Saturday, November 21, 2015

My Heart Hurts.

Today Ive been cleaning for the holidays. I put a load of laundry in the dryer and decided to have a catnap while the clothes were drying. The beep on the dryer wakes me when they're finished and I had been up since 6.
I drempt I was back home for a visit and Kathy and Thomas and Clay was riding us around looking at the Christmas lights. At one point we got out and was walking and came up by a McDs. Clay was with us still, but he was about 7 and he and Thomas disappeared. When we went looking for them, Little Clay and Thomas was in McDs having a burger together and waiting on their drinks, happily talking away...... I picked Clay up and put him in my lap as we got back into the van, and as Kathy and I was talking I realized that Clay had a bit of gum in his hair- which I finally ended up having to cut out and I put the hair into a purple silk handkerchief to keep....But Clay had grown even smaller to a tiny baby....and I said I may as well hold you close because you wont be with us much longer. and I held him in my arms, close to my face and I could smell his scent of aftershave-Aqua De Gio as I cuddled him. I could feel the warmth of him against my sweet little baby boy who was wearing aftershave......and then the pain and hurt began filtering in.....My chest felt like it was about to explode it was beating so hard and I began waking up...I fought it so hard and began crying as I realized it was a dream, but I didn't care- I was holding my baby close again and I didn't want to leave that place....But the hurt and pain won, and I came awake with a pounding heart and tears streaming down my face and the smell of Aqua de Gio still hanging in the air. I begged God to please let me go back to sleep for just a while longer...Please, just let me hold him a little longer........

The pain is still just as bad after 8 years as it was the day I found out about his accident. My heart is Breaking.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Having Fun Wrong......and other stuff.

Sigh.....some days are so frustrating.

I finally took my husbands advice and finally signed up for a STEAM account. I went thru quite a few of the games and created a wishlist of the ones that really looked like ones I would be interested in.

Wouldn't you know it- the ones I MOST wanted to get are either majorly difficult- (to the point my long-time gamer hubby even gave up) or my gaming laptop just won't support them.

The ones I felt sort of  "Meh" about- yeah- those will work.

This is why I read..... or watch movies... more than anything else.  Or just don't have more of an interest in branching out in my gaming interests. I play Mine Craft.....I like playing Saints Row- and GTA- but not to complete missions and further the game- I just like exploring the places in them.
 I must have been an explorer in a past life.

As hubby likes to tell me- I'm Having Fun Wrong.

I was coming back from the bathroom in the quasi-dark this morning and smashed the side of  my foot on the corner of the platform bed. Thru the red mist of pain, I distinctly heard something crack, Probably my pinky toe again because it's already turned dark purple and more importantly, I can still walk on my foot.
I epic fail at walking.


I have done extremely well this year in abstaining from Christmas indulgences....Special Holiday Treats,,,,,Movies, Music, singing/humming/whistling ........having decorations out. The only exception is the personalized Bottle of wine my Daughter-in-law Kathy and her family gave Paul and myself for Christmas. It's sat in a candle wreath of holly and berries on a side table all year- almost out of sight,- but not quite.
Now that Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is fast approaching, I'm starting to get a fluttery feeling in my tummy- much like it did when I was a child and the wonder of The Christmas Season was imminent.

I knew that we would go to Aunt Ann & Uncle Harry's for a VERY formal Thanksgiving Dinner- after which we would go home and decorate our own Christmas Tree. And that tradition kind of carried over into my own when I had my own home and children in my house.....and even after when they had grown up and had families of their own.

The Holiday Season went like this:

A couple of days before Thanksgiving the turkey would be set in the fridge to thaw....and all the desserts would be made the day before.
Thanksgiving Morning I would be up at 7AM and by 9 the turkey would be in the oven roasting away. I'd be putting together the other side dishes( and there were a LOT of the side dishes)- baking them along with the turkey for the day- in between putting them in and taking them out of the oven, tho, I'd be watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I have GOT to figure out a way to watch that this year.

