Monday, August 1, 2011


I think in my last post, I had just returned from visiting some of my precious family in Pennsylvania. I was feeling poorly, and perhaps complaining just a teensy bit.

I'm happy to report that I am finally feeling fit as a fiddle. The last of my ailments was my poor aching tooth. I finally ended up with a root canal which was a tremendous relief. Today I had the permanent filling and it is almost perfect.

I've wanted to write about my aunts since my visit to Pennsylvania, but am still not completely in the groove of posting here. Anyway, about my aunts....and my cousin.

My dad was one of ten children: Tommy, Mildred, Dorothy, Norman, Elsie, Mary, Francis (my dad), Margaret, Edward and Betty. They are all deceased except for my Aunt Mary who is 91 years old and amazingly sharp. A few years back, she was on a step ladder washing her windows when she fell and injured her back. The result of that fall was that she went to live in a lovely adult care facility.

My dad's youngest sister, my Aunt Bets, is 82. She and I have so much fun together. Spending time with her is a joy to me. She was a talented seamstress, musician and artist. She has lost most of her sight and is no longer able to quilt and paint like she once did, but she doesn't let that keep her from having fun. I am so honored to have some of her quilts and paintings in my home. She is not only my aunt, but also my dear friend.

So those are my two surviving aunts. My cousin, Sally, is ten years older than me and was my idol when I was a young girl. She is still a beautiful woman and being around her makes me happy. Sally has been a widow for two years now, but lives near her children who adore her and try to take care of her....sometimes to her dismay. You can tell by her picture that she is still a bit of an imp.

I love and enjoy these women. Sadly, I only see them, at the most, twice a year. And there were years where I was so involved in raising my own children and spending time with my immediate family that I didn't see much of them at all.

Last summer my cousin, Sandy, who is next oldest to me, passed away suddenly. She had just retired from the full time Methodist ministry and had only spent one night in her new home before she died.

My own brother and sister, both younger than me, are also gone. Now more than ever, my extended family is precious to me. So, whenever possible, I love to get together with these beautiful ladies and go to lunch. We always have a good time together. My Aunt Mary and Sally both love potato pancakes, so often we go to a little local bakery where they serve potato pancakes.

Being with these ladies brings back so many wonderful memories of my childhood; family picnics, Sunday dinners, birthday celebrations, Christmas, Thanksgiving. I am so blessed to have had the privilege of growing up as part of a large, loving family.

I love you guys.

~Hippo Hugs~

"Where can a person be better

than in the bosom of their family."

~Marmontel Gretry~

Friday, July 15, 2011


Have you ever been in a position where you know full well you need to do something, but just cannot seem to force yourself to get to it and do it. Well that's me. The last time I posted here was April 18, 2011. That was a long time ago. About that same time, I just plain quit visiting all the blogs of my dear friends. Just quit.

Now, here I am, trying to explain myself. And to be completely honest, I really have no explanation. We came back home from our winter trip to Nevada and I just did nothing. I've looked back over this past several months and tried to conger up a reason why I became so lethargic and unexcited about life. I certainly was not depressed in any usual sense. I just felt as if I was suspended in time and couldn't really move forward.

Admittedly, we were expecting to receive a call any time to go out to Chicago and help our daughter who was moving into a new (to her) house and due to red tape, the call didn't come until July. But that, in itself, shouldn't have kept me from posting on my blog....or for that matter, reading other blogs.

I did manage to weed, plant and mulch in my flower garden.

And wash the windows on my porch. But for the first time in my married life, I did not wash all the windows in my house this spring. And guess what? My house is still standing. I, however, don't look out the windows.

By the time I was just coming out of my stupor, both our girls came home for a few days. This was a real tread and I did spend some time preparing for that. They came specifically to pay tribute to their grandmother who passed away in February. Since neither of the girls could make it at that time, we planned a little memorial for her.

They made their favorite "Grandma W" cookie and toasted her with then. The brought bubbles and blew them into the wind.

Grandma always made little creatures called "rock babies" with them, so they made rock babies for her grave.

