Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tears of Joy

I spent Saturday evening staring at these flowers, yes, it was just like this - a little blurry, looking through the happy tears of a mom.  I found myself doing mother of the bride things and saying (truthfully) how happy we are that our only daughter has found a good man and we hope and pray the rest of their lives will be blessed.  They seem made for each other - perfect for each other in lots of ways.  He's even a nice fit for our family (I sometimes feel like Dad chose him - he likes a lot of the same things my husband likes - except he cheers for Texas and Dad is an Aggie and will always cheer for Texas A&M - but I understand that this can happen in the best of families).

We (mom & dad) got to plan the dinner for the reception, everything else was Baby's idea. The cakes had to taste homemade and they had to look beautiful (no fondant). She chose all the flowers - arrangements, bouquets and boutonnieres. Candles, low lighting, blazing fireplace, and bubbles (no rice). I won't go into the wedding dress details - I need a drink every time I think about it. At some point (last week!) I gave in and returned my beautiful blue dress and went with the black outfit she picked out (I wouldn't do this for just anyone).

After all the weeks of craziness everything came together and we had a wonderful evening.

The ceremony was sweet, made all the better by the minister, the groom's cousin.  He and his family came from Tennessee to be a part of this happy occasion.  It seemed like everyone was there - from four grandmas to a trio of little nieces (something new for Baby) - lots of family and friends.  We had a fun evening, lots of food and flowers and music.  Got to dance at my Baby's wedding and it was a good thing.

Now we are cleaning up, and taking back the rented and borrowed items that helped make this day special. 

My house, so full this past week that family was sleeping on the floor, is quiet. 

Some day soon things will return to normal - it will be a new normal, we will all adjust.  I've promised not to call after 7 p.m. and I don't expect them to be with us at every family event in the years to come.  Do parents become unnecessary after a wedding?  Will she not need me to comfort her when she skins her knee or a friend buys to same earrings and insists on wearing them when Baby is wearing hers?

I brought a few of the flowers home and although they look purple in
 this picture, these hydrangeas were maroon on Saturday night. 

Baby is very creative and her flowers were beautiful - she even mixed in a little maroon with all her orange and white blooms. I got a call from her on Sunday, lots of thanks, a few quick stories, and a favor to ask. "Mom, could you save me a few of the hydrangeas?"

Of course I can. I'm mom - it's good to know I'm still needed.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

For Those About to Shop

The Christmas season has arrived. 


Be safe.

Enjoy yourself.

I'm not opposed to spending money, giving gifts, feasting or merry making -
I'll probably do that and more - and blog about it. 

I love this time of year. 
I also know you can not buy love or the perfect Christmas.

There was only one perfect Christmas.

No strings of lights.
No beautiful ornaments on the tree.
No blow up snowman on the front lawn.
No Martha Stewart napkins, tablecloth, or chafing dish on the table.
No one singing 'Silent Night.'

Just a stable.
A few animals.
A couple far from home.
And a baby in the manager.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Theodore Baker, in 1894, took a Dutch hymn and gave it English words. 

"We Gather Together"

We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing;
he chastens and hastens his will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to his name, he forgets not his own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
ordaining, maintaining his kingdom divine;
so from the beginning the fight we were winning;
thou, Lord, wast at our side, all glory be thine!

We all do extol thee, thou leader triumphant,
and pray that thou still our defender wilt be.
Let thy congregation escape tribulation;
thy name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

All of my life (so far) when I have heard this song I have thought of Thanksgiving Day.  This day for my family is a break from the every day routine - we gather together with family and friends, we enjoy special foods, lots of talk, silliness, prayers of thanksgiving, stories of the past year and of long ago - and a little football.  You can have turkey any day of the year - it's always best on Thanksgiving.  Whatever you are doing this Thursday I hope and pray you are given a clear and beautiful vision of how wonderful our world is. 

God bless us all.

One more thing I'm thankful for -  We've had no killing frost, so I still have a few
blooms in my garden, Pink Salvia Greggii and White Lantana.
I transplanted them a couple of years ago and didn't realize I was moving two plants in
the same ball of dirt, they have grown together into a beautiful arrangement.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Making a List

(Note to readers: I call all my children 'Baby' - that's how I see them.   Also, they refuse to let me use their names in my blog.) 

I'm enjoying the preparations for Baby's wedding and the activities connected to this happy family occasion.   And Christmas is just over a month away - I love this time of year.  

Things are busy in our home.   I guess it is true that I am a list making control freak and when I look down at a To Do List that looks more like a state road map than a cute little list of ten items or less, I feel a bit 'off.'   I feel like... you know that queasy feeling you get when you're going to fly, not because you're about to sit in a chair in the sky, but because you have to be at the airport at a specific time or they won't let you go with them?  I feel a bit like that.

Everything, fun stuff to serious stuff has a deadline, there are no "When you get around to it" kind of projects that I like.  Yes, I have my priorities and I'm working my list from the top to the bottom, but sometimes I find myself working on a project in the middle of another project and making a list for something else.

Lately, standing in the check out line, I feel the covers of magazines are shouting to me that I would be more efficient if I did one task at a time "Stop Multi-Tasking, take control of your time and your life and get more done!"  One human to another - please tell me when did people not multi-task?  We used to call it life.  Maybe we just notice the multi-tasking because we now take the time to write down the all the stuff that has to get done.

I'm trying to do it all with a smile on my face, maybe even a song in my heart.  A smile - not a grimace.  A song in my heart - a happy song, not "Wanted Dead or Alive."

