Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holiday Blues

It is Blue Monday again, time to visit Smiling Sally and see what everyone is posting on the subject of blue. Click on the image at the left to go directly to her blog. If you pass GO, collect $200 but you will have to share with me. I charge a finder's fee. Photobucket

Does anyone (everyone?) get the blues at least once during the holiday season?

I feel guilty for feeling blue at a time that should be joyous. I know what the meaning of the season is, but for years now, I have a day of feeling blue and I know I need to let it be. Roll with it. Wallow in it for a limited time.

We all feel the pressure to decorate, cook, bake, entertain, shop for perfect gifts, wrap those perfect gifts, and so on, all in addition to our daily tasks at hand. I am hearing from more women that they don't decorate as they used to, some barely giving a nod to the season. I am not there and don't think I want to go to that extreme by choice.

Besides, it isn't just these stresses that brings on the blues.

This past weekend would have been my parent's 74th wedding anniversary and my mother-in-law's 99th birthday. You don't reach the age of 57 without losing people dear to you. I am not maudlin in missing them at this time of year, but I can't help but think of them with their recipes, their ornaments, and their favorite carols presenting themselves again after a year long absence.

It is time to sigh. To smile. To wipe away a tear. And then it is time to move on.

I am happy person by nature. I am already feeling more like one of the happy yellow rubber duckies (although the blue one is attractive in her chic shade, don't you agree?).

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Coma

Anyone still suffering the effects of Turkey Coma?

I am out of the coma and just plain tired. It is a good tired though. I am thankful for family. I am thankful for the good and plentiful food we enjoyed yesterday. I am also thankful the day is over and almost everything has been washed.

And I am thankful I am NOT going Black Friday shopping!
Best wishes to those who are though, and I'll see you on Monday.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is from an email, author unknown:





Click here for a Thanksgiving greeting from Jacquie Lawson.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Almost ready?

Are you almost ready for Thanksgiving?

I think I am. You know what that means, right?

I must be forgetting something!

Maxine has her usual spirit going

What am I thankful for today, besides the obvious?

Not being a turkey comes to mind!

Photobucket Photobucket

Best wishes to you all as you prepare for tomorrow.
Safe travels to those will be on the road or in the air.

May your blessings be the largest portions of your feast tomorrow.

The written word

In 1830, Victorian novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote these words as the beginning of a novel titled Paul Clifford:

"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

That lengthy sentence has become synonymous with bad writing. "It was a dark and stormy night" is a recognized phrase to many even if the book's title and author are unknown.

Most of us who blog enjoy the written word. Why else would we be here? I am here because I have more to say than what my family is capable (willing?) of hearing. Photobucket

Whether thought provoking prose or a fun limerick, I love to read. Incomplete sentences are ok. Sometimes making one's point is improved in ways that would make my strictest English turn over in her grave. Sorry Miss Fleming. Really.

If you are thankful for good writing, you need to visit a friend of mine. Her name is Kelli and her blog is Counting My Blessings. Read her often. You won't be disappointed. Just remember that she was my friend first. Try to claim otherwise and I will fill your email inbox with the likes of "It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

I could probably write wretchedly worse if challenged, so beware! 1sm146scribe Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday, November 23, 2009

Another Baby Blue Monday

Another hectic couple of days ahead, both with the business closing and Thanksgiving dinner prep beginning. I feel like I've been a slacker getting around to visiting all the Blue Monday participants. There just haven't been enough hours in my days lately. Hopefully that will be settle down, if not soon, then by January. I really do enjoy Blue Monday, hosted by Smiling Sally, and love to see how varied the posts can be all who join in. The logo is a clickable link that will take you to Smiling Sally's blog.

When my sister-in-law and I went away for the weekend a few weeks ago, I found this adorable box in a gift shop. With a grandson on the way, I had to pick up the box for a closer look.
Look what was inside! Six pair of adorable baby socks, designed to look like sneakers for a baby boy! The colors are black, dark blue, red, green plus the lighter blue and orange pair shown outside of the box.
I'll have to take the socks off to kiss sweet little baby feet, but won't he be stylish when I'm not nibbling on his toes?

