Friday Roundup

Hi Guys!

It’s hard to believe a week has passed since Thanksgiving. Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’, into the future. Who said that?

It’s been a busy, productive week, how about a little catch up list?

The Boy and The Dane headed back to Chicago on the Mega-Bus around 7:30 on Monday night. That drive out to Ann Arbor is getting more and more familiar. It was so nice having them, and we know they will be back in about 21 minutes. That slippin’ time business.

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I started the Christmas shopping!!! Always a good feeling!

We received our first Christmas card….before Thanksgiving! My cousin Dorothy and her husband Wade win the early bird contest! I am somewhat looser in my Christmas card goals. I shoot for sometime before Christmas and give myself the option of the weeks after. I have once extend grace to myself until Valentine’s Day, but after that  just seems tacky. I know, I know, that was a sad situation. I will say that I looked at the Christmas picture options at Sam’s earlier this week, so I am clearly on top of it this year!

After a week of playing refrigerator Jenga, Honey is pleased that our shelves are back to a manageable amount of containers.

I made a turkey pot pie instead of the usual chicken and we all agreed that it was not too bad. And that, my Friends, was the last of the holiday eating. Thank you Lord! Except for some spiral ham, that could go into the freezer.

I have Christmas lists from everyone except Honey. He is a bad list giver.

Of course, he did buy himself a new TV for our bedroom because he was having trouble seeing the old one. Surely that can count for something?

The Boy helped me drag all of the Christmas boxes upstairs before he left so I could commence with all the decorating. The boxes mostly decorated our great room until yesterday, when I made the girls help me put the tree up. We listened to Andy Williams, of course.

I had to get it finished before CareGroup tonight. It’s good to have a hard deadline.

Every year I think that I should cull through that Christmas stuff. I don’t use most of it anymore. You know how you get tired of the same old, same old. Unless it is tradition.

Mousey has been working a lot. I am thankful that she can now support her own toiletry habit. Seriously.

Mousey and I have been looking ALL over tarnation for pumpkin spice tea bags. To no avail. Anyone know where we can get our mitts on some?

Yesterday, I found this at Homegoods. The jury is still out. I have tried it and thought it was ok. A little sweet.

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Better than this iffy stuff.

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I bought these bags,

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for this.

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I polished her up right before Thanksgiving because she sat in the dining room, alone and tarnishing, since last Christmas. I am hoping that sucking all of the air out with the vacuum cleaner will keep her bright and shiny until the next use. If it doesn’t work, we will just shine her up again, it wasn’t too monumental a task.

Honey was on line last night shopping around for parts of things that are trying to quit us over here. Dishwasher, vacuum cleaner, why you do us like that?

The Ab-Cat goes to a young adult group at a neighboring church with her friends Running Lauren and I Like Cats Autumn. Yesterday the group was going ice skating and Abby went along. I need to hear how this went down, and if she will ever darken the door of an ice arena again!

Mousey was showing me pictures of the ugly cats she wants on her IPod yesterday. She wants to name it Gravy Boat. Whatever floats your gravy boat.

What have you been up to?

NOT The Christmas Picture

I believe I may have mentioned that I had a goal over the holiday weekend. It is the same goal I have every year around this time, to get the Christmas picture. I asked The Dane if she would help me out and she graciously said yes. I don’t think she really knew what she had gotten herself into. We did get the shot, but these are so not it.

And so it begins.

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What are we, the Ice Capades?

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He’s a little too big to ride on anyone’s shoulders.

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A little too casual,

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too much bothering.

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Then he started to bother Abby, as he does.

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Then Honey joined in.

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Doing the can-can.

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Everybody grab a limb!

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Regrouping.

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Almost there.

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We finally got a couple good ones before the whole thing deteriorated into inappropriate gestures.

I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to The Dane, no one else would put up with all of that nonsense. Except Nurse Lauren, who usually gets the thankless job.

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She even managed to get in some herself.

I will show you the winner at a later date. Rest assured, it will not be one of these sparkling beauties.

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

Hi Guys, Happy belated Thanksgiving! As always, thank you to our Hodgepodge leader Joyce, for gathering us together!

