Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Forecast: Blog Fog

I realized this week that I hadn't posted since Thanksgiving.  I'm usually at least a once a weeker blogger!  Jack told me if I didn't blog he wouldn't know what I've been up too. I'm pretty sure he knows what I've been up too lately since he's usually my partner in crime!  I think he means he wonders what my brain thinks about what I've been up too and that's a dangerous place to be my friend.  So I dug up something to write about and I'm saying to Jack, "This blogs for you!"  I'll start with last week and how our surgical department decided to donate some food to our local food pantry.
Bags of goodies of all kinds were brought in and I took them to Associated Charities on Friday.  Work has been a beast lately and it felt good to do something nice away from the hospital. Thanks to all my coworkers for their generosity.  Next on the agenda for home was the decorating part of Christmas.  I've cut down on my decorating the last few years and thankfully my son Phil has taken up the torch,  He stopped over and helped us get the tree up and then he went through all the decorations I said he could have and went home with 2 Rubbermaid tubs filled with Santas!  I used to collect them so he had quite the selection. Thanks for making the storage room a bit roomier Phil!  However, that did not mean I was left with bare walls...no sirree!
Foyer..
Santa..just one of many.
Santa relaxing on the stairs.
Tree up and a Santa watching from the clock.
Living room mantle.

We even got one of those light show things you put in the ground and just turn on..easy peasy!  I'm going to show you the kitchen mantle..
See my wreath? Well here's a pic I found from 1983 when we lived in the apartment above my husband's office:
See the wreath? That makes it about 33yrs old...I bought it at a craft show and it's lasted very nicely and still ranks as one of my favorite decorations..very simple, very country, very fun.  And now, last but certainly not least, our youngest son came by today to show us his Christmas present to himself..a new vehicle...a pretty Christmas red truck!
Nice ride Jordan! I had a bit of a hard time climbing up into that thing!  He's excited to own it and I'm excited to have one I can borrow to haul "stuff".  Well, that's all that's happening Jack...as you very well know! The Blog Fog has cleared for this week!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

So Thankful

I have many things to be thankful for this year.  Another Thanksgiving day to think of our blessings and hopefully everyone had time to spend with family and friends.  We had a nice gathering of kiddos and Grandkiddos and even boyfriends of Grandkiddos!  I'm so grateful for my family and sure wish I could have been with my Mom today and my sister too.  I have siblings scattered over north and south and would love to be with them also but I keep them in my thoughts and my heart.  3 out of our 4 sons were here today and I talked with Craig this evening.  We did the usual celebrating today. We started off with the Macy's Thanksgiving parade on TV as Jack and I got the house ready for the gang.  I had made 95%  of the dinner earlier in the week. Pies and sides done and the turkey cooked Wednesday night.  That way all we had to do was carve it up and keep it in the roaster so the oven was free to cook the remainder of the feast.
The star player for many on this day.  I'm not a huge turkey lover but I sure enjoy the house smelling so yummy!
Diningroom ready for the family...or the calm before the storm!
Jack ready for the day.
Addy and her sister made hats....cute!
The cousin table.
Overflow into the kitchen..
Summer brought our Granddog "Happy"....they were wearing matching sweaters!
Jack and Evelyn....tomorrow Jack, my oldest baby, turns 41..holy moly when did that happen!
Anthony stepping up to the drink station.
If you've followed my blog for any length of time you know what happens here...the pumpkin on the blue stand doesn't look too happy about it.  Yes, we shoot pumpkins here at the Pines on Thanksgiving day.  Have to get rid of the Halloween pumpkins!
The shooters.   I'm sure my neighbors were so pleased with all that racket!
Inside I kept the kiddos busy with making some Christmas ornaments.  Another Thanksgiving over.  All the preparation, all the food, all the family, all the fun.  Now it's time for bed.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

It Was Bound To Happen

I'll admit it.  Last winter we had it easy.  Warm for most of the season with only an occasional snowfall.  Not many school cancellations and driving to work was smooth sailing.  We weren't sure  what to expect this year since the forecast was calling for a bad winter than changed it's mind to a more mild one.  Anywho...yesterday said a different story.  It had been very nice all week.  It was 73de on Friday, I kid you not.  Turn that number around and drop a few points and that has been Saturday and today.  Saturday around noon it started out like this:

See the flakes in the air?  The wind was very brisk.  I made a pot of chili and had a roast in the crock pot for today's dinner.  Homemade bread too! Jack had been busy the day before cleaning the chimney and getting ready for what I call "wood season".
The smoke from the chimney announcing the start of a new season...a bit like Rome when a  new Pope is announced!  So it was bound to happen as it does every year...Winter rudely moves into Fall. The other "it was bound to happen" segment of the weekend was the annual holiday parade. It's held at night and I will say it was very chilly...OK, it was actually DARN COLD!  But I had to go anyway!

