Friday, December 21, 2007

Well...I might be back

Well, we managed to get some of the bugs out. There's still quite a few that need to be exterminated. But, at least we have access to our email again. I went 2 WHOLE DAYS without blogging. It was enough to make me pull my hair out. I managed to get a few things done in the meantime. But, I missed everyone!! Thank you all so much for the well wishes and prayers for my son. The MRSA appears to be shrinking. Praise God! He still has 7 days on the antibiotic. But I think he'll be ok and hopefully won't require surgery.

Thank you to everyone who was kind enough to send me a Christmas card! And Brenda, I love my calendar. That was so sweet of you. Thank you so much!!

I wanted to share a few pictures with you and I was so afraid that I wasn't going to be able with this stinkin' computer. But, fingers crossed, hopefully I won't have too many problems this morning. The first is a print that I received from Rebecca at Cre8tiva. She painted this angel for her birthday giveaway . And was kind enough to send me a print even though I didn't win. I framed it and it now is part of my collection on my buffet. Isn't it gorgeous?? Thank you Rebecca! I love it!!

And these next pictures were taken of my mother's nativity set that she made 20 years ago in ceramics class. The colors were based on the nativity set of our church. It's absolutely beautiful. Because I know how gorgeous it is, I don't think the pictures do it justice. But I may be biased. This set even has The Little Drummer Boy.

I have quite a few things to do over the next few days. Tomorrow night my boys are participating in a live nativity with their youth group. I have no gifts bought for my cats! I can't believe I almost forgot to buy them gifts!! Tonight is Kenny's Christmas party. I have grocery shopping to do, chairs to pick up at church for Christmas dinner and a house to clean...geez. But, I will try my best to visit everyone. I missed you guys! And I still can't see my signature! Whatever!!

#282 ~ Turn off the lights and put on a recording of Bing Crosby's "White Christmas." Ask your spouse to dance!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Oh For the Love of Pete

I hate computer issues. I'm still not seeing my signature, but evidently you all are. Spyware Doctor can't scan my computer until we install the newest updates (which we thought we were doing.) So at 3 am this morning the newest updates auto-updated. Makes sense. I tried to run the doc and it's now telling me that the database isn't updated. I don't even know what or where that is. So I don't know what the hell is going on. What I DO know is that I'm completely frustrated. I can only check blogs for so long or a kazillion other things will start running in the background. My husband was going to look at it again last night but that didn't happen. He fell asleep, poor guy. He put in a long day. And today doesn't appear to be any better. So - please forgive my lack of visiting. I will try to get in as many visits as I can. Stinking computer!

And the fun continues in our house. Yesterday I got a call from the school that my oldest son was in the nurse's office. She told me that his stomach was upset and then was sweet enough to say - "I never see him. So I really don't think he feels well." Kudos to Austin for not using the nurse as a scapegoat all of the time. So, I went up to the school and brought him home. When we got in the car he told me that the nurse thinks this very large pimple on the side of his nose (poor thing looks like a witch) might be mersa! So, before calling the doctor, I called my mother. I mean I just thought it was a large zit! Mommy told me not to mess around. Since the nurse, who was probably just being overly cautious, mentioned mersa, I had to call the doctor. Ok. So I did and got him in yesterday at 2:15. At 3:00 they took him back! AAAGH.

The doctor came in - took one look at it and said, yep. It's mersa. My heart dropped. I think my eyeballs must have popped out of my head because he quickly said, don't worry. It's a very mild strain and he'll be on an antibiotic. What started out as just a regular old zit, got infected. He might have had a scratch on his nose and came in contact with someone at school, maybe in gym, who had mersa and probably didn't even realize it. He did say that this zit, pimple, growth, whatever we're calling it, was so large, he could cut it out. But he didn't want to cut his nose and risk leaving a scar just yet, so we'll see how the antibiotic works. Ok.... In order for him to return to school, he would have to keep it covered with a bandage. I just gave the doc this look which he must have recognized as "Give me a break" and he said so, I'll just keep him out the rest of the week being it's Christmas and all. He won't be missing that much. GOOD. The kids teased the hell out of him to begin with. Now to go back into school with a big bandage on the nose and tell them it's mersa?? Are you kidding? Whether it's a weak strain or not, the kids don't understand that. They would annihilate him. So, Austin gets an extended Christmas break.

In the meantime, he has separate bathtowels, separate linens, and his clothes are getting a private washing. He's not happy about the size of this horsepill he has to take. So I cut them in half. Even then it's twice the size of an Advil. So, I'm trying to put this all into perspective. It's the week before Christmas. I still have a few last minute things to pick up. I still have to grocery shop for Christmas dinner. Wrap the gifts. Deal with computer issues and my son who has mersa. I'm sure the school is going to be so happy when I go up there today to get his assignments and turn in his excuse. But, it definitely could be worse! Praising God that it's not worse!! Maybe my computer has mersa??

