Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Monday, December 24, 2012
- Hike the Appalachian Trail.
- Sell the house in VB and buy a sailboat to live on while exploring the coast of USA.
- Buy a small house way out in the woods, away from electricity, cell phones and the internet.
- DSH completed #1, in 2007. He left for 6 months, while having a great hike in the woods. I met up with him a few times during the summer and got to meet his fellow hikers.
- We did sell the house and buy a small house, but it is in a neighborhood with palm trees, no woods...
- I was not sure I wanted to sail away with him until he became more experienced in boating...I am better at floating in the pool than swimming for my life.
|While waiting for the hitch DSH got to know the GPS and fish finder better, as well as cleaning all the exteriors.|
|This is how it looks with the bimini up.|
|Does he look happy? He is and so is my sister's hubby who loves to fish.|
I am not a person who likes to fish, but after taking the boat out for the first time, DSH told me about the different wildlife he was able to see nearby, like dolphins, rays, and pelicans. That sounds neat, so stay turned for future adventures where I actually go out on the boat with him.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
After the sun set, the lights came on and the park was turned into a snowy wonderland, with snow machines mounted on poles, causing flakes to fall from above periodically. There were areas for kids to throw snowballs, make snowmen, and ride on tubes down hills of snow. Christmas Carols and songs played nonstop in the background. We rode the Sing Along Train around the park, singing as loud as we wanted. There were giraffes and gazelles(I think) still roaming around in the dark. I felt a little bad for the animals who were blinded by the flash from phone cameras.
I was impressed in how much Christ was in Christmas Town. We listened to a presentation of songs and story from The Three Kings,who explained the meaning of the gifts brought to the Christ child. We heard concerts by a Christian praise band and ended the evening with a concert by Jars of Clay.
|no baby in the manger yet|
This picture is of the life size Nativity scene that was made out of flowers and greenery. The path to it was a covered bridge with candle filled lanterns hanging from the ceiling and on the walls.
This living statue angel looked like a real statue and startled people who walked by as she moved.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Touch of Mint Chocolate Cookies 1 pkg ultimate brownies 2 eggs 2 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon oil 12 Andes mints, cut in half Stir together eggs, water, and oil. Stir into brownie mix. Drop by rounded tsp onto parchment paper, 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated 350* oven 10 minutes. Remove from oven, but keep on pan 2 minutes and during this time press one mint piece onto middle of coookie. Remove to cooling rack. Use back of spoon to spread melted mint around. Let cool completely. One batch makes 24 cookies.
And here's a picture of the tray of cookies I brought home for DSH from the party.
My cookies are the ones on the far right. It was a great party, by the way, with lots of laughter.
Monday, December 10, 2012
I was with a friend tonight in a nearby Kohls when my phone told me there was a tornado warning in the area and to take cover. Then the voice on the PA system in Kohls told everyone to leave the areas of the store near the windows and seek shelter in the middle of the store until the tornado warning passed. The rain was coming down pretty hard by then with thunder and lightning happening outside. What were to do? My friend Darlene and I checked out the Christmas ornaments and home goods section, which was well away from the windows.
I have never been in a situation like that before...a little disarming to say the least. On the plus side, there were some great sales going on in the store, so I think I will make my way back there later this week.
Sunday, December 9, 2012
So here is what made me happy today. (sounds like Pop Culture Happy Hour, one of my favorite NPR shows.) I needed to get a few items at the store and I was able to take my golf cart there. It was a beautiful warm day and I did not need a jacket or to put my sides down on the cart. I was glad that I did not need to use gas or add exhaust to the atmosphere.
Another thing that made me smile was the fact that I have a Dollar Tree and a Dollar General right next to each other. How cool is that? So I was able to shop for some stocking stuffers and craft items as well as ingredients for the cookies I need to make this week without spending very much money.
This picture was taken last year when we were new to Florida and kept the sides down most of the time.