Floats, music and candy throwers made it festive.  The snow made it seem like Christmas had arrived.
I really don't decorate until December and hate when Thanksgiving gets tossed aside but I guess businesses need to get the hype out early! Time to shop folks!
Yes, Santa made his appearance too.  It was a nice parade and very well attended.  The Ashland Historical Society had an open house going on too so I trudged down the street after the  parade to see the house all decorated.
As you can see the snow was now sticking to the ground.  The inside of the house smelled like gingerbread as they were making cookies for anyone to enjoy.
The inside was very pretty. This past summer when Mom and Midge were visiting we took a similar tour.  I had to revisit the toy room again.  I don't remember if I blogged about our little paranormal experience we had in that room.  We were commenting on the creepy looking dolls in that room when a cabinet door opened all on it's own.  So I went back to the scene of the crime:
Well, no doors opened and as I was again thinking how creepy that doll looked I noticed a puppet on the wall started swinging and swaying...all on it's own.  There was another puppet next to it but it was perfectly still.  Yep, time to head out for home!
The snow was really coming down by now and I was glad to see this sign!

Can you see the house through the snowflakes?

Snow on the ground this morning was not too bad... like a light dusting.
But the pumpkins were not happy with their snowcaps!  Well, it was bound to happen....


Friday, November 18, 2016

40 years

40 years ago today my Dad passed away.  So many things seem unreal about that.  First, I thought he was indestructible....you know, larger than life.  Second, I didn't think bad things would happen to my family.  Sound silly?  Well, that's how I felt then but know much better today.  I was 23 when he died.  We were getting ready to move to Ohio as Jack was finishing up his Chiropractic schooling.  It was hard to say goodbye when everyone was grieving.  Thanksgiving, my oldest son's first birthday and then Christmas just were not the same that November in 1976.   Dad had plans to  help us move.  Plans don't always go as we think they will.  But the one thing that did not change or stop was time.  It moved on even though it seemed like it should have stood still.  A lifetime ago.  Dad was 56.  More time on this earth than some, less than most.  Certainly less than Mom who turned 90 this year. She was widowed at 50 and never remarried.  Time moved on for her too.  I can't even imagine my Dad at the age he would be if still living...96.  And somehow I know that even if he lived these passed 40 years and died at an old age,  I would miss him just as much and would wish for more time.  Love you Dad...see you again some day...what a reunion that will be!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Thank You For Serving

Every Veteran's Day I try to get a post out to thank all who have served our country in the Armed Forces.  Your service is appreciated and your sacrifice makes you heroes.  Some of the physicians I work with here in Ashland have served in the Army or Air Force.  Nurses too have served.  I'm sure many of the Docs I worked with 40yrs ago in Chicago were Servicemen and I know some of the nurses and techs I worked with back then served also...mostly in Vietnam.   Truly heroes all.  Thank you so much.  Of course I could not let a post go by that I didn't thank my Dad for serving in WWII.  He passed away 40yrs ago this month.  Doesn't seem possible. He will always be larger than life in my memories.
This is him in front of he tank he drove..(he has the x over his head!)  I found this pic he took in the war.  Berlin bombed out:
An amazing photo.   My two older brothers served during the Vietnam conflict.  I don't have any photos of them in their uniforms.  Today my Sister-in-Law posted this one on Facebook of my brother Greg.  He was a Marine and served in Vietnam.  So Handsome and we were so lucky to have him come home safe and sound.
My oldest brother, Phil, served in the Army at the same time as Greg. He was stationed in Thailand.  I wish I had a photo of him in uniform.  I know Mom does and I guess I'll have to get it so I can give him his blog worthy share!  I know he sometimes reads my posts and if you do dear brother, know I'm so proud of you!  At this very turbulent time after elections I do hope we can settle down to the business of loving one another more, fighting less, doing more good in our communities, uniting our families, and getting on our knees to ask for help from the only One who can give us peace.  We have a wonderful country full of valuable resources, fabulous technology, beautiful diversities of race, religion and cultures.  Even our poorest have more than the poor in many other countries.  I don't understand wanting to leave it and walk away into another country because you didn't get what you wanted from this election instead of staying and actually contributing to ways to make improvements. Good luck to those that do leave and please don't let the flag hit you in the rear on your way out.  For the rest of us lets join hands and show the world we are the best and don't ever forget the men and women who fought to make it that way.  Hug a Veteran today and everyday if you have the chance!  God Bless America!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Perspectives and Inspections