The relatives would start arriving around 3-4pm ish, and by 5 the food would be set up buffet style. I just didn't have the room my Aunt Ann & Uncle Harry did altho I did have the same amount(or more sometimes) of people that they had for dinner.
We'd all get the kids settled with their food- then get ours and eat together...ish. After Dinner was done, (dishes waited til the next day)...We would sit and watch a Christmas Movie on TV and decorate the Tree which had been set up the day before and the lights and garland strung on it. The entire family each had a special ornament for my tree, and they would hang them on my tree and then put a few more on it if they wanted- which they always did.
Then- we would eat again....turkey & ham sammiches or a smaller plate of the dinner again, -or dessert if you were ready for it then.
Afterwards, the Christmas Music came on and we just sat admired the tree, and reminisced about Christmases gone by and all our favorite things about the holidays.
Usually by then the children were worn out and so were the grown-ups, and everyone would start gathering up coats and jackets to head home- but not until every family's mama had  went to the kitchen and got a plate of the leftover food to take home to nibble on the next day.

Lord Bless those were the days dreams were made of. And I miss em dearly.

More on Holiday traditions later.........

Saturday, November 07, 2015

And Then Life Happens....

I'm baaaaaaaack!!!

Sorry it's been so long but I have had some STUFF going on in my life and I just couldn't bring myself to write a post.

Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do to preserve your sanity and that's exactly what I doing.


We had our Halloween Dinner Party.
I sent out invites I did myself. Chiller font in blood red.
Then I hand drew cobwebs in all the corners and a couple of spiders on it too....tied it with a black ribbon in scroll form and hand delivered them.

 There was lots of rearranging of decor too before I was happy with it.
It started out like this....

But ended up like this......

I just don't like over-sized table centerpieces that get in the way of guests being able to see and conversate with each other. (That's a Southern Word in case y'all're wondering.)

It was originally just a get together dinner of the Dinner and Board games group we belong to with some workmates. It was our turn(kind of) to host the get together and I threw out the idea of costumes as a throwaway comment- fully expecting everyone to say nah....too much trouble. But they all surprised me and threw themselves into the spirit of things....

Velma, Shaggy and Tiny little Scooby on Shaggys shoulder.

Can you guess? Exactly!! Wednesday Addams and Lurch!!!!

A Sith Lord from Star Wars

Vicky Pollard from Little Britain.
I was absolutely THRILLED at their awesome outfits!!!!

This was the menu.....

Everyone loved it.... and everyone had their favorites.

 We did provide rolls in case anyone wanted sammiches instead of fork eating it- and they did.
Lurch's favs were the BBQ sauces and Pulled Pork. He ate I think 6 of the sammiches.  Velma's fav was the Ranch Potatoes. Wednesday's favorite was the baked beans.

Im not sure what The Sith Lord and Shaggy's favorites were. They didn't really say.

Anyway, A good time was had by all.


And in other news, I'm going to be a Great-Grandmother around my birthday end of February.To paraphrase the Great Danny Glover- I'm too Young for this $&!%!!!!

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Gypsies, Tramps & Theives.....

I love Cher songs...mostly.

What made me start humming this one is the Happoween Costume Party I talked about in an earlier post this week.
I've thought about it and thought about it and I have decided on my costume. I'm going to go with an old standard- the Gypsy Fortune Teller.
And I'll tell you for why....

Now first of all, I thought Mrs. Claus would be the perfect choice for me to dress up as...A bit older, chubby woman who loves all things Christmas. Then I looked at some Mrs. Claus outfits/costumes and did a double take. Holy COW those things are expensive!!!  Then I thought, well, how hard could it be to make one? I have a sewing machine hubby bought us- and material cant me that expensive.....
So a bit more research later- making it was actually going to be MORE expensive than buying one ready made. Seriously.

Then I thought how about an elf outfit? Surely THAT cant be too expensive. And I found a really cute one for about £10...$15. Cool- so I ordered it- and while I was ordering it- I ordered all that stuff I posted about too- the tablecloth and serving platters and chargers and goblets....really cute and inexpensive.......Less that £50 for the entire lot including the elf costume.

