Saturday, December 29, 2012


The quiet of tonight seemed like a good time to sit down and do a post about the new year. For some reason, the year, 2013, seems unbelievable. Maybe it's the fact that when I was a teenager, in the 1960's, a year with 2000 in front of it seemed so very, very far away. Yet here we are 13 years after the millenium. Life is amazing to me now. I knew I wanted to get married and have children. I wanted them to grow up to be wonderful people (which they did) and to have great lives of their own. Nothing prepared me for the joys of grandmotherhood, though. My greatest blessings are those babies and the one soon to be here.

2013 holds many hopes, dreams and challenges for me, I'm sure. Right off the bat, my son has heart surgery scheduled for the 10th. He had mitral valve replacement and a pacemaker insertion when he was 14. Now there is leakage around the valve which needs to be taken care of. The leak is rated severe. Luckily, the surgeon who will be doing the surgery developed the repair process and that helps somewhat. The Hubs and I will be going down to GA on the 9th and staying at least until Sunday. This procedure is done as a catherization so it's not open-heart, but there are still risks as in all surgical procedures.

Also, Abby's baby is due on January 28th. I am so excited and eager to meet this new little one. It's hard to believe that it is so close. It seems like just yesterday that she called and gave me the good news. So the year starts with a challenge and a joyful time for me.

I'm not much on making resolutions simply because I'm not very good at keeping them. My practical side says why make them when I know I'm going to forget about them by the second week of January. But this year, I have decided to, if not actually make resolutions, to at least set myself some goals to try to achieve.

All the heartbreak and destruction of 2012 made me realize that kindess is something that we all can do and it doesn't cost a dime. So my first goal of 2013 is to try to do one random act of kindess each month. I hope I can do that more often but at least once a month, I want to help someone and make their day a little more cheerful. It's not something that I will blog about because I personally feel that acts of kindness are better if they are not broadcast about. It will be enough that I know what I did.

My second goal is to visit my children and grandchildren at least once a month. This shouldn't have to be in my goal list but given my health issues, I never know how I will feel. So my plans are to just go when I'm feeling relatively good.

Third on my list is to read at least one book a month in 2013. This will be a rather easy goal to accomplish since I have a Kindle. I have always loved holding a book in my hands and losing myself in the pages but over the past few months, it has become harder to do that. My hands and wrists become weary and achy while trying to keep the book open, especially the longer, thicker books that I so enjoy. Being able to read on my Kindle has made all the difference and I think, as long as I can enjoy reading, it is well worth it.

The fourth item should be easy to do, also. I want to be really crafty this year. I have so many projects swirling around in my head and on my Ravelry list, that I could work each and every day and still not get them done. I'm not putting a deadline on myself for this because, again, my hands, elbows and shoulders don't always cooperate and I have to lay anything I'm working on aside for a few days at a time. But I want to be productive and have more FO's this year. All the creativity in Blogland is so inspiring and just makes me itch to get in there and do stuff.

That's pretty much it for goals. Of course, there's always lose weight, walk more, be more organized, etc, etc, etc. but these are the "resolutions" I always fail at. So this year, one day at a time, I am going to try to assess where I am and to improve. Step by step, I hope to be an improvement over my 2012 self. But the goals I have put down in my blog will be the ones I concentrate on most.

Happy New Year to you, all my bloggy friends. I hope the new year brings you joy, love, laughter, and good health.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

What a wonderful Christmas I had this year! Our family all met at my sister's house for Christmas, well, everyone except Abby and Doug. They had decided not to travel for Christmas as the baby is due in a little over a month so we had a skype session with them! Having 3 grandbabies in the house made this Christmas extra special and next year we will have 4. I can't wait!!!!!!

I was met at the door by my two year old granddaughter. She followed me to the tree and when I put my packages down, she wrapped her arms around my legs and gave me a BIG hug. Oh my, I was beaming from head to toe! Lilly has not been that affectionate before, but she's starting to come into her personality and she's just adorable. She is talking quite a bit, not always understandable but still, she knows what she means. Ella is 4 now and I got a big hug from her also but she was more interested in playing with my niece. She's a BIG GIRL now. :)

Lilly was fascinated with my sister's nativity scene. She liked moving the animals and baby Jesus around and turning the crank so the music would play. Eli was all over the place crawling and pulling up. I tell you, it was a fantastic Christmas!

