Wednesday, December 31, 2008



Christian Glitter by

I tried to think of great words to express my wishes for the coming year for you, but I can't say it any better than Ann Landers.

Let this coming year be better than all the others. Vow to do some of the things you've always wanted to do but couldn't find the time. Call up a forgotten friend. Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories. Vow not to make a promise you don't think you can keep. Walk tall, and smile more. You'll look ten years younger. Don't be afraid to say, 'I love you'. Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world -- Ann Landers

That will also be the quote for this post.


Today I thought about this year. It was a mixed bag of great joy and agony. We started off the year with my neck and shoulder acting up. Because of my neck / shoulder problems I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make the cross-country trip we were planning. Between steroid shots and a great physical therapist my problems eased.

We still almost didn't make the trip because gas prices were high. Our truck that hauls our travel trailer runs on diesel fuel which cost quite a bit more than regular gas. We decide to go... who knows what our health holds in the future or how high gas prices will be.

So on May 06, 2008 we left on our trip.
We returned on July 22, 2008. We had a blast! You can read of our adventures at our blog, Wandering About. At our blog is a link to the right for the pictures we took. Some of the pictures aren't so great. I had not had my camera long, so the trip was a learning experience. The train ride pictures at Durango were taken with my older Sony camera and the Las Vegas pictures were taken with my pocket Sony camera. I wasn't going to lug a heavy camera around all day there :-)


I was so proud of myself for when we got back home I had lost 10 lbs or so of weight on the trip. Then as I was putting stuff away from our trip my back started hurting more and more to the point I could barely walk. So the weight came back. Then back surgery... now recovery. So an up and down couple of months here.

The new year will bring surgery for Frank. I'm hoping no surgery for me. I am starting the new year out with neck / shoulder pain again. I'm hoping that all that will be needed is perhaps steroids to get swelling down. My excellent physical therapist that did wonders earlier this year has moved on to a new job.

So the new year will start off a bit rough for us. We will still do things that will give us pleasure when we can... like the country drive... or even the walk around the block. We'll try to make this year a better year.


We lost two family members this year. One was the sister of my grandmother... the last of that generation. The other was my Daddy's sister. She was the last of her generation. We will still celebrate their lives.


Today our son, David and his wife, Tish are celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary. Congratulations to them !

The evening they were married.... It was a cold 32° in SW Georgia. Frank video taped the wedding.. he had a bug of some type and was breathing like Darth Vader.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Doctor -- Walking -- Other Stuff


Doctor --

Yesterday was my visit with the surgeon who did my back surgery. First thing was wait for a few minutes in the waiting room. Then a few more minutes in an exam room before being taken to get x-rays. Then back to the exam room to wait more minutes to see the doctor. The doctor said everything looked good on the x-rays. I saw the x-rays and the screws in my back look at least eight inches long! Looking at them I'm thinking: those things are really in me... I hope they never come loose... no wonder I hurt so bad. The pain is gradually getting less and less.

I'm still restricted on things I can do. I can do more but avoid things such as these....






This lady's fun is restricted :-( I know... you think I've never ever done any of those things. I've done them all but the bowling... I don't think I could bowl the way the girl in the picture is doing : The closest I've come to bowling is at the AARP GAME site playing Disco Bowling. I'm a lousy Disco bowler... my high score -- 158.

I used to be very athletic. I played volley ball and soft ball.... on up into my late 30s. That is when I started to fall apart :-) My back problem started when was I was about 10 years old, so I was fortunate that it didn't get worse until I was in my late 30s.

Hopefully I will be at least up to walking a 3 mile mile hike when I'm healed from this surgery. I go back to the surgeon in six weeks.


Walking --

My walking is improving and my gait is almost back to normal. Frank is so glad of that... he says it is hard to walk with me when I'm a slow-poke. He used to say he had to jog to keep up with my walk. Maybe I'll get back to there. Right now it takes me about 25 minutes to walk the mile walk. I used to walk it in 15 minutes.

Today I walked alone. Frank was off with his Dad... his Dad just wanted someone to ride with him. My walk was good and I tried my best to shave off minutes from the walk... 23 minutes, so I didn't shave much off.

After my walk I had coffee and the last piece of carrot cake. Should I have eaten the cake before I walked... mmm.. maybe I could have cut another minute off the walk with a bit of sugar in my system :-)


I've tried to redo my blog background. I came across Dawn's Quilting Clip Art . Take a look and you will see the most beautiful quilt clip art blocks. The bird above is the Bluejay pattern and this one is called Music Maker.