#269 ~ Put pebbles inside children's gift boxes so that when they shake the packages, they won't be able to guess what's inside.

Monday, December 17, 2007

My First Win!

I have been having computer issues for a while now. They were so bad yesterday that I didn't post. Now anyone who ever reads my blog knows that I post everyday. And yet, with all of the issues going on...I gave up. I couldn't post. I couldn't read. I couldn't even check email. It's partially fixed. So I have to make this short, in case it starts acting up again.

BUT...WOOHOO!! I am the lucky, lucky winner of Shelbi's Giveaway!! Have you read Keeper of the Chocolates? Shelbi is such a sweet person. Her heart is as big as she is. Her creations in her Etsy shop, Dancing Hannah Designs, as well as her writing are simply a joy to witness. And I am honored to win. Get this... I get the choice of any piece in her Etsy shop. WOO HOO!! Have you seen her designs? They're gorgeous!! I knew immediately which one I would choose if I was to win. It just spoke to my heart. But believe me, they're all beautiful. Thank-You, Shelbi for my first win!! I couldn't have asked for anything better!

Please go see Shelbi. If you are looking for that certain, perfect piece of jewelry that you just can't seem to find in the stores, I can guarantee you'll find it there!

#252 ~ Let someone else have the parking space you just found. Think of it as a gift to a stranger.

hmmm - my signature isn't showing!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Spotlight Saturday

Today is Spotlight Saturday. Normally, I try to highlight blogs that are new to me. With that selection comes the thinking that possibly this is a new blog to you as well. It's a way to showcase new bloggers to more readers. Starting out in blog land is a little intimidating. When I started I was convinced that no one would read what I had to say. And on the off chance that you stumbled by my place you wouldn't come back. But I have quite a few friends now and I am thrilled to know each and every one of you. My segue into blogging was smooth and quite enjoyable. So it was always my intention to find new bloggers and help them in their transition.

However today, I chose to spotlight an old friend. I know most of you are already long time readers and friends of this wonderful woman. Melissa at The Inspired Room is my choice for Community Blogger of the Week. She is a fantastic woman, wife and mother. She is a fabulous decorator and a cheerer of souls. She has a multitude of ideas that work equally as well in not only your everyday homes but for the homes we would buy after winning the lottery. She proves that decorating doesn't have to include a large wallet. True, it doesn't hurt to have one. But it's not a necessity. Just this past week she showcased different designers in a weblog satellite sort of party. Ideas for you to take and make your own were the subject of discussion. And what a week it was! On Fridays she offers a Sweet Escape. Who knows where we'll be traveling to each week? And who cares? It's always beautiful and it's always relaxing. This week's Sweet Escape was to our bedrooms. In our dreams, maybe. But nonetheless, our beds were calling out to us. Melissa has a unique way of encouraging us to enjoy and marvel in our own homes. Don't just long for the home you think you want. Enjoy the home you have and make it special with good friends and family. She's like your childhood girlfriend and you always know you're welcome. And she makes me laugh. Together we're are Paying It Forward. And pity the souls who joined up with us. Neither Melissa nor I hide the fact that we are no crafting geniuses.

Like I said, she is not a new blogger. And I'm sure that most of you, if not all, are already acquainted with this wonderful woman. But if you're not, won't you pop on over to The Inspired Room and take a peek? I guarantee you won't be sorry!

#69 ~ Before going to bed each night of the Christmas season, ask yourself, "Whose life did I make brighter today?"

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Comedy

The first time I heard this song I was driving in my car on my way home from work. This was probably back in '95. I remember having to pull over because I was laughing so hard. It may not be as funny to me now as it was then, but the guy and the lights cracks me up every time. I can hear my father saying the same things. Enjoy everyone! Pause my playlist.

#93 ~ Cut off the fronts of attractive Christmas cards to use as gift tags next year.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What the Holidays Mean to You

Did everyone have fun at Karla's party yesterday? I had a ball! It was so nice to visit everyone and see your decorations. I loved the homes all decked out in pinks and greens, glam and glitter. It's not the way I decorate, but I think that's why I liked them so much. It was nice to see such a beautiful contrast. Big thanks to Karla for hosting the event and kudos to all of the work that she did. I still have some cookies left that I put out this morning and of course there's coffee brewing. Please be careful when dropping by today. According to our police scanner, the roads are icing up!

What The Holidays Mean to You

For you, the holidays are a very spiritual time. You have as much holiday fun as everyone else - but you never forget what you're celebrating.

You celebrate the holidays in a minimalist style. You are likely to only give one great present and decorate your house with a few special items.

