Thursday, December 29, 2005
Christmas is over for this year. All in all I think it went pretty good. Brook of course received far to many things. Happens when you are the only child and only grandchild. Her favorite gift is a karokee machine. Believe me when I tell you that there has been a lot of singing going on here. Brook has been singing every song! Well sort of. Most of them she does not know so we hear her version of how it goes! LOL. Her next favorite is the baby on the couch behind her, it crys real tears. This baby coos and cries and just really sounds like a baby! And yes that is a scarecrow on the wall It is wearing a Santa cap!
We ate our dinner on Christmas Eve. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. I enjoyed cooking it and eating it. I ate way too much though. Have to get back to normal eating now.
My present from Pat I cannot show you. It still has not come back after being sent off to be sized. I will tell you what it is. It is an emerald and diamond ring.
I have been dealing with a lot right now. More on that later. Got to wrap my mind around what is happening in my life. Right now too many scattered thoughts. Not sure where or how things are going to end up.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Pa and The Rifle
Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.
It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted for Christmas.
We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.
After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside.
I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn't worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.
Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. "Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight." I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see.
We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else> that needed doing, especially not on a night like this.
But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house.
Something was up, but I didn't know what.
Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled.> Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load.
Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me.
I wasn't happy. When Iwas on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and
stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. "I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said. "Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high sideboards on.
After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood---the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all Fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing?
Finally I said something. "Pa," I asked, "what are you doing?"
"You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked.
The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight.
Sure, I'd been by, but so what? "Yeah," I said, "Why?" "I rode by just today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt."
That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait.
When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand.
"What's in the little sack?" I asked. "Shoes. They're out of shoes.
Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too.
It just wouldn't be Christmas without a little candy."
We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence.
I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn't have much by> worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knewwe didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy?
Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn't have been our concern. We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who is it?" "Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt. Could we come in for a bit?"
Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp. "We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it.
She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children---sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out.
"We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said. He turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up." I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too.
In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak. My heart swelled within me and a joy that I'd never known before, filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference.
I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.
I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared.
The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us.
"God bless you," she said. "I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us."
In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.
Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left.
I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.
Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug.
They clung to him and didn't want us to go.
I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had
At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs.
wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner
tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a
man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals.
We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little
ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell." I
was the youngest.
My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away.
Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles.
I don't have to say, "'May the Lord bless you,' I know for certain that
Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough.
Then yesterday a manwho owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that. But on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do.
Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children.
I hope you understand."
I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again.
I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it.
Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me
a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the
radiant smiles of her three children.
For the rest of my life, Whenever I saw any of the Jensen's, or split a
block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night.
Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the
best Christmas of my life.
~by Rian B. Anderson~
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Tonight is Christmas eve and we are having our Christmas dinner. No one is going to get a meal fixed by me today until tonight and there is no hope for them if they bother me today! LOL Today I will be cooking all day except for those times when I am sitting here or doing something else. I still have presents to wrap( mostly Brook's because she is nosy and they were not put under the tree.!)
Well time to get busy! If I don't see you again, Have a Merry Christmas!
Friday, December 23, 2005
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Monday, December 19, 2005
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Caroling thru J-Land.
What is your favorite Christmas song? Make an entry in your journal, Title it Caroling thru J-Land and leave a link. Find other journals and look for the entry with this title and see what their favorite is. Leave your link for your entry there so they can find you.
My favorite Christmas carol is O Holy Night.O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till He appeared and the soul felt His worth
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine! O night when Christ was born!
O night divine! O night, O night divine!
Truly he taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise His holy name
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine! O night when Christ was born!
O night divine! O night, O night divine!
My second favorite is okay don't laugh.... Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him,
you would even say it glows.
All of the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolph
join in any reindeer games.
Thenone foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say:
"Rudolph with your nose so bright,
won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"
Then all the reindeer loved him
as they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
you'll go down in history!
