Saturday, February 28, 2015

Today Was A Day Just Like The Day You Were Born

Long title to this post....but those are the immortal words that my Mom says to me every year on February 28th.  She and Midge called this morning and serenaded me with a hearty rendition of  "Happy Birthday".  Too funny girls!  But I feel very blessed to have my 88yr old Mom with us and ready to celebrate with me! I wish we could have been together this year but the weather is not cooperating. 8-10in. of snow is on the way from Chicago to the East with us in it's path.  So  the phone has been our connector and I'm thinking some Skype will have to follow.  Jack celebrated with me by taking me out to lunch, giving me the perfect gift...a certificate to my favorite hair salon, and telling me that my Rueben sandwich and onion rings and the best dang fried mushrooms on earth have no calories on my birthday....thank goodness! I hoping that chocolate shake on Friday night is included in that pack! Ha! It's been a fun weekend of celebrating.  My BFF Donna and her sweet almost daughter-in-law stopped by this afternoon.  I got a lovely basket of goodies:
Tons of fun things in there but the best gift was a ticket to go with her to the annual home and garden tour in Bath, Ohio in May...thanks dearest friend! It's something so fun to look forward to.  And to top it off she put this in the basket:
Her homemade, special secret recipe hot fudge sauce...oh dear....
Not this deer!  This "dear" sauce is to die for! Thanks again Donna! I also got a special delivery today from Edible know, the yummy fruit people. Midge and Mom sent these:
Again, no calories in this group! Thanks you two crazy Chicago gals! To end the day we had a church social.  It was our annual Chili cook-off and talent show.  There was tons of chili to choose from and we had a panel of experts judging them.
I didn't enter.  I never even tasted any of the entries but I understand from those around me that they were all good!  I brought some chicken to the gathering.
That was gone in a flash! My good friend Brenda brought along a birthday cake for me.
Thanks Bryn...friends are the best! Yep, I did taste this! (Yummo) The talent part of the evening had little ones:
And bigger ones:
All doing something to share with us. We had flag twirlers, singers, karate demos and also a room that had hobbies and talents like photography and painting...we have some pretty talented folks in our church! We really had a lovely evening. My birthday was great and although growing older isn't all it's cracked up to be, I'm feeling good and very blessed to just have fun and celebrate being alive! Better than the alternative!
Any excuse for a party is a good one!
Oh, I forgot to mention the photo birthday portrait!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Constant Companions

Do you have an entourage? Someone or something that is always hanging around?  Since I've been home, a few things have become my constant companions...
Let's water bottle is always filled and near glasses are close at hand..unless I've left them someplace..(not that I do that a lot..) my Kindle that's usually filled with books and access to blogs and Facebook.  The other item pictured is a rice filled bag that my Mom made me a few years ago. I can throw it into the microwave and have instant warm comfort for my back, neck, legs, whatever.  At the beginning of my recovery I always had ice packs too.  I wasn't allowed to put heat on the knees. Since our temps have been so cold I'm glad I only have to resort to ice a few times when I've been on my feet a lot.  I'm always hauling these items from room to room and in another month I'll be back at work and they will come with me...I can't go to break or lunch without a good book to read and water is always a staple....the rice pack will stay at home.  Along the way I've picked up a few other "peeps"...
A frequent visitor to feeder....Daddy bird
Not so colorful Momma bird is not far behind.
Squeak is hanging around too....finding some warm sunshine during this crazy Winter has been hard but she manages to warm her buns...
Then flips over for her face!  I don't blame her.  If it's sunny out, even if it's cold I'll try and go out and feel the vitamin D on my face too! Another way of bringing some Spring inside are my other fav companions:
Some fresh flowers are nice and cheery.
These tulips are enjoying the sunny window but the outside is still a Winter wonderland.  This weekend finally warmed up to almost 30de...whew, a heat wave! I made a big pot of chicken and noodles.
That warmed the soul and the belly! But my favorite companion this weekend was this little gal...very excited to have lost her first tooth!
Addy said she can now breath since that tooth is gone...she cracks me up!  Hope you have some good "constants" in your day too!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

It's Frozen Outside, But My Heart Is Melting!

My sister sent me an email today with something pretty cool.  She had torn apart her home office at Mom's and in the redo she found a letter.  It was from my Dad.  Now you may remember his sweet letter to my Mom at Christmas that I posted here.  The letter Midge found is a bit earlier in his life.  It's a letter he wrote to his Mom when he was about 8yrs. old.  It's very simple, very childlike in the handwriting with misspelled words and all.  What struck me as amazing was the fact it was in such great condition. Yesterday would have been Dad's 95th birthday. He passed away in 1976 at age 56.  To think that the letter is 80 plus years old and still together is really special.  I couldn't get the letter to download here from my email so I took a pic of it from the computer.  It just didn't turn out clear enough to print it here. I'll have to take a nice photo of it next time I'm home.  Dad tells his "Momma" about his time spent with his Aunt Jo.  He tells her he's having a good time and going down town with Aunt Jo lots of times. He asked how his mother is doing and then asks sweetly if he can stay until Sunday..."Can I Momma?" Then signs his name, Carlyle.  Dad may be gone but I think of him everyday.  I usually post about him on his birthday, but this year I think there was a reason I waited until today.  The memories I have of Dad have held together like the paper that letter was written upon. They've become sweeter and more meaningful.  I don't know why out of all the things Grandma had that this letter was kept.  However, I'm grateful that a small piece of his childhood was preserved all these years.  Happy Birthday Dad!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Can You Feel The Love?