During the holidays, you like to feel cozy and comfortable. You're happy to stay inside with a roaring fire and a warm drink.

You think the holidays should be decadent and indulgent. You never mind gaining a few holiday pounds... it's worth it!

Your favorite holiday memories strongly evoke your senses. You are vividly aware of all the tastes, smells, and sounds of the holidays.

I took this little quiz this morning but I think it's only partially right. I don't do minimalist anything. But the rest is pretty accurate. Oh look, there's still some Sangria left. Anyone need a drink?

#110 ~ When a family member looks really stressed out, give them a big hug!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What Do You Love About Your Holiday Home?

Today is the day! Karla is hosting a Home Tour party showcasing what we love about our home and our favorite decorations. Welcome to my home! There's coffee and eggnog over here. A little Sangria over there. Pour yourself a cup of your favorite libation. Stay for a while. Have a piece of pie! And of course you must have some cookies!

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As you enter my home, enjoy the lights. Watch out for the cats. They like to lay on the steps.

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A few things in my kitchen...

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This is my dining room. The Santa was one of the first decorations I bought when I moved out. On my buffet is my collection of angels. The tall angel was my Christmas tree topper until this year. It was bought at the same time I got the Santa. Very into gilded decorations back then. The ceramic candle and book was made by my Aunt Teresa.

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Come into my living room...

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I have to say, I love my living room this year. It's very cozy and inviting, I think. Of course you can have another piece of pie! The majority of the decorations around our home came from my collection. However the bells were Kenny's. They play a variety of songs and we look forward to hearing them every year.

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The Santa I made years ago in ceramics, the Lenox Santa my cousins bought us for our wedding present.

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The Santa my mom made years ago in ceramics, Believe!

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The animated Santa was also Kenny's. It reminds me of childhood, even though it wasn't mine. This is the crystal-looking Santa and sleigh that was giving me such problems on my mantle. It was Jesse's brilliant idea to move it. Please ignore the magazines under the table...

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And finally, my tree. I made the fabric balls using styrofoam balls, ribbon and hot glue. The garland I made using jute, wooden beads, fabric, and applesauce/cinnamon cutouts. The white stars were taken from my little tree I have out during the rest of the year.

Well I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my home. As I look around I notice there are a few things that I didn't photograph. Like my entryway and my Santa tapestries. Or my signs hanging above my archways. And a few other things that I love. I guess that's another post for another day! I can't wait to visit everyone. Please leave the light on for me; I have one last cookie to bake today.

#182 ~ Compliment at least 3 people every day in December. This is a gift that's always appreciated.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Last Night

Thank you all so much for the sweet and supportive comments you left yesterday. They all touched my heart in ways you will never know. I managed to read a few blogs yesterday afternoon after watching my cousin's baby for a few hours. A seven-month old baby is QUITE different from my children. And it's been a while since someone required my complete attention like he did. Good thing he's a happy baby. His father forgot all of his toys. But he enjoyed my back massager which is made of a hard acrylic and shaped like an octopus. We had a ball playing with each other. I think I gave a million or so kisses.

Anyway, about last night. After Joseph left, I started to read a few blogs. And I noticed that sessions were popping up without prompting. I exited out of all of them, including the ones I launched and waited for my husband to come home and take a look-see. There were 487 infected files and 3 viruses. NICE! So the Spyware Doc pulled out his handy black bag and got to work. It took a better portion of the evening to scan and correct. At about 9 or so, everything was corrected and he said, you can get on now. HA! I was quite comfortable on the couch and was reacquainting myself with the back of my eyelids. So I apologize for not visiting everyone yesterday. ESPECIALLY since everyone left such positive and heartfelt comments for me. Today I will be shopping with my mother for a present for my father. So again, I'm not sure when I'll be on. But know that if I were here (and able) I would be commenting!

Have you seen this? Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in a federal prison. No, it will not be the conventional cell block prison, but I'm still calling this a victory! I love animals, as evidenced by my 6 resident cats. I grew up with dogs. I don't watch movies where I know something will happen to an animal. Unless you count Old Yeller which was shown in the 5th grade at school and I had no choice. Seems that today, with all the violence on TV and in the news, you become desensitized to human cruelty. But cruelty to animals never ceases to strike a nerve with me. To take part in such atrocious behavior, to derive pleasure out of torturing an animal makes you the biggest degenerate in my eyes. Shame on you Michael Vick! Shame on you for letting down all of those young children who looked up to you.

And DON'T FORGET! Tomorrow is Karla's 'What Do You Love About Your Holiday Home' tour. I can't wait to see everyone's homes and share mine with you also!

#290 ~ Pray that God will help you see opportunities to be a blessing to others this Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Craziness, I Tell Ya

What is the world coming to? The Steelers lost and the Browns won. UGH. Granted the Browns didn't beat us. But still they won...

