Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017, You're Outa Here!

I put a sunset header on my page.  The sun has set for the last time in 2017.  I can't believe I've written this many posts in one week!  I could have let last night's post be the end but I make my blog into a book and it needs to have the last day of  the year in it.   I read last years final post and it's weird to realize I didn't have a clue what this year was going to hand out.  It wasn't too bad.  A few bumps along the way but many roads were smooth sailing.  We welcomed a new daughter-in-law,  Evelyn,  Jack had major eye surgery, and a trip out to Portland to see our kiddos that we miss each day are just a few of the big ticket items from 2017.  My Mom soldiered through some illnesses this year and sounded good today as we chatted on the phone.  Work went from quiet to crazy busy and challenging with new doctors on board and a new assignment for me as I take on being the GYN clinician.  What's in store for 2018?  Of course, like last year at this time, I don't have a clue!  That's good because my word I've chose for this year is FAITH.  I need more of that in my life and will work in that direction.  I also have a phrase.."Let It Be"...yep, like the song.  I heard Sir Paul McCartney singing it the other day and realized that it would be a good thing for me to do in 2018..just let the small things be and the big ones  I'll go with faith and let God handle it.  So I'm looking forward to many beautiful sunsets in 2018.  It will mark 10 years that I've been blogging! Thanks to all my blog friends and all my family for supporting me and putting up with my craziness at times!  Happy New Year Everyone!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Bleacher Seats

Last night Jack and I hopped in the car and headed off to Anthony's basketball game.  He plays on the JV team at his high school.   I couldn't help but remember all the times we loaded up our van over the years and went to our kiddos games.   Jack and Craig were the only ones who played basketball and of course it's a Winter sport so over the river and through the woods with snow, cold and wind was the usual for  us.  Often Jack's parents came along.  I couldn't find the photo of them I took while they were all cozy in the cheap seats in the back of our van!  They supported their Grandkids in all activities.  We're trying to do the same.  It's what Grandparents do I guess.  I remember going at top speed down to Columbus airport to pick up my Mom so she could be at the gym for Senior night. (That's senior in high school, not old folks night! Ha!)  We arrived just in time to see Craig walk out.  Whew!  So many games that had us cheering, leering (at the refs!),  shouting, stomping our feet, standing for the National Anthem, feeling so proud of the kids and also either so happy for the win or sad for them when it went the other way.  I remember crying at the very last games of their high school careers.  Time was fleeting toward adulthood and saying goodbye, even to all the running and craziness of those years, was bittersweet.   All this was going through my cranium as I watched Anthony on the court.
Listening to the refs before the game.
Shaking hands with the other team.
The warm ups.
The real action.  Also the real frustration as his team lost by 2 points.  Some things just don't change.
Things like family sitting on the bleacher seats eating popcorn that tastes just the same as always..thankfully!  Cheering, leering, stomping and shouting and feeling bad when things go the other way.  Yep, it all came back to us.
Our son Jack back in his glory days.
Our son Craig in his...and I'm sure his son will play b-ball too and maybe we'll be rushing from the airport to make a game for Taylor, who can tell.   One thing for sure, as Jack pointed out last night, those bleacher seats haven't gotten any softer over the years! 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas 2017

