Friday, September 30, 2011

I Am Deeply Honored

     Today I am very humbled and deeply honored to say that I have been nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award, thanks to one of my new blogger friends at 
Thank you so much for the unexpected honor.  For those of you who haven't read her blog be sure to check it out; she's an amazing writer.

      Being new to the blogging world, I have to admit, I didn't have a clue what the Versatile Blogger Award was all about.  I just knew it made me feel extraordinary and happy.  It made me feel validated; reassured that this new hobby of mine wasn't all for naught.   But I had to know more.

      With computer in lap, I did what any good researcher on a quest would do...I Googled it.  It's mind-blowing what you can find out with the push of a button!  So here's what I found out.

      The Versatile Blogger Award is one of those rare awards where it really is an honor just to be nominated.   You see, being nominated means that someone out there in cyberspace thinks that what I am writing is worth reading.  It means that a fellow blogger likes my blog well enough to recommend it to other bloggers.  It is a way for new bloggers, like me, to be found by new readers who share common interests.  It means feeling like you have arrived.

      With any achievement comes responsibility and the Versatile Blogger Award is no exception.  Following are the rules that go along with the distinction:

      1.  Thank the person(s) who shared the award with you by linking 
            back to them in your post. 
      2.  List 7 things about yourself.
      3.  Pass this award to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them 
           know that you included them in your blog post. goes:

      7 Things About Me

            1.  My secret fantasy has always been to be a writer.  I've written some poetry in the
                  past, but my blog is about as close as I've ever gotten to actually writing anything.

            2.  My favorite music is Bon Jovi, Train, John Mellenkamp and Daughtry, although
                  I like many kinds including pop and country.

            3.  My favorite authors are Jan Karon and Kristin Hannah and my favorite books are
                  Anne of Green Gables.

            4.  I used to make decorated cakes and teach classes in cake decorating before
                  arthritis made it too painful.

            5.  I collect cookbooks.

            6.  I am somewhat of a techno-geek in that I love new electronic gadgets,
                 although my wish list is much more expensive than my wallet can afford. 
                 I do hope someday to have a Kindle or Nook and a smartphone
                 but not sure when that will become a reality.

            7.  Spending time with friends and family is my favorite past-time.

Now for my nominations.  I am so new at this that I'm not sure I can come up with 15 since I am just now beginning to find new blogs to follow.  Some of these may not be so new, but they are to me and I love them.  I hope you will check all of them out!

      1.   Diminishing Gene Pool 
      3.   Marlia's World
      5.   Life In A Pink Fibro  
      6.   Diminishing Lucy
      7.  Ah, the possibilities!
      9.  Lighten Up!
With apologies to the other nominees, I'm afraid I will have to end my nominations there.  I just haven't had time to find all of those wonderful bloggers out there who I would love to read.    I will keep looking and reading though and soon will have a longer list to recommend.

     Again, thank you to My Distant Husband for her faith in me.  I am so appreciative of her support and that of the other new friends I have found.  I am truly blessed.

Until next time...that's my view.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Favorite Time of Year

     Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love when the leaves start turning those beautiful colors of deep red, blazing gold and vibrant orange.   Add in the enormous spectrum of greens and it's as though God has put his most treasured oil palette on display for the world to see.   

     This is the season when I can't wait to travel the countryside just to see the glorious visuals presented before me.   Each field is different...some flat, some hilly and each with a different variety of colors; all beautiful in their individuality.   The splendor and awesomeness of nature has always inspired me and the changing colors of fall never disappoint.

     Not only is fall my favorite season because of it's array of color, but also because it leads us right into Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The warmth and good will to all men (and women) really does seem to be more evident this time of year.  Everyone finds their inner child which makes them friendlier and more compassionate.   I truly enjoy the gathering of family and the get-to-gathers with friends that are so much a part of the season.   It's the time when I feel most thankful and blessed.

      October through December will always be my favorite months.  It's my time to to get completely engrossed in the sights, sounds and smells that make up the most spectacular time of year.   It's my time to shine.