 Elijah gets some refreshment before the gift opening begins.
 My niece, Emalee, my son Doug and my DIL, Trisha. Elijah attacking a package.
Lilly opening her Doc McStuffins doctor kit. This was a big hit with both her and Ella. 
 Elijha liked the paper.
Elijah is all boy already. He loves trucks. 
 Elijah and Lilly
 We got Lilly a Minnie Mouse Doll. She is all about Minnie Mouse. I think she liked it.
 Doug opening his bow ties.
 Trisha and Elijah
 Sweet baby boy Elijah.

 B-I-L Donat, son Doug, Elijah and Ella. I got very few photos of Ella; she moved around too much.
Finally, Ella.

We had a wonderful meal, wonderful gifts and a wonderful time. Abby and Doug (sil) opened their gifts while on Skype. The adults, with the exception of my mother, draw names each year and then we all buy for the kids. 

The Hubs and I had a quiet Christmas together on Christmas Day. We opened our gifts after breakfast. I was going to make pancakes for breakfast but the Hubs said he was still full from Monday night. I made a huge pot of beef stew on Monday. It was so good since the weather was cold and windy. 

The Hubs is not an easy man to buy for. I bought him 2 bgs of pistachios and a kitchen scale. It turned out to be too small so I will be returning it and buying a bigger one. I also ordered him a couple more things Christmas night when he finally gave me some ideas. He's not a big gift person and really doesn't like to ask for things so getting ideas from him can be tricky.

When I gave him my list earlier in the month, he wasn't too happy with it. I asked for pj's, a robe and houseshoes or moccasins. He doesn't like to buy clothes for me now because I have such a hard time finding things that fit and feel good. I also had put gift cards or gift certificates on my list. The man does not like to give GC's. He doesn't like to get them, either. I adore them but he just has no use for them. So I wracked my brain trying to come up with things he could get me. 

I finally had a bright idea. I stopped by my local cross stitch shop and picked out 7 or 8 charts that I had been looking at. I explained to the owner (who thankfully is a great friend, also) that I wanted to spend X dollars and that of those charts, any would be fine. With certain charts, I asked her to add fabric and with others, I was happy with just the chart. I told her I was going to go run some more errands and that I would be back in an hour if that would be enough time. I also told her to be sure to close the bag tightly so I couldn't see what was inside. After an hour, I went back by and picked up my Christmas present. When my husband got home that night, I told him his present to me was on the bed. He was puzzled until I explained what I had done. He loved it. He said that was the easiest shopping he had ever done! Men was something, aren't they? 

Christmas Eve, he disappeared into the basement for a while. I heard the saw running and scraping and such but since he had gotten a digital saw gauge for Christmas at my sister's, I figured he was just playing around. Christmas morning when we went into the living room to open gifts, there, under the tree, was a french rolling pin. He had made and shaped it the night before. I was thrilled. I haven't had a rolling pin for several years as the one I had kept falling apart and I finally threw it away. I love my new rolling pin, handmade by my sweet Hubby. He can still surprise me after 40 years.

Below is what I got at our family Christmas on Saturday. I found this book on Amazon after seeing a post about it on Facebook. It really does have some great recipes but it is hilariously funny to read. :)


I wanted something to do Christmas Eve and Christmas night, so I started the sorting bowls by Kimberly at Seriouly Daisies. I've wanted to make these for a while and they are so easy to do. I started with the smallest bowl and I'm using the leftover yarn from Jellybean's blanket so they will be bright colors. I'm making 3 sets, one for the GA grandkids, one for Jellybean and one for the little boy across the street who is my "Morristown grandson". 

And finally, Jellybean's blanket has made it way to Mt Juliet to await the arrival of my fourth grandchild. Abby posted this photo on Facebook:
Soft cats, cows and bears snuggled under the blanket patiently waiting for Jellybean.

One more thing, Amanda at Crafty in the Med is having a giveaway to celebrate 
her 100th post. Do drop over and visit and sign up. What hooky fan wouldn't want this book?????

