SEASONS OF GRATITUDE

Hold on. That whirring sound you hear is my mind striving to think of a way to express my gratitude for so many areas of my life. After all, it is Thanksgiving here in America and that is our appointed season of gratitude. It seems easier these days to give thanks than in times past. That statement confuses even me because to someone looking in from the outside of my life, they might think I have nothing for which to be thankful. They are wrong.

When I was a child and Thanksgiving rolled around, I was grateful to be out of school for four days, grateful for the fun of a pile of fall leaves to jump into and the joy of sitting down to a table with so many of my favorite foods and my family. I now think part of my love for this holiday is because it heralds the beginning of the holiday season. Mom would make her cornbread stuffing, and in later years she made two batches so my dear Dad could have his favorite type with oysters in it which many of us thought was disgusting. I came to appreciate it as an adult. I was grateful for the odiferous splendor of the roasting turkey, laughing at my Dad picking at uncooked food in the kitchen while my Mom playfully whacked at him with a spoon. “Bill, you get out of here now.”

I remember making turkey center pieces out of large Idaho potatoes by adding a plumed tail of colored feathers cut from colored construction paper. Cranberry sauce was something that came in a tin can and looked rosy and festive with the rings of the can around it as it was opened and served in a special elongated dish. It always seemed a shame to violate it with a spoon. My mother’s gravy never had lumps in it, although it always was giblet gravy with tiny chopped bits of turkey liver and the other giblets along with a fair amount of the delicate meat from the long turkey neck, which had been simmering on the stove since early morning when her turkey went into the oven. Mom always cooked her turkey upside down so the juices would flow down into the breast making it moist and tasteful. The odors of crisp turkey skin with the saliva inducing whiffs coming from the stuffing with the combined odors of sage, onions and celery. Even now, as I write this many years later I can experience the same sensory sensations of pleasure. Can you smell it, too?

Thanksgiving - gratitude

After the turkey came out of the oven and we were nearing the edge of our appetites in anticipation, I recall my dear Dad setting a large tray on the counter beside the turkey. He would fill two large plates with the variety of foods from the stove and refrigerator, helped by my Mom. He loaded that tray to overflowing, never forgetting the pumpkin pie with whipped cream. We all understood that he would take that huge tray of food to an elderly couple he had met through his work. Their name was Mr. and Mrs. Paine. I know they were childless and Dad included them in all the major holiday meals at our house for many years. Apparently they felt more comfortable eating at their house instead of ours and were quite infirmed and began to rely on him to show up.

Through that simple, consistent act of giving, Dad taught me to share our abundance. I was often sick as a child growing up and missed a lot of school. Hundreds of strep infections were always returning as I had it so severely the doctor ordered antibiotics and even specially made topical mouth washes to get the bacteria that would grow into the roof of my mouth. Even with all the sicknesses, I never realized as a child how much I had to be thankful for until the year between 11 and 12 years-old when I had to go to bed for a year due to rheumatic fever. I wasn’t frightened until my Dad would come and sit beside my bed, hold my hand and cry. He was such a tender man. Both of my parents were wonderful during that time and I remember watching I LOVE LUCY on a TV in my bedroom. That may not seem like much but for that period of time it was huge and Lucy brought laughter into my life. I learned a lot about gratitude during that period of my life. I was very grateful when the nurse who took blood every week could get into my vein on the first try while I lay in the back of our car in their office parking lot.

My gratitude extended even more to my Mom when I became a teen and learned to be of more help in the kitchen. My sisters were older than I and may or may not be expected for dinner with us as their own families grew or they moved far away. I am grateful today for mother’s instruction, not always tactful and eventually after I had a home of my own I also became quite a good cook. I think her love for cooking was contagious and I caught it.

As a young woman going off to college, I learned to appreciate my loving home and suffered fierce homesickness my first few months. It seems that life becomes exponentially more complicated as we grow and brings with it a measure of gratitude. Recognizing those times is the key.

Some of the seasons of gratitude in my own life have been the greatest during times of trouble and need. I’ve come to believe that is why spoiled children aren’t very nice people. It takes a certain leaven of want and/or suffering to cause us to have appreciation. Appreciation is the first cousin of gratitude which is a close relative to thanksgiving.

It fascinates me how pain and misery can be graciously interspersed with thankfulness. Like sunshine in the rainy season, it brightens dark times. Detecting experiences to make one thankful requires an open ended sense of appreciation. It can come to you at the most surprising moments. A woman who is being struck can say thank you when the beating ends. A man who is fearful of providing for his family is filled with more appreciation and gratitude than a man who is just moving up the corporate ladder, never knowing the fear of having hungry children. It appears even gratitude is a relative value.

Many of us who suffer chronic pain each day of our lives, often for many years, know how good it can feel when the pain stops, albeit briefly. When the pain is relieved permanently, we often begin to take life for granted and forget to be thankful. Perhaps we try to erase pain from our memories and should instead, hold onto it just enough to appreciate a pain free day. Like a couple in love who direly want to get married and do, they eventually find “the honeymoon is over.” That phrase is part of our lexicon because it is so true. Some things should be remembered.

It appears gratitude and giving thanks is something we need to do again and again. It apparently “wears out” with time. This summer we were without a street and sidewalk for two months. It was difficult. Now we have a road and sidewalk and after two weeks, we are already used to it…again. It has become apparent to me over the years that we mere mortals gain a certain satisfaction from complaining. I wonder why we enjoy it.

It has also become crystal clear that giving thanks can become a habit. It works the muscles of the heart and the spirit and keeps complaining away from the door of our conscience selves.

