Monday, February 29, 2016

Let's Leap Together!

I rarely blog 2 days in a row.  However, I couldn't let Leap Year Day pass without posting.  I started blogging in 2008 and my first post was February 29th.  I talked about a few things but mostly I was cheering the fact I had just turned 55 and that meant no surgery call anymore.  Well, leaping ahead to 2016,  that call rule was thrown out and anyone working in our department has to take call...even if your 100.  I was dumb enough to mention that the call Gods were good to me this weekend.  As soon as I finished last nights post I got ready for bed, hopped in, and was just about asleep when the call phone went off...darn it!  I had to go in a help with a C-section.  That little baby was born after midnight so only a b-day every 4 years for him!  I just went back and looked at my Leap day post from 2012 to see how and what I was doing.  It was a post about blogging.  It was a post about how anyone could blog and how the blog has been a journal tool for me.  Leaping ahead to 2016 again, I was wrestling with the idea of not blogging anymore.  I've decided to continue.  I don't know how many more Leap Days I'll post about but for now I'll continue with my journal. I turn my posts into a book at the end of each year.
This year's isn't done yet but hopefully it will be soon.  The first book I did had 2yrs in it because I didn't post as much as I do now.  They are full of the small, simple things that make up a life.  They document the good and sometimes the bad and many times tributes to those who have passed.  I want to preserve these for my kids and Grandkiddos.  I would have loved to have had a journal from my Dad or any ancestors for that matter.  Those books contain photos too. A lot of photos.  If  you're a follower here at the Pines you already know that!  The funny thing is, my other 2 Leap Day posts contained no pics.  So I'm breaking tradition and adding  just 2 here today.
I took this tonight as the sun was setting over the pines.  The days are getting longer and today was picture perfect weather...50de and sunny.  Winter isn't done with us yet, but we had this extra, freebie day and I enjoyed it in it's simplicity and beauty.  I hope you had a blog worthy day too...let's face it, every day is a blog worthy day.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Let's Celebrate!

It's been an incredible weekend.  I didn't go on any fancy trips, or win the lottery, but I was able to enjoy a fun, family and friend filled birthday celebration that started on Friday.  I'm on call this weekend and so far the surgery Gods have been kind and I was only called out's not over until Monday morning at 7am!  Friday I didn't have to be at the hospital but I had to take call from home starting at 7am.   My BFF, Miss Donna, decided to take the risk and treat me to a birthday lunch in hopes I'd be able to be there.  It all worked out and we had a lovely lunch at a wonderful spot here in Ashland called  "Bella Blue". 
It was a huge home in it's former life, but it's been renovated into a beautiful event center located on a small lake.  Please note the snow on the ground in this pic.  It will be a big contrast to the rest of the weekend! 
We don't often get the time to sit and chat and laugh and enjoy some one on one girl talk.  Donna is the sweetest thing going and I'm so glad we could spend lunch together. Thanks so much DJ for a fabulous time and her beautiful gift to me was such a surprise. However, the best part was the time we spent....priceless! Thanks so much!
The food was so yummy! Here's my desert...chocolate, sour cream cheese cake.  Wow.
I think Donna's cobbler was picture perfect and so was she!  Yes, I'm one of those nutty folks who will photograph food. Sorry!  Saturday came and so did warmer temps. Jack had seminars all day and I did errands, cleaning, some surgery work, dog walking, and prepared for a Sunday lesson I had to teach.  Thankfully one of my coworkers covered call on Sunday so I could teach that hour...Thanks Peg!  After Church I headed home to put on the ribs I had prepared along with some other goodies because my kids were coming around 3.  Jack got home from his seminar in Columbus around 2 and the weather really got super nice.  All sunny and in the 60's...perfect!
Flowers, gift card, jewelry, a Fitbit, and my favorite phone call from my Mom.  She always calls on our birthdays and tells us what the day was like when we were born. Today she said what she always says to me:  "Today is a day just like the day you were born!"  Love you Mom!  The weather was gorgeous and also very windy...perfect for kite flying. 
Anthony and Cameron getting them ready.
A little help from their Dad.
Oops....a big crash into the pines!
Oops...another crash into the trees.
The scary, silly Sponge Bob kite was the only one that made it back safe...figures!  Kites gave way to a ride to the woods.
Notice the short sleeves and lack of snow from the first pic?  What a glorious day! It ended with a phone call from my son in Oregon, and my Sister. Then our house guest for this week arrived....Eddy the Boxer!
Jordan has a business trip for the week and asked if we would dog sit. It's the first time they will be separated for that long.
Someone is a little sad.  Sharing us with Chubbs is confusing for them.  Luckily they are both good dogs and non aggressive.  I'm hoping by the end of the week they will be best buddies....Welcome back'll be OK!  I'm off tomorrow so I can be with them and make the transition a bit easier.  Also it's Leap Day...a freebie day....Spend it wisely!  Maybe I did win a lottery after all.  So many blessings in my life...Thanks everyone!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Oh To Be 14

