Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Real World

In my head, I keep hearing that old song that goes... "Back to life, back to reality" but I don't remember who sang it. Christmas is over, tomorrow is back to work after five days off. Bummer. But, it's still not really back to normal because, of course, New Year's Day is Thursday, which means I get another four day weekend. Woo Hoo.

After that will be the yearly, "Ugh, I'm a mess and weigh way too much, so diet issues, here we go again." I never make resolutions. Mainly because I don't like to do what everyone else is doing, and simply because I can't keep them. What I normally do, is take stock of where I am, and try to make small changes. My eating habits have been in the toilet for quite some time, as my bulging jeans can attest. I have no willpower. So, to eat a more healthy diet, I must remove all unhealthy temptations. I know it's more important to eat healthy, than to try to lose weight, but we all know it's rather disheartening to find we are uncomfortable in our clothes, yet again. I don't resolve to lose weight, but will try my best to open my eyes, think about my choices and try to turn away from the bad stuff.

I also hate exercise with a deep and abiding passion. I don't mind walking, but can always come up with an excuse not to. The last time I was able to eat healthy and lose weight, I was working part time and had time to focus on planning my meals, and go to the local gym. Working till 6:00 does not lend itself to going to the gym, or eating the right stuff. Especially when you are bone tired at the end of the day and you are starving. But, there you go with more excuses eh?

Tomorrow at work, we begin working on a new Electronic Medical Records System. This should be very interesting. I'm constantly told it will make my job a breeze and I will love it. I don't doubt that, but in the beginning, it will not be a breeze and I wonder how many extra hours I will work, scanning patient records into the system. Ahhh, the price of progress and having 'state of the art' equipment.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Snapshots of Christmas 08

These are photos of some of the things I've decorated with this Christmas.

Santa, oh Santa.... The Wilson Phillips song comes to mind as I upload this. Mom gave this to me several years ago and it's animated. He raises and lowers his bell.

This little group stands beside him in the corner.

When the kids were young, I had a band saw and I cut out and painted things to decorate with. These always gave me a smile and I continue to display them year after year.

These are stocking holders, that aren't actually heavy enough to hold one, but I painted them when LeLe and J were tiny.

The stockings were hung from the shelf with care.... hmmmm, just doesn't have the same poetic sound does it? But, I painted them all and enjoy seeing them hung there, as I have no fireplace. One day, I hope to have one. (Maybe with my next Christmas bonus.)

I've worked on the tree all month to get it like I want. I have more work to do, but it will have to wait until next year when I can purchase a few more things. I have several chickadees on it, along with cardinals, snowflakes, ornaments made out of natural things, pine cones and poinsettia blooms. The big natural star (which I ADORE) is a gift from J's girlfriend.

And this is the outside. Not very crisp picture, but you get the idea.

And the neighbour next door. They LOVE decorating as you can tell....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Least Popular

Those folks at are amazing. This list was posted today.

Least Popular Christmas Side Dishes

Kibbles and bitterness
Andy Capp Fries (plain, not spicy)
Stray cat
Cool ranch mincemeat
Leg Nog
Cranberry loaf
Saltines soaked in gin
Macaroni n’ pills
Germy-crunch popcorn

Had to share. I especially like Leg Nog.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Family Time Sunday

SR and I took Mom to Searcy today to visit her first cousin. He has a rare wit and I could listen to him talk about our family history for hours. Two and a half hours just isn't enough. He and I have always clicked, even though he's a bit older than me. I used to spend weeks with him and his daughter, who I was very close to as well, when I was young. He always makes me welcome and I feel treasured. Often he calls me at night to just chat and I laugh the entire time. I love him dearly. He only recently moved to Searcy, and now that I know how easy it is to get to his house, I will make a point of going back more often. He and my mother have always been close and they chatted the whole time. He shared some photos with us and I thought I'd share one of my mother as a young girl, her sister, my grandmother and his son. I think Mom looks just like my baby sister in this photo. My aunt hasn't changed a bit in all the years since this was taken. Sometimes I really miss my grandma.

This one SR took of Mom, my cousin, and me. I think he looks very distinguished.....

It was a good day and a great way to begin the week of Christmas. I love you W.....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More of the Same

It's Christmas and I have all my shopping done, and very little to do till it gets here. That is both rewarding and frustrating. Don't ask me to explain that.

Work has been alternately very busy or non existent. My poor Nurse Practitioner has had a rough few months. Her son's health was a worry for a while, she lost her precious grandbaby, she was rushed to the ER with chest pains, (fortunately it was stress related and nothing to do with her heart.) and now, now her father has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. How much can one woman take? At least it looks as though it is operable and treatable, thank the Lord. It's the week of Christmas, and she will be at the hospital with him, I'm sure. The two days we would be seeing patients, will more than likely be scrubbed, and even though the clinic will be open, it's doubtful any patients will be seen, as she is the only provider. It's been that way off and on for the last few months, due to all she has had to deal with.

SR and I visited with J yesterday in Russellville. We took him and his girlfriend to supper and gave him his birthday gifts, which he seemed pleased with. Today is his 25th birthday. He was born during the big ice storm of 83.