Until next time...that's my view.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Catch It If You Can

     Sometimes I feel like I go through life chasing something that I'm never quite sure what it is but knowing that it forever eludes me.   

     Felix, my cat, has a favorite toy.  It's a silver mouse that shines a lazer light he sees on the floor as a red dot.  He would chase it for hours if I would sit and play with him that long.  The more I move the light around the harder he chases it, running around tables, jumping on chairs, anywhere I shine that little red dot.   You would think he would eventually figure out that he's never going to catch that dot but instead he will sit beside my chair and beg for me to shine that little light.  He never seems to tire of chasing it.

      Some days I really feel like that sums up my entire life;  always chasing that elusive red dot.  For me, that dot may take on different forms at any given time, changing constantly, but always elusive.   Will I ever catch it?   I'm not sure.

     Until I figure out just what it is I'm chasing in this circus we call life, I'll continue to follow the bouncing ball...running in circles, always trying to get ahead, whatever that means.   Maybe I'm not suppose to know what I'm chasing.  Maybe if we figured out what makes us tick we would lose all interest.  Maybe, like Felix, the chase is the fun of the game.  .

Until next time...that's my view.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Never Enough

     My grandchildren are my pride and joy, just like their father.  I love spending time with them and consider that time my most precious commodity.   There just isn't enough of it.

     My husband and I aren't those grandparents who are lucky enough to be there for everything their grandkids do as they grow up.  We miss out on so much of their lives because they live too far away.  We can't jump in the car and go to their ballgames and be back home by bedtime, or go to their school plays and be back in time for my husband to milk the cows.  It's just too far.

     Therefore, the time we do spend with them is so important; every moment is precious. They love to come stay with granny and grandpa.  Like most kids, they especially like to come when their mom and dad aren't with them.  They love to get out on grandpa's farm, and, like their granny, they like to play games. 

     They are growing up so fast it seems like they grow a foot each time I see them.  Now, with Jake turning 14 in Nov. and Nic already 10, they won't be little long.  I just hope they never outgrow coming to granny and grandpa's.   No matter how old they get, they will always be my pride and joy, just like their dad.

Until next time...that's my view.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Seeing Double

     Way back when my son was a baby and I was much younger I always thought it would be neat to have twins.  I could just imagine the great fun I would have dressing them alike, and what close buddies they would be as they grew.  Sadly, to my husband's great relief, it just wasn't meant to be.

      Since then, I have always admired women who did have twins.  With age comes wisdom and I have realized just how hard it is.  It takes a lot of strength and stamina as well as love and patience to keep up with two at the same time.   It seems like when one gets hungry they both get hungry; when one cries they both cry.  It takes a special mother to pull it off and I have a deep appreciation of those who manage.  

     Last February our family was blessed with a set of beautiful twins.  Meet my great nephews, Carson and Mason...

 They are absolutely adorable (if I do say so myself), and my niece does an amazing job with them.  I have seen her perform quite a juggling act getting them fed and changed; but she takes it all in stride and never misses a beat.  

     I'm not sure I could have handled two of them as well.  I certainly would have had the love, but I'm not so sure if my patience would have held out.  I think I'm glad I'll never have to find out.  But it sure is fun to be able to play with them and then send them home!

Until next time...that's my view.



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Not So Bad...Yet

     Today was my first day of physical therapy on my now healing broken ankle.  I must say, I approached it with much fear and trepidation.  After being immobile for almost 8 weeks I just knew that first movement was going to be excruciatingly painful.    I also knew that enduring this pain was my only chance of finally getting rid of "the boot"; that ugly, heavy, uncomfortable, and by now very smelly knee high boot that kept my ankle immobilized.

     Now don't get me wrong, I am no wimp when it comes to pain.  I pride myself in having a very high threshold of tolerance and I have the battle scars to prove it.  For years I have dealt with pain on a daily basis because of degenerative disc disease, five spine surgeries and multiple forms of arthritis.  All that aside, I still dreaded this physical therapy.

