Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve

Here we are on the eve of another new year. Time to take stock of the past year and look 'peer' into the future and decide what our goals are for the next.

This morning I was able to take this interesting photo - you can see the sunlight streaming through the tree limbs.

I received news from from Christie & Jesse (a girl that worked with me for a while) that their little one was born yesterday at 1:40 p.m.

Welcome to

Carter Jackson
6 lbs 9 oz
19 inches long

I know that his arrival has been highly anticipated and that they were pleasantly surprised at his appearance this year instead of waiting until next.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday

This morning we were able to sleep in. I've not been able to do that for awhile.

Since we are having a nice rain - it certainly does make the possiblity of sleep much more attractive. I can almost feel a nap coming on as I type. Walter has already headed back to bed for one.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Candle Help

Mrs. Donovan was walking down O'Connell Street in Dublin when she met Father Flaherty.

The priest said, "Top o' the mornin' to ye! Aren't ye Mrs. Donvan and didn't I marry ye and yer hoosband 2 years ago?"

She replied, "Aye, that ye did, Fadder."

The Father asked, "And be there any wee little ones yet?"

She replied, "No, not yet, Fadder."

Father Flaherty said, "Well, now, I'm goin' to Rome next week and I'll light a candle for ye and yer hoosband."

She replied, "Oh, thank ye, Fadder." They then parted ways.

Some years later they met again and Father Flaherty asked, "Well now, Mrs. Donovan, how are ye these days?"

She replied, "Oh, very well, Fadder!"

The priest then asked, "And tell me, have ye any been blessed with any wee ones yet?"

She replied, "Oh yes, Fadder! T'ree sets o'twins and 4 singles, 10 in all."

He then responded, "That's wonderful! How is yer loving hoosband?"

She replied, "E's gone to Rome to blow out yer candle."

2008 Contract Renewal

After serious & cautious consideration.....your contract of friendship has been renewed for the New Year 2008!

It was a very hard decision to make. So try not to screw it up!!!

My Wish for You in 2008

May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts. May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet of $100 bills. May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips! May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires and may happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy. May the problems you had forget your home address! In simple words ............

May 2008 be the best year of your life!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Final Saturday of 2007

This morning I headed out to work for a few hours. It was a very productive time. We were able to get a whole lot of things accomplished. After working in the doctor's office we all now have at least a whole week's worth of things that need to be worked on and completed. However, it did serve a great purpose in laying out the goals of what we are doing. A more complete picture and direction.

Sean headed home this afternoon - in fact he was gone before I got back from work. I was sorry to have missed his departure. I think Walter said that I only missed them by about five minutes.

We spent the afternoon watching a few old westerns and took a short nap, since we were heading out for the evening.

Masquerade Party

Walter & I were invited to a masquerade party at Roz's sister's house last night. All the ladies wore masks, but the men on the other hand basically watched television.

I got this photo of Roz as she was standing in the kitchen with her pheasant feathered mask on. Hot stuff Roz as usual.

This is Roz's daughter Courtney and Roz's niece Mattie. Miss Mattie was taking in all the new sights. Feather's everywhere.

Walt did check in on the going ons in the kitchen. It was good to see Walter up and about. It really picked up his spirits to get out of the house and out doing something.

Of course, there is no way that he couldn't have a few laughs and head shaking moments when Roz is around. She always has her way of bringing up everyone's spirits.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday

Here we are at the end of another busy week.

Sean has been visiting with Walter and I for the entire week. He has been a big help to Walter and good company as well. I'm really pleased at how well they have gotten along.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all!

Myspace Christmas Greetings


This morning I'm spending the day with my boys. I popped a batch of cinnamon rolls in the oven this morning as a special treat. I don't usually have the opportunity to do much baking in the morning any more. So I particularly enjoyed getting to do so.

We've been watching movies all day. We started off with Harry Potter - The Order of the Phoenix; followed by Scarlett - which lasted only 6 hrs 40 minutes; then on to Pirates of the Caribbean at Worlds End. Lots and lots of movies.

Sean has been playing WOW all day. Hardly letting up even to eat, although he did eat amazingly enough.