We had a short, but delightful, visit together before they each had to head back to their homes.

And I ended up with cellulitis. The doctor thinks I somehow got it in the cemetery. That led to antibiotics which led to a pretty ugly reaction, which led to some other problems that I am just now getting under control. On top of that I had a crown on one of my back teeth. It hurt from the beginning and we spent two weeks trying adjustments only to finally decide it is dying and I need a root canal. I have had a toothache for nearly a month.

I still believe none of the above reasons are why I haven't been writing. I'm still pondering the reasons, and may never have an answer. In the meantime, I am determined to get back to business. So, as I go off to read some of your blogs, I hope you will find it in your hearts to forgive me and begin to read my paltry postings once again.

~Hippo Hugs~

Monday, April 18, 2011

Raising Money for Camp Scholarships

We're on our way back to Upstate NY, but I wanted to share with you our last HURRAH in Las Vegas. Sometime last fall, our son in law, Brian, decided that there should be a fundraiser for their pet project, Potosi Pines Christian Camp. He put his head together with Tracy Brown, the camp administrator, and his wife, our daughter Gretchen, and came up with a great idea. Of course, Jim and I weren't about to be left out of this project, so we extended our Nevada stay by a few days so we could be involved. The evening was planned at a local United Methodist Church and called upon all the churches in the valley to participate. The evening included music by three wonderful groups. The first group to participate was a delightful Barbershop Quartet made up of two men and two women. What fun to listen to their wonderful harmony. That music was followed by a really cool group of young men who played a set of jazz tunes. I was disappointed that there wasn't a dance floor. The final group was a contemporary Christian group from Gretchen and Brian's church.
This is the group from Advent UMC warming up. This lively group had us clapping and tapping.

Believe it or not, this is a cake. This wonderful creation depicts a cabin at Potosi Pines Camp. I slept in one of these cabins with eight young women the first time I went "up the mountain" to camp.

Another part of the evening was a silent auction that netted $1,500.00.

This precious lady baked and donated 300 cupcakes, some of which are pictured below.

These peanut butter and jelly cupcakes were definitely my favorite.

Gretchen, Brian and Jim created 300 dessert shooters; cherry cheesecake, s'more and banana pudding. All I can say is "Yummy".

Jim worked hard in the kitchen all day long.

Gretchen and another volunteer putting finishing touches on the "Shooters".

One of my contributions to the gathering was to iron tablecloths. I ironed 40 cloths which I calculated was 8,000 swipes of my right arm.

The event was a success because of the hard work of many volunteers, raising $5,000 for camp scholarships. We are looking forward to next year and hoping to make even more money for kids.

It was a wonderful couple of days spent working with our "kids" on a project dear to their hearts. We've left them and are on our way home with hearts full of joy and love.

~Hippo Hugs~

Friday, April 8, 2011

Beautiful Day in Red Rock

As some of you have noticed, I tried to post something last week that did not come through. The problem being that I actually posted it on my blog, We Write for Ten, a project no longer in existence, and then tried to transfer it to this blogging page. It didn't work. So, today, I am going to try to duplicate that post.

Jim and I had decided we wanted to go out to Red Rock National Conservation area for one more day of hiking before our sojourn here in the desert comes to an end. We packed some water and a picnic lunch and took off for the canyon.

We chose wisely, for when we arrived at Red Rock we discovered, to our delight, that Mojave Max, the resident desert tortoise had just emerged from his winter home. We had never seen Max on previous trips to hike at Red Rock so we were, to say the least, delighted. We arrived in time to hear part of the talk of the turtle expert and discover that the desert tortoise is endangered. It seems that sometime in the 1980's, an ailing pet tortoise was released into the wild to die. Before it succumbed to its illness, 80 per cent of the desert tortoises contracted the germ and died also.

Max, therefore, is carefully watched over and kept safe from all possible harm.