     Since I can't drive until I get "the boot" off, my niece took me to the pt office this afternoon.  That has been the toughest part of all this, being stuck at home and not able to drive.  I hate losing my independence, but that's another story.  Back to the pt office...

     First, the therapist took off "the boot" and my sock; then proceeded to evaluate the extent of the weakness and stiff muscles in my ankle.   So far not too bad.

     Then he began to massage and work out the stiffness - a little worse, but still not too bad.

     Then came the exercises...and that was...still not too bad!   I was expecting it to be much worse than it turned out to be.  It was a pleasant surprise. 

     I anticipate that as the sessions continue they will get a little more intense.  That's the necessary cost in order to regain my mobility and freedom.  No one ever said life would be easy.  But who knows, maybe I'll  be pleasantly surprised.

Until next time...that's my view.



Monday, September 19, 2011

For Mom's Love of Cooking

  This post was originally written on 9/19/2011, two months after my mom was killed unexpectedly in a car accident.  I still miss her terribly.  In honor of Mother's Day and GenFabs bloghop, I decided to repost it in memory of mom.  As a note of update, my sister's and I have not finished the cookbook but have plans to do so very soon.

     My mom was a famous cook.   Maybe not famous in the terms that you think of Paula Deen (whom mom loved!), or Wolfgang Puck; but she was certainly well known in a certain area of southern Indiana, and a small county in Kentucky.

     Mom spent a major portion of her life cooking in restaurants.  Sometimes it was her own and sometimes she worked for other people.  Either way, she was known for her wonderful home cooking.  

     I can remember sitting down to home cooked family meals as a very young child thinking my mom was the best cook in the whole world.  Every Easter she would make us a chocolate cake in the shape of a lamb, covered with fluffy white frosting and coconut.  Those were special times.
Me & sister Jane with our lamb cake

     As I got older, we spent more and more time at the restaurant mom owned called the Mill Inn.  It was the local hangout for all the kids in the evenings and all the coffee drinkers in the mornings.  Everyone, no matter what age loved mom and her cooking.  

     Mom passed her love of cooking down to her daughters in varying degrees, but we all inherited at least part of her skills.  Some of us just enjoy it more than others (there are 4 of us).  No matter how hard we try, though, some things never seem to taste like mom's.

     Last spring, my sisters and I decided to record our legacy of cooking for our children.  We decided to write a cookbook.  This book would record mom's best recipes, our recipes and a short family history.  We began and I spent several phone calls collecting information from mom and dad for our history pages.  I am so glad I did.

     Mom won't get to see the finished product.  For those of you who are new to my blog, mom was killed in a car accident on July 7th of this year.  We are more determined than ever to finish what we started.   It will now be a memorial to honor the woman who taught us not only the love of cooking, but simply, how to love.   
     Mom was not only a great cook, she was a great mother and a true friend.  I miss her terribly.  I will always be thankful that she instilled in me a love of cooking.  That is a legacy that will live on as my sisters and I pass it down to our children.  Mom would be so proud.

Brenda #3, Me #2, Mom, Jane #1, and Tina #4
Until next time...that's my view.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Can You Spell RIVALRY?

              G A M E
                           D R A M A

     My sisters and I have always been obsessed with playing board games; especially word games and trivia.  Needless to say, we are all very competitive.  In other words, we like to win.   

     Any chance we get to be together we pull out the board games.  Over the years we've had many favorites but some of the best are Scrabble, Scattergories, Balderdash, Trivial Pursuit and Boggle.  In case you missed it in the first line, we really like word games and trivia.

     Today one of my sisters (the oldest one) and my niece came out and the 3 of us played 3 new games.  The first one my niece had brought.  It was called Banana grams and by the time we finished I felt like I was going bananas.  It was so much fun!  I loved it!  It is so fast paced that one minute you think you are doing great and the next minute you are way behind...all in the blink of an eye.  We played several rounds of it and I finally managed to win one.  Cheri, being the youngest pretty much wiped up the floor with me and Jane.  It takes a quick mind and nimble fingers (being able to spell helps too).