One of my non-wedding tasks to accomplish was "Put up outside Christmas lights."  Scheduled for after the wedding - I have it right here on my list.  Guess what, I did it.  Well, actually I hired a company to do it (sometimes you just have to delegate).  A little ahead of our usual time, but they were in the neighborhood on Wednesday so I worked with their schedule.  We can wait to turn the lights on. 

Turned them on for just a few minutes to take this shot. 
Probably somewhere in the neighborhood someone is commenting on the
crazy neighbors who already have their Christmas lights up.

Job done, check mark on To Do List, ready to move on to another task.  Smile on my face, song in my heart - a Christmas song, I think.  Yep, I can hear it now, "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer."


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Secret Santa Soiree Update

I've been shopping for my Secret Santa Soiree partner, trying to follow all the rules posted by Suzanne of  ColoradoLady fame.

After reading my partner's blog, and her SSS Question and Answer, I started to plan for her surprise.  I seem to be finding lots of little things instead of one big gift.  It turns out my SSS partner has strange needs and wants. Who doesn't? I'm trying my best to surprise her.  So far I've been to the mall (didn't get anything there - I just like to go to the mall), the fabric shop, a bookstore, and a few other places around town collecting her Christmas treats.

After a long day, I've come home to make one of my favorite wintertime drinks.  I guess my family thinks of this as a winter drink because it was in the winter when our Baby made us watch "The Big Lebowski."  I can't recommend this movie, I didn't care for the language or the plot - if there was one - and something about John Goodman really creeps me out...  Face it, except for Sam Elliott and the White Russian - the movie is a total waste. 

Since it appears Mr. Elliott isn't able to join us tonight, we'll just have to make do with a White Russian... 

1 1/2 oz.  Vodka
2  oz. Kahlua
2 1/2 oz Cream (yes, whipping cream... don't worry, it's o.k., it's almost Christmas)

Hand full of ice

Put everything into a cocktail shaker. Shake until top is frosty.

Pour into your favorite old fashioned glass.


Tell me, is it really a White Russian if it's made with Texas Vodka?


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thank You Veterans

Here in the U.S. we will celebrate Veterans' Day on Friday, November 11.  We've been celebrating this date in some form or fashion since November 1919 when our nation stopped to remember the service and sacrifice of everyone who had served in "the war to end all wars"  - WWI. 

President Woodrow Wilson gave us permission to take a break from work on the the 11th of each November, to fly an American flag, to pray, and to have peaceful relations with other nations.  I've sort of paraphrased the actual bill, which down through the years has been tweaked by several different sessions of congress and a few presidents, but the gist of it all is this: 

America is the land of the free
because of the brave.

I have the pleasure to know many fine men and women who serve or have served in the U. S. military.  Some of them I love so much and am so proud of I get a bit teary eyed just thinking about all this.

This is my day to thank you all.  May God bless you and keep you safe.  May you come home for us to love and may your grandchildren beg you to tell them stories of your adventures.

I also live in hope that some day we will have to explain to our children what war was.



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Hunt Continues

My quest for house numbers continues.  I'm serious about this, I want something clever - but not too cute.  I would also like to finish this project before Christmas.

Life Lesson:  When you tell your husband you'll go shopping with him wherever he wants to go, keep in mind he may not choose an antique mall or a quilt shop. 

...where would I put the house number?...

We found this little beauty in Bass Pro Shop or Cabela's - sorry I can't remember which store, the day was kind of a blur.  Yes, I did say I wanted our entry way to be something visitors would remember.  And I vaguely remember saying something about wanting people to leave with a smile on their face. 

I can tell you it didn't come home with us. 

I hope it doesn't show up in my Christmas stocking.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Time and Again

I am trying hard not to complain but this time change thing is not something I look forward to.  I've gotten used to getting up and watching the sunrise at a decent hour.  I'm usually on my second cup of coffee and the colors are breathtaking.  Morning walks can start at just before 8:00 a.m.  Life is good.

I have also been enjoying soft sunsets.  I like the way the sun hangs on to the western sky and slowly slips away.  The shadows are different in the autumn - how do they do that?

via wallpapers.net

The "Spring Ahead" part works because for so many years I've gone in such a rush it is easy for me to believe I've lost an hour.  Of course I have.  In all my comings and goings I could simply misplace a bit of time, along with a bunch of other stuff.  I'm sure it's around here somewhere.

It is the idea that I'm being given an hour that really messes with my brain. 

"You'd do that for me?"

"A whole hour?"

"How thoughtful."

"It's just what I've always wanted."

Something about the "Fall Back" time change makes me want to go to bed at 7:10 p.m. and get up at 3:30 a.m.  Maybe if I get up really, really early on Sunday morning it will all make sense.  But I'll probably do what most people do and just enjoy my extra hour of sleep.  That's just it - I'll be asleep when it happens - how do I really know I'm getting an extra hour? 

If you are gaining an hour this weekend, enjoy it, you might as well, it's yours - well, that's what I've heard.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Question and Answer

I'd like to ask a few questions:

What if God created men and women truly equal?

What if, in the eyes of our Creator, there is
no difference in black, brown, red, white, or yellow?

How would your world be different
if you knew in your heart
no one is better
than you?

Is there anyone out there who doubts the existence of  God?

Well, I have proof positive that
God is alive
and well
and loves us all.

That's right, SPANX for men. 

As seen in a well known department store at the mall -
just before they threw me out for taking pictures with my phone. 

O.K., they didn't really throw me out,
but the sales associate did ask if she could help
in a "you'll have to put away that camera" sort of way.

I put my phone in my purse and walked away thinking,

"God is good."