My blog is a way for me to share in the wonder of each day. I know there are others like me that due to medical issues have our days numbered and would like to make the most of them in a positive and gifting way for ourselves and for those around us.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Ok, so Christmas is here today and so am I! (Yea!) My husband and I are enjoying a wonderfully quiet and peaceful Christmas day together along with Myrtle of course. We opened our gifts to each other and gave Myrtle her doggie stocking full of goodies and toys. She has been chasing balls around all over the house and teasing and enticing us to play with her by bringing her ball/toy to us and bumping our legs wirh a 'playful' little growl that begs attention. It usually works and we all have a little game of throw and fetch and of course chase as she expects us to chase her from room to room. Rick does most of that of course.
Rick has been working so many hours and days for a long time and then I've spent my time away at the 'Inn" in my 'suite' (hospital) so these 4 days off this week are a real blessing and truly enjoyed. Just sitting around doing nothing together and watching Myrtle play or whine to get attention is all we need for entertainment. Oops, well almost since there is the newest discovery by my husband of the sportsmans channel where he can watch hunting and fishing all day and all night if he wants. I can join in of course and I do for a little while but enough is enough for me like right now while I'm taking this break to do a little blogging.
I have made several Christmas Day calls to family and friends which is a nice way to share the day without all the travel and hullabaloo. We still have one more day of Christmas Cheer tomorrow as we go to our in-laws for a meal and game and then home where my daughter and sister and families will gather for a little while.
No matter what religion or beliefs a person has, I think this season has a reason and all people can use it as a time to share good feelings and good food and good deeds for and with others, whether that is with family or friends or strangers just needing a helping hand. I hope you are one of those people and I hope I'm one of them too. Please look for the good in the people around you and show them the giving side of you.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chrisrtmas Joy!

This is where my mind is right now! Wish I was there.....

Well, I've finally returned to the blogging world after a brief (month) rest in some of my favorite private rooms at the "Inn". I would say "I'm baack!" again but then it would have been 'again' and 'again' and 'again' since I have had multiple trips to the hospital in the last month. (4 to be exact. Hence the reason it's been since November 1st since I last blogged).

I'll tell you, every time I've spent time locked up in a little room that I laughingly call my 'suite', and generally tied to my bed by cords and hoses and monitors, I feel like I've been there for ever and the four walls just keep closing in on me.

When I finally do leave I really do feel like an excapee from prison. On the way home while my husband or daughter or sister drives, I look at the world outside with a new wonder. The trees look alive and the motion of the cars is exciting. Birds in the air are a wonder and people going by just keep me busy trying to figure out what they have been doing that day.

I have actually felt like looking over my shoulder and almost felt guilty, thinking I would be in trouble for leaving. I know that may sound strange but being confined for long periods really does something to my psyche (sp?) While on the way home I begin to breathe deeper and I get excited when we drive up to the house in anticipation of seeing Myrtle again. You would not believe how much a person can miss a dog and I know she has missed me. Since I'm usually a little weaker and Myrtle would knock me over in her excitement, I stay in the car as they let her outside. She runs to my open car door and jumps up enough to kiss my face all over with love (the only time I allow her to apply her slobbers on my face). Her back end and tail are wagging back and forth so far and so fast her butt travels sideways in a wide swinging arc of wild joy! Her bully dogge face actually smiles, even with the saggy cheeks and we are in heaven, even if only for a few moments, together.

I stayed in the hospital just long enough that Rick and Brenda got the tree put up and decorated so I didn't have to lift a finger but I've been able to enjoy the scene. Now, the gift wrapping has begun and it seems to be never ending even though we really cut back this year in dollar amounts just like most people. It's a good thing Rick shops throughout the year and I got some early shopping done in early November otherwise no one would be getting much of anything. The grandkids would definitely be dissapointed but then life does happen.

Anyway, we are planning on having a wonderful Christmas filled with family and friends and I am planning on being home for Christmas this year for sure and healthier too.

This year that song "I'll be home for Christmas" really does have deep meaning for me. I have had to spend Christmas in the hospital in the past and have been in right up till just a couple of days before a few times too. It's always a close call that way every year, even for Thanksgiving just as it was this year.

