Category Archives: Life

The Weekly Smile…Sage Advice From A Senior Cat

Live each day like a cat in a sun spot;

Relaxed, content, and totally in the moment.

~Jack

🐱🐱🐱☀️☀️☀️☀️🐈🐈🐈🐈🐱🐱🐱☀️☀️☀️☀️🐈🐈🐈🐈

The Weekly Smile is brought to you by Trent’s World. Stop by and check out the rest of the smiles and maybe leave one of your own.

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If We Were Having Coffee…Remembering 2016

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Good morning! Welcome!

If we were having coffee…I would fill your cup and offer you an Entenmanns donut (one of our regional bakeries). We have the kind with the cinnamon crumble on top. We also have lots of left over Christmas cookies if you prefer. According to an Internet meme, “If you eat it in the morning with coffee then it’s breakfast.” That certainly works for me!

Before you arrived, I was sitting her contemplating the fact that this is the last Coffee Share and, indeed, the last morning of the year. Where oh where did 2016 go!? When my children were younger I kept a yearly Christmas book in which I pasted a family photo, a copy of the Christmas card we sent out, and then wrote in some of the highlights of the past year. When we unpacked the book a few weeks ago, Miss Dee was going through reading aloud each year’s events. It was fun to remember all the details of what went on. Somewhere around 2006, I dropped the ball and stopped filling out the pages. I wish I hadn’t because then maybe it would be easier to recall exactly how we spent our days in 2016! Mostly, it’s a blur.

Of course I recall the big events like Miss Dee’s high school graduation, Mr D turning 21, and the birth of two different nephew’s baby girls, but the little things have slipped away. I suppose I was busy, mostly, with the business of living, everyday things like laundry and paying bills and such.  I’m sure there were trials and problems to work out and days I just wanted to get through. But, there were also many, many days shared with loved ones, cheering on my kids, snuggling with my husband, days filled with excitement, anticipation and lots and lots of laughter.

That sounds just fine.

For 2017, I think I’ll just wish for more of the same.

Let me leave you with this thought though, a little mantra I posted on Christmas Eve last year. It’s a good way to start the day.  I think this year we might need it even more.

🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

Today I will be kind.

I will not judge,

or assume.

I will help when I can,

and learn from my mistakes.

I will appreciate the uniqueness of those around me,

and try each day to leave the world a little better than it was the day before.

🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

Happy New Year and thanks for stopping by.

The Weekly Coffee Share is brought to you courtesy of Diana at Part Time Monster. Click here for more coffee shares.

A Christmas Memory #1…Holiday Goodies

Last year in honor of my favorite season I embarked on a daily Christmas Postathon. It was a great way to maintain my holiday spirit but to be honest, the pace nearly did me in! So this year I’m going for a looser, more laid back version.  Periodically I will pull out a Christmas memory or favorite to share. Feel free to join the party! I would love to reminisce with all my friends.

Today’s topic is…

Favorite holiday treats

As we slouched around the remnants of our Thanksgiving dinner this year, the conversation turned to all the special treats that made our childhood holiday seasons so memorable. Goodies like Christmas cookies and egg nog jump to most everyone’s mind but each of us had our own personal treats, those things that brought back that rush of Christmas feelings from our childhood.

imageMy sister and I compared notes and decided that we always felt Christmas was upon us when the bowl of mixed nuts appeared. They occupied a special cut glass bowl my mom saved for such delicacies with silver nut crackers tucked in beside them. We knew we couldn’t eat them all at once because they were an extravagance and had to last till Christmas Day. Back then I preferred walnuts and loved cracking them open and then digging around with the little silver pick trying to get every last piece from the broken shell. Today I’d happily dig into the almonds, filberts and pecans as well.

imageMom also splurged on a big box of Whitman chocolates each season. The box she purchased was called the “sampler” because it contained an assortment of every sort of filled chocolates they made. My favorites were the caramels. In fact, they still are. After we were grown and out on our own, mom still gave my sisters and I a Whitman Sampler each Christmas. I usually had to stash it away somewhere safe or it would be empty in no time.

imageAnother special Christams treat I remember from my grandmother’s house were ribbon candies and chocolate filled straws. She was very fond of hard candies  and usually had some type around her house but those two were reserved just for the holidays. To be honest, I only sucked on them for a minute or two before I spit them out to try another flavor! I wonder if my grandmother ever noticed all those half eaten candies in her trash? She always offered me more so I guess she didn’t mind!

imageNow it’s your turn. What are the special treats you remember from your childhood Christmases? I’m sure the there are local and regional goodies that are unique to certain areas. So many confections, flavors and tastes but the feelings of joy and warm memories they bring are the same no matter where or when you grew up.

