Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Invite your friends?

Sitting here on my bed, reading blogs and feeling smug.  Fans!  I have fans and friends I never met.  I have blogging friends who visit on a regular basis, almost as good as stopping by for a cup of coffee (remind me to tell you about my new coffee maker!)

I was feeling pretty smug as I went from blog to blog when I stopped by The Little Brown House where Sharyl was talking about winter coats.  I can dig it, or at least I could until she showed us the coat she bought herself when she got 100,000 hits on her blog in ONE MONTH!

Is that even possible?   I think that if you add the population of all the towns I've lived in, it would not be 100,000.  Seriously...

Seriously, very seriously, would I want 100,000 strangers staring at my family, seeing my son in a blond wig?   Would I mind if 100,000 strangers found out that I cannot swim? 

Nah...not 100,000.  I'd settle for half that.


Hey, I love you guys...all of you, so keep coming back, over and over...bring your friends!

Now since you have read all this,  I guess I need to reward you with a photo...

Now I'm going to see why the dogs are barking...

Talk to you soon!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

 Giving thanks!

To be honest, I was dreading Thanksgiving this year.  Without Mark, holidays are hard even though I have enough good memories to last several lifetimes.  One of Mark's duties was to get to Mom's house early so he could help preparing the meal as well as his favorite duty:  carving the turkey.

We always celebrate Thanksgiving the Saturday after the holiday so everyone can spend the holidays with their 'other' families. 

This year...

Dinner was scheduled for 5:00.  I drove myself so I could have time to collect my thoughts and to pray. 

Yes, I am a one of those old women you see on your way to SOMEWHERE:   short, very short, so short that if she didn't have a little WV she wouldn't be able to see over the dash, grey hair, obviously alone in the car, but her mouth is moving, she's waving her free hand and nodding her head. 

I prayed that our family would enjoy being together, that we would count each other as blessings in our lives.  I prayed that all the members of my family would travel safely to Mom's and back home again. 

I did not pray for the turkey.

At 4:45 I walked into my mom's house and saw this:

Michael praying?

I stood there for a minute and saw this:

And this:

Hmmmmm....I was thinking this was the day we were having our Thanksgiving dinner.  I checked the dining room...

LOOKS like Thanksgiving...

Either by owner operator error, or equipment failure, the turkey was not done!

Andy and Tony amused themsves by playing coffee table ping pong:

As it got later and later, the desserts on the buffet started looking verrrrry good...

But before too many hours, no more than three and a half, Leslie anounced dinner was ready!

We no sooner swallowed the last morsel of food and the boys started clearing the table.  How wonderful!  They were being so helpful!  Then the truth came out...

It was time for dining room table ping pong!

First Andy played Tony:

And then Catherine played against Michael:


So many blessings, so many reasons to give many prayers answered, so few ping pong balls!

I am blessed, now you (and you and you) go out there and be a blessing in someone's life!

Love ya,

Monday, November 28, 2011

Marsha, this one's for you!

I got an email from one of my favorite sisters-in-law this evening.  The subject line said BLOG and the email said, "It hasn't been updated in at least 5 days!"

So Marsha, instead of going to bed at a decent hour, I'm updating. 

I did not, nor have I ever gone shopping on Black Friday.  Heck, I hardly ever go shopping.  I hate to shop, but last week the boys took me shopping!

I bought a flashlight...

(No, I did not get a helmet.  "Locals" will recognize it as Tony's.)

I got a water bottle!


I got a new bike!

Eight speeds, hand brakes and a seat as wide as Ohio...

And it fits my bee-hind just fine! 
Look!  I can ride with one hand!  Next thing you know, I'll be unicycling.

Yeah, right!

Okay, Marsha, I'm going to bed now....ok?


Thursday, November 24, 2011


Another first in my life:  my first cross country/trail  race.   This morning Andy, Tony, Morgan and a whole bunch of friends and relatives participated in the 35th annual Samuel Holland Gutbuster Race!

Now when I say race, don't think for a minute that I ran all that distance, up and down those hills, but please imagine that I gave it my best shot, up and over, down and out.  Actually, the walk from the car to the start of the course would have done me in a year ago, so I'm pretty pleased.

We started early, way too early for me, stopping for supplies (Gatorade and cough drops)

And once we got to the park, we had a loooong walk down to the start line!

Some of us went faster than the rest.  Once we got registered, we had to hang around for quite a while while they registered everyone.