Mom sent over this photo of me that Cassie had taken on Christmas Eve. Not too bad. There are seldom any photos that I like of myself, but this one is good.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Chrismas Eve Moonset

Moonset early this morning, if you look close at the bottom right of the picture you can even see Venus.

This evening we all headed off to Mom & Dad's for Christmas Eve together. I didn't take many photos but the few good ones are here. Walter looking totally mischievous; Mom behind the camera as usual; and Tim refusing to take a good picture.





















Dean brought Sean over to the house this evening after spending the evening with LG and the rest of the family. We did a little more gift opening at Walter's. Sean really liked the camera that he received from Mamaw & Papaw.

On the way home I was able to get another good photo of the full moon.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Santa A Guy?

I think Santa Claus is a woman....

I hate to be the one to defy sacred myth, but I believe he's a she. Think about it. Christmas is a big, organized, warm, fuzzy, nurturing social deal, and I have a tough time believing a guy could possibly pull it all off!

For starters, the vast majority of men don't even think about selecting gifts until Christmas Eve. It's as if they are all frozen in some kind of Ebenezerian Time Warp until 3 p.m. on Dec. 24th, when they--with amazing calm--call other errant men and plan for a last-minute shopping spree.

Once at the mall, they always seem surprised to find only Ronco products, socket wrench sets, and mood rings left on the shelves. (You might think this would send them into a fit of panic and guilt, but my husband tells me it's an enormous relief because it lessens the 11th hour decision-making burden.) On this count alone, I'm convinced Santa is a woman.

Surely, if he were a man, everyone in the universe would wake up Christmas morning to find a rotating musical Chia Pet under the tree, still in the bag.

Another problem for a he-Santa would be getting there. First of all, there would be no reindeer because they would all be dead, gutted, and strapped on to the rear bumper of the sleigh, amid wide-eyed, desperate claims that buck season had been extended. Blitzen's rack would already be on the way to the taxidermist.

Even if the male Santa DID have reindeer, he'd still have transportation problems because he would inevitably get lost up there in the snow and clouds and then refuse to stop and ask for directions.

Add to this the fact that there would be unavoidable delays in the chimney, where the Bob Vila-like Santa would stop to inspect and repoint bricks in the flue. He would also need to check for carbon monoxide fumes in every gas fireplace, and get under every Christmas tree that is crooked to straighten it to a perfectly upright 90-degree angle.

Other reasons why Santa can't possibly be a man:
  • Men can't pack a bag.
  • Men would rather be dead than caught wearing red velvet.
  • Men would feel their masculinity is threatened, having to be seen with all those elves.
  • Men don't answer their mail.
  • Men would refuse to allow their physique to be described even in jest as anything remotely resembling a "bowlful of jelly."
  • Men aren't interested in stockings unless somebody's wearing them.
  • Finally, being responsible for Christmas would require a commitment.
I can buy the fact that other mythical holiday characters are men. Father Time shows up once a year unshaven and looking ominous. Definite guy. Cupid flies around carrying weapons. Uncle Sam is a politician who likes to point fingers. Any one of these individuals could pass the testosterone screening test. But not St. Nick.

Not a chance.

Airport Mistletoe

It was the beginning of December. The trip had gone reasonably well, and he was ready to go back. The airport on the other hand had turned a tacky red and green, and loudspeakers blared annoying elevator renditions of cherished Christmas carols.

Being someone who took Christmas very seriously, and being slightly tired, he was not in a particularly good mood.

Going to check in his luggage (which, for some reason, had become one suitcase with entirely new clothes), he saw hanging mistletoe. Not real mistletoe, but very cheap plastic with red paint on some of the rounder parts and green paint on some of the flatter and "pointier" parts, that could be taken for mistletoe only in a very Picasso sort of way.

With a considerable degree of irritation and nowhere else to vent it, he said to the attendant, "Even if I were not married, I would not want to kiss you under such a ghastly mockery of mistletoe."

"Sir, look more closely at where the mistletoe is." (pause)

"Ok, I see that it's above the luggage scale, which is the place you'd have to step forward for a kiss."

"That's not why it's there." (pause)

"Ok, I give up. Why is it there?"