And for today's Thankful post, I am thankful that Kim is having a healthy pregnancy and that she and Chuck are mostly moved into their house now.

Life is good.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thankful for cattle prods (figuratively speaking)

When you feel like a cow, lazily grazing in the afternoon sun, and you know that your backside is a bit broad (heck, it is very broad), sometimes a cattle prod is required to get you moving in the right direction.
My friend Theresa provided the cattle prod. Thankfully, it didn't hurt. She did this via the telephone. She called a few days ago with a suggestion and today we acted upon it. We joined Planet Fitness. We will go on Monday to a class to determine which routine and machines we should start with, and how to properly do things.
The session will run from 10 AM until 11 AM. I guess this means we could go to lunch afterward! Even a heifer mooooving towards fitness needs to eat. To think otherwise is udderly ridiculous. I guess I should stop with the puns before I am accused of milking them for all they are worth.
Gosh, even the cows are blowing raspberries at this! I can take a hint! I'm done for the day. Photobucket

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Unexpected happiness

Despite my moaning and groaning lately, I am basically a happy person and optimistic. The changes we are going through are challenging, but so is the Sudoku I work each morning and I look forward to that. I smile often. I laugh a lot. I look for humor and joy and usually find it.

When happiness, love and joy arrive unexpectedly, it takes my breath away. This isn't because I live without happiness, love and joy, but because I am so tuned in to these feelings, it is hard to surprise me. I was surprised recently and that is what today's thankful post is about.

Years ago, on a large message board that was part of HGTV (Home Talk was the forum), I became friendly with a woman who loved vintage things. Vintage was part of her board name and many of us referred to her as Vinty as a nickname. That large board began to have problems with contentious members and many small private forums were created. Vinty and I coexisted on two or three of them, but those boards were short lived and the big board at HGTV was closed.

A year or two ago I reconnected with another former poster from Home Talk who had her own blog. I don't know how she and Vinty found each other, but I was happy they did as it led me to Cami (Vinty) and her blog, Creating Myself. Go there and look around. She has a great eye for finding things at yard sales and store sales, bringing them into her home and transforming them into more than they were before her hands touched them.

Cami is the source of my recent unexpected happiness. Look at what she sent me:
Look closely....Do you see why these made Cami think of me? The ladies are knitting! They are knitting with blue yarn and black knitting needles.

These ladies are in my bedroom for now, but I think they may become part of a new knitting bag after the holidays.

Is there anything nicer than knowing someone was thinking of you? Thanks again Cami, and thank you everyone who stops here to read.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gotta get moving!

The alarm went off at 5:45. I could see that Bill was up and moving. I turned it off and was about to go back to sleep when I remembered it is Wednesday and I had an appointment for a pap smear and physical at 8:00! I guess the good news is that I didn't have time to dread getting ready and going. Everything seemed fine and I have the rest of day ahead of me to sleep go through the boxes and boxes (and more boxes!) of office supplies I brought home yesterday.

The big news this week is that Kim and Chuck have keys to their new house! The closing was Monday afternoon and the first carload of boxes from the apartment moved into the house yesterday. I was going to try to sneak one of our office supply boxes into their house just to be done with it, but Kim is young and organized. Her boxes are neatly labeled. Mine aren't labeled at all and look like the contents of 6 desk drawers have been dumped in them. She would notice the alien box right away.

Today I am thankful for God's sense of humor. He knew I had been thinking I need to move more (exercise) but wasn't getting anywhere just thinking about it. This is when God presented me with November.

"Yo, Knitty!" He said, "I tried gettin ya to rap but you just weren't gettin down. Saran Wrap wasn't what I meant at all. Now I know you be gettin old. I know exactly how old you be. Remember I was the one who put the twinkle in your daddy's eye.

Ahem. Perhaps I should speak to you plainly and simply. Here are my commandments for you for the month of November.

1) Thou shall help thy husband close up his business. Boxes will be your friend and dust your constant companion. No whining over a few broken fingernails.

2) Thou shall be excited over the new house and will help the kids as much as possible. Moving them moves you, ya know. I call this a win win situation.