If We Were Having Coffee…10/22/16

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If we were having coffee…I would invite you in out of the crisp fall weather and pour you a steamy cup of French roast. We also have tea or hot chocolate if you prefer? There is also some cake left from my husband’s birthday celebration today. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind sharing. The D-man’s actual birthday isn’t until Monday but we had his family birthday dinner a little early because his dad and stepmom are leaving for a trip to Disney World on Monday. This will be their first trip there together. She goes every year with her mother and brother but my father-in-law isn’t much of a Disney World fan. He enjoys trips that involve hiking and historic sites more than rides and musical shows. It will be interesting to hear their critique when they get home.

If we were having coffee..I would tell you that D-man was pretty excited to receive an official Carson Wentz Eagles football jersey as part of his birthday gifts. We can only hope that the Eagles can win some more games just to make that jersey worth wearing! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrow afternoon’s game. Our home is a much happier place when they win.😊.

If we were having coffee…I would ask you how thing have been in your world? Are you enjoying the fall weather? Are you in an area where you can experience the changing colors of the season. I can’t believe Halloween is just around the corner although the children at school are more than ready. The fact that it falls on a Monday is down right painful for those of us working in education. “Why?” you might ask. Because that means that on Tuesday morning we will be dealing with hyped up, sugar overdosed, overly tired children with lunch boxes full of left over candy. It will take us until at least Thursday to regain control. 😳 I wonder if we could get a law passed declaring  Halloween must always fall on a Friday?

Anyway, if we were having coffee, I’d thank you for stopping to chat and for listening to me ramble on! I would wish you a week filled with great moments, good thoughts, and happy people. I would also suggest that you stop by Part Time Monster and catch up with some of the other Weekend Coffee Share posts.

Wedded Bliss

The invitation

The invitation

This Sunday my family and I were invited  to witness two amazing young people begin their lives as husband and wife. I will admit that I am a bit of a wedding junkie. They are by far my favorite social outings.  I think it’s because, barring any family drama, weddings are such incredibly happy events filled with promise and excitement. Plus I get to dance with my husband, always a treat. I would guess I’ve been to (attended or been part of) maybe fifty weddings in my lifetime but there was something special about this one, the ceremony especially, that made my heart extra happy, both for the couple and for those of us lucky enough to share in their special day.

Miss L, the bride, is a very dear friend of my son’s and has been a fixture in our home since grade school. She and Miss Dee played tennis together all through high school and her little sister attends third grade at the school where I work. We were all so excited when she and her young man Mr L, also a friend and classmate of  Mr D’s, became engaged last year and even more excited when we found that we were all invited to their wedding.

The Bride

The Bride

Sunday morning arrived dark and stormy thanks to hurricane Matthew, which had been dumping rain on us for two days but, miraculously, by afternoon the clouds had parted and the sky was a bright, clear blue. We arrived at the venue around four o’clock and discovered that, dispite the wet ground, the ceremony would be held on the wood lined brick patio around back. I was told by her grandmother that when the family arrived, the staff had been setting up inside but Miss L had nixed that insisting that the ceremony had to be outdoors. On my way to my seat, even as my heels sunk into the earth, I looked around at the green lawn, baskets of flowers and autumn foliage  and thought “Good call.” The setting made it all so much more perfect.

Turning in our seats as the music began we saw Mr L, who is now a new Marine, just finished his basic training walk up the stone path looking very handsome if a little nervous in his dress blues. He was accompanied by the minister. They were followed by his brother and six groomsmen, four of which were in uniform as well. As they took their place at the front, under a white pergola covered in climbing vines, the ladies entered. First came her little sister dressed in cream colored lace scattering  pink rose petals, then the bridesmaids in soft blush dresses each wearing a ring of flowers in their hair.

The wedding favors

The wedding favors

The music changed to Beethoven’s Cannon in D, my all time favorite wedding music, and we stood to watch Miss L enter accompanied by her mom on one side and her dad on the other.  All brides are beautiful, and she was no exception but it was so much more than that. Her gown, a simple off the shoulder ivory lace with a full ballgown skirt made up of yards and yards of tulle drifted around her and her mass of auburn curls tumbled beneath a veil crowned with pink and ivory flowers. She was breathtaking! A woodland princess about to marry her prince. I think what made her look so perfect, so magical, was that she stayed true to who she is, a very wholesome sweet girl without a lot of glitter and glitz.