You can find gratitude in all areas of life; in adversity, in history, in nature and in other living creatures, only to name a few. For instance, just yesterday I read an article about Lewis and Clark who opened the explorations here in the Northwest. The article was about a wretched winter experience they had sleeping out in the elements, rocks falling onto them from the wind and rain, the Columbia on the other side as it emptied into the Pacific. Can you imagine how cold and wet they were those many years ago, paddling about in a huge tree hollowed out to be a canoe? Small wonder they named that small section of southwest Washington “Dismal Nitch,” Dismal indeed. I can’t even begin to understand that misery.

May I ask you to do a favor for me this holiday? Yes? Try saying thank you at the unexpected times in life. I love to do it when I cross the beautiful Columbia River and see a family of ducks floating on the waves in their waterproof layers. I give thanks when my tiny puppy wags his tail at about the same speed as a hummingbird motorized by the simple joys of life. I constantly thank that tiny dog for all the joy he’s brought into my life in a very hectic and frantic summer. All around us are reasons to be thankful. Tripping but not falling can cause us to say thanks. A good visit with our physician in which we both exchanged meaningful ideas or a new medicine that brings relief is only two of the thousands of reasons we have to express our gratitude.

Look my friends and you will see many reasons to give thanks. Then please pause and do just that. I am thankful for all of you. Have a holiday filled with gratitude for all you have, love or have experienced.

192 thoughts on “SEASONS OF GRATITUDE

  1. Hi all
    Well trust all had a good and rested time
    Just read a poem ..broken dreams. By…..anonymous
    Just googled it .it was short but good
    Someone mentioned i think on ths blog about letting go
    Be back Chris

  2. HI FOLKS…………..HAD A LOVELY DAY………WENT TO A CHRISTMAS MARKET, MANAGED TO GET A BEAUTIFUL BERRY WREATH FOR OVER THE FIREPLACE, BOUGHT CAKES, CHOCS, RICE PUDDING (HOMEMADE) THEN MY LOVELY DH TOOK ME INTO MY FAVOURITE SHOP AND BOUGHT ME A PATCHWORK QUILT WITH MATCHING PILLOW IN ALL THE COLOURS OF MY BEDROOM, ITS FOR MY CHRISTMAS PRESENT, SO DELIGHTED. THE SUN CAME OUT, IT WAS COLD AND CRISP AND CHRISTMAS WAS DEFINATELY IN THE AIR. ITS GETTING VERY COLD HERE NOW, HOPE EVERYONE IS WELL AND GETTING OVER THE FESTIVITIES AND PREPARING FOR THE NEXT LOT…………..LOVE YOU ALL TO BITS………JENNIE XXXXXXXXXXXXX

    • Jennie, Oh dear…I’m a quilt addict. I’d love to see it. How sweet of him. I think we all need to grab something we like when we see it or it will be gone the next time we back to buy it. Do you get it before the holidays is it is hidden away?
      I can’t speak for anyone else but I’m shot. Lots of nausea today probably from pushing it so much. Last two mights my legs have cramped so badly it’s been difficult to sleep but was it all worth it..you betcha. Granddaughter is having a birthday monday and will be 8. Her Mom has rented the beauty shop and is having a girl’s day out for all of her little girlfriends. They’ll be getting the “works.” We’ll be getting together with them to have our family celebration on Monday.Of course her brother is shuddering and is either coming over here or to his Uncles for that day. Girls…ick.
      Your day out sounds so fun and I’m pleased you got it in and I’m assuming the weather was good..Love you much..Sue

      • HI SUE…..YES THE DAY WAS FUN JUST WHAT WE BOTH NEEDED………….NOT WRITING MUCH JUST NOW AS I INTEND SPEAKING TO YOU LATER IN THE WEEK…………LOVE YOU, JEN X

  3. Linda, You gotta point there, I am not sure if I know anyone who does it either. And fresh is much better than store bought on any day. My pastor likes to dip her potato chips in buttermilk. Guess it is about like ranch huh ?
    Love ya
    Tonie

  4. Good am all:
    Well, I thought I would be out of it on Friday, but instead, I rested a bit in the am and went at it again all day. Yesterday I woke up feeling very poorly. BUT I had to go to the church and help with the float we put together, after that I came back home, foregoing the parade for the couch. Was up and down all night and stayed in to rest today instead of church. Do you think we will ever learn not to push over the limits ?? So much to do this week with the Bazaar on Sat, that I must rest up and be good to myself. I am looking at the ceiling above the bed and there is a big wet spot appearing, not a good omen especially above my bed !! I will have to check it out.
    Everyone has been quiet this weekend. I pray you are all “up to snuff” . Now there’s a phrase that needs researching .
    Take care all,
    Love
    Tonie

    • Tonie, oh dear. I do hate to hear about a spot on the ceiling…and you just had your roof treated. Must have missed a spot. Don’t you hate that sort of thing? Please take care of yourself and rest up. I know dear girl..life is just one long series of choices and evaluating what is most important when you have such limited energy. I just was telling Jim over coffee how much I have to cut back on the decorations this year. I will miss putting lights on the fence but it’s not worth it in this cold and with our damp weather, it’s usually a trip out in the cold frequently to deal with the breaker switch. Electricity and rain..what fun.
      I’ve been crumbling potato chips into buttermilk for years and often have it for lunch…it’s the Okie in me I guess. (Yes, I was born in Oklahoma.) Well, onward and upward. Trying to get the tree up today. Jim got stuck at work all day yesterday. Glad you’re resting. It will help. Love, Sue