I know I'm going on and on about the hospital but that has literally been my life so much the last several years and I deal with it by talking about it. No sympathy needed, it's just something many people have to deal with whether because of illness or accident and then to boot, the hospital is really a lonely time during the holidays.

I know I preach this alot but if you know someone who is alone in the hospital or at home during the holidays, please give them a call or a visit or at least a nice card or a sweet. Just let them know you know they exist and you care.

SHARE yourself at Christmas!

That is the best gift you can give anyone at anytime. MERRY CHRISTMAS Y'ALL!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

One of my past paintings and not a great photo of it, but this is the kind of country my husband and Dad are hunting in right now. Rick got a small 2 point today which is the only bagged mule deer in the bunch so far. Looks like we will be having some yummy venison meals this winter and I will definitely be looking forward to it.

Here we go again, the 'holidays'

What fun, what a bother,
stress for some, relaxation for others,
lots of work and too little time,
many on our lists and not enough money,
more purchases on top of bills or handmade gifts,
time with family and friends,
food galore and sweets abound,
but some go hungry and long for a full tummy.
kids bouncing on beds with excitement
and adults too sometimes.
Depression and loneliness for some
or too much music, laughter
and crowded homes for others,
stimulus overload and wishes for a silent night.
Missing loved ones or making up for lost time.
Remembering those who have gone on before us
and won't be with us this year
or inviting a lonely person or family
to share in our joy and abundance.
Family members away to war
or fighting gang wars right here at home.
From 50 to 100 or 1 to 49,
This Holiday season will touch us all somehow.
RJM 2009

What ever your thoughts or state mind and spirit, the holidays represent a time of extremes. If we remember that this next two months will be the most stressful months of the year for many, maybe we can be a little more prepared to work together to make it more enjoyable for ourselves and others around us.

Sometimes simpler is really better and if you start feeling stressed and pressured to keep up with traditions or expensive plans for Thanksgiving or Christmas, remember what the holiday really represents and go back to the basics. You may find this year to be the most enjoyable one you and your family will have.

Here are a few 'simpler' ideas but afterwards please make a list of your own to see what you can do to get back to the basics and fully enjoy the true meaning and reason for the season coming up. You may be creating new traditions that your family will remember and treasure the most. Please comment with some of your own ideas as I would love to hear them.

1. Tree or no tree. For some, especially the elderly, the chore of getting either a live tree or even setting up a 'fake' one as I call them is just too much. You can either buy a very small 'fake' tree that can set on a coffee table or end table which takes up little room and only needs a few little ornaments to make it pretty.
A fun craft is to make your own little tree with several readers digest magazines. I will add the instructions for making one in a future post well before Christmas. Offer to set up someones tree for them if they are not able but would still like to enjoy having one in their home.

2. Instead of exchanging expensive gifts among family adults, ask each to either make a small craft (wood, metals, fabrics, photos or painting. Even a personal letter letting that person know what they mean to you and how they have positively touched your life can make a very special gift. Just for fun, there is always the white elephant or gag gifts for the fun loving groups and these can have a dollar amount limit.

3. For kids, getting them involved with making and creating special gifts for others gives them a sense of acomplishment and they can realize that giving is actually enjoyable and good for them too. Even a homemade Christmas card colored with crayons can be special. NOTE: Every year I helped my children and foster children make gifts for their families and grandparents. We made wood crafts, homemade bread one year and pies the next. We made Christmas cards with white paper and glued yarn on the front to create Christmas scenes.

For a few years we made special Christmas baskets made out of whatever materials we could come up with and then we filled them with a few pieces of fruit, nuts and candy and then made little angel ornaments with noodles and painted them gold. These baskets were given to elderly people around our block and area that we knew were alone or had no family near.

4. Sharing with others: We usually host a fun Christmas party for some our extended family and friends and we try to include one or two neighbors or friends who are alone for the holidays or have a spouse in the war, etc. It's fun to get to know other people and they definitely gain the sense of family while they are with us.