     Next, we played two of my games; one I had played before and one I hadn't played yet.  First, we played the one I had not.  It was a trivia game called Bezzerwizzer (who comes up with these names!).  Cheri beat us at that too!  Who thinks up all these trivia questions?  And who ever heard of most of the answers?  Even though I couldn't win at that either I will have to say I like the game.  How else can you learn all these useless facts that you will never use. Do you know what a super nova is?  Great way to spend an afternoon.

    The last game we played was called Name 5.  Sounds easy enough.  Someone gives you a category and in 30 seconds you name 5 things that belong in that category.  No problem if your category is crayon colors - red, blue, yellow, green, and orange.  But what if your category is name 5 things written by Edgar Allen Poe, or,  name 5 Shakespeare plays...can you do it in 30 seconds?    

     Who can name 5 ways to say goodnight in 30 seconds?
Until next time...that's my view.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Angels Among Us

 Dedicated to some special friends.

        I've always believed there are everyday angels among us.  Ordinary people who just go about their daily lives and never think twice about helping out a friend or a neighbor; never expecting anything in return.   One example is my good friend Peg.  Yesterday, when I couldn't find any of my family members to take me to the doctor, Peg was glad to do it and wouldn't take anything in return.  That's just her giving nature, which I've always admired in her. And that brings me to the special angels that I believe are among us.

     For 42 years my friend Peg had the awesome privilege of caring for one of those special angels.  Though many people may have considered this a curse rather than a blessing, Peg embraced the challenge with her whole heart.  She and their entire family's dedication to him was amazing and an inspiration to us all.  His name was Scot.  

      Scot was the most special angel I have ever met.  He was the darling of the whole town and beyond, loved by all.  He was a miracle child who doctors said would never live past 6 years.   God had another plan.  Scot lived to be 42 years old.  And in that 42 years he touched the lives of more people than most so called "normal" or healthy people.  He taught us all how to live and to love.

      Scot never walked, drove a car, or played sports like other kids, yet he never felt deprived or angry.  He never met a stranger and loved everyone unconditionally.  Once he knew you he never forgot you.   All you had to do was walk up behind him and say one word and he would call you by name.  He also never forgot anything he heard so occasionally his language got a little salty at inappropriate times (much to the chagrin of his mother).  But that only made him all the more endearing.  Scot loved going to church and singing the hymns.  He could often be heard singing at the top of his lungs, no matter where he was.  He loved his Lord and he wasn't afraid to let everyone know it.  If only we all could be that unhindered.

     I truly believe Scot was one of God's special angels; sent here to touch the lives of so many people.  Everyone knew and loved Scot.  He never once thought of himself as different, or handicapped.  He loved life and loved people.  He was the happiest person I ever met and you couldn't walk away from him without feeling blessed.  He had an infectious laugh.   He taught me so much.

     We lost Scot 5 years ago last week.  I know his family still miss him.  They are very special people and I am grateful to count them as friends.  After all, God wouldn't trust just anyone to care for his special angels.

Until next time...that's my view.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Score - Love All

     My husband loves to watch tennis matches on the television.   That's surprising considering he always says tennis was his downfall.  Let me explain.

     Back in the good ole' days when he was much younger, Kenneth loved to play tennis at the local country club.   My sister and her family lived on the country club grounds to keep an eye on things at night.  The day after I graduated high school, I came to stay with my sister for the summer and soon took advantage of all the country club had to offer. 

     Picture 18 year old girl, fresh out of high school, never been to a country club in my life nor had I ever picked up a tennis racket.    The closest I had come to a tennis racket was playing badminton in the back yard; and I don't think that counts.  

      Then I met Kenneth.

     If you've ever been an 18 year old girl, you know what happens when you meet a tall, handsome guy with the bluest eyes you've ever seen.  I'm talking eyes so blue you want to get lost in them.  That's right.  Before I knew it I had bought a tennis racket...not even caring that I was about to make a fool out of myself. 

     The things a girl will do to catch the eye of a man!