"It's there so you can kiss your luggage goodbye."

Christmas Card Blues

I was taking a shower when my 2-year-old son came into the bathroom and wrapped himself in toilet paper.

Although he made a mess, he looked adorable, so I ran for my camera and took a few shots.

They came out so well that I had copies made and included one with each of our Christmas cards.

Days later, a relative called about the picture, laughing hysterically and suggesting I take a closer look.

Puzzled, I stared at the photo and was shocked to discover that in addition to my son, I had captured my reflection in the mirror --- wearing nothing but a camera!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday Outing

This morning Walter was able to make it out to Sunday school. He wasn't up to sitting/standing for the church service, but he is making progress.

Walter even made the trip over to wish Dean a happy birthday in person. They had a great visit with one another.

This evening we made a run to the Coldstone Creamery for ice cream. That stuff is absolutely delicious.

The BIG 50!

Today Dean is celebrating the BIG 50!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saturday

We've had a very productive day today. Walt's been working on making a list for me and I helped out a bit with it this afternoon. Only two more lists to go before the end of the year. Yippee.

I headed out early this afternoon to finish up my Christmas shopping. I'm glad that I finally got it completed, but frustrated that I didn't get it finished until here at the last minute.

Next year, I'm going to be done well before Thanksgiving. None of this last minute garbage - too stressful and unorganized. But most likely that will be something that I won't be worried about, since presents will be coming from Italy next year.

Here is Carla pestering Walter. She sat this way for quite a while. The running joke is that she was telling him that "Timmy fell down the well."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday

Myspace Christmas Glitters

This morning around 9:30 a.m. I received the weirdest phone call from Walter. He was calling and asking "Mom, aren't you coming up here?" I explained to him that I had been there at 6:30 a.m. and that I was at work. He had taken his new pain medication and fallen back to sleep right after I left this morning and when he woke up he was disoriented as to the time. I, of course, have been giving him a good natured hard time about his "losing" three hours.

The office went out to Dolce Vita for our Christmas luncheon. We all had a great time. Whole lots of laughter and fun.

These are a few shots of the folks that I work with.

First up in the picture line up are Kirsty, Brian, Pan, Lori and Eric. Kirsty, Brian and I work together in the back office.

Grandma Connie with her lovely Christmas vest. She is the queen of cookies in the office. The patients love them and the special touch she gives them.

There is Roz with Joan. They were up to no good. Jamie is all smiles just like she is at the office.

Dr & Mrs. Martin, with Jami (yes another Jami) across the table.

Lastly, is Dr. Martin opening up his gift from the Office, a Virginia Tech jacket with his name and old uniform number on it.

Walter made it out to his company Christmas cookout (ribs and the fixin's) as well. B. came and picked him up and Tim brought him back afterwards.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

THE OLD PHONE

When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it!

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was "Information Please" and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone's number and the correct time.

My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy.

I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear. "Information, please" I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.

"Information."

"I hurt my finger.." I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.

"Isn't your mother home?" came the question.

"Nobody's home but me," I blubbered.

"Are you bleeding?" the voice asked.

"No," I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts."
"Can you open the icebox?" she asked.
I said I could.

"Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger," said the voice.

After that, I called "Information Please" for everything. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.

Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, Information Please," and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?"

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, " Wayne always remember that there are other worlds to sing in."

Somehow I felt better.

Another day I was on the telephone, "Information Please "
"Information," said in the now familiar voice. "How do I spell fix?" I asked.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest . When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston . I missed my friend very much. "Information Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me.

Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown Operator and said, "Information Please."

Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well. "Information."

I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, "Could you please tell me how to spell fix?"

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess your finger must have healed by now."

I laughed, "So it's really you," I said "I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?"

I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your calls meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls."
I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.


"Please do", she said. "Just ask for Sally"

Three months later I was back in Seattle . A different voice answered "Information." I asked for Sally.

"Are you a friend?" she said.

"Yes, a very old friend," I answered.

"I'm sorry to have to tell you this," she said. "Sally had been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago."

Before I could hang up she said, "Wait a minute, did you say your name was Wayne ?" "Yes." I answered.

"Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called.

Let me read it to you. The note said, " Tell him there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean."

I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.

Never underestimate the impression you may make on others.

Whose life have you touched today?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thursday

It has been a busy day at work, but at least I feel like I was getting back in the groove today.

This evening I did a little Christmas shopping. I've never had to do Christmas shopping this late in the month. I'm usually done at least by the first week in December if not before Thanksgiving.

I made up a batch of peanut butter roll this evening. Walter was surely enjoying himself. His friend Patrick was over while I was making it and Walter made him stay until he had had a piece. They have decided that it should almost be a scheduled substance at least a schedule "D" drug - for delicious. I do believe that if they had had a big glass of milk they would have eaten enough to slip into a sugar induced comma.

They were giving it all sorts of "street" names - and talking about how addictive that it is. They were truly so funny.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:


A Wish For Your Family

Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles.
A fresh pot of coffee you didn't have to make yourself.
An unexpected phone call from an old friend.
Green stoplights on your way to work or shop.
I wish you a day of little things to rejoice in...

The fastest line at the grocery store.
A good sing along song on the radio.
Your keys right where you look.

I wish you a day of happiness and perfection-
little bite-sized pieces of perfection that
give you the funny feeling that the Lord is
smiling on you, holding you so gently
because you are someone special and rare.

I wish you a day of Peace, Happiness and Joy.


In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket.

Their father was gone.

The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two.

Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared.

Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds.

He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries.

Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either.

If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it.

I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress, loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job.

The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town.

No luck.

The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince who ever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job.

Still no luck. The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in t hat had been converted to a truck stop.

It was called the Big Wheel.

An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids.

She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning.

She paid 65 cents an hour, and I could start that night.

I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people.

I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night.

She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep

This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal.

That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.

When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money-- fully half of what I averaged every night.

As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meager wage.

The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home.

One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires!

There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires.

Had angels taken up residence in Indiana? I wondered.

I made a deal with the local service station.

In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office.

I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.

I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough.

Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids.

I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning.

Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.

On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. There were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe.

A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine.

The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.

When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning, to my amazement, my old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes.

I quickly opened the driver's side door, crawled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat.

Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box.

Inside was whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10!

I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans.

Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes. There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes.
There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items.

And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.

As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude.

And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.

Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop..

THE POWER OF PRAYER. I believe that God only gives three answers to prayer:

1. "Yes!"
2. "Not yet."
3. "I have something better in mind."

God still sits on the throne, the devil is a liar.

You maybe going through a tough time right now but God is getting ready to bless you in a way that you cannot imagine.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tuesday

The day started off in the pits. I don't know what came over me, I guess that I just felt totally overwhelmed. I shouldn't really have felt that way, but I suppose that it was the events of last week catching up with me. I do have a history of being great in the crisis then falling apart afterwards. Chin up tomorrow will be better.

I went to an Advanced Photoshop class today - I learned a bunch of new things and will be working at implementing them in what I am doing. Shortcuts are Great! We were even able to get our instructor to go over some items in InDesign and Illustrator as well. It really was a beneficial day.

This evening I've been working on a couple of items for work and some of the hints that I picked up this morning were very applicable. I was able to complete a couple of flow charts and a presentation certificate, as well as conduct a teleseminar.

While I was working - Walter was really getting a work out - he finally got to get his first good shower since the accident. Where there is a will there is a way.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:


Thought For the Day:

Dear Abby

Dear Abby,

My husband is a liar and a cheat. He has cheated on me from the beginning, and, when I confront him, he denies everything. What's worse, everyone knows that he cheats on me. It is so humiliating.

Also, since he lost his job six years ago, he hasn't even looked for a new one. All he does all day is smoke cigars,cruise around and shoot the bull with his buddies, while I have to work to pay the bills.

Since our daughter went away to college he doesn't even pretend to like me,and even hints that I may be a lesbian.

What should I do?

Signed: Clueless


Dear Clueless:

Grow up and dump him. Good grief woman!
You don't need him anymore!
You're a Senator from New York running for President of the United States.
Act like one.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Monday

I'm heading back to work this morning after I help Walter through some of his exercises.