5. Offering your time to other's can be a wonderful gift and giving a personal card with a 'gift certificate' from you offering or promising your time to help a neighbor clean out their garage, or a colleage help on a special project. Maybe, if you have a special talent you can offer that as a gift. A person's time is usually precious, especially now-a-days with all the hustle and bustle and technology. Whether you are too busy or just don't notice, there is always someone around you that needs a helping hand once in awhile.

6. If big meals are usually part of your holiday plans and you are usually the one to put on the 'feast' of the day, maybe you need to change to a potluck approach which let's everyone feel like they've shared in the meal. Don't be afraid to ask for some help for preperations before a get to gether and for help getting things put back in order afterwards.
Sometimes guests just don't know what you need or don't feel comfortable stepping in at someone elses home. I've always used a 'we're all at home' approach and I will usually delegate small dinner chores, even to guests if they seem interested. What a better way to make someone more comfortable in sharing time and a meal then to make them part of the process and part of the team.

There are so many more ideas and useful ways to make your life easier during the holidays but I would like to hear yours, ok? Please comment with your own ideas and I'll try to add them on my next post.
What an oportune time to gift yourself to someone this season.
I can't wait!

Monday, October 12, 2009

From Summer, straight to Winter?

Here's a flurry of pictures showing what I/we have been up to recently.......

Brrrrr.... What a way to start Fall!
The beautiful leaf mats was the idea given by Brenda. She has done this every year with her girls. We had a good time making these after collecting different leaves from around here. Grace, Brenda and I made several and gave most of them away to some of the relatives in the family group picture above.
As you can see, even with limitations, life does not have to be boring, especially with family who are willing to help the gimp along.
"Loneliness is worse than any ailment. With family, friendship, love and companionship, even the worst disability is bearable!" RJM
I take my thoughts above from the months I spent in the hospital. Loneliness almost consumed me at times but knowing my family and friends would be taking time out to come see me, gave me hope. Those moments of companionship meant the most to me and I looked forward to them. I cried when they left and I missed them terribly, even my Myrtle, but I immediately began to count the hours until I would see them again.
Remember those who are in the hospitals, laid up at home or are in care centers. Their very hearts and lives can depend on visits and companionship. I know that even a stranger, willing to take time to talk and share a few moments wakes up the soul to hope and happiness.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Interim Post

A quick note to let my blogging friends know an update is coming right away. I spent most of today just trying to change and update my page layout and etc. Still more work to do but I have a blog idea popping in my head and hopefully I'll be back in a day or two? Yep, that's the plan.

"I'm done procrastinating. From now on I'll only put aside for tomorrow the things I can't do today and today I'll truly enjoy doing the things I can." RJM

more at ya!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Harvest time in Colorado

If you were a seed, what kind of tree would you be?
An oak, so solid and strong? Maybe as Aspen, so willowy and pliable or how about an Evergreen that keeps all it's needles and green all winter long. Then there's a weeping willow or a very tall Red Wood tree. There's the gnarly old alpine bristle cone pine or a tiny well trimmed bonzae? Maybe you could be a common elm or a thorny Chinese elm. How about an apple or pear tree?
Can you identify this bark?
(answer at bottom of post)
Whatever tree you see yourself being or becoming, you are special and for different reasons than the orange tree person or palm tree person next to you. We all look different, smell different, give off differents fruits or nuts or seeds and we all live in different climates and altitudes and some of us are cultivated and well kept. Other's of us are old and beaten down from life's weather and there's the young saplings so tender and vulnerable, and there's the tall and thick and strong and ... you get the picture.

Rejoice in your differences and your strengths and your weaknesses because you can share and give to others and you can receive from other's something special. Oh, how I like our differences!

Just a thought!

My Newest Grandchild; Ruby, 6 lb 10 oz, born to my second daughter, Marti on September 13, 2009. This makes my 9th.
Ruby Margaret

This is the diaper bag I made for Ruby.

I am once again jumping back into blog land for a lookee see. I guess that I'm just a once in awhile blogger thru the warmer months when I'd much rather be outside while I can. Even on my down days I can enjoy the shade outside or a ride or just visiting relatives and friends.