As always, thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful day/night wherever you might be.


Friday, December 21, 2012


I just dropped by for a quick post. I want to wish all my bloggy friends a wonderful, happy, joyful Christmas. May the peace and love of this season be with you and your family. Enjoy this time with those you love.

I'll be back after Christmas with something I hope you will enjoy.

Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Good morning, lovely bloggers. What a pretty, sunshiney, COLD day we have here today. I will welcome the cold as long as the sun shines. The past few days of cold and rain have not been good for these old bones.

Are you ready for Christmas? I have everything except a present for the Hubs. He is one of the hardest people in the world to buy for because he really doesn't want or need anything. He's one of those people who, if he needs it, he goes and gets it. We are both at a point in our lives that we honestly don't need anything. But like I told him yesterday. I love giving gifts and to be honest, I like getting them; not quite as much as I like gifting, but who doesn't like have a present to open.

I finally got all the decorations up and out that I'm going to do. Since it's only 6 days until Christmas, I think it's about time. I have presents to wrap, mostly for the grandkids. I LOVE buying gifts for them.

This is a photo frame that I received for Mother's Day this year. As you all know by now, I'm not the speediest person on the planet and I have just now gotten photos in it. The Hubs is faster hanging things than I am getting them ready.

All my grandbabies, even Jellybean. *smile*

Below are some of the decorations on my tree. As you can tell, the snowman love is very evident on the tree.

These are some ornaments I cross stitched 30 years ago. I didn't realize it had been that long. I love all things Disney also and these are so precious to me.

There are actually 12 of them including, Mickey, Bambi, Pluto, etc. These are all done on hardanger over 1. That was when I could still see to work on hardanger.

My snowmen and Santa collection.

And finally, the Christmas cards from my kids. I love them.

I hope each of you have a wonderful day. Thanks for stopping by.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Finally......An FO!!!!!!

It's finished. I finally have a finished piece to blog about. I finished Jellybean's blanket last night and both Abby and I are pleased with it. Now I have to get it in the mail to her. I loved this project. It is really an easy pattern and really shouldn't have taken me so long to finish, but life gets in the way sometimes.

Now I think I'll take a little break before starting on some cross stitch. My hands have so wanted to pick up some cross stitch the last few months.

I have yarn stashed to make a blanket for my bed using this pattern and to make this afghan, but those are for the new year.

I bought materials to do a canvas stitching and I have Elijah's birth sampler to work on so I will be happily stitching for the new few weeks, or longer.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful day wherever you might be.

The tragedy of today is beyond words. There is no making sense of this. Children lost their lives today along with adults charged with teaching and caring for them. Parents lost that special part of them that belong to their children. Right now, I am sad beyond words. There is nothing else to say except my thoughts and prayers are with those families who lost someone today.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


This little bear is Theodore. Theodore came to live with me 11 years ago. He was a gift from my nephew and niece after I spent Christmas in the hospital. Theodore means a lot to me, not only because of the sweet little ones who gave him to me, but also of what he reminds me.

Sunday before Christmas, 2001, was not a good day for me. I had been sick all weekend with what I thought was the flu. I couldn't eat and had spent almost all day in the bathroom. My son and soon-to-be DIL had come for a visit and I was so weak that I had trouble taking a shower. All I wanted to do was sleep. After they left, I went back to bed but soon had to go to the bathroom again. I passed out while on the commode and fell into the floor. This was the first time I had ever passed out and I didn't fully understand what had happened, just that for some reason I was lying in the floor and my husband was trying to get me up. He finally had to tell me to stop fighting and let him help me. When he got me back to bed, he took my blood pressure or tried to. There wasn't much of one, which scared him enough to call 911. He got me dressed before the EMT's arrived and I was lying there wondering what all the fuss was about. I wasn't in any pain and other than being very light headed, didn't think an ambulance was necessary.