Valentines Day 2015 came in like a lion and left like an Eskimo!  Thankfully we celebrated on Friday with a lovely dinner with our good friends Gayle and Greg.  The next morning after a load of wood was dropped off we headed into town to stop at Jack's office for a minute. While he was inside the weather was getting nastier and nastier.  I snapped a few pics of course!
The snow was mixing a bit with icy rain.
Our parking lot looks very snow covered and messy! No patients on Saturday thank goodness!
We took off for the grocery store and you can see how sloppy the streets are getting and the snow and wind are picking up. It got so bad that white out conditions were had and we were under a level 2 snow emergency by the late afternoon.  To make matters worse, the temps started falling like a hard rock.  Minus 5de this morning and keeping the wood stove going to keep our home warm was a task indeed! But we were cozy and comfy on Saturday night when our Grandsons, Anthony and Cameron, came to spend the night.
Anthony claimed his chair and cozy blanket while watching the slam dunk competition on TV.
Cameron made his nest complete with his tablet for games and snacks to stay well as cheering here and there for his fave dunk!  We sure enjoy those cuties.  They are the nicest kiddos around.  They requested pancakes and sausage this morning and I couldn't refuse! The weather was so bad that Church was cancelled for our area.  That hardly ever happens and as cold as it is I was thinking that maybe hell actually did freeze over!  Tomorrow looks a bit warmer...hopefully up to about 17de. February can be the worst month of Winter and this week will be an up and down temp fest.  But through it all we had fun with the Grandkiddos and friends.  We saw Jordan and Eddy today for lunch after they were rescued by Phil.  Jord's battery on his car died.  It reminded me of my childhood. Memories of the worst, snowy, cold day and Dad would be either under the hood of a car fixing something or under the house fixing pipes! He would be proud of his Grandkiddos!  I made some pulled pork sandwiches and coleslaw and a follow up of homemade donuts.  Jordan and Eddy headed back to town with his car running great and his laundry done.  So all and all I could feel the love this Valentine weekend....maybe not all hearts and flowers, but love none the less!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Twinkle Toes

I have been a bit behind in my blogging.  You would think that since I'm home until March  I would have tons of time.  Well time is one thing and blog material is another! However, I was a little excited about the idea that Jack and I were going to a barn dance last Friday.  Finally something to blog about! Then I threw my back out.  I had a few moves at physical therapy that did me in.  (really, it wasn't the furniture moving!) Lucky for me I have a Chiropractor hubby who got me on my feet...but sitting in a car for a long ride and then trying to way. Dang it! Besides having some blog material, I wanted my blog buddy Rick (Life 101)  to see that  he was right. He's been saying I would be dancing by Valentines day...and I would have! Oh well.  Here's a pic of a couple of cuties who did get to show some twinkle toes:
My son Phil took Lexi and Addy to a Daddy daughter dance over the weekend.  They had a great time!  In the mean time, the snow seems to keep coming.  It was actually warm on Saturday and the 40's! A little melting happened, but the driveway is an ice covered nightmare!  Snow is on it's way tonight and by this weekend the high on Sunday will be 1de....yikes!
This mess is my back!
The other evening, as the sun was setting, it looked like fire behind the pine trees. I was going to go down to the road and snap a great sunset shot except that driveway and all the ice.  I wasn't going to ruin my new knees!  Speaking of knees...weren't we? I got the final check up with my Doc and all is good.  Now all I need is time. These puppies are going to be dancing soon....maybe by Valentines day!
Now you know me from the inside out!

Monday, February 2, 2015

February Is Like Indiana

To get from my house to my Mom's in Chicago we have to go through's seems like it's the longest part of the journey....and we frequently encounter the worst weather.  In Winter we come up on snow squalls in South Bend because of the lake effect. In Spring, Summer or Fall it could be anything from torrential rain to fog to road work. (you know, orange barrel season).  February is a short month but boy it feels super long to get through to March and the beginning of Spring.  Yesterday Chicago was hit with a blizzard and 19in. of snow.  We had snow, rain, ice, and today more snow with wind that has blown drifts into the road.  Welcome February!  Yep, just like Indiana, you just have to get through this month to better climes, times and more sun.  I used to love this month because it's my birthday month.  Just to make it more interesting though, Mom had me on the last day.  Again, torture for a kiddo who can't wait for their special day.  Now however, I can wait for that "special" day....being a year older and all.   So I hope this month calms down and the trip to March gets smoother, and hopefully warmer! Yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday.  We didn't watch the game or even the commercials but I felt compelled to make some SB snacks:
Very yummy! Just to keep up my "fowl and food" trend, I caught these little guys at the feeder:
But that's not all I've been doing.  I've been moving a few furniture pieces around.
This table used to be in the hallway.
This used to be in the foyer where the above table is now...Jack walked in and saw this and a few other changes I made and said: "Man, you have to get back to work".  Ha! Just wait, I have plans for the rest of February....I guess we'll all just have to get through it like it was Indiana.