Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Snack

Won't you join my mother and me for a bit of cheese, milk and honey bread, and some apricot jelly? Here it is nearly noon and I have no post up, but thanks to a church fair visit and my mother's open purse, I have something to share.

Thank you for your prayers. They mean so much. Such a rough evening last that my mother decided to spend the night there with my grandmother. I don't know how my mother had the energy for the fair; guess it's one of those things that she missed last year and didn't want to miss again.

My purchases were for the boys. Aren't these trains the cutest things?

They're made from a roll of lifesavers with a pack of gum beneath. To the gum has been added the peppermint candies for wheels. A Hershey nugget and a pom-pom are on top to complete the train. I just asked my mother for the names of the train parts and she said, "Ask Sam." Okay, that's fair. I don't know the names either. Oh I give up...I found the directions *here* if you are interested.

Today, I am grateful for the normalcy of life...the doing of dishes, the folding of clothes, the attending of a church fair, the enjoying a snack...right in the middle of trying times. It says that "life goes on" and that "life is for the living."

Enjoy a great weekend...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Red Flannel Nightgown

Day five of my giving thanks challenge and I know what you're thinking: red flannel nightgown...oh come on!

It may be a bit of a reach, but I am truly thankful for things that envelop me — warm hugs, cool fog, cozy fleece blankets, and this red flannel nightgown.

Flannel nighties are a part of New England life. I don't know any gal who lives here who doesn't have at least one. It's cold up here. Mighty. Wicked. Whatever adjective you'd like to give it. And we're trying to be frugal with the heat...oil prices being what they are. So a lovely, soft, warm, flannel nighty is just the thing.

Now be honest, do you have a flannel nighty?


Yesterday afternoon, the nursing home called. It is the third time that they were concerned enough to call. My grandmother has stopped using her call button; she sees people in the room that no one else sees and she reaches for them; and she had stopped eating. When we three arrived, my mother, John, and I, she was deep in sleep. Thought that I would do well with this transition because it has been such a long goodbye, but found myself tearing up and when my mother whispered to her, "Don't worry about me. I'll be okay" ...well, let's just say I don't have nerves of steel.

We went out for a quick fast-food bite to eat and when we returned, Nan was perched up in her bed, bright-eyed, and hungry. She ate for the first time in a while and communicated with us even telling John that she loved him and telling my mother how much she loved her. It's all very strange. I know the day is approaching and I will be thankful for that day. It is no tragedy to live to be 101 and to be living in this limbo land between this world and the next is not easy on any of us.

On that note, I'd like to direct you to Mille Fiori Favoriti where Pat shares a video of *the most remarkable 106-year-old woman.*  There is much more to the story and it is a great blessing to see.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Talk is Cheap

I have not asked my mother what she thinks of our time together, but I have enjoyed having her here immensely. Not only do I enjoy my own conversations with her, I also enjoy overhearing John's conversations with her. Our time together is drawing to a close and I shall miss her right here in house to sip coffee with and to chat on and on and on and on. (John may think differently; I've not asked.)

We have discussed many, many things because we have had the time. Time itself becomes the opportunity to delve more deeply into a story life. Mother is working through so many things. Perhaps I have become a good sounding board. No, I talk too much myself to be a really good sounding board, but I do ask a lot of good questions. Perhaps Mother is secretly thinking, "Right. Thanks for that, Dr. Vee Freud." She has shared some new things with me, even disturbing things. On the one hand, I am deeply honored by her trust and, on the other hand, it's been tough to hear.

Isn't life that way? When we get down to the nitty-gritty aren't we going to hear some difficult things in order to really know another on a deeper level? It certainly has helped me to understand my mom better and that's a very good thing.

This explains my giving thanks for today... I am truly thankful for thoughtful, deep conversation. How about you?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pilgrim Girl Found

Not that I ever knew that she'd been lost... Mother was digging through paper piles when she came up with this one. I couldn't deny it for my name is scratched on the back in a typical six-year-old font.

Had to smile at my much younger self and my great average coloring abilities. Love the attempt to create color on the face. Now I was a brunette with brown eyes (still am, if one doesn't count the gray streaks ;> ), but I chose to color this little girl as a blue-eyed blond just like my little sister. Interesting. And why oh why didn't I match things up (brown cap with a blue dress)? Still being a rebel after all these years.

Yesterday, Mother and I went to visit Nan in tandem. First, we stopped at our favorite store...

where we practiced the fine art of frugality and...

What? Buying snowmen ears for Molly isn't frugal? Pshawww!

Where was I? Oh yes, and I twirled about the baking goods island set in the center lane for the holidays like a kid at a candy store. I want sugar and flour and raisins and chocolate chips and butterscotch chips and corn syrup and dates and spices and... Do you feel that way when you first see that special section?

