Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Favorite

Here is my favorite Christmas picture. The trip to Chicago was fun, our Christmas celebration fantastic and now we're resting up for the New Year.

~Hippo Hugs~

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas

As we leave for Christmas trip to Chicago to spend Christmas with our daughter, Paige, I want to wish all my dear friends in Blogland a very Merry Christmas. You have been a blessing to me during this past year and I look forward to continuing our bloggy friendship in the year to come.
"And she gave birth to her firstborn son
And she wrapped him in swaddling clothes
and laid him in a manger, because there was no
room for them in the inn."
~Luke 2:7~
~Hippo Hugs~

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Day for Rejoicing

In the midst of the joy of the Christmas season, I have another cause for rejoicing. Yesterday, we found out that our friend, Shelly's, cancer was totally self-contained, stage one and gone. The Doc says for insurance she needs to have three chemo treatments. When we think of what this diagnosis could have meant, we are shouting for joy. Before the doctor left the examining room, she told him how very relieved she was. He turned to Pat and I and said with a big smile on his face, "She does know about the chemo, doesn't she?"

The past nine weeks, since Bruce and Shelly's accident, have been a nightmarish blur most of the time. As awful as this accident was, and considering we still don't know the outcome for Bruce, we also know that without it, Shelly might well have lost her life to cancer. Does anyone see the hand of God in this? I sure do.

So, today, dear bloggy friends, as you continue to pray for Bruce's recovery, which is very, very slow, take a moment to thank God for this life saving news about Shelly.

~Hippo Hugs~

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hitting the Wall

I will start this post with apologies for being away so long, but the past eight weeks and the trip to NY finally caught up with me and I hit a brick wall.....hard. I knew I was tired Tuesday when I took three, yes three, naps during the day. BUT that was nothing to what I woke up to on Wednesday. Wednesday was the Loser Housewives, (something like the Ya Ya's, Dagmar) annual Christmas Shopping Day. I woke up tired, achy and feeling like I wanted to cry. I tried to hide it from the Losers, but they all know me too well and I soon had to confess how I was feeling. Oh, did I mention, the indigestion and over all yukky feeling.

I walked around the mall all morning feeling like I had cement in my shoes. On top of how I was feeling, I found none of the things on my shopping list. By lunch time, I felt like a total failure. HOWEVER, lunch was wonderful. We had a leisurely lunch at an Italian restaurant in the mall. The soup and sandwich was delicious and rejuvenating for me. I'm sure the company helped too as I just love these ladies whose friendship make my life so rich.

The afternoon proved to be better and by the time we arrived home in the evening, I had only three things left to purchase from my list. Although I was beat, I did feel better and managed to stay awake until at least 9 P.M.

So, now I'll finish part two of Kacy Meets NY. I think I left off on Thursday evening. By the time we went to bed on Thursday, we had already scrapped the idea of getting up at 5:30 A.M. to try to go to the Today Show. Instead, we slept a little later and walked to Radio City Music Hall for the 10 A.M. show. Of course, I have no pictures of the show, as my mother taught me to obey rules and that means taking no flash pictures. Must be that hundreds of people in the audience didn't have a mom who taught them well, as the flash cameras were going off all the time.

The show was wonderful, as usual. The Rockettes are such fun to watch. We were in the upper balcony and seeing them dance from above is a delight. They always end the show with a Nativity Scene which includes live animals, camels, donkeys, sheep. I am so happy that Radio City hasn't become politically correct as this is the best part of the show to me.

Did I mention that it was a beautiful day, once again. We signed up for one of the open air tour buses that run around the city.

Some of the sights from the bus, a pretty poor picture of the famous Flat Iron building, the water towers that bring water the apartments in Greenwich Village, Christmas tree sales on a city street, and Times Square.
These buses are great because they go all over the city and you can hop off and hop on as you please. We hopped off in SoHo and walked to Little Italy for lunch. My brother-in-law says you can't find a bad restaurant in Little Italy and we sure found a good one.

After lunch, we shopped. First in Little Italy, then SoHo, then China Town. I guess we would all say China Town was the best. The merchants there are willing to bargain, and bargain we did. It was such fun.

It was dark and quite a bit colder when we arrived back at the hotel. One of the tour guides had given us some good advice about restaurants. We were into American food and found a great little bar and grille on 8th Avenue and 46th St. We enjoyed the food and the atmosphere at The Joshua Tree. Then it was back to the hotel and off to bed.