And finally husband and wife

And finally husband and wife

I turned and caught sight of her groom and I couldn’t help but choke up. The look of absolute love on his face, his eyes glistening, seemed to caused quite a few sniffles among the guests. Since we were seated in the back row much of what the minister said during the ceremony was lost on the wind but watching those  two young people standing hand in hand against a backdrop of  green, gold and red trees, the lovely maidens on one side, the military men standing tall on the other and the sun glowing above us all, was enough to make my heart swell with happiness for them. When it came time for the vows and the rings, the bride and groom’s voices came across loud and clear and even though the breeze kept them from officially lighting the unity candle (they faked it for the photographer!) the ceremony was lovely. They kissed, we applauded and they danced back down the aisle ready to enjoy an evening of celebration as husband and wife.

On Monday morning the couple left for their honeymoon and in a few weeks they will pack up and move to South Carolina where Mr L is stationed. I’m going to miss having Miss L around all the time but I’m so happy for her and her new husband. When I first found out they were getting married I worried that they were so young and that they would be starting out their marriage so far from friends and family but after seeing them on Sunday and feeling all the love that surrounds them I’m convinced they’ll do fine.  This was just the start of an amazing journey that will last a lifetime, their lifetime.  I’m really glad I was there to see it all begin.

 

The Tale of the Red Dress and the Broken Glass

Recently, on Facebook one of those “get-to-know-you” lists was circulating. It had about 50 life events that you were just suppose to answer “yes” or “no” to, (been scuba diving, watched a baby being born, visited all 50 states, etc). One of the things on the list that I was able to answer “yes” to was “rode in an ambulance.” Usually, this would be a serious or sad event but my ambulance trip was more of a strange and embarrassing ride and, as it turned out, a really lousy way to meet men. Who knew, right? I hadn’t thought about that night for many years but it’s a pretty funny story so I thought I would share.

 

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To begin this story we must first time travel back to the year 1983. My friend Patti  I, two twenty-something singles females, were heading out for a night on the town. I was feeling pretty fancy in my favorite little red dress with matching red heels, my brown hair permed to within an inch of its life. Patti was sporting a silk blouse with shoulder pads and high waisted pants with pleats (1983, remember).

The club we went to had a DJ and a dance floor and catered to hip young singles like us. By ten o’clock it was pretty packed. We staked ourselves a spot at the bar and I had struck up a conversation with a really nice looking blond guy that I’ll call “Doug” (because I can’t really remember his name but I think he looked like a “Doug.”) I was drinking a lite beer and Doug had a scotch on the rocks in one of those really heavy bar glasses, the kind with the thick bottoms. Somehow, during our conversation, as he leaned over to shout something in my ear, (the music was very loud), the glass slid out of his hand, hit the tile floor bottom first, and shattered into a million pieces.

The infamous red dress on another occasion

The infamous red dress on another occasion

Everyone in the immediate area jumped back, stunned looking down at the mess on the floor. The tiny chunks of glass looked a bowl of diamonds spilled across the floor. It was really quite beautiful. Then we noticed that there was blood mixed with the diamonds. At first we checked Doug’s hands and arms but when I looked back down I realized that I was the wounded one. Apparently there was a cut on the inside of my right ankle just above the shoe line because every few seconds a little stream of blood would shoot out all over the floor and down the inside of my opposite calf. This was  both worrisome and macabre. I wasn’t in any pain but I obviously couldn’t stand there bleeding all over the dance floor.

The music was still blaring and most of the crowd was totally unaware that anything was awry. The area around me,however, was pandemonium. Patti came rushing over, a nurse in the crowd took charge and the bartender hopped from behind the bar and kind of pushed/carried me through the nearest door into the kitchen prep area. All the while, “Doug” was beside himself appologizing, hands waving around trying to figure out what he could do to help.

He followed our little group into the kitchen where the nurse quickly propped my foot up on the stainless steel counter putting pressure on the wound with a bar towel.  I lean heavily against Patti, balancing on one heel, trying to keep anyone from seeing up my skirt. The club manager appeared from somewhere, took stock of the situation and, against my protest, called for an ambulance. I suppose they were worried about a lawsuit.