Four hodgepodges til Christmas in case you were wondering.
1.  With that being said I think I need to dive right in to some Christmas related questions, don’t you? Which do you prefer-pretty gift wrap with a bow or a pretty gift bag with/without a bow?  What percentage of your holiday gifts are currently (as in right this very minute) wrapped in some form or fashion?

I am an equal opportunity presenter. A variety of gift wrap and bags can be found under our tree. Percentage of currently wrapped holiday gifts wrapped? 0 percent. I don’t even have the tree up yet.
2.  What is one item on your Christmas list this year?

Well, I got some chai for my birthday, so I don’t need that. I need some new oven mitts, I can only find one of ours and the other one is a pathetic old one that looks like a shark. I am looking into getting new every day silverware. We don’t have enough place settings and I am weary of mixing and matching our old stuff, with some of my Grandma’s old stuff and some extra forks I bought for some event. I do realize this is a first world problem. All the things I want are big, a king sized bed, new computer, new furniture for the great room, carpeting throughout the whole house, so Santa, how about it??!! That was way more than one, sorry.
3.  What makes a home?

My People make my home. And some cats. None of the stuff.
4.  Motown founder

Berry Gordy celebrates his birthday on Hodgepodge Day-November 28th. Are you a fan of the Motown sound?  If so, who’s your favorite Motown artist and/or song? Here’s a list in case you’re stuck.

Only one? That is TOO hard! Of course I like Motown, considering I live in south eastern Michigan, where Motown was born. I can’t pick just one though. Let’s start with:

Smokey Robinson and The Miracles (you gotta love Smokey, you can’t have a breakup without him!) Tears of a Clown, The Love I Saw in You Was Just A Mirage, The Tracks of My Tears, Going To A Go-Go

Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrrell-You’re All I Need To Get By, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

The Supremes-You Keep Me Hanging On, Come See About Me, Where Did Our Love Go?

Diana Ross and The Temptations- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

The Jackson 5-I Want You Back, The Love You Save, ABC

That’s enough for now.
5.  Red or green-which one is more prevalent in your closet?

Green. I don’t think I have any true red anything. Maybe a Christmas sweater that I don’t wear anymore. I am quite fond of the brick red though.
6.  True or false-bacon makes it better? If you answered true, what’s your favorite dish made with bacon?

Oh yes! I like a certain broccoli salad we always have for the holidays, it has bacon in it. BLT’s are super yummy.
7.  Share a favorite holiday memory.

They are all good and I am out of time!

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8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Here is the Way Back When-sday portion of the post.

My Grandma Georgia passed away twenty years ago yesterday, and I still miss her. This picture said December 1970 on the side.

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My brother and I spent a lot of time with our Mom’s parents, both at their house and ours. They stepped in when our parents divorced and our lives were the better for it.  I want to be the kind of Grandma she was. She wasn’t a couple times a year Grandma, she knew us.

She was fun loving, a hard worker and a prayer warrior. I miss everything about her. Her cooking, her smell, her laughter, her wisdom….just everything.

Have a good week and thanks for stopping by.

A Present For Abby

The Ab-Cat received a package in the mail yesterday from Mrs. Schmenkman. She knows all about losing a beloved pet. She painted  a picture of Abby’s little pup, Katie, who passed away in September.

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Thank you Schmenky, for the lovely picture, but also for your sympathetic heart to Abby’s sadness.

We are missing our little poochi-doo. Even The Boy said he kind of missed her, and they had a tenuous relationship. We did not know how much effort she put into cleaning our kitchen floor. We didn’t know we would miss her greeting us at the back door. We had no idea how much we would miss her little presence where ever we were, cause she surely liked to be with her pack.

Thanks Schmenky, for thinking of our Girl.

The After Thanksgiving Post

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Our day was divided into two parts. The part where everyone was there and then the part where half had to leave.

We had a yummy dinner with my Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis, their son Mike and his girlfriend Nora, and their daughter Lindsay and her husband Robbie and their fur child, Ava. We had eaten and cleaned up and were into the second game of cards when Phyllis said they had to go. Her sister Georgia had a stroke the Monday before and she had gotten a call that she was not doing well at all and they should come.