We travel to Searcy tomorrow to visit my mother's first cousin. He and I have always been close and I haven't seen him in a while. We are taking Mom with us and it should be a very interesting trip. He's a very entertaining fellow and has lots of family history in his brain and on his computer.

There hasn't been much going on in my brain to share, and this is little enough to post. But I felt the need to put something down. The silence was disturbing me.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday Blues

I'm hoping I can write something that makes sense, considering my head is full of "stuff" that one's head gets full of when one is sick. I spent the biggest part of the weekend, trying to blow said "stuff" out of my head, coughing and sleeping. Now, head is still full, and feels a bit heavy, but I'm at work anyway, trying to keep those dollars coming in. Eventually, it will all clear out.

Hopefully, the icy weather will clear out as well. Forecast is for wintery mix, and at our main office in Malvern, it's sleeting. One of the ladies I talked to at that office told me the patients are confused. They are hitting the clinic as if they sold milk and bread. Our phones however, are almost completely silent. We figure it is a combination of the weather, and the sad news everyone in town is now aware of.

Nurse Practitioner's precious grandbaby passed away Saturday. He was prematurely born with his twin, on November 4. His twin is doing well, and is at home now, but poor little thing just couldn't go any longer. Please pray for this precious family. It's so very hard to lose a child, and none of us really know how it feels unless we've been through it. We are comforted to know though, that little Evan is in the presence of Jesus. How wonderful.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Seventeen Year Old Reindeer

Christmas 1991. J was in the second grade at Rison Elementary School. The second grade, and most other grades for that matter, were bussed over to the Cleveland County Pioneer Village for an old fashioned Christmas. There was singing, and party foods, and each class was allowed to walk sedately through the "Merchantile" to purchase small handcrafted items if they chose. That year, J came home with a gift for his Mama. It was a beautiful wooden reindeer necklace. I kept it and wear it at least once every Christmas. Usually to work so I can share the story with anyone interested enough to ask.

It is one of my favorite memories of Christmas. I so miss my children being young and excited about Christmas. But life moves along and changes, and it's now at the point where you have to struggle to find a time when everyone can be together at the same time. It's still worth it to me. And I still get more joy than I can express, watching them open their gifts. No, they don't squeal with delight and excitement any longer, but I can still tell by their eyes and their smiles if I hit the mark with a particular gift. Christmas has become very commercial, but it still gives me a warm glow to give gifts. It's not a burden to me, eventhough money is tight and it's a job to decide what to give each person. Maybe it's because I'll always be their Mama. Maybe it's because I will always be one of those who love pleasing others. Maybe it's because the Lord gives me a special glow in my heart. I don't know, but I hope I NEVER get over it.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Saturday Cool

It's might cold for Sheridan, Arkansas. Or at least I think it is. Brrr. The Christmas shopping frenzy has begun at Walmart. I arose early to beat the crowd. Got there at around 8:00 a.m. and by 9:00, you could hardly get out of the parking lot. Oh my, I really don't like the holiday shopping frenzy. That is not cool to me. Sooo, I usually have my shopping done early. Right now, I only like one or two more things and I'll be done!!!

Plans for Christmas were up in the air for a while and it had me a bit frustrated. Fortunately, it's all been worked out and I'm cool. We are at peace about the gatherings now.

There is a local decorative shop here in town that just blows me away. I made a visit the other day and the Christmas trees in there made my chin hit the floor. And it made me a little saddened by my little tree at home. I went away, resolved to do it up BIG next year. But, I decided I can make a few small changes this year, as soon as I get paid again. *wink* And I will be better satisfied. SR has been good to help me do some outside decorating too, which is unusual. It's been too cool for me to get out there and finish what I want to do, but hopefully, it will warm up enough this afternoon that I can stand it. I'm a whimp when it comes to cold weather. I freeze to death all winter long. Just ask LeLe.

This photo gave me a big laugh, so enjoy...............

Monday, December 1, 2008

All Finished...

Thanksgiving is over and was tasty to say the least. We are very thankful we can gather together and enjoy each other. We are also thankful we are free to worship as we please without fear of death. A lot of that going around, so I hear on the news. Man! How blessed are we????

I am also thankful today, because Mom is finished with chemo. Her CT Scan was clear, her C-125 lab is normal, her pelvic exam was normal, so....drum roll please.........

She is in REMISSION. Thank you God. The only disappointment to Mom, was that because her blood counts have been so low, she is not a candidate for the research study we were told about a couple of months ago. But, she has done so well, she didn't have her last treatment. Her platelets still weren't high enough, but, the doctor was all smiles, and said it wasn't a necessity now. Her labs will continue to be monitored, and she will follow up in two months with the doc, but no more worrying about if and when she will be able to take treatment!

Also, although it sounds kind of "yucky" for a lack of a better word, Nurse practioner's grandbaby actually had a bowel movement. That is major stuff considering they were concerned about his bowels and the tear he developed. He continues to be very puffy from retaining fluid, (still on dialysis) but he's doing better. The "poop" is encouraging.