     Luckily, before long, he was trying to teach me to play tennis.  I never became very good at it but I really didn't mind because, after all, our final score was...

Love All.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Day for Remembering

     Events 10 years ago today changed not only my life, but those of every American.  No matter where we were or what we were doing we collectively gasped in horror as the reality of what was happening set in. 

    First, one plane crashed; then 2 and 3; and a fourth.   It was clear...

        America was under attack!

     I couldn't believe what I was hearing on the radio and seeing on the TV.  This just couldn't be happening.  But it was.

     I cried as I watched this story unfold.  It was like having a nightmare that I couldn't wake up from.  As the towers collapsed I prayed for all the innocent men and women who lost their lives so needlessly.  I prayed for the heroes who tried to save them and for the brave men and women on those planes that went down in Pennsylvania and Washington DC.  America would never be the same.       

     Patriotism, love and compassion became more than just words.  Our nation came together in a way that none of us had ever seen.    Strangers were hugging on the street.  Neighbors were taking time to stop and talk to each other.  We became "One Nation Under God"

     On this 10th anniversary, our entire nation is taking time to pay our respects for lives lost, to thank our heroes, and to celebrate our great nation.  We may have lost much that day, but we gained even more.  We gained appreciation and respect for this amazing country we live in.  We gained strength.  Instead of letting this attack destroy us we took from it a unified strength and pride in being an American.

     I love this country.  May God always bless America!

Until next time...that's my view.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Unusual Challenges

     To say that being stuck at home for seven weeks with a broken ankle provides challenges would be an understatement.    Everything I do is a challenge, starting with just standing up.

      This lovely knee high boot I'm wearing is not only so heavy it feels like a cement block, it is also rounded on the bottom.  Just trying to stand up can throw me head over heels.    As if that wasn't enough to cause problems keeping my balance, it is higher than the other shoe, throwing my entire body off kilter.  I feel like a Saturday night drunk trying to stand up on a hillside.

     Once I sort of mastered the art of walking, it was time to try taking a shower.  Now that sounds simple enough, but here's the dilemma....

I can't take the boot off - and I can't get it wet!

     "Sounds impossible"  you say.  Never fear.  I haven't had to go 7 weeks without a shower.  Whew!  Wouldn't that be unpleasant?    No, the doctor's office had this ingenious idea.  For $10 they gave me this nice little shower cap for my leg.    It is clear plastic and long enough to come to the top of my leg.  Problem is I have to be able to get it on over this huge, heavy, clunky boot, without tearing a hole in it.  Imagine trying to put a pair of pantyhose on a tree trunk.  Believe me, it's not a pretty sight (nor an easy task)!   By the time I get a shower I am pretty much worn out for the entire day.

       Once I've made it through the shower ordeal it comes time to get dressed.   I've heard women say they have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear.  Right now that is exactly how I feel.  Considering most of my slacks and jeans won't fit over this boot I am very limited as to what I can wear.  It pretty much has to be shorts or very loose fitting pants that stretch.  Not very fashionable, but I've never really been much of a fashionista.

      Bedtime brings it's own set of challenges.  I'm not even allowed to take the boot off at bedtime.  Getting into our high bed without falling is the first obstacle.  After I've accomplished that, finding a comfortable position to lay is an impossibility.  When I finally do fall asleep, I am afraid I will turn over and kick my husband severely bruising or maybe even breaking his leg.  It's almost easier to just sleep in the recliner!

      Hopefully, all these challenges will soon come to an end.  I go back to the doctor next Tuesday and I am praying I get to take this boot off.  I'm not sure if he actually said that would happen or if it is just wishful thinking on my part.  I guess if I don't it won't be the end of the world, but it will definitely be another challenge...

Until next time...that's my view.



Friday, September 9, 2011

Time Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

     I grew up in a small town in Indiana.  So small that everyone went to the same school from first grade through 12th.  When I graduated high school, like many teenagers, I couldn't wait to leave home.  And that's exactly what I did.  The day after graduation I moved to Kentucky and never looked back.