Do you remember what it was like to be 14?  Thinking back to that time I remember 14 as being such an in-between stage.  Finally a teen the year before but now it's that time before driving and, in my parents home, the time before dating.   Today is my Grandson, Anthony's, birthday.  He's that ripe old age of 14.  We gathered yesterday at a recreation center to help him celebrate.  Many of his friends were there and they played basketball and were able to go swimming.  There was a nice room to gather for pizza and snacks and also birthday cake and're never too old for that are you?
Nope, it's all good! Anthony is such a sweet kiddo..he probably wouldn't like those terms used to describe him, but I was impressed how he immediately came up to Jack and I as we entered the room and gave us a hug...right in front of all his buddies.  He also did the same after opening his gifts..came over to thank us and give us another hug...right in front of his buddies.  Many 14yr olds would be embarrassed to do that.
The kids spent the last hours in the pool. 
One side was for little ones....also bigger ones like Cameron who stayed on that side to toss a ball over to the guys in the other pool...
They had a great time and I heard the whistle blow from the life guard a few times too! I know how rambunctious boys can get after raising 4!  Made me think that wouldn't it be nice if we had a life guard who followed our kids around and could blow a whistle every time they got in over their heads or needed some help?  But then they wouldn't learn to navigate this world on their own and learn from those mistakes.  Hopefully Anthony won't need any whistles but he'll always have a super loving family to cheer him on and wish him only the best.  We love you! Happy 14th Birthday Buddy!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

No Complaints!

When works gets an overload of staff instead of cases they ask us to take a "low census" day.   We keep a list and who's ever next gets it.  Today was my day and I was glad when I woke up...later than usual, thank you very much...and saw we had about 4in of new white snow on the ground.
It coated the trees and made it look magical.
Front looking just as lovely.  Over the weekend we had super cold temps that had us staying close to home.  The bird feeder got lots of visitors.
Click on the pic and see his treat!  You can tell we've had a much milder Winter since I'm not complaining as much about the occasional cold snap or snow fall.  However, I am happy that this month is half over and soon March will bring in Spring and Easter.
In the mean time, I do hope your Valentines Day was filled with lots of love...I know mine was!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

What Will You Do With The Rest Of Your Life?

There are different times in life when the question of what you're going to do in the future comes up.  Getting ready to go into high school you usually have to make decisions about classes that will get you into college.  College comes and you have to major in one thing or another and sometimes that changes before graduation.  Maybe college isn't in the cards and now you will have to choose a trade or job that will support you and perhaps a family.  It goes on and on until one day you're getting close to the choices that will take you to the final days.  I find myself wondering how I'll feel when I'm swiping my badge that lets me into the secret elevator that takes me to surgery for the final time.  When I put my password into the computer that records my in and out time for work for the last time.  Will I find another job perhaps? Will I sit in a rocker and let my joints go stiff?  Travel? Blog?  I'm still pondering those decisions.  Today our newspaper ran a lovely story of a beautiful lady that goes to our Church.  I think I may have mentioned this in a previous post. Estelle is 94 years young and has published her first book.
It's not a subject that most would think of writing about.  Weeds...not the kind that will get you into trouble if you smoke them (ha!)...but the kind that you can find in nature, eat and also make medicinal uses.  Estelle is a Southern lady from Eastern Kentucky..Little Mud Creek.  Love that name! She still has that twang that says I'm from the south and I'm sassy! She's got beautiful red hair and always has her makeup on perfectly and dresses to the nines as they say. She grew up learning about nature and weeds and flowers that can be used for many purposes and decided to put all that knowledge into book form.  You can find it on  She sure doesn't look or act her age, although I'm not sure if there is a typical way anyone should act at 94. It's just our simple knowledge of what we think that age requires.  Estelle isn't sitting around letting the moss grow on her..she's out hiking trails looking for the moss to make into something delicious!  With the success of this first book she's now starting her second book.  I saw her at Wal-Mart today and begged her for her autograph..I got a big smile and a hug instead!  Age is a funny animal.  In surgery I see folks who are young but have neglected their health and look much older and frankly won't see old age.  Sometimes genetics and plain bad luck also have a role.  I guess my point is I hope I don't think that once I reach a certain time in life that choices and adventures and new experiences and even writing, or painting or creating has to stop.  God willing...and the creek don't rise...I hope I can be like Estelle.  I hope I can slide into those golden years with determination, good health, and my mascara in place! Maybe I'll blog about it! 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Super Sunday