Evan and Ethan teeter totter with mama Amber

We have been busy with a few projects, like sewing and yard sales and harvesting and cooking garden vegetables. Now we are into canning. While Brenda is living with us I am taking advantage of her willingness to jump in and help with whatever project we can cook up (pun intended). :)
Evan and Grandma trying out the tree swing
Evan's new pose now when someone points a camera at him. Guess he thinks he's being cute.....and he would be right!

The grandkids are by whenever they can and they love to help pick vegetables in the garden. They also like to taste the products for quality control.

So far they approve and are starting to really like and to try lots of new vegetables and fruits Amber says. Also, the garden has provided a handy way for the two homeschooling moms to teach some agriculture and science classes. Hands on is definitely the way to go no matter what the age.

Ethan with Grandpa's upside down tomatoe plants and with Grandma's wishing well.

Brenda and Grace and Myrtle helped pick apples from our grandma's old house. The easiest way to pick the ripe ones was to shake the tree limbs and let the apples fall onto sheets on the ground. Then Brenda bundled the sheet up and dumped them all into the plastic crate we brought along. The only downfall was the occasional apple that landed on heads or backs as she shook the tree.

Once we got back home Myrtle snatched one of the tart apples from the bin and claimed it for her own. She wanted to eat it since she likes apples but the tartness kept her licking her chops since she can't quite pucker up like we can.

We have already experimented with making and canning hot salsa and really hot salsa with our home grown tomatoes, garlic and onions. My husband says Brenda's yummy salsa, my hot salsa and 'really hot' salsa still aren't hot enough so guess I'll try one more batch of 'really extremely hot' salsa using the left over hobanero peppers I have waiting. We'll get to watch his ears turn red and steam come out his nose. Won't that be a hoot? smile!!!

We've also canned alot of pickles with two different recipies. We had so many cucumbers of all sizes that we have made 2 - two quart jars and 5 pint jars and I'll be making at least 2-3 more pint size jars of pickles yet. I didn't get any pitures of them yet but will ask Brenda to post some on her frugal site.

Now with all of the apples we brought home we are already canning apple sauce and then we'll make apple butter and will probably vacumn freeze apple slices for pies this winter. I wouldn't be able to do this all myself so I'm so thankful Brenda is here to help. We make a good team.

First came the apples, then the coring and slicing of apples (no peeling nessesary thank goodness)

Then came the cleaning and boiling of the canning jars and lids and cooking of apple quarters.

Next came removing apples from boiling water ( fork tender) and placing them in a food processor or blender.

We blended the apples until they were smooth like applesauce and no chunks.


Then we returned all the apples to one pan and added the sugar and some cinnamon and cooked just awhile longer.

Afterwards we removed one jar and lid set at a time and filled them with the applesauce and sealed the lids tightly and turned upside down on a towel.

After several minutes upside down the jars can be turned upright. Sometimes you can see or hear the lids 'pop' down wiath the suction and sealing of the lid due to the cooling process. Some lids may take awhile to pop down and sound more solid than hollow but it does work.

Brenda will put a complete recipie and instructions on her frugal site for those who would like to try canning applesauce or apple butter.

On my good days I try to take Myrtle for a walk down an old side road near here. It's along a ditch that is dry right now but the shade trees keep the walk cooler and it's very pleasant as long as we don't stop to rest beside one of the many huge ant hills along the way.

We found this old walk bridge that has seen better days and we made a wise choice in not trying to walk across it. Since the ditch was dry we decided to find a way down and look at the bridge from a different perspective. I found it to be very interesting and all the tree root systems and interesting bark was just at water's level where we would never have been able to see if water had been there. I love to get down and see things on a smaller scale and a different angle. Wouldn't it be interesting to see things from an ants perspective or a rabbit or some other small creature looking up at us just as I looked way up into the cottonwood tree above us?

Uh, oh, and analogy is coming on, I can feel it....
'Even when our lives are in a ditch and we look at our broken path, we can still see the light if we just look up!' rjm

Ok, this is long enough and I know there are many blogger friends that haven't heard from me in quite awhile so I'm going blogging around to their neighborhoods for a lookee see.

answer to trivia question: The bark belongs to a Cottonwood Tree

Hope you all have a VERY Good day :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rain, Rain, go away?

