Photos of Brady

Saturday, December 31, 2005


Today is the last day of the year. Usually it is a meloncholy time for those of us who examine their lives, seek to learn from mistakes, and look forward to the clean slate of tomorrow. This is my favorite holiday. I love Christmas, but New Year's Eve has always had that touch of hope and romance my heart responds to. For me there will be no parties, no dashing date, no glitzy party dress or dancing shoes. I will be here, in my little home, hopefully watching a wonderful movie on tv and making the most of a glass of white zinfandel.

I like to look forward. Plan. Make goals. Since I am a confirmed glass half full kind of woman, I always look toward the New Year with great anticipation. Many of my friends are dealing with heartache and tragedy in their lives. How I wish that I could help ease their pain and gladden their heart. Although I have had a fair amount of tragedy myself, I have learned from the experiences and have hopefully become stronger for it. I haven't made any confirmed resolutions this year, but I do hope to become more compassionate in the coming year. A better person, a better friend, a better sister, a better mother, a better daughter.

My hope for you is that as you look forward to the coming year, it is with anticipation and joy. As the old year winds down and comes to a close, I hope that you have someone special to hold, share a kiss with, and look toward the future with. Enjoy the festivities whatever they are for you, and may God richly bless you in the coming New Year.

I wish you all your hearts desires.


Friday, December 30, 2005


Today my son Jonathan will take my daughter Jennifer to the airport in Saint Louis. She will board a plane and be back in Connecticut before I even get home from work this evening. While I worked this week, my two children spent a lot of quality time together, and have laughed until their sides hurt. Sometimes that is just what the doctor ordered.

Mom and Jennifer have also had time together to shop, indulge in sweet treats, and reminisce. The time has flown by, and even though I haven't been able to spend a lot of time with everyone, my heart is full.

My great grandmother hated goodbyes. She would ever say goodbye, just so long. I am beginning to understand how she felt. When these occasions come, I don't say goodbye either. A hug and I love you seem to do the trick for me.

Thirty-three years ago, I brought Jennifer to Smalltown. We drove down this country road and into a new life and a new beginning. I have seen Jennifer drive away many times, have stood and watched as she drove away and disappear around the bend in the road. While it is sad, and my heart hurts each time she leaves, I know that she is going back to the life she has chosen to live. This time she goes back to a new job, her beloved dog Smokey who just had cancer surgery for the second time, and her husband Marc. They are negotiating for a new home, and have much to do.

So, there will be no sad goodbyes today. I will be right here to welcome her back again....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Thursday, December 29, 2005


When my grandma was alive my daughter liked to come stay with her. Grandma was a wonderful cook, as I have written about many times. She loved to bake, and spent hours over pies, cakes, and other baked goods. One of the things we all miss her making is buttermilk pancakes and homemade syrup. I can remember her standing at the stove I cook on now, spooning batter into the sizzling skillet. What was unique about grandma's pancakes was their size. She could get three small pancakes in the skillet, and she made the batter thinner so the pancakes weren't as thick as the recipe called for. The result was delicious.

Grandma always ate her first pancake with butter and sugar on it. The second one was for syrup or sorghum, and the last one was eaten with some kind of jam or jelly. Last night Jennifer asked me to make her grandma's buttermilk pancakes for breakfast this morning. We both like them the same way, so it will be fun to sit in grandma's kitchen and reminisce about the happy times Jennifer stayed with her and the many things we miss about her.

Grandma was what I call a gentle spirit. I have always wanted to be more like her, but I have never been able to achieve that quiet, gentle spirit that was so much a part of her. I can, however, make buttermilk pancakes and homemade syrup as well as she did. This morning, grandma's kitchen will smell just like it did when she was here, and my daughter and I will sit at the little table and eat pancakes.

I suppose I had better get at it. Perfection takes time.

Until tomorrow,



Wednesday, December 28, 2005


We have two homecomings to celebrate. My daughter Jennifer arrived from Connecticut safe and sound yersterday afternoon. My son Jonathan went Saint Louis to pick her up. He took a pickup truck, knowing how his sister packs for a trip. When I talked to her on the phone, she said she hoped he didn't bring a pickup to get her. I wish I could have been there to see both their faces. First, when she discovered he had brought his dad's old pickup, and secondly, when he discovered she only had one bag this trip. I couldn't believe it myself, as Jennifer's packing skills are legendary.