She has so many quilt square clips that you will want to download them all and find a project to use them in. When you are through looking at the quilt clip art visit her quilt page. Dawn is a very talented quilter.

I have made quilted hangings, pillows and tie quilts. I never got into the piece quilting. I do admire those that do this fabulous art.


Frank has been going through the file cabinet. That chore has not been done since before we moved into this house in 1991. The file cabinet holds papers that go with tools and household furnishings among other things. Some of the tools, air conditioners, stereo equipment , and furniture have long been gone and no need to keep the paper work.


Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person's physical, emotional, and mental states. -- Carol Welch

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Country Drive

We went for a drive in the country yesterday. It was a nice drive. We took our cameras along. We looked for old farm building. We found a few. Most of the pictures didn't turn out as well as I wanted. I'm so out of practice.

This is an old silo. The clouds are nice.


An old farm house.

Old Farm House

A Country Store. The light awful... sun, clouds... the sun couldn't make up its mind where it wanted to be.

Turner Store

Some old cars. Nice clouds again :-)

Old Cars

The ground was very muddy still so we didn't walk up close to the cars. Maybe better pictures another day.

Benevolence Post Office is the building the cars are next to.

Benevolence Post Office

In a split second the sky changes.

Benevolence Post Office

Another old farm building. Back to gray skies.

Old Farm Building

D. M. Dismuke Co. The sky is somewhere between clouds and sunshine. The sun is behind me, but does some weird color on the bare-leaf trees.

D. M. Dismuke Co.

This is the plate at the bottom of the door. It states "Dismuke 1910".

D. M. Dismuke Co.

I really enjoyed our country drive. I was very exhausted by time we got home. It was well worth it though.


When I am in the country I wish to vegetate like the country. -- William Hazlitt

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sigh.. Merry Christmas


Sigh... I feel much like Santa in the above picture. A bit tired and just want to snuggle up and sleep. Right now we have no pet, so the snuggling will have to be with Frank... which is even better.

I hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was great. We had dinner at my Mama's on Christmas Eve. The food was good for the most part and we ate too much. My dressing didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. I guess it has just been too long since I made it... it was edible. My sister-in-law made a sauce of cherries and pickled beets. Frank liked it okay, but it was a bit too pickled beet for me. I'm not fond of beets. My carrot cake turned out great. My Mama makes a great Rave Cake... she directed my brother how to make the cake and he did very well at making it. My brother also made pecan pies that were pretty good. We all ate too much. I didn't eat anything else the rest of the day.

On Christmas Day we went to Frank's sister's home for pizza. They make great pizzas. Our grandniece and two grandnephews were there and they were a joy to watch. Hayden and Jeremy are under a year old... Jeremy will be one in January and Hayden one in February. Jeremy's brother, Nathan is about two years old. Next year there will be two more grands for the Christmas party.

There was also pound cake, chocolate covered peanuts, and some ginger snaps... all home made by our niece and niece-in-law.

Needless to say we ate way too much. Later in the afternoon Frank and I went for a mile walk. I'm slow, but I can do it without hurting much. I only ate a small apple for a snack later in the evening.

We really shouldn't eat for another week.... but don't think that is going to happen :-) We'll just walk more.

Today we plan to rest.

We called our children yesterday. Sonja got a job, but for only Christmas Eve. The day before Christmas Eve she sees a man in the grocery store buying a lot of sugar. She told him he must really have a sweet tooth. He opens up his jacket and shows him the Honey Ham emblem on his shirt. He is the manager of Honey Ham. She tells him that she has been trying to see him for days about a job. Anyway he hires her and she worked all of the hours they were open Christmas Eve... maybe 10 or 12 hours (I couldn't hear her that well). She got paid $7 and something an hour. The manager watched her all day and she did things for extra sales... plugging the turkey breast and when they were out of 8# hams she would sell them on the 9# ham. Sonja said other workers were getting small packages... 3# hams.. at the end of the day. The assistant manager gave Sonja her package and said the manager really wanted to let her know that her work was appreciated and they would definitely want her back at Easter. Sonja didn't open her package until she got home. It was a big package and inside was an $83 ham! Sonja was so excited talking and she was so proud that she impressed the manager. Sonja was proud that she did better than those 110# blond 20 something year olds. It's too bad the job was for only one day. She is going to go to Good Will and buy a bicycle so she can expand her job looking. They have no car. Which is good because Sonja is the worst driver.