Hello November....I lovingly call this my "quiet month".  The calm before the storm if you will.  Jack and I did a big collective sigh as we finished cleaning up the last of the Halloween festivities.  The yard back to normal, the house free of the weird and freaky..well, we still live here!  We even went and voted early.  We both had few free hours Friday afternoon so to kick off my weekend of call we headed out to the Board of Elections to get our voices heard.  Done and done...may the force be with us the next 4 years!  So on to the rest of my quiet month.   The weekend had me hauling around my call phone and anyone who knows me knows I hate call.  But from a different perspective I have to look at it as extra money.  Yes, I get the satisfaction of helping folks who truly don't want to be in the hospital any more than I do, but on the other hand with beautiful Fall weather outside it's hard to be indoors.   So today after work I took Chubbs and headed outside to see the last of Fall colors.
The front door at the Pines will greet you with pretty leaves..and they don't have to be raked either!
The oak tree in the backyard turns yellow/brown almost in one day...but I decided to look at it from a different perspective...
From the ground up! Come and climb it's welcoming limbs any time.  It was fun to see the sun shine through the leaves instead of on them.
Some of the trees are completely bare but then there are the others who still have some beauty to  brag about.
Standing under their yellow canopy the blue sky sparkles and gives a different perspective on a crystal clear afternoon.  My next trip was up the path to the Creepy Woods.
You can see the many branches left from the trees we had removed a few weeks ago.  You can also see the path strewn with brown leaves that snap, crackled and popped under foot.  But on closer inspection the unexpected color came through..
Yes, a different perspective on the dry, brown path.  You must stop and look or you'll miss the subtle color of the season easily trampled under.  Finally, tonight #3 son stopped by with a small gift.  On first inspection I thought it was a bottle of Vodka! Ha! We don't drink alcohol so I needed to look a bit closer...
Really closer:
Starkey Spring Water!  One of his friends found this on a trip and gave it to him.  He shared it with us knowing we'd get a kick out of it.   When Jack's folks were alive they had a gentlemen's farm that had spring fed ponds and spring water in the house. We would take jugs of it home and often talked about having it bottled...Valleybrook Farm Spring Water would have been it's name.  It never made it past the dreaming stage.  Jack's parents and the farm are gone. Others are enjoying that special spring water, but it's great to see that some other "Starkey" had been able to do what we only dreamed of.  We decided that we would open this on Thanksgiving for a different kind of holiday toast.  A toast to good memories and past dreams and our many family blessings.  No close inspections or different perspectives needed!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Welcome To The Haunted Pines!

The past week went by faster than a witch on a broom!  I'm so behind in blogging and visiting but I will get to all that fun later..except the blogging part because obviously I'm doing that now!  After all the planning, dreaming, working, setting up, and wondering what I was thinking when I put this together....it was over by 9pm on Saturday...the Starkey's Halloween Bash!

The crowds started assembling around 5pm.  I couldn't believe how lucky we were with the weather. After a cold, wet week, Saturday was  72de and sunny. Even though the winds were crazy during the day, it calmed down for the party.  We had some time for photo ops.
King Cameron and Life handing out lemons Anthony.
Sir Jackie and his lovely Lady Evelyn.
Who are these goofballs?
Someone was all tied up the whole day.  I ran myself ragged on Saturday and totally didn't get any pics of the crazy haunted cemetery.  It turned out really fun.  Here's a few shots taken the next day after some of the graves had disappeared until next year.
Lost souls were abounding in the dark that night.  However, all guests were spared and returned home safely!
Except this poor guy.
This sign gave the directions...Before the cemetery experience we had to party a bit with some games.
Mummy making took speed and agility.
We had some real winners!
All these mummies were yummy!
But not as yummy as the doughnut contest.  I think Cameron was up to the task!  We had lots of folks come dressed for the night.
A Scotsman?
This young lady had an announcement to make...you win a spider ring if you can guess what it was!
Who's that gal behind the lens?  It was a fun gathering.  I think we had around 80 people.  The kids really seem to enjoy the day and those who went to the haunted cemetery had a few laughs and surprises.  I was sad I didn't get more pics of that area but I was spread pretty thin making sure all was going on schedule.  Jack said I needed atleast 3 more of me to get it all done!  Although we were done partying for the weekend, today was trick or treat in Creston where our son Jack lives.  So we headed up there to help hand out candy and see the kids.
And there were TONS of kids!  The costumes were super cute...
This one made me laugh out loud!
Chubbs was a hit with the little ones.  He's such a good pup!
Witch selfie!  Hope your Halloween was fun and full of:
Done till next year...Happy Haunting everyone!