I had to work, and will all this week due to the fact that one of my crew is off on vacation. When I came home last night I was anxious to see my girl, and came around the corner to my country road a bit fast. Good thing I have good reflexes, as I almost hit Napoleon. He was strutting down the middle of the road like he was on a mission. I have seen him in that mode many times, and it is how he looks when he is headed home. I was tickled, as he had been gone since Friday when we shooed him from my brother George's Denali. Peacocks are very sensitive, evidently.

At any rate, he ran alongside my car and followed me to the house. Since Chicky always greets me, I didn't want her to scare Napoleon off again. I got her into the garage in record time, fed her, and shut the door. I grabbed my cell phone and called mom so she would start calling Napoleon, told him to go on home. Amazingly, he headed in that direction.

After changing my clothes, I drove down to mom's to get Jennifer's luggage. At this point I still didn't know she only had a small carry on. Mom and Jennifer were standing in the driveway watching Napoleon eat, so we stood and watched him until he flew up to roost. He seems very happy to be home, and I was very happy if not shocked to see only one suitcase.

All in all, a very good day. We are still waiting to hear about Brady. Jonathan left after he deposited Jennifer at my mom's to take the baby to the emergency room. An infection has developed in his right hand where the stitches were. Not a good thing.

Today I am headed off to work, and everyone else will be visiting, eating and shopping. I'll keep you posted, as events warrant. You just never know.....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Christmas eve Napoleon went missing. Although when he was living in my tree I woke several times in the night to hear him screeching and honking, I could never pinpoint the identity of the culprit who stalked him. When he moved on to Bob's house, I just hoped he would be safe there.

When Napoleon suddenly took up residence here again I was happy to see him. Of course I am gone a lot, and my outside cat Chicky kept him chased off. He wandered down to mom and Rocky's house and had a wonderful home there for several weeks, as we have chronicled for you. My brother George arrived Friday evening for Christmas. Napoleon took one look at his new Denali and fell in love. Now one would have to understand how particular George is about his vehicles to fully grasp the look on his face when Napoleon flew up and perched on the luggage rack. What a hoot. When we discovered he had gone missing of course I would have suspected George, but he isn't a violent person.

Saturday I was walking home to change clothes for dinner when I espied Napoleon across the field on the roof of Bob's barn. It was near dusk, and he was honking and screeching. I called and called but he wouldn't come. He finally flew up in the tree and that was that. Bob has an old pickup truck out by the barn, and Napoleon likes to sit in the bed of it through the day. I think that he feels protected there, and as I come and go I can see his head. Sunday was a lost day, what with Christmas and everything. Yesterday I could see him strutting around the barn. When I heard him honking near dusk, I went out and tried to call him up. No luck. Evidently Rocky also heard him, so he also tried to do the same thing, again with no luck.

When I returned to mom and Rocky's for dinner, Rocky told me that he had seen the big owl that lives in my giant white pine tree fly out of it. I had been afraid that the owl was the culprit. The problem is, he is stalking Napoleon. While my big blue friend isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, he has so far eluded the owl. I fear that it is only a matter of time before something terrible happens, but on the other hand it is hard for me to grasp that that small owl could take off with Napoleon.

And so, at the time of year when peace on Earth should reign, we have a conundrum. Mom wants her peacock back. He is afraid to come home. The owl wants the peacock. Napoleon knows he is being hunted. He stays on the move, and has so far escaped harm. Of course I shall keep you apprised of the situation as it unfolds. I just don't want to come home and see a pile of blue and green feathers.

Until tomorrow,


Monday, December 26, 2005


Our family had a wonderful Christmas. While there is nothing better than the gathering of friends and loved ones to warm the heart, there are always those gifts that have to be returned. Long story short, we have to brave the return desk at WalMart today to exchange my gift to my brother George. He leaves in the morning, so there is no help for it. Should I survive the experience, I will live to blog another day.