David was tired. He and his wife, Tish, spend Christmas with her parents. Tish's sister, niece and brother live with her parents. Hannah is about 7 years old and David and Tish are like her second parents. David said there was a new puppy in the house... a lab/pit bull (what a mix!) Anyway it cried until David let him sleep on the couch with him.

A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold. -- Ogden Nash

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Award - Weather - Life and Remembering


Michelle at Chocolate and Marmalade Tea presented this award to me. I love Michelle's blog. She always lifts my spirits. Thank you, Michelle!

"This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."Now I'm supposed to find eight others to bestow this on. Here goes!

1. A Second Helping
2. A Mellow Life Is A Good Life
3. Daily Yarns 'N More
4. Creative Thoughts
5. Flip Flop Floozie
6. Life With Liza Ann
7. Seasons Of Life
8. Faith, Family, Food and Fun

This week has been very warm... even for our Decembers. I think we hit 80° yesterday. At 1:30 pm we are at 75°. Tomorrow our weather will change. There is a 60% chance of rain. The high will be around 60° and the low around 30°. Then Monday it is suppose to be windy with a high of 52° and a low of about 29°. Tuesday's high will be around 58° and low of 41°. Christmas Eve we get warmer with a high of 68° and low of 43°... which is more like our winter temps.

Life and Remembering -

Life is getting better. I'm moving around easier. I just worry about Mama. Mama is getting confused when she is talking. I will stock it up to pain meds for now. She saw the surgeon this week and he said she seems to be healing fine. Mama tells me that her leg has swollen more again. I really haven't understood why she is having the swelling. She said she has increased her water pills. I tried to get her to get her family doctor visit sooner than the January 2nd appointment that she has.

I feel joy this time of year, but I also feel sadness. My thoughts turn to my Daddy that passed away in 2000. I do find joy in remembering him playing Christmas carols on his guitar and singing. I especially miss hearing him play and sing Silent Night. My sadness comes in knowing that he is only here in our hearts.

... brighter notes of my life. I got the carrot cake layers made and in the freezer. I have such a wonderful husband to help me out. Oh... I know he didn't read my post yesterday. Frank mixed sugar cookie dough up. The dough is in the fridge ready to bake. Now isn't that true love! The sugar cookies will get baked tomorrow.

As long as I can remember there has been sugar cookies in the cookie jar or can this time of the year. I said cookie can :-) At one time we had a huge lard tin that we painted and wrote COOKIES on. I made a lot of cookies back then. I'm not sure where we got the lard tin from because if we had bought the lard in that tin we would still be eating the lard. Frank was in the Army then so it might have been from the mess hall.

I did a bit of digging and found an old Polaroid picture. I wonder why we kept it. The picture was taken in December of 1971. I was somewhere between three and four months pregnant with our son and not the happiest camper... I had morning sickness from three months to end of pregnancy. I remember being frustrated. I had never frosted sugar cookies before. I cut out my own patterns for the cookies out of brown paper bags. You can see the large tin in the background with COOKIES written on it. I still have the green mixing bowl and the rolling pin. The handles are no longer on the rolling pin. I still have the green cake cover too. Remember when avocado green and harvest gold where the "in colors"? You can see my old checker-board cookbook sitting on top of the ice bucket. I still have the cookbook. We lived in a single-wide house trailer over in Bluff Creek Alabama then. I don't know why that counter is so messy. I usually kept it neat. Okay... go ahead and click on the picture for larger view.

It was fun remembering. The sugar cookies this time won't get frosted. These days I roll the dough into small balls in the palm of my hand and then place the balls of dough on cookie sheets... then I take a glass and dip the bottom of it in sugar and flatten the balls into nice rounds and bake. If I have any colored sugar around I might sprinkle the cookies with a bit before baking... a lot less frustrating :-)

One more thing to share today. A genealogy friend shares his grandmother's collection of Vintage Christmas Cards. I hope they brighten your day as you look at them.

We do not remember days; we remember moments. -- Cesare Pavese

Friday, December 19, 2008

Remembering - Venturing Out - Pecan Carrot Cake - Potato Salad

First I am trying to catch up on reading your blogs and looking at your photos. The ventures have taken a bit out of me.

Remembering -

A couple of nights ago I awakened and started sneezing. Reaching for a tissue made me remember handkerchiefs.... isn't that a funny looking word :-) I can remember when we didn't have tissues and had handkerchiefs. Mama would keep one tucked in her pocket book or dress pocket... if there was no pocket she tucked it in her sleeve. As I got older I did the same. Daddy always carried more than one hankie... now that word isn't as funny looking. There were five of us children and someone always had a runny nose. The hankie also became an instant wash cloth with a bit of spit to wash that smudge off of one of our faces.