We finally decided to take the after picture before, while all of us were standing:

The gang:  Andy, Heather, Wes, Tyler, Sydney, Morgan, Tony, Mike, Me, Tori, Kayla and Jim!

The boys ran the 4 mile course, along with Heather and Wes.  Morgan, Sydney and Tyler ran the 2 mile course, so did Tori and Kayla (we think).  Mike, Jim and I SURVIVED the 2 mile course, which is a personal best for us.  Another thing crossed off my Bucket List.

Now we're home, ready to shower and leave again, off on a quest for a turkey dinner.  This holiday feels strange to me, and I don't even feel like leaving the house, but in the middle of all the sadness and grief is that reminder that I am blessed and have much to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving to all you!
Now don't just sit there, go out and be a blessing to someone else!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Life Lesson #5840

If one of your sons hands you the jar of grated cheese as you sit down to enjoy your pasta...check the lid...


Some of us never learn...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Only at my house...

 For reasons best left undiscussed, I spent most of yesterday in my sewing room/studio/place to play with glass.  I found lots of strange stuff, but this wig, a left over from my dollmaking days, was one of the better things...
Trust me, it looks better on this roll of paper towels...
I INSISTED everyone here try it on...who cares about cooties?

First Vicky tried it on...
Hmmmm, not that awful but not good?

Next we forced Morgan to try.
Nah, she's such a stunning brunette, blonde just doesn't do it.

Morgan decided to help Tony try it on...
Oh my...
Are you sure you're ready for this????
* comment from me, either.

Where is the photo of me wearing the wig, you ask?

Ain't gonna happen.  No way, no how, nope!

Where is Andy, you ask?  He's no dummy.  He worked midnight this week and was home, tucked in all cozy with the dog and cat, Helga and Pele.

Family?  You can't sell them so you gotta love them!
God bless you!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

When a bib is not enough...

Recently, Tony had some dental work done.  He said he couldn't see what was going on, so he took this photo and of course he had to send it to me:

What did we do before 'smart' phones?

Busy day today, I try to keep busy!

God bless you!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What are those darn kids up to now?

It's Sunday at 7:30 AM.  This is what I see in my driveway:

That's Morgan, Tony and Sydney (Morgan's sister).  Are they getting ready for church?

Not dressed like that!

Guess they have something else in the...
Marshall Mangler?!?, an 8K race through the woods, up the hills and down.  Crazy?  you bet they are but not as crazy as the people who did the  22.5 or 50K!

Oh, and by the way, NO, I did not join them.  As I said before...I went to church.
YES, there were other crazy people out there, we had a gang of them representing our friends and family.

Since I wasn't there, we only have a few photos, but I think you'll get the picture...

Look, here comes Vicky, I think!

And there she goes...Run, Vicky, Run!

There goes Morgan!

Spectators?  That will never do!  Get out your running shoes, Tyler and Uncle Mike (Mark's brother and his son).

Don't worry, we'll have them running in the next race...or the one after that!

What do they see?

Here comes Wes and Sydney:

And there they go!
Go, Sydney!  Go!

Since Tony was our chief picture-taker, and since he and Andy were very close in time (Andy asked me to announce that he not only beat Tony, but was in good enough shape to take Helga on a long walk the next day!

Here are my three problem children:

Tony, Vicky and Andy!

And a few more...
Sydney, Morgan, Tony, Vicky and Andy.

Let's not forget Heather, Morgan's mother, and her friend, Wes.
Hard to believe they just ran 8K, isn't it?

And the whole gang:
Those are Sydney's shoes in the foreground.  Guess her feet hurt!

And that's not all!

Wes is a hairdresser.  After going out to eat and watch the
Steeler's game, he was going to trim Morgan's hair for her.  This is what Tony and Morgan looked like when they got there...

They think maybe Tony got he picked up the clippers and...

Oh nooooooooooooo!

Tony and Morgan after:

I's only hair and quite a learning experience.  When he got home and tried to pull his shirt over his head, he said his hair was like velcro!  The shirt got stuck!

The results have not been posted yet, but the boys think they finished somewhere in the middle.  They seemed happy and since they sat around the island in the kitchen and looked up more races, they must like it!

Who knows...maybe they will find one that either appeals to me, or one that has a cute shirt that is not orange and I'll be out there racing with them!

Until then, I'll be (almost) training.  We have inside info that in addition to the Friday night community bike rides, there will  be Friday night community walks.

Count me in!

So why are you still sitting there in front of your computer?  Get out there and be a blessing to someone!

I love each one of you...