He'll have busy day while I'm gone. The physical therapist will be in as well as maintenance to install a new dishwasher. He may have some additional company as well.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day: People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. - Elisabeth Kr-Ross

Christmas Love

I don't usually go for different versions of the "Love Chapter" (1 Corinthians 13), but I like this one.
+++++++++++++++++++

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,
strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,
but do not show love to my family,
I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen,
baking dozens of Christmas cookies,
preparing gourmet meals
and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime:
but do not show love to my family,
I'm just another cook.

If I work at a soup kitchen
carol in the nursing home,
and give all that I have to charity;
but do not show love to my family,
it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels
and crocheted snowflakes,
attend a myriad of holiday parties
and sing in the choir's cantata
but do not focus on Christ,
I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn't envy another's home
that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way,
but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return;
but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things
endures all things.
Love never fails.

Video games will break,
pearl necklaces will be lost,
golf clubs will rust;

But giving the gift of love will endure.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday

It looks like it is going to be one gloomy, yucky day.

Carla has taken up sleeping next to Walter. She really does thing that she's stuff now that she has two beds to sleep on. I guess that she gets to change 'mattresses' twice a day.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day: You need to control your emotions. Keep 'em under wraps! - from Mom's fortune cookie

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sandi

I would like to thank you. You stepped up to the plate last Sunday in a time of crisis. You did exactly what you were asked to do. Protect what you could from the rain. I appreciate your retrieving everything that you could and taking on the job of sorting it all out. Which I know, will take quite a bit of effort. You were able to save me a tremendous headache by finding my M/C in the wreckage.

- Thank you

Saturday

This cute card came in from Bush Gardens, I guess they got wind of how much time we spent there this summer. I liked the graphic and thought that I would share.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day: When you wonder what is coming, tell yourself the best is coming, the very best life and love have to offer, the best God and His Universe have to send. Then open your hands to receive it. Claim it, and it is yours. - Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go

Many Happy Returns

Twas the day after Christmas and all through the room
Strewn wrappings were crying
for use of a broom.

The children were scattered
the friends' gifts exploring
Since now most of theirs
were broken or boring.

All tummies still stuffed
from the fabulous feast;
Leftovers would serve
for one month at least.

And mama and papa
were the countryside ranging,
Those unwanted gifts
returned or exchanging.

Yes Christmas is past
with its bustle and noise—
Sales and carols
Santas and toys.

Decorations are packed
the yule tree's discarded
The holiday's over
just as we got started.

To celebrate peace
and the meaning of giving
To discover real love
and the purpose for living.

Dear Jesus please help us
to stop and remember
That you came to earth
not just for December.

But from birth in a manger
to death on a cross
You gave up your glory
and counted it loss.

So now as we trust You—
God’s only Son—
The real celebration
has only begun!
Copyright 2007 Dave Veerman. Permission is granted to send this to others, with attribution, but not for commercial purposes.

Christmas Greetings

Christmas is fast approaching. My wish for everyone is a truly blessed holiday season, filled with closeness of family and good will.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Walter's Day

The morning was a somewhat rough, but he improved as the day went along. So far he's been working on his PT and has actually eaten something of substance today.

Carla has taken advantage of Walter being stuck in the bed/on the sofa. She's becoming the real little nursemaid. Sitting or sleeping beside him to keep him company.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

New Supermarket

The new supermarket near our house has an automatic water mister to keep the produce fresh. Just before it goes on, you hear the sound of distant thunder and the smell of fresh rain.

When you approach the milk cases, you hear cows mooing and witness the scent of fresh hay.

When you approach the egg case, you hear hens cluck and cackle and the air is filled with the pleasing aroma of bacon and eggs frying.

The veggie department features the smell of fresh buttered corn, and in the fresh fruits, the scent of watermelon floats on the air.

I don't buy toilet paper there any more.

Congratulations!!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!
ALICE


Our New Expert

In Response

Anonymous said...

HA, that's what he gets for stealing from his great-grandmother. I'm just upset that you were not in the car with him.

