I guess we will have a white Christmas after all due to all the snow (I doubt it will melt by Friday.)
Friday, Tim's office had their annual Christmas party and I had to spend the day at the office typing name tags for the expected guests. Saturday, we woke to snow falling. we got about 4 inches but that didn't stop us from hosting our Bridge group's Christmas dinner/party. If that wasn't enough, Sunday morning (after a very late night) I got up to make a Pumpkin praline cheesecake to take to the Christmas party for my ladies golf group.
I really needed a quiet day.
This year we had plans to visit with John & Ellen in Richmond along with the Derry's from Louisiana bringing our little Jackson north. Unfortunately, plans changed because Fred (Ellen's father) became ill and is in the hospital ( and our prayers) so we headed north to Grammy's rather than south.
Grammy had tasks for the boys to perform (cover the A/C units) before dinner was served and then four generations sat down (minus Tina and Bob who were in Maine) to a scrumptious meal of turkey, stuffing, cranberries, mashed potatoes, homemade bread, and a perfect gravy (made by sister #2).
We think about all our blessings but then when we returned home we had a plumbing leak to contend with. Well, at least we have a roof over our heads even if it is a bit damp inside.
We still count our blessings for we are truly blessed with health, happiness, and a family and friends.
- who do I invite?
- what will I wear to that party? Should I take something?
- when will I fit that into my schedule? Can I get it done in time?
- where can I get that gift? What color, what size?
- how will I get it all done?
- why can't I think of something for her/him?
There are so many decisions to be made each year and sometimes they become overwhelming.
- The tree - should we get a real one and should it be small or large or huge?
- Christmas Goodies - Should we cheat on our diets - dah, of course, but when can we start? What should we make and how much of each?
- What do we get everyone or are we giving gifts at all?
- Are we sending cards? Should we include a Christmas Letter?
- Decorations - Same old, same old, or something new and different?
- When will I see everyone? Do I travel to their house or invite them to mine?
And what about all my book challenges? Will I manage to squeeze in all the final books I need to finish?
The answers, for me, are pretty simple...
- Trees - 1 Small, 1 medium, 1 large all fake
- baking - list decided- all I have to do is schedule what when
- presents - gift certificates for the out of town kids (I know that's cheating but they love to go after Christmas for all the sales and get exactly what they want) the siblings have ceased to exchange except for nominal items, so that leaves one for Mom and 1 for hubbie
- Cards are scheduled for the 2nd week in December
- Parties are all scheduled, invitations have been sent and RSVPs done,
- and decorations are in progress! (should be finished this weekend)
So my advice, take an hour or two and plan it all out, print out your calendar and enjoy this special season...It won't be back again for another 365 days!
If anyone ever wanted to take a photo and make your own cards (christmas or otherwise), its so easy with the people at CrinkledNose.com The son of a friend of mine works there and they are so helpful if you have any problems, but the process is easy and fast. The hardest part, for me, was choosing a picture. I had them last year and they are sensational. Reasonably priced too!
We had a pleasant time throughout the week. Monday Tim golfed with Mary-ellen and John until the rain came and they quit. Tuesday Tim, Mary-ellen and I golfed and later, after the pool, went to mixology class where we created two mixed drinks - yummy, yummy. Wednesday Tim and Mary-ellen played golf and the afternoon was spent at the pool and wine tasting. Thursday John and Ellen returned from their jobs and the five of us went to the golf course. Ellen is just beginning but she's already better than I am. Afterward we all went to a Martini tasting and scaped(?) a visit via the Internet with Jackson, Christopher and Melanie.
Friday no golf! Since they couldn't get a Tee time early Mary-ellen, Tim and I went shopping, and returned for pool time just before Kathy and David arrived for Ribs on the BBQ.
There were only 4 of the six Derry children together at anyone time, we ate , we drank, we laughed, we cried, but all in all, I still think we managed to have a family gathering of which Bill and Pat would have been proud.
Tim and I returned from our week in Myrtle Beach (we had a great time) and thought we would slowly settle into our normal existence - WRONG!
As some of you know the dryer died and the washer was following it shortly, so Tim and I broke down and purchased a new washer and dryer. Because we got it stacked, the laundry room seems much more spacious and now all I have to do is a few decorative items and it will seem like new.
I thought that would be it, but when we came home from our week in Myrtle Beach on Saturday night, we found that the refrigerator was not doing its job and everything was spoiled. We had to throw everything out and clean it thoroughly. Luckily, we have another in the garage, so we figured we muddle through until we could get the repairman this week. Since I am getting older, I forgot that it wasn't working a few hours later and opened the door to get a drink and found that it was cold again. (Okay, I thought, what's going on here?) So we turned on the ice maker to see if it would stay cold, and at dinner we were rewarded with the sound of falling ice. So far, it's still cold. Tim seems to think that something was blocking the thermostat and that it should be fine. Bless the Lord!
How much fun is it to know a great play is coming by the cheers you hear (TV was on a 5 second time delay)? And South Carolina won the game - they won't hold anything against us. We should get invited back sometime.
Tomorrow we head to Myrtle Beach where we will meet up with Mary-ellen (Tim's sister) and get in some golf.
I was reminded this week how fortunate I am that my Mom is still with us in both mind and body. We all, as we grow older, don't realize that, until we see a difference that others have to endure with either serious illness, incapacity - mentally or physically - or the loss of that love one. So, if you are fortunate, as I am, give that parent of yours a hug and kiss and tell them that you love them. Lord knows we don't know how long they will be with us.
In return for a roof over his head, he'll give Tim a hand with the outdoor chores so Tim will have more time to spend with tailgates, golf, village constrution and bridge... maybe even me. Sometimes, money isn't the answer, just giving a helping hand when you can.