Here are a few hankies from my past. The two print hankies are from my teen years and the others some that my children gave to me as a Christmas present... it seems just like yesterday.

Venturing Out -

Yesterday I ventured out. It was time for Frank to get his hair cut. I waited while he had it cut. We are now sharing the same hair stylist. Frank always wants what he calls a "Andy Griffith" hair cut.... the cut is actually shorter than that though. Our hair stylist learned to talk in a saw mill... another way of saying she talks loudly. That's not bad if you are sitting across the room, but a bit rough when you are sitting in the stylist's chair. Another stylist is out of the question. This place gives the cheapest cuts in town and she does a better job on my unruly hair than anyone I've been to... so a bit of loudness is worth putting up with.

We then went next door to get a couple of things at Winn Dixie Supermarket. They used to sell sugar and butter cookies in big plastic buckets, but none in stock this year. The cookies were good for store-made. Maybe after Christmas we'll be up to baking some.

Next we went to the Marine base. Frank went into the dispensary and dropped off some scripts to be filled. Then we went to the commissary. This is a small commissary and it was busy. I couldn't stand any longer so I waited in the car while Frank went through the check out. It took him for what seemed like forever. The first woman in line... she didn't have enough money to pay for everything. (I saw this same woman in parking lot and she searches through her purse for money to pay the bagger and pulls out a wad of money at least three inches thick... you wonder!.. but then maybe it is all ones) The next people.. the woman kept shopping while checking out.... she wanted pizza dough and the cashier asked a worker that passed by if they have it and worker said no. They have pre-made dough in dairy case and freezer section. Frank knew this and stayed quiet. Of course by time Frank gets all the groceries on the counter they open up another check-out. Next stop was to pick up our meds at the dispensary. It was a tiring day.

Earlier in the week Frank went shopping for a new recliner for him and he looked at some mattresses too. We had looked at mattresses before my back surgery, but I hurt so much that I couldn't tell that any mattress was better than what we had. On Frank's searching trip he found a recliner he liked and he said he thought he found a mattress that I would like. This morning we went back to furniture store that he found his treasures. I laid down on two different mattresses. One has two different firmnesses... one on one side and other on flip side. I couldn't tell much difference in the two mattresses. Frank asked if he could flip the mattress over so I could see if I like the softer side of that mattress better. He flipped it and I did like it better. We'll take delivery on Monday. So we now will pay on a recliner and mattress set for about a year with no interest. I say about a year... we always pay off before the year.

After the furniture store we went to Ryan's to eat. I ate too much. My favorite thing on the menu is their cooked baby carrots.

Next stops were Sam's Club and Lowe's. I sure was tired by time we got home. We watched some recorded tv shows and relaxed a while.

Pecan Carrot Cake and Potato Salad -

Tomorrow I plan on... with Frank's help... making a Pecan Carrot Cake for our Christmas Eve dinner with my family. We'll freeze the layers. My sister-in-law called this morning and talked to Frank. She told him what she would be bringing to the dinner. She said she is bringing mashed potatoes, so we didn't have to bring potato salad. Frank said he is bringing potato salad no matter what. He only gets to eat it a few times a year. Oh... Frank said he heard my brother in the background say that he wanted potato salad too. I have not put this recipe on my blog yet. I do have it online: Southern Potato Salad . The recipe is for a reunion size potato salad. The recipe can be halved and it will fit in a 2 quart bowl... which is still quite a bit. I usually make the half recipe for Frank and me. Frank likes to use the potato salad as a dip for saltine crackers. The potato salad will stay good for at least a week.

I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. -- Charles Dickens

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rough Week - Good News - Irises - Glitter

Rough Week-

Sorry I haven't been around, but it was a rough week.

Tuesday morning Frank had an appointment with a doctor. He will be facing surgery early next year. He has a tumor, (growth, lesions, calcium deposits are a few other terms used) in his pancreas. The doctor is pretty sure that it is non-cancerous. Part of the pancreas has atrophied. That would only happen over a long period of time. Of course the only way to know for absolutely sure that there is no cancer is to have the growth removed. This growth was discovered in having to test to undergo a different surgery, Nissen fundoplication, for GERDS... acid reflux. Frank will probably have both surgeries at the same time.

Tuesday evening my Mama had back surgery. She had to be at the hospital at 1:30 pm. We arrived at about that time to be with her. Mama did not get taken back to pre-0p until 5 pm. She went into surgery at about 5:45. Frank took me home at 5 pm. It was a long day and Mama came through just fine. She too had some trouble with nausea and vomiting... fortunately while she was still in the hospital. She came home Friday afternoon from the hospital. She is doing okay... still feeling queasy at times, but no more vomitin. She sees her surgeon on Thursday.