As an unexpected surprise, my daughter Jennifer will be arriving in the morning from Connecticut to visit with us for a few days. I am thrilled that she can come back so soon. As she begins a new job the first of the year, it will be the last time for a while that she can come visit and spoil her new nephew Brady.

For those of you who revel in the day after shopping experience that it goes well. I am just hoping to get home in one piece with all my limbs intact....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Saturday, December 24, 2005


Christmas is a magical time of year. The greatest gift of love descended from Heaven in the form of a tiny baby, and since that time gifts of love and friendship have been given and received in honor of His birth.

Magic comes in all forms, but none as wonderful as the giving of yourself to another in the hope that they will recognize the gift they have been given. My hope and prayer for you and your loved ones this Christmas season and coming New Year is one of health, joy, love, and happiness. May you know the fullness of the Christ child as we celebrate His birth.

I wish you all the love and wonder this magical season holds. You have blessed my life, enriched it, and I have a full heart.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year....from my country road.


Friday, December 23, 2005


Today, I am off to do Christmas errands. I will enjoy the experience, and hum Christmas carols. Maybe, I can even sing a few bars. My voice seems to be improving slowly, darn the luck for my brothers and those who probably tire of my constant chatter.

I had special ordered some things for gifts that finally came in, so I am to pick those up and mail my last box off to New Orleans. I suppose that there was a problem at the North Pole with my order, but better late than never.

Enjoy your Friday, the parties, food, and festivities at work or wherever you are today. Part of the wonder of the Christmas season is the laughter and gaiety that appears no other time of year. It is truly a magical time.

So, today it is crunch time for the elves and me. Wish me luck, and hopefully I will be done by the afternoon.

Until tomorrow,


Thursday, December 22, 2005


It is funny to see people flee for their lives when I attempt to talk. I sound like I am at deaths door, but I feel okay. I am now reduced to sounding like my moms cat Sassie when she tries to meow. The mouth opens but nothing comes out. Doesn't keep her from meowing, though. So, taking my cue from her, I am squeaking through my days.

If I can just get through today, I have tomorrow off to finish up all of those little Christmas things I so love to do. My brother George is also coming tomorrow, so it will be fun. The bad thing is that I will probably have to keep my distance from the little angel baby, Brady. He went to the doctor yesterday to have his stitches out from the recent surgery to remove the extra pinkie fingers. He also has the cutest little breathing machine for his asthma. It looks like a little orange bug, and as he sucks on the pacifier the medicine comes out a little hole and into his nose. It is really neat how technology keeps little ones well.

I appreciate all of your get well wishes, and the funny comments that my brother John left for me yesterday. I could swear he was standing right next to me and giving me the evil laugh while he pointed his index finger at me with the threat of touching me. Gross to the max for siblings. I laughed until my sides hurt.

I hope that your day will be filled with laughter, the hope of a smile from that special someone, and your heart warmed by some holiday wishes from those around you.

Happy birthday to my big brother George, who is 55 today. We'll have pizza and beer when you get here, bub.

Until tomorrow,


Wednesday, December 21, 2005


They say that the best gifts come in small packages. I suppose that my brothers would love it if they were here, but maybe it will tickle them anyway when they know an unexpected thing has happened. I have lost my voice. In its place is something akin to a squeak. I feel fine, am not sick or have a cold, but for some reason I have just gone silent. Hopefully after some hot coffee I will regain the use of it, but I am not going to push it.

My brothers George and John pestered me as we were growing up, and like all brothers they felt it their duty to do so. They scared me at every opportunity, and laughed when I developed a fear of the dark. They teased me unmercifully. To that I learned the art of a sharp tongue. As a defense to their plots, I ignored them a good deal of the time. They always wished that I would lose my voice. When I do, I always think of them.

Yesterday I received a truly unexpected gift. I have written many times about friendship and the joy it brings me. My last post was about the thought 'Make new friends but keep the old, for one is silver and the other gold.' I was in the office yesterday with the new friends that have become special to me. It was a fun day. At lunch my boss, who is also a good friend took me out for pizza. Anyone who knows me very well knows that I have always believed pizza to be the one perfect food, so it was a treat. We also had time to catch up with each other and talk old times.