Saturday dawned cold and rainy. We started at Macy's for breakfast.

Talk about busy, this store was mobbed. I had claustrophobia just trying to get to the bakery. I did manage to buy a couple of items and then did my best to get out into the street without being run down by shoppers.

After a quick stop at the hotel, it was off to more fun things to do. Kacy and Deb were off to China Town again to shop, while I was about to experience the best part of my trip to the Big Apple. An old family friend (old because I've known him since birth, not because of chronology) is living and working in NY and we made arrangements to meet at the hotel where he is the pastry chef for tea.

I met PJ (now P. Julian) in this lobby. What a beautiful and elegant hotel. Thinking I might like to stay here in fashionable SoHo sometime, I asked him about the rates. $500 - $3,500 per night might just a little too rich for my blood. The tea, however, was outstanding and the two hours I spent reminiscing with this delightful young man was precious to me. After tea, promising not to wait 15 years to get together again, Julian walked me to the subway and I was on my way to Times Square to stand in line for cheap tickets.

By the time I reached TS, the rain had turned to huge wet snow flakes. I stood in line for over an hour with my umbrella up only to find when I arrived at the ticket office that the shows we were interested in were not offering any tickets. **Sigh**.

I was wet, achy and tired. I phoned Deb, who was on her way back from China Town, and told her to meet me at the fabulous Joshua Tree Bar and Grille where I would be having a glass of wine. When they arrived we had some more wine (Kacy had Sierra Mist) and some potato skins. This was enough to get me back to the hotel for a little nap while Deb and Kacy went back to Macy's.

I was beat by then and was determined to skip dinner, but Kacy and Deb shamed me into getting dressed as it was our last night in NY. We found another little restaurant on 8th Avenue, this time a European one. We had a great dinner, with Kacy and Deb even opting for dessert. By the time dinner was over the rain had stopped and I was truly happy that I had not been a wet blanket (literally) on the last night.

Too soon, it was Sunday, and we were back on the train heading for Rochester, NY.

If you have read through this lengthy post, I give you my hearty thanks and many, many

~Hippo Hugs~

Monday, December 7, 2009

New York, New York - A Heck of a Town!

What a wonderful whirlwind of a weekend we had! I said to Deb yesterday, on the train coming home, that I couldn't believe we had planned it for so long and it was over so quickly. We certainly made the most of our time there. I think I left off somewhere in the middle of the night the morning we were leaving. Although no one slept much, we were up and ready to go at the appointed time. Kacy was excited, and spent some important time the night before preparing to look her best.

She is really a good sport. She knew when I took this picture that it would end up on my blog, but she didn't mind at all.

We arrived at the train station with plenty of time, but the wait didn't seem that long and before we knew it, we were on the train speeding (well, maybe not speeding) along to New York.

I'd been sleeping, so I think that might account for the hairstyle. At this point, we were travelling along the Hudson River and I was pointing out the sights to Kacy. I really enjoy this train ride.

Our hotel was directly across from Penn Station, making it really easy to get from the train to the hotel. Check-in, was a little less convenient, but after a wait in line, finding out that we couldn't check in, and stashing our bags (for $4 each) in the luggage room, we were off and exploring.

They both loved the bright lights, hustle and bustle and excitement of Times Square. And then we travelled on to...

Radio City Music Hall where we would go on Friday to see the famous Christmas Show with the Rockettes. Next was.....

Rockefeller Center. This was such fun. We saw the tree, the crowds of people, the ice skaters, the angels, toy soldiers, etc., etc.

From there we walked down Fifth Avenue to St. Patrick's Cathedral, Saks 5th Avenue, to Central Park where we took a horse drawn carriage ride around the park. It was a balmy and lovely evening and the ride was such fun. We walked down into the park to watch some more ice skating. I was dying for some coffee so we stopped at an outdoor Kris Kindle Mart - sorry, no luck. But before we knew it, we were walking into a Starbuck's for some yummy coffee treats.

By this time, we were pretty tired. We did manage to have some dinner and stop at Macy's before going back to the hotel and to bed. Stay tuned for day two of "Kacy Meets NYC."