Saturday, December 8, 2012
|The concert with full orchestra and hundreds of singers from guest choruses.|
|Cinderella's Castle with Christmas lights-changed from white to blue to green.|
|Toni and me on the People Mover|
|This is where we stayed, the Pop Century Resort.|
We found our room by turning at the giant Play-do can sculpture in the 60s section.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
We spent a quiet day together today. We ate a spectacular meal from the Thanksgiving buffet at the Sunset Grill, on Tampa Bay. The menu included the usual turkey and fixings, plus stuffed fish, steak, ham, soup, salad bar, appetizers, and desserts. I did not have to eat turkey, but DSH was able to get the dark meat he likes. Low carb diet today? I do not think so! I was sufficiently stuffed when we left. I appreciated not having to cook a turkey with all the mess (and leftover meat for days). I have extra pies from Publix here at home for us, too. Because I do not mind having leftover pie. Thanksgiving has always meant pies and family. I couldn't have my kids with me, but I got pie!
After we left the restaurant, we walked around the marina nearby. Turns out there were a couple of boats for sale there. When we got back, DSH spent hours on the Internet researching similar boats. One of the dreams DSH has had for retirement involves owning a boat. Originally he was thinking a sailboat. I think that taking sailing lessons together would be neat. I also love the idea of traveling the intercoastal waterway or exploring along the coast of the US. I have no idea if we can afford this, but it's fun to dream. When we were first married we would go to boat shows and pretend we were boat owners. Now DSH is thinking about the possibility of a smaller boat, for fishing the local rivers and bays. I do not relish this idea so much, but if it makes him happy, I can be ok with it. (One of the boats we saw for sale today was a really nice fishing boat that I could be happy on. It cost more than our present house, however.)
The newspaper today had over 4 inches deep of sales ads for today and tomorrow. (In contrast, the news part was maybe an inch) I am so grateful that I do not need to get anything badly enough that I would feel compelled to hit the sales on Black Friday. It is so nice to not need anything. But what about Christmas gifts for others, you ask? They will get gift cards or handmade items.
In closing, I just have to say I am very thankful for my DSH and the life we have together. Who could ask for anything more?
Monday, November 19, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
My second oldest brother Mike is also in heaven now, having passed away in November of 2007. We shared something too: cancer. And not just cancer, but the same kind of cancer, that of the gall bladder. I was told by my doctor that it is a very rare cancer and so unheard of in siblings that the pathologist was considering writing a report in a medical journal. It is because of Mike that I did not put off going to the hospital with the first painful gall bladder attack. He also made sure I saw my primary care doctor to follow up my initial gall bladder surgery (in July 2007, routine biopsy found the cancer) with further testing to see if there was still cancerous cells in my body. The surgeon who had removed the gall bladder and told me of the test results also said,"Good news, the cancerous organ was removed so you are cancer free." WRONG! So thank you, Lord, for putting Mike's illness before mine to warn me of the danger. I am also thankful for having Mike as a big brother for all the summers I had at his home in the woods by the pond. Mike also filled in for my dad, walking me down the aisle at my wedding, and well, just being there whenever I needed him.
Next in line is my brother Bill. A teen when I was young, Bill was busy with school, work, and girlfriend. But I do remember him catching grass snakes for me to play with and always having really neat firecrackers on the 4th of July. Bill and his family moved in with Mom after Dad passed away, making it possible for her to stay in the family home for many more years,and keeping her "young" with little grandkids around her. I am thankful to him for that. It is neat to visit Bill, although I don't do it often enough, because of all my brothers, he reminds me of my father the most.