The next thing I knew, two very efficient EMTs were strapping me onto a gurney, my ankle covered in gauze. Before they wheeled me out, Doug pushed a napkin and pen in my direction, asking me to please write down my phone number. “Okay,” I thought, “This would be a really interesting story to tell our kids someday” so I quickly jotted my number, pulled the sheet over my head and tried to make myself as invisible as possible while they took me out of the kitchen, across the dance floor, out the front door and up into the waiting ambulance. The EMTs and Patti hopped up beside me.

It was close to midnight by the time we got to the closest hospital. I was feeling pretty foolish as I sat waiting in the emergency room cot. Even though my left leg was covered with splatter blood, the cut on my right ankle which was no more than an eight of an inch had stopped bleeding before we left the club. The doctor that looked at it said that the glass had probably nicked an artery explaining the spurting effect and the amount of blood. (Ewww!) He poked around making sure there was no glass in the wound, cleaned it with some antibiotic cream then covered it with a tiny square of gauze.

The drama could have ended there except that as the doctor was signing the release papers, we realized that we couldn’t leave the hospital because Patti’s car was still at the club. Neither one of us was going to call our parents at that hour so the most sensible option was my sister Linda. She wasn’t crazy about coming out in the middle of the night to rescue us either and she was even more ticked when she saw the size of my band aid!

Epilogue….By the next morning my ankle was slightly bruised and tender to the touch but otherwise fine. My stockings and shoes were history but the red dress survived to party another night. And what about Doug, you might ask? He did call the next day but only to make sure I was okay and to apologize yet again. I guess he didn’t feel that our shared experience was enough of a basis for a relationship.

I don’t know if this story has a moral but I do know that my sister loves to bring it up at family gatherings every so often just to remind me that I owe her. 😊

Gallery

Dixie Deadzone Diners

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Originally posted on The Nugget Life:
This weekend I attended two of three of Dixie’s, yes the paper product company, Deadzone Diners. In case you’re asking yourself the same question I asked myself when I first heard of them, “What…

The Weekly Smile – Hibiscus

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My father-in-law gifted me this beautiful little hibiscus tree on Mother’s Day. It now stands in the corner of my deck filled with more buds than I can count and these stunning tropical blooms.  I smile every time I see it.

Mother nature is really the most incredible artist ever.

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Please visit Trent’s World to see the rest of The Weekly Smiles (or perhaps, add one of your own 😊)

If We Were Having Coffee…5/8/16

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Good morning!

 If we were having coffee…today you would find me in my polka dot robe enjoying a cup of dark roast coffee and a cinnamon bun topped with sticky walnuts. There is plenty to share so please pull up a chair and visit a while.

Today in the U.S. We are celebrating Mother’s Day, so if you happen to be a mom, I would also happily share the chocolates that Hubby presented me with this morning (the coffee, the cinnamon bun and the cute little sign above, were also from him). You should get some now because chocolate doesn’t seem to last very long around here. The children are still ‘asnooze but I’m sure they will have a surprise for me as well. They have been trying to be sneaky but you know we Moms notice everything! 😉

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that the best gift I have gotten or will get today came from Mother Nature. After what seems like a thousand days of clouds and rain, the sun is finally shining today! The tempature is suppose to be in the high 60s and as you can see, I’ve already opened the sliding glass doors so we can enjoy the fresh air.

My wet weather has been very tame compared to others, though. So many people around the continent have been dealing with much worse weather like wild fires, floods, and tornados. The news reports have been very scary and I’ve been keeping those families in my prayers. The extreme weather in the last few years is very unnerving. I am afraid it will only get worse if we don’t make it a priority. That discussion could go on but let’s move to something a little lighter for now.

If we were having coffee… I would tell you about an article I read in the paper this week. (Yes, I still read an actual newspaper, printed on actual paper, with actual ink! Crazy, huh? I feel like news in print is more reliable than news on the internet no matter what the source, so we still have the “Philadelphia Inquirer” delivered 7 days a week. At least if they print something that is incorrect, I know who to blame!) But I digress, sorry.

Anyway, the headline for the article read:

“Weasel shuts down world’s largest atom smasher in Switzerland

Hmm? Sounds interesting, right? Apparently a weasel found his way into an area where he was able to chew some exposed wiring effectively shorting out the entire machine. Needless to say it didn’t end well for the weasel but I would almost rather be him than the super smart designer dude who was handed the job of telling his superiors and the press that this “4.4 billion dollar” machine was now out of commission because of an unforeseen glitch involving a weasel!