After spending some time with Max, we headed out to the area of the park in which we had chosen to hike. We had heard that this part of the canyon was home to some long horned sheep, but had never had the good fortune to spot any. Well, this was really our lucky day because as we were parking the car, people told us that the sheep were out a little way up the trail. We hurriedly grabbed our water and hiking sticks and made off up the trail. Not only were the sheep out, they were as close to the trail as fifty feet away. I was so overwhelmed with seeing these magnificent creatures that I didn't count them. We were told later that there were fourteen in all in this group.

I think this one was posing just waiting for someone to take his picture.

We spent a lot of time watching them. Their surefootedness is amazing. They are elegant and dignified creatures. They didn't seem to notice us at all as they grazed and walked around on the rocks.

Here is just one of the gorgeous views from farther up the trail. This hike was a three mile loop. the gradual uphill climb wasn't obviously apparent to us as we hiked. The nice surprise was the easy downhill trek back to our car.

After a lovely picnic lunch, it was home to nap in the afternoon.

It's hikes and sights like this that will make it hard to start home in a little over a week.

~Hippo Hugs~

Monday, April 4, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday at the Cactus Garden

Friday started off rather chilly here in the valley and almost convinced me that I should stay warm and cuddly in our little condo. Jim's wisdom prevailed and I got myself ready for an outing to Ethel M's Chocolates and Cactus Garden. It was a little chilly, but the sun was shining brightly and I was soon feeling warm and happy. I guess the fact that I had just read the paper and found that the temperature back home in New York was 21 degrees, made the 60 degrees here in the desert seem much warmer.

Thanks to our friend, Gunther (Garmen) we soon arrived at Ethel M's. We were disappointed in the factory tour as they were done making candy for the day. We did, however, get the free chocolate samples....YUMMY! Jim had decided before we left the condo that he was buying some candy and purchased their chocolate covered brittle.

The Cactus garden is spectacular. I decided rather than post individual pictures of all the species of cactus I saw, I would do a collage. It was such fun looking at all these different cacti. I plan to make a cactus scrapbook....maybe as early as tomorrow.
As you can see, mixed in among the cactus were a few flowering plants. The color here and there added to the beauty of the cactus.
Prior to leaving for this fun tour, Jim had read in the newspaper that Herman's Hermits with Peter Noone would be appearing at a local casino tomorrow evening. We had seen Peter a few years ago and loved the show. So, off we went to the South Point to purchase tickets for tomorrow evening. The price was right and we are really looking forward to being highly entertained tomorrow.
Feeling so happy with ourselves, we decided to go out lunch at one of my favorites, Balboa's Pizza at the District in Green Valley. It was delicious, as usual.
To proved that we aren't all evil, we did take a two mile walk upon arriving back at the condo.
Jim has opted to stay at home tonight watching NCAA basketball while I grabbed Gretchen and went off to LUSH to shop for goodies. That is such a luscious store and it is so hard not to overspend. We don't have anything like it at home which makes it all the more tempting.
Gretchen made a wonderful pasta and squash dish for us for dinner. Now she's doing school work and I'm just having a wonderful time on my computer.
Until next time,
~Hippo Hugs~

P.S. Once again, Blogger won't allow me to double space between some of my paragraphs. Doesn anyone else have this problem?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Catching Up.....Again!

The last time I posted, we had just arrived here in the desert. I know I posted a couple of photos of our trip westward, but here are a few more. In Chicago, we had hoped to see our little buddy, Liam, wrestle, but alas, he was over weight. Now, I ask you, how can a little bean like him be over weight. We did, however, see the match and see him in his wrestling garb. As usual, we were welcomed by Boomer, the Great Dane who rules over their house. We played Bonanza in honor and memory Paige's dear grandmother. It was a short, but fun visit with our precious oldest daughter. Soon after our arrival here in Henderson Bruce and Shelly came for a short visit. It sure was great showing them some of our favorite places. They have been to Vegas many times, but we showed them some of our haunts. So good to see Bruce doing so much better.

We had a week in between their visit and the visit of Rick and Sandi. This was their first visit to Las Vegas, so we had a great time playing tour guide. I knew Sandi would love the flora of the desert, and I wasn't disappointed.