3) Thou shall cook Thanksgiving dinner this year for 18 people. Fourteen Combo #5 and three Happy Meals do not make Thanksgiving dinner, so suck it up (and suck in your gut) and go forth and grocery shop. Then chop. And stuff. And all that other kitcheny chef-y rigmarole.

4) Thou shall keep attending your knitting sessions. You know they are cheaper than counseling and those women will talk about you if you don't show up! Photobucket

5) Thou shall have at least one social engagement each weekend and at least one per M-F throughout the month. Doctor's appointments aren't social engagements, but you need to remember them too. Remembering is mental exercise.

6) Knowing thou worketh beth best under a deadline, you have until the 30th to get the business closed, the kids moved, all the office supplies but away in your house, Thanksgiving dinner cooked, eaten, and cleaned up, the Christmas decorations out of the attic and the Thanksgiving decor put away."

God paused here because my eyes were glazing over. He patted my hand, smiled and said "I bet you can't wait to see what I have lined up for December!"

Friends, I do believe I will have logged a million steps by the end of the month and lost weight from eating on the run. Not fast food, actually running while eating!

If I miss a few days (two, so far) posting this month, talk to HIM about it. Just be careful how you word things. He may have commandments for you too!

In closing, I hope you enjoy this clip. The lady is 92 years old and the gentleman is her 29 year old grandson. She doesn't seem to have any trouble moving at all!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thankful Blue Monday

Hooray! It is Blue Monday and I am ready for it this week!

Please visit Sally, the host of Blue Monday by clicking on the logo at the left. Check out what others are posting for Blue Monday and join in the fun!

Along with many other bloggers this month, I am attempting to post each day, naming something for which I am thankful.

Today I am thankful for Kim. Kim will become my daughter-in-law next year. Kim will become my grandchild's mother in March. I haven't thought to ask her if she would object to me posting her photo here so I won't show you her beautiful face yet, but I do have this photo which she shared on Facebook.
Doesn't my grandson look healthy and happy? Photobucket

I was going to post pictures of some of my recent baby purchases, but since I've been so busy and not creative with Blue Monday posts lately, I am going to be stingy and save some for other weeks. Besides, this one photo best fits my thankful heart today.
The ornament is from Bronner's in Frankenmuth, Michigan. If you are ever in that area, it is a huge store and a fun and friendly environment. I ordered this online and received it the following week with a thank you note for my order with a candy cane attached. That was a sweet (pun intended) touch.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Free time

I have always been a reader and a crafter. Even in the early years of our marriage when I was busy with young children and seeing how far I could stretch our budget, there were always books, fabric and yarn in the house. Looking back on this, I don't know how I did all that had to be done and still produced so many hand crafted items. I was more driven then I guess, and had to fill the spare moments if I wanted things to be completed.

I am thankful that Bill has always understood this need of mine. He has never objected to the time or money spent on my crafts.

When Bill began the business, I was one of three employees for months. As the business grew, the office work grew and I eventually had coworkers up front and became the office manager. Woohooo! A title! Photobucket The boys were a little older and more self sufficient. I had some free time in the evening to knit or do hand sewing if you count free time as waiting in stands during baseball and basketball practice or on a very hard chair during piano lessons.

I am thankful that crafts and reading have been my friend and time filler during those hours.

A few years ago I was able to retire from Bill's business. There was no fanfare and retirement party because I still show up occasionally, lately more than occasionally as we dismantle the business. If it weren't for the computer, I would probably be very productive with all my free time. The boys are on their own, I have no time clock to punch, and dinner doesn't have to be a multi-course gourmet affair. I still get things done, but I am not frantically driven unless there is a deadline like a birthday, a shower or that big December holiday. Photobucket People who are driven to be productive may look at me and see laziness. I struggled with guilt for a while thinking that I should do more of something now that I am not working until one day I woke up and realized something. If I give up the guilt, I am happy.

I am very happy and very lucky to have the time and means to do what I want. And for that, I am very thankful.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thank the Invisible who do their jobs well

We've all either done it, seen it, or recognize from TV and movies the handshake and back clapping when someone is pleased with someone who has done their job. The doctor who saves a life. The lawyer who prevents the life sentence. The athlete. The actor. The celebrity famous for just being a celebrity.
The latter examples aren't ones I personally understand. The first two, of course I do, but thankfully, most of us go through our time on earth without needing a defense lawyer and hopefully we aren't often in dire need of medical attention.