Oh well, now is not the time to dwell on such negative thinking. I must take a minute and talk about the gift I was given yesterday. My boys went to Ohio this weekend to their mother's. They picked out a Christmas tree and decorated it. Took pictures and sent them home for me to see. I enjoyed getting them and I was truly happy to see them enjoying a special tradition, like trimming the tree with their mother after all of these years. The jealousy that I felt in years past at the mere mention of her name is gone. A friendship has been formed. And I can't really explain it. I honestly don't know of anyone with an ex in the picture where the two parties get along such as we. This was a long time in coming.

The fights we would have, whoa! They were terrible. And I wanted her completely OUT of their lives. I was their mother now. She blew it. She had her opportunity and she let it slip through her fingers. I didn't have all of the answers when it came to raising children, but at least I was here and willing to learn. I was so completely wrapped up in what I was doing for them, what I had given up, what sacrifices I had made to give them a home. To be with their father meant that I had to be with them. And I truly accepted that role willingly. So I felt I was to be praised and revered by them. I didn't become their mother because I had to, I wanted to. Deep in my heart I felt that to be respectful to me they must disown their mother. I never expressed that emotion to the boys, to the best of my knowledge anyway. But, I felt it nonetheless. What a bunch of self-righteous crap. I see that now. And for that, I ask the Lord for forgiveness.

I can't explain the relationship that Kerry and I have. It's strange even to me, while at the same time seems so natural now. She and Greg brought the boys home yesterday and the boys told me that they had a gift for me. I was confused and Kerry said that she didn't want to give it to me on Christmas with everyone watching. It was something meant to be between me and her. Little did she know I would blog about it, ha ha. I unwrapped it and opened the box which was covered in snowmen! Inside of that little box was another box. Little boxes are my favorite, you know. I opened the box and started to cry. It was a ring. With two birthstones. Amethyst for Austin and and an emerald for Jesse. It was a mother's ring. Their names are engraved beside their respective stone. Do you have any idea how much I sobbed?

Here was a woman, their birth mother giving me a symbol of what I am to the boys. I cry now thinking about it. It meant SO much to me. She isn't looking to replace me. She is only looking to be a part of their lives. And this symbol, this gesture, was her way of letting me know that she accepts me as their mother too. It's a strong woman who can share that role willingly. And while our friendship may be traveling down an unchartered course, it is real. For my children, our children, to know that they never have to feel guilty for loving each one of us is a blessing to me.

She and I took the boys to their youth group meeting last night where they sang Christmas carols at a senior citizen apartment complex. We discussed plans for her coming down to see the boys in the live Nativity. Jesse is playing Joseph and Austin will be one of the Wise Men. When she left last night she said 'I'll talk to you before then' and I realized I'm looking forward to that conversation. I used to dread conversations with her. What a difference now. It's amazing the power of love. And the glory goes to God.

#209 ~ Make a friend of an enemy this Christmas!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Second Sunday of Advent

Well, last week was Father Jim's final mass as pastor of our Holy Family Parish. There was a little reception afterwards, at which I sobbed in my farewell to him of course. I was crying went I went up to communion so I don't think he was all that surprised to see my sobbing when I came to say fare-thee-well. We'll have an interim priest, Father Thomas, until the Bishop assigns a full-time pastor to our church. I'm anxious to meet him. From what I hear, he's young. That can be good or bad. Here's praying for good!

Today is the second Sunday of Advent. We're still in preparation for the coming of our Lord. How have you prepared? Your house may be decorated. Your Christmas gifts bought. Your cookies baked. But have you prepared for Christ's coming? As we look at the upcoming weeks and we joyfully await His presence, I began to think about what Father Jim always said. Christ said that he would return. It may be today and it may be in a 1000 years. No one knows when that glorious day will take place. We should be preparing a way for the Lord throughout the year, every day. Are you prepared? I know I have a LOT of work to do!

# 15 ~ Fill your house with the holiday fragrance of cloves, orange peel, and cinnamon sticks simmering on the stove.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Silent Night

I try to do a Spotlight Saturday as I find new blogs (to me anyway.) And while I have a few new ones that I would love to introduce, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share this. It's absolutely beautiful. Anyone who can understand Gaelic will certainly appreciate it. But the beauty in this video is that even if you can't, you'll still appreciate it. Merry Christmas Everyone. Close your eyes and listen to this beautiful song. Pause my Playlist!

#60 ~ Never write the word Christmas as Xmas! You've just taken the Christ out of Christmas.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbes has long been one of my favorite cartoons. Along with The Far Side they both crack me up. It's the smart-assness of the creators that I love so much. These are some of my personal favorites that I enjoy every year. That Calvin is one talented snowman builder!!

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Mend a broken relationship with a friend or relative during the holidays.