We did a lot of walking and hiking while they were here. Each day, we walked a mile to the Senior Center nearby, had coffee and a cookie and walked back to the condo. The weather cooperated fully so we could be outside and enjoy the warmth, sunshine and blue skies. We always managed to find some good coffee for Sandy and me.

We did the fountains at the Bellagio, the Flamingo gardens and the canal shops at the Venetian. The gelato at the Venetian was really yummy.

The time went so quickly we could hardly believe it was time for them to fly back to the cold and frozen tundra of Upstate NY.

This past few days were spent in California with Brian and Gretchen. It seems that last year while we were in San Diego, I said, "We should go to Disneyland." And being the spoiled creature that I am, my kids made that happen.

We left early Monday morning following Brian and Gretchen's tradition of breakfast at Jack in the Box, followed by my newly minted tradition of donuts from Dunkin's. Once again, because I am spoiled, we drove to the beach. It was a beautiful, sunny day, if a bit chilly. Jim helped Brian and Gretchen fly their kite while I just enjoyed the ocean. I especially enjoyed the pelican.

After checking into our hotel and having a short rest, we were off to explore the area of Anaheim around Disneyland. We found a cute little mall called Garden Walk where we had a most unique dinner at Fire and Ice Grille. It was a one price meal. There was a green salad bar and then a buffet where you could choose vegetables, pasta, meat or seafood and a sauce. You then took those things to a grill where the cooks put it all together and cooked it, adding the sauce at the very end. It was truly delicious. In my two visits to the buffet, I had a shrimp, scallop, veggie and bow tie pasta combo with an Alfredo sauce. The second was much the same except I switched the seafood for chicken and tried a lemon garlic sauce. It was good, but I think I liked the first the best.

Disneyland. What a fun, fun day. The park was very crowded, but with the help of the Fast Pass everyone was able to ride their favorites. Jim actually rode the Matterhorn and Thunder Mountain Railway with us. Let me tell you, it was way better than riding alone like I did six years ago.
We ended a beautiful day with watching the fabulous fireworks over the Magic Kingdom and pizza in Downtown Disney.
Wednesday found us in Disney's California Adventure Park. We started out at It's a Bug's Life, my favorite. I didn't ride much that day, but had a lot of fun people watching. Wednesday evening ended with Disney's World of Color, a water and laser light show in the Adventure park and then a quick run over to the Magic Kingdom to see the fireworks, once again.The laser light show was fabulous, but the fireworks are our all time favorite.
As the kids were staying in the park to ride the Tower of Terror, we went our separate ways for dinner. Jim and found a little steak restaurant on the way back to the hotel and had a quiet dinner after a fun-filled day.

I slept most of the way home from Anaheim, most of the evening at the condo, all night and had a morning nap. I think I may be rested. I don't think I mentioned that I had a cold and lived on DayQuil and NyQuil during the trip.
In between all our crazy comings and goings we have managed to walk quite a bit, read quite a bit, play a lot of Skip-Bo, relax and enjoy our surroundings.
In the next four weeks, we plan to do more of that along with seeing the kids, trying to eat sensibly and enjoy the beautiful desert weather.
If you are pray(ers) please pray for Gretchen who has made it through one interview in the process for a National Park Service job at Death Valley. This appears to be her dream job. We'll see what God has to say.
~Hippo Hugs~

Monday, February 28, 2011

Life in the Desert

We've been here Henderson for two weeks already. I'm finally getting around to posting from the desert. As you already know, we left home after saying our final good-bye to our dear mother and mother-in-law. Although we miss her dearly, we are, nonetheless praising God for her home going.

The first stop in our journey was in the Chicago area of Illinois to spend some time with our precious daughter Paige. It is always a joy to spend time with Paige and Michelle and Liam.

We played Bonanza in honor and memory of her grandmother. Our girls were so blessed to have really special grandmothers who took part in their lives and taught them many things.

I am always so happy to be able to spend time with Paige.

Boomer is always happy to see us.