Then there is my brother Frank. He was the brother who was difficult to follow in high school, because I would hear, "He's your brother? Oh, oh! Not another one!" Never heard that about my other sibs...hmmm. When I was young, 8 to 10 years old, Frank and I were given singing lessons, thanks to my grandfather. So once a week or so, we would travel together to an old court house and listen to each other sing. I don't think he remembers these sessions, or that I was the sister there, but I remember thinking how wonderfully he sang and how I wanted to be like him. He still sings beautifully, I think. Frank and my sister in law Aggie were there for Mom when she needed assisted living arrangements. They opened their home to her where Aggie fed her well and Frank provided Scrabble games on demand, and they assured her that her faith in Jesus alone would get her to heaven. Frank also reminds me of my grandfather and my oldest son. Don't ask me why-just a feeling I always get. It's a good connection that I am thankful to have.
I have four sons who, I am thankful to see, have a good relationship between them. In fact, I found out years later, that the oldest three, all born within 3 years, formed a "gang" of sorts to support each other when being disciplined. "No brother left behind" or "no one snitches on a brother" sort of thing. I found this out when I was telling them how I never saw them bickering like other siblings. Even as teens, they hung out together. Of course #4 was treated more like the baby brother, but now as adults, even though miles separate them, they still keep in touch.
Thank you, Lord, for giving me brothers and sons to love.
Friday, November 16, 2012
Lou is the sister closest in age to me. We grew up fighting each other for our parents' and older siblings' attention, but once we grew up and became mothers ourselves the fighting stopped. We both married Navy men and ended up living in the same city. It was great having her close enough to visit and just chat about nothing in particular. She was there when my kids were growing up and I loved how she loved them just because they were my kids. I only hope I have shown her kids the same love and kindness. Actually, all three of my sisters have been that way about my kids, but Lou was there with us when they were growing up, so she was the first to hear about all their "adventures" good and bad. Being in Florida now and not in the same city, I miss seeing her whenever I wanted to stop for coffee and to play a game of Scrabble. She also had great holiday dinners in her home that I still hope to get to one of these years.
|Lou (standing) and Jo at Trulee's wedding, 2008|
Then there is Angie, my oldest sister. DSH refers to her as my twin sister born ten years earlier. There have been times when he swears it's me talking about something, only to realize it is Angie. I called her one day to say I had become a demonstrator for a stamp company, and she laughed and said, "I just signed my contract, too!" I will be thinking about her and she will call right then. So we have a special connection, that's for sure. She is the reason I became a teacher and the reason I moved here to Florida. After we figured out our cell phone company didn't charge for calls between us, we began calling each other at least once a day, so it was only logical that I would move closer to her after we retired. We stamp together, attend aquatics together, shop together, visit museums together, go out to eat together, and still have a list of places we want to see together.
|Lou, me, Angie, and Linda July 2009|
|Frank, Dave, Tim, and Don|
(Lovers of Derocher Girls Exclusively)
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
I have been counting my blessings this month in anticipation of Thanksgiving Day. Today I am adding my good health to my list, even though little blips like this foot thing happen. I am cancer free. I take no prescribed drugs for problems family and friends have. I am pain free (most days). And my thinking is clear(do not ask my DSH about this tho' as his opinion may differ!)
For those of you who have not heard Joni sing this song, or for those fans like myself here's the you tube video:
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Julie and Diane are two of my of my long time friends who have remained close in spite of the miles that separate us. Our faith in Christ brought us together many years ago. Then having children the same age, boys especially, I think was the glue that held us together. They have been there for me during the good times and bad, loving me and my kids no matter what. They shine the light of Christ's love in the way they live. They make me want to be a better person, too.
Beth is my best bud that I left back in Virginia. Again, our faith brought us together, having met at church when she joined my tone chimes group. Her daughter and my #4 son are the same age. She helped fill that spot in my heart when Diane and Julie were no longer nearby. Our love for pop culture, movies and TV shows has been the glue that held us together. I laugh often when I am with her although others may not get what we find funny. We stay connected through texting and Words with Friends. I have my Kindle Fire and Justified addiction because of Beth. Beth is a few years younger than me, but I hope she will consider moving to FL when she is old enough to move into my community. I miss her company, especially when movies come out that I want to see with her.
I have made new friends here. I hope that I can be a blessing in their lives as much as Julie, Diane, and Beth have been in mine.