So then I thought- well, One holiday at a time....hmmmm...I need an alternate plan.

So I got looking thru my clothing and found a black and garnet full skirt with sequins that someone had given me. The top had long been gone, but the skirt would be wicked as a gypsy Fortune teller costume. So I looked further into my stash of clothes- and I found several scarves hanging in my closet that would be perfect as a hip scarf and a head scarf...with a bit of beaded trim and a few faux coins sewn on it will be awesome! My Mother in law even got in the spirit and said she has a peasant blouse that would be perfect for the outfit if I wanted it!!  Bless her- she is becoming one of my favorite people now that we arent stepping on each others nerves in the same house.  It's true- two women cannot live in the same house for very long.

Anyway, I can pair the skirt and scarves and blouse with a pair of boots and voila!!!! An outfit that is awesome and comfortable enough to be able to cook in, too!!

Now my husband- he has an outfit that is to DIE for- he actually MADE most of it and I cannot wait to see him finally WEAR it!!! We will have photos for me to post on here!!! I cant WAIT!!!!

In other news...
This Friday my department at work is having our quarterly Sammich Swap.

The Rules:

*1) You make a sammich. (No pre bought ones allowed- you MUST make it yourself.) Any fillings are allowed as long as they are edible. Any bread may be used....Flour/cormeal wraps, ciabatta, sub rolls, dinner rolls, baps, loaf bread........whatever suits your fancy.

*2) You name your sammich, then wrap and label it.

*3) Write the Name of your creation on a ready made tag- fold it- and  put it in the "hat".

*4) At lunch time- you draw a name from the hat and that is the sammich you have for lunch.

*5) After eating your lunch- you write a short review on it and send to all participants.

I'll be making my standard sammich. I named it. It was a joke because some of those names were REALLY well thought out catchy ones. And I couldnt compete with that- so I went in the totally opposite direction and called mine Fred. And the name stuck.
I made a bog standard Philly Cheesesteak, only I add a bit of Teriyaki sauce and cajun seasoning to my onions, mushrooms and peppers when I sautee them, Then I put them aside in a container.  I put the bread with the roast beef and the cheese. Then I add a smidge of English Mustard with 3 times as much mayo with some cracked Black pepper in it and set that to the side so the sammich doesnt get soggy. Then come lunchtime- I put the sammich together. I heat the veg mixture put it on the bread on top of the roast beef and cheese on the bread, then put the sammich in the microwave for 15 seconds to freshen the bread and warm the cheese, then when it comes out- smear the mayo-stard on it before I give it to the lucky recipient.

I was going to try something different this year- maybe a BBQ Chicken with Caramelized onions ...or a Shrimp Po- Boy, but when I said I was thinking about doing something different this time I almost caused a riot. So I suppose Fred it will be...again.
Owww- maybe I will add a bit of pastrami to it this time. Too much?

Monday, August 31, 2015

Last Day of Holiday/Vacation

I'm sitting here in the early morning dawn, coffee cup in hand, gazing over the greenery of the land that is my view from the window.

It's, sadly, the last day of my and Paul's time off. The first really LONG holiday we have had together since we went on our honeymoon eleven years ago.

This ten days has been just what the doctor ordered. This month of August has been an emotional one for several years now. And this year- it was over the top emotional. ten days before my son's Angelversary, my best friend of 45+ years who lives with her middle son, went to wake him and found he had passed away in his sleep. She called EMS- then me. There was nothing she could do- rigour had already set in. He was beyond help.
Our firstborns are a bit over a year apart in age...our middle children were 6 months apart in age...our babies are 6 weeks apart in age. When they were growing up we saw each other almost every day. We lived within a stones throw of each other.
It was devastating for me and my family- as well as for her. It made it worse that I couldn't work details out so I could go back to be by her side, so my sisters and daughter stood by her side in my stead. But rest assured, as she sat in that service and as she listened to the prayers and her tears fell and her heart breaks , I am, in my heart and mind, by her side, my tears falling as surely as hers are. My children are her children, and her children are my children.
I love that sweet girl and am praying God gives her strength to get thru this, her darkest hour.