Liam didn't make weight. Are you kidding me? 60 plus pounds and he was overweight. Anyway, we didn't get to see him wrestle. I think he looks rather Rockyesque in his sweats and mouth guard though.
We left Crystal Lake on an early morning with the temperature reading 11 below zero. Our thoughts ran ahead to the 50 degree warmth of the desert.
The second stop on our journey was in the Amarillo, TX area to visit with our dear friend, Izzie, who has recently moved to Hereford, TX to live near her son and his wife. We had a delightful breakfast and visit with Izzie, Kevin and Kim.

We left Hereford and drove to Albuquerque where we spent a wonderful evening with our dear friend Megan Estochen Smith. She is new to Albuquerque but she managed to show us around the Old Town and direct us to a really neat New Mexican restaurant.
The next day, a long one, found us here in Henderson, getting settled. It was so good to arrive here. We called Gretchen and had dinner with her that first evening. We spent the next few days getting settled in and preparing for the arrival of our friends, Bruce and Shelly....which is the next installment in our desert journal.
Until then,
Hugs and Hippo Hugs.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Elva E. Wolfanger, 1914-2011

After consulting with family members, I presented the following eulogy at my dear mother-in-law's funeral on February 7, 2011.

Elva Wolfanger was an amazing woman. Were she alive, she would surely dispute this statement. You see, my mother-in-law was not only humble, she was a woman who really did not know her own worth. I doubt she ever realized how many lives she touched in a positive way in her 96 years.

Most of you here, today, know many things about Mom. We, her family, want to share some of the many things we know about her.

Elva Wolfanger was a woman of honor. In her 50 plus years of marriage, she honored her husband and her marriage vows.

She honored her mother with whom she and her family shared their home, and when her mother-in-law was no longer able to care for herself, she welcomed and cared for her.

She was a woman of kindness. Whenever her name is mentioned to friends and acquaintances, people remark on her kindness to others. While most of us would close the door on salesmen and those prosletizing their religious beliefs, not Mom. She would invite them in and listen kindly to their spiel, not wanting to hurt their feelings. It never surprised me to find a Watchtower lying on her coffee table. Not that she read it, she just couldn't be unkind.

A loving mother, Elva Wolfanger had high expectations for her sons. She taught them manners, responsibility, respect for others. There were many things she didn't tolerate; disrespect for elders, use of bad language. Yesterday Laverne told me that although he doesn't remember the circumstances, he still remembers the tast of the Ivory soap that followed his use of bad language.

Her sense of discipline sometimes abandoned her. In the case of her youngest son, my husband, and his buddy wrestling on the bed. As the bed crashed to the floor, mom was up the stairs brandishing her brand new fly swatter with a plastic fly fastened to one side. As she began hitting the ill-behaved boys (you were allowed to discipline your neighbors children in those days), the fly swatter broke apart sending the fly....flying. I guess the absurdity of this hit Mom at that moment because, as Jim remembers, she collapsed onto the broken bed laughing with the two offending young men.

She loved her chldren. She was able to blend her love, kindness and honor with discipline, raising three sons. As she modeled these traits for her boys, she saw them grow to adulthood to not only honor and respect her, but to show love and respect for their own wives and others in their lives. This is evidenced by the loving and respectful way that Dale and Carolyn have cared for her in these last years.

Grandma Wolfanger adored her grandchildren. She did all in her power to make them know how special they were. She derived such joy from spending time with them.

A face book post fromher granddaughter, Paige - "Missing my grandma Elva today; who made rock babies with us, and was the fastest triple solitaire hand this side of the rockies, and believed that someday a UFO would land in her back yard and treated her grandchildren like they were gold, and who returned to her creator yesterday.

From her granddaughter Gretchen Wise -"Dear Grandma, Thanks for letting me fill every inch of your house with wildflowers, for letting us fly gliders off your back porch. Thanks for saving the Star for us to read (my first trashy magazine). Thanks for the rock babies and the hand made Barbie clothes. I'm sure that you are making whoopie pies with the angels. I love you so. Be at peace."

