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Archive for the ‘Other Holidays’ Category

I am thankful for so much…this is just a little bit…

I am thankful for my family, my children, Simon, a roof over our heads, food to eat, clothes (especially since it has gotten cold after 2 warm winters), medical care, a bed to sleep in, friends, my faith, freedoms, my walk with God, peace—peace with others and peace with myself, to know how to love, to know when I am wrong—sometimes after someone has pointed it out 😉 , possibilities to explore new things, a car to drive and gas to put in it, stores to shop in and jobs for my children, a church to go to, books to read… I could go on and on.

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There are things that I am thankful that I don’t have…  I am thankful I don’t have snow to shovel (though I like/love snow), a long trip to travel this week, sickness, diapers to change (oh, I’m so thankful for this), that I’m not in the hospital with a loved one, and in a way…I’m thankful my husband isn’t here to pick up after any more (well…). I am thankful for the good and the bad as all are blessings in some way if we choose to see it. I am thankful for my parents because they chose to keep trying until they had me. I am really thankful for the way they raised me. I’m also thankful—so very thankful—that there are answered prayers and that I kept praying. 🙂

 

Happy Thanksgiving and may all of your prayers be answered in God’s will and His way.

Happy Gardening! 😀

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When one becomes a dad, that person is a dad for life. It doesn’t matter how old the child becomes. I hope all who read this had a great dad and that he was a positive influence on your life. I know we all make mistakes but we must deal with the consequences of those choices we make. 

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My oldest right before her dad left for Desert Storm

Several couples I know were not able to have children. That pains me because so many take parenting for granted. Some have lost babies and children–lost to death. My parents could only have me so they appreciated their responsibility especially with the babies they lost. Becoming a parent is a blessed thing and we should treat it that way. On the other hand, I know fathers who should not be allowed—in my opinion—to be called “father.” Even today, my girls cannot call the man who is biologically their father…”Daddy.” To them, still, they feel they do not have a father and honestly, he isn’t a father to them any more. There are other people in their lives who fulfill that role better and it hurts my heart so much that the man who is their father will not reach out to them.

 

Please never take being a dad for granted and always reach out to your children even if you think they do not want to talk to you or whatever. When you let go, they feel you do not care. They feel that you do not love. Please…   You are not going to be perfect, but perfect does not matter, does it? 😉 And, always take relationships—the girl, gal, lady, woman, etc. you are with—very seriously. Children should never be a product of a consequence that was not thought out ahead of time. Don’t just love your children from afar. Please… It matters. It isn’t about us as parents. It is about our children—even men and women who do not have children 🙂 . We are all parents in some way. There is no shame in having no children. The shame is when parents act as though they do not have children.

 

Happy Father’s Day!

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Amy (me) helps her dad plant flowers

 

Daddy, thank you! You taught me well because you were a great father and I will never forget it. You were not just a father to me but to so many! Thank you again! I love you!

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This was written the Tuesday before Thanksgiving–the last day I spoke with my husband. This posting is what lead up to the new me because this is who I am and it lead to the decision I made that Friday night. Stripping away the memories has been difficult and continues to be. I hit a little snag this week but I have to face the demons to get through.

When I was a young girl we went to see The Sound of Music—the movie. Back then, going to the movies was still more of a theatrical production than these days. I don’t know why, but this has always been my favorite movie. Great ones have come along and I would watch them over and over but when you ask me my favorite—it has to be The Sound of Music. There are parts I love and parts I don’t…the cemetery scene is one I didn’t like and still have not formed a fondness for. Many of the music scenes are wonderful to me, and I always cry BEFORE cue 😀 especially before this one…

 

The most meaningful part of the movie to me was when the Reverend Mother summoned Maria out of seclusion. Maria had returned to the Abbey because she felt an emotional love for the father of the children she had been sent to govern—as well a love for the children. She felt it was wrong since she was there for the Church. She had yet to take her final vows. I write a lot about selfless love and boundaries and self-discipline. This is the epitome of all three.

 

The life of nuns and so many others who serve God selflessly show real dedication. There is not much room for love of self because their lives are filled with sense of duty and purpose. Julie Andrews exhibits such emotion with little drama. One sees what is going on inside of Maria–the conflict, and the Reverend Mother comes to her aid as a parent would for their child. I love where the Reverend Mother admits that she may have been wrong for leaving Maria in her seclusion for so long. She tells Maria that her love for God is no less if she loves this man and that she doesn’t have to choose. The climax of the scene is the song, “Climb Every Mountain.” Tears roll even before the music begins—ALWAYS—probably because of these words…

 

  • Reverend Mother: Maria, the love of a man and a woman is holy too. You have a great capacity to love. What you must find out is how God wants you to spend your love.
  • Maria: But I pledged my life to God. I pledged my life to his service.
  • Reverend Mother: My daughter, if you love this man, it doesn’t mean you love God less. No, you must find out and you must go back.
  • Maria: Oh, Mother, you can’t ask me to do that. Please let me stay, I beg of you.
  • Reverend Mother: Maria, these walls were not built to shut out problems. You have to face them. You have to live the life you were born to live.