It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas! At least here in my part of the South. Christmas is usually muddy! LOL I would love to have a white Christmas but there is little hope of that.
Here it is 8 days to Christmas and I still have not finished decorating! Today I am putting my Christmas village up. I enjoy adding to it every year. If I had the room I would put a big display out!
Next year I am hoping to start a display outside. I have lots of room and I want to eventually build something that will make people want to look at it! I love going to see outdoor decorating at Christmas time.
Brook is ready to wrap presents but she has to wait. The only presents left for her to wrap are for her mother and step father.
Making fudge today. Not suppose to eat any because of my recent diagnosis of diabetes. I think I will eat one piece. I rarely eat more than that anyway because of my sensative teeth.
Just heard "That's what I want for Christmas!" Been hearing that a lot lately!
Well time for me to get busy! See everyone later!
Friday, December 16, 2005
I salt down the steps and porch and head out to my old van to crank it up to let the transmission warm up so it will move and to scrap the ice off the windows. To my surprise (and I really should have expected it!) the doors were frozen shut! I spray them with de-icer and get them open, creaking and popping everywhere. The hinges were frozen also. I turn the heat on knowing that it won't be able to heat up the van but hoping that it will keep the glass clear. No such luck on that. It was frozen over again when we got back out there 10 minutes later.
Brook is ready and off we go. Next thing I know she is frailing her arms around like a windmill to keep from falling! Now remember I said I salted the porch and steps? Well I guess I should have salted to the yard also! I grab her and into the van we go. I tuck her balnket around her and off we go to the bus stop. When the bus came I walked her across the street because of the black ice on the road. It was a solid sheet of ice. The bus driver said she did not know why they did not delay school for an hour or 2 to allow time for a thaw.
Last night I was browsing thru Goodwill while Brook was in Tae Kwon Do and found an addition to my Christmas village colection. I got 5 houses with lights for $2! Did the happy dance! I also found a serving bowl, salt and pepper shakers, and a gravy boat that goes with my Christmas dishes that my Mama gave me. All together I paid $5!!!
My tea is ready now and I need to eat and take my new pill. Have a great day!
Thursday, December 15, 2005
It is raining here. Not just a light rain but a heavy field flooding rain. And in addition to that..... the temperature is dropping not rising like they said it would be doing. I don't mind rain, I just do not like rain and cold combined.
Brook's hand still hurts. It is still slightly swollen.
Blackie, poor thing, must have been hurt worse that I first thought. I now believe he broke his leg. e started walking on it but for the last 2 days he does not put it down to the floor at all. Plus he has the runs! YUCK. I know it is too late to do the vet thing for his leg, I cannot afford to pay the cost of them re breaking his leg and setting it. I do have a question.... what can I do here at home about the runs? He is happy, eats. drinks water and purrs. He plays with the other cats, acts normal except his poopy is yucky and he holding his leg up.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
My doctor called me today with the news of my blood work. My thyriod is good, no change in meds. My cholesterol has come down, still over 200 but an almost 10% decrease in 3 months so no meds there, if I can keep it up. The bad news is I am now offically a non insulan dependent diabetic. I start on meds tomorrow and start finger sticking twice a day next week when I get my meter. It will be next week because of insurance. It will be approved, just takes a couple days.
Brook is better, still hurts though.
There was a tragic death last night. A girl in 5th grade that rides Brook's bus was killed by a car last night. I do not know all the details yet.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
I guess I need to watch my mouth or rather my words. Remember I said I had just an ordinary weekend? Well today was an ordinary day that quickly went down hill. Everything was going fine. The sun was shining, the cats were playing chase, the horses snickered at Brook as she came up the driveway. I am watching her come towards me and I can tell something is wrong. I asked her what is wrong and she brings her hand out of her pocket and I can see that it is swollen. She tells me that a desk fell on her at school. O great. So off to ER we go. Her knuckles are swollen about 3 times their normal size. What a fun time it is sitting in the ER. Just the way I wanted to spend my afternoon. I know that is not how she wanted to spend it. Of course she did not want to spend it cleaning her room either and that was what she was going to be doing! X-rays were taken and the doctor feels very certain that nothing is broken. She does have a lot of inflammation and bruising. You can see where the edge of the desk came down right across her knuckles.