Today I want to give thanks to the people who seem invisible in our daily lives, mainly because they do their jobs so well we don't think about them.

Thank you to the cashiers at the local independent grocery store. They make eye contact with the customer. They smile. They aren't crabbing with their neighbor cashier over management which is often the norm with the cashiers at my local big name chain store. Grocery shopping is tiring. Prices are depressing. No one likes to wait in line. The last thing I want is to hear disgruntled employees who only address me with the dollar amount owed.
Thank you to the people who remain friendly while working at fast food places, both drive thru windows and inside at the counter. It is hectic when the place is jammed with people, especially the unexpected rush. Some customers are demanding, rude, short tempered slobs. But thankfully, not all employees carry that negativity on their shoulder and pass it on to me when I am in line for a coffee or a diet Coke. I always smile and say thanks. I appreciate the ones who return the friendliness. And if management doesn't think this matters, I am here to tell the McDonald's franchise on 9 Mile Road near Mack that you couldn't pay me to go back to that location. So there!
Thank you to the trash collectors. When my sons were little, one of their friend's moms often told her son that if he didn't do well in school, he'd be nothing more than a trash collector. This always bothered me. Not that she had high aspirations for her child, but that she was making him a snob who thought trash collectors were beneath him. We may go months without needing a doctor and years without needing a lawyer, but if the trash isn't picked up for a week, we sure are inconvenienced!
Thank you to the young kids who used to deliver newspapers years ago, and to the first two rounds of adults who delivered the morning paper after children were culled from that job. Our experience with kids was always good. They were polite. They were on time. They put the paper where you requested it. When we canceled delivery of the Detroit Free Press a few years ago, it wasn't the content, it was delivery that forced the issue. Morning papers delivered long after we left for work, papers heaved at the house from the car idling in the street which either missed the porch entirely or hit the storm door hard enough to rattle it, broken yard lights from incredibly bad aim and deliveries missed entirely. * sigh * I really do miss the delivery boys. Thanks guys. I hope you are as successful as adults as you were when we knew you.
Thank you to the letter carriers. I don't know if carts have been rejected all over the country or just around here. The shoulder bag of mail must be incredibly heavy, especially this time of year with all the extra catalogs and advertising fliers. I know that junk mail helps pay for the cost of all postal services, but what a burden. Literally. I could never do this job. If the weight didn't do me in, the climate would. I am a weather wimp. Thank you carriers, for getting the mail to me regardless of what it is like outside.
To all in these professions (and to those I have failed to mention) who do their job efficiently and pleasantly, I salute you and give thanks. You make my daily life a little brighter.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Well darn. I knew it would likely happen. I missed a day of posting in this month long challenge of writing a thankful post each day. Dismantling the business is emotionally draining for Bill and physically tiring for me. I told him yesterday that I didn't work this hard when I was on the payroll! Photobucket I used to sit at a desk, paying bills, doing payroll and creating invoices. I've come home looking like Pigpen from the Snoopy comics lately, having spent my days sorting and packing years of supplies and moving cabinets and shelves that haven't been moved in ages. There were dead creepy crawlies back there! Photobucket

Today I am home and thankful for being here. It isn't a mansion. It isn't the house I dreamed of owning.
It is much more. It is HOME.
Anyone who has been important to me and everyone I have loved has been inside this house. Every major event since our marriage has been celebrated or commiserated here. If these walls could talk, they would laugh. They would sigh. They would shed a few tears, then smile, then laugh again. Maybe even let loose a huge guffaw.

I'd better go make sure the pictures we just hung in the laundry are secure. A guffaw might knock them off.

Home really is where the heart is.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Itchy and Scratchy

Cats make my husband itch, but cat humor sent in an email is itch free. We are both thankful for that. I am also thankful for shirts and waistbands without scratchy tags. Unfortunately both the shirt and slacks I am wearing have those annoying tags, so I am about to go change. While I am gone and thinking about posts with deeper meaning for the rest of the week, here is some cat humor for you.