When I came home from work, I was weary and my voice was beginning to falter. I made a hot cup of tea with honey and lemon, and came into the office to check my email. When I saw two letters from my oldest friend, my heart warmed. Unexpected gifts of the heart are always the best. Later in the evening I got a note from my best friend. She always lifts my spirits. I had gone to bed early, but I heard the notifier and came in to see what she had to say.

I bet that there is someone you could surprise with a phone call or a note. Have a wonderful day, and with any luck my voice will come back before my brother George comes for Christmas.



Monday, December 19, 2005


I often write about the way God has blessed my life, and the many things that I am grateful to Him for. Aside from salvation and the hope of Heaven, there is no greater blessing than family and friends. I have had the best of both, and this past year is a good example of why I am so grateful for the blessing of the special people He has placed in my life.

It has been said that you can't pick your family. Maybe not, but I have been fortunate that my family members are also counted as friends. It wouldn't matter what I needed, where, or why. My family would rally around me and support me in every way they could. During the darkest moments of my life, my family has been there. I am eternally grateful for their love and for the wonderful people they are.

As for friends, I have had the best. I am not sure why some of them have put up with me, but they have been both loyal and steadfast in their support. Two of my dearest friends have known me since my teen years. We have weathered ups and downs of course, but through it all there is that thread of love that binds us together no matter what comes.

This year my life took another turn. I broke my leg, and that one event took me out of the normal sphere. I spent two months around other people I normally wouldn't have spent time with for any period of time, and got to know them better. Three new friendships evolved out of that experience. Of the three, one is special. An unexpected and wonderful gift wrapped up in beautiful paper and adorned with a big fluffy bow. Where some people might say it was just bad luck to break a leg, I see that God used that experience to lead me down another road.

When I was a girl, I was in the Bluebirds. Our song was one of friendship. I have always remembered it. Make new friends but keep the old, for one is silver and the other gold. The blessings of life come in many packages. I have loving family, wonderful friends, and a very full heart. You of the blogoshpere have become extended family, and I am grateful for the experience. Seek not a friend, but to be one. You will have more blessings than you can count.

Here's to friends both old and new, and to the family I also call my friends. May God richly bless you all, for you are truly a gift and a blessing to me.

Until tomorrow,


Friday, December 16, 2005


The sound of the furnace firing up to warm the house.

Warm air blowing through the vents.

A warm bed.

The sound of the cat purring.

Being full after a wonderful meal.

The joy of a baby's laugh.

Beautiful music.

The smell of evergreens.


Love in every form.

Good friends and family.

Life is full of the most wonderful things, and in this season of giving thanks, and remembering the blessings of life, my heart is full. That is the best gift.

Happy Friday from my country road.


Thursday, December 15, 2005


Today I get to take a break from my normal routine and go to Jefferson City with three other people from the office for some training. While the day is gray, I feel sunny and warm. It is good to step outside the box sometimes and do something totally out of the norm.

Yesterday our area made the national news with a break in a reservoir that flooded a large area. Three children are still in the hospital in St. Louis in critical condition when the waters swept their home away. The mother and all three children were found, but hypothermia is the foe they battle now. Your thoughts and prayers will be most welcome. Today at first light the major task of cleanup will begin, and the search for answers.

I hope your day is a good one, that it is filled with happy moments and sunshine. It is a state of mind.

Until tomorrow,


Wednesday, December 14, 2005


I have become increasingly disturbed about the silent movement to take Christ out of Christmas. There is the obvious and continuing problem of atheists, other religions, and polititians who have become apathetic and only want to be politically correct, but it is the lukewarm faction that concerns me most.

We live in a society that is too busy. It isn't that we do wrong as much as we don't have the time to do right. When my children were small I felt a deep and abiding responsibility to ensure they attended church and I taught them who Jesus is. Although I wanted them to experience the magic of the various holiday seasons, and they also believed in Santa Clause, they knew from a very early age why Christmas came about.

As a child growing up our family gathered around the Christmas tree every Christmas eve to open our gifts. It was a tradition for dad to read the Christmas story out of Luke, chapter two, so we were mindful that in a stable so long ago Jesus was born to become the Saviour of the world. When I married and had children of my own, I implemented that tradition for our family. As a way to teach my small children about Jesus, I baked a birthday cake for Him and we celebrated His birthday Christmas day.