(Wasn't going to do it, wasn't going to do it, wasn't going to do it, but oh well here goes. We went to bed last night with mounting dread because our illustrious {tongue firmly in cheek} news team was predicting that none of our candidates had won. This after less than twelve per cent of the vote had been counted. By morning's light, we find that our candidate is running neck and neck with six thousand more votes than the closest runner. Funny thing how dark a night can feel and how differently things can look in the morning. That's my giving thanks item for today.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Small Chew

Voting is brisk in my community today. The polls opened at nine this morning; John wanted to be there by 9:30. I didn't want to go alone so tagged along with him.  You never know whom you'll see so I was busily getting ready so that I could pass muster. The last thing I did was to grab a half stick of gum to chew... discreetly, of course. Good thing, because I ran into many people I know and hugged and chatted with them. Really, voting places should serve coffee and donuts and set out tables and chairs. ;>

When we got home, I told John to stand by the deck so as to take a picture of the ubiquitous "I Voted" sticker. Instead I sneezed. Violently. Without a chance to cover or even stop, drop, and roll. (Say, have you seen the proper way to sneeze? It's well worth the watching at Colleen's Main Street Memories. Anything to not spread cold and flu germs this season!)

So this is a picture of John looking for the wad of gum.

What are the chances of finding it in all those pebbles? We both looked and looked. Nothing. I knew that it was going to wind up on someone's shoe.

I gave up and took this nice picture of the "I Voted Today" sign over the top of a clipper ship emblem on
John's jacket.

Then he insisted on taking my jacket from's 34F this morning...and slinging it over his wrist.

Two votes!

And a wad of gum stuck to my jacket. I am not much impressed by wads of gum so I have altered this photo.  

And that's our voting story for the day. It was well worth having to park in the back acre behind the town hall in the mud to have the opportunity. (I do love a prepositional phrase.)

Happy Voting out there!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Vote Smart and Giving Thanks Challenge

Oh I am so excited about voting tomorrow. More excited than I have been in a decade. I found a great little tool online that helped me figure out some of my choices. It's called *Vote Smart.* It allows you to answer questions on a variety of topics and find the candidate who thinks most like you. That is how I vote. I am not molding my opinion to match the candidates' opinions; I am looking for the one who best agrees with me.

I found this post via Mosaic Monday. It's called *Why Women Should Vote.* It is a powerful reminder of the not so long ago days when women in this country didn't have the right to vote. Did you know that ____? No, I will resist the urge to fill in the blank. Please read it for yourself and you'll be very glad that you did. Rett at The Gazebo House did a wonderful bit of gathering for this one.

In other news, Leah at South Breeze Farm is once again hosting her *Giving Thanks Challenge.* You can check it out here or on my sidebar. I will be posting a daily gratitude for every day of November right in my sidebar. (Then I'll be saving it and placing it somewhere on my blog to remember by.) I have tried to participate every year, though I missed last year because of the broken computer. (I'm beginning to sound like a broken record mentioning a broken computer twice in succession.) So it's obvious that I am grateful for a new computer and I'm grateful that my beloved pays the bill for access.

My goal is to put serious thought into this challenge and to be intentional. I will not be listing the obvious: my God, my faith, my family, my love of country, my love of friends, my home, my cat, my clothes, my car, my possessions, etc. This could get interesting! I know that Leah would love to have you join us and so I'm inviting one and all to participate. Let's get our "giving thanks" groove going!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Our Evening~Mosaic Monday

Image will enlarge

We had ourselves some entertainment this evening when the Train Conductor and Buzz Lightyear arrived. Darling Daughter/Auntie had set up a little Bobbing for Donuts game. While Buzz Lightyear played a merry tune on the piano, Mr. Train Conductor figured out exactly how to eat a donut.

Please visit *Mary at Little Red House* for more mosaics. I'll be looking for some flowers myself. ;>

This Halloween Thing

This Halloween thing... I have skated about it for the three years that I've been blogging. Last year, I really skated since my computer was kaput and I blogged by using the library's computers.

Library in Autumn

The first year, I opined that it was too bad to have October end this way. I have always hated to have October end this way. Another year, I shared photos of the grands in costume. I had a Thomas the Train and a pirate that year. This year, I'll have a conductor and I don't know what.

My own children did not participate in Halloween activities, though we tried to provide fun alternatives. My grands do. If I had my druthers...but that's one of the things I have learned as a grandmother, I don't.

So I am conflicted. I don't enjoy Halloween or any of its pursuits. I adore my grandchildren. They will be visiting the nursing home where their great-great grandmother resides and I am certain that they'll bring a smile or two. The residents enjoy seeing the little ones in their costumes and participating in giving candy.

Still the basis of this "holiday" resides in the dark side. Okay, I'm changing that for my own thinking this's All Saints' Eve and that is how I shall view it. I'll be thinking about lovely things today...

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. ~Philippians 4:8 The Message