10:51 AM

(I've posted the original comment here so that what the focus of all the wrath and anger is up front for everyone to see not hidden behind a link at the bottom of a post. 12-17 JPS)

To the Anonymous idiot,

If you would think for a minute instead of having your head stuck up your own a**, you would not have imputed Walter's nor my character in your posting (Sunday Gone Awry).

Obviously you feel that you must be entitled to some of Mamaw's possessions otherwise you would have just kept your mouth shut.

We offered to make the trip for Mamaw, otherwise we would not have been in the vicinity. We don't visit her home when she is not there to do laundry (steal her water & electricity) nor do we ask her for her things in an attempt to "clean out" all of her things.

The items in question were being transported to make Mamaw's life better. They were/are for her enjoyment and comfort. Neither Walter nor I have any use for her things. They are hers and hers alone!

_____

Walter says, "Sandi, give back the vacuum. It's not worth it!"

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thursday Therapy

First thing this morning Tim, the physical therapist, came to do Walter's first session of physical therapy at the house. Walter did a nice job and Tim had him working hard. The next session will be Monday. I was informed that leaving Walter home alone on Friday wasn't a good idea at all so I will be working from home tomorrow as I did today.

Tim (brother) came by after he got off work to show me how to give Walter his blood thinner shots. I get the great pleasure of 'sticking' him once a day for the next month.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day: "If you're not happy with what you have, how could you be happier with more?"

A Visit with Beatrice

Miss Beatrice, the church organist, was in her eighties and had never been married. She was admired for her sweetness and kindness to all. One afternoon the pastor came to call on her and she showed him into her quaint sitting room. She invited him to have a seat while she prepared tea.

As he sat facing her old Hammond organ, the young minister noticed a cute-glass bowl sitting on top of it. The bowl was filled with water, and in the water floated, of all things, a condom!

When she returned with tea and scones, they began to chat. The pastor tried to stifle his curiosity about the bowl of water and its strange floater, but soon it got the better of him and he could no longer resist.

'Miss Beatrice', he said, 'I wonder if you would tell me about this?' pointing to the bowl..

'Oh, yes,' she replied, 'Isn't it wonderful? I was walking through the Park a few months ago and I found this little package on the ground. The directions said to place it on the organ, keep it wet and that it would prevent the spread of disease. Do you know I haven't had the flu all winter.'

Christmas Cake

Every Christmas, composer Giacomo Puccini would have a cake baked for each of his friends. One year, having quarreled with Arturo Toscanini just before Christmas, he tried to cancel the order for the conductor's cake. But it was too late the cake had already been dispatched.

The following day, Toscanini received a telegram from Puccini: "Cake sent by mistake."

He replied by return: "Cake eaten by mistake."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Time to Come Home

We started off the morning with Walter spiking a temperature. A chest x-ray was taken and blood work was run. It was thought that he might be trying to come down with something. We were waiting around on pins and needles to find out if there was something really wrong or not.

It turned out that that everything was fine and we were cleared for departure. I headed over to Teresa's house and picked up Carla, who was extremely happy to see me. Her butt was wagging so hard you would have thought that she was going to break in half. Needing gas I stopped at this Exxon station and it was a FULL SERVICE STATION!!! I haven't seen one of those in years. They pumped the gas, checked under the hood and put air in all the tires. WOW!

I got Walter in the car and we were on the road home by 2:00 p.m. The trip was pretty uneventful and we were able to get out of the car a couple of times to stretch and let Carla make a pit stop. We got in right around 10 and had everything brought in the house and Walt settled by 10:30 p.m. Off to our own beds for a night of really truly restful sleep.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tuesday

Walter continued to improve today - the talk is that he will be going home on Wednesday. He is doing a great job with physical therapy. He walked all the way from his room to the nurse's station - about 90 feet.

Since there isn't tremendous amount to do while Walter was sleeping I took to taking photos through the window in his room between running the half mile to the cafeteria and down to the parking lot to charge the cell phone.


































The squirrel was really interesting to watch. I was tickled that I was able to zoom in as close as I did. I was even able to see the reflection of the sky in his eye.

