Monday, December 31, 2012

Sliding Out Of 2012

I titled this "sliding out" because that's just what I did today after work..slid out of the parking lot due to the lovely icy snowfall we're having to end this year in style!
The time was a little later (and darker) than normal because I'm on call tonight and we had an emergency at the end of the day. You can't see (or feel) the icy, whipping me, it was there!
Me scraping snow and ice off my windshield..while taking this shot of myself...I'm so multitask oriented..or nuts. Hey, I report, you decide!
Here are my Greek New Years breads.  Each baked with love, not much skill, and a coin hidden inside. I make these every year and give some away and keep one for us.  You slice it and whoever finds the coin in their slice will have good luck all year...that is unless they swallow the coin....but that's never happened...yet. To those who received a loaf, please be careful!
This is my last post of 2012.  I can't believe the year is over. I can say that it has been an interesting year full of challenges, good times, not so good times and thankfully all of us are still here and healthy.  Gotta love that!  So I bid 2012 a fond farewell and welcome the new one in.  I took time to look over posts from each month this year to refresh my memory.  Some things that happened this year:  Well, we had a very warm winter...January, February, and March...that I loved!  Our small Ashland Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints turned into a full sized Ward in May.  My best buddy Donna  (Starkey Hollow), found out she has breast cancer and has fought the fight of her life and is doing thankful for that! We had our roof repaired, Jack's hernia repaired, and Eddy the boxer's lump removed.  Jack took a rafting adventure with the Boy Scouts in June. I was "Cook of the week" in our town newspaper in July as well as all our kiddos coming home for Ashland's balloon fest in July.  Our hospital turned 100yrs old.  We got a new OB department that will be doing all their own C-sections so the OR can stay home at 4am!  I entered some of my photographs at our County Fair and even won 4th place on a couple of them...I was happy!  I joined the "Pink Scarf Project" and have received so many lovely scarves for women with breast cancer.  We said a sad goodbye to Jack's 16yr old van named "Bessie" and welcomed a lovely Jeep who has no name as far as I know.  I did get a new oven and microwave combo that has made some nice meals for the  we're broke!  I watched in awe as my Sister designed and built an outdoor oven to make wonderful breads and various other things. It was something she's wanted to do for the last 20yrs and decided this would be the year.  Go to her blog, 2YaYa's,  if you want to see what a 58yr old young lady can do with a little help from her friends...actually her son and our brother!  I'm going to strive for a healthy 2013.  I'm going to try to be more patient with myself and my family and life in general. I'm going to be more grateful for all my blessings and make a point of saying thanks to my Heavenly Father each day.  I want to be of more service to others and more giving.  I want to laugh more, worry less and tell my family and my wonderful husband how much I love them.  I want to continue to blog so I can journal my comings and goings and continue to meet new friends and enjoy the blogging friends I have come to love and appreciate.  This year has flown by.  I know that's a cliche', but  sometimes wish I could stop it just for a minute..grab my Grandchildren and ask them to not grow so fast, hug my Mom and ask her to stay as healthy as she is today so I can continue to laugh with her over the phone, jump in the car for a weekend visit and be my guide even though I will turn 60 in 2013...I still need my Mommy!  Jack and I will both turn 60.  (Me first, unfortunately!)  So 2013 will be a year of  milestones. Should be worth the  ride!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

There's No Business Like Snow Business

The "Big One" hit yesterday.  The first real snowfall of the 2012.  We had a few teasers in the last month but the wind, cold and 6in. of white stuff was the real deal.  The hospital had a "code white"..didn't really matter to us because the snow didn't start falling until we all had made the trek in and so did all our patients. Just for the record, patients always make it in for surgery....always!  But we moved the surgery schedule along and as soon as the people with the farthest distance could leave, they headed for home. Very carefully!  The other problem we have is drifting across the many open fields around here.  Tonight coming home I spied a poor girl in a very deep ditch with her car.  I stopped to make sure she was OK and to help.  Her hubby was on the way but they would need a tow truck to bring it out of that ditch. Luckily she was fine and the car really had no visible damage. I was glad to make it home fine.
You can't tell that the snow is coming down hard in this pic of the backyard.
Hmmm...this pic looks very familiar to me.....(some scenes never change throughout the years! Except for the size of the trees!)
This is the path we shovel out on the deck so Eddy the boxer can get to his watering hole..if you get my drift..snow drift..get it? Never mind.
I guess we won't be dining outside tonight.  Someone really should put away the outdoor furniture! I even have planters with some plants still in them! Oh well, it will give me something to do in the Spring.  Yep, winter is really here. Brrrrrrr!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Busy Day...Silent Night

Morning started with some gift giving and stocking unwrapping....and Eddy found his toys immediately.
When the gangs all arrived it was time for more gift opening and playing.
Fun jammie wearing!
Doll hugging! (And fun hat wearing!)

Hamming it up...
Chowing down!
Nap taking where ever one can find a quiet the tunnel that goes with a new tent.
Or a chair with every dollie one owns.
Except for this "monkey"..who played football with his glow-in-the-dark football.
Then it was time for some "group hugs"...My son Phil and his wife Amanda and Lexi and Addy.
Phil, Amanda, and son Jordan
And these silly girls with the crazy, sparkly hats made us laugh all day!
It was a fun day with good food,  wonderful gifts, and a great family to share it together. Now that's what I call a Holiday!

Monday, December 24, 2012

I Can't Believe It's Here Already!

