologist went through the changes that Covid 19 brought on.  Surgery was closed and we were reassigned to new areas and new job duties that were out of our comfort zone and, for my RN co-workers, scary as heck.  We missed our surgery "home" and friendly faces.  When we did get back the supplies were limited and we had to change a few things to help preserve them and yet keep working day to day.  In the early part of the pandemic I thought it was a bit over blown and figured it would be over soon.  Boy, I was wrong!  Soon masks were everywhere. No visitors in the hospital and nursing homes.  Not being with my Mom was the worst thing and really challenged her in her 90's to be separated from all she was familiar.  I'm glad she was able to come home and that she was able to be surrounded by loved ones, family faces, at her passing. We miss her every day.  I can't imagine how hard it would have been on Jack and I if I wasn't allowed to visit during his 17 day hospital stay.  The family being there during those stressful times can be a life saver.  When I used the word change for last year I was really focusing on my retirement plans.  I mentioned in that post I would go PRN and not truly retire. Well those plans changed as I found out I would be leaving money on the table if I did that.  So retire I did with the idea of going back in January.  That may not happen unless the hospital gives permission to have a PRN person in surgery.  So not sure about that in 2021.  I did learn many things from 2020.  I was reminded again how fragile life is and how quickly things can change.  I drew closer to God in so many ways even though Church was closed for a bit and we did more studying in our home. That was an eye opener.  You have to find your faith in Christ in yourself and not rely on others to supply it.  It's nice to have a Church meeting along with the good people who become a church family but truly you have to have your own testimony to rely on. I found out there were so many good people willing to offer up prayers in our behalf and then I was able to witness the power of those good thoughts and prayers.  Yes, I can say I have seen miracles preformed in 2020.  I have been blessed in 2020.  I have learned some wonderful lessons and have made decisions for the future that needed planned. My biggest lesson from this year for me was that "I CAN DO HARD THINGS"!  We all can when we put on our big girl..or boy, panties and get it done. So what's the word for 2021?  I'm choosing "HOPE". It's
hope in my heart that it will be a healing year for the world.  That the vaccines will indeed move us into a better place so we can gather with family and friends again.  I have hope that my sister will continue to improve as she has done since her illness happened...that a new kidney will happen for her.  I have hope for good health for Jack and I and our family.  I have hope that whatever comes our way in the new year, challenges or trials, that we can get through them with the help of God, the love of family, and the support from friends.  I wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

Friday, December 25, 2020

Making Merry!

 I've watched about every Scrooge movie there is this year. Jack and I have stayed in and not gathered with family like usual. This post won't be filled with photos of our gang making quite merry as Mr. Cratchet would have said.   Jack is doing quite well in his recovery but we decided not to push the envelope on Covid.  2020 has not been our best year in many ways. However, we did have a delightful day of quiet filled Christmas spirit. We opened gifts, ate good food, listened to beautiful music and watched a Christmas stocking full of Christmas movies. We watched snow fall gently and abundantly...7--8 inches...all day long.  I hope everyone has had a lovely day today.  I know there are many who did not and are struggling with feeling that Christmas Spirit. It's been a different year for sure. So I guess I'll just say: "Merry Christmas from our home to yours" and hopefully next Christmas will be better.  I will throw in a few pics though...sorry!

A few weeks ago this was the weather...sunny and 60de! Our son Phil came and split wood. See that pile to the side of him? Gone into nice split stacks and warming our home as I type. He's a sweetheart! Love this kiddo! 
Jack was even feeling good enough to come out and thank him and get a few rays! Notice he's wearing a heavy coat? He has lost a lot of weight and is cold quite often. But still getting better each day! 

I made a little change in my kitchen.  I moved the bench that was here and put my old singer as a desk for my laptop. I like it here!
The bench our son Jack made for me for Mother's day a few years ago is now in the foyer...come on in and sit a spell!
As the snow fell all night and day you can see the accumulation on the bird bath.  But we did have some entertainment watching the birds come to the feeder.

Like this little dude.  I went outside to get some snow off the feeder and it fell and broke open.  I scooped up as much of the seed as possible and put it on the deck railing until we can get a new one.
The broken feeder didn't stop them from enjoying some food on a very cold Christmas morning.
The cold didn't stop Arnie from enjoying the snow. He doesn't mind it at all. He loves to rub his face in it but as you can see it's up to his chest! 

This evening I made a couple of little peppermint milkshakes...yummy....
They helped make our spirits brighter! As Tiny Tim would say: "God Bless Us Everyone!"