The little bird here on the right was on the bushes next to the parking lot - about 2 1/2 storys below me. It was great being able to zoom in this close.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday Visit

Walter had a visitor first thing this morning, his sister! Danielle's father-in-law had driven her in from Lynchburg to see him. Walter was truly happy to see her. Danielle brought Walter a stuffed cow to cheer him up.

She was there when his physical therapist, Mark Baker, showed up. There was some real pushing during that session. In the end Walt did a great job and Mr. Baker really did a terrific job of pushing and motivating him to get moving. Of course after all that activity it was time for a rest session.

Danielle took a ribbon and tied it on Walter's head 'Rambo' style. It was funny especially since Walter was asleep when she did it.

Danielle hopped up on Walt's bed since he was sleeping in the reclining chair and promptly went to sleep herself. They both looked so cute together. It reminded me of when they were both little.

She stayed until after his second physical therapy session. It really did cheer him up. As for me I headed back over to Pennington Gap to scrounge through the wreckage of Walter's car to see what could be salvaged as well as make a second trip to Wal-Mart for supplies.

I was able to get with the wrecker driver and scrounge around through the wreckage to find Walter's wallet. That was the one important article that had not been accounted for.

We were successful and found it on the driver's side under a bunch of stuff next to the driver's seat. It was a great relief to have it in hand.

Walter did pretty well for the rest of the evening, however he was extremely itchy. It probably was coming from the pain meds.



Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sunday Gone Awry

We started our trip towards home this morning around 10:15 a.m. We made a brief stop at Stickleyville and then began the climb up Powell mountain and home.

As we began the drive Walter was following behind me, (being a little pokey - doing 45 mph) so that i could provide directions. A couple of vehicles passed me going down the mountain, and it struck me as odd that Walter wasn't showing up in the rear view mirror. At the scenic overlook I called back to him on the cell phone to see if he was okay - I was thinking that something was wrong with the car. When he answered he said that he had been hit!

Back down the mountain to see how badly - when I got there I was petrified by what I saw. When I finally came to my senses, I had convinced several of the men at the scene to pry open his car door just in case of fire. There probably wouldn't have been one, but it sure made me feel better knowing that just in case we could get him out of the car.

Once they got his door open, by prying it open with his jack and a whole lot of brute strength. I was so grateful. Walter told me to calm down - I started taking photos of the scene so that he would be able to see what had happened later on.



























video
This is a brief video of the accident scene. It is amazing how quiet it is everything seemed so unreal.







































Here at the end they have Walter on the stretcher and are heading towards the awaiting ambulance for the journey to hospital in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Once Walter was out, we were really able to get a fantastic picture of just how squashed in he was. It was almost like he was at the center of an onion and had to be peeled out.

I had to wait for a while before I was able to leave the scene. I needed to talk with the State Trooper and the wrecker driver. By the time that I had begun my own journey to Kingsport Mom had mobilized the cousins and help was on the way.

Teresa met me at the hospital and guided me in. She was such a wonderful help. Staying with me until they I had had opportunity to see Walter and find out what was going to be happening with him. She graciously took Carla back to her house to watch her for the duration. That one little thing was a great relief - I wouldn't need to be trying to figure out how to have Carla in the car and Walter in the hospital at the same time. I could focus.

John Webb came to the ER to check on Walter (he had already been on his way to Nashville). He was a real big help - especially with the insurance coverage. Walter's wallet was lost somewhere in the wreckage in Lee County at the time. He was able to visit with Walt up until the time that he went into surgery. He took me to dinner in the hospital and stayed for a while, up until I shooed him off to continue on his trip. He would have stayed but there really wasn't anything anyone could do more at the time.

Teresa arrived back a short time later and stayed with me until Walt was out of surgery.

The surgery went well and only took 20 minutes once Walter was under anesthesia. Dr. Harris drew this to show the rod that he had put in Walt's leg and the location of the pins.

So by the time that they got Walter into a room it was after 6:30 p.m. I headed off to Wal-Mart to find some clothes for him to wear since the ladies in the ER had cut every piece of clothing that he had on off.

Poor thing was going to wind up being 'naked' and in some serious need of clothing, both for decency and warmth. I also had to pick him up some food to eat since he had been admitted after the kitchen had closed.