What a wet ummer. We've seen such a short season of dry summer here in Colorado interspersed with more than our regular share of rain and cloudy days. I can't remember when we've had such a wet summer and such a green landscape on the flats and lowlands. Usually by this time of year everything except the trees and watered land and yards is mostly brown. Don't get me wrong here. I love the green and not having to water the grass so often, but I look forward all fall and winter to spring and summer and I'm just not finished with it yet.
I am hoping the weather will be nice for the last weekend of this month because we are having a huge yardsale. I have items from both sets of parents, my daughter Amber, my sister Brenda and of course mine and my husbands. We are hoping to make it a culdesac and more sale with neighbors holding sales for themselves as well. It'll be quite the event and loads of work of course. I will be doing most of the supervising with everyone else doing most of the heavy work. Guess being on oxygen has some advantages, huh!
Myrtle, my bully dogge posing

Last week we went to Pueblo to meet our mother at the park and we had a picnic. It was a sweltering day and humid too so the grass and huge shade trees were a welcoming setting. I brought Myrtle, our bully dogge and she loved it but was hot too. My neice, Grace (Brenda's daughter) gave Myrtle a cool drink for Myrtle's own water bottle. Since Myrtle was a puppy I have given her drinks from a spray bottle and she love's the squirting or spraying water like any good dog that drinks from a yard hose. Here she looks looks like a baby, but it sure comes in handy when she wants a drink while we are in the car and don't want a bowl of water sloshing around.
Grace giving Myrtle a drink of cool water

Our garden is doing great out back and one yellow summer squash plant has produced several siamese twins. These two inspired some of my handy work and became people. I gave them to my inlaws who they were slightly modeled after. With a smile of course.

As many toddlers do, our young grandson, Evan, loves to hang around like a bat every chance he gets. He looks for any opportunity to hang out, even leaning over a shoulder or arm of a couch. What fun to be so young.
Our little bat!

I still have my up and down days and today is one of the slightly down days. Yesterday, as sometimes happens, the bottom dropped out and I found myself feeling sickly and weak. Today I am taking it easy and trying to recoup some of my energy. That afforded me the time to catch up on my blog. Considering everything, I have done a little better this summer, even after the hospital stay in May. Pacing myself is everything and being able to recognize the symptoms of fatigue in time to stop before I get too run down and can't get back up for awhile. I have overdone it some lately and been stressed out over some stuff but now it's time to stop and slow down again. That is all against my nature, but nessesary, so I do it.

The kids are all ready for another school year, but since Amber and Brenda are both homeschooling they don't have to rush to the stores and scramble for the supplies and clothes and/or uniforms needed elsewhere. They are both already organized and have their supplies and books lined up. We went to a homeschoolers book sale where parents who homeschool can sell their used books and supplies that they are finished with. We saved bunches of money by shopping there and Amber even got supplies for the next few years to come at a huge discount. What a bonus.
I had a birthday on Sunday and Brenda, Amber and my husband made it a party. Rick, my husband made me a special birthday cake by scratch (Sourcream chocolate chip with a few walnuts). He made his own frosting with melted chocolate chips and cream cheese frosting from the store. It was wonderful.
I should be sad to be getting older but I'm not. I'm just happy I've made it this far with all my medical issues. Of course I do still use the women's perogative when it comes to claiming how old I am. So far I'm 35 and holding. I have a habit of messing with numbers and claim that I have dislexia when I get them backwards. So now you know.
Just an infomercial here: We have been ordering some food from an online site called Angel Food Ministries. The meat which is of good quality comes vacumn packed and frozen. Some vegatables come that way too. They have fresh fruit and vegetables and it's all delivered to a site close to us. It seems like the prices are about 25% cheaper than in stores and better I think. If you get a chance to check it out and see where the sites are in your area just use the url
Ok, gotta go but will be visiting all again soon. Take care.

Uh, I don't have Send me one of your favorite thoughts or quotes. I'd love to hear them and share them next time on my blog.