Her joy in parenting and grandparenting continued in these last years through the birth of her great grandchildren. Their cards, visits and entertaining with singing and playing their musical instruments brought her great joy in her last years.

From her Tennessee great granddaughters: "Great Grandma, I will play my flute for you. I will play the piano for you. And I will sing for you. You will always be in our hearts. We love you."

As a mother-in-law, Elva was a woman of wisdom. One of the many wise and wonderful things she taught her sons was to never, ever compare their wives' cooking to hers. I remember so distinctly the day, early in our marriage, when I made fried pork chops and Jim said, "Where is the gravy?" My answer was that you don't make gravy from fried pork chops drippings...You know where this is going, right? His answer, "My mom does." didn't set well with me. And the next time we went to Austin, I paid him back by tattling to his mother. I don't have any idea exactly what she said to him, but suffice it to say, he never compared my cooking to hers again.

Mom was a wonderful cook and she always tried to make our favorite foods. In fact, if you even so much as mentioned that you liked something, you might expect to have it every time you came to visit. I remember Derek commenting that he liked her cherry pie. From that time on, there was always cherry pie for Derek.

She was a woman of hospitality. Whether hosting her card club or the Ladies Aid, out of town relatives, or friends ofher children, she was gracious and welcoming to everyone who was a guest in her home.

On holidays, she invited not only us, her children, but our families also. If you had happened upon one of our celebrations, you wouldn't be able to distinguish who belonged to who. We were a family and that's the way Mom wanted it.

As you can see, Mom was many things, but most of all, she was a woman of faith. She lived a life of quiet trust in God. If God said it, she believed it. She needed no proof. God's presence was so obvious in her life. She didn't stand on street corners telling of her faith, she didn't pray in public, she didn't speak or preach to large crowds, but to know her was to see the beauty of a life rooted in God's love.

I'll leave you today with these words from her youngest great grandchild, three year old Wyatt. "Dear God, bless great grandmother, keep her safe and warm and happy."


Friday, January 28, 2011

January Projects

These cold, snowy January days lend themselves to staying indoors and working on projects.

Although. or perhaps because, I started this past week with a visit from the Stomach Bug, I didn't have much energy or oomph to do anything too physical. So, instead I turned my mind to some projects that have been on my mind.
I've started to knit a little again. Here is the beginning of a scarf I'm making for a Pay It Forward I'm doing on Facebook.

Another of my Pay It Forward projects is this little scrapbook I made for a former exchange student from Germany. This is a little memento of our visit together.

I have an artificial evergreen tree that I keep on my porch in the summer. I have it decorated with woodsy things for the summer. For July 4th, I have some patriotic decorations and I have some Halloween decorations. I bring it in the house and add gold balls for Christmas. This year, I have decided to keep it in the dining room 'til spring. I found some fun hearts and traded them for the gold balls.

I'm going to look on the Bronner's Christmas Store website for snowmen for next January. I'm not home for St. Patrick's day, but plan to look for some Easter decorations for April.

I spent a day in my craft room working on cards and scrap booking. Here is a card I finished up and sent to my uncle who gets pretty lonely on these long, snowy winter days since my aunt passed away.

I spent a day in my craft room making some cards. Jim's brother and his wife for their 50th wedding anniversary.

One of my best friends from High School is having a significant birthday in a few days and I made this one for her. I must admit that after I sent this one, I bought one with a less sentimental message.

I also did some cooking yesterday. I planned to share the recipes with you, my friends in Blogland, but I'm running out of time right now. We are on our way to Pennsylvania in a few minutes. We will visit my precious mother in law and celebrate my brother in law's birthday as well as he and his wife's 50th wedding anniversary.

Rushing away, I say....

~Hippo Hugs~

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I've Been Tagged

My very interesting blogging buddy, Lyn recently tagged me. Like her, I don't love these tags, but also like her, I haven't been tagged in a while, so here goes.