After my first ever ride in an ambulance (there are a lot of firsts in this story), we arrived at the ER and I was whisked into a room and examined. The doctor ordered an Xray and off I went to get that done. The technician wanted me to stand up so he could get a clear picture but since I was so weak, he let me sit on a stool. After getting me positioned, he stepped back to press the button and I threw up. Lots and lots of dark fluid which the technician called "coffee grounds". Back I went to the room and everyone seemed to be moving at a quicker pace. I was told I needed to have a tube to my stomach and the young nurse was going to do that. This tube had to go through my nose and down my esophagus to my stomach. Bless her heart, now I can feel sorry for her but at the time, I was just irritated that she couldn't get it down to my stomach. The tube kept coming out my mouth and I finally told her (not asked) to just stop! I told my husband I wanted to go home, that all of this was ridiculous, that I wasn't sick. I had thrown up, got all the nasty out and I was feeling much better so it was time to go home. He just stared at me and didn't say a word. The EMT in the ER came into the room and told me I had to have the tube because I needed my stomach pumped. Nope, says I, I'm going home. Nope, says he, you are not. Yep, says I, I am. Nope, says he, you have a life threatening situation going on and we need to do this.

Hmmmm, that stopped me in my tracks. Life threatening??? Ooookkkkaaaayyyyy. So I let them do the tube and between the doctor and the EMT, they got it down to my stomach. Immediately, lots of stuff came out. It seems I was bleeding in my stomach. So off we went upstairs. I asked where we were going and the guy tells me we are off to the CCU. For the life of me, I could not figure out what those intials stood for. I must have had a quizzical look on my face because he explained that I was going to the Critical Care Unit. Oh, hmmmm, this must be serious.

Anyway, after an endoscope the next morning, the doctor who had my case, explained that I had 3 ulcers with one measuring 4 cm. Apparently that is a BIG ulcer, but while he was doing the endoscope, he had lasered all of them to stop the bleeding. I spent 5 days in CCU including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. To be perfectly honest, I never felt like I was sick. I felt extremely tired but otherwise, I felt fine and if they would have let me out of bed, I felt like I could dance a jig. But getting out of bed was out of the question. I ended up during that hospital stay getting 10 units of blood and 2 units of plasma. The body holds between 4 and 5 liters of blood so I had a complete oil change, twice!

I finally got to come home on Saturday, having spent almost a complete week in the hospital and totally blowing Christmas celebrations with my family. I felt really bad about that but everyone was more concerned about me than about the celebrations. I didn't realize at the time, and I still find it hard to believe today, that I was close to death. I told my mother when she came in to the CCU on one of her visits that there were a lot fo sick people in there. My goodness, there was man next door to me who had breathing problems and a bad heart; the woman on the other side was diabetic and had ulcers like I did, and the man on the other side of her passed away while I was there. I mean, these people were sick!! I felt fine. My mother, with a shocked look on her face, asked me what I thought I was? Maybe I just didn't have enough sense to know and that was a blessing.

The week after I came home, my sister, nephew and niece came to see me. They wanted to get me a gift and my sister took them to Build-A-Bear Workshop to get a teddy bear for me. Gavin was 3 and Emalee was just past 1. They were so sweet. Gavin told me that they both kissed the little heart, hugged it and put love in it before it was put in the bear. I treasure this little bear.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Hello, all my dear bloggy friends. I've been missing in action lately. I wish I could say it was because I was hooking and decorating and baking and all that, but alas, it's not been. I've been having some joint pain and dealing with being really cold. Our weather, up until today, has been very mild with temps in the uppers 60's and even low 70's some days. But I have been really, really cold. I've been wearing sweat pants and sweaters along with my socks and slippers. I can't seem to get warm. Today it has rained all day and the temps have been in the 50's but I've managed to stay comfortable. Go figure. I know that being anemic can cause you to be chillier than others and after the last doctor visit, my BC was low. Apparently, there is a possibility that my body isn't absorbing the iron I take everyday.