All that brain power and all that money and no one saw this coming. It made me think that maybe they should invent position  a called “Common Sense Inspector.” You know, just an everyday person whose only job is to sit in on the meetings and point out the little things that might go wrong. They would notice  the stuff that the really ultra intelligent scientist and engineers might not notice.

In fact, doesn’t this sound like the perfect job for a Mom! We’ve  been warning our families about unforeseen dangers since time began….

Be careful with that thing! You might put someone’s eye out!”—“Bring extra socks and underwear in case you get caught in a rain storm or have to stay an extra night!”—“Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched!”—“Measure twice, cut once!”— etc…😊

(Happy Mother’s Day.)

Thanks so much for stopping by! Sorry to have rambled on so! Please tell me about your week and what fun things you’ve been up to. Also don’t forget to visit the rest of the Coffee Share Posts hosted by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster!

What’s Bugging Me…

Can we talk bugs?

Yeah, with the exception of lady bugs and butterflies, it’s not my favorite subject either but with the warmer weather approaching (or at least trying to), the bugs can’t be far behind. I am already doing battle with a tribe of mini ants that have invaded my kitchen counters. As a hyper neat person who wipes my counter tops obsessively, I find their presence very insulting. Where did they get the idea that crumbs would be readily available in my kitchen? Who told them that?

They showed up last year too and since I don’t like to use any strong chemicals around the cats, I ended up putting little bottle caps filled with a Borax and sugar solution I found on Pinterest, all over the counters. I had them tucked behind the coffee maker and the napkin holders with the idea that the little suckers would crawl through it and then track it back to the nest, knocking out the whole group.   In reality, though, they mostly ignored it. Eventually they went away but it probably had more to do with my screaming at them and carrying on like a lunatic than the concoction in the bottle caps.

The ants aren’t the worst of the bugs though. They might annoy me but they don’t freak me out the way those centipede looking things with the thousand legs do! I’m sure there is a scientific name for this insect but I’m not looking it up, because there are bound to be photos too! Basically, they have long skinny bodies with long skinny legs running up both sides and they move really, really fast.

I’m not the only member of the family who hates these critters. Last summer, one showed up in the tub while Mr D was taking a shower. For five minutes he jumped around screaming like a girl and beating it with a shampoo bottle. I thought he was having some kind of fit! It’s actually lucky he didn’t fall and smack his head. He’s pretty diligent about checking between the shower curtain and liner before he gets in the shower, these days.

If I do encounter a bug, I’m not squeamish about killing it, in fact I get really extra freaked when they get away. I want to know where that sucker’s at! I don’t want him sneaking up on me again. Miss Dee has always been our bug humanitarian. Ever since she was little, she would trap any bugs we found in the house under a cup and carry them outside to set them free. We still call her to take care of them if she is around. Mr D screamed for her when he was doing battle with the bug in the shower but she told him,

“There is NO WAY I coming in the shower to get that bug for you so just MAN UP ALREADY!”

Anyway, I only kill the bugs that invade my house. I figure the outdoors is their domain so I usually leave them alone.  The only exception to this rule is the mosquito.  Here in Jersey, we refer to them as the “State Bird” thanks to their size and hardy constitution. Now we have the added worry of all the illnesses associated with mosquito bites so we will have to be extra diligent this season.

Research has said that mosquitos  tend to be more attracted to certain people. Maybe it has to do with skin types or a certain scent. I don’t really know what it is but they don’t tend bother me too much. My Hubby, on the other hand, can’t even walk the six feet to the trash cans without them zeroing in on him. The poor guy is a mess after he mows the lawn unless he slathers himself with repellent from head to toe.

I’ve tried various tactics for keeping the deck free of them so that he can at least sit outside in the evenings without getting attacked. Last year I planted lemon thyme and mums in pots around the perimeter because I read that they help repell our tiny fanged friends. Didn’t seem to make a difference. We have tiki torches that we put out for BBQs but they aren’t practical for everyday use and since he and I are both sensitive to strong chemical smells, I try not to spray too many products about. Of course when I was a little girl I rode my bike behind the mosquito fog truck but that’s a whole other story!

So what’s a girl to do? How do I make the great outdoors inviting to the humans in the house but uninviting to the insects? Any ideas?

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Miss Dee’s work. These kind of bugs I like.😊.