You'll notice I didn't write "Superbowl Sunday" on the title of this post.  That's because I don't watch football...even for the commercials!  I know many will be glued to the TV, cheering on their teams and enjoying great snacks.  The snack part I can get behind but I'll hold out for Downton Abbey tonight.  I do love that show and will be very sad to see it end this year.   I have every confidence in PBS to find us another good show!  Anyway, it's been a Super Sunday and also we had a Super Saturday.  The weather has been so fabulous. I know it's ending tonight and snow and cold are coming our way this week...I will hold on to the memories of this weekend to get me through.  50 degree temps, sunshine, a fun Church gathering, and some family visitors to make it all good.  Saturday night we had our annual "Cheap Nite Out" at Church.  That used to involve a chili cook off and skit night.   Our friends and Ward Mission Leaders, Stacy and Kyle, changed it up this year.  It was bring a comfort food and game night instead.  Everyone brought some food and they brought the games.  I didn't take many pics but I did get a few of the cookie game. 
The contestants had to put a cookie on their foreheads and get the cookie into their mouths without using hands.
A few contortions and smooth moves...
A bit of cookie crumbs to the eyes and finally a winner...I just didn't get the wining move but I'm thinking it was this Missionary....(he's new and I can't remember his name..sorry!) It was a fun night.  Jack and I were contestants in the "Not so newly wed game"...and we won...yes, we know each other pretty well...yes, we may or may not have cheated...either way we would have won!  Anyway, it was fun time. Then  came Super Sunday.  Again a beautiful day and guess who came to visit.
Eddy!  He hadn't been over in a while and we've missed him.  I met up with him and Jordan on some walks so he could meet Chubbs but they never were together in our house until today.
Chubbs is looking like he's not sure they should be friends....but thankfully both dogs are super friendly towards humans and dogs alike.
They played outdoors and inside just fine.  Unfortunately, Eddy did a bit too much running outdoors and was hurting in his hip.  He's not used to flying around like the old days when he lived here.  In town he's on a leash for his walks.  I hope he's feeling Ok tonight.  Jack will go over and give him an adjustment and Jordan is doing some other things for his hip pain.  It's not pretty getting older...for man or beast!  Anyway, if you're cheering for a particular team...good luck...if  not, I hope you've had a Super Sunday anyway!

Monday, February 1, 2016


Holy Guacamole! It's February! It's the shortest month of the year! It's full of hearts, flowers, and chocolate!  Ok, no more !!!! points...It's also full of Lincoln, and Washington....and me..(later this month)   I'm pretty sure Mother Nature thinks it's April.  This past weekend we had sunny skies and temps that almost hit 60de.  Wow.  Here's what last year looked like at this time:
Deck was covered and so was the yard.
These little dudes were nose deep looking for a snack.  This was today:
Sunny skies again and not a spot of a flake...except for me. 
Up toward the Creepy Woods the grass may be brownish and patchy but I'm OK with that.  It's been delightful, like a little gift.  February can be a stinker.  It may be short on days but sometimes it's long on bad weather.  We'll see how this goes and enjoy each nice day as it comes.  It's getting closer to Spring.  Daylight is hanging on a bit longer.  This month marks 8 years of blogging for me.  It's a leap year and I posted my first post on February 29, 2008.  I'll be working on getting my blog book for 2015 done and published.  I'm hanging in there with my blog for this year. I probably won't post as much as in the past but then again it could turn out to be the busiest and most exciting year ever....let's just wait and see and welcome the groundhog tomorrow as he tells us if we're in for 6 more weeks of Winter. If the next 6 weeks are anything like the past 6 weeks I may use many more !!!!!  Welcome February!
Chubbs doesn't care if it's sunny or snowy...he just loves being outdoors!