Sunday, January 22, 2017

I Love Ohio In The Spring!

That's been the go to phrase this whole weekend.  Our temps have been around 60de and this is January! Yes, we know it's not Spring but when the weather gods choose to warm us up we love it!  I worked outside yesterday and cleaned up some flower beds and picked up sticks that a previous storm had left.  While making the rounds of the yard I found this:
So I'm thinking the ground might believe it's Spring! This afternoon Phil, Lexi and Addy stopped over and the kiddos found a way to play outdoors like it was Spring:
They found the pool had water floating above the ice block in there so out came the squirt guns.
Yep, they still work like they did last Summer!
After a few rounds of up in the air shots they began shooting each other.  They were a bit soggy when they left!  As I said before, we know it's still Winter because the other Grandkiddos are playing Basketball.  We stopped by and watched Cameron play last weekend.
He's the one with the ball...he's a good player and made the winning baskets for his team.
There's a winning smile for you! Good job Cam!  I hate to see this lovely weekend come to an end.  It's like a gift was handed to us and I'm glad we were able to enjoy the outdoors for a bit.
The sunsets haven't been too bad either!  Now on to Monday....sob, sob.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Goodbyes

I've worked at the hospital in Ashland since 1978 with a year break in '84 after having my last kiddo. I returned in July of '85.  Over those years many physicians have come and gone. Most of the ones that were here when I started are now retired, moved, or passed away.  Some of the ones that replaced those have also left for different reasons.  We're in transition with the merging of our hospital to University Hospitals of Cleveland.   Lots of changes, some good, some not so good.  That's life, comings and goings.  In my final post of 2016 I said I hoped for more hellos than goodbyes.  I hate the goodbyes.  A meeting was called on Monday after our cases were done.  We had all sorts of speculation as to the announcement that was to be made.  Who was being promoted..demoted...schedule changes..all kind of chit chat about what was coming.  Never in a million years did we think it would be about one of our Docs leaving.  He's an OB/GYN that has been my Doc these many years.  He's a wonderful surgeon with really good laparoscopic skills.  A great guy to work with.   I might add that he's around 70yrs. old.   I know that sounds old, but you'd never know it to look at him or watch him work.  In December he decided to quit delivering babies and only do surgery for about 6 more months.  However, life often hands us surprises and when we were told he was retiring immediately, we were very surprised.  When they said it was because he has cancer...lung cancer that has spread to his spine...we were stunned.  I just worked with him last Friday and although he knew his diagnosis, he worked as usual.  Joking as usual, laughing and smiling.  He has a wonderful laugh!  I'm grateful I was able to be there for his final surgeries but sad I wasn't able to say goodbye.  He'll be concentrating on his treatments and being with his family.   Prayers and hope go with him from all of us, his surgery family.   He will be missed.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday The What??

I overheard a few conversations today that had folks asking the date and when it was revealed to be Friday the 13th...well, you know how the reaction to this date usually goes. Where you afraid? Superstitious?  Thinking it was the reason behind every bad thing that happened to you today?  It's the first one of the new year.  Heck, it might even be the only one this year! If so then it's good to get it over with early!  However, I am not afraid or worried about the date....nor do I change my routine in any way.  I always walk carefully, drive cautiously, avoid ladders, black cats, and old wives tales.  Besides, I won the coin from the lucky bread...remember?!  However, I have great respect/fear for a full moon. That has been known to  be a bad omen.  The surgery and OB department would all agree with me on that!  Wait, is today also a full moon and Friday the 13th????  No matter, I'm not on call! Ha!  So I'll just continue to hang out at home tonight because it's been a crazy, very tiring week,  Even Chubbs is worn out:
To show how lucky today actually is, I received my blog book in the mail.  It wasn't due to arrive until next week so it was my lucky day today!
Love the cover this year! To prove even more how unafraid I am of Friday the 13th, I had a hair appointment scheduled for today.
Yep, I ain't afraid of the number 13!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Little This And That

This has been one week since the last time I blogged, and that's because it's just been a busy, not so exciting, didn't do anything blog worthy week.  Usually January is a bit slow in surgery because everyone is dealing with deductibles and having to shell out those first payments.  However, we seem to busy. Especially the call part of the job.  The anesthetic machine in the OB department's operating room wasn't working and had to be sent out for repair.  The c-sections have to be done in our operating rooms which means we have to do them.  It wouldn't be so bad but as many folks know babies just like to born whenever and usually that means middle of the night.  Thursday was not a pretty weather day.  Cold, snow, icy conditions on the road.  Of course that was my call night.  Got through it and even worked Friday with only 4hrs of sleep. I'm getting too old for this stuff!  The bitter cold hit our area but I think it's been that way across the country and down south too.  Jack's been keeping the wood burner going and the house has stayed warm.  However, he threw his back out cutting and splitting wood.  Ironic for a Chiropractor and totally not fun.  He soldiered threw it and Jordan came over on Saturday and helped get the wood in and split for us.  Thanks so much Jord!! I made him some chocolate chip cookies and he did his laundry here while he it was a small win-win for him I guess!  So "that's" the skinny on "this" past week.  A warm up is in the forecast for next week and hopefully all those having bad weather issues will also get cleared up.  Since it was a good weekend to make soup I tried a new recipe.
Meatball, tortellini soup.  I also put some orzo in it and then garnished it with parsley and Parmesan cheese.