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Moving Into Winter

 Monday will move us formally into the Winter Season.  We've had a couple of snowfalls that made us feel that Winter is upon us. We didn't get the massive snowfall that those farther East received but it wasn't too shabby either! I think maybe we got 4-5 inches.  The other day I took a stroll up to the Creepy Woods close to sundown.  Although the temps were around 30 there was no wind and that made it quite pleasant to wander. I had my trusty companion, my camera, along.  In the quiet white stillness Winter has it's own beauty.  No excitement that Spring brings with new life and the lovely smell of fresh dirt and pretty flowers popping up.  Not the green of a lush Summer day sprinkled with sunshine, heat and sometimes humidity that we like to complain about in Ohio. None of the explosion of color that accompanies Fall as Mother Nature gives us that last blast of beauty.  This is the season of gray skies, white fields, blankets of snow that cover the pines and naked branches on the trees. The bird feeder is attracting the Winter birds who brave the cold and stop by for a snack.  There are many who don't enjoy Winter cold and snow. Those folks who worry about ice and driving and staying indoors more.  The seniors who migrate down to warmer climes.  I totally understand and some days during this time I think I would enjoy a warm day on a beach filled with sunlight! But for now I'll be enjoying this other beauty. Maybe because I feel I'm slowly entering the Winter of my life and hope I can appreciate the white beauty of hair without miss day when I'm ready for that change! (Not there yet though!)  Walking slower, doing less, having memories that will help keep me warm when the days stretch out bone chilling and gray. For today I'll just wander the Pines and enjoy the quiet beauty that is Winter.  

I jokingly call this trailer my lawn ornament.  It's just waiting for someone to fill it up and tow it someplace!
The pine trees all frosted.
Tracks in the snow that let me know I'm not the first today to visit the woods.
The quiet whiteness.
The paths that lead back to home.
The woods decorated in the colors of the season! The red just stands out and brings life to the starkness.

The neighbor's barn stands out in the snow and keeps the animals inside cozy and warm.  At least that's what I'm assuming since none of them were out like me walking and enjoying the snowfall!
I eventually came in from the cold and watched the snow gently fall.  It was a lovely afternoon and coming in and enjoying the delish smell of dinner in the oven and the warmth brought on by our wood burning furnace made me happy to be here, in our home, this almost Winter day.  Come on by.  You may not be able to come in because of the times of this year but I'll leave a light on for you to let you know all will be good eventually. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Celebrations Past

 Christmas will be celebrated differently in many homes this year.  In our home it will be just Jack and me and Arnold of course!  All the gifts are bought and will soon be wrapped and ready to be delivered or picked up by my family.  We will follow the "better safe than sorry" rule.  This weekend would usually have been our Christmas gathering with my siblings, nieces, nephews, and all the kiddos that go along with our group.  We would pack the car full of gifts, food, the silly "white elephant" gifts for our annual game we play as a family.  The Christmas CD's would play on the drive out, especially my favorite John Denver and the Muppets Christmas one! (don't judge me please!)  In the past we would arrive at Mom's and see her smiling face, smell the delicious food she and my sister prepared and hug and talk for hours! Jack would then head up for a nap while we did the talking! I have many fond memories of trips to the shopping center by Mom's. A trip to our new favorite place...a resale shop that I always find something I can't pass up! This year none of that will happen.  Mom is gone and Covid is not so all celebrating with a huge family gathering is cancelled.  I know I'll connect with my family this year. Phone calls, video chats, etc.  Our youngest, Jordan, is in California with his new job and we miss him and I feel bad he will spend Christmas totally alone this year.  Yep, many things are different.  So we'll sit here and enjoy our cozy, warm home and the decorations that tell us it's Christmas. We'll listen to the songs of the season and remember our Savior's birth is the real reason for the season. We'll count our blessings. Yes, even with all that's happened this year we have had many blessings come our way.  I'm just going to show a few pics of celebrations past and pray for a better one next year.

Silly white elephant gifts!
Santa visits
Sister Moments
Those sister moments from years ago.
Cookie baking with the Grands!
Siblings and Mom moments.
Mom with her Christmas tree.
Not getting together this year, on this weekend, is probably not so bad. It just wouldn't be the same without Mom here.  I know she's probably having a great time with my Dad and all her family that has passed before her.  But for us this year....Mom we miss you.  Perhaps next year we will be in a better place to celebrate and have all the other memories of celebrations past kept in our hearts.