My children are grown and married, but I have a grandson now. It will be important to me for Brady to learn who Jesus is and why we celebrate Christmas. Although we as adults know, we need to ensure that our children and grandchildren are taught the true meaning of Christ-mas. The nightly newcasters remind us each evening just how far away America as a whole has drifted. 2005 years after He traveled this earth, it seems He still has nowhere to lay His head.

Today and throughout the next few weeks, I pray you enjoy the Christ-mas season in all its fullness. Merry Christmas.... from my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, December 13, 2005


For years I have wished people Merry Christmas around the holiday season. With each passing year, fewer and fewer people respond. This year with all of the fuss about whether or not Americans should say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, there seems to be a surprising thing happening.

Smalltown is in the Bible Belt of the Midwest. Folks have taken it as a personal affront for the media to take up the cause of Happy Holidays. Christians have been losing ground with their rights over the past few years, as atheists and other religions hack away in the court system at our basic beliefs. I overheard a conversation in the break room yesterday about boycotting stores that say Happy Holidays over Merry Christmas, or who have banned the Salvation Army bell ringers from their stores. I was happy to hear it.

Yesterday I was returning to the building after getting a sandwich for lunch and opened the door for an elderly woman. A beautiful smile lit up her face, and she said "Merry Christmas!" It made my day and warmed my heart....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow, Merry Christmas!!


Monday, December 12, 2005


This weekend was a blur. It will of course be this way until after Christmas. Saturday was Rocky's second APA Powerlifting meet. They are an all day event, so I took my crocheting and made use of the time between his lifts. I am sure that there pictures over at moms blog site http://essentiallyesther.blogspot.com. Several new records were set, Rocky among the guys who broke old ones. It was a good day, and we finished it off with a hot meal with Rockys family before they left to go back home.

Since I was gone all day Saturday, I had to do all of my chores yesterday. In between grocery shopping, laundry, housework, and cooking, I took time to run out and see little Brady. I wanted to get some pictures of his little bandages and check his progress. It seemed he had grown six inches since I saw him last! Little ones grow so fast. He has outgrown his bassinet already, and with the bandages he can't bend his arms. My son and daughter-in-law found a unique solution to this problem. When I arrived Brady was perched on a bean bag chair, happy as a lark, looking at the Christmas tree lights. I scooped him up and spent two hours cuddling the little guy. I did get some new pictures, and will get them to John so he can post them for me.

Today is kick butt Monday, and I hope that you have a wonderful day.
Until tomorrow,


Friday, December 09, 2005


We are in the middle of a bitter cold snap here in the Ozarks. Temperatures are in the single digits, and the wind is blowing hard. The snow yesterday may not have been much in accumulation, but was enough to cause bad car wrecks all over the area. Since the driving conditions were hazardous, I stayed at the office and answered the phones all day. It was busy, but warm and safe.

I am always thankful for the small things that I am blessed with. Hot food to eat, a good job, friends, a warm house, and a warmer bed. Although last night we had to leave the faucets dripping to keep the pipes from freezing, what a blessing to be able to do so! As I sat in my recliner last night reading a good book with a contented cat on my lap, the wind blew frigid air all around my little home. I had a quiet evening, talked with a friend who blesses my life, and went to bed.

In contrast, I was saying my prayers before I went to sleep, and I thought about all of the people who weren't so blessed. Those who had no comfort, hot food to eat, or home to find warmth in. Worse, no one to love them, care for them, or ease their burdens. It is the small things in life that make it blessed. Today, thank someone who blesses your life, and thank God for the blessings He has provided for your comfort.

Happy Friday,


Thursday, December 08, 2005


I woke to a white wonderland. It is too dark to tell how Napoleon fared through the snowfall last night, but as soon as I can see I will get out and check how much snow he has on his back. Although it is very cold, he has tolerated that fairly well. The arrival of our first snow is bound to be yet another curiosity for him, and his feet are the concern. Since I have had email and comments from many of you good blog friends telling how peacocks survive winters in the frozen north, I don't worry about him as much as I did. He has piles of leaves to burrow into and he likes to do that to keep out of the sharp and biting wind.