    • TONIE…………PLEASE GET THAT DAMP PATCH SORTED ASAP, WE CAN’T HAVE YOUR CEILING FALLING IN ON YOU AND RUINING ALL THE HARD WORK YOU HAVE PUT INTO YOUR HOME……CATCH YOU LATER….HUGS…..JENNIE POO XX

  5. Well Tonie I imagine anyone would have to be up to snuff…looks a dreadful procedure from what I’ve seen once!

    Went this afternoon to a craft fair in a village farm barn.with carols around a fire and mince pies etc
    Bought a few things for presents…but still not feeling Christmassy …it ain’t working
    Sure hope it kicks in soon !
    Weather gives it getting below freezing later this week..I don’t mind if its sunny with it…thinking of you Jen on your todd there next week.glad youve got all the wood for the fire sorted and that new quit will be cosy

    Made some veg and red lentil soup ,two lots so we can have this week.
    Back still blimmin sore,can only take the Voltarol fr so long.shouldnt really take it

    Terrible that helicopter crash into a pub in Glasgow Friday night
    Be back Chris

    • Chris, Indeed that crash was awful. Poor families of those killed. Your craft fair sounds fine…I love those so much. We have a large one not far from here in Seaside, OR but legs couldn’t take it today. One of our favorite local artists is having a special this year and will draw family members into a picture. His name is Bill W. Dodge and you could see his work online. One year he incorporated our house into one of his pictures. He even put little Annie in the window. She saw him taking the photo from across the street and was standing in the window barking at him. His work has even been in the Smithsonian. He’s a folk artist and we have several pieces of his work and they always make me smile.
      Hope you find your Christmas spirit soon…Love ya, Sue

    • HI CHRIS…….I WILL CATCH UP WITH YOU THIS WEEK……..GONNA MAKE A BIG POT OF SOUP MYSELF, IT WILL KEEP ME GOING FOR THE WEEK, I DON’T FEEL LIKE COOKING EITHER, NOT JUST FOR ME.
      YES THE GLASGOW HELICOPTER CRASH WAS AWFUL, IT WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR A LOT OF CHRISTMAS’S TO COME……….WISH YOU BETTER…..JENNIE XX

  6. Sue yea I looked him up…I do like that sort of work..I would love to have our house done like that .i see he did a lot on Astoria
    Someone I know had a large family picnic by a stream done like that it was so good to keep looking at

    Yea Tonie I do hope all is ok with that damp spot

    My Christmas spirit it ain’t there ..hasn’t really since my mum died…and DH is an Aussie and they don’t really do Christmas well didnt back then!probably do now as the shops want all the money!
    That’s what it seems like to me and gets worse every year ….especially when they are out to sell to you earlier every year
    Hey ho I get worse each year!
    Not that I’m a Scrooge I try to find Christmas and it escapes me….I think if you have small kids it is fantastic and magical
    Also you do feel isolated if your not joining in the mayhem
    Well that’s me done wingeing!
    Be back Chris

    • Chris:
      I do understand how you feel. The commercialism and greed, it sickens me it does. But my spirit of Christmas is still thriving. It wasn’t much last year, I felt to isolated and missed my young’uns so much. Shook that off, and am going full steam ahead. I just love the decorating, all the church services and plays. All the wonderful music. I find that all the commercials and such, I have to turn away from, all the true meaning of Christmas is just not in them. But teaching kids the true Christmas, young or old, is more important. I feel bad I don’t have much to spend in way of gifts this year, and am just concentrating on my babies. Making a lot of things, picking up little things here and there. But I remember that when I was a kid, we had very few presents lots of love, fun and food. And each gift was special, not just thrown to the side and reaching for the next package. I told my grands once, when they stopped appreciating what was done for them, then the doing would stop.

      Sue, I am not thinking about the tree til later. I did get up and bathe the boys, who really needed it. Ceasar makes me laugh, he sneaks up the bed on me, like he is a cat, gets in my face and looks right at me. 🙂 Like he is stalking me ! I turned on my hot wax and am going to shower and then dip my hands and feet. Always makes them feel so much better. My wrists and ankles are giving me a fit. Take care you ! I really need to build a roof on the house, instead of the flatness. All in good time.
      Take care all,
      Love
      Tonie

      • Tonie, I also resent the materialism but try to ignore it…especially now. I like the Capitalism aspects of it and now is when folks need to make money. I think that’s why so many companies are offering free shipping this year. Every year there is some stupid item for sale. With the recession, frankly I’m glad people are making money.
        I remember Christmases when I was dreadfully poor and a divorced mother with two kids. One year another single mom and I got together and bought a pinata and the kids had a ball taking shots at it. They were more appreciative than my spoiled grands I do believe. It’s not their fault, it is ours for over indulging them.
        I love the music also and have CD’s going all the time..even the music channel on our cable TV is wonderful. Must watch WHITE CHRISTMAS tonight..been thinking about that oldie. Jim love GOING MY WAY.
        Stay warm dear friend. Love, Sue

    • Dear Chris, I am with you about Christmas. No small ones in my immediate family and just haven’t been able to find the spirit I had in the past. I participate, but something is missing. keep looking though.