I finally got into the mood to clean the living room this weekend, boxing up and putting away all manner of mess. I have tended over the past several months, to just put my newly purchased yarn or cross stitch supplies in one spot and they have piled up. Bags, shopping totes, charts, books, etc. On the other side of the room were boxes from my in-laws' home which my sister-in-law wanted us to go through. There were boxes of material, crocheted doilies, yarn, photos, and lots of other things. I have managed to go through everything but it was still sitting in boxes and needed to be gathered together in one spot and stored away. All of that had to be done before I could even think about where the tree would go. So I worked and worked and worked and got everything put away or stored away. It feels so good to have everything neat (well, sort of)

The chest behind the glider is a Christmas present from the Hubbs several years ago. He drew up plans and had a cabinet maker do the project. It looks like several drawers but is actually two drawers on top and then doors. Behind the doors are 3 more drawers, one very deep to hold all my books. I absolutely love it.

Also the cross stitch piece in the stitching frame is one my mother-in-law was working on when she passed away. As a family, we all decided not to finish it but to display it in her memory.

I talked the Hubbs into moving the sofa so the tree could go between the windows. AND the tree is up. It hasn't been fluffed yet which will have to be done before any lights or ornaments go on. Poor tree.

I've paid dearly today for all the shuffling I did on the weekend. Bad, bad back pain and shoulder pain. So no fluffing, no decoration, nil. Sometimes I feel I take one step forward and two back but at least I'm moving!

I also filled a photo frame my son and daughter-in-law gave me for Mother's Day this year. Speedy, I'm not but when I finally make my mind up, it does get done.

My goodness, what a rambling post. I guess I just had to get things written down tonight. Hopefully, I will soon be able to show you the decorated tree and all my snowmen. I still have presents to buy (just a few, thank goodness) and presents to wrap. I don't think there will be much, if any, baking. We neither one need the sweets.

I have so enjoyed seeing all your decorations and crafty things you are doing for Christmas. It has put me in the mood quicker than usual. Thank you, dear friends.

Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day wherever you might be.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

December is here

Hidey-ho, blogger friends. Wow, December 1 is here. Where has this year gone? Soon we will be celebrating Christmas and then a brand new year will be upon us.  Life seems to move faster and faster as I get older. Does it for you? I have so much crafty stuff I want to do and so many books I want to read. If time keeps going this fast, how will I fit it all in? Of course, it would help if I wasn't so lazy busy, ahem!
Okay, that was joke. I'm far from too busy to craft and read, but my old friend, Procrastination, has moved back in and I don't see him leaving anytime soon. So I'll just have to make the best of it and try to keep Procrast locked up somewhere. He's sneaky though. He can talked me into letting him have full run of the place so easily. I guess I'm just a soft touch.

Playing around on Facebook today, I saw a post for this cookbook. Have any of you seen this? Fifty Shades of Chicken

Fifty Shades of Chicken: A Parody in a Cookbook

It is a real cookbook but is written from the chicken's point of view. So, so funny. It has gone on my wish list. I so want to read, um, try the recipes.

Christmas decorating is getting a slow start at The Front Porch. I can't get the Hubs motivated to bring up the decoration or get the tree set up. I really and truly want a new tree this year. I have even considered getting a live tree just for the nostalgia. I have always loved the smell of a live tree but the hassel of keeping them watered and then the mess from the needles. And since it's only the Hubs and me and we probably won't be having any little kiddies around, it does seem like a lot to do. We will be visiting the grands instead of them coming here and my sister is hosting the Christmas gathering, so does it seem silly to want a real, live tree?

I have a lot of snowmen I need to get out and put on my table. I want to find a tablecloth my Mom made me several years ago. She crocheted one for both my sister and I. I don't use it since it is for a rectangle table and I have a round one now, but I'm thinking it would be pretty on the antique drop leaf table with all the snowmen arranged on top. Maybe a red or green cloth underneath. Hmmmm, have to work on that.

It is a bright sunny day here with a temp of 63 F. Much better than the first of the week with such gray cloudy skies and all the rain. My joints did not enjoy that at all. I much prefer the sun even when the temps are cold. I don't like cold weather but having some pretty blue skies takes the edge off.

This was the way the skies looked on Monday.

And this is how they look today.

So much better, don't you think?

Even Bandit didn't enjoy they gray skies. He came in to sleep in the office.

So that's it for today. Hopefully, next time I will at least have so Christmasy photos so show you. I'll leave you with this quote:

“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” 
― Charles M. Schulz

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you have a wonderful day wherever you might be.