I will try to give you an update before I leave for work. I hope your day will be filled with good things and sunshine.

Happy Thursday, everyone.

No sign of the big blue bird in any of the trees. He must be shaking his tail feathers already as it is snowing again. Mom should be able to update his progress today.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Today we are to have our first snow. While they don't think we will have much more than an inch or so, it is to be the heavy wet kind. That is good for looking pretty, but am wondering what Napoleon will think about it. When I came home last night from work he was perched up on mom's rooftop. He likes to monitor who comes and goes, and I think he must still remember he used to call my place home. Yesterday morning I took the trash down to the road for the trash truck while it was still dark, and there was Napoleon, atop the skinny tree. He was still asleep, but I could make out his form.

When I was little, my brothers and I used to live for the first snowfall. Many times that would occur in October or November, and would stay on the ground. Each consecutive snowfall would just accumulate. By December when the big snows came, we would have more than enough snow to make forts, have snowball fights, sled, and make snowmen. Snow also meant getting out of school. While this was an issue for mom, trying to keep three little kids from being bored for weeks at a time, it was like an extra summer vacation.

Snow always meant hot chocolate, pressing your nose against the window and breathing on it to make it foggy, and the anticipation of Santa and the reindeer coming. It was a magical time of wonder. Coupled with the smell of cookies or cake baking in the kitchen, I felt safe, happy, and loved.

Today snow will mean traffic accidents, hazardous driving conditions, and a tricky commute from work. While I am driving to work, I will remember those happy carefree days of my youth. It still gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside, and seeing the first snowflake is still exciting.

Happy Wednesday,


Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Napoleon continues to grace us with his wonderful self. He is such a funny little guy, although I am sure he would be offended at that. He likes to be around people, and is content to hear mom's TV or stereo. Their hearing must be very sharp.

He had been roosting in the big oak tree out in front of mom and Rocky's house, but something spooked him the other night, and he hasn't stayed in that one since. Instead, he has made a tall skinny tree with no leaves for protection his new home.

Last night it was near dusk when I got home from work. I changed out of my uniform and started down to mom's house to get something she wanted me to do for her. As I came down the front steps, I heard Mr. Napoleon honking and screeching from his lofty perch. It was quite a sight. He looks too big for the tree, but there he was all nestled near the top, honking.

My coming across the lot crunching dry leaves seemed to upset him. I hurried as best I could, stayed a bit at mom's, and when I came back toward home he was settled. I don't know what scared him out of the big tree he was in, which offered protection from the elements, but he seems to be satisfied with his lot in life. A good lesson for all of us.

And so it goes....here on my country road.


Monday, December 05, 2005


Yesterday was our Christmas dinner at work. It is the first year I have gone, and since Brady is too small yet, I took Davey as my date. Santa was scheduled to make an appearance, so he was excited when I picked him up. I am always amazed at the energy young children have, and I answered fifty questions on the short drive to the party.

The high school cafeteria had been reserved for the event, and there was a stage where a Christmas tree had been set up. Each child was to bring a Christmas ornament for the tree, and there would be a drawing for it at the end of the day. There were several children already playing the games that had been set up in the stage area, and although Davey is shy, he was soon playing with the other boys. In a very short time, they were throwing the small bean bags at each other instead of at the snowman target.

After the blessing of the food, we shared a wonderful meal. Of course the kids were excited, and as soon as they had eaten enough food to satisfy their parents, they resumed playing on the stage. I had been given charge of a little girl while her dad changed into his Santa costume. She had bright red curls and big brown eyes, and twice the energy Davey did. I had my hands full keeping her close.

There was a short awards program, and it served to get the kids settled with their parents again. It was only when we heard the sleigh bells that magic lit the eyes of the children. Santa was indeed impressive, and after a few ho ho ho's and a short welcome, he took a seat by the tree and one by one the kids took their turn on his lap and getting a gift. The most wonderful memory was right before Santa left. Davey asked me if he could go up and give Santa a hug. As I nodded my head, he was already running up to the stage. Seeing him coming, Santa bent down, opened his arms, and caught Davey as he launched himself at him. What a moment. Santa hugging a grateful five year old. I couldn't hold back the tears that welled up. Christmas is truly magic, and although it is really about the birth of Jesus, it is good to see the holiday through the eyes of a child.