      • Yes Janet., keep looking. Maybe there is some family in your area or a soup kitchen that you could help with…would that do it? The older I get the more I treasure each Christmas knowing life will end. I don’t mean to be morbid..but that’s the truth, isn’t it? Hope your weather is behaving…so unpredictable in TX. Fondly, Sue

    • Chris, SInce you found Bill’s site..Take a look at the Winter one in his series of seasons. They are all of Astoria and our house if the one with the long undies hanging on the clothes line and Beth’s house is up above ours, the Craftsman with the kids sledding in the back yard. It was fun to have both of our houses in the same picture. Jim gave me the cat hugging the fish one year for my birthday.
      I wish for your own joy level that you could find some Christmas spirit. I always have it…think I would even without the grands..that’s just me. Take care dear lady. Sue

    • Chris, Christmas last year and this are so like what Rosa said when I told her Becky had died (for those new, my Mom died in Sept of 2011, then my baby sister (Becky) Dec.20, 2011, then my older sister Rosa in April 2012. Rosa’s birthday also happened to be Christmas Day. She said “this is NOT going to be a Merry Christmas and is NOT going to be a Happy Birthday.” I”m of the mindset, “let me just get past this shit.” I get overwhelmed with memories and feel my loses all over again. Sometimes I think I am grieving too long, but then someone will remind me that I had triple (actually quadruple) the loses one generally has at one time. I say quadruple because my only surviving sister has not spoken to me since the day after Rosa died. I’m getting better with that, though. The others didn’t have a choice, but my surviving sister did, and not talking to me was her choice. I finally realized I had to accept her choice and continue to pray for her. My first Al-Anon sponsor told me that when someone hurts her, she asks God to grant them all the things she would want for herself; happiness, peace of mind, good health, and no financial worries; then she asks him to make her able to pray that until she means it. I can honestly say I mean it now.
      So, I have no Christmas spirit, either.

      • Linda:
        We so remember that year with all your losses one right after another. Things were really dark. I appreciate your grief at this time of year and the reminders of your loss so fresh still. Time will heal the wounds. The loss is always felt, for we love and we miss those gone on ahead. You are right about your surviving sister, she has a choice. We pray you two reunite, that could make a wonderful Christmas present for you and maybe lift your spirits a bit.
        Love
        Tonie

      • OH LORD LINDA………NOBODY COULD BLAME YOU FOR HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT CHRISTMAS, I LIKE WHAT YOUR SPONSOR TOLD YOU TO DO, ITS EXACTLY WHAT I DO, I HAVE ISSUES SIMILAR TO YOU WITH CERTAIN MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY. DON’T ALLOW THIS TO HURT YOU LINDA, YOU ARE BETTER THAN THAT, GET INVOLVED WITH LOCAL ACTIVITIES, SEE WHATS TO DO WITHIN THE COMMUNITY, ADVICE IS EASY TO GIVE AS WE KNOW, BUT IT WILL MAKE THE TIME PASS QUICKLY, AND BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, IT WILL ALL BE OVER.
        TAKE CARE MY FRIEND………..LOVE YOU…..JENNIE X

      • Linda, dear lady. You’ve got to let go of this bad relationship with your sister. Leave it. Put it down and walk away. Life will work it out when and if it must. It’s grief like anger that tears us apart. It could be that she would only keep you torn apart like she did previously. Sometimes the problems of others reflect onto us and we just can’t let them tear us apart. You are responsible for your attitude and your reaction…let it go my dear. Love you much..Love those comforting memories of your family. Sue

  7. Tonie
    I remember when I was a kid the time itself was magic without the presents,it was the food the smells the excitement in air.the shifting furniture about to fit stuff in ,the making do.its all those things I remember and I expect your g.kids and family will remember all that when older.but your right it seems isolating if your not at one with all the crap too.but it sees like you are on the way to having a good time there in your own special way

    Janet
    Yep we,ll keep alooking…its gotta be somewhere ! Dec.1st seems socially acceptable now to rev up.
    All lights going up in neighbourhood
    I’m sure as it gets nearer i will feel closer to it
    Chris

    Sue…..what you say???

  8. Sue
    Looked again
    I could find touch of winter..spring..fall etc
    But when I tried to enlarge they went very blurred
    But he has done a lot for that museum near you hasn’t he…I do like that work when I go to the coast there are two artists shops full of that naive type of work and I spend ages just looking in there I get lost with them
    Ill keep looking on the sites tho
    Chris

    • Chris, eventually I’ll take a pic of the sketch and try to send it to you. Sorry it blurred…I went on there and saw what you meant. Later, Sue

  9. Morning all:
    A gray and overcast Monday here in the mtns. Calling for rain again :(. Gott get going this am and go clean up the room we are gonna have the Bazaar in Sat. Then we have to decorate, etc. Exciting ! My son is coming up to bring his dad home, and he is gonna take me to town in his truck to find me a shelf for my kitchen. I can better organize and alleviate some stuff ! I feel somewhat better today, think I would feel a LOT better if it weren’t for the weather.
    I had a “pamper me ” day yesterday. Got out my hot wax machine, took a hot shower, used all the fragrant salt scrub, put on a nice facial mask, dipped my hands in the hot wax and relaxed a bit. Such a treat to the senses. I think we need to do that more often than we do. If you guys don’t have the wax machine, I urge you get one and use it, especially if your hands and feet are bad. I use the lavender infused wax, it smells so good. WIsh we could all get together for a spa day ! Then have tea together , wouldn’t that be a hoot ??
    Sue, I just saw your reply to me. I do ignore the junk of Christmas but sometimes it gets ugly ya know ?? I too am happy that people can make a living better during this time of year. There are some that make their entire years monies off this couple of months sales. I believe strongly in free enterprise, and support it . That is one reason I love AMAZON. you find so many merchants you wouldn’t ordinarily see. Some small, some large, but all competing for your order.
    Well, up and at em. Everyone have a wonderful day. Prayers for you all.
    Jennie, any word on little Harry ?? Prayers for you this week, let us know how things go.
    Love to you all
    Tonie