~Hippo Hugs~

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New York Here We Come

Tomorrow evening my SIL, Deb, niece Kacy, and I will be viewing this beautiful tree in person. We will be leaving at 5:26 A.M. for the Big Apple. We were really excited tonight as we watched the lighting of the tree at Rockefeller Center knowing that we would be there tomorrow.
Actually, I guess I shouldn't be saying tomorrow. I went to bed earlier, about 10:30, set my alarm for 3:40 and laid in bed, and laid in bed, and laid in bed, my eyes wide open. I turned from my left side to my right; then from my right to my left, tried my back, back to my side. I guess you get the picture. About midnight I decided that sleep wasn't coming soon so I got out of bed and came downstairs. Since then, I've paid my bills, read all my emails and Facebook posts, played solitaire and now I'm posting here. In about an hour I'll take my shower and make coffee for the rest of the clan
What is it about these nights? This doesn't happen to me often, maybe twice a year. But it always seems to occur when I really, really want to be fresh and raring to go the next day. I am really quite frustrated, but knowing we have a 6-1/2 hour train ride to the city helps. I know I can sleep a few hours on the train. The frustration in that is that I was looking forward to sharing Kacy's first train ride with her. I guess I'll just drink caffeinated coffee and try to get through the day. I think the adrenaline will flow once we get into NY.
I'm hoping to take lots of pictures and post them when we return home. I have been remiss in posting about the happenings in my life recently.
We had a great Thanksgiving. I left my camera home and am waiting for Kacy to email me some pics. Hopefully, that will be soon. I want to share the great time we had with Kacy's cousins, Mason (age 8 months) and Garrett (age 5). Not having boys of my own, I am totally fascinated and enamored of little boys. Garrett is a really bright and outgoing lad and we had a delightful time together.
Upon our return home, we busily decorated our house for Christmas (once again, pictures to follow) as I knew this week would be a busy one.
On Monday, my friend Shelly, who was in the terrible automobile accident in November, had a hysterectomy. Can you believe what these people have been through? She came through the surgery well and is recovering. It is amazing the advances they have made in technology for surgery. She had a laproscopic surgery using something called the DaVinci Robot. She was literally hopping out of her bed the following morning. The doc did find a malignant growth which he removed. We are waiting on the pathology report, but the doctor feels it was a very early stage tumor and self contained. In many ways this accident was a blessing as they found this growth because of a CT scan they did at the time of the accident. As I'm off to NY, she is recovering at home in the very good hands of her friends and family.
We had an inch or so of snow on Tuesday, but it was quickly gone as the sun shown and temperatures rose to near the 50 degree mark. It was a gorgeous day today with temps in the mid 50-s. It's hard to believe that it is just three weeks until Christmas. I don't know about you, but I have much to do before then.
Jim has been busily baking our Christmas cookies. I am so grateful that he is willing to do this. If not, we just wouldn't have any this year and that would be sad. Cookies are such a big part of our Christmas celebrating. I've pretty much decided not to send cards this year. I think I'm going to wait until Valentine's Day and send a valentine to everyone on my Christmas card list.
I talked to my Gretchen today and she said if it wasn't fun for me to make and send my cards this year I absolutely shouldn't do it and I agree. So if you don't hear from me in December, look forward to February.

Well, it's now 2:23 A.M. and I doubt it would be worth my while to go to bed for an hour. Guess I'll raid the cookie jar.
Until I return from NY, remember to "Be Kind to your Chuthers."
~Hippo Hugs~
P.S. Blogger hates me tonight. It won't let me double space between my paragraphs. So, please blame Blogger and not my excellent English teachers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

We awoke to mild temperatures this morning. It's 51 degrees. A perfect day for travel. Jim and I are busily packing and preparing to leave for our Thanksgiving holiday in Pennsylvania. We plan to be at our sister-in-law, Deb's, for dinner tonight. I am excitedly thinking about what yummy dinner she is preparing for us. As you know, if you read my blog at all, she is so special and precious to me. She and Kacy are such a connection to my late brother who I adored. I guess it's just natural that I would adore his wife and daughter, my dear niece.

Tomorrow we will have dinner with Deb's niece and her family. Marty has two little boys who are cute as bugs. I am looking forward to spending some time with them. It should be a really fun and happy day.

Friday will take us to Emporium to see Jim's mom for awhile. She will spend Thanksgiving at her Adult Care facility this year, but we will be back in Pennsylvania shortly to celebrate her 95th birthday. What a happy celebration that will be.

I have so much to be thankful for that I just don't know where to start. Suffice it to say, I feel blessed every moment of my life and thank God for his grace and mercy to me.