Happy Monday,


Saturday, December 03, 2005


Today my to do list is endless. I am not getting a very early start however, as I had a rough night. Every once in a while I have a virtually sleepless night. Guess last night was it. At any rate, although I have been up for hours, the body isn't willing yet.

We have a gray cold day on tap here in Smalltown. I will warm it with scented candles, bluesy romantic CDs, and holiday chores. I need to make a run to the store, then I can get comfortable here and start working on my list of chores. Tomorrow is our Troop Christmas party, and my date is little Davey. At five, he should enjoy the arrival of Santa following the meal. I have a couple of batches of hot rolls to bake, then I can relax.

I have two sick calls to make. One to see about my grandson Brady following his surgery Wednesday, and the second to inquire after my granddog Smokey, who had surgery Monday. A grandmothers work is never done.

Have a wonderful day in your part of the world, and I hope whatever you do it brings a smile to your face and warmth to your heart.

Until next time,


Friday, December 02, 2005


With Brady safely through his surgery and home, I can turn my attention back to the preparations for the upcoming Christmas season. It is my favorite time of year, because for the most part everyone is happier and full of the holiday spirit. I have wonderful memories of the Christmas season as a child. One of the things that made it special, coming from a middle class family without a lot of money, was the giving of something one had made themselves. I fell asleep many nights listening to the click clacking of moms knitting needles as she worked on a sweater, mittens, or a stocking cap for a gift.

In today's market, people are geared to buy the newest, biggest, most innovative gadget the advertising wizards have determined we should want for Christmas. I hate that. For one thing, those things are usually way out of my price range. Secondly, there is no heart to that type of gift. Once again, I am making as many gifts as I can for family and friends.

Yesterday, I was crocheting an afghan I am working on for a Christmas gift on my lunch hour. I was surprised at the comments this drew from the people working in the office. I was trying to explain why it is such an enjoyable task, even though it is a lot of work. The young woman I was talking to was interested in learning how to make the pattern I was crocheting, which led to the conversation we had about why I was giving this particular gift.

When I was little, afghans were magic. Mom always had an afghan for us to curl up in when we were cold, hadn't had a good day, or sick. Once she spread the afghan over you, a warm, cozy, loved feeling chased away all the bad stuff. As I watched her work on various projects over the years, she would always talk about how she hoped the person would like the item and would tell us stories about them. That made the experience of watching the gift being opened even more special, as we were a part of it.

As I have worked on this particular afghan, I have thought about the recipient, prayed for them, and hoped that they will enjoy it. I have worked on it with a joyful heart, when I was upset or worried, and when I was relaxing in my little home surrounded by the things I love. It is my hope that the finished project will be magic for the home it goes to, and that it will be prized more than an xbox 360, or whatever the newest thing is.

I feel like ET. My heart is full, and it seems at times as though I have a red glow in the center of my chest. After all, it's that time of year.

Until tomorrow,


Thursday, December 01, 2005


Well, Brady doesn't do anything by half measures. He had difficulty during the surgery. His airway closed off and they had to put in a breathing tube as he was born with asthma and of course nobody knew it. Once they got that corrected, the surgery progressed as it should have. His biggest complaint post surgery was being hungry, the poor little guy.

The pediatric wing is a Children's Miracle Network facility, and is beautifully appointed with murals children love. Once in his bed, he just laid there and let the nurses do what they needed to. He is such a good little baby, and both mom and I wished we had thought to bring our cameras. Brady is a tough little guy, but due to his health problems they will wait until he is three months old to do the foot surgery. Hopefully his airways and lungs will be stronger by then.

He has bandages from fingertip to up past his elbows. He will be like that for two weeks before his next doctors visit. Your prayers and good thoughts were so appreciated, and of course I will keep you posted on his progress. I will try and get out and take some pictures if he is released today.

Until tomorrow,