    • HI AGAIN TONIE…………..YOUR PAMPERING DAY SOUNDED LIKE FUN, AND WHY SHOULDN’T YOU DO SUMMAT FOR YOURSELF, YOU DO ENOUGH FOR OTHER FOLKS. NO DARLING NO NEWS OF HARRY AT THE MOMENT, SO I DON’T KNOW IF THE POOR LITTLE MITE GOT TO LAPLAND OR NOT YET, I WILL CERTAINLY LET YOU KNOW AS SOON AS I HEAR…….LOVE YOU AGAIN (YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH) ……JENNIE XX

  10. Hi Linda
    I remember the sad sad time you had the waiting and hoping,then your sister like that
    I suppose this time of year brings it fresh up again as we remind ourselves as you do this time of year.
    It is especially sad if things aren’t right with ourselves as well
    Lets hope as Tonie says that your sister feels something about it all this Christmas .just a small step would be significant
    As for the elderly remembering it does jolt us to look at everything differently.ofcourse refrigeration so much benefit from it.
    Even my DH father remembered the first flight and the man on the moon in one lifetime.things change so quickly that we take all for granted.its good to get a jolt about them
    Heavens your grandmother hair must have been amazing and

  11. Linda
    Went half went thru…so to continue
    You meander as you wish it’s like having a live conversation
    Post this now.gotta another one to add
    Love Chris

  12. Well
    Human story …..Christmas spirit!!
    Well I I nipped in quick to post some mail and get stamps…queue 8 deep I had 15 mins before a dental appt..well one lady took ages with just everything.lady behind me was getting mad too,I said to her I have a dental appt too shortly……well the one lady in front of me I thought would take ages too,heardme say id be late and said you go in front,then in front of her another bloke who looked horrendous !! Said oh you go infront of me too. And so I was shoved along the line…..well as I walked out I was saying Merry Christmas to everyone and they were all laughing and joining in
    The people that you thought woulnt give you the time of day turned round and surprised me!
    Who would have thought there was Christmas there in the post office on a busy day!
    Don’t life kick you in the backside!
    Ok back later Chris

    • Oh Chris:
      Made me smile and get teary to know that Christmas found YOU !! Ain’t it wonderful when that happens ? God knows what we need when we need it and sends along His angels to give it !
      Jennie Poo ! I will climb up on my bed and take a closer look at the wet spot. The ceilings are much lower in there, so I may be able to patch it with no prob. My son came and we went ot pick up that shelf, got there at 3 pm and they were closing. What a goof !! Anyhow, he comes in bringing me a huge box of canned goods. And Mary, my sisters friend had a son Well he came over to buy eggs and brought me about a dozen more cans of veggies and tomatoes. No buying of canned goods for a while. SO… I am thinking a BIG pot of veggie soup tomorrow and get me some saltines, I will be set for the week as well ! Great minds think alike huh ??
      I am very tired. We got the church put to rights, and brought all the decorations down from the attic. I have a few more things to finish up, then I need to start making candies and such. I mixed up some dough to make Peanut butter pinwheels, and will let it harden up til tomorrow. I am gonna make fudge, my mothers kind, gingerbread pizzelles, and cupcakes. Gotta have them done by Friday. Hope you are all having a good evening.
      Love to all
      Tonie

      • Tonie, it’s wonderful the way your family and friends watch after you. Soup sounds wonderful. So good to get so much accomplished but know you’re beaten down after such a busy day. There is a lot of joy sprinkled in there…I can hear it. Are you still taking prednisone…I thought you were. This cold weather is awful and miserable but does look great from the windows. Don’t you have someone who can get up on the roof and stop the leak at the source?
        I drove out to our largest store and they’re remodeling and part of the parking lot is gone and there was no parking. I gave up on that and drove back home and went to Safeway by the river. Looks like commercialism is in full swing. I just wanted groceries. Don’t you love those cloth bags? They’re so much easier on the hands and arms. I left a load of juice for Mr. W. to carry in when he gets home and then it’s off to the Birthday girls/ Later, Sue

    • Chris, that is a wonderful story and it being true makes it even better. I agree with Tonie it is a wonderful act of love and the season when these events happen to us, personally. I love this.
      Sorry I’ve been a bit absent today..not feeling well. I’ve had IBS since Thanksgiving and still had to go to the store. Jim and I put up our tree yesterday and then he brought up all the decor and left them all over the dining room for me to put in place. I love decorating, normally but will be a bit slower this year. Smallest GD has her eighth birthday today and we’ll be meeting over there for take out dinner. She had a Barbie cake with her friends at their girls spa day party. All these little girls having their hair curled and nails done..so cute. Must get a few things wrapped now but will be back later tonight.
      Weather here is very cold, rain and sleet but feels colder with the wind off the Columbia River. Sorry to hear Dad is being a stinker..probably not feeling well. This whole growing old is not for sissies. Hope the yuletide spirit stays with you all season. Love, Sue

      • Sue, I would love to see pics of them little Barbies getting all dolled up ! I can’t believe she is 8 already ! I made my GD a Barbie cake one year. Put the Barbie in the middle and made the cake her dress. She loved it. I saw a pic of it the other day, I had forgotten about it. Hope you had a good evening with them and you are up resting again now.
        I will get someone to check out the roof, hopefully this week. My little Ceasar is feeling like he needs ot be as close to me as he can get 🙂 He had to get up here and let me kiss him first though , they are so silly sometimes.
        Love ya
        Tonie
        Oh yeah, I am still taking the pred, but just fazing it out right now. So may be that making me so tired, but I really think it is just too much work 🙂