Just putting the year, 2017, has my mind much time has flown by and so many Christmases have been celebrated.  We go about all the usual rituals, traditions, and rushing and exhausting ourselves at times, as we've done in the past.  I wanted to have all my shopping done by the end of November this year so I could enjoy the season more and spend more time on reflecting the real reason we celebrate.   I came close but still had that last minute finishing up.  We still did rush about and there were some things I wasn't able to get done.  Our trip to Chicago, as I wrote about previously, didn't turn out the way we hoped but still we were able to see family members that we hadn't seen in a while and were able to spend some precious time with Mom.  I'm lucky to have her with us and think about all those who aren't here now.  Jack's parents, who were such a huge part of our Christmas celebrations when our kids were little, have been gone 17 years and my Dad, who always made Christmas fun when I was little, has been gone 41 years.  I talked with Mom today and she said Christmas day has always been sad for her.  Her mother died when my Mom was 10 and she died on Christmas day...1936.  Christmas was never the same for her and yet, as children, we never knew that it was hard for her since she and Dad made our Christmases full of happy memories.   I would guess that none of us remember every gift we've ever received but once in a while one or two will have a special place in our memory.  One memory I have is about a gift that wasn't even mine.  It was my sister's.  It was the year she wanted a puppy.  We creeped down the stairs super early on Christmas morning and spied a big cage covered with a cloth.  Thinking it must be the puppy, she peeked inside.  She jumped back horrified. When I asked what was wrong she said she didn't know what was in the cage, but it didn't have a head! We high tailed it back to bed and wondered what the heck Santa had left!   It turned out to be a myna bird named Charlie.  Not a puppy but he was a member of our family for many years and was quite the character!   I doubt I will ever have a Christmas that isn't filled with some rushing about or being tired or maybe not having everything turn out like a Hallmark movie.  But there will always be the surprises, the hugs, the laughs and the joy of family and friends this time of year.  Many have said that they couldn't wait for it to be over and I know I even mumbled that a bit myself this year...and I'm sorry I did.  Time passes much to quickly. The traditions we have created that are unique to our family are important.  We attended church yesterday and enjoyed the music and the scripture readings and special talks that were given. They softened my Grinch heart!   The gathering today of our family members went great...and was so much fun.   Yep, it was all worth it is every year.  Merry Christmas everyone!   Of course I have to add photos of the day.  Not much different than past Christmas seasons..and that's just fine with me!
Just a few shoes by the back door!
Christmas snow arrived last night and a little today..beautiful but very cold!
It was a light, fluffy snow and Jack used a broom to clear the driveway! Thanks babe!
Chubbs enjoyed his Christmas treat.
Addy got a phone..can you tell?
Hey Lexi Lou! We love you!
Remember Kip the Golden Doodle from a few months ago? He's ginormous now! But the sweetest guy!
Welcome Kip!
Summer, Brett, and of course Happy!  Jack joked that today we had small, (Happy), medium, (Chubbs), and extra large, (Kip) dogs all over the place!
Hey Jordan...sorry your in a shadow and thanks for the delish Honey baked ham for today!

Cameron hanging close to the dessert table.
Merry Christmas 2017!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Hello Winter!

It's officially Winter.   Good-bye dear Fall,  I'll miss you, my favorite time of year!  We've had some pretty chilly temps and a few inches of snow already.  Chubbs loves the colder weather and snow.
He got groomed last week and got the usually neck wear...very festive!  You can see the enthusiasm in his face, can't you?
He loves to run and play in the white stuff!  Well, he'll have to wait a few days to have more fun.  Tomorrow it's going to be 50 degrees and all the snow has melted!  Christmas is looking like snow may fall and the temps will be in the 20's.  Yep, Winter has arrived and although today is the least amount of light for the year, tomorrow will bring the start of longer daylight.  It may only be a minute or less a day, but it's going in the right direction!  I'm ready for the new season and will slog through the snow and cold while some of my family and friends are living where it's warm and can't understand why we hack it out up here.  Why? Well, I guess it makes me appreciate the Spring more and I like the cold better than the heat and humidity of Summer.  So celebrate your Winter where ever you may live! 
We have big ornaments hanging from our tree out's me trying to be artsy!  Oh, a quick update on all the illness from last weekend...Midge is much, much better and Mom is getting there.  Talked to her tonight and she said she's trying each day to get over the crud!  It's nasty this year! Take care!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Plans Don't Always Go As Planned

This past weekend was my family's Christmas get together.  We go every year and gather with my Mom and siblings, nieces and nephews, and kiddos galore.  But for some reason my enthusiasm was lacking and I just was pushing myself to get excited about the trip.  I had my baking and candy making ready:
All the other things my sister and I had planned were ready.  Then the weather decided to take a bit of a turn from mild to Winter.
About 6in. of the white stuff fell on Wednesday with the chance of more on the way.  However, I was hopeful for good driving conditions by the time Friday arrived.  And it was all good.  I called my sister on Thursday to say all was good here when she answered and sounded like death warmed over...yep, she was sick.  What to do now.  Stay home, or hope it was just a little cold and go?   We decided to go.   Once we arrived Midge was indeed pretty sick and her and I trouped off to the clinic where her daughter is a nurse.  Oh dear, she had strep and bronchitis.  She lives with and helps take care of Mom and I was worried Mom would be next.  But she was doing good and my brothers arrived from all over the world to help celebrate.
Rick, Jim, and even Phil (who flew in from Panama) gathered in Mom's kitchen.
Mom looking festive around her beautiful tree on Friday night.
Mom looking not so festive on Saturday morning at the same clinic....and with step and bronchitis. Boy, it hit fast!  No party for her that day.   Jack stayed home to take care of Mom while Midge and I went to help with the big party at my niece, Katie's home.
The table was set for all the gang.