This is a very busy travel holiday so if you are travelling, please be careful and watch out for the other guy.

~Hippo Hugs~

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cooking & Crafting On A Rainy Day

Yesterday was the first rainy day we've had in November. Although I was sorry to give up the chance to walk outdoors, we need the rain and I determined to enjoy it. Jim was busy doing a painting job for friends and I had my kitchen all to myself sooo...

~I made some favorite dishes; spaghetti pie and taco chicken. Both of these recipes are easy to make and yummy to eat. Both can also be frozen and reheated at a later date. These are great casseroles to take to friends in need or to have on hand for company.

In my case, I have a friend who is going through some medical issues in her family and she is taking up all the slack that occurs when a family member is ill. She is such a wonderful mother and friend. I marvel at the ability she has to keep going and going; just like the Energizer Bunny. So, I thought a visit from The Food Fairy was in order. I didn't photograph the casseroles, but here's dessert.

It was such an enjoyable afternoon, snug in my kitchen with the wonderful food aromas filling the house. It makes me anxious to begin my Christmas baking.

Then, because I'm not a big fan of Thursday night television, I spent the evening in my craft room...

~creating these for Thanksgiving.

I thought they would make cute place cards for the table. We are spending Thanksgiving with my SIL, Deb and niece, Kacy. Dinner will be at Deb's niece's house. We are really looking forward to Thanksgiving and a chance to be with this part of our family.

Well, I'm going to run. Tonight I'm planning to see a local production of the musical Carousel. My friend, Shelly, is the choreographer. The director is another acquaintance of mine. A great guy and a good director. I'm sure the show will be a delight. Have a happy weekend.

~Hippo Hugs~

Thy fate is the common fate of all;

Into each life some rain must fall."

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mid-week Catch Up

I cannot believe how beautiful the entire month of November has been here in Upstate, NY. Today was another gorgeous, sunny day with temperatures in the mid-50's. Many times, by this time of the year, we have snow in this area. We are all just lovin' these beautiful Indian Summer days. Knowing that they can't last forever, I have been trying to be outside as much as possible.

I went to the hospital to spend the lunch time with Bruce today. He is having a regular diet now, and although he can feed himself it is a little difficult with only one hand so, sometimes, it's nice to have a little help. It was nice to have that time to visit with him by myself. He's doing pretty well and I think it won't be long before he's off to a skilled nursing facility for his orthopaedic rehab. They can't start his spinal cord rehab until the orotho is done, so the sooner the better.

In between hospital visits and trying to get some exercise, I have been working on putting my craft room back together. I am so excited to finish it and post some pictures. Jim has done such a nice job of painting and refitting it, I am anxious to show it off.

He's also finished painting the downstairs bathroom and I'm trying to get that finished too. My main problem is window treatments. I just can't make up my mind. I'm thinking of Roman shades in the craft room, but haven't seen exactly what I want yet. I'm not one of those people who has a decorator's touch. I really agonize. Any suggestions will be gratefully accepted.

I know my postings have been sparse and a little boring lately, but I'm going to get better....sometime, I promise.

~Hippo Hugs~

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wild Things

I went to see Where the Wild Things Are with the Lindas tonight. The Lindas worked with me in the library (back in the olden days) before I retired. So, of course, we needed to see what they had done to this classic children's book by Maurice Sendak. It was a fun evening

We went to dinner before the movie. The food was good and the company better. We did enjoy the movie. There were only two other people in the theatre besides us. They left as soon as the picture finished. As soon as (the bad) Linda realized they were gone, she began to howl. And, of course, I couldn't let her howl alone so I joined her. The good Linda, however, did not howl.

As for a review of the movie, my only comment would be that it seemed much more an adult movie than a child's. The wild things were charming and Max was a delightful little boy. And though I know his mom was relieved to have him back safe and sound, I still think there should have been a consequence for biting. Is that the disciplinarian in me speaking?

All-in-all it was a great day. Bruce continues to make progress. It's slow, but it is forward and for that we are grateful. He's eating soft foods, taking his meds orally and breathing with only the nose prongs. All this is good and we are thankful. Please continue to remember Bruce and Shelly in your prayers.

~Hippo Hugs~

Thursday, November 5, 2009

More Happy News

Bruce is tubeless today. It was so good today to walk in and see him without that ugly breathing tube. He still has an oxygen mask on his face, but one more hurdle has been passed. They were doing physical therapy on his legs when we arrived.