My beautiful niece, and fellow blogger Leslie presented me with this exciting award! She has so much love for life and the world around her, it's unbelieveable. Check her out here at Leslie's Blog!
So here are my winners in no particular order...
Bella at A Bibliophile's Bookshelf
Andi at Radiant Light
Vera at Luxury Reading
Kaye at Pudgy Penquin Perusals
Caite at A Lovely Shore Breeze
Crystal at My Reading Room
Marie at The Burton Review
Amy at Passages to the Past
BookLogged at A Reader's Journal
Wendi's Book Corner
Kristi at Books & Needlepoint
Darlene at Peeking between the Pages
Park Avenue Princess
Barbara at Everything Victorian
Alaine at Queen of Happy Endings
I enjoy all the blogs that are out there, but these especially cheer my heart!
Now all I have to do is pray that they fit in the laundry room.
Check out Cheli's Shelves for your chance to win a new book with over 80 recipes that are included with the story.
- Tim forgot to get gas in my car after using it for the tailgate on Saturday and I wasn't sure that I had enough to get to the Country Club let alone to Virginia.
- When I went to put my seat belt on, the connector that I use on the driver side (because I can't feel the place to clip it) was missing.
- After gyrating around to hook my seat belt without the connector, I backed out of the garage, only to see that there are bungee cords and duct tape sitting on my hood.
- The bus for the Wine Club to go to the Wine Festival, left at 12PM, we left at 2:30PM.
I'm not sure whether to count this in the good day or bad day category.
So am I wrong?
Bear wasn't happy with the Terps results last night. Said he was going to have to get his football jersey out and put it on to bring them some better luck next week. Tim still won't let him go to the games even with his own MD football jersey. Bear said that it doesn't seem fair, Tim doesn't have a jersey.
I didn't do very well. My back's been bothering me a bit and when I started hitting balls, it kept yelling at me to stop. The balls weren't getting into the air either. So I putted a few balls and then went to sit on the patio while I waited for the other ladies. What a gorgeous day to just soak up some sun.
Today I spent with sister #2, Mary-Ruth, who is a floral designer for special events. She wanted some feedback on her website so I went up to her house and we chatted about it. Then I helped her with computer things for special scrapbook items for 2 of the Lady Maryland Terrapins. I had a delightful time helping her ( at least I think I helped her) with some organizational aspects of all her family photos.
It was great to realize that sister #4 can help sister #2 and have great time while doing it.
I've entered, you can too at her blog Bear Bits.
Sunday, I met Mary-ellen, John and Ellen at the Country Club for breakfast. Tim, of course, was playing golf. Later, Tim, Mary-ellen , and I played bridge at the club with 4 other couples. A busy weekend, but great fun!
But today Tim was holding his annual Bowling league meeting, so I had to get everything ready for it. First, had to go to the store to get all the sodas and dessert. I came back and rather than let the sodas sit in the hot car all day, I dragged them out and put them in the refrigerator to chill. Then I needed to get the chairs setup and bag ice and order the pizza, so that everything would be ready when the people started to come.
So now I can sit back and relax and read while the meeting goes on downstairs.
nearly a week in Maine with my sister and great-niece,
and a few days at Deep Creek Lake with Tim's boss and his wife.
I had a great time at each spot, but I honestly am ready to settle into my own bed for awhile.
After a good night's sleep, I woke this morning and prepared for a trip to the General Knox House in Thomaston, Maine.
Tina, Kyla and I went to the Montpelier where we took a tour of the "home" of General Henry Knox. We were informed that the building was not the original, but a reproduction because the house had been badly cared for after the General's death and fallen into disrepair. It was eventually demolished and the DAR worked to have it reproduced on a new site ( the railroad had already taken over the original site). The ceiling and chair moldings were magnificent, the flying staircase was tremendous, and the reproduced wallpaper patterns were extremely interesting. But the most magnificent part was the oval ballroom with 2 fireplaces and doors that were actually curved. I did pick up a book about the homes of the Founding Fathers in the gift shop.
Afterward we went to lunch in a restaurant that resides in what was an old railway station. As rain began to fall we headed home and spent the rest of the afternoon with a friendly game of Maine Monopoly.
I'm starting a new feature on my book blog just to handle this - BOOK BUY BONANZAS!
Check it out!
Book Buy Bonanzas
Well, today I went to the driving range with Ellen.
Too bad that I can't follow my own instructions, because Ellen hit her first ball 125 yds. straight up the middle. Gee, I wish I could do that. I think that she is going to do great on the golf course, all she needs is encouragement.
Now, a group of 7 are headed to the golf course for some sun and fun!
Little Jackson had his first cereal this morning and I got to tape it on my camcorder. Then I got to rock him to sleep for his afternoon nap.
Tomorrow we may head to the pool or just blow up his pool for him.
Just holding him and cuddling is such a treat!
Today is Father's Day.
My dad has been gone now for 2½ years and I still miss him. I try to keep myself busy and spend time with my Mom but there is still that void. When I think about him, my eyes still tear up and I realize how really fortunate I was to have such a great man as my father. He wasn't someone who the world knew, but those that did were really lucky. If you were his friend or a member of his family, you were blessed. He showed me what a good man was, so that when I met my husband, I spotted one right off and made sure that I "caught him".
It's funny how it takes the loss of someone you love to realize how blessed you are by their being in your life. So, my friends, hug those in your life that are still with you, hold them close, because there will come a day when you won't be able to and you will regret not taking advantage of the opportunity when it had presented itself.
Hope you were all blessed with a great dad too.