Monday, October 29, 2012
When we decided to move to the Gulf Coast of Florida, a dear friend of ours would tell us horror stories about hurricanes hitting the coast. (We lived through quite a few in Virginia Beach already, but he would say how much worse the Gulf Coast storms were, ala Katrina.) Just to dissuade us from leaving him in Virginia, you know. We sent him an email a couple days ago to let him know he could evacuate from Sandy and come here. His response: guess I have to stop giving you a hard time about the weather in Florida now.
One good thing about the storm: Facebook posts have not been political and the news barely mentions the campaigns. Our weather has turned cool and breezy. It is sunny and 70 outside as I write this early afternoon. Makes it nice to do yard work, as DSH is doing. I, on the other hand am working on card making.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Whenever I travel through the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina, I am reminded of God's love for us in creating such beauty for our eyes. Especially today when the autumn leaves contrast with the rolling green hills and valleys.
Monday, October 15, 2012
One definition, I think, of a saint is a person who fights the devil's temptations. For this reason, I think, I should be eligible for sainthood.
Just over two weeks ago, I started my diet that basically requires that I avoid foods made with sugars, corn, potatoes, and flours. That leaves meat, fish, eggs and non-starchy vegetables. Salads are a big part of my diet now. I like meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, and salad, so this is not what earns my sainthood.
My DSH's relatives, who I love dearly, have been, as far as I am concerned, agents for the devil and his temptations these past 4 days. While visiting these wonderful people I have had to turn down candy, chips, pretzels, cookies, pie, ice cream, and two different special sheet cakes from a bakery. Meals have consisted of potato soup, meatloaf (which I did eat), pizza(twice), sub sandwiches, fried chicken, and barbecue. Sides have been corn, potatoes, pasta, and potato salad. Of course, they did not know these were the devil's temptations for me. This is just how they eat normally and they were being polite. DSH loves visiting these kitchens, err I mean families!
As you may already know, I am always on a diet, including previous visits to family. However on those previous visits I have started out strong, saying "no thank you" and "not now, thanks," but I then give in thinking, "just a small piece won't hurt." That one piece puts a chink in that wall, and the next thing I know, I am sneaking pieces when DSH isn't around, and then I figure, "what the hell, I blew it anyways" and just eat whatever is available. And there is so much available.(see list above)
My reason for sainthood now? I have said no to it all!
I went shopping and bought vegetables I can eat and ate an Atkins meal replacement bar at least once a day. I ignored my MIL's remarks about not eating enough, or eating only rabbit food. When asked if I was diabetic, I replied, "no, I'm fat." I drank water or diet Coke while others had beer, and offered to hold the baby instead of a plate of food. (always a treat for me)
The Lord blessed me with my DSH who noticed my struggle, defended my eating to his mother, and said to me last night as we were going to bed, "just one day more, you have been so good sticking to your diet, you can do this!" You know what, I can do this. Take that, Satan!
Saturday, October 13, 2012
My DSH's nephew's baby was baptized today. A large celebration was held at the parents' home and I was given the privilege of holding her to calm her and get her to sleep, not once but twice. I have always had a way with babies, especially tiny ones like Brielle, who is only six weeks old. DSH says it is because I have a large ledge to rest the baby on, but I think it is more than that.
I think the fact that my six older siblings began having kids when I was just seven has something to do with it. I have just always been comfortable around babies. If I am holding one who is fussy I don't panic and return her to her mom, I just adjust the situation until the baby is happy. A change in position in my arms, or a different location in the room even, along with bouncing, rocking, and definitely singing are all part of my "repertoire" when holding a baby. I seem to know when a baby is hungry, in pain, or just tired, too. That probably comes from having four babies of my own.
When someone comes in with a baby I often don't ask to hold the baby until she starts to get fussy. Guess I just want to see if I still have the knack. Maybe God will bless me with more grandbabies so I can keep in practice.