 

My love for this movie was echoed in my marriage. My husband’s family was from Germany and he was stationed there for a while before we married. Actually, both of us have German ancestors and I have always wanted to visit this area especially Austria and Black Forest region. My husband had promised he would take me one day—another one of our dreams… It’s Thanksgiving. It’s tough this year—really tough. This is one of those things I am having to work through. It is hard when you have a dream from your childhood to become so ingrained later in your life. How do you separate that? How does one peel those memories away and preserve the innocence? How do I restore the memories of my childhood with my parents who are no longer here along with the hope and dreams I have shared and wanted to share with my husband? I don’t have the answers.

 

May your dreams always become reality and may your gardens be filled with great blessings. Happy Gardening! 😀

 

Quote taken from http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Sound_of_Music

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If my parents were alive today they would be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. They were married in a little church in Alabama in 1952.

 

My parents as they exited the church.

 

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

 

And, Happy Gardening to everyone else!

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Well, if you are reading my blog today then there is a huge chance you are not in Savannah celebrating. I think I have mentioned this before—I have never been to Savannah on St. Patrick’s Day and never want to! Yes, I enjoy (love) the city including all of my memories from there, but wild horses could not drag me to Savannah on March 17 unless a family member is ill or something to that effect (knock on wood). It is absolutely beautiful in the springtime with all of the azaleas in bloom but when everyone else seems to be heading there you will find me heading the other way—or just staying still.

Yes, I do have some Irish in me, quite a bit actually, but all of the ancestors were gone from Ireland by 1800 in order to have a better life here in the states. I don’t mind giving honor to good ole St. Pat but I wish he had run all of the snakes out of the states, too. Then, there would really be a cause to celebrate :)!

Enjoy today and imbibe responsibly! Happy Gardening!

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Banana Rum Cake

I usually start cooking this recipe in the fall and continue through New Year’s because I love the smell not to mention the fact that I think the cake tastes good. I sometimes give these cakes as Christmas gifts or take them for get-togethers during the holidays. My oldest daughter helped make these. Aren’t they beautiful? I have been making this cake recipe for 30 years now. Has it really been that long? The pan on the right is over 30 years old and is looking its age.

The recipe begins with a boxed pound cake mix (oh, horrors 🙂). Betty Crocker’s Pound Cake mix is what I start with. Besides an egg, I add rum, sour cream, a well-ripened banana, and nutmeg (freshly grated). If I don’t have a well-ripened banana, I have been known to ‘squish’ a banana before peeling and add to mix, but it doesn’t have the same exact flavor. Here are the ingredients if you would like to make this cake-ignore the ones on the box.

Banana Rum Cake

  • 1 1-lb box of pound cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ c dark rum
  • ½ c sour cream
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (I use freshly grated)

I first grease a loaf pan. Then I pour the mix in my bowl using a fork to break up lumps and ‘sift’ through the mix. I then add the next 3 ingredients and stir vigorously. You can use a mixer, but I never do with this recipe. Lastly, I stir in the darkened banana-not rotten-followed by the freshly grated nutmeg. I make sure the large banana lumps are broken up and mixed in well. Next, I pour the mix into my greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees according to the size pan you are using and the time on the box or just a little more. You may want to decrease the temperature ever so slightly if using a dark pan. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool. Remove cake from pan. This is where I take a big sniff. It should smell absolutely delightful.

You can try a piece while the cake is still warm and then compare it to one from the next day to see how you like it. I like it both ways. This recipe came from a college friend’s grandmother many years ago. It was a simple way to make an enhanced pound cake that I still enjoy making. The fresh nutmeg is so aromatic and really makes the cake come alive, so to say.

Happy Gardening and may your kitchen yield many lovely baked goods this winter!

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For the first time in several years I did not awake at 2 am or earlier trying to beat the crazies (yes, I know I have been one). When our girls were young, my Christmas shopping was complete by the close of business Labor Day all except for the little things like Christmas candy and such that at the time were not put out until just before Thanksgiving (now it is before Halloween). The first time I dared to Black Friday shop (and I mean when the doors open) was to get our first cordless phone from all places but Walmart. The crowds were nothing like today’s crowds (or last night’s crowds), but Hubby thought I had lost my mind. That was all we bought and I was so proud that we actually got what we went for.

Neither my husband nor I like crowds. I know why I don’t… Back in one of my previous lives I worked for an eating establishment at the mall—with an outside entrance. The day after Thanksgiving was usually our biggest sales day of the year. There were years where I worked almost 40 hours in two days. Yep, and it wasn’t just sitting around-it was hard work. It was insane! But…I was so much younger.

In more recent years my hubby, the girls, and I would get up and stand in line for electronic items—Christmas for the family. Target was the store of choice except last year everything we wanted was already taken, so we headed to Staples. We I  always had a plan—knew exactly what we needed wanted and each person had a cheat sheet with their particular item they were in charge of. It was fun bonding time, but this year we slept in for several reasons…one, the stores opened earlier with some not opening til 5 or 6 AM–I refused to stay up all night. Two, our pre-Christmas funds are really low nonexistent (the piggy has been broken due to my computer dying and the car murder crash). And, lastly, I did not think there was much of an offering that I would stand in line for. Well, not all of us stayed home this year. My youngest went with a friend to WM last night and then to Target. I hear that she got ruffled and tussled at WM. It is all insane!

While there is so much focus on purchases this holiday season, I would like to ask that we be more attuned to giving of and from the heart that costs us little to nothing out of our pockets.

Happy Gardening and may your holidays be filled with fun and good cheer now and throughout the year!

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