But back to my point.....August has been triply stressful this year and the situations(yes there was more involving my daughters family but we will save that story for another day.) just amplified and brought back the freshness of the pain of losing my son.

So this holiday was just what the doctor ordered. Paul and I didn't travel anywhere. It was a stay at home or local, quiet time to rejuvenate kind of holiday. We haven't stuck as strictly to our diets as we have been(we didn't go crazy either, however).he refuses to weigh this week, but I still managed to lose a half pound on holiday which I am THRILLED about! We slept in every single day. We stayed up as late as we wanted- or we went to bed as early as we wanted. We cooked if we wanted, or we ordered delivery. We did go out to the pub Friday night for one of hubby's co-workers leaving do. But even then, we went early, we left early, we didn't over-do it- and we got lots of exercise in walking most of the way back home from the pub. My back started seizing up and we ended up having to call a cab the last quarter half mile. I know- I should have been able to make it- but it's a three mile walk and I walked until I was literally crying before I gave in to a taxi.

I kept the dishes done.....and I hoovered once. but that was the extent of housework done. Hubby took the bin bags out to the dumpsters  and cleaned the g-piggie cage for his part in housework. It was holiday- neither of us wanted to make housework a priority, so we didn't.

We went out shopping twice, and out to eat lunch both times. We managed to get a refund on an electronic we had bought less than three months ago that had  failed, so we took the money from that and went to the sports shop and  bought me anew set of walking/jogging/running pants & shirt, and Paul a pair of running pants and a new pair of trainers(running shoes). Then when we went to his parents, his dad gave him another practically brand new pair he had and hadn't worn but a couple of times in the couple of years he had them. Dad Glenn spends his free time golfing or fishing, or going on holiday with Mama Joan.

We watched movies, we played our games. I worked on my memoirs and got quite a bit done. I got two books read. CELL by Stephen King, and Did You Miss Me by Karen Rose. Meh on both. Since his accident years ago- Stephen King seems to have lost his special brand of sparkle in his writing style. His storys have become a bit ho-hum. Bless his heart. Lord knows I have a whole shelf of his pre-accident books to fall back on and reread. And bad mojo to the driver that hit him.

I listened to my classical music. I got a bit more into the yoga I have started doing.
Sadly, I didn't get a Photo walk in as the weather hasn't really permitted. Sad, but Autumn is coming and I plan on going out or carrying my gear with me everywhere I go to be able to capture the beautiful colors.

So- today I am doing a couple of loads of laundry and cleaning the kitchen floor and that's about it. I think I'll order Pizza tonight for supper and then tomorrow morning- it's back to the rat race until Thanksgiving.

It's been just the break I've needed with my husband by my side.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

On The Lighter Side......Autumnal Celebrations!!!!!

Only 31 Days til Autumn!!!!

My favorite SEASON of the year!!!!

I love the cool crisp days.....Not too warm, not too cool......just perfect!!!

This year- Paul and I have decided to host a Halloween Dinner Party for Six. Two of his workmates and their partners have been invited along. I'm working on the invites now.

I don't do a lot of decorating for Autumn....RARELY for Halloween specifically, so I have a bit of prep to do for this one. Since Storage space is limited in our flat, I'm going to have to fit almost everything into ONE big plastic bin for Autumn Decorating. So I've decided to do smaller vignettes for the rooms.

The Kitchen will sport a few of these. Made with old containers, glue, and some chalk or matte paint, I'll line them on the kitchen windowsill and stick a couple of bare branches painted black into my windowsill herb garden. That's about as much as my kitchen will allow for decorating.

The Bathroom will be veryyyyyy simple......