Here is how it goes:

1. Thank the person who tagged you and link to her blog. (Check)

2. Share eight things about yourself (Check)

3. Pay it forward to eight bloggers. (I'm not sure...give me a few minutes on this one.)

4. Contact those bloggers to tell them they have been chosen in this tag. (See 3.)

  1. Although it is hard for me to believe, I will have been retired six years on January 31st. I left my job as Library Director of our local public library just before my 60th birthday. Jim had already been retired from his teaching position for 2-1/2 years, and though I loved my job, I felt it was time to be free to spend time with him. We have really enjoyed our time together this past six years. The other day I remarked to him that every day I'm retired I love it more.
  2. I have a tattoo. It was my plan to get a tattoo on my 6oth birthday, but we were in DisneyWorld and they just don't have tattoo parlors there. My tattoo is a dragonfly on my ankle. Getting a tattoo was my way of thumbing my nose at old age.
  3. This sounds funny, following my tattoo disclosure, but I am an Evangelical Christian. Although I was raised in the church, I didn't really accept salvation through grace until I was 25 years old. The past 40 years, have been the best of my life. I am deeply aware of how I fail to live up to the name Christian, but I am so grateful for God's grace and mercy that keep me going and striving in this life.
  4. If I were to start over in a career I would choose Television Journalism. I think I would make a great anchorwoman or tv interviewer. What a great profession that would be. Can't you just see it now? The NBC Evening News with Anchorwoman, Pam Wolfanger.
  5. Jim and I have a Bucket List. We have accomplished many things on our list already. Some of the remaining things are: riding a zip line, white water rafting, take ballroom dance lessons, travel to Costa Rica, actually travelling to many places too numerous to list. I also want to own a Mini-Cooper and write a book about the town in which I grew up. And that's just a small portion of my list.
  6. At 66, I am the last member of my immediate family. My parents both passed away within a year of each other. My precious brother left this world in 1998 and I miss him every day. My sister died of lung cancer several years ago. It's hard to believe that I am the only one left. I am so wonderfully blessed with an in-law family who love me and treat me like a sister and daughter. When I hear people complain about their in-laws, I always take a minute to thank God for this wonderful family in which he placed me.
  7. I am one of the world's greatest procrastinators. I'd say more about that, but I think I'll wait awhile.
  8. I have a wonderful husband and children. I am so proud of my daughters. They are both bright, outgoing and caring women who make me happy to be their mother. My son-in-law is a joy to me. What a kind and thoughtful man. He kind of reminds me of the girls' father, my precious husband of 42 years.

Okay, if I were going to send this to eight people, they would be:

  • Cheryl, whose blogs always inspire me to write more. I always think how proud her mother must be of her.
  • Fay, whose strong faith encourages me.
  • Dagmar, who is one of the most creative bloggers I've met so far. Her blog is just beautiful.
  • Patti, Oh Patti, you are precious.
  • Tracy, my creative and delightful next door neighbor.
  • Chrissy, who I love like a daughter and always makes me laugh.
  • Midlife Mom, whose faith and joy amaze me.
  • Pam, who I identify with.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January Musings

We're almost to the middle of January and the clothing experiment goes on. I haven't posted any pictures these past few days as I have mostly been hanging out in my jeans.

We did go to New Jersey this past weekend to celebrate LaVerne and Cathy's first wedding anniversary but somehow my camera never made it out of the suitcase. We had a good time celebrating with LaVerne and Cathy's friends and family. They sure are happy.

They did all the food for the party themselves and I came home with a couple of great recipes. I plan to make Paul's bean dip for the Super Bowl party .....Okay here is my dilemma.....I am really trying to use proper grammar. So....the Super Bowl party we are going incorrect useage. I need to say the Super Bowl party to which we are going. And that sounds stilted, even though it is correct.

Okay, I had no intention of writing about this, but now that I've started my rant, let me continue. I am so bothered by the way people butcher grammar these days. I admit that I may have become a little obsessive, but at the same time people have become really, really lazy.

Some of the problem stems from the lack of teaching. No longer do children learn the parts of speech, diagram sentences, or even drill on spelling words. Whole Language has ruined the English language in my opinion.