  13. Tonie
    Yea AND I’ve put some..but only a few …decs up.
    Went out for a snack and met some people we hadn’t seen for 15yrs…we had such a good catchup……my day today has certainly been beyond my controll!! More wishing of merry Christmas .i risk getting face ache smiling at this rate! Bring it on I say…I don’t feel as isolated just drifting with it I suppose and trying
    Do look at this wet patch well before Christmas ,so no surprises ok?
    Do you think it might be comming off the pred that’s making you tired? Altho it could be being on it too ,who knows with our systems! Just get some rest inbetween before Friday
    Your kitchen must smell so great
    When you’ve got time maybe after Christmas could you email the recipe for the biscuits.no rush as I won’t do it till after myself. Ta
    Drs for me tomorrow with my back hope she don’t press it about
    Chris

  14. Jennie, I pray this week goes well for you and DH. I know you have much to prepare and much on your mind. You’re in my thoughts dear lady.
    You should see the mess that I’ll laughingly call our home. Still have boxes full of stuff from the desk we gave to Beth. Trying to find everything is a bit frustrating. Jim got the tree up last night but since he spent so much energy at work over the weekend, he was a bit impatient. Man does too much. Then he brought up these boxes in green and red..just because he didn’t want me making 500 trips down to the basement to bring up tinsel, garland and ornaments. These boxes are so funny. They are coffin sized huge so there is nowhere to turn in there. If only I had some energy and felt better.Sure could use a passel of elves… I think that is my one true Christmas wish…energy.
    Pray your weather is behaving and not causing too many challenges. We’re all in the hands of fate and sticking together does help. Much caring for you right now. Sue

    • Sue, invite your little “elves” over and put them to work. That is how my tree got put up for several years. It may not be perfect, but it is so fun to watch and listen while they decorate !

  15. Sue
    What a bummer to have Ibs now.i do hope it settles nice and early

    I have been taking Voltarol for my back..not supposed to, and it has given me IBS too.so I’ve stopped it for a while and now taking an antispasmodic
    Hope you were able to enjoy the tea party with GD. With this flipping IBS
    She sounds as if she is growing up now and ready to enjoy all those girly things.different sorts of presents now!
    I’d love to see that picture ,I suppose they go blurred to stop anyone copying them
    Drs in the am gonna try and sleep…..Chris

  16. JUST CHECKING IN BRIEFLY, FEELING A LITTLE UPSET AND UNSETTLED, HAD A FEW TEARS THIS MORNING, NOT IN FRONT OF MY DH THOUGH, ITS NOT THE OP I AM AFRAID OF, JUST SCARED THERE MIGHT BE SOMETHING THERE THAT DIDN’T OUGHT TO BE….IF YOU CATCH MY DRIFT!!!! GOT TO SAY GOODBYE TO HIM IN THREE/FOUR HOURS, GOT TO KEEP A STIFF UPPER LIP TILL I GET THROUGH THE DOOR, THEN I KNOW I WILL LOSE THE PLOT.
    WE HAVE NEVER BEEN APART IN SEVENTEEN YEARS, BUT WE WIL GET THROUGH THIS, OTHER FOLKS DO, AND SO WILL WE. I LOVE YOU ALL, AND WILL TRY AND TALK LATER OR TOMORROW, HAVE A GOOD DAY…..JENNIE XX

    • Jen
      Chin up.youll be fine.
      If they thought anything there they would have had him in so much sooner
      Bound to feel like that tho till its all done,one anyone would
      Time will soon go
      Can you talk on phone to him?
      Chris

    • Dear Jennie, Just to let you know that lots of prayers and positive energy are out there for your DH and for you. You are much loved by all of us. Good luck and keep that upper lip stiff. Hugs. Janet

    • OHHH !! Sweet Jennie Poo ! We will be with you with prayers and in spirit ! You will not be alone and he will be fine, you will see ! Hang in there kiddo and pull out that famous British Stiff Upper Lip and know all will be fine. God bless !
      Love you
      Tonie

    • Jennie dear, even though we have chatted on FB, Please remember how much support we each are sending both you and your dear man right now. Of course you’re worried. That fear hovers in the back of your mind and heart and it is the relief we each feel when the surgery is over. So many of us are sending you our prayers and concern you are not alone. Each of us is as near as this computer or phone yet none is more close to you than the loving prescence of the Lord. Try to rely on that assurance.
      Seventeen years without being apart says so much about your relationship.
      I have no empty platitudes for you dear friend, just the assurance the strength you need will be there while he’s in surgery, while he recovers and when he comes home. More love and concern than we always send to you …Sue

  17. Well been to dr.she says I have irritated the old fracture in the sacrum and 3 weeks is early days yet
    So more pills and potions! Very sore with being prodded
    tooth that was filled yesterday is playing up as well….good innit
    Well back in bed but is sore laying down .be back later
    Chris