Ive been needing to buy a new Bathmat- so I will buy one in Black(our towels are already black, sand and Aqua) and along with a few snips of black electrical tape- this will be easy peasy!!
I have a pair of old vinyl gloves from a hair Dye Kit that might be fun to stuff with a bit of tissue to make it all look a bit more 3D...

The Living room I'm going to add a few touches here and there...maybe a single vignette using these ideas together....

The entrance hall will have a combination of these three ideas.....

And the table will have these elements.....

I don't much care for the wheat sheaf...I will use bare branches - either natural or painted black instead. I don't like centerpieces that block views and conversations. We will be using proper metal flatware for it Plastic forks for US!

The Menu....I know there's going to be a Caramel & Apple Cinnamon Spice Cake with Maple Glaze for Dessert.

 I'm still pondering the Main course and the Horse Doovers. (Sorry- I couldn't resist using that mis-pronunciation of it!!!)
Any suggestions would be most appreciated.
The theme is Defo NOT a happy spooky child's version of Halloween...but a more grown up- tasteful version. (if there IS such a thing?) I'm thinking more Goth than anything - altho we ARE going to dress in different Costumes. I have an outfit in mind for mine- but I don't want to ruin the surprise!!!

So......suggestions for Main Course and Horse Doovers, please....

And what Autumnal Celebrations do Y'ALL have planned????

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Random Acts Of Kindness........

“Claying It Forward”

Several of my lovely friends and family member’s have already begun “Claying It Forward” and also shared the post causing a ripple effect! I want to thank each and every one of you that has participated and as surely as I sit here, the people you have helped have been as touched as I am by your generosity and will remember their Angel on Earth for a very long time. 
Many that are participating have expressed the desire to remain anonymous. So, in keeping with the spirit of it all and to honour those wishes, I’m using Initials in all unless the desire to remain anonymous was declared, in which they will be known as Anon. Again, I love you all and thank you for your generosity and care and I’m sure Clay is looking down from heaven smiling and sending his love as well.
*T.C. is helping a friend buy her daughter a walker she needs.
*E.&C.M. bought gifts for Service Personnel overseas to be sent in care packages and additional items for Country Santa for children in need for the holidays
*Anon bought school supplies for a family with several school children.
*K.B. is feeding and watering the stray animals in the neighbourhood.
*Anon bought meds for the elderly person in line in front of him at the pharmacy.
*Anon is helping a young person in need.
*C.C. went out to breakfast after work and paid for an elderly ladies breakfast that came in and was dining alone.
*F.H. & S.S. always buy a homeless person they see food and drink.

*F.H. and his co-worker A. helped an elderly gentleman in a big truck push his vehicle out of the busy road when it broke down.
*L.B. paid for three young girls sweets when they came up short at the register.
*Anon bought a school uniform for the 3 school age children of a family.
*J.J. paid for two police officers meals.
*T.C. put flowers on the grave next to her mom’s gravesite. She said she had never seen flowers on it in all the years she had been going.
* Anon brought a big box of chocolates to the lady in the room next door to his mom at the retirement home. He also brought a chocolate cake to the nurses station. Clayton loved chocolate.
* Anon cut a truckload of firewood and delivered it to his elderly neighbours so they have wood cured for a nice fire in their fireplace this year in cool weather time.
*K.G. brought 5 big bags of dog and cat food to the local Humane Society.
*Anon paid for the elderly couples medications at the drug store when he heard the woman ask for a half script because it was too expensive.
*A.D. continues to contribute regularly to a house in Clay's memory. She has done for over a year- and will continue to do so until the house is paid off.

I’m sure there are more people out there who haven’t told me about what they did- and prob never will.
All the acts of kindness shown this week, it causes a ripple effect- one person shows unexpected kindness to another- and then that person remembers it and somewhere down the line in the future does the same thing when THEY are in a position to help someone out. Then those people remember and do a good deed for someone later on……and on and on and on……

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart….It makes my heart sing and I’m sure Clayton is smiling down from Heaven, too.

Bless you all. Each and every one. xoxoxoxxoxo