They gathered all of their stuff and left for the University of Michigan Hospital. Ava, the fur child, remained with us. We continued playing cards with far heavier hearts and arrow prayers for Georgia. I then took the only pictures from the day.

The Ab-Cat was very happy to have a poochi-doo on her lap once again!

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Blue Steel. It is our thing.

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We introduced The Dane to our family game, Peanuts. I am happy to say she held her own!

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I think she even liked it! We had company the next night and she played again! She’s a keeper!

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I have no idea what this was except bothering in the highest degree.

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The Grandpa and Honey. The Grandpa does NOT play Peanuts. He had a little nap instead.

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Now some Mousey bothering with The Boy moving in. Notice the bothering always involves Honey.

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He taught them. They are ruined. They learned at the feet of the master.

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Our turn.

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No bothering here.

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Ava was worried she had been abandoned by her People.

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They came back for her and she was ever so happy to see them!

So far Georgia is hanging in there and might pull through. They were talking about a stroke rehab facility where she can start physical therapy, but my Aunt Phyllis says things are still uncertain. The waiting is hard. We will keep praying.

Hope you all had a good day!

Potent Quotable-Thankfulness

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you have lived, take thankfully the past.  ~John Dryden

The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!  ~Henry Ward Beecher

Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.  ~William Faulkner

If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness.  It will change your life mightily.  ~Gerald Good

Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, – a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.
~George Herbert

Happy Thanksgiving 2012

I almost wrote 2010, on purpose. Why?

I have been catching up on some blogs this morning while sitting here enjoying some chai. Some were about Mama’s in heaven, a Dad that just went to heaven, memories of holidays gone by, scrumtrulescent food talk and learning gratitude and thankfulness. All good stuff.

I feel like counting some blessings.

I am thankful for this holiday, that should cause everyone to pause at least once and think of something they are thankful for. Many things.

I am thankful for the health of my family. Never taken for granted around here.

Thankful that Honey is still employed when so many are not.

Thankful that our friendly neighborhood Meijers is so close by, even though it is a ZOO right now. Most of the grocery stores have pulled out of Detroit for various reasons, and those families have to go much further for their groceries.

Thankful for vacations with Honey. He completes me.

Really glad for growing toenails and that I can wear shoes again, just in time for colder weather! Grow, Babies Grow!!!

Thankful for the big bird on the counter, the ham in the fridge, and all the fixings for a yummy meal.

Thankful for my Aunt Phyllis’ pies, YUM.

Very thankful for The Dane, who chopped all the onion and celery for the dressing! She likes to chop, it is comforting for her. Far be it for me to steal her joy!

Thankful that she and The Boy were able to catch a ride home from Chicago from a couple who live very close by!

Thankful for Mousey’s new lifeguard job. A little money is good!

So thankful for The Ab-Cat’s new van and her regained independence!!

My Grandma Georgia passed away 20 years ago on Thanksgiving. I am so thankful she was my Grandma. She was a fine lady, and people still tell me that they miss her. I know I always will.

Thankful that my Dad is busy, productive and feeling like the Lord is using him for good things.

Thankful for wonderful friends who make living so much better!

Thankful for the jostling sounds on the other side of the wall, it means our Boy is sleeping in his bed and we are all together once again.

Thankful that God loves us, in spite of ourselves, and He cared enough to provide a way for forgiveness and eternal life through His Son, Jesus.

Once again, thankful for blogging. It connects me with loved ones from all over the place and makes the distance seem so much smaller.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

What is one thing you are thankful for this year?

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Happy day before Thanksgiving! Many thanks to our hostess Joyce for hodgepodging the week of a holiday!

1. Turkey-love it or leave it?  White meat or dark?  What’s your favorite thing to make using leftover turkey?

I like white meat turkey the day of and the day after, and then I could be done with it. I might try turkey pot pie if there is anything left after The Boy and The Dane head back to school.

2. Gotta burn off all those carbs the day after a holiday feast so which would you rather do-run a 10K or climb a mountain?

I would never, ever run on purpose, but then again, I would never climb a mountain. On purpose.
3.  Do you feel like social networking has made your relationships better or worse?  Explain.