      My best friend that I grew up with had already gotten married and moved on.  So had my cousin, who I had also spent a lot of time with in my early teens.   Without dwelling on the negative, I will say that I have wonderful memories of growing up until my sophomore year.  My last three years of high school were not so great.  There were some good times, but there were also a lot of painful and unhappy times.  There really was nothing left there for me and I pretty much broke all ties.    Mother and Dad lived there and I did go back to visit them, but that was it.  I had very little contact with anyone else.  I guess I thought if I broke "cold turkey" it would help erase the bad memories. 

      For many years I managed to not think much about that part of my life spent in that little town.  But then, something happened.  

I got old.  
     As the old saying goes, "Time heals all wounds".  Well, maybe not all, but it certainly diminishes the pain.   Aging plays funny tricks on your mind and I began to think more and more about my youth.  I started remembering things I hadn't thought about in years and wanting to find some renewed connection to my past.  

Along comes facebook.  

     Thanks to modern technology I have been able to reconnect with some old friends that are happy memories from a simpler time.  Good people who have helped me realize I have found something I never even knew I was missing.   Thank you dear friends.

     I've decided that as we get older it is natural to want to reconnect with our youth.   Not just a want, but a need.  After all, where we come from is what makes us the person we are today.   My dad has recently moved back to Milltown and I now get very nostalgic when I visit him.  Even though it has changed drastically and many of the places so dear to me in my youth are gone, it is still my hometown.   I now think of it fondly and can look back on all the wonderful times spent there.

Until next time...that's my view.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Are You Ready for Some Football

     I wouldn't call myself a football widow.  I've always tried to be supportive of my husband watching sports on TV and most of them I don't mind watching with him...even enjoying some of them.  If it's sports, Kenneth is a fan.  Now give me a good baseball or basketball game and I can get into it with the best of them; but when it comes to football - I just don't get it!

     In my defense, the small school where I graduated didn't have a football team, therefore, I didn't grow up with it.   I've tried to watch it on TV or at local high school games and understand what the players are suppose to be doing....but nothing.  I just don't get it!    

     Don't get me wrong.  It's not that I dislike football; but then again, it's not that I like it either.  I guess I'm just indifferent.  It's hard for me to appreciate something I don't understand.   I'm not completely ignorant.  I do know Peyton Manning from Eli Manning and Bret Favre from Drew Brees, if that counts for anything.

     I have nothing against all you gridiron diehards.  My husband, my son and my grandson are among your ranks.   More power to ya!  As for me, I'll continue to sit with Kenneth and watch with one eye while I enjoy a good book, magazine or my laptop.

Until next time...that's my view.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I'm Back...I Think

     Do you ever feel like life is just 1 big question mark?   Everything I do seems to require some sort of decision.  What to wear, what to eat, where to go, who to see; it's never ending.  I hate to make decisions.  I'm not good at it.  I'm one of those people who tend to over analyze everything.  

What would happen if I do this, or, what if I do that?  
What would be the outcome?  

How would it affect me and everyone around me? 

One question leads to another until I just can't think anymore!  Ughhhhhh!              

Then even after I make a decision, I wonder if it was the right one.

And this is before I get out of bed every morning!

     Okay, so maybe I exaggerate a tiny little bit, but you get the idea.  Life is one big question after another.  We make hundreds of decisions daily...some trivial....some life-changing.    And even though I may labor over some decisions for hours, I wouldn't want it any other way.  This world would be a boring place if someone told me every move I am supposed to make.  Freedom of choice is the spice of life, and we can all use a little spice!

Until next time...that's my view (I think).


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Be Back Soon

Dear Friends and Fellow Bloggers,

I apologize that my blog hasn't been updated for a few days.   I was out of town for a couple of days visiting my Dad and now my Son, daughter-in-law, and 2 grandchildren are here for a visit.   I don't get to see my kids near as often as I would like so naturally my priority right now is to spend as much time with them as possible.  Please have a great Labor Day Weekend and I will be back in a few days.

Love to all,