We then had a front come through that made my pain sky-rocket. We had over 6 inches of rain here. There is some local flooding, but none near us. Another front is approaching... I'm coping, but really need more sleep.

Good News -

Brian, our daughter's boyfriend got a job. I'm still praying that Sonja and others get the jobs they need.

Irises -

It is 78° this afternoon.... a warm day for December.

The irises have gone crazy and are blooming. They have aphids. Does anyone know a good way to get rid of aphids?

Glitter -

I got the Christmas cards started this morning. I didn't realize they had glitter on them... Of course I wound up with glitter all over my face and arms. Maybe tomorrow or the next day they will get finished.

We got a Christmas card in the mail today from my brother, Zoral and his wife. It was covered in green glitter. Of course I got glitter all over me. Then Frank read it before going out recliner shopping. Of course glitter got all over him. I got most of it off of his face before he left. He said it was the trend in makeup to wear glitter :-)

I am way behind in my reading of blogs and looking at my friend's photos over at Flickr. I'll get to it all soon... I promise.

One can enjoy a wood fire worthily only when he warms his thoughts by it as well as his hands and feet. -- Odell Shepherd

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Busy, Procrastinating, Prayers, Give



I am doing more. I had a second outing this weekend. We walked around Super Wal*Mart early Sunday morning. They were a little busy in there, but it wasn't too bad. It was a pretty good walk around the perimeter of the store... so I was a bit tired by time we got home. Later in the day I did our regular walk. Frank measured it on the way home and it is 8/10 of a mile.

Yesterday I was very busy. I manage to do a small load of laundry by myself. I helped cook dinner. Dinner was very good. I got some butter beans going with a smidgeon of a piece of hog jowl and some ham flavoring and a bit of salt & pepper. When Frank cooked a Boston Button the other week I had him freeze the left over juices. I took the juices and mixed them with a can of cream of mushroom soup (the healthier variety). I added a small amount of Kitchen Bouquet and I thickened the gravy with corn starch. The gravy was awesome! ... this is coming from a gal who is not fond of gravy. We had some already cooked pork loin slices in the freezer and I simmered the slices in the gravy. Frank cooked rice and reheated leftover biscuits. I washed dishes twice, which Frank thanked me for... it felt good to be able to accomplish a little bit.

Frank and I did a longer walk yesterday. We walked around the block which is right at a mile. It took 30 minutes which is about twice as long as it used to, but that is okay with me. I'm moving and getting stronger.


I printed out the Christmas card address labels on Saturday. For some reason I can't seem to get in the mood to get the cards sent out.... maybe later this week :-)


Our daughter and her boyfriend still don't have jobs. Continued prayers for them and others in their positions are much appreciated.

This afternoon my Mama is having back surgery. I would appreciate prayers for her too. Mama is 80... 81 next March. She had back surgery last June and had a hard time. When she did her pre-op physical a couple of weeks ago and they found she was anemic and put her on iron pills. They checked her again yesterday and her red blood count was 10. I can't remember the good range for red blood count... I know it varies from lab to lab. The surgery is still a go, so I assume that 10 is good enough for the surgery. The reason this part of the surgery wasn't done in June is because the surgeon didn't think Mama was strong enough to stay under anesthesia long enough to do it all. Bad backs run in my family. My eldest brother will undergo surgery in January... he said if he lasted through the pain that long. He had his first surgery back in 1993.. the same year as my first back surgery.

I need your prayers to help me get through all this stress. I used to handle stress a lot better.


I know most of you are tightening your pocket books. Please don't forget those that are less fortunate than you. Give what you can to your favorite charities.... especially those in your own communities. If you can donate food and clothing do so. If you can't give money give time. Help out at the food bank. Visit residents in nursing homes. Donate old blankets to your local animal shelters.

When our children were at home we would make bread and cookies and take them to members of our church. These members had husbands at sea and were strapped for money... so bread and cookies made the holidays a bit special. We did it anonymously. Our children loved it. We did this other times of the year too.

Our Children also went caroling with their friends in the local nursing homes. They and their friends put together personal hygiene packages for the residents of the nursing homes. It was wonderful seeing smiling faces in the nursing homes.

It will probably take me a few days to catch up on blogs and Flickr. Do know I think of y'all and have y'all in my prayers.

We should give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation; for there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers. -- Seneca