The tree is decorated. The gifts are bought and wrapped...and now they are under the tree..after this pic was taken however!
The dining room is ready for the family that's coming for Christmas dinner tomorrow.
Kitchen fireplace mantel.
Living room fireplace mantel.
Herald Angels the dining room!
Treats made for humans.
 Treats made for Eddy the Boxer..who's been a very good doggie!
The real reason for the season. The Starkey family blog wishes everyone a very wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Family Christmas Part II

Once Santa got in the door he found a perfect spot to sit and talk to all the kiddos. Santa is a good friend of my Niece Katie. Katie is a police detective and "Santa" works on the force and actually took time out from work to come and help us make the kids have big smiles! I think he qualifies as a gentle giant of a police officer. His only payment request was a plate of oatmeal raisin cookies...Done!
Gifts were handed out.
The group shot!
Now it was time for the adults to have some fun with gifts! We always do "white elephant" gifts. If you don't know what that is I'll explain. They are a gift that you give from something you have at home that you really want to share....sometimes they are so ugly...sometimes so funny...but all times great fun!
Numbers are given out and each person gets to pick a gift from the pile. If the person with the next number likes any gift that's been given, they can snatch it up and the other person can choose again. You don't want to be #1 because you have no previous choices...but it's sweet to be the last I was this year because you have all the previous gifts to consider grabbing.  Which I did!
Sometimes gifts reappear year after these Merry Christmoose velvet shorts! (they also came with moose antlers but I didn't get a pick of those!) I'm sure they will be back next year!
My little Grandniece Alexa was the happy recipient of my contribution. Her Mom picked this out. I'm so happy it found a home other than mine! It's an Elmo doll that plays a rock and roll annoying! Every kid that comes to my house manages to find it and play it non-stop....No more! Yeah! My Nephew may want to kill me in a few days! All in all we had a great time seeing everyone. I took many pics of family and enjoyed eating the great food prepared. I found this sign in my Nieces front hall:
I'm glad I could go home to where my story began. I'm grateful for my wonderful husband who puts up with my Sister and Mom and I always hogging the time and he drives us all over the place and tromps all over stores to help us get what we need. He brings his portable equipment from the office and treats my Mom's bad low back. He also gave me a wonderful gift....a Kindle Fire HD...however, I think he's real motive was to keep me quiet in the car! It worked! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Arends Family Christmas...Part 1

Friday morning at the break of dawn we headed out for Chicago to our annual Arends family Christmas. It used to be a Christmas Eve event when I was young but over the years the date changed to meet the changing ages of us, our children and now our grandchildren. The venue then was my parents home. As my sibs got married each would take turns hosting it at their home. I remember having it at our  tiny apartment when Jack was in college and our newborn son was still in the NICU as a preemie.  After moving to Ohio we weren't able to make it home for Christmas until my boys were in high school and even then it usually was just me and my two younger sons because the older boys played varsity b-ball and heaven forbid that they would miss practice or games.  Over the years we have been able to make the get together since it's not done on Christmas Eve. Many times I would have my whole gang there, other times maybe just a couple of them could attend. This year it was just Jack and I and we had a good time seeing everyone and spending time with my Mom.  We are blessed to still have her here, and healthy.  I call her the family magnet...she draws all of together and keeps our compass pointing the direction of unity and love. Friday Mom and I went over to get a few items from the store and met this guy:
That started the weekend off!  Then we came home so I could have a tutorial on my Sister's outdoor oven she made herself.  She had some help from my Brother Greg and her son Bill and of course Mom!
 The bread goes in there after the temp is just right...
On goes the door (with peep hole!).
TADA! Delish finished product!  So good! We also made pizzas but somehow I forgot to click a pic...I must have been too busy..hehehe!

Saturday afternoon we dressed up for party with family. I thought Mom looked smashing standing by her tree.
My Niece Katie was hosting this year.  She and her hubby just bought a beautiful new home with a lovely, big kitchen. Perfect place for buffet line!
We started out with h'orderves and moved into lasagna, salad and garlic bread.  We wanted to keep it simple.
Simple until the desserts and cookies for the cookie exchange showed up! My other Niece made a wonderful hot chocolate bar also that was simply too good to be true. Yummo!
With everyone fed, my Niece's husband (Eric) sat all the kiddies down for a Christmas story. They loved it. Then a surprise:
Santa! I know him! He made his entrance and I need to cut this post short and continue with the saga tomorrow....too many pics for one day!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Eye Work

The month of December in an operating room is the test of our endurance, patience, and determination to get it all done.  People are usually eager to get their surgeries in before the end of the year and when they have deductibles met.  I get that...I embrace the work that keeps us from the unemployment line! But it does make you weary too. Some are getting short tempered. Some are getting more overtime and are happy about that! Some got their knees injected with cortisone yesterday so they (me!) could continue to "get 'er done"...This part is a small shout out to our Donna...We Miss You in the eye room!
Stephanie is doing a bang up job...but I think she wants to hit Guppie with that cartridge...this week was a twofor eye week. Full days on Monday and Wednesday.
Yes, we may look like we're laughing but it's really us squinting to keep the tears from flowing!
I noticed Dr. Gupta was working in his stocking feet...he says he can feel the microscope peddle better with his shoes I got him some slippers...Chicago Bears slippers....they were a "White Elephant" gift from a few Christmases ago. He wore them all day...They scream "Dr" don't they?
I snapped a small piece of our Christmas decorating in one of the few windows in our surgery department. Well, it is a bit festive I think!
This has absolutely nothing to do with work...which is why I decided to show it..It makes me smile at the end of a long day. My new stove and microwave...I now have light over my cooktop. (when I remember I actually have a light! I've cooked without one for a while now) It also has a working vent fan. So now I can create lovely meals...but it's also a great place to put carry-out food! Well, I'm heading off to Chicago to see my Mom for our annual Christmas gathering with all my siblings. Should be a loud and fun good time. I'm looking forward to it. Have a good weekend everyone!