So now we are home, tired and relieved. Her right hand is wrapped up for the next 3 days. She is right handed also. She did her homework with her left hand. Not the best writing in the world, but hey, she is RIGHT handed!
So that was my day.
Monday, December 12, 2005
I have not written in a couple of days. No real reason why. It has been an ordinary weekend with no drama. That felt good.
Sunday we cracked black walnuts. This is a job like none other. They stain your hands so you must wear gloves. They can squirt toxic juice(oil) if you happen to get one that is not dried out so you have to wear glasses. But if you have ever had a black walnut, you know it is one goooood nut! At lot of work involved in it. You have to pick them up in the fall and allow the husks to dry some and peel them off. Next you have to let them dry out until cured. After that( which takes several months) you then crack them and pick out the nutmeat. Cracking them requires a hammer NOT a nutcracker! WORK!!! Now I need to get my Black Walnut cake recipe out....
Blackie(the cat with the hurt leg) is doing better. He is still limping but can now bear weight and run. And play with my tree! or rather the things under my tree!
Brook is at TaeKwonDo with her mama right now. College is out until next year so she took her tonight.
This morning I went to the doctor. Time for my 3 month blood work. I swear I feel like I am feeding a vampire sometimes! Toady was sugar, thyroid, and cholesterol tests. I hope at least one of them comes out okay. My weight did not. I have gained 4 pounds in 3 months. Not happy with that.
Yesterday Pat took me to get my Christmas present sized. Itis so pretty. Hopefully it will be ready by Christmas. If not I know it is there! Pictures will be posted!
Friday, December 9, 2005
"Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow."
I have been reading a book called We Die Alone. by David Howarth published in 1955. It is a true story about courage which begins with an act of a coward. A story about a patriot in World War II. The sole survivor of a German ambush who survived for weeks out in the Norwegian winter. He showed courage for trying to secretly stuff to aid in the defence of Norway, then fighting the elements without anything to help. There is another story of courage in this book, the courage of the Norwegian people that helped him to safety. The things he endured and how people helped him is amazing.
I recommend this book if you can find it.
Thursday, December 8, 2005
Wednesday, December 7, 2005
Tuesday, December 6, 2005
Today went remarkably well. Not sure of why but I do not plan on questioning it. It was cold last night and this morning but my kitties made do. Can you tell how many are in this pile? I do not understand why they do not go in the hay barn. Silly kitties is what they are.
I have a half naked tree in my living room.
Brook and I got it up yesterday but it was too late to decorate it. This morning I put the lights on it and the garland. At this very moment Brook is placing decorations on it.
She can't reach the top so I will be putting things up there. In the meantime I am allowing her to put things where she wants to.
Brings back memories of decorating the tree when I was her age.
My daddy and brother would put the tree up each year 1 week before Christmas. In those days we had a cut tree so you did not put them up too soon. I remember our favorite tree to get would be a Frazier Fir or a Blue Spruce. I love the smell of a fresh cut tree. They would get the lights out and untangle and test them and replace any burned out bulbs. We had some old lights mixed in with the new. I found some pictures of some of the lights we had. I remember an angel and a Santa light too. Mama would sit on the couch carefully unwrapping the ornaments. One by one she would hand each of us one to hang on the tree. Each of us received ornaments based on our age, height, and clumsy factors. There were big fat bulbs to small ones, skinny long bulbs and special shaped ones. Sometimes she would hand us one and tell us where she got it or who gave it to her. Every once in awhile she would tell us to move an ornament that had been placed on he tree. Then came the job of placing the icicles on the tree. We were instructed to drape them 1 at a time across the tree. Of course being kids we wanted to throw them at the tree. looking back I can see why she wanted them done that way. They did look prettier done her way.