    • Chris, I’m sorry to hear this. Time, unfortunately, is the best cure. I know, I hate that, too. I’m facing something similar and it calls for patience at a time in our lives when so much of ‘”us” is needed..holidays, family, relatives in need..oh my dear, you have so much happening BUT ff you who are the hub of this wheel and don’t take care of yourself, life will be even more difficult. I think it’s naturally difficult for some women to put themselves first because we have so much happening. Good thing our brains are wired to multitask, huh?
      I know we may have talked about this previously, because frankly, I can’t remember, but let me just share a couple of things that help me when my sacroiliac joints are hurting and I can’t get comfortable. With the proximity to all the bones of the pelvis, some of the treatment helps for all of that area. I learned long ago to always have a “knee” pillow. That way when you lie on your side, the upper hip is not pulling at your lower back.Basically if you’re supporting the upper leg with a pillow between your legs, your alignment will be much like if you are standing. Does that make sense? Then there is always the good old heating pad and on occasion, ice. Have you tried a tighty type underwear like the old girdles? or is it more comfortable to hang loose. Another thing is a pillow under the knees when you lie on your back. I have memory foam pillows everywhere..even over at DD’s house.
      I hope you have a good muscle relaxer because so much of the pain many of us have is from muscle spasms and we always blame the bone..but it’s really all the soft tissues around that support bones.
      Know that I’m thinking of you and understand. Life is a bugger and sometimes we just have to go with it and be patient. Much love, Sue

  18. Dear Chris:
    Lay down and take er easy for a bit mate !! Prayers for you as well. Take care of you, none better for the job.
    Hugs and love
    Tonie

  19. Sue Janet Tonie
    Thank you for your concern and prayers
    Well lying here at moment and the best one with the pillow just tried was the one under the knees while on my back….kind of lifts the sacrum off the bed a bit so ..that was good. Been trying it under one hip before and it pressed the bone into the bed
    It don’t half hurt to go to the loo with it,

    My dad went to town shopping with his next door lady friend on his scooter today!
    Don’t know how he managed as town s so busy now.and he is so slow to manage any movement of limbs
    to enable him to operate scooter,but spoke to him when back and he said fine. But he would say that anyway!
    Be back chris

  20. Chris:
    I so agree with Sue on the pillows and heating pad. I sleep with a pillow under my knees and when I turn over, it flips with me to go between my knees. I can’t sleep without my plethora of pillows around me. I like down pillows, so I have them. Two under my head , two beside me, Take care sweet. So glad to hear your dad had an outing. I know that makes him feel better and makes you worry about him
    Guys, please pray for my cousin’s wife. She is from Brazil, and got a call a couple of weeks ago that her father had passed. Got there, buried him and two weeks later her mother passed on as well. I know she and her family are going to be needing prayers .
    Thanks in advance
    Love
    Tonie

    • Tonie, I have been since you mentioned this sad event on FB. Poor girl..so much sorrow and loss for her and her whole family. So much of life is hard to understand as we “see through a glass darkly, but one day, face to face.” So many mysteries in life.
      Sounds like you and I really go through the pillowcases. I have at least five and always one for Jake to steal. Hope you’re resting between all your obligations. Love, Sue

  21. Thanks Tonie
    I find a hot water bottle as well good to have near the back. the heating pad ..is it electric ..sounds good as you can’t lie on the hot water bottle. Maybe I could go and buy one at a disability shop..I find a hot shower directly on the spot good,as hot as I can stand

    That poor lady what a awful thing to happen certainly prayers for her and her family.it must be a terrible shock. One parent is overwhelming and to have the two pass together like that must be ..well its indescribable
    Well took some painkillers that usually make me sleep,but hey ho managed an hour and its just gone midnite
    Hope our Jen is ok
    Chris

    • Chris, I know. I keep thinking of Jen, too. Hope you’re able to find some more restful positions. Sleep, sleep, sleep. Love, Sue

  22. Oh yes thought id say I got some lights on in the window….so I’m like the rest round here now!
    Still feel that I’m playing at it though and it’s not really me
    Chris

    • Chris, glad your lights are up. i strung some new ones in our front window but had another string just like them ready to in another window..set the timer but left them in the chair, is naugahyde..fake leather and the timer went on last night and the lights burned several holes in the chair. Lovely. Thankful we didn’t have a fire. Just felt the other string which are now on in the front, very cold window and I can hold them so must have been a defective string. That;s a first for me. Sue

  23. Chris:
    Yes the heating pad is electric. THey are wonderful. Mind has a timer and only stays on an hour and shuts itself off. Poor dear, hope you got some sleep. And prayers for Jennie today. I know her heart will be broken.
    Sue poor dear, one thing or another huh ?? If it is a chair you really like, there are those patching kits you can use to fix the holes. They work pretty good. Have a great day all
    Love
    Tonie

  24. Toni’s
    I will look into that.it sounds good
    Sue
    Can you claim on your contents ins for those burns
    What a bummer…but it could have been so much worse !!
    Be back to tonite Chris

  25. Tonie
    Just googled them and one sold by John Lewis here ..dreamland…said not to use if pacemaker fitted .john has one so not sure will have to find out from the pace dept here
    Chris