I have tried many diets. They all worked for awhile. I have probably lost and gained a whole 'nother person over the years.
The diet that was easiest to live with was weight watchers. I lost 70 pounds with the program about 4 years ago. But over time, I got to thinking I can do this on my own...and half that weight crept back on. So, I tried weight watchers again, but I just couldn't lose this time.
Two weeks ago I started back on the new atkins plan, and have lost about 10 pounds so far. Come back for updates. I promise I won't spend all my time writing about food, but it helps me to use my fingers here instead of at the table.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Scripture tells us that a good Christian husband is to treat his wife as God treats the Church. DSH has always been a blessing to me in this regard. He gets me thinking about my faith and how it connects to life.
Think about all the times we ask God for something and we want it now. We think we know what is best. But God knows best when to answer our prayers. We just have to be patient and Trust in the Lord. Who knows, he may surprise you.
Marriage is made of compromises. That is difficult for me sometimes. After having my classroom for 25 years, where I was the "decider" (to quote former President Bush), I find it frustrating to NOT get my way.
Most days I have no problem with DSH because he does his thing and I do mine. Now that we are retired, deciding on dinner is about the only decision we make on a daily basis. We had no problems with
the big trip to HI because I made all the plans and he approved them.
Recently we had an opportunity to drive along unfamiliar roads or to go the more familiar route. I wanted to trust the google map app on my phone and go the new way. DSH picked the way he knew. Actually my way was supposed to be only a few miles shorter, so it shouldn't have been a big deal to me, but I really wanted to try something different, see what else was out there, take "the path less traveled by"...
Or maybe I just wanted to get my own way.
Monday, October 8, 2012
Now I must tell you that here in my neighborhood there are very few hardwood trees. I can see a tall one, oak or maple maybe, a couple of yards away and I know there is another in the yard farther down the street, but most of the trees in the neighborhood are palms of various types. I don't think palms are the home of choice for squirrels, so I am not surprised there are very few squirrels here compared to the many that live in my old Virginia Beach neighborhood.
Even so, I chose a bird feeder that is a tall rectangular prism with a cage around it that is spring loaded to come down when big birds or a squirrel lands on it. It has closed up when more than 8 house sparrows (LBBs-little brown birds) tried to cling on it.
I did not think mockingbirds liked sunflower seeds, so it seems like they just want to push some other birds around. Sounds like the definition of a bully to me.
My backyard is one of my favorite places to hang out here in Florida(not too sunny today), especially because of the visitors who put on a show for me.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
It is so nice to to be able to attend our church, knowing we are going to have a guest pastor, confident that God's Word will be taught in truth. Our pastor is in Nigeria for a month teaching in a seminary there, so the synod has provided guest pastors to fill in for him. Today our circuit pastor lead our little flock. What a great Bible class we had continuing in our study of Ecclesiastes. Pastor Pankow led us to correlating Scripture and provided present day examples to apply them. His sermon about taking up the cross to follow Jesus was very relevant to me as well.
It's a beautiful sun shiny day and I have so many choices for how to spend it: pool, bike ride, walk, stamping. Life is good!
Saturday, October 6, 2012
It is only a few weeks until the election and I must say I was enjoying the politics for awhile, but have recently gotten tired of all the rhetoric. I am especially weary of how hateful some of it has gotten. The negativity was getting me down. That is why I am challenging myself on this blog to keep looking on the positive side.
In our Bible class at Risen Savior Lutheran Church, we have been reading Ecclesiastes. That is where I read the above reminder that every day is a gift from God. A gift, a present, just for me, one for each of us, from God-WOW!
I love presents, especially the ones that come from someone just because he or she loves me. I know sometimes the gift isn't something I wanted or needed, but I try to treasure it for awhile because maybe it will be something I need later, or something I can use to brighten up someone's day at a time they need it. Are you getting the metaphor?
So, thank you for reading this and please, come back to read more. Let me know what your thoughts are as well and we can get a dialogue of sorts going.