That's it for now. Time to finish the tree and cook supper.
Monday, December 5, 2005
I forgot to tell yall what happened yesterday morning. I woke up to a bird flying around in the house! Not one of my birds, a little wren was whizzing thru the air flitting around everywhere. My daughter had opened up her window a crack and the wind had taken the screen off(had bad winds night before) and she said that the bird just came zipping in the window! It surprised her and she opened her window up all the way so the bird could leave. Instead it flew under the door and started flying around the house! Now, I either have lazy cats or well trained ones, not sure which. There were 3 cats that had managed to sneak in and stay in the house overnight. NOT ONE OF THEM ATTEMPTED TO CATCH BIRD!!!!! I opened up the front door and out it flew! At least my day did start out with a laugh!
I am okay. Pat and I are having problems. Shortly after posting my last entry he came home. He had left earlier(11 hours earlier) after a few words to me that were uncalled for. He did not answer his phone and he was not using it to call anyone either. (I know how to check on that....)
Anyway I decided to sleep on the couch last night(fell asleep watching TV news) Around 2 am when he decided to go to bed he woke me up with a kiss on the forehead to take me to bed. He confuses me so much. I want to hate him but I can't, I love him. We have been together for 13 years now. I hate fighting with him. Even if I do not respond it does not matter, my silence is used against me. He is NOT physical.
Saturday, December 3, 2005
The living room is ready for the tree now. I moved the loveseat into my room and the birds where the loveseat was. I shampooed both places before putting the birds in their new spot. Now all I have to do is drag out the tree and put it up.
So anyway I did not make it to my Christmas dinner/party. Pat has not come home from work yet. At least that is where he is supposed to be. I don't know because he does not answer his phone and the shop is not answering either. He knew how much I wanted to go. Without a car I am stuck. Not like I can call a cab, there aren't any in the country. It really makes me mad. Everyone else where he works at would leave if they had something to do, not Pat. At least not for me, maybe if it was something he really wanted to do. It is done. No need to cry over it anymore.
My Blackie is hurt. He is limping. He will not let me check it out to see what is wrong. Everytime I approach him he takes off. That cat sure can go fast on 3 legs!
Well I guess I need to fix me something to eat.
I worked yesterday on getting the living room ready to put the tree in here. Actually what I did was work on a place to put the loveseat in my bedroom so I would have a place to put the tree! I am hoping that the treee will be put up on Sunday.
Brook went to spend the night at a friend's house last night. They are going to Alabama to watch a parade today. I have a feeling that it will be rained out. That will disappoint her. She has been looking forward to this all week.
Today will be a slow moving day. The rain has moved in and it is combined with cold. That makes for a back and arthritis hurting day.
My Sunday School class is having their Christmas dinner tonight at the church. It is being catered! I do hope that it is good. I also do hope that Pat makes it home in time. I really do not want to miss it.
That's it for now. I need to eat then get busy. I heard the washer buzz.
Friday, December 2, 2005
Once again it is time for The Friday Fivers.
1. Where is the furthest you have traveled for Christmas and will you be traveling this year? I am a homebody for the holidays. I guess the furthest I have traveled in 20 miles to my Mama's house
2. Do you celebrate any other holiday this month? Kwanza? Chanukah? Festivus? Does New Year's Eve count!?
3. Who is the hardest person to shop for on your Christmas list and why do you think they are so hard to buy for? This year the hardest person is my new son in law. I do not know him well enough yet.
4. How old were you when you stopped believing in Santa? Extra credit if you have a picture of you with Santa! Stop believing? Never. I will always believe in the magic!
5. Fill in the blank; For me Christmas just wouldn't be the same without _______? Family