I was reading a book by Mary Jane Clark in which I found this line: "What time do you need the papers by?" I screamed and threw the book on the hassock. My brother in law, sister in law and husband just laughed. They really think I'm losing it. But, I ask you, is it too much to expect writers and news reporters to use good grammar? If we can't look up to these people, then who?

Then there is the matter of your and you're. Even ads in the newspapers get that wrong now. Some of my Facebook friends, intelligent, educated people, don't seem to know the difference. It's enough to make me want to unfriend them.

Here and now I admit that I don't always get it right, but I am trying. Maybe I should thank all these people who hack away at the language I love. They really make me think.

Okay, the rant is over. I'm off to clean my upstairs and throw away all those size ten pieces of clothing that I will never wear again. Wonder where the trash can is at?

Put your heart, mind, intellect,
and souleven to your smallest acts.
This is the secret of success.
~Swami Sivananda~
~Hippo Hugs~

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Experiment - Day Two

On day two, I chose to wear my jeans, a snowman turtleneck and my red vest for lunch at the Olive Garden and our usual Tuesday movie.

I need to confess that this morning, I switched my black tee shirt for a second vest. Decided I might be a little chilly with just shirts. Other than that, I plan to stick to the plan.
Still only 12 items.

~Hippo Hugs~

Monday, January 3, 2011

Twelve for Thirty

Maybe it's because of the economy and so many people out of work, maybe it's the poverty and tragedy in Haiti and other parts of the world, maybe it's just my age, but I have been thinking a lot about excess this past year. I look at all we have and all we actually need and I see the chasm.

Jim and I talk a lot about paring down, hoeing out, getting rid of the excess. That is probably because we have emptied out both his parents' and my mother's homes and laughed at all the crazy things they kept. We don't want our daughters to say that about us.

Now, if any of you know me at all, you know that I have a huge weakness for clothes. This dates way back to my high school days and has probably grown with age. I just love clothes. I spend a lot of time thinking about what I'll wear where and how I will accessorize it.

A few months ago, I read an article in a magazine suggesting the experiment of choosing ten items of clothing and wearing just them for a month. I was intrigued by the idea and found myself thinking about it at odd moments of the day. Finally, I decided that I would like to give it a try....after the holidays.

Today is my first day. I have adapted the plan to suit me, just a little. I am doing Twelve for Thirty for the month of January. At this point, I must clarify that I have chosen twelve items of clothing and have not limited my accessories at all. I'm hoping to be so creative with accessorizing that no one will really notice my dearth of outfits.

So, join me, will you and see if the Clothes Horse can actually stick to the experiment?

Here are the twelve items I have chosen: black slacks, grey slacks, denim jeans, one white top with a screen print, one white turtleneck with snowmen, one plain white turtleneck, one black turtleneck, one black long sleeved tee, one long sleeved grey tee, one red vest, one black jacket.

Here I am on day one ready to spend the day with my friend Karen.

I need to add here that I did not count my workout clothes, or my house pants in the mix.

Stay tuned and see if I can actually do this.

Self confidence is the first

requisite to great undertakings.

~Samuel Johnson~

~Hippo Hugs~

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year - 2011

Okay, I have no excuse. I had good intentions to blog again when last I wrote here. I don't know what happened, but I just took a break....a very long one. I have missed all of you and am hoping I can become a good, steady blogger again.

In the meantime, I want to share this with you as you begin a New Year.

I Wish You Enough
Recently I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure.
Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the father said, "I love you, and I wish you enough."
The daughter replied, "Dad, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Dad."
They kissed and the daughter left. The father walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?"
"Yes, I have, '" I replied. "Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?".
"I am old, and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is..the next trip back will be for my funeral," he said.
"When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, 'I wish you enough.' May I ask what that means?"
He began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.." he paused a moment and looked up as if try to remember it in detail, and he smiled even more. "When we said, 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them." Then turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.
  • I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
  • I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
  • I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
  • I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
  • I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
  • I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
  • I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.
He then began to cry and walked away.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them; but then an entire life to forget them.

Take time to live.

To all my friends and loved ones, I WISH YOU ENOUGH.