This is all good news. Praise the Lord.

~Hippo Hugs~

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Joyful Report

It's late and I'm very tired, but just had to post a little good news. Yesterday, Bruce had surgery to repair his broken femur. But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. Prior to the surgery, with his daughters and wife watching, he moved BOTH of his legs. That's right, both of his legs.

The spinal surgeon had told Shelly earlier that he was sure there was some spinal cord activity, but to see it with our own eyes was a wonderful gift. The surgery went well. They did not repair the shoulder as they want to wait until the breathing tube is out as that will make the surgery easier.

And did I mention the other good news? His peep (I have no idea exactly what that is) is 5 (and I do know that that is good). They are hoping to remove the breathing tube tomorrow. They may or may not do a temporary trach depending on how he responds.

I cannot be grateful enough. I am praising God and standing in awe of the work going on in Bruce's life.

Thanks for your prayers. Please keep on.

~Hippo Hugs~

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday Update

Oh, the twist and turns of life. I'm so sorry I've not been a faithful blogger these days. The past few weeks have been pretty much a blur. I'm still spending nights with Shelly. It's not that she's afraid to be alone, it's just the thought of a nighttime phone call bringing bad news that haunts her. So, for the time being, I'm living in two homes. Jim is such a dear husband and wonderful friend for seeing that this is where we need to be right now.

In my days at home, I've managed to:

~Get to Curves four times. That's good. I'm so glad to be back at Curves. It is good for me both physically and mentally. I'm also walking on the treadmill regularly.

~Start to put my craft room back together. Wait 'til you see the pictures. Jim has done an outstanding job of redoing this room for me. Now I just need time to get settled in here. A little bit at a time is working.
~Go to the mountains with Jim and another friend of Bruce's and close the cabin for the winter. Remember the fun of opening last spring? Hopefully, we'll have a healthy Bruce to open again next June.


~Have lunch out three times. What is it about times of crisis that make us think we can eat whatever and whenever we want? I know some people don't eat in crisis, me, I just want lots and lots of sweets and fats.

We have had some good news in the past few days. The spinal surgeon has told Shelly that there is movement below the site of the injury. He seems to have some movement and sensation. How much and how long the therapy will be isn't quite evident yet, but this is better news than we really expected. He is, however, still on the ventilator as his bruised lungs are healing slowly. This is a source of great frustration to him. I cannot even imagine how he must feel.

We are still waiting and praying for the final surgery on his leg and arm. That won't take place until his lungs are more stable. Let's pray that that is this week.

I want to thank everyone for all their prayers and support. We are so thankful for all the people around the country and world, actually, who are praying for Bruce and Shelly. We do have so much to be grateful for. You are all wonderful.

~Hippo Hugs~

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's Tuesday

Today was another beautiful day in Upstate, NY, bright sunshine, blue skies and wonderful fall colors everywhere. Jim and I took a walk along the canal path and I took my camera. Jim accuses of me of using the camera as an excuse to stop in rest every once in awhile.

If it didn't mean that winter was on its way, I think this might be my favorite season. Well, maybe not. I do love spring with the greening of the grass, buds on the trees and flowers blooming. Or maybe my favorite is Summer. Summer is so lovely with her gowns of green and multicolored bouquets. I guess I am really a pretty fickle lover of seasons. I don't even really hate winter. I just wish it lasted about six weeks and that no snow would fall on the sidewalks or roads. Is that too much to ask for.

Anyway, today's walk was glorious. We stopped on the way and had lunch. We each had a bowl of scrumptious beef barley soup and shared a yummy grilled cheese sandwich. Then we went on our way and finished our walk.

We have talked about the possibility of buying cross country skis and skiing on the canal path in the winter. We used to do cross country and then we had a few winters with scant snow and we just got out of the habit. I think we sold our skis at a garage sale and forgot about them until the last couple of years. Now that we have more time and desperately need winter exercise, we are thinking of it again. I think we might go to a place where we can rent equipment and see how it works before we invest.

The weather looks mild for the rest of the week, with some rain thrown our way from time to time. We're hoping for dry weather on Friday and Saturday as we are going to the Adirondacks to close up Bruce and Shelly's summer home. We had been looking forward to the four of us going for a last hurrah before winter. Now, it is just a reminder of how quickly life can take a turn.