  26. HI SMEEEEEE!!! FIRST LET ME THANK EVERYONE WHO WAS ROUTING FOR MY DH…..ALL WENT WELL, BIT OF A COCK UP AT FIRST, WE BOOKED HIM A PRIVATE SINGLE ROOM WITH ENSUITE. GOT THERE, NOTHING DOING, THEY PUT HIM IN WITH A FRENCH GUY, SO NO CONVERSATION THERE. HIS BP WENT UP TO 198/92, HE WAS AGITATED AND UPSET AS THERE WAS NO PRIVACY FOR HIM TO EVEN GET CHANGED, AND NO SHOWER. ALL THESE THINGS WE WERE PAYING FOR TOO. ANYWAY HE WENT DOWN TO THEATRE AT 10AM THIS MORNING, IT WAS ALL GOOD BUT HE STRUGGLED WITH THE EPIDURAL, HAD TO DO IT TWICE AS HE COULDN’T STOP SHAKING…..NOT FROM FEAR AS HE HAS HAD IT BEFORE.
    ANYWAY, HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO PRIVATE ROOM LATER, AND WAS MUCH HAPPIER WHEN I SPOKE TO HIM AN HOUR AGO. IF I HAVE WRITTEN ANY OF THIS BEFORE I DO APOLOGISE, DON’T KNOW WHERE MY HEAD IS AT THE MOMENT.
    ANYWAY GOT TO CALL MY MOM IN HOLLAND NOW AS SHE WILL BE WAITING BY THE PHONE FOR NEWS, AND I NEED TO CHUCK A LOG ON…GETTING MIGHTY COLD. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS FOR BOTH OF US, HOW LUCKY AM I TO HAVE MATES LIKE YOU…….I LOVE YOU ALL AND WILL CATCH UP INDIVIDUALLY LATER. JENNIE XXXXX

    • Jennie, You are such a sweetheart to keep us informed and may I add, relieved. Sounds like the surgery went well and that’s what is important and good to get his arrangements with the room worked out. Bad time for that kind of stress. Stay warm sweet girl and be assured you both are in our prayers. Love you much, Sue

    • Dear Jennie, Wonderful news I am so happy that it went well. Now you just stay warm and take care of yourself. lots of hugs. Janet PS: know about the shakes from stress, had it for years.

  27. Jennie:
    So happy things are going well. You bundle up and put them logs on the fire. And as Chris said, eat !!
    Love you dear
    Tonie

    • HI TONIE…………..I AM EATING I PROMISE, GOT A BIG POT OF SOUP ON THE HOB, ITS SACHA I AM MORE WORRIED ABOUT, HE IS MISSING HIS MASTER AND IS NOT EATING ANYTHING BUT HIS CHEWY STICKS, I WILL TRY AND TEMPT HIM WITH HIS FAVOURITE FISH TONIGHT.
      ITS SO COD HERE NOW, I AM STRUGGING A BIT WITH THE LOG FIRE, BUT I WIL BE OK, IT JUST SEEMS TO BURN MORE WOOD THAN WHEN HUBBY IS HERE. HOPE YOU ARE COSY LOVE, AND THAT YOU GOT THAT DARNED CEILING SORTED OUT……..LOVE YOU…..JENNIE POO XX

      • Hey Poo !! Jennie:
        Don’t worry about Sacha, he will eat. Sometimes they will go a couple of days with just a bit of water. When I leave the house, mine won’t eat til I get back. He is missing daddy I am sure. It was 68′ here yesterday !! Like AZ weather ! I loved it. Supposed to be in the 50’s today and then it will get COLD again this weekend with freezing rain (maybe) hoping it will just be rain so the sale goes good. You ladies should see all the beautiful things we have created amongst ourselves. So nice when you see it all laid out. As to the fire, you just were not as aware of how much wood he was putting on there til you do it yourself. I know !! 🙂 I am staying nice and warm. Had the tank topped off last week so I will be good for the next month or so. I had the heat off last night, can you believe it. I just turned it on to knock out the chill but it was 62 in the kitchen this am ! 48 outside. Boy I sure do like that kind of weather. Too bad it is short lived 🙂
        Chris, I sent you the biscuit recipe. Hope you can make them and like them. I must share the sweet potato recipe I made for Thanksgiving, it is absolutely yummy, however, not heart healthy !! 🙂
        Sue, hope you are making it okay. I know you had a flare up and have been relatively quiet (not you) which mean syou are not well. Had a good prayer for all this am and was so blessed. It is like He lets me know He is touching the people in my prayers. I was reading Luke, 3 this am. And I love the end of the verse where it gives the lineage of Jesus. When you get to the end …”Abel, then son of Adam, the Son of God” it just is so touching to me to see that, We truly are all “children of God”
        Love to you all
        Tonie

  28. Hi Tonie
    Yep i will try recipe soon Im itchin to do it…I’m not good at baking cakes and stuff but I was going to do some scones…but these seem more interesting but similar . I mite have a session shortly, if my back says I can! Just standing is bad for it ,but you never know I’ve been up doing cooking in the middle of the nite!
    And with gravy on them it sounds good
    Lyn gave me a sweet pot recipe a few mths ago which I tried and that was good.,when you’ve got time I’d like to have yours too ,I do like sweet pot even just mashed and then even on top of a pie
    Yes sue hope you ok
    Bad storms here in UK.bad flooding predicted from sea levels it’s abated here but evacuations on the coast where we go away on our days away
    Hope all fine with you Jen and Barry good
    Chris

  29. Sue since your baby Georgie hasn’t had time to develop tough paw pads yet one thing you can do to protect them from frost burn is rub a bit of vasoline on them to keep them from having snow melting then refreezing on them. I had a pup one very cold winter and his little paw pads got rather hot, red and swollen from frost burn (not bite). This is what the vet told me to do. Some mushers use zinc oxide mixed with oil to protect dogs feet. My babies are tolerating the weather changes just fine and I’m happy with snow as Nessie doesn’t have as much chance to roll in things on the ground lol.

    • Laura, thanks for the tip. He is quite taken with the snow and I have been concerned. I’ll try that. The snow does solve some of that odor problem you were having with Nessie…good. Less work for you..Sue

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