The butler was ready to serve.
Of course the kid's table is always the best spot!
Refreshments were flowing...
Food was!
After dinner the games began...the cellophane  wrapped gift game is always fun and a hit with everyone.  It's silly and loud!
The photos by the and my sister, who was feeling much better thank goodness!
Santa brings up the excitement quota a few notches!  He brought lots of goodies for the kiddos and everyone had fun.  It was just weird not to have Mom and Jack there and we left a little early to get back to them.  Mom was doing good that night but by Sunday morning she wasn't doing so hot.  We got her up and put lots of fluids and a little food along with her meds in her, and she was perking up.  It was a thought that we might have to take her to the hospital if she didn't seem better soon.  While that was going on my brother Phil called from the hotel where he and my other siblings were staying.   He was sick! His was the intestinal kind.  Holy cow!  He wanted to get out of the hotel and stay at Moms so we went and picked him and Jim up and brought them back.  At that point Jack and I decided it was best if we headed back to Ohio.  If we were going to get sick we didn't want it to be on the 6 hour drive back home.   Mom was doing better and Jim was healthy and could be a help to Midge.  So this family trip didn't turn out to be the usual one that happens.  I'm hoping all will be well soon and that we don't get it!  I'll be checking in with them today and pray all is good.  This time of year can be filled with the joy of family and friends and celebrating but sometimes you have to just go with the flow...or the flu!  This family gathering will be one for the books and hopefully one we don't repeat again!  Today Jack and I will finish our last minute things for our family gathering on Christmas least that's the plan!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Hallmark Town?

Hallmark channel has been running it's "Count Down To Christmas" movies since right before Halloween.  Everyone I know who watches Hallmark comments the same:  "It's the same plot!"  Yes,
that's so true.  Girl/boy meets girl/boy and somewhere between the beginning and the end they, of course, fall in love.  Also in the middle is a small town that's perfect for Christmas.  It's decorated, has a cafe that the whole town goes to eat, an adorable bed and breakfast or some kind of Inn to house all the perfectly beautiful people of the town. They have festivals, parades, tree lighting ceremonies, ice sculpting, Christmas tree farms, hot cocoa, homemade cookies and a happy ending.   I told my hubby and sister that if we find a town like that we're moving there!  Then I started thinking about our town of Ashland, Ohio.   Yes, it's small, although we do have a University...and a Wal-Mart on the outskirts.  We have special events like small business day of shopping that was last week.  Since it was my son Jack's  birthday his wife and daughter, along with Jack and I, dragged him to our charming downtown for some shopping.
Smile Jackie and look excited!  What did we find in our little town?
Mike's music shop where we found some goodies for his musical talent....he plays drums.  We then walked down the street and visited some antique shops.
See how bustling it is?  Let's not forget the cute cafe with yummy stuff.
Summer grabbed some fabulous cupcakes while her Dad, Jack, was ordering lunch from an old favorite in town...Dor-Lo Pizza.  After shopping we then headed home with hot pizza and celebrated his birthday while he and his Dad enjoyed the Ohio State and Michigan game.   So that brought me to thinking about some other things we do here in our small town.  Yesterday was Shop Hop Day.  You get cards and have them punched at every store and win prizes and other goodies.  We didn't make that event but we did go to the Holiday Parade last night.  The theme was "Miracle on Main Street".  The weather was perfect.  40 degrees and clear!  And boy was it packed with  people.
Bands played, Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts and every club was represented.  Even the dog pound had it's dogs that are up for adoption marching down the street all decked out... I'm sorry I didn't get a pick of that!
Pretty floats...
Dazzling snow plow trucks...only in rural towns like ours does the high school have an art program called "paint a plow".  Trying to get the pictures on the plows was hard because of the crowd in front of me! 
Let's not forget the star of the show..Santa and Mrs, Claus riding in on a classic 1959 Corvette...sweet!   So, as I was looking over all the things we have here I was shocked to discover that we actually live in a Hallmark movie town!  Guess we're not moving...but if your dream is to live in a Hallmark movie...come and visit!
You can stop at the cute flower shop..
Stay at the "Jenny Wade" bed and breakfast..
Get an adjustment from the best Chiropractor in the world....
As we were heading out after the parade one of his patients stopped with her goat to see if he could work on the goat!   Welcome to our world!
It might be a bit cheesy and weird...but we like it!   Now that's a happy ending!