Speaking of Bruce and Shelly, there has been no change in Bruce's condition. He is under less sedation, but he is still on the ventilator. He is more aware, but also more frustrated because he can't talk and he hates that breathing tube. There was talk of doing the surgery on his arm, shoulder and leg today, but he had a slight fever and they decided not to do it. He still isn't moving his lower extremities.

This is a picture of their Nisson Murano just after they cut Bruce out of the driver's seat. As far as we know the intoxicated driver of the other car was not seriously injured. He admitted at the scene that he had been drinking too much. Please continue to pray for Bruce's recovery. No matter what the outcome, he has a very long road of rehab ahead of him.
A former student of Bruce's has started a group of Friends and Former Students of Bruce Thompson on FaceBook and over 500 people have joined. I guess that gives us a good idea of how much this man has influenced the lives of people around here. I just know that my heart is breaking and I want my friend soon as possible.

~Hippo Hugs~

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Where have I been?

My Dear Friends in Blogland,

I have been away for a long time. Let me explain. Last Friday evening on the way home from a playing date with their band, my dear friends, Bruce and Shelly, were involved in a serious automobile accident. They were hit head on by an intoxicated driver.

Bruce was driving and took the brunt of the hit. Shelly escaped with a lot of bruises and a cracked rib or two. Bruce, however, was severely injured. At first examination it appeared that he had a broken femur, wrist, elbow and shoulder. On top of that he had contusions and trauma to his lungs.

Shelly was, understandably, in shock and asked me to come to her house and stay with her. We decided to have dinner out and then go to the hospital about 8:30 PM. When we arrived at the hospital, two doctors were waiting in the hall for us. They took us into Bruce's empty room and told Shelly that during the afternoon Bruce had lost feeling in his legs. A subsequent CT scan showed a break in his spinal column that had, at that point, left him paralyzed from the waist down. The head spinal surgeon at Strong Memorial Hospital strongly urged Shelly to sign permission for emergency spinal surgery, which she did.

It was a long night. They took Bruce, broken as he was, to surgery to repair the damage to his spinal column. Prior to the surgery, and MRI, the (may I add wonderful and compassionate surgeon) said he suspected a possible severance of the spinal cord. At 3 A.M., he called Shelly in the waiting room to say the injury may have been less severe than he had at first suspected and that Bruce had weathered the surgery well, and the spinal cord was not severed.

As of today, Bruce still faces surgery to repair the bones in his arm, leg and shoulder and has had no perceptible improvement in his lower extremities. This is not to say that that won't happen. Whatever the outcome, he and Shelly have a long road ahead of them.

I am still staying with Shelly. My husband is a saint and says stay as long as she needs me to. The outpouring of love and support from people all over the country has been overwhelming. Bruce was a former Band Director and Shelly is a German teacher in our school system. They have influenced untold numbers of students and their parents.

Please pray for grace and mercy as Bruce faces this long road of recovery.

~Hippo Hugs~

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I've Really Been Busy, but

I don't have a really good reason for my negligence where my Blog is concerned. We did to to Pennsylvania to see the family for a few days last week, but before that I had neglected posting. I think the truth is that I haven't had any original or interesting ideas for blog topics. So, once again, I'll borrow from my friend Cheryl and post about things I like/dislike about fall.

LIKE -APPLES FRESH FROM PICKING - Apple pie, apple crisp, applesauce, apples. Yum!

LIKE - The beautiful colors of fall.

DISLIKE - Raking those beautiful colored leaves after they fall.

LIKE - The smell of autumn in the air, including the smell of burning leaves (which is illegal in many places now).

DISLIKE - Frost on the car windows in the early morning.

LIKE - Walking on the canal path on crisp autumn days; stopping for soup and a sandwich for lunch.

DISLIKE - Darkness falling earlier and earlier every day. You can see what it does to my energy level.
LIKE - Decorating the lawn with pumpkins, scarecrows and mums.

DISLIKE - Saying goodbye to my summer flowers.

So these are some of my likes and dislikes, but isn't that what life is all about? Taking the bitter with the sweet? I have to say that I like the change of seasons. I even like winter..if it didn't last for nearly six months.

~Hippo Hugs~

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned

that within me there lay an invincible summer."