Mousey says she doesn’t think social networking includes blogging, so I guess I I can honestly say that social networking has not affected my relationships at all. I am not on Facebook, nor do I tweet, instagram, or Pinterest. I have heard from many people that they have reconnected with old friends and acquaintances through Facebook, but I am ok without it.

Mousey would probably be glad to stop sharing hers with me. I play Words With Friends on her account.

4. How do you find and express gratitude for the hard things in your life?

I guess my philosophy is it could always be worse so be thankful for what you have. It is always difficult to be grateful for hard things in the midst of the painful, but if you know the Lord, and really try, you can always see His fingerprints on the situation in some way. I have a very clear memory of sitting in Abby’s ICU room after our car accident in 1995. Her body was broken in ways we couldn’t even fully comprehend yet, but God reminded me that she was still Abby, still the same sweet little girl we loved on the inside. I was very thankful for that.

I also think about the last two weeks of my Mom’s life after her cardiac arrest. She was on a ventilator when we arrived and they didn’t know if she would ever regain consciousness or if her mind had been affected. She was awake when we came in the room and I took her hand. She looked at me and I told her that her hair looked terrible. She smiled with her eyes and I knew she was still there. Oh, that was such a kiss on the cheek from God! Those two weeks were a roller coaster of highs and lows, but being able to eventually talk with her again was one of my favorite blessings. God gave us a chance to say goodbye. So many people do not get that.

Look for the positives and thank God for them. And don’t try and tell me there are no positives, because there is always something. Even in the midst of the awful, they are there. Just the fact that you are mourning something means that at one time you had something worthwhile. Remember that and be grateful.

5.  In the US, the day after Thanksgiving has been dubbed ‘Black Friday’.  Is most of your holiday shopping done live and in person, or is it done more through the magic of the Internet? How do you feel about stores opening at midnight Thanksgiving night? Will you be out amongst the masses on Friday?

Mostly in person but sometimes things are bought online. I don’t participate in Black Friday but I do feel sorry for the workers expected to come in on midnight the day of a holiday. That seems wrong.

My walking buddy Keelyody has strong opinions about this. For years, she and her sister-in-laws have had a tradition of going out early in the morning. Now some of the stores open at midnight, while others still open at 5a.m. She says she doesn’t like it, it’s too hard to stay up late and then get up early!!!
6.  Speaking of the color black-which black item in your wardrobe would you say is your favorite?

Probably my faithful black dress pants. They sure do come in handy!
7.  What do you appreciate about your life today?

I appreciate that all of my People are here with me in the house, including The Boy and The Dane who snuck in late last night. I realize that in the future it will be harder and harder for us all to gather together whenever we want. I am storing these memories up in my heart.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I am so looking forward to tomorrow!  Pray I reach my goal of getting the dang Christmas picture taken!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all and much love to those flung far and wide!

Aqua Mouse Works

Last week Mousey finally started the job that she has been jumping through hoops for months to get. She had to get recertified in CPR, has taken many other kinds of classes and taken many tests, drug tests and physical included, passed them all and is officially a lifeguard at our community pool!

Her responsibilities include scanning the water surface looking for swimmers in trouble, doing periodic bottom of the pool checks, and being available to jump in and rescue a drowning swimmer at a moments notice, along with cleaning and enforcing pool rules. Last time she worked, they threw in a dummy in a vigilance test. Her reaction time was two seconds!!!

Last week she shadowed other lifeguards twice and she is now on her own. Her first day started last Monday, at FIVE THIRTY IN THE MORNING. I asked her who is in the pool at that time? She said that she heard that there were a lot of Asians. It turned out that what she heard was wrong, the pool was full of senior citizens, ready for their aqua fitness classes. She said they were so sweet.

Her favorite swimmer was Mary Margaret, who was 92 years young. She was very sharp and funny. A younger gentleman, Jim, was in his seventies. He is known for playfully splashing the lifeguards legs and on Monday even did a cannonball to splash the ladies in his aerobics class. A real charmer!

She found out later that shift is on her regular schedule. So this morning, she will be at her post, keeping the seniors safe from drowning.

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Potent Quotable

That some good can be derived from every event is a better proposition than that everything happens for the best, which it assuredly does not.  ~James K. Feibleman

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