This is a recipe I'll make again.
Good night!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 And The Magic Food

Happy New Year! Along with this greeting usually comes the question of what did you do for New Year's Eve.  Then sometimes the topic of traditional food or rituals that are suppose to ward off  "Bad Luck" comes up in conversation.  I even wrote about ours yesterday.  Along with the coin bread we always have pork and sauerkraut and black eyed peas.  That's something I did after marriage.  Somehow I lived my life before without the magic of pork.  Let's be honest here, it's not that lucky for the pig!  Anyway. we do it every year.  Do we really believe it will bring good luck?  Welllllll.....I'm afraid to find out.  So I make the food, eat just one black eyed pea, cut the bread with the coin and take a deep breath because somehow I just feel better afterwards.  Oh, and to make it even sweeter, guess who found the coin?
 Drum roll!  First time ever! I'm on a roll so maybe I need to go get a  lottery ticket and enter a few contests.  I don't know about you, but I believe in magic food!!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016---Finding The Prize

Yesterday I made a few loaves of bread.  Not just any kind of bread. I made Greek New Year's bread.  I make this almost every year.  This year the loaves turned out nicer than in the past.  Could be the yeast, could be letting it rise near the wood stove with it's ample supply of warm air!
It's a simple, rustic loaf.  It's a sweet bread that has the flavor of allspice, cinnamon, anise and orange.  It's especially tasty toasted.  What makes it so special that it's only eaten on New Year's Day? (actually it's suppose to be cut on New Year's Eve at midnight, but I changed the rule for our family!) Well, besides the sweet and yummy flavor, there's a hidden surprise in each loaf.  A coin is baked inside.  Each person takes a turn cutting the bread and whoever finds the coin in his or her slice, has good luck for the new year.  It's fun to do and fun to see who's going to be a lucky duck the next year!  Of course that got my brain to thinking about 2016.  As this year's book comes to a close it was a good year in many respects.  We had good health, we were able to work and have family gatherings. There were birthday celebrations..Mom turned 90..and graduations and holiday happenings.  There were some not so good times too. Those times are etched in our hearts and memories.  Sometimes, like that loaf of bread, we have to dig deep to find the prizes that life hands us.  We'll be saying farewell in a few hours and toasting to good times and good health for 2017.  We'll be saying thank you to God for his blessings this past year and praying for help in being better people in the new year.  I want to tell all my family members how much I love and appreciate them and all my friends and blog buddies how much I've learned this year from you and how much I appreciate your comments and encouragement on my blog posts.  2016 held more good prizes than boobie prizes, more challenges than failures.  Tomorrow will be the first slice of the bread called 2017.  May it be filled with good luck and good health.  More hellos than goodbyes.  More smiles than tears.  Let's go find that prize!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come

I've taken Mr. Scrooge's adventure into my own life these past couple of weeks.  I blogged with photos of past Christmases and then told the story about our present day Christmas, also with photos.  I know that things that happen in our past can influence who we turn out to be in our future.  I had a wonderful childhood filled with good memories of past Christmas celebrations.  As a young adult with small children I also feel blessed that we had many fun Christmases filled with family.  Some of those family members aren't here now.  My Dad, Jack's parents, my nephew Jono.  Many Aunts and Uncles that were part of our celebrations are also not here.  Their presence is felt at each gathering.  The empty chairs, the guitar that Dad would play carols on, the voice of my Uncle Dave as he said the word "Santa"..he always said "Sanie Clause".  Things that mean much more to  me today than they did back then.  Jack's Mom cooking her wonderful food and yelling at her boys to get out of the kitchen! (Usually they were causing mischief and getting in the way!)  Jack's Dad standing in front of their huge Christmas tree and handing out the gifts so carefully chosen.  Life speeding by and suddenly you realize that the future can hold many changes...many surprises both good and bad.  The spirit of love and giving this time of year is one that we wish we could hold in our hearts and carry on all through the year.  Like Mr. Scrooge reborn from a mean miser into a man who knew "how to keep Christmas" all year long, I would like to do the same. I would like to think that future Christmases would have all of us gathering together and when it's time for our chairs to be empty, those who are left will remember us fondly and all the times spent together remembered with love and laughter and warmth.   In Mr. Scrooge's story, the spirit that visited him to foretell the future was the one he most feared and was the darkest part to be faced.  What's encouraging from this story that I've watched way too much this season, (can you tell?) is the fact that it's never too late to change.  You can look at your life and see what needs improved and how we can be better friends, neighbors, employees, family members, and even better in loving ourselves.  Giving more of our time and talents and resources. Scrooge was desperate to change to make sure he could have things be better than what the spirits foretold.  I can't predict the future but I hope that "Christmases yet to come" for our family will be as wonderful as this year's has been. Filled with the remembrances of the past, the happiness of  today, and hope for the future.
Tree all ready for the gift giving.
Family gathering.
Future chef loving the new duds!
Future photographers capturing the moment...even while tired!
Brothers being silly posing for pics.
Chubbs enjoying his new blanket from Santa.
The old folks who were super happy to have everyone here.
 And knowing that these empty chairs were all filled at our home today.  Merry Christmas and "God Bless Us Every One"