~Albert Camus

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dear Gretchen

Today is my daughter, Grechen's, birthday. I just want to say to you, dear girl, every day of your life, every step you have taken, you have brightened our lives. We love you. Happy Birthday.
~Hippo Hugs, Mom~

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Stamping the Day Away

Yesterday was our monthly stamping workshop with our friend, Joy. I look forward to those days as if they were holidays. Well, they are sort of holidays. At least, I made yesterday one. We went to Joy's early in the morning, 8:30, and made five new cards. What fun!

When I arrived back home, Jim had a nice bowl of soup waiting for my lunch. Isn't he just the bomdigaty? After throwing a load of laundry in the washing machine I decided I didn't want to do anything else that resembled work. So, I took myself off to my workroom, put some cool CD's in the player and got out my stamping stuff.

I did, literally, stamp the whole afternoon away. I stopped for a cup of coffee in the middle of the afternoon. At 4:30 I walked in the kitchen for a minute and Jim was putting a salad together for our dinner. He said to keep going, he would cook. Let me stop here to say this isn't unusual. We really do share the cooking and cleaning up. Anyway, I thanked him and went back to my room to stamp some more.

What a great feeling it was to accomplish so much. I made some birthday and get well cards to have on hand as well as a handful of cards that I can use for whatever occasion comes up. I just didn't put any greetings on the insides.

I got some great ideas at the workshop for Halloween and Thanksgiving cards and my next project will be making holiday cards. Because --- before we know it, it will be time for Christmas cards. In fact, we will make Christmas cards at our next workshop. I almost always come away with a good idea for my Christmas card.

See the cute pumpkin on the middle left? Although I'll have to send him in a padded envelope, I think my great nieces and nephews will like him. I think the wreath is my favorite. I'm thinking that will be a good Thanksgiving card.

It's cold and rainy here today and I'd really like to spend the rest of the day here making a mini album. I'm going to make a little album of pictures I took of my niece this summer. I'm going to call it Kacy Daze. She and her mom are coming for the weekend and I want to have it done before she gets here. I'm going to leave room in it for the pictures I will take of her at her cross country meet.

I've been really struggling with blogging lately. Like Dana, I'm noticing that I have fewer and fewer comments. Not that I write for that reason. I write because I need to and I'm lazy about journalling. Blogging makes me write. Patti, over at Monogram Queen says there are less people blogging these days. That makes me sad. I just love my buddies in blogland. I wonder if FaceBook is taking the place of blogging? I know FB is quicker and easier, but it just isn't the same as getting to know people through reading their blogs.

Anyway, I'm going to try to get myself back in the blogging habit. It's not as if I don't have things to say. If you ask anyone who knows me, they'll tell you I'm never at a loss for words. I think maybe I've just gotten lazy, so I'll give myself a little nudge and hope to do better in the days to come. In the meantime, take good care of yourselves.

~Hippo Hugs~

"Never forget that it is the spirit
with which you endow your work
that makes it useful or futile."
~Adelaide Hasse

Monday, September 21, 2009

To Market, To Market

to buy a......

Fat Pig!

No, I didn't buy this, but I couldn't resist taking a picture of it. I know it seems a little unusual here, but in European markets we saw rows and rows of pigs heads laid out on tables.

The weather here has been just gorgeous this fall season. Saturday, another spectacular day, found us off to the Public Market to browse the fall produce.

It was really crowded, but people are generally in a jolly mood so you don't mind the crowds. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but did buy some apples, zucchini (mine are all gone from our garden), green onions and some prunes.
Besides the pigs heads and wonderful pork and beef which we didn't buy either, they have a really nice fish market.

If it's 10:30, it must be time for coffee. They have wonderful coffee shops and bakeries. We were really disciplined and only had coffee.

The coffee refreshed us and we continued to shop. Oh yes, aside from the above listed things, I bought some wonderful basil. I made pesto this morning and I'm dying to use some this week. I also couldn't resist the hats ---- and sunflowers.

We continued to enjoy the beautiful day by taking a walk on the canal path. Oddly enough, we saw no other walkers, but lots and lots of bicyclists. Jim is talking bicycle, but I'm not so sure.

And now I have to share another weekend happening. Friday evening was Homecoming at our High School. Now, mind you, we didn't go to the game and I' so sorry because the King and Queen were two of my very favorite teenagers. Mackenzie and Michael are best friends, members of our church, and all around great Christian teens. What an honor for these two to be recognized by their peers as upstanding role models. We are very, very proud of them.

The Royal Highnesses
And so, I'll close with this:
Home again, Home again
Jiggity jig.
~Hippo Hugs~